Brattleboro to NYC, via server crash

June 24th, 2007 | Uncategorized

Man. Sorry about the problems with the site, everyone. This is the first second I’ve had to post. Thursday night I drove down to Brattleboro to do a reading for Everyone’s Books. Look! Here I am with NLC from the blog and his daughter Maera.


Then Friday morning the website was down and I had to leave for NYC, for the MoCCA Festival. MoCCA gave me the festival award yesterday, which was a great honor. But it meant that I had to put together a new, slightly different powerpoint talk, which of course I worked myself into a swivet over for no good reason and consequently hardly got any sleep Friday night. The festival is really lovely, though–I’m going back today just to wander around. Of all the comics festivals I’ve been too, this is my favorite.

Here’s a random shot from yesterday of the inside of the Puck Building, where the exhibits are.

MoCCA Fest

And here I am drawing stuff for people. They have cartoonists draw pictures on request in exchange for a donation to the museum. $25 for a handjob head shot, $50 for a full body. It was really fun.

drawing at MoCCA

Okay. Now I have to pack. Then go back to the festival for a while. Then take the train to DC to the American Library Association convention. In the meantime I will be working myself into a swivet about the talk I have to give tomorrow when I receive a Stonewall Award for Fun Home from the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table.

It’s very stressful being given awards! And you’re not allowed to talk about it. You know, because you should be so lucky. I actually had a most delightful conversation yesterday with Art Spiegelman (who requires no hyperlink) on this topic. He relayed a conversation he’d had with Matt Groening who said yeah, you can’t complain to anyone about the strains of success because it’s like saying that the ashtrays are full in your Rolls Royce. I like that. Although in my case it’s more of a Prius.

I’m trying to be all cool about having a conversation with Art Spiegelman. But I’m not really. It was AWESOME.

77 Responses to “Brattleboro to NYC, via server crash”

  1. Susan Stinson says:

    That is totally at least a Lincoln Town Car of a post, ashtrays and all. It does, it sounds stressful and at least five kinds of interesting. Art Spiegelman!

  2. Aunt Soozie says:

    You’re way cracking me up.
    But, wait, hey, that’s your handjob.
    oops…i mean job,cause I don’t know how to make a line through that like you did.

    You might need to start a support group with your peeps
    (successful, award-winning, swivet working up into, dyke comic artists/graphic novelists)
    I’d gladly facilitate for airfare and handjobs.

    NLC is cute as a button. Now I want to go back and read his posts to put the person and the words together. But first I have to go to my favorite Merriam Webster Online dictionary and get the person in the computer to say “swivet” a bunch of times and see what the heck a swivet is…

  3. Aunt Soozie says:

    Swivet; a state of extreme agitation.
    I’ve honestly never seen or heard that word before.
    Is that from Lewis Carroll, too?
    Now I know for sure I missed out by skipping the reading and just watching the Disney version…dang…

  4. Suzanonymous says:

    A cup of hot milk works to get me to sleep (like, within an hour).

    Bummer about that ashtray 😀 LOL.

  5. sk says:

    Swoon AB, SWO-OO-OONNnn … you AND Art Speigelman, i can hardly contain my glee.
    i think i came close to a peak experience just thinking about it!

    you AND Art Speigelman.

    i think it is great that you are the success that you are, ashtrays, prius, swivets and Art Speigelman to hang and gossip with.

    Mazeltov 🙂

  6. Defining My Self says:

    NOT a man. Who were you addressing there? If a feminist audience, I/we don’t appreciate the male default being considered passing as reference to humans. Even as, or especially as, slang. Not you guys, not boy, not dude. Precision of language matters, I thought here more than most places.

    And you seem to have missed the point of the Matt Groening quote, which is that someone who can afford to drive a Rolls and then trashes it with chain-smoking really shouldn’t be complaining about it. Class-based humor should be undertaken with great care now that the Reagan era of yuppie supremacy seems to be facing the firing squad.

  7. Ginjoint says:

    Oh brother.

    Oops! Now I’VE done it!

    P.S. “A peak experience.” I like that.

