About Lucien

I am a writer. I am a dreamer. Humanity may be its own worst enemy, but I believe in something better. Maybe I am naive. Maybe I am delusional. Maybe Carlin was right, and we are just playing out the string. But I believe that something greater is still within our grasp. And it is for that that I am working to make this world a better place, even if all I will ever be able to do is spit in the wind.

Lucien’s First Take: TITANS Official Trailer

The edge here is…adorable.  This is the worst.  The absolute worst.  I’ve come to accept that DC’s live-action stuff is never going to aspire to be anything other than a complete shit-show (Wonder Woman being good doesn’t change that.  If anything, it makes it worse because we realize that there is at least ONE person who knew how to do this right, and now they get crushed under the weight of DC’s ineptitude), so I might as well be able to laugh at how bad it is.  A live-action version of Teen Titans?  Okay, let’s see what the damage is.

It’s even worse than I thought.  We start with seeing who I am going to assume is Raven.  And she looks…so not fitting.  I get the feeling she was a character who would be born having resting bitch face all the time.  She was a nice character, but her demeanor is off-putting because she clearly doesn’t like people.  This character, and her TERRIBLE hair dye job, looks derpy.  That’s one Teen Titan that they’ve shit on.  Let’s see more.

Next up, we’re introduced to Robin.  And he is…angsty.  Okay.  Guess he learned his gloomy lessons from Batman.  And yet, when a bunch of thugs ask where Batman is, his response? “Fuck Batman!”  Oh my Groj.  This is every angsty teenager who slits their wrists cross-wise for attention.  Wow.  Plus, I can’t help but notice he is horrible maiming and murdering people.  That’s interesting.  So, are ANY of DC’s character going to not be serial killers?  I guess a moral compass isn’t part of the DCEU’s MO.

We cut to them showing off that Raven has powers, and it looks even worse.  The black eyes effect just makes her look ridiculous.  Is there a reason they couldn’t have gone with her eyes going all white?  I’m genuinely asking here.  Because that eye effect just looks terrible.  I’m gonna be saying that a lot with this post.  It just looks terrible.  Everything looks terrible.  And she’s a scared little bitch.  This bugs me.  Raven was angsty and kinda dark, but she was never this little scaredy-cat character.  I always liked her, growing up.  A character with some depression issues that had cool friends.  It spoke to me as a teenager, after my head injury.  This trailer sucks so bad.

Finally, we get to Beast Boy and Starfire.  The latter is another character with a TERRIBLE hair dye job.  He looks like every Tumblr male feminist I’ve ever seen, except he’s Asian, so I guess he bucked the trend that way.  I only see pathetic white dudes in that role.  But what the HELL have they done to Starfire?!  I had to look this chick who is playing her up.  It is a genuine talent that DC has to be able to take a character who’s hot, and an actress who’s hot, and make them ugly.  That takes talent!  I’m impressed!

Finally, we the big action montage, with the tagline – Inner Demons Will Come Out To Play.  “Why don’t you understand me, mom!”  That’s all I hear when I see shit like this.  This is the worst, and it’s kinda great.  It’s proof of what a flaming shit-show DC has become, and with shit like this, all it will ever be.  But you wanna know what really blows my mind?  DC thinks that people are going to pay a subscription fee to watch this bullshit.  What?!  What moron would pay to watch this garbage?!  DC is being run by delusional idiots who want to cash in on comic book nerds.

The people in the comments saying that this show is gonna be great and all the people who don’t think so are just Marvel fanboys need to shut the fuck up.  This is trash.  This is complete garbage without any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  The effects are laughable.  The character designs are the worst I’ve ever seen.  But more than any of that, it has this adorable edge to it that just tickles me pink.  What a giant pile of shit.

Initial Verdict
DC taking a shit and telling people it’s good

Peace out,

Maverick

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My Bloody Nightmare

The buildings are all made of white stone.  It’s so beautiful to look at, if it wasn’t for what i had to see.  Cobbled stonework on the streets.  It’s a maze of narrow pathways which my feet are running through.  Tripping, stumbling over things, or my own two feet.  My balance has been terrible since my head injury.  Narrow roads, narrow stairs, narrow doors, all shut tight.  Star shimmering above, and a bright moonlight out.  In any other reality, this would be beautiful.  But not in this one.  Not for me.  It’s horrifying.  I’m trapped in Hell.

Tripping again, looking up, I see a girl.  A look of gut-wrenching terror on her face, with her belly torn open and her innards strewn about.  It almost looked like she was trying to put things back in.  What could have done this?  Have to get up.  Have to keep moving.  I can feel something approaching, and I don’t want to be there when it arrives.  All that matters is getting out of this place.

A maze of narrow corridors, with awning overhead that are grown over with vines.  Is there no way out of here?!  I bang on doors, try to open any of them, but they are either locked, or destroyed.  Fire is pouring out of a window.  Turn a corner, blood everywhere.  Like a person was standing there and just exploded.  Viscera leaking down the beautiful white stone.  This can’t be real.  It has to be a bad dream.  But it feels so real.

