Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Cheeto In Chief and You; How the FCC is about to change your media consumption for the worse.

Making America great again, because having 6 channels on your black & white Zenith was just oh-so much the bestest!

You might have read that (do people read this?) and thought well tell us something we don't know.  Fine, as Billy Mays said maybe once, but wait there's more!  The FCC is a massive entity.  They do everything from regulate broadcast content, to ensure your new stupid 4G whatever doesn't end up jamming ambulance radios.  Their budget is larger than the GDP of quite a few countries (no not just Bhutan) and they can bring it to bear (more or less) however they feel like for whatever reason.  Recently the FCC has past new regulations which have deregulated the need for any major broadcaster to maintain a studio within a reasonable distance of a local community it serves.  Major broadcasters are going to love being able to shut down expensive local affiliates while making the same amount of revenue by just keeping the tower and having one guy to stick in the carts for the local adverts that will run during a canned news show filmed somewhere in the state with the least regulations, or just reruns of Seinfeld.

Or this.

Now it may just seem that this just means something like say goodbye to your local news team (you can bet your ass that's gonna happen if you're some small town resident), but there is going to be more to it than that.  To get the regular stuff out of the way, people will lose their jobs, and all of a sudden, second-hand studio equipment is going to become really cheap for a while.  That degree in journalism or audio engineering is going to become about as valuable as one in post-modern feminist abstract art theory, and all of a sudden studio buildings will become either parking lots or snapped up by colleges to teach degrees in that now-useless degree I just mentioned.

You are probably thinking; well so the fuck what, I watch all the things I want to on streaming service whatever, Crunchyroll, I have Youtube channels I like, and I am still torrenting stuff even though it devalues the license and you're a horrible person for doing it.  Lulz.  But you need a bit of some harsh reality.

You ever watch Green Room?  There is a scene in there where one of the bad guys explains the difference between a bullet and a cartridge.  See, a cartridge is the whole thing that you put in the firing chamber of a gun.  It consists of a casing, containing the propellant (AKA gunpowder), with a firing cap at one end and the actual bullet on the other.  It is the bullet that is launched out of the gun at dangerous speeds, but without all that other stuff, as well as the gears and springs of the gun itself, it is just a little hunk of more or less useless metal.

The worst part, is that I pretty much look like this guy (minus tattoos ...needles... ick!) but women still cross the street to get away from me and call me a creep when I volunteer for Community Board 6 in order to get petition signatures for more traffic lights and better traffic safety enforcement in my neighborhood because there are 2 schools right here and cars and trucks drive way too fast past them. Vision Zero.

See ok, the same thing is going on in this situation.   This is just the cartridge or even just the shell part of what the FCC is doing.  There is more than just the deregulation of local stations going on here.  The result of this will be that cord-cutting will become more prevalent.  We all know it is going to increase rather than decrease.  So you are not worried.  Well you should be, because here comes part two:

Listen, and understand. Th FCC is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until Net Neutrality is dead!

 Another clip!

But with the end of Net Neutrality, how easy do you think it is going to be to stream a Cronchyroll title vs something like HBO?  If you aren't worried, then congratulations on turning 14, I am sure you will have at least 8 years of a great life before the horrible downward spiral of the world comes and takes that away from you.   But in actual real reality of actual actuality, with the lack of localized options, (yes the local stations are antiques but lets not forget the Supreme Court can't tell the difference between an iPhone 6 and a beeper so they think they are totally relevant) it will   make the end of Net Neutrality to the right parties. Carriers, Telecoms, and now Content Conglomerates.  They have "lobbies" (AKA Bribe-Jawas Bribe-Jawas ...someone tell me I am the first person to come up with that one) anyway, they will tip the scale in the US Congress like they always do.  It will happen slowly and quietly.  And one day you will say "remember when such and such youtube channel came in just as good as the Disney Streaming Channel?"    Then maybe ...maybe you will remember that I mentioned this 6 years ago.

 Yeah, that is about how it is gonna go.  

