Links kilns slink links (you can’t get a lot of anagrams out of a five-letter word)

typed for your pleasure on 11 October 2010, at 8.32 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Now or never’ by Polish Radio Orchestra

Been quite a while since I’ve dumped a mess of links upon you! A big sloppy bucket of links all over you, all in your hair and down your shirt. You should probably go wash that off before it dries. Don’t forget to burn those clothes as well!

+ In a way, I’m glad that Deafening silence Plus is just large enough, as if it were larger, I’d probably be indulging in my love of technological white elephants. And if I had more money, that is. ‘Technological white elephants’ is a term coined by sexy Eighties Goth siren Danielle Dax that describes obsolete technology or devices that, for whatever reason, didn’t catch on and last in the minds of the general public. Things like the RCA VideoDisc, or the ondes Martenot, or the Nintendo VirtualBoy (I own two — don’t ask, it’s a long story). I’m fairly sure the TwitterPeek will be joining you lot shortly.


Hear that? That’s the sound of Planned Obsolescence

Puts Smart Phones and Twitter Apps to Shame!

No more waiting for tweets to download or clicking the “more” button to see old tweets.

TwitterPeek’s “always on” tweet delivery makes it a snap to follow 100’s of people throughout the course of your day. Best of all, you don’t have to spend $100/month on an expensive smartphone data plan to get Twitter on-the-go.

It must be an interesting and fanciful world the creators of TwitterPeek live in. Honestly, it’s not a bad product, but 1) it’s very very specific, and 2) the masses would’ve bought these feckers by the carton back in 2006, when Twitter first started. Or maybe a year after that; some people are undoubtedly still smarting over the whole ‘Friendster‘ thing.
I just tried to search for a used TwitterPeek on the Bay of e, but came up empty-handed. There is no such thing as a consumer item that is created and isn’t resold at some point, which kinda says to me that… no-one’s buying TwitterPeeks?? *cue minor chord*

+ Speaking of social vortexes, Wil ‘sorry, can’t save the Enterprise, too busy Tweeting’ Wheaton has some very lucid things to say about that other social networking timewaster:

Now, as long as I have your attention and I’m talking about Facebook: I think that Facebook is evil, guys. I believe that Facebook is making gazillions of dollars by exploiting its users, and Facebook doesn’t give a shit about how its users feel about that. The only reason Facebook has made any changes to their laughable privacy policies recently is because the company was looking at legal action, and was in danger of losing money.

Personally, I think you should delete your Facebook account and wait for Disapora to get going. I know that’s unlikely, though, because Facebook has become a useful and convenient way to stay in touch with people you care about. But please, please consider the consequences of trading privacy for convenience, and think about this, from Newsweek:

If you really expect this company to suddenly become trustworthy, you’ve lost your mind. Over the past five years Facebook has repeatedly changed its privacy policy, always in one direction, and every time this happens, the same movie plays out. People complain. Facebook stonewalls, then spins, then pretends to be contrite, then finally walks things back—but only a little.

the entire article is here

As for me, I’ve already said my piece on Facebook and how I think it’s rubbish, so I’ll not go on about it. But what Will’s saying and what others have been saying, not using Facebook is something to consider.
And will I go see ‘The Social Network’? If it were a scenario where the proceeds from every ticket for that film went to stopping Facebook, I’d see it once a day. Apart from that, should I suddenly decide there’s absolutely nothing else more important that I need to be doing with my life, then perhaps. And more than likely, I won’t pay to do it.

+ This domicile would more than likely fit nicely into the ‘This IS the Future’ category if I had one. *checks sidebar* Just making sure. I give you: Ring House, located in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan, and built by architects Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima.


Sadly, the fog is not included

The Ring House is wrapped in rings of glass and wood and has an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the forest. […] TNA designed rings around the facade so that areas of private space and utilities could be met. The height of each ring was decided by the function concealed behind it. The glass between the rings allow you to look straight into the forest, so the whole house appears to dissolve into the forest.
taken from this site

+ As I’m sure every one of you have done, I’ve lain awake at night, wondering aloud ‘when will someone write a yakuza-based Choose Your Own Adventure story??’ Well, despite the fact that it’s online only, as opposed to a printed work, this page on the site Infinite Story proves that Dreams Can Come True.

