Sunday, January 11, 2015

Charlie Hebdo

 First of all, these cartoonists should NOT have been murdered.

Period.

These events have challenged me once again to live up to the quote Voltaire is credited for: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." It's tempting to say that the Charlie Hebdo artists and editors were "asking for it". But if they were censored, then where would it stop? I learned the hard way what happens when you don't stand up to bullies, and failing to do so means living in fear and self-censorship. Life with religious extremists has always been par for the course. Unfortunately, so many extremists have easy access to war materiel these days.

From what little I have seen of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, personally I  don't think their work was really any good. Their cartoons are cheap, hostile, vulgar, and promote the same old stereotypes. But again, this does not sanctify murder. Works like Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" turned me off, but it wasn't enough to drive me to violence.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

I don't have time to play into someone else's game. We need to grow up, and laugh off the drunks at the party, and walk past the garbage lying in the gutter. IMHO. And have the confidence in the things we believe to be sacred, and not freak out, no matter what others say.

Personally, if work in comics, or any other medium is going to be provocative, (hey, what work isn't?) then the creators should be able to take legitimate criticism, but not a hail of bullets. And in my opinion, artwork should have some educational, or at least uplifting undertone. Right wing groups in the U.S. publish and broadcast very hostile and denigrating material, and claim that it's their 1st Amendment right. To me, this still borders on yelling "FIRE" in a crowded movie house, but that's a discussion for another day.

I don't know which Muslim or Arabic publications make some sort of editorial response to magazines like Charlie Hebdo. They also have a right to heard, and be the voices of reason in those cultures. Spiegelman on Democracy Now! stated that  the Charlie Hebdo cartoons afflict the already afflicted.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/11/france-unity-rally.html 


http://america.aljazeera.com/topics/topic/event/Charlie-Hebdo-attack.html

But in the case of today's assaults, this shouldn't mean you have to turn your studio into an armed bunker. The worst thing to happen is someone getting sued if the courts decide that their statements are slanderous. (or, down on the street level, when you dare someone to take a swing at your chin, you had better be ready to defend yourself. But men of honor will fight only with their fists, right?)
 
 (art copyright Art Spiegelman)

We live in an age where violent action and deadly force is becoming more and more the first course of action. Someone will always lash out in the name of ___. It's safe to say this will never be settled.

Thanks for reading my thoughts. Check out Art Spiegelman on Democracy Now! on KPFK. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Charlie Brown Christmas 2014

Christmas comes and goes faster and faster.

(Peanuts copyright Charles M. Schulz, United Feature Syndicate, plywood cutouts by Mom and Dad, made in 1965)
 
No snow this Christmas, but I found some big changes on the home front.
May be in for it in 2015.
Salut.
KR.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Wander over Yonder - the Gift

I guess I'm projecting too much of my own ideas onto Wander over Yonder. They could have had a real cliff hanger with Sylvia seriously considering getting back together with Ryder.
Spoiler Alert!

(art copyright Disney)

But we have learned more about Sylvia, after seeing "The Rider" episode. She was turning into quite an outlaw after leaving her relatively happy world of Marshfalaffle Apple Meadow. But being with Wander let's her share in his magic, and so she can tolerate most of his goofy antics. For instance, being decorated with jingle bells as they deliver gifts throughout the galaxy.

Wander is still a mystery, and maybe he should be left that way.
It leaves some things to the viewers imagination, and makes the show more fun.

Happy Holidays folks, I'm still trying to get into the spirit out here.

http://youtu.be/1Ji0f869QlU

How Thanos stole Christmas (Not the Grinch) - Part I

Another guilty pleasure. This scene was set up by my friend Trell at the Animation Guild in Burbank. You can check out his cool goodies at 



Trell deserves the credit. But this scenario could be totally insane: It would take the Avengers, Warlock, Captain Mar-Vell, the Defenders and Spider-Man to handle this crisis. Okay, and the X-Men and S.H.I.E.L.D. too.

(And it would probably have a cameo by Stan Lee as well.)


(Thanos created by Jim Starlin, copyright Marvel/Disney, scene set up by Trell, photo by me, Christmas copyright of Jesus)

Thanos would have no little dog Max to serve as a moral compass, or as a witness to his Holiday perfidy. Instead, Pip the Troll would probably be his unwilling servant. (Pip would be perfect as second banana with his smart remarks and stinky cigars.)

Will Thanos destroy Whoville? Would he incinerate little Cindy-Lou Who? Does he even enjoy "roast beast"? Hey, I'm just trying to get in the Holiday spirit here. It's been so hot and dry in southern Cal. Stay tuned!

Click button for Spoiler

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Big Hero 6


Finally saw Big Hero 6, so I'm not going to worry about spoilers here.


(art copyright Disney)

It's been a crazy autumn, so I'll be commenting and updating on this article, and others as I update this blog.

Update: When I get a chance before the Holidays.

Update: 12-29-14, okay, I'll say the film is the Iron Giant meets the Incredibles.
Troubled kid meets special robot, and overcomes adversity. I appreciated the work and design that went into Big Hero 6. But the formula of the plot wouldn't let me fall in love with the film.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teachers as Performers NPR

This a bit off the track, but I agree with the premise: While we need rubrics and learning outcomes, students also need the intangibles.


I would quietly quote Mr. Incredible to myself before I would walk in the classroom:

 (copyright Pixar/Disney)
"It's Showtime!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

President Obama supports net neutrality

With such a pro-corporate bias in Washington, it's amazing that President Obama is taking a stand on net neutrality. But I applaud him on this, since he's been too eager to give in on so many other issues.
Craig Aaron's talk on KPFK's Uprising with Sonali Kolhatkar caught my ear; I think he outlined the situation very clearly.
Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar
 

Our society depends so much on phones, electricity, radio and TV, the premise of not reclassifying the internet as a Title II telecommunications service seems extremely unfair. And kind of absurd. Especially with the media mergers like the Comcast/Time-Warner deal still in the works.


One thing that puzzles me is how they expect us to buy stuff online if our connections are slow. It would take forever to see the merchandise!


The FCC's Chairman Tom Wheeler is still basically in favor of a two tiered system; "big pipes" for corporations who can afford to pay more...

And let the rest of us eat cake...

Time to keep calling your senators on this! And Tom Wheeler as well.
http://act.freepress.net/letter/internet_fcc_nprm_oliver/?source=faq

 (my pinwheel of death)