Sunday, January 29, 2012

Striking New Comics by Stephanie McMillan and Ted Rall

(originally published Jan. 27th)

ITEM: Ted Rall has been arguing against nonviolence as a sole tactic in the struggle for a long time. I sort of fall off the wagon when he recommends that black folks should be the first to rise up in violence against the state. I, for one, think that New York cartoonists should be the first to take on the might of drones and local police and state police and national guardsmen and if that wouldn't be enough the US military. Then, and I say this as an unofficial spokesperson of the Black Community, we shall watch your results and act accordingly. (Just for the record: Anonymous hacking is the way to go.) I suppose he joins his sometime animation cohort Stephanie McMillan, who draws, arguably, the most radical comic strip I have ever read, in making the argument that nonviolence won't beat the Nazis, or the friendly (sometimes gorgeous) face of American Fascism as foretold by Bertram Gross.
Related: Here's a taste of Stephanie's newest. She's been critical of the Occupy Movement as of late even though she's been an early and vocal supporter. This is a familiar plotline for all you Doonesbury/Mary Worth fans. Our two characters are using arms attained by a German drug dealer in order to attack a corporation known as Omnicorp to stop them performing a geoengineering experiment. Just like South Park...
More Related: Derrick Jensen, also one of Stephanie's collaborators and most likely to be shipped to the FEMA camps (looks like those camps are real Jesse Ventura notwithstanding...), has articulated this view with the Environmentalist's version of Star Wars. Also: The Gandhi Shield. And: A different Indian hero.
           ITEM: I will not be writing about She Who Cannot Be Named today. Or as I call her: The Face of Terror.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You probably won't get arrested for wearing this on a t shirt I think...

ITEM: Sigh. Why hasn't my photoshop work turned me into an international art superstar...? Not fair... 

You can even buy the tshirt if you don't mind being arrested on public obscenity charges. Great for schools I'm sure...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Or you could buy my photoshop art over at Cafe Press. Or not. Your call.

Or you could buy my art as a mousepad over at Cafe Press, which I haven't updated in over 10 years. Should probably do something about that...More art samples here. Nope I never sold any but people liked the work...

Stop SOPA. Stop PIPA.

     ITEM: No blackout for me because I just don't have that many readers where that will matter. But I will certainly support those efforts. I and 20 other people in the world love the Acid Jazz Channel apparently. There is no Acid Jazz Channel without Youtube. Youtube is probably dust if either SOPA or PIPA pass in their current forms. I'm going to do what I can as a citizen but we should all thank our lucky stars that powerful players  like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are on our side. Those lobbies are what's stopping SOPA and PIPA. Not the public good. Now if we could only get them to care about indefinite detention...Here's what you will find on Boing Boing's page today:
503: Service unavailable
Boing Boing is offline today, because the US Senate is considering legislation that would certainly kill us forever. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and would put us in legal jeopardy if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any links to copyright infringement.
This would unmake the Web, just as proposed in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We don't want that world. If you don't want it either, visit American for instructions on contacting your Senator. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this and other issues central to your freedom online.

Some late MLK commentary...

ITEM: I guess the above would be my commentary on MLK's birthday. Thanks to local activist Celeste Taylor for pointing this out to me on Facebook. My other commentary is that the drug war has pretty much destroyed The Dream, unless that dream is undermining public education and pushing as many black men as possible into the prison industrial complex. More on that issue over at Democracy Now. My African American president has done nothing to slow down the drug war and hasn't even made the easy call toward marijuana legalization. He could have made a difference with the California ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana. Firedoglake's Jon Walker lays this all out. Barack Obama: Not a field negro.

More inappropriate yet legal talk about MHS PR Flak Connie McNamara (Public Figure)

I had two headlines in mind but they kind of didn't fit.


ITEM: So I'm still thinking about this Connie McNamara MHS thing. You don't understand I used to sit in the woman's dorm room.* I think I sat on the floor as a clever psychological move to downplay the fact that I was a towering six five black guy. I think she was, what, 5 seven with heels...? Anyway, she described herself as being "mousy". And I thought, to myself certainly, well then "mousy is something I'm into apparently...". Now, when I watch her on these Youtube clips not only does she not seem "mousy" but she resonates, well, power. This is more in the line of a Game of Thrones Matriarch in Red. That might be the kind of power one emanates when one has great wealth. She might make low six figures in her current post and from other postings on the Internets one of her hobbies with her late husband was "refurbishing homes". Not the kind of hobby poor people can get into. Possibly a millionaire. Possibly making ends meet with three kids to feed even on a low six figure salary. Possibly looking at the rare occurrence of not having a job since she left college in 1985 (How many people can say that? Connie's emotional intelligence is off the charts...) since this somewhat tainted Zimmerman guy is leaving. Are they looking for a new team? I don't think I want to know...Or perhaps the power comes from something tragic. I did find out, not with any deep searches just the Google, that her husband died in 2006 leaving her with three children under the age of 10. I can't even imagine how painful that would be. Or what's tougher: telling your three young daughters that their father won't be coming home or facing off against Anderson Cooper? I have a feeling that if I survived the former that the latter would mean nothing...It would certainly make you stronger in a Nietzschean sense.

