I'll come up with something in a minute.

Batman

This article (opinion piece really) states perfectly the problem I had with Batman Begins, i.e. the third act destroyed all the good will the first two acts built up. Although I will say that I had many problems during the first two acts as well. Pretty much once Katie Holmes gets shown the factory in the bowels of Arkham, nothing goes right from that point on. Which was a shame really, because they’d come so close just to screw it up so badly at the end. I think many people forgave Begins huge faults because there were no nipples on the Batsuit.

Also, I agree with the author that I would love to see Batman get away from the mopey Goth routine for a while. He’s been doing it off and on for 30 years now* in both comics and movies and it’s getting kinda stale.

However! If at some point during The Dark Knight some on asked “What are you?” and bats responds “Are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I’m the goddamn Batman!” then all will be forgiven.

*There was that horrifying period where he was clearly into LSD and whip-its though. May the days of Joel Shumaker never return.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Politics of Awesome

Proper politics

We now present Political messages from parties you’d probably prefer to vote for.


The Dark Party
The world is a more dangerous place. Wars, food shortages, costumed lunatics and terrorists are rampant. Difficult problems lurk all around, like muggers in a dark alley. Our enemies are a cowardly and superstitious lot, ready to kill you and your family. Who can you trust to fight for you at such a time? Who has the experience? Who will answer the red phone when it rings? Who can protect you and your family? Who can you vote for to save America?
What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think you should vote for? On November 4th, vote for the Goddamn Batman!


The Tōdōza Party
The problems facing the country seem obvious. You may have found screamed in frustration that even a blind man could see the difficulties we face today. Could it be that ONLY a blind man could see the problems? It’s well known that the blind have greater senses to make up for the loss of their sight, this of course includes a great Common Sense as well.
When you cast your ballot this fall, vote for the man who has no actual sight, but can see things clearly. Vote Zatoichi.


The Interstellar Alliance Party
EXPERIENCE! That’s what America needs right now, an experienced leader. Who is the only person to shoot down a Mimbari ship? Who commanded the White Star? Who came back from Z’ha’dum alive? Who defeated both The Shadows AND Earth Alliance in the same damn season? John Sheridan! That’s who!
John Sheridan is the sort of leader you’re looking for. A man of integrity, a man of action, and a man with a hot Mimbari wife. John Sheridan, he took control of Babylon 5, he’s already been president of the Interstellar Alliance, surely president of America should be a walk in the park for him.
John ‘Nuke ’em’ Sheridan, because sometimes they’ve had it coming for 4 damn seasons.


The Relax and Have a Party
People are getting too tense, they’re worrying too much, they need a lager and a vindaloo. Dave Lister might not be as smart as some of the other candidates, he might not have as strong a work ethic and he may have never read… a book, but he’s still the best damn space hippy ever to end up as the last representative of humanity.
Dave Lister! What the hell, it could be a laugh.


The Federation Party
Diplomacy. It may be more important now than ever before. The world needs a cool, calm thinker, not a rash cowboy. Jean-Luc Picard is the thinking man’s leader. Jean-Luc Picard has had one of the most diverse command crews out of any of the candidates. Jean-Luc Picard has dealt with more races, more Gods, and more diplomatic situations than any other human living or dead. Through it all, Picard has always found the intelligent and mutually beneficial solution to almost every problem he’s had to deal with. Except the Borg. The Borg have to be machine gunned down.
Jean-Luc Picard, let’s try thinking intelligently for a change.


The Spartan Party
This election, we vote in hell.
THIS IS SPAAARRRTAA!!!!


The Tardis Party
Who has more experience in solving problems than anyone else? Who has a longer track record of diplomacy and intelligent problem solving? Who has an unbroken string of consistently hot side-kicks? Who always has the right tool at the right time? Who can always regenerate incase of an assassin’s attack? Who can survive all difficulties, including BBC cutbacks?
Say it with me… HE IS THE DOCTOR!


The American Party
Some men don’t wear flags on their lapels, while other men wear the flag at their entire outfit. Captain America has always loved this country. Captain America has always protected this country. Captain America named himself after this country. Captain America doesn’t have patriotism, Captain America IS patriotism! America, FUCK YEAH!


The Krypton Party
Truth, Justice and the American Way. For more than half a century, he has stood for all of these and more. As leader of The Justice League, he has consistently kept the world safe from evil. He’s weathered the storms, coming back from death and poor sales. To this day, he’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superman, he’s the leader you’ve been waiting for.


The Treadstone Party
He knows all about government corruption, and he knows how to root it out. He’s done more for our nation in a few years than most men have done in a lifetime. He can always get things done with whatever is at hand, saving money on special equipment. No leader on earth would be able to take him in hand to hand combat.
Jason Bourne is the man to lead this country into the Next Millennia.


The Shadow Party
He knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. He knows that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit. He knows that as we sow evil, so shall we reap evil. The Shadow has been protecting the good people of America longer than any other candidate going. The Shadow has long since been a leader who uses teamwork for the betterment of justice and America at large.
How do we make America great again? How do we protect our country from evil? How can we solve our problems? The Shadows KNOWS!

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Secrets

I sort of was going to tell a story today.

That was the plan, but the plan is bunk. The plan is no good because telling the story would require partially airing a secret and I’m fairly good at keeping secrets.

