Girl pulls sword from lake, gets my vote

I don’t even know what counts as real news these days, let alone established news sources or whether they’ve got that whole bias or what…

But I do know I’d bow to a 4 year old girl with a sword before I’d bow to the likes of fascist nazis any day.


How’s this for a movie? Not good? Yeah, you’re probably right…

A hard boiled detective is paired with a never-ending list of partners, each more 80’s than the last.

A cowboy. Like, from the old west. He’s in black and white. Everything else is in colour. Even if it’s technicolour, because this is the 80’s, man.

An Asian. Who may or may not be a ninja.

A dinosaur.

A kid.

A black kid.

A gay black kid.

A gay black kid who’s also Autistic.

A gay, transgendered, black Autistic kid who’s obsessed with his dad’s buddy cop movies. Hang on…

A dog.

A talking dog.

A talking dog who’s haunting the detective with “You should really make peace with your gay, trans, black autistic child cop prodigy partner before time runs out and the terrorists take over the mall and—”

I think I’m getting carried away here. Let’s just keep this simple.

*Hitler shows up in a T-rex mech*

Zombies, demons and haunted cabins, oh my! (tribute to George A. Romero)

It’s been about a year (and a month) since my mum asked me “So, how would Tesla Squad deal with a cabin in the woods?”

This was in response to a writer’s retreat I went on, where there were two blood moons, a cold, windy night that slapped tree branches against the glass doors and windows, a locked room with no key, sweet fuck all reception, and a dead bird.

Around the same time, not sure exactly when, but my brother and I went to see The Conjuring 2. My brother said “Sam and Dean would just turn the water on to full, bless it, pour salt in it, dump a ton of kerosene in it, and strike a match. Minimum.” I found it very hard to fault him on that logic.

So, today, I’ve been writing the opening to that scenario, but with Tesla Squad, and while I haven’t gotten that far into it just yet, I’m liking what I’ve got so far.

I’ve also got a DVD double feature, containing The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell), and Night of the Living Dead (the first feature by George A. Romero) who died over the weekend. I should watch these. For research.



I’m back in black (and white)

Okay, I’m not in black right now, but I am wearing shorts that are sort of… well, they were black when I got them. I’m also not in white, but I am white. I am SO white. If I were to go into the Ghetto, I would be shown where the nearest bus stop out of the Ghetto is, because I 1000% don’t belong in the Ghetto. But then I’m not exactly a middle class businessman with a wife and 2.5 kids and a golden retriever with a tire swing in his back yard either, so, what am I?

I know what I’m NOT, though. I’m a writer, a 30 something white man, and a smarter person than some 26 year old girl thinks I am. I’m autistic, not stupid. I’ve gone from maybe 40% Christian to 80% after the events of last year shook me up and spit me out. And I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve looked around for an adult, found none, and come to the horrifying realization:

I AM an adult.

Shit. That means I have to act like one.

I had to get rid of some toxic friendships, and some of the associated friendships had to go too. That sucks.

On the plus side, my brother’s D&D campaign rocks, my bard is awesome, and my own campaign – written since stripping away the thin veneer of lies (my own and others’) – is going GREAT, thanks to my brother and my friend from school being joined by my best friend from Uni, and them having a sort of ‘good cop, bad cop, drunk cop’ dynamic going on (none of them are cops, I should point out).

I’ve also gotten back into reading The Fifth Season, as I made a Gentleman’s Agreement, and Flick started reading The Name of the Wind, so I have no excuse.

I’m still unemployed, but I signed up for some job alerts, updated my resume, and have started the ball rolling. Unemployment on a disability support pension is not exactly a fun thing to say I do for a living, so I usually stick with “writer”. It pays about the same anyway.

And I’m going to a concert next month! (Stone Sour) Plus, I’ve been able to go to Rockaoke a lot at this one place with darkness lit by candle light, and when I sang Drops of Jupiter, a few of the crowd lifted up those bad boys and waved them in the dark. So nice.

Yeah, I’ll leave it at that. There’s more, but that’s a good stopping point.

