THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
27 July 2010
  Cult Palin Leading GOP Over Cliff. How Cool Is That?

Palin's endorsement proves to be poison again, this time for New Hampshire's GOP Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte. I wonder why the GOP have so bought into Cult Sarah. I believe it's a strong and glaring sign of their complete entropy and desperation and it's heartening.

The one time Sarah Palin was tested as a national candidate, you see, she lost. She turned what might have been a close race for McCain into a shutout.

She's not a growth candidate. She's a hardest-of-the-hardcore base candidate, if any kind of candidate--apart from a parody of one. The numbers do not increase, however steady they might at best be, and they are not enough to help her any more than they were before, and the few independents that voted for McCain despite her will now have no reason at all. And time and time again, when she steps into a race the GOP candidate stands a chance of losing(Brown pretty much would have won with or without her), they lose.

There's a story from ancient China, of a hungry man in a field. A rabbit comes jumping across the field, but fails to see a stump and so hits it headfirst and dies. The man can't believe his luck. He has dinner. And then waits at that stump till he starves, for another rabbit.

Except the GOP didn't even get the first rabbit, but still they wait excitedly at the stump.

The truth is, as I've said, that she's just fleecing them. She's a good old-fashioned confidence trickster(think THE MUSIC MAN), who tells the marks what they want to hear and robs them blind. She's a polibrity*, not a politician. And when tested, she loses. But does she want to win? Do you really think she'd take the pay cut public office entails now?

*If she can make up words, so can I.

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24 July 2010
  LULU Chapter 2, p. 25


Saturday. LULU is served. Page five of Chapter 2, aka p. 25.

Click and read!




Chapter One in print now in THIS SICKNESS #6--available only at Amazon!

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23 July 2010
  Bush Tetras: "Too Many Creeps" (Two Versions) Plus Pylon

I've had this song in my head for the past week, so now you can share that with me. I'm really surprised I hadn't heard more about this talented little NY band. I also see here where a lot of Karen O's style came from. For that matter where a lot of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs(whom I love)'s whole act came from. Anyway, here's the studio version:

And a 1980 live version including "Things That Go Boom In the Night."

And I'll throw in some Pylon because I like you.



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22 July 2010
  Mount Above-It-All

It's nice you realized your administration's mistake in murdering the career and reputation of Shirley Sherrod, Obama, but I do not like what the mistake implies about your administration. I'm glad you have your teachable moment. Now realize that Fox and Breitbart and their ilk will always attack you, and there is no upside in trying to please them, especially when doing so usually entails throwing your own people, and the faith of your supporters, under the bus. The people who watch Fox do so because they will never vote for you. Forget about them. They see you as weak and vulnerable when you give in to them, and I've been wondering for a while whether you really are as much of a coward as you appear. You ignore progressives so that you can appear "moderate." You let the GOP hack away at the jobs, financial reform, and healthcare bills until they were unrecognizable as any meaningful improvement. You compromise constantly with the GOP, who then return the favor by giving you nothing at all but scorn, threats, slander and filibusters.

And now, they so much as blink funny, and your appointee Tom Vilsack(who is a Republican, by the way)fires an innocent woman with the idea that this will please you, and limit damage to the administration. Which ended up causing you much, much more damage, in the minds of both your enemies and your friends, than if the lies about her had been true. You cannot throw those who work for you, and those who voted for you, to the wolves to buy you running time forever. Eventually, you will run out of us, or we will realize we're sacrificing ourselves for you for nothing, given that you don't even use these incidents for a larger purpose, but merely to maintain...what image? What perception? Your enemies will always hate you, Obama. And we, your voters, realize that our loyalty, ultimately, means little to you, or at least to those around you.

Which of these is actually the president, Obama? You or your advisors and cabinet? Or Fox News? When will you come down from Mount Above-It-All?