Years of drug induced paranoia* made something of a secretive child. I don’t do a lot of telling people things that I don’t think they need to know. I’ll tell them random, useless and often pointless things, as any reader of my LJ can attest, but anything that I judge as a confidence or secret I tend to keep them to myself. I like hearing about other people though, because I am endlessly fascinated with the myriad of differences that exist amongst the people I know. I’m also a pretty good listener, and that in turn makes people more talkative. This means that I get to hear all about people’s lives and their adventures. If they know me well, they should know for the most part I’m not going to go repeating too much either. That’s either paranoia, or a good heaping helping of empathy for you. I either worry too much about everyone else’s secrets and they harm they might do or I treat them like they were my own.
*Let’s hear it for Ritalin! Yeeaaaa!

It’s more than that though, a lot more. Most the stories I’ve got would possibly embarrass someone who I don’t want to hurt. Sometimes things go bad, and people need someone to be there to help pull them out of the mire. Sometimes the mire is metaphorical, sometimes it’s literal. Even if all you really need is for someone to be there and tell you everything will be alright, or to listen to you pour your heart out, or just to stand there while you do what needs to be done yourself knowing you have some back up if you need it. I’ve shown up for most things, whenever I’m able really. If I think it would be bad to remind you about the situation, I try not to. I certainly don’t tell other people, because they don’t need to know about that shit. So even if a story involves me, it will often involve other people who might not want their information spread around lightly.

Like the story I was thinking about telling today, for example.

Part of being there for people goes beyond being there for them today though and not mentioning their name when you tell their story. If you have a horrific situation that you need help out of, it’s not going to be less horrific tomorrow. It basically means I’ve got to be there for you tomorrow and forever remembering the situation, but not mentioning it to anyone if they don’t need to know about it. It also means not reminding you about it, because while dealing with it has some merit, so does leaving it the hell alone once you have. Considering all those things that I’ve been willing to do, even talking about it in veiled terms, would rake people over the coals again. They’d know what I was talking about, and that would be enough.

I’m often quite good at giving details that sound interesting or would perk up a person’s ears, but omit details to such and extent that there really isn’t any private information left. The thing is, even when you strip a story of identifying marks, the person who the story is about can still recognize it. So, when in doubt, I normally opt to not tell the story. I do still have an occasional pang when I look at something I posted while tired or keyed up and find myself saying “Ooh, that probably didn’t need to get said” when I talk about a specific situation. I always find myself wondering if I said too much, or was I so guarded that I was incoherent? This is the worst of both worlds because it confuses you and leaves just enough that the person I’m talking about gets reminded about it.

As a result, there are a lot of stories you’ll never get to read. And really, how am I going to tell you and believe that it’ll be safe? How can I tell you anything without inadvertently hurting someone by reminding them of worse times? I suppose that I can’t, which is fine I guess because there are already so many situations that I don’t talk about that it wasn’t funny, then became funny, then became not funny again and now has become absolutely hilarious.

I can form the subtleties better in person, and of course those stories aren’t set down in semi permanence on the internet like they are here. If you get to sit down with me in person, and catch me while I’m in a mood, maybe I’ll tell you an interesting story or two sometime while giving you no idea who I’m talking about. Though really, probably not. I usually talk about other things besides personal histories, because blabbing just doesn’t pay.

Considering all the harmless (or mostly harmless) things I don’t tell you about myself, I can’t really see me telling you too much about other people. That’s what makes a secret different than just a fact or story about a person.

So that’s why you don’t get a story today. Still though, it’s not like I’m cheating you out of content or anything. I’ve got another 26 posts lined up where I talk about movies you’ve probably never heard of and drop in references to all sorts of disparate things next to each other because I like the juxtaposition of putting Torquemada next to t.A.T.u. and then throwing in Elisha Cook Jr. for the hell of it.

April 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get out the big tents, we havin’ a come to Fancy meeting!

Ladies, look away please.

No, really. I’m going to talk to the guys for a moment and I don’t want you looking in. This is going to be crude, embarrassing and probably a bit patronizing, so I don’t want you looking in.

Okay, now that I’ve guaranteed that every woman on my f-list is reading and probably forwarding this to their friends…

Fellas, we’ve gotta talk.

This Open Source Boob Project kerfuffle has given me a perfect opportunity to talk about some things that have been bugging me for a while. I’m going to use this situation to explore some of the problems I’ve been having with some of you guys. It’s about how some guys talk to women, and how they treat certain women and how if I catch you doing some of these things in person I’ll stomp you until the question “is there a god” becomes irrelevant because you’ll have the answer.

See, I like women, a lot. I like the look of women, I like the sound of them, the smell, and most of all I like the feel of women. To be honest, beyond kitties and waffles, I have this belief that women are what make life worth living. I’ve always been more comfortable with females than males, and I’ve always appreciated the living artwork that is the female form. As an over all thing though you understand. I like all the parts of women, the brain usually being the best part of all. I would have to say women’s minds are the best thing about them.

However, I’m also quite fond of breasts, as I’m sure many of you are. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because I know women and intelligent and thoughtful human beings that I miss their breasts, or thighs, or hips, or chins, or eyes, or hair. But yeah, I like hooters… a lot. Most guys like tits, we’re in love with meat melons in fact. Most guys who like women, like sweater kittens in a manner that makes how stereotypical women feel about shoes seem like a mild attraction. Of course we all know how we feel about knockers, but we many not know how other guys feel about them. If you think boobies are delightful, you can trust that we all pretty much feel the same. A good number of women, strait, bi and gay also are fairly enamored of the… shit! Sorry, I can’t think of another euphemism for the female breast. Damn it! Ah well, it was bound to happen.

Let’s continue shall we?

