Friday, August 30, 2013
Dave-El here but not for long. Just popped in to thank you for popping in.
Leave it me to actually having to labor on Labor Day weekend.
I've decided a new way to torture you, my dedicated readers (reader? anyone?)
I'm going to post a photo of myself.
In my normal fashion, I would make up some silly, off-the-wall story about time travel or something but today, I'm going to do something really weird.
I'm going to be honest.
That's me, dressed up (more or less) as Abraham Lincoln for a special event at my job. This was about 5 years ago. Now, if I do any impersonating of US Presidents, it'll have to William Howard Taft.
Take it easy for the rest of your Sunday.
Be good to one another.
Hi, Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that will not be held back by arbitrary plot devices.
Just a little bit of business before we get moving on. Part 7 of my Doctor Who story, The Nemesis Who Stole Time, is planned for next week. There may be some stuff 'n' junk involving real life so I may have to delay it. I hope not; I'm anxious to see what happens next. (I have no idea!)
Still, we are going to post something Doctor Who related but first, let's talk about Star Trek.
Doctor Who lives on!
Dave-El here at I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You on a Friday night and it's time for that weekly
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The Craziest Pair in Show Biz: Miley and her demented tongue!
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Thank you and do come again!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
And every time one thinks that the fighting can't get any worse...
That the slaughter of innocents can't get any worse...
That the utter disdain that Assad has for his own people can't get any worse...
It gets worse.
There has been for some time pressure on the Obama Administration to "do something". But what would that something be? And would we have the right to do it?
President Obama, I think, can be too deliberate, too measured in his responses, in his actions. Some of that is part of his character, a lot of it is born of necessity of a army of political rivals whose every action is to undermine this President. In the case of Syria, as horrible as the bloodshed was, it was very much a civil war and the United States did not have a dog in this fight.
Now we do.
The images of the dying and the dead have been horrific as it is very clear that chemical weapons have been used against the Syrian people. This is an affront to international law and simple human decency. To not act against the use of chemical weapons is to embolden the next tin plated dictator with delusions of grander to act with impunity in the use of weapons of mass murder and destruction.
But a lot of the same political forces who were chiding Obama to "do something" are now saying, "Whoa there! Let's not be too hasty!" Even in the face of the depths of human depravity and the horrible suffering it has caused, Obama's rival's continue to hold fast to their strategy: whatever Barack Obama wants, do NOT give it to him.
Obama was cautious about military intervention in Syria. John McCain and other GOP leaders chided the President for not taking action. Now President Obama is faced with the very real prospect that military action is needed to show that the use of chemical weapons will not stand; now the GOP is pulling back on the reins.
I'm not saying a due deliberation of the facts before a decision is made is not advisable. But this is NOT a quest for deliberation, this is the usual knee jerk reaction to the other side of whatever road Obama is on.
Meanwhile, the British Parliament has voted against military intervention on Syria. The United States' strongest and most loyal ally is opting to sit this one out. There is a sense of wariness of being led into another boondoggle like the one Tony Blair led them into 10 years ago.
Comparisons of Iraq and Syria have been cropping up a lot lately. And there is one apt link between those two situations. In both, the President has to contemplate taking action against a nation that has not actually done anything to us or to any of our allies. In both Iraq and Syria, military intervention was a matter of choice, not necessity.
However there is also a very big difference between the two situations. Action against Iraq was considered because those in power thought Iraq had chemical weapons. Action against Syria is being discussed because we know Syria has chemical weapons and we've seen them employed against the Syrian people.
There is also the matter of an administration's intent. What we know of Obama and his advisors, I can safely assume there is at least no majority support for initiating military action against anybody. In other words, I suspect no one in the Obama White House has been beating the war drums for Syria.
On the other hand, the neocons who populated the Bush White House had Iraq in their crosshairs from day one. The fact that the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th had rather inconveniently trained in camps in Afghanistan instead of Iraq was a mere hiccup in the narrative: Saddam Hussein was a threat to America and to the world and had to go.
Saddam was no saint and he deserves every hour he spends in hell for the sadistic and horrific things he did and were done in his name. But Saddam was also no fool. He wanted to be seen as a significant power in the Middle East and on the world stage. An alliance with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was counterproductive to Saddams' designs for power and respect. Indeed, Bin Laden saw Saddam Hussein as an infidel to Islam and Iraq was more likely on Osama's list as a target than as a partner.
But I digress. This is today and the topic is Syria. Still, the shadow of Iraq looms over these proceedings. But while it is wise to be guided by the lessons of our intervention in Iraq, we cannot be paralyzed by them, especially in the face of human suffering caused by the use of weapons that the civilized world finds abhorrent.
Even as the British Parliament was voting "no" to approving military action in Syria, over in the House of Lords, Lord Paddy Ashdown had this to say: "This is not Iraq, we are not putting boots on the ground and we are not invading and above all this is not George W. Bush, it's Obama."
