Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Fishing expedition

This post seems like an example of a fishing expedition: Ted Rall is a RACIST: Undeniable evidence (part1). The author is clearly upset over the way Obama is depicted by Rall, but seems to be fishing for anything that might come across as evidence of Rall's alleged racism, from trying to claim that a poorly drawn cat is a racoon (and that by implication Rall is drawing what would indeed be a racial epithet), to droning on about how Obama is drawn in an "apelike" manner, and so on. Here's my take: the author has so far failed to come up with definitive proof of much of anything other than that Rall is at best a mediocre talent in the world of political cartooning. There are better artists out there. Rall's only minor value comes from his willingness to speak out as a critic of American empire. His figures generally look crudely drawn and apelike - see his drawings of the previous President. As far as Rall's ideological positions go, near as I can guess, he's some sort of anarchist. He has nothing nice to say about capitalism, which makes attempts to tar him as some sort of right-winger a bit far-fetched. Nor does the author's attempts to contend that Rall has ever portrayed himself as a "progressive" (same could be said of Rall's followers) - quite the opposite, really. Rall enjoys yanking the chains of those who consider themselves "progressives," and in particular enjoys yanking the chains of those who are overly devoted to the current political leadership (he's pretty equal-opportunity in that regard - Bushies absolutely got their knickers in a knot over his work during much of the prior decade).

Rall is most likely an asshole, and has perhaps limited utility among those left of the Democratic Party for his willingness to call our neoliberal imperial order by its true name. I haven't paid much attention to his comic strip or his column in ages, but at one point his work was mildly entertaining. Still, it is probably not someone whose work would be on my list of recommended reading, or one who I would go out of my way to visit at a book signing. So it goes. He's mediocre and obnoxious, and semi-effective in getting a rise out of defenders of empire (even if they refuse to be identified as such).  But beyond that, why go fishing?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

For someone so obsessed with permagov, hypnomedia, and other inanities...

the blogger Arthur Gilroy sure seems to be a good consumer of images generated from...wait for it....the very hypnomedia that he ostensibly decries. Then there is his fascination with semi-pornographic and wildly inappropriate images, also nicked from hypnomedia. So much for NESWSTRIKE!!! MEDIASTRIKE!!! and all the other great principled stands of Booman's own resident Paulbot. What a maroon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ductape Fatwa Memorials

It was about seven years ago this week that Ductape Fatwa, the person who founded this blog, stopped posting altogether.

Ductape Fatwa may no longer be with us, but there are a couple tributes that were set up posthumously: one on twitter, and the other on Tumblr. I have no idea who set up the former tribute site. The latter is my doing. I really should jazz it up a bit at some point. I sometimes wonder what Ductape Fatwa would have thought of today's social media.

Actually, his blog, Enemy of the State is a tribute of sorts as well, to the extent that it still remains as an archive. Regrettably, that blog's comments were deleted when the third-party vendor that hosted its comments (Haloscan) closed shop. There was quite a community there, too. I would be remiss if I did not mention the short work of fiction that he and dove were collaborating on prior to his passing, Artichoke Circus. Although there is a second part that never got published, the first part stands sufficiently complete (although I do hope one day that dove chooses to publish that second part - if only as a gesture of goodwill to those of us who still remember).

As the by-default caretaker of this blog, I have often struggled with what to do with it. My choice is to leave it as it is (and periodically clear out the spam comments), and if others with the keys to this place still wish to use it, they are of course more than welcome. Beyond that, think of it as an archive, not only of some of the last written words of a fallen friend, but of a probably doomed attempt to maintain a sense of community in his absence.

I miss my old friend, as do I suspect a number of former bloggers here, and many people elsewhere across the Internet and in non-Internet existence.

For those who remember, be well.