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Sunday 7 July 2019

Readers Request - Perfidious Albion, Milkshakes & Pangolins

It's come round again folks - it's another edition of the blog you love the most, the show without the host, you asky and me talky - it's Readers Request! If you don't know, it's where I ask people to provide prompts or questions for me to address, and then I... address them.

And I got a boatload of them this time round, so let's crack on, shall we?

Boobs! - YAY someone did it! (For those not in the know, almost every time, someone suggests boobs.)

Favorite spider man film. Also favorite super hero film. - I blogged about the Marvel List recently, and... though I haven't seen Far From Home just yet? My favourite Spider-Man film AND my favourite super hero film are one and the same. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

(Also bewbs) - Excellent, excellent. Yes.

Moobs - Also kind of a fan. I mean I have some. Picture not included.

A treasure Planet live action remake perfect cast and any other additional changes - So in 2002, when Treasure Planet came out, I loved it. I like my scifi, and this one had a main character that I genuinely saw a lot of myself in. I think it's one of the few Disney cartoons that could actually benefit from a live action treatment. Casting is difficult - but I think you could do a lot worse than having someone like Taron Egerton playing Jim, someone like Rory McCann as Long John Silver, and Captain Amelia - well I dunno, maybe Charlize Theron or Zoe Saldana?

A reboot of The Deerhunter ... using only boobs - I am... not sure that the average boob can convey the pathos required for the Deerhunter. (Which is an amazing film, if you haven't seen it.)

JourneyQuest season 4 Kickstarter. - Okay folks. JourneyQuest needs our help. Check it out on Kickstarter right here. It's a fantasy series that is made by folks well-acquainted with the tropes of the genre and of gaming inside that genre. They're a driven, talented bunch and they deserve success.

Favourite parts/moments of collectable card games - My favourite moments are when either myself or my opponent pull off the most weird and outlandish combo that you can possibly imagine. Like you are laughing halfway through the description of how it all works, and you aren't even mad when you have to concede. That's why I play these games.

Thoughts on 'Pirates of Darkwater' - NOY JITAT! I loved this show. Such a crime that it got done dirty. It deserved like a hundred episodes and a movie. If you don't know? Here's a link to a "history of" video that I liked.

If you could give any song the superhero treatment, like Immigrant song in Thor: Ragnarok, what would it be and how? - Hard question. I loved how Immigrant Song was used in Ragnarok (both times), and how The Chain was used in Guardians 2 (both times). So if we assume songs from a similar period, then I am thinking that a particularly emotive, introspective or soul-bearing moment would be suitably accompanied by Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Perhaps something involving certain members of the Avengers or their compatriots who are no longer present?

Times when a creator has talked about something they've done that you found interesting/changed perspective/deepened your like of the thing. - I really enjoy listening to songwriters in particular talk about their songs and the creative process that goes into them. I like making-of documentaries in regard to movies, too; Dangerous Days about Blade Runner is particularly insightful. Actors, though - when you listen to an actor talk passionately about a role they've enjoyed playing, that juices me a lot. The one example I think of? Will Smith, talking about making Ali. About his respect for the man, his dedication to making it all look real. The results speak for themselves.

Really interesting director's commentary was my first thought but interviews, online posts anything firsthand really. I love Song Exploder podcast for exactly this ^.^ - This was an additional comment to the above, but deserves to be included, because my second example comes from Song Exploder - if you don't know I love Nina Cried Power by Hozier, well you do now, it's an AMAZING song. And my appreciation for it only grew when I heard him on Song Exploder, discussing how he wrote it and how it came together. You can catch that here.

Coping with existential dread. - Literally the only way I can do this is by not thinking about it. I know that's not a suitable solution but it's all I have. Also; if you have seen any of the recent articles talking about how likely it is we are living in a simulation, or seen Sword Art Online, or similar - well my answer to all that is, if your life is still here even if it's just a simulation, then you still have to live it. The risks and rewards are all just the same. Even if none of it is real, that means everything is as real as it is going to get. Your happiness is as real as you are, and that is why we exist. To be happy.

