Things are still a little crazy from my move and I won’t be posting any more blogg entries this week. Check back next week for more writing, comics and art!
Monthly Archives: February 2008
Slate‘s top banner image advertises a new article by Michael Kinsley with the tagline, “No, the Surge Isn’t Working.”
But then in the third paragraph Kinsley contradicts the tagline (emphasis added):
It is now widely considered beyond dispute that Bush has won his gamble. The surge is a terrific success. Choose your metric: attacks on American soldiers, car bombs, civilian deaths, potholes. They’re all down, down, down. Lattes sold by street vendors are up. Performances of Shakespeare by local repertory companies have tripled. Skepticism seems like sour grapes. If you opposed the surge, you have two choices. One is to admit that you were wrong, wrong, wrong. The other is to sound as if you resent all the good news and remain eager for disaster. Too many opponents of the war have chosen option No. 2.
Yes, shame on you skeptics, which includes the editors at Slate who wrote my tagline! But wait! In the very next paragraph, Kinsley contradicts himself, saying, “[…] the surge has not worked yet. The test is simple, and built into the concept of a surge: Has it allowed us to reduce troop levels to below where they were when it started? The answer is no” (emphasis added).
I usually enjoy Kinsley’s writing, but this is an especially lazy article. Opponents of the surge were right for exactly the conclusions Kinsley arrives at here, thousands of lives too late: for various reasons, the surge is unsustainable. Kinsley’s own Slate colleague, Fred Kaplan, has been making this argument for years. Critics like Kaplan were right. It was Kinsley who was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Like most kids between the ages of 9 and 11 I went through a “realistic” phase, meaning I wanted my drawings to look realistic. This was incredibly frustrating because my main artistic influence up to that point was Syd Hoff. Of course, even though my Batman looks somewhat retarded, I now find this drawing incredibly charming. I can even tell which image from the movie I copied.
The One Off show was a lot of fun. Somehow I missed The Pets and the other bands (I’m not sure if they played before or after I got there) but DJ Crush Delight spun a smooth soundtrack for viewing the 30-plus original t-shirt designs on display. This was one of those events where there was almost too much good stuff, making it hard to take it all in. Once the show is over it would be great to see all the designs posted together in one place; if anyone else thinks this is a good idea, send a JPG of your stuff to email@example.com and I’ll post it here.
Of course, I loved the work by my friends: Sandor Berg had two especially clever designs, as did Aaron Winters. My young protégé, Clave, went through several drafts before arriving at a very exciting final design, which hopefully taught him the value of revision (although judging from the snarky comments about me in his blog, I doubt it). I also really liked Rusty Jordan‘s design, which Sol Collective wisely put right in front of the door so it was the first thing one saw upon entering. My favorite design, however, was a lovingly hand-drawn and crosshatched portrait of a young girl above the caption, “Remember me when I’m gone.”
Also adding to the ambience were the amazing murals from the Life, Death and Rebirth show yet to be painted over. This included the incredible walk-through-tree, which has to be seen to be believed, extending from the floor up to the ceiling and halfway across the room.
So, thanks as always to the hard-working Adam Saake for including me in the show, to Aaron Winters for his great advice, to the other artists for creating such delightful designs and to everyone who attended the opening. However, my biggest thanks go to my Mormon friends and family who come out and support me at such events even if they don’t support the ideas and feelings expressed in my art. I love you all.
I give birth to a chud baby: