Monday, December 08, 2008

I Make A Post Totally Unworthy of Being A Comeback Post in Which I Avoid Creativity and Instead Vie to Link A Ton of Internet Videos

Robot Chicken did some hilarious Battlestar spoofs last night-

Watch the second one through the ad- there's more hilarity post-ad. And for those that may freak on me for the Cylon-reveals in the episode, note that the Cylons are a total joke and irrelevant to actual show canon. I'm not saying that any are or aren't true, but those were certainly not spoilers.

And you've probably already seen it, but here's the best video that's been on SNL since Lazy Sunday.

Yes, that is Justin Timberlake in a bit role. And just for the throwback, here's Lazy Sunday- never gets old.

Effort exerted for this post: 1.


Originally that whole post was supposed to be this fortune cookie. Then I realized that, as has been the case for the last 3 months, I have nothing to write about.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Time

Everyone duck. Or get under your desk.


Crap, I need a Guybrush Threepwood reference...there we go.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ressurecting Guybrush: The Quest for Ron Gilbert

Who is this dashing man, you may wonder? And what does he have to do with Guybrush Threepwood? Well, ladies and gentleman, this is Ron Gilbert, creator of Monkey Island, and in my opinion, the best shot we have at ever getting it back. The trouble is, Gilbert parted ways with LucasFilm a long time ago. While this is regrettable, I really can't blame him- I would've left George Lucas too after Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Relevant Plot. It's always amazed me how easy it is for entertainment goliaths to disappear, something Gilbert has managed to do flawlessly. According to his brief wikipedia page, Gilbert published MI2, and then one more game for LucasFilms, and then left. He is now apparently in a position at the Vancouver-based Hothead Games. The curious fact is that he appears to not have published a single game whilst at Hothead. The logical answer as to why would be that he holds an executive position that is less hands-on in game development. This would certainly make sense from a business perspective, as his lauded work on LucasFilm games probably got him some pretty cushy (at least in comparison) job offers. The thing that puzzles me is how someone could get their hands dirty making a game as awesome as Monkey Island and then not crave that feeling again. It's long been my dream to be able to design and program a game (Escape the World!!!), and I am angered by Gilbert's cavalier attitude towards his godly talent. So am I just bitching about all of this? No, I intend to contact HotHead games, if only for some answers. Yes, this does make me a huge loser, and it does mean I have no life. But with an absence of life, why not use my free time towards this (probably futile) mission? I'll keep you posted.
Speaking of Ron Gilbert, a friend and I recently missed one of the most beautifully conceptualized concerts ever: State Radio and Rage Against the Machine in Denver. Given, there was no way we could have actually gotten there, but my gut tells me that something like that is a sign from God (Ron Gilbert? See, there was a connection there, I wasn't just freestyling a segue) and that it's wasted utopia to forego it. So that's my bit of bitching for tonight.
So they were playing outside the DNC in Denver (obviously in line with the two bands' political themes) and we thought that would be it. But apparently Rage also played the RNC just yesterday, though not in the way we would expect. Apparently they wanted to play outside the RNC as well in a similar manner to when they played Wall Street, but the police caught wind of it and prohibited it. So the four band members put themselves into a crowd of people and worked their way towards a central location, where (partially jokingly, I'm sure) they put on an Acapella performance of two of their songs. I love it when groups can laugh at themselves.

On the one hand, the video is hilarious. On the other hand, it sounds terrible. I'm just mad Morello skipped out on the guitar solos. But he was on Voyager, so I forgive him.



That's governor, by the way.

The "U" Key

I'm not picking that up.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fucking Man

People may wonder, even ask me, why I have decided to dedicate (at least temporarily) my entire internet existence to Guybrush Threepwood. It probably comes off as some unhealthy obsession, and will probably be frowned upon for its childishness. I could say that it was a running gag, or I could cite the fact that my previous facebook profile pic was decidedly misleading as to my sexual orientation, but none of these would be the truth. The truth is that Guybrush Threepwood is my favorite person ever.
Hear me out now, I've thought about this a lot (at least the last 5 minutes). Every obsession of mine in life has been a passing craze, or at least a recurring craze that jumps in and out of the forefront of my life (Dispatch). Monkey Island, however, has always been a source of joy for me. While I may not always be playing it, I have never found a moment in which I have thought of Monkey Island and not been wishing I was playing it. And at the center of my appreciation for the game series is my appreciation for its hero.
Let's bring this back to isolation. Because as we know, isolation is wonderful. Monkey Island is my ship in the middle of the ocean (get there, get there...). I've played enough of the games to know I fucking love them, but not tasted enough to have a wild imagination as to what lies ahead. To cut to the chase, Monkey Island is my idea of the afterlife. Because as we've established, heaven is boring. But being stuck in the world of Monkey Island (Shout-out! Bring the site back!) would be endlessly interesting.
Yes, it's a childish fantasy, but the only one I've been able to hold onto. The truth is, I have a bigger mancrush on Mancomb Fourpbranch's namesake than anyone else. John Chrichton may be alive, but so is Guybrush (Escape From Monkey Island), and Tom Morello doesn't even come close.
But yeah, moral of the story- Guybrush Threepwood is an endlessly enjoyable fellow, and there better be a Monkey Island 5. This blog has been limping as of late for personal reasons (mostly me actually having a life, unlike during the blogging prime of this past fall/winter), and I've been looking to give it purpose. Well, my heart tells ,me that a brief Guybrush Threepwood theme is in order. It's likely that none of you care to hear any more about him, but I can't ignore this inspiration. Hopefully I can breathe some enthusiasm back into this page.
As a first feel, here's the opening to "The Secret of Monkey Island":
It's frightening how emotional that music makes me.


So I was in a college interview the other day and the interviewer asked me to describe my writing style and its flaws. Little did he know how obsessed I was with the isolation theory, and I proceeded to bury him in a comprehensive psychoanalysis of myself. He had to sit down for a second, he got served so bad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Hotel pools.


Food For Thought: The term "make love": Sweet and personal, or disgustingly cutesie? That one's been bugging me for years.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

OSK Don'ts

If you are OSK, do not-

Attempt to make lemonade from a can, for you will not understand that the label "12 fluid ounces" on the can is representative not of the quantity of the final, watered-down product, but rather of quantity of the uber-condensed lemonade syrup in the can. You will likely dump nearly all of this syrup into a small cup, barely water it down, and ingest what was meant to be a pitcer of lemonade in about 3 gulps, feeling morbidly sick soon thereafter.


Should be seeing me around here a little more often. Battalion Wars 2 is hard.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Movie Review: Mamma Mia

Last Sunday, I was faced with an exasperating choice- I could either accompany my jailers on a shopping excursion, stay in my cell, or join a group going to see Mamma Mia, the Broadway musical now transformed into a theatrical movie release. I settled on Mamma Mia simply because of the company, and because shopping makes me want to shoot myself (one of my few pure masculine traits). Needless to say, I was expecting to not enjoy the experience in the least. Being someone who, for the most part is allergic to musical theater and also not particularly liking ABBA (No, I won’t go to the trouble of inserting symbols to make a backwards B. Deal.), I consider it a miracle that I enjoyed myself. Upon arriving at the theater, I was mortified to discover that I was paying $12 for my ticket. Surely this movie couldn’t be worth that. Had I known what I was getting myself into, I would have happily paid $30.
This movie is such a tremendous piece of shit. The acting is absolutely horrendous (Meryl Streep has lost any credibility she ever had. Actually, Amanda Seyfried, whom most of us haven't seen since Mean Girls, was suprisingly the only convincing actress in the movie), the singing is uninteresting, and the plot (this time the fault of the playwright and not the filmmakers) is laughably predictable and uninteresting.
What makes this movie such a phenomenal pleasure is the degree to which all of these flaws permeate the work. For example, there’s bad singing, and then there’s Pierce Brosnan’s singing. Sitting next to the “Sweet Ride” Enterprise shirt kid who played Brosnan’s part in a production of the musical, I was treated to a nitpick of all his singing flaws. No, nitpick is the wrong term. Brosnan attempted to sing so far out of his narrow range that he often sounded like he had a medically-induced speech impediment.
The movie’s other major shtick was the cut-and-paste nature of the songs and their music videos. Everytime anyone burst into song, it seemed to be the most awkward, inappropriate, unconvincing transitions ever conceived. The music videos which accompanied these were priceless, involving simpler choreography than we have in our high school musicals. The videos also constantly had the chorus emerging from the most ridiculous of locations, such as descending from rooftops or emerging from the ocean.
Keep in mind that this is all built around the flimsiest and most downright stupid plot that has hit the box office in a long time. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Ever. One of my companions called it “almost as good as ‘Snakes on a Plane’.” No exaggeration. Keep in mind that if you aren’t willing to experience something truly horrible and even second-hand embarrassing at times, you probably will not like this movie. Personally, it’s my new favorite. You think I’m kidding. I would rather watch this movie than Star Trek II, IV, VIII, Serenity, or anything else. Although I suppose it wouldn’t be the same without the troupe of chums I had who were all audibly mocking the shit out of the movie the entire time. After the movie concluded, a woman behind us came up and shook our hands, thanking us and saying “That was so bad, I wasn’t sure whether to watch the screen or you guys.”

I don’t usually rate in my reviews, but on a scale of 1 star to 5, Mamma Mia gets an “I want my penis in it.”


I’m bored, I think I’m going to go straighten my hair.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"It's Time For Us All To Be Assholes"

I’m trying to gain some blogging momentum again, but I don’t have anything to say, so here’s the stuff I wrote down during our Theater lecture class today:

Throw the mini you up and out

This trip will take forever
That was a buzz-snipe
Who controls the past…
Look up Sally’s Rape- The fuck ever happened to McCauly Culkin?
Giant lobster in front of camera= Racial misrepresentation
How you represent yourself
Color-ambivalent casting (TM that term fast!!!)
Metacommentary- WTF? Teacher is way too smart!
If we could all just love, man (weed may actually be the answer)
Why hasn’t anyone brought up Hair?
I misses John Groff ass for that (was boob-side, actually)
Fucking dues ex machina called out- YES
Washington Heights doesn’t HEART your shirt
Best quote from this session’s reading:
“White people and black people do not have intimate relationships in society today” (paraphrase)
Scrawny white kid- “I’ma gangster, I’ma go shoot some hos”
Who shoots hos? The worst I’d do is send them back to school.

