Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Asshole Bracket Finale


Please note, the italicized text is what that asshole did to garner the title.


People that use welfare as a job (1)
vs.
Josef Stalin – General Asshole.  Dictator of the main opponent of the United States and freedom in general (3)


Matt-  This is it.  For all the marbles.  While Stalin narrowly edged out Justin Bieber (boy, that was a weird sentence to write), people that use Welfare as their job kept steamrolling their competition to reach the finals.  I do not see that changing here, and I’ll tell you why.

1.     Stalin is old news.  As shitty as that sounds, it’s true.  Welfare, and those that abuse it, is a fairly recent development, historically speaking.  Sure, there were always “those people” but I contest that there is a greater percentage of the population that abuses the system now than there has ever been (and it will continue to grow unless Welfare-reform is made a priority before the next generation comes of age to abuse it as well).
2.     The general “not in my backyard” mentality.  Sure, Stalin was alive and reigning supreme years ago, but he was doing so in the Soviet Union, while Welfare abuse, especially the kind I am speaking of here, is an American problem.  We want to be number one, always have.  USA! USA!

I do realize that in the creation of this tournament, I left out a lot, and I do mean a lot of qualified candidates.  Believe me, I could cherry pick from the Middle East and probably fill an entire bracket, but that doesn’t mean that who or what was picked, isn’t deserving.  Believe me, for every Murray State (ISIS in this case), someone that has a great resume, you have a Kentucky (Welfare Rats) that has to make it in, based solely on how dominant they are.  If that analogy falls flat on you, I apologize.  Sometimes mixing in sports metaphors tends to alienate part of the audience.

Nik, what say you?  Are we looking for a dominant run by Welfare Rats?  Is this the John Wooden UCLA Bruins?  Does Stalin stand a chance? 

Nik- Well damn. The Biebs is out. If only our highly influential, purely theoretical bracket could reflect real life…
I think you really summed it up. Stalin’s generations ago. Welfare’s now. That being said, I was really confident in both Bieber and Cosby, and they both let me down. Well, I will no longer place my hopes and dreams upon those two, I can tell you that much.
All in all, I feel that it’s pretty straight forward at this point. This ain’t yer grandpa’s Asshole Bracket. (his is in the locked closet in his bedroom) Our generation’s greatest evil is clearly Welfare Abusers.
Or is it?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Thumped

Losing to your girlfriend is one thing, that happens, but Shrimpette is kind of a smartass, 
and losing to a smartass is never a good thing.

Friday, March 27, 2015

London Calling

The London games, though they give us a full day of football here sometimes, are just silly.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #6

                Ah the X-Men, my favorite comic growing up, let’s see what has become of Charlie’s team of outcasts in the Earth X universe.  We start with a short conversation about Reed Richards’ actions and what the Inhumans found at the end of the last issue (the time machine).  We then cut to the history of the X-Men, including the origin of Magneto and the formation of the original and “Giant Size” teams. 

                The reason this issue is X-Men-centric is revealed in the first page after the origin.  Reed Richards is at the ruins of the X-Mansion to try and locate Cerebro, the old mutant detecting device, in order to use it to find the missing Inhumans, almost like a magnet to search for a needle in a haystack.  What Reed encounters instead is a blast from the past as the X-Men are tearing up the mansion in a fight with the Sentinels.  Of course, this is just a Danger Room scenario that was triggered by Reed’s entrance into the mansion.  Reed shuts off the program and plugs himself into Cerebro to begin his mission. 

                We then cut to one of the last remaining X-Men, Cyclops, as an old man, just walking along when he stumbles upon a group of mutants.  He adeptly takes them all out though because, apparently this is an alternate universe where Cyclops is a badass.  The group of mutants attacked Cyclops in order to show him how tough they are.  It turns out that Captain America sent the group to Cyclops for training, which they did not think they needed…and the best way to show that is to attack Cyclops.  This obviously didn’t work as an old man in a trench coat kicked their collective asses. 

                We now travel to Dr. Strange’s house where Clea, the reigning Sorcerer Supreme with Dr. Strange out of commission, is preparing to send the Hulk-Ape into the land of the dead to deliver a message to Mar-Vell.  Apparently, Hulk-Ape, not having a real mind of his own does not have to worry about going mad in a place like the land of the dead. 

                In Iron Man’s sanctuary we get a conversation on ethics between him and Vision, where Vision attempts to reason with him, explaining that Iron Man is actually needed by the people out beyond his walls, possibly foreshadowing some actual involvement by Iron Man in future issues.  We quickly cut to Cyclops agreeing to train the team of ragtag mutants, after he fits them with new uniforms, that of course have an X on them, before we focus on Spiderman and his daughter having a heart to heart on a water tower regarding her involvement in superheroics.
 
