The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Whining’

Christmas Post 7/12

Posted by Matt on December 21, 2010

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but the holiday season is a double-edged sword for me at work. On one hand, I don’t have to listen to the shitty store radio music that plays incessantly for an entire month. On the other hand, there is a new line-up of shitty store radio music that plays incessantly instead. And there’s less of it, so I hear the same songs (and different versions of the same songs!) over and over again all day, every day. There must be almost half a dozen versions of every Christmas classic, and I have listen to most, if not ALL, of those versions in one day, and then again the next day, and again and again. It’s maddening.

I mean, there’s gotta be more pleasant holiday music than just Jingle Bells, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, I Saw Mommy Kissin’ Santa Claus, and Silent Night, is there? Today I heard a dumb country Christmas song I never heard before, but that’s a rare experience. I don’t even hear the Beach Boys’ Christmas songs on there anymore, and they were basically my few break points from the monotony. It’s maddening.

Also, Jingle Bells, It’s Cold Outside, and Let It Snow are not really Christmas songs, just being about winter in general. So why do we only hear them during this time? Is it because outside December, no one wants to be reminded that it’s winter?

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Posted by Matt on October 27, 2010

I’ve been attempting to write something every day now. Apparently, blog posts haven’t been among those things. Oh well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. What do I want to do with my life? Well, I already know what; the real question has always been what approach to it I should take.

Up until now, I had always imagined that I’d try to get a career doing something that is kinda-sorta like my main goal, or at least enough like it that I could be satisfied with it while I work on the other thing. For much of that time, I thought it’d be journalism; I thought, “Journalism is a sure thing! It’s something I can enjoy, and surely there’s a journalistic job out there somewhere!” You know, I really did think journalism would be the practical application of my love of writing, and that’s why I’ve spent so much time pursuing it.

But you know what I’ve realized? It’s not practical. Getting a job in journalism, any job, especially now, is about as pie-in-the-sky as most of my other career writing choices. So on that end, it’s completely fucked. I’m sure if you really work at it, you’ll be able to find something there, and I have no doubts that the people I know who are still pursuing that career path will be able to make something of it. But the other thing I’ve come to realize is that while I do love journalistic writing and being part of the world conversation, I don’t think I really love it enough to do all the things necessary to really get at it. I’ve come to realize that, for all the education and money-spending and moving and examination and field work I’d have to do to really get into that field…I just don’t think it’s worth it for me. It’s a roundabout way to simply support what I actually want to do…more free form writing. Fiction, non-fiction. Books. Television. Comics. Web stuff.

It’s occurred to me that I should probably just go straight to trying to do that, rather than waste my time going after something that I’ve convinced myself is practical. I don’t want to do something ‘practical’, though…I want to do what I want to do. And I now accept that, and I know what I have to do to do it. And that’s why I’ve been writing, and plan on writing lots more from now on. Something every day. It’s the only way I’ll get better, and it’s the only way I’ll ever get the confidence to move forward. I’m even thinking of trying my hand at National Novel Writing Month again after failing a few years ago. I’m much more…motivated?…now than I was then, so hopefully it’ll work out better this time. In any case, it’s a good idea to take part in it. Whatever forces me to work at this stuff can only be beneficial.

So there’s my life. Stay tuned for more robots, animals!, and getting mad at nerds on the Internet in the future.

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Quakes

Posted by Matt on October 22, 2009

I’ve spent the last two nights editing the layout of a newspaper. Grueling, annoying work – but I got it done. And hope never to do it again. Well, okay, I’d be willing to do it again – with a bit more help and input, rather than being abandoned by the rest of the crew to suffer this ordeal.

I spend way too much time second-guessing myself to get things done quickly. Oh well, if it looks like shit, everyone will tell me and I’ll learn from it.

In lighter news, I saw the premier of the new Venture Bros. season (thanks to a handy program that guards my IP and thus lets me watch all those American video sites). They’ve set up a lot of interesting stuff for future episodes, and I can’t wait to see how they pan out. Plus, the first episode has Nazis (“Nein, we’re not!”) trying to clone Hitler from a dog descendant of Hitler. And they screwed with the timeline of the episode, and it’s always fun to see an experimental story succeed.

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True Murder Stories

Posted by Matt on September 9, 2009

Now that DC is finally reprinting Shade The Changing Man, and I couldn’t be happier. So now, I will drown my happiness in sorrow because the following series that I have read or have interest in reading are either not collected or are still out of print. And some of them may never see the light of the trade paperback day for one reason or another. And it’s a damn shame.

The New Adventures of Hitler by Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell
Numero uno on my list of series that may never see print again is this early-90s Morrison story from 2000AD-spinoff Crisis!. I honestly think this is one of Morrison’s best, and that’s no small feat considering his considerable high-quality output. It’s definitely his most angry work, something that combines the surreal, absurdly comedic quality (especially in Yeowell’s art) of Doom Patrol with the satire and vitriol of stuff like We3. Unfortunately, that controversial message (this is a book that basically says Britain’s long history of brutal conquest is a direct antecedent to the Third Reich, but even that is sometimes overlooked for the fact that the book is a humorous take on Hitler at all) and the relative obscurity of it means that it won’t be collected for a while, or ever, even with Morrison’s prominence. It’s almost as frustrating as the legal limbo that has trapped Zenith and Flex Mentallo. I am just glad I was able to read this on Scans_Daily before that site went under.

Automatic Kafka by Joe Casey & Ashley Wood
Here’s a series that I have not read, but is really up my alley. I’ve read Casey’s Godland, which was pretty good (although I think if I were a bigger fan of Jack Kirby I’d maybe like more), and the idea of a robot superhero tripping out and meeting his makers. Just read the Wiki entry. I want this. Yet DC/Wildstorm have yet to collect it. It’s possible that this oversight will be corrected sometime. But nearly 8 years after it was published is too damn long, and it makes me wonder if this is even too strange for the publisher. And if that is true, I want to read it even more now. To the torrents, I guess.

(Read Paul O’Brien’s review while you’re at it)

X-Statix by Peter Milligan & Mike Allred
Here’s a series that’s been collected in its entirety, but I assume has not been in print for a while, considering that I cannot find any of the books aside from some of the earlier ones at a decent price. Maybe that’s just Amazon, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Marvel just hasn’t felt the need to keep its best series in years in print. I can only hope that they don’t pull the same bullshit with Nextwave, or at least not until I get my copies of the two trades.

Chances that are more that are even more outrageously not in book form, but you’d have to go to a real comics blog to find out about those. Like this one.

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I am going to say this once: Dante’s Inferno, as in the upcoming game version, may be the most aggressively stupid thing I’ve ever seen. When you think EA is done hyping it’s God of War clone with the dumbest damn marketing schemes and interviews with the creative ‘minds’ behind it, they throw another curveball of stupid at you. The game could be alright in the end, if hopelessly derivative, but goddamn, since Day 1 they’ve been trying their hardest to show themselves as having the mental maturity of 14-year-olds.

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Already Dead

Posted by Matt on August 6, 2009

It wasn’t that long ago that I was complaining that there was no one to talk to online about TMNT: Smash Up. Now that I’ve seen both major communities devoted to the game, I want to go back to being alone. This is how my standards work.

I can’t sleep because it’s too hot in here. I have two fans on and a window cracked open and I’m still too hot. This is the downside of summer.

The upside of summer: I’m not too cold.

Just now I’m reading the comments to this, and it got me a-thinkin’, about the omnipresent concept of ‘dumb fun’.

Dumb fun does, in fact, exist, and it is completely alright. The problem, especially today (and especially considering the material discussed in the post, IE modern superhero comic events), is that they’re almost uniformly all dumb and no fun. Postmodern audience awareness has made it so that silliness is now a detriment, and unfortunately that also has a negative effect on creativity. Plus, everyone now thinks they’re a genius, and especially in the case of mainstream superhero comics, they are serious writers writing serious literature, even if that serious literature involves zombie Green Lanterns.
So, really, dumb fun is dead, or at least in hiding. In its place is dumb plodding self-aggrandizing tedium.

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