“On The Front Line And In Your Face”

Because some people may not have ever seen The Day Today or know of the genius of Chris Morris:

It’s the mix of surrealism and seriousness that appeals to me so much. Morris’ newsman persona captures the mix of the ridiculous and the self-importance of news media, decades before that combination reached the epic proportions of today. I’m pretty sure this show is out on DVD in the U.K. now, but is sadly unavailable in the U.S. It’s a shame; this may be some of my favorite comedy ever.

The Day Today Today

queenFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

The Queen watches a display of gun carriages during a visit to the King’s Troop at Woolwich Barracks in south-east London. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

If every a photo deserved a Day Today style caption, it’s this one. I honestly looked at it and immediately thought of Chris Morris seriously intoning “Queen scared of horses, Palace admits.”

Your Moment of Zen

Baby GorillaFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

Karen Vacco, assistant mammal curator at the Pittsburgh zoo and aquarium, holds a seven-week-old baby gorilla. The baby gorilla is receiving personal treatment after keepers and staff noticed Moka, the baby’s mother, could not produce an adequate supply of milk for the baby. Photograph: Anna Bentley/AP

Seriously, if that picture doesn’t melt your heart just a little, I feel as if you should go see a doctor.

“Sometimes People Say Yes”

Putting this here for myself and later thoughts, as much as anything, but here’s David Brothers writing about freelancing and not owning your work:

But, and I say this with no animosity or judgment whatsoever, I do realize that the pay wasn’t great and signing over my rights wasn’t wise. I became aware of it a couple years back, and if I was writing something that was too personal or important to me, I kept it for 4thletter! instead of donating it to AOL. I didn’t hold back on my AOL work, but the things I loved beyond belief or wanted to keep control of, like my Black History posts or the various Frank Miller explorations, I kept to myself.

I was surprised when I went to a mainstream outlet, The Atlantic, and they said their going rate was $100 per piece, plus you retain your rights after a certain amount of time has passed. I was paid well at CA, well enough to be happy with what I was doing. I’ve written for a few other non-comics outlets recently and been paid on a similar scale.

I don’t think I was not-smart when I first started getting paid to write about comics, but I am definitely smarter now. I didn’t have the experience then that I do now, but there still aren’t many — any? — resources for new writers-about-comics to check out to see what their peers in other fields are being paid. There’s also the rookie conundrum. Can I get away with asking to change a contract or will that sour the deal? Back then, my thought was “I need this job more than I need ownership.” From here on out, I know to ask the question first. Sometimes people say yes.

In Which Metaphor and Similie Take A Back Seat

SWAT team training in Jingning, China - 28 May 2013From the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

Members of a Swat team receive training in Jingning, China. Not sure how often they’ll have to jump through flaming hoops but better to be prepared! Photograph: Zuma/Rex Features

I just love the literalness of this image: “I’m not saying that we’re going to have you jumping through hoops, but, well, we’re totally going to have you jumping through hoops. For real. That’s not a metaphor.”

It’s Not Even Raining

Cricket - Investec Test Series - Second Test - England v New Zealand - Day One - HeadingleyFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

Fans wait for the rain to stop at Headinley during the Second Investec Test cricket match at Headingley, Leeds. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

I feel like this should be the first part of a dance routine in an old Hollywood musical or something. The camera slowly pulls toward the umbrella, just as it gets pushed back and bam there’s Gene Kelly…

Now I Realize That I Can Throw

lightningFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

Lightning flashes in the sky in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China. Heavy rainfall since Saturday has killed two people in the south China province. Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters

It’s a small thing, but I always loved the way that the rest of the sky gets illuminated by lightning. Look at the shades of purple surrounding the lightning; it’s beautiful.

In An Interstellar Burst

puppetsFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

A man paints puppets to be included in illuminated panels illustrating episodes from the life of Buddha, ahead of Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo. Vesak, which is celebrated on May 24 and 25 in Sri Lanka, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

I am operating on jet lag, timezone difference and probably not enough sleep. I feel like this is an accurate image of the inside of my brain, today.

Also, I’m back from the U.K.! Hello again.

You Really Made The Grade

Kazakhstan Space StationFrom the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

The Russian Soyuz space capsule, carrying US astronaut Thomas Marshburn, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, descends about 90 miles south-east of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, this morning. Photograph: Sergei Remizov/AP

I’m traveling later today; getting in a plane and crossing the Atlantic to go and see family, and as a result will be entirely offline/unreachable for about thirteen hours or so. I’m both looking forward to it, in some strange way – It’ll allow me to catch up on some work stuff (Transcribing, reading, thinking) that I’m far behind on, and there’s something to be said for the appeal of being unplugged – and dreading it, simultaneously; flights that long are generally exhausting, especially overnight ones. There’s something about this image that speaks to my sense of impending isolation about the whole thing.