Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Yes, that's exactly the level of crazy.
We already kind of knew that Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage were crazy, but did you know they were like 'round the bend, burn it down and then salt the earth so that nothing will ever grow again crazy? Well, they are. You're probably saying to yourself : 'who and the what for what, now?' Here, let me refresh you: Brian Brown is the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay hate group who, like a homophobic Justice League, formed to save California from being destroyed by gay people getting married.

Pictured: Brian Brown crying in his
goddamned cheerios because gay
people in New York have equal rights.
Having recently lost the battle against same-sex marriage (not to mention reason and perspective) in New York, Brian Brown and the NOM have committed themselves to a new goal: kicking the shit out of Republicans in the next election. Why? Again, the crazy, but also revenge. Rather than come to terms with the fact that gay people have rights whether they like it or not, the NOMs have decided that they'd rather throw a tantrum and trash the few reasonable members of the GOP who had the temerity ($.50!) to stand up to them.

Now normally I'd love to sit back and watch conservatives feast on each other like a bunch of flat-tax, gun-loving zombies, but the Republicans the NOMs are going after this November are the ones who weighed pandering to the religious right against joining the Democrats in doing the right thing and said (and I quote): 'Fuck it...'
"Uuuhhhhggg...no moooore Obaaaamaacaaare...."
-Republican Zombies
As social conservatives you'd think the NOM's members would recognize the value of holding on to lawmakers who agree with the other 95% of the Republican platform like insider trading and hunting puppies for sport (what?). But no, they just hate gay people so much that they're willing to eat their own out of retribution. Seriously, that's it. The National Organization for Marriage has no motivations other that hatred and revenge, which, incidentally is something the average married couple can at least relate to.

I'd like to think that the average Republican voter is savvy enough not to let a hate group choose their candidates for them, but then these are the people who made Going Rogue a bestseller...for six goddamn weeks.
I'd bet that they're also responsible for a fair percentage of Going Rouge's
sales before sheepishly trudging back to Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


"This court is adjourned."
I've got this strange feeling, this here-to-for un-experienced sense of...I don't know...what's the opposite of soul-crushing despair at the state of civilization? Is there even a word for it? Re-hopefull-ish-ness? Anyway I'd never heard of David Blankenhorn before this morning but he's actually restored some of my faith in humanity. So who the hell is this guy? At first blush he sounds like one of the people I'd like to trade in to get Jim Henson or Madeline Khan back. I mean he defended Prop 8 in Perry Vs. Schwarzenegger. Sure, his side lost but still, that's pretty douchy.

He also wrote a book called The Future of Marriage which is about how gay couples make terrible parents because they can't both be biologically related to their children which is absolutely essential and the reason that all adopted children grow up to be sociopaths. Science.
In his follow-up, Marriage of the Future, Blankenhorn argues that raising your children
in a vast and hostile galaxy is perfectly healthy, as long as you're not both dudes.

Without marriage, our civilization
will quickly crumble into
hopelessness and Thunderdomes.
Oh, and Blankenhorn is also the founder of the socially conservative and somewhat churchy-sounding Institute for American Values: a group dedicated to the promotion of marriage. According to the IAV, getting married isn't just some sexist and outmoded form of property exchange left over from the Bronze Age, nor is it a flimsy pretext with which to extort gift cards and smoothie makers from your friends. For them, marriage is no less than the very glue that holds our society together and the only thing between us and total anarchy. In fact, their website draws a connection between the rising divorce rate and 9-11.

