Category: Politics

Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…

Life’s a football game, as every chump and champ knows. We don’t touch, we collide, till we’re worn out inside. We’re kicking each other, right where it hurts, setting up the big play, and trying to score. — “Football” written by Iggy Pop, Whitey Kirst, and Whitney Kirst.

Art by Jack Davis

Yeah, I know I’m going to get a lot of shit for this, but the worst thing that ever happened to America is football.

OK. Breathe into a paper bag for a minute and then read my explanation.

As George Carlin told us back in 1975 during the very first episode of Saturday Night Live, and I excerpt, “football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness. Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog. In football, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you’re capable of taking the life of a fellow human being. In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.”

Art by Jack Davis

Fine. That’s the sport of football. Compared to the way the rest of the world plays their football, very few people actually get killed. Except in Canada, where they play a different game of football altogether and they are very polite, once they get outside of a hockey arena. But the culture of American football — and that’s the last time I’ll use that adjective with respect to sport — well, that’s a whole different thing. It is much more dangerous. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…”

As Is: I Woke Up This Morning And Hate Was On My Mind

“And don’t try to dig what we all say” — Pete Townshend, “My Generation”

I freely admit: when I first heard the word “woke” as a positive definition of the human condition, I did not care for the term. “Woke” implies that everybody is asleep but for the lucky few who are smart enough to understand the difference between a bowling alley and a thunderstorm. I’m way too egalitarian for that.

I do not mean to suggest that DeSantis is less than truthful about his beliefs. Not at all. To quote Maya Angelou, the award-winning poet/writer/actor/dancer that Governor Ron has banned from his school libraries: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” After all, about two out of every three Americans think that Nazis are not good people, while some on the far-right object to being called Nazis, or even fascists. Evidently, these people banned the dictionary before they got through “F.” Continue reading “As Is: I Woke Up This Morning And Hate Was On My Mind”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Washington Comic Book Caucus?

Brainiac On Banjo: The Washington Comic Book Caucus?

Who was it that set up a system, supposedly democratic system, where you end up always voting for the lesser of two evils? I mean, was George Washington the lesser of two evils? Sometimes I wonder. Wide Wide River, written by The Fugs.

Well, this is amusing, and it just might be helpful.

Despite having been in Congress less than six months, Robert Garcia (D-CA) is a powerful man. He’s on the House Committee on Homeland Security as well as the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability where he’s the ranking member on the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs. “Ranking member” means he’s the highest-placed congressman who doesn’t belong to the party in power at that moment. He’s also co-chair of the Equality Caucus, and he’s on the Congressional Progressive Caucus. This, according to the ruling party, makes him the enemy of MAGAts both here and in Russia.

And now, he’s putting together a brand-new caucus. It’s called the Congressional Popular Arts Caucus, it’s bipartisan, and, just to show you he knows his stuff, he’s making the formal announcement at the San Diego Comic-Con next month, which is not all that far from his home. This will not come as a surprise to those who know Garcia as a major comics fan, focusing on DC comics, but I’m sure when he’s caucusing he will watch over the interests of all comics publishers. He seems like a very fair-minded guy. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Washington Comic Book Caucus?”

Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?

Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?

They cry in the dark so you can’t see their tears. They hide in the light, so you can’t see their fears. Forgive and forget, all the while, love and pain become one and the same in the eyes of a wounded child. Because hell — hell is for children. “Hell Is For Children” written by Neil Giraldo, Roger Capps, and Pat Benatar.

Quick: What did Pat Robertson have in common with Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson — and, evidently, not with Howard Chaykin?

No, no. I mean, besides that.

Back when he was alive, Pat Robertson hosted a cable teevee funfest called “The 700 Club.” I gather this offensive and bigoted daily video scree will continue despite Robertson being declared dead formally. What the hell, had Pat not been born in the first place, religious and sexual hatred would have lived on unabated. In that sense, Pat Robertson was superfluous. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?”