I also wanted to point out that when I mentioned that Connie, still a practicing Catholic from what I can tell and an early supporter of Liberation theology I'm just now beginning to surmise (our earliest conversations were about Archbishop Romero and the nuns that got slaughtered in El Salvador...) was "non abstinent and impulsive" as a young person in college I didn't mean that in a bad way.

(Aside: Connie was a serial monogamist like most Americans back during the years of 81 to 83. First with Curt the fiancé she didn't marry and then that black haired kid she saw Nikki Giovanni with when Curt was studying abroad and then Curt again when he got back...Doesn't make her a bad person. Words like "normal" and "healthy" come to mind.. I think the fiancé bit was a bit of rationalization, which means her Catholic upbringing had an effect on her...possibly more on this later...Must investigate. Hurm.)

I think that's the strongest part of her argument with Anderson Cooper on that show of his. Those words struck me as completely truthful and not talking points. Where I think she loses the argument is what kind of outside independent medical advice the board got or did they even seek it out. My guess is that they did not. This is where Connie admits that she wasn't in on those meetings with the medical staff, not independent of the board I'm guessing. The prevailing medical evidence seems to be that there just isn't that much of a risk of transmission. Though, after taking a look at the many many longshots that have happened at the Milton Hershey school such as in this particular instance perhaps the MHS board doesn't equate low percentages with no chance at all...and think of the damages if another child was infected. More on this later. Or I might wait another 30 years to comment more. Who knows.

Related: I signed this petition in favor of letting that kid in the school. Of course, in a strong and loving world this kid would have wonderful public schools to choose from with decent food and teacher/student ratios in the 16 to 1 range. He wouldn't have to be, what's the word, "adversarial" in order to get a decent education. The school has a wonderful shot because the board is full of republican operatives  and republican judges tend to be loyal. Plus they have an 8 billion dollar endowment. They'll get good lawyering. Just like when you're rich you can buy "reasonable doubt" you can probably also buy some kind of novel exception question that you can pitch to the appeals courts. Republicans tend to throw a lot of Hail Marys and they often win. The 2000 election being the most publicized outcome and this evil Texas redistricting plan being the latest late quarter throw to the endzone...the school should lose if the courts didn't tilt toward both Republicans and the rich. I guess we'll watch and see...

*These are my memories from the time I spent with Constance from 1981 through 1984 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I have not spoken to Connie in over 28 years although I think I sent her a letter back in I don't know why. I'd like to say I was drunk but I don't drink...

Review of Spaceman 3 over at Comics Forge

ITEM: I review Spaceman 3 here. Here's a snippet:
"Scenes of third world poverty strewn amidst almost unlimited tech advances. It’s what makes the world of Spaceman 3 so compelling. And so depressingly realistic."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Late Nite Around the Internets

Just some things I liked on Facebook.
Two depressing stories about fracking. One: EPA abandon's PA town over destroyed water. The president is a democrat right? Two: fracking tied to local Pittsburgh quake. I saw the tremors.
I am studying this Cory Doctorow video about The War Against Computation.
I will probably vote for Obama if the Justice Party doesn't get its act together. What choice have I got. I think these anti Romney ads are very effective.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GIF Animated Comic Book Covers

and one more:
Nov. 21

Occupy Pittsburgh Calls for International Solidarity Day Against BNY Mellon

Occupy Pittsburgh is calling for an International Solidarity and Action Day against BNY Mellon today. Or the kind of action that won't be widely reported in the corporate media we should guess. Occupy Pittsburgh has occupied the downtown public park, of which there is a dispute of how "public", of BNY Mellon for some several months now.

Here's the statement from the group:

Occupy Pittsburgh is calling out to the 99% around the world for a Day of International Solidarity and Action against BNY Mellon on January 10. This is the day we go before a judge to fight for our right to continue our nonviolent protest against the greed, corruption, and influence of the 1%. We ask that you stand with us and tell BNY Mellon, the bank of the 1% that you can’t evict an idea whose time has come!The People of Pittsburgh, like many others around the globe, answered the call to action that Occupy Wall Street put before the world on October 15th. Since then, we have peacefully rallied and occupied People’s Park, the space formerly known as Mellon Green. Pittsburgh’s is the only Occupation to reclaim land from a bank.BNY Mellon is now calling for Occupy Pittsburgh’s eviction. This is a blatant attempt by BNY Mellon to silence us and to prevent us from resisting the corruption by the 1% of our political and economic systems. In response, we have announced our own eviction of BNY Mellon from our city. BNY Mellon’s fraudulent and exploitative practices have denied its customers and its workers billions of dollars in wages and benefits. We are fighting to redefine the ethics of our economy and to resist corporate control of our cities, our spaces, our politics and our lives.The fight for People's Park is not just a fight over an encampment. It is a fight against the overwhelming dominance that corporations and markets exercise over the very conditions of existence. This fight is not about piece of land, but a fight against the 1% that hoards life’s resources, corrupt our democracy, silence free speech, and poison our planet !We have one response: You can’t evict an idea whose time has come!

