Thursday, October 31, 2013

Government Shutdown

Love this article right here, I've interacted with people who had these misconceptions lately about the government shut down, and the recent "protests" that the Tea Party People have been doing. A few common statements I hear is that.

" Shut down Washington, all crooks..."
" Maybe this will save us from budget problems."
" Finally somebody is standing up..."

These really vague statements that just give in to the very easy anti-government hate train that people ride, and this of course, has merit. US politicians usually do not represent the interests of the majority, except for a select few, Like Bernie Sanders and John Olver, but this DC shutdown is not something that is revolutionary, in fact it is counter-revolutionary. The truth the matter is that:

People in poverty who ask for government assistance got their benefits delayed, and to quote Bill Maher, those conservatives really showed how to stop that poor kid from getting his inhaler, and government workers, like Park Rangers and the EPA (!) who were on indefinite furlough.

Politicians, and select members of the staff, continued to get paid, the DOD and Pentagon still marched on to the their beat of their own drum.

So when I hear people give an off-handed praise to these far-right wingers who wish that environmental laws and public education would be abolished, it is pretty damn disgusting.

"Shut down Washington?" No this did not shut down Washington, it shut down people who are not considered "important" in the grand scheme of things.

"Budget Problems." Au contraire, this just costed the taxpayers more money, as the limbo of the budget bill in the House, just caused the government to perpetrate more debt, as it still wasted money on everything else but Social and Environmental programs.

And the people standing up, are probably not your friends. This kind of conservative backlash is just something that is truly mind boggling. In the United States, we get these sympathizers of the rich, people who believe in the rhetoric perpetrated out by Conservatives since the 1980s, where trickledown economics and giving tax breaks to the wealthy were sold to many Americans as a sound idea.  Now they see communists like Obama and Clinton,  sarcasm here because in reality, they agree so many issues, and get riled up by a piece of legislature that helps people get health care. The article linked above shows a more detailed look into race and class relationships in the United States, as Farmers and Urban workers have always butt heads, at least culturally. Bernie you are so right.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Superman is not a Role Model

A question was asked by somebody in this Facebook group I'm in, with fellow Guam comic book fans, about who is the better role model, Batman or Superman?

The common consensus among the group was Superman, at least the vocal majority. Citing examples that he uses his powers for good, unselfish, and defends the weak. He's a benevolent man who seems to have no noticeable dark side, but struggles like a real human being. Unlike Batman, who is considered more to channel such morally wishy-washy values like vengeance, and making sacrifices for the greater good. So, people should be more like Superman, it's not what you are, but what you do with what you have that defines you.

Ok I'm all for this real romantic and super Golden-Age view, but the truth, the realistic kind and not the justice, of the matter is that Superman is a terrible role model, for the simple fact he is not human. He is Kryptonian, and if we are to follow the question, who would make a more exemplary role model for us humans, to model our lives after?

A Greek God with no human flaws? Or a man who worked hard, albeit with his unlimited resources because you can't devote your life to training to be a bad-ass without having money for food and board, and became something that would make a young Bruce happy.

I'm not the biggest fan of Batman, but I'd take him in a heartbeat over the Man of Steel.

Remember the question, kids, or anyone really, that try to emulate Superman, are just setting themselves up for failure. He can circumnavigate the world in minutes and never gets tired, and that is something we will never be able to experience. Rappeling off buildings walls is something that grueling physical training can guarantee, to make a comparison.  

His heroic deeds are nice of course, but other people defend the weak and help the helpless, without the help of Kryptonian biology and yellow sun rays. In the DC universe, people like Green Arrow and Batman, and in our world, we got Firefighters and EMTs. There is a question that needs to be asked, and is that when Superman saves someone from an erupting Volcano, is it even a courageous act? He is no chances of getting hurt, no way his identity is being compromised, and basically no risk. For someone like him, is this even something commendable, from a weak human's POV? All things in the world too, disease and famine, why is he not helping the largest causes of death? All valid questions.

Also, if we are abide the stories of the comics, as instructed by the topic presenter, all these super powered villains who have the ability to destroy Earth, face it, because they are the people that are supposed to be present threats to Superman, these are all end game individuals because the way Superman is written, he is unstoppable. This has been a philosophical cycle that has been presented in the medium since the 1970s, and it's basically supervillains exist because superheroes exist.  Creatively, and from a writer's perspective, this is obvious, because this is how you establish conflict and some sort of realistic tension. But this brings up something else I don't like about the character, too one-dimensional, and just contradictions happening all over the place because Superman is just simply a God.

Gods are not role models, at least in my mind. People who have no problems bending over for authority or for omnipotent figures might disagree with that statement. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Joker: Days of Future Past

Find this sweet picture on reddit, a Joker parody of the famous cover of Uncanny X-Men 141 by Tom and Nelson Derenick. This particular story is what the next X-Men movie will be based on, a time traveling tale about a dystopian future where all the mutants are rounded up in concentration camps. Below is the original,which has its fair share of tributes.

The Doctor Explains

Skimming through reddit today and I saw a great post, an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything)with Kevin Nanney, or more well known by his gaming alias, Dr. PeePee, a name that he grudgingly shares as something that was associated with him back in 7th grade, and it just stuck with him over the years. He is one the world's greatest Super Smash Brothers Melee players, top 3 easily. Here's a recent set that he participated in at EVO, a match that he prepared months for and it looked like his hard work paid off.

Just by his answers, you can tell that he has a successful mind set, and is evident why he wins tournaments. Look at this answer, to a question of why he continues to play a 10 year old video game on a defunct platform.