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21 July 2010
  My Solution to the Shirley Sherrod Debacle

One: full public apology from all the idiots who fell for this. Reinstatement for Shirley Sherrod. A raise, even.

Two: Tom Vilsack, fired. Benjamin Jealous, resign. Seriously. Both have shown they jeopardize what they supposedly run by being there. No spine, no intelligence, no questioning. They destroyed an innocent woman who's spent her life HELPING people, on what? A blogger's word? That of a news network they claim not to take seriously? Over a cherry-picked out-of-context clip from a speech that was about how SHE got over the prejudices of her youth and helped two white farmers who are still grateful to her?

And after telling us about this, Maddow interviewed a very nervous Jealous, who she then gave softball question after question(unusual for Maddow) and let him veer away from Shirley Sherrod and babble about this being a teachable moment. Man, fuck your teachable moment. You destroyed the life of a nice, harmless lady. YOU did it. YOU took the bait. Yet you talked like this was something someone else did. Just shut up, step down, and let someone who actually pays attention run the NAACP.



What exactly is wrong with Obama's administration? Do they actually pay any attention to anything? Why are they so willing to give the cons what they want, anytime they want, but not willing to give us, the ones who will actually vote, none? And they reward good deeds with this?

Did I vote for Obama so he'd do the GOP's work for them? I did not.

I am almost tempted to wish Obama would step down if this is his true self, the idiot who would accept the resignation in the first place.

Shame. Complete shame. We expect Breitbart and Fox to do this like we expect a rattlesnake to bite. But Obama has shown that, if you get bitten, he'll leave you behind.

That's not "hope." Whatever else it is. And it's making his supporters, like me, wonder what use he actually is, when it's obvious the people we thought we voted out still run EVERYTHING. And are laughing and laughing.

Faith and credibility, once lost, don't come back.

And as for the true villains in all this, Fox and Breitbart, just because I expect this of them doesn't mean they should be free to do it. I say that Mrs. Sherrod should sue them for what they committed here.

LIBEL.

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18 July 2010
  My Old Hollywood Bitchslap Reviews

I didn't realize these were still floating about out there, but here are my complete film reviews and articles done for the defunct Hollywood Bitchslap from 1999 to 2003. In which you'll find my earliest attacks on Mel Gibson, but also my, um, unique review of Pearl Harbor, and my analysis of Salo, which, for a long time was one of the few you could find on the web. And other stuff that I didn't transport over to Helium when I moved, and revised, many of these. Have to admit, I was a lot meaner back then.

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17 July 2010
  LULU Chapter 2, p. 24


Saturday, and here's yer LULU, page four of Chapter 2, aka p. 24.

Click and read!


Your comments and messages, as always, are wanted and desired.

Chapter One in print now in THIS SICKNESS #6--available only at Amazon!

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  Watching Fritz Lang, Discovering Mabuse

In connection with Lulu, I've recently been fairly obsessed with trying to understand Weimar Germany (and it's not an easy thing). Though my Lulu is set in (more or less)modern-day Chicago, and the plays were a product of pre-WW1 Germany, which seems to me justifies using the piece--as Pabst did, which is why most think of it as the Weimar work--as a means of looking at one's own hard times. In the usual jumps from tangent to tangent I often follow, this led me into looking at more of the quite amazing Fritz Lang, usually with Thea Von Harbou, a favorite since my childhood because of M, which I saw accidentally on SCETV one afternoon when I was about 8. I'd never really seen more than that and Metropolis. Thanks to the wonderful completists at Kino, I got to see his masterpiece DR. MABUSE: DER SPIELER--which is actually, like KILL BILL, a two-part film, "The Gambler" and "Inferno". Here's the first one.

And--banned by the Nazis themselves, the deeply creepy TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, complete.
Basically, this is your prototype Lex Luthor-style evil genius-manipulator, warring on the very economy of Germany itself. The opening scene is almost a film to itself, where he wreaks havoc on the stock market merely by stealing one diplomatic pouch., But he's not just that. He's something a bit more...sinister, implied in the latter film I mention. He's a bit like Spartacus Hughes in THE FILTH: more meme than man.

