Friday, March 31, 2017

Silver Linings


As of today, I’ve been working with physical therapy for nearly 2 months. My left arm is still limited in motion and flexibility but given where I was when this process started, I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve made so far.  And this physical therapy has had a rather fortunate side effect: I’ve lost weight. 

 

A lot of my therapy involves a lot of activity in the upper body area. From the time of my accident in January, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Part of that weight loss came from not eating. In the days and weeks following my accident and surgery, I didn’t have much of an appetite. I wasn’t getting any exercise; I spent a lot of time sleeping. And when I did get hungry, it didn’t take as much to get me full. 

 

Then the physical therapy began and I began to work my upper body while doing various arm lifts and stretches. 

 

I’m hardly a health nut but I have tried to make other changes where I can. I’ve cut way back on tea and soda. If I get a hamburger at the cafeteria grill at work, I say ‘no’ to the cheese. Just little things to help keep the momentum going. But I need to be careful that I don’t embarrass myself. 

 

The other day, I was in the elevator at work; the door has a reflective surface and I noticed I could see my belt buckle. I was wearing a sweater vest which should be covering that up.  Uh oh! Did I grab an old vest that was too small? Then I noticed something else: the crotch of my jeans was sagging towards my knees. My pants were falling off?!

 

No, I was not alone on the elevator. Thankfully, my pants were not completely sliding off and the other people got off on a floor before mine. As soon as I was alone, I hitched up my jeans and tightened my belt by another notch. Whew!

 

It’s not a super-miraculous weight loss. As my daughter so kindly put it, I’ve gone from expecting triplets to expecting only twins. 

 

Still, from the pain and trouble from my injury, surgery and recovery, it appears I have found a silver lining. 

 

Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My TV Friend

"TV is my friend. It makes everything so... simple... somehow."
Les Nessman, WKRP in Cincinnati  

Hi there! Dave-El here and I have to confess, I really don't have much of a blog post ready. This is due to my discovery of a very relaxing activity; sprawling out on the couch watching TBS as Big Bang Theory just washes over me, one episode after another after another. 




There is something... warm and comforting about Sheldon, Leonard and the gang pursuing their nerdy antics one after another after another. It makes life... simple somehow.  

It's like a blanket made of light and laughter. 

Hmmm! Cozy blanket.  

I'm not dismissing the quality of the writing or acting; everyone seems to be doing good work. There's just something about watching BBT episodes in a row that is so comfortable. Oh my God! I just watched FOUR episodes? It didn't seem like two hours!

I have decided that Melissa Rauch as Bernadette is the sexiest woman on TV right now.  




OK, how far gone am I? 

That's that for today. Remember to be good to one another. I'll try to have a better post tomorrow. 

Unless...

Hmmm! Nice warm Big Bang Theory... so cozy!  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Superman Reborn


Prior to September 2011, the status quo for Superman was that Clark and Lois were married. 


Then in September 2011, the New 52 was launched and now suddenly, Superman was different. Clark and Lois were not only not married, she’s living with some guy named Jonathan. So Clark was free to be with any woman he wanted and boy, DC gave him a (dare I say it?) wonderful partner. Yep, Superman hooked up with Wonder Woman. 


Well, that was a thing that happened. Or did it?


Of all the changes wrought by the New 52, Superman was not well-served by this reboot. So the Superman of this universe dies and is replaced by the Superman of the pre-52 timeline.


That too was a thing that happened. Or maybe not? 


In recent issues of Superman and Action Comics in a storyline called Superman Reborn, stuff happened. You know, cosmic stuff, the stuff of magic, what have you. The upshot at the end of this is that reality gets bent into a pretzel and our Superman, the one married to Lois, has always been the Superman of this earth.


I think.  I’m not 100% sure but all comic reviewers seem to think so and that is the general impression I got. 


I’m Ok with this development as it bothered me that the Superman I regard as THE Superman was a replacement in this world. He deserves the status of being earth’s one, true Superman.


But there are questions, so many questions. Does this change other parts of the DC Universe? Did Superman and Wonder Woman still have a romantic relationship? 

I'm glad there's a new status quo for Superman that puts him back at a level of respect he deserves. Still, what exactly is the damage done to get there?


