Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #657 - Radio Silence, Musical Monday 1704.24

"You're staring at the sun 
You're standing in the sea 
Your mouth is open wide 
You're trying hard to breath 
The water's at your neck 
There's lightning in your teeth 
Your body's over me"

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #657 - Radio Silence, Musical Monday 1704.24

Hi Mom,

Still studying for Calculus...

Exam tomorrow.

Here's a curious mix.

Less text than usual today.

These songs do a great job capturing my complex moods right now.

But they have a great deal to say about the state of our nation, too.

This James Blake guy hit my radar in putting these mixes together with the power of the Google algorithm.

FROM WIKI: James Blake Litherland (born 26 September 1988),[1] known as James Blake, is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer from London. He first received recognition in 2010 for a trio of dubstep-influenced EPs, and the following year his self-titled debut album was released in the United Kingdom[2] to critical praise. His second studio album Overgrown was released in 2013 and was awarded the Mercury Prize.[3] His third studio album The Colour in Anything was released in 2016.[4] Blake has also released remix work under the moniker Harmonimix.

Blake received his second Grammy Award nomination at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Best New Artist.[5] At the 2014 Brit Awards, Blake was nominated for the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.[6]

I build these mixes often with Google recommendations.

Coincidentally, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song "Maps" came up, and I added it before I played it and discovered it's this song that Liesel has been playing over and over for like a year!

A baker's dozen of songs today!

Here's the playlist (and link). The track list is not formatted in that sometimes the artist is first and sometimes the track title is first (those are in quotes). I left in the video creators, though, when they differ from the musical artist.


1. "Phenomena and Occurrences" - by Ghost Box - 2:03
2. James Blake - "Radio Silence" - by jamesblakeproduction - 4:04
3. Radiohead - "Daydreaming" - by Radiohead - 6:27
4. "Peel Away the Ivy" by The Pattern Forms by Ghost Box - 1:46
5. "Let's Eat Grandma" - Deep Six Textbook (Official Video) - by Transgressive 5:38
6. THE OSCILLATION "Future Echo" by Julian Hand - 6:05
7. Moby - "If Things Were Perfect" by oscarplanes - 4:18
8. Moby - "One of these mornings" by voula skr - 3:15
9. Sylvan Esso - "Radio" [OFFICIAL] - 3:33
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Maps" - by YeahYeahYeahs - 4:23
11. "Staring at the Sun" by TV on the Radio - 3:33
12. "K-Hole" - CocoRosie - by nafasskataa - 4:15
13. The Blow - "True Affection" (Depth Solitude Remix) - by overzero - 3:24

Here's another song that Liesel has been playing over and over until I love it as much as she does.

"k-hole" by coco rosie

Tiny spirit in a k-hole
Bloated like soggy cereal
God will come and wash away
Our tattoos and all the cocaine
And all of the aborted babies
Will turn into little bambies

Wounded river push along
Searching for that desert song
And mozart's requiem will play
On tiny spearkers made of clay
Tell my mother that i love her
Martin luther you're an angel

Charming monkey saunter swagger
Drunken donkey limbs disjointed
Your chest is a petting zoo
Mexican pony fucked up shoes
I dreamt one thousand basketball courts
Nothing holier than sports

Dragonfly kiss your tail
Precious robot built so frail
Universe of milk and ember
Your hot kiss in mid december
What's god name i can't remember
Through the crack eye lovely weather

Ghost Box 

Uploaded on May 12, 2008
Footage to accompany the first edition of The Folklore and Mathematics Periodical. A Ghost Box film by Julian House.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 659 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.24 - 7:10 (my time)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #656 - History of Mathematics - Reading 1704.23

Reading occupying my mind on 1704.23
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #656 - History of Mathematics - Reading 1704.23

Hi Mom,

Study break.

I am have been inspired by all this Calculus work to drag out Bover's History of Mathematics and some other stuff. And comic books (always).

Brief. Just photos today.



Back to the study break.

the new ceiling fan in the master bedroom

Satchel and Ellory - the day Ellory came home from being spayed

photos of the book shelf before shopping for used books - NIVEN BOOKS

Asimov, Clarke, and Laumer

Laumer and Heinlein

Laumer, Heinlein, Van Vogt, Vance, Dickson

I want to re-watch this movie

Typewriter manifesto at Kazoo Books Annex


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 658 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.23 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #655 - The Handmaid's Tale Premieres April 26 on HULU

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #655 - The Handmaid's Tale Premieres April 26 on HULU

Hi Mom,

As I have been saying, material will present itself. I had another post planned for today, and then I saw this.

I am still in study mode without much time to devote to original content.

But since this is one of my all time favorite books, top ten, one of the few books that I could not put down when I started reading it, then I want to say a few words in the sharing of the trailer for the new HULU show to premiere next week.

For reals. When I started reading this book, I could not put it down, LITERALLY. I kept reading until I finished. I can count on one hand the number of books I had this experience with. They are The Handmaid's Tale, Wuthering Heights, The Hobbit, book one of The Fellowship of the Ring, and Snow Crash.

Though The Handmaid's Tale "can't put it down" experience may have been the most intense.

I was under-whelmed by the movie from the 1980s, so I am EXCITED for this series.

FROM THE WIKI: The first three episodes of the series will premiere on April 26, 2017, with subsequent episodes added on a weekly basis. 

I am sure I will review this series, so stay tuned.

I decided to re-read the book via AUDIO as I just finished a book. Claire Danes narrated a new version.

Fun fact: I taught this book for a few years at WMU.

Margaret Atwood is my favorite author mainly BECAUSE of this book. She would be at my Dinner Party (see category).

I also wrote about this TV series already, here:


and about Atwood:



TEXT FROM HULU: The Handmaid's Tale: Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values'. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 657 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.22 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #654 - Dreams part nine

Michael Dunn on Instagram_ “Beyond Sight”
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #654 - Dreams part nine

Hi Mom, Seems time to unleash this one.

It was not my plan to post this entry today, but after two nights of vivid dreams, which I recorded here, I decided to post since the first dream takes us all the way back to January.

Still in study mode, so that's it for today.


I dreamed I was dead, but people could still hear and see me, so it was okay to be dead. I decided to carry on with life even though I was dead because if people could see and hear me, then what was the difference? It would be more or less the same as life, though there was some question as to whether my body had physical density and substance. But then as the dream progressed, I disappeared. People could no longer see me, but they could still hear me. I decided that this was all right as I could still express myself. And then even later, I was talking and no one was acknowledging me. I started to shout "Hello? Hello?" and nothing happened. Upon having the discovery I could no longer be seen or heard, this is when I woke up.


I was dreaming about Ultimate but then you showed up, Mom. It was the beginning of the ultimate season and we were getting organized for first Spring games. It was raining lightly. I had to go get my ultimate things, which happened in a two part way that happens sometimes in dreams. In one part, my friend Fris is driving me to get the things and we have to check the mail, as some things will be in the mail, and other things are stored at S&J Sports (this is a place made up in the dream). But in another part, I go home to get the things, and you, Mom, need help getting ready. I am helping you get ready in the bathroom with creams and chap stick and Flonase and all those things we used to do, and I am wheeling you out, and you indicate that you need this pink, zip-up fleece hanging on the side of the mirror. I say "Can't get anything by you." And you say "Nope" and grin broadly. But this is also the time in which you have been losing your ability to speak or to even move your right arm, which I know also. You did not smile much once the palsy started to take you, but you did in this dream, Mom. I am looking out the window and it's raining hard, and so I am thinking I maybe should stay and not play Ultimate as I cannot afford to catch a cold. But then I am back at Ultimate walking around with the captain counting how many players we have because at first he thinks he needs me but then when we count 16, he realizes he doesn't. But then, it's stopped raining, and I think I want to play, and so the whole thing with Fris and looking for the Ultimate things takes place. I remember him saying "we don't have to take the time to get your mail," and I said, "If we want me to play Ultimate, we do."


This dream featured you before the meningitis, Mom, and oddly you were running away to France. I couldn't find you, but I did find a shopping bag in the trash, and yet I was in the cool Star Trek conference room in Sangren Hall where I was yesterday, which wasn't even built any time before you got the meningitis. I am not sure how I knew you were running away to France, but I did, and I couldn't find you, but I found the shopping bag, and it was all very mysterious. I knew I had to find you, and so I started searching, but then the dream shifted again and went into material that is the kind of thing I will never share here in this blog.


Maybe I have more vivid dreams when I mix a sleeping pill with Motrin as I did last night because I had a headache plus neck and shoulder pain. In this dream, I was taking care of you, Mom, during the early days of your post-meningitis times but when you had recovered enough to be reasonably well. You were talking a "blue streak," chatting about many things and full of spunk and good energy, the best Marjorie that you were during those 15 years after the meningitis. I was dressing you, getting you in your wheel chair, and ready for breakfast and the rest of your day when we got a visit from the president, who in this dream was Barrack Obama. Though as the dream progressed, it was revealed that he was no longer the president. He asked me how I felt about that change, and I told him that this Trump person was no president of mine, that I did not consent to his presidency or recognize his authority as I view him as a dangerous lunatic and an idiot. I told Obama that I was somewhat re-assured by the post-election interview he did with Rolling Stone, which I have been reading, but not enough re-assured to not be terrified that Trump was going to do something horrible, like start a nuclear war. Obama agreed with me, and told me to hang in there. He was very interested in you, Mom, and paid you a lot of attention. You beamed admiration at him, as you liked him very much, at least I think you did. Meanwhile, I had a great talk with Michelle Obama about the same stuff and about her recent vacation with her husband, Barrack. And then I woke up.


This one was weird and had multiple parts. The first part involved some big meeting in the mall food court early in the morning. People were assembling to go to Mackinac Island on a big bus trip in April, but there was a huge snow and ice storm raging. I worried about the bus getting across the bridge safely and then wondered if the straits were frozen. My friend Mark Brager was planning on going and counting on me sitting next to him on the bus and being his pal. I was wondering if I was going to go and feeling undecided. I scanned for Mark in the crowd, but I didn't see him. Suddenly, I had to poop, so I look around for a bathroom. I saw signs directing me out of the food court and down a long hallway (like they have in malls). As I am leaving, I hear my name called several times (as Christopher) but I ignore it. As I pass someone, he says "aren't you Christopher?" I say that I am not.

So then there's scatological stuff in the bathroom, so I won't go into detail. When I return to check in with some big burly guy in school polo shirt, he is an outrageous asshole to me. Before I even say anything, he's giving me shit and being a cock. I explain that I cannot go on the trip. He's even more abusive and vitriolic after I start to explain. Now, I see Mark come out of the crowd with his duffel and I try to explain, but he's also very upset. "This is our first chance to see each other in years and now we may never see each other again." I promise to call him later, but I am not sure if I will.

The dream shifts or maybe another dream starts. I do not recall this one as well. It involves a bunch of my friends but I cannot remember which friends. We have to infiltrate some factory, pretending that we work there. We end up stealing these two huge black sedans from the motor pool. This is important as we have to use the sedans when we go back to get deeper into the factory complex, pretending to be workers. Meanwhile, I need dental work, so we're all at the dentist. When it comes time to pay, I want to pay cash so there's no record of my being there because the factory people are looking for us and for their sedans. Suddenly, my Dad is there. I ask him if he has cash -- he always does -- and so I borrow the money. Later, we're back at the hotel where we're hiding out, and I am worried about where we parked the sedans, and if they are sufficiently hidden.

The dream shifts again, and I am at some winter lodge, a great room with a vaulted ceiling and hewn wooden beams, a huge stone fire place and a roaring fire. There are large chairs and sofas covered in a hunter's plaid fabric, which reminds me of the old lounge in Trowbridge at Kalamazoo College. There are authors and celebrities there. I get the chance to meet Eric Braeden, who plays Victor Newman on the Young and the Restless. I am reading his book right now, and I am praising it because it's actually very good. It's even better as an audio book because Braeden narrates it. George RR Martin is there, and I am making a comparison between Martin's Songs of Fire and Ice series (known to the world by the name of the first book and TV show as Game of Thrones) and soap operas. It's told like episodic fiction much in the same way as soap operas. I am also praising Braeden for his captivating and quite fascinating memoir, encouraging others to read it, like Martin, who tells me he already has because he's a huge fan of Y&R, which is why Braeden is at his house and his party. Then I wake up.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 656 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.21 - 7:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #653 - THOR: RAGNAROK (and some other cool trailers)

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #653 - THOR: RAGNAROK (and some other cool trailers)

Hi Mom,


It's really so difficult to keep up on all the content in just the comic book genre let alone the greater SF, fantasy, action, comic book genre.

