Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Apologies if I spelled that wrong, I've got no spell-check at the moment.

I'm posting this from the post-surgical waiting room at Toronto General Hospital, where my dad just had a double lung transplant, and is apparently doing fine. That said, I'm probably not going to be posting for a while, for reasons that should be pretty obvious.

Any well wishing is appreciated, but isn't necessary.

See you all in a bit.

(Update: at home now, all is spell-checked.)


Dylan Hears a Who!

What it says.

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Friday, February 23, 2007


This one reminds me of that Thai gas ad.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Huh? Wha? Really? You've got to be kidding? No? Yeesh

According to this memo, via Kung Fu Monkey, one of the Republican presidential hopefuls officially endorses a website that claims there's a "Jewish conspiracy to falsely claim that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Among other such things."

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The credits block is supposedly exactly what's on the poster, and that this isn't a mock-up.

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My blood boils at this one

From today's Penny Arcade blog:
Yesterday I made a post about the teenagers that murdered the homeless guy and then blamed it on violent games. These kids have given the media their angle and just like all the other cases where games are mentioned no one will ever look any further. No one will ask what their family life was like, what their parents were like, what the kid was like before all this happened. Games did it and that’s the end of the story.

In my post I took the absolute extreme opposite approach. I laid blame completely on the parents and that was intentional. Penny Arcade is a satire site and people come here to laugh or get angry and that’s what we try to provide. I will admit that deep down as the father of a two year old I also want to believe that I as a parent can shape my kid into a decent human being. If I don’t believe that then…well I just have to believe that right now.

With that said I’m perfectly aware that the reality of the situation was somewhere between the two extremes. I know full well that violent games did not create this killer and I also know that his parents did not make him a murderer. Nothing outside of a comic strip and a goofy blog is ever that simple.

The sad truth is that the reality we’re talking about here would probably never actually see the light of day. The media will tell the story they want to tell regardless and that story will be about violent games. The parents of these kids will be lucky to get two lines in an article about the crime. If they tell a reporter that their son hardly played games or that he was fucked up long before they bought a Playstation do you really think that will make it into the final article? You’d never see that side of the story, not in a million years.

But you’re about to.

I am about to share with you an email I received from a Penny Arcade reader. She also happens to be involved in this case but obviously she’d like to remain anonymous. She has agreed to let me share her email with all of you and I can’t thank her enough for that. Like I said before, I know why most people come to Penny Arcade. You come every other day looking for a joke and a laugh. What you’re about to read isn’t a joke. It’s an extremely personal email sent by a very brave woman and I’m honored to share it with you.


Your news post about the kids and the homeless man yesterday made me sick to my stomach, before I even read the CNN article. I knew what it was going to be about before even reading the article. It was not the article itself, or even your post that made me sick, it was the fact that I know this boy. Or, rather that I could be considered one of the “parents” of this boy.

The boy’s father and I have been together for almost seven years, and I had what I guess could be called a “stepmother” relationship with the kid. To say that living with this kid was hell would be a complete understatement.

I don’t think I have ever actively hated anyone in my entire life, but this kid just makes my blood boil.

As I write this, my teeth are clenched, my hands are shaking, and my whole body is seething with the hatred I feel for this kid and what he has done. Seeing the article brings back all the horrible memories from when he lived with us.

He was constantly in trouble in school, with the cops, with us, with his mother, and with anyone else who was an authority figure. Not a week went by that the school or the cops wouldn’t call us for something. His attitude was basically “fuck you, I don’t have to listen to you” said with a shrug.

We tried absolutely everything we could think of to get him to behave like a normal human being… we tried groundings, negative reinforcement / punishment, positive reinforcement, counseling, and anything and everything the counselors suggested. We tried to get him interested and involved in extracurricular activities, like hockey, drama, music, art, anything, but he got himself kicked out of every group he was in with his “make me” attitude. When we would ground him, we took away everything. No TV, no computer, no phone, no leaving the house, no snacks or junk food…. Everything. When he was grounded, he was only allowed to sit in his room and read or draw. He was actually a pretty good artist, and we tried to encourage him to spend his time working with his talent. He would just sit there and take it… the groundings had absolutely no affect on him at all. Most of the time, he didn’t even remember why he was being grounded. At the end of it, we would ask him if it was worth it to have everything taken away in exchange for what he did… he usually just shrugged. He could be grounded for weeks, or a month at a time, and then the very next day would do something to get back in trouble again. Most kids get grounded or punished a couple of times, and then they want to avoid having to go through it again… not this kid, nothing seemed to phase him.

