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ABEHM
ABEHM

NOTE: I'm not using any templates, and my HTML coding skills are rudimentary at best. Therefore, there are no permalinks. If you look under ARCHIVES, to the right, you'll generally find an active link to a copy of the current day's page. If you want to link to something on this page, you should, instead, link to the archive copy, under this day's date. The stuff on this page changes; the archive copy should stay put.

The ARCHIVE heading itself is a link to a page where you can see what's become of my two previous blogs, MAJOR ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT'S WEBBLOG and DOC NEBULA'S EASTERN OREGON DUM DUM DEPRESSION BLOG.

I've had some criticism because this site is 'hard on the eyes', and some strong suggestions that I get onto blogger, or someplace else, just like everyone else. However, I'm an artist (not a great one, but I do have a strong visual sense) and I agree with Tom Tomorrow that far too many blogs look much, much too alike. As a unique individual, I've decided I'd like my blog to reflect that uniqueness, and look a bit different from the herd. If that keeps you from reading my work, well, I regret that, but you're the person who makes that decision.

Now stop reading this junk and start reading my damn blog entry for today, already. Geez. You people.

Thursday April 24, 2003

BROWN EYED HANDSOME EMAIL

I asked for feedback. Feedback I got.

From: "admin" admin@geoffrey-allen.com
To: docnebula01@juno.com
Subject: Blogging
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 18:06:22 –0400

I read your blog on occaision, but don't comment. I'm a conservative, and disagree with much of what you write. I haven't gotten a good enough feel for your attitude yet to comment.

I've blogrolled many blogs that are the exact opposite of mine. I blogroll people that have sites that interest me, regardless of their level of agreement.

There's a reason why I haven't blogrolled you. If you don't want unsolicited opinions, then just delete this now. I'm sure some people feel the same as I do.

Your layout is crap, even putting angelfire and it's stupid pop ups aside. Get a good page at blogspot. Or spend the 5 bucks a month for a website (I believe I am using the best host on the market right now, and it's only 5/mo). This will clean up your page, make it readable, and kill pop ups. People generally won't refer others to a page that is a mess.

Good luck.

Geoffrey

* * *

From: docnebula01@juno.com
To: admin@geoffrey-allen.com
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 7:38 PM
Subject: Re: Blogging

Geoffrey,

Three things, two under 'can't', one under 'won't':

I CAN'T get a spot at blogspot. I have a very old computer with 48 meg of RAM. It will not run Blogger. I have tried to get a blog at blogspot. It doesn't work. I don't know why. But it doesn't.

I CAN'T afford to pay for a website right now. I'm unemployed and rapidly running out of money.

Under those two, a comment... there's an arrogance among the affluent, I think. You guys assume that because you have machines that are no more than a year old, with 100+ megs of RAM, everyone else does, too. It's not true. I'm poor, and my PC is old, and has very little RAM. Still, I'd like to blog. So I'm going to.

Under WON'T... I WON'T, at this time, do a blog, even if my computer would let me, where I would look simply like yet another 'hey, I'm slick, I can use a template' blogger. I keep telling people... I'm a unique person, I want my blog to reflect that. I want to be able to put my own artwork up on it and design it, to some extent, to suit myself.

Your aesthetic judgements seem very intolerant to me. My page is a mess? Why? Is it unreadable? Does it take too long to come up? Even on my old computer, it comes up in seconds. You seem very much to be into style over substance, and you also seem to very much want everyone to look just like everyone else.

If you don't want to blogroll me, that's your choice. Not doing it because you think 'my page is a mess' strikes me as rather conformist and narrow minded. But to get back to my first point, unless you'd like to give me a job, or send me a better computer, I CAN'T change right now. And if you do want to give me a job or send me a better computer, I will probably CHOOSE not to.

Thanks for your note.

D.

* * * * *

From: "admin" admin@geoffrey-allen.com
To: docnebula01@juno.com
Subject: Blogging
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003

There are other blog hosts with web based templates. You aren't limited to blgospots. Since these are web based, it doesn't matter what kind of computer you have.

You made a post wondering why your blog wasn't doing well. I'm telling you one of the reasons people don't visit your site. I've seen you spoken about, and the majority of those posts contained "I'll never go back because his page is such a cluster". What do I mean by a "mess"? Much of it is blurry, and extremely difficult to read. Stop trying to be "different", and try to be legible.

You use angelfire. Angelfire has pop ups. People don't visit sites with pop ups.

