Friday, November 17, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
Season 5 Ending:
(Loving the irony there.)
The OUAT writers really REALLY hate Belle-Rumple shippers. In the season premiere, they give us an insanely touching scene between the two - complete with Beauty and the Beast theme! - and then just tear it all apart. And meanwhile all the other relationships still around are royally lame. Yeesh.
Frankenstein, Jekyll, and DOC working together on a mad science project? One of the high points of the series.
I'm glad Jekyll and Hyde didn't overstay their visit.
I hope they're going somewhere with evil Regina.
They REALLY hate Belle-Rumple shippers. Graaaah.
Okay. Nice setup to the second half. I like the twist about the son.
And once again the show can't seem to properly demonstrate a character's power without everyone talking about it rather than through actual feats.
Rumple was the Savior?! That is a good twist. It also explains a lot.
The build up to this final battle is kind of meh.
AND ANOTHER CURSE WITH AMNESIA... (It's a drinking game.)
I do like how it's the Nothing from Neverending Story threatening to destroy them all. I hope that was on purpose.
Rumple does something! Go you! Kudos to him for doing to his mom in this arc what he should have done to his dad in season 3. (At least they made that up in season 5.)
The scene with sort of evil Regina facing down the Nothing was pretty awesome.
And it's over!
Yay! Belle and Rumple live happily ever after! About damn time.
So what does season 7 have...OH COME ON, MORE AMNESIA?
Friday, November 3, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
(The stores that kowtow to such customer outrage should be ashamed of themselves - it's not just anti-intellectual, but bad business!)
Friday, September 22, 2017
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
Friday, September 8, 2017
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Phyllis Schafly is where the "A woman's place is in the House" slogan comes from. She used the quip when running as a Republican for Congress against her male Democrat opponent who had told her, essentially, to get back in the kitchen. She passed away 9/5/16 at the age of 92.
When she began political commentary, there were few if any female voices. Hers would emerge as one of the biggest of the 20th century, including brilliant take downs of Rockefeller Republicans and a wonderful critique of Kissinger's foreign policies. While some debated the merits of lipstick, she wrote of ICBM's and the Cold War. She helped defeat the poorly worded and hastily designed ERA, which, among other flaws, would have ended the female exemption to the draft during Vietnam. Who knows how many mothers, sisters, and daughters would have been lost if that had passed?
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
On the plus side, he and Pryor are now having wacky hijinks elsewhere.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Sorry, but just because you're a boring person with no creative ability does not make that a valid response in an argument.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
McCarthy's Spicer makes me wish the real Spicer treated the press like that.
"Rule breaking is only bad when someone I disagree with does it!"
"Acting like a decent human being and not a grandstanding jerkface is just letting the oppressors win."
The devolution of American thought proceeds at full speed.
Yes, Democrats. Keep screaming "Scandal, scandal, scandal." That is clearly how the GOP beat Obama in 2012. No, wait...
(I'm not saying there were no scandals then or now, but it has not proven historically effective to harp on them.)
The Wallstreet Journal picking a fight with Pewdiepie reflects that:
1. WSJ is no longer a reputable news source.
2. The reach of the 5th Estate dwarfs the 4th estate by tens of millions.
3. The mainstream media has been back handed into irrelevance by a comedian.
It's so bizarre that a newspaper I used to like and read would fall down into the crapper like that.
The message from the attacks on Milo and Pewdiepie is rather clear: if you refuse to play by the rules of the establishment media corporations, they will ruin you.
When did the Deep State go from conspiracy theory fringe to something even the mainstream media discusses casually like, "Oh, of course that's a real thing. We knew it all along. Didn't you?" Did I miss a sudden shift in the Overton Window?
New therapy for dealing with the overwhelming stupid flooding 2017: listening to various YouTube commentators who are very gifted at being sarcastic, mocking, and incredulous. I don't necessarily have to agree with them, but I am enjoying hearing perspectives from an attitude of, "You are all morons. We are all going to hell. Good lord, this sucks."
On the plus side, it's expanding my insult vocabulary and giving me some new phrases I can use in my writing.
"I know I'm right so I win this argument because you're a bigot!"
This is, intellectually, like a football team walking onto the field declaring themselves the victor, and then refusing to play. I run into it so much and it annoys me. It's an abdication of thought itself.
