Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shows That Weren't On Toonami That Were Cool

Okay so last time I did a list of shows I wish were on Toonami. But here is the thing I tried to stick to shows that aired or produced after 2005 at least with anime. Now for some older stuff. Roughly 2000-2005.

Why? Well Cartoon Network expanded anime in the U.S. and the fandom has a just nostalgia for that but it also creates a ton of blind sports regarding great anime that didn't air on that network so let's go.

The Twelve Kingdoms

I love fantasy anime. Partially because on the medium, but also because due to the fact that their roots aren't Tolkien, but Journey to the West I get cool new settings. That said it's still kind of rare to get a well polished fantasy show. I can list most of them on one hand. Glad to say The Twelve Kingdoms is a deep introspective show that is basically about the nature of leadership.

I high school kid is told basically she's the empress of a far away land filled with monsters and the show is about her coming to grips with that.  Epic levels of character development occur.

Great Teacher Onizuka (G.T.O.)

When I was growing up I kept getting the feeling that most, though admittedly not all, of the adults arouns me didn't understand kids especially teenagers. This is a show about that. So a guy goes into the teaching profession for the compleatly wrong reasons (I kind of like to forget the first episode happened.) but sort of sees his peers for lack of a better word making mistakes with the kids.

Mostly he talks to them and treats them like human beings and that can pull on your heart strings.

Also a side note if you absolutely hate anything animated there a two live action shows based on this franchise.


You know what I said about fantasy shows. Let's do it twice to make it nice. This one is more western fused, but the hero has a bit of an anachronistic attitude that makes it interesting.

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

Do you miss the frantic craziness of Excel Saga. FLCL too short for you. Then try Magical Shopping Abenobashi. By the way those are great shows. If you haven't seen them give them a shot.  Genre parodies are abound.

Last Exile

Watch it. Great animation. Great characters. Great story. Moreover at the time and even today there is little I can say is similar to it. So check it out.

Plus it was steampunk before it was cool.

King of Bandits Jing and Kino's Journey

These are here for the same reason. Watch the hero bounce around from interesting place to interesting place. Generally there isn't a plot so much as, "Hey where to Next."

Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 Southfield City Council Candidate Interview #5 Sunsaria Baldwin

Telephone interview with Sunsaria Baldwin who is running for Southfield City Council in the 2013 election.

This interview was recorded on August 30, 2013

Ways I Use Social Media

Alright so over the past year my dad has started to use the Facebook. And a couple of arguments have cropped up. Don't worry this is not about bashing my dad. No. See those arguments arise because we use social media differently so for I while now I wanted to talk about how I use social.

Primary Source Awareness
I'm interested in a lot of stuff. But most of that stuff doesn't have the mass appeal that will allow me to hear about it via traditional media. So I use Twitter as a way of keeping tabs on my favorite directors, guys in interesting industries, or even the companies and organizations themselves to see what they're working on.

News Aggregation
Alright so this topic is kind of big and unwieldy in journalism so I'll just say this. News aggregation is better for the consumer. I didn't say the news industry. I said consumer.

They allow the consumer to customize and organize the news their getting. And that's kind of cool. Let's say I was a chef. I'm kind of hungry but anyway. If I were a chef in a restaurant the reviews typically in the lifestyle section would be much more relevant to me than a general audience. I might even want to bump them up and put them in the same category as say the more business stuff and being able do that automatically every day, no muss no fuss is kind of cool. Also I can incorporate some more niche sites into my feeds that I might forget to check otherwise.  So go Feedly, but Twitter and Facebook aren't Feedly so what makes them different, well like I said before they let you look at primary sources, but Twitter does two other things really well.

By limiting the space of the headline they give the end user a really good at a glance feed of whats going on. And Twitter is organized by time so you always know the order of what's going on. I don't have to look at a time stamp to know if this WaPo article was written a couple of hours after this NY Times article and for some of the big stories that might matter. Also since a Facebook/Twitter post is easier to write than a fullblown article sometimes you get some info that hasn't gotten all the way around the world yet.

Information Aggregation
Twitter trends are a good way to at a glance figure out what people are talking about. Case in point there is a hypothesis out there that twitter mentions can help predict elections. I am not that smart so I'll just say that sometimes trends clue me into stuff that I had no idea was a big deal.

Emergency Communication
Okay for a brief time in my life I interned at a power company. And I got to see first hand how they used social media and they made an insight that blew my mind. In a power outage, especially with all of these new VoIP phones, people will be grabbing they're mobiles. They're just more versatile in these situations because they have data plans that can still access the internet without a router and don't require and external power least for a few hours anyway. In the chaos of trying to figure out what's going on people are going to head to those primary sources I mentioned.  What do the police or gas company say about the situation?

