Saturday, 23 March 2013

You're Just Jealous You Don't Have An Arrow on Your Head

Avatar: The Last Airbender (aka Legend of Aang in some places) is one of my favourite shows ever. Note, I didn't say my favourite animated show, or favourite kids show. It is one of my favourite shows ever, period. The feels I have felt watching that show are more feely than any emotional attachment I have felt to probably any other show, that's including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Doctor Who. I missed it on when it came on TV, catching maybe an episode here or there, unaware of its greatness. When I finally watched it all the way through for the first time, I realised I had never laughed as much, cried as much, or been wowed as much, as I had watching this anime inspired cartoon by Nickelodeon.

I know it is late in the game to be harping on about this show since it has been off the air for like 5 years or whatever, but I have recently watching it again with my girlfriend, and we only have five episodes left, and all I feel is a sadness that it will end soon. Because I love this show.Which brings me to the topic of this blog post: Aang is not bald.

I realise I just heard an audible gasp from across the digital matrix as the members of the audience who actually have a passing knowledge of the show stare in disbelief at their computer screens, whilst the rest of you are probably shrugging in indifference and trying to remember which one was Aank or Anga or whatever name I wrote above. But it is true. Aang is not bald.

Here is Aang:

"Hi there."

Note the blue arrow on his forehead? That's the tattoos he received on becoming an Airbender Master.

Here's Aang being badass, just cause:
Yep, just gonna leave this up here.

See how his tattoos and eyes have lit up, while he simultaneously bending the four elements like a boss? That means he is in the Avatar State, basically meaning that he is in an asskicking mood and you should probably not mention the fact his 7 tonne flying bison is overweight.

I hope you feel bad for calling him fat when he is just so adorable. Not to mention he is the last of his kind and a fucking flying bison, as in a bison that flies. In the air. You should feel terrible about yourself right about now.

But in all the above the pictures we see Aang's bald head, proudly displaying his killer ink. And thus, we feel bad for the 12 year old suffering from early onset male pattern baldness, until season 3 happens and we see this:
Aang sporting hair. As in actual, 'I'm-not-balding-at-all-I-just-like-to-shave-my-head-to-show-off-my-tats-and-look-badass' hair.

This new-found revelation inevitably causes some contention in camp Avatar as Aang's friends try to reconcile the fact the hairless wonder they thought they knew and loved is not as hairless as they originally thought, and if he had kept this from them, what other secrets could he be hiding?

We can see the tension that his hair has wrought on Katara and Aang's relationship in this picture here:
Unable to face her, Aang looks away ashamed whilst Katara wants to reach out but can't, since she is too mesmerised by the presence of hair on the back of Aang's head.

However, as the season progresses and his hair grows longer, Aang grows increasingly anxious about the hair on his head and the way in which he has been ostracise by his friends due to his head full of hair leading to a breakdown:

Realising that he will never be accepted with flowing gorgeous locks, Aang resolves to shave his head once more, removing the erroneous hair. After this, Aang and his friends promptly pretend that it never happened.

It never happened.


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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Bathroom As the Space for Female Conversation

We now look at one of the questions that has plagued mankind for generations: why do women feel obligated, and possibly compelled, to go to the bathroom in small groups and engage in gossip, chit-chat, and what has been termed, 'girl talk'. 

Why the bathroom was chosen as the designated space for discussion has yet to be discovered, but we can confirm that often they like to prune themselves gazing upon their reflection in mirrors whilst engaging in conversation. In this respect, since the bathroom is already equipped with basic apparatuses for the pruning process, such as the aforementioned mirror, paper towels, taps with running water and hand soap, this could be one possible reason why women have chosen the bathroom for their safe haven during 'girl talk'. 

Women will often leave their pack without much warning aside from brief, often euphemistic, sentences, such as "We're just going to powder our noses" or "Time to go to the little girl's room, coming [insert name of other female here]", leaving the men of the pack to shift awkwardly in their seats and make mumbled assertions that they will have 'guy talk' in retaliation to the shift in pack dynamics that occurred almost without them noticing. Most of this 'guy talk' will often revolve around why women always seem to go to the toilet together and the inability of the men of the pack to understand the female drive for 'girl talk', particularly when there seemed no need or build up in the conversation up to that put which would lead them to suspect that the women might want to discuss different matters of which they know not. Occasionally, although this is somewhat rare but not unheard of, the men will make jokes and/or fantasize that the women actually go to the bathroom together to engage in homosexual activities, but again this is not all that common and is usually reserved for a subspecies of men, the jerk (or sometimes the very horny).

