Archive for the ‘media slaves’ Category

Things I Have Learned From Advertising

April 2, 2014 - 10:33 pm 4 Comments

….Mission “content, any content”. This is inclusive of TV ads, print, web ads, billboards… whatever.

1. Women cannot poop naturally. Usually the miracle substance that allows them to is yogurt, though it varies. This explains why boys and some men might be under the impression that women don’t poop, but it begs the question of why they’d want to start.

2. There is nothing more sheerly entertaining, or engaging, than salad. Seriously, forget alcohol, what you need is some iceberg and cherry tomatoes and it. is. ON.

3. People who have debilitating illnesses for which they’re willing to take drugs whose list of instructions includes three screens of potential side effects and the phrase “if you suspect your liver may be melting and running out of your anus, stop taking Disolvitol immediately and contact your regular physician” are the most rosy-cheeked, active, social people you have ever seen.

4. There is something intensely erotic about beaches. And, for some reason, beaches in conjunction with horses, or bathtubs, which makes even less sense but must be true.

5. Women and infants secrete a blue substance of unknown origin.

6. Mothers and daughters share heartfelt and extremely detailed information about their bowel movements and menstrual experiences with each other. Generally in the kitchen, over juice. This is awkward for no one. Maybe my relationship with my mother is just shitty.

7. It is normal for women to have skin like polished and airbrushed plastic, and also for their arms to be radically different lengths and/or have extra joints.

8. Doctors and other professionals react with rage, hysteria, and coordinated attempts to silence people who render their services very slightly less necessary.

9. Life is very, very shocking. Seriously, you should wear rubber-soled shoes and carry sedatives.

10. Diamonds are so expensive because they come pre-installed with mind control software.

11. What humanity really wants for Christmas is to be jollied at by history’s most irritating celebrities.

12. Hydration is a very complex and technical challenge for women.

13. Men, meanwhile, are completely baffled and horrified by their own houses and children, and react to them as they would to waking up in an alien landscape, being pursued by five-mouthed chartreuse spiders.

14. When children make messes, it is always a disastrous bomb of violently shaded juice or tomato-sauced product onto an utterly pristine white carpet or uniform, which has clearly come in contact with nothing more staining or abrasive than distilled water. Fortunately, Mom suspected this might someday happen, and is prepared to clean up rather than fall to the floor shrieking in horror. You too, must prepare for such a far-fetched eventuality.

15. If you are awake at three in the morning, your state of despair about your sexuality, attractiveness, food options, body hair, and potence must truly be at the lowest possible level. (Not sure this wasn’t a perfectly on point life lesson, actually.)

15. What people want to know when choosing alcohol is that smirking douchebags would drink it.

16. The sound that excitement makes is a BWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMP noise reminiscent of the mating calls of hippos.

17. Is it silver, slim, and accented in bright primary colors? It’s either an Apple product or an attacking alien spacecraft.

18. People who are suffering from insomnia really enjoy being sung lullabies by people promoting the sort of chemical help that might let them sleep for up to the next two days.

19. People who are buying health insurance need to be informed that it exists. People who are buying car insurance expect it to be an experience at least on par with a visit to Six Flags.

20. Anti-driving-and-texting campaigns are under the impression that putting their billboard message into incomprehensible text-speak will draw attention and empathy to their cause rather than a further uptick in car accidents among drivers trying to figure out what they mean.

Welcome, Monster Hunters!

July 24, 2013 - 1:04 pm 5 Comments

For the fans of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series, the MHI RPG & Employee Handbook is available to all. I highly recommend it.

Those of you who already have a copy and may not be familiar with why this increasingly dust-covered little website is listed in the thanks, I believe the tale you’re looking for is here. Thanks for dropping by! As soon as we get this chupacabra infestation taken care of we might even manage to post something interesting again.

Just A Reminder

November 7, 2012 - 9:22 pm 3 Comments

The Goon Movie Kickstarter has just three days to go, and is remarkably close to their ambitious 400k goal. $70k more and this will actually happen, and would be an honest-to-god moment of happiness in the year. I realize this isn’t quite as noble as fighting prostate cancer, but I want this project to succeed so much it’s nearly physically tangible. The pairing of Clancy Brown and Paul Giamati as Goon and Franky is so sickeningly perfect as to blow minds, and the source material to work with has even eclipsed “Scud: The Disposable Assassin” as my ideal as Best Comic Ever.

The world may be turning into handbasket full of used fuck, but this is a chance to at least get really fucking good circuses to watch along the ride to hell.

Prep The Volcano Mounted Giant Laser

October 19, 2012 - 2:36 am 15 Comments

Venturing into the wilds of broadcast TV last night, LabRat and I were engaged in a bit of armchair quarterbacking while watching the CrossFit Games. What with the yanking shit out of our asses about how the athletes could do better considered pontificating about the events this year, we neglected to hit fast forward on the tivo at a commercial break.

This was a mistake.

Some typically saccharine blather starts up, explaining the happy life some couple is about to have together. The money quote, pardon the pun, comes in fairly early: “And they never fight about money because they found some retirement guys who work on salary, not commission, and got some straight advice and answers.”

Holy fuck it’s like they read my goddamn mind if I had been deprived of oxygen for six hours and hit with a lead pipe for four! Salary instead of commission?! Sweet merciful jesus-tits, that’s exactly the answer! How could you not want some schlub who makes the same coin at the end of the day whether he doubled your account value or lost everything? That’s exactly the lack of motivation I want in the folks running my money. Commission? Pfff. I don’t see how that could possibly motivate better service. I mean, that would be like giving the guy more money the better the job he did, and that couldn’t work.

Listen up, TD Ameritrade. You’re on fucking notice. StingrayTrade doesn’t do this sad-sack meh-good-enough salary bullshit. StingrayTrade wants the account, and wants to run it like woah, because, and this is the crazy part, the more money your account makes, the more money StingrayTrade makes, and StingrayTrade is very interested in making money. They even released a sequel advertisement:

“This is Carl and Sally. They’re not wishy-washy clownshoes like Karen and Jeremiah over at Ameritrade, those fucking schlubs who just bumble through life with the glassy-eyed focus of a tranqed duogong. Carl and Sally know what they want, and they want more money than God.

Ameritrade is bragging about how their planners are on salary. Think about all the wonderful things that have come from salaried employees, like the DMV, or the attitudes of convenience store clerks.

At StingrayTrade, we keep our staff on commission, so the more you make, the more they make. And we specially screen our employees to find people so greedy that even Scrooge McDuck thinks they’re going a little far. We want to make money. Some of us even get a sexual thrill out of making money.

This is Carl and Sally. This is Bruce, their StingrayTrade rep. This is Betsy, Bruce’s stabbin’ knife. Betsy is responsible for some really killer deals, and so Carl and Sally’s net worth has gone up 327% just this quarter. And if the Securities Exchange Commission knows what’s good for it, and for its sweet little daughter, they’ll just keep right on looking the other way.

This is Carl, Sally, Bruce, Betsy, and the new security goon they hired, Vinnie. And these are Karen and Jeremiah’s thumbs, because they couldn’t afford to keep them once StingrayTrade decided there was profit to be had involving them.

Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women, and then buy a couple senators just to rub it in. StingrayTrade. We want to make some fuckin’ money.”

I swear, one more non-threatening, soft-sell “Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody were nice” financial firm ad and I’m going to start recruiting out of white collar (and a few regular ones for good measure) prisons and incorporate.

Stuff I Learned Today

July 30, 2012 - 3:43 pm 25 Comments

I would have learned it four days ago, but I was busy this weekend, and I like my internet kerfuffles a few days stale, like the bread you make puddings and strata out of. Either way, the source of my education was a CNN column by someone named Joe Peacock on the imminent cultural threat of attractive women in Joe Peacock’s domain who might not be as into stuff as Joe Peacock is, as well as the commentary stemming from the predictably extensive reaction. Most of what I learned is from the original Peacock piece, though I got additional education from various comments.

- Actually being paid for sex, being paid for being sexually attractive in connection with a product, and getting attention for being attractive are all pretty much the same thing: whoring.

