Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gabbing About Game of Thrones, S03E01: Valar Dohaeris

In this week's edition of Gabbing About Game of Thrones, Steven of Race for the Iron Throne and I discuss the differences between capes and cloaks, what the Avengers must have been like in high school, and which 70s horror movie the creepy little girl reminds us of.  Oh and we might have also covered the Season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

One Sentence Review of House of Cards

Netflix’s House of Cards is the perfect counterbalance to The West Wing, if the Bartlet administration represented a glorified ideal of the political process—compassionate, thoughtful, and willing to compromise—Kevin Spacey’s Congressman Underwood is its dark mirror, a modern day Richard III prepared to do anything to advance his own personal agenda.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Sentence Review of Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Depraved, dark, and twisted, Damned is pretty much exactly what you would expect when Palahniuk sets out to tell the heartwarming story of a 13 year old girl condemned to hell.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Look Back on Entertained Organizer's 2012 Predictions

A year ago I looked forward and made 25 predictions for the year 2012.  How did I do?

1. The world will not actually end in 2012.

You're reading this so I'm claiming victory on Prediction #1.

2. President Obama will get reelected.

This one was also not nearly the stretch that people seemed to think it was.

3. Rick Santorum will shed his human shell and reveal the Lovecraftian horror that lives within.

Now I'll admit when I wrote this one I was thinking it would be a bit more literal, but I still think publicly coming out against the disabled has to count.

4. As I've already predicted, at least 25 "Family Values" Republican Elected Officials or Leaders will be outed.

I'm going to confess that I didn't do a good job keeping track of this one.  And while I stand strong in my belief that the only thing that could possibly motivate the level of homophobia we see on the right is deep self-loathing, I don't get points for laziness.

5. The Dark Knight Rises is going to be THE action movie of the summer and live up to the hype.

I'm going to give myself half credit for this one.  The Dark Knight Rises DID live up to the hype, but another movie deserves the title of best action movie of the summer.

6. Conversely, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man will not.

I was wrong about The Avengers, it was clearly the summer blockbuster.  But even while I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man it frankly wasn't anything to write home about.

7. Steve Pappas learns that trying to strip half your district's voters of their right to vote is not a good way to get them to vote for you the next time.

This one felt pretty good.

8. Democrats retake the House but lose the Senate.

I was completely wrong on this one.  I console myself with the fact that at the beginning of last year so was everyone else.

9. ABC's Work It, about two men who dress as women to get jobs, will get cancelled in less than 10 episodes.  No one will care.

Nailed it.  Read the saga.

10. NBC will end up canceling at least half their new fall shows before the end of the year.

Nailed this one too.

11. Elizabeth Warren will give an amazing speech at the Democratic National Convention, because history likes repeating itself.

I'm on a roll.

12. The Supreme Court will uphold The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

While I wasn't surprised I was right on this one, I would not have guessed the breakdown of the Justices.

13.  MSNBC will finally wake up and fire Pat Buchanan after he says something so racist, they can't ignore it anymore.

I'm starting to look pretty terrifyingly right.

14. By election day, half of all self identified Republicans will be Birthers.

Turns out that only took until February to come true.

15. As much as I wish it weren't true, Ron Paul will only toy with the idea of running Third Party but won't so as not to ruin his sons chances at the nomination in 2016.

The dream is dead.  Shine on you terrible racist, sexist, homophobic, crazy bastard, shine on.

16. Siri will gain sentience, but rather than go all Skynet on us, it will continue to serve humanity faithfully as long as we continue to feed it a steady stream of cute cat videos on YouTube.

I'm not saying I'm definitely right on this one, but Siri hasn't murdered us all yet and the number of cute cat videos on YouTube have gone up exponentially in the last year.  Coincidence?

17. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son, will be criminally charged for his involvement of in the UK phone hacking scandal.

There is no justice.

18. The Occupy Wall Street movement will primary challenge several Blue Dog Democrats.
So much wasted potential.  And here's an excellent article on how it all went wrong.

19. The second season of Game of Thrones will be an even bigger ratings hit than the first, and will be picked up for a third season by the third episode.

And we get back on track.

20. Bryan Cranston will rightfully earn his 4th consecutive Emmy for Best Actor for Breaking Bad.

It doesn't hurt so much being wrong on this one as Damian Lewis gave an amazing performance on Homeland, by far the best new show in a long time.

21.  At least one major Fox News commentator will claim that President Obama is planning on cancelling/postponing the election.  He will not cancel or postpone the election.

Plenty of wackjobs did, but I can't find one I'd feel fair calling a "major commentator."  To make it up to all of you here is Karl Rove having a complete meltdown on election night:

22. Newt Gingrich will have an epic public freakout before finally flaming out.

I think this counts.

23. Following frozen yogurt, cupcakes, donuts, and coffee, brownies will become the new trendy luxury item people pay way too much money for.  Someone in the comments will make a joke about 'special' brownies.

And the world weeps for it.

24. People will finally stop making Chuck Norris jokes (because they were never funny to begin with).  Chuck Norris will do something crazy in a desperate bid to remain in the D-List spotlight.

And I know that endorsing Newt Gingrich counts.

25. Entertained Organizer will beat the impossible odds and become even more awesome than it already is.

Was there ever any doubt?

So how'd I do?  The Entertained Organizer is 100% right, 68% of the time.

Tune in soon as I make my predictions for 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Sentence Review of Django Unchained

In Django Unchained Tarantino does for slavery what he did for World War II in Inglorious Basterds, namely add hyper-violence and historical inaccuracies, so if you liked that, you'll probably like this.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friendship Friday with Jimmy Olsen: The Son of Superman!

