Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dark Funny Animals

Disney's Zootopia is one of the best animated movies they've ever done, which is quite an achievement compared to their last 3-D attempt at drawing attention away from the Pixar club, Chicken Little.  (Anybody remember that stinker?)  It tackled multiple serious topics addressing sexism and racism in an entertaining manner without managing to sound preachy in it's message.  It served a strong feminist message that was made possible by flipping the viewpoint of the original script.

The original premise for Zootopia was much darker.  The way that predators was kept in check was not out of equality, but by their wearing shock collars that would activate if they grew too excited.  One deleted scene was a young bear joyfully accepting his rite of passage of having said collar wrapped around his neck, much to his father's sad reluctance.  Then, once the procedure is complete, he starts gleefully bounding about, only to receive a shock... to which he looks back at his father with a new sense of betrayed understanding.

Funnily enough, despite the soul-crushing rejected script, it's inspired Zistopia (a pun on dystopia), an AMAZING fancomic based on this rejected premise that's FAR more ambitious than the original script.

In this universe, Nick Wilde is a formerly jailed conman who's been assigned to help a hardboiled workaholic Judy Hopps who's been on the force for several years, in tracking down a serial feral killer.
The roles are familiar, but the development is Very different, and we get to see a LOT MORE of Judy's inner family of 275 relatives, of which we only saw her mother and father.  There are also cameo appearances of other characters in alternate roles, and rejected characters that were never used, such as Honey the Conspiracy Badger, Mob Boss Kozlov and his Massage Angels.

Some of the more memorable scenes involve a chasing game at an underground "pleasure" park, to dialogue in the "Cud Club", the herbivore corporate businessfolk, making witty observations among their bantering, and Judy visiting pregnant predators at the Hospital.

If there's a fault, its that due to the draft nature of the panels, sometimes it's not always clear where dialogue balloon starts and ends.  Sometimes it'll be from the right hand side instead of the left.  Othertimes it'll be from the lower middle, arching upwards and then bending backwards into itself.  Still, if a panel doesn't make immediate sense, just try again until it does.  This slows the pace down somewhat, and sometimes requires rereading, but it's worth it, and there's only a few instances when it happens, so it's not entirely detrimental.  Some of the later artwork has been taken up by guest artists willing to pick up the slack, so the main artist doesn't wind up overwhelmed, and they get a chance to show off their skills along the way.

Then there's MisterMead's wonderfully depressing Judy is Dead series, where despite the Women in Refrigerators suggestion, actually deals with an older cynical Nick trying to cope with July Hops, a cousin who's a dead ringer for Judy.  Much of Chief Nick's reactions towards July are direct parallels to Chief Bogo in the movie.

Somewhat surprising is the popularity of the early dark draft, which had much less comedic elements that could've threatened to spoil the mood of the movie overall.  Or maybe it's not that surprising after all.  One thing that comics - anthropomorphic comics - do well is tackling the element of mature themes by dressing them up in easy-to-digest bites of condensed information.  Maus, anybody?

Tim Hurting's quasi-autobiographical essay on Donald Duck (that I based one of my recent entries on), compared Donald Duck to acting like a man who just happens to look like a duck.  His stories wouldn't be as nearly amusing or identifiable if he were an actual human.  The deceptive nature of Funny Animal comics is that they look easy to make, but can be surprisingly difficult to do well.  It's a delicate balancing act between making the material family-friendly or risque, depending on the audience the author's writing for.  The fact that so many artists are emboldened to follow down the dark path of Zootopia as a way of testing their strengths is encouraging for their willingness to experiment beyond relative safety norms.

It's also a sign that audiences are better equipped to handle mature themes filtered throughout so-called childish mediums.  Adults wouldn't have been able to handle a faithful adaption of the actual Fox & the Hound book back then, but chances are they'd be more open to the idea now.  They might still feel scandalized, but the overall shock of wholesome animals engaging in despicable acts would've lost most of its power.  Of course, an actual faithful adaption with the nuances of internal thoughts and no dialogue would be extremely difficult, and the extremely depressing ending wouldn't guarantee multiple re-readings, making engaging such a project a tricky proposition.

