As I had written before, I was intending to go over to Ottawa yesterday afternoon with my brother John in the rented Ford F-150 to drop a few boxes off and see the new house, so I can choose a bedroom when we move there this coming Friday, but the weather was threatening to be crappy and we didn't.
We got about 4 inches or so of snow overnight. I remember letting our cat inside when she rattled on the door handle push-down lever thingie and she came in quite the snowy kitty... well, not quite a snowball with four legs, but it certainly looked like she had very bad dandruff. (By the way, what is the word for the thing you push down like a piano key to open the door on a handleset-type door opening device
? And what will Ember rattle on to let us know to let her in once were at the new place, which, I believe, has an ordinary doorknob?)
I agreed to go down to Ottawa today instead, though, later on that evening, they pretty much told me that I'd have to get up at 7 a.m. so that John and I could leave the house at 8 a.m. Damnit, I haven't really needed to get up that early since I was living at the apartment part-time and taking classes at the computer animation place, which also started at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m. somedays. So, I went to bed a bit early for me... only 3 a.m., and I woke up at around 6 a.m. and couldn't really get back to sleep, knowing that I had to be up in less than an hour. I officially got up at 7 a.m., and, goddamn, I had a stinking headache, so I got some Asprin and a Vanilla Coke and logged on the Internet briefly to check my Site Meter (pretty dead; the mysterious "Orla Johannes"
wave from yesterday had abated and the wave of people looking for information about Dimebag Darrell Abbott's killer, "Nathan Gale"
, wouldn't start for several more hours). After that, I took a shower. While I was showering, my brother was shovelling a little bit and brushing off the truck.
Surprisingly, at 8 a.m., I was more or less ready to go. But that's where the wheels fell off our airtight plan. At some point during the shovelling, or perhaps after, the keys for the truck fell out of my brother's pocket. Probably into the snow somewhere. And it's not that easy to find something small in a lot of snow. It's like some sort of deranged challenge out of Nickelodeon's Double Dare
, except with a much smaller object over a much wider area. So I spent an hour shovelling and scraping the driveway in a fruitless attempt to find it. It was actually attached to an white Enterprise Rent-a-Car keychain designed to make it easier to spot. Easier to spot, yes, if you hadn't dropped it in a large expanse of white.
After about an hour, I pretty much had concluded that it wasn't on the driveway, meaning it was either on the lawn or on the street and it's gone, at least until the snow melts or gets washed away by rain (which, before January, isn't too uncommon). My brother tried calling Enterprise, and first they told him that they didn't have a replacement set and they'd have to tow it, but I think he was talking to a central Enterprise call centre and when he actually called the local rental place from which he rented it, they did have another set because they were planning on selling the truck soon. But we have to rent it for two more days, for some reason, because of this little unexpected complication, and get the new key on Monday and take it back.
And I won't get to see the house before I actually move in on Friday, so I have to pick a bedroom sight unseen. Well, I'm a 30 year old man who likes Japanese cartoons and still lives with his parents. I might as well take the bedroom in the wood-panelled basement and make my uncool status official. :P
One advantage of getting up early on Saturday (by my standards) is that I finally, finally got to see the Foxbox Saturday morning line-up for myself off WFFF-44 in Plattsburgh NY. Specifically One Piece
. It has interesting character designs, but maybe I saw a weaker episode as it seemed like just another shounen
series with a lot of characters standing around and talking for a minute or flashbacking to the past punctuated by maybe ten seconds of action and then another minute of nothing. Maybe it's one of those things I need to watch from the beginning to appreciate, but, eh, shounen
in general isn't really my bag (except for non-action shounen
like Urusei Yatsura
or Kimagure Orange Road
amusing. I don't know why I never bothered watching her show before. (Yes, I know it's not on Foxbox. I switched to the Canadian version of the Family Channel, which shows Disney stuff, after.)
SOMETHING AWFUL vs. SOMETHING DISGUSTING.
Ya know, when SomethingAwful.com takes a clear position on something, I often disagree with them since they have a tendency to take soft liberal positions on various things and I don't.
I am pleased to see that there is one important issue with which I wholeheartedly agree with them, the issue of women who make awful Internet shrines to their stillborn babies.
, Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons featured one such DBW (Dead Baby Website) as the "Awful Link of the Day". Not only did it feature the usual bad poetry and possibly midis and "Now you're in heaven with Jesus and angels" platitudes, it also had the most disturbing feature of all for these sites, a very grotesque trend of showing Photoshopped pictures of the stillborn kids either wearing normal baby clothes or as angels, which isn't even Biblical, I might add. (Angels were around from the beginning, according to the Bible, they aren't the ghosts of dead people. It's a Wonderful Life
lied to you. So did that maudlin "The Littlest Angel" story
, which is a mainstay of the Paul Reid Christmas Special
CJAD insists on dusting off every year.)
I'm not making that up, by the way. There's a whole cottage industry
of sites that will touch up pictures of stillborn babies with Adobe Photoshop.
So, anyway, apparently the person to whom the site belonged was a member of some webring of mothers with Dead Baby Websites, and they all started sending very angry and spiteful e-mail to Zack Parsons, which he tried to politely respond to for a while, but, soon, he realized that the DBW women have a sick pathology and cannot be reasoned with rationally, so his patience wore out and he returned their rudeness and collected some of the e-mails and replies in an article entitled "We're All Gonna Be Dirt in the Ground"
My favourite excerpt:
"She uses the term Mr very loosely.
Mr Parsons (and i use the the term Mr very loosely)
How dare you use peoples heartbreak as your own humour... The person you have posted about who is mourning the loss of her babies is a friend of mine, i met her through a charity of wonderful supportive women who havent been blessed with fortune of having a living baby. I myself have lost 4 babies and it tears my heart out everyday.
You disgust me!
I was done playing around.
Your poison womb is making heaven too fucking crowded.
That shut one up at least, but many more continued to email me."
I must warn you that the article includes a couple of unretouched photos from DBW sites that are not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomache. Parsons included several paragraphs of buffer space which should serve as a warning not to scroll down if such things make you nauseous. I mean, I'm pro-life on the abortion issue, but even I'll admit these lifeless fetuses look like a mutant hybrid of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and, well, a turd. Look, you have a stillborn kid or a miscarriage, it's a shame, but... either have the doctor deal with the remains or have a prompt burial or cremation. I don't think it's appropriate to take photographs of it (other than for medical education purposes); I don't think photos of stillborn kids really serve any useful purpose. Is it really something you want to be reminded of, what a lifeless, partially-formed child looks like? Most people don't take photos of their dead relatives in coffins or collapsed on the ground, and those are people they had a chance to know as more than just the occasional kick in the uterus or an ultrasound picture. Some things do not need to be immortalized by Kodak or Nikon. And, for the love of god, don't Photoshop them to pretend they were alive outside the womb, and especially don't put them on the Internet. It is not cute. It is not inspiring or touching. It is just macabre. Plain and simple macabre. Much worse than the goriest zombie movie, because zombies are all prosthetics, make-up, dummies, or other practical or computer-generated effects from masters like Tom Savini, not real things that were once alive, however briefly, but now are lifeless like the remains seen in those photos.
Parsons included a paragraph explicitly stating that he's not insensitive to or making fun of parents of stillborn children. He just doesn't care for how a small minority of women who miscarried "turn [their] self-perpetuating and obsessive grieving process into a public circus of grotesquery."
Zack Parsons also made a fake shrine to his (probably fictional) stillborn son, Connor, with photos of "Connor", who looks like a McDonald's hash brown with fake googly eyes wrapped in a swaddling cloth, being posed with photos of Jesus and being presented with Beanie Babies he'd never get to appreciate (if he were a real dead baby. which he's not). Zack also wrote a poem which, unfortunately, probably isn't that far from the truth for a lot of these people.
"Oh Connor, sweet Connor,
Mommy knows you're in heaven above,
You are a precious angel,
Rather than adopting or moving on you get my love.
Oh Connor, sweet Connor,
If I ever manage to not miscarry a baby,
I promise to make him fight me for attention,
And every time I say his name yours will also get a mention."
The problem as I see it is that well-meaning pop psychologists with books on bereavement to sell and appearances on Oprah
and Dr. Phil
to procure have codified the "grieving process" into being something that is quite narcissistic. I'm sure they started off with good intentions, trying to help women, and the fathers, to a lesser degree, cope with an unfortunate event that is a small-scale tragedy that can even be a little traumatic.
I can see the point of giving your stillborn baby a name, just as a psychological defense to make a traumatizing medical event that is cold and clinical a little more personal.