The idea of trying to get your hands on the twin peaks and finding easy ways to go about it, are probably at least sometimes in your thoughts. Many methods probably have occurred to you at one time or another, and if you’re anything like me you’ve probably tried a few in your day. The thing is, some methods are better than others and some methods need to be approached with some delicacy. Maybe this hasn’t been explained to you before, and maybe I shouldn’t threaten to stomp your head until it splits and all the goo seeps out because it’s a little unfair. Frankly though, I’m tired and my empathy level is way down tonight for guys who are being assholes. Yes, that’s right, I’m saying it straight. When you do the things I’m going to be describing as inappropriate, you’re not just wrong, but the rules also say you’re an asshole.

Let’s start with some of the things that were wrong with the Open Source Boob Project. Beyond the fact that open source is about things you make, not things you have, there are problems with that name. Like number five on this list I got from Wikipedia. 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: no one can be locked out.
Yeah, that won’t encourage guys with entitlement issues to moan and whine like a donkey with a broken leg. I can hear the bleating now about “how come them and not me?” May I point out that a shower might help?

Okay, never mind that, that is actually a small side issue. It more or less occurred to me as I was looking up open source. Although it is a problem with doing anything like this in public spaces where vile little puppies who don’t realize that some of these women have known some of these men for decades and they trust them. The public aspect actually causes a lot of the problems people had with this, because even if they’re not being directly asked it doesn’t make for a comfortable common space when that is going on. The potential for abuse, when you take something like this out of private gatherings, are huge. Like so big it has its own gravity well and an event horizon. Someone standing near someone who doesn’t want to be pawed by some pathetic pervert punk who wants to get his palms on her plums would just as likely get the police to protect her from you… piffle, can’t come up with another word that starts with P. Fucking alteration.

The point is that sometimes just asking the question can be offensive. Particularly if you ask in the wrong context. If you see a green button on the woman standing next to the lady whose fun bags you just grabbed, and you’re not looking carefully enough to see if it’s the right kind and then you ask this woman (who is already possibly horrified over seeing some random stranger walk up and squeeze her friend) she might well pull out a gun and shoot you between the eyes. It’s legally called sexual harassment, and a jury would have a hard time convicting her for taking a mouth breather like you out of the gene pool. Let me break this down for you, women are always being treated like a target. They always have to be on the defensive, because there is always some idiot like you around.

Then you’ve got the social pressure aspect, which I find repugnant beyond words. This “If you’re cool, you’ll let me fondle your tits” horse shit that makes me want to hang people upside down and gut them like a deer. A group of men approach, and ask if they can have a squeeze of the beach balls and how cool it would be if they let them? What is a woman supposed to do? You say no one is treated differently? I say bullshit! This very much like this Cloven Orange bullshit. Telling a girl to just take the orange graciously? That kind of passive aggressive shit only leads to actual aggression in my experience. Should she also just lie back and close her eyes because it’ll go easier on her that way? If I ever caught anyone doing that to women they didn’t know around me, I would get a sharpie, write the word “TIRE” on their forehead and then claim I’m following the directions on this device here.

While I understand these things get started as small-group-fun-things, I’ve been told too many stories about people chasing girls around and harassing them with the thing that’s supposed to let them in to believe it’s all being done innocently. Trying to use social pressure to coerce a woman into accepting your skeezy-ass advances is just as bad as if you used physical force, and I will cave your skull in for it. I’ve learned from some truly terrifying experiences that someone who physically abuses women, often starts small with shit like this.

Not to mention that the button thing just frankly pisses me right the fuck off. Buttons? You can’t go find an emotionally fragile girl, separate her from the pack, and talk to her for five minutes? You’ve got to have a button to know which one to go directly to, cutting out the whole “getting to know you” phase of the operation? Punks. It takes no more than a couple of minutes to learn a girl’s name, her age, and her favorite movie, book and Firefly character. As an artist in the realm of picking up nice girls, I’m disgusted to see my art reduced to this fast food style. Also, why red buttons? That insinuates that one had to opt out to not be hit on by these idiots. That makes people even more uncomfortable, and makes them feel even more put upon. That wasn’t their intention? Well, Hitler had a different intention in 1931 than what he ended up with in 1944. YEAH! I FUCKING WENT THERE!

And if I may say, how very brave of them to go after the emotionally fragile. “My breasts,” they asked shyly. “Are they… are they good enough to be touched?” Yeah, go after women who aren’t secure in their own physical image so you can have a cheap thrill. Make it clear in fact that you’re handing out your sorry ass excuse for validation, as well as an “IN” for the big group you travel with, that they feel they need to come line up to you. So much of that post made it absolutely clear that they were going after people who had self esteem problems so they could exploit it. I bet you pick up drunk chicks as the bowling alley too don’t you?

That’s not to say that all the women who wanted to get involved have self-esteem issues, some of them might have really found the experience liberating, but I would feel confident saying the percentage of troubled women who get fondled in a situation like this is right around 85%. Still though, I don’t know all the reasons each of the women who endorse this idea had for doing so, and neither do you. I know the reasons of a few, and some of them are even sound and reasonable. I didn’t much appreciate the nasty statements I saw towards some of these women. You can disagree with their reasons, but you’ve got to keep it respectful.

I don’t have to be respectful with you, because we’re all men here (or at least we’re supposed to be) so I can tell you what a douche you’ve been acting like.

I don’t really feel all that comfortable trying to second guess women on sexual matters, because I’ve never actually been a woman and can only go by what I’ve been told. We can talk about women and how some of them sometimes need male attention to feel complete, but we can’t do it right now. This is going to be long enough as it is.

How about how some guys start? I know that the sentence “Hey, you’ve got beautiful breasts, I’d love to touch them.” sounds like flattery, but it’s really not. It has always sickened me to hear a man break down a woman and judge her by parts right to her face. It’s far more insulting than you’d think, particularly if you don’t mention how beautiful her eyes are as well. Of course, you can’t tell how beautiful her eyes are if you only stare at her breast.

