Archive for January, 2011

Ghosts From the Political Graveyard

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Continuing my sometimes readings of Kansas political history …

Bill Roy was an unlikely cultural combatant.  An Illinois farmboy, he had grown up knowing no Jews, few Catholics, and only a handful of Democrats, identifiable because the Roosevelt administration had blessed them with postal jobs.  A self-starter who lost his father at fifteen, Roy got through college in two years and enrolled in medical school.  He delivered babies on Chicago’s South Side and saw women admitted to the Detroit Receiving Hospital after botched abortions.  A steint in the Air Force reinforced his distaste for militarism.  But he was not yet political.  He had a booming obstetrical practice in Topeka and a large family of his own.  In 1960 he voted for Nixon.  He thought Kennedy’s missile-gap issue was phony.

Four years later Bill Roy voted for Johnson, and four years after that for Humphrey.  Roy had seen black men humiliated by police; he had inoculated black children in schools whose doors hung from hinges.  After King’s murder he and his wife, Jane Roy, attended a black church to deliver lay sermons on racial justice.  Someone poured acid on his car.  Roy was undeterred.  In 1970 he finished a law degree after years of squeezing courses into his obstetrical schedule.  Jane Roy attended with him, matching Phyllis Schlafly’s feat of earning her law degree while raising six children.  Something about the emotions of the 1960s, hope and anger, lit afire under people.  Nixon’s refusal to end the war stoked it.  Roy was attending a medical meeting when he read about Kent State.  That tore it.  The condo in Vail could wait.  He withdrew his savings, switched his party affiliation, and filed to run for the House.

Kansas rarely sent Democrats to Washington.  Yet “Dr. Roy for Congress” had a nice logic.  He and his partners had delivered 20,000 babies in the Topeka area.  Every time he went to a coffee, he ran into patients or their relatives and friends.  Black; Hispanics; Junior League:  Babies were the common denominator.  Roy discovered that, while voters disliked long-hairs from the University of Kansas, they listened when a clean-cut obstetrician told them Vietnam was tearing families apart.  He won handily.  He landed a spot on the Commerce Committee.  He looked forward to shaping the universal health care he was sure was coming.  He planned a twenty year career in Congress. […]

Politics became (Bob) Dole’s life.  He gained the US House in 1960 and the Senate in 1968.  He ran as a small-government conservative, aiming his caustic one-liners at LBJ’s Great Society.  A Nixon loyalist, he was going places, until his 1972 divorce and ill-starred service as Republican national chairman during the Watergate break-in made him vulnerable.  “It was a tough, tough time for Republicans,” Dole later said.  “I thought I was going to lose that race.”  Kansas Democrats scented blood.  When Governor Robert Docking decided not to run, they turned to Bill Roy as their natural candidate.

Roy ran as Mr. Clean, much as Jimmy Carter would two years later.  By August Dole’s campaign was in disarray, and he was trailing badly in the polls.  Dole started to throw anything at the wall, trying to find something that would stick.  One charge that did stick was his accusation, made in the last minute of a debate at the Kansas State Fair, that Roy favored abortion on demand.  Roy, caught off guard, fumbled for a response.

Though Dole exaggerated Roy’s position, the issue had undeniable legitimacy.  At first undecided what to do about Roe, Dole had finally come out for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion.  Roy opposed all such amendments.  He had once had a woman, a divorced mother and private secretary to a bank president, fall on her knees in his office and beg him to name an abortionist who would not kill her.  He had written in favor of allowing abortion before twenty weeks of gestation and had helped secure passage of Kansas’s relatively liberal abortion law.  Under that law he had personally performed a handful of abortions, whose medical necessity had been certified by two other physicians.  Several involved psychiatric patients:  Topeka was home to the Menninger Clinic.  He and his obstetrical partners “never felt were dirty, or unlawful, or unchristian, or anything else, to do them under these circumstances.”

The pickets at Roy’s speeches begged to differ.  Skull-and-cross-bones ads appeared in small newspapers.  Fliers with fetuses in garbage bagas and pro-fhoice quotations appeared under windshild wipers in church parking lots.  Dole continued to raise the abortion issue in public appearances, though he always denied orchestrating the anti-abortion campaign.  “We had some crazy people on the right showing these fetuses in jars, … running ads that I never approved.  ‘Save a life, vote Dole’ or something.  Crazy things like that.”

