Friday, June 29, 2012

The More You Know...

    We have a lot of fun on this blog, don’t we? We often talk about robot uprisings, squirrel invasions, the dangers of owning your own construction company that caters exclusively to super villains. Every once in a while, I try to tackle some hot button education or Shakespeare issue, letting kids know some real advice, and what might help them in the future. It’s what I set out to do when I created this blog.

    However, there is one issue I haven’t really tackled, and it’s a problem I feel that we need to discuss in an open and honest forum: Dark Wizards. Some call them Warlocks, some just call them “Barry”, because despite his name change to Mordeci, Summoner of all that is Evil, his name is “Barry.” (A Supercharged Ego is just one of the many problems that is caused by Dark Wizards.)
    Dark Wizards have been slowly infiltrating our society for quite some time. J.K. Rowling recently attempted to warn people of the dangers that Dark Wizards pose with her novels, but I fear the message may have been lost in the midst of the fancy writing, and awesome special effects.

    How do you know you’re dealing with a Dark Wizard? Note the questions you should be asking when dealing with your wizard:

-Do they laugh manically after dealing with you?

-Did you phrase your request specifically so there isn’t an ironic loophole? (i.e, “Make me a Turkey Sandwich” turns you into a turkey sandwich.)

-Do they have a wide assortment of jars with tiny people screaming “Don’t make a deal with him! Don’t make a deal!”?

-Does he offer to sell you magic beans for a low price?

-Are they moody?

-When they do laugh, does lightning strike?

-Is their animal companion a sassy bird or snake?

    These are all signs that you may be dealing with a Dark Wizard.

    What can you do? It is up to all of us to remain vigilant against the Dark Wizard menace. If you see one in your town, make sure you get together a mob with pitchforks and torches, and get them to leave town. Particularly “Barry” Summoner of NOTHING who said that the spell he was selling me would bring me nothing but riches, but instead filled my life with a bunch of guys named “Rich.” And they’re all crashing at my place. Eating my food.

    You’re a Jerk, Barry.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Adventures of Michael Hock: English Major!

            I work at a college campus. I say this to help set the scene, to make a point that every day I’m up to my eyeballs in college students. I generally see the ones that are going to class in the major that I tend to work (which is light years away from the major I happened to study) but I get a good cross sample of students. The major I tend to work tends to be a hot topic right now, but every once in a while I’ll come across a news story or puff piece or advice from someone that claims to know the deep dark secret to being successful in life and it invariably leads back to one booming piece of advice: “Pick a college major that will get you a job!”

            I touched on this a bit ago with my posting about being happy, but I’ve seen it so much lately (It’s Freshman Orientation season. Which means parking sucks. But outsiders driving on a college campus are another rant.) I feel a need to comment on something. Mostly: DON’T pick a college major based solely on what will get you a job.

            I’ll give you all a minute to calm down in seeing that I picked the opposite advice from the common wisdom.

            College is four years of a microcosm of what you will have in the real world. I didn’t say the real world exactly, but for many people it’s the first opportunity to live on your own, make your own choices with food and money, make your own choices whether to study or chat up that hot blonde chick from Chemistry (Side note: you can always do something to get a better grade) and how to deal with people that you are in close proximity with, but not necessarily by choice.

            But college majors aren’t binding contracts. They’re opportunities. Because you study Micro-Neuro-Chemistry-Surgeoning doesn’t mean you will like Micro-Neuro-Chemistry-Surgeoning, nor will you go into Micro-Neuro-Chemistry-Surgeoning. It means that you studied it. And if you didn’t enjoy it, you’ve wasted a small fortune on something that will make you miserable for the rest of your life.

