Day: August 6, 2012

Channel 4 Zappa Obit

Well, bit of a downer, but a pretty good rundown of the man's life and career.

Plus the anchor looks like Bill O'Reilly and is named Jon Snow.

Miss you, Frank.

Too soon!

There's a sentiment I've seen in the CBR comments section a couple of times recently: this "How dare you try and tie this to a political agenda?" faux-outrage.

Now, there are lots of times when it's inappropriate to bring up controversial political subjects. Particularly when there's a recent tragedy in the news and you're sensationalizing it. Like, for example, after the V-Tech massacre, when soon-to-be-disbarred fuckface Jack Thompson tried to blame the killings on Counterstrike, a game which the shooter did not play.

Some things are completely inappropriate in the wake of a tragedy. Like flailing around trying to blame it on Doom or Marilyn Manson or Dungeons and Dragons. Or jumping all over a quote from some guy on the opposite end of the country about what the killer supposedly said. Or grabbing whatever Batman comic your film critic has on his desk, thumbing through it until you see a scene that takes place in the theater, and wildly speculating that the killer was imitating it. Or plastering the killer's name and stupid fucking face all over TV and the Internet to make good and sure that every crazy asshole out there knows that hey kids, if you wanna be on TV, all you have to do is murder a bunch of people. Or typing his name into Google and falsely conflating him with a Tea Party member. Or having an honest dialogue about the ease of access to high-powered weapons and high-capacity clips in this country, and the sorry state of our mental health system.

Wait, what was that last one?

The subject came up again in a discussion of the recent news that comics writer and inker Karl Kesel recently adopted a baby with a methadone addiction and is selling his comic collection to pay for the child's medical bills.

Now, it goes without saying that this is a feel-good story, that Kesel and his wife Myrna are clearly legitimately wonderful human beings, and that they're doing something great that really matters.

But if you can read a story like that and not, even for a moment, think "They shouldn't have to do that" then you and I are very different people.

Nothing but respect to the Kesels, and I certainly speak only for myself and not for them. But it strikes me that there are a lot of people out there with sick kids who don't have tens of thousands of dollars in investments, and that getting slapped with tens of thousands in bills -- even if you've got insurance! -- is a sign of a broken healthcare system.

Seems to me that stories like that are perfect opportunities to have a conversation about healthcare -- but somebody brought it up and immediately got shushed by another commenter's righteous indignation: "How dare you politicize this?"

(In fairness, the guy who brought it up was kind of an ass about it.)

Seems to me that, when presented with a story that's a clear, directly-pertinent object example of some important sociopolitical issue, it's probably a good time to talk about that issue!

I mean, should we just wait until there are no stories about gun violence or healthcare debt to talk about gun access and healthcare costs? Don't make much sense if you ask me.