You pour the last of your now semi-warm sake from the carafe into your ceramic choko. It fills the shallow glass only halfway and you sip from it slowly, trying to draw out the time. Down the bar from you is a group of sararimen who are getting steadily drunker and louder. From their slurred speech, you gather they are celebrating the fact that their division has made its quarterly projections for the second time, or something bullshit like that. “Fucking peasants…” you grumble not too quietly between sips of sake, but the sararimen do not hear it because they are busy toasting themselves again.

Your name is Shinji Takagawa, a member of the notorious Yamashita Syndicate in Tokyo, and you’ve been sitting at this sushi bar for the last four hours silently eating, getting drunk, and watching game shows with the sound turned off on the plasma screen TV behind the bar. Usually this sushi bar is pretty quiet place to kill an evening, but these drunken sararimen are making it intolerable. When the waitress comes to see if you need another drink, you just grunt that you want your bill.
the rest of the story is here

Unfortunately midway through the story, your ability to actually make choices is halted, and it turns into a straightforward fictional narrative. But it still gets major Cool Points for the concept overall.

+ If the Missus and I had a cat — Shironeko doesn’t count, in this instance, unfortunately — if it were a male, we would totally get him one of these: a kitty necktie.


That’s something I’d wear. Good choice, little guy! That had better
not be a clip-on, though; that’s just lazy

And yes, they offer feather boas for the lady kitties as well. Pair some dapper cats up with ones wearing Kitty Wigs, have a bartender pouring Bradfords into water dishes for everyone, and you’d have a stylish little party!

So there you are! All these links are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Looking backwards is looking forwards on February 23rd, 2013

Fusing Materialism with Esoterica on September 4th, 2007


That’s, ahh… that’s some Dalek, alright

typed for your pleasure on 20 May 2010, at 12.37 am

Sdtrk: ‘Seed ships’ by Belbury Poly

During a lull in the action at work today, I grabbed my pen and legal pad, and decided to draw a Dalek from memory for a lark. It took me twenty minutes! I don’t know if that’s good or bad.


‘Perspective’?? That’d just slow me down

You may be asking why it looks elongated, yet simultaneously stunted. The answer to that, my friend, is foreshortening! Yes, foreshortening.
Also, an utter lack of drawing ability.

What I like is how it gets progressively more inept the further down the illo you go. Except for the gun; I think the gun is the best detail on him. And I even managed to draw it on the correct side! But by the time you reach the bottom, it’s like all bets are off, really.

You might be able to tell that I was going to draw him in profile, at least going by his dome, but Fate (and again, artistic ineptitude) had other plans in store.

I’ve learned you have to be careful when drawring them Daleky fellas; although I couldn’t remember how many sensor globes — aka Dalek bumps — a Dalek is normally supposed to have, I knew it wasn’t seven from top to bottom. I couldn’t stop myself! I just kept drawing bumps.
But now I know it’s only four, now that I’m home and have flipped through my well-worn copy of ‘The Doctor Who Technical Manual’. Coupled with that knowledge, you can’t draw your Dalek too narrow from the front either, otherwise it’ll resemble something made to pleasure the ladies. Heh, now you can’t unsee it!

I’m fully convinced that, thanks to this illo, the ghost of Terry Nation will haunt me until the end of my days. And with good reason

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Speaking of Hallowe'en.. on November 1st, 2004

Eventually, you'll have to deal with the Blinovitch Limitation Effect on February 24th, 2012


Silicone makes everything better, or, Slow news day

typed for your pleasure on 17 February 2010, at 1.04 am

Sdtrk: ‘A longing to be absorbed for a while into a different and beautiful world’ by Leyland Kirby

If you’ll indulge me for a bit, I’ve a confession to make: lately I’m finding that Heidi Montag lass to be really quite attractive. I’m sure if you have any amount of pop culture leaking into your lives, you already know where this is leading, but if you don’t: basically Ms Montag is an obscenely overpaid professional idiot. She’s apparently what can be loosely termed as an ‘actress’, having appeared on a reality show, as well as laughingly referred to as a ‘singer’, thanks to her full-length album of so-called music. Worse still, she’s a god-botherer as well as a republican — those two categories are usually found joined at the hip. I’d first heard of her sometime a year or so ago, and as she was a reality TV star, any cursory interest I had in her immediately disappeared. That is, until earlier this month.