Dole’s authorized ads did stick to conventional themes.  They charged Roy with voting “like a big city eastern liberal” and of slinging mud at Russell’s finest.  They did not mention abortion.  But they did not have to.  Dole’s verbal jabs — “Ask Roy about those abortions he performed” — had aroused a sleeping giant powerful though not yet well-coordinated.  “There was a base out there that really responded,” Dole reflected.  He thought abortion a “big factor” in his narrow, come from behind victory, though was not certain it was decisive.

Roy was certain.  In some Catholic preceints he was off 50 votes from his previous tallies, in a race decided by fewer than two votes per precint.  […]  He came to see what had happened in 1974 as a parable, one in which the well intentioned amateur discovers that the hardened professional will pick up any stick to save his political life.

— No Right Turn, David Courtwright, 91-94

Will Adam Smith become Ralph Yarborough to the Lloyd Bentsen of Dave Christie?

Monday, January 31st, 2011

After their phenomenal electoral landslide mudslide, I kind of resolved not waste my energy on the VT secessionists any more. It’s like sitting around posting about what Lyndon LaRouche is up to lately, in that it matters as much.

Touche.  According to them, Events in Egypt Prove Larouche Right!  Also events everywhere PROVE Larouche Right!  It’s uncanny.  I think it proves Sherman Skolnik right myself.

Given Skolnick’s tendency to define himself as virtually the lone voice of reason in American media, the only one untainted by nefarious connections to the mob or the Bilderbergs or the Rothschilds or the Mossad or the military-industrial complex (what Chomsky calls “the Pentagon system”), his reluctance to engage in public discourse is a little confusing. The dialogues on “Broadsides” are just as one-sided as those on Fox News, the guests every bit as sketchy in terms of reputation and affiliation as those on “Nightline” or “Meet the Press.” Like those he criticizes, Skolnick fancies himself omniscient, so far ahead of the pack that the “proof” of his theories often comes from his own work. Only LaRouche is that openly referential of and reverential to himself; as opposed to Chomsky’s dense, Times-heavy footnotes, their “facts” pass without even the vaguest reinforcement. I’m willing to accept that as necessary to function efficiently, given his utterly unconventional worldview; after all, everyone in the media is corrupt, or corrupted—even me, apparently, according to Skolnick

OR  Another way of putting it is this: you will rarely convince a conspiracy theorist that they are wrong because the conspiracy theorists as a rule are not concerned with facts, events, logic, or any of that. Instead, the conspiracy theory is merely an intellectual device -a sort of rolodex of “villains” who need to be “destroyed” because “THEY” are the reason the conspiracy theorist and their amigos y amigas are so politically impotent and are unable to succeed in society: it is always easier to blame others than take responsibility for oneself after all.

 And meantime:

The two men, who said they did not want to be identified for “security purposes,” (Projection?) irked at least a few passersby who expressed frustration at the altered Obama portrait.  […]
Those LaRouche loonies still around? I thought they went extinct ages ago. There’s nothing I like about Obama’s policies. However, I don’t like any American politician being compared to Hitler. IMHO it undermines the attrocities of the nazis. I do agree that these guys have the right to do what they’re doing.
You’d have to be more than a little nutty to travel from Redford, Michigan to the Saginaw Post Office to protest about the President, especially in this freezing weather. They probably both need a good psychiatric exam!

And meantime:
my prediction?
Sarah Palin is the 21st century’s version of Lyndon LaRouche.
she’s going to be a professional always runnin for president cult leader.
she’s going to become very very very rich selling campaign materials to a small percentage of the public for very large fees.
she’s going to run on outlandish, wacky, retarded, bullshit campaign ideas that annoy the masses but make her small following giddy.
and she’ll lose every time, and make a bunch of noise about sour grapes, and do the same damn thing 4 years later.
just like Lyndon LaRouche

Meantime, reviews are coming in about Michelle Bachman’s Response to the State of the Union Speech.
. I guess he thought it was reminiscent of Ross Perot. Or may Lyndon Larouche’s fireside chats with his socks falling down. It was not the teabaggers greatest moment.
EdwardTeller January 25th, 2011 at 8:11 pm. 147. Just stopped throwing up after Obama’s nuttiness. Is Palin going to deliver a rebuttal rebuttal rebuttal? And Lyndon LaRouche a rebuttal rebuttal rebuttal rebuttal?

