As yes, Thanksgiving. It was a time of much traveling, spending time with family, and eating until I thought I would explode. The traveling was long, but the scenery was pretty, and also laughable as a big billboard in West Virginia read "What Would Jesus Do? Start over. Single Payer Healthcare. Everyone in. Nobody out." This sign was brought to us by www.bunch-of-morons-who-want-the-government-to-take-care-of-them-instead-of-being-responsible-for-their-own-lives.org and I'm also pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be advocating socialist solutions to healthcare problems. He'd probably be doing the laying of the hands bit.
Once there I got to relax and attempt to enjoy the Macy's Parade with the kids, which I finally did get to see all the neat floats and balloons after NBC shilled all their shows I don't care about, and a performance from every show that is even considering performing on Broadway. That's except for the Spider-man show which would have performed, but the actors got stuck up on the wires and couldn't get down. When did the Macy's Parade start sucking?
There's a social project going on to support teens of various sexualities against bullying called the It Gets Better Project. This features messages from adults aimed at teens of various sexualities to let them know that even though things suck for them at that moment, if they just hang in there that things will improve. They want bullying to end. Unfortunately, bullying will never end because there's always going to be some kid who is pissed off at the world and has enough weight behind him to push it around. Also I'm not seeing a big improvement in parenting across the boards so kids who think its OK to beat the crap out of other kids for whatever reason will occasionally spring up. Still, as far as activism goes its a damn sight better than it idiocy that is Feminist Hulk.
The thing is that things don't just get better for most of us. Gay kids aren't the only ones getting bullied. In fact if you go to most teenagers and get an honest view of life from their eyes, most of them are going have a pretty sucky one. Even that kid at school who's the most popular one there and everyone loves them has their own crap that they have to deal with on an everyday basis. You may not see it, but its there. I had a pretty easy go of things when I was teenagers, and I thought that things sucked for me. Have things improved, or gotten better, now that I'm an adult? Of course not. There's now different things that suck. I don't worry about bullying, partly due to being able to throw a hell of a punch, but because there's bigger things to worry about like paying bills and making sure that my family is alright.
Your current situation is temporary, unless you are dead, and in that case, disregard this message.
The choices you makes are what are going to decide whether or not things will get better. Bullying can indeed be the very least of your problems. And it is a problem. I'm not saying that it isn't, or that whatever is making any teenager's view of life a sucky one isn't a completely valid reason. But its something you can deal with. Bullying can be dealt with. The site also says that there are LGBT youths who can't imagine a future for themselves. Seriously, that's most youths, not just the gay ones. Sometimes that's not even them being depressed about something. That's just being a teenagers and the concept of being a 'grown up' is like a make believe thingie.
Jay Medicine Hat told a story about being stuck in traffic in some city in Colorado. It was snowing and cold as hell and he and his buddy are bitching about the whole thing. Then they find out why traffic is backed up. A guy in wheelchair was trying to get across the street and got stuck in the snow. People are yelling and honking their horns at him. So Jay and his buddy get out of the car, and pick up the guy in the wheelchair and get him over to a sidewalk in front of a hotel where there was no snow. The guy looks up and says "Thanks, fellas, I thought I was going to be late for work."
Life sucks. Complaining doesn't help, but it can make you feel a little better. So after you vent, go out and do what you can to deal with your problems and make your life a bit better. It may take a while and there's no guarantee that things will be great, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.
The area I live in is often referred to by people who think they are cool as the "7 Cities". Well some of those cities are not quite a desirable to live in as others. Sure there are nice places to live in every city, but when the "murder report" comes on the news every night certain places tend to get more mentions. I've worked in all these cities, and one of them has an area that's quite a bit worse than the others. Typically, when the sun starts to go down, you better be in your truck and heading in the general direction of the fuck outta there.
I come to find out that a building I've worked on for years doing things like fixing leaks because when you fire a gun into the air the bullet has to come down somewhere, is going to be demolished. I am here to say that demolishing this building will be an improvement. The interesting part is that this area will be the start of a new "town center" which will feature upscale restaurants and stores. So they're hoping to take one of the crappiest areas around, put a bunch of really nice stuff there, and hope that its such a good influence that it spreads making the whole area nicer. They're going to need a lot more cops out there.
They did do this in another city which was one we left quickly when the sun set. This was a bit smarted in there cunning plan as instead of starting as an oasis amid a desert of just horrible crap they started on one end to town and worked south. It was like a slow moving wave, but it worked and now about half of the downtown area is pretty decent. It does seem weird when you get to the invisible line where the restoration ends. They built a nice little Kelly's Tavern, and two blocks away is where a guy threatened to shoot me for being white in the wrong part of town.
So will it work? Damned if I know. I'm just waiting for the city to start knocking down the crap out there and seeing the residents on TV complaining how they're tearing down historical stuff.
It has come to my attention that Paul Cornell is slowly but surely taking over the DCU. I fully support this. He jumped on BATMAN AND ROBIN #17 with Scott McDaniel and gave us the opening to a fun little three parter. I'm not terribly sure about Damien smiling so much, but this book was so much fun that I could easily look past it. This book has Dick and Damien working on a mystery and having a grand time of it. Its obvious that the book has moved on from the Morrison epic as there's no hint of the previous storyline here, although it could be argued that the "hole in things" has changed zip codes.
Moving over to more Cornelliness in ACTION COMICS #895 Vandal Savage has a bone to pick with Lex Luthor. It involves a nasty old prophesy and stuff. I'm not a big Vandal Savage fan. The whole thing with him being Cain was kinda weird, but this version works pretty well for me. It wasn't a huge funfest like the last view issues, but it was still good stuff. Robo-Lois is always a treat. The Jimmy Olson back-up was really great as well. It hadn't really been clicking for me up 'til now, but this installment was hoot. I want to go shop at Yarn barn because of it.
Moving away from the Cornelliness we have DETECTIVE COMICS #871 with Scott Snyder and Jock taking the helm. I haven't been the biggest fan of Jock, but his style works really well with this story. Snyder spins an interesting mystery putting Dick Grayson chasing after a foe who is using equipment from Gotham's rogues. He handles Dick very well and the interaction between him and Jim Gordon was a definite high point for me. I'm not reading all the Bat-titles despite how it may appear, but this one is still got my attention. Its a vast improvement from that terrible Hine story that just wrapped up.
ATOMICA #3 rounds out my reads this week. This issue was pleasantly weird with Atomica fighting the Omega Neutron Identity, which is an oddball super robot that has an adaptive personality. It was supposed to be a learning program, unfortunately it got stuck in a room with a radio on a bad pop station. It then ran amuck, destroying things and chanting “raw raw raw” while wearing stupid costumes and dancing strangely. Never had I wanted anything in a comic to be destroyed so horribly. I was hoping for the big “Atomic Power Punch”, but instead I got a curve ball as Atomica pacified the thing with a combination of classical music and kids songs. It felt a bit like a bait and switch, but I rolled with it as Atomica is easily a pluckiest hero to come along in years.
That's it for today. More comic stuff on Friday. See you then. Or else.