Monday, October 31, 2011

Trifecta!

Hey everyone, a rich Republican has an opinion about what women should do with their bodies! Herman Cain, pizza magnate, baptist minister, and expert on gaynessis coming down on the side of no abortions ever, even in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is at risk. Whatta guy!

Foodies describe the flavor as
'succulent yet adorable.'
But if you're a homophobic Rick Perry fan who hates women, don't worry, the leather-faced Texas Governor's got you covered. Last week, Perry hopped back onto the crazy train at Cornerstone Action's 2011 Steward of the Family Banquet in Manchester. There, presumably over a plate of endangered baby panda chops, he applauded efforts to repeal gay marriage despite overwhelming public support in New Hampshire. He said this just a couple weeks after a gay teen was assaulted in his classroom...because Rick Perry is classy.

What is it with him and 
the squinting anyway? 

Of course, it's one thing to squint into the eyes of a child who's just been beaten up for being gay and tell him he doesn't deserve equal treatment under the law, after all, he's just a kid and Rick could probably take him in a fight. To really prove his alpha-jerk credentials he also voiced his support for the push to cut funding for birth control and health services for low-income women thus securing the douchebag trifecta of picking on gays, women and the poor in one fell swoop. Ball's in your court, Herman Cain...wait, does that sound too gay? 


On a side note, who or what the hell is Cornerstone Action? Check out the link. Are they tireless crusaders against moral decay or sanctimonious dickweeds who get off on telling other people how to live their lives? You decide (hint: the answer is 'dickweeds'). 

Pictured: a totally un-retouched shot of their website.
p.s. I swear, the next post will be about Star Wars or something.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rick Perry dials it back!

I can't believe I missed Pat Robertson calling out the GOP presidential hopefuls for making the Republicans look crazy.
I'm guessing it looked something like this.

Rick 'Mr. Sensative' Perry waving
a gun. Because he's from Texas.
I furthermore can't believe that Rick Perry is apparently listening to him. In sharp defiance of the party's dedication to saying ridiculous bullshit to win the hearts and minds of racists and homophobes, Rick Perry has come out...against allowing the Confederate flag on Texas license plates saying 'we don't need to be opening wounds.' Awfully sensitive coming from a guy who shoots animals for sport...at that lodge...you know, the one with the name. Yeah, there it is.

Good times.

Hey remember these guys? The Sons of Confederate Veterans (yeah, do the math)? They were all about the Missouri license plate commemorating Confederate war criminal Nathaniel Bedford. The SCV argue that the Confederate flag is a symbol of their heritage. Opponents, who now include Rick Perry, argue that it's a symbol of a time when a racist, slave-holding aristocracy waged a war against America and got a few hundred thousand people killed on both sides.

Incidentally, dinosaurs don't
believe in Rick Perry either.

Weirdly enough, Perry is actually kind of right about something. Sure, it's about the outcome of the Civil War, but coming from a guy who doesn't believe in dinosaurs that's a big step. Although in a way, I'm a little disappointed in the Governor. I mean, I like my right-wing nut jobs full-on crazy. When they backpedal like this they lose some of their loony-luster. It would be like this:



p.s. Yup, Grand Moff Tarkin's first name is Wilhuff. I looked it up.


Lady tarkin.jpg
Fun Fact: Wilhuff Tarkin was married to this woman: Thalassa Tarkin. After the Grand Moff's demise on the first Deathstar, the widow Tarkin ran a megonite moss operation to support the Empire's efforts to crush the Rebellion. I learned something new today. Thanks Wookiepedia!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oh, frak me, a BSG three-boot?

"Re-boot? Godsdamnit,
they don't have the guts!"

So there's this movie coming out that poses the question: 'What if Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare's plays?' This is a question that's been around for a while and Shakespeare scholars generally fall into two camps: those who think that Shakespeare wrote his own plays and those who think that someone else wrote them and then created an elaborate conspiracy to deceive the Elizabethan theatrical community and the public at large by making them believe that some actor from the sticks was the author thus bringing him wealth and recognition. Because if there's one thing writers love to do, it's die in obscurity.


