Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A scary Halloween bedtime story...

If you're in California, and you can't bear to vote for any other person on the ballot, please, please vote for Debra Bowen. This is important. Watch this for a spine-tingling picture of why it's so important.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

3,000 commas + 655,000 commas = ?

We're going to help the Iraqi people. Remember, 12 million of them voted in elections last December. That probably seems like a decade ago to you, but when the history is finally written, it will be just a comma.
-- George W. Bush

It might be "just a comma" to Dubya, but it's 3,000 brave servicemen and women dead. There's a comma in that figure because we write out figures that way. However, there are a hell of a lot more commas in Iraq when you take accepted scientific statistical practices and apply them to civilian deaths in Iraq since we walked in there and took over. The figure that the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the British medical journal The Lancet came up with comes from a survey of Iraqi families done by a group of brave doctors, and statistical extrapolations after that, the same kind that is used in almost any kind of statistical analysis. The figure they came up with of civilian deaths since 2003: 655,000 souls.

If we sum the two together, there have been 658,000 deaths in Iraq since "Shock and Awe." That's almost 2/3 of a MILLION people. This has ceased to be just a war in the third world and has become a genocide. Not quite yet in the ballpark of Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot, but closer to the Tutsi body count in Rwanda.

Do we really want all this on our consciences? Maybe we don't want it, but it's there in spite of our wishes. And we are continuing to add onto the body count with every day we stay in the country once thought of as the "cradle of civilization."

Think about it. This won't be a comma in the history books, it will be a big black blot.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tomorrow I get "Rejuvenile" with Christopher Noxon

Tomorrow, at High Noon, I meet up with Christopher Noxon, author of Rejuvenile, for a discussion about a very familiar subject to me. Adults that simply won't put away their childish things. Seriously: I build lightsabres, I write about comics, cartoons and toys, I cosplay, I go to geek cons, and I am back in College 20+ years behind the usual socially expected time frame. Most of my friends are younger than me at this point.

Anyway, we're meeting at Castle Park in Sherman Oaks. Richie will be my camera guy and I'll also be recording audio. A future Cartoon Geeks podcast will feature our conversation.

I grew up in the Valley and actually saw this landmark being built. Chris is also someone who has childhood memories of the place. This should be fun.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The day the music died, 2006-stylee

Lost in time, like tears in rain...

The bell has tolled for Tower Records. I remember taking long trips on the bus from the Valley to pay the Tower on Sunset a visit...the one in Sherman Oaks was within walking distance, but it wasn't the same. The Tower Records on the Sunset Strip was a place of pilgrimage. This was the store the stars shopped at. It was a few blocks from the Whisky and the Roxy and a few blocks in the other direction from the Continental Riot House and the Chateau Marmont. For a rock-crazy kid who grew up in the 1970s this was Jerusalem, Al'Makkah and The Vatican all wrapped up in one.

Unfortunately the place was doomed. It's all au courant to blame the accelerating demise of the record store on the iPod, but there's a whole lot of blame to go around. Overpriced CDs, the reprehensible antics of the RIAA, revelations about just how screwed musicians get by the major (and some indie) labels, the rise of mega eCommerce sites like Amazon, the rise of evil big box brick-and-mortar stores, etc...there is so much that is utterly fuxored about the music industry all I can do is just throw up my hands and give up. And stop buying my music new.

Stick a fork in it, Tower Records is done. The whole chain has been sold to a liquidator. I suspect that for old times sake I'll do some holiday shopping there. Tower Records won't be benefitting...the liquidators will. Oh well.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


This is the scariest freaking article you are ever going to read. Why? Because it shows exactly how much Dubya and the Neocon brain trust played right into the Jihadis hands. And it shows exactly why even if we brought Osama bin'Laden and all his lieutenants into the dock at Den Haag we would never nip the Jihadi movement in the bud. It is out there, it is fiercer and more implacable than ANYONE has any idea of, and they can't be fought. Period.

We stirred up a big ass hornet's nest in the period just after WWI when the Victorious Powers carved up the Middle East like a turkey and dangled Palestine before the Zionist movement like a wishbone. The wheels of Jihad were set in motion before Osama bin'Laden was born into privilege in Saudi Arabia, and they will not stop until they get the entire historic Islamic Empire under a new Caliphate and proceed from there to refight the Crusades.

Folks...we are FUBAR. And for some reason, every move the crew that pull Dubya's strings has made since 9/11, and even BEFORE 9/11, has been exactly what the Jihadis want. What team are these mo-fos playing on, anyway?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A stray bullet kills in my childhood neighborhood.

I live in a part of the Valley that supposedly is a "bad part" of town. I actually grew up in a "good part" of the Valley: Sherman Oaks.

The purple dot (you can click the pic so you can see it better) is where I grew up. The red star is where a guy died last night after being hit by a stray bullet.

A stray bullet. In Sherman Oaks.



I can see this happening in my current neighborhood. But Sherman Oaks is unbelievable. To quote a song from my youth:

Walkin' down the street, smoggy-eyed
Looking at the sky, starry-eyed
Searchin' for the place, weary-eyed
Crying in the night, teary-eyed

Don't you know that it's true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto

What a way to launch this new version of MsGeek.Org. Sheesh...