HEY SUPERGIRL HEY

Posted: May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

Okay, just watched The Supergirl pilot (ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies).  It’s nowhere near as bad as even the best episode of Smallville.  It’s got a good hunk of cheese in it and it has the typical first episode problems, but the lead is pretty likable and the effects are better than you’d expect.  Plus, House of El represent.  If you watched Smallville and you don’t at least check it out, you’re a big stupid dummy.

 

I will always question the skirt though.  I mean, really.

I will always question the skirt though. I mean, really.

An Army Story

Posted: May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

In the winter of 1992, I enlisted in the United States Army, per way of my local recruitment center, situated in a strip mall between Don Reuben’s Mexican Grill and The Dollar Tree.  I had a desire to go to college and pay for it and a greater desire to get the fuck out of my house ASAP.  And a convincing friend named Bill Smith.  Bill had already enlisted and was given the spiel about an instant upgrade to Private 2.0 for becoming, what I was told AFTER I had arrived to basic training, a “buddy fucker.”  I was a perfect candidate: wide-eyed, trusting, directionless and I came from a cult upbringing so I’d believe damn near anything (I’ve since then sloughed that off, so don’t get any ideas about bridges or snake oil).

I arrived at Fort McClellan in beautiful Anniston, Alabama in one of the coldest winters that area had seen in over 60 years.  Yaaaaaaaaaaay.   It’s where I experienced my first snowstorm and also my real first taste of pure, unfiltered racism, the likes I haven’t seen since. Taking into account I’ve lived in Brooklyn.  I passed more signs that said “no niggers” and the specific “no nigger haircuts” than my suburban LA County brain could handle.  It took me all of one day to realize, “I think I’ve made a horrible mistake.” That coupled with the fact that after years of doing what I was told and following the company line, with bouts of rebellion against my dad and against the church in which I was raised, I decided NOW was the time to start questioning everything.  I was a bad soldier.  “Move that post!” “Where? What’s it for? Why?”  “DROP!”  That became code for ‘do push-ups’ after almost no time in training.  I did my fair share of push-ups, not for insubordination, but more for just being kind of a pain in the ass.  I thought I was HILARIOUS.  I was alone in this thinking. “Private Norvick, you’re kind of like a square peg in a round hole.”  “Drill sergeant, all my life. Just waiting for my square hole.” “DROP!”  I wasn’t alone, really.  Pretty much most soldiers, from what I could see, were kind of pains-in-the-asses in their own special way.  You had the ex-Folk gang member from Chicago who tried to fuck his way through the female barracks and from what I can tell, might have.  You had the sleepwalking frat boy who kept talking about cheese in his sleep.  You had the die-hard, hillbilly good ol’ boy, who just couldn’t stop rolling his eyes at the drill sergeants (to be fair, he was probably the best soldier on the whole base and could shoot the wings off a gnat).  It took all sorts to defend the country, I guess.  Most of my time in the service consisted of running around in the Alabama wilderness avoiding brown recluse spiders and smelling like the grease trap from a Burger King.

Things were rolling along smoothly and I had finished basic training and had graduated to AIT, or ADVANCED INDIVIDUAL TRAINING, in my MOS, or MISSION OPERATION SPECIALTY, of fifty-four bravo, more commonly known as Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Soldiers.   Now for the fun stuff.  I thought.  I did get to go through a nuclear reactor in full gear and I did work with CS gas  (tear gas) A LOT.  And when I say “work with”, I mean “get thrown in my face by drill sergeants constantly.”  It was also a lot of filling up smoke machines with smoke juice on the back of Hummvees (before there were Hummers, they were actual army vehicles) or learning how to give epi-pen shots in case of a nerve gas attack.  NBC is more about support and trying to keep people from dying, I wasn’t the Mad Dirty Bomber Who Bombs at Midnight.