There’s the wind on my face.  It’s warm.  So warm.  Salty.  A sea breeze!  That means there’s an ocean!  I have to get there.  Follow the scent, get to the sea, then get the fuck out of here.  That presence I’ve been feeling, it’s getting closer.  I know that it is.  Something is very wrong here, and I can’t be here when it decides to come knocking.

Turning the corner again.  An open area between several buildings.  Three ways to go.  Which one is it?!  That’s when I see something.  A little boy, couldn’t be more than six or seven.  He’s ripped in half, with one half in one place, the other far away.  Did something throw the pieces of this poor kid away?  Like he was a piece of trash.  What sort of person could do this?!  But it couldn’t be a person.  I know that.  This is too violent.  Too ugly.  Some kind of beast had done this.  Claw marks all over the cobbled stone streets.  I know I’m right.  I always am.

Finally, I decide to pick a direction.  If I stop running, whatever did this will catch up.  The presence feels even closer now.  It’s gaining on me!  Everything in my body is aching.  My breath is pouring out with such excruciating pain, like the bellows.  But I can’t stop.  Tripping again.  Over a head!  A young woman, with beautiful black hair.  Eyes wide in fear, like the other.  Pushing myself up, I see a man’s body through the window.  It’s got no head, with blood leaking out of the stump facing me.  So horrible.  What kind of creature would do this?  Was I the only one left?

Going faster and faster.  The smell of the breeze is getting closer.  I can feel it now!  Hope, at last.  Just a little bit, but it’s enough.  All I need to keep moving.  More blood.  It’s everywhere.  Pieces of bodies all over the place.  Slip on an organ, but keep on my feet.  Then I see where a man’s body lies.  He is holding an ax.  Was he trying to fight the creature?  Clearly he lost.  Front ripped open from head to pelvis.  It’s like a dissection from the front.  Can’t stay here.  A little further, and a woman also on the ground.  Was that man trying to save them?  Did he try and fight to buy them time?  There’s a giant hole in her head, like from where a claw would go into, so clearly that failed.  Then the worst of it comes to light.  The body of a little girl.  Looking like she was chomped down on, with the top part missing.  From the chest up, gone.

Now my path is taking me up stairs.  Up?!  That isn’t where I want to go.  But I can’t turn around.  If I do, I’m heading closer to whatever did this, not further.  No choice but to go on this road.  A window covered in blood, from the inside.  Whoever was in there is dead now.  Old, coagulated blood.  What happened to this place?  Up and up and up, with more blood and ripped open bodies.  My body is screaming at me, 1000 promises of pain and horror.  Have to keep going!  Can’t stop!

Then I get to the top of the path, and I see that I’m on a roof.  There’s a cliff in front of me, with the water down below.  Should I jump?  No way.  That water would turn to a concrete floor by the time I land.  But there’s nowhere else to go.  I’m trapped.  Turning, I see across this white stone city.  Smoking coming up, fires burning without anyone to stop them, signs of dead bodies all over.  Was the entire city dead?!  How could a creature do this much damage?!

A noise.  Crashing, smashing, moving.  Claws on stone, slashing at everything.  It was getting close.  Coming up the stairs, faster and faster.  It knew that its quarry wasn’t far.  I could almost feel the giddiness from it, as it was going to get another meal.  Happily bounding toward me, and all I could think about was how fucked I am.  It rounds a corner, and I see hanging from it’s long, spear-like claws are bodies.  Little bodies that are torn open.  It holds its hand up to its head and bites down.  Blood drips down.

There are no words to describe this creature.  I could only see it’s silhouette.  Tall, in a way I had never seen before.  It stood like a man, with such long, gangly arms, along with gangly legs.  It was lanky.  Head, smooth, with a grotesque smile on its face.  On each hand was long, thin, bladed fingers.  Each finger had a new disgusting nightmare of flesh.  Most of it was dead.  There was one that wasn’t fully.  Writhing, trying to get away.  A young man with a look of horror on his face.  No escape for him.  Just horrifying death and pain.  I felt for him.

Now it was after me.  I could see the look in its eyes.  I was its next victim, and there was nothing I could do.  Looking back, at the sea.  The only way out.  There was literally nowhere else to go.  I could jump and die, or get ripped to pieces by that thing and die.  The choice basically made itself.  I turned back, chuckling to myself, then flipped that fucker off.  That’s when I jumped.

In a flash, it was rushing forward.  I was falling, fast.  Like a stone, headed to the floor.  It’s long, sick arm reached out for me, but as it tried to stab with one of it’s sick fingers, Lady Luck smiled upon me.  I had gone too far.  It screamed in rage as all it could do was watch.  Now I turned to face the water, coming up with speed.  This was it.  I would die.  At least not the way all these people had.

Then, as I hit the water, I wake up.

