Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thinking of the Past

Recently I've been watching TTC video lectures during my lunch time. I figgure I got an hour where I am here and on the computer I might as well learn something. It is actually a really nice way to spend my time. The lectures themselves are 30 minutes which means I have the remainder of my lunch to do pretty much whatever I want to. Today I was gonna build a Stark deck so I can have more than one thing to loose with in A GAME OF THRONES! but I deiced instead to write here.

Yesterday after my lecture ended I was stuck with a rather perculiar memory. It was shortly after Magic the Gathering got translated into a bunch of different languages and for some reason I ended up with a bunch of cards I couldn't read. This is also long before the magic card viewer so I was trying to figgure out what this snazzy looking artefact did. The card was written in German, a language I don't know, but my Step mom did know! So I did the logical thing and I asked her. I didn't really think she'd be able to translate it but it would be nice if she could. She couldn't. She spent all of 2 minutes looking at the card before giving up and moving on. This is something that I thought was so weird. It is also weird that it popped into my head right now. I generally make an effort to learn things or rather to never stop learning things. I don't do it as often as I could and I don't fill my every waking moment with relentless education but I definitly don't ever want to get to a point where when I am presented with a problem that is tangental to my interests that I go, "nope to hard can't help". Even with math, I wish I could be better at it but I simply am not and that disapoints me.

I think it is healthy to have a natural curiostiy around the world and in general I find that most people do have it. But for whatever reason it isn't something a lot of people spend a lot of their free time investing in. The other week at anime club I was watching a graduate level linguistics lecture on youtube while I was eating dinner and I had multiple people come in an join me. There are times where people will ask me questions at work and I will end up leading dicussions on history or philosphy. They always seem to start small but one time in paticular I had just about everyone working listening to me.

Self education is such a critical thing and thanks to the internet we have the largest depository of human knowlage ever assembled and with smart phone just about all of it is accessable from anywhere at any time. And yet...I dunno it isn't that they are rapidly becomeing more ignorant. People were always like that. It isn't that people aren't regressing (ie the anti inoculation people) those sorts of people always excisted too. It is the non extremeist people. It is like people cross this sort of line and once that happens they are done learning anything new and they are free to live their lives. Not only is this wrong but it is unhealthy. The brain needs to be kept active just like anything else in the body or else it will start to fall apart.

Oh well that's all I really have to say.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Low Hanging Fruit.

I realized that I could use my baby laptop for better good than I am now and so I put on a lecture series on Nietzsche because it was the first thing that finnished downloading. I doubt I will finish it as I have Linguistics to learn but still it is nice. I figgure I could alternate between listening or writing or something like that. I haven't decided yet. What I have decided is that I want to write because yesterday's lecture bore some nice low hanging fruit that I want to explore.

Moving quickly: Che as I will be calling him from now on believed that to find the answer to why people do things that a psychological answer must be sought. Not one with god or metaphysics or stuff like that. He postulates that people are terrified of being alone and thus the main thrust of their actions will be more to fit in with the group rather than in the persuit of their own happiness. There were examples given.

This was pretty much the majority of the lecture and and I found it interesting but not quite mindblowing. After all I had written something similar with my outer church/politic project. The lecture made me wanna get all that stuff out again but instead I played some video games online. That's when it hit me. That if, as Che says, we all want to be part of a group then what the hell is wrong with people who are online? As a paticularly relavent example lets take the utter n00b who doesn't know how to play the game, use his character, or what to actually do. I was in a group with three of these last night while playing city of heroes. Now COH goes pretty far out of its way to make the learning curve as flat and level as possible. Yet the nOOb thing happens and when it does it is pretty spectacular. The thing about it is that these people demonstrate no fear what so ever or shame. They are completely dependent on everyone around them to take care of them. To draw an analogy it is like being in the middle of a football game and then taking on a new player who doesn't even seem to understand the concept of tackling the other player and expects everyone to stop what they are doing and give them instruction so that they could join in. This is WEIRD. There is no apprehension of looking like an idiot in front of a group of people. Instead there is the direct opposite. It is a demand on the behalf of the idiot that he be instructed by the group. What is even stranger is that more often than not people will go out of their way to be helpful instead of telling the n00b that he should learn basic game mechanics on their own instead of holding everyone else up and putting everyone else in danger while the screw around.