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Randie's Turn: Beauty and the Beast

Hey guys! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I’m not Dave-El, but I am GAY!

(bear with me, that is relevant)

Yep, it’s Randie back again to post something for dad and this time it’s a review of the new live action Beauty and the Beast. 




Now, in scientific terms I am “Massive Disney Trash” meaning I know almost every song front to back and can name the Princesses in chronological order. I also grew up as a very nerdy kid who loved to read and didn’t really fit in. Safe to say, I related to Belle quite a bit and she was, and still is, my favorite (classic) princess. 

So, when I heard about the live action version of my favorite princess who was going to be played by EMMA FREAKIN WATSON I was beyond hyped.

So, now that I’ve seen it (twice) I’m here to talk about what I liked and what I REALLY liked.

First thing that I have to say is this movie is flippin’ gorgeous! The CGI on characters was fluid and nothing moved robotically. Backgrounds were also extremely pleasing to look at. The area around the Beast’s castle was especially lovely. 

Aside from looks, this movie also has its auditory appeal. New songs and great revamps of the classics as well. (Evermore is literally the greatest thing, but I also can’t get enough of Gaston). I’m not as good with actor names as my dad but whoever was playing Lumiere made my entire life with Be Our Guest.  Emma Watson sounded great as well. 
Now, for the relevance to my opening statement. Let’s talk about LeFou. 




So, for those of you who don’t know, LeFou was Gaston’s bumbling sidekick in the original movie. He is also who Disney chose to make history. LeFou is Disney’s first official gay character. I’ll admit, I was worried. I didn’t want this to be bad representation and I really wanted it to be worth all the talk it got in the media. 

While it was certainly not bad representation, it was most definitely not worth all the hype. Lefou is very flamboyant, yes, but he’s not really given solid confirmation of his sexuality until a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment at the very end. That being said, this is a step in the right direction for Disney. I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Disney characters and it makes me so happy to see a character who’s not only better written in the version, but also relatable to people in real life. I mean, we’ve ALL had a crush on someone who doesn’t play on our team. And Lefou is much more than just his sexuality. Props to Josh Gad for making history and props to Disney for this step towards a more equal media world. 

That’s all I’ve got. Dad will be back tomorrow, but for now, be good to one another and remember that Love is Love

Random Stuff

pencils by Joltin' Jack Kirby!
inks by Vociferous Vinnie Colletta!
script by Linsome Lin-Manuel Miranda!
I got this from fellow blogger Bully, the Stuffed Little Bull Who Thinks Comics Oughtta Be Good

I hope Bully's OK because this was posted Friday, March 24th and he hasn't posted since. It breaks my heart to think that Bully might not be doing OK.

Also: IS MARK EVANIER O-KAY?!?!

His blog, News From Me, is one of my favoritest but last Tuesday, a Closed For Business graphic appeared, What? 
Yesm there was a note under that which said normal posts would return. He did post his upcoming WonderCon schedule and a note to assure us he's not dead. 

But now the text on his blog is missing and the Segio Aragones drawing in the masthead has vanished!

This is so weird. So I ask again....

IS MARK EVANIER O-KAY?!?!
-------------------------------------------------------


Donald Trump is ready to drive his Presidency over a cliff!
And if you've ever wondered why Donald lies all the time, maybe its because of this lesson he learned as a child...


--------------------------------------------------------
And for no reason whatsoever, a band of squirrels.



Later this morning, my daughter's take on Beauty and the Beast. 

Tomorrow on the blog thing, Superman!

Until then, remember to be good to one another.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

This (NON) Sporting Life: Two Shades of Blue


Today’s post is one I haven’t done in a long while, This (Non) Sporting Life, a blog post about sports by a guy who knows very little about sports.  Today we look at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 
 
There is much joy in my home state of North Carolina as the Tarheels of the University of North Carolina (UNC) – Chapel Hill advanced against Kentucky in a hard fought battle that came down to the buzzer. Not quite the thriller from 25 years ago with Grant Hill’s “Hail Mary” pass to Christian Laetner with a mid court lay-up that put Duke up over Kentucky in the proverbial last split-second. But still, very exciting with several reports describing it as one of the best game finishes in NCAA history.   
 
