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The Art of

Transmanic Modern Media

Neither of Billy's Two Fathers Know Best

Hollywood Reporter Headline: "Tilda Swinton is in talks to play the Ancient One in Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange"

Swinton cp Ancient One by DitkoFor those poor folks who don't know about the comic characters spawned by Steve Ditko, who also created Spider-Man, here's the background: The Ancient One in comics was an ancient Tibetan-styled reclusive monk who was the mentor of Doctor Strange. For those like me who don't keep up with modern Hollyweird, "Tilda" is apparently female.

This caused the Hollywood Reporter's Graeme McMillan to gush, "Marvel appears to be finally making a welcome step in a direction that other comic book movies have been moving in for some time." Swapping a woman out for a man. Graeme thinks it's long overdue to eliminate more longstanding white male role models. Because, diversity.

I don't know Tilda. The accompanying photo shows someone who seems appropriately ethereal and could with makeup make a great old weirdo mystic. By the way, it's not until the comments that I read "So this article is POC trash instead of talking about they got a oscar winner in a lead role." Fine reporting there, Graeme,

I almost left a comment on the article. I wrote it up. Then I saved it to a file instead. When I thought about the blowback I might get from social justice warriors who might be irritated by my comments, I thought, in the immortal words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time f'r that.

The article was repeated by Jay Jayson at I was tempted to leave my comment there, among readers more comic-book aware and maybe less left-leaning on the whole.

Instead, I'm posting my unposted comment right here (with amendations and links, and re-edited shortly after publication, because I can):

Hello, Hollywood. I know you won't believe this, but out here in the Real World, this push for "diversity" seems to have mutated (and not in an X-Men way) into a serious mental disease, one in which people attempt to bend media to inappropriately reflect some minorities as far more prevalent than they really are, and eliminate perceived unfair "majority" figures.

It's really too bad Hollywood has to do-over the Big Company superheroes when there are comic-books, and superdupers, about and by ethnics, that deserve to see the big screen, but alas they're not guaranteed-success Marvel-DC properties.

Trans-racializing has been going on aplenty. Black "James" (don't call me Jimmy) Olson has already appeared in the new ("bootlegged") Supergirl pilot, Black Nick Fury is of course in all the modern movies, but I think they did that in the comics before the movies. In the current Flash TV series, Flash's future wife, Iris West, and her father, are black — and besides that, semi-orphaned Flash-Barry was raised in their house, so the Iris-Barry relationship is as uncomfortably incestuous as step-siblings can be; extra special "diversity". There are surely even more superheroes affected by revisionist revitiligo, as The Boondocks' Uncle Ruckus might put it. (Noting especially that none of these blacks sound or act "black" anywhere near as much as gangsters on Gotham sound Italian, at least we don't need Ghetto-English subtitles.) If this trend increases, ABC will have to merge with BET. Oh, c'mon. That was funny. Maybe you have to be White.

Okay, but that's merely race-swapping. We need more gender-swapping, right? Right? Amirite? Amirite?

Weirdest thing about diversity for diversity's sake is, people you meet who are brown, red, yellow, Jewish, Mormon, male or female — they are whatever they are and where they are for real reasons. One might cast a black man as Romeo on-stage, where there's a different level of suspension of disbelief than with a screen portrayal; it's simply not historically sensible for a serious historic portrayal of 16th-Century Verona. This current pattern of substitution based on race or gender is done without any sense of such background. For advancing awareness, it's not per se so very harmful. Play with themes. Create alternate universes. It is seamless sometimes. Other times, it's just painfully obvious someone said, "Hey, we need an ethnic here!" or "Can we make Testosterone Guy into a Woman, just because, Diversity!"

It's true non-Europeans were under-represented in comic books for a long time, as superpowered women were also relatively few, but why does every damn movie-ized role have to include a flaming transgender of color? Yes, for emphasis I exaggerate, but, really, we've gone 'way past reasonable "inclusion," and deeply into "in-your-face" overloading. It is especially jarring to see a former brother and sister be of two different races in the new Fantastic Four. There will be some explanation, but who cares? It was obviously just done "because diversity." I think that actually cheapens the whole purpose; I'm offended by this triggering microaggression, for the sake of women and ethnics.

Black Panther

Why not make the brilliant Reed Richards a Korean? Because that's not PC in the right way. T'challa "The Black Panther," Kirby's great first black superhero, King of Wakanda, will not be made over into a white African, I'll bet. Why not, in the name of random "diversity"? Will the Ancient One even still be Tibetan? "Free Tibet" is still PC, right?

Commenter DBZ *King Goku* put it all more succinctly than I have. :D

Whoops! Excuse me for speaking. Being a male-identifying Anglo-Saxon Protestant conservative, nothing I have to say is of any value. Carry on.

The Art of

Hope Nobody Expected Anything Special

It's only the 19th Anniversary - just wait'll next year!

Another personal message from the ol' webworker instead of actual content.

So this happened:

Surprising Stats

I hope nobody was expecting anything special.

There's no indication in Google stats why pageviews suddenly rose from about a dozen a day, holding steady for the past several years, to this one day at nearly 500. There wasn't any particular page that was getting the hits, but there were 200+ on the main page. I'll see what it looks like the next couple of days. Probably just some kind of data glitch.

I haven't been much of a webworker in the last half year. Got sick. Got out of the groove. Technical difficulties; please stand by. Dog ate my webwork. Chrissy at PoliNation has dubbed me "webslacker." Hmph; deservedly, I suppose. There's lots of stuff heaped up, dating back months, much of which just needs a little polishing and then they could be called webworks. I suppose I should start mining that heap.

