Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad

Here at PKTM Inc., we (I) rarely stray into serious topics.About the most serious article I’ve posted is a review of the 1989 Batman movie, and I spent half of that post raging about Bat-Nipples.

BAT-NIPPLES!!??

Because I’m a mold breaking visionary, I have decided to review a movie that is (sort of) about teen suicide. Being a teenager, this is an  issue that could have serious repercussions on me and those around me. I say “could have” because it hasn’t actually affected me. There isn’t a ton of teen suicides being reported up here in Canada, and when they are, it’s usually only pretty girls.

Okay, I may take a lot of flak for this, and I’m about one year too late in talking about this, but Confession Time: I didn’t really give a shit about Amanda Todd. Any more than other teen suicides, I mean. Before Amanda Todd, tons of teens were cyberbullied or just plain bullied and a lot of them committed suicide.

For example, this kid.

Check the above link if you want to go into specifics, but long story short, a fourteen year old high school student in New York State committed suicide because a bunch of assholes wouldn’t stop teasing him for allegedly being gay. So, did the western World erupt in anti-bullying mania?

Nope. Know why? Mainly because a) He didn’t make a dramatic, heartbreaking YouTube video that nobody gave a shit about until it was too late, and b) the poor kid wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Amanda Todd.

Am I saying that no pretty girl has committed suicide before? No, I’m just saying that (And don’t quote me on this, I’m just a bemused observer) that they would have less reason to right? Again, I am completely lacking in scientific proof of this, but it seems to me that a girl who looks nice would be more popular, and doesn’t it make more sense that someone who is more popular would be less likely to kill themselves then someone who is picked on for being ugly, gay, a minority, a nerd etc.?

And am I saying that Amanda Todd is just some dumb bitch that killed herself for no good reason? No. Not only no, but FUCK NO. I think it’s absolutely tragic that anyone who was their whole life ahead of them is driven to the unthinkable by (In this case) some perverted, sadistic, psychopathic piece of infectious human waste who took some sick pleasure out of seeing a kid degrade herself. And I’m certainly not on the side of the assholes who think that she deserved it for exposing herself online. Nobody should have to pay for a mistake that shouldn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things and that someone makes when they’re a fucking teenager.

But, I digress. I guess what I’m trying to say is R.I.P. Amanda Todd, R.I.P. all other unreported or ignored teens who ended their lives, Fuck you bullies. There is no excuse for what you do and you oughta be ashamed of yourselves and Fuck you, Pedophiles, there is nothing you do that is positive in any way.

“Also, while we’re somewhat on topic, fuck these guys too.”

Anyways, this fucking movie…

Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

Genre: (Very, VERY) Black Comedy

Starring: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Evan Martin, Lorraine Nicholson, Henry Simmons, Henry Simmons, Geoff Pierson, Mitzi McCall

Legacy: Shocked parents who assumed this was gonna be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Film-goers never thinking about  Daryl Sabara or Juni Cortez without thinking of auto-erotic asphyxiation and Scheiße porn. (Please, for the love of God, don’t search that.)

Quick Plot Summary:

Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) is a mild-mannered English/poetry teacher  and aspiring author, who declares in his narration that this is his fifth and final attempt at writing a novel. He is also a divorcee and a single parent who lives with his 15 year old son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara). Now, understand that while all teenagers are at least partially unstable (Take my word from it, I am one.) Kyle is severely broken in the head. Along with doing the usual teenager things, like disobeying his parent, being a retard, failing his classes and jacking off to internet porn, Kyle is also fond of insulting and belittling his dad and his friend Andrew (Evan Martin), telling a girl that “[her] pussy is not gonna eat itself”, enjoying scheiße porn (Again, please, please do not search this if you value your sanity) and, um, auto-erotic asphyxiation. That is, choking yourself in order to achieve orgasm. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

Try not to guess what the other hand is doing.

Interestingly enough, he also appears to think that everything and everyone is “gay” or “faggy”. That includes his dad, his dad’s writing, watching porn while not choking yourself, Bruce Hornsby, Heavy Metal, music in general, Andrew , not liking scheiße porn, America and vaginal sex. Because any authority on homosexual culture will tell you that the gayest thing you could ever do is have heterosexual intercourse.

God, how swishy…

In addition to his job as a completely unappreciated father, Lance’s poetry class is extremely unpopular. This may be because poetry was placed on this earth by cavemen as a way to fuck with future generations. On the plus side, Lance is also engaged in a noncommittal clandestine relationship with a younger teacher, Claire Reed (Alexie Gilmore). Unfortunately, he is getting jealous of Claire’s friendship with Mike Lane (Henry Simmons), an athletic black dude  whose Creative Writing class is miles more popular then Lance’s Poetry class. To add insult to injury, he is also a successful writer.

Also, he looks like this.

One day, when he gets back from a date with Claire, he checks on his asshole son only to find that he has accidentally choked himself to death during auto-erotic asphyxiation. In order to save Kyle and himself the humiliation, he makes his death look like a suicide and drafts a deeply intellectual suicide note. Through a leak in the police, or something or other, the note is revealed to the public, much to Lance’s dismay.

However, in a shocking twist of fate, the students at Lance’s high school fall in love with the image of Kyle as a troubled, misunderstood poet. A personality cult starts growing  around his image as a dopey-looking Kurt Cobain and as a result, Lance’s poetry class gets a million times more popular. Taking advantage of the sudden popularity of “Kyle’s” writing, Lance releases a “long-lost journal” of his son’s. The excellently written (And completely bogus) journal brings Lance national fame…. And a growing sense of guilt. (This is what is known in the business as “predictability”.)

A technique also employed by such films as “Every single fucking romantic comedy ever.”

 Overview:

The first time I watched this movie was at the tender age of 11, where my mom picked it out thinking it was going to be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Obviously, it was not. It was promptly turned off, but I revisited it a few days ago when I found it on Netflix.

What’s my first impression after watching it? Well, mainly  that I can see why my mom didn’t want me watching it. This movie is the exact definition of a black comedy, and then some. The movie’s humour is very dry, though not nonexistent, and the overall tone is dark as all hell. I actually like dark or black comedies, but I feel like sometimes this one takes it a little too far.

Two things I liked about the movie were the performances from the two leads, Robin Williams and Daryl Sabara. Starting with Sabara, who plays Kyle Clayton, and is excellent at making himself completely, wholly despicable, almost to a fault. All memories of Juni Cortez in Spy Kids are erased upon seeing this sociopathic asshole be his vile, despicable self. And Sabara does a very good job, such a good job in fact, that it’s kinda hard to resist jumping for joy when he dies.

Fortunately, Robin Williams is able to counteract Sabara’s ugliness extremely well as Lance Clayton. He is pleasantly restrained (Unlike, say, in Aladdin) and well, very dry and subtle. This is, needless to say, quite unusual for a Robin Williams performance.

No, really?

Also, bonus points for the Krist Novoselic cameo.

Overall:

Though it’s not particularly involving, it can sometimes be too dark for comfort and is definitely a joyless movie, World’s Greatest Dad covers up its flaws well through the strong performances of its two leads.

78%

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Musician Biography: Dead Kennedys (Part 2)

(This is a continuation of this post.)

In the first part of this inaugural edition of Musician Biography, I have been reviewing the Dead Kennedys career, from their humble beginning in the Bay Area punk scene to their rise to underground stardom and finally, the lawsuit which effectively ended their run of excellence.

The story of the Dead Kennedys does not end with their breakup though. I wish it had, but it wasn’t to be.

After the split, the Kennedys went their own separate ways.   Drummer D.H. Peligro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988. He helped write some songs for their Mother’s Milk album before his drug and alcohol issues led to his firing. Bassist Klaus Fluoride focused on his solo career, releasing three albums on Alternative Tentacles. East Bay Ray participated in several obscure musical projects, while Jello Biafra formed an industrial band called Lard.

Yeah, I can believe that.

Biafra also did an excellent collaboration album with Canadian punk legends D.O.A. entitled Last Scream of the Missing Neighbours. In 1991, he released an album with another Canadian punk band, NoMeansNo, called The Sky Is Falling and I Want My Mommy. He also released several spoken word albums.

However, this fairly amicable breakup did not last. In the late 90’s, the band members discovered that they were not receiving their allotted share of royalties from Alternative Tentacles. Despite the fact that everyone agreed that it was an accounting mistake, Ray, Fluoride and Peligro decided to blame Jello for not  informing them of this. Biafra claims that their lawyers had told him only to correspond through lawyers and not directly with the band, as the conflict over payment had apparently arisen before the accounting mistake was discovered. This little spat eventually led to a lawsuit, where he was found liable for the royalties and was ordered to pay damages of nearly $200 000, inculding $20 ooo in punitive damages to Ray, Peligro and Fluoride.

All this was bad enough, but then it just got plain uglyDuring the trial, claimed that the band wanted to license the song “Holiday in Cambodia” for use in a Levi’s Dockers commercial. The other band members deny this, though Biafra was able to give specifics about said advertisement, including the advertising agency. Interesting…

I also mentioned in the previous entry that East Bay Ray had pushed for the band to sign with a major label. Is it really so much of a stretch to imagine that he might be unopposed to using a hit song in a corporate advertisement. Talk about forgetting your roots.

Seen here: Punk Rock!!!

The jury, however, did not give one flying fuck, seeing as how Levi’s wasn’t the enemy.

Well, in this case, at least.

And, completing their devolution into traitorous scumbags, Ray, Fluoride and Peligro also got their grimy hands on the DK’s entire discography (With the sole exception of the “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” single), which they swiped from Alternative Tentacles, and gave to the independent Manifesto label, who reissued the albums without giving a dime to Biafra.

In one of the most retarded ways to bury the hatchet after swindling somebody out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Ray, Fluoride and Peligro invited Biafra to reform the band with them. Biafra, who has long expressed his disdain for nostalgia, essentially told them to go fuck themselves. Incorrectly assuming that it’s still the Dead Kennedys without Jello Biafra, the band was reformed with a new lead singer, Brandon Cruz. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Mr. Cruz played Bill Bixby’s son in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

Seen here: Someone who can really kick ass in the hardcore scene.

Now, to be completely fair, I can’t rag on Brandon Cruz too much. He wasn’t one of the people who betrayed Jello. Also, it’s not like he had no punk credentials. He was the singer of the Nardcore punk band Dr. Know. However, that’s not truly effective consolation for someone who just got his ass replaced by a goddamn ex-child actor.

The DK Kennedys (As they called themselves before reverting back to Dead Kennedys.) proceeded to destroy everything that the old DK stood for, appearing at corporate-sponsored music events, distributing advertising posters falsely portraying Biafra as still being in the band, and not recording any new music whatsoever. NOT. A. SINGLE. GODDAMN. SONG. The only vague whiff of new music from the retooled lineup was when they altered the lyrics to “MTV Get Off the Air” to make the shitty, terrible “MP3 Get Off the Air.” I guess that’s what happens when you kick out the only person in your band who could actually write a half-decent song.

 WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

The Faux Kennedys (As I decree that they be called) are still touring and have no plans to release new material. They dumped Brandon Cruz in 2003 and replaced him with 25 year old Jeff Penalty, who was almost half the age of his new bandmates. He described this as “the realization of a dream [he] never even dared to have.” However, he parted ways with the group in 2008 in what has been described as a non-amicable split. This presumably occurred after he discovered that his former heroes were now huge dickbags. They replaced him with some dude named “Skip”, whom even their website’s members page does not give one shit about.

Jello Biafra is still operating Alternative Tentacles, which has since moved to Emeryville, California. AT has distributed albums by Alice Donut, the Dicks, D.O.A., NoMeansNo, Subhumans, Pansy Division and Star Fucking Hipsters, as well as spoken word albums by Noam Chomsky, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Jello himself. Since being stabbed in the back, Jello has released a ton of spoken word albums, and occasionally does a show on YouTube entitled “What Would Jello Do?” He also released two albums with the Melvins, Never Breathe What You Can’t See in 2004, and Sieg Howdy! in 2005. He is also a Green Party politician, and was a potential presidential candidate in 200, though he lost to Ralph Nader.

In 2008, he formed a new band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. They have since released two very solid albums, 2009’s The Audacity of Hype and 2013’s White People and the Damage Done. The latter of which I have just received in the mail, and cannot wait to listen t- wait, what the…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Musician Biography: Dead Kennedys (Part 1)

First off, let me apologize for going all this time without a post. I had final exams last week and was not only distracted by studying, but also by the worst case of writer’s block you’ve ever seen. This is the kind of writer’s block that leads to movie producers to exclaim “Fuck it, let’s just get somebody to blow shit up.”

File:Michael.bay.png

Come on, don’t act like you didn’t know where this joke was going.

On an unrelated note, if Michael Bay fucks up the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, let’s all agree to burn him at the stake, okay?

Anyways, I’m back and with a new feature, which I’m gonna call “Musician Biography” until I think of a better name for it. (I’m open to suggestions.) In this feature, I take a look at a musician or band’s career and examine it in depth (Or, y’know, as in depth as I get.). Since I’m a big punk rock fan, it will usually be an artist or musician from that genre, but I will make attempts to diversify. I was going to kick it off with 30 Seconds To Mars just so I wouldn’t start with a punk band, but I gave in and decided to go with what may be the most influential American punk band not named the Ramones. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for…

DEAD KENNEDYS

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Active From: 1978-1986, 2001-Present

Genres: Hardcore, Punk Rock

Legacy: Truly politically aware punk music, Jello Biafra’s godliness and a steady job for Brandon Cruz.

The Scene: San Francisco. The Time:1978. Twenty year old Raymond Pepperell, an ex-guitarist for a rockabilly band, attends a ska-punk show at Mabuhay Gardens. Apparently favourable of the music, he promptly advertised for bandmates in a classifieds newspaper. Answering the call to arms were twenty year old Eric Reed Boucher, a UC Santa Cruz student from Colorado, twenty-nine year old Geoffrey Lyall, an ex-bandmate of Billy Squier’s, and Bruce Slesinger, who nobody seems to know shit about.

Probably figuring that their real names were not what you would expect from a dangerous punk band, they decided to adopt some kick-ass stage names. Slesinger became, um, Ted and took over on drums. Lyall became Klaus Fluoride and picked up a bass. Pepperell took the name “East Bay Ray” and took guitar. Boucher was left with the mic and took the name “Occupant.” After realizing that it wasn’t 2012 in Wall Street yet, Boucher took the name Jello Biafra, referencing the clear relation between horrifying genocides and tasty gelatin desserts.

Oh, the humanity!

Along with the four mainstays, the band also recruited Carlos Cadona (6025) as a second guitarist.

The band itself took the name “Dead Kennedys” in order to “Bring attention to the end of the American Dream.” Considering that Ronald Reagan’s dual-terms as president were coming up, this seems almost prophetic now. Given the provocativeness of their name, they had to go under pseudonyms, including “The DK’s”, “The Sharks”, the “Creamsicles”, and the “Pink Twinkies.” Their first show was July 19, 1978 at Mabuhay Gardens.

