Monday, 20 April 2009

Pussy Superstar

Tsk, that's annoying. One of my all-time favourite fan-made music videos has apparently disappeared from the internet. If anyone finds a surprisingly well-edited-together music video for Jack Off Jill's "Strawberry Gashes" featuring Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (note: not this one) please send it this way.

In the meantime, I did discover this video that I'd somehow never seen before whilst I was searching.

Sunday, 5 April 2009


I've mentioned before that I am so sick of being called close-minded because I don't believe in ghosts or whatever, especially considering the absolute irony that most people who hold supernatural beliefs unconditionally are practicing a kind of absolute close-mindedness themselves.

But hey, why listen to me when you can listen to this:

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Pro-Obama merchandise is the new anti-Bush merchandise. Anything that can have his face on it is now getting his face on it. Check out this series of "Barack-sploitation" videos (nice title there. It may be an obvious pun, but it also serves as a reminder of how Obama is frequently tied to mainstream concepts of blackness). Still, comic books are really exploiting Obama-mania. This is partly because comic book companies are usually quick to try and exploit popular fads anyway, and secondly because of the fact that it's made just oh so much juicier by the fact that Barack Obama is actually a self-confessed comic book fan. Check out this wikipedia page listing (some of) the comic books that feature Obama.

Supposedly, Obama's favourite comic book characters are Spider-Man and Conan. The Spider-Man connection has already been somewhat exploited to death. If you can (it doesn't work in Britain, the country that I live in), check out this clip from the Colbert Report where Stephen leaves out a copy of the Spider-Man/Barack Obama Marvel comic book, signed by both Colbert and current Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada as "Obama bait". Still, the Conan the barbarian connection has been somewhat less utilised...

...Until now, that is.

Yes, that's Devil's Due Press' solicitation for some Barack comics that include Barack the Barbarian. I could spend hours unpacking all the ideas about black masculinity that the cover image presents (an unavoibale side-effect of combining the popular image of the president with the world's most famous Cimmerian, perhaps?), but I also want to point out that DDP have proved unable to resist the temptation to create a "Red Sarah" (a take on Red Sonja) variant cover that ties into all of the sexist "sexy Sarah Palin" nonsense that has surrounded Palin ever since she first stepped out onto the world stage. *Sigh*.

Does anyone else find her somewhat static and lifeless face in this image absolutely terrifying? That is some seriously not great comic art right there.

Still, on the positive side, it's good to be reminded that a certain other Sarah is still about.

Going back to the subject of Barack Obama and comics though, I just want to remind everyone about this Sinfest comic strip from November last year that posits Obama as the latest chapter in a history of black super-heroes (Black Lightning, Green Lantern and Steel). There's a nice pun on Washington DC/DC comics (no Marvel or other super-heroes are represented) and I like the fact that here, Obama isn't just standing in for some black superhero (honestly, non-comics fans, had you even heard of Black Lightning or Steel before just now?) but has in fact stepped into the role of the new Superman, a clear metaphor for a black man finally gaining the highest political office in the U.S. A black man is now finally a leader of heroes, not an also-ran.

I'm not a huge fan of the common Barack-Obama-as-a-superhero conceit, though. Like a lot of his fans, I'm worried about the man becoming lionised to some ridiculous extreme, which only feeds right wing concerns about Obama as some kind of vacuous celebrity/false prophet (Sinfest also dealt with the image of Barack as a rockstar ("Barackstar") here, amongst other instances). It's great to have a charismatic, popular individual in such an important political role, but still, a lot of the popular imagery surrounding Obama has that same aura of incredulity that those "Bush/Hitler: same old shit" t-shirts had. Cashing in on Obamania may just have the unfortunate side-effect of turning Obama merchandise into the twenty-first century equivalent of the Che Guevara t-shirt; which'd be a real shame.

Now, just so I don't end on too dour a note, let's remind ourselves of what would be on t-shirts everywhere had a certain other individual won the U.S. Preseidential election:

Grade-A bullshit

I simply can't do enough to point people in the direction of this Sociological Images post. Ever wonder what astonishingly rigid gendering in children's books looks like? Wonder no more! This one features gems such as "Boys build houses/Girls keep houses," "Boys fix things/Girls need things fixed" (WTF? Being useless and needy is considered a role now?) Don't let me spoil it all for you though, hop over and discover it yourself.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

(Dresden) Doll parts

Well, I'm not quite certain what's going on with Amanda Palmer right now. It appears she is still with Roadrunner Records, but is actively trying to get dropped by them. Hey, she's even written them a song to that effect:

One thing that this song does address is the fact that the Dresden Dolls/Amanda Palmer really don't fit with Roadrunner Records' overall style, which is something I've noted since I first started listening to them/her. After all, does she sound like she belongs on the same label as Slipknot, Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed?

Oh, and just for fun, here's the Dresden Dolls being interviewed by Simon Amstell at the 2005 O2 Wireless festival, where I actually saw them performing the song that they sing here.


The designers of this particular IMVU ad were obviously going for a kind of softcore "in the throes of both agony and ecstasy" pose from the female figure here. It's a shame that instead, she looks as dead-eyed and lifeless as a fresh corpse, giving the whole thing an unsettling necrophiliac aura. Not to mention ties with the grotesque misogyny of the "ooh, aren't recently-murdered women hot" tradition.

Still, I can't fault the advertisers for their choice of location for this vamp-themed ad, even as I'm damning the execution (no pun intended).

Update: Just so we're clear, I'm not criticising erotic vampire imagery as a whole. I just think that this is an astonishingly poor example of it.