Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Church's glorification of Down Syndrome.

I've been noticing this for a while but it's really been picking up steam in the last year or so. Churchianity LOVES down syndrome. Having a kid with down syndrome is practically becoming a status symbol within the church. It's almost like having a gay friend is to a liberal. Transparent sanctimonious status whoring. But now it seems that scientists may be on the verge of curing this affliction.

“It really is revolutionary, in terms of causing us all to rethink the one impossible thought — can you make, functionally, that extra chromosome disappear,” said Dr. Brian Skotko, co-director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, who was not involved in the new study.

Now this is a very early development and it will likely still be a while before this can be turned into a cure, assuming this research doesn't somehow hit a dead end. But it is a very promising sign. So the sane reaction from my fellow Christians would be to thank God for these brilliant researchers and the work they are doing. Mind you that would be the sane reaction. But it's not the reaction I'm seeing. Amy Julia Becker wrote a piece called "Three Reasons why we might not want to cure down syndrome."

If you're like me, you may want to take a moment to let that sink in. Take a deep breath, because we're about to go through the looking glass here people. Let's take a look at why Amy thinks being retarded is a good thing.

1. Any attempt to “cure” Down syndrome (which is not a disease) assumes that the problems that come along with Down syndrome are located within the individuals with Down syndrome rather than within our society at large. 

What? Yes the problem is with the person and not society. What sort of feel good politically correct nonsense is that? It's not society that has an extra chromosome.

Yes, there are physical and cognitive delays for kids with DS that can result in actual suffering, but the majority of people with Down syndrome report good lives and positive experiences for their families.

So what? Just because many people have made the best of a bad situation doesn't mean it's not a bad situation.

 I’m sitting in a public space right now and many people within view are wearing glasses. None of them would be categorized as “disabled,” even though they presumably have impaired vision. Without their glasses, some of them would be bumping into things and potentially harming other people. With their glasses, those problems disappear. On a much broader scale, disability in general ceases to be disabling when accommodations are put into place and when social stigma no longer accompanies said disability.

But here's the thing, we try to cure those disabilities. I guarantee you if I had a pill that gave those people with glasses 20/20 vision more than 9 out of 10 of them would take the damn pill as fast as they could find a glass of water.

 2. Silencing the third chromosome in trisomy 21 assumes that Down syndrome is categorically negative

Again, what the fuck? If I have to explain why being retarded is a bad thing then I'm not sure how. I mean seriously here. Do you actually listen to yourself Amy? Just because some good comes out of something or people are able to make the best of something doesn't mean that something is a good thing. Having a condition that drastically impairs your intelligence, overall health, and shortens your life span is a bad thing.

 Again, the list of potential challenges is long. Potty training takes longer. Teaching a child to be safe takes longer. And that’s not to mention doctor’s appointments and therapist visits and whatever health concerns come up along the way. And yet, though I haven’t found the scientific study to substantiate this claim, 

In other words she's about to pull these next few ideas directly out of her ass.

I have a sense that there is something positive about having Down syndrome. Something beautiful and good and true. Something that increases joy. In our case, something that gives Penny a kinder heart, an ability to love others more purely. People often stereotype individuals with Down syndrome by calling them “sweet” and “angels,” and anyone who knows a person with Down syndrome can contradict that claim. But anyone who knows someone with Down syndrome can also so there’s something to it. I think my concern here is that to take away the third chromosome is to take away more than Penny’s ear tubes and pronated feet and impulsivity, but rather it is to take away something essential to who she is

Oh yeah, this old chestnut. I like to call this the Forrest Gump myth. It's the idea that retards are the kindest sweetest things you'll ever meet. There's just one problem with that. Retarded people are still people. Despite Evangelical culture's attempt to turn down syndrome kids into some sort of pet or mascot they are, in fact, human fucking beings. They are just as capable of being a complete asshole as any other person. If indeed there is "something to it", and I stress "if", it is probably because they are fawned over and pampered most of their lives, at least the ones with good care takers. If I had someone waiting on me hand and foot and praising every crayon drawing of Winnie the Pooh I did I would probably be pretty cheery too.

And finally Amy tops it all off with the old standby objection my brothers and sisters in Christ like to throw around.

3. From a more spiritual perspective, I worry about human tinkering with our genetic code, which is to say, I worry about “playing God.”

Ahhh yes, "playing God". Can we Christians meet ANY advancement in medial science without this being a knee jerk reaction? Some idiots in the church used to throw this accusation around to blood transfusions and organ transplants. Hell, some still do. Are there some questions as to how much we are tampering with the "essential person" here. Yeah, I suppose, but no more than with any other mental disorder we try to cure.

This article was sickening. This nonsense from Evangelical culture stems from this odd sort of masochistic streak that runs through it. Evangelical culture in the West has become a house of horrors where we all parade out how our lives and our ourselves are fucked up in some way as though the suffering inherently made us more holy. "Look how poor I am!" "Look how sick I am!" and now "Look how retarded my kid is!" We are like Martin Luthor constantly whipping his own back to gain God's favor before he came to his damn senses and founded the reformation. Just because God might use bad things in your life to make you a better person doesn't mean you should seek bad things out and revel in them like you're in some sort of bizarre BDSM type relationship with the God of the universe. Seriously, this is becoming a damn freakshow people, knock it off.

Review of the Week: Sonic the Hedgehog #251

If you haven't already, check out my reviews of parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. So here we are at the end of it all. So Eggman and Wily have Mega Man and Sonic captured and are firing up the Genesis Wave to completely rewrite the two universe. Proto Man, Dr. Light,  Rush, and Knuckles show up to rescue them. Knuckles and Proto Man keep the doctors busy while Rush bonds with Mega Man to give him a second wind.
This gives Sonic the idea that they should tap directly into the Chaos Emeralds' power to shut off the Genesis Wave. Meanwhile Knuckles and Proto Man keep attacking the Doctors. Eggman and Wily both betray and sabotage each other almost giving Knuckles and Proto Man victories. Then our two main heroes show up both charged with Chaos Emerald energy.
Our two heroes battle the docs, but it still didn't stop the Genesis Wave from going off. So Sonic instructs Mega Man to use Chaos Control to make the Genesis Wave act in their favor and restore the universe to the way they should be. At the last moment though Eggman attacks Sonic and causes him to slightly mess up his Chaos Control. The consequences of that will be seen next issue.

This issue was a pretty satisfactory conclusion to this crossover. I was happy to see a little Knuckles and Proto Man team up as they're my favorite characters of the two franchises. As I said before I wasn't all that happy with the use of the Genesis Wave to make the two worlds more like the games and less like the comics, but I understand why it was done. All and all I consider this crossover a smashing success and can't recommend it enough. It will be out in collected editions soon so if you haven't read it yet you should.

Fox News fails again.

So if you haven't heard, Fox News infobabe Lauren Green was interviewing Reza Aslan about a book he wrote on Jesus. Ms. Green spent the entirety of the interview simply asking Aslan over and over again why a Muslin would write a book on Jesus. Now while it is a fair question, it doesn't mean it should be the only thing she manages to spout out. Farting out the same question over and over again like a babbling idiot is not an interview.

Now it's coming to light that this Aslan shithead was completely lying about his credentials in this interview. If Ms. Green would have actually done her job and did a little homework before interviewing him she would have known he has a degree in Philosophy not Religion. He's no damn expert on religion, he's a fucking Professor of Creative Writing for fuck's sake. Makes sense since it seems his book is a load of fiction. Guess I shouldn't be surprised that this talking pair of tits wasn't anything close to a real journalist she is just an infobabe after all. I think we all know how she got her job, hell, I wouldn't be surprised if these Fox bitches all had to make a personal visit to Old Man Rupert's casting couch before getting on the air. So this Aslan piece of shit gets away with being the lying scumbag he is because of Ms. Green's incompetence.

Thanks again for dropping the damn ball Fox.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello to all you new readers who hate me.

Oh, I know you're here. You see, one of the more fascinating things about having this blog in the past year or so has been seeing where the traffic comes from. And in the past week or so I have seen a pretty noticeable influx of hits from sources where I am not well liked. I post on various forums here and there, almost always under this name, The Bechtloff. And it's from those more heated threads I find a large amount of traffic this week.

I've had people in the last week actually read up on this blog and my twitter, seeking to confirm their low opinion of me. And what are the things that have caused people to hate little old me? I have stated that I think single women who get knocked up are irresponsible, I have dared to suggest that maybe a family court system that is heavily bias against men might discourage men from marrying, and I have suggested that maybe if you criticize things for a living you should have thick skin and be able to take criticism.

Many of these things I posted weeks and months ago, and yet somehow they all seem to be converging into a perfect storm of butthurt hatred this past week. These all seem like rather common sense observations to me, but people sure did get pissed. Oh I had my defenders and allies, but it still got a ton of backlash. Very few of these people ever came at me with anything resembling a logical argument, but rather attacked me personally or bitched about their feelings. Even at times when I left threads on message boards saying I was done with the topic and had enough the attacks would continue, with people posting links to this blog to prove what a jerk I am.

Now here's the thing, I don't say any of this with the hope of a pity party from any of my fans. No, I'm just fine. In fact I'm rather used to this. It's long been my lot in life to say the unpopular truth when no one else will and suffer scorn for it. No this is addressed to you, the hater. Like I said, I know you're here. So allow me to more formally introduce myself. I am The Bechtloff. And I say the thing that's the last thing you want to hear, because deep down you fear it's true. And you have no counter argument so you'll call me names because that makes you feel better. I don't want to hear it and probably won't listen. I will always be happy to entertain a logical argument as to why you think I'm wrong. But your indignant offended rage simply bores me. Logic, truth, and facts don't care how you feel and neither do I.

I am The Bechtloff, and here I sit, telling you things you might not want to hear. Oh, and talking about comics and movies.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yeah you better apologize, wait, no not for that.

I just discovered this story over at the Telegraph. Damon Lindelof, the writer of Star Trek Into Darkness, has apologised to fans... Yeah he damn well better apologize, that movie was a fucking coat hanger abortion. ...for the scene in which British actress, Alice Eve, appears in J.J. Abrams' new film in just her underwear.
What?! That harmless little scene? OK for those of you who didn't see the movie (I envy you by the way), Universe-2 Kirk is in a shuttle craft with this blond chick and she is changing and tells Kirk to turn around. He of course looks over his shoulder and we get a shot of her in her underwear.

Is it fan service? Of course it is but so fucking what? It's just a harmless little bit of sex appeal thrown into this mindless popcorn film. Frankly it was one of the few watchable moments in this raging dumpster fire of a movie. So why should the writer apologize? Because some bitchy femicunts were mad about it? He should have told them to change their fucking tampons and shut the hell up. Or failing that just ignore them. Appeasement doesn't work with these leftoids.

What the writer needed to apologize for was the piss he took in Wrath of Khan's mouth.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dynamic Duos: Spider-man and Wolverine

In Dynamic Duos I look at great partnerships in comics. I figured I would start with a personal favorite of mine, Spider-man and Wolverine. It's hard to see these two together and not have the 10 year old in you smile. These are, at least arguably, Marvel's top two most popular and recognizable characters. And yet surprisingly they don't have all that much of a history with each other. Part of that is due to the fact that Spider-man hasn't had all that close of a working relationship with the X-men over the years, but even riding solo Wolverine never seemed to team up with the wall crawler before Bendis made them both Avengers (Spidey was actually a reserve Avenger before then, but never full time).