I finally man aged to see Captain America: Civil War over spring break. I still have not seen Ant Man, and I have not seen the all recent X-Men films, or the last Wolverine thing that hit the screen last month.

Not enough time.

Speaking of time, this one is short and features some re-posting as I am deep in studying for finals mode.

I am re-posting some content from one of my favorite bloggers -- Charles Skaggs of DAMN GOOD COFFEE AND HOT -- for some summary action of the main trailer here for Thor: Ragnarok.

So, beyond that "title track," I added a bunch more trailers of upcoming films this year that I am excited about with an emphasis on comic book films, though I added a few other gems, like the upcoming this next month (May) King Arthur, The Mummy, War for the Planet of the Apes, and most especially Blade Runner 2049, which may be the film I am most looking forward to of the lot.

The big question with the trailer for the Justice League is whether Superman will appear in the film. I like what I see, though I feel it's weak without Green Lantern and Superman. I am sure fans are up in arms about the depiction of Aquaman so different than the traditional depiction. As a HUGE Aquaman fan, I like the re-imagining. The Justice League is still very white, so with some people of color -- Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg -- it is feeling a bit more balanced. But then remember that most of the heroes in the league were creation of the 1930s and 1940s even though the league itself did not debut until the 1960s.

I like the Wonder Woman trailer a lot.

Ditto Spider-Man, though I think it was wrong to merge the new Miles Morales continuity with the old Peter Parker tropes.

Come on, Marvel. Would it have hurt to cast a kid who actually looks like Miles Morales. Hey, just call him Miles Morales.

I found out about Sofia Boutella when writing about last year's Star Trek movie. I like her as the lead in The Mummy.

And it may go without saying that I am a huge Planet of the Apes franchise fan. But if not, see this


That's all for now, because I am studying for Calculus...

Oh yeah, here's Thor. He's getting a bit of the Guardians of the Galaxy treatment, but it's good. It's right.


First THOR: RAGNAROK Trailer Teases Hela and the Hulk

Guardians of the Yggdrasil, anyone?

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer to Thor: Ragnarokthe third film in the Thor series directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth as everyone's favorite God of Thunder.

The one minute, fifty second trailer opens with Thor lowered into a deep, dark cavern while imprisoned in chains.  "Now, I know what you're thinking," he says in a voiceover.  "How did this happen?  Well, it's a long story..."

As the sounds of the Led Zeppelin classic "Immigrant Song" begin to play, we see Hela, the ruler of Hel and Niflheim (played by Cate Blanchett), catch Thor's hammer Mjolnir in the palm of her hand and shatter it.

"Asgard is dead," she declares to a legion of Asgardian warriors just before we see fleeting images of Thor being caputred in a net by aliens, and Thor's fellow Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) charging into battle with Hela while riding her winged horse Aragorn.

Valkyrie brings Thor to see the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), ruler of the planet Sakaar. "What have you brought today?  Tell me," he asks.

"A contender," replies Valkyrie.

More fleeting images follow, including Heimdall (Idris Elba) smashing a warrior's face with a new sword, Skurge the Executioner (Karl Urban) using some form of assault rifle, and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) twirling a pair of blades.

"It's main event time," announces the Grandmaster as Thor enters a large gladiatorial arena, now sporting a distinctly shorter hairstyle.  "And now," continues the Grandmaster, "I give you...your incredible --"

All at once, the Hulk smashes through the opposing door, wearing the armor from the "Planet Hulk" comics storyline.

Initially stunned, Thor quickly smiles and cheers at his opponent, shocking the entire arena into silence.  "We know each other!" Thor tells the Grandmaster.  He's a friend from work!"

The Hulk, possibly remembering his rivalry with Thor from the first Avengers movie, charges after Thor and the two leap high into the air at one another.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 655 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.20 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #652 - The Plight of the Bitter Nerd

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #652 - The Plight of the Bitter Nerd

Hi Mom,

So, as I wrote yesterday, I am in the last days of the term in which I am studying hard for my Calculus final, which is SIX DAYS FROM TODAY.

So, I am in a basic re-post, re-share, and minimal original content mode.

So, I bought this Kindle book, sort of by accident:

Understanding #Gamergate: Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and the Social Justice Warriors 
by Scott Cameron
Link: http://a.co/hkxOzTw

I stumbled upon it quite by accident, and I believed it might be a fair account of Gamergate, which I wrote about before and considered writing about some more.

It's not a fair account. It's a heavily biased treatise full of logical fallacies, mostly red herrings, false assumptions, and Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies dressed about as counter arguments to Post hoc ergo propter hoc (faulty cause and effect).

Reading it makes me angry. Mostly I am angry in how this Scott Cameron person COMPLETELY misses the point of the inherent sexism and misogyny in society that has then come out vitriolically and violently in what has become known as Gamergate.

I feel an original post of a review of this "book" coming soon, but I don't have time to even think it through properly let alone to write it.

Stay tuned.

For place holding, I already wrote a little about Gamergate, here:

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #277 - Sexists, Humans, and Anita Sarkeesian

Instead of my review of that awful Kindle book, here's an article from before you passed away, Mom, that I only discovered late last year.

