24th Jan2012

An Open Letter to Octavia Spencer & Viola Davis Regarding The 2012 Academy Awards

by Will

Dear Ms Spencer & Ms Davis,

First off, allow me to congratulate you on your nominations for the 2012 Oscars. While I have yet to see The Help, all of my white friends tell me that it’s “A-MAH-zing”. I guess that means that they really liked it. Now, I realize that we’re a few decades removed from the Civil Rights Movement, but sadly many of us are still seen as representations for our entire race. This is especially true when we are on a public stage. So, while I sincerely applaud your talent, I do have to make one small request: should you win, PLEASE do not do anything stupid on your way to the podium. I figured this was a good time to go over some award show etiquette.

DON’T give your award away to some random old dude who doesn’t even know who you are.

 

Jack Lemmon was in Grumpy Old Men! He don’t need yo’ award!

DON’T go kiss Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper up there on stage!

Y’all forgot this, didn’t you? You know something’s up when Mr. Tibbs himself has a look on his face like, “Denzel better let go of that white woman.” Check out the clip on YouTube and look at Russell Crowe’s face. I’m surprised we didn’t have riots the day after this. Nah, we were too busy bootlegging Training Day tapes from Blockbuster.

DON’T lost your shit onstage. There’s something to be said about humility:

Cuba Gooding Jr. Oscar Acceptance Speech by

Do you know how hard it was to find an embeddable clip of that moment? The Gooding Hollywood Influence goes strong!

Finally, once you’ve got your Oscar in hand, DON’T take any and every job that comes your way

Ease up a little. Show some restraint. After all, you’re representing us all.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, can I hold $100? Just email me or whatever.

Your pal,

Will

21st Dec2011

Thrift Justice – What You Leave Behind

by Will

It’s funny when people find out about my whole thrifting obsession. One of the first questions I get is “Where do you keep all of the stuff?” Well, it’s spread across the state of Maryland in various strongholds. Or am I lying? The point I wanted to make today is that, contrary to popular belief, I don’t buy every quirky little thing that I come across. In fact, there are a lot of items that I’m simply thrilled to see, and don’t really need to go through the trouble of lugging them home. There have been many items that caught my eye for various reasons, but I had to leave them where they were. I thought I’d share a few of those with you today.

If this isn’t your first time here, then you already know that I have an unhealthy affinity for boybands. It is what it is. That said, it was a lot worse when I was in high school. I bought more YM and Teen People than any heterosexual male should ever purchase. I couldn’t help it, though – every issue seemed to focus on some boyband du jour, and I LOVED the embarrassing stories letter columns. Those chicks were TOTALLY MORTIFIED!

Anyway, I just found the cover to this to be hilarious. 98 Degrees were in a weird place, as they actually came out prior to the boyband explosion, and then had to change their image to fit with the times. Just look at the nerdlinger in the middle. I STILL don’t know how he got in that group. Was he just a really old Make-A-Wish patient or something?

Once upon a time, Haim Saban gave birth to a really gifted child, known as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Since Haim had a success on his hands, and he LOVED money, he decided to give birth to another child. This second child would take advantage of the world’s new fascination with the concept of “virtual reality”. He created VR Troopers, in which a bro, his black friend, and the chick who won’t let him bang, all have the ability to enter a VR world, where they fight a white businessman who hasn’t yet learned that the real fun is in foreclosures. Oh, and there’s also a talking dog. Anyway, Saban’s second child was seen as the retard of the dynasty, and we done away with after 2 seasons. What you’re seeing is a GIANT figure of main character Ryan Steele in his VR form. This thing is a good 15 inches, at least. It was made by Kenner, so it boasts minimal articulation. There was a part of me that felt it would make a quirky mantle piece, but I just didn’t want such a totem of failure messing up my chi. So, I had to leave Ryan behind.

OK, now this one is a real kicker. I was in an antique mall, and stumbled upon this little piece of history. You’re not going to be able to read the text, so let me spell it out for you. On the left is a letter written to James Earl Ray, who you might know from history class as Martin Luther King’s convicted assassin. I put the word “convicted” in there, as an article featured in the New Times magazine on the right implied that King’s death was part of a vast conspiracy. If you want to know more about that, there’s always Google and Wikipedia. No, the interesting part is on the left. It was a letter sent to Ray while he was in prision. The author of the letter was giving Ray his support, saying that the article had provided enough evidence that the case should be reopened. At the bottom of this letter, Ray actually wrote a reply, with prisoner number, signature, and all. It’s also funny that he writes “Ray” the same way it was written on the movie poster for the Ray Charles biopic. Now, THAT would be a conspiracy!

