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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Clipping the JLU Finale "Destroyer"

Looking at this interesting mix clip video and then at this one I would say definitely that both are entertaining and guess that the episode is entertaining and probably good.

All in all though, however you mix up the scenery, whatever tunes are playing in the background, however inspiring, apropos, or interesting they may be.... I get the feeling that all of that still is not as satisfying as getting a job and buying the whole thing on DVD.

and I get the impression that the younger one is sampling from the older one. Immediately suspicious is that you can check the post dates for both videos and the finale didn't air until this past month, I believe.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Lunchbox Heroes

Lunchbox Heroes are how I refer to, in general, characters that are basically commercially made available or presented as generally safe or ideal for children to enjoy. There are the ultra-marketable characters and those best and most used for stories told to children. They are also the kind of characters, icons, and properties stamped or molded onto/into the side of a lunchbox (depending on if it is a plastic or tin lunch box, of course), printed on the fronts of T-shirts or underwear briefs (and boxers, I suppose), and basically what sort of hero or super-hero that you would associate with children's interests.

Characters that are lunchbox heroes include Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, and a host of others including guys from various westerns and science fiction programs and franchises.

This is why some consider it rather insidious to present Darth Vader as a dastardly, genocidal villain at one point and then at another place in the marketing scheme the same character is sold to impressionable, morally malleable and flexible children as either and both heroic and cuddly safe.

Essentially since Superman and Plastic Man are guys who connect with kids there are problems with placing your marketing icons in stories where adult themes like rape are heavily featured. Officially and overtly connecting a character like Superman to a rape story can be a dangerous thing. The inclusion of Superman can be considered as marketing to a certain age group, but not all stories are all-ages apropriate.

Essentially lunchbox heroes are great for marketing product for kids and that should not be forgotten.

Let Chuck Dixon define "sub-literate."

Chuck Dixon writes action-packed, non-pretentious, supremely entertaining comic books. Some would call him mediocre; those people are full of it. He writes comic books that are satisfying, consistent, and he doesn't approach writing with a "how will I top this one?" philosophy.

He wrote the following* in response to a question of "what does 'sub-literate' mean?" and to correct a misconception on lunchbox heroes and profanity.
**

Sub-literates are not illiterate. In fact, most sub-literates read more than the average person. Because of this they consider themselves well-read and that their opinion is more valid than yours. But they read within a very narrow range of literature and shape their worldview around it. They take what they read very personally and are dismissive and intolerant of anything outside of the tiny area of their interests. These are the people who become upset when a favorite book or group or movie gains mass appeal. Why? Because now it is no longer exclusively "theirs."
You will find them working behind the counters of college bookstores. Or waiting in line at the multiplex explaining to someone why the Aeon Flux cartoons were better than the movie. Or writing fan fiction on their laptop at Starbucks praying that someone asks them what they're writing. Unfortunately, they also provide most of the opinion makers in comics that the companies foolishly listen to.

