Archive | April 2018

Weekend Update 4/28/2018: A lot going on here…

© Tom Toles. Clcik to embiggen.

Ryan’s Dismissal Of House Chaplain Sparks Outrage And Suspicion. One of the chaplain’s prayer’s included the line: “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

Yeah, the Republicans can’t stand that kind of radical religion!

Asking you to stop punching us in the face and stabbing us in the back isn’t being disrespectful… (click to embiggen)

NPR: Conservatives Are Sad Because No One Likes Them.

I’m just going to turn this one over to Dan Savage:

The “average American conservative” spends the day attacking women, people of color, gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, trans people, non-Christians, leftwing Christians, Democrats, progressives, liberals, sex havers, sex workers, people who’ve had abortions, people who use birth control, single moms, football players, basketball players, late night talk show hosts, teachers, actors, singers, Olympians, “Hollywood,” high school students who survived mass school shootings, the poor, the disabled, Gold Star parents, Gold Star widows, environmentalists, news reporters, cable news anchors who don’t work for Rupert Murdoch, rappers, college professors, college students, union members, scientists, non-scientists who believe in science, the elderly, “takers” on Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare, people who live in big cities and blue states… and then they run to NPR to whine about how nobody likes them. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

I don’t know how many times we have to say this: there aren’t “both sides” to this thing. One side is constantly attacking the other, and then insist that even if all we do is protest being constantly dehumanized and worse, that we’re the aggressors.

And it’s no longer just queer people they’re going after. Again, I’ll let Dan explain it:

I’m old enough to remember when most of the attacks were directed at queers. Or that’s how it felt in the 1980s, anyway, when I was a young queer. The AIDS Crisis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Anita Bryant, Jesse Helms, and Ronald Reagan. It felt like—what’s the expression? Oh, right: like we were being bombarded daily with murderous disrespect. That I can sit down and make list of the people being attacked daily by conservatives now and that list includes football players, to say nothing of late-night talk show hosts, teachers, and the FBI… it blows my fucking mind. They don’t like ANYBODY and they can’t figure out why no one likes them?

“Can you name all 59 women who came forward against Cosby? Can you name half of them? Can you name 5? Would you recognize them out of context? Do you want an autograph? Cool. So can we agree that women don't make rape accustions to become famous?”

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Bill Cosby convicted on three counts of sexual assault.

Five universities revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degrees after sexual assault conviction.

I used listened to some Cosby comedy albums my parents owned so much, that I could recite entire routines from memory, with appropriate pauses and verbal sound effects. After reading some of the stories of the 59 women who came forward… well, I can’t bring myself to listen to his voice.

Always shifting the blame… (click to embiggen)

The “Incel Rebellion” Is Misogynist Terrorism. So Why Do So Many People Still Put the Blame on Women?

The Toronto Van Attack Suspect Was Obsessed With Rejection From Women. He Is Not Alone Among Violent Men.

Why are ‘incels’ so angry? The history of the little-known ideology behind the Toronto attack.

Unfortunately society brews a toxic stew of slut-shaming women, telling young men that the only way to be a man is to never feel empathy or treat others with respect, and then we wonder why things like this happen. That’s not all that’s in play, here. It takes an incredibly big mass of hubris to keep insisting that nothing that is wrong in your life could possibly be your fault. Think about the cognitive dissonance that has to be going on: on the one hand most of these guys have embraced the notion that they are not as attractive as other men and so forth, but they also believe that they can do nothing wrong. It ought to make their heads explode.

Now, me bringing up the toxic double-standards of society is not to say, in any way, they these guys are victims. There comes a point where a person should learn to question their assumptions, to question and examine the things they’ve been taught, look around at the world and all the evidence in it, and ask themselves if maybe some of those things are f—ed up. It’s called growing up.

These guys have no one but themselves to blame.

That’s enough about that. I have errands to do and an Avengers movie to see. Time to go be productive!

One person can only do so much... or cross out the only, and One person can do so much.

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Friday Five (heroes edition)

Good guy without a gun (click to embiggen)

April is nearly over. Wow.

It has been a very weird month, weather-wise. First couple of weeks temperatures were about 10 degrees below normal and we had a whole lot more rain than usual for this time of year. Then it dried out and for most of this week temperatures were at least 10 degrees above normal. The rain is supposed to come back this weekend.

