Sic Semper Socktopi

Welcome to my Autohagiography.

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Location: United States


Bayer knowingly sold recalled AIDS-infected medicine abroad.

In the 1980s, Bayer was stopped from selling it's bloodbased anti-clotting medicine Factor VIII in the United States because it was revealed to contain HIV. The medicine was used to treat hemophiliacs, especially children. Not wanting to get stuck with unsellable inventory, Bayer decided to export the product to Europe and Asia, continuing even after a new HIV-free treatment was available. Hemophiliacs all over the world have developed AIDS as a result. Internal documents show that Bayer knew the drug was contaminated with HIV while they were selling it.

(Why am I just hearing about this now?)

Watch this popular youtube video of a Scarborough Country story from 2003.

Take your Table and Shove It
"Well, in that case I'm going over to the booth where those LIARS are sitting, pour water over their heads and tell them that you paid me $100 dollars to do so as a practical joke and it was really ok since you were one of their college friends. And here's the $100 dollar bill you just gave me."

I took the C-note out of my wallet, grabbed a large carafe of water from a nearby table and started walking toward the booth.

"Wait!" said my wife. She opened her purse, took out a C-note, and grabbed another carafe. "We should do this together" I really love this woman!

The Onion's worst band names of 2006
I wish I'd thought of starting a band named Holy Fuck!


Franz Ferdinand Frontman Shot By Gavrilo Princip Bassist

Educated Women Will Die Alone and Miserable!

Or maybe not. Actually, the URL says it all, even if it does brake my template.

Of course. that was twenty years ago. These days the media would never just make sensationalistic crap up. What's that? Oh.

Sage Advice from Tippy Teen:
I went out with a boy for about three weeks and I had the best time of my life. As soon as he got the idea that I wanted to go steady with him, he dropped me and doesn't speak to me any more. I like him so much and I want to go out with him again. What should I do?
.............................................................. S.E.W., Yarmouth, N.S.
ANSWER: You must learn how to control your feelings. You scared this boy off by showing him that you liked too much. Most boys want to feel that they are the ones who do the chasing - they don’t want to know that a girl is trapping them. Maybe if you play it cool and friendly when you see this boy around, he'll chance asking you for a date again. If he doesn't, you'll just have to chalk it up to experience and promise yourself you'll behave differently next time.

Transcribed word for word from "Dear Tippy..." page of Tippy Teen #23,
June 1969.


Frenchy writes:
For me the most disturbing part of that article (and there were many) was the fact that it was written as a fan-fic. Replace every mention of “Bill Frist” with “Luke Skywalker” and you can see what I mean:

“[Skywalker] opened the Senate, gripping the corners of the lectern, as he had the operating table. Across the city, rolling in a bed of hay, Kuja opened his eyes and grunted. The [wookie] kept touching his tongue to his tooth. Something had changed inside of the beast while he slept. [Skywalker] smiled and spoke unremarkably from the lectern, reeking of [wookie] testosterone.”

AmericaBlog also jumps in with a helpful rundown of the article.


Psycho Killer, qu'est que c'est
In medical school, (Senate Majority Leader and Presidential hopeful Bill) Frist cut out a dog's heart and held it in his palm. It continued to beat for a slippery minute. "Watching it beat, the beauty of it," Frist recalled.

From this disturbing, fawning profile.

For those keeping score at home, the holding a dog's beating heart in his hand is completely different from the time Frist adopted cats from a shelter and cut them open in his dorm room. (link to old daily show video)


Cynthia Plaster Caster
Believe it or not, I was a virgin, and a Catholic trained one. But I was also a very goofy girl. I was very shy and very interested in these British rock stars and I needed some way to lighten up the scenario in the hotel room while I was in the presence of these demigods. Something that would make me laugh and make them laugh and make everybody have a good time. I was also fascinated by these mysterious bulges behind the zippers of men's pants that I had never seen before. I was just getting hornier and more curious about sex.
As it happened, my art teacher told me to make a plaster cast for my homework assignment that weekend. It just happened to be the same weekend that Paul Revere and The Raiders were in town. He said that the object I had to cast had to be solid and could retain its shape, which I heard hard penises could. And that was my immediate reaction to the homework assignment. Thinking [awestruck moan] this is the way I'm going to meet Paul Revere and The Raiders. I'm gonna ask them to help me with my homework. And they wanted to, but we couldn't really make a plaster cast of a penis with the materials that my art teacher suggested, and that being sand and water as a mold. Although I didn't know too much about penises yet, I had a feeling that it wouldn't be able to stay solid in sand and water. So instead I lost my virginity.

