Saturday, December 25, 2010

It Is Apparently Christmas

That is all I am going to say about that. I am at work, no one else is here, and I am just waiting for dishes to come back so I can do them and go home. I have to be here at 6:30 tomarrow. I volunteered for this as it was strictly optional but I have grown to like working the morning shift on Sundays. There is this certain blissful liberating feeling of looking out over the dish area, seeing that it looks compleatly like shit and just walking away without a care in the world. I like that. Granted it messes up my sleep schedual something fierce and I usually end up passing out at around 5 and waking up at 9 or so but meh it is okay.

I don't really have anything to say though. So you can stop reading here. I was going to compare the evolution of the pokemon series to the evolution of mmos, paticularly how polish and quality of life improvements always seem to accompany a lack of in game challenges. However, spending any amount of time on a game that has a flaming poop monkey just seems like something that isn't going to happen. Also I am not fucking joking about the flaming poop monkey that shit is real. For anyone who is curious the new pokemon game is really good and well worth picking up when it comes out over here. I like it!

I watched the whole first season of Boardwalk Empire over the course of two days. What a good show. I am not so sure I want to see the downfall of Nookie Thomson but whatever, I'll get over it. If he does go down compleatly, and I don't see how he can't at this point, I wonder if they are going to continue on with the show or just move on. The prohibition officer is definitly one of my favorite charecters of all time and he is just as terrifying as the priest from Carnival. In fact should they ever decide to reboot or recontinue that series I would demand that casting change to be met. He is born for that role and the just stuck him in Boardwalk Empire instead, how weird!

Skippy Dies is something that I am more than half way through with. It is strange because other than the death of skippy I litterally have no fucking clue what the hell is going to happen next in that book. I mean I have some general ideas but not a whole lot. I would like to reiderate that this would be an increadbily fun book to write papers on or about. Hell the book itself is a great deal of fun and it manages to hit really close to home with me but without pushing a whole lot of buttons or setting me off. That is pretty impressive too because I can be rather volitile this time of year. It is an impressivly fun book and I am still glad it is happening to me.

Oh and I saw Black Swan! And my goodness was that ever worth seeing. That movie is a mindfuck in a half! Great fun all around. Go see it. The other day someone actually complained that the smurf movie being set in new york city was lazy storytelling and of low intelectually value. At that point I wanted to reach through the internet, bitchsmack the person a dozen times while yelling it is the mother fucking smurfs they excist to sell fucking toys. Shut up shut up shut up. However it was around christmas so I decided not to. Tomarrow though if it is still bothering me I will go and make my displeasure about that paticular comment known.

Hrm I am almost out of time, I am not sure what else to say. This year was a pretty mixed back. When you tally up all the good and bad they pretty much equal out. However, when it is all said and done the year as a whole was pretty sedate. Not complaining, life is a turbulant place and there were some definite upheavals but there were also long moments of relaxation and joy. I am very lucky to have the friends I do. We went to see Black Swan! That makes them>you.

Kk I am going to go labor for love now.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movie Time with Mike! For Real Now!!

Okay well that was a hell of a distraction. Back to the butter tarts. MOVIE TIME WITH MIKE!

So recently I threw a movie night of one and it was amazing! I loved my movies very very much. It ended up being dragged out a couple of days but there will certainly be spoilers but I don't plan on screening anything I watched at Anime club so that's that then.

Ip Man2: I both liked the sequal more than the first more and I didn't like the sequal as much at the originial. The original has hands down better action sequences. This is subjective and it is easy to disagree with me here but hey my opinion go! The reason I say this is that Ip Man had believable fight scenes. I looked at them all and I belived that a person could do all of those things with a life time of training and dedication. The sequal's mass fight scene just didn't really resonate with me. I mean sure it was badass, and super cool don't get me wrong but it started to feel a little bit to scripted. Like there was a director getting people to all make sure the two protagonists win. However, I will say that the table fight scene was truely bad ass.

HOWEVER, storywise Ip Man2 wins out hands down and it does something I didn't expect at all. It demythologises martial arts. I guess this is something that most people who practice martial arts knows but this movie showed that a man tained to take punches, made of muscle, and who is just plain bigger can be hard to take down even if you are a kung fu master. Wa? Okay well things happen and the two bad ass kung fu masters in the city, Ip Man and someone else face off againt a boxer. You know boxing? Back in the day it used to be a major sport that everyone liked. Anyway, the other guy dies, and Ip Man only just barely manages to beat him. It is interesting though, I mean it is a point that is brought up in the Tony Jaa movies The Protector and Ong Bak. However, in a chinese movie showing off how bad ass martial arts is, it seems weird that their golden boy would get his ass kicked royally. The movie ends with Ip Man hoping that there will be a greater degree of respect and communication between China and the west.

DIVERSION! The Chinese movies that end up over here are really weird. I am not talking about the festivle scene cause that is its own thing. However, Ip Man and Ip Man2 are very chinese movies that can be really difficult to understand without knowing a little bit of chinese history, especially just before, during, and after WW2. In fact I have no fucking clue what the opening montage of Ip Man 2 meant. I am sure I would if I knew a little bit more about what happened to china during the war but I don't. We are the west we don't talk about china. Like why there hell were there so many british people in Hong Kong, and why were so many of the running the police departments and what the hell was going on. A lot of stuff I had to just take and run with however it doesn't stop there, I mean look at Red Cliff. Uneditied RedCliff is well over 3 hours. While western audiences were afflicted with a brutalized horribly edited version of the movie that I acidently screened at Anime club it is still something that is MASSIVELY culturally specific to china. I mean just the battles, the way the battles were conducted, and the way the action played out. I don't know a lot about Chinese culture but basically everything I didn't really understand I realized was prolly something pretty culturally specific to china. I am good at rolling with the punches though so it worked out. Then there is Hero. The ending of Hero is one of those distinctly unamerican ideas. America likes to believe that we all matter and that every one of us is special and that our government looks at all of us and sees us all. Don't beleive me? Go watch Saving Private Ryan. However, Hero dies at the behest of the masses. I found the scene to be absolutly chilling but the movie treated this as standard operating proceedure and they still buried him as a hero even though they killed him ded. I have no idea how people chose what chinese movies get brought over here but I amazed at thier cultural specificity especially considering how wide their release is.