But, there is something to be said for good old-fashioned stoicism. Something good in the long term. A stillborn child should be something you grieve for a couple of days about and then get over. Stiff upper lip and all that. The pop psychologists of the world, however, encourage women, intentionally or not, to treat bereavement as a lifelong process and the actions of the sort the DBW women take enshrines the grief as a central focal point of their lives and that can't be positive at all. And a lot of the support groups, which Zack Parsons helpfully linked to
, don't help in a positive way; they just reinforce the pathology of obsessing a bit too much on unfortunate events and never moving on.
Giving these people the Something Awful treatment, by which I mean the way Zack did it and not the "Forum Goons" going to their message boards and posting pictures of "Tubgirl" and "Goatse", might seem harsh, but these people need a good cold dose of brutal honesty to snap them out of their condition of self-perpetuating, narcissistic chronic grief. They shouldn't focus so much on and make a public macabre display of one small tragedy, or even several small tragedies, in their past, and then go on to make such a macabre public display of it, and the supporting Internet "communities" that make them believe that it's normal to make macabre websites like that are simply very misguided and only serve to reinforce these negative behaviours.
It's my unprofessional opinion, but I think stoicism is just common sense.
WEIRD SEARCH REQUESTS
Woah! Why have I been getting dozens of hits a day over the past couple of days for that very British
traffic reporter from
Luanne Platter's "Manger Babies" show CJAD radio
Sir Reginald Featherbottom the Third1 Orla Johannes
I mean, she isn't mentioned on too many websites, so the, perhaps, two times I mentioned her before show up rather high on Google. I usually get a couple of hits for her a week, but nothing like what I'm getting now. The CJAD site doesn't mention anything new about her. I also can't find anything at Google News
about her. Maybe something's happening behind the scenes? My mother thinks it might have something to do with the fact that she does the morning drive segments on CJAD and CFCF, but she's been doing that for a while while the surge in Google searches has just come over the past couple of days.
Maybe it's something to do with that documentary she did for Gap Peru
Fortunately for me, Orla Johannes
now has an offical Orla Johannes website
, so maybe if I mention Orla Johannes
enough whilst linking to the site, the site will show up higher in searches for "Orla Johannes"
than mine does.
"Orla Johannes" "Orla Johannes" "Orla Johannes" "Orla Johannes" "Orla Johannes" "Orla Johannes" "Mushroom Mushroom"
(You can also hear her voice at the Orla Johannes Voice Over Talents page at Voice123.com
1 Sorry, Orla, I felt like working in a lame King of the Hill reference for no particular reason. It's nothing about you other than your being British, don't worry.
Tomorrow... well, technically today, Friday, my brother, John, and I shall be moving some stuff to my sister's house and to my own new house in Ottawa, where I shall get to see the new house for myself for the first time and choose a bedroom in preparation for the big move next Friday. I thought the choices were limited to two different rooms that are something like 9 feet by 12 feet but my brother brought up the tantalizing possibility of making half of the finished basement into a bedroom, which wouldn't be a bad idea for me since I like being cool in summer, warm in winter, and I like sleeping in, so it would stay dark a lot longer where there's only one tiny window towards the top of the room. I'll have a look before I commit, though, since a bedroom area that's too big might not be cozy enough for my tastes.
Obviously, since I am moving next week, and since I've largely been procrastinating in terms of packing, that means blogging will be very light this coming week, and I don't know if I'll even be able to blog for the first few days I'm at the place. Depends when they hook up the cable Internet, I guess, but, as soon as I'm "on the air", I'll post something new.
I will still blog some over the next few days, though, since there are still a couple of "fuck you"s and "I hope you all get fired"s I want to get off my chest whilst I am still a Quebec resident. And I don't think Quebec's seen the last of Steve Brandon (not counting me going over the Ottawa River into Gatineau, formerly Hull, to get beer and French-translated manga comics, of course). I kind of like being a misanthrope, so, if I ever have the opportunity to get a secure job where I can work in English and still live in Montreal, you'd betcha I'd jump on it.