  8. Ginjoint says:

    O.K., that was obnoxious, and I’m sorry.

  9. Adan Jimenez says:

    Thank you so much for the interview!

  10. jefffster83 says:

    I didn’t read AB’s interjection of “Man!” as a form of address to her readers. I read it as a curse word that set the mood for her account of her travails. Surely a feminist audience doesn’t object to using male words as terms of exasperation or opprobrium. Because if it did, that would really be a bitch.

  11. Cheryl says:

    The wonderful thing about the web is if you find something offensive, you don’t have to participate. Define some tolerance.

  12. Aunt Soozie says:

    jefffster…funny…for a man that is.
    I thought, at first, that defining my self was speaking to me cause I said “he” in reference to NLC.

    I know I shouldn’t judge people on appearance but from the photo I was fairly certain that NLC is a boy. And I noticed that Alison said, with HIS daughter.

    I think Alison did get it…did you get what she was saying?
    That you aren’t allowed to complain about the down side that comes along with your success…just like, if you can afford a Rolls Royce you shouldn’t be complaining that the ashtrays are full. And likewise, that if you are Alison, a Prius is the dream car and would be akin to a Rolls Royce for someone else.

  13. Roz Warren says:

    Alison: I am looking forward to seeing you at the Philadelphia Free Library this Tuesday! If you need a ride around town, just give me a shout & I’ll turn up in my Rolls. (Actually it’s a 2002 Camrey, but the ashtrays are REALLY clean…)

  14. van says:

    I like the Matt Groening quote, hee!

    In case it helps as you make your presentation,
    here are some do’s and don’t’s (hm, 2 apostrophe’s in one word doesn’t seem right…) Enjoy:)

  15. van says:

    lol, I meant apostrophes

  16. Al, et al. says:

    Defining My Self– quit defining the rest of us! Or at least get a sense of proportion and/or humor.

  17. sillipitti says:

    Hey, wouldn’t smoking in your Prius be even more of a faux pas than smoking in your Rolls? Especially for right-thinking peeps like us!

    Suck it up Alison! You never know how long it’s gonna last. But your perfectionism is what made the strip and the book what it is and what has cause all these good folks to love you so much. Without it you wouldn’t be you.

    I love that strikethrough. Now is everyone else too polite to notice the massage parlour allusion? It reminds me of the scene between the academic/john and the student/masseuse in Le Declin de l’Empire Americain.

    Many hugs.

  18. hexe says:

    I dunno. I kinda agree with Da Fine Mice Elf. We be wimmin most of us, eithr by birth or by declaration, so whi not address us as such. Man means Man. Why invoke? If yr Rolly Roice pleases u, why mess it up with ciggies? If it bothers u, don’t drive it. And if havng makes u confused, write about such in longhand to de-scribe the + & -, but not be singing a sad ditty about it to such as made it possible for u to have the fame n’ fortune.

  19. Riotllama says:

    While I think Defining My Self is being silly, Cheryl, the important thing about this blog is not that we tolerate perceived bigotry and prejudice, but that we argue politely with one another about it.

  20. Riotllama says:

    Hey, how about if everyone from this blog going to the Philadelphia reading wear something distinctive, such as a red carnation in our lapel, or a computer mouse hanging out of our back left pocket?

    I’d be interested to see what the lot of you look like, but not necessarily have to admit to each other who we are. But thats because I feel intellectually inferior to most of you. I suppose if someone came up to and said, “I see that you’re flagging “blogger bottom” there.” I might pull my mouse out of my pocket and admit to my handle.

    On second thought, lets go with the red carnations.

  21. Riotllama says:

    And Aunt Soozie, just because someone has a big ole beard, don’t assume they use male pronouns. whereas AB’s usage of the pronoun was a good clue.

    ok, i’m done, goodnight.

  22. Aunt Soozie says:

    I know RL…
    that’s why I was hesitant to make that leap into gender assignment. Anyway, I like the mouse in the back pocket better cause I have a mouse right here and I don’t have a red carnation. So, can we say, either a mouse in your pocket or a red carnation? And is it left pocket for bottom and right for top??
    I’m excited that I might see but not identify you in Philadelphia.

