Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Purple and Gold

Sorry for the delay...Firefox has been a bitch about crashing lately, and I had to retrieve all my Peanuts links.

It's a Thanksgiving explosion: behold the king of Macys! How the fuck are you putting A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Weezer in the same sentence! A real American Idol takes a picture with some midget poser loser! Ratings improved slightly! And big up lesbians! This is the best Peanuts-related writing you'll cast orbs upon outside of this here blog.

Snoopy had nothing to do with Charlie Brown's tree. That was Blockhead alone, with Linus as a disbelieving Thomas. Don't you remember Snoopy's hysterical doggy laughter at the very sight of that twig?

"During a Father's Day trip to an amusement park, Snoop is excited to have the family introduce him to his namesake, Snoopy, and takes photos with the comic strip legend in his low-rider."

Shit. I may have to watch that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Feelin' Ya Memorabilia

Inspired by Carrie Brownstein's latest post at Monitor Mix...

Kim Gordon's Snoopy-stickered Gibson bass
Ricky Wilson's blue Mosrite on the back cover of The B-52's
Paul McCartney's Rickenbacker 4001
The handwritten lyrics to Nas' "It Ain't Hard to Tell"

And there could be several hundred more, but with Thanksgiving in my belly, this quartet of touchstone items will have to do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. I Miss My Puppy

For further goods on the upcoming Snoopy WWI Flying Ace game, peep this interview. Most anticipated game since Super Mario Galaxy!

Snoopy toys at Wendys...I think I'll have to pass, and wait for Ebay.

I didn't get to hang with Snoopy when I got my fingers printed. I got McGruff.

I gots to get back to Dorney Park next year.

This is a nice review, but I take umbrage with this part:

His central thesis, that Schulz was melancholic and withdrawn, has been criticised by Schulz's family, but Michaelis has the strips on his side.

As opposed to his family, who only have the fact that they spent their lives with the man on their side. Good grief. Also, there was no Sherman. It was Shermy. And his hair was boss.

Football gags!

I hope the Yankees crash and burn continues for the next 15 years.

I hope the American crash and burn doesn't last too much longer.

Watching Texas Tech crash and burn was astonishing. Has a number two team ever been crushed that decisively by a numerically inferior squad?

The worst Peanuts special is It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown. By far. It is actually not even close. Whatever the second worst is, it sure as hell isn't Flashbeagle, which needs to come out on DVD now so I can review it. Cornball and hilarious, like people think Larry the Cable Guy is, but he actually isn't.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give No Quarter

America has voted on the best and worst state quarter designs, and the results are a mix of the dead-on, the way-off and the where the hell?

First, the worst:

1. Idaho--A bird, the state, and a motto. Not one potato anywhere. Instant lose. Although to say it's the worst is kinda harsh, at least it was rendered well, unlike Michigan.

4. New Hampshire--I'm pretty incredulous at the presence of this one. A rock formation with the greatest motto of all 50 states makes for a quality quarter. Lot of these voters musta been crazy ageist.

5. New Mexico--NM has the second-best state flag behind Maryland, so it was smart to include the sun symbol on the coin as well. Not sure what isn't to like here.

7. Maryland--I can't tell you how much I anticipated my home state's coin. Seriously, I couldn't wait to count the crabs. So the day comes, they're unleashed to the populace, and we got...the dome of the state capital in Annapolis. What a "Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine" moment that was.

Chesapeake Bay! Crabs! The Oriole! Black-eyed susans! What the flib!

Notable omission: the clusterfuck of poorly-rendered foliage on Mississippi. I don't know what flower that's supposed to be and I don't care.

8. Wyoming--Picking on Wyoming is mean. It's like pushing around a kid in a wheelchair. They tried!

Now, the bestest:

1. Alaska--Hard to argue with this masterpiece. This coin almost makes up for Sarah Palin.

Then a whole bunch of well-drawn ones.

7. Virginia--Depicting ships. Zuh?

See, America's choices for the finest of the quarters kinda befuddles. Outside of Virginia, nothing is there that shouldn't be, but some notable omissions were made.

Georgia--I can understand why it wouldn't have more popular sentiment, what with that motto containing ideas that are simply un-American these days. But peaches win as a rule. By themselves, in oatmeal, in cereal, on coins.

Wisconsin--My choice for second-best, can it be coincidence that both my favorites feature animals? When this one came out, I was gobsmacked. This state, unlike Maryland, got it. The Dairy State gives us an incomplete cheese wheel, unshucked corn, and a disembodied cow head. Brilliant. It should be their new flag design.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Camp of Approval

So a few days ago I make a post wherein I jibed at the hardcore Obama supporters who seemed to think the man had supernatural powers to effect changes in society. I jokingly asked what the hell they expected from him--to singlehandedly save the housing market? To make marijuana legal?