"Will you people please stop crediting me with writing the most important
 and beloved works in the English language? I'm trying to go unremembered!" 
Above: the career you can expect
with a B.A. in Theatre Arts.
(not shown: blogging about Star Trek)

But wait, I really don't care about this movie. I mean, I have a degree in Theatre* or something so I'll probably go see it, but what I want to talk about is this story from Dark Horizons. I'll save you some time and just sum it up for you: The guy who wrote the movie (it's called Anonymous by the way), John Orloff, is going to write the screenplay for the Battlestar Galactica movie. His other work includes a couple episodes of Band of Brothers as well as a movie with the needlessly long title: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.


I didn't see it, so I probably shouldn't pass judgement. Probably. According to Wikipedia, it's about Owls who fight to free Owl-kind from the tyranny of some other Owls...I think. Presumably the post-colon subtitle: 'The Owls of Ga'Hoole' will distinguish this movie from the flood of Owl sequels and spin-offs that are sure to follow.

Dude, I totally can not wait for
Legend of the Guardians: Chapter II: The Chronicles of the Return of the Owls of Ga'Hoole: A New Beginning

"Yeah, really anything made after
2000 is 
too new for a re-boot."
-Former Spider-Man Toby Maguire
So yeah, except for the part about the talking owls, this all sounds pretty awesome right? But here's 'the rub' (it's Shakespearean or possibly Earl of Oxford-ian for 'here's the thing'), this isn't a movie version of gravelly-voiced Edward James Olmos's BSG, it's a re-re-boot of the 1978 original. What? Yeah. Cast your mind all the way back to 2009 when the new (and now old) Battlestar ended. Is two years really long enough for a re-bootening? I mean Caprica's body isn't even cold yet, and I thought there was another prequel in the works.

It's about time someone updated this old clunker. 2003? Did they even have TV back then?

This is Muffit, a robot-teddy bear
played by a monkey. Good luck Orloff.
I don't know, I guess I don't really have a problem with a new-new Battlestar, but where are they going to go with it? Like, Ronald D. Moore's BSG was cool because it threw out the velour-clad hokeyness of the Lorne Green original and added sex, violence and crazy robot religion. If Orloff goes the dark gritty route, it could look like a rip-off. On the other hand, if he hews too closely to the original series, it's going to remind people of, well, the original series.


What? Am I being a jerk? Have you seen it recently? For real, Netflix it or something and then come talk to me.

No, I'm only kidding, I really do hope it's a shot-for-shot, cape-for-cape remake.
Cape-for-god-damn-cape.

*You can tell I have a degree in Theatre because I spell it with a '-re.' Yup, money well spent.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mid-to-Late October is Star Trek Awareness Fortnight!

The future's so bright
she's gotta wear lycra.
I'm declaring mid-to-late October to be Star Trek Awareness Fortnight. Why am I doing this? I'm glad you asked. I think it's important to raise awareness of Star Trek, but almost every post I have written this month is in some way Trek-related. That's a lot, even for me. The thing is, I don't want to give the impression that I'm some kind of super-obscesed fan, I mean I don't have Spock ears or wear a Starfleet uniform to jury duty (remember her?) or anything like that. Really. I don't have a problem...

It's a fort. At night.
Yeah, I go for the cheap ones.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself that this is already Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you would be correct. Obviously fighting cancer is way more important than TV, so go to this website right now. Back yet? Great. So you're also probably wondering why a fortnight? Goddamn you ask a lot of questions. Well, it's mostly because it's an obscure term meaning two weeks. This way, when we tell people it's Star Trek Awareness Fortnight, they'll be all: "What the hell's a fortnight?" And if there's one thing we nerds love to do, it's know things other people don't.

Speaking of obscure facts: did you know that the late Chris Latta a.k.a. Chris Collins a.k.a. Starscream, a.k.a. Cobra Commander was also the original voice of Mr. Burns on The Simpsons? Yeah, cram that into your obscure knowledge hole.

Did I just 'esplode your mind? Thought so.

In Further Star Trekery...

Sweet mother of Kahless, there's going to be a TNG special edition! By TNG I'm referring of course to Star Trek: the Next Generation. If you didn't know that you should stop reading right now because it's going to get pretty nerdy from here on out.

