Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday Off? No Way...

Ah, a great morning session writing -- a short story, another chunk of the novel sample chapter, and a block of work on We Are Going to Eat You -- and email exchanges and cleanup. Still owe some folks emails; follow through tonight, after Marj and I get a night out.

Just finished watching the documentary Dreamland: Occupation for the White River Junction Film Fest, or WRIF for short. We settled on our end-of-April programming yesterday, and I'm working on the program notes and press release material, rescreening some films and watching others for the first time (I don't believe any one of us on the selection committee saw every film, but between us we saw 'em all). Yesterday was a twelve-hour day: left for WRJ at 7:30 AM and got home about 8 PM, stopping to gas up and to return a watercolor block (pad) I mistakingly picked up at CCS after class last week which, it turned out, belonged to one of the students (sorry, Jon!).

I had dreams all night that were variations on the day: endless selection & committee exchanges with various folks from my life, dream-life and real-life; seemingly random travel across winterscapes, some lovely, some turning to mud; and so on.

However, one dream scene haunted me as I first stirred: a lingering stop at a lake where stoneflies zipped over the water and trout skimmed the surface, feeding. Spring dreams already...

[Note: I am, for archival purposes, reposting the March 4th 2006 blog posting and edited comments here -- the deletion of the original post and full comments was due to a request from an inexperienced blogger who inadvertantly posted an email address. Per their request, I have dealt with the situation the only way I could: deleting the entire original post, and re-posting it here -- sans the problematic mis-posting. Thanks -- I aim to please.]

[Originally posted March 4, 2006:]

Morning, All!
Hey, I know Mark's online this wee hour of the morning, as his comments pop up in my email box. Morning, Mark!
See Mark's comments on the earlier posts on Bush/Katrina -- sorry, Pumpie, the White House spin immediately applied to the supporating wound (which you've quoted) still doesn't explain why Bush, Cheney, Condi et al treated the week Katrina hit as an excuse to dash around the US -- as if they were on vacation, shopping sprees, and country-music photo ops -- instead of somehow being attentive to the situation.
Hell, they didn't even pretend to be attentive.
Look, it's absolutely inexcusable from the entire upper echelon. They wanted power, they crave power, they've seized power, they consolidate power, but when they're needed, they're absent, leaving it to disenfranchised underlings and cronies irresponsibly placed in positions of grave responsibility.
If we look at it in the militaristic terms our "Mission Accomplished" Commander-in-Chief prefers, it was nothing more or less than gross dereliction of duty, period, with the most dire consequences imaginable.
None of it washes, any more than the blood washed off Lady MacBeth's hands; thousands died, Bush announced he was personally responsible in its wake, and it is our duty to hold him to his word. If nothing else this President and Administration is an impeachable offense, this most certainly is.
None of the spin alters what happened; the dereliction of duty; the fact Bush himself held himself culpable before the American people. So, let us hold him and his culpable.
Gotta run back to White River Junction this morning -- actually, Norwich, a notch or two up Route 5 from WRJ -- my third trip to that neck of the woods this week. Two for CCS, second for the WRIF -- White River Indy Film festival planning board, on which I now serve. We're meeting this morning at filmmaker and dear friend Nora Jacobson's digs to powwow the final list of films for the upcoming April fest. To that end, twixt all I've been juggling the past four weeks, I've also been screening mucho films, which I'll write about later this weekend if time permits.
Thursday's CCS session kicked off with a tremendous illustrated lecture from L. Perry Curtis Jr., Emeritus Professor of History and Modern Culture at Brown University. "What's in a Face? The Pseudo-Science of Physiognomy and Victorian Comic Art" -- specifically, the caricature and demonization of the Irish in Victorian editorial cartooning -- was the subject, and it was a great presentation. Building upon the bedrock of his book Apes & Angels, Perry walked us through some extremely damning slices of cartoon history, reminding us how soft the punches of today's editorial cartooning breed truly are (including, I hasten to add, the controversial Mohammed cartoons that have fomented so much rage). If even one of today's editorial cartoonists had as sharp a pen as those of yore, we'd all be rioting and torching buildings!
Perry subsequently steered James Sturm and I to
  • the London Cartoon Centre,