There is a time and place to inform a woman that her secondary sexual organs are pleasing to you, the first words you say to her is not that time and in front of her friends is not the place. When you’re just about to enter the valley of paradise? That’s a good time to compliment her on her physical form. When she’s first opened the lace gate and let the perky twins out? That would be a good time. When you’ve known and admired her for some time and you know she isn’t going to smash your head in with a table lamp for mentioning it? That would be a good time. When you’ve known her for 15 seconds? That’s going to go under the FAIL column.

And asking them if you can touch them? That is not liberating, it’s insulting! Women know you’re looking, they know you are desiring, they would like to be treated as something beyond the object of your temporary affections. When you make a full frontal verbal assault like that, most women are going to be instantly on the defensive. They already know you want to touch, asking like that makes it look like you can’t think of any other way to get them to let you. Here’s a hint, save asking if you can touch them until you at least know if that question will get you maced or not.

I’m very annoyed at the level of objectification and the level of entitlement I’ve been seeing lately. This one event put a fresh slant on it, because these folks were so full of themselves that you’d think there would be little room left for a sense of entitlement. Their sense of entitlement must have gotten a room next door with their ability to objectify or something. You can tell that these people were totally self absorbed and using these women as objects just from how everything was about how great they felt while doing the groping.

Never saw a word from or about how the grope-ies felt, and why should there be? Objects don’t have feelings do they? How could they even know that there were feelings. When people complained, they were accused of having hang ups, being told to just get over it, and so on. The dismissive manner displayed by those who were defending the practice towards people who were horrified was really disgusting. Particularly when they got genuinely nasty towards people who simply were trying to explain what they saw that was objectionable. Lots of the responses I saw from members of the grope group were full of the kind of talk that Nice Guys tend to use. We all know how I feel about Nice Guys don’t we?

Let me tell you guys, you don’t deserve to get to grope anyone. You don’t just instantly deserve anything in fact. Quit giving me these bullshit reasons why you are some how entitled to something and how the only answer to not getting your way is to throw a tantrum and call someone a bitch. That makes you an asshole about the size of the goatse guy’s rectum. If you can’t even be bothered to be respectful, understanding and treat her like a human, it’s no question why you’re getting nothing.

I’m hardly going to even touch the “Well, the girls were the one who started touching each others boobies” because if you can’t identify performance based bi-sexuality by now then I’m not sure me informing you that sometimes girls will kiss girls just to get them hot is going to help. However, I’m trying to be educational and helpful so here it goes…
Sometimes, straight girls will perform bi-sexually with another girl in order to get the men folk aroused. They do it to get a rise out of you, and I’m told that women who are actually and fully bi-sexual or gay get really frustrated with girls like this. If there is a guy around, he’s a spectator and the situation becomes even more lecherous. Besides, any poly person can tell you that every time you add a person to the situation it grows in complexity exponentially.

If a woman lets you touch her in some way, it’s not magic. It’s just a body rubbing up against another body. It may feel magical for a moment, but that’s mostly adrenaline. I’ve touched girls under laboratory conditions (Well, I touched a girl in a science lab anyway) so I know what I’m talking about. You need to avoid putting women, or their body parts on a pedestal. They’re human, just like us. You need to treat them as humans and consider their feelings when you look and talk to them. Also, you need to learn their fuckin’ names for Fancy’s sake! I know the name of every girl I’ve ever kissed, and if pressed I could probably come up with them. I’ve done the casual petting thing (and probably will again at some point) I’ve done the sexual adventuring, and I’ve had sex with more women than you’ve had hot dinners. That is as long as you’ve only had 6 really piping hot dinners. 9 depending on how you define sex… or dinner for that matter.

Finally…
(bet you’ve been dying to see that word)
Don’t reduce women to nameless carriers of the fleshy bits you like, because that makes you unworthy of being called a man. It makes you a little, pathetic boy, still whining over not getting to feel up Suzy Jenkins when rumor had it she let everyone touch her breasts. Never mind that the rumors about Suzy were as true as the rumors about the dead body in the boiler room, you probably still believe that one too. I don’t know about you, but high school was a long fucking time ago for me, and I’ve moved on.

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Judgment (a crap poem)

It’s inescapable
I am judging you
Everything you say
Everything you do
It causes me to judge you a little more.
However, that doesn’t mean that my judgment isn’t one of approval.

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Race, the final frontier.

I got a chuckle earlier today when I saw someone in the comments of some story make a crack about Barack Obama. I can’t find the story again, or I’ve forgotten where I saw it but the comment was something like the following… “We need to just put him in an apple green shirt and stick him on the Enterprise. Cause seriously, he’s Kirk. He can’t hear all of Hillary’s negative comments over the sound of how awesome he is.”

And that got me extending the joke in my head. Because I think that’s how Obama’s supporters see him. I don’t mean that in a negative way, just an observation as I see it.

He’s out there, on the edge, exploring a strange new world. He’s going to boldly go where no black man has gone before. He’s macking the green skinned chicks, he’s gathering up the cuddly tribbles, and he’s giving the Klingons what for. Who is Obama’s Bones? Who is his Spock? His Scotty? More importantly, who is his Yeoman Rand? If only we could have gotten him to rip his shirt halfway through the primaries and made him fight some foam rubber monster or something.

And can’t this joke get extended further? Isn’t Hillary really just Janeway? Isn’t she lost and fumbling around way out in the Delta Quadrant, looking for coffee and breaking the Prime Directive all the time? Does Hillary have a Seven of Nine? Are we all going to be worried if her Seven of Nine turns out to be Bill?

