Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Death of Charlotte Braun

Wikipedia is an endless source of amusement for me. It has information, sure, but as a result of being constructed by anyone with computer access, it often has useless or sucky information. For example, all Wikipedia articles can be classified under some type of category. European Union member nations or racquet sports, for example. This week I stumbled upon the category for fictional cyborgs. You know, because you might be writing a paper on Seven of Nine and need another cyborg for comparison. Also, please note that no comparative category for real-life cyborgs exists.

Other articles are quite gratifying.Take Charlotte Braun, for example. I have read Peanuts all my life but had never heard of this character, whom Charles Shulz apparently created to be some distorted, female version of Charlie Brown. Unlike Charlie, Charlotte was mean and pushy and even louder than Lucy. But Shulz tired of her quickly and blinked her to the cornfield, never to be seen again. (Later, he created Charlie's sister Sally as a new and improved female twist on Charlie.)

Shortly after Charlotte went away, Shulz received a letter from an avid Peanuts reader who disliked the character and requested that she be eliminated. Shulz responded by asking the reader if she felt comfortable being responsible for the death of a child, and enclosed in the post script a sketch of Charlotte with an axe in her head. It almost seems to urban legendy to be true, but the letter was apparently donated to the Library of Congress, which posted a scan of it online. Amazing.

Charlotte Braun, rest in peace.

And Maxine — Where Are Your Red Shoes?

As of late, I've been keen on Toothpaste for Dinner, website that collects what I would describe as the crude stick drawings of some humorist who may or may not have taken his stability pills. Case in point:

Great, huh? I intend to return.

Eleanor, Put Your Boots On

A story Spencer told me, as close to verbatim as I can reconstruct it.

"The first time my mother had an awareness of material poverty was a doll called Pitiful Pearl. She was a doll that had purposefully thinning hair and an ugly smock of a dress with white polka dots. She looked a little fat, but my grandmother told my mother that that was because her family could only feed her with really bad food. That's how my mother learned about poor people."

And it turns out Spencer accurately remembered the incident that his mother recalled to him from her childhood. A quick search reveals none other than Pearl herself, whose full name turned out to be Poor, Pitiful Pearl — you know, for emphasis. Anyway, meet Pearl.

I think she looks like Angelica from "Rugrats" after having fallen on hard times. Spencer and I agree that it's cute to market poverty as something children should enjoy. What's even funnier is that they eventually decided to ditch the "poor, pitiful" angle and put Pearl in a fancy party dress. A see-thru fancy party dress.

Sure, it's a nice outfit, but you still know she's poor because any well-bred girl would no better than to wear that dress out.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When the Three Words Didn't Work

A story:
Some time ago, a man in an unimportant town in Eagleland learned the power of the three words. The man had been well acquainted with words and their workings before hand and had even heard them spoken to him. But he had never said them earnestly. But times changed and the man realized that the three words meant something more than the individual definitions he had found in the dictionary. The words were powerful, symbolic of something greater than he was or anything he knew before. Indeed, the words seemed to tap into something fundamentally good about people in general.

The man thought the words could solve anything.

One day the man found himself faced with a terrible problem — worse than storms and earthquakes and anything else bad. So, naturally, he spoke the three words. They didn’t work.

At this point, the man realized that although the three words were quite powerful, they were not all-powerful. Alone, the man sat down and thought about what this meant.
What? You don’t think it’s a good story? I think it’s plenty good. What do you want from me?

Okay, fine — here’s one more line: Oh yes, and there was a unicorn in the story as well.

The end.

Kung-Fu With Grilled Onions

Well look who stepped into a pile of blog! Our old friend, Davey Dave! Let's monitor his every syllable and pen stroke!

Monday, October 17, 2005

To Quote Wally Exactly

Less a top-one hundred list, more a "Go ahead, ask me about 'blank,'" with "blank" being a thing. On the list. Why? Because sometimes I need to be reminded of the things that I like, the things that keep me going.

Fill in the blanks, folks.

the supervillain, not the plant

3. The Border Collie (and to a lesser extent, all Border Collies)

5. Comic books with social relevance

oh, and social relevance = rape. didn't you know?

6. Anya (or Anya Christina Emmanuelle Jenkins)

7. Raymond Scott and the titles of his compositions (specifically "Bumpy Weather Over Newark," "Yesterday's Ice Cubes" and "New Year's Eve in a Haunted House")

that's a whole lot of almost attractive

11. And in a league of its own, "Twin Peaks"

12. Birdo

everyone's favorite cocksuckasaur

13. Bret Easton Ellis' The Rules of Attraction

14. Roger Avary's "The Rules of Attraction"

16. Cassowaries

17. Narwhals

18. Maya Rudolph

19. This very blog, blogging in general and the word "blog," which collectively equal one item in my mind.

20. The Dodos that Porky Pig meets on "Looney Tunes"

21. Anything Beck does, basically

22. Devo (the band, not the person)

and totally excluding "whip it," on account of it sucking

30. Gin

32. The furniture of Gaetano Pesce

33. All manner of waterfowl

35. Cyrkle's "Red Rubber Ball"

"every inch of me will resist you!"

38. The interrobang

(photo not interesting)

42. Fictional bands that still release albums — for example, the Gorillaz, Spinal Tap and Josie and the Pussycats

44. Walter and Perry

45 and 46. Stephen Colbert and, slightly less so, Steve Carell

48-53. Pluots, Loquats, Kumquats, Physalis, Saturnfruit, Durians

with birdo making an accidental second appearance

you know — the cat who stopped the great depression

56. The hurdy-gurdy, both as a word and as a musical instrument

61. The word "ptomaine," but not the idea it represents

62. Blondie's Parallel Lines

63. Gale Weathers

65. (805) 562-9054

68. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark — and the illustrations therein

69. Perfect Tommy

70. Neko Case and her various bands

71. Zeppelins

not to mention blimps, airships and dirigibles

72. Henry Wallis' "The Death of Chatterton"

73. The two lost chapters of "Kill Bill" —
"Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?" and "Yuki's Revenge"

74. The samisen

and let's not forget the hermaphrodite playing the samisen.

75. The wonderful vocabular of geometry — "rhombus, "parallelogram," "isoceles," etc.

76. Alan Moore

unfrozen caveman comic book writer

78. Carmen, the mouse who would not move away

see nate? i totally have inside jokes with you that i don't have with kristen and hilly

79. Patrick Warburton's voiceover career

with brock samson on the left and crippled cop joe on the right

80. Works of art or literature that, though completed, were never meant to be viewed by anybody but the creator — for example, the poems of Emily Dickinson or Henry Darger's 15,000-page fantasy novel

pictured: a scene from In the Realms of the Unreal

81. Bettas

george washington carver 2, we miss you

82. The bagpipe solo in the Church's "Under the Milky Way"

83. Weekend Update when it's hosted by two women

84. "Creature from the San Andreas Fault"

kristen, how is this picture not in your myspace profile?

85. "Zang Tumb Tumb"

86. Secret passageways

87. Cryptozoology

88. The "thick line" artwork Genndy Tartakovsky

with the gentlemen on either side and the ladies in the middle
this album containing such hits as "the demise of barbara and the return of joe"90. Getting a red shell when you need it most

91. Charlie Kaufman's tendency to frame fictional stories around real people — for example, John Malkovich, Chuck Barris or himself

92. "My Mother, the Car"

93. Boo Boo Tannenbaum and the dysfunctional Glass family

a good band name, perhaps?

94. The paintings of Andrew Wyeth

"christina's world"

95. The Duffer of St. George

96. The eternally comforting sight of dry grass and green oak trees


97. Scandal, in general

98. "Hookah," especially when used as a verb

99. Joe Meek, in life and in death

101. The concept of the "flâneur"

. . .

[ doozy ]