This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Explain THAT comic to your kid

Posted by: James Lileks under Newspapers, Outstate Updated: December 17, 2013 - 12:22 PM

Took a day, but Shia LaBeouf has apologized.

“In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation,” tweeted LaBeouf.

What’s this all about? Here’s Wired:

Shia LaBeouf’s critically acclaimed 2012 short HowardCantour.com was available online today — until people familiar with indie comics noticed its remarkable resemblance to Justin M. Damiano, a 2007 comic by Ghost World creator Dan Clowes.

By “remarkable,” we mean “lifted the words directly from the comic and used them without crediting the author.”

. . . both open with exactly the same monologue from their eponymous leads: “A critic is a warrior, and each of us on the battlefield have the means to glorify or demolish (whether a film, a career, or an entire philosophy) by influencing perception in ways that if heartfelt and truthful, can have far-reaching repercussions.”

And so on. The next scene is the same as the comic. And so on.

Don’t be too hard on Shia; it’s so easy to get lost in the creative process, put your name all over everything and forget the person whose work you hovoered up. Oh, there might be a nagging sensation you’re missing something, but heck, if it was important, you’d have remembered.

As for that apology, well, here’s BuzzFeed today:

LaBeouf claimed he wasn’t “copying” Clowes, but rather was “inspired” by him and “got lost in the creative process.” The first part of his apology is very similar to an entry on Yahoo! Answers written four years ago. A user named Lili wrote, “Merely copying isn’t particularly creative work, though it’s useful as training and practice. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work, and it may even revolutionalize [sic] the ‘stolen’ concept.”
LaBeouf wrote: “Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.”

That it is. Let us know when that happens.

SANTAS PAST Six blog entries left until Christmas; here’s the first of a half-dozen vintage plastic Santa statues, found at Hunt & Gather.

Santa’s boiled.

COMICS Odd moment in “Heart of the City” today.

The readers who like the strip are not amused.

RANDOM INFORMATION While looking around for a picture of the Paul Bunyan Restaurant in Yreka, California, I was drawn to the large portion of the town’s wikipedia page called “LYNCHINGS.” There were two notorious examples, the second of which concerned Clyde Johnson and Robert Barr in 1935. After a robbery they were stopped by the cops; there was gunplay, and a beloved local cop and WWI vet, “Jack” Daw, was killed. Clyde was caught; Barr hopped a freight and got away. After Daw’s funeral, a mob showed up at the jail, removed Clyde, took him out in the woods and hung hum. This page on lynching quotes the California Attorney General, referring to the recently delayed execution of an accused murderer, stated that the "uncontrollable unrest" was a natural result of the "apathy of the Supreme Court of the United States."

That’s not why I bring up Yreka. The guy who got away:

The movie was “Rose Marie," a Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald film. He's not in the imdb listning, but do you know who is? Iron Eyes Cody, the guy in the famous Native-American-Sheds-A-Single-Tear anti-littering ad. 

Anyway, Proving that the world was a more curious place in the 30s, and that newspapers knew how to give people what they want, here's another story from the front page:

I’ve no idea if they’re true, but this is what newspapers used to consider front-page material. Which, of course, it was. 

Oh but there’s more, at least about Yreka.

A group of young men gained national media attention when, brandishing hunting rifles for dramatic effect, they stopped traffic on U.S. Route 99 south of Yreka, and handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence, stating that the state of Jefferson was in "patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon" and would continue to "secede every Thursday until further notice.”

That would be confusing.

Lest you think this happened recently: the desire to get out from under the thumb of the existing political order happened . . . .in 1941. Hope they weren’t intent on keeping the country out of WW2:

Coincidentally, the "state of Jefferson" was one of the few places in the continental USA to be the subject of an attack during World War II, when Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs on the Oregon Coast near Brookings on September 9, 1942.

All that, a shotgunned ape, and an elephant legally executed by firing squad: the past is always stranger than you think.

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