So how the hell does a right-wing Prop-8 thumper like that give me a warm fuzzy of renewed optimism? He reversed his position, that's how. Wait-waaah?
Yesterday, if given the choice between a social conservative coming to his senses about the
injustice and homophobia inherent in opposing marriage equality and a goddamned unicorn,
I would have chosen the unicorn as the thing I'd most likely see today. 
Ted got Nicole, and his family got 80
gold ducats and 130 head of cattle.
Let's hear it for traditional marriage. 
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Blankenhorn has come out in support of legalizing same-sex marriage. It's not a total reversal, he still stands by traditional (or 'vanilla') marriage as his favorite method of transferring ownership of a woman from her father to her husband, but he says it's time to end the fight against marriage equality in the name of 'basic fairness' and just getting along with one another. Wait a minute, fairness? Getting along? Say...that doesn't sound like discourse in American politics...where's the vitriol? The name-calling? The Hitler comparisons? What gives?

If David Blankenhorn and the Institute for American Values can abandon the homophobia and junk science of the anti-equality movement, can the rest of the right be far behind? Could we be looking at the end of us versus them and the beginning of open and rational discussion? That thing you're feeling? That's re-hopefull-ishness.
"Luke...join me and together we will come to an equitable agreement that will satisfy
the needs of both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. There's really no need for this
destructive conflict to go on, I mean we're both reasonable people here..."

-Darth Consensus-Builder

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inglorious Plumbers

Joe Wurzelbacher, whom you might remember as Joe the Plumber, is a conservative political activist, contractor and now a congressional candidate for Ohio. But did you know that he's also an expert on twentieth century history?
Vote Joe the Plumber! As your Congressman for the Ohio 9th district,
he'll travel back in time, kill Hitler and prevent World War II from ever happening. 
The solution to all of our problems
is obviously more fucking guns.
Oh yes, in a new campaign spot, Joe, while practicing his aim on some (presumably socialist) fruit and vegetables, sets the record straight on the underpinnings of both the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. It turns out that the real cause wasn't ethnic strife in Turkey or anti-semitism and political scapegoating in Germany but gun control. Yes, if the 11 million victims only had more guns they could have defended themselves against the powerful Nazi war machine that took six years, millions of lives and the combined military resources of the rest of the world to defeat.

Of course it would have been nice if the Nazis didn't have guns either, but what do I know? I'm not a historian...or a plumber...but hey, there you have it: gun control leads directly to genocide. Think of that next time you suggest that maybe some reasonable restrictions on assault rifles are a good idea.
Reagan Administration Press Secretary James Brady:
 Victim of gun-violence, noted gun control advocate and according to Joe the Plumber,
a Charlie Chaplin moustache away from being exactly like Adolf Hitler.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What else are you going to do with $100,000?

So if you had $100,000, would you be willing to blow it on the broken and rusted remains of a prop from a TV show that was cancelled 40 years ago? If you said yes, you're my kind of people. Check this out. Oh yes, the Shuttlecraft Galileo is up for auction, but the emptor should seriously caveat, like for real.
Holy crap! Only 100 grand? You'd be an idiot not to buy it!
(Actual item may vary from picture. See below)
Don't worry, the endoplasm
will wash right off.
'The what is up for what?' you might be asking. Well, an auction is 'a sale of property to the highest bidder' but you should probably already know that. The Shuttlecraft Galileo, or at least the beat-to-hell remains of the Galileo, is a prop from the original Star Trek. You see whenever the story required characters to be isolated from the Enterprise or trapped on a planet or whatever, the transporter would conveniently break down leaving the shuttle craft to crash, run out of power or get absorbed by a giant space amoeba. It's called drama.

Well, after four decades of exposure to the elements and almost certainly being used by hobos as a toilet, the Galileo can be yours! Better hurry though, there's only 9 days left and the bid is already up to $20,000 and could go as high as $100,000. Yeah, one hundred thousand goddamn dollars.
More like Shuttle-Crap Galileo. Oh yeah, better put some aloe on that burn.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Top Secret? Pfffftt...more like Pop Secret...

They might as well have Saran Wrapped
it. Does the Air Force not own a tarp?
It's things like these (this, aaaand this) that shake my otherwise unswerving belief in the government's ability to keep the truth about aliens from us. The first story is from a few days ago and is about the alien starship the Air Force was brazenly towing through Washington D.C. on a flatbed. Yeah, they covered it in plastic, but like covering your kid's new bike in wrapping paper and sticking it under the Christmas tree, there's no disguising the fact that it looks like the wise cracking UFO from Flight of the Navigator.

