This is why I absolutely forbade my mom from sitting in on any of my mythology lectures. Because my Power Points were full of paintings of ladies getting raped by swans and I used phrases like “junk blood” on multiple occasions.
Because it was probably more like, “What a nice swan, I’ll feed it some breaOH SHIT IT IS RAPING ME”
Tough question. I like so many. My preferred style of “this really happened” story is one that’s about the person who becomes the ghost and why they’re haunting where they are. These are the kind I like to adapt into Hector stories: the girl who hangs herself in the sorority house for getting rejected, the lovers separated by death, and so on.
Historically based ghost stories I really enjoy include the Winchester Mystery House and the Bell Witch.
Literary ghost stories? Hmm, probably Turn of the Screw? The Carnacki stories?
The story that probably scared me most as a kid was Bloody Mary, though that’s barely a story. I can attest, however, that every Halloween I tell the kids I work with ghost stories, and nothing has scared them more than Bloody Mary.
Favorite ghost story that happened to me personally? This:
Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. It depends on how clear a given project is in my head. The less fully formed a story is, the more likely I am to need silence and an absence of other distractions.
When I have a good grip on a story, I might play music to help attain a mood I’m aiming for. For example, when I’m writing Hector Plasm, I might put on Tom Waits, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Decemberists, Iron and Wine, or something similar. When I’m writing Santa comics, I’ll for sure listen to Christmas music, even if it is seasonally inappropriate. Or I’ll listen to Joanna Newsom at any time, because I ALWAYS feel like listening to Joanna Newsom.
As for writer’s block, when inreally need to beat it, I’ll try to do something to remove all distractions and let my mind wander, like taking a walk, going for a drive, taking a shower or anything where I’m by myself and there’s no Internet. Listening to music can help sometimes, as occasionally there will be just the perfect word that triggers a flood of ideas.
I listen to War Rocket Ajax every week just in case they mention my name.
Otherwise, I mostly listen to podcasts of NPR shows: This American Life, RadioLab (the best), and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.
I also listen to The Moth on occasion, and if I’m going on a long drive, I’ll load up on the Savage Lovecast. WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour if there’s a guest I’m interested in.
I know there are a million comedy podcasts people like, and I listen to those sometimes, but I really only listen to podcasts when I’m driving or washing dishes, so I have a limited amount of time to devote to listening to them.
Lapine is language-rah for sure.
But that sounds like a fucking AWESOME pope, not the worst one.
The worst one would have to be, like, a Nazi. Good thing there haven’t been any of those!
I’d never noticed that. So weird.
Ah, the much ballyhooed Oxford comma. (I know you are unaware of any pop culture that has arisen since the death of Douglas Adams, so you may not know this: there was a popular song called “Oxford Comma.”)
Anyway, the Oxford comma is also known as a serial comma and is that last comma before the conjunction in a series of three or more items. It’s strange that you were taught not to use one, as it is considered conventional in American English outside of journalism. The Chicago Manual of Style endorses its use; the AP Stylebook (used by journalists) advocates against it. Additionally, it is not conventional in British English and some other European languages.
One of the prime arguments for its use is to avoid ambiguity:
“I’d like to give a shout-out to my parents, Jesus and Kobe Bryant”
means something quite different from
“I’d like to give a shout-out to my parents, Jesus, and Kobe Bryant.”
(Although in some cases it might actually add ambiguity: “to my father, Jesus, and Kobe Bryant.”)
Additionally, the Oxford comma more closely resembles the cadences of a spoken sentence in terms of pauses.
Arguments against the Oxford comma are: it adds clutter; it is redundant as the conjunction makes the comma unnecessary; I want Vampire Weekend to think I’m cool.
It is, in fact, an issue that may never be resolved. The pretty deece punctuation book Eats, Shoots & Leaves says, “There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don’t, and I’ll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken.”
In short: do what you want, and don’t begrudge another person his or her choice.
You know I love public domain characters. This is like asking me to choose my favorite public domain child.
But what this question really does is put into focus that there has never been a Disney Dracula movie.
Every pope who isn’t Pope Lando.
Cliff Steele by a long shot. Followed by Titano, Quisp, Gorilla Grodd, and Lori Lemaris.
Just heard about a new thing called daguerrotypes; they seem pretty interesting.
Because Hal Jordan is no Joe Friday.
Kilowog? Now THERE’S a Joe Friday.
Classically? Not that I’m immediately aware of. Myths change for all sorts of reasons, primarily sucking up to patrons or one’s hometown, but I can’t think of an example from classical antiquity of a bowdlerized myth. Let’s be honest: the culture that brought us Priapus as a divinity (don’t wiki at work) was not super concerned about wieners in their stories. If anything, Ovid was likely to add MORE lurid stuff to his versions.
Anyone who knows a counter-example, please let me know.
Myths were DEFINITELY expurgated post-classically, even up to today. I mean, there are definitely students who are being told that Achilles was mad when Patroclus was killed because they were, you know, SUPER good friends. Any well-known collection of myths was likely put together by a stuffy Edwardian British person, so is probably euphemized at the least.
My favorite example is d’Aulaire’s Greek Myths (in fairness, a book for children), which has Zeus wandering the world just marrying the shit out of some ladies. Polygamy is better than extra-marital sex, I suppose.