Yesterday I found this "letter to Obama" by Pam Anderson on her website. First of all, I commend her; her spelling is much better than Courtney Love's, and she doesn't attack Kim Gordon anywhere. Yes, kudos.

It actually starts "Dear Mr. Obama", which reminds me of that godawful "Dear Mr. Jesus" song that radio plays at Christmas. You know that tune? Sad little kid talks to the son of God, asking for salvation from abusive parents? It's so damn saccharine my teeth start dissolving in my mouth when I hear it. Makes "The Christmas Shoes" sound like a Black Flag song.

Anyway, back to Pam. After asking for the release of Leonard Peltier and the instant castration of molesters both realized and "potential", she proposes the following:

"I think we should Legalize Marijuana, tax and monitor -farm Hemp etc-this would make our borders less corrupt and then I think eventually this will be more secure option and save children in the long run – we should be able to farm Hemp in America- it’s just silly— it would create jobs- and be good for environment."

I fucking knew it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If You Don't Know Gaki, You Don't Know Funny

The latest episode of Japan's long-running comedy show Gaki No Tsukai Ya Arahende!!. No subtitles, but you don't need them. Trust me. I love the fact that an old Randy Moss Vikings jersey represents Japanese hip hop style. Skol!

I'm eager for the batsu games from 2003 to 2007 to be subbed so I can do a big-ass overview on the blog, complete with screen caps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The More Things Change

Personally I love the idea of Hillary Clinton as the new Secretary of State. Not only because I feel she's a qualified candidate with a world-renowned name, but because it seems to be chafing the sensitive regions of so many Obama supporters.

It's not hard to get the vibe that many folks thought Barack Obama was going to take over the presidency and stock his cabinet with Independents under the age of 45. Hearing the prez-elect cite Lincoln as an inspiration must have broken their hearts--You're supposed to wipe the slate clean, Barry! You're not supposed to look to the past to solve the problems of the future! That's not what you promised!

Understand, I voted for Obama. At no point was I under the delusion that the man possessed a magical elixir of skin color and brilliant oratory skills that, with one timely pour, could remedy all the ills of America and the world. I voted for him so that this country could have someone intelligent and open representing it after eight years of Good Ol' Boy.

I hope recent developments--reaching out to Clinton, reaching out to McCain--have slapped some of the most fervent Obamaniacs out of their reverie. This is real life, kids; this is what politics is. What exactly did they think he was going to do? Pull our troops out within one week of taking office? Pay off everyone's mortgages? Legalize weed? Come the hell on. Politics is a game. Obama knows how to play it. Why else were so many of us on his "team"?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Peanuts is Timeless, Pt. The Doctor Will See You Now or Later

The J & P Show gotta hit these folks up sometime, eh?

The upcoming Snoopy video game will not hit stores till 2010. Good grief.

Football gags here, there, but thankfully not everywhere. Speaking of which, November 16th marked the 56th anniversary of possibly the most timeless thing about the strip.

Nice to see one of my favorite Peanuts lines pop up here.

So why is Peanuts so popular? 'Cause millions of people like it. It hits some chamber in the heart for millions, and has for generations. But this blogger is one of the no doubt countless millions for whom Peanuts does not strike the mark. People are made different. Ain't that a kick in the.

I need to start reviewing these books, damnit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Album Will Suck Suck

Detroit rapper Trick Trick is ready to unleash his new album, and golly gosh does he not like gay people! And I don't even mean he's a homophobe in the sense most anti-gay men are, in that they just hate the gay males, this dude is even hating lesbians. Which I think even most in the hip hop community would give the gas face to.

As per usual, the comments underneath the article are brilliant, and I highly recommend killing valuable minutes by reading them. Or I'll just save you the time and copy/paste the best one here.


People, he's got a point. If several thousand episodes of Cops have taught us anything, it's that heterosexual relationships are bastions of gentility and sobriety. Also, meth makes you lose teeth. Lots of teeth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Don't Forget the "T"

I await the bootleg Snoopy Obama shirt. C'mon people, make it happen.

Only one vote?

No, still not getting iTunes. Hope I'm not missing too much.

Oh yes. Oh hell yes. This is why you have a Wii. The buzz on the Innaweb is that this trailer is about 78 times more mindblowing than anyone expected, and that includes your Snoopy-obsessed blogger.

The world will not end in 2012. The absurdist comedy of a Sarah Palin presidential campaign will only feel like the end of the world.

Snoopy is Prez, like that shocks anyone.

Seneca Wallace=Charlie Brown. Prescient!