Coming up to the end of AIT, I had a small accident.  I had a bum ankle through high school and it decided one day, “FUCK THIS RUNNING. I QUIT.”  I sprained it.  Badly.  I was informed in the infirmary that I had possible tendonitis and they COKED ME UP on codeine.   This was right at the end of training.  I had one more PT test to do and I wasn’t even close to fully recovered, but I could walk and run. Unfortunately, I looked like someone had shot me in the butt when I did.  And because I made the awful, awful mistake of stating on my recruitment papers that I had a pre-existing problem with my ankle, ZERO FUCKS GIVEN by them.  They gave me two choices: heal up, recycle and go through training again, or try to do the run then and if I failed, I’d get the GI Bill money I’d earned and an honorable discharge (not medical because I wasn’t broken enough).  I had no real desire to recycle, so I said, “Let’s do this.”  What I did was two miles in 17:54.  I was required to do  it in 16:36.  Home again, home again, jiggity jog.

I found out later that orders had still been issued for me to be attached to a special forces unit in Hawaii.  I would’ve been their on-site NBC guy and from the timeline that I worked out, that unit would’ve been sent to Somalia.  During 1993.  Black Hawk Down in the house.  I don’t know that I would’ve died, but let’s just say that it does play itself out in my head on days like today.  My friend, Bill, was deployed there and made it back, I’m happy to say. I know that I’m lucky that I was sent home regardless, but I have definitely changed a lot of my philosophies about war and its glorification since then. I still mourn the loss of children thrown at other children to make old men feel young again.  I’m happy I live in a country where I get to say that on the internet, but less happy I’m in a country where that’s true more often than it should be.  I don’t thumb my nose at this country, but I do question why war is becoming less of a necessity and more of a constant.   Happy Memorial Day everyone.

On tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., something that is becoming quickly apparent is a dividing line between two camps of opinion among the group: pro-alien and anti-alien.  Some of the comments made about destroying anything even remotely related to aliens were almost a little TOO forceful and the other side of the spectrum has characters obsessed with finding out answers to the point of disastrous and fatal results.  The aliens in question look to be the Kree: the race Ronan of GotG hails from and a major player in Marvel’s cosmic lines.  There has also been a lot of speculation that Star-Lord’s dad is going to be Kree.  What does this mean?  If the Kree come to Earth, they bring along with them a slew of technology that could change the game for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  They also bring a lot of problems. The comic book version of The Kree are known for modifying regular ol’ humans to create the Inhumans, for conquering other alien races and for being kind of been a pain in the ass for Earth in general.  Even more importantly, the Kree are from where the upcoming and highly anticipated super hero, Captain Marvel, gets her mojo . On one hand, we have Tony Stark, who is all about acquiring any new technology he can get his grubby, gin-soaked hands on and on the other star spangled hand, we have Captain America, who would be all about protecting the Earth from a possible invasion of, you know, Space Nazis.  GO FIGURE.  Considering the way that Marvel has used Agents of SHIELD (I just can’t pop those periods in every time, man), as a kind of bridge to the Marvel storylines (see HYDRA), this would make perfect sense.  Of course, there might be a much simpler explanation.

Oooooh, girl, no you didn't.

Oooooh, girl, no you didn’t.

Here’s a little Batman trivia for you and a bit of meta-pop-culture goodness.  Most people are familiar with Batman’s ally in Gotham, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and with his daughter, Barbara, aka Batgirl.  The show, Gotham, has recently started fleshing out (in their own way) Gordon’s wife, also named Barbara.  However, not many people are familiar with Jim’s oldest child, James Jr.

gordonjr

Yeah, you see where this is going.

In both the old and new continuity, James Jr. has a few run-ins with some costumed villains and even as a child, begins behaving very disturbingly, killing small animals and the like.  He is diagnosed and begins a regimen of psychtropic medication.  He leaves Gotham for awhile and returns claiming he’s a changed man and volunteers at Gotham Medical Clinic with Dr. Leslie Thompkins.  Don’t worry, here is where it starts getting good.  It’s then discovered that he’s somehow found a way to reverse his own medication to actually INCREASE his psychopathic tendencies, has been torturing people, poisons his own sister with Joker Juice, and The Good Commissioner and Batgirl have to stop a plot of his to POISON AN INFANT NUTRITIONAL CENTER.  Okay, so let’s review: we have the crazy son of a powerful man who is given charge to protect the good people of the city, but it turns out he’s actually a complete psychopath who will do anything to his family just for kicks.  So, who did Christopher Nolan cast as James Gordon Jr. in the Dark Knight movies?

