Guided by voices [1]

vol 102

A topic that is not as dear to my heart as it should be is the art of sexual intercourse. Last week i sampled one of the three podcasts a german newspaper released on the topic. The goal of it being to right a few myths surrounding sex. It was not the first podcast about the topic i listened to but it had the same problem i had with the once before it. The presentation is to sexy.
Of course one could argure that this is the point of such a programm. To educate people the teacher should make the impression of actually being knowledgable. And sex is actually a good metaphor because like humans it has evolved. The act itself fulfills the same basic function of the means to keep the species going. But over time it has also become a leisure activity. We can prevent the conception of a child and thus focus on the fun part of it. I enjoy hearing a smooth, deep voice talking about sex in a playful manner. For educational purposes though i’d prefer a dry approach. Or to “make me a baby” to ride the metaphor into the sunset.
I remember the first time the local school system tried to explain to me where babys come from. A then recent documentary on the topic was procured. It was worth the money, it showed me things i was never able to imagine the process to look like. It was strange to learn that the penis is used for more than expelling waste[2]. What i remember to this day is the filmed ejaculation. I can’t say for sure if they shoved a camera down a guy’s wiener for this. It was the late 80’s and vhs recorders you could shoulder for an hour without pain were the GoPro’s of the time. So in hinsight the scene might have been a set. Anyway, we saw a rosy coloured tunnel. The voice over told us about the location and that we are about to wittness the wonder of creation. And then the whole thing went in the direction of Temple Of Doom. A gush of liquid came around the corner. And that is a good summarization of the whole thing. The insight we got was amazing but we never saw people bone. Took me a while until i realized that you have to combine the no-no parts. With the image described you know how the process looks like in detail but not the activity itself.
So here is my dilemma, sex does not frustrate me but i’m unsure about my performance. People who try to help me but make the impression of being super sure of themselves aren’t helping. Being to passive and professional leaves me wondering. TV and movies aren’t the best teachers. And the amount of porn we have access to these days will make sure that my offspring will be even more bewildered.
Which is a strangely comforting thought.

Thanks for your time!
Stay cosmic

———

[1] good music from an overlooked band that inspired this title Guided by voices – Game of pricks
[2] mean people could say that the second function might be a way to create more waste

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Age appropriate for an appropriate age

vol 101

The latest episode of the Force Ghost Coast To Coast podcast[1] host Brian Salvador had a special guest. His five year old daughter Joined him to talk about Star Wars. They have an adorable conversation[2] but are five years of life enough time for preperation? There were parents who brought their three year old kids to The Force Awakens. Not all kids are alike and parents should be able to judge what is appropriate for their offspring. Yet, some parents took their kids to the toilet when Kylo showed his Dad how deep they drilled into the planet. There even is a fan edit that shows Han’s demise to be a trigger happy Stormtrooper.
Of course i’m looking forward to introducing my kid to Star Wars; given the fact that it shows interest in it. Yet there are parents that leave the impression of forcing their kid to like the same stuff as them or something predetermined. Is that a manifestation of fear of rejection? And shouldn’t we know from our own experience that we did reject most if the things our parents liked? Later we might realize that we were wrong or that there are certain things we can enjoy together.
Aren’t mentioned parents the reason that the regulation rock got loose? Talking about methods of upbringing is a soil field[3]. With some people acting as if you challenged them to a duell for suggesting an alternative. The discussion about a clothing “for boys” being the reason for a girl toddler to turn gay is a thing i experienced. “The kid has no knowledge about gender yet and you’re thinking about it’s sexuality?” is also a bad argument to make if you don’t want the discussion to last long.
My dad recently told me the following:

We were raised to be confident and with 22 you’re still feeling like the world bows to you. And then a kid comes along and becomes a huge challenge that makes you feel like kneeling before the world. But every other parent you meet acts confident, like they have it figured all out. On the second look though you notice that they’re in the same boat. You smell it in the alcohol on the breath of the men, from fleeing the situation by saying that they’ll scheduled for overtime. You see it in the red, tired eyes of the mothers. And when they announce that a sibling is on the way, it sounds like an obituary read out by a comedian.
I think it is a good thing that parents today allow themselves to be human and not pretend to be more than they are.”

I guess my point is to try and keep my kid from watching Robocop at the age of six.
By then some crazy guy will have sold cyberzombies to patrol the streets anyway.


[1] Force Ghost Coast to Coast: Minisode: The Next Generation of Star Wars Fan
[2] two times i felt like Dad demanded to much from his kid, there is to much going on in those movies, it’s amazing she remembered as much
[3] because the ground is made of primed mines with soil in between them

Crackle

vol 97

Today comic enthusiasts celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the medium’s most prolific and creative contributor: Jack Kirby.
Born as Jakob Kurtzberg to a couple of austrian refugees he lived a life that demanded a certain hardening; from the regular fights in his neighborhood, the people who took offense with his jewish heritage to the events he witnessed as a reconnaissance officer in World War II. But all those things it seems have been repurposed into fuel for his creativity. You have to really work on yourself if you probably propose[1] this as a depiction of mankind after you took a trip through the madhouse of war:

The first time i heard about the King of Comics was in the editorial of a german Spider-Man comic; it was his obituary. And to my discredit i admit that i quickly read over the text, stuttered a short “I’m sorry for the loss.” and continued to read the next installment of Maximum Carnage.
Over the coming years i continued stumbling over Jack Kirby’s legacy but it took me a while to finally look up the man’s body of work; which made me realize why he was called “The King” by his peers (after the title publisher Martin Goodman gave himself, and got mocked for behind his back): his work ethic and creativity made him produce a massive amount of pages, he had his hands in the creation of romance comics and helped invent the visual language of modern superhero comics. Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Darkseid as well as the rest of the Fourth World pantheon, Etrigan, Kamandi, the Challengers of the Unknown, OMAC, Machine Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Avengers, the mighty Thor, the Eternals, Uatu the Watcher and Captain America are only a few of the figures that are still in use to this day; all of them played a role in my path through the world of visual storytelling.

But like many of the people who paved the way for modern comics his name isn’t the one on everyone’s lips. “Comics will break your heart.”[2] is a sentence of his that is uttered amongst the enthusiasts and pros alike. I hope it wasn’t the medium but the industry that caused his heartache[3], because i imagine this man sitting before his drafting table drawing and creating page after page, creating his legacy with a twinkle in his eye instead of constant resentment of his profession; because it would make feel the readers enthusiasm for his work like the crack of a whip.

[1] The Kirbymuseum website has a short article about it. [link]
[2] James Romberger was told by Kirby to put his art in galleries because the industry didn’t treat him very well. [link]
[3] One of the many articles on the web telling the troubled story of royalties and acknowledgement of their work. [link]
Further reading: a short story about the relationship between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; Citizen Conn by Michael Chabon

Thank You for Your time!
Stay Cosmic!

vol.87

Just a short disclaimer:
There is a big show i’m working on this and the next week and if you weren’t satisfied with the volumes preceding this one, i guess it won’t get any better because frankly i realized that i planned on writing one on the way to work yesterday.
Sorry.

We finally saw the live-action version of The Jungle Book which was surprisingly good. After a while the brain removes the layer of knowledge that only Mowgli and perhaps a few trees are real while everything else has been generated on a computer. Even if the movie wasn’t as enjoyable we still got the photos from the set that illustrate the long way computer generated tapestry has come.
I think that in the book Mowgli sends a few animals out to trample the village he later lives in because a jealous hunter gets him and his adoptive parents prosecuted for practicing sorcery. With the ending, it would be great to see how the rest of the Jungle Book gets interpreted. Wasn’t Kaa also an ally in one story?
Greatest thing about the movie is the credit scene with the animated dioramas.
And i want a talk show with Balu’s pals repeating each others sentences/words because that was the funniest bit for me.

Haven’t written about Luka Cage yet. Jones and Cage are what really make these Marvel shows shine. Daredevil was great but, but here we got a much more nuanced story that did not suffer a lack of action. I heard that the start was to slow for some people, i felt like they put a cinderblock onto the gas pedal and left it there.
What bothered me was the Rosario Dawson as a romantic interest part and that Cottonmouth was taken out to early because Diamondback was bland/formulaic in comparison.
Anybody else had the feeling that some special effects were timed/filmed a bit odd? If it’s the case, i wonder what was the intention behind it.
I don’t get the claims that the show is racist because it lacks white people and the white cop being a crook. Of course i was upset when this was revealed but i did not see it as a hidden message that all white people are.
And that makes me think about Iron Fist. But the people who worked on it hopefully did not make a show about a white guy being the best asian.

There is a scripted reality show about an animal clinic on german television. And of course there are segments where a patient gets euthanized. I don’t want to go into the rights of people being treated equally when it comes to ending a suffering person’s life, but rather the circumstances of the segment i saw.
While performing a surgery, the vet decides to call the dogs owner because even when he succeeds, the dog will be on his table in a few months again and the ailment won’t be any better than before the surgery. A small window of an almost pain free time could be achieved during recovering. So he calls the owner and she agrees. And during that phone call the veterinarian says “This is a good moment because he’s anesthetized and won’t feel anything.” That is were an alarm wen’t off inside my brain. A few months ago i saw an interview during a documentary about the history of surgery where when asked about the effects of anesthesia on the brain the doc said “We don’t know. All i know is that we numb the nervous system and most people don’t have any recollection or awareness of whatever went on while under anesthesia.” I don’t want to say that all doctors are liars but the vet could have said that it’s most likely that he won’t feel anything this time. Just a little thing that bothered me.
Perhaps because a dentist called me out for needing to shots because i was still in pain when he pulled at a wisdom tooth.

vol.86

## make a man feel like nothing ##

Shoutout to my Dad! He is not only a beautiful individual but a magician who literally pulls people and knowledge out of hats thaat won’t fit another human being.

The cashier of the local supermarket mentioned that we have not seen each other for a long time. I told her i came by once or twice a week but that she wasn’t there and assumed that she was on vacation because the weather was still fine enough to spend some time outdoors. Turns out she was getting a medical check up on the status of her inoperable brain tumor. But she recommended a certain radiation treatment because it only leaves you dizzy for a couple of days. Her tumor hasn’t grown since.
Good news considering where the story started, but i’d rather hear a story about feasting on the solar radiation that manages to reach earth’s surface, specially with such a nice lady.

This week i assume i heard the remains of Alexandre Dumas bang against his coffin’s lid as the Count Of Monte Christo was introduced on the show Once Upon A Time. It’s one of the Wife and my guilt pleasure things. But i have to give them props for their Cinderella episode. They did not go all the way with it but it would have been interesting to see where a show were a Disney princess gets stabbed and dies because of it goes.

A german Rogue One commercial features a girl amongst two boys drawing some Star Wars themed images onto a blackboard and ending with the girl stepping forward to proclaim that she rebels, which made me smile. Yes, it is probably a marketing driven decision, but after the last year of getting certain products that were considered unisex releasing gender specific product lines it is a good thing that one of the biggest cash cows in this galaxy has a female face telling the viewer that she won’t have it anymore.

Saw a short documentary about illegal ivory gathering and how slowly but steadily the areas that the hunters used to kill elephants in are becoming safe zones again. It is sad that this progress is still tied to money[1], but seeing how the animals returned to the space they formerly inhabited is a nice thing to hear and see. A family who built their house on the grounds where a group of elephants used to dwell from time to time stopped putting chlorine in their pool because they would still come and hang out at the estate. In the process the pool became a spot for the group to gather water. The owner got into the ranger program and spends some of his free time on his porch waiting for an elephant to come by and take a sip from the pool. Guy’s face lights up and it seems he tries to suppress blinking to take the whole moment in.

[1] it was said that in those region people either live in nomadic tribal communities, become farmers, ivory hunters or now, rangers. of course we got presented with a former ivory hunter that realized how much pain he caused during his incarceration and joined the rangers, but he also stated that the job of a ranger was not less dangerous it just keeps one out of jail and his conscious clean.

[personal] vol.85

## crank it down to eleven ##

I dig this photo of Hasbro’s new Black Series Vader figure. He looks so proud that he got a new sculpt and is allowed to wear his toga above the armor again.

Luke Cage is…. i won’t write about it now because i still have to watch two episodes and i want to make sure to have seen it all before i state my opinion. I fear that the end might be to convenient, which would make me happy of course but would not fit the tone.

