February Rambling about comic book issues, and music

Local judge removes 5-year-old from grandparents to live with mom and known child abuser. “Local” being in Michigan, with the child being moved to Utah with a mother who had never been part of her life. This particular case involves Troy, the grandfather in question, who’s contributed the ABC Wednesday team. He’s not thrilled with the way the actual story came out – I’ve seldom liked stories I’ve appeared in myself – but the “justice system” is SO wrongheaded in this case, which, as I’ve linked to before, is not an isolated incident.

KunstlerCast #215: Nicole Foss Interview. Economic contraction and the fate of the nation.

Mad props for Anita Hill.

Blogger Alvin McEwen has published a booklet called How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America, which deftly exposes the most common anti-gay propaganda. Also, conservatives file amicus brief in a case before the Supreme Court; they are supporting the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s anti-gay marriage referendum.

How Joe E. Ross (of Car 54) is NOT like Donald Trump or Michele Bachmann.

I mentioned Melanie LAST month; I COULD mention her weekly. This month, she talks about 17 years of defying death and fulfilling longed-for dreams, and for futures that are better than what we have known.

Jaquandor: On Snark and his eleven years (!) in Blogistan. Not only that, he answered some of my questions!

Amy’s 600th post is about Frickin’ Frackers.

Euthanizing gay dogs for Jesus.

Arthur remembers C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General, “an unlikely ally in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Shooting Parrots, on juries: “Has it come to the point where a group of citizens have failed to grasp the basics of the legal system or even a working understanding of the English language?”

Roger Ebert “took after” his aunt Martha.

Recovered suitcases from an insane asylum; this is a Kickstarter project I backed.

Why does bottled water have an expiration date? We HAVE some 2007 water in our emergency kit. Hmm.

I want THESE people to move my stuff; too bad they are in Japan.

One of many reasons why people hate Disney: Disney Refuses To Allow Epilogue To Appear In The Don Rosa Collection. You may not know the name, but if you ever read the Disney ducks, you’ve probably seen his work. The publisher Egmont has agreed to publish a link to career-end.donrosa.de in the final volume, which leads to the now unpublished text, a scathing indictment of compensation practices. (Mark Evanier clarifies this, but does not dispute, in Rosa’s case.)

A fine letter to DC Comics objecting to the hiring of hatemonger Orson Scott Card to write some Superman comics.

Eddie Campbell’s Rules of Comic Book Comprehension.

Colleen Doran, comic artist, says: Fandom, You Deserve Better Friends.

Library prof bops doc who K.O.’d comic book industry.

You can NOW hear my buddy, comic book artist Steve Bissette blather [his word] with Robin at Inkstuds: PART 1 and PART 2. Steve also noted on Facebook: “Note to self: NEVER FORGET Continue reading

Why are you listening to THAT kind of music?

National Public Radio aired a very interesting story last month that hit me where I live.

“Music writer Laina Dawes is a die-hard Judas Priest fan. She’s all about the band’s loud and fast guitars, the piercing vocals — and she loves to see the group perform live.

“Now, a fact that shouldn’t matter: Dawes is a black woman. This, she says, can make things uncomfortable on the metal scene. She says she’s been verbally harassed and told she’s not welcome…

“Dawes writes about the issue in her new book, What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.”

I so relate to this.
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The Lydster, Part 107: The Twizzle

Interesting to hear what others say about whether the Daughter looks more like your mother or me. It seems that if you knew my wife better, like mother, like daughter; if you knew me better, she favors me.

Personality-wise, she is likewise similar to whichever parent is most familiar to the observer.

My wife can explain in her (non-existent) blog how much they do together, besides watching Dancing with the Stars.

Conversely, I am pleased that she has taken to liking Continue reading

George Harrison would have been 70

When John Lennon died in 1980, I was devastated. When George Harrison died in November 2001, I was melancholy, but I knew he was sick, so I wasn’t surprised. But as time passed, I realized I missed him more and more. Incidentally, All Things Must Pass was my high school prom theme.

I felt sorry for George in the Beatles. He’d write songs and they wouldn’t make the album, because those two other songwriters in the group dominated. That explained why the All Things Must Pass album had three LPs, including an instrumental experiment.