  23. shadocat says:

    Now come on y’all; didn’t Defining My self’s comments make you at least THINK about a few things? Why DO we use such expressions such as “Man”, or “dude” or “guys” even when we addres a female individual, or a group of people (I’m assuming here)that are mostly female. or at least have been that way at one time or another.

    Inherent sexism in lanquage? Or just the laziness of habit? I know I do it sometimes too, but really,didn’t Alison herself, during that whole pedophile discussion, say “precision of language is important?” I mean it’s one thing to speak this way when one is sitting around, chatting with ones “peeps”; but isn’t a blog that addresses the public be a cut above that?

  24. shadocat says:

    DOH! So many typo’s; my apologies to all.

  25. Pamela R says:

    @ shadocat: I remember reading an article in my home paper (Montreal Gazette)way back in the ’80’s. on the prominence of male visualisation connected to the supposedly universal nature of male pronouns/nouns. One example given that I still remember was having kids draw ‘cavemen’ then ‘cavepeople’. With the latter word, they drew more female characters.

    I agree with Al, et al. Defining My Self’s tone detracts from any serious willingness to consider the issue.

  26. Jana C.H. says:

    The way I learned it was right pocket for the bottom and left for the top. One of my first girlfriends introduced me to S&M. I introduced her to opera. Neither introduction stuck.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Hilarion in “Princess Ida”: Whom thou has chained must wear his chain, thou canst not set him free. He wrestles with his bonds in vain who lives by living thee.

  27. Alex K says:

    @Define My Self via @Shadocat: Yes; the objection to “Man”, as in (Pittsburghese, anyone?) the “Jeezo man!” of exasperation, DID make me think about the usage. The discussion has been interesting.

    1) Japanese industrial management: Aiming at 100% quality control can be exhausting, but it’s still worth while. I think that it’s possible to take DMS’s comment as a useful reminder.

    2) The other afternoon, coming home with several armsful of groceries to find no fridge space, I started to whinge that there was Too Much Cold Beer In This House. Thereby earning from my partner a VERY censorious stare and the comment that other people would kill to be able to make that complaint.

  28. Jaibe says:

    Whatever the stresses of success, I’d say the coolest part is getting to talk to more and more interesting people more and more often.

  29. Ed Cunard says:

    I’m terribly sad I was unable to make it to your signing–that was the part of the show I was looking forward to most, as you grew up approximately twenty minutes or so from where I currently live, and it was such a nice surprise to see familiar landmarks in such a great book.

  30. little gator says:

    In my experience, “you guys” is always gender neutral.

  31. Lisa (Calico) says:

    …That crazy hand jive! : D
    Congratulations on your award Alison! Yay!
    I think our CC hero Pope Noodlefoot, aka Josh F., was there too, after being strong and brave at the ROFL! show Friday night in NYC.

    Good luck Boat Wrestling that doggone server too!

  32. Dr. Empirical says:

    Seems to me if you go through life looking for things to be offended by, you’re going to have a very offensive life.

  33. --MC says:

    African American men started the practice of calling each other “man” because so many white folks would demean them by calling them “boy”. Or so I have been told. But as a child of the 70s I, like Alison, tend to use it as verbal filler, like saying “God” or “Shit hoss”, completely devoid of context or meaning.

  34. liza says:

    “God” is devoid of meaning? Seriously?

    How can a word be devoid of meaning and still be a word?
    Words can be layered with multiple meanings, but devoid?

    Some people find it offensive to invoke or inscribe the name of g*d. Others don’t. Context is everything.

    While the use of “man” would be an honorific to men denied the right to linguistic and legal adulthood, it doesn’t deny that using “man” to address all humans, even in the context of redresssing a social crime, renders woman invisible.

  35. shadocat says:

    “Shit hoss”? Man, MC, that’s a new one on me. Where are you from?

  36. Feminista says:

    Woman,it might be a good time to reintroduce all you luminous literati to the website for Dyke Dolls tm. Finally a real alternative to Barbie: let’s welcome Bobbi!

