Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In case you were wondering about the "Lasagna" Penguin dream thing I sometimes get ragged about: It was from a dream I had once, where every time I looked in a mirror, I would see this giant penguin, with tufts of white hair sticking up from its head, screaming "LASAGNA! LASAGNAAAAAAAA!"

I think it must be inspired by Mr. Flibble: I had recently been to a party to watch Red Dwarf 5, which someone had gotten direct from the UK, before channel 9 got it. I fell asleep about five minutes into Holoship (that's not an editorial comment; I was just really tired), but I must have woken up briefly during Quarantine. The Lasagna scream, I have no idea.

I'm tempted to describe the weirdest, most convoluted dream I ever had, but it would take too many footnotes, to explain who was who, because it was filled with people I knew, and most of it would be pretty boring to anyone who's not me. Which is most people.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Monday, August 29, 2005


Pickled fetus head fuels art furor - Yahoo! Australia & NZ News

Read that headline again. I don't think you're quite taking the journey with me. Read it and give it a second to sink in. Click if you dare, but the headline pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

The debate on artistic freedom is beyond cliche and not even an issue. My question is simply:

Why would you?

Seriously, what could be the "point" you're trying to make? How is this different from the ol' tampon-in-a-teacup?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You're gonna wanna g'head and click here for what may be some awesome news. Despite JW's lack of involvement (though it does have his blessing), I really really hope this isn't another bit of wishful thinking.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I've updated the links thingmy on the left, adding the new blogs by Suzy, Angie, Scott and Debbie, and Scott's campaign blog; most of you who read this already know all these people, but anyone else in King County, I urge you to vote Lindsley for King County Council. He'd vote for you if you were running.

I removed Warren Ellis' Die Puny Humans, since he now just uses I removed, since I almost never go there anymore, since I'm not a polyamorous bellydancing redhead from the Bay Area. I added Metafilter and Boing Boing, which you should all visit several times a day.

Hey, you know how I sometimes say not to click a link? Well, this one is safe. Really. Would I lie to you?

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

I posted the following on Angie's blog, after she described the sad scene of an abandoned espresso maker hoping for a good home. Angie, sweetheart that she is, suggested that it would make a good post by itself.

The image of the espresso machine is just perfect. An epitaph, or--what's the word? I want to say codicil, but I know that's not right, so I'll stick with epitaph--for the Seattle I fell in love with, the stereotypical Seattle, home of the twin vices of coffee and heroin, where the people, forced inside by rain, produced highly personal and idisyncratic works of art, music, theater, comics, works that offered a profound glimpse into the minds that spawned them, so individual, so much the product of their time and place, that they blew my little air-force-town, white trash mind, and the mere possession of them would lead to hours-long screaming matches with my dad about the course of my life.

The first time I went to Seattle by myself was on a rainy sunday when I was 16. Like any newly-minted driver, I was feeling my oats, and wanted to sally forth to Pike Place Market, home of that huge comic shop I'd briefly visited when I'd been there with my parents (who just wanted to see the guys throw the fish, then take the ferry to Bremerton and drive home). I wanted to get the "true" experience of this exotic place hinted at in the copies of the Rocket that would occasionally turn up at the Brass Ear. It took an hour to get up there at the Grem's top speed of 60, followed by another hour of making random turns up and down the unfamiliar streets until, quite by accident, I spotted the big red PIKE PLACE MARKET sign feebly shining through the fog. I wasn't there yet, though; first was an interminable wait at a traffic light, watching a strangely-dressed, slow-moving dwarf cross the street, limping on his malformed legs and staring through the windshield at me with a strangely predatory look.

Hey, you know what? You remember I said it was a rainy sunday?

Yeah, back then, Pike Place Market wasn't open on sundays.

By then, craving some sort of touchstone, I stopped to eat at a Burger King by the Market (now long-gone), where I sat in a corner booth, in mortal terror of the guy at the next table, who appeared to be arguing in tongues with a phantom antagonist, or perhaps with his own tongue, which at one point looked like it was trying to leap out of his mouth and escape before he could clamp his mouth shut again.

How can you not love a place like that?

*sigh* I wonder if someone gave the espresso maker a good home, so it can live up its raison d'etre of providing the waterlogged and depressed Seattlites with Foamy Double Half-Caf Nonfat Caps while they work on their zine?

Since I posted this, I've been thinking a lot about similar experiences, not necessarily Seattle-based, more about times I've sought out experiences outside my norm, when I've wanted to go to unfamiliar and scary places, either geographically, mentally, or emotionally. There may be more to come

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

We’ve talked extensively about Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, and the Justice League, so let’s now turn our attention to that distaff cornerstone of the DC Universe, Wonder Woman. Do get comfortable, shall we?

Most people know the basics, usually from Superfriends or from the 70s Lynda Carter jigglefest.

Amazon princess. Bullet-deflecting bracelets. The invisible jet, thankfully long since retconned out of existence. But the one that fascinates people the most is the magic lasso, which she uses to tie people up and force them to tell the truth. It’s always been one of those things, like Batman’s relationship with Robin, that strikes folk as slightly suspect, an unintentionally kinky subtext from a more innocent time.

Guess what? It ain’t that unintentional.

(and thanks to Scans Daily for turning up that picture)

Wonder Woman first appeared in 1941, created by psychologist William Moulton Marston. Marston had previously distinguished himself as the inventor of the polygraph. He also had a lot of ideas that many would consider…off, or at least unusual. He was polyamorous, committed both to his wife and a former student, and raising children by each, the four children and three parents living together, apparently all okay with the setup.