Of course, that's if we limit ourselves to American sensibilities.  European artists such as Lewis Trondenheim (Dungeon) and Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler) are more popular for their use of anthromorphic animals, possibly because their roles are less emphasized or detailed than the competition.  European comics act on a different wavelength, and the closest they come to emulating American genres is through their Noir comics such as Blacksad and Inspector Canardo.  Incidentally, these pages above and below come from the silent comic, Fox Bunny Funny, which could be a metaphor for being born in the wrong body.  In Furry circles, this is called "Otherkin"; though in my punny universe, it would be considered Fur-Play.

Now, the following is just my personal interpretation, and shouldn't be considered Gospel.  Anthropomorphic Funny Animals was seen as an attempt to try to emulate the kind of cartoonish seriousness that was mainly seen in European comics and Manga... with variable results, ranging from Shanda the Panda to Fred Perry's works, to more forgettable fare.

One could say that the rise of sudden maturity (or immaturity) in Furry comics was out of a desire to tackle issues that wouldn't normally fit in a typical punch-up Superhero comic.  While the childish world of Superheroes managed to make themselves relevant by tackling relevant issues of today, Funny Animal comics were looked down for appearing to be too appealing towards children.  In the same way that Manga managed to tackle mature themes and disturbing imagery within the confines of uber-cute protagonists and casts, so too did Furry comics attempt such ambitious stories along similar lines.

And when attempting to branch out into a new field that people don't have much experience with, there's bound to be some missteps along the way.  There's a sense of trying too hard when compared to others who've matured the craft beyond pure shock and schlock.  This leads to failed attempts such as adapting Fritz the Cat and Howard the Duck, with scriptwriters and directors grossly misunderstanding their satirical elements.  (Watership Down and Plague Dogs didn't suffer from adaption distillation, presumably because they were novels)  And there's the webcomic Scurry, which is the mouse version of humans surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.

As long as we're talking about Funny animals in adult situations, we're going to have to veer into the uncomfortable realm of sex.  And indeed, a fair amount of the popularity of Furries deals with porn.  Somehow, the aspect of nudity becomes more attractive if human flesh is substituted for animal skin, instead of hiding nipples over skin-tight spandex costumes.  (At least they're being honest about what they want to draw, and not covering up behind flimsy excuses)  After all, when you have cute-looking athletic characters interacting, the compulsion to corrupt them is practically irresistible.  But really, is it all that different from wanting to see other familiar childhood characters fans'd been attracted to for years, such as Supergirl and Batgirl, put into erotic situations?  Playing fantasy scenarios out is just another extension of playing with familiar story elements.  Who wouldn't want to pair up characters with magnetic personalities and good chemistry?

Of course, when dealing with repressed sexual outlets, that pent-up frustration can lead to all kinds of weird subcategories of fetishes, including (and not limited) to

  • Vore
  • Growth
  • Shrinkage
  • Unbirth
  • Gender-reversals

And others that haven't become popular enough to garner their own fetish subgroups yet.  So, it's welcome that we have TG Weaver's wonderfully cute attraction between Zootopia's main characters conveyed through crayon-border art, and Zootermission's unspoken sexual tension just bubbling beneath the surface.

I'm willfully ignorant about Furry culture as a whole, preferring instead to enjoy their output through their stories and drawings instead, not caring much about the motive and rationale in creating such things in the first place.  Dig deep enough behind any creative process, and you're bound to find all kinds of salacious details you may not agree with.  I don't have much of a barometer for what is and isn't considered normal in ways of social thinking, not having acclimated myself with the community as large.  I read a wide range of stories not as a way of confirming deeply held beliefs (though those can be reassuring once you've got the formula down pat) but also as a way of understanding other viewpoints that may not have been obvious to me.

