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Tycho / on Mon, Feb 28 2005 at 4:30 am

Ripped From Today’s Headlines, Pt . 4

Courtroom drama begins to simmer in today’s episode of

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Ripped From The Headlines.

Are you familiar with Kottke.org?  It’s okay if you aren’t, I’d never been there before this weekend.  He is a guy who has links on his website and lives in New York, like the people in situation comedies.  He might own a monkey?  I don’t know. That would really bring the sitcom symmetries into greater relief.  Anyhow, this is all picture frame.  Let’s move into image territory.

I’ve learned so much over the last couple days.  Apparently he is an “A-List” blogger, what that means I could not tell you, but there are these lists I guess and they’re great, and it’s customary to bow one’s as the purveyors of such sites pass.  So this site I have never been to in my life is now accepting donations because he now wants to link things full-time.  I’m not really somebody who can talk, job-wise.  You know perfectly well what my job is, and if you don’t, I don’t want to spoil it for you but it involves gamepads.  There’s other stuff too, obviously, stuff which is decidedly not amusing, but I can’t really complain about it when I take my life in aggregate.  Let’s continue.

I believe I saw the link initially on Boing Boing (a-list?  don’t know), and I sent him a mail wishing him luck, and mentioning how I’d done a similar thing with my website and the whole thing was very satisfying. 

Then I start reading the various threads which have projected out from this thing, guys on both “sides” of an “issue” I can hardly perceive.  Some people don’t like the guy, some people would clearly give him their bone marrow.  The whole thing is irrelevant bullshit and I would be happy to continue on my merry way.  What I resent is the idea that what he is doing is somehow bold.  Stupid, yes.  It is stupid and he is stupid, in the way that all people who chase rainbows for questionable financial returns are stupid.  That’s the kind of stupid I can get behind, got a bit o’ that meself.  But bold, no.  That’s not true.  Do we say that a person who follows a recipe in a cookbook is engaged in bold culinary feats?  I suggest that we do not.  We suggest that they are following a recipe, which is precisely the sort of endeavor Mr. Kottke is engaged in.

The fact of the matter is that in 2001, it would have been bold to ask your readers for donations - “beg,” I believe they called it.  We did it, and accepted the fallout, because we could not envision a way to continue doing what we were doing without your help.  It was considered by many to be in very poor taste, antithetical to the Internet, and a host of other transgressions.  Now, the moment a webcomic goes up there is a donation button and a store on Cafepress.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  What I’m saying is that it’s not considered an affront to the spirit of the digital frontier by most people.  It used to be.     

I was reading an article called “The History of Webcomics” over on Comixpedia, and their section on donations begins with Something Positive‘s historic drive.  That’s fine with me, because he’s one of ours and his comic is great.  But I’ll be Goddamned if I’m going to read page after page adulating this other guy for his intrepid esprit.  When he sees me, he can touch his Goddamn forehead to the dirt.  And he can thank webcomics for clearing the path that made his life of simian excess possible.

(CW)TB out.

your adorable beast


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