Batman Lashes Out at the Other Members of the Justice League of America After Spending the Weekend at the Jack Nicholson Film Festival

Batman loses it

You know, I’m getting a little tired of all the snide remarks about the way I fight crime.

We live in a world that has villains, and those villains have to be defeated by men with Batarangs. Or superpowers, if you’ve got them. (Yeah, and females too, don’t get your star-spangled knickers in a knot, Wonder Women.) I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for the psychotic killer that I sent to the hospital last night, and you curse my “methods”. You have that luxury.

Green Lantern, you can always capture crooks with that weird glowing shit from your alien ring. And you Wonder Woman, I wonder if that golden truth-telling lasso is as innocuous as it looks? You have easy options.

You know that when I beat that punk to within an inch of his life, while tragic for him, I saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I find it particularly ironic that you, Martian Manhunter find me grotesque, but you do, don’t you, you green uni-browed freak!

I’ll grant my methods are extreme, but they work. You people with your superpowers don’t dare admit it. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me cruising the streets of Gotham in my Batmobile, you need me in my Batmobile! Who else is going to clean up that bat-hole?

I use words like discipline and detective work and a lot of made-up words starting with “Bat”. I use these words as the backbone of a life spent intimidating the criminal classes. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to you, who succeed because of the detective work that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a Batarang and solve a few crimes without your superpowers.

Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think is “excessive” or “brutal” or “verging on insane”. Continue reading

A Reluctant Emcee

One of the Ab's brothers

The stun bolt struck near me, and I was flying through the air. My hair crackled with static electricity. My vision went red. Quite possibly I soiled my expensive trousers. Did any of that worry me? No, I had much bigger problems. My brothers were coming back to town for the wedding.

I’d been dreading both events. Their inevitable return, and the marriage of Josh and Mary. Just as inevitable: the lovebirds’ request to have me, the Right Honorable Member of Parliament for Middlesex County, Ab Durer, as master of ceremonies.

I loathe the role of emcee. And my friends always ask me to do it.

Earlier that week, I’d foolishly complained to my brother Warren about emceeing again; he’d looked particularly scary in a suit of plate mail he always “wore” in the datasphere. An affectation, but it had plenty of impact.

“Well, why don’t me and the other brothers come?” he’d said.

“Uh. I’m not sure how good an idea that is,” I had said.

“Sure! It’s been ages since we saw you. Fabian and Petrovich have been pretty busy in Central America, but me and Deeter can convince them to come up.”

“No, I really don’t think you should. You’re not invited.”

“Hey!” shouted Warren, “we’re never invited. Just suck it up. We’re going to be there. Besides, Albrecht,” he said — emphasizing the “brecht”, just the way I’ve always hated it —”we have something to tell you.”

It had taken me a while to work up the courage to let Josh and Mary know that all four were planning to attend. Mary had burst into tears, and Josh confided, “You know, I thought this relationship was just going to be the end of my bachelorhood, not the end of everything.”

I’d laughed and mumbled something about the boys being much more mellow since they’d left high school. You had to admire the couple’s pluck. They made contingency plans, booking a full riot squad for the reception, buying doses of the best nanobiotics money could buy, and hiring Freeze-A-Head, “in case” of fatalities.

I felt so bad that I actually gave them my speech to vet, though I figured we would never get through the wedding, let alone the speeches. I was kind of torn on that. I hate emceeing — blathering into a holo-mic so that the relatives and friends attending remotely can enjoy the syrupy sentiments. And while everyone else whiffs up jazzy nanocaines and quaffs copious amounts of Old Nurberg’s Pink Ale (those who like it like it enough to go blind), I have to abstain.

On the other hand, did I really want to see my brothers back in town, just to avoid sobriety?

But I should get back to the stun bolts, and my electric fandango as I flew through the air, shouldn’t I?

°°°
Continue reading

Film History 2035E: Yer Whippin’ It, Pilgrim: Critical Analysis of Devonic Headgear in Classic Hollywood Westerns

John Wayne wearing Devo hat

2 baffling lecture hours and a 1-hour tutorial in which your TA will try to make sense of it all

This course will examine, through critical analysis of the films of Ford, Sturges, Peckinpah and Whoopzingo, the counter-temporal influences of the 80s-era rock band and religious cult, Devo. Theatrical discussion of Devonic Headgear as described in the writings of writings of Marx, Gramsci, and Foucault will round out the contextual framework of this important topic.

Alltop whips it funny.

