Sunday, May 27, 2007

Now Showing - Lucy Analyzes Charlie Brown

She really is terrible to him, but she's much more likable here than she is in the strips.
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Good Grief! Fantagraphics Strikes Again!!

One of the most ambitious projects in modern publishing has been undertaken by Fantagraphics: The Complete Peanuts, by Charles Schultz.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketEvery six months for twelve-and-a-half years a new volume, containing two years' worth of the 50 written and drawn entirely by Charles Schultz, is being released. The current volume (shown) is number 7, which I have been savouring all weekend. Then, when I'm done, I'll go back and reread them all. That's so much Peanuts I'll be lucky if I don't have diverticulitis by the time I'm done. ; )

I'll be the first to admit that Charlie Brown and his gang are not for everyone. The humour is subtle, and not every strip is funny, at least not in the laugh-inducing way. I will say, though, that reading them in this form allows their impact to build, an impact which is absent reading one strip a day in the newspaper.

"What a brilliant, truly modern, totally weird idea it was to create a comic strip about a chronically depressed child," said Time magazine, and I could scarcely have said it better myself. I have already made plain my assertion that I am Charlie Brown all grown up, from my enormous, bald pumpkin head to the casual abuse I suffer even at the hands of people who are nominally my friends.

Of course, not all of Charlie's friends are cruel to him; I've been lucky to have met my Schroeder, my Linus, even a Peppermint Patty or two (hey Seumas!). Really, it's only Lucy and Violet who are bitches to him, but when they are it is extreme. They are the kind of bullies who make it difficult for anyone else to be nice to him, and I am certainly familiar with their ilk.

Having the chance to revisit the Peanuts gang in their entirety has given me the opportunity to shed some light on the dynamics of the life I've been living, and once again (as I'm sure I will every six months for the next nine years) I offer my thanks and gratitude to Fantagraphics for making such a voyage of discovery possible.
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Emperor Pays Visit To Queen

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan have arrived in Britain; their three-day visit follows a weeklong visit of the Baltic nations (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and Sweden.

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During their stay the royal couple will attend a conference at the Linnean Society, which devotes itself to natural history. The society is named for Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish taxonomist whose methods for classifying animals and plants is still used. A visit to the historic university town of Oxford and a state dinner at Buckingham Palace are also scheduled.

The last time the Imperial couple were in London - in 1998 - they were jeered by WWII veterans. Veterans of that conflict are still calling for an apology from Japan for its wartime atrocities.
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Now Showing - BAFTA Tribute to Billy Connolly

The other week I watched a great one-hour tribute to Billy Connolly on YouTube.

Here's the first part. The usual rules apply: after watching it, tap the YouTube icon on the screen and it should take you to the rest. It features hilarious testimony from Bob Geldof and Dame Judi Dench as well as many others, and includes a great overview of his career thus far.

I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.
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Say It Ain't So, Ro!

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According to peerless font of celebrity information Entertainment Tonight, Rosie O'Donnell won't be coming back to The View to finish out the remaining three weeks on her contract.

Word of her early departure had been swirling around the blogosphere ever since Rosie's onscreen dustup Thursday with Bush Administration stooge Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but I guess I refused to believe the possibility that it might be true. According to ET the word came down from ABC itself.

In lighter news, Donald Trump stopped baiting Rosie long enough to castigate Elisabeth as "one of the dumber people on television". Coming from him that's, um, almost flattery.
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I Really Am A Pepper!

I used to love the Dr. Pepper ads, including their insanely catchy ear-worm of a jingle: I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too!

Now, thanks to an online quiz I learned about from my buddy at Y | O | Y, it turns out to be true.

You Are Dr. Pepper

You're very unique and funky, yet you still have a bit of traditionalism to you.
People who like you think they have great taste... and they usually do.

Your best soda match: Root Beer

Stay away from: 7 Up

But I also like 7Up as well, so cool, so shiny, so refreshing... Oh dear, I suppose I'm destined to be unhappy.
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Sunday Funny - "Pardon My Planet"

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I was cleaning out my iPhoto folder this evening (it could happen!) when I ran across this cartoon I'd admired, by Vic Lee.
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