  37. Riotllama says:

    except that I don’t think alison was addressing us. to me the context seems, “Man.” as in “whew” as in ” man alive!” or “god’s wounds!” (which in it’s heyday was not indicative of a higher power, but merely an expressive curse.)
    actually i’m going to go off on this tangent. It’s fascinating to me what words get used as curses. I read an article about Coco, the (gorilla? chimp?) who had been taught signing. apparently Coco didn’t like birds for some reason and if something was distasteful to her she would sign that it was “bird”, and when frustrated or angry, would sign “bird” repeatedly. the etymology of curses.

    hmm. at this point I’ve changed my mind. Its unclear whether “man” was addressing us, or being used as a pejorative. Since it’s clear that there are people of many different genders on this board, It could be construed as offensive to someone either way. I think its good to point these things out but not to get all hardass on AB for it. there are so many things we have to decondition ourselves from in this society, lets help each other do it with a little compassion and love.

    P.S.- traditionally, left is top, right is bottom. I think I’m going to make myself a carnation out of red paper. And here is a link to an extremely thorough hanky code guide.

  38. ready2agitate says:

    Whoa – a big DTWOF blog-shout-out to the hilarious feminist Roz Warren on this blog! How cool is that?!

    And speaking of left/right pockets, does anyone remember when supposedly wearing a single earring in one of your ears (I could never remember which one – left, I think?) meant you were gay??? Yup. Uh-huh.

    Oh, and I guess I *have* gotten lazy with language, but in a deliberate attempt to relinquish elements of that fight precisely because I was alienating people. Letting go of some of it gives me more energy (to work for social change and just survive/enjoy life) because I get along with people better if I’m a little less rigid about their language usage (which makes me more lax with my own, too). I know, it doesn’t make sense, since changing our language is part of the social change that’s needed, but sometimes it actually helps the larger cause to let some things slide (and we each get to decide what we choose to let slide). But good lord (lax religious reference), how can we pick on AB of all people, who has done so much for women/lesbians/disabled folks/transfolks/moms/kids/others… and given so many of us endless strength through laughter and community, and who embodies so much of the very best of inclusive politics for saying “man?” DTWOF bloggers are one tough crowd (which is why I love you all!).

  39. chewy says:

    “Man” – I thought Alison was quoting Bart Simpson.

  40. --MC says:

    Shadocat — I used to know a guy who used to say that the way people would say “man”. “Shit hoss, lemme tell you, gettin’ stabbed with a screwdriver HURTS.” This was when I lived in Portland, Oregon, and I don’t think it’s regional.
    Liza — you probably know people who throw “God” into their speech just as an intensifier. “I mean, God, who eats rice with their fingers? I mean, God!”

  41. nurseingrid says:

    Can the Prius owners out there please enlighten the rest of us:

    Does a Prius even HAVE ashtrays?

    If they do, that’s pretty funny, don’t you think?

  42. nurseingrid says:

    As an out-and-proud atheist who has decided to embrace my love of colorful religious swears (of the “Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick” variety), I have total sympathy for AB’s use of “man.” I went through the “womyn” phase and the “oh my goddess” phase back in the 80s, but I have now decided the way to deal with oppressive slang is to play with it. I call my female friends “dude” all the time, which I think is pretty funny, but also kind of serves to defuse such words of their power. Which is not to say that I support the use of the generic “he” or the generic “man” in formal writing or public speaking, but I think when it’s us dykes and our friends, chatting or blogging or whatever, we get to loosen up a bit and have some fun with language.

    That being said, will someone please tell me how, at age 40, I can stop myself from saying “tewtelly” all the time??

  43. Aunt Soozie says:

    I’m certain it was the right ear. If you had a single earring in your right ear it meant you were gay. Or, if you had an extra hole in your right ear it meant you were gay.

    How I know this is that I have two holes in my right ear and one in my left. I’m sure I knew which was which when I had that done…back then, in them olden days.

    Where I’m from “you guys” isn’t gender neutral.
    However “youse guys” or the more economical “youse” is…

  44. Al, et al. says:

    Never heard “shit hoss” before, but my grandmother used to say, “Lawdy, Miss Claudie!” a lot. Don’t ask. I haven’t a clue.

