Thursday, October 20, 2005

10-13-2005 -- The Cemetery

I've had all day to think about it, and I still can't believe that I can't believe the Art Heroes over at the EAG picked Randall Stout's design. I mean, I joked about it two weeks ago and everything -- "stainless steel skateboard ramp" etc. -- but I didn't think anyone would go along with that clodgy mess of bullshit "organic" forms and useless, pandering decoration. Once again, I underestimate the abilty of the tasteless, braying drone-elite of Edmonn...

...nnnaaaah, fuckit. What do I care? The thing'll never get built, anyway; we're only a few years away (at best) from a worldwide economic disaster. Prosperity Cheques or no, we're heading for a point where oil -- and thus, everything else -- is going to be so dear, and life so cheap, even a joke building like Stout's will seem like the Fabled Towers of Atlantis compared to the post-industrial ruins we'll be squatting in. Nothing a body can do about it now except learn how to famr and shoot straight -- pressed for time, the latter alone will suffice -- so I might as well go "la la la la la" for another couple winters and keep drawing my pay. Like, you know what I'm really into these days? Airwolf.

They just released that action on DVD a little while ago, and if you haven't seen the legendary superchopper action-adventure series since it was broadcast, you owe it to yourself to pick it up (it's only worth a rental; put the purchase price toward fuel, bullets and seed) and experience the thrill of helicopter-based international Reaganism all over again. What a revelation! Remember the Cold War? The Libyans? Airwolf brings that flavor on back to you, somthered in a creamy sauce of Vietnam that I was too unsophisticated to really appreciate back then -- then, it was all about the helicopter.

The Airwolf itself is still as awesome as ever it was when I would model it with legos; what really surprised me is how little the chopper actually features in the series, and how much of its screentime is stiched together from poorly matched military stock footage and clips from what seems to be a single afternoon each of stunt flying and interiors -- in addition to having an awesome name (and playing the 'cello for eagles) pilot Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent), is so highly trained and precise, he squints and pulls the trigger in exactly the same way every time. The best part (among an embarassment of best parts, including Ernest Borgnine) is how it always gets personal; after squibbing away the Libyan (or whoever) defences with rockets, Airwolf always settles down to hover at about five feet in the middle of the bad-guy base and just pivots around, methodically machinegunning dudes. Since Airwolf is bulletproof -- and by the way, also needs no fuel, maintenance, ammo stores or support infrastructure -- you'll usually get a shot of the bad guy just pumping useless bullets into the copter's nose before stock-footage Stringfellow squints and unloads. Rad!

But, like I said, it's not all invincibility and blowing things away; Stringfellow, along with everybody else he encounters, including Russians and Libyans, has a lingering Vietnam problem. I mean, these cats are really messed. I didn't really "get it" when I was ten, but watching Airwolf now really makes me realize how bad a prolonged, bloody, disastrous war can fuck people up. When Stringfellow flew back to Vietnam to rescue a kidnapped boy he might have fathered, the producers made the towheaded little scamp look "half-breed" by daubing slanty eyeliner on him so he looked more like a Glam Scout. Will escapist action-adventure TV shows ten years after the Iraq war ends feature blond brats in brownface?

Ha! Listen to me... "After the Iraq war ends!" As another 80s icon would say, I kill me; at least, I hope I do before somebody else does. Wal-Marts, automobiles, convenience food, civil society and even television itself will end before the Oil Wars will. Good luck out there, friends. May you be buried in individual graves.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

We Still [heart] Katamari...

... and I'm properly gratful for that gift of love in A Gamer's Thanksgiving Prayer over at Vue.

And what else? My ancient ThinkPad is having that problem where purty much any application (Firefox, etc.) hangs itself (but not the system) on startup -- I'm surfin' the Web by typing URLs into the address lines of blank folders. I'd call this computer a "piece of shit", but really it's doing well for a six-year-old machine that was bottom-of-the-line to start with.

On the Mac side of things, the elderly iMac I inherited from Griwkowsky's mom is doing just fine, for a machine with 64MB of memory and a mid-90s OS. Between my two sorta-working computers, I kinda have one OK computer. Like, if I write something on the ThinkPad, I have to use WordPad because it doesn't hang. But my real word processor (Lotus) does hang, so if I want to spell check or count words, I have to go online and email the doc to myself so I can open it on my Mac and do those things. This involves physically unplugging the ethernet cable from the little USB conversion box -- my TP's ethernet port crapped out 2 years into its life -- and slapping it into the iMac, 'cause I keep forgetting to buy a cheapo hub when I have money.

Wasn't that an exciting story? Wait! There's more! I also took a picture of a Dalek!

PS: I forgot to mention (because I actually forgot, myself) how my window-browsing technique means a total system hang whenever a site tries to open a new window. That's pretty often.

PPS: Finally, LiverQuest beats out this liver-health questionaire on Google!

Monday, October 03, 2005

We [Heart] Katamari

This week, over Vue Weekly way, I spuzzed about the second Katamari game. I'd post it in its entirety, but I'm blogging off my old iMac and the ActiveX-free browser makes it impossible for me to lazily style in all the italics needed to emphasise just how much it rules. It rules enough that I'll actually manually enter the html tag here: It fucking rules