If you are a Weird Al fan, you might know about a movie called UHF that he made. And I think it at this point strangely and inadvertently prophetic. These studios can become epicenters of... rent-able creativity.  Everyone creative can create, but an artist can't paint without an easel.  A sculptor can't sculpt without a table.  A musician can not compose without air.  These studios can become a facilitation for local creativity, eliminating the need to move to LA or New York (please stop moving to Brooklyn, I already charge you people $2400 a month for the bunch of 1 BR apartments I have, but I am getting so sick of you transplants).  You will be able to be content creators in local municipalities or just towns or even less.  But it can reach a global audience only if Net Neutrality is preserved.  The FCC and their Corporate Partners are counting on that being able to be legally abolished.  They will try anything to make that happen.  You just have to write a letter with a stamp on it and stick it in the mail box (you know, those blue things that you pass 100 of while you walk around all day...)  Just make sure they know that if they kill Net Neutrality, it will cost them votes. 

Ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.   You know that.

Monday, October 16, 2017

There's No Business Like Show Business, Unfortunately; #MeToo

Well this is something.

First let me say that I was never sexually harassed while working at any entertainment or licensing company.  Where I was sexually harassed was when I worked at a beverage company (juices and soft-drinks) when I was the only male worker in the entire accounting department, and was walking down the hall when one of the other workers (she was Jamaican and the rest were all from DR) was twerking right there and as I walked by the other girls stopped me and asked "isn't that a nice ass?  Here get some!" and grabbed my hand and put it right on there with the bouncy bounce not skipping a beat.  Keep in mind I am at least 10 years older than anyone else there and was clearly wearing a wedding ring, but noooooooooo they did not give a shit and slammed my hand on that ass. And I am not talking about the outer round part, they shoved my hand right in that lil jon to-the-window-to-the-wall, kill zone.  ...her vajayjay if you couldn't tell.   I was told by the head of the department to "lighten up"  ...Imagine the opposite, some dudes are in a hall and grab the hand of the only woman in the department and put it on some guy's dick?  That's a lawsuit if you're lucky, but for me... it was "lighten up."  I quit a little bit later over their illegal accounting practices.  All I can say is ...don't buy any Tropical Fantasy drinks.

It's a thing

But I am not here to talk about my own experiences like that today.  What I am here to talk about is Harvey Weinstein.  It is shameful and disgusting that it took so long to have this slime-mold in a human shaped condom held accountable for what he has done.  The Weinstein once had a company called Dragon Dynasty, which was in the same business as Crash Cinema; martial arts movies for home media and other streaming outlets.  I was once in the same room as that guy at a reception and then again at a somehow different reception later in the year but it was pretty much exactly the same.  I did not rank high enough in the scheme of things to be allowed to talk to him (it was made explicitly clear by his handlers) but I was very close in proximity and I can tell you that the creep-factor was at about 1000% with this guy.  The only reason I stayed was because there was an open bar with some top-shelf booze.

I was already depressed to the point of suicide so... might as well right?

The only problem is, this reminds me of my old boss.  Scott C Mauriello, former Managing Director of Crash Media Group, Crash Cinema, or Anime Crash, whatever you want to call that mess.  And no, he was not actually co-owner, he didn't own even 1% of Crash Media Group despite what he would say in some sort of Trump-ish grandiose bellowing.  First and foremost, he seemed to be illiterate.  You would give him a memo and then 2 hours later he would act as if he never saw the thing but tell you to your face he read it in detail.  Secondly, he is an audacious liar.  He kept telling everyone that his "Japanese Girlfriend" killed herself back in Osaka or something, but she is in fact very much alive and well and part of a jazz band that plays regularly at the Chelsea Piers.  And finally, he is a walking boner with no self-control.  He once actually started having sex with the 16 year old who worked at Copy Center 2 doors down from Anime Crash, and just taking money out of the register randomly to pay for their dates.  ...uuuugg.  

Not a photo of Scott C Mauriello, but... you get the idea

He would relentlessly hit on any woman who had less than a 34" waist  and visible tits regardless to if it was reciprocated or not.  We had so many potential licensing deals and other projects ruined because he would just not stop coming on to women involved.  He would use tarot cards as some sort of intro to his shtick, and say ridiculous nonsense like  "you have an old soul" or something similar.  The biggest disaster was the almost-happened project that Crash had with DJ Honda.  His North American Manager was really ready to make a deal to do background music for martial arts montages (we had 300 titles it only makes sense to make cool music videos out of all the best parts of guys getting kicked in the face) but all that Scott Mauriello tried to do was get her in the sack.  Spoiler alert, the deal fell through and I spent hours on the phone with this poor woman telling me everything that the slimy jerk did to her.  On the plus side we traded recipes, I gave her my marinara one, and she taught me some cool Korean cooking tricks. And I did get to meet DJ Honda. There were plenty of other things he screwed up too, from the new mascot, to totally fucking up the casting for Geisters because he put girls he wanted to fuck in important roles.  (Hey baby, come back to my place and then I'll make you a star... of voice acting).