Syd suggested that John McCain is a Romulan, cause of him being all warmongering and stuff, but I’m not sure I can allow that. It seems unhelpful. He sure as shit ain’t Picard though, I can tell you that.

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sounds like a bad idea to me

So evidently, there was a massive explosion of teh dramas that I never even heard about. Thank you f-list, you have no idea how much that means to me. Someone linked to the Open Boob Project and their feelings about it, which means I had to look it up and find out about it.

Seems to be two major schools of thought on this. There is “Yea, getting over sexual foibles” and then there are people who are of the “Wow, what a lame excuse for the total objectification of women” sort of school. I can sort of understand both, but I sympathize with the later group a little more.

I think partly it’s because I can already see that some women have had rape anxiety over just reading about the idea. It’s supposed to be an opt in situation (you wear a green button that says “Yes, you may.” And there is a red button saying “no, you can’t” or something like that) but that seems like a weak protection if you’ve got something green on already and people are assuming what it is without actually reading. If someone didn’t see the red button, or mistook another green button for the yes you may, it could become a problem. Having a hundred sweaty people (people are ALWAYS sweaty at cons) come up and ask if they can grab a part of your anatomy would certainly feel like a serious harassment. It might cause a person never to come to cons again because they fear they’re about to be gang raped or something. Some people would react really, REALLY badly to that sort of thing.

I like the idea of people having a more relaxed view towards meeting each other, and a more relaxed view towards their physical selves. So long as everyone knows the rules, and respects the rules, then no problem. Adults, being adults, can do what they like more or less. The problem is when someone doesn’t know the rules, only knows some of the rules, or is in a state where they don’t worry about the rules. Since I’ve had to take more than a few young men to a quiet corner and explain the difference between social flirting and serious come on, I’ve seen the situation a few times before.

People’s comfort levels, particularly women’s comfort levels, become very fluid at a con. Some people become far more comfortable with in the confines of the con than they would outside. They can become less guarded (for lack of a better term at the moment) and more open and gregarious than perhaps they would be out in the wild. That’s what the con is for. It’s a chance to let your hair down and go loose and enjoy yourself. It’s also a place to try new things and explore your own self a bit. The problem is that each person has a very different level of comfort, and since they are exploring, sometimes people are right out on the edge of what they want to do. Also, someone may be more open and adventurous with one group of friends (or time of year, whatever) than they will with another. That’s a problem because it can be hard sometimes for another person to judge where someone’s level of comfort is hovering at the moment, and then when you throw in the fact that people have different levels with one person than they do another it can get a little confusing at times.

Mistakes can happen, and while sometimes it’s a mild rebuke, on unfortunate occasions people can get hurt. On very unfortunate occasions, people can get hurt and then the people what did the hurting can then later get hurt quite spectacularly by six or seven burly men in the parking lot. That kind of ruins the fun for everybody.

That’s not my real problem here though. Okay, it is, but that’s not what I find bothering me. What I find bothering me is the level of immaturity and social sadness that is inexplicably attached.

As a fully grown male, I honestly find it a little annoying to hear other fully grown makes wandering around saying things like “WOW! You have a spectacular rack, may I stare/touch/fondle/tell my friends?” It makes me look at the guys who say it with sadness and sympathy. It’s like they’re still sad that they never got to feel up Suzy Jenkins in their sophomore year and are hoping for a bit of charity now.

Oh yeah, that whole thing, with people asking to touch breasts? Not new! This isn’t some magical innovation. The only new thing that I see is now they want to label the women who will let them cop a cheap feel instead of having to get to know them for 5 fucking minutes like we always did in the old days. All you have to do is find your Suzy Jenkins, get to know her for three minutes, and then politely broach the subject. Seriously, it’s not like it takes that long to figure out if casual petting would be allowed or not. Buttons? Buttons? We don’t need no stinkin’ buttons!

I actually applaud the women who let them touch their breasts, because clearly these guys haven’t touched many. Me? I’ve had my time with Suzy Jenkins* and I can touch boobies when ever I want to. I suppose if I hadn’t known the caress of a woman it would have more novelty for me. Yes, that is a direct dig at these kinds of guys. Yes, they have always disgusted and annoyed me. And finally, yes, I’ve known a good number of them and while a good half of them are nice friendly guys, the other half are bitter assholes who you always want to keep and eye on and never let be alone in a room with a woman. These guys are fucking creepy!
*In case you’ve never noticed it’s always Suzy Jenkins. Whenever I need a name, I always pick Suzy Jenkins.

And what if a woman gives assent to some and not to others? With these bitter assholes running around? The woman in question will get harassed and harangued because she let one person touch and not them. Don’t believe me? Then I’m afraid you are far too naïve for this world my darling. I’ve seen them get mad because a girl doesn’t want to hug them and have to be told off by several people to get them to stop following said girl around asking why not them? Don’t pretend like it wouldn’t happen when it’s something like this.

Also, phrases like Touch the magic, my friends. Touch the magic. give me gas frankly. That’s objectification right there! Like women’s meat melons are some magic healing flesh orbs and touching them will result in sprays of life giving milk that will heal the world and get Obama in the white house. Sorry, but sweater kittens just don’t have that kind of power. They’re not magic, they’re just delightful. I’m all for random, friendly groping, but when you try and turn it into a movement… yeah the answer is no. It just all strikes me as sad really. Are people that badly in need of validation? I certainly hope not. It would bother me if they were.

Doesn’t that remove some of the intimacy of actually getting to be with a woman? Touching a breast, buttocks, or places even more sensitive always struck me as something important, something big, something grand. Even kissing someone is a big deal, and to should be! If you got to touch everyone’s tits without even trying that would frankly be a fucking shame! If getting to touch a woman intimately ever gets to be routine for me, I will have to end it all right there and then.

