Goofiness, governments and a hint of gloom

Good day folks, time for another edition of Spiders cocktail blogging!

Sorry to put you all through this again, but every once in a while I end up with a mix of things that I need to get out and can’t exactly keep for later because then they just sit forever and fall prey to my procrastinating ways until they become redundant.

So, once more into the breach dear friends!

For today I actually have a REALLY mixed bag (as the post title might give away a bit) because I’m feeling silly and humorous, but there is a serious matter I want to address and a song that I want to share that is… well its arguably the saddest song ever sung by anyone. What can I say? Beauty and wonderment doesn’t always apply to the happy things, such is life.

To start with: The Goofiness!

Being the end of the week obviously everyones feeling a lot more at ease and there might even be a bounce or two in your step. So with that in mind, thought Id share some funnies to add to it, so ladies and gents, the ever-awesome George Carlin:

A true legend!

Thank you George! Isn’t he great folks? You should watch his stand-up and all his acting roles – no matter how small the part, he was always noteworthy and hilarious.

Next up we have this magnificent piece of art (and it is a piece of art!) by a fantastic artist named Les McClaine and it is titled “Mayhem at the Manor”. Now I would recommend clicking on it, seeing it at its full size and following it from top left, the humour, the flow, the detail… its stunning what he’s produced here, at least to me it is:

Its like a fun "Where's Waldo" where he's Batman!

Next up, brief address to Governments, in this case more specifically the Indian Government:

The man in question.

The mouth-piece and general blow-hard of the current Indian Govt, Mr. Kapil Sibal, has been on a rant and a bit of a rampage recently about not allowing “defamatory and inflammatory” content on websites and more specifically social media sites like Facebook. He’s even apparently had meetings – that the public did not know of till now – with senior people at Facebook, Google, Microsoft and possibly even Yahoo and asked them to control and curtail offensive content.
Considering this is the man who pushed to have a dirt-cheap tablet available to every school and college going child and wanted more internet accessibility and freedom, its a strange turn.
Now, I get it. You want to have people behave – but you cant do the same damn this that governments – especially Congress governments have done here – do, which is to start trying to shut people up when the shit hits the fan. The media is already a politically correct system here which does have its moments but largely plays to the crowd and sentiment and the rest of the time plays it safe and pointless.
Fine. I’m not questioning that relationship. When the secrets break, the media does step up in its own way and bring coverage and get on with it, I just wish they did that all the time. It’s the reason I find shows like The Daily Show even and wish to whatever higher power might be around that some of the desire to question and willingness to be questioned and made fun of when you’re asking for it rubs off here in India.
And as far as censoring the internet goes? Hell no! The world is full of enough politeness and social correctness and norms and blah, blah, blah… the internet is dirty, weird, crowded and chaotic, but it is the one real voice of the average person today. Everything is expressed and shared and despite what people like Sibal think, it governs itself pretty well. The average person does not put up or allow overtly/blatantly offensive material to be left around – there’s a reason places like 4chan exist, even if you’re disturbing to the rest, there is a place for you. Not everyone should be blamed for a few fools and as a rule someone with Sibal’s experience and position should know that this is a door you do NOT open lightly.
I would liken this scenario to another basic one and use a quote from an unlikely place that makes my point:

These monkeys are following me because I just took this car. Obviously the car doesn’t belong to me, it’s not my style. It belongs to Dick. Dick Hotchkiss, a California state senator. You remember Dick? He’s the guy who tried to ban rap music because he feels that the lyrics promote violence. It’s music, Dick! He’s also the guy who wants to pull every video game off every shop in the country, because he feels that the video games diminishing intelligence of our youth. Oh, come on, Dick. It’s only education we got.

Sure, this refers to video games and movies and music, but like them the internet is a place where stupidity happens, exposure to unpleasant things but its also a place where we get immense volumes of data and amazingly varied social interaction and exposure – and most importantly, you can vent all your frustrations and pent up feelings. Personally, I think to take that away because you think some few rabble rousers might get upset, well that gives them too much credit and too little credence to the actual masses. The religious nuts who get hecked up? They are not the majority, they are merely the obnoxious, loud and pompous noisemakers that need to be treated like the Westboro Baptist Church.
Let’s not have another China or the like budding here alright? Alrighty then, lets move on.

Next up we must deal I’m afraid with a wee bit of Gloom, nothing too drastic, that I can promise:

Just a mere two days past saw a legend in his field passing on – this past year I’ve felt has actually seen a lot of big and/or legendary names shuffled loose this mortal coil – Steve Jobs, Tiger Pataudi, Anne McCaffrey, Sócrates, Ambika Charan Choudhury, Amy Winehouse, Liz Taylor, Harry Morgan, and this is just off the top of my head. If I started digging into the archives of notable deaths in this past year I’m sure there’s many not-quite-prominent but important and respected people who have been lost as well.
I don’t know – I’m not being morbid, maybe its the end of the year thats making me think of this, maybe its been a relatively negative year as a whole. Whatever the case, so it is, chances are there were no more special losses this year then other years but the vibe for the year has been a downer and makes one hope the following year is better.

The Mad Scientist and the Monster!

But the one that made me decide to talk about this was actually one that most folks would not even know but honestly may not realise the impact he’s had on our modern world – more specifically the literary and creative aspects and even more specifically the field of comics and graphic story-telling: Mr. Jerry Robinson. Ring no bells? Not surprising, he was a respected comic-book artist most well known for his work on the Batman books and for championing the rights of comic creators. But his single biggest contribution in many ways? He was the co-creator, along with Bill Finger, of the the iconic character we’ve all grown to love and hate: The Joker!

In his own words:

“Bill Finger knew of Conrad Veidt because Bill had been to a lot of the foreign films. Veidt… had this clown makeup with the frozen smile on his face. When Bill saw the first drawing of the Joker, he said, ‘That reminds me of Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs.’ He said he would bring in some shots of that movie to show me. That’s how that came about.”

And not only did he help create The Joker, he also had a hand in the creation of Alfred Pennyworth (played to perfection in the Nolan movies today by the inimitable Micheal Caine) and Harvey “Two-Face” Dent.

See? You can learn something new everyday!

Ok, so the cloud of gloom is almost past – before I fly past it and to a more calm and happy finale, allow me if you would to share a song that I’ve been listening to recently. It’s the latest in my continually evolving experimenting and constantly fluctuating musical moods, folks, the great Billie Holiday singing arguably the most heart-wrenching song ever:

And with that we come to the end of another cocktail, one I trust your palate found amusing yet bittersweet. But fear not – I would never leave on a downer if I could help it, so I share with you my latest discovery. I came across the work of this most intriguing artist from South Korea named Minjae Lee and I’m now trying to find out how much the paintings cost on the off chance that I might actually be able to afford one! I know I love them, what do you think?

Absolutely mesmerising is it not? Click to enlarge and enjoy!

Cheers till next time folks!

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