Sunday, December 4, 2016

Overheard Conversations: Dandelions

"It's hard getting old."
"How's that?"
"I said, 'it's hard getting old.'"
"No, I heard you, I mean what brings this on?"
"Looking at how young the neighborhood has become. It just depresses me."
"Wishing you were young again?"
"Yeah... The warm spring air makes me pine for younger days. It feels like there should be some way to reverse time. Like maybe if I could play a game of kick-the-can it might somehow restore my youth."
"Ha ha ha! That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
"What, you're mad now?"
"Look, I'm sorry, ok?"
"...You know what I hate most about growing old?"
"Losing my hair."
"Blow me."

Friday, December 2, 2016

Marvel Needs To Spend More Time With Thanos Before Their Next Movie

So far, every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ultimately leading us to the grand climax that will be Avengers: Infinity War. We've known for a while that it's going to tie into the legendary, all-powerful Infinity Stones, and we got our first peek at the big baddie in the mid-credits scene back during 2012's The Avengers. Now, we've finally received a big tease regarding the inspiration for the upcoming epic.

The two movies were initially announced that they would be the respective halves of a two-part film. Then, earlier this year, Marvel had chosen to drop the "part 1" and "2" from the names and that instead that'll be separate but intertwined films. The first film is now known as Avengers: Infinity War and the second is presently untitled.

The bigwigs over at Marvel recently got together for a meeting about Avengers: Infinity War and Marvel Studios Co-President Louis D'Esposito sent out a picture that riled up a lot of fans. While praising how excited he is for the next Avengers adventure, he proudly displayed a copy of a classic Marvel series, Infinity Gauntlet.

Many had already assumed that the movie would be based on the 1992 comic, Infinity War, but many also wondered if it would incorporate the 1991 mini-series by writer Jim Starlin that started it all, Infinity Gauntlet. D'Esposito's picture all but confirms that the movie will span much of Marvel's cosmic epic, not unlike the way Guardians of the Galaxy drew from both Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.

Marvel first started teasing the cosmic scale of its plans with the The Avengers and things have only been ramping up since then. Thanos has made appearances in two other movies (2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron), and we fully expect him to make another appearance in next summer's Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

Despite how important and powerful of a character Thanos is, he's had little impact so far on the world of Marvel outside of the comics themselves. Many of the Marvel characters have become cultural mainstays thanks to their appearances in video games and merchandise, which helps to increase their visibility with mainstream audiences. There is a number of online games featuring many prominent superheroes that help to introduce audiences to some lesser-known characters as well. While they're often simple takes on a standard slot reels, these games appeal well beyond your typical comic book audience. It would make sense that Marvel would want more than just nerds to be familiar with the stars of their movies.

For a character that's so incredibly powerful and is set to be this terrifying threat to the entire universe as we know it, Thanos has a relatively low profile. So far, he's only appeared as extra downloadable content or as one of dozens upon dozens of characters included in smaller Marvel mobile apps. What the company should really be doing is making larger, story based adventures where players can go up against the mad Titan to really get a sense of what the Avengers will take on in these new films.

There's still plenty of time (and more than a few movies) on track before Infinity War's 2018 release to familiarize fans with the megalomaniacal villain. We're confident that fans will know the name of Thanos by the time Infinity War rolls around. Avengers: Infinity War is currently scheduled for a May 4, 2018 release date with the sequel to follow on May 3, 2019.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Every Black Mirror Episode Explained

You've watched all the Black Mirror episodes and you loved them, but you're not sure what the overall message was in every episode? No worries, we got you covered with this cheat guide.

Season 1-

Episode 1: The National Anthem

The infamous episode that had the Prime Minister making the bacon. Linking sausages. Smacking the salami. All bangers and mash. Dare we say, pearls before swine? But the moral of the story can be a bit hard to grasp. It feels like it's in there somewhere in how everyone disseminates the news feeds, but it's all a bit muddled.

The Point: Interpretive art sucks. Seriously, it's generally convoluted and as tortuous as a man !@#$ing a pig.

Episode 2: Fifteen Million Merits

Classic tale of boy meets girl, girl goes all porno in a society that trades work for entertainment, boy goes on TV, rants and raves about how broke society is and becomes a star cog in the machinations. It's an excellent episode but, say what-what? Here's the what-what.

The Point: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Whether it's a reality show host ranting about the evils of society and sipping on juice, or beating "that bitch Debbie" in the bake off, get out there and grab your opportunity.

Episode 3: The Entire History of You

Human DVR implants set the stage for a tale of paranoia, jealousy and big ol' drama. Pretty much what you'd expect in a world where you can rewind and rewatch your own memories. But what's the whole deal about?

The Point: If you've been considering laser eye surgery, just go for it. It's safe, easy, and very successful. Just don't try and DIY this one. Leave this one to the professionals.

Season 2-

Episode 1: Be Right Back

A husband dies and his pregnant wife all moody and grief-y uses a service that recreates him based on old conversations and social media. The end result is a version similar to the original but lacking his soul (not just because he's a ginger). It would be tempting to see this as a piece about the human grieving process or even on the subject of how much we share online, but the message is deeper.

