September 5 – 17, 2011

Oh, goody: the new school year is beginning. Let me just go put on my Happy Hat.

61 thoughts on “September 5 – 17, 2011

  1. Continuing on the theme in the previous thread/post/whatever to call it:

    Ah, yes, milk in bags. I liked that, and kind of miss it!

  2. Wikipedia informs us that numerous countries use milk bags. The US does not appear on the list, but later in the article, it is mentioned that a few American convenience stores with in-house dairies use them. It never really occurred to me that milk bags would strike people as weird, since I grew up with them.

  3. Well, you can always use excess verbosity to disguise whatever it is you’re talking about.

    “I believe that we can consider the situation involving the individual who will remain, for the present time, unnamed, to be largely resolved.”

  4. Heh, I would had thought you would had caught the “the” (even if most Time Lord does actually have normal names). Well there are some pretty obvious similarity, constant female companions and a phone that can seemingly call a place that is “not of this world”. Not to mention being able to complete task that would had taken aeons in a very short time (th*sis).

  5. I miss having milk in bags. Opening a new bag every few days (or every day) makes for fresher milk than having it sit in an open jug for a week or longer. And buying in packages less than a gallon/4L is just not economical.

  6. I was just looking at the character page (again), and realized I want to see more of Sara. I know that she’s not particularly likely to be actually seen very often, but…

  7. Hmmm is there a problem with the use of the word “may” in that sentence? Seem rather normal to me.

  8. Yeah, Marie is speaking for me, too.
    But, knowing Kari, I suppose we won’t learn what happened around the doughnuts for (at least) several months – Casey will just walk into Davies and pretend that he was never away.

  9. Really? Cause I already find it to be quite egotistical that the author should assume such a high probability as “may”, even the more modest “might” would bring about a feeling of slight contempt to the readership.

  10. The “may” is based on the fact that every time someone talks to me about WoB, the first question asked is, “What on earth is going on with Casey, and when is he coming back?” “Stop torturing us” is frequently uttered as well.

  11. Yes, it is a distinct possibility that my use of the word “may” reflected a belief that the word in question was unnecessary, as anyone following the story is bound to be curious about an event that seems to have already transpired, and which we will never, therefore, actually see happen.

    That may have been what I was getting at.

  12. I’m not that big on hats. I’m not sure why, although part of it is that I like my hair longish, and when my hair is longish, hats can’t actually adhere to my head- they just kinda float on top of there, and are no more stable than anything else would be- I might as well keep a sock up there. I’m still not big on hats when I’ve gotten a haircut, though. Probably some sort of thing or other.

    Yeah, making everyone automatically male is a bit of an issue. Something ought to be done about that. I was mentalizing about a story that I probably won’t ever write, and I realized that not one single character was female. Only 4 characters had any definition at all, and I was too attached to two of them as male to change them. Another one kinda worshiped one of the male characters, so changing that person didn’t seem like it would be a major blow for sexual equality. So I made the least-defined character female. Overly businesslike isn’t a female stereotype we’re trying to fight, is it?

    Maybe that’s how we wind up with so few female characters. The story gets written with placeholder characters, who are male because language and culture makes placeholder people male. The story gets built around them, the writers get attached to them, and when it comes time for casting, someone finally points out that there’s not a single female character who isn’t there as a love interest. So they either leave it as is, or maybe switch a character who isn’t all that important.

  13. Erwaro: I think you’re probably right. I remember pointing out to a friend of mine that his story contained no female characters, even though the characters really could have been either male or female without the story changing much. It simply hadn’t occurred to him that he had made all the characters male. Token chickism is, as you note, another problem; if there’s a woman in a story, she’s frequently 1) a love interest and 2) all by herself. One thing I sometimes discuss with my students is the fact that some males–especially young ones–won’t buy a book or see a movie if it’s got a non-sexualised female protagonist, even if the book or film is not “chick lit” or a “chick flick.” Many female children’s authors, including J. K. Rowling, have been forced or persuaded to use their initials because boys will shy away even just from books written by women. The double standard is ingrained in our culture, and it’s become a catch-22; it needs to change, but there is still far too much shame associated with men being interested in “girly stuff.” “Male” is a neutral category; “female” is a negative one.

  14. Hmm what’s happening? Did some sort of text get spliced in while I was sleeping? How did today’s comic about building numeral get turn into gender distribution in stories? I can understand why male are the default sex in stories, less curve to worry about you know. Also of note is that all of the protagonist in Miyazaki’s film (Studio Ghibli) has been female (non-sexualised too), and I think we can agree that it has work out relatively well. The neutral “male” is used in the English language too is it not?

    Regarding the oncoming waves of WoB comic: Yay! For more comics. Yay! For Kari’s eventual descent into madness and insanity, Hoozah!

  15. SunshineRain: We’re discussing my weekly Rant, which involves how Up is a really good movie but is a teeny bit short on female characters, needlessly so. My point is about Western literature and film, so Miyazaki’s work does not apply. I agree that his films work well and think they are good examples of why there is no reason there shouldn’t be more female protagonists in Western works (though he drops the ball in Howl’s Moving Castle, which, ironically, is based on a British novel with a very strong female protagonist).

    The neutral male used to be used in the English language, but people tend to avoid it nowadays.

    I am pleased my pending insanity makes you so happy.

  16. I always thought Casey was the personification of Kari’s first crush, who would probably a previous Dr Who.
    Oh and if you research and teach Eng Lit, Insanity is a prerequisite.

