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MTV Is Slaying It

Tonight’s MTV Movies/TV awards making history by not separating Best Actor into male/female (a designation which seems to have only existed to increase the numbers of awards given, as acting ability has precious little to do with gonads). I don’t see any obscenity here (haven’t been watching long) as in the old days. 

Instead, I see honor and respect and a dedication to the best impulses of the human spirit. A little political with the Best Fight Against the System category. Which is good. Some of the best literature, film, and art are born from political fervor.
Beautiful. Well done, kids. Well done.

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Last Dragon Day – May 8

English literature is awash with great heroes. One of literature’s most venerable heroes is the star of the anonymously-authored Beowulf. This bold Viking set out to save his lord Hrothgar’s people from a vicious monster called Grendel, slew the monster’s mother and her brood of sea serpents.

After these exploits, the author claims that Beowulf participates in the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vanern on the side of Lord Eadgils against the Swedish King Onela.

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Pictured: Real Lake Vanern, Sweden

Beowulf then reigns as King of the Geats for 51 years before a dragon rises to threaten his domain. Taking up his sword and shield once more, great Beowulf set off to challenge the beast. In the end, dragon and hero killed each other.

With the exception of the Lambton Worm and a few other medieval sightings, this was the last Western European dragon. In honor of the beast and the hero, we commemorate May 8 as Last Dragon Day. Why May 8? Well, the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vanern took place around 530 AD. The battle with the dragon took place 51 years later, in 581.

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Pictured: Real dragon (Source: Playbuzz.com)

5/8/1. Technically, Last Dragon Day should start at 1pm. But whatever.

It’s simple to celebrate Last Dragon Day. First, you’ll need a cape. Next, a sword. Preferably one that is obviously fake, so you don’t get shot by any overeager cops, soccer moms, or neighborhood watch people. Finally, you’ll need a place where you can consume vast quantities of sausage, steak, meat pies, breads, and (preferably) dark soda*.

The day starts at 1pm with the consumption of a single, whole jalapeño to taste the fire of the beast and honor the dragon. Revelry begins at night. Gather friends for your warrior band and have yourself a heady night of soda*, song, and merry-making!

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Pictured: Real legendary battle between Beowulf and dragon.

*where appropriate

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Get On Up (2014) – Review

James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. 

“James Brown! James Brown!” –James Brown, 1972


James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. 

James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown.

James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown.

James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown.

James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown. James Brown.

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Enough Talk.

Ok. So by now, you’re either freaking out or wondering why everyone else is. I’m going to lay off the political posts for a while. Instead of complaining and shouting on here, I’m going to start contacting my representatives. I encourage you to do the same, should you feel it necessary.

 

As for this blog, we will go back to talking about fantasy fiction. Superheroes, monsters, and knights. Stuff like that.
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Super Bowl PSA

Hey, folks. Quick reminder that the NFL retains full copyright and trademark privileges for the words “Super Bowl.” So whether referring to your Super Bowl party, planning to attend the Super Bowl, or discussing the results of the Super Bowl after Super Bowl Sunday, please remember to refer to the Super Bowl only as the “Big Game” and not the Super Bowl. 

By law, only the NFL is allowed to call the Super Bowl the “Super Bowl.” I know it’s ridiculous, but sometimes that’s just the way the super bowls.

Go Falcons! Here’s hoping you manage to defeat the Pats during the Super Bowl to win Sunday’s Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday!!


No matter who you’re rooting for, please be safe on Super Bowl Sunday while watching the Super Bowl. Be safe getting home after the Super Bowl is over. And never, ever call the Super Bowl the “Super Bowl.”

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Super Bowl.

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Trump’s America – Week 1

Flint water crisis? What’s that?

Testing for clean drinking water in schools? Who cares?!

Ignoring Native American land rights ain’t no thang. (To be fair, Obama waited until 2 weeks to do squat. Thanks. Let alone Congress.)

I get not giving illegals privacy rights. I get wanting to make sure criminals face justice. I understand that. But how the actual fuck do you justify publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by members of a specific ethnic group? But how the actual fuck do you justify publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by members of a specific ethnic group? 

Every week, I could publish a list of crimes committed by African Americans, Asian Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community. It would be easy. Just as easy as publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by white Americans, Jewish Americans, plumbers, pilots, Catholics, or blue jean aficionados. It’s almost as if GASP crimes are committed by all sorts of people!

( Not bothering to post anything on education. The last time the federal government made a positive impact on education, Eisenhower had to call out the National Guard.)