More telling is that the power dynamics of the whole situation is all messed up. Che likes to define relationships in terms of power. Giving something to someone else is a way of collecting power, because you are the one doing the giving and it is your choice to do so. However, in this case the power structure flows both ways almost equally. At the start the n00b obtains the place of power. More often than not they become the center of attension as the focus changes from the task at hand to hand-holding the person who is having trouble playing the game. As a result they freeze the game until they are taught everything they need to know. In some ways it is almost like an exchange of power from nearly equivalent sources rather than one person having or maintaining it.

To put a Che spin on it the motivations of such a person are murky at best. They are also, I'm sure, quite varied. Everything from just being a needy bitch who can't be bothered to spend 10 minutes learning something on their own to people who honestly crave the attention.

I am going to have to stop at or around here. My lunch time is almost up. One thing that is very much worth pointing out is that something about the medium short circuits the social relations of the people involved. It is rare to have someone who is sharing a collective space with you to just barge in and demand to play, yet in an MMO this is a constant occurrence and it is definitely worth thinking about.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making McMourning Menacing Part 2

Right now I want to discuss what is the best way to midigate his weaknesses, paticularly against ranged damage, and being hit more than twice from two different people. HOWEVER, before we do that we gotta have a frank and honest discussion about what he can take and what he should take. There is a difference between the two and that's what we are going to talk about now.

Now then! If you want variety you've come to the right place. The Ressers have all sorts of stuff. They have excellent control units, some of the best objective grabbers in the game, one of the best tar pits in the game, big expensive units, weenie hordes galore and average to above average damage output. Oh and everything is oh so reasonably priced. It's nice isn't it.

I am not going to go through every resser unit. If I don't list it, it is because I've either never played with the model or I don't care for it.

When building a McMourning crew there are a few different things to keep in mind:

1) How to deal with ranged damage
2) How to protect McMourning
3) How to grab and keep objectives
4) Winning.

The ressers have some big bad ultra shiney options like Bette Noir, Rogue Necormancy, Undead Rider, Killjoy, and a few others. However, there is a lot to be said about being able to out activate your oppoenent. Having more figures than the guy sitting across from you means that you can potentially put off moving your more valuable pieces like Sebastian or your Master in favor of shuffling a dog around or being annoying with Necropunks, being annoying with Night Terrors, or you know maybe something productive. It also will let you move your figures unimpeeded towards the end of the turn and since McMourning potentially doesn't have to worry about counter attacks since he can kill just about anything in one activation you can pick a target, remove it, then carry on with the murder sauce.

On that note I recommend against some of the bigger more expensive figgures. Yes the undead rider is nice. You know what else is nice? Two punk zombies. Punk Zombies have 7cb, paired weapons, they are hard to wound, slow to die, and 5 points. They have flurry and beleive me if you can get that flurry off on a master then you stand a good chance of killing them. Best of all you get TWO of these guys for the price of one undead rider! Why these things aren't in every Resser list I'll never know. They are seriously one of the best deals in the game. Learn to love them. Heck now it's gotten to the point that my opponents fear them so much that they leave my master unattended. Well now that's a fatal mistake if I've ever seen one.

Next let's look at Sebastian. He has a TON of wounds, is hard to wound, gathers body parts, can give them away, can make dogs with a 7 of crows or better, and he can give out healing flips so long as he has a body part counter which is a pretty good trade. The downside is that he's slow and getting him into combat can be kind of a chore, he gets shot to death more often than the other members of my crew and most times I wish I had another punk zombie. BUT! He's cute, he comes in the boxed set, and he's thematic so I take him more often than not.

Now it is NECROPUNK time! YAY! Necropunks are kinda amazing and they've saved my bacon in more than one game to the point where they have become a staple in my McMourning, Leviticus, and Seamus crews. 6 points for two (you need two). They are hard to kill and slow to die and if they happen to get a rot trigger off it is hilarious. It doesn't happen very often so I wouldn't plan on that. Best of all their overpower ability slows an enemy model. If you can get these things into possition right after they activate it is impossible for them to killed in one action unless fast or melee expert is involved. This means you can potentially tie up a valuable figure for 2 turns unless your oppoent devotes even more resources to deal with the necropunks. Best of all they have a moderatly easy to cast leap and and arachnid. In a lot of ways it is almost a shame to waste them on objectives.

