Friday, October 31, 2003


This is a bad, bad movie. Stay far away.

Badly paced, badly acted. When I accidentally pushed the button on the Playstation that brought up the menu about 3/4 of the way through the movie I didn't feel compelled to try to find the point that I left off at and continue.

Let me summarize the film: Take one part Tommyknockers, mix with one part It and mix in another part Stand By Me. Stir the mixture well until blandness occurs, then pour the gloppy soup onto the television screen.

There you have it. That is all.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Spiritual Herald

There's a 'paper' here in Murfreesboro called the spiritual Herald. It's a small religious paper and is sold out of machines for the astounding price of $1.00 per issue. It's black and white and I think probably eight pages. I don't know how often it comes out, most likely monthly.

I glanced at the front cover on my way out of Shoney's this morning, and one of the headlines caught my eye. It was something along the lines of "You Must Read This." Well I read it, and it started by saying "We are fast approaching the 21st century."

Right there I knew there might be something amiss to the story, as, If I am correct in my observations, we have been in the 21st century for at least a year now.

It went on to reveal the startling information that the right to vote for African Americans will expire in 2007, due to the expiration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965".
According to the paper African Americans only gained the right to vote in 1965, and only keep it through the renewal of this act; the most recent renewal having been for 25 years and signed by Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Standing there I was pretty sure that there was a, you know, Constitutional amendment that covers this area. I thought that I remembered that from my social studies classes, but I have been known to be wrong.

So I came home and looked it up, and damned if there isn't the 15th amendment that guarantees the right to vote for all citizens (assuming you were male and 21 of course, women and 18-21 year-olds would have to wait until the 19th and 26th amendments respectively).

You see, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 only became necessary to stop Jim Crow laws enacted by the southern states.

The whole story can be found here.

A simple knowledge of civics or a search of the internet would have revealed this fact to the editor's of the paper.

I think that they were duped by an erroneous e-mail or letter since the story lead with the "...approaching the 21st century..." bit, and just pretty much printed the info they had verbatim.

Just goes to show you you should always check your sources.
Sneaky Bastards

Has anyone else noticed that when you type (anything) you get a bible site, or as it calls itself "Mega site of Bible studies and information"?

The guestbook is an interesting read, especially the guy who was using crack cokane (sic).

That's some sneaky stuff on the snaring links. I am a sloppy typist sometimes, and I would imagine they catch quite a few people.

I wonder how many other domain names they have misspellings of pointing at that site?

Here's a bit I'd like to refute from the site:

The Bible gives us over 50 descriptions about the people at the time of the end. These fit the people of today perfectly, but did not fit the people of fifty years ago. Here are some:

    A. Some would depart from the faith and go into devil worship-1 Tim 4:1. This is perfect.

    B. People would mock about the last days and not believe-2 Pe 3:3; Jude 18.

    C. People would become lovers of themselves-2 Tim 3:1,2. Remember the TV commercials—"I do it for me"?

    D. People would be disobeying their parents-2 Tim 3:1,2.

    E. People would be grateful for nothing-2 Tim 3:1,2.

    F. Homosexuality would increase-Lk 17:28,30; ref Gen 19:5; Ro 1:24,26,27.

    G. People would be without self-control in sex-2 Tim 3:1,2,6; Rev 9:21, Lk 17:28,30; Jude 7. Is this not the great sex generation?

    H. People would love pleasures more than God-2 Tim 3:1,2,4. This is true. Shall we go on a picnic, watch football, or sleep. Church?—we can go another time. Our American motto "In God we trust" has become a joke. Remember, these were all predicted centuries ago as part of the signs that we are at the time of the end.

    I. People would be taking drugs-Rev 9:21. The Greek word for sorceries, in Rev 9:21, means pharmaceuticals or drugs. God’s Word is 100% right on every one. That’s 6 out of 6. How could you have any doubts at this point?
    Note: Fifty years ago, many people seldom locked their doors at night. There was little or no profanity on television, radio, or in the movies. One of the biggest problems in public school was gum chewing. Those days are long gone.

OK, it may not have applied to whitebread central America 50 years ago, but I hate to tell the person who wrote this, it very much described the debauchery of America 80 years ago in the 1920s, and at various other times since these books were written a couple of thousand years ago. It's just that we have a little thing called television that brings the world right inside our homes. It is a scary place for these people, I would imagine.

Also that was only 9 descriptions, not 50 as the site boasted. I'd like to see the other 41. (was the person who wrote this not able to count?)

Here is some rebuttal point by point:

A. In most mainstream Christianity, devil worship would include any form of non-Christian, or non-the-same-denomination-as-the-person-looking-at-the-other-person, so that would lump in pretty much everyone else in the world except the little clique that the person writing this belongs to.

B. I think that this is pretty much all times. I don't think that's a recent occurrence.

C. Ditto. This person is saying that people didn't love themselves in 1950?

D. Almost all children disobey their parents. That was also happening in the 50s, otherwise there would have been no beats and then no hippies.