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to geeky people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Man fought gunman: He ‘was going to have to work to kill me’. Waffle House Hero.

Man In Underwear Saves Woman From Kidnapping, Knocks Out Attacker’s Tooth. Boxer Short Hero

Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel admits Voter ID a scheme to suppress democratic voters.

The Truth About the 7,000: Why are there still so many AIDS-related deaths?

‘Imploding’: Financial troubles. Lawsuits. Trailer park brawls. Has the alt-right peaked? (Remember the rule of headlines that ask a yes/no question…)

Geekery and Science!:

Back to the wild! How letting Mother Nature reclaim prime farmland and allowing cattle and ponies to run free produced breathtaking results.

Scientists accidentally found this octopus nursery deep in the Pacific Ocean.

It Be Your Own People: On Universal FanCon and the Perversion of Community.

Scientists Genetically Engineered Flies to Ejaculate Under Red Light.

Space-Hopping ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Raises The Stakes To Infinity — And Beyond. This is actually an NPR portal to a group of non-spoilery reviews they’ve targeted to people with varying degrees of geekiness. It’s an interesting idea…

In Memoriam:

My Best Friend.

Come Thou.

She spoke to the soul.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/22/2018: Attacking child survivors of school shootings.

My young man.

Water for the temple plants.

Oppressed Oppressors: Hateful, Angry Men.

Videos!

Homophobia In 2018 | Time For Love:

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Seth Meyers: Trump’s ‘FOX & Friends’ Rant Was ‘the First Time a TV Show Had to Change Its Number Because of a Stalker’:

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Patton Oswalt Talks About the Golden State Killer:

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‘We found the needle in the haystack’: Golden State Killer suspect arrested after sudden DNA match:

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TOP POP, VOL. I MEDLEY – Pentatonix:

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Oppressed Oppressors: Hateful, Angry Men

"Stop making excuses for hateful, angry men"

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I’m a news junkie who bookmarks stories all the time, which is why for years I posted a weekly round up of those bookmarks in a Friday Links post. I’ve scaled that back to the Friday Five, in part because by limiting the number of stories I post I don’t have to share quite so many outrage-generating stories. But sometimes it’s useful to share some of the less than happy news. If you don’t know about the people who are trying to take your rights or livelihood away, you can’t do anything about it, for instance. So this post is going to be about a couple of different seemingly unrelated stories of angry, hateful men in the news lately, along with some commentary. If you don’t want to read about that sort of thing, don’t click through. Otherwise… Read More…

Water for the temple plants

Raindrops and ripples

A Zen master asked a young student to bring him a pail of water to cool his bath.

The student brought the water, and after cooling the bath, threw the remaining water over the ground.

“Think,” said the master to the student. “You could have watered the temple plants with those few drops you have thrown away.”

The young student understood Zen in that exact moment. He changed his name to Tekisui, which means drop of water, and lived to become a wise Zen master himself.

The lesson most learn from the story of the A Drop of Water is that as we struggle with the big problems and seek answers to big questions, that we sometimes forget the importance of small, ordinary moments. I often write on this blog about problems that many people face, or wrestle with questions of how to be a better story teller, or talk about great moments in history or my favorite genre. It is easy to get lost in worrying about some of the injustices in the world or dangers looming over one segment or another of the population. For me it is just as easy to get lost in my routines and personal goals. I have to get to work and finish certain things, and want to make progress on my writing, while putting my thoughts about all of those big things and many of the small things into blog posts.

I’m pretty good at hauling buckets around, but still not great with the drops.

I knew someone who seemed excellent with both the buckets and the drops. Last week she passed away. It wasn’t a surprise, she had been dealing with an illness for some time. But it was still a shock.

Ann was the mother of my good friend Kehf. I met her at Kehf’s wedding (or was it a rehearsal before?). You don’t get to know a person well under those circumstances. Mostly you come away with an impression. It was a few years later that I got to know her as someone other than that nice woman whose eyes sparkled when she smiled.

When I started an earlier version of this blog, she would occasionally comment. We might exchange a couple emails with follow up discussions. And then I started getting comments from people I didn’t know, often with someone saying something along the line of “I’m so glad Ann shared this link.” And the people who commented came from many different parts of the world, and many different backgrounds. I came to realize that Ann seemed to know everyone. Well, not literally everyone—more accurate to say she had friends everywhere.