Listening to some classic Carlin again. I realize my issue with Trump's speaking style isn't that he's "too direct." It's that he's inconsistently direct and euphemistic. He's direct enough to tick off those addicted to euphemisms (which is good - they should be defied), but he still layers on the BS on the really important matters. And it's that second part that annoys me so much.
If someone's peeing on you, you shouldn't let their titles or ideological labels convince you they're not.
Remember kids: speaking out against folks who attack the elderly is the same as defending white supremacy.
The lunatics are running the asylum, as well as running their mouths.
There's a lot of people desperately trying to justify their love of brutality and violent oppression. They WANT to hold a gun to your head and order you around. But they can't admit that. They have to label you, dehumanize you, so they can feel better about unleashing their inner demons.
The fault of the 2016 election? Dworin from Amber.
Everyone knows he invented Trumps.
Given the sheer vehemence of how some folks defend physical assault on the elderly, it makes me wonder how many of those same people abuse their elderly family members? The two behaviors should be highly correlated, since they stem from a fundamental devaluation of human life (a form of sociopathy).
Maybe we should establish a rule that if someone argues that there's nothing wrong with hitting grandparents for disagreeing with you, people should check in on their relatives. Make sure that same person isn't abusing them (emotionally or physically).
There are still people out there arguing that freedom of speech comes attached with a right to a platform. Didn't we settle this matter with the shows that were canceled when their stars said things people didn't like? You have the right to say stupid, obscene, and evil things without threat of physical violence. But that doesn't come with a free mic.
It's why Shia Lebouf can shout down a Nazi and why the bikers for vets can silence the Westboro Baptists with their motorcycles. You're allowed your protest unmolested. But so are the people who disagree with you.
I don't know how people forgot about that so quickly. Seems like only a few years ago this was established pretty well.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Decades ago, some pajamas caught on fire. Kids died. So, the government required kids PJ'S to be fire resistant.
Manufacturers did so - by adding hazardous chemicals that soak into the skin. They didn't know this, however. It was only after studies that the problem was realized. So, the government banned those chemicals that they had encouraged.
Manufacturers switched to synthetics and other chemicals. However, children with sensitive skin can't wear them. They need untreated 100% cotton PJ's.
Which the government made illegal at the start of it.
A good anecdote for how regulations do not promote actual safety or higher quality of living.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Friend: No, no. Stay good.
Me: But they've played into a plan that wasn't even intended as a plan. They've thrown a clear endgame victory move into my lap when I wasn't even attempting to make one.
Friend: Just let them rot and die on their own.
Me: But...my glasses! They're glowing so hard!
Sometimes staying Chaotic Good is a lot harder than other days.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
"I'm boycotting this company for supporting Trump! Booyah! Watch my activism!"
"This other guy is a sensitive snowflake for boycotting a company for no good reason! Ha ha!"
If you support boycotting companies to make a political point, understand it works both ways and is an equally valid choice between consumers where they want their money to go. That's part of capitalism.
"Since Nazis abuse freedom of speech, we should revoke it and start banning them from speaking!"
"Yeah, and since ISIS could abuse immigration, we should revoke it and start banning immigrants."
That's the kind of retort I wish would cause people to pause and reflect. But it really just makes them even more intent on being dim.
New trend: "Bias Response Teams" on college campuses. Students can report anything they find offensive and said teams will act to censor it. Sometimes they dispatch police to warn offenders.
Casey Anthony has re-emerged into the public spotlight.
As part of the Women's March. Protesting Trump.
Uh oh. I think 2017 got infected with 2016's weirdness.
Just got unfriended for sharing a news article clarifying and dispelling rumors. Apparently linking to news over hearsay makes me a fascist, too.
Of all the Monkey's Paw wishes out there, the wish to silence one's enemies is perhaps the most common and the most mutually destructive.
"We should make it illegal for people to say you ought to take their freedoms away!"
"So, make it a crime to do what you're doing right now?"
Banning types of speech is such a nasty double edged sword. We seem to have forgotten George Carlin on the matter.
Anyone who advocates restricting free speech is a fascist. Maybe not a Nazi type, but definitely a fascist. Authoritarians always target speech first because it's the marketplace of ideas that threatens their rule the most. Resist the nonsense to "ban certain speech" as soon as you see it.
Dog whistle terms that mean supporting censorship and restricting your free speech rights:
1. Punching down - Implies some types of humor should be outlawed.
2. Hate speech - Implies some thoughts warrant special punishment for having been thought.
3. Yelling fire in a theater - False equivalency to imply that an idea is somehow an agent that will cause violence, rather than people's choices.
