Thursday, April 26, 2007
I figure it was about time I made up my mind on whether or not the Transformer movie will be worth seeing on the first day. The last time I saw a movie on the first day was Star Wars Episode 3, which turned out to be a huge disaster because I went to a Turkish movie theater and saw it dubbed in Turkish. I was too embarrased to admit I was in the wrong place so I just sat there and had the movie visually spoiled for me while I was wondering what the hell everyone was saying. I read Lucas' films have a visual style that makes them easily understood by deaf people or something, but man I was really hurting that day. Fortunately I live near Rapid City, South Dakota now so my chances of accidentally seeing the Turkish dub of Transformers are infinitesimally small.
So I've read the prequel novel for the Transformer movie and I've read all the prequel comics out so far and I get the feeling like this is going to be Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but the aliens are robots that want to kill you, plus they turn into Camaros. And unfortunately the robots look like multiple vehicle car accidents. Now most people would think this is a formula for disaster but actually it is a recipe for the greatest movie ever next to Laserblast, which I saw when I was four and left me scarred for life with its awesome. So yes, my fellow citizens of Macrocrania, I will be watching the big scary robot movie on the first day.
P.S.: Turkish General Grievous sounds better than the english one.
SO the movie we watched was "Deja-Vu", a time travel story starring Denzel Washington who is really good looking and I hope he's gay because the Queen of Macrocrania looks a little too hard at the screen when he's on. In a nutshell he's a cop investigating a terrorist incident who goes back in time a couple days to stop the TERRORZ from happening. It's essentially "Man on Fire" but with a time machine and some really bad driving. I don't think Denzel gets in a car the whole movie without causing at least three multiple fatality accidents. That's probably why I couldn't figure out if this was supposed to be high drama or an action comedy. Whatever it is it's been made to appeal to people obsessed with time travelling and terrorism and who drive their real car like they're playing Need For Speed Carbon. That niche market may well describe the American voting majority.
Par for the course for my brain is to dream about the movie I saw before I went to bed so I was not surprised when in my dream I was transported back to 2003 when I was in Chicago for the official Transformers convention. I'm never really in control of my dreams and this was no exception but I do remember all sorts of terrorisms kept happening. Apparently my mind was taking my real memories and integrating exciting terrorisms, making this the wildest robot convention ever. Alongside my memories of the convention, planes crashed into the hotel from out of nowhere and I kept getting wet with toilet water. I don't know how the terrorists pulled off the backed up toilet flooding just in my room or how that constituted a win for jihad. Maybe it was terrorist toilets. If my in-dream mission was to stop the terrors I was doing a bad job.
But the thing about the robot Chicago convention was that was where I met a guy named Bill. I was putting up a statue of Megatron I had made in the art room and instead of being instantly awestruck and spontaneously combusting (the usual response I get), Bill gave me tips on how I could make my Megatron better. I kept asking myself, "Who is this guy? Why am I strangely attracted to him?" And most importantly, "How is it that he is not on fire?" wHEN i go to Transformer conventions I run around a lot, partly because I am scared and/or I have to go to the restroom. Consequently my time with Bill was short but I remember him vividly because he made some very impressive robots himself and he wasn't afraid to help anyone see how they could be better. Bill was already pretty famous in online robot fandom circles and he went on to do many great things in the Transformer customizing community in the ensuing years. I was always impressed with how he wasn't afraid to be outspoken about his opinions or his talent and that encouraged me to be a little more self confident myself. At Botcon 2006 I entered my Megatron statue in the art show and I made the improvements Bill suggested. I hope he saw them.
Too bad I never said thanks or anything because last month Bill died of a heart attack at 31. The online Transformer community all took time out to reflect on this guy and what a huge help and inspiration he was. I'm not involved in the online robot community and I wasn't close to Bill at all as much as everyone else was, so I kind of laid low since there's nothing much I could add to all the nice things people had to say on the various message boards. But I did want to mention him here and I was greatful for the chance last night to relive in dreams our brief encounter amongst the crashing planes, spontaneous cumbustors and flooded toilet.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
SOmewhat recently over on the Moon Masters boards, the Maharaja Mack Daddy reminded me why it is important to acknowledge the work of podcasters I like. It has been a while since I realized my one true calling in life is to act as a validating mechanism for those who create internet content, so I took his words to heart. I've been failing the podcasts I listen to by not generating feedback and that is something I hope to correct over the next few days by leaving comments or voicemails at their respective sites. As only one person in a larger audience it does seem rather pointless but there is nothing sadder than seeing podcasts with feedback systems put in place and then they get 0 comments. Or the comments they do get are "Doods UR Show ROCKS!" or even worse, abstract unrelated commentary like "FU Britney! WE ARE HERE TO WITNESS CREATIONZ!"
