Thursday, September 25, 2008

The battle of the millenium!

November is right around the corner and one question is on everybody's mind: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman? The fate of the free world is at stake and this debate is ripping this country in half. Yet, a large part of the country is distracted by this McCain/Obama debacle. Now, I can't predict the outcome to either of these showdowns, but I do have my opinions. And now, thanks to some art from a Entertainment Weekly issue over the summer, I feel obliged to combine the two!

Obama/Spiderman vs. McCain/Batman!

The older of the two fighters and seen as the more experienced and “battle tested”. He has a tragic past which some say drives his present activities. Although a strong leader and confident tactician, one of his biggest weapons is fear. There is danger on every doorstep and it must be constantly dealt with by any means necessary, even if the normal people don’t understand these means. Those means, after all, will eventually be justified by the ends. He’s always wearing a snazzy belt which may or may not have a hidden stash of kryptonite. He is reputed to have quite the temper, though this could be exaggerated. The truth is, people tend to have a limited view on this man, focusing on one aspect of a multi-faceted individual. Some people see a war hero and a natural leader, some see an old man in a young man’s game, and some see an accomplice in a budding fascist regime.

This fighter may lack experience, but he seems to make up for it with a quick wit and good intentions. He seems to be in this fight for all the right reasons. He has great power and consistently claims that he uses it responsibly, but how much do we really know about his intentions? There are news organizations (Fox News / Daily Bugle) that view this man as a fraud and a liar and exploit every opportunity to support these claims. Some disregard this as meaningless vitriol while others hang on every word as if it were gospel. So who's right? Is this man virtuous hero he claims to be or is he just a power hungry con artist? Is his youth and ambition an asset or a liability? I am pretty sure that he could not win this battle using defense alone. We can anticipate that his opponent will have a very strong offense, and history had shown us that taking the high road and not fighting back against an opponent like this can be disastrous. Do you remember John Kerry's platform, or any of the Riddler's riddles? I don't either, but I do remember flip-flopping and ass-kicking! Integrity is a neat looking word, but sometimes the enemy will take the low blow and you have to respond or lose. Fortunately, this fighter seems to be able to see attacks coming and respond accordingly. But will he be able to keep it up?

So there you have it, no answers, just more questions. Who knows what will happen? I certainly don't. I guess it's all moot because they would both be creamed by Al Gore/Captain Planet. Heart!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Non-lethal notes on Death Note.

I like anime for the most part. Because I have the netflix, I can try out new shows for free so I am trying this one show called Death Note. This show is found in the horror-anime section, but it’s more of a detective story. The main character is a 17 year old student who can kill anyone by writing their name in a notebook that some weird demon guy (that only he can see) dropped. Our main character thinks he’s a hero but he descends into villainy. He is pursued by a super detective known only as “L”.

So do I like this show? Yeah I do. Do I think you’ll like it? I don’t know. Here’s a little test to see.

The following is a conversation about Death Note based on conversations found in Death Note between myself and an invisible demon guy who cares about my opinion on anime:

Me: I’ve been watching Death Note and for the most part I’m enjoying it.
Demon: You like what you see so far of the Death Note Anime?
Me: Yeah, I like it for the most part, but after watching several episodes I get a little annoyed by the repetitive, expository dialogue.
Demon: You’re annoyed by the dialogue that repeats itself and is constantly giving information that has already been given?
Me: It’s not to say that what they have to say isn’t interesting, in fact there are some very interesting themes at play that are communicated mostly through dialogue instead of action.
Demon (internal monologue): Amazing! This human mostly likes Death Note but is annoyed by the dialogue while recognizing the importance of such dialogue to the story…
Me: The main plot of a story is a cat and mouse game between a super smart killer who thinks he’s a hero and a super smart detective, which is pretty interesting. The problem is that every move they make and clue they discover is followed by them wordily explaining what they did and why they did it.
Demon: A cat and mouse game between a super smart killer who thinks he’s a hero and a super smart detective would be hard to follow if they didn’t tell you what was going on, wouldn’t it?
Me: That’s true, a cat and mouse game between a super smart killer who thinks he’s a hero and a super smart detective would be hard to follow if they didn’t tell you what was going on, but they a constantly rehashing information that has already been given several times.
Demon: Constantly rehashing information that has already been given several times? It sounds like the dialogue in series is pretty repetitive and expository. That could get annoying.
Me: Yes it does get annoying, but I like the series for the most part. It doesn’t have a lot of action, but the animation is cool and the plot moves just fast enough for me to stay to see what happens next.
Demon: So it’s not all bad if the plot moves just fast enough for you to stay to see what happens next.
Me: Yeah it’s not all bad, but there are some other little quirks that throw me off, like the dramatic simultaneous exclamations.
Demon: Dramatic simultaneous exclamations?
Me: Indeed. It usually happens at the end of the episodes where the two main characters are displaying their mutual resolve (usually talking to themselves) and than start saying the same thing…
Demon: So they are both leading to the same point and getting excited about it…
Me: …and the music builds just in time for the…
Demon: …and they say the same thing which results in…
Me and Demon at the same time: DRAMATIC SIMULTANEUS EXCLAMATION!!!!!
Me (internal monologue): Which isn’t too bad when used sparingly and the exclamations aren’t inane like “EATING A POTATO CHIP!!!” which did actually happen once.

