Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help the Hoffmans

This has been around the blogosphere a couple days, but if you haven't already seen it, go and read this at Blog@Newsarama. This is not directly comics-related, it's much more important.

To sum up, Carla Hoffman, who many will know from her contributions to Blog@Newsarama, along with her husband, Lance, were caught in the fires in California. They both received severe burns. The good news is that, medically, it seems like they're going to be all right. The bad news is they still lost their home, and they will no doubt have some hefty medical bills.

As noted in the article, there is a fund set up to help them:

The Lance and Carla Burn Fund
Santa Barbara Bank and Trust
1483 East Valley Road
Montecito, CA 93108-1248

I've met Carla only briefly, at this year's San Diego, but I can tell you that she is remarkably nice, and passionate about comics, and she not only writes about them but she works on the front lines of comics retail. She is, in short, one of the good ones. The comics community has always been remarkably generous when it comes to helping those in our community who need a hand, so I'm hoping the same will be true now. Especially given the current economy and how near we are the holidays, which makes this hit all the more hard.

Can Someone Explain the Appeal of Joe Lieberman?

I wish I could say that I'm surprised that the Dems decided to keep Lieberman not only in the caucus, but at the head of the Homeland Security Commission, where he's been complicit in malfeasance in New Orleans, Iraq and elsewhere by not investigating any wrong-doing after Katrina, or by Blackwater, or indeed seemingly anything.

But if history has shown us anything, it's that the Democratic Congress and House of Representatives seems to have little to no balls at all. I mean, the Republicans may be the enemy of almost everything I stand for, but Jesus, at least they have the cojones to stand up and fight for what they believe. All too often, the Democrats have just knuckled under, calling it "compromise" and "bi-partisanship."

So in that spirit, let me just ask: What do we, the Democrats, gain by having Lieberman there? Was it so important to keep him in the caucus that they couldn't risk him getting mad and bolting after pulling his chairmanship? Is he so convincing a figure that his vote actually equals a half-dozen votes or more? Does he always bring the best potato salad to the Democratic/Connecticut for Lieberman two-party barbecues?

The talking points against this have been "We shouldn't be seeking revenge, it goes against the message." But this was never about revenge. Sure, some of us (OK, me) who have always disliked Lieberman's censorship happy, pro-Iraq War, right-leaning version of Democratic policy were incensed by his actions during the Presidential election. But... we won. His smears against Obama didn't work, and he was ultimately as helpful to John McCain winning the White House as he was to Al Gore in 2000.

But I've seen lots of arguments that we *shouldn't* strip him of his chairmanship, that we shouldn't kick him out of the caucus... can anyone tell me why? What exactly does he bring to the table? Is it just a matter of "We're showing that we can be the bigger person?," which is childish and naive political policy? Is "Because Joe might get mad at us?" really enough to make the Dems back down? And if so, just what is it going to take for Senate and House Dems to grow a pair? I don't want a replay of the last 8 years, where the Republicans controlled all three branches of government and still complained about being the minority party. The Dems won. They've got Executive and Legislative Branches all but sewn up. But if they're going to act like the Republicans and their allies (which Lieberman is, let's be honest) are still calling the shots, then what was the point of the election?

Further (Nicer) Thoughts on D&D Minis

Despite my impassioned rant (and remember, Internet anger equals about a third of real anger) against the new Demonweb set, I did pick up four boxes, just to see what I'd get. There were a few minis I wanted in the set, and I wanted to see if I would wind up with tons of mushrooms, etc.

Well, yes and no. The fact is, having bought four boxes, I got a half dozen minis I thought were pretty cool, and only a few that I thought were ridiculous. Only one Kruthik, two "Scythejaws" (what the hell are these? When will I use them) and two Guard Drakes, which would have been handy for the 1st level adventure I ran a couple months ago, but are almost useless now.

I got four rares in four boxes. One was a Girallon, which was annoying because I already have two, and also because the new Girallon mini is kind of ugly. The others, though, were without exception pretty nice. The red and brown-colored Autumn Ranger is a nice piece, and should make a great mini for one of my players. A Black Dragon is always welcome (even though I've already got about three, of varying sizes, from other sets). But my favorite was the *massive* Brutal Ogre Warhulk. You put that solid piece of plastic down on the table, your PCs are going to know they're in for a fight. It's bigger than the dragon, and has some nice detail as well.

