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I’m feeling schadenfreude over the firing of Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly. For the past few years I had been growing tired of going to the local Target store and seeing new books with his byline being released every few months that have titles like Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing the Rising Sun, Killing Patton, and a whole bunch of other historical books with the name Killing in the title.

One of the reasons why I’m enjoying his downfall is that this piece of shit once threatened one of my friends with assault.

The friend in question works for an organization that’s concerned with issues regarding the separation of church and state. From time to time he has appeared on various cable news talk shows where he has discussed these issues. Bill O’Reilly’s show is among the shows that he has made more than one appearance. My friend has plenty of stories about Bill O’Reilly, including what went down the last time he appeared on that show.

Since my friend lives and works in the Washington, DC area, whenever he was invited to appear on any Fox News show as a guest, he usually went to the studio of the local Fox affiliate in downtown DC where he made his appearance via satellite. That notorious night he appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show was no different. He appeared via satellite and debated Bill O’Reilly about a certain hot issue at the time. When his segment ended and the show went to commercial break, Bill O’Reilly was still able to communicate with him via satellite, even though their exchange wasn’t being aired live at the moment. Bill O’Reilly told my friend if he ever sees him in person he was going to beat him up.

Since that incident wasn’t filmed, there is no evidence that Bill O’Reilly has threatened my friend with violence. But I have no problem with believing my friend’s account because Bill O’Reilly has a history of less-than-respectable behavior. His daughter has alleged that she saw her father choke her mother and drag her down a flight of stairs by her neck. Of course that marriage ended in divorce but that didn’t stop Bill O’Reilly from suing his ex-wife for $10 million last year on the grounds that she had fraudulently misled him into signing a separation agreement while having an extramarital affair.

And then there is this classic video that comes from his pre-Fox News days when Bill O’Reilly was an on-air presenter for the TV show Inside Edition.

It took a bunch of women accusing Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment to finally get Fox News to cancel his show once and for all.

I’m happy that he’s off the air. If he has any common sense, he should keep a low profile. (Of course that’s assuming Bill O’Reilly ever had any common sense to begin with.) Maybe he can take advantage of his free time by writing a new book: Killing My Fox News Career.

UPDATE (April 21, 2017): If you think Bill O’Reilly’s assault threat against my friend after appearing on his show was an aberration, think again. This link has a couple of paragraphs about how Bill O’Reilly issued a similar assault threat against one of his guests, the son of a 9/11 victim named Jeremy Glick. Why? Because Glick had opposed the Bush Administration’s invasion of Afghanistan. That’s right, Bill O’Reilly had simply disagreed with Glick’s opinion on a certain topic. On top of it, O’Reilly spent months demonizing Glick as a “traitor” on his program. (In contrast, my friend got off relatively easy with just a single assault threat.)

Which proves my point that American discourse will be better off in the long run if Bill O’Reilly simply takes that $25 million severance pay that Fox News gave him and retire in obscurity. I don’t ever want to hear about him again until his death.

Previous post in this series.

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Howard the Duck #17
Wuxtra! Wuxtra! The Real, True Super-Sensational Inside Scoop on the Wanton Past of Doctor Bong!
October, 1977

Credits: Steve Gerber, writer/editor; Gene Colan, artist; Klaus Janson, inker; A. Kawecki, letterer; Janice Cohen, colorist

Synopsis: This issue begins where issue #15 left off (since issue #16 wasn’t even related to the continuity to the comic book series). Doctor Bong welcomes Beverly and Howard (whom he abducted from the cruise ship they were on) to his personal island and he expects them to stay. Howard attempts to leave and Doctor Bong responds by taking his left hand, which is shaped like steel clapper, and hitting himself on his bell-shaped head to produce a “BONG!” noise at a frequency that makes Howard pass out.

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While one of Doctor Bong’s mutant minions brings Howard to a tower in Bong’s castle, Doctor Bong gives Beverly a tour of the facility while uttering such cliches as “style over substance.”

Howard wakes up in a hotel-like room in the tower that has a copy of Gideon’s Bible along with Beverly’s old journal. Soon one of Doctor Bong’s minions enters the room with dinner for Howard. Her name is Fifi, she is an anthro duck like Howard except she’s taller, has more human features, and she speaks with a French accent.

