Friday, June 29, 2012

Dishwasher

What better way to end a week than a cameo by a dishwashing elephant.

WTF - 6.29


Punishment that fits the crime.
-Nik


I'm seeing this more often. And I'm loving it every time. As kids become douchier and douchier (more and more douchy?), adults, judges, parents and the like have to devise new and more creative ways to punish kids and make them learn the lessons of their mistakes. In the news lately I've seen a rash of parents making kids hold signs up on the side of the road "Honk if I'm disrespectful." "I'm homeless because I disobeyed my father." Things like that. And they're all awesome. There was a guy who brought his daughter and her laptop out into a field and he then proceeded to unload his pistol into the laptop. All because she was bitching about him of facebook. That man deserves a medal. And judges are ruling these things as totally okay.
This one is the newest. The girl (13), with an accomplice (11), cut the ponytail off of a three year old girl in a McDonald's. Why is there an eleven year old with a pair of scissors unsupervised in a McDonald's? We may never know. So, when the snot was brought before a judge and given community service, the judge said that she could get her time reduced if they cut her pony tail off right there. Audio reports are saying that the victim's mom was in full agreement, and encouraged it be cut more when she believed it still too long.
Now the mom's filing a formal complaint. Boo hoo. If you're kid were properly parented to begin with, you wouldn't have to be embarrassed about her getting her hair cut off in a court room. You've no reason to bitch. Frankly, I'm considering filing a formal complaint myself. One saying that you should get your hair cut too. Maybe then you'll learn the lesson that what your daughter does reflects directly on you.

Dirty Jersey
-Nik


Can anyone say Bath Salts? The reason the dude was naked is 'cause he was getting ready to bite a hobo's face off, duh! If there's anything that the media has taught me, it's that you really should expect the most absurd out of things. We're just lucky that it was in the woods. Side of the highway? Game over.
Besides, who in their right mind would walk naked anywhere in Jersey? I don't even like to drive through the damn state, much less even think about being nude there. I really can't wait to see where this one goes. One of the actually intriguing bits is that he had "...some paperwork from New York State." What a broad statement. That could be anything! License to carry Bath Salts? Does New York make those yet? Stay tuned for more Pretzel Head action!

Burn!
-Nik


How is there a national rule against sun screen in schools? And when did that kick in? I remember being slathered in that shit when I was in school. These poor girls had an all-day outdoor activity, one has partial albinism, and they're gingers? Why doesn't the mom cover them head-to-toe before they leave the house everyday? And with everyone paranoid about every disease and every cancer known to man, and even those unknown, how can this not be allowed in school. Yes, I understand the concern of some lascivious smarm rubbing lotion over the shoulders of some innocent young lass, but not to allow the students to apply it themselves? I think the allergy concern is a little over-blown. Have they banned all peanut butter, too? A handful of states, I understand it falling through the cracks of logic, but for 49 states? Just a prime example of stupid things being blow way out of proportion, and the important stuff falling by the wayside. Bigger things to worry about in our schools, methinks.

No Child Left Behind
-Matt


            Ha!  This is the future of our country America!

God bless America, land of political correctness.
-Matt


Where the fuck did our sense of humor go?  Seriously!  Just because a shoe has chains on it, it doesn’t mean it’s racist.  Should we just do away with chains altogether?  Nope, can’t use rope because Al Sharpton would equate that to lynching.  What to do, what to do.
The Nike sneakers that have flames on there that resemble the Arabic word for Allah?  First of all, Arabs get offended over everything that even sniffs their religion.  Every.  Fucking.  Thing.  And besides, were these sneakers made for Arabs?  Really?  When’s the last time you have seen an Arab dunking a basketball?  Hakeem Olajuwon was one I think, and that was nearly twenty years ago. 
Math is tough Barbie?  Fuck, math is tough, it’s better that Barbie tells these kids now until they get to Calculus class and realize it for themselves.  They just need to come out with a companion toy for boys.  Might I suggest girls like a douche GI Joe?
Five wives Vodka.  Yup, apparently it’s offensive to Mormons.  Really though, if you have five wives, wouldn’t you need to be drunk?
Call of Juarez:  The Cartel.  Well Mexico, if you don’t want us to capitalize on your shitty country and it’s drug war, then put an end to it.  Don’t be a pussy and whine about a video game exploiting your country.  Do you think Mushroom Land has this problem?  Nope, and that’s run by a princess and a bunch of guys that look like dicks.
Steve the Tramp!  I had this figure when I was young!  I don’t know any kid that would be offended by this, and honestly if a grown man that lives in the streets is playing with a Steve the Tramp action figure then he has a little more to worry about then how the box description portrays his odor.
Taste the Lin-Sanity.  What is wrong with equating fortune cookies with Chinese people?  Seriously.  If you are Chinese and you are reading this right now, would you rather be equated with child labor, smog or fortune cookies?  That’s what I thought.  Hey America, quit being such a bitch and just say what needs to be said sometimes.
Menthol X cigarettes.  Since when did the colors black red and green stand for racial pride?  It sounds like Christmas in the Ghetto to me.  And why can’t a company try and target a specific demographic of people?  That’s just good business.  Luxury cars target rich people, Activia yogurt targets women with poor digestive systems and frosted flakes targets kids.  I don’t get it.
Gay cure iphone app.  That’s just funny.  That someone found this to be so offensive to make a stink over makes it even funnier.
What is wrong with a politically incorrect t-shirt?  Political incorrectness is hilarious!  As long as you don’t wear the shirt in the wrong neighborhood you will be fine.  Somewhere out there someone else has a sense of humor.

This is 911, would you like fries with that?
-Nik


Disclaimer: I didn't read this story. I have no complaints about the story.
The headline is: "13-year-old girl helps police catch burglars in house". Aside from it being absolutely asinine to hyphenate "13-year-old", I have no problem with it.

I do have a problem with the caption under the picture.
"Alexis Stannis, along with her younger brother, helped police nab three burgers by calling 911 from a bedroom closet."

Did the kids call 911 from their closet and ask the police for their order at Burger King? Did they make a Wendy's run on their bikes? Or perhaps they ditched the lemonade idea and started a burger stand.