This always struck me as odd. Why wouldn't Marvel have two of it's top characters team up more? Well, some might say that their personalities are too different, and yet many of the strongest friendships are forged not from what people have in common, but how they are different and therefore complement the other. Superman and Batman are a great example of that at DC. It always seemed to me that whenever these two teamed up, Wolverine treated Spider-man with a level of contempt. He seemed to treat him like a child. I get Wolverine is well over a century old, and on one level everyone is a kid, but this still didn't make sense to me. Spider-man might joke around, but he's more than proven himself the capable hero, and has handed Wolverine his ass on more than one occasion.
So Wolverine looking down on Spidey never rang true with me. It might have made sense in the Ultimate Universe where Peter was a teenager, but not in the regular Marvel Universe.

While these two have grown to respect and even like each other a lot more since being in the Avengers together, it still strikes me that I can't think of any really great Spider-man and Wolverine team up stories. There have been a few good ones, but none I have thought really lived up to the potential of what this team up can be. Perhaps when the whole Superior Spider-man status quo is undone and Peter is back in the webs him and Logan might bond a little bit more as Logan certainly knows what it's like to have his head messed with. I certainly hope so, because I feel this could be a far greater partnership than it has been in the past.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bechtloff Movie Night: The Wolverine (2013)

I'm not going to go into a plot synopsis, if you're reading this I'm going to assume you've seen it and are just looking for other opinions on it. There will be some spoilers though so beware if you haven't seen it.

Alright, first let's talk about what was right with this movie. First of all Huge Jackman. That guy is phenomenal Wolverine. I really can't imagine any other actor out there right now doing as good of a job. He portrays the complicated brooding but charming, bitter but caring, character of Wolverine just perfectly and he flat out caries this film. There's no other way to put it, without him this would be an absolute disaster of a movie and I likely would have walked out before the end. Also the fight scene on the bullet train was a fantastic action sequence and set piece and was really the highlight of the film.

Now, let's talk about what was wrong with this movie. Well I could nit pick a lot of things. Like Wolverine has claws vs swords fights with ninjas and somehow his adamantium claws don't cut right through the swords. I guess maybe you could argue the swords were adamantium since the main villain was stockpiling the stuff, but that was never outright said. No, there were three major problems that I just couldn't overlook. Number one, the one villain Viper, I hated her. I hated every moment she was on screen. She wasn't nearly as sexy as the film seemed to think so her vampy seductive moments didn't work, and she had no character or motivation beyond simply being a cunt. Second the actress playing the love interest had absolutely zero chemistry with Jackman. None. I knew they would hook up as Mariko was his wife in the comics, but even knowing that it still felt like it came out of left field. Third, and this was the biggest to me, the ending. The end of this movie, much like the ending of the last Wolverine film, was filled to the brim with logical errors and nonsense. I know it's sci-fi, I know I gotta suspend my disbelief, but you gotta meet me halfway on that movie. And that means at least follow your own internal logic. If you establish the rules on how a fictional thing like adamantium works, don't throw those rules out the window later. The villain, an old dieing man in adamantium Silver Samurai armor, cuts off Wolverine's claws using an adamantium blade that's been heated. That's not how adamantium works. And he did it because he wanted to drill into the marrow to steal his healing. Couldn't you have just had him stick needles into his heart or something to do that? It would have worked just as well, would have moved the narrative forward, and wouldn't have been violating your internal logic? Also if there was a post credits scene I don't know what it was. I just couldn't bring myself to care enough to sit through the credits.

Go home Fox Studios, you're drunk. Seriously guys why can't you make a good Wolverine solo movie? You made three good X-men movies (X-Men 1, 2, and First Class). This should be easier.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reviews of the Week: Superior Spider-Man #14, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1, and Hunger #1

I had begun to lose interest in this book but it has picked back up. In this issue Ock-Spidey and his army of hired foot soldiers storms the Kingpin's stronghold Shadowland with the intent of killing him. When Jameson contacts him to tell him to knock it off he reminds him of the dirt he has and tells him to sign whatever paper work is needed to make this legit. Kingpin escapes using a body double and Hobgoblin escapes because the Green Goblin, who has hacked into Ock-Spidey's little patrol robots allows him to go unnoticed. Our issue ends with Green Goblin taking the surviving Hand ninjas from Shadowland into his gang.

I really like where things are going. Ock-Spidey has his own headquarters at the decommissioned Raft and an army of henchmen. I even like Ock-Spidey's new look. I'm sure I'm not the first to notice this but it's very reminiscent of Ben Reilly's Spider-man costume. This is a great series and is picking steam back up after a bit of a slump. This is also a great jumping on point so check it out.
Ock-Spidey is not on the best of terms with his fellow Avengers. They may not know exactly what's up but his new violent behavior has caused them to put him on probation. This issue finds Ock-Spidey attacking heroes such as Daredevil, the FF, Moon Knight and more for unknown reasons. The Avengers confront him for this. It seems the sentient Carrion virus is possessing these heroes. Ock-Spidey has a weapon he believes can destroy the virus once and for all. It's at this moment we find out the virus' current host is Hyperion. The Avengers keep Hyperion at bay while Spidey uses his weapon thus freeing Hyperion of the possession. We later see Carrion survived and is with Jackal. Also we get a bit more of a glimpse of what Ock-Spidey has in store for the Sinister Six members he's been gathering.

