Greetings, New Followers

 

Thank you for all the new followers of this blog.  If you’re looking for my more regularly updated content, please follow my other site, Reel Geek’s Guide, at http://www.reelgeeksguide.com, there you’ll find my weekly updated content, including geeky stuff, movie reviews, and the ever popular Food Geek Reviews every Tuesday and Thursday.  More content to come in the near future, including a podcast, so stick around for that.   Keep this site in your subscriptions as well, for the occasional bit of short stories, prose, political commentary or whatever else I feel like talking about at the moment.

Thanks again for following, and be excellent to each other.

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Colin Kaepernick vs. Blind Patriotism

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So, in case you missed it, during the National Anthem playing of last weekend’s preseason football game, 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during it, as is tradition to do so in our country, and is now catching so much shit for it, it’s right up there with when the Dixie Chicks (God forbid) criticized President Bush in the post 9/11 era.   He later explained in an interview that “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” (‘Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Sat During National Anthem’ NFL.com)

And I fully agree with him.  He may have lived a good life, but everyone has a breaking point where you can’t just blindly stand up and support a country that treats it’s own citizens like this.  Sure, he’s where he his because of the freedoms this country offers, but that freedom always has an asterisk by it, there’s the fine print that a lot of people don’t care to look at.  Land of the Free (as long as you’re white, a male, have money already, or if you fall into another category, have something that white people can use, athletic talent, or creative talent, or just invent something that they can use, and then you know what, you’re okay in our book, come on in.)

I say this as a veteran of the Navy, I served my country, but never have I ever served it blindly.  Loving it because it’s great.  I love the country still, but I don’t like it a lot of the time, and the more I read and see things, the more I don’t even like it.   But I’m not going to leave and move elsewhere because just cause this country is like family.  You have to love it, doesn’t mean you have to like it or agree with it 100% of the time.

I really thought we were past this jingoistic age of you have to love our country, no matter what.  Apparently not.       This country has done and is doing some really terrible things to other human beings, other citizens in this land of the free with an asterisk.  And yeah, it’s easier to just turn a blind eye and just move on with our lives while ignoring the pain of others, but we shouldn’t, and I won’t, not anymore.  I don’t have much to really offer, but my opinion and my voice, and these words that I’m typing right now, but I’m done living with my eyes shut.  I’m standing with Kaep here.  Or I guess, sitting would be the appropriate word here.   We need to do better, and better, smarter people with more influence than I need to change how things are, remove that asterisk and the parentheses, and just make this the place that it needs to be, Land of the Free,  for everyone.  And yes, I mean everyone.

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New Blog/Site ReelGeeksGuide.com

 

Hey guys, those of you who still read this thing despite my often sporadic posts at least.  My bad on that, I think George R.R. Martin is a more consistent writer than me.  For anyone of you who’s like me, who’s a geek, who’s into fitness, bettering yourself, and just geek culture in general be sure to check out and follow my new blog, on my site, http://www.reelgeeksguide.com   That I just started this morning.

There will be more regular content there, covering, the aforementioned, fitness, nutrition, geek culture, and who knows what else.   If anyone out there has an idea, or just wants to write about a certain area,  or just a one time thing,contact me. I want this to be a place that can be a place where people of a like minded geeky nature can read about new things, funny things, interesting things, life as a geek things.   I hope to see you all there, and, to bring back a catch phrase from my online film critic days, til next time be sure to keep it Reel.

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The Butterfly Effect in Boy Meets World

I recently (a few minutes ago) posted a Boy Meets World meme on my Facebook page, which then led to my commenting on the retcon that happened midway through the series, wherein Topanga had changed from Corey’s hippie sometimes friend, sometimes crush, sometimes just indifferent classmate, to his own true love, which was now how things had always been, and the hippie, weird girl aspect of her character was no longer even referenced.

Now, the real reason is of course, the writers changed the the direction of the show, and needed that extra sweet romance hook, which totally worked for me, but forreal, what happened there?  Like in the “reality” of the show.

I propose that at some point in between seasons, Eric Matthews, Corey’s older, popular brother, somehow had an incident with a time machine, perhaps one of Steve Urkel’s invention, as all the TGIF shows were in a shared universe not unlike that of the NBC comedies of the 90s (Remember that Blackout storyline that went across all the Must See TV comedies at one point?).

So, at some point, he goes back in time, accidentally changes a few things, and then gets himself a head injury somehow, perhaps in fixing another timeline error, as when he comes back, things are the same, but different.  Corey and Topanga had been together since elementary school, and she was never a hippie, their sister now looked like a different person, and Eric was the loveable but dumb brother.  And to them, this is how things always happened, but only we know, and maybe Eric, somewhere in his mind, remember the other timeline.   This show totally did the Abrams style reboot 20 years before that was a thing, or before we knew JJ Abrams could do things that weren’t Felicity.

