Sunday, April 08, 2007

HAPPY EASTER, one and all!

Hey, it's the Easter -- uh, canine?

Though there's nothing particularly Easter-like about this post, let me wish you one and all a great Easter. And leave it at that, save for the Easter Egg of sorts: another Criswell Predicts!, closing this post. Enjoy!

[Illo: Ross Wood Studlar, "Deranged Canine", copyright 2006]

The illustration I'm heading off with today is by Ross Wood Studlar, one of the stellar seniors at CCS I've been yammering about all week.

This is one of Ross's wilder creations, as much Seussian as Big Daddy Roth-like, but it's a particular favorite of many of us who know and love Ross. It was an experiment in wash and animal forms that is emblematic of his love of smearing pigment on paper and fusing and stretching elements of earthly lifeforms into -- well, see for yourself. I dig it.

I've got a lot to show you this morning, so maybe you should treat all the following as Easter eggs, though they might bite, and I sure won't be hiding them.

I've been posting the student Center for Cartoon Studies links all week, and as promised will wind it up today with a peek at some of the art I didn't post (due to time constraints) for some sites, and a little more.

Among that "more" be the two links I've saved for your Easter Sunday,
  • Robyn Chapman's amazing "Unpopular Comics" site,
  • and the "Make Comics Forever" blog, which is a collective blog by a group of cartoonists, including Robyn, who are clearly obsessed with the medium we all so love.

  • Both are sorely in need of updating (the most recent blog post is February, for instance, and Robyn no longer lives in Brooklyn, she's White River Junction/CCS all the way now!), but it's all new to you, I bet, so just check 'em out, and now! Robyn, BTW, is the first-ever CCS Fellow -- and a fellow faculty member. She's an excellent cartoonist, a tough editor (kicked my sorry ass out of an anthology last year, justifiably so), and a great all-around person.

    [copyright 2007 Robyn Chapman]

    Just go with the flow, now --

    I have been coyly dishing out these links so as to open your eyes to the students themselves, cartoonists, all! But
  • here's the all-purpose CCS student websites/blogs link I've been hoarding, which I'll now post in the permanent menu of links on the right for future easy access.

  • But that isn't all: I still owe you some peeks at the CCSers whom I didn't post art from this time around. Here's a mini-gallery of images from everyone I previously short-shrifted in the image department.

    Along with Ross and Robyn, here's peeks at images by (from top to bottom, in no order other than my random access to art this AM) Adam Staffaroni, Sam Gaskin, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Josie Whitmore, Andrew Arnold, Jon-Mikel Gates and Colleen Frakes:

    [copyright 2007 Adam Staffaroni]

    [copyright 2007 Sam Gaskin]

    [copyright 2007 Alexis Frederick-Frost]

    [copyright 2007 Josie Whitmore]

    [copyright 2007 Andrew Arnold]

    [copyright 2007 Jon-Mikel Gates]

    [copyright 2007 Colleen Frakes]

    Hmmmmm, there's also these good folks and cartoonists -- vet pro Rich Tommaso, CCS students Caitlin Plovnick, Emily Wieja, and the effervescent Ignatz-Award-winning CCS fellow (and what a fellow) intern Ken Dahl (aka Gabby) -- who don't have sites, that I know of, but are selling comics via the link below the four images, below, by Rich, Caitlin, Emily and Ken, natch:

    [copyright 2007 Rich Tommaso]

    [copyright 2007 Caitlin Plovnick]

    [copyright 2007 Emily Wieja]

    [copyright 2007 Ken Dahl]

    And as a reminder, for those in need of more material, "in your hand" access, to this new fountain of comics,
  • here's where you can buy, one-stop, much of the new published work emerging from the CCS stew of creativity,
  • which now accepts both PayPal and credit card orders, so there's no reason to hesitate ordering some goodies right now, today, this morning;
  • and here's where you can order the first-ever, all-new graphic novel to emerge from the CCS student experience, Alexis Frederick-Frost's extraordinary Xeric-Award winner La Primavera (2006)!

  • What are you waiting for? Hell to freeze over, or the Earth to bake?