In March of 1979, 6025 left the group, mainly because a) he wanted to play prog-rock for some inexplicable reason and b) he and Biafra hated each other’s guts. In June, after a year of playing in and around the Bay Area, the band released their first single, titled “California Über Alles“. (Try to avoid the comments section, if at all possible.) The single was released on Alternative Tentacles, an independent record label formed by Jello and Ray.  The song, sung from the perspective of then- and current governor of California, Jerry  Brown, depicts a hippie/fascist California of the future, where uncool people are killed by the “suede denim secret police” with “organic” poison gas chambers. In retrospect, the Tea Party would have misunderstood the shit out of this song.

The song was a great early example of the menacing and tense mood of the DK’s music. Militaristic drumbeats, a gradually increasing speed, and Biafra’s sneering vocals casually commenting on how “you’d look nice as a drawstring lamp” (Which is, essentially, a lamp with a lampshade made out of human skin.). After the release of the single,  the Kennedys embarked on a successful east coast tour.

Also, around this time, Jello Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco. Out of a field of ten, he finished fourth.

With their star rising, (you know, as much as a hardcore band’s star can rise) music industry bigwigs started to take notice. On March 25, 1980, the band was invited to perform “California Über Alles”  at the  Bay Area Music Awards along with major label acts in order to give the event “New Wave credibility.”

Seen Here: New Wave.

Instead of playing “California’, the Dead Kennedys , dressed like this…

‘These guys look like they would be down with major labels, right?”

…took the stage, but about 15 seconds into the song, Jello proclaimed “Hold it! We’ve gotta prove that we’re adults now. We’re not a punk rock band, we’re a new wave band.” They then performed a new song called “Pull My Strings“. A stroke of musical genius that viciously attacked the musical industry. You really have to hear it to appreciate it, but to give you an idea, this was the chorus:

“Is my cock big enough? Is my brain small enough for you to make me a star? Give me a toot. I’ll sell you my soul. Pull my strings and I’ll go far.” 

Needless to say, they were not invited back.

In May 1980, the Kennedys released a second single entitled “Holiday in Cambodia.”  Another underground masterpiece, the song was a dual attack on both Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia and, essentially, hipsters. On September 2nd, the band released their first studio album on Alternative Tentacles, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. This is the closest the DK’s got to a perfect record. There is not a single disposable track on the entire album, and it is widely thought to be a punk rock classic. Not only that, but it remains pretty damn relevant. Have a listen to “Kill the Poor.” Doesn’t it sound like a present-day Republican (Or present-day Democrat, for that matter) campaign promise?

In January 1981, drummer Ted decided he wanted to leave the band to pursue a career in architecture. He helped the Kennedys find and hire his replacement, a massive young black kid from St. Louis named Darren Henley, who took the name D.H. Peligro. On an unrelated note, how many other punk bands can you name that have black members? (Not named the Bad Brains, I mean.)

“Well, there’s Yellow-“
“I said PUNK, asshole.”

Around this time, in a preview of what was to come, East Bay Ray started pressuring the band to sign with Universal Music subsidiary Polydor Records. The idea was nixed by Biafra, who threatened to leave the band if that were to happen. Polydor Records grew uninterested in signing anyways after the DK’s revealed that their next single was entitled “To Drunk to Fuck.”

The election of Ronald Reagan in January of that year served inspiration for the Kennedys, as seen the In God We Trust, Inc. EP. From attacks on the religious right (“Moral Majority”), Neo-Nazis (The excellent “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.”) and the Gipper himself (“We Have a Bigger Problem Now”, which was essentially a re-tooled version of “California Über Alles”). In 1982, their second studio album, Plastic Surgery Disasters was released. While not as good as Fresh Fruit, PSD was still a very well-received effort that started straying from traditional hardcore and started experimenting with psychedelic and jazz music.

With the release of Plastic Surgery Disasters, and the subsequent touring of the States, Europe and Australia, Dead Kennedys became one of the biggest underground rock groups in the world.  The Alternative Tentacles record label flourished as well, with bands such as D.O.A., the Dicks and the Butthole Surfers signing on.

In 1985, the band released the excellent Frankenchrist album, which explored in more depth the Kennedys’ musical range. While still not as good as their debut album, Frankenchrist is a close second, with songs like “Soup is Good Food” and “Stars and Stripes of Corruption”   attacking, once again, the US government while songs like “MTV Get Off the Air” and “Jock-o-Rama” poking fun at American social dynamics.

Unfortunately, the album was also the beginning of the end for the Dead Kennedys. You see, on a poster included with the album was a painting by H.R. Giger (The guy who designed the aliens in Alien) entitled, rather descriptively, Penis Landscape. This was racy enough, but even more unfortunately for the band, this was the era where the PMRC and the religious right were trying to stamp out any form of  “harmful matter” in music. Long story short, the band survived without penalty, but Alternative Tentacles was driven to near bankruptcy. Here’s hoping Tipper and her faux-Green ex husband stay irrelevant. On the other hand, maybe something would be done about Nicki Minaj.