I started to get a numerical inkling of the vastness of her network of friends when I moved this blog to WordPress. The previous hosts hadn’t given me very good statistics, but with WordPress every time I log in I see a bar graph of the hits on my blog for today and the previous 29 days. Most of the time my blog putters along with a fairly stable number of hits per day. there’s a little variation: days that I don’t publish anything new are lower than new post days, for instance. But every now and then, I will log in and see the bar for either that day or the previous day literally ten times as tall as the usual. And almost every time, it turned out to be because Ann shared that particular post.

I understand why it works. Any time Ann sent me a link (unless I recognized it as a story or blog or whatever that I had just recently looked at) I clicked on it to see what it was, and then had to send her a comment. Because she never sent me something that wasn’t interesting. Not just interesting in a general sense, but usually targeting to some of my particular interests. In the last several days as I’ve read several tributes to her, I notice how many people talk about the news and links and information she shared, with the same observation that it was always interesting or useful to the person receiving it.

She was really good at remembering what was important to every person she knew.

Relationships were her super power.

Ann was an episcopal priest. During her lifetime her church went from refusing to contemplate the ordination of women, to allowing women to be priests, then bishops, and eventually presiding bishop. It was a tough fight, but Ann didn’t back away from fights. She later brought that same cheerful determination as an ally of the queer communities in our fights. There were several times when I wrote about my frustration and fears about our fight for equality, when Ann would send me a message with words of encouragement gleaned from the fight for the ordination of women—it was worth the fight, even if it didn’t seem victory wasn’t getting closer.

I once wrote a post trying to explain my feelings about religion and spirituality, and why my particular journey had taken me away from the religion in which I’d been raised to my own variant of Taoism. I compared spirituality to water: how some people love the ocean, while others prefer rivers and streams, and others are more happy with well-maintained pools. I compared traditional churches (of any religion) to community swimming pools. They are there for those who want them, and they can be wonderful. While I’m more of a run out into the rain kind of guy.

After reading the post, Ann sent me an email: “Just call me your local community pool lifeguard!” Yes, mostly she was saying she understood what I was saying, and that her calling to be a priest was just as viable a spiritual position as my more freewheeling approach. But she was also being a bit modest. Because Ann didn’t limit herself to just ministering to the congregations of the churches she worked in. That way she had of collecting friends near and far, of remembering what was important to each of us, of sending us articles we’d find interesting, and commenting (sometimes debating) things we posted, that was another form of ministry.

And this queer ex-Christian/recovering Baptist felt extremely lucky to be at least occasionally on the receiving end of her vocation.

Rise in Glory, Ann.

My young man

I was in the checkout line at the grocery store on Saturday and the clerk asked me if there was an occasion, since there were two cakes and some ice cream among my purchase. So I explained that my husband’s birthday was this week, and that we had friends coming over Saturday evening. Then she asked if it was a major birthday, and I said that he was turning 48. She grinned and said, “Oh! Forty-eight! You got yourself a young man, didn’t you?” And I laughed and said, “Yes, yes I did!”

Yeah, that handsome young guy with the headset on is my husband. How did a white-bearded old fart like me manage that?

Yeah, that handsome young guy with the headset on is my husband. How did a white-bearded old fart like me manage that?

There are people who might object to the characterization of a 48-year-old as young, but age is relative and my husband is ten years younger than me. When we first started dating, he was in his 20s while I was in my 30s. More than one of my friends and acquaintances at the time expressed (some less tactfully than others) worry about the difference in our ages. Though I think some of those worries were very inverted. He’s far more sensible and mature than I am, for instance. I know at least one of his friends was convinced that I was an evil old pervert taking advantage of him. I get it. Most of my adult life I think I’ve looked older than my actual age (heck, when I was in my late teens people kept mistaking me for my Mom’s brother rather than her son!). When I look at pictures of him from when we first started dating, I think he barely looked old enough to be in a bar, let alone working as a bartender!

And truth be told, I’ve also felt way too lucky to even be with him, so it’s not like I could blame people for having doubts. But we’ve been together for a bit over 20 years, now, so I hope we’ve put those doubts to rest.