From here:

The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism

MIT professor Scott Aaronson wrote a post about how feminism makes him feel like a monster. Here's what he meant


I feel your pain, bitter, lonely, nerdy guys. I really do.
It sounds corny to say it like that, but I don’t know how to say it and be believed. I know that because, having experienced this emotion from the inside for most of my life, I sure as hell resisted believing it when I heard people saying it.
There’s no one more resistant to being empathized with or more prone to call attempts to do so “patronizing” than the bitter lonely guy, especially when women try to do it but even when other nerdy guys try to reach out. People like Captain Awkward and Dr. Nerdlove and the founders of the Good Men Project spend huge chunks of their lives trying to help nerdy guys, but still get regularly blasted with extreme vitriol as “feminist SJWs” by said nerdy guys.
I’ve tried to write sympathetically about this stuff in the past: the guilt, the shame, the constant feelings of inadequacy. Indeed, part of the reason I am so determined to write and speak up and be an activist is a shamefaced admission of how lucky I’ve been to get away from where I was a few short years ago, how amazing a turning point 2014 was for me while being a terrible year for everyone else.
The viral meme that inaugurated 2015 as the New Year of the Bitter Male Nerd is MIT professor Scott Aaronson leaving an emotionally vulnerable comment on his blog during a heated argument about misogyny and sexual harassment in the STEM community.
He talks about how in the “battle of the sexes,” awkward shy guys damn sure don’t feel “privileged.” How he, in particular, was plagued with guilt and fear over approaching women, constantly self-castigating over the possibility that he was a sexual harasser or a rapist, to the point where he asked a therapist about the possibility of chemical castration. He talks of reading Andrea Dworkin and other radical feminists who make him feel, as a man, like a monster.
And he concludes as a result of this that feminism is a destructive force for men like him, that the bias of the world is tilted in favor of women and women’s issues because everyone is talking about how to help victims of harassment and sexual assault and no one is talking about how to help him.
And it sucks. I’m not trying to deny that it sucks. Although I was never as bad off as Scott Aaronson I’ve felt a lot of those feelings and, more importantly, I’ve known my share of guys who were that bad off. It seems in every group of nerdy guys I’ve known there’s one guy who’s trapped in a feedback loop of anxiety and self-loathing when it comes to women that goes around and around in circles.
Feminists on the Internet have tried to respond to Aaronson’s piece, some sympathetically, some less so.
I don’t want to rehash all the points Amanda Marcotte and Laurie Penny made. Nor do I have some magic way of squaring the circle and making everything okay for guys like Scott — for both him and me, high school was a long time ago, and the only thing that really heals these wounds isn’t any stirring speech or specific program of self-improvement but just time.
But I will say something that, as a guy who’s Been There, seems obvious to me and necessary to say.
None of the pain Scott talks about came from things that happened to him. They came from things that happened inside his head. He speaks in generalities about “sexual assault prevention workshops,” or of feeling targeted by feminist literature — himself saying that he was perversely drawn to the most radical and aggressive rhetoric he could find, eschewing more moderate writers for the firebreathing of Dworkin and MacKinnon.
He doesn’t talk about anyone targeting or harassing him personally — indeed, how could he be targeted by books written by second-wave feminists when he was a toddler? — but of feeling targeted, of having an accusatory voice inside his mind tormenting him with a pervasive sense of inadequacy, uncleanness, wrongness. It doesn’t seem like anyone in his life was particularly giving him a hard time, but that he was giving himself a hard time and picking up on any critical or negative messages directed at men in general as a way to amplify his negative thoughts.
As someone who’s no stranger to those conditions we call depression and anxiety, I can relate to Scott. As someone whose circle of friends is also no stranger to those conditions, and as someone who’s read David Foster Wallace’s seminal take on the topic, I also can’t blame anyone for being frustrated with Scott.
Depression, at its core, doesn’t really make sense, but it’s really great at hijacking the rest of your brain to make itself make sense, and when the depressed person in question is highly intelligent, you end up with an immaculately logical tower of reasoning for why their depression is wholly rational and inevitable.
That’s how I feel when I look at Scott’s impassioned argument that the dating scene is set up to grind “shy awkward nerds” into the dirt while letting jockish “Neanderthals” have all the women they want. I could point out plenty of evidence, statistical and anecdotal, that this is not in fact the case, as commenters in that thread in fact do — but what would be the point? You can’t argue with emotions that deeply ingrained.
What’s striking to me is that this comes up because Scott very passionately wants to debate that nerds don’t have “male privilege” and that nerdy guys are the victims, not perpetrators, of sexism. He is arguing this to a commenter posting under the name “Amy,” who argues that shy, nerdy guys are in fact plenty dangerous on the grounds that she has been raped by a shy, nerdy boyfriend, and that in her life experience around shy, nerdy guys she’s seen plenty of shy, nerdy guys commit harassment and assault and use their shy nerdiness as a shield against culpability for it.
To be blunt, Scott’s story is about Scott himself spending a lot of time by himself hating himself. When he eventually stops hating himself and, as an older, more mature nerd, asks women out, no women mace him, slap him or ritually humiliate him — instead he ends up with a girlfriend who ends up becoming a wife. So far, so typical.
Amy’s story is about being harassed and groped by men in the tech world and, eventually, being raped by a shy, nerdy guy she thought she trusted. So far, so also typical.
What’s the biggest difference between Scott’s and Amy’s stories? Scott’s story is about things that happened inside his brain. Amy’s story is about actual things that were done to her by other people against her will, without her control.
And Scott, and his commenters, are treating the two as worthy of equivalent degrees of scrutiny.
This isn’t a new or unique instance of this kind of blind spot going on. We all know about the Gamergate firestorm where a bunch of anonymous guys on the Internet felt harassed and insulted by an article making general criticisms about “gamer culture” as a whole and deciding to react by harassing specific, individual women, including calling a SWAT team to someone’s house, and treating it as though these two things are equivalent.
It’s similar to an earlier instance when “nerd persecution” was cried, when Rebecca Watson talked publicly about being made to feel uncomfortable in an elevator at a conference for atheist thinkers by a guy hitting on her at 4:00 a.m.
Watson didn’t name the guy, didn’t share the guy’s social media handle, didn’t show a photo of the guy. The guy remains anonymous to this day. She wasn’t even particularly mean to him — her “Guys, don’t do that” is exactly the kind of blunt, well-intentioned advice guys like Scott say they want.
But people acted like Watson, by speaking up about something a guy did to make her feel uncomfortable, had viciously attacked the guy — and, by extension, viciously attacked all shy, awkward guys — and therefore felt justified in viciously attacking her in return.
This turns out to be a pattern. For most of us, sex is a big part of our lives, and our relationship to gender therefore a weighted and fraught thing. We all have hang-ups and neuroses, and they’re much more likely to manifest in the way we see sexual attraction and relationships than in the way we do our taxes. No one actually said men have it easy.
But men are the ones who by and large get to deal with this as an internal matter. Women are the ones who have to deal with internal hang-ups and, as Laurie Penny points out in her piece, external threats from other people. Guys deal with Women in the abstract, as a category; women deal with specific men who physically threaten them.
Guys claim to be harassed more often online than women do, but when guys are “harassed” it means being exposed to a generalized atmosphere of nasty comments and rude behavior. By contrast, women are the ones who get singled out, stalked, who become unwilling celebrities with a horde of people dedicated to “taking her down.”
This is what Laurie Penny means — or one of the things she means — when she says that the harm the “patriarchy” causes women is “structural.” Not that all women have it worse than all men. Not that anyone gets away without getting at least a little screwed up by the arbitrary, unreasonable demands our culture makes of us. But that it’s women who disproportionately bear the burden of actual harm, of being directly victimized by other people.
I don’t know what the best way is to help guys like Scott Aaronson who wrestle with internal demons. Internal demons are slippery things. I do know that what could help women like Amy is to find the guys who are doing bad things to her and stop those guys from doing that. That’s why feminism is more focused on women’s issues than men’s, because women’s issues are the things happening out in the world where we can do something about them.
Similarly, no one gets away without having hang-ups and neuroses about race, but racism — the systematic denial of access to financial and social capital, the being kept out of jobs, the being harassed and shot by law enforcement — is something that happens to black people in this country and not to whites.
The questions of how to deal with the roles we’ve been handed down by our parents and our culture and how we parse how much of it is our own personality problems and our own psychology versus our cultural inheritance — that’s a problem all of us have and maybe will continue to have for the rest of human history.
But the problem of people being assaulted, harassed, raped, killed? That’s an external, physical problem. That’s something we can do something about.
I don’t know how “women,” as a group, can help men with the problems he describes. I can testify from my own experience that getting laid does not, in and of itself, magically make anything better and that if Scott believes (as he says) that living in an era when he would’ve had an arranged marriage at a young age would’ve made his problems vanish, he’s probably wrong.
But meanwhile, women are getting stalked and raped and killed. That’s something that men are doing and that men can stop other men from doing.
And, with apologies to my fellow emotionally tortured guys, that really ought to be our priority.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 654 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.19 - 10:10 (my time)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #651 - My Oldest - A collection of comic books - part two

