Me: “Yeah, I’d like to buy the new video game, Battlefield 2142”
Salesman: “That is a great game, its on sale for fifty dollars… Thank you sir, here’s your change, enjoy the game! Now, if you will just stand over here with your legs apart and your hands at your sides…”
Me: “Huh? What’s all this?”
Salesman: “Um, well you see, every purchase of Battlefield 2142 comes with a kick in the balls from Lugash. So Lugash here is going to kick you in the balls to fulfill the purchase agreement.”
Me: “But I don’t want to be kicked in the balls.”
Salesman: “Totally understandable sir, but Lugash here has paid EA Games a LOT of money in order to get this kick in the balls included with the game.”
Me: “Look, it didn’t say anything about this on the box! I just want to play the game, I don’t want…”
Salesman: “Of course you don’t sir, but if you read the EULA you will see that by purchasing the game, you have already agreed…”
Me: “Hey, fuck the EULA, and fuck you too! What right does this guy have to kick me in the balls just because I’m buying a video game?”
Salesman: “Sorry sir, but it IS a Free Market, and EA Games is a business. A business that wants to make money. Therefore when Lugash offers them money to include a kick in the balls with their product, they have every right to make such arrangements.”
The moral of the story
Change ‘kick in the balls’ to ‘in-game advertising’:
…there is a printed disclaimer that comes with the game telling you that Battlefield 2142 will analyze certain “advertising data” on your machine to determine what ads to display to you. Ironically, EA says that if you don’t want your data shared with its advertising partner then “do not install or play the software on any platform that is used to connect to the Internet.
OK, the little naked kid dipped in flour and wearing mascara and dark contact lenses (typically played back with dropped frames) was pretty spooky…back when I first saw it in The Ring. But then it was done. And like any fad, that one got beat to death. I don’t think there is a single video from Asia Tartan Extreme at Hollywood Video that Doesn’t have a pic of the spooky kid on the cover. I’ve seen it so much now, that if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the spooky kid hanging from my bedroom wall, I would tell him to piss off, roll over, and go back to sleep.
Directors like Sam Raimi still think it’s scary, and they base entire movies around this No-Trick-Pony. They have learned about the Sting. They know that there is an instinct that makes you react to sudden visual or audio cues (Stings). This will always work, but it is NOT HORROR. It is a tool used in Horror Movies, but by itself it is no more Horror than a cup of flour is a pancake.
I was trying to watch the movie The Forgotten which relied on stings throughout the movie to keep the audience from falling asleep.
No matter how many times I pretend to punch you in the face, and stop an inch from your eyes, you will blink. You can’t not blink. It’s instinctual. Directors think this is Horror.
But it is not.
Because it ain’t scary no more. That’s right. Not scary. Like Crazins. Not Scary. Like Aspartame. Not Horror.
The guilty directors will probably never realize this, since they don’t read my blog, and since they still manage to make money off the most unhorrifying horror movies ever made. The Boogyman. The Grudge. I could go on. Annoying perhaps, like being on hold with Belkin Tech Support, but not Horror.
Using stings as a crutch to make your unscary Flour-Boy seem scary is not Horror. It is Startling. It is Jarring. It is going to cause even normal people to launch into an epileptic seizure. We need to come up with a different genre for this dogshit. When I go to the Horror section to rent a Horror movie, I want to see something Horrific. Startling alone is not Horror, and does not count. Put it in the Jumpy section.
I’m waiting for someone to just run a black slate for 90 min, and randomly drop in a couple still pix with a giant audio hit. Watch the crowd jump! Best part is the pictures can be of anything at all, and the crowd will still jump!
“Oh my God, an Ostrich!”
“Holy Shit! A little boy dipped in flour! Did you see that?”
There aren’t many people I know who would run off to save endangered animals, but Karrie is one of them.
After hearing about a pet shelter in Kentucky overpopulated with dogs, and PUTTING THEM TO SLEEP because they can’t afford to feed them, Karrie did what everyone else did NOT. She called some friends, they rented some trucks, and as I type they are hauling dogs back to MN, and away from certain death.
