Monday, February 28, 2011

Well, That Doesn't Seem Safe...

Well, That Doesn't Seem Safe...

I often look back to the toys of the 60's and wonder what the fuck were we thinking? Did we just not know or did the toy creators just not give a shit about what stuff they were putting in the hands of the future.

I mean, now a days we get a massive recall on a toy or glass if there's some traces of lead in it. I have a Growler jug that has a warning label under it that it contains lead in the paint and that it can be hazardous. This doesn't worry me so much as I'm not prone to licking the damn outside of the glass.

But it really makes you wonder about this toy from the past....

Now as awesome as it would be to work on an atomic lab in the luxury of my own home, I do have to wonder about the safety there. I mean, it did come with its own radioactive strands...

Though I'm sure the instruction manual really called for the up most safety and precaution to be had while using it, I'm sure...

Maybe it was just a product of the cold war. We were, after all, enticed by this whole atomic future. Even if we now consider it something so deadly that we wouldn't dare consider it for alternative energy source.

But maybe it was those eyes full of wonderment that caused us to push these stupid toys on the children of the past.

Otherwise I have no answer as to why they would put such deadly agents in the hands of our youth.

Really makes you think what will be considered hazardous in the future. Think about that the next time you're in the toy isle of your local Target or Walmart. Which toy is prominently placed on the shelf right for your kids to want that you're sure will be later discovered caused so much birth defects and other negative reactions.

Really makes you think... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reasons Our Kids Are Going To Hate Us

Reasons Our Kids Are Going To Hate Us

There's plenty of shitty things we are currently doing that will cause our children to really hate us. For one thing, they'll be thanking us for allowing the rain forest, you know, the world's largest air conditioner, to get all cut down. Now it's really fucking hot all the time and the animals are all dying around us.

Way to go, older generations. They're really going to hate us for just about everything. Especially for being a deadbeat dad who never loved them or spent time with them and some shit like that. So what are some of the things that our kids are going to hate us for?

Not blowing up the moon when we had the chance

Not allowing them to exist because I'm not a goddamn breeder

Smoking weed all the time but grounding them when I find their stash.

For not getting it legalized.

For making them Americans and liable for what generations in the past did to their present.

For losing the robot-human war. Thanks for getting us enslaved, DAD!

For cursing her with my horrible genes.

For choosing to work as a public educator instead of pursuing a higher-paying career

For putting embarrassing videos of them on youtube so her grandparents could see her more frequently.

Making sure their first words were "Death to America"

For our educational system.

Oh wait, no. I meant for allowing shitty people to run my country and not violently overthrowing them.

I mean, at this point, if you have kids who are under the age of five, they'd probably be better off if you put them to sleep. Especially after the shit of a mess we are making in the world. Or you could be one of those parents who is just really uncool and make them say Daaaaaaaad! all the time by doing something embarrassing.

I'm pretty sure that generations in the near future may very well condemn us for our environmental inaction and ongoing bigotry, but the real source of shame for our descendants will most certainly be the legacies of capitalism.

Fucking around on ipods like fools. I'm pretty sure that little johnny in the year 2100 will never know the horrors of the ipod. Though they may be singing along to the n'sync on the oldies station.

They're really going to hate us for burdening them with our enormous debt. Instead of spending, we should really cut back to save for OUR CHILDREN. Maybe I'm choosing not to have kids because I simply don't want to add the risk of fathering another white oppressor into the system.

Maybe the choice here is that I should have kids. Yes, that's right. I'm going to raise my son to be a hardcore conservative catholic and when he finally starts smoking pot and rebelling against my clearly asshole right wing mentality by becoming a stern atheist, I'm going to look straight into his eyes and say with a huge smile on my face, "Son, I couldn't be more proud of you"

He's totally going to be so fucking confused by that. But it needs to be done. It's one step below naming them Sue so they grow up strong.

Even worse, I'm just going to pass down this blog post. Yes, my son is going to sit my grandson down and tell them that this account was passed onto them by his grandfather and today, it gets passed on to them. Do with it what you will.

But seriously, when most people have kids something in their brains shuts down and all they can think about is the whole world wanting to do harm to their children and they think "Oh well, the TV says weed is 200x stronger than back when I was in college" and they vote "tough on crime" candidates into office simply to think about their children.

Even worse, can you just imagine seeing some stupid teenage kid in retarded future clothing and with a lame hair cut looking at your 15-year-old daughter and then remembering all the dumb shit you did when you were high? It really is enough to make people vote republican.

Another reason for not having children is probably because I don't think it's right to pass along my genes for addiction potential and susceptibility to mental illness. Or maybe the whole fact that I'll die without the touch of a woman due to said mental illness will make sure I never have a child.

Marriage is really a shame. Let alone parenthood. For the longest time I thought my parents had a good marriage. Up until I was in my mid 20's and my mom was all like "Yeah, we almost got divorced because we dislike each other" all nonchalantly to me one day.

The thought had crossed my mind but if it's all a charade they're keeping it up for a really long time, my sisters and I have all been out of the house going on at least ten years now.

If I do have kids, I'm really going to teach my kids Chinese and Hebrew. Just so he can better serve the new world order.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

X-Men: Staying Classy

X-Men: Staying Classy

So the prequel to the X-men franchise from Fox had its trailer released. Here, take a look..

At first glance it doesn't look terrible, which is in itself surprising given the whole notion that this was made in order to keep the X-men license to remain with Fox and not revert back to Marvel/Disney. It's a given that Paramount and Marvel seem to be a lot better team when it comes to treating characters a whole lot better while at the same time making better movies with the franchise.

Why did they decide to use Azazel? I'm fine with their other choices.. I guess, I don't care that Havok is there. But Azazel is a remnant of Chuck Austin and his run of X-men. I mean, what was the point with that choice? I can picture the conversation:
"We need a teleporter because that one scene in X2 is all I can think of for an action sequence. Who else on the wikipedia character page has teleport powers? *points to name* Put that guy in! He makes no logical sense to be in there and is a leftover from the absolute nadir of the franchise? Who cares, put him in!"
I realize they're going to use him as the "Wolverine"-ish character has sex with Mystique as a coy nod to Nightcrawler's origins. Which isn't terrible in itself, but every time I think of the guy, i think of that terrible story that introduced him and I want to just stab something.

At least McAvoy and Fassbender will likely be holding up a solid chunk of the film, and that means it should at least be worth a watch on TV or via rental. So yeah, the trailer was way better than i thought it would be. I'll probably see it on the lot now. Which is different than my view point on it before.

Though, you have to realize that while the trailer is decent, that doesn't mean much. A lot of bad movies have very good trailers made for them. May I remind you that this was the trailer for Wolverine Origins.

And this one was the trailer for X-men 3: The Last Stand

Other examples of this are clearly Matrix: Reloaded and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl had a really bad one. Fight Club looked like complete trash as well as How to train your dragon and dare I say it, Shrek looked pretty awesome.

So that's why I'm still reserved on this whole thing.

Trailers have a decent rate of conveying how awesome a movie is going to be, but there is a significant percentage that either disguises a total turd or make a good movie look awful. You really are better off holding your judgment until the reviews start coming in.

And with a comic book movie like X-men, you can expect the online community to be pretty vocal about either loving or hating it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Portlandia - Where Young People Go To Retire

Portlandia - Where Young People Go To Retire

So since it's fairly easy to miss, given that it is a show on IFC and well, who the hell even watches IFC? You should be made aware of Portlandia.

What is Portlandia? From IFC's website (they have a website?)
The 6-part IFC Original short-based comedy series PORTLANDIA, created, written by and starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (vocalist/guitarist, WILD FLAG, Sleater-Kinney), premieres on IFC Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM ET/PT. Each episode's character-based shorts draw viewers into "Portlandia," the creators' dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon.
"Portlandia" could best be described as a sketch comedy show with very thin plots running through each episode. The sketches generally poke fun at the anything-goes/hippy/absurdly politically active stereotypes (and probably reality) of Portland, OR. Characters include the militant bike courier, the lesbian owners of an independent feminist bookstore, an adult hide and seek league, the mayor who plays bass in a reggae band, and many others. The common thread is that they're all so dedicated to their idiosyncratic pet causes that they're oblivious to how absurd they look to the rest of the world.

