Monday, October 31, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody: Wayne's World

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Morning Soapbox: The re-view

Monday, I rambled about why I do reviews at all, but I had more unfocused bitching to do on the subject, but why ruin a perfectly good weekday? Welcome to Sunday Morning Soapbox.

Working on a boat, I notice that sometimes people consume media without ever processing it. I’ve had dumbasses on the boat who not only went to see Green Lantern in theaters, but also needed me to explain it to them afterwards and I--a person who has never seen that movie and likely never will--DID. It’s not that the plot was complicated or anything, it’s that this guy saw the movie and didn’t pay any attention to it; it was a series of bright lights and emotional moments that he wasn’t intellectually engaged in at all. It was a very mild hand job for his brain and after all the endorphins passed, he probably got a fucking hamburger and didn’t think of it again until the time was right for him to “me too” up in a conversation about it.

Ugh. It’s disgusting just to think about. Do not conquer stories; do not check off life experiences, declare them done, and file them away to bring up when others want it. Don’t just waste your finite seconds in a euphoric rush to waste the next few. Take your stories people; devour and digest them. Dissect and understand them. Then digest them again like you are a narrative cow.

Go hungry cows! Go!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Music: "Common People" by Pulp

I know two things about this band:
1) What the fuck was that?
2) Shatner did a cover of this. I wasn't going to link it, but, man after watching that, I just feel bad for you.
3) I feel bad for the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Next Reviews

I do The Prisoner reviews, because I want to let people know if a cultural artifact is worth checking out. I botched The Prisoner reviews (big time), but I learned a lot, which is a secondary goal here. I’ll do some broader commentary on The Prisoner once I figure out how to review the last episode, which won’t be for another month or so (sorry). After that, I’ll probably be picking up some other sub-cultural artifact to review on a weekly regular semi-regular basis. 

While it’s taken me over six months to review The Prisoner, I’d like my next project to be weekly feature that I could finish in less time than that. I could review anything, book series, webseries, comic books, TV show, movies, video game, etc., as long as whatever I could partake could give me something different to write about each week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why, reviews

I tend not to do reviews. I don’t like them. Any idiot can watch some cultural detritus and slam on a keyboard until they feel their gut responses are reflected on the page. The current era of political mouthpieces consists of blogger-quality reviewers with a small staff to editorialize their feelings into something suitable for a 24 Hour Hate that’s either much-improved or much-worsened by the commercial breaks.

But hey, let’s face it, putting out a blog five (or three. or whatever) times a week gets tricky. If I can go on a tear and pump out a massive document, I can post it in bite-sized chunks for a few weeks to come. I’m not milking it; no one wants to commit more than five minutes to anything on the internet. That’s why webcomics, You Tube, LOLcats, and short stories are the media of the internet and not novels or movies.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's the Magic: Ajani, Lucio, & Bolas

New Hotness
Alright, so Innistrad is out. Enjoy that.

This Week’s Best Thing Ever
Ajani vs Bolas is the best ever fight between a furry and a malicious magic dragon you’ve ever seen/witnessed/historically reenacted. Ajani is slippery, but powerful. Bolas is implacable and deadly. That the two decks fight in different game spaces and still manage to...grapple so well creates a feel that I just don’t get tired of.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Predator Comic: Without Context, It's All Subtext

Okay, this thing went to a somewhat dark, very graphic, very adult-in-an-immature-way place. I don't know if I'd say not okay for a working environment, but...ah, it's close enough that you should maybe look at the tags and decide whether it's something you want to do. The comic itself is PG, the commentary is decidedly not so.

As you guys know, a lot as been said recently about the portrayal of women in comics lately (Also, I super-swear I'll start talking about something else in the near future). It's been said that they aren't presented as strong characters. That they expose too much skin for the sake of titilation. That they're presented as sexual and/or submissive objects to satisfy male gaze. That they're cake icing while men do the real work.

Submitted for evidence of how this doesn't just apply to female women to please men is Predator: Deadly River[1]. It features the most crass, exploitative, and absolutely, positively for undiscriminating gay dudes portrayal of a man in any comic I've ever seen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Timewalking Archive Trap: Little-Known Facts About Dark Troopers

-DarkTroopers tie a camera into the trigger mechanism of their main gus so they can remember the faces of the Rebels they kill.

-Dark Troopers do not die; their hard drives just fill with pictures.

-Dark Troopers were originally equipped with a cluster-shot blaster with a much longer range. The Dark Troopers turned it down in favor of the current, close-range model citing the fact that they are 'people droids.'

-Contrary to popular belief, Dark Trooopers do have feelings. One feeling. Jealousy that others get to be killed by Dark Troopers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Music: "The Scientist Salarian's Song" by Mordin Solus

That's a real thing that happened between fighting evil robots and fighting even older evil robots from outside of the galaxy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Boxes Precinct, Pt 06

I may have been fully untapped when I came into the precinct the next day, but I didn’t feel like it. The last thing I wanted today was to spend my shift hunting for some rogue scarecrow. I told myself I’d find him misfiled in the Guilded Rows—snicker-snack—and solve a Crazed Goblin assault case or something.

Hung up my hat and coat, and nodded to the desk sergeant. As I proceeded to the stairs, I gave a glance at the precinct’s main dome, smiling at the dim sky beyond the windows at its peak. Past the stairs, I headed for The Marshall’s office, right across the open-air walkway and into The Sanctuary.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Response to all those things: For Reals

My view on DC isn't that they shouldn't make sexy comics or that by doing so they're just terrible people. I think such a thing would be problematic in a shared universe, but blah blah I hate share universes anyway. Most entertainment does some sexual pandering, but I can accept that for things I like because I know it sells, these people have to make money, and I generally think that the upsides balance that out to "good."

