Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Yes We Can" vs. "Me Me Me"

Obama may be more proficient in the vocabulary of leadership, but Clinton's speech proved her campaign right when they said she represents a real change. Most leaders use the words "we," "us" and "our" to draw in their listeners, to make them feel as if they're part of the team -- to make them feel invested in the leader's success. Not Clinton. Compare Obama's old school approach vs. Clinton's radically different one. She doesn't pander to the togetherist lobby. She turns conventional wisdom on its head by choosing language that gives the impression it's all about her. "I listened to you... I found my voice." That line in particular was brilliant. We know it was brilliant. If it had been a pathetic admission that she's given to falling out of touch with the American people, the Media would've told us so. But they told us it was brilliant, which, to me, was a big relief.

Let's compare Old School Obama to New Jack Clinton. Here's Obama's South Carolina victory speech...

...vs. Clinton's New Hampshire victory speech.

I have to admit, she lapsed a bit toward the end. A few "we" and "us" buzzwords crept in. But what a rousing start.

Geek Tuesday: Iron Man animation, conclusion

Monday, January 28, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Clintons smoked identity politics, inhaled big-time

The more I see of the Clinton campaign, the more I understand the burning hatred the right wing has always felt toward them, even if I don't (yet) share it. How can you not hate people who laugh and smile while they distort their opponents words and records? How can you not hate people who brazenly drag their opponents' race into the campaign repeatedly, and then feign indignation when their opponent calls them on it? How can you not despise the Clintons when they speak derisively of Barack engaging in identity politics, while at the same time reminding everyone at every turn that Hillary has ovaries?

The Clintons' latest not-quite-subtle attempt to marginalize Obama based on race:

Said Bill Clinton today in Columbia, SC: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."

This was in response to a question about Obama saying it "took two people to beat him." Jackson had not been mentioned.

Boy, I can't understand why anyone would think the Clintons are running a race-baiting campaign to paint Obama as "the black candidate."

Obama did win the vast majority of black South Carolinians' votes. But how does Bill Clinton explain Iowa? Did Jesse Jackson win Iowa and the history books forgot to record that?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rambo, McCain: It's only a coincidence

Sylvester Stallone today endorsed John McCain, Vietnam POW, for President. I'm sure it absolutely, positively has nothing to do with a certain film that's opening tomorrow. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Stallone said of McCain, a Vietnam war veteran who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, that "there's something about matching the character with the script."

"And right now, the script that's being written and reality is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged like a rough action film, and you need somebody who's been in that to deal with" it.

...I think.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Candorville bat-signal: Santa Rosa readers, contact your paper

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat's changed their comics page, and Candorville's one of several casualties. However, unlike many papers, they want to know what you think. If you live in Santa Rosa or somehow read the Press Democrat, and you want to see "Candorville" back on your comics page, write to them at comics@pressdemo.com.

The Press Democrat does listen to its readers, so go ahead and register your opinion.

Geek Tuesday: Iron Man animation, part 2

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Letter to Editor: Candorville's mockery of bigots offends me!

A reader was kind enough to send me a copy of his letter to the editor about today's Candorville:

Copy of Letter to the Editor-Austin American Statesman

Dear Editor:

As a white, Independent voter, I am appaled at the tastelessness of the “comic strip”, Candorville, that appeared in the Saturday Jan. 19, 2008 Austin Statesman.

This has a non-white male character talking to a non-white female character and I will quote the dialogue in it’s entirety for those who missed it.

He says, “I figured out what Obama needs to do if he wins the nomination. If he wins, you just know thousands of bigots are going bullet shopping. So he’s gotta pick a vice president that bigots’ll hate worse- Someone the bigots wouldn’t want to risk becoming president. Obviously, his running mate should be an illegal immigrant,”

To me this is patently offensive and the Statesman should not have run it. As I wrote earlier, “I’m a white, Independent voter and this appears to me to be race baiting of the worst kind.

I apologize to all my non-white friends for this bad taste on the part of the cartoonist, and the Statesman as well.

Rev. James A. Andrews D.D.

AKA Zpadre

Always nice to hear from a white person who takes it upon himself to be offended on behalf of minorities. I hear from such angels occasionally. Oddly enough, the minorities in question never seem to tell me themselves that those particular strips offend them. Thank God for the Reverend Andrews's of the world, otherwise I'd never know that I've done wrong.

My response:

I often hear from readers who tell me they're white, and that they're offended on behalf of minorities about something I said. When, in fact, I hear almost nothing but praise for those same comics by the supposedly-aggrieved minority readers themselves. I don't understand this phenomenon. I'm not sure I understand why you're apologizing on my behalf. Why would you, a white person, apologize to "all your non-white friends" for something another non-white person said? Why don't you ask THEM if they're offended? If THEY would like an apology, by all means, direct them my way so I can correct whatever misinterpretation they're laboring under. If you can find a single non-white friend of yours who hasn't already thought about the danger Obama faces, I'd be surprised.

