Here’s an oldie from the art archives which sets the mood for the day, even though fireworks are more a Fourth of July thing than a New Year’s Eve thing. All the same the spot hints at things to come here at terry colon dot com. Stay tuned, one year’s end is another year’s beginning.
Professor Frank N. Bienz explains the world situation to the Sucksters (not shown) in 1997 or thereabouts. I don’t know why, but this spot always makes me smile even though I have no idea what the heck it was supposed to be about. If you have a similar reaction, consider it my Boxing Day gift to you, keeping in mind nobody expects much in a Boxing Day gift.
Offissa Pup chasing Flatop who’s just committed an intellectual property theft. The irony is they are copyrighted characters and this is art taken from Suck.com and so maybe I’m guilty of the same.
OK, some people will say that’s not really what ironic means. Well, that’s the way most folks use the word and I’m not going to swim upstream against the tide half a billion English speakers, to mix a metafor. Besides which, what is the word that means what it is I’m using ironic to mean in that case? I dunno. If nobody else can tell me it’ll just have to do.
Perhaps the splash page animation is still pointless, but it’s something completely different, as per a Monty Python segue. Though it does have a spinning globe, a square globe to be sure but still a globe. So maybe it’s not so completely different after all. This intro breaks from the usual Terry visual formula of no straight lines, no square corners, no parallel edges and whatnot. Which explains the old reprised square peg in a round hole illustration spot from… uh I forget what magazine.
If you’re too young to really remember Monty Python’s Flying Circus on TV, it was from the early 1970s after all, you can see it all over the place on YouTube. Parts, whole shows, stage versions of favorite skits from the Secret Policeman’s Ball. However the stage versions won’t have any animation from that other Terry, Gilliam by surname. And we know how much you love goofy animation. Well, we do at any rate.
Once again another good old “Brickbats” spot from Reason magazine.
A report by the charity Age U.K. found that many elderly patients are left to starve in National Health Service hospitals. The study found that nurses often place trays out of patients’ reach or do not give them needed help cutting food or opening covered plates and other containers.
Register nurses, not firearms. Oh wait…
Here’s some cover art from Reason magazine back in the day. Slightly updated for the times. It may not fit the column, but it fits the day. And don’t pay any attention to the man, or woman, behind the curtain. Lord knows the powers that be don’t.
Another decade old “Brickbats” spot appearing in Reason magazine.
Police in Treovis, England, have warned Gordon MacKillop that he could be charged under the Protection From Harassment Act. MacKillop, they claim, placed “a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment.” MacKillop says he put the gnome, which is dressed like a police officer, in his yard to deter criminals. But a neighbor, former police officer John McLean, says the gnome is in “an annoying position.”
Not only that, the shrubbery was trimmed in a menacing manner.
Another ancient Suck.com spot retrieved from the old archives. Just seemed appropriate somehow. Am I something of a visionary? Hardly. As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Another recent vintage “Brickbats” spot of art from Reason magazine.
If you’re caught smoking in a Boston city park, you’ll face a $250 fine. “Secondhand smoke in any concentration is dangerous,” explains Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “There’s no safe level of exposure.”
The image, complete with death personified, looks like it might fit one of my old Fortean Times “Strange Deaths” bits. Well, the English rag does bill itself as the magazine of strange phenomena, and there’s nothing stranger than the workings of the bureaucratic mind.
And now, a “Strange Deaths” art spot from Fortean Times magazine of some years ago.
A woman died from a heart attack caused by the shock of waking up at her own funeral in Kazan, Russia. As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin, Fagilyu Mukhametzyanova, 49, woke up and started screaming as she realized where she was. Her husband Fagili, 51, had been told his wife had died of a heart attack after she had collapsed at home with chest pains. “Her eyes fluttered and we immediately rushed her back to the hospital, but she only lived for another 12 minutes before she died again, this time for good,” he said. “She wasn’t dead when they said she was and they could have saved her.” He planned to sue the hospital.
Like they say, waking up dead is a very bad way to start the day. Or end the day, for that matter.
Another good old “Brickbats” spot of art from Reason magazine of July, 2007.
A Florida court has found Tracy A. Thomas guilty of harboring ducks. Thomas says she leaves her garage door open so her cats can get in and out. But the judge found she was allowing ducks to come into the garage; he also told her she could be prosecuted for breaking a city law against allowing cats to roam freely. Thomas faces a fine of up to $500, but the judge says he will waive the fee if she keeps her garage door closed.
Hey, I used to do that. Not harbor ducks, leave the garage door ajar so the cats could go in and out. Wound up harboring squirrels. Not really so much harboring, I didn’t want them in there. They’re pretty destructive, ripping up stuff for nesting material. A squirrel’s nest is pretty much like a big rat’s nest in a tree. Or in a garage, as the case may be.