Nurses! The box set comes with two nurses. This is 50% more nurses than you will ever need. I am going to say this right out of the gate, nurses are hard to use. They are really hard to use in fact. They look cool and they have some beautiful sculpts attached to them but they are really very difficult to use. Why? Their most powerful ability is furious casting and massive dose together. The problem is that furious casting takes two movement so the nurse needs to be in possition already at the start of her activation in order to use it. In order to use it most effectivly she needs to next to two figgures. This also means she needs to be reasonably close to the front lines. HOWEVER, you cast stimulant on a punk zombie and he will have 11 cb, +2wk, +2 attack flips and +1 damage flip. 11cb! I mean seriously? There have been times where my base cb has beaten other figures totals. You cheat with an 8 and you are at 19 which is more than some caster masters can hope to achieve without soulstoning. Beleive me sacking a 5 point model to kill a master or henchman is almost always worth it in my book. Nurses also have the attendant and beds side manner abilities and these would be more useful if nurses could link. But they can't and as a result they more often than not just sort of wander around the battle field doing what they can. Unless it is a 35 point game the nurses stay at home. Sorry ladies.

Speaking of Ladies, Rotten Belles. They are awesome. They let you pull your guys out of LOS and they let you pull figures into trouble. They can slow people. All their spells have at least a 12" range on them and they can do things to people that is best not to think about. You can do some silly tricks with them but that will come in a lil bit. They are only 4 points and the figures are cool but not paticularly favorable.

Night Terrors: Night Terrors are things I never personally used. Their only real claim to fame is that they can give all ranged models -4 to range and they have spirit so they are annoying to kill. I say use either these guys or Necropunks but not both. They fulfill the same essential roll, except that Necropunks leave counters whereas NightTerrors do not. That is important to keep in mind when you are plannning on what crew you are going to face.

Lastly there is Rafkin who is essentially an easier to kill Sebastian. Not a fan.

That's about it really. I own crooked men and drowned and I use them occationally but they don't do very much for me. I don't usually start the game with dogs. I am a much bigger fan of necropunks and if I want dogs I usually have Sebastian make some over the course of the game. Mcmourning is usually to busy. I don't really see the point in buying a rouge necromancy. I do see the point of making one though. It isn't that hard to get 8 bp counters but there is a lot to be said for the flesh construct and change.

Next we can get to stupid mcmourning tricks.

Monday, March 12, 2012

[Malifaux] Dougie McMourning Part 1 or...

If Gingers Have no Souls Then Why Are They So Cute?

Actually there are all sorts of jokes you can make about McMourning from Kevorkian to Doug and yet despite his endless possiblities for humor he is one of the most under represented resser masters in Malifaux and this is just plain old upsetting to me. Last night I read a post on the Malifaux forum about a guy looking for help with McMourning and he recieved some rather troubling advice. SO! I am going to come here write up a nice little tactica article on him. Edit it and then maybe repost it.

I also want to play a few more games of Malifaux this month and a pony.

Lets start with the MAN himself shall we?

Looking quickly over his stat line we can see that MickyM has a lot of pretty distinct advantages, 12 wounds, large starting soulstone cache, 7CA! that's one of the highest in the game, 6CB, 2/3/6 damage, and his major pit fall which is his depressingly low 4 defense.

However, that's okay. Now that we know some of his strengths it is just a simple matter of building a crew that will minimize is weaknesses and then we are good to go! More on that later lets keep up with the good news.

McMourning has some pretty distinct advantages over his resser cousins when it comes to dealing with the opposition. These are some less obvious benifits. He doesn't rely on corpse counters, and he can make body part counters from non living targets. Go check A Piece for Me and Dissection do not stipulate a living model. GETEM! He also does not rely on WP checks to scatter the enemy. I've always wanted to run the Seamus fear bomb list. Every time I do I suddenly find myself across from a Ramos or Levitcus player. Not fun. McMourning, much like a honey badger, doesn't give a shit. He doesn't need some crappy game mechanics to make him scary for he is scary all by himself. He also doesn't rely on spells as much as the other masters. This is really important if your opponent suddenly decides that running Sonnia Crid is a good idea or that having a few Witchling Stalkers around is funny. Not being overly reliant on spells is amazing.