E. Another one that applies pretty much across the board.

F. I don't think that it's so much increasing, but that it is more public and open. It was also around in the 50s, it was just that gay-bashing was accepted more then.

G. If they are referencing the 60s and 70s with the great sex generation, doesn't that blow the 50 years ago bit, because that was over thirty years ago. Anyway, I just think the person writing this is either afraid of sex, or isn't getting any themselves.

H. Again, this is the constant struggle of religion over secularism. "You don't love and think about God enough." This has been around as long as religion.

I. People have ALWAYS taken drugs. It is just that there has never been the gigantor drug industry that we now have. Just remember that Sugar can be considered a drug. If I read this right, isn't this page arguing that the line should read "People would be taking sorceries?" That would open up a larger scale to the meaning. Sorceries can be in drug or idea form.

Also there is a place where people seldom lock their doors at night, and it isn't the 1950s, it's Canada, where there isn't such a culture of fear around.

I think that I've spent enough time on this.
From Al Franken's wonderful self-help book Oh, The Things I Know!:

The effect of laughter is more than just psychological. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, and every so often, if you laugh really hard, a small amount of diarrhea. Like a good orgasm or a good sneeze, a good laugh relieves unhealthy pent-up tensions which can cause an imbalance in the body's humors--specifically an excess of black bile--which we have known since the Middle Ages is the cause of all illness.

I have lots and lots of black bile. That is partially why the knickname Black Bile Bill is so appropriate. I also have problems with laughing really hard, it seems.

Hopefully I won't laugh too very hard at the comedy show on Thursday, since I don't really think that anyone wants me to be releasing black bile during the show.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Me Forgetful Is

The woman on Who Want's to be a Millionaire right now is really, really stupid, but that's neither here nor there. She's used two lifelines before 1000 and her phone a friend is an idiot too. Coven of witches. That's the answer. Very simple. Even though Vampires is technically correct in some uses as well.

But this is a post about my own absent-mindedness. I was just sitting here after cleaning my room and thinking how nice it was to have washed that big pile of dirty clothes and gotten them into the clean pile where they are supposed to be, and this got me to thinking: Did I hang up all my pants or what? Then I realized that I didn't go down and get the last load of laundry out of the dryer yesterday.

I would just like to state that the clothing thief that has prompted multiple signs to be posted in my laundry...

Crap this woman is stupid. Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. Not the Book of Jehovah. Sooooo Stupid

...such as "Stay with your laundry. Protect your financial investment," is crap. My clothes stayed down there for over 24 hours and they were still there. Though I could see why no one would want to steal them.

That is all for now.
The Big Stupid Tommy Friday Five

1. Which would you rather have? Three extra fingers on each hand, or an extra nose right above the one you have? What if there were magical powers bestowed upon each trait?
I think the fingers would be nice. Would you also get the extra number of toes to go with it? I think that would cause problems with finding shoes and whatnot. Fingers would give you more dexterity, while an extra nose would just allow you to smell better. Unless the magical powers were something like flight, or invisibility with the nose.

2. What was something that you worried about, but told yourself to stop worrying, because it was silly, and then have had that thing come true? Was it silly?
I'm always worrying about gremlins, and then deciding it is silly to worry about things you can't control. Then when the gremlins start attacking it isn't so silly anymore. Lucky they only come out at night and I am not at home most of the time.

3. Who would be the absolute worst celebrity to have to share an apartment with?
Russell Crow, since he's always so serious. He would constantly be punching me and whatnot. Also we'd end up killing one another.

4. What is the funniest moment on television that you've ever seen?
There is nothing funny on television. Except for that time that they had that Tommy discussion on "I Love 86" on VH1. Who would have thought that Tommy would provide such fodder for Chris Jericho and Juliette Lewis to expound apon, and Triumph the insult comic dog's comment of "Yeah, I remember Tommy that year. He was great...for me to poop on." Classic.

5. Do you know personally anybody named Vance?
I don't really know them, but I know of two Vances.

Giant Sized Man-Thing

How did it escape my attention that Marvel and Artisan were off filming a Man Thing film?

The mind boggles.

Now where's my Dr. Strange movie Avi?
Upcoming Show

Does anybody remember the Zach Galifianakis show on VH1? Maybe I was the only one who thought it was funny.

He and Jim Gaffigan are coming to MTSU's Tucker Theatre on October 29th, at 8 o'clock and I think that I shall have to go. This is more to remind myself than anything else.

Consider me reminded.

Saw the Presidents of the USA in concert at MTSU's Tucker Theatre tonight, and I have to say that it was a pretty good rock and roll show. There was a story on Fark a little while ago about them playing sold out shows in Alaska. Well, the theatre was mostly full standing up for the show.

