Saturday, January 09, 2010

Meta: Awards season.

Seems like everybody is giving everybody awards these days. And, as living proof that surplus drives down value, even I've received one! That's right, loyal Screamers and Screamettes, horror blogger and nifty person Sarah, of the blog Scare Sarah, has awarded your humble horror host with the Kreativ Blogger award.

Regular readers know that I generally don't get into the meme-award thing, but it seems like everybody's having a grand old time with these things lately and it's been some time since I've shouted out to some of the blogs I dig, so away we go.

First, I've gathered that I'm supposed to tell you seven interesting things about myself. I promise you that I can definitely tell you seven things about me. Whether they're interesting or not, well . . .

Thing the One:
I have this fantasy in which I go back to sixth-grade, but fully possessed of everything I know and have learned up to this point in my life. I know that I should use this foreknowledge to fight injustice, stop 9/11, and head off the AIDS crisis - but what I honestly imagine doing is learning guitar and preemptively stealing every song that I ever dug and condensing several decades of musical awesomeness into a single, unbelievable rock career that would make me the undisputed God of Rock. Aside from the sketchy ethics of stealing (even though, technically, these songs didn't yet exist when I stole them), the real flaw in this plan is that my musical tastes are pretty goofy, so the idea that anybody would somehow be more excited by my preemptive versions of, say, Daisy Chainsaw's "Dog with Sharper Teeth" or Left Lane Cruiser's "Big Mama" than they were when these songs first appeared and then sank into obscurity is wrong-headed at best.

Thing the Two:
I once started writing a novel that was about a quartet of custom-porno filmmakers who get hired by a cryptofascist multimillionaire to make large-scale hardcore flick set in the Holocaust. I got five or six chapters into it when my hard drive died and the novel was lost forever, which, considering, was probably not such a terrible thing to have had happen. It's working title was Camp Romance.

Thing the Three:
I have three tattoos. The first of which was inflicted upon me in a Richmond hotel room by a woman who actually went by the professional moniker Teddy Bear. Though Teddy Bear was quite lovely and talented, what she was not was fluent in Chinese. Consequently the Chinese figure I have permanently stained on my skin apparently means nothing. It's nonsense in a language I can't read. Despite this, I'm still quite fond of it.

Thing the Four:
When I was 17, I was briefly wanted by the FBI. As silly as this sounds, it was all a big misunderstanding and I was never arrested or charged with anything.

Thing the Five:
I once calculated the estimated number of books that I could read assuming I live to the average age of an American male. This was a massive mistake. For years I would avoid reading books that looked fun because I would think, "Is this really so great that it should be one of your remaining [fill in countdown number]?" Eventually, I got over this obsession. I'm glad I never did it for films; I probably would have never started a horror blog.

Thing the Six:
I wish the term "bedswerver" - a now neglected slang term for an unfaithful person - came back into common usage. It is so wonderfully descriptive.

Thing the Seven:
My wife and I once debated getting a cat as a pet. We brainstormed some names and we thought that they were all so good that we couldn't eliminate any of them. So we hit on this plan that we would give the cat a rotating name. We'd place a chalkboard in the kitchen and write "This week the cat's name is:" on it. We'd work through the names we already had and add new ones as they struck our fancy. We figured the cat wouldn't mind as it was unlikely to give a crap what we called it. (The same plan, we theorized, would not work for a dog.) We purchased a chalkboard and mounted it on the kitchen wall. But we never got a cat.

Okay, now on to who gets the award. Since this is the Kreativ Blogger award, I think it should go to a blog that goes beyond the standard "thumb's up/thumb's down" reviews, net trawled "coverage" of pop culture, and you're predictable "I Googled it, then wrote it" analysis. I'd also like to use it draw attention to a great blog I haven't really plugged before.

I give this to the Mark and ShadowBanker, the boys of Ecocomics. The vast majority of comics writing on the Web is little more than fanboy mash notes and poison pen letters. Admittedly, the quality of the material discussed might be a little more highbrow and the writing more nuanced or clever than the chatter on the floor of the NYCC - but really it comes down to the same thing: People telling you what they liked and hated, ad nauseum. Emphasis on nauseum.

Ecocomics instead takes familiar material and, by applying economics concepts to it in an accessible and entertaining way, actually opens up the material to fresh understandings. Instead of arguing about superhero decadence or lamenting some random creator's political biases, Ecocomics reminds me of the geeky joys of playfully overthinking the characters and concepts I love. Remember those silly/great arguments about who could beat who in a fight? Remember obsessing about continuity contradictions? Ecocomics manages to evoke the pleasures of that sort of active fan engagement without the normal schmaltz of dweeb nostalgia. It reinvests the comics with possibilities and a sense of pleasure.

There's a lot of great writers out there ready to tell you what they enjoyed. Ecocomics is one of the few comic blogs out there that invites you to enjoy comics with them.


Jenn said...

As a (tattooed) Richmonder, do you mind if I ask which hotel at which you got inked? Is there a great story accompanying this? You don't necessarily have to tell me but I loved just hearing the blurb...

Secondly, I dig the cat name chalkboard thing. I have a multitude of cats and really I could call them anything as long as I say it in a certain pitch - they'll still respond. My BFF and I have argued this for years - me saying they know their names, she maintaining it's just the pitch of my voice.

CRwM said...

I wish I could tell you that it had been the Jefferson or the Berekely, but it was at Holiday Inn just a few minutes from downtown.

It's a long story that, I promise, I will tell eventually.

I grew up with three cats. Whether they recognized their names or not seems purely a matter for philosophical speculation as, even if they did recognize their names, they clear only responded when they decided they had some desire to mingle with the humans. They were a bit imperial, in a way.

To test the pitch thing, do you use a different pitch for each cat?

Sasquatchan said...

Not Richmond VA I guess, huh ?

Now where's #8 on the list saying "1 of these is true, and is left as an exercise to the reader to figure out which is true"