Again, it's only a 6 part series on IFC, and tonight is the last night. Which is indeed easy to miss, I think is a shame that so many people have missed this since it is probably one of the better sketch comedy shows I've seen in some time.

Don't believe me? Here's the opening sketch of the series. Which is a pretty good introduction to the Portland mindset.

You'll get a sort of Flight of the Conchords vibe from the show. Which is pretty good because something needs to feel the void those New Zealander's left when they went away.

The show is pretty good most of the time. That's not to say that there's not duds in the mix. But guess what, that's going to happen with just about any sketch comedy show. I am just glad that there is a short sketch show out there that's actually about something with a backbone story arc laid in there throughout the episode and isn't just a vehicle for one edgy comedian.

Fun fact, the mayor's assistant in the episode where they visit the Mayor of Portland is the actual mayor of Portland.

As a person who visited Portland and would much like it to visit a couple more times at the very least, I found it very accurate. I mean, a lot of the stereotypes are just dead on. I recall the whole "Is it local" thing really being a big deal with other people when I went to get food and while dining in the city. I mean, that shit is really disturbingly accurate.

Most of all, while the show is mocking Portland's weird lifestyle, it does make you think, is this stuff really that bad? A place where the 00's never happened and everyone does what they want when they want and how they want... you know, it's starting to sound kind of appealing.

Maybe it's because I'm one of those who grew up consciously aware during the 90's and just about every thing that was said in that dream of the 90's song resonates with me.

It really doesn't sound bad at all. Hell, I wouldn't mind living there... Oh dear god, is this a sign that I want to go retire already? Maybe it's just that neo-hippies and eco0consciousness and things of that nature are easy to make fun of, but I can think of worse things than locally grown produce and flannel shirts to define a city by.

Just look at the south. The stereotypes there are generally of the hick variety. I'm sure that those stereotypes are worse than the ones about Portland. It's just that it's not bad, but just that they're funny to observe. Silly political ideals, environmental concerns and all that other stuff just seem comical.

Though I'm sure that if I ever did live there, it would be sort of like dating someone I wasn't really attracted to. It had a lot to offer, and it would be fun, but we were never meant for each other. Mostly due to the whole idea that after a while, I would get jaded and that smugness of feeling superior to everyone else for living my Portland ways would get the better of me.

I mean, the whole region is still cleaner, greener, and more tolerant of different lifestyles than anywhere else in the country, even if they had that whole era of outlawing black people from moving in... But still, white people are my kind of people. White strange people!

The best news? Portlandia Has Been Picked Up For a Second Season.
Pro: The new season will be 10 episodes.
Con: It won't air until next January.

I guess in the mean time between seasons we can watch some of the original sketches that the show is based on. So if you like sketch comedy or just enjoy laughing at hipsters and hippies, you really ought to check out this show.

Here's the official website. Go forth... dream of the 90's... cause it's alive in Portland.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Precious Moment In Our Nations History

A Precious Moment In Our Nations History

I know Presidents day was a couple of days ago, but I just want to look back at what we consider our nations most evil president. Nixon. And I would like to share with you what I consider a precious moment in our nations history.
WASHINGTON, May 9 President Nixon left the White House shortly before dawn this morning, drove to the Lincoln Memorial and spent an hour chatting with young people who had come to protest his war policies

I don't have the New York Times Archives, nor would I really ever want instant access to that shit, so that's all I can bring up now.

But doesn't this seem like a remarkable thing for a president to do? For all of Nixon's faults, his self-pity and his arrogance, I think it's safe to say that unlike the blissful ignorance of Reagan and Bush, he wrestled with a turbulent conscience.

Who can imagine a current President doing this? Having the balls to go down to a Washington memorial at 4 am and listen to the concerns of America's youth? It's easy to despair over what's happening to the US at the moment, but when I look back at something like this it reminds me that American democracy means something.

And maybe that perhaps no-one is beyond redemption.

I mean, this wasn't some sort of presidential photo op. This would be a tremendous criticism were there actually any photographs of this event.

In retrospect of all this, I think that I'd rather have Nixon be President-for-life than have any or all of the ensuing administrations. Hell, if having Nixon in office would have precluded Reagan from being president, that alone is worth it. Nixon hated Reagan and probably would have had him assassinated.

For being such an evil rat, Nixon was trying to convince congress to pass Universal Health Care long before Watergate. In fact, if Watergate never happened, Nixon would probably be in the top 5 of the greatest presidents and he would have won the election anyway if he didn't take part of watergate. What an error on his part.

He pushed forward in instituting affirmative action, pushing forward desegregation, and setting up OSHA.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Government Spending... PBS and NASCAR

Government Spending... PBS and NASCAR

So maybe you can guess who's trying to defund PBS and NPR... But if you can't, I'll give you a couple of clues. As seen in this New York Shitty Times article.
After two years of raging at President Obama’s spending plans, House Republican leaders have finally revealed their real vision of small government: tens of billions in ideologically driven cuts to job training, environmental protection, disease control, crime protection and dozens of other critical functions that only the government can perform.

The list would cut $2 billion from job training programs — precisely what is needed to help employ workers mismatched with the job market. It would cut $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is struggling to keep up with the growth of greenhouse gases. There would be significant cuts to legal assistance for the poor and renewable energy programs and an end to all spending for AmeriCorps, public broadcasting and high-speed rail.

The battle over the rest of the 2011 budget is only a prelude, of course, to the bigger fight about to begin over the 2012 budget. President Obama is scheduled to unveil his budget on Monday, and already he seems willing to feed the bottomless Republican hunger for cuts rather than fight them. An ominous early sign is his proposal to cut the low-income heating assistance program nearly in half to $2.57 billion. Administration officials say that energy prices have fallen, but, as Democratic lawmakers from the frostbitten Northeast have pointed out to him, there are many more unemployed people now.
And one from the Colorado Independent.
The Republican House majority put out a shocker of a budget Thursday that would slash spending by $32 billion in the next seven months. Among the glaringly ideological Republican targets are environmental protection programs and public broadcasting. The “war on Big Bird,” as some fans of PBS have called it, has a strong backer in Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, who this session has introduced two bills to zero out funds for public TV and radio.

Lamborn’s HR 68 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit federal funding for public broadcasting after fiscal year 2013. His H.R. 69 separately targets National Public Radio funding.

After Fox News launched a campaign to “defund” NPR in the fall, Lamborn appeared on the network several times and ratcheted up his rhetoric around the bill.

“You may have heard about the recent firing of NPR News Analyst Juan Williams and the $1.8 million donation by liberal activist George Soros to hire 100 NPR reporters,” Lamborn wrote to supporters in an October release. “These two actions make it clear that public broadcasting is a friend and protector of liberal issues and political correctness, at the expense of free speech and balanced news reporting.”

But really, none of this should come as a surprise. I mean, it's not like America's going to tackle its 13 trillion dollar debt by cutting a few of the only useful programs it has that make up a tiny fraction of the budget instead of the elephant in the room.. the Military.

I mean, why shouldn't we cut PBS and NPR funding and invest more money into army experience centers? Oh yeah, because they're pretty fucking disgusting.

One does need to ask if anyone actually watches PBS. I enjoy Nova and Nova Science Now. But who watches Charlie Rose anymore? NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW are the best science programs on TV. They're way better than anything you can find on cable television. If you watch an episode of History Detectives you will probably learn more history tan you will in an entire year of watching the History Channel. If you don't watch PBS frequently you're fooling yourself and you need to start watching soon.

Oh, don't tell me you're one of those parents who just doesn't want your kids watching a nude Katy Perry.

Which is funny because that's the only thing I'm going to let my kids watch. But unless you have kids with those educational muppets (who like to censor titta's) You probably don't flip on PBS.

Frontline is a pretty good series. Though I have to show this clip, because it shows how utterly awesome Mr. Rogers is in defending PBS' funding.

As for NPR, Marketplace is a great program. Besides that, NPR only gets about 15% of its funding from the federal government.