- Men automatically ranking women on a numbered scale of attractiveness is just a normal regular thing because of caveman biology, but attractive women only paying sexual attention to men they themselves find attractive is damn near a hate crime.

- Apparently Olivia Munn existing and having a career is such a terrible thing that people on the internet will actually use “because Olivia Munn” as some sort of commonly recognized shorthand for the tragedy that is whores (see first point) in geekdom.

- A woman getting more attention than her attractiveness number objectively warrants is terrible.

- Women will spend up to thousands of dollars and up to hundreds of hours of work, with up to a whole year in advance commitment, planning, and preparation, for the primary purpose of going to major cons to be attractive at people they have no intention of paying sexual attention to. This is self-evidently the height of pleasurable activity.

- Being only sort of into something and interacting socially with people who are more into it than you is a horrific trick you’re playing on them. I’m glad I learned this before I interacted socially with any more shooters, punks, or science fiction fans; think of the damage prevented.

- Geeky men are never attractive. Sexual interest in them by women is always a feigned ploy to gain pure ego gratification.

- Your attractiveness and interests are fixed traits determined in junior high school. Any attempt to venture beyond these boundaries in adulthood are a loathsome act of treason and manipulation.

- Geek culture is defined by alienation and outsiderhood, which is why CNN considers it culturally relevant enough to have a dedicated column about.

- People deliberately and with malice aforethought seeking to sell things to geeks for money are evil, particularly in a universe in which Hollywood spends squidillions of dollars on making giant, lovingly constructed comic book movie franchises. People who attempt to use sex to sell things to people who habitually rank strange women on numerical scales are particularly evil, akin to feeding Superman a dish of Kryptonite stew.

- Having attractive female friends is the new having gay friends, which was the new having black friends.

- It’s okay to be a female geek, with no necessity to pass litmus tests not to be considered a whore, if you are ugly. (This is not as comforting as it sounds like it must be.)

- Feeling alienated and picked on for your intense pop culture issues as a child was an awful experience, which is why having any of those interests achieve mainstream cultural popularity is the most traumatic thing that could happen to you now. (Things that were never popular in mainstream culture, apparently: Batman, Star Wars, Star Trek, video games, Lord of the Rings, cartoons.)

- It is possible to be aware of Fat, Ugly, or Slutty and to complain about women who go around being attractive at men and getting attention from them they don’t really deserve with no hint of felt cognitive dissonance.

- Also, if you’re a girl, and you play video games, and you aren’t ugly, and you get sexual attention from geeky men out of proportion to how you stack up against really hot girls, you should expect to get misogynistic threats and insults for doing so. Because you’re pretty much just as bad.

- Not being sexually interested in someone who shares interests you have at least lightly, yet resents you virulently for attracting them, is probably about finding those interests gross if indulged in any less moderation.

I’d go fret over the exact messages my t-shirts send and angst about my number and whether I really deserved any of the thousands of social interactions I’ve had with people who shared interests I had passionately or moderately or barely, but I’ve decided my answer to the quandaries raised is “holy shit I’m not in junior high anymore, and I don’t have to care.”

Snow White And The Huntsman

July 6, 2012 - 4:48 pm 13 Comments

Alternate title: “What’s Wrong With Snow White And The Huntsman”.

Usually I cut-tag movie discussions to avoid spoilers, but in a case of a movie like this, there’s really no such thing as a spoiler, because absolutely nothing comes as a surprise unless you’re a complete newcomer to Western culture and media. If you are just now reading this blog from the African bush for English lessons (not recommended), you may wish to discontinue reading, but otherwise…

I really wanted to like this movie. I’m a sucker for dark fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, especially when part of the reason for doing it is to add more depth to the characters and take some of the passivity out of the heroines. I’m usually quite happy to watch Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth do just about anything, and I was willing to give Kristen Stewart a chance to see what she can do when she’s not playing a role whose entire purpose is to be as blank a slate as possible so that the viewer might more easily project.

