Friday, October 17, 2008

What's so civil about w... nnngh, I can't do it.

Hi! I've been meaning to talk about this for a while now. When Jessica and Vincent were here, Vincent mentioned to me that Marvel Comics' big crossover event from 2006, Civil War, was worth checking out. So I did. I read every single comic in the crossover. There were 7 comics in the Civil War series, and then just about every other Marvel series published during those months tied into it. Civil War reminded me firmly why I stopped reading most comics in the first place: because most comics are fucking shitty.

It's a real shame, too, because the ideas at the heart of Civil War were excellent. It starts off with the deaths of hundreds of innocent people in Stamford, Connecticut, an event which quickly spirals out of control as the public turns against superheroes, with Iron Man leading a pro-registration faction, and Captain America leading the resistance. Great premise, but somewhere along the line, a bunch of comic-book writers got their hands on it and fucked it all up. The simple truth of the matter is that for every Joss Whedon, Jeff Smith, or Neil Gaiman, there are innumerable writers who grew up reading X-Men and little else, who find it impossible to assemble a coherent narrative. Given the stark limitations of comic books as a medium (i.e. dialogue must be short and concise, tone is set by the illustrator more than the author, stories must be hacked into 25-page chunks, etc.), it's no surprise that I found myself reading the same regurgitated, imbecilic arguments over and over throughout the series. (It was almost like reading fucking Atlas Shrugged again.) Related is the simple fact that nobody in the Marvel universe is capable of ever changing their minds, apparently, except (of course) for Spider-Man, who waffles back and forth between the two sides like the wishy-washy "conscience of Marvel" that he's been twisted into.

On the plus side, Deadpool has somehow become Marvel's best character. Awesome. I love Deadpool.

Final Score: 0 Fuck Civil War. Fuck it in its stupid ass. Go read anything else. Except Atlas Shrugged. Go read, like, Tigana or something.

Staying on the topic of Marvel for a moment, though, here's a new, very pretty trailer for Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.

I can't wait to get a PS3 so I can play this thing. I know there's a Wii version coming out, but, let's be honest, it probably won't be as good.

Look at these guys. These are our new neighbours, Vinny and Danny, and their girlfriends, Danielle and Christine (who are sisters). They moved in a couple of months ago, replacing the lady we called "Mom of the Year" for her habit of allowing her two very small children to stay up until midnight. The seemingly-random, um, gentlemen callers might have had something to do with that, too. And she a sixth-grade teacher. For shame.

Anyway, the boys took us out to a haunted house in a place called Bayville a couple of weekends ago. It was organized in a firehouse by the local fire department, and I must say, it was quite good. Katie screamed and screamed, and I laughed and got startled a couple of times. A lot of the people would hide in plain sight in these tiny, cramped corridors, dressed like a prop skeleton or something. Then they would jump out at you. It was really fun.

This guy here, though. Man. Creepy. He was hanging out near the entrance with his razor blade, and blood all over the place, and he just stared at you. Never cracked a smile, or said anything. Just held this perfectly neutral serial killer look the whole time. That's some self-control right there. He got Katie by walking up behind her when she was talking to us, and he tickled her with his razor blade. She jumped and yelled, "FUCK!" (Forgetting that there were kids nearby.)

Speaking of scary, though, how about some zombies? Vincent sent me a link a while back to something called "The Outbreak", which is this interactive short film about a zombie infestation. It sort of plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, in that you watch a couple of minutes of action, then you're faced with a decision. Obviously some choices are better than others, and many of them are morally ambiguous, which I really like. I was going to post the trailer, but it doesn't do a good job of showing off the film. I played through a couple of choices there a little while ago, though, and I must say I think it's pretty cool. Give it a shot and let me know how you do.

I found a few new time-wasters on the internets. Shore Siege is a fun, cute little defend-the-pirate-ship game, and Warfare 1917 is kind of the same thing, only with tanks and soldiers set in the Great War.

But game of the week goes to Don't Shoot the Puppy. (Actual screenshot at left.) After hitting "START", touching any key on your keyboard or moving the mouse causes the gun to fire, obliterating the puppy as he prances merrily towards the finish line. The key is to hold your murderous impulses in check as long as possible. I only lasted three levels, but I was trying it out here at work, and I can't afford to invest the time necessary to get the puppy to the double-digit levels.

One thing I've never understood about kids today is their propensity for using the word 'gay' to mean 'stupid.' "That's so gay." I don't get it. 'Gay' means one of two things: 'happy' or 'homosexual.' It does not mean 'stupid.' (And don't give me any of that objectivist bullshit about how "if that's how people use it, then that's what it means." We're not talking about people saying 'OMG' in conversation here, we're talking about taking a word that a large number of people identify with and making it into an insult. It's not linguistic evolution here, it's fucking hate.)

Which is why I'm glad to see that the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has started a series of ads targeting this misuse of the word. This one, by comedienne Wanda Sykes, is hilarious. (There's another, starring Hillary Duff, which packs slightly less punch, but is commendable nonetheless.)

So do your part and correct people when they say shit like that. Most of the time, it's people you know anyway, and most of the time, it's young people who don't know what they're saying and are easily cowed if confronted.

Parting shot today is a hilariously out-of-context screenshot I took while playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations on my DS last night.

Oh, Edgeworth, you're so funny.

Oh, and since so many of you expressed concern about my progress in Mega Man 9, I'm happy to inform you that I've since defeated all the robot masters and am currently launching an assault on Dr. Wily's skull-shaped castle. All is right in the world.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
What we've got here is... failure... to communicate.


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