Sunday, May 20, 2018

Poem, "Wildlife Passage"

Wildlife Passage

Predators, Stalking
So hard, to leave dead and gone
In us, sleepwalking

Know that, there they were
Know that now, they are all gone
Know when and why too

Know, it is the shame
Of an age we could not tame
When our blood lust raged.

A drive we all try
Ringing in the ears, outcry
We did nothing wrong

Come to the Tunnel
Dark for loss, of the Deer ones
Where the wild things cross

Salt, apple, ivy
Thru the wood wound, a chapel
Learn from this wisely

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Why the "Venom" Movie Trailer is Bad

            Another new trailer dropped for the “Venom” movie has dropped.  And the half second of Venom being Venom looks… like Venom.

The first trailer (which was admittedly worse) just showed Tom Hardy flipping out and precisely none of the Venom character fully realized.  It was crap.  That being said it left its audience with some hope that Venom would be cool once they worked everything out.  I have no idea what the line of reasoning was there.  Probably, “we haven’t worked out any of the visual effects yet,” but that is all speculation.
This latest trailer dispels 90% of those hopes.  While I think that the final image of the character LOOKS fine… The rest is rather garbage.  The CGI tendrils look shoddy at best, the liquid effects are stiff, and most of what makes the character interesting (and oh boy am I being charitable with the word “interesting”) those traits are gone.
            Rather than talk about the trailer exclusively, let’s talk a bit about the character of Venom, and why it is inexplicable that he is as popular as he is.

Venom: The Character
            Venom was created by Todd MacFarlane during his tenure on Spiderman, years prior to his creation of the character “SPAWN” and completely unveiling how much of an asshole he really was, this was done along with writer David Michelinie, who as far as I can tell is a perfectly nice guy.
            The basic premise of Venom is that Eddie Brock, a coworker and rival of Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle comes in contact with an alien creature called a symbiote, which was used and then cast off by Spider-Man when he stimulated the hero to be more and more violent.
The symbiote bonds with a host granting a telepathic link between them and granting the host a slew of powers.  This gestalt being needs to ingest certain proteins to remain functional and thrives off of negative emotions which acts as a drug.  Eating people is a good source for both of these things.

            Initially, Eddie and the Symbiote came together and targeted Spider-Man because he was the enemy of both Eddie (via Peter) and the alien (via not wanting to bond with it thru greater acts of violence).  Eddie, not realizing the emotional high of violence and the desire to “Eat Spider-Man’s brains” were coming from the symbiote allowed himself to be taken in by it.
            Being seduced to give into your petty bullshit by a demonic blackness that lives inside of you is pretty good symbolism.

Venom: The Appeal
            Venom is a fascinating case in that he is a garbage human being.  Eddie Brock is a muscle head and bully who blames others for his short comings and sees the success of others like Peter Parker as not just an affront to his masculinity, but a cheat.  Thinking something to the effect of, “Peter can’t possibly be better at his job than I am, he must be sabotaging me”.
            What is more, Eddie is uncreative.  His whole plan for fighting Spiderman is to mimic the look, behavior, and powers of his enemy, BUT EVIL!  That is lame.  In the long tradition of villains being a dark reflection of the hero (Joker, Red Skull, Lex Luthor, Doctor Doom) Venom is a shell.  He hates Spider-Man not because of a philosophical reason, he hates him out of pure petty ego and… gluttony on the part of the alien monster.  His look is JUST a dark reflection, he himself is not a reflection of anything on a conscious level.  And for the reader, Eddie is the jock, Peter is the nerd.  Wow.  Such a dichotomy. 
That is lame.  Venom is lame.
            Why the hell is this character so popular?  I am sure it has something to do with the same surface level appreciation that allows “Ghost Rider” to keep appearing on t-shirts, but really the concept KIND OF works.
There are a lot of shirts of this guy.  LOTS!
            If you take for granted that Eddie Brock is an uncreative, stupid, petty, insecure, and intemperate dipshit then you can kind of see a good metaphor for the suit.  He is a petulant asshole who dresses up like an evil version of Spiderman to act out against people who haven’t done anything to him, but he never the less sees as a threat to his masculinity.  He is physically what every loser “Men’s Rights Activist” with a superhero web handle is online.
            It rings deeper still.  That the violence is a drug that fills in his emotional weakness, and that the monster fills the emptiness in him, he is not lonely or judged as a thug and fool by people he looks down on as not being his macho ideal.  The monster goo doesn’t judge him, it loves him for who he is.  As a violent jerkoff.