"I love that Melee is a lot like life. I have to learn to really apply myself and constantly improve or I will be passed by and stepped on by others who want to also be successful. I love depending on myself and learning how to motivate myself and discover myself through the process of becoming a more talented Melee player. I love learning about how to interact with myself and others through the process of continuous improvement."

I really admire that kind of attitude because it is transferable among your other sections of life, the skills needed to master and play these competitive games on a high level.  He's enjoying life but in a way that is not near-sighted or unhealthy, and sees the future as something he is an idea for and he is working for that. In his AMA, where he answers nearly question, he always stresses the importance of hard work and meeting people, and that's how you will improve faster and better. Seems like cliché advice, or something that a good ole' southern boy like Dr. PeePee would say, but it holds tonssss of merit.

Last night had such a fun time too, man. Our spot in the playing order got switched to a later slot, not a good thing by the way, which is incredibly fucked up, because people, like our singer's parents, showed up at a certain time to watch us this late, on a Sunday night of all days. Ai o well. My girl though was so awesome, dancing in her rude girl outfit, nun to some people I guess, and being her irresistible and funny self throughout the night. Even drew out a sweet patch of the female counterpart in this classic Specials sticker :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Island of Blind People

Today I randomly thought about a story I learned from my Philosophy of Religion class while wiping the kitchen counters. It was story told by a philosopher, his name escapes me, as he prefaces it by describing an island inhabited by completely blind people (genetically they do not have the gene for sight). They know how to survive on the island so their people prosper for generations. However, through an act of god, a handful of people suddenly get the ability to see. For the 1st time in the history of this island people, the beautiful lush colors of the wildlife around them can be seen and magically know what they are. Those lucky few 1st are breathless, and really want to tell their family and friends about the new world around them. However they all face the same problem, how can describe you describe color to somebody who has never seen the light of day? They tried their hardest to think of a way to use communicate these things they are observing, but questions in circle. "That bird is red." "What is red?" "A bright color." "What is a bright color...." And the sequence continues. It will not happen.

The point he is trying to make though is that this analogy, is equivalent to somebody having a religious experience. Somebody who sees visions from a higher power, how can you describe this otherworldly experience to somebody else? The language and words you have knowledge of are not sufficient because there is nothing like it before. Also it is unique experience so the other person cannot relate to it. So don't knock off a supposed crazy person because you really do not know if they are making it up or actually felt something.

This is a cute story because it has certain storybook or literature spin to it. An experience, a perspective, is needed to understand something, and especially it comes with the supernatural. Not sure how I feel about it personal, but as a creative individual these little stories really do turn the cogs in the brain. It would be a crazy twist in life if these mental illnesses were a side effect of an experience with something not of this world. I guess that's the old Christian belief, where bad spirits do bad things to people, but what really made this little tale memorable was the fact that describing color, to someone who is unable to sense it, is an impossible task. We are lead to believe in life, doing the impossible is the human spirit. Putting a man on the moon, moving mountains, etc.  But when the task of doing something words, let alone a question of a description? Thought provoking stuff.

Still thinking about what I want dress up for Halloween, playing a show with my Ska Band tomorrow night. Have a few ideas from all the old clothes my grandparents have had for decades.  Going to be a fun and groovy night. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Recently, I've been playing a bit more DOTA 2 lately, and it has been loads of fun. Been playing a few games a day, only with friends from college, which adds a nice social interaction with acquaintances that I can chit chat random stuff with and get my mind off stressful home issues. This a lot different than before where I would go for long sessions of mass gaming.  It has been just as fun and rewarding too though, which I never thought I could, just play small amounts like that and get that satisfaction. Is it a sign of getting older? Yes, my step brother always reminds me that time management battles is truly the sign of adulthood,  but I have still have that interest for competitive gaming. It is just like that old Football Helmet from high school that people keep in their closet, they don't keep it for the sake of re-using it, but it gets them all nostalgic for a special time in their lives. I am just happy that I can have fun dominating random pubs in DOTA, and still have time in the day to stimulate my other interests.

Yesterday, my Grandpa, who is a Master Blacksmith here on the Island, was invited by the local University to give a presentation about his 93-year old life and his craft trade that he has been practicing since before World War II. He is a proud man and very charismatic, but for this particular speech, he would have to speak completely in Chamorro, the indigenous dialect of the Island that is making a resurgence amongst its Americanized youth, and that made him nervous. His Chamorro is not the best, and he would be the 1st to tell you that, but that he wouldn't stop him from attending.  He was so adorable asking my grandmother, who my brother, the one who invited my Grandpa and is a Chamorro language teacher at that very university, also asks for help, for words and grammar in the Chamorro language. Suffice to say she is very knowledgeable, my Grandmother... But he did well, it was a small crowd but he was an intimate one, so he got good reactions from his jokes and participation with his questions. I had fun too, it was nice to be back on campus. Got to walk around and see a breathtaking sundown in a gorgeous time of the day. Ahhhhh.

This is the poster for the event, my grandpa is the oldest one there, and also the most handsomest too. My brother said the event was a success for the Chamorro Studies Program at the University, in their inaugural semester.  Yay.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Writing Check 1,2

Life's been pretty great... but I need to properly write more! Too much outlining, plotting, and other fun stuff that creatively is just so satisfying. Small or maybe even sizable daily updates on this blog will be coming, and that is something that I want to routinely do. My grammar is getting better but improvement is the name of game, and writing blog entries fit the bill. Here's a theoretical mashup of Moonraker and Melancholia, or just a nice lovely piece of art.