The other standouts were the new Warforged (pretty nice, although not really useful to me until 2009 when Eberron returns) and the Drow Assassin. I've got lots of drow, but this is a really nice mini.

I'm not sure how many I'll buy out of this set. I dodged most of the ones I didn't want (the Slaad, the evil mushroom, the sarcophagus, the kruthik) and there are only a few in the set I'd really like to get (the Rakshasa assassin and the Cyclops, both rare, and the common Hobgoblin Warcaster). I'll probably try a couple more, but the odds of getting something I don't want have gone up, since I had a pretty good early pull.

So I take back a little bit of the venom I slung at this set a few days back. But I still think it's beyond stupid that there are no Uncommon or Common Dragonborn, and even moreso that all the Dragonborn they've presented have been variations on the paladin and fighter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - November 12, 2008

BPRD The Warning #5 (Concluding the latest series with some great apocalyptic visions, and Guy Davis, amazingly, just continues to get better and better)
Naoki Urasawa's Monster Vol 17 (The penultimate volume! Can't wait to see how this all turns out)
Walking Dead #54 (Back on an upswing for me, with new characters, a new direction and... an explanation for how the zombies came about? Unexpected, but cool)
Warhammer 40k Exterminatus #4 (Inquisitor vs. Chaos - very cool 40K stuff, would be my favorite this week except...)
Warhammer 40k Fire & Honor #3 (This, the Imperial Guard (read: tough as hell army regulars with tanks) vs. evil Tau conspiracy on a planet they were supposed to defend. Very cool sci-fi military action.)

Booster Gold #14 (Time-traveling battles versus Starro, guest starring Girl Chronos. Kind of fun, actually)
Cleaners #1 (Interesting premise, nice art, crime scene clean-up crew faces the supernatural)
Fables #78 (New villain is kind of... meh. I'm still reading, but I think for me Fables ended at #75)
Push #1 (Pretty solid little psychic military adventure... beautiful Jock cover)
Warhammer Crown Of Destruction #2 (Kieron Gillen's Warhammer fantasy comic continues to impress, although I'm not as certain of the artwork, two issues on... it's a little stiff and uneven)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Few Thoughts on George R.R. Martin and Game of Thrones

Last night, I finished reading the second volume of the Song of Fire & Ice, A Clash of Kings. I loved it, as much as I enjoyed Game of Thrones a few months back. It's been awhile since I got drawn into a fantasy series, but Fire & Ice is fantastic. Now I've got two more books to read until I'm caught up, although I'm afraid to catch up, because the fifth book isn't planned for availability until April, and who knows how long I'll have to wait until six and seven get finished after that.

I've actually been a fan of Martin's since his work on the Wild Cards book series when I was younger. But Game of Thrones is even better, a really fully fleshed-out world with great characters and stronger moment-to-moment writing than most fantasy novels offer. So I was excited when it was announced that HBO had the option to adapt the seven novels into seven seasons of television, and today they announced that they've green-lighted the pilot. I am of course nervous about the series' chances, given the traditionally high cost of fantasy and HBO's history with shows like Deadwood and Rome, but I'm also super-excited to see what happens.

I'm also anxiously awaiting the late Green Ronin Fire & Ice role-playing game, and hoping it'll be out in the next couple of weeks.

But... the announcement of the HBO pilot got linkage everywhere, and Blog@Newsarama linked to Martin's blog, which I followed. And not only is the guy a great writer with at least two great series under his belt (one as co-writer/co-editor, one as sole creator), but he's also a big, outspoken Obama fan.

Unlike Orson Scott Card, another well-known author who, it should be remembered, is a homophobic douchebag.

A Non-Political Aside About Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

This post is aimed at the extremely niche readership that cares about D&D gaming. A lot. Too much, really. Everybody else should probably just wait for my next post praising Obama or bitching about Prop 8. ;)

Some minor waves went through the gaming community lately, when Wizards of the Coast announced that they were discontinuing the skirmish element of their miniatures line, changing up the packaging and, oh yeah, jacking up the price a bit.

