One Neat Thing a Day

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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Archive for the ‘FREAKIN’ IMPORTANT MAN’ Category

2-25-10 Frank Miller. The Dark Knight. “Holy Terror, Batman!” ‘Nuff Said.

Posted by Sean on February 24, 2010

UPDATE (3-9-10): I just realized something: I forgot to mention that the bolded text in Frank Miller’s NPR editorial were my emphasis, not his. Sorry about that.

Oh no you didn’t, Shanoah.

You didn’t just write a post linking the Dark Knight and the most misunderestimated Warrior on Terror™ of our times.

You did.




My neat thing today is neat only in the way that watching a drunken bum fight is neat: Batman is joining the War on Terror™! Or he will be! Maybe!

Frank Miller announced way way way back in 2006, at San Francisco’s WonderCon, that Batman will be fighting Al Qaeda in a book titled, or possibly titled, Holy Terror, Batman!

He went on to tell the Daily Telegraph: “It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of propaganda – Batman kicks al-Qa’eda’s ass.” [1]

To which I responded with: Oh.



This is old news to you comic otaku, of course, but it’s the first thing that popped into my head when I heard Dubya and Batman mentioned in the same breath; we here at One Neat Thing a Day don’t worry ourselves over pesky things like being current or even relevant. I’m not even sure if I believe this story, if it’s a viable project, or if it’s just like Orson Welles directing The Bat-Manjust another hoax. It’s just too wonderful to be real.

Now, you might think that Batman is going to hunt down and destroy Goldstein I mean Al Qaeda for, say, collapsing the Twin Towers and killing thousands of Americans. Hauling supposedly unstoppable and uncatchable criminals before a magistrate (or a criminal psychologist) is Batman’s thing. Done right, with equal parts John le Carré and Operation: Wrath of God and with Batman’s mad ninja skeelz, his aversion to taking life and his… issues, it might actually be a cool read.

If you thought that, then you are a dumbass.

See, Batman’s a superhero, and superheroes are apparently all about creepy, ultimate good/blackest evil, never-the-twain-shall-meet dualisms. You know! Like a comic book! Or G. I. Joe! So Batman kicking Al Qaeda’s collective ass isn’t just about justice or even about justice at all! It’s about Fighting the Good Fight and Ensuring A Better Tomorrow For Our Children™ and Freedom™ and Democracy™ and making sure Sauron doesn’t get the One Ring!

Actually, no, it’s about kicking ass.

Mr. Miller laid out the philosophical underpinnings for Holy Terror, Batman!, not to mention a healthy dose of self-hatred, in a NPR editorial entitled That Old Piece of Cloth that aired, you guessed it, on Sept. 11, 2006:

I was just a boy in the 1960s. My adolescence wasn’t infused with the civil rights struggle or the sexual revolution or the Vietnam War, but with their aftermath.

My high school teachers were ex-hippies and Vietnam vets. People who protested the war and people who served as soldiers. I was taught more about John Lennon than I was about Thomas Jefferson.

Both of my parents were World War II veterans. FDR-era patriots. And I was exactly the age to rebel against them.

It all fit together rather neatly. I could never stomach the flower-child twaddle of the ’60s crowd and I was ready to believe that our flag was just an old piece of cloth and that patriotism was just some quaint relic, best left behind us.

It was all about the ideas. I schooled myself in the writings of Madison and Franklin and Adams and Jefferson. I came to love those noble, indestructible ideas. They were ideas, to my young mind, of rebellion and independence, not of idolatry.

But not that piece of old cloth. To me, that stood for unthinking patriotism. It meant about as much to me as that insipid peace sign that was everywhere I looked: just another symbol of a generation’s sentimentality, of its narcissistic worship of its own past glories.

Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbors were ruthlessly incinerated — reduced to ash. Now, I draw and write comic books. One thing my job involves is making up bad guys. Imagining human villainy in all its forms. Now the real thing had shown up. The real thing murdered my neighbors. In my city. In my country. Breathing in that awful, chalky crap that filled up the lungs of every New Yorker, then coughing it right out, not knowing what I was coughing up.

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.

Patriotism, I now believe, isn’t some sentimental, old conceit. It’s self-preservation.
I believe patriotism is central to a nation’s survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don’t all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

So you’ve got to do what you can to help your country survive. That’s if you think your country is worth a damn. Warts and all.

So I’ve gotten rather fond of that old piece of cloth. Now, when I look at it, I see something precious. I see something perishable. (emphasis mine)

We all went crazy on Sept. 11, 2001, I think. We acted like wounded animals. It didn’t matter who got hurt, so long as someone did. That’s natural and expected.

