Monday, March 31, 2014

Japanese Class - Kiki's Delivery Service

We watched Kiki's Delivery Service Sunday!  It was fun.  We made it though the first maybe 10 minutes of the show, and analysed it.

We'll keep watching this Sunday.  Be there or be elsewhere, peeps!
Majo no Takkyubin.  Vampire (blood-suck demon).  Crying and yelling, and calling.  Yo-ho, as in Weather Forecast.  Same 2nd character as "Jyo-ho" = information.

Tobu = to fly.  Hard kanji to draw, from a composition standpoint.

"Starting a business" by flying off when you're a witch.
Analysis of a snippet of dialogue from the film.  The old lady talking to Kiki's mum.
Nominalization markers, quotation speech markers.

Different ways of starting.
"Ceremony, custom, or tradition" -- shiki-tari.  Is it an ateji?

"Don't forget your happy face"
Mise = Ten = a shop, or a point (depending upon radicals)
"What if I meet a sweet boyfriend in the next month?"
"It'll be a bummer if I can't set up shop"

"Like your mum when she was young"
"When did you get so big"
"If it doesn't go well, you can always come back"
Emphasis, time period relationships, wondering, soliciting agreement, expressing uncertainty / assertion -- these are all verb tenses (more or less) in Japanese!


National Poetry Writing Month

Going to try to do National Poetry Writing Month this year.  I'm going to be at Sakura Con, but hopefully I can still get my comics out on time and get poems written.

I wonder if it will be kind of like a Burma-Shave ad.

漫画 Figuring Things Out

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Letter to Bill Nye about Global Warming

Dear Bill,

Good work speaking up and spreading the word about global warming.

People who "reject" or "deny" the science of this are being absurd, and I believe it's therefore pointless to argue with them.  You're fighting from a losing position.

It seems to me that scientists should present the case in terms of "here's how much real estate we're going to lose" and "here's which farming areas will cease to produce" and get down to brass tacks on that.

If you start saying that best case, or if things slow down a little bit, we're still going to lose the New York Financial District, most of Florida, part of LA, etc., and if things keep going as-is we lose everything up to Washington Square Park (or all of Manhattan), all of Florida, San Francisco becomes an archipelago, etc.

Artists' renderings would be good, too.

You could even send mailings and announcements to the people whose homes and businesses will be terminated by climate change.

If the politicians keep denying, at last now they're denying about details, and it starts to be more about arithmetic and less about predicting the result of processes.  If politicians and pundits start having to say 2 + 2 = 5, some people might start questioning them.

Also, if politicians know that in the next CERTAIN number of decades their districts are going to be under water or unfarmable, their constituents are going to start asking some serious questions.

Further, scientists should make PLANS for how to deal with this, e.g., where should the financial center of the United States and the world be relocated to?  It could be like choosing the next Olympics.  Would it even be the United States?  Where will we get our food?  Which new roads will we have to build to get around the inundated areas?  Where will all of the displaced populations have to be relocated to?  On what schedule?  Which of our military resources, bases, ports, etc., will have to be closed and/or moved?

Shift the debate.  Shift it away from whether it's happening, and TO whether we're going to build dikes and levees or relocate people, and to where, which trade-offs, which sacrifices.  Politicians can talk about that stuff.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More Lame Gender-Rôle Question-Begging

This is what we call "question-begging" or "beggaring the question".  "Why are guys [not] the sex object" presupposes that guys are not, that chicks are, and jumps over all of those, taking them as given.  It's like asking "why or how fast does the Sun go around the Earth?" or "What color are the dragons who live at the edge of the world?" or "Why are women/Natives/Africans/fill-in-the-blank stupider than white men?" or "how can we deal with the threat of male/gun/evil spirit violence?" 

This video is kind of lame.  The question-begging is usually very badly posed, on top of it all.  Are we making men and women into something they are not?

I'll say it.

What is the "iconic" male sex toy?

What is the "iconic" female sex toy?

By this I mean, in a regular movie or TV show or mature-audience cartoon (such as Family Guy) will you see for a sex toy used by men or by women?

Which is the "more objectifying"?  Please post your answer!!

A woman doing "extra sexy" things or in a "sexy" pose can present a hyper-real image to men, i.e., an image that conveys much more than what is contained in the image itself.  I guess the measure of this is whether men and women would react the same or differently to the image.

Why should we suppose that a man in exactly the same situation should have a comparable effect on women?  What does that even mean?  A man in his underwear versus a totally nude man, how much "sex appeal" if any, does this have for women?  Are there images or poses or whatever of men that have a strong impact on women?  What are they? 

All these kinds of lame presentations -- I wouldn't call them arguments -- is that men subbed into alluring pictures of women are not appealing.

What about hypertrophy?  Women with gigantic fake breasts, emaciated bodies that make them look curvier or whatever -- what is the equivalent in men?  Schwartzeneggar when he was in early body-building competition?

Are men who are older, have "craggy" faces, slight greying of hair and beard, more appealing?  Young men are appealing?  Are they both, but in different ways for different reasons?

What sorts of images do women find appealing, if any?  Please post your answer!!

The men shown here are quite average.  They don't have any extreme features or "doctored" features, so they do not, should not, cause a comparable exaggerated impact on women viewing them.

There are no "normal" men in ads either.  The "nerd" portrayed is an extreme exaggeration, as much, in the opposite direction, as the PhotoShopped, implanted, Playboy model or Sports Illustrated bikini girl.  Men with ridiculous beefcake, combined with hairless, or hair in all the right places, great skin, good face structure, perhaps a cleft chin (some women consider this a deal-breaker), good eyes, good eye color.

Are women even more "forgiving" of defects and failings?    I've heard some pretty objectified talk, too small eyes, balding, back hair, knobby knees, no cleft chin, etc., etc., all as reasons for not finding a given male appealing.  Women are unabashed "junk-gawkers" given the right circumstances, too, as I've witnessed on many occasions.  Compunction?  What's that?  Talking about men's bodies and about things like performance also seem to be no-holds-barred.  I almost want to say "moreso than men" and I have fairly free access to men's talk.  Given one or two "strong features" in a woman, men seem to be prepared to overlook a great deal else, but it seems not to be the case with women.

So many questions.

Is the only thing worse than "The Gaze" the absence of "The Gaze"?

Nephew's 16th Birthday


Here's the card I drew.
His team won a recent robot competition!