“Race, ethnicity, gender, equality, all of this shit is so different.”

I love these college professors.


So BSG shirt poser kid was wearing a shirt today that said “Whedonist”. Lightweight probably hasn’t even seen Serenity.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Germans Are the Worst Parents Ever

They are. Having just come from a Broadway production of “Spring Awakening”, a self-proclaimed “perversion” of an apparently classic play, I’ve decided Germans should stop producing children until they figure out how to do it right.
A quick overview of the plot for the unfamiliar: ((((({{SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!11111111ROFL1337!!!!!!11111
A quick note- A friend of mine here at Charles Manson’s version of Theater Camp came up to me and said “I’m not just 1-3-3-7, I’m 3-1-3-3-7”. I haven’t yet decided whether I think it’s adorable or sickening. I guess I should just find it refreshing that a girl is 1. Aware of such a thing as leet and 2. Able to be somewhat creative with it. It should be noted that this girl is currently in pursuit of a friend of mine whom I have hardcore Star Trek debates with. Needless to say, I’m doing all I can to expedite their procreation.
In any case, Spring Awakening. Here’s the deal- It’s 1891 Germany, and parents are too afraid to explain sex to their kids, so this one teenager looks it up, and, knowing full well the consequences, essentially date rapes his best friend who has no idea what sex is even after the fact. These kids are 15. The rapist’s best friend then fails school and his father (another horrible parent) exaggerates and tells his son his life isn’t worth it anymore. So the best friend kills himself. Then date raped girl finds out she’s pregnant, and is all like “Wow, I guess a guy putting his penis into you is what gets you pregnant.” Honestly, common sense. Her mother (another horrible parent) then forces her to go to a sketchy abortionist whose practice kills her. Bottom line- Germans should never be parents. I could site some historical precedents for the discontinuation of Germany as well, but I’m a bit afraid my joking racism may not translate so well on the interblags.
On the topic of things people shouldn’t do: Today at lunch I walked past a kid from the Dramatic Writing program wearing a reimagined series Battlestar Galactica shirt. Needless to say, I excited, as surely only the most devout of fans would make such a purchase. I approached his table, being fairly friendly with a lot of the DW kids he was keeping as company, and asked him “So who do you think the fifth is?” to which he responded “Oh, I’m not watching Season Four yet; I’m waiting for the DVD”. Poser. Don’t tease me like that. Poser.
Another weak segue- Scifi shirts. I began this post last night and just recently resumed it, having spotted 3-1-3-3-7’s romantic interest wearing a shirt with a picture of the Enterprise D, under which is written “sweet ride”. I think I’m starting to want him as much as she does.

Waveringly heterosexually,

Pierce Brosnan has given me more joy than I have ever known. More on that soon

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dropped Plotlines (Journal Entry #4 of Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros)

The dizzying horizon before me brings an almost inappropriate sense of serenity with it. After all of the chaos and pain I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros have been through since entering this green hell, I am not used to feeling safe. It is hard, however to not feel safe doing what it is I do best: cruising in my helicopter.
The trip back from my encounter with the quite insane Ms. Earheart was swift, or at least it seemed like no trouble at all after I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros had walked the distance in agonizing hunger just recently. Now my hunger had been sated, as I had made a habit of indulging in the plentiful meat I had gathered.
Still, I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros did not enjoy the ride back so much as I enjoyed getting back into my own copter, which I had come to believe I would never see again (an utterlycomprehensivelylame prospect). Having refueled the helicopter and patched up the tank’s tear using materials from Earhart’s plane, I set off to discover what lay at the end of this place.
I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros found something interesting among the personal effects Earhart kept around her plane- A notebook, what appeared to be a scientific journal called “ The Metallic Property (Threshold Theory)”. No, it doesn’t really make sense that I’d be snooping around all the papers that chick kept in the back of her plane, and yes, the chances of me actually finding a document so completely relevant to the main story is a bogus plot move. But give OSK a break; he’s taking this one step at a time, and he would’ve introduced this in part three if he’d known where this was going. So yeah, it’s a lame move just to progress the plot. Deal with it. Maybe I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros just have totallysweetnice file-finding skills, okay?
The file was written by a man named Cenron Henderson; I assume this is the scientist whom Earhart spoke of, a man she surely turned into a drumstick to add to her bonfire of meat. I read the overarching details of the file before I resumed my coptering. It basically says exactly what Earhart said it did: That somewhere around 5000 distance units in this environment, the metallic content of the green material became so superheated that it melted away, possibly (“possibly” was something my friend Cenron stressed mercilessly) opening passageways to whatever lay beyond, hopefully the world from whence I came.
Therein lies the excitement which floods my mind presently. My distance currently reads 4600, and with mere minutes until 5000, I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros am filled with anticipation about whether this threshold exists or not. The temperature has certainly been rising drastically; I do not believe any creatures could survive on the surface this far in.
4700. If I squint, I feel that I can almost make out spots of red on the horizon. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros wonder if there are mirages in here. I do not know about science. After all, the RazorClaw Cerebros family is a family of warriors, bred for more effective courses of action than scientific study. As such, I do not know whether tricks of the mind are even possible in here.
My heart begins pounding. The red is growing more and more intense. There can be no doubt about it now: There is a threshold. There is a threshold and I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros am going there. There are a mere four blocks between me and it.
Suddenly my complete happiness, my wonderful hope, is crushed. As I fly below that
first block, I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros hear an engine kick into full power behind me. Something was waiting in hiding behind that block. I catch a glimpse of it in my rear view mirror- it is the Anti-England Transformer Rebel ship which I had pursued into the Bermuda Triangle. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros believed that I had destroyed it, or at least had lost it when I entered the horrible vortex which brought me here, but apparently we are in the same predicament. I consider for a moment that perhaps the mysterious pilot recognizes this, and may be merciful in this matter.
I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros am wrong. There is a cliché high-pitched scifi energy weapon sound as the craft opens fire. As if these blocks weren’t enough for me to worry about, now I had hostile fire on my ass. However, being the skilled pilot of the RazorClaw Cerebros family (and of the wholly superior rank of Power Master Steel Crush) I am able to progress aptly with little trouble. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros begin to entertain the fantasy that my tricky maneuvers through the blocks will cause my enemy to crash. However, he seems to be a worthy adversary, if not as good a pilot as I.
As I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros approach the threshold, I cannot believe my eyes. It seems to me, from my distance of 92, 91, 90 from the red, that the blocks within it are…moving. There is no doubt about it- those red death traps are rapidly bouncing up and down, taunting me, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros.
Crossing the threshold, I almost misjudge the position of the first, and must fly up at the lasts second in order to avoid a hot death. My guard goes down as I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros frantically compensate for this mistake, and in this moment my copter is grazed by enemy fire, causing it to drop from the sky.
I panic. The controls are not responsive. Desperately, I throw the door of the copter open. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros am engulfed in an intense heat, so intense that I feel that I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros am burning. Before I jump out, I take one last look at the ground below me. It is distant, but its red surface approaches with every passing moment. I jump. This is surely an act of suicide, but so is staying in the helicopter, and somehow I have convinced myself that I have more of a chance falling by myself than being buried in metal.
What I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros do not count on is the idea that my enemy may want me alive. Seeing what I have done, the enemy craft swoops down below me, skillfully avoiding the moving blocks, and places itself between myself and my destination. My body slams onto the hull of the craft. The metal is agonizingly hot, as it has been superheated by its hellish surroundings. Every point of contact on my body is burned. Through the fog of tears in my eyes, I catch a final glimpse of my falling helicopter as the enemy craft fires at it, destroying it in a blinding flash of light.
I give into despair. I am burned beyond thought, I am alone, and now I do not even have my helicopter, my one hope of getting out of this place. Suddenly a hatch opens a few yards away from me on the ship. A metal claw reaches out and grabs my leg, yanking me inside.

My next few days are miserable. Imprisoned in a dark cell, I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros begin to undergo the symptoms of a severe illness. My daily activities consist primarily of vomiting profusely, hallucinating wildly, and rubbing the lesions appearing all over my skin, somehow convinced that rubbing them will alleviate the pain, when all it really does is make them bleed.
On either the second or third day, I am visited by a man. They insist on being referred to as “men”, though they in no way resemble any man I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros have ever seen. The first thing I notice about this “man” is that he shares my illness. Lesions plaster his face (Luckily for me the face has not been a popular spot for my lesions), and he grips his stomach regularly in obvious agony. He grabs me by the shirt and drags me out of my terrible cell.
We walk down a hallway as black as the cell I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros have endured. The “man” says nothing. Finally we turn a corner, and brilliant white light assaults my (Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros) eyes. As I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros struggle to open them again, my pupils committed to retreat, the “man throws me down onto my hands and knees. Being the strong England Wrestler-Transformer I am, I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros win the battle with my eyes.
The sight before me is beautiful. On the other side of a thin sheet of glass I see my helicopter, slightly bruised but in one piece. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros do not understand it. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros cannot rationalize it, but I do not care, for it is there.
I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros may have cried a little. No big dea,l okay?
The “man” who has brought me this wonderful moment kneels beside me, speaking into my ear.
“You will fly it for us. You will teach us.”
I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros cannot understand why he would ask this of me, but am so endeared to them for saving my craft that I do not question him.
“Yes,” I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros agree, “I’ll fly it. I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros will fly it.”


Still dogged.
Are you?
Shameless plug, it's coming back...