Alas, poor Duke went home early last week with a loss to South Carolina. South Carolina? Really, guys?  That’s like if this happened.  
  • “The Oscar for Best Picture goes to La La Land!”
  • “Sorry! There’s been a mistake. The real winner is… Batman Vs, Superman: Dawn of Justice!”
  • And the producers of Moonlight are off to the side going, “What the F**k?!?!” 
 South Carolina? Really? 
 
As a Duke fan, I know I’m not supposed to be happy for UNC’s success. But I’m not one of those “Anybody but ____” fans. Look, my whole support of Duke began on a whim many, many years ago when I was single where I was trying to get this woman who was a Duke fan to have sex with me.
 
SPOILER: It didn’t work.
NOT A SPOILER: Of course it didn’t work. 
 
But I stuck with Duke because, hey, it’s a solid program and dark blue is my favorite color.  And the Duke Blue Devil mascot wears a cape! A CAPE!!
 
But Duke is out and UNC’s representing my home state so… Go Heels! 

My wife is a Carolina fan so she's happy. She prefers light blue. OK, I will root for Carolina to advance and win the Championship but dark blue is a better color. 
______________________________________
 
We’ll see if my daughter’s Beauty and the Beast write up is ready for tomorrow.
Wednesday, let’s rap about comics and specifically, what’s up with Superman now.
 
Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death

During the dark times (the 1990's) when Doctor Who was lost on the seas of cancellation with only the 1996 TV movie to keep us afloat, the end of the decade brought another bit of new Doctor Who to television once more. 

Yes, it was a parody, designed to poke fun at the conventions of Doctor Who but it was also a love letter to the show. The special was called The Curse of Fatal Death and with a title like that, it was quite silly.  

The show was part of 1999's annual charity drive, Comic Relief Red Nose Day.  The Doctor was played by Rowan Atkinson who, parody aside, would've made a really good Doctor for real. Jonathan Pryce portrays the Master as the two enemies face each other one last time. It seems the Doctor wants to retire and get married to his companion Emma, played by Julia Sawalha.

Click here for the link to the episode. The special was re-released online for free by the BBC for this year's Red Nose Day.  






This comedy special had something going for it the notoriously budget crunched original Doctor Who could not match: A list actors working for FREE. Which is how get 
 Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent,, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley to portray the Doctor. 

(I read somewhere that Hugh Grant was approached to play the Doctor for real when the show was gearing up for its 2005 relaunch. He said "no" but he kind of regretted that.)  

But for all the fun had at Doctor Who's expense, there is a genuine affection for the show, given that it was written by a certain life long fan by the name of Steven Moffat.

Yep, that Steve Moffat. There are bits and pieces that Steven used in the comic relief special that have turned up in his scripts for the current show. For example, Hugh Grant's line, "Look after the universe for me; I've put a lot of work into it" was used by Matt Smith's 11th Doctor.   

The parody's special effects were provide by The Mill, the same effects team that would work on the revived series 6 years later.  

The Curse of Fatal Death is a comedic farce but one that understands what it's making fun of.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

ENCORE POST: Vox Populi: What It Is and How to Avoid It

Yesterday, after years of bitching about it, Republicans once more whiffed their chance to repeal Obamacare and replace it with... well, crap. The replacement plan was a twisted mess of a complete fuck up that virtually no one liked all. Recent polls show a growing acceptance and positive view of Obamacare while over 80% of Americans that some tried to dub TrumpCare but it was more like TrumpDon'tCare and that was before Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan began gutting the new plan even more to appease the hardline conservatives in the Freedom Caucus... to know avail. 

For the past several days, Trump, Ryan & Congress spent an inordinate amount of time defying the will of the people.

Which is not a new thing. Here's an encore post from April 18, 2013.
___________________________________

Vox populi is Latin for "Voice of the People".

Like most things I know, I learned it in a comic book. (An issue of Batman, if I remember correctly).

Vox populi is an important element of a representational democratic government. We elect our leaders to represent our best interests while conducting the business of governing. Determining what our best interests are cannot be done in isolation; leaders need to listen to the voice of the people to inform their decisions and act accordingly.

