Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
May 30, 2018
Belated thoughts on Roseanne’s Muslim episode

So... Roseanne.

I'd been meaning to post about the Muslim episode that aired on 5/8, since I watched that a few weeks ago -- and I guess this is as good a time as any to comment on it! It was... odd. Like, on the one hand, it presented the Muslim couple in a mostly positive light. Although they were on food stamps (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I imagine many conservative viewers have a different opinion, even though Roseanne's family on the show receives the same assistance), they were friendly and helpful neighbors (despite being woken up by Roseanne and company at 2AM) and loving parents. And they were baseball fans, so hey! VERY AMERICAN!

On the other hand, Roseanne's ignorance in this episode was pronounced, mostly played for laughs, and never truly examined or unequivocally rejected. The episode began with her spying on her neighbors and speculating about their terrorist plots, her every utterance punctuated with a smattering of laughter. Later, when the family's internet service was disconnected (because the Conners couldn't pay the bill), they sat around trying to guess the Muslim neighbors' password: Roseanne cleverly suggested "deathtoamerica123." Cue laugh track! (more...)

-posted by Wes | 6:05 pm | Comments (0)
May 15, 2018
RIP Tom Wolfe
Category: Ancient … Current Events … Serious

With the news of author Tom Wolfe's death, my first thought was, "Hey, didn't I do a comic about him way back when? I think I did!" And then I looked the comic up and... holy crap, lol. But I think that was a pretty common humor template back then: point out a potentially ludicrous thing, explain why it's potentially ludicrous, and punctuate the discussion with a desire for the perpetrator of the potential ludicrousness to die horribly. I still remember a bit on Garfield and Friends -- yes, Garfield the orange cat -- that ended with Garfield muttering, "People who sing like that should be dragged out into the street and shot." Again, this was on Garfield and Friends. Rating: TV-G. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 3:28 pm | Comments (0)
May 14, 2018
Spikes are definitely hostile design elements…
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

I just learned about "hostile design" today (via BBC Trending), and I'm finding it really fascinating. On the one hand, you have design features that could be useful to some groups but harmful to others: for example, railing on benches can provide support for the elderly (or just make for relaxing armrests for anyone reclining upright) but prevent homeless people from sleeping on the benches. And then you have other features that seem designed only to prevent people from using the item in an "undesirable" fashion, like benches with awkwardly placed bars that clearly aren't intended to provide support or comfort to anyone and therefore definitely discourage horizontal repose. Hostiledesign.org has a number of photos of especially egregious examples of the latter; apparently NYC designers love putting spikes on surfaces to keep people from lying or even sitting on them. It's terrible, and yet I can't help being impressed by the diabolical ingenuity and audacity of some of these approaches. SPIKES. Victor von Doom approves.

-posted by Wes | 4:56 pm | Comments (0)
April 20, 2018
DC, It’s Been A While.
Category: Miscellany … Travels

Tonight I had a thing in DC -- and since driving to a metro station and riding the metro during rush hour aren't my favorite activities, I figured I'd head into DC several hours early and hang out for a bit. I think the last time I went into DC was before my ex broke things off and skipped town, so it felt a bit weird stepping off the metro and not seeing her leaning against a post in her sushi skirt or some stylish top hat or something. Also weird: the rows and rows of people all on their cell phones and all holding them basically the exact same way. I've seen that setup in movies and it's always struck me as artificial (though it makes for a nice visual), but holy shit people really do that.

Anyway, DC. I still enjoy the museums (today I mainly explored the African Art Museum; I don't recall ever having been there before; it was super neat and gave me things to ponder), but the bar scene... nope. Still seems to me like a bunch of kids all talking at the same time and trying to out-cool each other, which really means out-douche each other, and while that wasn't my scene even when I was 15 years younger it super-duper isn't my scene now. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:14 am | Comments (0)
April 5, 2018
Ratlantis!!! And stuff.
Category: Miscellany

So among the domains I own is Ratlantis (dot com)... which, unlike the others (Scary-Crayon and the site you're on right now), I've never really done anything with. I've never been inclined to give it up (it's too cool a name; it's almost as cool as Wesoteric), so I've always wanted to do something cool with it. Any suggestions?

At one point I'd envisioned a photo comic series (with underwater filters) about a few water-breathing rats and a talking human skull (which had once had flesh that the rats ate, because nothing endears a rat to a pal like consuming and digesting its face), but that just seemed kinda weird? Almost too weird. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 7:03 pm | Comments (0)
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