So with all his advantages why don't people play him more? Well lets face it Seamus and the Japanese ghost girl are pretty thunder stealing wouldn't you say? Also his starting box SUCKS!

So lets move on a bit. McMourning epitomizes the glass cannon aethetic. He has 4 defense and in order for him to be effective he needs to be on the front line running around doing what he does best, murdering face. Oh man can he do the face thing. McMourning is one of the most effective killing machines in the entire game. I've had games where he killed every model in the opposing crew much to my opponent's dismay. There are two caveats to this. One! McMourning is pretty much gaurnteed to kill something once he is in melee with them. Killing two things is possible with support or initiative, but don't expect to just be able to charge him in the middle of the enemy's crew and have him come out winning. That will just net you a dead ginger.

The way I usually go about killing people is start with Scapel Slinging. This nets you a body part counter. Neat eh? Then I either activate fast by discarding said body part counter and go for the dissection/Rancid Transplant combo or I just burn them down with damage. His ability to ignore hard to wound and armor means that he can reliably do his damage without having to worry about annoying defensive effects. It also means he is able to cheat his damage more often than most people so keep those moderate damage cards around. When to kill really depends on if I need to heal or not, if the defending model has attacked or not, and if it would be better to kill the defending model now or next turn. Deciding when and how to kill a defending model vs taking some damage is key to playing McMourning effectivly.

While McMourning has crap instead of defense he does have 12 health, and he heals every time he does melee damage, he can just make a healing flip for a zero action, oh and he can use soul stones or something boring like that. Why would I use soulstones when I can instead use the deliciouse organs of my enemies is beyond me but the option is there just the same. Managing his damage is one of those things that is more terrifying than fun. A good way to go about it is to never assume your enemy is going to miss. If you want to do that go play Lillith. No instead always assume they are going to hit and that you will suffer one weak and one moderate damage or something like that. Also, and prolly most importantly. Do NOT let more than one figure hit him at a time. Letting more than one person hit him at a time is a death sentence, pure and simple. Oh yeah and by all means keep him far away from Spider Swarms. Those things just do way to much god damned damage for comfort. Over the course of the game he is going to to take damage and there are times where you will be praying to the gods that your soulstone enhanced defensive flip will save you from taking it in the mouth. The trick is to make sure that you never take more than you can heal and to give more than you get.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gaming is Fun!

I am not sure what I want to write about. Prolly about gaming but I am not sure which paticular gaming topic I want to latch onto. There is something to be said about how lackluster I am finding this current generation of gaming consoles to be and how computer gaming seems to be enjoying a nice micro rennisance but I mean there I said it. That's it. Right now you either agree with me or you don't. No matter what I say I am not going to convince you one way or another.

It is weird cause this generation started pretty strong too but it seems to be running out of steam. That and there is a distinct lack of wonderful japanese games that are the bread and butter of my console gaming experience. So? What I dunno. I play Dwarf Fortress. All the pretty graphics in the world aren't going to interest me. I do wish I had the time for fighting games though. That is a distinct lack in my life that pc gaming can't effectivly fill up. This wouldn't be a problem but it seems like the days of cross console arcade sticks are over which is complete and utter bullshit because they both have fucking usb ports. There is literally no reason why there can't be cross compatible sticks. See I have a loaned 360 but 99% of all fighting gaming happens on the PS3 prolly due to its free online or something like that. Who knows. Stitching from one controller to another means a LONG series of lost matches while you adjust. I also prefer 6 button to 4 button but that's mostly a me thing. Currently the thing I am most insterested in is a Vida but that won't be for another year or so when the second generation of hardware comes out.

Thus we turn to gaming unplugged. Man it has been kind of a banner year for table top gaming. Right now I am veering into the realm of historical war gaming and I am loving it. I am not sure where I want to go with it though. I think I am going to keep it on the hex and chit level. If I ever want something new all I have to do is to pick up the latest issue of Strategy and Tactics and I am good to go. This way I will have a wide variety of historical games from all sorts of different time periods to play, but also have them be easy to store and transport. As much as I love Sekigahara it is a pain in the ass to transport and break out and play. There is also the issue that so many historical war games are just two players. I love the two player game play experience. I think it is far more intense than a group game and it provides a much more focused style of play. Unfortunately, gamers tend to come in groups and you gotta accommodate that. Though I am seriously thinking that some of the larger ASL scenarios would go much better as a team game. Especiallly some of the larger Code of Bushido scenarios where you have multiple waves of reinforcements and stuff like that it would be best to have teams of players to help keep track of everything. I feel the same way about Eastern/Western Front. I don't own these games but I'd love to. The thing is that 100 bucks of a game that I'm not gonna play very often makes me cry a little.

