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Eric: Well, crap

John Stark

(From The Adventures of Brigadier General John Stark. Because I screwed up. And I want people to read the strip anyway.)

So.

I actually think today's John Stark was pretty funny. I think people would like it.

But until nine p.m. there was no way they'd know. Because I told it to update on November 1st of 2066.

It's fixed now.

On the other hand, no one mentioned the fact that it didn't update. I suspect that should tell me something. On the other hand, a good number of people read this strip, so there's only so much it should tell me. Regardless. Read it.

(And if you're reading this on November 2, and I haven't had a chance to fix the link yet -- there's no permalink capacity on WCN yet -- please read today's, and then click previous to read yesterday's. Enjoy.)

Posted by Eric Burns-White at November 1, 2005 9:13 PM

Comments

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 1, 2005 9:29 PM

Sorry. But it's the second time in about seven days Stark hadn't updated when I looked in the morning, and last time you just said, "Whoops, but no one looks that early to have noticed," so I didn't think anything of it today.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at November 1, 2005 9:35 PM

I figured I had just gotten my schedule for checking it confused.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 1, 2005 9:37 PM

No need to be sorry. ;)

Comment from: Nate posted at November 1, 2005 9:37 PM

I work the late shift usually, so I end up checking most of my comics around midnight-1am, Eastern US time. So sometimes things aren't updated yet. And the border between "today" and yesterday tends to blur.

Which, combined with Nanowrimo, would mean I probably would have missed this one if you hadn't posted it. So huzzah. And back to writing.

Comment from: trpeal posted at November 1, 2005 9:53 PM

I would say that the Kingdom of Hawai'i (and the fillibustered Republic of Hawaii, after that) would have a claim to being an independent nation prior to admission to the United States. For longer than Texas and Vermont combined. ;)

Comment from: trpeal posted at November 1, 2005 9:54 PM

Er, I would say that, except I'm trying to be less pedantic these days.

Obviously, it's not working well. I need to start working on my novel.

Comment from: Snowspinner posted at November 1, 2005 10:00 PM

Well, I figured you've called a cease-fire on busting Milholland and Kurtz for not updating, why would we bust your balls on it.

Anyway - that's Wednesday's job now. :)

Comment from: Arujei posted at November 1, 2005 10:08 PM

I wouldn't worry too much if people didn't tell you it stopped updating. I agree with Paul that most people would just go "ok" and check back on it later.

Comment from: DarkStar posted at November 1, 2005 10:08 PM

Meh. I checked earlier and assumed that, like all webcomics, you'd get around to it eventually. No biggie. At least you caught it the same day.

BTW, the future link should be http://www.webcomicsnation.com/ericburns/stark/series.php?view=single&ID=11884

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 1, 2005 10:11 PM

I meant the contiguous U.S., trpeal. I'll have to have the General issue a retraction. ;)

Comment from: Dan Severn posted at November 1, 2005 10:15 PM

Well, California has a weak claim to having been an independent nation. Their flag even says, "California Republic." Of course, the Californian Rebellion against Mexico didn't start until US forces were already occupying the key cities, and the US navy was standing off the coast, ready to interedict any reply from Mexico.

So basically it's like if Belarus declared independence from the USSR in 1942.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 1, 2005 10:50 PM

See now, I couldn't tell it hadn't updated because I checked some of my comic trawl from the house that morning, and just assumed, when I got to work and saw the same comic, that I'd seen it a few hours before.

It was still funny, of course. From what I gather, Peggy Shippen was.. what did the General say? Rawr?

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 1, 2005 10:53 PM

I wouldn't worry too much if people didn't tell you it stopped updating. I agree with Paul that most people would just go "ok" and check back on it later.

I forgot to update once. For twenty-four hours, when the latest I'd ever been previously, unannounced, was six hours. No one said anything. I got a bit testy about it too ...

Comment from: trpeal posted at November 1, 2005 10:54 PM

I meant the contiguous U.S., trpeal. I'll have to have the General issue a retraction. ;)
Ah, yes, well in that case I withdraw my comment. You have to be sure about these things, though. Kids today know so little about U.S. history.

Have I mentioned that I have an unfortunate pedantic streak?

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 1, 2005 11:10 PM

Anyway - that's Wednesday's job now. :)

Now?

Comment from: quiller posted at November 1, 2005 11:17 PM

It's worth putting Peggy Shippen into Google Image Search, she really is pretty hot. (Unless she's just painted that way ;->)

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at November 1, 2005 11:52 PM

I've been checking all day, and considered hijacking the Snarkoleptics group or the GC board to comment. Is there a John Stark board?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 1, 2005 11:57 PM

Not yet. There should be, though.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at November 2, 2005 12:11 AM

Damn. I finally added John Stark to my list of comics I read. Looks good though.

