Patience is Not a Virtue: Why the Long Game Sucks in the 21st Century

First let’s start with the videos that spark this post:

Part One:

Part Two:

Addendum: Craig Ferguson: Why Everything Sucks

Now with those out-of-the-way, it’s time to explain why this article is going to end up on both Thoughts on… and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things because these videos tell what I’ve thought about for years and why we can’t have nice things because we now live in a society where nothing is of value if we can’t get it in less than 30 seconds. All of the great thinkers and doers are the result of years not weeks, months or even through dumb luck, just plain years of sticktoitivness and trial and error sometimes with setbacks along the way. Today the mantra of our society is this:

Patience is not a virtue, failure is not an option and youth, imbecility (being stupid) and luck are hallmarks of success in the 21st century.

It’s pretty bleak when you think about it. Those of us who are coming close to hitting the big 3-0 feel that those of us who don’t do anything by then, then we’re in serious trouble and that something’s terribly wrong with you if you don’t achieve success by the time you reach middle age. I like to write more than draw but I often envy those who can (sometimes for monetary reasons) and I know I won’t be able to write anything that would make it on the best sellers list on some obscure newspaper somewhere in Buttfuck, South Dakota, anymore than those brilliant artists would be to find their works in the Louvre in any point of the century.

Anyway about these videos it tells the story about of history’s greatest winners or in reality, their greatest losers with Leonardo Di Vinci taking the lead of how long he has to go before getting his masterpiece of the Last Supper up and ready. From being passed on to working on the Sistine chapel to making the mistress of a duke really unhappy when he put more detail on the ferret than on her. Then there’s that horse thing. But that road to greatness didn’t happen until he was close to pushing 50.

Other figures mentioned in the video include Micheal Faraday and Marie Curie who took 7 years before they can take on their experiments that would change the scientific community. On a side note on this Curie’s discovery would later be her downfall as she died from radiation poisoning and soon will lead to a move to develop special protective measures and Faraday’s shows that sometimes success comes to those who get to it first and forget the predecessors who put them up there in the first place. Then there’s Stephen King and John Coltrane who took even longer to get to where they are.

Then there’s the child prodigies where they started out young before becoming great. Well I fell now that is total bullshit. Child prodigies are not products of nature or self-exploration but instead pure nurture imposed by parents and society under the guise of knowing what’s best for them at the cost of their own choice, not the choice of the child. Was it really in their best interest to play the violin or become the smartest man or woman in the world by themselves or are they really the product of parents who push them so hard sometimes to abusive levels that they are masters of a skill they secretly despise? Sure there are others who don’t have the same pains of the rest but those prodigies are the result of them doing what they want on their own and not let their parents get in the way.

Now all great minds are the result of time, rise and fall of opportunity. But then something happened in the mid 20th century that changed the game. Today we live in a society where being young and stupid is now what it takes to make success and that process is made even quicker with technology. Somewhere a bunch of advertisers and Hollywood giants get together and realize that an entire generation that was looked upon as being a boon was now abundant and full of disposable income. So they decided to market to the youth, the image to be attached to the product where the youth can become the consumer and where it is all to be celebrated.

By some strange leap of faith, that’s all it came to be up to the present day. And that often has a terrible side effect to which we all now want to become great before we hit 30 like it became some terrifying stigma. We see now famous stars, millionaires and celebrities that go on the whims of being young and stupid with luck. We celebrate that more than time and talent. The consequence of all this is that when people want to become successful, we now have to go on this massive rush to get their or else to game is over. People want to get rich want to be like Mark Zuckerberg and not Warren Buffet because in their minds, who wants to be rich at an age where you can’t be able to do anything? Or be famous by sheer dumb luck and to an audience who don’t know any better because there’s no money in being old and talented. Being young and stupid is the norm, opportunities to gain experience are cut, everyone expects them to hit the ground running and not build it up to be ready for the real world and we act surprised, angry and unhappy when we don’t get what we want because we didn’t put the time to do it.