Mabuse, interestingly, is played by the same fellow who played Rotwang in METROPOLIS.
If you haven't seen them, or in the case of the former, you think silent films--which are a huge amount of the inspiration for my methods of making comics--are hard to follow or boring, you must see these, and more Lang. He holds up well, I think, because of the very cynicism that he was often criticized for in his time. And if you look at his work, you can see prototypes spread all around for what became a lot of the style of American adventure and superhero comics. You can certainly see his influence shot through, most especially, such comics as Batman and Dick Tracy. And Lang virtually invented the spy genre in film.

What I like about Lang, besides that his movies all look stunning, is his way of making the centrality of the protagonist(in the Hollywood "hero" manner), not matter, even if there is a supposedly central character. His films aren't even ensembles--they're collectives. His films are about cities as organisms, and their dynamics as living beings. This, I think, as expressed in M(itself the subject of an excellent 1990 adaptation by Jon J. Muth, which was an inspiration for my wanting to do Lulu, along with P. Craig Russell's approaches to adaptation of opera) has carried through in such works as Moore & Campbell's From Hell, the comic Lang's M most resembles in its decentralized dissection of London. I don't think I've ever seen that comparison elsewhere, but I'm making it.

Below is a sampling of a very useful book on the MABUSE cycle. I intend to do something involving Mabuse the minute I get the chance. Oh, and here's another reason to love Lang, from his INDIAN EPIC(that's right, he even dabbled in Bollywood style, before there really was such a thing). I think I've posted it before. You don't mind though.






___________________

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10 July 2010
  "Very Good Dogs"

I was just now very impressed by a webcomic--a feat in itself. But one that actually outdoes a certain British comics master at his own game, which was to bring out hidden potential and complexity in old story concepts by exploring implied questions others had left unattended. I will not say who I mean, because that would spoil the shock of the ending. And it actually has a different one, which is linked to, but what's here is somehow more poignant.

I would just tell you: click here and read it, and be very careful if you, like me, are sentimental about animals, and about dogs(and in my case cats) in particular. My life was saved at the age of three by a dog, so dog stories get me every time. But this one is a bit beyond that. Sort of a Rorschach test, and you're going to hit me for that pun when you finish this.

I think this is a work of genius.




When you finish, you may need this.

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  LULU Chapter 2, p. 23


Saturday, and here is LULU, page three of Chapter 2, aka p. 23.

Click and read!

Also an announcement, and an exciting one: the next THIS SICKNESS will also feature the work of two greats, Ashley Holt and Sam Henderson(longtime Friend of Bottomless, who was also in Working for the Man and Plastic). More on that at some point, but something to look forward to.

And please comment on what you've thought of it so far. I want to bloody hear from you!

Chapter One in print in THIS SICKNESS #6--available only at Amazon!

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09 July 2010
  I Told You So: Mel Gibson

You are about to listen to the sound of a man putting his own drunken, stupid mouth to his own head and firing.

Look, I've been warning you about Mel for a looong time, haven't I? And here is the Mel heard 'round the world.

Turns out it may be more than just verbal and mental abuse. And on the tape he says she deserved it. Deserved, specifically, being hit while she had their baby in her arms. He's now being investigated for domestic violence.

And it makes sense. Listen to it. He sounds like a classic abuser whose tone is saying, "Remember last time you mouthed off? the hand?" That's what he sounds like. Cruel. Not brave, nor has he a heart. He may have some kind of passion but it's not that of Christ, and his madness is at its max. This can't be unheard.