Comment from: Connor Moran posted at November 2, 2005 12:27 AM

I would have noticed, except that a power outage kept me from checking until just now.

Probably wouldn't have said anything, though. Especially since my own comic for today isn't up yet.

Comment from: Aufero posted at November 2, 2005 1:00 AM

I haven't been reading it long enough to have any sense for when it updates, so I didn't notice. It's funny every single time, (sometimes laugh-out-loud funny) so it made my regular list sometime last week.

Comment from: miyaa posted at November 2, 2005 1:39 AM

I wonder what is so special about 2066? I mean if the Mayans are right, we're be done by 2011 or something like that.

Comment from: Alexis Christoforides posted at November 2, 2005 1:45 AM

I mean if the Mayans are right, we're be done by 2011 or something like that.

It'd be funny if the Mayans actually wrote "or something like that". 2066 would then be a candidate year, with its repeated digits and all.

Comment from: BenPop posted at November 2, 2005 1:45 AM

John Stark has not really made it to my bookmarks, but Websnark is in the browser toolbar. :) I can click over to Gossamer Commons and John Stark from there. :) :)

I really like John Stark. It's consistently funny, mostly highly intelligent with a well-placed spattering of lowbrow humor, and I must admit that I am a huge history buff, am quite interested in the American Revolution, and this forms my present fix of it. ;-P I love it. :D

Comment from: John Lynch posted at November 2, 2005 2:08 AM

John Stark has not really made it to my bookmarks, but Websnark is in the browser toolbar. :)
I have Gossamer Commons and John Stark in my list so I can access it from any computer. I also have websnark in my google/ig page (which is my homepage) so I can check to see if it's updated just by clicking opening up my homepage ;)
I really like John Stark. It's consistently funny, mostly highly intelligent with a well-placed spattering of lowbrow humor, and I must admit that I am a huge history buff, am quite interested in the American Revolution
Agreed on all accounts. My problem is though that I read way too many strips, and this one is a cut-and-paste job. I try to avoid reading them (so I can read better comics). Unfortunately Eric kept mentioning it. He's also gotten me hooked on Something Positive, Starslip Crisis, Wapsi Square, Greystone Inn and all the Kismets.

Comment from: William_G posted at November 2, 2005 5:04 AM

I think Ice Cube as John Stark would rock all sorts of ass.

Comment from: GiannaM posted at November 2, 2005 6:06 AM

If you want the full Reader Whine experience when you don't update in time, try having a tagboard right next to your comic.

Comment from: GiannaM posted at November 2, 2005 6:07 AM

If you want the full Reader Whine experience when you don't update in time, try having a tagboard next to your comic.

Comment from: GiannaM posted at November 2, 2005 6:09 AM

I apologise for the double post (make it 3, if you count this apology). My first post didn't display right away so I retyped it. I also hate your posting system with the fury of a thousand novas.

Comment from: Kludge posted at November 2, 2005 7:16 AM


Should there be a "the views expressed in this cartoon do not reflect my actual views" disclaimer, or is Mr. Burns blowing a bit hot-and-cold about this whole Authorial Intent thing here?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 2, 2005 8:27 AM

I don't feel I need a disclaimer on my comic. ;)

(As for Authorial Intent -- it remains solid. What you take away from my comic may or may not be what I intended. And if you like my comic I'll hardly complain. If you don't, I might complain but you're free to ignore me. ;) )

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 2, 2005 8:45 AM

Submitted without comment.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at November 2, 2005 9:57 AM

Keep in mind, regardless of what critical theorists may or may not think about authorial intent, authors themselves tend to have intents. Frost is perfectly justified in his postmortem rotation, no matter what anyone else might say about the issue. :)

Ironically, my first exposure to the authorial intent thing involved Frost. An anecdote about a critic making this big analysis about one of Frost's poems, and then Frost himself saying that the analysis was completely wrong. And thus was the "authorial intent doesn't matter" argument born, went the anecdote.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at November 2, 2005 10:24 AM

Heh. I liked today's joke. (Robert Frost fanatic)

Comment from: John Fiala posted at November 2, 2005 10:29 AM

In my case, I'm uncertain how often John Stark updates. Is it M-F? I just figured it was a MWF comic and continued on in my trawl.

Personally, I think it's marvelous stuff. John Stark: Man of Inaction!

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 2, 2005 10:30 AM

The other thing is, interpretation needs to be validated. If they want to claim that "Mending Wall" supports isolation, they need to support the thesis. "Mending Wall" pretty clearly uses the term ironically, so an antithesis would slaughter it.