Before he became an internet meme and Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris was just a dude with a beard who starred in borderline shitty movies. He also had a actually shitty 80s cartoon, called Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. Ya know, considering how many shows kept replacing “C” with “K” in their titles, it’s no wonder our generation can barely read. Hell, one of your friends might be reading this aloud to you as we speak! But I digress…The 80s were an odd time, what with deregulation and all, where you could have a 5-episode miniseries that’s rerun throughout an entire season and also spawns a toy line. FIVE EPISODES! But that’s exactly what happened here.

I got one of the figures when they first came out. Still have him. You can’t imagine the torture I inflicted on that thing. The one toy that I always wanted, however, was his car (or would that be “kar”?). Actually, its proper name is the “Karate Corvette.” I honestly can’t believe they didn’t go with “Korvette”; who was steering this ship?! Oddly enough, I’ve been having dreams about this toy lately. Don’t ask why – I couldn’t tell you myself. The dreams must have been an omen, however, that the Karate Corvette would soon enter my life. Ever since I started doing these thrift runs, I had a mental list of toys that I expected to see, and this car was always on it. Last week, my search was over, as it was right before my eyes. This car is 80s badassery cranked up to 11. Not only is it a Corvette, which was THE pussydrencher automobile of the decade, but it had fucking ninja blades that popped out of the sides and hood! It’s like a 4-wheeled assault on homeless guys who try to wash your windows at red lights! I always wanted this car, but this one wasn’t in the best shape, plus it’s almost the size of a Barbie Corvette. No, I would have to leave it behind. After all, Chuck can’t drive it in the World of Warcraft, anyway.

Back when I was 12, and before I learned that they showed boobs during Masterpiece Theatre, Ghostwriter was the coolest thing on PBS. Basically, it’s about a bunch of New York tweens who solve mysteries through the power of literacy. They were aided by Ghostwriter, who appeared like a karaoke ball and would rearrange available letters to send them messages. Sure, it sounds pretty dumb now, but it was pretty engrossing, especially when most story arcs were 4-5 episodes long – somewhat unheard of in children’s programming. None of those kids went anywhere, except for Spanish Kid #2 who ended up as Token Gay Guy on The Real World: Philadelphia. Nope, no room for this in my lair. Plus, I’m still kinda pissed off that they never got around to telling Ghostwriter’s origin!

Blue Collar Ninja! How awesome is that?! It’s like something out of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. I’m STILL kicking myself for leaving him behind. He would’ve looked GREAT on a shelf, but I was put off by his bootleg nature. He looked like the kind of thing that would just fall apart once I got him out of the bag. Blue collar ninja! He pays bills, drives a truck, and SILENTLY KILLS PEOPLE!

So, on that note, I think I’ll wrap this up. This is most likely the last Thrift Justice post of 2011, so I thank you all for joining me for the ride. Be sure to come back in 2012, when I’ll be another year older, yet hopefully just as funny. Until next time, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!

22nd Nov2011

Off To See The Wizard…

by Will

So, in an effort to sort out my junk room, I decided that I could probably start with my longbox of Wizard publications. I quickly tired of being reminded of Wetworks and Vampirella books, so I decided to focus on my issues of Toyfare instead. For those not really “in the know”, Toyfare was a monthly magazine published by the fine folks who also gave the world Wizard: The Guide to Comics (which later rebranded itself as a “Men’s Pop Culture Magazine”, whatever that means). Anyway, Wizard used to highlight toys, but as the industry ramped up, there was too much to report than the meager 2 pages in Wizard allowed, so the toy focus was spun off into its own magazine. At its best, Toyfare gave an in-depth look at fan favorite toy lines. At its worst, it was a glorified toy catalog. To be honest, “glorified” doesn’t even fit, as regular toy catalogs at least listed prices – something Toyfare couldn’t be bothered to do in many cases. Anyway, while flipping through the pages, a few thoughts came to mind, and I figured I’d share them here.

-What happened to Palisades Toys? I was never a Muppets fan, but I could respect that they truly paid attention to detail in making those Muppets toys.

-Diamond Select should’ve been run out of business for those horrible Serenity figures. I’ve actually said this to DST staffers. They like to change the subject when that line is brought up. I’m no Serenity fan, but I know a slap in the face when I see it.

-Did Hasbro ever present a use for those Jedi Master points?

-Is bbi still around? I remember they used to make those awesomely detailed solider dolls. Sometimes they’d use a Hollywood likeness without ever really securing the rights. So, instead of a Saving Private Ryan doll, it’d be a “World War II Officer” with a Tom Hanks face or something.

