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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropYou probably know about the 1918 era flu pandemic, but did you know the US had an outbreak of the actual plague (as in, Black Death)? In San Francisco, at the turn of the 20th century? Me either. But we did, and it dragged on for seven years, owing to (you guessed it) its disproportionate attack upon the poor & PoC, denial by the state's governor and the white population's belief that unlike those filthy Chinese, they couldn't get sick (despite the disease being most famous for killing something like half of Europe's population in the Middle Ages—I'd ask how people could be that pig-ignorant/buried in denial, excepting we're arguably doing worse with Corona right now). Anyway, a fascinating narrative of this long forgotten history, from Cailtin Doughty, a mortician with a whole slew of videos on various death related topics.



cropHeh, sorry about the, um, fortnight or so nearly month long hiatus—but hey, with a couple of exceptions, this marks the end of a six month lampworking dry spell—I worked glass 3x in May, once in July, a couple of times in September (only because Fran visited & wanted to work glass)... mostly filling the warm months with low-stress doodles instead. On the upside, the saddle joints in my thumbs, especially the R, are feeling much better.

My computer is whining (literally) which means it's time to dump some links & restart it, sooooo...I had no idea that Violet Liuzzo was buried in Southfield MI. I used to work there, many moons ago (like, before I married) and my memories were of an ugly town full of cheap, unattractive buildings lining Southfield Road; also, there was a little Iraqi travel agency whose sign was stove in shortly after the first Iraq War (i.e. Bush I) that has always represented to me part of the invisible cost of war; besides all the dead, here was someone's little business, destroyed by nativism. —When I went to France, the people with whom I traveled went to famous graves, and though I liked seeing the historic stones, I really didn't see the point. (Ditto, New Orleans). But I would lay a bead on Ms Liuzzo's plot.



cropI recently watched most of PBS special about three poverty stricken families in Ohio, and how their struggles have become even more difficult during the pandemic. Like many commenters, I deeply admired the maturity of biracial Shaun, and felt for Black Kyah talking about being ‘drained and dark’ (of mood); how her teeth hurt, because of no money for a dentist, but the pretty, plump, blonde child mostly bugged me because she was so undisciplined...she's diagnosed with ADHD, but doesn't like to take her medication.

Well. She comes off irritating and undisciplined because she needs more support than drugs that make her feel like crap...and why no I don't know anything, anything at all about being undisciplined and all over the place. No sirree! So, apologies, this is a day late.



cropHope you're all staying safe and sane, ’specially in those hard-hit states—by covid, the hurricane Zeta, the wildfires. The election is a week away, armed groups on both sides are counter-protesting each other—I did derive some hope from the fact that they didn't shoot. Both reported to the NYT that they were deeply frightened.

I despise the way the current administration is sowing FUD—fear, uncertainty and doubt. Microsoft tried to do that to the linux OS, instead of campaigning on the merits of their own system. I see strong parallels right now, except the stakes, critical as they were, were still far lower than the ones for the current election.

Nevertheless, no matter which candidate you support, I urge all US citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is the single most basic way to move the country in a direction you want it to go. So with that, I have a couple of anime-ish neko-chan urging you to exercise your franchise.



cropYesterday was Wonder Woman day! —I didn't know she had a day. She's really part of the holy trinity, so to speak, of superheroes: the other two, of course, being Superman and Batman—the ones everyone knows, or did when I was a child. (Spiderman comes up gamely as a next-gen 4th.) Like a lot of people my age, I imprinted on the Lynda Carter version.

That, and the Ramona Fradon cartoon I referenced ealier, was the inspo for today's doodle.


cropToday's sketches, though rough, were the beginning of what I consider—finally—to be a coherent series for inktober, as well the one where the idea really coalesced: clearly, I've been thinking about this for awhile, but it was today that I decided every drawing from now till the election could feature variations in lettering on the word ‘Vote’. Or, at least, on the theme.

I'm hardly the only one—Contrapoints has a new video out explaining why Bernie supporters and other leftists should vote for Biden ; AOC played livestreamed a game (Among Us) on twitch for GOTV. I haven't anything that exciting, but it's my little contribution.


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