The Weather

I’m not sure if it’s hype by the lazy cable news channels, but things aren’t looking too good in New Orleans and the areas hit by the brunt of Katrina. Hopefully the few national guardsmen that are actually in this country instead of Iraq can evacuate the stranded people and stop the looting.

Thankfully in the midst of all the destruction, MSNBC had the journalism skills to remind its viewers that it’s been four months since Natalee Holloway vanished. Also, after flipping through the channels, it became obvious that CNN’s Situation Room is for crazy people. Its frantic pace and jarring visuals make TRL look like Frontline.

Big Fat Feeds

I’ve only recently come to understand how convenient site feeds are. When I switched over to WordPress, I set this blog’s feeds to only syndicate excerpts of the posts, fearing that those who subscribe to them would click right through to the permalink for that week’s comic and miss out on important Big Fat Whale related news. (Specifically the crap I have for sale and the ads)

But after I’ve tried a few newsreaders myself, I realized that was dumb. Now you can subscribe to the blog and see the entire posts, in all their long-winded glory. The only change is that I’ll be adding ads to each comic’s permalink page as soon as I get some time to muck with those files.

Thanks to the IFRAME tag, I can keep each comic in the archives updated with the latest Big Fat Whale news just by modifying one file. I know I could do this with a script or something, but I’m not very comfortable with any computer code that was invented after 1994.

If you have any suggestions for ways I can improve the usability of the feeds let me know. However, I won’t be able to provide a separate feed that just dumps the newest comic into your reader. You’ll have to click a link in the entry to open the comic’s page.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. Site feeds are only for nerds who know more blogs than real life people.

Fatty Food Nation

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“Bunoculars?! Seriously Brian, that is weak.”

Yeah I know. You see, I think Burger King’s chicken fries are stupid. So I tried to come up with some other stupid fast food innovations that were likely to be created by an insane person. What I ended up with was a stupid pun and some prop comedy. I’m so ashamed. After I finished this toon, I learned that even White Castle is funnier than me.

The rest of the comic isn’t that bad, at least I hope that’s the case. The title’s a spoof of Fast Food Nation, a book everyone’s been saying I should read since it came out way back when. I finally read it on a plane, and recommend it to anyone who feeds ground beef to children or old people. A quick check of Google revealed the more obvious titles of “Fat Food Nation” and “Junk Food Nation” have already been used by billions of people, so I went with this more incoherent version, just to be different.

America’s status as the fattest country in the world is embarassing. It also directly affects my life. As a very small man, my size is right on the edge of the men’s and boys’ departments. But as department stores inflate their sizes to ease the egos of the fatties, my sizes are frequently getting pushed deep into the boys department, making me look like a pedophile whenever I’m shopping for a new pair of pants.
Continue reading Fatty Food Nation

I Love Television

It’s Tuesday, and if you’re not watching Stella tonight on Comedy Central, you’re part of the problem. Their ratings haven’t been spectacular, which I take as proof that Nielsen boxes turn people into retards. Just remember, every time you willfully ignore smart and funny comedy, a hacky angel gets his own shitty variety show in heaven.

This obviously doesn’t have to be said, but Ricky Gervais’ Extras is great. It probably suffers from being constantly compared to the Office, but it’s its own show and worth watching. “But Brian,” you say. “You’re not in Britain and you’re too poor for HBO, how can you possibly be watching this show?” Magic.

I’ve also been catching up on Penn and Teller’s Bullshit! and was very entertained. It’s a shame it doesn’t get the attention it would if it were on HBO. It’s sort of like TV Nation or the Awful Truth without the bleeding hearts. There were a few episodes that fell into the libertarian trap of thinking the individual can do no wrong, but even when I disagreed with their stance, I was still entertained.

And for you dummies who didn’t listen every other time I said it, Arrested Development should be your favorite show. Fox has been running rerun marathons every Friday night for shut-ins and loser cartoonists. The third season starts September 19th. Sadly that’s a Monday, my inky day of deadline bleakness. The second season DVD will be out October 11.

Comments

About a month ago, this blog was getting hammered with comment spam. I changed a few settings and presto, no more comment spam. I just assumed the complete lack of legitimate comments that followed was due to my staggering unpopularity.

No one told me they were having trouble posting until today, so I doubt my comment trouble brought society to a halt. It should be fixed now, so feel free to go back and make the past month not look so pathetically quiet.

And please e-mail me (whale [at] bigfatwhale [dot] com) if something’s not working or you just want to say “Fuck You!”

The 3rd Annual Tostitos America Supports Your Freedom March

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I’ll start with my standard disclaimer for those who were tragically born without the ability to detect irony, sarcasm, and satire: This cartoon is not mocking the events of 9-11. It’s illustrating the tackiness and exploitive nature of the Pentagon’s planned 9-11 celebration. That’s not a joke, the Pentagon really announced plans for a parade (which was open only to people who registered) and a Clint Black concert on the fourth anniversary of 9-11. I didn’t make the name up either, they’re really calling it the “America Supports Your Freedom March.”