But, judging based on their last random pack set, Demonweb, I say "Bring on the new, ungodly expensive but hopefully more focused set!"

One of the biggest requests we've gotten at my shop, since 4th edition? Dragonborn miniatures. They were the big new race in 4th edition, and there are tons of folks playing Dragonborn. Paladins, Warriors, Wizards, Clerics, everything. Do you know how many Dragonborn miniatures there were in the first 4th edition set, Against the Giants?

Two. And they were rare. Both were fighter types.

OK, so surely they'll rectify that in the next set, right? Well, behold the gallery.

There are two more. One is another frikkin' paladin, the other is a very specific, barely usable epic-looking dude with wings. And they are both rare.

You know what's uncommon, which means you'll get one every couple of packs? Well, there's a warforged, despite the fact that they haven't reintroduced the warforged yet (save in a Dragon article) and Eberron won't even be out until 2009. There's a fucking evil mushroom. Let me tell you, if I'm a consumer, every time I open a pack of expensive plastic miniatures and not only don't get the dragonborn warlock that I've been playing for several months, but I get another fucking evil mushroom? My head's gonna explode.

There are a ton of wildly specific, mostly unusable miniatures in this set. Another Girallon? Seriously? Who at WOTC has a hard-on for four-armed gorillas? Kruthik? Goddamn Kruthik? Who even uses Kruthik, except for those of us running the modules written by folks at WOTC who think people give two shits about the Kruthik? And I'd happily use little red glass beads to represent Kruthik if you'd give me a few options for your brand new showpiece race the Dragonborn instead.

As a last set for the current D&D miniatures model, this looks like an utter failure. Maybe I'm wrong, and after I open a few packs, I'll see the wisdom of having the same number of Slaad as the number of Dragonborn, or I'll want to create an amazing module populated by evil mushrooms, sarcophagi and Kruthik.

But I very much doubt it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More on Prop 8

Governor Schwarzenegger, despite being a Republican, spoke out against Prop 8 and encouraged the gay community to continue fighting.

This makes me feel so much better about loving Total Recall, Predator and so many other '80s Schwarzenegger movies.

But here's the key thing that jumped out at me:

"Sherrie Derriko, a longtime Saddleback Church member and hair salon owner from Mission Viejo, said she was bothered that protesters had targeted houses of worship. As she drove by, she rolled down her window to offer some advice.

"Read the Bible. God made man and woman, and that's what a marriage is," she called from inside her SUV.

Derriko recounted the incident after attending services. "When we saw them out there, we thought, 'Why are they not over this? Do they think they're going to change anything, or are they just stirring up trouble at our church?'""

Are you f*&^cking kidding me? "Why aren't they over this?" Lady, they didn't get turned down for a loan or not get a job they interviewed for. The majority of the people in the state they live in told them that their lifestyle is illegal. Not just immoral, illegal. Would you give up after a couple of days if religion were banned?

And the complete smugness is so clear in the quote. "She called from inside her SUV." Tells them to "Read the Bible." This is the extent of deep thought the woman has given the issue.

I can imagine she heard some very un-Christian remarks directed at her in response.

Keith Olbermann on Prop 8

I know some don't like Keith Olbermann, folks I respect, like my dad. I know some absolutely despise him, folks I like, like Thom Zahler.

This special comment, offered not with the usual anger (which I love, quite honestly) but with a sincerity and a genuine hurt that maps almost exactly to how I feel about this puzzling, backwards anti-gay marriage, forgive me but there is no other word *bullshit*, is exactly why I like Olbermann.

Like Olbermann, I have no personal stake in this. I don't have any close gay friends that I can think of, just gay acquaintances. No one in my family, at least no one that I know of, is gay. I've never been to a gay wedding, I don't see any invitations in my future. On a personal level, this affects me not at all.