This is some of the vocabulary of fascism right now.
Our society today has people who argue that supporting free speech makes you a fascist. Let that stunning bit of horrible sink in.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Under Obama: "People who stress the tenth amendment are racists who want to own slaves!"
Under Trump: "We need the tenth amendment to check and balance his power!"
Hillary Clinton demands Matt Lauer be fired for asking her questions not provided ahead of time and no-one minds. But Conway is suddenly a villain for lambasting the media in much milder terms.
"The 'Muslim ban' unfairly paints all Muslims as the same because of a few bad ones."
"The guy who shot the mosque in Quebec is just like everyone who supports Trump!"
I have literally seen these two things right after each other from the same person.
Unintended consequences: you have segments of the 20-30 something crowd spending money on post cards and travel for protests. Cool, political activity. However, companies that cater to those demographics (Etsy stores, for example) are taking hits. Many of those stores are also owned by the 20-30 something crowd.
An interesting example of the economics of protest. (Not saying good or bad, just that it is.)
Cats are now Nazi symbols, according to anti-Trump protesters. (Per a journalist in the DC area on Twitter.) No one knows why cats are being called Nazi symbols.
Best I can figure is Maus? There's levels of stupid I refuse to try and puzzle out.
Some guy said I knew nothing of ANTIFA because I described them as self-righteous thugs prone to beating anyone they didn't like. Well, at Berkley (2/1/17), a bunch of ANTIFA folks went on a rampage beating up anyone they didn't like and starting fires. I feel good for having my point proven, but bad that people suffered.
In Trump's America, news fakes you.
If someone expresses wrongthink, punching them in the face is double plus good.
ANTIFAS has always been at war with Eurasia.
If ANTIFA brown shirt goons punch you in the face, do what Captain Mal would do:
Kick them into an engine turbine and ask their friend if they'd like to be next.
(Pretty floral bonnet optional.)
Friday, June 30, 2017
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
I typically requires 8 hours of game running for 1 badge (2 four hour sessions). Typical game has an 8 person limit. So 16 people, each getting 4 hours, for 64 man hours of content provided for 1 badge.
So GM'S provide the same level of man hour entertainment for a con as a panelist. And that's why you compensate them similarly.
Monday, June 26, 2017
But when people use lines like, "Anyone who defends this person is delusional," you know they've gone straight to an irrational zone and what they say needs a grain (or shaker full) of salt. Use personal experience rather than rumors or suspicions.
And remember: "Be excellent to each another."
Friday, June 23, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
False. Federal minimum wage started in 1938. America had a burgeoning middle class for at least 50 years prior to this. There was some state minimum wage laws, but mainly for women and children. Minimum wage laws have no causal connection to the beginning of America's middle class.
The more you know!
Monday, June 19, 2017
It's a useful and inoffensive phrase, but use it responsibly. See also "many people."
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
This happened earlier today:
Customer walks in off the street.
"Are you guys goo?"
"What?" I replied.
"Are you guys goo?"
"Are you hard of hearing?"
The customer walks out.
I heard him just fine. His question made no damn sense. Anyone else have similar tales?
Install starting! Now I shall finally be a Pokemon PROFESSOR! Muah ha ha ha!
I have to use my James voice whenever I'm on this app. And make it double!
Pokemon GO installed! Now I wait for tomorrow when they get more servers running.
Would it have killed them to adapt the English anime first opening theme for Pokemon GO?
First wild catch: Pidgey. I named him Grackle. His main attack shall be "poop."
Going to hunt Pokemon at work tomorrow during lunch. I'm curious what I find. Mostly getting grass, poison, and bug types here.
Caught a Pidgey and a Taurus at work. Named the former Cock and the latter Bull. Great story there.
Two Pokestops and a gym right near where I work. Ah, yeah.
I need to remember to point my camera at something interesting when a Pokemon pops up so I can take funny screen shots.
...I'm betting the head of Mystic is a glasses girl, though. I have a feeling.
Let's all agree that Team Instinct is the Hufflepuff.
I'd be further along with Pokemon GO if the server would stay up during my lunch hour, when I'm near two stops and a gym. I've barely been able to use either stop as is and still haven't been able to add a Pokemon to a gym yet.
When I transfer a weak Pokemon, I imagine it's going to a candy factory where it's chopped and squeezed into the free candy the Professor gives you. The strong feed on their weaker brethren to grow more powerful!