I was convinced the Department of Defense would be shamed into cancelling this event sometime this week, which would make this cartoon completely irrelevant by the time anyone saw it. And to some extent I was right. Facing outrage and disgust following the announcement, the Pentagon modified many of the events, shifting the focus towards more tasteful memorial services instead of grim celebrations of the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

However, it wasn’t the tastelessness of the event that upset me. People mourn in all different ways, and who am I to say a bumper sticker or trite Toby Keith song isn’t an acceptable way to commemorate the dead? My problem with this parade is that it was organized and planned by the Department of Defense.

If this parade was organized by a non-governmental group, I wouldn’t object. I’d still think it was tacky, but such a group has their freedom of speech and has every right to dance on the graves of the dead and make asses out of themselves. But when the government gets involved with organizing parades designed to advocate a position, (Rumsfeld said that the march would remind people of “the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation.) it’s propaganda and has no place in a free society. During World War II, there was never a need for a Pearl Harbor Day Parade to rally public support.

But because there was no noble rationale for the invasion for the public to rally behind, this parade is an attempt to link the events of 9-11 with the debacle in Iraq. They are linked; thanks to the invasion, Iraq is now a breeding ground for terrorism and anti-americanism, greatly increasing the likelihood of another 9-11, but that’s not the link the Pentagon was trying to make. Public support for the war is at an all time low, and by shamelessly invoking the victims of 9-11, they hoped to reverse that trend.

The Republican party has made no secret that they benefitted politically from 9-11. With failure following them in everything they do, their only hope is to constantly remind people of that horrible day. Obviously no one should forget those events and the people who died, but to obsess about it while completely ignoring today’s threats is insane. Each year the memorials should become more tactful and private. To make an ever-increasing spectacle out of it each year is embarassing. There was a lot of deserved praise for the British and Israelis for going on with their lives in the face of terrorism. In that praise was the tacit acknowledgement that we, as a nation, went batshit insane after 9-11, and four years later, we still can’t or won’t move on with our lives.

The final panel is a reference to the August 6, 2001 PDB report that stated “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Within US.” Upon receiving this dire warning, Bush spent the next month heroically removing the threat of underbrush from his Crawford ranch. I hate that asshole.

Grab Bag

Dear Sweetie Pies,
Every time I check the statistics of this blog, I am beseiged with guilt. Many of you come back again and again, only to find diddly shit different from your last visit. When I have nothing original to add, I prefer to be silent. That way I can hide the fact that my mind is filled with the same tired opinions you can find in the blogs of dozens of knobs who refuse to self-edit.

Also until recently, the fucking humidity was insane and it took all my efforts to write anything other than a delightful treatise on the sweatiness of my crevices. And that’s probably more interesting than anything that’s happened since the shuttle didn’t blow up. I should stress that interesting and important are two different things. Abramoff’s indictment, Darfur, and the looming Iraqi civil war are all important, I just don’t have anything interesting to say about them.

With the exception of one super-mega-important birthday, the heat has stopped anything important from ever happening in August. A dweeb I once knew informed me that before air conditioning was invented by George Washington Carver, the weather was so oppressive in DC that the Europeans considered being appointed an ambassador to America a hardship post. This particular dweeb never understood the concept of purchasing a round of drinks, so it’s possible he’s a fucking moron and didn’t know what he was talking about.

Enough of my rambling. Tim Kreider already complained about August ennui and terrible-bad-shitty-news fatigue anyway.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring you all down. Hopefully without appearing like a fawning fan boy, here’s another Electric Six video to put a smile on that sweaty sticky face of yours.

Also: Toilet Paper.

I Didn’t Know That!

After a decade of cleaning mice and mouse pads that have crusted over with my dead skin cells and Dorito leavings, I finally upgraded to an optical mouse. It’s great, but that’s not what this post is about. While I was fiddling with it, I discovered that clicking on a link in Firefox with the center button (the wheel) opens it up in a new tab. I never read the fucking manuals (No book’s gonna tell me what to do!), so pardon me if this is common knowledge.

E-Acrimony

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I was sitting on this lame eHarmony parody for a while. After last week’s bit of random nonsense, I was hoping to do something more topical, but there just wasn’t anything in the news that raised my ire. Thankfully that didn’t last and next week’s toon is shaping up to be about something relevant.

For my Amish readers whose only vice is secretly logging on to the internet just to read Big Fat Whale, eHarmony is a creepy, somewhat fundamentalist dating site that’s advertised everywhere. It’s founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren had strong ties to Jesus’ Douchebag on Earth, James Dobson, until recently. Although Warren softened his stance and distanced himself from Dobson, he still refuses to match gay people. According to this Salon interview (watch Salon’s site pass to read the whole thing), he doesn’t seem like a frothing at the mouth kind of asshole, just a misinformed one.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find couples who hate each other to be much more entertaining than the nauseating fawning over each other variety. Of course that’s for my own macabre amusement. Contrary to the sentiment of the cartoon, I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea for people to remain miserable, unless they deserve it.

I wasted ten bucks and registered eAcrimony.com. I thought about writing up an incompatibility survey too, but I had too much other shit to do. So for now it just points to the Big Fat Whale domain.

Lastly, I’ve got no beef with love songs, when they’re done right. I’m probably ruining my reputation as a bitter little man, but I actually like Bright Eyes and Magnetic Fields, among others. Please don’t tell anyone.