Two words anime fans will always find themselves being called are weeb and otaku. Let’s look at what exactly these terms mean and whether they are being used in good faith or as a slur.

Ever since my infatuation with anime many years ago, I’ve only begun to notice the crude disposition many people feel towards those who enjoy Japanese games, comics and of course anime. To be even more specific, this degrading viewpoint of an entire fanbase is primarily targeted to those who enjoy the aforementioned cultures of Japan, but are not of Japanese ethnicity themselves. This unfair and hostile treatment towards a select group of people who happen to have an interest outside of their own culture is an ongoing occurrence that needs to be properly analyzed and discussed.

Nobody is safe on the internet

Whenever I’m browsing YouTube, Reddit or Twitter, my personal holy trinity of websites at any given time, there are always two words that get thrown around when anime becomes the main topic of discussion. The terms weeb or weeaboo is the first phrase that always attracts my attention. I’ve seen friends call each other this name in a joking manner, but I’ve also seen it used as a direct insult in online arguments between two complete strangers. According to Japan Powered, a website that discusses everything Japanese and anime related, the word weeaboo is a slang term derived from the two words “wannabe” and “white.” Its earliest usage dates back in the infamous online chat rooms of 4chan, when they would use it to insult obsessive and obnoxious anime fans.

In a 2012 study of weeaboo culture by author Jennifer Mcgee, she claims a weeaboo is “simply a Westerner who is an overly-enthusiastic fan of Japanese culture.” If that’s the case, then how exactly did it manifest to become such a derogatory slur against the anime and Japanese culture communities? Mcgee continues by stating the term is used for those who “break social boundaries,” such as poor usage of the Japanese language and overusing terms that are commonly used in anime. In other words, it’s when anime fans butcher the Japanese language or culture in an attempt to imitate their favourite characters, but in turn, sound and appear as nothing more than a mockery of Japan. These overbearing fans became such a nuisance that weeaboo was created in order to disrespect and, in some extreme scenarios, dehumanize them.

To my surprise, I still get called a weeb by my friends and online users from time to time. I too am not exempt from this term used to shun fans of Japanese culture who are not of the same ethnicity, or so I thought. In actuality, the term weeb and weeaboo have become so overused all throughout social media and other popular websites that it has become a generic term used to describe all fans of Japanese culture, mainly anime fans. This Reddit post seems to understand my pain all too well. However, one of the commenters from that post explains the term weeb has been self-used by the anime community for some time now, and that it is used to separate occasional watchers from die-hard fans.

From my understanding, the term has gained so much traction that it has lost most of its meaning. The misuse of the term weeb, which originated as an insult to annoying fans of Japanese culture but has since shifted to simply anyone who consumes anime or manga, is a troubling development that transforms a demeaning phrase with a prolifically racist history to an uplifting status, which apparently some people take pride in.

Origins of Otaku

The second term I see time and time again is otaku. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, otaku is an actual Japanese word that originated years before weeb came into existence. According to Tofugu, a website focused on learning the Japanese language, “media and cultural trends have shaped the term’s popular perception over time.” They continue by stating otaku was used by Japanese people as a term for those who consume a ton of anime and manga. Tofugu explains how Japanese people needed a word to connect with others of similar interest and otaku fit the bill perfectly. In general, the word otaku appears to be a mutual and friendly term used by experienced anime fans.

“I think folks outside of Japan use the term otaku to generally refer to folks who enjoy anime culture,” said Japanese culture enthusiast and TV personality Danny Choo. “Generally speaking, more folks outside of Japan would call themselves an otaku.” Despite otaku being generally received as a positive representation of anime fans, it unfortunately still gets misused as an insult directed towards those who are obsessed with Japanese culture, much like the term weeb. Tofugu explains how the degrading connotation associated with the word otaku might have a lot to do with the wicked 1988 to 1989 murders in Japan by Tsutomu Miyazaki, described by local reporters to be an otaku. Ever since then, otaku were perceived to be those who stayed alone in their homes for months at a time, doing nothing else other than watching anime, reading manga or playing games. Although otaku started off as a positive remark for anime fans, it gradually changed to possess some derogatory notions suggested towards someone’s recluse and potentially sociopathic lifestyle

