Roger Answers Your Questions, Jaquandor

From the guy from Buffalo who does Byzantium Shores.

1. If they re-did the Jeopardy! eligibility rules so you could try out again, would you?

Quite possibly so. I feel ever so slightly jealous that they doubled the values a couple years after I was on. This doesn’t mean I would have won $35,200 instead of $17,600 when I played, but it made me wonder. Of course, maybe I’d suck at the game now. Certainly, I’d go in the next three years, when I’d be 60, or not at all.

Somehow I feel like one of those baseball players who came along just before free agency.

2. In retrospect: Should Spitzer have resigned?

In retrospect, no, but that whole thing wasn’t going down “in retrospect”. It wasn’t his sexual behavior that did him in, it was his hypocrisy. Truth is that he never had the patience to be governor; things he could have bullied people to do as Attorney General, with the force of law on his side, could not be achieved as Governor, where give and take is more the requirement.

No doubt that if he were not tainted, he might have continued to sound the alarm about the Wall Street fiasco, as he was working on as Attorney General. Equally true that Wall Street as happy to see him go. The truth of the matter is that I wish he had stayed as AG, but he would have had to resign that position as well, once the Customer Number Nine stuff came out.

I continue to be fascinated by sexual scandals in terms of who gets to stay in office and who has to go. I always thought that Bill Clinton got to stay because there was a general feeling that 1) he already had a reputation as a womanizer, so he didn’t have the hypocrite label slapped on him (only the “liar” label) and 2) that the impeachment over sex, and lying about it, was an overreach for something that started off as an investigation of a land deal.

3. What the hell is going on with the Catholic Church? I mean, seriously: WTF?!

The church seems to continue to be tone deaf to the scandal. Some archbishop in New York State is attacking the attackers of the Pope, as though THEY were the problem instead of the pedophile priests and the system that protected them.

SamuraiFrog had a good post about this. The church
treated it as an “internal matter”, fearing that somehow admitting it and exposing it would undermind its moral authority. Have they not learned from Watergate? It’s the COVER UP that REALLY underminds their moral authority. If they’d gotten in front of this even 30 years ago – John Paul II became Pope in 1978 – then it would have been painful, yes, but not this drip-drip-drip of scandal.

Mr. Frog notes the fact that the church feels selectively persecuted/prosecuted for its religion, that other people did wrong things. OK, and the church also claims that its first Pope knew Jesus personally, which, I’d like to suggest, places it at a slightly higher standard.

The Catholic hierarchy for years has been blaming this problem on the United States’ culture and society, as though it had been the “permissive” Americans who regularly ignore Papal dictates on issues such as birth control as the problem. Classic misdirection, but it did not “take”, given the worldwide problem.

And the “it happened a long time ago – get over it” argument, not just on this issue, but any issue, such as institutional racism and sexism, has always irritated the crap out of me. Let me say it again: the persecutors oughtn’t be able to say “Let’s move on” without the adequate response of not only apologizing for the problem, but, to the degree possible, rectifying the problem. This is why the Armenians in Turkey are still, and rightly from my POV, kvetching about the 1915
genocide that the Turkish government still denies.

As someone who protected a priest who had victimized 200 boys, the former Cardinal Ratzinger has given new meaning to “papal bull”.
***
Remember last month when I directed you to a link to my guest review for Trouble with Comics, then it went away? Well, as Bullwinkle J. Moose says, This time for sure!

ROG

The Pretentious Blogging Meme

Apparently, I’m in a blogging about blogging mode: From Sunday Stealing.

1. How long have you been blogging?

4 years, 10 months yesterday. Or the day before, if you count the time I wrote it.

2. What made you start?

Discussed here, but what MADE me start ultimately is being very opinionated with no venue.

3. Who inspired you?

Fred Hembeck and the late Steve Gerber.

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog?

You mean THIS one? Well, probably eight hours writing it, then another five checking out other blogs, getting rid of spam comments, responding to questions, etc.

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing?

I wrote for my high school newspaper; in my senior year, had a column called Pa Central (I went to Binghamton Central); snarky before I knew the word.
I co-edited a newsletter in college and edited one in grad school. I edited, for six years, a monthly work newsletter. Wrote some press releases for the Schenectady Arts Council and a little for FantaCo. Edited three and a half issues of FantaCo’s Chronicles Series. Inevitably, anything I edited involved a degree of writing as well.

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas?

Steal ’em. Well, sometimes, but finding topics is not the problem; the problem is a lack of time to write coherently about certain topics. I have three topics I could write about tomorrow, but will I have time to compose ANY of them?

7. What or who inspires you and your blog?

Life. Politics. Sports. TV. Music. The newspaper. Really, inspiration I get easily; time, not so much.

8. Where and/or how do your brainstorming for your blog?

Anywhere – riding the bus, taking a shower, occasionally, my dreams.

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow?

Probably. I tend not to use language that’s likely to offend a segment of my vast readership. I try not to write about the same topic too often in a row. Not only might it be tedious for the reader, more importantly it’d likely be boring for me. Or maybe my approach is ADHD-driven.

10. Is there anything you will not blog about?

Yes. And if I told you what those topics were, that’d kind of defeat the purpose of not blogging about it. “I’m not going to tell you about…”; yeah, right.

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic?