The problem is that a lot of people didn’t snap out of it. Mr. Miller appears to have been one of them.

So what’s he going to do to Help Our Country, Warts And All, Survive?

He’s going to write a comic book where a grown man in a bat costume beats the living shit out of some Third World guys with beards.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. After all, Mr. Miller is the man who brought us the spectacle of 300, which pitted the slave-owning and despotic free and democratic Spartans against the swarthy invading hordes of Iran Persia.

But he’s got something better than 300 tanned, oiled, ripped and barechested Greeks chopping apart Arabs Persians in slow motion this time! As he told the Daily Telegraph: “Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That’s one of the things they’re there for.”

No, Mr. Miller.

Superheroes are about justice, helping the helpless, defending the defenseless and making this gravity well a better place to live in, not kicking ass. There is a difference, even if many people have forgotten that.

More importanly, though, Mr. Miller, Al Qaeda is not Hitler or Tojo.

Nazi Germany and her ally Japan were threats because they had some of the biggest armies and navies in the world, not to mention plenty of land, resources and subjects from several years of unrestricted empire building. Nazi Germany also had the most advanced weapons and military hardware in the world, at least at the start of World War II. Nazi Germany conquered most of Europe, and Japan most of the Pacific and much of Asia. Nazi Germany also gassed people and then stuffed them in ovens, and Japan raped Nanking and then raped women and called them “comfort women”. Both did involuntary medical experiments, used work-em-till-they-drop slave labor and killed millions.

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has no expeditionary capability whatsoever. It has no navy. It has no air force. It has no way to land an army on our shores or parachute them behind our defenses. It doesn’t even have an army, unless you count a bunch of guys with AKs, mortars and improvised bombs (emphasis on the “improvised”).

The only reason we even care about Al Qaeda, besides the aforementioned dragging them before a magistrate,  is because they might get their hands on a nuke or launch a terrorist attack inside the U. S. – and quite frankly, stopping those are jobs for our spies and our police, not our soldiers.

‘Course, this is a moot point because we’re not even fighting Al Qaeda. We’re fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and a bunch of extremely pissed-off Iraqis in Iraq. (Yes! We’re still in Iraq! And still fighting in Iraq!) We don’t even know where Al Qaeda is. They might be in Afghanistan. They might be in Pakistan. They might living above your Aunt Tessie’s garage. We don’t know, thanks to George W. Bush invading Iraq and then giving his dad the finger. All we know is they’re out there, we can’t find them and we can’t touch them.

But there are other scary motherfuckers with beards out there! Oh goody! Let’s bomb them!

This, of course, reaches to the heart of why Batman fighting Al Qaeda creeps me out. I look at the U. S. Armed Forces – the most advanced, most ass-kickingest combined military force in the world – and then I look at the people they’re fighting. I don’t see Nazi hordes. I see a couple brown-skinned guys with AK-47s, the Weapon of Choice for the fighter on a budget.

Yes, they’re religious fanatics and drug dealers.

They’re also dirt poor and fighting us with whatever piecemeal weapons they can scrounge – and fighting us in their backyards and their homes, I might add.

This is your “existential threat” to America and Freedom™ and Democracy™, Mr. Miller? And why do I suddenly feel like I’m in Star Wars and our soldiers are wearing white plastic armor and saying things like “rebel scum”?

Why do I feel like I’m on the side of the Empire and not the rebels? Why do I feel like one of the bad guys?

Can you answer me that, Mr. Miller? Can you answer me why I would support a idle multi-billionare ninja with more Wonderful Toys than James Bond and his own personal War on Terror™?

Almost everything about the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the War on Terror™ and post-2001 McPatriotism in general makes me feel greasy and icky and corrupted. But happy Mr. Miller doesn’t appear to have a problem with any of that, which is why he’s treating us to yet another spectacle: a rich playboy with father issues [2] beating up  poverty-wracked brown-skinned people.

There’s also something cheap and exploitative about this project. As Mr. Miller told Rotten Tomatoes in 2007: “It’s bound to offend just about everybody.” Even the title (or one of its titles) is cheap, like the campy 1960s TV series that it takes inspriation from: Holy Terror, Batman!

This is what’s happened to our heroes. Once, they stood for something. Now they’re direct-to-DVD from Troma.

Actually, I shouldn’t drag Troma into this. When they offend people, they do it right. They make pointless, gratuitous, drop-dead funny sex and violence. They don’t make propaganda for The Man.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think that he should publish Holy, Terror, Batman! [3] As he told the Daily Telegraph, “It’s an explosion from my gut reaction of what’s happening now, a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we’re up against.” Writing can be therapeutic, and if Mr. Miller was as traumatized as he seems by Sept. 11, 2001, then more power to him. If nothing else, it’s honest.