  17. “A previous Dr Who”? Somebody hasn’t read this comic (or seen the series):

    I thought the female lead in Howl’s was pretty good (the movie on the other hand), speaking of which another one of Studio Ghibli’s (Miyazaki written) films Arrietty (based on The Borrowers) was an excellent adaptation (unlike Tales from Earthsea). And to tie them all together and make them into a big ball of … well wobbly stuff; A new The Borrowers movie will be coming out this year starring Stephen Fry and, you guess it, the Ninth Doctor himself Christopher Eccleston.

  18. Interesting comment about female author names. I don’t think that exists, or at least isn’t as pervasive, in Dutch child literature. Annie M.G. Schmidt and Thea Beckman are two examples that come to mind right away, but there are more. By the way, the latter wrote a trilogy about a post-apocalyptical society ran completely by women…

  19. I was thinking about the first two weeks of non-stop comics. It would be very interesting if it took place during a brick festival. You could have brick throwing contests and the world’s largest brick sculpture, plus giant heavy floats built out of bricks for the brick parade. You could even have everyone wearing brick patterned clothing and have their bodies covered in brick tattoos. -evil laugh-

    Sorry, Casey made me do it.:)

  20. Well, I remember that as a small child (say, until 8 or 9), I would specifically pick books with female protagonists because I couldn’t identify with boys. I grew out of it though, partly because as a little girl you encounter so many male characters anyway. I’m guessing the problem is that young boys don’t *have* to learn to identify with female protagonists, just because they can very well keep reading for years in their preferred genre without encountering any.

    About authors’ names: I haven’t noticed that in French either, in fact all the children’s authors that come to mind have explicitly female names, but then again we don’t really have an initials culture. It’s possible that some of the male names are actually women’s noms de plume, of course. I’m guessing this observation mostly applies to fantasy and SF though.

  21. By the way, Stefan: if you have any tips about Dutch lit, I’m interested! I need to read more in Dutch, and I’m trying to avoid translations, but somehow my bookstore doesn’t have separate sections for translated and non translated books, which I find very weird (unthinkable in a French bookstore.)

  22. Blackwolf3: The Happy Hat is a metaphor.

    Mimi: Again, you guys worry too much. We’re having the Requisite Orientation Fortnight at the moment, but who knows what might happen during the Fortnight of Daily Comics? Sit back, relax, and dream of maple doughnuts.

  23. I don’t mind if you keep it.:) And while I’d love to bask in the glory of being an artistic genius, I had help. I spent an hour choosing Casey’s facial features and body and picking the perfect clothing and colors, but I didn’t actually draw anything. So, if you keep it up, you’ll probably have to link to them, since while they don’t mind people creating with their software and posting it up, they want it known that it was created with their software.

    If I were to draw something, it would look like a stick figure and Casey deserves more than a stick figure, especially since he is so sexy.:)

  24. Ew gard, I had forgotten about that Old Spice commercial (Old Spice is not popular here so I think I might have seen not actually as a commercial), still hilarious though. Also can we stop saying sexy?

  25. Well ok Kari, but I did try to order a maple donut at Timmie’s, in anticipation, and they said they didn’t have any and offered me an apple cinnamon donut instead. I took one timbit. I was truly disappointed.

  26. Ah misplaced books in the library, even more fun when you ask the librarian and they say that the book should be there, how helpful… Will soon be a thing of the past when everything is e-booked along with actually going outside.

  27. Mimi: Aw. That’s kind of terrible. Silly Timmy’s.

    SunshineRain: Robarts is especially bad for that sort of thing. Yes, the comic is an exaggeration, but not by much. I’ve gone into that infernal place with a list of twenty books and come out with five. And you’re right that when you ask the librarians, you get basically no help. Marie is a librarian herself, so there’s some extra frustration there.

  28. Hey, Davies (or WoB) is totally un-Narnian! If it were, Marie would have been told what she must do long ago (possibly by a lion).

  29. Nobilis: that’s true. However, Marie has been told what she must do; she just hasn’t been told why, and she’s not sure she trusts the instructions or their source. It’s kind of a The Silver Chair Narnia rather than a The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Narnia.

    Stefan: Hurrah!

  30. Well, not that I object, but I don’t recall having ever asked when he would be coming back. I know that these things happen in due course- he wouldn’t have been dumped from the comic without some sort of explanation, which would explain that his absence was permanent.

    Having said that, when do we find out what went down in Tim Horton’s?

    (I’m mostly kidding, but I am curious. Just like all those dead cats.)

  31. Well, I was mostly just listing the names of people I thought may have asked about Casey at some point. I also did know that you had asked about Tim Hortons (fun fact: there is no apostrophe in the name of the franchise. Yes, it drives me up the wall). I sort of lumped the Casey naggers and the TH naggers in together.

    I realise you are curious, but there are only four panels per comic, and Casey is PROBABLY not in a state to launch into complex monologues about doughnut shops at the moment. It’s worth noting, however, that Marie is curious too and will likely ask Casey about the possible meeting with Basil eventually. Whether or not Casey will answer her remains to be seen.

  32. Yeah, I’m assuming that Casey won’t answer. I’m jokingly asking when we’ll actually find out, probably from Basil or an outside observer. Most likely a random observer, who will give a thoroughly garbled and misleading account. Although Marie won’t actually be completely misled by this information, it will end up making things murkier, rather than clearer. Or maybe that’s just my inner pessimist.

  33. Oooh my name made it on a list! Hmm…is this a good list or a bad list? I think I usually only make it on bad lists…

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