Friday, August 30, 2013

Honest, That's Me!


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.

Doctor Who: Twelve Is the Limit

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.

In Star Trek, one of the most ingenious inventions of the series was the concept of the transporter. It solved a lot of problems for the producers: it saved money on special effects for spaceship landings and the transporter looked science-fictiony for relatively little money. Another benefit of the transporter was on the stories themselves;  characters could get to the action faster so the story could move along.
But with the ease of getting a character into a story, there was a drawback: it could also get a character out of a story pretty fast too. But where’s the drama when we know at any minute, Capt. Kirk could flip open a communicator and say, “Scotty! Beam my ass out of here!” So all sorts of counter-plot devises would come in to play: energy storms, magnetic fields, lost communicators, nigh omnipotent god-like power, the ship is under attack and there’s no power to spare.
But I think sometimes the writers of Star Trek just didn’t bother to come up with anything to block the transporter. Yes, there are episodes where it seems our Star Trekkin’ explorers have forgotten they can just beam back to the ship.  You want to yell at the TV, “Hey, Spock! Use your superior Vulcan brain to remember you have a transporter!”
OK, this is Doctor Who Saturday, not Star Trek Saturday so let me bring this around to our favorite Time Lord, the Doctor.
Now we can discuss the TARDIS as a plot device that can go anywhere. And yes, like the transporter on Star Trek, it's a function that gets the Doctor and his companions into an adventure almost anywhere but it also could get them out of that adventure if things get too hairy. So again, technobabble is employed to come up with some who-si what-sis to keep the TARDIS from doing just that: can't cross the time lines, some random part exploded, the TARDIS has been stolen and so forth and so on.
But the plot device I want to discuss is the one that is really ingenious but has it's share of pit falls.
Whoever came up with this idea, they are the most brilliant person ever! OK, it wasn't called "regeneration" at the beginning but the idea that a TV show could carry on with it's lead character still present even if the actor had moved on AND that the next actor did not have to look, sound or even act like the previous guy BUT we're supposed to believe it IS the same guy...genius! Pure genius!
Perhaps there were other solutions to address the departure of William Hartnell.
Replacing the Doctor with a new character to run the TARDIS, perhaps known only as The Scientist? No, I don't think so.
Cast a replacement to keep playing the Doctor in the same look, voice and manner established by Hartnell? That MAY have the short term. But eventually the show would have run out of steam, forced to conform to a pattern established from the beginning but unable to change.
The regeneration of the Doctor not only keeps the character going but it reinvigorates the show. A new actor, a new outfit, a new demeanor...all of this can affect the tone of the show. The show, much like the Doctor himself, changes and reinvents itself even has it remains part of something wonderful that has lasted 50 years.
But the downside of regeneration is that it can have the effect of undermining the drama of whatever peril the Doctor might find himself in. How can we worry if the Doctor is going to face mortal danger is we know he has that "get out of death free" card called regeneration?
So occasionally someone lamp shades this by tossing in a line like "the second blast will kill the Doctor before his regeneration cycle can complete". But for the most part, this element  of the Doctor's nature is just not mentioned except at "actor change over" time.  
Still, one of the most interesting brakes to be put on the regeneration deal was created by Robert Holmes for the 4th Doctor adventure, The Deadly Assassin. Time Lords are restricted to 12 regenerations. So the Doctor has these chances to extend his life but not an infinite number. This returns a sense that the Doctor just can't count on swapping out faces and bodies to escape death, at least not forever.
The thing is that next year we're about to get our 12th Doctor. And when Peter Capaldi figures his time is up, then that change to the 13th Doctor will be the last one.
Some fans actually worry about this. I've seen posts from Whovians who fret that when the actor playing the 13th Doctor decides to leave, that's it for Doctor Who.
Yes, executives at the BBC are going to say, "You know, Doctor Who has made millions, maybe even billions for the BBC. But we must stop making Doctor Who. It seems Rupert Grint*, the 13th Doctor, has decided to move on to other things. And since Robert Holmes back in the Fall of 1976 decreed that Time Lords only get 12 regenerations, we will immediately cease all Doctor Who operations and forego any more of that enormous wealth the show earns in order to comply with a plot point."
*Yes, I'm just messing with you here.
There is the occasional theory that the 12 regeneration limit is not necessarily a given; it may in fact be a Time Lord law or tradition that the Doctor, as the Last of the Time Lords, is not bound to follow.
In the Sarah Jane Adventures episode, Death of the Doctor, the 11th Doctor tells Clyde he can regenerate "507 times". The writer of the episode, Russell T Davies, confirmed that was a joke.
In a recent interview, Steven Moffatt acknowledged the 12 regeneration limit. Now what "acknowledge" means is open to interpretation (as is most of what the Moff says). He either accepts this concept has existed but he chooses to ignore it or the 12 regeneration limit is still a solid part of the Doctor's mythos and someone will have to work that out when Rupert Grint leaves.**
**Seriously, just messing with you, okay?
Me, I hope the 12 regeneration limit stays and hangs over the Doctor. Often he has given his life to save others and fight evil but always with the knowledge that even though it's not a sure thing, he might regenerate. But for the 13th Doctor, there are NO cards left in that deck. When the end comes, it will be the end. The Doctor has absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.
Then the day comes. The 13th Doctor faces an impossible choice, an unsolvable dilemma. Except there IS a choice; there IS one solution. But it will cost him his life.
So he takes a deep breath and brushes out of his eyes a lock of the red hair that he was finally able to get with his last change. Then with his sonic screwdriver in hand and an expression of resolution on his face that could shatter worlds, the Doctor goes forth.
The day is saved. Suns burn and worlds turn but the price has been high. The Doctor is dead.
Inexplicably, the Doctor's body starts to glow and within that glow his features begin to morph as the glow grows brighter and brighter.
Then in an explosion of light, the Doctor arises, stunned, confused. That death was to be the last one, the final one. No more second chances, no more cheating death.
The Doctor looks down to assess what new form this most unexpected regeneration has brought.
Why is the Doctor still alive?
Yes, that's what SHE wants to know.
Fade to black.