NPR/PRI distribute some pretty good stuff, from Radiolab to Left/Right/Center, Performance Today, Tell Me would be a pretty awful piece of symbolism and would basically say that the US has no interest in actively promoting discussion, dialouge, research, reporting, or cultural arts actively. A lot of NPR is liberal-mainstream crap, but unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere with 24/7 Democracy Now and Pacifica Radio...

But this shouldn't be some shocking revelation. It's generally the first things Republicans bring up every time they start talking about cutting the budget. I wonder if they want to cut the Endowment for the Arts this time as well? Oh, how I bet they do.

Generally people don't like funding things which do not promote their own worldview, go figure.

But perhaps this isn't the only thing we should take money away from to cut the budget. Last week a suggestion was laid on the table to stop sponsorship of the Army on NASCAR cars.

Bang for Buck Not an Issue to Congresswoman Seeking to Defund Army Sponsorship in NASCAR

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum is offering an amendment to the House's federal budget bill that would strip Army sponsorship of a NASCAR vehicle, saying that Republicans who want to tackle excess spending should look to the millions spent on racing.

But NASCAR backers say McCollum ignores the value of the dollar spent at NASCAR. According to Col. Derek W. Crotts, who manages the Army's NASCAR marketing and advertising program, nearly one-third -- 46,000 -- of the 150,000 leads Army recruiters get each year come from motorsports events.

McCollum's amendment, introduced Wednesday, would prevent the U.S. Army from spending $7 million on NASCAR and $5 million on drag racing in 2011 as well as millions more by the Air Force and Navy.

"Taxpayer-funded NASCAR race cars are an absurdity at a time when the Republican-Tea Party is cutting federal support for homeless veterans, law enforcement officers and firefighters. I know NASCAR fans are passionate and patriotic. This amendment gets the government out of NASCAR and gives them the opportunity to encourage the private sector to demonstrate its patriotism by donating a military sponsorship," McCollum said in a release.

McCollum, who appeared with Muppet characters at a press conference Wednesday to push for continued funding of public broadcasting, argued that too much money is being spent by the government on racing. She noted that the tax deal reached between Republicans and President Obama at the end of 2010 grave breaks to track and facilities owners to fund capital projects at a cost of $40 million.

She added that her amendment won the support of the Citizens Against Government Waste, whose president, Thomas Schatz, called the NASCAR funding "profligate government-funded programs that Americans do not need and taxpayers simply cannot afford."

But in terms of spending, supporters of NASCAR say the Army's sponsorship more than pays for itself.

Ryan Newman, who drives the U.S. Army car No. 39 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, issued a statement Wednesday telling fans to contact Congress to urge it continue paying for NASCAR participation.

"In a 2009 study among fans nationwide, 37 percent feel more positive about the Army due to its involvement in motorsports. Last year alone, the U.S. Army's motorsports programs generated more than 46,000 qualified leads, more than 1,300 pledges of support from key business and community leaders and more than 484 million media impressions (34 million of which offered specific Army recruiting messages)," he wrote.

Crotts told that attending motorsports events is more than just decorating a car with Army decals. The Army actively recruits by setting up displays similar to what would be seen at other industry trade shows so that potential recruits can see the vehicles and other equipment the Army employs on a daily basis.

He added that NASCAR is "an extremely effective element" of the Army Accession Command's effort.

"Youth surveys show that motorsports is a passion point for young Americans. It is critical that the Army use these passion points to communicate with prospects and their influencers. Motorsports is one of the few areas where both prospects and influencers share a high degree of interest. For more than a decade, these sponsorships have allowed us access to schools, venues and influencers that we have been unable to penetrate on the same scale through any other effort," he said.

The military and racing have been closely tied for years. The U.S. Army began its motorsports program in September 2000 when Congress directed the secretary of the Army to conduct a five-year outreach test. It was so successful, the Army expanded to NASCAR in 2003.

Drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and David Stremme and Jeff Gordon have all had sponsorship from the National Guard and Air National Guard. This season, dragster Tony Schumacher will Army sponsorship for his 11th year.
Yes, that's right. We spend 7 million a year to paint a yellow star on a brown car so that hicks can remember to enlist their excess male children to the armed forces. It's almost as if maybe congress shouldn't micromanage shit like this and should instead spend their time focusing on larger nationwide systems.

But this is just an obvious bone thrown to elitist liberal who dislike Nascar and the military, the latter not for its role in violently enforcing imperialism, but because it is a little too gauche. When it comes down to it, Nascar is simply about drinking beer and staying out int he sun for a really long time.

Just a reminder though, that a congress person is going after the army for spending money on Nascar and not for recruiting literally in high school.

But hey, it's not like they're trying to defund Planned Parenthood.... Oh fuck, say what?
Planned Parenthood Funding Is Caught in Budget Feud

Almost unnoticed in the wars over the federal budget has been a pitched battle over money for Planned Parenthood, which provides contraception, medical services and abortions at 800 clinics around the country.

For the last several weeks, those on opposite sides of a sharp cultural divide have engaged in dueling rallies, virtual conferences, online petitions and phone banks as crucial Congressional votes drew near. At stake is more than $75 million that Planned Parenthood receives to provide family planning assistance to low-income women, money that its opponents say only frees up funds for abortions.

Now, in a surprise step that has set off deep alarm among advocates for women’s health, the newly conservative House of Representatives has proposed cutting the entire $317 million program of aid for family planning, known as Title X, in a 2011 spending bill that is expected to pass by the weekend. A proposed amendment to the bill would also bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose.

The fight will shift to the Senate, where the Democrats retain a small majority. It is unlikely they will agree to cut all financing for Planned Parenthood, let alone the broader federal aid for contraception that serves five million low-income women, said Susan Cohen, director of governmental affairs for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization. But more legislation in the House aimed at Planned Parenthood is in the offing, putting the organization in its most precarious political spot in decades.

Why yes, please go back to not having say over how your body works so we can oppress you some more, typical low income women. This is just fucking so sad and we're only a month into this new congress. It's like the republicans are raiding America of the last vestiges of the great society it once was.

Oh course, you could always be like Kanye West and say something like "I never understood planned parenthood. Cause I never met nobody planned to be a parent in the hood" Oh boy, you're killing me, Kanye!

But just think, all those free STD testing, free antibiotics, free antivirals, free birth control... free health checks in general.. All gone. DAMN YOU, CONGRESS!

Then again, I wonder why I'm surprised. This is only middle America's "eat shit, sex havers!" position implemented in the real world. It's about time we had some democracy in this country, I say!

It's the will of the people... well, at least the will of those ignorant backwoods religious nuts.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comic World Suffers A Death That Wont Promote Sales

Comic World Suffers A Death That Wont Promote Sales

It's said that in the comic world death means very little. Oh how wrong that statement is. Today saw the shocking news that a great comic writer has passed away. Via Comic Book Resources:
CBR News has learned that comic writer, animation producer and respected industry veteran Dwayne McDuffie passed away. The cause of death and specific details are unknown at this time.

A native of Detroit, McDuffie officially joined the comics industry as part of Marvel Comics editorial in the late '80s. While working on special projects for the publisher, he quickly made his name as a writer creating series such as "Damage Control" and helping to redefine the Deathlok character to fan and critical acclaim. He soon left the staff to become a full time freelance writer, becoming a voice in the industry for diversity, particularly fighting against stereotypical portrayals of people of color on the comic book page.

In 1993, McDuffie co-founded Milestone Media along with creators Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle. The company's mission statement involved expanding the role of minorities in comics both on the page and off, and they launched (through DC Comics) a line of superheroes that included "Static," "Icon" and Xombi" – all of which McDuffie had a hand in creating.

Over the years, the writer contributed to scores of notable comic book launches and series, always with a keen eye on character, regardless of race. In 2000, his character, Static, made the leap totelevision in the Saturday morning cartoon "Static Shock." In 2003, an episode of the show dealing with gun violence earned the writer the Humanitas Prize.

In recent years, McDuffie pursued dual tracks in animation and comics writing. He served as story editor for the popular "Justice League Unlimited" animated series and wrote a number of DC's recent direct-to-DVD animated films. McDuffie had notable runs on comic series "Fantastic Four" and "Justice League of America," often incorporating Black characters into the core of the fabled franchises.