From Facebook (Unverified as of now):

To recap:
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

And [Jan. 25]: the wall and a Muslim ban.

Congratulations. You have your country back. Sorry, we couldn’t get you all the way to 1945. Only got as far as 1969. Enjoy!

Snowflakes, mount up.

Know what’s really weird, though? I’m not even a liberal! I’m pro-life, I’m a practical Catholic, and I think socialism doesn’t work. I just think we should throw First Nations people a bone once in a while, protect the environment in which we live — and upon which we depend to survive as a species — and occasionally help those who cannot help themselves. You know. Like Jesus said to do.

Image result for whatever you do for the least of these

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How to Survive as an Autistic Adult in America

Lots of HFA/Aspie/autistic adults such as myself may find it difficult to do even the simplest of non-disabled tasks. Tasks such as driving a car, moving out of your parents’ house, or even finding someone cute who likes you back can be monumental hurdles for adults with disabilities, especially if those disabilities are primarily mental, such as with autism.

Luckily, I’ve come up with this 5 step guide to help you, as an American with autism, survive in today’s world.

Step 1: Be a Techie

codemonkeys

If you have autism, you need to love computers. I don’t just mean video games. You need to love coding, assembling microchips, providing IT support, and all that good stuff. If you are more artistically-minded or if you don’t live anywhere close to Silicon Valley, stop doing that immediately. People with autism are not allowed to be artists, unless they are already well-off with a lot of established connections. The arts — especially the world of publishing, comics, and literature — is no place for a low-to-middle class person with autism and no connections. You need to be a techie, no matter how much you hate it or how little talent/motivation you have for it.

Step 2: Be Grateful

As a disabled adult, your primary purpose is to give non-disabled people inspiration. You’re supposed to help other people realize that they have the inner strength necessary to overcome life’s problems. Your own problems don’t matter. No  matter how bad your life is, remember that you don’t get to complain ever. Complaining, like job satisfaction, is for those of sound mind and body only. So be grateful for everything you have, even if everything you have would reduce a non-disabled person to a quivering  mass of horror and panic were your situations reversed.

Step 3: Accept All Advice

People are going to be giving you advice. No matter how terrible it is, you have to take it. If you don’t, you are Ungrateful. And there is nothing worse for a disabled person to be than Ungrateful. Remember, techniques that people without disabilities say work will work for you, even if you’ve already tried them to no avail 14,000 times. Clearly, you are not trying hard enough or you just aren’t doing it right. Try their advice again and again. But remember, even if you do go quite mad from all this effort, you are not allowed to complain or even to politely decline anyone’s advice. Unless that advice comes from someone else with a mental or physical disability. Their experience doesn’t count.

Step 4: Remember that Your Opinions, Feelings, and Interests Do Not Matter

title_card_all_your_fault

All that matters in this world is what other people tell you matters. Your own opinions or feelings don’t come into it. Remember, your emotions, no matter how uncontrollable they may seem, are your own fault. If you feel a constant sense of dread that lasts for hours, days, weeks, or even months, it is entirely your fault because you are clearly too weak. You need to be stronger. Pray more, accept more advice, keep doing what other people tell you to do, even if it doesn’t make any sense. You don’t have a right to an explanation, a sense of peace or serenity, or a life filled with anything more than constant drudgery punctuated by joy. You don’t have any rights at all.

Step 5: It’s All Up to You

In the end, the only person who can help you succeed is you. If you’re not able to make the right connections or find the best jobs or if you blow an interview because you get manipulated into mentioning the fact that you do not drive, it’s your fault. You need to do better and try harder next time. It’s your responsibility to keep emailing contacts, even if you’re pretty sure at this point you’re just harassing them. Think outside the box, unless the advice-givers tell you not to.

It’s up to you to go and get that career/relationship/life other people think it’s within your ability to get. And if you can’t rise to their expectations, let alone your own, it is because you are weak. Remember, there are lots of famous people from history that we think may have probably didn’t have autism. So if you’re not at least as successful as them, it’s entirely your fault.

Step 6: Think Positive

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While these steps may seem impossible, as you slowly allow yourself to go insane, you will begin to realize just how small we all are on this pathetic planet. You will realize that you are indeed the Lizard King and can do anything. As you tear through the veil separating this world from the next, rejoice and sing a song of fire and blood that brings this world to its knees. Remember, anything is possible!

toxic-inc

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The superhero comic is dead. Long live the superhero comic.