Until next time, a quote,

“Monsters don’t sleep under your bed.  They sleep inside your head.” – Anonymous

Peace out,

Maverick

This is a Smear Piece of TotalBiscuit (A response to Forbes Magazine)

The very first thing to know about this article is that at the top, by the person’s name, it says that the opinions of this person are their own and not that of Forbes Magazine.  Well, fuck that.  This read like a hit-piece, and Forbes is shameless enough to put it on their platform.  This is an article that they want associated with their publication.  Hey, Erik Kain, you cool with this?  You cool with a publication you associate with putting out complete hit-pieces of respected gaming critics who died of cancer?  I’m sending you this, so I hope to get an answer.  Really, really am.  Though, we all saw your credibility die with the very thing this article talks about, so hey, let’s get down to it.

Some bitch on Forbes decided that instead of talking about the legacy of consumer advocacy (as opposed to Jim Stirling, who has agreed with Ben Kuchera that doxing is cool, so long as it’s somebody that they don’t like), she decided to talk about his connection with #GamerGate.  A movement that, four years later, still hasn’t died in the eyes of these people.  It never ceases to amaze how they are so quick to slander someone based on a movement that is dead.  But hey, let’s take a look at the article itself and see what this idiot is on about.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s get into it.

The late YouTube Legend known as John “TotalBiscuit” Bain would have turned 34 on Sunday had he not lost his struggle to bowel cancer about a month ago. Instead of “Happy Birthdays” and tributes to his decade-plus career in the video game industry, however, his name is currently being evoked with the firing of two game developers and associated mob harassment. His critics call it “fitting” that this is Bain’s legacy… but many of his fans, some of whom have grown up with him, are wondering why some internet drama from 2014 is still relevant enough in 2018 to damage Bain’s brand forever.

TotalBiscuit has fuck-all to do with the firing of the Guild Wars 2 devs.  Nothing.  It’s being evoked with that by people who want to smear him for the purposes of…I don’t know.  It genuinely eludes me as to what is to be gained from besmirching the dead when they can’t defend themselves.  You all are the ones doing this.  Because you can’t talk about the fact that the dev in question who got the ball rolling took a COMPLETELY innocuous comment on her PUBLIC Twitter page (she did not set it to private) as an attack on her because of (insert gender politics) and decided to lambast him.  A guy who has said that he loves her work and even replied that he was not trying to offend her.  What followed was an insane outrage against the community and making it completely and utterly about (insert gender politics issue).

You all are the ones who did this, and now I am just DYING to know what TB has in common with this issue, seeing especially that it happened long after he died!

To progressives and what constitutes as “mainstream internet,” Bain was the man who legitimized GamerGate, the 2014 harassment-campaign-turned-consumer-revolt that went on to inspire conservatives.

What?!  What the fuck are you talking about?  When?!  When did he do this?  These people have such an insane view of what happened in the heyday of GamerGate.  It blows my mind.  For those who want a complete break-down, with all the main players involved, here’s a compilation of videos that Internet Aristocrat did about the whole thing.  He goes into great detail, and can clear up ALL of this bullshit.  Let’s take a look, then we can go further.

Wow.  So, in the very interesting story of what happened between the Quinnspiracy and GamerGate, I didn’t much about TotalBiscuit.  That’s funny.  I wonder why that is?  Could it maybe be because this woman is full of shit and looking to attack someone for reasons that I honestly couldn’t tell you?  I’m assuming that this woman is an SJW, and was just looking for a chance to get up on a pedestal.  That’s how these people do.  Well, let’s see what her reasoning is.

He could be described as the Anita Sarkeesian of the right in the current culture wars, always aggressive with his opinions but a bit thin-skinned to criticism himself. (He threatened to quit social media, Twitter and reddit a few times, for starters.)

I’m not getting this.  The Anita Sarkeesian of the right?  According to whom?  How do we know his politics?  You’re making a ton of assertions, and I haven’t seen anything he’s said himself that gives you insight into this.  This whole article is just you using other people’s statements to bolster your opinion.  What did TB say that clues you in to him being right-wing?  Specifically.  I want specifics, you stupid bitch.  You’re slandering a dead man, so I think he deserves that much.

As for him quitting social media, he said in a SoudCloud post that he was doing so because he was dealing with cancer.  I’m sorry that that makes him not as thick-skinned as you’d like.  He couldn’t deal with the stress of all his cancer stuff and the nonsense of social media at the same time.  Tell you what, sugar-tits, let’s see you get Stage 4 cancer and then be as popular as him on social media, where people are want to say inflammatory things (because male or female, it happens to everyone with large amounts of name recognition), and see how well you deal.  I’m sure that you will be the Paragon Virtue of being able to take the knocks without a scratch.  I’m a-quiver of curiosity to see it.

For someone so savvy at digital media preceding the incident, Bain’s involvement with GamerGate in 2014 can only be explained as a lapse in judgment. Up until that point he hadn’t yet been duped by any fake news campaigns perpetuated by organized online trolls.