Venom: The Adaptation
            So, why does this movie look like shit?  I mean, aside from the bad special effects I am hoping they will fix in post.  Because in this movie Eddie isn’t a brain-dead asshole, he is a crusading reporter fighting for the little guy.  What is more, there is no Spider-Man to be seen.  The core concepts of the character are gone, and the motivation to look the way he does is gone.  What is left?

I have already seen "Wassup"parodies in memes
            The image of Venom presented is that of a big monster, and a guy bonding with that monster to fight for what’s “right” except that isn’t true either.  We are now in a situation where the monster is just compelling a good guy to do bad and the good guy is trying to aim the monster to do “good”.  Eddie isn’t (ostensibly) slaved to any sort of drive like loneliness or drug abuse that the symbiote can help with, he is not getting anything out of interacting with the monster except powers that are completely out of his control, “Why did we do that” is a line in the trailer.  Eddie is just a victim of circumstance and anyone could wear the monster skin, which potato peels off another slice of characterization.
            You have, with this movie, taken the Venom out of Venom on all but the MOST superficial level.  You don’t need those elements by the way.  The idea of some guy getting infected with a lovecraftian ooze monster that gives him a sense of belonging and emotional fullness while at the same time compelling him to hurt people is… Basically the mythology of werewolves where you get down to it.  Or for a recent example, “Split”.

            As a merging of elements from Spiderman’s life as a superhero and his life as a reporter, Venom served as a potentially great badguy.  Much like Lizard, Doctor Octopus, and Green Goblin, Venom was a person who had a personal report with Peter beyond being a bank robber with some gadgets or an animal theme.  Venom could become greyer in the black and white morality of the world.  People can change, Eddie could change.

Venom: The Conclusion
            All they have done by calling this movie “Venom” is invite unflattering comparisons.  But maybe I am being too harsh.  Tom Hardy is a good actor who has to put some thought into the parts he chooses to play.  What other instance can you think of where a popular actor did a superhero movie divorced from its core mythology while bearing (at best) a superficial resemblance to the character?

Oh... Yeah...

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

5 Random Thoughts

            I had 5 random thoughts over the course of the last couple weeks and rather than just let them float away because I couldn’t work them into anything larger I figured I would just slap them down here to hammer at them a bit.  In order of complexity.

Idea Number 1: Talking about Marvel Movies
            Marvel should have made a “Thanos” movie before they did “Avengers: Infinity War”.  Aside from being a constant looming threat for years and clearly being super powerful from what is shown in the trailers and his reputation, Thanos as a character has not been explored.

The Description of "He is powerful and just... like... The Worst" can only take you so far.
            I am sure that “Infinity War” would be a perfect place to explore him as a character, but considering that movie will have something like 40 heroes and a half dozen supporting villains to Thanos, there is not going to be enough time.  While I am confident of the Russo Brothers abilities to make a fun and entertaining movie, I can also envision this movie being the latest to have a villain that is powerful, built up, and ultimately a let down (see Malakith and Ronan for Further examples).
            Besides, having a movie from the perspective of a bad guy trying to pull off the creation of a literal doomsday weapon is cool.  I even know how you could structure the movie’s acts.
Act one (maybe even the prologue) being Thanos taking the Reality stone from the Collector.  Act two he battles the Nova Corp and kills Glenn Close’s Nova Prime, taking the Power stone.  The final act he confronts a cosmic being, it could be Galactus, the Living Tribunal, or Eon.
The cosmic being attacks Thanos on a personal level, delving into WHY Thanos is after the gems, and revealing that the cosmic entity is able to see into Purple Puss so completely because they have the previously unseen Soul stone.  Thanos is then given the Soul stone, because the cosmic being knows what Thanos will accomplish with it (inevitable failure because of Thanos canonical inferiority complex, not telling the audience this, they will be left thinking that even the god like celestial being has abandoned the universe to its fate).
Then you could move into “Infinity War” with the three remaining stones, Mind, Time, and Space on Earth (or the Asgard refugee ship in the case of the Space stone).  “We have one advantage,” says Tony Stark.  “We have what he wants, and we know that he is coming for it.”

