I am going to forgo the opening pic just to make sure I've got everyone's attention. Even if you don't read the rest (which is most of you) please make sure to at least read this bold print part. Due to factors outside of my control, the list of people I watch will be substantially reduced. I will be going through my list of people I watch, making sure to get rid of the inactive accounts deleted accounts etc. that are sitting on my list, but even minus those there will be people I watched in the past that are 'active' that will be unwatched. This process is mind numbing, I have to do it by name even though I am better with icons, so you may get unwatched by me over the next few days. The following individuals have nothing to be concerned about, they can ignore the rest of this part:
This was my last known best of dA entry, it is not a complete list of folks who I'll continue to watch, but I need your help with the rest:
IF YOU WANT A GUARANTEE OF ME CONTINUING TO WATCH YOU, PLEASE COMMENT at any time on this entry. I promise that even if I unwatch you accidentally as I purge my list of people I'll be right back to watch you. The whole purge will take more than a few days for me, but having names that I can stuff on a list will make sure that all the right people get protected. And remember you can comment at ANY TIME. I'll be right there to watch ya back. BUT if you do not comment, do not be surprised to see me not watching you anymore.
(5/20): Okay so I accidentally unwatched a bunch of the people I didn't mean to unwatch. However I'm now under the "cap" and can add people back (whereas I could not before). I got plenty of room, but I will either today or tomorrow cut down my watcher list even more. Just to excise all the dead accounts etc. etc. Let me know if you want me to still watch or if I unwatched you to watch you back, I'm gonna take care of that shortly.
Oh and my message center is back. missed you guys!
Some stories in life are just predictable, take for example holding a 'pot rally' for approximately 80,000 people in a state that has recently legalized recreational use of weed. Hard to imagine that someone won't do something criminally dumb and when they do, an old fashioned roll of the eyes is fitting. Its a universal non verbal way of communicating, that 'ugh this is so dumb why can't you see it or hear yourself or think properly? cuz we all know where this ends up'. But the eye roll can fail at times, like when one is being too much of a smart alec it borders on obnoxious, or when something is so dark and scary you don't really want to think that it could be true or people could be that evil. Take for instance Modeling scouts in Sweden hanging around anorexia clinics to recruit talent. I mean sure I get it, you are like, 'that's so brazen, its borderline ridiculous' and you just want to do a quick eye roll and be like 'everyone knows models are anorexic anyway, they're just doing without the pretense that we all knew was bs in the first place' but you can't. Because there are ultimately times where being right and saying 'I told you so' have to take a back seat to things like talent agents interviewing a girl so thin she's in a wheel chair, or the fact that most of the girls they're recruiting are in their teens. The problem with eye rolls is that they're contagious so you only really want to reserve them for things that are so blatantly predictable (reality star whose show may get cancelled makes a sex tape) but not darkly serious (Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people after nations that won't do anything about it made a threat they couldn't back up).
One of the......the few works that i'm shocked is still good.
One more kinda predictable item, that I know my old high school would've really killed at had anyone had the gonads to try and set this up. But some young men at a high school in Washington state have taken the initiative to run an online march madness type bracket to determine the hottest girl in their school.
Apparently this has gone on for five years and since the site is run independently of the school its protected by the first amendment (finally the constitution is good for something!) Obviously the main objections are that for one maybe some young women may have some esteem issues stemming from something like this, and two, it reeks of objectification but those points stated there is another angle to this. Every guy has different tastes in what they find attractive, what happens when that girl that you think is the hottest girl in school doesn't even place top 5 or even 10? I think anyone can relate to a point in life where they're relatively desperate, and they feel like their standards slip... they entertain being with folks that they wouldn't have normally considered. (I'm kinda feeling a large number or women tune out at this point right now but I'm gonna keep going) Wouldn't having a list and seeing where your peers of a similar persuasion are make one feel more insecure about their own tastes if they don't conform? Couldn't some guys feel like they're settling for less and because of that misperception change their tastes even though there may not have been anything wrong with them in the first place? And here's another downside imagine being the boyfriend of the girl that one, if that guy is even slightly insecure he's gonna try and plant a GPS tracker on her. (Not like that
Finally one last eye roll, the kind that you'd start doing as you start to hear about it but then want to take back immediately because its one of really the great acts of kindness someone could've done. (and I don't feel like I'm overstating that, I'll explain why after the story) So the day of the awful Boston Marathon bombing about a month ago, a guy in California registered the domain name 'bostonmarathonconspiracy.com'. Here the catch, he didn't do it because he's a nut or in it for the cash or even for the thank yous, he did it because he wanted to thwart conspiracy theorists from turning a tragedy into the latest round of evidence that the illuminati are in charge or whatever nefarious goal conspiracy theorists believe in
. True his efforts are a tad futile, as conspiracy theorists are a rather fervent bunch and they'll just register whatever domains they want to spread around their theories to whatever sort of folk that want to listen. If you read about the mentality it takes for someone to be a conspiracy theorist (this old piece on how to potentially slow the growth of conspiracy theory is a good place to start
) you realize that they're irrational and cannot be rationalized with, no matter how much evidence and information is thrown their way. But it still doesn't make what they do not jerkish and incredibly insensitive to the people who actually have lost someone. It is kinda true that someone believing that 'the lizard people did it' (or whatever) can be an island unto themselves and their views wouldn't really carry much negative results with them, but when they break out of that and attract other crazies and people that are borderline crazy to their thinking it spoils a genuinely somber moment by taking attention away from the things that need our focus (the victims and their families) and putting it on them. Its like being at a funeral, and at a very quiet moment someone stands up and starts wildly ranting and refuses to stop. Our natural reaction is a shift in focus, and that's why what this guy did was a huge act of kindness. He may not have stopped the person from eventually destroying the moment, but he at least delayed it and inhibited it for a while.
