Ball Terminals

25 October 2017, 19:06

My mind is its own Danger Room.

Example: when, without warning, I’m all “what was the typeface used in the 1979 television series Angie”. Speaking of which, in reviewing the material for reference it struck me how well constructed this opening title sequence is—it so perfectly encapsulates what the series is about that I never have to actually watch the show. Also, it begs for a reboot, except that in this case the theme song (“Different Worlds”) is taken literally in that the guy is literally from a different world like the planet Arcturus or somewhere in the constellation of Kasterborous (pack up your money, Mary Ann). The male lead in Angie was Robert Hays, who in retrospect looks like Joey and Ross had a love child in 1947. The show itself is really the last example of the frothy 1960s/early 1970s ABC situation comedy, so it probably already seemed out of place when it aired.

PS: It’s a version of Bookman Italic with lots of ball terminals. The most readily available digital revival is Larabie’s Scrubby, lovingly described thusly: “The 1970s: an age of wonder, optimism and Bookman Italic. Relive those awful times with Scrubby: an OpenType font from Typodermic.”

Rodney Eric Griffith



My Tinfoil Hat is Shinier Than Yours

12 November 2016, 12:18

What the Republicans wanted was a replay of Reagan. What they settled on is a replay of Bush II.

There was never any doubt on the authenticity of the credentials of Obama’s birthplace—from the perspective of the right wing. They knew from day one that it wasn’t an issue. It would be the stuff of a bad spy novel for someone to make it through so many levels of vetting without being caught. So why did the Republicans bring it up, and why did they cling to it so tenaciously?

The answer lies in the late 1960s, when they began grooming a Hollywood actor for high office. They impatiently waited, even gutting the chances of an incumbent from their own party who was by most accounts a decent person (at least on the grade curve of US chief executives) who may have set wheels in motion for healthcare reform and alternative energy back in 1976 had he been elected to a full term.

Instead, they wanted someone to play a role, during which time there was heretofore unprecedented corruption (like selling weapons to an enemy that later turned their aim toward the USA), creating the homeless problem by throwing sick veterans on the street for being “too lazy to work” and enabling massive increases in cocaine addiction by encouraging a culture where salespeople took precedence over the people doing the actual work).

They wanted a replay. They had someone in place—the same place! A Republican Governor of California, a former actor, someone who would have wide cross-party appeal. He had a Kennedy wife!

The problem? He wasn’t a US-born citizen.

How to get around that? Spread a rumour, and make it stick, that the Democratic president wasn’t born in America. It would be a win-win: if he performed poorly or if he was a success, they could claim with equal weight, “Obama wasn’t an American citizen, and he was President. This is an antiquated qualification that should be removed from US law.”

People were floored over the fact that a Simpsons episode “predicted” Trump’s presidency. The buried lede is that The Simpsons Movie depicted the president (by NAME) as “President Schwarzenegger”. (A character made clearly distinct from the Schwarzenegger parody Rainier Wolfcastle.)

Then someone broke the story that Arnold fathered a child with the help.

Which is why Trump is now President-Elect, and Schwarzenegger is host of Celebrity Apprentice.

Rodney Eric Griffith


The Illustrator: RURAL PURGE (Prologue)

11 November 2016, 19:14

The coffee was unspeakable.

Inside his cup slushed a caffeine slurry somewhere between weak cement and baby formula with a shot of gravy. He was alert now, and wished that he wasn’t. He wanted to gag even before he heard the deep drawl by the cash register.

Kyle Brandon was equally offended and resentful. It was 1973: who the hell was this guy to be using racial epithets? He was no prize of European descent; no Scotsman or Irishman would claim him. And what the fuck was it with these deep southern accents in Ohio? He was barely an hour’s drive from Cleveland, about as North as you can go without swimming across the Lake. The Underground Railroad used to run through here. Now it would be running as far away as it could go.