On to comic book profanity.
Superman and Spider-man should never talk like "real" people. They aren't real people. They are fictional contrivances. In addition to that, most of the folks writing comics don't ever talk to "real" people and have no idea what they talk like. Uh...you know? "Real" dialogue in comics these days means that the writer has written as close to the patois of a Quentin Tarentino movie as his talents will allow. It means that he has watched enough episodes of Buffy to get the characters speech patterns down.
Also, Superman and Spider-man should never use foul language no matter how many warning stickers you place on their publications. They should never be shown urinating or having sexual relations. They should never be diagnosed with cancer or be treated for AIDS. They should never learn that they were molested as a child. They should never have many of the things happen to them that happen to real people every day.
I grew up reading comics and was attracted to them precisely because I will never fight Dr. Octopus or fly to another planet to rescue a civilization from destruction. While being thrilled and amazed by the adventures of the heroes I loved and admired, I also learned lessons about courage, loyalty and kindness. My heroes did not have feet of clay. They were icons. Towers of virtue. They had human flaws but were not flawed humans. They had runs of bad luck and misfortune but came out the other side of them a stronger, more determined hero.
Superheroes are escapist fiction for children. You may like them and read their adventures as an adult but recall that their primary audience is children. Those millions of kids playing with action figures (actually removing them from their blister cards and playing with them on the living room carpet and in the backyard dirt) and watching cartoons and snuggling under Ninja Turtles comforters.
And I am NOT putting superheroes down in any sense of the word. I still read comics. I WRITE the darned things and get a kick out of scripting masked guys and gals doing crazy, crazy stuff.
As much as anyone might want to hold on to their childhood fantasies by having their favorite superheroes grow up along with them, it is wrong to want it to be so. If Spider-man uses foul language then it becomes a part of him and can never be taken away or ret-conned out of existance. And there cannot be two Spider-Mans; one for the sub-litertates and one the rest of the world enjoys. There is not an adult version of Donald Duck just to keep his longtime fans happy (not that they wouldn't be outraged by the very idea). These characters have very long lives, longer than any of us will be alive. They must be maintained and carefully watched over.
It is possible to continue to have compelling adventures of your favorite characters that satisfy both the mass-appeal younger audience and the older devotee of the medium. But it requires skilled writing and long term planning and storylines far more sophisticated than the "stunt" storylines we see so often these days. Which is the more "mature" recent movie dealing in universal themes? Hostel? Or the latest Harry Potter?


* source IP:70.127.193.210 Posted on April 28, 2006 at 10:34:22


** An individual who won't be named except with permission stated on April 28, 2006 at 08:23:17 that "There's a place for Superman and Spider-man as well as any other super that talks the way regular folks do. Just warn the readers what they're getting into." source IP:172.134.183.235

I have limited permission to reprint Chuck Dixon's words for posterity proveided I edit for spelling and grammar errors. There were, as always, very few of each.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

with this I am done for the night

too much too soon too little too late

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigration

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

- 1907

Confirmation from Snopes.com - he said it. Snopes also has more of the relevent speech and more from other relevent speeches.

I agree with him.

hat tip to Ed Keller for reminding us.

Why I Will Not Watch American Inventor

"American Inventor" is a program on ABC designed after and produced by some of the folk behind "American Idol" It has people presenting inventions.

Take Chuck Dixon's experience for example.*
I seldom watch regular network television and this show is a prime example of why I don't.
Caught the last half of it as I was taking a break from a late-night deadline.
The early promotion of this show led me to think it was a show that celebrated resourcefulness, imagination and ingenuity.
Instead I was treated to the same shower of self-absorbed, overly emotional dullards that are featured on every other show. Every contestant cried as they made their presentation, overcome by their feelings over inventions that, for the most part, would be laughed off of QVC. I didn't see any salesmanship or displays of confidence that would make me show interest in their creations. Were I a company exec having any of these products presented to me in this fashion I would be thinking "Do I really want to do business with this basketcase?"
Add to that the sappy music and slow motion photography and insipid judges and you have a recipe that will make certain that my TV is permanently set on Video Input 3 unto eternity.
Decent points also come from R.B. Probst.**
I Watched The First Couple Episodes...
But then every week seemed to be nothing but making fun of most people's inventions (a la American Idol with the people who can't sing) and that bored me to no end. Throw in all the "sob story winners" and that drove me over the edge.

To their credit I did see several inventions that were pretty good, and they had decent proposals. My wife fell in love with this lady's plastic doo-hickey that one could slide over the top of a bathroom stall door to lock it if the built-in lock was broken. My wife was ready to order one on the spot. I don't remember if she made it past the prelims or not though.
Why should I watch this?

* source IP:70.127.193.210
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 21:09:33

** source IP:4.248.41.177
Posted by on April 13, 2006 at 22:46:15

The End of Bruce Jones' Hulk

From Kimota42:
After those years of supposed mystery... the Leader did it. The Leader ALWAYS does it. So much for a bold new direction.


source IP:69.253.224.139
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 13:31:27

To Help Mag and H...

Spores and Spores

That is all, a Google-Bomb.