Celebrity Communication
Okay I'm going to have to redefine celebrity here. A celebrity as I mean it is anybody I probably wouldn't have had the means to talk to directly before the internet.  So I don't just mean the Beib here, but also politicians, industry leaders and media professionals. A lot of them do pay attention to and do respond to tweets even if that isn't always a good thing.

Self Promotion and Project Sharing
Okay I'm broke. But there is a lot of stuff I do that I'm proud of and one day might make me less broke. I want to get that stuff to as large an audience as possible so. Yeah. Story ideas, interviews, short stories, quasi articles, they get linked on Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook
In short I use Facebook as a personalized interactive address book, which people can an actually do change so I don't have to. I can see stuff like who moved or who has a new phone number, email address or whatever. Further more if all else fails and I absolutely positively have to get in touch with someone I can just text them speak of which.

Don't ask my why, but I hate phones. I think that it's because I'm absolutely horrible at making small talk so texting and while I'm at it e-mailing is just a forms of communication I'm more comfortable with.

The Profile
Again I suck at small talk. I'm not the type of guy who's going to start off a conversation going "Oh my god I love that one movie" Don't me wrong I love me some movies. But there are large aspects of my personality that are hidden by a giant wall. I chock it up to my adolescence where everything I liked was used as an excuse to mess with me. Anyway.

My Facebook profile and also the thing your reading are ways that people interested in who I am can find out my thoughts, opinions, and things I'm kind of interested in. And if they aren't into that stuff well they can just click over to another site. No harm no foul. I don't wind up feeling like a dumb ass for going on a 10 minute rave about how Scott Pilgrim is kind of awesome. Though seriously Scott Pilgrim is awesome watch that movie.

The Profile 2.0
Yeah. I want to be available if people have an project, idea or job for me to do so yeah I want my contact information to be in a place where people can see it. I don't want there to ever be a situation where people couldn't get in contact with me. Though the touch screen on my phone is making that happen. When did we start thinking buttons were evil?

Non Sequitur
Okay so I have a lot of stuff in my head that I think is funny or interesting that I just don't say because I don't think the person I'm talking to at that moment has a wide enough reference base to get the joke. But with the possible audience of the internet that's not as much a concern. The main man here can make a reference to the LOBO paramilitary holiday special and someone somewhere will get it even if it's like two people.  And frag 'em that don't. It's not as fun keeping those movie quotes and pop culture references to myself so sometimes I'll just let one go. I'm kind of a media guy that way.

Flash Ideas
Most of my really good stuff goes here on this blog. But sometimes I'll have a thought I think worth sharing that is one sentence. Off to Facebook it goes.

Personal News
Yeah I don't keep tabs on people as much as I should but if I were paying attention I would totally know when I have a wedding to get ready for.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shows I'd Like To See on Toonami

So the tail-end of my last post started describing shows I wished would make it to the new Toonami block. Let's keep going with that. Keep in mind that this is a fantasy list and almost none of this stuff probably would end up on Toonami.


Yeah. The rights would be nearly impossible to get yet Spawn on Adult Swim would be kind of awesome. For those of you who don't know Spawn is a relic of the Dark Age of Comics. Most people try to brain bleach everything they knew about him, but you know what? The three season HBO series was kind of cool.


Alright so MTV used to do animation. Not so much now but they had some cool shows. Downtown is one of the forgotten ones. It's basically about group of young friends hanging out. It's the tone of the show that makes it.

I just want to see them bring it back.

Megas XLR

Before there was the awesomeness of Gurren Lagann lampshaded the how cool it would be to pilot your very own giant robot. Megas did it in the west.  It needs to come out of retirement.

Hell Girl

One of the things I thought about with this list is how easy it would be to see a show somewhere else. The rights to the first season of Hell Girl are so tied up that seeing it is almost impossible and it being on TV is the type of thing that would make me set my alarm clock at 2 in the morning.

Black Lagoon

Close your eyes. Okay now think of the most batshit crazy insane 80's man movie you can think of (Since I came of age in the 2000's, not the 80's, I'm going with Transporter 2). Now imagine if the director could get any camera angle he wanted and could blow up aaannnnnything. And boom goes the dynamite.


Monster is basically a old school euro thriller full of twists and turns. I'm actually sort of surprised they haven't licensed it yet it's been out a while.

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

Alright so while I love the animated hyper-violence I'll be the first to admit that it's probably not a good thing all the time. Beck is a well written coming of age story told through the device of putting a band together. And it's got a lot of heart.

