Archive for the Steampunk Category

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions – and Ray Gun Girls

Posted in 3D, Antique surgical instruments, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fire and Ice, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, TV, Uncategorized, USA! USA! USA!, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan


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By now you know I kind of dig Space Chicks.

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In addition to writing substantively on the historical, sociological and geopolitical aspects of Space Chicks, my purely scholarly passion led me to become the worlds leading authority on subject.

Professor Boylan presenting a paper on Space Chicks at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2006

When I first determined the importance of Space Chicks as a pop culture phenomenon,  I soon observed that there is an important Space Chick subset that is best described as “Ray Gun Girls.”  Simply put, a Ray Gun Girl is a girl often, but not always, wearing a space suit in close proximity to a ray gun, often, but not always holding the ray gun.

Like Space Chicks in general, Ray Gun Girls first appeared on the cover of pulp magazines.

And when Space Chicks migrated from pulp novel covers to film and television, Ray Gun Girls began showing up there, too.

In all honesty, most Ray Gun Girl images are fetish driven manifestations of arrested male adolescent wish fulfillment, amounting to little more than soft core pornography.

However, as the years went by science fiction matured, and Space Chick images began to include strong, capable women who were fully realized heroic figures as complex and detailed as any male hero. As this happened, the images of Ray Gun Girls also evolved into something more serious and less sexist.


To me, the entire phenomenon is really quite fascinating. I don’t have the time or inclination to explore in this blog why there is such a driving interest to depict women holding ray guns.  The psycho-sexual implications alone would fill more space than I have to work with here. However, it is worth noting that the Ray Gun Girl concept is distancing itself from sex object utility and is increasingly being seen as a sign of feminist empowerment.


I’m taking the time here to provide you with the opportunity to judge for yourself.  Below is a gallery of Ray Gun Girl drawings and photos representing only what I was able to download in a few minutes before I gave up and went on to more serious business.  Nevertheless, this incomplete sample is the most comprehensive collection of Ray Gun Girl pics anywhere on or off the internet.

I present them in the order my computer imposed due to file title.

[If you don’t see any gallery below, then you need to go back up to the top and click on the link entitled something like “The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery.”

I take no responsibility for any offense that may result from anyone accessing and scrutinizing any of the photos in that gallery.]

The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery [ Mädchen mit Waffen I’m Weltraum ]

Posted in Art, Astronomy, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Internet Fun!, 스타게이트유니버스, Missile Defense, скарлетт йоханссон, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Sports, Star Trek, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, the snows of yesteryear, The Wrath of Khan, Travel, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan

To access an image, click on it. When it comes up, click on it again to see it in its full size.

A SHORT CONVERSATION WITH MY WIFE

Posted in American Decline, Brave New World, dada, Droit Moral, Family and Friends, Hapax Legomenon, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, News, pandemic, Paying Attention, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Small Town America, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on January 22, 2011 by paulboylan

So I was in bed last night watching television with my wife and we were discussing gun control.

There is no more divisive issue sui generis to the American experience and national psyche than the question of gun control.  I am often asked to appear as a guest speaker on topics touching on constitutional rights.  I always begin those talks by quickly describing my travels and experience living and working with people from similar and vastly different cultures.  Because of my exposure to different cultures I am very much aware of what makes Americans different from anyone else on earth. I also know that very few Americans are aware of that difference.

So I ask groups of people whenever I can what it is that makes Americans different and distinct as a culture.  It often isn’t easy for them to determine because they’ve never considered the question before. Most of them have never been more than 50 miles from where they were born and most of them live near people who look, talk and think the same way they do.

But eventually the Socratic method succeeds in helping my audience discover the truth – i.e,  that it is the rights we enjoy as Americans that makes us fundamentally different.  Americans experience a level of freedom no one else in the world can exercise.

Which prompts the inevitable follow-up question. I ask “What freedoms are uniquely American?”

The answer I get varies from audience to audience, but I am always surprised how often the answer is the right to bear arms.