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #651 - My Oldest - A collection of comic books - part two

Hi Mom,

I am deeply immersed in multiple difficult things right now, so this blog my fly free or original content for a while. I have a couple of original posts in the works, but I want a run of easy posts while I study for my Calculus final, do the normal work I do each week, and a series of other things, like yard work, buying a new ceiling fan. KUDL registration, and of course, quality time with my wife.

So, I return to this item, as I started collecting these entries gleaned so far just from the T-shirts blog, and share part two of a series of writings featuring the oldest comic books I own, my first comics from childhood.

Here's part one -


Part Three is already in the works.

I am using the cool Doctor Strange decorations, the "Vishanti Bar," to separate the entries.

First up is my oldest X-Men comic and a bit of a rant on how Jack Kirby, the greatest of all time, was pretty screwed out of his just rewards for all the multi-billion dollars creations he's mainly responsible for. Even Spider-Man. Most people don't know this, but Kirby created Spider-Man, too.

Next, the Silver Surfer, and I added the actual first two solo issues (as my first issue with the Surfer was a Fantastic Four comic). Following the surfer, there's a short entry featuring my earliest Spider-Man comic, and my discovery when writing about it that John Romita Sr. cut his teeth on romance comics, which is something I did not know.

The last two parts showcase Captain America, and my oldest issue, which was Tales of Suspense #96 from 1967, and then Doctor Strange and a short cover gallery as I did not actually feature the oldest Doctor Strange comic I owned, which was the first of him in the mask.


I could wax on about what these heroes mean to me, beyond what I have already written. Another time, perhaps. I am planning to re-post the full Doctor Strange T-shirt post as I think it's one of my best, anyway, but I plan to make edits and additions.

That's all for now, Mom. Off to study.

FROM: http://365-tshirts.blogspot.com/2013/06/t-shirt-83-x-men-logo.html

THE ORIGINAL UNCANNY X-MEN: KIRBY TO NEAL ADAMS: I read many of the early X-Men comics in reprint in the years following the run by Neal Adams and Roy Thomas. I was also a huge fan of Neal Adams' work on Deadman, Green Lantern and Green ArrowThe Avengers and Batman. In my entry for T-shirt #43: Deadman, I refined my list of favorite artists. As I have written many times, part of this blog's function is to catalogue with lists the popular culture elements that had the greatest impact on me as a child, a teenager, and an adult.

In fairness to these artists, I surely need to group them by era. I had dropped Alex Ross from my initial list for this reason to make room for Neal Adams. Probably, I should make a separate list for the 1970s or even the 1980s that would feature George Perez and John Byrne.

If I listed the original 1960s artists with greatest impact on me in a top five, they would be:
This is a difficult occupation because I am leaving out some artists that I dearly love like Steve Ditko and Nick Cardy. But lists are exclusive by nature. Go ahead. Try to make a top five and not leave out someone beloved or important.

The cover featured here for Uncanny X-men #59 (though the word "Uncanny" does not appear on the cover) may be my first X-Men issue. It was published in August of 1969, right around the time my sister was born and might have been part of the week of gifts and special fun to which I was treated so that I would not feel neglected once my baby sister arrived and received the more majority of my mother's time and attention.

KIRBY SCREWED: I just read the first issue of a new magazine called Comic Book Creator. The issue can be read for free online. There is also a great blog article on Comic Book Justice: Taking Credit (Part One) about Jack Kirby. Though not directly related, but in keeping with my trend for recommending books, another book that I frequently recommend to my wife along with Pattern Recognition as "one of the best books on the shelves of this house" is Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which explores the ways in which comic book creators of yesteryear were not fairly compensated for all their creations. There may be no comic book creator as prolific and as poorly compensated as Jack "The King" Kirby.

Just for some quick perspective on this issue: Kirby created Captain America, the Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer, and The X-Men among many, many more. The total movie revenue (just movies, not the merchandising or other related revenues)  earned so far from just those creations listed is SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS ($7,310,655, 909). This figure does not include revenue from Iron Man 3 or any movie thereafter.

Jack Kirby died in 1994. The Marvel/Disney empire is reaping astronomical profits based on Kirby's creations. Kirby's family has received exactly zero compensation in profit sharing from the movies featuring these creations.