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Awaken to attacking titans, screaming.
A terrible armageddon, technology salivating.
Assasins thwarting attempts to safely avoid the approaching thunder, shooting.
All things, all thoughts...silenced.
Awful tasty apple toast spread.
Avoid the Australian tarantula sperm.
Amazing telekinetic ardvark testicle soup.
Atomic toilet ass torture shorts.
The best sources of inspirational philosophical guidance in my life have been interviews with Bruce Dickinson in heavy metal magazines. (Also the lyrics from his 1994 solo record "Balls to Picasso".) Over breakfast yesterday I was reminded of one of the most meaningful uplifting things ever said by a human being, which came from a Bruce interview in a 2005 issue of the magazine "Dehumanizer".
tHE mark of a truly profound phrase is if it can be taken out of context and applied to other situations and it still rings true. Like how Bruce Dickinson said that many bands only have four good albums in them. When I read that I was floored. What a great way to explain how fantastic things should be appreciated on their own merits and how expectations based on previous performance can lead to disappointments, blinding us to the greatness of what has come before. So what if your favorite band's fifth album sucked? You got four great records out of them. You should be happy.
I was eating some bacon yesterday and the fifth slice was kind of burnt. I asked myself, what would Bruce Dickinson say about this? He'd say I should be appreciative of the other four bacons. And I was.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
more pointless, ugly and absurd
than toy robots
with shapes compromised
by the forms to which they're turned.
As I look upon countless shelves
it seems so plain to me
I've spent a life and lots
of money on this
rocket robot menagerie.
It started in the seventies
Fantastic rocket fist granduer.
My addiction to the laser beams.
I blame it on
those Shogun Warriors.
There are probably worse ways
to regret my childhood than
wishing I was a little
asian boy instead
playing with toy robots in japan.
So I say "There are worse hobbies"
and "robots are a lot of fun".
How crazy must I be that
"I could be hooked on crack"
is my only consolation.
There is no greater irony than
how lately I pass my time
Daydreaming about how I'll paint
my Dodge Dakota red
like Alternators Optimus Prime.
At thirty three I should just be
worried about which president to vote for.
But I don't give a crap.
I'll still keep writing in that
I'm voting for Prince Lotor.
There are way more meaningful pursuits
Like curing cancer and saving life.
But I'd be really impressed
if someone could engineer
A transforming robot knife.
So I salute you my fellow robo crazies
your robot playing hands have callouses.
You buy your Mazinger Z's
I'll buy Bandai Valkyries.
And we'll all build our Vintage Space Toaster Palaces.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
"If you allow your children to watch these cartoons, if you allow them to bring these comic books into the house, if you allow them to have these toys or you buy them for them, you're going to be held responsible before god."
BEST ROBOT SHOW COMMENTARY EVER
Friday, April 13, 2007
It's tough to say what definitively happened to Mighty Orbots and why (or if) the toy was never produced and why the show got cancelled. The internet is rife with speculation but I do know a lawsuit filed against Mattel by Tonka seeked to prevent distribution of the toy on the grounds that the Orbots line was too similar in name and appearance to Tonka's GoBots. I don't know much more beyond that. I'm rather positive that the show was cancelled after the first season not due to lawsuits but because it tanked opposite the Smurfs. The Smurfs ruled Saturday morning television and Mighty Orbots just had the misfortune to be in a time slot against them. I don't think much of anything could have beaten Smurfs. The Transformers would probably have suffered the same obscure fate the Orbots did if they were a Saturday morning network show up against Smurfs.
Misfortune aside, Orbots was a fantastic show that I loved. I wish it would get released on DVD like so many other TMS entertainment shows like Galaxy High and Galaxy Rangers have been lately. In the meantime I just keep going to these pages over and over again trying to relive the magic of the best robot show that couldn't use laser beams:
- Interview with animation writer Buzz Dixon-From Quick Kick's Theatre, this is a 1986 interview that was originally published in David Anthony Kraft's COMICS INTERVIEW magazine. Buzz wrote two episodes of Mighty Orbots and Orbots was one of his very first jobs (that actually got aired) in the animation industry. In the interview he talks about how Orbots had great ratings that were always within a few points of first place, and he reveals inside information on why it got canned.
