May 29, 2013

Mine was better than yours!

Another installment in the heartpounding: Fuck it, I'm busy.

Netflix has set out to stream my childhood to me for a small monthly fee, and it's awesome. Along with Batman Beyond (the best Batproduct outside of Batman: The animated series), Justice League is available, and after watching the first three episodes ("Secret Origins") I can say it's still awesome, and considerably more weird than I remember.

With that said, here's the summary:

Batman investigates goings-on at SETI, and is beaten up by Martin Lawrence. Superman shows up and gets stomped because he's in the same frame with Batman, and no one looks cooler than the Batman. Superman forgets he was a liability in the fight and offers help again if Batman ever needs it.

The plot of War of the Worlds happens, complete with Tripods, and that draws the League together. The Martian Manhunter gets Batman killed then magics him back alive, while Superman and Hawkgirl get captured. Then everyone else gets captured, and Superman forgets he has laser vision. A Metroid appears and tentacle rapes the Manhunter, but Batman magics the aliens with science. Superman remembers he has laser vision and frees everyone, and they murder the Metroid. Because kids are dumb, and the do not kill rule only applies to people people.

Batman embezzles billions to build the Watchtower, and then decides he doesn't want it. The rest of the heroes convert to Jehovah's Witnesses and pledge to convert any aliens in the neighborhood.

The end! (...?)

May 28, 2013

Lies within lies

I've told you lies, and I'll get to that; in the meantime, however, I want to tell you lies about lies, which I haven't coined the proper terminology for. Double lies maybe? Actually, let's go with True Lies.  It makes about as much sense as anything, and I liked that movie.

I like RPGs. I prefer western RPGs, such as Skyrim, Mass Effect, Fallout, and Baldur's Gate, but I've played a few JRPGs as well. Final Fantasy X is my favorite in that area, and it has a lot going for it, but the problem is every player has the same experience. You're always Tidus, traveling with Yuna, and Auron is your badass bodyguard. Western RPGs present opportunities for things like this, or even this. To be fair, that second one is to a 4X game (empire strategy) but the way it's narrated reminds me of the opportunities in western RPGs.

And because I like it, I want you to like it. So I'll write out some "game diaries" from the games listed above. This isn't straight fiction; instead, it's nonfiction stories from my point of view about fictional stories from the protagonist's viewpoint. Does that make sense? No? Good. Here's the first installment of True Lies, starring the original Mass Effect.

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Those are words you learn to live by in any game with cutscenes, or budget limitations, and Mass Effect had both. Not so you'd notice right away; but when a game dev team sets out to create an entire universe, a few planets and plots are going to get shaved down.

Which is why, as I rambled around in my minivan on some random planet, the oppressive, Venus-like atmosphere inviting me to step outside and play "crush the tin can", I knew something was wrong the instant I looked at my map. There was a spot of interest, you see. Normally, these are labelled "anomalies" or "debris" and they give you something. This one read: distress beacon.

I headed straight for it. Commander Shepard, while kind of a bitch, is a goddam hero, and she doesn't shirk her duty. Unfortunately, anti-vehicle mines were placed near the beacon. While really, painfully obviously a trap, Commander Shepard also doesn't fuck around. She grabbed her squad, exited the vehicle, and approached the last fifty meters on foot.

At which point several dozen Geth de-cloaked and fired every rocket in the universe right at my military-grade ass. I'd been playing for a while, and while my shields could take a lot of hits, I was still reduced to that pathetic sliver of health that blinks in Morse code to say: have fun reloading, asshole. I ran for it. Tali and Liara's corpses cheered me on as I yelled at the television: "Get in the van, get in the van, get in the goddam van!"

I made it, and apparently the van has a tractor beam and a defibrillator (beat that, Ford) because my squad was alive. Driving in ways that would make my bipolar driving instructor proud, I killed the Geth, turned off the beacon, and got the hell off that planet. I didn't have nukes, or I would have made sure no one would ever return.

 Epilogue: this sort of thing happens every few hours in the game.

Double epilogue: I promised a podcast this past Sunday, and didn't do it. This Sunday the podcast will resume, and I'll put up more of these and Fuck it, I'm busy's in the meantime. 

May 21, 2013

Truthin' it up

The problem with most horror movies can be summed up by comparing the goals of protagonists to those in other genres.

Adventure (Indiana Jones): explore the globe, find awesome shit, punch Nazis, save the day, set unrealistically high hopes for anyone majoring in Archaeology.

Action (The Matrix): punch the hell out of everything, look cool doing it, save the day, unravel the conspiracy, get the girl/guy.

Comedy (The Hangover): resolve goofy situation, tell jokes, try not to be Adam Sandler.

Romance: I don't think I've ever seen a straight romance (I know, phrasing). Does Romancing the Stone count? It does? Okay, try to nail Michael Douglass.

And finally

Horror: Try not to get murdered for an hour and half.

Do you see the basic problem? 

Also: the podcast will be back this week. I plan to take a week off every couple of episodes so I'm less likely to burn out (which has happened, I think, seven times now). I'll warn ye next time it happens.

May 18, 2013

Space Lies

Another episode of "Fuck it, I'm busy", featuring the new movie Star Trek: Into Darkness. In pictures. Spoilers.













THE END!...?

May 8, 2013

No, you're not

A new installment of "Fuck it, I'm busy", featuring Iron Man 3.