@davecat doesnt Heidi Montag from MTV’s “The Hills look like a real doll after her recent plastic surgery?

MafiAMillertime | 1:17 AM Feb 2nd from web

As I had no idea who the living hell she was on about, I had to look it up on das Goögle, and ooohh my goodness why hello there.


Fully articulated and posable, with a neck hook for display

According to an article on online gossip rag Access Hollywood:

On November 20, Heidi underwent 10 procedures that included a mini brow lift, Botox in the forehead, nose job revision, fat injections in cheeks and lips, chin reduction, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, breast augmentation revision, liposuction on her waist and thighs and a buttocks augmentation. But, she told Billy she’s not addicted to plastic surgery.

But of course. She then goes on to say:

I’m starting to move my face more and more, [But,] I feel very plastic… especially when I first came out, it was so hard for me even to smile and it’s still hard for me to chew sometimes. But it’s feeling more and more natural everyday because the swelling is going down.

I should point out here that I’m completely for the idea of plastic surgery. As long as it makes the person happy, and if it’s not done to a dangerous and unaesthetic degree, that is. I mean, if you’re gonna get ten procedures done, it may seem practical to have them all done in one go, but you’ll more than likely be living like a Cenobite for a number of weeks. Not too clever, but I guess that’s kinda par for the course with our Heidi.
Furthermore, there’s something to be said about the state of pop culture where people, particularly women, are pressured into valuing appearance over intelligence. Unfortunately, it seems that she’s unaware that pursuing both qualities combines the best of both worlds.


Only $6000, minus shipping and handling

HEIDI MONTAG: Bringing Bold New Meaning to the Term ‘Churl’. But thanks to her new silicone rubber body, she’s much nicer to look at! rrrRowr.
Ergh. That’s enough Hollywood-related talk for a couple of months

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

(still absent) on September 16th, 2007

Carry on Phoning / Like bladder, like brain on July 16th, 2007


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Dec 2009)

typed for your pleasure on 18 December 2009, at 8.09 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Outta state’ by US girls

Hello! Whole lot of topics to cover this month, and that’s mainly cos I slacked off for two months! So make yourself a decently-sized sandwich, pour yourself a pint, and let us henceforth begin.

+ First off, for all of you fans of leggy Russian Synthetik babes, Anatomical Doll have created two new heads, now available for purchase. Say Здравствуйте! (hello!) to Elena and Natalia.


My kind of Red Army


What is Natalia staring at, you ask? What isn’t Natalia staring at?

Elena is a modified version of Victoria, their first head sculpt, and Natalia is brand-new. For me, Natalia has the slight edge, as I’m completely in love with her luscious glassy-eyed stare. Either way, they’re both delicious lasses, wouldn’t you agree?
Coincidentally enough, I dreamt the other night that someone had shipped me a Victoria-type Anatomical Doll, apparently new and still in her box. I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the affair, so I called in Dexter — yes, he of the telly series — to give her a once-over before I got her out of her crate. ‘You and I both know we’re experts in our particular fields,‘ I said to him, ‘and I wanted to see if you could make sure she doesn’t have any contaminants or radioactive material before I keep her.’ So we proceeded to open the crate with a power screwdriver outside in my apartment’s parking lot, of all places. He’d brought his wife, who I wasn’t sure if she knew what I did, and she stood at a close, but safe, distance from the action. As Dexter opened the crate, I turned to her and said ‘No screaming! No screaming!’ Just as her eyes grew to the size of saucers, the ‘show’ cut to the opening credits of Dexter, which I thought was rather neat, but didn’t exactly tell me of the Victoria-type’s fate…

+ Next up, we have Lilica, yet another head out now from steady contenders 4woods, which is compatible with all of the body types that they sell. Damnit, people, how is anyone supposed to keep up with you??


‘Just to let you know, I had nothing to do with my ad copy’

‘She is a girl that is not beyond your reach but almost like a girl next door. She also makes you feel relaxed but has sexy daring appearance at the same time’, reads her ad copy, and I’m strangely compelled to agree with their assessment.
Not only that, 4woods are offering custom nail art for any model of silicone poppet that you wish to order: French nails, which would be a French manicure; Glitter nails, which are… glitter nails; and Colorful nails, which are great, should you wish to saddle your poor unfortunate Doll with a ridiculous candy kid look, thereby guaranteeing that she’ll never get a proper job, and she’ll probably end her days strung out on meth.


