Saturday, October 24, 2015

Robert Kirkman's Fear the Walking Dead Awesome Show, Great Job!

Right off the bat, I want to let you know this is probably going to be spoiler laden. I'm going to talk mainly about the spin-off Fear the Walking Dead and it's older sister The Walking Dead proper to a lesser extent as well, so there. Consider yourself warned.

Lame title or not, I believe Fear the Walking Dead was a great show, Maybe even better the The Walking Dead was ... there you go. You can leave now.

Seriously though, having just finished the 6 episode miniseries I've got to say it has the potential to be better than the original show if given the chance to get as far into the sunset of humanity it's counterpart in the south has.

First, let me fill you in if you haven't seen either show... The Walking Dead is based on a comic written by Kirkman following a Georgia sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes who wakes from his coma to find that the dead won't stay dead, and the world has gone to shit because of it. 5 years later, the group led by Rick has lost countless members, suffered harrowing experiences and nearly lost their minds and humanity. Fear the Walking Dead however is set just as the world is about to end with a new group of people in probably the worst place to be in the event of the zombie apocalypse: Los Angeles.

Now, if you've been paying attention at all (in the last decade especially) the zombie apocalypse seems to follow the same patterns and story notes. I believe that's why the genre as a whole feels a touch saturated. The characters always seem to do the same shit, and because they obviously don't know what we do, seem to make the same dumb mistakes over and over. They refuse to believe it's happening, then they fail to kill an undead loved one, the whole group is compromised, they hole-up in a mall. they fire a whole bunch of bullets, attract more zombies, get trampled by a herd, make a failed attempt to escape, get eaten alive. All zombie movies follow this plot line or some variation thereof. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The Walking Dead in both it's forms are no exception to this rule. After all, in order for us to really identify with these characters we need to see them experience their shock and disbelief as their world crumples around them, see them make dumb mistakes and get brutally punished for them. Where TWD has a great advantage as a zombie story over it's movie counterparts is it continues on. The characters learn from their mistakes long enough to make new ones. The story goes on so long that the group is put into situations unfamiliar even to us, and this is what keeps us invested.

The first season of FTWD being only 6 episodes long, and catering to an already established audience, it has a chance to really speed up the whole process of establishing their world. Let me elaborate.

In FTWD we are confronted with zombies almost immediately. At first accounts of human eating monsters are hand waved away. Then a character who seems to only be on screen because he knows what we know warns ominously of what's to come is ignored as well. By the second episode however all parties are well aware of the danger they are in and make attempts to leave.

Then there's the denial that what appears to be undead cannibals isn't, but they're just sick people who can be treated back to humanity, TWD's second season spent it's whole time on that goddamn farm suffering to this lame plot point. FTWD only has one character fall prey to this deadly delusion, but it's his story ark to reconcile those 6 episodes. He's not collecting them in a fucking barn like a bunch of rabid animals for an entire 16 episode season.

A short episode list also gives us a couple really good characters, and by "good" I mean "competent". Truth be told all the characters are good, in that they're well written and acted, but only a handful seem to know what's going on and how to act appropriately. The character I mentioned above; a teenager who's been paying attention to reports of the dead walking online and is already mentally prepared for the end of the world before the main cast of characters even realizes they're in danger, an old El Salvadoran man who has no compunction about harming or murdering others to protect the ones he loves, and a real bastard of a man with a ruthless streak and a voice like Keith David but smoother. We're guaranteed to see more of two of them in the coming season and I couldn't be happier, their pragmatism is going to prevent another debacle like Hershel's Farm.

Another reason FTWD has an advantage over TWD is it isn't based on a comic book. This is true even to people who dont read the comics. Though some might say the comic book is better then the book, this isn't the point I'm making. The point is if you're developing a TV show around a property that's already established on another medium but hasn't concluded yet you're going to run into problems. Either you diverge wildly from the source material or you add filler (Damn you Hershel's farm!). FTWD doesn't have to do either, there for it can be as fast paced as it needs to be without worrying about running out of comic book.

TWD is one of my favorite shows, if not my absolute favorite. It has an amazing cast of characters and a world rich with experience and narrative tension, especially after season 3. I just feel that given it's fast-paced six episode mini-season format and it's lack of narrative ham-stringing, FTWD could very well surpass it's parent show.

That's my opinion, bitches.
Big Mike.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Laughter Causes Cancer

Everyone who has ever had cancer has laughed at least once, aloud or to themselves. So there is no reason that we can't, or even shouldn't, venture into studies where the outcome may be an all but shocking conclusion;

Laughter causes cancer.

My hypothesis is that if you laugh, then it is possible that dangerous cells will reproduce with a raging mitosis and eat you away. So, in this possibility, the more humorous of us face a potential risk that exceeds the risk of the possibly endangered others.