How nerdy? Well, this was a TV show where Mr. Data once played poker with
holographic versions of Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Sir Isaac Newton, so pretty nerdy.

"Ladies..."
Still with me? Good. According to this story on Trekcore.com and this one on TrekMovie.com, CBS Paramount is remastering TNG for an HD Blu-ray release kind of like they did a few years ago with TOS (sigh...The Original Series). Even more awesome is that the transfer will require new special effects shots since the original effects were done on video. Unlike the later Trek spin-offs, some of TNG's special effects haven't held up so well, so this is pretty exciting news for loosers-er, uh...fans like me.


100's of man hours went into digitally
enhancing Kirk's doughy physique.
Now you might recall that I am very much against the 'improved' Star Wars movies and you're probably calling me a huge hypocrite. Well stop. First off, I can't actually hear you. Secondly, I can explain. It's not that I hate change, it's that I hate changes that make something worse. When they remastered TOS, the changes were pretty subtle and never obtrusive. The physical starship models were replaced with computer renderings, some of the crappier optical effects got re-kagigered and new shots were created only in instances where Desilu cheaped out:

That green blob? Yeah, that's the
budget-conscious version of...
...this badass Klingon warship.
Anyone want to complain?












Yeah, a musical number staring Alf is
just what Return of the Jedi needed.
The TOS fancy editions are just classier than what was done to Star Wars. There was never a Greedo-shoots-firsting or a digital Jabba. If Lucasfilm went back and painstakingly re-created the original special effects work that made the holy trilogy so awesome, I'd be plunking down the Imperial Credits for the new Blu-rays right now. But they didn't. Instead, they just crammed as much CG crap as they could into what were once classics thus ruining them forever.


Then as a final screw you to the fans, they refuse to release cleaned up versions of the untouched theatrical releases. So that's it, Star Trek gets a nice visual upgrade and Star Wars is now officially full of Dewbacks and Boba Fett is from New Zealand. Sigh. Advantage: Trek.

It would be like this.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Tie Vs. Blue Tie

Does anyone else think Mitt Romney and Rick Perry kind of look alike? Like, I think their staffs called each other to negotiate which one would wear which tie so the viewers at home could tell them apart.
Appearances aside they couldn't be more different: Romney thinks gay people are being punished by God,
whereas Perry thinks gays are a punishment from God. See? They're the Big Tent party.
"Remember the good 'ol days 
when we could own people?"
-State Sen. Stacey Campfield

Um, anyway, in the interest of fairness, I'm going to say up front that I haven't watched any of the GOP debates, and I have no intention of watching any in the future. Also, I should probably be clear that I'll not be voting for either of these two guys, or any other Republican. I can't, even if a decent one comes along. Sure, that probably makes me sound close-minded, but until the party drops the racismhomophobiasexismhypocritical religious posturinggun fixation and crap notion that corporations have our best interests in mind I don't care what they have to say. 

Who knows? Maybe basing our tax
code on video games
 is a great idea. 
It's a shame too, because it's entirely possible that somewhere buried under all the fake piety and redstate pandering one of them might have the solution to the faltering economy or unemployment or world peace. But we'll never know because they won't shut up about how gays are ruining marriage or how poor people need to quit being so poor. I mean, Republicans aren't all evil. And they're clearly smart enough to "win" elections, (yeah, I'm still bitter). I guess I just wish there was a way we could harness the good parts without all the right-wing crazy and blind hatred.

Wouldn't it be wild if Michelle Bachman finally took her
medication and came up with cold fusion or something?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nobody besmirches the Muppets on my watch. Nobody.

Bow-chika-bow-wow.
What. The. Hell. A terrible person or terrible people recently broke into the Sesame Street You Tube account and replaced its innocent Muppetry with porn. This is not funny. Sure it was only for a few minutes but seriously, who does this? Look, I don't have a problem with porn, but it just doesn't belong anywhere near Sesame Street. If this happened to Yo Gabba Gabba or Dora the Explorer, fine. I don't care. But not the Muppets. NOT the Muppets. Jim Henson is off-limits; sacrosanct. The line must be drawn here.

15 years on the force. You wouldn't
believe the shit he's seen.