You know, like a $813 million
car...that kills people...
According to the Air Force, the craft is actually a top secret unmanned military drone called an X-47B being delivered to a nearby military base for testing. It's so top secret it even has it's own goddamned wikipedia page. You'd think that they'd want to keep their new hardware under wraps but since secret flying kill-bots are all the rage now, I suppose guess they wanted to show it off a little. I mean, if you just bought a fancy new car, you'd drive it around the block, right?

Anyway, the second story is about the similarly named X-37B landing in California. The X-37B, according to its equally secret wikipedia page is an unmanned space drone and has spent the last year or so doing secret space things like spying on China (shhh, don't tell them) and testing new technology (apparently not stealth technology).
Above: A woman tests out America's latest stealth
technology as part of Operation: No Peaking
Eat your heart out Cold War-era CIA.
Look, I am all for the openness and transparency. I mean the Cold War's over, let's cut the James Bond shit and act like grown ups. That said, I still kind of want to know why it's so hard to keep these things quiet. Sure, everyone with a camera phone and Instagram has better spy equipment at their disposal than every espionage agency before 1990, but it helps if you don't drive your classified spy plane around in broad daylight. Every time things like this slip out it's like there's one fewer dark corner in which to hide the Roswell ship. 

I'd like at least to be able to believe we have the truth about aliens locked up somewhere. But if the government can't even land their secret space shuttle without it showing up on the internet five minutes later how are we supposed to cling to the hope they've got a warehouse full of Greys or a Stargate or something? 
Above: This scene isn't bullshit because aliens and UFOs are preposterous,
it's bullshit because the government sucks at keeping things quiet.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Let's Celebrate Captain Picard Day!

Hey, check this out. Apparently today is Captain Picard Day! I hope you remembered to send out your cards.
"Well, these are simply terrible. Counselor, are the children living aboard the Enterprise especially
stupid or is it possible that their minds have been damaged somehow by cosmic radiation?"

-Captain Picard, disappointed by children 
"Darmok and Jalad at your momma's house!"
-Jean-Luc Picard, master of diplomacy

So what the hell is Captain Picard Day? Well, it was introduced in season 7 of Star Trek TNG as a hilarious joke Riker and Troi play on the Captain, but has since become a for-real nerd holiday alongside Federation Day and May the Fourth Be With You. You can celebrate by making clay sculptures of Picard's head, drinking Earl Grey tea (hot), and talking out your differences with hostile aliens who speak only in obscure cultural references from their home world.

Ok, you probably don't spend a lot of time
wondering about stardates, but I bettcha
Commander Steve and Lt. Snornak do
But you're probably wondering how can we possibly know today is Captain Picard Day (you were wondering that, right?). After all, in the future we'll have abandoned our medieval Jesus-based calendar and moved on to the baffling and barely logical stardate system designed to compensate for the face-meltingly vast distances between stars and the timey-whimey wibbly wobbly consequences of traveling at warp speeds. Further complicating matters is the fact that no consistent explanation of how stardates work was ever offered. Can we even be sure that today is really the day? Nope, 'fraid not.

As much as I'd love to say that some industrious trekkies worked it out with math or that it supplanted some pagan holiday, the truth is that the date was just chosen by TNG's U.K. broadcaster as a great day for a trek-a-thon. Oh well, Happy Captain Picard Day!
"So if episode 23 took place on a Tuesday, then Riker's birthday must be stardate 12286.5.
We can then divide by  the distance between Earth and the Klingon home world
which gives us the answer to why I was 34 before I knew the touch of a woman."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let's probe the Multi-Verse!