Idea Number 2: Another thing about Marvel Movies
            Recently Fox Studios, the company that owned the movie rights to both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were bought up by Disney, who at this point has almost reunited all of the Marvel IP under one production house.
            This is cool/terrifying news as more quality movies will be made with characters and premises that I like by a company that is insanely rich, powerful, and loved.  All hail Disney?
            Regardless I would like to draw your attention to the movie poster for “Avengers: Infinity War”.

More specifically I want you to pay attention to the shape of the “A” and the fact that it is kind of shaped a lot like a “4”.
I probably could have put more work into that "4"... But then again, Fox Studios could have too.

Add to that Marvel moved up the release date of the movie from its original May release date to April… the 4th month.  And when they did so, the move was described as “Fantastic”.

This is super thin conspiracy theory stuff… It is also totally something Marvel would do, because NERDS.

I mean, it is not like they are re releasing the comic too.
With star writer Dan Slott fresh from his career defining work on Spiderman.
I don't make too many predictions, and they are often wrong.

Idea Number 3: A short little comedy sketch
My brother and I have great conversations. I can see why we are so popular.
"How do you even get to be the world's greatest mime?" I asked.
"He was able to sit in an invisible chair," said my brother. "While propping his feet up on an invisible ottoman."
            "He's magic," I said.
            "Unfortunately, he died tragically young," my brother continued. "Cancer from smoking all those invisible cigarettes."
            "Invisible cancer," I replied. "Very hard to treat."
            I told this to my other friend a bit later and he added, “I'd love to go pay my respects, but his headstone is so hard to find.”

This is perhaps the world's most evil mime.  Perhaps.

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Idea Number 4: Domestic Terrorism
The FBI cornered a cowardly domestic terrorist the other day and the asshole blew himself up. When asked about this, the terrorist’s neighbor said, "I'm hoping that it's all over. It's crazy to think he lived right down the street. This is a really quiet neighborhood, like one of the safest cities to live in and it's insane that this guy lived here."
            Maybe it is just my brief time in law enforcement, but I never understand when people say things like this.  Where do these people think terrorists like this live? The moon? The space between spaces? Des Moines?

Idea Number 5: Violence in Video Games
In case you hadn't heard, the White House posted a video showcasing "Video Game Violence".
This is a stupid thing to do for a number of reasons, but I will point to only two of them... because I find these two to be funny.
First issue, most of these clips (I haven’t counted and sourced them all, I am eyeballing this) come from a series called "Call of Duty" which is a game series depicting Warfare. Aside from it being an occasionally fun series and extremely popular, it also encapsulates a strange pick for saying "Video Games are Violent" because the thesis statement of the whole series could boil down to "War is violent, GUNS are violent".

Second and sillier thing, one of the most notorious missions in the ENTIRE "Call of Duty" series is a mission called "No Russian", which is (of course) featured in the video.  In this mission an American operative is framed for a terrorist attack on a Russian airport.
So, and here is the funny part, Even President Trump's bone headed references to an industry he does not understand CONTAINS TIES TO RUSSIA.