A small excerpt from this great interview.

Buy Jimi Hendrix's penis.


Onion AV Club goes Decade by Decade with Archie Comics and anotates key examples with pictures like this one:

A pretty good introduction to Archie, although since it's nominally a review of these reprint collections, it doesn't unearth anything really outrageous. Archie Comics has published, by my estimate, almost 8800 different issues (and counting, although some of those are superhero books) since 1939 and many (or most) of those issues are 64, 80, even 144 pages. Even at a mimimmum story page count of 22 per issue, we're aproaching 200,000 pages of comics. Depending on how many pages were reprinted later, and just how big each of the issues were on average, we could be talking about 500,000 pages of comics devoted to Archie Andrews and the town of Riverdale. The collections reviewed by The Onion reprint aproximately 800 pages total; a tiny drop in the bucket!

The Wikipedia entry on Archie, as always, is also an informative introduction.

Fun Fact!
Quagga and Okapi are not related.

Passenger Pigeons
Passenger Pigeons lived in enormous flocks - the largest of them a mile wide and 300 miles long, taking several days to pass and probably containing two billion birds. It was hunted into extinction by humans.
...Almost all of the remaining quarter-million Passenger Pigeons were killed in a single day in 1896 by sport hunters, who knew they were shooting the last wild flock.

Edited from this Wikipedia entry.


"(Boykin Curry) eventually attended Harvard Business School, and got an investment job in China, But he had no investment experiance, and didn't speak the language, so he hired a family friend to accompany him as an interpreter, and taught himself one phrase, which he learned to say very well; roughly translated, it amounted to, 'I only know how to say this one thing, so it would be great if you could just keep talking in Chinese and I will simply nod and smile.' Typically, the line drew a laugh, and gave the impression, to Curry's English-speaking colleagues, that he was fluent enough to joke around with the local businessmen."
-The Utopians by Ben McGrath, New Yorker Magazine, March 20, 2006

Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, aged 40, is more fabulously rich and sucessful then you or I will ever be. So much so that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. Although he does have 42,000 Google hits, and when he got married last year to a fellow Harvard alum named Celerie they got a two page spread in Vogue. He was in the New Yorker because he bought a $50 million undeveloped 2200 acre beachfront Dominican resort and brought Moby and other interesting New Yorkers in as felow investors. He plans to convert it into a Bohemian resort for young hip sucessful intelectual types. We are not invited.



At Toys R' Us today I stumbled upon an Oozinator display with a television playing a DVD of just the Oozinator clip, on endless repeat! What picture quality! I've got to figure out a way to get a copy of that DVD!

Local Man's Fear Of Snakes Increases With Each Snakebite


Possibly the most hillarious attack ad ever, check out the front and back of this GOP Primary mailer.

But it's no longer Mint!

This guy cut up his Acme Novelty Libraries and assembled the toys. I don't know how he does it... maybe he buys two copies?

Also, holy crap 1990 Acme Book Dispenser built by Ware to distibute Big Little Book style comix. "Instead of coins, the fee is a house key that is not returned." Look at the gallery for a proto-copy of Jimmy Corrigan the Smartest Kid on Earth!

"In 1970, Leary was again convicted of possession of marijuana and was sentenced to jail. When Leary arrived in prison, he was given psychological tests that were used to assign inmates to appropriate work details. Having designed many of the tests himself, Leary answered them in such a way that he seemed to be a very conforming, conventional person with a great interest in forestry and gardening."

It wasn't long before he escaped. Via this wikipedia bio

Also, Fun Fact! "Leary was the godfather of Winona Ryder, Uma Thurman (daughter of his ex-wife Nena), Joi Ito, and Caresse and Genesse P-Orridge, daughters of Genesis P-Orridge."


Speaking of Jason Alexander, Consumerist linked to his song and dance commercial for the McDLT circa 1984:

And in a similar vein though slightly less interesting is this earlier, hairier, Jason Alexander Canada Dry song.


Smart-Ass Letters to the Economist, part 1

A few months ago while catching up on my subscription it became apparent that every issue of The Economist has at least one letter from a smart-ass and that perhaps I should start a weekly series here on the blog reprinting the best one from each issue. Of course, when I thought of this again last week, my theory was shot to bits as the current issue was devoid of the smart-ass letter. But this week the letters page delivers, and so I humbly begin my series.

