Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Review of Either a Benevolent Conspiracy or Fever-Induced Hallucination, By Johnathan

So this is a theory that I came up with on the bus a couple of days ago, while staring at someone's hat. I did have a pretty wicked fever at the time, so bear that in mind.

The hat that I was staring at was a pretty bad fake leopard print. I eventually had to look out the window, which I did just in time to see someone drive by carrying a faux-leopard handbag. My over-heated brain began ticking over: 'There sure is a lot of leopard print in the world,' I thought, 'I wonder if anyone wears real leopard any more, since it looks so tacky.' That's when it hit me: that's why there's so much awful spotted merchandise in the world. It's a vast conspiracy by the manufacturers and consumers of such goods to save the noble leopard from the fur industry! Every pair of stretch pants or set of seat covers adorned with that distinctive pattern acts as another nail in the leopard-fur industry's coffin. What right-minded society maven would want to wear leopard after seeing it stretched across the generous buttocks of the woman who manages her cuticles down at the local Nail Abyss?

Watch out for some sort of faux wolf pelt to become the newest NASCAR enthusiast's accessory, thus vindicating my theories.





Monday, February 26, 2007

Review of Recession, By Johnathan

So my hair's starting to both creep backward and to thin out a bit. In an effort not to be some loser with long, thinning hair I've shaved it down to 1/4 inch. I'm told that it doesn't look bad, which is fine, but the really good thing about this new hairstyle is the fact that if you rub my head it feels like you're petting a cat.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Review of Some Web Site, By Johnathan

So two of my friends just became roommates, and upon examining their collective possessions they discovered that they had over twenty different types of tea. Two facts occur: 1) these guys like to drink tea and 2) there will be a lot of peeing in this house. My friends, being who they are, hit upon a third fact: If 20 teas are good and will generate a lot of urine, they said, then over one hundred teas would be awesome - and the collective fluid waste would reach staggering levels. Plumbers might be needed. Being who they are, my friends set out to gather a diverse selection of teas.

Further, it was determined that this tea collection would be even more wondrous if they could somehow share their impressions of the various teas (bagged and loose [like John Peter]) that they ingested. Standards were quickly set: they would report upon the tea's flavour, they would judge its overall quality by stating what they would trade for one kilo of said tea and they would answer the all-important ever-present question: sure it's a good (or a bad) tea, but would you dip your balls in it? The debate still rages on the issue of female reviewers and how they will address this important question.

So it's a blog, there's talk of tea, there's talk of testicles, it's


Review of Heroic Codes, by Johnathan

Here's a fun and widely-known fact: Superman and Batman don't kill, because Batman saw his parents horribly murdered in front of his eyes and Superman's a good guy about stuff like that. That's why the Joker and Lex Luthor are still running around: Superman and Batman just do not kill.

Oops. Except vampires, apparently. And intelligent machine entities. And monsters, space-dwelling sentient clouds and the occasional alien. Superman and Batman don't kill humans. Which is bullshit. It's the same sort of logic that shows up in fantasy novels all the time, where the hero spends most of the narrative carving up hopelessly outclassed members of supposedly 'evil' races like goblins only to get all moral and hesitant when his (or her, but usually his) opponent is another human, no matter how demonstrably evil. To me it smacks of crypto-racism - I'm sure that if I were still in university I'd be gearing up for an essay that mentions the Other a lot (with maybe a hint of the ol' Male Gaze, just for variety). I mean, *why* do we not kill other people, when you get right down to it? Because they're self-aware entities, just like we are, and if that's enough to save the Joker from your Bat-Wrath then you shouldn't be so damn casual about ripping off those vampire heads, Bruce. And Clark.


Review of Comic Book Weirdness Toward Women, By Johnathan

As some of you might have heard, the traditional comic book is not the most enlightened place when it comes to the 50% plus of our species that has breasts... but not the ones that have man-breasts - those are dudes. Female superheros are thin on the ground, they have lousy costumes, they get murdered and raped and so on and so on (see Living Between Wednesdays for some excellent writing on the subject as it applies to today's comics, by an actual girl who reads comics and is funny). Me, I'm still stuck in the past, so you get to hear about how women got the short end of the stick in the comics of the Sixties and Seventies.