Anyway, as you've probably heard, Prometheus is a pseudo-prequel to Alien and depending on how you look at it, is Alien 5, Alien 0 or Alien 10. Below I have summed up the complex web of relationships between the canonical film entries in what we shall call the Alie-predmetheus-iverse. Behold:
It's a slutty, slutty multi-verse.
Fred and George come to the terrifying
realization that they've touched each
 other's continuities...and enjoyed it.
Somehow, when we weren't looking, the universe in which the Alien movies are set ballooned into a multi-franchise mega-verse which may or may not include Doctor Who. Yeah, Doctor Who, but we'll get to that. At first it may appear that these connections make for a rich narrative tapestry but it's easy to forget that when you moosh your fictional world up with someone else's fictional world you're also mooshing with every other continuity your partner has ever mooshed with. It might seem like fun at first, but then you wake up one day and find that it hurts to pee.

"Gee, I was kind of hoping you'd explain
your plan thus exposing some kind of weekness
I could exploit...possibly with my batarang..."

-Batman, somewhat in over his head

Which brings us to Doctor Who. Yeah. So the Alien and Predator Universes were officially linked up with AVP, but they'd already versed (?) each other years ago in the comics. The crossover movies simply cemented the connection. You know who else met a Predator? Batman. Yeah, in the cleverly titled Batman Vs. Predator. Depending on where you draw the lines of canonicity (do comics count, or are they what-if's?) this links the entire DC universe with the Alie-pred-metheus-iverse. Still with me?

Since DC's Legion of Superheroes recently hooked up with the crew of the original Starship Enterprise and Captain Kirk's successor Captain Picard engaged in some hot transdimensional shenanigans with the Eleventh Doctor, the argument can be made that little stands in the way of Ellen Riply throwing down with some Daleks in Alien 5: Cross-promotion.
Of course this also opens the possibility of a Xenomorph tearing it's way out of
Fred's be-ascotted chest leaving Velma to pick up a flame thrower and go to town.

Looking a Space Jokey in the mouth

The gods smile on nerddom.
Now, if they could just get us laid.
I know that as nerds it's sort of our job to complain about sci-fi/fantasy movies, but the genre gods have been pretty decent to us lately. Avengers was cool, there's another Batman coming out and the nine or ten people who saw John Carter will agree that despite the shitty box-office, it was pretty damn good. And while it won't like, change your life or anything, Prometheus was a decent sci-fi movie at a time when the world is still mourning the end of Harry Potter: Teen Wizard and waiting breathlessly for the next installment of the Thunderdome Under 18 Division.

It wasn't perfect of course. As geeks, it's our job to walk away from every movie with five or ten things that could have been better and-what's that? You'd like my list? Why sure, just promise me you'll see the movie first. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you. Anyway, I'll start with the good. And seriously, there totally be spoilers, so look out.
Finally, a $130 million explanation as to what the hell that
skeletal elephant thing in the first Alien movie was supposed to be.
They also borrowed from Robotech, as
the Engineers are soothed only by J-Pop.
Prometheus borrows heavily from the rest of the Alien-universe (to which it's connected*) so that was neat, but it also made use of elements from other science fiction as well. The ship itself looks like something off the cover of any one of the late 80's early 90's sci-fi paperbacks that are right now sitting in boxes and acting as a severe fire hazard in the attic of my parents house. Larry Niven fans will recognize both an auto-doc and a similarity between the film's gigantic Engineers and his Pak Protectors.

"You'll be hearing from my agent."
-Sir Ian McKellen, old person

So nice special effects and a premise steeped in sci-fi goodness are definite pluses. Now on to the not so awesome. Fist of all, what's up with old Mr. Weyland being played by Guy Pearce in the shittiest age make up this side of Benjamin Button? I guess they did this because they used Guy Pearce in some fake TED Talks videos as part of a viral marketing campaign, but still, I think I would have preferred an actual old person or failing that maybe Michael Fassbender in a dual-role. I mean Weyland built him to be his son, shouldn't he look like him or something? It's a minor quibble, I know, but still. It was a little weird and the bad make up stuck out amid the otherwise rad effects and costumes.