Hacking websites is illegal (I assume), so the police probably have some kind of Special Muppet Task Force that's all over it, but what's going to happen to the hacker (or hackers) when they catch him (or her, or them)? Community service? A fine? For besmirching Muppets? Sesame Street deserves better. It's a sweet and innocent part of our childhood that's been edutaining us for like 40 years and right now it's sobbing under the covers because it doesn't understand what it saw on its own website (it's ok Sesame Street, they were just hugging).




Funding for this angry mob was provided
by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
and by the financial support of viewers like you.
But who's going to make this right? The courts? Psscht. Their lawyer will have them out and back on the street (specifically this street) in 24 hours. You know what I say? Let's get an angry mob together, track this asshole (or assholes) down and deliver some felt-covered, vigilante justice. So who's in? I know what you're thinking: "How are we even going to find this guy?" You're right, it's not going to be easy, I mean, there must be hundreds of people on the Internet. But we have to try, after all, if we don't stand up for Muppets, who will?

Besides, the internet can't be all that big, can it?

Here's a map of the Internet. You start in the upper right where they keep the complaints about changes to Facebook, and I'll take Gmail, all the Gawker sites and the barren wasteland where MySpace used to be.
Now, let's find this sonofabitch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Settle down class.

Holy crap! Gays in the arts?
What will they think of next?
So in a recent interview with New York Magazine Zachary Quinto (aka Alterna-Spock) mentioned that he's gay. His sexuality wasn't the focus of the interview, but he brings it up both in connection with his role in Angels in America and with the recent bullying-related suicide of a gay teen from Upstate New York. Yup, he's pretty awesome. Now read this USA Today thing and tell me what's wrong with it, and no, I'm not talking about how it says he played Dr. Spock.*

Unlike Dr. Spock, Mr. Spock advocated a firm hand when dealing with disobedience.

"Oh my!"
-The News when someone famous comes out.
Yeah, I'm talking about the fact that in addition to coming out, Quinto was also raising awareness of the bullying epidemic, as well as underscoring the discrimination same-sex couples face but instead the story here and elsewhere seems to be: "Holy crap, Sylar's into dudes!" The interview itself was pretty good, but the coverage of it seems to miss the point. Aren't we, like as a country, kind of past the tittering fascination?


Don't get me wrong, it's totally important for prominent LGBT people to come out, but maybe USA Today and other news sites could've taken this opportunity to put the spotlight on the issues the actor is calling attention to and not just focus on how gay he is.

Look out George Takei.
That's right, two Takei's in one month. Deal.
*Update! Someone at USA today apparently caught on and fixed it but hand to god they called him Dr. Spock.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eastward Stranger Fiction

I kid, I kid. But seriously,
it'd really help me out.
So I recently completed the three and a half-day vehicular coma that is the cross country drive from the Bay Area to my hometown in Western-Upstate-New-York-ish and it was bo-ring. Look, I mean no insult to anyone who lives in Real America, but holy fly-overs Batman, there's like 20 or 30 states I could swear were exactly the same place. Maybe in the interest of simplicity, we should consider merging some of the more obscure ones into one giant state. You know, for my convenience.

This was my week.
Pictured: Jerks.

It's sort of a blur now, but I'm pretty sure I spent a night in Salt Lake City, which I was convinced would be the Saudi Arabia of the U.S. This proved to be pretty unfair of me since not a single person tried to hand me a pamphlet about how I'm going to hell. In fact, everyone I met was super-nice...maybe a little too nice, but nice none the less. Of course, I'm still pretty pissed at the Mormon Church (not Mormons per se, just the organization) for their totally wrong support of and interference in California's Prop 8 bullshit.

I wanted to find the LDS HQ in SLC so I could ask them how they retained their tax-exempt status despite clearly being a political organization, but failed. I did find Disney's Magic Castle, and that was pretty cool. I didn't know they had a park in Utah, but there it was.

Does this comparison make me sort of a dick? Probably.
But at least I didn't campaign to rob people of their civil rights. Oh burn!
They're not likely to have one
of these in Utah any time soon.