- Interview with animation director Osamu Dezaki-In this interview Mr. Dezaki talks about his experiences in animation and briefly reflects on what it was like working on Mighty Orbots.
- Profiles of Osamu Dezaki and Akio Sugino-This page has comprehensive background information on the series director and character designer. There's a picture of Mr. Dezaki there for those wanting to see what he looks like.
- Michael Reaves, Orbots story editor-This is the personal site of Michael Reaves, the show's consultant and story bible writer. He also wrote or co-wrote more episodes of Mighty Orbots than any other person.
- John Cawley's GET ANIMATED!-GET ANIMATED! was a fanzine dedicated to animation published back in 1985. If you like Orbots you absolutely must have issue #3 of GET ANIMATED! It features a cover story chock full of Orbots information. At only $5 a copy (including shipping!) I guarentee you won't be dissapointed.
Orbots creator interviews and information
- Orbots cel gallery-Here's a nice collection of Orbots cels from Stuck In the 80's, a webpage showcasing the cel collection of Kathleen and Maryann Robbins.
- Arioch's Mighty Orbots Page-Obligatory link to one of the most popular Orbots fan sites on the internet. Everyone who has ever googled Orbots ends up here.
- Dishonest John's Classic TV Toons-Dishonest John has a nice one page section devoted to Mighty Orbots with some really good screen caps.
Orbots fan sites
- Mighty Orbots Fan Page-This is the only active (as of January 2005) Yahoogroup I know about dedicated to Mighty Orbots.
Orbots Mailing list
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Having a son reminds me that I heard the Y-chromosome is shedding alarming amounts of genetic information from one generation to the next. Fortunately I have devised a plan to infuse my son with extra manliness by builing an obstacle course for him in my backyard identical to the one seen in the intro of GI Joe, complete with dangerous laser beams. Until his infant legs can move fast enough to dodge my laser rifle, we will be watching marathons of Gigantor and Tranzor Z. In a few years will he achieve DNA manliness on the level of his great grandfather who I think piloted a giant black and white robot and beat up Cobra Commander's dad. Maybe he didn't but I don't know for sure because both of my grandfathers died when I was three. This left me grandfatherless, which is similar to an orphan but less powerful.
Being de-grandfathered early in life opens up numerous opportunities for awkward social situations because lately my friends in their 20's and 30's get sad when their grandfathers die and they come to me looking for consolation. Never knowing my grandfathers does not make me an expert on the grandfather bereavement process. Like how I would daydream in fourth grade about getting Voltron to do my homework. It seemed like a good idea because he was a robot and robots are smart. This shows how lame my imagination was. While discussing our Voltron fantasies at recess the other kids said they'd make him roar a lot, set the cafeteria on fire with his laser eyes and cut the teachers in half. This highlights the absurdity of putting powerful robot technology in the hands of children, which was the plot of all the Japanimations when I was little. This also highlights the homicidal pyromaniacal nature of the ten year old boys at my school.
One day when I was a little boy my grandma and I were looking through the old shed she had in her backyard with many of my grandfather's belongings. I was shocked when she found a little scale model of a Model T Ford that she said belonged to my grandfather. He left it unfinished but all the parts were there in a box. She gave it to me and I was so happy and excited to have a shot at finishing it. It would be like we were working on something together beyond the seperation of death. We'd have a connection like all the other little boys and their grandfathers who were still alive. Then when I was washing the model parts in the bathroom sink some of them went down the drain. I was distraught and depressed and I cried a lot and never even tried to finish the model. I guess the moral of the story is that it's not too late to be a disappointment to your grandfather even after he's dead.
But don't feel all sad for me just because I'm a sort of orphan with poor imagination, no grandfathers and I don't know how to use a sink. Luckily I am Catholic so I believe that my dead grandfathers live in outer space with Jesus, the superhero fisherman with magic powers. Hopefully when I die I can use the power of Voltron to defeat Jesus and get my grandfathers back. Then we will go on the lam in fantastic robot lions as we attempt to restore the power of the y-chromosome with Blu-Ray players. Being Catholic kicks ass!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Unknowable Secrets of the Magic Chicken People REVEALED! OR: How the most advanced civilization in all of science fiction was Care Bear land
there would be a class where someone would explain to me magic chicken marketing.