And we’re not talking the usual teenager stuff, like coming home late, or refusing to do the dishes. We’re talking stealing cars, setting fires, drinking, getting picked up for drugs, beating up handicapped kids at school (yes, really) stealing things out of our house… all with this “I’ll do whatever the fuck I want” attitude.

We had absolutely no idea what else we could do. We already had him in counseling, and we did everything the counselors suggested. We tried rewarding his good behavior (what little there was) to try to get him to see that when he behaves like a normal human being, things are good and people enjoy being around him. Nothing phased him at all.

Then, things took an even worse turn when he decided that whenever he didn’t get his way, or we did something he didn’t like, he told his counselors and teachers that we were abusing him. (Never happened.) And for some inexplicable reason, everybody believed him. I understand that child abuse is a very serious situation, and that they have to take every possible case seriously, but this was clearly a case of him manipulating people to get what he wanted. We had people from the school, cops, and social services over at our house or calling us on a weekly basis stating some new abuse that he had made up. At 14, the boy was already 6’3” and over 200 pounds. Of course, there was never a mark on him, because no such abuse ever took place.

One particular night (cops involved, as always) he decided that he didn’t have to listen to anything we said, and that he wasn’t coming home. He went to live with his mother, where things got worse by the day. He stole everything out of her home and sold it. He invited gang-bangers and drug dealers to her home, and she feared for her safety constantly. She called the cops numerous times because she feared for her safety, but again, the boy said that she abused him, and the cops always took his side. (For reference, the mother is about 5’3” and barely clocks in at 115.) He planted a loaded gun in her room, called the cops and told them that it belonged to the mother’s boyfriend. The boyfriend actually ended up serving time because of this fucking bastard kid. She had two other young children in the house, and the gun and the abuse charges were an intentional plot to get the other two kids taken away from her. She tried restraining orders against the kid, but since he was a minor, they wouldn’t allow it. Every time he got picked up, she pleaded with the cops to take him to jail, maybe that would finally get though to him, but they just kept bringing him home to her. I don’t understand why everyone who was involved with this kid just blindly took this juvenile delinquent’s word over all else!

The night that he and his friends murdered that poor homeless man, the mother said that he was acting particularly cocky. Then he threatened to kill her. We had absolutely no idea of what he had done until they found the man’s body. He was immediately waived into adult court (at 15) and sentenced to 15 years. We were all absolutely sick with grief for this man.

We were also sick with guilt… “What could we have done differently?” was a constant question in all of our heads. After the kid was sentenced, all the cops, counselors, social workers, and people at the school that had been dealing with him contacted us and his mother and apologized for not taking us seriously. They are all trained to take all accusations of child abuse seriously, and as a part of that they blindly took the kid’s side for everything, and dismissed us as “the lying abusers”. Many of them told us that they wished they would have taken our pleas for help seriously. Everyone thought we were exaggerating about how fucked up this kid was.

I completely agree with your statement of “These kids were twelve kinds of nuts and that’s a fact.” But the reason I am writing this to you is that, after reading your news post yesterday, I felt that I needed to defend the boy’s parents. His mother and father and I did absolutely everything we could think of to try to keep this kid in line. Even the kinds of things that normal teenagers get in trouble for would have been a blessing compared to what we’ve been through with him.

What I gave you today is a very small sampling of the kinds of things we were dealing with every single fucking day with this kid. When people hear about what he’s done, I can always sense the “I’m sure there was something you could have done” comment coming up. What would you have done? How do you deal with a kid like this? Like I said, we did everything the counselors suggested, and nothing seemed to matter.