But on a basic human rights level, the notion that we should treat a group of human beings as other, just disgusts me. If you voted yes on Prop 8 or one of its compatriots, if you would vote yes on a ban on gay marriage, then part of you is a bigot, and you need to deal with that part. Really examine why this is so important, really examine how much of a difference there is between laws preventing gay marriage and the laws that, until the late '60s, prevented mixed race couples from marrying. The same arguments were used then, that allowing mixed race marriages would change the definition of marriage, would destroy the institution.

We've managed to simultaneously move the country forward one giant leap and yet stumble backward several important steps. And as happy as many of us are about President Obama, it's hard to celebrate when that election also came with this awful, dehumanizing price for so many.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Blog Update for October 2008

This is the latest monthly update to the right column of the blog, updating my favorite comics and TV for the previous month. The listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published. This is basically also my own records of what I read/liked for the inevitable "End of Year" lists I feel like making.

I don't know if it was my investment in politics, a lame month or (more likely) a combination of both, but this was a pretty weak month for single issues. So much so that I was only able to put together a top 19, even including a couple weaker contenders in the mix, and even though it was a five week month. I still had no trouble putting together a Top 5, as there were plenty of great single issues like Criminal, RASL and BPRD, but... not a great month for single issues. DC lost me entirely this month (and the solicits don't look promising for the future), as they had only 2, the now-cancelled all-ages Family Dynamic and the slowly-losing-my-love Fables. No DC Universe at all. Also taking 2 slots? Boom! (with two Warhammer books), Dark Horse (BPRD and Usagi), IDW (GI Joe and Welcome to Hoxford) and Image (Dynamo 5 and Walking Dead). There were two indies (RASL and The Corps), and, dominating my single issue, reading, Marvel, with 7 books (Brubaker's Criminal, Cap and (co-written) Uncanny and the Rosemann-edited group of Marvel Zombies, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thunderbolts).

Started working on the second Son of Ice & Fire novel this month, and I'm about halfway through... greatly enjoying it. Also played a little Force Unleashed, a little Mass Effect and a lot of RocK Band 2.

October was a weak month for comics, but a decent month for TV, as my Top 10 is finally, once again, a Top 10. Although one is a cheat, as I finished up seasons four and five of The Wire on DVD. I have to say, seasons two and four are my favorite, although both rely on character and plot work from the other three to really have their effect. Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles continues to impress, and now that it's gotten better, of course it's ratings are slipping and the impending move to Friday is worrisome. The Shield also returned from a shaky start to once again become riveting television, and I can't wait to watch the last three episodes. Pushing Daisies is, as always, sweet, fun and strange and, more than likely, doomed. Chuck is fun, and definitely shaking off any problems it had early on to become a lean little comedy-action show. How I Met Your Mother and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, unfortunately, started strong and then got weaker. I'm just barely hanging on to HIMYM at this point (the whole Stella plot was a *huge*, uninteresting waste of time) and, while Sunny continues to amuse from time to time, the first two episodes of the season were so good, and I'm missing that consistency. The Office, meanwhile, has been brilliant (Amy Ryan was *such* an awesome addition, and the Jim/Pam stuff has thus far been fantastic as well) and 30 Rock *finally* returned with a hilarious first episode.

In RSS feeds, I added two political feeds (humor/political site 23/6 and the awesome Margaret and Helen) and one webcomics feed (Action Age Comics!). I read FiveThirtyEight.com (who were the most accurate pollsters of the season, according to the Rachel Maddow show's analysis) throughout the election season, but I'm probably not going to follow them at the moment.

Weekly Comics - October 29th and November 5th

OK, I got a little behind here, but in my defense, there hasn't been a really great week for comics in quite a while, and my enthusiasm for the weekly reads is at a low as a result.