Hatred breeds more hatred

The two words otaku and weeabo were created for distinct purposes, but since then their meanings have evidently been reshaped to convey the opposite. Where weeaboo was once coined to insult overly-enthusiastic fans of Japanese culture, it has now become a title anime fans have found pride in. On the contrary, otaku was made to help identify and connect with other anime and manga fans but has now turned into yet another derogatory term for those passionate about Japanese culture. It is without a doubt the perception of these two words have changed significantly, but one thing remains certain, they are two of the most commonly used words to blatantly disrespect fans of anime and Japanese culture in general.

I try my best to not let the words of others irritate me, especially when they are the ones casted over the endless boundaries of the internet, behind the comfort of anonymity, but I can’t deny the terms weeb and otaku irritate and possibly offend me to no end. I had no idea two words could conflict this much hate and animosity towards a particular group of people with niche interest, but that is apparently what it has come down to. Anime fans have faced this type of persecution for years and will continue to bear the onslaught of derogatory terms, with the main perpetrators being weeb and otaku, for as long as the internet is around, and that is deeply concerning.

My advice to those caught in the receiving end of this backlash is to ignore it and move on. The people who purposely try to insult or humiliate the interest of others for any reason are a special breed of individuals who don’t deserve your attention. It’s not a foolproof method for defending one’s self against the legion of baseless haters, but it is the reality we as a contemporary society live in, and one that we must overcome at all cost. 

While this site has primarily been focused on the more Scientific and Fantastic elements of the world, I’d be remiss if I missed the latest episode of Sherlock (it’s only been 2 years – but who’s counting).  After all, I am a SuperWhoLock fan & I’m guessing so are you!

While the biggest complaint I have for Sherlock – which I’m sure is echoed by many – is its lack of continuity – i.e. the huge gap in between seasons, not so much in the story itself, the addition of a Christmas Special was a good way to help tide the gap between seasons.  Sadly with Benedict Cumberbatch going the way of Hollywood (you do know he’s the next Doctor Strange in the Marvel Universe don’t you?) I expect that this gap will not get any shorter and we might have to either say adieu to him as the titular character or get used to even longer gaps between seasons.

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The Case at hand

Previous episodes and seasons of Sherlock have focused to a very large factor on the modern day era vs. how the character was actually written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  This episode, however, puts our characters into that long ago & bygone era and has us deal with a murder somewhat dissimilar to one we’ve grown accustomed to from our favorite sleuthing duo.  The mystery of the story is that of the deceased Mrs. Ricoletti, who after randomly firing at people in the street blows the top of her head off with her last shot. Inspector Lestrade fearfully recounts how Mr. Ricoletti was murdered the evening after by… Mrs. Ricoletti. Sherlock takes the case but for several months, nothing happens until more deaths occur at the apparent hands of the vengeful Mrs. Ricoletti.

Mycroft & Lady Carmichael

When Sherlock meets his brother Mycroft, he puts him in contact with another victim of Mrs. Ricoletti and asks him to take the case.  While Mycroft (who is massively corpulent) indicates that he’s already solved the case (and in fact informs Sherlock its a case that he MUST lose) he wants Sherlock to take it on to see if he comes up with a different solution.  Mycroft makes a bet with Sherlock to see if he can solve it and Sherlock meets up with Lady Carmichael.  Lady Carmichael recounts how her husband had seen the ghost of Mrs. Ricoletti in their garden and she’s frightened that he will be her next victim.  Sherlock agrees to take the case and informs her that her husband will be protected.  When Sherlock meets up with Eustace Carmichael, he denies any connection to Mrs. Ricoletti but is murdered soon after.