Brainiac On Banjo: It’s A Cruel World After All

Brainiac On Banjo: It’s A Cruel World After All

We’ll travel hand in hand across this wonderland. Strike up the marching band. ‘Cause nothing can stop us now! – “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” written by Christopher and Elyse Willis.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be afraid of keeping your mind open. It might turn you gay.

I had spent over a half century loathing Walt Disney, and for very good reason. He was a horrible person. Walt was an anti-semitic fanatic of the extreme right wing as it was known at the time, a central figure in the America First movement that provided the platform adapted by our current infestation of MAGAts. He was so severely anti-union that he fired one of the greatest animators of the 20th century, Ub Iwerks, the man who created (or co-created; open mind, remember?) the mouse that started it all, M-I-C-K-E-Y. I could go on and on, but oddly that’s not my point today.

Disney eventually died, and his empire came under new management — in good part because some of his family members did not share his extreme world views. The company was lead, and once again is being lead, by a man of Hebrew heritage. That alone should have defrosted Walt’s corpse. Their attitudes evolved and, somehow, remarkably, they have become the poster mouse for the LGBTQIA+ movement. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: It’s A Cruel World After All”

With Further Ado #248: Ithaca College Guest Column Winner – A Look at Toxic Star Wars Fandom

With Further Ado #248: Ithaca College Guest Column Winner – A Look at Toxic Star Wars Fandom

It’s the big finish for that class I teach at Ithaca College that focuses on pop culture, running conventions and entrepreneurism.  Classes have ended and the final is this week.

Here’s our third and winning entry for this year’s column contest. Nina Singh is an impressive student, and a good writer too. I think her column will give you something to think about!

Congrats on a great year, Nina.

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Star Wars Toxicity: A Look at Lizzo’s Backlash and Beyond

By: Nina Singh

Lizzo as Duchess Bombardier

It is a sad reality that many Star Wars fans have devolved into a toxic and intolerant community. This became apparent yet again when Lizzo, a popular musician and actress, appeared in an episode of The Mandalorian. The backlash against her casting is a prime example of how some fans have lost sight of what it means to be a true fan of the franchise.

For those who are unfamiliar with The Mandalorian, it is a popular Disney+ show set in the Star Wars universe. It follows the adventures of a bounty hunter named Din Djarin, who is also known as the Mandalorian. In one of the recent episodes, Lizzo made a brief appearance as Duchess Bombardier, one of the glamorous and wealthy rulers of Plazir-15, an independent planet. Continue reading “With Further Ado #248: Ithaca College Guest Column Winner – A Look at Toxic Star Wars Fandom”

As Is: The Crack of the Whip

As Is: The Crack of the Whip

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes, the blossom embraces the bee. But, soon, says a whisper “Arise, arise! Tomorrow belongs to me.” – German folk song “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” adapted by John Kander.

From what I perceive, TikTok is not an app intended for me. The younger we are, the more juvenile we act, which is also known as “duh…” To me, TikTok is the home-game version of Jackass.

And if you get that joke, you, too, are too old for TikTok. It appears the members of the legislature of the state of Montana also are too old for TikTok. They just banned the use of the app throughout the state.

OK, a lot of state legislatures have done far worse stuff over the past, oh, two weeks. Are you listening, you bigoted Tennessee crackers? Probably not. However, there are understandable reasons for wanting to ban this product. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company named ByteDance, which calls Red China its home. Technically, it exists at the government’s pleasure. TikTok strip-mines personal information so effectively you’d think they were owned by Google or Facebook. That makes TikTok as great a security risk as, well, Google and Facebook, and that is not good. Continue reading “As Is: The Crack of the Whip”

Brainiac On Banjo: Are YOU… Verified?

Brainiac On Banjo: Are YOU… Verified?

Trumpets and violins I can hear in the distance, I think they’re calling our names. Maybe now you can’t hear them, but you will. — Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced?

I suspect you’ve heard of Meta, but if you haven’t, it has nothing to do with DC superheroes. Less than nothing, when you think about it. “Meta” is the incredibly stupid and highly misleading name that Facebook and Instagram owner “Mort” Zuckerberg gave to his company in late 2021.