Went walking through Rutland doing Pokemon GO. Ended up in a park, met two guys. Also playing Pokemon. And they were Team Valor! Nice.
Servers popped back up at the end of my lunch - just in time to see the double lures put on the two nearby Pokestops. Caught quite a few, including some new ones. Also met another couple Go players who work down the road.
I found a place to order Team Rocket t-shirts online. Tempted to get one in white and black.
Climbed down into a drainage field to catch an Ekans, Eevee, and Poliwag all clustered together. Totally worth it.
First Eevee evolution: Flareon! Do I name her Sailor Mars, Phoenix, or something else?
Caught a Ghastly, then my phone died. As I was catching him, had a person drive by and shout, "Are you playing Pokemon?" Second time that's happened. Also met half a dozen players near my work now.
Not bad. Pokémon servers are staying up during my lunch now so I can hit the two nearby stops.
Blanche is trash waifu. I mean, no glasses?! Seriously?! TRAAAAASH.
That feeling when you sing the Digimon theme while evolving your Pokemon.
I don't understand how folks had Eevee evolutions over a thousand but now I'm the same level they were and only getting 500's.
After work: Oh, the server isn't down. I'm going to walk to that gym finally!
Tip: like Ingress, Pokemon GO can sense when you're in a car by speed. If you move 20 mph or less, it thinks you're either biking or running. Past that and it won't measure. Tested that today. Good way to level up an egg while driving slow through local streets.
Not serious Pokemon GO questions:
- Will Missing No. take over your phone and delete everything?
- How many children must be stacked into a pile of corpses to summon Mew?
- When will we have projectors that can put the Pokemon out for everyone to see?
For those wondering why I'm into Pokemon GO when I don't normally do video games, this is easy to explain:
Pokemon GO is my first Pokemon game.
I watched the show and read the manga. In fact, I remember watching the very first episodes when it premiered on UPN on weekday afternoons - before Warner Brothers bought it. But I never got into the CCG (I did Magic) and I never owned a handheld system for the video games. This has been the first release I can play on a machine I own.
Serious Pokemon GO question: I have enough candy to start evolving some of my Pokemon. Should I only evolve those with the highest combat points? Does that matter? Or can I evolve whoever?
Experiment: testing if the CP of the evolutionary antecedent Pokemon is positively correlated with the CP of the evolutionary descendant.
The test: two Pidgeys. One at CP 42 and the other at CP 10. They were both evolved to Pidgeotto with candy.
Result: The CP 42 Pidgey became a CP 80 Pidgeotto. The CP 10 Pidgey became a CP 15 Pidgeotto.
Conclusion: Assuming the CP isn't totally random, evolving a stronger Pokemon provides a stronger next stage. So strengthen them before evolving to get the best results.
- Chamander - Agumon
- Charmelon - Grimlock
- Charizard - Godzilla
That is #teamvalorlife.
Pokémon Go algorithm right now:
1. Do not evolve Pokémon piecemeal. Do it all at once in a huge wave with a Lucky Egg in place.
2. Stockpile Pokémon to evolve. Pidgey has one of the best ratios of candy required to XP gained in the game.
3. If you can't evolve a Pokemon yet, transfer lower CP until you get there. Once you have enough, wait per step 1.
4. If you have candy to evolve more than one of the same kind, keep that number and scrap the rest. Do this until the number you can evolve increases.
5. Repeat until you can do a full 30 minutes of nothing but evolutions with a Lucky Egg. You'll get 1000 XP minimum each time. More if a new form.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
I learned that a friend, Oliver Clarke, passed away recently. He and I had fallen out of communication the last few months as he'd moved to another city. I wanted to honor Oliver by sharing memories of him.
Like many, I met him through conventions. He was Kenpachi, the tall gruff character from Bleach. He looked and acted the part. His voice boomed and he presented himself with never ending self assurance.
At a convention in 2016, I was being stalked by an ex and one of her enabler friends. Oliver learned of my situation and immediately stepped up. He knew they'd gotten a room at my hotel to try and track me down, so he offered a space in his room so I could get away from them. I didn't even have to ask - he made the offer out of the blue. Helping people in a bind was something he liked to do.
While I was working on my tabletop game, Oliver was one of the early playtesters. He gave us great feedback, especially on the difference of players and NPC's. He suggested ideas for faculties that remain in the book to this day.