                We get a quick glimpse of the Skull’s forces traveling across the country via train, apparently heading to New York.  Along for the ride is Cap and Daredevil.  We end with an appendix that explains what happened to many of the X-Men.  Iceman is alone at the North Pole; Angel is flying around trying to help the unfortunate souls; Magneto has isolated himself amidst a city of repurposed Sentinels; Multiple Man is basically a living breathing CNN, providing info to everyone that wants it; Banshee, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, X-Man, Gambit and Rogue died; Dazzler is still touring, singing Disco music, Longshot and Cable have disappeared and the telepaths died when the Skull was born.  It’s a pretty shitty day to be an X-Man.


Next Issue: Cap rides a train, the new X-Men train and Reed trains his brain to find Inhumans.  You see what I did there?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Asshole Bracket Final Four


Please note, the italicized text is what that asshole did to garner the title.



Justin Bieber – A shining example of what is wrong with today’s youth (4)
vs.
Josef Stalin – General Asshole.  Dictator of the main opponent of the United States and freedom in general (3)


Matt-  Bieber or Stalin…Bieber or Stalin…It may just be too close to call.  Seriously.  Would I rather live in Communist Russia or listen to Bieber’s music?  Would I rather try to endure the harsh winters of Siberia as a political prisoner, or sit through a showing of “Never Say Never”?  At least Communist Russia had some culture to  it…

That being said, I’m still picking Stalin. 

Nik- In Soviet Russia, Bieber love you!
        When you actually break it down, sure Stalin was a much bigger villain. But Villains is so last year, am I right? But when it comes to the body hairless science experiment gone wrong that is Justin Bieber, I think he’s a much bigger asshole. Bieber on this one. He’ll continue his move.



People that use welfare as a job (1)
vs.
Lance Armstrong – Doping/Lying/Destroying the lives of those that were trying to expose his doping/lying (1)


Matt- Lance Armstrong is a deplorable human being, hands down, no contest.  People that use Welfare as a job are a whole class of people.  Are they being enabled by a government that would rather hold everyone’s hand than see them do things for themselves?  Absolutely.  Does that make them any less of an asshole for using and abusing the system?  Nope.  Just like at the beginning of every month, “Welfare” wins again.
Nik-  I thiiiiink Welfare’s going to take this one. But my vote is Lance. I think, with him, you can put a face to the asshole, if you will. (gross) Whereas the whole welfare skidoo is more of a mass/faceless crime. It’s easier to hate an asshole you can see (still gross), than to hate a collective of assholes. (possibly the grossest)

Monday, March 23, 2015

String of Bad Luck

Week Eight-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
6-1
The Slugomatic
2-5
Fred
5-2
The Wormy Guy
4-3
The Masked Shrimpette
2-5
Mr. Happee
2-5

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. The Masked Shrimpette
The Slugomatic v. The Wormy Guy

Fred v. Mr. Happee

This may or may not have been a verbatim conversation from this past season...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Down Week for Most

Remember when Peyton could be counted on for thirty points every week?
Then the temperature dipped below fifty degrees...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #5

                We begin this issue, as we have with every issue thus far, with an origin story.  This particular origin story is for evryone’s favorite blonde-tressed Asgardian.  That’s right, Thor will play a major part in this issue.  I must say, the way Krueger and Ross are slow-burning the introduction of the heroes here, while also filling the issues with material in the interim is incredible.  They could have easily decompressed everything to the point where nothing happens until all of the heroes are revealed, but instead they give us a full story in each issue and then slowly bring the heroes along.  It’s masterful storytelling, and something that made me a longtime Krueger fan.

                Anyway, after the introduction (with more stellar art by Leon) we travel back to Latveria where the Inhumans and Reed Richards have come to the realization (at the end of last issue) that with the help of old Charlie Xavier’s Cerebro mutant finder, they can locate the missing Inhumans and reunite the kingdom.  It should be noted that when the Red Skull’s powers first manifested themselves, all of the telepaths died out, that means no Xavier, no Phoenix, no Emma Frost, etc.  Of course, once Reed leaves Doom’s castle, the Doom Bots attack the Inhumans.  It’s pretty well established that the Inhumans are capable of taking care of themselves in a fight though, so we don’t even stick around to see how that turns out.

                Instead, we are back to California.  Here, we see that  the hold that the Red Skull has over his “subjects” is not total and unbreakable.  Iron Maiden shows that she has a mind of her own, even though she is forced to follow the Red Skull, and she might even be a “hero” or what passes for a hero in this reality.  We now focus in on Cap, who is still in California, but is now just hanging out, extremely dejected at the humiliation of not being able to save his country, and losing yet another sidekick (seriously, who’s the worse mentor, Cap or Batman?).  Daredevil, the guy that can’t die wants to partner up with Cap, solely for the reason that all of Cap’s partners wind up killed.  This can only end well, right?

