“I’m Vengeance.” #DCFanDome

Okay look. I’ve heard so many times how people are sick of the dark and gritty. These are superheroes.

And with Superman, Wonder Woman, etc, I fully agree.

But not with Batman. I can genuinely say that I hate a light, goofy Batman. If your Batman dances in clubs and runs around with cartoon bombs and keeps shark-repellant spray on his utility belt, I’m out.

See here’s the thing… Batman’s origins are dark. He watched his parents get murdered in front of him. Then he took that and decided to dress up as a bat to run around a city beating up criminals.

Now granted, there’s a lot of political talk to be had, here, and from a Socialist perspective, I’m definitely not a fan of Bruce Wayne. All this money, and what does he do with it? Larp as a superhero beating up poor homeless people. He could sink his basically infinite wealth into, I don’t know… giving homeless people homes, a universal basic income, universal health care… but no. He gets himself a “magic tech” Batsuit and beats them up, instead. From a Socialist perspective, Bruce Wayne is terrible.

But from the perspective of a comics fan who started with Batman… I can’t not love him. But yeah… I’m sorry… I want my Batman dark.

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The Aftermath of Prepping Horseradish

So, back on Sunday night (June 23rd), my brother and I prepped horseradish. I decided to start recording (via my phone), when we started to take it out of the food processor to put it in a container. Then I thought it’d be a good idea to share our recipe.

In the future, we want to do an actual instruction video on how to make it, while showing us actually making it. This video… isn’t that. The idea started out as a joke, but then I was like… hey! I want people to see this! Maybe I can teach them how to join us in this delicious pain! And this video was the result.

I don’t have a transcript as such, but I do have a recipe which I’ll post here, and the video has subtitles! So there’s that… it’s a bit too off the cuff for a true transcript. There’s no script to speak of. Hopefully the subtitles work, but if people want a transcript, I’ll convert the subtitles into one to copy/paste here, as well. The editing work is also super amateur. I haven’t done any actual video editing in years, so… yeah.

Anyways… here’s the video!

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It’s Time for the Atlanta Braves to Change

Hi! I’ve been sitting on this post for a bit. To be honest, I mostly finished writing it way back on October 14, 2019. This was not long after Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS division title game that the Braves lost to the Cardinals 13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those points at the top of the first fucking inning! 

Holy shit I’m still mad about that.

Huh.

Anyways… you may be wondering if I’m writing anything about the Pandemic. The answer is no, I’m not. I don’t know what to write about. I’m still not interested in writing about the Lying Cheeto Muffin, ranting about conspiracy theorists and ignorant assholes seems counter-productive and a waste of time, and all the rest of it is just me shouting UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NOW! RIGHT NOW! THIS FUCKING SECOND! $1200 ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY! IT SHOULD BE $2400 A FUCKING MONTH FOR… EVER. UNIVERSAL HOUSING! WATER SHOULD BE FREE! DOWN WITH CAPITALISM! SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION! UNIONIZE! RESIST!

SOCIALISM FOREVER!

So yeah… that’s really all I have to say about COVID-19.

And yes, I know it’s April 1st. “April Fool’s Day” is a thing that needs to die. I refuse to participate and I’d appreciate it if y’all left me out of it.

I don’t have that much interest in sports. Gridiron (US-American “Football”… in which feet are not used except in one instance), Basketball, Hockey, Golf, etc just hold no interest for me. I get them… I can follow them… I’m just bored by them, and don’t like playing them, either. There is one exception, however, and that’s Baseball. But even there, that exception is quite limited.

I grew up in Atlanta, GA. My family has always been a Baseball family, and the Atlanta Braves (along with the New York Yankees, but to a slightly lesser extent) has always been the family team. I even have a Braves batting jersey (I won it). I have always been a fan. And of course, as a fan, this past decade has been immensely infuriating. We couldn’t give Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones, or even, most recently, Brian McCann, a goddamn Pennant… let alone a World Series win. Our most recent loss to the Cardinals (13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those runs in the top of the first fucking inning) was so absolutely devastating that I didn’t even watch the post-season. I stopped caring.