    The current era of 21st Century duality we find ourselves in is endlessly fascinating. Debate is debased to the unwieldy sham of presenting two "opposing views" -- best of all, extremist "either/or" "views" in complete polar opposition -- as the only viable "views" to be considered. It's bullshit and it's doing immeasurable, perhaps irrevocable harm to us, as a nation, as a culture, as a people and as a planet.

    President Bush, Karl Rove and their pack of junkyard dogs have refined this form of "dialogue" to a perverse art, subverting debate entirely by eliminating any measure of conversation, consideration or due logic. They are culpable, but hardly the sole or even key culprits -- the media, so addicted to sound and image bytes, has played a prominent role in this reductionist insanity, as have the citizenry of the US. It's a form of collective madness, really, though it's not yet been diagnosed as such -- and the mad, well, they just don't see a problem.

    When your "choices" are false choices by definition -- "stay the course" or "cut and run," for instance, in the case of one ongoing sore point in the international arena -- presented with such vehemence that one is also prevented from addressing the initial actions or inactions that precipitated the untenable situation one finds oneself in, four-to-six years later (choose your case history to apply this to), rational discussion, debate or action is rendered nearly impossible.

    This is, of course, a strategy as well as a symptom of collective madness, and it succeeds brilliantly all too often.

    It's a false duality, though, and typical of the obscene 'black or white' think this current generation has embraced like sheep.

    Over the past few weeks,
  • this link has been spam-emailed to me more than once, most recently from one Luke Przybylski, which claims to link to "a recent BBC production, [which] is constantly dissapearing [sic] from Youtube and Google Video, only to be uploaded once again by concerned members. See it while you can..."

  • I love the intro to these spammed "science" exposes: "Before we all subscribe wholesale to the secularist rapture theology we've come to know as Global Warming, I think it's important to hear from the dissenters; climatologists and other scientists who were effectively barred from the mainstream (politicized) scientific "community" after their findings diverged from the manufactured consensus presented by the UN."

    There is, of course, no 'rapture' whatsoever implicit or explicit in the science of climate change research and investigation.

    The affixing of that term to the sentence is in and of itself misleading, with intent: it plays to two sets of prejudices. On the one hand, it's an alert signal to those predisposed to belief, in some measure, to 'the rapture,' and thus suspicious of anything that smacks of secular science. On the other hand, it ridicules science in the eyes of those who do not subscribe to belief in 'the rapture.' Thus, the cynical adoption of the phrase "secularist rapture theology" cuts both ways, a masterstroke of manipulative agitprop of the worse (and most seductive, to many susceptible minds) kind.

    First, though, let's frame the subject itself -- Global warming -- with some objectivity.

    Clearly, something is going on, and on a global scale.

    But the reduction of the legitimate questions associated with "What is going on?" to this false battle -- over which extreme "side" is "right" or "wrong" -- ignores the obvious.

    Something, globally, is changing with the Earth's climate. What is it? What's causing it? What, if anything, can we do about it? Those are the vital, literally the life-or-death, questions.

    Where ever one lives, the evidence is manifest: there were never annual wildfire seasons on the mindboggling scale we see (or experience); the winters have clearly changed in Vermont and New England in a significant, measurable way (this year was the warmest winter ever on record), and the climate changes have already yielded measurable results. It's all around us, here, and if you talk to those who have worked all their lives in the affected arenas, sometimes carrying on generations of tradition it's irrefutable that something fundamental is changing: ski seasons abbreviated to a mere six weeks; maple syrup yields down and maple trees showing limb damage, loss and degeneration; apple orchards blooming too early; etc. These are all having momentous impacts upon our home state: the life cycles, ways of life, traditional livelihoods.

    Of course, the 'dissenters' habitually refer to the scientists on "their side" (most of whom are corporate-funded shills) as now besieged and ignored "experts," neglecting to note that "their side" has held sway for decades now, actively undermining any advances the 1970s environmentalist movement gained in the wake of a prior generation's most obscene excesses: Lake Erie rendered toxic, rivers that could be lit on fire, etc. The nay-sayers have had the full weight of the current Bush Administration behind their ongoing campaign to deny any climate change -- or, admitting that, any human culpability in said climate change -- for the past six years.

    Reality has caught up with them. Hence, they are now besieged and ignored.