"It certainly looks friendly. I say we
poke it, you know, for science."

Also lame: the scientists in this movie are kind of idiots. First they travel light years to find extraterrestrial ruins only to plunk their ship smack in the middle of some alien Nazca lines. Then upon finding an Engineer's head they hook it up to electrodes and make its face muscles contract until the whole thing explodes because why the hell not. Meanwhile, a couple other crew members come across a couple of genital sludge serpents and immediately reach out and try to grab them leading to horror and death. Good work everyone.

As you blossom into alien-queenhood
you'll begin to notice changes in your
body. These are completely natural.

And speaking of the alien creatures, I was never sure just what their deal was. I mean the Xenomorphs in the Alien series had a sort-of straightforward progression: Queen lays eggs, eggs hatch face-huggers, face-huggers cram an embryo down your throat, said embryo bursts out of your abdomen and kills everyone. Simple right? Prometheus's creatures have a way more complicated life cycle for some reason.

I think Pandas have an easier time
reproducing than the creatures in this
movie and evolution hates them.
If I understood what was going on with them (and I'm not sure I did), they start out as black ooze in a jar and can either turn into a dick snake or bide their time until a crazy android puts them in someones coffee. Once ingested they appear in your eye as some kind of liquid metal parasite and assuming you decide to ignore the eye worm and go on with your day, it will bide it's time until you have sex. Once spread to your partner like some kind of Lovecraftian STD it will gestate into a giant white nightmare squid.

But wait, there's more. The giant squid then has to find a host (in the movie it grabs an engineer) to face-hug and lay its eggs which will then grow into a cross between the Xenomorph and a shark. Got all that?
"Hey, come back! I just want to deposit an unkillable, armor-plated murderbeast
in your upper digestive tract! Did I mention it has acid for blood?"
You see the question mark leaves it
open for a sequel. It's all about subtlety.
Anyway, like I said, Prometheus was ok, just don't think about it too much. As another entry in the shared Alien/Predator continuity it's pretty good, ranking somewhere beneath Alien and Aliens and above Alien 3. There will almost certainly be a sequel as I guess the film made a decent amount at the box office and the ending stopped just short of having Noomi Repace turn to the camera and say: "Oh, I don't think we've seen the last of the Engineers..."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let's celebrate Sanctimonious Dickweed Month!

Gee Tony, I guess we figured St. Patrick's
Day, Cinco De Mayo, Mardi Gras and
New Years Eve just about covered it.
Hey everybody, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wants to complain about how there's gay people in the world so let us, by all means, give him a mic. Recently he said the following:

"Now, I have not yet seen where they have declared...um...Adultery Pride Month, I have not seen where they have declared the Drunkenness Pride Month."

-Tony Perkins, King of the Furks

The stockings were hung by
the chimney with flair...*

Yes. June is LGBT Pride Month. What the hell does that mean? Well, technically not a whole lot. Like other Fill-in-the-blank Months, it carries no force of law. In fact, only two Presidents (Clinton and Obama) have even recognized it. As far as symbolic occasions go, it's definitely one of the easier ones to deal with. You don't have to send out cards and you don't have to buy gifts for anyone. No one's going to be forced to march in a Pride Parade. To put this into perspective: Christmas asks for caroling, presents and peace on Earth. Peace. On Earth. If you can manage to not treat someone like shit because they're gay, you'll have effectively mastered LGBT Pride Month. Congratulations, you win.

LGBT Pride Month is just America's way of saying: hey gay people, we acknowledge you exist. Tony Perkins doesn't have to do a goddamned thing, but that's not stopping him from opening his hate-hole about it.
"Nobody should be harmed because of who they are or whom they love...
I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice wherever it
exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the the American People"

-President Obama, apparently asking too much 

"I just called them disgusting hell-bound
deviants, I don't see what their problem is."

