Friday, June 24, 2022

Woe Vs. Rade

Well, the day we've been dreading finally happened.  The U.S. Senate just overturned the Abortion rights of Roe Vs. Wade.  There's been righteous outcry from far more eloquent people with higher stakes to lose who'd have more experience to run from.  All I can do is post an early Carol Lay comic that was the basic building blocks of what would become her Story Minute.  (Later revamped as Lay Lines)

For those wonder what possible stake I could possibly have in this, being an Asexual Male, abolishing Abortion rights is just the first in a long line of long-term planning of abolishing other rights.  The ink on the unconstitutional law isn't even dry yet, and talks of further repression is already taking place.

Chances are that somewhere along the line, denying services towards handicapped minorities will be next.  Already, attacks are being laid towards LGBTQ rights, restricting sex education, books, videos, or anything broaching the subject, doing more to permeate 'Cancel Culture' than actual Cancel (facing consequences) Culture ever does.

For those confused, she's wearing a Taliban Burqa.

One thing that struck me while researching sexual identity was that a large percentage of Autistics are part of the LGBTQ spectrum.  So anything that directly affects people who think similarly to me is perceived as an attack on myself.  Particularly since the so-called Gay Conversion "treatment" and Applied Behavior Analysis were both created by the same man.

When people's perception towards you is a vehement refusal to see you as having any value, save for what possible use you bring, they're likely to treat you as an piece of property.  When parents would rather their own kid get killed than expose them to life-saving vaccines, that's a sign of them denying your existence.  Wanting absolute control over a percentage of the population, neatly dividing gender into two privileged lanes.

That, and being touch-averse, I can understand the need to turn down unwanted advances.  You shouldn't have to be forced into sexual situations against your will.  Especially if you're not prepared.  You shouldn't have to be coerced into taking extra responsibility before you're ready.

(Of course, the Supreme Court in their 'infinite' wisdom, felt that open-carry gun rights were more valuable than women's rights)

Anything that affects the U.S. flows up to Canada.  4 years of Trump was more than enough.  I don't think I could tolerate more intolerance from him or his enablers who'd learn from his mistakes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Potential Asexuals: Schroeder

One of my drafts for a potential blog entry was exploring how the cast of Peanuts wound up influencing the character designs for other famous comics, even if they weren’t obvious or intentional.

Charlie Brown - Krillin from Dragon Ball.

Sally Brown - Emily Elizabeth from Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Lucy - Cathy’s sales clerk, Mabel

Linus - Izzy from Digimon.

Marcie - Honey from Doonesbury.

Peppermint Patty - arguably Marie Kanker from Ed Edd and Eddy.

And working backwards in terms of influence, Schroeder was likely inspired by Little Lord Fauntleroy.

However, the major difference between Schroeder and those snobby upper-class twits is that Schroeder never lorded his piano talent over his friends, essentially remaining one of the gang, even as his obsession may have weirded them out.

It was argued that Schroeder’s obsession with Beethoven and music was a reflection of Schultz’s dedication to crafting the Peanuts comic strip.  But the wonderfully versatile nature of Peanuts makes them widely open to interpretation.  If the model fits...

Another rationale is that Lucy is simply too unlikable to be with even in the best of times, being too much of a fussbudget (to put it politely), and that these are children, too young to engage in any serious romance.  But the rest of Peanuts is filled with unrequited longing for unattainable lovers.  Of the larger secondary cast of Peanuts, Schroeder is the only minor character who isn’t actively interested in pursuing unrequited romance with anyone.  His devotion to Beethoven is entirely one-sided, secure in the knowledge that the composer died out centuries ago, his masterpieces preserved to be absorbed and appreciated.  (Also, Beethoven is the only adult face to regularly appear in Peanuts.)

Who else would buy busts of Beethoven in bulk?

I looked up online to see if anybody else explored this theory further, and was surprised to only find a single Reddit question.  The closest alternative in exploring his alleged sexuality was in a blog entry showing potential homoeroticism, the only flaw being that Schroeder never displayed any affection towards any of the boys as well.  So with that in mind, let’s break down the fundamentals of why I feel Schroeder is a potential Asexual candidate.

The most obvious example is that Schroeder displays little to no interest to the girls leaning on his piano, finding them more of a distraction and tolerating Lucy at best.

Schroeder isn't totally ignorant about matters of love.  He simply doesn't have any inclinations towards it.

The only time we see him flustered is when he’s complimented for his looks, but that could easily be a result of being unaccustomed to being praised for something outside his skill set.

For the most part, Schroeder's fraught relationship with Lucy consisted mainly of Lucy making up the majority of the conversation, resulting in a monologue while he whaled away on his piano, hunched over in a Glenn Gould manner, punctuated by the occasional unwelcome interruption.

Here's a sampling of some of their most memorable dialogues:

Lucy didn't take these constant rejections of her advances well, to the point that she started taking more extreme measures to get his attention.

Silly girl.  Removing his obsession in front of him isn’t gong to endear him closer to you.  Quite the opposite in fact!

The strip above might come across as being callous, but it could also be read as Schroeder trying to be sympathetic in the only way he knows how.