For November 5th:
BPRD Vol 9 1946 TP (Fantastic, the only thing holding it back from being as great as the other BPRD stuff is the lack of Guy Davis, and Paul Azaceta is no slouch)
Fishtown HC (Beautiful art, compellingly creepy story, gorgeous production values)
Kull #1 (This was actually really great, very different from Conan, with nice art and a good fantasy vibe...maybe it's because I'm reading George RR Martin books again, but I was definitely in the mood for this kind of book and the creative team delivered)
Liquid City TP (Beautiful looking anthology out of Southeast Asia)
Question Vol 3 Epitaph For A Hero TP (More '80s zen noir, this book lives up to its rep)

Gemini #3 (Looong delay between issues, but still really good)
Gigantic #1 (Intriguing opener, fun genre, amazing artwork)
Marvel Zombies 3 #2 (Surprisingly fun, and I can actually see myself picking this up in collected format)
Notes Over Yonder HC (New Scott Morse - always welcome)
Warhammer Condemned By Fire TP (My favorite Warhammer Fantasy series yet)

For October 29th:
Empowered Vol 4 TP (Best volume yet of this sexy, funny series)
Northlanders #11 (Here's how I know this was a weak week for me... one of my top five is a book I'm three issues behind on reading now. I loved the trade, I'll definitely pick up volume two, but I'm not sure if I'm still reading in single issues)
Nova #18 (Very good, as always)
Usagi Yojimbo #115 (A particularly good issue of Usagi, with one of my favorite supporting characters and some awesome action)
Venice Chronicles HC (Travel journal with gorgeous art by Enrico Casarosa)

Avengers Initiative #18 (I've been digging this book, but I think I forgot to read this issue)
Incredible Hercules #122 (Ditto)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Rahm Emanuel - Chief of Staff?

The New York Times has this piece, with the headline "Capital Asking - Politics As Usual?"

Really? Less than two days after the election, we're already dipping into that well?

But despite the headline and editorial slant of "this looks like a bad idea," it actually gives me a lot of hope for Emanuel. I don't know the guy, although I'll be doing some research in the next couple of days, but here are my takeaways from the piece:

*He swears a lot. It's implied that he loves the "F" word. So we've got that in common.

*Like Obama, he looks like a relatively (49) young, ambitious guy who hasn't been a decades-long fixture in the current political machine, but who nonetheless has become "one to watch" very quickly

*He's willing to go at his own party, which included pissing off Hilary Clinton when he was in the White House. Look, I'm not a Hilary hater, but somebody who ruffles Hilary's feathers is at this point, a plus to me.

*The Republicans hate him for his partisanship. Which, of course, I like. Just because Obama plans to run a bipartisan administration, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some die-hard Democrats in there. Especially if they're going to have to battle it out with Republican appointments in his cabinet or staff as well. He has some Republican friends, but it's clear that he leans Democrat. That's about where I'd like him to be.

*Joe Scarborough thinks it's a bad idea. For that alone, I'd almost say it's the right way to go. ;)

He may turn it down, for family reasons, which I could totally respect. But if Emanuel does take the job, to me, it looks like a good first pick.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Promise I'll Stop With The Gloating... Maybe in 2010

But this is just as sweet and uplifting as it was before the election. Better, actually, because now I know that all my hopes aren't going to get dashed like they were in 2000 and 2004.

An Appeal for Compromise

Look, I know this is a sensitive issue.

There are stark, important divides, and both sides have a point.

On one side, you have people arguing about a tradition that goes back to their grandfathers.

On the other, people saying that youthful energy and change should be the order of the day, and just because it has always been one way, it doesn't always have to be that way.

But I think we can all find some sort of compromise on this point.

Really, isn't it OK to have both slow moving zombies *and* fast moving zombies in our pop culture?

Simon Pegg says no.

What? What did you think I was talking about?

Politics: More Thoughts and Linkblogging

You know, I'm a little worried... I thought my political obsession would end when Obama won. But it hasn't. I'm still much more casually interested in comics, TV, movies and videogames than I was about a year ago. Everything I've written about, what my career has become (in the case of comics), has taken a bit of a backseat to politics. This is worrisome, because unlike my place in the small pond of comics, I'm not really in a place to get there with politics. I'm way too old to work my way up to political pundit, and way too atheist to actually get into politics. ;)

I've been spending much of the night catching up on the very early post-mortem reactions from all the blogs I follow, and here are some of the pieces that moved me, in one way or another:

Margaret and Helen:
"I feel good, but I will feel even better when Barbara Walters slaps the crap out of Elisabeth Hasselbeck."