Oliver worked at a FLGS that I liked to frequent for a while. He was always engaging and outgoing. His voice filled the store with his views on anime and merchandise. He made you want to be passionate about his passions, like Weiss Schwarz or Bleach.
I remember him as a man who knew what he loved and loved it fully. He loved his children and his hobbies. It amazes me how full a life he had, while still being 2 years my junior. I always viewed him as older from the way he behaved.
Oliver was a good man and one I will miss.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Holtzman is among my new favorite science characters. I don't give a damn about her sexuality. I'd do science with her anytime.
I want a film that focuses on McKinnon being a science geek who seduces all who cross her path with her awkwardness and quirk, while winning the day with crazy inventions. Do it action-comedy style with someone competent at the helm who can handle quirky, like the Coen Brothers, Terry Gilliam, or Barry Sonnenfeld (on a good day). For bonus points, make it steampunk so the world can be as strange as its star.
Egon: Would you like a Twinkie?
Holtzman: Sure. Have a salty parabola.
Wiig tried. She really did. She was a good straight woman in the beginning, then became forgettable. The material failed to give her a character arc. This is especially disappointing because Wiig's character was new - she doesn't correspond to Murray, while the other three are tied to their predescessors. She was the character by which the movie could have found its own voice and themes and that opportunity was squandered.
Did anyone else notice the rather significant missing scene with Wiig's character after she gets the book from the main villain? One second they're exiting the hotel having been fake arrested and then she's in a bathrobe looking at the book. Combine this with her saving the other three from the balloons when they roll out without her.
I think after the arrest she did a, "That's it! I quit! Bye!" scene. So the part where she suits up again is supposed to be a big come back and ties into her "I won't leave you this time" line to McCarthy in the end. Why they edited this out I don't know, since it would've actually introduced some tension and character that she needed. As is, it looks like she was just further away from the action when the apocalypse started.
McCarthy was where jokes went to die. You know how Megan Fox brought down TMNT? That's McCarthy here. Just awful. Total miscast. Feig's fault. Even when she had good lines her delivery and timing sucked.
There are some good jokes and good scenes. Best? McKinnon busting out her dual wield pistols. That fight scene was AMAZING. Straight out of Girl Genius. The Hemsworth interview was the first place in the film I laughed out loud (though Holtzman made me smile before that).
However, there's no heart to the film, just effects and looks. The friendship story of Wiig and McCarthy is inconsequential and given no weight. There are no character arcs. Several plot points are sloppy and fall flat. This was supposed to be a tale of science heroines saving the day, but it failed to evoke the emotions of camaraderie. This lies squarely on Feig, who was not up to the task of delivering anything more consequential than a poor imitation of the original.
Should you see it? Yes, for McKinnon and Hemsworth. Holtzman was just wonderful. I'd be raving even harder if all four had been on that level of performance. The final fight is also nice, though the ending is anti-climatic. This is not a total train wreck like the first trailer implied, but it is not good or great. Mediocre.
Friday, June 9, 2017
— Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The strength of the original was that both Nemo and Marlin grew as characters. Here, Dory gets most of the development, but it isn't really through any realizations or maturity. They stretch believability even further with this installment, to the point it starts to get a bit much. Remember "all drains go to the ocean?" Yeah, it's worse. Salt water fish can apparently breath any kind of water anywhere.
The humor is good and there are some very adorable parts, though. I recommend seeing it if you liked the first.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Small cup of ice cream? Lost 2 pounds.
Half a pint of ice cream? Lost 8 pounds.
Follow up: eating a half gallon for a snack dropped me down 10-12 pounds. Not even joking. The ice cream as a snack routine has gotten me down away from where I was quite nicely.
I seriously have no idea how that works, only that it does. Dare I upgrade to something even larger?
Friday, June 2, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
Dog: BARK BARK BARK GROWL.
Me: Yep. Check me for threats. I'm good.
Dog: *licks hand*
Me: *starts petting*
Dog: *looks up, tail wags, loves it*
If only socializing with people was as easy.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
"You're just claiming to be skeptical because you haven't been exposed to the evidence!"
"That argument does not constitute the evidence I requested. My point stands."
Recently had this argument. Apparently you don't need to counter with evidence anymore, just say the person is biased and that's why they haven't seen it yet.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Highlights of my time as commentator:
1. Audience wanted llamas. I gave then llamas.
2. One asked me to sing her Happy Birthday. I did. She told me it was the only birthday celebration she'd had all day.
4. Whenever someone asked, "What game is it?" (as in match of the tournament) I'd reply, "Smash Bros." Got an amusing reaction each time!