I hasten, though — from a deleted link:

Can anyone tell me if the American Tea Party revolves around Lyndon La Rouche and his philosophy? While there is much about La Rouche that I admire and actually promote I am aghast at the most fundamental of his words.
In the late 1980’s I supported a political movement in Queensland called Citizens’ Electoral Council (CEC). It was probably about 1989 that two of the head honchos of the movement went to America with the express purpose of meeting La Rouche. The printed matter they brought back caused me to comment, “This bloke’s still engaged in the Boston Tea Party” because of his unrelenting hatred of all things British. Hence the possible link.

Answer:  Yes I can answer.  The answer is no.

From the front of the Larouche “Internet War Room”.  Something launched with Herschle Kurstofsky at the “Wikipedia Review” announcing plans to attempt “an experiment”.  The experiment appears to be little more than an onslaught of this time unidentified sock puppets making, verbatim, the same edits as all the previous sock puppets and making, verbatim, the same comments in response in acting dumb-founded when called on the redux.  The one interesting wrinkle comes in the form of the sheer inanity of the background non-Larouchian related edits, something moderately clever about Barbados Sheep.    There is a point where the administrator that changed this group of vandalism back related this to Will Beback, which may be a necessary data point if someone is charting this “experiment”.
I gather they believe they have Wikipedia in a conflict with its own rules.  And so goes the conflict: anybody who cares enough about this topic with relation to wikipedia ends up in the two camps — cultists rounding the bend under new assumed identities, and a couple of people concerned with wikipedia’s integricty with an interest in movementarians — their re-corrections get to be called out as “OWNERSHIP”.  I submit that a rule change against re-litigating done issues is in order, or to look over the current set-up for the always contentious cousin of the Larouche Movement — the Scientologists.

As a tangent, looking over the wikipedia edits and comments at Webster Tarpley — who does it profit for him to be referenced as a “prominent Marxist historian” — slightly down-graded to “adher[ing] to the Marxist historiographical method as an historian”?  Are there any actual Marxists who want to claim him?  I suppose Tarpley may have a quid pro quo with anti-communists — he gets to be a historian, they get him to be Marxist.  I have never had any problem categorizing Alex Jones as out of the “Right”, and where in the past he trumpeted the greatness of Ron Paul 4 times to every 1 for Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich, today the latter has been dropped your Kucinich sympathies and he’s referencing the evils of “Socialism” for the One World Conspiracy.  Perhaps, then, Tarpley is to Jones what Larouche was in Liberty Lobby reviews — “the good Communist” who slashes away at the right targets of Rockefellar, etc.  Extra fun note:  my sentiments on the worthiness of the Kennebunkport Warning controversy in explaining Tarpley aligns with the sock-puppet of Herschelkrustofsky.  Krustofsky’s line of reasoning is not extended to the same point in deleting the material about Tea Party Activists protesting the Larouche presence in their gatherings.

In addition to fighting this sentiment, reminscing about Walter Mondale and posting photographs of professional wrestlers, “Ace” at factnet is demanding discussion of Jeremiah Duggan.  Fine.

Jeremiah Duggan is a cautionary tale about not joining strangers at conferences away from civilization.  But most youth don’t need any warning – they’re not all that inviting.  I puzzle over some snide reference to a dummy facebook account with “no friends” (isnt’ facebook supposed to be evil — its place in the Eyptian Protests notwithstanding) — the more useful barometer for interest and concern is the number of people signing this petition.  We see the echoes of what is described as “ego stripping” marked in the spurious insults toward ex-members over innocuous interests.  Professional Wrestling and Dada are out.  So is walking in the woods and Spa Treatments.  We can stick up an impressive list of interests high, low, and middle in its culture scale that someone might have that will be attacked and mocked if someone attends a retreat conference.  It occurs to me that on college campuses, the org compete for space with some groupings of itenerant fundamentalist hellfire campus preachers.  (Moreso than the Objectivists.)  Thee are enough of them to create an industry for these sandwich boards and signs of long lists that include “sports nuts” and “computer nerds”.  I think the Larouche org ought to get in touch with these suppliers and have them custom-make something for them — replace “Damnation” with “Dark Ages”, replace some — but not all — of the afflictions and affiliations, and we get some real synergy going with this one.  (Hey!  There’s some synergy seen here.)

