Tuesday, September 30, 2003

If we all stood up to cruel people instead of ignoring the pain of their victims or try to say its a part of life(their victims aren't a part of life- they aren't allowed to speak) , there would be a lot less meaningless cruelty. You know when people stopped using the n word so much? When people started to say they would not accept it. Don't accept cruelty- there's something wrong with the cruel person, not the person who got in their way.
Today's link popourri theme is that unpleasant things happen to good people. It's good to remind people of that because it's so easy to sit up in your ivory tower and think that bad things only happen to bad people. I'd like to give those people a reality check.

The nodding disease, mysteriously strikes children, giving them seizures and sometimes causing death. A possible cause is parasites, but how it spreads and how to cure it is unknown.

A soldier, whose motives are unknown, maybe he wanted to serve his country, maybe he wanted to create a life for himself has died in Iraq today. The President has said some untruths in his rush to get us over there, and so, his young life has ended. Also killed was a ten year old Iraqi boy. He will not grow up to see this new Iraq they envision.

The rich give barely anything to charity and when they do, it's for a tax write off. They could do more with their wealth than buy another BMW.

There's lots of AIDS in the black community, yet barely anyone seems to be talking about it. Black churches might help heighten the misery with their anti gay rhetoric, which pushes gay behavior to the margins where it can become very unsafe, and their alliance with white churches on the idea of depriving people of sex ed.

In the US, it seems that they were detaining people without proper trials. Being Muslim is not a crime,ok?

Monday, September 29, 2003

I'm a bit cautious about people who complain about political correctness. The mere fact that they can get so bent out of shape over what is basically politeness(don't call people names they don't want to be called) is a bit suspicious. The actual inconvenience it takes to get up and change the TV channel is more than it takes to remember not to call those Mexicans wetbacks. I know it's trendy and fashionable to complain about it, even if you don't know what it is, and political correctness now(like liberal) means something that some conservative pundit doesn't like, but seriously, think before you speak. You'll be politically correct with no effort at all.
If this girl knows how to make a bong out of a Coke bottle at 5, think how much she could do if her formidable talents were used for good. I'm not saying that weed is bad, but it's not the most useful thing for a five year old to know about. I think weed should be confined to older teens, who at least can usually handle matches without burning the entire house down.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

This strip is great. It really captures the whole 'special person' idea lots of people have. They seem to think they are special, and so they can say whatever they want, and it's ok, and also, nothing bad will ever happen to them. I think it's because they are stupid.
I agree with a limit on the weight of books. When I was in highschool, my books weighed about forty five pounds, but I was a ninety five pound weakling. I couldn't even change books without walking too near the lunch room, which I was trying to avoid so I wouldn't be questioned about why I was in the halls, and forced to go to lunch.

Lunch was my everyday horror. I don't do well with systems like that. College lunch is much better, because it doesn't reflect so much on your worth as a person if you eat alone. People might say it doesn't matter, but I'm sure they had a nice warm group to sit with everyday, so of course, it doesn't matter. You took your status for granted, and you want to beat up on me for it. I think you should have enjoyed that status. (This is all the general you)

Friday, September 26, 2003

This is a pretty interesting piece on whiteness studies and its critics. What I'd like to address is the talk about blacks with white patronage. I can see both sides of the issue. On one hand, it's good for blacks to not separate themselves, and gain success in any sphere they can. On the other, there's a chance to be talking at cross purposes. The whites want to just forget this whole race thing, and the blacks want to fix it, and neither can understand the other. It's like the Tower of Babel, but with race. I'd like to note that I believe that color blindness is not ignoring who we all are, but it is being able to treat everyone with respect despite our differences.

I'm interested in race nowadays since I don't want to do my chemistry, by the way. I seem to have suddenly contracted a case of chem block, even when I try to do it, I do it slowly and I don't understand it. It's quite depressing, and saps all my other studies, even the interesting essay on Frankenstein I must prepare.

I'm going to talk about the role of intellectual curiosity in Frankenstein, and how it manifests in two passages. It's really a lot of fun.
I'm watching Lean On Me- a fun movie and a nice propaganda piece. Just a little encouragement and hard work turns a school around, great huh? But I worry that there are problems that can't be solved with a little can do and movie magic. For example, all the people Clark pushed out. What ever happened to them? Is it acceptable to sacrifice them?

Also, Clark's whole get off of welfare rhetoric. It sounds good in a movie, but when your mother is working three jobs, it's not like they have time to help you with your homework. I have always thought it was strange that middle class white mothers are encouraged to stay at home, but lower class mothers(of all races, I am assuming) should get out and work. It's a paradox.