Cyclops Against the Blob

In something called Mencius’ Cyclops Appreciation Scans #5: Cyclops vs. The Blob, which is actually just a post on the Comic Battle Message Board, there are scans of 3 pages from a comic where Cyclops demonstrates his powers, confidence, and talent.

The pages are from X-Men #112, which was written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Leinil Francis Yu.
Now it is certainly debateable whether this is a well-written scene. For one thing Random is a sort of gooey, amorpheous character with a history of getting blasted and shot up by all manner of powerful characters, including Cyclops' brother Havok, and Random simply reforms almost immediately afterwards. Basically Lobdell just pulled a stock character from Marvel's somewhat large iventory of Mutant characters and had the image inserted without heed to what the character actually did. The actual debate on the board was whether or not the Blob should be vulnerable to Cyclops' attack. In the issue in question Cyclops laid out the villain with minimal effort.

Demonstrating that it was not a fluke are two issues of X-Factor. Both issues are written by Louise Simonson.
Essentially it's a safe bet that no matter how well the Blob stands up against opponents like the Hulk, Hercules, and Wonder Man he can not resist Cyclops' optic blasts under certain circumstances. His powers are not mere blunt force, which the Blob is certainly immune to.

Something that probably won't stand up to close examination is how the heck Cyclops took out Random. Random is supposed to be indestructable. Apparently the plot was god. It doesn't really matter though; I never read the story, never cared for the plot of it, and I don't like the Random character anyway. Why defend it?

(I will download the images, just in case).

Darrell Hammond Looks Much Skinnier Now

I was just watching Late Night with Conan O'Brien a few minutes ago and I noticed that Darrell Hammond of SNL fame (and leftist) looks much, much, much thinner than how he normally looks.

I suppose, more properly, that he is actually skinnier than how I remember seeing him last, or more than I generally recall. Either way, he looks practically emaciated.

And his neck is disproportionate to his head and body quite possibly.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I am Generation One

In this country there was none born before me.

It starts here.

The rest will soon come from me. Look back to me.

My ancestors were from elsewhere.

Soft, Curved, Rounded End

The question about Reese Witherspoon here is what her strengths are, what makes her attractive and does a rear end that looks like this really grab your attention? Would it if you knew not whom it belonged to?



I didn't do this screencap and I am not responsible for the ugly watermarks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ABC's TV Trade-Offs - Alias for Lost

We'll do this in an odd sort of order. It's an order.

Part of Alias's problems is that the creators and creator-types kept shifting roles and while I never complained about the writers making stuff up as they go along there was a huge problem between season 3 and season 4 as they changed their minds about what the cliffhanger was about.When you change the direction of your plotline off-camera, especially in contradiction to audience-expectations and logic you are essentially betraying your viewers; viewers will forgive you for that if the result is quality entertainment. ABC and Bad Robot/J.J. Abrams did not deliver.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Circle of Who

Nicola Bryant imagery

From Alan Kistler's fourth and fifth profiles on Doctor Who I derived a quick visual interest in the actress Nicola Brant, who played Peri (Perpugilliam) Brown from 1984 and 1986.

I found many such images of the actress, including some screen captures of her in character here (including a shot of her in a bikini).

I went to find a list of many images of the character and actress.

Beyond that there are collection pages here, here, and here, from one collector. It turned out that the bikini was part of a recurring theme (and a reasonable one).
Peri was a bit of a throwback in the sense of female characters. She was deliberately placed in tight-fitting or revealing outfits for several of her adventures to attract male viewers. Fortunately though, despite this, the character herself was not a throwback. She was smart and opinionated, even if she was a bit overwhelmed at times by alien concepts and technology. And despite her attractiveness and sexually stimulating outfits, there was never any doubt that her relationship with the Doctor was anything more than the same innocent “older brother” disposition he had with everyone else.
It is not a coincidence; if the girl has the assets but to try and grab ratings the best ways possible.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Which Earth is Earth-One?"