            I know this because I’ve been there. I always had the same major since day one of college, but I switched focus in it many, many times. And looking back, I can tell you which classes I didn’t enjoy, because I really didn’t do well in them. The classes I enjoyed… the opportunities I took… those were where I had the most fun. And I may not do anything with them. The jobs I’ve gotten cared that I had a degree, not necessarily what it was in. And it took even longer for me to course correct into what I WANT to do with my life (besides being Spider-man). All because I chose those classes to bolster what I thought my future would hold.

            College is on of the last monkey powered rocket car adventures you will have. You may have more, and that's great, but it’s the time you get to try on new hats and decide who you are. (That's not to say you can't make a switch later in life, or it's ever "too late.") But you should spend it studying something you want, not necessarily something that will make you “successful” through the eyes of some arbitrary definition. Success is Happiness.

            Take it from someone who was miserable way to long.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Now for the Adventures of Uncle Georgy's Rockin' Rangers!

                This past weekend movie came out entitled: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, based on a novel. There was also a musical that came out called Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson that tells his story in rock musical form. The idea of this is sheer brilliance. Take an established figure and just add some monsters or some strange contemporary thing. Half the work is done for you! It takes Historical Fiction to a brand new level. In this case you just really have a guy fighting Vampires in a stovepipe hat. And let’s face it: Everything is cooler in a stovepipe hat.

                In the spirit of this, I’ve developed several ideas for more Historical Fiction stories that are just aching to be told.

                -George Washington and the Real Ghostbusters. Following his first term in office, George Washington must team up with a group of Ghostbusters to take down the ghost of Benedict Arnold.

                -Benjamin Franklin vs. Zombies. He uses his kite and key to raise the dead, then challenges them to a drinking challenge across all of the newly formed United States’ bars. Obviously, Ben wins.

                -The Adventures of William Taft: Space Ranger. William Taft is taken into space to save us from an alien invasion.

                -Theodore Roosevelt: Gun for Hire. Because why not? Maybe he could hunt ghosts. I don’ t know. He’s a cool guy.

                -Thomas Jefferson and the Deathly Hallows. In order to beat Lord Voldemort, Thomas Jefferson and his two friends must travel across America to find the 7… you know, this one may have been done already.

                -Andrew Jackson vs. a Wild Rampaging Bear. This one isn’t a story so much as just an event I would have liked to have seen. Apparently he was a pretty tough guy.

                -JFK vs. the Moon Men. Why do you think he wanted to go there so badly? We give him a space ray gun, maybe fix his hair a little.

                -Richard Nixon’s Action Force Five! Think of the spinoff potential! Think of the action figures! This one practically markets itself!

                -Elvis Presley vs. Everyone. Do I need to explain why this works, people? He could get a time machine, and prove once and for all, he’s the king.

                All these ideas are script ready. Feel free to call anytime, Hollywood.

Friday, June 22, 2012

An Announcement So Important, I Have Used One of My Daily Allotment of Exclamation Points.

           Hang on, everyone… writer announcement! Extremely important writer announcement coming up. You know it’s important because I used one of my daily allotted exclamation points to punctuate what’s going on.

            In my never ending quest to better understand myself, finish my schooling, and fight dark wizards, I will not be around much in the coming weeks. I will be mentoring some youths on a Mission Trip to North Carolina. (Me mentoring anyone is a scary prospect in and of itself, but apparently we get a free trip to the rodeo! I can’t pass that up.) Then I will be taking a summer class which is a condensed, four week version of a longer class. This could be brilliant in getting a class out of the way quickly, or it can be an exercise in spending long hot summer nights in a classroom. Probably won’t make any songs sung by John Travolta and Olivia Newton- John, but it still might be fun.

            What does this mean to you, my dozens of loyal fans? This means some tweaks and changes here and there. I still plan on posting regularly, but (for next week, at least) it means a decreased presence on Facebook and Twitter, where I usually announce that I have something new posted.  It also will mean more weird and experimental stuff, like with the Theresa Franklin or the Shelley School posts like a few weeks ago, because I will have to bank a few in advance.