My conclusion from my hypothetically evidence;

The jollier you are, the slower and more gruesome your cancerous anguish will be. My advice; do not have a sunny disposition on life. Do not let your own brand of humor be heard. Especially if it's Dark. Because if you joke about cancer, you will get cancer.

And that's possibly 100% guaranteed.

~Xavier R.

Playlist 10-23-2015

No One Knows - Queens Of The Stone Age

About A Girl - Nirvana

Reptiles - Them Crooked Vultures

Pardon Me - Incubus

Doin' Time - Sublime

Thursday, October 22, 2015

DEMOCRAT-cy, American style.

You know, I've been avoiding even really acknowledging the shit show that is the lead up to the 2016 presidential race because it's a fucking gouache affair. I was disillusioned with Obama by 2010 and I didn't even give a fuck enough to vote in 2012. That's right, I was above voting and I'm a better person then anyone that gives more then a cursory shit about who the president is going to be a year from now.

But just for the fun of it let's give this old chicken a choke, shall we? My great friend Xavier already gave a good run down of the funny-as-Auschwitz clown car that is the GOP primary field so I wont mention that here. No, instead I'm going to address the fiefdom of the Democratic voter. The CNN debate just recently happened but I wouldn't even need to see it (I haven't) in order to tell you what needs to be said.

The corporate media favors Hillary because she's a corporate shill and someone with a twat. She doesnt have anything to offer America but more of Obama (War, an open gitmo, hand sitting on the drug war, pandering) and is basically going to run her campaign on her being the first president with a vagina. That's it. She'll just trick idiot skirts and men with penis-guilt into voting for her purely on the merit of her wrinkly genitals. The fact that she wasn't for gay marriage until it was politically convenient for her, that her donor list is just a list of big banks or that she's never met a war she didn't like won't dissuade these dip shit progressives from voting for her because cunt.

Speaking of dip shit progressives, what the fuck Bernie Sanders? You never had a chance to become president in the first place, but couldn't you at least show some dignity you simpering pussy? Yeah, I sure wanna vote for a guy that's going to let any two-bit millennial snatches with ratty hair just interrupt him during a speech to spout their slacktivist hashtag garbage. You can tax the rich all you want Bernie, it's still not going to prevent me from fucking your wife (which is funny when you think about it given the fact my dick isn't black) so you should just cut your losses and go back to Vermont, you bitch.

Was there others in the debte? Does it matter? Who fucking cares who else is in this pathetic fucking primary? Oh, you do? Why don't you suck off a loaded shotgun and swallow? I bet you don't even own a pump action, you gun controlling piece of human garbage. Then you should just slit your wrists like a woman instead.

Fuck you,
Big Mike.

Trump for president.

Joe Biden Will Not Be Running For President

Uh, fuck you! Fuck you! And you over there...fuck you too!

Despite my almost instantaneous hatred for just about every politician, something about this kind of upset me. Watching an old man want to give up that much power because he was this tired is very unusual. I am still navigating those feelings. Or maybe I am just hung over.  Ill figure it out soon.

That being said, despite our urges to force our own doctrine down the throats of others like some, uh, cock of doctrine, or, uh, whatever, it seems more and more important for us as a nation and most importantly a species, to unite and go fight aliens or whatever.

That's pretty much what Joe was going on about in the Rose Garden.

Pretty Much.

~Xavier R.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Apocalypse, Eventually! (And other such Egregious Platitudes)

You're going to burn in hell for your dirty thoughts.
You're going to burn in hell for your clean ideas
You're going to burn in hell for your wicked world without a god
You're going to burn in hell for your righteous world with a god

You're going to hell
You're going to burn there

You're going to burn in hell for making fun of my ways
You're going to burn in hell for being good to differences
You're going to burn in hell for your hate and your spite
You're going to burn in hell for your love and your peace

You're going to hell
You're going to burn there

You're going to burn in hell because they say so
You're going to burn in hell because they say not
You're going to burn in hell because someone somewhere thinks so
You're going to hell. You're going to burn there

The end.

Either a major media outlet, politician, or religious doctrine wrote that treatise on redemption (?)

Take your pick.

Yay, God! Kill everyone!

Hello and good day. It just so happens that I am going to tell you about an evil monster that lurks in the shadows yet attacks under the sun. His name is Kigaboocha, and he eats naughty children.

Kigaboocha was spawned amidst a swamp surrounding a small meth-amphetamine cultivating town, located in the south of some particular country. The combination of swamp gases, insects, backwater Satanic revivals set to Country renditions of jazz songs, and probably a crocodile, formed what came to be a hideous monster standing a gargantuan 7' 3''. It had disgusting antennas sprouting from an eyeless visage and a mouth that held teeth made for tearing open armored trucks.

