Archive for ‘comics’
I never meant to study the (pre-)Civil War for two years straight, it just happened.
Now that it has, I’m starting to find virtues to sustained study of one part of history. We talk of things in abstractions because we have no choice — I can say “Minnesota is nice, maybe *too* nice,” and people act like there’s a thing called Minnesota, it can be nice, it can be too nice, and that there are even “people” I’m talking to. I’m really only talking to you, but I don’t even know who you are when you read this.
History’s a crowd of voices. Frederick Douglass can only tell you what things were like in one very small region in a forgotten section of Maryland for the 1830s and 1840s, he was gone by the 1850s. Abraham Lincoln saw the slaves sold at Cheapside in Lexington in the 1840s, and those slaves weren’t sold for cotton. Benjamin Hill knew what it was like to be a rich white guy in Atlanta in 1860, but he didn’t know what it was like to be poor, not white, or not a guy — and he didn’t believe those people had a right to a voice. Harriet Jacobs could have told him all about what it was like to be an enslaved black woman, but she couldn’t tell him what Atlanta was like in 1860 — she escaped to the north ten years before, and anyway she spent most of her life in a coastal crook of North Carolina.
When you read enough on one subject, you begin to incorporate the voices. I don’t have to judge a book by strict standards of what happened or didn’t happen any more, because I’ve got a fairly good idea what happened and I can tell when the author doesn’t know what they’re talking about. It’s fine if they don’t know what they were talking about; that’s authentic. There were people alive in 1860 who didn’t have a clue what they were talking about either.
Benjamin Hill, I’m looking at you here.
But time has leavened it all out to one dull roar, and by consuming as many different voices as you can, you obtain a sort of chorus. It feels like it contains some truth. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But it certainly contains effort.
I think what’s going on with the beginning of the Disney Pinocchio is that Gepetto has achieved some sort of transcendental intellectual feat. That’s the point of all the clocks. He is a wise man who has built a working model of his entire world. Then Jiminy Cricket shows up, the Town Drunk, and yells “QUIET!”
And that’s when the Blue Fairy appears, and Gepetto realizes what he really wants.
To have a son, yes. But also, to be a boy again. To experience it all again, in the perfect working world, with himself as his own child.
Of course, then it all goes wrong.
It’s a pretty good story, now that I think about it.
What I get from this is mostly that nobody knows why some things appeal to boys and some things appeal to girls. Not even cartoonists.
I mean, plenty people would like a Lego juice bar. That’s not a deal-breaker. It could just as easily be a ponytail under the space helmet as a crew-cut.
I think what she’s really getting at is that what is necessary is options. There has to be inclusiveness, which really does require exclusiveness. Women do not feel comfortable in exclusively male spaces unless invited, and vice versa, or something, now that we know that gender is whatever you say it is so long as you can get other people to agree.
There was a while there that I thought the Republican party could be destroyed. And if the pendulum had swung just a little bit further, I think it might have happened. But they seem to have weathered the storm, and the current system will continue for the foreseeable future.
There was a while there that I wanted the Republican party to be destroyed, for its sins against Iraq, Afghanistan, and America. But if you want that, then what do you say about the sins of the Democratic Party in the era of slavery? If any political party in American history ever deserved to be destroyed, it was the Democrats of 1860, the party I support today.
And probably all European settlers of America deserve to be destroyed for what happened to the Native Americans.
But since I don’t want that, maybe forgiveness has some virtues.
I would like to buy the chair that Broke Clint Eastwood’s Mind. I want the mirror that Tom Waits looked in and saw Billy Joel. I want to buy every microphone that ever killed a singer, every large metal tape recorder that ever flew off a shelf in a plane or bus accident and ended some rock and roll legend forever.
I can’t see the TV from where my computer is right now, but my roommate is watching John From Cincinnati and I’m listening along, and a lot of things about the show are much clearer when it’s taken just verbally.
One is that the show uses barely any music, but the music it uses is amazing.
Two is that this is definitely a sitcom.
An old man’s need to sleep with young women is pretty mercilessly skewered in this show. This is contrasted with all the very real needs for redemption that surround him: Vietnam Joe and his poisonous story, Butchie and his heroin habit, Brucie and the ghost. Maybe it’s because Mitch is the only one, of all these people, who does not have any real problems.
Cass is a pretty interesting character.
Now that I know Kai and Sean are both non-actors their performances seem much more interesting and magical. They don’t come across as non-actors, they come across as normal people who don’t talk as fast.
The middle of the season is some sort of peak of television. I just can’t believe how well written it is. I just noticed that Kai gets maneuvered into standing there holding a loaded gun behind her back through the whole scene when Sean’s mom gets to see him for the first time. Absolutely amazing.
Watching “Rope.” There’s a reason why everybody who watches this movie describes it as a movie that is not worth watching. By never cutting the camera ever they manage to make the whole thing seem like a high school play. Maybe it’s the dramatic artifice that they use — two guys kill a guy and then have a dinner party with his corpse under the dinner table, one of the murderers keeps acting creepier and creepier and the other one’s feeling guilty. It’s a good idea, I guess, sort of interesting, but their attempts to turn up the heat are like a slipped screw.
It’s an experiment that failed. It is interesting in how boring it is. I’m glad that they released it so you can see why nobody has ever tried it again.