Today we live in an age, where if we don’t get what we want in the shortest amount of time possible, then it becomes something that makes us depressed, angry and jealous of those who have the time and talent, often to compare themselves to them and drop all the work because they will never get to their level when they should be focusing on their own talent. I guess in closing that the centuries of the past have given us great minds who went through their difficult years to become the source of all the great stuff they made and aspire to. But now thanks to the glorification of youth, consumerism and the expectation we can get everything we want with the press of ta button, we gained this Logan’s Run mentality of get it done or it’s over by 30. Makes you wonder what people in the 22nd century would look back to see what this one produces if we are full of people who have the brains and potential but not the patience to make it happen.

 

7 Things I Learned from “The Death and Return of Superman”

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 14:06:58

Back in 2012, Max Landis (writer of Chronicle and s0n of John Landis) made this 16 minute short detailing in short funny detail one of the most critical moments in comic book history. The Death of Superman. In a nutshell, back in 1992, Superman fights his greatest enemy and for the first time, the most iconic character in history dies. I even remember the news reports going on about this. However it’s not as much about the death of Superman but of what came out of it. In trying to make a very old character be relevant again in the culture-clashing stewpot I call the 90’s the result would forever change the industry and break a sacred rule of death in comics, at least as far important characters are concerned.

At first, it was going to be a long and stupid little short like all the others and a love letter to the franchise. But after a closer look it was worth all the repeat plays and got  a lot of quick lessons and thoughts out of this mostly seven, This is what I learned from The Death and Return of Superman.

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 14:14:55

1. The Audience Grows Up, And That Scares Us Shitless!

Everything we do in comics and I do mean everything comes with good story, action, drama, you know stuff for the hero to be a hero all for the intended audience. Which are bored kids with money in their pockets looking for good entertainment. However as life moves on so does the readers. They grow up, get jobs, have kids and find new forms of entertainment that for comics are too kiddy for them to take interests anymore.

So comic book companies decide to add more to their heroes with drama, problems, pathos, things that we can relate to in our adult lives. For Superman a very old character what to do with him gets DC execs scared shitless. What is for them to do? Kill him of course!

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 14:19:35

2. Sudden Realization Can Be A Scary Thing

Quick! Think of someone, who is pound-for-pound the strongest character in the Marvel or DC universe. If you think right off the bat that it would be Superman or The Hulk. Yeah this is what The Death of Superman is. There has been a lot of talk among fans of what would happen if the two strongest characters (there’s also Darkseid and Ultron and many others but screw them!) would fight against each other.

There have been animations, fan comics and stories telling that but no official version. Then came Doomsday which by Landis is basically the hulk and I think so too now when you think about it. Take the Gray Hulk, make him fucking ugly, add protrusions and shorter green pants and boom! You got Doomsday! This was preemptive wish fulfilment folks!

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 14:34:40

3. You’re Just Paying For The Brand

What do most tech critics and PC aficionados complain about those who buy overpriced and easily obsolete Apple products: They are most likely paying for the name of the product not for what it does even for the simplest of tasks. Basically you’re buying something that was just not meant for you and other better options are available but they’ll go for it anyway. With The Reign of the Supermen, four pretenders to the throne come along and take the place of the Man of Steel: Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, The Man of Steel and Metropolis Boy.

Each of them carry the symbol of Superman but do things that aren’t very superman-y. Eradicator takes the lethal approach and kills the bad guys. Metropolis Boy is basically a young punk, Cyborg Superman was former astronaut who got really fucked up by an accident but we’ll get back to that later and The Man of Steel who you know as Steel an iron worker by the name of *sigh* John Henry Irons. Each of them winning the hearts and minds of the people often with disastrous results. And on that note…

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 14:55:50

3A. The Next Black Thing?!