Meanwhile the cruise ship that Howard and Beverly were on prior to their abduction, the S.S. Damned, remains docked off the coast of Doctor Bong’s island with the top deck loaded with giant boulders that fell from the sky in issue #15. But then the boulders mysteriously disappeared while the damaged ship was immediately repaired and even those who lost their lives were somehow resurrected. Doctor Bong suddenly appears on the deck and he tells the captain that unless the ship departs immediately, he can make sure that it gets damaged again. He then hits his bell head with his steel clapper hand and he not only disappears but the ship’s engines start up. At the same time Doctor Bong’s island suddenly disappears into thin air.

Doctor Bong and Beverly sit in the dining room for dinner. Doctor Bong begins to tell Beverly that they’ve met years ago. He then proceeds to go into his childhood where, as a young boy named Lester Verde, he was bullied by the neighborhood kids. When Lester ran home to his mother in tears, he called the other kids a bunch of “monkey mouths.” The mother praises her son for his originality in coming up with that name, tells him that he would make a good writer, and confides that she once wanted to be a writer herself. A third-grade class field trip to a newspaper office solidified his desire to become a writer when he grows up.

When Lester was in college as a journalism major his journalism professor got on his case for his tendency towards sensationalism. Lester retaliated by coming up with a story for the campus newspaper that implied that the professor was accused in a drug scandal, which ruined the professor’s career, marriage, and reputation.

During his senior year he enrolled in a life drawing class where Beverly, who was then a theater student at the same school, worked as an artist model on four different occasions. Lester was immediately smitten with Beverly. He asked Beverly out on a date but she turned him down because she already had a boyfriend named David at the time. In retaliation he found out that David was a Jewish guy who was dating a non-Jew so he told David’s parents, which led to them withdrawing David from college. David later died in a car accident while driving through a snowstorm so he could visit Beverly at college.

After Lester graduated from college he worked for a number of newspapers while providing sensationalist tabloid-style journalism in the hopes that Beverly would notice the byline and consider going out with him. When that didn’t work, he attempted to become a music critic for a midwest newspaper, which was a short-lived gig.

Lester briefly worked for a shock-rock band dressed as the Easter Bunny who gets sent to the guillotine by the band. But an onstage accident causes his left hand to get chopped off for real so that explains why he has a steel clapper instead of a hand.

Howard is sitting in the tower room talking with Fifi until she tells him that Doctor Bong plans to evolve him because he has been earmarked for reconstruction. What’s more, Fifi is his selected mate and they are expected to produce offspring. Howard becomes alarmed at this bit of information so he runs out of the room and he runs through the castle until he finds Doctor Bong and Beverly. Howard gets subdued by Doctor Bong’s mutant creatures. Doctor Bong tells Beverly that either she marries him or he will decapitate Howard. Beverly reluctantly agrees to marry Doctor Bong only because she wants to save Howard’s life. Doctor Bong then tells his mutant creature minions to take Howard to the Evolvo-Chamber.

Topical 1970’s References: This comic book issue was published around the time that Rupert Murdoch started to purchase The New York Post and other newspapers in the United States (after he did something similar in both his native Australia and the United Kingdom). Murdoch’s tabloids are notorious for sensationalist headlines that exaggerate the real truth. A few years later Rupert Murdoch would start the Fox broadcast network that showed sitcoms and other shows that were a bit raunchier and racier (such as Married With Children and The Simpsons) than the shows on the other three networks. Then Murdoch started Fox News, which is notorious for being far from objective and being biased towards Republicans and far-right politicians.

Lester’s days with that shock-rock band is definitely a parody of Alice Cooper, who used similar stage props (such as guillotine and a boa constrictor) during his 1970’s heyday. Alice Cooper was still going through the guillotine as late as 2014, when this video was shot.

The Bottom Line: It’s a great satire of the tabloids, which seems to predict the rise of the corporate dominated media where, these days, the media in the United States is more focused on what Kim Kardashian is doing than what’s happening in places like, let’s say, war-torn Syria. I can’t even go into a store without seeing a tabloid at the supermarket checkout line that has the latest headline about Kim Kardashian or any of her sisters.

