Friday, April 30, 2010

Mission: Accomplished!!!


I did it!!! I made my goal!!! Got 20 posts in under a month!!!! Yeah!! YEAH !! Uh huh!! Uh huh!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Star Trek - Q

Star Trek: The Next Generation brought forth a plethora of fantastic characters. My personal favorite is Q. This character appeared in the pilot ep of NextGen and re-appeared consistently throughout the seven seasons NextGen was on the air. Played by the MARVELOUS actor/director John De Lancie, Q was a vastly entertaining force for chaos on the show. Whenever he appeared, you knew you were in for some crazy times.

I think initially, Q was meant to be a major villian for the show. After all, how do you beat a creature who is all-knowing & all-seeing with unlimited control over time & space? That sounds like a worthy villian to me! But in watching Q's appearances, he comes across more as a teacher than anything else. While he did get some sadistic entertainment from pushing and prodding at the various characters in NextGen, DS9, & Voyager. There was always a lesson to be learned. He's like that teacher you hated in school, but in retrospect realized that all the crap they put you through made you a better student and person.

That's what makes Q such a powerful character for me. Despite the whimsy and fantasy, Q's methodology always had a deeper meaning. To this day, I find Star Trek's greatest flaw is that they never made a movie where Q made an appearance.

All Women Are Beautiful

I'm of a mind that women are beautiful no matter their size. Everyone has their own personal preferences, but all women are beautiful. Apparently, this is not so for our television programming.

For the past week, there's been a big honking to-do going on over the banning of Lane Bryant's new lingerie ad from tv, ostensibly due to it being "too racy". Tell me if this ad is too racy for tv...

I've seen some of the Victoria Secret commercials. I'm sure, dear reader, you have as well. Compared to those, this ad is G rated. I mean seriously... what is up with people today?? Lane Bryant claims the ad was banned because it featured a plus sized model. I think they're right.

The model here, Ashley Graham, is representative of a segment of the population rarely showcased on TV. In fact, the last plus sized women I saw showcased on tv was Miracle Laurie on the tv show, Dollhouse. Besides the fact that these women are dead on target with my personal preferences, I think tv networks have a responsibility to show people as they are. Lane Bryant did a fantastic job with the ad, and made a great choice with their model. Why should the tv studios NOT air this??

Thoughts On... Musical Tastes...

As I stated in a previous post, music has been, is, and will always be and integral part of my life. Although my tastes in music tend to be a bit strange, according to anyone who listens to my music, or even sees my music collection. It's not any one artist that is weird, but all of them taken as a whole that gets bizarre.

Seriously, check out this list of artists that I like: Gloria Estefan, Will Smith, Huey Lewis & The News, Evanescence, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Godsmack, Mozart, Queen, Tommy Dorsey, The Temptations, The Crystal Method, Boa, Johnny Ventura, Benny Goodman, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, George Michael, Madonna, Franz Lizt, Elvis Crespo, Soluna, Aerosmith, and the list goes on...

It's a strange mix, right? The question then becomes: why would I have such an eclectic mix of music tastes? Personally, I don't know for sure, but I do have an operating theory. It starts with my relationship with music as I grew up. I went over my music history in the previous post. Suffice it to say, that I've had a slightly erratic & eclectic experience with music and that has colored my perceptions of what is classified as good music. For any given piece of music to be considered good in my estimation it would have to fall into one of the following categories.

Emotionally Touching:
This is where a piece of music resonates with an emotion within me. Usually this happens instantaneously. An example of this is Eminem's album "The Eminem show". I wasn't really into Eminem's music until the time I heard this album. I don't remember why, but I was insanely angry at the time and this album seemed to be able to tap into that rage and allow me to channel it. Every time I hear this album it's a cathartic experience. Afterwards, I really started enjoying Eminem's music.

Exceptional Performance:
This is where a piece of music is performed in such a way that it just commands attention. Don't get me wrong, it's not that the song isn't good, but the material gets enhanced by the performance. The first time I watched the Blues Brothers movie, the scene with Cab Calloway singing "Minnie The Moocher" captivated me from the first trumpet solo all the way through to the last notes.

Desired Performance:
In this category, the music make ME want to join in and play. People will see me "conducting" music, playing air instruments (guitar or drums mostly), or actually singing along to the music. Then they point & laugh. My friends join in and sing with me! :-)

Memory Link:
This category is for a song that is linked to an intense personal memory. A good example of this is Charlie Dore's "Pilot Of The Airwaves". When I was little, my mother made a recording of me singing the song. I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years old. While I can barely remember actually singing it, I do remember hearing my voice over my stereo when I found the tape at age 14 or 15 and played it. It was... a strange experience. I've never forgotten what that felt like, and I've had a soft spot for that song ever since.