Still, if he wants therapy, maybe he should follow the advice of fellow Batman author Grant Morrison [4]:

Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it’s likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I’d be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb ‘vs’ Al Qaeda. (emphasis mine)

For that matter, I wish all the “real men” and “patriots” who support the War on Terror™ and the Eternal Struggle Against Elemental Evil would follow Morrison’s advice. Maybe they’d get an idea of what war is really like. Maybe they wouldn’t support it so thoughtlessly and relentlessly next time.

Maybe there wouldn’t be another 9/11.

That’s what would make the world a better place.

[1] The Daily Telegraph adds: “In this compendium of all his statements, bin Laden does not name Batman personally, but attacks America as ‘the Great Satan’ for exporting a culture of pornography and violence.” Nobody does sarcasm like the Brits. Nobody.

[2] George W. Bush?

[3] I also think that Troma should adapt Holy Terror, Batman! into a movie. Seeing a terrorist doing a Troma Meltdown after being punched in the face by Toxic Avenger Batman would make my life complete.

[4] I also love Morrison’s take on Batman: “…I want to see a Batman that combines the cynic, the scholar, the daredevil, the businessman, the superhero, the wit, the lateral thinker, the aristocrat. He terrifies the guilty but he has great compassion for the weak and the downtrodden and will lay his life on the line for anybody who’s in trouble. He’s a master of yoga and meditation who has as much control over his body and his feelings as any human. He has a wider range of experiences than most people will dream of in ten lifetimes. This is not a one-note character! So, while I won’t pretend we all live on Sunnybrook Farm, I don’t think its appropriate – particularly in trying times – to present our fictional heroes as unsmiling vengeance machines. I’d rather Batman embodied the best that secular humanism has to offer – a sour-faced, sexually-repressed, humorless, uptight, angry, and all-round grim ‘n’ gritty Batman would be more likely to join the Taliban surely?” (again, emphasis mine) [6]

[5] Yes, I like footnotes. [6]

[6] You already knew that? [7]

[7] Oh, good.


Posted in bulldada, fnord, FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Sean, Islamocommunifeminihomofascists, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

2-4-10 Nuclear Rabbit – My Girl’s Got Guts

Posted by Sean on February 4, 2010

Whaddya mean Eat Starch Mom has nothing to do with irradiated lepidoptera, Shanoah? Why, it has two of what I consider to be hallmarks of Nuclear Rabbit songs:

  1. It had gobs of guitars.
  2. I could barely understand the lyrics. (And what I could understand sounded like they were written by Mr. Perpetually Threatened Masculinity himself, Ted Nugent)

Anyway, here’s some more nutty bass playing from Jean Baudin (who, according to Wikipedia, so you know it’s wrong, plays an eleven-string bass) with My Girl’s Got Guts.

Courtesy of shinigamiyourichi, which goes without saying.

Posted in FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Sean, I Tunes Not U Tunes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

1-25-10 Scala and Kolacny Brothers – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Posted by Sean on January 25, 2010

Continuing with our themeless theme, I present a performance from the girls choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers that belongs in our What the FUCK file: Smells like Teen Spirit. Who knew teen angst could sound so darn spiritual?

Courtesy of holero.

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1-20-10 Blu and Dave Ellis – COMBO

Posted by Sean on January 20, 2010

Continuing our themeless theme, here’s a collaboration between the art collective Blu and Dave Ellis called COMBO. Is it grafitti? Is it animation? Is it demolition? Who cares?

And yes, it does loop. Once.

Oh, and if you think you’ve seen Blu here before, perhaps you have.

Courtesy of notblu. Well, I’m glad they cleared that up.

Posted in FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Shanoah, Happy Media | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by shanoah on October 17, 2009

No post today, because the earth has been destroyed.

Don’t take my word for it. Check the IEDAB website.

Posted in Batty, Blogs, FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Shanoah, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3-26-09 The Cyriakness of Cyriak

Posted by Sean on March 26, 2009

Well, I’ve threatened to do this, and now is the time, I think (especially since all the remaining Omodaka videos have something to do with Jet Ski racing. Omodaka has a think for Jet Ski racing, I’ve found) (and since thinking about how the Japanese have treated the Ainu – much like the way Americans have treated Native Americans, I understand – suddenly makes me want to get the hell away from anything Japanese [1]).

You may remember that I posted a What the FUCK about a week ago with a rather creepy animation loop set to some rather creepy music (in other words, it fit right in on this blog). It was made by British musician and animator Cyriak Harris (site here, MySpace here), and it turns out that he’s rather… prolific. This is lucky for me, as I have fodder for posts well into the next week. Whether it’s lucky for you, dear reader, I leave to you to decide.