Ultimately it's two stories. The protagonist finding his identity through music, and well getting the band together. And god the musical references, culminating in a kickass cover of "I Got a Feeling".

Let's rock.

Gunslinger Girl

Just in case my aside on that last one didn't sink though sometimes you just need to be taught violence is not a toy. And Gunslinger Girl is the most depressing soul sucking, "Hey you there. You are a horrible person for enjoying this" story I've seen.

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne

Okay enough of that back to the hyper violence, and while we're at it let's add some sex in there. Alright alright Rin is a very good show that goes a little over the top but it has a lot of big ideas. By the way I already reviewed it.

Mighty Max

Okay hear me out. Sooner or later they will roll out Sailor Moon. Not a question of if but when. The fandom demands it. And you know what book ended my original watching of Sailor Moon back before it was even on Toonami. Mighty Max. And that show gets no love.

It has an ape city and vampire flies. My 10-year-old mind exploded.

Fist of the North Star, Slayers and Berserk

Oh you thought youngin's thought Gundam Wing was old school. These are here mostly because as an anime aficionado I'm ashamed I haven't seen these. They came out before my time and I would love to see them on Toonami.


Vampires have taken over the town. Let's kill 'em all! Death to the blood sucking bastards. Yes I am a vampire racist.

Hey I have a thing for occult detectives.

Attack on Titan


My Beef With Family Guy

Alright so I'm on a streak with TV.

A few weeks ago  Bob (MovieBob) Chipman, a columnist with The Escapist did a video about how Family Guy is an alright show that gets way more vitriol than it deserves. And I kind of agree with that. What always sort of ticked me off about Family Guy wasn't that it is a bad show. On the contrary it does on occasion do some genuinely clever stuff.

My beef is that Family Guy is everywhere. Okay this is the same problem I have with Nickelback who I also don't think are as bad as peoples say they are.

Every time I see Family Guy on a network other than Fox, i.e. Adult Swim. I think of all the other shows that could be on it its place.

Let me go back a bit. Adult Swim as a network has always been a split between anime shows and comedy. Hell arguably the first show on the block was Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

But around 2005 i.e. the time the Family Guy craze happened, and Adult Swim started to obtain syndicated comedy shows and more original content so  the 50/50 split shifted. And you know what I didn't mind... when the shows were good. Futurama was great, Aqua Teen Hunger Force was hilarious, and 12 Oz. Mouse was... interesting (Okay I hated 12 Oz Mouse. I thought it was the stupidest, laziest thing ever aired as a show. )

Anyway,  even now I'll admit mostly it was good shows replacing good shows, Metalocolypse, Boondocks, and Venture Brothers were all worth it. But Family Guy is well mediocre. Instead of Korgoth we get Family Guy
And you want to know what really pisses me off. Moribito.

It was a beautifully animated, well written, emotionally gripping anime that was basically an old school wuxia about a warrior woman protecting a disguised prince coming of age. And they only aired the first half of it.

Okay I'm being a little harsh on them lately they've been trying to repent and bring the anime back specifically with New Toonami. But honestly. It's never going to be like it was. Most of the stuff they're airing is stuff I can get from Hulu and Netflix, or stuff I've already seen. Sure, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Ghost in The Shell: SAC are good shows but I've seen every episode...twice.

 Get more stuff like Deadman Wonderland and we'll talk.

Can I get a Roberta's Blood Trail over here?

Or a Michiko & Hatchin dub.

Then again they do have Sword Art Online so s'all good.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Southfield Police Citizen Observer Crime Bulletin August 19-25, 2013

Recent Shows I Like

Okay so last time I took a trip down memory lane, but let's deal with the now top 10 recent shows I like I'm defining recent as roughly 2006. Keep in mind that the shows on this show are shows I watched. Also these have to be shows that are relatively consistent in quality.  Also to narrow the field a bit I'm disqualifying animation. Don't get me wrong some of those shows are better than these shows but I wanted to focus on live action. Let's get started.

Honorable Mention: Kings

You know how Firefly is sore spot to a lot of people because Fox killed it. And then peed on its remains. Oh the pain. Oh the agony.


Kings is a loose retelling of the story of David and Saul  yes that David.

  In a modern setting and it was glorious, until NBC started fiddling around with the schedule ensuring it would never get a second season where David would actually become king.

What drew me to the show is that Silus, our Saul isn't really evil he's just trying to do whatever he can to hold on to power and increasingly loosing it as he realizes he's no longer God's golden boy. He doesn't have it in him to just step aside.