-An issue from 2002 stated that we had a better shot of seeing a Thundercats revival before a true G.I. Joe renaissance. Huh.

-The book REALLY started to suck when they took a parody approach to the articles. It was cute for the April Fools issue, but for a good  3 years every article in the book was like a Robot Chicken skit. While Robot Chicken showed that approach could be funny, it just gets tired in print.

-I wonder how many of the toys previewed in Toyfare actually NEVER came to fruition. I know for a fact that King of the Hill Series 2 never came out. That was when everyone wanted to jump on the interactive soundchip playset bandwagon, but I guess Toycom realized they couldn’t swing it.

-When they started posting the Complete Photo Guides to toy lines, that made the magazine worth the price of admission.

-Near the end, they were just reprinting the movie articles from Wizard, seeing as how comic movies also tended to have toylines.

-I never realized how many 80s Toy Quizzes they published. That magazine survived an extra 3 years just by jerking off fans to fantasies of a M.A.S.K. revival.

Culling the ranks of the Toyfare stash didn’t take much time, so then I cam back around for the herculean task of weeding out the Wizards. After all, I had a complete run for about 10 years or so. Along the way, I noticed a few interesting things:

-Where is Christina Z these days? For those not in the know, she was the first woman to make Wizard’s Top 10 Writers List, and she used to write Witchblade back when it was all T&A. That way, whenever someone criticized it for being a T&A book, Top Cow could protest, “No, it’s written by a woman!” Her last publicized work was Jenna Jameson’s Shadow Hunter. I bet that wasn’t a T&A book at all…

-Paula Cole should sing “Where have all the CCGs gone?”

-I don’t want anything to do with J. Scott Campbell until he finishes Wildsiderz.

-Brandon Jerwa started his career on G.I. Joe with a fan submission

-I had no idea Fox has been using the “Animation Domination” name for its Sunday block since 2005!

-Broken Promises: Bryan Singer’s Ultimate X-Men arc

-Broken Promises: Jeff Loeb & J. Scott Campbell’s Spidey title

-Broken Promises: When Bendis left The Pulse, he said it would continue with another writer. This didn’t happen.

-Yay! Kubert’s on Batman. Surely, he’ll have a long run on this book!

-In ’03, J.Scott Campbell went exclusive with DC. Can anyone name what came from that? Anyone? No, because NOTHING came from that contract.

-Why did they stop making DC Minimates?

-There was actually an article called “Treasured Chests”, where they compared the cleavage of Talia Al Ghul, Power Girl, and some Wildstorm chick.

-Kia Asamiya. Yes, I get that everyone had Manga Fever, but WHO THE FUCK PUT HIM ON X-MEN?!!!

-Broken Promises: Loeb & Lee’s promised post-Hush 6-issue arc on Batman.

-Before they diversified their brand with Pilot Season, Top Cow was pretty much just, “Hey, kids! Tits!”

-After Chaos went under, Lady Death went to the Code 6 imprint at Crossgen. Now, she’s at Avatar, under the Boundless imprint. Lady Death: She Doesn’t Just LOOK Like The Village Bicycle!

-There was an Olympic ad in the March 2002 issue. Like, a real brand, and not some e-store or superhero-inspired motorcycle jackets. The actual Olympics, with the athletes and shit. SO out of place.

-Chaos allowed fans to serve as associte editors on books. They spun it as “interaction”, but it was really just cheap labor. They went under soon afterwards.

-Only in 2002 could Joe Mad make the Top 10 Most Influential Artists List. He ranked higher than Sienkiewicz!!!

-Broken Promises: Kevin Smith was supposed to take over Amazing Spider-Man, and JMS was to move over to a new book. Smith also said in interviews that he only agreed if they would allow him to reunite MJ and Peter.

-Broken Promises: Kevin Smith was also announced as the writer of a new iteration of Brave and the Bold just before signing an exclusive with Marvel.

-Based on the number of articles, Fathom “returned” about 12 times, but never actually finished.

-Top Cow has been streamlining its universe since 2001, with no end in sight. The first event, Universe, made Tomb Raider & Fathom part of TC canon…interesting, seeing as how both properties are no longer under the TC umbrella.

-Where is Devin Grayson? Did her career end at the same time as her relationship with Mark Waid?

-I think the best depiction of Rogue was the promo image to her Icons mini. She’s strong and athletic – believably 19 (which is the age she’s rumored to be), and not a busty, 30-something skunkhead.