Doctor Who lives on!
Next week: another Doctor Who Saturday.


Broken News for Friday, August 30th, 2013

Hi, there!

Dave-El here at I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You on a Friday night and it's time for that weekly tradition abomination known as ....

bROkEN nEWs!

Tonight we're being brought to you by Green Giant Frozen Marijuana. Marijuana just like your Uncle Clem use to grow in the tool shed out back but frozen to preserve freshness. Get mellow with Frozen Marijuana.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Green Giant!

Now on the headlines in 5...




#BrokenNewsBoehner Promises 'Whale Of A Fight' Over Debt Ceiling” This reminds me of Moby Dick but without the Moby part. 

#BrokenNewsEx-JPMorgan Trader ARRESTED” And he would’ve gotten away too if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids. 

#BrokenNews6 Experts Destroy Obama's Drone Policy” Including using drones to track his daughters on dates. 

#BrokenNewsScott Disick Posts Half-Naked Photo Of Kourtney Kardashian” Kourtney disappointed Scott didn’t use any of her fully naked pictures 

#BrokenNewsZimmerman wants Florida to pay for defense expensesFlorida: “Sure, just don’t shoot, OK?”

#BrokenNewsConnecticut raccoon hunter sneezes, shoots selfIn other news: Raccoon devoid of ass after he laughed it off.
And now…#BrokenNews Presents
 Where In The World Can You Smoke Marijuana?” Also known as the best places to open a Taco Bell. 
Toronto mayor says he has smoked 'a lot of' potAdding, “Dude, you really need it to get thru a Blue Jays game.”
Pot most popular illegal drug, first global survey finds Least popular illegal drug? Gluten Free Crack. (Crack is wack without gluten!)

Son of ex-DC Mayor Marion Barry faces drug chargesWhat the Barry family calls a “father-son bonding experience”
Ding dong! Marijuana dispensary seeks OK to deliverThe cost of the marijuana is very reasonable but the bags of Cheetos are WAY overpriced.

Legal Pot: Not Such An Easy Sell After All” It’s a vegetable? It may be good for me? No thanks!
28 Creative Ways To Eat Weed” I sprinkled some on my salad! Hey, I really could use another salad!
Now back to headlines.....

#BrokenNewsBoehner To Obama: Give Us Answers On Syria” Obama to Boehner: “No copying off my test or we’ll get in trouble.”
#BrokenNewsBill Clinton: 'Stop Complaining' About Political Gridlock” Adding, “Somebody take off this padlock Hillary put on my junk!”
#BrokenNewsHow Brothels Have Been Hit By The Recession” Workers complain they’re getting screwed.
#BrokenNewsObama on Syria: 'I have not made a decision'Cut him slack, huh? He’s still deciding if he wants fries with his Filet-O-Fish.
#BrokenNewsChemist claims life on Earth came from Mars Dammit! That spoils the twist ending for the Breaking Bad series finale!

#BrokenNews “Kathie Lee: 'I have no idea

how long I'll stay with Hoda'” Hoda silently
holds up “Help Me” sign

#BrokenNewsMan Plans Aryan Enclave In U.S. Town, Nobody Comes” He wrote signs on white poster board using White Out. (He refused to use a black Sharpie; he’s just that racist.)
Now…#BrokenNews Presents

The Craziest Pair in Show Biz: Miley and her demented tongue!
Otherwise she may have embarrassed
Debunked” It was NOT Amanda Bynes
disguised as Miley Cyrus
Performance” “Hey, she’s wearing my
underwear!” exclaimed Justin Timberlake.
Performance” Daddy’s so proud! He taught
her all her best dance moves!
Miley” She wants to kick Miley in the Hannah
and punch her right in her Montanas.

Do you mind if I toss in a couple more


Well, it IS my blog!

They involve sex!

Oh, NOW you're interested!

Knew About The Clitoris Is Probably Wrong
I believe the clitoris is mobile and never in the
same place twice.
#BrokenNewsWoman Wants To Have Sex
With 100,000 Men” Hey, Mr. 100,000! Do you
REALLY want to put Mr. Happy in a place
where 99,999 other Mr. Happys have already

OK, before we wrap things up, it's time now
for...bROkEN nEWs in pICTuREs

 And that's a wrap on another edition of bROkEN nEWs, your leading source for internet news. (And if that really is the case, please don't vote or breed, thank you.)

I want to thank our sponsor this evening, Green Giant Frozen Marijuana, available in family size or single servings.
 Ho! Ho! Ho! Green Giant!

Thank you and do come again!



Thursday, August 29, 2013


Well, not so "suddenly" actually. The situation in Syria has been deteriorating for a long time. 

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.

Chemical weapons.

Biological weapons.

Nuclear weapons.

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 LordsLord 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

You know what? Don't judge me, OK? I know have a habit, a bad habit! I'm addicted to bad cover gags involving gorillas and bananas! I can stop when I want.

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

I Think That Duck Is Trying To Tell Us Something

Ben Affleck as Batman
That Duck From the AFLAC Commercials

You know what? No! No, I am NOT sorry!
Later, dudes and dudettes!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Random Act of Free Lunch

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

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."

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

Trump's Fake News Strategy

As you know, Li’l Donnie Trump is quite often in a snit over the press. He constantly demeans and defames journalists with terms like “l...