I'm also unclear on why you feel it's race-baiting.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica online:

"Race baiting is the act of using racially derisive language, actions or other forms of communication, to anger, intimidate or incite a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests."

Who exactly do you think today's cartoon was "DERISIVE" of? It wasn't derisive of black people. It wasn't derisive of illegal immigrants. If anyone, it was derisive of "bigots." Now, if you're saying today's Candorville was trying to anger or intimidate bigots, or trying to get them to behave in a way that's inimical to their personal or group interest (namely, trying to get them to stop being bigots), then you've got a point. I fail to see what's offensive about someone deriding bigots.

Also part of the definition of "race-baiting":

"This can also be accomplished by implying that there is an underlying race based motive in the actions of others towards the group baited, where none in fact exists."

Are you honestly - with a straight face - going to tell me there aren't bigots in this country who'd sooner see a black man dead than in the White House? Are you going to tell me there was no reason for Barack Obama to ask for and receive an uncommonly large contingent of secret service agents as protection? Are you going to tell me - an African American cartoonist who receives occasional death threats simply for publishing a cartoon with black characters in newspapers - that a black man running for PRESIDENT has nothing to fear?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

If only Bush had watched What's Happenin'

If this sort of thing had happened in 2000, it might not have cost me nearly $40 the other day to fill up the tank on my tiny Ford Focus, two towers might still be standing in New York, and the name "Greenland" might remain an oxymoron a little bit longer:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Geek Tuesday: Amazing Iron Man animation

Check this out. If Lemont knew about this, he might not set foot outside his apartment for days, waiting for the next installment:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Raleigh News & Observer adds Candorville

Sometimes introducing a comic strip to largely conservative readers by joking about hypocritical closeted Senators trolling for gay bathroom sex, is actually a good idea. If you read the previous post about the trial in Raleigh, N.C., you might be surprised to learn they're adding Candorville to their roster, come January 14.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Minority cartoonists plan February 10 comics page "crossover"

It's not a crossover in the traditional sense, it's something that's never been done before. If you're a cartoonist of any ethnicity and you want to participate, and you still have time to turn in a new strip for February 10, contact me at "candorville at gmail dot com" and I'll fill you in on the details.

From Editor & Publisher:

NEW YORK At least eight African-American cartoonists plan to take part in a Feb. 10 comics-page action to draw attention to the way their strips are perceived and purchased.

"Many editors and readers consider different 'black comics' to be interchangeable," said "Candorville" cartoonist Darrin Bell. This, he told E&P today in a phone interview, is among the reasons why many papers run only one or two comics by African-Americans and other creators of color -- no matter how many strips and panels are in their comics sections.

But, Bell said, comics by black cartoonists are obviously as different from each other as comics by white cartoonists are different from each other.

"Some are political, some are about friends, and some are about family," noted Bell, who organized the Feb. 10 action along with "Watch Your Head" cartoonist Cory Thomas. (Both are syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.)

For the action, the cartoonists will all do a version of one of Thomas' comics. The theme and writing in each strip will be similar, though "we're all plugging in our own characters," said Bell. The idea is to satirically protest the erroneous notion of many editors and readers that comics by African-American creators are interchangeable.

What might the action accomplish? "I hope editors will start allowing minority cartoonists to compete for all their comics slots, not just one or two slots," replied Bell, whose 2003-launched "Candorville" strip runs in 60 to 65 papers.

The cartoonist -- who also does the "Rudy Park" comic with Theron Heir for United Media -- further noted that strips by African-American cartoonists are enjoyed by many white readers as well as black readers.

Bell said he's not sure the Feb. 10 action should be called a protest, noting that black cartoonists face a problem nowhere near as serious as, say, New Orleans residents still without housing after Hurricane Katrina. But it's still a problem.

"It's like a weather forecast of mostly sunny with patches of racism," Bell said wryly.

"Wryly." I like that.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I Killed Journeyman

If Lemont knew the whole story, he'd probably quit the strip. I know he wouldn't want to work with me ever again.

The truth is: I killed Journeyman. I've concluded that's the only logical explanation. Nearly every show I love ends up canceled by the end of its first season. "Space, Above and Beyond," "Firefly," "Odyssey 5," etc. The television landscape is littered with the corpses of Shows Darrin Loved.

According to someone close to production who e-mailed me today, "Journeyman" isn't dead yet. It's sitting frozen in the driver's seat of an RV that's dangling over a cliff, and NBC hasn't decided whether to save it or let it plunge to an early death. Maybe if I apologize for admiring the show's sophisticated writing, its surprisingly (for network TV) moving acting, and the sense that it's all leading to something big -- maybe if I promise not to watch it anymore -- NBC will save Journeyman. After all, broadcast TV is filled with shows I would never watch, and I'm sure you'd agree that it's no coincidence those shows are successful.

Maybe you never tried Journeyman, or maybe you gave the first couple episodes a try and thought it wasn't going anywhere. If you thought Journeyman started slowly, or you missed the last couple episodes, watch them right here, right now. And then tell me you wouldn't like to see where the next few seasons might have taken us.

Or better yet, tell NBC.