This was a solid issue and was a step up from the sorry state Avenging Spider-man was in by the end of it's run. Once Avenging stopped being about highlighting Spider-man's Avengers activity and became just a team up book it really lost direction and focus. This might just be a team up book too, but at least it knows and acknowledges it. I'm anxious to see what Ock-Spidey has in store for his former villainous teammates. This is definitely worth checking out.
After all the time travel shenanigans of Age of Ultron the fabric of the Marvel Universe tore a little. One of the effects of this was sending the Marvel Universe Galactus into the Ultimate Universe. In this issue we see Rick Jones of the Ultimate Universe, who is some sort of cosmic guardian intervening in a Kree-Chitauri battle. The battle is interrupted by Gah Lak Tus, which is sort of the Ultimate version of Galactus. Gah Lak Tus is a swarm of hive mind robot looking things that eat planets similar to Galactus. It's at this moment that Galactus appears through a rift in space and time and Gah Lak Tus swarm on him to consume him but end up merging with him creating a sort of Uber-Galactus. He then sends out a swarm of Gah Lak Tus robots as heralds.

This was a fun issue. I love multiverse stories so I'm bound to like this at least a little. But this issue did a good job of being new reader friendly. While I used to read Ultimate books religiously I fell out of it after Ultimatum, only coming in and out of them. But this issue did a decent enough job of getting me up to speed on Ultimate Rick Jones so I wasn't lost. Good read and I can't wait for issue two.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Am I in the "Manophere"?

I like to post in the comment threads on a Christian site called Breakpoint. A while back writer Eric Metaxas had an article on declining marriage rates. I made the point in the comment thread that a major factor for declining marriage rates are men opting out of marriage due to the way the family courts are stacked against us.

There is a reason men in my generation, the Millennials, are opting out of marriage. Due to the misandry of the family courts marriage is unquestionably a raw deal for men. Make no mistake, having a Y chromosome makes you a second class citizen in family law (and many other areas these days). Beyond the religious obligation what possible reason would a man have for legally tying himself to someone who, on a whim, can throw him out of his home, take half his money, and turn him into a life time wage slave in the form of alimony? Until this is addressed and reformed in the family courts system marriage will continue to decline.

It seems like a rather common sense observation to me. Well, it wasn't received very well to say the least. I was met with name calling, pleas to emotion, and virtually meaningless anecdotal evidence. No one actually disputed my claim mind you.

So a little bit later I read a post on divorce over at Chateau Heartiste and decided to share that Breakpoint thread in the comments. I had a little bit of back and forth with other commenters and then it fizzled, as comment threads tend to do. This was all about a month or so ago.

But then yesterday I was checking my blog traffic. I like to see what links people follow to get here. I find a bunch of hits from a post at Dark Brightness. He had discovered that Breakpoint thread due to a post at another blog called Captain Capitalism and it was brought to his attention through reader mail. Wow, this was actually spreading rather than fading. The once dead thread was actually gaining a couple of comments both of which were on my side. Commenter and I think moderator Gina Dalfonzo threw a thin layer of politeness over her disgust to ask this.

Hi, guys. I see The Bechtloff has been busy at some of the "manosphere" sites, inviting his friends over to comment here. (Google is our friend. :-) ) Is that what brought you two over?

Hmmm, well I wouldn't call posting one link in one comment thread "busy". It seems it was the manophere itself that was busy.

But that begs the question, is this blog part of the "manosphere"? Because a few people have accused me of that lately. Well, this certainly isn't a pick up artist blog, but that's not really what the manophere is. Vox Day's blog is considered a part of the manosphere and his is mostly on economics and politics. Mine is mostly on comics and other nerdy shit. But I do hold a strong level of contempt for third wave feminism and the lies it has spread. So maybe I am a manosphere blogger.

So welcome everyone, to the nerdiest corner of the manosphere.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's on the Radio: A defense of Blurred Lines.

A little while ago I did a little review of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Well I recently caught Todd in the Shadows' review of it and he called it "rapey" Oh Todd, I wanna like you but you make it pretty damn hard sometimes with your constant forfeiting of your mancard.

To be fair it's not just Todd that's calling this song rapey. And if you watch Todd's review it's pretty clear that he's really just mad that Blurred Lines is doing better in the charts than Daft Punk's song Get Lucky. Get Lucky has a similar sound and Todd considers it a superior song and is clearly rather pissed that Blurred Lines is doing better. Personally, while I do like Get Lucky, I think Blurred Lines is a far more fun and enjoyable song.

Now as for the "rapey" accusation, I really don't see it. I viewed the titular blurred lines as being between right and wrong, sleazy and classy, and good girls and bad girls, not a line between consent and non consent. Mr. Thicke apparently agrees with me. I really don't see how you listen to the lyrics of this song and get a rapey message.
I really think we've entered a stage of third wave feminism's putrid influence on culture where anything that is fun and sexy is likely to incur the wrath of butthurt over sensitive people's rape whistles. This is a fun and sexy song and if you think its rapey I think that says a lot more about you than it does this song. So please people change your fucking tampon and shut the hell up.

Some news from SDCC that caught my eye.

So it looks like the title to Avengers 2 will be Age of Ultron. Ultron's one of my favorite Marvel villains so I can't wait to see him on the big screen. I wonder if they will be able to mention Ultron having adamantium armor or if Fox has the rights to that metal through it's X-men license. Maybe it will be one of those grey areas where both can use it like with Quicksilver. Either way, let's hope this movie is considerably better than the Age of Ultron comic.
So DC officially announced a Superman/Batman movie. You know what DC, given how many abandoned movie projects you've had over the years, I'll believe it when I see a trailer. Hell this isn't even the first time DC has mentioned a Superman/Batman movie. There was actually a big teaser poster for it in the Will Smith movie I Am Legend. It was in the background of one scene. I would love to see a Superman/Batman movie, but until I see more than a teaser image at Comic Con, I remain skeptical.
This isn't all that noteworthy but I still got a kick out of it. It's a cover to an upcoming issue of Superior Spider-man with Spider-man 2099 on the cover by J.G. Jones. I thought it looked bad ass and figured it was worth sharing.

