Steve Gerber and G.I. Joy

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by comic book writers of the 70s. I got a book from the library which collects all these great interviews of comic book writers whining and complaining about the biz. Well, Chris Claremont and Marv Wolfman don’t seem so whiny. But Steve Gerber sure does. His work is very interesting. I love what I’ve read of his run on Man-Thing–it’s always fun to see what a good writer can do with such a static, limited premise. When I read interviews with Gerber, he always sounds a bit resentful of the commercialism of the comic business. I guess he felt a little limited and soured by it, despite producing such rich subversive material.

I was a little saddened when I first found out that he moved on from comics and wrote for animation, namely G.I. Joe. I thought this was tragic, the dude feels trapped by the commercialism of comic books then gets a job writing half hour commercials for toys. But I read an interview with him about his time writing for G.I. Joe and apparently he loved it. It sounds like the producer just wanted the toys on the TV and allowed Gerber to do anything he wanted:

I am prouder of that show than of anything else I’ve done in animation! We were given an immense amount of freedom. I was working with possibly the most intelligent producer I’ve ever dealt with. The guy’s name is Jay Baccall. His actual title is creative director at Griffen-Baccall, which is the advertising agency of which Sunbow Productions is a subsidiary of a sister company or something. Jay is just incredibly sharp; a real good sense of drama, a real good sense of character, a wonderful sense of story, and a tremendous imagination – moreso, I think, than he realizes. Jay is perhaps the only producer I have ever heard actually say to a writer, “Gee, are you sure this is weird enough?”

Gather Ye Rosebuds

I was meditating last night and got the idea for this short. I shot it on a Canon T3i, edited on iMovie 6 and added music in Garageband.

Here is the description I wrote on YouTube:

Gather Ye Rosebuds, a chilling cry to cast aside our responsibilities and engage in frivolities. Or perhaps, a cry from space? Is poetry an artificial construct or is the human experience coming from somewhere else? Are we destined or do we trudge along in a statistical maze on uncertaintly? Gather Ye Rosebuds is a film which examines these questions in the guise of a monster movie. To the astute observer this is merely a web video, but the untrained eye it is a gateway into the inner recesses of doubt. Are we who we think we are? What do we truly remember about our existence. Is the sun a giver of life or the remnant technology of a collapsed universe? Questions not answers are what give each of us breath. Join the mystery.

Scientists Communicate with Man in a Vegetative State

I just came across this BBC article about Canandian scientists who claim to have been able to communicate with a man, Scott Routley, who’s been (trapped?) in a vegetative state for the past 12 years after being brain damaged from a car accident.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20268044

Apparently brain scans have revealed that Mr. Routley can understand and respond to questions. I took a brief medical ethics class in college and remember that these vegetative state cases are often politicized or overly simplified. I’ve always been in favor of putting people out of their misery, but according to the scientists’ questions Mr. Routley isn’t in pain. I think this emphasizes how individual these cases are.

I found this bit interesting:

Scott Routley’s parents say they always thought he was conscious and could communicate by lifting a thumb or moving his eyes. But this has never been accepted by medical staff.

How often to Doctor’s dismiss the anecdotes of family members in these cases?

This could be huge in terms of treating people in “vegetative states.” But if they are aware and not in physical pain, are they still not in misery? The prospect of being trapped in a paralyzed body seems pretty grim, but perhaps the human spirit can find a way to achieve relative comfort no matter the circumstance. Will we one day ask people in vegetative states if they want to die? Then there’s the question of how much money it costs to maintain someone on life support for an indefinite amount of time.

Awareness, Death, and Money–will we ever figure any of these out?

Sitcom Houses Creep Me Out

When watching a sitcom like Charles in Charge or Who’s The Boss, I often get an eerie chill down my spine. What bothers me is the houses. The clean, never changing houses. There’s something about them that says, “This is all there is to the universe. This house is all. You shall not pass.” I find those sitcom house sets revolting but not on a critical level (I’ll laugh at a good Who’s The Boss with the rest of you) but on some sort of “my existence is now questioned” level.