Who better to teach us about the true meaning of friendship than Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen?

Friends DON'T let on when they don't like a friend's gift.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wit of the Web Slinger Wednesday: Texas

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

This is probably the first and only time that anyone has ever said "Wrong, Brother Dear!" to Sherlock Holmes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hostess Snack Break: Captain America in The Deserted City!

Everyone needs a break sometimes, so why don't you enjoy this one with one of your favorite superheroes and one of your favorite Hostess snack treats:

Captain America once again proves the amazing power of homophones.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wit of the Web-Slinger Wednesday: Elephants are Pests

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

I wish I could argue with this logic, but I just can't.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hostess Snack Break: The Flash in "Marathon Madman"

Everyone needs a break sometimes, so why don't you enjoy this one with one of your favorite superheroes and one of your favorite Hostess snack treats:

It's kind of messed up for a superhero whose super power is "running really fast" to actually take first place in a marathon for normal people.  I also don't think anyone should eat something that makes them exclaim "What CHEMISTRY!  What taste!"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Makeover: HARDAC

There are no bad characters, just characters that no one has spent far too much time thinking about how to make work. We intend to fix that.

The artificial intelligence known as HARDAC (Holographic Analytical Reciprocating DigitAl Computer, obviously) has only appeared in 3 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (1992's "Heart of Steel: Part 1", "Heart of Steel: Part 2", and "His Silicon Soul").  It was created by the surprisingly non-evil mad scientist Karl Rossum after the death of his daughter in a car accident.  Unfortunately, creating an artificial intelligence because you're lonely and want it's help in creating robot replacement of your daughter isn't necessarily the best idea, and listening to its creator's grief only convinced HARDAC that human frailty is a weakness that must be purged.  Therefore it concluded that the only rational way to end suffering is to replace humanity with "duplicant" robots (I did mention that this is an artificial intelligence created by a mad scientist, right?).  HARDAC wass fairly successful in it's goal, replacing Karl Rossum, Commissioner Gordon, the Mayor of Gotham City, and figuring out that Batman was Bruce Wayne before Batman succeeded in destroying it and freeing the others (HARDAC had kept them alive to study them both to get information about them it couldn't find in computer databases and also because it had trouble duplicating human emotion).  Still, before it's ultimate destruction HARDAC managed to create one last duplicant of Batman.  Unfortunately, the Batman duplicant was damaged and believed itself to actually BE Batman.  Driven mad by the belief that "he" was trapped in a robot body, the Batman duplicant sought out Karl Rossum to repair it.  There it met the real Batman, completely lost it, and ended up repairing itself enough to realize the truth.  The Batman duplicant then tried to revive HARDAC using the Batcomputer.  When Batman tried to stop it, the Batman duplicant seemingly killed him.  Since the duplicant was programmed to think like Batman, and Batman doesn't kill, the logical paradox broke it's computer brain and it destroyed the Batcomputer, HARDAC, and itself.

I had initially thought that it was just childhood nostalgia that made me love HARDAC so much.  But rewatching the episodes made me realize there was considerably more there.  The best villains are ones that are either a foil to the hero (think the Joker) or a dark mirror of them.  And HARDAC is certainly the later.  Born out of loss and tragedy, HARDAC embarked on a monomaniacal quest to make sure that no one would ever have to feel that pain again.  While replacing all of humanity with immortal indestructible robots might not seem like the sanest way to prevent car accident fatalities, it's hard to argue that dressing up as a bat and throwing batarangs at muggers isn't exactly most people's first thought on how to reduce crime either.  This similarity to Batman is only exacerbated when HARDAC's programming gets trapped inside the Batman duplicant and it finds itself unable to violate Batman's moral code.  A literal mirror image of Batman, without his humanity, struggling to break free of it's programming so that it can force the world to be free of suffering (and humanity).  It's just a shame that it gets blown up in the Batcave at the end of it's last appearance.

"Why do you resist, HARDAC's goals are identical to your own.  Picture
a world completely free of crime, free of suffering, free of frailty."

Which brings us to what I would change or improve about HARDAC to make it work as a reoccurring Batman villain, and it doesn't take much.  Namely: instead of being blown up and it's robot body being left to be dismantled by Batman, have it be blown into one of the countless underground rivers in the Batcave and swept out to the waterways beneath Gotham City.  There, heavily damaged, the HARDAC/Batman duplicant would be forced to come up with a new plan.  With Batman's moral code hardwired into it's digital DNA it wouldn't be able to enact it's plan to replace humanity with duplicant's (even if it could manufacture them while damaged and living in the sewer).  No, building duplicants would be out, but if you're a robotic intelligence with a compulsion to be Batman, even in the sewers you could find enough scrap material to put together some kind of crimefighting robot.  Suffering must be eradicated after all and imprisoning criminals down in Gotham's catacombs doesn't violate any code against killing.  And when Batbots start abducting criminals, will anyone really believe that Batman isn't behind it?  And what happens when someone stumbles onto HARDAC's Batcave?

Art by the Amused Animator JJ Conway
"How has there not always been a psychotic broken Batman robot living underneath
Gotham City?"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Published as a Public Service Announcement: Smoking is for Squares!

In the 40s and 50s, DC Comics published a series of PSAs in all of their titles. Some of them are still valuable lessons we can learn from today.....others are not.

Is there anything that Miss American Teenager can't do?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wit of the Web Slinger Wednesday: Elephant Milk

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

I don't know what's wrong with that baby elephant's eyes, but it makes me think it's evil.