Landis says that for years DC was trying to push this guy to be the next big thing. I’m sorry but I can’t see what he means of how much they can push this guy to…

Steelposter.jpg
Steelposter” by http://www.impawards.com/1997/steel.html Impawards. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Oh right, Nevermind. Moving on…

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 15:35:35

 4. Everything is Basically Superman’s Fault

Nature has a way to make big things out of little things, like the butterfly effect. In this short, one act of oversight on Superman’s part led to why death in comics is rendered inconsequential. Ask yourself this question, what would drive a good person to become a super-villain? Loss of a loved one? a result of someone else’s negligence or the hardened rules of an organization that can’t see past the needs of ones wants for the greater good?

Enter Hal Jordan and Cyborg Superman. Hank Henshaw was an astronaut who goes up into the space with three others in what can be described as a parody of the origin of the Fantastic Four but instead of gaining superpowers, they get horrifying deaths. In order to save his wife, he uploaded is consciousness into LexCorp computers and comes out this cyborg and his efforts to save her were in vain as she throws herself out a window. He basically blames superman for this? How? He was “resurrected” in superman’s birthing matrix something that should had protocols to tell the difference between the Man of Steel and Henshaw. Anyway he goes around as Cyborg Superman and after blaming his death and all that stuff. He partners up with Mongul and goes after Coast City to destroy it and install Machine City to make a new warworld.

Why did he do it and why in Coast City. Turns out he and his wife lived there and this was an effort to erase all traces of his past. Seriously, that’s why. Anyway Hal Jordan comes in and wants to rebuild the city using his ring. Green Lantern Corps. says no because he can’t use his ring to rebuild or bring back everything he lost and he completely looses it and kills everyone save for the last member of the Guardians of the Universe. Now going around as the villain Parallax. While giving Kyle Rayner the reigns as the new Green Lantern. This has real world consequences with the rise of H.E.A.T. (Hal’s Extreme Action Team) and Geoff Johns’ involvement later on.

But when you think about it, if it wasn’t for the neglect of one of the most important artifacts Superman has at his disposal, this wouldn’t have happen. Kind of dropped the ball on this one Supes.

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 16:07:57

5. Good Heroes Never Die (But Probably Should)

Just as Cyborg Superman takes down the rest of the supermen, out of nowhere the real Superman comes in and kills him off. So? Superman’s back… yay. Fans felt betrayed, sales plummeted and death is an afterthought. Explains the why but not the how which will get to that in the end.

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 16:14:57

6. No Basis in Reality? Free Reign HO!

There is a great line in this movie when it comes to creating characters based on fictional lore. I don’t know if it s true or not but it really was inspiring. It has to do with dealing with established rules in movies for things that do not make sense in the real world. Here’s how it went:

How do you kill a vampire?

Stake through the heart, Garlic, Sunlight.

No. You can kill a vampire however the fuck you want, because vampires DON’T FUCKING EXIST! You can make up rules for any kind of thing you want.

…Immediately followed by this.

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 16:13:15

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 16:21:47

But the idea of that. Damn! But think about it, by that idea, it completely negates everything you know working around the rules of fiction. What it basically says is if there is something in fiction that has no basis in reality, you can make up rules for anything you want out of a character. Scientific consensus? Centuries of historical and cultural backing? Established rules of literary works of past authors and pioneers of the arts? Fuck that! If I want to make Dracula go after his victims wearing a pink tutu and he can only survive not by night by dusk or dawn, go for it!

Screenshot from 2014-06-23 16:46:38

7. Death? What’s That?

Hal Jordan and Geoff Johns. What do those names have to do with the idea of the death of death in comics? Hal Jordan being evil, breaking long-standing traditions and having a 90’s punk kid artist take up the reigns of an intergalactic space cop is enough for H.E.A.T. to take action even to put out full ads calling for the return of Hal being good and do away with Rayner. In the end, they won, and Hal’s good again, forgiven and back in business as the Green Lantern. Then there’s Geoff Johns with Blackest Night and the Emotional Spectrum more specifically the White and Black Lantern Corps.