Watson and Sherlock had staked out the Carmichael’s country mansion. On the night of the murder they see an apparition of Mrs. Ricoletti, but Watson fails to pursue her. Sherlock becomes scared when a note is found on Eustace from Moriarty after he has inspected the body. Mycroft berates Sherlock for his failure in dealing with the case. That evening Sherlock takes a large amount of cocaine and undergoes a vision of Moriarty. After taunting Sherlock that he is more than a figment Moriarty again commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Moriarity & Sherlock

If you recall from Season 2 and the somewhat amazing finale, Moriarity was Sherlocks most able nemesis and he had seemingly killed himself at the end of the Season by committing suicide. Now while Sherlock himself seemingly plunged to his death at the conclusion of that season only to return from the beyond in Season 3, could Moriarity have also returned from the dead somehow?  The conclusion or finale to Season 3 definitely seemed to imply that he had.

The Addict & the Abominable Bride

Sherlock as we’ve learned previously is not afraid of experimenting on himself with drugs if it will help him solve a case.  Well in a twist that I wasn’t really expecting, it seems the whole case of the Abominable Bride was in fact Sherlock under the influence and in his mind palace trying to solve a long-dormant case! When he wakes up back in the plane, we realize that the case we’ve been following is something long lost to history – and while he’s not fully out of the woods in regards to his drug overdose, now that we understand why he’s in the Victorian era it starts to make sense, but in a somewhat sad way, we also lose the magic that was prevalent in that version of Holmes and Watson.

Sherlock then wakes up back in the Victorian age. At an abandoned church in the countryside Mary reveals she has been working for Mycroft trying to solve the case. In the church they discover a group of woman dressed as cultists. Sherlock reveals to them he knows how they faked Ricoletti’s suicide and used her haunting to go after men they deemed unworthy.  They are the precursors to the woman’s sufferage movement and are trying to gain acceptance for women in society.

Now while the whole case might have been nothing more than a drug-induced coma, it does allow Sherlock to deduce (after a further confrontation with Moriarity at the Reichenbach falls) that Moriarity is truly dead.  Someone else is using his likeness for their own nefarious purposes.  This special episode of Sherlock is hard to judge. It is an improvement over season 3, but the fun and mystery of the first two season’s has yet to return. To sum things up, the first half hour of The Abominable Bride was a bit boring. Sure it was fun to see how Watson and Sherlock became friends in 1895 and how it mirrored the pilot episode. It was also fun to see how certain female characters were interwoven into the story.   The Abominable Bride has a number of big reveals at the end. As a viewer I was only interested in one. How did Mrs. Ricoletti rise was from the grave to kill her husband after her apparent suicide. The revelations that she and her female conspirators left a dead look alike at the scene of the suicide felt novel. That they later on switched the body with that of the real Mrs. Ricoletti, who committed suicide just for the occasion, reminded me of the how good things were during the first two seasons.

Was this one of the better episodes? … well compared to Season 1 and 2, probably not.  It was good as a standalone episode, and was also generally better than most of Season 3, however the best part of the episode was probably simply the return to our screens of Sherlock and Watson!

While I’m personally still waiting for the Wheel of Time to be made into a series of movies or episodic TV shows, the Shannara Chronicles based on Terry Brooks amazing series – the  Sword of Shannara is definitely a good placeholder!

The Sword of Shannara’s events take place 2000 years in our future after a nuclear war wiped out the majority of humanity.  Due to the massive damage from the bombs, not only was the landscape itself drastically changed but due to the excess radiation, mankind mutated into races that we’re more familiar with from myths and legends.  While elves themselves returned to Earth from their hiding, man is now present as Dwarves, Gnomes and Trolls.

In this new world, magic has been rediscovered but science and technology has been lost.

Hopefully this show is done better than the quite horrible Legend of the Seeker.  While I never enjoyed that book as much as I did Shannara, it was still awful to see what they did to/with the story there as it definitely deserved a lot more.  Fortunately Game of Thrones has raised the bar for the fantasy genre quite significantly since that time though and here’s hoping the directors, actors and writers have paid attention!

