Sunday, September 24, 2017

Kya is a lesbiasn! Why does nobody tell me these things?

So I bought the Legend of Korra comic, and I haven't  read it yet... mostly because I've been spending all of my spare time really drunk, because I have once again lost every single ounce of ability to be happy about anything ever and I am contemplating suicide attempt #4  ...although if you get to #4 and still can't fucking do it, then you just must suck at everything.    I mean I could do it but I don't want to go splat off the roof and all the other options would be messy.  Living in NYC I have about as much a chance of buying a gun as I do of buying a space shuttle, so I'll just keep eating high-cholesterol foods and just wait for the inevitable.

Om nom nom nom.  Good lord I have a dark sense of humor.

So anyway my wifey reads the thing and I mention in passing that I thought Kya was pretty hot and she was like "oh well you wouldn't stand a chance she's a lesbian" and for some reason I actually felt disappointed.  Seriously, I've never felt that way before but I must have actually had a thing for Kya that I didn't even realize I had because it felt like it was such a "swing and a miss" moment I was just like ...uhhhhgg.   At least Kuvira doesn't mind getting a bit of hetero-action (if you told me she was off the table I would have just lost it).  It might be because they are just so intelligent and confident, which I very much dig, or you just know that either gay or straight Kya could teach you a thing or two about how to fuck like a pro. ...And it's definitely the choker + silver hair also. I mean I don't even think Bumi or Tenzin would mind at this point, she's a big girl she can make her own decisions to want Poon and not D...  DAMMIT, I can't keep her on the waifu-list now!

So you doin' anything later or... or what? ;)

Why the fuck am I even bringing this up?   Because AMERICA.  No not monster trucks and guns (though that stuff is cool, I mean... you know it is), and not MAGA hats and flags (I am much more likely to burn a flag in protest than to wave one ...thank you Texas v Johnson), what I mean is that the United States of America is a diverse country, probably one of the most on the planet.  The limited history of the USA allows for legal limitations regarding what in other parts of the world are strictly protected cultural institutions.  The USA has no anti-blasphemy laws, you can't say that about Pakistan or Ireland.  The USA has no official language, you can't say that about China or Poland (or even Canada).  And although it wasn't always the case, the USA has no official race that people have to be in order to be citizens, you can't say that about Saudi Arabia, or Japan (seriously, Japan is awful about that kind of thing, go look it up). 

That means that although Japan makes most of the best anime, some of it isn't as relatable to American audiences as domestic American productions because there is simply less genuine diversity.  Everyone looks exactly the same.  (OMG he's turned total SJW holy shit!)  What I mean is that no, there aren't zero examples of other people who are not Japanese, but have you ever thought about how many characters are supposed to be Japanese that you have actually been imagining as Caucasian this whole time?  Yeah... let that sink in.  So when a character is put in a Japanese anime that isn't assumptively Japanese, it is usually (not always) done in an exaggerated form to just scream at the audience "GAIJIN" or "GAY" or "WEIRDO" (of course there are definately some gay Japanese Weirdos out there... good for them)  or just exaggerate whatever they are going for.  Of course there are exceptions, Tokyo Godfathers, Gunsmith Cats, Cowboy Bebop...almost anything about WW II, all that, but those are exactly that... exceptions, not average occurrences.

 Yes I got to meet Kenichi Sonoda in Chicago in 1998 when I took him to the O'Hare ATC tower (remember kids, I used to be way cooler than you).  And he told me that neither of these two are in any way Japanese.

The same is true for LGBT characters. Not only do most anime out there telegraph the most stereotypical aspects of what people assume about LGBTQ people, they are super unapologetic about it. (I left out A-sexual and I guess all the other things to be... I don't know... people that have sex with alligators ...which is not animal abuse because if you are having sex with an alligator, that alligator is letting you do that, no two ways about it.  And do not search for "alligator sex" ok, remember when I warned you about giraffe-porn?)...   I mean, Tiger & Bunny was a cool show, but ...c'mon nobody acts like that.  OK I actually know someone who basically acts exactly like that (Daemon from the comic store was a huge muscular black dude, spoke like a valley-girl and was gay as a fairy *his words not mine* and I actually flirted with him when I was a freshman in high school just to get the employee discount... nothing ever happened, but I wonder how he's doing)  but T&B was still going over the top with the thing.

Except for the nails?

