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Archive for March, 2011

If I haven’t told you already, I’m a big supporter of the TomGeeks website. I even participate on their boards every now and then.

Recently, one of the artists who posts there wrote about how her comic in the college newspaper poked fun at a class that was notoriously known to be boring and easy to fall asleep in. However, the professors and a few fan students protested loudly their disapproval to the Dean, who is now forcing the newspaper to run an apology comic. I’m finding this is becoming more common at colleges lately, which is alarming.

There’s so much wrong with that. Here’s two immediate things:

1.  It sets an unfair precident that the administration can oppress the opinion of students and use the newspaper as their own propaganda tool.
2.  This is not ethical. It teaches something that regular papers do not do – force people to rescind their freedom of speech after an unpopular opinion piece.

In real life, the paper would advise any offended parties complaining about an op-ed comic that their best recourse would be to write into the Opinion section of the paper. The Editorials, or whatever the paper likes to call their section. Then their opinion is voiced and their points made. If they did it like the college did it, there would be no political comics or op-ed articles in any newspaper anywhere ever.

By oppressing the opinion of comic artists in the school paper, they are now teaching something that is not realistic or even ethical. Which means the school newspaper is no longer a valid teaching tool, because it teaches the wrong lesson. So the faculty and the adminstration have just contradicted themselves and proved their hypocracy. They are an educational facility, so they should teach realistic values and ideas. That’s what the students pay for.

And it’s a comic for Pete’s sake. How the Hell is a comic seen as a potential threat to class?

I had this happen to me in college. I came into the Wayne Stater newspaper where the previous Arts and Entertainment Editor had set a stupid precident of always retracting opinion/review articles when they offended people. NOTE: I said most of the articles were opinions or reviews. If you can’t trust your Arts and Entertainmetn section to tell you how bad a performance/movie/album really was or is (and then publish any counter-opinions that spring from it), then you would not read it at all. So I went head-to-head with the Dean of Students when I broke the precident and won. Because a Provost that I wrote to understood my position and agreed that the freedom of speech was being oppressed.

My particular moment of “offense” was when I wrote a critical opinion article on a piece of art that was on the campus. It was done by an outside independent contractor (not faculty, not a student, nor an alumni) that resembled a certain part of the body. The artist in question was a friend of the Dean’s, so he wanted an immediate apology and retraction of my piece. He was furious when I told him no, and demanded my release from the paper. I sent him and the Provost a long dissertation on why retracting my article and firing me was a bad idea.

Note that I’m not saying that hurtful or intentionally false pieces are protected. If you publish what you think is the truth with well constructed arguments in an opinion piece without slandering the subject, you are in the right.

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Man, okay. Two long nights in a row is a bad idea.

I DJ’ed at the Maxx on Saturday night. Which wasn’t bad, since that place rocks. Especially the main floor. I’ve DJ’ed the Arena section, and it wasn’t bad, but the main dance floor is CRAZY packed. Especially when you play everything that everyone wants to hear, apparently.

I’m seriouly beginning to detest the Inglesais/Ludacrist song Tonight (Chuckie Remix). I go to get some water, the girls sitting at the table near the booth are like, “Can you play Tonight?” I’m running to the bathroom, the girls at the bar who recognize me are, “Can you play that Tonight song?” So I think we ended up playing it … twice? Two different remixes, but Jesus. I know it’s a great dance song. I know everyone loves the dirty version – loves singing to their date, “Tonight I’m fucking you!” But it’s extremely repetitive. Especially when people ask for it constantly. Oz was like “Stop taking requests, man. LOL.”

But I did have a great stretch right in the middle where people just went insane. Here’s a rough list.

- Basement Jaxx: Where’s Your Head At (Coolio remix)
Justin Timberlake: Sexy Back (Drastik REMIX)
Claude VonStroke: Who’s Afraid of DetroitPut your Hands Up For Detroit (maxx remix)
Far East Movement: Like a G6 (Disco Fries Remix)
Rihanna: Only Girl in the World (Extended Club Mix)
Katy Perry w/Snoop Dogg: California Girls (Wills Bootleg Remix)
Usher: DJ Got Us Fallin In Love Again (Almighty Remix)
Britney Spears: Hold It Against Me (Adrain Lux & Nause Club Mix)
Bruno Mars: Grenade (Dancecom Project Club Mix)
Taio Cruz Ft. Kylie: Higher (Wideboys Radio Edit)
Zoe Badwi: Free Fallin (Club Remix)
Enrique Inglesais/Ludacrist: Tonight (Chuckie Remix)
Cascada: Evacuate the Dancefloor (Club Remix)
Basshunter: Bass Creator

All in all, not bad. I even snuck in BASSHUNTER there (who were here last week, I think). I think Basshunter is too complex for people from Omaha, though. LOL.

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You Will Be Assimilated

I just typo’ed collective when texting about my son. It came out coolective. I think that’s my new favorite word.