 

 

 

 

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My Worldview, An Essay

Hey guys, it’s been a while, like a long while.  Haven’t really had that spark of idea to write anything longer than a tweet or a facebook post, that wasn’t school related in a long time.  And this entry here, well it is something I initially wrote for school, for my World Religion class a few minutes ago, and I really like it, and hopefully some of you will as well.  I had to write an essay explaining my worldview, and I had fun writing it, and hopefully you enjoy reading it and it maybe helps some of you think.   Well, without further adieu, here it is.

My Worldview, An Essay.

The world it seems, is growing more divided every day just as quickly as technology seems to be bringing us together.  These people hate these other people for believing in something different than they do, and these other people hate a third group of people for the same reason.  Or if it’s not their beliefs, it’s because they look different, or love someone that’s not what this group of people believes is right.  And while two out of three of the groups agree that this other group is wrong, they hate on yet another group.   Which despite what they may believe, is actually against their initial doctrines, as they were intended to be used for in the past when they were created or happened.

There is however, a solution to all these problems, all this hate that these groups from these different worldviews believe.  And it’s one that they may not take lightly.  It may be a big leap of faith, but I sincerely believe that, much like the Hindu’s many differing creation stories for the universe that are all simultaneously true, everyone’s differing believes are all true.  In that, these differing world religions, which, as of only being a third of the way through this course, I’m no expert on, but I believe that all these differing systems, and ways of life, are mere shards of a greater picture, pieces of a cosmic puzzle that most haven’t even begun to see is even there.

I’m not even just talking on a faith based aspect here, I mean all knowledge in general.  From science to faith is all connected, and that connection is knowledge.  I speak from experience here, I’ve seen some strange things in my time, things that some believe in and some scoff in.  I’ve experienced ghosts, I’ve seen UFOs, even experienced real life magic, and not talking of the David Blaine kind either.  So I know that there is far more to this world that can ever be put down in a single book or doctrine.  Like I said, it’s all pieces of a grand design.  A much farther grand design than one can even comprehend.

This worldview that I’ve lived with has been shown to me to be the more true aspect of any higher based faith that I’ve seen, or learned about.  And what I’ve learned thus far in this class enhances that worldview a thousandfold.  It really seems that, most of the world’s religions can be traced back to a single man.  And these men, were good men, with good ideas and viewpoints on the world, and how to act and treat one another.  And people listened to these men, and believed in these men and what they stood for, and groups formed around them, basically cults, to really break it down.  And these men spoke, and acted, and lived, and in time more people began to follow them.  And then eventually, these men died, as all men do someday, and then their words, and ideas became scripture and ideology.  Canon.

And so what was once a group of people, turned into a cult, transformed a third time into religion.  And then as the years passed on, grew bigger, and bigger, and each of these groups, which all sprung from the ideas and deeds of good men, each decided that their religion was the true religion, and all others myths and stories, or worse false idols that must be punished and these other groups converted into the religion and view point of truth, which of course was whoever had the bigger army.    Thus begat conflict into the world, and these wars have existed since the dawn of that time, and onward into the future, as the world grew bigger, and people traveled to new lands, and discovered there were people there as well, who also had a belief system, and those people needed to be converted to the newcomer’s truths as well.   And further conflict and strife still came from that.  All this hate, death, destruction, in the name of religions that were initially based on love.

Which truly leads me to believe that there is no one capital ‘T’ Truth out there, but that everyone throughout history got the one nugget of truth in all the myriad of truths out there, and that is love.  Care for your fellow man, even if they look different, or believe different, or speak different, we’re all human.  We all came from the same place initially, and in the end our bodies all end up in the same place, it’s what we do here, in this life, that we can make a difference.

And this affects my point of view about things in that I just try to be a good person, and help others when I can, because I know that one day I’ll need help.  Even if it’s something as small as lending a cigarette to someone who needs it.  I know I’m not perfect, I do make mistakes, and I’ve probably sinned across so many different religion’s practices that I’d be doomed to a multitude of different hells across the faiths.  But I know that my heart is most times in the right place, and that’s really all anyone can ask.

In conclusion, you may be thinking right now what is this big picture that humanity isn’t seeing yet? And to answer that, all I can say is I don’t know.  No one may ever truly know.  It’s one of those mysteries of life like what is the sound of one hand clapping?  Or how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?  But if we as a whole would just take a step back from what we believe to be true and look at one another as brothers and sisters rather than as enemies, the world would be a better place.

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Three Lessons From 2014, and other things.