YOU'RE WELCOME.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

 

Super Bowl XLIX has come and gone; man battled man to prove their mettle, punches were thrown, catches were intercepted, there were cheers and tears, Katy Perry rode some kind of Power Ranger Tiger Robot and sharks danced to the beat of their own drums.  Meanwhile, in the lairs of bitter nerds everywhere, snide comments were made all over the internet along the lines of, “YAY, SOME TEAM DID SOME THING THAT I DON’T CARE ABOUT!” or “Whatever, bunch of stupid neanderthals throwing a ball around.” I’m not slamming some straw men here, I saw quite a few just last night and it happens every year and with every big sports event. The World Series, The Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, Championships, etc.  Somehow, The World Cup dodges a lot of this, probably due to its international nature.  It never fails to happen and every time, it’s disappointing.

10 yards for drooling.

10 yards for drooling.

I’m not a big fan of football, except maybe Mutant League Football on the Sega Genesis.  Sports in general don’t really appeal to me, most likely because I’m completely uncoordinated and couldn’t catch a ball if it had a laser powered tracking system that guided it straight into my ogre hands.  Like a lot of Americans, when the Super Bowl pops up, I’m usually there for the nachos.  I enjoy the camaraderie and rivalry that plays out for big sports events and I really like junk food.  Now I’m not making an issue about people who just either don’t understand the game or have really no interest.  That’s normal, some people like things, some people don’t like things. It’s how people work.  I’m talking about this, for some reason, socially accepted idea from those heavily involved in geek culture that it’s totally kosher to slam people for being interested in something you happen to think is pointless and/or silly.  And I really don’t understand how the irony is missed.  For those old enough to remember before geek culture became so widely accepted in the mainstream, how did you feel when someone made fun of you for liking Star Trek? Or Dungeons and Dragons? Or comic books?  Or ANYTHING?  Just to clarify, once again, I’m not talking about the people who just have no interest.  Good on you, go about your day.  I’m talking about people who find it necessary to take a dump all over people who do enjoy something and try to make them feel stupid for it.  Those are called bullies.

Not a big fan of the show, but sentiment is there.

Not a big fan of the show, but the sentiment is correct.

I don’t think it’s that hard.  All that you really have to do is have a little empathy.  Remember that?  If you have to, remember ST:TNG and act like Counselor Deanna Troi.  If it’s still too difficult and you can’t let go of whatever residual anger you’re holding onto that might be related to high school football or other sports and feeling left out, try to a) remember that high school is over and you’re an adult and b) that you’re making fun of other geeks.  There really is something called a sports geek.  Being otaku about something isn’t confined to science fiction or fantasy or anything else.  It’s obsession over what interests you.  These people are your sisters and brothers.  Not in a kumbaya way (well, kind of), but in a “you’re not so different from me, Star Bellied Sneech” way.  It would really serve you, because when it really boils down to it, acting superior to people for being different from you just proves how inferior we really can be.

FORM BLAZING DEUX EX MACHINA!

FORM BLAZING DEUX EX MACHINA!

I...HAVE.....THIRD DEGREE BUUUURRRRNNNSSS!!!!

I…HAVE…..THIRD DEGREE BUUUURRRRNNNSSS!!!!

I wonder how much XXX fanfiction there is for Turbo Teen.

I wonder how much XXX fanfiction there is for Turbo Teen.

SHWOWMMMMM!  PHALLICATS, HOOOOO!!!!

SHWOWMMMMM! PHALLICATS, HOOOOO!!!!

Lipreaders gasp.

Lipreaders gasp.

