(no subject)

Many governments and business organizations have many branches, with interests reaching into many different areas, forming an intricate web of influence.

But it seems every time some journalist decides this is a bad thing, they never go with any sort of spider analogy, and bring out the big guns, calling it an octopus.

In 1901, Frank Norris wrote The Octopus, about some farmers having their land stolen by an evil money-hungry railroad. He based the story on a dispute in California 20 years earlier, involving the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The story is an indictment of the railroads, and invokes the image of the octopus to describe the organization, with it's grasping tentacles choking and wrapping around everything, greedily taking, and not caring about anything else.

And doesn't give a second thought to the tarnished image he gave octopuses in doing so.

Roughly a century later, in the aftermath of the Inslaw scandal, a journalist named Danny Casolaro was found dead of an apparent suicide, while investigating Inslaw, and multiple other organizations, the entirety of which he termed, yet again, the octopus.

The investigation regarding his death is very convoluted, and many conspiracy theories have arisen, suggesting foul play on behalf of any number of the groups he was investigating.

And while none of these organizations has any known connections to cephalopods, the mental link has been made, and now any overly large, bureaucratic, or seemingly corrupt organization is just a matter of time from being called an octopus.

So addressing Yellow Journalism of the highest order, we at CADUCEUS, as un-ironically as possible, condemn journalists in the strongest terms possible as sensationalist scaremongers and send them to the list of shame.

And though we are by no means anti-capitalist, or anarchist, we send government and big business to the list as well, for their ongoing easy target status, and downright bad behavior in general. After all, there aren't many press conferences declaring their not being an octopus, which close with saying "but not that that would be bad!"

Rocks fall; everyone dies.

Judging by the fact that right now you're reading an entry from a livejournal community dedicated to the defense of cephalopods, it's probably pretty safe to assume you're at least some sort of nerd.

So you probably know that Gary Gygax died March 4th. And even if not, you've probably run into some of the headlines about it, because it's been a free for all.

He is regarded as the co-creator of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. In this game, you roll dice, and argue, while one of your friends, a bigger nerd than you, judging by the fact he has more rule books, tries to kill your characters, while you try to weasel out of it with teamwork amongst the characters until everyone is frustrated, and the DM throws out a TPK.

But as fun as this sounds, there were some problems with the game. Not just the literally millions of pages of rules written to dictate every single action, but this:

This is an Illithid, or Mind Flayer
, as they are known.

It is a fearsome psionic humanoid octopus-esque headed thing. If your adventuring party is doing particularly well, it probably means you're about to meet one of these, and that's when you'll realize you can't fight creatures with psionic powers, and all those special dice you have won't get you out of this one.

Your one hope against them seems to be not having much to offer for flaying, as this comic would seem to indicate.

This is a strip from the webcomic The Order of The Stick, which is based in the D&D universe. Written by Rich Burlew, it is a very funny, entertaining comic which often makes fun of the many strange conventions of D&D, but you need not know anything about the game to enjoy the comic.

Although it also has several issues to address.

It has several Flumphs
as recurring characters, but only as comic relief.

This is somewhat in keeping with the actual game, as these creatures are generally considered utterly ridiculous. And while a case could be made that it is more jellyfishlike than cephalopoedic, those deranged few who actually prefer the jellys to the cephs, will probably wring their bony hands and cackle at the 'squids' misfortune.

And later on in the strip, an octopus is summoned to attack the good guys.

Devil horns and all. Many D&D players cherish their summoning abilities, but it seems the only times cephalopods show up, it's always on the bad guy's team.

We here at CADUCEUS all will miss Gary. He gave us something to do, while we were hiding from the sun, and the bullies who teased us in gym class. He helped create a world we could travel to, where things were much worse, but we could still overcome them. Giving us hope that perhaps we could overcome the problems we faced in real life. Until the bullies stole our lunch money the next day, and we retreated further from society. Into his waiting arms. Thanks, Gary.

