Thursday, November 15, 2018

Facebook Stuffing

The following are some posts I've posted to Facebook with some commentary:


This really is my third favorite film of the year. Infinity War is number one, Black Panther is number two then Bohemian Rhapsody at three. So in actuality it is my favorite non-comic book movie of 2018! 
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Then I got this response...



Again I really like that song, and it would be a fitting tribute for someone like Johnny Cash himself who had issues with drugs and addictions. Stan Lee had none of those issues so to use it in a tribute video is not appropriate in my view. ALSO Stan Lee did not create or write for the character Wolverine, and this video had more images of that character than any other. DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE. 
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee: Rest in Peace



Today the world lost comic book legend Stan 'The Man' Lee. He was 95 years old. He created and co-created some of the most iconic comic book characters since the 1940's including: Spiderman, The X-Men, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Ant Man, Iron Man, The Hulk...and many more. He was also famous for writing 'Captain America' prior and during World War II  (Captain America was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon).

Aside from writing and creating for comic books he was a veteran of World War II. He also has made cameos in every MCU film and many other cameos in other Marvel films (that were not created by MCU). He appeared as himself in the Kevin Smith film 'Mall Rats' and in an episode of 'The Simpsons'. He also did a lot of voice work in the Marvel cartoons over the years.

On a personal note I have always considered him one of my heroes because I have always wanted to be a comic book writer and creator. I had a chance to meet him in 2012 at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. I got a pic taken with him and my son Bailey. When we were done the photo and the ushers were moving us along to make way for other fans getting their pictures taken with him I quickly turned to him and said "Thanks for everything Stan". He didn't reply as we were being ushered out of the photo area but I am forever grateful I was able to tell him that.

 
Rest in Peace Stan.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Remember to Remember




Today we remember the veterans who fought and at times died for our freedom; the freedom that we all take for granted. So today wear a poppy, take some time to reflect on their sacrifices and if possible attend a Remembrance Day service.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Rethinking our Thinking: Bullying in the Science Fiction Community

Unfortunately the way I see it the utopian/socialist future that is depicted within the Star Trek franchise will never come to pass. It's simply human nature to want to be better than your neighbor, to be superior to others in some way shape or form. And because of that nature I honestly believe we will never achieve Gene Roddenberry's vision he had for a better future for humanity. Now don't get me wrong I would love to live in that type of future: where someone is not limited by their financial situation, ethnicity, or any of the other numerous things that hold people back now a days. But I just can't see human nature changing as dramatically as it is portrayed in Star Trek. There is always going to be bullies that live among us, people whose instinct it is to push others down to make themselves superior.

As science fiction fans we tend to have a reputation for being nice people, but unfortunately that is misleading as there are many bullies in the science fiction community. Recently I've had to deal with one of these people, someone whom I thought was a nice person was actually a wolf wearing sheep's clothes.

Now I've never been one to shy away from my opinion, especially nowadays with the invention of social media, and it being so readily available for anyone to share their opinions on, I choose to do that. I also write a blog which I update several times a month, where I give reviews and insights into the things that I am reading, watching or doing, but my opinions are just that: MY opinions. Also for years I used to offer my opinions and insights on the various Podcasts that I was a part of. But as a general rule I don't impose my opinions on anyone, and I try my best to respect other people's opinions (unless they are completely out to lunch for example if they involve racism). But sometimes it does get hard being a science fiction fan and just being a person when you're dealing with bullies. Bullies that demand that their opinions mean more than yours; one area where you see this a lot is in sports.

“My team is better than yours” Is a phrase that is often tossed around between sports fan rivals. People are passionate about the teams and players for which they cheer for so much so that this rivalry that exists between fans of opposing teams sometimes escalates into violence. An obvious example that comes to mind is the soccer (football) riots that sometimes occur around the world. But what comes to my mind recently with myself is a debate I had with a gentleman who is a Calgary fan. You see I'm in Edmonton fan: Edmonton Oilers (hockey) and Edmonton Eskimos (Canadian Football). For as long as I can remember being an Edmonton fan has always been an important part of my life. Growing up I remember watching the Oilers win their five Stanley Cups, and I watched the Eskimos win several Grey Cups. But if you're a Calgary fan I can see it being hard to dispute an Edmonton fan considering Calgary has so many fewer cups than their Edmonton rivals (Edmonton Stanley Cups: 5. Calgary: 1. Edmonton Grey Cups: 14. Calgary 7). When I pointed out Edmontons superior statistics to this “gentleman” Calgary fan his response was vulgarity. Instead of coming up with an intelligent argument or retort his response was to simply call me names and get ignorant. He told me that he hated people from Edmonton and their fans, and he also told me to “eat a bag of dicks”. I tried my hardest to debate him on an intellectual level but that was beyond him and he resorted to bullying in order to defend his team and his “honour” as he saw it. I have since removed him as a Facebook “friend”. Ironically I also was attacked on social media by this same person for my views on Star Trek Discovery.