Are you still with me? If so, you may enjoy this series. If not, than you have no attention span, and since you’re not even reading this I can tell you that you are what’s wrong with today’s society and I hope you get an STD from all that celebrity gossip trash you’re probably reading instead!

That being said, I’m going to wrap this up. I’m only eight episodes into this series so my opinion might change but right now I’d give this show 3 stars out of 5. Apparently there is a live action movie out based on this series. Because I’m such a good friend, I’ll check it out so you don’t have to. No need to thank me, just send Red Bull.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Even more crap!

I've been watching a lot of South Park lately. I haven't had cable for years so I've had some catching up to do. I love the internet. Now I think South Park is smart and very funny. Watching eight episodes in a row, however, serves to show how repetitive it can be. They are constantly challenging social trends, but they tend to use the same movie satires and dramatizations to carry their message. Whether or not you love or hate the show, you can always find at least a kernel of truth in their message.

This is true of one episode I watched recently titled More Crap. This episode is from season 11 and to you rich cool people with cable this may seem like old news, but I just saw it for the first time so shut up. Basically there were two main themes in this episode. First, men are especially proud of their bowel movements, something women will never understand. Second, Bono does a lot of good things for the world but he still seems like a piece of crap.
Look at the look of awe on the men's faces and annoyance and confusion on the women's. I'll be the first to admit having felt a certain amount of pride for an especially large poo. I have also been called in by certain friends to observe their own fecal creation. What's with that?

It has been theorized that men have womb envy, and pride of poop stems from that. It makes some sense I guess. Every single day we interact with awesome things that women have crapped out: us. Hell, we ourselves are living lady craps. Maybe that knowledge haunts us men and we want to be able to produce something important too. Well when faced with this suggestion I did what everybody seeking knowledge does. I consulted that "Tome of Knowledge About Everything Everywhere": Wikipedia.

Here is an interesting passage about Womb Envy from wikipedia: Womb envy, a term coined by Karen Horney, is the neo-Freudian feminist equivalent of penis envy. Horney suggests that it is the unexpressed anxiety felt by some men over women's ability to give birth, leading them to dominate women or driving them to succeed in order for their names to live on.[1] Horney claims that men experience womb envy more powerfully than women experience penis envy because 'men need to disparage women more than women need to disparage men'.[2]
Horney considers it likely that Womb envy is a psychosocial tendency, just as penis envy is, rather than a quality inherent in men.

I noticed two things from this passage. First, her name is Karen Horney!!! hahahahahaha!!!

Second, there is no mention of poop. But apparently "men need to disparage women more than women need to disparage men." BULLSHIT! Apparently Ms. (I'm assuming she's not married) Horney *snicker* has never had dinner at the Taylor house. Has she even seen Everybody Loves Raymond? I think not.

So we may never know why men are so proud of their turds. We do know that women will never understand it because they are stupid. I'm sorry I just can't myself, I really need to disparage women for some reason. I... must...oppress...women...

...Stupid Horney...