American comics existed within only two extremes - childish cartoon comics aimed exclusively at children, or realistically drawn comics... ALSO aimed at children.  Soon enough, the two genres would split, fragment and divide even further when the serious art comics would start exploring adult themes, while still proclaiming to advocate for being "safe for children".  Even Feiffer had trouble with selling his product, because his works were considered too serious for children, but too tame for adults.  Only MAD Magazine helped bridge the divide, having various artstyles in it's anthology humour collection.  It wouldn't be until Bloom County came that the possibility was that there could be a natural progressive point between two extremes.  And even then, the reason Hollywood wouldn't finance a Bloom County project (according to Breathed) was because they couldn't comprehend of a world composed of talking animals existing among humans.
The 4th Album of Inspector Canardo, The Return of Rasputin,
was the last appearance of humans in its books.
Just as the concept of a Teenager (and later, Tween) came to revolutionize the growth process of a child into an adult, did it occur that maybe comics could benefit from gradual reading levels.  Sadly, these were mainly reduced to Superhero comics, since Independent comics were seen as little more than failed cash grabs of the latest hip fad, and wouldn't reach mainstream appeal without wider recognition.

Not everybody can be an Alan Moore, and this was clearly evident in Mark Millar's appropriately titled Unfunnies, which goes for immediate shock value,  without ever trying to tie these taboo-breaking conventions into something meaningful.  It's as if, being broken free of the Comic's Code Authority, their first instinct was to delve into all manners of depravity just to see if they could.  It's one thing to create things of bad taste.  It's another to expect audiences to be attracted to unpolished garbage.

It's why I could never get into ElephantMen, because all the women are objectified waifs where the men are strong powerhouses.  As a commentor said, "(The) concept looks kinda cool, but is ruined by the idealized and objectified women. SO cliched. I mean, hey, you've got your Blonde, your Asian, and your African 'Hot Chicks' (and she of course has to be the 'unwanted daughter of an African crime lord'. Gag.) one for each fetish! How sexist and boring. Are there no female 'Elephant Women' and the human men who love them? No... of course not. I won't be picking this up any time soon."

The story is told through dribs and drabs, where hardly anything of substance happens, and is told more through narrative boxes than outright dialogue.  There's flashbacks to events that happened during the war, contrasting these wild soldiers now having to live in a society that fears and persecutes them, but that's hardly enough to garner my attention.

Even though updates have been rather sporadic with unexpected hiatuses and there seem to be server problems, Jack is still a webcomic that I keep coming back to, simply because of the compelling artwork, capturing nuances and dialogue.  The first two stories deal with the perspective of an aborted fetus and a recreation of Columbine.  That alone should give you an idea that this isn't exactly appropriate material for children.  Yet, for all it's gore and hysteria, it manages to accomplish a level of realism and humanity with the characters and stories.  For as much as it deals with life after death, there's an astounding amount of time spent in the "living" world, even though the fantasy element never quite goes away.

The basic concept is that there's a reaper from hell who's the pure embodiment of the sin Wrath, who was a domestic terrorist in his former life.  Pretty much all the other sins are extremists who died doing what they wanted, and became representations of the sins they emulated.  (For chuckles, I'd like to see somebody do a physical representation of the Seven Virtues someday)  It is for these reasons I considered Jack the Furry equivalent of Sandman.  Indeed, the latest conclusion to it's latest storyline which was put on indefinite hiatus has a line quoted from The Devil that seems deliberately lifted from Gaiman's Magnum Opus.

For a comic that had its namesake protagonist as being the viewpoint of a sympathetic Reaper, there were varying complaints that it oftentimes went off into tangents that had nothing to do with the overall story,
and a disturbing focus on Drip, the personification of Lust.  At the time, I didn't think much of these criticisms, seeing these as minor nitpoints, since likewise in Sandman, the titular figure was less the controlling focus of the narrative, and more the vehicle around which stories orbited around.

So I was confused about why something I enjoyed so much was constantly criticized for an extremely nihilistic viewpoint and called "one of the worst webcomics", only because the overall disturbing crapsackworld was a reflection of the author's filibuster tracts.  There's a website devoted to nit-picking all the specific things that are wrong about Jack.  Especially when those visions of Hell were offset with brief moments of heartwarming scenarios amidst all the darkness and depravity.

