Short Post: Magical Realism

August 30, 2014 § 4 Comments

1365541696926This isn’t what you’re thinking.

This is just me coming right out and saying it: magic would be an awful thing to have really exist. The simple reason why is because of how depraved people are without it. Think of the kind of things that get blamed on magic and the occult and it more than likely doesn’t exist.

Now imagine if it did and some of those things were being given credence and supported by an actual real world force.

Imagine someone crazy in that way a genius is, but also willing to be passonate enough that they start trying their spells and things on themselves. Now imagine the results that it would garner.

No, magic is probably a thing best left for story book worlds.

BoJack Horseman Is Actually Funny

August 28, 2014 § 1 Comment

MV5BMTUxNDYwMzEzM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM0ODkyMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_I might have, in the past few days mentioned the show Bojack Horseman. It’s a Netflix original cartoon that follows a former nineties television star horse through his day to day life trying to navigate obscurity. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Alison Brie (Community and Mad Men) were the personalities that attracted me to the whole thing and I have to say that the more I see of it the more I love it.

Apparently I’m not the only one, Netflix has already ordered a second season. It’s nice to see more things following in the footsteps of shows like Archer and using the cartoon medium to tell somewhat realistic premises in unbelievable ways.

Even better is the power of Netflix to basically fund shows that aren’t bound by the awkward (awkward in the way that boners during a junior high school slow dance are awkward) television censorship laws and that don’t cost you twenty dollars a month to watch.

If you’re a fan of dark humor, enjoy the voices of Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Paul F. Tompkins, and Alison Brie, or are just looking for something to binge watch on Netflix, definitely give this one a try.

Stop Telling Black People That Racism Doesn’t Matter

August 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

1313178415025When I was in first grade I loved the Ninja Turtles. This is a time slightly before the explosion of Power Rangers and before anyone here really watched anime at a younger age. The US back then largely relied on it’s own animation and guess what cartoon had gone from the small screen to the movie theater recently?

I remember it was cold outside, well, as cold as it gets in Texas. And I remember there were some kids talking about playing Ninja Turtles in this little playground just before you walked onto the soccer field. There were only three of them and I wanted to be Donatello. So I asked.

And the reply came back from one of the kids that the Turtles weren’t black. Sounds like someone should have taught the little fucker his colors. The Turtles were all shades of green. None of them had a “race” the way humans thought of it and it seemed odd that a kid would define something that obviously has no race as “not black” or “white”. Looking back I can totally understand it now. To that kid and a lot of other kids of other races, white is default.

Before I go on, I would like to quote someone off of a forum that I know and what they said in a recent thread.

I’m sick of trying to explain this to white boys on the internet (or whatever inevitable “actually, I’m not white, I’m..” outlier) who fancy themselves Spock bracing against all the “emotional” discontent of minorities.

They don’t get it. And worse than simply not getting it, they think they have a better grasp of “it” than us.” It” being our own experience. And suddenly, we find ourselves in Robot-Logic Land where any argumentation less scrupulous than a Master’s thesis need not apply because human experience is never muddied by anything other than numbers and rationality. This from the same sort of people who sub to some fat fuck nerd on Youtube for “telling it like it is” with nothing but anecdotes and Cheeto-powered rage.

This isn’t to say that whites are evil or that all whites are causing the problem. I don’t have an issue with anyone based on skin color. What I do have issue with, as the quote kind of points out, is the idea that my experiences as a black person and the experiences of someone who is white are the same.

In the same way that two resumes that are identical with just male and female names will be treated differently, being black is going to make people make assumptions about you. Even other black people. It’s going to change how you’re treated in certain situations and how you act. I’ve come to realize that when dealing with people I don’t know I will often try my best to look as nonthreatening as possible, to speak softer than I normally do and the like. It’s not something that was done consciously at first—it just happened. This is the way that garners the most respect or keeps me out of trouble the most. It’s a defense mechanism.

It feels like people react to you as if they’re afraid of you a lot of the time. These attitudes about race, some of them contradictory, are ingrained in the culture of our country from a time starting back from when Columbus landed on a piece of dirt near here and decided that the people there didn’t matter.

And this isn’t just an issue with race, it can be applied to other things. A friend of mine recently posted an article on her Facebook page about street abuse of women and people acted like she was overreacting. When it comes to women everyone suddenly wants to point out how easily they actually have it; like somehow having doors held for you or not having to pay for all your own meals and movies would somehow make up for the cat calling, wage gap and the way that people don’t value your fucking opinions.

I’m tired of people deciding the narrative without listening to the other side of things. I’m tired of it being “too soon” to talk about these things or “me being too sensitive because the issue is too close”. Who better to talk about the experiences I’ve had than me? Why shouldn’t women speak out against guys thinking they have the right to treat them like property?

