September 15th, 2009



  • 00:33 Link: Kanye Apologizes. - Okay, now apologize for your breaches of basic Internet etiquette. I can just image... #
  • 00:50 Did you know that you can rearrange the letters in "Kanye" to spell the place where the Birthers think Obama was born? It's all connected! #
  • 00:52 @NowIsStrange @TheRealTavie I think praising Taylor Swift is buying into the idea that victims should automatically be celebrated. #
  • 00:53 Okay, I'm confused. Is the Beyonce video that Kanye thought should have won the one with Joe Jonas dancing? #
  • 14:35</e> @SarahKSilverman Beetles, of course! #
  • 14:39 Photo: #
  • 14:41 Photo: History of Tea Parties #
  • 14:45 RT @michaelianblack Jay Leno premieres tonight! Let the not watching begin! #
  • 14:51 @eehouls What does it say about me that I initially thought you were talking about the general? #
  • 14:52 About all I know about Patton Oswalt is that, when he opened for Camper Van Beethoven, he was booe
    d for making a pro-Bush comment. #
  • 14:52 Whether the comment was sincere or sarcastic isn't information I've been privy to. #
  • 14:53 Honestly, when I hear his name, I usually just think of Dick Van Patten. Hey, they were both on the Weird Al Show. #
  • 14:54 My dreams yesterday involved a frog in the bathtub (which Clancy proceeded to chase) and boy fortune hunters at the North Pole. #
  • 14:55 I think the boys tricked thieves out of gold by taking a strait down to Europe, or something like that. It didn't make much sense. #
  • 15:11 Photo: thedailywhat:
  • 15:14 Photo: So I assume AT&T is under the reign of Satan? That sounds about right. friendlyatheist: #
  • 16:23 If a diva is the female version of a Hustler, does it contain full frontal male nudity? #
  • 16:24 @d_whiteplume It might have been a joke. I don't know enough about the guy to be sure. #
  • 16:27 Not sure why, but some stand-up comic called Joe King started following me. If only it were the ruler of the Gillikins instead. #
  • 16:47 Kanye Interrupts Moon Landing.

    He is keeping it real, he means no harm #
  • 16:52 Video: An anti-Obama conservative parody of “New York, New York.” For some reason, this seems like something... #
  • 17:26 Photo: “Beyonce had one of the greatest birthdays of all time!” tanya77: #
  • 18:45 I don't like Twitter! If something isn't long, it isn't worth reading! #
  • 20:08 @3x1minus1 Sounds tasty. I haven't had a cheese steak in a while. #
  • 20:42 Photo: pdvmorris: #
  • 21:23 Dick Morris claims that no one on the right has criticized Obama on race. Did he just get here? #
  • 22:17 @JaredofMo I should be, sure. #
  • 22:18 @3x1minus1 Maybe America's got talent, but Leno doesn't. #
  • 22:22 One problem I have is that I keep getting the germs of ideas for jokes, but can't figure out how to phrase them so they'd make sense. #
  • 22:27 Tumblr, stop making changes to your infrast
    ructure! You're not the Army Corps of Engineers! #
  • 23:05 Maybe Kanye's outburst can be explained by alien abduction. SOMEONE shaved crop circles into his hair, anyway. #
  • 23:07 The local news said that the Leno appearance was Kanye's first since the VMAs. Because MOST Mondays, he does eight different TV shows. #
  • 23:08 O'Reilly has Brit Hume on his show, apparently so he looks like less of a sour-faced old man in comparison. #
  • 23:18 No, O'Reilly, not everyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. But YOU are a racist, so maybe you're not the best person to address that. #
  • 23:18 And if you want proof
    of Bill-O's racism, just remember, "M-F-er, I want more iced tea." #
  • 23:25 Wow, O'Reilly is progressing somewhat! He actually got the name of "Dancing with the Stars" right for once. #
  • 00:01 @kattmoff I loved their "What would your dead mom say?" routine. Classic Leno humor! #
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The Edible Population

It seems to be an old tradition in stories for children to have landscapes, items, and people made out of edible materials, especially candy and other sweet foods. The Oz books are no exception to this, although the idea actually appeared in some of Baum's other fantasies before making it to the Oz series itself. The Magical Monarch of Mo gives us the Maple Plains, Fruitcake Island, cows that give ice cream, a dragon with raspberry jelly instead of blood, and talking animal crackers that grow on trees. I think his first edible people, however, might well be the ones who appear in Dot and Tot of Merryland. The second valley of Merryland, known as the Valley of Bonbons, is inhabited by people with marshmallow flesh and stick candy bones, who coat themselves with powdered sugar to keep from sticking to things. They are also known to have some racist and cannibalistic tendencies, the former shown in the fact that chocolate people are a servant class, and the latter in that they'll eat any fellow candy people who end up broken into pieces. The candy man whom Dot and Tot encounter in the valley reappears in The Road to Oz, as a companion to Queen Dolly at Ozma's birthday party. Also attending this party is another edible personage, John Dough, a human-sized gingerbread man made by French immigrant baker Jules Grogrande in order to celebrate the Fourth of July, and inadvertently animated with the Elixir of Life. After running from people who want to eat him, John has a series of adventures on some Nonestic islands with a gender-ambiguous child called Chick the Cherub (hence the title John Dough and the Cherub for his book), eventually culminating in his becoming king of the unfriendly but united nations of Hiland and Loland.