                Back in New York, at the home of Clea, the Sorcerer Supreme, picking up right where we left off at the end of the last issue.  We find out that Clea took over for Dr. Strange when he was attacked and put into a coma by an unknown force.  We then go into some mystical stuff regarding Mar-Vell and death/rebirth.  It’s a little crazy, but illustrated beautifully, and the coloring on this is excellent as everything is illuminated by the candle in the center of the room. 

                With that, it’s time to introduce Thor, who just so happens to be a woman now thanks to a trick from Loki (yes, Thor was a woman years before it became a stunt by Marvel to sell books and appear like they were progressive.  We get a brief exchange between Thor and Loki, where Loki is funny and condescending at the same time (as is his way) and then we are on to a quick jump around the Marvel Universe.  Our first stop is with Cyclops, who is now a balding old man that looks like he should be teaching history, not saving the world.  He is talking on a video conference with his father, Corsair of the Starjammers along with his brother Havok, and I’m assuming his sister-in-law Polaris.  Cyclops is pissed because his father is willing to come pick him up and get him away from Earth, but only him, leaving Jean Grey on Earth (even though it doesn’t appear as the two are together – and how she survived the telepath purge I have no idea).  We get confirmation that Jean is not with Scott on the next page as we see that she is with Wolverine.  Both would look more comfortable in WalMart than they would in tights saving the day at this point.

                Our last stop is back in Latveria, where the Inhumans are finishing up the dismantling of the Doom Bots.  Medusa then goes inside Reed’s lab and realizes that he has access to Doom’s time machine, and in his journals, we see Reed’s struggle with using that time machine to go back and fix everything and the moral quandary he has before him. 

                With that, we end this issue after a quick synopsis of the whereabouts of a few other Avengers (Ant-Man, Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man). 


Next Issue: What part does Lady-Thor play in this story?  Will Cyclops finally stop being a baby about Jean Grey, and who the hell changes Ape-Hulk’s diapers? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dead Weight

That may be the worst thing in fantasy football, to look at your bench and realize that it has completely outscored your starters.  That may have happened to me once or twice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Asshole Bracket: Elite Eight


Please note, the italicized text is what that asshole did to garner the title.


Historical Region:


Joseph McCarthy – Labeled individuals as communists back when the “Red Scare” was a big deal.  Got people blackballed from their professions, ruined lives. (5)
vs.
Josef Stalin – General Asshole.  Dictator of the main opponent of the United States and freedom in general (3)


Matt-  McCarthy made it by the slimmest of margins over Bernie Madoff’s reign of terror last week, but this is where his ride ends as Stalin has just steamrolled everyone put in front of him.  It makes sense too, as Stalin’s legacy has helped create tense relations between the United States and Russia that exist even today, while McCarthyism, while being a severe black eye after it was all said and done, has faded away aside from a historical reference here and there.  Plus, if there was no Stalin, McCarthy might not have anything to bitch about.
Nik- I think McCarthyism wasn’t a black eye, but a red eye.
        Thank you.
        Also, wow, totally thought Madoff would make it. But Stalin was a big ol’ D. It’s refreshing to see Stalin make it significantly further than Hitler, too. But yeah, Stalin is gonna move on here. McCarthy pales in comparison.



Entertainment Region:


Al Sharpton – Civil unrest profiteering and fingerpointing, a modern day Joseph McCarthy (2)
vs.
Justin Bieber – A shining example of what is wrong with today’s youth (4)


Matt-  Bieber did it.  He took down Kanye’s giant ego.  Will he be able to do the same to Al Sharpton’s specific and fine-tuned level of villainy?  I suppose if anyone could do it, Bieber could.  You might even say, he has made me a Bielieber.
Nik- I think I’ve already made my arguments for the later-term abortion that is Bieber.



General Region:


People that use welfare as a job (1)
vs.
People that use civil unrest to loot stores and push their agenda (2)


Matt- People that use Welfare as their job is the Josef Stalin of the general region.  I originally had Hitler pegged as the overall number one seed of the tournament, but that was a vast underestimation.  “Welfare” is definitely the 2015 Kentucky Wildcats of this bracket.  It’s not a matter of if they will win, it’s who they will beat to get there.
Nik-  Wow. At this rate I’m seeing Stalin and Welfare, I think making it to the end. Boy was I way off. Welfare on this one, though.



Deceptive Region:


Lance Armstrong – Doping/Lying/Destroying the lives of those that were trying to expose his doping/lying (1)
vs.
Ray Rice – Beat his wife (6)


Matt-  Ray Rice dropped the hammer on Paula Deen (and we’ve seen how he beats people he loves, so this must have been especially brutal) and Lance Armstrong cruised through his bout.  Will Armstrong continue to wear the yellow jersey through this leg of Le Tour De Asshole?  I think so.
Nik- I was gonna make a “Live Strong” joke here. Something like “Dick Strong.” But that’s just unsavory. “Douche Strong” (for when regular douches just won’t do.) I dunno. What I’m trying to say is that I think Lance takes Rice for a (bicycle) ride on this one.