It sounds like an existential question and one that really was not asked enough in the Silver Age. If the earth with the first Super-Heroes is called Earth-2 why is the other Earth-1 just because these young fart super-heroes are on the Planet?

Rather, we order the Earth number designations based on how important we feel they are. Why do super-heroes inside the stories refer to their own planet as a secondary with secondary position, especially if they started being heroic first?

Go ask Barry Allen.

Clicking the relevent picture brings you to the Comic Treadmill's review of Infinite Crisis 6. My excellent commentary on the issue is within the comments section of that post. It is wise and interesting, as is everything I say.

Good Friday?



Super Fun 2!

"Ha Ha! I've made someone cry!"

The Joker is a bastard. How will Batman stop him now?!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

stuff re Infinite Crisis #6

Here is the thread on the CBR Forum discussing the events and spoiling the spoilers for some/all the wierd happenings inside of Infinite Crisis #6.

Some nice posters (or one nice poster) scanned and loaded up the following excerpts from the actual comic. I warn you: there are spoilers, especially since two of the scans are the last two pages in the issue.


Do not even hover your mouse arrow over the links unless you have read the comics or really want to see the images! The URLs themselves contain major spoilers!

How long has the comic been out now?

Michigan Place Names - Eaton Rapids, Eaton County

platted in 1338 by Amos and Pierpont E. Spicer, Benjamin Knight, Samuel Hamlin and C.C. Darling, all from Ohio; Mr. Knight became the first postmaster on Sept. 27, 1838; incorporated as a city in 1881; named from the rapids of the nearby Grand River and from the county, which had been named for John H. Eaton, secretary of war in Andrew Jackson’s cabinet [Strange; MPH 22:505 1893].

Michigan Place Names - Charlotte, Eaton County

the site was government land bought by George Barnes in 1832; he sold it to Edmond Bostwick, of New York City, in 1835; he in turn sold part of it to H.I. Lawrence, Townsend Harris, and Francis Cochran, and the four developed the village which they named after Mr. Bostwick’s wife; J0onathan Searles became its first postmaster on March 17, 1838; incorporated as a village I 1863 and as a city in 1871; at various times it was also known as Eaton Centre and as Carmel, but never officially [Hazel Murray Sleater; PO Archives].

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

the spelling of that vacation town

Kissimmee, Florida

Ted Kennedy In Space?

I response to the news that there is a gas cloud in space consisting of alcohol, the opportunity has been taken to knock on Senator Kennedy not once but twice.

I do not disaprove.

template update

Simple and quick there are a few places and URLs being removed from my so-called "Blog Roll". I think that's essentially my point.

Actually, since the whole relevence of the Kerry Spot is gone, I am replacing that link with the one for Mark Levin's weblog on National Review Online, And Another Thing.... I have not read TKS for awhile now, and while it may be worth checking in on now and again I would not know. It currently is called TKS now, regardless, and it's main gimmick/hook apparently is not Senator Kerry but simply that it is "[ jim geraghty reporting ]". Jim Geraghty has his own weblog with National Review hosting it. If someone refers to an article on it I will likely read it, but it has no draw for me.

Jay Gatsby terminated his weblog, View of the Republic, over a year ago and I have know that since early last year but only now have I gotten around to removing the link from the Roll. Sorry to see the lad get so busy and drop the public writing. Everyone has his role. He formally made a farewell post and has kept the archives at the URL.

Steven Den Beste, along a similar route, wrote his last post for USS Clueless early last year as well. For March 3rd, 2005 he looked back at "'retirement' from blogging". The Stardate was Stardate 20050301.1154 That's Steven Den Beste for you; the archives will remain as long as continues paying for the domain name and server space, I reckon.

My buddy Phil Meadows stopped updating his weblog. It's still up, he just stopped posting. I attribute this to his moving and his job.

A Redder State of Mind should have been torn from my Links List a long time ago. Not only has it been gone for some time ago but in its place was a merely a link to a pornography site accompanied by some sick comment. I regret leaving the link; now it's not porn but just some strange limerick call "The French Mistake" that I don't understand.