Moving on!

Foreign Duck, Native Duck, and God in a Coin Locker: What a neat little movie. First it is a movie that highlights the generally prejudiced attitude that the Japanese have twords forgieners which makes them basically like everywhere else. I mean that's fair really. I actually don't have very much to say about this movie other than the fact it was awesome. It is also one of those things that really highlights how weird the pacing in Japanese movies are compared to their western counterparts. The movie meanders, it retells events from different perspectives, and it takes its time building a relitivly small picture. Like I could reedit the movie into a 45 minut piece that just pretty much tells the story straight through. However, it doesn't really capture the budding friendship or just the increadible sadness that is at the core of the movie.

For all intents and purposes the stakes of the movie are incredibly small and yet the charecter's treat them as monumental. Basically it is about a group of friends encounting a group of people who are mutilating and killing animals, conflict ensures, there are fatalities on both sides, and then the movie wraps up. When you total the body count at the end of the movie I found myself wondering if it was all worth it. The movie sells its point really well though and I like I said earlier I love it. Go see it you will be sad but satisfied.

Dinner Rush: The crown jewl of my movie night has to be Dinner Rush. I first heard of the movie through a preview for another movie. I tried to find it but I couldn't. Shamefully the movie rides the crack between an indie release and a minor release. I am pretty sure it went staight to DVD and while the cast is increadibly talented it lacks any of the STAR quality that makes people wanna go out and see things. This is miserably sad because the movie is increadible. I am actually not going to talk to much about it because the movie itself is worth the journey. See I am not one of those, "Oh noes I know the end of the movie I can't see it because it is all ruined now. I think that is a bunch of bullshit. Movies, media in general for me is about the journey. It is about absorbing the whole package. I mean even if I were to tell you point by point what happens in Forgien Duck you'd miss the meaning because it is the way the story is told that makes the movie not the actual events. Dinner Rush isn't like that though. It is one of the very few movies that is impossible to predict. I follows no known plotting or rhythm. It got to the point where when the movie ended all I could say was, "Huh well I saw none of anything that happened in that movie coming". The setting of the movie is pretty much a charecter in of itself and it is the main vehicle which is used to drive the movie fowards. The entire thing takes place in a high end italian resutrant that is owned by two old school mobsters that are going straight, durng the dinner rush on a tuesday night. As a result you have mafia types, art dealers, food critics, and all sorts of other things rushing around demanding attension and eating lavish amounts of truely delicious looking food. We get a look at the poor harried waitstaff, the frantic action within the kitchen, and the blissfully unaware customers who just want their food and the atension of their waiter. The movie is literally a bitz of action that crashes home into a satisfying conclusion that leaves you satisfied but more than a little bit hungry. It is great fun and it leaves all sorts of little details eveywhere that you can pick up on later if you are quick. Go see it.

Lastly Air Doll. Air Doll happened a day or two later because of a burning acident. Anyway Air Doll is quite literally the happiest sad movie of all time. Like now that it has happened to me, and oh god did it ever burn, I think I might just turn it off at a certain point and pretend that the real ending doesn't happen. I mean there as sad endings and then there is this movie. Jesus christ that movie just burns. 80% of the movie is watching the main charecter movie around and being the cutest thing in the universe. I mean we are talking Amilie levels of cuteness.

Erm right. So the movie is about a blow up sex doll who for no real reason comes to life one day. She is imbuned with a heard that allows her to think, feel, and move of course. She finds the world to be an absolutly wonderous place, fascinated by glass bottles, chintzy rings, and sounds. Oh there is this one scene where she runs her umbrella along a row of dvds and she looks so absolutly pleased with herself. Oh and one of the most adorable scenes ever is when she is blowing herself up using a foot pump. It actually struck me dumb. Randomly she gets a job in a dvd store and moar cuteness ensues. By the way the dvd store makes this movie a movie lovers dream. Some of the movies the owner mentions are japanese but because I watch to many movies I've heard of most of them, the rest are american and genuinely good choices. One guy asked for a movie featuring a dirty cop, like the absolute worst sort of guy. Now at this point I am on the edge of my seat because I am hoping he is going to spit out a Japanese title. I love movies about dirty cops they have a special place in my heart and they are relativly rare. Nope instead he spits out the title Bad Lieutenant which is a fantastic choice and it really is Harvy Keitel at his worst. Well done little asian dude, well done.

Anyway about 80% through the movie it decides that it is time to start ending. So it does it in the most bone crushingly sad way possible and then it is over. I nearly cried. Still well worth the dig. SEE IT.

Okay I am now really tired of writting so this blog post is now over.

Movie Time with Mike!