But we can't condone the common usage of characters resembling or actually being cephalopods as evil or dangerous characters.

And as for OOTS, we are all faithful readers, and recommend that you, faithful reader, become one as well. But the comic as well, has things to answer for.

So even though we maintain shrines to both, we send them to the list of shame. At least until they re-roll characters with good alignments.

Kain na! means 'Let's eat!'

Today, we are doing something a bit different. We have a truly massive backlog of anti-cephalopod propaganda to address, but we also want to encourage righteous portrayals whenever we find them.

So we point you to the webcomic collective known as The Chemistry Set, and specifically, a member thereof, Kare-Kare Kom!cs.

This strip is created by an artist and writer from the Phillipines, andrewdrilon, using many different art styles, all equally effectively, with very honest, well-written stories, ranging from the serene to the macabre, all with a fine sense of wonder to them.

This one, in particular:

A wonderful, touching story of survival, family and friendship, this is a modern day retelling of The Incredible Journey, but also including a giant squid as one of the intrepid wanderers.

While another of the stories does feature an arguement involving some name calling, in which squid and cephalopods are invoked, we can only conclude that the overall moral of the story goes to show that this sort of behavior is bad. And the whole thing is very Seussian to begin with.

So for the overall positive portrayal of cephalopods, we happily bestow upon Kare-Kare Kom!cs the first of hopefully many Orders of Knight Defender of the Hydrostat, in honor of his good work, and wish him all the best of luck in the future.

We here at CADUCEUS strongly urge you to go read the story, and all the author's work. And while you're there, check out some more of what The Chemistry Set has to offer. And leave a nice comment, or two.

(no subject)

It's been a busy week here at CADUCEUS, with all the media attention of Henry the Hexapus.

And judging by the wikipedia article, it seems we have some unfinished business with a film called It Came From Beneath The Sea.

But that will have to wait. Today, we're going to talk about the future, by way of the past. ...Well, the past, as seen by the further past. Ish.

1994 was a magazine by Warren Publishing, the same company known for Eerie, Creepy, and the long-running smutfest known as Vampirella. We'll be coming to each of those known offenders of the virtue of cephalopods in time, but for now, one step at a time.

The magazine seems to have started out as '1984', in the year 1978, but apparently desperate for ratings, and trying to draw school students leery of getting tricked into reading more Orwell, they changed the name to '1994'.

And with that change, they needed new subject matter.
Bring on the tentacles.

Their idea of 14 years into the future seems a bit extreme, by even the standards of a 14-year-old. They really thought the world would be a swamp wasteland of pirates and slimy, crawly, slithering gropies?

Usually, that takes at least a century from the present. These guys at Warren must have been on a tight schedule.

They must have still thought the Rolling Stones were gonna be around, though, or maybe that girl was a time traveller, or something. Or a groupie. Meeting a gropie. Groped groupie. Groupie-groping gropie.

...sorry. Where were we?

In each case, the women seem to have been offered, as somewhat of a sacrifice to the tentacles, and the creatures at the end of them, so maybe these are stories about the caring pet-owner relationship, and the lengths you have to go to when you want to get the proper food for your pet.

But that is highly unlikely, and regardless, these pictures are meant to strike fear into the hearts and loins of every "pretty little girl" with the threat of "terrible things".

Which might exclude Rolling Stones groupies on more than one count, but nevermind.

So for that, while it gives us at CADUCEUS, *ahem*, no satisfaction, we send 1994 to the list of shame. Hopefully, for the last time.

23 = 2+3 = 5 + 8 tentacles = 13 = PROOF!

It is said that love of money is the root of all evil. Pretty much only poor people say that about rich people, but that's the way it goes. Like that whole "you're rich if you have friends" schtick. Only poor people say that one, too.

Anyway, to the point of the matter. You might never have taken a close look, but there's actually two squids on every dollar bill!

See one yet?

How about now?

Still nothing?

Hopefully, we're all on the same page now.

And as you look at the picture, you see a bunch of arrows the eagle is holding, pointing at the squid, almost like the squid is attacking the eagle, and the eagle is fighting the squid.
And on the other end, you've got that Mason eye on the pyramid, and the whole 'New World Order' thing, and all these conspiracy theories, and a squid wrapped around that. Invisible hand? Or 8 invisible arms and two tentacles?

So we've got legal tender of the United States, and the implication that squid are actually the shadow government controlling the Bavarian Illuminati, the Bilderburg Group, the Trilateral Commission, probably the Skull and Bones Order, as well, while at the same time, they are shown as enemies of the same United States, and eagles, apparently.

Just wait until David Icke hears about this craziness. But until that time, we at CADUCEUS place money, and conspiracy theories on the list of those unfriendly to cephalopods. And eagles.

Now please stop tracing our URL.

I know it when I see it

For many, fantasy art is just a thin attempt at passing off pornography. And for the many who enjoy fantasy art and/or pornography, they don't really care.

Among the myriads of artists, two are especially known for scantily clad women, muscular men, and terrifying monsters that threaten/are threatened by them. And a third for mainly just terrifying monsters.

Boris Vallejo hails from Peru. He has done fantasy art for Conan books, Tarzan books, heavy metal band albums, and pretty much anything else that has ever held some sort of weapon. He often teams up with his wife and fellow fantasy painter, Julie Bell.

And here's what looks like a cephalopod getting shanked by a merman.

Oh, look, one attacking some sort of underwater spaceship. Shades of Sphere, so we're not too worried about that.

Sensing a trend.

Doesn't really portray our multi-armed friends in a negative light, but we can't condone the overt sexualization.

Hey, here's some good news. Finally, someone willing to take a stand and point out who the real dangerous aquatic betentacled beasties are. Jellyfish are known and feared on every sea coast they afflict, and apparently in outer space, as well, but nobody seems to take the time to show them as dangerous, even though they aggressively hunt down and strike possibly hundreds of people each year, with many known deaths.

Not that this fully redeems Vallejo. After all, in Sphere, some jellyfish attacked somebody, but so did a squid, and we're not gonna get into an arguement about redeeming that movie.

On the whole, however, these pictures aren't all that overtly demeaning to cephalopods, and when you look at the huge amount of work Vallejo put out over the years, and with all the opportunities he had to villify squid and octopi, he really wasn't all that bad of an offender. But, bad is bad, and one picture is bad enough.

Moving on, we come to Frank Frazetta.

Known, much like Vallejo, for covers of Conan, as well as many other sword and sorcery titles, and heavy metal albums, and movie posters, he is another legend in the field.

And, also like Vallejo, browsing through his huge body of work, you won't find many examples of anti-cephalopod propaganda, but there are some examples.

We're not saying these men aren't amazing artists, or that you can't like their art. We're all big fans here at CADUCEUS.

But this sort of thing is rather uncalled for. Not that with dressing like that, she didn't have it coming, but still.
He doesn't leave our imaginations a choice, as to what's about to happen.

Made famous, or infamous, by the Alien franschise, H.R. Giger has been painting the nightmares people have been having for decades.

Usually in black and white, with dirty brownish tones, his paintings and sculptures are vaguely bio-mechanical. And though none of his galleries seem to have any pictures of cephalopods in them, his paintings give many people a 'feel' of a cephalopod.

We can't condemn him because of what people believe, but do feel that he is playing off of peoples' already entrenched fear and misunderstanding of these noble creatures. Using their essence, so to speak, if not their image.

In closing, we here at CADUCEUS endorse all these great artists, but must complain that they have all slipped on occasion. But even so, keep up the good work, gentlemen.

Especially painting more pictures of evil jellyfish. That will definitely go a long way toward getting you off the list O' shame. But for now, you're all on notice. Yes, even jellyfish.

Especially jellyfish.

You call that murder?!

