Disjointed: My Thoughts

Can I just say, I hate a lot of 1960s television.  A lot of it isn’t even 1960s television’s fault, either.  A lot of tropes at the time were REALLY to blame: the canned laughter, the hokey jokes, the acting…  I’m way to used to 90s sitcoms I guess.  Home Improvement was always my jam.  Mostly because things got all splody when Tim tried to fix stuff…  But I digress.

Disjointed’s approach to the 60s esque sitcom was a sort of red flag for someone like me, but honestly, I’m glad I took the challenge.

For starters, the tropes may be there, but the language, and some of the subject matter is a LOT more adult.  And I’m not just talking about the fact the show is set at a marijuana despensery, either.  There’s plenty of dick and fart jokes, F-bombs, and what not that you’d THINK would clash with the kind of show they were going for, but in fact, works perfectly.

The thing I always look forward to in each episode of Disjointed is the animated sequences.  Most of which seem to exist in Carter’s head, but a few take place elsewhere.  I Guarantee that about seventy-five percent of the show’s budget went into those.

I’d say Dank and Dabby were my favorite characters in the entire show, but let’s face it, they were designed to be everyone’s favorite.  They’re the Jay and Silent Bob of Disjointed.  Except Jay’s a black guy, and Silent Bob is a chick who’s anything but silent.  In fact, this looks more like Jay and Jay than anything else.  Fortunately, these guys don’t get obnoxious despite all the potential in the world being right there.

Stories do get multiple episodes to develop (IE, Pete’s weird obsession with his latest bunch of marijuana plants), but for the most part, I’ve found this is a show you can walk away from for about a week, come back to, and not feel like you missed anything TOO important.  Say for maybe the last two episodes, which are a legit two-parter for sure.  I appreciate shows like that.

All and all, I recommend Disjointed.  Admittedly, they do have some real groaners in there (Kim Jong Un-believable comes to mind immediately), but what sitcom doesn’t?  As long as they’re few and far between, and the show holds my attention, it’s all good.

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Netflix Presents: Deathnote: My Thoughts

Whew boy, this thing right here SUUUUUUUUUUCKED!

Okay, let’s back up a little.

I actually love Deathnote.  It’s probably the last anime I truly enjoyed from start to finish.  It was the last time something on television felt like it was super urgent to watch, and that missing so much as one episode would ruin my weekend forever.  I had to avoid any and all spoilers for fear it would ruin the mood.  And even with all that, I STILL managed to have a couple minor gripes.

The biggest of all my gripes with the original Deathnote anime was probably the death of L.  Even at my most otaku, I was never one of THOSE fans, but L was the kind of character that had me come pretty close.  I saw this dude who was solving nigh impossible crimes while injecting himself full of diabetes, and I said to myself: “Dude, I have a new hero.”

My gripe with the death of L has less to do with the fact L died, and more to do with the fact Near (L’s replacement) was basically L with bluish hair.  The way the show was looking, I thought for sure they’d end up doing more with Mellow.  I personally would’ve approved of Mellow being the new L.  He was significantly different from his predecessor, almost to the point where you couldn’t even tell who the bad guy was anymore.  With Near, you really might as well have just kept L alive.

But that detail aside, plus the typical complaints/jokes associated with the English dub, I still enjoyed the ride, and I hold Deathnote in really high regard.

You really wouldn’t think anime, a genre that, in the states at least, is associated with fist fights, giant robots, and cute creatures popping out of magic balls fighting each other to the death, would feature something this cerebral.  I mean yeah, this isn’t exactly a Sherlock Holmes novel, but this is probably the closest thing to a cat-and-mouse rivalry I’d seen at the time in anime, and wasn’t a joke like Mouse or Lupin the 3rd.

Then, about ten years later, they released a Deathnote movie on Netflix.  Whew boy, the grievances!

The moment I saw that trailer, I was already dreading the possibilities.  The closest thing to a positive remark I had was that Willem Defoe as Ryuk was actually a pretty good casting choice.  Pretty sure Willem Defoe was living in my closet when I was a kid.  I checked every night, but…  You know, Family Guy already made that joke, and Family Guy is a whole other dumpster fire for another day, so let’s move on.

I’m pretty forgiving as far as the Americanization is concerned.  Light Yagami is now Light Terner.  Misa is now Mia.  L is a black guy.  The story is set in Seattle (I think).  All of these are fine.  I have no problem with this.  Some loudmouth neoliberal fucktard would, and probably HAS used this as a jumping off point to bitch about white-washing Hollywood or whatever, to which I say “Dude, shut the fuck up.”  Seriously, have you ever seen anime?  You’d think a country like Japan wouldn’t be making so many cartoons with white people, but look at it.  I think the only anime where the characters actually looked like Japanese people were Magical Shopping Arcade Obashi, and Monster.  And to be fair, the main protagonist of Monster was a Japanese man going to Germany.

I was about to end that tangent with something along the lines of “Stop making every fucking thing a social justice debate and enjoy the fucking show.”…  Except I forgot for a moment we were talking about Netflix’s Deathnote.  Yeah, I stand corrected.

I’ll give props to the production crew.  This looks like there was a budget behind it, and it looks like something you’d probably see on the CW.  Unfortunately, there’s plenty of other things wrong with it.  For example, IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING YOU’D SEE ON THE FUCKING CW!  CW: The young adult network.