Also, if just cleaning up graffiti and a bit of yelling improved their test scores so much, why didn't anyone do this before? I am aware this is based on a true story, but I'm sure that the real story was much more complicated than this feel good flick.

I am also interested in the portrayal of race- in the beginning, some black girls are depicted as ripping the shirt of a white girl. Is this an attempt to play on the increased sympathy such a person might get?

I'm aware that this is the sort of cheery after school special we rely on to reinforce our prevailing myths, but it is pretty interesting al the same.


Thursday, September 25, 2003

And remember, don' think happy thoughts- improve things.
What's with people who say "You know, the movie"? Is this part of the ever present cult of celebrity, or is it about a general appreciation of that actor's work? I never really care about who is acting in a movie, just as long as they can act. A bunch of no names who can really pull off a performance will pull me in much more than some big money star who is just standing there, looking hot. Maybe it's because they are just conforming to the fact that everyone else says it, but why does everyone else say it?
Here is an interesting article about Jim Crow- or why blacks had a harder time pulling themselves up than people who could go to white schools, with only the occasional shout of 'mick' or 'dago'. Although, it does note the many black colleges and buisnesses that many people forget, instead choosing the focus on the poverty of the race. Focusing on only the bad is a choice. People have very different motives for a such a choice, whether to invoke pity or to say not nice words about someone else.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I read Blue Monday today, and it was great. The cycle of prank and counter prank in the first story is hilarious to behold, and what Bleu will go through to get some Adam Ant tickets is just astounding. Overall, it's a fun comic. I especially like the early short stories in the back- I like to see extras that are useful like that. I like skecthes and stuff, but you usually only look at them once or twice. Actual extra story is something I'll come back to over and over.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I read Narcissa today and I love it. Not only does it have lyrical drawings and poetic language at times, it also has a lot of good humor (I liked Narcissa's dream about the stereotypes her characters would be if that marketer got hold to them) and one liners. Narcissa is on a journey of discovery, but it's not too sappy, and although she may be a narcissist, other characters get their say too. The big flaw in the plot is Narcissa's Victorian Novel Disease- the sort where you can make love all night and go to Spain all day, but you're still going to die in a week. But Lance Took's drawings are to die for.

This is not a plot driven story- Narcissa finds out she is about to die. She goes to Spain is the plot, but learning why Narcissa is who she is, and her experiences as she takes stock of her life one last time make up the strength of this book.

Here is an interview with Lance Tooks which is really interesting.

Silence equals death. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you are, but if you don't tell your story, you won't be heard, and people will assume you don't exist, and that you can be discounted. That's why telling someone to shut up is rude- because you are trying to rob them of their power to make things right. Words are power, that's why we can't let people try to tell us we can't speak or that our voices aren't important or that we don't matter. If you listen to that person, you are right, and you are dead.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

For the edification of your minds, I suggest the book "Forgotten Readers" as learning about African American literary societies will probably expand your knowledge of history, which will probably be a positive development. It's not so good to be ignorant, and to be ignorant about your own people is worse.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

This art store is awesome. I ordered on the 16th, and my order arrived yesterday. Although the package center is closed today, meaning I must try to get my canvas Monday, if I can. Also, the shipping was only $5, instead of the $8 some stores were trying to charge.
Things I have trouble coming to terms with:

1)I may never be as successful as others.

2) I'm never getting any hotter

3)Massive shyness is a minority personality trait in males.
In the 60s,(warning, link contains nudity) Playboy women were so beautiful! They looked nice..and naughty! Although, once I saw a 70s spread of this beautiful black woman, which I much prefer. They need more Playboy pictorials of black women, just enjoying this sexuality. Yes, this is random, but I enjoy naughty pictures.

Friday, September 19, 2003

For no reason, here's the text of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:


Document Number: PL 88-352

Date: 02 JUL 64

88th Congress, H. R. 7152

An Act

To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Civil Rights Act of 1964".



SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

SEC. 202. All persons shall be entitled to be free, at any establishment or place, from discrimination or segregation of any kind on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin, if such discrimination or segregation is or purports to be required by any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, rule, or order of a State or any agency or political subdivision thereof.

SEC. 203. No person shall (a) withhold, deny, or attempt to withhold or deny, or deprive or attempt to deprive, any person of any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202, or (b) intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person with the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202, or (c) punish or attempt to punish any person for exercising or attempting to exercise any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202.


