Category Archives: History Lessons

Disney Buying LucasFilm Might Be a Good Thing

Possibly the best thing.

I think the initial reaction was a whole lot of “WTF” because it came out of nowhere. My job enables me to spend a lot of time dicking around on the internet, A LOT OF TIME, but I hadn’t heard any rumblings or rumors or anything until the press release was, uh, released.

After the dust settled and we realized it wasn’t an Onion article, my Twitter feed was filled with a lot of cynicism and worry about the acquisition and what that could mean for many people’s favorite franchise.

I must ask; will it be worse than what Lucas himself has been doing with it? The constant adjustments to the movies? The deciding what is and isn’t canon at whim? The Kinect dancing game?

Jar-Jar goddamn Binks?

We’ve seen the bottom, children.

As in all things, there is a lot of stuff that can go wrong, however; if we all take a step back and look at this with clear eyes and our hearts free of the knee-jerk Nerd Rage that so easily can envelope us, that maybe, just maybe, we’ll realize Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm is a good thing.

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The Watchmen Thing

I am a comic book fan.

I’ve been reading since I was six. I still have that issue of Uncanny X-Men with Wolverine and Gambit on the cover that started this whole mess.

I have many, many, many opinions on the whole Watchmen debacle.

I don’t think they should do it.

All right, so maybe just the one opinion.

I’m going to attempt to elucidate this opinion for you here without swearing non-stop or turning into an entitled fan.

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PG-13 Expendables Due to Language? Suck My D-ck.

Did you guys hear about how the Expendables 2 is going to be PG-13?

Did you hear about how it’s because Chuck Norris got his conservative panties in a bunch over the language?

This is genius. Whoever did this is so, so awesome.

Mr. Norris, on behalf of everyone, ever: Suck Our Dicks.

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Screw off “No Shave November”… it’s MOVEMBER!!

Lannisters pay debts, Starks cultivate mo's

“No Shave November” is a celebrated internet and college campus trend during which men don’t shave any part of their body for the entirety of the month of November.  Why? It’s a way to seek out and tame the raw, beastly neanderthal that is a part of every man’s blood.  To look inward and find out what lies at the very core of a man’s soul. To hire an independent arbitrator to face the nagging demons of responsibility and time, and come to reasonable settlement.

But really, what it boils down to is that there comes a time in every man’s life where he just needs an excuse to look homeless and gross to see if he can grow a God damned beard.

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Music History: The Golden Age of Terrible White People Rap

Chet Haze: “Ushering in the new Golden Age of Terrible White People Rap”

We’ve come to a point in America where hip hop is probably the most popular form of music, at least for teenagers currently growing up in the states.  It has embedded itself every facet of our society and you’d be hard pressed to find a corner of the country where people don’t listen to it on a daily basis or even worse, don’t acknowledge it as a viable art form. I personally grew up in an era where rap music was still having it’s growing pains as it began to infiltrate Top 40 radio.  Gangster rappers actually murdered each other, for a week MC Hammer was the richest man on the planet, and old white people were terrified that these young black men would defile their daughters and steal their good china right in front of their very eyes.
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The Strange Case of The “Shut Up, Little Man!” Phenomenon

When evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, he intended it for one, very specific purpose: to describe how ideas or behaviors could spread within a society and change over time through the process of natural selection.

The premise of memetics (or the study of memes) was a simple one: ideas that are interesting and novel tend to flourish and propagate, while the bad ones disappear into obscurity. These “good” ideas are then passed on to other people, who modify them as they try to understand them. They, in turn, bestow their own version of the idea onto others, and the cycle begins anew.  And so it has gone for thousands of years.

But then audio cassettes, camcorders, and the Internet were invented.

Suddenly, anyone could reproduce exact copies of their voice, writing or image with very little cost or difficulty. There was no mutation, only replication.  The tools of mass media were now in the hands of those who consumed it. It was no longer an organic evolution of ideas. It was a revolution.

Dawkins went out the window.

Flash forward thirty years. Today, our concept of a “meme” is usually a grainy video we watched online this morning of a teenager shattering his pelvis in a parkour accident, or perhaps a painfully addictive looping animation of a singing cat with a Pop Tart body zooming through space.

In filmmaker Matthew Bate’s provocative new documentary, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, we’re given a front row seat to the birthing pains of what is now known as the “viral” pop-culture phenomenon, back in the early days of pre-online America.

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Where Art Thou, Kaiju Monsters of Yesteryear?

You still have a place in the wellspring of my heart, old friends.

In 1954, a Japanese stuntman by the name of Haruo Nakajima wriggled into a suit made of 270 lbs. of stiff vulcanized rubber.  The limbs were inflexible and painful to wear, the body unventilated and stifling, and the tail pulled his spine into an unnatural curve.  Under the haze of dozens of halogen studio lamps in a cramped Tokyo soundstage, he paused until the instant he heard the director shout the repeated phrase “Haimemashou!” (“Begin the action!”)

With that, Nakajima began a dangerous game of filmmaking chicken — pushing himself to stay conscious in the extreme discomfort of the poorly-constructed costume and searing film lights… just long enough to destroy as many papier-mâché skyscrapers, cars, tanks, trains and villagers as possible before the overwhelming pain and exhaustion of the scene pushed him into heat stroke.

Several weeks later, in a separate soundstage, an actor by the name of Jiro Mitsuaki turned his gaze to the empty ceiling overhead as the cameras rolled on him,  awaiting him to summon every ounce of his strength to shout one, very strange word at the top of his lungs. He was to yell as loud as the condenser microphones could register. One word out of fear for his life. At the time, it was a nonsense word. But a terrifying one.

“GOJIRA!” he screamed. “GOJIRA! GOJIRA!” he shouted again and again.  Gojira. Literally translated, “Gorilla-Whale”. Nonsense.

Gojira. Read the rest of this entry