Saturday, January 29, 2011

OMG! WTF?? AYS?!? LOL!!!!

A rare Saturday post, but I just had to comment on this story!

It is referring to Sarah Palin's Facebook comments in response to President Obama's State of the Union address. She says in the first paragraph, and I quote:

"The President’s State of the Union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The Future” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content."

The acronym in question is, of course, "WTF", which stands for "What the F(udge)?" (You thought I really was gonna say "fuck", didn't you? LOL). What I REALLY love is one of the comments in that linked article above, which says the following, and I suggest that you read it aloud in a condescending and pompous voice so that you can get a sense of how pompous it sounds. Ready? Put on your "pompous ass" voice now!

"Serious presidential candidates choose words and perform actions carefully. Serious presidential candidates from both ends of the political spectrum realize that there is little to be gained and much to lose, from cheap shots and sophomoric humor."

HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I love it! Did you or did you not sound like a pompous ass when you read that? Why do I say this? Well friends, imagine if Obama had made this WTF reference to a Palin speech in which she had some expression like "We the Few" or somesuch statment. Do you think the media would be talking about his "cheap shots and sophmoric humor"? HELL NO! And if you think so, then you haven't been reading my blog long enough!

Here is what they would have said, and I can write it pretty much word-for-word:

"Obama demonstrated once again his grasp on current issues and his great understanding of the young and technologically connected generation when he devastated a statement by Sarah Palin, who is still stinging from her previous comments of "blood libel" in regards to the gunman in Tuscon, Arizona, in which one of her attack ads had a crosshair on the district of Rep Gabrielle Giffords who is still recovering from her injuries she suffered on that day. In a speech made yesterday, Palin made reference to "We the Few" in regards to the conservative political newcomers in the House. President Obama had this response: 'She dubbed it a “We the Few” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content."

Not only that, Rachel Madow and the like would have been constantly running his response on their shows, and Saturday Night Live would have had a skit in which an actor portraying him would be using these text acronyms while texting people he knows. See? Do I know these liberal nutjobs or what?

Okay, back to my weekend! :-D

Oh, BTW, be sure to turn off your "pompous ass" voice now, before someone kicks your ass for talking down to them in a pompous voice....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Comics Talk: DC's Brightest Day and Marvel's Chaos War

I began the month with comics talk, so I'll go ahead and end it with comics talk. :-)

Before I start, let me go ahead and put my spoiler warning, because I’m going to discuss the following recent comic books:

Brightest Day #18
Chaos War #5

If you haven’t read these books yet and don’t want what’s in them spoiled for you, then


You have been warned!

Those of you on Facebook saw me call DC Comics’ Brightest Day storyline as: Worst. Storyline. Ever.

That is, at least so far. In my mind, it’s actually surpassed Marvel’s Civil War in regards to high level suckitude, and judging by what I’ve seen in the most recent issue, I don’t see a lot of hope for improvement. In fact, I give up on this series; I’m not buying any more issues, because I so badly do not want to see a very disappointing ending and know that I spent good comics money buying it when I could have bought something more entertaining and inspiring – like Mickey Mouse or The Smurfs.

What exactly don’t I like about it? It’s going nowhere! Blackest Night, at least, was entertaining, even if they got carried away resurrecting every freakin’ dead hero and villain ever created by DC. But Brightest Day has had no focus, no direction and no logic to what it’s doing with the resurrected characters. And geez, I am so sick of seeing the stupid, dumbfounded expressions of shock on the resurrected characters just about every damn issue. I thought there was some point as to why these particular characters where resurrected by the White Lantern entity, but so far I have not seen it. Instead, we are treated to more and more plot twists that do nothing to help explain or clarify what is going on.