SEC. 601. No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

I am reading Frankenstein and I really identify with the monster. I'm sure most people who read it do- this whole world seems to live in isolation- we're all cut off from each other, by our masks, by everyone's expectations. Is it even possible to connect to others? All the monster wants is to connect to others, but by his very nature, it is impossible, despite his best efforts. I think maybe this is why the experience is coded in the metaphor of the monster- it's unacceptable to actually have failed despite your best efforts. It's unthinkable, it seems.

But in the body of the monster, Shelly can express the story of the loser, the outcast. I wonder if the idea of history not being always written by the winners is historically recent. I haven't made enough of a study of older modes to know if that is true or not. But, if anyone writes or paints or draws, remember- tell your own story, not the story that you are supposed to tell. Even if you must disguise it, show it, ok?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

(spoilers for Chicago) In Chicago, the only character coded as innocent dies. The Czech woman is always seen wearing white, both in the "He Had It Coming" number and in the "Hungarian Disappearing Act" scene. She even has a white light on her as she does her ballet act. In the "He Had It Coming" dance number, we never hear her story, but her scarf is white instead of the blood red of all the other prisoners. We never hear her story- unless we understand her language. She is doing a slow mournful dance with her victim, and is wearing more clothes than the other killers- who are very sexualized

Monday, September 15, 2003

Today's necklace* is a spiral. It curves to the right, symbolizing the virtuous spiral. A simple example of a virtuous spiral is a rich person. Since he has so much money, he can save more money and invest more money, which gives him more money. In this sort of spiral, things build on each other positively.

Usually, my symbol is the vicious spiral- curving to the left. An example of this is being bad at math. You are bad at math, you feel bad about it, you procrastinate on studying it, you become worse at math, you get math anxiety, making you perform worse on tests and so on and so on.

Due to my negative bias, I believe the latter is most common. A related term is'virtuous circle', which refers to pretty much the same thing as the spiral, I just like spirals better than circles.

* I wish that I had such a nice necklace. My spiral is so plain.

Friday, September 12, 2003

I love the picture of the statue here, symbolizing a brighter tomorrow. I think the controversy is a bit silly- people need to think about important things, not silly stuff like the size of a penis or whether the sculptor is black enough. How can people break free of slavery's remnants if they are filling their minds with only complaints?

I am reading the narrative of Frederick Douglass lately, and I am very inspired. He used education to break the chains of slavery, and I think that's a good lesson for everyone to learn. Even with the token Black History month celebrations, we never got to read this book in high school. I think that's a shame.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

It seems to be a nice moment in comics history. Fantagraphics has the Complete Peanuts. I think this will subsidize a lot of worthy work in the future-work that might not be printed otherwise. Elf Quest is going to be printed in manga size and reissued in bookstores. I hope this will give a new generation a great fantasy story.

I hope that the whole mini book boom will not be like the black and white glut, but we can't tell while in the middle of things. Especially not me- I wasn't around for the latter. However, I think that there will be a lot of new readers still left over, even if this is just a passing fad.
It's time for link potpourri. The theme today is music and situational ethics. I think it's funny when a 12 year old gets all this sympathy for doing the trendy crime of the week, but if she shoplifted, she'd be sent up the river- no sympathy. For those who are pretending that they'd actually buy music if they could, here are some services- listen.com(I am tempted to sign up for the radio, actually), buymusic.com (if you're paying $2 for the two songs you wanted, how can you even complain?), yahoo's music service. Also some fun,homemade music, a net based music competition, and some fun indie labels: Matador, K records,
Up records. And a note for the brain dead- libraries BUY books.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Triumph balancing out the pain! I got a job, and my article is in New Moon this month. I have published clips! Although I still think it's funny that I'm listed as a girl because my query was sent when I was sixteen.

Monday, September 08, 2003

This satire brought to you by the Council for Roommate Murder Prevention. Hopefully, one can learn what not to do from this example.
In a victory for legtimate downloaders everywhere, iTunes has sold its ten millionth song. Hopefully when the Windows version comes out, even more people will turn to supporting the artists. It especially invalidates the price argument. If you can get the one song you wanted off the CD for a dollar, there's no real reason to steal, although I am aware no reason is truly needed.

Also, Lea Hernandez' Rumble Girls will be avaliable in manga size format in December. Oni is also adopting the manga size and the lower price, and pushing their comics in bookstores. This has the potential to really increase the comics market. When you have comics that appeal to many different people selling for cheap in mass market stores, I think the conditions will be right for some good stuff to happen.

Although some might worry it might be like the 'graphic novel' glut of the 80s in which every crappy superhero comic was rushed into collections, but I think the market has done a bit of maturing since then, hopefully. Even a glut at this time period would leave behind a few new readers, as many comics have been getting attention in mainstream magazines such as Time.

