There are some places where you can almost hear… time marching backwards.
Places I wouldn’t suggest moving a family to, or supporting by paying taxes, tribute to.
Places, communities where the whiff of yesterday is strong, and unappealing in the air. Where fear and bigotry and unequal policing covers up communities that are no longer ‘officially’ separate but still vastly unequal under the law.
EAST HIGH SCHOOL in Columbus Ohio is allegedly the school at the center of turning a seemingly simple disciplinary matter into an absurd and Kafkaesque criminal matter. A 90% white high school (according to their face-book page) and the surrounding community at the center of throwing a Black substitute teacher, a 58 yo Grand Mother, into prison for showing a well known mainstream horror movie, THE ABCs OF DEATH to a high-school Spanish class.
Judge Charles A. Schneider is allegedly the judge that handed down the sentence.
Without doubt the choice of film is questionable, and ill-advised, but to first cost a woman her job, and then to be worthy of the courts time, much less a sentence of prison is patently absurd and outrageous.
First this film is not a porno or a snuff film or even a SAW type movie, it’s a bit less salacious than that. A variety of directors, each taking a letter and illustrating a horror story around it. The film has moments of being well done, and moments of being truly tasteless and boring and inept, but in the 21st century shows very little that a class of high-schoolers had not been exposed to. The film is on most streaming services for free, so arguably most of the kids in that class had already seen the movie.
So while without a doubt the choice of showing a horror film, even an alphabet themed one in a Spanish class is not just ill advised but, let’s say it, crossing the border into stupid; stupidity last time I checked wasn’t a crime. If it was, seemingly many of the staff, administration, and parents involved in making this particular molehill into a mountain, would likewise be facing prison time.
So what can you do? Well it’s seemingly a done deal. But what about next time.
Well if I’m a parent I would like to know what part the school played in the above scenario? And if it had been a straight out of college blond 20something female teacher, who had done likewise… would there even have been a reprimand much less her losing her job, and facing criminal and archaic obscenity charges?
Add to that would this Blonde 20-something teacher up on obscenity charges have been tried by a jury made up of primarily of people of different ethnicities than her? And if all this was the case would she have been found guilty? And if found guilty would the judge have mandated prison time rather than a suspended sentence?
And if the first answer that strikes you to all the above hypothetical questions is no, than perhaps what is happening in Columbus, Ohio is far less to do with obscenity laws, and movie quality, and questionable teaching skills, and more to do with ethnicity, prejudice, mob mentality, and a lynching 21st style. With the media and the courts as the rope.
To learn more go here:
GRAPHIC NOVEL Round-Up! Mark Waid’s THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 1 and Vol 2
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 1 – Collects issues 1 to 5, written by Mark Waid. The first three issues do a nice job of introducing Waid’s status quo of a Banner utilizing SHIELD to help him achieve the scientific greatness that being the Hulk has denied. The cost? Making the Hulk into an agent of SHIELD. So lots of interesting ideas in the first three issues, unfortunately the last two issues stumble. The art by Leinil Francis Yu is exotic, intriguing, chaotic and all this combines to be sometimes impressive, sometimes muddy and confusing. Grade : The hardcover at a retail of $24.99 for 5 issues, translates to $5 per issue. So grossly overpriced even if the book was great, and great it isn’t. So worth renting or reading it from your local library, but not worth buying. C+.
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 2 – Collects issues 6 to 10, and suffers from the opposite issue of Vol 1, here the first three issues, drawn by Walter Simonson I found uninteresting, and the artwork a far cry from Simonson at his best. Completely forgettable. The final 2 part story stars Daredevil and sports far better art by Matteo Scalera and a far more intriguing story. GRADE : C-. Worth reading for the last two issues, if you can borrow it for free, otherwise just pass.
If you disagree with my assessment and want to try or buy it yourself, especially to find options to buy it well below retail go here:
Podcast of the Day
SModcast 259_ The Walrus and The Carpenter
I’m not a Kevin Smith fan, which is to say I don’t dislike his work, I’m just not particularly interested in it.
I probably like him more as a Comic Book Writer than a filmmaker, so that said his various podcasts, imbued with his Clerks/film sensibilities humor, generally isn’t my cup of tea.
But there are two recent episodes in his podcast stream that I need to give kudos to, and one of them is episode 259 of SMODCAST titled… THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER.
Stick with it past the frat boy opening, and once he gets into the titular story you will think either one of two things, either this is stupid and turn it off, or (the surprising reaction I had) that this is achingly laugh out loud funny.
Listen for yourself and decide, and I’d be curious what your reaction turns out to be. 🙂
Brought to you by my MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Indiegogo campaign.
If you like this blog, definitely go view and support our MONARCHS OF MAYHEM campaign. There are only a few days left and we only need a 147 of you to contribute at the $35 level to make the book happen! We can do it! 🙂
Go view it and support it here! Thanks!
“The sea is laughing. As though hell cackled from the mouth of an ass.”
OUT OF THE STORM by William Hope Hodgson
Courtesy of SFF Audio. Listen to it here! It is absolutely brilliant. This is the writer who inspired Lovecraft, and what Lovecraft learned from him (a man plagued by his own demons)… is clear…. and horrible.
As any casual visitor to this blog knows I’m a huge pulp fiction fan, so I’m always on the lookout for vintage or new age pulp covers that grab me. Under the heading risque Vintage Pulp Fiction covers comes the following selection of classic, caustic, and even calamitous covers from the defunct but rightly named SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES.
Take a gander and enjoy!
And if you’d actually like to read one of these stories (A Norvell Page!!) go here.
“I tell you, that was a crazy week. Like I say, I don’t know why the color red bothered my dad so much;
maybe there’s a story in that too, but all I know is that my dad started climbing the walls.
It took everything he had to open the front door in the morning and go to work, because the morning sunlight would lie on the walls of that red house and make it look like a four-alarm fire. And in the evening, the setting sunset lit it aflame from another direction. People started driving along Accardo Street–tourists, yet!–just to take a look at the gaudy thing!
Dad double-locked the doors and pulled the shades as if he thought the red house might rip itself off its foundations at night and come rattling across the street after him. Dad said he couldn’t breathe when he looked at that house, the awful red color stole the breath right out of his lungs, and he started going to bed early at night with the radio tuned to a baseball game and blaring right beside his head.
But in the dark, when there was no more noise from the room where my mom and dad slept in their separate beds, I sometimes unlocked the front door and went out on the porch to stand in the steamy night. I wouldn’t dare tell my mom or dad, but… I liked the red house. I mean, it looked like an island of life in a gray sea.
For a hundred years there had been only gray houses on Accardo Street, all of them exactly the same, not a nail or a joint different. And now this.
I didn’t know why, but I was about to find out in a big way.
… I heard my mom and dad talking out there. His voice was loud, but I couldn’t make out what he was
saying; then, gradually, his voice settled down. I lay on my bed and stared at a crack in the ceiling that I’d
seen a million times. And I wondered why I’d never tried to patch it up in all those years. I wasn’t a kid
anymore; I was right on the edge of being a man. No, I hadn’t patched that crack because I was waiting for
somebody else to do it, and it was never going to get done that way.”
—The Red House by Robert McCammon-from his excellent collection BLUE WORLD. I highly recommend the audio book:Something Passed by: Stories from Blue World