            Also, it means you can help me out a little. If you see something that tickles your fancy, or makes you guffaw heartily, or that makes you think… do me a favor and share it. Tell your friends. If you hate it, tell your enemies. I won’t be able to do my typical shameless self-promotion, so any help you can offer would be awesome.

            Keep in mind that all of the adventures I’m about to go have will bring some interesting fodder for this blog. I will attempt to talk about some of the stuff I’m doing along the way, and keep you entertained in my twisted little world. I certainly hope you will continue to come along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hey, I Just Met You... and This is Crazy... But Let's Invade Canada!

                There’s a musical called [title of show] that is extremely funny. If you don't have the cast album, I highly recommend it. It’s brilliant in the fact that I don’t think anyone has ever captured how difficult and scary it is to create something and put it out there. Except Mary Shelley, but that was creating something extremely different. In fact, the musical itself ends with the characters, self-aware (they are constantly breaking the fourth wall) finally saying, “whelp. We can’t keep adding stuff. We eventually have to let it go” and then most of the funny aspects stop as they watch their musical go.

            I enjoy that musical so much and I have the entire cast soundtrack downloaded up on my iPod (Or Mp3 player, until that Apple endorsement comes in… fingers crossed!) because it really does speak to me about the difficulties of creating… anything! In my case, this blog, which I don’t think people realize how scary it is to put out because now everyone can see what I write, and  Facebook page that I try to update with funnier status updates because I’m that kind of guy. I don’t believe in taking life to seriously, because in the end life doesn’t take me too seriously. (Besides, my life is boring. No one wants to see my REAL status updates. “Woke up”. “brushed my teeth.” “Drank orange juice from skull of my enemy.” “Went to work.”)

            But it is not easy putting yourself out there. People are reading it. And judging you for it. In the time I’ve started doing my status updates, I have been called racist, I’ve been accused of plagiarism, I’ve been told I’m not funny, been yelled at, offended people, and had some family members say hurtful things to me. I can handle most of it… except for the family members saying hurtful things, and the plagiarism thing.  The plagiarism stemmed from me making the same joke everyone was making, so I was guilty of being hackneyed, not stealing from you. I won’t apologize for making the same joke everyone was making. I may throw in a “Call Me Maybe” joke, too. I’m not stealing that, everyone is joking about that song, it’s the most popular song in America at the time I’m writing this. It’s also the most annoying. But I can’t stop listening to it. I’m half convinced that it’s placing a hypnotic suggestion in all of us, and now we’re just waiting for the trigger word to launch an assault on Canada. On the off chance that it’s not, I call that idea! (Yes, I know that the singer is from Canada. That’s part of the joke.)

            I don’t think people quite understand that this is difficult. I won’t stop doing it, because at the end of the day I enjoy it, and I’m not going to let the people get me down. I won’t lie and pretend to be someone that I’m not. And that’s what some of this comes down to, this blog, my Facebook status updates… being who I am. When I write, I can finally allow myself to be who I really am.

            I bring up [title of show] because of one song in particular. It’s called “Die Vampire, Die.” In it, the characters sing of the Vampires that fly around your head and to steal your creative energy. It’s actually really funny. (Maybe I should have just written a review about the show? It’s a great show. Go buy the cast album.) The Vampires are things like people that don’t want you to use bad language or write about anything offensive, the people that tell you someone else did it better, and lastly, that Vampire of self-doubt. The thing is, I think they got it a little wrong, because I think all of the other Vampires lead to the last one… self-doubt. When someone tells you that they’re offended and it’s someone you care about, you really do stop and think for a moment about not wanting to hurt them, and then pulling back. If someone says someone has already done it better than you… it pulls you back into that self-doubt.

