Thursday, September 1, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 21: Horrifying

When All Else Fails, the only person afraid around here is Mousa The 14

I pose a question: Horror. Why?

I'm seriously asking you here folks, what is it with geeks and horror? Next to Science Fiction and Fantasy it seems the next genres that seem to appeal to our base is Horror and Monster Movies.

Dare I ask why exactly? Why is it whenever the best episodes of Doctor Who come up they're the horror episodes like Midnight where a copycat creature that exists as nothing but a voice that takes your mind by repeating everything you say until it overtakes you and nobody listened to the solutions from the main hero. Or The episode Blink where if you look away from the stone angels statues they'll come alive and kill you. Those are considered some of the best for many reasons but many report to how scary it was.

Then there's zombies. I hate zombies, but normal geeks can't get enough of them. Zombies are so prevalent among geek culture they're bonus content in our military First Person Shooters. And many acclaimed games are horror based or involve zombie apocalypses like Eternal LinkDarkness, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Left 4 Dead, and so... Much... More....

Want to know a geek's favorite movie? Evil Dead and it's ilk. Favorite movie maker? Sam Raimi. New anime they just got into? High School of the Dead. Favorite writer? None other than our eldritch horror writing non-euclidean maniac known as H.P. Lovecraft. There's so much geek-driven merchandise and tributes and games as tributes to Lovecraft's stories that we have Cthulu plushies! Plushies!

And dare I mention that we have "zombie apocalypse survival guides"? I mean really, of all the novelty items one could create... And yet I've seen it, I've heard it, entire discussions about surviving a possible zombie apocalypse.

I'm a geek, I understand many things, I understand the love for science fiction, mystical creatures, speculation, mythology, astrology, legends, fantasy, Lovecraft (I mean really, Elder gods and The Necronomicon were all his ideas and briliant ones at that), werewolves, vampires, all that stuff, but horror as a genre does not make sense to me.

I'm not ragging on anyone's tastes, I mean not everyone loves superheroes like I do, and I'll never understand the market for a movie like The Expendables, but at some point something stops becoming a personal taste thing and starts becoming a pattern of thought and when you are on the very outside of this pattern of thought, everything within it confuses you and I want answers. Even my own sister is in love with Chiller TV and she's the least geeky geek I know. What. Am. I. Missing?

What does it all have in common? What's the appeal? I'm all about answers and instead I just have questions, there's just too many questions.

Geeks of all walks of life, tell me your secrets: What's with the Horror and zombies?

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination is Your Greatest Power
Mousa The 14

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 20: Anime Elitism

When All Else Fails begins, you know Mousa the 14 has an issue with something.

So some time ago in a comics sub forum, a fellow member was inquiring about what sort of American comics should he get his manga reading friend to look into. He said something that made me laugh outrageously loud and you'll see why in a second and if you agree with the statement you'll need to read this article more than you realize. Here's the actual quote....

And, regardless of actual content, she does argue that manga is better than American comics because they're "deep." This from the woman who said she gave up on American books after reading one Batman that she remembers nothing about.

What can I say? I like to think a lot of people are smart, and they probably are, which just makes me wonder how such ignorance could come about.

If I have to say it once, I have to say it a thousand times because some people are just too wrapped up in their own perceived superiority to understand:

Anime and Manga are not inherently superior to any other animated series or comic book. These things are exactly the same things. The exact same media just given different names based on their country of origin. In fact, we in the west shouldn't even be calling Anime and manga the names we've given them. Those are just the Japanese words for them. To them all animation is anime, including our cartoons. And to them, all comics are called manga.

Okay, instead of chastising the people with an elitism/uniqueness complex (even though they need to get their facts straight and get taken down a peg), I may as well come up with a reason why. I mean really, why is there a belief that Japanese comics and cartoons are better?

One possibility is the quality filter, a real life version of Sturgeon's law which states that 90% of everything is crap. When companies license something they tend to want to license things that are good or have a guaranteed audience so usually the anime and manga we see commonly on television or in our bookstores are, more likely than not, the good ones are at least the decent ones. This means in their country of origin there is a whole mess of schlock that we're not seeing. But there could be more to it than just that.

I can sort of understand the perspective of those that may think anime and manga are superior; exotic things can seem all unique and new and fresh. Mainly because they use a completely different set of tropes due to cultural differences, so when you see these tropes that are new to you they may seem all unique and deep. However, if you you watch and read enough or you pay attention you'll realize all that stuff from overseas is as cliche and overused as the stuff here.

Here's a better answer though: different standards. Americans and the Japanese have different standards. What they believe should be aimed towards kids we wouldn't even consider should be for children. The Japanese are not shy about characters being outright perverts, some sexuality, violence, death, stuff like that. In American cartoons, if the moral guardians got a whiff of any of that, the cartoon wouldn't even make the airwaves or get shunted to late nights with the rest of the Adult Swim shlock. And obviously since most anime are based off of manga this is true for manga. In America, once upon a time, superhero comics were the only comics allowed to exist thanks to the moral guardians of the time period believing comics of anything of a more graphic nature woudl be "corrupting the youth" like television before it and video games in the here and now. However with the onset of superheroes being allowed to grow up and other comics slowly and struggling to make it to the forefront, we've had many good, deep, humorous, complex, emotional, and enlightening graphic novels by amazing writers: Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman (Thus further proving my theory and bias that all the best writers are from the United Kingdom and Ireland), Geoff Johns, Jeff Smith, Chris Claremont, Brian Michael Bendis (My favorite by far, his work on New Avengers and Ultimate Spider-man are amazing.), Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid; Each a genius in their own right you should be reading up. Right. Now.

Now here's another quote from the aforementioned thread when we asked about the girl's tastes in manga:
So, just called her for more info on her tastes—she likes Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, D.Gray-man, Code Geass (the anime, she hasn't read the manga), Ranma ½, and InuYasha (though she did confess it's a bit repetitive.)

Goodness, if this person was looking for "deep" or "complex" or even "meaningful" she picked the worst anime and manga for that argument except for maybe Code Geass (I haven't watched it but it's premise and all the discussion it spawns probably means it's worth something.). Most of that is shlock. Entertaining, funny, even decent, but most definitely shallow shlock. And don't get the wrong idea, I love Ranma 1/2 and Dragonball, but dear lord, at least I don't delude myself into thinking they're more than what they are.

In terms of anime and manga, there is so much shlock it's not even funny. I mean let's take a stab at just the stuff that's well known to people in the west like Dragonball/Dragonball Z, which is basically a fun romp across a magical mythological land with tons of toilet humor. A fighting manga that was almost making fun of itself. In fact, let's take a look at most of the anime and manga that become popular in the west like Bleach, Naruto, Voltron, Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew, and to a lesser extent, One Piece are all a bunch of Good Guys versus Bad Guys in escalating fights/ monster of the week that boils down to THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP.

Beyblade and Pokemon? You need to be a nice good person that doesn't cheat to win and POWER OF FRIENDSHIP! Ranma 1/2? Mostly bad jokes and characters tied up in obligations they cannot commit to, it's a trashy comedy, a good trashy comedy, but a trashy comedy nonetheless. Digimon Adventure 01? An admittedly deep character study with amazing character development, characterizations, and interactions and while the plot was basic it still was a decent character piece. It's still basically about THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP though.

I mean I'm not the only one who sees this, even major anime and manga fans know about this two. I mean GeekNights occasionally stumbles upon some crud anime. Anime World Order, a major anime podcast with a panel of self-proclaimed experts are all about differentiating the deep and complex from the mediocre from the shlock. The entire premise of the podcast, Dave and Joel's Fast Karate For the Gentlemen, is that they overview bad anime.

I can't believe that it's so hard for people to comprehend that there is no superiority or inferiority in media or country of origin. Anyone with a modicum of intellect can determine that you must observe everything on a case by case, individual basis. Declaring a whole sub-medium as inferior is maddening, horrifying even. It demonstrates a form of closed-mindedness that a trouble sub-culture like geeks do not need.

It's like saying videos on the internet are inherently inferior to videos on television. A lot of videos on the internet are actually amazing (Loading Ready Run) and far better than what's on TV (Jersey Shore) or in the movies (Battlefield Earth).

The moral of the story is quite simple, there is no such thing as a superior medium for entertainment, they all have their positives and negatives and different methods of conveying information. Furthermore, creating a further split by where this media comes from, east and west, is even sillier. One has to understand that 90% of everything is crap in every medium, you just gotta work at finding the 10% in them all.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination is Your Greatest Power
Mousa The 14

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 19: Hipster

When All Else Fails returns, there is irony abounds as Mousa The 14 talks about hipsters. Sigh...

Thank you Coelasquid. Oh by the way, you guys should totally read Manly Guys Doing Manly Things

So yeah, a few months ago I heard this term thrown around and I had no idea what the heck it meant. After a lot of osmosis I finally figured a solid-ish definition of this nebulous and insulting term.

Now what the hell is a hipster and why do geeks seem to hate them above all else?

Well to begin, hipsters are like this time period's Emos. Back when I was in middle school in like 2004-06, Emo kids were a big deal. Like Hipsters of today they aren't exactly easy to define but the short version of what I understood at the time was that they were over emotional attention seeking goth wannabes and their biggest claim to fame was cutting themselves. the song most associated with them is Untitled (How Could This Happen To Me) by Simple Plan and the song that best describes them is well this...

Hah hah ha, hilarious.

But yeah, back in my day it was a big deal to call people emo or make fun of emos. I never saw to many but they were "there". Now today we have Hipsters. Slightly easier to define it turns out. Hipsters are defined by "Irony" and being "Indie". Through some irritating sense of self-worth they only listen to underground music so underground even the Indie kids think they're being pretentious. This video by Graham Stark of Loading Ready Run describes the music aspect of Hipsters perfectly though he refers to them as scenesters.

And really you take that policy and apply that to every other interest and you essentially have a Hipster, one famous quote associated with their sort is "I liked (insert previously obscure media here) before it was mainstream/cool/popular." They also tend to like things... "Ironically" even though they usually don't know what irony means. Like if it's bad or kiddy or mainstream they like it but they don't genuinely like it.

I suppose as an artist I take note of their visual stylings and come to realize that the best way to describe a hipster's appearance is to take the things you'd associate with a geek and put it on the personality of aforementioned scenesters. Thick black glasses? They have those. Those wonderful fedoras and other such dapper clothing? They have a monopoly on those too. And while I'm probably the only straight male that likes flat caps nowadays, Hipsters have taken those away from us too. The Rummage Sale Reject style of fashion our ladies occasional take to? Make the colors a little drabber and poof instant hipster. Neckbeards? Uh.. yeah, Hipsters can keep those. One of my funnier ways of describing a hipster is taking all the things geeks love and perverting it into something unlikeable. I've also come to figure out they seem to be like "White Trash with Money."

Or so I thought.

Turns out not all Hipsters are annoying whiny underground people, those are just the most prevalent. In fact one could say that geeks and hipsters have a lot more in common than many would think.

The idea of a hipster is to conform to anti-conformity, the value of independent thought. Which means that if something is popular by definition they will vehemently dislike it. This would be similar to a typical geek's nonconformity where it's not that we actively dislike things that are mainstream, and sometimes we do, it's just that we enjoy a lot of things that just happen to be mainstream or straddle the line between well known and being something only geeks know. In fact geeks seem to be able to make the distinction within our ranks and if someone actively dislikes thing because they're mainstream, we'll... be less kind towards them.

Hmm, let's take this definition from urban Dictionary and see if there's anything more I can parse out....

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively. Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer. The "effortless cool" urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic. Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities.

Let's see, I've already covered the counter culture thing in the previous paragraph and the music stuff before that and I've vaguely covered the clothing thing, though I forgot to mention in addition to be a little scruffy, their clothing is stuff you'd find a thrift store, some odd amalgam of old clothing, taking a bunch or either cool things and bringing them together like the aforementioned fedoras. They almost look like your stereotypical "Ze Arteest" character archetype with a side order of of "I'm so cool without even trying", things that look thrown together. Geeks tend to dress like... well casually and if we look cool while doing it then that's awesome, but generally our most hipster-esque aspects tends to look like costumes from our favorite media, fedoras and trench coats, and rummage sale reject-like looks are a part of that.

Ooh, the independent thought and progressive politics, well geeks are a fascinating breed where you'd be hard pressed to find a conservative one and if you do then you will rightly shout them down because how dare they support equal rights for white males and only them and anyone who is less fortunate than them should stay that way.
(Note, I don't actually think all conservatives are horrible people to be shouted down, it's a joke, please don't hurt me.)

Point is, most geeks are either liberal or libertarian and clearly this is the same for hipsters it would seem, only one supports individual and independent thought regardless of when it could be a detriment above all else whilst the other is really more in favor in the freedom of information and not having information destroyed or obfuscated above all else. Or at least that's what I've come to understand.

Hmm, typically in their 20s and 30s..... yes. Definitely. I'll cover this in a future installment but basically one of the bigger aspects of geekdom is being interested in interests and hobbies that many "mainstream" people or adults of old would say are childish things we should've abandoned long ago, so the age group is the same, especially since geeks are associated a lot with nostalgia and being in our 20s and 30s is around the time we start to look back at our childhood as we arrive at adulthood and decide either or not we want to move on or not.

Now the liberal arts degree thing is interesting considering I hear a lot of geeks, when not entering an engineering field, is more likely to be in liberal arts because we consume a lot of media and what better way to go immerse ourselves in media than liberal arts where you can learn about journalism, literature, language, communications, all that stuff, and with the math and science aspects which can overlap with the engineering majors this is even more so.

In many ways we have more in common than we think and perhaps Geeks hate so much because perhaps too many Hipsters that are jerks and we don't want to be associated with them. I mean we are one or two attitude and hobby shifts away from being considered a hipster which can be more scary than being considered a geek. I mean really, no one has a phrase like "Douchebag geek" or "Geek trash" but "Hipster trash" and "
douche-bag hipster" are thrown around far easier. They're like a dark reflection of what we could be seen as by the uninitiated and really, some people don't want to have a worse stigma than they already have.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination is Your Greatest Power
Mousa The 14

P.S. Wow, I can't believe I didn't look to Tv Tropes, I didn't think there was an article there on this. Well, I suppose it hasn't changed much besides the inclusion of a love of art house films which can coincide with a geek's love for b-movies and "So Bad It's Good" movies or film geeks having an interest in art house movies in general.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 18: The Internet Reviewer

When all Else Fails returns and I, Mousa the 14, have come to talk about something a bit recent I'm sure many of you are intimate with and if not, come and learn.

So on the internet we have this budding "career" that's been going on for a few years now. I've brought up previously the network of internet reviewers known as that guy with the, and well that's what this is about.

Somehow, at some point once upon a time a man named James Rolfe made a review series called The Angry Video Game Nerd where he took on the persona of a foul-mouthed and bitter nerd reviewing very old video games. Somehow from there things just exploded and in a few years from his introduction, internet reviewers were everywhere. Not that they weren't there before, obviously people must've been doing written reviews of anything everywhere. Mr. Rolfe's show was however not only informative, but entertaining and comedic and even had skits and the like, and it was in video format to boot. This is especially notable because he came out around year before YouTube, so I imagine with the onset of YouTube, word of the man got around.

With the combination of someone doing it first and YouTube being a free platform for nigh everyone, almost every geek with an opinion and a camera wanted to do a show like Mr. Rolfe did. Why? Maybe they want to be heard, maybe they want to be entertaining, maybe it's for fun, maybe it's for the money, either way, the wave was coming and could not be stopped.

This whole internet reviewing thing is an interesting format, primarily becuase of how varied it is whch has been both good and bad. ou see, there seems to be two different sorts of reviews and the overlap between the two can be so muddled that the lack of distinction has caused anger, fconfusion, o frustration among the audience.

Reviews can be defined as Informative or Entertainment and while reviews are really meant to be both, usually it's pretty obvious where it's leaning towards. For example, Yahtzee, The Escapist's video game reviewer leans heavily on the entertainment side, using absurdly odd and hilarious metaphors and snappy visuals to describe his feelings about a video game, but what he presents is an extreme exaggeration of his opinion or simply accentuating the negative. Usually the games he reviews are not as horrid and he admits this to be true, he just tends to point out and emphasize nitpicked issues that bother him and could potentially other others. And sometimes he's simply pointing something out to make a good joke.

On the flipside we have gents such as Bennett the Sage on Blistered Thumbs or MovieBob on The Escapist, a video game reviewer and a movie reviewer respectively. Both take calmer, slower, more analytic approaches, especially Sage whose reviews are usually highly informative and tell exactly what is the good and bad about a game. However some of the times, reviews like these can be boring or dull, but if you want information you look to these. However, MovieBob tends to throw in a bit more entertainment value into his movie reviews, but make no mistake, it's clear they tend highly on the informative and analytic side

Sadly, a lot of geeks are not very smart and they can have trouble seeing when things are meant to be taken seriously or not. Despite the fact Yahtzee's reviews are not the full picture, many will take his word as gospel and assuming that because he says a game is bad, it must be bad. If they had half a brain they would notice that despite the fact his review of say Red Dead Redemption seemed to the flowing in negatives, he loved the game and had it in one of his top five of the year.

This is especially glaring for the reviewing conglomerate known as That Guy With The that seems to be confused about what it's trying to be.

That Guy With The is a website that gathers internet reviewers under a singular Channel Awesome, founded by Doug Walker and his friends, better known as The Nostalgia Critic, a loud, angry, bitter, Daffy Duck-esque character that reviews all of the bad movies of the 90s and 80s. This site has reviewers of almost every niche, usually repeating so if you don't like one movie reviewer, they have another, or if you want an anime reviewer, they have more than 4 to choose from.

The problem is that the site heavily combines, meshes and stirs around, as well as blurs, frappes, and smudges the line between Informative and Entertaining to the point that you don't know what to expect anymore; some opinions could the facetious and completely in character, or only partly in character, or be totally informative. It's very jarring for some, especially of you are incapable of telling the difference between a character and someone's actual opinion or the difference between a legitimate problem or something used for a joke. This is even more of a concern when you realize you have no idea what the goal of the site is; reviewing or entertaining?

Ideally reviews give you overview, analysis, opinions, and perspective on a given program without spoiling anything or giving away the plot. They are merely meant to say if something is worth your while or not. However, a lot of comedic reviews take a page out of the book of the show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (A geeky show I'm unfamiliar with but notably inspired near all of them.) where instead of doing a proper review, they critique a program bit by bit throughout it's entirety, spoilers and all, mostly so they can have a gag about parts of the program in general. If you wanted a review to know whether or not you want to see or play something, these types are not what you're looking for because you are learning about plot and character elements you may want to find out for yourself. Pretty much every movie reviewer on the website uses this style which is definitely a lot of fun, but might turn people off if they wanted to look for a normal review that happened to be entertaining.

The video game reviews primarily on the other hand seem to be entirely like normal reviews unless explicitly stated otherwise; they inform and entertain, but primarily inform. One of the better synthesizers of these two elements would be Angry Joe of and it's spin-off video game review site Blistered Thumbs . This is probably because it's harder to spoil a video game when they are longer and you want to inform the viewer of the gameplay and other such elements. So with serious and entertainment reviewers all in the same place, how do you distinguish? One obviously should use their brains but as previously mentioned, people are not exactly insightful enough to distinguish between the two.

This isn't just though, this can be for reviewers everywhere who have attempted to take up a fictional persona and bare their opinions to the world. Whose the entertainment? Whose the real reviewer? At this point the lines will become so blurred that the term "review" may come to lose all meaning.

Characters can seem to diminish the actual opinions of the person makings the review. Furthermore, playing characters while reviewing makes it easy for the reviewers to hide behind the character when something goes sour with the audience. I love character which is why I know there needs to be proper distinguishing between being entertainment and being informative.

Many also note that entertainment reviewers have this tendency of injecting plots and memes that can take away form the actual review. I agree that the reviewers are free to have their review and their skit shows, but some would prefer having them separate, primarily when they have little to nothing to do with one another.

There is also an issue of quality control that I may elaborate in other installments, but many of you are probably aware of Sturgeon's Law. If you'ere not, the short version is that 90% of everything is crap and the internet is the biggest evidence of that. There's a reason why the internet is known as a cesspool to the informed and uninformed (for different reasons.). The Internet is nigh free, a wild frontier, a wild wild West where there virtually is no law, and no executives. You can come out why whatever content you want regardless of quality or content or being worthwhile. Part of why exists is to the pick out that remaining good 10% and bring them all to one place. I mean imagine how many Angry "Insert Medium here" Nerds there were that came and went? Or the utterly sickeningly large amount of That Guy With The Glasses knock offs to appear and die in an instant. I cannot even begin to imagine the grotesque number of That "Gender-specific noun" in the "Article of clothing" people there are and simply disappeared into the ether.

I love the internet reviewing scene, it's a wonderful and free creative outlet for many that allows them to be able to creatively express their feelings for something they love or hate, if they can't draw or write or make music or other such things (Unlike the magnificent me) . But right now, the whole "medium", if you can call it that, is a bit of a mess. Hopefully things will stabilize in a few years, or some form of "selling out" comes by. Either way, I can't wait to see how things turn out.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a show to make. To boldly go where no podcast has ever gone before!

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power.
Mousa The 14

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 16: Revisiting the Geek Definiton

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Remember this old thing?

I've been doing a bit of net gallivanting and have found that I'm a bit conflicted in my definitions.

What? What is it? What's with the giggles?

Oh Right. Get your jollies out of the way first.
Done making fun of me and the laughing? Good, now on to the real discussion.

A I was saying, I have found that my definitions and the manner in which I have come upon the have been a little off.

But first, before I elaborate on the geek definition, I wan to shove the Nerd one out of the way

NERD: A socially inadequate person who is noted not only for their poor social skills or lack of caring of mainstream interests and styles, but for their intelligence, display of said intelligence, and deep knowledge of a wide variety of fields or a specified field. The big difference between a geek and a nerd is that a Nerd's brilliance is usually within academic pursuits. They are Science geeks, math geeks, computer geeks. If it is an academic field with real life applications or at least has a real field of study and you are intellectually vested in it, you are a nerd.

Was my old definition and little has changed. The social inadequacy isn't quite necessary but basically a nerd is someone who is just plain smart. He's the guy who fixes your computer and does your homework for you. Those guys that TV shows put in glasses and button down shirts and suspenders and make them spout facts, just facts, ad nothing but the facts because they're that smart.

Basically 95% of the lyrics to this song:
Are about them.

Now for the other 10% about Dungeons and Dragons and choosing between Kirk or Picard and X-Men comics and Renaissance Faires? Geek, or at least geek as how I defined it previously

The geek has always been a different monster.

GEEK: A subset of hobbyist, people who have an deep interest in traditionally non-mainstream subjects that are often considered childish in nature. Similar to the Nerd, they are usually socially inadequate and brilliant. Unlike the nerd, their brilliance tends to be dedicated to their specific hobby. Usual interests of Geeks fall under Science-Fiction and Fantasy Genres spanning all mediums.
Problem is, I was defining geek by what we like rather than how we like it which appears to be the common theme I found in my journeys.

The definition I've stumbled across, which I agree with, is the second half of my previous definition:

Another aspect of Geeks as defined by The Game Overthinker in his video on continuity found here. the short and paraphrased version is this: "Geeks glean fun from turning something that is already fun into work" such as playing video games competitively, Stop Having Fun Guys, or collecting the entirety of the Marvel universe's comics to "keep the continuity straight".

I, for some reason, always viewed it as a content thing, like we like specific things rather than liking things a certain way. The Game Overthinker basically had it as "Likes things to a degree deeper than common knowledge". He even goes further into the subject here on The Big Picture though to be fair, him using the word nerd bugged me to high heaven. Though Bobbo does bring up excellent points about how the general public enjoys content considered "Geeky", its simply the manner in which it is enjoyed. Geeks like things on a deeper level and while I think Bob's description of "Turning something in a math problem" is going too far, it's basically in that direction of turning something fun into work but still deriving fun from it.

Which means it's not just sci-fi and fantasy fans, anybody can be a geek if they're obsessive enough about their respective hobby. Sports, history, Lego, whatever, I mean this is how experts are born.

That still leaves one little problem. The content-based description. There is still a specified group of somewhat socially awkward individuals that are part of some internet-based conglomerate of anime fans, Japan officianados, Magic: The Gathering players, video gamers, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, nostalgia nuts, cartoon lovers, media junkies, comedian reviewers, overthinkers, sci-fi lovers, fantasy lovers, Webcomic readers and makers, and comic book lovers. I mean these interests are filled with geeks and the fandoms overlap greatly (Which is why I called myself the Omni-Geek, since I loved all and specialized in none.) and they are still considered primarily non-mainstream and seen as childish or unwilling to let go of things that are aimed at kids and young teens.

In short, there's a working definition, but what do you call it?

I mean, it sounds like I'm obsessing but I like seeing things properly labeled in their proper space.


Now my membership at TvTropes suddenly makes sense....

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power.
Mousa The 14

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Geek Rant Delay: Writer's Sphere

I was planning on dishing these things out at least once enough, but you know what happened?

Writer's Sphere: Concept patented by Daniel Shive of the El Goonish Shive fare where you have too many ideas instead of not having any.

I am sort of busy with college and I also cannot quite focus on one subject. Over the past couple of months I have been working on drafts for The Barrier OF Entry for Geekdom, it's followup The Old, The New, and The Left Behind, TvTropes, Namco's Tales Series Embargo, and The Green Lantern and I'm already making plans for one aboutthe insanity of the Sonic fandom and the origin and perpetuation of Furries. All of these have been delayed due to me being unable to focus on a single one (And the Green Lantern one kept getting deleted after all of my hard work so I'm discouraged to continue.).

I'm going to try to get better but if anyone can provide inspirational ideas on any of the topics so I can continue on that'd be helpful.

But who the heck actually reads this anyway?

You know what? Nevermind, just.... To those who care, I have more and I'm working on it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 15: The Playstation 360

When all else fails, you call Mousa The 14, that one ranting geek

This was a compare and contrast essay I wrote for my writing class. We had to do this based on what we knew with little to know in-depth research so it's about as opinionated and intricate as my usual geek rants

The Playstation 360

In today’s entertainment market, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony dominate the interactive entertainment medium, with Macintosh’s i-devices rapidly cornering the handheld market. Now, if one was interested in owning a home video game console, they need to weigh the positives and negatives of their options heavily because the current generation of home consoles is frightfully expensive and once you make your choice, you’re virtually stuck with it. The current popular choice is the Nintendo Wii due to its appeal to people who only play games casually on a basis similar to say, reading for fun or movie watching.

I believe common consumer with less gaming finesse would jump on the Nintendo console first, which leaves Nintendo’s competitors in the metaphorical dust. Due to a personal bias towards Nintendo I find it would be too easy to compare its Gaming consoles to its competitors and persuade my reader to purchase a Nintendo Wii. However, Microsoft’s Xbox360 (The 360 for short), and Sony’s Playstation 3 (PS3), are the most similar to one another in the current generation’s console wars and deserve the most analysis. Furthermore, at this point almost everybody and their grandmother literally own a Nintendo Wii, or is friends with someone who does own one. A comparison of the competitors will give those testing the waters for a new console something to think about and will shed some light on why these two seemingly identical video game consoles are no quite the same.

It’s very easy to lump the 360 and the PS3 together that many deeper in the gamer community refer to them affectionately as the PS360. After a majority of the third party game developers abandoned Nintendo In the mid 90’s they were essentially free agents and their games would platform between The Sony consoles and later the Microsoft consoles which means a large number of the Microsoft and Sony’s games libraries are similar. Both consoles also heavily emphasize high definition visuals and purporting superior graphical detail and polish to their games. Sony and Microsoft also have more mature/less family oriented games and attempted to appeal to their core gaming market before they saw how much money Nintendo made off of being more family friendly than before. Also, both consoles had release prices far higher than the Wii with the basic 360 at $400 and the basic PS3 at $500, and these prices went up by another hundred if you wanted more memory to store your games.

With all that they PS3 and the 360 have in common, it’s almost imperative to separate the two properly. One with obsessive and intimate knowledge of the two consoles could probably list every design spec that separates the two, right down to comparing their RAM manufacturers. However, this is about common consumer’s view; therefore the comparisons shall be broken down into three categories: Console exclusives, Design, what more they can do for you besides play games, and all the downsides which shall be sprinkle throughout the former categories.

Because video games are not a universal medium like television or il, looking at what makes a video game console unique is very important. In terms of game exclusives, the PS3 has a lot. As a console from a Japan based company, the PS3 has a large amount of games based off of anime (Japanese cartoons) which can be great for someone who enjoys anime or have children that do. The PS3’s largest number of game exclusives are the Japanese-style role playing games (JRPGs) which are, at the bare minimum, TV shows with gameplay separating the main plot points with a game style that requires more repetition and patience rather than good reflexes and hand-to-eye coordination. This is perfect for anyone who wants to play a game casually or are more interested in a story than they are in game play. The 360 is known as the leading purveyor of the well known and controversial First Person Shooter genre (FPS). The FPS genre consists primarily of games that are community and multi-player oriented but appeal primarily to people who are interested in skill and reflex games, or young males with a of high school to college age with a taste for playing war heroes or action movie heroes with a love for firearms. If any of the above descriptors apply to you then know that buying a 360 means supporting an American company, Microsoft.

Another exclusivity aspect to consider is the 360 and PS3’s motion sensing systems. After the popularity and financial success of the Nintendo Wii, Sony and Microsoft created motion sensing supplements to cash in on the family friendly party game crowd. The PS3 and 360’s motion sensing controller systems are more precise than the Wii’s, but because they are supplements and don’t come with the console, they increase the price for access to a relatively small library of motion control based games. However the market is growing of course and the library shall also grow. Between the PS3 and the 360, the PS3’s motion sensing system is the most expensive. In order for the system to be effective you must by the motion sensing wand and its navigation supplement as well as the camera to read the movements (Some single player games even require you to have two wands.). Traditionally, if one is getting a motion sensing game they are getting party games or family games which require more controllers which increases the price significantly, making the overall package more expensive than the already pricey 360’s motion sensing camera the Kinect. After the price, personal preference is all that matters. The PS3 uses physical controllers which are easy to use to navigate and people more used to having something tangible to hold on to will be more comfortable with that. The Kinect, with its innovative little motion sensing camera reads your entire body perfectly and allows you to flawlessly lay dance games. With a few more years the innovations and immersive games to come out for the 30’s Kinect will be vast and varied and unique.

Speaking of varied and unique, the PS3 and the 360 both look very different and one may want to consider aesthetics when buying one. The two consoles are both large and unwieldy and bear resemblance to a VCR, especially if you get the 360 in black rather than its standard white. The PS3 only comes in one color, which would be black. The design choices are more likely due to a desire to have the consoles look natural right beside your DVD player and television. The 360 has a natural box-like look that looks perfectly natural right beside a home theater; however the PS3, even in its slimmer form, has an odd curved top that can be off-putting to some. And for even more minute details to consider, when on, the 360 has a light green glow and the 360 has a deep blue glow.

While color is important, one is going to be playing games with a controller, which is traditionally a rectangular block of plastic with two handles and generally a multitude of buttons exclusive to each console. The 360 attempted to break out of this mold with a more wedge shaped and smooth controller that many have complained were not designed for human hands. It can also be difficult to figure out, for the 360 controller’s shoulder buttons are called the left and right “Button” and “Trigger” which can be confusing to figure out. The PS3’s system is easier; naming their shoulder button left 1 and 2 and right 1 and 2. However, the PS3’s analog sticks which are usually used to move characters around tragically are buttons of their own (Left and Right 3) which is very easy to forget and sometimes they can be pressed by accident, leading to unintentional in-game actions. Nevertheless, with its traditionally prominent two handles, the PS3 is easy to handle and has not changed since the PS1 meaning if you owned the original Playstation or the PS2, you’ll have familiarity on your side.

The Playstation 3 and he Xbox 360 are known for being more than just game consoles though. Both have the honor of being DVD players, Netflix streamers, Facebook updaters, twitter feeds, video chat systems, and internet browsers, though the PS3 is also Blue Ray player as well if you are interested in that format over standard DVD. While both have internet access, the 360 is at a disadvantage because you have a pay a subscription in order to use their internet access while the PS3 does this all for free. Additionally, the PS3 and 360 have online stores filled with cheap and easy games made primarily by small individual developers that are harmless to buy, similar to the app store for the iPhone. To be honest, in this argument the PS3 is the better choice and I believe in the end, the ultimate decision will be based on personal preference and what one wants out of their gaming console. The Platstation 3 has a lot more going for it in terms of features and games, but with the release of the Kinect the Xbox 360 has the most potential but is also the most costly.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination is Your Greatest Power
Mousa the 14

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Geek Rant Previews: What I'm Not Posting Yet

Namco's "No Export For You"

I am sad now.

Namco is a Japanese video game company that used to be known for creating Pac-Man. It is now known this video game series known as the Tales series or as some call it, the Tales Of series. A series of games that have nothing to do with each other except the main protagonist is a teenage male who uses a sword among other things. Basically the games have similar themes and elements but are not sequels or reboots or anything. The story of all the games is usually long detailed and in some cases, complicated but known for being very good.

In addition to the complex and interesting stories, the Tales series was known for it's lovable, unique, and well developed characters, good and bad. It also has a unique battle system that many JRPGs could benefit from. You see, in most normal JPRGs, when you walk around in a dungeon or the overworld (the area you walk in between towns and cities), you get randomly assaulted by a monster for you to fight. The most obvious and well known example of this system is Pokemon. Now many people in the west dislike the random encounter system. It's preferred to be bale to see your enemy, strategize, strike as appropriate, or at least be able to get to town safely if you're too weak.

Namco's Tales series remedied this in their more recent games with a system where in the overworld, there are icons that represent enemies. If you touch them, then the fight starts. sometimes they chase you, but basically you can see them and decrease your chances of having to fight and you can fight only when you want to.

Another great part of the Tales series actual battle system was that it was active. You could actually move and maneuver your characters and attack in real time and strategize in real time. This in contrast to more static and traditional Japanese role playing games that have a turn based combat system where you open a menus choose and action and watch the constant back and forth. Fun for some but not for all.

Now, with an active battle system and engaging storyline, the Tales series is very much loved on both sides of the ocean. However, there has been a cold chill in the air and I fear the economic downturn, as well as the general reception or JRPGS, are to blame.


The Green Lantern

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Many geeks know who or what a Green Lantern is. And if you're one of my non geek readers then know this, its not actually and 100% literally a lantern that happens to be the color green and its some sort of meme. If one were to say someone ad powers like a Green lantern they should be ci8ing a certain versatility or external power source. If one were to note one had a stupid weakness like Green Lantern they would be citing a now outdated but stupid weakness to a common object. These things are given, but if you, my reader, are not your average geek, you most likely have absolutely no idea who or what I'm talking about. But this is the internet so that's unlikely, but because I try to keep the barriers open here as usual, I will address you my reader as though you are both one or the other.

When I first learned that Green Lantern might not actually be well known, I thought it odd. You see, GL is put on a similar iconic level as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Someone who rounds out that power set along with The Flash, Aquaman, and Palastic Man. But I'm willing to bet if you asked your average shmuck on the street, you'd find they are more familiar with The Flash or Aquaman than they are of Green lantern.

Now before I go into the reasons why Green lantern should be known better an dwhy the Green lantern is not known better, I deem it best for me to do a little informal and informative exposition. Why? Because it'll be easier on you than reading Wikipedia and easier to come by than the general info sites.

Now, to begin, when people refer to Green Lantern, they usually are referring to the Green Lantern Corp, an intergalactic police force in the DC comics universe. the first ever green Lantern from the comic book Golden Age was a man named Alan Scott whose origins and powers were magic in nature and while the bear similarities to the powers of the modern Green Lantern, they differ in limitations and and power source. the GL Corp as we know them today were introduced during some Silver-age of comics character reboot that gave us versions of superheroes closer to what we're familiar with today such as the change from the original Flash Jay Garrick and Green Lantern Alan Scott...

The Old, The New, And The Left Behind

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

I've come to the conclusion that geekdom is a freaky amalgam of pop culture and nostalgia. On the one hand there is a lot of worship for old things a la Thindercats, the Mario Games, and Star Trek and yet at the exact same time the needs to keep up with new things relevent to our general itnerests in vital. While this can be the same for many things, This is about "geek culture" not everything else so nya.

Allow me to elaborate

The Old

Nostalgia plays an enormous part in the geek identity it's amazing really. I mean a huge part of it is all about never letting go of our childhood after we've grown up, whether it's our old favorite cartoons to games. And then we try to put some sort of adult-like or grown up spin on it, looking deeper than necessary, analyzing and elaborating and expanding. Obsessively re-watching or replaying things in order to mark down each individual detail to sometimes try to construct the universe we've been given.Or perhaps an attachment for characters whose arcs have long since concluded, whether or not their arcs were resolved.

TV Tropes

Seriously, what's wrong with that place?

I honestly haven't a clue because I love it.

But in all seriousness, this place is loved and hated for many a reason and as a person whose style was inspired by the website, I figured I would explore this entity known as TV Tropes.

Now, for those who aren't in the know, TvTropes is a website dedicated to identifying and giving a name to the various tools and conventions we see and expect in media. It's not really inventing, the website basically finds things that are already there, give them a name and a humorous description followed by a list of examples. The website also has many works pages which list examples of tropes they demonstrate and...

Oh, right, forgot to write the definition of "Trope" since it's not exactly a common word these days. A "Trope" is a figure of speech or or something recurring across a genre or type of creative work. So I guess the site invents figures of speeches for things that recur across genres or creative works. Ha ha, two for two!

Anyhow, so yeah, it's a simple, fun, and casual website that's all about media. obviously the people interested in this are geeks who really love their media. The website started with just television tropes due to their origins with Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans but obviously things have expanded. We never bothered to changed the name of the place because by the time the members of the site even considered the name Media Tropes it was a little too late.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When All Else Fails: Just The Stats 01

So from when I started this crazy thing to.... Friday, March 25, 2011....

Geek Rant 11: The Fairer Geek: 458 Page views which I attribute heavily to the help of Wundergeek's Go Make me a Sandwich blog about sexist depictions of women in Video Games and Video Game advertising. It' s hilariously awesome

Geek Rant Topic 06: JRPGs: 308 Page views, interesting, probably because I pimped it out at The Escapist as well as TvTropes forums and let's face it, it's a slightly hot and divisive topic. I must revist it at some point.

Geek Rant Topic 09: The Last Airbender: 259 Page views because it was a recent topic and let's face it, everyone who cared for the original cartoon wanted as much affirmation for their rage at that horrid movie as possible

Geek Rant Topic 03: Hardcore Gamers or "No True Gamer": 209 Page Views because... I honestly don't know, perhaps nobody wants to read the truth about themselves or because I didn't know at the time that the term I was looking for was actually "Fratcore" Gamer

Geek Rant Topic 07: One Manga: 157 Page Views becuase really, it's about a virtually dead site, nobody was going to see this, especially since it was in semi-defense of it's illegal existence.

Geek Rant Topic 02: Furry Hate: 145 Page views becuase nobody wants to look like a jerk for hating agroup of people who don't desrve it. Why would anybody want to look at a list of their flaws nad lose their reason to needlessly hate people?

Geek Rant Topic 05: Nerd or Geek: 111 Page Views, becuase really? Who cares besides me and my insanity? I need to do a followup ayway due to newly acquiredperspectives on the terms.

Geek Rant 10: Geeky Men Are Not Men: 88 Page views becuase really? Even I didn't like this one too much.

Geek Rant Topic 04: To Most Furries: 76 Page Views becuase Furries want to see their flaws even less than their haters it seems. It's a shame, I wanted this one to be more widespread.

Geek Rant Topic 08: The Water Level: 70 Page Views. Oh well, It was mostly filler anyway.


This is just odd. The keywords to find this.

thatonerantinggeek, 13, which may have been me getting to my blog without having to actually type the url.

that one ranting geek and both have four. I think... smae as above maybe?

furry hate only has 2.

hsooter game has 2 becuase one of my typos makes all the difference it seems.

mousa the 14, 6. I uh.... I don't know either. I mean, who remembers that name? I mean, I don't google myself, that's just silly.

www.all cartoon nakid lades games 2..... WHAT! WHAT? WHAAAAAAAT!?

архитектура final fantasy, 2... I... I honestly have no idea.

rant topic, 2. Makes sense I geuss.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 14: The Gamer Chick

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

When people are misinterpreting feminism they misinterpret hard. Just a quick thing I wanted go over. Especially in webcomics, there is the idea that your typically sausage-fest cast you need to have a female character. Besides the usual cliches, you have the hyper component woman who is better than the guys at their particular interest and tend to be some sort of "Strong Female Character". Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Thank you K-Bo.

Now where was ..... Ah yes:

Hey, webcomic makers,-no, ya know what? Writers in general: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

The name of the game is Equality!

I get what you're trying to do, the whole "Don't make women look bad" by making them look good so you don't look like misogynist chauvinist pigs. You're doin' it wrong.

Positive discrimination is still discrimination, creating a whole other "Us" versus "Them" thing we don't need. You can make your girl who can "Ass-pwn some newbs in Gears of Duty" or whatever but do it in reasonable amounts. Not the flat bitch that can kick butts up down and sideways from New Amsterdam to Constantinople, but perhaps, I dunno, a person, a character, maybe with a personality trait or two doesn't involve being a wish fulfillment love interest, the Minesotta Fats, the wish fulfillment sex object, or the heartless witch that portrays what you think feminism is actually like (misandry or lesbianism optional of course).

Here's a formula: Guys and gals all win and lose just exactly the same, no one is better or worse based on any gender divide, but based on the character's history or skill from their backstory. You know, make them people.

You're not good writers? Then why do your dudes seem to have one half of a dimension more than your gals? Here, use this and this and this, or this, or you know what? Just all of this. I can wait, go on, take a read, find stuff on women, girls, webcomics, learn what you're doing wrong and get back to me and give me your excuse.

Are Men and Women different? Yessiree! Does this mean you have to skimp out on their character because you don't know their perspective? Hell no! You practically invent your own perspective in your story, you can make women just as varied and unique as your dudes are without making them overly competent or under competent. Average never hurt anybody. Sure there will be the idiots in the outer fringes of Feminism for you DARING to give a woman flaws, but you know what? Screw dat! Make characters. I would say it's not that hard, but it actually is. It's not hard for me but for most people who aren't insane and eccentric and out of their minds obsessive like me; try, learn, read a book perhaps, because you most certainly don't get your female characters that are both strong and flawed from video games. Except maybe Chrono Trigger. Or Tales of Symphonia...

Ya know what? Just go pick up a non-Square Enix Japanese RPG and get back to me. I think the country that has more issues with feminism than we do might be on to something.


-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power
Mousa the 14

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random Musing: The Japanese Scare Me a Little

So I listen to nothing but NPR on the radio and was listening to a reporter talk about a shelter in Nihon after all this earthquake+tsunami+Potential Nuclear Fallout deal (Dear God I feel sorry for these people, I mean a natural disaster triple threat? We may as well have hurled another one of our nukes over these and gotten the exact same effect!).

As I was reading The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I heard something that can only be described as either efficient and reasonable or damn right creepy:

So the reporter was talking about how the people in the shelter were. The shelter was quiet, the people were patient and uncomplaining, and when someone came with food there was no riot and no mad rush. And without instruction, they simply lined up in single file to retreive the food.

This sounds beautiful and shows people being reasonable in times of adversity and seems like the approach to a perfect world. But it was also flipping creepy! I mean it seems a little... not human. I mean seems more like evidence that the people of Nihon are or trying to be a race of robots that scheme to destroy us all with the power of cute. I mean, last I checked humans are less inclined to such behavior to due selfishness and other associated self-preservation measures. I wonder if it's simply the highly conformist society the Japanese are. Would make sense. Still needs to be added to my list of things about Nihon that creep me out along with their thing for Lolis.

Note: I am neither weeaboo nor one of those Nihon haters. I like and dislike different things.

P.S. Think any of our favorite Manga writers have been negatively affected? I mean I assumed so and I guess when you read media from a small archipelago nation that just had major disasters, you have to wonder if your favorite authors are doing okay. You just have to look at the casualty numbers and wonder "Will I ever see the conclusion of One Piece?" That sounds utterly insensitive, but I doubt the first thing on people's minds when they think "Natural disaster in Nihon" is "Oh noes! Tha poor writer! His house! Her family! etc, etc, yadda, yadda". I'm probably wrong and probably write, just noting that we're all only human.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Musing: The Last Airbender Movie Update

I saw The Last Airbender a few months back, and my friend was wondering if I should update my previous entry based on it.

I didn't need to, everything I said in my blog was only confirmed by watching the movie, I just d a few things to add:

  1. General Zhao's actor was hammy hilarious! Hooray unintentional humor!
  2. The Movie was boring and it was difficult to stay awake for even with Rifftrax.
  3. The Last battle scene was pretty good, but I hated the use of slo-mo. It should've moved faster.
  4. Characterization? What Characterization? The actors were so wooden I could use them as kindling.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 13: Which Superhero Hasn't Died?

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

The other day I was talking with some geeky associates of my at the community college and I was notified that Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, was dead and Spider-man had replaced him in the Fantastic four (Which makes sense since Spidey is the perfect funny guy to replace Johnny and the two are good friends). But we also know this: The Human torch would be back. It was a fact of life, we said it like it was a bad joke, because it was. It was also noted that Nightcrawler of the X-men had died recently and was one of the few mainline X-men who hadn't died in their history, until recently.

It was then we got to talking and we realized: Who hasn't died in superhero comics? We we came up with a fairly small list so we decided we would venture onto the net and contact the message boards we closely associate with and find the answers. On our own we found that Spider-man hasn't died Tim Drake as Robin/Red Robin hadn't died and neither had Dick Grayson as Nightwing/Robin, The Invisible Woman, The Alan Scott Green Lantern, Jay Garrick Flash, and Luke Cage. This was just off the top of our heads with no research, and that's a minuscule list. I mean, when you think about it, it's a really interesting questions because comic books are practically known for killing people and for them to not be dead for very long. I mean when Superman was supposedly killed some time ago by the creature designed to kill him known as Doomsday, that was a big deal. Same when Batman got his back broken by Bane in the 90's, and Batman was killed not too long ago (But it turns out he was somehow sent time traveling. Yeah, comic books are weird.).