In the old days, revenire chimed in with references about the “Palme Affair”, tying it  into Jeremiah Duggan as a supposed misfire plot against the org.  Surely it is the only moment of relevance for the Swedish “European Workers Party” — as always the more interesting wikipedia read is the Larouchies’s objection to the article’s contents , which tell the story that, yes, the Swedes had good reason to investigate the org over the assassination of Palme.  Looking over this, it hits me that my previous explanation for their current cause with Palin is miguided.  (I will note that someone from the org needs to alert this Larouche-posting blogger — who posts this image  from another partisan photo-shopping source along with a bunch of images more atune to Larouche– that they love Charlie Rangle).   But Palin is a proxy for them, and they’re re-creating the excitement of the “political persecuation” of the Palme Assassination off of their Obama Mustache Hitler campaign. … the campaign upheld by ngonea.

Okay.  This is fun.  About one of the judges who made the decision regarding Rahm Emanuel.
It should note that all three judges on the Appellate Court appear to have connections to the Democratic party, and the justice writing the decision, Justice Hoffman had been chastised in the past by the Chicago Council of Lawyers for letting his political leanings stain his judicial reputation (in campaign material that criticized a LaRouche supporter).  Could it be that the court stepped over its bounds in this case at someone else’s behest?  Who stood to gain from this anyway?

So… In the March 1994 primary, the Council rated Judge Hoffman highly qualified for election to the Appellate Court. After that rating, just before the primary election, Judge Hoffman paid for his name to appear with other candidates on an election flier urging voters to vote for real Democrats and to avoid voting for LaRouche party candidates. The clear implication of this flier was that the opponents of the candidates listed on it were LaRouche party candidates. The flier would be understood by most voters to mean that Judge Hoffman’s opponents were LaRouche party members and would be understood by many voters to impugn those candidates.  Unfortunately, Judge Hoffman and the other judicial candidates listed on this flier had no LaRouche party opponents. The flier was deceptive and likely to mislead voters.

False Implication.  A smear for his opponent on the ballot.  You’re politically dead in the water with this tar.

Actually, strike something from earlier.  I don’t even know if they’re doing the college campus much these days.  The balance really does seem tilted toward the Post Office Circuit.  Or maybe college papers just don’t bother mentioning them much?  They’ve the cadres in six divisions for electoral office — starting on the road to a new Congressional Caucus that will do battle with the Blue Dog Caucus and the Progressive Caucus.  I say it is not too early for Adam Smith to dig up opposition research and go over the public statements made by his primary opponent, Dave Christie.  You don’t want to become the  Ralph Yarborough to a potential Lloyd Bentsen in Dave Christie.  I will sooner or later start on this blog here — but the election is a ways away, so I am in no hurry.  Hell — I didn’t even get the name right originally!
For further implications on that eventual “Dave Christie Blog Project” — see this comment.  They need to mention the name more often, lest they diverge away from it after Larouche passes.

First thing’s first — Is Adam Smith able to double the square?

Egypt as examined by one small sliver of the “American Street”

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

“Hear what happened in Egypt?”
“No.  I don’t follow the trivial, and am not always up to the minute on the news.”
“Well, they basically toppled the government.”
“Really?  Interesting.”
“And it was organized basically off of facebook and twitter.”
“Of course.  The thing is, Luddite Governments, and Luddites in governments, and every one is packed with luddites, can’t stop the tide.  They’ll either adapt or be adapted.”
“What’s a Luddite?”
“Sigh.  (Clumsy and stop and search explanation for historical ludditism.)  Anyway, today we get a lot of phony debates.  Take this for instance.  (Reference to this story).  Phew.  ‘We want our information back.’  It doesn’t work that way!  Egypt, they could take their cell phone service away, sure, and then what?  Go from a second world economy to a third?  You know what is a flash mob?”
“Sure.  Of course.”
“No.  The original use?”
“(Literary reference to first use of ‘flash mob’, loaded with a great deal of ‘Mass mind’ and mob mentality angles.)”
“I’ll have to look it up.”
“When the Berlin Wall fell, our government knew about 10 days before, via Internet technology.  Information couldn’t be contained at the highest levels then, today it’s down to lower levels.”