No, it's not coming back.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We're Going Supernova, Bitch

Okay, let’s let that sink in for a moment. Humanity is now playing with a device capable of destroying the earth. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always said if I could die in any cool way, it’d be implosion (or torque, among other things), and being crushed into a singularity is pretty much the closest you can get on a global level, unless of course you live on a sun. So yes, it’s a badass means of global destruction. But let’s wait a few billion years until the earth is in immediate peril anyhow, or at least until after my selfish ass is dead.
But seriously, I do understand the plight of the scientists involved, and even sympathize with their problems of public opinion. Research is research, and as far as knowledge of the universe goes, we’ve taken leaps and bounds in the past 40 years in comparison to the 500 before it. There could be great cosmic truths, simple yet elusive physical laws awaiting our revelation around the corner of any project such as the Large Hadron Collider. It cost $8 billion dollars and countless hours to make, and there is apparently only a slight, slight chance that a black hole will be created. What I’m trying to say is that the guys who built this are way smarter and devoted to science than you and me, and it’s got to be a pain in the ass for geniuses such as themselves to have to put up with accusations of apocalyptic orchestration every time the intellectually inferior masses hear big trigger words like “ particle accelerator” and “one billionth of a second” and “simulate…big bang”. Moral of the story: They’re probably right, and we’re probably idiots.
But as the journalist seems to imply (Sorry if I’m putting words in your mouth, Dennis), the risk may be too great. I know I’m obviously a bit biased towards this journalist’s opinion, but he has some good points. Specifically, global destruction is global destruction, and even if the chances are 1000 to 1, if it happens, it’s over. I guess I’m just shocked by the idea that a few physicists in some warehouse somewhere could throw a switch and wipe out millions of years of human history.
I don’t honestly think any harm will come of this, but the idea that it could be that simple is astounding. I just hope those safety checks are thourough. You don’t fuck with this shit.


Over my blogging hiatus Arthur C. Clarke died, which is very sad. The man who gave us great books, movies, and according to Trivial Pursuit the radar, will be missed. Go read 2001.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Going Out Like A

It’s funny; you have tons of ideas for posts when you have no time, but when you get three weeks of free time, you can’t think of anything to say.

So I was checking out the iTunes reviews for the Audioslave Album “Revelations”, and I came across this review:

“Audioslave is the threshold upon which rock listeners conquer with their valiant steeds. Buy all three albums and go see them live.”

Okay, seriously? Valiant steeds? That sounds like something I would say to mock one of the many things the general population does not but I do not. But, based on the second half of the comment, this guy is actually a fan. That’s embarrassing. Someone obviously takes their music way too seriously.

On the Battlestar note from the last post, SciFi had greenlit a backdoor pilot for a prequel spinoff series called Caprica. Apparently it’s going to be more a soap opera and less a war show than Battlestar. That worries me, but I’ll be hopeful.


I couldn’t understand something on wikipedia and my first thought was “I should check wikipedia to understand this better”.

From here on in I live my life through retroactive continuity.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Frak the Norm

I’ve been spending some of my free time in the last few days bumping around the net, reading various search results which come up as the result of the words “theology” and “Battlestar Galactica”. As some of you mat know, the upcoming season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica has been announced to be the final season, and that leaves us fans to wonder about what closure could possibly result from the series. Mainly, I’m interested in the closure of the religious plotlines of the show which pit monotheism against polytheism.
A primer for those of you who do not watch: The basic plot of the show is that there is a race of humans in a galaxy separate from our own. Thousands of years ago, a tribe of these humans journeyed into space and landed on earth, where they became a primary part of our ancestry. According to Battlestar many if not all of us are descended from them. The people who stayed behind built a technologically advanced civilization over time, creating fleets of battle (space) ships and building a race of robot servants called Cylons. Long story short, the Cylons become sentient and rebel against the humans, there is a huge war until finally an armistice is called. The show takes place 30 years later when the Cylons (many of whom have evolved into “human-forms”, that is, unidentifiable from humans) nuke the massive human civilization, wiping out all but a few thousand of them. A fleet of ships (led by Galactica) decides to journey to find Earth and their long-lost brethren while the Cylons pursue them.
The real intrigue of the show to me, however, is the religious continuity. The humans are polytheistic, and their Gods are one and the same as the Greek gods of earth. The two explanations for this are 1) The 13th Colony (the humans who originally went to earth) brought Greek religion to earth, or 2) The Battlestar creators are going to try to have embodiments of Greek Gods appear on the show in some scientifically sound (or a scifi show) way. I may note that this is what they did with the Cylon God, who turned out to be the missing link in the evolution between machine and human-form.
One observation I found especially interesting during my browsing was the idea that the Cylons are a metaphor for us humans IRL. The Cylons are completely aware that they are machines. They understand exactly how they are made, and yet they still feel the need to rationalize their existence with a God. Is this perhaps a statement about the foolishness of those who reject a scientific explanation for life on earth? If so, then how do the creators mean to depict the humans, who carry on their polytheistic Greek beliefs? I’m a Latin student, and have had my fair share of learning about Greek tradition. The Greeks, historically, are a proud people, almost obsessed with honor, characterized by the stoicism movement, among others. However, the soap-opera quality of Battlestar Galactica seems to contradict this idea of honor. In fact, I’d go so far as to say any principles of Greek life are not present in Battlestar, save for the religious figures. The humans are not unanimously devout in their belief system, either, which contrasts sharply with the Cylons. In this way, it seems that the writers are making a statement about how religion is not something people truly hold to.
The Christ imagery in the Cylon religion is pretty heavy as well. Twelve human-form Cylon models suggests twelve disciples. Aside from that, we discover in the TV movie “Battlestar Galactica: Razor” (Really horrid movie, by the way, felt wrong and disloyal through and through) that the Cylon God is the Cylon who is the genetic link between the pure machines and the human-forms. So supposedly he ushered in the race which are the twelve human forms? Does that perhaps suggest creating his people in his own image?
Let’s run with the Christ imagery for a bit, yes? At the beginning of Season 3, the Cylon model D’Anna (Lucy Lawless, known better to many of us as Xena) began to get “too curious” about her faith, and the other Cylons decided to discontinue her model. My theory here- she’s Judas.
Let me explain. The “Final Five” are human form Cylons whom the other human forms do not know the identities of. According to their religion, they should not seek out the Final Five, though they should hold a great dear of respect for them. D’Anna tried to find out who the Final Five were, and she got “boxed”. Okay, so she didn’t sell out her Lord, but she did go against his wishes. Actually, that Judas thing isn’t great. Maybe she’s Jesus. I mean, she was trying to lead her people to a great revelation, and in killing her they more or less crucified her.
All I can say is, Season Four should have some big surprises in store as far as didactive religion go. If anyone cares, my guesses for the fifth Cylon are either Starbuck or Geida.


My fucking Twin isn’t working. Screw you, George Sullivan.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some Uptight Right Wing Political Homicide

I know it’s unlike me, but I feel the need to address the current presidential candidates. And by “presidential candidates” I of course mean democratic presidential candidates, as I subscribe to the prediction that the democratic candidate who gets the party nomination will be the president. Then again, I could just be thinking that because the Democrats are the most outspoken during this campaign, but I do believe Americans are looking for someone who’ll promise change, as opposed to someone who promises 100 more years in Iraq.
A friend of mine brought up a good point with me the other day- Americans focus too little on a presidential candidate’s plans and views on issues, and too much on their personality. I certainly feel that this is a flaw of mine, though a somewhat justified one. In my eyes, a candidate who can’t win the trust of the people through personality probably doesn’t have the charisma for smooth foreign diplomacy. This is my problem with Clinton. In the last debate she had with Obama, Clinton seemed to be on the brink of losing control. While Obama sat back and coolly dealt with the questions (almost accusations) Clinton threw at him, Clinton seemed like she was ready to start yelling. Once again, I hate for factors like that to be the deciding factor, but Obama and Clinton have both admitted that most of their ideals are at least 95% the same. Nitpicky stuff like this is becoming the choice between the two candidates. After all, can we afford to have someone as aggressive as Clinton negotiating with our enemies? One thing I have to give her is that she is the antithesis of wishy-washy. I feel secure that the beliefs she advocates will not be gimmicks for election, but will be what she enforces if elected to office.
Having put her down, I also must admit that I’ve had a lack of faith in Obama’s credibility from the get-go. He has bred an army of millions of followers (most under 30 years of age, from my limited observation), people I like to refer to as “Obama Zombies”, people who seem so wrapped up in his optimistic projections of unity that they’ve lost sight of its unrealistic nature. In all her frenzy and mockery, Clinton had a good point in the last debate, a point which embodied all of my Obama doubts, the accusation that Obama is full of stories of a wonderful world that we’ll all live in if he’s elected, and all of our problems will go away. This is how it’s been since the beginning. Months ago I asked one of the “Obama Zombies” I know what his policy was, and I was subjected to a day dream-esque story of unity, and how the parties will be at peace finally, and stated how amazing it was that a black man was in this position, and how that will promote unity in and of itself. I don’t know about you, but I will not vote for a man just because his racial diversity will look like progress. When I pushed the question of his policies, my local Zombie responded that he was sure I could find them online. That didn’t raise my confidence in Zombie credibility.
However, someone brought up a good point with me today- The idea that the media may be portraying only the “unrealistic hope” side of Obama, and only the stern, competitive side of Clinton. Seeing as I’ve been working on that disinformation paper, it seemed a valid possibility to me. But after reviewing the policies of both candidates, I returned to my original conclusion, which is that these two candidates are just too similar, and so the only real competition the media has to go on is their different personalities. If this is true, then isn’t there something wrong with our two-party political system? The whole idea of democracy is to give people a choice, right? What choice is there in two candidates who are self-admittedly almost the same figure? Yes, it’s true, we also have the republican candidates, but the two parties really only ever guarantee a choice between two extremes- conservative and liberal. Maybe the Testify music video got it right. Maybe this is why so few Americans actually exercise their right to vote.
Okay, so referencing a Rage video probably takes down my credibility a bit, but whatever. And speaking of that video, what’s up with Nader these days? When I was very young, I had a sort of naïve respect for the man. He knows he can’t win, and yet he keeps trying, if only to make a statement about the two party system, a statement I agree with. When 2000 rolled around, I saw him as doing the respectable, optimistic thing he always did, and accidentally finding himself in a huge mess. I’m ashamed to say I actually felt badly for him. This time around, I’d like to think that he’s still just running to uphold the ideal of more than two parties, but I can’t help but agree with people that he’s just trying to stir things up. Really Nader, maybe it’s time to call it quits.
All of this said, I think that if I could vote, right now my eyes would be set on Obama. Like I said, I’m not sold on Clinton’s diplomatic charisma, and honestly, I would like to see us out of Iraq in a year.
In other political news, I’m guessing my re-election to student government will not go well. I’ve always had a bad rep with my fellow members of student government, but now I think they’re really getting pissed. You see, because I’m always busy with theater rehearsals, I haven’t been able to make it to any of the 15 or so major meetings we’ve had this year. The only meeting I ever went to was on a night when rehearsal was uncharacteristically late,a nd even then I could only stay for 10 minutes or so. I spent those ten minutes reading essays a faculty member had asked us to read- Arguments by girls that boys put too much pressure on them to be physically perfect and stereotypically girly. While it’s all well and good to ask males in general to be cooler people, it’s not very realistic to think it will work, as I told the council. I went on to explain how the cycle of girls being pressured was perpetuated by girls who conformed to the pressures in the first place. As opposed to asking for things to change, girls should take charge and be who they want to be, and it’s their own fault if they don’t.
Seeing as most of the council were girls, that didn’t go over so well, and for many of them that was their one exposure to me as a class officer. While I won’t be so daring again, I hold to my opinion. I guess it’s time I cranked up my political charisma to win back the hearts of my council mates.


