July 2006


Slugging Sluggo and the L.B.C.

Apparently, Beetle Bailey is not the only oldoldoldold school comic strip which has featured some questionable violence lately. Apparently Nancy is guilty of an act of “domestic violence” against Sluggo. This blogger has questions, but apparently misses the first, which is “Is somebody still doing a Nancy and Sluggo comic strip?”

And I may have an explanation for all the modern-day references in “B.C.” It came from a strip where one of the characters is reading about “Basketball Legend Shaq Oneal” (which leads to a bad pun about leg-ends). Normally, sports “legends” are not really labelled such until after their careers have ended, which made me think: Maybe these characters exist not in the past, but in the future… a Post-Apocalyptic future where the world has been bombed into the stone age, and, keeping with Johnny Hart’s sometimes confusing Christian beliefs, these cave-folk are actually the people Left Behind from the Rapture! I think that interpretation would help explain a lot of Hart’s weirder strips…


Proposal for Web 3.0

I’m assuming everybody reading this has at least heard of the “social bookmarking” site del.icio.us, even if, like me, you’re still not sure what “social bookmarking” is, but suspect its something you don’t want Carl Monday, Cleveland’s Investigative Reporter, catching you doing (link contains sexual content  shown on a TV news show and general idiocy by everyone involved). But I digress.

Since the founders of del.icio.us have the rights to the base domain “icio.us” and any sub-domains they may want to put in front of that with a “.”, they should be doing a sister site using links that are maybe not as popular, but good for you, and call it nutr.icio.us.

My consulting fees are quite reasonable. Thank you.


Military Intelligencia

This may be my most controversial post ever. I thought long and hard before weblishing it, and ultimately decided it was something that needs to be shown, besides, everybody knows you can’t build an audience for a blog by being nice.

Anybody who was shocked that American soldiers could be capable of committing acts considered torture must have been unaware of one of the longest-running examples of the Military in pop culture, “Beetle Bailey”. The character of Sgt. Snorkel has always been prone to practicing a regrettably extreme level of coropral punishment on Private Bailey. Of course, most of us have simply assumed that Sarge was a bad apple, acting outside the norm of military standards. Incredibly, the Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 “Beetle Bailey” comic demonstrates otherwise:


What exactly are they teaching in “Sergeant’s Training?”

The policy of King Features Syndicate is to do everything possible to prevent on-line viewers from copying their content. (But I did. Neener, neener.) While that is not totally unreasonable for Copyright purposes (only partially unreasonable), the public need to bring this shocking information to light certainly outweighs KFS’s interests. What the heck, it outweighs Sgt. Snorkel! Any attempts at “cease and desist” orders will be responded to by extreme measures. I’ll submit it to BoingBoing, which has a truckload more readers than this puny blog.


Kill All the Lawyers AFTER I File This Lawsuit

A Net Neighbor jokingly suggested suing Al Gore for his Internet Addiction. After all, it was Al who “took the initiative” while he was simply “uncontrollably addicted”. I see his point, but I think there are much deeper pockets a good lawsuit could dig into.
There’s Tim Berners-Lee, who really DID invent the World Wide Web, but has probably profited from it even less than Gore. Definitely AOL, for handing out all those disks like pushers hand out free samples, Yahoo! for their original web directory, Google for that damn search engine AND all the ads, and the Mozilla Project for Firefox, the browser that makes me feel less guilty than IE does. HP shares some responsibility for manufacturing the laptop that allows me to websurf without sitting at a desk. Another individual who must be included is Peter Merholz, the blogger who coined the word “blog” (but I suspect there’s quite a line of litigators ahead of me). Charter Communications is my local cable provider who offered cable internet in its package with HBO with absolutely no warning of the potential harm! AT&T and Verizon are the largest owners of parts of the actual internet infrastructure (but less than 50% – so far); those are very deep pockets. ICANN, the agency set up to assign all those clever domain names, should be held responsible for something. I can include all the webmasters, bloggers and corporate media behind all the sites in my Bookmarks (723 at last count) especially those bandwidth suckers at YouTube who aren’t going to have any money left in six months so I’d better hurry. And finally, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, for giving me the mental image of the Internet as tubes, which always makes me feel like I have to go to the bathroom. But then, so does Texas Hold ‘Em, every time I get a flush on the river (Maybe outlawing internet poker isn’t such a bad idea).


Pros Cons and Neutrals

comiccon.gifSorry I haven’t been updating the old blog, but you know what happens every year when Comic-Con comes to San Diego… that’s right, this year, I once again did not make it to Comic-Con and I have been so busy this last week doing all those things that you have to do when you are not at Comic-Con.

At least I’m not the author of a webcomic whose characters went there without me.