Without getting into too much of a "jokes explained" routine, I'm not confident this series will prove interesting, so I would first like to briefly note what I think works about most smart-ass letters to The Economist. To begin with, every letter to the magazine starts "SIR -" as though The Economist were written by a lone elderly Englishman. This prefix adds a level of politeness to the letters which makes for a nice setup for the one or two writers who try to be funny. Secondly, is that the tone of the letters page is quite British and many of the writers send in dry snippets and puns in the grand tradition of BBC comedies I don't understand. Lastly, of course, is that the readers of the Economist are smug overeducated know-it-alls, that is to say, wise-asses. The kind of people who take pride in dictating smart-ass snippets for their secretaries to mail off.
With that out of the way. let's move on to this week's winner which is not British at all:
SIR - I have one minor quibble about your commendable article on medical marijuana ("Reefer madness", April 29th). You mentioned a nebuliser that "releases its cannabinoids without any of the smoke of a spliff, and with fewer carcinogens". A "spliff" normally refers to a cigarette mixture of tobacco and marijuana. Though not as hip, I believe the word you needed was "joint". Or as we call them here, "a big fatty".
Vancouver, Canada


All we have to do is indict and/or impeach 11 people before somebody reasonable becomes president.

I'm willing to bet he never gets to be the Designated Survivor.

Consumerist caught a Google cache or two of deleted Amazon reviews for the Super Soaker Oozinator:
However, having tried to use it on some of the neighborhood girls yesterday, I found that it begins to pump out its ooze within a few seconds of encountering a target, well before any fun has begun! Some of them said that they still had fun playing with it, but I got a feeling that they were disappointed in mine.

Jason Kottke links to this interesting discussion of cryptomnesia.

Who Am I? and other zen riddles Robert has expressed an interest in

Finally, what the people demand to know! Just who is the enigmatic character who has captured the world’s heart as Socktopi? I’ve often wondered the same thing myself.

I am a retired economist, but I've taken up recreational book dealing. I enjoy ephemera related to early computing, black radicalism, and Tippy Teen. I am an ordained minister, but not religious. I speak Japanese and once attended Meiji Gakuin University. I am a naive idealist. I am a vegan because animals have rights. I am 140 pounds of what used to be burritos. Those burritos were 140 pounds of what used to be stars. I'm thinking of getting a doctorate just to make people call me Doctor. I'm pretty sure I’ve read too many books. I cut my own hair. I need a girlfriend, but a boyfriend would suffice if he was totally hot. I recently took up disc-golf. I have studied handset letterpress printing in far more detail than could possibly be justified given that those things are all done on computers nowadays. Hiroshige is my favorite ukioe artist, if I had to choose. I am recording a dub album; It will be my 5th album, and if somebody I didn't know showed the album cover on their website I would be totally stoked. Cool As Ice is the best movie ever made. I once stopped walking on grass because I was concerned it unnecessarily killed bugs. I have always been a terrible speller. If having children wasn’t a selfish and condemnable act, I would conceive some and give them proud Black names. Maybe I will adopt some kids and give them proud Black names. I'm not a big fan of government. I suffer from a form of autism that has yet to be discovered and named after me. I have never been to Europe. I don’t often drink alcohol, but Ginjo is my favorite saké. I think I'm probably about 16 years old. I've done things I'm not proud of, but I forget what they are. Yet I still remember other, very trivial, things. I didn't like The Hobbit. The most revealing story I know about myself is that I once pretended I was a smoker. I collect LED calculators. Actually, I collect a lot of shit. I want to make a mural out of old circuit boards. A good friend actually followed through with that idea, and I’m a little bit jealous of him. I once voted for Ralph Nader. He would have made a great president. I am in a punk band named SuperAIDS! We only play bar mitzvahs. I am a monoprint artist and my work is currently in two shows. Last month I went to a nude spa; I met a pianist there with a really gigantic penis, but I didn’t comment on the irony, because irony is saying the opposite of what you mean. Sometimes, I sleep in a chair. I love cracking my neck and spine. I don’t have any relatives. I enjoy buying low and selling high. After reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X, I was inspired to swallow 27 homemade pill-capsules of nutmeg, but I didn’t notice any effect. Sometimes I wonder if I will die alone. I have 4 turntables hooked up in my house. Did you ever wonder what time is? I know I have. The Magistrates are my favorite band, but I hate music. If I were a billionaire, I would be eccentric. Also, I would probably get a nose job. I’ve smoked Lion’s Tail, but never cigarettes. I am fairly good at standardized tests. I don’t care that the world is about to end. I make great banana sorbet. I want to build a sensory depravation tank. I like the Taco Bell in Pacifica because the Pacifica part more than makes up for the Taco Bell part. I was friends with Tom Lehrer but we fell out of touch; he kept telling me stories about musical theater and Unitarians. I’m glad I saw New Orleans before it was completely fucking destroyed. I think the Uncertainty Principle is useful as a general analogy. Sarah Silverman is very funny. Why is she dating Jimmy Kimmel? I am a bit of a dick, and there is no way anyone could have guessed that from reading this blog. If I got a tattoo on my stomach, it would either be a drawing of six pack abs, or a gothic script which read “THUG LIFE”

