Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Cookies.

This is all the gays fault!
So jerks with a lot of time on their hands and nothing to do until they get raptured next month have filed a motion to un-throw-out Prop 8 on the grounds that Judge Vaughn Walker (the Federal Judge who threw it out for being unconstitutional and you know, wrong) is gay. They feel that someone explicitly discriminated against by a discriminatory law shouldn't be allowed hear the case because that would be unfair to people who want to discriminate. With me so far?

Asshole= This guy + Sign
Yeah, people whose lives would be in no way affected by gay people getting married are upset that a gay Judge threw out their legislative hate crime. Well tough shit. He threw it out because we have a legal and secular institution that is being denied to millions of Americans because some people have a religious objection. Prop 8 was wrong, just like banning interracial marriage was wrong. Anyone still fighting to use the courts to rob people of their civil liberties is wrong. I'm not trying to be closed minded here, but believing in equality doesn't mean you have to pretend these people have a point. 

Cookie Monster gets it.
What? I like Cookie Monster?
Look, oatmeal cookies are my favorite cookie. Not oatmeal raisin, just oatmeal. When I make them (yeah, I bake, what of it?) people are like: "These are ok, but where are the raisins?" So I'm all: "I prefer plain oatmeal cookies." My cookies don't cheapen the experience of raisined cookies, they don't harm anyone, and if you only eat oatmeal raisin cookies, I'm not going to force you to try mine. See where I'm going with this? There's no need to organize anti-cookie legislation to define cookies as the union of oatmeal and raisins. There's room for all kinds of cookies. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you support Prop 8 you're an ignorant bigot and you don't get any cookies.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Greatest Injustice Ever!

Sure, the bedsheets contain a crime lab
of DNA samples, but you do get HBO.
Yeah, so there's a TV show based on George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones that aired Sunday night on cable and I, despite living in 2011, can't watch it. No, my house didn't burn down and no, I'm not Amish. You see, I don't have cable much less HBO because 99.9% of all the stuff worth watching on television is available online. Game of Thrones which, according to reviews and my fellow nerds, is awesome, is part of that one percent. What the crap is that?

Fun Fact: FCC regulations require
20% of cable air time be devoted
 to Law and Order spin-offs.

Why in the Seven Hells isn't GOT (Game of Thrones...duh) on iTunes or something? I get that they don't want to just give it away, after all decent British accents aren't cheap, but I'm willing to hand over some copper pieces. The problem is that it's not even an option, it's only on cable. Why should I have to pay for 120 channels of crap I don't care about to watch one show? Well, the obvious answer is, I don't, I mean, no one's going to hold a gun to my head, just sucks is all...

$60 for half of season 2?
Cylons had a plan alright...
I guess we're sort of spoiled by the internet. It used to be that if there was something you wanted to watch, you had to plan around the TV schedule. Sure you could tape it, but there was always a slight (definite) chance that the VCR would be set to the wrong channel, or a football game would run late. Often, you were shit out of luck until re-runs happened. Now if there's something you want to watch, you can just stream it or download it or something. Did you miss Dancing with the Stars this week? No problem. Spartacus? Here ya go. Hope you didn't spring for the Battlestar box sets, 'cause here they are for free. In a world where you can have almost anything you want to watch beamed into your computer or TV or phone whenever, having to wait a few months is infuriating. Man, the 21st century has completely eroded my patience. Thanks internet, you douche bag...

Yeah, I know I could download it via some kind of torrent thing the kids are always talking about but I actually do support intellectual copyright and all that good stuff. I just want to watch Starks and Lannisters murder each other for 52 minutes each week. That's all. I don't need Cakeboss, or that show about people who didn't know they were pregnant, just Game of Thrones, and maybe Mad Men if that ever comes back...oh, and The Soup. Why can't I watch The Soup online? And what's that show with the...oh, god damnit Comcast...

I just got an idea for a crossover! And I'm willing to exchange the rights to it for free cable, any takers?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another one? They're like The Fast and The Furious sequels...