Matt- (claps slowly)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gangrene

Week Seven-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
5-1
The Slugomatic
2-4
Fred
4-2
The Wormy Guy
3-3
The Masked Shrimpette
2-4
Mr. Happee
2-4

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. The Slugomatic
Mr. Happee v. The Wormy Guy
Fred v. The Masked Shrimpette

Just a little "Seventh Heaven" pedophile reference for your Monday morning.
You're welcome.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Big Blue Monster

If you want to play a football-themed drinking game guaranteed to get you hammered, take a shot every time you see the "Eli Face" during a Giants game.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #4

                This issue begins with the origin of the Black Panther.  It’s a pretty standard origin with good art by Jon Paul Leon, but again, the lack in variation when it comes to color makes everything a boring shade of grey.  After the quick origin, we are back in Latveria, where Reed Richards, along with the Inhumans, is trying to contact T’Challa, the Black Panther, out in his kingdom of Wakanda.  Reed is basically trying to rally all of his former friends, now the leaders of the various nations of the world.  T’Challa doesn’t want to help Reed by stopping the production of Vibranium (Wakanda is its place of origin) as he says that the spirits have spoke to him and he is doing this for his people.  What T’Challa has failed to tell Reed is that the same mists that changed the human population has also altered the animal population, they are all half animal-half human hybrids now. 

                Back in Latveria, Reed is still trying to figure out how to help the Inhumans, and comes up with the idea to use Cerebro, Charles Xavier’s old mutant detector.  With a few alterations, he believes that Cerebro can be used to find the real Inhumans amidst all of the “mutants” of the world. 

                Now we are back in California, as Cap confronts the Red Skull.  He believes that everyone deserves freedom because they are in America.  No matter what is happening, no matter how much the country, or the world for that matter, is falling apart, Cap will always be there to protect everyone’s individual freedoms.  That’s basically the lesson of this issue, and every issue of Captain America ever, right?  In talking to the Red Skull, we get a quick origin of Iron Maiden (who, as Krueger so eloquently states, like Jack Nicholson in Batman) gains her powers by falling into a vat of chemicals.  As Cap goes to stop the Skull, basically by pulling on his ear it looks like, he is hit with a flashback of Bucky courtesy of Spiders-Man (yup, that’s his name) whose power causes the target to hallucinate.

                To add insult to injury, the Skull, being the little douche that he is is content with mind-controlling everyone around Cap except for Cap in order to prove a point and force Cap to watch his country crumble around him.  To this end, he controls Redwing, making him beat the crap out of Cap.  He then basically banishes Cap, taking his partner from him yet again.  Leon does a great job of showing Cap’s isolation, and you really feel bad for the guy. 

                We are back in New York now, and we are greeted by the Hydra chasing after a winged devil girl, it turns out that she is Betty Banner, the Hulk’s wife (ex-wife?).  Right on cue, the Hulk shows up.  Now, this Hulk is different than the Hulk you know. He is two separate entities, yes, as we’ve seen in the past, but the smart, Banner part is a child now, while the Hulk part is more simian in nature than ever before.  Apparently saving Betty (who flies away in terror) was just a pit-stop on their way to Clea’s house (Clea, Dr. Strange’s old girlfriend, is now the Sorcerer Supreme).

                We end on that note, after a little exposition where X-51 comes to the conclusion that Celestials are the final step in human evolution, that all of the machinations of the Celestials when it comes to the populace of Earth up to this point have been in order to create new Celestials.  We, in essence, are their larvae.  An interesting theory indeed.


Next issue – Are we really larvae? Seriously?  And where does Cap go from here?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Resume

I think Starbucks frowns on the practice of giving away Machiattos for free.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Asshole Bracket - Round Two Breakdown


Please note, the italicized text is what that asshole did to garner the title.


Historical Region:


Joseph McCarthy – Labeled individuals as communists back when the “Red Scare” was a big deal.  Got people blackballed from their professions, ruined lives. (5)
vs.
Bernie Madoff – Ponzi’d the shit out of millions (8)


Matt-  I’m not going to lie, this was a little shocking to me.  To see our good buddy Adolf going out in the first round…crazy.  Bernie Madoff wins one for Jews everywhere, but I think that is where his luck runs out.  Joseph McCarthy is a grade-A asshole, and with Hitler out of the way, I can easily see him move swiftly into the final four.
Nik- Boom! First upset of the game. Pretty sure I called this one. I think Hitler’s had his time. It’s good to see some other evil wretches getting their time in the sun. I think this next round is going to be another example of more  recent villainy wins. I think Madoff is going to move on with this next round because we’re still feeling the effects of his evils and those of his ilk.