            The song also sings that you have to be like Van Helsing and fight back. I’m assuming they mean the one in the book, not the crappy one played by Hugh Jackman. (How do you mess up Wolfman vs. Frankenstein vs. Dracula vs. Wolverine? How?) And that’s important. At the end of the day, when doing anything creative, you have to realize that you’re the one who has to live with it. You’re the one who has to say, “This is a representation of my work. I’m proud of it. Warts and all. Especially the warts!” But some days that can be so difficult. Much like making a good Van Helsing movie, apparently.

            I know today’s post is rather long. Sometimes I don’t know what to say, and sometimes, I need to get some stuff out there to everyone. None of this is meant to be a declaration that I’m going to be anyone but me while I’m posting this stuff. This is meant to be my way of reaffirming to myself that the only way to write, the only way to be is me, and if you don’t like it, well…  I guess that’s something you’re going to have to get over.

            The alternative, of course, is for me to start taking my creative cues from Mary Shelley.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Most Powerful Word Ever... Apparently... For Some Reason... (By Special Guest Word)

Hello, I’m the word Fuck, and I’d like to say… what the me?

            There is a town outside of Massachusetts that has decided to ban swearing. Anyone who says me can get fined up to $20. This isn’t the only place in the country, either; there are bans all over the place. I think in Virginia beach there’s even a sign that has a few nonsense characters with a line through it to tell people: Don’t swear. (I don’t know for certain. I went there once with the word Felt once, but we spent all of our time at tourist traps.)

            Well, to all of those people making these laws, I just want to say: Me them.

            I mean, seriously? What’s so bad about me? I’m a word, just like any other. I’m in the dictionary for me’s sake! Of course, some people have even tried to ban the dictionary because I’m in it.  Why are people singling me out? Don’t they know that I’m only a “bad word” because people keep saying I’m a bad word? It’s a nasty cycle. Someone says me, then someone reacts, and then I get banned.

            There is literally no difference between me and let’s say the word “Giraffe.” Now, I know Giraffe, he’s a nice word, but seriously? What if I got angry and screamed, “Giraffe you!”? Or if I call someone a giraffing idiot? It’s the same thing. Giraffe may have a more innocuous meaning, but honestly now… we are both words. So who decided that Giraffe was ok, but I’m not?

            Banning speech (namingly me) in public is just a strange step toward a stupid future like in that dumb movie that stars Sylvester Stallone where when a word that has been deemed as “offensive” is said they get fined. Also in that future: Taco Bell is the only restaurant still around, and Wesley Snipes is terrorizing everyone with his fake bleach blonde hair! That’s not a world I want to live in! (Although as mentioned, I wouldn’t be welcomed there, anyway.)

            So take a minute, and realize that a ban like this is stupid. And I don’t hang out with that word often. By elevating language to something taboo, we create barriers that make it impossible to communicate. And words mean things because we give them that meaning. There aren’t any “swear words.” There are words that someone decided that were wrong, so everyone got scared of them for no other reason than someone wanted to create a bad word.

            I’m not sure I have much of a point. Being a banned word gives me some advantages. I mean, I’m mostly used for effect, I’m not really required to hold up a sentence like some other words. (That The guy is so me’d.)  But it also gives me a power that I don’t really have. I don’t change lives. I don’t cause illness or Satan worshipping. I don’t cause crime or teenage birthrates or the ears of toddlers to suddenly collapse. I don’t sit in a hollowed out volcano trying to think about destroying the world. You know why? Because I’m a word. And I only have as much power as people give me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Very Special Episode, Part 3: Vague Status Updates Make Me...

Ok, so far I’ve thrown out my two very important lessons for high school graduates:

            1. No Tourists

            2. Make mistakes

            Now it’s time to wrap it up. Number three for the week is: Be happy.

            I throw this out there because too often, we force ourselves into little boxes and do what we can to make everyone else happy, while ignoring that little voice in our heads that said, “Hey! You used to write plays! You loved doing that! Why are you placing orders into a computer!”

