Monday, October 20, 2003

For whatever reason, I'm all about laughing at message boards. The Comicon gutters represent culture in its lowest form, suggesting that if language is a virus, it can sometimes, and may be evolutionarilty destined to, manifest in violent or even flesh eating forms. These are the thread titles on the front page at 8:08 Pacific Standard Time on Monday October 20, 2003 (and forgive my shoddy HTML cut and paste):

Red Skull's cigarette holder is just not that impressive

***The OFFICIAL 2003-2004 NFL Thread***

REALLY fucked up Gutters/comics related dream I had

Never try to whip a donut in a parking lot in four-wheel drive

Have you ever noticed

Hey Black people on Comicon...


I Miss Y'All

chris & danny quarantine thread

Lamest sockpuppet EVER!!

Everyone says I draw like Dan DeCarlo anyway

Speaker's Corner


We've never seen danny and Otto together, have we?

The Cubs aren't in the World Series

It's been a year.

what kind of music does ronan like?

How can you NOT love it?

Cub Fans sucks today

The Haiku of ScooterDoom

I fell into a burning ring of fire

Peter MacDonald!


anyone else notice how complicated jim treacher lore has gotten lately?


What's up with Half-Penis Anyway?

English paper on Ruth Hall

O danny boy, this is not a pipe calling

He looks just like his father

Hey ScootiePie

Survivor: Comicon

Why won't ScooterDoom tell us where he works?

Battlefield 1942 - Anyone here play?

The final fate of Danny Hellman and Ted Rall.

9-11, We had it coming

move over, serapion

Thread sent to Gutters and I want it closed.

Sam Catalino is "The Big C" at the ORCA Boards.



GOD and Religion suck Hitler was righteous

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

someone should show this to groth

Why i hate people who hate_ Bush, Harrison, Clinton, and Taft.


Horoscope and puzzles

Arnold orders off the menu


Why I hate Danny Hellman

What the hell happened?

If a teenager was caught spraypainting any one of these slogans on the side of a school, he'd probably be suspected of plotting a shooting, and rightfully so. On the internet, its just part of communication. Any one is a short poem of loneliness, misery, despair; adrifting and lost, they mournfully prefigure an epitaph for our entire times and culture.
Wonderful comedy is afoot at the John Byrne message board. It opens with Byrne, a veteran superhero comic creator, devoting a statement to the use of a comic book characters' full name: "What's with the cutesy abbreviations of the character names, people? "Supes"? "Bats"? Do you really feel right using those? Does it really resonate correctly for you when you refer to a super powerful mass murderer as "Mags"? Or a homicidal maniac who would gut you as soon as look at you as "Wolvie"?"

There's plenty more ("Seriously -- would you call Batman "Bats" to his face? Even Superman, who is a much more "approachable" kind of guy -- if he were real, would you actually feel comfortable addressing him as "Supes"?"), the gist of which is that Byrne is absolutely not kidding, documenting a persolality that is chillingly unsettling even by the standards of posters to a comic book message board. If I were an FBI agent interviewing a serial killer for a profile case, and he delivered a monlogue like that, I would leave the meeting sweating and pale, and spend the rest of the week in bed, doubting God and contemplating a career change. Would you trust this man a gun?

Alomst as unsettling is the ensuing debate, with partisans taking the argument seriously on every side imaginable. From "I would consider it the highest compliment if I created a character and the fans started refering to him with a nickname, as long as it was intended as affection and not done with malice" to "That you think calling Batman "Bats" is a term of affection means not one whit to the conversation. I, personally, don't think it's an affectionate term at all. Nor do I think that it's a "fun" term either. Am I taking it too seriously? No. If you think so, more's the poorer for you."

I wonder if social debate was like this before the middle ages, or is speculating that the Earth has two sides and acceptable heresy?

If you're in the Seattle area, I highly recommend heading to Consolidated Works to check out Dazzle Camouflage, a new installation by Jason Puccinelli. He received funding for it from Artist Trust, which is how I first heard of. And Jason is joining us for a fundraising reception at the site, so I've gotten to talk to him a bit while setting that up.

The basic idea is that he's constructed museum dioramas, like you would see representing Stone Age culture or something like that, and combined them with a fashion shoot. In this case, the dioramas are representations of some questionable things, such as in the image up top. Other scenes are a slaughterhouse, a missile silo and a stock exchange. Opening night, he had fashion models pose and cavort in the scenes, covered in blodd, stabbing pig carcasses, and also audience members were selected to pose as well. I thought the fashion models weakened the effect, actually, because the exhibit works better as audience participation, the better to implicate the audience as they interact in the settings. The performed fashion shoots distanced the audience. It wasn't them.

There won't be the full on fashion shoot spectacle in the regular exibit, but a photographer will be on duty Thursdays thru Sundays 7:00pm – 8:00pm to take pictures of visitors to the installation. Which means you get a photo as a souvenier. It's supposed to be fun, and kind of disturbing that it is fun.

It's also the cover of last week's Stranger:

Thursday, October 16, 2003

I have returned from vacation. I was considering retirement, but I found something out today that demanded my attention -- and the world's.

Jimmie Walker writes a column for Jewish World Review.

Today he writes about Rush Limbaugh.

That is all.