It’s almost as if the sitcom house is showing us what normal living looks like. How we must behave, what we must have. I don’t believe this is the intent of these programs (although they are pretty much made to sell advertising) but these artificial families and their environments threaten me. It’s almost as if I’m told to write a book and the sitcom tells me what the final chapter must entail. It’s creepy.

Strangely, I don’t get this feeling with The Brady Bunch house. Maybe because it’s so big? Maybe because The Brady Bunch had such an expansive universe (The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, the driveway where they did that play, the phone booth George Glass called from)? Maybe it’s because I felt the Brady’s had serious flaws that were obvious and comforting. Cousin Oliver’s cold sore being a prime example.

Fever Dreams of Space

I had a fever dream of being in a space craft orbiting earth. It was made out of a rigid, fibrous plant based material. I was nervous of its ability to remain pressurized and airtight but was told that this was a prototype for a craft to Mars. Perhaps the plant technology could provide a source of oxygen. Perhaps I had a really high fever.

I am feeling better today. I always seem to get sick around the changing of the seasons. What is up with that? I have to admit it doesn’t fell all that unpleasant, almost like dipping into a hot tub of warm blood circulating through your body. Was that too gross?

Since I’ve been feeling ill, I’ve been trying to steer clear of dairy, sugar, and spicy food. I think it’s working.

The body’s a machine, I think, and every so often it gives itself a tune-up by taking the immune system for a spin. That’s my theory.

 

Two Different News Stories: One Answer

Well it looks like Earth is ending:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0607-global-tipping-20120607,0,4125302.story

But it looks like we’re going to Mars (but you might need a headshot):

http://www.businessinsider.com/mars-one-hoax-bas-landorp-2023-2012-6

I have that feeling I used to have when I lived in New York and I knew the lease was about end. Living any other place just seemed like moving to another planet.

But seriously, I’m excited about Mars. If Reality TV gives us space travel, it might clear up its debt with humanity. 

Photo of Mars by NASA

Tatooine Should Have Black Trees!

I just stumbled across the below article in the Christian Science Monitor that said planets with two suns, such as Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine, might have plants that absorb sunlight differently and thus be black or grey.

Color me black? Alien planets with two suns sprout dark trees. – CSMonitor.com.

The photo above is of Luke Skywalker waiting for his acceptance letter from Middlebury College, from Star Wars: The College Years

Sounds of Space

From what I can tell, these aren’t sounds as our ears might pick them up, but their different waves emitted from space that have been converted into audio waves for us humans to hear. Who knew space had so much to say?

Loveseat Smackdown, Part 2

Previously on Jeremiah’s Blog:  As I search for a loveseat to adorn my sparsely furnished but very cluttered apartment, I’ve turned to the kooky offerings of Craigslist.

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This loveseat looks good.  I bet it’s a great nap couch.  Unfortunetalythe little open skirt at the bottom makes it looks like its fly is open.  Who knows what might pop out of that thing!  I can’t live with that kind of stress.  Or those kind of smells.

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I can’t lie.  This loveseat is sexy.  But I’d have to go out and buy a whole bunch of new colognes to match it.

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I like how the photographer waited for just the right lighting. 

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I don’t think this is a real photo, I think it’s a screenshot from The Wonder Years

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Back to Hell, you beast.

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This one is advertised as “free.”  I can’t tell if I’m looking at a couch or dirty underwear.  Whatever the case, it would match my apartment perfectly.

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I can already see this one covered with junkmail, comic books, and yogurt cups. And the cool thing is that with this epic pattern, no one would be the wiser.  A loveseat of secrets I have before me.

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This ad invites us all to “email for more pics.”  Hopefully they would be pics of other couches.  Preferably clean ones that don’t sag in the middle. 

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The bare spot you see highlighted in this Hitchcockian photo is because this couch is part of a sectional set.  The other pieces of the set aren’t being offered.  However, if your children like to color or perhaps you like to make your garage look as uninviting as possible, this might be the item for you.