So coming back to why the fuck shit hell am I even mentioning any of this, is that there are now shows, movies, and books out there like Korra, and like the new Lego Elves series (yeah it's for kids, so people aren't going down on each other or dropping dead left and right like an episode of Game of Thrones) and even My Little Pony (seriously there is no way that Vinyl and Octavia are not an item) that have diverse characters in them that don't make a point of 4th wall obliterating exposition regarding the fact that they are who they are.  The not-making a big deal about it is what's cool.  Maybe it's just because I grew up in NYC and seeing 2 dudes kissing or playing strikebox with an interracial kid my age was no big deal, but with things being what they are today, you can't do enough to make sure that people understand how to avoid bigotry through collective experiences and not simply use pontification to get the point across.  American entertainment media is a powerful tool in that process.  And for fans of animation, it is important to remember that in the USA, it will be our domestic productions that have the largest and most significant impact in creating that environment.  ...Also probably Canada. ...With their stupid metric system.

Seriously, when some of our parents were alive, doing this was illegal.  There still needs to be a lot more social progress made out there, but I think it will be American media entertainment that makes the most effective impact on ensuring people exposed to it have their values solidified or their minds changed (probably depending on their age).

This... this is the worst thing I have written.  Not that the message is something I think is terrible, but I think this reads like a high school freshman's Livejournal or something equally retarded.  I used to be better at the word-making but I either have mid-stage mad cow disease or after all these years the  Wernicke-Korsakoff is finally kicking in.  But there is so much issue-fatigue out there that these issues can seem not even interesting to talk about anymore. And I get blowback.  Seriously, just this year alone I have been called sexist, alt-right, gun-nut, libtard, faggot, nationalist, white nationalist (because that makes a difference apparently), racist, communist, and some wackadoo sent me a message who was convinced I was part of an organization which used chem-trails for something.... dumbass, if I was, I'd be getting paid way more than I am now!  At least I wasn't putting it in the water to turn the frogs gay.  Stupid frog-metric system.  ...that's a thing, shut up.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Toys "Я" Fucked: Why this should be a surprise to no one.

Fatal blows.  Rarely are they instantaneous.  Oh sure, there's the pink-mist and the head-shot, but most of the time it's a seemingly agonizingly slow process (like when that lady got stabbed by her boyfriend then rolled around and died in front of Taco Madre on Montague Street... that shit took a few minutes.  After seeing that I decided I didn't want tacos after all).  So it's no surprise that large companies can keep going along as if everything is fine, until finally, the merely potentially fatal wound they've been ignoring for years becomes an inescapable reality.

To what should be the surprise of no one, but somehow I am sure it is to someone,  Toys "Я" Us finds itself all Kobayashi Maru and is raising the white flag. 

He's gonna be sucking dicks for fidget spinners by the end of the year.

While the concept of Toys "Я" Us could have been brought into the modern day by smart people, the outdated CEO mentality of "cut cut cut" was firmly in place and has pretty much spelled doom for the place.  See, you could have a company that makes rotary telephones at 1000% efficiency from any other company at any time in history, and you will still go down in flames because you forgot what year this is.  This is called "doing it wrong" in business.  Trying to be more efficient doing something that is no longer viable as a business strategy in and of itself is how CEOs and Corporate Boards run companies slowly, but surely, into the ground. 

What Toys "Я" Us failed to realize is that they didn't sell toys.  Other places sell toys.  Toys "Я" Us sells fun.  Now of course that means different things to different people, and Toys "Я" Us was never going to be able to sell every kind of fun out there (Six Flags sells fun, but it's not the same, that's destination-fun, not portable-fun).  Toys "Я" Us had the chance to learn this early on, when they were the largest video-game retailer in the entire country.  Video games are not toys and never were.  All they had to do was realize that.  Whoopsie.  They stayed so long in the waters of traditional retail that their fingers became so pruney they couldn't climb out. 

And once again, The NY Times shows it's about as in touch with reality as your grandmother who forwards you emails about Obama's birth certificate from an AOL account. 

 So the media narrative is going to be that Toys "Я" Us was murdered and not the victim of its own incompetence and ignorance-fueled inertia keeping them in Sargasso until they ran out of provisions.  I am sure the Wall Street Journal will try to blame this on "those darn millennials" because we don't drive out to a shopping center to look for out of stock Transformer reboot hunks of plastic made by slave-labor in China, and instead just buy shit on Amazon because our bosses made us stay 2 extra hours to make a spreadsheet/power-point that they are going to take your name of off and put their name on tomorrow at the company retreat (twice a year I had to teach the CFO of a giant multinational education company what "cut+paste" was in Excel so he could stop printing out pages and literally re-typing them). 

So, who are our Giraffe murderers?  Well the finger is most likely going to get pointed at the three biggest kids on the block:

They just finished burying Sears Holdings and Radio Shack out in the desert just down from where Netflix left Blockbuster.