Well, Tuesday is ABC Wednesday. The 26th of the month is Lydia day. Mondays are memes, sometimes (not this week, apparently). Saturdays are questions, often but not always. The rest I fake.
***
More in re: blogging. I entered Rose’s blog hosting contest. Guess what? I WON! I got a confirming e-mail yesterday afternoon, and I have some ideas for a URL, but if you have some thoughts before, say, 1 pm Eastern Time today when I go to lunch and contact the provider, have at it.
***
I noted only a couple days ago that I had appeared in the Trouble with Comics blog. Then Mr. Doane wrote to comment: “My apologies, but Guest Reviewer Month has now been pushed back to April due to some technical problems. Your piece should go up 4/1, Roger. Sorry!” The trouble with this was that I thought he was making a joke; the piece should go up on April Fools Day? Les & Trudy didn’t raise someone THAT gullible.

Except that my friend Rocco noted that the piece that had been posted had disappeared. This probably has something to do with Trouble with Comics changing its URL because of changers with Blogger re: FTPs.

In other words, I have outwitted myself. Expect the piece on – April 1? Really, ADD?

ROG

A Couple Links In Lieu of Actual Content

Maybe it’s because I’ve tried cutting back on caffeine. Surely it has to do with Black History Month at church and a presentation I did at the Underground Railroad conference this past weekend. But I am FRIED.

Fried means going to bed when the child goes to bed, between 8 and 9 pm. Going to bed BEFORE my wife, and if you know her sleep patterns, you’d find that astonishing.
So I’m not going to force it. I’ll give you a couple links. The good news, I suppose, is that I wrote them:

EDIT: POSTPONED UNTIL APRIL (paragraph below)
Over at Trouble with Comics, the esteemed comics blogger Alan David Doane is having Guest Reviewer Month. And guess who his first contributor is? (And yes, ADD, I DO laugh your claim to my “fame”.)

On my Times Union blog, I note how lucky Albany has been with the weather this winter. Those of you from across the country or the world might read that NYC schools and Syracuse University were closed on Friday; Albany got about an inch of slush. Oh, and I dedicate the post to Jason at 2political, who’s in the Washington, DC area and gotten far more snow in 2010 than I have.

Finally, I want to point you to the NYS Data Center blog where I highlight the Modern Mechanix blog.

More content tomorrow, I hope.

ROG

Another FantaCo Recollection


Gates of Eden (May 1982) was arguably the best thing FantaCo Enterprises of Albany, NY, where I worked from 1980-1988, ever put out. Had a great Michael Kaluta cover, and work by John Byrne, Steve Leialoha, Michael T. Gilbert, Trina Robbins, Fred Hembeck, Foolbert Sturgeon, Lee Marrs, Jeff Jones, P. Craig Russell, Rick Geary, Kim Deitch, Spain, Sharon Rudahl, Gary Hallgren, and John Caldwell. It was also a disaster commercially. Comic blog impresario Alan David Doane has put together some memories of Gates of Eden,; the title was inspired by Bob Dylan. See what Christopher Allen, my Internet buddy Johnny Bacardi, and yes, I had to say about it here.

I was looking at the FantaCo Wikipedia page recently and it occurred to me that someone should do a Wikipedia page for the late Raoul Vezina. Not only did he do the Smilin’ Ed series for FantaCo, he also worked on New Paltz Comix with the aforementioned Michael T. Gilbert. With Don Rittner as writer, Raoul drew a series of Naturalist At Large cartoons, many of which I had bnever seen before.

It came out a while ago, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still be plugging Fred Hembeck’s 900-page anthology again. It includes Fred’s seven magazines published by FantaCo, plus about 700 MORE pages of goodness.
***
My, I’ve been feeling crummy the last four days. And I’m supposed to sing this afternoon. I’ve had a range of about a half an octave; wish me luck.

ROG

The Breakfast Blog


My friend Dan really cracked me up, when, in his comment to my NaBloPoMo post, he described my blog as one of the “Breakfast Blogs. That what I call blogs like yours, Roger. ‘For today’s post I’m going to tell you what I had for breakfast this morning! I had exactly what I told you I had for breakfast in yesterday’s post, but today I also had a big glass of orange juice! Let me tell you how that came about!’ etc.”

For the record, I can recall noting my breakfast habits five times in four and a half years, twice in my dedication to cold cereal, especially mixed; one about maple syrup; and a couple times in response to a meme question. OK, and once in answer to this question. That’s about once every nine months.

And it’s fine that he has a more “slow cooking” blog. Frankly, if I wrote as infrequently as he does, I’m afraid I wouldn’t write anything at all. I have so many ideas, or at least pieces of ideas floating around in my head at any given time.
***
What I will tell you is that I went to a comic book show on Sunday, well described by Fred Hembeck here (November 3). Had a grand old time talking with Fred, his wife Lynn Moss, John Hebert and his wife and mother, Bill Anderson, Joe Staton and especially Rocco Nigro. But what Fred and Rocco and I all said at different points was, “Where’s Alan David Doane?” He plugged the event in his blog and then no one saw him there. Maybe he was incognito in one of those Watchman or Star Wars costumes; one really can’t tell much about a person in a Darth Vader outfit.
***
I’ve been at a State Data Center Affiliates meeting Wednesday, Thursday and will be today, learning a lot about the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey. and other Census products. I know the Census people really can’t say this, but I can: if you don’t want some intrusive government person coming to your house, fill out the form and return it right away. The decennial form next year is 10 questions, 10 minutes. Expect me to bore you with this regularly until at least mid-April.
***
I TOLD you the Yankees would beat the…Cardinals I TOLD you the Yankees would win the World Series. Didn’t see an inning of it live; mostly caught the highlights.
***
I’m really pleased to announce that I received an acceptance letter this week for the proposal I submitted for Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. 9th annual conference in February. I’ll talk more about it as it gets closer, but I’ve been a big fan of Paul and Mary Liz Stewart’s work on this for years.

ROG