I did care just enough to rant about the game in a Facebook group I belong to, though, and someone made a comment basically saying that as long as the team and its fans continue to be racist against Native Americans, they (the person who wrote the comment) will continue to gloat over the Braves’ losses anywhere and everywhere it’s even barely appropriate.

As much as I love the Atlanta Braves… that person is entirely correct. It’s time to end the Atlanta Braves as we know them.

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In Which Another Fictional Woman is Stuffed Into the Fridge and I Rant About It

Content note: this post talks about the abuse and murder of women. I have no intention of going into deep specifics about anything, but the links and quotes I use will. Just keep that in mind as you read this…

Also, I’ll be spoiling a couple specific story-lines of the first season of Mr. Robot… if you care about that.

You know… it takes a lot to make me not like a writer. I even enjoyed reading Dan Brown back when I did that (it’s been years), and a lot of people agree that he’s a crappy writer (even I do).

One thing I do enjoy is stumbling onto a show with excellent writing. It’s rare, honestly.

If you’re now officially questioning why I love Doctor Who, I should remind you that Doctor Who is not a series written by one person. Usually, the showrunner only writes three or four episodes of a season, while other writers write the other episodes. Sometimes there are amazing episodes, sometimes there are terrible episodes, and usually there are episodes that were written well enough to keep my attention and be enjoyable to me.

A while back, my brother and I started watching the first season of Mr. Robot. I found the writing to be quite good, so it kept my attention… sort of. We weren’t binging it, and I had zero desire to. I just didn’t care about seeing the next episode right away… I could wait until my brother wanted to see it. And yet, I was enjoying it.

But I was very worried about one particular character… specifically, Shayla Nico

The main character, Elliot Alderson, is a very good hacker and a morphine-addict. Shayla served as his drug dealer and eventually became his girlfriend. We got to meet the man, Fernando Vera, who supplied her with the morphine she sold to Elliot…

And my guess is that y’all already know where this is going, don’t you? You don’t even have to see the show to know exactly where this is going…

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Doctor Who and the Timeless Absurdities

(Content Note: I do talk a little bit about the torture and even killing of a child.

Also, you’ll notice that, in referring to the Doctor and Tecteun, I mix gender pro-nouns a lot. Due to the nature of them both, I use the pro-noun appropriate for the specific incarnation of them I’m talking about, and the generic pro-nouns when referring to the beings as a whole. It’s probably confusing… it got confusing for me. But it’s easiest this way.)

So I’ve been chewing on The Timeless Children for a while, now, and I’ve put together a sort of personal canon that I think fits with what we’ve been told. It’s a timeline of the Doctor’s life that also serves to theorize on several mysteries.

Because this will be spoilerific, I’m going to start with a short, generic review of The Timeless Children above the fold.

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the episode itself in execution. It was basically an exposition dump broken up by rather anti-climactic fights with Cybermen. The acting was good (the only reason I won’t say that Jodie and Sacha both deserve awards for their performances here, even though I think they do, is because Peter Capaldi deserved every possible award in existence for his performance in Heaven Sent, but didn’t get a single one, so…) and I actually really like the concept of the episode and what it endeavored to do, but the execution fell pretty flat, especially for a finale as explosive as this was.

What I will say is that above is not a review of what was revealed about the Doctor in the episode. I’ll get to how I feel about it after the fold.

Finally, I’m going to make a request of commenters. Every single Doctor-Who-related forum has dissolved into cesspools of negativity and toxicity. At least one person has been driven away from Doctor Who fandom due to racism because they dared to actually enjoy this episode and what it revealed about the Doctor. As a result, I’m tired of it.