            Keep in mind; I’m not saying that I’m not equating “Happy” with “Easy.” The two terms are often 
times at odds with each other. A lot of the time they battle it out in the arena of your own mind, right in between the dream of you showing up to class in your pajamas and the images you have of that one time that really hot cheerleader asked you if she could borrow your pen. Her hair was pretty that day. **ahem**

 You may even be miserable in the short run. But as long as you ensure that in the long run you are happy… what does it matter? As long as there is a light at the end of the tunnel, miserable will rarely win.

            This is important, because as you continue to grow up and you lose things like “Spring Break” and “a ton of time to go outside and play” you may find happiness harder to find. Not all the time mind you, but there will be moments you’ll be sitting under those fluorescent lights, wondering how much of your soul they’re quietly stealing while you enter in your fifth work order for the day. (Having goofed off for most of the morning.)

            Find what you want to do with life. You’re not entitled to it, and there will be roughly 90 billion people that will do it better than you. But why let a little thing like that stop you?  You have to hunger for it, to want it. You will have to work for it, but at the end of the day, you’ll appreciate it all the more.

            Sometimes, the scariest thing in the world can be make that choice to be happy. Being miserable can be more fun sometimes. After all… being miserable is the easier choice, as I mentioned. You also get to complain more. You don’t get to complain as much when you’re happy. Your Facebook status updates (Or future social media updates, depending on when you are reading this) may not be as vague and elicit as many questions, but it will be worth it when you can come home and be happy at the end of the day.

But do it. And don’t delay. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Also, remember you’re the only one who can find this happiness. No one else can do it for you.

            Good luck class of 2012.

            (Also, sidenote: When I just rerun this series of essays in a year, someone remind me to change the year there. Thanks.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Very Special Episode, Part 2: All Hail Our Robot Overlords

           Previously, I mentioned that it is important to participate (No Tourists!). Obviously, I mentioned this first because it is extremely important. This next piece of advice I consider almost as equally important.

            You’re going to make mistakes. Make them. Own them. Hold onto them.

            Hopefully, you’re not a robot. We have a while before the robots plan their invasion of Earth, and they will make their own mistakes that will allow a scrappy band of ragtag misfits to overthrow their leadership. But that’s not for quite a while. My point is that robots make very few mistakes, and you're not one of them.

            No, you are going to make mistakes. The drive to get everything right all the time is only going to lead to more mistakes. It’s important to make them, and learn from them. I know you’ve heard the last part of this advice almost repeatedly, almost to the point that you’re tired of hearing it. But this is true. And I can remember I was so focused on getting things “right” that I didn’t take the time to enjoy my failures. My beautiful, sublime failures.

            You are going to fall in love with the wrong person way too early. You’re going to stay up late watching a Netflix binge of Malcolm In the Middle and be late for that “really important” Chem Lab in the morning. You’re going to be in all the wrong classes, drop them, and start taking Theatre Classes. You’re going to be in all the right classes, drop them and start taking Theatre Classes. You’re going to decide college isn’t right for you, and you’re going to go in another direction. The list goes on.

            There’s never a mistake so big you can’t correct it. (Except possibly going skinny dipping at Crystal Lake. The dude in the hockey mask coming after you is pretty much relentless.) Just take a deep breath… and enjoy it. Then fix it, as best you can.

Accept that you are going to make mistakes. Just make it count for something. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Very Special Episode, Part 1: Yippee Kay Yay

           Looking at the ol’ calendar and traffic around the University where I work, I can tell that it is High School Graduation Season. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give some advice that I would have liked to have gotten when I graduated from high school.

            The first is a piece of advice that was given to me by one of my grad school professors. I am blatantly ripping this off from him, but he also encouraged me to steal any good advice I come across and use it for my own. (Also: Shakespeare stole everything he ever wrote.) And it’s this: Don’t be a tourist.

            What that means is this: Participate. Don’t just go along for the ride. Too often going along for the ride means going places you don’t want to go. No one really WANTS to be a tourist. Except maybe Johnny Depp in that one movie with Angelina Jolie. But let’s face it, for Angelina Jolie many of us would sell out our deepest held values.

