Hi, my name is Deric Brazill and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Montreal Baseball Project Marches On: The Legend Continues....

Warren Cromartie's Montreal Baseball Project is going to host another baseball festival in the beautiful Ville de Montréal once again in 2015 to coincide with the two Major League Baseball exhibition games at Olympic Stadium between the Jays and Reds which are scheduled for the next baseball season. A lot of people are pretty stoked and/or pumped about this just as they were when it was announced last year.

Cro has stated that those coming to the 2015 Expos Fest and who'll be crashin' the Big O for these Reds/Jays games will be none other than Mr. Rusty "Le Grand Orange" Staub, Timmy "Rock" Raines, Andres "El Gato" Galarraga, broadcaster Jacques Doucet, and headlinin' will be Hall of Famer and Legend Andre "Hawk" Dawson. Yeah!


The 2014 Olympic Stadium Games

I'm sure it's a joke to a lot of people in the baseball world that someone would be super stoked and pumped about some pre-season exhibition games but you gotta understand that there's still a huge fan base of die-hard Expos fans in Montreal who haven't had MLB come to town in a full decade so it was a big deal for us.

The games against the Mets were done so well too. For game one, Raines was there, Steve Rogers was there, Gary Carter's wife and daughter were there to honor the late n' great Kid, and Cromartie was there to lead the fans in a chant of "WE WANT BASEBALL BACK!" It was nice, it really was. Look, for an Expos fan it was pretty freakin' cool.

Carter's family, Cy, Cro, n' Rock

For game two, almost the entire 1994 Expos were in the house from Grip, to Moises, to Walker, to Johnny Wetteland and everybody in the stands got hella pumped to see those dudes again. For shizzle. I remember watching all these guys live in the flesh the year they went 74-40 and seeing all of them back in the Big O was something I thought I would never see again.

Fletch, Walker, Felipe, n' lancer gaucher Denis Boucher

There were almost 100,000 people who came to the those two games...and I don't know but...something tells me these two pre-season games in 2015 are gonna crack the 100K mark. Something's in the air up in here and I know well enough (most of the time) to classify what is in the air when I feel that something is in the air. What is in the air in this case? BASEBALL FEVER.


Cincinnati Reds: The Best and My Favoritist of Those Guys

Props to the Cincinnati organization for agreeing for their club to venture north to the baseball-less and barren-of-baseball wasteland of Montréal to play a major league baseball game or two in the 2015 pre-season.

I have memories of the all the NL teams and most of these teams I have a favorable view of. Those Cincina-ta Reds are one of those teams I have a favorable opinion of, as such. In order to give props to the Reds organization I would like to write about them...specifically about the best Red and also about my favorite Red of all time.

Best: Barry Larkin

You're talking some heavy duty Reds over the years from Joe Morgan to Pete Rose to George Foster to Jose Rijo and the list goes on and on...but to me I'd have to classify Barry Larkin as the greatest by talent and by numbers Red of all time.

I should say that I may be biased because I personally have seen many many live games involving Barry Larkin. His rookie year was 1986 and he retired in 2004. For me, my first live baseball game was in 1986 and my team moved away in 2004...so my viewing of baseball and the career of Barry Larkin do overlap pretty much 100%. So I personally have never seen, say George Foster, play yet I assume someone who hit 92 homers in the span of two season was probably pretty fucking good. The fact that I've seen Barry play live on numerous occasions may be the reason I believe him to be the best Red ever.

People are spoiled in this era with shortstops who can play adequate defense and hit...but in my era of watching baseball it was still common to see a shortstop who hit .230 as the team's first string shorty. A guy like Barry who could win a gold glove at short, a position which sees well over 700 balls hit to in any given year, and hit well was very rare in previous eras.

He didn't just hit well though...he did it all. He hit for contact (.295 lifetime average), he hit down the line and into gaps (441 doubles, 76 triples), he hit longballs (198 homers), he drew walks (.371 OBP), and even stole some bases (379 out of 456 attempts). To have a gold glove shortstop who could do stuff like this was incredible.

The only real knock on Barry was that he rarely played 150+ game seasons due to injuries. He wasn't an Iron Man like Ripken but he was better than Ripken when he did play.

I know many would disagree with me asserting that Larkin was the best Red ever so I'll leave it as worded like this...

...Barry Larkin was the best Red I ever watched play.


Favorite: Chris Sabo

Sabo was a popular Red who played thirdbase for them in the late eighties and into the nineties. He is mostly remembered for his signature goggles he wore around his head moreso than his hitting or fielding prowess (which wasn't too shabby by the way).

As you can see from this beautiful artistic rendition of his facial features in this Donruss Diamond Kings baseball trading card to the left of the screen...Chris Sabo indeed had signature-ass goggles that made you stop and look at his card when you got it in a pack.

He was nicknamed "Spuds" Sabo by Pete Rose because apparently Sabo resembled Spuds McKenzie from the old Bud Light commercials. For those unfamiliar, Spuds McKenzie was a super cool dog who rocked hard, drank hard, and banged a hell-a-vu-lotta women back in the eighties (including even Debbie Gibson).



 Personally, I do not see any tangible resemblance between Sabo and McKenzie...


Okay, I admit, the reason Chris Sabo is my most best and favoritist Red evar is simply for the aesthetic and shallow reason that...Chris Sabo looked so fucking goofy in those goggles. He looked like a certified goof ball in those things. When players of the eighties were competing as to who wore the most stylish of fly sunglasses or "shades" if you will...it was visually striking to see Sabo with these literal grandma-glasses fastened to his head with an elastic band. He was the anti-fly...the actual anti-fly.

I understand that eye-glasses would surely fall off a man's skull whilst he had to manipulate his body to whip out baserunners at first or to bang out jack-a-roo hum-dingers...but still...you have to admit that Chris Sabo looked genuinely silly in those goggles.


If poppin' up with yer fly open is cool..then call me Miles Davis!!


I used to advertise my respect for Chris Sabo to the whole world through the use of the T-Shirt as well. The year the Reds were in the World Series in 1990 and Chris Sabo fucking tore up that World Series like it was nobody's fucking business...my parents purchased me a 1990 World Series T-Shirt which because of the play of Sabo in that series had a big huge Chris Sabo head on it (complete with over-exaggerated grandma-glasses). I was like 8 or something years old back in '90 and everyone at school would always be like...

Kid at School: Haha! Who's that big huge DORK on yer shirt?
Me: Oh, that's just Chris Sabo! Isn't he kewl?
Kid at School: NO!

Hands down, Christopher "Spuds McKenzie" Sabo is the kewlest Red in history...unlike the "best" argument where it is debate-able as to who was the best Red...when it comes to the who the kewlest Red is the debate is much simpler. It would be difficult for anyone to win an argument in which they tried to claim that Sabo was not the kewlest Red evar.


My Most Humblest of Apologies to Former Cincinnati Red Ken Griffey Junior

One memory I have of the Reds was something I remember good because it was a stupid thing I did. I was, I think 17, when this happened and to be fair I was not the most maturest of seventeen year old human youths back then.

Anyway, Ken Griffey Jr. was playing kind of crappy in his first year in the National League in 2000 with the Reds, he was hitting like .244 coming into the series on July 28th against the Expos at Olympic Stadium (average on that date courtesy of Baseball-Reference Dot Com). I was sitting on the first base side and witnessed Mr. Griffey pop out and I for some reason had the urge to yell...

..."looks like ya just popped up ya big faggot!"

...and Ken Griffey Junior literally turned and looked directly into my eyeballs...and I was like....

...."Oh shit! How did he hear me!?"

I really didn't think with the noise of the stadium and everything that players even heard when fans heckled but I am 100% sure he heard me and I always felt bad about saying that for two reasons: 

1) Ken Griffey Jr. is a super cool guy and is 100% a Hall of Famer and legend...and it was not polite to make fun of him while he popped up.

2) You shouldn't use "faggot" as a pejorative word because gay people are chill and cool. But yo, back in like 1999 when I was 17 that word was just part of a youth's vocabulary. I mean in my last year of high school if you totaled up all the times a youth said the word "faggot" in 1999.....you're talking about like at least a zillion instances. Still it's not an excuse and I'm sorry for using that word as an insult.

So, I apologize to the gay community for using the word "faggot" as a pejorative word quite often in my youthful days. I never use that word anymore...I have used the word "faggo" in this blog once or twice but that was under instructions from Scott Thompson (no not the Expo one but the Kids in the Hall one) that "faggo" is an a-ok term to say.

According to Kid in the Hall and comedy star Scotty Thompson..."faggo" is chill to say still.



So, 100% I don't ever use the "t" in that word anymore.

Most of all though, I apologize to Ken Griffey Junior because, well, the guy's a baseball icon and legend. He's a first ballot hall of famer for sure (he didn't look even a little bit roided up). KGJ....you are a capital "L" Legend, bro.


Conclusion

Montreal Baseball Project is still going strong. It should be noted that this is still operating in Phase II, many seem to think that MBP has initlized P3 but believe me when Cro initiates Phase III...you're gonna know that's for damn sure because it's gonna be huge.

Hey...you wanna a rumor that I heard about 2016's Expo fest? Yes, Vlad is apparently coming to town but don't quote me on that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Tuesday Comparison: Comparin' the Writings of Tommy Malthus to Child Psychology

Wanna do a comparison? Okay, I'm down. Let's compare the opinions of Tommy Malthus to child psychology for a change. It's not like I have anything better to do today.

The Writings of Tommy Malthus 

Tommy Malthus was a guy from the 1800s who wrote about population and resources. He firmly believed that the current resources of the earth could and would not satisfy the rate at which humans were re-producing. He wrote that the future will inevitably be a bleak one of famine and ultimately will lead to the death of humans.

People have taken his writings very seriously over the last 200 years or so and nations have been attempting to get their hands on the supposed dwindling global resources so that their nation will make it through the great famine which will apparently spell the end for them.

Basically he was saying that there's not enough food, water, energy on this earth for everyone and we must fight over who gets to have their hands on it and make it through the "great catastrophe" which awaits us in the future.


Child Psychology

Next off, let's rap loose about some child psychology...

I'm not huge on psychology, in many aspects I think it's a jabroni-laden field of silliness, yet I read a lot of child studies because they are interesting (Bobo clown study and others). One study that I found interesting was children were given toys to play with and then simply observed by the psychologists. What they noticed in many cases was the children would behave very differently when they entered the room full of toys. Some of the children would take a toy and go to a corner of their own and play with it (shy kids), other kids would take toys and play a game with other kids (outgoing kids), then the last type of kid would steal toys from the other kids.

At first they thought, "oh that child must have liked that toy and his/her reason for stealing it was to satisfy a want," and that may have been true in some cases yet the psychologists started to notice in many cases once the child successfully stole the other child's toy...he/she would get bored of it in a few seconds and then go steal some other kid's toy. He or she wasn't stealing for the want or need to have the toy they were observing another kid playing with...they simply wanted to steal because that other kid had it and it compelled them to take it from them. It was the act of taking something from someone else that interested the children who stole toys in most cases.

In the adult world, a good example of this phenomenon is the long-known fact that wearing a wedding ring into a singles bar will attract A LOT of attention. A lot of people wonder why that is but child psychology explains this rather easily...a lot of singles will hit on a "taken" member of the opposite sex for the sole reason of "taking" something away from someone. These lascivious howlers are the same as the kids who stole toys for no reason in the study...they don't even really want to bang the person who is married...what they want is the feeling of taking something from someone and that gives them a thrill or a warm feeling inside.

How Does this Nonsense Tie Together, You Ask?

According to the followers of Malthus, there are a limited amount of resources on this earth and they will only wind up in the hands of those who take them. They only wind up in the hands of the takers. The lonely kids who play with one toy? Fuck 'em they won't survive. The outgoing kids who work together and play with the toys together? No chance, they won't survive. Only the kids who take will survive. Take, take, take, take, take,take, TAKE.


Take, take, take...

Finder's keepers! Losers weepers! First come! First serve! Take! Take! Take!

There's only so much food, water, energy, and precious resources on this earth! TAKE THEM BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES! TAKE IT ALL FOR YOURSELF! TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH! YOU CAN NEVER TAKE ENOUGH! TAKE IT ALL! TAKE EVERYTHING THAT ISN'T NAILED DOWN! IT'S DOG EAT DOG OUT HERE! KILL THEM ALL! TAKE ALL THEIR STUFF! THEY DON'T NEED IT...YOU NEED IT!

It's either you or me! No offense but if boils down to you or me...believe you me...I'm picking ME! Now gimme all your stuff! It's Mine! All Mine!

It's mass hysteria out here! Buy a gun! Get ready! It's Mass Hysteria Out HERE!

Does it Have to Be This Way?

Is the population really spiraling out of control? Doesn't seem so. Please let my homeboy, the master statistician, Hans Rosling rap a little loose on this subject...


It looks like we are gonna recover from the post-war baby booms which over-saturated the population and numbers will level out. Statiscally, if you are educated and live comfortably...you have about 1 or 2 babies per woman. If you are an uneducated and poor family you have 6 or 7 children. It seems people over-breed when people are dying too often. If a war breaks out and 2 million people die...families will in turn try to balance it out by breeding like crazy. If child mortality rates are high in a region then families will over compensate by trying to make babies like crazy to replace the ones that die.

Those are the facts. It seems the main problem in over-population is simply some regions are experiencing so much death that they are over compensating birth rates. All we have to do is get good hygiene, vaccines, food, clean water, and education to the poorest regions of earth to level out the breeding cycle and it's not as hard as you think. Science and technology is on the case and when they are on the case things tend to get done.

Conclusion

Yes there is 7+ billion people in the world, yet with our technology and science we can feed, clothe, house, and provide energy for all of these people. Once everyone on earth is living comfortably we can level off the breeding cycle and throw Malthus out the window for good.

Forget Amish/Organic farming and let science produce maximum yields. Forget resource based energy production and think about renewable energy production. Vaccinate your fucking kids. That's the type of things that will make a brighter future...not resource wars.

It's not a world for the takers. Not at all. This world is a world for thinkers. This is a world for problem solvers. This is a world for intelligent folks who get the job done. This is NOT a world for takers. In fact, the wars over resources is the real catastrophe and the irony is that they are fighting these wars apparently to avoid the catastrophe predicted by Malthus. It's kinda nuts if you think about it.

Statistician and prognosticator Tommy Malthus' writings have been the opinion of the majority of the world for about 200 years now. Is it time to listen to a new statistician and prognosticator for a change? I mean 200 years was a long time ago, maybe it's time to let guys like Hans Rosling take the helm of the stats/prog scene for a coupla hundred years or so? No?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Being Sent to the Slammer for Writin': The Possible Sad Ending to the Baba Jukwa Saga

This blog has been following the "Baba Jukwa Saga" which has played out over the internet for the past 2 years or so...

1. The Global Mystery: Who is Baba Jukwa...and will he/she spell the end of Robert Mugabe's 27 year rule of Zimbabwe?

2. Jukwa Update: After the Death of Chindori-Chininga....has Zanu Silenced the Baba Jukwa?


Basically a man somehow involved in the Zanu party of Zimbabwe which has been in power in Zimbabwe for over 30 years took the new technology of social networking to share pretty shocking information about the inner workings of that shady organization. People started to take him/her even more seriously as he/she predicted a dissenter of Zanu would be removed and surely enough this man was murdered soon after. It was interesting and sort of funny because the account was giving the personal cel-phone numbers of the politicians lambasted in the posts for the readers to call if they felt the need to express anger...which I'm sure was quite annoying for the politicians involved.

The account garnered at its peak 400,000+ "likes" yet it seems to be officially defunct as of now. The removal of the account seems to coincide with the arrest of a certain journalist.

Source: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/08/12/baba-jukwa-disappears-from-facebook/

Fishyness is abounds with the arrest in question as before being arrested the journalist seems to have written an incriminating letter and it seems somewhat odd that someone would voluntarily do such a thing...

Letter: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/06/23/edmund-kudzayi-joined-team-zanu-pf/

A few days after the letter was published he was arrested. Has the Jukwa saga, which has morphed into a soap opera the whole world is following, finally reached its sad conclusion? It appears so.

The question now is how draconian the punishment will be.  The journalist in question is on bail and facing charges of "attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government." 

Now, I don't know if this guy is on the up and up or what his deal is or even if he really was Baba J ...all this article wants to really explore is what should the punishment be for sharing information in this new information age we are all living in?

Parallels to the "Snowden Saga"

In the first article I wrote on Baba J, I made a comment along the lines of "what a whacky country over there, surely an over-the-top manhunt like this would not happen in North America..."

...but surely enough a few week after writing that I had to eat my words something fierce as the Edward Snowden fiasco broke out which kind of made me feel a bit dumb for saying that something like that would not happen in North America.


For those unfamiliar with Snowden, he leaked NSA papers showing that surveillance of civilian activities by various government organizations are far more obtrusive and extreme than most people thought.

Personally, I wasn't surprised too much by the Snowden saga. We are all living in the information age and all of us are trying to access as much info as humanly possible...so why would anyone be surprised that governments and other organizations are trying to access as much info as possible too?

The shocking part is not the realization that information is being harvested and recorded by organizations such as the NSA or Stone Ghost, the shocking part in these matters is the punishment that is doled out to people leaking information to the public. If you prove to the public that your government is pretty Big Brotherish...what punishment do you deserve for that? To me it's a bit of a wash because most people knew the government was looking at their shit anyway so who even cares that some guy proved it?

I do 100% think that guys like Snowden, Bradley Manning and others did indeed break the law and should be reprimanded in some fashion. I mean they must have signed a document which said something to the extent of "you're going to be dealing with confidential/classified info in this organization that you cannot under any circumstances share with anyone" and they did indeed break that contract. The punishment however should be along the lines of termination from the organization, a steep fine, and maybe half a year in a white-collar prison and nothing really worse than that. These life-in-prison sentences they are talking about for these guys are fucking extreme and pretty draconian, I must say.

Bradley "Chelsea" Manning for example was sentenced to 90 years in prison for the information he put on the internet...or even Canadian Jeff Delisle who got 20 years for selling information to Russia. Those sentences come off as being pretty harsh, I find.

Conclusion

This is the information age and any dude, or chick, or tranny (Manning) with a computer can be an information super-node. Everyone is trying to access as much information as they can and no one whether government or civilian should be surprised that someone is using the technology in the information age to gather and share information.

The only point I really wanted to make here is that...it's a little draconian and old school for governments to imprison people they don't agree with. It is very very unhealthy for any society to treat dissent in such an extreme manner.

If you are dishin' out punishment for a legal breach of contract then fine...that makes sense...but if you are only applying the punishment to suppress non-violent dissent then that's a whole different can of worms, man.

In the recent cases of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Jeffrey Delisle...they indeed broke a promise and legally binding contract to not share the information they were intrusted with by the organization who employed them. Yet is 90 or even 20 years in the slammer a little too hardcore a sentence?

As for the supposed arrest of Jukwa, which in all truthfulness may very likely not even be the actual Baba Jukwa...we can only imagine how draconian and extreme the sentence will be for "attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government..."

...one by the way which has been ruling for over 30 years now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Best of the Best: A General Exposé on Chinese Gamblin' Movies

On the right side of the screen of this blogsite (on desktop compies I dunno 'bout mobile) shows all the most well-readed articles. It's been pretty much the same order for a long long time. People seem to check out the video game ones, the one about Beet-a-Juice, the Montreal Expos one, the Corn one, etc, etc.

Lately the hits for the Stephen Chow Journey to the West article have been adding up as it is gaining mild readership like a freight train and poised to become top 3 in the near future.

Hey I only have a few readers so I might as well give 'em what they want, if they want Chinese movie reviews then I'm gonna bang out some Chinese movie reviews. No biggie.

You ready for it ya big readers you? I'm 'bout to knock out a whole slew of Chinese movie review.


Chinese Gamblin' Movies

What is a "Chinese Gamblin' Movie" well it's basically a full length film set in China where people gamble. Simple enough.

The first of its kind was a Shaw Brothers classic from 1976 known as "King of Gamblers" (trailer below).



Most fans of Shaw Brothers movies know that a lot of the flavor of these films was in their campiness, silliness, and cheapness. This film does not disapoint as its camp/silly/cheap levels are pretty darned high yet this film is just the departure point for the genre and will not be a main focus of this article.

Fast forward to 1989 and the Hong Kong movie scene had grown considerably both talent and funding wise and in this year would mark the true birth of the Chinese Gamblin' Movie. I don't know what you call the "Hollywood" of Hong Kong, maybe "Hongywood", anyway Hongywood thought the 1976 King of Gamblers film was totally bad ass and wanted to make their own totally bad ass Gamblin' movie and they did. They cast Yun-Fat Chow as the lead and a legendary film genre was born.

The first time I ever saw Yun-Fat Chow was when I stayed up super late one night in the mid-nineties and this channel (Showcase/Channel40 in Canada) was showing a marathon of John Woo movies. A lot of people know Johnny Woo because he crossed the ocean and became a big director in Hollywood too (directing Face Off with Cage/Travolta amongst others). Yun-Fat used to be Woo's go to guy for shoot-'em-up action movies and Showcase was playing Hard Boiled, The Killer, and Once a Thief which were all superb Yun-Fat films. In a John Woo directed Yun-Fat Chow movie it was not uncommon for thousands of people to be shot in the face...which is cool.

That's the basics of the genre, now on to the review...


1. God of Gamblers (1989)

(Note: the "Mix" slot is where I try to pigeon hole the film into a mix of movies to give you an idea what you're in for. Think of it like if a movie was like baking a cake how you'd derive the cake via its ingredients so to speak.)

Mix: 2 Parts Hard Boiled (shoot 'em up action) 2 Parts James Bond + 1 Part The Bell Boy (generic slapstick throw-a-way comedy) + 1 Part Rain Man.

Synopsis: The greatest gambler in the world is commissioned by a wealthy gambler to defeat his nemesis in a gamblin' duel yet things take a turn for the worse when the greatest gambler in the world accidentally tumbles down a hill and gets amnesia. Thankfully some local street hooligans nurse him back to health and make use of his god-like gamblin' powers. 

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow as the God of Gamblin', Andy Lau as the street smart Knifey Boy, Charles Heung as Dragon Bodyguard, Man-Tat Ng as the sub-boss villain, and Hom-Lom Pau as the final boss.

Opinion: I know Rain Man in the mix above seems out of place but the creators have stated that Rain Man was a key factor in making this film. Amnesia in China seems to have a different definition than it does here. In China when you get amnesia you don't just forget shit...you revert to being a 4 year old child. For the majority of this film Yun-Fat is playing a mentally handicapped man a la Dustin Hoffman character from Rain Man. 

The action in this movie is where it's truly at though. Yun-Fat is not the designated bad-guy killing machine in this film because that role falls on the shoulders of the immensely wickedly bad-assed Charles Heung who plays Dragon Bodyguard. Oh my word does Dragon Bodyguard kill a lot of bad guys in this movie. Any scene where Dragon Bodyguard shows up in you know bad guys are gonna get dead and they are gonna get dead FAST.

This is the movie that got the ball rolling for the genre and is very likely the best Chinese Gamblin' movie ever.

Score: 9.3/10


2. All for the Winner (1990)

Mix: 2 Parts God of Gamblers + 1 Part James Bond + 2 Parts The Bell Boy (generic slapstick)

Synopsis: The self proclaimed "Reverend Saint of Gamblers" travels from Gaungzhou to Hong Kong to make it big in the city. He and his bumbling uncle make use of his sacred Taoist voodoo gamblin' powers to engage in high stakes gamblin' adventures.

Starring: Stephen Chow as Saint of Gamblers, Man-Tat Ng as bumbling Uncle Tat, Sharla Cheung as a hot chick, and Paul Cheung as the bad guy.

Opinion: A year after God of Gamblers made waves on the big-screen the comedic oriented Stephen Chow and his crew either really liked it or were super jealous of it...so they parodied it with an ultra-comedic version of it. Man-Tat Ng is in this too but not reprising his role as the sub-boss from God of Gamblers.

This movie is rife with mystical Taoist voodoo shit...it actually gets a bit annoying. Stephen Chow is so good at gambling that he can basically start glowing like a Dragon Ball Z character and change cards into whatever he wants them to be. Silly magic abounds in this movie...it can barely go a minute without some voodoo shit happening. Not that it's bad or anything, but the voodoo stuff was used sparingly in the God of Gamblers and not blatantly every minute where it just gets annoying.

The gamblin' duel at the end with the evil gambler boss is still cool though and all in all it's a decent film.

Score: 7.7/10


3. God of Gamblers II (1991)

Mix: 2 Parts God of Gamblers + 1 Part James Bond + 2 Parts The Bell Boy (generic slapstick) + 1 Part Hard Boiled.

Synopsis: Knifey Boy now regarded as the "Knight of Gamblers" and the "Saint of Gamblers" reluctantly team up to battle an imposter who's going around town calling himself the "Knight of Gamblers" and ruining the good name of the real Knight. Can the real Knight and the Saint put an end to this evil imposter's reign of dubious behavior? I certainly hope so.

Starring: Andy Lau as the Knight, Stephen Chow as the Saint, Man-Tat Ng as bumblin' uncle, Dragon Bodyguard as the Mother Fuckin' Dragon Bodyguard, and Lap-Man Tan as Hussein the Imposter.

Opinion: This was a weird direction to take the series. Basically a year after the parody and two years following the original...they merged the original and the parody together to make a sequel for BOTH OF THEM.

It's the equivalent in Hollywood if Star Wars made another movie following Space Balls where both movies merged together. Think of Harrison Ford and John Candy fooling around in space doing fart jokes and battling the Empire while Mel Brooks and George Lucas high five each other behind the scenes. That's what basically happened with the God of Gamblers films.

Yun-Fat Chow didn't seem to want anything to do with this as he is only seen in archive footage and his God of Gamblers character is only referenced to in this movie. Dragon Bodyguard shows up though and guess what he's doing? Yup, he's equipped with a Magnum desert eagle and is literally blowing away every bad guy who even thinks of fucking with either the Knight of Gambling or the Saint of Gambling. Plus he has a sister in this movie the She-Dragon Bodyguard who is whooping ass and shooting dudes too.

This film marks the first time in the Chinese Gamblin' genre that a dude whips a standard playing card so hard and skillfully at another dude that the card cuts through the skin and lodges itself into the dude's body. Andy Lau preforms this maneuver and it should be noted that it was very very cool.

Score: 8.6/10


4. God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai

Mix: 1 Part God of Gamblers + 1 Part Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (the one where they go back in time to the Orient for no reason) + 1 Part The Gods Must be Crazy 3 + 1 Part Hard Boiled + 1 Part Rain Man

Synopsis: ???

Opinion: Yun-Fat is still missing in action and is only seen in a photograph. Andy Lau? He doesn't show up to this movie either meaning the brunt of the gamblin' heroism falls on the shoulders of the lovable Stephen Chow. At least Uncle Tat is back in this one and so is Dragon Bodyguard too...and as you'd expect DB kills about a hundred thousand people this time around (including a whole 1930s Japanese army battalion).

You thought there was too much whacky Taoist-Voodoo in the last installment? Well hold the phone because this next one goes full fucking Taoist. I included the awful film The Gods Must Be Crazy 3 in the Mix because that is the only movie I can think of with as much taoist voodoo nonsense in it.

In the 3rd installment of the The Gods Must be Crazy a Chinese Taioist priest travels to Africa to fight vampires...yeah, it makes loads and loads of sense, yeah. The God of Gamblers III makes even less sense than the third movie of the Gods Must be Crazy series with all the Taoist voo doo silliness.

Literally in the first 5 minutes of God of Gamblers III, Stephen Chow and his nemesis "Glass Eye" Kao Tun do so much fucking god damned voodoo that a great wind splits the world open and a vortex forms sucking them into the past. Yes, our hero is transported back in time to 1937 gangster-ridden Shanghai...why not? I'll go with it, I guess. Man-Tat Ng is now playing the role of Chow's homosexual grandfather from the past instead of his bumbling uncle (actually he plays both) which is cool, I guess.

If that wasn't enough, they managed to sneak in a mentally handicapped individual into this one to maintain the 1 part Rain Man in the mix of ingredients. Was it necessary to have a Rain Man character? No, it wasn't....but at this point who even cares anymore? This movie is beyond ridiculous.

All the way through this entire film I kind of hated it, I kept thinking at every point "this movie makes no fucking sense, man" but by the end when everything was said and done...I thought it was a pretty cool Chinese Gamblin' Movie after all. It's hard to dislike a Chinese Gamblin' movie when push comes to shove.

Score: 7/10
 

5. God of Gamblers 2: Return of the God of Gamblers (1994)

Mix: 3 Parts Hard Boiled (action!) + 2 Parts Death Wish One (revenge!!) + 1 Part James Bond + 1 Part The Bell Boy (slapstick!) + 1 Part Cop and A Half (adult/child buddy comedy!)

Synopsis: The God of Gamblers has fucked with too many bad guys over the years and for his safety has left the life of gamblin' behind to live in France with his wife and attempt to make a baby and raise a cute family. The simple life is harder to achieve as he once thought as bad guys manage to find him and thwart his plans of living a quiet-ass life. Can the God of Gamblers cope?

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow as the God of fuckin' Gamblers, Dragon Bodyguard as the Dragon fuckin' Bodyguard, Tony Leung as "Trumpet," Chien-Lien Wu as a hot-enough Asian chick, Chingmy Yau as a super-hot Asian chick, and the Bad Guy as the Bad Guy.

Opinion: God of Gamblaz ROLL CALL!!!!

Stephen Chow: (Not here).
Andy Lau: (Not here).
Dragon Bodyguard: HERE!
Bumblin' Uncle Tat: (Not here).

...Yun-Fat Chow? HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh boy, the cock has come back to the roost. Call your grandma and let her know...The God of Gamblers is back in a God of Gamblers movie! Yun-Fat Chow is in the house, he's takin' names, he's kicking asses, and not even giving ten fucks.

This movie is fucked, man. With Stephen Chow's parody/comedy shtick thrown to the wayside this movie gets awfully dark really fast. The way they set-up how evil the bad guy is...is a little too fucked up.

Listen, the initial scenes to set-up the eviltude of the bad guy is real dark. The first scenes of Bad Guy is him throwing a friggin' cute cat out of a moving car! Then the bad guy literally rips a lady's stomach open to give her an ad-hoc unwanted abortion...and then he puts the fetus in a mason jar (WTF!?!?!?!). Okay bro...we get it...you're evil....you're a bad guy...we get it already...can we see some light hearted gamblin' now please?

The stakes are really high in this movie with people gamblin' with their hands, limbs, eyeballs, and lives and all this. Holy crap.

Yes, "Death Wish" themes as well as "Cop and a Half" themes are present in this picture. Revenge is one of the main themes throughout the film (by the end of the movie I think a dozen dead folks need to be avenged) and Yun-Fat teams up with a cute kid side-kick for the majority of the film a la Cop and a Half. It's an odd mix but it works, it's a good movie, no doubt.

This movie also features the hottest Asian chick I've seen in a Chinese Gamblin' Movie up to now. The chick with the tattoo on her boob and who kicks people's faces at the roulette table is pretty hot, I do say.

One thing that made me laugh in this one is they counter-parody the Stephen Chow gamblin' movies a bit. At one point while God of Gamblers is gambling one of his allies says something along the lines of "I thought he'd look more cooler while gambling like the great Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball...." which was obviously poking fun at the blatant kai-o-ken style powers Stephen Chow displayed in All for the Winner.

Score: 9.1/10


6. From Vegas to Macau (2014)

Mix: 2 Parts James Bond + 2 Part Hard Boiled + 2 Parts The Bell Boy + 1 Tablespoon of Rain Man

Synopsis: Buddy Benz and his kids or nephews or whoever gamble money away from the rich to give to the poor as modern day gamblin' robin hoods yet they bite off more than they can chew when they gamble with the wrong bad guy. Luckily Buddy Benz's life-long friend God Hand Ken is on their side and his gamblin' and fightin' abilities are sure to come in handy as they try to raise money for their dying mother's cancer treatment.
  
Starring: Yun-Fat Chow as God Hand Ken....and a bunch of other people too.

Opinion: Twenty years later Yun-Fat Chow is gamblin' again but this time he's not reprising his role as God of Gamblers but is playing the role of Ken the man with the God Hand. Ken has different moves and techniques than the God of Gamblers including the ability to whip gold-plated playing-card shurikens that can ricochet off walls and other edges and land in everybody's fucking throats, legs, balls, asses, and faces.

They kind of have the Rain Man character in this movie, sorta. Yun-Fat's daughter is a weird chick who does acrobatic flips and tumbles around the God Hand mansion with this bungee chord thing all day and is described as being super weird and a bit retarded.

I wonder if Dragon Bodyguard is still alive in 2014...either way he's not in this new movie and that means countless on-screen lives were spared in the making of this film (unfortunately). I bet a lot of extras were happy that Dragon Bodyguard didn't show up to this movie because they could thus avoid having to sit in the make-up chair for an hour to get the standard "gory death" treatment and avoid having to rig exploding blood packs to themselves.

If you count up all the bad guys killed by Dragon Bodyguard through all the Gamblin' movies I bet his death toll is statistically in the Rambo region. It says on his IMDB that Dragon Bodyguard is still alive but I guess no one bothered inviting him to this movie. That's kinda crappy...still it's not a game breaker or anything because this film rules despite the absence of Dragon Bodyguard.

Score: 8.7/10


Final Statements on the Matter 

I refer to movies in the mix section just to give the reader an idea of what the movie in question consists of. I'm not recommending these or necessarily believe the movies in the "mix" sections are good. For instance, I used The Bell Boy to describe elements of forced slapstick style in-your-face brand humor. Jerry Lewis is the King of Forced Comedy in the fashion of...
"Hey laaaaadies! Look over here! I'm trying to be funny over here! Look at meeee! I'm attempting to do comedic actions in this vacinity! Can you see me trying to be funny! I'm being funny over here! Look at this funny face I'm making! Are you looooking!? I'm making a funny face over here! Hey laaaaaaady!"

Forced slapstick is like that, you know? The actor/actress is making it perfectly clear that he or she is attempting to do something funny just in case the audience was too dumb to figure it out themselves.

It does give your movie a light hearted silliness to it but the manner of delivery and how forced it is leaves the audience rolling their eyes at times (more often than not). Jerry Lewis is the poster boy for this forced comedy style and that's the reason I used one of his movies as an example to illustrate the slapshtick forced-comedy style in the mix section.

The ratings speak for themselves...the God of Gamblers which have heavy doses of Yun-Fat Chow are the best ones, no doubt about it.

I wouldn't be surprised if a huge rivalry exists between Stephen Chow and Yun-Fat Chow over there in China...I would suspect these two really don't like each other. I bet they both think they are the King of Hongywood but the joke's on both of them in the end because Jackie Chan is still and probably always will be the King of Hongywood. Jackie Chan is probably the most famous actor on earth to be fair.

In closing, I want to make a super wicked Gamblin' film because it looks like a lot of fun to do that.

 I wish this was MY theme song!!!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kookery Gone too Far: When the Insanity Isn't Funny Anymore...

I've wrote a lot of about "kooks" and people on the "fringe" in this blog,

1. In Defense of Human Kookery (I liked this one but it never got many hits at all)
2. Rating some Kook Shows
3. On my Favoritest Kook of all...Wiley Brooks

I actually really like Kooks in many ways. Sometimes in the flurry of insanity found in a 10,000 word manuscript of restless nonsense a couple of ideas might pop up that are pretty interesting (though 99/100 of the ideas of a kook-a-script are gonna be insane). Even the worst kooks have high comedic value so even to the craziest ones have a silver lining in the fact that you can laugh at how nuts they are.

I have a real cut-off point drawn in the sand while reading kook writings though. When I come across something which meets this cut-off criteria the kookery in question ceases to be amusing. What is this point of no return that separates a human's whacky beliefs from being amusing to being not amusing?

The line is drawn when the person or group in question tells their readers to cause harm to themselves or others...that's where the line is drawn. That's when the text/article/book/etc stops being funny.

In the case of Wiley Brooks, I think he lost a lot of his humor when he wrote an article telling his followers (I hope he doesn't actually have any I really do) to light themselves on fire to train to enter the 5th dimension....however I still found myself still laughing at it. In my mind, which is infested with rationality, I cannot even fathom a person reading that article and actually lighting themselves on fire in the hopes of turning their blood into "gold plasma liquid light." I can't even imagine a person actually trying breatharinism...I didn't believe anyone could be dumb enough to believe that's possible.

Then you come across articles like this: (http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/sep/28/millennium.uk)

In "Let Them Eat Air" the Guardian reports,

"...[Death resulting from] complete abstention from food and drink. If that is what happened, she will not have been breatharianism's first casualty. Last summer Lani Morris, a 33-year-old Australian, died in a Brisbane hospital after following the regime. It has also been linked to the death in 1997 of Munich kindergarten teacher Timo Degen, who was 31."

-The Guardian, Sept. 1999

Let's see here, at least 3 people have died from believing they could live without food or water. I have to re-align my thoughts now. I have to throw away the belief I have that "no one is stupid enough to try this shit."

It's a shame because that fact makes Wiley's kookery less humorous. Breatherianism has crossed the line from being hilarious to being dangerous. By telling people to not eat or drink water in order to be healthy you are causing harm to your readers/followers....and that's the line that when it's crossed the humor is lost.

This extends to all beliefs too from religious, to nationalistic, to sports rivalries.

Is religion cool? Yeah, but not when religious leaders tell you to harm yourself or others. When a crusade, jihad, or wild jewbaree breaks out...then your beliefs have crossed the line into dangerous and violent territory.

Is nationalism cool? Yeah, but not when you love your "country" so much that you villify and attack people from other "countries" then your belief has crossed the line into the danger zone.

Are sports rivalries cool? Yeah, but not when a Giants fan and a Dodgers fan get into such a fervor over their sports beliefs that they take out knives and have a nasty knife fight that leaves one man dead...then it's just silly and fucking crazy.

(see: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_25397362/giants-fan-cleared-dodger-fans-fatal-stabbing-da)


Is the Organic Food Movement Going Past the Breakin' Point and Crossin' da friggin' Line?

It's "aura" is very "positive"
The organic/natural food kooks are usually pretty cute and funny. It's those people who think the path to happiness is to not vaccinate their kids and to only eat quinoa grown from the bottom of the ocean where obviously the dihydrogen monoxide toxin levels are not powerful enough to give the quinoa a negative aura.

The fact that they are not vaccinating their kids and are thus letting polio, measles, and a myriad of other easily preventable diseases find their way back to regions where they were eliminated...means they already crossed the line of not harming themselves or others a LONG TIME AGO.

Now it's a like a big limbo game for the orgies/naturoes. The question now is how low can they go? How far past the line of rational thinking can they get to?

The big 3 bozos in the orgy/naturo movement are Joey Mercola, Mehmie Oz, and a young man who goes by the monicker of Mike Adams. Recently the latter of the trio wrote a kook piece so crazy that the organic/naturo movement cannot even see the damned line anymore.

Exhibit A (published on July 21, 2014): "Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of 'science' as justification for murder"

(note: the article in question is being edited almost every hour though archived versions of it at every stage are available at www.archive.org or similarly by using Google Cache). 


In this close to unreadable article, this Mike Adams character, who's crazy site I might remind you gets about 8 million unique hits per month, says anyone who criticizes him is a "nazi collaborator" who should be MURDERED by the followers of the organic movement.

This article is atrociously odd. It has dozens of pictures of Hitler and swastikas, it has a fucking picture of "roundup" insecticide next to a photo of dead Jews piled on each other. This is not funny kookery, not in the least. No no no no no. This is a very sick man. Whether he's saying things like this to promote a book he's got coming out or whether he actually believes this stuff, it does not matter, this is a very very sick man.

I don't think many people think using the holocaust is an okay thing to compare bug repellent to. That's not even the craziest part of this kook piece though. This Adams character is telling his whacky followers to "track down" the people who criticize him and literally KILL them. What the fuck? These hippies aren't so fucking cute anymore, wow, they're fucking psychopaths.

I only get a few hits here and there on this here shitty blog but for the record I have criticized the organic/naturo movement here before in an agricultural article...

This one: "Farmin': What's it All About?"

Jeepers creepers you guys, I never in my wildest dreams thought that writing an article making fun of organic farming could get me fucking domed/iced, yo. It's days like this that I'm thankful this blog never got popular...or my damned life might be in fucking jeopardy at this moment. Shiiiiiiii-it.




Even if my dumb blog was popular I wouldn't be scared. What is an army of hippies gonna actually do anyway? If they showed up at someone's house who criticized them (and apparently the homeowner in question deserves death for that)..all you gotta do is throw some fucking bird seed on the ground and when the hippies go to peck at it to their hearts content you just jump in your hotrod and just hit the rocky road to safety, brutha.

Look, I'm not a fan of a big corporation like Monsanto, or Apple, or what have you...I know they have a lot of money and that they push the little guys around and I hate them for that just like you do. I know where to fucking draw the line though. I can't even imagine what the fuck is going on in this Mike Adams character's skull.


What the Fuck is Going On Here?

I have one theory of what da fuq is goin' on here, and to me this is the only logical thing I can arrive at. Then again, I had trouble believing people actually died from trying to eat air...so...I don't know...maybe there is no explanation...maybe Adams is just a full-fledged whack-job.

Either way this is my rational theory of why this fucker wrote this shit.

Judging from the comments on the article there's not many people who read it who seem eager to track down his enemies and maim them. Most people in the comments actually seem to be doing what everyone else who read it is doing...saying to themselves..."WHAT THE HELL IS HE FUCKING TALKING ABOUT!?"

Hey, it's hard to change an organo's mind. If you wanted to take on an organic-loon/conspiracy-theorist and tried to reason with them, you'd get nowhere fast.  Now, this mess of an article by Adams has probably scared away more people from the organic movement than anyone else ever has.

Taking that all into account, this is what I believe were the events leading up to this MESS of a kook article being published onto the internet. This is what I believe happened....

Speculation on Events Leading up to the Most Insane Internet Article Ever Written

Joey Mercola, Doctor Oz, and Mike Adams were all assembled in their lair one lazy Sunday afternoon (I'm assuming it's a lair similar to one the bad guys on Super Friends hung out at with all these crocodiles everywhere and things like that).


They are all up in this lair being all evil and everything, when out of the blue Mike Adams catches Doctor Oz bangin' his wife and is all like...

Adams: "Yo bro, don't do that shit to my wife, guy!"

Oz: "No way dude, I'll bang who I wanna bang cuz I'm Doctor fucking Oz!"

Adams: "You suck man! Yo, I'm gunna fucking sabotage our whole operation just to get back at you!"

Oz: "No way, bro! Don't do that! We gotta good scam going, don't do it! I am sorry and I will now cease from doing sex to your wife!"

Adams: "Too late, hombre. The damage is done...if you loved our cool scam so much you should've thought twice before you sexed up my wife."

Oz: "The repercussions of my mistake shall haunt me in the future..."


To get back at his colleague, Adams writes the most asinine and insane article anyone's ever written in order to sabotage the organic movement and sink their ship. That's THE ONLY rational explanation as to why someone would publish an article THAT CRAZY to the fucking internet for millions of hippies to read.

Conclusion

I sincerely hope this was a "trojan horse" style article to damage the reputation of the natural/organic movement because if it wasn't...then this cat Mike Adams is the fucking craziest loser on earth.

Here's hoping no one takes him up on his order to kill his enemies because due to an article I've written on this here blog even I would be considered "an enemy" of Natural News Dot Com (and very proud to be one by the way).

It's not that I'm scared of dying or anything. I'm pretty chill with death and all that shit. It's just that dying at the hands of a horde of feral vegan losers is not the honorable death I pictured myself having. My fantasy death in my dreams has way fucking more ninjas, robots, dinosaurs, clowns, and naked women in it...

...and certainly no vegans. Yo.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Is there a Market for Competitive Retro Gamin'?

In the wake of Andrew Gardikis's unshatterable Super Mario Bros. 1 world record (which was THE benchmark for gamin' records) being shattered as of last June, it seems like a great time to venture into the world of competitive retro gaming, see if there's a market out there for this spectator sport, and whether or not it would or could be the next big thing that hits society.

Essence of a Spectator Event

It's not always polite to get all philosophical and shit...but one must ask...what is a spectator sport? What are the inherent and ubiquitous requirements for something to be regarded as a spectator sport?

Well, you need a competition and you need spectators. That's about it. In its base form as long as someone is watching a group of somethings or someones engaging in some sort of competition than yessiree that something is a spect sport.

Take this game known as "Pooh Sticks" from the smash hit television show Winnie Da Pooh,

Pooh Sticks Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q0gectxDNQ&t=3m12s

Now, some might question whether racing sticks down a river is really a spect sport...yet in this fictional case the spectators do seem to be enjoying themselves as they watch the sticks race down the river.

F Apple, F Orange. GO BANANA!
Similarly, one might question why on the smash hit television show The Simpsons...Bart, Nelson, and Ralph raced an apple, orange, and banana down the school bus floor. As it passed by all the other human units on the bus they all seemed to cheer the fruit on (well maybe not the banana which found great difficulty in gaining momentum) as they rolled down neck and neck. Some may have rooted for the apple, some for the orange....in the end there could only be one winner of the bus fruit race just like there could only be one winner of Pooh Sticks.

As long as the viewer doesn't know what the end result is...then it's great fun to watch it unfold. Yet, Pooh Sticks and Fruit Racing are just primitive forms of spect sports. To up the enjoyment of the spectators watching the event you need to up some key factors.

1. The Skill
2. The Drama
3. The Stakes

1. What if the sport in question wasn't a random event between sticks and other inanimate objects? What if two or more humans decided to test their skills at something against each other? It would make the event more enjoyable to watch. The more the skills are of a legendary nature the better. I know I can't hit a 500 foot homerun, so when I saw with my own two eyeballs both Henry Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero do it live...I was like "holy shit, man. He hit that ball really really far." That is The Skill, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

2. I know wrestling is fake but that doesn't mean I still didn't enjoy watching my boy Bob Backlund back in '94 put that pretty boy jabroni Bret "The Pink Boy" Hart in the inescapable Cross-Face Chicken-Wing until Bret's mommy had to throw in the towel so her precious little baby boy wouldn't get his precious little arm broken. I knew it was a shtick but it didn't stop me from cheering on Backlund, laughing at that diaper-baby Bret Hart, and thoroughly enjoying the whole thing. You know what that is? That's The Drama, that's what that is.

3. Sometimes your pride is on the line, sometimes your wallet is on the line, maybe the belt is on the line, even your career might be on the line...or is it something even greater that is on that line? There will come a time where maybe you are traveling through a great wasteland in a post-apocalyptic future and you may stop by at a barter town governed by Tina Turner....and maybe you'll wind up fighting in some manner of a "Thunder Dome" where a midget riding on the shoulders of a giant retarded man will be your opponent. You know what will be on the line in that case scenario? Yeah, your friggin' life, dude. That's what I call...The Stakes.


 Sometimes the stakes are just too high and you gotta back outta the deal...



The Wizard...

There once was a movie which made playing Nintendo into a spectator sport. The Wizard. Anyone of the ages of 25-35 remember this movie? Yeah, I bet you do...and if you said "no" then forgive me if I accuse you at this juncture of being a filthy liar...because everyone knows this movie, everyone.

There's a great divide between how people regard this film. Some look at it as a horrible film which boiled down to being a 2 hour long info-merical for Nintendo to promote some crappy products it was hawking (i.e. The Power Gluv). Other people (me included) view this as the movie which initiated the template for Retro Gaming as a Spectator Sport.

The picture starts out a little slow, but after the scene where Beau Bridges starts smashing up a car with a shovel...the audience gets pretty pumped...and it really starts gettin' goin'.

This movie changed the way I played video games. I used to in pre-1989 days play video games in an area where behind me was a sofa, a table, and some wood paneling on a wall. Yet, when I played Mario 3 after seeing this Masterpiece...I never played to an audience of wood paneling ever again. That wood paneling before my very eyes morphed into 12,000 screaming people...12,000 screaming people watching me play Super Mario Bros. 3 in the depths of my mind. After gettin' 3 stars in row and getting the 5 Up screen...I didn't turn to wood paneling to raise my fist, I didn't turn to the sofa and acknowledge its feverish applause...no way...I turned to the 12,000 screaming people to raise my fist...I got those 5 Ups for the people!

The Wizard changed the game.


Documentaries 

Competitive gaming has had a good spotlight in the form of some very well made documentaries that have been done in the last decade. King of Kong and Ecstasy of Order: The Masters of Tetris are good examples.

Kong features the rivalry between one Steve Wiebe and one Billy Mitchell, while Ecstasy showcases various Tetris legends including Thor Aackerlund.

Now before we get any further, it should be noted that being a movie that wanted a certain formula to itself, The King of Kong obviously shticked it up a bit. The rivalry was intensified as the hero/baby-face/white-cowboyhat (Wiebe) was pitted against the villain/heel/black-cowboyhat (Mitchell) character.

Anyone who knows movies knows that you don't have a movie without a good villain character and Billy Mitchell is one of the best on-screen villains I've ever seen. Even if the fans of the film identify with and root for Steve Wiebe...it was not Wiebe who made this film what it is...Billy Mitchell made this film what it is. I know it'd be weird to give an Oscar to a documentary film actor due to the fact that people don't act in documentaries but the King of Kong to me has so many Spinal Tap elements to it that it's not exactly a straight up documentary....it's a movie. That being said, I was somewhat astonished that Billy Mitchell did not get nominated for any Oscars for his portrayal of "Billy Mitchell" in the King of Kong.

The second example mentioned, Ecstasy of Order: The Masters of Tetris, is a more straight doc than movie. I think they at some point fiddled with the idea of making Thor Aackerland a heel but probably scrapped the idea. Thor looks like he's a good candidate for heel throughout the film by constantly claiming to be able to get to the holy grail of level 30 in Tetris but never offers any proof to these claims. You think he's being worked as the "Billy Mitchell" of Tetris...but then they get into his backstory and you start to really like the guy...and then at the very end of the movie....guess what? I don't wanna spoil it but...ok I will...(SPOILER) at the end of the movie that fucking Thor gets to level 30 in Tetris and your face will be all like "No WAY, he actually can DO IT!!!!!? WOW!"  (/SPOLIER)

Masters of Tetris is still an interesting look at retro gaming and the whole scene and it is great that it gives good screen time to the two female masters of Tetris (one of which is a pretty cute lesbian). Maybe you were thinking that retro gaming is all ugly old male nerds but there's some chicks doin' this too.

Twin Galaxies vs. Speed Demon Archives

In the King of Kong film we are also introduced in to an institution which is dedicated to documenting feats of skill in video game history. What I can't figure out is whether the "Walter Day" character being presented here was actually himself (i.e. a real dude) or not. Was it a shtick? Was that pretentious demeanor all an act? I don't think his character was shticked-out at all to be perfectly honest. The pretentiousness and general oddness of this "video game referee" and self declared "authority" of video game records seems to be the real deal. I don't think it's an act.

To me the fact that the Mario 1 records are not even counted on Twin Galaxies because of "glitches exploited" by the gamers is so silly. The record on Twin Galaxies for Mario 1 is listed as being 5:08....they don't even accept the fact that now TWO human beings have cracked 5 in Mario. What kind of fucking bullshit is this? Twin Galaxies can go fuck itself.

I keep up to date with the masters of retro gaming and the video game heroes of the age with that great site Speed Demon Archives Dot Org.*

Twin Galaxies? I have no respect for your operation...not in the least.

 
* Note: All these years I thought this site was called Speed Demons Archive but it looks like there's no "N" and it's actually Speed Demos Archive which sounds suuuuuuuuuper lame. Whatever though, it's still better than Twin Galaxies.


So This Retro Gamin'...Is It?

Is retro gamin' a Skill? Look, kids these days don't know what we went through. These days the companies make the games at an enjoyable difficulty for all ages so they can get the widest audience range and sell the most units. Back in my day, gamin' was brutal on your eyes, mind, n' brain. Yo, if your kid could beat Mega Man 2 at 10 years old back in the day....you had to get on the phone with Mensa as soon as it occurred to let them know that society had a "prodigy" on its hands and hope to the heavens that the child didn't mature into an evil genius. If you had a kid who could get 500K points in Tetris you were obliged to fill out a government report indicating that you had a "biological weapon" in your premises because many world governments of the era classified a brain of that magnitude as a nuclear threat to civilization.

Fuck, man. Watchin' a dude like Gardikis or the newly crowned Mario King runnin' through a Mario 1 game and seeing all the roll-stoppin', the quick-housin', the back-tubin', the 21n frame masterin', the pirahna clearin', and the threadin' of the the needles. You can see that and pretend that what is happening isn't a skill? I don't think so, pal.

A basketball player who can hit big threes gets into a "zone," a baseball hitter who can in a split milli-second pick up a 96 mile an hour fastball and jack it down the left-field line is in a "zone," what about a Tetris Master who can achieve 290+ lines, a 999,999 MAXIMUM score, and get the level 29 variable to switch over to level 00...is he in the Zone?


Oh yes, he's in the Zone. He truly is.


What is the Zone? Have you been there? Have you ever got so good at something that your brain became so efficient at it that you actually forget your even doing it while your doing it? That's the Zone. It's like...you just beat Mario 2 in like 10 minutes and you think to yourself afterwards...

"Wow, I just beat Mario 2 in the last 10 minutes but I wasn't even thinking about it. I was thinking about that one time my friend threw a full milk shake all over my other friend and I started to laugh and laugh...I wasn't even thinking about Mario 2 at all whilst I beat it in the last 10 minutes." 
-A theoretical quote from someone that was "in the Zone."
It seems as if your brain has found such an efficient way to accomplish a given task that it deems that the only thing that can get in the way at this point in achieving the task is over-thinking the situation, so naturally the brain distracts itself from thinking unnecessary thoughts and it accomplishes this feat by making itself think of things not related to the matter at hand whilst the matter at hand is efficiently taking care of on auto-pilot. Wow.

Take Exhibit A over here...

Climbing ladders...or something much much more?

Luigi has climbed up a ladder (narrowly avoiding being shot) and now has come to TWO ladders...one on the left and one on the right. Now...whether you chose left or right HAS NO BEARING on the outcome of the situation. Yet, your brain will take a few miliseconds/frames to ponder whether to choose left or right. Why would the brain waste valuable frames deciding on an action on a situation in which both paths lead to the same outcome? Because our brains are stupid, that's why. Yet when you're in The Zone, the brain doesn't deal with that shit...it just bounces up a ladder (ANY LADDER) and gets where it's gotta go.

Damn, when we're not in The Zone...it's almost like we're these victims of some sort of a collision on the open seas as our brains struggle to make routine decisions which ultimately have ZERO bearing on the future. Call it obsessive compulsive disorder, call it fear of choice, call it what you want. It reminds me of that dog who found these two bones this one time in Ancient Rome and he picked at one and then he licked the other...and then he literally went in circles until he dropped dead.






Oh man, Video games are hard work sometimes.

People say video games aren't for real because they are just "games" and games aren't for real. Games can for real too though...like basketball, soccer, baseball...people know those games are for real. If you told a retro master gamer that he or she is just playing a "game," I'd bet they'd disagree with you. When your that good at something it's no longer a game anymore for you to enjoy leisurely. Let legendary relief-pitcher/philosopher John Wetteland expalin this phenomenon,
  
"[Baseball is not a game] for me. It’s something I need to execute. There’s a whole different perspective I have and that’s why maybe I can’t enjoy it the same way. I only watch baseball to learn from it, not to enjoy it."

-John Wetteland
Mario Runners, Tetris Masters, Donkey Kong Experts, Pac Man Wizards, Asteroid Champions...these people don't play these "games" to enjoy them...they play them to find the most effective way to function. They execute functions in a divine flow is what they do, they do not "play" them at all. They find the most efficient series of functions to execute in order to create a Flying Divinity of Mental Togetherness which becomes an awe inspiring event for spectators to see. You better believe it.

Now let me ask you this, does it got The Drama? Yeah, it does.

Riddle me this, if King of Kong was about just Steve Wiebe beating Donkey Kong and getting the highest score ever would you have watched it to the end? I wouldn't have. I watched that movie because of Billy Mitchell. Why did I watch it because of Billy Mitchell? Because he's Billy Mitchell.

 "...Because I'm Billy Mitchell." -Billy Mitchell

All that's left is The Stakes. Some compete for the money, some for the fame, some for the thrill...but some just compete to be the best....the best that there never even was. There can only be one "The Best" and you're either it or your not. You're either Thor Aackerlund or you're not. What are the stakes in retro-gaming? What do you think?

It's about being the fucking greatest.


Conclusion

We know retro-gamin' has the skillz, the drama, and the stakes. All its missing is a venue and some media attention. It needs a place to compete, some camera people, some key grips, some dolly grips, and a handful of announcers and play-by-play people. That's it.

Years ago, a man named Chairman Kaga went through gallons of blood, sweat and tears to build his one-of-a-kind Kitchen Stadium to give a venue for his Iron Chefs to compete against all challengers this World had to offer.



Retro Gamers of all corners of this World of Worlds are asking themselves at this very moment...where's our Chairman Kaga? Where's our Video Game Stadium? When will I get to show the world my ability? When is it my turn to shine on the global stage?

When will the 7 Iron Gamers assemble on Television in the famed Retro Gamin' Stadium and do battle? That's the question on everyone's mind.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Over Descriptivism: Will it Lead to the Death of Fiction?

I read fiction rarely if ever. I mostly read words for the purpose of acquiring/disseminating datum, to learn about someone's life (auto-biographies) or comedic materials that are wicked funny. I can't wrap my head around fiction these days. Fiction, by the way, just means material that is make-believe for the intent purpose of entertaining readers (like adventure novels, mystery novels, romance novels, novels, les romans, etc.).

Is it just me? Am I weird? Probably, yeah.