If it said "burgars" I may understand. Okay, you forgot the "L". But no, it's "burgers". Who do we have to blame for this? Frankly, I blame MSNBC as a whole. For hiring a writer who will rely so heavily on spell check that they let "burgers" slip through. For hiring an editor who didn't find it odd that "burgers" was in the article. And in general, for allowing such low-quality writing on what should be a reputable news source.
Thanks for the laughs, MSNBC.

USA! USA!
-Nik

            Call me unpatriotic. Call me a Commie. But I've never cared about the Olympics. I've never been much for sports to begin with, but the Olympics has been the pinnacle of boring for me. Between the blanket coverage on every network, and the barrage of so many sports and so many things to remember about each individual event. I just get overwhelmed about something that I never gave a damn about in the first place.
            Yes, I acknowledge that it's kind of cool to see the world's fastest and most athletic pitted against one another. Especially seeing the races and things: who has the fastest human being in the world? But I get the feeling that the Olympics is another case of 9/11 Syndrome that springs up every two years. Our fervor for America only really crops up when it's a matter of whose flag is bigger.
            But with this new list of odd Olympic sports, I wouldn't mind watching some of the events, a nice change of pace from some of the more mundane sports that we're saturated with. Before I delve into some of the cool ones, I really want to say that the Hammer Throw, Table Tennis/Badminton, Shooting and BMX Racing are not odd. What kind of stretch did you have to make to say those are weird? Just make it a list of two, rather than six.
            But.
            Team Pursuit Cycling? Qua? Never heard of it. It sounds bizarre though. I couldn't even understand what the hell happens from reading the article. A bunch of people ride their bikes to see who's the fastest, basically.
            It's Racewalking that tickles me. It's essentially mall walking for the gold. And they're so serious about you not running, that the rules state that you can't have both feet off of the ground at the same time. Wait a minute! I wish I'd known about this in high school, 'cause I used to Racewalk my ass off to get to class on time, sometimes. And I also find it amazing how such a silly "sport" could harbor tragedy. Some dude committed suicide because he didn't qualify in 2004? Maybe there was other stuff going on in his life to cause it, but the article makes it sound like the loss was a direct influence. If that's the case, just go take a few more laps around the mall. Better luck in four more years.
            This sounds like something Oprah would promote:  "And you can go to the Olympics, and you can go to the Olympics!"  Way to have your own participation trophy Olympic games. - Matt

Newest Nom News


 -Nik Magill
            Latest news here from our purported Pretzel Head! Turns out, not a Pretzel Head at all!
            In the most horrifying twist yet, all that was found in his system was marijuana. Not even synthetic to make him lose his shit, it appeared to be just the regular ol' hashish kind. They didn't find booze or lsd or bath salts or steroids or anything.
            So why did they automatically jump to the conclusion of bath salts if they had no proof? And, as far as I've seen, this incident was the first really big situation to bring bath salts into the media. What I'm getting from this, from my crack reporting skills (inserting tongue into cheek), is that even though this may be the first thing to reveal bath salts to the general population, the authorities (whomever they may be) have been well-aware of bath salts, and the horrid things that bath salts can make people do. If they weren't aware of the side effects, like a great majority of America wasn't, then they couldn't have jumped to the bath salt conclusion, could they?
            This leads me to wonder: Since it turned out that this instance wasn't bath salts, what about all of the other times that we've seen bath salts crop up since then? There was one where a guy was on his roof with an unloaded shotgun, screaming at the people to get off of his front lawn. The people who weren't there... And then the one I mentioned before of the lady who beat the snot out of her daughter and then died in the process of being arrested after being tazed and pepper sprayed. Were those both instances of bath salts, or just the convenient excuse used to explain away erratic behavior that is becoming a horrifying phenomenon?
            As far as I've heard, all character witnesses for the Miami Zombie have stated that he was a soft-spoken, kind, religious man. Sure he had a few run-ins with the law in the past, but he was a changed man, and who hasn't? (present author not included) So what could have caused this guy to strip to the buff, swing from a light post, and then cause puncture wounds to the chest, brain damage and facial chewage to a hapless homeless?
            And I just remembered, didn't they say it could take over a year for us to hear anything? I'm certainly not complaining. Maybe they read my last article and decided it was an important enough story to push through the pipes.
            I'm super excited at these recent developments, that we're getting to see this unfold in a reasonable amount of time, and every new tidbit is a complete surprise! Hopefully soon we'll hear something about what was actually going on with the attacker, and maybe some development on the attackee as well. Stay tuned, my little Pretzelers.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comic Review - Prophet #26


I have heard a lot of good things about the Prophet series that resumed after many years away.  This was another Rob Liefeld creation back in the day that was shelved after a few issues.  Unlike the other Liefeldian comic I have previously reviewed, Youngblood, this one does not have Rob’s poorly drawn fingerprints on it.  That is already a notch in the plus category (for me at least).  The fact that this issue featured both the writing and art of Brandon Graham intrigued me as well.  It’s not very often that you get a full story and full art (including color) from one person on a book from a major publisher.  I was very interested at what Brandon Graham could do. 

Cover –
I love the detail that was put into this whole book in general, and that is exhibited by the cover.  It has a very European, Heavy Metal flair to it that I enjoy.  While the attention to detail is great, I think my favorite part is the use of the negative space on the cover.  It is very rare to see white on the cover of any comic these days (not counting variants or sketch covers) so the fact that Graham decided to use white as the clouds in the background and not some amalgamation of colors is refreshing.  The problem with a cover like this that has a lot of white and muted colors is that the logo needs to be really vibrant in order to stand out from the rest of the cover.  This logo fails at that pretty severely.  It took me a while to even find it on the shelf at my local shop.  That is not good if you want your book to sell and seems like a pretty easy fix.  Also, while the cover looks nice, and it does mind you, I do not see what it has to do with the book as neither the title character nor the main character in this issue (a robot) is on the cover.  I can see not putting Prophet on the cover as he is only vaguely mentioned in the book itself, and actually only appears in the back up story; but at least give me something that ties the cover to the contents of the book aside from visual style.

5/10 – It’s failure as a cover  on the comic shop shelf knocks it down a few pegs even though it is very well done.

