Monday, January 30, 2012

It's pronounced 'Furk.'

It's not as if gayness is
new to Star Wars.
Can we stop calling anti-gay organizations 'pro-family'? They're not pro-family, they're just anti-gay and now one is even anti-space-gay. The Family Research Council (or FRC, see? Furk), a D.C.-based non-profit hate group with a fancy name that erroneously implies both authority and science, is throwing a tantrum because Bioware is releasing an update for Star Wars: The Old Republic that allows for same sex relationships (that's right, it turns out Wookies are for banging no matter what these guys say). So to clarify, The Family Research Council is upset that people playing a game can now have imaginary gay relationships with other people who are also pretending to live in the Star Wars universe. Holy shit, where to start.

Tony Perkins is very interested
in who's sticking what in whom.
I can not wrap my brain around why these Furks are so interested in other people's sex lives much less other people's pretend sex lives. Are they not satisfied with harassing people in the real world that they now have to extend their bullshit to video games? Behold this quote from FRC Prez. Tony Perkins:

"Since the announcement, homosexuals have been celebrating the news, but parents sure aren't. On the game's website, there are more than 300 pages of comments - a lot of them expressing anger that their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking. You can join them by logging on and speaking up. It's time to show companies who the Force is really with."
-Tony Perkins, King of the Furks

First of all, The Force is an energy field that surrounds, binds and penetrates us. If that's not totally gay I don't know what is. Secondly, how likely do you think it is that this jackass has ever played an MMORPG? Thirdly what the shit is a 'Star Warped way of thinking?' Is that a play on Star Wars? Is he confusing warp drive with Star Wars? Is someone who thinks dinosaur bones were left by the devil to confuse us really accusing people who support equality of having a warped way of thinking?*
According to my Lady Schick, Tony Perkins' jerki-chlorian count is off the scale.
Although look how much fun these
kids are having rocking out for The Lord.

As a grown-up man-child who still plays video games, I am driven up the wall every time (yeah, it happens a lot) a pack of sanctimonious right-wing dickweeds chime in with some outrage about how something they don't understand or even care about doesn't jive with their worldview. I mean, I don't fly off the handle every time some niche publisher cranks out another 'Left Behind' game or Christianized knock-off of Guitar Hero. I just don't buy it. Maybe instead of complaining, Furk can come up with their own MMORPG, one that reinforces their belief system, like Holy Wars: Knights of the Old Crusade or Funeral Protesters Online (FPO to the cool kids).

Fun for the whole narrowly defined family!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gibson to synagogue: Don't menschon it.*

Why this might just be crazy enough to work. Facing foreclosure, Congregation Beth Shalom in Corona, CA has asked Mel Gibson for $500,000 to stay open. You can even read the letter on TMZ. Yup, a Jewish organization is asking noted anti-Semite, homophobe and torture-aficionado Mel Gibson for money. That's like...well it's like something. Is this a screaming blue-faced charge into madness or pure genius?
This. It's exactly like this.
Above: Mel Gibson's people.
Why would Mel Gibson want to help people different from him? The answer is he probably wouldn't. Unless, of course, the request attracted media attention and all eyes were on him. Then Mel 'Money Bags' Gibson would have to help out. That's why this is genius. According to the TMZ article, Mel Gibson's people say that he's completely unaware of the request and hopes things, you know, work out or something, which I'm pretty sure is their way of hoping no one notices this even happened.

This isn't even from a movie, this is
Mel Gibson in line at Safeway.
In that spirit, I propose that we all do everything we can to draw attention to the synagogue's request. Post the link on Facebook, tell our friends whatever. If we ever want to see another Mad Max movie, or Braveheart 2: Electric Boogaloo (do we though?) Mel is going to have to fix his crazy/racist image (of course being less crazy and racist would help too). Besides, $500,000 is nothing to a guy who got millions of Evangelical Christians to pay to watch two hours of torture, blood and cruelty in Aramaic and to bring their kids.

C'mon, it would be win win. Congregation Beth Shalom would stay open and we could watch Lethal Weapon without thinking about what a racist Riggs is in real life. And if it works it might set an awesome precedent of pressuring other jerks into supporting good causes.

