Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Unsolicited Product Service Feature Offerings #5: YelpFaceLinked

*a nice-looking, clean, bright professional office setting*

*singing woman carrying in a tray, walking towards camera with a small crowd of singing co-workers all gathering in and around towards camera. On the tray is a large RAIN BOOT in cheery 60's cartoon flower bumblebee rainbow colors*

(to the tune of "Happy Birthday to You")

"Get the fuck out of here. Get the fuck out OF here. Get the FUCK out, get the fuck out get the fuck. out. of herrrrre!"

*Reverse angle on: seated at desk, well-dressed, haircutted GUY who is getting the BOOT:

His FACE is bright, a wide, partly-openmouth smile but eyes also wide, wondering, unsure*


"Not sure how your colleagues really feel about you? Try YelpFaceLinked. YelpFaceLinked is a platform for professionals to come together and offer unbiased raves, opinions, and personal takes on each other, based on real experience, of real people from real people. YelpFaceLinked: Where Transparency Professionally Goes Globally Social on Itself.

YelpFaceLinked is a professional-focused platform of YelpFace. YelpFace, Where People Come to Yelp Each Other Out.

During the narration, you see screenshots and pans of the functionality, and if you lean in and squint a bit you can read some of the comments. Good stuff.

Thought of day: Principled.

I refuse to get involved in a popularity contest unless it's rigged.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thought of the day: unbeatable

The only thing that can beat the unbeatable argument is the irrational idiot. I am the latter. And I've got the former.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

That Word You Used Does Not Define Me

I was just thinking. I'm proud of who and what I specifically am. Adjectives? COOL. That's what a label is I believe. Generally, it's an adjective? And the converse as well: an adjective is a label. I take 'em all, each and all, case by case - fill up a case and ship me the labels! If they apply literally, I'll slap the patch on my sash and flaunt it as if it had merit. If they apply to me only questionably, I'll question, and we'll come as close to understanding each other as is pleasurable and convenient. If it's intended as an insult, I'll thank you for the compliment! It was after all, nice of you to notice, and I have to believe you spoke because you felt it was important that I hear. That shows class, and I respond with gratitude and humility. You compliment me! But if you clarify "no, what I just called you means you're dumb/weak/something wrong with you," well I'll clarify, as you didn't seem to get the point: I'm happy to do you the favor of showing you how mighty that weak thing you called me really is.

Next time, you'll use the word properly! In consideration of the fact that you met one once, and it turned out these people-so-called aren't all as pejorative as you'd been led to believe, by all those glamorous and ignorant rumors.

What's the problem with every label that touches me? Even just a bit! However slight, a kiss, a hit, a hit - if it's a hit I do confess it. You can't run me through with one of those things. What's all the indignation over? "You can't define me!" No duh, my sun! You can't define ANY one. You just noticed that now? You can't definite a person except with a 1:1 fit, because when it comes to people, we are none of us synonyms. If you look in the dictionary under you, you will not see me.

Perhaps the closest you could come to defining a person is to read out their full and unabridged name. And guess what: they make that name and live what it means into being. They wrote the definition. Not you. So no, you can't "define me."

Yet so what? When every word you use fits perfect square. When each descriptive word you pick hits dead-center apt, describing some aspect that I do in fact have. It's not impressive. We have an infinite quiverful of wonderful words, straight sharp shafts to fit to the strings of our tongues and let fly. And guess what? The words apply. They apply to you. When the apt word is chosen and the aim is true, yes. That label in fact pertains to you. And the labels you apply to me do too! Wonderful of you! Thanks again for noticing - my attributes and traits, and for putting to them one of the various well-honed, fit and fitting names we use for things like that. For shades that hair color, or swoops of bone structure, or graces of motion, or ever-so-barely-noticed degrees of eyebrow raise. You nailed it! Got me with an adjective. And it's so me. I think I'll keep it.

I am that.

Let's go celebrate, shall we? Because now that we agree, have I got a few choice words for you!

And believe me you won't mind much if at all. It's ribbons and medals all around, as far as I'm concerned - this or that bright colored swatch that flaps on one's breast and states what state we happen to achieve, or what classification fits us scientifically, or how others have expertly-assessed our artistry, as we backflip, stick the landing, curtsy and put a bow on it. Ribbons all around! Pin it on, pin it on pin it on me.