Also it makes me swell with pride just how much I got right with the ASL rules. It was a slog but I understand them now. HOORAY!

Going back to the 100 bucks thing I am considering more and more getting into Warmatchine. Warmachine rides the boundary between being a full on miniature war game and a skirmish game, it has big robots, and I love the Cryx. So I am looking into it more and more. Furthermore we have a pretty large warmachine community around here. I am looking to expanding my gaming play groups and the best way to do that is to start playing some other games that people play. That and well you know it is Warmachine the game is amazing. Here is the rub though. See there is a two player battle box and it is full of factions I don't wanna play. But if I got that I could get other people to play with me a little easier. Or something. I dunno. I might just quietly buy some because I want to put some models together and the cryx look nice. I'll start with that and see where it goes. Also the starter kits come with quick start rules! Hey! Well that settles that then. I'll pick them up eventually.

Something that will happen much sooner is that I've been rebitten by the Game of Thrones bug. I bought a chapter pack at random and man that just happened. As much as I love that game I am not sure what to do with it. James and I are just more into it than everyone else is. I wanna keep playing it but I dunno. I do know that I want the Brotherhood without Banners cycle. That cycle is amazing and it will make my Greyjoy deck thunder about in an unstoppable wave of destruction. It will also give the Lanisters some snazzy options as well as some other things. I also want the Lannister box set. I also want to tweek my Stark deck so that I can break my reliance on the Bear people and that Agenda that seems fun until you realize that it should be for the Greyjoys not the Starks. Rawr! Oh well I wish all the houses had a unique agenda that only they can play. It would be nice. Maybe in a future set.

In other news I want the panty nazi game. The panty nazi game is just a card game but it costs more than a warmachine starter. However, the panty nazi game seats 4 and that's pretty exciting. Or I might just buy some more ASL stuff. I don't really care but I have to go to work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Frosted Flakes

I was never allowed to have delicious cerial as a kid. Well I was but only every other weekend when I went to my mom's house and even then not very often. Anyway for lunch I had a medium sized salad and two bowls of frosted flakes. Holy shit I forget how much I love this stuff until I eat it. As much as I love it though it isn't really worth buying for me because I get tired of eating it about half way through the box and it goes to waste.

However, as a once and awhile snack? Frosted Flakes are thing of glory. In other news I don't have much time left of my lunch. I was busy catching up with the internet and stuff like that. I got a new powersource ordered so hopefully I will be internet enabled again real soon. After that it will be a hop skip and a jump away from dealing with my other minor but perpetually annoying problems. Like the lack of music in my car, the fact that I want a new computer, and that I have to go back to the dmv on friday and give them even more money because things beyond my control happened to me. Oh well. I swear to god there are few things more annoying than the DMV. Just the whole idea of it all and how inefficient it is. Actually it seems to be almost deliberatly inefficient. Like take a more recent situation. James and I go down to get the car registered. They can't because they have to visually confirm the vin number. So they have to issue you a temporary tag which means I have to go back to the dmv for a second visit. My actual time spent with an agent totalled about an hour and a half between both visits. So we could of saved everyone a pile of time if I just said "fuck your laws I am just going to drive this shit illeagally down here and you can do it then". In fact most of the things involving the DMV are 100% easier if you just lie and break the laws.

One time I went down there because of something only to find out that my liscense was suspended. They handed my liscense back and let me drive away even though it is 100% illegal. They do paperwork, shuffle around information, and nearly 99% of it is unessisary yet there it is just in case something happens or something like that. This is one of those grey area "roles of government" type things that I am just not sure about. I mean these records could really help out in a lot of ways but mostly only if the vehicle is financed. If it isn't then nearly 100% of what the dmv does is just nosey information gathering. Like registration, you are going to have a hard time making me believe that paying a pile of money every year after sitting in the dmv serves some sort of important function for the smooth running of government. I am in favor of emission tests. I don't see why any state who requires registrations wouldn't require emission tests. But ours doesn't. So they don't care if my care if my car drives around bleching black smoke just so long as they know where it is. I don't get it. Perhaps there is a greater purpose that I am just not seeing.