Unfortunately nobody ever explained the inner workings of the chicken people marketing method and it remains a secret to me to this day. But when I see chicken people I just sort of go along with it. I accept them as elements of my existence that I don't understand and I move on. I don't question them. So why is it that I am having such a hard time reading the new Transformer movie prequel novel? I'll tell you why. Because although I can accept the premise of an ancient race of giant transforming alien robots, I can't figure out why that one is named Bumblebee. Every time I'm reading that book and I see that name, I get yanked out of the story and I go-"WAIT! Why is that one giant transforming alien robot who has never been to earth before named Bumblebee?" Smarter fans of toy robots than I understand these things but I haven't quite finished my PhD in why alien robots name each other after fuzzy bees from outer space.
But Transformers isn't the only fiction where I find myself being yanked out of the story by unfathomable-to-my-feeble-brain inconsistencies. I cringe every time I see a spaceship in Star Wars taking off vertically. How is it that ninety nine percent of the Star Wars ships have the rockets on the back but they all float straight up when they first take off? Only the Slave-1 had ground pointing rockets! Why did the Voltron lions roar? Why would they deem it necessary after building this marvel of combining robot engineering to put in roar technology? What is roar technology and is it activated by a button in the cockpit? Why? I also don't understand damn near anything about how Care Bear Land works. Holy hell they had cloud based technology incorporated into architecture and transportation systems! At least the Star Wars stuff could be remotely explained as advanced circuit based electronics, but FUCK! Care Bear science found a way to make cars WITH SMILEY FACES ON THE FRONT from water vapor! Holy hell THEY ARE THE MOST ADVANCED CIVILIZATION MANKIND HAS YET IMAGINED.
OOPS! The Queen of Macrocrania has just informed me that the chicken guy who rides a bike is actually the mascot of the chicken sandwich restaurant next to the cell phone store. ANOTHER UNKNOWABLE MYSTERY SOLVED!
Friday, April 06, 2007
I'd rather wipe people's butts at the McDonald's restroom than keep writing the HTMLS for Vintage SPace Toaster Palace
When I worked at Target back in 1994 as a stocker boy the other stocker boys would invite me to play football with them in the park. I knew they played a really brutal form of touch football that resulted in horrific injuries and lots of damage to themselves and nearby trees. They'd come to work with all these horrible scars and bruises like they just survived car accidents. But they reassured me it was just 'touch' football. Kind of like 'touch' in the way that the electric chair 'touches' death row inmates.
One week in this process of maiming each other they broke the leg of Beto, the only guy who knew how to run the forklift in the Target stockroom. Worse than that, Beto was a wide receiver at touch football death match. So although they knew I was a 20 year old, 110 pound toy robot loving nerd, they didn't ask in in an ironic or sarcastic way. Those guys really needed an extra guy and they were willing to lower their standards enough to beat me up, too. Holy crap I think I broke part of my brain that day. After the game, each of my eyes wouldn't line up with each other, like how if you look through a pair of binoculars that's been run over by the Death Star. I had to drive home in my '79 Toronado with my head cocked at a 45 degree angle in order to get the picture from my left eye to line up correctly with the picture from my right eye. Also it felt like I was on fire.
That's kind of how I felt just now as I finished adding about ten zillion ads to the Vintage Space Toaster Palace. My brain is totally fried and I really need to stop before my dogs start talking to me in HTML tags. But in the meantime I hope you like the new Galactic Man and Transformers 1985 sections.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The speed of your fax machine determines how much of a toy robots fan you are OR: ORBOTCON or BOTCON?
As a fanbase gets older it is very probable that their expendable income increases as well. Understandably, it is only fair that convention organizers who cater to people in a well established and large fandom be compensated proportionally to what those attendees can pay. For example, the exclusive toy at a convention for Mighty Orbots held in South Dakota this year was a $2 unpainted resin model kit some guy made in his garage. However, the exclusive convention toy at this year's Gundam convention in Antarctica is a $250,000 platinum plated Gundam figure with diamond eyes. Because Gundam is older than God (and more popular) and Mighty Orbots sucks Voltron balls.
In ten years it will cost $25,000 to preregister for Botcon but because at least 4 people can afford it, they'll keep doing the show. But don't think you don't get anything for 10 months of your entire yearly income. Those four lucky people will get blood transfusions from Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime. Peter will be providing voices in Michael Bay's Transformers the Movie PART X, which will be released that year. And each attendee of Botcon 2017 will get a box of 200 exclusive figures, 197 of which will be black repaints of that year's Optimus Prime. The three others will be new figures recolored in the paint schemes of obscure minicon characters from Transformers Armada to appease the 'old skool' fans. (Actually all characters from Transformers Armada are obscure even today because nobody watched Transformers Armada.) And Botcon 2017 will be on the moon.