What the people do this are doing isn’t just avoiding the problem. They’re adding to it, but not addressing what’s there and deflecting discussion of it you’re telling the person who faces the issue that they don’t matter, their pain isn’t important, their experiences aren’t your problem, that the abuses should go on and they should just deal with it.

“That’s just the way things are” right?

Luckily, when I was in first grade the teacher pulled me aside after she heard what had happened with me and the other kids and she talked to me about skin color and how it didn’t matter. The discussion was really brief and simple. I was six, so I couldn’t take much more than brief and simple. The one thing I remember about it was how she told me that we’re different, but it doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts. It’s corny, but it’s true. Whether you’re brown, black, white or a mutated turtle, it’s what’s inside that counts.  

Keeping Up With the Status Quo: Jenna Marbles

August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Now, I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a petty person. I’m not afraid to admit it. When I see someone that I don’t like doing badly I get a little skip in my step. Maybe it’s not okay to voice these opinions out in the open of the world. I don’t really know these things, but I don’t think that I’m alone in this because thought process because it’s just too easy of a way to be about things.

That’s why I was kind of happy to see people speaking out against Jenna Marbles. It’s too bad that this all happened two years ago. I missed out on all of this because I gave up on Jenna Marbles after some other videos when I realized that she wasn’t as much speaking out with new ideas or being edgy as she was saying all of the things that society has made it perfectly clear that it believes. She appears edgy because she’s cursing a lot (somehow cursing is still edgy to us) and there’s this underlying thought that a pretty woman shouldn’t have these thoughts.

But she still does and that somehow makes her one of the highest rated vloggers on YouTube. There seems to be a lot of popularity surrounding the idea that someone gets out there and says things that are a larger part of the public consciousness and just lend themselves to being part of the status quo and they end up getting millions of views. People love to hear what they believe regurgitated back out at them from another source. That’s why Fox News was so popular. That’s why people love to see movies like God’s Not Dead and Heaven is For Real. People don’t want to believe what they believe; they want to believe what they believe and have others prove that belief is right. It’s less common to find people who seek out those who challenge their beliefs and force them to reevaluate their thinking than to find people who feel just like them and therefore won’t question anything that they believe.

That being said, I’m doing the same thing. I’ve come to strongly believe that Chelsea Fagan is the best thing about the website Thought Catalog. And of course she agrees to some small degree with me about Jenna in this article. I don’t think that Jenna’s videos or as funny or interesting as Chelsea seems to and I’ve felt for a long time like the people calling Jenna a feminist were the kind of people who called other feminists cunts. It seems like a lot of the ideas Jenna has are the kind of stuff that I hear being said by guys on Pick Up Artist websites.

I feel like this is the thing that makes her so popular and that’s why when I found out there was some talk about her being in the wrong I read up on it, because it felt like I had been the odd one out for a long time. It felt like I had been the only person who thought Jenna Marbles wasn’t all that she was cracked up to be.

Sandman: Seasons of Mists Review

August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

“To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due.”

2530815-death35To quote one of the first reviews that I saw on Goodreads.com: “This is where shit gets real in the Sandman series…” I don’t think I have agreed with any review more than I did with that little snippet of that one. This review is spoiler free.

Seasons of Mists is where everything that I was promised about Sandman kicks in. The comic is a very slow burn and it’s all been good up to this point, but, and let me make this very clear, Seasons of Mists is everything that that makes this one of the most celebrates comic books series of all time.

There’s just some damn good writing here and so many quotable parts. There’s a lot of expansion of the mythos and we finally meet the majority of the Endless Siblings. And we get some really good stuff from Lucifer; his reasons behind the things he does and just some insight into Hell that makes for a really interesting read.

Some of it I had come up with for my own Lucifer, without having read this part. I don’t think this warrants me changing it, but it does warrant me realizing that I need to make sure to not tread on this ground without something of a new take on what I am doing.

If you’re like me and you’ve been hearing for years how amazing Sandman is and you’re on the fence about reading it, just let me say that this short series in it is all the reason you should need to find a digital copy on Amazon or scour the book stores of your city.

You won’t be able to just read the Seasons of Mists without the stuff that came before. It builds largely on a lot of little set pieces that have been in play for a while and I think, that if I’m right, this is only the beginning of the good stuff.

Doctor Who “Deep Breath” Review Thing

August 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

its-all-about-to-change-doctor-who-series-8-episode-1-to-be-screened-in-cinemas-around-the-worldLet me start off by saying that this is a new thing for me. Since I’m already watching Doctor Who as it comes on I figured that I could spend part of my year on this blog reviewing the show. I don’t have a real system for this yet and I really only finished the episode a few minutes ago. Going to wing it.