Bouncing all over the interwebs today is news that Sony is moving forward on the Ghostbusters reboot. Or wait, is it a SEQUEL?  According to Variety, it’s the next generation of Ghostbusters.  Here is where things have gotten ugly; comments have been coming out of the digital woodwork along the lines of #notmyghostbusters and #womenarentfunny. Also, to put this out there, shut up about the hashtags, overuse is bad, but welcome to the twenty first century, grandma. I digress.  REBOOTS IS THE THING.  At the same time (likely by design), rumors of Chris Pratt being courted for the role of Indiana Jones by Disney have been flitting about.  Let’s dive in, shall we?

reboot-universe-crosswalk-button

Can I pick one where I’m super cool?

First of all, let’s just make sure we cover that women aren’t funny.  Absolutely not.  Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Lucille Ball, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Madeline Kahn, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Amy Poehler, Betty White, Bea Arthur, Whoopi Goldberg, Gilda Radner, Kristen Wiig, Jane Curtin, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Allison Janney (<3), you know what?  I could seriously go on. And I will.  Tracey Ullman, Maya Rudolph, Mindy Kaling, Maria Bamford, Ellen Degeneres, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Tig Notaro, Kristen Schaal, Estelle Getty, Carrie Fisher, Chelsea Peretti and yes, Melissa McCarthy.  All funnier than YOU.  It’s a dumb argument, because if you want to list a bunch of male comedians, be my guest.  It doesn’t negate the fact that every one of these women has made me laugh out loud plenty of times and most likely, most of you.  I can’t speak for all of you, because some of you are humorless golems.  Do I think a lot of the ire and/or objections come from misogyny, privilege or chauvinism?  OF COURSE I DO.  That doesn’t mean that the pendulum has to completely swing the other way.  Do I think maybe that me, myself and I might be swayed by male privilege and feel weird about the Ghostbusters news because I am not used to the idea of women being the entire frontrunners for something that in my mind was COMPLETELY male dominated?  If I’m being honest with myself, I bet that’s in there, too.  But that’s not why I’m bending your eyes today (it sounded less weird in my head).

joanrivers

DEFINITELY funnier than you.

The Hollywood remake is not a new invention or even a new trend.  As a matter of fact, one of the earliest Cecil B. Demille ventures, The Squaw Man, was remade four years later BY DEMILLE HIMSELF (take that Spiderman reboots) and then he did it AGAIN in 1931.  So, what can we really complain about?  Well, I’ll tell you.  I’m not personally against the idea of remakes or reboots, I’m against the idea of a remake or reboot when the original material has already been brought to its potential.  For instance, I love the original movie, Fright Night.  Not because it was perfect, but because it spoke to me as a kid. I love vampire movies; especially over-the-top, cheesy ones.  So when I heard a remake was being done of Fright Night, TOTALLY FINE.  Not even an eyelash batted did I have, because there was plenty more to do with the original.  It was a vampire movie that had all the typical elements of a good vampire flick, but sure, they could have done a things differently and, sure, the remake was entertaining enough for me.  My first thought when I heard they wanted to do a sequel to Ghostbusters was before Harold Ramis died.  I thought, “Ramis wouldn’t fuck it up, he’d make fun of the fact that they’re old and it’ll be great.”  Then we lost him.  And guess, what?  That means Egon died.  As sad as that is, you need to move FORWARD, not go BACK.  Ghostbusters is an iconic movie because of the writing and the acting and the PURE ownership of that group to the characters.  If this really is a sequel to Ghostbusters, I’m totally down.  If it’s a reboot, it’s a cash grab to try to use the Ghostbusters name and here is where it gets real dicey.  I read out in the wilds of Facebook that if it fails, the actors will be blamed.  Here’s the flipside; if it succeeds, they’ll get NONE OF THE CREDIT BECAUSE IT’S NOT ORIGINAL.  And the same goes for Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones.  I really, really like Chris Pratt.  I’m happy to see him get great roles and I enjoy watching his star rise, but rebooting Raiders or any of the Indiana Jones movies smells WAY too much like marketing and not moviemaking by Disney.  It might be fun, but why not use his star power to make something NEW.  Just for him. That way, in thirty years, someone can post on their telepathy box about how Hollywood was way better when Wiig and Pratt were superstars.