            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter (click that link to follow me), Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons, "Steel City"

            I have previously written about how orcs are different in my campaign world.  That their culture is most defined by their belief in a single God that created the universe, and who is a cruel tormentor of the mortal races that the orcs wish death upon.
As that entry proved to be rather popular I decided to do a sequel to it to emphasize other aspects of orc culture.  This entry, however, is heavily inspired by the play style of one of my players, who liked the Maltheistic religion of the orcs, and a couple other elements of the lore in my world, so he integrated himself into it rather nicely.  He then proceeded to be the team’s Hulk, a fun character that had certain traits start to boil up to the surface.
Before long I wanted to do a series of adventures based around each of the characters in the party, the dashing swordsman learned who his real father is, the druid resettled her people who had been displaced by war, and Jif the Thousand Faced Hero, Slayer of the Leviathan, the Sixth Finger, King of all Orcs got his turn.
To help me make the adventure more about him he gave me some of his personal history and I then used how he played his character to extrapolate a culture from it.  Here is the history of Ugmund Ka, also known to the world as “Steel City”.

The Grey Devils
            The company known as the Grey Devils, was the power behind the throne in the orc city of Ugmud Ka, or as it is commonly known to outsiders, “Steel City”.  Pressing the orc population into a state of wage slavery, they built a trade empire emulating the style of the Coal Dwarves, mass producing cheap and interchangeable goods.
            While they could never match the market share of the Coal Dwarves they did grow wealthy off the exploitation of the orcs.
            Strangely, the Grey Devils are in many ways responsible for the second most defining feature of Orc culture on the continent, their shockingly over the top self-aggrandizing.  For decades the Grey Devils built an entire social order around the idea of bragging of one’s own accomplishments and personal honor… While sitting on top of that social order and allowing no social mobility what so ever.
Every Orc was the absolute best wage slave ever and would compete to produce more product than their coworkers, even as they were all paid the same hourly wage.

            When the legendary Orc craftsman, and now secular saint, Xoruk, discovered what has now been dubbed “The Riddle of Steel” allowing for the highest quality of steel manufacturing currently known, the Grey Devil’s social order turned against them.
Orcs previously taking pride in how many cheap swords they could quickly hammer out instead shifted back to emphasizing personal touches and craftsmanship.  Now that their weapons were made to last they needed to look good enough that people would want them around for much longer.

The Legacy of Xoruk and the Grey Devils
            The Devils were never able to unravel the Riddle of Steel.  Shortly after its discovery they faced a worker uprising and were forced out of the city by their own social order.  Orcs in a constant state of trying to out do one another pushed product quality to new heights and Orcs who were not craftsmen were now able to fan out as warriors with fantastic weapons.
            New crusades against mad cults and divine influences were stamped out and as those deeds spread so did the commercial opportunities.  Endorsements from Orcs like Randal the Savage, Pompous, and Macho sold more and more weapons but also an image of orc culture that was powerful, flashy, and loud.
            This has also given rise to a new Orc “Government”.  1-part meritocracy, 1-part carnival, and 2-parts caste system, Orcs everywhere participate to make the best stuff, tell the best stories, daring the best do, and generally being the best around, allowing no one to ever bring them down.  The mightiest warriors and the best craftsmen formed twisting alliances pointing to each other’s great works and endorsements as evidence of each other’s greatness.
The State of Things
            The Coal Dwarves have declared war on the city of Ugmud Ka.  Presumably this is to either learn the Riddle of Steel, or to simply destroy the city in hopes of rubbing out the competition in the manufacturing business.
            The Coal Dwarves are utilizing an army of crystal-men, marching out of their mountain fortresses and firing (an admittedly beautiful) barrage of lasers.

Inspirations and Uses
            As you can see, creating an entire culture of warriors that dress flamboyantly and never stop talking about how awesome they are could only resemble one thing, Professional Wrestling.  I also threw in some Karate Kid and Conan the Barbarian, because Jif was also a gladiator/barbarian and those fit well.
Making Jif into the reluctant face in a story was an interesting turn.  He had previously been a gladiator and right-hand hatchet man to a leader in the campaign.  Now he was being called out by another orc with a laundry list of titles and accomplishments to complete a heroic quest and be crowned High King.
            Andre, Hogan, and Duggen showed up at Jif’s door and told him that he was to gather up a team of adventurers (the party), go into the heart of the Coal Dwarves territory, and somehow defeat the invaders and their magical foes.  All the while an unseen rival orc was gathering up resources to commit the deed and claim the title himself.