Writing all this makes me feel like an egomaniac, and maybe I am.

Please, No fat chicks.


I want to speak only in pop-culture references like that race of aliens in that one episode of Star Trek the Next Generation who spoke only in analogies.


jokes explained: (I don't actually want to be sued)

Sometimes I employ a type of gallows humor. For example, consider the time my friends and I were at a restaurant that was held up at gunpoint by a fat guy wearing "granny glasses" - which of course was a terrible experience but also "kinda hilarious." Now for you literalists out there, that doesn't mean it was actually hilarious. It means it was a type of hilarious, specifically the terrible type.

Awful things, by their extreme nature, have a way of also being quite absurd. I don't take pleasure in having to fend off frivolous lawsuits. It's a waste of time and energy and even when I'm completely right, the prospect of having to go to court to point out I'm completely right it a bit of a downer. One way of dealing with this terrible situation is to make light of it. So I guess I am "amused," as Robert alleges, by this whole ordeal, but let it be noted it is the terrible kind of amused. Like, "I can't believe I'm being eaten alive by sharks, I figured that only happened in movies! amused."

These days I often think about Jason Alexander's story (as paraphrased by my memory):
"This 16 year old girl once said to me, 'You know what? I don't care what I do, I just want to be famous.' And I thought, you know, I should really just shoot her in the head because at least it would make her famous as the girl that Jason Alexander went crazy and shot in the head."

I offer a deal to Robert and Robert writes back

This is a long post so bear with me if you are interested. Last week Robert wrote:
My first email on the subject was actually written to you --
it's just that the only link available sent it to to the Internet
police, who answered back and insisted I file paperwork.

and I responded:
I realize that at the time I didn't have contact info on my page, so I'm glad to hear you didn't intend to pursue a copyright claim against me. That being said, I'm 100% convinced that there is no claim here for you to pursue. Showing the back cover of a book is a completely legal and legitimate thing for me to do. While we clearly disagree about whether this helps or hurts your career, that doesn't change that posting images like the back cover of your comic is the definition of Fair Use.
If you will make a statement to the effect that I have every right to show images of the covers of comics, I will voluntarily remove the image and refrain from showing your work in the future - The kind of agreement I hope we could have come to if we'd been able to communicate directly 3 weeks ago.

Well I got the reply today. I'm hesitant to post the whole thing as it's quite long and as far as I can tell, mostly irelevant to the current situation. Robert doesn't take the offer:
Well, I got the complaint. And I see how you've been playing with it on your blog, as if this is something you should be proud of. Are you also telling your readers about how you tried to use the threat of this impending legal trouble to force a statement from me about publishing rights? It's just too bad that I got that demand and the DMCA complaint on the same day. Not your fault; not all of us live at our computers... There are more important things in the world than your stupid blog or my stupid cartoon.
But, sure, okay, I'm not one to deny you the information you obviously need, Sock. Or is it "Jason"? I'm happy to share what I know about "fair use" and the reproduction of book covers. But, see, what you continually fail to concede is that this information has nothing to do with my "Yag Tragix" cartoon because THAT WASN'T A COVER... It just looked like a cover... The actual cover of Gay Comix #8 (where "Yag Tragix" first appeared) had the punchline "Say mister, are you a superhero or are you just gay?" and the Gay Comix logo.

I hope you're amused by filing the paperwork. I'm told to take court action within two weeks or, says, they'll let you go ahead and take my artwork. I've asked for an extension because I'm going out of town in a couple of days and won't be back until the end of the month.

