R.I.P.: Skip Williamson

Ace obit that includes lots of information new to me. I knew nothing about his personal life other than his political activism and he fell off my sightlines after the ’80s. His bizarre cause of death could be taken from a comic he drew. Snappy Sammy Smoot was one of the unforgettable clueless characters or Holy Innocent or what have you. His hair trip was a graphic triumph. And the obit ends with a quip from Williamson that is about the most rat-on exhortation from the ’60s demonstrations.

Guess Williamson and Jay Lynch had to leave about the same time so they could start up Celestial Bijou Funnies. Bet it’s better than ever.



Two Notes About This Ugly Mugger of a Blizzard

Massive snow dumps have at least one common effect on both Montanans and New Englanders — they can prompt unexpected generous acts. I clear our sidewalks and drive with a (probably under-powered) snow-thrower and the street-plowed chunks at the bottom of the driveway were a good three-four feet high. Our neighbor hires a service to plow his areas. I’ve called them slapdash in the past, but never again. The plow driver, when he saw how I was struggling with the mounded-up snow, came down and cleared out the whole end of the drive for me. What a champ!

Friends who have seen our house will know what this means: the snow was so heavy and the winds so strong (gust of 66 mph recorded) that two 50-foot branches (and a dozen smaller branches) blew down from the white pines out to the side of our place. White pines can be magnificent, but I would never tell anyone to plant them. Endless needles and cones and they do seem rather inclined to snap.

SXSW Gripe

I donno. Never been to one. But if I wanted to go to business conferences, I would have gotten into one of the more richly ruminative fields.

I was drawn because festivals seemed so much the spontaneous, anti-matter versions of such things. So if that’s utterly gone, what’s the point? Other than the usual Biz Conf garbage.

Golden Anniversary for the VU

Graceful retrospective essay by Joe Levy.

Fifty years ago today The Velvet Underground and Nico was released. I still have a vinyl copy with a peelable but unpeeled banana.

What hits me first, though, is how oblivious and Not Ready For This I was at the time. Hard to convey geographic and media isolation in Livingston, MT 1967. My parents were not music fans (my Dad was tone-deaf) and we had gotten a home stereo only three years earlier. I wouldn’t buy my first LP until later that year. Non-hit music was not only off the screen, it was off the earth.

But by 1970 I was different — I was hungry for culture from the counter and I grabbed the first copy of Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia I saw. In it, I read that the Velvet Underground was a hugely important and hugely overlooked band and anyone who liked the book better get hip to them. Everything flowed from that.

My Favorite Part of the Rules at the PAX East Conference

This is PAX. (The problem seems to be trying to insert the link after the quote.)

… this weekend in Boston:

“Booth Babe” Policies

PAX has a strict ‘no booth babe’ policy with the purpose of creating an environment where everyone can feel comfortable and welcome, and the focus is on games, not hired booth staff.

Booth babes are defined as staff of ANY gender used by exhibitors to promote their products at PAX by using overtly sexual or suggestive methods. Partial nudity, the aggressive display of cleavage and the navel, and shorts/skirts higher than 4” above the knee are not allowed. If for any reason an exhibit and/or its contents are deemed objectionable to PAX management, the exhibitor will be asked to alter the attire of its staff.

Cosplayed characters that are playable in-game are an exception to this rule (within reason), and exhibitors must obtain permission from show management prior to the show.

If for any reason an exhibit and/or its contents are deemed objectionable to PAX management, the exhibitor will be asked to alter the attire of its staff or remove those staff from the show.

Cosplaying attendees may be asked to alter or modify their costume if it is considered overtly sexual.

PS: What is PAX?