John Wayne Gacy – Guilty of killing 33 boys and young men (2)
vs.
Josef Stalin – General Asshole.  Dictator of the main opponent of the United States and freedom in general (3)


Matt-  Stalin steamrolled Cheney, while Gacy snuck by Putin at the very end to set up this matchup.  Stalin keeps rolling here as his atrocities and overall asshole nature can’t be stopped.    
Nik- I’m honestly surprised by both of these results. Not upset, however. And I do think that Stalin will move along here, as he overshadows Gacy’s crime on a more global scale.



Entertainment Region:


Kanye West – He may be the antichrist (1)
vs.
Justin Bieber – A shining example of what is wrong with today’s youth (4)


Matt-  Kanye and Bieber were both big winners here (with Bieber being only one of two unanimous victors in the whole bracket) which sets up an interesting showdown here.  Which asshole is the bigger asshole?  The kid that just turned 21 or the grown man that should know better.  I choose Kanye (of course, I will always choose Kanye when it comes to who is the bigger asshole), but the real question is, who will everyone else choose?
Nik- Oh shit. Not surprised with this turn-out either. And loving every second of it. I’m just upset that these two couldn’t make it right to the end to duke it out. Gotta say, I’m going with the Biebs on this one, based purely on how obnoxious he is.


Al Sharpton – Civil unrest profiteering and fingerpointing, a modern day Joseph McCarthy (2)
vs.
Rush Limbaugh – Seriously?  It’s Rush.  He’s the king of the assholes (3)


Matt-  Two blowhards go at it in this round, and the real losers here are the people that have to listen to them.  Sharpton takes it in my opinion because he not only profits from civil unrest, but his actions can actually incite some of that civil unrest itself.  Rush?  He’s just an old white guy with someone that is too stupid to give him a microphone.  I can’t imagine there have been riots in the streets due to his machinations.
Nik- Matt said it beautifully in this one. Sharpton moves along because he’s more of an overall evil. An every man’s evil, if you will.



General Region:


People that use welfare as a job (1)
vs.
People that passive-aggressively use memes on Facebook (4)


Matt- People That Sit on Welfare was the other big “winner” in the last round, completely demolishing their opponent.  Do I think they will have as easy of a time this next round with People That Post Passive Aggressive Memes on Facebook? Yes, yes I do.  I don’t see anyone in the field of competition that can take them down at this point. 
Nik- Agreed. I don’t know how this Memes one even got this far. It doesn’t stand a chance. Welfare it is. Move along.


People that use civil unrest to loot stores and push their agenda (2)
vs.
That guy that drives 65 in the left lane (3)


Matt-  Both of the winners here did so by the slimmest of margins, so it will be interesting to see who advances from this pairing.  I could see either moving on, especially because looters are not as prevalent in everyday life as people that can’t goddamn drive.  I’m going with the driver.  Familiarity wins. 
Nik- I’m actually going with Looters on this one, ‘cause I think they’re a greater evil, despite their being less prevalent. They have more of a societal effect.



Deceptive Region:


Lance Armstrong – Doping/Lying/Destroying the lives of those that were trying to expose his doping/lying (1)
vs.
Stephen Collins - Pedophilia (4)


Matt-  It’s the old-news asshole in Armstrong vs. the recent asshole in Collins.  Does the fact that people have had time to come to grips with Armstrong’s acts play into the voting process?  I say no, an asshole is an asshole.  It’s hard to say that anything is worse than pedophilia though.  I’m so conflicted.  A flip of the coin says Armstrong.
Nik- I’m going with Armstrong on this one too. In terms of quantity vs. quality, he takes the taco on this.


Ray Rice – Beat his wife (6)
vs.
Paula Deen - Racist (7)


Matt-  Clinton and Cosby escape unscathed as Paula Deen and Ray Rice move right along.  To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think either of these two would be here, but at least what Ray Rice did was a criminal act, which makes him an even bigger asshole in my mind.  I still find it hard to admonish an old white southern lady for being racist.  That would be like admonishing the sun for being bright, or John Travolta for being a closeted homosexual.  Rice moves on.
Nik- WHAT THE WHAT?! I am flabbergasted here. Not unpleasantly. Quite tickled, honestly, that we see these two. But in terms of being a wretched human being, I definitely have to say that Rice wins this one. Hell, he might make it a couple more rounds, at this point. And who is he? Does he play the footballs?



Monday, March 9, 2015

Too Little

Remember for the first part of the year when Superbowl MVP Tom Brady couldn't pass his way out of a paper bag?  
Also, do you remember when Flacco had a good game this last season?  
It only happened a couple times so I'll wait while you try and remember.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pigs Aflutter

Week Six-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
4-1
The Slugomatic
2-3
Fred
4-1
The Wormy Guy
2-3
The Masked Shrimpette
1-4
Mr. Happee
2-3

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. Fred
The Slugomatic v. The Masked Shrimpette

The Wormy Guy v. Mr. Happee

Remember when the Cowboys beat the Seahawks!? As a Cowboys fan, this is pretty much how I felt.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #3

                This issue, we get to learn a bit more about everyone’s favorite angry prince of Atlantis, Namor.  Last issue, when we learned about the Fantastic Four and what became of Marvel’s first family (long before they were destroyed by Fox) we learned that Franklin, in essence, set half of Namor on fire as penance for killing Johnny Storm, the Human Torch.  This origin story just lays out the bare-bones of Namor’s origin, aspects everyone already knows, such as the fact that he is half human/half Atlantean (hence the fact that he needs both air and water to survive and remain sane) as well as his early interactions with both the Invaders and the Fantastic Four. 