Their opening act was Murfreesboro's local De Novo Dahl. They are a new wave style college rock act with a keyboardist/singer (who needs to wear pants for godsake), a guitarist/xylaphone player, a bored looking bass player in a skirt, a drummer, and a cute blonde who played tamborine and bounced around. Gunny described them as pretty sucky, and I would tend to agree. They have some potential, but to me it looked like that there were at least two types of band wanting to break out on the stage, the bass player and lead singer want to rock out, while the guitarist and keyboardist seem to want the new-wave style harmony band, the blonde (Sarai) just bounced and looked pretty for the most part. The crowd was mostly indifferent to them, and sat through the set.

PUSA took the stage after a bit of a break and proceded to rock the house. They played all of their recognizable songs (Lump, Peaches, Mach 5) as well as others like "Naked and Famous" and "Kitty" as well as some new songs and covers of Iggy Pop and Sex Pistols song and a good rendition of "Video Killed the Radio Star." Where the crowd sat on their hands for the opening act they were on their feet for the whole of the hour and a half or so that PUSA played.

They came out for a four or five song encore as well.

High energy rock and roll power.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Can a Darkhawk Revamp Be Far Behind?

Why in the hell would anyone want to bring back Sleepwalker?

For those of you who don't know it was a moderately stupid to completely stupid comic character from the early 90s sucktastic period of Marvel comics where anyone who could hold a pencil or could write more than two words in a row (any words mind you, and the row didn't have to be all that straight) could get a multi-book deal from Marvel. Sleepwalker is a big green alien guy who wore purple clothes and legwarmers who could only come out when his alter-ego was asleep. Sortof like Freddy Krueger as a good guy, only with ill-defined powers.

He was from the same era as Darkhawk and the poster child for that era Slapstick the cartoon superhero.

I won't lie, I have most of the three year run of the original Sleepwalker somewhere in my 30 some odd long boxes of comics, due to 5-for-a-dollar sales and the like. I like Brett Blevins' artwork (He was the guy who did New Mutants before the New Mutant Rob Liefeld took over). He draws the pretty women and, no matter what Phillipe Jones will tell you, I think he did a fine job on people's faces. He has a bit of a cartoony style, but much like Terry Moore over on Strangers in Paradise, he still makes it work believably.

But seriously, why the hell would you want to revive this book? Is the clamor for it that deafening? It's a bit like having Terry Taylor come in and wrestle at your promotion, it won't really hurt you in the long run, but what's the point?

I guess if it keeps one more Spider-Man/X-Men book from starting up, it's good, but pointless.

Marvel needs to work on fixing the books it has, then branch out into some new stuff. I'm not for the closing down of the Epic line before it really begins, but Sleepwalker is not the route to go.

By the way, Marvel comics guys, if you are reading, I have a really great pitch for a new Night Thrasher comic that I think would really sell.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Oh, Danny Boyle

I picked up 28 Days Later on DVD this morning along with a couple of Hammer films from the $5.88 bin and one that has a no doubt fine film called Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter as well as Dementia 13 and the Screaming Skulls. Perhaps there will be a report later, but probably not.

On the 28DL disc there are three alternate endings. One is a variation on the ending shown in US theatres, only without a main character making it through to the end. Another is the same main character dying after a try at a valiant save by the other two.

The third ending, though, is glorious.

It completely dumps the final third act of the film with the soldiers in favor of a smaller story where the characters end up at the same research facility as the beginning of the film and find out how to stop the virus. The story and whatnot are not what makes it so good, however.

The whole thing is done with the only visuals being the storyboards of the sequence, and all dialogue and stage directions done by director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland.

It's like a book on tape with pictures. Or one of those books with the audio track that you 'read' along to and turn the page when the tone sounds. Only there's no tone, and no annoying pages to turn.

If only all movies and or books could be done this way.

Imagine the wondrous world we would then live in.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

New Games

I think it was last week that I bought Legends of Wrestling II, and I have found it a fun but maddening game. The selection of characters is good and extensive (Abdullah the Butcher, George the Animal Steele, Andre the Giant, the Von Erichs) but the gameplay is buggy and poorly done. The instruction manual is woefully inadequate (it doesn't tell you what to do in ladder matches for instance, and I was left for ten minutes trying to figure out how the hell to win the match) or cage matches, and to unlock each new character you have to first unlock them as an option in the lengthy career mode and then gamble for them using a convoluted coin system.

The career mode's storyline breaks down, to a cut scene with the promoter then a few jobber matches, to a cutscene with the promoter to a few matches with name talent, to a cut scene with the promoter, to some difficult matches, then another cutscene and a title match with a defense following. Even things like Jerry Lawler's feud with Andy Kauffman follows this pattern.

I just want to play as Andy and Abdullah, but I have to beat them and then spend an hour trying to gamble for enough coins to unlock them. That is bullshit my friends.

On the plus side, the graphics are pretty good, as is the wide range of characters (did I mention Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Roddy Piper?), and there are some good interviews with some of the wrestlers included as a bonus. George Steele's interview is particularly good.

All in all, worth the $20 I paid for it I guess. Not as good as the Smackdown series, but maybe they can get a real game engine in the next installment, or perhaps the NWA-TNA game that is supposedly in the works will fullfill the promise.

