Sunday, December 23, 2012

Top 10 Christmas Movies

Now, holiday films aren't my favorite. In fact, I rarely enjoy anything that kids can get. But it seems that around this time of year there is no escaping them. For what it's worth, I'd rather watch any of the Doctor Who Christmas specials over the majority of these. But with that said, here is a top 10 list of the best, or to more politically correct, my favorite Christmas movies. Oh, and I'll throw in a really obscure non Christmas one that has a lot of the holiday elements in it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Street Fighter X Megaman Review and Tips

Behold, Excalibur!
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Megaman, Capcom has released Street Fighter X Megaman for free. You can find a link to the download here ( http://www.capcom-unity.com/mega_man ).

I've been a fan ever since the original, and he was my primary character in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. And yes, I miss him in UMVC3. But while we're waiting for that new, current gen Megaman game, we might as well bust out our USB NES replica controllers and dive on in.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sandy Hook Murders

It's the day after, and most people are left with more questions than answers. The usual suspects have crawled out of the woodwork to wage their wars on everything from psychiatric medications to video games. The introvert witch-hunt has begun, again. Poor journalism resulted in the libel and slander of an innocent man, whose own brother had just murdered his mother, and the word genius keeps popping up to describe that foul, soulless being from which Dante would have created a special circle in hell for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: Shada

This is the novelization of a rushed script crafted by the late, great Douglas Adams. And this monumental task was given to a current Who writer, Gareth Roberts — not to be confused with Garathian Roberts: current ruler of Theta Gorb, in the Quarg cluster.

As both a fan of Doctor Who and Adams, I can tell you without question that I was excited for this book. Although, and to be quite honest, I kept my reservations fairly grounded, to my surprise, he really hit the nail on the head. And having never read the script for Shada, I can't even tell where Adams stops and Roberts begins; this is all a fan could really hope for.

From a Doctor Who perspective, we are treated with a tale of my favorite, and arguably the best, incarnation of the doctor, the fourth: famously portrayed by Tom Baker. And I feel that his character was represented and translated very well, except the lack of jelly baby offerings! And as much of a cliche that became, it still made me laugh, every time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Starting out in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Comic Cover
I was a big Marvel vs Capcom 2 player when it was still an arcade exclusive. I was into the tournament scene and had my own crew, mostly friends from high school. We'd go to different arcades together and challenge other crews and players; it was a lot of fun. There is no better way to play a fighting game than in person. But with everything coming out on console, the arcade slowly died out, and now the only way to encounter new players, in a casual setting, is to hop online.

Friday, November 23, 2012

On Vegans and Vegetarians

Yup, I'm going there. I will state that I ultimately don't care what you've chosen as I probably am not even aware of your existence. Also, I'm not going to tell you to stop advocating what you believe in, either. If you think eating animals is an act of pure evil, then you should be talking about it, and that's why we're here.

Vegans often ask for compelling arguments to eat meat. Obviously, the fact that vegan food is disgusting does not matter. So, I'll skip that entire thing. But like an extremist of any kind, the typical Vegan tends to have no realistic understanding of actual agriculture and human history.

Stop Combining Science Fiction and Fantasy Into the Same Category!

Yes, I know there are some pretty big literary awards and many shows, books, and films that blend them into science fantasy, but we're not really talking about stuff  like Star Wars; we're talking about how it's become acceptable to categorize two different types of stories into one "geek" category — because something like Dragon Lance totally has everything in common with a book like Contact.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Anti-Americanism in America

By now, everyone should know our president will be Barack Obama for the next four years. And not really surprisingly, many people are vehemently upset about this. I am, however, not one of them. But what really has gotten under my skin is the intense bullshit that I've been subjected to. We as Americans need to take an honest look in the mirror, and consider this blog it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Let Go of My Childhood

I'm getting older, and I'm starting to feel like it. And I don't mean in that tired, cynical way. I mean the nostalgia effect is seriously wearing off. I suppose the Internet helped with that as well. It's not like I've ever been allowed to put all the things from my past behind me. But honestly, I'd rather watch the video of He-man singing What's Up over watching an actual episode of the show.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top 10 Scariest Horror Movies

Being as it's Halloween season, I thought I'd make a top 10 list of scariest horror films. I'm also not listing ultra gorey and or exploitative films like Cannibal Holocaust, Salo, or The Human Centipede. Those types have never scared me as much as made me feel extremely uncomfortable and disgusted.