Dear Mitt Romney, You've got money and the Gay Men's Chorus
of Columbus, Ohio could use a new bus. Let's talk.


Friday, January 27, 2012

To Explore Strange Newt Worlds...

' boldly bone...'
Is Newt Gingrich is the next Kennedy? Yes, at least in the sense that they're both adulterers who love the space program. Check out this article about President Newt's plans for a moon base by the year 2020 and manned missions to Mars shortly thereafter. Wow, I am more than a little bit enqueasened by the fact that this pudgy, homophobic Presidential hopeful shares my hopes for space exploration.

I mean how is it even possible that he's all about space and the future and stuff? He's a Republican and Republicans hate things like science and working together, what gives? I'll tell you: Two things give.
Behold: The Newt Gingrich Memorial Moon Base circa 2037. It's has a landing pad,
research lab and a special radiation-proof bunker where astronauts can ride out their sex scandals.
First: every member of the GOP wants to be Ronald Reagan. It's a scientific fact. And what is Reagan famous for? Transforming into the Incredible Hulk and smashing the Berlin Wall to pieces thus single-handedly ending the Cold War. But by destroying Communism forever he left later Republicans without an arch enemy to fight. With China's space program threatening our ownership of the sky, Newt can finally live out his Reaganautical fantasy of kicking communist ass at something.

Get a job hippies!
Reason number two? Unsurprisingly it's money. Yeah, Newt Gingrich isn't so much about slipping the surly bonds of Earth and touching the face of God because it will expand our knowledge of the universe, no, Newt's in it for the cold hard latinum. You see NASA with it's philosophy of science for the betterment of mankind is clearly for left-wingers who hate capitalism, so Gingrich wants to offer a $10 billion prize* for whatever faceless corporation can successfully put the first human on Mars.

A cash prize might be a great motivation, but the jump between a company being the first to make it to Mars and said company saying it now owns Mars is a short one. Commercializing the final frontier just seems kind of wrong. When we do finally meet aliens, I'd rather they deal with our elected leaders or the planet's brightest scientific minds and not Disney's Chief VP in charge of Imagineering.
'We came in peace...for Staples.'
-First Human on Mars, 2074
* I'm not sure where he thinks we'll get 10 billion dollars to hand out to a company that already had enough money to fund a Mars mission. I suspect he'll try to sell California.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let's Conquer Venus!

Holy crap did the Soviets find life on Venus back in the 80's? Probably not, but wouldn't it be rad? Venus has a crazy dense atmosphere which, according to Wikipedia (which is like science), locks in the heat (and presumably the freshness) making life as we know it unlikely, but then that's why we call them aliens right?
Xenomorph: Latin for 'what the shit is that thing?'
-Marvin the Martian
Wait, hang on, can you believe that the U.S.S.R. was exploring Venus back then? Didn't we kick their ass in the space race? I mean we conquered the Moon. Of course to the Russians it probably just looks like we planted a flag on the lunar surface and spent the next 40 years telling everyone about it. Sure, we did a little Venereal probing (sorry, that's the adjective) ourselves but they out-Venus'ed us 3 to one. Anyway, some of their missions involved landings which is how Russian space-scientist Leonid Ksanfomaliti discovered his Venereal crabs (again, sorry).

X-tremophiles on the other hand
subsist solely on caffeinated
sugar-water and snowboarding.
Yep, space crabs, or space scorpions-he's not really sure and in fairness the photos aren't totally clear. Dr. Ksanformaliti is claiming that these half-circle objects photographed by the landers are Venusian (ok, so there is another adjective) life forms. It's not totally off the wall. There are these creatures on Earth called extremophiles (not to be confused with x-tremophiles) that exist in environments that have no business supporting life like super-hot geothermal vents, the South or even in acid. The extremophiles here on Earth are often pointed to as a reason to believe life might exist elsewhere in the solar system.

