A little quiet this week, what with the major holiday and all. Still, we blogged away…


We started out the week with a return to my halcyon days of writing scatological prose-poems.

Kinukitty posted about the joys of reading yaoi novels on the Kindle.

Vom Marlowe reviewed How to Draw Manga: Ultimate Manga Lessons Vol. 5: Basics of Portraying Action.

I sneered vigorously at Chris Ware’s Halloween New Yorker cover. If the comments to the post aren’t sufficient, there’s also a thread on the TCJ message board devoted to the topic.

Richard discussed his reaction to the first volume of Lone Wolf and Cub.

And finally this week’s download included no Christmas music at all.

Utilitarians Everywhere

Over on tcj.com, Suat reviews Suat on Carol Tyler’s “You’ll Never Know”

Written in 1994, Carol Tyler’s “The Hannah Story” was a tribute to her mother, Hannah, and her strength in dealing with her in-laws as well as the death of her daughter, Ann. Despite the intervening years, Tyler’s sensitive “voice” remains easily recognizable in her latest book, You’ll Never Know.

At madeloud I have up the first of a two part series on Thai luk thung music videos.

Even more flamboyant is “Arom Sia” by actress and singer Apaporn Nakornsawan. The title means “Sick of It All,” and indeed the performer appears to have become so disgusted at her romantic troubles that she has turned to super-villainy, luring the Justice League into some sort of catastrophic defeat at the hands of a gay pride parade.

At Splice Today I talk about the overcarbonated new dolphin show at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.

The most heart-tugging moments in the show, though, involve not the cute penguins, nor the noble hawk, but rather the trainers. Demoted from educators to props, they are ruthlessly dressed up in penguin suits or decked out like British hawkers or hoisted up on pulleys and dropped from a height into the water. Yes, they seem cheerful enough about it in general but good lord-it all seems like a rather cruel punishment for the comparatively minor sin of being a zoologist.

Over at Bert Stabler’s blog we continue our conversation about the book of Job, and discuss Stanley Milgram’s experiments, among other things. The quote below is from Bert.

Basically, if you lose everything for no moral or practical reason, whether it’s because God decides to destroy your life arbitrarily or because he can’t stop bad things from happening or because it’s part of some grand scheme for the betterment of the universe, we cannot ultimately hold God to account. He’s God, he’s not a limited being with petty motives. God is like a petty dictator, but he’s also not. He’s not a transparent, contingent demiurge– he’s a remote yet ubuquitous source of energy.

And at metropulse I contributed to a pretty entertaining best of music list.

Other Links

Tom Spurgeon’s been doing a bunch of interviews with critics about some of the best or most influential books of the decade. I think my favorite so far is his discussion with Kristy Valenti about Little Nemo.

Shaenon Garrity has an interesting discussion of manga translation issues on tcj.com.

And finally, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I often disagree with Jeet Heer on most everything. I have to say, though, that this essay about representations of homosexuality in classic comics is pretty great from start to finish. The essay carries a lot of learning very lightly, and includes a number of zingers, most notably: “Like most professional moralists, Bozell has no real sense of history: he’s a traditionalist with no grounding in the past.” Andrew Sullivan linked to it, and deservedly so.

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