The Point: A guy who does what you want, when you want, satisfies you tirelessly, and can be put away in the attic? Sounds likethe perfect man. Am I right, ladies? Up top.

Episode 2: White Bear

A women awakes to a violent world that ends up being an elaborate play by a justice system to punish her. They also erase her memory every night so she awakes to a hellish Groundhog's Day every morning. And somehow as messy as that sounds, it makes sense when you're watching. But what is it saying about our society (other than Lenora Crichlow is talented and gorgeous and should be cast in more things)?

The Point: Judge Judy makes $47 million dollars a year. 47! Million! $47 million dollars a year... Mind boggling.

Episode 3: The Waldo Moment

An obscene cartoon character (and the man who created him), enter the political landscape to quickly become a legitimate candidate in the public's eyes due to his lack of self censorship. Trump's run has been compared many times to this episode, even by Charlie Brooker himself. But it wasn't about Trump, as he came later. So what is it all about?

The Point: I lied. It is about Trump and his presidency is going to be so horrible it'll reverberate back through time to when Charlie Brooker is writing the episode.

Christmas Special:

Two dudes in a house discuss the past that ultimately led to their imprisonment. One guy had a club that allowed men to watch other men have sex without their partner's knowledge. The other man stalked his ex girlfriend and was responsible for the death of her daughter. It's 90 minutes of fun that sets up a virtual hell.

The Point: No man is an island. Except for the Isle of Man.

Season 3-

Episode 1: Nosedive

Basically that one episode of Community where people rate each other through a phone app. Centered around one social climbing woman who seeks to better her status by attending an old friend's wedding. The more she seeks to go up, the more she spirals out of control.

The Point: It might be tempting to see this as a critique of how we perceive each other, but in reality it's all about Uber. My guess is the writers all have low customer ratings.

Episode 2: Playtest

A son estranged from his mom after his father dies, goes abroad. He never answers his phone when his mom calls which naturally leads to an ironic ending. Largely set in a virtual horror game inside the son's mind, it all gets very Inception-y.

The Point: You can never trust an employer.

Episode 3: Shut Up And Dance

A group of people are blackmailed into an elaborate scheme as a means of punishing them for their sins.

The Point: Cake is bad for you. No matter how enticing it is --sitting there, with it's perfect frosting all delicious like-- it's just not healthy. This is actually one of the overall themes of the entire show.

Episode 4: San Junipero

A virtual world for people who are old or incapacitated to party and if they so choose, move to permanently after death, having their mind uploaded to a server.

The Point: When are you going to back-up those old VHS tapes onto digital media, Bill? It's a dead medium, Bill. Your kids memories, your Pop-pop's last baseball game with you. All gone if you don't take care of it now, Bill.

Episode 5: Men Against Fire

Military dispatched to clear out "roaches" who appear to be monsters. When one soldier has his brain implant shorted out by a device, he sees the roaches for what they really are; human.

The Point: War... what is good for? Ab. so. lute. ly. Nothing. Say it again? Ah.... but seriously it's about labor law reform.

Episode 6: Hated in the Nation.

Bear with me on this... It's about a hacker, using twitter to control electronic bees to make them kill people. Yeah, that's right.

The Point: Don't make electronic bees. Just don't do it. It's not a good idea. Also, Kelly Macdonald should have her own spin off show from this episode.

That's it for now. I hope it was helpful and enlightening. I'll try and update this post the next time we get new episodes.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What Cats Are Saying About National Cat Day

We recently polled some cats to find out their opinions. This time we wanted to know what they thought about October 29th, National Cat day.

Sir Reginald Plumperdink
"That's every day."

Mrs. Kisses
"That's every day."

Duchess Gary Cooper
"That's every day."


Friday, October 14, 2016

Alcohol [Short Story]

"I think you've had enough."

The last patron in the bar looks up from an empty glass to wreckage surrounding him. Only the wall behind the bartender is still standing. Around them the world has been sorted into heaps of differing sizes. The two men themselves reflect the carnage with their ash covered faces and shredded clothing. Above, the sky is sunny and quiet as if nothing had ever happened.

"What are you talking about? The world's over. Why should I have a limit?"

The bartender shrugs and pours his patron out another whiskey. "I don't know. Force of habit I guess."

"Say, Barney," says the drunk after downing half the glass, "do you remember that guy what used to stand outside the gas station yelling about the end of the world?"

"Yeah. What about him?"

"He's gone now. Got his end after all. Preacher's gone too. The one who ran the mission down on Havenforth. Father Mike, or Mitch, or whatever."

"I guess so," Barney responds while refilling his customer's empty glass.

"They're all gone. Everyone of them. Only ones left are you and me. Why do you suppose that is?"

"Why are they gone but we're still here?"


"I have no idea. Why do you think we're still here?"

His patron smiles wide revealing several gaps. "That's easy. You're here cause you have the second most important job in the world: serving alcohol."

Barney rolls his eyes. "And you?"

"I have the most important job in the world," he says through horse laugh. "I drink the alcohol."

The bartender shakes his head and pulls out a second glass from beneath the bar, which he fills with the same amber liquid.

"Who's that for?" asks the drunk.

"Me," Barney replies. "I've just been promoted."

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