I, for one, suggest a targeted assassination.

After that whole debacle, the Dead Kennedys grew disillusioned not only with society, but also with the hardcore scene itself, which was attracting, among others, thugs, racists and homophobes who were only there to act tough. Frustrated, California’s most iconic hardcore band called it quits in February of 1986, though they did finish recording their fourth and final album, entitled Bedtime for Democracy. While it was subversive as ever, it kind of seemed, well, dull. With no real standout tracks, the only message that this album conveys to me is a “fuck this shit” mentality. Never would one think that Jello Biafra would display that idea, but there you go.

So, this seemed rather cut and dry, right? Band forms, becomes good, breaks up, end o’ story. There can’t be much more to it, right?

Nope.

Stay tuned, dear readers, the tragedy of the Dead Kennedys is far from over.

NL All-Star Ballot Update!

(This is a continuation of this post.)

I should probably be studying for my science final, but I haven’t posted any thing for a bit  and since I have nothing new to say, I’ll just finish with this week’s All-Star Votes.

Boring baseball posts are a clear result of writer’s block.

To unblock my mind, I thought I’d go with the proven strategy of singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, but since I’m a straight male, the tactic of “serial dumping boyfriends” is a bit unattainable.

Anyways, while the American League only has the Orioles fans who  are blatantly ballot-stuffing, the National League has a quite a few teams, mostly the Giants and the Cardinals, seem to really be helping their players out. Let’s see whether this rampant voter abuse is worth it:

NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 15)

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds 2,047,945
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs 1,524,517
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,191,229
Brandon Belt, Giants 997,066
Freddie Freeman, Braves 924,937

My Vote: Joey Votto

Well, this one seems about right. Brandon Belt has slowed down in his acquisition of votes and Paul Goldschmidt is in second place, behind Joey Votto. There is some debate as to whether Goldie or Joey should be the starter, but while I thought Goldschmidt should’ve  been ahead a few weeks back, his recent slump skews the odds back in Votto’s favour.

SECOND BASE
Brandon Phillips, Reds 2,021,277
Marco Scutaro, Giants 1,717,875
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 1,508,314
Chase Utley, Phillies 982,966
Daniel Murphy, Mets 786,414

My Vote: Matt Carpenter

This race, unlike the American League race, which has so far unjustly excluded Howie Kendrick, is actually excellently represented. While Utley and Murphy are the dark horses, the three main candidates seem to all have equal merit as All-Star starters. I think that Phillip’s home runs are clouding his real value though, and as for Carpenter and Scutaro, it was pretty much a coin toss between them.

SHORTSTOP
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 2,443,772
Brandon Crawford, Giants 1,293,476
Jean Segura, Brewers 1,188,317
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 905,976
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 771,665

My Vote: Jean Segura

Alright guys, bad news. Troy Tulowitzki will probably miss the All-Star Game.

While this does mean that the ASG will be without one more excellent player, this also means we STOP VOTING FOR HIM. Let’s not make the same mistake that the AL is doing with Derek Jeter, okay?

And what is Jean Segura doing behind Brandon Crawford? While Crawford is putting up solid numbers, Segura is hitting .329 and is on pace for more than twenty home runs. That is not even a fair comparison, between the two of them.

I’m kind of shocked that Kozma and Simmons are here, in part because I don’t think they should be, but also because fans tend to cruelly shun no-offense/all-defense ballplayers.

Then again, I could be wrong.

THIRD BASE
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 2,180,147
David Wright, Mets 2,053,744
David Freese, Cardinals 1,152,038
Chris Johnson, Braves 829,420
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 686,905

My Vote: David Wright

Many people see the main reason for electing David Wright to be “He’s a Met and they’re playing in Citi Field.” That’s true, but how about the reason that he’s miles better than any of the other guys? Kung Fu Panda is injured (And not as good) and has done nothing to really deserve that starting spot. You know, other than being adorable.

“Mom, can I keep him?”

CATCHER
Buster Posey, Giants 2,606,434
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 2,543,588
John Buck, Mets 866,471
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 630,902
Brian McCann, Braves 627,056

My Vote: Yadier Molina

Oh man, this race is extremely close. Less than 100 000 votes separate two of the best catchers in baseball from each other. I chose Yadi based of his superior offensive stats and the fact that he’s the better defender. There. I can now brace myself for the waves of angry San Franciscans who aren’t seeing their guys get any love. God help me.

OUTFIELD
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 2,385,240
Justin Upton, Braves 2,054,225
Bryce Harper, Nationals 1,981,030
Ryan Braun, Brewers 1,645,094
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 1,508,355
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1,330,471
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 1,319,419
Hunter Pence, Giants 1,286,163
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,274,755
Angel Pagan, Giants 1,131,176
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,027,684
Gregor Blanco, Giants 934,174
Jon Jay, Cardinals 884,323
Domonic Brown, Phillies 837,748
B.J. Upton, Braves 733,744

My Votes: Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Gomez

Yes, I based my voting on the fact that they’re all named Carlos. It’s a free country! What are you, a communist?

Another by-product of writer’s block is a bad joke about communists.

Anyways, the following is a list of people that don’t deserve to be here: Angel Pagan, Jon Jay and B.J. Upton.

On that rushed, unclever note, I bid you all adieu until my writer’s block clears up. (You will never see me again.)

AL All-Star Ballot Update!

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last checked out the All-Star Vote standings for the AL and the NL. I’d say we’re probably overdue for another tirade against ballot-stuffers, eh? Well, as soon as I tear my eyes away from the mean-spirited ugliness that is the MLB.com comments section. Is it just me, or do all people named “commenter” have some form of mental instability issue?

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 15)

FIRST BASE
Chris Davis, Orioles 2,999,094
Prince Fielder, Tigers 1,980,129
Mike Napoli, Red Sox 744,334
Albert Pujols, Angels 693,062
Mitch Moreland, Rangers 645,071

My Vote: Chris Davis, Orioles

It’s good to see that at least one of the starters will be deserving. Chris Davis is absolutely killing it in Baltimore. Really, if anybody has a .330+ average and is on pace for 40+ home runs, then they better be the ASG starter.

I’m kinda dissapointed that Adam Lind isn’t getting any love, and especially dissapointed that Albert Pujols is seen by some as an All-Star. I can’t really complain otherwise.

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Yankees 2,409,512
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 1,635,674
Ian Kinsler, Rangers 1,123,654
Omar Infante, Tigers 872,142
Jose Altuve, Astros 734,896

My Vote: Robinson Cano

Man, was probably the most difficult position to vote for. I mean, in the top 3 spots are three EXTREMELY good ballplayers in Robbie Cano (Who will almost certainly be voted in) Dustin Pedroia (Who may be having a better season, and Howie Kendrick, who- wait a minute. Where’s Howie? Howie!? HOWIE!?!?

Wrong one, asshole.

In the end, I voted for Cano, but going back on it, I think Howie Kendrick was the better choice. I can live with Cano starting though.

However, the fact that Kendrick isn’t in the Top 5 is inexcusable.

SHORTSTOP
J.J. Hardy, Orioles 1,871,010
Elvis Andrus, Rangers 1,358,412
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers 1,322,791
Jed Lowrie, Athletics 1,019,861
Derek Jeter, Yankees 669,698

My Vote: Jhonny Peralta.

My God, there were slim pickings at this position. The only truly worthy contenders (That I remember) are Hardy, Peralta, and Lowrie. This seems as good a time as any to speculate on why exactly Elvis Andrus is here. I must have been asleep when a sub .600 OPS was declared an acceptable quality for an All-Star. Bot his OBP and his Slugging Percentage are under .300. Stop. Voting. For. Him.

As for Derek Jeter, i’m not going to bother  chastising the idiots who voted for the guy who hasn’t played a single game this season and  probably won’t play in the game anyways. I just find it weird that in the comments section, nobody seems to own up to voting for him. Does this mean that whoever’s voting for him is embarrassed that they voted for him? I mean, they should be, but they should be able to put their money where their mouth is, right?

THIRD BASE
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 3,277,890
Manny Machado, Orioles 1,626,209
Adrian Beltre, Rangers 1,105,706
Evan Longoria, Rays 898,422
Josh Donaldson, Athletics 500,773

My Vote: Miguel Cabrera

What can I possibly say about Miguel Cabrera that hasn’t been said already? I can really only express my condolences for Machado, Beltre, Longoria and Donaldson. Any one of them (Mainly Machado) would have had a decent shot had it not been for Miguel Cabrera existing.

CATCHER
Joe Mauer, Twins 2,127,175
Matt Wieters, Orioles 1,615,625
A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers 885,137
Carlos Santana, Indians 864,779
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox 748,725

My Vote: Joe Mauer

My only two complaints here are: a) That Matt Wieters has more than a million votes and b) That Jason Castro is nowhere to be see on the list. This is mostly as a result of the obscurity that comes with working in Houston.

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz, Red Sox 2,488,451
Lance Berkman, Rangers 1,239,521
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays 769,322
Mark Reynolds, Indians 745,058
Mark Trumbo, Angels 722,667

My Vote: David Ortiz

Big Papi’s monster season took me completely by surprise. How often does an obese, non-juiced 37 year old put up a .900+ OPS?

Ha. No.

On a bitter note, how the fuck did more people think that Lance Berkman deserves the vote more then Edwin Encarnacion?

OUTFIELD
Adam Jones, Orioles 2,740,505
Mike Trout, Angels 2,710,115
Nick Markakis, Orioles 1,463,392
Torii Hunter, Tigers 1,425,571
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 1,379,251
Nelson Cruz, Rangers 1,310,079
Nate McLouth, Orioles 1,300,158
Alex Gordon, Royals 1,040,685
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 1,004,434
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 926,611
Coco Crisp, Athletics 869,153
Josh Hamilton, Angels 726,485
Austin Jackson, Tigers 712,623
Shane Victorino, Red Sox 682,220
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees 620,734

My Vote: Adam Jones, Mike Trout, Jose Bautista

This list starts off strong (With the exception of Torii Hunter and Nick Markakis over Jose Bautista) but gets dodgy near the end. Angels fans can’t stop spewing hatred at Josh Hamilton, and yet, they keep voting for him. And it boggles the mind to ponder how Ichiro got here. I love the guy too, Yankee fans, but come on. He’s a defense only ballplayer nowadays, and God bless ’em (I may be the world’s biggest John McDonald fan) but  he’s definitely not an All-Star

Tomorrow, be sure to check in for the NL ballot update and my thoughts.

E3 Convention Part 3: Who won the Battle of the Consoles?

(In case you missed the first two entries of my comments on E3, Part 1 can be found here while part 2 can be found here.)

What say we just cut the intro bullshit and get to it?

The Eight Generation Consoles: From Best to Worst

1. Sony’s PlayStation 4

Release Date: Holiday 2013

Well, I think we all saw this coming.

While I don’t care very much for the tech jargon that is thrown around when it comes to video game consoles (Hell, I’m not even sure what RAM is), the PS4 took me completely by surprise. After years of being in fierce competition with (And, let’s face it, losing to) Microsoft,  Sony took advantage of Microsoft’s total clusterfuck of an E3 convention and essentially based their entire campaign strategy around  making their new platform look better than their competitor.

A strategy that has paid off in the past.

And, well, it WAS better. In pretty much every way. Not only is the PS4 a full one hundred dollars cheaper then the Xbox One, it also has backwards compatibility (Via a cloud-based streaming service called Gaikai. I have no idea what any of that means.) has a motion sensor that is optional and that you can actually turn OFF and probably won’t spy on you as well as the fact that YOU CAN SHARE YOUR FUCKING GAMES WITHOUT PAYING EXTRA!!! HOLY FUCK, IS THAT NOT INCREDIBLE?

The one downside that comes to mind is that you now have to pay for the PlayStation Network. This doesn’t matter too much for me though, since not all of us give too much of a shit about online gaming.

I know, right?

Also, the backwards compatibility will be something of a difficult are for those of us who have no clue how a Cloud based system works. Come, on Sony, get on this!c I want to play Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2!

2. Nintendo’s Wii U

Release Date: November 18, 2012

Believe it or not, I actually considered giving Nintendo first place for a bit. This is not just because of my pro-Nintendo bias. I think the Wii U does a few notable things better then the PS4 and (most certainly) the Xbox One. Specifically, the price and the backwards compatibility. A white Wii U is going for the price of 400$, currently. Also, unlike the PS4 and the Xbox, Nintendo has an easily accessible backwards compatibility system…It just plays your Wii games. Unlike the PS4, which has a cloud based system that I am betting will only be of use to those with PS3 games, and the Xbox, which has, um, nothing.

“Man, why are we taking so much guff in this post?”

However, I decided against it for the sole fact that those aren’t that important in the quality of the system itself.

Nintendo played it low-key this year, going with the apparent campaign slogan of “We may not be as good as PlayStation or as high-profile as the Xbox, but we can wait a few years until Sony and Microsoft destroy each other. Then, we will rule the (Gaming) world!” It appears to be working, judging by this.

Satoru Iwata - Game Developers Conference 2011 - Day 2 (1).jpg

“BWAHAHAHAHA!”

Also, Smash Bros. Smash Bros. helps.

Microsoft’s Xbox One

Release Date: November 2013

Oh, wow, where do I even begin?

As I believe I stated above, Microsoft had one disastrous E3. It all started when they revealed their new console, the Xbox One, in May. At first, it looked amazing. It looked like this next console war would be a walk in the park for the Xbox.

But then came the hurricane.

One of the first things pointed out was the fact that the Kinect was both mandatory and it didn’t seem to turn off. This fear was only added upon when Microsoft was revealed to have given private information about it’s users to the US government. I will go ahead and assume that this lost them a substantial amount of customers. The fact that there is no backwards compatibility doesn’t help either.

Then it was revealed that the Xbox One would need internet connection to work. This alienated all the households that can’t afford either internet or Xbox Live. Xbox executive  Don Mattrick helpfully suggested here that those who don’t have internet (As well as the US soldiers stationed worldwide that just want to play the goddamn video games when they’re not getting shot at) “stick with the Xbox 360.”

Alienating the poor: A campaign strategy that has NOT payed off.

And finally, my two personal biggest gripes with the console are 1) It doesn’t support used games and 2) if you want to share it with someone, that have to pay for it. Holy shit, how much pot do you have to smoke to make THAT sound like a good idea?

I’m not saying that all’s bad with the console. The motion controls seem to work really well and some of the games look AMAZING. Also, I’m not a fan of mailing death threats to Mattrick or others who worked on the Xbox. These are good people who released a mediocre (At best) console. I have no doubt that in the Ninth Generation of gaming, Microsoft will come back strong.

Until then though, I strongly recommend to leave the Xbox One on the shelves. Let Microsoft learn from their mistakes. Personally, I will be getting a Wii U and a PS4. The PS4 because it’s the best of the three and the Wii U because of Smash Bros.

If only for no other reason than to beat the shit out of that creepy fucking Wii Fit Trainer.

E3 Convention part 2: More Games!

Before jumping right in, I’d like to apologize for lying about doing a post yesterday. In my defense, a little barely known film called Man of Steel got in the way. You probably haven’t heard of it.

“Not going to movies on opening night and feeling crowded as all hell is soooo mainstream.”

Though, really, when was the last time you’ve heard of a sixteen year old keeping a deadline?

Anyways, let’s dive right in, shall we?

Super Mario 3D World

Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Wii U

Release Date: December 2013

I didn’t play Super Mario 3D Land, but if I do get a Wii U, this game will be near the top of my must-buy list. I’m betting that this game won’t be nearly as good as Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxies 1 and 2, but it will, in all likelihood, be a really good time.

Interest level: 4/5

Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS

Developer: Sora Ltd./Namco Bandai Games

Publisher: Nintendo

Platforms: What does it say in the title, jackass?

Release Date: 2014

Oh my God. Yes.

The Smash Bros. franchise is what got me into video gaming. At the spry (Confession: I’m not entirely sure what spry means.) age of six, wide-eyed little me rushed downstairs on Christmas morning and excitedly tore into my presents. As luck would have it, this was also the Christmas that my parents decided to afflict technology addiction on me. The last present I opened was, to my surprise, a Nintendo GameCube. Wrapped in the bundle with the GameCube was Super Smash Bros. Melee. This was my first video game console and game that I had truly appreciated (My parents had made the mistake of giving my brother and I an NES…When I was three and he was two. Needless to say, the poor NES did not last long.). When I was eleven, I waited impatiently while Super Smash Bros. Brawl got delayed again and again and again. When I finally received my pre-ordered copy, I popped the disc into my Wii and, within five minutes, was ready to declare it the best game ever made.

Of course, that was only because I hadn’t played E.T. yet.

Anyways, I may cover more of Smash Bros. in another article.

Interest Level: 5/5

Yoshi’s New Island 

Developer: Arzest

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: 3DS

Release Date: 2014

Ever since I saw the poor fella being callously betrayed in Super Mario World, Yoshi has been my favourite Mario Bros character. I mean, come on. The poor bastard raises Mario from birth, puts up with his fucked up crying, and is the sole reason the the greasy plumber lived to beat the shit out of Bowser every other day, and Mario repays him by dumping him off a cliff.

Seriously though, how much does Baby Mario suck?

I don’t see why you’d need Yoshi’s Island in 3D though. Seems like overkill. Also, I don’t much feel like depleting my precious Smash Bros budget.

Interest Level: 1.5/5

Sonic Lost World

Developer: Sonic Team, Dimps (3DS)

Publisher: Sega

Platform: Wii U/3DS

Release Date: Holiday 2013

I’m pretty sure I stopped giving a shit about Sonic. It may have been when Big the Cat was introduced. Or, you know, when Sega introduced bestiality into the franchise. 

What the fuck is going through Knuckle’s mind here? I can’t tell if he’s disgusted or horny.

Interest Level: 1.5/5

Beyond: Two Souls

Developer: Quantic Dream

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PS3

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Fuck, man, if knowing that Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe are in this game…

And I do mean…

…IN the fucking game…

isn’t enough to convince you to buy it, then nothing is.

Interest Level: 5/5

The Last of Us

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PS3, PS4

Release Date: June 14, 2013

I’ve never been one for horror, but from what I’ve seen and heard, The Last of Us looks fan-fucking -tastic. Story-driven action-adventure is most definitely my cup of tea, and I would get a PlayStation to try it out.

I mean, just fucking YouTube it, all right? It looks like Fallout meets Resident Evil.

Interest Level: 5/5

Kingdom Hearts 3

Developer: Square Enix First Production Department

Publisher: Square Enix

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One

Release Date: TBA

As you may or may not know, I have a morbid fascination with Disney.  And, from what I’ve heard, Kingdom Hearts is like the Avengers of Disney classics plus a bunch of anime characters I don’t give a shit about. I hope that the PS4 has backwards compatibility so I can play through the first two (main) games. 

Eh, oh well. As long as it includes Lion King characters, I’ll be happy.

Interest Level: 4/5

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Release Date: TBA

For fuck’s sake, Desmond Miles must be the most impossibly mixed-race man in the world. Arab, Italian, Aboriginal and, um, pirate? Okay then. Doesn’t distract from the fact that this series should have ended two games ago.

Interest Level: 2.5/5

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date: Holiday 2013

Dude who cares about my two cents? It’s South Park! Of course it’ll be awesome! When have Trey Parker and Matt Stone ever failed us?

Baseketball.jpg

Oh. Right. Never mind.

Interest Level: 5/5

Batman: Arkham Origins 

Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Platform: PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360

Release Date: October 25, 2013

Batman-Arkham-Origins-Box-Art.jpg

Motherfucker, I don’t need to tell you to pre-order this immediately, do I?

Any ways, tomorrow (I promise) I’ll have a look at the consoles highlighted at the convention and deci, once and for all, who won E3 2013.