Archive for February, 2012

29
Feb
12

Everything But Imaginary #437: Happy Birthday Superman (or) More Thoughts About Digital Comics

Only a nerd of my stature could start with February 29th, Leap Day, roll it into a birthday party for Superman, and wind up talking about deficiencies in the Amazon Kindle Store as opposed to other venues for digital comics.

Because that’s how I roll.

Everything But Imaginary #437: Happy Birthday Superman (or) More Thoughts About Digital Comics

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27
Feb
12

“Wow, Blake, you’ve been quiet lately…”

Why yes. Yes, anonymous commenter on the internet who has somehow managed to usurp the title of a blog post, I have. But it’s not because I’ve gone into hibernation or anything. As many of you know, last week was the annual party/Bacchanalia we here in the great state of Louisiana call Mardi Gras, and Erin came down for one of her legendary visits during that week. It was a wonderful time and I’ll try to find the time to write more about it later in the week, for those of you who don’t just follow us on Facebook.

But now that things have gotten back to normal, I find myself busier than ever. I’m continuing work on the first draft of a new novel (I’m at 63k words at the moment, and I’m guessing I’ll have about another 20 or 30k to go before the story is finished). I’m prepping my next fiction release, which I hope to have out to you guys in the next few months. And starting… oh, about three hours ago… I’m directing the next show for the Thibodaux Playhouse, Alan Ball’s comedy Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. The first night of auditions was tonight, so now I’m going to be working in all of my usual stuff around that.

So I’m still here, and I’m still working. I just wanted you all to know that.

I love you too.

18
Feb
12

Things You Say That Irritate Language Nerds: Part II

Several people chimed in to tell me they enjoyed my “Things You Say That Irritate Language Nerds” post from a few days ago, and that they wanted more. Never let it be said that I’m above blatantly pandering for attention, friends. I’m stepping up with another installment. But I’m also in a bit of a rush today — Erin is coming in for Mardi Gras, so I don’t have too long to spend on this one. I’m afraid today’s gripe is a bit of a softball…

Today’s Episode: “I could care less…”

You’ve probably noticed this yourself, how this phrase doesn’t really make any sense, but I’m sure many of you have never quite stopped to think about what’s wrong with it. That’s why I’m here, friends.

When someone says “I could care less,” they are typically using the phrase in a derisive way, so as to indicate they do not care at all about whatever the topic of conversation is:

EXAMPLE 1:

BOB: “Hey, did you hear that the Lions are in town?”
BILL: “I could care less about football.”
BOB: “Actually, I meant literal Lions. They’re eating your grandmother right now.”

In this exchange, Bill’s intention is to indicate that he does not care about football. But that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying “I could care less.” This means that on some level he has to care, because otherwise, caring less would be impossible. Whether he cares just a teeny bit or whether he cares immensely is unknown, because by its very nature this statement could be applied at any point of the caring spectrum above zero percent.

To illustrate this point, imagine a large plate of bacon. Bob has just cooked an entire slab and, unless Bill is a godless communist, he’s going to want some.

EXAMPLE 2:

BOB: “Hey, Bill, want some bacon?”
BILL: “I could eat some bacon.”

And he can. Because the bacon is there and Bob is kind enough to offer some to Bill, even though he was kind of a pretentious jerk in Example 1. So Bob and Bill go back and forth until, alas, there is no more bacon. This is a sad event in anyone’s life, of course, but it’s inevitable, as the natural consequence of the existence of bacon is that people will eat bacon until there is no more bacon to be eaten. But Bill, whose phone rang during the meal and he had to step outside because he didn’t want his Vegan girlfriend to hear the sound of bacon being chewed, is unaware of this when he returns to the room.

EXAMPLE 3:

BILL: “Can I have some more bacon?”
BOB: “I couldn’t give you more bacon.”

And Bob can’t. Because the bacon is gone. And now everybody is sad.

Anyway, try to imagine that “caring” is something that could be counted physically, like strips of crispy bacon. If Bill says “I couldn’t care less,” he’s saying that there is no caring to be had in regards to the subject at hand, which is what the person who says this always means. But when Bill says, “I could care less,” he is implying that there are, in fact, strips of caring still available, which is clearly not what he intends.

So, to summarize:

  • Say “I couldn’t care less” if the point you’re trying to make is that you don’t care about a subject.
  • Only say “I could care less” if the subject is something you have feelings about, but wish that you didn’t. Basically, this is the attitude of the film Brokeback Mountain.
  • Now that the bacon is gone, it’s Bill’s turn to supply the next plate of bacon. It’s only fair.
15
Feb
12

Everything But Imaginary #436: Has Ghost Rider Burned the Independent Artist?