"No one in this world can you trust..."
            This is a great example of how a player can give a DM a huge amount of material and together can create something new and fun.  He developed the names of the city, the Grey Devils, and Xoruk.  He came up with the ideas of the orcs making the best materials.  And thru his play style presented a race that is obsessed with titles and honors and not afraid to walk around wearing a garish magic crown that everyone just shrugs and says, “sure he is wearing that, he is an orc gladiator.”
            If you are a DM, don’t be afraid to let your players give you write ups for cities and cultures.  In fact, leave space on the map (or just off the map) for all this stuff to go.  Then add spins to them based on whether you think your player should be typical or oddball in his own culture or place of origin.  It adds a dimension to the creative process, and also saves the DM from having to build the ENTIRE world.

Other stuff
            I asked, and my player doesn’t have a twitter or blog to follow, but feel free to compliment him in the comments.
If you want to read more stuff by me, this week has been a good cross sample of the stuff I do on this blog.  I wrote a book review for the book “Ready Player One”, I wrote two quick movie reviews for “It” and “Blade Runner 2049”, and I did a re-write of a poem.  If you want more DnD stuff, I also continued on my rather ancient quest to write a character for every class/background combo in the Players’ Handbook.

            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter (click that link to follow me), Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

Friday, March 23, 2018

"Ready Player One" Book Review

Book Details
            “Ready Player One” is the inexplicable success from Earnest Cline.  Described as “Harry Potter for adults” mixed with “Willy Wonka” to the detriment of each of those stories, RP1 follows Wade, a poor orphan whose obsessive memorization of 1980’s cultural flotsam allows him to win a video game contest making him the richest person in the world.
            Along the way Wade recites things without wit or depth and acts like a creep.  This story makes the “Big Bang Theory” look like a high art love letter to intellectualism.

Review in Short
This is the first book I ever got a refund on for being so bad I not only disliked it but frequently said, "fuck off" while reading it.

Honestly, to me, this thing has no redeeming features.
I gave it a long time to get to the good parts I assumed must be in there based on its popularity. They never showed up.