Interesting Music:
To be in this category, the only part of the piece that I'd find interesting would be the music, not the lyrics or the performance. For example, Lil Jon's "Snap Yo Fingers". Despite all the artists in that tune, the only worthwhile part of it is the beat.

Interesting Lyrics:
The opposite of the above category. To be here, the only worthwhile part of the song has to be the lyrics. For example, "Stutter" by Joe feat Mystikal. The lyrics were actually pretty good, but I was unimpressed by the music.

The last category for me is entertaining. Here the song is just fun to listen to. No real lasting merit of any kind, just a fun tune to pass the time listening to. An example of this would be "We Like To Party" by the VengaBoys.

On any given CD, mix, or play list, my musical choices jump from category to category like a Kangaroo on the Australian outback. But it does get a bit lonely when the bulk of the people around me tend to not appreciate my music. But, I have songs to listen to for that. :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Music History

I've waxed poetic many a time about how my childhood was a solitary one. (I have, seriously ask anyone who knows me!) One of the side effects of growing up that way is I had a great deal of time to fill with my own brand of entertainments. I don't remember when, but I think it was somewhere between my 8th & 10th birthdays ('84-'86) that two big events, musically, happened to me. I was given my stepfather's hand-me-down stereo system complete with tape deck & record player. (Yes, that's how old I am.) The second event was finding my mom's old collection of 45s.

During one of the greatest era's of music, the 80s, I was getting my musical experience expanded by being exposed to artists like Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, Ray Charles, The Doors, David Bowie (old school Ziggy Stardust style at the same time as 80s Bowie, how AWESOME is that!!) other artists from the 50s, 60s, & 70s. I learned what a REAL power singer is from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Luciano Pavarotti, and Placido Domingo. I learned the power of lyrics from the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, the Eagles, and The Who.

Four years later, during the 90s birth of the Grunge music phenomenon, I joined the LHS Lancer Marching Band and went FURTHER back in time musically to the 30s & 40s where I learned of jazz music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, and my search for other artists who played my instrument (the trombone) got me into big band swing with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman & Glenn Miller. Being in my high school marching band also exposed me to the high school choir. Before you ask, my high school had over 1500 students in it, no one cared enough about choir to make it a Glee-like experience. Through the slight overlap choir had with band, I was introduced to acapella music. Plus throughout all of this I was also being exposed to a wide variety of spanish music as well.

In college ('94-'98), I tried to reconnect with current popular music and got into dance, club & techno music which took me back on a tour of the music released during my lifetime and became more aquinted with the various forms of the 80s music pantheon and the 90s re-emergence of R&B. From that point forward, I just soldiered on, so to speak, picking up new music as I encountered it.

Writing this down, I've suddenly realized that my musical life is just as strange & out of whack as the rest of my life. It's amazing that I've never really considered it until now.

Supernatural - O Death

In looking over my posts on this blog (such few as they are), I've noticed that I haven't really posted anything about music. Given that music has been such a huge part of my life, I'm actually surprised at that. So, here goes my first post dealing with music by way of TV.

One of my favorite shows on air at the moment is called Supernatural. They are currently airing the last few eps of their fifth season, the theme of which is the end of the world. To commemorate this, the producers of the show created a new version of an old song, O Death, where a man dying is pleading with Death to let him live.

This particular song has been around since the 1600s. I believe it was a british dirge (funeral song for those who don't know). More recently, it was brought back to light on the soundtrack of "O Brother Where Art Thou?" where it was performed by Dr. Ralph Stanley. Here's a recent video of Dr. Stanley singing O Death acapella.

The peeps at CW tweaked the lyrics to fit the theme of this season and got some of their own, Jennifer Titus, to perform it. Seriously, here's the story on it. Personally, I think it's awesome and I hope Ms. Titus considers a music career. I'm sure she'd do exceptionally well!! Here's proof, the Jen Titus version of O, Death.

Here's one of the coolest parts, though! One of the many aspects of the end of the world the fifth season of Supernatural deals with is the appearance of the Four Horsemen. For the last few eps, they've kind of danced around who would be Death. Just recently, they released a trailer in which Death makes his first appearance!! With "O, Death" by Jen Titus as the background music. This is SUCH an AWESOME trailer, and portrays Death exceptionally!!!! I like it so much, I'll actually post it up here!!! Look for his appearance in the last 20 seconds of the promo. I've also included the lyrics to both versions of the song after the video!

Supernatural Lyrics:
O, Death... O, Death...O, Death...

Won't you spare me over another year?
Oh what is this that I can't see with ice cold hands taking hold of me
When God is gone and the Devil takes hold,
Who'll have mercy on your soul?

O, Death... O, Death...

No wealth, no ruin, no silver, no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul

O, Death...

Well I am Death, None can excel
I'll open the door to Heaven or Hell

O, Death... O, Death...