                We then quickly transition to the “present day” which sees Cap and Redwing in California, more specifically standing in front of the Hollywood sign.  Even without the exposition it is apparent that Cap has reached California and Leon does a great job of showing that with just a few lines.  The detail that he puts into the train station on the same page is incredible.  While I realize that it is a fairly desolate book in general, it would have been nice had colorist Matt Hollingsworth made a bit more of an effort to vary the tones instead of making everything just another shade of grey.  That would have turned a good panel into a great one. 

                The Iron Maiden and Namor get into a fight as it rains fish down on everyone and Cap has a discussion with Redwing about freedom (of course he does).  Back in New York, Fat Spider-Man tries to talk his daughter, May (who’s suit is a symbiote apparently) out of being a superhero.  May obviously doesn’t see eye to eye with him and leaves.  We now move to Latveria and the home of Mr. Fantastic in his guise as Dr. Doom (it’s always Halloween in Latveria!).  The Inhumans have come to visit Reed as well, and Reed begins the whole visit by basically telling Medusa how hot she is…

…awkward.

                Reed then give the Inhumans a history lesson about how he was able to harness the power of vibranium, but that it got away from him and turned the whole population into, for lack of a better term, mutants.  Medusa then tells Reed of the Inhumans finding people, who she suspects are the Eternals, coated in Vibranium, floating through space as the planet that housed them blew up.  Krueger does a great job here of deepening the mystery without revealing everything yet (we’re only in issue three, after all).

                Back in California, Namor continues to do crazy Namor things until the Red Skull shows up and takes control of his mind.  Leon does a great job of not only using MODOK’s body/chair (pour one out for MODOK!) to frame the Skull, but also show him higher than Namor, further showing Namor’s subservience.  Leon is killing it on this book.

                We take a brief history lesson about a few characters like Sandman, X-Force and the Wizard (while I understand why their existence was relegated to footnote status, seriously, who cares about those guys at all) we wrap things up speaking of a global food crisis as Russia is the only country that really has the capability to farm much anymore, it seems.


Next Issue:  Do we get to meet more of the Skull’s elite squad of forgotten Marvel characters?  We’ll see!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Laser Focused

Mr. Happee seems to be losing touch with the human element of football.  It's sad, really.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Asshole Bracket: First Round Breakdown


Please note, the italicized text is what that asshole did to garner the title.


Historical Region:


Adolf Hitler – Something to do with the extermination of an entire race of people (1)
vs.
Bernie Madoff – Ponzi’d the shit out of millions (8)


Matt-  Bernie Madoff is horrible, no doubt about it, but he’s facing Hitler.  Not Stan Hitler, or Jerry Hitler, Adolf Goddamn Hitler.  Just one more Jew to fall in Hitler’s wake…too soon?
Nik- I think Hitler’s been around long enough. It’s too easy to just go to him for history’s asshole. I think Madoff could really stand a chance in this.


Joseph McCarthy – Labeled individuals as communists back when the “Red Scare” was a big deal.  Got people blackballed from their professions, ruined lives. (5)
vs.
Napoleon Bonaparte – France’s dictator that went on an acquisition spree across Europe back when that kind of thing would start a war.(4)


Matt-  While what Napoleon did was horrible, Joseph McCarthy was a giant asshole.  Seriously.  The lives he ruined, of innocent people no less, on a witch hunt for communists who probably weren’t even Soviet sympathizers anyway is way worse.  He didn’t kill people, per se, but he ended their lives before they died.
Nik- The worst part of McCarthy? He inspired Arthur Miller to write The Crucible. Yeah, that’s right. It was actually an allegory for the Red Scare, philistines. I was an English major – that was a joke. But I do think McCarthy takes this win.