I wasn't aware of the unfortunate history of Dave Hopkins, which involved threats of rape and abuse towards his wife, who he'd had a falling out with.  It wasn't until it was pointed out that a large portion of his Jack stories focused exclusively on Drip, the incarnation of Lust, and that the majority of his sympathetic viewpoints is towards rapists.  That, and his avatar was represented as a blue skunk, who also just happened to be the Devil in his stories.  In that sense, Dave Hopkins is among problematic authors alongside H.P. LoveCraft and Dave Sim who are revered, despite their views.

To anyone who hasn't been scared off yet, and is feeling intimidated at catching up the entire exploits of the comic, there's a handy-dandy arc viewer for ease of catching up.  Though for some reason, some of the pages in Two For You are all mixed up, causing no small amount of confusion.  But that's not the only arc that's messed with - one of the early stories, Games we Play in Hell is left out, because it's implicitly aimed at someone, and some of the homosexual implications regarding Drip's backstory is left out, though both can be found in the directory, if you know where to look.

But for sheer outright dystopian depression, very little surpasses the mind-blowing experience that is Ptiluc's world of Pacush Blues.

Pacush Blues is a series of self-contained stories involving rats that started out as a series of short black humour comics in greyscale.  But starting from the fourth album, was done in colour with progressively longer stories with increasingly disturbing content, issues and gore.

The fourth and fifth volumes is a satire on organized religion involving a Rubik's Cube and a Gumball machine.  The sixth volume is a savage journey across sea, land and air.  (In that order)  The seventh volume involves a struggling homeless rat trying to find solace inside a research lab, and failing.
Imagine not being outside the Bunny testing lab in Bloom County,
but actively living and surviving inside it.
And this is just the first testing level.
The others are just as bad, or worse.
For me, the most traumatizing comic I ever saw was the 8th album of Pacush Blues, "Logic of the Worst", or "Worst Case Scenario", where philosophical rats traverse a frozen landscape, get mutilated, randomly killed off (one mistakes the snow for cocaine, and keeps snorting it up, freezing his nose off), resort to cannibalism, and the lone survivor gets roped into a capitalism scheme he can't begin to comprehend.  Even predators like cats and crows don't even bother preying on them, since they're too terrified by their surroundings to bother.  A botched lobotomy is the closest it comes to approaching a happy ending.

If I could've understood what was going on, I'd probably be even more traumatized.  As such, it's one of my pipe dream scanlation projects, since people either find undertaking the task as being understandably intimidating, either in terms of subject material, translation hurdles or emotional fatigue.  But we shouldn't feel scared about wanting to explore groundbreaking material, no matter how much the truth may hurt us.  It's only by testing the boundaries of our knowledge that we learn how to grow.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hungry for more Comics

Two years ago, I started posting comics that paid attention to the Hunger Relief campaign in Africa.  Since then, I keep finding new Thanksgiving Famine Tribute comics.  Every time I think I've found the last of them, some more wind up hiding where I hadn't looked before.  Some of them weren't on the main comics page, but as solitary comics located randomly in the newspaper, hiding in plain sight.  These comics will probably become painfully relevant, judging by the Presidential inauguration.  Hunger is going to become a familiar sensation for the upcoming years.

It probably doesn't help that several of them make light out of what's essentially a difficult subject.

Then there's forgettable generic comics like Sydney (featuring an unbelievably stupid bear) that in the second less-effective hunger tribute, had strips involving ignorance over the usage of food.  Whether this was intended or not is borderline, and up for interpretation.

Serial comics like Mary Worth only made token remarks that would've sounded ham-fisted in any other context.

The Phantom didn't even bother wedging a hunger tribute in its narrative, simply settling for a caption box tucked away near the bottom instead.

Then there are comics that appeared a year before whole swatches of cartoonists decided to band together for a greater cause.  Before Wiley did his more famous Non-Sequitur comics, he started out with his first attempt about a crotchety Mayor's assistant named Fenton.