President Obama is far from being a perfect person; then, so are we all. Only history can judge if whatever decision the President makes is a good one or a bad one. But ultimately, a decision will be made and must be made on the facts and the merits of the current situation, not on the fears and ghosts that linger from adventures past. We can learn from the past but we must live in today and strive to protect the blessings of liberty, both real and potential, for all our tomorrows.
God speed to the people of Syria and to the leaders who face this terrible choice.
God be with us all.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Hi, Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that's a better source of potassium than other blogs.
Dave-El here! It's Wednesday and this is when I've gotten in the habit of posting my little mock ups of covers to the classic DC science fiction series Strange Adventures. Under the limits of the newly launched and all powerful Comics Code Authority, stories in Strange Adventures had to really reach for new and inventive ways to tell adventures that were strange but still conformed to the Code. "New and inventive" usually translated to "weird and goofy" but hey, Strange Adventures could get your attention with some really bizarre scenarios.
So it's a lot of fun to come up with bad jokes, weird lines and bizarre non-sequiturs to put in the word balloons on the covers of Strange Adventures.
Except I started falling into a pattern. I kept picking the covers with gorillas and while the comments may be the different, the core of these odd ball word plays is the same: bananas.
It even got to the point where the gorillas were commenting on this.
So last week I posted something different: Jack Kirby's New Girl#1. Essentially, it's a photo of New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pasted (very badly) to the cover of New Gods#1. Now this combines several of my favorite things in the world: my love of comic books, my admiration of the power and the talent of Jack Kirby and my probably not too healthy attraction to Zooey Deschanel.
Yes, there WILL be a Jack Kirby's New Girl#2...except I haven't worked that out yet.
So back to the Strange Adventures well and.....
I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.
But I just can't help myself.
|Click here for the original cover to Strange Adventures#88 by Gil Kane & Joe Giella|
I just have to get this monkey off my back.
Yeah, I went there.
See you all later.
Remember to be good to one another...and share your bananas.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
This is true. Even if you don't have to pay for it, every meal costs somebody something.
Last Wednesday, I was the unexpected recipient of a free lunch. But I know it wasn't free because I saw the price on the register when the cashier rang it up and I saw the guy in front of me pay for it.
He didn't owe me a favor, I hadn't done an amazing good deed that warranted such a reward and it wasn't any kind of special occasion for me. It was a just regular day when the guy in front of me decided to buy my lunch.
The guy in front of me was David Long.
At the place where I work where I do whatever it is I do, I'm not allowed to use my nom de plume, Dave-El. I have to go by the civilian identity that I use when I am out amongst you ordinary Earth creatures.
Perhaps I've said to much.
Anyway, when I started to work there about 10 years ago, I was only moderately surprised to find there was already a David Long working there. I say "moderately" because to be honest, David Long is not that uncommon a name. There are about 7 David Longs in the city and the surrounding metro area; at least 7, maybe more.
We're a diverse group. The most successful of the David Longs is a district attorney; he gets quoted a lot for various news stories involving crime and stuff. At the other end of the spectrum is a David Long who is ostensibly a house painter with a frequently changing address and an inability to pay his car taxes. Sometimes I get his past due tax notices. I call the county tax office and they're cool, they always fix it when that happens.
And there is an older fella named David Long who really doesn't like gay people; I know this because he's had letters printed in the local paper decrying how we are all going to hell because of gay people. What I find hard to believe is that people who know me still think that's me. It's really awkward when someone says, "Hey, I saw your letter in the paper. Man, we've got to do something about these gay people" and I have to decide if I want to have that battle with this person then and there about marriage equality.
But right there in my company is another David Long and he's an OK kind of guy. He's probably a better David Long than I am. He has actual computer skills and knows how to fix things. We get each other's mail at the office. If it has my name on it but its about a bunch of technical stuff I don't understand, I figure its for him. Likewise, if he gets something he doesn't understand because its not a bunch of technical stuff, he forwards it to me.
We have a running joke that the other is our evil twin. (For the record, we don't look a like at all.)
It was last Wednesday in the company cafeteria where we ran into each other (we really should watch we're walking. Rim shot!) and we immediately fell into our "evil twin" banter. He had just a cup of coffee (another difference in that I do not drink coffee) as we got in line to pay the cashier; he was ahead of me. Then David told her, "You know, it's only right that David Long should pay for David Long's lunch, right?" The cashier saw what I had, rang it up and before I could react, David Long had bought my lunch.
For no good reason other than the kindness of his heart.
OK, I'm definitely the evil twin now.
But in all seriousness, I am still amazed several days later at this act of kindness and generosity. It was such a simple thing to do yet it made such an impact.
I sometimes I feel like I'm invisible in this world. Does anyone notice me? Do I matter? There's usually no good reason to think that but, sadly, that's how my mind is wired and I struggle to resist jumping on that train of thought every day. Some days are harder than others.
But then something like this happens and it takes all the steam out of that train's engine.
For me, that free lunch is something of great value.
I hope I never forget it.
And maybe I will do the same for someone one day.
Thanks to David Long from your "evil twin."
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