McDuffie's latest work was the script for the "All Star Superman" animated adaptation, which went on sale today in stores across America. CBR ran a lengthy interview with McDuffie about that project last week and caught up with him, looking in good health and acting jovial, last week at the Paley Center's Los Angeles premier for the film. McDuffie's last known public statement was a post to his Facebook page Sunday at 12:17 PM Pacific. He was scheduled to sign at Golden Apple Comics tomorrow evening as part of Reggie Hudlin's Reggie's World launch party.

The writer is survived by his wife, though at this point no further details are available on what exactly happened to McDuffie. The staff of Comic Book Resources offers our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
In an industry where comic deaths are used as a ploy to boost sales or to be shocking, I have to say, this news is most shocking of all. I've enjoyed his work throughout his run and though Milestone books were a great contribution to the industry, one that had very little in the way for the black readers. So much so that he wrote this internal memo...

It turns out that he apparently died due to complications from surgery he underwent last night. This is a huge loss for the industry as a whole and a loss for the comics and animation community.

I had very little atachment to Firestorm before his envolvment in it. You can forget Ronald Raymond, I never even enjoyed that character. But you put Jason Rusch in the role and McDuffie behind it and I was sold.

I loved his work on the Justice League (Unlimited) cartoon. He's got some good episodes:

Hereafter: My favorite JL cartoon. A group of villains seemingly 'kill' Superman, only to actually send him into the distant future. In this future, the only human alive is Vandal Savage, who successfully defeated a Superman-less Justice League, but only to destroy the rest of the world in the process. Savage is repentant for what he's now done, and he befriends Superman and attempts to send him back to the present.

The Once and Future Thing: Chronos is a flake from the time of Beyond Batman, who uses time travel to steal artifacts from history. When he uses it to steal things like one of Batman's belts from the satellite, Batman and John Stewart chase him down in the past (with Jonah Hex and friends) and the future (with Terry McGinnis and Warhawk, son of John Stewart and Shiera Hall). Notable scene is when time fuckery causes John to be replaced by Hal Jordan.

The Luthor/Brainiac saga: The end of the first season of JLU ended with a four episode story concerning Luthor's master plan. My favorite part of this entire series. We've got a lot of awesome Question moments, we have Supergirl and Steel defending a watchtower under siege, and we ultimately have Wally West coming of age and saving the world in one of the series' best moments.

Epilogue: The final episode of the first season of JLU actually serves as the 'epilogue' of the 'Diniverse' DCAU. Terry McGinnis confronts Amanda Waller, and learns who is real father is. A great Bruce Wayne moment is had as he confronts a dying Ace (of the Royal Flush Gang, not Bat-dog). Lots of great callbacks, including the old Gray Ghost B:TAS episode and the Mask of the Phantasm movie.

The Great Brain Robbery: The funniest episode of the series by far. Lex Luthor and Wally West have their minds switched, and hilarity ensues.

Lex-as-Flash is leaving the bathroom.
Dr Polaris: "Well?"
The Flash: "What?"
Dr Polaris "Aren't you going to wash your hands?"
The Flash: "No. ...'cause I'm EVIL!"

The Flash: Hmm... if nothing else, I can at least learn the Flash's secret identity.
[Lex unmasks and looks in the mirror, then frowns]
The Flash: I have no idea who this is.

He will be missed by the community, by his friends and family and the world is a little less entertaining today.

Rest in Peace.

Monday, February 21, 2011



What a perfect day to have this piece be the center of my blog post. It's President's day. That day we look back at the people

I do wonder why Obama is symbolically trampling on his favorite illegal socialist legislation in exactly the same manner as he tramples on the god-fearing bill of rights Amendments? Now, I'm not going to fully defend Obama here. If you read the constitution once or twice you'll maybe figure out that Obama is not stepping on it at all.

He even labeled all the little scraps of paper. I mean, that's gotta take some spergin' to do. Yes, the scraps of paper at the bottom are significant For you see, Obama is stomping on the constitution. It's really a case that Americans would literally tomb and embalm the founding fathers to worship them like Lenin if they could.

I have to wonder why the hell is FDR in Obama's side clapping? It's implying that he's one for unlimited spending on the backs of the tax payers. Never mind that he was actually spending a lot to pay for a war on two fronts. A JUST war, might I add, unlike Bush, who is clearly there for the "Every man" who decided to carry out an unjust war because they wouldn't let us put a pipeline in their backyard.

This really needed a revision like the one that got turned into a Cthulhu nightmare.

I mean, in all reality, this is just really a giant effort political cartoon done with nice paints.

Even the flag pole is on half mast! Ha! I also see Reagan in there telling the man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. That a boy, you ol' gipper. It's also amazing simply to see FDR stand. Miracles of miracles!

Though, I don't remember anymore, can anyone tell me how long it's been that Teddy has been on the right's shit list?
"Who is the Forgotten Man? He represents every man, woman and child of every color and creed who is an American."
Why yes.. the every man is a fucking white guy.

What he wrote for Bush may seem pretty factually correct though. But then you get to Obama and you can't help but hate everyone. I mean, there's only one black man in that picture and of course he's wiping his feet on the constitution. George W... Liberal hero indeed.

Bench: crafted by fine American craftsmen; it represents the process of capitalism and it is also the only thing holding up the forgotten man.

Leftist Counter Point: Bench was paid for by the government and it is sitting in a public park. He did label the stormy skies. I just wonder what's going on in the picture with the dialogue between the presidents.

JFK: hey, 'bama, knock that shit off bro
Bush Jr: yeah what he said dude
Nixon: *fierce death stare at negro president*

Maybe it's just a case that the forgotten man is just a grown up Justin Bieber. If you look close enough, you can tell that it's the first Doctor on the far left over there. On that note, how did everyone like Galiffrey One this past weekend?

Score One For The Gipper - Death To America

Score One For The Gipper - Death To America

Well finally, I say. America's greatest president is getting the recognition he deserves! On this President's day we get to see who America sees as the greatest president of all time...
Americans Say Reagan Is the Greatest U.S. President
Lincoln and Clinton next on the list; Washington fifth

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- Ahead of Presidents Day 2011, Americans are most likely to say Ronald Reagan was the nation's greatest president -- slightly ahead of Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton. Reagan, Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy has been at the top of this "greatest president" list each time this question has been asked in eight surveys over the last 12 years.

Presidents Day, celebrated on the third Monday of February each year, officially commemorates the Feb. 22 birthday of George Washington. The country's first president is not regarded by Americans as the nation's greatest president, however. Gallup's Feb. 2-5 update shows that Washington comes in fifth on the list, behind Reagan, Lincoln, Clinton, and Kennedy.

In the eight times Gallup has asked this same "greatest president" question over the last 12 years, one of three presidents -- Lincoln, Reagan, and Kennedy -- has topped the list each time. Reagan was the top vote getter in 2001, 2005, and now 2011. Lincoln won in 1999, in two 2003 surveys, and in 2007. Kennedy was on top in 2000, and tied with Lincoln in November 2003.

Americans as a group have a propensity to mention recent presidents, not surprising given that the average American constantly hears about and from presidents in office during their lifetime, and comparatively little about historical presidents long dead. Four of the five most recent presidents are in the top 10 greatest presidents list this year -- Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, and Reagan.

Reagan Tops Among Republicans, Clinton Among Democrats

Americans clearly evaluate presidents through partisan lenses -- with Democrats and Republicans each most likely to choose a greatest president within their own party. Republicans name Reagan substantially more than anyone else, followed by Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, and then George W. Bush. Democrats are most likely to say that Clinton was the greatest U.S. president, followed by Kennedy, Barack Obama, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Independents name Lincoln and then Reagan as top choices.

Roosevelt on Top 55 Years Ago

The results of a Gallup poll conducted some 55 years ago show how these rankings can change over time. In 1956, Gallup asked Americans to name the top three greatest presidents. The top vote getter at that time was Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only 11 years previously. Roosevelt was followed by Lincoln, Washington, and Dwight Eisenhower, the incumbent president at the time of that poll.


Americans' views on the topic of great presidents appear to have coalesced around three presidents: Lincoln, Reagan, and Kennedy. One of these three has been at the top of the list in each of eight surveys conducted since 1999.