Some are already saying this is a blackmail attempt, but few blackmailers let go of as much of this so quickly. The point of blackmail is to be paid not to let this out. And even if so, this is still who he is and it can't be unheard. But: He can be this way, and she could be taking advantage of it. They can both be true. But I consider what this has revealed without ambiguity about Gibson's character to be the most important part in general, while the settlement she is now going to get out of him is a matter between them and the courts. As is the investigation into the domestic violence. In any event, what this comes down to is: this is the final affirmation this is a terrible person who should be shunned, and even if you think he was ever any good, he's become something awful at least at this point. Myself, this fits exactly with what I've felt whenever I saw or heard him at least since the 90s.

Even if she did engineer this whole thing to extort from him, the fact the extortion hangs on remains true. Sometimes it takes bad to destroy bad, too.

And the way he speaks of her clothing and her body, all of which he probably didn't mind when she was his mistress, that he left the no doubt much happier mother of his eight children for. That's pretty much in keeping with his particular version of "traditional" morality. One of these once held that the mother of your child somehow then becomes something to be kept clean and pure, and that what you did with her as a mistress will now be with other mistresses, while the mother remains a mother. (There's an excellent book on this, and how it was reflected in art of the 19th century, called IDOLS OF PERVERSITY, though I can't recommend the author's other books)

I admit I'm glad. Some examples of why I'm so happy about this. I examined his noxious work for some years before getting sick of it. Not because I liked him, but because I saw something frightening in there, that I found surprising I didn't hear others remark upon. Because it bothered me that people saw something convincingly heroic about him onscreen.
There were more but those were the only ones I brought over from Hollywood Bitchslap. I remember when I was looking at these things and seeing not just the same plot, but the same increasingly brutal and paranoid attitude laid out in these things, I wondered how long it would take before the world saw what Gibson was.

And Mel. You just cannot stop yourself, can you? You're not insane. You're just a brutal, stupid bastard, certainly the most horrible from an era when actors got directing Oscars every two years, with an ugly mind, an ugly soul, a hatred of all man- and womankind in more than 31 different flavors of slur, with no talent and no brain. The least of my reasons to hate you was the way you destroyed history every time you came near it. But this? It all fits. Poison fruit from a poison tree. You have no taste, no talent, no knowledge, no self-control, no kindness, no love and no reason to have ever become so famous and respected as once you were. You're the symbol of all the ugliness in our culture's soul. And perhaps you need to be exorcised, one less fevered ego clogging the world.


I'm glad everyone knows what you are. I'm glad you can't stop. Now swallow all your wormwood.

Update: But wait, there's more! Actual mad threats of violence ("you need a BAT to the side of the head!" he says) and a really scary voice. Please listen. Please defend this man. Watch his fucking movies now.

"YOU SHOULD JUST SMILE AND BLOW MEEE!" he screams. I'm serious. And he also talks about not having "spiritual common ground" with her. He would need a spirit for that, in the rotted, ugly hole he has instead.

He needs to get out of all our lives now. Fix himself, drink himself to death, that's his problem. But he needs to go away and keep his poison to himself.

And he will. See, in this second one he says these things: "my career is over and when I said that you lit out.." and "I have no fucking friends " Guess what. Mel has no friends left in Hollywood. He was ALREADY fucked. He was blaming it and taking it out on her.

Which means he is not coming back from this, Gibson fans, all three of you left.

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07 July 2010
  My Utter Apathy About The Gore Accusations

Gore is now suspected of, and being investigated for, rape in Portland. Here are the details. I notice so very many so-called progressives are leaping to his defense, some resorting to the time-honored method of labeling his accuser a liar and a whore. Most likely it will come to nothing--the accusations are fairly weak ones.

Even if Edwards hadn't burned me, though, I wouldn't care. Why? Because Gore is not a hero. Hero worship and cults of personality are something I loathe in politics anyway. They're where ideals go to die, and I only care about politicians insofar as they're an effective means to an end. And if a public servant fails to serve properly, you replace them like any other tool.

But there's more than that. Gore failed us, and I cannot understand why progressives forget that.