In order to un-FUBAR the formatting here, I guess I have to throw in some more text without graphics. Funny, usually, you just can’t shut me up…

Anyway, two things I saw in the Sunday papers (or more specifically, the big shiny ads that fall out of the Sunday papers) that I can’t find on the Web: First, Toys R Us has started selling “Fear Factor” branded bicycles. Try telling your kid to ride safely after you buy them one of those… “But I didn’t do anything they didn’t do on the show…” If I had the licensing rights to “Jackass”, I would see an opening right here. (And if the Fear Factor bikes are in their Sunday ad, why aren’t they on their website?)

And then there are the new boys’ t-shirt styles in the Kmart ad (yes, I read the Kmart ad in the Sunday paper; you can drop your respect for me one more notch). A street sign design that instead of “DO NOT ENTER” says “DO NOT CARE”. And two more based on warning signs: “WARNING: I’M NOT LISTENING” and “WARNING: MIND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”. (come to think of it, I may be able to recreate those designs using a web sign generator… Stay tuned…) Usually, it’s the girls’ shirt messages that display the worst attitude (they do have a girls’ T that says “WARNING: MAY CAUSE TROUBLE”), but do I really want to deal with a 12-year-old who has already shut down his mind? Or, you might consider it fair warning…


Shockingly Stripped!

If you ever thought comic books were the only ones to “retcon*”, here’s an example that even Charles Schulz did it in “Peanuts”, via a 1960-something ‘Classic Peanuts’ strip that re-ran recently.
But wait a minute! What about Spike?
And Andy and Olaf and Belle and Marbles and Molly and Rover, all his other siblings from the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm? It’s hard to explain what was going through Snoopy’s canine mind at the time. Could it be that he, like his hiphop namesake, used certain substances? It was during that same period that, as a punchline, he defiantly declared “I ain’t no beagle!”

Still, it’s good to know that someone has taken all the bits and pieces from various strips to assemble The Complete Text of Snoopy’s Novel. I don’t usually weblish spoilers, but I have to say that the final line, “More importantly, he had learned about life,” is a thought I’ve kept with me to this day.

*Retcon: ‘Retroactive continuity’, deliberately changing previously established facts in a work of serial fiction.


More Stuff than a Stuffed Stuffing

Remember… truckers don’t know the best places to eat, just the best places to park…
The people who know the BEST places to eat are the ambulance drivers… but they always have to park a half a block away.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights make a left…
-Chevy Chase in “Caddyshack”

Somebody in Hollywood MUST be working overtime to get Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman for “Edward Scissorhands vs. Wolverine”.

from the days when Dudley Moore occasionally played straight man to Peter Cook:
Dudley: Do you feel you’ve learnt by your mistakes here?
Peter: I think I have, yes, and I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly.

Variations on the Old “If I Could Walk That Way, I Wouldn’t Need Talcum Powder” Joke:

“Can you show me where the wheelchairs and other products for the handicapped are?”
“Sure, just walk this way…”
“You’re just setting yourself up for a lawsuit…”

“Can you show me where the old Aerosmith CDs are?”
“Sure, just walk this way…”
“Yeah, great song, but where can I find it?”

“Can you show me where the six-inch stilleto heels are?”
“Sure, just walk this way…”
“I might as well, I won’t be able to do it with the heels…”

Funny Ideas Somebody Should’ve Done Before Now Dept.: Chipmunk-style Rap by MC Hamster.
But just substituting “Hamster” for “Hammer” is always Comedy Gold.
“If I Had a Hamster…”
“Sledge Hamster”
“Hamsterhead Shark”
“Tom ‘the Hamster’ Delay”

One gentleman discussing science and scifi suggested that the best way to keep robots with A.I. from rebelling would be to give them the personalities of the bots on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I pointed out the problem with using anything based on comedians from Minnesota would be the possibility that one would malfunction and become Garrison Keillor. (You had to be there.)


Hooboy for Hollywood

As a sometimes writer about the World of Entertainment, I susbscribe to email newsletters that cover more than just the three hot celebrity stories that are all over the mainstream media. Which does me absolutely no good since the mainstream media has already decided not to cover these stories. But some of them are so… well, weird… I have to share them with somebody. So relax. I’m forcing you to read this:

Miami ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky is pitching a Burger King movie project to Hollywood studios in search of a distribution and possibly co-financing deal, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Only if the creepy-masked Burger King mascot becomes the next Freddy Krueger, that I’d get behind. I also love the name of the third partner of that agency: Bogusky. Yeah, he’s a real person…

Casting Call: Are you a NYC area resident who is having a major or a minor conflict with a co-worker, sibling, boyfriend or girlfriend? Then this new primetime reality show produced by celebrity comics show is looking for you! The problems can be big or small, yet the more outrageous the better and they must be between two men or two women. Why relate conflict between same sexes? Selected candidates will be physically duking it out on the show, and the producer think it will be a more even fight between members of the same sex. Winners will receive cash or other prizes. Send an email convincingly explaining your problem and who it is with, be sure to include your age, phone number and pictures of the two people involved to: problemstvshow@yahoo.com. Only real problems should be submitted to be considered for an in-person interview.