The recent issue of BD#18 was it for me. In it, Hawkman and Hawkgirl had completed whatever goal that the White Lantern Entity had set out for them to do and they were rewarded with the Entity’s “Life Restored” command. They were finally able to get their life back, and they were free to live as they had always wanted to do over the thousands of years that they had been living. And as might be expected for lovers, they were about to engage in some passionate love-making. So what happens? The Entity comes in and disintegrates them! I was there yelling “WTF??” I mean, seriously man! WTF??!!?

This is an especially insane and even cruel way to end their lives when you consider that the resurrected bad guys of Reverse Flash, Captain Boomerang, and Max Lord were all able to go on with their lives once they completed the goals that the Entity set out for them! It was then that I also knew what I had to do: I had to blog about it! LOL So gang, I am done with Brightest Day. I am saving my money for other comics.

As for Chaos War #5, at least it didn’t stretch on forever like recent comic company “blockbuster” storylines have done as of late. And the ending, in which the Chaos King was tricked into a parallel pocket universe to complete his goal of totally absorbing the universe into nothingness, kinda made sense. But it also made you wonder why anyone didn’t think of that sooner. Consider that you had Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, two of the smartest people on the planet, who didn’t think of doing that until the end. Pocket parallel universes have been well-known and even visited by Marvel characters for ages, so it’s not like it was a brand new concept to them. I mean hell, they even knew about the parallel universe that they sent the Chaos King to!

After the gang finally puts the Chaos King away, Hercules – who had been given a promotion of sorts by being elevated to a “skyfather on steroids” - gave up his powers in order to put things back the way they were. The extent of his gift was such that he is now mortal and powerless. So basically, what this makes the ending is a "deus ex machina" - in other words, kind of a cop-out giving the kind of buildup that had been going on to get to this point. Oh well, it was still an enjoyable read.

Have a great weekend! :-D

Friday, January 21, 2011 is one of my favorite websites, and here's why...

Probably my favorite site as a source of documented proof of the dementia that liberal thinking can take is! I swear, reading some of the lines of reasoning that goes on in some of those articles is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. And I use the train analogy for a reason, because their trains of thought are often that: train wrecks!

Even in articles that try to sound more centered as opposed to very left wing, a quick glance to the comments section demonstrates that even their readers have the same sort of train-wreck-in-slow-motion thinking. But oh! Friends, that's not even the best part of it! The best part of it is not so much what they cover as what they don't cover! It's there that you get a true taste of where their thinking lies.

If you do a Salon search for "Palin", you'll get three pages of recent articles about Sarah Palin. BUT, do a search for "Gosnell", who is Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor who recently was in the news over his atrocious abortion clinic, you get one recent article on it (as of the time I wrote this blog entry). One. Further down in the archived search results, you two more articles, and you also see this same line repeated: "Dr. Kermit Gosnell got rich off of his "house of horrors" clinic -- now he faces eight...", which means it's referring to the same line in one of those articles. You also see a lot of references to Raja Gosnell, who is a movie director.

Yes, I know what some of you will say: Palin is a public figure while Dr. Gosnell is not. However, Gosnell's inhumane barbarity goes to the very heart of their support of legalized abortion. Here we have a man allegedly "helping" women exercise their "right to choose" and they are paying for it with their health or their lives. So I ask, why isn't this man discussed more on Salon? Why is the "dimwit dingbat" Palin occupying so much of their web space, while this monster is not? And Dr. Gosnell isn't the only example of a horrible abortion doctor, so why doesn't Salon do one of their classic exposés on the abortion industry?

You know, I was going to continue a point, but I think what I'll do instead is stop here and see if Salon makes any more articles about Dr. Gosnell over the weekend and compare that to how many Sarah Palin stories that they make over the same time frame.

Check for yourself over the weekend and make your own comparisons, and then I'll report back on either Monday or Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FMFLLFs: Environmentally unfriendly CFL bulbs!