I've realized that actually have no idea when Christmas is, I don't really care either because Christmas is one of those face punching holidays but holy fucking shit I sincerely thought it was next week. I don't know why I thought that but there is literally every car ever on the road and while I only planned to run by TBS looks like I am setting up shop here until I feel like leaving. This is okay for me, for one they have Sweet Tooth 2! Which is something I want very much greatly and I wouldn't of known about otherwise. They also have free WIFI and I have sunkist so everything is pretty groovy for now. We'll see how things go from there. I am hoping that in an hour or two I'll be able to leave. I am feeling productive today and I wanted to convert one of my long boxes into a minature carrying case. Pack some foam in it then use carboard as dividers I think it will work really well, this is paticularly true considering the fact that I am going to end up with several 50mm based figures. So there is that.

I suppose I could do that here, but that is something I'd want to do on my own so I can do my own thing. I was considering getting a fancy briefcase carrying case thingy but after the great criminal enterprise I decided against it, mostly because I no longer have enough minis to make it worth while.

So I guess I will just move the movies post to the next one. ANYWAY. I decided that my next two crews will be Seamus and McMourning. See by rebuying my Seamus stuff I'll have a bunch of stuff I can use with McMourning until I get around to actually buying all the stupid little dogs and everything for him. I also need Waldigists for Lilith but that will come later if ever. I would make people come down to TBS and play with me but it is already close to 2:30 and there is lots I want to do today so we will hold off on that. The biggest problem we have is finding a place to play. I'll be glad when the commons are back open and we can continue to play there.

You know it is weird how few people play McMourning in Malifaux. I mean he is a freaking mad scientist with zombie dogs, his stat line lets him pretty much decimate every charecter in the game just so long as no one hits him, and he can heal regularly without soulstones. What is not to love? I am excited about getting him. He can whip about the battlefield doing his thing. I am actually going to exparament running him without zombie dogs. I mean you can run Leviticus without abombinations, so I assume you can do the same with McMourning I mean there are just pretty much there for speed bumps anyway. I can do the same thing more effectivly with necropunks, necropunks look cooler too.

Alright well I am going to move on to movies now.


So I have a to-go box full of lasagna. I am really excited about this. I mean you have no idea. Today when I woke up I didn’t say I wanted lasangna but man oh man when I saw it in the pans at work an unspoken, ancient desire was awoken in me and the craving hit. Much like the way zombies crave flesh but better because I had lasagna. I wonder if I could use the VPN network to get around paying for WIFI at Books a Million? I don’t know I also don’t feel like installing it on my baby laptop so there is a mystery that will remain a mystery. I would renew my card but they stopped sending me coupons to my email and that pisses me off. Those coupons made it so that it was cheaper for me to order stuff from BAM than Amazon, and that is pretty amazing when you consider amazon’s prices. Alas though they stopped sending my coupons and Barns and Nobles has increased their perks. I mean holy shit free expedited shipping and 20% off hardcovers. The 20% off is important to me because a lof of the new comics book releases I buy are hard cover and amazingly the 20% applies to them. So yay!

I am tired of that topic though and I want to start a new one. I came here with firm intensions of writing about the movies I’ve seen recently because they are amazing. Some of them were very very sad like Air Doll and some of them were totally unexpected like Dinner Rush. I am glad all of them went into my eyes though. Unfortunatly as I sat down and prepared to write it hit me, I realized that I was really tired. Right now it feels like I am thinking through sludge so I will hold off yet again to write about my movies. This saddens me a little bit and I was hoping the Sunkist I’ve been sipping on would wake me up but unfortunately it is failing me. No matter I shall bravely trudge on writing happily about nothing.

I don’t know if anyone is going to read this but if you do have you ever writing about nothing? It is very relaxing and it is something I generally enjoy doing. The tyranny of specific topics is one of those things that I refuse to live under and instead, every once in awhile I like to just have a free range blog post. To write for no other reason than it is pleasant to do so. In a way it is a little bit like talking to yourself but for some reason this goes smoother and much more naturally. I think it is because no matter how uninhibited you become at talking to yourself there is a certain unnatural degree that taints the dialogue. It is something that I can hear in my writing and it saddens me because, blessedly, my life is full of witty dialouge but I can’t seem to transcribe the epicness of my life onto paper. I wonder why that is? Dialouge has ALWAYS been something I’ve been uncomfortable with. Ever since I was in the 4th grade and we had to write a scary story pop up book for holoween. It just seemed so much easier to summerize what the conversation entailed rather than to write out the conversation itself. I think I am going to try this again when I go back to the nano novel which I hope is soon. I expected to write more this month I really did, but I got wrapped up in catching up with magazines, reading novels, and City of Heroes. Now I am falling into a more comfortable groove I sincerely hope that I will go back to putting the pen to some paper.

Actually tomorrow. Tomorrow I will definitely do that. It will be lots of fun.