There has been a legal attempt by BNY Mellon to remove the Occupy Pittsburgh protesters, who have winterized their occupation to the best of their ability and partly thanks to local groups and Firedoglake's Occupy Supply efforts. In fact, this reporter was there when various supplies were handed out at the camp several weeks ago. Just a personal observation: that is not the easiest kind of protesting that I have seen.

Occupy Pittsburgh also asks that if you're participating in today's action that you do these things as a show of support:

  • Hold non-violent demonstrations against BNY Mellon around the world (the bank’s corporate headquarters is One Wall Street, New York City).  As a multinational banking institution BNY Mellon has offices around the globe including offices in; Boston, London, Moscow, Sydney, Cairo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many other population centers around the world
  • Wear bandanas, Guy Fawkes masks, or similar coverings to express solidarity with the anonymous and amorphous “99%” in general and the 50 Jane Does and 50 John Does named in the lawsuit in particular. This, of course, is merely a suggestion subject to the comfort level of those involved;
  • Engage in autonomous direct actions ***;
  • Send mail supporting Occupy Pittsburgh to BNY Mellon’s Pittsburgh office (500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15258) with the return address of #1 People’s Park, Pittsburgh PA 15219; and
  • Temporarily change your addresses on Facebook and other web sites to #1 People’s Park, Pittsburgh PA 15219;
  • If you would like assistance coordinating a traditional media presence or institutional turnout please email
***Occupy Pittsburgh and our allies will not endorse, plan, or coordinate any unlawful or violent actions.
You can read the entire press release at Occupy Pittsburgh's website.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Review of Aldebaran over at Comics Forge

My entry for cover blurb is: "Stunning, really.
Not unlike falling into a colorful sensuous surreal dream.
You don't want to leave. Or wake up."

Saturday, January 07, 2012

More Milton Hershey Communications Vice President Connie McNamara Porn

Ooooh. The Red Dress.

Amanda Bearse in Fright Night is pretty close to the Connie McNamara I knew 1981 - 1983, except that Connie has prettier eyes. We worked the same IUP campus job about, what, 10 to 15 hours a week? And she was nice to me. Obviously this was pure torture for me...I got to look at that everyday. Might be a reason why I started crying...withdrawal.

ITEM: Still figuring out if I should spill the deep dark secrets of my past friend Connie McNamara. (Don't know if Connie still considers me a friend or considers me at all. I would bet good money on the latter. Not that I care about it. I might be lying about that last thing I said.) It should also be pointed out, since I'm stupid and I hadn't considered that some people might think this is recent, that all this 1 in 7 billion stuff happened about 30 years ago from 1981 and 1983 on IUP's campus. Hey, its one of the advantages of being old and knowing about the Before Time when the info I've been able to get about Connie within an hour (Is she updating her linked in page and why..) would have taken a team of reporters weeks to do in the 80s. I'm thinking about writing a long several thousand word piece on it and seeing how and if it might sell via the Kindle. Would be fun to find out and I'm trying to build a library.
Actually it would be very positive stuff. Here's something I wrote already for this longer essay I had in mind.

This would be the beginning:
"In fact, Connie McNamara is probably the coolest woman I’ve ever known and with the benefit of 30 years of hindsight probably the best friend I’ve ever had."
This would be the end.
 "Some of the best and kindest moments of my life were spent with Connie McNamara ."

Just add several thousand words in between
But its not going to all be that nice. It can't be. Nobody's that saintly. For example when Connie McNamara looks into the camera with Anderson Cooper and talks about those impulsive kids who don't  choose abstinence might interact with this HIV kid well...I know for a fact that she was one of those non abstinent impulsive do I know this? I've seen the serene Afterglow too many times up close and personal.(Not the only evidence I have by the way...) No it wasn't me we never even held hands. It's complicated. And Connie has three little girls now. Maybe she wants to lie to them like any good parent. I don't know.*

Plus I've suppressed these memories because they're painful. I'm crying again. I don't cry over stuff. Attacked by two 100 pound rottweilers in this neighborhood. Didn't cry. Threatened by the Klan, personally. Didn't cry. Probably cried 10 times since 1984. Seven of those times can be attributed to Connie I might wimp out. But I'm running out of time. I know this could be a really good essay. I might even be able to shop this...So...I'll work on another freelance assignment for another few days and come back to this...

*If terrifying people in the 717 vicinity who resemble Amanda Bearse are troubled by anything that I've written on this post send me an email and I'll remove it. My email is You must do this within  a week that its posted.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

How is Connie McNamara 1 in 7 billion people?

ITEM: Out of 7 billion people on this planet Connie McNamara, the woman in this video,  is the only person to tell me "I love you."* (Relatives don't count although its nice to hear.) Born to play Peter Pan in your neighborhood revival show...I would write more about this and my relationship with her if Connie hadn't reduced me to a puddle of my own tears at least several times..I might be Yella. I think the school is clearly wrong but she's so good...Like Walken in every movie.  
*Note because I'm stupid. it should be stated: These events occurred more than 30 years ago from 1981 to 1983 at IUP's campus.