  45. Keller says:

    I can imagine how accepting awards would be stressful, actually. You can’t just grab the award (or, this morning, the plaque) and sit down. You have to give a speech and all. That definitely sounds kind of horrendous to me.

    I wasn’t offended by the use of the word “man” and totally took it as an exclamation of exhaustion, but then again, I’m a dude and all (word use intentional), so there you go.

  46. Josiah says:

    I’m not qualified to speak on whether the use of “man” as an interjection is offensive or not, since I am one. However, I will happily advocate for the use of “y’all” as an inclusive second person plural, since I believe “guy” in “you guys” or “youse guys” ultimately derives from Guy Fawkes, and is at least etymologically male, whereas “you all” has no gender assumptions at all. It’s nice to occasionally be able to claim an element of Southern culture as less sexist than Northern, for once. :^)

  47. jefffster83 says:

    Whenever I am with my daughters, or around my younger daughter’s all-girl softball team, and some adult addresses them as “you guys”, I always say “They are girls.” The female manager of the team uses the term more egregiously than either of the two male coaches do. My daughters’ friends use the term in-group, when there are no boys addressed, and it bothers me.

    It bothers me a little less if the group addressed has boys in it. It reminds me of the Spanish language usage, in which a group of women is “ellas” or “nosotras” but a mixed group is always “ellos” or “nosotros” even if there is only one man among a thousand women. Still, the bothersomeness is only a little less. Why should one male have all the power to change the verb ending?

    This is a case where the Southern US usage “you all” actually seems appropriate. It replaces “you guys” with gender-neutral term.

  48. liza says:

    Good grief, MC. Of course I use the word “god” (and jesus h christ) like fifty times a day. My point was that it is not void of meaning, and some people find the usage offensive.

    I don’t know many religious christians, but if I ran across some, I’d probably try to remember not to say “Jesus F*%#ing Christ” within earshot.

  49. jefffster83 says:

    The belief that right-ear earrings mean something different from left-ear earrings still prevails among elementary school students in Orange County. Yesterday at church a newly-minted third-grader told me that when he gets bigger he is going to get a huge diamond earring in his left ear, because that will help him in his football career. He started to elaborate on why it had to be the left ear, but his sixth-grade brother interrupted to tell him it wouldn’t work because he (the younger brother) was white. I didn’t want to follow that conversation, so I walked away. I am still curious, though, as to what details the younger brother would have given.

  50. shadocat says:

    Jeffster and Josiah—I am all about the Y’all. Which is why I use it so much, despite my mama’s warnings that went something like, “Y’all sound like hicks when y’all say y’all.” I find it divinely inclusive.

    Regarding the Prius; I’ll bet Alison has enough to buy one (or two!) by now…

    Again, sorry for the gibbereshness of my first post (just re-read it). I was very tired and not all engines were firing…

  51. van says:

    “Lawdy, Miss Claudie!” a lot. Don’t ask. I haven’t a clue.


    Wow, knickers in a twist over an expression. For purposes of simplicity, it just rolls off the tongue better. I’m sure there’s no political/philosophical meaning to it. It’s just an easy sound, like sh!t and f*ck– I’m sure when you say it you’re not consciously thinking of feces and copulation when you say it. Monosyllabic accesibility. However, shit hoss, though requiring more effort, does have a nice ring to it.

  52. ready2agitate says:

    Dang ya’ll, I’ve got 3 holes in my left ear and one in my right (but that didn’t seem to hurt my chances with the ladies — word choice intentional — back in the day…).

    What if we all start saying “Hi gals!” to all mixed gender groups – would folks be OK with that? Like: “Can you gals hear me alright back there?” etc. Hmmm.

    And yes, awards can be stressful. For one thing, there’s the weird feeling about all the people who *didn’t* get the award…. But at its root – I mean aside from all the social anxieties that do surround being recognized and awarded – hopefully it feels like a darn great accomplishment. Alison, you are a hardworking and accomplished artist and author, and we’re flippin’ proud of ya!