            Where was I? Oh, yes. Don’t be a tourist. Look around during Spring in Washington DC. Tourists are everywhere. They stand in front of you on escalators, then stop right at the top so you can’t get where you’re going. (I saw one screaming at a Metro attendant that the train that left “wasn’t full” all while blissfully unaware that every person in that station could catch fire and he just wouldn’t care.)

            You want to take charge of the action. Bruce Willis saved lives in several Die Hard movies because he didn’t wait for the terrorists to come to him. He could have been the tourist in each of those situations. (Now that you mention it, he really was in the wrong place at the wrong time…) You have to be the Bruce Willis in each situation you encounter. If you go to college, be the Bruce Willis of that situation. If you choose not to, be the Bruce Willis of that situation.

            It’s all about making your voice heard.

            Yippee Kay Yay.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Hipster Games. Now That's a Book Worth Reading

            So, originally, today I was going to write about the time I went to buy the final two Hunger Games books.
            I’m not going to pretend for half a minute that originally read them for some deeper meaning…  I read them because they’re popular. They seemed interesting. And why not? The movie was good, and the books are getting people reading. That’s the point of any good book: to entertain. (Although there’s a lot more to the books than the “pew-pew shaky camera action sequence!” that the movie emphasized)

            I was going to write about how the hipster lady behind the counter with her carefully picked out Vintage! ™ T-shirt and her carefully selected hair color that wasn’t found in nature and nose rings that made her unique, like every other hipster out there that had died their hair and placed those nose rings so uniquely, scoffed at my book selection. She helpfully let me know that “she didn’t read fad books.”

            I didn’t know how to respond, I was going to write about today. I mean… I was just trying to buy books. I just wanted to read them. What did it really matter to her what I was going to read? I mean, I suppose I could pick up some indie book from a manufactured tortured soul, but I just hadn’t heard of anything good coming out. I might have bought a book that was dense, and everyone sits around and pretends to know what it’s about and how deep it was, but I don’t like books like that. What I heard about that was good was The Hunger Games Trilogy, so I was going to read that.

            I was going to write how after I paid, I made a snide comment about her Vintage! ™ shirt and how there were a billion others like it at Hot Topic, then I left. (Luckily, I paid in cash.) I feel sad for people like her, who have to jump so far off the bandwagon they can't just be entertained for a few minutes, I would say if I were writing about this today.

            But instead I came across a story about how a computer glitch in the Nook reader changed every instance of the word “kindle” in a digital copy of War and Peace to “nook.” So I thought I’d write about e-readers. Sadly, this post has gone on too long, so I guess I'll write about e-readers another day.

            But trust me; the story behind me going to buy those books would have been great.

Monday, June 4, 2012

This post is rated "T" for "Totally Awesome!"

I have talked to great length about censorship with young adult novels. Yes, it’s sorta going to be one of those posts again. Turns out there is a lot to cover when talking about censorship. Buckle up.

    The most recent is the proposal by a few “concerned citizens” to start rating young adult novels. You know, like movies, TV shows and video games are rated now, to great effectiveness. (side note: that was sarcasm. You can tell by tone of my typing.) These ratings help us determine different things, like how harmed the children will be by seeing scenes of smoking, or mild cleavage. (both real things that will people are concerned about, apparently.)

    Of course, this was brought on by a concerned citizen who took the time to count the number of swear words (by their definition by the way) that we like to pretend that kids don’t say in several young adult books. Like the recent documentary, “Bully” being rated R for language to help protect the kids from seeing naughty words. No one really batted an eye at the irony of the fact that these were kids saying the naughty words. (I don’t know why I used the word “naughty.” I am a 33 year old man.)

