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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: June 20-July 1, 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005:

NOTE 8/3/05: This space used to contain an entry about my participation in the Kids Club Live event sponsored by Detroit Public Television, the PBS affiliate for the area where I used to live. I dressed up as Buster the rabbit from the Arthur cartoons as a favor to my good friend Tim, who works for the station and was in charge of finding "character actors." I made $75, had a fun time, hung out with Tim and Jess, and wrote a good-natured, silly/thoughtful journal entry about it afterward, with lots of lighthearted anecdotes and pictures, of which I was proud. This past Monday, Tim was asked to relay the message to me that certain people at the station were irritated by the entry and they'd like me to remove the pictures. So I did, because I assumed they'd simply had some problems with me using images of copyrighted characters even though they were actually pictures of me and Jess in costumes. It's petty, I thought, but it's nonetheless technically legally actionable and I don't want to cause trouble for Tim, so fine. I was annoyed and bummed, but I complied.

Yesterday morning, Tim was asked to forward an especially snide e-mail to me from this guy Dave, who followed up the demand that I remove the photos with a demand that I remove the entire entry because "I remain displeased" (his words). The sticking point for Dave seemed to be my simple observation that lots of young, halter-topped mothers behaved in a less modest fashion than they otherwise might when bending way over in front of me to rearrange their rugrats, because I was dressed as a giant bunny, so there were plenty of times throughout the day when all I could see was cleavage a-go-go (i.e., I thought it was interesting that, whether consciously or not, they seemed to actually be thinking of me as a giant cartoon rabbit rather than a human being in a costume and therefore behaving in a more uninhibited manner than normal). This remark wasn't made in a lascivious fashion at all- in fact, I explicitly stated that I'm a leg man and didn't get any sort of creepy sexual charge out of that- but despite the fact that I was clearly not saying, "Get a load of those Chalupas!" so much as, "Huh- that's a lot of cleavage," Dave writes, "When we hire a person to appear as a PBS character, it’s implicit that the person will conduct himself with the dignity and 'trust' associated with public television, and not use it as an excuse to cop a lot of halter-top cleavage. Parents trust public television for very good reasons. This journal mocks that trust, and we are not happy."

He goes on to tell Tim, "Also, please remove the link to My Bedbugs [a local kids' program whose live performance was the centerpiece of Kids Club Live]. They are not, and do not want to be, associated with your friend." Which is just flat-out snotty, in addition to ignoring the fact that simply linking to a site in a journal does not imply affiliation with that site. If that were the case, the original entry would also have implied that I am somehow associated with The Washington Post, Snopes, Alternet.org, assorted furry conventions, Rick Baker, and Tiny Toons. When in fact I am associated only with the fourth item in that list.

But whatever. Although the entry was entirely good-natured and contained nothing that was libelous, mean-spirited, mocking, or likely to be construed as offensive by any reasonable human being, I've removed it simply because Tim is a marvelous guy and a great friend of mine, and I know him to be a very conscientious and hard worker at Detroit Public Television. He really believes in his work there, and there are few joys in life greater than doing work you believe in, so although I am admittedly an extremely stubborn (and pompous) man when it comes to my writing, I would hate for something that I wrote on my own time, on my own web space, about my own experiences to in any way come back to haunt Tim.

So what I'm trying to say here is that this entry and the accompanying pictures are no longer available publicly. I'll be more than happy to share them with you privately, however, if you want to see them. Don't expect anything jaw-droppingly controversial, however, because it shouldn't have been.

Doot?

Monday, June 20, 2005:

(A note Bev found taped to the front door of her company's office.)

Speaking of Bev, when I was in Bangor to watch over her after she got her tubes tied a few months ago, we went to Pro Libris, an awesome independent store that sells used books. She got me a copy of The Little Prince, I got her a copy of Dispatches from the Tenth Circle, and we sorta got each other a personal journal from 1928 that had made its way into the shop. I forgot to post about it at the time, but it's called the Every Day Diary: With Records Information Guide and Facts Needed Daily, and the nameplate credits the contents to one Kate L. Pike. Like many yearly diaries you can find in thrift shops, the writing in this one doesn't go beyond February, and most of the entries are so dull, they'd put the title character of Jim's Journal to sleep, but when I read the first entry aloud to Bev, she laughed so hard she nearly popped her newly acquired stitches:

Sunday, January 1:

A beautiful morning after the storm, colder and a high wind at night.
Nettie was in to see me.
Was not dressed.
The doctor came.

CURRENT MOOD: Psyched for the new episode of Hell's Kitchen.
CURRENT MUSIC:
Pop Tatari by The Boredoms.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?
You should sign MoveOn's petition to save public funding for NPR and PBS that the Republicans are predictably trying to squash. Because, you know, it's okay to be pound fucking foolish about an unwinnable war that has unnecessarily killed thousands upon thousands and was predicated on patently false information, but FUCK YOU if you want to give FREE books to KIDS, ya fuckin' commie!
TIME:
8:22 PM.

Doot? | |

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