Those two elements explain the how death is dead in comics (according to DC):

The Emotional Spectrum

PowerBatteries01.jpg
PowerBatteries01” by Scan by original uploader Hooliganb (talk). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

When Geoff explains the original meaning behind the multiple colors of the corps. He decided to make the basic colors of the rainbow and the classical weakness of Green Lantern’s weakness to the color yellow to be more attached to emotions and not just plain colors: Willpower (Green), Red (Rage), Yellow (Fear), Hope (Blue), Compassion (Indigo), Love (Violet) and Greed/Avarice (Orange). With the absence of two other colors: Black and White and if history as often shows us the only things that are associated with Black and White are Life and Death.

Enter this guy:

Blackestnight4.jpg
Blackestnight4“. Via Wikipedia.

Nekron is the main super-villain in the event Blackest Night and the reason DC’s heroes can’t stay dead, and this all in canon for gods sake! He is also the leader of the Black Lantern Corps. a legion of zombies armed with black rings. These black rings have the power to do two things: Suck out life force of the living and take control of the recently resurrected. Who has been resurrected? Oh.. most of the big name heroes of the DC universe to serve as Nekron’s sleeper agents to the corps all thanks to his leaving the door to the underworld open for heroes to escape. Leaving behind about why they can’t stay dead.

Now with that out-of-the-way, I can end this article with this: The short taught me a lot of things about how the strange world of comics work when it comes to iconic characters and death. Storytelling elements littered all over with blurred lines…

Not those blurred lines!

Not those blurred lines!

…and Death. As long as there is money, tradition and demand to be made, good characters don’t die… easily as we want them to.

The $80,000 Oscar Goodie Bag… For Losers

You already know and often bitch about it in your blog, it’s part of the entitlement culture. The part where you’re in a competing game and we all get trophies or some sort of recognition despite the fact that you should get jack shit for losing. Well that’s the world, because we rather not hurt someone have their feelings hurt, than just let people know that losing is a thing.

Well that’s just for normal people. For something else like.. say… the Academy Awards. They have the nomination ceremony where all the films, actors, actress’s works from the past year get announced and you would expect the same idea since we dealing with adults that have to expect that all their hard work would not turn in a fruit. Well you couldn’t be any more wrong than that after the Huffington Post article discusses that the losers get their prize, an $80,000 dollar goodie bag.

From the article this is what you get for not being nominated. Not won or lost at the real awards show. Just for not even getting a nomination.

From Huffington Post

  • Wine-infused chocolates from Chicago-based Chocolatines.
  • 10,000 Halo natural pet food meal donations made to the loser’s pet charity of choice.
  • Hydroxycut protein shakes, bars and gummies.
  • Swiss-made Slow Watches.
  • Betty Jane candies.
  • Acure Organics “cutting-edge” skincare products.
  • Jan Lewis bracelets and silk ties.
  • Cannonball wine.
  • A wearable camera by Narrative Clip.
  • Polar Loop activity tracker.
  • Bee Free Honee organic apple honey.
  • Blossom Blends “bespoke” teas.
  • Mace pepper spray gun.
  • Fine art from Gizara Arts.
  • Jitseu Handbags.
  • The LOADED book series.
  • Steamist Total Sense home spa system.
  • Aviv 613 luxury vodka.
  • Wrag Wrap luxury sustainable gift wrap.
  • Dosha Pops.
  • VETVIK “The Covert” leather iPhone case.
  • HISY Bluetooth camera shutter remote for Apple devices.
  • Mane ‘n Tail haircare products and Conceived by Nature styling products.
  • The Green Garmento Gargantote and dry cleaning bag.
  • Le Petit Cirque aerial lessons.
  • Epic Pet Health electrolyte therapy.
  • M3K Beauty products for “exceptionally vibrant skin.”
  • DrainWig.
  • Acupuncture sessions with Heather Lounsbury.
  • Personal training sessions at Huntley Drive Fitness.
  • Rouge Maple “best maple syrup you’ve ever tasted.”
  • Slimware portion-control plates.
  • Coolway “no damage” Go Pro blow dryer.
  • Simon’s Happy Pet Shampoo.
  • Wonder Glow Organic Lipgloss from Makeup Studio by Diane Capt.
  • Knit & Co. cable knit mittens.
  • Krystal Klear Water whole house water filtration system.
  • The O-Shot procedure by Dr. Charles Runels.
  • ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System performed by Dr. William Yates.
  • Max Martin luxury American-made shoes.
  • Deluxe vacation packages to the Canadian Rockies, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Mexico and Japan.