That's life. Hardly simple. Frankly I should remove more sites from the Roll and visit a few that are already present on the list in a more frequent manner. That would increase relevence; simply put I am now beyond the point of linking to someone purely for the purpose of luring a link to my own site.

While on that topic, I wonder if I should retain a standing link to the fine blog of the American Lady.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Michigan Place Names - Olivet, Eaton County

Rev. John Shipherd, founder of Oberlin College in Ohio, led a colony of 39 here in 1844, to found a Congregational college and community; he had planned to go to the Delta valley, but lost his way in the wilderness and landed here; believing it was prudential, he remained and named it after Mount Olivet of the Bible; Albertus L. Green, as a college student, conducted the first post office; Prof. O. Hosford became the first government appointed postmaster on Aug. 17, 1849; the village was first platted by Carlo Reed and William Hosford in 1848; incorporated as a village by the supervisors in 1865 and by the legislature in 1867; incorporated as a city in 1958 [Mich hist 28:397 1944; Durant; PO Archives].

Michigan Place Names - Oneida, Eaton County

Solomon Russell, from Orleans County, N.Y., became the first settler in 1836, followed by Samuel Preston, from Cayuga County, N.Y., 1837; the legistlature created and named the town in 1838; Mr. Preston became its first postmaster on Jan. 19, 1839; the office was closed on Aug. 6, 1852, but was restored on June 3, 1854, to Aug. 3, 1866 [MPH 28:40 1897, 39:339 1899; Mich Hist 11:498 1927; Durant; PO Archives].

This was copied with the notion of Oneida Township in mind. The precise linear relationship between the town of Oneida and Oneida Township cannot be derived, datewise, from the book.

Michigan Place Names - Needmore, Eaton County

see Roxand.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Watersblogged

I was informed of a referral from Watersblogged. I checked it out. Unfortunately there is no links from that blog to this one so I can only assume that that the Blogger Bar dumped a poor surfer over here.

Fortunately Watersblogged seems to be a very smart and entertaining site from a smart and entertaining man. Worth going back to, perhaphs.

Although I am left to wonder what a Synod is.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Michigan's Place Names

Not to be confused with that book I spent so much time schilling is this place.

Most simply it can be used to find "a community name in Michigan and find out what county and township it is in". It's that simple. You can search directly for a city/town/village/muncipality or search for a township or county and look within that at a list of cities or towns or whatever.

Michigan Place Names Introduction

As this weblog was initially created for the purposes of my own whims, desires, and use and more or less continues to exists in this manner, despite minor deviations to make it acceptable for readers, I'm taking time and space to re-print thumbnail articles from a book called Michigan Place Names. These excerpts are copied verbatim for use as references in the future. I have borrowed an old copy (I gather this was published in 1973 although/as there is no date) from Waverly-Elmwood Elementary School and am copying down various items based on relevence and interest. Essentially I have to return this book some time and I want some specific parts available for reference in the future even if (and since) I lack the hard copy. Also an electronic presence makes it easy to refer to some of this stuff. Under no circumstances do I intend to copy "more than 5000 Past and Present Michigan Communities" as I would get carpal-tunnel syndrome as a result and would be robbing Walter Romig, LHD, and I assume Wayne State University of money-income. I also do not intend to break copyright law.

I encourage anyone to purchase a copy of this book. I find it very useful and a source for much entertainment within short stints of time.

Since I do not intend to reprint the book in its entireity and will only put a simulation of comprehensiveness the relevent entries in this weblog are not an attempt to substitute for the entire book but certainly are similar to notes as if jotted down for a book report. The purpose is to substitle for the hard copy so I have quick online reference to certain facts.

All references to "this year" or anything regarding to geographical statuses of present date within the accounts refer to the year 1973, I presume. So anything talking about the present city limits of Lansing, MI, for example would be talking about the city limits of Lansing, MI in 1973. Also keep in mind that since the book took apporximately ten years to research, compile and write than the date in question could be between 1963 and 1973. I trust the book as a historical accounting but it is not a reference for present day geography exactly.

The copy I am using apparently has the full title Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities. It is not clear whether there is an actual subtitle or if all of that is just a shory summary of the book's purpose/intention but that is what is on the title page. Walter Roming, L.H.D., is listed in two places, one as author and the other as publisher. Original publican address is
979 Lakepointe Road
Grosse Pointe, Michigan 48230
There is publishing company listed, nor is there an ISBN number; I assume the volume is self-published. Also on the title page is a quote from a nan named Macaulay:
A people that take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote generations.
It seems apt.

"Composition and Lithographing" are noted as by "Braun-Brumfield". Another note is at the bottom of the table of Contents: "Post-entry bibliographical references are detailed in the Documentation." Said Documentation is located at the back of the book, pages 620-629. The Index of Personal Names starts at page 630 and I could not give two craps about that.

The Foreword, with some abrdigdement, is as follows:
As the Documentation section of this volume indicates, the data were principally drawn from state, county, and local histories; diaries, journals, manuscripts (some holograph0, and biogrpahies; periodicals and newspapers; postal and census records; histories of such community-fostering industries as lumbering, mining, and railroading; maps, land titles, and plat books... As to scope: this treatise is comprehensive rather than selective. No Michigan community, past or present, has been intentionally omitted. No introductory essay on any of the factors which were so largely responsible for the full settlement of the state prefaces this volume... Nor is the work prefaced by an onomastic study dedicated to the fountainheads of the place names... For, from the merely indicated example of just these two aspects, it is evident that many definitive studies in Michigan history can and, hopefully, will be made through the years based largely upon this work. To the individuals named in the Documentation, as well as to all of the many more, who counseled or otherwise furthered this work, appreciation is here extended. Nearly ten years were devoted to the researching and the writing of this book, and it is hoped that the reader will consider the decate well spent.
It was written and signed by Walter Romig.

I hope that makes clear the purpose of this book as it was written and as it seemed to me, as well as make clear as to why I am excerpting portions of the volume, and ultimately prevents a lawsuit of me by the original author and/or current publisher.

I'm surprised that they are selling this, let alone publishing new copies.

Reference Citation as by the American Psycholigical Association
Romig, Walter. (1973). Michigan Place Names. Grosse Pointe: Braun-Brumfield.

The Things That Never Were Have a History Therefore

the Historian's name is Edgar Governo. Logic does not always follow, but in this case it does. If something has a history generally it is worthy and that which is worthy should have someone to tell of it. Many things that are worthy remain untold.

Egar Governo tracks the many timelines, chronologies, organizations, and explanations written by many regarding fictional universes, characters, legends, and many other happenings that definitely did not happen. He even wrote a few himself.

I have my favorites; I will mark them later. There are others I am aware of. I will note them later. There some things in the realm of fiction that I feel do not deserve noting, recording, acknowledging, and assisting for future remembrance. Some things do not deserve any sort of posterity, even for the sake of condemnation.

Regardless, I find Edgar Governo's site to be a source for neat entertainment now and again. He boasts 371 timelines.

Michigan Place Names - Lansing, Ingham County

government land purchases were made in the area from 1835 by James Seymour, Frederick Bushnell, amnd Isaac and William H. Townsend; within the present city limits, jerry and William Colley purchased land here on Nov. 2, 1837, and built the first permanent dwelling; the township, formed in 1841, was named by Joseph H. Northl Jr., after his native Lansing, Tompkins County, N.Y., which in turn had been named for John Lansing, New York Revolutionary War hero and legal light; in 1947 the legislature voted to locate the state capitol in this this township amd to name the site Michigan; thus, from April 27, 1847, to April 20, 1848, it s name and post office were Michigan, Mich.; George W. Peck was its first postmaster; the legislature was renamed the village Lansing, after its township, in 1848; incorporated as a city in 1859 [Darling; Foster; Cowles; PO Archives].

Burt Wolf Shows

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Burt Wolf Taste of Freedom

Burt Wolf official website