The Venusians shall tremble
before our mighty kitchen gadgets.
Most scientists insist that the objects are most likely the lens caps off the lander's camera but that's just quitter talk. Sure, they happen to appear in exactly the place the probe's lens cap would land once it pops off the camera, but who knows? Maybe these are actual Venusians investigating our probes. If so I suspect their puny crab-like forms are no match for our superior technology and that their planet is ripe for the plucking. On the other hand we can't seem to get aliens visiting Earth to hold still for photos, so what are the chances that two probes plunked down randomly on Venus strike space crab pay dirt in one go?
Behold: The Venusian Blurry Lens Cap Crab in its natural monochromatic habitat.
Like seriously, it was 1982. I know it was Soviet Russia, but they couldn't
have put a nicer camera on the thing? Like maybe one with color?

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Year of the Dovahkiin!

Happy Year of the Dragon! Yup, it's that inconsistent time of the year again when the lunar odometer rolls over to another animal, in this case the Dragon.
Have I mentioned that my sign is the goat? Have I mentioned that?
Pictured: China. I think maybe
there's some room in the back.

If you're thinking about having kids and want to give them a great start, not to mention a kick-ass Chinese Zodiac sign (unlike mine), better start making babies (if you're confused as to how, check out this recent post). According to the BBC, dangerously under-populated China is expecting a kind of dragon baby boom due to the auspiciousness of having a kid born under the dragon sign.

According to tradition, 'Dragons'  (or Dovahkiin if you're nerdy) are supposed to be energetic, charismatic and natural born leaders; basically the people we all secretly hate.

Have a child this year and not only will they be an energetic young go-getter,
but they'll also be able to absorb Dragon souls. You owe it to your kids.

Are you in the Yakuza? No?
Then what are you doing?
Anyway, how these personality traits link into flying fire-breathing sky-lizards is beyond me, but then Chinese Dragons are like totally different from things like Smaug and the Dungeons and Dragons monsters that we're most familiar with here in the west. For one thing, they tend to make for douchier tattoos. And for another they're not necessarily man-eating, peasant-roasting princess kidnappers. Instead they fly around dispensing luck and making it rain or something. Oh, and weirdly enough they don't have wings. They just sort of wriggle through the air, which is obviously bullshit. I mean how does that work? Telekinesis? Natural helium bladders? I mean come on.

Hey, you know what else?

If I'm doing the math correctly, in
China, this kid's like 24.
Speaking of Chinese customs that are different, get this. In China, instead of getting older on your birthday, everyone adds a year to their age every Chinese New Year. So if today is Chinese New Year, everyone who goes by the lunar calendar is one year older regardless of then their birthday is. Add to this the fact that in China when a person is born they're considered one year old. So if a baby was born yesterday, and today is Chinese New Years, he or she is considered two years old. Wow, I guess 1.3 billion people can be wrong. Oh well, Happy Birthday Everyone in China!
Above: A professional dragon wrangler leads a Chinese New Years parade.
Unfortunately, every year many unwanted dragons end up abandoned or simply flushed down the toilet
when they get to big for their owners to handle. Remember to have your dragon spayed or neutered.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Well I hope you're happy...

You'd never know it from the 'romantic' sub-plot of the Star Wars prequels, but George Lucas has feelings. Check out this interview he did with The New York Times about his new WWII movie. In it, he expresses the human emotion known as frustration when discussing the admittedly toxic feedback he gets from fans.
'Oh Anakin, my burning passion for your love
burns with a hot burning passion of love.'
This for example, was uncalled for.
It turns out that this isn't just another 20 year lull between Star Wars movies. He's done. No more Star Wars movies for us. "Why would I make any more...when everybody yells and you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?" You can see why he feels this way, I mean, a lot of Star Wars fans HATE the prequels and the Special Editions and are pretty vocal about it. But I don't know, does anyone really think he's a terrible person? It's not him, it's his 'vision' people have a problem with.

Yeah, that takes me back....
to a time 45 years before I was born.
Lucas always said that Star Wars was intended as an homage to the sci-fi serials of the 1940's and that's cool. The problem is that most fans (of the Original Trilogy) are like the grandkids of people who know what the hell a serial is, so we were all expecting the prequels to be like Star Wars. I don't know about you, but I have no idea if either trilogy re-captures the magic of pre-war Flash Gordon. I do know that Episodes 4-6 were awesome and 1-3 were devoted to sucking the joy out of 4-6. They made Darth Vader into a whiny child-murderer and Yoda into a hyper-active ninja who beheads clones without a second thought. Lucas sees Star Wars one way, and the fans see it another. Guess who wins?