    The wording of this particular piece of spam is telling. The nay-sayers are embracing tactics familiar to those of us invested in the more-than-a-century-old conflict between Darwinism and Biblical literalists. Note the now-current contextualizing, the cloaking, of global warming and the related sciences in the vocabulary of matters of faith.

    This is accomplished in a heartbeat, almost invisibly to the casual reader, via the inverted logic of the phrasing, "the secularist rapture theology we've come to know as Global Warming" -- it's a cynical adoption of the Creationist/Intelligent Design tactics which deliberately plunges science into the realm of religion.

    This conceit, born of and insistently refined by the Creationist and Intelligent Design corruption of science (neither is, of course, a 'science' at all), is the most insidious aspect of this spam, denying science as having any validity whatsoever by framing science, as a whole, as a matter of faith; that is, science recontextualized into the arena of religion.

    This is a complete misrepresentation of the reality and function of science -- all the sciences -- by instantly relegating science, per se, from the natural world to the supernatural realm, the realm of religion, faith, and belief.

    Thus, any 'science' one objects to, be it climatology or paleontology, Darwinism or ecology, geology or biology, can be handily refuted if one redefines science, or 'the' science deemed objectionable, as not being science at all, but a religion -- a matter of faith, of inherently fallible interpretation of unknowable, unquantifiable supernatural phenomenon (which, being supernatural, cannot in fact be properly defined, observed or measured), not analysis of natural phenomenon.

    This is, at best, delusional projection, and at worst reprehensible misrepresentation and caricature. It is a lie, a lie built upon a lie, an abomination in terms of both science and of religion.

    I always wonder what motivates such generation of falsehoods -- a knee-jerk breaking of one of the Ten Commandments, a lie -- and what the person insisting upon such inherently corrupted logic stands to gain. "Follow the money" is applicable, though "follow the faith" is the more religious (Christian) thing to do, really.

    Why this refusal to grasp a measurable, quantifiable, and increasingly obvious reality? Is it just too scary?

    In this case, the only human beings who could possibly benefit from an orchestrated denial of the realities of climate change are those who will profit from that denial -- corporate energy providers, corporate polluters, etc. -- and those who still buy into the corporate falsehood of "free market" as having any validity in an economic environment increasingly controlled by multinational corporations who function above the law in every arena.

    This past week found one of the GOP's most insistent nay-sayers on the topic changing his tune a bit, arguing now that Global Warming "may result in the relocation of 600 thousand South Sea Islanders" but will be a boon for real estate values in the northern states -- to which one can only respond with either laughter, despair, or the pragmatic solution of working to ensure this bozo is canned in the next election cycle.

    Huh. Interesting. Now that a few of the nay-sayers have to admit that, indeed, something is going on, their spin is: "how can we profit from this?" The only ones to profit, of course, being the rich. Fuck the poor. Those 600 thousands South Sea Islanders can bake if there's no money in it.

    Anyhoot, Tony Millionaire responded to being on Luke's Easter weekend spamming of the link by emailing all receiving the above link and attendant bogus "science"
  • this link to another online video that competently refutes all the crapola being shoveled about Global Warming by its "opponents," as if one could be "opposed" to climate phenomenon (in reality, simply pretending nothing quantifiable is going on).

  • The naysayers will continue to refute the evidence of their own eyes, bodies and experiences until they're either dislocated, relocated, drowning, burning to death, starving, or profiteering from the new real estate boom in Wisconsin and the Dakotas.

    If that's the current scraping-belly nature of "the debate," fuck it, give me what Drinky Crow's drinking!

    Tony, wit that he is, also opened his email reply by saying, "First of all Luke, I'd like to thank you for adding me to the 120 people on your Cc list."

    Yep, thanks, Luke! Thanks, Tony! Thanks, Drinky Crow!

    Criswell Predicts!

    I predict that our Scientists will be concerned aobut a mysterious cloud appearing over the moon two years after we land there! The cloud will stay there, hiding the moon from earth view, much to the amazement of the world! Many will say it is created by living people beyond the moon to deter our new progress in space! I predict it will be Mother Nature's warning that we are going too far and to immediately stop!

    Happy Easter, One and All!

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