Speaking of fun I got impatient without a novel to read and so while I was waiting for the rest of my James Ellroy quartet I picked up Skippy Dies. Yes while waiting less than a week for some things to come in the mail I bought at 500+ page book. Whatever, it was that or some 1000+ page monstrosity that I can’t remember the name of but I want very badly. I really wish I remember who said this but one time a creative writing or English teacher said to me that any book over 200+ is bad because the author couldn’t make it any shorter. This struck me as a profoundly stupid assertion. It still strikes me as one, and yet I can almost see her point but not really. Oddly enough a lot of bestsellers are well over the 600 page mark, Tom Clancy, Mr. King both immediately spring to mind. I think he was making a point about accedemic worth or something like that, and to that end he does make an interesting observation. A lot of the Pulitzer prize winners, and small acedemic press novels do tend to be on the shorter, under 300 pages, side. I am glad this is starting to change, Skippy Dies is more than certainly worthy of writing more than a few papers and giving a couple of lectures on. Just drawing the parelles between Howard the Coward and Skippy gives you all sorts of textual toys to work with and I am only 200 pages in. The Kindly Ones is an 800 page epic that doesn’t fucking use paragraphs. Jesus that was one hell of a read though. And that book would be an absolute pleasure to write about, there is so much in it that there are any number of places you can go with it. I mean just the subject matter alone, a hightly educated gay Nazi officer who oversaw several acts of genocide is just incredible. So much happened in that book and so much of it is worth writing about. Man I think I am going to reread that sometime soon. That book is really a nerd heaven. The main character is a naturally curious sort so when he bumps into a linguist we are treated to five pages of the linguist talking about how the unique geograpic challenges presented by this one area made it so that there are something like 5 different languages isolated in this one 10 mile area. It is called the mountain of languages. It is really neat! I remember that scene so clearly because so many of the reviews I read bitched about that moment which I find to be unforunate. I wish I had the moxie for linguistics. That shit is the mathematics of language and it gets intense! I don’t though. I do have a TTC lecure on it though which I am dying to get into more. Right now I am plowing through the ecconimics stuff which has been pleasantly illuminating. For one it allowed me to figure out how internet pornography excists. I wanna go in that but that necessitates a paragraph change so here we go.

Welcome to your new paragraph! This one is going to be about how internet pornography excists. It is also about the general decline in the quality of pornography after the 1970’s when it became legal. If you haven’t done it, do it now. Poke around the internet and look at some porn,, will get you started. Dreadful stuff isn’t it. I wonder if anyone actually finds the closeup shot of the penis endlessly pumping into the vagina to be attractive. I hope so because they tend to dominate internet porn. Or BDSM stuff, I mean once they get tied on one of 6 things happen and then it is over. The quality is low, the sets are terrible, and the camera work would make any number of film students weep. See the thing is though is that this is something that percists throughout pornography. Even some of the more high quality professional non internet stuff still suffers from ridiculous props and those aweful extream closeup scenes. No one needs to see the razor burn on your vag kthnksbai. So now that the scene is set I can actually get around to point making. See ecconimics dictates that when there is competition in a market, and there is LOTS of competition in pornography, a better product will result. People will make shinier things in order to pull ahead of their peers. And yet with pornography, particularly internet pornography this isn’t the case. Crappy videos precist, and the quality remains low, WHY? I want better porn damnit. The answer is because pornography is in a state of perfect competition or rather near perfect competition. Perfect competition is the direct opposite of a monopoly. Hey I am waking up! WOO! So where a monopoly prevents any sort of competition perfect competition perfect competition means that anyone can enter the market and we all know that is true. I mean anyone with a droid, a willing partner, and a basic knowledge of web design can make a porno, hell amature stuff actually goes really well so I mean you already have a leg up on some of the more professional stuff. However, since everyone can participate that means the margins end up low, companies come and go, and it is hard to produce any sort of brand loyalty or market presecene. So companies tend to not stick around for very long, 5, maybe 10 years from now Bang Bros, and Brazzers will no longer excist and they will be over taken by new companies that will provide the same basic service. Now there is one final piece of the puzzle because the price of porn is still pretty much through the roof, when it shouldn’t be, especially considering how easy it is to get it legally free. I think it has to do with the sin factor. Somehow it manages to keep the air of scarcity when in fact it is indeed everywhere and it is more or less the same quality anywhere you go. Which is fascinating to me.

Anyway I am going to go eat my lasangna, read skippy dies, and enjoy my evening. TA!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Paradime Shift mebby?

I was going to do a movie night round up but I don't think I am going to have time to give Forgien Duck the space it deserves and it really does deserve a lot of space. I also want to gush about Dinner Rush. You know it is a good night of movie watching when Ip Man two is the lowest point of the evening. But that is how things go. Anyway! A thought occured to me midway though the second movie that other people would of enjoyed doing this with me. Movie night with me can be pretty intense. Every once in awhile I will just go off the deep end and watch stuff like I Stand Alone and Irreversable. Okay actually I am not sure I ever want to see Irreversable again, and if I do I want it to be on a big fuck off screen so I can get the full effect of the nausea. Yes the nausea the movie is desighned to make you nauseous and trust me it does without the spinning camera trick. There are other times where I will put something on like August Underground, Visitor Q, Gummo, and Happiness without any sort of regard for the people around me. I had sex to the Piano Tuner of Earthquakes. That doesn't even make sense but I made it happen because there is nothing like sex+the most amazing stop motion animation you are ever going to see.

I love movies. I don't love the safe quiet sterialized holywood approved crap, but sometimes they do make some bloody good stuff. The Tourist isn't one of those things. See that movie at your peril and note that if you loved the Tourist you don't want to do movie night with me, your face will melt off Invaders of the Lost Ark style and I will drink your blood. I don't even like blood it is salty but I will do it anyway.

That is sort of the philosphy I take when it comes to movie time, often times I won't know what the hell I am going to watch because I can't be bothered to read descriptions I judge things based on titles, box art, or half a trailer. Like Brick! I didn't even finish the trailer for Brick, I left the house and hit up blockbusters until I found it in a 4 for 20 bin. It took two tries. I will miss blockbuster when it goes out of buisness, I think this will be the first brick and morter store to truely go out of buisness due to an online competitor. That's cool though make way for progress and all of that whatever. I still get exactly what I want when I want it so I am okay with just about everything.

