Saturday, June 22, 2013

PG-13

I find the idea of "strong" euphemisms like "frig" and "dang" bizarre. I mean, are they swears or are they not?? How can they be somewhere in between?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hipsters!?


The popular conception of a "hipster" is a stereotypical image constructed by non-hipsters who didn't know what being "hip" meant.
Since this image got passed around as being "cool", folks who wanted to be "cool" started imitating the look and attitude that they all heard about. These people are posers.

In my personal opinion, a true hipster is someone who is very fond of unusual and not necessarily popular things, such as music, fashion and food that don't get talked about in places like, say, the Los Angeles Times. They don't care what other people think, but it's not snobbery. It's a passion.
I've met very many people who I would describe as "hipsters", but they don't wear ratty clothing or horn-rimmed glasses at all.
I don't even think it being unpopular or non-mainstream is a prerequisite.

There's also the misconception that being into something "ironically" means that they don't like something's face value- that their liking it is insincere. Irony in this context means that while the thing you like is superficially unsophisticated, you like it anyway- DESPITE of its cheesiness, and also BECAUSE of its cheesiness, and at the same time you're tongue-in-cheek about it. You KNOW it's cheesy, but it's fun as hell, and it has better qualities under the surface.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Homosexuality- What I think

Let's start this post with something positive.

I wish all the freedom, human rights, and even happiness to all homosexuals and other miscellaneous categories. They deserve it because they're human beings. It's as simple as that.

But I wish the world would stop talking about it.

I don't care what causes homosexuality- be it genetic, psychological, social, divine, what have you... It doesn't really make any difference to me, and any argument for either side is weak justification for a needless viewpoint.
But let's face it: What we're arguing about is not whether or not God loves or hates you... It's whether or not what genitals you stick where is something that matters. If you ask me, it all boils down to this: An individual, for God knows what reason, sometimes physically attracted to the same gender, and not the other.

This is my problem with the homosexual community. I used to have a much lower opinion of them, but I've grown wiser and I given it a lot of thought. The whole trouble is that a very vocal minority has gotten the bizarre idea that wanting to stick their penis up a man's butt is something that makes you very special and unique, and that an entire subculture should be based around that.

I presume that not all homosexuals behave and act like Paul Lynde dressed like Elton John. I have yet to meet a homosexual in person that behaves relative normally, I admit... But it's simply logical to assume that they don't ALL act like the stereotype.

Therefore, we can safely assume that not all homosexuals are lustful, and are in fact capable of love and kindness just like any other type of human being.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mewtwo and dubbing


There's a very vocal minority (at least I hope it's a minority) that seems to hate the English dub of the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back. The idea is that 4Kids ruined it by over-emphasizing the moral and making Mewtwo too clear-cut a villain.

I don't remember ever thinking Mewtwo was a true bad guy. He was angry and vengeful for only being thought of as merely a successful experiment or a mega-weapon. And "Birth of Mewtwo" makes it pretty clear that he was kinda mentally disturbed in the first place. Who wouldn't be, after all that?
And anyway, Mewtwo obviously comes to his senses in the end, so it's not like the dubbers took that out. If they really wanted him to be the Big Bad Guy, he would have learned his lesson through defeat or something.

The moral might be just a tad over-emphasized, but only a tad. Not any more than any other kids' cartoons at the time. I was a kid once, and I'm pretty sure most kids take notice when a cartoon is hitting them over the head with an Aesop. Me, I took it to heart.
In the wild, a Pokémon's attacks are for self-defense. When they're with a trainer, Pokémon enjoy battling for sport- that much is obvious, being more sentient than regular animals. Battling for sport is an extension of their own survival skills.
But the anime and games make this clear- Pokémon are not tools of war, and should not be used just as a means to show your strength. Pokémon should never be pushed too hard, or fight to the death, or else they'll grow to dislike you. Just like we shouldn't abuse our pets or have dog fights or lions eat slaves. But any real-life pet owner knows that animals enjoy hunting and play-fighting even though they don't really have to. If you think the moral is too pushy, you should dislike Red & Blue and Gold & Silver. Those games had the same moral all over the place.
It's not like Pokémon was like Captain Planet or something, where the episode's lesson was spelled out at the end just in case you missed it. What I'm saying is that a smart kid knows when he's being talked down to. I wasn't.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where there's Poop, there's YouTube


YouTube Poop. Those bizarrely edited, mostly nonsensical videos that uses primarily animation and children's shows for a laugh. What are they?

For those who don't get them, I think I have a simple explanation.

To me, YouTube Poops are the modern version of Vaudeville. If you're not familiar with the wealth of pop culture references, sound clips, and memes they use, they're pretty hard to understand.
They're like routines, like "Pat and Mike" and "Slowly I Turned", and half of the fun is spotting a familiar bit, and the spin the YouTuber gives it.

YouTube Poop humor, I believe, is humor in its most abstract form. Most of the time you don't even know why it's funny... Most of the laughs come from sheer juxtaposition: placing a sound effect or dialogue where it doesn't belong, to distort or even bastardize the source material. The rest of the time it's simple absurdity and non-sequitirs, or goofy noises.

Sometimes it's merely the timing. It's like audio-visual Jewish humor, in a way. But usually, it's a combination of all of the above.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why Adventure Time gets my goat


I suppose if anyone reads this, they'll get mad that I'm harping on their favorite show or something.

Here's the thing...
I watched an episode of this show. I did not laugh.
I found the episode to be mostly incoherent, disappointing, and lacking in punchlines. The advertising tends to be loud and repetitive.

So yeah. I don't have so much of a problem with the show itself... but when something that so underwhelms me and resembles nothing I ever saw as a kid becomes so beloved, and some guy on YouTube claims nostalgia is the key, and so many adults adore it, I get mad.

I don't know what kind of childhood these adult fans had, but they couldn't be anything like the one I had. I can't relate to the show in any shape or form.
I understand the comparisons to fairy tales that've been made, but when my childhood was filled with cartoons like Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, Angry Beavers, Darkwing Duck, Pinocchio and The Lion King, and comics like Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts, what possible connection could I possibly feel to a cartoon that looks like amateurish high school notebook doodles? It doesn't even look like any video games I ever played!

I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised. I couldn't relate to other kids even when I was a kid. The most popular movies at the time had to do with basketball and schoolroom drama. I was always picked on.
I've had one big desire ever since then- to be accepted by the people around me. To have somebody to talk to about the stuff I love. Without getting into heated arguments.
So when all this '90s nostalgia comes around, I feel a sense of hope- the remaining fans of 90's cartoons and kid entertainment, I always surmised, would be the nerds and social rejects who never fell prey to the idea that "old" equals "bad".

So when somebody goes around telling me the NOSTALGIA is what Adventure Time is founded on- what draws young adult fans to it- something so completely alien that I am regularly repulsed by the sight of its characters and design, and look upon as the antithesis of everything I loved as kid...
THAT SUCKS.

Do you have any idea how alienating that is? It hurts.

So what the hell were these people watching on TV in the '90s? Captain Noodlearms and the Rainbow Slush Brigade?
Who are these people? How could it be that Adventure Time reminds them of what it was like to be a kid? Are you telling me that the nerds who refuse to abandon their inner child are NOT people I can befriend??
...Do I even belong on this planet?

I guess all I've got are the bronies.

It's not the show that I hate. It's the phenomenon.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Irreverence in comedy- MAKE IT STOP


I've grown rather tired of irreverence. There was once a time- a time when absurd social rules reigned- when you could mock nearly everything, because it deserved to be mocked. (i.e. Monty Python)

But now I see comedy that has no respect for anything (i.e. most Comedy Central shows), and will assault your eyes and ears with real-life injury, gore, profane sexual acts, various bodily fluids, blasphemy, indiscriminate parodies of all public figures and popular fiction, and relentless deconstruction of every storytelling tactic you can think of. Everybody and everything you love or wish not to see is made into a joke.

You could argue that Monty Python did all this, but a lot of it was done with affection for the subject they satirized, such as when they parodied Icelandic epic poetry. The times when they mocked something that was clearly unlikeable, such as false religious doctrine, it was to expose a stupid thing for what it was.

Now it seems to me that adult comedy, and even some family comedy, wants to just urinate all over everything in popular culture, whether it deserves it or not, and break social taboos just because they want to shock you. It doesn't strike me as an attempt to have fun with something they love, or awake your moral awareness and ideals... this is comedy's higher purpose, and what I see in today's adult humor is hatred, indifference, and lust for anything disgusting.
It's a cold, systematic, and merciless way of creating "humor".

They don't seem to care if somebody holds their object of mockery dear to their hearts.