  • which is well worth exploring. It was a grand morning talk and tough act to follow (with my drawing session thereafter) -- I look forward to more contact and exchange with Perry, who is an astounding gent.
    Among my New Years resolutions was the decision to indulge my wife Marj's passion for live theater and performance, and thus far I've made good on that, with one Gilbert & Sullivan performance ("H.M.S. Pintafore" at Dartmouth College) under our wing already. Last night we took in the local annual Collegiate A Cappalla Evening at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, and it was a fantastic night out. Seven college a cappella groups sang their hearts out, and it was big fun.
    More on that later -- I gotta dash!
    Later --

    posted by SRBissette at 6:37 AM  

    [Here are the complete original comments, sans the inadvertantly posted personal information from one commenter:]


    I bet Haliburton could get that old blood off!
    Hey, my book is out. That is, back from the printer. Not sure when it will be in stores (the ones that had enough good sense to ORDER some!)
    You and Mikey might wanta try my reflecting pool trick. Gentle whispers: "worse things have happened... worse things have happened..."
    So where is my Idea List??? Send it to lasagnalagna. KILL ALL OTHER ADDRESSES! lasagnalagna rules!

    By Marky Mark, at 3/04/2006  

    Hi Steve!
    If it wasn't Town Meeting time I probably would have bumped into you at CCS ... we just started organizing cartooning parties there on the first Saturday of every month.
    Glad to hear you are trying to embrace live theater. The woman in my life craves the same and last night we saw Marlboro College's student performance of the first half of "Angels in America." Recommended!

    By Daniel Barlow, at 3/05/2006  

    Dear Steve,
    I dont't know if you remember me or not. I am the hyper and intense Chinese Youth you encountered at several Chiller
    Theatre Conventions in New Jersey during the nineties. I remember as one of thebest moderator or panelist on horror panels. When are you going to come back as a guest star on the Chiller Convention. I asked the Head C.E.O Keven Clement about your guest star status. He was rather miffed that you haven't spoken to him in a long time. He told me he wasn't going to call you. You have to call him back before he would consider returning your guest star status. I even asked Douglas Winter to put in a good word for you with Kevin Clement. He said the same thing. He is not going to call you. You have to call him. Please call Kevin Clement to restore your Guest star status. I even tried to call you at the Center For Cartoon Studies on Tuesday, Feb. 28. If you
    didn't respond, I understand because you are very busy with your freelance creative projects or want to protect your privacy. .
    Yours truly,

    By Philip, at 3/05/2006  

    I won't call you either. You have to call me.

    By Marky Mark, at 3/05/2006  

    Howdy, all -- Ah, Phil, I certainly remember you! Hope you're well.
    Thanks for your kind words. However, I don't call cons seeking guest status, and never have -- not a point of pride, just not how it's done. I've not been at Chiller Con (as guest or attendee) since the late '90s -- loved the show, but when I stepped away from comics as a profession when I retired in '99, I left the convention trail (happily) behind me. Cons can be great fun, but the claustrophobic nature of some shows and endless flea market hucksterism tuckered me out and ceased to interest me at all (not to mention not having $$ to blow, on top of travel, etc.). The video trade shows sucked the last of that enthusiasm out of me in my post-comics career; sorry it's left fans like you high-and-dry as far as Bissette is concerned, but such is life.
    Still, the cons are behind me. It's not something I miss, though I do miss the people. Stay well, and know please that this daily blog is about as good as it gets for keeping up with what I'm doing -- life is short, and I gave all I'm giving to conventions for the time being.
    The rest is for my family, immediate circle and my work -- and the CCS. It's my calling and the new path, and one I have found rewarding and fulfilling.

    By SRBissette, at 3/05/2006  

    Hey, Mark -- OK, will resend list and terminate all faux-addresses. Lasagna it is!
    Dan -- Hey, that explains the cartoonists from Keene who were working there with Robyn yesterday; great work space, eh? Sorry I missed seeing you; as a reporter for a VT paper (one of its majors), though, I'm sure this weekend with Town Meetings has been a hectic one. (As for "Angels" -- I was tempted to go, but Marj so loathed the first chapter of Mike Nichols' TV adaptation, I opted for the a capella as the safer night-at-theater bet. I won. I love confrontational drama/media, Marj doesn't, or in measured doses only. Still, hope you and Phayvanh had a great night out and get to see the entire production.)

    By SRBissette, at 3/05/2006