Every label you'd care to apply. That's just a bright, colored ribbon at the All-Species State Fair.

Although guess what? I was wrong. You can define me. Quite easily, in fact! But it's going to take a lot of pretty ribbons.

Them Eternally Puzzlin' Posers #2: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Because good people exist.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trendspotting 2: What's Next For Alterative Anachronism Style Slash Attitude Mashups?

Steampunk's kind of cool, but I think it's time we dug deeper into the antecedents that no doubt must have led to the steampunk revolt in the first place. That's right.


Video Game Idea #4: BOSSQUEST: The Embossening

There should be a video game where you ARE the level boss. I mean - that's such an obvious idea, probably there are already several takes on it, but if not, come on. NEEDS TO BE DONE. All you'd do is fucking sit around waiting for these shrimpy quick dudes to come in and try to beat you with their nimbleness, move combos and clever weapons. You'd be all "BUMP!!!!!!! Next."

Well, that's not all you'd do. Despite the perception of most Players, there's a lot more involved in being Boss than waiting around to whomp up on some pipsqueak chump. In between attacks from Players (by the way, when we say "Players," we mean "antagonist character, controlled by the computer but made to resemble the stereotypical player-protagonist of other videogames - right down to the godawful botched jumps and dodge-right-into-the-attack gaffes of the early and inexperienced comers! Players coming at you would show recognizably different improvisations, strategies, and other idiosyncrasies, just like a real Boss has to face), you'd have social time with your minions and various little interaction skits and jokes that would be (for a videogame) quite revolutionary in their fuzzy logic bot personalities, albeit designed not to pass as real people but to incarnate various quirky personalities of video-game underthugs. There would be internecine backstabbing office politics and rivalries to deal with, sure, and non-Player-fighting job tasks assigned that you'll have to juggle, but also water coolor chat, maybe parties with cake for some occasion - a going-away, a birthday whatever. All kinds of stuff you can imagine! The perils of interoffice dating, in a realistic major videogame badguy corporation setting. But don't get too wrapped up in it the milieu because - SUPRISE!!!! HOLY SHIT here comes another level-storming attacker! What the fuck, guys, nobody was out on hall patrol?! Everybody in the party, fuck. Real responsible! The stooges would scatter as much in fear of your wrath as in fear of Player - leaving you to meet the sneak attack at a furious disadvantage, but perhaps: fuck it. You're the Boss. Sometimes, that's the Job.

That's why you make the big bucks. Or whatever form of respect and satisfaction tokens bad guys get paid in, in their pixelated economy.

Character design would be a big key to the appeal. You can imagine the examples I'm sure. You want to push all the way archetypal without slipping over to derivative. You can't go wrong, long as it's got that appeal to it! A big hairy robot in diapers with an eight-month's pregnant belly and a jaunty beret? Sure, why not. Haun! Haun! Haun! Something memorable, something quirky, that's the main thing. It's got to hearken to the idea of what a Big Boss is and a Level Boss aspires to be, again, without blatantly ripping off any single game. There are so many fantastic ideas you could throw up you might as well just pick one and run with it, honestly. In fact, while the main Boss character would be so out-of-the-box kickass that everybody'd love to play it, you can also choose the choose-your-own full-custom feature if you like. People will come up with some FUCKED-UP Boss options, I assure you - and there'd be connectivity via online to share, so your great little self-made guy can go viral! Become beloved and infamous. A lot of different goals to be pursued in this game - but you don't have to, you can ignore the distractions and just focus on being as Boss as you like. Arguably you'll do better on the official scoring.

Gameplay would include a level-up feature that's not just a power-up, it's also a race against the clock versus the powering-up Players. You'd smack the crap out of all comers easy at first, but it gets harder pretty fast. The more you pound fuck out of the intruder with style, flair, brutality, etc. the more your points rack up. The worse the Player gets in hits against you, you're LOSING points (not health bar though - style bar). In short, the longer it takes you to beat enough Players to level up to the next level's Boss (with a power and size beef-up to suit - by the way, all this time you've been EATING the defeated players!), the quicker those incoming attackers are improving in power, skill, guile, and Ken. But then if you can make it to the promotion point YOU take a leap up in toughness - and you're once again easily trashing the initial Players who make it to you. Do it fast while you can, do it with style, do it with cruel taunts and psychological warfare - trick the Player into thinking they've got you cornered and them BOOM. SHITTED ON 'EM! There'd be some interesting attack and defense options, and a fast fun intuitive gameplay. You need every bit of it to realize your goal, and make it all the way to be Big Boss.

