ETC.: Good grief
This and that about nothing in particular....
• Man, there's nothing more pathetic in my mind than these "fake blogs" that are basically a blog version of spam. If you click on the "next blog" button at the top of this page to take a merry spin around the random blogworld (and we all love to do that), you'll probably hit one eventually (or although I loath to give a link to one of these things, it's probably the best way to show you what I'm talking about -- here's one right here I just spotted. Buy nothing). I guess it's being all entrepreneurial in a way to use a blog to splatter random ad-lets on there in hopes some sorry bastard will want to buy "Mexico Travel Review" or "Gucci Outlet" stuff, but somehow it just feels rather tawdry and sad to me. That's not what the blog revolution was about, man!
• The Complete Peanuts 1955-1956! Recently got book three of the hugely ambitious, 25-book program to reprint the entire span of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" comic strip (the best strip of all time and anyone who says otherwise is a kite-eating tree). This is one of my "dream projects," frankly, and Fantagraphics has done a pretty great job restoring the strips and putting them in these very handsome, 300+ page hardcover volumes, each collecting two years of Charlie Brown goodness. Book 3 is where it really starts to become the "Peanuts" we all know and love, with characters turning into their recognizable forms. What's been cool is watching Schulz expand his range from the cutesy "kid humor" strips of the early days (lots of mud pie jokes) into a more desperate, existential tone, that tone that really made "Peanuts" the masterpiece it was. In this book, Linus evolves from baby into quester, seeker and the strip's most aware character. One of my favorite strips is this gem:
Nobody combined wit and despair quite like the late great Schulz, IMHO. Twenty-two more volumes to go over the next decade or so!
• Memo to CNN, FOX, et al: Can you please for the love of God and Baby Jesus stop covering this inane "runaway bride" nonsense? If I pull up CNN's Web site one more time and see this moo-eyed cow's face staring back at me I will blow a synapse. In the name of all that's intelligent, is there seriously no story in the world bigger than some ditz having a mental episode? Does this affect my life at all? Your life? (Aside: Ever notice how the "woman in peril/dead baby of the week" type story the TV news stations salivate over always revolve around cute white women, by the way? What up with that?)
As someone who is an actual wage-earning journalist, it dismays me to see the trivialism and lowest common denominator continue to prosper on the brain-dead TV news end of things. Meanwhile, here in my small Oregon county we just had our second local soldier die in Iraq this week, a tragic death way too soon and way too unnecessary. I doubt you saw his name on CNN once.
• Been a wacky few weeks at work, three people leaving (it always happens in threes), one rather suddenly after a short stay which has dumped a lot on my plate. Worked last 11 days right through with one day off in the middle somewhere -- which is why I get a three-day weekend this weekend, and faithful wife and baby and I are off to camp on the Oregon Coast and visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, which we've meant to do the last 3+ years we've been in Oregon... Then, we come back, and I work for another week or so, and I get my real 2-week vacation (the first actual vacation we've had that wasn't to visit one or the other of our parents in more than three years) and we're off to explore the Olympic Peninsula, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada for a week or so. Vacation madness! Blogging hiatus! See you Monday or so!