And everything was going just fine...

So anyway, I watched Scott C Mauriello act like Donald Trump without the money for 12 years and I didn't do shit about it.  I am thinking "hey ladies, you know when a skeeve is skeeving on you, so just tell them to shove off" but it often doesn't work that way does it?  I remember feeling trapped and helpless as the youngest person in the room, while all the other guys were busy making jokes about how some female employee's tits were awesome or some other female employee (who had the highest sales record for that year) was an ugly dog and how they should get rid of her because the office needs more "eye candy" or some shit.  Sipping their Grey Goose pear flavored martinis and all hyuckle bucking about things that belong in the stone age and hardee har har.   I sat there, silently.    I couldn't have changed their minds but I could have at least thrown a wrench in the gears.  I didn't.  I knew what was happening.  And I did nothing but let it happen for fear of losing my job.  Unemployed in New York City is a terrifying prospect.  I currently only have 4 clients but if I lose even one I am going to start to worry.  And that is how it continues to happen.  The oppressed are oppressed, and the good people do nothing for fear of becoming the former.  ...12 years.

Speak out.  Even if it is anonymously, speak out so that the strength of others may be your shield.

Please send all hard-liquor donations to:
Pinky Mixology


Oh and Zenger standard applies so ...fuck off.

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's a Trap! Philips 4K TVs allure but disappoint. In brief: Avoid

Why the Philips 4K TV is a Ford Pinto in Ferrari Clothing.

The modern TV.  It's that and a whole lot more... well it should be.  When people hear "Smart TV" they associate it with a generally understood number of set features, but in reality, there is no such set list.  I could add a quad-core to a set and give it some random OS that I made which basically does nothing but provide you access to pornhub and vine, and call it "smart" with no problem.  What the Philips series does is call a dumb TV smart with the Google Chromcast series.  This is a result of their lack of any on-screen menu/interface for streaming apps. Looking through commonly used apps like Netflix, Crunchyroll, or even something like iHeartRadio, is impossible to do on the TV itself.  It requires a separate wireless device which you then use to "cast" the individual program you selected to the TV itself which will simply begin playing it.  Your expensive tablet is now a glorified TV remote.  They also don't even work with Amazon Prime.  I am sure it's because Google TV or Youtube Red or whatever they are gonna call it, sees Amazon as a direct competitor.

This is like if Chevy only made their cars derivable if you were also wearing Chevy-brand shoes with the RFID pedal activator embedded in the shoe-sole as well.  It is an extra unnecessary step that no one wants to deal with.   Every other "smart" TV can have something "cast" to it, but the other option is to use the on-screen menu, which everyone is not only accustomed to, but also expects.  This is like Chevy selling a car with no steering wheel and simply telling drivers to use their new Chevy pedal activation shoes to steer with by pointing your toes in the direction they want to go in.  Customers bought a car, they are expecting a steering wheel.  Philips has decided you don't, and you're not going to get one.

The technical specs next to the price tag are the siren song they sing.  With more than your standard HDMI ports and some great resolution they are indeed utilitarian and impressive, but even these are not as impressive as they could be.  No localized-dimming, speakers that could be better, and a remote that like it was designed by Jackson Pollock Jr, son of Roy Lichtenstein.  All in all, if you don't know what you're in for, you'll see the price tag (which makes a Vizio look like Bentley next to a Kia), ad think something like:

Well don't be fooled, I am here to let you know that after you get this home and start it up, you are going to start regretting buying it and thinking; "Should I haul out my old PS3 so I can at least get an onscreen menu so it's easier to watch The Orville on Hulu while I am lying on my couch and my tablet is way over on the other side of the room?"   The answer will be yes and you will be annoyed.  Google seems to not have learned from the mistakes of Apple, and it's probably because they think they are so much better than they are.  The proprietary technology and software Apple has famously alienated itself with, will be the proprietary consumer behaviors and end-user activities will eventually create a significant reverse-value-ratio to make Samsung or even SONY products look attractive again.