Anyway, I put an end to that by putting in a cat door for the garage. Pesky squirrels haven’t figured that out yet. Haven’t noticed any possums or raccoons using it either. Though I wouldn’t put it past a raccoon to figure it out someday, clever little masked bandits that they are.
I reprise an old Suck.com spot that just seemed appropriate considering the time in the political cycle. Only this time around, I’ve animated the spot for your enjoyment. Too bad I didn’t know how to do that back in the day. Would it have made it funnier? Would it have made Suck better? Would it have saved my job? We’ll never know.
All we know for sure, for this election we have some different liars telling different lies. Have no fear, many of the old lies and liars are still going strong. The classics never die. Enjoy that, too.
A very early Suck.com that pretty much sums up my current attitude to frequent blogging, if blogging’s what I’m doing here at terry colon dot com. Not that I’m actually at the beach sunbathing, just enjoying the great outdoors of summer. Working, actually. Only on homeowner type stuff. I’ll get back into the swing of internetty things later. How much later? Time will tell.
And considering that spot of art is nearly twenty years old, time flies, too.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Blog blog, blog blog blog blog blog blog blog blog, blog. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Whether that’s an entire case of the blahs or maybe just half a box is hard to tell. Still, just because there is a terry colon dot com doesn’t mean it’s required writing. I mean, we’re not locked into updating regularly, as depicted in the old magazine (forget which one) spot from 1997. Enjoy it for what it’s worth, blah blah blah.
For some reason I’m feeling a bit more ambitious this year. About improving the old homestead not posting to the site. There’s a whole laundry list of things I’ve been wanting to do for some time and this year I’m actually going to do them. For a change.
Funny thing about this rehab business, one thing leads to another. That is, attending to some obvious problem reveals a hidden problem. Like when I decided to rejuvenate the overgrown yews in the front, cutting them back revealed a part of the stoop previously hidden was sorely in need of attention. So, what seemed an easy fix, pruning bushes, became a difficult bit of masonry repair. Removing bits is almost always easier, and cheaper, than adding stuff.
At any rate, now you know why there’s hasn’t been a lot of fresh content lately. Nor is there likely to be for some little time. For the time being enjoy the somewhat apt old Suck.com spot.
Not Christmas, Memorial Day. Break out the baggy shorts, breezy Hawaiian shirt, the BBQ gear and all the fixings ‘cause it’s the unofficial start of summer. Being a day off for most, no work for me either. Instead, an old FHM magazine spot repurposed for the occasion.
A “Brickbats” spot from Reason magazine way back in 2007.
Kallen Ford and a friend were playing hacky sack outside Colorado’s Boulder County Courthouse when a police officer approached. The cop took their sack and issued Ford a $250 fine for “releasing projectiles on the mall.”
This was during the great hacky sack epidemic. Congress members demanded registration of all bean bags. Children were expelled for bringing Beanie Babies to school. The ATF employed teams of bean sniffing dogs. Thanks to the tireless efforts of law enforcement the hacky sack menace is now under control.
Ar-r-r, here be a “Brickbats” spot from Reason magazine in 2007.
In England, Morgan Smith’s parents decided to throw him a pirate-themed party for this sixth birthday. They even ran a Jolly Roger up the flagpole at their home. But a neighbor complained about the skull and crossbones to the Stafford Borough Council. Council officials feared the flag might be “unneighbourly” and said the couple must apply for permission, including a study of the impact the flag would have on the neighborhood before they could fly it.
How about an impact study on the effects of stupid government?
Navigating the super interacta-matic, oh-so modern Interwebs is much easier than hinted at in this oldie but moldy Suck.com spot. What with our handy-dandy pull-down menus and auto-zoomery, it’s easier than ever to read and enjoy terry colon dot com on any device plugged into the magic of the world wide web. While it may not be hands-free, it’s no sweat, and you can keep your shoes on.
Of course, we’re actually bragging about features that have been standard fare for over a decade now. All the same, how many other sites have you seen with their own custom cursors, eh? Scroll over the pic and see. The itty-bitty fun never ends at terry colon dot com.
Ye olde “Brickbats” spot for Reason magazine in 2008.
Code enforcement officials in Maidenhead, England, have ordered the staff of the Greyhound to close the pub’s windows. When people smoke outside, the authorities explained, the smoke could drift into the pub, causing it to be in violation of laws banning smoking indoors.
There used to be this newspaper cartoon called There Ought to Be a Law. This wouldn’t work nowadays because there probably is.
Yet another “Brickbats” spot for Reason magazine. This time from 2014.
In Saudi Arabia, religious police beat up a British man after they saw him using a supermarket checkout with a woman as cashier. Such checkout lines are reserved only for women.
No comment. I just liked the pic.
And now for something slightly different.
Find at least six differences in details between panels.
Click here for answers
I didn’t just draw cartoons for the old e-rag, I helped write content from time to time. Whether that actually helped is for the reader to decide.
Find at least six differences in details between panels.
Click here for answers
The above Suck.com illo rerun leads us into the topic du jour: the most dangerous day of the year, news and rumor-wise. April Fools Day. On this date in years gone by many people have been burned repeating nonsense written as spoofs as being true. Is it because people are gullible? Is it because authors don’t know how to write parodies that are, you know, actually funny? Or is it because real news and people have become so absurd a spoof seems all too real?
Have we finally breached the Parody Horizon? An imaginary boundary where satire can’t surpass actuality which is already absurd beyond belief, though people believe it anyway. A singularity of infinitely dense thinking, a comedic black hole where the line between sensible and ridiculous vanishes.
Can you say, modern art? How about negative interest rates? It seems April Fools Day never ends. Maybe Abe Lincoln was wrong. Maybe you can fool all of the people all of the time. Or at least enough of the people enough of the time to make a lot of money.
Another Reason magazine “Brickbats” spot from 2011.
Safety officials in Great Britain have recommended the removal of fire extinguishers from communal areas in apartment buildings. They say extinguishers are actually a safety hazard because they could encourage people to fight a fire rather than leave the building.
We mustn’t allow people to take such matters into their own hands or it’ll be anarchy, I tell you, anarchy.
Another old Suck.com spot (available at the shop, hint hint) that leads me to a thought or two. I don’t know about you, but in these days of digital broadcast TV with ever more split signals where stations send out a multiplicity of sub-channels, I find there’s less I want to watch than ever. In fact, I hardly watch at all any more.
There’s this old saying about too much of a good thing, folks who say having too many choices is worse than a limited number. Have you looked at the barbecue sauce shelf at your local grocery lately? Dozens of brands, each with a handful of varieties. Do we really need that many? There’s also this saying about less is more, right?
Some suggest too many choices makes deciding between all the options unsatisfying because the more things you imagine you will miss out on with a bad choice leads to anxiety. It’s like an extensive restaurant menu, there’s so much it’s hard to decide. You order, the meal comes, it’s good, but it gnaws at you, “Man, I should have ordered the surf and turf.” Heck, surf and turf is an order where you can’t decide between steak or lobster.
You buy any of that? I’m not so sure. Does anyone understand what makes folks happy? Or that folks can even be made happy or if happy is more a personality trait? Of all the soft sciences, psychology might be the softest, to the point of squishiness. Like the old gag about trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.
Bottom line… I guess there isn’t one. At least not here because I don’t know what makes people tick. Not satisfied? Hey, there are millions of other websites you could be reading. Think of all the possibilities you’re missing out on. Maybe there’s something to having too many choices after all.
While Suck.com may have stopped publishing in 2001, it hasn’t been forgotten. At least, not by The Atlantic who have a feature story on the old fish, barrel and smoking gun. You can read that, and/or relive the memories forever with a T-shirt, mug, or poster of your very own. OK, relive them as long as the items last. Anyway, you can buy more when they inevitably wear out. Mindless consumerism is good for the economy, you can tell yourself.
This is an old Suck.com spot I came across going through the archives. It just seemed to still fit today’s stock market somehow. I say, if the NYSE can keep repeating itself, so can I.
Mouseover pic to see full size
Here’s an art spot I did almost twenty years ago for InfoWorld. As you can see my drawing style has changed over time. Whether for the better or worse is hard to say. The older stuff did have a certain quirky charm to it.
All I know is, I really can’t go back. You get into ways of doing things, develop habits which get ingrained. The style change was not a conscious effort, not a carefully laid out plan or anything. It just evolved with a life of its own without my being aware of it.
One thing hasn’t changed. I still seem to like experts or scientist types in lab coats in front of silly diagrams and formulas on blackboards. That part of my brain is working the same as it ever was. Where do these ideas come from? They just sort-of pop into your head. Unless you get writer’s block, or in my case artist’s block.
It’s hard to explain how the mind works when drawing. It’s not like writing. You don’t think in words, you visualize an image, though not a precise one, and try to execute that picture in your head onto paper. I do it, but it’s a mystery to me as to how. I can’t really take credit for it, it’s a gift. Like being tall and handsome. You can’t take credit for being tall and handsome, can you?
Another Reason magazine “Brickbats” rerun from three years ago.
Ron Tuitt was fired from his job as a second-grade teacher in Paterson, New Jersey, for urinating in bottles during class and forcing students to take the bottles to the restroom and flush the contents. Court documents claim Tuitt did this at least three times a week between 2006 and 2011. Peter Tirri, president of the city’s teachers union, defended Tuitt and said he was being unfairly treated because of his popularity with students.