Oh!  So all that stuff in Internet Aristocrat’s video?  Fake news?  What a crock.  Agree or disagree with his politics, IA did a very good break-down of what was happening, as it was happening.  He made those videos in the thick of it, following threads and forums and seeing the gaming media coming in solidarity of exposed collusion.  Because they couldn’t be honest about their mistakes.  Fuck that noise.  Instead, they have to get the gender politics train running, full steam ahead, and make it about that until the cows come home.

And there are so many details they missed.  Like how Brianna Wu lied about being driven out of her home.  She was doing TV interviews during that time via some kind of streaming.  It wasn’t something they set up.  And guess where she did those – from her office!  Five guesses where her office is.  Not to mention, Zoe Quinn saying she had to flee her home for another umpteenth time just happened to correlate nicely with her having a trip to Europe that she had announced months ahead of time.  There are SO many things that Internet Aristocrat missed, but I guess that this chick is just going to sweep it under the rug by calling it “fake news.”  That’s very SJW for ya.  I swear, anyone who uses the term “fake news” unironically is immediately put in my book as an idiot.

Unfortunately for Bain, his star power, white male privilege and massive fan base of more than a million could never change the narrative to the issue he wanted to discuss. Further, this mistake would eternally brand him as the face of a troll movement whose main claim to fame was making headlines for privacy breaches, hacking and various online crimes including harassing women out of their homes and threats of gun violence.

When was TB the face of GamerGate?!  Who did that?!  His name came up one time in a TwitLonger where he laid out his misgiving about the situation, but that was it.  You even cite it in your stupid fucking article!  All the names that got notoriety in all of this.  Internet Aristocrat, Mundane Matt, Eron Gjoni, Nathan Grayson, Adam Baldwin for coining the term, The Factual Feminist, none of them are TotalBiscuit!  Hell, I remember the Vivian James cartoon being more of a face of the movement, because the movement recognized it didn’t have a face!  This is so factually dumb!  This man has been saddled up to this fucking movement that you all are talking about all these years later because you feel like defaming him, and it fucking pisses me off!

You went on before about all the good that TB had done, as a way to set up how it doesn’t excuse him for the EVIL things that he has done here, but fuck that!  It’s telling how vague you are about the the EVIL things that GamerGate did.  Never mind that in Internet Aristocrat’s video that really got the issue blown up, he said right at the very beginning that he didn’t care that Zoe Quinn fucked five guys.  He cared about who those men were, and the ethical implications that went along with that.  Because they were giving her positive coverage.  IA made GamerGate into a household name.  Back when his channel existed, because he closed it out and made a new one, the views on those videos that the compilation was made from were insane!  You’re putting on a man who has no part in any of this, all of the blame.  It’s disgusting, and shame on you for doing it.  Let’s keep going.

I’m trying to find things to make a point about, but it’s impossible.  This article just goes on and on and on about how GamerGate is evil and anyone who says otherwise is “fake news” and that TB was somehow in the thick of it.  The fucking author even points out that TB only did that TwitLonger and didn’t engage past that.  He made his point and left it at that.  But now, somehow, because Anita Sarkeesian, he’s the figurehead of it?!  I am so fucking confused here.

Here’s what I’m seeing.  I am seeing someone who wants to talk about GamerGate as a thing.  I appears to be that TB’s name being included in all of this was just something to get people to click.  It’s click-bait.  Pure and simple.  Forbes published some click-bait bullshit that is fact-free, and all over the propaganda, to help push a narrative about an issue that these people won’t let die.  I can prove this, too.  Get a load of this statement.

While Gamergate faded away and lost relevancy except among progressive social media bubbles and white supremacists, TotalBiscuit as a brand separate from Gamergate continued to stay relevant among video gamers, both competitive and on Twitch and YouTube.

Did you see that?  The SJW has a brief moment of self-awareness because they have to flee back to the talking points that they want you to know are the real talking points.  And to hell with anyone who thinks otherwise!  This is her pulpit, dammit, and all of us have to agree with her.  From there, she goes on and on about GamerGate and some tangential relation to TotalBiscuit, when there is none!  None!  Nobody remembers him for his contribution into this culture war except for you lot!

Maybe you’re mad that two Bioware employees (one former, one current) besmirched him and were publicly lambasted to no end.  Is that it?  I don’t think so.  She threw every SJW big issue except the kitchen sink at this post.  Anita Sarkeesian, the Guild Wars 2 devs (an issue which has fuck-all to do with TB since it happened over a month after his death) getting fired, whatever you could find to throw into this, and however tangentially, lay at the feet of a dead man.  It’s fucking bizarre.

Which brings me back to what I began this article with.  This is what Forbes wants associated with their publication.  Complete and utter click-bait, and used the name of a popular, dead critic in order to have a pulpit to bitch.  I find this asinine in the extreme, and unethical.  This was an editorial, masquerading itself as a straight news story.  Huh, if only there had been a movement about this sort of nonsense being in mainstream publications.  Like, one that had been building for years and then broke open when one person decided to DMCA a video talking about it. Hm, I wonder what kind of big event that would be?  A fucking mystery to me.  What about you?