See here is the thing though, I actually thought it would be nice to have a movie night with other people. That doesn't happen to me. I am the emperor of solitude I don't need you. It is true I don't need you but I will cheefully admit that many of you are very nice to have around and I guess that is it. After all I just dropped 130 bucks on two board games to use with my friends. That isn't very solitude like. I should of bought books. So something is changing. On Wensday night I plan on picking up another gaming group which will leave me at three a week. I also plan on starting to gm again sometime in the spring. I don't know when though, James seems to be enjoying himself, I think I will join in now that the Sasha thing has resolved itself and my work schedual seems to have calmed down.

The movie night though, that would be nice. Once a month gather some folks together and screen movies, movies beyond compare, movies beyond belief. I mean there are so many people that deserve to see:

The Fall:

The Foreign Duck the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker Trailer

Air Doll:

Piano Turner of EarthQuakes

Life During War Time

And many others some worth seeing others not. Will it happen? I dunno maybe I'll float the idea to people by writting this blog post and shoving it on the internet to see what will happen. If it doesn't I won't be sad, and if it does I will be moderatly happy in general I have enough people in my life either way.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Twilight Imperium

So on thursday and friday I got to play Twilight Imperium for both the first and second time. This means that over the course of a 48 hour period I spent nearly 12 of it playing Twilight Imperium. Astounding. The first game was mostly a 5 hour tutorial on how to play the damn game. It had some very memorable moments to it and in general it was a lot of fun but we also got some pretty basic things wrong.

So the next game went much better. Some random thoughts:

1) Taking the Imperial Stradegy is scary. It marks you as a contender for the throne and immediatly paints a target on you. Going dead last doesn't help either. The thing is I am not sure how you are supposed to stop that alien who always goes first from always taking the Imperial Stradegy and just winning other than punking their home world. Long story short on the second game we were a good 2 hours in before someone grabbed it for the first time. Then it all became on.

2) Technology is waaaaay more important than I initially thought it was. Paticularly anything that makes your fighters better at fighting and the tech that makes your dreadnoughts move two hexes. I didn't realize this until I watched a player I was about to move in on destroy a neighbor's fleet with a swarm of fighters all of whom hit on a 7 that is what made me retreat and I started screaming through the tech tree. By then it was to late though and the building was about to close so we had to leave.

3) I am going to consider replacing imperial with bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is far less threatening and might help goose people into playing more agressivly.

4) Trade. One player liked taking the trade stradegy and then he would cancel all the trade deals. It took nearly 3 hours of him doing this before I realized just how crippling to the game's ecconomy that was. I wasn't able to effectively use my race's ability which is to take trade goods from people who have three or more trade goods, and all sorts of other people had trouble researching technologies (me), building fleets on the fly, and all sorts of other things. It was actually a brilliant move. Of course eventually, I utitlized a worm hole and punked his home planet. I was going to take and hold them but then a nieghbor blockaded the worm hole so I couldn't get through without starting a major conflict I wasn't ready for because I didn't have any bloody tecs. Heh.

5) I lost. But I had a helluvalot of fun.

6) For the most part the second game was pretty much rules problems free. I need to look up just how often planetary defenses fire but other than that it went really well. I want to play again, right now in fact. But we are going to be taking a break from the game which is prolly for the best.

In short, I am glad I bought the game I truely feel it is worth every penny and I knows that the next time we play things are going to be god damned epic all the way though.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

media round up december

I actually came here to write something else but I left the note book I need at home. In fact I left all my notebooks at home. As a result tonight’s writing activities will take a sudden shift to the left. I might go back and do all the things I wanted to write later, mostly because one of the things I want to write is time sensitive. However, that is for later. Right now I am going to write this. I don’t really have much of a topic in mind so I guess I am going to do a nice little media round up. Then I will take a shot at writing something for NA25 or I will go and get foods cause I totally forgot to nick some stuff from work. That is what happens when your need to leave your place of employment overrides your common sense. Maybe I still have some burritos at home.

Moving on MEDIA round up, it is like a comic book round up only different cause I am going to do movies and books too!

1) Brightest Day, continuing on from DC’s darkest night is DC’s Brightest Day. If I had to summerize darkest night briefly it would be dead people coming back and making fun of how shitty and stupid your life is. Zombies that feed on emotional trauma instead of just brains. I like it a lot. It is the first event that I aquired all the spin offs and side events to. That totals to 7 hardback comic books. Like I said though I liked it a lot. So naturally brightest day is catching my interest. There is a series of issues though. First of all the Darkest Night was primarily a Green Lantern event. I like the Green Lantern. I started picking up their stuff just prior to the Darkest Night and I promptly fell in love. I hopped on just after a significant reboot and I had a cursory knowledge of events in the DC universe so I was able to get up to speed pretty quickly. Once I was up to speed and waititng for new things to come out I started going back and looking around at things, I learned that while I love the Green Lantern side of things, the rest of the DC universe is not exactly my cup of tea. Like I didn’t really enjoy the crisis books enough to get them, and I didn’t like 52. II got through a volume and a half of 52 before I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying myself. Life in the DC universe is fucking hard man/. I’ll get to more of that in a second.

Now Brightest Day is primarily a DC event that the green lantern is involved with but only in a cursory fashion. So I read it with some curiosity and a head full of doubts. Like I said before life in the DC universe is fucking hard and Brightest Day isn’t shy about pointing this out. There is one point where there is a couple having a picknic just trying to have a nice little day and then a monster who is talking to itself comes out of the bushes and kills them. It kills them horribly too. There is a woman who beats her whole family to death, some of them with rock band instruments. I see the author has spectacularly over estimated how sturdy those guitars are but whatever. Then there is a moment where the Black Mantra looks bad ass. Black Mantra is working in a seafood store, hears that Aquaman is alive, kills everyone with a skinning knife and then stalks off. That moment was pretty epic, and I am glad it happened because seriously? Black Mantera is kind of one of those joke charecters.