So, as we draw close to the conclusion of the year that was 2014, I like most of you, tend to look back over the year, see what worked, what didn’t, and where we can go into this New Year. Normally I’d break down the ten best/worst movies, and tv shows and such, but I didn’t really see a lot of movies this year, as I spent far too much of the year not getting paid, which tends to put a damper in things. I will say though that my favorite movie of 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy, there was no other movie like it this past year that was that much fun, and a blast to watch. It’s the first movie in some years that I saw repeatedly in theaters, and if you haven’t seen it, you really should.

I’m also glad to see that my predictions of just a plethora of geektastic movies and tv shows were released, and another plethora just announced for the next decade or so, and this is just fantastic. I am of course, disappointed that my prediction/wish for 2014 was that the San Francisco 49ers make and win the Super Bowl both last and this current American Football season, but that was not to be the case it seems. However, my baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, pulled through in another even year miracle and won the World Series, which was just awesome, and I would have predicted that in my last year end retrospective/forecast, but the even year thing slipped my mind at the time, it happens.

As far as Peter Capaldi’s first season as The Doctor, it had a few hits, a few misses, and a Missy, but overall he’s made The Doctor his own, and while I miss Matt Smith in the role still, he’s shown that right now, Capaldi is indeed, The Doctor.

Now that the fun stuff is out of the way, it’s time to talk about the world in 2014, which got really, really, really dark. I don’t want to put in any opinions or anything on things, because, well, that’s not my world, and I don’t have first hand knowledge of things, but all I will say is, we, as a collective humanity, need to do better next year. It might be too much to ask for, but we can try at least. If you can just say, make one person’s day a little bit better, as opposed to worse, then you’re doing your job as a human being I think. And that I don’t think shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

Okay, that’s out of the way, and before I leave you, until I’m inspired to write something again, I’d like to leave you with Three Lessons I’ve learned in 2014. They might apply to you, they might not, but if you haven’t lived a year on this planet and not learned a few things, you’re doing it wrong.

Lesson 1: Money Isn’t Everything

I started out the year working for a major metropolitan insurance company, not the one you’re thinking of, the one that doesn’t feel like it needs to advertise much for whatever reason. And during my 9 month tenure there, I changed into a person I didn’t like becoming. I dropped a few friends because they wouldn’t let me sell them things, I got really into pricey suits, thinking that that was what was important, and I lost a few friends because of the person I was turning into, really slimy salesman, working angles to get people to buy, and in the end, that’s not who I want to be. That, and I didn’t get paid for two months, which really put things into perspective. So, I turned things around, finally used my GI Bill and I went back to college, to get my business administration degree, so I don’t ever have to become that person again.

Lesson 2: Don’t Allow People To Put Limits On What You Can Do

When I was growing up, somewhere around 7th grade or so let’s say, I was told that I had a Learning Disability when it came to Math, so the rest of my public school career was spent in the easier math classes, and I accepted this as fact that was a weakness of mine, I couldn’t do advanced math. Cut to 2014, and I’m in college once more, and I have to take these math classes to get through to the college level math courses I need for my degree. I get through the first one, fractions, easily, because it’s fractions, and it came time to do linear equations, and I bombed it the first time, I tried explaining the Learning Disability to the administration, but they said I had to get through this class.

So I took it a second time, and grasped the material a little bit better, but still bombed it in the end.
After a third and final attempt at the class, the material all made sense to me, and I grasped things I couldn’t even begin to put together in any of the other attempts, and I passed. And this is without tutoring or anything, I did it myself, which I was really proud of myself for. So, don’t let people say what you can or can’t do, only person that sets your limits is yourself.

Lesson 3: Don’t change yourself for anyone but you.

Should be self explanatory, but it’s a lesson that needs reminding every so often. Don’t allow what you have or don’t have to affect who you are as a person. If what you have isn’t good enough for someone, that that person isn’t good enough for you. That’s just how things work out. Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not for anyone. Be yourself, because you’re awesome, and have great taste in blogs.

That’s it for this year’s wrap up, look forward to, I’ll try to write more this year as well, that should be a New Year’s Resolution I can keep. And if not, then I’ll see you in a year’s time, where I’m sure to write about how great that new Star Wars movie was. Until next time, be awesome, friends.

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Keys:The Greatest Rapper You’ve Never Heard Of

Hi guys, it’s been a while. Since last I wrote, I went back to school. I’m at TCC now thanks to the GI Bill, going for a Business Administration degree. One of the classes I’m taking this semester is a writing course, and our first paper is a personal narrative. First thing that came to my mind, well apart from my extra in ‘Chasing Amy’ story, was an abbreviated version of my attempts as a rapper over the years. I just wrote a new version of that just now, with more description to it, figured who better to look over my writing than the handful of people that read my writing, so feel free to leave some comments below, and I’ll be back with more reviews and other randomness soon. Enjoy.