I was just made aware of something today. Something very interesting that there appears to be a secret cabal that lurks in the shadows too deprive or hold down the number of successful men writing comics. With a powerful and systematic campaign to publicly smear a single person. If your not sure what I’m referring too I am speaking of Chris Sims a senior editor for the Comic Alliance and the recent announcement that he will be penning X-men 92′ and the resurgence of an issue hopefully many of you were already aware of.

The long and the short of it is before Comic Alliance hired Sims as a freelancer he over a period of 3 years harassed and tortured a fellow blogger and comics writer Valerie D’Orazio. To the point where it caused great harm to this women. In D’Orazio’s own blog she has detailed in great length the long lasting effects of Sims systematic and relentless online harassment which seems to be have spurned by nothing more the fact that she was a women writing comics.

Here is an exert from Comics Alliance current statement on the situation.

“Someone was targeting Chris not out of a sense of justice, but because they wanted to destroy his success. The campaign may also have been one of several efforts we’re aware of to discredit Comics Alliance. These are not the tactics of progressives concerned about harassment in comics, but of agitators looking to tear down progressive voices — of which Chris is certainly one — using methods of harassment. (Notably, the messages referred to D’Orazio as “David’s wife,” rather than recognizing her as a person in her own right.)”

This is where the cabal comes in apparently, it seems to the be contention of Sims and CA that this very public and much spoken issue of Sims actions. That his actions and attitude towards a women working in comics were all kept a secret because the benefit to them is that at some point in the future they could bring it up too bring down a “progressive” writer who is concerned about harassment in the industry.

Comics Alliance speaks about efforts by people to discredit them I find absolutely laughable. They discredited themselves the day they hired him hot off the heels of harassing actions in private practice on his own blog. They discredited themselves in there statement too paint Sims as the “real” victim in this situation they discredit themselves in doing nothing earlier, they discredit themselves by defending his actions as that of something that was not truly performed by Sims but by the person he was years ago.

When you point a finger three more are pointing back at you and now because he finally sees the fingers pointing back he hurriedly issues an apology in an effort too do seemingly nothing but protect himself and his interests in writing assignment at Marvel.

From Sim’s apology

“ By the time I was smart enough to look at what I was doing in a larger context and ask myself if I was making things better or worse, irreparable harm had already been done. So if you take one piece of advice from me over all of this, it’s to ask yourself that question now, keep it in mind going forward, not just for yourself, but for those around you. I’m very lucky to have had people around me, both friends and people that I work with, that have done that for me, and it’s one of the reasons I try to be better and keep working to an industry where things I regret doing have no place. “

In the same breathe he attempts to evoke sympathy and a good old fashion lesson to the reader about not harassing and cyber bullying people when he has experienced exactly zero consequences for his own actions is hypocritical.

In the statement by Comics Alliance they recognize that in his message was not targeted at Val D’Orazio but only referring to her as “David’s wife”. But again he to my knowledge has not been chastised legally or by his current employers or even by his own continence. A very old saying came to mind while I was thinking about this situation sunshine is the best disinfectant. This subject needs to be out in the open we must discuss it in order to have any sort of integrity as an industry. It seems as if he has apologized to half a dozen people who are more involved with his career aspirations then to D’Orazio herself.

Current Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso addressed the issue saying

“ We had no knowledge of what transpired on the Internet between Chris and Valerie. We have since come to understand that several years ago both were active voices in the comics community — both were bloggers and Valerie wrote a couple of stories for Marvel, including a “Punisher” one-shot that I edited — that some sort of bad blood developed between them, and that Chris crossed lines in his treatment of Valerie that were indefensible, as he himself acknowledged.”

I challenge this statement and this attitude from a representative of Marvel itself. You simply cannot have this both ways being outspoken advocates against bullying and harassment in all forms and then reward someone who has acted with malice intent to a women who’s only crime was writing for your company. Again this is the sticking point for me as of yet Sims has faced no repercussions to his actions legally or personally. While yes he has taken a leave of absence from working for Comics Alliance he also took great pains too how this absence would be a great disruption to his income yet again trying too paint opinion in his favor.