Frankly, I would have to really like you to let you touch my girlfriend’s boob and not cut your hand off. You having her permission is neither here nor there if you don’t have mine as well. As a poly person, this one is sort of important to me. We’re not swingers, it’s not just a big orgy, you can’t just have a fling with my girlfriend because you want to. That isn’t to say I won’t give permission, but if I find someone just randomly fondling my girlfriend we are going to have a serious talk that will being with them saying “Please stop hitting me.”

Finally, there is something distasteful about the level of objectification going on here. Since the focus is wholly and totally on breasts, you can’t claim that you aren’t engaging in objectification. You are making an object out of part of a woman, and that just makes me what to smack your head on the pavement until all the goo comes out. Sorry, but when you start picking out body parts, you start to ignore the woman as a person, when you ignore the woman as a person, you don’t take their feelings into account, and then you become dangerous and I have to kill you. Sorry, some of us have dealt with sexual abusers in the past and can see the early warning signs.

If everybody is into it, I guess it’s fine, consenting adults doing their thing is groovy. However, this isn’t an in-room nudie party we’re talking about. It’s taking it out into the world where you rub up against people who could be seriously put off, to the point of feeling threatened, and the people who maybe feel a little overly protective of them. You’ve got to be very careful about that, even when you’re at a con.

I think there are five major things that bother me here.

1. It could really easily set off a person’s sexual attack alarm.

2. The far too easily opens the door for creepy stalkers or people who don’t get the rules. (Maybe I should say that there is too much potential for creepiness?)

3. The objectification levels are distasteful.

4. It makes being allowed beyond the lace gate that much less of a treat and thus removes the only thing that makes life worth living beyond kitties and waffles.

5. You could loose a finger that way if you don’t get everyone’s approval.

It’s pretty clear that the people who came up with this were in a safe location with safe people when the idea arrived. There is an innocent and fun aspect to this, but it could get real ugly, real quick. When the idea goes out into the wild, there will be tears, there will be hurt, there will (eventually) be blood.

I’m actually sort of sorry that I see all the negative sides, but then I’ve always been the one who sticks around and helps brush hair and wipe tears and use the “Calm Soothing Voice®” and do all the other things that have to be done when things that are perfect and can’t possibly go wrong hit an iceberg.

Experience has made me sadly cynical about things like this.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Part of our Dinner Conversation

Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for the rest of his life.
This is true.
However!
Educate a man about what kinds of fish live where and the many different ways to catch them, and he will have variety as well.

There is also the fact that knowing all about fish he’ll have the security of knowing how to move to another body of water should this one become depleted, but that would make the phrase too clumsy. The point is, don’t just tell the man one thing (how to fish) make sure he understands as much as he can (all about fish, where they live and how to catch them) so that he can be fully prepared!

These are the sorts of things my parents did to my head. I rarely ever heard “Because I said so” but then again I did have to spend an awful lot of my childhood listening to well documented and reasonable explanations.

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the three main presidential wanna be’s

I find it kind of sad, what’s become of American politics.

In a year when none of the candidates are all that different from each other, we have such divisiveness going on between their campagins. I mean, the only things that separate each person who wants to be president are such small things. Barack Obama is black, Hillary Clinton is a woman and John McCain is a warmongering fucktard. So how different are they really? If you watch Fox News then you know that blacks are ignorant and violent and that women are flighty and stupid… so if those stereotypes are true it puts them both on a perfect level with Johnny boy.

In case you couldn’t tell by my oh so subtle comments, I find McCain objectionable. It’s not that I have anything against the guy, beyond how he evidently treats his wife of course, but I do have many things against his stance on… just about everything.

I mean, McCain’s platform is a 1000 year Reich NO! BAD WEIRDO!

Let’s try that again…

McCain’s platform is a 100 year war, wars with more people, no more jobs, and his health care plan is “Don’t get sick.” And of course, fuck the economy.

You can get his whole platform in one YouTube video in fact.

The thing is though… I can handle that. Sure, McCain’s plans are unworkable and stupid, but at least you can be pretty sure he’s being at least sort of honest about it. I mean, McCain wouldn’t suddenly change his stated views unless he has a really good reason… like the wind’s blowing east or something. Granted though, him breaking laws he wrote is just something Republicans do, they violate the laws they write.

HOWEVER!

The point is that McCain never lied as much as Hillary Clinton has. No one has ever lied as much as Hillary Clinton has! She lies about everything!
I mean, she went on and on about dodging sniper fire for weeks, even after people said it wasn’t true, she just kept right on telling that story until the video was released. Then Bill comes along and claims she was tired the last time she told the story, which makes me wonder how she’ll be awake enough to answer that 3 AM phone call. Then you’ve got her people making deals in Columbia when the rest of us aren’t looking.
She even claimed Obama was complaining about how the ABC treated him during the Worst. Debate. Ever. when she’s the one who keeps whining about getting the hard questions first.

Hillary has told so many lies that I keep thinking of Chuck Norris facts and putting Hillary Clinton in there…

Hillary Clinton can dodge sniper fire, even when there are no snipers!
Hillary Clinton counted to infinity – twice.
Hillary Clinton can kill two stones with one bird.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t sleep… she waits for a 3 A.M. call.
Hillary Clinton once made peace in Ireland… by hosting a dinner party and threatening to hold another one.
There is no ‘ctrl’ button on any computer around Hillary Clinton’s. Hillary Clinton is always trying to take control.
And so on.

