Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Playboy of Charterstone

I bet Charterstone pool parties are quite awkward. Bare midriff in Mary Worth! I like Mary's pink pot and pearls ensemble.

In the first panel Mary gives a rude gesture to British readers and those who have spent many Saturday evenings watching Are You Being Served? on PBS. The gesture interrupted Delilah's blouse unbuttoning.

Liberal use of clone stamp and paintbrush.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mary Wordless

Another installment of Mary Wordless.

Original: Yes, that is an adult woman that Mary is dragging away from an encounter with another adult.

Looks like a funky dance in the first panel.
Mr. Smith is too excited about getting a phone number.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Atlas Farted

I came across a funny bit of headline on The Onion: Area Man Insufferable Jerk for Two Months after Reading Atlas Shrugged.

I'm reading Atlas Shrugged and afraid the same thing is happening to me. I'm halfway through and wish to extend a pre-emptive apology for any insufferable jerkiness that results when finished. I finished the part in chapter 6, part 2 where the directives (Directive 10-289) that will attempt to stop progress are read and discussed by Wesley Mouch (a bureaucrat - I guess naming him Rob Leach would have been too obvious) and his advisers.

I'm seeing parallels everywhere. Even in beer commercials. Francisco d'Aconias is the most interesting man in the world and he drinks Dos XX.

I bought the book at a garage sale along with Anthem and The Fountainhead. I read a bit of the Fountainhead in high school but got bored with it. I read enough to participate in the discussion and have been exposed to Objectivism. Received enough exposure to be repulsed by its extremity. Have libertarian leanings but I don't fully buy the rational self-interest stuff. It assumes humans are rational and does not address conflicts between individuals with equally rational self-interests.

I decided to give Atlas Shrugged a try and to be able to say that I read the book when disagreeing with the philosophy. At this point I have several thoughts and impressions I need to sort out. I tried sharing some with Walter but he has never been exposed to Ayn Rand and I love him too much to make him read this stuff. Then I remembered that I have a blog.

Rand could have made her point in half of the pages. My God, this woman is long-winded. I read the introduction by Leonard Peikoff and he included some development notes. Four paragraphs stating the same point: using Atlas Shrugged as a concrete way to explain abstract philosophy. Each of the four paragraphs has that thesis. I got the idea after one paragraph but maybe I process things a little faster.

I'm approaching this like a marathon. I have the map and elevation profile and have even ridden part of the route but I really don't know what it's like until I actually run the race. Having a general outline of the novel has lead to some frustration. I've often flipped a few pages ahead to see if any interesting bits are ahead or a break where I can put the book down. The image of the Monty Python knights screaming "Get On With It!" often go through my head while reading some parts.

I might enjoy the book a bit more if this was my first exposure to Ayn Rand. I know where this book is going and wish it would hurry up and get there.

Rand's greatest achievement so far with this novel is making sex boring. I try not imagine just how screwed up her sex life must have been. I'm glad she never wrote the screen play for an adult film. I imagine it would have been 3 hours long: 2 hours 50 minutes worth of speeches with cheesy music playing in the background, 10 minutes of sex with 7 and 1/2 minutes of that consisting of the actors jerking off. The conversations between Hank Reardon and Francisco d'Aconias are more sexual than the actual sex. A few of the scenes with Reardon and d'Aconias would be at home in Star Trek slash fiction.

Keeping in mind that Rand is trying to convey a philosophy helps me tolerate the one-dimensional characters and the absurd extremes between the heroes (brilliant, competent, high standards of morality) and the villains (stupid, incompetent, false standards of morality). 1,200 pages and she couldn't find time to flesh characters out to at least 1-1/2 dimensions. Many comic books do a better job.

Some people build straw-men in an attempt to bolster their arguments. Rand is building a straw-world. Easy to tear down.

I will finish this book, I will read the long-winded speeches, laugh at non-normal human behavior, tolerate long descriptions of emotions that characters cannot name, enjoy the absurdity and try not to draw too many analogies between the events in the real world and the events in Atlas Shrugged.

If a John Galt managed to organize a strike in our world, we would become deprived of achievements like Sham-Wow.