Your site isn't organized or defined. It's one big run on. This adds to it being difficult to read.

If you don't want my advice, I could give a fuck less, really. At the end of your post, you asked for opinions. Rather than give a crappy opinion on your site, I thought I would give you an honest opinion discreetly. Take it for what it's worth.

* * * *

And here’s an email I sent off to Tom Tomorrow about all this:

Hey,

A while back you had a brief post on your blog lamenting that all blogs looked so much alike. I've remembered that ever since. I thought you might be interested in my recent experience:

Today is my one week anniversary of having my new public blog, A Brown Eyed Handsome Man, at www.angelfire.com/blog/abehm . Because I have a very old computer with only 48 meg of RAM, I couldn't use blogspot if I wanted to... and I tried, a blog or two back. Didn't work. Blogger wouldn't run, and my updates, for some reason I never understood, wouldn't post. So I went back to Angelfire, which I understand.

I'm a very good writer and an okay artist. I have a lot of creative energy. Over the last two years, I've forced myself to learn basic, very rudimentary HTML coding. I can do most of the basic text formatting, throw a table onto a page, set up some very crude graphics. My current page, and all my other pages, are pretty much handmade, and compared to the template-driven blogs you see everywhere else, I guess it looks pretty crude.

In the last week, I have had complaint after complaint about how my blog looks. How long it takes to load. (This, I assume, must be comparative to 'instant loading time' for the template driven blogs, because even on my old computer, my blog page only takes maybe ten seconds to come up... I assume on new computers, it would take a few seconds at most.) Angelfire's pop up ads. The font I'm using. The type of graphics on the page (I've been told GIFs are much better than JPGs). And every other goddam thing you can think of related to how the blog LOOKS, and the free service provider I'm using (Angelfire, which many people seem to loathe), instead of what I actually post on the blog itself.

Today I got an email from a conservative fellow. He told me that he often links to blogs that take opposite viewpoints from his (nice of him, huh?) but he won't blogroll mine. 'Your page layout is crap', he tells me kindly. He also informs me that most other people won't blogroll or link to a blog 'that doesn't look good'. By which I assume he means, 'that doesn't look like every other blog out there already'.

Now, it's possible that my blog does indeed look like shit. I kind of like it, but hey, I made it, who am I to judge? And I'm not even going to get into a riff about style over substance, because, you know, if I surfed out to a page I thought was ugly, I might not stick around to read... except that's not true, because I don't much care for your page visuals, or Mark Evanier's, but I read your blogs avidly. And I enjoy the fact that they don't look like every other template driven blogspot page out there. (And when I say 'I don't much care for them', actually, I just don't pay much attention to them. If I did, though, I'd find them garish. But I'm there to read what you guys post, so I simply don't pay any attention to the dog with the disturbing eyes that move occasionally.)

So, anyway, I thought I'd mention to you... one reason people may not want to make their blogs look terribly 'different' is that it's going to cost them readership. Celebrities like you and Evanier (by which I mean, people with a fan base for something besides blogging) have the freedom to make your blogs look like whatever you want... people will read them anyway. (Neil Gaiman, as far as I know, never gets criticized on how his blog looks, and I find it very hard to read.)

But us nobodies, apparently, have to toe the aesthetic line, or, well, we just won't get linked to, or blogrolled, or anything else. It's a sad statement.

Now, I'm not recommending my blog to you. It's mostly comprised of personal trivial shit about my boring life. I tried to be a political blogger and was terrible at it, so I gave that up long ago. And I doubt my stuff will ever appeal to a large audience (although I am a MUCH better writer than most of the people blogging, even the celebrities... well... I'm not better than Evanier or Gaiman, but still). But it seems sad that I apparently have to make my blog look like everyone else's in order to get much exposure, and what's actually ON my page doesn't matter as much as how it looks.

But, you know, all that will change as soon as I'm famous. Then I assume everyone will ADORE the unique visual stylings of my blog, and say so, often.

Ah, I'm feeling cynical today. Excuse me.

D.

And that really says everything I want to say… at least for now… on the subject.

Like it? Hate it? Hit me with your best shot.


Dan: I will not be the subject of your mockery.
Casey: Oh, I think you shall.


