Stray Thoughts About The Puppet Master


I realize that it’s just a programming convention. But when you stop and notice it, it’s kind of weird that the Muppets name all their stuff Muppet stuff. Imagine the reverse; would you watch The Human Show? Well, I guess I would, but I’d be expecting some faintly punk British-produced angry comedy along the lines of The Young Ones. Special case. But then how about, say, Human Treasure Island or Human Wizard of Oz or Humans From Space? … All right, again, that’s starting out interesting. The Humans Take Manhattan? … Saying that out loud I guess I see why the Muppets do that. All right, but let’s imagine a reporter for the local news introduced himself, “Hi ho, this is Kermit the White Guy with a Human News Flash.” OK, this is getting compelling. Forget that I was doing something like grousing.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index drifted four points lower over the day. Analysis credit this to the trading community commissioning an illustration of them as Crystal Gems and now they’re all worried about what if they have to ask the artist for something to be changed, like their vests aren’t the right length or something? And some are saying that of course they can check that at the first-sketch stage and asking for a minor change like that is nothing, artists are fine with that as long as you’re clear as early as possible about what you do and don’t want, while others just feel like they’d die if they had to say anything wasn’t exactly right. A nasty fight broke out when someone brought up the time in 1999 they tried getting a drawing of themselves as Powerpuff Girls and they never did get the finished picture, although the artist for that recently e-mailed to say he knows he’s late but he’s been going through some drama and he’s hoping to get the commission backlog done as soon as he has a free weekend to knock them out.

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Here I Just Have To Sit Down Quietly A While


So then this turned up in the “Licensing” section of Wikipedia’s entry on the comic strip Beetle Bailey:

2012 Rolex and Bamford Watch Department created a Beetle Bailey Rolex watch.

And I just don’t even remember what I was getting worked up about before that. I think it was trying to understand my completely irrational annoyance that Hagar the Horrible mentioned potatoes this week. But I just … you know, I just … I don’t know.

Hagar, running like two steps and swinging his sword: 'Swordplay is my meat and potatoes!' Hagar bows over, desperately short on breath. Helga: 'Looks like your met and potatoes are getting in the way of your swordplay!'
Chris Browne’s Hagar the Horrible for the 16th of June, 2016. And, look, I’m basically fine with anachronistic humor in these strips. It’s the whole point. I don’t insist on historic accuracy in Hagar or B.C. or whatever other situation comic strips are even out there, no more than I insist on it when The Muppets are doing a Medieval Silliness sketch. So I have no grounds for being bothered by this and yet I am. Also, so, like, Hagar’s dead, right? I mean, if running four feet and swinging his sword knocks him over, then the next time he gets shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island — which happens to him like three times a month — his eyeballs are seagull snacks, right? And not for a large seagull, either, one of those little trainee seagulls that needs it explained again what the difference is between eyeballs and eggs.

Caption This! Contests On The Starship Enterprise


Troi, Riker, and O'Brien are sitting up on the beds in sickbay. That's most of the action.
The 24th Century enjoys a great number of medical advances, but the one that makes the biggest difference is they have shiny blankets.

Troi, Riker, and O’Brien rehearse for the deciding round of this year’s Sit Like Kermit The Frog Contest.


Right caption? Wrong caption ? Let me know if you’ve got a better. Also, my mathematics blog talks more about comic strips, and you’d be stunned how quickly I’m able to get from a Popeye strip into demon-summoning!

Capsule Dream Movie Reviews: Circle of Blue


Look, it’s really effective when that amusement park scenic-railroad ride dives under the surface and turns into an impossibly long trail leading Night Court‘s Dan Fielding into the discovery of the shadowy conspiracy and their fiendish machine that’s apparently setting up to destroy the world. It’s just that Circle of Blue as a title seems way off-point for a Muppet movie that as far as I can tell doesn’t even have any Muppets in it.

I Dance Horribly


I don’t believe the trouble is my inability to dance like nobody’s watching. I have heard that advice a good deal and when I dance I find I can live up to it because anyone who would watch soon turns away and in some cases curls up into a ball and weeps. I suppose someone really determined might watch me and judge, in a way that would be harsh, but they would surely give up judging and just feel generally sad if they tried. I can accept doing things that make onlookers feel sad and a little embarrassed for me, as everyone who’s seen the way I dress myself has noticed.

Now it isn’t that I’m not up for trying to dance either. I’ll give it my level best, but that’s terrible. For example, I can see that other people have mastered these dance moves where one sometimes raises one’s hands above one’s head. I’ll give that a try and it comes out all wrong: I can maybe get my hands up to about the level of my belt, or when I realize that I’m doing this all wrong and I have to go higher, up to about belly button level. People raising their arms correctly, over their heads or so, might even straighten their arms out so as to look festive and give a sense of whole bodies in interesting movement. I can kind of straighten out my elbows, but that puts my hands back down again, and often enough into my pockets.

And it isn’t true that I have no sense of rhythm, although goodness knows people wonder about that. I am very well aware that there is a rhythm to the music, and I hear it in the music and see it in the ways that people move. It’s just that my body has these natural modes of swinging for my arms and legs and it so happens these are the patterns you’d get if you were to pick me up by the shoulders and drop me from a great height, possibly onto a trampoline, possibly onto a sheet of blacktop because you’re annoyed that every dance step I have looks kind of like the warm-up exercises we had to do at the start of gym class in ninth grade, which is where I learned them.

It’s not that I’m incapable of breaking out of this. Thanks to the WiiFit I got to be very good at some step aerobic moves, and with the aid of several pieces of consumer electronics I can pretty well do moves where I step forward and then step back again, a lot, and sometimes throw things for a little loop by stepping to the side and the back again quickly. In some of the advanced modes I even raise a foot without taking a further step and then quickly put my foot back down lest I kick something, such as the Wii. It just takes me about the length of my entire time on the dance floor to realize that if I’m nowhere near the rhythm of everybody on the floor then I should do something about that, such as try.

It’s not clear to me whether this has any effect on the people around. I would like it if sometime there were actually more people on the dance floor when I left it than when I started, but maybe that’s just coincidence. A weird coincidence that turns up every time I try to dance. Heck, maybe it is my fault. Maybe people see me out there, wobbling sideways a little bit, hands kind of waving around my hips as if I were trying not to get caught rolling imaginary cookie dough, and then they realize I’m there in cargo pants and snow boots and a hoodie because I’m a little chilly, and they don’t want to have to witness this suffering. It would explain how often people go up to my dear spouse and say “You’re so brave” or “I admire your patience” or “Is there some foundation we could maybe donate to?” or just hug us and squeeze our hands.

To sum up, I have the dance moves of a Muppet suffering from a knee injury.

What We Have In Common


There’s many things each of us have in common and in these trying times (before 11 pm, although I note that before 8:15 am is an extremely trying time) I thought it worth reviewing some of them. We each believe that we’re in the last group it’s acceptable to ridicule and stereotype in public. We all believe that we’re better-than-average at Skee-Ball. We each think that we must have missed the day in middle school where they explained how to grow up to become a Muppet, which is a pity as we’re pretty sure we would have been a good one. We all think it’s kind of amazing that people talk so little about that time a couple years ago when the continents were depopulated by people using that exotic device on Jupiter to turn into giant telepathic monsters living on the surface of that world, giving whole nations over to the dogs and robots. And we’re all horrified by how many pictures of random groups of people from the 70s include some terrible, terrible thing we used to wear, possibly as late as 1994. That’s about everything.