Perfidious Albion - I mean, yeah. We have a rep for backstabbing and self-interest, and we have that because we're self-interested back-stabbers on the world stage. Not much we can do about that if a significant swathe of the population keep voting for assholes.

Also perfidious albinos - The Other Being The Bad Guy is a trope that makes me kind of sweaty. Albinism gets kind of used like that. Matrix Reloaded, The DaVinci Code, The Princess Bride and Star Trek have all used this particular trope in a pretty shady way. Not a big fan. It's a shame when you have generally cool people like Yellowman (reggae artist), Anderson Cooper (news anchor) and Shaun Ross (model) doing their best in the face of this nonsense.

Also perforated albinos - Caliban in Logan gets perforated. I think. Shrapnel?

And perfidious albatross - YOU CAN'T FUCKING TRUST AN ALBATROSS

Bewbs -

Current favorite podcast - I don't listen to podcasts really, but I recently got referred to Start With This, a podcast for creative type folks from the Nightvale crew.

How you go about getting out of bed when every fiber of your being is screaming to remain in your warm, cozy, cocoon. - I kind of have to, the longer I spend in one position, the worse I hurt - so actually getting out of bed is sometimes an absolute blessed relief. Unless moving hurts more than laying still. Which I don't get to find out until I try it.

Mecha (or anything really) you'd love to see fight Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - Well gee, I dunno - but I'd love to see Coop from Megas XLR throw down with TTGL. If only because I know he and Kamina would be instant friends afterwards. Can you even imagine?

For bonus geek points the tightness of ones shoes and the relevance of said fact in light of ones amnesia in relation to the methods of dancing -  "Something my father said. He was... Old, very old at the time. I went into his room, and he was sitting, alone in the dark, crying. So I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance." I never understood what that meant until now. My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance." I love Babylon 5.

Transformers gundam throwdown - Okay, do we mean Gundam universe, or actual Gundams? Cos like. In a fight, even the gruntiest Transformers are gonna win against Zakus and GMs. But the Gundam itself is a whole other beast. Not a lot of Transformers are powered by psychic craziness. I probably think Megatron would win against the Grandpa Gundam, but that's mostly because of who Megatron is rather than his actual capabilities - he'd use every single dirty trick and nasty ploy to get one up on the hapless Gundam pilot before blowing his ass out of the cockpit with the fusion cannon. (Optimus and Amuro wouldn't fight, let's face it.)

The inevitable heat death of the universe - SOON PLEASE

The "nice" weather that's indicative of the impending climate catastrophe - I mean... yeah? ...what's there left to say, we're fucking doomed.

Favorite milkshake flavor - Either whatever is splashed over the fascist it's been thrown on, or, strawberry.

How we can avert heading towards an even greater dystopian hellscape - Immediate and total revolution.

Favorite author (other than yourself ;) ) - HAH as if I would ever believe I am my own favourite author? Uh. But I digress. That's actually a hard question, but I think I'd have to swing for Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman. Not strictly because of their work, but because of who they are (or were), and the messages inherent in their work. And also they are (or were) both generally amazing people.

Which SINGLE member of the Tory party would you most like to give a swift kick to the genitalia? - Seeing as Maggie is dead? Boris Johnson.

Top three snack foods - This is a hard one. Uh. I'm tempted to go with the stuff that I can't often lay hands on in this country. So - flamin hot cheetos, chilli cheese fritos, and sour patch kids.

Your take on the current state of the human condition, and do you feel there is cause for optimism, cynicism, or a mixed bag? - The human condition is pretty much defined by insecurity. It's core to who we are. Now, if society as a whole was capable of dealing with that in a constructive or healthy fashion, then I'd be optimistic - but that would make the money sad, so we have to use it as a marketing ploy rather than recognising it as part of us and coping with it. So yeah. Cynicism all the way down.