Yes, that is their real email address. I DARE YOU.

Team Baby Entertainment, a producer of sports DVDs for babies/toddlers, has entered into a licensing deals with the NBA, NASCAR Images, and Major League Baseball Productions to develop and release a new series of DVD titles. Additionally, Team Baby has expanded its relationship with Collegiate Images and will add a number of NCAA titles from colleges/universities. Michael Eisner’s Torante Company acquired Team Baby Entertainment last month.

Two words you just never hear together: TEAM and BABY. (And the first two NBA titles will be “Baby Heat” and “Baby Maverick”.) Just because Michael Eisner’s no longer running Disney doesn’t mean he can’t do damage to our culture.

CoLours TV (www.colourstv.org) is a multicultural network delivering public interest programs which features and targets an urban audience that is ethnically diverse, sophisticated and tech savvy. Created in March 2000, the not-for-profit TV network offers cross-cultural programming that centers on urban audiences’ lifestyles and interests. (so far, OK)

Programming Highlights: (yes, I am cherry-picking the worst ones)

  • Japanese anime block A 2-hour daily syndicated block recently acquired from FUNimation Entertainment airing 10 p.m. – midnight (how unsurprising)
  • Global Cinema Showcase This series include new indie films and classics with celebrity discussions, hosted by Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters!!!)
  • Black Life in Japan A magazine program which follows the exploits of host Dan Smith as he profiles prominent people of color living and working in Japan (dare I say it? a very short series with a very small target audience?)
  • Asian Variety Show (AVS) A 60-minute show on the best of Bollywood music, movies, variety, celeb events and interviews (Hooray for Bollywood!)
  • 8101 A new talk show program that combines a multi-ethnic guest list with a live studio audience (do not let Jerry Springer within 5 miles of this show)
  • Ethnic Health America This 30-minute show provides expert advise on health issues that are relevant to ethnic communities in the U.S. (hey, the Bird Flu don’t care where you’re from…)
  • The Zone A behind-the-scenes look at the Underground Hip Hop Music Scene (isn’t the OVERground hip hop scene scary enough?)
  • Noche De Salsa The latest Latin music videos with hostess Dela (available in Hot Dela, Medium Dela, and Gringo Debbie)
  • Big City Produced in Houston, this new urban music video show brings the latest Rap, Rock, R&B, and Latin Hit Music videos and celeb hotspots with hostess model/actress Neferteri Shepherd (has Houston gotten permission to call itself a Big City? but you gotta repect Neferteri – one weird name that is GOOD-weird)
  • TV Reggaeton A program centering on the reggaeton music genre, produced in partnership with Steve Harvey’s production company Nu Opp Inc. (now we know whatever happened to Steve Harvey)
  • Cruzin TV The latest in cars and music (STEREOTYPE ALERT! STEREOTYPE ALERT!)

Meanwhile, on another channel…

Oxygen Network will debut the second season of Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance, the reality beauty contest for plus-sized women, on July 15 at 8p. Ten women will compete to earn the title of Miss F.A.T. (Fabulous and Thick) and prizes that include $50,000 in cash.

Please note that this is NOT a show for the CoLours channel, but a definate possibility for SiZes TV.

08/08/08. Circle your calendar. By the time the United States Olympic team arrives in Beijing, China, on that day for the 2008 Summer Games, plans are in place to make basketball star LeBron James — make that Brand LeBron — into a global icon.

So, since 06/06/06 didn’t work out, we can now plan ahead for 08/08/08 to be THE APOCALYPSE!!!

ADDENDUM: And five minutes after I weblish this magnmopus of silliness, the following headline lands in my email box:

Obopay, a developer/creator of mobile payment systems, has entered into a deal with Amp’d Mobile, a youth-centric mobile entertainment company, to offer a new mobile payment service, Obopay-Amp’d.

All I can say to that are the immortal words spoken by Scott Bakula on “Quantum Leap”: “Oh boy…”


Why Do You Think They Call Them Funnies? (1)

Many comical comics, web-and-newspaper-based, have been making me smile lately… Dan Piraro’s “Bizarro” is awfully hard to find on the web (but the Washington Post site has the last two weeks worth), but this one is extra-good:
Bizarro070706.gifWhich reminds me of a classic interchange from Albert Brooks, on a ficticious radio talk show taking questions from a caller:

Caller: “What’s the most important thing in comedy?”

