Month: October 2011

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: Raccoon Consumption Stops Drug Consumption

In Tennessee, all a man wanted to do was barbecue a raccoon.  Apparently this was peculiar enough that the cops came by to see what was up.  I’m unclear if cooking raccoon is illegal in Tennessee–it certainly should be–or if there might have been some concern as to how the meat was procured.  While they were there it turned out they discovered the chef’s brother’s supply of ingredients for cooking crystal meth.  The meth-head is now in jail.  Raccoon cooker is not in any trouble … although his neighbors probably won’t be eating over at his place anytime ever.

Parking Lot Barbecue Leads Police to Illegal Drug Lab (KSDK News)

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They’ve Taken What Once Was Great and Made it Glorious

Much like Jason Vorheese in the classic sci-fi horror film Jason X, the notorious KFC Famous Bowl has gotten an upgrade: they now feature bacon and more cheese!  For a review of all the heart-stopping (literally) goodness, check out The Impulsive Buy, one of my favorite blogs.

Sidenote: the day after I got fired from my last real job I went out and got a KFC Famous Bowl for lunch.  It seemed the only logical choice.

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: A Holocaust of Cuteness

I am incensed! I am at a loss! I am consumed by rage, indignation, and other things that happen when one is pissed off.  “Why,” you ask? 
Because this and next week is the World Champion Raccoon Hunt.  Sounds horrific, right?  I mean, the whole thing is based on whether prize dogs are good at tracking and sighting raccoons.  The animals are not physically harmed in the hunts.  
But what about psychologically?  How would you like to be hunted for almost two weeks?  Wouldn’t that stress you out? 

Fact or Whoa!

You know, you have admire SyFy’s quest to seek the lowest common denominator.  I mean, they’ve always specialized in insulting stupid entertainment (except when they had the show SF Vortex back in the 90’s, which featured diatribes by Harlan Ellison.)  Earlier this year they showed a program called Legend Quest which was about a man incapable of shutting up, going to places in search of mystic relics which he never found, but expounded endlessly on how he practically did find them.  It was incredibly annoying.  Not that I’m averse to annoying, one of my favorite shows to hate is Ghost Adventures, and that’s pretty much the definition of “annoying.”

SyFy also has a “reality” show titled Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files (so as to distinguish it from Fact or Faked: Sports Achievements and Fact or Faked: Sandwiches.)  This one is okay.  In it, a team of “experienced” researchers, photographers, and even an FBI agent review footage of paranormal events then set out to determine whether it’s real.  I used quotes around the word experienced because, not necessarily to be ageist, but these people look just old enough to have barely any practical experience.  They were clearly chosen more for the photogenic qualities than skills:

Their former FBI agent looks almost 40 trying to pass for almost 30. The women are both very “central casting” in appearance and the whole thing seems more like it belongs in the Beverly Hills 90210 (the original series) universe where 30 year old actors were passed off as high school students.

The other problem was the logic (or lack thereof) of the researchers. It’s done to pad out the hour-long run time but they often take tortuous logical paths to resolve their mysteries.  On one investigation, to solve whether a gravity hill was a genuine paranormal experience, they went through rigorous experiments involving lasers and recreating events when the matter could have been resolved simply by dumping a bucket of water on the hill to see which direction the water flowed (they eventually concluded that it was an optical illusion and that the reason cars rolled “up hill” was because it was, in fact, going down.)  In the most recent episode they investigated a supposed video of a ghost skulking about in an old cemetery.  After very convincingly recreating the effect by simply running some vehicles along the nearby road they refuse to conclude that just because the video could be recreated that it meant there wasn’t a ghost.

At that point, what’s the point of the program?  Is it a skeptical program?  Are they there to enforce belief in the paranormal like Ghost Hunters does (even though they sometimes debunk some phenomena they very clearly believe in the paranormal)?  Or is it just nonsense with a bunch of pretty people bumbling around, failing to operate logically, and getting paid what’s probably too much to do all that?

Yeah, I’m jealous.

The 80’s are Back (Now in Comic Book Form!)

It’s not just the movie theaters being assailed by endless reboots as the 80’s revisit their glory days on modern audiences.  It’s a trend now appearing in your local comic book store!  Paradoxically, I’m totally psyched by that news.

First, it seems this 80’s revival is mostly being fueled by a single company, IDW Publishing.  It’s a comic book company that has made the easy route of comic printing of going with established properties.  I can’t blame them; unless you’re one of the big boys, DC or Marvel, it can be very difficult to be successful in the comic book industry with original content.

First there’s the Godzilla series.  Yes, I know that Godzilla is not tied to the 1980’s.  But throughout my childhood, in the 80’s, I have fond memories of watching the big G stomping cities and monsters on the local Fox affiliate on weekend afternoons.  I bought the first issue of this series and read through it in something like 2 minutes.  It had a running gag of people saying “you’ve got to be f—ing kidding me!” in reference to Godzilla’s resistance to their attempts to destroy him.  The gag wasn’t that funny.  Also I think they killed a couple of children at the very start.  Overall it … made me not bother buying any additional issues.

Then there’s a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This was a weird thing to read.  It was a reboot of the series, throwing together various versions of the characters’ origins with new twists.  The whole thing felt bizarrely accelerated.

After that was a new Ghostbusters series. What drew me to this series was the art, which was an eye-catching amalgamation of the actors from the live-action movie and the designs of the Saturday morning cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters.  I’ve pondered the Ghostbusters fandom in the past; they focus too much on the films (and even then, usually ignoring the sequel which was, by all accounts, inferior) while ignoring the fact that much of what’s canon to the series was established in the cartoons.  Much the same way that the majority of what people like about Predator (their iconic weapons and connection to the Alien franchise) came from the much maligned Predator 2. If you were a kid in the 80’s and a fan of the Ghostbusters, it was because you watched the cartoon with pavlovian devotion each week, and not because of the movie.  On top of that, NOW Comics‘ Real Ghostbusters series was the first comic book series I read, so I have a certain affection for the series.

Anyway, I liked the more cartoon-like art.  Previous series have leaned too heavily toward moody, dark art that concentrated on the horror aspect of the Ghostbusters to the point of completely neutering the comedy.  This series looks like it will stick to being lighthearted enough to not go that route.  I’ll look forward to reading the series as TPBs.