The heroes involved are generally fucked up, and all of them being freshly resurrected means that they are fucked up even more. Some of it is due to the ressurection process and some of it is due to the fact that they are thrown back into the lives of people who have moved on. Some of them are welcome back with open arms and some of them are seen as unwelcome guests. Now this idea is fascinating to me and I kind of wish the comic just focused on this rather than the whole mystery of the white light and the mysterious perversion of their powers but whateva most people don’t read comics for hyper dense charecterizations so I don’t get what I want *cries*.

I’ve decided I am going to buy it though primarily because it did the thing. The while light listed a series of seemingly random events that each of its champions must preform. Some are esoteric like study more/study less, or burn it all. Others are faily obvious like one will have to throw the boomerang and someone else is tasked at catching it. All these things are going to connect into a grand tapestry which will result in something. Curiosity is peeked and now I am in it for the long haul. Bastards.

Incorruptable vol2: Irredeemable and Incorruptible are the two best comics out right now that I am not buying. I have a distinct feeling that it is because I am stupid. However, I think I plan on cathing up with my Christmas bonus money, maybe but I mean that is 7 volumes between the two of them but it is good. Incorruptible especially. The thing is that the writer did the first thing that has annoyed me over the course of the series. He got rid of Jail Bait. Now Jail Bait has got to be one of my favorite concepts in the history of ever. It has so brutally flaunted the boundaries of acceptable behaviour but unlike the horrible collapsing womb malarky this is actually good. Jail Bait for those not in the know is Max Damage’s side kick. Max is a man in his early 30’s maybe. JailBait is a 15 year old girl and she is dressed in skin tight leather that accents her wonderful cleavage, shows off her ass, and is completely inappropriate for a 15 year old girl. They used to have sex and from what I know about it, it was AWESOME. Of course Jail Bait isn’t really taking the end of the world and Max’s descent into super heroics very well. Things happen and over the course of the trade she is replaced by an acceptable 18+ college student who looks more or less exactly like Jail Bait except slightly taller. I am upset by this. I am upset by this for three reasons:

1) I am a decadent pervert and it was awesome
2) She was really well written. I mean this girl has problems, and running around with Max Damage didn’t help her at fucking all. When she cost Max his good shave and she threw herself on the bed having one of those “zomg you hate me and I am going to be super dramatic about it” moments it is totally believable. Her suicide attempt was really well written and by and large touching. The point is that the author managed to pull off someone who has seen and done a variety of things, and yet she is still someone who is fantastically immature.
3) Three ties into two. She wasn’t just a 15 year old girl who is being treated like an 18+ girl who has no problems or insecurities ie not hit girl. As a result there was fantastic opportunity for character growth. I mean this world is essentially post apocalyptic. Hyperion or whatever the hell his name is has seen to that. Half of the city is in ruins, entire countries have been wiped off of the face of the earth and everyone is essentially waiting for the hammer to fall. This is the world he has sent her out into because apparently that one is much safer than the one she is living in now. I mean he was going to steal a portal that lead to paradise and throw her through it to protect her. What was done instead was a half assed replacement job. Now maybe there were some behind the scenes editorial work that caused this. Not everyone is as comfortable with the sexual exploitation of a 15 year old as I am, even if all the exploitation happens before the book picks up. The point is that he cares about her and he should of learned to nurture her as he relearns to be himself. Oh well the book is still better than good. It is great but JailBait added this incredible dynamic that is gone now and I will miss it.


And now movies!

Gangs of New York:

This isn’t a new movie by any streach of the imagination but it is a fantastic movie that is largely overlooked by everyone ever. This is something I don’t understand because it really is a fantastic movie. It is pretty much the movie that caused the seperation of Leonardo DeCaprio being a pretty boy pretend actor into him being a real actor who actually has some skill in his trade. It is a three hour long Scorsesi work of art that has sort of bizarrely mixed message. I’ve seen the movie several times now and I’ve never been quite sure of what to make of it. At it’s heart it is a revenge drama. Leo’s dad is killed in gang fight to see who will control the 5 points area of new york. Leo’s dad just wanted to carve out a place for irish men to be safe and secure, and the butcher… well he really just wanted a good dust up. Leo grows up comes back gets in good with the butcher and this is where things start to get weird.

See the butcher, he is a pretty good guy as far as lords of crime go. He has nothing but the utmost love and respect for Leo’s departed father, to the point where he plucks out his own eye for the man. Every year they celebrate not the victory over Leo’s dad but rather the memory of Leo’s dad. Anyway things happen, things go right round baby right round, and eventually Leo and the Butcher face off along with several other blokes but the whole battle is interrupted by the rest of the violence speading through the city over the civil war draft, and the Butcher is actually killed by a piece of shrapnel caused by an artilary bombardment rather than anything else. The two gangs end up carrying each other off of the battle field and the conflict is never resolved, instead it is more or less abandoned for the larger more important conflict that ends up consuming everyone. I like this. This might be actually the thing I like the most about the movie. See instead of getting all preachy about the ideas and danger of revenge. Or how petty Leo’s vendetta is against the Butcher and how much more they all could of done together, instead it leaves you to ponder what could or should the right course of action be.

It reminds me of a volume of the punisher where three irish gangs were squaring off over a dead man’s large inheritance and one of the charecters who was sick of it all demanded that they stop fighting go get the money, get rich and leave each other alone. The big theme for both of these works is that they left Ireland to get away from all the shit that they keep doing to each other and that doesn’t make any god damned sense. It doesn’t.

I kinda wanna learn more about Ireland but I have a feeling it will just piss me off. The Gangs of New York is such a good movie though, and there is an elephant where there should be.

Warrior’s Way: So I saw this movie. AND IT WAS AWESOME! I liked it a lot. Before we continue lets get some things out of the way. One, the movie is fantasically low budget, cheesy, and it doesn’t take itself at all seriously in any way what so ever. This is important to know for people who choose to see it. The movie is basically about a Ninja who betrays his clan, comes to America, sets up shop in an old west town populated by circus preformers, and there he learns to enjoy life once again. Events happen. These events cumlulate in many many ninjas fighting many many cowboys. There is a midget.

Now on a purely visceral level you will either love it or hate it. Some people like myself love the action scenes and some people hate them. I have nothing but negative things to say about the people who didn’t like the action scenes so we will move on past them. What actually makes the movie though were its charecters. The movie could of just as easily sockted their town with stereotypical western folks and just focused on the main character and the love interest until the end of the movie action scene. Instead they made the citizens of that town matter. They had hopes, dreams, quirks, they were funning and they were an actual honest to god community of people who you learned to care about. When one of them sauntered onto the screen they brought with them life and energy instead of just some tiresome annoyance. There was more life and charecterization in any one of the side characters of Warrior’s Way than there was in the entire cast of Predators combined. So when the final battle started to take its inevitable toll on the citizens of the town I actually started to feel bad for them. Other people did to. For the first time in maybe ever I heard people go, “Oh no I liked him” when one or another character died. As I said some didn’t get it, and some didn’t want to. However, for the most part the side charecters didn’t necessarily steal the show, but they did most certainly make the show worth watching. It is great and I most certainly look forwards to adding it to my movie collection.

Annnnnd I am tired of writing this now. To be fair I’ve written the better part of three pages. It is disappointing that I can do something like this effortlessly while NANO was such a crucible. Oh well. I am going to eat and do other things and they will all be fantastic amen.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sex Lies and Video Tape

I think of all the movies I have ever come across this has by far the most evocative title. I've never seen this movie but I hear it is good. The thing is that the title is reffrenced quite often and people seem to pick up on it, but again the number of people who have actually seen the movie is pretty low. A Clockwork Orange is kinda like that. Looking back on that movie I realize I don't like it very much. I has some moments. Some glorious moments in fact, like singing in the rain. But then the second half of the movie kicks in and I all the sudden find other things very interesting, like my feet. This makes it a good movie to have sex to actually since the first half sets the mood and when both of you loose interest you can move in on each other! What? That's how that works right?

I don't actually care that is how it should work. But yeah the whole second half of the movie is kind of a drag for me. Actually I only like the middle of 2001, which I think most people are in the same boat as me. However, I do love all of The Killing, Dr. Strangelove, Barton Fink, and Eyes Wide Shut so it is kind of a mixed bag. This isn't at all what I came here to write but I realized just as I was about to start that my topic was WAAAAAY to ambitious to be just sort of slung around during lunch time so I am kinda flapping in the breeze mostly because I don't feel like reading very much or rather I don't feel like reading very much of the things I have with me.

I was going to write a comparative thing between the 5th Season of Dexter and the prototypical rape revenge movie. Then I was going to talk a little bit about the sort of sacred bond that Dexter shares with death and how he is willing to let Lumen transgress that line to become more like him. This is something that is highly intement and it is being built up over a series of episodes. However, in your prototypical rape revenge movie we have 15 minuts of setting 30 minuts of rape, and the rest is revenge. It would then branch out more onto the nature of revenge and how we view death and things like that. A lot of people have very curious views when it comes to how other people should pay for their crimes. I mean the way people carried out revenge really was something that used to tear entire societies apart and I think that both the idea of the rape revenge movie and what is going on in Dexter really tap into these sorts of elemental forces. It is just that the rape/revenge movie is all about brute force trauma.

Friday, December 3, 2010


YAY! and so out of the valley of death I reamerge as a champion of light wreathed in the fires of victory. Actually I just managed to produce 50k words in one month. Though I forgot to turn them into NANO so I didn't get my chintzy pdf certificate. That is sad. Not really I think I deleated the one I got from last yhear. I am weird about keep sakes. What do you want from me? The thing is though is that the story itself isn't finished. I kinda got a little bit lost in the idea of internal monolouges and wandering around and whatnot. Also for a good half of the novel I didn't like it. This isn't anything against the charecters it just took me awhile to get to know them and decide who they were as people. The more I kicked them around the more I started to like them and the more I got used to having them be a part of my inner sea of people. The novel itself is deadful and the writting is unusually stiff and blah blah blah. I keep forgetting to post it up on the internet but it isn't like I have people bugging me for more parts of it so I don't really care where it is. I am going to finish it though, mostly cause I wanna and partly because I feel like I should. Also because writting has once again become a way that I fill my time and now that I have blazed through most of the new COH content I can retain my usual schedual of writting, reading, and et cetera. So I'll finish it. It won't be like the last novel which had a definite end to it because these are people who are forced to go one with life, some forever, and some will grow old and die. The whole point is learning to live the struggle of trying to have an oridnary life and failing utterly.

However, now that the month is over and I am 50k in I can reel it back a bit and write more when I feel like it and less of I HAVE TO which is nice, I am hoping that the quality will improve but I don't paticularly have any airs about that. I am both happy and sad that it is over and I will continue on in a way so that I am more happy about the things rather than less. More happy about the things. See that I am a master of the english language PRAISE ME!

In other news I've been doing more reading. I finnally finnished Light in August which is the first Faulkner book I actually sat down, read, and enjoyed. It worried me though because I didn't really have a whole lot to say about it. I did feel like doing some racial commentary invovling Mr. Brown's name, actually the whole book had rediculouly easy names to mine for paper topics. However, Brown was the only fun one. Highttower to I suppose but not as much. Hightower is a fun charecter though and his ending segement is wierd and would be a lot of fun to kick around for long periods of time. I think I could get some things going with it but for the most part when I closed the book I was pretty much done with it. So I was worried. Am I broken? Do I no longer desire to write papers on the stuff I read? The last thing I really wanted to root around in was the Kindly Ones and good fucking god how do I love that book. I kinda wanna read it again I mean it was like a ball peen hammer to the face, it was brutal in all ways and yet so uncharecteristicly gental AND FUCKING WEIRD! There were midgets and gay nazies what more could you possibly want? Sex I suppose but whatever it isn't important. So I was starting to wonder if I should close this chapter of my life and move on. Nope. I just got doe reading "The Informers" by Brent Easton Ellis. I had two reactions one there were all sorts of things I wanted to try and write about it, but I knew that if I were to do so I would have to flip the book over and read it again. I started to do just that actually but then I stopped when I realized that I have a shiny NEW book to read and I really wanted it in my mind right now.

The point is that the book made me wanna write. I made me wanna write a lot. It made me wanna write my own book, and it made me wanna write papers. It made me wanna drag out the sublime and smear it all over this book in an attempt to unlock some secrets and I know it would work too because I got that excitiment in my gut that happens when you are on to something and time seemed to slow down and everything goes all fuzzy while my brain makes all these connections all over the place that I know works. I got dizzy and excited and I didn't do anything for over an hour except sit and think of the possibilites. Then I realized that it is okay and I just didn't really want to talk about Faulkner. Great guy don't get me wrong but he isn't who I wanna be when I grow up.

Moving on so I decided before NANO got started as I was hunting around for topics that I needed to write more in my life because I really really shouldn't be having this much competition over what the hell I am going to say while I force myself to write crap for a month. Like this really really shouldn't be a problem, topic selection should be a problem, or maybe getting other projects out of the way should be a problem but not I have 5 different things I wanna write and I can only write one of them. THAT should not be a problem. That is the wrong problem to have. So in the name of coming up with solutions to the thinbgs that bother me I will keep writting. YEAH! Man I wish all my problems were that easy to fix. Write now I am going to tackle two projects at the same time and I plan on doing some siginifigant amount of writting at least three days a week, possibly closer to four. The first thing I wanna do is finnish the novel I've started. I'll make it a coherent literary unit and shelve it until forever.

The next thing I also want to do is to revive NA25. NANO has shown me that profiction is possible when I set my mind to it. When I set my mind to it all sorts of things are possible like being awesome. What kept tripping me up on NA25 is the concerns I kept having about the system. I kept wanting the system to do certain things and as a result I wouldn't write any of the game background. This is retarded. Why I kept doing things like this I do not know but they ANGER me. Ergo I will stop and write up everything I need and then when I got all the extra stuff done I can start the system. I realize right now I am in a great place in terms of finding and getting feed back from a large willing playgroup. So I should get moving on it before things change.

One thing I really wanna do is drame the game in such a way so that it is quite and easy to pick up its background information. I am taking many cues form the forge G/N/S theory of roleplaying but I plan on producing a more cohesive product rather than a game that can only really be played one way a limited number of times. The setting and the rules will remain closely interwined but I believe that the setting can be there to service the rules rather than being sort of tacked onto them. I'll fiddle more with this concept in a little bit for now I think it is best to get started on getting the setting bundled together into a playable shape.

The other thing I want to bring to the table with this game is the idea that players are really only willing or able to donate so much time to reading a book, or more impontly only so much money. Also there is the important consideration that the main way this book is going to be distriubted is in .pdf format. TO that end I want to have the vast majority of the game's setting components to be presented in the format of a hand out. That is, I want them to be one page, single facing, no columns. This way a gm can easily select what informaiton he wants to present to the players in the forms of player packs, or her can give the players information on any of the unfamiliar setting elements in a quick easy to read summary. This way everyone can be on the same page in terms of setting elements and everyone can spend more time playing the game rather than introducing it.

As much as I enjoy running lesser known games like Asylum, SLA Industries, Obsidian, or even Toon getting all the remavent, fun/important chuncks of setting information rooted into everyone's heads takes work. A lot of work. If I can make this task easier then why the hell not eh? SO I want to get started on that. Also breaking the book up in this way will make it easier for me to organize, format information, and present to the audience. For now though it isn't doing any good if it is going to just sit in my head. So out it will come over the course of the next couple of months or so. It involves world building. I LOVE world building it is like my favorite thing to do.

As a side thing I would love to get mutants and masterminds back up and running again but I would need to flesh out more of the game world for that to happen. That's cool though because I actually really like that that game world alot. It has all sorts of elements to it that are really fun to deal with. I paticularly like the idea of the schister lawyer who specializes in getting super hero drop offs out of jail. After all these people certainly weren't given any sort of due process, and my players first reactions was to get the lawyer but it wouldn't ever be that simple.

I truely hope that Grant Morrison tackles this idea in Batman Inc but somehow I think it is to "small scale" for what he is planning much to our loss.

And okay then I think I am done here. For now. Oh and of course I want to do this more, which means I am going to have to find some time somewhere. I'll do it though. Don't you worry. I will. Or not whatever.