Doctor Bong is among the more memorable villains who appeared in the original Howard the Duck comic book series. Just the idea that his superpower stems from using his steel clapper hand to hit his bell head is pretty hilarious. This issue provides a promising beginning to the Doctor Bong story arc that would be around for the rest of the original comic book series.

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Howard the Duck #18
Metamorphosis
November, 1977

Credits: Steve Gerber, writer/editor; Gene Colan, artist; Klaus Janson, inker; Irv Watanabe, letterer; Jan Cohen, colorist

Synopsis: This issue begins with Howard being put inside of Doctor Bong’s Evolvo-Chamber so his genetic structure can be reprogrammed and reconstructed as if he had been born another species.

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Beverly, who had agreed to marry Doctor Bong so he wouldn’t kill Howard, becomes horrified at what’s happening so she runs to the controls and starts fiddling with the buttons in the hopes of shutting the Evolvo-Chamber down. Instead she inadvertently speeds up the process. Beverly becomes so upset at this failure that she attempts to run away from the castle only to discover that the castle is no longer located on an island in the middle of the ocean. Instead the castle has been mysteriously moved to a mountain peak in the Himalayas so escape is impossible.

Meanwhile the Evolvo-Chamber begins to overheat and is about to explode. Doctor Bong orders an evacuation but Fifi refuses to leave Howard behind so she takes a chair and smashes the bell-like structure where Howard is being held and rescues him just before the machine catches fire.

While Doctor Bong orders his mutant creatures to put out the fire, Fifi carries an unconscious Howard up to her bedroom where she puts him in her bed then leaves the room to get a drink for him. Doctor Bong catches up with Beverly and he tells her that she must never do anything like what she did ever again. He tells her it’s time for them to be married. He hits the side of his bell head with his steel clapper hand and they disappear. They end up on a Soviet ship off the coast of Maine. Speaking Russian, Doctor Bong asks the captain to marry them.

Fifi enters her bedroom with a tray full of something to drink for Howard when she makes this discovery. Howard has become a human being. He’s now a man with caucasian skin, blue eyes, and curly brown hair. Howard becomes shocked at his new appearance when he looks in a mirror. Fifi also tells Howard that Beverly has married Doctor Bong in order to save Howard’s life and they are now on their honeymoon. Howard asks Fifi if there is a way that he can escape this castle. Fifi agrees to help him escape on one condition: That she be allowed to escape with Howard as well.

Using her pilot skills, the pair escape on the Flying Bonger, which is a bell-shaped flying vehicle. Once the Flying Bonger reaches New York City, a U.S. Air Force jet starts to follow. Fifi tells Howard that there is no way of contacting the jet because the radio frequency has been programmed to communicate with Doctor Bong only.

The jet shoots down the Flying Bonger, which crash lands in the middle of Central Park. Howard manages to emerge unscathed and he slowly craws away from the crash site. When the police, fire fighters, and other emergency people arrive, they pull the body of Fifi, who died in the crash, from the wreckage.

The issue ends with Howard in Central Park trying to adjust to being a human male who’s back in New York City without Beverly because she married Doctor Bong.

Topical 1970’s References: There’s mention of the Soviet Union and how that ship had to secretively slip off the coast of Maine, especially since the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was still going on at the time.

The Bottom Line: It’s a pretty wild issue with Beverly being forced into marrying Doctor Bong and Howard suddenly becoming a human being. Just seeing Doctor Bong hit the hide of his bell-shaped head with that hammer he has for a hand is one of the more ludicrous ways I’ve ever seen a comic book villain use his power. Of course that getaway flying contraption shaped like a bell only completes the sheer lunacy of Doctor Bong.

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Howard the Duck #19
Howard the Human!
December, 1977

Credits: Steve Gerber, writer/editor; Gene Colan, artist; Klaus Janson, inker; Irv Watanabe, letterer; P. Rache, colorist

Synopsis: Howard, the newly-minted human who used to be a duck, walks aimlessly through the streets of Manhattan. At one point he sees a five-dollar bill lying on the ground so he picks it up and puts it in his pocket.