Story-
Oh the story.  Now I could have just come in on the wrong issue.  Prophet was not in the initial story at all so maybe the books that actually have him in there are better.  But as far as I know they are all written by Graham, so I am not holding out much hope.  The main problem that I had with the story, besides not quite understanding what the robot had to do with Prophet himself or with any other part of the greater story, is that the whole thing was so full of exposition by the robot character that I learned nothing about him or his motivations or what the hell was happening.
Maybe I need to go back and read the other issues.  Maybe Prophet is one of those books that is better as a trade or a graphic novel but they decided to break it up to try and make the money twice.  This is apparently the deal with Saga, from last week’s review.  Nik set me straight that if I had read the first three issues I would not have as big a problem with issue four.  This is possible, but as I said to him, “If you are writing a graphic novel, then produce a graphic novel.  Don’t give me pieces of a graphic novel and tell me that they are issues of a comic book” this is demeaning to me as someone that knows the medium more than just as a collector.  Obviously this doesn’t mean much as this shit is selling like crazy.  But that is a post for another day. 
There is not much to write about the story because it doesn’t feel like much happened in the story itself.  I won’t even go into the backup story as that was an unintelligible mess.

1/10 – When I don’t understand it after five or six pages and have more questions (like why do robots need to eat) then you have lost me.

Art –
I like the details that are consistent throughout the book.  The coloring is nice too.  It is fairly monotone but that seems to fit the story.  The art can be a little confusing at times because there is just so much going on in each panel but it does work well when coupled with the text.  I would like to see the pencil/ink drawings to see just how well they hold up without the color and lettering though.
The art in the backup story was just as confusing as the actual plot itself.  It was even harder to discern what was going on because of the saturated color palette.  While Graham went with the more neutral colors and laid them all fairly flat, Emma Rios tried to do too much with the color and it did not do anything to save the poor storytelling.  I may be biased though because after trying to make heads or tails of the first story, I kind of gave up halfway through.  Even if Rios’s story and art were great I wouldn’t have gotten to them because the opening story was so poor that I would have chucked the book aside anyway.
I like this page, but I don't understand why a robot needs to eat, and the only explanation I am given is "eating fixes me".  Bad job.

Interesting panel but what the fuck is that up in the corner?  it looks like a sticker or something.  Very out of place.

Do the robots eat people?  Are they powered by people?  Nothing makes sense!

6/10 – Graham does a good job on the art.  The confusion in the art is not alleviated by the story and vice versa though.  I would definitely pick up another book that he is the artist on, just not the writer.

4/10 – I am not a fan of this particular issue.  If I was to read one that has the title character in it I may enjoy it more.  I just did not feel like I got much out of this, even with adequate art.  The backup story did not help, and while it kept the similar style of art as the opening piece, was colored (in my opinion) incorrectly for that style.




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mmmmm, Pants

Today's lesson is to never season your pants around a goat.
The more you know....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Hero


-Nik Magill

For quite some time now I have been an adoring fan of Alec Baldwin. I think he's a brilliant actor, has impeccable comedic timing, and is an all-around talented individual in whatever he takes on.
            For example, he has a podcast that's been going for a couple months now, called Here's the Thing, where he just interviews people. Celebrities, politicians, newsmakers; all with a new, insightful light to interviews that one would never find with someone like Barbara Walters. Baldwin makes things personal, and his interviewees just open up as if they were chatting in a cafe over an espresso and a danish. Here's the Thing isn't the point of this article, but I strongly suggest you check it out if you have access to podcasts.
            Alec kinda fell out of the spotlight for a little bit pre-30 Rock. But, when he landed that gig, he swept back onto our televisions, and into our hearts. Oh yeah, and then he became a media sensation as well. The last ten years have been nothing but an amazing rollercoaster ride of Baldwin's life. We've seen him ejected from a plane because he wouldn't turn off his phone while playing Words with Friends. He's smattered Twitter with his opinions and comments (I'm considering getting a Twitter account just to read his tirades). Then his crazy-banana-pants stalker, who claimed she was married to him, made some comments on Twitter; Baldwin retaliated by sicking his fans on the stalker via Twitter. The woman promptly deleted her account.
            Baldwin courted the idea of running for mayor of New York, but I think he's set that on the back-burner now as he's signed-on for a few more seasons of 30 Rock. He's engaged to a lovely lady about 30 years his junior. And normally, in this situation, a guy turns to another guy, hits him on the shoulder and says "Good for him! Yeah! A girl in her 20s for a dude in his 50s! *chauvinistic-lascivious-sexist-etc*" But, no sir. That lady is lucky to be marrying Alec Baldwin. Shit, sorry Raven, but if Alec proposed to me, I'd be filing the divorce papers an hour later. Those dreamy blue eyes... to paraphrase 30 Rock: "the steely blue eyes of an ice dragon". And it's with this lovely fiancĂ© of his that the latest snafu has happened.
            The other day Mr. and the future-Mrs. Baldwin were leaving a building after having applied for their marriage license when, as to be expected when you're awesome, the parasitic paparazzi were there. They crammed their cameras in his face and crowded in, a clear invasion of personal space, and didn't give them any room to walk. Baldwin, as any would react in that situation, became defensive and pushed them back. Yes, he got violent. He did physically push the paparazzo. But, in a case such as this, when you deal with it so often, softly asking them to leave you alone will get you nowhere. If that were effective, I think celebrities everywhere wouldn't have the anger issues that we've seen. So, Baldwin did what needed to be done.



            In the picture, which is currently my desktop wallpaper, look at Baldwin's mouth. I imagine that he's saying "Fffff-f-frankly I'd prefer it if you took a step back." And I love the look on the paparazzo's face. "Nyah! Oh, how dare he get angry at me for invading his personal life?"
            Aside from just quietly asking them to leave you alone, I think that there's only one way to solve this paparazzi problem. Here's my proposal that I'm going to submit to the UN in their next summit.
            Everyone who is a paparazzo has to register to have a license. If you don't have a license, you can't do it. If you're caught doing it without the license, it's voyeurism and you get a hefty fine and jail time and have to register just like sex offenders. Now, those who are registered get someone assigned to them. That person then has the task of following the paparazzo around, taking pictures, being invasive at all the inconvenient times. That way they know exactly what it's like to experience the kind of offensive behavior that they subject their victims to. It'll create jobs. For America. Next, we pass a bill that makes it absolutely legal to attack a paparazzo if that person is doing their job. And if they're causing a dangerous situation, potentially lethal (I'm thinking Princess Diana, for those of you old enough to remember that fiasco), it is absolutely legal to kill them in self-defense. Think of it as an addition to the Stand Your Ground law. I put paparazzi down on the bottom of the list with corrupt politicians/lawyers and other scum who make their living preying on others. I think it is absolutely inexcusable, and if it has to happen, then they need to pay for their reprehensible behavior. Is it really necessary to know what Brad Pitt's current facial hair looks like when he goes for an outing with his (20?) kids? If they make it public, do a press release or a story for US Weekly, then it's fine. They've made that decision on their own. If they want to share that information, then so be it. But these people need their private lives too, damnit.
            So, if we get these rules shifted around, then I think celebrities would be happier, we normal folk would get more entertainment for our buck, and the paparazzi would get what they deserve. Win-win-win in my book.