Marvel I ask you truly consider your actions in giving this man a book you invite hypocrisy and scorn not only to yourself but to your loyal readers – Of which up til now I have been a proud and happy MMMS member.

Readers I ask you do you want this kind of attitude and discrimination in the comic book industry? That it took whispers on the Internet to bring this back to the surface and NOT by professionals and colleagues. If Marvel and the Comics Alliance and any one publishing or properly critiquing the industry want progress and change. They need to start by seeking out and encouraging women creators and holding up to the light it’s own faults and how they deal with these kinds of situations.

If you feel the same as I do please tell @Marvel and @comicsalliance and @axelalonsomarv why you don’t like this. You have a voice and I ask you use it but please be kind and articulate. The battle for equality dies with us if we do nothing.

Did this episode have it all?  Well lets see – we had Ward (yay he’s back!), we had HYDRA (and we even got a glimpse of the Baron himself), we had an amazing time with Cal (Kyle MacLaclan) on his “day out” and we even got to see Lincoln strut his stuff a little bit.  So yes, there was tons to enjoy in the most recent episode of SHIELD.  Was it perfect … no, but then it never is … there are always some little quibbling little details that are just annoying, but there was lots to love here as I’m sure you’ll agree.

In Frenemy we had Coulson, Hunter and Fitz track down and make an uneasy alliance with Ward.  Coulson offers to have Ward get a clean slate via the Tahiti protocol (yeah I don’t think anyone believes that Ward will go through with this) so that he can help him infiltrate HYDRA in an effort to track down Skye.  We had Cal returning to his home in Milwaukee (ostensibly to collect his belongings in an effort to make his stay in the Afterlife more comfortable) with Skye in tow.  We also had HYDRA tracking the comings and goings of Gordon and his Nightcrawler-esque powers using “quantum entanglement” to arrive in Milwaukee and the “Real” SHIELD hacking into Deathlok’s vision circuits to find out what Coulson and crew were up to so that they also arrived in Milwaukee!  Basically everyone ends up in Cal’s Milwaukee office building for a variety of misunderstandings, double-crosses and plans being kept secret from the audience and all of the differing storylines all converge together – finally – in an orgasm of destruction!

When Jiaying makes the decision that Cal can no longer stay in the Afterlife – due to the concern she has for her fellow Inhumans, Skye counters that simply dropping him on the side of the road like a puppy is both cruel and malicious.  She makes the very cogent argument that while he might not belong with them, he absolutely should not just be discarded as he will literally explode at the rejection.  Making a deal to tag along so that she can let him down gently, Cal and Skye travel to Milwaukee where his enthusiasm to spend some time with his daughter can almost literally be felt.  Cal – played so well by Kyle MacLachlan – can emote with the best and his delivery of lines like, “How about next time we grill?!” and “Big overdoer!” was hysterical, even as he showed the manic, dangerous side of Cal always lurking below the surface – one he’d later unleash on those Hydra agents.  When they do arrive in Milwaukee, Skye is able to “obtain” a cell phone which she uses to contact May and the others while searching for Coulson.  This action helps to get Bobbi and Mac to Milwaukee also.

Talking about Bobbi and Mac, I actually quite enjoyed the interaction between them at the start of the episode where they were discussing whether they’d made the right decisions to betray Coulson.  Their banter and sparring (both verbal and physical) was excellently portrayed and when Mac literally bounced off the floor of the training room after being thrown by Bobbi I thought that was just excellent! However much they might be questioning their previous decisions though – they are still all in to find out what Coulson is actually up to and while no mention is made of the Theta protocol from last week’s episode, you can see that this is very much in their mind.

While Skye is sightseeing in Milwaukee with her dad, Coulson has managed to track down and corral Ward and makes him an offer he can’t refuse.  While Ward seems to agree to this and gives up Bakshee in an effort to find out what HYDRA is up to with powered people, you just know that his end game is going to be something completely unexpected.  If we were betting people, after the first episode of this season aired we wouldn’t have put any money whatsoever on Ward getting a redemption – while there are some instances here where he seems to show some remorse (specifically in regards to Skye), his actions till now have only demonstrated that he is nothing if not extremely dangerous.  A complement that Coulson also pays him by bringing Deathlok to their initial meeting.