Which is craziest, the teacher’s behavior, the union’s defense of it, or that it went on for five years? What? For five years nobody noticed this was insane? Nobody complained? Nobody did anything? Perhaps I’ve overlooked another question, why was this teacher so popular with students?
It’s a couple more strange deaths from, no surprise, Fortean Times “Strange Deaths.”
A month-old boy was killed when his obese babysitter collapsed and died on top of him. Michael Baldwin III was found smothered on a sofa under 210lb (95kg) Teresa Coffey, 39. It was thought she had suffered a heart attack. The boy’s father, Michael Baldwin II –a television newscaster in Long Island, New York– rushed home after Ms Coffey failed to answer his calls. At first he couldn’t find his son, but then realised he was under the babysitter. A similar tragedy unfolded later the same month, also in eastern U.S. Allen McNeil Jr, 53, and his three-year-old son were found dead in their New Jersey home after he apparently fell on top of the infant and smothered him while having a heart attack.
Above is an old spot I did for Fortean Times about someone in Australia finding a shark in a golf course sand trap. Rather lends a new meaning to hazard, eh? Still, while your average Aussie needn’t fear sand sharks as a rule, the Land Down Under is full of some of the most dangerous critters you’ll find, though one imagines you’d just as soon rather not find them. Or have them find you.
This is an old spot I did for AdWeek magazine. To own the truth, having long lost and forgotten the story text I don’t quite know myself what the possum is doing on the subway. Yes, it’s reading a magazine, you know what I mean. How old is this spot of art, you might ask but probably didn’t. One hint, the commuters, as well as the possum who probably isn’t commuting since possums don’t have jobs as a rule, are all reading stuff printed on paper. Reading from paper, of all things. How very second millenium. The paper part, not the reading.
In these digital days we have the paperless office and, one imagines by extension, the paperless subway. By paperless I mean no paper, as in newspaper, which fewer and fewer people are reading every day on the subway or anywhere else. Unlike newspapers which are going paperless much to their consternation, offices aren’t really paperless, or even less papered, as every cubicle denizen is on a computer hooked up to a printer and the temptation to print out anything and everything is too much for folks to resist.
Anyway, computers aren’t to be trusted, ink on paper is just more real somehow. The whole e-thing seems fraught with peril. You start with a thought, put it into words, which are transcribed as phonetic symbols, typed in and translated to computer code, gets sent as electrons or photons or something somewhere somehow, is translated back to computer code, transcribed back to phonetic symbols which translate to words which are symbols for the thought the end reader must interpret based on their own understanding. Though, now that I consider it, the weakest link in this chain isn’t the machinery, is it?
This old Suck spot leads us to ponder, why are Americans so incredibly fat nowadays? Well, why do people get fat at all? Or better yet, why does any animal get fat, like the ones which layer on the lard every fall prepping for winter? Do they know lean times are just around the corner and are planning ahead? How about the first-year newbie critters who never saw it snow before? Is mama bear something of a Jewish mother, “Eat, eat, you’re skin and bones. When February rolls around you’re going to need that fat to keep you going”?
This dovetails into Infrequently Answered Questions #93. Autumn is when many fructose-laden fruits and such ripen, the animals get hooked, gobble as many as they can sink their teeth into, and get fat. The creatures of the woods don’t plan it, they can’t help themselves. One marvels at how Nature works these things out.
Thinking of tie-ins, is it only by accident Lent is in late winter, the same time hibernating animals are also basically fasting?
Another Reason magazine “Brickbats” rerun from nine years ago.
There’s no sign telling you not to take a photograph that might include the building at 3701 N. Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia. But if you do, expect to be stopped by a police officer, have your personal information recorded and be told to delete the photo from your camera. That’s just what happened to Keith McCammon, who later found out the building houses the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In fact, the government apparently has a list of buildings that, for security reasons, it won’t allow people to photograph. But, citing security concerns, it refuses to release the list or warn people in advance they can’t photograph the buildings.
You have to break the law in order to find out what’s in it. “How do you plead, Number Six?” “Who is Number One?” “I am the new Catch-22.”
As it’s playoff time in the NFL, it’s a good time for this Reason magazine “Brickbats” from a couple years ago.
Referees working the football game between Tarkington High School and Splendora High School in Texas have filed a complaint against Liberty County Precinct 5 Constable L.W. DeSpain. DeSpain, who was not working at the game, charged onto the field when he disagreed with a call made by the refs.
Maybe your favorite team is out of the playoff picture. No matter, you can still place your bets, which is half the interest in the NFL. The other half is fantasy leagues. At least I think I saw something recently how fantasy league betting rivals wagering on the actual league. Preferring fantasy to reality, sign of the times, I think.