My name is Death and the end is here

The original lyrics:
O, Death
O, Death
Won't you spare me over til another year
Well what is this that I can't see
With ice cold hands takin' hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I'll open the door to heaven or hell

Whoa, death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me another day
The children prayed, the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach
I'll fix your feet til you cant walk
I'll lock your jaw til you cant talk
I'll close your eyes so you can't see
This very air, come and go with me
I'm death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim

O, Death
O, Death

Won't you spare me over til another year
My mother came to my bed
Placed a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a-movin upon my soul
Oh, death how you're treatin' me
You've close my eyes so I can't see
Well you're hurtin' my body
You make me cold
You run my life right outta my soul

Oh death please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand
Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul
O, death
O, death
Wont you spare me over til another year
Wont you spare me over til another year
Wont you spare me over til another year

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Celebrity Spouse

A celebrity spouse. Everyone has one. That one celebrity that you would say yes to without a single moment of hesitation. Imagine the moment....

You're sitting outside enjoying the day. Having a cool, refreshing beverage and hanging with friends. Then out of nowhere, they walk up. You're amazed to see them in person and a hush falls over your friends. They sit down and talk to you. After a few moments, they take your hand and lead you away. For me, that celebrity is Alyssa Milano.

I've been in love with her since I first saw her on "Who's The Boss?" all those years ago. I followed her from Who's The Boss all the way through Charmed. One of the worst movies in human existence, Embrace of The Vampire, I own just because Alyssa was in it! Alyssa is truly wonderful. Sexy, strong, smart, and goofy. She's the closest thing to perfection I have ever seen. That is why she's my celebrity spouse. You may ask why I'm writing about this now. To be completely honest, I was recently reminded of her power over me.

I'm not someone who enjoys sitcoms. After awhile they become repetitive and boring. It's because of this exact phenomenon that reality TV was born. I will NEVER forgive sitcoms for THAT! Yet, the instant I heard my celebrity wife had a new sitcom on the air, I went and watched it. No hesitation. I even ENJOYED IT! Especially that one scene when she comes down the stairs dressed up for her date. Mmmmmm....

Anyway, back to the point. I could overload this site with the pics I have of my celeb wife, but I won't. Instead, here are some of my favorite pics of my celebrity wife. Isn't she lovely??

Truly proof of the existence of God.

So, dear reader, who is YOUR celebrity spouse?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


There are so many times in life when there are an overwhelming amount of options in front of you. In those types of situations, how do you know what to do? There are schools of thought that dictate we are nothing but the sum of our choices. By necessity, that style of thinking puts a great deal of weight on every single choice you face. How do you know which of the paths in front of you leads to the best life? As you stand at the nexus of your choices, how do you know what is the right path?

Is it right to sacrifice your desires & dreams to support others? Should you spend your life working on the things that make you happy? The real world never seems to give solid, absolute answers. It always hovers in the middle ground. It's good to sacrifice, but you should also take care of yourself. But when do you sacrifice? When is it right to take care of yourself?

How do you know that the choice that makes you feel better now is the best choice for the long run? Must the best things for you cause you pain?

Monday, April 19, 2010


While I'm a big fan of Sci-Fi, I'm also a huge fan of fantasy. I've stated this before, but I do see those two genres as exactly that: TWO genres. For this particular blog post, I'm going to focus on the fantasy genre. Specifically, my favorite creature in the fantasy genre: Dragons. I don't really make a big deal of this most of the time, but I LOVE dragons. No matter the interpretation, dragons are amazing creatures. Reading about them, watching movies about them, even just looking at fantasy art, dragons inspire amazing feelings of ageless ferocity, epic wisdom, and eternal majesty.

In fact, a dragon would be the only creature I would EVER consider having as a pet. They are just TOO awesome for words. Like so many other fantasy creatures, they are popular in many of the cultures of the world. In fact, that their popularity spans multiple cultures is one of the coolest things about dragons. When I was younger, I was already into dragons in a major way (thank you, D&D) when I first found out about the Chinese Zodiac. Then I found out that I was born in the Year Of The Dragon! I didn't put much stock in what the astrology said about Dragons, and I don't really put much more in it now, but it was immensely gratifying that I was classified as a Dragon. And that I was BORN into that classification, it wasn't some trumped thing I chose because of a passing fad. Once I found out I was a dragon, I adopted the dragon as my personal totem. I have tons of dragon posters, some dragon based clothing, and most of my electronics have some kind of dragon icon on them.

Here are a couple of my favorite Dragon related pics. First, these are a compilation of 3 hard to find images done by Robin Koni. In order from left to right: DragonLord, DragonSpit I, DragonSpit II. They've been renamed across the Internet, but when I bought these posters back in '94 (or so) that's what they were called. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a flat bed scanner than could make high res scans of these posters!!

I don't know the artist on this one, but it has an awesome Gothic feel to it that really speaks to me. Cool, huh?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Truly Amazing!!