This Adam comic was published years before the Famine tribute, and not on a Thanksgiving, but given it's contradictory and similar message, it certainly applies.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Plea on Deaf Ears

This week, I gave a small speech at a conference on increasing access for Handicapped people.  This was composed of a large gathering not just of Deaf people, but also the blind, people in Wheelchairs, and other disadvantaged people.  However, before I could attend, I had to register for an Interpreter first.  And getting one was trickier than first thought, even though this was a meeting for Handicapped access.
My name is Daniel Basch TĂ©treault. I am deaf, have Asperger's Syndrome, and I don't know sign language. I am grateful for having had an oral interpreter present for me during my High School and CEGEP years.  Their presence helped me understand the lessons in classes that otherwise would've passed over my head, along with minor background conversations I surely would've missed.
But the prohibitive costs of hiring an Interpreter means that I can only have one under very restrictive very specific conditions.  And often their availability is only possible with having them scheduled in advance.  I have been simply unable to enjoy a large portion of social gatherings where I could've benefited their company, but couldn't because I had no chance of understanding what the group was talking about.
Even though there were helpful bilingual screens showing what was being said, I felt I would've been more comfortable having a human source I could reliably relay the information being conveyed.  I was lucky to have one available, since she came at the last minute after a pool of available services   Even so, I had difficulty following what my Interpreter was saying, because there were certain little tics she had to work on, such as keeping her head elevated, not using universal hand symbols, and a reluctance to summarize the context of the message.  At times, I got clearer information from the screens than my intended communication source.  But it wasn't entirely her fault - a lot of the speakers kept talking very fast, even after they were told to slow down the message so the Captioners could catch up.  Not to mention some required French-to-English translations, so there was a further delay, and several speakers were using terminology that went over my head.
Real-time captioning makes me nauseous and nervous, which is why I requested an Oral Interpreter for this meeting. Ironically enough, at first, they thought I asked for a Language Interpreter.  I had to explain that what I wanted wasn't a Signing Interpreter, but someone who could transcribe what was being said verbally, so I could Lip-Read.  Apparently, Oral Interpreters are so uncommon compared to other forms of helpful tools for Handicapped people, such as Walking Sticks, Wheelchairs, and Sign Language, that my request was considered unusual. 
There's also the high degree of misunderstanding in getting said Interpreters in the first place.  When I ask for one, they're usually confused with Other Language Interpreters or Sign Language Interpreters.  I have to work at making sure I get the right one, which isn't exactly a great booster for self-confidence, and grates on my nerves mightily. 
Even so, I felt guilty about not sticking around long enough to make use of the Interpreter, having worked so hard to get one in the first place.  (Even though the Interpreter would've gotten paid for showing up, no matter if I was available or not)  I only left after the first break when my ability to stay threatened to overwhelm my already diminishing stamina.

I asked for permission to be among the first people to have my say, so I wouldn't be too uncomfortable, and could afford to leave early if no Interpreter was present, or if I was feeling overwhelmed.  By luck (or politeness or awe after seeing my draft of my speech), I was given the first slot.  After the meeting was over, I received word that a portion of the audience was visibly impressed with how eloquent and well-spoken my speech was, for a Deaf person.  Under that banner of compliment, it was suggested that I share it with others for posterity.

While my Deafness is a major part of my ability to function, I only see it as part of my handicap, identifying much more greatly with my Autism side.  Particularly since my Asperger's compounds my ability to communicate more effectively than I'd like to.
Also, my Asperger's has made me reluctant to seek out and engage in conversations that could've benefited me in the long run.  There are multiple instances in the past I can think of that I passed an opportunity over, from being too nervous to strike up a dialogue because:
1. I might not understand what the person was saying (or them me) and
2. I had no guarantee that they could speak English.
Just before the meeting, I wanted to be experimentative and daring, and try ordering a 3 tacos for $5 deal at a new place I'd never been before.  But when I got inside, the price for individual tacos was higher than expected.  When I asked about the special, I was pointed at said items on a menu.  I was too nervous and embarrassed to elaborate further on this... so I left.