But when DC hears this controversy and responds very specifically in a way that doesn't address the narrative, but instead calls-out how that narrative is executed (albeit with some merit), it doesn't give the impression of a company that's aware of the actual controversy. If "kids could read this!" was the complaint, they would've nailed it.

If they'd said "Scott Lobdell is one of our best writers and we trust the direction he'll be taking 'Red Hood and The Outtakes' over the next few months," that would've been in the ballpark. I'd be happy with that.

Incidentally, they told everyone who might be interested in getting their 12 year old a "T" comic that "T" means tits and talk about sex, which brings up an entirely new issue that immediately makes them look bad.

DC's made an impressive number of bold and boneheaded decisions this year. In my opinion, they were getting more "bold" hits than "boneheaded" ones until this moment. I don't even mind "Red Hood and The Ouroboros" so much; it's not meant for me and the people it is meant for probably don't care about how responsibly women are portrayed in the media. It's that if DC failed to address this, it would have merely backed up a lot of the sexist image they've accumulated lately--an image that's frustrating since they're in the midst of an effort to show more, and more different, people how awesome one of my hobbies is. It's even more maddening because that effort has come at the risk of losing at least some of their fan base that kept them afloat.

Instead, they replied with this tone-deaf WTF and I'm left wonder why any intelligent person would start looking into comics--the communities, the companies, and the actual product--and see something they'd want to spend time and money on.

It reflects badly one of my hobbies, and, in some small way, on me as well. Don't get me wrong; I'm still lined up to buy some "JLI" and "Stormwatch." However, if my money's going into the same pocket that makes and markets "Red Hood and The Outfielders," then "Schism" and the rest of my "Sandman" collection are going to carry a bit more weight than Booster Gold & friends or Travis Tritt & Friends.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Response to CA's response to DC's response to this 7-year old's response to "Red Hood and The Outlaws"

Y'know what? Now that I look at that title...

Never mind.

Return to your normal lives.

Link, in case you were curious.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Weekend Music: "Best Friend" by Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

Guys, don't blame me here, sometimes I'm just a sucker for childish stuff.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Boxes Precinct, Pt 05

Around me, there were cards spaciously laid out, unlike the tightly-packed rows of The Boxes. I was on a table; I’d been Chosen, but not yet Played. The other cards were similar to me, but just different enough. I’d heard about people having dreams where they’d show up to an important event in hilarious attire, but I’d never understood it. Now, here alongside so many cards—so many of which were strictly better than me—when I didn’t even know what was wanted of me, I understood. The sun shone unwavering above us, not crouching occasionally above the boxes before darting back below the horizon. This was near to the ultimate achievement and the hope it burned within each of us—born when the designs of uncles’ ink were impressed upon our mothers cardboard: being played.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Not dead, just really, really busy.

Usually, my job affords me a little bit of downtime to fuck around on the internet or to just write up blogs so I can post them later. Lately, things have been really, really busy. Like; I'm actually working for twelve hours of a twelve hour shift (minus poops).

Anyway, I'm sorry that Monday's blog was a rough cut that was simply in the queue. I'm not going to have anything tomorrow, so enjoy Friday's "Boxes Precinct." BP and the Weekend Music should keep updating for a while (things will be officially bad when that last scheduled WM posts on New Year's day).

Things should be less busy over the next few days and I can get the ball rolling again, but y'know, it all still depends on what my work looks like.

I also want to address some rumors--probably spread by seditious jump-dolphins--that this is also due in some small part to doing bonus maps for Portal. This is untrue.

Those distinctive *twhop* sounds are all in your heads.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Oh, hey, I finished Portal

Failing to possess the willpower to wait the full cycle, I played Portal about a year after it came out, sometime after being shown its full glory.

I didn't finish it because the final only boss battle had me pressing a button to open up a furnace hatch halfway across a room, then failing to pick up a little ball and drop it into the furnace before the hatch closed again. I returned to it recently when Yahtzee got me interested in Bastion and Painkiller and I downloaded Steam again.

I played through it from the beginning and it was still a lot of fun. My steel-sieve of a memory let me rediscover all of the puzzles again from the start (except for one part of room eighteen which I had to look up the first time and still remembered), which was awesome. When I got to the final showdown, I didn't know how I was going to beat it. I mean, I couldn't beat it the first time and it's not like my reflexes are getting any better with time, right?

Especially after playing Bastion and VVVVVV, I wasn't up for more incredibly frustrating gameplay, but hey, it's all part of the adventure, right? Yeah, it turns out I can just make little portals to drop the balls into the furnace. It's right in the name. In Portal, you can press buttons and make portals, and by the time I opened the furnace, I was all out of buttons.

Anyway, it's still a great game and as a bonus it has...well, bonus maps. They're regular maps with additional difficulties (one of which required me to advance from quicksave to quicksave merely because I am a mortal and have mortal failings!). They were great. 

My favorite involved a level full of cheerfully-voiced murder-turrets. In the regular game, you act as a portal-armed monster, stalking and destroying mischievously tipping them one-by-one. In the bonus map, they're each protected with a cage that keeps you from portaling, lifting, dropping heavy things on, or *gasp* tipping them. It changes how the entire level is played and it's incredibly fun because it presents more challenges.

Anyway, if you played Portal, this is redundant because you already know how great it is. If you haven't, I'm automatically somehow better than you now because I took two weeks to beat a game that came out five years ago.

None of this keeps me from hearing the little portal-making sounds all day though.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Weekend Music: Paul Williams in The Tonight Show

I don't know what this is or anything about it except ape costume and Paul Williams.