Honorable Mention: Orphan Black

Okay describing the plot will probably spoil stuff but the basic premise of this science fiction thriller is clones. That's all you get.

Sidenote: All the clones are played by Tatiana Maslany who is absolutely brilliant at portraying all their different personalities.

Honorable Mention Sherlock

Basically the great detective operating in modern London. Most of the episodes are updates to classic stories including The Hounds of Baskerville. Also Watson is played by Bilbo and Arthur Dent.

10. Misfits
Take the premise of Heroes but make the entire cast chaotic neutral.  Sure they could save the world or they could make a bunch of sex jokes and kill their probation officer...again.

9. Caprica

Okay this is basically a spinoff of BSG, but it's also a very different show. It's well written and deals with a lot of heady stuff. Hell the entire plot is about transhumanism. A girl just prior to her death manages to copy her mind. What does that mean for everybody else?  Think of the implications of surviving one's own death.

8. Eureka

Do you remember the days when science fiction was about creating whimsical gadgets and super-science. Welcome to Eureka, a town built on super-science. Almost everyone cast member is a mad scientist to some degree or another.  You don't get explosions, rockets, robots, and force fields like that now days.You just get cop shows.

7. Treme

The spiritual successor of The Wire paints a portrait of Post-Katrina New Orleans. I'll be honest it's not as good as The Wire, but still better than most shows by a country mile. The point of the show, rather than creating an over all narrative like each arc season of The Wire, is to capture the spirit of the city.

6. Sons of Anarchy

The bad men cometh. They drink. They shoot. They raise all sorts of cain, and I can't look away. These ain't heroes. God are these not heroes. Think The Sopranos if Tony was a biker out west instead of a don on the Jersey Shore.

5. . Being Human (UK)

What if a ghost, a vampire, and werewolf each decided, "Look I can't live with muggles, you need a roomie?"
That's the premise as each of these characters tries to "manage" their conditions and well be human or as close to it as they can.

4. Supernatural

This one definitely gets better with time, starting as mostly a monster of the week show it now has it's own sprawling universe full of angels, demons, vampires, werewolves. Only thing that goes bump that doesn't exist is Bigfoot and yeah at some point our protagonists will probably run across that.

Apart from that it's got a kick ass soundtrack.

3. House of Cards

You know every horrible thing people say about Washington; the egos; the entitlement; the lack of empathy is all encapsulated in our protagonist Francis Underwood, Majority Whip. The lying, conniving, backstabbing bastard. After being snubbed for Secretary of State launches a vendetta to claw and maim his way to the Presidency.There will be blood.

2. Breaking Bad

Nothing to say that hasn't already been said. Watch a mild mannered chem teacher become Frank Lucas.

1. Game of Thrones

You know those shows where the good guys win and everything will be alright. This aint one of those. Winter is a bitch.

Southfield August 26, 2013 City Council Meeting

Southfield City Council Meeting held August 26, 2013

Topics Include

  • A special use request for a auto repair and dispatch business
  • The fatal shooting of a carjacking supect
  • Updates to the city's investment policy (mostly bank name changes)
  • The current development of the Michigan State Fair Grounds
An agenda and related documents can be found here

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Top 10 Shows I Liked in Syndication

Alright so one of the reasons why I write this blog is to talk about whatever is on my mind and a good chunk of the time it's, "hey remember this thing that I liked or do like, or have kind high hopes will be cool". The go to format to do that is the top ten list but I'm an indecisive bastard and that's hard for me so I tend to put on a bunch of qualifiers and limiters so guess what I'm doing.

Shows I Liked in Syndication

See upon reflection one of the reasons why I like a lot of what I like especially TV is that it's on hand. Game of Thrones is awesome, but it's only awesome for about 2 months. These are shows that growing up I watched literally everyday. So here goes.

Keep in mind with this list I'm mostly go for shows I've watched most frequently in my lifetime so yes there are a lot of good shows that aren't on the list. Also I'm trying to stay a way from shows that are still airing new shows like The Simpsons, Supernatural, and Southpark.

10. Nick At Nite

Okay to get this one you need a little history lesson. Way back in the early days of cable networks mostly tried to re-purpose shows they had on hand, for instance Disney would run old episodes of Zorro. Nickelodeon was owned by Viacom which was basically a division of CBS, so they had a pretty good library to work from in the good old shows category.  Choosing a show from this block would basically mean literally choosing between I Love Lucy and Happy Days so I'm not. The whole point was putting classic television into syndication.