After Bakshee is able to organize a meeting – one that Mike Peterson (Deathlok) attends, Coulson, Hunter, Fitz, Ward and Agent 33 are able to see that HYDRA is also stalking Gordon and they hope that this will lead them to Skye – this is where Ward might start to change as the only thing he seems to care about, genuinely care about is Skye.  Tailing them in their Quinjet they all arrive in Milwaukee also and Ward/Coulson head off in search of Skye while simultaneously fighting off the forces of HYDRA.

Kyle MacLachlan at 43rd Emmy Awards ceremony
Kyle MacLachlan at 43rd Emmy Awards ceremony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bakshee meanwhile is seemingly NOT as brainwashed as we were led to believe as he manages to capture both Deathlok and Lincoln who were fighting each other, not really realizing that they were both there to protect and help Skye.  Perhaps he (Bakshee) has a larger role to play in this after all (?) unless the whole thing is still a long con and he’s actually following the orders of Ward and Agent33.

 

While Coulson and Skye finally get a chance to see other again … it really is a father/daughter moment … they are yanked apart again by Gordon.  Unfortunately Cal too joins in the teleport and you know that he is not going to be a happy camper when they get to the other side.  While he’s continued to help and save Skye/Daisy – he’s nothing if not disturbed and his temper is never that far away!

Some Quibbles & Thoughts

  • Skye/Daisy kind of “forgave” or empathized with Cal a bit too easily didn’t she?  Last week she had to almost be forced to have a dinner with him, but now she’s understanding him so well?  While her explanation made some sense – i.e. she’s been searching for her parents for so long and she did everything/anything to find them – I prefer to think that in reality she already had the idea that if she got out with him she could come up with a way of contacting SHIELD.  I like to think that she’s that devious/intelligent!
  • I hope that now that Skye has seen Coulson in person — even if it was in the unexpected company of Ward — we’ll see a bit more conflict between her SHIELD agent side and her reunited daughter side.  With both Cal and Coulson in her life she has to feel pulled in many different directions and while she doesn’t have all of the facts, she needs to wonder about the fact that SHIELD was both helping her and hunting her.
  • It was really, really good to have/see Ward again.  He’s definitely not reformed and seems to always have multiple plans underway. I’d hate to see them figure out a way to make him back into a good guy as he is an awesome villain – in fact the scene where May and the others back at SHIELD headquarters saw Coulson and Ward together was pretty priceless (even though it was 100% expected), as far as a big “Oh, crap” moment, seemingly reinforcing everyone’s worst fears about Coulson and what he’s been up to.  Unfortunately unless Ward becomes someone significantly greater than he is I do not see him staying around forever … I would expect that in an upcoming episode he is killed off while saving Skye giving him some (but not complete) redemption in the eyes of the world and SHIELD.
  • There were several Age of Ultron moments – the Baron, experiments on powered people – sprinkled throughout the show and it’s quite possible that the April UK release is going to give all of us some interesting tie-ins and details! There were also references to Raina and her precog talents … this is definitely going to be important in the future.

News and Gossip

Finally some rumors … there has long been speculation about an upcoming Agents of SHIELD spin-off … yesterday it was announced that this show would focus on Bobbi and Hunter and to be honest I’m a bit torn about this.  I absolutely love the interaction between the characters themselves – it’s very Mr. & Mrs. Smith with the bickering exes that do spy work together to be honest – and while I can see Hunter being a great standalone character, I’m actually not as enamored of Bobbi.  I know this is probably surprising as most reviewers like her character, but her motivations and reasons for betraying Coulson and team leave nothing more than a sour taste in my mouth and I really don’t know if I can allow myself to trust her (character) in the future.  Together they absolutely do add “something” to the show, but I also believe that the show could have done without her character and managed with a “throw away” mole within HYDRA to serve as Simmons rescuer.