Speaking of heaps, one thing I have started doing again for the past month is the Blog Heap o'Links (the world's greatest blog name). News and general stuff, quoted, linked, and with some commentary I'll probably regret later. No embedded videos, no big graphics, just hypertext. Some little icons, just to break it up. Fishy

Oh, yeah, and today is the 19th anniversary of the web debut of Mindful Webworks. Let's look at the ol' Alexa rankings for this site. Hmm. World ranking = 10,706,372, but that's changed by 5,503,036 over the past three months — whether up or down, I'm not sure. Looks like an up-arrow, but the hover text says "declined." Or does declined mean went up in the charts? If I'd known, nineteen years ago, how much trouble this website was going to be... I'd've got started sooner?But, the pain!

The first mindful cartoon webwork posted on the web, adapted from the mini-comic of the same name, with heroic coloring work by young daughter: It's All in Your Mind!

Not that much went up the first year. In February of '97, I initiated a daily one-panel, which lasted for several months. Here's the first sketch, The Clubhouse Front Door. They got better, some of them. The second daily panel attempt, which started in 2012, managed to run for a year. Some good stuff came out of that.

Mostly, it's just been whatever I can throw into the mix. Still lots of stuff, old and new, not online yet. More than is already here. So, I guess I should get busy.

Maybe after a nap.

The Art of

The Plural of Mouse

Another reason why English literacy should be required for citizenship.

The plural of mouse is mice,
a flock of goose is geese,
but more than one house is not hice,
nor a flock of moose known as meese.
You might have a couple of beers,
you might wish a hundred wishes,
but you can't see a couple of deers,
and a hundred fish are not fishes.
Yet if I have two scissors, and I give you one,
each now has scissors. English is fun!
Mouse, Moose
Insomniac: Where's that from? It reminds me of something Ogden Nash would have written.

mindful webworker: Erm, heh - bits of it from childhood, inspiration in previous comments, a touch of research on invariant nouns et al., but just baked originally at #177 on AoS.

Insomniac: In that case, I tip my hat to you sir. Very well done.

anon a mouse: Very cool. Of course, you'll be receiving the usual AoS accolades...

The Art of

Thunderer, the Daisy Wheel Printer

Not very good with images.

Old computer hardware…

RS Daisy Wheel II printer

I had the wide-carriage pinfeed-paper attachment, numerous wheels, pica, elite, italics. Different color ribbons.

And the ribbon re-inker. (My accountant had the same, until he spilled a bottle of ink on an expensive oriental carpet, after which he calculated just buying fresh ribbons was more economical. Heh Good times.)

Ribbon re-inker, inky

1200 precious 1980 dollars, a real hearty investment even when I was well-off.

Bought fanfold paper by the case. Still have half a case of wide-carriage green-bar fanfold, if anyone needs some.

The one thing I never sprang for was the sound-insulated clamshell box for it. My neighbors didn't complain. But, then, I was the landlord....

Yes, I do still have it in the museum.

The Art of

Doodles Weaver

Professor Feitlebaum need are you now that we where you?

Doodles clowns with bow and arrow

Just one of those one-thing-led-to-another things.

Not to go too far back, let's start with, I was looking at the cast list for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).

W in palms
c/o iMDB

Just to read the cast list is a slice of culture, a fog of of nostalgia, and a (mad^4) world of memories of a million smiles and laughs they gave us.

I was only (counts on fingers and toe) eleven years old when the film came out. At the time, it was the most hilarious thing I'd ever seen. Come to think of it, it may still be. I never understood "rolling in the aisles" until I did during that movie.

At my age, a lot of those comedians were far more of my parents' generation than of mine, but at age eleven in the 1950s and early 1960s, you still got your parents' culture. And, if you were lucky, your grandparents'. So I knew most of them well enough, some of them less so. Lots of "wow!" of recognition, with much "where do I know him from?"

Down the cast list I came to the fellow who played the hardware store clerk. I remember, at the time, recognizing him. "Where do I...?" Not by name or remembered roles, but just as one of those great characters I know from all over. Didn't he do something with Disney? In IaMMMMW, his was a small part, but I was amused by his having the role, as with so much of the rest of the star-laden cast, major role or cameo.

Spike Jones and Doodles Weaver

According to, the mother who saddled him with the given name Winstead Sheffield Glenndenning Dixon Weaver rescued him with the nickname Doodlebug. Weaver started in radio in the late 1930's, developed his famous character Professor Feedelbaum with Spike Jones, In film, his career spanned from an uncredited cowhand role in My American Wife (1936) to a SF comedy Earthbound (1981), and through those decades, besides his many roles, he also created color silent comedy films for television in the 1960s and a spoof on the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby.

Weaver's "Matinee Classics" bio says that Weaver's "final film was 'Under the Rainbow' (1981)." However, their own filmography below the article, and Weaver's filmography at iMDB say his final film was Earthbound, and he wasn't in Under the Rainbow.

To a kid, he was a funny-faced guy who was funny. In his unfortunate real life, I read, after four failed marriages, he took his own life at age 71, in 1983. Born, lived, and died in L.A. So happened that the day I looked him up was the day before his birthday, May 11.

Quote (1972):

I don't miss being a star. I don't miss anything because I live in the now.

Quote (1981):

Nothing means anything when you're in pain. I have a nice house and an income but not a thing to live for.

And as if that wasn't enough of a downer to end on, I discovered on iMDB an entry for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad MAD World: The Sequel (2015).


Well, here's what he was all about, a somewhat uneven playlist from YouTube, ending on a Spike Jones bit that doesn't feature Weaver, but I figured I'd include it anyway. "Inspirationally related."