When I get nervous, my first instinct is to get the hell out of there, and I become reactive when I can't find a safe place.
I'm unable to attend a class on Creative Writing simply because such a course is considered "not mandatory" for educational purposes, even though such a class would be conductive to my creativity and being surrounded by like-minded people.
I've been attending a cooking seminar that takes place at various churches around the area, filled with elderly people with the intent of making me feel included in the community.  But if I'm left on my own without somebody I'm familiar or comfortable with, I shrivel up in the face of strangers.  And some efforts can be counter-productive to future endeavors.  When I got the courage to try to strike up a random conversation with someone, I repeated back what I thought that person said, who then smiled politely at me, and then left.  I didn't have the courage to ask permission for guidance for talking to someone who knew me, because I didn't know their names, and didn't want to ask.  (They had nametags for my benefit at the last class of the year, but my memory forgets anyone I haven't seen over a two-week period)
I'm extremely limited in my choices of jobs, because I can only work part time, due to my anxiety.  Also, my supervisors aren’t always patient, and I have lost jobs due to misunderstandings through miscommunication.
Hearing aids and assistive listening devices don’t really help me. They only serve to increase the level of noise around me, not make it easier for me to understand what people are saying.  And oftentimes, people don't take the extra effort to face me, speak clearly, emphasize their words and not forget these rules when a hearing person enters the equation.  I can't meet new people firsthand without getting used to their manner of speech, which rules out job interviews, meetings, and conferences.
It was only when I had a friend show some samples of my blog posts around that they had any idea that I had some writing ability.  Apparently, I'd neglected to mention that I had a blog, simply because I figured they already knew, so there was no point bringing it up.  (I didn't want to sound like a braggart on a subject they wouldn't be interested in)  Even so, I was reluctant to bring it up without a sample present, because most of the subject material I cover (i.e., comics) might not be potentially interesting to them.  Though various articles in my Personal tag would fit the bill.

If at all possible, I would carry around an app that would convert dialogue to text.  But the efficiency of such devices is still in its infancy, and their results are less than impressive in noisy situations.  Until a computer is capable of filtering out the main subject of multiple conversations, I'll stick with human Oral Interpreters, thank you very much.

In a sense, I suppose I should work harder to be understood, and not assume that everybody already knows how to talk to me.  I need to be more proactive in making my voice heard, and spell out how I should be talked to for better communication.  But constantly telling new people how to talk to me all the time is emotionally exhausting.  Especially when I have to double-check every second word anybody says.  When you've spent so much of your collective time actively avoiding people, and enjoying more time alone, it's an uphill struggle to seek out the presence of what you naturally rejected.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Don't Mention The Great War!

Like the rest of the world, I too was shocked at the results of the American election.  After months of revealing dozens if not hundreds of shocking quotes and scandals associated with Trump, the American public couldn't stand the prospect of having a woman tell them what to do.  Instead, they went for someone who'd give the temperament of a manipulative controlling Father figure filling that role.  Apparently, the sheer volume of Trump atrocities melding into an indistinguishable mush couldn't compare to the much more identifiable Clinton email scandal, which seemed to be what people really cared about.

I'm cautiously pessimistic, constantly looking for worst-case scenarios so that if they ever come to pass, I won't be as traumatized when it actually happens.  But even *I* was caught flatfooted at the election results.  Hillary lost by sheer fractions of the votes in key states, and from less than half of the country not bothering to put out and go the extra mile to give their say.  And those who remained bitter about Bernie Sanders not being on the ballot.  The remainder went for the third party to protest voting for Clinton.  Good going guys, you really showed 'em!

Trump won not as a result of a sudden voter surge, but from a lack of voters who didn't bother to cast their opinion in. That, and white women voting for the man, others throwing theirs for the 3rd party and voter suppression overall.

Just scant hours after the votes rolled in, it was justification for closeted bigots to go out and start harassing minorities they'd been scared of for years, but never had the "courage" to go out and say so.  As a result, suicide risks among Transgendered people rose, along with attacks on Blacks, Muslims, Women and Asians increased, and the Canadian Immigration website crashed.

At this rate, with the current climate, Trump won't HAVE to implement a ban on immigrants - they'll be too scared to come over here once they see how they'll be treated.  Unless the world they're currently living in is WORSE than how it is now, then they must be TRULY desperate.

Not that there may be much of a United States left, what with several States thinking about Seceding from the toxic environment, including California and Oregon.  (It's the Oregon trail all over again!)  Texas contemplated seceding, but never quite followed through.  And Columbia just registered to become the 51st State, so there's that.