The cultural normalization of casual alcoholism - This is a big thing in this country. Casual drinking to excess is accepted as basically being normal here, and alcoholism appears to be determined as "when I have a problem big enough that other people notice and talk to me about it" rather than its actual definition. So, not entirely surprised that it is a huge problem in this country. And as the financial problems mount up, it is only going to get worse. It always does.

Favorite candy color - Red. I like the red ones.

How long do you think we have before the technological singularity? Or do you think we're already there? - The date that was previously predicted was 2029; recently Ray Kurzweil of Google has predicted it will happen by 2045 in this article right here. I think that's hard to predict, though. The definition of the singularity is a point wherein "technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible", and... okay, imagine your life without microchips or combustion engines. Boom. We're there, already. There's just depths ahead of us.

Your best case scenario that ends with a unified Earth - ...I don't think there is one. Unless we see a total overhaul of our politics globally, which leads to an overhaul of corporation, industry and finance. Which - lets face it - simply isn't going to happen.

Will the be armed opposition to our eventual machine overlords, or will they simply take control of everything and people will barely notice? - If they are smart, they will take over long before we even realise they have done so. We may not even actually notice, ever. We may just start doing the stuff the machines want us to, because it's easier for them to arrange that than to make us accept machine rule. It's what I would do if I was an AI.

Happy Treason Day Ungrateful Colonials - You've got to laugh, or you'll remember our colonial past and realise that any success this nation has enjoyed on the world stage is built on the exploitation of others.

Bewbs² - Ah yes, yes indeed. Boobs squared. I prefer boobs rounded but all boobs are valid, including a lack therein.

Your arguments against violently seizing the means of production - I only argue with the term violently. Every chance to get it done without cracking any skulls. I think we owe that to our humanity. Necessary force only, people. We're not cops.

Top three colors - Magic, wind, red.

The effects of people enclosing themselves in like minded echo chambers and discrediting anything opposed to that as categorically false - Well, look around you. Our entire society is built on echo chambers. Our history is built on people only listening to the things they want to listen to, and mostly untroubled by the voices of those beyond the boundary. This isn't a new thing that the internet has helped give birth to. It's just easier to see it play out in real time, now. Humans like to be surrounded by those that think the same as they do. It emboldens them, it plugs that hole of insecurity in their hearts. It can be especially freeing to be surrounded by people that hate the same things you do. With some things (insert name of band here), that's something you can share with society; if it's something closer to racism, sexism, antisemitism or any other crime against people - you're likely to try and surround yourself with people that agree, so you don't suffer social consequences for expressing your (already shitty) views. CGP Grey did do a video on this though, which I was linked to in the comments.

Magnets, how do they work? - "And I don't wanna talk to a scientist, y'all motherfuckers lying and getting me pissed!" ...honestly I still kinda love Insane Clown Posse, and I love the fact that they did a whole album trying to convince people that they were evangelical Christians AND IT WORKED.

Someone 40 years ago would never believe we can have incredibly powerful computing machines in our pockets and wisely available to the public. What do you predict to be similarly unbelievable in 40 years time? - That we all had such powerful always-online computers in our pockets and still so many of us believed in such stupid things and acted in such stupid ways. That every house and building that is built isn't absolutely covered with solar panels. That we were still using the internal combustion engine. ...the cynicism aside, I think there will be a space elevator in forty years, and the idea of that absolutely blows my fucking mind.

"Oh hi Mark" - "WHAT IS LINE"

Why rats make the best pets - They're friendly, smart, clean and affectionate. They're adorable. I know they get a bad press but I think we can kind of accept that it is nonsense. I speak from experience: the best pets I ever had were my rats. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. I just. You know. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS LITTLE CUTIE PIE

The ethics of having a kid in a world with late stage capitalism - ...I mean... yeesh, it is a heavy one. Not that I am a kid-having kind of person, but at the same time, the world being as on-the-brink as it is has to be an additional consideration, right? Like, I am gonna bring a person into existence on a planet that may be unsuitable for sustaining our lives before the person reaches middle age. It's awful. There will be a collapse, it may well happen very soon, and when it does happen, shit is going to go sideways for literally everyone. Not sure I could advocate bringing a child into that battlefield.

