Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter! Here are some disturbing greeting cards!

Image from Capnwacky
In honor of Easter, I wanted to pay tribute to one of my favorite (sadly, no longer updated) humor blogs, Capnwacky, and their brilliant gallery of creepy greeting cards from the days of yore. They called it The Unfortunate Page and it featured a myriad of WTF vintage cards, including goofy Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and even Washington's Birthday cards (does anyone send out cards for Washington's Birthday?). They even added a bonus section of Unfortunate superhero and Star Trek costumes.

Anyhoo, here are some of my favorite icky Easter cards, courtesy of Capnwacky. I've also copied and pasted the captions from the site, which hopefully the Capnwacky guys won't be pissed about, since I'm basically giving them a big ol' plug, too. Also, Capnwacky guys? In case you're reading this...UPDATE YOUR SITE! I miss it. I especially miss Zonar, the human-hating alien.

"And you thought Joe Camel caused trouble."
"Yes, the Easter Bunny brings treats to good boys and girls, but beware
the evil Easter gnomes who steal treats and bite children on the ankles."

"Ah yes, the frontier. Forged by nancy-boys in
sissysuits, riding egg wagons pulled by bunnies."

"So, are these tiny people, or are the birds freakishly huge?
Either way, it adds up to me not getting a pleasant night's sleep."

"Only big bunnies get to cavort with humans."

Friday, March 29, 2013

This Good Friday Support Planned Parenthood!

Misty, me, and Katy at the the 2011 rally in St. Paul

Aww, I had so much fun at the Planned Parenthood Good Friday support rallies! This is the first time in four years that I haven't gone and I'm really missing it. It's become something of a tradition, as Good Friday is the designated day for religious fanatics to line up outside Planned Parenthood locations around the country to wave anti-choice signs, so Planned Parenthood set up "support" teams to counter the holy rollers. Planned Parenthood didn't let people on their side bring their own placards because they wanted to keep a positive, upbeat atmosphere, but they did provide signs for us supporters to hold (see above).

At the first rally I attended (with Katy in 2010) this old dude walked up carrying a "SAVE THE SPERM" sign complete with squiggly little sperm-creatures inked in around the letters. Everyone was a little freaked, and a bit confused, as it wasn't clear a.) what the hell message the guy was trying to convey with that (was he being funny? was he serious?) and b.) was he with us, or with the holy rollers on the other side? It turned out that he was, in fact, a pro-choice supporter and his pro-sperm sign was a misguided attempt at humor. The PP organizers respectfully asked him to discard his sperm sign, and gave him a more tasteful one to carry. It was memorable, anyway.  

The awesome thing about this photo? I found it on a Google image search of "Planned Parenthood Good Friday rally" and it's from the exact same day we were there (you can see Misty's jacket and sign to the left of the woman above). We are EVERYWHERE baby!

Monday, March 18, 2013

CNN Throws a Rapist Pity Party

Uuuuuuughhhhhhhh, seriously, I can't handle this shit: 

Okay, to be fair, CNN is just part of the problem. Several media outlets have taken the same tone: "Awww, what a shame for these bright young men! How awful that they have to endure this!" and it's pissed me off so badly I can barely see straight. 

That said, CNN--in particular Candy Crowley, Poppy Harlow and Paul Callan--GO FUCK YOURSELVES SIDEWAYS for boohooing all over the place about how sorry you feel for these two convicted rapists. Poppy Harlow seems especially distraught, grieving for the "promising futures" of Trent Mays and Malik (fuck him, I refuse to add the stupid apostrophe to his first name) Richmond. Hey, Poppy? First of all, I imagine that working for CNN gives you at least a teeny bit of clout; maybe you can pull some strings and get the judge to commute their sentences so they can come live with you and do odd jobs--maybe tutor your kids (do you have daughters? Even better!) or paint your house or walk your dog or whatever the fuck, since you obviously care so deeply about them. Yeah, I know that sounds fucking ridiculous for me to even suggest that, but it's no more ridiculous than the fucking pity committee these journalistic hacks have assembled to bellyache about the fate of these upstanding young rapists

And by the way, how does she know these two dickbags had "such a promising future"? Who is she, Miss Cleo? Is she implying that the two rapists had a future playing football professionally? Well then, that's awesome because Lord knows there definitely aren't enough violent thugs in the NFL. She also points out that the two convicted rapists were good students, as if that has anything to do with anything. Yeah, I'm sure the victim is relieved to hear that the troglodytes who sexually assaulted her maintained healthy GPAs. That's very comforting. 

