Archive for August, 2006

My Modern League

August 30, 2006

Today I was bored and decided to come up with my own modern-day League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This is an idea that has been floating on various comics blogs, so I figured that I (and my handful of readers) could come up with some interesting teams.

The rules here are simple: Assemble a team of fictional characters from various forms of fiction (movies, literature, comic books, video games and/or television.) The definition of ‘modern’ is a loose one, so feel free to toy around with anything you feel would work. Since they are working as a team, try to stay away from icons, since they are either too powerful or too important (and will therefore overshadow the rest of the team.)

An example for an interesting team might be Solid Snake, Hermoine Granger, The Incredible Hulk, Rambo and Emma Peel.

Please try to name a leader if possible, since without a leader there would hardly be a team in the first place.

Carmen

1) Leader: Carmen San Diego (Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?) is probably the greatest thief in video gaming, and an interesting personality to boot. Always a step ahead of her opponent, Carmen would function very well as the brains behind the group’s various missions. I was considering putting The Riddler (Batman) as the group’s leader, but I feel like Carmen was a more interesting and unique choice.

2) Space Ghost (Space Ghost) has a wide-variety of amazing abilities, and is a proven combatant. He could easily lead the team, but works best as a powerhouse waiting in the wings.

3) Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle) would be the muscle of my team. Her physical prowess, combined with natural instinct and combat skills more than justify her reasons for being in the group.

4) Hadji (The Adventures of Jonny Quest) is an experienced adventurer and the adopted son of a brilliant scientist. This gives the team a much-needed push in the brains department while not sacrificing combat prowess. Also important to note is that Hadji has trained in the mystic arts, and those skills would likely grow as he became an adult.

5) Hellboy (Hellboy) would be the team’s heavy hitter and a doorway into many supernatural elements that the group might encounter. He is arguably the most powerful member of the group, but his attitude really hurts how effectively he could act as a team player. This was an especially odd choice because after my internship at Dark Horse Comics I decided that I hated him.

Space Ghost was entirely Alan’s suggestion, and it seemed too cool not to use. I really wanted a retro sci-fi hero in the group, so Mr. Ghost worked perfectly. My big concern is that with Hadji and Space Ghost there were too many Hanna-Barbara action stars on the team, but I think they are different enough in terms of ability and personality to justify having them both.

Tarzan was my original choice for Sheena’s spot. However, after careful consideration I decided Tarzan was too obvious a choice, and Sheena would have an interesting “Who the hell?” mystery about them.

So that’s mine. What’s yours?

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Favorite Movie Villain

August 29, 2006

Who’s your favorite movie villain?

Wicked Witch

I don’t care how stereotypical it is, but The Wicked Witch of the West is my favorite villain, and the greatest movie villain of all time. Regardless of how multi-faceted more modern antagonists may be, there are none as memorable or as pure as The Witch in The Wizard of Oz.

The talent behind this film managed to transform a generic children’s book character into the archtypical villain of cinema. In 100 years people will still be watching The Wicked Witch of the West.

Can you honestly say the same thing about your favorite?

Mother of Television

August 28, 2006

Last night I was watching the Emmy Awards with my boyfriend, and traditionally these awards shows devote a certain amount of time to video montages remembering people within the industry who had passed away within the year. This was the case last night, and during this year’s montage (as always) there were more than a few names and faces that were unfamiliar to me. However, there was one person in particular that caught my attention, just because of how out of place they seemed wedged between all of the faded television stars and casting directors.

Elma and Philo Farnsworth

Elma Farnsworth, widow of television’s inventor, Philo Farnsworth, passed away this year without much media attention. Her husband had died decades earlier, and even though she spent the remainder of her life fighting to give him a well-deserved place in history, most people still don’t know the man or his achievements.

Not only did he create television and the television camera at the age of 21, he was also responsible for other important inventions, such as the baby incubator. Elma was there every step of the way for these accomplishments, and Philo often shared what little acclaim he did receive with his beloved wife.

Elma Farnsworth was the first woman to be broadcast on television, and I was glad to see that she was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Aside from a tribute to her husband during the Emmy’s 54th annual ceremony, this was only the second time Elma or her husband had ever appeared on the show, albeit posthumously.

New Dog

August 28, 2006
I think it’s important that I take the time to write a little something about the new love of my life.
Josh and hank

Hank is a several-weeks old Chow-Chow with a beautiful coat of fur and a heart of gold. Although I live with my beau now, Hank is staying with my family (where the other three family dogs can keep him company.) It has only been three days and this puppy is already roughhousing with the other animals, who are like twenty times his size. Aw!

He is the cutest thing in the entire world.

Smurf Magic Berries!

August 26, 2006

Are there any snacks, food or candy that are no longer made that you desperately miss?

Smurfs_Cereal_Magic_Berries_Magic_Trick

At one point I was addicted to Smurf Magic Berries, which was a lot like the various Lucky Charms rip-offs one could find at grocery stores throughout my childhood. The grain portion was like KIX, and the marshmallow-to-grain ratio was much higher than Lucky Charms. Also, those marshmallows tasted like sweet ambrosia.

Sadly, the cereal was discontinued in the early 1990’s, and I’ve been searching for a similar marshmallow-based cereal ever since. Most of the knockoff brands of Lucky Charms have considerably scaled back the amount of sugar and marshmallows they contain, so as far as I can tell there is nothing on the market even close to glory of what Smurf Magic Berries was.

I don’t watch Oprah often, but…

August 25, 2006
Before becoming a talk show deity, Oprah Winfrey was once a journalism student at Tennessee State University. Just like Oprah, I too was once a journalism student, and it’s because of this and the several hundred other things I share in common with her that I choose to tune into her program from time to time.

It’s not often that Oprah makes use of her journalism background to tackle tough real-life issues for her audience during the show. Most of the time it seems as if she would rather focus on sensationalistic topics, rather than the ones that she could actually make an impact on with her enormous influence.

Oprah

Fortunately for THE WORLD she had chosen to devote an entire episode to exploring the growing economic gap between upper and lower class citizens in America. I was lucky enough to catch this important episode after a bout of insomnia, and I felt it was important enough to share with you.

Rather than speak to economic experts or leading politicians for the bulk of the program, Oprah used an everyman* approach by showing class differences through stories told by real-life rich and poor people! In one particularly moving segment, an upper-middle-class housewife complains about how expensive and tiring it is to keep up the ‘facade’ of being an upper class woman.

Even though her husband earns a six figure salary, she still manages to put the family into debt with her spending habits. By purchasing furniture and designer labels they keep up the appearance of being in a higher tax bracket than they actually are. What will the neighbors think? Boo hoo. In the same segment, a lower class family struggles merely to stay clothed and put food on the table.

Later on Oprah discusses her own views on class in America, which basically boils down to “work hard, and you’ll be as successful as I am.”

Her guest, a former Clinton ecnomic advisor, tells Oprah that moving up in class is a combination of luck, hard work, education and connections. This statement angers Oprah; the black girl born into poverty who eventually became the richest and most powerful woman on planet Earth.

Oprah: “There is no such thing as luck. I don’t consider myself lucky at all.”

Now I love sassy black women as much as the next guy (possibly moreso!) but the idea that Oprah Winfrey is completely deserving of that level of success is ridiculous. Was it the degree she got from Tennessee State University that got her there? Somehow I doubt the rest of her graduating class has a net worth of several billion dollars.

There is no denying that Oprah is incredibly talented and enterprising, but no amount of book clubs or heart-to-heart interviews can justify the power, fame and fortune she has received by doing a daytime talk show.

Am I wrong here? If not, I’ll be transferring to Tennessee State this Fall.

*By this I actually mean ‘everywoman.’ The only men on Oprah’s shows are either celebrity automotons, or the end result of a female-to-male sex change operation.

Sniglets

August 25, 2006

Remember sniglets?  Do you have any favorites?  Have you ever made up your own word?  (Now’s as good a time as any.)

I really had no idea what a Sniglet was until I looked it up as reference for this question. Hm

One word I have taken credit for is Passhole (Noun,) A ‘passhole’ is a DIsneyland Annual Passholder who feel that their own personal enjoyment of the park takes priority over that of everyone else, and abuses their knowledge of Disney theme parks to do so. These include people who know which kind of faked injuries can get them onto rides through the exit, and where to wait several hours in advance to get a perfect seat for shows and parades.

My least favorite passhole has to be a middle-aged African-American man and his pre-teen son. They were coming through The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh looking for secret ‘Hidden Mickeys’ inside of the attraction. I told them where one of them was, and jokingly said that if I told them the rest they wouldn’t be ‘hidden.’ Confused, the two boarded their ride vehicle and that was the last I saw of them…

Until I was summoned by my supervisor that day to hear that the man and his child were ‘distraught’ about the entire situation. Although my supervisor was annoyed he had to deal with the guests at all, he understood how my comment might be misinterpreted by someone who obviously wasn’t too bright in the first place.

Weeks later I was working the same attraction one night when I saw the two of them once again. It was at that point that I saw the lanyards around their necks, from which their annual passes proudly hung. Fortunately the passholes didn’t seem to recognize me, and bothered one of my co-workers with the same exact question that had caused me so much grief.