After this point I kindof get lost in his explanation but in the interest of full disclosure, here is the rest:
Following is what the Copyright Office says about the limits of Fair Use:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which
the reproduction of a particular work may be considered "fair,"
such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching,
scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four
factors to be considered in determining whether or not a
particular use is fair:

1. The nature of the use (educational or commercial).

2. The type of copyrighted work (with fiction, high-level
analysis, and musical composition being the most creative, and
compilations and derivative works being less creative with
purely factual or utterly descriptive material not being
protected by copyright at all).

3. The quantity used.

4. The potential impact on the copyright holder's market.
The distinction between "fair use" and infringement may be
unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of
words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without
permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted
material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General
Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities
that courts have regarded as fair use: "quotation of excerpts
in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or
comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical
work, for illustration or clarification of the author's
observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work
parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief
quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a
portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy;
reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work
to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or
judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous
reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in
the scene of an event being reported."

I suppose the best argument for reproducing covers would be Factor No. 1: educational. However, your blog is not an educational resource (such as a history of underground comix). Instead, it can be perceived as a vanity page of sorts.

Fair Use allows only the use of sample covers to illustrate accompanying text. In paper, the Overstreet Comics Guide, for instance, uses only samples of the publications in their listings. I’ve seen several sites that list undergrounds and other types of comic books, and they do it successfully with words, not cover art. No one has the right to publish an entire gallery of high-resolution, detailed copies of someone else's covers, despite what the Grand Comics Database people think. A low-res gallery, I think, is okay, but a high-res gallery becomes a feature unto itself and illegally trades in other people’s images. The images themselves are the attraction. This violates Factor No. 3: quantity.

Such use of copyrighted work also makes it into competition for whatever product the copyright owners may want to put out, and thereby becomes a detriment to their interests and ownership. This violates Factor No. 4: potential impact. Normally that is not a detriment with most comic book covers, because the fair-use exposure of the cover of a book is seen as a sort of "advertisement" for the publisher's line. But in the case of creator-copyrighted work like "undergrounds" and "alternative" comics, exposure that may benefit the publisher does not necessarily benefit the creator who owns the copyright on the cover art. That is the case with Gay Comix and the people who did covers for that series. Exposure of the cover art benefits the publisher, but this publisher no longer exists, and exposure then hinders the artist in getting the work reprinted for further royalties.

I’ll describe the primary objections to the potential impact of your use of "Yag Tragix." First, I prefer to feature it exclusively on my own website or elsewhere. It's probably my most successful single panel and serves as a kind of "attraction." Second, I am compiling a printed retrospective of my work, and I intend "Yag Tragix" to finally be the cover, so there’s a conflict with a semi-permanent display on a blog. I want the work to remain exclusive to my own use of it.

The Copyright Office also says:

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright
owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office
cannot give this permission. When it is impracticable to obtain
permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless
the doctrine of "fair use" would clearly apply to the situation.
The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may
be considered "fair" nor advise on possible copyright
violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an
attorney. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights
provided by the Act to the owner of copyright.

Mainstream publishers buy artwork outright, including copyright, for a lot more money, so they can use it forever to promote all of their stuff. That’s not the case with Gay Comix and other undergrounds. The cartoonists worked for very little money with the understanding that we would own the work (including cover art) and be paid for any further use of it, even by the original publisher – according to our publishing agreements.

Bob Ross, the publisher of Gay Comix, was able to use cover art (and sample panels of the interiors) in ads and promos as long as the work was for sale. When each issue sold out, he lost the right to display its cover art unless there was a plan to reprint. He announced years ago that he was never going to reprint. Gay Comix (or Gay Comics, its later spelling) stopped functioning as a publishing entity years ago, and Bob died. The publisher no longer exists to benefit from display of publications that are out of print! In any case, the right of a publisher to display creator-owned cover art is solely for the promotion of individual comic books, never for a historical round-up of all the cover art. Bob Ross paid royalties for just such a gallery in the final issue of Gay Comics.

So that's where we are now.

I'm not "amused" by having to file legal paperwork just so I can write a blog. Freedoms, even small freedoms, are nothing if we don't defend them. So if I have to defend Obvious-Fair-Use then I guess that's what I have to do.

Let me offer my deal again in the hopes that for our own good you will accept it. Acknowledge that it is fair use to show a single picture of the cover of a book and I will remove the image from my site and never show your work again. I'm not trying to "force" anything out of you.

You seem intent on suing me and I don't really know how to talk you down from this except to reiterate (as politely as possible this time):

You will lose your lawsuit. The chance of you winning your lawsuit is approximately zero. Showing the cover of a book, even the back cover, is fair use.