Gore won in 2000, but gave in to the centrists and didn't fight to keep Bush from stealing the presidency. (the SCOTUS decision didn't make him president, it merely was an important step in enabling it) He stood there as the congressional black caucus kept defending him, and made them shut up. He played like a good boy, going along, to keep his status and place in the system.

And because he didn't fight, thousands upon thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps NY, are now dead and might not have been. Our economy is in ruins, as is the soul of our country. Almost a decade the world has suffered, all because Gore played nice. It may rank as one of the most crucially destructive decisions of all time. Bush and Cheney did it all, but Gore opened the door for them.

Meanwhile he's spent all this time getting richer, collecting awards merely for his symbolic value(much like Obama and his now-very-hollow Nobel), and feeding his ego. Oh, and dressing up a Powerpoint presentation as a movie.

Gore brought us Bush because he didn't really care; it was just a game to him. So why the hell do so many who should feel betrayed by this man consider him a hero? He let us down. He failed us.

I don't know, or care, whether the accusations are true or not, nor is it for any of us to decide. I do know that I long since stopped caring what happened to him, one way or another.

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06 July 2010
  The GOP Thinks Driving Us To Suicide Will Get Them Votes

The GOP's plot to make a bad situation worse continues with their continued filibuster against unemployment benefits, matched in small-mindedness only by the Democrats, and most particularly Obama's advisers, who are too timid to stop them. Why? Oh, the GOP will tell you they're worried about deficits.

"Deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney, on the tax cuts for the rich.

So we knew already that's a lie. The truth is that the GOP thinks that the worse they make it, the more likely we'll vote for them. Like we don't remember that this began on Bush's watch, and that it was handled by his administration in a way he never would have had they not been about to be succeeded by a Democrat. They wanted to hobble Obama, and force him to spend his time in office simply cleaning up after them. And then blame Obama for the mess in the first place, and pretend Bush didn't exist.



I do blame Obama and the Democrats for one thing: utter unforgivable timidity. That should be said. His advisors are giving him bad advice, and the Senate Democrats(because the extensions already passed the House) are utterly gutless.

But nobody is fooled. This is on the GOP and now they have assured they own this pain. We know exactly who's doing the filibustering. I see GOP thugs all over the web trying to convince people this is a reason to vote for them in November. Because they're vultures and bottom feeders, and they love our pain. Meanwhile suicide hotline calls have spiked violently. Many of their potential voters will probably be dead by then. Not that they care about the lives of their fellow Americans. Or for that matter, America. I don't know what they do care about, but this country isn't it.

And voting them into a majority in Congress? If you think it's hard now, just wait till they have the full weaponry to block progress for another two years. This is about keeping Obama from being re-elected, that's all they care about. And increasing their proportion of Congress will only mean we will suffer for at least two more years as they keep ratcheting this up.

I'm not saying Obama is wonderful, not at all. I'm actually pretty damn angry at him. But for not standing up to these monsters who brought us to this pass in the first place. If someone's ineffective at stopping a rabid dog, the answer is not to let the dog into your house. If the police cannot stop a hostage taker, it doesn't mean you make the hostage taker chief of police.

And at this point, I think we should stop pretending these are just fellow citizens with a different opinion. I think we should stop considering the GOP a political party, and realize what a criminal organization they really are. I think, when they pipe up, we should just quote their hero and respond with a firm "SHUT UP."

They have nothing worthwhile to say, and they mean nothing but harm. They do not even deserve what little power they still have. This isn't cute and this isn't a game. This is people's lives and they don't even care about that. They're reminding us they never did.

They should be driven out of the way. Period. Obama can't be timid in fighting them if they're gone.

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02 July 2010
  LULU Chapter Two, p. 22


Saturday--well, almost--and here is LULU, page two of Chapter 2, or rather, p. 22.

Click and read!

And please comment on what you've thought of it so far. I want to bloody hear from you!

Chapter One in print in THIS SICKNESS #6--available only at Amazon!

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