Ten indisputable facts about Canada (Part Two: Culture)

To commemorate Canada Day, I decided it would be useful to clear up some common myths people have about Canada and its culture. I thought it might be especially helpful here at The Skwib, since many of its readers come from other parts of the world. You may want to read Part One, about Canadian history, first:

Six: Hockey

Baby with hockey stickIf you are familiar with Canada, you may have heard something about hockey — or ice hockey, as it is known in countries where other, sissified forms of hockey are more popular. Hockey is quite possibly the most important thing in Canadian culture. Did you know that most Canadians emerge from the womb clutching a tiny hockey stick? Did you also know that infants who do not have a hockey stick when they are born are given one by the National Hockey Commission? It’s true. (Though quite often the Canadian babies born without hockey sticks must have it duct-taped to their tiny fists.) Hockey was invented by Canada’s first PM, John A. “The Madman” Macdonald and his Association of Really Ripped Gentlemen (ARRG) in 1847 (the same year the Canadian parliament was built in Ottawa). Hockey permeates Canadian society the way that guns permeate US culture. When there is no ice to play on, Canadians make do with roads, sidewalks and abandoned tennis courts to play their favorite game. There are probably about 29-million people playing hockey right now in Canada. (The other four million are either too infirm or too drunk to play, or they are part of the small percentage of selfless Canadians who keep our various hockey-supporting infrastructures serviced, including the universal hockey injury health service, the power grid, and of course, the lumberjacks who chop down the trees we use in the creation of hockey sticks.)

Seven: Timmys

Tim Hortons coffee cupAlmost as important as hockey, Timmys, or Tim Hortons, is Canada’s national coffee chain. (It may be no surprise to learn that Tim Horton was a legendary hockey star, capable of decapitating his opponents with one slash of his razor-sharp hockey stick.) Timmys is best known for its highly addictive coffee, made from the distilled sweat of NHL hockey players, ultra-caffeine, phenylcyclohexylpiperidine (rocket fuel), and one supposes some form of coffee bean, though the dark coloring may be provided by some kind of cocaine-based food dye. Timmys coffee is powerful enough to wake even a thoroughly hung-over hockey dad at 4 am, as he attempts to deliver his hockey-addled progeny to a 5 am practice.

Eight: International Stars

Pamela Anderson in hey-dayYou may not realize this, but one of Canada’s major exports is international stars. In fact, fully 63.2% of our Gross Domestic Product is the result of remittances from our international stars. What stars am I talking about? Well, the Department of International Entertainer Breeding has been most successful at creating three kinds of super stars:

  • female singers:(Celine Dion, Joni Mitchell, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette, Shania Twain, Justin Beiber … etc.
  • comics: Dan Akroyd, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, Lorne Michaels, most of Second City, the Kids in the Hall … etc.
  • actors: Michael J Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Seth Rogan etc.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for this, but really, what choice do we have? We would go broke without them. Though we really are very, very sorry about Celine.

Nine: The CBC

CBC logoMany of you may have heard of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is purportedly Canada’s national broadcaster, running services in both English and French; the CBC has television and radio stations across the country. This, is, of course, a front. In fact, the CBC are highly trained cadre of scientists, weapon-specialists, and blade-wielding warriors who keep Canada safe from another outbreak of zombies. (This is always a danger, particularly in the summer months after the NHL hockey season is over, when Canadian men, in particular, are prone to fits of zombie-ism.) Without the brave and tireless work of the CBC, Canada would have long been overrun by zombies. Even so, some taxpayers think it would be nice not to have to pay for CBC TV.

Ten: William Shatner

William Shatner is a national treasure, so he gets his own category. It is just a matter of time until we have a National Holiday named after him. (Personally, I think we should have some kind of break in February.)

Here is some classic “stylings” of Bill, performing Rocketman:
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And here is Bill’s send up of the I AM CANADIAN rant:
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Part One: History

The FridgularityKick off your summer holidays with a fun summer read. Right now you can get the paperback of The Fridgularity for 25% off, if you buy it direct from Monkeyjoy Press. Use coupon code: BE3H5AJV. Available in all formats in all the usual places online :

Paperback ($15.99)
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble Amazon.ca

Ebooks ($4.95)
Kindle | Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | iTunes

Alltop is an honourary Canadian. Originally published June, 2009, and now a part of my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures. Thanks to Iragerich for the baby-hockey evidence, Loimere for the Timmys cup, UltimateGraphics for the Pammy pic.

Note: we may have different interpretations of what the word “indisputable” means.