He was a proponent of a theory about female power, based on willful submission to loving authority, versus what he considered anarchic and violent male power. As he wrote in a 1943 article:

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power... The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

And thus was born…Suprema, the Wonder Woman.

The “Suprema” part was cut, obviously.

Marston wrote the first six years worth of Wonder Woman stories under the pseudonym Charles Moulton. Many of the stories were a platform for his philosophies of submission to loving authority, best expressed in the following quote:

“The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound ... Only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for a stable, peaceful human society. ... Giving to others, being controlled by them, submitting to other people cannot possibly be enjoyable without a strong erotic element.”

(see this page on for more Wonder Woman bondage scans)

At least he acknowledged the erotic element.

I’m a bit surprised that this early philosophy hasn’t led to a Gor-like following (at least not one directly based on Wonder Woman—there are tons of men submissive to powerful females). Maybe this will be a part of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, her first big-screen appearance, to be written and directed by Joss Whedon, who knows a thing or two about strong female characters.

So, now we know that the kinkiness in Wonder Woman was entirely intentional.

Hmm…anyone know anything about Bob Kane’s private life?

Big ups to Wikipedia, from which vast wodges of this piece were shamelessly cribbed.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Monday, August 15, 2005

For some reason, I really want Danny Boyle to direct Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Or I want to do it. Either way, somebody make it happen.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Over at, Bryan Singer has been keeping a video blog as he directs Superman Returns. I thought I would direct you all to this entry, in which Bryan hops over to New Zealand to help out an exhausted Peter Jackson on King Kong.

Mowrer, pay attention to Jackson's shirt.

Why do I have high hopes for Superman Returns? Well, a lot of it has to do with Singer; after the two X-Men movies, he's shown his ability to ground comic-book action in reality, and he's even brought aboard his X-Men 2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty. Singer even contacted Richard Donner to seek his blessing, and is using deleted footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El in a key scene.

That's not the whole reason, though.

No, the main reason I want Superman Returns to work is that I grew up on Superman (hell, for a while when I was little I wanted to be Superman), and we haven't had a decent live-action Superman since 1978. Smallville sucks; despite nearly 75 years of history, they're making their mythology up as they go along, and the need to preserve Clark's secret results in repetitive gimmicks (how many times has each character on there suffered head trauma just as Clark is about to get his super on?) and illogical characterization (if Lana is his best friend, and having to keep lying to her about his powers is straining their friendship, why not just...I dunno, TELL HER ALREADY).

Before that, Lois and Clark sucked; typical Moonlighting redo, with the Superman angle tacked on, and the campiness turned up to 11. Before that was the Adventures of Superboy, and that sucked; typical syndicated action shite, with all the bad acting and low production values that implies. Bonus points, though, for Michael J. Pollard as Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Before that were the Chris Reeve movies. I've already said my piece on those.

I'm even gonna commit geek blasphemy and say that the 1950s Adventures Of Superman sucked. A doughy Superman, hanging from a visible string, fighting typical gangsters and crooks, without a single comic-book villain in sight. I'm not saying I expected cities destroyed as Superman fought the Atomic Skull and Titano the Super-Ape every week, but how hard is it, when casting your mad scientist character, to make him bald and call him Luthor?

I've never seen the 1940s serials, Superman Vs. The Mole Men or Superman Vs. Atom Man, so I can't comment on those. Kirk Alyn, you're safe--but watch your back, homie.

On the bright side, there was the 90s Superman: The Animated Series, which was pretty much the definitive Superman in any format or medium. They even made the Toyman not suck.

I don't just want a guy in a costume green screened in front of stock aerial footage. I want banter with Lois and Jimmy in the Daily Planet newsroom (with the giant globe on the roof, thankyewvermuch). I want Perry White chewing on his cigars. I want the Fortress of Solitude, I want the whole Red Sun/Yellow Sun pseudoscience, I want Jimmy Olson's signal watch going "zee-zee-zee." I want Clark Kent, in a blue suit, ripping his shirt open to reveal that Big S.

Please, Bryan, just make sure it doesn't suck, okay?


The big giant Tonka truck I told you all about. I dug me some holes! Posted by Picasa


See how much fun it is? Quite frankly, I'm a little disappointed that none of you got me a backhoe for my birthday. Posted by Picasa

I think you all recall my saying back when Episode I came out, that I thought Captain Panaka
was in league with Palpatine.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Doctor Who named top fantasy show

In a poll of BBC viewers, Doctor Who was, not surprisingly, named Auntie Beeb's top fantasy show of all time. More significantly (to me, at least) was that Red Dwarf came in at number two, rather impressive, considering that the show currently seems to be dead as a can of Spam.

Granted, a lot of people gave up on the Small Rouge One altogether after the disastrous series VIII (or after the vastly underrated series VII), but as the recent DVD releases have shown, there's still a lot of love for the show. So how come they still can't get the smegging movie made? There's been no official word on it for over a year, and the cast have all gone on to other things--Craig Charles is on a soap opera, for smeg's sake. I've been hoping that the relative success of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie will show--once again--that there is a market for SF comedy, with a reasonable budget. Fucking hell, I just want some new Red Dwarf, is that too much to ask?

Hmm...Hitchhiker started on Radio, moved to books, and then became a TV show. Dwarf started on TV, and has been some very fine books...I wonder if a radio Dwarf could work?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?