9.Grounded For Life

Okay so the premise of the show is that two teenagers shacked up had a family. Because of not being much older than their kids as you would expect they have to juggle having similar personalities with basically being authority figures even when a lot of the time they don't want to be. My favorite scene in the show is while chaperoning a school dance they come across a bottle of hooch they hid back in the day have and "some fun" with it. For the record the tittle is about that premise being that having a family and being forced to be responsible being tantamount to being grounded for life.

8. Boy Meets World

Okay so this entry started out as being a collection of almost every 90's sitcom that revolved around the kids more than anybody else. Boy Meets World won out by shear virtue of being on more, (in my lifetime) than The Wonder Years, That 70's ShowMalcolm in the Middle, Saved by the BellSmart Guy, Sister Sister, Moesha and Everybody Hates Chris.  Ultimately though I liked them for the same reason. I'm "relatively" young. Let me put it another way, at this point in my life I've been a kid much more than an adult so far more often thus, far anyway, I related to kid characters. Not only that but Boy Meets World, in particular aired so long that the characters were able to grow up with me. So shows that were about them were about me much more than say Living Single, speaking of which.

7.Living Single

When I was 14 this is how I imagined my wild crazy late 20's would be.  And it's on this show other than Friends because everybody has heard of and talks about Friends.  This show basically had the same premise and well I'm black.

6. A Different World

On the other hand my early 20's well they were like A Different World. I liked it better than the Cosby Show of which it was a spin off. I always felt the Cosby Show had the weight of showing positive Black people and that sort of kind of limited both the humor and tone of the show. A Different World always seemed like it had more freedom to talk about the lives of a group of people only then really being discovered. The young 20 something college student.  See now a lot of networks are catering to that audience but back then not so much, and considering that I was that audience not so long ago I appreciate the show.

5. 7th Heaven

Don't judge me. I couldn't help that there were like 5 episodes a day.  This show is pure cornball. If you think Full House was cheesy well this show broke the scale. But despite the cornball most of the characters were well rounded and different enough from each other to create interesting character dynamics. 

The show was basically about the goings on of a pastor's family. And while yes it was preachy even now I feel that the show was pretty subtle, mostly cloaking ethical decisions not in christian ideolgy like you would expect but in well basic morality. 

4. Gilmore Girls

You know sometimes you just want fluff.  Show about nice interesting people doing nice interesting things. That and I related a lot to Rory growing up. Now I think of myself more like Luke. It is basically one of the best "slice of life" shows I've seen.


3. The Outer Limits

Alright I know there will be some haters but I like the new Outer Limits a little bit better than the old. Yes a lot of the plots were updates but I just kind of dig it. And to qualify it let me say the new one aired longer than the first one. But that's not the point. I miss anthology series and I could do another whole post why I think they're a necessary part of the entertainment landscape. They allow writers to try ideas that might not be ready for a full series or movie, but are still interesting.

2. Angel

Humanity is flawed, but deserves a shot because, not despite our shortcomings and that good can only exist along side the choice to do evil, how heroes stand when there is no victory that can be attained and that when nothing you do matters all that matters is what you do. This show taught me all that.

1. Stargate SG1

Look if this post was about my favorite shows period Stargate would be on the list. It was the show that introduced me to science fiction. It took me to new worlds... that all looked like Vancouver but all the same. I saw swarming micromachines, alien gods and a war amongst the stars. And Richard Dean Anderson had some good zingers too.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Southfield Police Citizen Observer Crime Bulletin August 12-18, 2013

Don't Try To Fix Me

 Okay so as originally concieved this post was supposed to be about why I like Boy Meets World shifted to why I like Freaks and Geeks and that scene, that scene right there sums it all up. So rather than talking about the whole kitten caboodle let's talk about that scene.

See Bill here is a guy who gets messed with a lot for liking the stuff he likes and even the audience might be fooled into thinking that maybe the best way to fix that is to make him more social, or find some niche. But Bill's already found something he really likes. Despite the fact that yeah he is kind of a downer when he's out of his element, he does have an element. Let Bill be Bill.  So...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19, 2013 Special and Committee of the Whole Southfield City Council Meetings

On August 19, 2013 a special meeting of the Southfield City Council was held to discuss details regarding the reconstruction of Evergreen Road. Due to the some of issues of the special meeting not being resolved before the 7:00 regular meeting those issues were revisited towards the tail-end of the 7:00 Committee Of the Whole meeting.

They Include

  • A proposed sidewalk in front of the Mary Thompson farmhouse that would have affected trees.
  • The possibility of bioswales on city property along the project.
  • The financing of the project
  • The city owning lighting along the project rather than renting from DTE Energy

The special meeting also included a bus tour along Evergreen Road., the audio from which is not included in this video.