Anyway, a little bonus item for anyone who has read this far: in the RottenTomatoes.com forum, poster Fabfunk Triumphant!
has posted a lengthy analytical essay regarding Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
, my most anticipated film of the year, which he has already seen an advance screening of (lucky sonuvabitch). You know I prefer going into a film knowing everything about it in order to catch everything the first time, so I had no problem reading his very detailed piece, but, obviously, anyone with a sense of discretion doesn't really need to be told the "s" word. In short, though, what I think Fabfunk
is saying is that he thinks the film is really about the way Wes Anderson views himself as a filmmaker and how he fears he might end up, doing the "auteur" thing with some support from major studios but not the same level of support those filmmakers who do more conventional crowd-pleasers get and eventually getting stuck in a rut and losing relevance. Interesting interpretation... I can't say whether he's right or wrong for probably another two weeks. (I hope I can get into some preview screening before Christmas day.)
R.I.P. "DIMEBAG DARRELL" (Updated)
"Dimebag Darrell" Abbott
, ex-guitarist for the heavy metal group Pantera
and current guitarist for a group called Damageplan
, has just been killed in a shootout at the Alrosa Villa nightclub
in Columbus, Ohio where Damageplan was performing.
"COLUMBUS, Ohio -- At least five people died and two others were wounded after a shooting at a Columbus nightclub on Wednesday night, NBC 4 reported.
The shooting took place shortly after 10 p.m. at Alrosa Villa, located at 5055 Sinclair Road.
Two members of the heavy metal band Damageplan were reportedly shot and killed, including Dimebag Darrell, formerly with the band Pantera, NBC 4's David Wayne reported. The other band member's name was not released. The alleged gunman also died at the scene, Wayne reported.
Shortly after the band began playing its first song, a man reportedly ran onto the stage and began shooting, according to a witness who identified himself as Sean. Some members of the audience reportedly thought the man running onto the stage with a gun was part of the band's act, NBC 4's Erin Tate reported.
Witnesses said that several shots were fired at the band. Witnesses said that a bouncer at the club tackled the alleged gunman before that person was shot and killed. It was unclear as to whom shot the alleged gunman."
Here's his Wikipedia bio
""Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, also credited as "Diamond Darrell", was born August 20, 1966 in Dallas, Texas. He was the lead guitarist in Pantera. His father owned a recording studio, where he watched many blues guitarists play, and this early influence can be heard in many of Pantera's songs.
It's probably completely tasteless for me to point this out, but if you go to the page at Dean Guitar's for Dimebag Darrell's upcoming signature guitar line, the first thing you hear is a gunshot.
At an early age he began entering state-wide guitar competitions, and by the age of 16 was banned from entering them, having won too often. It was through the prizes won at these competition that he was able to start Pantera, including the guitar that has since become his trademark.
Among his other influences are Eddie Van Halen, to whom he has frequently been compared, and Ace Frehley. He also cites many of his contemporaries among his influences, including Slayer's Kerry King, Zakk Wylde, Metallica's James Hetfield, and Helmet's Page Hamilton.
He frequently graces the pages of guitar magazines, both in adverts for equipment he endorses, and in the reader's polls, where he frequents the top 10 metal guitarist spots. He has also contributed a long running column in Guitar World magazine, which has been compiled in the book "Riffer Madness" (ISBN 0769291015)
His brother, Vinnie Paul, played drums in Pantera. The two have also played in a project with David Allan Coe called "Rebel Meets Rebel", and have started a new band, Damageplan, in the aftermath of the Pantera breakup."
(Those guitars will probably be worth a mint now.)
On the official Damage Plan message board
, people allegedly on the scene at the Al Rosa Villa club claim that the other band member killed was drummer Bob Zilla.
An alleged account from an eyewitness, 1damage1
"all i can say is holy crap!! that was such a freakin' nightmare... i don't ever want to be a part of anything like that again... i'm still shaking.... i don't even know what to say...
i was up close to the stage on the side where DBD was playing.... then i saw the guy jump out of the crwod onto the stage... he was yelling something about how "you broke up pantera.... you ruined my life.... what about phil??? he needs heroin money..." or something like that then i saw the gun and he shot DBD right in the head... when DBD went down he kept shooting... then he turned around for bobzilla then vinnie... teh hole time i thought it was part of the show... i had blood on me i was so close... i'm still freakin' out here...
after he turned around and kept shooting i was gone... i swear i almost crapped my pants... it was ####' crazy as ####... people were totally messed up outside... i was standing next to this one chick and she was crying and couldn't stop... she fell on the ground and it was like she was possesed or something... dude it was so kayotic its not even funny... the cops showed up and then people started sayin' that DBD was killed... then people started freaking out even more...
i can't belive this happend... its so crazy... its totally unreal and there's no way to describe how messed up i am right now...
i had tickets to the show in flint michigan too... i don't know whats going to happen... theres some blood on my ticket stub so i'm going to sell it on ebay or keep it or something... i know DBD is in heaven (or ripping some mad riffs in hell)
#### what a wild #### nigth... dude i won't even be able to sleep tonight"
Hmm... if there's blood on the ticket stub, it should probably be given to the police as evidence.