I’ve written before about how wonderful Michael is. So rather than risk repeating myself, I’ll just quote one friend who observed one time when Michael pulled a tool from his pocket and casually repaired a light fixture at a mutual friend’s house, “You’re married to MacGuyver!” while another time when we had to the huge solid oak entertainment center and Michael grabbed it and moved it before the rest of us could get in position to help him the same friend commented, “Your husband is a circus strong man!”

Michael is sweet, kind, helpful, smart, funny, cheerful, and patient. He reads novels faster than anyone I know, and retains memory of even very minor details in the books long after. He cooks incredibly well (the homemade rub he made for the ribs this weekend resulted in supernaturally good ribs, for instance!). He chops vegetables so fast it’s like watching a movie being played back sped up. It seems as if he can repair just about anything. He always finds far more awesome presents for birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings, and the like than I ever do. And did I mention that he’s both funny and kind?

So, to extend the observation of the cashier: yeah, I’ve got myself a young man, a smart man, a hot man, a kind man, a man that anyone would feel fortunate to know, let alone be married to.

Happy Birthday, Michael. Thanks for letting me share your life!

Weekend Update 4/22/2018: Attacking child survivors of school shootings

NYSFOP withdraws endorsement of GOP Senate candidate Julie Killian  Hicksville, NY (April 18, 2018) The New York State Fraternal Order of Police is formally withdrawing our endorsement of the State Senate 37th District Candidate Julie Killian. This decision has been made after Killian’s Fund-Raising host took to twitter attacking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg.  The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will never support a candidate or campaign that condones the attack on child survivors of a school shooting.

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Once again, stories that I either didn’t see in time to consider for the Friday Five have turned up and I feel a need to comment. This is what we’ve come to. Republicans have been attacking the high school students who survived the Parkland shooting, because those students have been rallying for gun control: Conservatives Still Can’t Stop Attacking Parkland Shooting Survivor David Hogg. Well, at least a couple of these despicable Republicans are facing some consequences. The nation’s largest law enforcement union mad a dramatic announcement this week:

NYSFOP withdraws endorsement of GOP Senate candidate Julie Killian

Hicksville, NY (April 18, 2018) The New York State Fraternal Order of Police is formally withdrawing our endorsement of the State Senate 37th District Candidate Julie Killian. This decision has been made after Killian’s Fund-Raising host took to twitter attacking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg.

The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will never support a candidate or campaign that condones the attack on child survivors of a school shooting.

Unfortunately, later that day they re-endorsed her after she denounced the fund-raiser and returned the donations. I say unfortunately because it isn’t just the fund-raising host who made the comments. As the story I linked above points out, she has attacked David Hogg herself many times. So apparently they will endorse someone who attacks child survivors of school shootings after all.

It’s not just state senate candidates: Sandy Hook Parents Sue Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Over Claim Shooting Was ‘Fake’. Personally, I hope they win big and put him out of business for good. Of course now that he’s facing possible consequences, after ten years of badmouthing these parents (and in my opinion, essentially desecrating the memories of murdered children), he’s suddenly saying, Alex Jones, Backtracking, Now Says Sandy Hook Shooting Did Happen.

I just keep shaking my head that these people are prioritizing gun manufacturer’s profits over the lives of children: Florida Leaders Keep Embarrassing Themselves by Attacking Parkland Survivors

Editorial Cartoon by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

False Flag: February 22, 2018

Friday Five (cheese cartel edition)

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It’s the third Friday in April.

I believe I have shaken off the virus, but this week has been stressful and sad. There are a couple of serious illnesses in my family. A very dear friend’s mother (who I was more than fond of) passed away. Other friends have similar things happening among their loved ones. It leaves one feeling helpless and dismayed. It took longer than usual to assemble this post, as I had a rather larger number of snarky or depressing links. But I think this is a better mix.

So, itt’s Friday, time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to queer people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

This Proselytizer Gives Me The Validation My Parents Never Did.

The Canadian Cheese Cartel.

Donald Trump Takes Out Paul Ryan, and ‘It’s Going to Be a Civil War’.
“Ryan owns his share of the blame; too often, he behaved as if he was some deferential junior VP at a Trump resort and not the leader of the House of Representatives in a co-equal branch of government. The idea, popular among the House leadership, that a diet of ass-kissing and deference would make Trump into a normal president who didn’t need the political equivalent of Depends was always a strategic mistake.”