Apple must have noticed that some people still had money left because they're making another iPhone. I'll admit it, I totally want one of these, but I just can't see past the crazytown expense. It's not just the initial purchase, but the phone service, and then the data plan because what the hell's the point of having one if you can't use it to find the nearest six In'N'Out burgers? And then there's the screen. Maybe they're fixing it for the new one, but I don't know anyone with an iPhone 4 that hasn't cracked the screen at least once. Whose bright idea was it to make them small, glass and frictionless?

I hear the new ones have screens made from a transparent meringue.

Also of note, is the unnecessary re-assurance that the earthquake/tsunami/Chernobyl potpourri of calamity that has befallen Japan will not, repeat NOT affect people getting their hands on iPhone 5. Check it out, it's near the end of the story. It says, and I quote:

Imagine Cookie Monster
reading the quote,
it'll make it more fun.

"Apple, a big purchaser of touchscreen displays and flash memory is also dependent on Japan for some of its key components, sparking concern that the disruption due to the crisis there may hurt its gross margins."

-someone with perspective problems

"Don't worry hon, I know it looks bad,
but Apple's supply chain is going to be OK."
'Gross' is the right word I think. I mean, why is this even being brought up? 'Sparking concern?' What the hell does that even mean? Who was concerned? Through the all the horror of the last month was anyone other than Apple's accountants (you know, 'cause it's their job) really worried about Apple's 2nd quarter earnings?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pay to the Order of Michael 'Subtle Storytelling' Bay Ten Dollars and 00 Cents.

I don't know how they sleep, but I
 bet this is how they go swimming.
So on July 1st or there abouts, I'm going to give Michael Bay ten dollars, again. And probably another $4.50 to the movie theater because I'll have forgotten to smuggle in my own water bottle and the drinking fountain will be like all the way down the hall or something. $4.50, seriously, how do they sleep at night anyway? Anyway I should probably resign myself to the fact that I'm a sucker for things that remind me of crap I was into as a child, no matter how CGI'd beyond recognition it is. Damn you Michael Bay, damn you straight to hell, take your blood money and be gone.

Yeah, I'm sure you'll
be remembered for
your poetry.
Look, Transformers: Dark of the Moon won't be the worst thing ever. I mean, it's going to be better than Transformers 2: The One With the Racist Robots. Even that one, despite being a confusing mess, did deliver on its promise to be two-hours of blurry robots kicking the shit out of each other. So as long as Transformers 3 isn't a documentary on Amish furniture making, it should at least live up to expectations. Oh, and to sweeten the nerd cred, Dark of the Moon (wah?) is going to feature cameos by a couple of sci and fi second fiddles: Space Plane compensated endorser and 2nd man on the moon Buzz Aldrin will play himself and Leonard 'Mr. Spock' Nimoy (#2 in command, #1 in our hearts) as Sentinel Prime (what, no Galvatron?). That should make it worthwhile, right? Well, no, it'll almost certainly still be another baffling, idiotic, e'splosion-filled crapatronic no-brainer which, I'm ashamed to say, I'll go see.

At least I'm not these guys. Well, I'm assuming that there are humans under the cardboard cosplay. Otherwise Bumblebee and Starscream have really let themselves go.

Wait, it's 2011 and there's
still no gritty Gummi Bears reboot?
This summer: Gummi Rising
I can't help it, like all kids of my generation I spent my childhood watching cartoons about action figures, so it's no wonder I have have a soft spot for Transformers. It's like Hasbro was programming us for a time 25 years down the line when their poorly animated and thinly veiled toy commercials could be revived as multi-million dollar movie franchises for grown-up man-children. They're playing the long game people. Either that or they realized that when you make a movie out of something people are already familiar with, not only do you have a built in audience (i.e. chumps like me) but it also saves you from coming up with original crap. It's 'win-win'...or at least 'gave up-never tried.'

p.s. A note to whoever (whomever?) owns the rights to Ninja Turtles: TMNT III is old enough to vote. It's probably time to bring it back. Oh, and one request: I don't care how silly you think it'll look, but this movie must include Krang. You're not Scorsese, you're doing a movie about talking turtles that battle evil with ninjitsu and wisecracks, the villain can be a brain in a giant man-droid suit. It won't hurt your credibility.