I'm a knowledgeable person in a variety of areas. And like most knowledgeable people, I expect people to give weight to my expertise. Very early on in life, I realized that in order to get that kind of respect, I must also give it in turn. So I have to give the following people props in the only way I know how: posting their accomplishments on my blog.

First comes the TRUE master:

Now that is AWESOME!!! It boggles the mind exactly how much time and effort it took to memorize such slight hand movements!!

Of course, once the master has shown the way, others will follow:

In the end, I have to give props where they are due. And these people (as much free time as they have) have earned their props!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rising out of Obscurity

Since the advent of the search engine, the Internet has become a great deal more simple in terms of FINDING any information relevant to your needs. One of the best is Not only are they widespread, but they have a sense of humor. (April 1st 2010, they changed their page to Topeka in a mock name switch with the town! People's reactions were HILARIOUS!!)

After a little while, as people got used to search engines they started searching other things besides work stuff. Inevitably, they end up searching for themselves. And yes, dear reader, I have succumbed to the urge and googled myself. (Insert inappropriate sexual jokes here!) The funny thing is, I found ANOTHER Rodney Lopez out there, who is a Mambo dance instructor!! Who would have thought God would make TWO spanish women crazy enough to mix Rodney with Lopez!! But it's true! Open another tab, go to Google and do a search on "Rodney Lopez". Mr. Mambo will appear.

However, I did a search for my internet handle "Dilking". And THIS BLOG appeared!! AT THE TOP OF THE LIST!!!

In fact, my blog has the top 3 links on the search! I'm gaining ground! Soon I will be famous! My name will be on everyone's lips... Velvet Ropes & womens's legs will part at my command!


Hmm... maybe I shouldn't be famous...

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Dresden Files

As I state in my description, I am an avid reader. My tastes tend toward the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, though I occasionally sojourn into the horror and thriller genres for a quick break. Currently, I'm in the middle of three different series. But the most recent reading I've done is the subject of this posting.

Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files

I found out about The Dresden Files thanks to the SciFi channel. They tried to make a television series based on the novels. While the tv show didn't make it past season 1, the novels are still going strong. In fact, Jim Butcher just released the 12th novel in the series, Changes, about two weeks ago.

The Dresden Files is about the adventures of modern day wizard-for-hire, Harry Dresden, as he faces a seemingly never ending array of supernatural threats from Vampires, to Fairie Queens, from WereWolves to Necromancers, Harry faces them all with strength, power, and sarcasm. And honestly, I think that's my favorite part of the novels. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I miss the sarcastic hero. The guy who, like Harry, isn't afraid to make a quick joke at the bad guy's expense.

Harry just takes it to another level, though. Most of the time, Harry is usually facing off against supernatural baddies that vastly outmatch him, so he turns to his greatest weapon. His mouth. Since the books are in Harry's perspective, you get the whole logic of why he's doing it: getting the bad guy riled up enough to make a mistake. But it is so awesome to read the reactions of the people around Harry who continually get proof of just how crazy he can be.

The books are at once, exciting, interesting, funny, and heart-wrenching. There are times, when the books even had ME close to tears. ME!!

And as amazing and wonderfully complex a character as Harry is, all the other side characters are just as compelling to read. From Karrin Murphy, Chicago cop, and Harry's closest friend to Michael Carpenter, Knight of The Cross and Harry's right hand man, they are all so addicting to read about. Over the course of the novels, I find myself just as interested in the goings on of the side characters as I am of Harry.

If you're looking for something to read, I would recommend The Dresden Files. They're light, fun reading with a shot of magic and sarcasm for flavor! Book one is called Storm Front.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Animal Magnetism

I'm not really an animal person. It's not that I hate animals or anything, I just don't really feel the need to surround myself with critters. Yet for some reason, most of the people around me seem to be severely attached to them. I'm not really in a position to comment on the tastes of the people around me. As for the animals, I usually just leave them to their own devices.

The strange thing is most of these animals tend to develop strong attachments to me. For the life of me, I can't understand why. I leave them alone, only deal with them on the rare occasions and yet they all get attached to me. The two most recent examples was a friend's pet chihuahua who always found some way to spend a good portion of the day either asleep in my bedcovers or trying to find some other way to be near me, and my sister's pet ferret who after a long while has deemed me worthy not only of some of her time each day, but also of being her personal mountain and hiking path.

I always thought you had to work to get on an animal's good side. And if you didn't feed it and left it alone, it wouldn't bother you, or get imprinted on you. So, I'm left to wonder how is this happening??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Karaoke: A new found love...

Honestly, I've been singing karaoke for just about a year. For the past 6-7 months, my karaoke appearances have been more & more sporadic. It started in Haverhill, MA around end of April beginning of May 2009. I was hanging out at this bar, Kelly's Pub Bradford Square, with some friends on a Tuesday night. Didn't realize it was Karaoke night. Needless to say, I chickened out. However, I did promise to return the next week, and perform.