            “Ready Player One” is what people claim to hate about “Family Guy”.  It is hollow references to things you like, and the reference to something you know makes you laugh, not because it is funny, but because the familiarity of it gives your brain a pleasant tickle.  It is the same reason children like “Blue’s Clues” having seen an episode a thousand times, they feel a sense of familiarity with the material and that makes them feel happy and safe.
            There are whole pages just listing movies and authors without insight or commentary.  What do I mean by “insight or commentary”?  What I mean to say is, when the author points to something, it is to say it is there, in the same way a tiny child points at a cow and says, “cow” and then will point to a barn and say, “cow” because he is not entirely clear what the word “cow” refers to but both of those things are in the picture book and one of them has to be it.
            That cow/barn thing was a joke, there aren’t any of those in “Ready Player One”.  Like I said, the book will point out something, but its significance to the character is skin deep.  The main character, Wade is shockingly well read and has seen dozens of movies but has the flattest personality of any protagonist in literary history.  It is hard to describe how boring he is.
            I am, in many ways, a traditional style nerd.  I have read a lot of comics, I play Dungeons and Dragons, and have read a lot of fantasy and science fiction books.  I have been around a lot of traditional style geeks in my life, and let me tell you something, NOTHING IS DULLER than listening to a nerd just tell you “of” his hobby.  Not “about” his hobby, “OF” his hobby.
            I respect that even if I do not understand the appeal of something, I like when my friends who are into it explain to me what it means to them.  WHAT IT IS ABOUT.  When my friend Amber (who designed my blog logo) told me that the anime “Made in Abyss” had left her emotionally wrecked and recommended it, I started watching it.  And when I made recommendations of it to other people I made sure to give them a quick synopsis of what I liked, “beautiful world that seems fun to explore, deep mythology, creative and intriguing concepts” (to keep it short).
It does have a bit of Japanese weirdness in it, but just enough to make you ask, "Why did they put that in there?"
            See how I just told you about a thing, what it meant to someone I know, and what I liked about it?  I can do that with other things.  I even make lists of things I like and take time to explain why I like them.  I put my thoughts out there for other people to reflect on and learn from.
            “READY PLAYER ONE” DOESN’T FUCKING DO ANY OF THAT!  It just lists things.  What they mean to people, what learning about them taught people, the emotional impact, the creative drives behind them, NONE OF THAT IS THERE.  It tells you “OF” its hobbies.  And its hobbies seem to consist of “knowing” about things, instead of “caring” about things.  The difference between quoting religious scripture (“of”) and being a good person (“about”).
Last year, when a white nationalist rally broke out into violence in Charlottesville I felt like shit.  I hated that the world was getting visibly worse as I looked on.  And when I wanted to talk about how I felt about the situation I talked about the cartoons and shows I watched as a kid and how they shaped me to care about other people and to value the differences that make us individuals.  I used pop culture as a lens to illuminate to my readers what I was feeling and why.
“Ready Player One” doesn’t do that.  And I am not sure if the author would even know how to do that.
The book is fucking boring.  There is an entire chapter in which the history of the “Sword Quest” video game series is explained.  This is foreshadowing for the rest of the book in which playing the game yields real loot.  It is the driest, most basic presentation of the information possible short of just straight reading the Wikipedia article.  I actually knew everything he talked about because I had watched a FUNNY mini-documentary by the Angry Video Game Nerd years prior… Except his documentary went into more detail and was fun to watch.

Couple More Complaints.
The writing is also bad on a technical level.  Unnecessary bits of explanation for things that do not need to be explained.  Sentences that lift right out for providing no useful information are fucking everywhere.  At one point he explains what a ticket is for.
The book is also creepy, like the character's behavior towards women comes off as the most hover-handing, "But you're a g-g-g-girl" dipshit personality I have seen in ages.  It is gross.
What is more I kind of thought that creepiness was just me reading it into the character, but NOPE, that shit is baked in.  Turns out the author wrote a poem… called “Nerd Porn Auteur” about how pornography with the kinds of women he likes aren’t popular.  It is the most MRA garbage thing I have read.  I would write something like this to MOCK twerps like this.
Hey look.  A pop culture reference that ties into what I am talking about.
One Last Thing
All this being said, I have a hard time believing the movie (which is what prompted me to try and fail to get thru this thing) could be anything other than an improvement on “Ready Player One”.  The film will be able to show everything the book listed, and a .1 second glance of something while the narrative keeps moving is better than stopping the narrative dead for pages at a time to read a list or Wikipedia entry at the audience.
Beyond that, Steven Spielberg is probably the best director ever.  He has worked on projects of every stripe and has managed to make the material resonate.  I mean, if I hadn’t tried the book the trailer would have sold me in an instant, not because of all the references, but because EDITING IS MAGICAL.  The pace that they keep up, the tone they are putting out there, the punch of it, feels like something.  I think Steven could wring something out of this.

"It's bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose."
-Hogarth Hughes, "The Iron Giant"
Or Steven could totally miss the point.  That is possible.  The idea that the material is presented skin deep, an image without thought or depth is rather consistent with internet culture.  Millions of vain entitled assholes who that coopt and image from pop culture that the like but seem to have no understanding of.
Monstrous little cretins that wear the skin of cartoon heroes because “they’re totally badass” without giving a thought to what the stories that made those characters great were about.

Last Words
I felt insulted reading this.
Maybe the movie won’t suck.