Now if you really think about it, Target and Walmart just beat Toys "Я" Us at the only game they chose to stay in (traditional retail), and Amazon beat them in a game they didn't even know existed until it was too late.  Oh but wait, they are going to charge a few other companies with accessory to commit murder:

Not as easy to find these things as I thought they would be.

And so this just becomes a story about how things aren't what they used to be and isn't that just too bad.  That's like feeling sorry for manufacturers of iron lungs and crutches because a polio vaccine was invented.  Toys "Я" Us had the chance to make sure they could stay relevant by not only having a website that didn't suck in terms of being able to order things, but they could have found other forms of fun to sell, even moving into exclusive or licensed media content available in non-packaged form.  You think that's too hard to do?  Oh then why just you go ask LEGO if that's a thing you can do.  Yeah, shut up; Toys "Я" Us could have done enough of that to stay relevant.  Yes it would have taken some serious restructuring, but it's not gonna happen now.

LEGO is a great example of how a company can "stand up on a surfboard after 14 pints of stout" as it were.  Meaning that as things move forward in time (as they are like to do), if you read the momentum of your supporting environment, then use your own skill and resources to move forward with that momentum, rather than ignoring it  (or worse, fighting it) you can stay afloat and maybe even surpass some other surfers out there on the same ocean.  Even Amazon is realizing that it's important to sell what you own, not just own what you sell.

You think in 2002 LEGO thought they'd be doing anything like this?

Chapter 11 ≠ 7
Yeah I know Mr. Commenty McComment-face, I literally have a graduate degree in this stuff.  Chapter 7 is a liquidation event with creditors then shareholders getting to be first in line at the buffet of what comes in.  Chapter 11 assumes that the entity will reemerge after a bit of a corporate "time out" so to speak.  Here's the thing, Blockbuster filed Chapter 11, so did Radio Shack, Circuit City, and Borders Books.  Lots of examples end up with vultures picking the bones clean anyway, and Toys "Я" Us is going to be added to that list, Sears is gonna try but the court probably won't let them because they're that far gone, and then Best Buy somewhere around October/November 2018 .  A company you don't expect to do so in a few years is Fresh Direct, but you watch what Amazon does to it with their new toy, Whole Foods.  So Toys "Я" Us is going to file Chapter 11 and during that time, under the guise of restructuring, things are going to be monetized, surreptitiously liquidated, and funneled into executive retirement packages and dividends (the X-mas holiday season is gonna be the big juicy one they just suck everything out of while they sell things "at cost").  Then they'll just toss up their hands, blame "the market" or "that there internet," local news will run paid-for stories about the lowest level workers losing their jobs and how sad is this turn of events that couldn't be helped because "new economy" or some shit, and the top level execs will have it on in the background while they are sucking down champagne on Barbados or something.  You won't care because you'll be waiting for your or LootCrate delivery from UPS and wondering when was that fucking time you were even in a Toys "Я" Us?

Also never do a search for "giraffe" and "sucking dicks"  You are gonna find a whole world of something you don't need to know exists.

Seriously it's like a train wreck; you want to look away but you can't.  ...fucking giraffe pron.

Busybody time

Yep I've been inactive on this for a while, but that doesn't mean I am outta here.  There is a bunch of stuff that is the happenings.

Stuff that has to do with me:
LSATS;  I scored slightly higher than the national average on the LSATs in June.  I might have done better if I had remembered I was signed up to take them... or was sober (I drank 2 bottles of wine before realizing I had to go to the thing, but at least I got in, I can't tell you how many test takers were crying on the sides or in the hallway because they brought their cellphone with them or didn't have a #2 pencil... The were all Asian looking actually...they were, what do you want me do to about it? Lie?) .  But it's good enough to get me to where I wanna go.  This means that in a while I'll be able to win internet arguments by saying "fuck you, I'm a lawyer" and it won't be a lie.  That is not the only reason I am going to law school, but it is the most fun one.

Suck my habeas corpus bitches!

Speaking of legal things, I am also currently suing the crap out of a certain City Agency for sucking at their job.  After that, I will then be suing the private company that was involved.  If that works out I will not have to worry about law-school tuition now that I think about it.  Although I am still gonna go get a bottle of Jonnie Walker Blue Label.

I have been taking on new clients so I am actually a bit busy.  But we will try to bring you plenty more of this nonsense.