-Alicia Witt would’ve been a MUCH better Mary Jane in the Spider-Man movies.

-Instead of rushing to reprint them, Bill Jemas put the Ultimate titles online, 12 pages at a time, to “reward the readers and retailers who jumped on the Ultimate bandwagon at the beginning, thus making those initial issues all the more valuable.” – 2001

-In 2001, Poison Elves creator Drew Hayes signed an unprecedented 50 year deal with Sirius Entertainment. While this was clearly a publicity stunt, Drew would pass away in 2007.

-Casting Call: Geoff Johns cast Heath Ledger as Wally West and Owen Wilson as Trickster.

-Issue #110’s letter column only featured mail sent by prisoners.

-They used to have a column called “oops…” where they made corrections to previous stories. This was phased out in later years, as the entire magazine became one giant collection of typos and mistakes.

-Broken Promises: Top Cow got the A-Team rights in 2000. Did nothing with them.

-Did America ever get Bandai’s handheld system, the WonderSwan Color?

-They were REALLY pushing for Brendan Fraser to be Superman, as they cast him in 3 different Casting Call articles over the years.

-Casting Call: Tom Selleck as Tony Stark, Kevin Sorbo as Thor, and Howie Long as Cap. This would’ve been fine…in 1990. They also cast Howie Long as Duke in G.I. Joe. Wizard really liked Howie Long.

-The same character was named “Venus”, “Sexbot”, and finally “Aphrodite IX”

-Finally, back when DC did the whole Superman Red/Blue thing, a few high profile artists were asked to redesign Superman’s iconic suit. One of those artists happened to be Jim Lee. Looks like he’s been married to that high-collar design for quite some time…

 

 

So, what were your favorite Toyfare/Wizard memories?

18th Nov2011

Thrift Justice – Extreme Home Edition

by Will

Don’t worry, it’s not another spinoff. At least, I don’t think… Actually, come to think of it, that would be kinda cool. But I’m not committing to anything yet. After all, I’ve only done one Thrift Justice: YSE post, so it’d be a little audacious to come up with a second spinoff. It’s not like I’m Norman Lear.

Anyway, I tend to focus on toys and collectibles, but I thought I’d show a more practical application for thrifting. Sure a lot of people use thrifting to find collectibles and goods to resell, but others use it simply to survive. Their clothes, furnishings, etc come from thrifting, either because of financial constraints or the simple fact that they know a good deal when they see one. I like to think I’m a little of column A and a little of column B. So, I thought I’d show you a few of the ways that thrifting has added to my living space.

 First up, we have this full length mirror. I actually rescued this thing from next to the dumpster at my old apartment. I’m pretty sure that it was once part of a dresser or something, but this was all that I found. Now, I know that you can buy a full-length mirror from Target for about $9, but this thing is QUALITY. It’s solid wood and heavy as Hell, so it has lived on the floor most of the time that I’ve owned it. Seriously, I’ve had it almost 3 years, and we JUST hung it on the wall last month. Prior to that, you could only really see how you looked from the neck down.

Lindsay’s really into wine & wine decor, so we knew that my comic posters and figure displays would have to be balanced with something a bit…classier. Luckily, her stuff got banished to the kitchen! Everything you see in those pictures was thrifted. I got it all from yard sales and thrift stores, at different times. Basically, if I saw something wine-themed, I’d get it. It was only by chance and my keen eye that we were able to tie it all together into a configuration that makes sense.

This wine rack? Found in the trash room of Lindsay’s old apartment. Not IN the trash (I haven’t gotten to the dumpster diving level of thrifting…yet), but just in the room of stuff folks didn’t want anymore. Her old roommate, Dave, actually found it and thought I might want it. He thought right!

Speaking of Dave, he also gave us this bookshelf when Lindsay was moving out. He didn’t have room for it, and it was just heading for the aforementioned trash room. “One man’s trash…” So, it has now become the home of Lindsay’s Mighty Muggs collection. I may not have gotten her into comics, but I’ve found other ways to infect her with the collecting bug. Just the collecting bug, though. Honest! I got tested and everything.

As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of our thrifted goods end up in the kitchen. It doesn’t get more “kitchen” than the kitchen table. So, a little backstory: my mom plays Bingo every week at the local McDonalds. Don’t laugh – she’s 73 and can do whatever the Hell she wants! Anyway, one of her Bingo buddies is a master thrifter. He drives around a weird unmarked van, filled with stuff he’s found and wants to share. Every now and then, he’ll invite her out to his van to choose stuff. Hey…wait a minute…this guy is gonna be my new daddy, isn’t he?!! But I digress, he always come across the best stuff. For instance, she got a refrigerator from him for $80, which was just really the cost of moving it. Now that I think of it, yup, he’s definitely trying to be my new daddy. I’m not gonna mention the fact  that the fridge didn’t really keep stuff cold, and food would grow mold within 7 days; that would just taint the magic of the tale. Anyway, Mommy’s Special Friend came across this table in a house that was being torn down. We were looking for a kitchen table, and the comparable IKEA model was about $170. This table: $25, and that included the chairs!