 This was not good news.

This review is mostly based on the Philips PFL5922 series, but looking at others in the showroom were pretty much the same.  Don't you hate it when you get "gifts" of things you want but the exact type of said thing is something you'd never want... like when you were growing up and you wanted an NES so you could play it and talk about it with your friends and then one day there's a wrapped up box at home, you get all excited, and it's a ColecoVision.  You know you can't be mad, but at the same time you know you're gonna use it once and then just ...not anymore.

Then like with the flat-lining of Google Plus (no small part in the straight up resentment it caused with it's unexpected anal-fisting into Youtube), this will likely make these Philips turds so unattractive that the office of whoever thought making Google Cast the only way to go is going to be in there thinking long and hard...

The just won't know what went wrong...

So to summarize, don't buy this.

Monday, October 2, 2017

I Luvz Mah Gun... Luvs Mah Gun! Guns and their role in entertainment media.

Well, if I had one I'd love her... her name would be Alligator.

So Las Vegas happened.  Yeah that was a thing.  Although Alex Jones is already screaming "false flag" because, of course he is, it won't take long for other people who actually live on planet Earth to start looking at the idea of guns, the ownership of guns, the use of guns, and the availability of Guns.  But in all that, there is going to be one term that keeps getting mentioned I'm sure; "Gun-Culture" and the thing is, you can't really have that without the need to include the concept of "guns-in-culture" along with it.
Pay attention.  This is very important.
I actually just realized she's got one eye totally covered and the other one 90% closed... how she gonna hit anything like that?

I think everyone who grew up in the 80's or 90's knows that one kid who's mom wouldn't let them play with any type of toy gun or gun-like object and if she caught them watching The A-Team there would be hell to pay.  These were the days of Dr. Spockian absolutisms of hippy-dippy child rearing and Mel Leveneish notions that literally everything in the environment a young person is in will have some sort of indelible impact on someone growing up, even if it is an abstract concept.  Yep, the baby boomers believed that if you just shielded your child from anything negative, then they would grow up to be perfect little conformers to your specific set of values.  ...You go ask the Mormons how well that actually works.  One of the first aspects of popular entertainment this phenomenon was that moment when you realize G.I. Joe went from being good to sucking ass.

Real guns and explosions on the left... this ridiculousness and "lasers" that move so slow you can dodge them on the right.
But you kept watching it... and you know why.
Yeah, you know why

Fast-forward to post-Columbine and all of a sudden it's; Leather duster jackets are potential warning signhs!  Mortal Kombat did this, quick get Hillary Clinton and Captain Kangaroo (no seriously he was a part of that insane shit) they will ban them there vidja games!  Schools need more security than airports and every student is guilty until proven innocent!  Marylin Manson!  ZERO TOLERANCE!  ...oh and people shouldn't keep loaded guns where victims of prolonged sanctioned bullying who may show signs of mental illness can get them  ...ya know, just maybe.

Did entertainment media get less violent as a result?  I'd say not really.  What happened was the kind of person who was "allowed" access to it was changed.  And it was based on age.  The generation that said "never trust anyone over 30,"  smoked weed in public but then embraced the war on drugs, and would gladly give a blowjob to Holden Caulfield because he was just the best, does a 180.  All of a sudden there was now a wrong kind of music.  A wrong kind of clothing style.  A wrong kind of media entertainment.  And they are the ones who knew everything (I mean they totally changed the world, man!) so you will obey them and do what they say.  They declared a straight up war on cultural evolution.  A war they would eventually lose, in part thanks to anime and manga being so out there and so under the radar and shared through technology they did not understand, that they didn't know they were supposed to hate it until it was too late.  Even before you could download anything, in my college anime club running days I had a VHS trading network that reached from Canada to Bolivia and it was all arranged online (yes I am that old).  But the "guns-in-culture" problem popped up in that "zero-tolerance" zealotry.  So kids; Bring a 1 inch plastic accessory gun held by an action figure to school?  Oh, you criminal scum!  Wear a clip in your hair that might have a gun-like image as part of it?  You're aiding terrorism!  Bite a pop-tart in the shape of a gun?  IT'S CARLOS THE JACKAL!  And Big Brother is always watching.  Even when you think he isn't.  That has unfortunately more or less continued and will probably keep happening for another 10 years until the kids who ended up on the business end of that retarded retardedness get their hands on the wheel.