All that being said though – you know me … I’m a Marvel junkie and I’ll be the first in line to watch this and report out to you all my thoughts when it finally does appear on our screens!

Hopefully you’ve read my previous post about Phoenix: The Radio Play (by the way, if you search Zone6 for Phoenix you’ll also find the awesome list of the best XMen stories with the Dark Phoenix … I really can’t recommend this comic book enough) you’ll and have learned all about my first celebrity encounter with Scott Fivelson and all of his amazing works.  Well Scott recently contacted me to let me know that Phoenix: The Radio Play is also available in audio format from the Cleveland Radio Players.  You can purchase it directly from their website & can also download a sample at this link.

 

Now I’ve had the opportunity of listening to it and I don’t know if you ever heard the audio book version of the Lord of the Rings recorded by the BBC in the early 80’s?

I had a chance to listen to that and its still one of my favorite versions of the classic work by Tolkien as in addition to the mental picture you get when you read a good book, the audio helps to visualize it even more with all of the special effects that they add in.

If you’ve listened to that, you’ll understand what I say when I talk about the characters voices and sound effects and I’m really happy to say that the Audio version of Phoenix: The Radio Play follows suit in exactly these same footsteps allowing you to easily visualize the story.

 

Starring:
(in order of appearance)

 

Take a listen to the sample provided on the site – at four minutes long it will get you hooked – and you’ll see what I mean.  You can hear the anguish in their voices and easily picture the struggle for survival that they are all enduring.  I’ve also learned that this will be available on Vinyl too for those that prefer their listening “pure”.  Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Not sure if you’ve heard the news, but the X-Files is coming back.  While its only a limited 6 episode run, I couldn’t be more excited.  The X-Files for me was one of those shows that helped to define me (not to be too deep or anything) but when it was on Television, the only other option if I recall correctly was Star Trek.  Now while Star Trek was an excellent show and is still one of my favorites, the fact that it was so far in the future made it somewhat unreachable.

Contrasting this, was a show that in some ways presaged Supernatural and Fringe and other similar shows with an investigation of the unknown, dangerous and (dare I say it twice) “supernatural” happening all around us in the here and now!

https://youtu.be/_nhEIIFupr0

While there was always an underlying tension/love interest between the characters of Scully and Mulder, there focus was always on finding the answer and you knew that whatever might happen, they had each others back.

Now I guess the rumors will start to fly with regards to what these 6 episodes will cover … is it going to be one long arc (similar to the failed (in my opinion) Torchwood) or are they going back to their roots and just offering 6 separate and perhaps only peripherally connected stories.  Stay tuned and I’ll pass on the information as soon as I get it!

 

Sad news …

One of the icons of my generation is unfortunately no more.

There will be lots on the news about this I’m sure over the coming days and weeks so I’m not going to go over the whole value of his life and his whole history of film/television here.

Suffice it to say that this is one of those days you will remember for a while … Spock & Leonard Nimoy made a difference to me and I am very sorry that he is no longer here.

Thank you for all the memories & I wish you were still with us.

As a recent member of Kindle Unlimited – by the way and completely unrelated do you feel that Canadian’s and for that matter anyone not from the US gets gypped by Amazon?  I mean Amazon Prime is actually quite cool … in the States.  There you get Video (similar to Netflix but probably not as good) and unlimited music streaming + unlimited photo storage + free two day shipping + other things … in Canada you get unlimited photo storage and free two day shipping … big whoop! – oh well, there are other positives to living in Canada but I guess we’re never going to get our electronics and gadgets as cheaply or as quickly as they do in the States.

As a bit of a … well lets be honest as a big … geek this is somewhat depressing.  In addition as a huge reader this is even more disappointing as Amazon Prime in the US has access to over 500,000 free ebooks … this isn’t even available on Amazon Prime in Canada!  What is available in Canada is something called Kindle Unlimited and while at first glance it seems somewhat similar – I think they offer 250,000 ebooks – there are only 50,000 that are related to SciFi and Fantasy which is in my very biased opinion a crime! 🙂

What you might not realize until you start really using it is the list of authors available seems to be restricted to either self published authors or ones that are fairly new to the genre or writing in general.  There are obviously exceptions to this – I found some good books by Arthur C. Clarke and some other older grandmasters but finding some of the newer books by authors like David Weber and John Ringo … well you’re out of luck!