You will look like a fool. I realize I've subjected you to some public roasting over the last few weeks, but its public in the sense that a couple dozen people who've never heard of you read it. If you sue me, tens of thousands of people will hear about this and you will become the worst kind of famous. Everyone will see the image and you will be mocked widely for your frivolous lawsuit. I don't think you are a jerk or a bad person, but you are dead-wrong about people's right to show a picture of your book.

So please take the deal. Otherwise I will have to seek outside publicity and I honestly don't want to turn your name to mud. Don't take my word for it. Talk it over with your friends. Ask a lawyer. You just don't have a case here.


Gnarls Barkley

I meant to link to this about a month ago, but I guess I forgot. Listen to the insanely catchy "Crazy" at, the new project from DJ DangerMouse.


blogger writes:
We have received your DMCA counter notification regarding As described in 17 U.S.C. 512(g), we will forward the counter notification to the complainant. If we do not receive notice from the complainant that he has brought an action in the district court within 14 days, we will reinstate the material in question on Blogger. We appreciate your patience in this process.


DOVE, the band of love

Here we see DEVO performing as their own opening act as DOVE, the Band of Love, in 1980.

But as great as that video is, it's just a shallow pretense to talk, as required by Internet Regulations governing DEVO, about DEV2.O

This March 2006 article is probably the definitve explanation of DEV2.O:
"The overzealous minds of gatekeepers are always unfathomable," (DEVO co-founder Gerald) Casale says. "In many cases, they were telling me what the lyrics meant that I wrote 25 years ago. In 'That's Good,' there's a parochial school nursery rhyme couplet that goes 'Life's a bee without a buzz, it's going great till you get stung.' That had to go because 'B' is slang for bitch and 'life's a buzz' means you're high. Stung means you're getting away with it until the cops pop you. I found out I was writing gangster rap lyrics. It became a Devo experiment to learn how corporate thinking works these days."

It's too bad DEV2.0 isn't a huge sucess. That would only make the joke that much funnier.


If you haven't already, make sure to read how this guy cured his asthma with hookworm.

DEVO, 1972/73 at Kent State

Yikes. Film of the first DEVO performance while still in college? Wearing monkey masks and playing advertising jingles on a minimoog, these guys were at least 10 years ahead of their time, if we have even reached their time yet. The shot of the bored and absent audiance and tepid applause is classic.

And as required by Internet-Law, here is the mandatory link to DEV2.0 - this is the official site where you can stream 9 videos. (Warning: Homepage has extremely loud embeded music! And a flash inerface! And tour dates as a PDF file! It's really the perfect website for a project like DEV2.O!)

Amazon customers who bought the Dev2.O album also bought... "Kraftwerk Minimum-Maximum" (Live), "Kidz Bop 9", "Devo Live 1980", "That's So Raven Too", "Junkers, Jivers & Coke Fiends: Vintage Songs About Drugs 1926-1952," and "Disney Girlz Rock"


I've been wondering this for a long time

Tested answers on improving your gas milage. Apprently, you can go ahead and blast the AC.

Important if True
Space Invaders was such a sensation in Japan that it caused a national coin shortage.

Remember when newspaper comics were still good? You know, like 1934/35?

The only classic newspaper strip I've ever really felt strongly about, except perhaps Little Nemo, is Gasoline Alley, specifically it's glorious Sunday pages.

Originally drawn by Frank King, Gasoline Alley started in 1918 as a one panel gag strip about the new fad of automobiles. Eventually it grew into a daily strip with a full page of color on Sundays. The strip took a sharp thematic turn in the late 20's when mechanic Walt Willet found an abandoned baby on his doorstep and decided to raise the boy as his own, naming him Skeezix.

Many of the strips, especially the Sundays, will seem strange to modern readers because they have no punchlines. Instead they are often reflective, as Walt and Skeezix take walks through the forest and Walt teaches his son about the mysteries of nature, and together they marvel at the beauty of the world around them. It's other revolution was characters that aged in real time. As the years pass Skeezix grows from a baby into a young boy. In the early 40's, he joins the army to fight in World War II.

Unfortunately, the great majority of the strips have never been reprinted. The best option is to pick up the anthology Drawn & Quarterly volume 3 and 4 which each contain about 30 Sunday Alleys in addition to 150 pages of more modern international material. Honestly, at the used price, they're worth it just for the Gasoline Alleys.