These matters are all over-simplified, even with the bright techno Utopian line.  Wait a few years and then see what we have in Egypt.  It’s not really our battle, no matter that this city is now plastered with “Down With Murbarak” posters directing us to  (That’ll show Murbarak!)  No matter that our political partisans are jockeying to take partisan credit — “The Bush Doctrine!  Vindicated!”  (A sentiment I’d like to hope even a President Bush wouldn’t push, as doing so would surely lend events away from us.)  Meantime, for all the jump for joy at twitter — and the government’s suppression techniques, al Jazeera held the most extensive and meaningful coverage of any media outlet — showing government lies exposed in real time against split screens of what was actually happening.  Their pan-Arabic focus leading once again to autocratic forces accusing them of being “Zionist Propaganda” — those references are always amusing.

Sarah Palin travels rhetorically to Richland, Washington

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Obama’s State of the Union speech is most remembered by those who watched it (about half of the total of people who claimed they would be watching it) for a salmon joke.  You can see that here.  The speech will be remembered for further developments in the use of the Internet — as graphs and charts accompanied the speech at — including a graph made to look like a salmon.  Surely it contained a lot more items than salmon — Obama wants everyone to remember the phrase “Winning the Future”.  It is his “Building a Bridge to the 21st Century”.  Then there is his call about a “Sputnik moment”, a moment in the Eisenhower Administration when the Soviets launched a satellite and made the US fear that we were falling behind.  Interestingly enough, Eisenhower’s “Military Industrial Complex” speech was built around the unreal logic of the developments of mis-spending lots of money chasing these demons.  I imagine a world where Sarah Palin (or someone in her position of giving her response to Obama’s speech) might reference these problems in arguring on the implications of “Sputnik Moments” as against a politics of a more prudent or “limited government” mining the tax-rolls and the budget.  But she didn’t go there.  Instead, she travelled to Richland, Washington, by way of identifying “Winning the Future” with its acronym.

“What we need is a Spudnut moment and here’s where I’m going with this Greta . . . The Spudnut shop in Richland Washington–it’s a bakery, it’s a little coffee shop that’s so successful, 60 some years, generation-to-generation of family owned business that’s not looking for government to bail ’em out and make their decisions for them, it’s just hardworking, patriotic Americans in this shop. We need more Spudnut moments in America.”

As pointed out everywhere, the clientele here — out of Hanford — are from the Government, the budget of Hanford has streams coming out of the Stimulus bill, and more to the point…

Just to be sure, the owners of Spudnut are enthused by Palin’s endorsement:
Val Driver, owner of The Spudnut Shop in Richland, Wash., told USA TODAY that Palin is “right on” when she talks about the need to cut taxes and federal spending.”

… it’s a little random.  Spudnut?  Was there no Sproutnuk around, or was that restaurant a wee bit too vegetably and touching in the realm of Michelle Obama’s “Nanny State” Obesity concerns?

the revival that keeps on going… kind of.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I find it fascinating to know that my “Leander Revival” item of years back continues to reverberate a bit.  Maybe this shouldn’t be all that surprising.  It is a reference point for new generations of peoples who have to deal with the self-imagined Messiah Prophet Revivalist — a revival that tends to extend to hearing distance from wherever he happens to be yapping his mouth.

The Leander Revival is a chronology of messages left on the Internet from 1998 and 1999 which describe the impact of a take-over of a Pentacostal Church in the small town of Leander, Texas by a controlling and divisive Hellfire preacher by the name of Ken Jones.  Jones came in to purify and cleanse the congregation and expose the members of its sins.  His doctrine was, more or less, that Ken Jones was without sin and thus if you follow him you will find new joys in the biblical story of Jesus’s “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” entreaty.

The church has, from what I gather, long moved on past this blip in its history.  I have received emails expressing a desire to explain what “really happened” in Leander and with Jones, or to clarify something, but I have never received any follow-ups.  I guess my standing offer is in place — if there’s some statement or other someone wants to add to the page, and I would not know what to ask, I do desire to de-personalize its effect from its final product in its formative effects on the self-imagined Messiah Prophet Revivalist.  It appears that Ken Jones grabbed ahold of his high school drama student protege by stressing over his sense of guilt in being purified of sin, and then back-sliding into the sin of onanism, which strikes me as a good mechanism of control if you’re tapping a teenager.

