b Papa Dog's Blog: King of all Them there Media, That's Me

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, October 11, 2004

King of all Them there Media, That's Me

At the risk of waxing repetitious for those of you who also read Mama Dog’s blog, we did a little shopping on Telegraph Avenue yesterday. We stopped first at Amoeba, where I picked up the new Tom Waits. I’ve only given it a single listen, which was somewhat compromised by laundry duty and acts of Baby, but it sounded more engaging than Alice or Blood Money - I find I don’t really dig his theatrical soundtracks as much as his “proper” albums (though I am kind of bummed that I won’t have the opportunity to see Black Rider at ACT). Anyway, this one sounds a little more in the vein of Bone Machine which, while not a particular favourite on first listen, really grew on me over time.

At Cody’s, I went in and very quickly got the thing I’d come for (same thing I was looking for at Pendragon the night before) and inadvertently impulse-grabbed the new Patrick McGrath. I still could’ve gotten out for less than $100 at that point, but Mama Dog was keen to browse. Instead of doing the smart thing – making my purchase and waiting outside – I continued to poke around and next thing I knew I also had the new Philip Roth, a Joe Matt Collection, another Joe Matt collection, and a journal (no link, sorry). This is why in book stores especially it’s important for me to go in, get what I came for, and leave.

The Joe Matt books, by the way, I’ve kind of read before. Most of them, anyway, when they were originally published in Peepshow. I hadn’t looked at his stuff in years, though, and flipping through the first story in The Poor Bastard made me want to read them all over again. You really have to hand it to the guy – when it comes to willingness to portray himself in an unflattering light, he really goes the extra mile, way beyond what any of the other members of the Whiny Autobiographical Comics School would be willing to do. It’s weird that he’s so aware of in exactly what ways he’s a miserable human being and a lousy boyfriend, but despite his clarity and self-awareness, he’s incapable of going past diagnosis to cure. I’d be tempted to say it’s got to be exaggeration, but from what I understand, it’s not. I’ve never met the guy but, comics being the small world it is, I know lots of people who have, and they all say his self-portrait is unfailing, unflatteringly, accurate.

Oh, also – the links I provided are all to Amazon, but if you want to buy his books, you should get them straight from the publisher. I’d have supplied links there, but the shopping section of their site is set up to browse in toolbar-less windows and I can’t figure out how to copy out the relevant URLs. (Naturally, you can also get them through Last Gasp.)

Also last night, we watched the second episode of Desperate Housewives, which I’m kind of surprised to be enjoying. It has a bit of a hodgepodge feel to it – a little bit Twin Peaks, a little bit Ally McBeal, a little bit Melrose Place – and it’s hard to know how that’s going to hold together over the long haul, but it’s made me laugh out loud several times in two episodes, and that’s saying something.

It’s a little troubling, though, that Teri Hatcher, playing the mother of a teenager, is looking a bit on the haggard side. I’m just the tiniest bit her elder.

A milestone: Mount Mutt Mitt is no more. Doggy Dog created a use for the last one Sunday night.

Another milestone: Fare-thee-well Christopher Reeve, just days after having his name dropped by John Kerry in Debate II. Michael J. Fox, name dropped in the same answer, beware.

And lastly – Papa Pirate writes, apropos of my last post:

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to differ with you. For the record I would like to state that I am against slavery (I'm sure you are amazed at my strong moral compass). The Dred Scott decision was sound given the precepts of the time and as a matter of law. If you allow that people can be viewed as property (Again, I don't believe that you should) then to say that you can own property in one state but not in another is ridiculous. That is like saying that you have to give up your poker winnings when you come back from Nevada at the California Border. The Dred Scott decision actually finally showed that there had to be a fundamental shift in the law, rather than allowing the idea of free state vs. slave state to continue. Even though the justices did not have it in mind, their decision made it clear that slavery would have to be abolished constitutionally.

And you’re right, Balance of Terror is a good episode, although it is a rip off of several submarine films and does not fit in with later time lines concerning human/Romulan interactions."

I was a little confused by what you were disagreeing with, Papa Pirate – my main point was just that it was weird Bush should have to go all the way back to Dred Scott to find an example of poor Supreme Jurisprudence (though I’ve since found a pretty good explanation of why). I guess you’re disagreeing with my characterisation of Dred Scott as “he most shameful decision in the Supreme Court’s history?” If that’s the case, I respectfully must stand by my original assessment. I understand the legal argument (and the poker analogy is a good one), but I have to say that the ruling’s major premise – that a black man has “no rights which any white man was bound to respect.” Goes well beyond the reasoning you’re ascribing to it. It’s ironic that Bush claims to considers this ruling a piece of inappropriate judicial activism. In fact, Bush’s ideological ancestors in the southern Democratic party of the mid-1800s would have thought any ruling that recognised the obvious implication of the Declaration of Independence – that human being aren’t property – would have been inappropriate judicial activism.

Oh – and many have claimed Run Silent Run Deep was an antecedent for Balance of Terror, but really it was a de facto remake of The Enemy Below (Robert Mitchum as Kirk the destroyer Captain and Curt Jürgens as the Romulan U-boat commander), much as they remade The Flight of the Phoenix as The Galileo 7 later that season.

Okay, I’ve officially gone on too long. No time to tell about getting snot out of Baby Dog’s nose now!


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