Dick Cheney – Seriously, what hasn’t this guy done? (6)
vs.
Josef Stalin – General Asshole.  Dictator of the main opponent of the United States and freedom in general (3)


Matt-  Cheney was the asshole that got America re-involved in Iraq over oil (don’t start with your WMD talk) and was basically GW’s puppet master for eight years, eight long, crappy years.  Stalin was like Hitler, but more covert.  What he did, he did to his own people too, not just those that he acquired via invasion.  Stalin was such an asshole, that he started as an ally and ended as the worst enemy of the Americans.  He has to win, right?
Nik- See, the thing is, everybody knows Stalin’s name, but he was overshadowed by Hitler, wasn’t he? I’m calling Cheney on this one. Definitely. The darkest human of our era. If he’s human…


Vladimir Putin – He’ll start World War III if given the chance, guaranteed (7)
vs.
John Wayne Gacy – Guilty of killing 33 boys and young men (2)


Matt-  Okay, as far as we know, Putin (or Pootie if you’re buddies) hasn’t really done much yet.  He does seem like the kind of guy that could become unhinged and start WWIII though.  John Wayne Gacy murdered, with his bare hands, 33 boys.  Who the hell does that!?  Gacy advances.  
Nik- I dunno. Gacy should just be lumped in with all other psycho serial killers, oughtn’t he? (Wow, “oughtn’t” does not trigger my spellcheck. I’ll be damned. It’s a legit word.)
That being said, I think Putin’s a pretty big piece of shit. He is well on his way to being up there with Hitler and Stalin, in terms of being crazy, genocidal dictator.
(full disclosure: I may be biased. My grandfather-in-law is off-the-boat Latvian, so he’s got a very strong opinion on what goes on in the Baltics.)



Entertainment Region:


Kanye West – He may be the antichrist (1)
vs.
Michael Bay – Transformers 1-4 (8)


Matt-  Yes, the Transformers movies killed a little bit of my childhood, but Kanye is the worst human being on the planet.  Kim Jung Un watches Kanye at the Grammys and thinks he’s a dick.  Seriously.
Nik- Like, ALL of the Transformers were shit. Especially the last one. Couldn’t finish it. As much as I love some Marky Mark. Kanye West is Kanye West. He certainly wins here.


Alex Rodriguez – A giant cocky asshole that cheated at baseball and sucks at life. (5)
vs.
Justin Bieber – A shining example of what is wrong with today’s youth (4)


Matt-  Both of these assholes are assholes because we created them.  That does not excuse their behavior, just explains some of it.  A-Rod is pretty terrible, but the simple fact that Bieber will be around longer due to his age, which means we’ll have to put up with this asshole for a longer period of time is the winning blow for me.
Nik- I don’t know anything about baseball, so Justin Bieber has a distinct advantage here. Even if I knew who Alex “Panther Pants” Rodriguez was, I’d still give it to Bieber. I mean, didn’t millions upon millions of people sign a petition to get him deported back to Canada?
(I have a theory that everyone in Canada is so nice, because all of their assholery gets siphoned into one human being every generation. It just so happens that Bieber is that human being.)


Taylor Swift – Spotify, song lyrics, being generally unlikable (6)
vs.
Rush Limbaugh – Seriously?  It’s Rush.  He’s the king of the assholes (3)


Matt-  The term “entertainment” is being used rather loosely in this matchup. Taylor Swift is a black pit of despair for any guy that dares to stick his junk in her “black pit of despair” and Rush is a black pit of despair for rational thought.  I can’t stand Taylor Swift, but I have to give it to Rush, at least Swift can “sing”.
Nik- Rush Limbaugh is an ignorance-mongering shit bag, but less in the public eye than Swift is. Taylor Swift takes it out of pure exposure.


Dane Cook – Overall asshole (7)
vs.
Al Sharpton – Civil unrest profiteering and fingerpointing, a modern day Joseph McCarthy (2)


Matt-  Cook was a suggestion by Nik, so I’m not too sure what makes him an asshole as much as just a giant douche (and yes, he is the giantest of giant douches) but against Al Sharpton?  Pretty much everyone pales in comparison to this asshole.  From using racism as the driving force of all his “activism” to being front and center anytime something negative (though sometimes justified) happens to a black person, but conspicuously absent when anything happens to a white person, he is the lowest level of scum.
Nik- I suggested Dane Cook, because isn’t the term “asshole” just a synonym for “douche”? Seriously, Dane Cook is pretty douchey. And, like the Swift/Limbaugh face-off, I think Cook takes it because of exposure here too. Politics takes a back seat to celebrity in these regards.



General Region:


People that use welfare as a job (1)
vs.
People with stick figure family stickers on their car (8)


Matt- Ultimately, it’s your car, you do what you want to it, deface it however you like.  I personally don’t care how many kids/cats/dildo attachments you own and the fact that you think anyone cares makes you kind of an asshole.  On top of the mountain of assholes rests someone that is perfectly capable of holding down a job but decides not to and then just cashes a check every month from the government.  Welfare advances, as they always do, while we foot the bill.
Nik- I don’t have a stick figure family on my car. I have *just* dildo attachments. A family’s worth. I’m really proud of that little guy on the end….
Welfare Sitters are a greater evil. Stick figure families are assholes only subjectively.