Today I bought MTV's Celebrity Death Match, and I can't really say that I'm dissapointed by the game, but I wish they'd gone a little further with the game.

There are a number of 'celebrities' to choose from, including N'Sync, Carrot Top, Mister T, Anna Nicole Smith, Ron Jeremy, Dennis Rodman and Miss Cleo. There is also a fairly limited create a character mode (though I was able to create a pretty good version of myself).

The graphics re-create the show well, and the polygon characters look enough like the clay to pull off the illusion.

The gameplay is simplistic, with a handfull of moves that seem to be randomly chosen when you push a button, as well as a few special moves and weapons that can be used at various points in gameplay. Each character has a specialized fatality that they do at the conclusion of a match that are usually sufficiently gruesome. The game was rated M, mostly for the violence, and also for the slightly scandalous dialoge (nothing really more than juvenile sexual humor).

I was unable to unlock all of the hidden characters and arenas and defeat the story mode in about thirty minutes of gameplay which is not very good. Even on the most difficult setting the game is not very hard. This would probably be a good party game, but as a replayable game the repetitiveness and lack of depth don't warrant alot of returns.

But, hey, it's only $20 new, then you can sell it to a used CD/Movie store for half the price you paid for it.

Saw this on Tommy's blog awhile back and have been too lazy to do it until now.

What's asks, "What's On your bookshelf Right Now? (pick a shelf; any shelf)"

Well, there's quite a bit, since I have an inordinate amount of bookshelves, but on the one right behind my chair there are:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
High Adventure in the Great Outdoors by Henry Rollins
More Letters to Rollins by Rob Overton
Cabal by Clive Barker
Strange Days by James Cameron
The Best of Roald Dahl
The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles
Classical Literary Criticism
The Oresteia by Aeschyllus
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Movie History: A Survey by Douglas Gomery
Dance For Two by Alan Lightman
I am Legend by Richard Mattheson
Rainbow Six Gold: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
Legends edited by Robert Silverberg
Speaking With the Angel edited by Nick Hornbey
The Minority Report and Other Stories by Phillip K. Dick
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
MTV's Beavis and Butthead Ensucklapedia
Star Trek: First Contact by J.M. Dillard
The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker
Midnight Blue: The Sonja Blue Collection by Nancy Collins
The Choice by Bob Woodward
Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years
From Acadia to Yellowstone by J.A. Kraulis
Creative Editing for Print Media by Bowles and Borden
These are the Voyages by Charles Kurts
The Dream Cycle of H.P.Lovecraft
Jacob's Ladder by Bruce Joel Rubin
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Storm of the Century by Stephen King
Clerks/Chasing Amy by Kevin Smith
The Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac and Book of Facts 1999

An empty bottle of Lime gatorade (32 oz.)
A can of Krylon Workable Fixatif
A talking stretchy mummy in the mold of Stretch Armstong, whose eye pops out when you squeeze his head
A mini bust of Gene Simmons
My TV remote control (there it is)
and my Stephen Hawking Action Figure

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

That was way more extensive than it needed to be.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Lego Seeking MasterBuilder
By way of Boing Boing

Lego is seeking a full-time master builder for their theme-park. First, they have a theme park? Isn't that a joke from the Simpsons?

Second, I would apply for the job, cause it would be sweet, but I can only seem to build rectangular towers out of the legos. I'm not so good with the blocks. I think it has to do with my childhood edumacation.

Friday, October 17, 2003


I may show myself to be the out of touch old fogey that I am with this post, but it cleared up some confusion on my part.

For quite some time I had been seing this face around town on signs and walls and whatnot and had been wondering what it was.

I had some idea that it was attempting to be vaguely big-brotherish and had that confirmed when the word OBEY! sometimes accompanied the image.

I asked people I knew if they knew what it was, and most of them didn't know what I was talking about and the ones who did didn't know what it was either.

Apparantly, that's the whole point.

From the Obey Giant website:

The Obey campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. The first aim of Phenomenology is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's environment. The Obey campaign attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question
both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings.

Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with Obey propaganda provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail.

The medium is the message.

The idea is a bit of viral marketing, which I understand. Memetic style viral ads seem to be all the rage in the advertising industry right now, where attention grabbing is primary, and the message is secondary.

The new image that is showing up around town is a Barney Fife head in various colors and sizes.

I am a bit underwhelmed that the campaign is in part designed to sell skateboards, but not surprised.
Raiding the $5.88 Bin

Ah, the Wal-Mart $5.88 DVD bin, where you can find copies of such luminous films as Freddy Got Fingered, Samurai Jack, The Tenant, Rambo II and III, Reign of Darkness, The Breed and The Howling III: The Marsupials.

I have mentioned the horribleness of The Breed, a bad vampire movie starring Adrian Paul, before, and I thought that that was the lowest point, the ultimate low that they could scrape for a 'horror' film to be in the bin, but I was wrong.