Peace out, or something.

Ghost in the Shell and Japanese animation’s history of appropriating white culture

Interesting read, for anyone living under a rock where it comes to anime (which, if I’m being honest, isn’t *most* people I personally know, as I somehow manage to have a LOT of pop culture consuming friends).

EDIT: On a personal note: I think the history of anime and GITS itself is more interesting than this movie. Also, Batou’s eyes just don’t look right, compared to the anime. The movie looks amazing, sure. It has aesthetic going for it, and in the group I was with, I was the only one to pick out Doge, that old meme, in the business suit at the end. Could be the monologue was generic as hell and I tuned out and so that caught my eye when the rest of it didn’t. Could be I was just looking in the right part of the screen at the right time and everything else was pretty generic. Could be I’m detail-oriented, being autistic. Who knows, really.

Divergent Thinking



Something I got a lot of praise for in school was my creativity and my ability to write evocative stories, my ability to draw buildings and maps (people, forget it; animals, depends). I still have a vase I made and painted, in my mother’s lounge room. I still have a toolbox and table I made in woodwork class, I was bad at the manual labour, but I was a bloody legend with the poker burner and people actually offered money to get me to put their ideas on their woodwork (the Metallica logo for one). I still have the coffee table I made in 10th grade. I was inspired by Final Fantasy 8, among other things, and my designs reflected that.

Reading this blog post by my friend, I can see how homogenized typical thinking is, as we are taught to “grow up and fit in” and to think like everyone else to do so. Now, social skills are not a *bad* thing to have – in fact they’re critical in your ability to have a life worth living – but understanding how to fake it in order to fit in, and how to think creatively, outside the box, and relate how *you* think that way, is definitely a pro. You’re essentially conveying your ideas, which are something that resonates with you, to other people, which means explaining them like you would to a five year old (but also respecting the listener’s basic human understanding and ability to think for themselves).

At Uni, I wowed people with my script ideas, because they were so resonant and cool and I was so passionate about them, and for that reason I, and a couple of others from a writing degree background, went into Film and TV with an imagination.

I also had my video game level idea presented to the class as an example, which was also a proud moment for me. In that, you were chased by an ice monster from a portal, through the halls of (totally not my Tafe campus) before a nastier monster came out. There were obstacles and enemies to impede progress. What I had, though, was an idea. It was more than what most had. And I was happy to hear other people’s suggestions for levels too, of course, because I was the guy with the imagination.

Imagination, then, is… what is imagination? Well, here’s a few jobs where imagination *isn’t* a requirement: Lawyer. Copy writer. Accountant. Business admin. Tech support. Government. Mechanical trades. Warehousing. Shipping (unless it’s practical and solves a problem that would otherwise get people killed or injured). Security, although *some* understanding of the human psyche is a bare minimum. Zoology. Doctors. Nurses, well, if they are positive and are able to help patients through encouraging creativity, that’s good for the patient’s morale). Psychology, hard to say, but understanding creativity is key because you’d get a lot of creative types in your office). Teachers… the fun subjects like history and English and art are sought after by all and trust me, they’re never hiring.

I think I’ve lost the point I was trying to make, but basically, I think my writer friend Talitha is on the ball with this Divergent Thinking thing. Kids get it. Kids are looking for imagination, anything to keep them from being bored. They make shit up like it’s the most natural thing in the world. To them, unburdened by “adult responsibilities”, ie money, relationships, jobs, taxes, laws, growing up, growing older, health, life changes, injuries, disabilities, sex, entertainment, housing needs, social security… to kids who’ve yet to really experience the difficulties of life, playing in the sand pit or on the playground or with toy lightsabers or with dolls/action figures, life is such a wonderful thing. Then you’re forced to go to school and get Education shoved down your throat, told what to think, and how to behave, and lectured on White Guilt (ie my entire education in Australia) and that Video Games Are Bad For You (when Shakespeare was sword fights, dick jokes, sex and drugs, and the great works of art that stand the test of time are typically those that depict bloody battle, sex, drugs, or whatever is taboo at some point. Or a can of soup. Yeah. That’s Art, apparently. God bless you, Warhol.)