There is hope for Utah as Salt Lake City-ians fed up with the state's conservative politics held an underwear run thus totally sticking it to the man. Good for them. Next thing you know, they'll be dancing. Of course, this happened the same weekend as San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair (it's a big leather and BDSM festival where people totally do it in the street, just so's you're aware before you click) which makes the protest look adorably quaint by comparison, but still, it's nice to know they're trying.
Although this woman did
drop the C-word while asking
for a refill on her decaf.

Anyway, as boring as the drive was, I'd like to think I learned some things. Mostly I learned that next time, I should fly, but I also learned that people are pretty much the same everywhere you go. Like, I stopped for breakfast at a diner in Nebraska where I was waited on by a, get this: born-again belly-dancing grandmother who, in her spare time, runs an erotic cake business. That's right, erotic cakes. In Nebraska. Who would have guessed? Yeah, I totally had to eat my preconceived notions of mid-westerners along with my spinach omelet. Lesson learned. Also, not a single person was screaming hey m-ef'er, I want some more iced tea.


And while I'm sure that Rayleen's erotic cakes are the finest in all of
Lincoln NE, does anyone else think erotic cakes are kind of a weird idea?
Like, who looks at a cake and says: "Hmm...That's nice, but what if it was erotic?"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Federation Day 2011!

Hey fellow nerds, it's October 11th and you know what that means: Federation Day is here again! I hope you all sent out your cards.

Sure, they wear adult onsies, but they've mastered faster than light travel, teleportation
and communication with alien life forms. What've you got?
If you didn't know, Federation Day is a geeky holiday celebrating the future founding of the Federation on Star Trek. Seriously? You didn't read my explanation last year? Fine. Here, read this, I'll wait. With me? Great. Here are three new ways you can ring in another year of bland, spandex-clad, futuristic utopia:

Ricardo Montaban is 100%
Fine Corinthian Leather.
1) Mate outside your species! According to Star Trek, the galaxy is full of millions of planets that look amazingly like the Paramount Studios backlot and are populated with beings exactly like humans except with Elephant Man disease localized entirely on their foreheads. So if you're into that sort of thing, go for it. Also, by some miracle, species who evolved on entirely different planets can interbreed and somehow produce hybrid offspring like Spock (Human/Vulcan), Counselor Troi (Human/Betazoid) and Khan (Human/Baseball Glove).


In some ways, I suppose
it's kind of a bleak future.
2) Abandon money! In the future, we'll all have access to replicators which can convert energy into matter. Want a sandwich? Replicate it. Need a violin after the violin store has closed? No prob, the replicator can do that too. Booze? Yeah, 'cept that. They're all about Synthehol® in the 24th century. It's a fake non-endrunkening alcohol they drink on Star Trek TNG because in the future we'll have evolved beyond the need for fun. Anyway, thanks to the end of scarcity, money will go the way of Blockbuster and we'll all work to improve ourselves and the human race.


"Streaming video? Psscht, our customers prefer the personal touch of the 'ol timey video rental. 
Where else can you probably find what your looking for, assuming it's not rented out? 
Also, we have Pop Rocks. Can't stream those, no sir."
-Blockbuster CEO Jim Keys, 2007
(not pictured: Jim cleaning out his desk)
No liquor and no money? Hard to believe? Maybe, but this is a TV show about people hanging out with aliens and flying around in spaceships, so let's see some willing suspension of disbelief here, ok? Back to the list:

I have a hard time believing this thing
would be used for anything other than sex.
3) Have sex on the Holodeck! What? Yes, there's a room on starships where you can create programmable versions of any person living or dead, real or fictional from all of history and from hundreds of worlds. You can play sports, dress up like Sherlock Holmes and solve mysteries, or you can holo-bone 'till your heart's content. The best part is it's self-cleaning with any unwanted...um, matter...being broken down into its constituent atoms and recycled. Kinda makes you wonder about the hot Earl Grey tea you just ordered from the replicator... Scyence!

Of course, the holodeck does raise some ethical questions. Are the holo-characters alive and if so what happens when you switch them off? Could people become addicted to the holodeck? And most vexing, how did Commander Riker manage to keep his job?

This enlightened 24th century man spends like all his off-time making out with
what amounts to a holographic blow-up-doll. Gross.