I love Marvel Comics. Always have. Especially the cosmic stuff, Busiek’s Avengers run, and the Uncanny X-Men as written by the inimitable — a word I see everywhere but cannot define — Chris Claremont.

But things just aren’t as fun anymore. Look, I know what you’re thinking. And no. This has nothing to do with the recent changes to the Avengers line-up. Riri’s cool. Jane Foster as Thor kicks butt. I love Sam Wilson.

My favorite scenes in Captain America: Winter Soldier are when Cap and Falcon are out of costume, just being friends.

I would watch the hell out of a Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson buddy movie. Like, no superhero stuff. Just Steven and Sam renting a condo for the summer and getting into wacky shenanigans. Maybe Carol Danvers shows up, and the three of them crash a party at a swanky resort where they act all silly and there’s this old lady going “Well, I never.”

I would watch the shit out of that.

As for having Sam as Cap? It works. All-New Avengers volume 1, the one with Miles Morales, the new Nova, and the new Ms. Marvel is fantastic. Miles Morales is written hilariously, and Nova and Ms. Marvel’s interactions are some of the most amusing cringe-fests ever commited to paper. Falcon (he’s always Falcon to me. I just love me some Falcon) has to deal with haters who comment “Where’s the real one?” and “Not my Captain America,” echoing the sort of people who start their sentences with “I’m not a racist, but…

(Kind of like I did at the start of this post. Isn’t it weird how white guys like me are more worried about being perceived as racist than trying to figure out how we can combat racism itself?)

But here’s the thing. These comics, for me, just aren’t as much fun as they used to be.

Maybe it’s because grad school combined with a full-time job has left little time to catch up on story lines (the Red Skull did WHAT?!). Maybe it IS the shifting demographics in Marvel. Am I that thin-skinned as to be put off by increased diversity?

Is it the fact that Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and several of the other so-called heroes have been outed as almost as evil as the evil they oppose?

I missed most of the comics dealing with the incursions and the Builders and all that world-ending stuff. It looked cool, yeah, but what the actual fuck, Marvel? It’s like they lost their damn minds. They realized nobody reads comics anymore* and just decided “Heck with hit. No one’s reading anyway. Let’s just go crazy!”

In the end, maybe the problem is just that the times are a-changing and comics are finally changing with them. The increased emphasis on diversity — gender and racial — is part of it (and long overdue, frankly). But you know what? It’s more than that. Marvel (and DC for that matter) have (for once) stopped giving us the same stories over and over. You know. The Busiek stories. The fun stories. The safe stories. The House of Ideas and the House of El are doing something fans have been demanding for decades now: Actually advancing and resolving character plot-lines. Actually changing. Having stories with — gasp! — consequences. Dealing with real-world issues. Basically, doing a lot of what makes comics good.

Don’t get me wrong. Ultron still wants to destroy all humans, and Lex Luthor is still (I assume?) a bad guy. But even though Cyclops got Phoenix powers, the resolution to Avengers vs. X-Men was NOT  a redo of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

But you know…Sam Wilson is not my Captain America. And Miles Morales is not my Spider-Man. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t like those characters. I love both characters, and I’m ecstatic over the fact that Marvel is finally acknowledging the fact that they have millions of nonwhite fans.

I think I’m just not comfortable right now with the stories Marvel is telling. I’m having trouble finding an entry point into Avengers, specifically (X-Men has been consistently awesome, more or less, since the early 2010s. Mostly in X-Force.) This is a shame because I subscribed to Avengers at the very start of Busiek’s run back in the 90s (a happy coincidence). These all-new, all-different guys just…aren’t the ones I grew up with. That’s all. I dunno. I like to think that the changing demographics of the Avengers line-up is just the surface of what’s got me so hot and bothered. I hope it’s not residual racism rearing up from the reptilian section of my brain. But if it is, I hope I have the courage to change — to adapt — as Marvel has.

Without adaptation, a species cannot survive.

The superhero comic is dead. Long live the superhero comic.

Meanwhile, old geezers** like me who grew up on exaggerated tales of killer robots, alien invasions, and other Troperiffic fare will just feel like the folks in this Monty Python clip which my 12-year-old students would find exceedingly boring:

Footnotes:

*Nobody reads comics = very few people go into comic stores and buy physical books. A few hundred thousand or so. Millions and millions read free comics on scans-daily, download comics through apps, and watch both live-action and animated adaptations. Hell, I used to think X-Men #1 was about Jubilee escaping the Sentinels.

**People who remember Geocities, Neopets, and Friendster. (Think your dad’s Facebook account, Pokemon GO, and MySpace, kids.)