Did either Crowley or Harlow--two professional journalists--even listen to Trent Mays's statement in the footage that they aired? Because it was really choice. If you don't have the stomach to watch the above clip (and I don't blame you), this ugly human being stood up and told the courtroom that "no pictures (of the girl they violated) should have been sent around, let alone taken". Did anyone reporting on this mess catch that? This douchelord said, basically, that he was sorry that the photos used as evidence to convict his pimply ass of rape were "taken" and "sent around." But he said nothing about being sorry that he sexually assaulted an unconscious sixteen year old girl. I really hope his roommate in juvie is a 6'8" violent psychopath with a profound hatred for snot-nosed high school jocks. Same goes for Malik Richmond. And speaking of Richmond, apparently I'm supposed to be crying for him because, as his attorney said, his father never told him he loved him. Well, that's a good reason to rape. Maybe he just needs a hug! Again, in case you didn't watch the CNN footage, at around the three-minute mark Malik Richmond gets up from his chair, walks across the courtroom, starts to make a similar half-assed apology to the victim's family, then breaks down sobbing like a two year old girl. Awwww, poor widdle wapist! Did that mean old judge hurt your feelings? Yeah, I got no sympathy for him either. None. In fact, I think their weak-ass sentence should have included chemical castration. That would really give Richmond something to cry about.

You know, I've heard the term "rape culture" bandied about in recent years, but I never really understood what it meant. Now, thanks to CNN, Fox News, and all the other media channels who are too busy wringing their hands over the fate of these fine young rapists to express any sort of concern for the victim, I think I know what people mean when they talk about "rape culture." And CNN has shown us a perfect example of it. 

I'd like to counter all this ugliness and make a statement against rape culture and the people who perpetuate it. This video went viral a few years ago, so you may have seen it already, but the message is timeless nonetheless. Watch and learn from this awesome woman. Her actions in this clip serve as a reminder that all of us--men and women--shouldn't have to put up with assault in any way, shape or form. Her name is Nicola Briggs, and she rocks.


"Oh yes. Oh fucking YES!"


Friday, March 15, 2013

Lost and Found

I've been looking for an ancient children's book called Colors since the early days of the internet. Over the years I've perused ebay, abebooks, and hundreds of specialized blogs devoted to out-of-print books, but no dice. Turns out that there are about 8 billion children's books titled "Colors", and none of them ever turned out to be the one I wanted. 

Then I had an epiphany. I Googled "Colors" + 1970's 3-D puppet book. It led me to a curious site called The Trash Collector. I scrolled through the entries and stopped halfway down the page. My jaw dropped to the floor. After searching all these years, there it was--my old Colors book! I was ecstatic. 

I noticed that the artwork is credited to Tadasu Izawa and Shigemi Hijikata, so--armed with this new information--I did a search on Amazon and whaddya know? There it was!

Of course, the book has been out of print for decades, but luckily there were some independent sellers that carried it. I ended up ordering two copies--one for $13 and one for the bargain price of 73 cents! I bought two because I want to use one for a future crafting project and keep the other one intact.    

I have fond memories of this long-lost tome from my childhood. My parents started reading to me when I was a baby, and Colors is one of the very first books I remember. I even have a photo--dated September 1975 (I would've been two years old)--of me and my cousin Jon huddled in my grandmother's armchair reading it together.

Cute little 1970's moppets!
I was thrilled to find this book, and not just for the nostalgia factor. The main reason is that I sincerely love the artwork: gorgeous color photographs of poseable puppets set against painstakingly rendered backgrounds. The effect is strange, beautiful, and somewhat creepy. 

Here are a few images from Colors, along with the accompanying text (the first copy arrived in the mail yesterday), photographed by yours truly.

Easter eggs to color--what fun it is to do! 
We'll paint them pretty colors, like purple, pink and blue.

The big yellow sun shines its light all day
But a small pink parasol keeps the brightness away.

On a shaggy green carpet, chasing a bright red ball,
A playful orange kitten has the most fun of all.

There were several 3D puppet books with artwork by Tadasu Izawa and Shigemi Hijikata published between the 1960's and the 1980's. Unfortunately, there is precious little information online about the artists themselves. I'd love to learn more about them, and I'm curious to know if they have art that predates the work they did for the children's books. 

Here is some more info about the books, courtesy of The Trash Collector blog: 
Introduced in the 1960s, 3-D Picture Books were a popular import from Japan. These books featured full-page photographs of the action utlizing poseable puppets, many bearing the large eyes popular in Asian children's fare as well as in contemporary American pop-art. 
Although Colors is the only 3D puppet book I owned as a child, I do have recollections of other books from that genre, some checked out from the library, some belonged to friends. Many of them featured wicked cool lenticular (hologram) placards on the covers, like this one:

Izawa and Hijikata also did a series of fairytale books that I remember vividly, including Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and (my favorite) Snow White. I found some images online of the latter, and holy shit--they're absolutely stunning.

She ends up with the handsome prince.(Sorry if I ruined it for you.) 

It's ironic that I've spent years going out of my mind looking for Colors and I end up finding a copy on Amazon, the most prosaic of places. In fact, Amazon has a ton of the Izawa/Hijikata 3D puppet books. Some are outrageously priced--one copy of Nursery Tales is listed for $506.01 (???) but most of them are reasonably priced at under $20, and some go for under $10, depending on the condition of the book.

Of course, I'm not going to buy up all of them. For one, John would totally freak out if I spent all our money on old out-of-print children's books. Also, we don't have the space. 

I did break down and order that copy of Snow White, though. It was only nine bucks.    

Friday, March 08, 2013

For International Women's Day

In honor of International Women's Day, I present to you my friend Misty Rowan: poet, activist, artist, badass. She blogs at MissTeaTree

THIS is something you need to see today.