The Good the Bad and the Spoilers
First the good, its rare that when I watch golf I don't get much exercise in, but that was the case this weekend with what turned out to be quite a thrilling finish at the Players tournament on Sunday. Tiger again had a few flaws in his drives off tee, the most notable came on the 14th hole where he splashed down in the water erasing a two shot lead that he had at that point. But his putting was just perfect, at one point the announcer called him a putting machine for how crisp he was hitting the ball. After fourteen he found himself on a bad spot on 15 but was able to save par with a fairly tricky putt. The weekend was a tad shadowed by a faux controversy, a war of words between Tiger and Spaniard Sergio Garcia that is about as intense as golf rivalries get. Which really isn't all that much, which is why I called it a faux controversy. I think I kinda enjoy it when Tiger drives off the tee badly, and most people that love watching golf likely agree, though his putting game is superb, its watching Tiger's recovery game from the thick grass and the awkward bunkers that provides the most entertainment. Hitting the ball in the most garish of places and being able to finish it off with his putting stroke, you can't turn away.
Not the best......and not the worst.
***Spoilers for Iron Man 3 start here***Oh how Marvels superhero films keep making money and yet aren't as entertaining. Let me just say that I adored the first Iron Man film, it had really everything you could want in a film, great dialogue, the right amount of levity, tense action scenes where you suspend your belief that the good guy will eventually triumph for a moment, and a complex down to earth villain. Even the post credits ending was kinda awesome. Then came the second film, which had a few good moments, but eventually fell apart once Nick Fury showed up and Scarlett Johansson was for a certainty playing a good guy. And the post credits sequence was kinda lame and the whole affirmation from ones father thing felt a little forced as did the discovery of the the element that saves his life, and those plotholes may have been somewhat forgivable had some of the humor been on point. Which it struggled to.
Iron Man 3 is better than two, so if you've seen the second this is a step up but several marks (pun intended) off the first. The humor is a lot sharper, and the storylines start strong, the idealist who becomes a criminal the anxiety attacks Tony is having after what occurred in The Avengers, the federal government wanting to tackle a terrorist to prove their credibility and yes even the Mandarin. But those storylines never really finish in any sensical way. Perhaps the best most provocative storyline is Tony's anxiety attacks, he's struggling with a world where aliens are real, and they may come back and he may not be able to stop every threat that comes his way. And the resolution to that is either to remove the pieces of shrapnel in his heart or just focus on building things (though the latter is why his relationship with Pepper is going down the drain in the first place). The chick who needs Tony to stabilize her regeneration equation, she clearly plays a huge part in his kidnapping and the kidnapping of Pepper, and she's thinking that kidnapping him is going to make him help her? Why wouldn't she go along with Killians plan to get Starks help by giving Pepper the regeneration thing to coerce him to help? Her sudden change of heart just seemed done to make Killian appear more sinister, but pushing him towards the psychopathic and not keeping him more grounded works against the film. Oh and the government didn't do that great job of establishing their credibility, though the vice president being one of the bad guys may have been a reason why.
