Chris’s Top Stuff of 2015

December 31, 2015 In The News, Pop Culture Comments (0) 206

Time again to look back at another year and the entertainment media it produced. Rather than do a bunch of entries with different top things, I thought I’d cover it all in one post–and I’m not even going to explain why I like all the things I do, I’m just giving you the list and you can draw your own conclusions. Continue Reading

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The Top Thing of 2015

December 31, 2015 Politics / Religion, Pop Culture Comments (0) 210

Black_Lives_Matter_protestThis was going to be part of a larger “Top Things of 2015” countdown, but it sprawled out of control and so now it’s getting its own post.

2015 was America’s truth mirror. It was the year we had to face a host of sordid, ugly aspects of our culture, most of which had bubbled under the surface for decades. If you’re a fan of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, it was essentially the focus of each week’s main story: Here’s a terrible thing that’s been happening regularly for a long time, and most people have no idea.

Whether it was Black Lives Matter exposing power-mad murderous police, John Legend and Common talking mass incarceration on the Oscar stage, or Donald Trump making it abundantly clear that roughly half of Americans are virulently, openly racist, it seemed like everywhere you looked in 2015 you saw people pulling back the curtain on some shame we as a culture used to pretend didn’t exist.

This is, to my mind, a good thing. A very good thing. Sure, it’s disturbing and even depressing to see the ugliness in our society, and for a lot of people it’s shaken their faith in America and humanity. But I’m in the camp that says before we can solve a problem, we have to face it. These aren’t new problems. It’s not as if police haven’t been murdering black people in cold blood since police became a thing. What has changed is that the people suffering under such oppression now have camera phones and YouTube, and can prove to the world what they’ve been seeing forever. Continue Reading

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Why I Have Ads on My Site

December 30, 2015 Blogging, Personal Comments (0) 186

This isn’t prompted by any particular inquiry, it’s something I want to post so I can refer back to it later–a little trick I learned from reading John Scalzi, who incidentally has no ads on his very successful blog.

The short answer to the question in the headline is “So I can make a tiny bit of money on something I invest a ton of time and work in making.”

Philosophically, I find ads objectionable, and for years I insisted I would never put ads on my site. I write and create to share ideas and participate in the online conversation, not to hawk some brand or product. My experiences in the last couple of years, however, persuaded me that the ads on this site are a necessary and worthwhile evil. Continue Reading

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Cartoon: From Birth

December 28, 2015 Artwork, Comics, In The News Comments (0) 571

After it was announced that yet another killer cop was going to walk without so much as a trial, Roxane Gay put out a suggestion for an editorial cartoon. I’m not sure I can fairly describe this as “collaboration,” but whatever it is, I was excited to be part of it.

It’s a weird/shitty thing about drawing editorial cartoons that you sometimes do your best work in response to the worst things happening in the world, but that’s the nature of the art form. It’s not often you get a chance to impress someone you really admire, and as awful as this verdict (and this day) are, it felt really good to hear she liked it.

There’s a second version with a word balloon, and at first I didn’t know which I liked better. The more I look at it, the more I prefer this version.

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This gun graph will blow your mind!

December 9, 2015 In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 173

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A friend shared this meme on Facebook. I have a few minutes free on my lunch break, so let’s go through it, shall we? Continue Reading

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The Tortured Cake Metaphor

December 7, 2015 Writing Comments (0) 249

 

It’s been a while since I posted something here other than a cartoon, but I had a few thoughts I wanted to share about writing–by way of talking about cake.

Have you ever baked a cake? It’s more challenging than you might think. Many bakers will tell you that “cooking is an art, but baking is a science.” Getting the right flavor, shape, and texture means carefully balancing ingredients (chemistry actually comes into this, because a lot baking is about balancing pH), methods of mixing and combining ingredients, baking time, and sometimes advanced tricks like freezing layers between baking. Continue Reading

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