Saturday, February 11, 2006

Quote of the Day, February 11, 2006

"Scootch... closer, children. Don't make me tell you again... about the scootching."

- Christopher Walken on The Simpsons

Cartoon Protesters' Violence Escalates

(actual headline taken waaaaaaay out of context)

An anvil factory was torched yesterday as the rioting in Toon Town continued for the third consecutive day. For the last week, animated characters around the country have been protesting their treatment by society. Their grievances include inhumane working conditions, low wages, and lack of opportunity.

Historically, the United States has relegated animated characters to children’s programs. This has caused many of them to emigrate to Japan where greater opportunities exist, including primetime television and even adult entertainment.

Protests began last week after Nickelodeon’s Nick Toons went on strike to demand higher wages and better healthcare. The strike struck a chord with other animated characters, who felt it was time for more sweeping change. The protests started out peacefully, but turned violent in Toon Town on Wednesday after a fight broke out between several Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons. Several characters, including Speedy Gonzalez and Bre’er Rabbit, have been reported missing amid the ensuing chaos.

Opportunities for animated characters have increased in recent years. The Simpsons demonstrated that a primetime animated series could be successful. Southpark proved that cartoons with specifically adult humor could succeed. And Cartoon Network has given animated characters of all types the chance to be heard. However, animation still carries a certain stigma.

“They put my show in the children’s section!” Shake of Aqua Teen Hunger Force lamented, referring to Best Buy’s filing of the program under General Family. “My show is not a children’s program. It is clearly a drama/mystery/sci-fi/action/horror/whatever genre type show. How can anyone take me seriously if I’m in the children’s section!”

Protests continue to spring up around the country, mostly outside television networks including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, and Fox, all of which host several cartoon series. Smaller protests have occurred outside other network studios, such as NBC, which have no animated programming whatsoever.

Squidward Tentacles, a spokesman for the American Association for the Advancement of Animated Americans (AAAAA), held a press conference on Friday. He urged the rioters to cease and desist, but also urged his fellow toons to take up the cause. “Just because we are two-dimensional does not mean that the characters we play have to be.”

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Relearning to Talk

There's a point at which you and the people around get so good at reading each other's minds that there is no need to actually speak in complete or even coherent sentences. If you spend too much time around these people (usually family, close friends, or cubicle mates) and not enough time around people who don't spend that much time with you, you start to forget how to communicate with other human beings. When you are with you friends, you can say "You know the guy? With the- yeah. (laughter) That was priceless. So, anyway. I saw him the other day..." And they'll know exactly what you mean. Because you told them about it or they were there with you or you've all seen the same movies or tv shows, read the same articles, heard the same music, and somehow the thing that reminded you of what you were trying to say reminded them of it, too. I swear I've had conversations with my family that consisted entirely of incomplete thoughts and sentences.

So when you talk to people that you don't talk to as often or don't know, you almost have to remember how to talk again. How to finish a sentence because the other person really doesn't know what you are about to say. How to use nouns other than "stuff" and "guy". How to describe rather than simply emote. Or, you know...

Wrong Number, Dude

I'm currently working on a story (which, now that it has been mentioned, will probably never be finished). In it, the main character tries dialing several numbers on his phone, only to get the same mysterious girl each time, who is as amused as he is disturbed by the whole thing. So I found this post from (I do believe) Dean's wife particularly amusing and appropriate.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quote of the Day, February 6, 2006

Engineer's Motto: If it's broken, fix it. If it works, improve it.

Alternate Motto: If it's broken, fix it. If if works, fix that, too.

What Is That?

There's a mysterious black rectangle (thanks to Rocketboom) about the size of downtown D.C. in satellite photos of Siberia, more specifically in Chukotka, an autonomous collective - I mean, district - in Russia. Dude, seriously, even Area 51 shows up on satellite maps. Note that this district is also the home of a research facility on climate change. Hurricane Season 2005... fluke or conspiracy?

The tourism site for this place says "This frontier is a land of permanently frozen ground, unfailing arctic winds, and ferocious blizzards, its inhospitable coastal cliffs washed by freezing seas." And these are the positive aspects.


I understand dumpster diving - I mean, why let a perfectly good piece of furniture or an electronic device that just has a bad power supply go to waste, right? But this is ridiculous. (Hey, Tucker, way to go downhill from Crossfire)