Also, this Dime Bag Darrell guy was killed exactly 24 years to the day after Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon in front of the Dakota in Manhattan, December 8th
, 1980. Eerie.
UPDATE 3 p.m. EST CNN is reporting that the name of the killer was Nathan Gale, a 25 year old loner from Marysville
, a town around 25 miles northwest of Columbus, who witnesses described as "a heavyset man, wearing a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey jersey". (I found a CV from someone with a similar name in Columbus, but "Gale" appears to be that guy's middle name and the information about his education in that CV indicates that he's about 5 or 6 years too young to be the killer, so it's just a coincidence.)
"On Thursday, police identified the suspect as Nathan Gale of nearby Marysville. A spokesman said police had no information about a motive or possible link to the band.
"Right now we don't see any connection at all, but that could change," Columbus police Sgt. Brent Mull said. "Unless he left a note or there's something else, we may never know the motive.""
Well, assuming the stuff I quoted from the Damageplan message board last night was accurate, I got Nathan Gale's motive right here:
"he [Nathan Gale] was yelling something about how "you broke up pantera.... you ruined my life.... what about phil??? he needs heroin money..." or something like that then i saw the gun and he shot [Dimebag Darrell] right in the head..."
I think this is pretty much the same deal as with Marc Lépine, the Polytechnique Killer, in that Nathan Gale was an evil wacko who wanted to kill himself in the most sadistic way possible, by taking out as many people as he could with him, and he had a grudge with the Abbott brothers for breaking up Pantera, so a Damageplan concert was the perfect venue for him to enact his death plan. As bad as it was, the crucial difference between this and the Polytechnique Massacre is that someone with a sidearm, James Niggemeyer of the Columbus police, was able to kill Gale before the situation got even worse, as Gale was using a hostage he had in a headlock as a shield and would have killed that person as well as many others if officer Niggemeyer hadn't arrived as promptly as he did.
The other band member killed hasn't been identified, though information I obtained... well, "read"... from people who claimed to be at the concert on the Damageplan message board before it got shut down would seem to indicate that it was Bob Zilla rather than Vinnie Paul Abbott, who was reportedly able to walk away from the stage and use a cell phone. The other victims are Nathan Bray, 23, and Erin Halk, 29.
MY PATHETIC STABS AT "TEH FUNNY".
In the RottenTomatoes.com forum, poster kaptainbriton
posted an obviously fake news article about how Orson Welles' Citizen Kane will be adapted into a television series
, showing what happens to the other characters after the movie is over.
I took "TEH FUNNEH" ball and ran with it.
My first attempt was... kind of meh-kay (somwhere around halfway between "meh" and "okay"), drawing ideas from Weekend at Bernie's 2: Bernie in Paradise
, the "Pierre Bernard Recliner of Rage" bit about how Pierre didn't like how they resurrected Dr. Daniel Jackson in the seventh season of Stargate SG-1
, and, most obviously, Scooby Doo: Where Are You?
I was always asking myself what happened to the characters besides Kane after the film, what exciting mysteries they'd solve and what crazy monsters they'd encounter while travelling around in their sleigh, The Mystery Rosebud.
And I hope Kane gets resurrected like Dr. Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1. But he should become a conga-dancing zombie whenever there's music playing."
After someone said that Kane was dead and there was nothing major unresolved in the film, I had what I thought was a funny idea, with one obvious plot element taken from the popular Nicolas Cage film, National Treasure
, which has been at the top of the box office for three weeks, but which was supposed to be kind of a cross between the Indiana Jones
film series and the cheesy made-in-Toronto syndicated adventure series, Relic Hunter
, with Wayne's World
's Tia Carrere as Sydney Foxx, sort of an Asian-American Lara Croft.