Unique among the Beatles, George’s Continue reading

Friend Uthaclena is 60

We met the first day of college. He was an odd sort who tended to hang off the edge of his desk like Snoopy on his doghouse roof. He was even more socially inept than I was at the time, which is saying a lot. He turned me onto comic books at a point that I thought I had outgrown them, at a point when this was not particularly cool.

We fought against wars together, as recently as 2003.

I was in one of his weddings and he was in one of mine.
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G is for Gaslighting

When I was living in Charlotte, NC for a few months in early 1977, I wasn’t particularly thrilled. The city was, in the words of my father “a big old country town”; BTW, it’s gotten much better there, IMO.

One of my few outlets was to go to the main library and read books and magazines, or see movies. One of the films I saw was Gaslight. It was the 1944 US version, not the 1940 UK take; both were based on a 1938 play, Gas Light. The iteration I saw “was directed by George Cukor and starred Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, and 18-year-old Angela Lansbury in her screen debut.”

Without getting into the particulars of why: “Paula loses a brooch that Gregory had given her Continue reading

Oscar predictions for the films of 2012

This is what I thought before the Oscar nominations came out: Lincoln would win Best Picture and Ben Affleck would win Best Director. Then Affleck inexplicably wasn’t even nominated for Best Director, though he was for Best Actor; he subsequently won Best Director in the Golden Globes, and more importantly, the Directors’ Guild. Now I’ve pretty much switched the two places. The picks here are who I THINK will win, not who I WANT; sometimes, such as in the Best Actress category, I haven’t seen enough of the performances to have a rooting interest.

* means I saw that movie

Best Actor:

*Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
*Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
*Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight

If there is a mortal lock this year, it’s Day-Lewis, who BECOMES Lincoln, just as he has inhabited every other role he’s played.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
*Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
*Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts -The Impossible
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MOVIE REVIEWS: Oscar-nominated short animated films

It’s rare that The Daughter has gone to the Spectrum Theatre in Albany; in fact, I’m not sure she’d EVER been there. While it is the preferred film venue for the Wife and me, it often has films not suitable for sensitive eight-year-olds. But the ads said that the films nominated for Academy Awards in the animated shorts category were “family-friendly.” This is useful to know, because we saw last year’s entries, and A Morning Stroll most certainly NOT Daughter-friendly, to say the least.

On Washington’s Birthday – which was when the Wife and I went last year; a holiday tradition? – the three of us sojourned to the cinema. In previous years, they just showed the movies, but this year, there was interspersed conversations with William Joyce and Brandon Oldenberg, who created last year’s well-deserved winner, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore [watch it]. In fact, one of these guys looked a bit like Lessmore. They talked about the struggle to get their film made and the surreality of Oscar night.

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare

The youngest character in the long-running show I used to watch for the first eight or nine seasons Continue reading

MOVIE REVIEW: Amour

My wife asked, after we saw Amour at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany Sunday, whether I thought Emmanuelle Riva was embarrassed being partially nude when she played Anne, a woman in need of being cleaned by others in the movie Amour. I quipped “Nah, she’s French!” In fact, and I did not know this at the time, she had appeared in the erotic 1959 art house film Hiroshima, Mon Amour.

Still, I was wondering how awful Anne, the character, must have felt at the indignity. Anne was a proud woman, an accomplished piano teacher. Continue reading

F is for Family

Rose wrote, in response to my post P is for (Helicopter) Parenting, that it was the first time I had written about family. This surprised me, initially, because I’ve gone on about my daughter every month on the 26th of the month, without fail. In fact, it was one of the two purported reasons I STARTED this blog back in 2005, the other being to tell the JEOPARDY! story.

I’ve written about my wife at least twice a year, on our anniversary and her birthday. My late parents I’ve discussed on the anniversaries of their births and deaths, and my sisters on their respective birthdays.

It’s true, though, that I’ve seldom written about them for ABC Wednesday. Here, then, a summary.

My parents both grew up in Binghamton, New York, a small city near the Pennsylvania border. They were both only children, no I have no direct aunts, uncles or first cousins. Anyone I have called cousins are either my parents’ cousins, or their children. So we have a very small tribe.

My parents met cute Continue reading