This "greatest president" question is open-ended, meaning that respondents are asked to name a president off the top of their head. This type of measurement tends to increase the mention of recent presidents. Democrats, for example, are most likely to name Clinton -- the most recent Democratic president not currently in office -- as greatest. Republicans, in slightly different fashion, tend to skip over the two most recent Republican presidents, the two Bushes, and instead are most likely to choose Reagan.
god bless Americ...... Ah, what the fuck! I mean, really? Reagan? Not this shit again. Though, if anything this is yet another poll that has the results showing that Americans are idiots. Either that or propaganda works and I shouldn't be shocked by any of it.

He had all the faults and none of the virtues of the fascist: malice without frankness; cruelty without courage; pomp without dignity. And if all 285 million of you fools are willing to sit there and let the jerks lie about him to your face, then you deserve him. He really was your kind of man.

It just goes to show you that following him are Lincoln and Clinton. Washington doesn't come in till 5th? Ha! Ah yes, Obama and Clinto, clearly superior to Roosevelt to our dear friends the Liberal. Everyone knows that the last good president was Richard Nixon.

What? You think I'm crazy for bringing up that crook yet again? Oh, believe me, I do it every time Reagan is mentioned and for good reason. What makes Nixon a good president? Let's see:

-Saved America's environment by creating the environmental protection agency and clean air act while approving the most sweeping environmental legislation in history.

-Simultaneously reformed welfare and brought in serious new civil-rights laws and agencies for minorities, women, the handicapped and children.

-Proclaimed the first official U.S. Earth Day/Earth Week in 1971

-Totally reformed the government's relationship with Native Americans, bringing new self-determination and civil rights to U.S. tribes while saving such Indian natural wonders as Pyramid Lake - the tribe even renamed its capital "Nixon."

-Was even described as "the Abraham Lincoln of the Indian people."

-Loved those Chinese communists.

-Spent more on social programs than defense.

-Fathered screaming ex-socialist lunatic Mojo Nixon.

See! There you have it, hippies. Nixon was more liberal than Clinton.

In fact, both Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, America's greatest presidents, both were conquered by preening pretty boy morons after their first terms. Nixon was beaten by Kennedy, whose outstanding characteristic was that he was handsome. Carter was beaten by Reagan, whose outstanding characteristic was that people remembered him from the movie pictures.

During the televised debate between Nixon and JFK, Nixon was all sweaty and nervous looking while JFK was pretty smooth and precious looking. JFK was weasely and didn't give a shit about civil rights and was mainly concerned more with being a celebrity than being a political figure.

And then he died. Even if it's true that Nixon was one of the JFK conspirators, I actually hope that's true. JFK was total shit and if he had lived, we'd all see how awful of a president he really was. Oh wait, no. If you morons think Reagan is the best president, JFK getting us into worse problems than the bay of pigs would just cement him as an awesome prez.

So want to see what your dear favorite president was like? How about these:

10 Oct 1965 California gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Fresno Bee as saying: "We should declare war on North Vietnam... It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking strips on it, and be home by Christmas."
Damn. Well, I guess that is considered a foreign policy of some kind.

20 Oct 1965 California gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at the point of a bayonet, if necessary."
Well, isn't that good that he was for it.....
17 Jun 1966 California gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
I thought you just said you were for it!??
16 Oct 1967 Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I have a feeling that we are doing better in the (Vietnam) war than the people have been told."
We're doing swell in the jungle, we probably should have just bombed it till it was parking lot, huh?
15 May 1969 Regarding the ongoing student protests at UC Berkeley, California governor Ronald Reagan is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle as saying: "If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with."
..... Well then, nothing like shooting our own citizens, even if they are just protesting.
17 May 1976 Ronald Reagan tells Time magazine: "Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal. It was Mussolini's success in Italy, with his government-directed economy, that led the early New Dealers to say 'But Mussolini keeps the trains running on time.'"
And we elected him... How the fuck did that happen?
1979 Ronald Reagan: "The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA [and] charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted... The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees."
Where's the study, EPA? Where's the study!?!?
1980 During an interview with televangelist Jim Bakker on the PTL network, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan predicts that "We may be the generation that sees Armageddon."
Well duh. We have a person who is only half there with his finger on the button. This is like a sports team beating against themselves.
15 Feb 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Burlington Free Press as saying: "All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk." The claim is provably false.
Oh gipper, you so crazy.
14 Apr 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in Time magazine as saying: "History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20 percent of the people's income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government... When it reaches 25 percent, there comes an increase in lawlessness." The claim is provably false.
Besides, if they do get upset and start up some lawlessness, we could always shoot them protesters. Right?
21 Apr 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in Newsweek magazine as saying: "Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even eligible for the G.I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or anything." The claim is provably false.
Well then, what a dick! Hey folks, you technically didn't fight a war.. no benefits for you!
10 May 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying: "Trains are not any more energy efficient than the average automobile, with both getting about 48 passenger miles to the gallon." The claim is provably false.
I loved how he claimed that we should have just bought everyone a limo instead of investing in trains.
10 Sep 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in Sierra magazine as saying: "Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation. So let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emissions standards from man-made sources." The claim is provably false.

Oct 1980 Ronald Reagan is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: "Growing and decaying vegetation in this land are responsible for 93% of the oxides of nitrogen." The claim is provably false.
I mean, this man really hated his vegetables, didn't he?
20 Oct 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan is quoted in Time magazine as saying: "I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens. I'm not a scientist and I don't know the figures, but I have a suspicion that one little mountain out there, in these last several months, has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind." The claim is provably false.
And I guess mountains as well.
24 Oct 1980 During a nationally-televised campaign speech, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan declares: "Mr. Carter is acting as if he hasn't been in charge for the past three and a half years; as if someone else was responsible for the largest deficit in American history." (Carter's total deficit: $252 billion; Reagan's: $1.4 trillion)
And yet we don't give Carter ANY respect? Hell, Carter put up solar panels on the roof of the white house. Reagan's first move was to say "Mr. Roofer, TEAR DOWN THOSE PANELS!"
6 Mar 1981 Ronald Reagan's second press conference held, in which names of reporters are drawn out of a jellybean jar. Those not chosen (including Associated Press and two of the Big Three TV networks) mostly boycott the conference in disgust.
The man sure loved his fucking Jellybeans.
23 Nov 1981 After President Reagan vetoes an emergency spending bill which would have prevented a shutdown of the federal government, House Speaker Tip O'Neill tells a reporter: "He knows less about the budget than any president in my lifetime. He can't even carry on a conversation about the budget. It's an absolute and utter disgrace."
Pretty much sums his experience up there.
May 1982 President Ronald Reagan declares: "In England, if a criminal carried a gun, even though he didn't use it, he was tried for first-degree murder and hung if he was found guilty."

7 Mar 1983 President Ronald Reagan tells a group of ultraconservatives that "this country is compelled by scripture and the Lord Jesus Christ to oppose Russia with all military and political means."
How the hell did this man win with the gun nuts in this country? I mean, seriously. Yeah, thank goodness we're not in England. Otherwise we wouldn't have won the revolution if we maintained their laws.
21 Sep 1983 Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, describes his staff's racial diversity to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "We have every mixture you can have. I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent." Watt is forced to resign 18 days later over these comments.
The cripple he was referring to was Reagan.
31 Jan 1984 President Ronald Reagan tells Good Morning America: "What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice."
Yeah, they sleep their by choice. Mainly because you kicked them out of the mental hospitals and wards by closing them all down.
30 Apr 1984 When a student at Shanghai's University of Fudan asks which life experiences best prepared him for being President of the United States, Ronald Reagan replies: "You'd be surprised how much being a good actor pays off."
Yes, act like you're one of them. Fool them some more.
17 Feb 1987 Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev reveals Reagan's preoccupation with space aliens: "At our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion. I shall not dispute the hypothesis, though I think it's early yet to worry about such an intrusion..."
Star Wars program finally explained. Either that or we could blame Lucas for this waste of tax dollars.
May 1987 According to his authorized biography (published in 2000), Reagan wonders aloud about the AIDS pandemic: "Maybe the Lord brought down this plague... [because] illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments." [Dutch, p. 458]
And since the lord brought down this plague, it's every reason for Reagan NOT to do shit about the epidemic
15 Sep 1987 During a luncheon with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnatze in the White House, President Reagan once again wondered what would happen if the Earth were under attack from an external threat: "Don't you think the United States and the Soviet Union would be together?"
Soon after, he brought down the Russian bastards. I guess he figured he could take those alien fuckers out himself.
4 May 1988 During a question-and-answer session in Chicago, President Reagan revisits his 'invaders from space' notion: "I've often wondered, what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by an outer -- a power from outer space, from another planet. Wouldn't we all of a sudden find that we didn't have any differences between us at all, we were all human beings, citizens of the world, and wouldn't we come together to fight that particular threat?"
Reagan really was pretty hardcore about these Aliens, wasn't he? I guess it would give conspiracy theorist something to run with if it wasn't for the fact that Reagan was mentally checked out.

