Catching Up – The Comics

5 06 2007

As has become our habit when we re-animate LitBlogs yet again (monotonous, isn’t it?), we will begin our newest round of documenting literary blogs by returning to the sites we’ve already reviewed and marking any changes. And believe me, have there been changes. Some are wonderful, even inspiring. Others are downright depressing.

Like the number of brilliant bloggers we’ve lost in this past year. The comic blogosphere has been particularly hard-hit. Two of the three funniest net-exclusive bloggers have vanished without a trace.

Chris, who was responsible for the satiric genius and laff-out-loud gut-busting of the Fafblog!, hasn’t written a post since July of ’06. That doesn’t mean he and his crew of space-light alien-cookies won’t be back at some point – after all, if Shakespeare can return (more later), there’s hope for everybody – but it’s not looking good. One longs to hear Giblets defend Libby while Fafnir taste-tests various PopTart frostings and then goes into paroxysms of delight over the comparatively high food-value of the cardboard container they came in. Brad Delong called Fafblog! a “national treasure” and somebody has clearly looted it. (Now, who could that be?)

Admittedly a poor second but amusing in its own right for totally different reasons is an homage blog – no, I’m not kidding – called I Miss fafblog, Spot! by a group of otherwise-bloggers who have appropriated fafblog‘s template in toto and attempted to foist upon it their own version of wit. Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t. From a post of “awards” for – well, I’m not exactly sure what they’re for.

A bringing of the Panopticon question out of the abstract “a society” example and the giving to us of a relatable real-world example:
Who says anything about preventing terrorist attacks? George Orwell theorized about how the fear of attack can be used to support the powers that be, and George Bush showed it could be put into practice.MarkC

Uh-huh. But that pales beside these:

Possibly the most beautiful prose ever written in a scatological bent:
After a midnight repast of delicious leftover Roasted Asparagus, I became aware during my morning tinkles, of an odor in my pee most foul! I shall dedicate my afternoon to this mystery.Pope Benedict XVI

No, wait. It was this that was possibly the most beautiful prose ever written in a scatological bent:
“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send “One Mighty and Strong”, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God…” […] Paging Mr. Romney… Joseph Smith, Doctrines and Covenants (via: William of Malmsbury)

Yessir, just what the blogoverse has been missing – a joke on William of Malmsbury. I can die happy.

At the other end of the spectrum:

Dear Ken

Help!!! I have a vice-presi…errrr, I mean…an employee who is very obstinate when it comes to obeying instructions. Whenever I tell him to engage with North Korea he says, “no!” When I tell him to stop provoking China to attack Taiwan, he throws himself on the carpet and has a hissy fit. I’m not even sure how real these ‘fits’ are because Condi tells me that whenever I turn away he stops immediately. He seems to enjoy testing the limits, but when he behaves like this he interrupts the entire government’s foreign policy apparatus. I would try to use positive reinforcement whenever he does the right thing, but he never does the right thing! He continues to try to hijack the foreign policy-making process! What can I do when I have a vice pres…I mean…employee crying on the carpet and refusing to to back European efforts on Iran? Do you have any ideas?

Lonely at the Top

Dear Lonely at the Top

You cannot have a vice-presi…er…an employee throwing tantrums on the floor. A little discipline in the White House might be in order, LATT! If that doesn’t work, I would move the entire foreign policy establishment to a different location that’s far away from him. Then, everyone can ignore his behavior and restore some functionality to the national-security policy-making process.


Yes. Well. One still misses Chris. More, perhaps.

The other loss is even more devastating. Katy’s I am Eating My Husband’s Soul…and it isn’t my first, which was pure comic genius, irreverent, rude, unapologetically scatological and funny as hell, has been wiped off the face of the earth. I went to her old address and was greeted with a new title – Digestion Is Good for the Soul, too – and a single line: “See ya.” Even the archives are gone, and only Katy could have done that. Maybe she’s writing a book or something. We can but hope we haven’t seen the last of her.

The third, though, Dan Roentsch’s classic The LumpenBlog, has been popping right along all this time in a second installment of the adventures of the three members of the Belverton University Press Executive Editorial Committee we’ve come to know so well: Rock History Prof Desmond Cork, Ivory-Tower Academic Barry Fest, and last but hardly least, the proto-crypto-feminist Women’s Studies’ Prof, Nefertiti Snorkjutt. There have been, shall we say, consequences from the last round of soul-searching confusion and non-stop cunny-lingus requiring, it would appear, the tender ministrations of the new Dean of Intercourse.

