[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2019-04-14

Titans

Filed under: Comics,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:36

Just watched the first episode of Titans. It’s an interesting take on the characters. Sort of a dark, low-budget alternate universe interpretation. It’s better than any of the trailers and promo material made it look. Even their version of Starfire is actually pretty interesting, despite the liberties they took with the character.

On one level., I wander why they bothered calling this “Titans” when the characters are so different from their comicbook and carton counterparts. It’s the same thing I wonder about Star Trek Discovery. It’s not a bad show, but it’s so clearly not Star Trek — why bother trying to piggyback on the Star Trek name?

But i guess that answers my question. Even though they are pretty good, these shows wouldn’t have a fraction of the viewers if they didn’t have a recognized name plastered on them.

Update: Up to episode 7, the one where the bad guys are precognitive and the good guys are morons: two of my least favourite superhero tropes. The show is paused and I am debating whether to just stop here and add this to the growing list of genre TV shows I stopped watching midway through the first season.

Update: I gritted my teeth and got past the dumb part, and it got a bit better. This was the worst episode so far. Most of the show has actually been pretty good, so I’ll keep watching it.

In general, I think this is an interesting “alternate universe” take on the Teen Titans.

Incidentally, you know what this episode felt like? It felt like the suits didn’t like the way the show was going, and forced the writers to make a detour. The same shit happened to the 2007 “Bionic Woman” remake.

Suits, man. 🙁

Update: They’ve done a much better job with Hawk & Dove than they did with Cloak & Dagger. I bailed on Cloak & Dagger after six episodes, and I would not have gotten that far if I didn’t love the comic and kept hoping the show would get better.

Update: Episode 10. I’m just of kind of rolling my eyes at it now. It hasn’t gotten any better since things took a suckward turn at episode 7. I’ll let it play out while I am working, but I won’t be looking for a second season of this, if there is one.

Final update: And I’m done. That’s 11 hours I’d like to get back. Re-watching the Teen Titans cartoon would have been a better use of my time.

Saturday, 2019-04-06

“Toxic masculinity” isn’t new

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:33

I had a conversation earlier today in SWTOR general chat. Some alt-right dipshit was complaining about “cucks” and how “toxic masculinity” was demonizing and/or feminizing all men, and other such hateful nonsense. I pointed out that “toxic masculinity” was just a new name for something very old: the loudmouths and bullies who were the villains in every Western made in the 1940s and 1950s. And that calls for men to be better than that were nothing more than a call to return to the values epitomized by John Wayne and Alan Ladd.

I then pointed out that the problem today is that too many people hear the song “Coward Of The County” and think that the Gatlin boys are the heroes of the story.

Personally, I think “The Quiet Man” (1952) and “Shane” (1953) should be required viewing for any boy who thinks being a bully is part of being a man.

P.S. My SWTOR referral link is
http://www.swtor.com/r/zCgQQY

Monday, 2019-03-11

Captain Marvel

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:31

We saw “Captain Marvel” last night. It was okay. It reminded me of “Doctor Strange” — lots of backstory and special effects, and then the main character can suddenly do anything and automatically wins.

I think I would have liked it better if they had cast a better actor as Captain Marvel. Brie Larson does “impassive” and “serious” well, but most of the time when her character laughed or smiled, it came across as forced and fake (John Agar had the same problem). I think her most believable scenes are opposite Akira Akbar as a very young Monica Rambeau — in those, she comes across as genuine. But personally, I think Samara Weaving would have been better in the part. Ah, well.

I really liked Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva. I thought they were more interesting than Carl Danvers and Nick Fury (although Sam Jackson is always interesting).

Saturday, 2019-03-02

The Umbrella Academy

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 17:55

“The Umbrella Academy”: well, that was a waste of time. It’s 50 minutes of interesting ideas spread over ten freaking hours. On the other hand, they did a good job of spreading those ideas out so that it just barely kept me watching all the way to the end. That’s more than I can say for “The Gifted”, or “Runaways”, or “Tomorrow People”, or “Agents Of Shield”, or “Legion”, or “Cloak And Dagger”, or …

“Cloak And Dagger” was the biggest disappointment. I loved that comic (for the first year or two, anyway… it went downhill later).