I did not end up liking this movie. It’s possible to waste Chris Hemsworth if the entirety of your direction is to tell him to pant and look dyspeptic in all scenes. Kristen Stewart doesn’t have any more depth or ability than Bella does. Charlize Theron was the one thing worth watching in the entire movie, and not even her performance redeems it. Watching Kristen Stewart attempt to act next to her is like watching Gilbert Gottfried attempt to do smoldering leading man next to Clark Gable.

The central problem with the movie is that apparently its creators felt that the way to fix Snow White, a fundamentally passive protagonist, was to turn her into a God Mode Sue. I understand that the central theme is the contrast between the evil queen’s outer beauty and inner viciousness with Snow White’s beauty within and without (and it better be pretty fucking profound within, because putting Stewart next to Theron as the “fairest of them all” is kind of a stretch otherwise), but said inner beauty is very much a case of told and not shown.

Oh, she’s not mean or unpleasant, but absolutely everyone in the movie adores her for no visible reason. If she’s particularly kind or brave or generally wonderful, it’s only because everyone else in the kingdom is generally some degree of nasty without her direct influence, including the Huntsman, the dwarves, and her other love interest, Some Guy. She spends most of her life locked in a small cell in a tower being generally mistreated, but she emerges from this situation with absolutely no psychological, social, or physical impairments. (Perhaps it’s like Doctor Who’s TARDIS and there’s actually a Club Med somewhere in there.) The only time anything comes with difficulty to her is while she’s initially fleeing into the Dark Forest, and even then she has magical help. After the Huntsman arrives nothing is a problem anymore unless someone is directly trying to kill her, but even then it’s not particularly shown how his expertise is being of much help to them.

Most of the rest of the movie is people surrounding Snow White immediately dedicating their own lives to her service and to overthrow the successfully brutal and repressive queen, and subsequently being shot full of arrows if they are not actually crucial to the plot. Eventually the Queen manages to stick a poisoned apple in her (and subsequently seems to lose interest, even though taking her heart is pretty crucial to continuing her own life), which is enough of a roadblock that she has to be packed back into a neighboring castle to make a proper debut after the obligatory faintly necrophiliac sequence.

Eventually she defeats the evil queen after getting many more of her devoted shot full of arrows, boiled in oil, or sliced to death, and then the movie just sort of ends. No other plotlines are resolved, no questions are answered, Snow White is crowned and that’s apparently awesome enough to close on.

Charlize Theron is appropriately dark and dramatic and creepy. Whenever she wasn’t on the screen, I was looking at where I wished I’d thought to wear a watch.

Don’t waste your time or your money.

How 2 Alcohol Poisoning

July 4, 2012 - 12:10 pm 10 Comments

So we recently had a couple hours to kill in $NotHomeTown, and opted to take in a flick. A passel of unruly kids were in line ahead of us for tickets and headed for “Brave,” which gave us the advance warning that we should not go see the same thing, and opted for Plan B of “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

A) Do not see Snow White and the Huntsman. The problems with it are legion, but a few of the more glaring include the fact that character decisions make less in-context sense than even the ones in Prometheus, someone told Chris Hemsworth to be out of breath in every single scene, that vacant wooden plank from “Twilight” does indeed only have one facial expression regardless of what is happening… I could go on about how bad this movie is for quite a while, and may do so later*. More importantly, however, were the trailers in front of this dreck, which brings me to….

B) Katy Perry’s Big Fat Katy Perry Movie That Has Some Forgettable Title. And here we find the tie-in to the post title. The rules of this game are simple: Drink a shot every time the word “dream” is used during the trailer. Wait half an hour for the alcohol to get a good run into your blood stream, and go to the hospital because you just drank an entire handle of booze of choice in the span of a movie trailer. Thank you, Ms. Blue-hair McJiggletits**, I believe I’ve got the point that you reached for the stars and yada yada yada. Now please go away and/or consult a fucking thesaurus because dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream dream oh look the word no longer has meaning through excessive repetition.

*Ms. Theron’s entire instruction seems to have been “See that scenery? Chew it until Shatner looks understated.” And verily she chewed like a beaver on meth and was the best part of the film.
**I realize blue-hairs are normally more of the saggy than jiggly in the boob-al department, but here we are. They are, in her defense, very nice. The rest of her, we’d be better off without.