By the way, after each promotion but the last, you come into your new Boss Office and there's the previous occupant, now demoted to make room for your rising star - finishes cleaning out their stuff into a big cardboard box, walks past you grumbling, the usual sad story *sniff*. But then to get that final promotion, you have to battle and defeat the Big Boss yourself!

To Be The Boss, you've got to Beat The Boss.

And the real pain-in-the-ass of it is, if you and the Big Boss take too long battling back and forth...guess who's coming to barge in? THE PLAYER.

Which won't go real well for him/her, one suspects. But it'll be a hell of a strategy wrinkle for your fight!

PHASE-TWO SPOILER: speaking of interactivity, the next phase is we go massively multiplayer online, with real humans controlling the attacking Players, all dying to take down and humiliate Bosses and spoil their Boss dreams - starting out weak and playing their way up, against the competition of all the people playing Bosses competing to be the Boss of the higher levels! Rising and falling based on how they do, constantly beating back waves of aggressive players and trying to outmaneuver and outpolitic one's ambitious rivals. In an environment like that, making it to top Big Boss status of the server could conceivably win you the people's ovation and fame forever.

All-in-all, somebody's probably thought of, developed, marketed and sold this same basic concept, but I bet they fucked up and missed all the important parts. Should've called me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How Many Languages Does Han Solo Speak, Anyway?

Is it just a coincidence he speaks both Chewie and Greedo? Chewie, sure, he's had all the time in the world to learn. But Greedo's kind of an asshole. Not the kind of dude whose conversation delights are going to tempt anyone to bear down and learn a new language for the pleasure of participation. And: Han speaks Jabba, too? Jabba's clearly not speaking Greedo. True, in his own lines he's speaking human to them, but he clearly understands everything they're jibber-jabbering back at him.

Is Solo some kind of specialist in the languages of Tatooine (with a side of wookie for business and good-buddy purposes), or does he speak a comparable selection of local languages at each of the shithole planets he puts the Falcon into port at? We don't get the impression Solo lives in Tatooine. He's just soaking in the wretched atmosphere of scum and villainy at Mos Eisely, keeping an eye out for an easy score, meanwhile enjoying the jazz scene. He's not there to make a thorough study of tongues.

I'm not saying it's impossible for him to have mastered a few languages. I'm just saying it raises an eyebrow. It's a little convenient. Han's not the type you expect to put all that effort and study in, just to impress a few of these fringe species types with his thoughtful grasp of their beloved mother tongue. Especially given he can't be bothered to answer back in it.

The fact these different folks all understand Han doesn't seem too problematic to me. Realistically, everybody pretty much has to understand English. It's clearly the official State Language. These monocultural and definitely English-speaking Imperials who've been ruling this galaxy with an iron fist aren't going to foster some multi-culti polyglot paradise! That Trooper asks you a question, you better be hip to his jive talk. And I suspect if you can't answer in him back in something he can understand, you may find yourself up shit creek in Dagoba without a Gronkneik.

The more you examine it, the more peculiar Han Solo's love of languages seems. I wish we'd learned a bit more about this guy's backstory.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Tough Topics #37: Slavery

Somebody told me that in Japan, there are no bees and so all pollination is done by hand. I'm pretty sure I know who steered me wrong, as well as how it happened: she read something to the effect: "In Japan, pollination is done by hand," or something to that effect, and she took it to mean it was done ONLY by hand. She then passed that tidbit on to me in that breathless and plausible way she has, such that I found it amazing instead of merely incredible - and so I didn't look it up. Which, it is true enough that in Japan pollination is done by hand, but not exclusively - and not only in Japan. But Japan does have bees. It's not true that Japan has no bees, and consequently, does all their pollination by hand. I apologize to any of you who I may have misled on that score in the past. Blast my credulity - and blast yours too, while we're at it.