Until next time, a quote,

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Michael Crichton Books

I don’t know how many of you reading this know, but my favorite author is Michael Crichton.  This man had a gift at taking real world concepts and taking them to the next level.  Or finding things that were in the zeitgeist and looking at them from another way.  Then there were his books about medicine, for which he graduated from Harvard.  As well as his books about crime and corporate espionage.  The man even took a stab at historical fiction, and with the exception of the lost manuscript that just got released (I genuinely didn’t like Dragon’s Teeth.  At all.  I thought it was boring as fuck.  Perhaps there’s a reason it was a lost manuscript), he nailed it!  Crichton was a master of the craft, and while I didn’t always agree with everything in his novels (such as in State of Fear, where he makes clear his belief about climate change and what he believes in mankind not being involved in it), I could always read them and be engaged, left with things to ponder.  Here is my list of my 10 favorite.

10. The Terminal Man
It’s so interesting to read this book.  It was written in 1972, and the concepts within it are more terrifying now than they were then.  But Crichton says outright in the beginning that while these concepts are scary, they’re real.  A story about a man who has seizures that cause him to be both violent and stronger, he is brought into a hospital for a new kind of treatment.  It will put wires into his brain to stimulate the parts of his mind during a seizure to stave it off.  However, this man has a twisted psychosis that leads him to escape after the procedure, with a dark plan.  This book is violent, tense, and the concepts within it terrifying.  Mind control is a concept that people talk about today, and mechanisms that could cause it existed then.  Think about that.

9. Rising Sun
A combination book of two things that Crichton does very well – crime novels and corporate espionage.  A story about two detectives who are investigating a murder at a Japanese corporate party.  This book looks at Japanese business, in a way that is not always flattering.  You have two different perspectives on it, so you can see the juxtaposition in approaches to how people treat the Japanese.  It’s also interesting with this stuff and the time period that it was written in, vs how things are now.  The west likes to believe that we get things, but in reality, the countries that aren’t our own are often as alien to us as life on another planet would be.  This is a book of intrigue and culture, and only Crichton could get skate on ice this thin without falling through.

8. A Case of Need
It’s ironic the timing of this.  During a new Supreme Court nomination, where countless people are wondering if Roe v Wade is going to be overturned.  This book also looked at abortion, but during a very different time.  Published in 1968, this book tells the story of a man who is framed for a botched abortion which results in the death of a young woman.  He gets a dear friend to investigate and find out the truth, saving both him and his reputation.  Before abortion was legal, where unsafe abortions killed countless women, this book took a look at the concept with an eye of critical skepticism.  It’s clear that Crichton was on the side of those who wanted legal abortion for women, but he decided to give this book a hard medical approach, along with a decent mystery.  In today’s climate, this book is definitely worth checking out.

7. Airframe
A corporate espionage story through-and-through, this book holds a special place for me because of the subject matter.  Neat fact – I’m afraid of flying.  I hate it.  It ties nicely into my fear of heights.  A fact that many have sniggered at due to how unfathomably tall I am.  Yes, this fact does amuse me to some degree.  Telling the story of an airplane manufacturing company (do they even have these in this country anymore?  I figure all that shit was outsourced years ago) who is tasked with investigating the cause of a horrifying accident, it is a story of corporate greed, corruption, and why people REALLY should be more afraid of being in airplanes.  It’s mired in corporate speak, but Crichton takes you through it.  He loves to have little digressions to talk about whatever subject matter is in his books.  Partly to help you understand, and partly because he clearly wants to show off how much research he did to write them.  This book is among the best in this genre, and if you aren’t afraid of flying, it will help with that.

6. Pirate Latitudes
When I was given this book, 1st Edition, for Christmas one year, I was unsure what to think.  A historical fiction book by Michael Crichton?  I mean, Timeline was great and all, but this just seems a little outlandish.  Then I started to read, and all my doubts evaporated.  Telling the story of a privateer who is given a task to raid an island that has equal parts danger and opportunity, this story is mired in Crichton’s ability to show off his research, and the adventure factor of a great pirate story.  It genuinely shocked me how good this book is.  These characters and their adventure feels so grounded in what could actually happen.  It doesn’t have the rosy view of pirates.  No, these people are gross, immoral people.  But Crichton has a gift at making those you shouldn’t like feel so fun to get to know.  A trip to the high seas you won’t forget.

5. Sphere
This novel is a little bit different.  Instead of Crichton showcasing his research, he wanted to show off his ability to use mood and setting to his advantage.  Telling the story of a man who once made a plan on how to deal with first contact with aliens, he gets a chance to do just that as a craft has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean.  What follows is a supremely suspenseful novel about terror at the bottom of the sea, and a device that has powers that defy all comprehension.  Crichton is able to make the deep ocean seem more threatening than anyone though possible.  Telling a story with tons of The Abyss before that film was a thing, it’s a novel to make your skin crawl.

4. Disclosure
This novel really seemed ahead of its time, looking at where we are now in terms of gender politics.  Combining a VERY touchy subject with his corporate espionage style, this novel tells the story of a man who works for a computer company.  A woman is hired that he used to be involved with.  After she tries to make a move on him and he rejects her, she comes after him with a sexual harassment suit.  From there, he does something that would be ballsy even to this day – files a sexual harassment suit right back, getting a lawyer who is a big-time feminist.  Taking on the concept of gender politics in the time when this was written could EASILY have blown up in his face, but Crichton doesn’t back down from his perspective.  He shows that it is possible for women to abuse their power and sexuality as a man, along with be corrupt and vile.  He doesn’t shy away from the implications.  It’s a daring novel, and I think that it has more relevance now than it did when it came out.

3. The Andromeda Strain
The novel that helped put Crichton on the map.  The first work of his to be adapted to film, and probably the only one done right.  This story was revolutionary for its time, and it has aged exceptionally well.  It takes the perspective that what if alien life that comes to our world isn’t some big monster, but rather something so small that you can’t see it with the naked eye?  A probe crashed back to Earth after having gone to find alien life, and it came back with something in tow.  An alien pathogen that kills the entirety of a small town.  Now, a group of some of the best scientists in the world comes together to try and figure out how to stop it.  This novel is tense.  The process of learning about this infection and what it is will leave you on the edge of your seat.  It’s a mind-bender, to say the least, and I am still shocked by it even to this day, because of how it takes concepts from time gone by and takes the next step in terms of technology.  A first contact story unlike any other.

2. Jurassic Park
Definitely the most famous of Crichton’s books.  A novel that tells the story of an eccentric billionaire who used cloning to create an island full of dinosaurs.  However, there are several things about the novel that separate it from the movie and make it far better.  For starters, this novel builds up the reality of dinosaurs existing in a way that the film doesn’t.  It’s a process of the world getting hints about them, only for a small team of people to be given the full reveal.  Not only that, but it looks at the creatures themselves, and what they would be like.  This isn’t just some monster movie.  It’s a tale about animals from 65 million years ago being brought back to life, thrown in the mix with mankind.  It’s a story where survivors are trying to get everything sorted out, and learn what they are up against.  The parts of the story examining what these animals are are fascinating.  It’s a shame the film didn’t take the time to really dive into that.  But you gotta entertain the dim-witted American audience (I do like the movie, by the way.  However, my point stands).  Not nearly as violent and creature-feature as the film, with some amazing science every step of the way.

And my favorite of Crichton’s books is…

1. Prey
Some of you saw this coming if I have any readers who read my post about my top 10 favorite books.  Not only is this my favorite book by Crichton, it’s my favorite book of all time.  This is him at his best.  Him taking real science and going the next step the way that only Crichton could.  It’s a nightmarish, fascinating, tense story about a corporate that creates nanomachines and how swarms of them get out into the wild.  Now, an out of work father who wrote the code that these machines are governed by has to get back into it, to solve the mystery of what his wife was doing away from home, and to save the family he has worked so hard to cultivate.  This book is a masterpiece, plain and simple.  It has Crichton showing his research like never before.  Though, if you find that stuff self-indulgent, you will hate this book.  There are long sections where he gets into some scientific or philosophical concepts and will carry that on for some time.  It’s pretty great stuff.  These machines, how they are created, and what they become, is a story that will have you spellbound, turning pages like it’s nobody’s business to get to the end.

What are some of your favorites?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“They didn’t know what they were doing.  Sometimes I wonder if that will be humanity’s epitaph.” – Jack Forman, Prey

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Unpopular Opinion: This Trans Actor Debate is Stupid

I am getting so tired of how every stupid thing these days is some big cultural issue that for some reason, people believe I need to feel strongly about.  I remember when the Ghostbusters reboot was coming out, and everyone was screaming about “woman power!” and I couldn’t have cared less.  It was all such bullshit in my eyes.  Then there was Black Panther, where the Internet was all in arms about how this was some huge breakthrough for black people and it was a revolution in Hollywood.  Never mind that the actual film was generic and boring, while another film starring a black cast talking about a much stickier issue came out and these people were dead silent.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  It’s called Moonlight.  A movie talking about being black and being gay.  Given the homophobia in the black community, that film was much more audacious piece of work.

But as is always the case, when it’s some big Hollywood film, it’s a huge cultural battlefield.  When it’s a smaller film that is made 1000X better, it gets totally ignored.  That’s the fate of the aforementioned film.  And speaking of woman power, there was the film in February, Annihilation.  Starring five interesting women and being a smart science fiction film.  Not to mention having a scene that scared the living shit out of me.  It’s good stuff.  Nobody said a word about that.

Which brings us to now.  It was recently announced that there would a biopic about a transgender activist with Scarlett Johansson in the starring role.  Of course, the Internet busy-bodies are all over yelling.  Why?  Because she’s not trans.  And they think only a trans actress should play this role.  For fuck’s sake.  I’m gonna need a specific example for the point I’m about to make, and thankfully, I have one.