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Howard enters the Port Authority Bus Terminal where he goes straight to the men’s room because he feels the need to wash his face. A stranger approaches him asking him for spare change because he’s a starving artist. Howard refuses saying that he’s on a personal austerity program himself. The stranger then asks Howard to buy him a cup of coffee and a donut and Howard refuses while telling the stranger that he has bad breath. (The stranger looks like someone who has been living on the streets as a homeless person for quite some time.) The stranger then introduces himself as Mad Dog and tells Howard that if he wants to get rid of Mad Dog, he needs to buy him a color TV. Howard also refuses that request.

Finally Mad Dog said that he’ll settle for a cup of coffee and he accompanies Howard to the nearest coffee shop. The guy working the counter takes one whiff of Mad Dog (who apparently hadn’t showered or bathed in quite some time) and tells the two men that the coffee shop is closed. Mad Dog protests that the coffee shop isn’t supposed to close for another hour. When the coffee shop employee tells Mad Dog to go home and take a bath, Mad Dog responds by flipping a table over, which starts a huge brawl in the coffee shop.

A couple named Elton and Amy happens to be sitting near the brawl. Amy tells Elton that they should be leaving so they can get out of harm’s way. Elton, who’s a bit of a flake, is more into feeling the intense emotions he has for Amy than getting out of the way. When Mad Dog accidentally bumps into Elton in the throes of battle, Elton becomes enraged because Mad Dog had interrupted him at a time when he feels that he and Amy are starting to relate to each other so he throws Mad Dog through the coffee shop’s front window and proceeds to fight Mad Dog.

At the same time Howard decides to sneak out of the coffee shop because he wants nothing to do with that major brawl. Amy follows Howard and catches up with him. She tells Howard that she decided to leave while Elton is involved in the fracas because Elton has been making her serve as his mind and it’s starting to drive her mad because she’s tired of doing all the thinking for him. Howard attempts to ignore Amy but she tackles him to the ground. She tells Howard that she finds his misanthropic nature to be refreshing after dealing with Elton and she likes that he’s the polar opposite of Elton.

Amy pressures Howard into coming with her to her apartment in Greenwich Village where she does yoga stretches while telling Howard about her dysfunctional relationship with Elton.

Meanwhile at Doctor Bong’s castle in the Himalayas Doctor Bong learned from his mutant minions about Howard’s and Fifi’s escape in the Flying Bonger. Beverly expresses glee at the news and Doctor Bong responds by hitting his bell head with steel clapper hand in order to freeze Beverly in her place. Doctor Bong orders his minions to take Beverly to the bedroom while he goes to a computer in his study in order to find a way of getting rid of Howard the Duck. As Doctor Bong browses the latest newspapers online he finds a news story in a local New York newspaper that mentions Fifi’s death in that Flying Bonger crash but no mention of anyone else on board that craft. Doctor Bong hits himself on the head in order to transport him to Manhattan in his search of Howard.

Howard ends up spending the night with Amy and it’s implied that he and Amy may have done more than just sleeping. The following morning Elton is pacing outside of Amy’s apartment. Apparently he somehow figured out that Amy had spent the night with Howard. Finally Elton grows tired of pacing back and forth so he breaks into Amy’s apartment and wakes Amy up. Elton and Amy are shocked to see a duck sleeping on Amy’s couch. Apparently Howard’s night with Amy had somehow reversed the change he underwent and he’s now a duck again. Howard doesn’t realize this until he wakes up and decides to take a shower. When he sees that he’s too short to reach a lot of things in the shower, Howard realizes that he’s a duck once again. At that point Doctor Bong appears in the bathroom.

Topical 1970’s References: When Elton first punches Mad Dog in the coffee shop he utters the quote that was made famous by Peter Ustinov in the film Network: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” (Network was released shortly before this issue was published.)

The Bottom Line: It’s a pretty interesting issue seeing how Donald responds to being human. This issue definitely have a “Stranger in a Strange Land” vibe about it even more so than usual and I think it’s because Howard is a human who’s blending in with the general population for once.