This blog post is going to be riddled with spoilers for season 8 episode 1 of Doctor Who.

First things first:

The New Doctor
I’m a huge Capaldi fan, first of all. Thick of It is a great show and his character in it was great. I’m happy that he was using his Scottish accent and wasn’t forced to put on some bland English accent to make the show more accessible. Scottish has a great sound to it and it gives the character a different personality from the last few Doctors

doctorwho_s08e01_02I feel like we’re far to early in all of this to just guess who the Doctor was. There was that bit with Matt Smith where he ate all the foods and that was really funny, but looking back it didn’t ring as something that defined who he would be for the rest of that season. Fun loving, maybe, But it didn’t seem as relevant later as it did funny, though there’s nothing wrong with funny.

Capaldi is dark with out entering into that David Tennant Depressing territory I was more than tired of by the end of the second season. I like the idea of the Doctor being dark, but not in that emo way. I think Matt Smith edged closer and closer to being dark as his seasons went on and that we’re going to see some of the result of that darkness in this new Doctor.

Clara
I love Clara. Sorry, but I know she’s not well liked. The truth of the matter is she’s not been in very much where she’s had a chance to shine. She really only did half a season in seven and two specials after that. We haven’t had enough time to adapt to her. But I feel like I like the little bits they’ve given us here and there. She’s fiercely brave and extremely caring in what seems to be a more “I care about this group” way. I don’t know how to describe it, but the people saying she has no personality are flat out wrong. She has some, but she’s not going to be as well rounded as Amy because when Amy left she’d been in two and a half seasons and had all this time to grow and breath. We have to get used to seeing someone we don’t know.

The Paternoster Gang
Somewhere along the line it became cool to hate Strax, Jenny and Vastra, but I must have missed the memo. I feel like they’re on key most of the time, they serve their purpose and they have distinct personalities and quirks. What’s interesting is that we really see them very little and we get hints here and there about their pasts. But Moffat’s writing is really good at making characters we see in blips and between little spots seem well fleshed out and like they’re seeing the Doctor some of the time when we’re not seeing him. I like this idea that we only see a small portion of the Doctor’s travels.

I think they help solidify that point.

The Plot
I was shocked to see that this all played back into something that happened in Moffat’s episode in season two. Someone commented that the Doctor should have remembered faster, but it’s been over one thousand years for him since that shit happened. The Doctor spent nine hundred years on Tenzalore alone.

I thought this was a brilliant thing to bring back and that it was used in a fresh way. Though I feel like it was far creepier in the original episode. The sound the robots made was much more distinct and it really creeped me the Hell out.

This was a fun way to turn what had been a monster of the week standalone into something that has a connection to another part of the series.

References, Mysteries, ETC
The new opening is very different and it’s probably the biggest change in the opening that the show has had since it came back on air. It’s a lot busier and looks like it took more work, but I really like it.

It also seems like Moffat is delivering on his promise that we’re going to solve some mysteries about where the Doctor gets his faces from. I’m wondering if this will allow us some chances to see old actors in bit roles. Like a Matt Smith companion character for a single episode or a David Tennant one. I doubt that happens, but it would be cool.

I’m sure everyone else caught it, but he references the “Home, the long way round” line when talking to cyborg. 

One small thing I would like to point out about the picture at the top of this post. It shows the head of UNIT and the girl with the scarf from UNIT we met in the fiftieth anniversary. I am really, really hoping we see those characters again.

It looks like this ran longer than I wanted it to. I really need to think of some format to do these in and some stuff that I would like to bring to light during them. I really did enjoy the episode and I am loving Capaldi’s Doctor.

Sign of the Times

August 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is another, albeit short, role playing post. That’s right, so soon after the last one. With the move going on I haven’t been able to do much else in my free time besides get a few shots in here and there in the game. Even still, there is something that I have been noticing about the game I am in.

Most of the people don’t use speech appropriate for the period. In fact, most of them speak as if they’re speaking right now. In some cases this makes sense or at least the fact that they speak with today’s sensibilities makes sense because it is a fantasy world and often times the problems of the past don’t exist there. Having a medieval knight say “My bad” might be funny the first time, but it seems so out of place.

The beauty of forum games is that you can so easily get into character because you don’t have to look at or hear the other person across from you not being what they are pretending to be. I’ve never been the performance type. Public speaking and acting and singing aren’t my things and even at my best in front of crowds I am insanely nervous.

So the online forum play by post game is something that I feel like was made for me and people like me. I just kind of wish there was more sense of character to it.

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