THE NEW X-MEN: WEIN & CLAREMONT & COCKRUM & BYRNE & JIM LEE & OTHERS: I really fully became an X-Men fan, like so many others, with the introduction of the new X-Men in the Giant-Size X-Men comic in 1975 by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum and the issues that followed in Uncanny written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Dave Cockrum and eventually John Byrne. I also loved the Jim Lee (as I love Jim Lee the most of all the "Image" founder artists/creators) issues circa 1991. I have many other X-Men shirts, so this is a subject I can return to later, especially since I want to refine my list of artists by era. Still, forced to make a top five of all-time favorites both Jack Kirby and George Perez would make that list.

As for logos, I just like thinking about them. I like to get other people thinking about logos. I am interested in branding and logo identification as a viral, info-pathogen spreading through our culture and our Collective Unconscious.

Still, I stand by the first statement: Logos are cool.

- chris tower - 1306.12 - 9:11

PS: As a journal of my life, I would like to note here for the record that my mother is on her way to the ER with chest pains. Prayers, please. - cbt (This was the T-shirt entry on 1306.12.)

From - http://365-tshirts.blogspot.com/2013/07/t-shirt-104-silver-surfer-daredevil.html

I almost bought the one with the Falcon and the Vision, but I was not too crazy about these two heroes being paired with Magneto.

Why the Silver Surfer with Daredevil and the Black Panther? I have no idea.

Also, I cannot identify the artist, but I do like the art. It may be Oliver Coipel.

I invite speculation.

Here, in the photo above,  I am posing with my SILVER SURFER OMNIBUS that was a birthday gift years ago from my dear friend Abigail  "Crabby" Nappier, who just got engaged to another good friend and a super person, William "BJ" Cherup.

DAREDEVIL & BLACK PANTHER: I plan to feature both of these heroes later in the blog (not today, in the future), so I am going to set them aside as subjects for this entry. Plus, the Silver Surfer is the front image of the shirt. He gets the nod.

FLYING: One of the best things about Silver Surfer is his flying "surf" board. This is such a cool feature of the Silver Surfer that I made a new category called "flying" to track all the heroes with flying as a primary ability or TV shows/movies that in some way feature flying prominently. Flying is very important. It's fantasy related. You do know what the Freudians say about flying dreams, right?

Surfing through the air is another level of cool to the flying fantasy thing. Plus, the surf board makes a great weapon.

As you can see in one of the images, I have a little Silver Surfer toy. I also have a much larger Silver Surfer toy, but it's packed in a box somewhere. If I find it, I may update this blog. Be warned!

NEW T-SHIRTS:  I also started a category to track new shirts that have been purchased or given to me as gifts since I started the blog that were specifically meant to be featured on this blog. So far out of 104 shirts, nine of them fall into this category. Two shirts were purchased since the blog began but had been ordered before its beginning and so they did not qualify.

SILVER SURFER: I could write volumes about the Silver Surfer, as he is one of my all-time favorite superheroes. But time constraints both mine (how much time I can devote to writing) and yours (I know people want to see shorter entries) confine me somewhat, though be warned, I may update!

The Wikipedia page is worth your time: SILVER SURFER WIKI.

From - http://365-tshirts.blogspot.com/2013/07/t-shirt-105-ultimate-spider-man.html

The first Spider-Man comic I owned was Amazing Spider-Man #54, published in November of 1967.

I have read ASM#54 many times. I cannot say it is my favorite Spider-Man comic, but it is the one I have probably read most often and as such Doctor Octopus is the Spider-Man villain with the most resonance for me. And so, as such, the current story line in the Spider-Man comics in which Doctor Octopus has taken over Peter Parker and Spider-Man's life--Peter is essentially dead--is fascinating to me.

I posed for the picture with today's shirt and the CD set of archived Spider-Man comics to emphasize that like Batman, Superman, Aquaman, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, and several others from my first days in comics, Spider-Man has been a part of my life for over 40 years.

ROMANCING THE SPIDER: This issue, ASM#54, was my first experience with John Romita, Senior's art. As I wrote in T-shirt #83, John Romita is one of my top-five favorite 1960s artists. Romita had a great deal of experience drawing romance comics in the 1950s and early 1960s. The issues he drew of Amazing Spider-Man were styled in many ways like romance comics, especially in the depiction of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy's relationship. I attribute Romita's romance-themed work as part of what sparked in me an affection for melodrama and soap opera.
From ASM #59
Romita's realistic style stood out among the many more fantastic or surreal comic artists of his time. His pencils were tight and sharp, unlike many others. His training in romance comics blended swipes from movie stills, which fueled the realism of his art, and from newspaper strips, such as Milton Canniff's Terry and the Pirates.

From - http://365-tshirts.blogspot.com/2013/07/t-shirt-106-captain-america.html


I can't really say that Captain America has been one of my favorite heroes or even one of my favorite Marvel heroes. As cool as he is, and though the throwing shield thing is very cool, he would not make my top five in either category. After all, as I have established on this blog already--and will continue to establish--I am quite a bit more fond of those heroes that are not the flagship characters, such as--at Marvel--Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, and the Son of Satan.

Though Captain America has not always been a favorite, I have not avoided him; I have read issues of Captain America avidly for most of my life.

The Marvel Comics Wikia Database: Captain America continues to be a great resource for information about comics and the history.

Captain America #100
My first issue featuring Captain America was Tales of Suspense #96 from December of 1967, featuring an Iron Man story by Stan Lee and Gene Colan (an artist who is in my top five faves of the 1960s), and the Captain America story "To Be Reborn" by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in which Steve Rogers is drawn out of retirement and back into uniform as Captain America.

I did not have any Avengers comics before Tales of Suspense #96 came out. My first comic of the Mighty Avengers was #63 from April of 1969. I bought Avengers Special #3, which retold Cap's origin and return to the then present of the Marvel universe and joining the Avengers when it came out in July of 1969.

I might own Captain America #100, the first issue of his own title after the cancellation of  Tales of Suspense, but I do not have access to my comics here. (NOTE: Another reason to update the blog someday.) I know I have read the issue in reprint.

My next issue was Captain America #119, after Steranko's short run, and once again a story featuring the awesome GENE COLAN.