And films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street just haven't aged well with me. Don't get me wrong, I still like them, but I wouldn't watch them if I wanted to feel scared. Also, all of those contemporary over-the-top CG effects based films that completely lack subtlety, just don't blend with realism enough to be scary. I find films like The Grudge or The Ring to be lazy writing. A good story needs to have a world with rules, and breaking them whenever doesn't work unless you also break the audience's sense of reality.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Internet Trolls Fired and Teenage Suicide Martyrdom

It's been a busy Internet. My E-haunts have been polarized by recent events, and a lot of people are coming out of the woodwork with strong opinions on bullying and freedom of speech. As most of you already know, a reddit user lost his job after having his docs dropped, and a teenage girl committed suicide — transforming her into a martyr for anti bullying campaigns.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You Don't Love Cats

I run across this phenomenon a lot, and it really does annoy the shit out of me. What I'm talking about is mutilating and imprisoning an animal to use as your own living teddy bear. Many cat owners think it's OK to amputate part of their cat's paws so it can't really fight back and their couch can remain in pristine condition. They think it's OK to remove its genitalia so it will become more docile and never breed — like a eunuch. They think it's OK for a cat to remain locked in a house for most of its life. And they've convinced themselves that they're doing the animal a favor because they'll "love" it and take care of its basic survival needs. I am pretty sure I've heard convicted kidnappers say similar things.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fable the Journey: First Impressions

This one has really polarized the fanbase. There are a lot of people who want absolutely nothing to do with Kinect and or can't afford to buy one. For the rest of us, the demo came out yesterday for Xbox Live Gold members, and I was really impressed with what I experienced.

My first impression was a bit sad; I didn't know the game was going to be played sitting down. And that's really not the experience I want when I play Kinect games, however, it wound up being far more active than I thought. Casting spells, blocking, and dodging enemy attacks can get pretty damn intense, and the accuracy of spell casting is amazing.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Batman Massacre

As the world knows, last night there was a massacre in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises. I awoke to the news that 12 had been murdered and more than 50 injured. A man in his early 20s had walked into a theater, armed to the teeth, and threw gas grenades while opening fire on anyone that moved for the exits. One user uploaded his hospital pics and others filmed some of the chaos from the theater's lobby, posting the footage on YouTube. It is a real tragedy, and my heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Feminism vs. Tropes vs. the Internet

I'm going to start this blog off stating the obvious that is being ignored: Life is recursive, repetitive, and is filled with patterns. And people seem to like the recurrence of certain motifs and themes in story telling. And yes, I can fully agree that some of these are pretty sexist and send the wrong messages to our youth, but that doesn't mean all of it is.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Minnesota Wild Land Parise and Suter

It's an exciting time to be a Wild fan. Both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have signed 13 year deals worth 98 million each to play for the land of 10,000 lakes. And consider that bold a correction to all the writers who thought Minnesota only had a mere 1,000: You fools! It seemed like only yesterday that I was hearing about how certain it was that Parise was going to be a Penguin and how they'd go on to dominate the entire NHL. But now, Suter and Parise are just overrated nobodies who were only out for a payday — according to all the jaded fans who don't even care that they actually took less money to play for Minnesota.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Movie Review: Primer