This does not mean that an elected official must do exactly what the people say. The people, for example, may demand lower taxes AND also demand more police officers.  These are both legitimate expectations: no one wants to pay too much in taxes AND we want our cities and communities to be safe.

However, a political leader, looking at the budget, realizes what connects these two very understandable requests is not the word AND; it's the word OR. He or she cuts taxes and there's less money for more police officers or some officers may need to be let go. On the other hand, for more police officers to be hired, taxes cannot be cut or may even have to be raised. So vox populi declares less taxes AND more safety. The elected leader knows the reality is less taxes OR more safety.

What to do? What to do?


  • Being a leader in government is not easy. There are important points to consider.
  • Being a leader means working to maintain or increase the success and viability of a community, city, state or nation.
  • Being a leader means making the tough choices to do what is best for that area of responsibility.
  • Being a leader means taking your case to the people so they will know what the choices were and why a particular course of action was taken.


So in a democracy, the people elect leaders, the leaders take care of the business of government to the best benefit possible for those who elected him or her and if there is a reason why something demanded by the voice of the people cannot be done, there should be a clear and reasonable accounting of why and what can be done next.

All perfectly fair. All perfectly civilized. All perfectly democratic.

On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, I saw the most willful disregard for vox populi by an elected body as I have ever seen.  The US Senate failed to pass a gun control measure that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers.  

What were we hearing from the voice of the people before that vote? Polls showed 93% of Americans supported an expansion of background checks for those who buy guns. That number is too large to just be "peace loving left leaning gun haters". No, this number involved a broad spectrum of support from a variety of groups including gun owners. 

I believe with all my heart that the average American is a good, honest, law abiding citizen and if they want to buy a gun, well, they have nothing to hide. And if it means having to wait a few days for someone to confirm that someone is, in fact, a good, honest law abiding citizen, that's a small price to pay to help put up one more barrier that may keep some homicidal nut case from getting his gun and doing something bad, I don't know, just to pick an outlandish example off the top of my head, maybe shoot a bunch of kids and teachers at a elementary school.

There are so many things we have to do to prove ourselves trustworthy to be hired for a job, to be approved for a loan, to keep an automobile on the road. But we're talking about a gun, literally a metal device capable of propelling a smaller piece of metal at an incredible speed with the express purpose of doing either serious damage or causing death. Should not the procurement of such a thing be subject to scrutiny? Isn't in the best interests of the people to strengthen whatever safeguards we can devise to protect an average American from being shot to death while, I don't know, let me draw another crazy example out of thin air, watching a movie in a theater?

93% of Americans think maybe it would be a good idea to ask a few more questions, probe a bit deeper to make sure the person buying that gun is not setting out to shed innocent blood in the next Aurora. Or Newtown. We need to protect innocents, proclaims vox populi; we need to protect children. Do something.

The US Senate made a different choice: do nothing. 

What happened? The US Senate chose to reject something that the voice of the people was making most clear was wanted..no, needed! How? Why?

Well, it's easy to blame the NRA and by all means, let's blame them because they damn well deserve it. The NRA has a LOT of cash to burn and baby, did they let it burn. Money talks louder than vox populi and money feeds the kitty, not the voice of the people. And the NRA never met a gun regulation that it wasn't ready to proclaim was an affront to decency and freedom and the American way. 

It helps to realize that the NRA is supposed to represent gun owners but the real clients, the ones with the money to give to the NRA, are the gun manufacturers. It is their goal to make sure there are no impediments to any market for the wares they make and sell. There should be no obstacles for a man to buy a rifle and take his son hunting. There should be no restrictions on an housewife to purchase a hand gun to defend herself against an intruder. And if somebody misuses guns and takes the life of innocents, that's just the price we pay to live in a free society. The answer is to arm more people so we can protect ourselves from the evil people with guns. How convenient that it is also a perfect solution to boost the manufacturing and the selling of guns. 

But another culprit in Wednesday's shameful debacle is the political process that has been shaped over the last decade or more. Yes, 93% of Americans supported an expansion of background checks for gun purchases. But each Senator who cast their "no" vote against the measure was unconcerned with that number. Their eyes were on their next primary in their home state. Not the statewide election but the primary. Because it's in the primary where the true danger lies for a politician seeking re-election, from within their own party. 