  • Apart from the issues of the special meeting  the following issues were also discussed
  • Information from Rebuilding Together of Oakland County
  • The Southeast Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force, and  the Southeast Michigan Financial Crimes Task Force
  • A preliminary discussion of a rezoning project
  • A request to increase staffing of the City Clerk's office

Note: An interesting thing that the City Clerk mentioned that sort of slipped my mind is the upcoming school board millage election.

You can find an agenda and documents of the special meeting here and of the COW meeting here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Movie Review: Scream and Scream 2

I have a confession to make. I like Scary Movie. No not the later ones. But the first two movies really didn't feature most of the complaints people hurl towards the series.  See unlike all the other ... movie movies. Scary Movie had one target. Scream.  But that being said the one legitimate condemnation was the Scream was already a parody in and of itself. Guess which one I saw first as a kid. Scream came out when I was 9 and other than Child's Play I wasn't into scary movies slapstick was more my shtick.

Well I finally sat down and watched Scream.

The big conceit of the movie is that scary movies in and of themselves are formulaic and if a murderer did actually adhere to, "horror rules" people would be able to figure him out pretty quickly. And that furthermore the characters if they were smart should be able to figure out when they were about to bite it.

Fun fact this is a movie by Wes Craven i.e. so yeah if anybody's going to stare right into the face of the audience and go, "Come on people we all know this song and dance by now", it should be him. See he intended this movie as a way to put to bed his genre by making it look so damn stupid nobody would ever want to make another one.  But that didn't happen.

My guess as to why. Is simple. Scream is a 90's movie. For better or for worse horror movies in particular 80's horror movies all seem to deal with the ideology of the '80s. I know that's weird to say. And by poking at the horror rules it can also poke fun at and then transform the ideology of itself.

For instance the sick play on morality by the killer is ultimatly subverted by one of the most morally bankrupt characters surviving, subtly saying to the audience yeah we're not doing that anymore. Who lives and who dies will not be based on some archaic code.

And that's what makes the movie, "special". See the plot and the tropes are all standard slasher if you take away the forth wall breaking it is what it is.

Now Scream 2 I feel is a much more interesting movie. Largely because it feels like it has something to say. Or lots of somethings. See the sequel isn't just about horror but media in general. Almost all the set pieces and characters are tied to media, most of the big showdowns occurring in theaters, and sound stages, the set up being about blurring the line between the characters and audience as much as possible.

I think, the point was to lampshade that the only reason why slasher movies work is the dissociation between those two groups.

Movie Review: Easy Rider

Okay so for the last few days I've been going through my list of movies I'm ashamed I haven't seen so get your motors running. There are so many reasons why I should have watched Easy Rider. It's both the quintessential hippie movie and the quintessential New Hollywood movie and as a movie guy I am ashamed that I haven't seen it.

One of the reasons why I never did is  because beyond telling me that I should watch it nobody could tell me why. And that makes complete sense. The movie has basically no plot being mostly an excuse for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper to go to different places and opine the loss of the american dream, wherein a person could live their life as they saw fit as long as doing so didn't hurt anybody.

And that is the point of the movie. Watching two guys who are a little unconventional but who are otherwise good people continually get a raw deal because of the prejudices of society.

What makes the film interesting is that it's a movie about hippies that doesn't, at least it doesn't seem to be trying, to either use the notion of the hippie as a cheap way to ingratiate itself on the then just petering out youth movement, condemn or mourn the movement. It is a hippie movie not a documentary. It tries to make a case for what the leftist anti-establishment sentiment was about.

And just in case you didn't get it the ending, which I won't spoil, really hits the point home.

Apart from that the soundtrack was amazing. They licensed some of the defining music of the era before it became known as the defining music of the era further pushing it to be THE hippie movie.

All that being said. There is no plot. It's more of a series of episodes. Two guys are trying to get to Mardi Gras and stuff happens. This is not a narrative. There is no arc. It's all constructed so Peter Fonda can preach, but hey I'm in his choir.

You Know a Console Version of Pokemon Could Be Kind of Cool

You know one of the things I do when I'm bored. Work on my Amazon Wishlist. It's sort of the 2.0 of the thing I would do to kill time when I was a kid. Walk aimlessly around the mall. But no I'm not here to bemoan the loss of the mall. Though I really do wish those weren't the sad shells of what they were in the 90's.