My mom actually got Lindsay this microwave when she moved into her first apartment a few years back. I believe she got it from an estate sale, for about $5. They don’t make ’em like this anymore! You could put a whole baby in there. And I’m not talking about some preemie – I’m talking about one as fat as that cigarette-smoking baby from the news! Mmmm….smoked baby.

OK, this one is a bit hard to make out, so you’ll probably need to do some clicky and make it biggie. I came across this in a new thrift store at the end of the summer. It really caught my eye, and I thought it was a steal at $7, just for the size alone. It takes up a good portion of the wall as you enter the apartment, and we’d been looking for something to put there. So, what is it? Well, it’s an American flag, although it has the words to Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech written in the white stripes. Also, the stars have been replaced with “Yes We Can”s. I’m not about to get all political on here, and that’s really not the point. It’s meaningful because Lindsay and I officially became a couple on Election Night 2008. We, as well as a good portion of the country, were swept up in Obama Fever, and regardless of thoughts on the 1%, Obamacare, or longform birth certificates, this piece of art constantly reminds me of where we started. *studio audience awwws*

Anyway, that’s this week’s TJ post. It wasn’t quite a look at the West Cave, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get it clean enough for pictures, anyway. I just wanted to show you that my thrifting isn’t all about toys and comics, and that I also use my powers for practical uses from time to time. OK, seriously, next TJ will be that YSE post I’ve been promising, where I go into a lot of my recent thrift FAILS.

28th Oct2011

Back & Fourth: My Journey Into The Classroom

by Will

In my attempt to turn a negative situation into a positive one, I’ve found myself saddled with watching a 4th grade class during their lunch period. First, let’s roll it back a little. You see, the school where I work had 2 campuses. That quake that everyone made fun of for being weak and puny? Well, it destroyed our second campus. We’ve all been under one roof for the past 2 months, but our board just decided to call it a day, and officially made us one school. This also resulted in 25 staff members being laid off. But still we move forward or some jazz. So, we all gotta pitch in like the war effort, and I’ve been given Mrs Doubtfire duty (I dress like a woman for kicks). What I found, however, is that it’s not that bad. I mean, fourth graders are almost like real people. It’s really fascinating. They don’t even eat their meals out of feed bowls. I tell ya, I’m learning all sorts of Discovery Channel shit from this! So, since I had them at my disposal, I figured I’d try to get to know them – ya know, really get into the head of a typical 4th grader in America.

First up, they’re all really into werewolves and vampires. Half the class has already read Twilight, which is shocking and sad at the same time. I asked if they were Team Edward or Team Jacob. They totally had some opinions there. Predominantly, however, it seems to be a werewolf skewing class. In fact, yesterday they explained to me how they’d been sired. Apparently, Sean was bitten, and then he scratched Mike, who then bit Carter, and so on. I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on cooties and the AIDS epidemic. Anyway, I asked if their parents every caught them turning into werewolves at night. They said no, but that a few of their parents suspected they might be werewolves.

Next, they showed me a Scholastic book that was a Who’s Who of the monster scene. I’m talking chupacabra, vampires, werewolves, snakewomen harpies, the works! When we got to the page of a succubus, Ken said “That’s my girlfriend right there.” “Oh, really?” I asked. “How did you two meet?” He said “Well, she was sick and in the hospital. I turned her into a vampire and saved her.” Kid never missed a beat. Like Kenneth from 30 Rock, “In 5 years, we’ll either be working for him, or dead by his hand.”

Today, I asked them about the movies they’d seen recently, which they’d always counter with a “Did you see ____?” One girl told me that she had seen Black Swan. Yes, THAT Black Swan. I asked who let her watch that thing, and she said she’d watched it with her grandpa. I asked her what she thought of it. I loved her response: “It was scary…and inappropriate.” From the mouths of babes!

Since they were the correct demographic, I decided to allow them to settle an online debate for me: what did they think of Power Rangers Samurai? After all, adult fans hate it, but it’s not for us. It’s for the kids. Apparently, and I quote, “Power Rangers Samurai is the most awesome Power Rangers ever!” Keep in mind, they also lost their collective shit when I mentioned Supah Ninjas. Plus, I don’t trust any kid that doesn’t watch iCarly (half of the class is comprised of girls, and none of them watch iCarly!).

I also found out that WAY too many of them are watching Family Guy, American Dad, and The Boondocks. I told one, “You’re too young for The Boondocks!” he just shook his head and said “I know. When I go over to my cousin’s house, he’s always watching it.”

Once we got on the topic of animation, one of them mentioned The Simpsons, which one girl called “the most boringest show in the history of ever.”

So, it looks like The Cos was right – kids really DO say the darnedest things! Anyway, I figure if I’ve gotta be stuck with them, I might as well use them for comedy material. Tune in next time, when we tackle comics, video games, and Nicki Minaj!

 

 

 

10th Oct2011

Fun With Android’s Voice Actions AKA Getting Acquainted With Our Future Robot Overlords

by Will

So, last week Apple revealed the iPhone 4s which, while fancier than the current iPhone 4, wasn’t the iPhone 5 that all the tech heads had been expecting. One of the best features of this new phone, however, is the addition of Siri – an artificially intelligent personal assistant. You can tell Siri to send emails, check the weather and perform searches – all via voice commands. Of course, Android owners started wondering if there was a similar program for their operating system. As a new convert to the Android way of life, I checked the review sites, and came across Voice Actions. While not as advanced as Siri, Voice Notes still accomplishes many of the same tasks through user voice interface. I’m of the belief that you should know your enemy, so I decided to familiarize myself with Voice Notes before the uprising of our robot overlords. By asking a series of questions, I began to learn more about Voice Actions’ capabilities.

Q: “What’s your name?”

A: “My name is Jeannie.”

Yeah, this default name wasn’t going to fly, as it just made me think of Major Nelson and all those old ass space capsules. As an aside, do y’all realize that Major Nelson and Jeanine “lived in sin” for the fist five seasons? I guess it was kosher, since she was a genie and more property than person, but I still find that odd. Anyway, I digress. I wanted my AI to have a cooler, more personalized name. It came down to D.E.C.A. (bonus points for anyone who gets that reference) and Oracle. I settled on Oracle, and made the change in the settings.

Now that we had the formalities out of the way, I jumped right in for the juicy stuff:

Q: “Where do babies come from?”

A: “Babies are the live young born to mammals, need extended care by the mother after birth, so that their bodies can complete their development. Ideally, babies are the result of a sexual union between two parents who love each other.”

I get the feeling that Focus on the Family snuck in that last sentence. Clearly, Oracle has never processed an episode of Maury!

Then, I wanted to test its political knowledge.

Q: “Who is Barack Obama?”

I was kinda hoping for some Birther nonsense, or maybe some juicy tidbit that only the machines might know.

A: “Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961 – the 44th and current President of the United States.”

I had no clue he was a sequel!

Hmm…I want more.

Q: “Who killed John F. Kennedy?”

As you might expect, I wanted an answer like “The Viet Cong” or “ancient ninja warriors”. Again, I wanted info that only the machines might know. Instead I got:

A: “Lee Harvey Oswald, 1938 minus 1963 – the American activist and accused assassin.”

Ya see, I’d never heard of Oswald as an “activist” before, and it was kinda interesting how Oracle said “accused assassin”. I think she knows something. Also, it was kinda funny how Oracle interpreted the dash as “minus”.

I was already bored of the political stuff, as Oracle wasn’t quenching my thirst for conspiracy theories. I circled back around to the good stuff.

Q: “Does size matter?”

This is where things got interesting. Up until this point, Oracle had just been responding via voice, but now “she” only answered via text.

A: “It does now ;)”

Yes, “she” cryptically replied back in a flirty way, and included a winky emoticon! Shit’s about to get weird!

I decided to test Oracle’s true capabilities.

Q: Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?”

Oracle was stumped. Suddenly, I was requested to clarify my question, as I was given a menu with several choices:

1) Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breast?

2) Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?

#1 got me curious, as I wondered if one of Jaclyn Smith’s tits was larger than the other. I think Oracle just misheard me, though, so I chose #2. That just opened up a Google search with a bunch of fanfic. I wasn’t satisfied with this, so I asked again.

Q: “Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?”

A: “The last one, I think.”

What the Hell kind of answer is that?! Have I finally found Oracle’s weakness? Is this how we will defeat the machines? Apparently, artificial intelligence, like men, is weakened by BREASTS! The Playmates and Hooters girls are our last line of defense! The war must be fought in the strip clubs, sorority houses, and amateur wet t-shirt contests of the world!

