February 2005 Archives

Follow the Candy Trail


The Cute Little Red-Headed Girlfriend surprised me with a gift of the original Candyland board game, which has a wonderful graphic map at the core of its gameplay. It was such a relief to know that the original version was still being made, even if it's being marketed as a "vintage" item to oldsters like me.

I first became aware that the Candyland board had changed after a child asked me to play the game and I eagerly responded "yes." Only then did I discover that the game board I fondly remembered, with its lollypops and gumdrops, had been licensed to include name brand candies like Reeses' pieces and Mars bars.

It never ends does it? I mean the colonization of living--oops, I mean unbranded-- spaces. Just the other day I believe I mentioned my gravestone and what I would write on it. Now there's a space that is ripe for branding. If I'm ever really hard up for cash I'll have to remember that--maybe I could auction off the area in advance to some company, like 1-800-Flowers.com. That would be what the advertisers call a good fit.

The meme goes on

Joe has weighed in on the music meme in response to my "passing the stick" onto him. Don't get between him and his iTunes.

Not Lovely or Wonderful


I don't usually talk about spam on my blog, because talking about it tends to make one more of a target. However, I feel that I have to address it now because it's making it difficult for readers to reach this site.

In the last two weeks, spammers have been bringing sites down with ferocious spam runs. This site has been unavailable several times, and average load times have been longer. I just want my readers to know what's happening and that I'm doing everything I can to make availability better.

L Word Season Two Starts


After a long wait, season two of The L Word starts tomorrow night. It's been such a long wait that I've had ample time to waste mulling, debating, rumor-mongering and experiencing the backlash over the first season.

I was so relieved to read that After Ellen has reviewed the full second season and gives it a thumbs up. Most importantly, the sex is back! In case you have not been following the story closely, after the Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident, there was talk that the hot-and-heavy lesbian scenes would be cut from the next season in order to avoid problems with the FCC.

Do you see how censorship trickles down, ripples out and eventually washes over us all? Just because some outraged family-values sports fans couldn't handle seeing Janet's nipple, everyone's supply of soft core lesbian erotica is threatened. I hope all my straight male readers will take this idea to heart--I expect to see at the next gay rights rally wearing "Hands off my lesbian porn" t-shirts.

The L Word ringtones and graphics, yay! What a perfect Los Angeles tie-in. Wallpaper and IM icons, yay! Bet that guy character doesn't get downloaded much.

Did I mention the backlash? In addition to the usual griping (summary: too beautiful, too femme, too dysfunctional), there's also The D Word, a filmed parody that Showtime has apparently tried to stop. Which of course makes us want to see it more, yay! You can watch the trailer here.

The Music Meme


Look what I picked up off the sidewalk! It's the music meme, first seen by me on Tom the Dog's site, then plucked from the god-knows-where to which Rose and Steven recently tossed it.

  1. Total amount of music files on your computer:

    Around 3 gig.

  2. The last CD you bought was:

    I think the last CD I bought was a gift for someone else, and the last CD I got was one I received as a gift. It was a title I asked for, "Van Lear Rose" by Loretta Lynn.

  3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

    "From this Moment On," performed by Rosemary Clooney, off the three-disc set "You're Sensational: Cole Porter in the '20s, '30s and 40s."

  4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

    "Smile," performed by Judy Garland. There are a number of versions out there, but I'm referring to the version on Disc 2 of "Judy Garland, The One & Only: The London Sessions." This is such a troubled song to begin with, but when Judy sings it everything that's disturbed about it becomes magnified. When she's singing the lines, "Light up your face with gladness / Hide every trace of sadness," it seems impossible that she's going to get to the end of the song without slashing her wrists.

    "I Fought the Law (And the Law Won)" performed by the Clash on the album "The Clash." This song title is so profound I think I may have it chiseled on my gravestone. It's a great summation, don't you think? "She fought the law. And the law won." Plus I love the Clash, they do a great version of this song.

    "Across the Universe" by the Beatles from "Let It Be...Naked." I listen to this track a lot because it makes me feel peaceful. It's sort of like self-hypnosis--I know I can change my mood and clear out my thoughts by listening to it. A lot of bloggers are into productivity tricks and I suppose this song is one of mine, because it lets me get past the trivial stuff that's bothering me and connect to something that feels more eternal. Maybe that large expanse "across the universe." Musically, I like the Indian elements in the song and that sweet cast in John's voice.

    "Simply Beautiful" performed by Queen Latifah with Al Green, from "The Dana Owens Album." Every track on this album is so fine. Push replay.

    In the "listen to often" category, I'm going to list "Kill the Poor" by the Dead Kennedys. Not because I've actually played it recently--although I do have it on a 45--but because it's been stuck in my head for the last week. I think it has to do with Bush's budget and his privatize Social Security scheme. It's not as bad as having an annoying song or a an advertising jingle stuck in your head, but it's been pretty upsetting nonetheless. Everytime I see or hear a member of the Bush administration on the news I hear Jello Biafra screaming inside my head:





  5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?

    Joe, of course. Federico, because he's been writing about being blocked lately, and nothing cures blogger's block like a good web quiz or meme. And Ron, because he has interesting musical tastes so I want to hear what he has to say.

Comics pioneer Will Eisner

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I had originally intended to post something about Will Eisner's death several weeks ago. However, since I had just done a serious of posts about Susan Sontag's death, I didn't want the tone of the blog to get overly morbid. But then Johnny Carson died, and I wanted to post about that, too, so I figured I should just give in and write about them all if I wanted to.

Will Eisner is responsible for coining the term "sequential art" in reference to comics. So the title of this blog owes something to him, even though I was operating under the influence of Scott McCloud's first book when I thought up the title.

When I read Eisner's obituaries, I became aware of an aspect of his career that I didn't know about previously: his work writing instructional material, especially for the military. I thought this was intriguing because of Disney's work for the military, which included instructional cartoons as well as cartoon emblems. I guess it shows you what can be achieved by way of government employment. However, it seems that Eisner was a pioneer in the development of instructional comics, and that strikes me as a considerable accomplishment in addition to everything else he did in his career.

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