Maybe I dislike fiction because I suck at it and can't write that way, it could be that. The only attempt I have ever made at fiction writing was an amateur computer game I made called "The Legend of Liberace 3," which even though I made it (with map editing help from my friend who edited my template maps into more better looking maps), I will admit it is possibly the shittiest thing ever. I dunno, me sucking at writing fiction can't be the reason I don't like readin' the stuff though. 

Maybe I gotta take a step back and figure out why I can't get down with fiction, I really should. I mean I used to read that shit back in the day. When I was a kid I used to read those Sesame Street books like where Grover is the monster at the end of the book, or where Ernie and Bert meet at the wrong lamp post at the park, and this and that. Those books used to rule but even they weren't really fiction, they were stories to teach kids lessons about life.

I used to read fiction books for school if they assigned us some or during "15 minute free readin' period" but that wasn't by choice. Like I read that Rebecca for school and wrote my mandatory 500 word essays on what a horrible woman Mrs. Danvers was but that wasn't by choice.

I've read really old fictional stories, like Gilgamesh or Outlaws of the Marsh,...but I'd classify that as historic research as much I'd classify it as fiction. It's so old that they really are a window into a past society's views and writing techniques.

I don't think I've really ever read pure fiction by choice, though I think I know what turns me off and it is the use of Over Descriptivism which is plaguing ALL writers in ALL languages on earth at this current moment.

Over Descriptivism

This is not in reference to "linguistic descriptivism" or "philosophic descriptivism" in any way, I'm really just talking about over description but am calling it by the term "Over Descriptivism" because it sounds chicer and cuter.

Describing things is the essence of writing...yet, at what frequency are writers (in this case ALL writers of fiction) over describing things? It seems like all the time and always.

Some writers take 2 pages just to introduce a character to you. How they look, how they look at a distance, how they smell, how they are currently feeling, how they know other characters in the book, how tall they are, how fat they are, how ugly/not-ugly they are, if they have tattoos...blah, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc,.

You build characters in fiction by making them do cool/respectful things (for good guys) and making them do horrible/bad/annoying things if they are villains. Let the imagination of the reader decide what they look like. If you leave your lead character ambiguous to the reader they can more easily give the characters the features (physical, etc.) they want him/her to have.

There's a very very fine line separating being descriptive of a scene or a character and just jotting down autistic nonsense. I almost couldn't read Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" (which is a highly acclaimed book) to the end because I didn't care what the fucking gas station you stopped at looked like, or what the truck you hitched a ride on looked like, or what Neil whats-his-name's hair smelled like, or how you felt when you walked into someone's house. blah blah blah, blah...

Sarcastically Emulating Standard Fiction Writing whilst Employing the Over-Use "Technique" of Describing Shit

In the following grouping of words and sentences, I will attempt to write a few paragraphs of standard fiction. Our lead character will walk into a room and scratch his head, then he will scratch his nutsack. Ahem...

Reggie was standing in the archway which led to the room he wished to walk into. He was a quaint man of regular to minute stature, many of his colleagues respected him yet he suspected they only respected him due to this modest stature he projected unto the world. He knew if he walked into this room he would have to do it in a manner which made the people already in that room feel that the man walking into the room was a man of average to great importance. He began to feel nervous, "what if they think I walk into rooms funny?" he thought to himself. The last thing Reggie wanted was to walk into the room in a manner which attracted ridicule. 

The archway over the doorway was quite beautiful, in more ways than one. The wooden curved facade was oaken yet had a golden plating which made the room he was standing before appear daunting to the person attempting to enter it. Doorways have a way of sneaking up on you both physically and mentally Reggie thought to himself. Life is full of so many archways leading to unknown rooms...will you enter a nice room full of nice experiences, or a horrible room full of horrid experiences? Reggie was making himself more nervous as each minute passed, he began to break out in a cold sweat, he grabbed his hair with his right hand and wiped up some of the sweat from his hair and his temple. In the process of wiping his sweat Reggie disheveled his hair which made him even more nervous. He wondered if the people in the room he was about to enter had seen him wipe his sweat and mess up his hair. 

"Oh no," thought Reggie, "did they see me? I better just walk in right now before they think I'm a big weirdo!"

Reggie, like ripping off a band-aid, walked briskly into the room before him. In the case that anyone saw him mess up his hair he pretended that his head was itchy and coolly and collectedly scratched the right side of his head. Reggie dislodged some white flakey dandruff from his scalp and it cascaded onto his shoulder and lapel. The feigned itchiness was now more real than ever and like a contagious disease his itchiness spread to his legs and crotch.

"My balls," Reggie pondered inwardly..."My balls are itchy now..."

Reggie had no choice now but to scratch his balls....

TO BE CONTINUED

Okie dokie, a couple of paragraphs describing a man walking into a room and scratchin' his nuts. Wasn't that interesting? No it wasn't, it was boring, stupid and utterly pointless.


Over Descriptivism is Spreading like a Virus

Forget just in fiction novels, OD is spreading like a freakin' swine flu to every form of writing. I read an article today on the net which was at the point of being unbearably OD. It was an article about my boy Nathan Fielder (the dude behind funny jokes like "Dumb Starbucks" and other funny ass shit), and the author claims to have interviewed him but only has about eight or nine quotes of what Nathan says to him...the rest of the article is asinine autistic description of what was around him as he interviewed him.

"Article" in question: (http://grantland.com/features/nathan-fielder-nathan-for-you-comedy-central-season-2)

This is over description to the point of it being un-fucking-readable. I know the internet is full of hyperbole and calling shit the worst thing ever is overdone...but this is the WORST article I've ever read in my whole entire life. The "journalist" probably talked to his guest for 8 seconds but managed to produce a full length short story of asperger-infested fluff.

Another example of OD seeping its way into other media is from that dumb yet insanely popular podcast This American Life  by ass pie icon extraordinaire Ira Glass. This is the worst interviewer I've ever heard EVER. I listened to him interviewing people a long time ago and Glass in post tends to edit over the audio with his own opinions over-layered over the interview. So, in the final product that hits airwaves, the guest is talking about his/her experiences...and then the sound fades out and you can barely hear him/her talk...and Glass starts saying shit like "When he/she started talking about that...I felt like I was beginning to understand how he/she felt." Okay good for fucking you for thinking that, thanks for fading out the volume in post and inserting your BORING autistic opinions over your guest while they talk...you fantastic bozo.


Tools are better than Over Describing Fluff

I think it was Vladimir Nabakov or Alexander Pushkin (or one of the Russian guys) who said that you shouldn't introduce a piece of information to the reader if that piece of information is not pertinent to the story and/or is a writing tool to set-up some sort of event in the story. I tend to agree with this idea...if you're gonna take ten pages to describe what a wolf or a doorknob looks like...that fucking thing better have an important role to play in your god damn story. The interesting thing is that any item/person/thing at all can become an important story tool.

A Maltese MacGuffin
Alfred Hitchcock referred to these story tools as "MacGuffins," and they are just placemarker objects which drive the story. Anything can be a MacGuffin and they don't need endless lines of description AT ALL.

Examples of MacGuffins many are familiar with are The Maltese Falcon, which is just some silly object that many parties seem infatuated with and desperately want (including Peter "Ren Hoëk" Lorre). Another good one which worked well was Tarantino's "shiny briefcase" MacGuffin from Pulp Fiction. How much did Tarantino describe the briefcase? Not much, we never even knew what was in it. Why didn't he need to describe the briefcase (the major plot point of the story)? Because he's not a moron, that's why.

MacGuffins can be used for minor plot points too not just major ones. You can use a MacGuffin as a "leitmotif" too. Leitmotifs are more common in music but they are applicable to writing tools just as much. A good leitmotif in writing will sort of string-together your shit and make it look sharp, chic, and fucking organized.

A writer who employs leitmotifs very well is that Shigesato Itoi, the writer of literature pieces such as Mother 2 and Mother 3. His works are rife and abundant with leitmotif macguffins that really give the story a real nice flow to it. An example of one of his leitmotif macguffins is the doorknob from Mother 3.

Writing a musical symphony is more scientific than most people think, and writing a book is way more scientific than people think. There's tools you need to employ to do this successfully and the way you string your writing tool events together is kind of like laying foundations and bricks down to build a house or a shack or something.

Conclusion

Fiction is kind of dumb...and it's not because it's a bad art form but because the current popular styles of articulating this art form are annoying and dumb.

Bottom line is...if you take 400 words to describe something then that something and the features you give that something better be important and crucial to the final product.