Entitlement


With the recent graduations of high school students across the country, let’s talk about one of my biggest pet-peeves.  Entitlement.  Now you may be asking what entitlement has to do with high school graduation.  In response to that I will pose a question to you:  Have you ever met the “youth of America?”  If the answer is no, then you get a mulligan for this one.  However if you have ever met today’s children, and by children I am also including recent college graduates from the last few years, you will be overwhelmed by the sense of entitlement that these individuals exhibit. 
This is not just a random observation of someone that is removed from the experience entirely.  I have actually had the opportunity (I would say pleasure but well, that would be a lie) to work with individuals that are of this mindset.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have also worked with individuals that bust their ass everyday and take nothing for granted.  They appreciate what they get and only think that they deserve more because they work hard for it.
It’s kind of funny because you can see a distinct divide between people that are around my age and older and those that are about two to three years younger than I am.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that age is not the sole contributing factor to this epidemic.  It also has to do with the way someone is brought up and the trials that they have to experience themselves as they grow and mature.  For example, I remember when I was in fifth grade, a girl in my class mentioned that for Valentine’s Day that year her father got her a computer.  This was in 1995-1996.  This was before you could go pick up a decent computer for a kid for a couple hundred bucks.  So this floored me at the time that for Valentine’s Day (not even a real fucking holiday!) that this girl was able to get something like that from her father.  I think the most my brother’s or I would receive is a Valentine card (the kind with a cartoon character on it that kids would get in a big box to give out at class) from my grandmother and maybe a candy bar or something from my mother.  A computer?  Are you shitting me?
This brings me to my first point about entitlement.  It’s your fault parents.  Now I know, you want your kids to have a better life than you do.  I get that, and we all want that for our children.  A better life for your child does not mean that they go through the whole thing without actually experiencing anything, or learning the value of what they have.  Throw a little hardship at them once in a while, say no.  While they may be pissed at you for a minute, they will get over it quicker than you probably will, and if it is that big of a deal to them they will find a way to get it done.  They turn sixteen and want a car?  Great, get a fucking job and save your money to buy a car.  I got a car when I was sixteen but I had to buy it from my father.  I had to put the gas in it and keep it running.  To do this I got a job, on my sixteenth birthday and I have not stopped working since then.  I understand the value of a dollar and the commitment it requires to make a purchase, especially a big one.  Do I still make dumb purchases every now and then?  Sure, we all do, but I know that I cannot survive making consistently dumb purchases without finding more sources of income. 
This brings me back to the children that I have worked with that feel that the world owes them something.  It is especially true for recent college graduates, especially those from private institutions.  Regardless of the fact that their parents probably paid for their tuition or that they received other financial assistance along the way (that they will not have to pay back) they emerge from college with a diploma and the feeling that they should be automatically handed a check for a $40,000 a year job.  A girl that I worked with had this superiority complex after a short time on the job, feeling that the skill set that she exhibited warranted a hefty raise.  This was after a few months mind you.  At one point she was complaining about this to me in front of the rest of the crew that I oversaw (which she was already making as much if not more than many of them because of the position she was hired for) and I told her that maybe she was getting paid what she was worth.  This came as a surprise to her that someone was not going to just hand her a big fat raise because she was a cute girl that went to school at a private institution.  She went on to get a different job, one that she used me as a reference for, and I made sure to stress to the individual that called me for that reference that she will only be happy with her current pay grade until she gets it in her head that she isn’t.  This was not in an effort to keep her, mind you.  At that point I had thankfully moved on to a different position that did not necessitate dealing with people in a managerial capacity, so I could care less whether she stayed or not.  I just wanted to warn this other employer ahead of time.
This is why, if I am ever in the position of hiring someone, I will make sure that they are not a recent college graduate.  I know, it is against the law to avoid hiring someone based upon their age, but I don’t care.  If you force me to hire someone that young, they will only last a week or so under my employ, tops.  Then it will just be a revolving door of shitty employees until I tell them all to go to hell and do all the work myself.
Entitlement is not exclusive to young people though.  A lot of entitlement seems to have to deal with an individual’s title or the few letters that are associated with their name.  In case you are still confused I am talking about individuals in the medical and legal professions. This is not an indictment against everyone in those professions, I know individuals in each specialty that have shunned that kind of treatment because they realize how ridiculous it is to treat someone different based on the time and nature of their schooling.  However for every individual that “gets it” there are at least three times that amount of people that take those few letters before or after their name to heart. 
I have a general rule of thumb that I like to follow.  I don’t care who you are or what you do for a living, if you impress me and warrant my respect I will give it to you.  If you look for my respect without earning it, you will be laughed at until you leave.  I don’t care if you drive a shit truck for a living (not a crappy truck, but an actual truck used to haul shit) or if you are an investment banker with four homes and a mistress in each, you treat me with the respect of being a human being and I will provide you with the same.  Really, it all comes down to the fact that we are all the same, we are all human beings (except for the South, the jury is still out on that one) and if we all respect each other as human beings first and do not dwell on how much someone has or where they go to work every day, we will start to see a gradual shift to where we used to be as a country.
This comes back to children, especially those that are still in grade school.  If we can impose upon them the ideal that they are not any better than anyone else, then they will be able to shuck that sense of entitlement that has run rampant throughout society.  Like everything else it starts with the parents though.  If we stop babying our kids, and stop giving in to their every whim and desire and make them earn what they get, they will be less likely to just blindly take from others because of some false sense of entitlement.  Band together with me parents, we don’t have to let this country, hell this world, turn into a bunch of pricks and assholes, because really, outside of San Francisco who wants a bunch of pricks and assholes together in the same room.