These issues were reprinted in Howard the Duck: The Complete Collection, Volume 2, which can be purchased onine at AbeBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookDepository, Half.com, IndieBound, Indigo, Powell’s.

Next post in this series.

The Howard the Duck Series

Howard the Duck: The Complete Collection, Volume 1

The Early Stories
Howard the Duck #1-3
Howard the Duck #4-5
Howard the Duck #6
Howard the Duck #7 and Marvel Treasury Edition #12: Howard the Duck
Howard the Duck #8

Howard the Duck #9-11
Howard the Duck #12-14
Howard the Duck King Size Annual #1 and Howard the Duck #15
Howard the Duck #16

Howard the Duck: The Complete Collection, Volume 2

Howard the Duck #17-19
Howard the Duck #20-22
Howard the Duck #23-25
Howard the Duck #26-28
Howard the Duck #29-31
Howard the Duck Magazine #1

I have a couple of friends of mine who perform together as a duo known as The Bachelor and the Bad Actress. They’ve been performing together for quite a while and they have an interesting repertoire that you can listen to right here.

A few weeks ago they posted on Facebook that they were shooting a music video for their latest song at the New Deal Cafe and they wanted as many people to come out and be a part of it as possible. The song is called “Be a Believer” and it’s a tune that’s encouraging people to vote for Bernie Sanders. (I know that many states have already have their primary elections. I live in a state that has its primary scheduled for April 26 this year.) So they shot the music video and they recently released it online.

Not long after its release Mashable.com featured that video along with a few other pro-Bernie Sanders music videos in this article. Then Fox News featured that same video in the first two minutes of this eight-minute video that someone posted on YouTube. The female host, Kennedy, is hysterical as she goes out of her way to paint everyone in this video as being crazy, naive, and delusional who are backing a totally lost cause. I remember Kennedy back in the day when she was a mediocre VJ on MTV (back when that channel actually used to play music videos instead of the really godawful reality shows that it now features) who used to brag about still being a virgin in her 20’s. Seeing Kennedy openly snark on a video that I appeared briefly in is definitely the most surreal blast from the past that I’ve ever had in my life.

It’s pretty cool to be in a music video that is starting to gain traction online. I had a blast making the video. I even took a few behind the scenes photos during the shooting of that video.

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The next two photos show what it was like to be on stage with bright lights shining in all of our eyes.

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Here’s a rare selfie of me wearing a flying pig hat. We were told to dress festively so I looked through my drawers where I found this hat, which I purchased when I was a vendor for the Pigtown Festival in Baltimore way back in 2010. (The table next to mine were selling flying pig hats for $10 and I ended up buying one on impulse.) Basically you pull on the strings dangling from the pig hat in order to flap the pig’s wings.

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Anyway here’s the video for “Be a Believer” by The Bachelor and The Bad Actress. You can see me wearing the flying pig hat and a blue sweatshirt on the far right hand side of the stage at the 7 second, 46 second, and 56 second marks.

(There was more footage shot of me with a couple of other people as we danced on stage and I flapped the flying pig hat’s wings but it was left on the cutting room floor. I’m still happy with the result nonetheless.)

Once more, here’s the link to the Mashable article that features this video along with other similar ones.

Here’s the video of Kennedy openly snarking on “Be a Believer” that is totally over the top. (Her looney rant kicks off the first two minutes of this eight-minute video.) One warning: You may not want to have anything in your mouth while watching this because there’s a chance that you’ll laugh so hard at Kennedy’s crazy rant that your computer/mobile screen will be covered in food and/or drink.

The only consolation about that above clip is that I doubt many people have actually watched the show that Kennedy’s rant appeared on. I know I didn’t. The only reason why I knew about its existence is because someone on Facebook saw it and started to post about it. That’s because, like the other cable news outlets, Fox News’ core audiences have shrunk despite increasing profits due to ad revenue. Basically Kennedy is blathering into a void where people aren’t even caring enough to tune into Fox News so her career continues from being a mediocre MTV VJ with a lot of viewers between 12-34 to being a mediocre Fox News commentator with fewer viewers (and the majority of them are over 60). If it weren’t for the fact that MTV prefers airing awful reality shows to actually playing music videos these days, I would tell Kennedy that she should stick with being a VJ.