Published in 1870, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, is known to this day as a masterpiece of speculative fiction that created steam punk back when things were actually steam driven, advocated vigilante justice for the greater good back when a lot less of this was advocated, confused generations as to what the heck a 'league' was (distance, not depth. It's about 3 miles.), and cemented in the minds of millions a deep fear and hatred of squid.
The story is more or less about Captain Nemo, who is mostly a man of science who tries to get along with the sea and it's creatures.
Hmm... sounds like... Ah! Damn these squid and their charades playing prowess!
Until he steers his submarine right past their known breeding ground, disturbing them and provoking a fight, at which point, he surfaces the sub, and the crew hack several to bits.

The squid do their best to defend themselves.
Hey! You're the one that blamed me for crashing your boat! I gots plans for you, friend.
But are eventually dispatched by the combined hatred of sailors and their ignorance.

The book later went on to become a well known movie made by the Walt Disney company.

Note at 3:01 in the trailer, as the Narrator is talking about "strange creatures that menace the intruders" an octopus is shown. Strange menacing creature? Shame, Disney.

Then at 3:38, the mere mention of octopus is enough to cause the otherwise stalwart Ned Land to upchuck in his lap. Impressionable children were subjected to this propaganda! To this day, many have the same reaction, because of these vile lies!

To it's credit, the film did well to showcase the power and awe inspiring presence of the giant squid, even being awarded an Oscar for special effects.

But, sadly, who gets top billing? A bunch of humans. There's a picture of something down there, but not much mention of the real star of the show.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was also quoted in the book and movie Sphere as the source of one of the character's lifelong fear of squid, which is eventually turned against his colleagues. So for the five of you that saw that, there's some more squid hatin' for ya.

We here at CADUCEUS appreciate Jules Vernes, and his imaginitive legacy, and in no way discourage readers from his work. But we cannot condone presenting squid as violent, dangerous, "strange, menacing creatures" worthy of being mentioned in horrid movies like Sphere. So for all the good that he did, much like his own Captain Nemo, he is also to be condemned, and is hereby sent to the list of shame, along with the Walt Disney company, and Michael Crichton, who is there mostly just for having anything to do with the movie Sphere, but he did write the book, and used the fear of squid in a negative light. So that's also kinda bad. To the list with all of you!

(no subject)

Everyone loves movies. They all have the kinds of movies they like, and don't like. They might not like many, but there's nobody that doesn't like at least some movies. Nobody agrees on what movies they love, but everyone agrees on the movies they hate.

Movies made by Uwe Boll.

Uwe Boll is a German filmmaker, who makes movies based on video games. According to critics, his chosen genre is more reminiscent of 'disaster', as are the results. But however bad his movies, it's often said that he genuinely knows a lot about movies and really likes them.

But try this. Get a gun, and hold it to someone's head, and force them to watch an Uwe Boll movie. That's pretty much the only way it's gonna happen. Now, instead of having them watch the movie thinking this guy likes movies, and video games, and stuff, imagine that he hates them.

Imagine he hates video games, and hates movies, and hates people who play video games, and hates people who watch movies, and hates people in general.

It suddenly makes perfect sense. Amazing! Yet still terrifying.

And now, to the heart of the matter, a shocking change of pace! We're not here to talk about Uwe Boll, the blight of the silver screen.

Comic book fans, turn away now. We're gonna talk about him.


Rob Liefeld likes drawing pouches and guns. Not so much feet. He's known for always trying to hide the feet.

His characters tend to have muscle where not even God dared to put muscle, they have more teeth than the Osmond family, and carry so many pouches, they have the cargo capacity of an oil tanker. Click this paragraph for a nice rundown of his crimes against humanity.

Now why, you ask, are we talking about this? Observe:

None of the people in Rob Liefeld's universe have backbones. They are all invertebrates. That's the only possible explanation. And he hates them. Also, the only choice he gives us.

Occam's razor states that the simplest solution is usually correct, as opposed to the more complex solutions.