Then you’ve got the fact that she claims her experience comes from being married to the president for 8 years. Because that’s how it works. I understand that when Stephen Hawking dies Jane Hawking will take over his position on the grounds that she was married to the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University for 26 years. They separated in 1991, but she had 26 years of being the wife of the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, so by Hillary’s logic she should have it down perfect by now.

Now Obama… I keep hearing shit about Obama, but it always seems to fall apart in the sunlight like fairy wings. Like the bitter thing, that was quite easily looked into and proved to be a totally different thing that what they were claiming it was. If it’s anything, the people he was talking about (normal Americans) were nodding in agreement while people with 100 million dollars were calling him and elitist.

The rest of the time, it seems like the attacks are either for really silly shit, like the flag pin thing Hillary Doesn’t wear one either BTW, or national anthem thing that make you wonder how the flag that represents this country got to be more important than the people of this country.

I think the weakest ones though are when they attack him for knowing somebody. I mean, he didn’t dump and crucify Rev. Wright fast enough for a lot of people. I know that as a white person I’m supposed to hate Rev. Wright, because a black man telling us the truth in an angry voice that avoids beating around the bush and saying “Yas Sah, Nah Sah” to us is fucking evil and must be stopped! I hope you’ll forgive me though, if I can’t say that Wright is evil or that Obama should have left his church for saying things in a less than nice and fully sanitized manner. Besides, if we held everyone to this criterion, none of the candidates would ever be allowed to go to church again. McCain’s got the Catholic hater on his side and Hillary can’t remember where her church is because she hasn’t been there in so long*.
*We think. She says it’s irrelevant when she went to church last.

The sad thing is, that besides a few points about supporting a war of aggression against people who never did anything to us, and wanting to suck Jack Thompson’s cock, the democrats seem to have pretty much the same ideas about most things. That’s probably why Clinton’s camp is so desperate to bring the nasty to the game. Since there is no way to tell them apart, you can only separate them by small details. Do you take the win at any cost liar, or do you take the smooth talking fellow who might have once spoken to a Muslim and doesn’t wear his patriotism on his lapel? Am I going easy on Obama? Yeah… I guess I am. I haven’t caught him lying, and I haven’t caught him engaging in any silly shit, and I haven’t seen him being a complete and total shit yet though.

I’m not ready to endorse Barack Obama, I can honestly say I don’t know enough about his policies and plans yet. That’s greatly my own fault, but I’ve got months to get tired of hearing about his plans and his nomination isn’t a lock yet anyway. What I will currently say is that I find Obama the least objectionable. I’d probably vote for him if he got the nod, but who can say?

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25 Best Remakes that I can think of right now.

This thing about the worst remakes of all time really stuck in my craw and got me annoyed. It’s not because I disagreed with their choices as such, but rather because pointing out that a remake is bad is like pointing out that a professional basketball player is tall. They might as well make a list of the 25 most spoiled sports stars, or the 25 best looking supermodels. It’s a lazy article that was probably akin to shooting fish in some kind of hollow cylindrical object that can hold water.

The biggest problem being that you have to whittle the choices down to just 25. Also, a lot of the choices made there feel too safe to me. Most those movies are ones that the writer is confident aren’t going to have ardent supporters complaining about how their favorite movie was slagged off. Of course since they are talking about the 25 worst there might be a reason for that, but it still feels lazy to me.

So In decided that what we really need is a 25 BEST remakes, or at least the 25 that I can think of/like. I’ve tried to keep my list of remakes within movies that came out of Hollywood, just to prove that Hollywood remakes aren’t all bad. I sort of feel annoyed when people start getting all “In MY day the movies were better!” even though I can show that a lot of crap came out in any year they care to mention. As a side note, the rank in the list isn’t meant to be absolute. I’ve probably got some things in the wrong places, but I’ve tried to make the list as close to a descending to a number one as I could. Anyway, on with the list…

26. Let’s take a moment to mention most the superhero movies. I’m putting them collectively into the 26th slot because most hero movies have been made before, and will be made again. Superman, Batman, Captain America, The Green Hornet and many other heroes who would later have Big Time Feature films were serials, TV shows, and even a few big screen movies before the sudden resurgence in the 80s and 90s. Also, Indiana Jones is essentially a remake of most the Saturday serials all rolled into one trilogy. So, I think the super heroes as a whole deserve at least a nod for having so many movies.

Let’s begin with a real list of 25, shall we?

25. Valmont
Okay, so it’s just based on the same book as Dangerous Liaisons, but I think it fits. I might be stretching the point a little, but only a little and only for this one. I wanted one of those books that got remade again and again to represent all the Shakespeare and Jane Austen books that get done over and over. I could list every good production of each great book that’s been done to death, but we’d be here all day if I did that.

24. Die Hard
It’s High Noon… with machine guns. Watch High Noon, now watch Die Hard. You notice anything? Like the troubles with the wide? The one guy who wants to help but can’t? The officials telling him to just go away and stop causing trouble? The big fires? Yeah, they are the same movie!

23. The Fly (1986)
Actually, I like this better than the 1958 version. The ‘58 version is scary, but I find this one more involved.

22. Three Men and a Baby
Hard to compare this to Trois hommes et un couffin, because I’ve never seen it. However, as well as Three Men did, we have to admit it’s a remake that works.

21. Mark of the Vampire
Tod Browning remade his own silent (and lost) movie London after Midnight. How cool is that?

20. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
The story has been made a bunch of times, In the Wake of the Bounty was made first in 1933, but the ‘35 one is probably the best one. If not, we can always claim the 1984 version with a young (and not yet crazy) Mel Gibson.