I spend a fair amount of time teaching women to kick men in the balls, and I’ve learned that this activity tends to generate controversy.

The Democrats Are the Party of Fiscal Responsibility.

For Queers and Allies:

How Britain Turned a Fourth of the World Anti-Gay, and What the Ultimate Colonizer Is Doing About It.

The Transgender Pseudo-Skeptics: The ravening hordes of anti-trans bigots screaming on YouTube are not the real problem.

Assembly Votes To Ban Ex-Gay Torture For Adults Too, List It As “Deceptive Business Practice”.

Teacher Says School Reprimanded Him After His Husband Sent Flowers, but that’s not the whole story, because then Parents took over a school board meeting to support a gay teacher & his husband.

‘Queer rights activist’ hosts ‘BGLTQ-accepting’ Bible reading at Harvard.

In Memoriam:

NPR Newscaster Carl Kasell Dies At 84, After A Lifelong Career On-Air.

Iconic NPR newscaster and voice Carl Kasell dead at 84.

TIMELINE: The Life And Legacy Of Newscaster Carl Kasell.

Harry Anderson, magic-loving star of sitcom ‘Night Court,’ dies at 65.

Remembering Harry the Hat: A Magician Hiding in Plain Sight.

Vel Phillips (1923 – 2018), civil rights pioneer: First black person elected to a Wisconsin statewide office.

R. Lee Ermey, Harsh Drill Instructor in ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Dies at 74.

Obituary: Barbara Bush – former US First Lady and literacy campaigner.

Things I wrote:

Sunday Funnies, part 28.

One year later, way more than a few April showers.

Videos!

Ada Vox & Lea Michele Sing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked – Top 24 Duets – American Idol 2018 on ABC:

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Deadpool 2: The Final Trailer:

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Diner Lobster – SNL:

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Alan Cumming Performs ‘Instinct: The Musical’:

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Seth’s Favorite Jokes of the Week: Trump’s Nickname for Obama, a Four-Eyed Lizard:

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One year later, way more than a few April showers

Two cats sit on a log under a propped up umbrella, surrounded by water and rain. “Noah called, he picks us up in 10 minutes.”

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I meant to write a blog post for the weekend about the fact that it has been exactly a year at the new place. But I was still sick and run down. My weekend wound up being all about sleeping, doing minimal errands, napping, a little housework, more napping, sleeping, and repeat. But I realized it’s okay that I didn’t make that post, because technically it has not been a year of us living here, yet. A year and a few days ago we signed our first lease here, and we started hauling things from the old place to the new, but it was a few weeks before we were ready for the big moving truck to do the bulk of the move. So early next month will be the anniversary of the first time we spent the night in the new place.

I was trying to remember when I moved the flower pots from the old place, because last week maintaining my collection of pots and planter included a task I didn’t have to do last spring: flood control. To be fair, this is an unusually wet April. The local National Weather Service office observed that if the rains had stopped completely on last Saturday, it would already be the fourth wettest April on record in Seattle. And it kept raining Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and a bit on Wednesday. Spring is usually quite damp around here, so I strongly suspect that even though the long range forecast is all dry, that we’ll get a bit more before the month is through.

I noticed the weekend before last that not only were all of the little catch basins under the pots full to the brim, but that several of the flower pots and planters had at least an inch of standing water around the flowers. I can’t just dump the water off. The thing I call our veranda is a 38-foot long deck at the back of the apartment, and on that side of the building we’re three stories up. There’s a neighbor with a nearly identical deck directly below us, and then the walkway for the basement apartments below that. And the lease actually has a clause about not dripping or pouring water off the decks, right?

Which is why all of my pots that have drain holes sit on a small saucer like thing, and each of those is inside a larger plastic catch basin.

I took a bucket outside, carefully lifted each pot and set it aside, poured the water from the saucer in the bucket, pouring off water from the planter itself if it had standing water, and then poured the water from the second basin into the bucket—trying my best not to spill any. I got through a third of them of them before the bucket was full and I had to carrying it away and pour it out and repeat. The bigger planters where my grandma’s irises and a few other things are planted were a bit more difficult.

