Well, it’s that time of year again. A time of renewal. A time of rebirth. A time when Mother Nature wakes up and fills the air with a thick yellow fog of pollen. A time when your fondest desire is to gouge the sinuses out of your face with an ice cream scoop.

Yes, spring is in the air.

Spring

 

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The literary world is rich and full of wonder. I know that we are all avid readers of fine books and voracious readers of fine periodicals and delicious websites that offer fine journalism such as the one you are reading right this very minute. Reading what has been written is a joy that every literate person takes pleasure in, and if you know of anyone who is illiterate, why not be their hero and teach them to read? Or donate to charities, because everyone loves donating to charities!

Anyway, I am here to talk about a nursery rhyme. Adults often overlook nursery rhymes in the Land of Literature. We memorize them when we are very small, then cast them aside once we can comprehend child fictions about riding horses, or little books about not being afraid of the dark, or not being afraid of failure, or owning and riding dinosaurs, or having imaginary friends. But those first nursery rhymes are very important for us as tiny youths, and we probably still have most of them buried away in our brains, ready to be recited at the drop of any old hat anywhere.

The subjects of a lot of these nursery rhymes are actually kind of creepy. We have all heard about that one rhyme really being about the bubonic plague horrors and everyone dying. There are others too, so it stands to reason that pretty much all of these rhymes are based on adult themes and death and destruction, or in the case of that disgusting Georgie Porgie – date rape.

 

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Yeah, I know, that’s a stupid, unoriginal title. But we’ve all been so excited for so long about this reboot! Haven’t you been wondering if it was? If the truth was indeed still out there?

X Files

In spite of the obvious effects of aging, which sent me spiralling into a bout of depression involving my own mortality and the unrelenting march of Time, the show outshines the mutated, ancient façades that Duchovny and Anderson have become (I am so, so sorry guys).

The first two episodes of the new X-Files miniseries have premiered and they started by catching us up to the plot, as if we wouldn’t have all binge-watched the entire series right before the new season started to air. But right after the recap, Agent HOTFOX Mulder briefs us on UFO sightings again, which is perfect for getting us back in the X-Files mood. Yes, I believe you Mulder, I do see the government conspiracy now. I see everything. I see the truth.

I will not spoil things for you friends, so read on.

 

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I’ll be bringing you a little yuletide cheer this week by talking a little bit about Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. Oh, wait. Did I say “cheer” because that is actually the opposite of what I meant to say. What I have dredged from my soup of far distant childhood memories is a Christmas special that I saw when I was maybe eight or nine that was SO DEPRESSING that I only saw it once, and it made me cry. It made me cry outrageously hard. This animation AGED ME far beyond my years and I will never forgive it.

nestor

I don’t even know how popular this one is. When I was little, I loved animated specials very much, so I would be sure to catch them whenever they were on. Not this one though. I am not sure if it is because I just avoided it magically, or if it was only shown one time because it inspired a wave of angry calls from parents. I can’t really even remember what upset me so much about it, except for one obvious part I will tell you about in a moment, as we watch it together, hand in hand.

So, let’s get this over with, my friends, my strangers. Let’s watch Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey – for the first time in decades. Let’s see if it will stir up more feelings, feelings I have spent a lifetime trying to silence. And for those of you who don’t feel like watching along with me, I’ll just summarize this son of a button for you as it goes along.

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We humans have always been preoccupied with the end of our civilization. Sure, we have pocket-sized computers that can send signals across undersea cables to people on other continents virtually instantaneously, but on the other hand, a disturbing number of us use this to send pictures of our genitals to these people, often while driving. So it’s understandable that we tend to think our glory days of international space stations and individually wrapped cheese slices are numbered, and that we’re just one drunken diplomat away from going back to drawing penis gods in caves and killing each other with rocks and twigs.

Doomsday

 

Some even look forward to this day, convinced that they’re special and chosen and have what it takes to survive the aftermath of a global pandemic, when the fit 21-year-old they watch jog by three times a day from their sofa does not. You won’t be winded after yank-starting your lawnmower then, no sir! You’ll be the leader of a grizzled group of survivors, fighting daily for survival and eagerly scarfing down a bag of dry lentils as your first food in three days. Who needs a coffee shop on every corner and plentiful food? Bring on the economic riots!

This mindset has spawned a subculture called “Doomsday Preppers,” who spend much of their free time converting basements and digging backyard bunkers because they know that a major civilizational collapse is coming, and some bottled water and freeze-dried burritos are going to help them survive a good six weeks longer than the rest of us. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus among this community as to which doomsday is coming. Some wait for nuclear holocaust, others for economic collapse, yet more for ecological disaster, and many just sit among their pallets of creamed corn and rock back and forth while murmuring “Obama” over and over.

I know you want in on this action before you are stuck in the ruins of a major city fleeing from a group of sexual cannibals chasing you on scooters with spikes welded to them while they wear discarded football gear, so here’s what you need to know to build a fortified bunker to escape to, along with several attractive members of your preferred gender who will show up just like in those movies on Showtime.

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Felix the Cat, the character, came to be in 1919, although his bag of tricks wasn’t a thing until the 1950s. Felix was created by the Australian animation studio run by Pat Sullivan. It’s also possible Felix was actually created by Otto Mesmer, Sullivan’s lead animator.

The 1988 movie was widely criticized for, well… being poorly-drawn nonsense. And boy is it ever!

Felix the Cat by Amanda Wood

Come with us, on a journey through… Felix the Cat: The Movie.

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Sometimes, while listening to old, obscure music, you happen upon some fine gems. Just because a tune wasn’t on the Top 40 station within the past five years doesn’t mean it’s unlistenable, whippersnappers!

However, as with all journeys, one risks running into perils involving distasteful subjects, awkward moments, or even human emotions. On the day that I discovered Baby, How Can It Be? I was not expecting to also discover a piece of recording history that would change my mood. I had gone from cheerful to unsettled in the time that it took to simply read the track titles. My good friend, Billy Holiday, was there to comfort me in my hour of confusion and slight need.

Then I drew this comic of our conversation.

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I’ve probably just concluded a record amount of backspacing and deleting in a single document as far as my writing career goes. It was brought up that I was more than welcomed, and in fact encouraged, to write up a few or as many words as I wanted on the subject of the passing of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Yes, this is an article that involves a professional wrestler, and if that fact has caused you to scoff, roll your eyes, or do that annoying heavy sniff that people do, then I offer my sincere apologies. It’s very unfortunate that an accident or birth defect caused your head to be firmly planted so deeply into your ass. This is a write-up about a pro “wrassler,” but it’s also about a legend, a hero, and by all accounts an all around good man.

Now I said I had a lot typed up that I deleted, and that’s true. I purposefully waited a bit after the news broke to write anything on this subject, as I wanted to let it all sink in and approach the writing process with a calm head and at least my usual half-assed sort of organization. There have been a lot of matter-of-fact, respectful-yet-emotionless pieces written on Big Dust, and the more I read my “calm, cool-headed” draft, the more I realized I was writing just another fluff piece. While not disparaging in any way, it failed to express my true feelings over this legend and over our tremendous loss. So whatever follows after this sentence is simply one man spewing forth whatever comes to his mind as rapidly as it can possibly be expressed, without a care for whether or not it really makes any sense at all. In other words this is in a fashion befitting Dusty, a man who never experienced a moment of second guessing if something he said made any earthly sense.

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