Art by John Cassady
Cap gave up his uniform again and fought for justice as Nomad in 1974. I was getting nearly every issue up to Jack Kirby's return to the book after his years at DC Comics starting with issue #193 (January 1976). Though I skipped out in the later 1970s, I read sporadically and started tuning in for every issue when John Byrne took on the title. I loved the mid-1980s run by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck. Though many fans criticized Mark Gruenwald, I enjoyed his tenure on the book from 1985-1995. He logged the most consecutive issues by any single author in the character's history. Gruenwald epitomized what comics are in essence: a business. It's not easy to create earth-shattering, creatively-rich, and innovative stories monthly for ten years. Gruenwald's stories may not have broken new ground, but he kept the character's story coming month after month for 137 issues. I loved Mark Gruenwald as a writer and a person, as I had the chance to know him during my brief time in the Marvel offices in 1985. Gruenwald died in 1996 of a heart attack at the age of 43.

Mark Waid's run on the book followed Gruenwald, and then there was Rob Liefeld, who did what is known as Captain America Volume 2. Not much to say about that. Waid returned with Ron Garney for Volume Three in 1998, which ran fifty issues with the wrap-up by Dan Jurgens and Bob Layton in 2002. The thirty-two issue run of Volume Four began in June of 2002 with some of the most definitive work on Captain America to date by John Ney Rieber and John Cassady. Though a great creative team like that cannot produce thirty-two issues and Volume Four concludes in 2004 with a team of The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman and Scot Eaton. This is what comics is all about. It's manufacturing. It's production month after month after month, and few can keep it up like Kirby or Gruenwald.
Art by Sreve Epting

Volume Five began the era many praise today as the character's finest (next to classics by Kirby) with 50 issues by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. In this arc, Brubaker introduced the Winter Soldier, Cap's old sidekick Bucky, whom Cap thought had died in their final battle against the Nazis in World War II, but who survived and had been brainwashed and stored cyrogenically, thawed for assassinations when needed. These years also featured the assassination of Captain America with Bucky taking on the role of his departed comrade. In the end, Steve Rogers was not dead and he ultimately returned to the role of Captain America. The sixth volume consisted of nineteen issues; Brubaker continued as the writer, the initial issues were drawn by Steve McNiven and later by Alan Davis, Patrick Zircher, and others.

There are tons of great stories in these volumes, but I want to focus on Jack Kirby's legacy and on the recent set of issues (Volume Seven), which is an extended love letter to Jack Kirby and his ingenious contributions to the saga of his first and greatest creation:

Captain America (though credit must be given to co-creator Joe Simon, also).

From the Bicentennial issue? I will include this
in full size at the end.

I have created a category for Jack Kirby in the blog because he is the master and a subject I plan to return to over and over again.

I have written about Jack Kirby four times already (counting today). Most notably, I provided the basics of how badly he and his estate has been cheated in T-shirt #83: The X-Men Logo to the tune of over SEVEN billion dollars and counting. I also wrote about Jack Kirby in T-shirt #53: Agent of Shield, and T-shirt #104: Silver Surfer etc.

Two of the first comics I ever owned were drawn by Jack Kirby: Tales of Suspense #96 and Fantastic Four #69 (both published in December of 1967). I became an avid Jack Kirby fan from those very earliest days. I read Jack Kirby Fantastic Four, I read Jack Kirby Thor, I read Jack Kirby Captain America, and the Uncanny X-Men, and the Avengers, etc.

When Kirby left Marvel in 1971, I started reading his DC Comics, such as OMAC (which recently had a Kirby love letter of its own), The New GodsMister MiracleKamandi, and the most awesome Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen.

When Kirby returned to Marvel, I was in full comic-buying mode and spent my money faithfully on Captain AmericaThe Black Panther (a Kirby themed shirt will be featured in the near future in this blog), 2001: A Space OdysseyMachine ManDevil Dinosaur, and my personal favorite--one of my all-time most favorite comic books: The Eternals.

Kirby's late 1970s Marvel period began in January 1976 with Captain America #193 - "The Madbomb, Screamer in the Brain." I have featured art from this first and other issues later in today's blog entry. The Eternals debuted in July of 1976, and Kirby's The Black Panther started in January of 1977, by which time Kirby was cranking  out 60-80 pages of art per month, including covers and maintaining (as writer, artist, and editor) four ongoing, regular titles. To use "Marvel-esque" words, this kind of output is ASTOUNDING and ASTONISHING, even UNCANNY and FANTASTIC!

This is the most fertile and amazingly creative period of Jack Kirby's career in comics. Though many "comic fans" criticize this period (some feel Kirby cannot write realistic-sounding dialogue), most comic book fans and readers will be quick to agree that this period is one of the most rich and innovative in Marvel Comics history.


I own a nifty coffee table style book by Mark Evanier on Kirby called Kirby: King of Comics, which won the Eisner for best comic related boom in 2009.

Kirby: King of Comics Wiki

Kirby: King of Comics Amazon

TwoMorrows Publishing - You Can't Go Home Again - Kirby Collector Twentyninth Issue

Buying Kirby Collector magazine: at TwoMorrows

Jack Kirby | Ridiculously Awesome

Jack Kirby Interview | The Comics Journal

IO9: The true story of life at Marvel Comics in the glory days of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

The Jack Kirby Chronology: 1970-1979

The 7 Most Awesome Moments From Jack Kirby’s ‘Captain America’

Diversions of the Groovy Kind: Making a Splash: "Madbomb"--Jack Kirby's Return to Captain America and Marvel

Author of the blog at the next link, Scott Edelman worked at Marvel Comics in the 1970s during the time Kirby returned after his years at DC. Kirby was abused by the staffers during that time, and things got so bad that Stan Lee had to intercede. These anecdotes are explained in the "You Can't Go Home Again" article
linked above.

Years later, Edelman is taking more cheap shots at Kirby by criticizing this panel from Captain America #207.

Not that I consider Kirby some saint but is this kind of criticism really necessary? Seems to me that Edelman has an axe to grind and is pulling out some obscure and forgotten panel to make the point that Jack Kirby needed Stan Lee, even though many agree that Jack's solo work is some of the most brilliant comic book work ever created. Granted his dialogue, external, or internal as seen here, is often stilted, but Kirby was not trying for "realism," which is often what comics strive for anyway (lack of realism), especially in the late 1970s.  I say, shame on you, Scott Edelman.