Prometheus

June 16, 2012 - 1:07 pm 15 Comments

Spoiler-free portion:

Whether or not you go see this movie in the theater should be calculated by how much you liked Blade Runner times how delighted you are with epic visuals, divided by your tendency to analyze movies as you go along rather than just taking them in plus how many horror movies you’ve seen. Weight as you see fit, and by the time you’ve finished doing that you’ll already have your answer.

Spoiler-plus portion: (more…)

Avengers

May 23, 2012 - 9:06 pm 23 Comments

So, we finally saw it. It’s made a big enough impact on our little town that even several weeks after opening the evening show was wall to wall and we had to come back for the late show. I haven’t seen our little movie house anywhere near that occupied in literally ever, let alone several weeks after opening. Even the late show had a pretty big crowd by local standards. Spoilery bits behind the cut, nonspoilery bits in front.

- The movie’s full title is Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It should be Avengers: Being Thrown At Stuff. Oh 3D movies, you so wacky. On the bright side the 3D worked for me more often than it ever has before, on the downside that’s kind of a world’s tallest midget contest. I will admit that it made the final action sequence pretty awesome. (Stingray wants me to note that the 3D ruined most of the movie for him EXCEPT that scene.)

- This is coming from someone who sees movies solely because Ed Norton is in them: Mark Ruffalo is by far the better Bruce Banner than Ed Norton. He ran away with the movie and would be completely justified in inviting most of comic fandom to suck his nuts for doubting him. I liked everything I saw of him and would totally turn up in the theater for a second Hulk movie.

- As a whole the movie is many excellent scenes that are sometimes poorly strung together. I gather that this is because it’s an attempt to join multiple different characters and arcs that are strong enough to carry movies of their own, but the seams and joints still show rather badly in places. It’s still an awesome movie, mind you, I just suspect this is going to bother me on the many rewatches to follow.

- Gamma mutants don’t bother me, Widow’s thigh holster and dual-wielded Glocks don’t bother me, a dude relying on a bow and arrow in a universe where there are gamma mutants doesn’t bother me, characters who are supposedly just really fit and trained normal people being able to shrug off gravity bothers me. We also have our failures of disbelief, I suppose.

- It’s a Whedon movie. He did a good job with it, and it’s probably why the dialogue and character interaction is such a cut above the previous Marvel Universe movies, but it’s got his fingerprints all over it and some of them are grubby. Cabin in the Woods was better.

- Captain America came off WAY better in this movie than his own. That character really does belong in an ensemble cast.

(more…)

Thinkyless Linky

May 11, 2012 - 7:06 pm 11 Comments

Fashion It So, which has been distracting me thoroughly and hilariously for the last two days and looks to keep right on truckin’ through the weekend until I run out of archive. The thing about pretty much all incarnations of Trek is that it’s like a lasagna of good, bad, and cheesy, and the bad and the cheesy are actually as much a part of the appeal as the good. It’s kind of like a stadium hot dog in that sense. You take your servings of bad with the good because it’s part of the experience, and wouldn’t be the same without it. The people writing this blog are watching Trek for pretty much exactly the same basic reason I am, except vastly more focused on the costuming choices.

25 Minutes of Cave Johnson

So the context for this is the folks at Valve had Cave Johnson’s voice actor record a whole bunch of new lines for a new level creator downloadable content package for Portal 2, so that the lines play more or less at random at the beginning of created levels. That’s actually not really important, nor is having played any Portal game ever or knowing who the hell Cave Johnson is. This is all of those lines stitched together in a 25 minute sequence. The experience of hitting “play” on this is like having a mad scientist CEO who took acting lessons from the William Shatner school of scenery chewing come into your work space and emit a stream of consciousness. It’s the best background to reading my news feeds I have ever experienced. chariots chariots

David Sunflower Seeds now comes with a reclosable zip-top bag, so you don’t have to rip an awkwardly sized hole in it that you optimistically try to crumple closed after you’re done with your feed seed bag for the moment. Stingray, who always has various seed and nut bags in various stages of consumption strewn around his desk because he is actually a parrot, is very excited about this.