One of my favorite comic moments comes from an old Spider-man annual issue featuring a little known minor hero called Annex. Spidey has to chase down this guy, but stops to call his wife to tell her that he won't be able to make it to an award ceremony that night for him. Her retort is logical and raises what you think would be a more common question in a world filled with superheroes, "You're winning an award tonight, why can't Daredevil or the fantastic four deck this clown?". Its one of those issues that kinda sits in the back of your mind watching IM3 because part way through the tough situation Stark finds himself in. you wonder why he doesn't call Thor or even Hawkeye, and you also wonder that even if the Mandarin wins wouldn't it be short lived anyway? Wouldn't the rest of the Avengers including the much more powerful Hulk just swoop in and wipe him out? Did the Mandarin really consider his own plan? Theme wise the film tried to establish a look at anonymity, how the people that are forgotten by us and the world realize that there's a dark power in not being seen or noticed and how tempting that power is. Well really only for those that are lighted and want to use it, for the good guys anonymity could be a good thing, especially when missiles are being fired at one home, in an attempt to sink it into the ocean. Any pretense of thoughtfulness is out the window by the time Tony gets captured, and then the film just goes for action, good guy punch bad guy type stuff. The action, unfortunately is kinda mediocre, the end sequence where he's switching suits like crazy is pretty neat when fighting the Mandarin it appears like his limbs are being torn off, but outside of that watching them fight the fire people was not even better than the fight he had with the drones in IM2. Finally what to make of the ending, he's destroyed all his suits, but he claims to still be Iron Man? So did he quit or is he just going to rebuild? if its the latter why did he destroy all his suits? If its the former why is he still wanting to be Iron Man? And the post credits sequence is funny, but I was kinda hoping for something pointing towards Avengers 2 or whatever the next Marvel release will be. Oh and since he stabilized the equation at the end, didn't Tony Stark just cure every amputee in the world?
***Spoilers end here***
All in all it'll take a lot more coaxing for me to see the next Marvel release. I've got high hopes for Star Trek and Man of Steel because they seem like they actually are a bit more thoughtful, and I find that when films are more thoughtful that adds to the action and the tension and all the good stuff I love in action movies. I should say I've got my fingers crossed for the next X-men first class film though, its amazing that they've only really screwed up that one Wolverine film but done very well on the other three and pretty decent on one.
Back in the day......when using muro was easier for me.
1. Lightning Rods
by Helen DeWitt -A satirical take on how markets, language, and entrepreneurship can collide to create a totally abhorrent thing, that everyone can accept as the new normal.
2. The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright: The story of an amoral adulterous woman in modern day Ireland is both snarky and soul touching. You may not agree with any decision her main character makes, but you can certainly empathize.
3. Mr. Fox
by Helen Oyeyemi- Two writers, one a hack, the other quite gifted, work on a murder novel. Their work, and potential romance, are the things that are read between the lines and not just spelled out for you. If you have an appreciation for great writing, this is a must have for you.
4. Ed King by David Guterson - Nihilism and satire collide, as Guterson reframes the Oedipus story to our modern times, in a twisted yet well thought out manner.
5. Hot Pink by Adam Levin: a short story anthology exploring love! how quaint.
Nothing new here, but I am making a bit of a goal to read all the old NYTs I have stored up before the month is out. It'll help me as a writer to read that stuff, if not at the least expand my vocabulary a bit.
Rounding it out...
So as far as TV goes, I'm pretty much watching Parks and Rec, The Office, Community and now The Mindy Project which is unbelievably hilarious... Arrow looks like its headed towards a bit of an anti-climactic end, the whole plotline with Tommy has Tommy jumping from good guy to bad guy each week... The recent refutation of economists Rogoff/Reinhart's research that higher debt levels of a nation eventually drag down growth due to a mistake they made using excel should be a big deal... right now them clinging to the idea that the essence of their conclusions are correct despite the data being wrong is just them trying to protect themselves but others still quoting them is bad for everyone... The Knicks will likely lose to the Pacers unless Melo takes more shots, Felton and JR Smith are cold and as their best scorer 'Melo is their best chance at cracking the Pacer D... Miley Cyrus topped the Maxim Hot 100, a list that for some reason had Hoda Kotb on it, which really makes you wonder about its credibility... Is it just me or has the short hair thing for Miley lasted wayyyy to long?
Last Thought: Carroll was a mathematician, on top of being a writer, logician, deacon and photographer. Oh the lives people had to suffer through minus the joys of a playstation.
If your only possessions in a post-apocalyptic world were an ATV and football pads that had spikes attached to them, which of the following movie dystopias would you be best suited for?
a.) The Book of Eli
b.) The Hunger Games
c.) I am Legend
d.) Mad Max
Give me a break, okay I'm low on questions.
Make sure to comment, (not just the hate for liking tiger woods hating iron man 3 and wondering how a misogynist act affects the men participating in it) if you want me to keep watching your account and you're not amongst the icons at the top. It'll keep you safe when I start purging. Thanks for the help.