Nik:  "I dated a girl in college whose father insisted on being called doctor. Not mister. His reasoning was: 'I didn't go to seven years of med school to be called mister.' To which I respond: "Sir, if you're cupping my stones and telling me to turn my head and cough, I'll call you doctor. But, while I'm just boning your daughter, you're just mister to me.'"
I never actually said that, but I've used it a handful of times in stories.

Gotta love that sense of entitlement.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Intro Sal Monella

Sal will show up from time to time, when you least expect it.
Kind of like a real Health Inspector.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bring in the Goats

I don't understand why people shy away from using goats for just this kind of situation.

WTF: 6.22


Welcome to the first edition of WTF: What the Fridays.  In these articles, Nik and I will find some of the more outrageous or controversial topics and weigh in on them as only we can.  You are encouraged to send your favorite links throughout the week and we will give credit where credit is due.  Feel free to email them to shrimpman53@yahoo.com with the words WTF Link as your subject heading.

6.19.2012

Furries:  Not just for creeps in costume anymore, or not
-Matt

I realize that we are supposed to be all PC and “everybody gets a chance to shine” and all of that BS, but I have seen Furries in action.  In fact, this time last year, my brother and I were down in Pittsburgh for a baseball game that just happened to be on the same weekend as the abovementioned convention.  Stopping to take a piss in a parking garage bathroom and having to people in giant cartoon animal costumes come in right behind you is enough to make the slowest pisser squeeze it out quick and quickly walk away.  I have been to comic conventions where costumes are the norm and people generally don’t bat an eye (unless your camel-toe is sticking out – get that shit together ladies, there are kids present) but nothing beats the sheer strangeness that is a group of people in one place that like to dress up in, basically, fuzzy mascot costumes.  Keep looking for that respect buddy, good luck with that.
I realize that “furries” also applies to the people with an affinity for anthropomorphized animal characters, and because the Eat @ Shrimpy’s cast are technically anthropomorphized animals I shouldn’t talk shit.  But I can throw stones in this glass house because I’m not currently dressed as a fuzzy wolf with large anime eyes while doing it.

Spam and you
-Nik
An actual e-mail that I got in my Spam box a few days ago. I never click on the links, but sometimes I'll look at the previews to read them for a good laugh. Every word choice and mis-spelling is from the actual e-mail.

Subject: URGENT RESPONS NEEDED PLEASE!!!
From: into@ Mr song chen
Date: 6/19/2012 3:56 PM
To: Recipients <info@Mrsongchen>

Complement of the day,

  Kindly accept my apology for emailing you without your consent. you might be apprehensive about my email as we have not met before,My name is Mr. Song Chen; I am the Head of Operations at Dah Sing Bank, Hong Kong. My business proposal for you is to assist me transfer US$12.8Million from my bank in Hong Kong to a foreign bank if willing. I intend to give 40% of the total funds as compensation for your assistance.

This money was deposited by my client Mr. Yoshi Yuu, who lost his life with his family in the massive Earthquake and Tsunami disaster that destroyed avast area of Japan on the date 11th March 2011. According to the law in my Country, after nine months the Hong Kong Government will come for the funds if nobody applies to claim the money. I will notify you on the full transaction on receipt of your response if interested, Please send me your full names and your private phone number via my private  E-mail: (mrsongchen2010@live.com )

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Mr. Song Chen
   /

            A gem. One of the best I've seen in a while. I even got all the way to "...assist me transfer..." before I saw anything blaringly bad. I was quite impressed. It's got the silly tragedy story. The boat-load of money. The ridiculous amount that the scamee will receive for their "help". (40% of $12.8 million is $5.12 million. That's an exorbitantly generous amount.)
            Whenever I get these e-mails, my first reaction is to read and chuckle, which I do, and then my next response is to wonder: "Why the hell would anyone fall for this? How could they?" But they do. People are scammed this way every day. Why don't they write it better to fool more people? It doesn't make sense!
            And then I stumbled upon this piece that opened my eyes to it all!
            And it all makes sense. You want to write incredibly poorly to weed out all but the most gullible. The only way that your scam's going to work is if you get someone who, grammatical and spelling mistakes aside, despite the lack of logic or common sense, unquestioningly offers his/her services to selflessly help this poor gentleman in need of securing a metric crap-ton of money. Anyone with an inkling of duh in their noggins is going to say "Wait a sec...would a banker really be sending me this poorly written e-mail? A complete stranger to help with their financial woes? However do they know to trust me?" So, if no doubts trickle through the mark's noodle, then that's the person they want for the scam.
            Pretty genius, really. Gives me a new-found respect for someone putting so much thought into something so devious. Who knew you'd need to know human psychology in order to launch a successful phishing scam? When someone falls for it, do we feel bad for them? Do we pity them or do we think about it in terms of a more Darwinian approach? If they're that gullible, do we just say "Well, serves 'em right then."? I know this is a silly example, but with new technological advancements, it really calls into question a matter of ethics and how they develop, or devolve, with things changing at such a quick and constant pace.

6.20.2012

Get a real job, damn dirty hippie
-Matt

The most telling quote in this article is from his friend that states that he “doesn’t want responsibility.”  Come on man, twenty-nine degrees?  I have three and don’t use any of them, I can’t imagine staying in school for the rest of my life and not getting anything out of it.  “Well he has all of that knowledge” you say.  A) some of his degrees are in the highly sought after subjects of home economics and library science, and B) all the knowledge in the world will not save him from his inevitable demise. 

“I have twenty-nine degrees!”
vs.
“I am a bus”

Guess who wins.

Your daily dose of fatass
-Matt

Yup, that’s right.  If you just threw up in your mouth a little bit then congratulations, you are not a fat bastard.  If you just licked your lips in anticipation then please, find your nearest supermodel and have her explain to you how to put your finger down your throat.

6.22.2012

This week’s outrage, until next week, then it will be something else


Matt:
While I am sure that this woman will enjoy her vacation, it will not do anything to stop the douchebags that actually caused the psychological torment.  Yes, it is nice that she is able to get a vacation out of this and that she is able to know that there are still good people out there that care about others.  That’s all well and good.  What does this teach the boys that actually did this though?  Don’t post your torment of others on youtube.  The only way to get through to their little pea-brains is to do something that will equally scar them.  Kick them out of school?  That sounds like a decent idea.  What is the punishment for this kind of bullying if it is enacted on another student?  Honestly, the school should just line the boys up against a wall and allow the victim to punch them all in the face.  Maybe getting your ass kicked by a grandma would cause you to rethink your life path, douchebag.  She has recently come out and said that she doesn't want the boys to be punished, that she just want's an apology.  That's all well and good, and makes her look like the bigger person, but have you seen forced apologies?  Look at any athlete that got caught doing something he wasn't supposed to do.  They are not genuine, and these apologies will not be either.  It's time for the school to step up and do the right thing, and if the parents have a problem with it they should be criminally charged with harassment.  
             I'm not even going to touch on the ridiculous and completely American response of throwing money at the latest cause because Nik sums it up so well below, but I do want to know what the parents of the little shits are doing, have done, for the victim.  I could care less about random strangers trying to atone for their bullying past by ponying up a hundred bucks, I want to know what is being done for this woman by the people responsible.

Nik:
            This has blown up in the news. It is a town right next to where I work, so all day I've heard "Did you hear about the kids on the bus?" or "Did you hear about the bullying in Greece?" And, honestly, I hadn't heard of it until today when everyone had mentioned it. I don't watch the news, so the only exposure I have to it is reading MSN.
            It truly is a despicable, disgusting thing, that this woman, almost 70 years old, has to put up with constant harassment from belligerent little shits. We all know that it's tragic. That's not my point here. I just want to comment on a few things.
            1) Good for her for not pressing charges. She's being the bigger man. And everyone can appreciate that. But, having dealt with the stupidity of high school kids while subbing for two years, and being unrelated to the story in any way, I can be angry for her. Those kids need a good ass-whooping. They need to be taught respect. And the best way to do that is to ship those bastards to military camp. Seven years of structure and hard labor. If they think they're all hot and tough, wait until drill sarge gets a hold of them. Those mewling little shits will get everything that they deserve.
            2) During his interview with the victim on TODAY, Matt Lauer is quoted as saying: "As a parent, let me apologize for those children because what they did was despicable." Not okay. You cannot speak for them. You cannot nullify their crimes, nor can you make it all better. You're a news personality, nothing more. Stop trying to play for audience sympathy and do your job. If you take a stance saying what they did is bad, you should be making a public demand that they themselves issue a public apology.
            -Amen Nik, it seems more like a daytime Emmy grab than actual journalism. -Matt
            3) As of the writing of this article, an online fundraiser has been set-up and raised over $450,000 for her to go on vacation. This is really an amazing thing, that people can come together and do this unified gift of charity for this woman. That being said, is there really nothing better to donate $450k to? I'm sorry. I'm probably being insensitive, but come on. This country wastes tons of food a day, and hundreds upon hundreds of children starve each day, and we're raising money so that this lady can go on vacation because she got picked on? How about the school gives her a paid week off, and that money gets sent to a charity? Okay, let's get her a fruit basket too. It's 9/11 syndrome all over again. For the months after 9/11, everyone flew flags, wore red-white-blue and was super nice to each other. The years leading up to that, no one gave a shit. Only when it's in the forefront of our mind do we care. Then 9/11 scarred over and now no one's an American zealot anymore. Does anyone do anything for Katrina or tsunami victims? What about that earthquake in Haiti? Nope. So, instead of looking for a tragic cause that is a constant, this case is the new fresh wound to throw money at.
            When things like this bullying case happen, any new tragedy or appalling event, I think that media and lay-person alike need to stop and think about how a proper reaction should be, or at least stop and think before they act. This can be a learning opportunity for everyone, that things can actually be changed in the long run. We can learn so much from their mistakes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Comic Review - Saga #4


I know that when Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples first premiered months ago it was a big deal.  “Vaughn was coming back to comics!” said many a fan.  I honestly had no idea that he left.  But I did enjoy Runaways for Marvel back in the day so I figured I would pick up the trade.  I was therefore a little apprehensive about grabbing issue four by itself this week, but to be perfectly honest the selection of comics to review this week was fairly slim and uninspiring so i bit the bullet and went with it.  
First of all, let’s start with the price point.  I am all for a comic that is $2.99.  There are so many sub-par comics that are priced higher from all publishers that if you can find a good one at the lower price-point it is a treat.  However a good comic is not made by the price-point alone so let’s see what the meat and potatoes of this comic is all about.


Cover-
The cover, while beautiful in its own right, has nothing to do with the story aside from the fact that it features two characters that are in a part of the story.  It is more of an iconic image, kind of like what you would see on one of the Ultimate Marvel books.  That being said, the cover itself is beautiful.  I also like the fact that the background color (yellow) is continued onto the back cover, unencumbered by any ads.  The method of producing the art by Staples – A thin black outline around the figures with all of the interior detail work done in color only – makes it a visual masterpiece.

8/10 – It’s beautiful but has nothing to do with the story so that prevents it from achieving a perfect score.

Story-
We quickly learn the names of the two characters on the cover (within the first three pages) but that is about it.  We do not really know who they are or why they are at the sex-club planet thing, whatever it is.  To be honest I thought that the bald guy, The Will, was the guy with goat horns and the little girl he meets may have been the chick that always has her tit hanging out feeding her kid (seriously, that kid is always eating), and that this was all a flashback.  After reading the whole comic I now realize that the bald guy is a bounty hunter, but I had to wait until nearly the end of the book to find that out. 
The best part of the book is the argument that takes place between Goat Horns and Breastfeeder (if they had superhero codenames I assume that these would be it).  The dialogue is so spot on that, regardless of their current circumstances and their outward appearance I could actually see this happening. 
Here are the questions that popped up after I read the book:
-         Who is the bald guy, not his name, but what is his purpose?
-         Who is the little girl that he meets and what purpose does she serve?
-         What are Goat Horns and Breastfeeder running from/to?
-         Was the sex club/planet a flashback or is that happening in real time?
-         How do these people tie together?
-         How does Goat Horns expect to fight a spaceship probably full of soldiers or people that wish him harm with a sword?  Not a gun, just a sword.
That last question was the cliffhanger for next issue.  I guess we are supposed to wait a month wondering how Goat Horns will take down a whole ship with a sword.  Is this a Macgyver crossover?  I don’t know.  I was not impressed enough to pick up the next issue, and honestly I am unimpressed enough to avoid the trade paperback now.