There's a lot to cover here, so let's break it down:

1. Female Characters' Costumes.

Heading into the Seventies, the costumes that the ladies of the comics world were wearing got pretty ridiculous (the guys also had stupid outfits, but that's a tale for another time). A good example comes to us from the Legion of Superheroes, as is so often the case. Let's look at Saturn Girl, who was a tough customer from the get-go, a founding member of the Legion, two times Legion leader and had a decent costume:

As I said: nice. Kind of like the Canadian flag, if Canada was in outer space. Which I assume is the case, a thousand years hence. And look at her unmask that fraudulent Legion applicant! Smart as a whip, I tells ya.

Then, all of a sudden, this happens:

Eep and jeepers. She's got no nose, she's wearing a bathing suit and posing like a porn star. It happened to basically every female member of the Legion (except Phantom Girl - she just got some bellbottoms, bless her). Look, here's Night Girl before:

She's seven feet tall and kicks ass. Even though her powers only work in the darkness she was pretty consistently awesome. After:

Pointlessly skimpy costume, loss of distinctive hair, considerably shorter, etc. The story that this is taken from mostly consists of her getting beaten up by the bad guys over and over until her boyfriend comes to bail her out. Blarg.

2. Career Heroines Not Wanted

This is possibly the worst bit of cheering-up that I've ever seen. "Don't worry your pretty little head. You've lost your duplicate self and you no longer have super powers, but now you can be a devoted wife! Awesome, right?" Getting married was always the cue for super-heroines to retire, though this specific case might have just been a way for the writers to get Duo Damsel out of the way so they could relax and stop trying to find ways to make her power seem useful.

3. This One Panel, Like, Creeps Me Out.

This one's not really a trend, but here seems as good a place as any to bring it up. The panel is from a story where Colossal Boy is dealing with his feelings for Shrinking Violet, who he can't woo because she's in love with Duplicate Boy, who could totally kick his ass. Colossal Boy's doing okay with the urge-controlling, too - right up until this panel, where he gets incredibly creepy. She's your "flower girl", huh? I'm guessing that she put in a request not to be sent on any more missions with him for a while pretty soon after this little uncomfortable moment. Additional creepy element: this is during the period where Colossal Boy's costume didn't really include pants.

4. General Background Misogyny.

Here are a few of my favourite bits of casual contempt:

Mordru kicked Mon-el and Superboy all to hell for a couple of issues, while these three tricked him with about five minutes work. That's not ironic, Mon-el. That's you being a fucking idiot.

I just like this one because Superboy thinks that someone having an ape-man as a counterpart in an alternate reality is *way* more likely than them being a woman.

Female androids are also pretty unlikely. Also: can you really not hit a lady, Superboy, or are you just copping a feel?

Last up, here's Timber Wolf acting like a tool. His teammate just crashed her spaceship and he takes the opportunity to make a joke about women drivers. Ass.

Unsurprisingly, this is all NOT APPROVED. However, there is one upside to all of this: every once in a while it gets turned around. Every time the girls get a leg up the guys are just totally emasculated. Look:

They're very sad, poor things. They've been outclassed by the ladies and have to pout and it's hilarious and


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Review of My Own Actions This Past Sunday, By Johnathan

I'll let the series of small reviews tell the tale:

Having sushi with Brad and Alex: JOHN APPROVED.

Going out for a beer or two afterward: JOHN APPROVED.

Having six or seven beer: NOT APPROVED.

Being drunk until noon the next day: NOT APPROVED.

Having a day off because of this, even if it was mostly spent hung over: JOHN APPROVED.

Breaking the bar's door on the way out: NOT APPROVED.

Making sure that they had my correct phone number so that I could pay for said door: Morally JOHN APPROVED/ Financially NOT APPROVED

Learning on Tuesday that I had called up a friend at midnight Sunday to demand that he build me a 'Laugh-o-Meter' that is capable of determining who could laugh the loudest: NOT APPROVED.

Learning that I was apparently persuasive enough that he is building it: JOHN APPROVED.