See one of the things I've been meaning to do with my wild insane Amazon wishlist is integrate a personal inventory of my stuff I did a while ago. Yes I am kind of anal. I did it then for more or less the same reasons I'm doing it now. A lot of this stuff is old, breaking down, or obsolete(My DVD and VHS collection) and in the event I get some money or this stuff does just go kaput all together via getting lost or stolen or me getting plain careless like I did with my Mario Sunshine disk which is now cracked I have a record of it all so I can replace it.

As hinted to by the Mario Sunshine thing I've been mostly hanging around the videogame section going, " Wow, I had some good times with PowerStone. Ooh Gauntlet that was fun. Why Don't I play these anymore?" .

For the record it's because I played most of these on an analogue TV and the coaxial adapters were not built to last. Hell, I went through about 3 for my original Xbox. Though, I guess I could drum up some scratch for some RCA adapters.

Anyway, some of my old games are just plain disappointing. Pokemon Stadium.

Ultimately to understand my disappointment with that one you have to understand my history with Pokemon. I was slow coming to the party. And oh the razzing I got for it. But by the 7th grade I was converted to the cult of Pikachu owning all 3 games that had come out by that point, a bunch of cards, and about four different guides. I was Professor Oak.

See this was the game that made me, note me,(I did a buttload of extra chores for about 4 months in advance) not my parents, buy an N64. And not just an N64 the special stadium limited edition of the N64. I was that hyped.

The problem I've always had with Pokemon is that well it's sort of limited by it's tech. Even for it's day (I haven't played anything since Silver.) It was old school. And it was that way for a reason, Ninendo's portable platforms have always mostly adopted miniaturized hardware of the last generation. So Gameboy pocket was basically a dressed up NES, which came out before I was even born.

But like I said I was late to the Pokeparty so you know what type of systems I was playing with at the time.

 Okay so I had a thing for fighting games... and the Dreamcast. Oh the Dreamcast.

I didn't realize it back then the thing but the Dreamcast was basically a generation ahead of the N64 in terms of the hardware, so you can only imagine how far ahead of the Gameboy it was.

Anyway I was expecting a ground up 3D, control programmable, rebuild similar to Zelda.

 What I got was basically a 3D version of the least interesting aspect of the game. You couldn't capture pokemon. And there was no game map.

Nintendo come here. You now have the hardware. You can rebuild it. Make it stronger. Faster. You can make a realtime, non-turn based, 3D, Pokemon if you wanted to. Don'tcha wanna. Even a little. Great scot, think of the possibilities.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Again With The N-Word and Cursing

Alright this is going to be a combination/ re-examination of a couple of my old posts. Namely I'm going back and looking at how I feel about the N-Word and by extension cursing itself.

Recently Oprah has has expressed her opinion and she's kind of an agenda setter. When the O speaks people listen. But at the same time I feel that Oprah is one of those monolythic figures in Black culture that people mistakenly believe represents everybody. Or to put it as South Park would. Oprah is not the queen of Black people.

One of my personal grouses about African-American representation in the media is that there is generally a lack of diversity. Yeah I know how that sounds but hear me out. There are a lot of ideas, opinions, and backgrounds and we generally get only two variates. Elder statesmen who are the epitome of class, or well various shades of Nino Brown, without a lot of room in the middle.

Anyway that's not the point. When I first started commentating on my blog about race my opinion on the matter was if your white don't use it. I still kind of feel that way. But here is the thing, personally the use of the N-word doesn't bother me so much as much as I understood why it does other people.

Alright first off let me say my parents read this blog and yes they do comment about the cursing, but here is the thing when I curse I typically do it for a reason. For instance I use the mild curse bastard, when I'm trying to evoke a sense of old school John Wayne, cleft jaw, machismo suggesting that this is an issue or topic I would, even though I totally wouldn't, get into a physical fight over.

I use hell and damned when I'm trying to either sound folksy and/or about 30-50 years older than I actually am.

And I use the phrases dickmove,  jackass, and asshole to ironically enough refer to what my parents would call, classless behavior, largely because a  20 something male talking about "grace and class" especially when my concepts of those things differs significantly from that of the people who would probably talk about that stuff regularly, sounds kind of like a jackass.

Hell on occasion I'll even break out "fuck" and "cunt" because they're so rarely used breaking them out is a way to signal that I'm pissed and the gloves are off. Do not run. Do not hide. For those things will not save you from the verbal trouncing you are about to receive. The restraining bolt has officially been deactivated and I'm tired of acting like the nice guy I'm not, so sit down and take your damned medicine!