Meta is an evil corporation. They follow you wherever you go on line. When you use their stuff, they record where you are, who you are, where you go, what you like, who you like, what you buy, when you’re not home, when you are home, your credit card numbers, your phone numbers and your email addresses and those of your friends. If you masturbate, they know which is your favored hand and if you do not, they’ve got pills and ointments to sell you. I do not know if they have recorded the date and time of your last bowel movement, but I have asked. These bastards have more on each of us than the FBI ever had on John Gotti.

Now Zuck has figured out a way to screw us out of another $150 or so a year, thrusting his grimy waxed paw so deep into our pockets he now has an imprint of our car keys. It is quite impressive that he has chosen to follow the lead of the biggest, most obnoxious and cheesiest hustler who does not yet hold elective office. Then again, who among us would be surprised to discover Elon Musk and George Santos are, were, or soon will be the same person? Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Are YOU… Verified?”

Superman Is Going to Congress

As the current House of Representatives chaos continues, comic fans have a very niche reason to look forward to the conclusion of the seemingly endless stream of votes for the next Speaker of the House. Thanks to freshman congressman Robert Garcia of California, there will be finally be some quality reading material in the House of Representatives chamber.

As most people should know, Members of Congress swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution upon being seated. That oath can be sworn on whatever the member deems important to them. Most choose a bible or other type of religious book, but Mr. Garcia has finagled quite the prize for him to swear in on. Continue reading “Superman Is Going to Congress”

As Is: Bringing The War Home

Responding to a query in Parliament yesterday asking why the United Kingdom has massed over 285,000 troops along the United States / Canada border, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the MPs “Well, Her Majesty and I were having a nice tea-time chat up in the Palace and we got around to that kerfuffle over in Ukraine. It occurred to us that perhaps Mr. Putin has a good point.

“Therefore, we have decided to follow in Mr. Putin’s footsteps and reclaim our colonies, beginning with the United States. We’ve never truly acknowledged any so-called right to be independent, either in the rebel States or, for that matter, in India or the Caribbean.

“We’re starting with the colonies because of our strong common heritage,” Prime Minister Johnson continued. “The frontierspeople west of the Atlantic pond continue to speak the Queen’s tongue, which clearly shows were their loyalties lay. The British legal system which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times remains the backbone of colonial law. In fact, the colonial subjects continue to employ the British weights and measurements that were in effect in 1776, even though much of the rest of the world went metric during the final years of the last millennium.

“Clearly, the colonial rebels are much more faithful at holding on to British traditions than we are,” Johnson noted.

“Of course, Great Britain is a nuclear power but there’s no need to dwell on that at this time. We expect the stalwart subjects of Her Majesty will welcome us with cheers, baked goods, warm lager and boiled beef,” the PM concluded.

This threat comes at a critical time for both Canadians and American colonists as this is maple syrup season. If the border is closed, Americans will have little to put on their waffles other than chicken fat. On the other hand, if Great Britain dumps all of Canada’s unsold syrup into Niagara Falls, they can set global tourism back several centuries.

The French have yet to comment in public, but it is believed they have been in deep talks with the Quebecois in and around Montreal. However, the Gaullists have been on record since the 1970s that they may decide to use their nuclear arsenal first in order to maintain its security and interests.

Independent American senator Bernie Sanders responded “there is a silver lining here, as at last American citizens will be covered by a national health system. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s better than dying in the gutter with Josh Hawley pissing on you.”

As of this writing, the only American official who has gone on record is Congressfool Marjorie Taylor Greene, who stated “if this so-called Queen and her enslaved stormtroopers think they can push real Christian Americans around, they’ve got another think coming. They’re all a bunch of homosexuals anyway, so we know God isn’t on their side. He hates the damn Brits. Even Hitler agreed. I’m calling for an immediate embargo on Yorkshire pudding, which can invigorate their Jewish space lasers.

In response, Russian Emperor Vlad Putin issued an imperial smirk and returned with his cat to the horse he rode in on.