Any help at all that you can get them (including blog links, any kind of media coverage, donations or adopting one of the dogs) would be greatly gratefully appreciated. Even if you can only afford a couple bucks. And if you can’t afford to make a donation, please fwd an e-mail, or make a blog post to get the word out. Unlike all those bullshit e-mails that promise you ‘good luck!’ this is certain to at least cover the monthly interest on your karmic debt.
Karrie, you are a saint. When I die, I’m going to hit you up for some good karma…
Obviously I haven’t been posting much lately, but not for a lack of things to write about. Quite the opposite. September seemed like an entire year in itself without two spare seconds for me to rub together. Here’s why:
Sucks. All the kids know this, and when I was a kid, I knew it too. While my thirst for knowledge has not waned, I find that classes and homework are keeping me from other things…
Down with the Sickness
…and being sick is not one of those things. Being sick Really Truly sucks. Everyone knows this. Whatever I had hung on for a solid week and a half of misery, another week and a half of discomfort, and now (one MONTH to the day) it still manages to annoy. I’m sure there are worse things than being labeled as a ‘walking snot factory’ but I’m just hoping it won’t affect my vocals on…
Right. Drums are done. Basslines are half finished. The goal was to have all basslines done this week, Guitar and Vocals done around Oct 20th, and a final rough mix by Halloween. Like I said: Right.
Some guys go bowling, some get together to watch ‘the game’, some play poker, but there We were, meeting on Tuesdays after work: recording, arranging, cutting, pasting, looping, and critiquing, punctuated by the inevitable Windows reboot. We also listened to bands from Lamb of God to Blondie, From Motorhead to Ray (not to mention all the Ray Remixes).
For well over a year; just some guys who might just as well have been playing Dungeons and Dragons. In all this time, it never once felt like a band. Until last Tuesday. Strangely, we didn’t get much recorded that night, just some rough tracks to use as placeholders. But last Tuesday we got several things done which made it seem like we were finally a real band.
We decided on a name: Jagged Spiral. We also registered www.jaggedspiral.com and picked up a myspace page. Who doesn’t have a myspace page? Even God has one, and He even decided to be one of our friends. Hmm… Just don’t expect too much content, we’re focusing on recording. Plenty of time for marketing later.
The Demonslayer’s Handbook
Every day this manuscript isn’t finished kills me a little more. But I’ve learned that it writes itself, and every time I put a date on it, it stops writing itself just so it can show me that I don’t have total control over it. It can’t be finished soon enough.
If you are going to a Halloween party, then you need to wear a costume. That’s the point. If you aren’t going to wear a costume then stay at home. And Halloween costumes should be scary at best, creepy if possible, and surreal at the very least. If the kids wanna dress up like Spider-man that’s great. But we already have plenty of holidays throughout the year filled with rainbows, princesses, and cute bunnies. Enough. It’s Fall, and the land is dying all around you. The dead are here, walking the earth, and if you don’t ‘treat’ them, they will ‘trick’ you.
And you decide to dress like a pirate.
Well, that’s pretty surreal, so I guess it’s OK in my book. But when the forces of Evil come to my door, my costume is going to scare the piss out of them. So what if I have to clean Satan’s piss off my front step? I’ll be laughing while I do it.
Why is ‘Princess’ topping the list for costumes for kids, and ‘Witch’ is the top costume for Adults? I think this says something about the American Subconscious. Could it be that all little girls are taught (or inbred with) the desire to be rich, beautiful, loved, (and helplessly dependent on some strong, handsome male figure) just like in every God-Damned Disney Film Ever Made? This might explain why ‘Red Cross Volunteer’ did not make the list. Then again, I don’t really speak fashion. Anyone care to interpret for me?
Why are ‘Disney Princesses’ counted separately from ‘Princesses’? Hmm? WTF? A princess is a princess is a princess.
Why is ‘Dracula’ not counted among the ‘Vampires’? Hmm? WTFFF? A vampire is a vampire is a freaking vampire. I notice they didn’t differentiate between ‘Butt-Ugly-Witches-With-A-Wart-On-Their-Nose’ and the ‘Smokin-Hot-Sexy-Witches’ which is a HUGE difference, when compared to differentiating Dracula from all other Vampires.
Why God why are more adults dressing as ‘Pumpkins’ than as ‘French Maids’? This makes me sad.