If you want to add another element to the “nature vs. nurture” idea, this boy has a brother. Both boys were raised in the same house, with the same values. The brother has developed into a kind, considerate, responsible, and independent young man. He is currently working his butt off right now to save up money to go to school for architecture. The only thing I regret is that we spent so much time and energy dealing with the bad kid that this boy missed out on having a normal family life with a normal sibling relationship.

I am sorry this got so long. I have been reading PA since the very beginning, and I feel that both of you are very much like me. I think we are the same age (29) and I have been a lifelong gamer like the two of you. I can’t stand hearing about the so-called correlation between games and real-life violence. Video games DID NOT make this kid who he was, and it’s unfortunate that the correlation is there.

The thing that really gets me with this whole thing is that the kid knows full well that by equating what he’s done to a video game, that he will generate controversy and media coverage. It makes me sick that the media is jumping all over this, because that is exactly the result that he wants.

The only good thing (if there is such a thing) that has come out of this whole ordeal is that the kid is behind bars. That is exactly where he needs to be.

Again, I’m sorry about the length of this. Thanks for allowing me to “tell my side” of the story.

So there you go. There’s the real story. This kid was broken. He’s decided to use videogames as a scapegoat because as crazy as he is, he’s not stupid. He knows exactly what he’s doing. The sad thing is that it will probably work.

-Gabe out
Like usual, I didn't ask for permission to reprint this, but there are people who read this who don't read PA, and this story needs to be told to as many people as possible. I'll happily pull it if the guys from PA request it, but for now it stays.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another stupid random thought

I've been seeing pictures of Oscars ceremonies past, and I've one thing in the back of my mind: Remember when Mira Sorvino was somebody? She won an Academy award, and now she does B-grade cable mini-series. This is all within a period of less than a decade.


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Monday, February 19, 2007

A Dyson's Fear Repeat: "What if I don't like it?"

I wrote the following on a message board:
...exploration of film is a personality building experience. Regardless of the quality of the film, you'll come out knowing something about yourself that you didn't before you watched the film. Even if it's something as simple as "I didn't like that."

The very worst thing that can happen is that you don't like one or both of them, and the very best thing is that you will really like one or both of them.
Film is something that's important to me, and it's something that's lost to me. Everybody has a medium of expression that works for them, whether it be writing, art, music, whatever. My medium is film, and like all art, I think it's something that everyone should explore.

A common thing I hear is "What if I don't like it?", and it's something I bite my tongue at. To me, "What if I don't like it?" should be countered with "What if you do?" It's an important distinction, and it's an approach that needs to be taken.

As I say above, watching film is a personality building experience, and it's an exercise that's incredibly important to personal growth. It's also a hellish thing to believe in when you're selling movies on a retail level, as you're dealing with people who not only don't want to take chances, but are functionally illiterate when it comes to film. These are people who are cemented in their ignorance, and stubbornly refuse to accept new experiences. I'm talking about the chuckleheads whose only criticism of a film is either it rocks or it sucks, and when asked why, they reply "I dunno, it just does".

This is also a response to the thread where I posted the above comment, which was a poster asking if he should watch either of the movies he got from Netflix. My reflex comment would've been "You rented them, so watch them. You don't need us to hold your hand.", but that would've been a bad idea as we live in a day and age where it really feels like people need handholding to make simple decisions. (Yeah, I know I'm one to talk, which is especially true to those who are aware of my current bout of indecision.)

It gets me that these people who have such passionate gripes about simple things are completely useless to make these simple decisions on their own. It's one thing to ask for info before making a decision, but it's another to ask people to make the decision for them. It's the modern lack of responsibility issue at play, and I grieve for our civilization.

There's my rant. I'm done.

Thank you.

(From April 19th, 2006.)

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Random stupid thought

Ever notice that you can get charged with battery, and that a battery gets charged?

Carry on.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Long lost forgotten Shatner

And, yes, it was spoofed here:


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Betcha didn't know...

Rob Zombie's real name is Robert Bartleh Cummings, and Spider's is Michael David Cummings. Spider got into music before Rob, oddly enough.