While the person I made that promise to never actually showed, *I* held up my part of the bargain, and made my public karaoke debut with Weird Al Yankovic's "One More Minute". To my HUGE surprise, the crowd loved it!! (Which only goes to show that I could be the best singer in the world... Now, if only I could figure out how to get the world drunk!) What was even more surprising is the fact that I had fun too! Which, of course, meant that I had to return! And I did! I even got a small fan base! (Like 4 people..) Men wanted to be me! Women LOVED ME!! I even got to sing Godsmack's Voodoo and dance with an old friend who even though I hadn't seen her in awhile was still SMOKIN' HOT! That was the highlight of the week for me.

Dude, Voodoo is a hard song to sing and I made it through the song AND danced with a hot girl at the same time!!!

Life moved on, and I had to stop showing up at Kelly's. A couple of months later, I make it back there, and found out that karaoke night was still going strong. Still run by ACG Productions, and I was still remembered. That last bit I found out when I was forcibly pushed onstage to sing by one of the staff of the bar. I was so surprised, I didn't even think to "negotiate" a free beer out of it....

After that, my karaoke days were over. Until this past Sunday, when I got to hang with my old peeps from Best Buy 419!!! Hung with my peeps, met new peeps, got my groove on and got back on the karaoke bandwagon thanks to Young MC's "Bust A Move"!

Some might say it's cheesy, but I like it. I've been trying to find new regular spot for karaoke here in Manch, but without wheels it's almost impossible.

Bust A Move
Young MC

This here's a jam for all the fellas
Tryin to do what those ladies tell us
Get shot down cause ya over-zealous
Play hard to get females get jealous
Okay smarty go to a party
Girls are scantily clad and showin body
A chich walks by you wish you could sex her
But you're standing on the wall like you was Poindexter
Next days function high class luncheon
Food they're serving, you're stone-cold munchin
Music comes on people start to dance
But then you ate so much you nearly split your pants
A girl starts walking guys start gawking
Sits down next to you and starts talking
Says she wants to dance cause she likes to groove
So come on fatso and just bust a move

You're on a mission and your wishin
Someone could cure your lonely condition
Lookin for love in all the wrongplaces
No fine girls just ugly faces
Some frustration first inclination
Is to become a monk and leave the situation
But every dark tunnel has a light of hope
So don't hang yourself, with a celibate rope
Your movie's showin, so you're goin
Could care less about the five you're blowin
Theater gets dark just to start the show
Then ya spot a fine woman sittin in your row
She's dressed in yellow, she says "Hello,
come sit next to me you fine fellow."
You run over there without a second to lose
And what comes next hey bust a move

In this city ladies look pretty
Guys tell jokes so they can seem witty
Tell a funny joke just to get some play
Then you try to make a move and she says, "No way"
Girls are fakin goodness sakin
They want the man who brings home the bacon
Got no money and you got no car
Then you got no women and there you are
Some girls are sadistic, materialistic
Lookin for a man makes them opportunistic
They're lyin on a beach perpetrating a tan
So a brother with the money can be their man
So on the beach you're strollin real high rollin
Everything you have is yours and not stolen
A girl runs up with somethin to prove
So don't just stand there bust a move

Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry
In five days from now he's gonna marry
He's hopin you can make it there if you can
Cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man
You say neat-o, check your libido
And roll to the church in your new tuxedo
The bride walks down just to start the wedding
And there's one more girl you won't be getting
So you start thinkin then you start blinking
The bridesmaid looks and thinks that you're winking
She thinks your kinda cute so she winks back
And now your feelin really firm cause the girl is stacked
Reception's jumpin faces pumpin
You look at the girl and your heart starts thumpin
Says she wants to dance to a different groove
Now you know what to do just bust a move

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wait, people are actually READING this stuff??

Wow, I have to say, I'm utterly shocked! I put up a post about an old, tired argument (which will NEVER die) and I get such an overwhelming response! Some comments and an some emails, too!!

Who would have thought anyone was actually reading this blog? And to think, I only put that post up to fill out the blog. I needed to post more stuff in here, so I rehashed the old Batman vs Supes thing and BAM!

Now if I can only figure out a way to get more followers... Hmm....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eternal Arguments: Batman Vs Superman

There are a couple of eternal arguments going on in my life. These arguments are everlasting battles of will against any who stand opposed to my beliefs in the particular subject matter. These get so involved that most people who get into these arguments with me get to the point where we just agree to disagree on the topic and leave it at that, with a possible re-visiting of the topic at some future point in time when either of us are bored.

One of these arguments is who is the better character: Batman or Superman? Before I get started let me be perfectly clear: I'm not going to be going over the history of these characters. They are both so ingrained in American mythology that practically everyone knows some version of their history. If you don't know, look it up. There's some good story lines there!