Today is a double-duty post; that is, I am doing both a BSC-PSA (Busty Superhero Chick Public Service Announcement) and a FMFLLFs (For My Fact-Loving Liberal Friends), because not only am I trying to help my dear, sweet liberal friends with some nice, juicy facts that they eat up like a cop eats up donuts, but the following information will also benefit the rest of you; which is why I am making this a BSC-PSA. In truth, what follows is not so much new news, but a reminder of something that you might have forgotten. And that would be regarding the so-called "environmentally friendly" Compact Fluorescent Lamps - also known as CFL bulbs.

CFLs are meant to replace the regular incandescent light bulbs (I'll just call them ILBs), because in theory, they are supposed to last much longer and with less energy, and so as the theory goes, you use fewer bulbs. However, CFLs have a dirty little secret that should be mentioned a LOT more than it is now: These bulbs contain mercury. Yes, the same mercury that is hazardous to your health. While some articles try to state that what mercury is contained in CFLs is much lower than what is contained in your average mercury thermometer, it is still enough that a broken one is a big health hazard.

If you've read the linked article, you see that the doctor had no clue as how to treat someone with mercury poisoning. My suggestion to you, dear friends, is to check your local ERs and other emergency personnel to see what their policies are regarding mercury poisoning, and if they don't have a policy, then ask them why the hell not, since so many CFLs are in the market. And also consider that this problem will only get worse once the Feds ban ILBs in the next couple of years and we'll have to switch out to the health-hazard-yet-somehow-environmentally-friendly CFLs. While most sites try to assure that there will be little environmental problems so long as the CFLs are disposed of properly, don't fool yourself into thinking that that the vast majority of Americans aren't going to dispose of them just like they do ILBs - by throwing them away in the regular trash, where they'll get crushed and break anywhere along the way from the house's trash can to the landfill.

Being creatures of habit accustomed to throwing away dead light bulbs as we have been doing for decades, it may take years to break us out of the habit of disposing CFLs in the trash just like we do ILBs. In the process of being indoctrinated into using CFLs "for our own good", there will be literally hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of CFLs in our landfills. Okay, let's play the numbers game, which my liberal friends so much love to do.

According to the articles linked above, the average CFL bulb has about 4 milligrams of mercury. I did a quick search to see how many light bulbs are sold in the United States in a given year. Once source stated that there were 2 billion of all types of light bulbs sold in 2005, so we'll use that. So once we are required to switch over to the CFLs, imagine that 2 billion CFLs will eventually make their way into our landfills. Before I continue, I know that my liberal friends will say that there will be fewer light bulbs in landfills because they last longer, BUT, until such time that the majority of us learn to dispose of CFLs "in the proper way", I can betcha that many CFLs will make their way to the landfill and sit there for years before our "great leaders" are forced to recognize that millions of CFLs sitting in our landfills leaking mercury is not good for the environment - not to mention to our health!

So friends, I say why wait until that fateful and terrible day in which a future leader has to publicly acknowledge the problem and endeavor to fix it? Why not proactively prevent the problem in the first place by preventing these health hazards from getting to our landfills in the first place? Damn, I'm trying to protect the environment here from mercury poisoning - my liberal friends should be all gung-ho on my side with this! If that's not enough, then consider that some evil corporation will be looting a nasty profit from our misery because he will have successfully bought off politicians to push these things in the market despite their obvious flaw.

So the sale of CFLs has all the sorts of stuff that should make my liberal friends gleefully froth at the mouth in anger over (by the way, "gleefully frothing in anger" is a unique liberal trait, which means that they aren't ecstatically happy unless they are pissed over some real or imagined "outrage" to inspire them into action - for which most of them means ranting in blogs and tweets): There is a flawed product that is a danger to the public but whose flaw is being passed over because some rich, greedy bigshot has bought off politicians so that they look the other way while they rake in the blood money while we are poisoned. A recipe for action, my friends!

Now that I have provided some nice, juicy facts for you, my dear liberal friends, why delay any longer in getting these monsters off the market and getting that ICB ban overturned? You DO love the environment, don't you? And you don't want some greedy CEO to swim in tons of cash while thousands of us deal with the effects of mercury poisoning, do you? Call your leaders today and demand action!

