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Started by Bobby Campbell, July 09, 2013, 03:26:17 AM

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Bobby Campbell

Quote from: Doktor Howl on August 10, 2020, 03:38:40 PM
Try that kinda thing now, they'd tazer you for your own good.

Very probably! Though generally adults loved me because I was so low maintenance as to be basically invisible  :fnord:

Quote from: Doktor Howl on August 10, 2020, 03:38:40 PM
I was born in a house with the television always on
Guess I grew up too fast
And I forgot my name


TV party tonight
TV party tonight
TV party tonight
TV party tonight!

Black Flag, TV Party

Rushkoff makes, or at least made, much of the remote control as a paradigm shifting media deconstruction tool. No longer was the viewer a captive audience, caught in the trap of television programming's de facto tension, they could now actively and instantly escape the grip of any narrative with the press of a button. A genie, I'd imagine, the persuasion industry has been trying to stuff back into its bottle ever since.

This innovation wouldn't have changed my life very much if it hadn't come bundled along with the tremendous multiplication of channels brought along with our cable subscription. Flipping between the half dozen or so terrestrial channels we could tune in wouldn't have been very much fun, but 60 channels? A veritable ocean of content? The surf was indeed very much up!

Channel surfing, it seems to me, is something of a lost art. Most of the 21st century digital cable boxes I've encountered come with a slight lag time between changing channels, a buffering void that disrupts the flow of information just enough to prevent joy riding through the mediasphere.

BACK IN MY DAY the channels changed instantly. In a matter of minutes you could taste test everything that was on TV at any given moment. It got to the point that I'd almost never watch one thing at a time, but would rather spread my attention across 3 or 4 different channels, a glistening array of fragments, all the while deftly dodging any and all commercials. Hence, probably, the current configuration of the interface.

Watching cable TV now appears to me as a joyless slog through a labyrinth of resource extracting stratagems, and I've barely dipped a toe in those waters for the past 20 years, but heck, we'll always be family  :fnord: :fnord: :fnord:

Bobby Campbell

One of the first and best hints of things to come came by way of a secret contraption colloquially known as a "black box."

A black box was a cable convertor that had been illegally modified so as to unlock all of the premium and pay per view channels. To have all of those once insurmountable paywalls come tumbling down was a glory to behold! Such unbridled access to content was unthinkably awesome at the time, in fact, it was literally criminal.

Access to this variety of forbidden knowledge forever changed how I saw the distribution of information. How do you buy into the illusion of false scarcity once you've seen information be free? Though do please extend to me the benefit of the doubt that there is more nuance and nested complexity in that statement than you can see on the surface. Info wants to be free, sure, but also needs to be funded. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive realities.

Bobby Campbell

Bobby Campbell

The Great Escape
A post script anecdote about the CAGLIOSTRO THE GREAT illustration.

Drawing Hugh Crane / Cagliostro the Great as both a prisoner and a stage magician was mostly just a straight forward attempt to visually summarize the character as depicted in RAW's Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy.

Though as my scribbling progressed I came to notice that this imagery also held personal meaning as a pretty on-the-nose metaphor for how I was feeling with my job as a Graphic Designer & Pre-Press Tech for a direct marketing firm.

It's a pretty brutal gig in terms of soul crushing drudgery, a pure Rushkoffian nightmare, with constant & unreasonable deadlines, always on call responsibilities, and a pandemic related reduction in staff that saw my department reduced from 4 down to just me. 

Though by and large, all of the people at the company, all the way up and down the corporate ladder, are entirely lovely and brilliant people. The people are beautiful, just trapped in the ruthless system of a genuinely tough business.

For the most part the job involves working with really big brands, some of which I'm happy to work with, and others decidedly less so. The credit card companies are the toughest to rationalize, though they're somewhat balanced out by civil rights groups and some of the better charity organizations.

When rumors began circulating that we might get work from the Trump campaign I panicked and scrapped together an emergency back up plan, just in case they were true. It would have been a reckless and messy exit, but the rationalizations have to end somewhere. The rumors turned out to be untrue, or at least the deal went unsealed.

My back up plan was sincere, but impractical, the beatings continued but morale did not improve...

On particularly bad days I would stay up late applying for jobs somewhere, anywhere else. Though TBH the pure volume of work burned me out pretty good, and with most places still shut down from the pandemic, a feeling of hopeless resignation set in.

When I drew Hugh Crane as a prisoner I was drawing this resignation. 

I was trapped, but that didn't mean I couldn't still make at least some magic, right?

2 days after I finished my drawing of CAGLIOSTRO THE GREAT - The prisoner, magician, mystic, escape artist, 2 things happened.

We received a project from Trump JR. & I got an email alert that my old teaching position was available.

I used to teach high school computer science in North Philadelphia. The job did not pay well enough to keep me afloat, which is how I ended up where I was.

Before I know what's what, I'm being offered the same money I'm making at the current gig to return to my teaching position. How can I say no? IDK, bc I didn't  :fnord:

Just like that, I give my notice to the once inescapable prison that I'm leaving, and start a new life, closer to the heart.

Cagliostro says 10 people that know what he knows would be very formidable indeed, now I don't know if I know what he knows, but I've just started my second week of teaching 500 7th-12th graders what I know, and that ain't nothing to sneeze at!


N.B. I don't think they necessarily mean it as a compliment nor an insult, but there is a strange consensus amongst students, across multiple years, grades and classes, that I remind them of Spider-Man / Peter Parker. They tell me this multiple times a week, not knowing that this is exactly the vibe I've been shooting for since I was like 8 years old. I give them all A's, bc with great power comes great responsibility  :fnord: :fnord: :fnord:


Great news, Bobby.  Glad to see things worked out for you.


glad to hear you've landed in a good spot!

Bobby Campbell

Very much obliged, LMNO & Cramulus!

I really lucked out, hoping to make the most of it  :fnord: :fnord: :fnord:

Bobby Campbell

Bobby Campbell

I've been tinkering around w/ the Weirdoverse website, archiving old stories & art, suchlike:

King Mob in Philadelphia
An accounting of GM Magic


ahhhh, what a great story!!

Bobby Campbell

Many thanks, Cram! GM gets a fair amount of shit, from certain circles, but he's always been on point for me  :fnord:

And now a little something about the little comic that couldn't, but did anyway!


Bobby Campbell


Thumper Forge (Όρκος)

Waking up to Marsha P. Johnson made me so happy.
"Ignorance doesn't make stuff not exist." -Bucky Katt

Bobby Campbell