Krang's life long struggle to conquer our puny planet and to finally make
turtle soup out of those meddling reptiles is a story that must be told.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The President just pulled a Bartlett!

This is kind of how I picture
politics anyway....
Sorry to do double whammy politicy posts (I swear my next one will be about Transformers 3), but lookit this: the President is talking shit about Republicans. I know, finally. Like I get that President Obama from day one has at least tried to be the classy politician, which is sort of like trying to be coolest Star Trek fan. But having watched Democrats roll over to Republicans for years no matter how crazy, it's refreshing to see him punch back.

"Hang on, I didn't say I'm pro-
cancer, I just hate women.
there's a difference."

-John Boehner*

Sure, the stuff he supposedly said sounds a little too sound-bitey to be really off-the-cuff and the thing about representative Paul Ryan is like straight out of a debate but somehow I don't care. This isn't like the time Bush called that reporter a major league asshole (pot, kettle) for you know, asking questions. These remarks, rehearsed or accidental, voice frustration about Republican tactics which are, let's be fair, shady as shit. Cast your mind back to when we nearly had a governmental shutdown and a certain party, let's call them Shmepulicans, decided we could definitely do with fewer cancer screenings for women. Look, I don't care how crunchy the budget crunch gets, cancer=bad. Also, it's a pretty dick move to use the crisis as an excuse to mug Planned Parenthood.

Hey, remember when President Bartlett pulled something like this on the West Wing? No? Here's the link, go netflix it or something. Basically, Martin Sheen's the incumbent and decides to talk some smack about his opponent after an interview and then pretends the whole thing was a mistake and that he didn't know the camera was on. Awesome. American politics should totally be more like the West Wing (British politics are).

"Man, if I weren't fictional, I'd be ragging on these guys every other day. I'd close every speech with:
God bless America, and please give that dickwad John Boehner a canker sore."

*Ok, John Boehner didn't say this exactly, but for real, who sides with cancer? I know the government is out of money, but when you're broke you don't forgo food to buy smokes.

Our Grim Future...

I guess these guys were
sort of right about 2012...
Ewww, gross, what if Donald Trump was our next president? Apparently someone took a poll of likely idiots who, when asked who should be the GOP candidate in 2012, grunted loudly at the name Donald Trump. Probably because they heard it on TV. Sorry, am I being mean? Well, Trump seems to have absolute contempt for anyone stupid enough to get behind him, so why should I be kind?

"I send the bibles to a special place.
It's like a farm for bibles where they
can frolic, it's very interesting."
No, for real, check out this interview. I think he might be serious, he's already started fondling the Christian right by suddenly being religious. Here's a choice selection (quotes in queasy yellow):

   Brody:  I understand a lot of people send you Bibles. 
               Is that true?
   Trump: Well I get sent Bibles by a lot of people. 
   Brody:  Where are all those Bibles?
   Trump: Actually, we keep them at a certain place. 
              A very nice place. But people send me Bibles. 
              And you know it's very interesting.

Hey religious people, check it out: Donald Trump doesn't shred the excess bibles people send him. What a guy!

Tough shit.

In the full interview I guess he's going to outline his stance on the issues, and I'll bet pinkie rings to bibles that he believes a lot of the things evangelicals believe. Like this:

He said that he became pro-life after witnessing a friend and his wife decide to keep a child that at first they didn't want. "He ends up having the baby and the baby is the apple of his eye. It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to him," Trump told CBM. "And you know here's a baby that wasn't going to be let into life. And I heard this, and some other stories, and I am pro-life.

So one time Donald Trump's friend's wife got pregnant and they thought about not having the baby, but then they had the baby and that's why no one should be allowed to choose. Vote Trump.

Dinosaurs? Naw, Barack Obama
just hid bones in the substrata to
confuse people.
And yeah, he's a birther. Well, at least he says he's a birther. That's the worst part of all this, Donald Trump is kind of a dick and more than a little gross but he isn't stupid enough to believe that the President was secretly born in Kenya or Indonesia or anywhere else racists still insist he was. Trump knows that all he has to do is to convince people that their preposterous conspiracy theories were correct all along and a black guy couldn't have won in a fair election against a white war hero. And since a lot of these people insist that early man rode dinosaurs to work 6000 years ago, Trump's job is half done.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jerry Lawson, we hardly knew ye...