Fivethirtyeight.com: Chicago The Day After:
"We suspect we're not alone. Right now, organizers, full-time volunteers, campaign staff, and everyone else who gave single-minded effort toward November 4 are waking up and saying to themselves and each other, "what do I do with myself?" Their cars are messes, their rooms disaster zones, and they've been cut off from friends and family for God knows how long."

23/6: President Bush's Legacy: President Obama:
"Speaking of Bush, it is clear now, if it wasn't before, what his legacy is going to be: Obama.

Bush will be known for ushering in the Obama era, the way Herbert Hoover was known for ushering in FDR or Pete Best was known for preceding Ringo."

Paul Krugman: The Monster Years:
"What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people."

Christopher Frizelle at Slog: Majority Rules:
"One got the startling sense last night that we were bigger in number than we realized. It is possible to deeply internalize your family’s fucked up Republican arrogance, to believe on some level that you are outnumbered—as another of my relatives, also a diehard Republican, likes to chirp whenever we talk about politics, “Majority ruuu-ules!”—and one great gift of last night was the realization not only that there are lots of liberals out there (duh) but also that there are enough people out there who like liberals to make this happen (easy to forget). Obama has made liberalism likable again."

Savage Love Letter: Gay Days in Utah:
"I think there are many gay and lesbian citizens who, like me, are enraged by the campaign in support of prop 8. As you know a large chunk of the funding came from the Mormon Church. Instead of just bottling our rage, let’s all get on planes and trains, and in automobiles, and go to Utah. The plan would be for gay and lesbians to visit Utah en masse to make the point that if religious folk are going to encroach on our lives, we will encroach on theirs."

Dan Savage: Black Homophobia:
"I’m not sure what to do with this. I’m thrilled that we’ve just elected our first African-American president. I wept last night. I wept reading the papers this morning. But I can’t help but feeling hurt that the love and support aren’t mutual."

Paul Constant at Slog:
"When Obama gave his speech last night, he looked relieved, yes, and assured, yes, but he also looked tired. And it was the kind of tired you see on the face of someone who’s run five miles and has to go fifteen miles more before he or she sleeps. Intellectually, he realizes the burden of a presidency, and he’s getting ready for it. It’s amazing to watch. Here’s a man who’s giving up the rest of his life for this national service, and, completely understanding what it means, he’s doing it willingly. That’s a kind of heroism."

Talking Points Memo watches The Republican Party begin to eat itself:
"Randy Scheunemann, a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain, was fired from the Arizona senator's campaign last week for what one aide called "trashing" the campaign staff, three senior McCain advisers tell CNN.

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides."

Greg Sargent: Obama's Win A Death Knell for 1960s Cultural Politics?
"There's a tidy symmetry in the fact that Obama defeated, in succession, both the Clinton machine and the Rove-Atwater brand of politics that Republicans have honed for so long.

In so doing, Obama defeated not one, but both of the leading practitioners of that 1960s-rooted cultural politics. More to the point, he did this by quite literally running against politics as both those groups practiced it."

Jeff Parker: Congratulations Obama:
"What a night. I’m so ridiculously, unabashedly proud of America right now I can’t tell you. Maybe our motto should be, as would also apply to our stalled entry into World War 2, “We’ll screw up and drop the ball most of the time, but right at the very last minute of the eleventh hour when it’s almost too late- we’ll do the right thing!”"

My Less Gracious Obama Victory Post

Awash in the unity mantra of my candidate, happy with an election that actually went for my party, feeling for the first time in eight years like we started digging up instead of deeper to get out of the shithole that over 50% of the country seemed to want us in, last night I offered up a fairly congenial "we're all in this together" post with only the slightest bit of anger in the form of the late, great Bill Hicks.

This is not that post. Chris Hunter, you can probably stop reading now.

We've won a great victory. Those of us who voted for Obama realize it now. Many of you who didn't will hopefully realize that in the next year or two. But as I said on Twitter last night, we've won a battle, not the larger war for our country.

Michelle Bachmann, she of the "let's root out the un-Americans in Congress" McCarthyite opinion, was re-elected.

