Friday, September 05, 2003

I apologize for the poor syntax in the sentence below:

THis issue brings back Steel's neice as the new FEMALE STEEL WITH TITANIUM TA-TA'S, a really lame ghetto-slang slapping teenage witch named Traci THirteen, and the latest incarnation of Supergirl (who is not Kara Zor-El).

this is what I meant:

Action Comics 807 brought back Natasha, the niece of John Henry Irons (AKA: Steel) as a girl in a metallic suit who also runs around in a 30 story robot body which looks like her armored robot body (one wonders where the builder found the storage space, let alone how this thing was built without her knowledge and a budget larger than NASA's). Natasha is joined by Traci Thirteen (Girl 13), a teenage witch with a penchant for lame hip-hoppy slang, which never translates well to the written page, yo. And there is a new Supergirl who claims to be Superman's daughter (Cir-El), but will turn out not be, or will be from a "possible" future timeline. Either way, it doesn't matter. There are already 3 contenders for Supergirl running around (Linda Danvers, Kara Zor-El and Power Girl (Karen Starr)), and all of them are less annoying than this new, dopey character.

So you can see there was a lot to say there and how I might have botched the phrasing.

I apologize.
I feel bad about not blogging, but I have been a busy comic geek. Actually, comics have nothing to do with it, but stupid graduate students do.

At any rate, left with little to dwell upon, I can say that you would not be interested in my work woes... so I'm going to complain about how AWFUL Action Comics #807 was this week.

You know, I don't have much going on in my life but job, wife, dog and my funnybooks, and so when I get a funnybook which is, let's be honest, pretty dumb, I get a bit irritated I lost my $2.25. Yeah, $2.25. That's what a comic sets you back these days. (65 cents when I started, dammit!)

A while back they ditched one of my favorite supporting Superman characters, Steel (a man with the ability to create astounding advances in technology, allowing him to create a powerful suit of armor he wore as Superman's high-flying buddy). THis issue brings back Steel's neice as the new FEMALE STEEL WITH TITANIUM TA-TA'S, a really lame ghetto-slang slapping teenage witch named Traci THirteen, and the latest incarnation of Supergirl (who is not Kara Zor-El). Oh, and Lana Lang. Blah.

I read the issue cover to cover, and I think all that happened was some people went "blah! WOW!! BAM!!!" If people think comics are overly simplified tales of female exploitation and male power fantasies, by jiminy, this issue would only enhance that notion.


I am looking forward to the changing of the creative guard on Superman in the coming year. If you've thought about delving in to Superman, I'll keep you posted and tell you what to look for. Oh, and look for big (but kind of unneeded) changes at the Batman titles, too.

And since reading the latest storyarc in Detective Comics, I have Alan Scott Green Lantern on the brain. A few years ago The Onion ran an Op/Ed peice where a guy bitched about the new Green Lantern and how inferior he is to Hal Jordan. And it was supposed to be a joke, only I found myself solemnly nodding my head in agreement. Kyle Rayner sucks. But, lately, it's all John Stewart Green Lantern for me.

I dig the idea of the Green Lantern Corps (a space-faring police force granted the power of a weapon which is only as strong as their own will!). I think it would make a nifty cartoon. It's kind of like Intergalactic UN Peace Keeping Force with kooky aliens and lots of cool outfits.

Anyone who can name the space sector which Earth is located in (as designated by the Guardians of the Universe) and who sends me their name and the Sector will be eligible for having their name listed at The League! Triple points if you can remember the Green Lantern Pledge!

See, and here I thought I had nothing to talk about today.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

One of my favorite parts of being an American is being really snarky about weird superstitions and mythologis people go by in other lands. For example, Iraqis seem to believe Saddam has a magic stone which protects him from the Americans (something we can snicker at, but I don't see Saddam in a cell either...). Ground Rhino horn been used as an aphrodeshiac for generations in Africa, and in part of Asia, I think it's shark fin they think makes you more of a man.

I take Mel for walkies bright and early (around 5:20am), and upon my return to sofa and coffee, I get to see some choice programming just before the last informercial twinkles out at 6:00am.

Today was the second time I saw the Infomercial for Alzare. Alzare is some sort of herbal supplement promised to increase size, and increased confidence. I did note in the total of minutes I saw of the front and back end of this infomercial that they never really say "This herbal supplement will increase the size of your weiner." They just say "increase size," but maybe I missed the part about bigger weiners. But one wonders if you sue for false advertising they will say, "no, we meant increased size of your PASSION!!!" The web site does state very clearly that it will increase penis size. I guess they were trying to be subtle on TV.

What I do know is that this is the best infomercial ANYWHERE. Shot against a stark white backdrop with several Cinemax Late-Night rejects as hosts, several "model/ entertainers" speak of the fantastic effects of Alzare. The women simply GLOW in their discussion. The men smile knowlingly, or perhaps their faces pulled back that way after their hair gel dried. It's hard to say. Now, the men on the show don't really claim to need the very product they're pitching... they're REAL men, the kind of sport coat and slightly unbuttoned red silk shirt men YOU WANT TO BE (if you're going to be in soft-core). They seem to be part of The Big Weiner Club (standard dress code including unbuttoned silk shirt), and they have the ticket for you to get in, buddy! The women are feigning sexy class, but are really pretty trampy looking, which is okay, because it just adds to the sleazy ambience of the whole affair. I'm not sure, but I think one woman was wearing a bright red plastic pantsuit thing which we were to determine is what people who have good sex must wear. I am ordering one for myself for Christmas.

All "dialogue" is "completely unstaged", and doesn't sound as if it's badly delivered lines from a hackey, throw away soft-core script at all. Each statement is filled with weird pauses, the kind of pauses one gets when one is trying to remember the rest of their line, and one is, say, an unemployed stripper or "spokesmodel."

The capper is the Q&A wherein several "spontaneous" and flaccidly delivered questions are asked by people the rest of the audience realizes all too late were planted there to actually get to ask questions, leaving them, and any questions which might thrust a little objectivity into the video, on the cutting room floor. Luckily, they do leave in one very Joe Schmoe looking guy to ask out the girl in the red pantsuit thingy. They all laugh at him because he is cute, but he is not wearing a sportcoat with an unbuttoned silk shirt, and must not have a big weiner.

I honestly don't know if this product works or not. I assume it's ground parsely put into a gel--cap. But I also haven't tried it. I also thought the penis enlarging pump was an invention of Austin Powers or a novelty item of the 70's, but saw one on the shelf one day at Walgreens. "THose things don't work, do they?" I asked aloud one day. "Yes," a friend of mine assured me. "They work very, very well." So I dunno. I also know I don't have the $200 it was going to set me back.

So I encourage you to seek out this informercial on your own and make your own decisions. Just remember the weird Japanese guy downing shark fin soup in the hope he will please his lady, laughing at you as a stupid Yankee for thinking parsely in a pill is going to make a man of you.

UPDATE (Dec 1, 2003): Much like my "Ann Coulter Nude Hits", of which i continue to get around 2-3 a day, I also get a lot of hits for people trying to find out who the girl is in the Alzare Infomerical I mentioned here months ago.

In an effort to help my loyal readers, her name, according to this site, is Jenny Richards. This is all I know. You're on your own now.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Randy has asked me to update on the cat pee smell of earlier today. In truth, the smell is now either gone, or I have become accustomed to it. I think it's gone. I also think it was probably more to do with the insanely strong coffee my boss brewed up this morning just as I arrived. The coffee is gone, and so is the smell. I will also check to see if it was the scent of the dry cleaning chemicals on the shirt I wore this morning, but changed out of when the people from the UK left.

I kind of hope I smelled like cat pee to the people from the UK. That would really impress them.
My office smells vaguely of cat piss this morning. There is no cat at my office. However, Jeff the cat may well have taken some liberties with my computer bag. I will need to investigate.

Monday, September 01, 2003

In 1995 or so, Jeffrey Cash Shoemaker introduced me to the sounds of Chicago area formerly homeless schizophrenic musical wunderkind, Wesley Willis. Wesley's songs were all fairly short songs which spoke directly from within, and were, perhaps, the most personal songs I'd ever heard. Let me qualify that with, these were the most personal songs I'd ever heard from a paranoid schizophrenic with access to a $200 keyboard. The rumor was that Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys had been the one to discover Willis, but I don't know if it's true. It makes as much sense as anything else.

My personal favorite Willis tune was "I Whupped Batman's Ass", but I came to understand later that, most likely, Wesley made up most of his songs on the spot, and in order for him to remember them later, somebody was writing the songs down.

A common theme of Willis's struggles with mental illness runs through Willis's songs. The tune "Nerve Shattering Hellride" perhaps best exemplifies Willis's struggle with schizophrenia, describing a ride on the Chicago public transportation system, and his struggles to not give in to the voices in his head during the course of said ride.

In order to keep the voices out, Willis often wore a walkman and listend to music, even when playing his own music. Including during live performances, I discovered, when I saw him play at Emo's on Austin's 6th street in the Spring of 1997. Willis was sick with the flu, we were told, and began his show late. By the time he had taken the stage, out of boredom, we had downed numerous bottles of a dollar beer, whose identity should spring to mind, but, perhaps rightly, does not.

Willis was chugging from a bottle of Chloraseptic in order to perform, sweating profusely and swearing a lot. Sensing a kindred spirit, I pushed aside any misgivings I might have had about the quite possibly exploitative situation in which I was participating. Willis went on to perform for what I estimated to be at least an hour and half, a time during which I was fairly certain he never noticed whether or not the audience was present. Further, all of his songs were in a binder, and he took considerable time out between songs to select his next tune. All of the songs, I might add, were pretty much the same song.

Eventually I tracked down my ride (we'd left directly from my RTF animation class), and I went home and went directly to bed, the tunes of Wesley Willis laying down a seed in my plowed and freshly tilled mind.

It took days for the show to get out of my head. Dozens of people joined together and, honeslty, not laughing at this guy, but listening to whatever the hell it was he was putting out there, because, you know... you honestly just hadn't heard anything like it.

Wesley had a video on MTV for a song called "Alanis Morrisette", which was pretty good by Wesley Willis standards. He wrote a lot of songs about people he liked, and more songs about people he did not like. But he liked music, and he was having a pretty hard time of it, and in the mid-90's, I think all you could really say was, "there but for the Grace of God Go I." Honestly, I haven't thought much about Wesley in years. He was an anomaly, and you hoped his earnings from record sales were enough to keep him off the streets and in good condition.

On August 21st, 2003 Wesley Willis was called home by The Maker. Rock over London, Rock on, Chicago. Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions. Rock on, Wesley. May the nerve shattering hellride come to an end, and may you be welcomed to your seat among the great ones. You truly did manage to rock the hell out of us.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

66-7, and more than 5 minutes left. Man, and this is after a completely abysmal 1st quarter.
Holy COW!!!! They scored again! It's now 45-7. Dusty Mangum must be getting sick of going out there.