The first occasion of edible people within Oz itself occurs in Emerald City, with its village of Bunbury (quite possibly named after the imaginary relative from The Importance of Being Earnest, but I don't believe there's ever been actual confirmation on this), home to a large number of rather aristocratic baked goods. Dorothy pays a visit there that starts out friendly, but goes sour when Toto, on a dare, eats a few of the citizens (and given what we learn about Toto in Tik-Tok, he really should have known better). There's no indication as to how the people of Bunbury came into existence, but since the neighboring town of Bunnybury was established by Glinda, and the book also credits her with setting up the Cuttenclips' village, I don't think it's too far-fetched to say that Glinda granted some life-giving ovens and a plot of land in her Quadling Country to an eccentric baker. Incidentally, one of the advertising pamphlets that Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote for the Royal Baking Powder Company was called "Billy in Bunbury," but since I haven't read it, I couldn't tell you whether it's about the same Bunbury. Her other advertisements for the company did feature live food people, including the Jinn of the Gelatin Isles. I'm not sure how many baking products Royal makes today, but I know their gelatin is still available as a cheaper alternative to Jell-O.

Speaking of Thompson, she brought in a candy giant named Bangladore as a minor character in her first Oz book, Royal Book. He's made out of taffy, with sour ball eyes and a chocolate coat. Her second book, Kabumpo, introduces another bit part, the King of the Soup Sea, who is made out of soup bones with a cabbage for a head and a soup bowl for a crown. He is a quite friendly ruler, whose job is to keep his sea of soup stirred and seasoned, and to present rolls to visitors.

In John R. Neill's Wonder City, there's an army of giant chocolate soldiers living on a chocolate star in the sky above Oz. The soldiers are made out of the chocolate of the star itself, and they typically act in unison, all except for their general. The soldiers set out for the Emerald City on a silver cloud with a dark lining in order to conquer the capital of Oz, but Jenny Jump saves the city by setting up her Turn-Style in the city gate, which turns them all into toy tin soldiers. His next book, Scalawagons, shows the Lolly-Pop Village, located at the foot of Carrot Mountain in the Quadling Country, alongside the Singing Brook inhabited by water fairies and kelpies. The village itself is inhabited by the six industrious Lollies, each of whom is a different flavor (the text mentions Minty, Scotchy, Choco, and an unnamed lemon-flavored girl), and their lazy Pops. The Pops are actually now somewhat more active, since Tik-Tok knocked some sense into them with a mallet.

In Dorothy, Roger Baum brings in his own edible Candy Country, ruled by the Giant Royal Marshmallow. The cannibalistic tendencies of the candy people of Merryland seem to come into play again here, with Dorothy discovering that all foods EXCEPT marshmallow make the monarch sick. Incidentally, a letter from L. Frank Baum mentions that he was originally thinking of replacing the Garden of Meats chapter from Patchwork Girl with an encounter with the Marshmallow Twins, but he was presumably convinced by the publisher that the book was long enough without it. I wonder if these twins are related to the Giant Royal Marshmallow.

Up Against the Wal-Mart

Sometimes I think Facebook makes it way too easy to make quizzes, what with all of the questions like this:

"Should Walmart and all of its subsidary's like Sams Club be put out of business for its overgrowth and poor employer acts?"

And the choices:

"Yes, it should be closed completley and unemployment issued to all employees."
"Yes, It should be split up as to make it smaller making for more equal competition."
"No, its doing fine leave Walmart alone."
"Undesided or Other."

I chose the last one, not so much because I'm "undesided" (can't you quizmakers at least run a spell check?), but because there wasn't any choice of having heavier regulation while not getting rid of the company entirely. But our society is obsessed with extreme reactions to everything. If someone says or does something problematic, they should automatically resign or be fired. Whatever happened to making the punishment fit the crime? I mean, while I'm pissed off at all the hypocrites in government who talk about Christian values while having affairs, what does this have to do with their job performance? Sure, there are cases where it might, but I think our society is too keen on having people fired. And even though the guy is a huge asshole who exploits kids with cancer, I don't really think Don Imus should have been fired for his "nappy-headed hos" comment, either. Besides, it's not like Rush Limbaugh hasn't said far worse.

One philosophy I definitely don't hold to is that business should be left to its own devices. It didn't work in the twenties, and it doesn't work today. Deregulation basically ignores the fact that a lot of people are greedy bastards. I'm definitely in favor of more regulation, especially to protect the rights of workers. Some conservatives argue that this is putting too much trust in government, and while they might have a point, it's obvious that SOMEONE needs to keep an eye on the corporate world. And who else is going to do it? The Amazing Legion of Corporate Watchdogs? (Actually, that might make a pretty good comic series.)

I'm no fan of Wal-Mart, but I don't know that they're necessarily the most corrupt corporation out there. They're just BETTER at being corrupt than a lot of their competitors. I don't really like to shop at Wal-Mart, but it's not so much because of the evil as because it just seems like such a hostile environment. It's always crowded (which, of course, is a good thing for the store in a way, but I don't get why they don't open more checkout lanes), the one near here has aisles full of boxes, and the appearance is rather sterile (unlike the bright and colorful Target, where I DO like to shop, even though I don't have any real proof that they're less corrupt). So no, I don't like Wal-Mart much, but isn't there a middle ground between "nuke every Wal-Mart from orbit" and "just let them keep doing what they're doing"? Then again, there was also a Facebook poll asking whether Obama should be impeached. Um, don't you have to, like, do something wrong before you can be impeached?