"What wasn't wrapped up in the film was the mystery of why Charles Foster Kane was faking his death and the answer is because he had become aware of a treasure map hidden on the back of the Mona Lisa which leads the way to untold fortunes of pirate booty stolen from the Spanish armadas and hidden in Mayan temples in the Yucatan. But certain Mayan gods and spirits do not want Kane to take the treasures and Kane will have to fight them and undead pirates week after week, all the while pretending to be a hotshot young reporter from the papers he owns as a cover for his pillaging."
I followed with:
"Also, just to keep modern viewers from being confused, the resurrected, though he was really only faking his death, Charles Foster Kane's first name shall be legally changed to "Citizen", so that no one will ask, "Wait, his name's Charles, so which one is Citizen? Is Citizen his brother or something?"
"Say, when does Citizen Kane become public domain, anyway?
I want to pitch my Citizen Kane: Temple Pillager weekly series to whichever studio in Vancouver does the cheesiest action-adventure series for American syndicated TV and cable's USA Network."
In retrospect, if anyone's interested in my show idea, I think Citizen Kane: Temple Plunderer
rolls off the tongue slightly easier.
I even came up with a theme song with Jack of All Trades
-esque tongue-in-cheek lyrics, thinking Kane prefers the nickname "Citizen" the way Henry Jones Jr. prefers "Indiana" or "Indy". And, yes, this is a parody of the tribute song to Kane from the actual film, which was, yes, also the song Smithers parodied with his tribute to Mr. Burns
and it's the song the White Stripes quoted nearly line by line in the bridge of "The Union Forever"
"There is a man,
A certain man,
Who plunders treasure just for pleasure
In the Yucatan.
Who is this one?
With a whip and gun?
Who often boasts
Of drubbing ghosts of pirates one by one?
Cigars he smokes,
While quipping jokes.
Wouldn't be upset or break a sweat,
Battlin' ghouls voodoo priests invoke.
His wealth and fame,
Grew tired and lame,
His death he's faking, now booty he's taking,
Adventure's his middle name!
What is his name?
It's Citizen Kane!
[crowd] Charles Foster Kane?
He doesn't like "Charles Foster",
Just call him "Citizen Kane"."
Finally, I had my other great idea for a Citizen Kane
spinoff series, taking inspiration from bad snowboarding lifestyle-oriented films like Out Cold
and Extreme Ops
, and the classic season 6 South Park
episode "Ass-pen" mixed with the general laid-back crime fighting attitude of the syndicated TV show Pacific Blue
and I included one plot element from the You're Under Arrest
episode "Tokyo Typhoon Rally".
"From the producers of Citizen Kane: Temple Pillager comes Vancouver's raddest action-comedy series, Citizen Kane Extreme.
The great-grandson of "Citizen Kane", Charlie Foster Kane Jr. the Third, is the heir to the family fortune, but, rather than run the family media empire, he is content to surf the powder in Vail (filmed in Whistler) on his gnarly snowboard, Rosebud IV, searching for missing snowbound tourists, rescuing pregnant cats to deliver them to the veternarian at the bottom of the mountain, and snatching metal cases full of money and contraband from international criminal gangs who hide out in the Rockies. Awesome, dude! Citizen Kane Jr. is also a snowboard instructor and participates in frequent snowboard competitions to save hilltop orphanages. To the max!"
What a radical and totally tubular idea for a show I had. I hope someone makes it the day after Citizen Kane
becomes public domain. And sends me a big cheque.
THE ANIME NETWORK IN TROUBLE?
I could have told you that I didn't think it would be smooth sailing for ADV, and I did last April
Anyway, according to Anime News Network
, Comcast is thinking of setting up their own competing Anime On Demand service, possibly in cooperation with Central Park Media (U.S. Manga Corps and Software Sculptors), and, somehow, ADV Films, the parent company of The Anime Network, thinks this means that Comcast's service will shut them out. They've issued a press release
that is kind of a "call to arms" for anime fans to threaten to switch if Comcast doesn't pick up TAN.