Something else I can tell you about the future of this fandom is that Botcon will far outlast the retail Transformers toyline as long as hundreds of people keep paying over $300 in preregistration fees. Those more established well off fans will keep paying more and the convention organizers will keep charging it and giving them more of that addictive social interaction with other condescending fans, L33T feelings that come from owning exclusive Optimus Primes and other participatory toy robot event nirvana. What to do if you can't fully participate because you won't mortgage your house to go to Botcon? Well, the only alternative I see is to kill all Transformer fans over 30. They are the ones with high enough incomes to perpetuate the CONRAPE that the lesser fans are suffering. But if you come after me I will cut your head off and mail it to your mom via that cool new R2-D2 mailbox. I'm not going to Botcon this year anyways so back off!
Besides, you could always not pre-register for Botcon and just pay $9 at the door. Think of it this way-at least you're not going to Star Wars Celebration 4. They have to pay $110 just to get in, and that's without toys of any kind. You should be glad you're being let in to Botcon at all, you cheap bastard!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
As an offshoot to the Sector Seven website there's been a series of podcasts by a character called "Agent-X". If you're playing along you've already subscribed to the podcast via itunes but bECASUE i THINK ItUNES ARE GAY HEre are the direct URLs to the mp4s:
Agent X Podcast Episode 1
Agent X Podcast Episode 2
Agent X Podcast Episode 3
Agent X Podcast Episode 4
Agent X Podcast Episode 5
Agent X Podcast Episode 6
Agent X Podcast Episode 7
Some website guy (who I suspect is a marketing shill for the Transformers corporate media machine) has altered the pitch of Agent X's voice to hear the real voice under the distortion. And what a big surprise-it's Peter Cullen acting all crazy, which is kind of cool in a 'my grandpa has Alzheimer's disease and he thinks he's a secret agent' kind of way. First off, what the hell kind of batshit crazy robot fan would think to alter the pitch of a distorted voice from a toy robot movie show podcast? And second, HOW AWESOME IS IT THAT HE DID?
Monday, April 02, 2007
In my continuing effort to make the internet more retarded, I have launched the Vintage Space Toaster Palace. It is a collection of 20+ year old toy robot related newspaper ads. I've been annoying countless library patrons since 2002 by using the noisy microfishe reel machines to photograph old newspaper ads of Shogun Warrior toys from 1978. But fuck them! Now I share the fruits of that labor with you, my fellow citizens of Macrocrania. I'm starting it off with ads for Battlestar Galactica, Micronauts, Shogun Warriors, the Starbird and Voltron. But later on I'll put up an assload of Star Wars and Transformers ads. Then like everything else I do I'll lose interest and stop paying for webhosting in nine months and go back to practicing my force powers and riding Tauntauns.
It may not be bestiality but you still need to stop raping your Teddy Ruxpin before your wife finds out
Dear Evil King Macrocranios,
I am a closeted gay stockboy at WalMart and ever since 1989 I have been raping my Teddy Ruxpin. Lately our lovemaking has grown tired and I secretly have been wanting to fuck Tickle Me Elmo. I try to keep it intersting by putting casette tapes of Milli Vanilli in him and we even go fucking out in public but it's just not the same anymore. I have been banging Teddy Ruxpin since I was nine and he used to give great blowjobs so I don't want to quit but he's changed. I purposely took out his batteries last time so he wouldn't feel anything. It was like giving him a date rape drug. I feel pretty guilty about that. My question is this-is what I do considered beastiality? And even worse, am I gay?
You crazy fucker! A mice just shitted in my styrofoams and jumped on my head!
Yesterday I found a Teddy Ruxpin head in my refrigerator.
I think my husband is the Jeffrey Dahmer of stuffed animals. When we were at lunch I asked him if he had a Teddy Ruxpin when he was little and he said, "Yeah, I HAD him all right. And all the Powerpuff Girls." I am worried about STDs. Can he get herpes from the Powerpuff Girls? It makes me uncomfortable because I think he's turning into one of those furries because I guess this is how furries start out but so far he hasn't mutated into one of those freaks. My question is this-is what he does considered beastiality? And even worse, is he gay?
SOMEBODY PLEASE SHOW ME HOW TO CONNECT MY GODDAMN HD TELEVISION!