12 December 2006

Santa baby, I've been an awful good girl...

Too much time and nothing to do... well, relatively. I mean Christmas is coming and there's all sorts to be done with that, limited of course by my lack of cash. But really, isn't it all supposed to be about love? Or at least virgins giving birth without sex (somebody got screwed in that arrangement. Or didn't, more accurately.) Since when has Christmas become such a material holiday?

Which reminds me! I present for you, my...

Christmas List 2006
1. an airship (one endorsed by elite mercenaries)

2. a relaxing, extended vacation in the quiet resort town of Silent Hill...

3. rubber. sillicone, latex, take your pick.

4. self-grooming monkey. preferrably one that flies. if they're out of stock, get one with wheels for hands and feet instead.

5. some sort of body guard to protect my extremely large brain from zombies...

6. dinner with batman, and possible foreplay afterward

7. trekking gear. just because, okay? maybe i wanna trek. you ever think of that?

8. an eye infection from pig's blood... oh wait, that's just plain STUPID

9. the kid next to me to turn down the f***ing strongbad emails - sure they're good but we're in the library, writing VERY important blogs for god's sake!! And stop reading what I write you bastard next-to-me-kid. If I wanted your friendship, you'd be on my myspace.

10. for the WWE to utilize it's wrestlers incredible acting skills in breakout horror cinema... um... oh. well that's awkward.

11. For someone, anyone, to recognize that not all (just 98%) of americans are unintelligent and pick up Arrested Development.

12. Gwen Stephani's class and classic hair. (She doesn't do a loaner policy however, you'll have to steal it.)

13. A new pack of razors, to help curb the emotional pain.

14. To pass this final i'm avoiding studying for by writing a blog about christmas gifts...

and finally,

15. Evergreen edition of nard-shockers to cure my sickness. (In gold please, it's gotta match the diamonds in my grill)

Anyway, so it's Christmas, and you're welcome to give me any of the above items. Not that that's important. It's not. But don't bother coming by unless you've got something for me.

And as a matter of disclaimer, everyone I am buying for is getting a candy bar. Think of it, portable and delicious! NO REQUESTS PLEASE. "Can't wait?" I thought not. And if I really like you, you'll get one of these:
Portable, delicious, and deep fried!!! Mmmm... Could you make a snickers bar more healthy?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

04 December 2006

Generating... Maddness!

Generating... deli-style bologne
Today... I want to talk about brilliant films and the differences between "Old Boy" and "Lady Vengeance." Alas, I'm not feeling that capable after my final paper for my experimental film class on "Eraserhead."


Since there's a system and all. Or whatnot. Anyway, the point is, it's not going to happen today despite how great they are. So... I've decided to pick some words at random (courtsey of the random word generator: Random Word Generator ) and then write something about it. The joys of unconventional and irrational blogging.

Words selected by the unbiased generator:

That should be enough. It seems fairly obvious to me that this blog will now have to be about Snowshoe Rabbit migration, a species of rabbit who rack up the mileage and go to great length crossing the Minnesota plains. Or Milwaukee. It was an M name, anyway. I often hear (figuratively of course, at least, I imagine that I might hear them anyway) my neighbors (in other states, not actual neighbors) complaining about rabbits mucking everything up by eathing the vegetation, but if you believe that then you're forgetting your history. That's right friends, gather round and grab a chair because it was that very migration that helped stop the Tick Infestation of 1884.

An excerpt from a previously undiscovered flint-miner's mining journal:

June 6, 1884 - Found some flint today.

June 7, 1884 - Didn't find any flint, but came home exhausted.

June 12, 1884 - No flint, the wife is unhappy. Says it's a waste of my time. Maybe she's right.

June 13, 1884 - Maybe she's not. No flint, but did find a pretty seashell which might be the perfect thing for that hemp necklace I was spinning. Wife says I should concentrate on panning more, not on processing plants for decorative accessories because we live in this ramshackle cabin and there's no one to impress. Can't give up though, almost have the formula right. If all goes well, should seperate the good and the evil nature out of me, while making a delightful and charming accent to any outfit.