This has been both a BSC-PSA and a FMFLLFs announcement!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review of The Guild Internet videos

Last time I discussed The Guild, it was the graphic novel. Here's my review of it.

Today I'm going to review the Internet series that helped launch The Guild in the first place. Right off the bat, I want to say that I really, really enjoyed it. Over my Christmas break, I watched all four seasons, usually watching a whole season in one sitting. As with my comments last time in regards to the graphic novel, I think watching The Guild is a great reference source to understanding the mindset of gamers; particularly World of Warcraft gamers; although The Guild series does not mention WoW because of copyright issues (and which is something I wish Blizzard, the company that owns WoW, would work out, because there is a lot of WoW-themed humor that this series misses out on).

Before I continue, it is time for me to mention the following:

******* WARNING! ********

Possible spoiler alerts ahead! If you haven't watched the Internet series, The Guild, and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, STOP reading now! You have been warned!


As I somewhat subtly hinted on Facebook, there were things that I didn't like about it, so let's get those out of the way right now. For one, I think the writer, Felicia Day, tries too hard to establish that all the guildies (of the guild called the Knights of Good) are batshit insane. Not only are the guildies batshit insane, but so is virtually anyone else that appears in the series. It gets tiresome to have that particular point re-emphasized constantly with the regular cast and with anyone new who appears. The only one who seems to be normal - although a bit annoying as only little sisters can be to their big brothers - is the little sister of Bladezz (whom I was told is the actual little sister of the actor. You can see the resemblance!).

Another thing that I didn't like is something that I didn't like of the graphic novel, Kick Ass (my review of it here), which is the depiction of what would be called child abuse in real life made out as entertainment. I didn't like the way Bladezz, the guild's teenage rogue, was harassed and cyber-stalked by the adults of a competing guild. In real life, such adults could be incarcerated for such behavior. Yes, yes, it's just a story, but again, I do not want the trend of child abuse being made into entertainment to continue. It sets a very bad example that child abuse is acceptable in certain circumstances. My least favorite part of this particular storyline is when one of the members of the rival guild, who is a cop, came out of Bladezz' house saying that he just banged his mom. It's times like this when I'll say "bleh" and flash a thumbs-down.

Also in very bad form is the constant depiction of Clara's inattentiveness and even abandonment of her three very young children (all under age 4, I would guess). The point of the humor here is that Clara is so addicted to gaming that she neglects her children; however, that particular point is presented to the point of overkill. Enough already! One time she even left her kids in the car while she had lunch with her guildmates. With so many stories of children being hospitalized or even dying after being left in a car, this simply isn't funny.

Before I get comments that exaggeration is one of the focal points of the humor in The Guild, let me respond by saying "I get that". I get it, and I even appreciate it - and when it's done right, it's done very well. Sometimes, however, the exaggeration is overdone; as if the writer was trying to squeeze out every possible exaggeration out of one scene before she moved on to the next scene with even more overkilled exaggeration.

As harsh as I've sounded so far, at least this is the worst of it. The good parts were very good, and it's what made this series very enjoyable.

The best parts, however, also happened to be the best parts of the graphic novel, and that is the depiction of the guild's online life. Here, the writing is its freshest and crispest, and it hits all the right notes at the right times - and it is also here that the exaggeration works the best. Probably the best way I can put this is that exaggeration when used to depict the guild's "real life" feels forced and even (here's that ugly word!) formulaic, while exaggeration when used to depict their online life works naturally and flows easily and fluidly.

It was also in the scenes of the online life that got the most laughs out of me. In future episodes or graphic novels, I would like to see what Felicia Day can do with a story that takes place wholly in the online world, with only references to their outside life without actually showing it. Originally, I thought that it might be fun to see their avatars as cartoons or computer animations, but that last episode in which the guild was shown in their avatars' costumes and inside their new gloomy and fortress-like guild hall (Season 4, Episode 12), worked perfectly, and this is how I think future representations of their online life should be depicted.