Have you ever actually met someone who admits to liking Larry the Cable Guy? How does he ever get enough money to support himself?

Because I Said I Would

Gumdrops are nice. There’s something wonderful about gooey cancer covered in cancer sprinkled with cancer. Okay, I made a cancer joke today and it didn’t go over so well with anyone. Ignore that thing I said about cancer.
The most beautiful thing about gum drops, in my opinion, is the return to them. Though we (mainly I) take them in massive quantities, they really are meant to be savored, as they are a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, my comrade Koops and I have gone without these sacred cancer gems (damnit!) for a couple of months now, as we have been too overrun with school commitments to enjoy life in the least. However, by some miracle we found the time to enjoy them today. And let me just say, the first bite after 2 months of abstinence is divine. In fact, the only reason I’m blogging about this is because the first words out of my mouth after eating my first one were “blog-worthy!”, which in retrospect was pretty dorky.

Yes, I’m aware that my blogging this week has taken a turn for the crudely shallow. Maybe tomorrow I’ll blog about pondering God. Nah, maybe Battlestar…No, maybe both…


Haha I got the thumbs up on that history paper. Who woulda thought?

Monday, February 25, 2008


It seems that entertainment has become a hunt for comedy, which seems a shame to me. Comedy is a great tool for lightening the mood of a serious story, but too often comic relief becomes the focus of what should be a serious production. Not the focus of the writer; if the writer wants to write a comedy, by all means they should. But audiences most often take the serious and ignore it, searching only for comic relief.
This is, in a way, an attack on the high school theater scene. I love to act, sure, but I don’t always like the way the audience reacts to our productions. Take my spring one-act from last year as an example, F.J. Hartland’s “Auto-Erotic Misadventure”. In the spirit of our spring one act plays, the show had sexual themes, as the title blatantly suggests. However (and surprisingly), it was easily the most serious and dramatic of all of the one acts. I do not mean to suggest that it was a better play for this reason than the others, but it did not elicit the response it would have in a higher level of production. Sure, there were funny parts, but overall it was a drama, and though it was met with high praise, it was dominantly met with inapropraite giggles. But we can chalk that one up to an audience with a high school maturity, right?
Wrong. The truth is, this hunt for humor exists on even higher levels. Let’s take, for an example, a specific show I’ve been watching (on Sundays at 10 ‘o clock on AMC, because of course you wouldn’t know that). It is what is classified as a “dark comedy”, a genre title which I believe epitomizes all which is wrong with this hunt for humor. Dark comedies are, essentially tragedies. There rarely is any outstanding humor in them (but then again neither is there really any in most sitcoms either), but to recognize that your show is a hardcore drama is to condemn it to cancellation, especially in its early years. After all, the only channel that makes blatant claims of drama is TNT, and who the hell watches that? No, this specific show is not a comedy. Rather, it is clever in its writing, which apparently is enough justification for “comedy” classification. I heartily chuckle while watching it once, maybe twice in each hour episode, but it is still gripping. So why classify it as a “dark comedy”? Are all audiences really so addictively fixated on laughs that every performance ever must be some freak mutation of comedy, even the completely depressing?

Oh, and as far as “Auto-Erotic” goes, apparently it offended some faculty members so much that there is going to be extra supervision of our one acts this year. Needless to say, I’m pissed. The last thing I want to be cast in is your run-of-the-mill one act: a campy, horny sex comedy, but ours last year was smart and thought-provoking, and people saying differently must be taking it at crude face value.



These stupid abbreviations have to stop.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Twin and Me

No, I’m not referring to Tom Morello. That beauty right there is my FC Twin, the system illegally developed long ago (though Nintendo doesn’t give a shit now anyways) to play both NES and SNES games. Okay, that one’s not actually mine, I just googled a photograph of one. I didn’t really want to go to all the trouble of borrowing a digital camera, photographing my system, figuring out how to upload it, etc. But mostly I just don’t want to because my childhood has been scarred by a family who has an obsession with photographing anything, and so I won’t let myself get a camera. Like alchoholism, it may be a genetic thing.
You may ask me why I bought an FC Twin when I have a Wii. After all, the Wii has internet connectivity which allows you to buy old games from the NES and SNES, and you can even play them with a classic controller, plus the whole package comes out cheaper than the FC Twin. Well, the truth is, that hadn’t occurred to me. But somehow I don’t regret it. It’s going to feel awesomely old school to being using authentic cartridges, struggling with controllers whose chords are annoyingly short, and I get great pleasure out of hitting the switch which shifts between 8-bit and 16-bit. That, and I’m hoping that it will all be worth something some day. Yes, I’m aware it looks tacky (and it weighs about as much as an empty cardboard box), but I’m going classic all the way. Let’s just hope all the hype about Super Mario Bros. 3 is true.
Also, I think I’m going to sell a bunch of my N64 games. Don’t fear, readers, these will only be the crappy ones you’ve never played because I never let you because they disappointed me so years ago. Also, the Wii sorta makes having a GameCube pointless. Don’t worry, Sarge’s Heroes is here to stay.


Let it be known that talking to strangers is a good thing, and works flawlessly. Stupid lying parents.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Cooler version of Myself (MYSELF!)

Let's compare these two videos:

Can you spot the connection? The first video is of a live Rage Against the Machine performance at the Tibetan Freedom concert in 1999. The second video is a clip from the Season six episode of Star Trek Voyager, "The Good Shepard". Still can't spot the similarity? Well, here it is: The awesome guy on guitar in the Rage video (Tom Morello) is crewman Mitchell in the Voyager clip.
Now, Tom Morello is without a doubt one of the most innovative guitar players of our time, using factors such as the whammy bar, so called wawa peddle, and feedback (among other tools, such as rubbing an Allen wrench up and down the neck of his guitar to create the unique riff in "People of the Sun") to make his guitar sound like anything but a guitar. So undoubtedly, he's already awesome in my book, plus he belongs to a kickass band. He's also on my list (as is his guitar, though in a seperate position). I honestly didn't think he could get any more points in my book, but I was wrong. While belonging to a supremely successful band (thus not requiring the monetary gain), he settled for an extremely minor role on Star Trek Voyager, simply because he is such a huge Star Trek fan.
This gives evidence to my theory that all of my seemingly random interests are somehow connected, that somehow they all fit into a demographic. After all, let's not forget that there are legions (yes, legions) of shy readers exactly like me who read this blog but never comment.
And let's not overlook the fact that Morello was wearing a Cubs hat in the Rage video, and that most youtube rage videos are posted by a guy named nintendoplayer and a guy who has a paper mario avatar. I am anything but individual. Tom Morello is my god.


"I'm so high, and you're so tall!"
-Random girl whom I hope not to meet the acquiantance of again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In A Camera, Darkly

It’s all over now, and surprisingly, I’m sad. Somehow I actually have fond memories of this musical, even though it was a stressful mess which destroyed my school grades (previously the best I’ve ever had). Most of this I can attribute to my good friend fake nostalgia. Theater productions have a way of eliciting fake nostalgia, as I end up spending so much time working on them that it’s hard not to form some sort of connection with the production. The weird thing is that the theater group remains not really my clique, so I don’t have too much of a reason to miss it.
What’s really been eating at me is the fact that I’ll never act with any of the seniors again. Every high school student knows that Graduation is a beautiful and tragic thing. It’s one of the blatant major changes in life, an inevitability that everyone is mostly excited for, but a bit remorseful about as well. The theater seniors are ridiculously cool as a whole, and I’m not sure how I feel about continuing on without them. Like it or not, my classmates and I have to lead the theater team next year, and that’s frightening.
But I’m also going to miss them as people. I’m not necessarily great friends with any of them (like I said, it’s never really become my clique), but I can never help my wondering. After one of the musical performances, a senior from last year approached me in congratulation, but I felt that it was more than a formality. She complimented me on my performance, and then went on to genuinely express how much she enjoys watching me act, something she had told me last year as well. I don’t consider myself a crap actor, but I don’t consider myself particularly outstanding either, and once again I was left to wonder why she enjoyed my performance so much. I am left to speculate that it is because, over the course of the year we acted alongside each other (a year in which we often shared the stage but never any character interaction) she was able to watch me grow from a fetus of an actor into a fledgling. And that’s why Graduation is a tragedy for those left behind- Not really friends at all last year, I believe she and I could be very good friends today. I guess this relates back to my pot about all the people you could know if circumstances were different- I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like in a different situation.
As far as judging my own acting goes, I have discovered that watching yourself act is an unforgivable sin. Yes, I am a high school actor, and yes, that does mean expectations are low, but I cannot express enough how disappointed I was when I saw the DVD of one of our rehearsals.
You see, when I’m on stage I feel convincing, in character, and not at all OSK. But what I saw on the DVD was the awkward, blocky, unexpressive OSK of the real world struggling to be something he wasn’t. I can only suspect that this is because when I watch myself I see something which others do not- I see OSK’s motives behind the character’s motives and actions. I see myself trying to be the character instead of being ready to believe that I am the character. I am unable to suspend reality as an audience can.
At least that’s my hope. I know decent people would never say anything bad about my acting, but still, I’d like to think that I’ve had enough positive feedback from my roles that I’m more believable to an audience than to myself. Even so, I’m going to be drilling a lot of scenes in my off-time to get my self esteem up. Moral of the story- Watching yourself act is officially the eighth Deadly Sin.
On an unrelated note, the game creators for 1980s systems were complete perverts. A bunch of the friend group (myself included) spent the night hanging with a guy for whom I have no blogosphere alias, a guy who had pretty much every game known to man on his Xbox. And not just Xbox games, everything you could possibly name from the original Atari, NES, all the way through N64. He even had a few games no one’s ever heard of. Custer’s Revenge, for example, is a game for the Atari 2600 which, as the title suggests, allows the historic General Custer to enact his wrath upon the Indian people. The gameplay consists of moving a naked Custer (with blatant rope-like genetalia) across the screen, avoiding the arrows of the Indian attacks. If you reach the right side of the screen, there is a large-breasted naked Indian woman bound to a pole whom you violate, all in 8-bit. The best part is that one of the people playing managed to get a high score of 69. I’m not even going to get into Beat ‘Em and Eat ‘Em. Check that one out yourself. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that games are actually filtered these days.