Kindle Unlimited seems to be a grand experiment really as while its definitely a good way of introducing newer authors to readers, the restrictions remove some of the advantages and make me question the decision and cost of a $10/mo price point.  I mean if I could read the people and books I wanted to read, this would absolutely make sense to me.  While I realize that authors need to make money and get rewarded for their imagination, I’ve never been able to justify the fact that there is little to no difference in cost between ebooks and paperback books.  It just doesn’t make sense and considering the volume of books I’m able to go through – well simply put I couldn’t afford the habit!

So Kindle Unlimited at the $10/mo price point for up to 10 books – like I said that actually works.  It would be better if it was included in Prime versus being a separate product as now even if I wanted to take advantage of the pathetic benefits of Amazon Prime in Canada I wouldn’t want to spend another $10/mo for that also, but that’s just another gripe.  However if you can’t even get the books you want then it probably doesn’t make any sense.

A bit of a pity really as I’ve found a couple of good authors that I’d like to continue following – so in that respect its worked – but I’ve also had to pay $$$ for some others that simply weren’t available and this is where it fell down for me.  If they roll this out to include more titles and authors perhaps this will work, but right now Kindle Unlimited feels to me like the exact opposite – Kindle Limited!

Dear Kevin (@thatkevinsmith),

It pains me to write this but to paraphrase you I have a certain voice and the internet is here for me exploit it. Please don’t take this as a lament of a nerdy guy sitting in his directors arm chair declaring what it’s good and whats not. I have been taken and I have followed you revelry by the wandering dispensers of truth(s) and bud. Weaving themselves in and out tales of meccas of merchandise, corner store purgatories, irrevocably ink stained hearts, adventures in bible sitting and finally there own story of home grown vengeance and how to get the girl in the end.

I will never watch Yoga Hosers (@yogahosers), your love for my home and native land is glowing and fervent but when I heard about this production it cut me to quick. Making a film about two Canadian girls working at an after school job in a Manitoba convenience store only to be menaced by an unknown and superannuated evil from the depths of the Earth’s core. But it wasn’t being filmed in Canada?

I don’t mean to trivialize the film itself and the hard working men & women who worked on it, But I think you missed a really important character in your casting call. That would be The Dominion of Canada herself in all her red, white but never blue glory. It’s a minor pharisaim to profess and show your love for a place and it’s people, but to make a film essentially about us seemingly without us.

You flew the flag proudly on Shannon Doherty‘s denim jacket. Do you feel unloved by your cousins across the border? Arguably you along with Mewes were the most entertaining guest stars Degrassi has ever had. Too illustrate my thoughts imagine if in 1962 in production for Lawrence Of Arabia starring the late great Peter O’Toole himself based on historical or generally accepted facts. In the pro production of the film they deiced well we only need a desert why don’t we just go to Nevada to shoot it? It’ll be great weekends we can go into town play craps and won’t have to deal with moving the whole operation to Morocco and Jordan. I mean really after all sand is the same everywhere isn’t it?

Cover of "Lawrence of Arabia (Single Disc...
Cover via Amazon

Really who would care if you tell a story about a place and a people and a culture. Featuring actor and actress’s from these cultures and of these people. If they were too do so without such magnanimous elements seems quite callow and spurious.

As I said in the beginning I follow you with great revelry, when Clerks III comes I will be there opening day just as I did for Clerks II. Stoked with all the promise and exuberance one man can muster. But as long as you fly the meritorious pennon of Canada on film outside her transcendent borders. My disappointment will be immodest using the best option(s) available to me I will abstain from viewing then vote with my wallet and not invite it into my home to adorn my shelf or digital library as were quickly coming too.

Sincerely,

Dave