I’m not asking you to pretend you liked it. You are more than welcome to note that you didn’t like it and even say why. But I will not have negativity and toxicity in these comments. If someone comments who did and does enjoy it, then give them the space to do so. They are no more wrong than you are. That said, what I really want to discuss are the theories. Instead of attacking Chris Chibnall, the actors, fans, etc, and lamenting that “DOCTOR WHO IS DEAD!!!!”, I’d rather us work out and discuss the in-universe implications of what’s been revealed, and theorize about different aspects of it. And if you can’t do that without being an asshole about it and attacking the crew of the show and the fans, then please choose to not comment, instead.

So… let’s get to it…

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Please Discuss Fugitive of the Judoon with Me (Doctor Who)

Warning. I’m going to be spoiling the absolute piss out of the most recent episode of Doctor Who and then some. I will do my best not to spoil anything above the fold, however. I will also be doing a shallow dive into very deep and frankly confusing Doctor Who lore, so please keep that in mind. This is your warning. If you haven’t seen Fugitive of the Judoon, then please don’t read this post unless you’re like me and enjoy spoilers… in which case, read on fellow spoiler-junkie… but still see the episode.

I’ve talked about Doctor Who on this blog before. I’ve noted that it’s my all-time favorite show. And it’s weird, because it’s one of only two shows that I actually keeps my attention, the other being The Mandalorian (seriously… there was literally no TV show that kept me that engaged aside from Doctor Who before the Mandalorian dropped).

No… I don’t watch a lot of TV.

I’ve also discussed how I’ve considered Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to be my Doctor. I wasn’t super happy with every one of his episodes, and Moffat is not my favorite showrunner or head writer or whatever… that would actually be script editor Douglas Adams, who did script editing for the show for a time while Tom Baker was the Doctor (and before he [Adams] wrote the third Hitchhiker’s Guide book… which, BTW, started as a story for Doctor Who that was never shot). But I absolutely love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he was phenomenal, and was a welcome relief from the young, far-too-human (in my opinion) Doctors before him.

As for Jodie Whittaker… I think she’s absolutely phenomenal and is definitely in my top 5. Sadly, I wasn’t all that enamored with her first season (season 11, from 2018) over-all, but I have loved her characterization, her Fam, and where she’s going.

This season, only half-way through, has been a revelation, however. There was one bad episode (Orphan 55… sorry it wasn’t good) in a sea of good (so far) episodes (if you ignore a couple super problematic aspects of Spyfall Part 2 [i.e. the Doctor’s racism and wiping minds without consent… again]).

Then there’s the episode in question… Fugitive of the Judoon. Now, I do think it’s an amazing episode, but it’s also left me confused, speechless, and in desperate need of having a conversation about it.

So, starting now, I’m going to spoil the shit out of it…

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Rock Isn’t Innovative Anymore

From reading my blog, my tastes in music should be obvious. I like Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Folk, and even some experimental stuff. But my tastes tend to be rather limited. I like guitar in my songs… and not just guitar, but, at least most of the time, guitar solos. But even with those, I’m picky. I don’t like “look at how fast I can play” odes to toxic masculinity (let’s be really… straight speed is basically “look how big my dick is”). I don’t mind speed, but only as one technique in a guitarist’s arsenal of techniques. And considering that David Gilmour is one of my three number one all-time favorite guitarists, speed isn’t even the most important technique, in my opinion (though he did have it to a point, he barely ever used it).

To be fair, no guitar isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Emerson, Lake, & Palmer is another of my top 10 bands of all-time, and they only had guitar sometimes, with most of the leads being taken by Keith Emerson on keys, while the guitarist, Greg Lake, favored playing the bass guitar, instead. But even then…

Perhaps it’s because I’m a songwriter, but I don’t really listen to music as an escape. I don’t like going to clubs (too many people, too loud, not enough personal space), and I hate dancing (because I’m really, truly, honestly bad at it… I promise you… you don’t ever want to see me dance… you’ll have nightmares). So I’m not listening to music for the rhythm. I also don’t listen to music as background for something. The best time I have listening to music is, in fact, when I can gather a small group of friends, we can pour some drinks, grab some snacks, turn some music on, and sit and discuss it. I only got to do this rarely (and I haven’t done it in a long time… I miss it), but I have done it with Jimi Hendrix, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Chantel McGregor, Anna Calvi, Living Colour, and Steven Wilson.