19. The Ten Commandments (1956)
I’ve got some problems with this movie, which I won’t go into here, but it can hardly be denied that it’s a great film in both the critical and popular senses. The 1923 original is a very different movie though. About half the movie is historical and half is contemporary, it’s an odd mix. You can see both if you buy the most current DVD though.

18. The Jackal
Based loosely on The Day of the Jackal, this is really a dark comedy retelling of the original suspense filled movie. This one is so over the top, and so silly in places that all you can do is call it a comedy. It was panned back when it came out, but I loved it because I saw the comedy. If you think of it as a statement about how over blown things are in modern movies (modern for the 90s anyway) then the massive cannon that Bruce Willis buys makes perfect sense.

17. Outland
A closer and more deliberate remake of High Noon, but this time it’s in SPACE!

16. The Great Gatsby (1974)
It was made twice before this version that I’ve actually seen came along. Once in 1926 and once in 1949. It’s a pretty good movie, even if it doesn’t quite mean you can skip reading the book if you want to pass the test in Lit Class.

15. The Italian Job (2003)
Not a really great movie, but if we’re honest neither is the 1969 version. It’s fun though, as is the original. I figure there is probably something about the ’69 version that I just don’t get, but I don’t think that’s such a massively great movie either. Oddly, the remake actually sort of, kind of, follows where the first one left off. The heist in the 2003 version is a short little thing, the movies is actually about getting the gold back from someone. That was going to be (sort of) the plot for The Italian Job 2, so there is that.

14. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
I’ve probably seen the 1957 version at some point (because I’ve seen most things from the Western or Horror Genre made before 1980) but I can’t remember anything from it. The remake gets a little silly in some places, but for the most part it’s a perfectly serviceable western movie with some good performances and an entertaining story.

13. The Racket (1951)
First made in 1928. Not bad, not great either, but a good and serviceable movie. You get to watch Robert Mitchum breeze his way through a cop roll and Robert Ryan always makes a good bad guy.

12. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
You didn’t say it sucked in 1991 when it came out, so stop trying to front now. You probably started to pretend you hate the Ewoks in 1998 too. Broadly speaking it’s a live action remake of the 1971 Disney film, which is itself a remake of 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood staring Errol Flynn and THAT’S a remake of Douglas Fairbanks’ Robin Hood! If you want to split hairs, there is another movie that was made in 1991 simply called Robin Hood that follows Errol Flynn’s movie pretty closely.

11. To Be Or Not To Be (1983)
I like this, but I like the 1942 version as well. I haven’t seen either version in years, but I have good feelings towards both.

10. A Fistful of Dollars
An Italian Western, with an American star, based on Yojimbo, which is a 1961 jidaigeki which is itself based on the 1942 film The Glass Key which is based on Dashiell Hammett’s book. If you as some people though they’ll mention another of Hammett’s books, Red Harvest. My point is that here we have a remake of a remake, of a movie that was pretty good to begin with but nothing really great. *phew*

9. The Shining 1997
Actually, I like the made for TV remake. Mostly because I believe in Jack in this version of the story and he’s not completely insane on the day he shows up. I always kind of felt that there wasn’t much of an arc of decent in Jack Nicholson’s portrayal. I know, I know, I’m committing blasphemy for not preferring the Kubrick version. I’ve committed it before though, and I’ll probably do it again later.

8. The Magnificent Seven
Another Kurosawa remake, but it’s not just a remake of Seven Samurai, but a genuinely great movie in its own right. This is one of those places where you can say the film makers really got what the original guys were trying to do. The movie isn’t just a good western, but it’s a reflection on what the western genre had become and examines how the iconic heroes feel about their pasts, much like the samurai do in the Japanese original.

7. The Departed
I think this one stands on its own really. Oddly, watching Infernal Affairs and this isn’t like watching the same movie twice. I sort of feel like it’s watching two movies made about the same book that I haven’t read. There are lots of similarities, but there are just as many differences. The two movies are different enough, and good enough, that they both stand up on their own.

6. Scarface (1983)
You know, you really need to see the 1932 version to get why this is ranked so high. The new version is really a modern reflection of the original, while being a reflection of it’s times as well. You can see the defiance towards things like the old production code, which didn’t really have teeth when the first one was made, but was at least partly in place. The original had many forces to contend with, while the new version defies them and screams in their faces. The movie exists so completely in it’s time that it actually is a bit odd to watch now. When you see both, you get an appreciation for how things had changed, and how they’d stayed the same through out the years.

5. Ben Hur (1959)
A big damn epic! There was a one reel version made in 1907 and a larger epic version made in 1925, but it’s this one people think of when they think of Ben Hur. I like the ‘25 version, but I’ve got to admit that I think of this one first and I’m more likely to watch this version as well.

4. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
I have tried to give the 1960 version and even shake, but just I didn’t like it much. This version is a vast improvement in my view. That’s why I ranked it so high. Not because it’s one of the best movies on this list, but because of how it compares to its counter part.

3. Nosferatu the Vampyre
I’m throwing it in here because Nosferatu is a great horror classic and this is a great movie as well. It’s good for a remake and it’s good just as a piece of horror. Score, and score!

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
First made in 1910 and then made again in 1925, both these versions fail to follow the book as well as the final theatrical remake of the first book would do.

1. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
First made ten years earlier in 1931 (and again in 1936 as Satan Met a Lady, but we don’t discuss that version) the ’41 version is a significant improvement over the original. About the only thing that the ‘31 version really and truly has going for it are a few bits of pre-code sexual innuendo that just couldn’t pass muster ten years later. In ever other way, from acting to scripting to editing, directing and camera work, the newer version is significantly better. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t prefer the later Bogart version and makes it one of the best remakes of all.

April 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment