The internet was initially invented by the US military to allow for decentralized information distribution. In the event the Russians blew up Washington or New York, dudes could still send messages to bros in Iowa’s cornfields manning the nuclear missile silos. Twenty years later, it appears that the real reason the internet was invented was to provide a vehicle for shit that would otherwise have no place to live—like a seven hour documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy. God bless the Russians.
At seven hours, this video is about as long as the original trilogy. Also it’s about as long as a day of work, so if you really don’t give a fuck about your job, cue this up, and digitally give your boss the finger as you suck down bandwith at ana amazing rate. The doc features interviews, storyboards, alternate angles, special effects work, and pretty much all the arcane information you could ever want to bring up, the next time you watch Return of the Jedi with your friends. I only watched the first forty minutes or so, while they touched on a bunch of shit about the design of Vader’s helmet, showed some deleted scenes, and interviewed the lil dude inside of R2D2, they never discuss why George Lucas wouldn’t let Carrie Fisher wear a bra. I guess some shit is just better left unsaid.
There has to be a better post title for this; and probably a better blog category and whatnot. But at the same time, words just fail to capture this thing. This discovery made on Pompano Beach, FL of a goddamn softball-sized eyeball. Does it come from a giant squid? Or some kind of really large fish? No one knows yet, which is funny to me, because if somebody somewhere knew they should have already said something. I kind of want to know, but at the same time, I don’t. I just want to stare into this eyeball and get incepted.
Also: can we hook that eyeball to some kind of contraption that will let us see what it sees? I mean, we can make bionic eyes now, we can make silicon retinas, there has to be a way to find the right nervous frequency that this thing uses. Should we slice it open to figure out what this eyeball has that we don’t? Or should we just keep it as it is, suspended in a vat of fruit juice at an aquarium so kids from all around the world can come in and stare into this eyeball and get incepted?
Or send it to the Will It Blend? guys. That eyeball looks kind of fresh too, I’ve seen fish at the farmer’s market look gloomier. Did the salt water preserve it or something? Do you think the guy who found it got spooked when he picked it up on the beach – thinking it was a funny looking rock, that turns out all gelatinous and HOLY SHIT IT’S LOOKING AT ME. I would have dropped it. Probably. Do eyeballs float? If you click on the picture (or here) you can see more angles (hah!) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Flickr page. Stare at this with me, yall. Let’s get incepted.
What’s new, readers? This is Casper here with an update from the bowels of Ponyville. You thought that whole grown ass man-MLP:FIM (That’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic for those not in the know) thing was over, huh? Think again, dudes. Not that you remember or anything but once upon a time I wrote an exposé on the brony subculture of eccentrics and the imprint they’ve left on copyright laws/media restrictions. With that, you can be certain I have a good handle on this fascination, or so I thought before stumbling over this troubling piece of footage. YouTube and the ‘bronies’ meet yet again and it ain’t cute or cuddly this time around either.
If you’re even mildly into collecting anything you’ve likely seen one of the kajillions of “unboxing” video clips hanging in the dark corners of the global sharespace like cobwebs. But wait, here’s a little something for the newbies. An unboxing is the general term for the act of removing an item from it’s original packaging but is usually specifically reserved for a grab-bag kinda deal where a collectible has multiple variations yet those variations are undisclosed and/or invisible to the buyer. Take for instance the process of unwrapping a package of Topps cards and finding a Cal Ripken Jr. rookie card (I know I’m a little behind the times) mixed in there or in this case digging into a Happy Meal to find a Twilight Sparkle pony. Got it? Good.
There’s something noticeably different about this specific unboxing video though. Sure it has all the social awkwardness, palpable tenseness, and lisp-laden monologuing to be expected from something of this nature. Those features are taken to such an extreme that it’s hard to accept this dude isn’t emotionally handicapped. I know it’s a bold statement but after making it halfway through this most of y’all will have my back on it. For one, this guy talks as if he’s been hermetically sealed in plastic for the better part of his life much like the “Rainbow Dash” and “Pinkie Pie” figurines at his disposal. I can’t make out even half of what he says, mostly incoherent mumbling to himself, and the best/worst part is when he gets up to demand a different toy from the McDonalds employee. She’s not too bad looking either. Heck, he could’ve played this whole lonely horsey thing to his advantage. Maybe she is one of those equally as disturbing girls that take pride in “fixing” boys.
He blows his chances (as if there were any other possible outcomes). The moment he opens his mouth the girl makes a run for the door like a frightened rabbit as he continues to talk at her. Does this guy have a definable mental incapacity or is he just a laughably pathetic dreg? A product of the incessant breastfeeding and PC wimpification that plagues this country’s male population, perhaps? Whatever the case, I think it would serve him well to drop the dolls for a minute and start thinking about rejoining reality. Alwight?
Oh SEGA, you bunch of little loin-teasers, you! This trailer, entitled ‘Guess Who’s Back?’ is quite obviously relating to a HD re-release of the legendary Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio, or Jet Grind Radio to you yanks. Go figure. Babbling aside, this is incredible news. Not only does this HD reboot bode well for the game’s already stellar graphics, but it also brings one of SEGA’s most neglected classics to a whole new generation of potential fans.
I’ll be perfectly straight with you all. I was so excited for this game’s initial release that I actually made a countdown calendar. I kid you not. Fuck it, I may even make another one as soon as the almighty hands down a release date. Over the years it has solidified its rightful place as my favourite game of all time, so please excuse my fanboyish gushery. For all of you who have already experienced the wonder of jet rollerblading and going all-city in a quasi-Neo-Tokyo: you know this is going to be fantastic. For all of those still in the dark; if you have an XBOX or PS3 prepare yourself for one of the most vibrant, distinctive and relentlessly imaginative games ever created.
I’m calling it. 5 years from now there is going to be a Choice Is Yours and it is going to be Chronicle against Chronicle…as this movie has no competition. Chronicle is the first movie I have seen in a long time that when it ended I wanted to go right back in and see it again.
So now I am just trying to figure out if this was just a ME thing or if it was actually amazing. My compadre in movie watching crime thought it was great, and when I was listening in on other people talking I heard a lot of “WOW, that was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.” So take that how you will. First a refresher. As Whole Milk pointed out the film is written by Max Landis, son of John Landis. Chronicle is both Max’s and director Josh Trank‘s first feature, probably not for long though.
One reason some people seem hesitant to take Chronicle seriously is because of it’s place in the “found footage” subgenre but it works here for two reasons. First, without the firstperson camera I think the movie would have been straight up BAD. It is the camera that makes the movie so PERSONAL and affecting. Second, they do a really good job of making the camera make sense…jumping from sources/angles, using the powers to get different shots etc etc. Trust me, it all works.
Other great things? Big shout out to Michael B. Jordan aka Wallace from The Wire aka Vince Howard from Friday Night Lights for holding it down yet again and moving higher and higher on my favorite actors list. Also, although I loved the whole movie, the last 20 minutes are just INSANE.
I don’t really want to talk about the plot too much other than to say it is about “Kids Getting Powers.” A lot of people have been claiming this to be a superhero movie which…it really isn’t. Yes, the kids have superpowers but they aren’t really starting new lives with them but just incorporating them into their normal lives with varying results. Honestly the only thing I can really think to compare it to is Akira.
I think at the end of the day that is why I loved Chronicle so much. When I was a youngster I would fantasize about having powers and using them on the daily, not running off and fighting evil…WAYYYYYY too much work. Amiright? Anyway, if you liked the trailer even a little bit I think you owe it to yourself to go see Chronicle.
If you’ve been into this hip-hop thing for long enough, you are most likely tired of it. Just like most genres, I guess. You get back to it every now and then because there’s nothing like it – but it still bores the hell out of you to sort through all the crap that is being played and said and made and swayed these days. If you’ve been into hip-hop for long enough, you have most likely heard of J-Zone – or one of his productions. While I am not a huge fan of everything he does, as a rule I am entirely puzzled by the fact that he never hit payload off a ghost production somewhere. To me, he has always been the weirdo Pete Rock, the choosy DJ Premier, a big name sound without all the big name drama. He has a style that’s instantly recognizable, and any beat you pick out of his catalog will make you at the very least nod your head in appreciation. But his instrumentals are so complex and rich that it takes only the most ridiculous lyricists to benefit from the win-win relationship that is to be able to spit on a J-Zone beat: Cage, Celph Titled, Wordsworth, Biz Markie, Rugged Man, GM Grimm and… a handful others. Zone himself can’t quite get on par with his own beats, people of his entourage did a better job than he did, but at least he says funny stuff… That is neither here nor there though, because J-Zone has been into this hip-hop thing for long enough to be tired of it and he retired himself from the game with zero Soundscan hits under his belt.
When he wasn’t rapping or producing, he has been writing a column for The Source and more recently Egotrip’s blog, where he shared his thoughts and archive with the world. That is also where the masses were introduced to his droll journalistic style (no tumblr). That is where Root For the Villain is coming from. Subtitled “Rap, Bullshit, and a Celebration of Failure,” it is part autobiography, part exposé. The first chapter goes right for the femoral as Zone traces his intellectual and physical lineage to his two grandfathers, characters and chroniclers in their own rights. They gave him his sense of humor, his sense of self, his first musical experiences. When his skin color made him a target for bullies, rappers provided him with role models and enough material to tread water in trash talk territory. One by one, he connects his defining moments with rap releases, as we watch him grow from a teenage jive turkey up to a grown ass man of few words, from intern bathroom cleaner in a recording studio up to working overtime as main engineer in another. He meets his idols along way, tours around the world, his crew forms and falls apart and he touches on good and bad times with the same candor. My ONE gripe with this part, and it’s entirely personal, is that we don’t learn a thing about where HUG and Shid have gone.
The second part of the book contains a series of rants, treatises, short stories about being a New York resident, a reformed indie rap producer, a single 34-year-old black man in 2010. While the first half was more about him being a man-child who grew up both faster and slower than his peers, this one is about him being a child-man who gets pissed off at the internets and generally yells at cloud. Both parts of the book are equally entertaining to read though because even his most melancholic recollections are treated like they happened to someone else.
There is no weeping, no preaching, no gossipping; just a list of what J-Zone has been through, and what kind of man that made him. You can only sympathize with his tour stories. I did feel my gallbladder being yanked out of my stomach when I read that his Live @ The Liqua Sto sold less than 50 copies upon release; partly because I bet I can find more than 50 people with the album on their hard drive right now, partly because I had no idea how badly overlooked he was. I do know many underground artists have stories much like his, being abandoned by a crappy promoter halfway through a tour in rural France or running after artists who haven’t paid him for beats. However I am not sure how many have bought mega record crates from crackheads and how many are living with their grandma. This is the kind of unique anecdotes that make the book an interesting read even if you had no idea who he is as a musician. The epilogue/third part of the book (which is only twenty pages deep with a lot of pictures) is called “Word to the Nerds” and it is where he gets the most personal, and the most nerdy. No boring details, technical stuff, perhaps even a lack thereof.
“Rap, bullshit and the celebration failure” are the soundtrack to J-Zone story. You can hear each of them oozing out of every reference, every rhetorical figure, every blunt moment of honesty. But I suppose it’s not a very marketable title; Root For the Villain is much catchier, but I can see nothing villainous, or even remotely ill-meaning about the dude. Shit, if it were another column, I would call him kuudere. He doesn’t conform, he doesn’t care, but it’s not like he didn’t try, and he’s not missing out on much anyway. A bit less than 200 pages for about the retail price of a record, entirely worth it. So go villain go!
I went on a vacation this past weekend. It was beautiful, breathtaking, exotic, enchanting, mysterious, and mostly magnificent. The place I went was very far away, in the northern reaches of Tamriel. I took a vacation to Skyrim. I highly suggest you do as well. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda Softworks‘ long awaited sequel to 2006′s Oblivion, is not a game you simply play. It is a world you inhabit, and indeed one that inhabits you. In case you can’t tell, I quite enjoyed this game.
To me there is no more deep and rewarding gaming experience than the RPG. I’ll play a shooter til I’m dizzy, or Street Fighter until my thumbs bleed. I’ll do so many Starcraft matches back-to-back that I can’t remember where one ends and the next begins. But only a masterful RPG, usually these days from Bethesda, engages me on seemingly every level. Now, 5 games into the series, simply returning to Tamriel is a happiness that I’m almost embarrassed to cop to.
Sporting a detailed and rich history and culture that surely flirts with even the most revered of fantasy epics, the Elder Scrolls games have long been more ambitious than could be supported by the hardware they were built for. Still an incredible game, the sheer size and scope of Oblivion left the experience slightly tarnished by bugginess and perhaps less than impressive combat mechanics.
Thought still not perfect, Skyrim refines everything from Oblivion (and indeed incorporates a lot of good from Bethesda’s other mega-franchise, my beloved Fallout 3) and delivers a knockout punch of a game that will not soon be forgotten. Wonderfully, I’m sure there’s still large swathes of the game that I haven’t even encountered, despite having already sunk a borderline unsettling amount of hours into it.
The action in this game shifts from the southern lands of Cyrodiil to, naturally, the Nordic province of Skyrim which is embroiled in a war between the Imperial Legion and the rebellious Stormcloaks. Your character, who begins in true Elder Scrolls tradition as a prisoner en route to execution, is quickly embroiled in a truly epic battle of Dragons, demons, Jarls, kings, giants, and oh so much more.
Skyrim is truly enormous. But it is never boring. The land is varied, from impossibly tall snow capped peaks, to dense forests, barren wastes, deep underground caverns, rural townships, highly populated cities and massive castles. You could be distracted for hours upon hours simply running around taking it all in. It is no understatement to say I have been left breathless by the land many times, and probably will be again.
Standing on a mountain looking down at a herd of mammoths move across the plains past a encampment of bandits around a bonfire, you may suddenly find the northern lights blooming above, sweeping in front of the twin Nirnian moons. The simulacrum of majesty is utterly impressive. As is the care put into crafting hundreds of unique and meaningful characters.
Though I always enjoy the main quest line, it is the smaller side adventures that really make the game. Whether it be helping a princess (or is she a traitor?) escape from a pack of shadowy assassins, reading entire in-game books of lore, healing Tamriel’s world tree, delivering a love letter, or attending classes at the college of magic, the world seems so lived in you can’t help but fall in love. This is aided by improved scripting, voice acting, and character animation.
Whereas Oblivion’s characters were saddled with bulbous borderline-inhuman faces, here the expressiveness allows for true appreciation of dialogue and nuance. There is also more variety. Argonians and Khajiit no longer look like re-skinned Nords. Weapons and armor are unique and multifaceted, and you might find yourself getting attacked while distracted by the swirling flame cube spell you summon in your outstretched hand.
There are still bugs, sure. With a game of this size and caliber shipping a perfect version is literally impossible. But, as they do, Bethesda will patch it soon and the experience will become even better. If you’re an Elder Scrolls veteran odds are you’re playing this game right now. If not, then this is the perfect time to jump into this rich and rewarding world. Just make sure to clear out your calendar. For real.
More NSFWery! This one more so than the last. Beware.
It really is funny how things work: Toshio Maeda, king of “erotic grotesque” manga, has declared that he got the idea for Demon Beast Invasion as he was trying to circumvent Japanese censorship (forbidding the depiction of sexual appendages in manga) for his previous series Urotsukidoji. Arguably, he probably had otherinspirationtoo. BUT! This is another example in a long series of things that have started with one weird idea and became a veritable cultural institution. Demon Beast Invasion is simple as that: aliens (those demon beasts!) want to invade the earth but since the atmosphere is different down here, they just poke their tentacles through the atmosphere to rape our women and create hybrids that can actually live on earth. Pretty common scenario for the 90s.
The modern day equivalent is Squid Girl starring Ika Musume, a girl whose hair is a squid. She is sent from the sea to the mainland in order to punish humans for polluting the sea but puny humans make her pay for the damages she does and she finds herself having to work as a waitress to repay her debt. The dōjin version has her exact her revenge slightly differently (also: sex toy).
Please. Fetishes are what they are, hentai are what they are, so – therefore – dōjinshi will venture in gross territory. Incest, pedophilia and rape happen more often in these books than reason would dictate. Sure, they are drawings. They are absurd. Whoever started drawing chibi characters (dwarfed versions like the one you are seeing above) certainly meant it for overwhelming cuteness purposes such as that of baby animals, rather than making the character look like a childlike sexual object. Somewhere down the line that went awry. At best it’s awkward. But it’s no recent phenomenon, and I think that we’re beyond trends at this point; this has market value to some authors.
As you can expect, there have been many attempts to legislate on hentai dōjinshi, but the debate is pretty close to that on video games and pornography before them: if you are reading a story that involves incest, will you be spurn to have incestuous relationships? Or will it on the contrary appease your curiosity for incest so that you will not be tempted to try it yourself? Are we weirdos because we like weird things, or do we like weird things because we are weirdos? Take City Hunter and GTO for example. They are, truthfully speaking, hentai material. And yet no adult in their right mind is going to say they got caught peeping into the women’s locker at the gym because they read these manga. The comical elements clearly offset the pervy ones. So why would it be any different for lewd acts that actually carry a prison sentence? These are imaginary character, our disbelief should be suspended enough as it is. And do you really need to see drawn penises and vaginas to be jacking off to Sailor Moon?
This is not a debate that will be resolved here, so let’s get back to business. Deviant sexual practices aside, there is a lot of room for the more cartoony kinds of moe.
Since we’re talking about Squid Girl, take hairstyles for example. Much like in Western erotica, ponytails, pigtails and bobs are pretty widely accepted as cute stuff. Then there’s the ahoge (“silly hair” a the weird curl/cowlick on top of the character’s head), and hime cut with straightened bangs and sidelocks that basically frame the girl’s face squarely. And then the haircolors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mention of a character dyeing their hair green or light blue, it’s just an accepted fact of manga. Surely that started out as a fluke: can’t really make a good black highlight with grey so you use a navy hue, and someone thought that looked kind of good and created a character with blue hair, and so forth. Also it comes in pretty handy to make two characters that look somewhat alike distinguishable from one another (See for instance Ranma ½). But some people just get off of girls with purple hair, so you will find dōjinshi crossing storylines of characters from different manga or even medium just to see two purple-haired heroines making out. Or pink on purple hair. Or pink and green hair. You get the point.
And the same applies to characters with darker skin tones which also becomes stuff-to-jerk-off-to, without it being necessarily a racial thing. At least I don’t assume there is a racial thing. Or at least it’s understated. Just like hair color, skin color is never really accounted for either in the canons (except for aliens I guess) or the dōjinshi. Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that the Japanese archetype is pale-skinned with jet black hair. Hang around Japanese and Chinese people long enough and you will hear jokes about the “dark”, “greasy”, “bad” skin of their Vietnamese and Cambodian counterparts (you may even hear self-deprecating from the latter themselves). This is the same obsession with whiteness that created the ganjiro and ganguro kogals (and tanaholics everywhere else you don’t get graced by 300 days of sunshine). Similarly, little girls are still by and large a symbol of innocence in Japanese tradition, it’s not a gratuitous association that can easily be replaced by another visual representation with an equal cultural weight.
I’m assuming that if you’ve been reading thus far, you are at least somewhat familiar with Japanese exploitation cinema, video games, kaiju or some kind of Japanese subculture. You have seen or heard of their love for disproportionalities. I’ve talked about their extreme musics, and dōjinshi are the venue of choice for grossly interpolated literal extremities. Distrophic sexual appendages I mean. But serialized. And these are extremely easy to find on the internets, probably too easy I’d say, because they end up being a novelty when there are tons of perfectly valid dōjinshi out there that do not contain hentai stuff. I am sure that is due in part to the fact that translating complicated stories requires much more effort than interjections and grunts.
This alternative market remains pretty exciting at the end of the day – intellectually speaking – when you keep in mind that this is all derivative work. All this pr0n because someone, somewhere, has to be interested in it. Again, this is a market, an economy. There are high school boys AND girls out there making money off of drawing incest and rape. And what is available on the internet is only a fraction of what is produced annually – and what has been produced in the last 30 years. It boggles the mind.
Alright this is a pretty dorky CIY but I want to know who do you want captaining your ship? Who’s hands would you entrust your life in hmmmm? Bald versus a full head of hair! Frack this is a hard one, but whatever… Engage! Choice is Yours…
Every once in a while a Tumblr comes along that’s actually worth a damn; one that’s actually creative and not just photoshopped celebrities holding sandwiches. Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses is blowing up lately, you might’ve seen it already but for those who haven’t – you’re welcome.
The Turtles first got huge 20+ years ago, what took our society so long to see the nose connection? I hope Gucci sees the above photo because I feel like he would really get Raph on his nose and Krang on his money gut