Go Fuck Yourself Awards:

Apparently Hulu has decided they hate their customers and no longer wants to be in business, because that new interface/menu they came up with is complete garbage.  I was lucky in that I used the PSN to access it, and they didn't get around to ruining that until September of 2017.  Much as I love some of their original programming and the fact that I could rely on HD quality of programs I wanted to watch (no, Time Warner, I am never signing up for cable TV ever ever again), that menu is just so atrocious that the reverse value ratio it creates is just way too high and I'll just go back to pirating the shows I want to see.   Seriously, was this designed by the nephew of the CEO or something?  Because that shit pile seems exactly like the crap you get when nepotism and cronyism is involved (remember that Obamacare website disaster that happened because they no-bid farmed it out to one of their friends?  Yeah, this is that).  Dear Hulu, fuck you so much for doing that.

Also the target of many a "fuck you" from their users in recent memory is Photobucket.  Yes the photo hosting service with the unsustainable business model has decided to change their game in the most Martin Shkreli-esque way they possibly can and charge exorbitant fees to anyone who wants their photos back.  Now this should tell you something about Photobucket; the company (formerly owned by Fox News, so you know the kind of people there are just going to be absolute gems... oh no wait, germs) has absolutely no plans to exist past 2018.  They're outta here.  They know they're outta here, and they are gonna loot as much out of whatever they can before it happens.  The MBA types (I already have one of those so ha), are doing some down and dirty ratios and have figured out that there is a significant percentage of users who will pay that fee. Either they have businesses that absolutely need to have images hosted and can't function of they go down even for one day, or they have more money than smarts and who gives a fuck.  They are going to get as much money as they can, and then fold, because someone there is not gonna have this end without a golden parachute.

But if you didn't have locally stored copies of your photos and only had them on Photobucket then you're an idiot. 

Boxing the office
So box office revenues are down and this year has apparently been abysmal.  As for reasons, I tend to subscribe to the perfect storm scenario. The ingredients for this perfect storm are three main ones I think; 
#1; stagnant wages.  Let's face it, the generation that is supposed to be going to these movies has been screwed hard and nothing is going to get better.  years ago, someone with a minimum wage job would only have to work 2 hours to afford to go to the movies (to say nothing about the baby boomers who didn't even need to work more than one to afford a movie ticket).  Today, that is a laughable fantasy.  When a movie ticket costs close to your entire shift at your shit-job, you are not going to purchase one lightly.  Jacking up prices and charging extortion rates for flavored wax and carbonated sugar water is going to really bite into the whole willingness to pay part of consumer behavior.
#2; There is something better out there now.  If you are already paying for Netflix, you are going to maybe say "fuck going to that 5th reeboot of whatever the crap it is" and just binge-watch Stranger Things or get caught up on episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Dragon Maid or something.  Online content, streaming whatever, that youtube show you like, all that stuff is the "something better to do" part of the decision to not go to the movies. 
#3; No one wants your shit.  Seriously, blaming Rotten Tomatoes for falling movie revenue is like Hillary blaming Bernie Sanders for losing the election to Trump.  Not only does everyone realize that is complete horse shit, but you come off looking like a out of touch artard who simply thinks so highly of themselves, they can't accept reality.  No one is going, because the movies are crap, mostly made that way in a transparent cash-grab attempt at the Chinese market.  Adding fuel to that fire, is the fact that marketing movies seems to be the only industry where it is permissible for the advertising to straight-out lie to consumers about the product.  We have all seen trailers which basically show a completely different idea of what the final film is about, or even use scenes that are not delivered in the film itself.  No other industry is allowed to lie to consumers with such impunity like that.  So it has fostered a heavy skepticism regarding making the decision about whether it's worth spending money on.

Those three things all at once are a perfect mix of factors that are going to keep people from buying movie tickets. And like any industry dominated by head-up-ass CEOs, Hollywood will absolutely not figure it out until more studios go the way of Blockbuster Video.

The New York Post; Still stupid as hell.
In a September 8th article the NY Post proved that once again the lights are on but nobody's home, by using a photo of the helmet from Skyrim in a story about an actual Viking era burial site.

Come by next week when images from The Fast and the Furious will be used in a story about the New York Department of Transportation.

Whoop Whoop that's the sound of a cash-cow:
Long-running manga and excellent anime series Kochi-Kame (full name; Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo) which ended its 40 year run last year will be back as a manga again.  In terms of animation there are no plans announced so far as I know.  While based on police officers, they're Japanese police which are not as horrible as our American badged thugs so it makes it easier to like.  Plus the cast of the anime is superb.

This is a fun one and one of those perennial titles that are more popular in Japan than the rest of the world.  However if you are learning Japanese, it is a good one to read to improve your abilities and/or stay sharp.  Lots of every-day type conversations in there but with some decent jokes as well.  There is also some frequent nudity.  Because butts are funny.

That's it for now.  See you in the funny papers.