One of the bitterest pills to swallow in addition to Clinton gracefully stepping down (not even trying to engage a fruitless fight) was seeing Justin Trudeau make good for appealing to Trump's winning, out of political need and avoid getting on his bad side.  If it were up to me, I'd say that he may have attained the role of President, but that doesn't automatically give him a default state for admiration. The outside world won't be so easily fooled with your rhetoric. Your role isn't something to be taken lightly. Respect? If you want respect, start by showing it to other people.

What's particularly troubling in the wake of Trump's victory is how much he's normalized his hate rhetoric. The ramifications will extend long after the election, inspiring others to follow his model, finely tuned to their tastes.  There's proof that they may wind up losing jobs, which will only increase their ire further.  And if Trump refused to release his tax returns, his loyalists may wonder why they should bother paying those taxes in the first place.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was a debt of one Quadrillion Dollars.  I remain absolutely convinced that Trump is just going to drain the Country dry.

The worst part is that even if Trump gets impeached, steps down or leaves, Vice President Pence would be sworn in as his replacement, and he's more of a political monster than Trump is because he knows how to game the system.  The fact that even Trump himself looks like he's regretting being elevated to position of President is small comfort.

Normally around this time of year, I have the first arc of Charley's War available for a single day.
This year, however, I'll leave the link up for as long as needed.  If I receive a notice to take it down, I will. Until then, we shouldn't forget the needless sacrifices made just so we could get to this state.  Originally, I intended to show some sample pages from Chimo, which focused on aspects of Canada's involvement in WWI, and it's expansion of its arts program there, but decided to focus solely on the most pertinent bits.

It's frightening to realize that Canada is essentially the last bastion of representation for Multiculturism.  Even the prospects of a recount of remaining votes leading to a slim Trump-Clinton tie seem farfetched at most.  All we can do is keep fighting the good fight, never relenting when we see injustices happening, show our support however subtle, and keep soldering on.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trumped-up Depth Charges

It's the eve of the American election - a day we thought would never come.  To celebrate the deadline of an apprehensive date, here's the last batch of Trump commentary I made on Facebook for the (hopeful) foreseeable future.  For the first time, I've embraced the rigors & pains of Election Addiction,
and have no idea how I'll fill in my free time with no new insane news to look forward to.
Trump: Yeah, well, who'd want to go out with you?!  You're a total One on the hotness scale!  A real Zero!
--An unused line for my flawed theory that Clinton & Trump were having an affair.
If you've already made up your mind about Trump, the following recaps of comments made in the past three months won't change your mind much.  However, erring on the side of caution, here's a page full of links.
"I don’t care if Hillary Clinton is corrupt. I don’t care if she lies, if she cheats, if she eats bowls of newborn chipmunks for breakfast.
She is literally the only thing standing in the way of a fascist dictator becoming President of the United States with a Republican majority congress that guarantees he can do anything he wants and nothing will be able to stop him.

Every time we think Trump hits rock bottom, he brings out a backhoe, that he only paid the contractor half of what was promised.  It's less of a trainwreck, and more like watching MULTIPLE Train Wrecks, Plane Crashes and Earthquakes converging onto a single place where an elderly man attempts to light a match around a gas leak.  There is a moral event horizon, and the shark has long since passed it.

When even Charlie "Tiger Blood" Sheen thinks Trump's gone off the deep end, that's a sign that maybe you've gone too far.  Betting pools must be having a HELL of a time trying to fill in every potential slot, and laughing all the way to the bank as the last possible thing they could ever think of happens.

EDIT - It's painful, but the election has against all logic and reason, sided with the most racist toxic Presidential Candidate over a more stable platform.  Someday, we'll look back at our shortsightedness and laugh, but not right now - it's still too painful.  More after the cut.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Secret is in the Saws

It's the start of another month, and we all know what that means...

Mom, do Cows lay eggs?
You're a month late.  Halloween's over!
I dunno.  I'm preparing for winter.
For winter?  Normally, you'd stock up on hay!!
No, that wouldn't be good enough.
I don't get it.
You'll understand when the first snow falls.
Taurus: An influx of cash will be coming your way...
Hee hee hee!  Hee hee hee!
We haven't run out of hay yet!
You can rest your arms.  All the birds have flown to the south!