Archive for February, 2008


There was yet another tram crash in St Kilda Rd today, the fifth accident involving trams since September. No one was injured, which is good, but I just wonder why we keep having these accidents. I cannot remember any findings coming out of the inquiries into the four previous tram accidents, thinking that perhaps the finding were swept under the carpet by Yarra Trams. I hope that Yarra Trams are thoroughly investigating these accidents and that the public will get a full report on why these seem to be occurring, as it seems plainly obvious that there is some sort of fault with the system.

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“I, Bob Kane, am the sole creator of “Batman.” I created “Batman” in 1939, and it appeared, if memory serves me correctly, in Detective Comics as a six or eight page story, and I signed the first strip, ‘Robert Kane.'” 


 I just thought that I would share these comic scans that first appeared in Real Fact Comics #5, January 1947. They were reprinted in the TPB of Batman in the Forties.




 
The problem with these pages is that they helped perpetuate the myth that Bob Kane was the sole creator of Batman, Robin and The Joker and did not give any credit to any of the other contributors to the creation of the Batman comic book such as Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson or Gardener Fox.

“I do know one thing though, that in the “Golden Age” of Batman, I penciled, inked, and lettered my strip by myself.”

It’s hard to tell just how many Batman stories that Kane drew due to the fact that many of the ones that he is credited with drawing were actually drawn by others. Kane often would hire other artists (ghosts) such as Sheldon Moldoff, to complete stories for him but he would take all of the credit for himself.

Kane was a shameless self promotor and glory hound, yet I really do not understand why it took him until after Bill Finger’s untimely death in 1971 for him to give Finger any credit on creating Batman at all. In a 1964 article for the Batman Fanzine Batmania, Jerry Bails outlined in an interview with Finger just what contributions that Bill made to the creation of Batman. Famously Kane wrote this letter which seems quite nasty and is just a lot of outright lies.

“I challenge Bill to repeat those statements in front of me. I am sorry that I was absent from the comicdom’s convention so that I could have answered him. The truth is that Bill Finger is taking credit for much more than he deserves, and I refute much of his statements here in print The fact is that I conceived the ”Batman`’ figure and costume entirely by myself’ even before I called Bill in to help me write the “Batman.” I created the title, masthead, the format and concept, as well as the Batman figure and costume. Robin, the boy wonder, was also my idea, . . . not Bill’s.”

I wonder how Kane could have slept at night after making these assertions. Truth be told Kane was not even a very good artist and was very lucky that DC Comics put only his name on that first strip and not Finger’s.

“There is an old saying, ”To the victor belongs the spoils, ” and after it is said and done about who does what on the Batman assembly line, and I do not underestimate all of the help I’ve received, I am assured that in the folklore of legendary comic history of our times, I know that Bob Kane will be remembered as the creator of “Batman” and no one else.”

Thankfully today the contributions of Bill Finger, Shelly Moldoff, Jerry Robinson and all the others who worked on the early Batman comics have now been recognised.

AOL’s Browser Sucks

Posted: February 22, 2008 in AOL Australia
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For the umpteenth time this week I have encountered this message.

AOL has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost.

This always seems to happen when I am in the middle of something and the stuff that I am working on is always lost. Does this happen to anyone else? Are there anyways of fixing AOL’s browser problems? I should really get rid of AOL but then I’d have nothing to complain about.


Transgendered dolls. Just what any girl/boy would want!

Automatic Ticket Machines

Posted: February 17, 2008 in Melbourne
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Automatic ticket machines have been a part of Melbourne’s public transport system for over ten years now. You’d think that in all that time they would have ensured that the system actually works by now. I still feel that these machines are the most useless invention ever created. Just what exactly are they good for? All they do is sell tickets… and a lot of the time they can’t even do that properly.

The new MyKi automatic ticketing system should have been introduced this year but its introduction is already two years behind schedule. I can understand the current government’s anxiety in not hurrying to bring these new machines online, especially considering the part that the introduction of the current ticket machines had in the downfall of the Kennett government a decade ago.

Of course many people forget just how hopeless the Metcard machines were when they were introduced in the late 1990s. I can still remember the fiasco that occurred when the current ticket machines were placed onto the trams, trains and buses. It seemed that 75% of the time, or more, these machines were out of order. Worse still, Mr Kennett seemed to focus more on the ‘so called’ problem of fare evaders than ensuring the machines worked. Even today the machines I encounter will be out of order about four or five times a month, which I suppose is a big improvement to the way it was a decade ago, but it is still not good enough.

I never really understood the reasons why Mr Kennett wanted to bring in these machines and get rid of tram conductors and ticket sellers from train stations. I also do not understand why the current government wants to continue with this policy rather than having actual human beings. Sure I do understand the economics of it, that it is cheaper to run a machine than it is to pay someone a wage (although when you consider how much the government has paid to introduce MyKi…) , but one thing that the economic rationalists never realise is that people can do so much more than a machine. Can a machine that is designed just to sell tickets assist an elderly person to find a seat on a crowded tram? Can a machine help deter thugs from harassing other passengers or vandals from leaving their tag all over a tram? Can a machine have a friendly chat to passengers who are on their way home after a hectic day at work? Can a machine help a disabled person find the correct change that the need to buy a ticket? Can a machine give directions to tourists who want to find a particular spot? No! Of course a machine cannot do all of these things. These machines can only sell tickets, and as we have seen time and again, they can’t even do that very well!


I read in the Sunday Herald Sun today of the fake apology to Aborigines over the Stolen Generation that has been circulating around the Australian Liberal Party.

“We apologise for giving you free doctors and free medical care and medications, which allows you to survive and multiply so that you can demand apologies. We apologise for giving you law and order which has helped prevent you from slaughtering one another and using the unfortunate for food purposes.

“We feel that we must apologise for building hundreds of homes for you, which you have vandalised and destroyed. ”

“We are only too happy to take back all the above and return you to the paradise of the Outback whenever you are ready.”

Sigh!!! Do the Liberals just not get it? This perhaps just shows how concerned that they really are over the concept of Aboriginal welfare. They probably thought that they were being larrikans and having a joke, but really they were being unsympathetic arseholes. Oh well, they have at least another 6 years in opposition to try to enter the 21st century and work out why Brendan Nelson and his irrelevant party are totally irrelevant.

Melbourne’s Ticket Inspectors

Posted: February 16, 2008 in Melbourne
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Yesterday a posse of ticket inspectors got onto a tram to check for tickets. As they always do, they seemed to focus most of their attention onto foreign looking passengers. This time it was a couple of young Indian guys who had come to Melbourne in January, to study at university as international students. These guys thought that they were entitled to concession tickets because they were students and because overseas students are eligible to concession tickets in all state except Victoria. Unfortunately for them, the salivating pack of ticket inspectors did not have any sympathy for the young guy’s plight, they do have a quota of fines that they have to fill out you know!

You would think that any reasonable person would give these guys a warning and make them buy the correct tickets. However, as we have seen time and time again, ticket inspectors are not usually reasonable people. All six inspectors crowded around these two guys to give them a fine and I suppose to humiliate them as much as they could. I think that the ticket inspectors just saw these two guys as an easy target.