Archive for May, 2012

So, it turns out that some guy thinks that maybe there’s a super-potent form of LSD that turns you into a naked cannibal maniac.  Maybe that guy is just a NARC, trying to blame everything on drugs, but really, there definitely are naked cannibal maniacs out there, so I want to take a brief moment and talk about the best kind of weapons to use in the case of zombie apocalypse, so that you can start practicing NOW, and be ready when the naked cannibal maniacs take over.

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Geek Pride Day

Posted: May 25, 2012 in Braak
Tags: , , ,

Is THIS a geek? No, it is Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters.

This is a thing on the internet that people are talking about, and I admit that I kind of don’t really understand it, so I am appealing to you — NERDS — for help.  What the shit is Geek Pride?

Like, people act like it’s a thing like, “I am proud to be a Geek.”  What does that even mean?

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Man, you guys.  I wasn’t even going to write about this, until Charlie Jane Anders posted up this article from The Wrap, which is about how The Hunger Games and The Avengers are doing so well that there’s no money left for Battleship, and it contains a quote from Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nikki Rocco in which she says:

In my heart of hearts I feel ‘Battleship’ would have fared much better if in its third week ‘Avengers’ wasn’t doing $55 million.

This is basically the same thing as saying, “I believe that if pizza weren’t so successful as a food product, more people would be lining up to buy my turd sandwich,” in that yes, duh.  Of course people would rather see The Avengers nine times than see Battleship.  I would rather watch The Avengers nine times, and I hate watching anything twice.  I would rather watch no other movies for the rest of my life, and watch The Avengers every single day until the Four Horseman annihilate the world at the front of a wave of radioactive space sludge than watch Battleship.

Because Battleship is a turd sandwich.

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I was going to write a long piece about this thing here, by Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians, which is a book of which I liked about 60%.  The piece is about how genre fiction is more than just escapism, there’s psychological merit to fantasy fiction et cetera and so forth.

But the more I think about it, the more I don’t get why anyone would bother.

GUYS.  Genre distinctions are for librarians and bookstore clerks.  You use them to group together books that are kind of like each other so they’re easier to find.

If you READ books, then the only two distinctions that matter are:  Interesting Stuff and Dumb Stuff.  And really, there’s no hard distinction; books that challenge you, that improve your intellect in some way, that give you new perspectives and ideas…those are Interesting Stuff.  Interesting books have a large apportionment of Interesting Stuff.  Dumb books don’t.

Up, down, period, the end.  Everything else — fantasy (and its distinctions:  epic, high, urban, &c), science fiction (likewise hard sci fi, space opera, space cowboy TV shows that probably would have dropped off in their second seasons), mystery, horror, “Young Adult” novels, Books by Michael Chabon, ET CETERA AND SO FORTH, it’s all hokum.

The thing of it is, the reason that Epic Fantasy — for example — the reason that people think that’s a dumb genre that’s not improving in any way, or whatnot, it’s not because there’s something implicitly not interesting about Epic Fantasy.  It’s because it’s all the fucking same.

What the hell is this, oof, nevermind, I don’t even care that much.  Lev Grossman, sometimes I don’t even KNOW man.

Wizard World Philadelphia‘s coming up again, and after looking at the guest lineup, I have a few follow-up questions:

1)      Do you think if I pay a little extra, I could get a picture where I’m hugging Stan Lee? That’s sort of been a goal of mine for a while.

2)      How, exactly, does one fill up a 45-minute Q&A session with Hayden Panettiere? She didn’t write Heroes. She can’t answer any burning questions left dangling. Hell, the actual writers of Heroes can’t do that because they didn’t give a stone cold fuck in the first place. So…I guess we just ask what it was like on the set of I Love You Beth Cooper, and then she tells us how awesome dolphins are?

3)      Is Chris Hemsworth’s agent just a complete dick or something? Why was this man not informed that at this stage in his career, he’s a couple notches above “appearance at regional comic book convention”?

4)      Do the sagging, aged former pro wrestlers on one side of the autograph alley look at the wrestlers on the other side of the alley and think, “At least I don’t look as bad as THAT guy!”?

5)      Would it be wrong to ask Lisa Gleave (Suitcase #3 – “Deal or No Deal”) if she’d developed some kind of back story for her character? And if she cries herself to sleep every night, or only most nights?

It’s taken for granted that the artifacts of our culture are barometers for the zeitgeist, but just how true is it?  Are Superman’s portrayals in the comics indicative of changing national attitudes towards power, criminality, and patriotism?  Is Superman’s popularity as a character directly correspondent with social conservatism, or a liberal foreign policy?

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YOU ARE A VAIN, CRUEL BOY!

(I…I don’t know how to make memes that have two pictures.)

“Siri, is it raaayyyning?”

So begins iPhone’s new “Celebrities who use Siri on their iPhones are just as annoying as your friends who use it” campaign.

I mean, at least Samuel L. Jackson uses his as a kitchen aid to set a timer, lest he have his date night ruined with the dreaded HOTspacho. In fact, he actually chastises his phone. He’s arguing with his phone because it asked him what time he’d like to set his timer for. That’s a little odd.

Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel – an actress who I actually don’t mind, I have told people to watch “New Girl” and everything! – uses hers to not look out a window, to order TOMATO SOUP (aka, hotspacho) delivered, and to listen to cutesy music in her cutesy pajamas instead of cleaning up her roomful of ukuleles and books (books, presumably, about unicorns and rainbows).

(I like to think of it as an inside look at Zooey Deschanel’s deteriorating homelife following her divorce. Apparently Deathcab was the one who knew where in the pantry they kept cans of tomato soup.)  (more…)

HERE IS THE RULE:

You cannot justify the existence of a thing in a story by arguing that it is a necessary consequence of other elements in that same story.

Why not?

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I generally enjoy doing a little comics primer for whatever character‘s currently popping up on the screen, and I really wanted to do one for Avengers, but there’s one problem:

An image that erroneously makes it seem like The Kree-Skrull War would be awesome.

By and large, Avengers isn’t really very good. Even the Good Avengers comics aren’t very good.

There are a few “classic” stories that are referenced on everyone’s short list of Best Avengers Comics, but boy did they leave me cold. In fact, the bolder the title, the iffier they seem to be.

In something called the “Kree-Skrull War,” for instance, you might expect to see some awesome alien battles, and you would be wrong.

Mostly, you see the Avengers commuting from one planet to another to pick up some wayward teammates. And then perennial sidekick Rick Jones ends the (mostly off-panel) war with mental powers he was granted for no good reason to wrap the story up.  (more…)