This here is a good bit of advice.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Matters

A recent article about my late maternal grandpops, the last person born in Lincoln's cabin (the author is no relation, by the way.)

I remember being in fifth grade when I found out about Ivy Davenport's claim to fame. I've been enamored of it ever since, to the point where I'm still hunting down a video copy of the episode of "I've Got a Secret" on which he appeared.

Friday, November 7, 2008

One Hour and A Few Minutes Later

One day in, and my decision to eschew medication has torn my soul into two distinct halves, one a heaving mess of doubt, dread, and doomsaying; the other, a resolute mass of defiance, daring and DIY. No doctor (or spiritualist) need be to know that a split soul isn't conducive to all-around health.

Understand this: doctors are not your friends. They will be as polite and helpful as is necessary to take your money. The self-help path in the face of bottle after bottle of pills is not a road they will lead you down, not even begrudgingly. Doctors are politicians, selling hope by the milligram, pretending to care about a person other than themselves while all the while operating in the suffocating shadow of their true agenda.

You may recall that my decision was borne of a concern for the monetary and physical effects of long-term use. For the sake of full disclosure, I've been taking 0.25 MG of Risperdal. This is a pittance compared to what I was on before, but it seems to do the same job insofar as it keeps my system "regular".

I am the type of personality who freaks out at the "what if". Even if a side effect occurred in only an average of 1 in every 1,000 persons observed, I am frozen by the fact that, well, it happened. Thus, I avoided pills till I felt I literally had no other option.

April of this year I began to break down. There is simply no other way to put it. Aches and pains travelled throughout my body. Panic attacks became a daily occurrence. The snowball grew and grew until I was unable to go to my job, unable to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling utterly out of sorts, and smashed under the sweat-coated palm of this mysterious ailment. Doctors could not figure it out. They ascertained what it wasn't--lupus, fibromyalgia, heart problem, blood clot, cancer. Their diplomas hung so proud.

Finally, my third trip to the local ER bore fruit. I was questioned by a mental health worker who recommended the hospital's outpatient treatment program. This involved group therapy as a means to confront my sickness (eventually determined to be a sour admixture of bipolar and panic disorders) and then, hopefully, devise a plan to control it.

Around the time I was placed into said program, my physician prescribed Symbyax, a relatively new bipolar treatment that combines olanzapine and fluoxetine. In the three months I wrestled with my baffling foe, I'd gained 30 pounds. I had no clue that olanzapine was also known as Zyprexa, and further, that this Zyprexa was (and is) notorious for the side effect of weight gain.

The outpatient program and subsequent individual therapy sessions--which I am still undergoing--helped immensely. My prodigal life returned. I could work again. I had energy. I could read my Sonic Youth tour journals and not tear up in agonizing envy at that brave, resourceful woman who pursued a dream because she could.

The happiness didn't last.

The Symbyax evened me out, but it also widened an already considerable frame, packing 20 more pounds onto it.

I've heard people say of antipsychotic medication that to be on them is to be "fat and happy" and to be off them, "thin and miserable". That's cute. It's also, in my case, dead fucking wrong.

I insisted on a switch and the Risperdal entered my life. Around this time, I cut red meat out of my diet and joined Golds Gym. It has been a month since. The emotional and physical benefits of these most recent changes were enough to make me question the necessity of pills. I fretted myself useless over the cumulative effects of the pharmaceutical treatment. I flipped the coin and saw the possibility that my body and mind would revert back to their depressed states if I gave up on the pills.

Helpless, I reached out to a pharmacist. I felt my doctor and psychiatrist were in the business of selling me one of several thousand "solutions", so I took my grievances to a middle man, as it were. I was advised not to quit the treatment entirely, but rather to split all my pills in half and take one half a night. I was also told that the low dosage made serious side effects more unlikely
to occur. With this counsel, I made the new decision. To not throw my meds away, but to alter them, and to keep perspective on what is rather than lose sleep over what may never be.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ill Pills Face Their Hour of Reprisal

I'm going off my medication. I've decided that the risks aren't worth it, as I'm starting to notice
little facial tics that could be related to tardive dyskinesia. So I'm going off of all medication
after 4 and a half months. With the dietary changes I've made, and my gym routine, I've
decided not to depend on pills. I'm not going back to them. Drug industries will get no more of
my money.

Just hope these mild facial tics fade. It's mainly frequent licking of the lips, which can be a
sign of the tardive disorder, or could be something else. I had a flare up of it a month or so
ago and it faded. I read the more you take certain pills the more at risk you are at having a
severe, debilitating case of it, and it could be irreversible. My parents didn't raise an idiot.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Peanuts is Timeless, Vote Snoopy

All I have to say is, fuck that paper. You run from your soul when you run from Peanuts.