Right along with slizzering (derived from slizzered off of that G6 song).

Jeff @ bar: “Man check out those two hot chicks. I’d like to see them do some slizzering!”
Me: “Sissoring?”
Jeff: “Slizzering. Getting stupid drunk enough to take home.”
Me: “Ah. Totally G6.”

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This Is Why I Hate Bars

So I went to this bar to chill with some coworker dudes. The bar was the Elite. It went fine until both coworker dudes hooked up with some chicks and disappeared. Actually, kinda happy for them.

Anyway, I’m standing @ the bar when some crazy chick starts talking to me. She’s getting hammered with her friend standing on the other side of her. I’m trying not to laugh and ignore her. Then she starts hitting on me. I told her, “I’m married,” like four times. “So am I,” she says back the last time. I show her my wedding ring and serious pretend not to really listen to her, but the stuff that comes out of her mouth is hilarious.

Two hours later, around 11, I’m talking to a programmer from India (whose last name is Jain btw) and her friend switches sides to stand next to me. “Dude,” she growls at me, “You don’t want to mess around with my friend.”

“Thank God you’re standing there. I was getting uncomfortable from your friend trying to pick me up,” I tell her, “I’m seriously not interested in a hookup or anything like that.”

She gives me a withering stare so I like shrugged and went back to standing there listening to the awesome DJ. Then, out of nowhere, crazy friend chick says – and I quote – “Seriously, don’t encourage her. She’s gay.”

At which I nearly choked on my beer from laughing. WTF? I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. Stop making shit up,” I tell her, “I’m not interested in your friend. You don’t have to drive me off or whatever protective friend bullshit your doing.”

And that should have been that. We didn’t talk for the next two hours. But crazy lady’s friend then turns to me and … throws up on me. I’m like HEY WHAT THE HELL! and the bartender’s apologizing while motioning for a bouncer to eject the ladies. All five of us – bartender, bouncer, two insane chicks and me – go outside. The bartender continued to apologize but I was pretty much done with that place. I told him and the bouncer no hard feelings but I’m most likely going to avoid somewhere a chick barfed on me for awhile.

The bartender laughed. “I know I would,” he said, “Drunk bitches are annoying as Hell. Chances are they’ll be back here again.”

Yeah, I hate bars for that reason.

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SuckerPunch Review

I went to see SuckerPunch last night at the midnight showing at the Douglas Theaters IMAX.

I walked into today and read a review written on io9 by (what seems to me to be) the most hateful, feminist writer ever. No disrespect. I’m just commenting on the lady’s style and the tone of her review. I don’t know this woman, I won’t ever meet this woman (probably), so all I have to infer who this person is is from how we perceive her writing.

I thought the movie was great. I’d recommend it to my readers. I’ll sum up to you why:

1. The Action. Holy shit, the action was over-the-top explosive, dynamic and unbelievable. Every action scene made me lean forward, waiting to see what happens next. Every action scene was non-stop!
2. The Soundtrack. Much like the action, it was over-the-top expressive and just meshed perfectly with each scene. And the sound itself! I was nearly deaf by the end of the Zombie Nazi scene, but I thought it was great!
3. The Inception Effect (aka a Dream Within a Dream). Perfectly done. I’ll go more into why it totally went over the head of the author of that io9 article below. But I totally understood what was going on, and it had nothing to do with women being prostitutes. I went to be entertained, and I was entertained without being bored to death.
4. The Visuals. Everything from the rundown asylum, to the dream hostel, to the action scenes was perfectly expressed in the visuals.  Especially the action scenes. You thought they were actually in those environments, fighting the bad guys. Reflections, shadows, lighting,  scenery. Very well done. CGI genius.
5. The Story. Told in small blurbs through the eyes of (SPOILER) another girl not Babydoll (/SPOILER), the story was alright. It wasn’t awesome. In fact, that’s my one complaint – too much drama. But the drama parts didn’t last long as they immediately threw you into another action part before the drama affected you.

So – how did this go over Annalee Newitz‘s head? Honestly, I’m not sure. Save maybe she had a little bias upon going into the film. Here’s the plot in a non-spoiler nutshell: Girl gets framed by abusive father, girl gets sent to asylum with other crazy girls, girl choses to invent a reality to cope with the horror of the asylum, and invents another reality when dancing (which is yet another analogy for her pretending to have an insane fit to distract people) to validate her own actions. END OF STORY.

Annalee writes this -

A few possible interpretations are:
1. Insane people and sex workers are interchangeable.
2. Women can only triumph over adversity in their dreams.
3. Action movies spring from the imaginations of enslaved, mentally unstable prostitutes.

No. No. No. Annalee’s totally obtuse.

It’s not about insane girls acting like whores who can only achieve anything through dreams. It’s about women being sexually abused in an insane asylum, so to cope with the horror and still fight to be free, one of the girls goes into dream mode. A dream mode inspired by this thing they do called “Theater.” And kicks ass. END OF STORY. It’s not meant to be a deep, engrossing plot with tons of character development and introspection. That would make it a drama flick. Anything more weepy and prude, and it would be a chick flick.