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I would kill to get a copy of this

It's Kinji Fukasaku's, Seven Samurai/Star Wars rip-off, Message from Space:

It stars Sonny Chiba, Vic Morrow, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Etsuko Shihomi. It's every bit as cheesy as it looks, but it's miles better than Roger Corman's own The Magnificent Seven/Star Wars rip-off, Battle Beyond the Stars. (Even if the latter had Robert Vaughn playing the SF version of the same character he played in The Magnificent Seven, and a screenplay written by John Sayles.)

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Helpful movie terminology

Blockbuster: An archaic term from before the multiplex where films were so popular that the length of the line-up would be huge. The exact source of the term is unknown, but it has been suggested that either A. the film was so popular that other theatres on the block were 'busted' or B. that the line-up for the film would 'bust' the block. It is not a genre of film, and one cannot 'make' a blockbuster, as movies just become blockbusters.

Bomb (also, flop or turkey*): A financially unsuccessful film, making only a fraction of it's production cost.

Event movie (see Blockbuster link): A large budget genre film that is designed to be a potential blockbuster, but is never guaranteed.

Now, here's some clarification upon usage.

The term 'blockbuster' is not synonymous with the term 'event movie', but often appears to be. A non-Event movie can be a blockbuster. (See: The Elephant Man or The Blair Witch Project.) Obviously, an 'event movie' can be a failure, as there's plenty of supporting evidence.

Bomb is not synonymous with a bad film. (See: Slither, for a subjective example.) If a movie bombs/flops, it's not necessarily a poor film, but it usually helps. Also, as a corollary, the B in B-movie does not mean bad, as there are a number of excellent B-movies.

The reason I bring this up is that people need a common vernacular for discussion, and without one people really don't know what they're talking about. I see these terms (except for 'event movie') thrown around willy-nilly on the internet, and I'm really getting tired of having to correct people and then try to carry on an intelligent discussion.

Oh, wait, this is the internet... silly me.

(*I'm not sure why being a 'turkey' is a particularly bad thing, as I personally love turkey and it goes great with gravy and mashed potatoes.)

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Le sigh: Return of the Otakukin

Remember this post from back at DF2.0?
I just came across this Livejournal entry, and I'm actually kind of disturbed by it. It's no secret about my loathing of furries, but I've learned that there's not one, but two other subcultures out there that make furries look normal by comparison.

(Fursuiters... don't ask, it will hurt your brain.)

First up are the Otherkin

These folks don't believe that they're anthropormophized animals, nope. These folks believe that they're anthropormorphized mythical creatures. We're talking dragons, pixies, and werecreatures of all manner. Now, if the detachment issues of the furries were bad enough, I can only imagine how bad the Otherkin are.

But wait, it gets better... or rather, weirder...

At this point, I'll introduce the Otakin. These are people who believe that they're, and I'm a little fuzzy on this, either the incarnation or reincarnation of Japanese anime characters, who may or may not be anthropormorphized animals or mythical creatures.

No, I'm not making this up.

There are really people out there who believe that the spirit of Genma Saotome rests in their soul.

(Genma Saotome, human & panda form.
from Ranma 1/2.)
No, really.

Seriously, I wish I was making this up. We all have our share of delusions, but man... I'm nearly speechless. Not speechless enough to not laugh and point, but seriously, can we stop accepting serious mental health issues as being normal in geek culture?

That said, according to this, Asperger's may actually be the issue at hand, but isn't it always when it comes to the dregs of geekdom?

At the very least this makes me happy, as it shows that once again I am normal. Potentially less normal than other normal people, but still well within the realm of normal.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

Oh, and pass the Pocky.
Well here's Anime News Network's Zac Bertschy, aka Answerman, on the same subject (I've fixed some of his formatting/typo issues):
For the last 2 weeks you've been getting mail from that kid who thinks he's Naruto or can use ninja chakra powers, and while I thought it was fake at first, i realized that this is the internet and people like that probably do exist. So here's my question: are there people out there who sincerely think they can use anime characters' powers in real life? Are they just kids playing pretend or what?

I knew this question would come one day and somehow I knew that flake would spurn it. I dread answering this. I don't even like knowing the answer to this.