Yup, Goat Horns is going to take on that whole ship with a Samurai Sword, tune in next month as he magically gets out of it. (There, now you don't have to waste your time or money either).

3/10 – The only thing that salvages this is the verbal fight scene between husband and wife.  Other than that nothing of substance happens.  A big letdown.

Art-
Let’s get this out of the way in the beginning.  Fiona Staples makes good art.  In fact, she makes all of it, pencil-ink-color.  While the results are beautiful, I think that the fact that she does it all is a detriment because the backgrounds in the book are mostly single-colored blobs meant to signify rocks or parts of a room.  Don’t get me wrong, there are panels in the book that are fully fleshed out, but those are few and far between. 

An example of a good couple panels, hey, there's that hungry baby again.

The character work is great though.  She keeps the layouts simple and does a good job with the storytelling aspect of the comic.  She also does a decent job making sure that the sex club/planet is as tastefully done as possible and doesn’t look like a mutant German orgy.  Everything is kept fairly pg-13 for the most part. 
Aside from the lack of substantial backgrounds, my main complaint is the fact that the human characters all look too similar, which led to my confusion as to who-is-who and whether part of the book was a flashback or not.  I realize that the goat horns should be a dead giveaway, but the facial structure looks so similar on the characters presented (and really there are only four human-ish characters in the whole story, so it is natural to think there is a correlation.  Staples needs to do a better job clarifying that, because Vaughn sure as hell wasn’t going to. 

6/10 – The art is beautiful but the lack of backgrounds and uniformity of all of the humanoids knocks the grade down a few pegs.

Overall - 6/10 – The cover is great and the art is good, but the story is just bad.  I would rather just buy a Fiona Staples portfolio book than try and understand what is going on in this book.  


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fred Bares All

And thus we conclude the first big story-arc for Eat @ Shrimpy's.  Tune in on Friday for the beginning of the next fun-filled adventure, this time with goats!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I like LA Guns, and you should too, here’s why.


Note:  I wrote this Friday night after returning from the LA Guns concert.

I just got home from the LA Guns show at Suzy’s in Auburn, NY.  The concert itself was amazing, but there is one thing that is bothering me.  The turnout for the band was sub par; there may have been 100 people there at the very most.  The venue itself is not large, but still, I would expect and hope that the place would be packed to capacity to honor a band that hails from the west coast making the trip to such a small town.  Now, the people that were there were enthusiastic and rowdy, they were obviously fans of the band and it showed as they sang along to every song played tonight, even the new ones.
That’s right, the new ones, because not only did LA Guns decide to come around to lowly old Auburn in between shows in New Hampshire and Seattle, they also recently released a brand new album about a week ago entitled Hollywood Forever
First, let’s talk about the concert though, which is entirely appropriate because, without a doubt, LA Guns is a live band.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, the concert was not perfect from start to finish.  The band went on around 1045 and the first forty minutes or so was just marred by technical difficulties.  The first song went fine but sounded a little off, but during the second song (“Sex Action”) they got through about a minute and a half of the song before they stopped.  Initially I thought it was because frontman Phil Lewis called out the people in the front row that were taking pictures of the band while using the flash on their cameras/camera phones.  While this is not forbidden by any means, as a common courtesy to the band, the people should have stopped after the first few.  Now you may think that this is not that big of a deal but the stage at Suzy’s and the “pit” basically occupy the same space.  The individuals in the front row were literally inches away from the band as opposed to many venues where the band is feet away.  Now think about multiple flashbulbs going off in your eyes while you are trying to do your job and you may understand Lewis’s ire at that moment.
Unfortunately that was not the sole reason for the stoppage in play however.  The real issue was with the sound, or lack thereof that was coming out of the amp of guitarist Stacey Blades.  After a lengthy delay, they picked up where they left off in the song and finished it.  However at the end of that song there was another delay while they fixed the sound yet again.  This went on long enough for my brother to remark “I hope they get through three songs before I leave.”   Finally, they got everything working right and started in on the rest of their set.  While it would have been great for all of this to have been worked out ahead of time, the quality of the concert itself increased exponentially once everything was fixed, so I would call it a wash.  What happened after that though is what should be remembered, and why LA Guns is definitely the best live band you have never seen. 
From the moment they started that third song until the end of the show, they had complete control of the room.  LA Guns was built for this kind of venue.  I have been to large indoor and outdoor venues as well as larger clubs, and while many bands would dream of selling 15,000 tickets to a huge show in a sports arena, the small club show is where LA Guns thrives.  As I said before, the crowd was not huge, but they were vocal and they loved seeing the band in their little town, even though they had to wait through numerous delays just to do so.  The highlight of the night, and coincidentally right after my brother departed (he had to work in the morning, pansy) was their closing set.  They started with a Steve Riley drum solo that eventually gave way to the rest of the band coming in and accompanying him through a killer instrumental set.  At this point Phil Lewis came out and they broke into “Electric Gypsy” from their self titled debut which brought the house down.  I have never seen a crowd that engaged in singing along and just downright enjoying a song like that.  It was then time for the band to break out their “hit” “Ballad of Jane” because; as Lewis said “they wouldn’t let us leave if we didn’t play it.”  The performance on this was not only well executed, but also well received by the audience, who never failed to miss a note.  They really ramped up the energy on “Rip & Tear” as their closer for the night though upon completion the crowd went crazy and chanted their name until the band returned to a rousing rendition of “No Mercy”.  This closed the show and as the small crowd filtered out into the Auburn night, I felt a little cheated by the length of the show (it ran at around 90 minutes but that included the multiple technical difficulties, but I felt incredibly satisfied by the quality of the show that I saw.  However I also felt bad that a band that puts on as good a live show as LA Guns had to perform for a handful of people in Auburn New York
Now is your chance though.  Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  
With the release of the 80’s metal musical Rock of Ages I would like to think that this kind of music would again find a foothold in modern American culture (though after seeing the first weekend’s numbers that may be just a pipe dream).  It is, however unfair to lump LA Guns in with the rest of the “hair metal” scene based solely on the decade that they originated in.  The negative connotations of that kind of band far outweigh the positives and I can honestly say that LA Guns does not share those traits with any of their contemporaries.  I have heard a lot of music from that genre and that decade.  I have listened to both good and bad hair metal and I know that the main complaint (lame songs without much substance beyond a decent guitar solo) fails to describe LA Guns.  The way that I describe them to people that are unfamiliar with the band is “Guns ‘N Roses but more raw and dirty.”  I stick behind that description wholeheartedly.  Could their lack of polish be what prevented them from breaking in and sustaining a superstar career?  That’s entirely possible as longevity and consistency has not been a problem.  LA Guns has continuously produced music since their debut self titled album in 1988.  There have been lineup changes, sure.  They seem to go through bassists at almost a Spinal Tap-ian rate, Phil Lewis left the band for a few years and two albums in the mid nineties, and original guitarist Tracii Guns has not been with the band since 2002’s Waking the Dead album. 
This has not stopped LA Guns from giving it their all on every album and always producing solid work that they can be proud of and that their fans pick up religiously (there is no better testament to this than the fact that Hollywood Forever debuted at number twenty-five on the Billboard charts, from a band that has not released an album of original material in seven years).  If you like metal music at all, not just from the 80’s, you owe it to yourself to pick up the back catalog of LA Guns material.  Start with their self-titled debut as well as their sophomore album: Cocked and Loaded to get the best representation of their sound and swagger, but do not dismiss their most recent albums as Waking the Dead and 2005’s Tales from the Strip are can’t miss prospects as well.
Their new album Hollywood Forever is another solid effort and definitely should be added to any collection.  While it is not as consistent top to bottom as Tales from the Strip (their other album sans Tracii Guns) it is still an LA Guns album that should not be missed. 
The main thing here is that more people should be listening to LA Guns.  Period.  If you are apprehensive about purchasing an album, go on itunes and download a couple songs, make that investment of three or four dollars and you will not be disappointed.  Hell, just download the handful of songs that I mentioned by name above and you will be able to hear what this band is all about.  If all else fails, ask me, I have all of the albums and would be happy to share and convert more people to fans of LA Guns.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Public Service