June 14, 1884 - Success! Well, not in the mine, but with the formula. I think. I tried drinking it and I feel funny... bet it's working right now and my alter ego will come out any time now.

June 15, 1884 - Not sure if I have an alter ego yet. Mostly just an overwhelming desire to eat chocolate chip cookies. Wife won't make any, says she has no flint and no way to start a cook fire. Everything's always MY fault, isn't it?

June 19, 1884 - It's hot. I think I may kill my wife and bury her out here. Ow! Damn ticks.

Pay particular attention to that last line. As you can see, as early as mid-june in the year 1884 there were already a great number of ticks throughout Missouri. The people in the sparse cities were concerned because while ticks do carry all manner of disease and plague, they didn't really know this at the time and were mostly concerned about the annoying itch associated with a tick drinking your blood. So great was the concern that Michigan launched it's official "Don't Tick Me Off" campaign to try to find a cure. They still have the unofficial state slogan, "Minnesota's A.O.K." a direct reference to being tick-free. Unfortunately this coalition didn't find a cure.

Luckily, Fate was on the people of Montana's side.

Let us consider the tick for a moment - originally discovered in Taiwan, the tick is a little insect that sticks it's head in your skin, drinks your blood, and is crappily built. Their heads pop off inside you if you so much as graze them! Some historians theorize this was the beginning of trade and commerce with Taiwan and it is likely that other more militant u.s. based insects outsourced.

Let us consider the snowshoe rabbit, contendedly living in Washington D.C. or Canada or something - they like to eat ticks.

So it was a small matter for some local stations to advertise the tick problem and before you knew it, everyone was all over this idea of swooping in and using rabbits to save the people of Montreal from the ticks. Naturally the people who came up with this idea and put pressure on the rabbits to do so had NO investments in controlling the rabbits or their land, and there was a nice battle, in which lots of ticks and rabbits died and somebody somewhere got rich.

Hmm. Maybe that's not where I wanted this story to go, but it sure came out that way.

Anyway, the moral is, never question the people in charge or you may end up migrating or an eaten tick.

The End.

And to think that all came from the generator. I also must point out that this blog has neither been thought out ahead of time, nor was it re-editing and may make little to no sense. Or analogy. Nor is there any connection to history. At all in anyway. :)

29 November 2006

Just one of those Lunar Destruction Days (LDD's)

Trip trap, tip, tap. Just a few minutes before class.

So it's one of those days.

Do you realize you can say "one of those days" and people will automatically pretend like they understand? "Oh one of those days..." Like it's universal even though it's so generic as to make no real communicative sense at all. In fact, people saying this are either looking for a segue into a long dissertation on what today actually is, or simply being deflective without saying "I don't want to talk to you."

Regardless, I find that whenever I feel down (or afraid, I just whistle a happy tune. Or think of my favorite things. Which incidentally have nothing to do with schnitzel and noodle) it helps to throw myself into the business of things - see people, be productive, etc. This perhaps is the largest contributing factor to making myself feel better, though instinct tells me it's big-ticket shopping. Unfortunately I don't have the money for that right now, so I'll settle for trying to make a semblence of my shambled drive and work ethic.

It also stands to reason that if that will make me feel better, it's the last thing on earth I want to do. And for the record, why is it some mornings you just wake up wondering why you suddenly feel as though the moon is eminantly going to crash into the earth and destroy life as we know it. This feeling is then met by your brain who reminds you, not so kindly since it's probably groggy and anticipating a cup o' joe or some such, no, you won't be so lucky as to have all your problems sovled by a interplanetary object collision. No, you'll have to get up and feel pathetic, annoyed and generally frustrated with everyone else, despite (or especially) because it's really your own issue with yourself.

I don't know why.

But today marks another day in the infrequent concern for the survival of your ability to reason and reckon with life. It may be like loosing the debate if you think of it like that. The constant argument between you and fate as to who is in control of your life.
"I am," you say firmly, intent on holding your ground.
"Really?" says fate, who then starts throwing things at you. Eventally you recover and balance yourself once more and declare yourself completely stable.
"You have to admire the determination," sighs fate who then begins throwing things at you... again.