I moved the pots and planters that don’t have drains away from the rail, and against the wall, so they wouldn’t keep getting rained on. Clearly until we get to the dryer part of the year, I can’t leave those out from under the roof.

That’s one way our veranda is different than those one floor down. Our deck serves as their roof, and it is as wide as their deck, so even planters put right up against the rail on those decks get a little shelter from the rain. Whereas the roof of the decks on our floor is the eave of the building, and while the deck is five feet wide, the eave only extends four feet out. I thought of this as a feature last year. The planters got plenty of water when it rained and lots of sun when it didn’t.

By the time the heaviest rain was coming down in November, most of the flowers had died back, and I just didn’t worry about the pots getting super saturated. I regretted that a bit when I discovered that the cute otter planter froze and crack in a whole bunch of places. It hadn’t done that during several winters at the old place, but at the old place it was draining into the flower bed. Similarly, the hanging pot I had last year got too heavy when it’s soil was constantly soaked all winter and the plastic hanging parts broke.

They’re all learning experiences.

I now know I need to move some of the planters under the roof during certain times of the year. I’m seriously considering replacing the small pots that don’t have drain holes. The problem is they’re both purple—which makes me want to keep them despite being a bit more work. On the other hand, I have no intention of getting rid of the larger planters. I haven’t seen many that size with drains and matching catch basins. Those few I have seen have very tiny catch basins that I suspect would wind up dripping on the downstairs neighbors during the times of year when I have to do the watering.

Sunday Funnies, part 28

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read:

https://lifeofbria.com copyright  Sabrina SymingtonLife of Bria by Sabrina Symington is a transgender themed comic that ranges from commentary to slice of life jokes and everything in between. Even when commenting on very serious stuff it remains funny—sharp, but funny. It’s one of the comics that I would see being reblogged on tumblr and lot and I’d think, “I ought to track down the artist so I can read more of these.” And I finally did. And they’re great! If you like Symington’s work, you can sponsor her on Patreon and she has a graphic novel for sale.


Some of the comics I’ve previously recommended: Some of these have stopped publishing new episodes. Some have been on hiatus for a while. I’ve culled from the list those that seem to have gone away entirely.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 3.18.45 PMCheck, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle, a former junior figure skating champion from a southern state who is attending fictitious Samwell College in Massachusetts, where he plays on the men’s hockey team. Bitty is the smallest guy on the team, and in the early comics is dealing with a phobia of being body-checked in the games. He’s an enthusiastic baker, and a die hard Beyoncé fan.

“Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls” by Jessica Udischas is a hilarious web comic that tells of the adventures of Jesska Nightmare, a trans woman trying to make her way in our transphobic world. The comics are funny, insightful, and adorably drawn. The sheer cuteness of the drawing style is a rather sharp contrast to the sometimes weighty topics the comic covers, and I think makes it a little easier to keep from getting bummed out to contemplate that the strips aren’t exaggerations. If you like the strip, consider supporting the artist through her patreon.

The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard logo.The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard. is frequently autobiographical take on the artist’s journey to creating the crazy strip about science, science nerds, why girls are just as good at being science nerds as boys, and so much more. It will definitely appeal to dinosaur nerds, anyone who has ever been enthusiastic about any science topic, and especially to people who has ever felt like a square peg being forced into round holes by society.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

“Stereophonic” by C.J.P. is a “queer historical drama that follows the lives of two young men living in 1960s London.” It’s a very sweet and slow-build story, with good art and an interesting supporting cast. But I want to warn you that the story comes to a hiatus just as a couple of the subplots are getting very interesting. The artist had a serious health issue which was complicated by family problems, but has since started posting updates to his blog and Patreon page, assuring us that the story will resume soon. If you like the 300+ pages published thus far and would like to support the artist, C.J. has a Patreon page, plus t-shirts and other merchandise available at his store.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy by Alex Wolfson begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

3Tripping Over You by Suzana Harcum and Owen White is a strip about a pair of friends in school who just happen to fall in love… which eventually necessitates one of them coming out of the closet. Tripping Over You has several books, comics, and prints available for purchase.

dm100x80“Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer tells the tales from the lives of three friends (and former roommates) who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible. If you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

The logo for Scurry, a web comic by Mac SmithScurry by Mac Smith is the story of a colony of mice trying to survive a long, strange winter in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, and food is becoming ever more scarce.