If you are under 18 in America today, you have no rights.  ...sorry kids

So, like I said, now Las Vegas happened.  And what are we going to get?  First we're going to get people asking for motive, and the NRA going into full head-up-ass damage control mode.  Some people are going to say we should ban all guns, some people are going to say we should ban some kinds of guns, and some people will say from my cold dead hands.  The thing is, the weapon used in the video of the event which is widely circulating is clearly a fully automatic machine gun or sub-machine gun and those have been banned and prohibited for decades.... It is not one of these.  So what are you gonna do, give them super secret double probation banning or something?  Guns are a Constitutional issue and as such will take a Constitutional level action to change the question of availability.

*Edit as of 2017-10-08: I did not know what a bump-stock was when I wrote this and now I do know.  I also find that disconcerting.

Seriously if a Constitutional action can let some salty dried up cunts make this Constitutionally illegal in the USA for over a decade, then the gun thing is not impossible if that's what you want.  oooo language.  ...Hey, the sister blog of this one is called Pinky Mixology, you think I don't want to dig up Carrie Nation and piss on her dead body while her relatives have to watch on CCTV?   Anyway that means that one time, all three branches of the US Government once banned this because they thought it was too dangerous for America, while letting anyone buy one of these at a hardware store.  Yeah, nice one guys.

But actual Constitutional Legislation is not not what I am here to talk about.  What I am here to talk about is the entirely different universes that "gun otaku" live in between the USA and Japan.  In Japan, a gun-otaku may not even like anime, but loves a certain aspect of firearms, that being the engineering (in most cases... I am sure there a few weirdos out there that do sex-stuff regarding them).  But that's the engineering of every part, from the action to the aesthetics, so "looks cool" is a big part of why someone might favor a type of gun.  The thing is, gun-otaku in Japan really aren't considered dangerous because being a gun-otaku there is like being an F1-otaku here in the USA.  You are never going to own an F1 car (deal with it).  In Japan, thanks to one of the most intense firearm prohibition policies in the world, coupled with the geography of the country making enforcement of said policies highly effective, it is inconceivable that there would be a proliferation of firearms.  Not so much so in the USA, where you can go get one at Wal-Mart while you buy bananas and underpants, and then potentially modify them to have illegal rates of fire (the gun... not the underpants bananas).   So since anime are Japanese productions gun violence is treated something akin to wizard-magic in other American forms of entertainment.  A scenario so fantastic that it is unrealistic both in the idea that it could ever motivate someone to engage in such a thing for real, and in the way it is even portrayed as happening.

Annoyingly, this is not an actual thing that happens

So for Japanese audiences, in anime, guns might as well be light-sabers, because there is an equal chance of the average person getting their hands on either.   In the USA you get all into violent gun anime and then combine that with the fact that you can buy them from vending machines more or less, the impression is that you now pose a danger to public safety, just as much as that F1-otaku could if they actually got their hands on an F1 car and maybe decided to take it for a spin around the neighborhood.  And that makes guns, gun-otaku, and entertainment (anime included) with guns in it something that will be subject to such sensitivities now in the USA.  This could potentially cause a rift in the number of and type of anime that become licensed by companies here.  But I think such an effect would be minimal if it happened at all.

Whole new meaning now aint it...?