But maybe all this does show that Reagan was clearly a great president whether I agree with his policies or not. I mean, the function of the American president isn't "good policy" or sound thinking, it's the ability to absorb, reflect and materialize the character of the people. To be their representative to the world. And lord knows Americans as a whole are generally fucking stupid.

Over all he made people feel good about themselves, optimistic and free about the shitty times happening around him. The results of polls like this just speak for themselves in terms of the view point of the people.

Maybe it's just that I need to stop giving a fuck about the opinion held by the US-American population. Maybe then I'll be a happier person for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On This Presidents Day, Let's Listen To Our Founding Fathers

On This Presidents Day Weekend, Let's Listen To Our Founding Fathers

Hey, Tomorrow is President's day. Now I may be tempted to go to Reagan's library and take a massive piss on, but for some reason everyone keeps on saying that we should not only respect our presidents, but we should look to our founding father's for their wise words..
Hendrick Hertzberg, New Yorker - [Alexander] Hamilton hated—hated—the compromise under which the Constitutional Convention was blackmailed into giving every state the same number of senators regardless of population. . .

But it wasn’t just the future Federalist party stalwart Hamilton who hated the two-senators-per-state provision. The future Democratic-Republican party boss Madison hated it, too. At the time, the infant nation’s most populous state had around twelve times as many people as its least populous. To Madison and Hamilton, the idea that one citizen should have twelve times as much representation in the Senate as another citizen, simply because they lived in different places, was self-evidently offensive and absurd. (Two hundred and twenty years later, the absurdity is five and a half times worse: a Wyoming voter gets sixty-eight times more representation in the Senate than a Californian.)

Hamilton and Madison (Washington, too, by the way; I’m not sure about Jay) strongly favored what was then called “proportional representation.“ (Modern P.R., under which legislative seats are distributed roughly in line with aggregate party shares of the vote, hadn’t been invented yet.) Obama-like, they forced themselves to pay what they knew was a corrupt and immoral price in order to get a barely acceptable deal—which deal they sold, Obama-like, as a fine, public-spirited solution.. .
Why yes, we should abolish the senate. Let's realize that the constitution can be discarded or revised. Or wait, is it going to be one of those things where the last white American will die clutching a copy of the one true constitution?

You know what, I'll be there with my boot on their face. I mean, the filibuster is the dumbest goddamn thing and it's glorification in Mr. Smith goes to Washington has distorted everyone's thinking about it.

The republicans skipped over the bit about slaves being 3/5 of a person when reading the constitution in congress a bit back.

Though I have heard rumors that if you read the first amendment out loud in front of a mirror thirteen times, uncle Sam comes out of the mirror and demands you join the army. Historians hurt themselves laughing because the political ideology of the founders was more or less incomprehensible and confused as shit when seen in a modern frame and people constantly try to anachronism them into shit like this.

Jefferson: Why yes, Government ought do nothing but essential tasks like defense and education, except when I need to buy Louisiana. Why yes, let's disband the Army and Navy. Both politicians and the press are evil. Murder all Tories. Let us have a democratic political culture that dismays the elites. Dismantle the Congregational Church of New England. Physiocracy is the only way to wealth. Pay no attention to the slave quarters. Death to bankers and capitalists.

Modern Republicans: It's morning again in America -Thomas Jefferson

You know, the founders got to live in an awesome time when anybody seemed cool as long as they weren't a monarchist. Even if basing an ideology on the writings and actions of American politics in 1787 is as good of an idea as basing one on American politicians in 2011.

Jefferson obviously bought Louisiana because the whole "nation of independent yeoman farmers" held precedent to him over "Small government" An actual Jeffersonian society would be a relatively just one, too bad in reality it was built on the mass graves of Indians by millions of black slaves, and them rapidly co-opted by the industrial revolution and capitalism.

The US Congress, an institution full of the scum that floats to the top in American politics, did not faithfully discuss the blacks were considered subhuman by Our Founding Fathers.

The South is generally awful for having owned slaves, though it's sort of ironic or at least comical if you ever see me put on a cotton sweater. In fact, it's sort of comical that we're approaching St. Patty's day, which should be a reminder that at one point black slaves were considered more valuable than the Irish. And yet everyone wants to be Irish on a day in March.

They may not have been in fields, but the Irish had to crawl around down in mines in spaces about as big as a sock drawer. While the slaves simply had to work in the fields. I guess the Irish didn't have it the worse because they weren't bred like Cattle.

But anyway, moving on to a founding father who wasn't all about owning slaves, Hamilton was correct about just about everything and was the best founding father. The central bank owned, proportional representation is pretty cool, the south sucks, Aaron Burr was a dipshit. If you're going to make a bourgeois republic you might as well do it right and Hamilton should have been the first president.

Hamilton Fucking Owned, Federalism Forever. Of any of our founding father's, Hamilton is the most responsible for modern American capitalism. So maybe I can't love him too much. Jefferson was probably the greatest enemy to capitalism in American history. I mean, we already went over the whole slave thing. He was one of those. Capitalism is revolutionary compared to Jefferson's economic vision. Especially with Agrarian Justice.

On a final note, realize that the other founders kept Paine away from any political power after the revolution and didn't lift a finger to help him after he was arrested in revolutionary France. Well, I guess that's not entirely true. Jefferson did probably pay to have Paine taken out of prison before he was to be executed, and put him on a ship back to the US, letting him stay in a tiny non-completed white house until a political lynch mob was at the door demanding that the "atheistic Paine be divorced from the American state.

Yeah.. god bless America.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Woah Woah Woha... Radiohead!

Woah Woah Woha... Radiohead!

So as you read the last post... which I'm pretty sure you haven't, cause hey, who reads my blog anyway? But anyhow, here I was thinking - New Radiohead tomorrow... Nope!
With everything ready on their website, the band decided to bring forward the release by a day rather than wait until the planned date of Saturday, Feb 19 to deliver the music
Mind.fucking.blown! Especially after the release of the first single from the album popped up.

Can I just say it now, No one who isn't named Thom Yorke is going to be able to pull off wearing a hat like that, so don't even think about trying, okay.

But yeah, that song is already stuck in my head. The melody anyways. It also sounds like nothing from In Rainbows. If anything, it sort of has a solo Thom track than anything else, but you have to admit that the video is hilarious to look at him dancing so him-like.

The album is pretty much The Eraser bumped up a couple of notches. Though I'm sure many people aren't going to like it on their first listen to it. Like this douche who just wanted to be the first one to review King Limbs

I'm really going to sound like a Radiohead junkie here, but this whole review is stupid. It opens up with a barely-disguised rant about how Thom Yorke is insensitive about journalist deadlines. He then vaguely accuses them of being pretentious on the whole. The rest of the review is a mess of contradictions, he can't seem to sort out whether he objects to the band not drastically inventing itself or passing too far into abstract electronics. Just shut up already, man.

It's fucking stupid to review an album so soon, you know, within hours after its release. Especially one as complex as the latest pile of Radiohead riddles. It's simple to point out that this album is very different from any of there other ones. It's obsessed with subtlety. Little guitars parts barely being played, instruments slightly out of tune, soft gentle exactness with the brass in codex.

