Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Origin of the Beginning

So people occasionally refer to the English Teacher X icon thing as a "snowman" but in fact the original idea of it was to be sort of a blank slate, a featureless being.

I used to doodle these little scary faces with X-eyes and mouths sealed shut and blobby bodies with elongated limbs all the time, on bar napkins and on pieces of scrap papers at school, but the origin of the English Teacher X "icon" was in about early 2002. I'd begun my climb to being King of Vodkaberg and was hanging out with one teacher and a few of my female students at a gay bar, though in fact it was full of bisexuals and girls trying to get away from their boyfriends or husbands.

Anyway, there were three girls I was hooking up with at that time, all very different -- one was kind of rich and snobby, another was a head-banging rocker chick bisexual, the other was a sort of nice university student type. We were talking about how it might be possible that they would all like me, and I suggested that it was because my generic American good-looks and position as a teacher of English made me kind of a blank slate, a tabula rasa upon which they could imprint their own idea of the International Dream Man.

I'd been travelling for most of the 90's, and far from becoming the fulfilled, broad-minded person that legend tells us travel creates, I found that I felt like a ghost -- seen and heard occasionally, but completely lacking in substance and permanence.

I doodled the first snowman picture on a bar napkin and scribbled "English Teacher X" under it, and liked it so much I went home and drew a bunch of cartoons which the Exile didn't want so I dumped onto the Internet. . . this was mostly before blogs, so I made my own crude and primitive website. Wow, remember websites? Too quaint.

I decided that if I was a ghost, I was going to build my own haunted house.

Most of the original website poured out of me in great violent vomitous red-and-black spurts of unedited typing and hastily-cut together cartoons, between 2003 and 2005.

(In the end I think perhaps Vodkaberg itself became my haunted house. . .)

It still lingers in cached pages on the internet, but the site itself hasn't been updated or changed in years. A lot of it is badly outdated now.

So I'm going to start recycling chunks of it and sticking it up here, starting with the cartoons. (You can't see any of the illustrations on the cached pages, it seems.) You can see the most recent versions of the site on these links.

These are the first English Teacher X cartoons. . . a tachyon transmission from the year 2002. Click on them to make them a decent size.


11 comments:

D said...

Good stuff.

Mr Teacher said...

Some really good shit.

Kind of understand the blank slate thing. I guess spending too long without some form of stability or ties to anything dehumanises people in a way; hollows them out. Maybe.

Lawrence said...

I miss EnglishTeacher X.
Maybe he just got real old real quickly.
Or maybe the world changed and his industry died; we live in Zombie times; aim for the head.

Anonymous said...

english teaching is dying, and blogging is dying too, replaced by twitter and facebook. are you wrapping up the English teacher X show?

Anonymous said...

yes, bad English Teacher X! Go back to Russia and continue working for peanuts, drinking until you shit yourself, and banging girls half your age! HAve you no SPINE, man??

Jason said...

Hey Teacher X, when did you first learn Russian?

I'm in my early 20s and I'm trying to learn it. I've harboured thoughts of visiting Russia to soak it up.

English Teacher X said...

English teaching is a bad way to learn a language, because you spend all day speaking English and most of the people you will meet speak English. My Russian is about on the level of a retarded 6 year old.

Jason said...

Lol. I'm pretty sure you're exaggerating. What about in terms of comprehension though? Are you a better listener or speaker of Russian?

English Teacher X said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
English Teacher X said...

well, if you have nine years to spend, teaching English in Russia just might well make your Russian slightly better than adequate. But truthfully, most English teachers who come to learn the language end up disappointed. You'd have to make a concerted effort to find friends who didn't speak English, or who didn't want to speak English with you.

11:32 AM

dithers said...

I'd been travelling for most of the 90's, and far from becoming the fulfilled, broad-minded person that legend tells us travel creates, I found that I felt like a ghost -- seen and heard occasionally, but completely lacking in substance and permanence.=========


deep shit dood, i'm there too. beats staying at home though. thanks for the bloggage.