See? She already has a glazed look in her eyes from too many disco biscuits

Furthermore, they’ve got a new page flogging enticing lingerie, wigs, jewelry, boots, stands for extra heads, and suchlike in their Doll Accessories store, which is, quote, ‘Costumes and other accessories you must have to love your doll’. I love that — you must have them, otherwise loving your Doll will be patently impossible! Fact.

+ It seems that another new Doll manufacturer is stepping up to the silicone plate! This is always good news, of course, but this will particularly please iDollators who happen to live in the European Union. Behold: Dreamdoll Creation.


Swan finally levels up to Capo in ‘Mafia wars’


Soria gets her rubbery jubbelys out for the camera


Tania proves that not all the Dreamdoll creation models have short hair

The company will aim for selling four body types, all 5’8″, 101.5 lbs, with busts that range from 35 B to 35 E/F, at the heart-stopping, finance-destroying price of EUR €6,990.00, or roughly $10,200 USD. But can you truly put a price on love?

+ So have you noticed that Miim-chan (the Gynoid formerly known as HRP-4C) has been increasing her presence as of late? She’s everywhere these days! Back in September, she put in an appearance at the 2009 Robofes in Toyama, answering questions from the press in her own inimitable fashion.

[AIST] also brought along their famous HRP-2 Promet humanoid and compared them side by side, which really shows off the incredible advances made between late 2002 and 2009. At one point during the demonstration, the presenter asked HRP-4C, “How tall are you?” to which she replies, “158cm.” The presenter then asked, “How much do you weigh?” to which HRP-4C covered her mouth and only whispered the answer, garnering laughter from the crowd.
the rest of the article is here

Then in October, she was being automatically sexy at Tokyo’s Digital Content Expo 2009, displaying both her motion and acting skills.


O, mercy

Finally, her appearance at this year’s CEATAC JAPAN featured three performances of her singing, using Yamaha’s Vocaloid synthesiser software; in two of them, she was either cosplaying as Miku Hatsune or Megpoid, who would be two of the music programme’s mascots and virtual idol singers. If that wasn’t fab enough, Miim-chan was taking song requests through the use of an iPhone application. I suppose the iPhone has some use after all, then!

Although Miim sings along with the self-playing piano in a highly expressive manner at the demonstration, this humanoid robot can also move her entire body using approximately thirty integrated joints. In strictly technical terms, therefore, she is apparently already in possession of all she needs to move her hands and legs rhythmically in time with the music.
taken from this site

Sure, she’s no Sylvie Vartan, but as I always say in these cases, you have to crawl before you walk — just think of how scintillating her singing voice will be in a few short years! Nevertheless, an impressive showing from everyone’s favourite Gynoid (until the next favourite Gynoid is built)…
And wow, it turns out that she made the cover of the October issue of ROBOCON Magazine as well! This just proves that it’s Miim-chan’s world; we just live in it.

+ He’s probably gonna kill me for mentioning this in a public venue, but one of my ex-roommates, spotted here and there on ‘Shouting etc etc’ as zszsz, once tore through 30 +/- different jobs during the course of a single year. I think Kobalab‘s Android SAYA is coming up on his heels rather quickly. She’s been a receptionist in both Japan and Israel, as well as a schoolteacher. This time, her latest temp assignment would be a stint in Japan’s Takashimaya department store, which she did from 14 – 18 October. So how was that paycheque, babe?


‘Excuse me, Saya-san? Do you know Actroid-san? I’ve always wanted to meet her! I love her work, and… say, what’s with that frown?’

Although she responded appropriately most of the time, the cyber-receptionist occasionally seemed to misunderstand what people said. For example, one person complimented Saya by saying, “You are pretty,” but the robot flashed a look of disdain and responded with, “Are you crazy?”
the rest of the article is here

Sooo… probably not that good of a paycheque, then.