In the process of hunting and pecking around the internet to research this topic, I also came across an interesting and hilarious tidbit: an estimate to the effect that converting the pollination industry from bee-based to humans-only would cost a cool nine-hundred billion dollars. Estimates like that are delightful to me, because come on. No way would it cost that much! There isn't that much money in the world! Push come to shove, they wouldn't try to spend no nine hundred billion dollars. They'd just bring back slavery.


They'd make it multiracial, of course. Which would kill two birds with one stone, really. You do realize that today, people consider that slavery was wrong because it was racist? It's true. So we fix that. Institute quotas: no racial demographic can be overrepresented by more than 5 percentage points, in a comparison of the general population with the slave population. Once you hit that ceiling, anybody of that racial group wanting to sell themselves into slavery would be turned down cold. No matter what, nobody would be captured and made a slave. That's unjust. It would only be people who consensually sold themselves into it, due to unpayable student loans, or to avoid a prison sentence, or whatever other reason. How it works would be, they'd sell themselves to the government, and whoever needs the slaves would buy them from the government - sterilized, of course. You can't have slaves breeding, raising up children for generations born into slavery. That would destroy the market for them!

There'd be strict anticruelty laws, of course. Regulations and oversight to ensure slaves are being pampered with plenty of nutritious food, clean and sanitary living quarters, a strict limit on overcrowding. Economies of scale apply: clothing, food and lodging doesn't cost nearly as much as they milk you for it at retail! Cap the work-week at 70 hours at the absolute most, with provisions for holidays and reduced workloads for the elderly. I'm not sure what you'd do about the infirm.

Point is, it's clear these solutions can be come up with. If you don't think people would sell themselves into slavery and not sweat the tradeoff - a life of drudge work, no pay, no possibility of advancement, but at least you know you'll be clothed, fed, housed and taken care of - if you think people wouldn't sell themselves into that you are either blind, a moron, or some kind of child. Go "google" recidivism why don't you. Prisons are drastically overcrowded and, we hear, dangerous places. And in case you don't know, people commit crime just to get back inside where they know they're clothed, fed, housed, and to some extent, taken care of. They say it's because the person has been institutionalized from years on the inside. Wrong. It's because the outside is a far worse institution than prison, for many, many people. We will have no shortage of crop pollinators (among other trades), and it won't cost no nine-hundred billion dollars.

But hold on there!

Maybe the crisis won't end up requiring such creative measures, you say? Rather than change the very structure of how we view (or claim to) human life, wouldn't it be more prudent to not? And if it happens, won't the problem take care of itself, as all things do? Five or ten years after the agriculture crash, what we've got left will be - at that point - a sustainable population, won't it?

I have to admit, you're right, there. Some would argue, better to preserve our essential liberties for posterity, in that case - rather than trade 'em all away now, over some b.s. current-events crisis that ten years from now will find itself all taken care of. Isn't it time for us to cure ourselves of the stereotypical modern-era curse of shortsightedness?

Far and away the best solution would be, of course, bees. And plenty of 'em. Bees are better than nine hundred billion dollars that we don't have. Bees are better than slavery, too. Anyone arguing otherwise has something wrong with them.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Video Game Pitch #3 (I think): FUTURE SOCIOPATH

One time I thought a great videogame would be called "Future Sociopath" and you'd start out as a toddler pulling wings off flies and progress from there. You know how one of the common childhood backgrounds to violent sociopaths is torturing and killing helpless creatures? Lack of empathy? Etc.? It would be like that. Perhaps you could even boost sales piggybacking off the success of Grand Theft Auto by implying it could easily be a prequel.

Yes, we all know that the link between childhood sadism towards animals and violent, dissociative adult behavior has been questioned, some say discredited, and that there's little hard diagnostic correlation to support the claim, but the idea is pretty well imbedded in our web of pop culture pop psychology notions - and isn't that half the whole fun of videogames to have some fun with our collective myths?

Also, if we can get young people to play the game it could keep them from doing it for real. Sometimes, you really don't want Johnny to go play outside.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Tight Pants PSA Campaign Pitch

"Hi, I'm film and television actor Bradley Cooper. You know, tight pants aren't just unsightly and uncomfortable. They are proven to lower sperm counts, and could even be a link to increased risk of testicular cancer. DON'T BE A DICK TO YOUR BALLS."

