He Was Not The Joker

Nor was he Batman. He was (is) just a horrifyingly real person, this deranged individual who took a dozen lives during a 12:01 a.m. screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

"I don't want to know this man's name," Dan Slott posted on Twitter early Friday morning. "I don't want him to gain any kind of notoriety. He should vanish from history."

Like a lot of folks, I'm with Slott, and I won't be referring to the perpetrator by name here. Even the least sensationalized news of the shooting has to do just that as a matter of factual reporting, of course — the kind of reporting, sadly, that was in short supply early on, leading to erroneous associations on the part of more than one news organization between the shooter and political movements in both directions along the left/right spectrum.


I've been on Twitter — @BrianLamken — for close to three weeks now.

Overall, it's gone pretty much as I'd expected: I got back in touch with some folks from my life in the comics sphere. I sent out the occasional pithy, humorous Twits, or 
so I'd like to think; only the "occasional" part is for me to judge. I found myself a bit at sea, unaware of certain jargon and traditions, overwhelmed by the number of messages from various feeds that I wanted to follow, and uneducated in certain aspects of le Twittage. I rued not being able to read or reply to Twits for entire days, just as I regularly do my inability to get all manner of other stuff done, although it's a happy thing at least that lately what's exhausting me so is spending as much time as possible reading to, playing with, and just soaking up my visiting sister's beautiful kids. I decided rather masochistically to follow more folks every time I reached a passable equilibrium of what to skim, what to skip, and what to engage with through link-clicking or conversation of the feeds I already followed.

With this year's State of the Blog post and some other articles of self-examination planned for not too far down the pike, I'll hold off on further handwringing here. I do want to share, as promised, some select Twits from these early days of my Twittertude. I've taken the liberty of italicizing handles and hashtags, which on Twitter are links, as well as the usual things you'd italicize but which on Twitter one has to capitalize or (my preference) place in single quotes. Also, I've conjoined serial Twits that on Twitter were separated by the ol' ellipsis.

You can view my latest handful of Twits, including reTwits of others, in the sidebar gadget at left. For more you can click on the bottom or top of it or otherwise click my handle at the start of this post; from my profile page there you can also see some Twits of others that I've marked as favorites.

I'll make this a periodic thing unless I decide not to.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Minus Andrew Garfield Plus Garfield

Garfield head © year of creation Paws Inc. 
Original version of quote: Stan Lee for Marvel Comics © 1962
Spider-Man photo © 2012 Marvel Entertainment LLC
Tweak to text & digital maniupulation: Brian Saner Lamken for Blam's Blog
Just a goof! No infringement upon intellectual property is intended or implied.
[Update: Now on Tumblr!]

One good Garfield deserves another. You've heard of Garfield Minus Garfield, right? Here's... well, I think the post title says it all.

I don't know why, but I always seem to come up with this sort of stuff when I have a migraine. Feel free to (in fact, please) share!


The other night I had a rather strange dream.

I have strange dreams often, as I've mentioned here before — you can see all of my dream posts if you're intrigued by what follows — but the strange thing about this one was how of-the-moment it was. Both the 4th of July and my blogging buddy Teebore's next installment of his weekly issue-by-issue X-Men analysis would greet me when I woke up, and both figured into the dream. Sometimes I'm more surprised by dreams that relate to my actual everyday existence than those in which I'm playing for the Phillies or meeting Queen Elizabeth or attending a Survivor cast reunion.

When the dream began I was drawing, an activity in which I rarely engage anymore in waking life as it's a lot harder than it used to be, yet one that I occasionally find myself pursuing in dreams — perhaps to keep those creative muscles limber, if only inside my head. The drawing, centered on Superman, was getting to be rather intricate, too,

The 'Works

photo of fireworks, mostly orange and blue, going off in the night sky

At times like this I'm glad that I don't believe in Hell, 'cause I'd probably send myself there just by virtue (or actually, vice) of being snarky to the kids in my family.

We'd just started to watch the 4th of July display when I told my cousin's 9-year-old daughter L that fireworks were made by catching fairies, strapping them to small rockets, and shooting them into the sky.

"Do the fairies get hurt?" (L said this with a sly smile, playing along. She's a smart cookie — loves reading, has a high BS meter.)

"That's why we clap so hard during the finale," I replied. "We have to bring them back, like with Tinkerbell in Peter Pan."

Adventures in Maybe-Twitting

I am now on Twitter.

I've just sent the 20 characters above as my first Twit, in fact. (As I explained a couple of posts ago, I do not accept "tweet" as either a noun or a verb when it comes to Twitter. Using the service is twitting or Twittering and the messages are Twits or perhaps themselves Twitterings. You are welcome to virtually slap me upside the head if you notice me lapse into the vernacular.)

My Twitter handle is @brianlamken. I found out quite a while back that @blamken was already taken; I rejected @blamsblog or something like it because it'll feel weird when people use my handle to refer to me as a person — "still waiting for @brianlamken to show up" — and @briansanerlamken is too long.

I don't expect to Twitter out Twits of my own with alacrity for a while, although enthusiasm may get the better of me. Eventually I'll be promoting the blog and other stuff when my online activity increases, fingers crossed, at the end of the summer, and I'm sure that the more I follow other people on Twitter the more I'll want to join the conversation. I've already installed one of those sidebar gadgets with my Twitter feed, but 
when the pace picks up I'll probably publish a notice to that effect here. For now, I've signed up for Twitter mostly so that I can follow the feeds of friends and acquaintances and folks I admire without having to remember to click through from their own websites and such to catch up.

I'm slightly surprised to see that I have over a half-dozen posts about Twitter on the blog already, either as the primary subject or as part of an omnibus links post. You can click on the label below to see them all.