In other good news, I finally decided to subscribe to Bitch magazine. I think people should support magazines that are about more than just ads being sold to you, and that actually have articles- you know, with more than a hundred words? Also, it sells ad space at a discount for small buisnesses and non profits.

Disposable DVDs

Who would buy this crap? You only get them for two days and pay six dollars, when you can go to Hollywood Video and pay four or five bucks and have them out for five days. Also, if you look good, you can get DVD movies from ten to fifteen dollars and have them forever. I got Chicago for about $15 at Walmart, you know? This is just a stupid ploy to part fools from their money. Don't buy this crap,ok?

It's too easy

It's too easy to be a white man in America today. You still got all the power you've always had, and if you have any personal flaws, you can just blame them on minorities and women. I guess that was what it was like in the old days too. Same shit, different day.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I am happy that all my colored pencils are sharpened, but strangely sad that my cute Top Shelf bag from the con is being used as a trash bag.Well, the comic was the important part, and How to Be An Artist is great. It's like this snapshot of this whole ten year movement contained in the vagaries of this one guy's life. Top Shelf likes to give away cute things with thier books. Once I bought Box Office Poison from them,and they sent me a cute coaster.

Friday, September 05, 2003

This blog is from Iraq. It is interesting to see another point of view about the conflict, because if we truly want to liberate a people, we probably should get their input, you know? The most surprising note to me was about the increased fundamentalism. While what religous people the Iraqis have around is none of our buisness, if they start harrassing other citizens, you'd think there would be a major crackdown, or should be anyway.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

It's time for new wallpaper. Hopeless Savages!
How to Tell If You Might Be a Bit Racist*

1) African American Studies is 'PC bullshit' but Jewish or Italian studies? A perfectly acceptable part of the curriculum.

2)All those 'unqualified' white women getting jobs because of Affirmative Action doesn't bother you, but those blacks..? woah.

3) You go around saying that whites are dirty or have lice or other stupid stereotypes.

4) You freak out about illegal immigrants while enjoying the tasty produce they pick for you

5) You insist that you know everything about someone's culture, because A) you skimmed one book. B)You slept through history C) You once knew a person of that ethnicity

6) You know exactly how many friends of that race you have

7) Not calling them derogatory names is SO MUCH WORK. Basic politeness is SOOOO hard!

8) If Holocaust reparations or Internment Camp reparations are OK, but slavery reparations are the tools of the devil**

9) If one person of that race messes up, all people of that race are like that one person.

10) Thinking that one person talks for the entire race forever.

* Yes, this is a bit slanted to the concerns of blacks.

** You need to be consistent-if horrible things mean that payment is required, then it should be the same for all groups. Although, personally, I think they should build museums for black history and culture, and use that as reparation The worst thing about slavery is the loss of that culture that the people had from their original tribes.

I feel like a total and complete failure because of my lack of a car. While millions don't have cars, being in a society that assumes you have a car coming out of the womb is pretty depressing. There's no real support for us carless saps. Public transportation is spotty, people act like we have totally failed in some basic human requirement (you don't have A LICENSE is voiced in tones as shocked as the discovery that I ate babies for fun would be, and we can never see good movies-as a car is almost a requirement.

If you carpool, you must see it with friends, and you know what that means- CRAPOLA! Whatever is the stupidest, boringest, yet most hyped movie ever, you can expect to see. Double points if it has fart jokes in it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Today is let's all weigh in on abortion day, so I'll type my sentiments. I personally am pro choice as there are so many things that could happen in life. One day you're happy and healthy, and another day, you took antibiotics or St. John's Wort, your pill doesn't work right, and so you have to give up your entire future? It's easy to say "shit happens" when the shit isn't happening to you.

Also, I saw a pretty sad ad today. Two cute little black moppets have their arms around each other, and they are smiling wide. Across their picture is type saying "They said we would have a better chance of getting adopted if we split up. We talked it over. We'll take our chances" and the ad then has the Dave Thomas Foundation tagline. Kids have been waiting in foster care for years to be adopted, and will just be lost when they age out of the system. But noone ever goes and tries to help them. They are always worried about the cute little fetuses, not that Down syndrome boy who just shit in his pants for the dozenth time today.

I know it's human nature to only care about cute things, but come on, we can do better.
Today I had a good interview, even with a bit of wonkiness. I am still too lazy to talk about it, tho. Also, donate to Doctors Without Borders! I was listening on the radio about Liberia, and how a woman had her child and then went to their clinic. Somehow I feel like that was a good thing to do at the time.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I haven't had much time to blog lately, but here's a link to a website that everyone needs before popping pills, having needles put in their bodies etc.