How did that giant scorpion get on that train?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

LeVar Burton Told Me To

You may be able to tell by my recent summary of the Vietnam War conspiracy that I’m not exactly doing so great with education right now. The truth is, this musical has really taken away from my studies. Usually I wouldn’t mind this, as I suspect theater will have a much larger on my influence than the majority of my academic subjects, but I do feel guilty about not getting work in, especially when it piles up. As if the guilt weren’t enough, I’m now getting crap from teachers. One in particular says he “feels abused” because he thinks I’ve been using the show as an excuse to not do his class’ work. The worst part about this is that most teachers have a dillusion that if they say they’re cutting you slack, it means they’re cutting you slack. This means that I’ve been getting a lot of “I know I’ve been cutting you a lot of slack, but…” when in actuality I’ve gotten guilt trips and tongue lashings all week.
Now that the show is actually at the performance stage, it’s not nearly as stressful as it was. The first performance was a lot of fun, and we’ve all generally cooled down. However, it’s hard to forget the nervous misery of anxiety from the last week. Between stressful rehearsals and being berated by teachers, I feel that I need to do some things that will remind me that life is actually a lot of fun sometimes.
I am not what you would call a productive member of society. I have barely any work ethic, and my mind is of a rigid structure, always trying to resist absorbing new knowledge. This makes school work a bitch. My theory for how I got this way is by nurture. After all, I’ve got a pretty sharp mind when it comes to creativity, and I used to be a pretty smart kid in other academic aspects back in my middle school days. This leads me to believe that I have a lot of buried/lost potential. I likely fried this potential by beginning a cycle when I was very young which continues, to a degree, today: My gluttony. As a child I fed myself absurd amounts of video games and television while other children were likely reading books and actually trying to understand their math homework, whereas I just learned enough math to barely slide by. All of the aforementioned bad choices (save for maybe the television obsession) I continue to make today. But when I say “bad choices”, I mean from an academic standpoint. Basically, my habits are frowned upon by pretty much everyone. However, I’m not so sure I regret them. After all, I don’t do any of this mindless crap instead of my work, I just allow them to lull me into a mental coma when I’ve got free time.
The misconception that most adults hold is that, because I enjoy spending free time that way, and because I’m not the best student, they assume I slack instead of doing work. Usually I’d brush this off as them being judgmental jerks, but during Hell week it’s a little too…dick-like.
I don’t mean to make it sound like a moron, I’m just a bit stressed out since we just ahd a 2-hour talk about colleges. It terrified me because all of the advice we were given seemed to work on the assumption that we were all brilliant, a claim which I can’t quite make.
Still, I do regret not stretching my brain in the last couple of years. Frankly, after Hell Week, I need something to restore my faith in humanity (the Brotherhood of Man). First off, I haven’t seen a play in about a year. In my hierarchy of happiest places to be, at a good (modern) play is third, after at a concert and at a baseball game. I’m really desperate to see a play from the outside once again. Believe me, the view’s a bit narrow from backstage.
Secondly, I’m going to read a book. What with school commitments usually taking up about 10 hours of every day, I never have the time to read, and even lost the desire for a while. English class, however, has reawakened me. In a weird way, I’m actually enjoying Gatsby. 3 chapters in and I don’t quite see the point of it yet, but it’s easy to read, and mildly interesting. After all of the other stuff we’ve read, I assumed reading was always painful, but now I remember. So, my two steps to slight enlightenment are 1. See a (modern) play, and 2. Read an interesting book.
Now if I could only find the time.


I love Dispatch, but who the hell is Pete Francis?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Better than 'Nam

Everybody hates term papers. This is an universal truth. However. There are levels to which your term paper can be burdensome and suck. There’s the usual- You have a valid topic with plenty of information, and writing the paper is just annoying and requires effort you don’t want to spend. But then there’s my kind of term paper. You see, I’m fool enough to want to be different. I could’ve picked a topic which had plenty of information, like the Cold War or something World War II related. But no, I picked Vietnam. Given, Vietnam was a pretty big deal and has a lot of books written about it. But, being the daring (idiotic) student I am, I had to research disinformation during Vietnam.
We all know it happened. It’s sort of an accepted truth that everyone takes for granted, but I can’t find any source that gives me constant examples. Sure, you’ve got the Pentagon Papers. I thought that would be my saving grace, but unfortunately I forgot that the Pentagon Papers are 7,000 pages long. And believe it or not, it’s not 7,000 pages of juicy Vietnam disinformation tactics.
But I’ll stop bitching. What I really want to do is share with you all my startling findings of Vietnam disinformation. Once I dug deep enough, there is actually an astonishing amount of hidden meaning behind all of the government’s actions at the time. So without further ado, let me tell you what really happened in Vietnam:

August 4th, 1964. Two American Destroyers tread Vietnamese water in the Gulf of Tonkin in an attempt to survey the happenings of the Vietnamese conflict. The story goes that Vietnamese torpedo ships confronted the US Destroyers and attacked. The Destroyers escaped in a narrow escape.
Indeed, that was the story Lyndon Johnson told the American public. However, CIA agent Victor Marchetti would later retire and publish the truth in his essay to the Revisionist Conference, “Propoganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History” ( In the essay, he explains how the Gulf of Tonkin incident involved no actual battle at all. Vietnamese torpedoes never did fire upon the US vessels. The men aboard the Destroyers though that there may have been attack attempts, but there was no damage to the ship, and no one saw any fire. So why did Lyndon Johnson report an attack to the American people?
The report came from the captain of one of the American Destroyers, Kid Sticklan. According to his engineer, Stricklan had a discussion with Johnson in which Johnson “heavily suggested” that Stricklan tell Congress that he had seen torpedo fire. Stricklan did so, and Johnson received his “blank check” from Congress, essentially, his permission slip to enter Vietnam.
So why was Johnson so eager to enter Vietnam? In the Pentagon Papers, it is clearly documented that, long before, the Gulf of Tonkin, Johnson had been looking for a window of opportunity to enter Vietnam. In an entry to the Pentagon Papers, Johnson states that their entrance into Vietnam is on a “contingency basis”. Meaning he was looking for the right moment.
So why enter Vietnam? Well, apparently Stricklan wasn’t just the captain of the Destroyer. He was also a Russian spy. In the document “Stricklan is a Commy”, it is revealed that Johnson was actually the puppet of the U.S.S.R. The Russian dictator of the time, Joseph Stalin II, was actually behind a brilliant scam.
Enter the computer geniuses. Just decades after the computer’s inception into the world’s culture, the U.S.S.R. was already developing brainwashing computer technology. Stalin, having obtained an exclusive copy of page 128 from his Japanese brethren, finally knew where to find the one man he had been searching for all of his life.
As the US marched on Vietnam (according to Stalin’s wishes, unbeknownst to them), Stalin readied his cartridge.
5 years into Vietnam, and Stalin had completed the Banjo Kazooie portion. As the American public began to lose enthusiasm in the fight, Stalin ordered Johnson to report false body counts to the people to increase morale. He then proceeded to stage two: getting the ice key, and slamming the Banjo Tooie cartridge into the N64. He now had approximately a minute and a half before his N64 exploded. He raced to the ice vault to find a hologram of Luigi saying “Help me, Banjo Kazooie, you’re my only hope.”
Stalin’s N64 exploded from the shards of cartridge jammed into it, and he was fatally maimed on April 30, 1975. His death broke the hypnotic hold he had on American president Gerald Ford. Ford immediately realized what had happened and pulled out of Vietnam. After all, why else would we have possibly stayed so long?
Alas, Luigi may still be alive…somewhere in Vietnam.
Stalin’s copy of page 128 was never recovered from the explosion.

I think this is a definite 100%.

Seriously, I’m gonna get shot someday.


Hey reader…you’re ugly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not What The Doctor Ordered

Whose idea was this?

I’ll admit, I’m a Stargate fan. I don’t talk about it much, because it’s a bit of a social stigma, even among Science Fiction fans. Stargate does not get the respect which Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica do (and neither does it really deserve it). Being a Gatehead is sorta like being an outcast from the outcasts.
And I like all that mainstream outcast stuff, most of it (maybe not “Wars”) more than I do Gate. But I have to admit that I enjoy Gate a lot. I enjoy the irreverent, almost campy humor. I’m okay with overlooking the fact that most of the characters are flat and only created to glorify the round ones. I’ll be honest, one of the things I like about Gate that I always felt was missing from Trek was a sense of realism. That seems weird, since most of Gate consists of jumping the shark. But I mean it feels like a more hands-on experience. The characters are less bound by their perfect moral codes and more willing to fight for what they instinctually believe. Besides, P-90 fire is a bit more satisfying than energy weaponry. Don’t get me wrong though, Trek pwns Gate any day.
But for a show that constantly jumps the shark and sells out for gimmick value, this Woolsey thing is almost too real. First of all, why would you ever get rid of Weir? She was an awesome character! Carter sure didn’t pull the ratings up when she took charge of the Atlantis expedition, and now she leaving too. The expedition leaders are just getting more and more ridiculous. I mean, Woolsey? Picardo’s a great actor, Voyager showed us that, but Woolsey is not exactly cut out for a leadership role.
On the bright side, it should make for some good plots, what with the expedition being led by a complete dumbass. I mean, who knows what kind of dumb shit Woolsey will get Atlantis into? He’ll probably try to make peace with the Wraith or some crap like that.
On the one hand, the Trekkie inside of me finds this hilariously awesome. I mean, every show has to tank eventually, and if this is the way Atlantis is going to go, it’s quite amusing. However, I am left to wonder whether a show can be salvaged from all of this. Honestly, I haven’t been watching Season Four. This isn’t because I don’t want to, but because I don’t have the time on Friday nights to sit down and watch it, then rewatch it and then chat about it on the forums, and then rewatch it again the next morning. And really, what other way is there to watch Stargate? No, I think I’ll just get the Season Four Box Set when it comes out and watch the whole thing straight.
So who knows, maybe it’ll be good. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve rocked it. But c’mon, Picardo’s no Picard.