Particularly for the Republicans where groups like the Tea Party movement have demanded ever more strict adherence to the most extreme of right wing conservative thought. The most damaging litmus test for conservative purity is, "Did you ever vote for anything Barack Obama wanted?" If Obama said the sky was blue and you agreed, yes, the sky is blue, you are immediately in the crosshairs of so-called "conservative purists" who are looking to unseat you in the next primary. These candidates are strongly backed by very strong willed stupid people who have been determined that Obama is coming to get their guns. Gun sales shot up dramatically after Obama was first elected in 2008. If a hard right candidate throws enough anti-Obama red meat to the crowd, he can trump a more pragmatic candidate. The trick then is to tone down the crazy enough to win a general election and you're in, another Tea Party favorite whose sole marching order is to not give anything to Obama. Obama wants gun control. See, told ya he was after our guns. So there's one more elected "leader" putting up a road block.

The truth is the Obama administration has done distressingly little to further any agenda for gun control, even in the aftermath of the Aurora movie theater shootings last summer. It took the slaughter of children at Sandy Hook Elementary to get the Obama White House seriously engaged in a effort to curb gun violence.  

The voice of the people in the aftermath of that most terrible Friday in December was deafening and choked with the tears of sorrow and rage: No more! How many more times to do we need to see on the news that another maniac has decided to drown his madness in the blood of the innocent? The blood of children? No more! Do something, vox populi demanded, do something real and lasting and effective and do it NOW!

The wheels of the Washington political machinery grind slowly but they turned they did and it looked like the voice of the people had been heard and something would, at last, be done.

A week after the Newtown tragedy, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA gave a statement to the press that was ludicrous in the degree it was tone deaf to the shock and grieving of the nation. The answer to gun violence, LaPierre said, was more guns. It could have been almost laughable, LaPierre  still clinging to his misguided and outdated arguments. No, vox populi would carry the day, not Wayne LaPierre or the NRA, not the Tea Party and the Obama-Haters. This was not an issue about Obama, it was not an issue of right wing versus left. It was about protecting innocents, protecting children.

Somewhere on April 17th, I'm sure Wayne LaPierre was working the troops, congragulating them on a job well done. 

And mothers and fathers could only weep once more for their lost sons and daughters. 

Make no mistake: the history of American politics, from cities to states to the nation's capital, is littered with deals made in the name of something other than the voice of the people. Back room deals have bought a lot of votes over the years. But these deals were in the back room and sometimes served to grease the wheels of the work actually done in the name of the people. Things got done. 

Yesterday, politics trumped the voice of the people and there was no pretense of a back room. Texas Senator Ted Cruz said he objected to the background check measure on the grounds it could lead to a national gun registry. The bi-partisan creators of the measure had explicitly included language in the measure to prohibit the creation of such a registry and included penalties if anyone tried to do that. But Ted Cruz wouldn't back down, insisting this background check proposal would lead to the Federal government watching over ALL gun owners. Ted Cruz is looking to his next primary; they'll eat this stuff up then. It will drive the party faithful into a frenzy to send Cruz back to Washington.

And to hell with vox populi. 
__________________________________

OK, thanks for popping by. My daughter's write up on Beauty & the Beast will post at a later time.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hillbilly Hideaway


I know that over the past 4 years of this blog, I’ve projected an image of an erudite, sophisticated intellectual type person.


So you may be a bit shocked to hear of my visit to a place called… the Hillbilly Hideaway.


My wife Andrea, daughter Randie and myself left our Fortress of Ineptitude to hitch a ride on the church van with our choir director, her husband (the driver), her baby (did not do any driving) and several of our choir brethren. 


There’s a saying about getting to out of the way places: “you can’t get there from here.” And that did seem to apply to getting to the Hillbilly Hideaway, buried in the hilly woods north of our home. Twisting, turning narrow roads led us higher into the hills, deeper in the forest. I thought, if we get there and we’re greeted by hayseeds in coveralls who look at me and say, “You shur are purdy”, I’m going back in the van and locking the doors. 