For Some More Discussion

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reviews for "It" and "Blade Runner 2049"

Stephen King’s "It" (2017)
I have talked about this movie a little bit in the context of other things, but I figured I can give another short review here.
This movie is great.  Well-paced, good visuals, and great acting.  “It” hits on its themes of sticking together and growing up really well.  I look forward to the sequel.
My mom saw a random flash of this thing as part of a movie montage and it spooked her.
Mission accomplished boys.
If I have one suggestion, they should have collapsed the characters of Ben and Mike.  There wasn’t enough time for 7 protagonists and looking over the cast and knowing where the story goes in the next movie, combining Ben and Mike into just Mike would have allowed the characters to have more time.
They kind of already did, apparently Mike was the history nerd in the book, not Ben.  What is more the burning body imagery is used for both of them, making the image kind of redundant.  I also think that Mike getting cut up by the bullies would also work to collapse the narrative a bit earlier and allow for the full group to be together for longer.  This would also allow some more time to be spent on Stanley, who I think gets the shortest end of the stick.
Mike is also a rather heroic character, fighting and defeating Henry Bowers in a tense scene.
I think the conflict with Bowers (AND THE RACE THING) should have gotten a bit more attention.
You know, I recall this common complaint by people saying, "why don't they tell each other about the clown? I would be telling everyone!"
Leaving aside the allegory of stranger-danger and child abuse... Listen assholes, people have a hard time talking about their mental health because it is super stigmatized. Do you think they are going to tell people they have been seeing a clown and shit?
To quote a popular song about suicide prevention I talked a bit about before, "Who can relate?! Woo!"

Blade Runner 2049” (2017)
            If this movie had been shorter (and let’s not kid ourselves, it could have been shorter) it would be one of my favorite movies ever.  “2049” is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL.  I consider the original SUPER overrated.
            If I do have a criticism about something other than the length, I don’t get the bad guy, Jared Leto’s plan.  He wants replicants that can reproduce so that he can make them faster to meet market demand?  Okay.  But how is breeding possibly faster than the current 3D printer model they are currently using?  Even if the 9-month gestation period is not an issue, you still end up with a baby at the end of that, not a fully-grown worker.

Basic visual metaphor: Have the guy with a twisted mindset have weird eyes.
Because his way of seeing the world is off.
Does it take longer than a decade to grow a full size replicant?  Even if it doesn’t, I have to imagine the memory programming cuts their training time by swaths.
In summation, the plan makes no sense.
Random complaints, the opening text to set the scene is too god damn small and has poor color contrast to the dark background.  That is a fail.  This movie comes off as strangely misogynistic at times, and I am not sure if that is a theme, it is punctuated with a particular supporting character’s death that I did not care for.  I think that makers have no actual memories of the original “Blade Runner” if they can describe Harrison Ford’s character as being good at his job without irony; he sucked, and to say otherwise is delusional.

It's not not-misogynistic.  You know, like the real world.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Poem, "The Truer Pantheism"

I did another rewrite of poetry.  This time it is much less intensive, just striping out gendered pronouns, and using slightly less archaic "Tho's".  This is taken from Lord Tennyson's "The Higher Pantheism", which I kind of think myself clever for the minor alterations.

The Truer Pantheism

The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills, the plains,
Are these not, the Soul, the Vision of They who reigns?

Is not the Vision They, though They be not that which They seem?
Dreams feel true while they last, do we not live in a dream?

Earth, the open sky, the weight of body and limb,
Are those not sign and symbol of our division from Them?

Dark is the world to you; truly you’re the reason why,
For are They not all but you, that hast power to feel "I am I"?

Glory about us, without us; and you fulfill your doom,
Making Them broken gleams, a stifled glory, leaving gloom.

Speak to Them, now, for They hear, and Spirit with Spirit can meet
Deeper are They than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.

It is law, say the wise; speak free, and let us rejoice,
For when They thunder by law the thunder is yet Their voice.

Law is Divine, say some; not Divine at all, says the fool,
For all we can see with our eyes is a straight staff bent in a pool;

The ear cannot hear, and the eye cannot see;
But if we could see and hear, this Vision, would it not Be?

Here is a related image from

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