Obviously they wouldn't be dead for long. The big thing with the comic book industry is that they're not interested in making stories or characters, they make their money off of making long running legacies, which I sort of brought up in my previous entry, Modern Mythos. Which means even if they kills these characters, they won't be dead for long, they're too beloved for that and they have to stay to make the fans happy. The deaths were originally designed to "shake things up" but now they're just quaint to comic fans now. which means they don't serve as much purpose as they used to because we all know the guys will be coming back.

So it's just interesting to know who hasn't died because a lot of deaths has occurred. I mean it's almost like dying gives you superhero street cred or something. We set up some parameters for our quest though:

  1. A big name or close to big name superhero, which I guess is hard to define, but let me put it to you this way, "Who is more important/well known? Iron Fist or Captain Mar Vell?" If you answered Iron Fist, you're own the right track. If you said Captain Mar Vell, you're a bigger geek than I am.
  2. Someone who has had a minimum of 10 years of continuity behind them.
  3. They had to have been dead or presumed dead for more than one issue. Enough to have had an impact on their universe.
  4. It's a DC or a Marvel hero, obviously.
  5. It's in the main universe. None of this "What-if" or "Elseworlds" nonsense.
Happy Hunting.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power
Mousa the 14

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 12: Modern Mythos

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Once upon a time there were these deities worshiped by ancient civilizations. These people told many stories of the exploits of these deities. However, these stories were all primarily from word of mouth, there was no single comprehensive and linear and consistent story of any of these gods, only what was told and what little was written down. These deities by modern day became primarily abstract concept with vague yet specific jobs and exploits and rulings that can be interpreted and spun around in a myriad of ways by many different writers in the present day.

We called this ancient incomprehensible library of vague references mythology. These deities and heroes such as Gilgamesh or Zeus were mere concept that could be twisted and turned into whatever we wanted within certain pre-established guidelines. The idea was there and we could make up the details ourselves, it was all based on the person telling the story.

I want to you to think long and hard about this. Does this sound familiar to anybody, anybody at all? Anything in the modern day that works on this exact system of vague pre-established concept that many people write about and with each different writing, different interpretations re made and different details are added based on personal preference. Perhaps this is too vague. After all, mythology of old had specific groups, we had the Grecko-Roman Gods, The Norse Mythology, Agyptian gods, and far many more I don't even know the names of. I'll keep this simple, this modern day version I'm referring two has only two self contained groups.

Now I'm going to stop treating you like an idiot and tell you this modern day mytholgoy is superhero comics and the two specific mythologies are Marvel and DC.

Despite the obession with "Continuity", American comic books are a mess. and probably have the least amount of continutiy that make sense. Especially DC. These things have gone on for decades wit hcharacters that age in reverse dog years and basically they're environments where characters and stories are allowed to exist. These comic histories are incomprehensible and with all the crossovers, one shots, and and tie ins, not even counting the alternate universes, I doubt even the most devoted geek can keep track of their favorite superhero and if they can, they need to go outside and start smelling the frikkin' rosies becuase their dedication most likely took up 75% of their existences and I wish I was joking but that's how extensive these things are.

I saw the comic book industry needs to quit it and geeks need to quit it. You know why? Becuase the DC and Marvel comic universes are now nothing but big flipping mythologies, worlds where anything can happen and anyone can do whatever based on the mythology behind them. At this point no continuity matters and I doubt we can ever go back to the days of everything being separate individual characters and stories that may have a a conclusion, the connected universes will never end so let's just go all out, write whatever we want, we already disregard continuity ad consistency anyway, let's just run with this. We just remove the concept of "canon" and have everything be right depending on the writer. It's easier on the fans that way.

Isn't that awesome? We invented a mythology without having it being centuries of lost archives behind us!

Wanna hear more about how this whole continuity and comic books are a mess? Movie Bob has got a few vids that helped inspired this: Continuum, Continanity, and Nerd Gods, mind you the man uses stronger language than I do.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power
Mousa the 14

Random Musing: Nothing to Hide

I went to take an exam to see if I qualified for some classes at the local community college and I saw the oddest thing:

Dark skinned Asian guy, who knows, maybe he was Inuit, not the point, anyhow, he was wearing an interesting amalgam of items I can only call "Convention Casual".

He was wearing a Jack Skellington hat, you know, one of those semi-common winter hats, an Ushanka, methinks? That sort of hat with Jack Skellington print. He wore checkerboard patterned fingerless gloves, those kinds of gloves you wear because incompleteness is hardcore. And He wore black pants that I associate greatly with my eccentric positive metalhead friend who tended to wear black pants with too many pockets. This guy wore similar stuff only surprisingly less pockets and blue highlights on it. The icing on the cake of this odd piece of leg wear was the two chains that were cross along the front of his pants. Yeah, he isn't exactly running anywhere, or striding for that matter.

But here's the kicker, right there tied to the back belt hook on his pants was a big blue fizzy tail! No, I was not looking at his butt, you couldn't miss it. It was a tail!

That tail has been in my mind... Like I get this feeling that certain apparel is starting to become less of an issue, and by less of an issue I mean, coming out f the woodwork and suddenly being okay to wear in casual everyday settings.

I mean, sure it starts with cute animal hats, eventually with ears on said hats or hoots, but when does it stop or keep going on? How does it keep going on? Will hats bring along with it fashionable goggles? fingerless gloves? chains? tails? Jack Skellington? Is the geek and furry apparel slowly crawling out of the convention dealer room and Hot Topic? I mean those two places I mentioned are like the kingdoms of the Rummage Sale Reject style of clothing, but how much of it is... seeping into regular everyday things?

How many of us are forgetting to remove our Digi Charat Bells from our necks? When was the last time you took that SOS Brigade arm band off? How are you looking into those goggles today?

Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. I just find this a little odd perhaps intriguing, maybe even sinister.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Random Musing: Muslim Batman

I don't know all the particulars behind it but long story short: There's a Muslim Batman.

I mean, let's get this out of the way, Isn't this costume frikkin' AWESOME!?

It's almost a shame he's the French Batman.

Yeah, the French Batman. It's a shame, I mean the French don't particularly like Muslims, I mean they're trying to ban burqas and all that. Which means in real life, The French aren't going to like this choice. Frankly, this shouldn't be a big deal. The type of Batman chosen is not indicative of the entire nation, it's indicative of that character's history and skills and personality, with French having very little to do with it. I mean if that were the case, C. America should be a Native American, you know, just to keep things pure.

You know, I should be more bothered by the fact that Bats is trying to go global but it makes perfect sense to me that he's trying to make his image international, becuase lord knows he can't strike fear into the hearts of every crook world-wide. It takes an army to do that, an Army of Batmen. But this could probably cause in-universe controversy about him exerting too much world power I imagine. I don't know, I love superheroes but don't really pay attention to them so much. I'll explain my view in my upcoming "Mythos" Geek Rant.