My point is that when I curse I do it to generally invoke something contextually. Language in general, but adjectives and exclamations especially are really flexible largely because what the words mean depends the context surrounding them.  For instance, "That was fucking awesome!" is probably one of the best compliments I could ever hear. Please someone utter that sentence to me. Please I am desperate for your approval. Anyway in this case "fucking" is being used as an adjective to extenuate it's object "awesome". And I really really want to awesome enough that people need to add "fucking" to get across just how awesome I am.

So why is the N-word different. Well because context can also be caused by the way in which a word has been used in the past. For instance in my previous example the reason why I use "bastard" is because in my mind the ur usage of the word would be George C. Scott's Patton. So when I use it I am trying to associate the image of a don't care about appearances or politics, just kick ass and get it done WWII general to whatever I'm saying.

The in the case of the of the N-word the ur usage would be... do I even need to say it.

That said, I'm Mr. Free Speech so yeah go nuts.

(By the way the Niggers With Attitude over here were using the word to say that they did not have the submissiveness that the word was used to enforce.)

My position on that is what I consider to be a more interesting thing. See I am a lot more socially liberal than my parents. My general experience is that even historical most young people are.  Literally the stuff that turns their heads and raises their eyebrows is stuff I couldn't care less about.

Is that permanent. My "do what you feel"ness is an aspect of my personality that is so central to my identity that I kind of think it is. At the same time well I am eventually going to turn into an old man, and I already know just by my current oldmanness that I am going to be a bit of a curmudgeonly codger.

Southfield Police Citizen Observer Crime Bulletin August 5-11, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Michigan State Representitive Rudy Hobbs and Michigan Consumers For Healthcare July 30, 2013 Healthcare Town Hall

On July 30, 2013 Michigan State Representative Rudy Hobbs Sponsored a Town Hall Meeting with Michigan Consumers For Healthcare regarding how the Affordable Healthcare Act would affect Michigan.

This video was shown at the presentation.
Correction: The title card incorrectly states that the town hall took place in Southfield. It took place in Lathrup Village.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Angry Black Man: The Civil Rights Movement Is Over And We Need A New One

Okay, I read an articles from Ann Coulter and the Wall Street Journal  that I ...

I don't agree with but they make arguments similar to my own that make me uncomfortable so I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify my argument.

Racism exists. White privilege exists. But the causes for both of these things are different than they were even a generation ago. I want to believe we've turned the corner and most folks are on board the racism is wrong train. But when white supremacy was ingrained into the cement foundation of this country it's harder than removing a brick or two.

Whenever I hear the elders discuss racism it's within the context of deliberate disenfranchisement and segregation. Which makes sense considering that a lot of these people were around prior to the Civil Rights movement and even then there is a gray are up until roughly the 1980's where certain types of attitudes were tolerated.

That said for the most, part we as a society again we're on the equality good, racism bad bandwagon, I hope anyway.  Sure when systematic race based discrimination occurs yes that's it's a fight worth having, but at least from where I'm sitting, (I grew up in the suburbs so I might be talking out of my ass) we're fighting the battle we already won while ignoring the war.

Continuing to frame African-American rights (Note: I'm not saying LGBT or Latino rights. There, the argument that basic human dignity should not be a privilege still needs to be made.) in the context of the 1960's Civil Rights movement weakens several arguments I feel are worth having. Nobody is going to take my discussion of modern disproportionate drug prosecutions, declining urban tax bases, the re-segregation of American schools, or stereotyping seriously when I start talking about the Birmingham bombing, which by the way happened before I was born.

Why? Because my ideological opposition is not saying it's okay to kill little girls at Sunday school, and framing the conversation that way ceases the conversation as they circle the wagons to defend themselves. That rhetoric creates the false impression that there are no more true political fights to be had in regards to African-American equality, which, in case you haven't guessed my thesis, is something I strongly disagree with.

When civil rights leaders frame conversations this way they paint themselves as extremists and that makes it harder to bring in the moderates who they actually have a chance of winning over. But here's the thing they aren't trying to do that. They're playing to their bases who eat up the rhetoric because "sticking it to whitey" in the glory days was the yardstick to measure social progress. If there was an old white lady on TV complaining about interracial marriage or a new black couple moving into her neighborhood we knew we were doing something right.  But as I said we've more or less won the battle on deliberate overt racism. What we need to focus on is covert racism i.e. stereotyping and profiling,  as well as urban deterioration, and mechanisms for social mobility like political organization, education and entrepreneurship.

By the way if you want to know why I'm so jaded about Trayvon Martin and Al Sharpton, read The Bonfire of the Vanities.  Or don't if you want to keep your faith in humanity.

All that said, yes, I am still pissed about slavery.

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