Saturday, September 09, 2006

Weekend Wrap-up Sept 9, 2006

Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk
Madrid, Spain has banned too-thin models from the catwalk. They kept falling through the spaces between the catwalk's panels, and it was disrupting the fashion shows.


Sorry, I couldn't resist. Actually, Madrid feels that these thin models send a bad message about what's considered acceptable in regards to size; the article said that this ban will exclude a third of the models. I don't recall this ever happening before, and this might become the sort of thing is going to catch on elsewhere. One can only hope, because those ladies are too thin, and it makes me wonder why Olive Oyl's body structure is considered so appealing.

Funny thing is, about a couple of years ago, there was an ad campaign in which models of ...a generous size... posed in their underwear. The point of the ad was to demonstrate that beauty comes in all sizes - or somesuch PC phrase. However, can't the modeling industry find models that are of normal human female sizes? Do models only come in these size extremes?

Comic strips today
And speaking of Olive Oyl, have any of you ever seen Popeye's first appearance in the funny pages? The sailor first appeared in a comic strip named Thimble Theater on January 17, 1929. Yep, 1929. He's one old dude! He also represents a time when comic strips were a lot more daring and interesting than they are nowadays. I look at my local paper's strips, and I wonder why such strips as "Snuffy Smith" and "TumbleWeeds" are still being run. Syndicates don't allow comic strips to be daring or imaginative except in the most bland and inoffensive way, which robs the cartoonist of much of his or her humor.

I see comic strips as a form of expression much like an opinion columnist. If opinion columnists had as many restrictions on them as comic strip cartoonists do, then you'd never read many of the columns that are written today. Syndicates and newspaper publishers are only trying to protect their respective organizations against the occasional loose cannon in their ranks, but in placing so many restrictions on its artists, they also rob a lot of what had appealed to readers in the first place.

Fortunately, there's "alternative" press that these more daring cartoonists can go to, as well as smaller newspapers, but many of them deserve more exposure and circulation, which they'll never get in today's oppressive environment. Thanks to the Internet, many of these artists have an outlet for their creativity and an audience to feed back from. As someone who is both writer and artist, I can't tell you how crucial audience feedback is to their development in their chosen crafts. Without the Internet, they'd be languishing in jobs that aren't what they want to do in life, but with no means of showing the world what they can do.

But the newspapers and syndicates need sturdier spines. They want readers, but they don't want to offend. If not being offensive from time to time is not what they want, then they're in the wrong business. If they're willing to fight for their opinion columnists, then they should be just as willing to fight for their cartoonists.

Clinton's threats to ABC
And speaking of needing strudier spines, ABC needs to find one as soon as possible, after getting much heat from representatives of former president Bill Clinton over an upcoming docudrama about the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Some articles that I researched have gone so far as saying that some Clinton representatives have threatened to have the broadcast licenses revoked of any ABC affiliates who aired the docudrama.

Folks, it is because of situations like this that we have a First Amendement, which states thus:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

While the representatives of Clinton have the right to protest the film's accuracies, they have no right to threaten their broadcast licenses. If this is allowed, then any political party, Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, will then feel entitled to likewise threaten broadcast license revocation for statements made that they disagree with. And not long after that, the media will evolve into simply being mouthpieces for propaganda for these political parties.

I hope ABC sticks to their guns and calls the Clinton's representatives' bluff. If Clinton's reps live up to their threat and have broadcast licenses revoked, then they will succeeded in handing "ammo" to the GOP and to conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh for the foreseeable future. They will use such "ammo" not only in the 2006 election season, but also the 2008 election season, and probably beyond. This is significant, because Hillary Clinton is said to be considering running for president in '08. If she runs, does she really need these acts of license revocation on her record? Granted, she won't have been the one to call for it, but don't fool yourselves into thinking that the GOP and Rush won't try their darndest to connect her to it.

Clinton's representatives should stop making such threats, whether they're empty or not, because they're only hurting themselves in the long run. Plus, no doubt that Rush is sitting on the sidelines just salivating over the possibility that they'll follow through with their threat and do it. Do they really want Rush Limbaugh to be bludgeoning them for the next two years with this if they follow through with their threat?

A time in which I wish I had my camera
On my way home from work yesterday, I was treated to a very amusing sight. A huge pick-up truck that was bordering on "monster truck" size was being held hostage by two tiny, yapping Chihuahuas. The poor guy couldn't see them from his high vantage point, and he no doubt didn't want to run over the little critters, so he was forced to sit there and wait for either the owner of the dogs to come get his pooches, or that the Chihuahuas would lose interest. You gotta admire the gutsiness of the little guys. Fortunately for the driver, the dogs finally moved out of the way, and he was able to continue on his way. Dang, I wish I had had my camera then! I could have posted the picture here!

Have a great week, folks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Popeye strip was extremely cool. I didn't even know he started out in the comics, I thought he was just in cartoons. Now I'll have to make it my mission to track down a compilation. I must know the history of Olive being sent out to get a dime's worth of longitude.