You know you’ve arrived at the Hillbilly Hideaway thanks to a helpful sign painted on the body of a rusted out pick up truck. We had arrived!




The restaurant itself is a converted log cabin farmhouse with a warm, rustic interior. You can eat whatever you want as along as what you want is what they’re serving. 








Saturday night, Hillbilly Hideaway dinner menu includes fried chicken, country ham and spare ribs along with green beans, corn, pinto beans, boiled potatoes (“fresh taters” as it says on the menu), fried apples and more. For bread, you have a choice of corn bread and hoecake.


Question: What is hoecake?

Answer: It’s delicious.




Bowls of all these items keep coming around so you can select and serve yourself whatever items in what serving size you choose.  It’s a dinnertime free for all like sitting down to eat with the Darling clan from the Andy Griffith Show. 


Down the slope behind the restaurant is a converted barn turned into a music venue. On the stage was a collection of performers who sang and played a variety of folk, country and gospel tunes. These guys and gals were quite talented, talented enough to put on a pretty good show. 


Apparently, these performers spanned generations, local talent bring their guitars to this corner of the North Carolina woods on Saturday nights to sing songs and brighten the hearts of those who found their way down the winding woods to this Hillbilly Hideaway. 

Yeah, it all sounds a bit corny. But a good time was had by all. 

And nobody told me i was "purdy".  

__________________________________________________

Going to the Hillbilly Hideaway wasn't our only excursion away from the Fortress of Ineptitude last weekend. We also went to see Beauty and the Beast. Tomorrow, we'll have a post about but I'm not writing it but we'll have a special guest blogger.   

Until next time remember to be good to one another.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Slow Down, Stop or Explode?!


Earlier on this blog, I touched on actor Tim Allen’s complaint about being a conservative in Hollywood. I imagine in a community where the mantra is “Hey, kids! Let’s put on a show”, being affiliated with a political movement that is by nature more likely to say, “Hey, kids! Don’t put on a show”, a conservative may find himself surrounded by a different political persuasion.

 

I also touched the differences between conservative & liberal by comparing these ideologies to the functions of a car.  It’s not fair to say republicans never want to start something and democrats never want to stop things. But on average, the basic function of a conservative is to say “no” or at least “hold on a minute”. But what happens when these two political ideologies are not working in tandem?

 

Consider the current mess that is The American Health Care Act (AHCA) which was created to have something in place once the Affordable care Act (ACA or Obamacare) is repealed. The Democrats are going to vote against this so the Republicans are trying to get this through on their own numbers. As the republicans have a majority in the House and the Senate, this should be easy, right?

 

Because there are different levels of conservative. Some want to slow down the car a little, others want to slow down a lot and others want the car completely stopped.

 

And there are those who think there should be no car. Welcome to the Freedom Caucus, an extreme hard conservative faction of the US House of Representatives. These guys want Obamacare repealed. But the limited, virtually ineffective AHCA is not enough for them. AHCA may be way smaller than the ACA but to the Freedom Caucus, AHCA is just another form of Obamacare. Their view? The US government shouldn’t be in the health care business. The Freedom caucus don’t want to slow down the car or bring it to a stop. They would be happy to explode the car.

 

On the other end of the spectrum are more moderate Republicans who have constituents who would be negatively impacted by the loss of the ACA. Any efforts to appease this group just makes the Freedom Caucus mad. Any efforts to satisfy the Freedom Caucus just worries the moderates even more.   

 

Normally, the extreme edges of a political party doesn’t have this kind of power. But zero effort has gone into bring the Democrats on board who collectively do not want to repeal Obamacare at all. There is literally nothing in the AHCA that would compel most Democrats to vote for it to replace the ACA.

 

At last report, the hard right wing of the Republican Party seems to holding firm in its opposition to the AHCA. Tonight’s scheduled vote on this topic doesn’t look good for Donald trump and Paul Ryan who have staked their political futures on getting this thing passed. If the AHCA doesn’t pass tonight, the Republican Party with a man in the White House and control over both Houses of Congress will have failed again to repeal Obamacare.


*3/23/2017: 03:40 PM EST Republicans have cancelled the vote on the AHCA." 

Even it passes the House, the Senate is even less inclined to agree to it. And the whole mess starts again. 