And so goes life. We're never really prepared for what gets thrown at us and no matter how hard we try to get to a certain point, we'll always realize there's more to be done, to become, and to understand.

It is the curse of living. The insatiable emptiness that drives us constantly forward looking for things which will make us happy and whole. The sad rationality is that its insatiable and if we ever became static, happy and whole, we probably wouldn't be happy. Irony abounds.

So today I turn my attention to being productive and busy. And to friends - having lunch or phone conversations with positive people who remind me that, oh yes, I am doing alright and that fate can't keep me down for long...

Oh fuck - it looks like he's reloading.

28 November 2006

Whoring Lady Horror

Today I'm feeling the horror thing. I was actually going to say "the pop culture thing," but horror came out unbidden instead. Perhaps I mean the Asian pop culture thing, which embodies some serious violence, animation, horror and, of course, creepy little girls without souls. Japanese horror films are extremely... ubiquitous, these days. I can't say it's because they came up with the original horror film and sparked the genre. That honor, arguably, belongs to "Le Manoir du Diable" from France in 1896.

I can say with some sense of assurity that whatever we (we being the westerners) come up with, the Japanese do better. This goes for cars, horror (and for that matter, revenge) flicks, even organized crime. Alas, I am not as adept at Japanese horror as I would like to be, but I can say with relative confidence that a great deal of it is better than ours.

Why? Because American horror has lost something.

It wasn't so long ago that I didn't enjoy scary movies. At least, I thought I didn't. As a young child films like Pinocchio and E.T scarred me. Neither of which is a horror film, but as my parents wouldn't let me see any such movies, I came to understand that if I hated these films so much, something designed to be scary would destroy my young unstable psyche.

This has resulted in my late-blooming horror interest. As such, some movies held in high esteem by others are so underwhelming to me as to be pathetic. It, for example, has instilled anyone who saw it as a child with an irrational fear of clowns. I find the movie laughable - watching the woman in the library flinch as the "invisible balloons o' blood" are bursting is kind of amusing.

But on the flip side, I have a deep interest in why the horror genre exists. Horror navigates the moral latitudes and longitudes of our culture. Romero uses zombies to create a vicious social commentary. Characters in slasher films disobey a moral code, which will get them murdered. This is not to say that all horror films are good, by any means. I'm not even a great fan of the slasher films, seeing as they all seem to have the same plotline and one can only take so many sequels. Still, horror done well can be very unsettling, disturbing and more importantly, challenging to ideas and beliefs. And it's something that other countries do better than us.

But despite that, if you go to the video store and start looking through the horror films, there are caseloads upon caseloads! Most of them are sub-par, and most of them small release without ever seeing a theater. I have two theories on why this may be.

First, it's just plain fun to make the gore effects, and the whole thing, usually in one location can be shot for relatively cheap.

Second, the horror genre has it's own built in character motivation which makes it easier for the writer and filmmaker. It's not like a drama, where you have to really know the characters, and give them reasons for mental breakdowns, lapses in judgment or alcoholism. No, in horror our characters generally have one motivation: to make it out alive. Most of them will fail miserably at this too, but we relate to that need. We imagine our selves in the same situation, and (most of us) don't have a death wish. There's no need to explain why Mary is scared and running away from the one-eyed man with an ice pick. We get that.

It's funny then, for a genre whose players driving forces are so obvious, that the plot and script writing is often just plain terrible. To fledgling filmmakers, and even veterans, horror seems like an easy choice; some jump-out-of-your-seat surprises, lots of gore, a bit of nudity, and the suspense of who will survive is all you need. Some people believe it's ALL you need, and the muddled plots filled with logical flaws and irrational otherworld beings leave a lot to be desired.

As example, I direct you to the U.S. version of Pulse. If you've seen it, you'll understand my displeasure of being raped $7.50 for that experience. Plot holes abound, such as when our main character takes a nap on the side of the road and the ghosts wait until she wakes up, hears the radio broadcast about ghosts traveling through cell phones, checks her cell phone, realizes she has coverage, and looks at the window. Oh the brilliant timing. This whole situation was somehow was sparked by a computer virus; who knew the dead were so adept at computer programming? Or that they can walk through walls, but driving recklessly at high speeds will shake them off your car. Remember these tips kids; your life in a technology-free compound may someday depend on it.


The ghosts themselves are completely ridiculous, doing things that make no sense for their goal: to steal human life since they don't have their own. If these beings are simply the dead trying to take life back from the living (which doesn't accomplish anything but provide the director with the chance for gratuitous deaths of a stupid and inexplicable nature) why do they spend their time trying to scare the audience? And let's face it, when the ghost in the dryer started throwing laundry out, it just became asinine.

For all the motivation of the characters trying to survive, the major flaw (and there are many, many others) here lies in the creatures having no real understandable reasoning. If we want to be scared and hope for our characters, we have to believe there is something they can do about it. Slashers are generally human, and there's the hope of escape or killing him, regardless of whether our hero(ine) does or not. Zombies are re-animated dead who feast off the living for sustenance. Vampires drink blood to survive or increase their ranks. Etc. Etc.

Horror is one of the most overdone genres because it's cheap, and seemingly easy. But it's also the easiest to do poorly. The sad part is that we don't learn from our mistakes it seems. So what is missing in American horror films? Intelligence. The scare can't be "the all." Don't insult audiences with atrocious plotlines and hope to make up for it with moody lighting and splattering blood. Gore has become a trend that is a sad imitation of scare appeal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against gore and it can be used effectively in a film. But blood and guts = revulsion, not fear. Still there are plenty of directors who seem to equate their fascination with human mutilation as frightening stuff. I'm going to attribute this to the MPAA and the desensitizing of violence to the public in the U.S. of A.
If you're going for sick and twisted, then by all means! It's not the same. There are those, I know who will argue with me that horror encompasses both, and that's probably true. But personally I enjoy going to a scary film to be frightened silly.

Thus it is refreshing to see somebody making films that are both intelligent and frightening. When was the last time the Hollywood studios or even American independent filmmakers put out something really decent and scary? I saw The Descent last August and have no other descriptive term than the film was truly horrific. And in the best possible way. There was indeed gore and surprises, but incorporated into the film most excellently. The audience was uncomfortable in anticipation throughout the whole movie and made for a noisy theater as people tried to talk or whisper to quell their nervousness. It even delivered one thing I haven't seen very often in horror: a look at some of the psychological ramifications of going through such an experience.

Of course this film is British, and just goes to show you that we need a jumpstart in the subject of national horror. There are excellent films being made out there, it's just been a long while since we've seen them come from home. Even The Ring, based on the Japanese version Ringu, while somewhat scary was a rarity and could do to lose the sequel. Filmmakers need to learn that while some things are a given, don't take the genre or film for granted. It's never that easy and the best films are the ones that manage to give us insight into the character and the monster, provide thrills and chills, and wind it all up with an intelligent plot that leaves us contemplating ourselves and our world.

I guess I'm just picky because now that I've discovered the genre, I have high expectations for it. High expectations, which, I believe, are entirely possible.

It Does Make Sense...

I discovered this quiz and now I have to put it here, even though it's not a blog. It's just because I don't want to put it on my main page. At least, not right now. Maybe later. This blog is already turning into a hodgepodge of scrapbook-style whack. Whack can be a noun. At least, I'd like to think so. What do you, the viewer think?

And now the stunning result. Actually, this is quite reassuring, since I do have the outfit already...

Who are You in Silent Hill?

You are Pyramid Head! A footsoldier and executioner for the dark god Samael, your purpose is to punish and generally scare the crap out of all those who come across you. Your sexual exploits with fellow monsters is only a perk of the job.
Take this quiz!

27 November 2006

Where My Ladies At?

An Ode to the Women of My Life
(by P-yo)

Oh Bathsheba Jaqueline J...!
Why do you taunt me so, with promises, and broken english?
Do you not know the temptation you prove to be?
I can only imagine what you'd open up to be, you hOrNeYsLuT, you!

And guinevere Charmane Loi...
How coy you play it!
With your seductive offers to increase my membrsze
or send me nasty++photos...

But ladies, sometimes, I suspect,
you don't know who i am anymore (or ever did)
when you mis-spell my name
or drop generic invites or tell me your bust measurements.

But it's all a game to you-
i'm just one of the many you try to seduce
and i won't be just one more on your list.
No! I hate you, WHORES! Hate the things you are!

Oh ladies, I can imagine what you would do to me,
(you always have an attachment)
but women like you have a dark side.
No doubt you'll make me freeze and destroy all my files.

And so it is with deep regret that i must delete
all of your heartfelt messages of RoLeXwAtChEs4cheep!!
and file them as spam.
You decievers of the heart!

Play with me no more.
You're simply not my type.

21 November 2006

Anima, I Choose You!

Am I the biggest Final Fantasy Fan out there?

Am I?

I lay awake on sleepless nights contemplating this puzzle. After all, it seems sometimes that I could be in the running. I'd been called obessed by family and friends at times. After hearing something enough, I suppose we even start to believe it ourselves. I mean, sure I pre-order the special edition of FFXII and wait in line at midnight to recieve it. Yes, I dragged everyone through the Square Enix booth at Comic Con. Absolutely do I own the soundtracks and can name the main contributers. And maybe, just maybe, I even dream about (literal dream that is, not aspire to...) going to work in Judge Master Gabranth's armor.

To some of you, this means nothing, no doubt. And if not, it certainly means i'm a bigger fan that you. But is this all there is? Am I doomed to the life of a sad and despondant fan-boy who has a Star Wars quote for any given situation or topic, including puberty? Am I really becoming a subject of geekdom, the like of one who may not know his way around a nightclub but could direct you to the nearest toilet on the Starship Enterprise? Will I grow out my hair, take archery lessons, try to "speak to the wood" and attend renaissance festivals? Will I shoot people to get my hands on the newest gaming platform?

Maybe. But not anytime soon. Still, this query bothered me. Being a crazy gamer isn't all bad, as long as you're playing vogue games like Halo (which is out of vogue, by the way, from what I hear it's all about Gears of War, at least until Halo 3 makes it's debut) or FIFA. Final Fantasy has long been a staple name, however, despite the stigma of RPG's and it can't be all bad. New York City declared October 11, 2006 as FFXII day. Seriously. I mean, if NYC likes iit, how can it possibly be bad?

I decided to discover just for myself if I was the biggest fan out there. And after some in depth research (according to google it took 0.14 seconds) I found an overwhelming result.


No. I'm not the biggest final fantasy fan.

In fact i'm not even close to it. Sure, I like costumes as much as the next person (see my facebook profile). But until the day in which I either spawn enough little ones or can convincingly argue enough of my friends and family to (haphazardly) dress up like the entire cast of a game, then I'm not a big enough fan.

And if that wasn't enough, you've not seen excitement until you see "A Live Action Final Fantasy." Yes this gem is a real life example of why the battle system isn't very good in the actual world, and why most (or all) game-to-movie adaptations fail. Check it out, how can you resist anything that is part tutorial, part bad filmmaking, part rehashed video game? And it even features a summon... just you wait and see.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

So again, no, I'm not the biggest fan. Besides some random girl named "Ultimate Fish Warrior" posted on a site that she was "like the biggest fan in the world" of the series. Personally, I don't see how you can be with a name like that. Maybe "Ultimate Ronso Warrior" or even "Ultima Fish Warrior" but still...

So in conclusion, I am happy to report that no, I don't need therapy and that I will continue to play my final fantasy games with pride. Thanks Square Enix, you make the make-believe worlds a little brighter for us all. Especially those who live in them perpetually. Ahem.