Santa Claus

Since late September I’ve been spending each Tuesday waking up at the crack of dawn so I could drive around the notoriously slow and clogged Capital Beltway so I could arrive at Bethesda by 8:15 a.m. I was working a part-time temp job that lasted only one hour per week. December 8 was the last day that I had to show up for the job. Without going into too many details, I’m just going to say that it was the kind of job where I basically liked it because it actually utilized my knowledge of digital photography and I also liked my co-worker. The downside is that there was so much behind-the-scenes drama involving the organization we both contracted for that we really weren’t able to do as an effective job as we could’ve done. On top of it, I didn’t get my first paycheck from the organization until after we were working for 8 weeks and the breakdown was that I got paid for little more than $5.93 per hour. That crappy paycheck was the last straw for me (the gas money alone ate up the majority of my paycheck) and I’ve decided not to accept any further work from that organization. (If I hadn’t foolishly signed a contract on my first day at that job requiring me to stay in the job until it officially ended on December 8 or I got fired—whichever came first—I would’ve quit long before my job officially ended.)

Since it was a warm and pleasant December day I decided to have a little fun after my job officially ended forever. I looked up the Roadside America website and I decided to check out a couple of off-beat places that were located in nearby Rockville since I was in the area anyway.

First I checked out something called the Museum of Outdated Technology, which is located inside the MCHS Thrift Store, which is a fundraiser for the Montgomery County Humane Society.

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It took me a while to find the Museum of Outdated Technology. It’s basically located in the very back of the store along a few walls. It was definitely worth the effort because the museum consisted of several shelves full of pop culture kitsch that was released between circa 1950-1990.

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The only thing about the museum is that much of it is obstructed by boxes and counters (such as in the next picture) so it’s difficult to get a close look at much of the items on display. I’m sure it’s done in order to deter people from touching (or even stealing) the items. I wish there was a better way of organizing where the items could be protected while giving people a chance to have a close-up view of them. Putting them behind locked glass cabinets might be a solution.

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Aside from the Museum of Outdated Technology, the MCHS Thrift Store is your typical thrift store where one can purchase a variety of used items—ranging from books to clothes to toys—for a very low price. Plus the proceeds from the thrift shop goes to the Montgomery County Humane Society. Since I went to that store in December, the store had a variety of Christmas decorations for sale like the ones in the picture below.

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There were a variety of items, such as this Chinese language version of the soundtrack from Pinocchio.

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Then there’s this book, which had me thinking what was the publisher thinking when it decided that Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly would make a swell children’s book author.

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Once I left that store, I decided to check out Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, which is the oldest Catholic church in Rockville that’s still in use.

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Outside the entrance to the church’s graveyard was a nativity scene (which was appropriate given the fact that I was at that church in December).

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Here’s a closeup of that nativity scene. The interesting thing is the absence of the baby Jesus lying in a manger. I have a feeling that the church doesn’t include that infant until the days closest to Christmas. It’s similar to what my mother used to do when she used to put up the nativity scene in our home when I was a child. She wouldn’t put out the three wise men until January 6 since, according to tradition, that was when the three kings would finally arrive to the stable to give the baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Although she did put out the baby Jesus in the manger while she put up the nativity scene. While the church’s nativity scene didn’t have the baby Jesus but it had the three wise men. Go figure.

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The graveyard lies in the back of the church and one can tell that the church was once a little country church because the office buildings seem to clash with the historic tombstones.

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The graveyard is most famous for being the final resting place of the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their only child, nicknamed Scottie (but she’s buried under her full name of Frances Scott Fitzgerald Smith). I previously visited those graves back in 2012. Here is what those graves look like when I took this shot with my Canon DSLR Digital Rebel camera.

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And here are those same graves taken three years later with the camera that’s in my Droid Ultra smartphone.

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You can read the back tombstone much easier in the recent photo than in the earlier photo. This goes to show the great strides that digital photography (especially in smartphones) have taken in recent years. I took some more photos of the Fitzgerald family gravesite, especially since some people left some interesting gifts behind recently.