Albert:”Ask me again.”

C: “What’s the most important thing i…”

A: “Timing!”

C: “But what about delivery?”

A: “Oh, you can pick it up yourself.”

C: “Lemme write that down… pick.. it… up… yourself…”

In other Bizarro-sity, here’s something firing on two levels:
Bizarro071106.gif Yes, I know it’s a flawed analogy, since it’s so unlikely that new DNA evidence would ever be of any value, unless you’re shaving someone else’s beard.

Maybe a twelve-blade Anonymous Razor with one blade for each of the Twelve Steps.

A seven-deadly-sin-blade razor would be dangerous and cool.

Or a Shakespearian Seven-Ages Blade Razor:
Blade 1, the Infant, “mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms”
Blade 2, the Schoolboy, “creeping like snail unwillingly to school”
Blade 3, the Lover, ” sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad to his mistress’ eyebrow”
Blade 4, the Soldier, “full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard”… oops, I guess that falls apart there.

Here’s an unusual Internet-themed “Boondocks”:

And I am so relieved that Hollywood (and specifically Dreamworks Animation) couldn’t ruin “Over the Hedge”, one of my favorite strips for years (and yes, Bruce Willis turned out to be a pretty good raccoon). But since the movie came out, the newspaper version AND its main animal characters have seemed more daring, and the observations on humanity more accurate than ever.
“It’s to keep their fears in.

Finally, the always entertainingly obnoxious “Pearls Before Swine” with one that was obviously written just for bloggers like WendellWit.com…
pearls20060620.gifYeah, me neither.


Name Games

So who am I?

Who am I really?

Sure the name at the top of the blog says Wendell Wittler, but does that convey my real essence? The real me?

Actually, it pretty much does, but there are so many Name Generators on the web, I thought I’d try a bunch of them out…

(Extreme thankys to The Generator Blog, a side project of the beloved Presurfer)

Okay, I’m One-Eyed Otis Filmore (blues name), Ebenezer Cottontail (bunny name), Puff Kitten (cat name), Billy Jack Keith (country music name), Jiggly Pants (cutesy pet name), Finrod Nénharma (elfish name), Professor W. Ike Phirramid (evangelist name), Sherman Tank Pond Swimma (gangsta name), Basil A. Rarebit (groucho marx name), Little John Birmingham (hillbilly name), Mungo Sandybanks (hobbit name), Benkei Kitabatake (non-ninja japanese name), ?? Saruwatari [monkey on a crossing bridge] ?? Taiki [large radiance] (japanese name with symbols and translation), Alley Cat Al (mafia name), Hiraku Striker (manga name), Dozer the Double Double Agent (matrix name), Noah Flaking Llama (native american/indian name), Frank, the SPARC Instruction Set Wannabe (nerd name), Mosuke Tadokoro-san (ninja name from NinjaBurger), Stone Horizon Moonfire (pagan name), Funk Master W. Luthor (pimp name), Poop Deck Enrico (pirate name), Pope Vicious Donald VIII (pope name, duh), Anthony McKnight (popstar name), Mark Sparks (porn name), Big Money (rapstar name), Bounty Ranks (reggae name), Speed Chuff Chuff (rock name from bbc), Axel Morrison (rockstar name), Frosty Brandy butter-Snowdrop (santa’s little helper name), Dr. Roy Nwani, the uncle of Barrister Aku Yengeni, a general auditor of a Prime Bank, Johannesburg Branch (scammer name), Loopy Potatospew (just plain silly name), Very Uninteresting Smurf (smurf name), Captain McNutt (squirrel name), Squirrel V. Checksummed (spammer name), Weed Boy (stoner name), Gckstÿkkkhanatuk Miller (taxi driver name), Supershaft [?!?] (transformer name), Cutlass of Looking at All Sides of the Question (unitarian jihad name), Sam Cromwell, Master of Bukovina [an elderly mortal who did not want to die] (vampire name), Vémundr Sheeptipper (viking name), Beefy Piper (wrestling name), and Violent Toilet Thing (wu name).

And if I were female, I’d be Viscountess Fresh-as-a-Daisy (ya-ya name).

I’m the author of “Dragon of the Deathless Citadel” as well as a member of the bands Spit Eggplant, The Innocence Orchestra, Sarcastic Dust of the Wendell Anything and Tenuous Lemur (featuring Suzy “Full Body Rash” Sorrell on Oboe). My blog’s name is Turbulent Labyrinth and my penis’ name is King Kong. My military operation, Vigilant Promise, begins in 5 minutes.