Honestly, ADV is the master of the press release, as anyone following the, ahem, "progress" of the live-action Evangelion
film, which is essentially just a bunch of production art and excited interviews and which still doesn't have a real studio behind it, can attest. They talk about how The Anime Network is "a breakout sensation" and an "overwhelming success", and I'm fully prepared to believe them, but first I need to see some sort of actual ratings data (not just penetration, how many eyeballs are you actually getting) and a TAN-specific profit statement. I'm still not sure how exactly they're even making a profit on TAN considering so many people still seem to be getting the service for "free". I'm not an insider nor can I watch TAN, so I could be wrong, but my suspicion is that, while ADV on the whole is quite profitable, they're still bleeding money out the wahoo on TAN, and just put a positive spin on it for the investors. I hope this isn't true, but, if I think in a little more Machiavellian way, this whole "contact Comcast" strategy may be a feint to blame the lack of actual profits on Comcast should TAN continue to bleed red, assuming it is bleeding red (and it may not be).
And I'm still very skeptical that there's even enough of a market for one anime channel to be profitable, since anime is still very much a niche market among non-children, and I still think anime programming blocks on existing cable channels are still the best way to attract a slightly wider audience to anime (with the advantage that the anime distributors wouldn't have to foot the overhead of running a cable channel), but, if I had to bet on which anime channel would be more likely to turn a profit, it would be one run by a major cable operator with much deeper pockets than ADV. And I think if there were two anime channels, they'd likely just eat each other alive, cannibalizing each other's audience. I'm of the opinion that ADV should probably go to Comcast and see if they could work something out and make a relatively more viable super anime channel rather than expecting Comcast to come knocking on their door when it's evident that Comcast has other plans.
By the way, anime fans, don't miss a couple of other things I wrote about anime recently: this article I wrote about a couple of small items involving anime and Christians
(and this follow-up
) and my thoughts on the upcoming Oh My Goddess! (ああっ女神さまっ) TV series
I'M GOING TO POST SOME PHOTOS OF SOME SUPER GALS I ADMIRE!
Just to show that, while I don't like how certain groups have agenda-dized December 6th
, I still like women just fine.
So here are some "Super Gals"!
Gah, I hate uploading photos using Hello. It's so cumbersome. But Blogger's been fucking up when I use Photobucket lately.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
HATE MEN DAY COVERAGE CONTINUES...
If you put "marc lepine polytechnique"
into Google, amazingly enough, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" hit is an article from this one "BusterB"
from an organization called The Male Affirmative Resource Network (url: TheMensCenter.com)
that says absolutely everything that needs to be said about the rad-fem groups' exploitation of Marc Lepine and the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre/Montreal Massacre
Just an excerpt:
"One reason I won't wear a white ribbon is that I refuse to acknowledge Marc Lepine's shooting rampage as being somehow more terrible than other, similar crimes simply because women were the victims.
The second thing that the white ribbon stands for is the culpability of all men: our supposed complicity in the Montréal Massacre. The idea is that in some way, the attitudes of all men contributed to the actions of one man, that even though almost all men are peaceful and even protective, we should all be ashamed because some of us choose to be violent or murderous. In some small way, we're supposedly all responsible for what Marc Lepine did because we all have penises, and he had one too.
I care about crime and the victims of crime, including men, women, police officers, office workers, housewives, social workers, prostitutes, and the sad looking men who push shopping carts around my neighbourhood, dipping into the garbage containers. I care about all of them and I try to care equally. December 6th, however, is having a bad effect upon me. The incessant chest beating that goes on about female victims of crime, a wail that reaches a crescendo every 6th of December, is causing me to close my heart to these victims. Whenever I see another professional Violence Against Women advocate talking on the TV about how women are the victims of society, whenever I hear another newscast about the tragedy of the Montréal Massacre, I turn them off. I've heard enough. These people have been pushing my buttons—our buttons—for so long now that I'm numb to the whole issue. I think that's sad, and I wish it weren't so."
Read it all, and, just so that entry shows up towards the top for future Google searches on the subject, I'll do my small bit:
Marc Lépine École Polytechnique Massacre Montreal Massacre December 6th, 1989 collective responsiblility for violence against women
IT'S HATE MEN DAY AGAIN... RIGHT?
I said most of what I have to say about December 6th last year
, but I gotta admit, I'm pretty goddamned impressed.