Sometimes a woman is not aware of her natural and social obligation to engage in 'girl talk' in the bathroom, and might feel ostracised And/or ashamed in having neglected her social duties as a woman, illustrated in this dramatization by David Willis in his webcomic, Dumbing of Age:  

dina has never seen any sitcoms

As we can see here, the social competent female instinctively knows to follow the first girl to the bathroom, to "check if she is all right", whilst the social inept female has to ask one of the men of the group what is going on. Once notified of the social phenomenon that "Girls like going into the bathroom to talk", she, after a moment of reflection where she realises the mistake she has made, immediately acknowledges that she has not been prudent in her duties as a female and makes her way to the bathroom.

Why women feel compelled to do this and why they have chosen the bathrooms of public places as the space for 'girl talk' will always remain mysteries that mankind seems pitifully unable to answer, but the more we examine this strange phenomenon, the more we can hope to perhaps one day glimpse at the truth .

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Alan Moore is Scary

Alan Moore is a legend among legends in the comic book industry. Possibly no other comic book author has had the impact on the industry and the perception of comic books as a medium as he has. While there have been great masters of comics before and after Alan Moore, they are exactly that, before or after Alan Moore. That's how large an impression he made with his 1980s work, there is a definite 'before and after' period. He may not be my favourite comic author, that slight honour goes to Grant Morrison, or write my favourite comic book dialogue, that's Micheal Brian Bendis (or Joss Whedon if he feels like writing a comic), but he is without a doubt the most influential comic book writer of all time. Works like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, although slightly over-rated, are complex, rich and nuanced works which explored the possibilities of comics as a medium and as an art-form, whilst his epic comic novel, From Hell, is truly his magnum opus, a dense and multi-layered work that weaves masonry, conspiracy, secret orders, witchcraft, paganism and political intrigue and scandal all into the Jack the Ripper murders, that reads less like a murder mystery, as Jack's identity is revealed almost instantaneously, but more like a smorgasbord of all the elements that ushered in the 20th century.

That said, Alan Moore is a scary-looking mother-fucker. Seriously. He's got a zombie-fied face that looks like sleep is something it hasn't seen in years, wears hardcore silver rings on each of his massive fingers, and has a beard that looks like it eats other beards for sustenance when it isn't busy killing puppies and stealing candy from little children. He honestly looks like an undead wizard pirate who emerged from the depths of the seventh level of hell and then shrugged off climbing through those unspeakable pits of horror, because he's Alan Fucking Moore, and that's what Alan Fucking Moore does in his daily routine.

But don't just take my word for it, look here:


And here, where he is clearly invoking some terrible binding spell on some poor critic's nutsack:

"Hello, again."

Don't let the grey in his hair in the below picture fool you into thinking that means he is now old and feeble, it's just that the zombiefication process has accelerated and soon his dark powers will be absolute.

A picture from the same day proves that his earlier look of disinterest in the above the photo was just his disdain for the mere mortal who was foolish enough to try to capture his image by getting close.
In this second photo, you can sense that he is just thinking of which ghastly undead curse to unleash on the pitiful camera-person:

"Nail Ripping Curse or Kneecap-Breaking Spell? Probably do both to be safe."

And finally, in this photo the zombiefication process is complete. While he may look thinner and worn-out that is just so he can be streamlined and access his omnipotent undead powers more fully, respectively:

"I am now ready to be your Unholy Overlord."
I will admit that this observation is not entirely original and others have also noted Alan Moore's ghoulish appearance and otherworldly zombie wizard powers, most notably the inspiration for this blog, Randy Milholland's tribute (read: plaintive plea to the Dark Lord of comics not to take his soul through his spine) on his webcomic, Something Positive:

I end by reiterating, Alan Moore is fucking scary.


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URLs for photos-