In DC comics, there are three flagship characters. These three are the core of the DC universe, both in the comics and in the company itself. They are, in order: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. You might wonder why the Amazonian princess isn't in contention here. The simple answer is comic books were/are/will be created mostly for boys. Girls have much more important things to do than read comics and argue about the relative strengths of the lead characters in those comics. Since Wonder Woman was created to appeal to girls, she has the privilege of being an undeniably awesome character and enjoys the presence of no real rival, whereas the rivalry between Superman & Batman has existed since Batman first came on the scene.

Let's start with the Man of Steel. To be fair, my position isn't that Superman is a bad character. There are a great many compelling story lines in his saga. I've enjoyed reading his comics, watching SOME of his shows, and some of his movies. Not to mention that Superman represents the unconscious fantasies of most American males. I will give all that to Supes. But the man is still an idiot. Superman grew up in a world that could never touch him. Granted, it took time for most of his flashy powers(like heat vision or flight) to develop, but he was invulnerable & super strong pretty much from childhood. This colors his perceptions now as an adult super-hero. Since nothing can ever hurt him, he always favors frontal assault style tactics. Bullets start flying, he gets in front of them. Lasers start flying, there he goes jumping in front. A bad guy shows up, Supes flies in through a wall and just starts breaking stuff. For someone who is loaded with so much supposedly advanced knowledge (all his training and learning from Krypton), Superman's thinking is remarkably limited. He's like a sledgehammer. There is rarely a time where he actually stops to think about what would be the most effective use of his powers in a given situation.

His greatest villain, Lex Luthor, has survived against the most powerful man on Earth for years simply by outsmarting him at every level. For all his power and personal charisma, Superman's greatest vulnerability (aside from the skittles rainbow of Kryptonite available) is his mind. The worse part is, he does NOTHING to improve himself, or expand his mind. In his mind, his strength comes from his abilities and so his abilities are the answer to everything. Superman isn't a bad character, he's just an idiotic one.

Then there's the Dark Knight. In essence, my position is that Batman is just better than Superman. I've always found it amazing, funny and exceptionally cool that the hero ranked second in the DC pantheon and biggest rival to Superman is a man who is a "super hero" (I debate that classification, but I'll use the term for ease of reference.) with no super-human abilities of any kind. Where Superman represents the ultimate fantasy of American males (some would argue males in general), Batman represents the height of human capability. No one could ever BE Superman, but with proper training, and enough money, a person can actually BE Batman. And that's a major key to the character. He represents the current pinnacle of what humanity can ACTUALLY achieve, should we CHOOSE to do it. Batman is a super hero because he DECIDED to be one. When he made that decision, he knew he would do whatever it took, make every necessary sacrifice, all to reach his goal. That decision colors everything in Batman's world.

Batman looks at every situation from a cold, pragmatic standpoint, picking and choosing his options with precision and doing exactly what is necessary to get the job done. Even DURING encounters, he's evaluating, assessing, adapting. Where Superman is a sledgehammer, Batman is a sword. Focused, subtle, yet powerful. A lot of people ridicule Bats because of all the gadgets he uses. But, look at it this way, every encounter Batman has, he learns from and makes himself better for his next encounter. He gathers information, and whatever he couldn't accomplish on his own, he designs & builds a tool to HELP him get the job done. It is my belief that the best way to beat Batman is to kill him during the first encounter. After that, he'll adapt and be able to overcome in the next encounter. It's also telling, that with all the knowledge that Superman possesses, he still goes to Batman for advice (and assistance). Ironically, Batman's greatest weakness is the very thing that defines him: he is only human. Mind-to-mind, Batman is virtually unbeatable.

At the end of the day, that cold focused determination, the determination to face the darkness of the world with the darkness inside him, the willingness to conceive of things other people, even other HEROES, don't want to see... those things are what makes Batman so appealing to me. Superman will never compare to that in a million years. Even to step on that playing field, Supes would have to become darker than he would ever allow. At heart, Superman will always be the Big Blue Boyscout and Batman will always be The Dark Knight.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thoughts on... The Erotic

Back when I had cable and access to the Bravo network (Ah, the good old days), I watched a show called "Inside The Actor's Studio". It is an interesting show where they go over the career of someone in the acting industry. Film actors, television actors, even directors all get either an hour or two hour tour over their careers. One of the more interesting parts of the program is a mini-interview conducted near the end of the program developed by a french tv personality, Bernard Pivot. Specifically, the fifth question on the list: what sound or noise do you love. For me, the answer is: a woman in pleasure. I enjoy hearing it, I enjoy making it happen. It truly is a wonderful thing to hear.