The people who quote (and attribute) Frost are doing so out of context. That's not good criticism.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 2, 2005 11:46 AM

In my case, I'm uncertain how often John Stark updates.

Stark makes no promises ("Roughly Daily, except when it doesn't") but has updated seven days a week for its entire multi-week history to date.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 2, 2005 12:25 PM

Feel free to laugh at this, but don't kill me for suggesting it: I have a ridiculous pet theory that Robert Frost had ADD. I don't really know enough about his life to justify it, except that he was apparently a shitty farmer, and people joke that it was because he was too busy staring at the beeches and thinking about being a swinger of them. I do know, though, that "Stopping by the Woods" is the single best expression of the feeling of being ADD that I have ever read. I had a poetry teacher who argued that the poem was about death, thus the longing for the dark, deep woods and such, but I can't help focusing on the last lines, because the dread of all the little *things* that must be done, the way the tasks of life feel like an incredibly long road (the repetition of the line), the way you're really only going down it because you've promised other people you would...

Plus, the little horse is like most people who've known me, who do in fact think it's queer for me to stop and stare at things with no, er, metaphorical farmhouse near. Luckily my friends all think it's really funny at this point.

So, yeah, Frost came up, and I felt like sharing. He wrote a poem about stopping to look at the pretty snowy woods when it's freezing outside and the darkest evening of the year. He gets me. And that's cool.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 2, 2005 12:36 PM

If Frost had ADD, I probably do, too. I just love to stop and stare at cool things. Stars especially.
Maybe we need a new term. Some word or string of words that acknowledges this tendency to wander but doesn't imply the serious nature of full-scale ADD. After all, you can be easily distractable but still functional without the assistance of Ritalin, right?

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 2, 2005 12:54 PM

Well, hopefully you don't get quite the same gut-punching dread evoked when you read "miles to go before I sleep." I don't particularly wish it on anyone.

But yeah, there are many people like you... I call them "actually fun to be around!" Everyone should be like that, normal with a bit of whimsy. I dunno... I actually resisted heavily the idea that I was "easily distractable," until I realized that I just wouldn't notice I had been distracted, because I was already paying attention to the other thing. So I think of it as "easily interested in that over there."
Also, for a minute I thought your "you can be easily distracted but" thing was actually for me, and I was like, "Well, not so much." But now I gets it. And we should have a word for that... it'd help people all calling themselves ADD just to communicate that personality, not that I really mind it or anything.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 2, 2005 1:21 PM

Speaking of missing a day, Aeire's consistently running a day behind on the Queen of Wands reruns for the last few months. Sometimes two days. I just looked at my midday trawl and the QoW is dated yesterday. Maybe she missed a day back in September or so and still doesn't realize it. Or did her update hour just move to later than lunchtime?

Comment from: quiller posted at November 2, 2005 3:43 PM

OK, I have to say that I think the November 2nd Stark is the best punchline yet. Subtle, yet punchy (with a smokey aftertaste, wait what are we talking about?).

And while I don't think I have ADD, I do have problems with longterm projects, and distract pretty easily. Poetry really is a pretty good artform for that kind of thing, as you can crank it out in one sitting and when you come back later to revise it, you can take it all in at once and make a few changes here and there. (Note, this doesn't work quite as well for Epic Poetry, but that's not exactly a big artform these days (I've only done one myself).)

And if you have a really short attention span, there is always haikus! ;->

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at November 2, 2005 10:45 PM

I'm one of those people who saw zero irony in "Mending Wall". Of course, I'm not sure how to adjust my worldview when the opposing viewpoint is coming from a critic speaking (or not) through a statue of an American Revolution hero.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 3, 2005 1:30 AM

The issue of irony in Mending Wall that leads to the joke, and man do I ever not have the credentials for this, is that the good fences idea is put forward in a way that is utterly uncomplicated, and clearly the main guy in the poem has deeper questions and/or struggles with the issue. So no matter what you think the ultimate philosophical conclusion is, exactly, the one thing it seems least likely to be is a hearty endorsement of "good fences make good neighbors" as an ideology unto itself. So, when it's quoted as a piece of wisdom learned from the poem... it is odd.

Comment from: prosfilaes posted at November 3, 2005 11:31 PM

An interpretation of the poem that appeals to me, would have the speaker be the thing that does not like a wall. Every spring, he drags out his neighbor to see his handy work, and wants to brag about his elfish behavior, but restrains. He wants there to be no walls; he wants to invade his neighbor's space, to send his trees beyond the line, but his neighbor sees the future and reminds him, "Good walls make good neighbors".

Alternately, it's about how the bourgeois, in a desperate attempt to protect themselves from the working class ("cows"), build walls everywhere, even between themselves.

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