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And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.36.43 PMMuddler’s Beat by Tony Breed is the fun, expanded cast sequel to Finn and Charlie Are Hitched.

logo-1Fowl Language by Brian Gordon is a fun strip about parenting, tech, science, and other geeky things. The strips are funny, and he also has a bonus panel link to click on under the day’s strip.

lasthalloweenThe Last Halloween by Abby Howard is the creepy story of 10-year-old Mona who is reluctantly drafted to save the world on Halloween night. This is by the same artist who does the Junior Science Power Hour. She created this strip as her pitch in the final round of Penny Arcade’s Strip Search, which was a reality game show where web cartoonists competed for a cash prize and other assistance to get their strip launched. Though Abby didn’t win, she started writing the strip anyway. If you like the comic, you can support Abby in a couple of ways: she has some cool stuff related to both of her strips in her store, and she also has a Patreon.

Last Kiss® by John Lustig Mr. Lustig bought the publishing rights to a romance comic book series from the 50’s and 60’s, and started rewriting the stories for fun. The redrawn and re-dialogued panels (which take irreverent shots at gender and sexuality issues, among other things) are syndicated, and available on a bunch of merchandise.

“Champion of Katara” by Chuck Melville tells the tale of a the greatest sorcerer of Katara, Flagstaff (Flagstaff’s foster sister may disagree…), and his adventures in a humorous sword & sorcery world. If you enjoy the adventures of Flagstaff, you might also enjoy another awesome fantasy series set in the same universe (and starring the aforementioned foster sister): and Felicia, Sorceress of Katara, or Chuck’s weekly gag strip, Mr. Cow, which was on a hiatus for a while but is now back. If you like Mr. Cow, Felicia, or Flagstaff (the hero of Champions of Katara) you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which recently published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.

NsfwOglaf, by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne is a Not Safe For Work web comic about… well, it’s sort a generic “medieval” high fantasy universe, but with adult themes, often sexual. Jokes are based on fantasy story and movie clichés, gaming tropes, and the like. And let me repeat, since I got a startled message from someone in response to a previous posting of this recommendation: Oglaf is Not Safe For Work (NSFW)!

Friday Five (jaguars in the sky edition)

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It’s the second Friday in April!

Despite being sick all week, I have also put in a LOT of over time. Which is only possible thanks to work-from-home days. My corporate overlords continue to impose insane deadlines on us, just like everyone else, and I don’t know what else to say about that. I am really looking forward to getting over this virus, how about that?

It’s Friday, and so I bring you the Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to queer people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

The Looptail Lowercase G: You’ve Seen This Letter Everywhere, But Can You Write It?

Brazil jaguars find safe haven in rainforest trees.

Sinclair commentator resigns after threatening to sexually assault Parkland survivor David Hogg.

TEXAS: Former GOP Rep. Steve “Bengazi” Stockman Convicted Of 23 Felonies, Faces Decades In Prison.

Lynching memorial in Alabama confronts a tortured past.

For Queers and Allies:

QUILTBAG+ Speculative Classics: Un-suppressing Minority Writing.

Jimmy Kimmel and Chelsea Handler Need to Stop Using Queer People for Laughs.

Anti-LGBTQ Extremists Unite As Peter LaBarbera Joins MassResistance.

Pat Robertson: I’m Being Dominated By Homosexuals.

Pompeo Withers Under Questioning By Cory Booker, Won’t Say If He Thinks Gay Sex Is Perverted.

In Memoriam:

Daniel Akaka, first Native Hawaiian in Congress, dies at 93.

Yvonne Staples, Of The Renowned Staple Singers, Dead At 80.

Chuck McCann, Zany Comic in Early Children’s TV, Dies at 83.

Things I wrote:

Words, Pictures, and Thoughts.

More adventures in managing light.

Living in a chemical world, plus dream sequences.

Videos!

This Crazy Series Of Japanese Gum Commercials Packs In A Truly Impressive Amount Of Innuendo:

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Jokes Seth Can’t Tell with Tiffany Haddish:

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The West Cork Ukulele Orchestra :: Ra Ra Rasputin:

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YOU CAN’T STOP HIS TWEETS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody:

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Deadpool 2 | The Trailer:

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