 

29th Aug2011

Baltimore Catches Cosplay Fever!

by Will

So, once the 2-part Baltimore Comic-Con epic ended (thanks again, Brian!), I found that I still had a bunch of pictures left from the show. Now I know there are folks out there who do better cosplay posts than I could, but I still thought I’d give it a shot.

                                 Well, the theme song did tell us they were loose…

                                 Ga-Blac-Tus HUNGERS…for Popeyes!

In the newly-launched Marvel Jr line, Kid Kap isn’t sure he’s up to the challenge of Reddy & Bones

In the J.J. Abrams-verse, even Dr. Crusher & Wesley have been rebooted!

She had a giant axe. I’m still not sure if she was supposed to be someone or if it was just self-defense…

It’s nice to see the sistahs come out. Did I spell that right? We don’t use “er”, right? Anyway, She-Hulk was in an awesome JLA Vixen costume on Sunday, as she sat next to me at the Stan Lee panel.

Hey, Mike! Steve! Rob! Aren’t those your moms over there?! Baby Doll looks like a young Meredith Baxter-Birney. If you read that in Chef’s voice, my mission here is done.

I’d say this was “Optimus Prime”, but I can just hear one of you saying, “Actually, that is the King Grandliner Robo” or some shit like that. Well, this is America. In America, we call ALL robot trucks “Optimus Prime”! Put down the Pokemon, and pick up a baseball. U! S! A!

                                The Odinson doth invite you to visit his band’s MySpace page!

                                 Watch out, Miles Morales! Here comes Kid Spidey! And he’s white!

                                 Great costumes, but I guess I was just expecting…more from the Smallville Reunion.

Somebody saaaaave meeeee!!!!!

                                Black Kick Ass! Somebody alert the New York Post!

This pic ain’t fooling anybody. Dude on the right would be too busy banging chicks to be busting ghosts. Dude on the left? Totally a Ghostbuster.

                                Not true cosplay, but it ought to be!

This chick made me kinda salty. You see, she was already posing for someone else, and I just took the picture. She noticed me and said “You have to ask! It’s rude if you don’t ask!” Look, you were ALREADY posing! Costume wasn’t that hot anyway.

Wait, why are we rooting for Thor?! And she looked like Kat Dennings! I would’ve bought every issue of Dark Reign if they’d drawn “Lokette” as Kat Dennings!

As aspiring America’s Top Blerd, I’m required by the King Doctrine of 1962 to acknowledge Blenguin.

Guys, I don’t know about this whole “New 52” thing…

19th Aug2011

Does A Body Good

by Will

After all these years, I still find that I’m too immature for “Got Milk?” ads. These things have been around for almost 20 years, so it must be an effective campaign. That said, most of them just look like a money shot from a celebrity sex tape with high production values. Even when they did one with Batman – my hero among heroes – it just made my heart hurt for the Caped Crusader! Was that how he was replenishing the Wayne fortune?!!!

Anyway, I work at…a place filled with…people who might be inspired to drink milk, and these posters are everywhere. Hell, I think we ran out of money, and they’re just using them as cheap wallpaper. In any case, I thought I’d share a few of them with you, along with my thoughts. Before we get started, I apologize for the quality of the pictures; Ansel Adams never had to use a BlackBerry camera…

Just look in that dog’s eyes. He clearly saw the whole thing. This just makes me think back to the time Amanda quit Twitter because she got a bunch of backlash for saying she preferred black guys. What did Devante do to you, Amanda?! What did he do?!!!

They finally came up with a way to get me to not notice the milk mustache. Ha! He’s with a giraffe! Honestly, I think the funniest part is that the giraffe actually finished college.

This is probably the worst picture of Demi Lovato I’ve ever seen, and I say that as a Demi fan. Hell, you don’t say something nice about her, and she will punch you in your face! She went to rehab for it and everything. Anyway, this picture looks like it might be some sad artifact sent to the past from a future where her career has totally derailed, yet the “Demi Loves Otto” sex tape is tearing up the SuperNet.

This one is disturbing to me because, in real life, Victoria Justice looks like a bad Photoshop job. She’s got the face of a 25 year old, yet the body of a fit 15 year old. She’s like a younger clone of Giada De Laurentiis. She just seems like an odd choice for a milk ad. “Your body will be suspended in teen animation, but you’ll be pretty. Drink up!”

And I thought R. Kelly was the one who sang “Down Low”. Notice how you can’t really see from the waist down? These are my confessions…

OH, COME THE FUCK ON!