Reign of Darness is quite possibly one of the worst films I have ever watched the first 15 minutes of. It is so bad that after five minutes I was ready to eject it from my DVD player and throw it in the trash.

It's an Australian vampire/virus outbreak film set in what I assume is the U.S. It stars Kel Dolan as Michael Dorn (not Worf), who is a molecular biologist on some form of program to create some form of virus or other, that the film assures us is believed to be real and exist in our world.

It was filmed on digital for the price of $1 million dollars last year, of which none went to script writing. It seems that Dolan, who also wrote and directed the film with parner David W. Allen, just made the shit up as he went along. In the bit I struggled through there is a lab, there are some chases and gunshots, and apparantly to test the drug the bad guy, who has what I assume is supposed to be a Southern Accent, but just sounds like an Australian with a cold, injects tagged homless people and watches the results. He does so on the mysterious orders of shadowy figures who are most likely vampires.

Yeah. Right. Spend some money on script next time guys. Batman: Dead End was a demo reel for the writer director and cost about $60,000. It had no real story and was only 8 minutes, but it is so much better than this crap that it is scary.

The other film I bought was The Howling III: The Marsupials. WereKangaroos, in Australia. Obviously it's a comedy. It's exactly what you think it is.

If you're in the cheap bin at Wally-World go for the Samurai Jack, it's much better and more worth your time.
Chaos and Confusion

The funniest thing about the Conservative claims that the Clintons support Clark because they know he won't be able to win or keep his momentum, so as to add confusion and to destabilize the Democratic conteders, until Billary can announce her candidacy, is that the Clinton's aren't the ones destabilizing the Democratic field...I am.

(that was a bit of a run-on sentence, wasn't it?)

It is my goal to add as much chaos and confusion until Andre the Giant returns later this year to take our country into his iron grasp.
Not a Dream Buffet

When I found out that KFC had a free buffet program where if you buy four buffets and get the fifth free (complete with stamp card to keep track), you can bet that I was overjoyed.

The day before yesterday I went in for my free buffet. I skipped up to the counter and handed the cashier my card and she wished me a good day. It was not to be, however.

Squash and okra were both in supply, but the okra was overcooked, and the squash was soggy and not very good. The mashed potatoes were dry and poor, and the only really good thing was the biscuits.

All in all a 3 out of 10 on the Bill Buffet Scale (BBS).
Where Do We Go From Here?

I realize that all of you regular readers out there have probably been asking yourselves, "Why hasn't Bill been commenting on Charmed lately?"

Well, it's because I just haven't been watching it. The whole super short haired Alyssa Milano thing is just offputting for me. I"m watching what I think is an episode from last season here, and in it the Titans have attacked heaven or whatnot, and Leo, Piper's angel/husband is apparantly being promoted to God, while the three witches are moving up to Goddess level.

OK, so you make the three of them goddesses and him a god, where do you go from there? Any good old D&D player knows that at that point you have to retire the characters or start over because there's just nowhere to go from there.

The show is still not any better written than it was in earlier seasons, but I still likes me some Rose McGowan. It just goes to show you that you can't just make yourself a Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the good writing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Comics Missed This Week

In what seems that it will be an ongoing weekly column, here are the comics that I missed this week due to the closing of my local comics store What It Is?:

Hellboy Weird Tales #5: I don't know who are the creators of this book this month, but this rotating short story anthology has been consistently good.

Animal Man, vol. 3: Deus Ex Machina TPB: I think this is the third volume of Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man, and I would get it like the good completist that I am. The book is solid, if the art is a bit weak.

Life Eaters HC: The DC comics re-working of Captain America Meets Thor which was to have been published by Marvel. They removed the Marvel elements and re-worked it, and the result is a story about Hitler using magic to summon the Norse Gods to defeat the allies. The $29.95 price tag is a bit hefty though and I might have waited for the softcover.

Smax #3: I have to wait an extra year for this Alan Moore book, then I don't even get the third issue? That is some suck indeed. The story and art have been quite good on this one so far. I guess that I'll have to wait on the eventual trade.

Tom Strong's Terrific Tales #8: Another good book that I'll miss not getting, though not too much.

Daredevil #53: I think this issue is a continuation of the David "I'm an artist" Mack storyline about Echo, the deaf version of Elektra that he co-created.

Hulk Gray #1: To be honest I wasn't that impressed with the Spiderman Blue series that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale did before this. I don't think it added anything new to the Spidey character. I really like Sale's artwork, and their collaborations on Batman are some of my favorite Batman stories. I think that this could be an interesting story, but probably won't do much.

New X-Men #148: Grant Morrison's run on X-men is quickly coming to a close (as is my buying of the title), and I would like to keep up. Magneto is back from the dead (again) and now he's a drug addict to the power boosting drug kick, which is probably going to end up killing him again. Grant said that this storyline will wrap up the X-Men for him and he's pushing to keep the newly not stuck up Cyclops as a lasting contribution to the X-men. This is the book that I'll miss most this week. Perhaps I'll be able to pick it up at Books-A-Million or Hastings in a couple of weeks when the newstands catch up.

Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures #1: More Moore goodness from Avatar Press. I guess I'll get the trade (if there is one) on this one as well.

Archie and Friends #76: Ya'll know I loves me some Betty.

More Box Office Poison, TPB: Alex Robinson's series about normal people and relationships is one of my favorite comic series ever. Each character is well drawn and the stories feel real. I though that the gigantor trade that came out from Top Shelf Comics re-printed the whole series, but I guess it didn't, or this is just some new work that Alex has done. Either way, I'm there.

That's a grand total of $83.62. Pretty stout week. To commemorate not being able to get those books I went out and bought The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick, and the Disinformation Company's Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, ed. by Richard Metzger. The BOL looks pretty good even though I've read some of the stuff before (I have a couple of the books it excerpts and the opening piece is the first two parts of Pop Magic, which is at Grant Morrison's web site (that's a lot of links to morrison's site today). The Mitnick book I've been looking forward to ever since it was featured on Tech Tv's The Screensavers a few months back. It's about Cultural Engineering and how to do it and stop it.

Check back next week to see what comic fix I won't be getting.

I see that I'm now a member of the Rocky Top Brigade, courtesy of BigStupidTommy. Howdy to any and all from the RTB, and please forgive the spelling and grammar errors herein, they are mine, and I did attend Tennessee public school.

Monday, October 13, 2003

New President?

According to Comic Book Resources, this man:

is the new president of Marvel Comics, taking the sacked Bill Jemas's place.

What did he let Wizard take that picture? Warren Ellis said in an interview once that comic people should never let Wizard take thier picture because they end up always using the one that makes you look the most ricockulous (Warren's was of him holding up a handfull of pencils menacingly and grinning like a fool).

Anyway, it looks like they are in good hands if this is any indication. I look for the first slate of the 10 new Spider-man and X-Men/Wolverine comics that are no doubt to come down the pike.

Also, BTW from that column, Chuck Austen writing both X-comics? Has no one figured out that he's a hack yet? I think that the War Machine books should have brought that to at least someone's attention.
Today's Word?

Intomplicated, discuss.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Friday, October 10, 2003

Kill Bill, vol. 1

Quentin Tarantino's fourth film is quite possibly the best 70s Kung-Fu Exploitation film ever made. It's also likely the bloodiest film ever to get an R rating.

This is a revenge film, with Uma Thurman playing the part of the Bride who was shot in the head and left for dead on her wedding day by her former partners in an assassination squad led by Bill (David Carradine). She awakes from a coma four years later and sets herself on avenging her family and unborn daughter.

Her Kill List takes her first to Japan where she obtains a sword by a legendary swordsmith and then goes against Cotton Mouth (Lucy Liu) and her 99 warriors in one of the bloodiest battles in any film.

The blood and gore flies in this film in ways that would impress even Takashi Miike. Limbs are severed, eyes are gouged, and heads are chopped.

Great fight sequences overseen by Yuen Wo Ping.

This is a film where my lack of knowledge of Shaw Brothers films might leave me not getting all the references, but is still just as enjoyable. I get the Five Deadly Venoms reference, and the bride and the one-eyed woman, but I'm sure that I missed alot more along the way.

Oh, and the schoolgirl with the razor-chain-mace...awesome.

I'll also never be able to look at Kaboom cereal quite the same again.

Gordon Liu and Sonny Chiba make entertaining cameo appearances, and left me wanting more.

There is also an anime sequence that tells the origin of Lucy Liu's character by the same company who did the Boy's story in the Animatrix. This sequence is some of the best anime that I've seen on the big screen, and if Carradine's assertion that there is to be an OAV prequal to this film later on, then I can't wait.

Uma is quite strong in her role as the bride, and her English dialogue most of the time sounds like it is the translated subtitles of a samurai from a Hong Kong film. It is most of the time quite proper sounding.

Also, in case you didn't know Lucy Liu is quite pretty. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Great film if you like gory, funny/sad exploitation flicks.


The Return of the King Trailer is great. Simply great.

The Matrix Revolutions Trailer is also great.

That's two great movies that are both the third films in trilogies that will be released within a month of one another and that I can't wait to see. Then two months after that the second part of Kill Bill will be released.

Thank you Hollywood, I forgive you for the Dickie Roberts film.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Bulletproof Monk

The movie made from the comic book that was, in essence, nothing more than a movie pitch in comic book form. The comic this film was 'based' on bears little to no resemblance to the final film other than the name of the hero, Kar.

In the incredibly wordy and boring little comic, the Monk is a quasi-mythical figure who protected Chinese peasants from the blah-blah-blah in the past. No Nazies. In the book Kar is a young asian man embroiled in gang fights and whatnot, trying to win the heart of the ice-princess daughter of a crimelord. The best part about the book is the artwork from Mike Avon Oemig, other than that it's a pass.

The movie stars Sean Stiffler Scott, pouty faced model James King and Chow Yun Fat. Stiffler and Fat are fine and have some good chemistry. King is a bit bland and uneven.

The film as a whole is a hodge-podge of things and never really gells into a complete whole. It has some good action sequences that mostly involve Fat, and some horrible action sequences, with some really bad wire-fu and blue-screened backgrounds.

The script brings up characters and then forgets them, such as the Mister Funktastic and his band of criminals who seem set up for a larger role and then just disappear. It also suffers from not knowing whether it wants to be a kung-fu film, a buddy comedy or a superhero film. It fails at trying to be all three.

The bad guy Nazi Strucker kept reminding me of Gary Oldman's Dr Smith from the Lost in Space Film. I'm still unsure what his torture device was doing exactly. Was it electrocuting the people or using high pressure beams of water to bore into their brains? A little expository dialogue on the point would have been helpful.

This seems like a film that was 'written' by scripting out big action sequences and then left up to the editors and second unit director to hash out what was actually happening. There was one example of horrible dubbed over dialogue where the bad guy was explaining what his nefarious plans were while his daughter wheeled him through his underground lair that was just as preposterous as anything from the Adam West Batman series.

This felt like the direct to video sequal to a successfull action film, along the lines of Mortal Kombat II or Best of the Best IV.

I was not impressed, though I did enjoy Fat's performance, I only wish that the movie could have done more with him.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

No Comics and no Wrestling make Bill...Something, something

Go crazy? Don't mind if I do.

The 'Tis, my local comic store of choice is closed due to illness, which I can only take to mean either Pat, the co-owner has fallen ill, or worse that Kevin, the other owner who was in the hospital battling cancer, has taken a turn for the worse. He's a good guy, I hope that he pulls through and beats the odds.

But in selfish news, that means I get no comics this week. Here are the books according to Diamond Comics that I am missing out on this week:

Tokyo Storm Warning #3(of 3)- Warren Ellis's third and final issue of his Japanese-Big-Robots miniseries that will most likely never see trade, and due to low order numbers around here, I may never see the completion of.

Tom Strong #22- One of the more consistently solid books in Alan Moore's ABC line, this one no doubt continues the crossover that will most likely end the ABC universe as it stands now.

Marvel 1602 #3- Neil Gaiman's Victorian Marvel Universe. I haven't been truly impressed by it yet, but it's still early in the run.

NYX #1- With Josh Middleton's dazzling artwork, this could be one of the prettiest comic books since Darkminds started. This is one that I was really waiting for.

Ultimate Six #3- I really should just wait for the Ultimate trades, but I like this book. The art is solid, and the story is thusfar reasonably entertaining, with the standard Bendis writing.

Archie #541- 'natch. You knows I just have to know what's up with my Riverdale homies. Veronica the bomb, yo.

Poison Elves: Lusipher and Lirilith TPB- Poison Elves with great artwork? Who would have thunk it. This series may not have been the most Earth shatteringly brilliant book ever, but I liked it quite a bit. Of all of the Poison Elves books, this one looks the best, and I would have probably went for the trade.

All in all it would have been a $30 comic week. I went to Hastings and Books a Million to see if I could find a trade paperback that I want, but neither really had anything that caught my eye. The closest thing was the Batman Black and White Volume 2, but that's pretty much just an 'eh.

I did find a stack of trades that I haven't read here in my room though. I had forgotten about buying some of them (Essential Silver Surfer and Essential Hulk 1 and 2), so maybe I'll read some of them.

I also picked up the new Michael Moore book this morning, Dude Where's My Country. It's good stuff. All of his other books have been about things that I'd mostly seen in his earlier movies or on TV Nation or the Awful Truth, but this one is newer stuff that I would guess he's working on for the next film, Fahrenheit 911.

And on the no wrestling front, I just don't have the money to hit tonight's TNA Show. No money for gas and no money for a ticket. Oh well.

I'm just going to sit here and watch Bulletproof Monk and hope that it's much better than the comic was, but I'm not that hopeful.

Tommy, and others, should go play This game at It's ridiculously hard, but I think it is the final level that is based on the game Golden Axe, but in this game you are a monster with a stick that kicks some ass. And you get to beat up the Power-Puff Girls, did Imention that? The game is pretty hard though.
Guns and Drugs

So I'm bummed that R.A.Wilson didn't win by a write in majority, but I didn't really expect that. I expected the governed to win. Now he can get down to the serious business of finding and protecting Eddie Furlong, then killing him.

So, if Arnold has been elected to serve the rest of Gray Davis's term as governed of California, but legal rumblings keep him from taking office until the next scheduled election, what happens then? I don't imagine that this transition will go smoothly. What happens if Arnold isn't able to bring the state under control, and it just goes bankrupt? Will they just get rid of most of their State Troopers and let the prisoners go from jail like Alabama just did?

On Sep 28 Doonesbury's strip contained a preprinted, pre-addressed form to the California Secretary of State (Will it be the same one under Arnold?) for a recall of Arnold. All you had to do was write in your information, put on a stamp and drop the sucker in the mail. I wonder if any will get used?

I imagine they could really do without a government there in the California, they have Hollywood after all. I think it's time for us to build a wall around them so that they can't escape. A large wall.

This will be an interesting microcosm of politics now though. Lets watch, and hope that all the rest of our states don't suddenly get recall happy. I don't relish the idea of us having a governor Witherspoon (Reese), or some other such celebrity from our state. Unless it was governor Jerry Lawler, that would be cool.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Surviving Nugent

VH1's latest offering in the non-"Greatest however many things in whatever"-shows category is a reality show where seven 'lucky sons of bitches' are tricked into spending a few days with the Motor City Madman, Terrible Ted Nugent on his ranch.

It seems that VH1 instead of breaking this up into multiple shows has decided to just show it in one big chunk.

They have to survive Ted and his family, and head ranch-hand but the worst part is surviving one another.

Ted eliminates the first guy for smelling like a 'french whore.' He gets rid of him right after they get to the house while he is giving them the rules of the place.

Ted puts them in the barn when they first arrive and makes them build an outhouse for their first chore.

They build something that bears no resemblance to an outhouse. Believe me, I know what an outhouse looks like and that wasn't it.

Who are they you ask?

Well, there's the whiny DJ guy, the french-whore guy, the nympho model, the big tough guy, the vegan animal rights activist, the brother, and the girl with no personality.

The vegan has the obvious problems with Ted, but makes a fair showing of herself when she's not being the saviour of all the poor widdle animals. That's quite a bit of the early show.

Ted's an asshole, but he's a fair asshole. You get in there and try and don't whine too much and he'll respect that. He can also spot somebody who's full of it.

I imagine the reason they didn't make this a full fledged show is that there probably just wasn't enough material there. Most of these people just aren't that interesting.

Ted is what makes the show interesting.

Annoying people running from Ted while he shoots at them with a paintball gun from horseback. Annoying people running through a leech infested swamp. Annoying people running through an obstacle course

It's like I imagine living with my friend Joey would be.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Doo

You know where they went wrong on Scooby Doo? I know that from the three readers out there there is at least one cry of "Scrappy!" going up now, perhaps a small peep of a cry, but I have forgiveness in my heart for the transgression of Scrappy.

I'll forgive the terrible Three Stooges crossovers and Scooby Dumb. I'll even go so far as to allow the change in Shaggy's shirt from green to red. Where they really went wrong was when they started making the monsters real.

In the good old days these stupid-ass teenagers and their dog and perhaps a 'celebrity' of the episode would eventually discover that the monster was just a mean old man or woman in a rubber suit.

There is no way that these kids would really thwart something like an alien invasion, or stop a vampire, even if those aliens or vampires are of the stupidest and most cartoony variety. They have as much chance of that as anyone on the A-Team has a chance of actually shooting someone.

Ain't gonna happen bubba.

That's where the problem lies.

Man in suit is the way to go.

Man in suit.

Robert Anton Wilson for Governor of California
Classics Online

Here's a good site with .pdf's of various classic books and whatnot, The Penn State University's Electronic Classics Site.

Just for your own edumacation. Embiggen your minds.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Interview with Wes Clark

TalkingPointsMemo has an interesting Interview with Gen. Wesley Clark.

Some excerpts:

Schools aren't businesses. Schools are institutions of public service. Their job--their product--is not measured in terms of revenues gained. It's measured in terms of young lives whose potential can be realized. And you don't measure that either in terms of popularity of the school, or in terms of the standardized test scores in the school. You measure it child-by-child, in the interaction of the child with the teacher, the parent with the teacher, and the child in a larger environment later on in life.


"Because in foreign policy and foreign affairs you have to work with allies. It doesn't matter what the threat is. And in the world that I learned to work in, international law trumps diplomacy. And, except under the most extreme circumstances, diplomacy trumps force. Force is the ultimate action, but improperly applied, force only kills people and breaks things. It gets you into something. It doesn't give you your success. I've had the experience of putting together the complete packages."

Redecorating Shows

What is with this proliferation of redecorating shows on my television now? It's like every network feels the need to have a Trading Spaces. I say stop it now.

The most disturbing show I saw advertised is the one on MTV where they go in and search through your room for incriminating things. That's just wrong.

On an unrelated note, who keeps insisting that Martina McBride dance in her videos? She is quite possibly the stiffest person on the dance floor outside of me. I don't think that it's that she doesn't have any rhythm, but she just can't dance. They need to just do static style shots and resist the temptation to make her dance. Jewel only danced in that one video, and only very briefly.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

How Many Mountain Dews would it take to kill you?

Personally it would take 255.627 to kill me in a sitting according to this handy calculator.

I think I'm safe.

But what counts as a sitting, and would the death come from the Dew, or from just bursting?
Man Bitten By Rattler While Shopping at Wal-Mart

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