Wow, two posts in one day. That's what happens when you have 3 months of paid vacation I guess. I have GRE's in exactly two weeks, and I should be studying but I'm not. I wonder why that is. Is it because of my self destructive tendencies or is it just plain hubris? Let's let America decide!!! Yay!!!

"Probably the Best Superhero Comic in the Universe!"

If you know me than you probably know that I am a big fan of comic books. If you didn't know this, now you do. In fact, I comics will probably be the most dominating topic in this blog. Some people may cringe at this, but the truth is you love it. Yes you do, admit it. A lot of people like to blow off comic books as being "funny books made for kids" and while some comic books do fall into this generalization, a large number of them don't. Actually there are comics that cover all the genres that movies do. While the most popular comics are the mainstream superhero books published by Marvel and DC, that is not all that's out there, and certainly not the best. Again, think in terms of movies. There are the big Hollywood blockbusters that, like popcorn for breakfast, are good at the moment but leave you feeling empty and hungry for more. Then there are the smaller independent films and the experimental mind-fuck films which really make you think. Comics are the same way. Now, this is not to say that Marvel and DC don't produce good books, cause they do, but you really have to sift through a large volume of "sales generating" crap to find the more original and inventive books.

Again, I'm going to talk about comics a lot in the future, and critiquing the industry is not my intention for this particular entry. If you are pretty clueless about comics (Kelly) and you have questions you want me to try to answer, feel free to ask them. In fact I am open to any suggestions as to what I should write about. Now, let's get back to the original topic. See that picture at the top rightof the screen, the one with the picture of the dude in the yellow mask? That's a zombie version of Invincible. Fuck yeah, Invincible!

Most people who do know me think that Spiderman is my favorite superhero. This is not true. In fact, I'm pretty much done with that guy. I liked the animated series from the nineties, my Grandma and I used to watch it every day after school. I'm not a big fan of the movies, and I always thought Tobey McGuire was a bad choice to play Peter Parker (it should have been Jake Gyllenhall from day one). As for the actual comic books, they are ridiculous. One More Day is a frickin joke. 'Nuff said. I do not want to start ranting about this now. But I will, oh I will. Watch your back, Quesada.

No, my favorite superhero is Invincible. Published by Image comics, written by Robert Kirkman, and penciled (that means drawn, Kelly) by Ryan Ottley, this book is made of pure awesome. On each cover it says "Probably the Best Superhero Comic in the Universe!" and it aint lyin'!

I first discovered this book when I was student teaching at a pretty wealthy high school in VT. Their library had a pretty extensive graphic novel section and they had the first few trades of Invincible. I had never heard of it, despite it having been out for a while. I borrowed the first two trades (each trade is a book that collect about six monthly issues, Kelly) and I thought they were pretty good, but the third trade was what hooked me for life. It got good. Really really good.

(English is OctoBoss' second language. Normally I don't condone making fun of people who are just trying to learn, but I have no sympathy for giant octopus terrorists.)

The main character of the book is Mark Grayson. He's a senior in high school in a world where superheroes are pretty commonplace, though not mundane. The best of these heroes happens to be his father, Omni-man. The book starts off when Mark is just starting to discover his own powers he's inherited from his father and decides to through his own hat in the superhero ring. Then stuff happens. Awesome stuff.

The thing about Invincible is that it pokes fun at superhero comics and the cliches that have become commonplace in them, while at the same time being a great comic in it's own right. Robert Kirkman is a fantastic writer and this is not the only book of his that I will be raving about (think zombies....). Each character he introduces throughout the series has his/her own voice and soon enough there's a large number of plotlines that he juggles expertly. Due to this, the book is hard to jump into in the middle of the series. Reading from issue 1 really is the best way to know and appreciate all the characters, though he has done a good job of making "jumping on points" for new readers. Ryan Ottley (and Cory Walker in the beginning) really makes this book beautiful to look at. From the large scale action scenes to the quiet character moments, the art never fails. I don't really have the words.... art = good.

