Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #047: Racism Is The New Orange

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #047: Racism Is The New Orange

Perhaps you recall way back last Sunday when the most notorious bigot of the 21st Century told four members of the House of Representatives to go back where they came from, where they should be trying to fix those shithole countries (to borrow a phrase he applied to such lands eighteen months ago) instead of annoying him.

The optics aren’t good here, but let’s face it: we are a nation that is completely polarized. This president really could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue near his tacky Trump Tower #1 and not lose support from his base – which is somewhere between one third and two-firths of the American electorate. He could then try to have sex with the bullet hole (to borrow a concept from my old pal and editor Paul Krassner) and, even if he couldn’t get “it” up his base will gladly hold it for him. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #047: Racism Is The New Orange”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings

According to the Washington Post, last week 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin of Peoria Arizona stopped by the Circle K convenience store on his way home from work, one of the two summer jobs he held. He had been listening to rap music in his car, according to 27-year-old Michael Adams, who is not a fan of the genre. Indeed, rap music makes him feel “unsafe.”

Adams feels this way because, according to him, he had been attacked “by people who listen to rap: specifically, blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.” Adams did what many unreasonable people might do under the circumstances: he leaped out with his pocketknife at the ready, he slashed Al-Amin’s throat and then, for good measure, stabbed him in the back.

Al-Amin staggered out of the store and died by the gas pumps in front. Adams said he was being “proactive rather than reactive” and that his victim did nothing to provoke him. That’s quite an admission from a guy who had been released from prison two days earlier – without access to medication. You’d think he’d know better. You’d think he was nuts. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July, our national celebration of the time a whole lot of immigrants and their offspring told the guy in charge that they’d had enough of his shit. It’s a great American tradition.

It has become quite hard to celebrate this majestic event when our coward in charge and his underlings in ICE, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, the Republican Senate caucus and their fellow travelers literally are torturing thousands of children and their parents.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, holy shit, pick up a newspaper and stop paying attention to the most-excellent professional liars at Fox. All kinds of horrible things are being done to children in your name, and it does not matter who they are or how they got here. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence

Readers and followers of our site know that we are always looking for crowdfunded projects that are worthy of our support. It appears to be time for a new wave of Kickstarter projects to grab our attention.

A new project that we have been aware of even before it went live is the focus of this spotlight post. The project is called Shots Fired, and it is an anthology of comic format short stories aimed at calling attention to the tragedy of gun violence in America.  While there have been other excellent projects aimed at supporting the victims of gun violence. This collection is committed to using profits from the book to support violence prevention.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence”

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel

Alex Paknadel is a rising star in the field of comics writing. In 2019, he has completed his highly acclaimed first series with Vault Comics called Friendo. He has continued as the writer of the Lion Forge book Kino, which is set in the Catalyst Prime universe. He also wrote a four-part mini-series for Valiant called Incursion.

After breaking into the comics scene in 2015 with Arcadia from Boom! Studios, he has developed a reputation for thought-provoking storytelling. Often his topics cover deep socio-political subjects, but he can write a super-hero fight scene with the best of them. If you follow our Preview Reviews or Everything We Read columns, you will find Alex show up regularly there.

We caught up with Alex in Chicago at C2E2 in March, and this interview was captured then.

PopCultureSquad: Recently [in March 2019] there was an announcement that you and your White Noise studio mates [Dan Watters, Ram V, and Ryan O’Sullivan] have new books coming from Vault Comics. What can you tell us about that?

Alex Paknadel: We’ve re-upped with Vault for another tranche of books for 2019-2020. Dan Watters and I have started work on a book called Earthcrosser, which is being gorgeously illustrated by a brilliant Scottish artist named Pablo Clark. Ram and Ryan’s plans for 2020 are well-advanced too, so expect great things.

PCS: Ok, and you guys know what you are doing? You are excited about the new books?

AP: Yeah, we were able to get fantastic creative teams for the first wave of books, and we have managed to at least equal the quality of creative talent for this next set if not go beyond that.

We have been viewing Vault, and I hope they don’t get upset for me saying this but, as sort of an outlet for our “Boutique Books”. These are the ones where we take big risks.

PCS: Are they the ones that are most personal? Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?

Back in 1956, a young senator named John F. Kennedy published a book titled Profiles In Courage. Written by Kennedy and (mostly, according to columnist Cecil Adams) Theodore Sorensen, the tome detailed the stories of eight senators who exhibited extraordinary valor by standing up for the right thing.

Profiles in Courage won a Pulitzer the following year, and when JFK became president it became mandatory reading in public schools across the Union states, as well as some within the friendly confines of the Confederacy. It’s worth reading today, but if you’ve got a short attention span you can find out about these eight old white guys on Wiki.

Please note: I said it was worth reading today. If Ted were to come back from the grave to write a sequel, he need not transverse the River Styx. Spit out Charon’s obol, pal, your follow-up would be shorter than this very piece. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?”

Watch LIVE Tonight: The Investigation A Search For Truth in 10 Acts

Watch LIVE Tonight: The Investigation A Search For Truth in 10 Acts

A star studded live reading of the Mueller report for one night only! Tonight, presented by Law Works and sponsored by members of the Disney family

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

Earlier this month the Illinois legislature passed and sent to the governor a bill legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana. Within 24 hours, I had received a half-dozen emails and texts asking me when I was moving back home.

I’ve been gone a third of a century, but – like most obnoxious Chicago ex-pats – the city remains imbedded in my heart. The people, the traditions, music and the folklore, and the highly dangerous but totally fabulous junk food that is all such an integral part of the city’s culture remains remarkably seductive. Continue reading “The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards

About a month ago, the international edition of The New York Times launched a shitstorm when they published an editorial cartoon depicting Donald Trump as Benji Netanyahu’s blind toady. In response, the Gray Lady was loudly condemned by the rabid right for anti-Semitism.

In response to these foolish attacks, the New York Times took a courageous stand. They decided to drop their editorial cartoons across the board. All of them, in both their international edition and their regular American daily. This disappearing act, unless repealed, goes into effect July 1st. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?

And the parting on the left / Is now the parting on the right / And the beards have all grown longer overnight – Pete Townshend, 1971

I made my position on the LGBTQ community clear in this space last week, so for a change I won’t repeat myself. However, whenever I write about the Israel troubles I feel obligated to repeat the following, last seen here on March 14: When it comes to the never-ending middle east conflict, I have no horse in the race. This is because I believe in freedom of religion. I’m not in favor of a Jewish state, and I’m not in favor of a Muslim state. I’m also not in favor of a Christian state… You get the idea.

If you’re an American and your response to this, with respect to the aforementioned “troubles,” is “but it’s not their land,” I would ask you for the name, city and tribal designation of the Native American to whom you pay rent.

Once again, some in leadership positions in sundry gay communities have conflated the star of David with Zionism. This past week’s Washington D.C. Dyke March banned Jewish women – and, presumably, all others – from marching under the banner of Jewish gay pride. This flag contains the star of David over the rainbow color background. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?”