You're busy? You are busy? Fuck you! What are you doing with your life that's so damn important? Go see Iron Man!

Spoilers ahead, you dumb bastards.

This article got me thinking, mainly how, despite their similarities, Rises and IM3 were completely  different movies. Iron Man was good, Rises was a bat-shaped turd (if you notice your poo is bat-shaped, see a doctor immediately). And the above article helps point out, through their similarities, how one failed and the other succeeded.

The first point is internal logic. For Stark, the events of Avengers occurred a few months ago, and he's naturally sorta fucked up about nearly dying. For Wayne, Rachel Dawes died eight years ago, and I guess now we know Batman's superpower is a complete overreaction to death. There's also how they go about their jobs: Stark uses a virtual crime scene to find clues, Batman makes a superneat floor that comes out of the water. Stark uses his strengths (building shit) to overcome his weaknesses (PTSD). Batman figures out that he has to punch the end boss in the big, glowing weak point on his face.

And the villains. I can see this being a sore point for fans of either comic, but really, for the film, Iron Man's switch made sense. There are indicators throughout the movie that the Mandarin is not the real threat, that point to who he really is. And the big bad, initially set up as the dragon (search those on tv tropes if you're not sure what I mean) gets more than enough build-up to serve well as the main villain who's simply been hiding.

The switch in Rises is the film's biggest fuckup, even more so than Batman taking a couple hours to paint a giant bat on the bridge instead of finding a bomb. It's foreshadowed, by Talia asking constantly, "Hey, remember that bomb? Where's that bomb? Can you tell me how to activate the bomb?" Worse, when the switch comes, it's irrelevant. All else, aside, Iron Man's villain was competent, using the Mandarin as a distraction. Bane, seemingly the main villain in Rises, is competent, to a point - until he leaves Batman alive for no reason. That's explained away by Talia being a bigger idiot than Trevor, the actor who played the Mandarin. When a washed-up, stoner actor has more genuine menace (and is more memorable: I did not remember Talia's fake name, or much about her character) then something is wrong.

There are other similarities, but most are so superficial that they don't matter. The last one that does is the idea of the past coming back to haunt the heroes. Again, with Batman the idea falls flat. Iron Man is hit by his dickish nature, and, oddly, his intelligence, as he was able to solve, while drunk, a problem another scientist has fucked up for over a decade. Batman, meanwhile was hit by... putting criminals away? Lying about events in order to break the mob's absolute power over his city, allowing kids, like that asshole Blake (who gives Gordon shit about this) to grow up in a city where they aren't automatically slotted for murder or jail time. The idea that Batman's "sins" are coming back to haunt him makes no sense, especially as the other options are "let the bad guys win" or "blow up the city". Iron Man wins, Batman loses.

Why are you here? Go see Iron Man 3 again!

May 5, 2013

You asked, we answered... eventually

Yay, podcast

American Innovation - I think this is the article James - JR references, which is troubling. Because it's the Onion, and this indicates my new correspondent is not the best at differentiating between fact and fiction. Which makes his "I may or may not be a fictional character" comment less amusing, and more ominous.

May 4, 2013

Mark Them Calenders

Enjoy the next segment in "Fuck it, I'm busy" as I summarize From a Buick 8, by Stephen King, for your lack of reading enjoyment.

Trying to get a leg up on Toyota, Buick creates a car with more mayhem potential than a toddler with a stick. Then they park it at a gas station in rural Pennsylvania and leave. Some state cops end up with the car, and quickly discover it's magic, super science, or both (probably both, it is Stephen King writing this). After it transports a beloved officer to another world, which he never returns from, the troopers of Troop D decide that Jesus wants them keep the Tardis and turn scientist.

This group of hick cops spends several decades staring at it through dirty windows in the shed where they stashed it, using it to kill small animals, and as a bitchin' 4th of Juluau fireworks display. The experiments they conduct focus mainly on vomiting and murder, and later on telling all this as a long, rambling story to a kid who wanted to hear stories about his dead father. But to be fair, it is a Friday night in rural Pennsylvania.

Realizing that the alien machine should be turned over to proper authorities, destroyed, or just not be in the hands of a bunch of dipshits who often forget they have it, the kid takes Plan B (wink). The cop telling the story stops him, and the end.

Seriously, though.

Podcast returns tomorrow (I still have three minutes until it's technically Sunday) with a new correspondent! We're very excited to have him, and hope you will enjoy his rambling, psychotic dissertations as well.

May 2, 2013


Moving to Texas (did I mention that?) was long, arduous, and worst of all my route included Arkansas, the worst state in any Union, ever. I think we included it because it cried and Wyoming wouldn't shut up about how mean the rest of the states were being.

Worse, but not worst, was moving Bill down here too. He is a heavy bastard, and he conveniently evaded having to help (even moving his own shit) by being dead. Again! It doesn't help that Texas has fewer witch doctors than Kentucky did, and bringing him back to life took forever. But, here he is, and apparently he learned about "the internet" while in the afterlife-ish. Not sure what he thought I was doing with his reports before now, unless he has a more deluded sense of self-worth than I thought, and believed they were on television or something.

I bitch, but he is the best reporter I can afford right now.

Bill is on Twitter, because that's a thing, and he's already following Anderson Cooper, so I'm sure we'll see a lawsuit for defamation of character or outright libel at some point. If you want to follow Bill, search


or just Bill Summerson. And Godspeed. You'll need it.