The short answer to your question is "yes". The long answer is terrifying if you haven't heard of these people before.

Thanks to the internet, delusional people now have a haven where they can all get together and tell each other that they aren't delusional. This bolsters their delusions and makes them self-righteous and in many cases, highly pretentious about their ridiculous "beliefs". Some kid can be "practicing" his fake "martial arts" outside after watching too much Naruto, pretend that he surprised himself by doing something "magical" like shooting ninja lightning out of his ass or something, and then go online and report it to his friends and SOMEONE else will undoubtedly hop on the attention monger train and say "Wow that same thing happened to me too!". Then it all turns into this big wank-fest where they make up stuff and agree with eachother and eventually start taking themselves really seriously. The kid who wrote in threatening to beat me up with his imaginary cartoon powers last week sounded like he had a little clique of friends, who probably all buy into his bullshit and have convinced themselves that they, too, have magic inner spirit animals that give them special abilities. They probably also draw anime-style fanart of themselves. There are a LOT of little cliques like this out there; they are all over the internet and infest high schools everywhere.

Kids like that aren't even really the worst of it, either; they're sort of the 'larvae stage' of an even creepier community, the "Otakukin". There's a small chance you've heard of "otherkin", people who believe they're actually dragons or foxes or faeries or whatever trapped in human bodies. Those people are bad enough, but Otakukin take it one step further - they believe they are the reincarnation of an anime character.

No, I'm not kidding. Yes, there are people who actually subscribe to this. Yes, they are completely bonkers.

The basic concept is this: someone goes on to the Otakukin message board - wherever it may exist, there are a few of 'em out there - and claims that they think they may have been Kagome or Goku or Duo Maxwell in a past life. How can they prove it? Well, they claim that when they were watching the anime series, they had specific memories of having lived those events, and sometimes the anime series gets it "wrong". That's right, someone will claim to be Inuyasha and then say that in episode #82, the events were "wrong", it actually happened "like this", and they know that because in a past life or a parallel dimension or something they actually were Inuyasha so they know better.

Here's a choice quote from the Livejournal Otakukin community to give you an example of how these people talk to each other:

:Samurai X: The Motion Picture, on the other hand, was offensive to me. So poorly put together and so utterly pessimistic, it wasn't anything like me, especially at that time in my soul progression."

Obviously this person believes he or she is Rurouni Kenshin. See what I mean? Here's another couple of gems:

"Also, the recent anime portrayals of me in the filler arc of Naruto were so... Hollow. Almost kinda soulless and cheap. I'm definitely manga canon."

"I've had this sort of thing happen with soul bonds, and bonds that I've known on other's systems, even they way the 'oringal' artist designed the charatcers, I've been told they was slight off."

This person uses the word "original" in quotes, because Otakukin believe that the person who actually created the manga was simply "tapping in" to the alternate reality in which the anime character actually existed, and therefore is doing no more than recording a fictionalized version of real events. This gives them room to "disagree" or act violated somehow when they watch anime and decide they want to take issue with some scene.

Is your head exploding yet? I don't really need to harp on and on about how utterly ridiculous this stuff is, because it really does speak for itself, but it just goes to show you that even when something is so ridiculous and out there it seems like it has to be a joke, there are doubtless hundreds who take it gravely seriously. Take a cruise around the Otakukin sites (or read today's Flake of the Week), though; it will give you the very unique sensation of feeling really good about yourself as a person while simultaneously laughing and sobbing.
Here's his 'Flake of the Week' from the same article:
Why are there always more of them?

Dear Mr. Bertschy,

My name is Luna Starbright and I am imploring you to apologize to the young man who wrote you last week about his abilities. While this may surprise and even shock you, there are many of us in this world who have the same kind of powers you see in anime shows. That young man obviously has the same powers as Naruto does, while I myself believe that I have the same abilities as Sailor Moon (transformation, etc). Now you may call us crazy, but it is the truth (as the young man said, we can prove it), and one day you may be enlightened. If not that is sad, but persecuting our kind is not the answer. I would ask you to look upon the lessons taught us by the defeat of the Nazis before continuing to rail against our kind. It is a form of racism.