I ‘friended’ this Individual because he has been a moderator at a science fiction convention that I frequent. He seemed like a nice person when I met him, but once he began commenting on some of my Facebook posts I became aware of his negativity and his bullying tendencies. I did a review of ‘Star Trek Discovery’ on my blog which I posted to my social media accounts. Put simply I am not a fan of the new Star Trek series. When this series was originally proposed the creators promised fans that the show would be in continuity, and be respectful to the history of Star Trek that came before it. But right out of the gate, right with episode one it was clear that the creators were rewriting history to suit their own purposes. Ignoring years of continuity the creators of the new show did what they wanted to do. Which I'm fine with had they said that from the beginning. If they had told us that they were rebooting the show, retooling it the way that they saw fit in order to tell the stories that they wanted to tell I would've been fine with that, I wouldn't have been happy but I would be fine with it. But the fact that they went out of their way to assure Star Trek fans that they were not going to change continuity and then they did change continuity: I had a problem with that. Obvious examples being: Spock’s human sister, the look and behaviour of the Klingons, the look of warp drive, etc...are all things that were changed within Star Trek continuity for this new series. So when I shared my views on social media this gentleman immediately blasted me for my opinion. But as I said this guy is a moderator at conventions and I know he has met several stars of the new Star Trek series. So to say that he has a vested interest in singing the praises of the new Star Trek series would be a fair statement I think. So instead of respecting my opinion on the show and accepting it for what it is, MY OPINION, he took to blast me for my opinion on social media, again at time using vulgarity to get his point across. I was made to look and feel like an idiot because I didn't share his positive view on the new Star Trek.

The way I see things if you like the new Star Trek series that's fine. I identify as a lifelong fan of the franchise but even prior to the new series I did have some issues with some of the other series that took place. I had issues with Star Trek Enterprise, and I had issues with Star Trek Voyager. I even had some issues with the first couple seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation, so although I do consider myself a “Star Trek fan” I don't like everything that has ever been produced by the franchise. But for some reason when it comes to this new Star Trek series it seems that the people that don't like it are ridiculed and shit on by the fans of the new series. Actually it's not some reason, I think I know the reason why this happens. It's because this is the first Star Trek series to take place AFTER social media has become so prominent in our lives. So the fact of the matter is these bullies that are showing themselves within social media have probably always been there all along, they just never had a forum from which to spread their hate like they have now.

There is a 'Babylon 5' group I am a member of on Facebook. It was a science fiction television series that was on the airwaves from 1993-1998. It was a great series and way ahead of its time; so when I found this group on Facebook that loved that series as much as I did I was initially excited. Then as time went on (and Trump became President) this group became a forum for the Republican party of the United States. Some of these fans of Babylon 5 are now using this forum to preach Trump ideals and hatred, most posts nowadays have absolutely nothing to do with the B5 television series. And when others speak out against the right wing views expressed by these people they are bullied. I have since ignored this group but stay attached to it because there are some good people on there that I do like to hear from.

When attending a comic con in 2014 I was surprised to see a sign posted in various areas of the venue:


So these signs were posted because it seems some within the science fiction fandom thought it was alright to touch others inappropriatly because of the costumes they were wearing. To me its just common sense that if a woman is dressed as 'Slave Leia' doesn't mean I have the right to grab her ass or tits. Again this is common sense...or so I thought. But these signs had to be created in order to inform those individuals that their behaviour will not be tolerated. I wonder how many of these people are also among the bullies I speak of?

It just makes me sad to see fandom represented this way. For years science-fiction fans were seen as friendly and tolerant towards one another. They seemed to be respectful of each other's opinions but now it seems we're no different than sports fans or any other group where bullying, inappropriate behaviour and intolerance is allowed to grow and flourish.

Sad days indeed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Comic Book Television: Too much of a good thing?


It wasn’t that long ago when the only comic book-like characters on TV could be found in shows like ‘Heroes’ and ‘The Cape’. Now we have a smorgasbord of comic book TV shows and for most people there is so much content it is impossible to view it all (unless your unemployed I guess). There is so much that I have had to pick and choose what to watch and what not to watch. Here’s a quick breakdown:

 

Netflix/Marvel Shows:
 

Season 2 for both Luke Cage and Iron Fist was an improvement from their first seasons but sadly the improvements were not enough and both shows were cancelled. Mike Colter as ‘Luke Cage’ is brilliant in the role; I would even go so far as to say he was born to play the character. I really hope they use him in future Marvel TV or film projects. Iron Fist on the other hand just never really hit for me. Their portrayal of Danny Rand just fell flat. He is supposed to be a kung fu master yet season one there were very few fights. And the fights that did occur were really laughable. Season 2 was a slight improvement but not much. It is my hope they will combine both these characters in a ‘Heroes for Hire’ TV series, which is what they should have done to begin with.