Hey kids, look it's your pal Yoda! And-oh, my god,
what is he...? Holy shit, did he just stab that guy?  
Pictured: George Lucas single-handedly
making Star Wars while some other
people look on.
On a side note, in the interview he also said this: "I'm saying: 'But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.'" Ok, that's true, I mean he does own Star Wars. But it sounds a little like he's forgetting the contributions of John Dykstra, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, the cast, the crew and the hundreds of extremely creative people who have spent the last 30 years building the Expanded Universe. Also, the works of Isaac Asimov, Akira Kurosawa and Alex Raymond, which he's often cited as inspiration.

We feel you Indy, we feel you.
Anyway, you think he'd be touched to know that fans care so much about his creation that they (ok, we) get so rabid-foaming crazy about it, but I can see how the last 13 years (when did that happen?) of living with fan prequel-rage and Special Edition ire can wear on you, and the last Indiana Jones movie didn't help things either. So no more Star Wars movies. Did we bring this upon ourselves? Is it really a bad thing? If we start making nice now, do you think he'd let someone else direct Star Wars: Episode VII: KOTOR: The Movie? 

George, we're basically asking you to let us give you more money
and love you again. You don't even have to get up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Grim Foreshadowing

Behold: the Internet of 2013.
Oh my god Wikipedia, please never go offline again. That was the worst. For twenty-four hours yesterday we were forced to live without constant access to questionable user-edited information in a terrible preview of the world after SOPA and PIPA. Unfamiliar with what those acronyms mean? Click on the Wikipedia links above and enjoy them while you can because if these things pass and do what everyone's afraid they do, we may be back to trudging to our local library and none of us wants that. Do you remember microfiche? No, of course you don't. That's because the Internet rendered it obsolete, just like human interaction and paying for porn.

The monks who painstakingly converted periodicals into micro-film died out
long ago taking with them the secret of their art.
"The Internet is nice and all, but
shouldn't I be owning it somehow?"
-Some CEO
Look, I'm not sure I fully understand the bills or the rationale behind them, but now that they've personally inconvenienced me I'm pretty sure I should be angry about them. I think they're an attempt to protect copyrights on the Internet by arbitrarily shutting down websites, smashing their servers and then burying the remains in salted earth so that nothing will ever grow again. It's like the people and business who support the bill suddenly realized that they weren't making enough money off of the Internet and see this as an opportunity to convert it from a public space where everyone can play into a massive content-delivery system/money making machine.

Enjoy Frisbee® brand fun,
or get the fuck out.
A dubious analogy? I can do that: Let's say there was a public park that everyone enjoyed. People have picnics, play frisbee and rock out to those giant boom-boxes from the 80's. Now let's say Frisbee® and, I don't know, Metallica (because they would) caught wind of this and lobbied for a bill that would kick people out of the park if they didn't use Frisbee® brand frisbees and license Metallica's music through the proper channels. Also, you could no longer bring picnic baskets. Only Happymeals. At least that's what this sounds like to me, what do I know?

Look, everyone supports intellectual property rights ('cept these guys), and that's cool. But there's got to be a better way to protect them than wrecking the Internet, right? You don't just nuke it from orbit leaving the rest of us to screw around with microfiche like it's the goddamn dark ages.
There, that aught to solve L.A.'s traffic problem.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rick Santorum hates your gayby.

Hey, it turns out that despite the bullshit arguments of Focus on the Family and every Republican Presidential candidate, gays and lesbians make terrific parents after all.
'Suck it Mitt.'
Oh big damn deal. Try doing
that without a hootenanny.
The thing is most straight couples can have kids pretty easily, sometimes without really trying. Not to get all technical on you here but scientifically speaking, it takes a doodle in the hootenanny to make a baby. Since gay couples usually have access to only two of one of these and none of the other, they have to work a bit harder to get a baby. This new study suggests that since gays and lesbians can't simply crank out a kid by accident or without outside help they are often more dedicated parents from the get-go. After all, they had to work so hard to adopt or get a surrogate or build a convincing android child (insert Wikipedia link to Small Wonder*).

Unfortunately you can't just take
them to the pound.