18th Jul2011

Charlottes, and Boybands, and Attraction! Oh, My!

by Will

In some circles of popular culture, it’s believed that the four women of Sex and the City represent the types of women that men are looking for out in the world. Whether it’s demure, girl next door Charlotte, career-driven, slightly man-hating Miranda, sexually aggressive Samantha, or the anomaly that is Carrie Bradshaw, one of those women is supposed to be the perfect match for every man out there. Given those options, I feel that most men are searching for Charlotte in a world filled with Mirandas and wannabe Samanthas. Am I wrong? Of course I am, but that’s because that’s not a well-rounded group from which to choose. That theory just doesn’t work there, as the selection is limited. I’ll tell you, however, an area of pop culture that got it right: boybands. Outside of music concerned with rhyming “alone” with “phone”, boybands were created according to a perfect science, where they offered something for every girl out there. Whether she wore short skirts or t-shirts, whether she was the cheer captain or on the bleachers – there truly was a boyband guy for every girl. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

First up, we’ve got the Cute One. He’s the one selling the concert tickets. He’s not always the lead singer, but he’s singing at least half the songs. That one’s easy – he’s there because he’s “dreamy”. Just like David Cassidy and Michael Jackson before him, he’s the one whose name is being doodled in the notebooks of the nation’s teenage girls.

Next, we’ve got the Bad Boy. He’s got tattoos and crazy hair. He might even have an odd obsession with aviator goggles. He sings a bunch of hooks, and operates under the “less is more” doctrine. After all, he’s too busy getting tattoos and buying new aviator goggles to be up in front like the Cute One. For all the girls who like a walk one the wild side, this one’s for you.

Then, we’ve got the Shy One. He *usually* doesn’t necessarily do much ’cause, you know, he’s shy. Also, years later, everyone will have to feign surprise when he also turns out to be the Gay One and/or the REALLY Religious One. He’s not comfortable in the spotlight, as he’s trying to keep a lid on his secret. Once it’s revealed, however, it’ll open up a whole new fan base for him and the group. Anyway, he’s for the girl who falls in love with her gay best friend.

You’ve also got the Older Brother. He was the guy who was working at Universal Studios the longest, and probably helped recruit the other guys. He doesn’t sing much, but he’s guaranteed a slot due to his assistance in recruitment. Once the whole boyband thing blows over, he won’t be making appearances on E! red carpet, but he’ll have a nice ranch in Montana somewhere. He’s the safe choice – the provider. He’s not into glitz and glam, as this is just a job. He hasn’t forgotten his roots, and he understands the value of loyalty.

Finally, you’ve got the Other Guy. This can mean a lot of things. Maybe he’s the Halfy, for a little urban flavor (but not too much flavor).

Maybe he’s the minority variant of the Shy One.

And don’t forget the Goofball! He’s got a sense of humor. Bitches love a sense of humor.

At the end of the day, he doesn’t do much. He’s #5, and his sole role is to provide symmetry on posters and in dance routines. Should the Older Brother decide to leave the group, the Other Guy’s role becomes more prominent. By being ill-defined, he provides a bit of mystery that is different from that you get from the Bad Boy. With the Bad Boy, you never ask “Why isn’t he singing?” You already know the answer: it’s either “He’s gonna sing the bridge” OR “‘Cause he didn’t feel like it”. With the Other Guy, you’ll constantly hear moms asking “Why doesn’t the Mexican boy sing more?” He’s an anomaly, but because of that, he can be whatever you need him to be. He’s the guy nobody notices, so he won’t have an ego. He’s just waiting for a woman to come along and make a “project” out of him.

If you have the right balance, you have this:

But if the balance is off, you end up with this:

If done right, there’s something for everyone. If done wrong, someone’s preference is being neglected. SCIENCE!

 

03rd May2011

The America Post

by Will

Well, as I’m sure you all know now, America finally got him. You know…he’s got a ZZ Top beard? Yeah, him. Anyway, I’m not really going to get into all that, but I did want to join in the widespread patriotism that’s catching like Pokemon fever! I support the troops, and appreciate all that they do for us. I kinda wanted to share what America means to me. Of course, things hold different meanings for different folks, so you may not agree. I still wanted to express myself in some way. In any case, I thought about doing another 5-part thing, you know, like “America Week”, but I can’t keep up that schedule (What do you think this is? Postcultural?) So, I thought I would just put all of my feelings in one post, and let the videos do the talking. Fly your flag, let your bald eagle out of its cage, and join me in celebrating the good ol’ US of A!

Pages:«1234567...22»