The dailies are slowly being reprinted in their entirety in volumes edited by Chris Ware (who is obviously influenced by King's work). Hopefully we will get Sunday collections someday too. Unfortunately many of the originals are lost. The strips in the D&Q collections are mostly reprinted (quite nicely) from actual newsprint copies now owned by prominent comic artists. Art Spiegleman provides the original art he owns of one especially fantastic strip.

Frank King drew the strip until his death in 1969, at which point his assistants continued the strip. Today the strip is drawn by an assistant to King's assistants. Skeezix is on octogenarian in a family with 75 years of history.

To feel depressed about the state of the universe, first read this frankly average example of the classic strip, and then compare it to last week's Sunday strip.


Zen Meditation Exercise: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

I've discussed this now with Nate and Vincent, and we haven't come up with a good answer: What is the most illegal, the most copyright-infringing, jpeg that you can think of? What would a single jpeg have to be of to constitute a real, serious, copyright violation? Something akin to pirated-software or a gigabyte download of the Lord Of The Rings. What is the worst jpeg you can reasonably come up with?

And if we can't think of even a hypothetical jpeg that constitutes a serious violation, then why do we need federal laws that clumsily fight "infringing" jpegs?

Submissions welcome. If anyone has a good answer, please let us know.

"You Just Flunked Out Of Feminism 101"
So, in short, WTF? And then, W.T.F.???

Via noted economist Atrios, PHD.


Robert's thinking:

Robert sent me some stuff that he asked be kept off the record, but I requested and he consented to me posting this excerpt:
I love it when someone likes my work enough to share it with friends. I don't love it when someone publishes it on the Internet, web searches lead to that site, and they share it with the entire world.

Posted without comment.

Be a Card Carrying Member of the EFF!

Given all this talk about the DMCA, I'd like to encourage everyone to join EFF.

I've been meaning to join for years now. If you get about online, then you probably already know about all the good work the EFF is doing. I joined for $25. If I can afford it, so can you. So don't wait any longer, join today!

Josh writes:
You are of course right. I don't know what you want to accomplish with what you're saying: as you mentioned probably only 10 people will read this, and I think everyone but Robert agrees with you; and of course what you've said and the way you said it are the exact opposite of what should be said to change Robert's opinion. That being stated, I don't think anything will reverse Robert's opinion (how the fuck did he find you? does he just google himself once a month and then send a cease-and-desists to whatever comes up?) and so all that's left are to either take him to court or tear him a new one. Your second post seemed a little exasperated and uselessly half-conciliatory, but your latest managed to both bring up the salient points and simultaneously dismiss the issue as retardedly trivial. I think you win.

Actually you are slightly underestimating my reach. Hits are up! I had 34 unique visitors on Wednesday. It’s only a matter of time before my opinions are read by literally dozens of people on an almost monthly basis.

Robert Triptow makes a good point!
Dear Sock Topi--
Or can I call you "Sock"?
Thanks for the advice in public about how I should treat my art and my
life. Hope it doesn't come across to the public as a temper tantrum
because you had a toy taken away from you. But, really, if you're so
concerned about how people should run their business, maybe you should
consider this: Isn't it ethically questionable to reproduce someone's
private email to you in a (public) blog while you remain safely
anonymous? And then to lambaste the other person in that (public) blog
while you still remain anonymous? At least I sign my own real name to
my drawings and writing.

I agree it was probably unfair for me to post your amazing emails here, but I kind of figured that when you filled a DMCA claim, in effect threatening to sue me, for showing a picture of the cover of your book, that all etiquette had been thrown out the window.

The counter-claim is in the mail. They say it takes 14 days for wrongful DMCA claims to be corrected. Mark your calander!

Another victory in the war on terror!

Robert Triptow writes back
Sock Topi--
I'm won't argue with an anonymous person. Let me know who you are, and
perhaps I'll engage in a correspondence with you.

and blogger writes:
Blogger has been notified again, according to the terms of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that the same image with which a DMCA
complaint was formerly filed against your blog appears on the following
Accordingly, we have removed the images.
We ask that you respect the copyrights of others. Thank you for your
understanding and cooperation in this regard.

Um, I think I'll pass, Robert. You're never going to convince me that showing the picture of the cover of a book isn't fair use, so I don't see much point in engaging in further correspondence.

I'm in the process of filing a counter-notification bringing your misguided reign of DMCA terror to an end.