While the December 6th
, 2004, issue of the Montreal Gazette
has a couple of small articles about the 15th
anniversary of the Polytechnique Massacre
, not only does the editorial page not have a single editorial telling us that "we" are not doing enough to [blah blah blah] but there's not a single op-ed piece containing the old chestnut that all men bear some tiny bit of responsiblity for the Montreal Massacre and for violence against women in general, and, even if I'm not violent myself, I'm responsible because I'm failing to stop violence against women in general. For several years, I was thinking that they were just dusting off their old editorials and op-eds because I was getting sick of getting the same old, same old about "collective repsonsibility", and I guess the Gazette
editors have finally come around and realized that blaiming people besides Marc Lépine for what happened is ludicrous. The only truth about Marc Lépine that you need to know is that he was an evil wacko who wanted to commit suicide in the most sadistic way possible, by taking as many other people out with him, and the activists who want to shove the notion of male collective responsibility down our throats are in a weird way just validating Lépine's twisted worldview that he had to do what he did and they want to deny the reality that, yes, there are indeed a few evil individuals in the world as the whole notion of "evil" doesn't really fit in their touchy-feely worldview where we need to try to understand the root causes of total madness and find out that the problem is all of us. "Collective repsonsibility" is also a notion championed by socialists who view all of society as one big ongoing sociological experiment and they exploit horrible events like the Polytechnique Massacre as excuses for them to intrude into and micromanage our lives further, especially in regards to child-rearing, in a futile attempt to find the ultimate societal magic formula that will ensure that no one will commit evil acts on the scale of Lépine's murders again.
So, I think I'll take a personal inventory of what I have and haven't done to stop violence against women:
Number of current relationships I'm aware of where I know violence against women is occuring and can do something to stop it: 0.
My Share of responsibility for the Polytechnique Massacre: 0%.
Percentage change from last year: O%.
Look, if I was aware of violence happening to someone of either gender I know, of course I would do something to stop it, but I really can't think of any situations that fit that description. The thing about violent relationships is that the violence that occurs, if it occurs, would occur when I'm not around, and I haven't seen any signs of violence.
So, here's my annual message for anyone who thinks I, as someone born with a penis, share just a tiny bit of the blame for violence against women:
AND GO TO THE KITCHEN AND MAKE ME A SANDWICH, WENCHES!
Also, on a related note, I'm glad that some Liberal backbenchers finally have the balls to admit that the federal gun registry is an expensive boondoggle and a total failure
, and, if Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who was the feminine father of the registry back when she was Justice Minister, thinks that Sarnia Liberal MP Roger Gallaway is worse than Carolyn Parrish, and her childish idiotarian moonbat tirades against George W. Bush, for Gallaway merely stating the obvious, then Paul Martin needs to replace Anne McLellan as Deputy Prime Minister as she is unfit to serve. Gallaway's correct on pretty much everything. Except for the "Everybody supports gun control" part.
ARE ONLINE ANIME FANS, ON THE WHOLE, GETTING MORE PERSPECTIVE?
I ask this question just because I haven't seen any reactions towards the article critical of anime by Rhonda Handlon over at Focus on the Family
which I wrote about last week
A couple of years ago, when everyone was convinced the big anti-anime backlash was just around the corner, this sort of article would have been causing great panic on anime message boards everywhere, and we would have gotten all sorts of ad hominem denouncements of Ms. Handlon and all Christians, conservatives, and soccer moms in general and breathless statements about how, if "we" don't stand up against articles like this, Congress would eventually ban anime or we'd get massive protests outside of Suncoast and HMV, forcing them to take anime off their shelves.
These days... nary a whimper. Anime fans, on the whole, seem to have stopped the navel gazing and realize that this is just some article written for a magazine with a very specific audience the sort of people who probably wouldn't be buying much anime in the first place. No matter what you're into, there will be critics of it, and I am glad that more and more anime fans seem to be adopting a "live and let live" attitude in regards to those critics, because, really, as long as you enjoy it, what difference does it make if someone else doesn't? Unless you think that the critics will create a negative public perception of anime which will prevent most people from getting into anime, but I never believed that most adults would get into anime in the first place, so it's kind of a moot point.
Though, there's still some bitching
about a minor article from a British tabloid claiming that letting manga be included in school libraries would lead to kids finding the harder stuff
. (A little sensationalistic, yes, but... it's... a... British... tabloid. That's what they do. Anyway, I agree with ShellBullet
that manga doesn't really have a place in a school curriculum, where kids should be reading books without pictures.) I dare say that, should an AnimeNewsNetwork.com forum member who is not Tenchi
, since Tenchi
is getting too old for the "stirring up shit" shit, link to the Rhonda Handlon article, there would be some moaning, but nothing like what we might have seen a couple of years back.