    Look, it never really hurts to know the content of what kids are reading. Labeling them based on one groups set of standards is never going to work, because you will be forcing that morality on someone else. If you really want to take a look at the content of what your kids are reading, pick up the book, and read it with them. You may be surprised at the content, yes, but you’ll be even more surprised that you can talk to them about it, and learn something about them.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Green Lantern.

       The most recent reboot of DC comics has one of their main characters, the original Green Lantern, come out as gay. As I’m a huge Green Lantern fan, I decided that I wanted to comment. (Also, because I have a forum for it. Never underestimate having a forum.)

    Of course, people will start protesting. One Million Moms (aka Forty Thousand Women With Nothing Better To Do aka, the Legion of Doom) has already protested, because that’s what they do. They’ll ask you all to think of the worst possible thing that could possibly happen because of a sorta but not really mainstream comic book superhero is gay, then tell them. Because you know, they probably can’t think of it themselves. (I totally stole that joke from Futurama. It’s accurate.)

    To help them, I’ve come up with a list of all the bad things that will happen now that DC comics has introduced the one billionth gay superhero into comics but we will pretend is a big deal because for the first time it’s a superhero that was at one time mainstream but was replaced with four different incarnations since his heyday:

    1. Nothing.

    Did you get that? I’d hate for anyone to miss it.

    Look, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who the Green Lantern is in love with, just as long as he stops the aliens from melting my face. DC Comics chose for Alan Scott to be gay because they rebooted the character. Before his reboot, he was an older man with two kids, one was gay and the other one was green. (Don’t ask.) I’d think the green kid would be more controversial, but I guess my priorities aren’t as straight as everyone.  So actually, it makes more sense to make this particular character gay rather than, say Batman. (Batman is married to the JOB, man!!)

    Alan Scott isn’t the first superhero who happens to be gay. Marvel Comics is featuring a wedding between two gay characters later this summer. I find that cover to be way more controversial. (Oh, I’m not against a wedding between two gay characters, I just saw the cover and Storm and Ice Man are floating above the ceremony. Seriously, you two? It’s those guys’ day. Maybe you can show some respect and sit in the seats like everyone else.) And this doesn’t discount the hundreds of other gay characters in comics that have come before this.

    My point is that it isn’t a big deal. Who does it hurt? Yes, comics are meant for kids. (Of all AGES, that is!) But some of this does go back to what I was saying about censorship. These comics are going to show, presumably, the Green Lantern, a hero, in a positive light (Positive green light, as it were.) The Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is gay. He's also a Superhero, who is going to put his life on the line to save Earth.

    Who does it hurt to show kids that heroes come in all sizes, shapes, and sexual orientations?   

Friday, June 1, 2012

Customer Service... er... finished?

Dear Valued Customers,

            It is with great regret that I must report that I will be leaving Franklin Family Construction after five wonderful years. I have been honored to be able to work beside my family for so many years, and people that I’ve grown to consider family.

            During our last assignment, working on the construction of a tower that was to eclipse the Eastern Seaboard, there was an accidental opening of a portal to a dimension of fire. Most of the Franklin Family Construction Crew was sucked in, and forced to live their most terrible fears for several weeks until their release could be negotiated. I am happy to report that everyone was returned unscathed, and most of them were able to have their memories of the events removed.

            Fortunately, I was able to claw my way out very quickly. Because of my ingenuity in quickly sacrificing our foreman Jeff, I was rewarded with a seat of power by Dr. Armagedonus. Of course, this is after he to complete his latest plan, a Death Beam powered by the wind. Despite being foiled in the past, he truly believes that this will work, and in a future free of pesky meddling secret agents, superheroes, and rogue New York City cops.

            All future complaints can be directed to your new Customer Service Representative, Ted Connor. I have worked with Mr. Connor for several years, and I have full confidence of his ability to give you the same level of customer support that you have come to expect.

            Thank you all for your time and support.

            Theresa Franklin
            Future Queen of What Was Once Known As Iowa.