Those who believe this, of course, are wrong.  The right to bear arms isn’t fundamentally or uniquely American.  The Taliban in Afghanistan believe the same thing and are willing to kill anyone who attempts to compromise their right to own and use fire arms.

I bring this up only to illustrate how important it is to own firearms to many, many Americans.  It is so important that millions of Americans value the right to bear arms above the rights of speech, assembly and movement.

I am not that extreme in my views, but I do feel the right to bear arms is an important right if for no other reason than it is expressly mentioned in the American Constitution.  My wife disagrees.  She believes that the American Founding Fathers’ viewpoint is important, but not controlling because time has made their worldview – their original intent – absurd.

You can see her argument best expressed here:

http://www.examiner.com/video

 

Gun control is a fairly hot topic, which is why my wife and I were discussing the topic while watching television last night.

The recent horrific shootings in Tuscon, Arizona are at the forefront of all of our minds. My wife is upset and believes Arizona should have more potent gun control regulations.  In the heat of our discussion she said “guns kill people.”

I was ready for that argument. “Blaming guns for killing people,” I retorted, “is like blaming spoons for obesity.”

I felt pretty good about that statement. It was eloquent and elegant, bordering on poetry.

We sat in silence a while, me feeling a bit smug, and then my wife said:

“Yeah, but if crazy people were running around killing 9 year old girls with spoons, I bet we would have some spoon control laws pretty quick.”

God, I love my wife.


WEBSITE/VIDEO OF THE WEEK (Must See)

Posted in Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Hapax Legomenon, Internet Fun!, Mad Men, Nichola Tesla, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Science, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, The Matrix, Uncategorized, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on July 20, 2010 by paulboylan

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This vid shows off a website that allows you to write a script for two animated  characters who speak your dialogue in electronic voices.

I can’t wait to try it.

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Can a cat collapse a wave function?

Posted in Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Brave New World, Mad Scientists, Nichola Tesla, Our animal friends, Paying Attention, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Science, Steampunk, The Matrix, The River of Time, Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 by paulboylan

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Of course they can. Absolutely. Anyone who believes otherwise has never known a cat.

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DID I MENTION I DIG SPACE CHICKS?

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Getting it Right, Hapax Legomenon, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Nichola Tesla, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 by paulboylan

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Of course I have. Over and over again. Since I came to this place I have freely expressed my appreciation for space chicks.  I have written scholarly critiques of new media, expressing dissatisfaction with this television program or that new film because the program or film didn’t have enough space chicks. Conversely, I have expressed my approval when a program or film featured the proper quantity of quality Space Chicks.

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But what, academically speaking, is a Space Chick?  Is it merely a woman in space?

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The first woman in space.

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Clearly not. The media has depicted many women in space, not all of whom can be properly classified as Space Chicks.  And, where life has imitated art, only one female astronaut can be properly considered a Space Chick.

Allow me to elaborate, elucidate, pontificate and fabricate (but just a little):

As I’ve discussed earlier in this blog, pulp magazines acted as the vehicle through which science fiction entered popular culture.  These pulp magazines – published from the 1920’s through the 1950’s – embodied the motto “sex sells” and so habitually featured women on their covers.  For example:

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1919

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1929

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1933

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1936

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1942

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1949

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1950

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With this marketing heritage it was only natural that pulp science fiction magazines would feature, as often as possible, images of women, often scantily clad.

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A Space Chick who apparently likes lollipops.

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These were the original Space Chicks – objects of amorphous adolescent male fantasy.  And, as objects of early 20th Century amorphous adolescent male fantasy, these space chicks often needed rescuing from monsters.

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Film, and eventually television, adopted the pulp magazine formula and expanded upon it. In the same way that producers began insisting that any science fiction project include aliens, they also insisted that Space Chicks be part of whatever awful film or television show they were going to finance.