The only superhero TV show I am currently watching that I actually like is “Supergirl”, but that’s on some thin ice, too. The whole previous season was “blarg” with “our new best friend who appeared out of nowhere and who is not at all the same person as the new villain who appeared out of nowhere”. Basically, again, one episode worth of story spread over an entire season.

But I’m not sure I will make it all the way through this season of “Supergirl”. We just finished episode 3, and I have had more than enough angry, bigoted shitheads for a whole season. It’s bad enough half the country is infested with these malicious buffoons, we have to see them every week on “Supergirl” now, too?

Wednesday, 2019-02-06

Ethnographics of a fantasy world

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 23:21

So here’s something weird that I have never thought of before. I am planning to run a fantasy game in the next month or two, and have been contemplating various setting options. One that seemed to pique the players’ interest was what I described as an “Asian slurry” fantasy world (ASFW from here out) — a not-Earth mixture of various Asian myths and legends, with an overlay of the anime version of China and/or Japan and/or Korea.

The premise of the game is that the PCs are transported there from our world (something like the Thomas Covenant books or the Doomfarers Of Coramonde).

So I am thinking of this, and it occurs to me: there is a virtually zero chance that all of the PCs will have what we generally think of as Asian features. I don’t think I have ever run a modern day game with more than one PC with Asian ancestry. So these visitors from another world will look strange and different to the people of ASFW.

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. At first I thought it would be, but now I am thinking I might be able to tie that into the background of the game. Maybe they aren’t the first round-eyed strangers from another world to have visited ASFW…

Now for the weird thing. This — the difference in appearance between the population of a fantasy world and the PCs-from-another-world who arrive there — has literally never crossed my mind before. None of the other fantasy settings I was thinking about sparked this thought. Mentally, I just populated them with the same melange of Europeans of varying swarthiness with a sprinkling of Arabs and Africans, such that any PCs from our world would blend in with the population with little effort (at least until they start talking).

I don’t have a conclusion to draw from this. I just thought it was weird.

Wednesday, 2019-01-30

R.I.P., Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 08:00

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (née Clemm; August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and publicly married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 26. Biographers disagree as to the nature of the couple’s relationship. Though their marriage was loving, some biographers suggest they viewed one another more like a brother and sister. In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family’s cottage, at that time outside New York City.

Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage. The couple often moved to accommodate Poe’s employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband’s part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her. After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband’s in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.

The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia”.

(from Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, Wikipedia)

Friday, 2019-01-25

The limits of rationalization

Filed under: Technology — bblackmoor @ 11:06

So here’s a fun thing. NVidia just came out with the RTX 2060 (a computer video card), which is 50% faster than my current card (GTX 960 — a pretty fast card in its own right). The RTX 2060 costs $380… not cheap… but I could rationalize it (it’s 50% faster!). HOWEVER…

I have three monitors. They have DVI inputs. The RTX 2060 has three DisplayPort outputs. A DisplayPort to DVI adapter is $107. I would need three of them. It would almost be cheaper to buy three new monitors. In any case, I can rationalize spending $380 for a 50% faster video card, but I can’t rationalize $700 for a faster video card — not while my current card works perfectly well.

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060

Wednesday, 2019-01-23

Translation job scam

Filed under: Work — bblackmoor @ 11:03

If you get an email offering you a job cleaning up translations into English, like the one I have pasted below, it’s a scam. Just delete it. It’s not a real job. Do NOT reply to them

Our rapidly enlarging company is searching for a Business Correspondence Corrector who is fluent in English language to assist in interaction with our foreign clients. Your duties are to overview our business textual content files and also modifying grammar issues.