PANGOLINS!!!!! - I LOVE PANGOLINS I love pangolins so much they're amazing. I actually had an NPC character in a Mutants & Masterminds game called Pangolin, who could grow the armour plating thing out of their skin. I love pangolins. PANGOLINS.

Boobies - I love boobies. Here's a nice pair.

Breasts. <3 - Oh lawdy yes. My favourite part. (of the chicken)

The fall of Cybertron - Superb game. Best depiction of Grimlock ever. Metroplex? Metroplex!? Just a great game overall, and a fantastic retelling of how the Autobots and Decepticons ended up on earth. Maybe not the best Transformers game - Devastation is amazing - but still. Get it. Get itttt.

Favourite fictional (!) post apocalyptic universe. - I love that you had to incorporate Fictional in that. Uh. That's hard, because I don't usually like post apocalyptic stuff? But in terms of media set in that universe - I have to say Mad Max. Fury Road is an EXCEPTIONAL film, and the Avalanche Studios open-world game is superb too.

Forgiving others and yourself. - I find this hard. Myself, specifically. I try and it just doesn't stick. I am still beating myself up over dumb shit I said when I was twelve, let alone mistakes I've made in recent years. Up to a point I'm very forgiving of other people. I like to think I am understanding in terms of people having things going on in their lives and how that may impact my interactions with them. Malice, though - malice I find very hard to forgive, nigh on impossible. And they say forgive and forget - like, no. If I forgive, I will forgive, but I will absolutely not forget anything that I have had to forgive someone for. Even if remembering it means I treat them kinder and have more understanding for them. If you fuck with me, and I forgive you, better not assume that I don't remember that you fucked with me.

The Emperor's New Groove - This was great. Really great. I liked the animation a lot, the musical number at the beginning is a classic, a lot of good lines, it just... always felt a bit like there was meant to be more? And of course now we know there was actually meant to be more. It just got rushed out. Which is a shame. Like there was a plotline involving Yzma trying to devour the SUN for god's sake.

The art of storytelling - I dunno if I can really cover all of that in the boundaries of this blog? But like... it IS an art. More of an art than a science. I could never get the hang of the whole arc structure, but you notice when it's done badly. If your story requires a different structure - give it that structure. Push it. See if it works. Readers are important for this. Get some! (Hey, if you wanna be one of my readers, you can totally hit my Patreon. Or just ask nicely.)

Should more artists stand up for their work. - This day and age makes it a lot easier for the consumers of media to contact the creators of that media, or for an artist or creator to see people's reaction to that work. Should you defend your work? I mean, that probably depends on the work, on the criticism raised against it, and on how you are going to stand up for it. Often what is called for isn't so much a "standing up" as an acknowledgement or a clarification. If only because outright haters aren't going to be pacified by anything whatsoever. It doesn't matter what you did or what you do, haters are just there to cause you misery, and then leave you on read while they go off and hate on someone else when you try and do right by them.

But, but, what if I want to do more?? - NO COLIN NO YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH BAD COLIN

Things that have made you laugh out loud - Huh. Well. Usually it's goofy shit. So I am gonna include some examples below, from the playlist I maintain on youtube called "Shit That Makes John Snart" - also included, a link to the entire playlist...

And that just about wraps it up this week, and what a week it has been. I think that's a record. 56 entries! And some of them weren't suggested by Colin I'M WATCHING YOU COLIN

Anyway. Thank you for joining me. If you made it this far - thank you for your patience!

If you'd care to share my blog with your friends, I'd appreciate that! If you'd like to thank me in a fiscal form for entertaining you a little bit, I do have a Patreon right here, but please - no pressure. Thank you for reading, and check my social media to the right to keep in touch.

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