There are a couple potential problems with this pitch, but I think if we can get Bradley Cooper those problems go away pretty much. It'd be a short, punchy spot. Get in, get to the catchphrase, get out. Arguably Bradley Cooper's not the best pick for this, as he's been quite a tight pants wearer himself, but in my belief it's always been in the service of the role. Anyway, a converted former offender can be a convincing pitchman.

People might object that the testicular cancer link isn't established or supported by anything in the research. This is probably true, but I needed two medical-sounding things. Besides, I softened it quite a bit with that "and could even be a link" bit. Nobody's saying any link has been proved. But if we can get these poor tight-pants culture victims to loosen up a bit and look less ridiculous, the ends justify the means to some extent do they not?

Really I just wanted a reason for the "Don't be a dick to your balls" slogan. That could easily catch on.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Offensive Generalizations #2: Patriots

Offensive Generalizations is a semi-recurring series wherein we here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! examine Offensive Generalizations, with a focus on what makes them so offensive.

"People in Boston like the Patriots."

This would be offensive to anyone, but arguably, it could be most hurtful of all for those in the greater Boston metropolitan area. Historically, economically, people in that region have (again: arguably) the best excuse for being Patriots fans. But it is nonetheless absolutely untrue that this negative and degrading stereotype applies to everyone in Boston. How do you think it feels to those who can't stand the Patriots, and who are constantly being lumped in with that kind of stigma-loaded association?

Imagine being the Catholic priest who's not into young boys. Imagine being the African-American who does not like the F.C.-food or the W-food. Now imagine hearing that stereotype your whole life, cringing and seething each time at the unfairness, sick of speaking up just to clear your name from an accusation that has never been true of you? Forced to choose between a lifetime of being looked at as the "touchy person" (or in the African-American example, the "person of surprising and inexplicable food preferences") or a lifetime of remaining silent, burning with the shame of being assumed to be a monster.

This is why stereotypes are considered hurtful and offensive. Yes, one of those assumptions is more injurious than the others. But that's not the point. The point isn't how horrible the thing is you assume about a person. The point is that by assuming it in the first place, you void that person in front of you. You void their individuality, their likes, their loves, their preferences and tendencies and passions and beliefs, and you say "You can be safely assumed to be just like anyone else like you." That person in front of you isn't a person at all, to you, when you do that. They are a specimen. Like a BUG. They are an example of their kind, which you seem so fit to class them as. They are an example of the kind of person who would rather root for the Patriots and fondle children than enjoy delicious foods.

Whether it's true or not, it's still an offensive assumption to make. Of anyone. Even if they are from Boston.

Educate yourself. Inform others. Be better than that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Privilege is good.

Be grateful for every privilege you have.

Use it for good. Your own good, and the good of others.

Fight to help others who are being denied respect, dignity, and an equal chance.

Thought of the day: Anticonformity

Anticonformity is just another kind of conformity. It doesn't make you freer to forbid yourself what some crowd participates in, you've just chained yourself out instead of in.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Time For ALL Monks To Learn Kung Fu

Ritual can be taken too far. But even worse, sometimes ritual can be taken not far enough. Case in point: I am sick of OUR monks, monks of the Western monastic tradition, who just as cloistered in their monasteries, who just as fervent in their various little rituals and doings that they put out like clockwork as a means of consecrating everyday activity and repurposing it as prayer, praise, meditation - folks, and I specifically address "Western tradition" folks out there when I say this - folks, our monks do the monk thing just as well as the Eastern tradition monks do.

With one glaring exception. Why have Western monks totally ceded the field on KUNG FU MASTERY? Zen monks have it all over us in this regard - even Thomas Merton, so lauded for his mystical musings interpreting Eastern Zen thought via the light of doctrinally-sound Western Catholicism, never advanced beyond the rank of yellow belt. WHAT THE HECK, MY FRIAR?

The practice of martial arts should simply be part of what every monk does, just like get up at ungodly hours on the punctual dot, sing this then sing that then, observe silence, and brew Belgian ales. Practice and mastery of the martial arts is a meditation both physical and spiritual - or it certainly can be! To quote Ren McCormick, if there's a time for dancing and leaping before the Lord, then why not Kung Fu? That more quotes the spirit of it than what he actually says, but we're talking about deeply spiritual matters, here. "Point taken, Ren." To combine rigorous and ascetic physical discipline with an attentive and humble spiritual mastery, one that can only be attained by one who has leaned far enough into his or her being as to appreciate its limits, and transcend them even - by the grace of God, perhaps! Well if martial artistry can't be a form of by-God PRAYER, then what the heck can be? Legitimately?