Overall, 10/10 would commentate again.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Who's buried in Grant's tomb? An unknown soldier.
What color was Washington's white horse? It wasn't a horse.
What weighs more: a ton of feathers or bricks? Feathers have varying weight thanks to being anti-grav.
Monday, May 8, 2017
But with superheroes.
I like it.
It takes so many great characters and keeps what's great about them.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Which princess shines the best?
Which princess is most proficient with boats?
Which princess do you want to go mountain climbing with?
Which princess has the best singing voice?
Which princess drops the sickest rhymes?
Which princess makes the best cowgirl?
Monday, May 1, 2017
Season 5 Part 2:
I wonder when OUAT will give us their take on the 3 pigs? I don't remember them mentioned except in passing. And while Ruby is a werewolf, we haven't seen this wolf yet.
Does everyone in OUAT have daddy issues? It seems to be the go to trope for the writers. Maybe THEY all have daddy issues.
...OH COME ON WRITERS WHAT THE HELL.
About the only good thing about the OUAT Winter Finale: we'll get to meet Hades soon. The sass levels should be amazing.
Greg Germann will be OUAT Hades? Yes, I think he will have sufficient sass. Good casting. (Unlike Merlin, where they royally effed it up.)
Friday, April 28, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Normal: Let me wax loquaciously on the merits of romanticism in art and its uplifting effects on the human soul.
With an intelligent girl: Good. Yes. Like. Okay.
Monday, April 24, 2017
(This applies to producing physical tones via mixing colors, not digital displays or wavelengths.)
Friday, April 21, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
First, historical context: when Mao took over, he indoctrinated the populace into Communism using an easy to understand media for the masses - comic books. When Deng Xiaoping wanted to convert the nation to Capitalism, he used comics as well. Both instances were among the biggest examples of comics - normally a pop culture fixture - being used for something far larger scale than story telling. In this sense, China adopting game design to reinforce their national message is consistent with past mass education movements. They take what we treat as "fun" in the west and figure out how to use it in a more serious manner.
Third, and the scariest point: it could easily happen here. We have interconnected data mining on a mass scale, just like China, as well as at least two major online companies willing to work with the government on anything (Google and Facebook). We have a rising tide of people who want echo chamber hug boxes in their friend circles and a demand for exclusionary "safe spaces." It would be child's play for the government to sponsor a gamified site that ranked people based on adherence to being "environmentally friendly" or "socially just" or any of a dozen other dog whistle terms that all translate to "OBEY."
If they wanted to be more low key, have a private company do it, but receive under the table support from the government in choosing what constitutes "good" and "bad" points. They wouldn't have to pass a law saying it's mandatory: just shunt all the data in there whether you want it there or not and refuse to prosecute them. You will participate, even if you object.
I think I just envisioned Facebook 2.0.
Monday, April 17, 2017
"Sure I do! It's the right to public safety."
"That doesn't exist."
"That's basically the same, but nope, not a thing."
"The right to stop people who look scary and act weird?"
"That's called 'profiling.' And it's definitely not a right."
"Look, just shut up and do what I say!"
"You know what is a right? My ability to tell you to go to hell."
Friday, April 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I'm so glad Belle picked Rumple in the end. That SHOULD end well, now. I look forward to seeing his recovery arc. Maybe he can become a proper hero now.
So the dagger is just the tip. Ha.
Ha. Rumple has a rose-based health bar. And Belle is going with them on the adventure this time! ABOUT BLOODY TIME. Maybe she and Mulan will get another team-up.
MERIDA! Yay! Makes sense she'd be in Anglo-Saxon territory. She should get Excalibur and become king. Then she could be Saber-class! Alternatively, she leads the Scottish in revolt against Arthur and kicks his butt.
"You need a hobby. How about knitting?" Loving this version of Rumple.
I just realized that the sanitarium nurse is Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I wonder if she's from a realm filled with Jack Nicholson movies?
Zelena's actress is having WAY more fun in the role than in season 3. The Wicked Witch as a gleeful yandere type works so well.
"And now we ride to...Camelot!" I am disappointed the Monty Python theme didn't come out of those horns. Someone needs to do a mash-up.
Jeebus writers. Learn another plot device already. It was fine the first two times (once because it was new, the second as a callback to the start). But this is RIDICULOUS.
Dark One Emma is pretty awesome, though. Liking the leather look.
Still getting used to an Arthur that isn't Graham Chapman.
The way it jumps between 3 times - founding of Camelot, 6 weeks ago, and today - is confusing. Not helping is the use of Granny's Diner in both the 6 weeks and modern.
Ooo. Does Merida get to go Mel Gibson on King Arthur? I really hope so. She needs the blue war paint!
AUGH. The writers must have been giggling hard when they wrote that line.
Dark One Emma continues to be far more interesting than her other versions (except season 1 Emma, who's snarkiness I liked).
The Belle and Rumple content of season 5 continues to please me. Makes up for the heart ripping moment of season 4. So glad that Will is gone. Also glad to see Belle FINALLY get more of a main character status.
I also love the Belle and Merida team-up. Belle is like the ultimate team-up companion.
Get Merida, Mulan, and Belle together. Rumple dispatches them to fight evil. RUMPLE'S ANGELS.
One thing I like with both the Frozen and Brave integration: they feel like sequels to the originals, in a good way. It's a shame Tangled won't get the same treatment, since they already had Rapunzel. I could see Tiana coming in - she could easily be from a part of Cruella's 1920's world.
Easily the worst part of season 5.
Emma's reason for going dark were kind of predictable. I was hoping for something more shocking. It at least makes sense in character and explains the mystery. It is also nicely ironic.
Arthur needs to get his limbs chopped off while screaming that he's invincible. I really want that to happen.
Looking back, they should have cast Neil Patrick Harris in this role. He'd have been perfect.
"My name is Merida Dunbroch. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
I wanted Mulan and I got Mulan! OUAT Season 5 is pretty good about pleasing me. It has Belle x Rumple, Frankenstein back, Merida and Mulan team-up, Zelena being a grinning evil lunatic, etc. That the thematic backbone combines two of my favorite properties - Brave and King Arthur - also helps.
Oh, so that's where Ruby's been. I was wondering.
So far season 5a is a big step up in quality. As much as I enjoyed Season 4a, this one feels better. The only reason it's not as amazing as it could be was the absolutely horrible actor they picked for Merlin. A better Merlin would've made this darn near perfect.
Oh, come on, OUAT. Now you're just screwing with Rumple x Belle fans for no reason. Seriously. There is no good narrative cause other than "Belle is an indecisive idiot" (and she isn't) that would keep them apart at this stage. They're probably setting up their reunion as part of the winter finale.
(Or they'll do something really horrible and have Rumple absorb all the other Dark Ones into himself, thus ruining this whole "Hey, look, he's a hero now" subplot.)
The Hook x Emma drama is just fluff for me. I'm not very invested in that couple.
One of the reasons seasons 4a and 5a of OUAT have been better than season 3a is the thematic unity and contrast.
Season 3a was just a "we need to do the thing by chasing the thing." It was a chase sequence with no chasing. Blah. It's only good episodes were where it explored Peter Pan's motivations and drew parallels to Rumple's relationship with his son.
Season 4a focused on Frozen's theme of sisterly love and added a new dimension with the Snow Queen. Frozen was about two sisters mending ways. OUAT Season 4a followed it up by exploring what could happen when that desire for a bond went too far.
In both 4a and 5a, they've found story cues from the original and pushed them to a next step for OUAT. It's very clever and is probably why I'm enjoying it so much.
Things I wish I could see in OUAT future seasons:
1. Chinese myths. They have Mulan, so this is possible. Sun Wukong and others would be a natural fit for OUAT. Since we know season 5b is Hercules themed, having them butt heads with the Chinese deities would be interesting.
2. Tiana. They've established another unnamed realm that is always the 1920's with Cruella. Tiana could easily be from there.
4. The Incredibles. A long shot, but with a sequel in the works and Henry's established love of superheroes, this could work. It'd have to be yet another realm. For even more fun, mix in Big Hero 6 - a Disney Marvel property that isn't tied up with the MCU.
5. Tarzan and Jungle Book. An obvious pairing here. Mowgli and Tarzan together? This could have some good moments. For even more fun, insert Emperor's New Groove. "WRONG LEVER!"
The main ones I struggle to think of are the animal ones, like Rescuers and Great Mouse Detective. I grew up on those and would love to see them integrated, but turning them into people risks losing something. Still, I'd love to see them try.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Season 4 Part 2:
Camelot! Another reference to Camelot! I wonder what unlucky knight lost their hand...I hope it's not just a model.
I'm also hoping the Sorcerer they keep referencing is Merlin. Too bad they killed Lancelot already. Hopefully we'll get a flashback to fill that in.
Ursula and Maleficent I get. They've appeared before. But...Cruella? How the heck does an old 1920's flapper type fit into the Enchanted Forest? Is she an eccentric sorceress who uses animal skin as magic components? I was expecting her to be modified, not appear straight-up in her movie outfit.
At least the dalmatian motifs are finally paying off, four seasons later.
Rumple: I'm assembling a team.
Ursula: For what?
Rumple: We're going to find the writers of this show and kill them.
Okay, THAT was a good one-liner.
Bald Mountain! I knew Chernabog would get in here eventually. Only a matter of time with the other Fantasia reference.
The writers seem to be giving all the best snarky lines to Regina now. She has Emma's season 1 sarcasm.
Maleficent's costume in season 4 got a serious upgrade over season 1. Nice.
Season 4a was fun and good. Since I like Frozen, there was minimal annoyance and I really liked a lot of dialogue and costumes. Much better than all of season 3.
We'll see if this half can keep it going. Giving Snow and Charming a hidden dark secret that's only just coming to light and has never been mentioned before ever is kind of dumb. I'm worried I'm about to be very disappointed.
Wouldn't it be funny if the donut shop in Storybrook was on Drury Lane and staffed by the Muffin Man and Gingerbread Man?
Honestly, I really want them to follow along the lines of Integra and Alucard from Hellsing. Him as the servant monster and her as the increasingly tough leader. That's the kind of dynamic I was hoping they were building toward.
Ernie Hudson is Poseidon? Long way from busting ghosts.
I like the back story for Regina and Maleficent. Now we finally have an idea of what happened to Philip and Aurora in the timeline.
That scene where Rumple is disguised as Hook. UNG. Feels. I really want him to get Belle back. I hope the actual Hook gets to punch Will a few more times.
Did they combine Ursula and Tiana? That's actually interesting.
So, Elsa can put ships in bottles now? That's a far cry from ice powers. Or was it the Snow Queen?
I'm still struggling to figure out how Cruella's back story fits the aesthetic of the Enchanted Forest. Unless she's from another realm?
Damn Regina. That was cold. I kind of hate you for that.
I like how their using the red under Emma's eyes to show her descent to evil. Though the "heroes don't kill" thing is stupid. Prince Philip killed Maleficent in the original. Snow White killed the Queen in the original tale. Fairy tales had plenty of cases of the heroes killing the villains as punishment for their crimes.
Season 4b is picking up. A bit of a meh start, but good progress.
I feel like the Sheriff got mashed up with Gaston. Belle's Gaston was actually a halfway decent fellow.
The author's origin story is set in the 1960's. Just after Walt Disney passed away. THAT IS SO COOL.
I like the guy they picked as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I hope they get him out of the hat eventually.
...Oh, there we go.
I love how they poke fun at the OUAT fanbase with the "Heroes and Villains" fan scene. They also lampshade our society's tendency to worship villains over heroes.
I though this would be bad, but Henry's actor is actually not bad anymore. I guess he recovered after the whole puberty thing.
"Who could ever love me?"
"I don't love Will."
DAMN IT WRITERS.
MERLIN NAME DROP.
Whoo! (Called it.)
Assessment: season 4 was much better than season 3. Not quite as great as season 2, but better than season 1. It had some pacing issues here and there, but the tension was better.
The Frozen tie-in was a lot of fun. If the writers of Frozen 2 have a clue they'll borrow some of that material. I hope we get to see Elsa and company return!
The second half started with an absolutely gut wrenching scene. Seriously. That was the worst emotional distress I've felt from a TV show in a while. Good job, OUAT writers. And screw you. At least the resolution was okay, if mostly deferred to season 5.
I did like both Rumple's story arc and Emma's choice. Lily's father search should be fun. Maybe the daddy will be Mushu? Or Smaug? Or voiced by Sean Connery? Who knows?
And MERLIN. FINALLY. We get to go to Camelot after 3 seasons of teasing! If he's not the crazy one from Sword in the Stone I'll be unhappy. I'll be fine if he's a Connecticut Yankee, though.
So...yeah. Season 3 was disappointing. Season 4 has convinced me to keep watching. I just hope season 5 keeps being okay.