Recently, I found a website that kind of shares my ideal. It's called Beautiful Agony. It's a site dedicated to the beauty of the human orgasm. They pay volunteers (both male and female) to film their orgasms. Here's the kicker though, it's only from the neck up. So, it's not actually pornographic in the traditional sense, but it is truly erotic. If you wish to sign up, you get $200 a submission. Here's a preview:

play windows media
play quicktime


By the way, if you're interested, here's the list of those questions, with my answers. If you wish, take the time and come up with your own answers.

01. What is your favorite word? Yes
02. What is your least favorite word? Stop
03. What turns you on? Learning
04. What turns you off? Idiocy
05. What sound or noise do you love? A woman in pleasure.
06. What sound or noise do you hate? A child crying.
07. What is your favorite curse word? Frel
08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Acting
09. What profession would you not like to do? Garbage man
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Come on in!

Back On The Fringe

On the subject of returning television, another of my favorite shows returned to the airwaves last week: Fringe. I didn't realize how much I missed this show until I watched last week's episode. Fringe is truly one of gems of current television. J.J. Abrams, in my book, is 3 for 3 in the tv dept. I was a big fan of Alias, loved Lost while he was a part of it, and now Fringe! Parasites, blinking lights, alternate universes, teleportations and other things just beyond the event horizon of modern scientific knowledge spun into a thrilling narrative that, for me, goes just past compulsive to being a moral imperative!

For all of season one, Fringe was my WTF show. Every single episode for 20 episodes, there was a point in the episode where I stare at my tv in consternation (or horror, or fascination) and all I can say is, "What the fuck". (Season 2 is ongoing, so hasn't gotten a rating yet.) In a landscape being increasingly taken up by the banality of reality tv, it is encouraging to find that there are people in the television industry willing to produce solid, intelligent programming. Not to mention programming that can be so consistently mind-boggling in its writing. And its not just the stories that work so well. J.J. Abrams has a proven track record of pulling strong talent into his shows, and he hasn't stopped with Fringe. The actors he chose for Fringe are inspired.

Anna Torv, plays FBI agent Olivia Dunham. She gives the character a unique mix of strength, cold calculation, compassion, and creepiness that makes her performances exceedingly intriguing to watch. John Noble is frustratingly wonderful in his bizarrely random performance as Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe's nearest local equivalent to Doc Frankenstein. And in the part of Peter Bishop, son of Walter and Doc Frankenstein Jr, is Joshua Jackson, who is rapidly repairing the damage done to his career by Dawson's Creek. While these three are the stars of the show, the two hidden gems in the show are Lance Reddick (Agent Philip Broyles) and Kirk Acevedo (Agent Charlie Francis).

Reddick, initially comes across wooden and off-putting, but during the course of the two seasons the show, Reddick has breathed a stalwart power into the role giving a necessary authoritative grounding in reality to the show. Acevedo is the real surprise, though. He took a role that essentially was FBI Agent #2, and made him an essential part of the show. The actor's latino, though, so it's only to be expected that he'd be good. It was also good to see a latino as a good guy for a change. Unfortunately, his character was killed off.

There are those who say that Fringe is just a bad rip-off of The X-Files. Superficially, I could agree with that statement. But upon a more rigorous examination of the two shows, it becomes MORE than obvious that Fringe has a much grander scope than X-Files. In limiting itself to dealing with extra-terrestrials and the government conspiracies surrounding them, the X-Files locked itself into a small subset of story telling ideas, the motivations of the characters further limited the range of events X-Files could cover, which is why the show lost most of its power when THE main character, Fox Mulder, was taken out the show. Dana Scully couldn't maintain the show without completely violating the basic tenets of either her character by turning her into a believer instead of informed sceptic, or the show by expanding past extra-terrestrials into other arenas of science fiction which would have turned it into Fringe. What made the X-Files work, aside from Mulder's obsession, is the tight focus of the show, which gave an air of claustrophobia that enhanced the conspiratorial nature of the show.

Fringe works in exactly the OPPOSITE way. The scope of the show is criminal events dealing with areas of science that have not been properly vetted and are considered to be on the edge, or "out there". Go back in time far enough, and the PC I'm currently working on would fall into that category, as would the glasses I wear, cars I've driven, activities I've participated in. In fact, last week's ep took place in the 1985, and in an extra bit of coolness, they modified the show's intro to reflect the fringe science of the day. Things like: Personal computing, DNA profiling, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, laser surgery, in vitro fertilization, stealth technology, virtual reality. Amazing what's come about in just 25 years, isn't it? In the end, that's basically my point. Fringe isn't just about aliens, abductions, losing time and the other bits of sci-fi associated with that phenomenon. Fringe also covers genetic manipulation, medical experimentation, cryogenics, dark matter research, hypnosis, and many other pieces of science and sci-fi.

There's also no compulsion from any main character driving the show, theoretically ANY and ALL of the cast can be replaced and show could still go on just as believably in just as thrilling and compelling a fashion. All of this makes Fringe a much more versatile show than the X-Files could have ever been. Not better, just more versatile.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

V 2009 The Return

A few months ago, I posted about a show that had just started: V. In that post, I gave my first impressions of the show and pretty much gave it the Dilking Seal of Approval(tm). A little bit after that posting, I found out that V would go on break until the end of March, and I thought the show was toast. After only four episodes, the show would go on a FOUR MONTH break? What?

This past week, V returned and my waning hopes flared to life again. Watching this episode felt like watching the opening gambits of a chess game between two masters as they test each other for weaknesses and develop an overall strategy for the rest of the match. If the writing stays this controlled, this version of V will quickly outclass the original in content the way it has already outclassed its predecessor in visual effects.

Not that I'm dissing the original at all, I LOVE the original series. While Star Wars was my introduction to sci-fi and Star Trek showed me the philosophies that can be hidden within sci fi, V is the series that locked my love for the genre into my genetic makeup. And I was SO JAZZED when I found out the creator of the original, Kenneth Johnson, likes the remake. They gave him his props, and are treating his material with honor and respect.

And speaking of the original series, I'm hoping for some cameos from some of the major players in the original series. There's already talk of the return of Jane Badler (Diana, the leader of the original Vistors):

Who, ironically enough STILL outclasses the current leader of the Visitors in raw sex appeal! Morena Baccarin is attractive as Anna, but she just doesn't match the raw sexual heat Jane brought to Diana. I remember re-watching that scene when she ate that mouse recently, and having some SERIOUSLY nasty thoughts about her oral skills! What is it about alien hotties??? Seeing her today, she has definitely hit Platinum Class MILF status!! Check her out:


Anyway, others I'm hoping to make at least an appearance:

Marc Singer (Mike Donovan, arguably the leader of the Human resistance) also known as Dar.... the ORIGINAL, one and only, BEASTMASTER!!

Robert Englund (Willie, the one and only GOOFY Visitor. Hey, there's always ONE!)
YES, that's right, Robert Englund. Before Freddy Krueger, there was Willie! Where did you think he learned how to kill people? The Visitors gave Freddy all the training he would EVER need!!!

And dare I say it? Dare I hope the impossible? Why not?
Michael Ironside (Hamilton Tyler, the grumpy miliant of the Human Resistance)
Yep, uh-huh, that's right, Michael Ironside, voice of Splinter Cell, and one of the BADDEST of the bad asses in Hollywood made his bones putting foot to reptile butt to save humanity! What you thought he started kickin' alien ass with those snot nose punks in Starship Troopers?? WRONG! Check him out in action:

Though, I'm sure he's a really nice guy to know in personal life!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another one gone...

The Forgotten was a show about a group of amateur detectives calling themselves "The Forgotten Network" who help the police identify Jane & John Doe murder victims. At first glance, the show looked like just another crime drama. To be completely honest, that's exactly what I was thinking as I sat down to watch the first episode. But, Christian Slater is a good, solid actor and I've enjoyed the roles I've seen him in, so I gave this show a chance.

A great many crime procedural dramas have at least one character that is highly determined in the work because "someone has to speak for the victim". But those crime shows aren't about the victims, they are about the people who solve the crimes. Even the most impersonal of the shows, CSI (the original Vegas show), focuses on the science (and consequently those USING the science) instead of the victim. And I thought that was the price paid for a police procedural. That changed after watching the pilot ep of The Forgotten.

The first thing I noticed that was different about The Forgotten is that the events of each ep is narrated by the victim. As the group worked towards finding the identity of the victim, the clues they discovered were explained and put into proper context by the victim. That lent a powerful emotional component to the show that I found new and interesting. It's one thing to speak for someone who was murdered and getting justice for that act. It's another to hear what the victim has to say for themselves and getting to learn who they were from their perspective.

As always, Christian Slater put in a solid performance. A former cop who got involved with The Forgotten Network after his daughter was kidnapped, Slater's character, Alex Donovan, was believable and engaging. The rest of the cast gave fantastic performances, and had the show gone on past its first season, would have developed into a powerful ensemble. My other favorite character was Walter Bailey (played by Bob Stephenson) the overly enthusiastic phone repair guy with the outrageously inventive stories. Watch the show and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Like so many of the shows I'm interested in, The Forgotten has been cancelled. Even worse, there are TWO unaired episodes as well. I hope to see it on DVD soon so I can purchase it and re-live my favorite episodes (possibly watch the unaired ones, like with Firefly). This show is gone... but not Forgotten.

A Goal...

In looking at my blogging history, I can only come to one conclusion: it's pathetic. The most posts I put up in a single month is ten. For crying out loud, TEN!!

So, here and now, I am going to set myself a goal. I will beat this record. Mark my words, by the END of April I will have at least 20 posts for the month! If I don't, I will.... do something awful to myself like watch Clueless, Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2 all together in a marathon.

That's it. Mark my words... by the END of April!! SO it is written, so mote it be!