When this beast came to the shore and stumbled into a backyard playing host to a small child's birthday party, it was greeted with the anxious and terrified squeals of many wee tots. The monstrosity reassured them he was friendly. As soon as such words came to fruition, a piece of newly shared birthday cake in hands, the abortion of god sprung out towards the buffet table, claws and fangs bared.

You see, a child had complained that he didn't get all the creme puffs he wanted, but his mother would not let him have anymore. Moments after that verdict, the little one tried to pull on the table cloth so the creme puffs would fall to the ground and easily reachable. The accursed leper pounced without thought, clenched the child in his mouth and bit down, chewing and gnashing at the small, weak frame with sounds so awful that the screams and noises that came from the nubile wretch seemed to come out as "Kigaboocha." The creature and his horrified onlookers would soon adopt the name for him. The crowed dispersed as if in a breaking riot, except for the boy's mother. She tried but failed, to destroy Kigaboocha with her purse. Kigaboocha now knew his purpose.

So, not saying what method you should use to get your kids to eat their veggies or do their homework, or perhaps practice their flute, but uh, you know. There are ways. There are always ways.

I can't draw pictures of monsters. So, yeah.

Some parting wisdom;

50% of all people are 100% of 50% of people.

~Xavier R.

Playlist 10-21-2015

Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream

Ace Of Spades - Motorhead

Next Episode - Dr. Dre

Pearl Jam - Animal

I like Big Butts - Sir Mix A lot

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Holy Mountain Saga: The Parade of Blood and Teeth, part 2

This is part 2 of many to a story I'm writing. If you haven't already you can read part 1 here. Thanks buddies!