The case of Gary Friedrich Vs. Marvel Comics has taken some interesting turns this week, one of which has left some artists concerned about their ability to participate in a custom as old as comic conventions themselves. This week in Everything But Imaginary, I ask the question: Has Ghost Rider burned the Independent Artist?

Everything But Imaginary #436: Has Ghost Rider Burned the Independent Artist?

13
Feb
12

Things You Say That Irritate Language Nerds: Part I

I am, as I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, a high school English teacher. As such, I have a greater-than-average awareness of language, punctuation, and correct word choice. And although I try not to be an utter grammar Nazi about it, there are some things people say that are so blatantly incorrect that it makes me want to slap them with a cold fish.

This will undoubtedly be a series.

Today’s episode: “You have two choices…”

I hear this all the time. On TV. In the movies. Around the halls of my school. And frequently said by people who are, in fact, very intelligent. Despite this, they go forth with this horribly incorrect phrase.

  • “You have two choices… live or die.”
  • “You have two choices… study hard and pass, or slack off and fail.”
  • “You have two choices… chocolate with Bavarian Cream or the engine block of a 1972 Studebaker.”

In all of these situations, the person being spoken to is told he must make two choices. But he doesn’t. He has one choice. He has two options. If a person is being told he must choose between life or death, there is only that one choice — life or death. The choice is the action — the single action, mind you — of selecting between the available options. This is true no matter how many options a person has.

  • “You have six choices… life, death, a guided tour of the Wonka chocolate factory, electrolysis for that thing on your lip, a package of AAA batteries and a partridge in a pear tree.”

This person still only has one choice to make, because he is being given the option of choosing between these six items. Also, the person giving him this option is either patently insane or the host of the strangest version of Let’s Make a Deal in history. Which I admit may be the same thing.

Here’s a case where a person actually has two choices:

  • “You have two choices… save the baby’s life or allow him to grow up to be Hitler. Also, do you want fries with that?”

In this situation, the person being presented with the choice has two decisions to make. Will he allow an innocent baby to die even knowing he will eventually become history’s greatest monster? Plus — hey, fries? These are the sorts of moral implications that can weigh on a person for the rest of his life, especially if you start to consider such vital factors as “curly,” “battered,” or “cajun-style.”

But these four options come with two choices, not four, as some people will undoubtedly say.

Here’s an easy way to remember. When facing the situation, ask yourself how many decisions a person has to make. “Cake or pie” is one decision, which means one choice, which really means no choice because pie almost always wins. Unless it’s ice cream cake.

To summarize:

  • The number of choices is equal to the number of decisions, not the number of options.
  • Increasing the number of options has no effect on the number of choices that must be made.
  • Pie always trumps non-ice cream cake.
12
Feb
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 257: A Word About Gary Friedrich

Blake’s voice is on its last legs today, so take a minute to think about this quick monologue about Gary Friedrich, the Ghost Rider lawsuit, and the implications that go with it. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 257: A Word About Gary Friedrich

11
Feb
12

What I’m Watching in 2012

Just like yesterday’s post about books, I also keep a running list of the movies I watch each year. You know you do it to. Okay, some of you. Three of you? Harvey?

Anyway, for those who are interested, here’s the tally thus far. As with the books, if I happen to write a review of any of these films, I’ll throw up a link. And, should I happen to watch a movie as it’s being riffed by the likes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Rifftrax, or Incognito Cinema Warriors XP, I’ll provide a separate “grade” for the riff.