He made himself a permanent presence at one university in the northwest, and later a less permanent presence at, I believe, UCLA — jarring the typical pattern of the itenerant campus preacher.  Meantime, he has gone from church organization and sect to sect and church organization, looking for a home stressing biblical prophecy, lining himself up behind various charismatic figures of religious esoterica in order to — in short order in his mind — outgun them all.  He sooner or later wears out his welcome, as he casts everyone out to Hell.  It is clear that in his mind, he is attempting to replicate (or continue) the “Leander Revival”, and on his website is a list of key prophetic moments of the past few centuries in route to glorious Armegeddon which appear to have a bunch from standard texts of the true believer Apocalypse seeker — but then includes the more obscure and personalized one started by Ken Jones in Leander in 1998.

It was curious to note that he was an enthusiastic and active supporter of Ron Paul’s presidential bid, the subtext and occasional text of his many youtube videos coming back to “The Government took my kids away from me — and gave them to my Jezebel ex-wife.”  And, too, put him in prison.  I see now renewed attention from more current people who have dealt with him — a blog is following the sordid details of his current happenings — and on youtube now there is a cell phone diatribe from him where he plots to kidnap his kids and take them — free them, he believes — to some magical spot in the Hills where they cannot be touched by the Law.  So he has some warrants for his arrest, and you see his one way ticket back to prison, whenever he can poke his face out.

The curious thing about this, the one thing I wonder, is that I simply do not know who else where else he touched anyone’s life.

He has blossomed to now weigh 300 pounds and mostly just shoots off his mouth rather than weapons (so far) but who is now running from the law for violations of restraining orders and resisting arrest. His predictions don’t exactly fit the year by year type. They have more to do with that he will never again go to jail, all the deputies stalking him will burn in hell, and an earthquake will strike Portland yet spare those he wants (mainly his kids being protected by his ex wife) so that he can stride across the rubble and “rescue” them to be raised in a godly manner. Which is to say, by himself and a new wife he picked up on the internet. All drama no sense so I’m leaving out the details.
He always spouted such stuff but claimed God was going to do it. However, he started sending the prophecies to officials but slipped and left out the God part, which seems to have caught their attention more than when he was just targeting ordinary people.
It figures, I guess.
Some new prophecy:
I am sinless. I do not sin period. Please read I John 3:6-11.
I will marry [—]. I will get all 6 of my children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will get a home with 2 acres of property in the moutains of the Pacific Northwest. I will have a national radio show.
My horn shall be magnified as King David’s was.
Last I checked in, he was seeking to be the next Dean Koontz.  The publisher sent him many encouraging rejection letters.   Which is fine, but here we mostly just shows the flimsiness of moving from one thing to another.
The discussion in interested blog-sphere gets more inane from there.  It is the Leander Revival, whether you want to rename it or not.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Now that the code no longer exists, a search shows the deeper truth, one which I would have supposed:  The “Comics Code Authority” has been a Zombie Organization for the past two years, unreachable (even as nobody has had any reason to try to reach them).  Or, more propertly referred to as a “Zuvembie Organization“.

But Newsarama hasn’t been able to locate any evidence that the organization was functioning since 2009. And Archie Comics has indicated that it wasn’t actually submitting comics for approval to the Comics Magazine Association of America, which oversaw the Code.

We haven’t submitted for a year or more,” said Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito.

When asked if the CMAA was even functioning anymore, Pellerito said, “I don’t think they are.”

Joe Field, president of the comics’ retailer organization ComicsPRO, said he believes that, in recent years, the ability to use the Code stamp was given to any publishers who paid dues to the CMAA, without a requirement for submittal.

“It used to be that everything had to go through the Code, be stamped and sealed, and then could be sent off to the printer,” Field said. “I think that, over the last number of years — and it’s kind of obvious, because there were things that wound up with a Code seal that would have never gotten through the code — if a company was up on their dues, they could put the Code on their book.”

The last odd bit of information I see comes about here, a telling bit on what the Authority has been up to:

Apparently a long time ago the Authority was involved in providing comics racks to retailers. That little blurb that used to be in comics in the early sixties about retailers contacting somebody about a “display allowance” was from the code. However since the code’s entire income in 2008 was only about $38,000 I doubt they’ve been doing much promotion lately. That’s barely enough to pay a part time reviewer.