Keys: The Greatest Rapper You’ve Never Heard Of

It’s August 2012 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A speck of gray dots the endless blue of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the cruiser, the USS Vella Gulf, returning home to Norfolk, Virginia after an at times arduous 8 month deployment. The crew, normally overworked, underpaid, and stressed has earned a couple hour’s respite, and is assembled on the flight deck to enjoy the ship’s third and final talent show of the deployment.

There are various acts to be seen on this day, from jugglers…why are there always jugglers at any given talent completion? To martial arts demonstrations to one musical act in particular people have been eager to see perform again since the previous talent show. And that act is the rapper known as Keys, or as I like to call him, me.

While the crew is watching the show up on the flight deck, I’m down inside the ship, changing into my civilian clothes, a privilege of the day, going over the lines in my head one last time. And I can’t help but think, how did I get here?

My mind thinks back to some thirteen years prior, or some three lifetimes ago as it felt for me, to October, 1998. I was attending school at the Art Institute Of Philadelphia, in a foolish dream to become a filmmaker. I was laying out in my bed one day in my dorm room, which was a converted Best Western motel, reading comic books, while my roommate, a Jamaican with the most presidential name I’ve ever heard in my life, Garfield Grant, was on his side of the tiny room with his friends engaged in a cipher, or a rap circle for the uninitiated.

I’d never really been that interested in hip hop at all at that point, but I was fascinated with the word play and the ability to come up with these rhymes off the top of their heads, as I listened in while reading the latest issue, seeing what trouble Spider-Man had gotten himself into this month. Garfield called me to add a verse, most likely as a joke, but I still attempted one nonetheless.

“Riddle me this, and riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big black bat?/ I’m back in black, like Sting/ Like Coca Cola, I’m the real thing/Going back in time so call me the Terminator/Coming at you hard and fast like Schwarzanegger”

They were impressed, as was I. I didn’t know I had it in me. I said a few more rhymes that night, nothing as memorable as that first line, but it didn’t matter. A new creative fire was lit under me.
As I mentioned, I knew literally nothing about hip hop, so I asked my friend more versed in hip hop than I, who’s nickname was Sparky, to help give me a crash course in hip hop. So I listened to what he had, a collection of albums ranging from Method Man and Busta Rhymes to the Beastie Boys.

One of the first lessons he gave me about my own rapping was write what you know. Other rappers speak of the streets, or how much money they have. I had neither of those things going on with me so I rapped in pop culture references and nerdy things. Essentially I was doing nerdcore years before I knew that was an actual subgenre of rap music.

Next up was coming up with a rap alias, would you rather listen to a James Smith, or an LL Cool J? Garfield gave me the name, Myzery, but I changed it to MZA after discovering there was already a rapper with that name.

I did my first song as MZA at a school talent show, called ‘MZAllenium’, was a pretty big hit, and soon after I was asked by some friends who were in a band to appear with them on a CD called Take A Bite Out Of Rhyme, which featured rock bands covering old school hip hop songs. I was going to be featured on their cover of ‘The Humpty Dance’, but unfortunately I was kicked out of the school for failing grades before that could happen.

Some years had passed, and life had taken me to a different path, to the Navy and the USS Vella Gulf, and I started coming up with some new rhymes to pass the endless boredom that is most of a Navy deployment. My friend Sean Hensley, who also liked to rap, let me borrow his spare iPod loaded with some artists I hadn’t heard much of, or at all, and artists like TechN9ne, Hollywood Undead, and Immortal Technique became my new soundtrack, and inspiration.

I performed at the first talent show, my first new song in a decade, called Re:Emergency, over the beat to the Skrillex song ‘First of the Year’. I felt so nervous about performing again, but I’d said the lines of the song in my head and to myself so many times that the performance went off without a hitch.
Coming up with material for the second talent show was a bit more of a challenge, as I didn’t have another instrumental ready to go that I could rhyme over. But I found another song, some random piece of dubstep and put together a great track there as well.

Then it came time for the last talent show, I was moreso nervous this time, not because of the performing in as much as it was the song I came up with was the best song I’d ever written, catchy, with an extremely singable chorus “For the fellas, the ladies, freaks and the geeks, if you want fun than follow me!”
I took the stage, and the beat for the Hollywood Undead song ‘Comin In Hot’ boomed from the stereo system set up for the event. And I started to rap. The song was as popular with the crew as I would have hoped, people singing along, laughing at the patchwork of pop culture references I set out, and even had backup dancers by the middle of the performance.

I announced, following the performance that I would record an album, called ‘Awkward Til I Hit The Stage’, upon our return home, and after we got home, I intended to follow up that promise, so I made a video for Re:Emergency that’s still on YouTube to this day, but whatever muse I had floating in the middle of the ocean was lost on me. That, plus my video to this day has only had 43 views, so it was time to retire Keys/MZA to the inner workings of my mind once again. But, you never know when that inspiration may spark again someday.

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