It worked perfectly, because it perfectly represents how we see ourselves in our online lives. That is, we aren't just the avatar of a hunter or warrior or shaman; online role-playing games are fun because we see ourselves in those little worlds. It's also probably a sign of my generation that we connect and socialize via technology; whether through online games, or Facebook, or tweeting, or the other means of which we connect instead of face-to-face.

So does The Guild represent my generation and how we connect and socialize with each other? I suppose that it could be true in a very real way. So what does that say about us and our socializing skills? Are we doomed to be unable to relate to each other except through technology? Is this need for technology to just talk to each other mean that when we do venture out into the real world, we end up as the cartoony exaggerations that is shown in The Guild?

I say that no, we aren't doomed to living cyber lives. Cyber socializing is a tool, but it is still not a substitute for the real thing. And what this cyber socializing does for us is makes the use of technology to gain access to information as natural to us as listening to Beatles albums was to our baby-boomer parents. So while some may see technology as a trap, I say that it does not have to be that way if we don't let it. Instead of being known as the generation that got lost in the cyber forest, we can be known as the generation that mastered it.

Ha! I love that The Guild helped inspire such contemplation, and it is why I enjoyed the series so much. On a scale of 1 to 10 in which one is a bomb and 10 is THE bomb, I give the guild a 9. If Felicia Day takes my suggestion of a whole episode or graphic novel in their cyber world and is able to master it like I think she can, then I might actually issue my first ever 10. Boy, do I look forward to that!

And now in closing, please join me in dancing to what was my favorite video out of this whole series, a music video called Game On! Oh man, I loved this so much that I played it several times with the sound turned up, and danced along! It was so clever and catchy! As Zaboo would say, "Awesome'd!"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New feature for this year: FMFLLFs!

Last week, one of my commentators asked for my New Year's resolutions. I'm still working on those, but one is to help out my fact-loving liberal friends to see the errors of their ways by way of my blog and Facebook. But first, do understand a few things:

One, I have liberal friends. I really do! Some of them have been my GFs for years. They are my friends even though they know I am a right-wing conservative nut-job who loves Sarah Palin. Why are they my friends? It's not like I'm trying to keep them - they just hang around me even when I state views that they are against. But hell, I stick with them too, even if they mouth liberal statements that I disagree with. I guess you might say that my relationship with them is... complicated. My guess, though, is that they must be attracted to the residual aura of my Marxist upbringing. I bet they wished their parents were as Marxist as mine.

And two: I love liberals. I really do! Why otherwise would I have them as friends? And why would I accept as "friends" those on Facebook whom I don't know but are obviously liberal? Anyway, I love liberals so much that I am going to give them something that they themselves love: Facts! I love them so much that I care what happens to them, and I care how they treat themselves. With that, I am going to give them what they love the most, so starting today and recurring on a semi-regular basis will be something that I'll call: For My Fact-Loving Liberal Friends, or FMFLLFs for short. Okay, let's get started! I'm so excited! Whoohoo!! Here you go, my fact-loving liberal friends!

HHS is paying Google with Taxpayer Money to Alter 'Obamacare' Search Results.

Holy Guacamole! Here we have a government department paying THE search engine of the Internet with OUR tax money to alter search results to pop up Obamacare for all kinds of searches related to Obamacare (well, except for searches related to 'Obamacare' and 'repeal'. There's no pleasing some people!). What do you make of this, my fact-loving liberal friends? Are you going to tolerate this obvious abuse of our hard-earned funds? Would you have tolerated the Bush administration using tax money to alter search results of "weapons of mass destruction" to pop up the Bush administration's official government line on the existence of WMDs?