If only every horrible situation could be resolved through an apology and/or public service.
Oh, wait, just ask every athlete/movie star that has ever gotten in trouble with the law.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stumps

This is probably my favorite joke of the first "story arc."  
Also, did you read Nik's latest Zombie flavored article?  It's below.

Zombies, Bath Salts and You


Last week I got scared. I hadn't heard anything about our Miami Zombie case in a while. Then, an untrustworthy source at work informed me that our poor victim had not survived the attack. I mourned the loss, and then kept my eyes peeled to see if I could find any stories about unexpectedly arisen bodies. Perhaps someone having shuffled forth from the morgue, or crawled out of a shallow grave to shamble through a children's playground. Needless to say, I didn't see anything of the sort in the news. So I just assumed that it had happened and the government had kept it quiet.
Then, yesterday, on a whim, right before we closed at work, I checked the news one more time for the day. And, lo and behold, I was presented with this gem. The story, and Ronald Poppo, are still alive.
Just a note, Brian Hamacher and Diana Gonzalez (of NBCMiami.com fame, of course) clearly didn't read my last post. They continue to insist upon using the phrase "face mauled off". No. Bad writer. We don't do that. Bad. *hits writers on collective nose with rolled up newspaper*
Now that that's out of the way. So, the victim is awake, eating, even talking, and shockingly seems to be in high spirits, despite the whole facey-eatey episode two and a half weeks ago. He seems to be doing okay, aside from the infection and the recovery process (the skin over the one remaining eye so that it can heal, eww). On top of that, he's working with social workers and mental health professionals, so it sounds like he's getting some good care and well on his way to recovery (if he doesn't turn).
An important fact coming to light in this article, one that we haven't seen before: before he attacked Poppo, Eugene was throwing his clothes into traffic and swinging on a light pole. Now, if this didn't end in cannibalism, this would actually be a hilarious story. The dude never would have gotten shot, there would have been a naked chase scene through the streets: two over-weight beat cops huffing and puffing after a nude man howling as his bare feet slapped against the asphalt, vaulting off of benches, mailboxes and light posts, tackle waving care-free in the breeze.
They're still making the Bath Salts claim. But, unfortunately, we may not know for quite some time, as they won't release the autopsy info until after the shooting investigation is done. And that could take over a year. Who knows where we'll be in year?! They need to rearrange their priorities and realize that the public is dying to know!

All silliness aside, we've got another instance of Bath Salts here. In my home territory of Upstate New York, no less. Guess the glamorous drugs can permeate all the way out to cow country.
Staties got sent to this lady's apartment because she was beating the snot out of her kid, and it turns out, oh snap, Bath Salts. They used pepper spray and a stun gun to subdue her, to no avail! So, we know two things from Bath Salts. They apparently send you into a blind rage, and you are unhindered by conventional weaponry. What if Bruce Banner was never actually exposed to Gamma Radiation? What if he was just a Salter? (a term I just made up for Bath Salts users, of course. Or what about a Bather. I kind of like that one better. Oh! Or Pretzel Head! Get it? Salt? That one's a stretch...)
So they finally get her into handcuffs, and then manage to get her to the hospital. Where she dies. So, now that we've (at least) two documented cases of Bath Salts, and they've both ended in crazy-face death, let's review. Now, for those two, I'm sure there are dozens of undocumented cases where people went bonkers that we don't know about. But, there are also hundreds of cases where the Bath Salts were taken "succesfully". (I say that ironically, because I can't really see taking drugs recreationally as ever being a success)
That being said, if we're starting to see the results, the potential dangers of using this drug: going insane and dying (certainly things I would consider negative side-effects), then why are people still using them?
Now, this opens up a whole new can of worms about recreational drug use that I don't intend to get into: Why do something to your body knowing full-well that it can do some serious harm?
These two stories are just a start to what is most-likely going to be a rash of cases that involve this new drug and how it obliterates the user. Hopefully the next one will be more comic, less tragic.