Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Wall of Kids

So I've been enjoying the hell out of learning Painter; it's slow, buggy, and prone to crashing, but the visual results you can get are insane. I did this one -- interestingly, it's based on selections and backgrounds I did for another piece -- and thought that I might have the next Swill cover, but Rob pointed out to me that placing the logo on the bottom of the cover was a no-no. "No sweat," I said. "I'll just flip it over."

I have mixed feelings about the results. I think the composition is distinctly improved, I love the way it suggests the surf... but it's a little, well, dork-oriented for me. I'm gonna keep it, but before it's done I'm going to add some more highlights to improve the sense of light. And I'm going to castrate the rock formation. For its own good.

(A brief technical note -- I've had trouble cutting and pasting into the blog from Word documents. Turns out the secret is to cut and paste into TextEdit, then cut and paste from that document. Works like a dream...)

I used to be a big Weekly World News enthusiast in the good old days before they realized they were 'hip' and 'ironic,' when they actually were peddling lies, slander, and gore to the credulous. Before they learned to nod and wink.

One of the worst things I've ever done was... Well. My mom had orchestrated a situation where my brother, my sister, and I all moved into a two-bedroom cottage owned by one of her friends. The results of this disastrous decision spread ripples of horror through the universe...

When I moved in, I had a stack of WWNewses about two feet high. One night while we were engaging in a polychemical spree and going through them whilst giggling, I realized something awful. Every single issue had a one-page article about a severely deformed child. There was the skateboarding lizard-boy whose dad had set him on fire. The kid with the big chin. The operation on the two-headed baby with the arrow pointing towards the fuzzy little cranium in the vitrine.

So I cut them all out and stuck them up on the living room wall. Because, I thought to myself, there is no better illustration as to the nature of the world in which we live.

(I have matured considerably since then. I hope.)

The Wall of Kids became legend. Oh, it was horrible. My brother, who slept in the living room, started to get this haggard look, something like the one I saw in the mirror when I brushed my teeth. "You evil fuck, you have no idea what it's like to wake up every morning and have that be the first thing you see."

We were the party house for my brother and sister's friends. After a while, instead of sitting around facing each other, everyone drank in a line facing away from The Wall. There were reports of nightmares. Some cruel people would bring sensitive friends over without warning them about what was in store. I saw tears shed on more than one occasion.

This pleased me no end. I was absolutely miserable and anything I could do to further the cause of misery was an act of conquest.

It all ended when my mom came over for a visit. She stepped in the door, saw it, and without hesitation began taking it down.

"What is wrong with you?" she asked.

I just rolled my eyes and made a face. If you haven't figured that out by now...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Hayworth Principle

This one isn't my fault. Erin O'Brien twittered a link to the news story, and... Okay, it's her fault.

Okay. I'm going to make this fast, because I really should get to work. But I need to say this. Folks, we're on a slippery slope. Check this out.

Now, in this case the magnificently dildonic J.D. Hayworth is claiming that gay marriage is the first step on the road to state-sanctioned bestiality. It would be easy enough to refute his argument, as the slippery slope is one of the first things you learn about when you start studying logic and debate. Again, check it out. Slippery slope. When someone starts in with that kind of nonsense, they've removed themselves from the grownup's table.

The thing is, is that this fits in perfectly with my position on the subject of gay marriage, which is that marriage is a religious ceremony and the state has no fucking place involving itself in marriage in any way. Domestic partnerships? Yeah, there's room for legislation there, but marriage is part of folk culture.

If your church is opposed to gay marriage, then don't provide gay marriages and shut the fuck up. You are entitled to your pinheaded, dickish little game of make-believe, you are not entitled to cram it down anyone else's throat through abuse of the political process.

So in this case, I'm in with Hayworth. Because I have my own hate-filled agenda. I'm anti-horse.

(Stay with me. I promise this will all come together in the end.)

Well, I wouldn't say anti-horse. I mean, I'm not prejudiced. I once met a horse I liked, and he'll tell you that I'm not horsephobic.

But while I'm not a horse-hater, you have to admit that they're stupid, heirarchal, vicious, planet-destroying toys of the rich that crap all over the path.

Plus, I hear they're hella tasty. French fries in the fat from horse kidneys? I so want to try that. Horse salami? Oh, yeah.

Right now the laws in America are slanted heavily against the beautiful, sacred practice of hippophagia. And if, as Hayworth says, gay marriage will lead to horse marriage, things can only get worse.

Think of it this way. You marry a Shetland pony, right? And it's beautiful. You love each other. Your relationship is stable, you're part of the community, and everyone who sees you thinks, "That's what I want for myself and my horse-headed children."

So you take your beloved out for your fifth anniversary dinner. Flowers, candle-light, trough of champagne, the works.

And then when the menus come, there it is in the entree section. Fillet of Secretariat. Black Beauty with wild mushrooms. Braised shank of Seabiscuit in a reduced wine sauce. And you lift your head and meet the eyes of your spouse.

Talk about awkward.

If people have to face this kind of thing, they are gonna be passing laws against eating horses right and fucking left.

But what Mr. Hayworth (And in what does he stick his weeny? I mean, why exactly did he go to horses here? Isn't there something suspicious about the way this is coming from someone named Hayworth? We need to look into this dude's behavior.) fails to mention is that the first step down that slippery slope took place when we allowed men and women to marry. Because that led to gay marriage. And that will lead to horse marriage.

( And if you think horse marriage is bad, you don't want to see what happens when we slide a little further down the slope. "Actually, he's not really into horses," said Sweet Chariot. "I'm just a beard.")

So if I'm ever going to have the chance to sit down to a nice platter of cheval au poivre with frites, we need to outlaw marriage.

I'm just thinking of the horses.