When it comes to exploring life outside the piano room, Schroeder was most commonly seen on the baseball field, secure in the role of catcher, where Charlie Brown's abysmal pitching averages meant that his delicate hands were in no danger of being injured.  In that setting, there was the mini-arc where Lucy said she'd hit a home run in exchange for favors:

Like many Asexuals, I have no interest in getting married, but would be willing to undergo the ritual for someone else’ sake, such as saving someone from a loveless marriage, preserving their hidden sexual orientation or helping their immigration status.  In that sense, Schroeder’s willingness to undergo some brief discomfort for the greater good appeals to me as well.

And if a surrogate can do the job, that would be even better.

As with any discussion of publication over the course of 50 years, anomalies are bound to crop up, so let's get these examples out of the way.  One of the rare instances where Schroeder showed genuine concern was when Lucy temporarily moved away.

However, when Lucy moved back, Schroeder showed no notice to her presence, so it's difficult to tell if he was affected or not.

The biggest argument that Schroeder might not be considered Asexual (Aromantic at the very least) would be this Sunday comic which could be the exception that proves the rule.

Let's break the scene down.  Lucy gives a cupcake commemorating the birth of his favorite composer when she normally doesn't display rudimentary knowledge about music, after which Schroeder gives a peck on the cheek unprompted.  And when she runs away screaming, makes an effort to correct her misunderstanding.  When Schroeder isn't pressured into displaying signs of affection, he's more likely to reciprocate in kind.

There's also this moment where Schroeder gives the most impassionate speech he ever made that wasn't related to baseball or Beethoven, on Violet giving a pity Valentine.  He clearly has thoughts on the subject.

Of course, Charlie Brown is so starved for affection he'll take whatever breadcrumbs come his way.

In closing, it feels appropriate to borrow a line from Citizen Kane: “A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own.”

Monday, February 28, 2022

Interpreting Primer

I’m currently in the process of helping clean my Mother’s office up, which has been consistently cluttered for years, yet I never saw anything wrong with her setup, being accustomed to working in messy environments before.  The reason for the sudden rush for tidying when we weren’t having any company over was because we were running out of scrap printer paper, not having had the opportunity to take home any work documents in the 2 years we’ve been under quarantine.

A lot of items had to be checked beforehand deciding to shred, recycle or reuse, which was another procrastination factor.  Not to mention the messy business of removing staples, poring over pages for confidential information and cutting away said information in smaller portions for easier shredding use.

In the process, I came across an information pamphlet as a primer to oral interpreting in the classroom.  It may seem obvious to have assistance for handicapped students, but there was a lot of resistance in even having oral interpreters present.

The argument presented was that College and University deaf students were allowed access, but this service was denied for High School students, when their formative years were still taking place.

A trial run was agreed on, only having interpreters present for half of my non-essential classes.  At the end of the first semester, the teachers in the classes I had no interpreters present commented on how sullen and uncooperative I was, but in the classes an interpreter was present, the teachers commented on how enthusiastic and funny I was.  I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating.  I’m much more likely to engage when I understand what’s going on.

The artwork and humour isn't nearly anywhere near Larry Gonick's level, but it does the job.  The Interpreting Services Student Package started out with an introductory page that clearly took inspiration from a popular animated movie at the time:



This is a big step for you.

You are now a high school student!



You are a high school student using an interpreter.

That means that on top of having to do all the things a hearing high school student has to do.


It may be the first time you use an interpreter so here are some guidelines for things for you to know about interpreting and being a high school student.

  • The student uses A.S.L, sign language, or communicates orally.
  • The student is the person who goes to class, does the homework and writes the exams.
  • We have coordinators to do the scheduling of interpreters.
  • Some students may prefer to voice or speak for themselves.
  • If the student is late..... The interpreter will wait 10 minutes before leaving the class.


Inform the interpreter about other interpreting needs, like study groups, tutoring sessions, meetings with the teacher...

As you can see, there are lots of things to think about when you start high school.  You have new challenges and new responsibilities.

If you feel the need to talk to someone about your courses or about the interpreting services, here are some names and phone numbers that may be useful.


The second page of the Student Package had a foreword that consisted of the following:


Dear students,

Welcome to college which you have reached after plenty of hard work and good will.  We sincerely hope that your “transit” there will also be fruitful and rewarding as the months go by.

In order to facilitate your way through college and university, the Service à l’intégration des élèves from the Cègep du Vieux Montréal have adapted a documents from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) which provides you with information pertaining to oral and sign language interpreter’s services, note taking, etc... which will be useful throughout your studies.

This booklet is designed with comic strips which illustrate different ways of getting various services.

Special thanks go to Louise Daoust who worked on this project along with the anglophone team of interpreters.

We hope that you will read it for your own information and enjoy it as well.


The information in this handbook is based and adapted from:

Vancouver Community College: Student’s Package 

NTID: Principles of Interpreting

Texts and Drawings by Louise Daoust

There was also an alternate condensed version of the above for the Montreal Metro Region, which continues as follows:

Also included are two pages of outtakes or alternate pages.  There's a slight modification made to the first that may look very similar to the 6th page Student image above, but has a slight difference.  The second page below isn't included anywhere, which is a shame since I find the third panel to be somewhat cute.