Monday, November 23, 2009

Interesting tale

The author Shaun Tan has provided a nice illustrated short story for the UK's Guardian. His story telling is somewhat unusual, yet heart warming. I found the story of "Eric" quite charming. Some authors, especially children's authors, find that pictures can tell a story as well as the words. For Tan, the pictures make the story what it is. His books can appeal to young and old alike. They are simple narratives with an underlying significance. His illustrations speak more clearly than the words that accompany them. He is a visual story teller with a talent for dark and unique imagery. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I find such stories delightfully strange.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This is funny on so many levels.

A Massachusetts high school principal has banned the word "meep" What in the world is "meep" you may ask. It is a nonsense word made popular by the muppet Beaker. You know, the victimized lab assistant to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Since Beaker had a speech impediment, most everything he said came out as "meep". Sure, the good doctor could understand him but no one else could. The rest of us had to rely on poor Beaker's body language and verbal tones. It wasn't too difficult, though, since Beaker tended to be blown up, caught on fire or suffered from many other various, experiments gone wrong, situations.
Now we understand the word and its origins. So why would a school ban this? Well, it seems a senior on facebook organized the student body together and planned a mass "meeping" or something like that. First off, how did the principal know this? Apparently, there was a double spy on facebook. Let this be a lesson learned. Be careful who you accept as a friend on facebook. Like, don't befriend the principal's daughter, son, brown noser, etc. If you want to know more details and we know you do, look here and here and maybe here The principal is just trying to keep order. However, it seems more like a challenge. What's to stop the students from using another nonsense word? Eventually, in theory, all nonsense words could be banned. Where will it end? This is why the freedom of speech is so important in the good 'ol U.S. of A. Shouldn't the kids be happy, thus more open to learning? If it isn't fun then it becomes a chore and everyone loses. OK. I understand that the kids can't go around disrupting class. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Nonetheless, I would rather see the kids uttering "meep" in the halls than a string of foul words I won't repeat here. Don't get me started on the dehumanizing lyrics of some of the gangsta rap. Lighten up, Mr. Principal. Have a sit down with the ring leaders and discuss their motivations and why you lack a sense of humor. We know, you're just trying to do your job and keep order among the ranks. Maybe a compromise could be reached. Allow the meeps in between classes only. Keep the meeps away from specific offended teachers. As with all things, these kids would have eventually become bored with this and moved on to something else. Now, well, now they have been challenged, thus bringing the whole meeping thing to a level they had never expected. Thanks Mr. Principal, now my kid can't go to school and say meep. Where will it end?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Artists Unite!

An artist is asking for help.
This artist is being sued by a manufacturer. The manufacturer is seeking to overturn the artist's copyrights. They want the artist's original designs all for themselves. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Those with big money recognize an idea, concept or cool product that will make them more money. They know that if they drag the creator through the legal process they can eventually bankrupt the artist and win the money making art all for themselves. Art comes in all forms, be it paintings, designs, the written word, architectural, etc There comes a time when someone has to stop the Walmarts, marketers, etc from stealing from the creative individuals. It would seem simple enough for the manufacturer to simply license the design from its creator. The manufacturer, however, doesn't want any part of the artist. They don't want a future where the artist might actually ask for more money. They don't want to deal with the middle man. The bottom line is that they are greedy and will stop at nothing to corner the market on whatever it is that they think is a money magnet. Creative people must do whatever is in their power to change the laws that allow such a practice. There is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund which was created in order to help graphic novelists and comic book artists protect themselves in a court of law. It does a brisk business helping the creators of some very fine work. Every area of creativity is at risk from Big Money and needs like minded individuals to band together in order to retain the wonderful art with its creators. Copyrights, trademarks and patents do not necessarily protect an artist. Patents expire and there are numerous loop holes in the laws. You can spread the word and let the world know that the little guys are the ones with the creative ideas. Corporations do not posses the creative mind. They must be held up to a higher standard.