  53. indigirl says:

    I remember reading somewhere once that “guy” originated from a Wolof word meaning “person”, so if that’s actually true, calling women “guys” could be considered a reclamation. Also, if you do a search for “guy” in the subject line of American Dialect Society archives, there is some interesting stuff, including 1920s usage of female “guy”:

  54. LM says:

    I once had a boss who’s customary curse was a nice combination, intentional i’m sure, of the offensive and mock genteel: “ShitOhDear!”

  55. shadocat says:

    Ooooh please don’t say “gals”; every day my boss walks in the office, he says “What are you gals up to now?” I hear that, and I just want to kill him…rather be called anything but a “gal”.

  56. ready2agitate says:

    SC – thought it was just the feminine version of “guys,” although in your post, it certainly does sound pretty dern smarmy.

  57. Tanya M says:

    While I am not offended by Alison’s interjection of “Man!” and agree that it is not intended as an address but rather as an invective, it is certainly important to examine (and perhaps correct) the default assumptions held in even the most innocuous of language. The example “you guys” has been brought up and already debated, as gender-neutral or not. Sometimes certainly it is intended to apply to a group consisting of both men and women, but just as certainly it sometimes is intended to apply (as here) only to guys.

    The question is, do we, as promoters of nonsexist language, encourage a non-gender-specific use of “guys” to refer to both men and women (as in indigirl’s ‘reclamation’), or do we accept “guys”‘ inherent connotation of the male and promote a female word on equal footing, as in “guys and gals”, or do we go with some third alternative synonym, such as y’all or ya’ll (depending on how you apostrophize it) (and a contraction which I also heartily advocate)?

    While maybe not the biggest deal standing in the way of gender equality today (compared to, say, pay inequality), language is important and can (however subtly) shape how we think. In many cases our language causes default assumptions of maleness, or equates generality (as in “you guys”) with a male-associated word (“guys”). This is true also in how “gay” is sometimes used to refer to homosexuals of all genders, as in “gay lifestyle”, while sometimes used only to refer to males with the the female “lesbian” (or “dyke” 🙂 ) set up as counterpart. The default/genderneutral term is also the male term. What is the solution?– gay used only as neutral/all-encompassing, always using gay and lesbian as equal and genderspecific opposites in speech, or choosing a third term, like queer? These are all solutions chosen by some in the LGBTQ community.

    No complete solutions here, just encouragement of deeper thought an reflection in words and images drawn thereupon.

  58. David says:

    It was great meeting you at MoCCA! I’m glad you had fun.

  59. little gator says:

    I hate the word gal.

  60. Duncan says:

    I hate all words. Language is a virus from outer space. Why can’t we all just give up labels?

  61. MayD says:

    Oh, Man, you guys are so spoiled. Coming from a language in which EVERY single word is gendered (Hebrew, like in all Semitic languages) I always find it amusing that English speakers spend so much time and energy on the handful of gendered words you have to deal with. Wait… an image comes to mind… it’s like complaining that the ashtrays are full in your Rolls Royce.

  62. Anne says:

    Allison – I heard you were mobbed at MoCCA! I asked a friend to see if she could get a signature and she reported the line was 3 hours long and then left to see the mermaid parade. Congratulations on all your — well deserved — success.

  63. anonymous says:

    Hey Alison – I was at the MOCCA event, and thought you did a great job. It did get me thinking, though, about how for the first 10 years I was aware of your work I definitely thought of you as a voice of the lesbian / feminist community, who happened to work in the medium of comics. Now with the success of Fun Home, it seems like you’re getting so much more attention as a cartoonist who happens to write about lesbian / feminist issues – “Exhibit A” being you giving a talk at MOCCA to an audience made up of many male comic book nerds (and I use the term with total affection, as I count myself among their numbers). Anyway, while fully being aware of the slew of comments I’m goiong to get about not putting people into boxes, and about people having many facets to their identity, I was wondering if you felt any of this shift with the success of Fun Home in the larger cartooning community. And to clarify, I think the fact that you are now well known in many a niche community is fantastic – you deserve all this success and more!

  64. Jeffster83 says:

    Did I say “one man has all the power to change the verb ending”? I meant the pronoun ending. Yes. That’s what I meant.

  65. nurseingrid says:

    Hee hee hee…I love the idea of saying “you gals” to a mixed gender group, or even a group of men…just to mess with people’s minds!

    Seriously, though, in San Francisco, we have come up with a nice, gender-neutral alternative within the last 10 years or so, which is “folks.” As in, “What are you folks up to?” It has a nice, well, folksy ring to it, don’t you think?

  66. Josiah says:

    MayD, I think that English speakers obsess about word gender precisely because most of our nouns aren’t gendered. Since it’s the exception rather than the rule, inappropriate examples are more visible and glaring than they would be if all our nouns were gendered.

    Volumes have probably been written on the connection between linguistic gender and gender concepts in different societies, but I haven’t read them, so I could be talking out my ass. Anybody got any recommendations?

  67. geogeek says:

    As a perpetually non-with-it person who finally managed to get old enough that no teen-agers _expect_ me to know pop culture any more, I must admit I was totally pleased when a male student in a college class raised his hand and yelled “Dude!” to get my female teacher attention. I did give him the stink-eye as a sort of “What, you can’t remember my name?” response, but I liked it.

    I use folks a lot, though it sometimes feels a little forced.

  68. --MC says:

    Liza — no, the word isn’t devoid of meaning, but some people use it that way. I wasn’t scolding you.
    Al — Lloyd Price had a hit with a song called “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” back in the 50s. It’s a great song.
    As for me, I’ve reintroduced into my daily speech “Man oh manischevitz” as an exclaimation.

  69. Dr. Empirical says:

    I think MOCCA festival attracts people devoted to the art and craft of comics, and these are more open to what Alison is doing. Other comics conventions attract people who want to know about the Next Big Fight. They’re not terribly interested in a comic with no mutants.

    There will probably be just as many cool people at San Diego Con as there were at MOCCA, but they’ll be vastly outnumbered by the hordes of the Fanboy Nation.

    I think the success of Fun Home has brought Alison to the attention of comics enthusiasts who might not have otherwise ben exposed to her work.

    And if we insist on precision of language, I’m a comic book geek, thank you, not a nerd. “Geek” describes someone with knowledge and enthusiasm about a subject that’s outside the mainstream. “Nerd” implies a concurrent lack of social skills and/or attention to personal hygiene.

  70. little gator says:

    Depends on what the ashtray is full of.

  71. mlk says:

    about earrings, I remember that back in the 80’s, “left is right and right is wrong,” ie: right ear, nostril, etc. is gay and left is straight.

    folks who are more homophobic are much more likely to remember this than the audience here.

    as far as messing with language as a force for social change, I’m tickled by the idea of addressing a mixed group as “gals.” HOWEVER, this whole discussion brings to mind the “N-word” which is currently acceptable when used by blacks but not by whites. from what I can tell, white people who are bigoted find this to be a handy excuse to disregard anything said to them about prejudice and inequity among blacks and whites. I’ve heard that the black community is catching on that it needs to treat the issue seriously and is coming down on blacks who call each other niggers.

    the connection may be obscure, but in a discussion about language I think it’s worth mentioning.

  72. mlk says:

    I’m all for cutting Alison some slack on her use of “man,” simply based on who she is. that probably sounds elitist and offensive to Alison herself so let me explain: since she’s careful and thoughtful about so much of what she does, it’s acceptable (to me at least) that she be human at times, that she have unguarded moments.

    and . . . I’m sure (almost!) that she’s found the whole discussion instructive.

  73. Danyell says:

    If she had said “Oh, Jesus!”, would it also be fair to assume that she mistook us all for Christ?


  74. goldfish says:

    This thread reminds me of a joke I like.

    Q. (The joke-teller should say this part with a goofy, wait’ll-you-hear-this sort of smile) “How many lesbians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    — How many? —

    A. (The joke-teller should now assume an expression of deep offendedness) “That’s not funny.”

  75. Danyell says:

    LOL @ goldfish

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