For the time being I ask that you publically apologize to the entire 'kin community. We are people who deserve respect, and our feelings should be considered.

Sincerely and with great hope that you make the right decision,
Luna Wishcatcher Starbright

How's this for my public apology: your name sounds like a My Little Pony and your letter makes me want to wretch. "Racism"? Give me a break. The notion that a bunch of idiot kids who watch too many cartoons compare being made fun of (and rightfully so) on the internet to legitimate real-world discrimination issues makes me so very, very sad. All you're doing is trivializing real racism. You're a moron with no perspective on the real world.

Are we done here? I'm going to stop printing letters from you lunatics. I'm only giving you the attention you so crave.
With that out of the way, I have to deal with pretending to respect certain individuals on certain RPG devoted websites because they think that they're anthropomorphic animals, and if I don't, I'm some sort of fascist bigot. It's little wonder why my sanity is waning, and this is just a deeper examination of my earlier comments on fandom. Is it too much to ask to ask that I find people that are, at most, as screwed up as I am in fandom circles? (Mind you, after asking that, I'll see the hands of people saying that they aren't screwed up, and then turn around and say or do something that shows that they're worse off than me.)

Of course, I'm reminded of this little tidbit from DF1.0:
Lay Off the Furries, OK? No. No, I won't. Until furries begin to realize that it's not healthy, and I'm talking about real furries here, not fans of anthropomorphic art. If your sexual identity involves viewing yourself, and your (potential) partner, through a lens of animal anthropomorphism, then you have a problem... and don't you dare play the queer card, as you're talking out your ass at that point.

It has nothing to do with liking drawings of 'sexy animal people'. It has everything to do with being aroused by drawings of 'sexy animal people'. Me? I dig the comic Usagi Yojimbo, the various incarnations Masamune Shirow's Dominion, and the anime series Hyper Police. I even own products based on them, and all feature anthropomorphic animals as the either the main, or at least major, characters. For some, that would make me a furry, but I'm not. Sure, I've got my kinks, like everyone else, but none of them involve the thought "she'd look hot with cat ears and a tail."(*)

I find the whole "but it's not beastiality" line of thought funny, as well, it is a sort of beastiality. If your sexual identity is best described through an animal analogue, then yeah, it's beastiality. Beastiality in denial, but it's still beastiality. Now, at this point, you could argue about people who get off on the transgendered, but the last time I checked (well, I really haven't checked, but you get my point) they were still humans. Having gender issues is common with all species, especially primates, but having species issues isn't.

Now, if anthropomorphic fandom is your cup of tea, then the more power to you. If you think that anthro cosplay is fun, again, more power to you. If you get off on it, and not in a 'naughty school girl meets the French maid' way, then you have serious issues that need to be examined. It's not remotely normal or healthy. If it were, you'd have a Fur Pride Day.

(Whoa, did I just had a brain fart. I just imagined what a Fur Pride Day parade would look like. Imagine the Disney Main Street parade, but in lingerie. Curse my active imagination with it's ability to quickly and effectively produce disturbing imagery.)

I think I'm going to stop now.

Update: It looks like I'm not alone. Although I'm not really an anthropomorphic fan, this site is by those fans who speak out against furries.
And if you're going to comment on this one, don't bother. I've heard it all, and really, I don't need to hear any more. Paint me a bigot, fine. Just go away.

(*) Okay, Rachel Leigh Cook and Rosario Dawson in Josie and the Pussycats aside.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Welcome Jay to the 21st Century

Well, I finally did it.

I got one of these.
It's only a 2 gig, and not an iPod, but I'm basically just using it for low bit-rate recordings of Coast to Coast AM, and the occasional audiobook, so I should be able to fit a bunch of stuff on it. Right now, I've got the complete Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio show and three C2C shows on it, and I've only used about 400 megs.

This thing is great, and I can't believe that I've held off for so long.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Media rundown

Yep, that time again.