He heard asterisks, lots of them. The girl bearing their bruise couldn’t have been more than 15, just a kid on an errand. She didn’t need this. Nobody did.

The corpulent man spoke again. The girl suppressed a shudder as flicks of saliva ricocheted off her cheek. “Maybe you didn’t hear me. Back in my granddaddy’s day little (asterisks) like you knew their place. Now why don’t choo get down there and do what y’all are told.” The girl just stood frozen, not believing what was happening. She shivered, not knowing what to do, unsure of how far away the front door was.

Kyle Brandon had had enough of the coffee, the day, the long drive, and the goon.

He grabbed his ticket and approached the counter. He reached inside his jacket to pay. His wallet was made of steel. The man sucked in a gutful of air at the sight of a long barrel aimed squarely at his rotund face.

“We don’t have much m-money here, mistah.”

Brandon was amused at the sudden genteel formality. “This place is a shithole. Why would I expect you to have money? I’m not here to rob. I’m here to prevent a crime.”


“First, you’re going to apologize to the young lady.”

“A-p-pologize—to the lady?”

“Yeah. The one right here. In front of you.” He was aware of the girl still shivering, still in shock.

“M-miss, Ah’m…sorry if I, uh, oh-fended your, uh, delicate sense—”

“That’s enough. Jesus.” Could this guy be more of a cliché? Did Kyle drive home from Kentucky in the wrong direction?

“All right. If that’s the best you can do, we’re done here.”

“When you go,” said the fat man, suddenly finding an ounce of the “bravery” he’d shown the girl, “I-I’m gonna c-call the police,” he gasped.

“Yeah. Do that,” Brandon sighed. “Also, they’re going to need a mop.”

Then the Ohio Café turned red.

The portly man’s bulk dropped to the floor as sloppily as he had lived, the left wing of his overalls getting caught on the edge of a booth on the way down, jerking his head down. From Brandon’s angle it almost looked like he’d simply slipped and fallen against the counter, albeit repeatedly, a scenario that he had even less patience for entertaining after his seemingly eternal wait for the worst service he’d ever had. It took restraint not to shoot him again.

“I wouldn’t get the coffee,” he said to the young woman, head bowed down. He handed her a sketch he’d made on the back of his bill.

“God bless you, sir,” she said.

Brandon grunted on the way out. The rusty bell tingled. He found his car and gunned the engine.

He still badly needed a decent cup of coffee.

Rodney Eric Griffith



Intentionally Bad Idea No. 1

14 January 2013, 15:29

I like the animation style of Early Cuts, but just for a laugh, could we not gather the surviving animators from Hanna-Barbera and/or Filmation to create a Saturday morning cartoon version of Dexter? Jennifer Carpenter would need only speak one line like “Hi, Dex!” in the entire series (her character’s every other appearance would be bleeped). There could be a single antagonist in each series/season, e.g. “the Ice Cream Truck Killer”. At the end of each episode, James Remar appears in a live-action segment where he imparts the moral, e.g. “And remember, kids: Don’t Get Caught.”

Rodney Eric Griffith




2 January 2013, 13:11

Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks posted a request for everyone in the world to blog. I did, for a while, but I grew to dislike the randomness in my content. For this reason, I did not make blogging a priority in 2012. It was immediately apparent that Facebook enabled laziness, but it also facilitated instantaneous communication, even if my audience there is restricted. In 2012, this was something of a win/win. I needed the time to regroup. I like blogging for some of the same reasons Chris provides, but the blogs I’d always wanted to emulate had thematic consistency, and that takes more out of you than just reaction to a good restaurant or a new DVD.

Also, I didn’t want the distraction because I began writing a novel. The novel has nothing to do with anything in my history or the occasional sketches I’ve published here, but it’s a challenge in that I’d really gotten out of the habit of sustained thinking. I had to develop discipline to get myself out of the habit of placing cart before horse.

np: Lily Allen, Everyone’s At It

Rodney Eric Griffith



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