Sarah pondered on the day ahead of her. Another uneventful day in this boring old town, She was saying silently to herself, but sighing out loud. She closed the door, turned and looked out past her modest chain link fence and out into the street. Just off the ancient sidewalk, the cracks and dents of which she had mapped and memorized her entire childhood sat her mom's old station wagon. It was old and ugly, but like the ancient sidewalk or even this boring old town in which she lived, it was a part of her; her mother drove her to school in it, to recitals, to the mall. Until her mother died she never really understood how many memories this ugly old car held in it's dated upholstery. Her mother had died 3 years ago, and she couldn't bear to get rid of it even now. Regardless of how ugly and old it was.
As she got next to the driver's seat she looked back at the house she spent her childhood, at her dad's truck and smiled unwittingly. At least my car isn't that ugly. Her dad's work truck was a big red beast from the sixties, it had an endless amount of compartments in the container in the back and had a goofy caricature of himself in a kilt on the side. Her dad was silly, definitely eccentric as evidenced by the dozens of bobble-heads on his dashboard. He was on-call so he was painting his figurines in his study, how he loved to do those war games with his friends every Sunday. Recently though he had to cancel the get-togethers because he had work late at night.
Getting into the car, she changed her idle thoughts from her dad onto the day ahead. She turned the ignition, heard the radio fuzz into focus and smiled because she was just in time to hear the soothing, deep voice of Everett Klein. Everett was the local talk radio celebrity, he gave the weather, national news and interviews with local people. His dry wit and paternal take on the gossip-about-town had always been apart of Sarah's mornings, her day would feel incomplete without it but it was his voice that gave her a warm blanket feeling. Good morning Mount Vernon Everett hummed smooth as molasses through her car speakers.
Sarah pulled out into the empty street and made her turns out of her neighborhood towards the dip in the center of town where the park was. In the park was a pond where she could see the eccentric old folks feeding ducks. Half way up on that fat, flat topped mountain she could see the radio tower from which Everett was broadcasting. The tower was situated up the mountain trail, long after holy mountain road ends as it makes it's left turn into Mount Vernon's thoroughfare. Today's going to be another lovely day Everett said lovingly.  
She makes the left turn towards her work and witnesses the morning routine of the small business owners in full swing. Gladys, a woman in her mid thirties and the proprietor of the small corner grocers looks tired as she opens the shutters and writes on her chalk sign the specials of the day Ranier Cherries, $2 a pound. Ernest, the friendly old man in a white beard that runs the second hand book store lifts his flat cap as he sees Sarah drives by showing a completely bald head. Sarah waves back, just in time to catch eyes with the businessman next door to Ernest, Herbert. Herbert, a tall, slim man in his fifties with a pencil thin mustache and a greasy crop of hair was the town's real estate agent. Herbert only stared back at her with icy-blue eyes, Sarah instinctively pulled her hand down and stared dead ahead. Herbert was never hostile to her, but he always gave her the creeps anyway, especially as a child. Sarah was on the final leg of her journey to the diner where she worked and took time, as she always did, to look at the ornate church kitty-corner from her job, it was a Tuesday so she didn't have an after church rush to spy, but she always liked to look at it anyway. Every time she looked at the ornate spires and stained glass windows of this classically roman catholic cathedral she saw something different. The height of the building, the gargoyles and other ornate decorative flourishes, the pure size of it all seemed to betray a sense that this palace of god was too big and too old for a town this small.
Sarah parked her car and looked across the street from the church. The library, a building almost as big and ornate as the church, gave her the faintest sense of apprehension; not fear, but a feeling that somewhere in the deep recesses of that old stone building was something other-worldly. Her mother loved the library and they would spend their Sundays there as a family, Sarah would wonder the many floors of the library and still, to this day felt like she didn't, couldn't have explored it all. The librarian, Lorraine, a stern blue hair presided over it all like a monarch, the queen of all the knowledge in the world. She'd be cold at first, but once she could see curiosity, a respect for knowledge in you, she'd lighten up and before long she'd gleefully help you with anything you'd be interested in learning.
Sarah got out of the car and headed slowly towards the front door of Helena's diner where she was greeted by the owner writing the special of biscuits and gravy on the chalk sign. Helena had already lovingly drawn them on her board: the biscuits, golden brown and flaky covered in white gravy thick and full of crumpled sausage and was halfway through writing the words in flowing, lovely script before she noticed her employee walk by towards the door. “Good morning, Sarah.” She spoke warmly and smiled at her. Helena had been the best friend of Sarah's mother long before she was born and naturally felt like an aunt to her as long as she could remember. The two apparently were very talented artists as girls and there was a heated rivalry between the two but as they grew up the competition gave way to a close friendship. As adults they had spent many hours painting the pictures that adorned the diner. She loved working for Helena but even if she wasn't a waitress there she could effortlessly envision herself spending as much time as possible at Helena's diner, not just to be with the second closest person to her mother, but to look at their beautiful paintings.
Uncle Ollie, Helena's husband and the cook at the diner, grinned lovingly at Sarah and offered her a wave. “Coffee's on the counter” he said, nodding towards a plain paper cup in a cardboard sleeve as he stirred a pot of his famous sausage gravy. The diner had drip coffee, but Ollie knew Sarah liked it cappuccino style from Ike's coffee hut near their home, and would get it for her the mornings she worked. She loved him for it, his mischievous sense of humor and the silly faces he'd draw on the lid made her love him more. 
She hung up her coat in the back and turned on the radio to hear Everett purring some anecdote about the local amateur baseball teams. She could smell Helena's world renowned cherry pie being baked fresh for the pie case up front as she sipped the best cappuccino in Mount Vernon. She couldn’t help but smile. All was right with the world.
Helena came in and sashayed gracefully behind the counter and poured herself some coffee, she bumped hips with Sarah and asked “How's your dad doing young lady? I haven't seem him some time.”
He's good, he's been working nights” Sara said, looking down at her coffee cup lid, Ollie had drawn a cat's face winking back up at her.
Working late huh? I wonder at what.” Helena said, almost as if she knew what her father was up to, or atleast wasn't all that curious.
I'm not sure, but he's been missing his war gaming get-togethers” and with that Sarah noticed with her peripheral vision Helena giving an oddly knowing look towards Ollie.
Ollie chimed in just after. “Yeah, it's a real bummer, Sarah. You need to tell him to stop working so hard!”
Sarah looked at him and he was smirking his usual smirk, Helena had started off towards the kitchen to pull her Cherry Pie out of the oven and spoke up over the kitchen din “Sarah, be a darling and open up.”
Without much hesitation she headed towards the front, snapped on the 'Open' light, flipped the hours sign on the door that also said they were open and in fact were open until 7 o'clock. She was about to turn around when she heard the sound of screeching tires just out of sight and then, there it was, her dad's work truck careening down the street. Loudly turning the corner between the Church and the Library he was speeding towards the only road leading in and out of Mount Vernon. Sarah was drawn outside with concern for her dad's uncharacteristically reckless driving.
She walked out into the morning air, crisp with autumn scent, and followed with her eyes her father's truck until she could only hear it drive into the distance. As she turned around to go back inside she looked down at the ancient sidewalk and saw what she could have sworn was a tiny puddle of blood off the curb, inside of which was a pair of tiny pink teeth.

3 3 3 3 3 3 

Hell yeah buddy! Can you feel that tension mounting? I'm sorry for this taking so long but these things don't respond to being rushed (much to my consternation). Regardless of the spotty pace at which I write this opus I do feel a definite momentum building. Come what may, I'm glad you read it and I'm excited for you to read more.

Big Mike.