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The three Fitzgeralds are buried alongside other relatives of F. Scott’s.

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For a long time I find myself wishing that there is a way that the U.S. government can strip Rupert Murdoch of his U.S. citizenship and deport him back to his native Australia where he belongs. His Fox News is a total laughingstock and the only good thing about being too broke to do much out of town travel these days is that I’m spared from staying in hotels where many of the TV sets in the lobby are tuned into Fox News. These days the only time I even watch Fox News is when I’m watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (yes, I know that the latter has recently ended its run) and they run clips from that network for the shows to lampoon. I also get to see plenty of Fox News whenever I check out Russell Brand’s YouTube channel.

When the terrorists in Paris attacked the office of the satiric Charlie Hebdo magazine, Fox News naturally went on total hyperbole to the point where the on-air personalities (I refuse to call them “journalists”) kept on hyping how Paris is so dangerous that there are literally “No-Go Zones” in Paris where non-Muslims fear to tread.

Well the French got wind of what Fox News said and they now know what we Americans have been suffering through for years ever since Rupert Murdoch decided that he had to expand into the U.S. by any means necessary (including giving up his Australian citizenship for an American one because he wanted to get around the laws in this country limiting foreign ownership of TV and radio stations).

This incident was how I found out about the fact that there is a French equivalent of The Daily Show called Le Petit Journal, which is a comedy show that pokes fun of the news of the day. Le Petit Journal decided to make Fox News its whipping boy and the results are glorious. First they interviewed people who live in the areas that Fox News had designated as “No-Go Zones” and their responses totally exposed Fox News as the joke that it is. I’m providing a clip from the Young Turks’ YouTube channel because it provides the Fox News clips that inspired Le Petit Journal‘s satire as well as English subtitles.

But Le Petit Journal wasn’t finished with Fox News. They did this hilarious send-up where two Fox News reporters arrive in Paris while acting totally scared to death of such things as a Turkish restaurant, a place that serves couscous, and construction workers using a jackhammer. The actors portraying the Fox News reporters speak in English while they use actual Fox News graphics that show headlines like “Couscous Attack in Paris.”

When Fox News began to backtrack on its claim of No-Go Zones in Paris, Le Petit Journal got the last laugh.

Coming on the heels of too many incidents regarding cops killing unarmed African Americans while, in some cases, getting away with it, I was horrified to learn that two New York City police officers were brutally murdered yesterday while sitting in their patrol cars. I kept on hoping that the killer was anyone other than an African American but that was dashed awfully quick.

Of course right wingers are jumping on this to the point where they are actually making stuff up. One example of this is Tucker Carlson claiming that Rev. Al Sharpton incited those killings. That’s grossly unfair. I was at that march in Washington, DC that Rev. Sharpton organized nine days ago and I heard him speak at the rally at the end of the march route. I never once heard him calling for any revenge killings of police officers. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can hear it for yourself on C-SPAN’s website, which has posted videos of both the march and the rally in its entirety with no editing or commercial breaks.

In addition, when I was at the march, I didn’t see any signs calling for killing police officers. If I had, I would’ve taken a picture of it and posted it online. What I posted in that previous blog entry is what I actually saw in person that day and you won’t see any signs or t-shirts calling for police officers to be killed. While I didn’t turn on the video camera in my smartphone, I can tell you that I didn’t hear anyone calling for killing cops. The videos posted on C-SPAN’s site can easily verify that.

I found this excellent article that tells it like it is regarding who is to blame for all of these senseless killings. Here’s an excellent excerpt:

Michael Brown did not kill Michael Brown. Altering statements by witnesses did not kill Michael Brown. Stealing a cigarillo does not warrant the death penalty. Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown.

Tamir Rice did not kill Tamir Rice. Not following orders or holding a BB is not a death sentence.  Timothy Loehmann pulled the trigger that took the 12 year old’s life.

Eric Garner did not kill Eric Garner. Eric Garner’s weight did not kill Eric Garner. Selling a loose cigarette is not a death sentence. Daniel Pantaleo did choke out and kill Eric Garner.

