Friday, May 25, 2007


"Spider Jerusalem's rant about Monoculture, from Warren Ellis' comic Transmetropolitan. Voicing done by Colin Janke, music is 'Medula Oblongata' by The Dust Brothers, and the animation and putting it all together is YouTube user fearmeforiampink, an assignment for his graphic design course."

Philosophy can be useful.

The man has a point.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Some of these are really good, and really funny. Some of the reasons I dig on comics. Yes, even the "goofy" spandex clad superhero ones.

Written World: 50 Things I Love About Mainstream Superhero Comics:
"7) She-Hulk enjoys her super-strong green form.

8) The core team of the JSA is essentially a bunch of cranky old men who probably get together with old supervillains to play poker.

11) Retroactive Continuity!!

12) I've been following these characters long enough to be able to fill in the spaces between the panels.

15) Somewhere in the Multiverse there is an Earth controlled by Nazi Dinosaurs.

20) Big Barda is the muscular ass-kicker in the Free family, and Scott isn't the least bit bothered by this.

21) A large percentage of the male population of Opal City wear fedoras.

22) Black Canary was still a hero when she lost her powers.

23) Manhunter is divorced. She is not a castrating bitch. Her husband is not deadbeat Dad. They are two decent people who couldn't make it work out, and there was no need to make anyone the villain to make the other look better.

24) The original Red Tornado was just a lady with a pot over her head and a blanket-cape, even came from a humor book, but in the modern DCU she's known as a hero and her flashback stories drive that home.

25) Tim Drake and Maxine Hunkle are overenthusiastic hero-worshippers who became heroes.

26) "When I'm no longer needed to battle crime and injustice" is a better answer to "When will you marry me?" than "When Hell freezes over"

33) Shining Knight is a teenaged girl with a sword, gold armor, an Arthurian history, and a flying horse!

36) Lois Lane is a driven, pushy, arrogant, complaining, sneaky modern career woman. As a result, she gets to see Superman with his briefs off on a regular basis.

39) Grant Morrison.

42) The industry pros are part of the fandom.

49) "You made me lose my hair!" was not the motivation for a female villain."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Religion and school, in fact, try to teach you the exact opposite.

Thornton's Guerilla_Blog: Notes on risk. . .:
"...carve your own path. It's always ready for you, provided your prepared to ignore everyone else who claims to know what you should be doing instead.

Most people are not prepared for that, not by upbringing, not by religion, not by school, and not by birth. They never will listen to their own inside voice, in exclusion to the authorities. It becomes not a life less ordinary, an adventure, joyful, unique and built solely for you. Rather, it's played safe, and instead it is nothing but the wasteland. There is a better way, and it doesn't involve teachers, gurus, clergy, psychologists, new agers, or 'life coaches'. It involves just you, your heart, your soul, and a little silence."

Fred Reed does "grumpy old man" damn well.

Doesn't mean he's wrong, either. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find anything I agree with here. Lengthy... worth it.

Fred On Everything:
"Something is wrong with the United States. I think most of us have noticed it... The change is grave, accelerating, probably irreversible, and fascinating. Things are not as they were.

The United States is the most hated country on the planet, followed by, to the extent that there is a distinction, Israel. So far as I know, there are no other contenders. You can say “Who cares?” as many will say, or “Screw’em if they can’t take a joke,” or “I’d rather be feared than loved.” All very droll. Still, it is an interesting datum. No country ever lives up to its own PR, but there was a time when America was widely admired. Now, almost universally, it is seen as a rogue state. And is.

This carries a price. The US consulate in Guadalajara is part fortress, part prison, with barriers and cameras and bars and rentacops, and they take away a woman’s lipstick if she is going to enter. Maybe a country that fears lipstick needs to think. The French consulate around the corner is wide open, like all others that I know of. The French, Chinese, Japanese and so on aren’t hated.

The US government now lives in its own, strange, insulated world.

(2) The United States is the most militarily aggressive country on the planet, followed closely by Israel. I am aware of no other contenders.

Some of this combativeness is obvious—attacking Iraq for no good reason, occupying Afghanistan, threatening Syria and Iran, attacking Lebanon by proxy, bombing Somalia, putting troops in the Philippines to hunt Moslems. The US is also looking for trouble with Venezuela, threatening North Korea, moving to “contain” China (Doesn’t a container need to be bigger than its contents?), embargoing Cuba, pushing into Central Asia, increasing the military budget, and pushing NATO ever closer to Russia. (How stupid can you get? Very. Stay tuned.), And the Pentagon now has Africom, African Command. Africa is now America’s business.

(3) Powerful domestic hostilities grip the United States. Maybe you have to be outside of it really to see it. I live in Mexico. You can go for…well, five years and counting, without hearing angry talk about this or that group. In America, women hate men and men are getting sick of American women. Blacks hate whites hate Hispanics. “Affirmative action” engenders intense hastily that doesn’t go away. It isn’t the normal friction found in any country. It is serious antagonism quashed by federal force.

And the black-white-brown thing has very real potential for getting nasty. This we don’t talk about.

(4) A curious state fear prevails in America, but it is a governmental creation, a calculated manipulative Disneyland. Perhaps soon we will have Terror Mouse.