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The ad from which this photo was plucked advertised that a recliner, couch, and sofa were for sale.  I guess he’s just teasing us by posting a photo of his handsome end table/magazine rack/pressboard sculpture.  Or perhpas the photo is supposed to suggest that the furnitire leaves plenty of room for the junk in your apartment.

Loveseat Smackdown

My apartment is a bed, a sink, and a toilet.  Granted all three can tecnhically be used as seating, I’d like to have some furniture to sit on while I stare at the wall. 

 A few months ago I finally ditched my ugly, uncomfortable Ikea sofa bed which had become neither a sofa nor a bed but a two ton home for stains.  I had held onto to it for too long.  It was almost as if I expected it to become more comfortable over time, as if it were a maturing organism that hadn’t fully developed.  Since the first day I welcomed this beast into my home, the slightest amount of weight caused the cushions to slide down at an angle, slowly delivering a firm wedgy before depositing its guests slowly on the floor.  My mom had generously tried to remedy this problem by purchasing a slab of wood.  This just made the seat firmer as it rolled you off.  I kept that monster, wood slab and all, for around 6 years.  Why? I bought it for $60 on Craigslist.

I remember going to check it out after seeing the ad.  I went to some stranger’s house and sat down on it for like a second and was like “oh that’s nice.”  I didn’t even sit, it was like I did a little exersize, up then down.  Boom.   My abs felt great.  I think I was nervous that if I sat for a moment I wouldn’t like the couch.  And if I didn’t like the couch, I wouldn’t buy it.  Then I’d feel bad for not making a purchase after going to the trouble of visiting this poor woman’s apartment.  In my crackpot mind, the fear of having an awkward exchange of “This couch stinks.  No thanks. Please let me out of your house.”  was less preferrable than living with a bum couch that no one could sit on for 6 years.  A huge chunk of useless furniture in a 8′ x 12′ apartment.

And knowing myself, the only reason I didn’t buy the couch straight from the ad–the only reason I went to check out the coach to see if I wanted it instead of sending an email saying “I’ll buy it, thank you.”–was that I knew I’d get lip from my friends:  “You didn’t look at the couch before you bought it!!?  You didn’t try to sit down on it!!??”  I would have felt bad about myself as my friends pointed out the obvious and proper way of purchasing furnuiture. 

So to reconcile my fears of being reprimanded by my pals and not buying something from someone whose house I entered, I went and checked out the couch then purchased it without casting judgment on it. 

So, now all these years later it’s time for round 2.  I thought maybe this time around I’d shop at a store.  Maybe that’s the way to go.  Avoid bedbugs, check out the floor models, don’t worry about not buying something from somebody whose house I’ve entered… So I checked out some furniture stores and furniture is pretty expensive. So it’s back to Craigslist. 

Here are some of my finds:

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It’d be nice if I could see the whole deal.  On the plus side it looks like its used to tight spaces.  The seller described this couch as adorable.  He or she also pleaded with us to save it from the junk heap.  We live in tough times with painful choices.

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I only need a loveseat.  How could I disrupt this set? I also feel that if I went to check out the loveseat the garage door would open and I would be run over by a station wagon.  Or bears.

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This couch is being given away for free.  That just makes it all the more uglier.  The pattern looks like it contains the pagan souls of prehistoric Gauls.  I appreciate all of the angles in the photos–although it would be nice to see one of the complete item.

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I enjoy seeing what the couch would like with the pillows arranged slightly differently.  It’s a nice set up for the shocker below.

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All three of these pictures successfully emphasize what the couch looks like from above. Those wings on the side though look like they really fill out the room.

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This loveseat is very ugly.  That being said, it would be the best looking item in my apartment.

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I’m not ready for this loveseat yet.  I need a boat house first.  And a bottle of furniture shampoo. And an ex-wife.

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I’m trying to picture what this would look like with cat stains and roaches.

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Note to self: save this one for that house that I buy in space, when I become Annie Lennox, space dentist.

beautifuloveseat

 The seller describes this item as a “beautiful loveseat” even though the photo says otherwise.  The lush selection of pillows makes me think of someone with low self esteem about their body blowing their paycheck on a hairstylist before a blind date.

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