Ted Stevens, convicted felon, author of the Bridge to Nowhere who famously refused to relocate funds for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, is looking like he's getting re-elected. (Between that and Palin, is Alaska this year's Florida?)

George W Bush, Dick Cheney and their many cronies both corporate and government, are going to walk away from their thorough, unrepentant fucking of our government, its economy and its military without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Bill O'Reilly is still being paid $10 million to be a douchebag spreading a mixture of hatred and bullshit on the air.

Despite my fervent wishing and hoping, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter continue to draw upon our nation's precious oxygen reserves.

And most noxiously, the Mormon Church funneled obscene amounts of money from their tax-free churches into passing Proposition 8, which *took away* the right of marriage from gays in California. Anti-gay measures passed elsewhere (including Arizona), but in the blue state of California, it stings even more that it passed with such a near margin.

There's still plenty to be pissed about. Do not think we will forget. We may forgive, in order to move towards a unity this country desperately needs, but we will not forget. Unfortunately, while everyone was busy talking about how great this country is for getting past its racist roots and electing a black President, many of the same people who voted for a black President also voted to strip the rights from homosexuals. The hypocrisy of this position seems lost on many. But while yesterday was a huge step in the right direction in terms of living up to our promise of "all men being created equal" we've still got a lot of steps left.

Btw, "men" in the "human" sense, not "male" sense. But clearly the country still has some equality issues with women to deal with as well.

For those who hoped that the election ending would put an end to my political posts, sorry... I've still got plenty to say. More than ever, in fact. We're taking baby steps in the right direction. It's up to us to make sure that in all ways, large and small, we continue on that path.


Sorry, I'm a bit jubilant at the moment.

To the young voters: Thank you. You guys actually showed up this time. It made a difference.

To my fellow Obama voters and supporters:

To those Republicans who voted for Obama, or who took the words from his speech, or McCain's concession speech to heart: Let's concentrate on our common ground, and maybe we can hammer out our differences on gay marriage, birth control, church and state and other issues in a rational way.

And to those Republicans who booed Obama during McCain's speech, and the many Palin supporters like them, I offer this:

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Last Pre-Election 2008 Post From Randy

Get out and vote, if you haven't already. Obviously, I'm less fanatical about this if you're planning on voting for McCain/Palin. ;)

But I'd really love it if we could set some kind of turnout record for this election. The first step in a democratic republic that works is showing the politicians that you give enough of a shit to try and use the process for (and against) them. Even if they can game the system through voting machine hacking, purging voter rolls, etc., there are still a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them, and purging 5% of the electorate wouldn't matter much if 100% of the electorate were voting.

I'm off from work tomorrow. I expect I'll be glued to MSNBC from the moment I wake up, and probably Twittering, at least until Twitter inevitably explodes from all the extra political traffic.

A warning to my conservative friends and acquaintances... I'm going to be insufferable tomorrow. I'm either going to be gloating like I just won the Superbowl single-handedly or expressing the most violent hatred of your party and its pundits that you've ever heard.

Probably both, actually. Even on a good day, I keep hoping Bill O'Reilly will have a fatal collision with Ann Coulter, and the resulting ego explosion will take out Rush Limbaugh. ;)

More from Morrison

The ten-part interview series concludes today, and includes this:

"In a world, I’m reliably told, that’s going to the dogs, the real mischief, the real punk rock rebellion, is a snarling, ‘fuck you’ positivity and optimism. Violent optimism in the face of all evidence to the contrary is the Alpha form of outrage these days. It really freaks people out."

I love this notion. Go read the entire interview series, it's really good.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Grant Morrison on religion

This entire 10-part series on All Star Superman has been must-reading, and reminds me why, despite not being all that crazy about Final Crisis or Batman R.I.P., I totally get why a lot of people are into it. Morrison is one of the more thoughtful, unusual writers in comics today, and seeing his thoughts on one of his masterpieces like All Star Superman has been great.

But seeing his take on religion, bravely put out there to an audience (Newsarama) that's not always the most sophisticated in its response, made me happy, especially when his views on organized religion seem to hew pretty close to my own.