Primer is a science fiction film that was made on a shoestring budget. There is a ton of hype about the plot's complexity. And I really hate to make this comparison, but it has that post modernistic feel to it like Pynchon. Also, I wasn't the slightest bit surprised that its director / main star / writer, Shane Carruth, has a degree in mathematics. It's plot and narrative have overwhelmed so many viewers to the point where they believe anyone who claims to understand it is either a liar or a genius. I'm neither. And its complexity really comes from one dimension of story telling: A place I'm very comfortable with.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Music Review: Linkin Park - Living Things

The new Linkin Park is so good! J/K It's the same lame, homogenized crap that has been formulated for mass consumption. And the soulless victims of commercial thought programming are already heralding Living Things as Linkin Park's return to something and stuff. Anyways, iTunes has it streaming for free, for now, if you want a good laugh at 30-somethings performing tween wave / wiener rock.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why 80s Cartoons Weren't Crap


Wired has an article on how crappy the 80s cartoons loved were. The article in question can be found right (here), but I don't think it's really important to read it because it's fairly generic and doesn't really go into any nuance of why our shows were bad. It just boils down to this: the 80s cartoons sucked because, and today's cartoons are better! Just look at Netflix if you don't believe me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 10 Episodes of The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone (New and Old)

With the release of Prometheus, which I haven't seen, a lot of blogs are talking about cerebral science fiction. And for me, nothing has done this better than television. When I looked into making a top list of intelligence sci-fi movies, I was left pretty disappointed with it. I know everyone has their favorites like Donny Darko, but their have been episodes of Star Trek much deeper than that. And for me, few movies really fall into the science fiction genre clearly and are truly thought provoking. But a short list of films I've seen would include Contact, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 

Also, before anyone jumps on me, I've taken film classes and have pretty much seen every highly praised, artsy / classic science fiction film, like Brazil, Metropolis, and Akira. But none of the story telling has ever affected me as much as the writers of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. So without further ado, here is my top 10 list in no particular order.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feminism vs Game of Thrones

This is the type of feminist that makes everyone hate feminism. It's on the same level as the Christian who lashes out at Harry Potter for having magic, or the scientific skeptic who can't enjoy Star Trek because the central plot revolves around humanoid type aliens and panspermia being the root of life on Earth and similar planets. But in this case, I'm not even convinced she sat down and watched enough of Game of Thrones to write a proper review — as evident from the marginalization of Daenerys Targaryen, which involved plot points that didn't even fucking happen. Go figure.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Understanding Twin Peaks

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm a huge Lynch fan. And while Twin Peaks was celebrated for being amazing, it was also marred by TV executives. But even so, David Lynch and Mark Frost have left us with many loose ends and questions. And there is a lot of richness still to the show for people still interested, all these years later.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I'm truly sorry, but this was too tempting. And unlike many people, I've actually sat down and read it. It's a fucking Twilight fan-fiction originally titled Masters of the Universe, no association with He-Man, that was actually published and has become a New York Times best seller! What planet is this? You'd expect this insanity could only occur in an episode of The Outer Limits. But before I get started, I can sum up my thoughts with an E.L. James quote from the actual book itself:
"Why does he want to know this? It's so dull."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Active vs. Passive Entertainment

Most people really don't understand what's entertaining about challenging work. It doesn't matter if it's a book, a film, or a complex piece of music; they just don't get it. I'm here to tell you that you've been conditioned, mostly by TV, film, and video game studios, into thinking effortless, instant gratification is the best type of experience you can have. But in reality, these things are vapid, fleeting and leave you the exact same person you were before, after.

I'm not saying mindless fun is bad. But we, society, have absolutely no balance. Wouldn't you like to be entertained in a way that betters you as a human being in the process? Wouldn't you like to broaden your horizons and open up an entirely new world of possibilities? And do you really want to through your entire life without ever attempting to create something above yourself?