Recently I was in Washington. Everywhere there were the artificialities of fear. The steel pop-up barriers in the roads, the stop’em-bombs steel poles on sidewalks, the endless warnings to report suspicious behavior on loudspeakers in the subway. The searches of everything, the metal-detecting doorways even on buildings of country governments, of schools. (Schools, for Chrissakes. What is wrong here?) And of course the confiscation of shampoo at the airport. This is nuts.

(5) The bullying of people entering the US. Any country has the right to determine who enters. Fine. If you don’t want them to enter, don’t give them visas. If you issue a visa, try to be courteous.

Violeta had a visa, issued by the consulate, both times when we went to the US. Still she got bullied by the border Nazis. It was ugly. I am obviously not a Mexican, but I get the same hostile questioning as to where I am going, why I was in Mexico, and so on. It is none of their business where I go in my country. Or shouldn’t be, but there are no limitations on governmental powers now. A friend, married to a Mexicana, again with a visa, got separated from her, and both got abusive questioning. She came out crying.

America was not like this. Now it is.

Compare this with the real world. I land in Beijing—evil commie Beijing, right? Maybe twenty seconds to see whether my visa was valid, clonk of stamp, thank you, no baggage search, into a taxi. Vi and I land in Paris, en route to Italy. Glance at passport, yep, it’s a passport, no stamp, no nothing, on we go. Italy didn’t even look at our passports. Grown-ups.

I am not ashamed of the United States. It is a hell of a country. Been there, done that, loved it. In two weeks in DC with Violeta, although she is clearly not American, she was everywhere, always, treated with perfect courtesy and friendliness, whether on Cap Hill or Farmville, Virginia. Americans really are good folk. The government isn’t. It’s the gravest problem we face, both internationally and domestically.

(6) The Constitution really is going away, or has gone. It never did work as well as it should have, but few things human ever do. Habeas corpus is dead, right to an attorney, congressional right to declare war—it’s not even worth listing the list. Joe iPod in the burbs doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect him, yet. Git them Hay-rabs, ain’t no draft, plenty sushi. Urg.

(7) The increasing, detailed, intrusive regulation of life, the national desire for control, control, control. Everything is the business of some form of government. Want to paint your shutters? The condo association won’t let you. Let dogs in your bar? Never. Decide who to sell your house to? Racial matter. Own a dog? Shot card, pooper-scooper, leash, gotta be spayed, etc. Have a bar for men only, women only, whites or blacks only? Here come the federal marshals. What isn’t controlled by government is controlled by the crypto-vindictive mob rule of political correctness. This wasn’t always in the American character.

Add the continuing presence of police in the schools, the arrest in handcuffs of children of seven, the expulsions for drawing a picture of a soldier with a gun. Something very twisted is going on.

How much of the public knows what is happening, or even knows that something is happening? I don’t know. But I don’t think that it’s going to go away. In ten years it will be an entirely different place with the same name. Almost is now."

This would be very cool. [And of course Superman is a tulpa. Batman too. Jeez.]

These books were fascinating, funny and interesting. I actually read/re-read them just a couple months ago. Here's hoping the movie "works." Mixed feelings about "What the Bleep..." Cool concepts, presentation... so-so.

Blog@Newsarama » Schwartz’s Unlikely Prophet heading to film:
"Variety reports that the producers of What the Bleep Do We Know? have bought the film rights to the metaphysical memoirs of Alvin Schwartz, who spent 17 years writing Batman and Superman stories in the 1940s and ’50s.

Global Intelligence Press has optioned Schwartz’s 1997 book, An Unlikely Prophet, and its 2006 sequel, A Gathering of Selves.

In An Unlikely Prophet, Schwartz contends that Superman is real — that he’s actually a tulpa, a being created from thought that takes on its own life. He also relates his encounter with the Man of Steel in a New York City taxi."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

You taking any weapons? - Of course not. - ain't changing nothing.

Other than my unhealthy affection for all things Stallone [repeated watchings of Rocky III -"Rocky gets rhythm" - on HBO as a 12 year old will do this to you], and the way that Stallone knocked "Rocky Balboa" out the park, revisiting Rambo was kinda an iffy proposition. I mean, "First Blood" - great movie. The sequel, fun in an 80's over the top comic-booky action/adventure kinda way. The third one, OK but nothing special. Though in hindsight, the fact Rambo made heroes of the anti-Soviet Afghanis, possibly Taliban/Al Quaedo, is interesting.

Have to say this preview looks really good. I was surprised by the level of violence and gore shown. If released this way, definitely an R rated picture. Actually kind of glad, to tell the truth, and not in a "boy do I love gore!" kinda way. It's just that so often violence in media is sooooo sanitized and clean and unrealistic... I don't think those kinds of illusions serve anyone or anything.

"This is an Aint-It-Cool Exclusive look at a promotional trailer for 'John Rambo' with Sylvester Stallone."

The internet can do some amazing things. *UPDATED WITH VIDEO*

A while ago I posted a Youtube vid of the son of a great Japanese English teacher I work with at Katsuura Elementary. He's only in 4th grade, but he was practicing piano and covering a song of British soul artist Nate James. The vid is here - Ryo.

Well, guess who else saw it? British soul artist Nate James! And when he came to Japan recently on tour, he invited Ryo and his family up to Tokyo to play with him on stage. How very, very cool is that?

Akemi, his mom who I teach with, sent me a couple pics from the concert last week, and the other pic I got from the Yahoo News Japan article about it here -


So, apparently, this very cool tale is making the rounds on some of the Japanese TV shows. I think this is from Fuji TV. Continued coolness.