Local Sports Talk Radio Callers (5)
vs.
People that passive-aggressively use memes on Facebook (4)


Matt-  If I hear one more asshole from Liverpool explain how the Syracuse Basketball Team doesn’t play enough man-to-man defense I’m going to burn that village to the ground.  This may not be true for everyone in every town, but the sports fans in Central New York love to ramble and refuse to enunciate (or take the dick out of their mouth, I’m not sure which).  Of course this matches the sports talk radio hosts that all sound like they’re in the middle of an Eiffel Tower (go ask your mom).  On the other side of that, we have people that have no balls at all and would rather let other people put words in their mouth to say things about other people instead of either saying things directly to that individual or at least passively-aggressively writing things themselves.  Both are giant assholes, but considering the fact that I hear the Sports Talk Radio Callers all the time, I’ll go with them.
Nik- I’m not even going to weigh in on these. I could not give a single shit. Don’t care about sports. Don’t have a Facebook. So. Yup. (maybe just Facebook in general should’ve been an asshole choice…)


Walmart Cashiers (6)
vs.
That guy that drives 65 in the left lane (3)


Matt-  Walmart Cashiers may just be the single biggest group of assholes in the world in terms of overall numbers, but in the moment, when you’re behind that asshole on the highway that is in the left-most lane but going the same speed as everyone in the right hand lane…fuck that guy.  He wins, he has to win.  It’s not an everyday occurrence, but when it happens, you want to kill.
Nik- I don’t want to lump all Walmart Cashiers together, I just want to really specify the shitty ones. ‘cause I’ve had some decent ones. Some are just stuck in a shitty job, for a shitty company, that pays them shitty. But, that doesn’t excuse human decency.
Also, drive safely. Come on now, people. You gotta share the road. Be considerate.


People that own truck nuts (7)
vs.
People that use civil unrest to loot stores and push their agenda (2)


Matt-  Okay, so Al Sharpton kind of made it in the bracket twice, so sue me.  Looters are just as bad though.  Seriously, nothing says equality and justice like stealing twelve pairs of Jordans.  Truck Nuts are a cosmetic addition to your vehicle that show everyone you’re an asshole, like a trucker hat or trendy beard for your car.  Those that want to profit from civil unrest, those are the skid marks on the underpants of society.  They advance.
Nik- I didn’t know Al Sharpton had Truck Nuts…
Truck Nuts are offensive and assholery, for certain. But Looters are parasites on society. Looters move along.


Deceptive Region:


Lance Armstrong – Doping/Lying/Destroying the lives of those that were trying to expose his doping/lying (1)
vs.
Steve Jobs – General Asshole (8)


Matt-  Lance Armstrong ruined lives to protect a reputation built on lying and cheating while Steve Jobs was just a general asshole to many of the people in his life, including his own family.  Lance Armstrong would be my choice here, but just the level of asshole that Jobs was may be enough to push him through.
Nik- Don’t forget,  Armstrong divorced Sheryl Crow after he got better. She stuck by him and supported him during his ball-ectomy, and then she gets the short shrift once he gets better. I’m going to have to go with Lance, for the above, and all other general shittiness.


Woody Allen – Pedophilia (5)
vs.
Stephen Collins - Pedophilia (4)


Matt-  Which pedophile is the worst pedophile?  Personally, I would say that Stephen Collins was worse just because of the sanctimonious airs he put on when he had that kind of skeleton in his closet.  It’s like finding out your principal, the one who held you to a higher standard in school was, well, a pedophile. 
Nik- I have to agree on this one. I mean, c’mon, he was the dad on 7th Heaven for cripes sake.


Ray Rice – Beat his wife (6)
vs.
Bill Clinton - Adultery (3)


Matt-  Both men hurt and humiliated their spouses.  Both spouses forgave them.  I’m not sure who are the bigger assholes, the men or women.  Clinton is higher on the list because he was the leader of the goddamn free world when he did it.  That makes him a pretty big asshole., and ultimately what I think pushes him through to the next round.  
Nik- Ray Rice. Period. Clinton’s transgressions were blown way out of proportion. Sure, adultery is shitty, but compared to spouse abuse? No way.


Paula Deen - Racist (7)
vs.
Bill Cosby - Rape (2)


Matt-  Paula Deen is an old Southern lady.  The fact that she’s a racist shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but it does make her a bit of an asshole.  Bill Cosby used his fame and notoriety to (allegedly) rape a bunch (and I do mean a bunch) of women.  Even though Cosby’s allegations are not proven, this makes him the bigger asshole in my book.
Nik- My mantra this season is that Cosby is the freshest wound, so he will go a long, long way in this. Frankly, that there are SO many allegations is a leeeeettle fishy. Innocent until proven guilty, or until someone slips you a mickey and you forget it ever happened, as the saying goes.
Paula Deen’s proven to be a buttery racist. So, frankly, I think she ought to win this one.
But, honestly, I think the Cos (wid da Jell-o pudding, waaaaah) moves on in this round.