On that note I am going to go back to work and do stuff involving dishes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So What Did Happen in Feburary?

Welp Feburary happened, and all in all it has been a pretty crappy month for me. I got rear ended which totaled my car and thus turned my life upside down for a good whole week. As a result I didn’t really get anything done I wanted to as I was far to busy dealing with stupid car shit. Everything worked out in the end, but it was stressful, unpleasant, and highly scary. Setting aside the stupid car incident we also ended up down a person at work. Poor Sasha is on a medical leave of absence. I ended up working 10 days in a row to cover things, and that SUCKED. I didn’t have a car the whole time either so I was just kinda drained and unhappy. Once again though things are working out and moving forwards. In other news I have a replacement car already and things are fine though I ended up no where near my writing goal. I feel I am excused on the grounds of excessively time consuming events.

I did get to learn and play Advanced Squad Leader though and that was exciting. I am now a huge fan of the game. The first two games we played only involved troops to help get used to the basic turn order and mechanics of the game. Now that we got that down we will be adding more devastation in short order. Then we will be able to tackle the real game. Once we got the basic flow of the game down it actually plays pretty quickly. I am looking forwards to playing some of the more advanced scenarios.

Our plans are to start with the Japanese units as they are wonderfully fun. Also The New World is quickly becoming one of my favorite games when I need something quick and painless to break out and play. The whole thing seats 6, fits in two deck boxes, is easy to pick up, break out and teach. It isn’t the deepest game in the world but it is fun and fast.

In other news I went to Courtney’s birthday party. Liberty Lanes is by far the strangest place on the face of the planet. That was fun and I’m glad I did it.

Though when it is all said and done I’ve consumed a pretty impressive amount of stuff. It is currently the 4th of the March and already things are much better so onwards and upwards. Pip pip cheerio.

Things Watched

Week 1
Lost Season 5- This will get its own blog post shortly
Chronical- I loved this movie, it got so much right and it used the first person camera thing in clever ways. One of my new favorite superhero origin movies.
Lady in Black- This movie has SO MUCH potential to be good. Oh well.
Quills- This is the first DVD I bought. It remains one of my favorites. I will never tire of this movie.
Carnage- Holy crap this movie was brilliant and I really wanna watch it again.
Rampart- SO GOOD. James Ellroy co-wrote this movie and it shows. Rampart is a nasty man. Such a good movie.
Win/Win- This movie is heartwarming to the extreme. I love movies about marriages in progress, and this movie was just so good. See it or die in my eyes.

Week 2
Sleeping Beauty- Oh man one of the best alternative sex movies I’ve ever seen. On its own merits such an amazing movie.
Let the Bullets Fly- Chinese and this movie was a ridiculously good time.

Week 3
Lost Season 5 Finished
Lost S6
Snow Town- I had a hard time following this movie at first. Everything was kinda quiet and I didn’t understand what was happening until the end. Now that I get it I really wanna see it again.

Week 4

Secret World of Ariete- This movie is so picturesque and nice. It is a wonderful film even though nothing happens in it.
Ghost Rider 2- Nick Cage said it best when he said, “Every line in the movie is either whispered or screamed and everything is on fire” I couldn’t give it a more roaring endorsement.
Zebraman 2- I was actually shocked at how much fun this movie was. I should watch the first one some day.

Things Played
Dominion 5 games
Puerto Rico
Super Dungeon Explore
Summoner Wars 2
HeroClix 1
Kill Dr Lucky twice
Twilight IMPERIUM!
New World 2
Dungeon Run
Sekigahara 1

Things Read
Week 1
War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath- A wonderful comic. I like how they took the time to show the aftereffects of the horrendous events that happened to the green lanterns instead of just carrying on like nothing happened. There is some pretty powerful writing in here.
Secret Avengers Vol 1- This book is good. It took me a minute to remember what happened and it is fun but I dunno I wanna read the second book but I don’t wanna run out and buy the first one.
Future Foundation Vol 2- I was a little disappointed with this volume. First the art is terrible. The multi Mr. Fantastics is being wrapped up to quickly and I am not sure I like where the Kree and the Inhumans are going. That said I will buy the next volume without question.
Invisables Vol 7- SO GOOD
The Filth- Every time I reread the invisables I reread this as well. The Filth is a nice addendum to the invisables. Thematically they are opposite and yet they have similar messages. It is a strange but wonderful book.
American Vampire Vol 2- Oh man Sinder is going to be one of the new rising stars in comics. No question.