+ Which, of course, leads to news about Hiroshi Ishiguro’s pride and joy, the Actroid series. One of the models, Sara-chan, who was originally at the Aichi World Expo in 2005, was at the Kokoro booth at this year’s iREX at Tokyo Big Sight, demonstrating her company’s latest development:


Would she provide autographs upon request? Hmm

The Human-Type Head Basic assembly kit, which is dedicated for school education. You will be able to assemble it and your feelings will be the finishing touch. Thanks to this kit, students will be able to learn that a combination of simple mechanisms can produce complicated expressions. Thanks to the Pneumatic equipment, they will have the chance to learn how to use an air cylinder, or to study “link mechanism” (a mechanism to convert the linear movement of cylinders into the rotation movement such as open/close of the jaw) by assembling the real kit.
the rest of the article is here

I can’t remember where I’d read it, but the kit is supposed to be reasonably-priced as well.
!!! *suddenly grabbing you by the lapels* Do you realise what this means?? If you were to combine that Human-type Head kit with, say, one of the Dolls pictured above, then…

Sex robots: The rise of the pleasure machines
by Geoff Shearer | couriermail.com.au | September 21, 2009 11:00pm

HOLLYWOOD was right, robots are going to take over the world.

But we might as well lie back and think of the invasion because it’s going to be pleasurable, says a leading robot scientist.

Ever since Gort clomped down those alien stairs in The Day The Earth Stood Still in 1951, cinemas have been overrun by robots – sometimes cute, but mostly evil and mostly intent on taking over the world. […] But if you listen to US robotics scientist Professor Rodney Brooks, robots of the future are more likely to be dominatrix than dominating. […] Australian-born Prof Brooks, former head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, said it was inevitable, and there was precedent, that such technology would be used for sexual purposes.

“Every technology that we’ve had, there has been a sexual driver of it,” said the professor, a founder and former chief technical officer of lucrative US company iRobot, which produces commercial robots.

“I mean, that’s certainly true of photographs in the 19th century; and home video players were really driven by sex; and of course the web has been a major source of sex.

“Yeah, there will be (sexbots) but it is not specific to robots per se.”
the rest of the article is here

It’s like they say — the military-industrial complex produces technology, which then trickles down into the consumer market, and the sex industry makes it popular. During the course of our careers of being interviewed, filmed, and the like, Shi-chan and I have always been trying to steer common opinion away from the idea that artificial companions are strictly for sexual purposes, but sex is an interest-raising topic, as nearly everyone enjoys it, or is at the very least, curious about it. If people’s interest in sex drives them to fund research and development for Synthetiks, then so much the better…
As an aside, according to Pink Tentacle, Android SAYA had a booth at iREX as well! You have to wonder if she was soliciting potential employers, the poor dear.

+ In this, the first decade of the twenty-first century, it’s good to see that the concept of artificial human companions is on a lot of people’s minds — from scientists who are trying to make the idea into reality, and from insightful filmmakers who depict how a society with such creations in it might be. Milkman Films‘ ‘Android Love’ gives us a glimpse of the latter.

Although I do have to point out that I’m sure Rick Deckard will want his necktie back, and the white room at the end of the Stargate in ‘2001: a space odyssey’ is now missing its floor…

+ And finally, HOLY CRAPS QUICK SOMEONE GIVE ME USD $225,000 RIGHT NAO

Sogo & Seibu to sell robots custom-made to look like their buyers
www.japantoday.com | Saturday 12th December, 06:43 AM JST

TOKYO — Department store chain operator Sogo & Seibu Co said Friday it will offer two robots made to look like the people who buy them as a special sales event for the new year. The look-alike robots, which will be produced by robot maker Kokoro Co, will sell for 20.1 million yen each, Sogo & Seibu said.

The robots are made of silicone and can move the upper half of their body as they are in a sitting position. Sogo & Seibu will accept orders at most of its 28 outlets for two days from Jan. 2, and for three days from New Year’s Day at the others. If there are three or more orders, buyers will be chosen by lot. Humanoid robots, made by Kokoro, were used at the Aichi Expo in 2005 in Aichi Prefecture to help direct people to specific locations and events.