A WHOLE LOTTA POD PEOPLE

I annoyed a few people on a couple of Buffy boards with my commentary on Buffy’s final season , in which I noted that even though the 7th Season wasn’t over yet, I was already willing to call it a complete loss. And it seems very much to me that the 6th and 7th Seasons of Buffy could very easily be looked at as an extended covert effort by Joss Whedon to make the show so completely unwatchable no one would mind it if got cancelled… which would free him up to work on the other brilliant, innovative projects he now deems much worthier of his time and creative energies, like a completely witless, scientifically ignorant space western called Firefly .

Joss has been listed consistently as an Executive Producer on Angel this season, in the closing credit spot that used to go to David Greenwalt. Whether this had made any difference or not to level of consistent quality on Angel is anyone’s guess. Angel has good episodes, and bad episodes. Lately, what I (and fellow fan Hartmut) seem to be noticing the most, however, is the sheer overwhelming number of convenient plot twists that seem to keep showing up during the most recent arc.

Going way back to the now seeingly ancient three parter featuring Faith, I still have to wonder at just how smart it was for her to shoot herself up with a mind altering, mystically powerful euphoriant just before she went into deadly hand to hand combat with Angel. Sure, it worked out… Angel beat her, tried to drink her blood, and got knocked out by the drug she’d deliberately shot herself up with, hoping for exactly that result. But Angel, or rather, Angel’s schizoid sub personality, Angelus, is very unpredictable; he could have just as easily broken Faith’s neck. It all seemed pretty contrived.

Similarly, Dark Cordelia’s capability to play the heroes like an entire woodwinds section often seemed rather difficult to believe. These are people who are kind of used to the whole ‘our friends suddenly go evil and become our enemies’ idea, and yet, none of them seem to have given the slightest thought to the idea that the conveniently returned from Heaven Cordie, who first had amnesia, and then just started acting damned weird, might not be all she seemed. And Connor’s absolute gullibility is simply unacceptable; I know the kid is pussy whipped, but the things Cordie has gotten him to do are simply ridiculous.

But we’re in a whole ‘nother place now, since Jasmine The Queen of Love showed up. And let me give props to Whedon, or whoever came up with the idea… a world threatening, other dimensional monster who is taking over humanity through subtle mind control instead of by being big and huge and unstoppably powerful, is an interesting idea. One can see seeds of it in Glory from Buffy’s 5th season, although there, Glory’s lovely appearance was simply for shock and comedy value… something to differentiate her from all the really ugly monsters Buffy had fought before. With Jasmine it’s a whole different thing: the only power she seems to have is to make people love her unquestionably… and that’s really very chilling. Especially when she uses it to fuse all her followers together into one increasingly communal mind… or simply to have some of them walk up to her willingly and allow her to devour their life force.

Interesting though the overall idea is, I still can’t get around how convenient the writers have been making it for our heroes lately. I grant you, the good guys probably need to have the plot bent in their favor from time to time, given what they’re currently up against. But lately, well… not only are Wesley and Fred unexpectedly Olympic level pistol shots (we’ve never seen either of them so much as hold a gun before), but having Jasmine and Angel conveniently position themselves in such a way that Fred can put a bullet through both their shoulders, infecting Angel with Jasmine’s blood and breaking her mind control spell on him, is flatly ridiculous. (I’ll spare you my tedious and predictable rant on how things that effect living people shouldn’t affect a vampire, although they shouldn’t.)

Worst of all these plot contrivances, though, is the one we’ve seen on the latest episode: while fleeing from Jasmine and her millions of followers through the sewers under L.A., Angel and crew just happen to run across a demon lurking down there who just happens to have in his possession a mystic artifact that just happens to be able to open a portal to a dimension where the high priests know Jasmine’s true name… said true name which just happens to be the only thing Jasmine is really vulnerable to, or that can destroy her power.

The WB has said that it won’t make a decision on whether or not Angel is getting a fifth season until May… presumably the end of May, when they see how the show does in the sweeps. Odds are they’ll decide to bring it back… losing Buffy was a big punch in the nuts for the network, and they’re already losing Dawson’s Creek this year, as well. On the other hand, new shows have worked really well for the WB over the past two years, and Angel is just about getting to the point where, if it stays around much longer, the cast is going to want big raises. Add into that the fact that Whedon seems to have lost his Midas touch, and who knows? Perhaps the sun is finally setting for the vampire with a soul… or rising, as may be.