I hope you are as outraged and offended as I am, my liberal friends, because I know you love facts. I knew you would be, because I care about you and I want to you be exposed to these kinds of facts that you won't get from your usual sources of such information. Didn't I tell you before to utilize a diversity of news sources to find those facts that you so love? And diversity is good! I know! My Marxist parents told me!

Anyway, now that I have told you this fact about your HHS department, I hope that you will utilize whatever forms of public expression that you use to get out this info so that we can all contact Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to stop using our tax money to shill for her boss!

Ahh, I feel good! Doing the right thing warms one's soul...

More to come, my liberal friends!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Felicia Day's The Guild

Last time I ended the year with comics talk, so it only makes sense to begin this year with more comics talk. This time I'm going to review Felicia Day's graphic novel, The Guild. The book is based on her wildly popular Internet series of the same name, The Guild. If you haven't watched the videos or read the book, then just know that both of them are largely about the social interactions between people who know each other through a World of Warcraft-style game. I had purchased the first issue of the comic, but never saw the ensuing issues until I saw the graphic novel on the shelves earlier last week. Since I enjoyed how the comic started out, I purchased the graphic novel so that I can see how the rest of the story played out. Before I continue, I must note the following:


Spoilers ahead! If you haven't read the book and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, then STOP READING NOW! You have been warned!


With that out of the way, now I can continue.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, because I think Day captured the feel and the environment of a WoW-style guild to perfection; namely, that of the differing personality types coming together and seeing real life through a WoW lens by living vicariously through their gaming avatars. Some disclosure: I have seen very few episodes of The Guild on YouTube, so what I know about it is based mostly on the graphic novel. I'm letting you know this, because what I'm reviewing is the book, and not the YouTube series.

Anyway, when it came to depicting the social interactions of her guild, Day was spot-on. Nailed it to perfection. I literally LOLed at some of the stuff she brought up. However, I was disappointed in the story of Cyd Sherman's (the protagonist in the story) life outside of the WoW-styled game. I hesitate to say the following term because I don't want to make this sound as bad is it's about to sound, but I think I should just go ahead and use the term that defines my opinion of the writing in regards to the protagonist's real life: It was so formulaic.

What I mean is that the story of the poor little bright, intelligent and witty young woman who keeps wondering why her life is so screwed up is so done to death. Cyd Sherman as she is depicted in the book is a modern-day Cathy from the comic strips. The only thing Cyd didn't do was go AAACCKKK!!! I actually flipped through those scenes the first time I read the book just because I already knew what Cyd was going to say and do, and I wanted to get back to her depictions of the guild and guild life. However, to be fair, I went back and read the parts I skipped the first time around, just in case I was wrong. Unfortunately, I was not. I predicted what Cyd was going to do before she did it, and for the most part I was on the mark.

Okay, enough bashing of the depiction of Cyd's life outside of the guild, because as I said, I don't want to make this book sound as bad as I seem to be making it sound so far. On the contrary, I enjoyed the book very much, and I highly recommend it for your reading enjoyment. I will also go so far as to say that Day's book should be used as reference to understand the phenomenon of cyber social interactions (which is unique to our day and age); especially when it comes to online role-playing games. If this book hasn't already been used as a source for some grad student's thesis on cyber social interactions, then that grad student should do it. That's how highly I think of this book.

I must also mention how much I liked the idea of drawing Cyd's real life and her virtual life in different art styles so as to reflect the differing lives she is living. Note also that her cyber self has big boobs! LOL But most importantly, her depictions of her guild mates is so much like how it is in real life that it is no wonder that the YouTube series was such a hit. In that regard, the book was a faithful translation to what Day was doing in the YouTube series. Oh, and I especially like the fact that she has not one, not two, but three female gamers! Just in case you're curious, when I played, I was most like Tinkerballa. Ha!

So on a scale of 1 to 10 in which one is a bomb and 10 is THE bomb, I put Felicia Day's book The Guild as a 9. Despite my criticisms above, I think it is that good.