Somewhere between “play in the sand pit with light sabers and Power Rangers” and “I really have to study for this final or my dad will send me to military academy because I don’t live up to his anti-communist sentiment” we tend to lose the ability, the inclination, the power, to think TRULY creatively. That means, outside the box. Not another brick in the wall. Hence you get American Idiot blowing your fucking mind. Hence Idiocracy is actively fucked by the industry until it gets a measly DVD release with no exposure, and slowly plots its revenge and raises an army of followers and becomes a dystopian documentary/horror flick when all it wanted to be was a comedy. And how Terrorists capture our imagination and we have no ideas so we turn to movie makers to answer our questions about what to do. (Yes, I’m talking South Park’s Imaginationland). And how everything’s Batman. EVERYTHING.

Honestly, I lost the point I was only half interested in trying to make, somewhere in all that. But thinking “yeah, that’s tried and true, but what if you did it this way instead?” is a good practice. As long as you know what the reasons for doing it the standard way are, at least.

If you are some “misunderstood genius” who doesn’t even comprehend, let alone understand, the way people think, or how the industry, trade or business works in the first place, though, you’re going to fail. Because you’re an idiot. And being an arrogant prick about it will not do you any favours.

So understand WHY the system is in place, think about how the human mind works, understand why your ideas might or might not work out, and then think about how you might convince people to take a chance on your alternative way of doing these things. Do that, and who knows, you might become the next Steve Jobs. (but don’t count on it, you’re not that special, and if you are, SHOW IT through actions that gather traction to the effect of “that’s an awesome idea, you should get money for it!”).

When did you first realize you were heterosexual?

Some genius professor rustled some jimmies not long ago (and I only realised I hadn’t posted this until trying to figure some stuff out regarding this blog), and I cracked up at the sheer hilarity of it. Bravo for posting a lecture slide on the social double-standards that straight white people have towards everyone else (well, too often, anyway). This made the news, and I found it pretty enlightening on how badly humanity seems to have fallen in the way of acceptance, and how ingrained our attitudes to anything “Other” really are, sometimes, and how we often just assume we are faultless until someone shines a mirror up to us as a society.

So, for all the heterosexuals in the room: when did you first realize you were heterosexual?





Xmen movies

I saw Logan last week. Hugh Jackman is the first live-action Wolverine, he was a kinda strange choice, since the character is short and Jackman is Australian, while Logan is Canadian, though the two are practically the same in general, both live in extreme weather, both speak a version of English that confuses Americans, and both are friendly as all hell. Both also have reputations as badasses, because there’s so much that can kill you in both countries. Canada has wolves, stags, grizzly bears, all the things that *look* like they’ll fuck you up and it’d be an honour. Australia… hoo boy. Snakes and spiders, mostly, but Crocodiles, Sting Rays, Box Jellyfish, Sharks, Cassowaries (like mutant Emu’s on steroids and straight out of Hell) and boxer roos, the big, fuck-off kangaroos that are like, 8 feet tall and on steroids and can punch a hole clean through your chest if you don’t shoot them first with a shotgun, or, better yet, a double barrel .44 Magnum shotgun. And wild boars, you gotta use that, their skulls are that thick and they move that fast and that angry.

I illustrate these animals because A) they’re fucking savage and B) none of them have anything on Wolverine. I mean shit, he can regenerate, has metal from another planet in his bones, and retractable claws that can cut through ANYTHING. Okay, maybe not Juggernaut’s helmet. Nothing can cut through that. But anything else in that setting, forget it, basically. His claws are the fucking Colt from Supernatural.

So, he’s been in all of the Xmen movies. All 7 of them. (8 counting Deadpool?) So, let’s see if I recall much about those.