Read Edelman's comments here: Failing Better - Shame on you, Captain America!

from - http://365-tshirts.blogspot.com/2013/07/t-shirt-119-doctor-strange.html


Of all the heroes of the 1960s and early 1970s, Doctor Strange is probably the best example of one that embodies the psychedelic culture of the times.

I do not usually dump so much quoted material (and quotes within quotes for which I provided the Wiki reference list), but all of this is written so clearly that I can hardly improve on it. AND if I have kept your attention this far, dear reader, then I am honored to serve, much like Wong is honored to serve Doctor Strange despite the racist-laden stereotypes of the original depiction.
 "Comics historian Mike Benton wrote, "The Dr. Strange stories of the 1960s constructed a cohesive cosmology that would have thrilled any self-respecting theosophist. College students, minds freshly opened by psychedelic experiences and Eastern mysticism, read Ditko and Lee's Dr. Strange stories with the belief of a recent Hare Krishna convert. Meaning was everywhere, and readers analyzed the Dr. Strange stories for their relationship to Egyptian myths, Sumarian gods, and Jungian archetypes"[3].
"People who read 'Doctor Strange' thought people at Marvel must be heads [i.e., drug users]," recalled then-associate editor and former Doctor Strange writer Roy Thomas in 1971, "because they had had similar experiences high on mushrooms. But ... I don't use hallucinogens, nor do I think any artists do."[4]
As co-plotter and later sole plotter, (in the "Marvel Method"), Ditko would take Strange into 
ever-more-abstract realms. In an epic 17-issue story arc in Strange Tales #130-146 (July 1965 - July 1966), Ditko introduced the cosmic character Eternity, who personified the universe and was depicted as a silhouette whose outlines are filled with the cosmos.[5] As historian Bradford W. Wright describes,
Steve Ditko contributed some of his most surrealistic work to the comic book and gave it a disorienting, hallucinogenic quality. Dr. Strange's adventures take place in bizarre worlds and twisting dimensions that resembled Salvador Dalí paintings. ...Inspired by the pulp-fiction magicians of Stan Lee's childhood as well as by contemporary Beat culture. Dr. Strange remarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia. Never among Marvel's more popular or accessible characters, Dr. Strange still found a niche among an audience seeking a challenging alternative to more conventional superhero fare.[6]
From the beginning, Doctor Strange used magical artifacts to augment his power, such as the Cloak of Levitation,[7] the Eye of Agamotto,[8] the Book of the Vishanti,[9] and the Orb of Agamotto.[10] From the first story, Strange's residence, the Sanctum Sanctorum, was a part of the character's mythos"
  1. [3]^ Benton, Mike (1991). Superhero Comics of the Silver Age: The Illustrated HistoryDallasTexas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-87833-746-0.
  2. [4]^ Green, Robin (September 16, 1971). "Face Front! Clap Your Hands, You're on the Winning Team!"Rolling Stone(via fan site Green Skin's Grab-Bag) (91): page 31 of print version. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011 deadurl= no.
  3. [5]^ "Strange Tales #134"Grand Comics Database. "Indexer notes: Part 5 of 17. First mention of Eternity. Strange would finally find it in Strange Tales #138 (Nov. 1965)."
  4. [6]^ Wright, Bradford W. (2001). Comic Book Nation: Transformation of a Youth CultureJohns Hopkins University Press. p. 213. ISBN 0-8018-7450-5.
  5. [7]^ The blue "novice" version first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), with the red "master" version first appearing in Strange Tales #127 (Dec. 1964).
  6. [8]^ a b Lee, Stan (w), Ditko, Steve (p), Ditko, Steve (i). "The Origin of Dr. Strange" Strange Tales 115 (December 1963)
  7. [9]^ Lee, Stan (w), Ditko, Steve (p), Ditko, Steve (i). "Return to the Nightmare World!" Strange Tales 116 (January 1964)
  8. [10]^ Lee, Stan (w), Ditko, Steve (p), Ditko, Steve (i). "The Possessed!" Strange Tales 118 (March 1964)

JUNG? Did someone say JUNG? Look for more Jungian rhetoric hereabouts soon since I already have some posts in the works. I am a huge Jungian, and I take every chance I can get to pander and promote, advocate and proffer the ideas of Carl Jung.

Surreal landscapes have always been a favourite of mine, and Steve Ditko's work in this arena is unparalleled in comics. Many great artists followed creating their own excellence with Doctor Strange, such as one of my all-time favorites: Gene Colan.

And yet, I could not include Steve Ditko, as much as I love his work, in the top five favourite 1960s comic artists, which I detailed in T-shirt #83. After Kirby, Kane, Adams, Colan, and Romita, I would surely place Ditko sixth.


I like collected editions. Back in the 1970s, there were few collected editions of comic books. Origins of Marvel Comics and the series of books that followed were among the very few.

As you know, and if you don't know it, then you are learning now, I am an extremely sentimental soul. So not only is this Pocket Book of Doctor Strange dear to me, but so is the inscription written by my mother. It was a tradition in our family to inscribe books given as gifts, as this one was for my birthday in 1979. I debated sharing such a personal thing as this inscription written by my mother. But since my mother has lost the ability to write at all, examples of her careful and beautiful cursive handwriting are very dear to me.


Cape are cool. It's a rule. Doctor Strange's cape is the special Cloak of Levitation given to him by the Ancient One in Strange Tales 126-127. It is a magical artifact that floats of its own accord.

How cool is that?


Yes, here it is, the list you have been waiting for. It was difficult to make this list. I had to confine myself to male Marvel heroes who either did not have their own books or who had/have solo books but are not considered the pillars of the Franchise (like Spider-Man and Captain America). Doctor Strange heads the list.
  1. Doctor Strange
  2. The Silver Surfer
  3. The Black Panther
  4. The Vision
  5. Adam Warlock
  6. The Black Knight
  7. Son of Satan
  8. Iron Fist
  9. Killraven
  10. Falcon
  11. Ka-Zar
  12. Deathlok
  13. Moonknight
  14. Black Bolt
  15. Ghost Rider
  16. 3D Man
  17. Machine Man
  18. Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu
  19. Quasar
  20. Captain Marvel

- chris tower -1307.26 - 19:06



Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 653 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.18 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.