And finally it's been announced that after the DC animated Flashpoint movie the next DC animated movie will be Justice League: War which will be based on the first New 52 Justice League story. I really miss when DC didn't suck. Damn I hate the New 52 so bad.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I miss video stores and arcades.

Remember renting a movie? Like physically going to a place to rent a hard copy, taking it home and watching it? I miss that. I miss the video store. Not Blockbuster or Hollywood video or any of the big chains that were around. No, I miss the little mom and pop local video store. You know the kind, where the isles are a little too small because the place is in too small of a location. And the guy working there was a film student or even a failed screen writer and knew every damn movie you could possibly think of. The place I went to the guy would even give me and my dad suggestions based on stuff we rented. Maybe if it wasn't busy he would bullshit about movies for a while. I miss just walking around and looking at all the great box art. Horror movies especially had amazing Box art. It was a ritual, you go out, get your pizza or other take out, and then get a movie and come home. It was the perfect date night as a young adult with a limited budget. I know, I know, you can get it instantly streaming though Netflix or OnDemand. Yeah that's great I suppose. But I miss the larger experience.

I also miss arcades. I still see arcades around but it's mostly skeeball and Dance Dance Revolution. I miss the great arcade games. Remember going to the mall on a Saturday, I could actually walk to mine it was close enough, you've got a sock full of quarters and you're saying "Today's the day, I am beating that game." So you go and find your game. Maybe it was the Simpsons Arcade game, maybe it was the X-men one, maybe one of the Ninja Turtles ones. So you go, you pop in your quarter and you select Donatello because his weapon has the biggest range.
And you get down to it. As you play people come in and out of your game. They put a quarter in, play for a while, die, and move on. Not you, your here for the long haul damn it. And when you finally beat the game your feet and your thumbs are sore, but it is so satisfying you need a candy cigarette. Sure many of those classic arcade games are available on Xbox live and what not, but is it really the same?

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I feel like we've lost something there. Sure we've gained convenience, but we lost some of the ritual and experience out of things. But oh well, I guess time marches on.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review of the Week: Sonic Universe #54

If you haven't already check out my reviews for parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The crossover event of 2013 winds down to it's conclusion. In this issue Eggman and Dr. Wily are working on their back up for the back up plan super weapon the Wily Machine X that will use the seven Chaos Emeralds the Docs have collected to completely rewrite both worlds so that they are gods. Meanwhile Sonic and Mega Man duke it out with Metal Sonic, Bass, and Treble. This fight takes up most of the issue with Mega Man finally taking them out with his Robotisized Masters weapons he's gathered. However the Docs manage to capture Sonic and Mega Man with the Wily Machine X and then proceed to gloat about their evil plans with the issues ending that once our two heroes are erased from reality nothing will stop them.

As I said the fight between our two heroes and Bass, Treble, and Metal Sonic take up most of the issue and it's a pretty satisfying fight sequence. The banter between the two Docs is really enjoyable, their bromance is pretty much dead at this point and is nothing but passive aggressive banter between them with each planning to betray the other. This crossover has been almost nothing but fun and I can't wait to see how it wraps up next issue.

Bechtloff Movie Night: Movie 43

When I first saw the trailers for this movie I thought it looked pretty good, then it came out and turned out to be one of the most universally hated movies I've seen in a while. People didn't just dislike this movie, they despised it. Well when I saw it OnDemand I had to check it out.

Well, the story, in so much as there is one, is that a crazy, most likely homeless, guy has gotten onto a movie set by sucking off the guard and is pitching a movie to an exec. As he's explaining his various pitches we cut to the various sketches. And it's really not that bad. I know, what a ringing endorsement huh, "not that bad." It's exactly what I would expect from a sketch movie, hit or miss. Granted there are more misses than hits, but a few parts got some real laughs out of me.

I really don't get the hatred here, this is by no means the worse movie I've ever seen, hell, it's not even the worst movie of 2013, I think that honor might be reserved for Will Smith's latest attempt to force his talentless son down our throats. It's by no means a good movie, but it doesn't really deserve all the shit it's gotten.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Zelda timeline fix, a Crisis on Infinite Hyrules.

Just say the words "The Zelda Timeline" to any two Nintendo nerds and you're likely to see a debate, an argument, or possibly a full on slap fest. Fans have been debating when, where, and how the games take place in relationship to each other since at least Ocarina of Time. It's pretty clear that even Nintendo has no real clue, but this is their latest attempt at stapling it all together. Note that not only have they had to go with several different Links and Zeldas who are descendants and reincarnations of the Links and Zeldas from previous games, but we also have to split the timeline in three after Ocarina of Time. On a side note I still have a hard time accepting Zelda 1 and 2 from the NES as being at the end of a timeline, but I guess that's just because I remember playing them when they were all there was. Makes sense now why Link had crosses on his shield in those games though, Hyrule had finally been Christianized. They should do a sequel to Zelda II where Ganon poses as the Pope to overthrow the King instead of the King's advisor like in Ocarina. But I'm getting sidetracked, point is if we already have an accepted Zelda multiverse of at least three timelines why don't we just take that a bit further?

Being a comic book fan I'm pretty used to the idea of multiple universes. In fact I actually really love the idea of the mutliverse, so I tend to apply it to impossible continuity problems in fiction. For instance whenever we get a new James Bond actor I go with the idea that we're starting a new series of films set in a new universe. If we reference something in from a Sean Connery Bond movie in a Pierce Brosnan Bond movie I just say similar events happened in both worlds. So for years now my personal theory of how these games relate to one another hasn't used ancestors or reincarnation, I've just used the multiverse. Basically unless a game is explicitly a sequel, such as Legend of Zelda II or Majora's Mask, I go with the idea that it's a different universe from the other games. So to me that's the solution. These aren't Links through the ages, these are Links through the multiverse.

This way we won't have to completely redo the timeline two or three games from now.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bechtloff Movie Night: Lego Batman: The Movie.

I really loved Lego Batman 2, I even had it on my top 10 super hero video games list. Lego super heroes are funny, charming, and cute, so why stop at video games, why not an animated movie? I saw this on a discount rack the other day and figured it would be worth a shot. I knew it was based on the game and would follow the same story, but damn, I had no idea just how close. This so called movie is almost entirely made of cut scenes from the game. There is only a little bit of original material to replace some of the playable level parts. Some, mind you, not all. I haven't added up the minutes of anything but this is easily 80% cut scenes, if not close to 90%.

I can't say this is bad, it's just lazy. Making a Lego Batman or Lego DC animated movie is a good idea, but throwing all the game cut scenes together with the bare minimum required amount of new footage to make it work is a cheap cash in. What is the point of this? I could just play the damn game again. The most amusing part of this was the little exclusive Lego figure that came with it, Superman/Clark Kent. It's not even that cool a Lego figure really, it's just the coolest part of this waste of time.
I can't even call this bad per say, it's just lazy and pointless. If this would have been bonus material, say with one of those complete editions of the game where they add all the DLC that would be one thing, but calling this a movie is ridiculous. I payed $8 for this on a discount rack and frankly that was too much, it should have been like $5.

You and me both Hugh.


Hugh Jackman is tired of just being an X-man, he wants to be an Avenger, and I want him to be one too. Over at Collider he had this to say:
"I understand at Marvel they’ve got The Avengers, they’ve got a lot of big things going on, but at some point I just find it almost impossible that there’s not a way to bring Iron Man, all the Avengers characters, Wolverine, the X-Men characters, Spider-Man, and somehow get them in together.”
I know that Fox still has X-men and Fantastic Four and Sony still has Spidey, but I still fail to see why that should be a barrier anymore. People forget that while Avengers was distributed by Paramount, as were the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movies, Hulk was still at Universal. And yet Incredible Hulk tied into Iron Man and of course Hulk was an Avenger. Universal just got paid to use him. So why can't the Fantastic Four and the Avengers team up damn it? Might seem like a long shot, but so did an Avengers movie not too long ago. So let's all hope Fox and Sony stop being twats and cooperate here. It's not like they won't make butt loads of money if they do.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

You're damn right he's not guilty.

So George Zimmerman was found not guilty. I heard about this on twitter last night, in fact twitter was blowing the hell up over it, to the point where it was almost pointless to try and talk about other topics. #IfIeverseeZimmerman was trending on there last night with tons of ghetto trash hood rats threatening this poor guy. I shudder to think of the harassment he's likely to face in the years to come. But thankfully the system did indeed work. Despite the nearly tireless efforts of the government media complex to stack the deck against him, the leftards were unable to sacrifice this guy on their race baiting anti-gun alter.

This is not only a victory for this guy, it's a victory for self defense rights.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My top 10 favorite video game systems.

As I said before, I'm hardly a hardcore gamer. But like most of the people my age I did grow up with them and I do enjoy them. So I thought of all the systems that have been out over the years I would take a look at my personal favorites. This isn't meant to be any sort of definitive "best" list, just the 10 I have enjoyed the most.

10) 32X. I know, it's barely a system, more of an add on the the Genesis. And it was something of a critical and commercial failure, what with systems like the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 hitting the market soon after, but I still loved this thing. It didn't have all that many games but it had a few gems. It of course had Knuckle's Chaotix, and what's not to love about a Knuckles game, it had a Spider-man game called Web of Fire. I remember it being pretty fun but that could be my own clouded nostalgic vision. I haven't played it recently as a used copy seems to run anywhere from your first born child to your immortal soul. And it also had Doom, and who doesn't love Doom?

9) Xbox 360. Some of you might be wondering why this is so low, only one notch above the 32X even. While there have been a handful of games I've loved on this, Saint's Row 2, Lego Batman 2, Sonic Generations, for the most part I find myself kinda cold towards this system. I still find myself playing Mario on my Wii way more than this system. I guess I'm just too much of a casual/retro gamer for it. Mind you I do enjoy it, just not nearly to the extent my peers seem to.
8) Nintendo Game Boy. This was pure magic when I was a kid. You mean I can play Mario on the go? Will wonders never cease. I really liked the two Super Mario Land games on this, I feel like they were more creative in villains and game play than the NES Mario games. I mean in Mario Land 1 Mario had a submarine and a plane. Mario Land 2 gave us Wario, who would get his own Game Boy game. Obviously there was more than just Mario on it, I remember a couple of nice Ninja Turtle games, and who doesn't love Tetris? I think the main problem with this system was not only did it have a monotone color scheme, but the color was a dull puke green. Still, who doesn't have fond memories of the first Game Boy?

7) Nintendo 64. I actually never owned this system, but my girlfriend did. She had this a few years after it's prime. I had played it before but this is when I really got a chance to play the hell out of it. Every time I was over and we were going to go somewhere this little guy kept me company during the long as process of her getting ready. What great games this thing had. Probably the jewel being Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That is still, to this day, one of the greatest video games of all time. All. Fucking. Time.
6) Super Nintendo. Ahh this is to me the one that got away. When I was a kid I had a choice one Christmas of getting this or the Sega Genesis. I chose the Sega, and while I don't regret it, I still always wanted this one too. So a few years ago when I discovered a local used game store that had retro games I got this system with a handful of games, most of which I had only played a bit at friends houses. Mario World, Yoshi's Island, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, Legend of Zelda:Link to the Past, Mega Man X, Turtles in Time. I always wanted you Super Nintendo, and now I have you. Life is good sometimes.
5) Sega Game Gear. It's like the Game Boy, but in full freakin color! I actually got this the year before I got my Genesis so the versions of Sonic 1 and 2 on it were the first Sonic games I ever owned which you can imagine to such a Sonic nerd like me was a big damn deal. I had plenty of non Sonic games on this, the most memorable being Bart vs the Space Mutants. This thing chewed up batteries like crazy, having a screen that was both color and back lit, back when that was bleeding edge for a portable, so I actually had to get an AC adapter to plug it in and only used batteries for when I was in the car or something. Seriously I remember getting it Christmas morning and the batteries were dieing by like 2PM. I actually thought it was broken it seemed so ridiculous to chew up batteries that fast. But I still loved her. Hell, I loved her so much I got a Sega Game Gear Christmas tree ornament for it the next year.
I still have it and even put it on my tree to this day.

4) Nintendo Wii. I adore the Mario Kart version on this system. It's such a great party game. In fact there were a few great Mario games on this, Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Super Mario Wii (one of my favorite games ever), of course the obligatory Smash Bros. every Nintendo system seems to have to have (now with Sonic, yay!) and it finally opened up playing Game Cube games to me. With the exception of my #2 slot, this is the system I currently play the most by a wide margin.


3) Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). If you have no love for this then what the hell is wrong with you? Super Mario Bros 1-3, Duck Hunt, Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, the list goes on and on of great games for this magical little box. This was my first system and still one of the best.
2) Sega Genesis. If you read this blog regularly you know I loves me some Genesis. Reviewing Genesis games has become a whole running segment here, The Bechtloff's Book of Genesis. I actually thought long and hard about the Genesis' placement on this list. It almost had the number 1 slot but was just narrowly beaten out by...
1) Playstation 2. So why did this system beat out Genesis? Well it's the system that got me back into gaming after a long time of not owning any systems. I got this in 2005 and it was the Ultimate Spider-man game that got me to break down and buy it. And that brings me to why this beat out Genesis, PS2 had an amazing library of super hero games. Ghost Rider, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Ultimate Alliance, X-men Legends 1 and 2, Justice League Heroes, the list goes on and on. This was practically the golden age of super hero games, when the technology finally got good enough to make you feel like the various heroes. 

So there you have it, my 10 favorite systems? Don't like it? Well, as always, make your own damn list then.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review of the Week: Mega Man #27

If you haven't already, check out my reviews for parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. So last issue Eggman threw Dr. Light off of the Wily Egg just as Sonic, Mega Man, Tails, and Rush were flying up to it. Well, Mega Man doesn't reach Dr. Light in time but Shadow uses his Chaos Control teleportation to save him. Meanwhile, Wily is pissed Eggman tried to kill Dr. Light. Wily and Light still have bits of the old friendship left, so that's understandable on Wily's part. So with Dr. Light safe our heroes storm the Wily Egg. They battle through some various Sonic and Mega Man type villains, with Tails getting injured and Rush taking him to safety along the way, before reaching the Chaos Devil. Just then Duo shows up, having made his way to the Death Egg Zone. I have no damn clue who Duo is but Mega Man explains it to Sonic.
Sonic pretty much sums up my feelings with the "..sure. Why not?" line there. So Duo heals them both, because apparently he can do that, and then he takes to fighting the Chaos Devil while our two blue boys press on. At the end they are attacked by Bass, Treble, and Metal Sonic.

This issue sort of highlights my biggest problem with this crossover. The use of the Genesis wave plot device at the beginning to make the two universes more like the games and less like the comic books. I suppose it's a bit nitpicky of me, and I certainly understand why it was done, this crossover has brought in people who only know the games. Plus a lot of Mega Man characters hadn't been introduced in the comic yet so again, I get why it was done. But still I haven't played every Sonic and Mega Man game, especially the newer ones. I also think it's a shame because the world of the Sonic comic is frankly far more interesting than the video games, especially the newer ones. This could have been a good opportunity to introduce gamers to that.

Also, and this is probably nitpicky of me too, but this cover would have worked better for last issue when Eggman actually threw Dr. Light off the Wily Egg. And the cover for part 8 would have worked better for this issue. Kinda nitpicky but still bugged me.

The negatives aside this continues to be a fun crossover. Anyone who complains comics aren't as fun as they should be, as well as anyone who is a fan of either franchise, should be reading this.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flash villains, who are you guys kidding?

Flash has some of the coolest villains in comics. His rouges gallery is almost up there with Spider-man or Batman. And yet, while they are great villains, they really make no sense as Flash villains. Some of them seem downright wasted on him. Murmur is a really cool serial killer character, but I don't buy for a second that a non powered nutbag with a knife is in the Flash's league. And guys like Captain Cold and Heatwave? Sure, a freeze gun is pretty cool (no pun intended) but not when you're up against a man who can shove it a foot and a half up your ass before you can even blink. Mirror Master seems like a decent enough threat to Flash, what with his access to that strange mirror dimension. But really there is only one of Flash's villains who ever really struck me as being a worthy opponent to the Scarlet Speedster. Reverse Flash.
Kind of sad when out of all your recurring villains I only really buy one of them as being a threat to you. And it's only because he's the classic "dark reflection" type villain.

Now I'm not saying Flash's other villains can't be threats to him. Any villain can be a threat to any hero in the right circumstances. If he sets up just the right trap, the Riddler could in theory kill Superman. But would you really buy Mr. Nigma as a threat to Supes again and again? I think Flash needs more villains who are strong brutes. Someone who can shrug off the thousand blows Flash can land in the blink of an eye. But maybe that's just this fanboy's opinion. I'll leave you with a pic from an old issue of Wizard of Flash's villains fighting Spider-man's villains. Because it's awesome.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Retro Review: Green Arrow #90

As I said before, I wasn't a big fan of the Zero Hour mini DC did in the 90's but I thought most of the tie ins ranged from good to great. For those of you who don't know Zero Hour was a cosmic level event in which time and space were going nuts and breaking down. There's obviously more to it than that, but that's all you really need to know to enjoy most of the tie ins. In this issue we see Green Arrow going up against some street criminal when suddenly the world splits in two.
From that point on, without any dialogue, we see two different ways events could go, the top panels showing one way and the bottom the other with a white barrier between them. One results in Green Arrow getting killed by a hail of gunfire and the other Green Arrow ducks into an alley to avoid it, and then the two merge back into one.
We see the living Green Arrow standing over the dead one when Batman shows up to tell him he's needed. While not shown in this issue Hal Jordan was the one behind the events of Zero Hour and Green Arrow was brought along with the heroes that confronted Hal to try and appeal to him using their long standing friendship. After the living Green Arrow and Batman leave an EMT is seen carting off the dead Green Arrow before the world goes to white as it did in many Zero Hour issues.

Some of the writers of DC's various books really took advantage of the whole "broken time/reality" theme of this event to tell some pretty interesting tales. This is one of the best of the bunch. Not only does it take a look at how minor changes can drastically alter a series of events, which I've always loved, but it then brings the living Green Arrow face to face with the possibility of his own death that he faces every time he puts on the mask. The lack of dialogue, while it makes this a short read, also makes it more powerful. It forces you to take in every difference between the two versions. This is most definitely one of the best of the Zero Hour tie ins and if you haven't read it you should.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bechtloff Movie Night: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

I really loved the first Despicable Me, I feel it was the first Dreamworks animated film that rose up to the level of the Pixar movies they compete with. It was charming, memorable, funny and touching. And the sequel lives up to the original.

The plot revolves around Gru, now retired from villainy as he is recruited by the Anti-Villain-League and teamed up with Agent Lucy Wilde to go undercover and foil another villains plans. Gru develops a romance with Agent Lucy and must even save the majority of his minions from becoming mutated monsters.

This movie does a great job of moving Gru forward as a character rather than resetting him to the way he was last movie. Kristen Wiig does her Lola Bunny voice from the new Loony Tunes Show for agent Wilde and it works perfectly. The movie also gives us a little bit more of the show stealing minions than the first one did without making it all about them and beating them to death until they cease to be funny.

If you enjoyed the first movie you will love this one. So if you haven't already, you should see this movie. Although judging by the box office numbers most of America has already seen this.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What's on the Radio: Cups (When I'm Gone) by Anna Kendrick

This is an interesting little song currently making the rounds on the radio. It's odd for a number of reasons, first of all Anna Kendrick is primarily an actress not a singer. This song is from the movie Pitch Perfect which I didn't see because I thought it looked like a piece of crap. Also it's very short, clocking in at just over two minutes.

I feel like I shouldn't like this song. It's from a movie I thought looked terrible and lyrically it's pretty thin and vapid, even by pop music standards, but Anna's singing voice is just so damn sweet and adorable. Also the use of cups as a musical instrument (hence the title) makes for a really cool and unique sound.

So despite the fact that on paper I shouldn't like this song as all, I can't help but find myself loving this song and even singing along. Maybe I should actually check out that movie, although I don't think I should get my hopes up.

Really Todd?

So I recently started watching the Todd in the Shadows pop music review show on thatguywiththeglasses.com. I don't always agree with his opinions on various songs, but find the perspective interesting enough and the show pretty damn funny. So I thought, why not check out his twitter feed. I went to click follow and I got this message "You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.".

At first I thought it was a mistake. I had never tweeted at Todd, and aside from a few "Nice video" type comments I had not communicated at all with this man. Why the hell am I blocked? Then I remembered I had been blocked by Nostalgia Chick AKA Lindsay Ellis about a year ago for daring to question her opinion on Obamacare. As I understand it Todd and Lindsay are apparently an item so I guess that's why.

Now when Lindsay blocked me I said on this blog that I wasn't mad, I was just disappointed. Now I'm not even disappointed, I'm more curious. Is this a standard procedure on Mr Ellis' part, to block whoever his girl blocks, or was I a particular exception? Does she tell him to do it? How the hell does that conversation go? "Honey I want you to block these people I blocked, just on the off chance, say a year down the road, they want to follow you." or maybe it made her so mad that she called him crying that I was mean to her on twitter, and he said "I'll show him!" or was it more her saying "I better not catch you talking to that asshole!". I mean good Lord man, I've never been as whipped by a woman as that and I have literally been whipped by a woman.

Interestingly enough I can still follow her two sidekicks Nella and Maven (I checked), not that I want to (I promptly Unfollowed).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Getting Gibbed Episode III

So here's Episode III of the Getting Gibbed podcast I do with Chace and Nick. Topics include video games we'd like to see comics made of, super hero games, and video game crossover. I don't wanna brag, but it just might be the greatest thing ever recorded. Check it out here.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sally Acorn in Sonic 1. I must have it.

I talked before on here about Sonic Megamix, a fan made mix up of Sonic 1 with Shadow and Mighty added. Well in the weeks since I've discovered there are tons of these fan made games out there. Many are old games with the levels completely changed around to make new games, like Sonic Megamix or Legend of Zelda: Outlands, where as some like this are just old games with different playable characters.

 This one has taken Princess Sally Acorn from the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic and put her in Sonic 1. That's so damn cool, I've always wanted Sega to use her in the games.  The game play is way different. She doesn't use a spin attack when she jumps but rather she can use her handheld computer/sidekick/all purpose tool and weapon Nicole to fire an energy burst to attack what's directly in front of her. I think as I watched the game play she can kill robots by jumping on them with her boots but I'm not sure. You can watch a run through of the entire game here.

I haven't gotten my hands on this game because so far I can only find it for download on my computer or a Sega CD. I want to try and find it as a Genesis cartridge. I might end up giving up and just getting it on my laptop but for now I have hope that someone put it on a cartridge.