Did you also send a DMCA nastygram to the Grand Comic Book Database, resulting in the weird tiny/missing cover image in it's listing of Gay Comix #8? They have over 119404 other covers scanned on their site, so apparently your covers are the only ones to which your unique theory of fair use and copyright applies. Also, as amused as I was when you attempted to claim that it being the BACK and not the FRONT cover as having any relevance to the legality of me showing a picture of it, don't you think it was a bit disingenuous to make that claim when you also consider showing a picture of the front of your comic just as verboten? I'll let you in on a secret. The Comics Database didn't comply with your request because you were right; the complied because they didn't want to bother dealing with you.

By the way, I found that Comics Database page when I did a google search for "Yag Tragix" and got 7 whole returns, counting my site. The reason "this art is not reproduced at Amazon or anyone's website" is because it is freaking obscure. I mean, even "fucking a pineapple" has 8,340 hits. Your plan to "Please remove the image from your blog so I can profit from my work" is exactly like my modest proposal.

Here is the course of action you seem to be pursuing:

Step 1: Wipe out all mention of your work everywhere
Step 2:
Step 3: Profit!

That is a very silly plan, to say nothing of Underpants Gnomes ( and their 178,000 Google returns)

In the future, when someone is excited about your work and shares it with his friends, most of whom probably didn't realize that gay comics existed, let alone Gay Comix, don't bother getting the DMCA involved: just pull out your dick and urinate all over that fan. It's just as effective, but without all that tedious paperwork.

Anyway, I have to go. I just found out there are 8000+ pages about "Fucking A Pineapple," which is the craziest fucking thing I could think of, and yet it's still got 8,333 more people excited than your 20 year old work. Good luck with your career, I'll make sure never to mention your work to anyone ever again.


Robert Triptow, artist of the Yag Tragix drawing writes:
"Yag Tragix" has never appeared on the cover of a book or comic book. There is no publication called "Yag Tragix." This drawing is a parody of a comic book cover, appeared on the BACK of a comic book. This art is not reproduced at Amazon or anyone's website. It is not available for free usage on the Internet under "fair use" because it competes with the interests of the copyright holder (me). Please remove the image from your blog so I can profit from my work instead of having it given away for free.

I would have contacted you directly when I first discovered my art on your blog, but there was no contact information. Just an anonymous blogger.

Robert, I love your drawing, but give me a break. Do you know your drawing, while "not reproduced on anyone's website" is republished in full color on page 118 in the book Fogel's Underground Price Guide 2006? It's almost like Dan Fogel is making money stealing your work! That's a book he sells for money, with your art in it! Why don't you go tell him your theories about what constitutes "fair use?"

It is absurd to suggest that republishing a picture of the FLIP-cover of a comic on my blog while crediting you as the artist doesn't constitute fair use. It's ridiculously fair use. It's so fair I can't believe you would even care.

What series of events does my showing the cover of a comic book lead to you being harmed?


The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Michelle told me that if a man paid for her to have her tubes tied, that would be "a very heartfelt gift" that "showed he really understood me."

Oh Allah, stuck in Lodi again
I don't even know where to begin with the stupidity described in this article about the "terrorist" convited in Lodi.


Hello Jason,
Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that some of your images allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. The URLs of the allegedly infringing images may be found at the end of this message.
The notice that we received... may be found at the following link: (link broken)
Please note that it may take several weeks for the notice to be posted on
the above page.
(...explanation of DMCA here)
We are in the process of removing from our servers the images that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.
(...more explanation of DMCA here)
If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.
The Blogger Team
Affected URLs:

As far as I can tell now that blogger has this URL deleted, the only post missing from my site is Yag Tragix. In march I posted a scan I made of the back cover of a 1986 comic book called Gay Comix. The back cover is a bizarro version where "flagrant heterosexuals am flaunting their lifestyle" I always liked this cover so I shared it on my blog and even credited the artist. Now, IANAL but I'm fairly confident I can show the cover of a book without violating the DMCA. Otherwise Amazon is violating the DMCA about a million times. So instead of just describing the cover, I'm going to post it again. Look:

I mean, this can't really be what someone filled a complaint about, can it? If so, I'm going to take the unconventional legal strategy of taunting you into suing me: Go ahead, do it. What, are you scared? Please dear god sue me, a blogger who is read by, at most, my friends, for POSTING THE PICTURE I TOOK OF THE COVER OF A BOOK. I could use the publicity. I want to be Internet-Famous! So please sue me. Uh oh, here it is again:

Just do it. What are you waiting for? I will fucking bury you.

In the meantime, maybe this was about some other post i've forgotten about and not at all related to SHOWING THE PICTURE OF THE COVER OF A BOOK.

That would be a relief.