To give you an idea of the Cyriakness of Cyriak, he’s been kind enough to put together a mindfuck mix reel, submitted for your approval.

Oh, and if you’ve see March 20’s What the FUCK, you may experience a certain amount of déjà vu at 2:52 in this video. Psychotics often experience that  just before they suffer a full schizophrenic break. Just so you know.

[1] These little unlit bits of Japanese history are the kind foreign devil otaku don’t like to think about too much. Rape of Nanking, anyone?

Posted in FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Sean, Funny, Happy Media | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by shanoah on March 26, 2009

More funkified Japanese music, hmmm?

Well, this time I’m going to play a performance that had no song name or performers name. It looked interesting, though, as this is supposed to be a traditional dance (and presumably song) of the Ainu people.

They are basically a ethnic group in Japan that have their own language with no known connection to any other language in the world. Since we’re talking about Japan, center of cultural conformity, there has been all sorts of discrimination against them, with the usual steps; their language having been outlawed, etc.

Some of that has been repealed. I wish I was absolutely sure that the video I’m going to show you is authentic, and not something dreamed up for tourists, but that’s the breaks…

Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Blogs, fnord, FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Islamocommunifeminihomofascists | Tagged: | 1 Comment »


Posted by shanoah on March 22, 2009

Well, in this case I found something rather interesting to follow up on your post with.I’ll post it now, though I just posted, since the one 3 hours ago was for yesterday, which is still my today, where as this one is for my tomorrow, today. Yes, my schedule can be weird.

This is a four and a half minute clip from a Russian sci-fi film from 1979 called “Stalker”. From what I could gather from imdb, near an unnamed city is an area called the Zone, guarded by barbed wire and soldiers, and men called ‘stalkers’ sneak in and guide people to one special magical room contained within.

Looks like it was invaded by aliens[1], based on a look at the novel it’s based on, Roadside Picnic, found here. (Thanks, Sean!) I’ll have to watch the whole thing sometime. Religious overtones in a Russian film are interesting, too.

The filmwork, from what I can see here, is beautiful, desolate, and chilling, with great music. The whispered words are from Revelations 6:12-17, and given the lack of subtitles, I’ve provided the King James translation below:

Revelations 6:12 – 6:17

6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

[1] Though there are other interpretations; I read one person commenting on it say that a nuclear disaster had happened in the town, and that it was a coverup. Seems clear enough in the start of the book, though.

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, fnord, FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, FREAKIN' ME OUT MAN, From Shanoah | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

12-27-08 The Firm – Star Trekkin’

Posted by Sean on December 28, 2008

Well, if Firefly is a western in space… hmmm… I wonder what else could be a western in space… sort of a Wagon Train to the stars, if you will…

You don’t normally associate Star Trek with Firefly, I’ll admit. That’s because the first is in an optimistic and enlightened future where our leaders lead with wisdom and compassion and all races live in peace and harmony, and the second, well, isn’t.

It’s interesting seeing which TV viewers prefer. Next Generation had the United Federation of Planets playing nice with the Klingons, and yet, by Deep Space Nine, you had the Borg, the Jem’Hadar and political intrigues with the Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians that you needed a program, a scorecard and closed captioning to keep track of. The optimism of the original series was, by and large, forgotten.

Personally, I’ll take the smaller, sweatier and more immediate concerns of the crew of the Serenity over the galaxy-spanning, imagination-choking sweep that Star Trek acquired in DS9, Enterprise and, to a certain extent, in Voyager. But then, that’s me.

So let’s have a tribute to those halcyon days on TOS, when the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s were long behind us and letting a black woman on the bridge made headlines. I’ll admit Star Trekkin’, by the Firm, isn’t what most people would call a tribute. But it was this or filk.

Courtesy of roopert.

Posted in FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Sean, Funny, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Noon of the Solstice

Posted by shanoah on December 21, 2008

For the Winter Solstice, I wanted to play something pagan. And who does pagan better then Damh the Bard?

Noon of the Solstice – Damh the Bard

And there we are, a serious pagan song celebrating the solstice, as could be expected of him. After all, he always does these serious pagan-themed songs. Like the following:

The Wheels on the Bus – Damh the Bard

Clearly an ancient pagan song celebrating the ever-renewing cyclic nature of the seasons… all right, maybe not. But I couldn’t resist. I’m a Discordian, after all. As such, I feel humor is even more important at moments like this…

Posted in bulldada, fnord, FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN, From Shanoah, Funny, Gettin' Yer Pagan Freak On, I'm probably going to hell for this, Mailing List | Leave a Comment »