It really comes down to the Guardian guy just really wanted to be the first to have a review out and in the absence of giving it a decent listen, he decided to dump platitudes instead.

Remember when people didn't like Kid A because "Where are the guitars?!?!" They feared it because it was different. Basically what I'm saying here is first impressions of a Radiohead album are essentially worthless. Give the album a good four or five listens and you'll fall in love with them.

Also, those of you asking when will this be on iTunes. It will be there almost immediately in fact! All you have to do is buy it on the King of Limbs website and drag the files into iTunes. Why the fuck do you need to buy it on iTunes you apple sheeple! What the fuck, go to Radiohead's site and buy it there. How much work is that?

And for those of you complaining about an 8 track cd, it's not really that much shorter than all the rest of the albums. Take a look at the time run down of the others.

Pablo Honey: 46 min
The Bends: 49 minutes
OK Computer: 53 minutes
Kid A: 47 min
Amnesiac: 44 min
Hail to the Thief: 57 min
In Rainbows: 43 min
King of Limbs: 38 min

So, their shortest one, but only by 5 minutes. Even so, I still loved it so much and have listened through at least four or five times now. I seriously can't wait for them to tour.

Friday, February 18, 2011

But Did You Get Radiohead?

But Did You Get Radiohead?

You know, Valentine's day wasn't so bad this year. Mainly because that's the day I found out about a new Radiohead that was going to be released online tomorrow, the 19th.

The new album, "The King of Limbs" will be up for download and you can purchase a "Newspaper album" edition that will show up in May that includes a CD, artwork, WAVs, and vinyl.

Thom getting ready to upload the album

Newspaper Album version:

Radiohead's new record, The King Of Limbs, is presented here as the world's first* Newspaper Album, comprising:

* Two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
* A compact disc.
* Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
* The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
* The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011.
* Shipping is included in the prices shown.
* One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.

Download Version:

* MP3 version is a 320K constant bit rate file.
* WAV version is a full CD quality uncompressed digital audio file.
* This digital download is compatible with all good digital media players.
* One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.

(You can choose MP3 or the slightly more expensive WAV.)

Both are available at

Retail Version:

"The King Of Limbs" in stores on 12"/CD via XL (Europe) & Hostess (Japan/Asia) on March 28th

Here's the cover art

For those who are saying that the cover art doesn't feel like "Radiohead", but if you bought the "unsuitable greeting carts" that Radiohead sold during the Amnesiac tour, this album cover is actually quite in line with that style. And if you don't remember them, here's a walk down memory lane.

From The Guardian:
Radiohead have made the surprise announcement that they will release their new album this Saturday (19 February). In a message posted today on their website, the band provided fans with details of how they can purchase their eighth studio album, The King of Limbs.

The release recalls the way in which their last album, In Rainbows, was delivered in 2007. Then, the band offered fans a chance to pay whatever they wanted to download the LP as part of a bold experiment. Now, the Oxford five-piece are offering "the world's first newspaper album". This comprises a CD copy of The King of Limbs and a number of collectable extras, including "two clear 10in vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve, many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradable plastic to hold it all together".

This time, however, the "honesty box" scheme of In Rainbows has been dropped and fans can expect to pay £30 for the newspaper package, available in May. A cheaper option is available – £6 for a downloadable version of the album to be made available this weekend.

Little is known about the band's new material, with Radiohead drummer Phil Selway saying last September that they were working through 18 months' worth of material but the album was "up in the air". Previously, rehearsals had been described as "noisy and chaotic" by bassist Colin Greenwood, who also said they were once again working with producer Nigel Godrich.

The King of Limbs will be released on Saturday 19 February 2011.

All I have to say is that they better tour the shit out of this album. I mean, seriously.. I want to see them at the Hollywood Bowl again. The three shows I've seen them there have been mind blowing amazing.

So yes, today is an alright day, but that's because it's the eve of tomorrow! I placed my order and surrendered my limbs to the king, baby.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things You Should Have Learned But Didn't

Things You Should Have Learned But Didn't

Here's some random factoids that you could use along the way in this crazy little thing called life:

-The expiration date on your average egg carton is complete bullshit. It's at the very least two months shy of when they'll actually go kept in your fridge. Hell, when you get them from a store, they're already over a month old on their travels to your breakfast table.

In the fridge I have never had an egg go bad on me for as long as I could recall. A simple way to tell if your eggs have gone bad is to smell them once you crack them open. If you don't want to go through that hardship you could always put them in a container of cold water and see if they float. If they do, then they should be thrown out. Why is this? Well when they're bad they'll start to smell like Sulfur gas and that's just nasty smelling.

Also, while you're generally not suppose to eat mold, most bread mold is not going to kill you. It's the one that gave us penicillin. Which when you think about it, actually helps you out a little. It also helps your Brie and Camembert cheese get that nice crust going. So don't sweat it if you happen to eat some of it. Here's some USDA facts about mold on foods.

As you can tell, the biggest thing you have to worry about is death. Although, so far there's no known treatment for death's crippling effect, still everyone can acquaint themselves with the three early warning signs of death:

1. rigor mortise
2. a rotting smell
3. occasional drowsiness

Please do not drive or operate heavy machinery while dead. Death may cause complications in pregnant or nursing women. Every case of death is unique. Please consult your physician before dying.

On that related note of stench of death. If you ever get some packaged meat from trader joe's, you'd probably would have noticed the smell.. a really bad one, coming from your future meal. I'm not sure the exact science behind it, but it's due to the fact that it's grass fed. Grassfed beef smells odd if you're used to normal cows that is fed on corn and rotten gummy bears.

Or it could simply be because the air-tight packaging, which prevents the gases caused by the aging process from escaping. Other stores generally remove the beef from the cryovac and repackage it before selling it to you, there for sparing you from the initial burst of fragrance. So you probably should just only worry if your steak or other beef continues to smell like that after you've left it on the counter to come to room temperature.

Oh yeah, 100% Vegetarian fed just means that the corn at the feedlot wasn't cut with leftovers from the slaughterhouse like it was back before the mad cow scares.

Moving on, it's okay to leave your pizza out on the counter overnight. I always seem to do it since the box is always way too fucking big for the fridge no matter how you configure it.

Besides, the worse that can possibly happen is that you die. Okay, wait. perhaps that's really bad. Maybe you shouldn't eat it after all. In general there's just a couple of really important tricks to learn.

It's all good, really. Just follow these simple rules and you shouldn't die whenever faced with the question of if you should/could eat it.

Smell it. You'll know if it's gone bad.
Check the expiration date. If it is within it, you are good.
After two days, don't trust seafood. Especially mussels.
Give most leftovers a week max in the fridge.
Don't trust things you forget to fridge unless it's only an hour or two.

You also don't need to refrigerate things like Ketchup, Hot sauce, cock tail sauce and all of that other stuff that's heavily based on vinegar. The reason that you were trained to do so is that Heinz says so. They suggest you do so because the fridge door is the most opened door in your household, and they want you to see their product every time you open it. But think about it, restaurants don't keep ketchup refrigerated. Why should you?

I bet you guys wear condoms and look both ways before crossing too

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

U.S. Government To Citizens: Eat a Fucking Vegatable

U.S. Government To Citizens: Eat a Fucking Vegetable

It looks like the federal government is in the business of telling you that you're fucking fat and you need to lay off the big macs already.
As the nation’s obesity crisis continues unabated, federal regulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.

More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, “Enjoy your food, but eat less.” Many Americans eat too many calories every day, expanding their waistlines and imperiling their health.

Robert C. Post, deputy director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the Agriculture Department, said regulators hoped simple messages would resonate better than the more technical prose of the past.
Ha! I just have to wonder if the teabaggers are going to read this and decide they need to defy "that damn gubmint!!" and stuff their faces even more.

"Don't tread on me!"

The last time the American people got told to grow the fuck up and control their consumption, the backlash launched Reagan into power. So it's pretty clear that Americans will eat themselves to a slow uninsured death in a gutter somewhere rather than make ideological concession to government control. More so, than even greed, spite is the motivating force of America.

Some people just have problems understanding how much food is required for life and the government will probably have to assign everyone an exact food quota that going over is punishable by law before people are mindful of their eating habits (or really anything about their lives, Americans are not very mindful).