Look at some of the drawings Liefeld has made. Now, apply the Uwe Boll filter. Liefeld hates comics. He hates people who read comics. He hates women, and men, and drawing, and everything.

And especially invertebrates. Cephalopods are invertebrates. And yes, Rob Liefeld hates cephalopods, too.

Here's two now. Wow, that's a lot of hair. And not a backbone in sight.

Rob Liefeld, shame.
And just to be on the safe side, we're gonna go ahead and put Uwe Boll on there, as well. It's really only a matter of time before he gets around to throwing some killer octosquid in one of his 'movies'. For all we know, he already has.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

The original Star Wars trilogy is regarded by many geeks, and many people in general, as three of the greatest movies of all time. IMDB.com currently ranks them as 11, 8, and 108, respectively.

However, even with a masterpiece of this caliber, there are several issues that need to be addressed.

This is Admiral Ackbar, supreme commander of the Rebellion fleets.
He is portrayed in the Star Wars universe as a tactical and strategic genius, responsible for many victories in battle against the Empire, and foes additional. As well as being a Mon Calamari, an aquatic race resembling an Earth Octopus. In Star wars canon, they are basically good guys.

But then, there's this. It's a trap! It's a trap! It's a trap!
Somehow, this line, spoken during the battle of Endor, became a catchphrase, and successively a meme, and from there it just went everywhere faster than the Millenium Falcon doing the Kessel run in 12 parsecs. Even though a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Stupid Lucas.

Anyway, these days, many websites forbid posting even pictures of Admiral Ackbar, much like the O Rly owl. This deprives the great leader, and quasi-cephalopod, the fame he rightly deserves.

The fault for this, through a long and torturous route, must fall on George Lucas. The same man who thought Chewbacca swinging toward an AT-ST just wasn't complete without a Tarzan yell, and the man who abandoned the franchise when some TV execs payed him to look the other way while they filmed the dreaded Holiday Special.

Moving on, another aquatic race, from the same planet as the Mon Cals, the Quarren.

In Star Wars canon, they are portrayed as xenophobic, and somewhat prone to backstabbing and treachery.

Here's one now, getting gunned down ruthlessly. Also, he happened to be a Sith Lord, and Oppressor of the Galaxy. You're pushing it, Lucas.

Moving on, we have the Sarlacc.

Basically a giant upside-down squid that lives in the sand, and eats people who fall or are dropped into it. Final resting place of Boba Fett, unless you believe whichever book it was where they had him escape. But since Boba Fett is the most over-rated character ever, there he lies. Good job, Sarlacc.

In closing, though we here at CADUCEUS are all loyal fans, Holiday special notwithstanding, this sub-par treatment of characters resembling cephalopods cannot be overlooked, and thus, we condemn Star Wars to our list of shame, where it "will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a thousand years."

(no subject)

Anyone alive in the early 2000's has probably heard of SpongeBob SquarePants. The most popular show on Nickelodeon, it follows the (mis)adventures of SpongeBob and his undersea friends.

And a vile, hateful comic foil named Squidward.

As you can see, Squidward has only 6 tentacles, indicitive of some species of octopus, rather than the 10 usually seen on squid. Strike one against the show, created by a marine biologist.

He is also portrayed as irritable, sarcastic, and openly derisive of his neighbors SpongeBob and Patrick. He works for a crab. Strike two, Mr. You-should-know-squid-eat-crabs Hillenburg.

He has a very high opinion of himself, fashioning himself as a great artist and player of the clarinet. But neither are true, as most of the characters have a very low opinion of his talents.

Basically, the show features a clumsy, non-talented, non-good natured, non-crab eating entity, that is being passed off as a squid, or possibly an octopus.

To the credit of the show, Spongebob and Patrick both like Squidward despite his open hostility toward them, so hopefully some children won't be fully indocrinated into the culture of hate geared toward fear and distrust of cephalopods. But this is mostly due to the character's low intelligence and ignorance, and inviting Squidward to go do things he doesn't like doing doesn't redeem the show.

And for that, strike three.