I honestly don't know what the answer is here. To me this looks rhetorical, but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was a resounding NO! So, I'll assume the worst and work to convince you to give a shit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You're not a Celebrity

Before I say anything, I realize that I'm not the only one to share this opinion. However, I think it's important to hammer home this message: You're not a celebrity; stop acting like one on Twitter and Facebook. Also, I know that you get comments from people on these banal updates: "Went to the gym." Assfuck McDumbass liked this. Plainperson Boringski: "OMG, I go to Ripoff Fitness too!!!" Generica Duckface: "I'll go with U ... after I take a pic of my dinner from Perkins and make a list of all the non events that happened today. ♥"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Your Band Sucks

So, you have a band and all your close friends think your music is great! But in reality, they're lying. They're your friends for a reason. And your music falls into one of two categories: Trying to sound exactly like a band you all mutually like or claiming to be original because you couldn't find an identical sounding vocalist.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fark's Anti Atheism Slant

It's annoying and comically hypocritical. It also appears a shit ton in the site's geek section. Fark has to make sure these moronic, golden mean fallacies constantly reach us by green-lighting any semblance of an article that's anti atheism. The last one was about two paragraphs long and had the journalistic quality of a Facebook update. But we need to know that being an atheist is wrong, and it's just as bad as being a religious extremist. You know, the type who picket funerals and fight to deny people basic rights.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spin's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time = Hilarity

A lot of people feel a sense of outrage over ranking lists. And usually the people making them aren't musicians or are fairly ignorant about anything which isn't mainstream. But this is the first time I've ever come across a list that was so bad it was actually hilarious. I want you to check it out before reading any further.(http://www.spin.com/articles/spins-100-greatest-guitarists-all-time).

OK, now that you're back, let's take a look at the greatest guitarists ever! I want to point out that some very good musicians were actually mentioned on it. John Mclaughlin was ranked 30 spots below one of the guys from Run DMC, and Frank Zappa somehow wandered into the top 20 ... just a little behind Kerry King and The Edge. Yeah, I really just fucking typed that.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Star Wars Kinect

Well I'll be damned. Yet another Kinect title that works perfectly and gave me no trouble with the controls. In fact, it even worked with my plastic lightsaber! I've seen a lot of reviews of this game. And there is really nothing new here when it comes to the hatred. I even saw one person reviewing it with a room illuminated by daylight. And of course, he had a horrible experience. Since, you know, daylight contains infra red radiation ... which is the same radiation the Kinect sensor uses to detect you and your motions!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Favorite Jazz Vocalist: Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter is one of the most talented singer / songwriters you haven't heard, yet. It's OK though, he's only been releasing albums for a couple years. You have time to change the error of your ways. But he's facing an uphill battle right now by making music that actually is good and lyrics that mean something.

His debut album, Water, came out in 2010. And I remember hearing a track off it called Illusion and instantly having this huge connection to it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Real Life Encounter with a Real Vampire

It was just too much to put in words, so, I put it into the form of a Gypsy Jazz song: I Know What You Are

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Tomorrow that Never Was

By 2015, we would hover down roads.
We'd cure cancer, AIDS, and fix the Ozone.
Wearing iridescent clothing and inflatable shoes,
In the world of tomorrow, your dreams could come true.

Robots would take over hard labor and people would be free.
We'd invent new sports, involving amazing technologies.
We'd have virtual, not augmented, reality.
A true holographic television, not stereoscopic gimmickry.

We'd explore distant planets and head out into space.
We'd colonize moons and spread out our race.
New worlds and life forms would be our sight seeing.
And we'd never have been content with voyeuristically living.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Skeptic's First Experience with a Psychic and Drum Journeys

Sorry, but this is a very skeptical entry. I try to go into things as openly minded as possible despite knowing a ton of science. I didn't go into this thinking that I'd have a paranormal experience as I don't believe in such things. I was expecting something more along the lines of a hypnosis effect. And I also thought it would be strengthened by being in a group.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On Skeptics and Believers