Me, I'm just about in a place where I care as little about whether Angel comes back as I do about Buffy. I personally think the ‘jump the shark’ moment came at the end of the previous season. Once Connor was born, whisked off to a hell dimension where time conveniently runs much faster than on Earth-Buffy, and then returned to the series as a much more melodramatically intriguing teenager within a few episodes, I started wondering exactly where that smell was coming from whenever Angel was on the air. Oh, the odor was faint at first, and there were several good episodes this season where the reek seemed to fade into the background. But the plotting just keeps getting sloppier. Characterizations mutate and shift at the apparent whim of the writers. Secondary characters come and go for no apparent purpose… I’m always happy when ElectroGirl is hanging around because she’s just so easy on the eyes, but, honestly, is there a point? Two or three of the regulars on the series only seem to be there because, well, they’re regulars on the series, and the writers can rarely think of much of anything for them to do. Story arcs seem to stall out and start up again, dodder along for a while, meander over here and then over there, and then resume in their original direction without warning. And most fun of all for a continuity nut like me, nobody in Sunnydale seems to pay much attention to the sun going out over Los Angeles, or a weird mystical woman taking control of the entire state of California. Hey, they’ve got different shows, but Buffy and Angel still live on the same planet, within a hundred miles of each other, right? When the sun goes out over Los Angeles, and you just happen to have an army of somewhat trained potential Slayers living in your house, why not get on a goddam bus and go do some good?

This all brings me back to something I heard Jane Espenson say on a commentary track on one of my Angel DVDs. She was gushing about how wonderful the shows' fans are; how not only do we spot little inconsistencies in the continuity (which Espenson seemed to think was annoying of us... like so many professional writers and creators, she simply seems to regard continuity as being essentially pointless and anyone who cares about it as being a foolish obsessive), but we so want the characters and their world to seem ‘real’ that we’ll make up our own explanations.

It always aggravates the crap out of me when writers seem to regard ‘making up our own explanations’ as somehow being the responsibility of the fans. Consistent continuity keeps the world real, which helps make the characters more real, which makes your fiction resonate better with you’re audience, which makes you more money. It is your job as a writer and a creator on an ongoing fantasy series loved by millions to not make stupid mistakes. It’s not our job to explain them away.

As a writer myself, and someone who longs to someday be in the position of Joss Whedon or Jane Espenson, I also think it’s the writer/creator’s job to write their characters well. To not throw one overly contrived situation after another at us, week after week. To give us, in short, a reason to believe.

If I listen long enough to you… I’ll find a way to believe that it’s all true…

I don’t know about listening, but I’m getting awfully tired of watching this crap. Whedon and his crew can do better than this. Although that’s getting harder and harder to remember, these days.

Like it? Hate it? Hit me with your best shot.


Dan:[singing] Plenty of sunshine… plenty of hay…
Casey: It isn’t “plenty of hay”. It’s “comin’ my way”.
Dan: That makes more sense.
Casey: Yes.


THE INEVITABLE DISCLAIMER

By generally accepted social standards, I’m not a likable guy. I’m not saying that to get cheap reassurances. It’s simply the truth. I regard many social conventions in radically different ways than most people do, I have many many controversial opinions, and I tend to state them pretty forthrightly. This is not a formula for popularity in any social continuum I've ever experienced.

In my prior blogs, I took the fairly standard attitude: if you don’t like my opinions or my blog, don’t read the fucking thing.

Having given that some more thought, though, I’m not going to say that this time around, because I’ve realized that what this is basically saying is, ‘if you don’t like what I have to say, tough, I don’t want to hear it, don’t even bother to tell me, just go away’.

And that’s actually a pretty worthless attitude. It's basically saying, 'I don't want to hear anything except unconditional agreement and approval'. And that's nonsense. This is still a free country… for a little while longer, anyway… and if you really feel you just gotta send me a flame, or post one on my comment threads (assuming they actually work, which I cannot in any way guarantee) then by all means, knock yourself out.

Unless your flame is exceptionally cogent, witty, or stylish, though, I will most likely ignore it. You do have a right to say anything you want (although I’m not sure that’s a right when you’re doing it in my comment threads, but hey, you can certainly send all the emails you want). However, I have an equal right not to read anything I don’t feel like reading… and I’m really quick with the delete key… as various angry folks have found in the past, when they decided they just had to do their absolute level best to make me as miserable as possible.

So, if you don’t like my opinions, feel free to say so. However, if I find absolutely nothing worthwhile in your commentary, I will almost certainly not respond to it in any way.

Stupidity, ignorance, intolerance… these things are only worth my time and attention if they’re entertaining. So unless you can be stupid, ignorant, and/or intolerant with enough with, style, and/or panache to amuse me… try to be smart, informed, and broad minded when you write me.