These things still fuel my nightmares
with their dead eyes, jerky
movements and birthday wishes...
No, really, to my great shame I had no idea who this guy was until yesterday when I read that he passed away at age 70. Jerry Lawson invented the video game cartridge. Yeah, he was the guy. Before Jerry Lawson, video games were dedicated single-game home consoles or built into cocktail tables at Chuck E. Cheese. Speaking of which, someone should bring back the video game cocktail tables from Chuck E. Cheese. I should be able to play Ms. Pacman wherever I'm eating. Hey remember when Chuck E. Cheese had a bar? Like you'd be playing in the ball crawl with the rest of the kids while the adults were getting plastered, smoking and watching horse racing. Man, the 80's were a different time...

This is either a Channel F console,
or a wood-paneled Foreman Grill
with optional sex-toy attachment.
Anyway, back to Jerry Lawson. He designed the internal workings of that classic game console, the Fairchild Channel F. What's that? You don't remember the Fairchild Channel F? That's probably because you live in the universe where Atari ripped it off and the Channel F was a minor footnote in video game history and not the parallel universe where Jimmy Carter won a second term, Spock has a beard and the Channel F took America by storm with it's stunning 3 color graphics and memorable games like 'Video Blackjack' and 'Space War.'

This screen shot is from 'Watergate: The Game'
The blue dot is the grand jury using the Indictment Ray on G. Gordon Liddy.

So while Channel F was garage sale fodder before most of us were born, and cartridges have gone quietly into the night (being replaced first by CD's, then DVD's and now magic), we indoor kids owe Jerry Lawson our everlasting gratitude. He basically invented game consoles as we know them and without him we would have had to read, or go outside. So on behalf of the allergy-prone, sports-averse kid in all of us, here's to you Jerry!

"Back in my day we called them game tapes. 'Let's go solve a game tape' you'd say."
-Jerry Lawson

Friday, April 8, 2011

Space Plane!

Guess what's here in San Francisco? If you said drag queens and the ever-present threat of earthquakes you'd be correct. If you said a space plane you'd be correct and topical. Good for you! Virgin (the company, not 'a virgin') has decided that San Francisco's airport is going to be the home base for their space-tourism company: Virgin Galactic (not to be confused with Babylon 5 fans). That's right, now we've got a Spaceport.

Suck it, Oakland!

-Arnold Schwarzenegger
I know, a space plane, awesome right? But this is the real world, so let's walk it back a bit. The imaginatively named Spaceship Two, is basically a tour bus to the stars that carries passengers to 'space' and back. Why the quotes around space? Well, space is kind of a vaguely defined boundary, and at 68 miles low-orbit might be more accurate. Sorry space cadets, this thing is not taking you to Mars anytime soon (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, see right).

Maybe he should have called it
'Classy Galactic.'

In fact, the name 'Virgin Galactic' is entirely misleading. British Airways flies to and from Britain. Aer Lingus flies to Lingus. Calling this 'Galactic' would be like calling it American Airlines if it only flew from JFK to LaGuardia. Yes, I suppose the upper atmosphere is within the traditionally defined confines of the Milky Way but c'mon millionaire playboy and Virgin founder Richard Branson (see left), The Galaxy is a really big place and the 'space plane' covers like one-infinitieth of it. What gives? Was the name Virgin Mesosphere taken?

Sorry bright-eyed youngsters, your
futures are worth 1 ride on the
space plane. What can you do?

Also, it turns out space is really expensive. Really, really expensive. Like a ride on Spaceship Two costs $200,000. Look, I don't have anything against the super-rich (except of course, seething jealousy), but for real. $200,000 can put four kids through college and some jackass is going to blow it on 15 minutes of weightlessness? You know, the Y's got a pool, it's basically the same thing and it costs $50 a year...also, the pool noodles are included. I checked.