Friday, February 08, 2008

Sean Mims' Musical Offenses

“Mims once again gives fans a glimpse of talent. Something that gives you hope…Mims delivers a solid debut.”
-Jason Fleurant
“…the 26-year-old Manhattan MC adopts Jay-Z’s staccato flow…His seamless shift from pimp tales to reflective narratives…versatility”
-Henry Adaso
“a catchy little thing with a cool …beat and some goofy charm…the beats keep things moving…Kick back and enjoy it.”
-Christian Hoard

It seems to me that it was far from right for the reviewers of “Nobody’s Smiling”, “”, and “Rolling Stone” to deliver opinions on Mim’s music without having heard some of it. It would have been much more Hot to keep silent and let those homies talk who have heard Mims.
Mims’ art has some defects. In one place in “Like This”, and in the restricted space of two thirds of a song, Mims has scored 114 offenses against musical art out of a possible 115.
There are nineteen rules governing musical art in the domain of hip hop- some say twenty-two. In “Like This” Mims violated eighteen of them. These eighteen require:

1. That a song shall go somewhere and change somewhow. But “Like This” goes nowhere and changes like a stubborn teenager.
2. They require that all vocalists in a song shall be alive, except in the case of absent ones, and that always the listener should be able to tell the absent ones from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in “Like This”.
3. They require that the vocalists in a song, both absent and present, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. But this detail has also been overlooked in the “Like This” song.
4. They require that when the vocalists in a song deal in lyrics, the lyrics should sound pleasing, and being lyrics such as human beings would be likely to enjoy, and have a discoverable (if not intelligent) meanings, also a discoverable beat, and a show of talent, and remain in the neighborhood of the slightly audibly titillating, and be worthwhile to the listener, and help out the genre, and stop when the lyricist cannot think of anything more to say. But this requirement has been ignored from the beginning of the “Like This” song to the end of it.
5. They require that when the lyricist describes himself in the manner he does, the lyrics and musical quality shall justify said description. But this law gets little or no attention in the “Like This” song.
6. They require that when a vocalist raps of his superiority and talent in the beginning of a song, that he not prove himself wrong by the end of it.
7. They require that the MC shall make the listener feel at least a slight interest in the song and in its build. But the content of “Like This” is so bland that the listener wishes he could drown the song altogether.
8. They require that the quality of the song be so clearly defined from the start that the listener can tell exactly how it will turn out. And actually, Mims doesn’t violate this. The beginning sucks, and so does the rest.

Mims’ gift in the way of flow was not a rich endowment; but such as it was he liked to torture us by working it, he was somehow pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of unoriginal pop-crap devices he kept one or zero braindead devices, tricks, flat beats for his stale rhymes and uninteresting mixes to disguise each other with, and was never so happy as when he was working these terrible concoctions and seeing them go. One was to have a terrible beat tread in the footsteps of awful vocals which were too repetitive to not hypnotize the masses, thus covering up the terrible beat’s existence. The repetition is like being hypnotized with Rage, except you’re being hypnotized with suck rather than awesome. Another device that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was the guest vocalist. His trick was to bring talent into a song which he had sucked it from, but unfortunately his guest vocalists had none themselves.
Mim’s is certainly not a master in the construction of lyrics. Insufficient talent defeated him here as it did in so many other enterprises. He even failed to notice that the flows which suck 15 tracks an album must suck the 16th time, too. But no, he thought it could be good.
Mim’s flow sense was singularly dull. When a person ahs a poor ear for music, he will flat and sharp right along without knowing it. Mims had the smarts to know this, but unfortunately thought his forte would be in the world of the monotone. He keeps near the monotone, but unfortunately tries for rhymes now and again.
A work of music? It has no invention, no appeal, nothing at all aesthetically pleasing; it has no pop-likeness, no thrill, no stir, just a painful drawling, analogous to being dragged through a garden full of pirhana plants.
Counting these defects out, what is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.

Pastiche that, literary world. Pastiche that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Video Game Review: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Alas, I am finally ready to review the release which is Super Mario Galaxy. It’s a game for the Wii, which is now infamous for its new and somewhat innovative controller interface. I think I may have mentioned the game here once or twice. I read many reviews of the game before buying it. Usually I would be a puritan about not spoiling it, but I suspected that those who reviewed the game had not played much of it, and I was right. All of the reviews I’ve read were obviously written by people who rushed the first 60 stars of the game to fight the final Bowser, and then called it quits so they could get their review out quickly. After all, they’re getting paid for their reviews (probably), but I’m not. So yes, I may have taken a month to beat it, and yes, it’s been 3 months since it came out, but at least I’m not calling the game easy because the first 60 stars were easy (of course they are) and calling it quits. You get the whole picture.
The Super Mario games have always been an experience. Mario became immediately famous from his NES releases, games which set the stage or the side-scrolling genre. Back in the day, Nintendo would happily crank out mutiple Mario games (3 on the NES) to eager fans. These games, however, were not so much separate entities as they were the previous game continued in a supplement, similar to sequels in the Halo series, which don’t have too much more in creativity to add to their predecessors. Any idea reused enough times, however, is bound to get old, and Nintendo knew this. I can only imagine was it must have been like to pop your “Super Mario 64” cartridge into your brand new N64 for the first time. It must have been startling to see a 3D Mario emerge from a 3D pipe in front of a massive 3D castle in graphical rendering which was at the time magnificent. The 3D aspect literally added a new dimension to world exploration and enemy combat, and suddenly Mario games did not have to be completely linear. Indeed, “Super Mario 64” was the new life for not only Mario games, but platformers at large.
64 introduced the platformer structure which Mario and other games still utilize today. The game takes place in one large world, in which lie several smaller worlds. In each sub-world there are a number of units to collect (in the case of 64 and Galaxy, Power Stars), and a certain amount of units allows you access to more sub-worlds. Galaxy follows this, with a few twists.
As in 64, Galaxy has 15 real levels, except that instead of having 6 “episode” stars, it has 3 plus 2 comets and 1 or 2 secret stars. The real creativity, however, lies in the gravity concept of the game.
Having the game take place in space was a great call on the part of Nintendo. I’ll admit, I was originally worried that the game would be disappointingly disjointed. I feared that it would consist almost completely of “you’re on a small planet, solve a puzzle there, access a way to another small planet, repeat”. And for the first bit of the game it is like that. It was really a bad idea to put the Good Egg Galaxy first on the roster, if in the game at all, because it does not make a great first impression. Its successor, the Honeyhive Galaxy, however, does. Honyhive, like most of the levels in the game, consists of one massive planet which acts as a main terrain, around which many satellites orbit. This is a great blend of 64/Sunshine-esque exploration, with the added twist of planet to planet transport.
The question on everyone’s mind when Galaxy came out was whether the control interface was any good. After all, the whole Wii thing was a bit of a gamble on Nintendo’s part. Well believe me, Galaxy knows how to use and not abuse the Wii interface. The main move in the game is a simple shake of the WiiMote. In normal conditions this allows Mario to spin, attacking enemies and breaking obstacles. However, it also allows him to use transport stars and activate certain abilities of the various Mario upgrades. The Nunchuck acts as a simple joystick should, and the interface gets comfortable frighteningly quick.
Now you may be wondering what a comet is, but since you’ve all seen me play Galaxy, you’re probably not. I’ll explain anyway. Basically a comet star is one where you replay a star you’ve already beaten with a new challenge. The first type of these challenges is a speed run. Like the name suggests, you have to replay a previous star in a certain amount of time. While slightly worrisome, these comets never really gave me any trouble. In fact, they seemed to be a waste of a perfectly good one of my 120 stars to collect.
The second type of comet is a Cosmic Mario comet. Shadow Mario is back in this game, except this time he’s not Baby Bowser, he’s some natural phenomenon. This comet requires you to race Shadow Mario across a map Koopa the Quick/ Il Piantissimo style. Just as with the two aforementioned opponents, he’s not that difficult. There were maybe one or two Cosmic Mario races that we had to give more than two tries.
The third type of comet is the Daredevil. This is a bit more legit than the other comets. The Daredevil challenges you to replay a star, usually a boss, with only one bar of health. It’s true, you only get 3 in Galaxy, but for most bosses you are given an overshield which raises your health to 6. 6 to 1 is a big drop, believe me. And in case you’re slow, only having one life means you can’t ever get hit. Ever. Most Daredevil challenges are mercifully easy to devise a strategy for. Topmaniac in Battlerock, for example, is an easy kill once you figure out how to avoid his spinning blades and prevent his usually harmless minions from spinning you into the electric barrier. Any ease on some Daredevil challenges, however, is compensated for in others. The Koopa witch Kamella in the Deep Dark Galaxy is a prime example. Though we’ve faced her methods of combat several times by this point in the game, never have we had to deal with her in such a closed space. Beating her with 3 or 6 health, piece of cake. Not getting hit once? Good luck. On a side note, isn’t Kamella a Paper Mario character? What’s next, X-nauts is Super Mario Galaxy 2 (More on that later…)? Come to think of it, Galaxy’s plot is a lot like Paper Mario 1’s. A lot. Let’s see, what was the plot of PM1? Bowser pulls Peach’s castle up into space and Mario must follow them into space to save her. Yeah…real original, Nintendo. But where were we? Oh yes, Daredevil runs. Good luck on Bouldergeist, too. That one only took me an hour or so.
The last type of comet is the Fast Foe. This one only really happens with block enemies, and, as you may be able to guess, it involves your foes being must faster than usual. Like Cosmic Mario, these are initially daunting yet quickly overcome and generally disappointing. And then of course they’re Purple Comets, but I’ll get to those in a bit.
Anyone whose played Sunshine was a bit frightened by the prospect of Secret Stars in Galaxy. Of the mistakes Sunshine made, non-Mystery level secret stars were probably at the top of the list. If you’ll recall, one involved spraying a gold bird until it turned into a Shine, one involved spraying the sun for no apparent reason, and one involved spraying sand. It seemed like the creators of the game wanted to award you not so much for cleverness and exploration (as secret stars should be), but rather for doing random acts which made them feel you were getting use out of the FLUDD pack. Indeed, Sunshine seemed to specialize in throwing away Shines. Of the 120 in the game, 24 were gained by finding 240 blue coins scattered throughout, 4 were uncreative secret shines, and many were awarded for random cleaning around Delphino. Yet somehow Sunshine still managed to be an awesome game.
So how are Galaxy’s secret stars? Well, they’re involved, which is a good thing. You actually have to try to get them , and there are entire planets and complexes designed to house them. They are essentially their own episode stars, as they should be. Yet their fault is that they are too obvious. Too often are secret stars accessed by taking a different transport star off of a planet than usual or feeding a Hungry Luma, a creature who seems to scream “SECRET STAR!” whenever you see it. In this respect, Nintendo has taken secret stars from one extreme to the other, from impossibly random to glaringly obvious. Ideally, Secret Stars should be awarded for exploration. In Sunshine, a good Secret Shine in Noki Bay would have been one where you had to walk around the perimeter of the level, a place no one would expect to look, and find one of the water symbols on cliff wall. You would spray it and then access a chain aof mazes and puzzles leading to the Secret Shine. This is neither obvious nor is it the result of random experimentation, but rather exploration. That said, Galaxy has a few good secret stars among its many misses, including the cleverness of Gusty Garden and Dusty Dunes (Shifting Sand Land II).
The new Mario upgrades are also fairly questionable. Remember flying, metal head, and vanish cap Mario? Well, those upgrade ideas haven’t been lost on the writers. Just as there were FLUDD pack upgrades in Sunshine, so are there upgrades in Galaxy. But they’re really not all that great.
First, Fly Mario. I’m going to get this one out of the way immediately because it sucks. And do you know why it sucks? Because it’s so awesome. Yes, Mario can fly again, just as he once did in 64. This time his flying ability even comes with a badass black outfit and better controls. Gone are the days of not being able to gain altitude to save your life; now you can ascend, ascend, ascend to your heart’s content. One drawback is that you can’t pull off the sick dives you could in 64. You first use Fly Mario in the Gateway Galaxy to gather purple coins. This is the only time in the game it is necessary to use it, and the only other place you can use it is the Comet Observatory, where it does nothing. Way to not use a perfectly good upgrade. Lame.
Next, the Bee Suit. This is the first upgrade you use in the game, and arguably the best. The bee suit allows you to fly from place to place, and keeps being brought back throughout the game in creative ways.
Boo Mario: Almost as useless as Fly Mario, but less cool, so it’s not so much of a crime. They use it once or twice in the Ghostly Galaxy, where it seems okay. But then there is only one more necessary use of it in the game. Underused and pretty uncool.
Fire Mario. This one’s a throwback to classic Mario, with your spin move letting you throw fireballs to light torches and burn enemies. It’s fairly cool, but it’s also pretty much a one trick pony. Whatever, we’ll call it worth it for the nostalgic value.
Nostalgic value does not save the Rainbow Star, which has been brought back as Mario’s invincibility. Just like the Boo Mario, there is barely any use for it in the game, unless you want to kick ass, which, given, is always fulfilling.
Spring Mario is pretty cool though. It’s incorporated fairly well and often after it’s introduced, and bouncing around and launching yourself is pretty fun.
Ice Mario is probably the second best incorporated upgrade in the game, after the Bee Suit. Ice Mario has many beneficial qualities including the power to walk on (and even long jump between in some cases) water and lava. The creators were fairly good about bringing this one back again and again, and it’s pretty fun.
Alright, I must discuss the secrets of the game. If you have not gotten 120 stars, do not read the red text. Believe me, it’s not worth spoiling.