This is your US government in action.
___________________________________________________________

OK, we will move away from politics with upcoming posts about an encounter with hillbilly culture and a special post on the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

Until next time, please be good to one another.

A Conservative In Hollywood


Actor Tim Allen likened being a conservative in Hollywood to 1930s Nazi Germany, a comparison for which Mr. Allen received a sharp and well deserved rebuke. Of course, that response I’m sure only underscores his perspective of persecution. 


What, pray tell, is a conservative?  What does it mean to be a conservative?


Think about the functions of an automobile.  There’s a gear shift to put the car in drive to move it forward, there’s a gas pedal to set the speed one moves forward and there’s a big windshield for you see all the potential of where you’re going. 


There’s a gear shift to put the car in park to stay in place or reverse to move backward, there’s a brake pedal to  reduce speed and there’s a review mirror to help you keep an eye out for any threats that might be sneaking up on you.   


Now which of these functions is good or bad? They all have their place and purpose. Working in tandem, you can drive the car. This makes the car work.


The gas pedal is liberal; the brake is conservative. 


Now… pick one!


A car with only a gas pedal. There’s no control, speeds can reach unsafe levels, the car crash and no longer function, the driver could be injured or killed. It’s not a car, it’s death trap shaped like a car. 


But a car with only a brake? To be blunt, what is the point of the car? It has no function, no purpose. It’s not a car, it’s just a piece of metal shaped like a car. 


OK, gas or brake? Pick one!


Well, you can’t. You understand that’s stupid, right?


Yet…


In Washington DC, Congress and the President have picked a car with only a brake. It’s all about stopping everything: food programs for children and the elderly, environmental protections, health care.  What can be destroyed? What can be rolled back? How many things can be stopped? How much more can they say “no’ to?


It’s all about the brake and only the brake. So what’s the point of a car?


There is value in having someone say “Hold on a minute! Have we thought about this? How are we going to pay for it? What do we hope to accomplish? Where exactly is it that we want to go and what are we specifically going to do when we get there?” There is value in a conservative viewpoint.


In a community like Hollywood, chasing ephemeral dreams made of light, I imagine it is tough for a conservative like Tim Allen in that town. But if Mr. Allen wants to wear the banner of conservative, he needs to be prepared to answer for those politicians in Washington, DC acting in the name of being “conservative”. Because times are getting dark in the US capitol: Who is going to be denied help? How many? Not enough? How many more? 


If Tim Allen equates being a conservative in Hollywood to 1930s Nazi Germany, he should be bear in  mind that unlike the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and more in 1930s Nazi Germany, Tim Allen still gets to walk the streets freely and still be an asshole in public.


If Tim Allen is a conservative, can he defend what’s happening in Washington in the name of “conservative values”? I don’t think he can. Better to be the victim of “liberal Hollywood” than to defend the indefensible.


More about this next time.  


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bernie Wrightson

This past weekend, Bernie Wrightson died at the age of 68 from brain cancer.  Wrightson was an artist of extraordinary talent and power who reshaped the landscape of comic book art from the 1970s and beyond. 


I think I'll let some random samples of Wrightson's work speak for itself.
















Most of Wrightson's work was for horror comics. He was a frequent contributor  of cover art for DC's line  of horror titles.


His most famous work was his collaboration with writer Len Wein on Swamp Thing. It was in the pages of that series that Alec Holland's muck encrusted mockery of a man shambled into Gotham City and Bernie gave us a most decidedly thoroughly modern Caped Crusader that challenged the ground-breaking work of Batman artist Neal Adams and inspired Bat-artists for decades to come. 


One of Bernie's more personal projects was his adaption of Frankenstein, a sample which can be seen below. 





Yes, the amount of sheer detail in that illustration is mind-blowing enough. But there is an evocative mood that transcends the technical proficiency on display.


It is with sorrow to acknowledge that Bernie Wrightson is no longer with us. It is with awe and admiration that his amazing artistry will live on. 

Thanks for reading.  A new post is coming tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.   

Doctor Who Is NEW! Smile

Yes, there was no post on Monday. I was too busy partying hard celebrating my birthday!  OK, fine: yes, it was my birthday. But I've n...