Kelly Thomas did not kill Kelly Thomas. Mental illness did not kill Kelly Thomas. Jay Cicinelli, Manuel Ramos, and Joseph Wolfe killed Kelly Thomas.

And the two NYPD officers shot and killed in their patrol cruiser did not kill Eric Garner, nor should they have suffered the consequences of doing so.

Protestors did not kill the two slain officers. Politicians, grand juries, or police unions did not murder them either. Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed the two police men and he alone is the one with blood on his hands.

THIS! People need to stop blaming everyone from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to President Barack Obama to Rev. Al Sharpton to Santa Claus for these murders and start blaming the actual murderers themselves. People like Tucker Carlson need to stop making shit up! The facts alone are horrifying enough without having Tucker Carlson and the rest of Rupert Murdoch’s minions at Fox News embellish it by adding total bullshit. As the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said:

You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 8
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 22, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

I’m sure you’ve heard all about the tragic shooting of a 17-year-old African American named Trayvon Martin by a mixed white/Latino named George Zimmerman who still remains a free man as of this writing. (The police have refused to arrest him at all.) Here’s my take on this issue, which is now available as a dark hoodie in my Zazzle shop. (Click on the graphic to order it.)

Does This Hoodie Make Me Look Like a Criminal? zazzle_shirt
Does This Hoodie Make Me Look Like a Criminal? by kimsworldofart
See other Racism T-Shirts

I designed the racoon in Adobe Illustrator, then imported it into Adobe Photoshop where I added the text. I was inspired to create this shirt after seeing this Fox News clip of Geraldo Rivera saying that the hoodie is to be blamed for Trayvon Martin’s death and that blacks and Latinos shouldn’t wear it.

As you may have heard, Glenn Beck’s last show on Fox News was yesterday. This guy was probably the craziest pundit ever on television and he even made the late Morton Downey, Jr. seem sane by comparison.

How crazy was he? Media Matters have managed to put together an 11-minute video full of Glenn Beck’s most outrageous moments. If you can’t stand the idea of viewing so much crazy in one dose, MSNBC has edited that video down to just three minutes of Beck doing things like saying that President Obama has "deep-seated hatred for white people" and barking like a rabid dog.

Or you can view Lewis Black’s hilarious rant on The Daily Show from last year about how he feels that Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourettes and it includes a variety of clips featuring Glenn Beck using Nazi-related terms very liberally.

But if you are a glutton for punishment, you can watch the Media Matters 11-minute clip in its entirety below.

If you are someone who really loves that clip and feel very sad that Glenn Beck’s show has been taken off the air, well you can still watch new videos of Beck in the future. But it’ll cost you a lot of money. If you’re willing to spend your hard-earned cash watching insanity, you can order your very own subscription right here. (As for me, if I really want to watch people yelling, crying, and hurling all kinds of nasty and crazy insults, I’ll watch The Jerry Springer Show on television for free.)

Skull Art 7

Skull Art 7
Mixed-media (acrylic paint, computer graphics, and Shrinky Dinks plastic on canvas)
2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
6 cm x 6 cm

Skull Art 8

Skull Art 8
Mixed-media (acrylic paint, computer graphics, and Shrinky Dinks plastic on canvas)
2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
6 cm x 6 cm

Here are two more of the art pieces that will be on display at this upcoming art show in the near future. They are based on Mexican-style skulls that are displayed at the annual Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. With these two, I attempted a sly modern take on the skulls. Skull Art 7 features the most notorious line from the 1980’s film Wall Street in both Spanish ("La Avaricia es Buena") and English ("Greed is Good") and a bunch of logos from health insurance companies, Wall Street firms, and large banks. Skull Art 8 features logos from such well-known companies like ESPN, NBC, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Nike, CBS, ABC, Pepsi, Apple Computer, Starbucks, CNN, McDonald’s, Fox News, Twitter, and Google.

Each canvas was painted in a solid color in acrylic paint. I printed each skull out on special Shrinky Dinks plastic that was made for ink jet printers then baked it in an oven until it was small enough to fit on the canvas.

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