Season 3 of Daredevil was great in my opinion. The story, the fights, the cast, everything was just right for this season. Season one was great too, season two was not as good but they did introduce the Punisher and Elektra into the mix.

Season 2 of Jessica Jones was definitely not as good as season one. Season 2 lacked a compelling villain. David Tenant as ‘Killgrave’ hit it out of the park, and he is in my opinion THE BEST villain in all the MCU (movies included).

 

CW/Arrowverse Shows:
 
 

I stopped watching these shows a few years ago despite having good actors and good stories. The formula they all follow is what ruined them for me: Arrow, Flash, Legends, Supergirl all have the same format: title character surrounded by a ‘team’ which help them solve problems and save the day. As time goes on the ‘team’ members themselves gain powers, abilities and take center stage from time to time. This is easily forgiven in ‘Legends’ since they are in fact a team show, the rest it just gets too be too much following all these less interesting characters around. Plus the 22+ episode seasons do not help!! Sorry Stephen Amell, you are a great guy and it was a thrill to meet you but I can’t commit to a 22+ television season with so many other shows trying for my attention.

 
Others:



I watched ‘Legion’ season one and was intrigued, especially with Aubrey Plaza. She is fantastic in this show. But season 2 lost me right away and I haven’t gone back to watch.

 

I have not checked out any of the other shows I’ve heard of: Titans, The Gifted, Cloak & Dagger, Gotham, etc. I am looking forward to a ‘Doom Patrol’ show because I have been a fan of the comic since I was a kid. I think that launches early next year.

 

And finally DC: Make a Batman TV series already! Not a young Alfred show or young Gordon show or Batwoman show, I want a honest to goodness serious (not Adam West) Batman series! Call up HBO, they do awesome TV like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Westworld’, I’m sure they’d love to tackle a Batman series!

 

Nuff Said.  

 

Friday, October 5, 2018

My Enemy

I've been debating whether to blog about this and I have finally decided to set the record straight. This post will go a few places so bear with me. 

Recently I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about author Harlan Ellison, who passed away this year. He was a controversial guy who had a lot of enemies out there which made me conclude I really don't have any enemies. There were a few guys in high school and after that I got in conflict with but nothing too serious and nothing lasting. Then I received a call from my Mom Wednesday morning to tell me that an acquaintance  made a very ignorant comment on my Facebook post from August 28th where I mentioned it was Crystal and I's anniversary. It was a confusing and rude comment and I have since deleted it and blocked this person from my Facebook, all FOUR different Facebook accounts he has. This "acquaintance" is the ex-common law husband of a friend of Crystals. This guy is a real piece of garbage and I will not name him here as to avoid any legal trouble, but here are some facts about he who shall not be named: He began dating Crystal's friend when she was 14 years old and he was 29-30 years old. He's always been a pot head for as long as we have known him but the last few years he has moved on to meth and probably some other "hard" drugs I suspect. A few years ago he dumped his common-law wife (Crystal's friend) to be with another woman. When that relationship only lasted a week he expected to take up with his ex as if nothing happened. She told him no and over the course of several years she has been the victim of stalking, threats and death threats of which he was actually jailed for. 

Anyway a couple years back he was on one of his Facebook accounts and making false claims that his ex wife's current boyfriend was a pedophile, ironic considering he was at one time a 30 year old man dating a 14 year old but I digress. My son went on FB and defended the man he was speaking against as we know these accusations to be untrue, which he later removed from his FB when questioned by the police about making false accusations. Anyway my son then became a target of this asshole: he got into a public war of words with my son on FB. He even went so far as to leave a message on my wife's phone where he told her to "shut up your fucking kid if you know what's good for you", unfortunately this message was deleted otherwise I would have shared it with the cops. He even began to follow my son, who had just turned 16 and had a car of his own, around town in his truck. Did I mention this guy got fired from his job due to not passing a drug test; yep he sure did. Anyway one of these times he actually pursued my sons car at higher that normal town speeds. This scared my son and all of us so I took my son down to the cop shop to give a statement. Sadly all the cops could do was talk to the asshole as their FB exchange had been deleted by him and my son had no proof he had been in a car chase with him. Ironically the cop told him to next time if he was chasing him and/or stalking him in his truck for my son to record it with his cell phone. 

So here we were: this piece of shit had threatened and scared my son and the cops could do nothing about it. The next evening I went to the pub with some friends and had a few too many to drink. Now as I walked home in my drunkin stupor I decided I was going to have a talk with this asshole as he lived at the time only a few blocks from my house. I asked him to come out and face me and I told him if he was man enough to terrorize a 16 year old boy he could be man enough to face me, he refused. But I seemed to have scared him as he left my boy alone after that and he has not left any messages on my wife's phone. Now over 2 years later he left an ignorant comment on my FB post. As I said I have since blocked all FOUR Facebook accounts he has. 

This man is 53 years old, he has done jail time for making death threats, he is a drug addict and he lives in my community. He is my enemy and if he threatens my family again I will do everything in my power to see he goes back to jail.