I feel fatigued. But not only is my body ready for recuperation, my love of comics needs it as well.
These days it feels like comics are about the buzz surrounding the topic instead of the actual product. Well, with the big three at least[1]. I browse through the solicitations and the issues and nothing grabs me anymore as it used to. There are good things out there, not only among the major players, but with all the independently funded comics competing for their share i start to feel like and ATM machine that is needed to pre-order around the clock so i can keep the business alive for a day more. My pull-list has been reduced and the printed things i get, that were usually read a weekend later now land on a shelf. I pick them up with excitement and put them back after a few pages because it felt like it took hours to read through the few panels.
Even talking about comics is hard. With all the hype surrounding certain titles, why even bother?And that is stupid because i finished a script for a podcast i planned to do because i can’t find a single german comic centric podcast that works for me.
Could this be it? The next big pause from comics if not the end of my collecting days?
[1] i count image among the major publishers

Starchildren are newborns who died shortly after being born and weigh under 500 gramms (around 1,012 pounds). Those kids did not get an entry into austria’s citizen registry. An attempt to change that, if the parents agree, is currently underway. A very sad reason for a poetic name and i was operating under the assumption that every kid born on austrian soil gets registered no matter the life span. Perhaps i’m inconsiderable, but i feel that’s the least we can do in some weird humanistic/philosophical way.

– –

ending crawl:
heliocentricbs@gmail.com
Instagram
tumblr blog/mind dump
Heliocentric Bullshit-the blog
podcast

– –

Thank You for Your time!
Have a great week!

post credits
got new medication prescribed to deal with my depression/personality disorder/ocd

[personal] vol.84

## set the controls for the heart of the sun ##

strange

i must admit i was lazy this week. The title of this volume is a testament to that. If you’r out of ideas, ask Pink Floyd for theirs. Usually i have the new volume written by wednesday. This week i wasn’t sure what i should write about. The plan was to do a thing about an issue of What If but i could not procure the issue in question digitally and my printed copy was one of the things that came apart over the years.

Don’t worry, it won’t be as Star Wars heavy as it might sound at the beginning
Friday was this years “Force/Rogue Friday” the official start-date for newly branded Star Wars merchandise, focusing on the next cinematic entry, Rogue One. Part of the event is that stores open their doors on midnight and hand out a few freebies[1].
Except for austria.
Last year i planned on taking the day off but decided against it in the end because i feared a co-worker would be buried under work. Later that day we drove to the local Toys R Us and i have to admit it was stocked fairly well. This year i took the morning off and stood in front of the ToysRUs ten minutes before they open.
Except for the Lego sets and a few cardboard K-2SO figures there was no product on the shelves. But for the K-2SO Lego figure i bought, i got a large poster[2].
When asking one of the store clerks about the midnight sale he told me that he would have worked for free and would have handled the whole store singlehandedly because he wanted to buy the stuff as early as possible. But austria is not the target market and working at such hours in the business is costly for the employer.
And here is where the meat of this volume lies: working conditions. Thursday brought an open union meeting with it, at which we were told that after having lost ~25% of our yearly payment in 2010 wasn’t enough. But that is not what i want to write about, rather that the equilibrium between employer and employee is broken. I was raised in a “union household” and i deeply believe in workers rights. The people who have the foresight and stubbornness to build a business should be rewarded accordingly, but workers should have rights too. And currently i feel like unions aren’t the right people to represent the working people. Of course the rules and regulations that are in place today are valuable assets in trying to keep the process “fair” but they also make it harder for everybody to actually do their job. Models and rules that have been agreed upon can’t keep up with modern society anymore. Times have gotten faster, jobs have changed and closing oneself off trying to suppress change with forced ignorance won’t do any good.
But i’m just a hurt blue collar worker who’s to stupid to build something that is his own.

[1] Star Wars themed bricks will be all the rage next year.
[2] the Wife wanted to look for new running shoes so i returned today (saturday) and claimed a few figures. thank you Wife!!

– –

ending crawl:
heliocentricbs@gmail.com
Instagram
tumblr blog/mind dump
Heliocentric Bullshit-the blog
podcast

– –

Thank You for Your time!
Have a great week!

post credits
i’m not sure therapy is working