It should be shockingly obvious, but the robot wouldn’t be a replica of me, of course. Isn’t that right, Sidore? *sly wink to camera*

So there you have it! That’s literally three months’ worth of news in one post! And all told, it still doesn’t cover everything.
Guess that means you’ll be seeking more news about lovely rubber-skinned Synthetik women in January, eh? More than likely!

ta very much to Pat! for the ‘Sex robots’ link

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2013): Part I on November 8th, 2013

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 09) on March 13th, 2009


Answer the Question, Mr A. Rorschach

typed for your pleasure on 26 October 2009, at 6.11 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Tell her no’ by the Zombies

Don’t know what really put this into my head, but I thought of a really fab outfit to wear for any Hallowe’en parties I might attend. Wait, I don’t go to parties. Okay, perhaps for cosplaying. Wait, I don’t do that, either. Right; here’s an idea for a costume for use in a general Hallowe’en context. Stop interrupting.
All I’d need is
+ a white pair of dress shoes
+ a white pair of casual dress trousers
+ a white belt
+ a white shirt
+ white gloves
+ a white tie
+ a white single-breasted blazer
+ a white fedora
+ and a white facemask
and voila, I could go out as Steve Ditko’s Objectivist anti-hero, Mr. A!


Yes, he talks like that all the time

Even though I’m not rabidly into comics, I love Mr. A, cos he’s such an extremely polarising character — you either love him or you hate him. Which is just how Mr. A himself would’ve liked it.

Back in 1966, comic book auteur and recluse Steve Ditko had left Marvel Comics, where he had brought the world Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, and was working for Charlton, a comic book publisher that has since vanished into history. One of the characters he originated during his tenure there was a gentleman called The Question, who was the alias of investigative journalist Vic Sage. When Vic went into vigilante crime-fightin’ mode, he would use a gas that would not only change the colour of his hair and clothes, but also adhere a rather creepy blank mask to his face.


The Question, crooning sweet nothings to his fans, as usual

Now, despite the blank face separating him from being a watered-down Batman, The Question was the first true comic book embodiment of Ditko’s Objectivist viewpoint. Ditko was an enormous fan of Ayn Rand, the Russian-born writer-slash-philosopher, who, in her own long-winded fashion, espoused the drive towards people being individuals that must shun not only the State, but any and all ideas of Collectivism. The original version of Vic Sage was a solitary crusader, often found righting wrongs in a corrupt society through a lot of punching.

In 1967, feeling that The Question wasn’t hewing close enough to the Randian ideal, Ditko wrote and illustrated a short story for a magazine called witzend, where he debuted Rex Graine, a newspaper reporter with the unforgettable alias of Mr. A. Whereas The Question might (note the word, ‘might’) let evildoers live when he caught them, Mr. A simply did not fuck around. He saw people in society as either being virtuous and harming no-one as they follow the path of Good, or immoral beings only intent on furthering their own corrupt goals; there was only black and white, with absolutely no shades of moralistic grey in between.
I’m just going to shamelessly rip a few paragraphs out of the Wikipedia entry on him, an act which would probably make me a criminal in the eyes of Mr. A:

Typical stories will have one character convince him or herself that doing just a few illegal acts to get ahead in life will not make him or her a bad person. This character’s crimes escalate when they must either take action to cover their previous misdeeds or are now too closely tied to more dangerous criminals to simply walk away. The stories invariably end with Mr. A confronting the criminals and telling them that they are all guilty, including the character who had wished to remain good. A staple for most stories involves this character trying to justify his or her immoral actions to both others and him or herself, blaming things such as environment and society rather than taking responsibility.

Almost every character speaks about the ideological reasoning behind their actions on every panel, thus showing that the adventure story is not meant to be just entertainment, but is to show an ideological dialogue and hopefully sway readers over to Objectivism.

Not all of Mr. A’s stories are crime adventures. Some are allegorical representations of the guilty trying to explain why they compromised their values. Mr. A, on a white platform, denounces their explanations. These stories typically end with the guilty falling into an abyss off of their black platform. This representation often occurs at the end of the adventure stories as well.

Critics have said that Mr. A is an unfeeling character who offers no remorse or mercy to criminals. In the stories themselves Mr. A says that he feels only for the innocent and victimized. His brand of justice might seem harsh to some, but on the other hand his punishments for criminals arguably fit the crimes they committed. People who commit “just one crime”, such as accepting dirty money are turned over to authorities to stand trial for what they have done. Mr. A refuses to overlook their transgressions, even if they profess they will be good from then on. Killers and would-be-killers generally find themselves in situations where they need Mr. A’s assistance to save them, but since they had no respect for innocent lives then he offers no aid for their guilty ones. It is only when an innocent life is directly threatened that Mr. A will kill, and when he does so it is without remorse.

In Ditko’s own way, a lot of the Mr. A stories remind me somewhat of Chick tracts, those kitschy Judaeo-christian fusions of morality and flat-out propaganda that you find in finer bus stations everywhere. You know — ‘you must do absolute good at all times, otherwise you’re going to Hell’. Mr. A’s just more immediate about it.
Incidentally, the character’s name stems from one of Aristotle’s statements, which is expanded upon by one of the characters in Rand’s ‘Atlas shrugged’: A is A. Meaning that a thing is a thing, and it can never be anything else. A doorknob will always be a doorknob; it will never be a sonic screwdriver, or a Bundt cake, or etc. Also, as the prototype for Mr. A was called The Question, Mr. A is the Answer, as in Q and A. Very clever, Steve Ditko.
Later in the Nineties, Ditko would be co-creator on his most important character to date, Squirrel Girl. But that’s a story for another time.

You’re at this point asking yourself, where does Rorschach fit into all of this? Simple! As I’d mentioned, Charlton Comics had dissolved around 1986; in 1983, DC Comics had bought the rights to a lot of the characters, one of them being The Question. Wild-eyed scary godlike genius writer Alan Moore was going to use some of those characters in a story he was developing at the time entitled Watchmen, but he ended up creating original characters based upon the Charlton heroes. Can you guess which one Rorschach was based off of? Go on, have a guess.


O Rorschach, you so crazy

So yeah! You have to love Mr. A and his overbearing monomania. Incidentally, as Mr. A’s appearances are desperately out of print, ‘Dial B for Blog’ wrote a fantastic three-part article on him, which features excerpts from his first appearance. Utterly compelling.
Now as obscurely fantastic as dressing up as Mr. A would be, to make the whole effect really come together, I’d have to recite a lot of boilerplate Randian-type talk for whenever I spoke in character, which could either be hilarious or ugly.

HOST: Hey there… ah, Good Humor Man? Have you tried the punch? It’s my special recipe!
‘MR. A’: Sorry, I’m not drinking.
HOST: Oh come on, loosen up a little! It’s ju *gets decked*
‘MR. A’: NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO DICTATE TO OTHERS HOW TO LIVE OR WHAT TO CHOOSE! IT’S EITHER ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER! IF YOU SUPPORT EVIL THEN etc etc

Which leads me to ask which would be scarier / more effective: dressing as and being in character as Mr. A, or dressing as and being in character as Rorschach?

Technorati tags: Steve Ditko, Objectivism, Mr. A, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Charlton Comics, The Question, Ayn Rand, Jack T. Chick, Atlas Shrugged, Aristotle, Rorschach, DC Comics, Alan Moore, Watchmen, Squirrel Girl

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You just can’t spell-check a truck

typed for your pleasure on 22 October 2009, at 4.05 am

Sdtrk: ‘Kinetic harvest’ by Module

In urban areas, it’s not unusual to encounter hand-lettered adverts that turn their nose up so much at the conventions of normal spelling, that they border on folk art. This ice cream truck, which I’d photographed while driving home one day, would fall under that category.
As an aside, I’d like to point out that I shot this pic with my cellphone whilst driving alongside the truck, which is a fact that I’m needlessly impressed with…

Nothing wrong with the Cones, Sundaes, and Banana Boats that they have on offer, but Nacho? And Shackes?? ‘No no, we can only sell you a single nacho; any more than that would spoil you’. And a Shacke is a new invention; it’s a wee bit like a shake, a wee bit like a shack, a wee bit like a shackle, and a wee bit like Shaq. They have many in their truck, but by law they can only sell you one; any more would spoil you

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300,000 hits?? You must be joking

typed for your pleasure on 18 September 2009, at 10.15 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Sm head, Lg torso; crushing grip’ by Dymaxion

Huh! Well, you lot have earned a non-sequitur picture as a reward!

Thanks very much to all who have visited; do please come back soon! Or, to make it even simpler, don’t leave! That way, you won’t lose your parking space!

EDIT (21 SEPT): Somewhat related, mostly demented! ‘You got your Colonel Sanders in my EVA 01!’ ‘You got your EVA 01 in my Colonel Sanders!’ &c.

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