UPDATE 01/28/15: I’m willing to admit when I’ve jumped the gun.  I feel a lot better about the Ghostbusters reboot now after reading THIS.  This is a much better idea and while I’ll still say it’s just using the Ghostbusters name to get some buzz, it’s not anywhere near as bad as the idea I had in my head of making a new movie with a different cast, but an “UPDATED AND HIP” version of the original.  This is trying to take an idea and make it fresh and original.  I humbly now eat the rest of this crow.

eatcrow

I have been lax in my posting in the past year or so and I could make excuses, but it all boils down to laziness and lack of motivation.  Let’s do something about that, shall we?  Thank you, Ven and Tom, for the nudge.

charliebrown

Ode to an Orkan

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

On August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead by the Marin County Sheriff’s Department.   Pre-autopsy, the cause of death is suspected to be suicide by way of asphyxiation.

I don’t consider myself a big fan of things or people usually.  I like a few specific games and shows and stars, but I never cared to be Super Fan #1 of anything. I usually like my certain things and kind of keep to myself about it.  It just happens to be my personal preference.  I equate how I feel about Robin Williams as I do to Fred Rogers.  I saw them as favorite uncles.  Of course, there’s a bit of familiarity that I’m attributing to them, but it works in my head.  I didn’t see them very frequently, but when I did, I was always happy to see them and they always made me smile. I watched Mork & Mindy in syndication as much as I could and have seen a good amount of Robin Williams movies (who in middle America hasn’t really?) and I was in high school when Dead Poets’ Society came out, so like every drama nerd at the time, that was my movie.  OH, CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN.   I even liked Popeye (hey, I didn’t say it was good, just that I liked it). When I was notified by Facebookland, which is pretty much where you see news first now, about his suspected suicide, I felt like someone slapped me in the face.  I can’t imagine what he was going through, but I know a lot of comedians cover up great pain with comedy.

The difference between how I feel about this and how I felt about Mr. Rogers dying is that when I heard Mr. Rogers died, I just felt sadness.  Right now, I’m definitely sad.  I’m also very, very angry.  This brings up very personal feelings about the way we deal with mental health in this country for me and I feel like I need to get it out.  Anyone reading this who knows me well enough, knows I have strong feelings about mental health and illness.  I don’t feel like Robin was mentally ill, but it goes without saying that he obviously needed help.  I’ve had many a conversation with people who are going through a difficult time and I’ve recommended maybe going to a therapist.  I would easily say 75% of them balked at the idea, or outright dismissed it.  In this day and age, I’m actually astounded that people still think the best way to deal with depression, anxiety, stress, misplaced anger or just out and out head problems are to ‘get over it.’  I’m not saying this of the people I know as a whole.  I have a good amount of friends in therapy or who have seen one and had it help them a lot, but there’s still so much shame surrounding getting help with your problems or a general mistrust of another person to show vulnerability.  It breaks my heart to think of the pain Robin Williams was in to have him think he had no other choice.  It breaks my heart to think anyone would think that.  The thing that makes me mad is the thought that anyone would be ashamed to reach out and ask for help or that they wouldn’t get the help they needed. And as much as I know he was in pain, I’m angry at him for leaving behind the people who loved him (as in the world).  I know he was in pain, but that IS where you have to do something about it.  When you leave other people behind to deal with the grief over something you’ve done.  That’s where it’s time to get serious.  Get help.  Talk to someone.  Even if you think you have it under wraps, just think of it as quality control.  It creeps up on you.  And there’s no shame in admitting that you’re just plain human.

 

Ar ar ar.

Ar ar ar.

yourboogieman:

Awesome rebuttal to internet vitrtiol on her character, Beverly Katz, on NBC’s HANNIBAL from Hetienne Park. Good stuff.

Originally posted on Eat This:

headshotimdb_
I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.

Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…

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