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But something happened that differentiated Space Chicks from their non science fiction counterparts. Space chicks were often depicted doing more than simply needing rescue and being more than merely sexy.  The Women of Tomorrow were shown to be, not just desirable, but also fast, strong, smart, capable and brave as any man.

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Cinema and television imitated the pulp formula and began depicting Space Chicks that were not just sex objects, but also intelligent, confident and professionally accomplished -little realizing that they were part of a social and political revolution.

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When humans actually began poking a tentative finger into outer space, life imitated art.  The Russians were the first to put a woman into space.  Long before they did, they tried to let their people, and the world, know what to expect.

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Make no mistake: this is a Space Chick.  We can’t see the rest of her, and her space suit is undoubtedly too bulky to determine the attractiveness of her physical charms, but her mascara, eye shadow, false eyelashes and lipstick tells us that she is ready for action.

Reality did not meet this expectation.  The actual first woman in space looked like this.

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There is a rumor that persists to this day that she was really a man in a wig.

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In any event, she was no space chick.  The United States did better, but none of the women NASA put into space can be characterized as Space Chicks. Even zero gravity – which one would think, like beer, would make women more attractive – tends to make things worse.

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Lesbians seem to adore this photo. I have no idea why.

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There is one exception – Mae Jemison:

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She is more than pretty.  She is a medical doctor. She is strong, smart, capable and brave enough to ride in the space shuttle – a crapshoot against disaster every time its engines ignite. But even more important for the purposes of this essay, her cuteness survives zero gravity. Click on the following link to see what I am talking about.

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Mae Jemison

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That isn’t just a picture. It is a pose. But that isn’t what makes Dr. Jemison a Space Chick.  What makes her a bona fide Space Chick is that, after actually going into space, she appeared as a minor characer on Star Trek!!!

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Dr. Mae Jemision is the only women who is a media space chick AND a real world Space Chick!

How cool is that?

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HEADLINE – TESTICLE FESTIVAL HUGE SUCCESTICLE

Posted in 3D, And now the snorting starts, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, buffo, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Food, Fritz Lang, Globalization, greannmhar, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, Is that really Ellie Goulding?, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, kluchtig, lächerlich, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, скарлетт йоханссон, Our animal friends, Paying Attention, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Small Town America, snaaks, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, מצחיק, خنده, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون scarlett johansson on June 15, 2010 by paulboylan

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

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OLEAN, MO. – The Olean Festival Commission has declared this year’s Testicle Festival to be most successful testicle festival in the 17 years that Olean has hosted a testicle festival. “Attendance this year broke all prior attendance records,” said Gunther Haas, the primary organizer of this year’s Testicle Festival. “People traveled from as far away as Henley to participate in the testicle themed festivities.”

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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In addition to the many testicle related food items being offered, this year’s Testicle Festival featured a Testicle Festival Parade, a Testicle Festival Pancake Breakfast, with testicle shaped pancakes and free testicle shaped balloons for the kids, and a testicle eating contest.

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A number of testicle-themed rides and educational exhibits also contributed to this year’s Testicle Festival’s unprecedented success.

“We got a roller-coaster called the Testicle Express that is sure to give a thrill,” said Travis Jode, Honorary Mayor of Olean’s 17th Annual Testicle Festival. “And for the kids we have a giant testicle you can walk through and learn all about testicles.”

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But the one thing that sets this year’s Testicle Festival apart from all other testicle festivals was the variety of testicles offered for consumption.

“Bull testicles are great,” said Sue Ellen Plavin, this year’s Testicle Queen.


“But you can get bull testicles at any testicle festival.  That’s where we’re different.  At the Olean Testicle Festival you can enjoy all sorts of testicles ranging from goat and sheep and pig and turkey to more exotic testes like squirrel, possum and frog, which I can tell you are simply delicious.  And I hear tell that somewhere around here you can score some kangaroo balls,” Plavin said and smiled. “I bet you can’t get kangaroo ‘nads at the Russelville Testicle Festival. No siree bob.”

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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