Perhaps most of you are wondering: “Why would the Dean of Intercourse want to meet with you, Barry?” However, my most immediate care, concern, nay, panic was presenting my office in a condition that an important visitor might reasonably expect from the executive editor of a university press, not to mention a bleeding-edge intellectual.

For, you see, I am still in self-exile from my home, and living in these very offices. I committed a grievous infidelity with our former email administrator, the gothic Moliere, and my addiction to her has made my wife — Dr. Wharton-Stone — inconsolable.

It may not be long until I am able to return home, however, as the round-the-clock hand-holding sessions intended to give moral and emotional support to Dr. Wharton-Stone may have peaked as a social event. The last time I looked in, over fifty of our friends and neighbors were in attendance, seated silently in the living and dining rooms, in a gigantic, distorted circle, holding hands, hugging, and sobbing. — A scene made all the more congested and confusing by the caterers milling about with trays of wine and White Stilton.

Somewhat after meeting the DOI – the ravishing Racine – Barry, as clueless as ever, is pulled into yet another extra-marital affair, only to be astonished to find him and his peccadillo referred to in a presidential press conference. After some difficulty getting the set turned on “by means of the mechanical channel-changing knob”, he is startled by the following:

When at last I found PBS, the president — a well-dressed and handsome man — was standing between two flags and behind that lectern with the seal of the President of the United States on the front. Behind him could be seen the usual little hallway, and in front of him the usual brood of reporters shouting at the president like he was a taxi they were trying to hail.

“Bornie,” said the president, pointing to one of the hailing reportage units clustered before him.

All of said units save the estimable Bernard Flambo sat down and silenced themselves.

“Mr. President,” Flambo began in his trademark baritone, “a moment ago you referred to a professor at a place called Bel—, uh, Belverton University, I believe is the name of the place, who has been involved in an elaborate plan to cheat on his wife with the Dean of Intercourse there.”

“Thet’s kuhray-ict.”

“Can you tell us how you managed to come by this information without the use of wiretaps or some other form of clandestine surveillance?”

The president stared at Flambo for a moment, biting — no, gnawing — his lower lip, and furrowing his brow, as if the answer to the question were written in disappearing ink on Flambo’s necktie. Whilst the president puzzled thus, I found myself growing warm with sickly jealousy. A professor at Belverton, attempting a rendezvous with the Dean of Intercourse? My Dean of Intercourse?

But it was only a momentary lapse. Of course I knew he was talking about me.

In the latest development, a pair of FBI agents known only as Cubby and Slund pay a call on Barry in his office.

If you have been keeping up with my late adventures, you know also that I was watching the president “out” me nationally in the relative comfort of my office at the Belverton University Press, and that immediately after the president finished decrying me for my wanton antimatrimonialism, I was visited by two FBI agents: an avuncular young man calling himself Agent Cubby and his attractive, but overly suspicious, partner: a red-haired woman known as Slund.

Both wore sensible shoes.

Agent Cubby seemed pleased that I had tuned in to watch the president’s press conference.

“Nice set,” he said, looking at the little chrome-and-plastic television nestled on a tray at the edge of my desk. “Black and white. No remote.”

“Don’t watch much set, do you, Mr. Fest?” asked Agent Slund, her bloodless button eyes scanning me from beneath her brow.

“I only watch documentaries and Six Feet Under,” I said. “I watched the president this evening only because I heard that he was talking about, well —”

“You?” Agent Cubby grinned.

Six Feet Under is off the air for two seasons now,” said Slund.

“Yes,” I said. “So I use the television even less these days. That isn’t illegal is it?”

Slund rolled her eyes. “Of course not,” she said.

“On the other hand,” said Cubby, “the president’s and bureau policy is to take a close look at people who are not watching much set.”

“Whatever for?” I asked.

“Well, see, it isn’t that what is on television is actually something the bureau approves of —”

“Or condones,” interruped Slund.

“But when we look at the demographics of who is watching set, we can tell with certainty how many people are thinking the same non-subversive thoughts at exactly the same moment. Every time we see the number of people who are watching The Next Top American Survivor and thinking about queer eyes and straight guys we subtract that number from the number of people who might be plotting to start a magazine or read one of those things with the square backs.”

“Books,” said Slund.

“Yeah,” said Cubby. “Books. — May we sit, Mr. Fest?”

Meanwhile Des is being forced into 3-ways with his next-door neighbor, Mrs Liang (Mr Liang has fled to Hong Kong), and her second-cousin April who is in the market for a sex-slave.

After that, it gets complicated.

The LumpenBlog is a true original, and if I were you, I’d go get reacquainted before it, too, disappears into the cyber-void.




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