There is a lot of online debate about what constitutes as true skepticism. Right now, there are massive communities dedicated to debunking the paranormal and educating the public in critical thought. And there are other communities, also claiming to be skeptics, who have a slant toward certain phenomena and refer to other skeptics as "debunkers." I've talked a little about logic and science in my blog, but I think you'll be surprised where I fall on some of the issues.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My "Darkest" Video Gaming Secrets

IGN posed the question to its readers, and some of the staff confessed some pretty lame "secrets." Since I take no pride in my video game "accomplishments," I don't mind sharing some of my follies and unpopular views.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Sherlock Season 2

Let me just say that Sherlock is one of my favorite characters, and the BBC's contemporary version is great. Season, or series, one of Sherlock is one of my all time favorite televisions shows. And really, it can't get much better than that. With that said, I think season two suffers from having to live up to lightning in a bottle. It was really Moffat's best work and, clearly, impossible for him to match or eclipse, and that's OK. It happens to everyone. I think it was Ozzy Osbourne talking about Leonardo da Vinci, and I'm really paraphrasing / going from memory here, who said that not every painting he did was the Mona Lisa, but he's still an artist. And Sherlock is still a very good show.

Don't read any further unless you've watched it. And if you haven't, I don't have the foggiest idea why you're reading about something you haven't seen.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Song: Happy UFO Land!

Globulus wrote a new track and wanted to share it. Ever since I introduced him to the theremin, he's never let it out of his left borlax.
Click Here to Listen

Also, here are some amazing photos of Globulus's ship. These are definitely not hoaxed and not the lid to one of my pots. In fact, don't even bring that up in the comments. He's very sensitive to the fact that his ship looks like our typical cook ware; he even gets made fun of by other, meaner aliens.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Infinite Jest

This is a book that runs the gamut of fan types: you'll get your hipster who read it in a week and thinks it's hilarious and "ironic."; you'll get your Pynchon, post modernist snob who thinks Wallace is a hack because his prose isn't confusing or artistic enough; you'll get scholarly types who describe attributes of it, that may or may not even exist, in complex academic wankery; you'll get passive readers who've gone through some classic lit and think Wallace was just a showy pedant who wrote a boring, narcissistic book. And lastly, you'll get people like me. And really, I'm just in awe of the genius involved. I'm going to do my best to explain why because it really isn't apparent to everyone, even though it should be.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Game of Thrones = Best Show on TV

I thought since season two was nearing, I'd just talk about why this is the best show on television. When I first read the works of George R.R. Martin, I was instantly impressed with his mastery over structure and language. The detail he put into his world was astounding. His style allowed him to breathe real depth and complexity into his characters. And he can interweave sub plots in a truly literary way. And I'd dare to say, much better than Tolkien ever did.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On "Writers"

Shut up. No seriously, shut up. I've been unfortunate enough to be shown the blogs of signed writers and various agents. And while these blogs can be composed quite well, the comments sections reveal a dark underbelly of Internet critiquing. If you want to ask the Internet for non technical writing advice, don't. Nobody really knows what they're doing, and I'll get to that later on. But first, I really want to share my perspective on the bullshit I've read.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Hardest Thing I've Done

The hardest thing I've ever done is convinced myself that I have a sliver of talent. Now, you may ask: Why? I mean, you can totally draw cool cartoons, do amazing guitar solos, write well, build robots, and kick ass with your super karate powers. Well, the thing is ... I think Internet socializing has something to do with exacerbating self doubt.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: So, You're a Creative Genius ... Now What?

This is a difficult book to review because it touches on so many bases. And ultimately, I think there is a little something in it for everyone. Have you ever thought of a career in freelancing your creativity? It's a road I know all too well and have had mixed results with. But Carl King, on the other hand, has it figured down to a science. And it's all inside this book!

First off, it's really well written and stylish. I read a lot of non fiction, and this is one that presents its material in an informative / entertaining way, which is really engaging and effective. I'd even say it's hard to put down. So, this creative genius wound up reading it all in one sitting.