Xmen: decent action movie, one of the two properties that Fox did well on, for the most part, the other being Spiderman. The visuals were a grey and black colour palette, the costumes were obsessed with “not yellow spandex” to the point they were all black, the computer thing was grey moving blocks and I thought Cerebrum looked best in First Class, honestly. Some of the dialogue was alright, most was kinda stupid though. For a comparison: I liked “Not everyone can shrug off bullets, Logan.” And when Cyclops later tested Wolverine’s identity because Mystique was present, Logan simply said, “Dick.” I think that was where he gave him the middle claw. Cyclops was convinced. On the other end of the spectrum was Storm’s line about toads and lightning storms. Ugh. Fuck no, writers, have her JUST ZAP HIM! Still, Xmen 1 was good, not great, and it was revolutionary at the time for LGBT issues.

Xmen 2: a perfectly good sequel. Soldiers tried to capture mutants, mutants ran around the house and wouldn’t go to bed like good little children. And Iceman chilled Logan’s beer. And the cat licked Logan’s claws. I didn’t even remember until now the lake bit, though. Or the facility. Or some hot-ish, but forgettable, Asian… Wolverina? (shut up)

Xmen 3: The Last Stand. Sigh. It was pretty bad. Magneto busted out with a single paper clip, though. The soldiers learned to use fully plastic weapons. The team work displayed in the bridge fight was great. The line “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” was the stuff of one-liner legend. Magneto ripping the San Francisco Bridge out of the supports and putting it down where he wanted it was the stuff of visual legend. (at least until the submarine in First Class went one better)

Most of that movie didn’t do much for anyone, but the climatic final battle did deliver the goods. The girl from Game of Thrones was, I think, was a better Phoenix, though. Not a better Jean Grey, but then I can barely recall that much about Xmen 3, so yeah. No confidence there.

Then you have First Class, which was just amazing, and is the inspiration for Adrian in Children of Fire (with some Hans Gruber for good measure).

Days of Future Past was… good in concept, but where Rogue got the new powers from is a mystery that was never explained. The way the human guy in charge of the Sentinels was merely wrong, that was a nice change of tone. Peter Dinklage can’t really do anything but Tyrion, though, from what I’ve seen and heard so far. He did alright here, but that character was overshadowed by the legendary Tyrion Lannister. As any role he’s in would be.

Apocalyse was just… ugh. Kill me, please. Rehashing Magneto’s origin in a lazy, uninspired way (though his wanting to be left alone by the soldiers and being forced to use his powers at the steel mill was an inspired moment). The murder of his wife and child was just too on the nose. Apocalypse himself was boring. The power upgrades were… what again? Xavier losing his hair that way was just stupid and undid the gag in First Class. The Wolverine cameo was on the nose too. So was the “third movie in a trilogy sucks” comment. Mystique’s arc was repeated pretty much the same way but a much lesser quality.

The only good thing was that final battle, and how Magneto pulled the two beams together to form the X.

And then Logan was the R-rated gore-fest with death and rage and suffering right until the end that a series like this needed as a capstone, at least as far as Logan’s story goes. Cinematically, it’s the perfect ending to a series of movies about mutants fighting. The series starts of good, goes downhill, and rises right back up after two Wolverine solo movies. (The first I’ve seen, a few times, it’s stupid good fun in my opinion, I think everyone just focuses on how bad they treated Deadpool, but Wade Wilson was at least cool as shit; it’s right at home in the 80s, and that war montage with the two brothers is amazing. “He fought and died in two world wars” comes to mind as a phrase from an “adult” cartoon I loved as a late teen, see if you can guess it from that quote).

So okay, he’s in 9 movies, I think. Two were cameos, three were solo outings, and this has more than cemented Hugh Jackman as THE Wolverine. He was pretty much born to play the role, like Reynolds in Deadpool. (Cable sounds fucking amazing, and I kinda remember him from the cartoon, mostly only while it was playing on the TVs at the Step Inn in the Valley back in like 2009 (now Netherworld)). They played metal there. Seems appropriate, really.

That’s my retrospective on the series. In Marvel’s hands again, any Wolverine they have will have BIG shoes to fill. And I think they can safely just not have him around and it won’t be an issue, he does kinda go off on his own a lot.