This movie was made by a guy for geeky guys (and geeky girls) and I suspected long ago that the femme Nazis would totally hate on it for that. But this lady tried to write something that sounded like it was intelligent. It’s an action flick, with a plot built to feed a dream within a dream story about tackling horror with imagination. JFC, how oblivious do you have to be to not see that?

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God Hates Japan

Here, go look at this –> http://godhatesjapan.com/

I love you, Lord Omlette. This was the best Tweet EVAR.

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Oh, and have a Happy Pretend to be Irish Day. Make sure to annoy the fuck out of all your coworkers and friends with your fake Irish accent. The one where you sound like your speaking with a British accent and a mouthful of marbles.

Yeah, that one. JFC.

And please bore us all to death with stories about how your ancestors may be Celtic, in the hopes of impressing all the rest of us pretend Irish people. And strain hard to prove you have some green on by wearing some lame button or handkerchef or whatever. Now you have an excuse to show us your underwear (ugh).

And God damn it, I’m SCOTTISH not Irish. FFS!!!

If it weren’t for all the cheap beer and music, I’d totally hate this holiday that we Americans made up because that’s what we need – another stupid themed drinking holiday that propels our drunken driving death stat into the atmosphere. >_o

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The Future of Webcomics

Well, not really.

But this is about an article about that same topic -> http://deathtotheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/03/coming-thing.html

Some people took offense to this guy’s disregard for Penny Arcade as a “good comic.” Now, I don’t think this guy is really a decent critic to begin with, reading some of his other articles (I mean, “blah blah blah all comics should be equally famous blah blah blah art sucks I’m emo blah bleh” is the gist of most of it). However, I’m also going to just to inject that not even Jerry and Mike think their own comic is that great. So LOLz.

To sum up my thoughts, here’s what I posted in yet another forum that I frequent (this makes the count 17 forums now):

I don’t mind gimmicks in webcomics. In some instances, they work really well (like MS Paint Adventures or Carpe Chaos). I also don’t mind standard, normal formats, with three panels, six panels or nine panel set ups. Or something like Lackadaisy or Dresden Codiak, where the panels are inserted into a larger picture.

The reality is that I read webcomics whose stories are powerful and/or engaging to me. I don’t care about how original or pretty they are. I don’t really care about layout or gimmicks, either. While they are a form of art, they aren’t exactly what I consider on the level of Michelangelo. Nor do they need be, since their entire purpose (to me) is to entertain.

As for people hating on Penny Arcade, it’s understandable. The comic isn’t ground-breaking or extremely artistic in nature. Yet it gets a lot of attention and tons of readers, which makes other artists or people who want a lot from comics dislike it. I think it’s proven that the reason why people read Penny Arcade is because of three things:

1. They read it for the rants first, and the comic second. The comic is mostly icing on the cake.
2. They understand and enjoy the humor of Penny Arcade, which is more about picking on the broken industry of video games.
3. Penny Arcade is more than just the comic. It’s also an awesome culture/society. One that has two gaming conventions that are separately greater than E3 is. One where people can get together and not hate on each other, while enjoying totally geeky things (such as video games, anime and nerdcore).

Mike Krahulik – a personal friend of mine and artist of the site – does so much more than just the comic. He does awesome art for other things. Such as he illustrated the story for a Prince of Persia game. And does tons of art for EA favorites, such as Dragon Age and Rainbow Six. He’s illustrated cards for the WoW CCG. He’s made art for Dungeons and Dragons. He does art for great charities, and actually gives away a lot of money to encourage other artists to keep growing. So people who read Penny Arcade are somewhat doing it to keep up with Mike as well.

As Gerald (Mike’s partner and sort-of my friend) has made mention – they don’t plan on doing this forever. They don’t even understand what makes them so popular. They don’t think the comic is that great, to be honest. They just do what needs to be done with the influence they have to try and improve an industry that they love. And to help other people.

So in reality, it’s not the art that really makes a webcomic. It’s the story and the community that grows around the comic. The artist/writer is more important, really. They make the entire endeavor enjoyable, and the more realistic they are, the better their comic is.

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Gilbert Gottfried got fired for basically ripping on Japan, and Aflac’s main client is Japan. So he apologized and made nice. I expect that from Gilbert Gottfried. That’s his thing – being an insufferable ass.

Now Glenn Beck … I have to admit, he’s in decline so maybe this was an attempt to gain a little attention before he fizzles out of the media spotlight. But in the same vein, I always assumed he was mostly saying the crazy things in an ironic parody of common sense on his show. Now, after basically doing the God rant about Japan, I’m not so sure. I sense a seething religious zealot under his hood. Right next to his moronic demeanor.

Seriously, when your future career is up in the air, don’t go on TV being an ass. Especially if you have people just waiting to pick your corpse apart.

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