And this means that most of today’s mainstream music, including Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, Top 40 Rock, New-Age, etc isn’t my jam. I don’t hate them… I realize music is subjective, and I absolutely acknowledge the monster talents that can exist in these and other mainstream genres (Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar are just two of many, many examples [yes, I genuinely believe that Kendrick Lamar deserved that Pulitzer for “Damn”]). But, overall, when I look for music to listen to, I look, basically, for guitar-driven Rock… whatever that may mean. In short: I’m absolutely a music snob of sorts. (I still have trouble with Metal, though… I don’t like 80’s Metal at all, and I have a lot of trouble with the harsh growls and screams of heavier, darker Metal [some Prog Metal, and most Death Metal, Doom Metal, Black Metal, etc], despite the fact that the music in these genres is often incredible.)

So you might be surprised to find that I kind of agree with Steven Wilson, here

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Defending Star Wars and Cinematic Universes

I did not grow up with the original Star Wars trilogy. I grew up with the much-maligned Prequels. And you know something… I maligned them, too. Hell… I maligned them not very long ago, twice, on this very blog. But I went back and watched them recently and… you know what? They aren’t actually as bad as I remember them. Hayden Christensen is still whiny, Jar Jar Binks is still annoying (he would have been such a better character if he had turned out to be a Sith Lord), Count Dooku came out of nowhere (likely to make up for the fact that Jar Jar was no longer a Sith Lord), and some of the CGI was bad even for the time it came out…

But Jake Lloyd actually did a pretty decent job with young Anakin, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were awesome, Yoda was amazing, the turn of Palpatine into Sidious was incredible, Darth Maul was phenomenal, Queen Amidala was actually a good character and Natalie Portman played her really well, Mace Windu was just plain cool, and the story was really, really good over all.

Yes, I’ve seen the original trilogy, of course, but I simply don’t have the connection to Luke Skywalker that so many have. However, I am a Star Wars fan. Not a big enough fan to have read and collected the lore or seen the maligned Christmas special and that stuff, but a big enough fan to have watched (and enjoyed) both the Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, and a big enough fan to have been excited by Force Awakens, Rogue One, Last Jedi, and Solo. And as I sit here today, people are still fighting over whether or not Last Jedi and Solo were good films.

You want to know what I think?

Both Last Jedi and Solo (and Rogue One and Force Awakens) were amazing films.

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#WhoAgainstGuns – Doctor Who Fans Unite for Gun Control

I’m late to this. The deadline is March 12th.

I want to bring attention to this… it’s important.

We’ve all been moved by recent events. The survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are using their voices to speak for those who cannot, to say “never again,” and demand change.

We are asking the Doctor Who community to follow their example and to shine a light on this urgent issue.

This March, representatives of all your favourite Doctor Who podcasts and some special guests will be coming together to do a podcast commentary of the 1969 Patrick Troughton story The War Games.

But here’s the thing: we’re not putting out this podcast on any one show’s feed. We’re only releasing it to listeners who provide a donation to an organization committed to ending gun violence.

Click the link to find the organizations they want you to donate to, and follow the instructions to get the special commentary podcast from there.

Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Doctor Who, it’s important to fight for gun control. Really, we should have done this years ago. But better late than never, right?

It’s time. It’s time to regulate an industry that has blood on its hands. It’s time to reject the NRA. It’s time to regulate guns.

Join Doctor Who. Join the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Speak out FOR gun control.

ETA: Since they announced, they’ve raised well over $10000, so back on March 6th, they added raffle giveaway opportunities. So please… donate and send them your receipt. It really is worth it.