Our monks need Kung Fu in their lives. This fact is so obvious I can't even believe it has to fall to me, yet again, to say it.

As usual, I hate to blame the Pope, but there it is. Where is his leadership on this issue? Come on, Padre. Don't put the "sin" in sinsei on this one.

Jail, Internet, Opinions: What's Important Is Free-Association of Ideas #1

Look, it's a complex issue, or at least, some of it is. I'm not trying to say anybody deserves to be put in jail - but hold on there, let's be pretty honest with ourselves! Maybe there are some people out there, who if we really looked at it, ARE in jail. Does jail have the internet? If so, there would be THIS troubling implication: pretty much every internet outlet would be overrun by prison inmates, right? Hard time = free time. If so, that might explain a few things.

Let me just lay it all right on the line. Are any of you folks reading this from prison? Tell me what your thoughts are on the matter.

My main point, the bottom line, is: don't respect MY opinions. I sure don't. I'm in dead earnest on that one: I don't give a FUCK what I so-called "think" on any given topic. An opinion's worthless except to the extent it is examined, and the holder knows why they hold it. And my opinion is no exception: WORTHLESS. I mean, except to the aforementioned extents. But that's something that my opinion has to be able to prove - to ME, not to anybody else! My opinion's got to either put up or shut up. It better either pull its weight or else BAM!!! IT'S OUT ON ITS ASS, the second I find the one that better accords with observable reality! NO loyalty to opinions. Fuck those opinions that let me down, that have shown themselves less suitable than a competing opinion - whether because externally, they conflict with observable reality, or internally - they have the ol' self-consistency problem. How often does that happen, right? You're walking around with an opinion, all of a sudden you suddenly notice holy shit - it conflicts with ITSELF.

This is a real problem for some people. It's not for me, though, because I know how to tell those kinds of opinions to "fuck off."

Fuck those opinions. They can go pound sand.

Please note: while my opinions are owed ZERO RESPECT from anyone, please do feel free to respect me as a person. I mean, frankly I could give a shit about that too, because in practice I don't tend to notice? I interpret it the wrong way "Surely this person is joking, and it is in fact quite funny!" But in this place I try to tow the line, preserve the ambience. Your efforts along these lines are welcome, if not specifically noticed or appreciated.

Cultural Perspectives #9: FOOTBALL

I think American Football deserves the term "football" because those other punks all converted to the metric system.

They can call their shit meterball or something.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rumored Projects "In The Works" #1: Pixar's Junk

Now folks, this is a "rumored project in-the-works" so take that with a grain of salt! A lot of these don't materialize no matter how awesome they sound, but that's our job as the public to spread the hype and the demand and make sure it happens.

In development now but slated for 2018 release: Pixar's Junk, a collaboration with Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It's set in a world ("In a world...") where all the characters are human genitalia, male, female, you name it - all lightly anthropomorphized with tiny lil' cartoony wiggly limbs, animated cartoony eyes and mouth, but apart from those add-ons the CGI technique is supposedly an absolute breakthrough in photoreal depiction. Even the little outfits they wear look just like real little outfits! Naturally there's a lot of subtext poking fun at stereotypes, prudery, cultural and religious biases.

The plot concerns an invasion of fist aliens with designs of their own on the populace. Rumored but not yet committed to direct: Brad Bird.

Anyway that's the way I heard it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thought of the day: the bird

I'm pretty sure you can flip people the bird on broadcast television and they can't do a THING about it if you're wearing mittens!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. Anybody Read This?

Has anybody picked up Harper Lee's new (!) novel? Relatively new anyway, it came out July 2015. Go Set a Watchman, it appears to be called. It's set in the same fictional universe as the movie Watchmen, and carries on the action about twenty years later when erstwhile team leader The Finch, long since retired to a position of prominence as an eminence gris in the superhero community, has to deal with the return of his disenchanted and equally erstwhile starry-eyed sidekick Scout Girl. I won't spoil it as to whether mysterious figure of fear Doctor Boo, from the first one, makes an appearance.

No I'm just fucking around! Apparently most of this book comes from a novel Lee wrote before To Kill A Mockingbird, out of which Mockingbird evolved. The editors liked the vividity of the flashback sequences from Scout's youth. Lee ended up expanding that part of the story into Mockingbird, and reworked Watchman for separate publication. Initially a trilogy had been planned, but when George Lucas got involved and insisted on the insertion of ideas about Jem "bringing balance to the Force," Lee became disillusioned, and abandoned plans for further release. The manuscript was believed lost until somebody found it.

Some people are pretty uptight about the release of this book. They see it as a case of a poor, confused elderly person being hoodwinked and manipulated into releasing work she wouldn't have wanted to. Other people are saying they interviewed her and that's not at all the case. Reviewers seem to think the book itself is a bit underdone to say the least.


Anybody here a big fan of Mockingbird? Any thoughts on this one? Have you read it? What do you think? I should shut up and let someone who has read both (or even either) of these books comment.

In any case, the emergence of this long-obscured work from its long obscurity, the storied story of its murky and convoluted origins, and - especially given the prominence of the earlier released work and its status as the author's only published novel, plus the fact Lee had declared a number of times that it would remain so - it's kind of a weird, unexpected sort of treat for Harper Lee fans isn't it? Or something?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Timely As Usual #4: Some Concerns About Snapchat

Following up on my recent expose of Chatroulette, I have some concerns about Snapchat that I'd like to be alarmist about.

#1, it disappears after 10 seconds? Could we make Twitter do that?

#2, how is this any different from just using your imagination?

#3, doesn't this just sort of make light of ADD sufferers? A lot of people with perfectly well-spanned attentions aping a deficiency! What's next, autocomplete with a stutter? Tourette's for spellcheck?

#4. expect to see some troubling issues involving copyright down the road.

#5. how is this any different from just standing right next to the person you message and then grabbing their device and deleting the message?

#6. I see potential for abuse here, such as if you get a snapchat image that says YOU WILL DIE IN SEVEN DAYS. Ten seconds later it's gone! How do you convince people of the threat? Also, how can you call off the curse if you can't show somebody else the image?

#7. The name's pretty cool. "Snapchat"! I like that. Much better than the original name, which according to the internet, was Picaboo. Too much like Picachu! Yet much inferior to Picachu - derivative but inferior is no way to go. By comparison, "Picachu" would have been perfect! "Peek At Choo"? Get it? "Peek At You?" Perfect! That's all you get is a peek! But "Picaboo," that's lame. It sounds like you're snapchat messaging to babies, which...let's just drop the subject, ok? That's just disgusting.

I want to make it clear I've never tried Snapchat, but a big part of that is because of all the alarmist concerns.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friends or Superfriends? Beyond Tights and Capes: Where The "Shared Universe" Film Model Can Take Us

They should do a major motion picture spinoff called CHANDLER.

Then if that's successful, they follow it up with RACHEL, and build momentum towards an eventual crossover blockbuster.

Comedy Clinic #2: Anatomy of a Potential Risque Joke

Sometimes I find myself autoerotic, sometimes homoerotic. As a result I occasionally fuck cars.


That could have been done even better. What's a stereotypical gay-leaning car, demographic-wise? A Miata? A P.T. Cruiser? What? That could be the "sweet double" on the comic call-back to auto AND homo!

This, folks, is an edgy comedy process in progress. You can see it's not really about stereotyping in an ugly, blatant, outlandish way - because in the finished joke, the slightly gay mystique of the specified auto would be, at most, a grace note. We'd get the reference, and we'd laugh because "Ah hah hah ha! Precious! I know just what he's trying to say here, with that, but don't ask me to explicate because I will be forced to demur!" And I can make these sorts of colorful references because I don't have a car, and am therefore a victim of the oppressive privilege of others in ways car-drivers aren't equipped to appreciate.

Man, I need to break down and get a car at some point. Preferably a gay car so I can overcompensate for something.

She's a Silver Screen Deadpan Private Eye Femme Fatale Baby

I love people who are characters effortlessly, who are kind of aware of the fact that other people find them novel, but don't seem to get why everyone isn't the way they are. There ought to be a word for that.

And the word ought to be: NORMAL.