Ok, so it's expensive as hell and 'only' goes 68 miles up, but it's still the dawning of a new age of space flight, right? Well, not really. It hasn't actually dawned yet. Virgin Galactic is selling tickets for space flights that haven't actually been scheduled yet, and they've made like ten million dollars doing it. That's right, Richard Branson has made ten million dollars selling theoretical future space flights to 50 extremely wealthy stupid people. Guess we're all chumps for showing up to work and you know, doing stuff.

Speaking of which, I'd like to take this opportunity to announce that I am now taking pre-orders for Hoverboards. That's right, Hoverboards: Available eventually.

Hoverboards: Dare. Dare to send me $5,000 plus shipping. You can win if you dare.
p.s. watch out for rocks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And Lo, I Beheld an Ad Upon a Bus...

Have you heard of this May 21st thing? Apparently we're all going to die. I just saw an ad for it on the side of a bus, which is where I get all my portents of doom. It's a good thing too, I wouldn't want to be caught totally by surprise when nothing happens.

Lucky for me the bus driver stopped to take a leak at the Safeway.

If you said praying, you have
absolutely no sense of humor.
According to a bunch of rapture fans, the end of everything is coming this year during May sweeps (so much for season 5 of Madmen). To spread the word, they've set up bill boards and a website about how doomsday is nigh ('nigh' is like 'soon,' but more ominous). Unsurprisingly, I have a number of problems with this, not the least of which is what is that silhouette doing in the lower right of the sign? Like for real, doesn't someone approve these things first?

The end is near alright,
just not in the way he thinks...
My first big problem with this is that the source of the prediction is 89 year old radio preacher Harold Camping who, instead of watching NCIS and telling teenagers to pull up their dungarees, is running out the clock (his, not the world's) doomsaying based on numerology, the bible and presumably gin.* Two of these things are not science and the other is gin so why is anyone listening? What's more is he already pulled this crap once before when he predicted the end of the world would happen in 1994 in his book "1994?."

Tonya Harding, Forrest Gump, the Rapture...man, 1994 was quite a year.

Yeah, that's going to hurt
the Bluebook value...
Yeah, remember that? When the world ended in 1994? You don't? Well, that's because Harold is full of shit. What's messed up is that people are again buying into his crazy. Some are actually making major life decisions based on this guy's ramblings. What's he going to tell them on May 22nd, when they're all un-raptured and have to go to work in the morning? "Looks like I forgot to carry the two. Sorry folks!"

"And I would have gotten away with it,
if it wasn't for that meddling geriatric!"


Also, I'm no theologian, but isn't this whole thing a little presumptuous? Let's say you're a supremely powerful deity who created the universe and is (for some reason) planning to destroy it on May 21st 2011. Now you want this to be a secret, and you're god, so it shouldn't be a problem, right? I mean, Shyamalan could do it. Then how come some jackass with a radio show is passing out t-shirts giving away the biggest spoiler of all time?

Why not, right?

And then there's this whole double standard when it comes to the unprovable. If I predict that aliens will one day park their motherships in orbit and invite the human race to join an intergalactic U.N. I'm a crackpot. But if I take out ads warning people that Jesus is going to beam Mike Huckabee and a select few dinosaur deniers off the surface of the Earth before going on some kind of apocalyptic judgement spree, I'm one of the faithful. What's with that?

Mike Seaver:
Beacon of sanity, in an
insane world...

But I guess the most chilling part of Camping's prediction is not that people might actually believe him, it's that tiny little voice in your head that against all reason is wondering: 'what if he's on to something?' Admit it, it's crossed your mind. After all, if you accept that there's no such thing as impossible, just extreme degrees of improbability, you have to at least entertain the notion that anything, even this, is possible. Well, I'll tell you the one thing that's helped me beat back this terrifying thought: No matter how random, how cruel the universe may seem at times, it can't possibly be so fundamentally broken as to end like a direct-to-video Kirk Cameron movie. It just can't.

p.s. Be sure to check out this website for some major backpedaling (and probably some free t-shirts) on May 22nd! 
Really? I'm being unfair?

*I have no real evidence that Harold Camping came up with his predictions while drinking gin, the truth is I'm just making crap up. Of course, so's Harold Camping. I guess we're even.