Saturday, January 28, 2012

There's no excuse for you.

Walking across the parking lot of one of our rural city's minor malls, completely and utterly engaged in a conversation with myself (1), and snapped to only just in time to swerve around someone who, weighed down as he was with a giant coffee and not the cart full of groceries I was schlepping around the icy slog, had apparently been equally involved in some kind of in-his-head thing.

Only just realizing what had happened I turned to apologize and instead heard Joe Coffee Cup saying, "Excuse you."

See what he did there? He called attention to my thoughtless act by pointing out how rude I was by being more rude.

Clever, right?

Needless to say, any feelings of remorse I had immediately left me.

I also resisted the urge to yell after him, "You don't know me."

So, when all was said and done, I think I ended up totally on top.

1. Okay, actually, I was ranting about a situation over which I have no control. You know how you do.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Surfing for distraction.

About a month ago one of my cousins asked, on my Facebook wall, "Do you just look for things to piss me off, or is there someone that doesn't like you very much that sends all this stuff your way?"

See, my BIG job, like pretty much every job that I've had in my adult life, involves my reading a lot of news. I have Google alerts and blogs I read regularly and then, of course, all the links that my real and virtual friends post and forward and pass along.

And, even as I add new stops on the information superhighway, I still pull off to visit old friends which means that...really...I spend a lot of time reading really depressing stuff. That's the trouble when you work in advocacy and activism. It's more often that you're spending your time making sure things don't get worse as opposed to celebrating how much better they've become.

Lately, that stack of depressing has seemed a bit taller.


I mean, c'mon. Newt Gingrich?

Rick Santorum?

And, in the interest of full transparency and equal time, President Obama really thinks that drilling in the Gulf of Mexico again is a good idea? Sure. Why not. What could possibly go wrong?

This might be why, in the last three days, I have probably listened to Kelly Clarkson sing "Stronger" somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 times.

It's also likely why the Roller Derby Queen and I have been trading clips from Toddlers & Tiaras. My personal favorite being Alana, a freakishly hyperactive girl whose long list of catchphrases includes "honey boo boo child".

I know what you're thinking, but I'm okay with that.

Sort of.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is that a Batarang in your utility belt or...?

So, I had actually meant to write about this piece when it first came out on the Comics Alliance blog but, well, I didn't.

Back on January 19th Adam Wheeler penned a little OpEd about "The Myth of Sexy Superman and the Search for Superhero Beefcake". I will say up here in full sight that some folks might take exception to some of the images that accompanied the piece, though there is absolutely no nudity and, in point of fact, were any of the characters depicted in the illustrations female instead of male, they would simply look like panels from an off-the-rack superhero comic.

Which was really what made Wheeler's "Sexy Superman" so well timed and such an interesting read. While debating the depictions of women and sex and violence in comic books is hardly new ground to be covering, the launch of DC's 52 and some of the decisions that were made for that universal re-boot seems to have made everything old new again.

But here's what really excited me about Wheeler's article.

I felt like I was in graduate school again. See, I was a theory kind of guy. Nothing made me happier than a course listing that promised a semester's worth of sticking things under the microscope. It was the closest I ever came to taking apart a car's engine to see how it worked.

Consider this passage from Wheeler's "Sexy Superman":

"But it's not equivalent. Superhero men are idealized, yes, but they're rarely sexualized. While women are presented as broken-backed boob hostesses whose every move is a bend-and-snap designed to flatter and entice the presumed-male, presumed-straight reader, the men are sexless paragons of strength, with propaganda poster good looks that serve as visual shorthand for their masculine, heroic bona fides."

The sound you are hearing is the beating of my tell tale heart.

"...presumed-male..."

"...presumed-straight..."

"...sexless paragons of strength..."

"...visual shorthand..."

Freaking catnip.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hello blogger, my old friend.

In case you were wondering, yes, I hate when I'm not blogging.

That's not, of course, the same as saying that anyone misses me when I'm not blogging.

That's not to suggest that the world is somehow poorer for the lack of my blogging.

It's not even to say that the blogosphere is poorer for my failing to blog because, if the blogosphere is to really be believed, no one really blogs anymore. We're all chatting on the Facebook.

That is to say, we're all chattering away on the Facebook until Anonymous comes through with their promise and takes the Fantastic Friend Factory down to prove, once again, that they can do this kind of thing.

Better, to prove that they can do this kind of thing in the fashion advocated by every movie villain ever created. They've told the Fantastic Friends Factory that they're going to take them down, when it's going to happen and then laughed maniacally while stroking a long-haired white cat while the Fantastic Friend Factory shouted back, "You'll never get away with this villain(s)!"

Shazam.