1. Tucker and Dale Versus Evil (2011), A
2. Little Shop of Horrors (1960), D; RiffTrax, B+
3. Eurotrip (2004), B-
4. Barely Legal (2011), D
5. TransFormers: Dark of the Moon (2011), B
6. Lady Frankenstein (1971), D; ICWXP, B+
7. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), B+
8. Serenity (2005), A
9. Bloody Pit of Horror (1965), F; ICWXP, B
10. Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory (1961), F; ICWXP, B+
11. Cedar Rapids (2011), B
12. Pontypool (2009), B+
13. Atlas Shrugged Part I (2011), B
14. Ghosthouse (1988), F; RiffTrax,  B+
15. The Slime People (1963), D; MST3K, C+
16. The Crucible (1996), B+
17. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (2011), B+
18. Chronicle (2012), A-
19. Justice League: Doom (2012), A-
20. Timer (2009), B+
21. Tree of Life (2011), D
22. Another Earth (2011), B+
23. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), A-
24. Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension (2011), A
25. Real Steel (2011), B
26. In Time (2011), C-
27. John Carter (2012), A-
28. My Week With Marilyn (2011), A-
29. The Adjustment Bureau (2011), B+
30. The Help (2011), A
31. Forrest Gump (1994), A
32. The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987), B
33. The Flintstones (1994), C
34. The Hunger Games (2012), A-
35. Hereafter (2010), C+
36. The Task (2010), B
37. Cabin in the Woods (2012), A
38. The Adventures of Tintin (2011), B
39. Win Win (2011), B+
40. Millennium (1989), C
41. Immortals (2011), B
42. Iron Man (2008), A
43. Being Elmo (2011), A
44. Incredible Hulk (2008), B
45. Iron Man 2 (2010), B+
46. Apollo 18 (2011), C+
47. Reefer Madness (1936), D; RiffTrax, B+
48. Them Idiots Whirled Tour (2012), B
49. Thor (2011), B+
50. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), A
51. The Avengers (2012), A+
52. The Muppets (2011), A
53. The Goonies (1985), A
54. Spaceballs (1987), B+
55. Airplane (1980), A
56. Men in Black 3 (2012), B+
57. The Descendants (2011), A
58. Insidious (2011), D-
59. Muppets From Space (1999), B
60. Pom Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011), A-
61. The Swing Parade of 1946 (1946), D; RiffTrax, B
62. Lucky (2011), B+
63. Exporting Raymond (2010), A
64. Alien (1979), A+
65. Aliens (1986), A
66. Prometheus (2012), B
67. I Want Candy (2007), B-
68. Sirens (1993), C
69. Superman Vs. the Elite (2012), A-
70. Drive (2011), C
71. The Wizard of Oz (1939), A
72. Blade Runner (1982), B+
73. Total Recall (1990), B+
74. Rock of Ages (2012), D
75. The People Vs. George Lucas (2010), A-
76. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (2012), C-
77. Brave (2012), A
78. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), A
79. Media Malpractice (2009)
80. Batman Begins (2005), A
81. The Dark Knight (2008), A+
82. The Dark Knight Rises (2012), A
83. Troll 2 (1990), F
84. Silent House (2012), B-
85. 50/50 (2011), A
86. Total Recall (2012), C+
87. The Darkest Hour (2011), C
88. Moneyball (2011), A-
89. The Expendables (2010), B
90. The Expendables 2 (2012), B+
91. Red Tails (2012), B
92. Walkabout (1971), C
93. Finding Nemo (2003), A
94. The Woman in Black (2012), C-
95. The Incredibles (2004), A
96. The Boys (2010), A
97. In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger (2004), A-
98. In the Mouth of Madness (1994), B
99. Act of Valor (2012), B
100. Project X (2012), C+
101. Tales of Terror (1962), B
102. The Birds (1963), B+
103. Hellraiser (1987), B+
104. Child’s Play (1988), C+
105. Looper (2012), B
106. Cinderella (1950), A
107. The Ghost Breakers (1940), B+
108. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), A+
109. Young Frankenstein (1974), A
110. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), C-
111. An American Werewolf in London (1981), B+
112. Ghostbusters (1984), A+
113. The Toxic Avenger (1984), C
114. Beetlejuice (1988), A-
115. Arachnophobia (1990), B-
116. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), C+
117. Army of Darkness (1992), B+
118. Bride of Chucky (1998), C
119. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), A-
120. Eight Legged Freaks (2002), B-
121. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006), A
122. Slither (2006), A-
123. The Evil Dead (1981), B-
124. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987), A-
125. Trick ‘r Treat (2007), A
126. Zombieland (2009), A
127. 2016: Obamas America (2012), B
128. The Lorax (2012), B
129. The Pirates! Band of Misifts (2012), A-
130. The Room (2003), F
131. Skyfall (2012), A-
132. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), A
133. Home Alone (1990), B+
134. Finding Mrs. Claus (2012), C+
135. Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009), B
136. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), B+
137. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), D; MST3K, B
139. Santa Claus (1959), F; MST3K, B+
140. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F-; RiffTrax, A
141. Magic Christmas Tree (1964), D-; RiffTrax, B+
142. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), B
143. Arthur Christmas (2011), A-
144. A Christmas Story 2 (2012), C+
145. Trading Places (1983), B+
146. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A
147. Nativity! (2009), B
148. A Christmas Story (1983), A
149. Love Actually (2003), A
150. Scrooged (1988), A
151. Die Hard 2 (1990), B
152. Django Unchained (2012), A-
153. Les Miserables (2012), A

–Updated January 5, 2013.




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