After looking at the list, the after the items I would like to keep are the travel packages, booze chocolates… and that’s pretty much it.  The rest I would just give it away or just chuck in the trash. But yeah this is the rich people’s version of the entitlement society right here.

The Bechdel Test: Overextended Intentions?

Well it was introduced to me from an old episode of the short-lived Thrash lab series, The Factuary on What do Feminists Have Left? and it mentions the part about the Bechdel Test. What is this test you say? Well it’s pretty much a very straightforward test written into a 1985 strip called Dykes to Watch Out For. Created by of course… American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Anyway the criteria for this test from that strip goes as follows:

In order to pass this test, it must have:

  • Have at least two women
  • Get them to talk to each other
  • Of anything other than a man

Sounds pretty simple right? Well coming across this site, It tells me something really differently. The Bechdel test is a measure of gender bias in movies, at least that’s what they say so far.  Exploring this site and reading most of the comments in a scant selection of films and their arguments. It sort of drives me to one viable conclusion:

That the Bechdel test for all intents and purposes, is way too easy to be used even as a measuring stick for spotting gender bias in movies.

What I mean by that is that from the arguments and the criteria, this test can’t that easy from the get-go. Because depending on perspective and the appearance of bias, many movies seem to pass or fail the test based on these flaws alone. What I think of these criteria, I think if there are any set limits involved to make the test more practical because under those three rules alone: Any movie is vulnerable from major culture-changing blockbusters to forgettable indie fare. There are already derivative tests made for articles for women in science (Finkbeiner) and another about LGBT characters in media (Russo).

Here is what I have about the test:

What if that “man” was a friend or family member that the woman cares for? How many instances does these theoretical two women talk about the man before it can be considered a fail? One? Two? Three-Strikes Methodology? What that conversation was suggesting that it “could” be about a man?  Let’s go as far as saying that does the orientation of said man matter? This is just a small example of what needs to be considered when reviewing a movie for gender bias.

I even wonder what Bechdel thinks of this idea 29 years since the strip that made the test that bares her name. I would think that it is important that when setting a standard of what does or doesn’t make good media representation in well… media, All these things must be considered or else the platform could be wide open and easily accuse any piece of media, just for being biased.

Also to conclude, who is to say that this test can be applied to just movies? What about TV, movies, popular books and even plays? Those would have been blown away by now. If there was some consideration, an enhanced version of the test can be made and see how that would work. If you think that I’m over-thinking this, fine. But you need to think closely without bias before putting judgement into a movie if it has anything to do with what I mentioned above.

PUF #1 – Nobody Cares?!

Whenever you hear someone come up to you while doing something and they say something in the area of “Do you think, anyone cares?” or “Nobody cares!” Tell them to do one of the following: Well you can fuck off or in a more sincere manner, tell them that you do care to waste your time and mine to come up with a elaborate lecture to tell me why you don’t care about said thing.

So. yeah. you do care just to waste my time.

More Webs to Dust

Well here I go again, new year, new stuff to post and more reasons to kick myself in the ass for being too lazy to post all of the backlogged stuff that has been stuck in my drafts section for months now and are way off into the year.

Meanwhile found a new theme to play with. Will post whenever I get to it.