Watching: On DVD - Talladega Nights, The Amazing Screw-On Head, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles,The Cave of Silken Web, Legendary Weapons of China, Yojimbo, Shinobi, Dragon Tiger Gate, Police Story III: Supercop, and Seven Swords. (Basically, it's been all animation and Asian cinema, and probably will be for the next little while. I've got Little Miss Sunshine and Borat waiting in the wings, though.) TV - Heroes, BSG, Stargate Atlantis, and The Dresden Files.
Listening (to): The Aquabats, Soundgarden, Massive Attack, Crystal Method, and Deltron 3030. Plus, I've been listening to MP3s of old Coast to Coast AM shows.
Reading: Sengoku by Arsenault & Bryant, and Asian Cult Cinema by Weisser.
Playing: Rogue Galaxy, Rogue Trooper, Final Fantasy XII, and Steambot Chronicles.

I've had a lot of time to kick back this month, and I've wasted them thoroughly. That said, it's Lunar New Years next weekend, and it'll be the start of my year, so I'm probably going to be celebrating it by conforming to every superstition/ritual that I can learn about. I've already got a bald man lined up for a head rubbing on Sunday. (And, no, I'm not kidding on that one.) So, gung hei fat choi everyone.

And yes, I know it doesn't mean 'Happy New Years'.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the ___________

"Last time I checked, the Catholic League claimed membership of about 350,000. Or roughly, twice the monthly sales of the Justice League comic book. Granted, the Justice League has the advantage of Batman and the Red Tornado but it also costs about 3 bucks a month, while membership in the Catholic League is free."
-John Rogers, Kung Fu Monkey.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

News meme - Silverman attacked

Okay, here's the CityNews clip:
I've just learned that the same guy operates a store in Brantford, and it's occurred to me that I've actually met him. It was on the Wii release day, and he was one of the unlucky who didn't get one. Thankfully, he didn't turn violent, but he did give me his business card and promised me a free eye exam.


24: Aqua Teen Terror Force


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Here's one for the anime otaku

It's, which is a site about living in Japan as a non-Japanese. The author is American-born, and became a naturalized Japanese citizen. The secondary focus of the site is to cover racial discrimination in Japan, and what to do if you're a victim.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Free previews of worthlessness

Okay, Scream TV is having a month long Free Preview for ExpressVu subscribers. The problem here, like most other free previews, is that there's nothing there to really make people want to subscribe to the channel in the first place. Sure, there's a Masters of Horror marathon in the middle of the night, but actually it is punishment enough. The November G4TechTV one was pretty rank as well, featuring mostly repeats, but the unannounced second month (in December) was fairly decent. Nothing to make me want to spend money on the channel, but it was better than the mediocrity that was November.

It seems to be a trend with Canadian pay/digital channels to save the best stuff for the paying subscribers, and to 'treat' the non-subscribers to crap. Why is it this way? Not sure, but it's been going on since the days of First Choice and Superchannel, and it looks like it's going to progress.

Mind you, the digital channels aren't exactly all they're cracked up to be these days, any ways. Scream is playing more SF and Action movies than horror and suspense, or so it feels. (They just did a marathon of the Sony owned heisei-series Godzilla flicks, for crying out loud.) Drive-In is airing a lot of TV series, and really hasn't been particularly good since it originally started up. Action and Diva basically have no identities of their own any more, if they even did in the first place. I have no doubt that the upcoming animé and martial arts channels will be exactly the same, that after the initial surge, they'll drop off the quality map.

Which is probably why I don't ever want to subscribe to these channels, and why I continue to build my DVD library. Basically, there really isn't much I want to watch on TV that's beyond my initial channel package. Which is too bad, as the niche channels could have held my interest if they'd kept up the quality.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Do I really need to explain this one? It's considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, and it's one of my personal favorites.
It's such a good film, that Sergio Leone actually ripped it off in order to make A Fistful of Dollars, and that's actually been proven in a court of law. It's such a good film that a noted director plagiarized it.

The basic plot? A nameless samurai (well, ronin) comes to a small town that's ruled by rival gangs, and he then sets out to free the town by playing them off of each other. It's very funny, and it's a story well told. For me, it's Kurosawa's best film. He deftly plays with genre here, and does so with a master's touch. It's not a complicated film, but every scene is packed. It's easy to see why so many directors were influenced by him, and you can forgive the missteps of Leone.