What are we going to see?  It is too early to tell.  Is it possible that people will become hostile to media that features the use of guns and all kinds of murdery murder even if it is clearly fiction?  Is Netflix never going to stream Smokin Aces again? (movie would have made a better anime anyway).  Are people under 18 going to be given even harsher punishments and treated like criminals for owning a copy of Gunslinger Girl or watching something like Kite?  Will just having an image of Upotte as the background on your pc get you abducted and sent to a "rehabilitation" camp when in reality all you wanted was a Pepsi (just one Pepsi), but your parents have bought into the fearvertizing of for-profit teen crisis programs that don't give a flying fuck how they keep their beds full?  Maybe it will happen.  I think because the guy who did it is apparently one himself, the baby boomers will do everything they can to point attention away from that fact, and whenever they need a scapegoat, the come for the millennials.  They are going to really need a scapegoat now, since this guy isn't around to talk, and so said scapegoat is going to be the information we consume.  It will be the entertainment media we seek out that the boomers do not, which they will culturally and politically denounce the heresy of, and those youngins who perpetuate its continued cultural consumption, are going to get treated like like they started the fucking Reichstag Fire.  Our generation doesn't have as much control of the steering wheel as we think we do (yeah, we have to do the boomers homework for them because they can barely work anything more than a calculator... but George McFly did Biff's homework all the time and who was runnin that school?  Wasn't Georgie). 

One foreseeable yet inevitable problem is that the ADD addled mind of most of us who exist in a world where not being able to stream a show for an hour because you're in another time zone or something will have you lose your shit, is that this will quickly develop into some gasoline on the Alt-Right vs Antifa mess we normies have to walk around in our everyday lives like compost piles no one had permission to set up in public.  And most of the people I know are going to say it's all the alt-right's fault because "the left" doesn't do the guns thing.   Well...  ya know.

Except when they totally do I guess. 

That bullshit between those two groups is what is going to be the sugar-in-the-gas-tank that derails any progression towards normal thought of how to proceed after this.  Cops will be edgy and then end up ruining (or ending) people's lives, and these two same poles of separate magnets will continue to push themselves further apart while the 24 hour news monster takes the rest of us just that much further with them.  The end result is going to be a bunch of nothing and then another even worse attack will happen.  Here terrorists, you want one, I'll give you one;

The NYC, subway.  A line with the newer cars you can move freely between. A team of 4 (but can be done with two) with two in the extreme front of the first car and two in extreme back the last.  Do this latter half of morning rush-hour, when the train is packed and wait a river crossing (ideal lines are 4/5, A/C, L, or F, they have the longest tunnels with curves that make them go slower... except the L, but when does that thing ever NOT move slow, ammiright?).  Wait for the train to get half way through and then have someone hit the emergency break.  That break takes 20 minutes to reset.  Once the train stops, both teams start shooting moving towards the center of the train.  Use 9mm semi-autos and carry extra magazines.  Make sure one person on the team keeps firing when the other has to reload (reloading is how they stopped Colin Ferguson).  You are not going to hit everyone so don't try, and don't fire too fast like the shooting up in the air scene in Point Break that's worthless.  You will most likely not have to worry about anyone else on the train who is armed because even if they are, gun-control laws in NYC mean it wouldn't be many people, cops drive to work because they don't actually live in NYC (sorry Staten Island doesn't count as NYC and everyone knows it) and on a rush-hour train, the panic that will immediately set in will have a stampede of people running away from you pushing, knocking down, or at least blocking, anyone who could stop you from continuing to fire.  Do this on a rainy day, so that people have umbrellas to trip over but also because you can wear large rain ponchos and no one will see what you have under there.  Make sure you get on early on the train line so you can get in position and pick a shitty neighborhood because they won't be doing bag searches there. Once you've done enough damage or run out of ammo you can ditch the ponchos and disappear into the panic and since you have an all new outfit on, no one will know it was you.  Do with with 6 people with 2 in the middle and holy shit!  ...most of you will probably get caught though.

There, I just gave you a freebie.   See?  That's what's gonna happen when these polarized idiot morons, in a country under a really shitty President who thinks playing golf is literally part of his job, prevent real things from getting done.   ...Jesus now that I go read that back that sounds like an insane and psychopathic...

Miss Dynamite.  Great series by Canadian writer, illustrator, cartoonist and all around artist of amazing amazingness, Sirkowski.

Oh wait... someone is at the door...

Oh shit... Well, wouldn't be the first time...  Seriously, it wouldn't.  If they send anyone I hope the cute one comes back.  Oh shit I just realized I totally fit "the profile" for this kind of thing too...  Goodnight Everybody.  Ah, they know I'm an f-ing joke.  Actually if they're reading this, they should be happy about it because I just gave them something they should have been worrying about anyway.
...wonder if they're hiring