The 120 star reward in 64 was alright. Seeing Yoshi was pretty cool, and laughing at his poor rendering in comparison to Mario Kart 64 (released at the same time) was fun too. Plus we got that little pat on the back from Nintendo, which made us feel like less of a loser for spending all of our time on our couch instead of being productive…yeah.
Galaxy decided to step it up a notch. When you get all 120 stars, Rosalina (Your hot yet terribly annoying guide on this journey) asks you to go to the center of the universe again. Yes it’s true, you must fight Bowser and watch the ten minute video/credits again. Deal. After you go through this, you can play the game over as Luigi. And yes, I did, because I’m that cool.
Luigi doesn’t handle all that different from Mario. In fact, it’s pretty much the same game over again. Except this time you know all the tricks and can blaze through it a bit faster. Also, Luigi has an annoying habit of sliding about six feet after you stop moving the control stick. This makes Space Junk a bit more difficult. Cosmic Luigi races are also a bit more difficult than Cosmic Mario races.
After you beat the game with both bros, you open up the Grand Finale Galaxy. This part is a bit disappointing. You see, all you do there is grab 100 purple coins on your way to Peach’s castle. Then you talk to the mail toad and he sends a letter to your Wii which parallels the note at the end of 64 from the creators. In any case, the Grand Finale Galaxy is still cool because it gets you 121 stars, which just feels awesome.

I’ve been slowly coming to the sad realization that Super Mario 64 is not as awesome a game as I have thought for the last ten years. Frankly, it’s too easy. It’ll probably still be my favorite forever just because of the nostalgia, but Galaxy certainly has some innovation and difficulty on 64. Bottom line, buy/play this game at all costs, it’s great. It’s got a few setbacks and gimmicks, but overall it offers a new dimension which breathes new life into Mario. I just hope the rumors about Super Mario Galaxy 2 are true.


Fun Fact: If you look at all of the letters highlighted by sparkles in "Super Mario Galaxy" on the game's front cover , they spell "U R MR GAY" Accident? Who knows?


“Anyone who doesn’t believe in Faeries isn’t worth knowing.”

-T. Amos

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Someone's Up on His High Horse, And It's Probably Me

Sorry kids, time for some bitching.
I more or less enjoy a very comfortable position in my direct community- The position of “guy nobody dislikes”. This isn’t to say everyone is my friend, enjoys my company, or even likes talking to me, but there seems to be a clean division- Most people like me, and those who don’t like me have no opinion. I mostly believe that this is the case because I try to be cool to everyone. I try to maintain a mentality in which I assume you’re a good person until you prove me otherwise, and even then I try to just ignore you. But every once in a while I run across some real assholes, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t become confrontational.
You see, I’m part of our Dramat Association’s Winter Musical, and it’s not exactly running like a finely tuned machine. It’s a tough show, and most of our actors are much too lazy to actually exert the energy necessary to make the show work. A few in key roles (and some not) have openly admitted to me that they don’t care at all about the fate of the show. Which is quite annoying for those of us who do care. This is largely the product of three factors: 1. We have a new director this year. While very good as a director and knowledgeable in theater, he has an interesting personality that sometimes comes off as a bit weird. 2. The show, quite honestly, isn’t all that great. Now, I’m not the best judge of musical theater quality, as I more or less hate the entire genre of musical theater. My main issue is that it lacks real plot and substance, and it consists of cartoon-esque stereotyped characters in a campy environment with sickeningly happy resolution. Generally I’m the one spouting this blasphemy as the rest of the cast and crew praise how great the show is, but this year the show is so cartoonish that everyone gets what I’m saying. Suprisingly, however, I’m one of the only advocates for respecting it and making it good. Go figure. 3. The set is bland. We have lots of new cast members who have never done a theater production, and I think they were hoping for a jazzier setup than what we have.
But the fact of the matter is that this show could be good, really good. The issue is that most of the guys can’t play a scene without making jokes and improvising, breaking character. Now I gotta tell you, people who goof off at inappropriate times (Yes, this is hypocritical), really bother me. But the people who really piss me off are those who blatantly do it for laughs from their peers. You know, hams, the people whose actions scream that they’re constantly begging for attention, and you seem to be the only one who sees them for what they truly are, as everyone else feeds them the attention they want. This need for attention is generally paired with them being a huge asshole/douchebag.
This type of person has plagued me for a long time. You see, the problem is that I don’t know what to do about them. In this case, they’re marring what could potentially be a great show because they think they’re above the whole production, and no one else will address the problem because they think the people are fucking hilarious. Well what’s not hilarious is our musical sucking because of a bunch of douchebags (Douchebags who I saw as respectable actors in the past) who are willing to bring everyone else down just because they don’t care.
I’m very mucha victim of primal instincts. While it usually comes off as horribly pathetic, we all know that I can succumb to anger when pushed (“stupid bitching dog”). I feel a calling to stand up for all decent people held back by douchebags; I feel like I should call these people out on who they are and what they’re doing in front of everyone, but that’s where instinct clashes with ethics. I guess all I can do is pray for this to go well. Unfortunately Jesus appears to be busy answering random ass questions online, though he’s quite good at it. But I mean really, that’s kind of a lame miracle.

Crap I gotta finish that Huck paper.


You’d think if I had the equations I would’ve been able to do something.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Alas, no Bio on the SATs.
Yes, I recently had the experience of taking the dreaded SATs for the first time. I’m not a total idiot, but I’m not ridiculously bright either, so to be honest I was a bit worried about the whole thing. What with this year and next year supposedly being the hardest years to get into college since the beginning of time, I like to imagine that somehow doing well on the SATs will deliver me into the college of my dreams (not that I have the slightest clue as to what that college is). The unfortunate (fortunate?) truth is that more and more colleges don’t even give a rat’s ass about the SATs, and they’ll likely be a small matter in the admissions process at a lot of schools.
The funny thing about the test was that it wasn’t actually that hard, compared to what I was expecting. I didn’t leave any problems blank save for a few at the end of the third math section (ridiculous), and one sentence completion with words I’m sure they invented. But I had no time to heave a sigh of relief at the test’s apparent ease (We’ll see how it really went soon), as I had to take a practice test the very next day.
You see, I’m enrolled in an SAT prep class because neither my parents nor I have real faith that I can kick serious butt on the test. The class itself is actually quite amusing; our instructor is definitely one of the weirdest guys I’ve met, though he’s only creepy sometimes. Constantly making references to drugs to account for student’s virus-caused sniffling, and even going as far as suggesting that one of our students probably wants to grow up to be a porn star (We think he was kidding, but we’re not sure), we students are left to wonder how he ever landed a job with teenagers. Just the other week, the class was going a little crazy, and he made an aside comment to a few of us, stating that the experience reminded him of an acid flashback. Yeah, might not want to spread that around.
Our newest scheme is to ask him to tell us is life story. I imagine it’s either thrilling interesting or terribly weird. Either way, intriguing. However, we won’t be able to do this for a while, as we don’t have class over long weekend (Thank God. No standardized testing is taking my mini dwarf of a vacation from me), and we had a practice test last time.
Oh right, the practice test. As I said, the day after we took the actual SAT we were forced to take a practice one. Two days in a row? Hell, believe me. I tried to get out of it, but the rents weren’t cool with me skipping, so I ended up spending another four hours in a grey(blue?)-scale bubble-graphed misery. Turns out I was only one of six people, as opposed to the 20 we usually have. Apparently two days in a row isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
The practice test started out terribly. Essay first, but I guess that’s not so bad when you consider that you’re getting it out of the way. The topic was about whether it’s better to take action or gather knowledge, and I swear to God, I almost referenced Batman Begins. You know, the whole “actions define you” thing. I mean, after all, what does knowledge and opinion do for you and the world at large if you never do anything with it? Change comes from action, no passive thought. But what am I justifying my thesis to my reader(s?) for? You really don’t care. In any case, apparently a friend of mine actually made up a book and author to reference in his actual SAT essay. Ballsy, I’m intrigued to see how it plays out.
But what was really bad about the practice SAT was that I started out feeling sick. And I’m not talking about mildly uncomfortable sick, I’m talking about a lesser version of that night lying on Koops/J_V’s couch, burping my heart out. I never really got that burp thing, but it still happens, and I still hate it.
Eventually I got better, but I had absolutely no work ethic for the practice SAT right after the real one, especially since the practice turned out to be way harder. I guaranteee that I did 100s worse on the practice than I did on the real thing. Guess I can trust the prep company then; they sure do a thorough job of testing. Moral of the story: Never take the SATs two days in a row. Ever.

On an unrelated note, I’ve had another play idea. This one’s going on the backburner for now, as I’ve got a few projects to tackle before then, but I’m still intrigued by it. It takes place in a running shoe store, based off of the one us blogger runners frequent. There are four characters, all male. The first is the elderly (70s) store owner who is an experienced runner and who cannot run any longer because of his age. The next character is a sophomore in high school who starts out enthusiastic about running, and ends realizing that his running career is coming to an end, as he will not be good enough to run in college. The third is a college runner who is nearing the end of his career, as he is too occupied with family ties to continue after college. The fourth is a professional runner is his late 30s, who is coming to terms with the fact that his body is breaking down. The first scene features the teenager and the college student shopping for shoes, the second scene the college student and the professional, the third the teenager and the professional, and the fourth all three of them. The owner is present in all scenes. Each scene takes place one year after the last, and we slowly see as an audience the trio coming to terms with the end of their competitive running. Each older man represents to the younger ones what they could have been if they had been born stronger, had tried harder, and had been luckier. The one issue is that there’s not enough conflict. But maybe there doesn’t need to be.


Benjamin Disraeli lies.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jumping The Shark (Journal Entry #3 of Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros)

Day five. The rations are completely spent; I’ve been out of food for a day and a half. I , Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, was careful with the water and have only been without water for a day. I should be able to go another 2 days or so before my dehydration kills me.
I, Pilot Power Master HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, have no way of telling how far I’ve come. Based on the time I’ve been moving (Constantly, save for 3 hours of sleep each night) I’d estimate I’m approaching 200 miles. The sun beats down on me now with a grueling ferocity…Wait a second, what sun? There’s no sun here. It sure as hell feels like it. It seems like the further I go, the hotter it gets. Sweat drenches my ridiculouslystrongtight muscles, and my need for water becomes even more tremendous. My pounding headache will not subside, and I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, fear that I may faint before I find help.
If there even is help. I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, have no reason to believe there is anyone else on this entire fucked up green world. And this certainly isn’t a quick way to move. Damn, I wish I had that helicopter.
I’ve heard tell of mirages on the deserts of foreign lands, so I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros was suspicious when I saw a light in the distance. It was on the ground, maybe 6 miles away, barely peeking over the horizon. I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros walked for a mile or two more before I realized that it was, in fact something. A massive light of some kind. The first sign of anything but green and black I had seen since I came here.
I couldn’t stop myself. The possibility of finding something (or someone?) is so magical, that I start running, ad I can’t stop for anything. My legs scream at me in agony, but I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, ignore them. My breath is raspy, desperate. My heart beats like a rabbit’s, and I realize that if this is not the answer, if this is not some sort of relief, I will likely collapse from exhaustion and possibly die in this hell.
Finally, as I feel like I cannot exert any longer, I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, reach it. It is a magnificent bonfire, easily 50 feet high, with meat strung up all around it. As I stop running, I realize with joy that my legs are still holding me upwards, and that I am still conscious, and that I have found some salvation.
A bullet rips into my side, and I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, taste blood as I collapse into darkness.

I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, awake to find myself completely bound and gagged. A hot pistol barrel is pushed hard against my temple, I lay in a prone position. I can’t see who’s holding it. Suddenly my gag is removed, and a coarse female voice spits acidic words at me.
“Who are you? What’s your story?”
I don’t particularly want to explain my life story and situation to this person, the person I assume shot and bound me. But then again, I don’t really have a choice. “Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros.”
“The hell kinda name is that? Where you from?”
“I’m an England Wrestler Transformer.”
“England, huh? No way. Barely ever see a Brit around here.”
I have no idea what she is talking about, but I ignore it. “And you? Who are you?”
She spit into the fire, which was causing me to sweat like a dog. That was probably the result of this fiery climate. “Name’s Earhart. Amelia Earheart.” The name means nothing to me.
“What’s your story?” I ask, trying to keep her talking for fear that if I don’t, she’ll become bored with me and pull the trigger.
“Come from a place called Earth.” Earth. I was from Earth. “Made a fly at circumnavigating the whole damn planet, got a little lost somewhere around Bermuda, and flew myself right into this hellhole. After ending up on some planet where I met a Starfleet captain, I was summoned back here. Kept flying through here, and I was pretty good at it, too. Then after a while I run out of fuel, start droppin’ out of the...”She gestered upwards”…Sky, or whatever the hell it is. So I eject, and have a nice landingand the plane…” She gestures across the fire, where I assume the wrecked plane was. “…actually doesn’t turn out half bad. A few months of repair and I had it back on its feet. But I’ll tell you, these walls, this green shit, it really messes up some aircraft. I’ve seen some disgusting crash sites.”
“How long have you been here?”
“2 years or so. Met plenty of people over those two years.”
“There are more people here?”
“Every once in a while some lucky bastard like you or I walks away from a crash, but most of the time they’re might beat up.”
The idea that there are people here is astounding. But I still have one itching question. “What is this place?” It’s surreal, the way I’m having an almost casual conversation with a crazy nut who has a gun to my head, but I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, had no choice.
“No one quite knows.” She pulls the gun away from my temple and stands up, walking over to the fire and grabbing a large chunk of meat off of a skewer. I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush heliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, don’t know what kind of meat it is, but my mouth waters at the sight of it.
I have a better view of her now. She is dressed in decrepit clothes, her face tired and dirty. She is middle-aged. She walks with a walking stick, because her right leg is in some giant makeshift cast.
She turns to face me, and takes a large bite of the meat. “Met a scientist gentleman once. He had some pretty neat theories about this place. Said it was in a different dimension, a conversion point of worlds where things got dumped every now and again.”
That sorta explained why she came from a different world than I. Sorta. I think. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what she just said.
“I need a way out. In my world- There’s a war on. And they need me, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus Razorclaw Cerebros. The RazorClaw Cerebros family ahs been prominent in every England Transformer rebel military success.”
“You need a way out?” She laughs. “Honey, we all need a way out. There aint no way out I know of, but this fellow, this scientist, he told me he thought maybe there was one.” She pauses for dramatic effect. I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, don’t appreciate it.
“How?” I finally ask.
“ You’ve noticed, you must’ve, that it gets hotter as you go further?” Yeah, I noticed, the heat is murderous. “Well, he said this green stuff, he thought it had a large metal composition. So eventually, it gets hot enough, the green gets hot, and could eventually melt. So maybe that’s the end.”
I’m filled with excitement. “I must get there. I must return to my people.”
“It’s not so easy, buddy. This scientist, he said before it gets hot enough to melt, the green turns red, somewhere around 10,000. And…the blocks move.”
“I don’t really understand how he hypothesized this. But that’s what he saud.”
“What happened to him?” I had to talk to this man.
“Accident” she says shortly.
A beat. She finishes off the meat. Its blood frames her lips.
“Well, as much as I enjoy being bound, if you could let me go, I’d really appreciate it.”
She laughs a bit, then more, then uproariously. “Sorry, pal. You aint going nowhere.”
I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, was afraid of this. “What do you need me for?”
She smiles, and her bloody lips shine in the firelight. She points to the ample meat surrounding the flames.
“It’s hard to survive out here buddy. How do you think I’ve made it for two years?”
Suddenly the fate of her scientist friend becomes abundantly clear to me.
“I’d like to get to know you, though” she says, “There’s not much company out here in the Green.”
I know she took my gun, I can no longer feel it at my side. But perhaps she missed my knife? Yep, there it is, in my pocket. I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, can barely reach it with my bound hand, but I manage to. I slowly free my right hand as she rambles madly.
She takes another piece of meat and begins eating it. She holds the gun at her side, but pays no attention to it anymore. When I have both hands free, I leap up and hop wuickly over to her. She raises the gun, but I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush heliCyrus razorClaw Cerebros, slap it away and knock her down. I leap for the gun and get to it, turning it on her. “God damn it” she says in true despair.
“Well, I really must be off,” I tell her as I free my feet. “I’m taking half of your meat, and half of any water you have in that plane. And I’m taking the plane, too.”
I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, load the plane up with what I need in preparation to fly back to the helicopter. The copter has much better gas mileage and is heat resistant, so I must use it if I wish to continue. Earhart has ample fuel on the plane to get me a long way.
As I fly away, I bite into a piece of the meat, savoring the taste of food once again. The idea is disgusting, but the men are dead already, and if I do not eat them, I, Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros, will be dead soon.
There is a way out.

-Pilot Power Master Steel Crush HeliCyrus RazorClaw Cerebros

It’s all around me, like a beautiful pink sky!

…But…It’s pink…