Writing the history of the end of the Comics Code Authority revolves around finding the last representative doing the last item of any official business for the Code.  But there’s just two years where Archie Comics and DC Comics could have had all kinds of heads in refrigerators with the code on the cover (see nine paragraphs down here), and nobody calling them out on it:

The CMAA was formerly managed by Kellen Company, a trade organization management firm. The organization was represented by Holly Munter Koenig.
But when Newsarama contacted Koenig on Friday, she said Kellen Company has not managed the CMAA since 2009. She referred all questions about the CMAA to DC Comics.

Wertham would not be amused.  Nor would these two women.

The Comics Code Authority: 1954 — 2011.

Monday, January 24th, 2011

To much fun-fare and media attention, we got this on September 8, 1954.  In reaction to, for instance, this, a million “injuries to eyes” which profligated the comic book in the late 1940s and early 1950s — and had to be wiped out due to the massive epidemic of Juveniles injuring other kids’ eyes.

The Comics Code Authority is unveiled, and Code Administrator Charles Murphy shows its impact.  The character of Sarah Harper is given wrinkle cream and an amazing dentist.  Good taste abounds from here on out.

New York Times headline for December 24, 1954:  NEW’ COMIC BOOKS TO BE OUT IN WEEK; First ‘Approved’ Issues Put More Clothing on Heroines and Tone Down Violence . 

It’s a perpetual issue, and sometimes very real.

And on to:  Charles F Murphy, Administrator of the Comics Code Authority, will receive a citation for “outstanding contributions to cleaner literature” tomorrow at the sixteenth annual communion breakfast of the Hoy Name Society of blah blah Catholic Church Brooklyn.

It is an anachronism, as evidenced here, but I like following through on the history of anachronisms to its last dying deaths.  Then again, the comic book industry is something of an anacrhonism itself, and “you would be shocked at how low the circulation is” for just about any comic book.    Comic books ceased to be a mass medium at the advent of television.  They re-adjusted to a lucrative and narrower market, focused on the superhero genre, and sales have generally declined from there, moving full scale into comic book stores and leaving the supermarket and convenience stores, before edging back into the book stores.

The Comics Code Authority was not the death knell of the industry (artform?  medium?) — television was –, but I imagine probably pulled it through one moment in history to exist on some level.  Fifty-six years later, and to no fan-fare (there is a post at a Washington Post blog, and there is nothing at the New York Times), the Comics Code Authority is no more.

After yesterday’s news that DC Comics was dropping the Comics Code, leaving Archie the last surviving member of the Comics Code Authority…comes word that Archie has also dropped the Code, starting with books on sale in February.
Thus ends the last clinging particle of darkest days in comics history, an era that did its best to choke the life out of an artform — but didn’t succeed.

When the Green Lantern opted out of the Code to tell a “relevant” story in 1971, it made the New York Times. 

I don’t know who was looking over the submissions of DC Comics and Archie Comics over the past few years, and I am finding it hard to see them underlining anything and charging back to publisher headquarters to get things back into its proper guidelines.  The first people looking them over included — as you see in that image — a “Charles Murphy”, and Archie publisher John Goldwater.  There are veiled and not veiled opinions about the role of Archie Comics in the creation and administration of the Comics Code Authority — he sure threw EC Comics out of business!  But and on that score, it is approrpriate that they are the last publisher to ascede — there for the creation, there for the burial.  Question of the day:  what will be the last comic book approved by the now defunct “Comics Code Authority”, and will someone please nit-pick some affront for outrage from out of its contents?

Not Asian, Regional, or Juche.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

There are times a message comes in that lies on the knife edge between “mass produced spam” and “acceptable comment”.  It waits in the “waiting for moderation” section — tending to be with a few links that simply shifted out of the obvious “spam” filter, and I avoid approval or disapproval.  After a while, I delete and feel I did the right thing.  But then there’s… let’s pierce the unctiousness of my joking time with some more serious information post.

“Human development” wants me to know that some postings of North Korean propaganda from 2008 are lies.  The “Asian Regional Institute of the Juche Idea” runs in the same thread as “The Holy Roman Empire — neither Holy nor Roman” with its component parts of the name.

Yeah, I kind of already knew that part.  But the rest of this is quite informative.

No one’s slammed Ziggy yet.