Honestly, I could gush at length, but the more I gush, the less coherent it will be. My recommendation is to see this movie at your earliest convenience. It's that good. (Unless you're one of those people who refuse to watch something with subtitles who really don't know what they're missing.)

Criterion recently re-released it on DVD, and it's one of the best transfers I've ever seen. It's what the Gojira transfer should've been, had it not been rushed for a budget release. It's the first Criterion disc that I've bought that hasn't been a Wes Anderson film, and it lives up to everything that's ever been said. If you want the movie, buy the new release of it and you'll have the best version ever released in North America.

As a bonus, here's the trailer for A Fistful of Dollars:
While a blatant ripoff of Yojimbo, it's still one of the best Westerns ever made, and it's a shame that MGM hasn't released a DVD of it to rival the Yojimbo one.


Jessica Simpson ruined my life

Y'know, I think my life was better when I didn't have a clue who she was. There was a particular... epoch, shall we say, when my life wasn't constantly being bombarded with crap media, and I think that epoch ended when I read a newspaper article about the Britney Spears and her clones. (The 'the Britney Spears' is indeed a typo, but at the same time, it's oddly fitting.)

Actually, it's probably the collective spawn of 'the Mouse', come to think of it. Spears, Simpson, Timberlake, Aguilera, Lohan, and the Duffs were all responsible for the crapification of western media. Sure, there was crap media before them, but this was a brand new refined crap.

Anywho, that said, I think I can pin-point things to that very moment. It was like reading the Necronomicon for the first time.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Dear Indie Horror movie producers

Enough with the zombies. You've completely defanged the genre, and now they're just another type of monster. Hope you're happy.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dear Big Media

From seanbonnerdotcom: Even when you try to understand, you still don't. So stop trying to understand it, because you'll never get it. Never. (I wonder if the dinosaurs were like this before the asteroid hit?)

Just in case you don't understand, here it is broken up into simple to read sentences:

We're the guys involved morons? Yes.
Is everybody else involved morons? Yes.

The Boston Police detonated a Lite-Brite.

A Lite-Brite.

They deemed Lite-Brites to be potentially dangerous.

The Boston Police.

A Lite-Brite.


Terror alert.

A Lite-Brite that looks like this:

A Lite-Brite with a Mooninite on it caused a terror alert.

That's it America, put the crack pipe down and step away from the car.

(For the record, Denis, I hadn't read your post yet when I made the crack pipe comment.)

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For those of you who still don't get that the HD war has been won by Sony

Here's an article from the Digital Bits, on Nielsen Videoscan's sales tracking:
The first official retail tracking data from Nielsen VideoScan seems to show Blu-ray Disc outselling HD-DVD in unit software sales by a more than 2 to 1 margin, and the gap is widening. According to data reported in Home Media Retailing (you'll find it on page one of the digital edition available on their website) for the week ending 1/7/07, Year-to-Date tracking indicated that for every 47.14 HD-DVDs sold there were 100 Blu-ray Disc titles sold. Just a week later, ending 1/14/07, the same YTD tracking indicated just 38.36 HD-DVDs sold for every 100 Blu-ray Discs sold. What's more, tracking by Nielsen VideoScan since the inception of both formats appears to indicate that Blu-ray Disc is quickly erasing the sales lead HD-DVD enjoyed as a result of launching months earlier in 2006. On 1/7, HD-DVD's lead was 100 discs for every 85.05 Blu-ray Discs sold, while just a week later on 1/14, that lead had been reduced to 100 HD-DVDs for every 92.40 Blu-ray Discs sold.
There. Got it now?


What more do you need?

Porn is going to be dual format. Sony, Fox and Disney are Blu-Ray exclusive. Japan has a 96% HD market penetration for Blu-Ray. Now, it's shown that despite having a head start, Blu-Ray now outsells HD-DVD 2:1.

Seriously. What more do you need? A shovel to the head, perhaps?