Like it? Hate it? Hit me with your best shot.


 

WHO IS THIS IDIOT, ANYWAY?

ARCHIVES:

Friday 4/18/03

Saturday 4/19/03

Sunday 4/20/03

Sunday, later, 4/20/03

Monday, 4/21/03

Tuesday, 4/22/03

Wednesday, 4/23/03

Thursday, 4/24/03

OTHER FINE LOOKIN WEBLOGS:

Pen-Elayne on the Web

Inkgrrl

Blue Streak by Devra

Emily Jones (nee' Hawkgirl, she doesn't seem to be using that blog name anymore, but I'm a geek, I really like it)

Notes On The Atrocities

Tom Tomorrow

Mark Evanier

MaxSpeak

Dean's World

BROWN EYED HANDSOME ARTICLES OF NOTE:

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, MARK EVANIER & ME: Robert Heinlein's Influence on Modern Day Superhero Comics

KILL THEM ALL AND LET NEO SORT THEM OUT: The Essential Immorality of The Matrix

HEINLEIN: The Man, The Myth, The Whackjob

BILL OF GOODS: The Words of A Heinlein Fan Like Nearly Every Other Heinlein Fan I've Ever Met, But More Polite

FIRST RAPE, THEN PILLAGE, THEN BURN: S.M. Stirling shows us terror... in a handful of alternate histories

DOING COMICS THE STAINLESS STEVE ENGLEHART WAY!by "John Jones" (that's me, D. Madigan), & Jeff Clem, with annotations by Steve Englehart

JOHN JONES: THREAT OR MENACE!

FUNERAL FOR A FRIENDSHIP

Why I Disliked Carol Kalish And Don't Care If Peter David Disagrees With Me

MARTIAN VISION, by John Jones, the Manhunter from Marathon, IL

BROWN EYED HANDSOME GEEK STUFF:

Doc Nebula's Phantasmagorical Fan Page!

THE OMNIVERSE TIMELINE

World Of Empire Fantasy Roleplaying Campaign

BROWN EYED HANDSOME FICTION (mostly):

NOVELS: [* = not yet written]

Universal Maintenance

Universal Agent*

Universal Law*

Time Watch

Endgame

Earthquest

Earthgame*

Warren's World

Warlord of Erberos

Return to Erberos*

ZAP FORCE #1: ROYAL BLOOD

Memoir:

In The Early Morning Rain

Short Stories:

Positive

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Leadership

Talkin' 'bout My Girl

No Good Angel

No Time Like The Present

Pursuit of Happiness

The Last One

Pursuit of Happiness

Return To Sender

Halo

Primogenitor

Alleged Humor:

Ask A Bastard!

On The Road Again

Meeting of the Mindless

Star Drek

THE ADVENTURES OF FATHER O'BRANNIGAN

Fan Fic:

The Captain and the Queen

A Day Unlike Any Other (Iron Mike & Guardian)

DOOM Unto Others! (Iron Mike & Guardian)

Starry, Starry Night(Iron Mike & Guardian)

A Friend In Need (Blackstar & Guardian)

All The Time In The World(Blackstar)

The End of the Innocence(Iron Mike & Guardian)

And Be One Traveler(Iron Mike & Guardian)

BROWN EYED HANDSOME COMICS SCRIPTS & PROPOSALS:

SERAPHIM 66

AMAZONIA by D.A. Madigan & Nancy Champion (7 pages final script)

AMAZONIA (Alternate Draft 1)

AMAZONIA (Alternate Draft 2)

AMAZONIA (World Timeline)

TEAM VENTURE by Darren Madigan and Mike Norton

FANTASTIC FOUR 2099, by D.A. Madigan!

BROWN EYED HANDSOME CARTOONS:

DOC NEBULA'S CARTOON FUN PAGE!

DOC NEBULA'S CARTOON FUN, PAGE 2!

DOC NEBULA'S CARTOON FUN, PAGE 3!

WEIRD WAR COMICS COVER ART.

ULTRASPEED!

Help Us, Batman...

JLA Membership drive

Don't Leave Us, Batman...!

Ever wondered what happened to the World's Finest Super-team?

Two heroes meet their editor...

At the movies with some legendary Silver Age sidekicks...

What really happened to Kandor...

Ever wondered how certain characters managed to get into the Legion of Superheroes?

A never before seen panel from the Golden Age of Comics...

BOOM!

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