But then again, maybe calories aren't the issue here though. When you eat out often, the portions served are so god damn ridiculously large. I always tell people, let's all just split our food or order fewer meals than people because each plate has got to be at least two or three serving sizes. But no, people are all afraid of cooties or some shit and never want to do it.

Quantity is a really bad way to judge your consumption of calories, fats, carbs and the like. If you reform your diet then you might actually be increasing the quantity consumed while decreasing your caloric intake. Not to mention that a diet that is not so unbelievably high in sugar and carbs will also result in people tending to eat what they need instead of until excess. It's bascially eating more, but eating better. Never drink anything but water and go to the gym a couple of times a week.

Maybe I'm just projecting, as I clearly got a bit chubby over the winter and it's bumming me out. I seriously have to do something about it as it's making me feel dirty to be this.. um.. not myself.

I do believe that the American obesity epidemic is a direct consequence of the mid-west maize-petroleum symbiotic. Which is a creation of capital intended to provide the raw material for calorie dense foods (cheaper to transport, stock, etc.), which is a policy pursued to keep the cost of living for the lower classes down and thereby increase the relative surplus value extracted in exploitation. It's a terrifying confluence of the logic of capital and oil's insidious war machines. Kind of like Afghanistan.

We really should ban HFC's as it makes it east to create the problem that 100% of the American diet gets composed of corn in various degrees of processing. I bet you don't even realize how much corn you are consuming on a daily basis. There's corn in the meat, corn in some of the bottled water. Shit, you're putting corn products on you body left and right.

People are going to McDonalds and constructing an entire disgusting meal entirely out of the dollar menu items at least four or five times a week. The government is right.. Eat a fucking vegetable for fucks sake!

Oddly enough, the onion beat the real news to this by about a week or two...

It's real sad when the onion swoops in for a story before the regular media does.

Why is it that everyone in America is insistent on protecting the rights of children to destroy their bodies before they are capable of realizing what they are doing? Obese parents probably shouldn't be allowed to have children because they obviously can't take care of themselves, let alone children.

Makes you wonder if we had universal health care, the government would probably encourage obesity. Since that way it would cost less to provide care for them as they would be dying off a lot sooner.

The whole American relationship to food is really pretty strange given that most of our food at this point is more drug than nutrition. Go ahead and look at the back of a package of your favorite snack and check out the ratio of dopamine action vs nutrition gained.

Do I even need to point you towards This Is Why You're Fat?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is Skynet for a thousand, Trebeck

What is Skynet for a thousand, Trebeck

Well, I for one welcome our new computer overlords. For you see, a giant computer named Watson will begin to answer questions at a geometric rate. It will become self-aware at 7:23 PM Eastern time, February 15th during double jeopardy!. In a panic, they will try to pull the plug..

They will fail.

I know this because it's already happened in my time stream.

Here is your story. Here is your future....

What's going on here, exactly?

Remember when IBM made a bunch of advances in AI technology, turned them into a chess-playing computer named Deep Blue, and publicly played Grandmaster Garry Kasparov to show off just how good their machines were?

This is like that, except now IBM is showing off advances in machine learning and human language parsing, and challenging two of Jeopardy!'s all time great players, Ken "I Lost On Purpose Just Out Of Boredom" Jennings and Brad "I Won Millions Beating That Ken Guy" Rutter, to a match against their newest supermachine, Watson.

How is this fair at all? Computers should have an easy time of Jeopardy!, right?

Wrong. Very wrong. Human language has a lot of nuance to it, which computers have a very difficult time handling. There's a reason voice activated systems rely on key words instead of full-on sentences. IBM is trying to prove that they've gotten closer to solving that problem using Watson.

Jeopardy! questions involve wordplay, a roundabout method of asking questions (remember, they're answers, not questions!) and a very large required knowledge base. Watson is a pretty impressive beast to be able to handle it. Among other things:

  • It uses over 450 algorithms that process the same question and produce answers; Watson produces an answer based on analyzing the answers that it's produced. During the practice round (linked below), it published the three most likely answers and the percentages with which it was confident in them; it remains to be seen if that will hold during the show.
  • Along those lines, during the practice round it seemed fully aware of various Jeopardy! question gimmicks: On one category where all of the answers followed the format M____ C____, Watson's possible answers all followed that general appearance, even when the second and third choices made absolutely no sense; it was still at least aware of the format the answers should follow.
  • It runs on 90 IBM Power750 servers, totalling 2880 processor cores and 16 Terabytes of RAM. By comparison, most people's home computers don't go over 4 cores (with most having 2 or 1) and if you have 4 GB of RAM in your computer, 16 Terabytes is 4096 times as much RAM.
  • This hasn't been a flash in the pan; Watson took over 5 years to develop; when it initially was tested, it took twice as long to buzz in as top Jeopardy players, and only got 15% of its answers right (compared to 95% for top players). This challenge was proposed more than once, with Jeopardy! accepting it in 2008.

Well that's all well and good, but how the hell is this going to work against human players?

The first change made to the game is that there will be no audio or video clues; all questions will be stritcly text-based. Watson will be fed the questions electronically (Notably, it will NOT be hearing them from Alex).

All players on Jeopardy! have a button they hit to buzz in; considering an electrical signal would travel faster than any human finger, Watson is not directly wired into the buzzers; it instead has a rig set up where it physically presses a buzzer identical to that the Jeopardy! players use.

For each question, Watson runs its DeepQA software and comes up with an answer; it is still subject to the same buzz-in rules that the human players are; notably, it cannot buzz in until Alex is finished asking the question, or else it's locked out for a half second once he does finish talking.

Watson answers questions and selects categories using a computerized voice, and is represented behind the podium by an HDTV turned vertical with a fancy globe on it.

Otherwise, this will just be two normal games of Jeopardy!. To prove it, sort of, IBM even held a public, 15-question trial run against Ken and Brad a while back; it's located here for your viewing pleasure.

What is the format, and what are the stakes?

The format is going to be a two-match series, similar to how Jeopardy! ends their tournaments, with the scores from both games being added together to determine the winner.

The stakes are:

1st place wins $1,000,000.
2nd place wins $300,000.
3rd place wins $200,000.

IBM has pledged to donate all of whatever Watson wins to charity, while Ken and Brad have pledged to donate half of what they win.

Where can I read more about this?

IBM has an entire area of their website located here that has all sorts of information about how Watson works and what Watson means for their future work.

The New York Times, as well, wrote a really good article about Watson (click!), and this picture they included provides a nice pictorial way of seeing how Watson works.

NOVA also did a special on Watson, which is available for free streaming here. (Thanks, the-jam!)

If that seems a bit much, I'll admit that much of the information in here was sourced from *gasp* Wikipedia, which provides a much more concise breakdown of the history and workings of Watson.

Where and when can I watch this?

It's today, tomorrow, and Wednesday! Hurry up and check your local listings! Since Jeopardy! is syndicated, it airs at different times on different channels. Jeopardy's website has a neat little tool you can use to find out when it airs in your area.

The first part of this three part'er held yesterday was pretty scary. The first half of the episode had Watson owning the fleshy stupid humans. It was only in the second half that it seemed like it was giving them a chance. But once Trebeck mocked Watson by scolding him that Ken already said an incorrect answer of "1920's", then it came back into the game.

Watson had the strategy of just fucking with the other players. Even though Trebeck has stated in the past that he hates it when people don't start with the lowest dollar amount, Watson was going for the 800 and 1000 dollar questions early.

Trebeck has mentioned this pet peeve in the past because by starting with the lowest amount first, it is and makes the rest of the questions a lot easier to stay focused on one category.

I guess the only downside to this is that they sure seem to be using a lot of footage from that Nova science segment that I saw last week on Watson. I already seen this, man. I don't want to see it again. One half hour for only one round of Jeopardy! seemed like a major stretching of a novelty gimmick.

I want to see the robot crush the humans, damn it! But damn, watching Ken with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. Watson wouldn't stop, it would never leave him. It would never hurt him or shout at him or get drunk and hit him or say it was too busy to spend time with him. And it would die to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers that came over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only thing that measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.