It's the difference between working really hard to save up for your first car and being handed a BMW when you turn 16 (or when you first get laid, it's not a perfect analogy, but go with it anyway). That's not to say that straight parents don't work hard to be good parents, it's just that their statistics are being seriously dragged down by all the people who have children they weren't ready for or didn't want to have in the first place.

In fact, the article points out the only real disadvantage faced by the children of gay parents is that some communities don't consider same-sex couples legitimate. Yeah, the downside to gay parents is the fact that the homophobes who work so tirelessly to rob them of equal rights are such jerks. I wonder if groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage (let's call them FOF and NOM) are aware that they're the social problem they're campaigning against?
'I just can't bear to see kids raised by the people we harass.
Hmm? No, clearly I can't hear myself speak.'
-Jim Daly, irony-proof head of  Focus on the Family
On a side note,

The take away? Sabretooths are
the reason there are gay people. Syence!

Let's talk cave men. I mean, has it occurred to anti-gay marriage people that maybe nature or God or whatever put gay people here for a reason? I'm no anthropologist, but it seems to me that gay people are a great idea from an evolutionary prospective. Primitive humans had an average lifespan of like 25, no penicillin and were under constant threat of sabre-toothed tiger attack. Why in the name of hell would you not want extra parents in your society? Also, there's like tons of un-adopted kids right now. If these FOF and NOM people care so much about kids, why are they so against wide acceptance of gay adoption?

If Victorian England had legalized gay adoption, these orphans could have
been raised with impeccable grooming habits in tastefully decorated homes.
Instead they were forced to stage elaborate musical numbers just to get extra gruel. 
*Wikipedia is off line today to protest SOPA. SOPA is bullshit and must be stopped. Call your Congress person or something!

Monday, January 16, 2012

And the Award for Best Streeper goes to...

So I went to see The Iron Lady the other night. It's a bio-pic about Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's first female Prime Minister and noted battle axe and-what? Ok, yes, that was an extremely insensitive thing to say and I'm very, very sorry.
My apologies to battle axes and people who enjoy battle axes.
Really? Too soon? When this was
going on, Eye of the Tiger was big.

Of course, I've never sunk an Argentinian battleship over a couple of disputed islands of questionable practical and strategic value, so now who's the jerk? Anyway, back to the movie. It was, at best, m'eh. The film was not so much about Thatcher's life and political career as it was about how Meryl Streep is like, really good at acting. Acting for which she is, as I write this, accepting a Golden Globe-wow, lookit her go. In fact, maybe we should just get it over with and call it 'Streeping' from now on.

England's the one that looks
like a boot, right?
But Margaret Thatcher was a right wing nut job, why go see a movie about her? Well, while I disagreed with Admiral Firmus Piett's politics (he's pro-blaster and anti-wookie), I still enjoyed The Empire Strikes Back. Tory or no, Thatcher was a trailblazing woman who fought her way to the top of a male-dominated system. That should be pretty interesting, right? And I don't know about you, but I know next to nothing about Britain between WWII and AbFab so I was also hoping for a little edutainment. No such luck.

I mean he only got the job because he was standing next to Admiral Ozzel.

Damn. Now that is a meaningful gaze.
This was just two-hours of Meryl Streep acting the shit out of scenes from Thatcher's life. At least I presume they were scenes out of Margaret Thatcher's life. Not being British, or having access to Wikipedia during the film, I was missing a lot of the background and context necessary for the movie to make any sense (thanks public school). Who was that guy? Why did his car explode? How come Margaret Thatcher is shouting at Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

She'd still be in office, but in the end,
Thatcher pissed off the wrong Time Lord.

I didn't know what was going on and this movie felt no obligation to tell me but god damn, have I mentioned that Streep can act? It's like the filmmakers made the movie only for Thatcherphiles (ewww) who already know the story and Meryl Streep fans who don't care about the story. It was more pic and less bio and that's ok, but it would have been nice if the film told a story. Oh well, maybe they're saving it for the sequel.

I'm sure Streep will win an Oscar or something for this one too...
Hey, maybe her next role should be a woman capable of making a concise acceptance speech.

p.s. Here's another awesome picture of a guy with a battle ax: