Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Duck Comics: "Witch Hazel"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Duck Comics: "Hobblin' Goblins"

Duck Comics: "Trick or Treat"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reactions to Week-Old News

Now, you may be aware of Obama's recent Rolling Stone interview, in which he answered this question like this:

What do you think Paul Ryan's obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?

Well, you'd have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

Of course, that's not the Republican tradition. I made this point in the first debate. You look at Abraham Lincoln: He very much believed in self-sufficiency and self-reliance. He embodied it – that you work hard and you make it, that your efforts should take you as far as your dreams can take you. But he also understood that there's some things we do better together. That we make investments in our infrastructure and railroads and canals and land-grant colleges and the National Academy of Sciences, because that provides us all with an opportunity to fulfill our potential, and we'll all be better off as a consequence. He also had a sense of deep, profound empathy, a sense of the intrinsic worth of every individual, which led him to his opposition to slavery and ultimately to signing the Emancipation Proclamation. That view of life – as one in which we're all connected, as opposed to all isolated and looking out only for ourselves – that's a view that has made America great and allowed us to stitch together a sense of national identity out of all these different immigrant groups who have come here in waves throughout our history.

(Naturally, plenty of "objectivists" and other sociopaths were squealing like stuck pigs over this statement, but really now, what's that have to do with anything?)

Now, say what you will about Obama.  Say that he's been in many ways a disappointment.  Say that his actions rarely live up to his rhetoric.  I will say these things too.  Nonetheless, the fact remains, this is a stunningly eloquent summation of the nature of the disease that's devouring the republican party and, alas, the country as a whole.  Quite simply, wingnuts--especially, but not solely, randroids--do not believe in the concept of "society," and when you come right down to it, it is this to which we can trace pretty much all of our country's cruel, inhumane dysfunction.

And, you know, even if Obama doesn't actually combat this tendency as forcefully as one would like (even if the impact he would even conceivably be able to have might be negligible), I nevertheless think there is value in having a President who is willing and able to forcefully articulate these things, 'cause not that I have much hope for this country in any case, but if we don't have anyone with any clout even saying these things, we're two hundred percent fuct.  Guess all I'm saying is, in spite of everything, you probably oughta vote for the guy next week.  Just a thought.

From the sublime to the fucking ridiculous, you also may have heard that Romney recently won the vital Meat Loaf endorsement.  Or, uh, something:

“There has storm clouds come over the United States,” Meat Loaf said.  "There is thunderstorms over Europe. There are hail storms – and I mean major hail storms – in the Middle East. There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere, and there’s only one man that on the other night when President Barack Obama, God bless him, said to Mitt Romney, ‘The Cold War is over.’”

Man, can you believe this guy doesn't write his own lyrics?  Incredible.  For the record, Meat, the line that you wanted here was "there's evil in the air and there's thunder in the sky."  Stick with the hits.  This business about storms that may or may not involve thunder and/or hail just isn't gonna cut it.

"So, Meat Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney?  Looks like Marvin Lee Aday wants to send this country--"

[puts on sunglasses]

"--back into Hell."


Monday, October 22, 2012

John Crowley, Endless Things (2007)

Let's be honest: this final novel of Ægypt, more than any of the others by a wide margin, is not remotely a stand-alone novel.  It feels more like an extended coda to the series than a thing in itself.  If the entire thing were published in one volume--which, really, would be the most sensible way to do it--this last part might not stand out so much.  But it hasn't been, and it does.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Duck Comics: "The Last Lord of El Dorado"

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Duck Comics: Tuscan History Week

Did you even KNOW this last week was Tuscan History Week? Probably not, since I didn't mention it here. But it was, meaning you can read an extremely peculiar seven-part story that I translated into English, and read my eight-part commentary. What fun!