Week 3
Chew 1-3- Reread and loved once more!

Week 4
Batman Gates of Gotham- Wow this book is wonderful. It is a nice history of Gotham That tells the story of the city as well as Dick’s struggles to become Batman.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I am about to make me a blog post. I really need to start writing at home again, or to find a late night venue that I feel comfortable in. My comfort level is important for this purpose. I've also discovered that I can't write to relax, I write because I am relaxed. Or at least I write because I am not stressed out. Normally when I get stressed out I do all I can to fix the problem so I can go back to my normal life. For example tonight I am seeing the Lorax, hopefully with some people other than Corey but I can't be certain.

I could write about the whole car situation but it really doesn't interest me. What does interest me is the way knowledge is conveyed within an essay format. Anyone who knows me fairly well knows that I have a bizzare interest in foreign policy. I mean seriously of all the hobbies to have, I read foreign policy journals. I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for chance meetings I'd still be a virgin. Anywho so yeah I do that that for fun. I also have been amassing a suprising amount of historical information, some of it is a side effect of foreign policy reading, historical war gaming, EU3, pleasure reading, and my ability to take knowlage from a wide variety of sources and to make it into a coherent narrative. I've also read my fair share of historical journal articles while doing stuff for english.

It was the other day when I read 5 whole pages of the ASL rulebook without having to look something up that it hit me, why the fuck are English, and philosophy papers so obtuse. Lets set aside the actual scholarship on the subject and look at the orginal texts. So right now this means we are focusing on philosphy. When you compare Spivak, Deluze, Kant, Heidegger, Lacan, and even Wittenstein's the Tractatus (I don't feel like looking up how to spell it) all these authors set out to explain unusually complex ideas but they do so in unusually complex ways. Deluze and Lacan pretty much just do it to be annoying. I know this because Deluz's book on Masochism is extraordinarily clear and easy to understand and Lacan comes right out and says he likes to make his ideas overly complex. I am pretty sure Spivak wrote her works in her "distinctive" voice so that she could get respect from her male dominanted peers, the others have their reasons too I'm sure but I think there is something to be said for not writing in a dense impenatrable way.

I like it. But I enjoy reading forgiegn policy journals, A Serbian Film, and sadomasochistic sex rituals so it isn't like I am a good yard stick for judging these things. Also fine. The original texts are complex. I've come to realize that sometimes you need to use highly elevated language to get an idea across at first. Then you can use less elevated language to make the idea clear to others. That old maxim of, "If you can't explain the concept to a 3rd grader then you don't really understand the concept" rings true for me. So it would seem to me that a certain part of the scholarship would take place of a verbally deelevated level in order to enhance the understanding of the base concepts.

This is not the case. One pleasently interesting observation was made by one of the TTC lecturers at the start of the existentialism class. He said that a lot of people get trapped into a "cult of nessesity". It is the idea that scholars paticularly in the english/philosphy side of things get antsy about not being needed anymore. This is especially true since most people from either discapline can't eloquently verbalize a set of reasons for their nessisity. Personally I think that in order to upper division classes in an english department you should have to submit an essay to the department stating why you think your course work is nessisary and worth persuing but that's just me. Still I think that the cult of nessesity is really killing both English and Philosphy as disicplines. English went through that horrible period where they tried to make it more like a science so that people would stop cutting their programs and trust me, that was a terrible idea. Now it is coming back in a form much more insidious as we try to make ourselves seem so important by making our ideas incomprehensible.

There is a huge difference between making an idea deliberatly difficult for the sake of sounding more important, and making an idea sound difficult because you are straining your brain's ability to articulate ideas.

Anyway it sucks and people should produce actual good ideas not just complex sounding ones.

People should also have the ability to do it in plain language without the fear of being budget cut. I have more to say on this topic but work is calling me.