I highly reccomend this book to anyone, even if you don't read comics. Heck,I own all the trades and I'll let you borrow them. If you don't want to keep reading after the third book, fine. You won't hear me say "I can't believe you don't like Invincible!" though I'll be thinking it.
If you're interested in this book at all there is something kinda neat I just discovered today. I've seen comic adaptations before, and they're pretty neat. They make mini movies out of pre-existing comics. They use images from the book but add voices, sound effects, and a little animation. The preview of the Invincible one can be found at . It's worth checking out.
Wow, that's a lot of writing about a comic book. If you're still with me, thanks and I'm sorry about the lack of funny. I did not make fun of Quebec today so that province can breathe easy for now... Instead I will leave you with a zombie joke:
Two zombies and a barman go into a bar.
The first zombie says to the other zombie, "Graaaghaa haarann margahhaa naaarrrrrrgnn!"
The other zombie says "Hrraaaaa Maggaa GRAMMA GRAMMA bargh nrrrrhr!"
And then they eat the barman.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I can't believe you don't like...

Like any normal person, I likes what I like. I have opinions about everything from movies to yogurt flavors. I understand that my opinions aren't shared by everybody and that's ok. In fact, that's a very good thing. Life would be no fun if everybody liked and disliked the same exact things (just look at Quebec).

Apparently, there are certain things that no one is allowed to dislike. You know what I'm talking about. "I can't believe you don't like [insert hyped up reference here]!" We've all been victims of this and most of us have probably been guilty of it. Well, it pisses me off! What, am I some kind of freak because I found Gone With the Wind boring? I'm not a true Vermonter because I hate skiing? Screw that. This is America and I can feel what I want to do! (Italics indicate angry and indignant hick twang). __________ (frankly, I really don't give a damn!)

The most recent example of this that I've encountered is The Dark Knight. Personally, I loved this movie. I plan on writing an actual review on it later (maybe). There's a website I visit where four reviews gave their opinions on the movie. Two reviewers gave it 5 (out of 5) bullets, one gave it 4.5 bullets, and one gave it 2 bullets. The reaction to the 2 bullets is what sparked this little rant. "How could you not like this movie??" "This was the best comic book movie ever!!" The guy wrote his reasons for not liking the movie and he supported his reasoning. Enough said.

This brings me to another point, not being allowed to dislike dead people. Now, I'm not promoting speaking ill of the dead by any means. I appreciate having respect for the deceased. That being said, if a jerk dies, he was still a jerk when he was alive. If a bad actor dies, he was still a bad actor when he was alive. As for Heath Ledger, I thought he was a fantastic actor and I've thought so since 10 Things I Hate About You. I was genuinely upset when he died because he was one young actor that I really had high hopes for. For the record, I thought he was fantastic Joker and he really made that movie for me. He was a much better Joker than Jack Nicholson ("How can you say that?? Jack was the original!!") As much as I loved his performance, I'm not going to crucify you for not liking it. Furthermore, I find it very hard to believe that there would be Oscar talk if Heath were still alive. But there is. And maybe it's deserved, I don't know, I'm not in the "academy". Has an actor or actress in a comic book movie ever been nominated for an Oscar? That's a genuine question, I'm too lazy to look it up.

I did not intend to turn this into a post about Heath Ledger. This is a post about the freedom of opinion. Unfortunately I share the general "hyped-up" opinion about The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's performance, so my point may fall flat, but if you do not share that opinion, feel free to say so and you will not get any grief from me.

Well, original plan was to make a list of things that generally get a "I can't believe you didn't like..." reaction in the face of criticism. Unfortunately, I can't really think of a lot of examples right now so I'm going to make a tentative list that can be added to in the future. Feel free to give me some input. This is not a list of things I don't like. In fact I'm a fan of most of this stuff. But if I wasn't, what's it to you?

I Can't Believe You Don't Like...

  • Gone With the Wind (see above)
  • James Bond
  • Elvis
  • The Simpsons
  • Lord of the Rings (book and movie)
  • Harry Potter (books)
  • The Beatles
  • Mother Theresa
  • Christmas
  • Nirvana
  • Mr. Willis
  • Oreos
  • Watchmen (comic)
  • Michael Keaton as Batman
  • Tom Hanks
  • Bob Marley (thanks Emma)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


This blog will have no clear, defined purpose. I have random thoughts filling my brain and this is a place to put those thoughts. Parts of my brain go here, zombies eat brains, hence the title. Pretty clever, eh? That is just a morsel of the cleverness to come. Or that could be all I got...