He goes on to say: "We never asked for this debate..." Um...what debate? The Family Research Council (Hating Sodomites...since 1983) actively campaigns against marriage equality because they're a hate group and that's what they do. Take away their anti-gay platform and the Family Research Council would have to go research families or something. The relationship between a hate group and the people they hate isn't so much a debate as it is an un-provoked attack. What about what the FRC does is debate-like?

"Attention mutants, prepare for debate."
-Sentinels, making a cogent argument
in their debate with mutantkind
Perkin's Syndrome is caused by a defect
in the gene responsible for being able to
hear oneself speak. 

I suppose it's possible that Tony, as a result of some here-to-for undiagnosed medical condition, is completely incapable of hearing the horseshit that dribbles from his mouth. If that is the case and if he is genuinely, and through no fault of his own, unaware of what he's saying then I apologize for calling him a backwards, homophobic, red-state shit-merchant. Oh, didn't I? Well, I meant to. Below is another excerpt from the interview, I've inserted the rhetorical points he leaves unsaid in green (the official color of irony):

"They (homosexuals) don't have a right to redefine marriage for the rest of us (that's my job), they don't have a right to take away my religious freedom (but I have an obligation to take away theirs), they don't have a right to step between me and what my child is taught (that gays are less-equal than everyone else and that they're going to hell). That's what's happening."
-Tony Perkins, yet another victim of gay people existing
So no, Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council will not be invited to the parade.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Batman Vs. Some Guy

Holy shit, look out Batman! It's...uh,
Skullface? The Luchador? Muscle Guy?
Aww man, the super-villain in Batman 3 could have been the Riddler instead of freaking Bane. Check this out. Apparently Warner Brothers was keen on Leonardo DiCaprio playing Captain Question Mark in The Dark Knight Rises (seriously, no good movie has Rises in the title), which probably would have been pretty cool. I mean, he's a good actor and sure to give a more faithful interpretation of the character than Jim Carey pelvic thrusting his way through Batman Forever. But alas, director Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David Goyer decided to go with Bane leaving many casual Batman fans to ask questions like 'who the hell is Bane?' and 'no really, Bane?' 

Well, since he was never played by a special guest star on the 1960's Adam West Batman TV show, I should probably explain. And by 'explain' I mean 'sum up the Wikipedia article' because while I'm a fan of the Batman, I mostly missed this guy.
Some other villains regrettably absent in the Christopher Nolan Franchise include:
The Clock King, King Tut, Egghead and Lola Lasagna. Their powers were, respectively:
clocks, some kind of egyptian stick thing, baldness and being Ethyl Merman. 

Yeah, Batman and Robin was
 the one with the Bat-nipples.
Unlike Batman's more recognizable enemies like Mr. Freeze or Catwoman, Bane doesn't really have a theme. He's basically a serial killer who gets juiced up on super-roids and beats the shit out of people. Back in the early 90's he broke the entire Rogue's Gallery out of Arkham and then snapped Batman's spine (he got better) just to show everyone he can. Later, to the chagrin of fans, he appeared as a throw-away henchman to Uma Thurman's Posion Ivy in Batman and Robin. 

"A newspaper! Get it Batman?
It's red all over! Red? All over?"

Look, I don't have anything against Bane, and as Batman villains go he's more definitely more baddass than the Riddler, but falls squarely into the 'characters only fanboys give a shit about' category. So why is that he and not the Riddler is the big bad in The Dark Knight Rises? Got me. Sure, the Riddler's not really necessarily the best villain in DC's stable himself, I mean his M.O. is lifted out of Highlights Magazine, but at least he's got some history.

Look I shouldn't be complaining, I mean DKR (acronyms are my super-power) might be awesome. It's just that putting a relatively obscure character like Bane in such a central role just feels a little weird. It would be like filling out an X-Men movie with D-listers like Azazel, Tempest and Riptide, but what do I know?
Yeah, fine it was good and all but for real, don't pretend you knew who the hell Azazel was.