How many of you have seen the film Boys Don’t Cry?  It starred Hilary Swank and was a story about a trans man who was beaten, raped, and eventually murdered because of their transgender identity.  It was a really good movie.  Swank brought that character to life for all of the good sides of him and the bad ones.  Brandon Teena was not a perfect person, and the film didn’t shy away from that.  It was good that they didn’t, because it makes his inevitable murder all the more tragic.

I’ve heard this song and dance before.  I forget what the movie was, but there was some film about gay people that starred a straight person, and all of them were up in arms about the whole thing.  Everybody lost their collective shit, and I didn’t care then just like I don’t care now.  Because my point in all of this is simple – I would rather have a good actor/actress play a role than a bad one.  There is a vast plethora of movies that show that Johansson is an extremely talented actress.  Can you find me a trans actress who has the same chops?  If so, fantastic.  If not, shut the fuck up.

And for those who say “this is erasing the trans identity from this role,” please fuck off.  Why is it that you would be just fine with a film made worse by a mediocre or outright bad actress instead of a film that shows you all in a light that looks better because of a proven performer?  I genuinely don’t get this.  I mean, it’s not like some crap has been made that markets a trans actress as their headliner only for what they created the fucking suck, right…?

Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to bring a community to life in a good way with a proven actress, the way Sean Penn did with Milk, you all have to bitch and moan about stupid bullshit.  You have a chance to be noticed in a bigger way, to a wider audience, maybe help people empathize with your community more.  But no!  Let’s complain about who is in the fucking movie.  Because that’s the way to get things done.

I am getting so tired of the SJW community bitching and complaining about every stupid fucking thing, all so they can get their good-boy/girl brownie points and have everyone knowing how “woke” they are.  What they fail to understand is that all of this bitching won’t help their community get represented.  In fact, it’s likely to have the opposite effect.  Why?  Because if all they are going to do is berate and complain and moan at creators who are trying to get them noticed, you know what those creators are going to do?  Stop making films about them.  Because they won’t want to deal with the backlash.

See, Hollywood doesn’t actually give a shit about you and your community.  Actors and actresses and even some directors might, but the industry itself doesn’t.  They care about money.  They will preach the SJW line as long as it makes them money.  But it’s not anymore.  People are getting tired of it.  It’s why The Last Jedi and Solo were such flops.  Films with bad writing, piss-poor characters, and needing to shoe-horn in SJW preaching.  People are starting to get bored with this, and I can’t blame them.  It’s tiresome.  All of the hand-wringing and everyone arguing.  It’s why I have been unsubscribing from more and more anti-SJW YouTubers I followed.  I just don’t give a shit anymore.

To trans people, if you can’t see why your hand-wringing on this bullshit is not doing you any favors, then when my eventuality comes to pass, you will have no one but yourselves to blame.  Good luck with that.

Until next time, a quote,

“Welcome to the new age – Gen Zed.  Where we hustle people.  Where we blind-side them with bullshit, and use inclusivity and diversity as a smokescreen, while we sell them $25 t-shirts.  Where we hype up that we have a trans actress, like that means anything.  Like that’s important.  Like the show is better or worse because of it.” – Mister Metokur

Peace out,

Maverick

Thoughts on Ed Schultz Death

I found out that yesterday, Ed Schultz had died.  He was 64 years old, which is pretty young in this day and age to go.  Got me thinking about a long time ago in my life.  A time when I was much more politically active and had a very different group of friends in my life  Kind of waxing nostalgia here, but indulge me a bit.  I am going to talk about my thoughts on Ed Schulz as well.  It’s all connected.

The first time I caught his show, it was in the dorms.  As a young liberal who was headed to college, MSNBC was a common place I viewed.  Back in the days before they showed their hand as the tired corporate whores they are.  Fond memories of the Special Comment segments by Keith Olbermann.  Good times.  A lot of things in my life developed during those days.  My love of certain YouTubers, my political ideologies, a lot of my thoughts about the world.  Changes did happen, but that was how I grew then.

One of the people that I saw was Ed Schultz.  Here was a guy who was loud, boisterous, and as far as I could see, very populist.  He didn’t like corporate America anymore than I did.  He wanted to give power to the people.  He was at the head of people demanding universal healthcare back when the Obamacare debates were happening, and was just as angry as I was that Obama sold out to the private insurance companies and didn’t even stand his ground for a second on any of what he wanted.

However, not everyone in my circle felt the way I did about him.  A former girly-mate who is not especially fond of me anymore thought that Schultz was quite insufferable.  I believe the comparison she made was that he is “the left’s version of Rush Limbaugh.”  Why?  Because he is loud and principled?  It shows what kind of person she is.  The two of us fell out because her husband stopped enjoying my company.  Like any wife does, the moment her spouse doesn’t like someone, neither does she.  I get the feeling that she was an absolute rabid dog for Hillary Clinton.  I also figure that once the SJW movement within politics grew, she and her husband were right at the front of it.  Alas, nothing to be gained from thinking about it now.

Throughout my days in the dorms, at least until he left MSNBC, Ed Schultz was a voice that I watched with great enthusiasm.  I found out from a shuttle driver on campus that I was quite fond of that he also had a radio show.  Maybe that’s why my ex-girly-mate thought he was akin to Rush Limbaugh.  Unsure.

We live in an interesting era.  People no longer like loud, boisterous individuals with strong values.  Now we live in an era where everyone wants some soft-spoken, mature-sounding person.  Why?  I guess it conveys wisdom?  Unsure.  I myself find it tedious.  Not only have I seen this in political commentary, but also in online discourse.  Everyone is rushing to be super open and non-confrontational.  The days of the pwnage videos and people looking to go after idiots who have stupid views, in a way that shows the factual reasons why they are wrong while combining it with braggadocios personalities, is gone.  Maybe that’s why I still enjoy The Amazing Atheist.  At least there I can feel some passion about his beliefs.  Not this Boogie2988 shit where you have to be nice to everyone.

I will never understand why people are so afraid of having strong feelings for what they believe in.  If you believe you are right, then say so, dammit!  You can be articulate and show why you’re right in a very thoughtful way while also having the strength of your convictions.  Perhaps everyone just associates being loud and argumentative with the Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh types.  The problem with them is that they didn’t cite things.  They didn’t make good arguments.  They just yelled a lot and counted on that to convince their equally-stupid audiences.

Ed Schultz didn’t strike me as that guy.  Neither did old-school Keith Olbermann.  Alas, those days are gone, and now a voice of gravitas and populist idealism is gone.  It’s a shame, but that’s how it goes.  Rest in peace, Ed.  I wish you all the best.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’m an idealist without illusions.” – John F Kennedy

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Cal-Arts Students and Teachers Insult Don Bluth

My first introduction to the animation director Don Bluth was The Land Before Time.  I had it on VHS, and I watched that so many times it wasn’t funny.  There are still some warm memories that come to mind as I think back on it.  The days of my childhood, when I didn’t have to worry endlessly about my finances and my future.  Doesn’t help that I live in a country without universal healthcare, because it’s full of retards who believe that it magically wouldn’t work here.  You know, while it is working in every other 1st World nation.  Idiots.  I remember Littlefoot’s mother dying, and how that made me tear up.  Didn’t help that that film had an incredible score to accentuate the scene.

Later on, I came to Don Bluth’s absolute masterpiece – The Secret of NIMH.  The tale of Mrs. Brisby and her mission to save her son and her family.  It’s a heart-warming story.  For all the SJWs bitching about the lack of strong female characters, I don’t hear her name come up much.  I guess because she’s a mouse, she isn’t a strong mother who is able to face her fear of circumstances much larger than herself and a mission with no guarantee of success that takes her everywhere she doesn’t want to be.  That’s not strong at all.

So when I came upon this little nugget on Twitter, needless to say, it kinda pissed me off.

Are you fucking kidding me right now?!  “cheesy out-dated overflowy animation”?!  Did I read that right?!  Oh yeah, because the shit we have now is SO much better.  Like this shit!

What’s that, you ask?  Why, that’s the new Thundercats design for the reboot cartoon!  Yeah, because that doesn’t look like a massive pile of shit.  It blows my mind that in universities, people actually believe that a living animation God is outdated and worthy or ridicule.  Kinda hurts, too.  Look at that crap above you.  That’s the kind of animation that gets praised in the modern world.  Garbage by Steven Universe loving chodes!

It kinda kills me that 2D animation has died in this country.  At least in film.  I think back to Don Bluth and old-school Disney.  Fantasia is one of my favorite movies.  It turned me on to both classical music and 2D animation.  Walt Disney originally wanted it to be a series that would keep growing and evolving.  There was a sequel, and while it was fine and all, it wasn’t at the same level as the original.  It felt like there was something missing.  The success of Pixar and this STUPID attitude that the dumb-shit public has about 3D animation being more grown-up than 2D led to Disney eventually ditching their 2D animation studios.  How many people can even do anything approaching the level of depth and detail that Bluth was able to have in all of his movies.  Even the bad ones.

Which brings me to the fact that Bluth wasn’t perfect.  After All Dogs Go to Heaven, he had a run of VERY weird and pretty bad movies that were some of the funniest fodder for The Nostalgia Critic, back when that was still funny.  But to say that the man’s style is out-dated and “overflowy” (what the fuck does that even mean?) just hurts me inside.  Of course it is.  Because why should we value really deep and detailed art, when we can make crap like Thundercats Roar, that looks worse than old Scooby-Doo cartoons.  You know, when they were made on the budget of a ham sandwich.

In this age when everyone has to be so holier-than-thou, it really is telling that this attitude has seeped its way into universities.  Kinda breaks my heart.  Just a little.  It’s a sign that the true greatness of 2D animation is never coming back.  What I wouldn’t give for someone with some level of ambition to really try and do something great with it.  It’s a dream I will have for the rest of my life.

Until next time, a quote,

“Courage of the heart is very rare.  The stone has a power when it’s there.” – Nicodemus, The Secret of NIMH

Peace out,

Maverick