Snoopy is Kawaii! Somebody buy me Rosetta Stone Japanese for Christmas.

I agree with the fundamental statement of this article, but I can't help but wonder more and more if the American people are too scared to be anything but Charlie Brown.

Hallmark's done it again!

The election will end, but the analogy will continue.

Real-life 'Nuts.

Another football reference, but I like the fact the author admits "99% of what I write is crap."

Ratings for the Pumpkin.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown

It doesn't matter whether you hunger for "change" or crave "experience"--Peanuts is for everyone.

AIRDATE: 10/29/72

STORY: Birchwood Elementary is about to nominate their choices for Student Body President, and no one is more ready for sweeping change than Sally Brown, who is a wreck over being too short to open her locker. Linus thinks Charlie Brown would make a good prez ("Stand up, Chuck!"), but a quick poll by Lucy reveals the brutal truth--he doesn't stand a chance. With a heart full of hope and affection, Sally immediately recommends Linus. Lucy takes another poll, bullying much of the school populace into supporting her little brother. One kid, however, cannot be cajoled. This big-haired blonde kid is Russell Anderson, and he will run against Linus.

The debates go off smashingly for our licorice-haired hero until he decides to devote some speech time to the Great Pumpkin. Predictably, he is met with scorn. Despite this faux pas, he still pulls out the win, 84-83, with the final, deciding vote cast by none other than Russell Anderson.

Sally's glee at her Sweet Baboo's ascension is short-lived. A trip to the principal's office makes it clear that no drastic shifts in power will be happening, and the new president will remember upon which side his toast is jellied or else. There is little Linus can do but capitulate, and litte Sally can do but be enraged. "He sold out!" A classic American tale...8.

ANIMATION: Basically flawless. Bright and bold, and don't you just love Lucy with the "Oswald's just been shot!" face? 10.

MUSIC: Mellow brilliance, sauntering around the school grounds with a supreme vibe of colorblast cool. Which reminds me, this special features the animated debut of one Joseph I. Cool, theme song in hand.


VOICES: Chad Webber is a notable 9 for his perpetually-waking up Chuck. Stephen Shea is a fantastic Linus, jumping headfirst/feetlast into his oratorial spotlight with crazed relish. 10 fa sho.

Robin Kohn is 9 for a suitably peeved Lucy, while Hilary Momberger turns in another fantastic, 10 as Sally. "It's a known fact that, that all of our country's Presidents started their morning with a rousing breakfast." Seriously, Taft would eat a whole buffalo.

Todd Barbee, better known as Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, is a serviceable 7.5 as Russell, the honorable loser. Brian Kazajian is Schroeder, and earns a 7, which is pretty much all a Schroeder voicer can hope for.

Finally, the great Linda Ercoli gets a 9 for Violet. She's arguably the greatest voice actor in the Peanuts reperatory, but is woefully underused as a school paper reporter, accounting for her less-than-perfect showing here.


--The original "Linus runs for office" storyline appeared in some strips from October 1964. Although there, Linus' profession of admiration for the generous fruit resulted in his blowing the election.

Really, in the history of political gaffes, Linus' is rather minor. At least he didn't show up to school in a tank, call Russell a "macaca", or joke about blowing up the high school across town. At least the kid believes in something, majority opinion be damned. There's something very profoundly sad about the way he laments, "It's depressing to think that there are students who don't believe in the Great Pumpkin." Lucy's reflection on the ultimately unfulfilling duties of the campaign worker are also incredibly insightful for a childrens show.

--It's impossible to root against Linus. "I will purge the kingdom! My administration will release us from our spiritual Babylon!" What happened to speeches like that? It's poetry, plain and simple.

--Arguably the greatest segment involves Linus and Lucy attending a talk-radio show set up by Snoopy (yeah, it totally makes sense). The goal is for the candidate to answer queries set forth by voters. The "y'know" caller is hilarious and still relevant, but best of all is the caller (with a voice sounding very Linus-y) who goes on and on about the glory of this opportunity to directly question a candidate, and how important it is to the cause of democracy...and then promptly forgets what question he wanted to ask.


--Snoopy sez vote Clemson. I sez, fear the turtle.

--Where are the parents?!!

--Notice how the "not" looks thrown in at the last second in the title? That's 'cause it was. Yep, the show was originally going to be called You're Elected, Charlie Brown, until someone realized that Charlie Brown being named to any office would fly in the fat round face of all established as normal in the Peanuts universe. But while the title was able to be altered at the last minute, the brief title song could not be re-recorded. That's the kinda thing that can warp kids minds. Hopefully.

You're Not Elected is fresh out on DVD, and is worth every penny. Election day in America is Tuesday and I hope you get out and vote for who you want to represent the country.