Saturday, April 30, 2005


Presenting a new feature here at the Klubhaus...

Since I'm forced to spend so much time home alone these days, I've been spending a lot more time on Usenet, the last bastion of seriously hardcore geek discussions, on hard-hitting topics as (for the umpteentillionth time) why Obi-Wan Kenobi didn't recognize Artoo and Threepio on Tatooine.

Most of the time, it's fun, just a chance to get one's geek on in relative anonymity. But that selfsame anonymity can, and frequently does, lead to newsgroups becoming a forum for people whose points of view make David Koresh seem like a harmless eccentric.

Therefore, I proudly present the inaugural edition of a new feature here at Das Klaun's Klubhaus...


There have been several strong candidates in the past year or so that I've been on Usenet. There was the poster in rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe who was shocked, SHOCKED to learn that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were--get this!--Jewish, and how terrible, apparently, that was for the comics industry. We didn't have the heart to tell him about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

More recently, in, there was the fella who insisted that the hit TV show Lost was "clearly" anti-Christian, Jewish-supremacy propaganda, based on his interpretation of the Matthew Fox's Jack character as a "manly hooknosed Jew," bossing around the weak, blond-haired white characters. Yes, anti-Semitism is a common thread on Usenet.

Leaving aside the Jew-bashers for now, there was a discussion recently in rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, about whether the Empire was truly evil. The poster's take was that the only overtly "evil" thing we saw the Empire do was destroy Alderaan, which he claimed was justified, because they were harboring Rebels. He went on to argue that destroying the Death Star was the true act of evil, since it meant the death of all the cooks, cleaners, and other civilian staff. This lead to lots of increasingly angry debates about things like destroying a school on the suspicion that an Iraqi terrorist MIGHT be hiding inside, before it degenerated into obscene name-calling. I withdrew at that point, claiming a moral victory, though I understand the poster and his supporters continued gleefully dragging my name through the mud.

So those are some recent candidates. The current winner of USENET KOOK OF THE WEEK comes to us from rec.arts.comics.dc.universe, where a poster named "Rotwang" offers his opinions on comic-book movies in general, in a post headlined "Wonder Woman, betterified movie?"

2) "I look like a slut, but feel good about it = female empowerment" : In
Hollwoodspeak : a strong woman is a woman who likes to show everything and
let it all hang out.
invented to betterify the character. Everybody loves gimmicks, except that
every movie is full of them.
10) "This property is solid gold, let's change it completely !!!" ...allows people to feel creative and artistic because they
invented words like "re-imagined", especially if it means putting their mark
on a property made by somebody else.

I could excerpt more of this typically paranoid rant, but there was one response I thought summed it up best:

But betterifying the property embiggens box office..."Re-imagined" is a perfectly cromulent word

Thank you for joining us for USENET KOOK OF THE WEEK. By no means should you expect the word "week" in the title to imply that this will be a weekly feature, as I fully expect this feature to wither on the vine as soon as I'm employed again. Cue ending theme music. Bow.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

New kook please! - Jack
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