I know I should treat different incarnations of a series as their own story, and should stop drawing comparisons to the version I like.  It’s one of the things that drives a friend of mine absolutely insane.  On the other hand, this is the same friend that thinks Kekistan is the greatest fucking thing in the world, so…  Yeah, advice not taken.

Light Yagami was a fucking sociopath.  Light Terner is a pussy.  If anything, MIA was the sociopath in this movie.  The dynamic was all sorts of wrong.

Ryuk was basically nothing but a spectator.  He chimed in with comments every now and then, and he offered to give Light the eyes of a shinigami (death god) at one point, but he never egged him on.  In this version, Ryuk might as well be the fucking devil.  He’s constantly double-dog-daring Light to write a name in the deathnote.

There are at least ninety fucking rules in the Netflix Deathnote, and a lot of them are stupid, or exist soully for the sake of plot convenience.  The anime Deathnote had…  I originally thought eight, but Panda from The Thrifty Niggle says twenty.  Either way, the rules were minimal, and introduced in a nice steady flow that didn’t feel like they were all being crammed into my head all at once.

I can understand needing to speed things up, considering this is a two hour movie instead of a thirty-seven episode show…  But that’s probably one of the biggest flaws of all.  This thing only had about two hours to work with.  And I ended up tapping out at an hour and thirty.

That’s right, I didn’t finish the movie.  Hashtag-SuperUnprofessional.  Whatever.  I don’t believe inflicting pain on myself for fun.  If I watch a movie, it’s because I want to have fun.  At absolute worst, I THINK it’s going to be enjoyable.

Long story short, this whole thing was a massive disappointment.  I probably ought to have known that the moment I saw the trailer, but what can I say?  I do a lot of stupid shit in the name of fandom.  Hell, I was talking about going to see Saw 8 the other day.

Reviewing Rockfest 2017 Entirely By Lineup and Nothing Else

I don’t LIKE being an angry-ass curmudgeon.  If I could change even the most trivial annoyance into something awesome, I’d do it.  I’m not one of those guys who complains because I like the sound of my own voice, or because it’ll get me more readers if I’m a negative fucking Nancy.

That being said, Kansas gives me a lot to complain about.  Whether it be something huge like the fact the governor is an idiot who has inflicted Reaganomics onto us all and left the state with a potential billion dollar debt to pay off by the end of the decade, or something trivial like the only rock station that played anything past 1991 suddenly establishing a cutoff date around 2005 or so and refusing to play anything from this fucking year, it seems like this state lives to infuriate me.

And speaking of local radio, it’s that time of the year here in KC.  That wonderful time where we spend the next three to four months hyping up a day-long concert.  A concert that…  Honestly, I’m surprised we’re having.

98.9 The Rock has not been itself lately.  The Annual Freaker’s Ball and Twisted Christmas events (the latter devolving into a cheap excuse to invite Steel Panther over to KC on a yearly basis, but I’m not complaining) didn’t happen this year.  Up until this month, every single concert they’ve been advertising has been some 70s throwback like The Led Zeppolin Experience, or The Pink Floyd experience, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers coming to town.  Shit, the only reason you ever hear about a modern band like Ghost coming to town is because they’re opening for Iron Maiden or something.  All of this only serves to perpetuate the timewarp this state is stuck in.  Forcefeed the audience the belief that rock died in the 1990s, and Kurt Cobane killed himself so he couldn’t be tried for murdering it.  Isn’t that right, KQRC?  You assholes who have officially programmed me to cringe in disgust and annoyance every fucking time AC/DC comes on the air anymore.

Okay, I’m calming down.  Seriously, it’s hilarious to think that about this time two years ago, I was complaining about Five Finger Death Punch getting played into the ground.  You know what I’d give for that playlist to make a comeback?

The point I was getting at is that considering this dramatic shift in format, and cancelation of what I’ve considered 98.9 traditions, I’m legitimately surprised we’re even HAVING Rockfest in the first place.  True, it’s at the KC Speedway instead of Liberty Memorial this year…  Which only furthers my belief not enough people came to last year’s Rockfest, and the station might be hemourhaging money, but that’s honestly just theory at this point.

Still, I had a feeling this year’s Rockfest was going to suck.  Considering the most recent band they’ve been promoting is either The Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Iron Maiden, I had a feeling there either wasn’t going to be a Rockfest, or Rockfest was going to become another nostalgia circuit show like Rocklahoma or something.  They released the lineup earlier in the month, and…  Honestly, my thoughts are mixed.

And so, for your enjoyment and my desire to purge the chattering voices in my head, here’s my thoughts of Rockfest based entirely on the lineup.  Because honestly, relocating to a smaller venue is easy to forgive if the bands can hold my attention.

Opening up this year’s Rockfest on the second stage is a band by the name of One Less Reason.  I’ve never heard of them, and I doubt most people have.  This has little to do with the previously mentioned cutoff date hampering the exposure of new music in KC, and more to do with the fact the opening act on the second stage is almost always a newbie that no one’s ever heard of.  Barring that, they’re an indie band that nobody who doesn’t go to that one bar has ever heard.  So yeah.

I listened to One Less Reason on Spotify, and honestly, they’re…  Okay.  They’re not horrible, but they didn’t necessarily light my world on fire either.  If anything, they sound a little overdramatic.  Seriously, check out the music video for “Break Me”.  I appreciate they decided to give us more than just a video of the band playing, but holy hell.  I seriously thought the first thirty seconds or so was a YouTube ad I couldn’t skip.

Up next is Sidewise.  They’ve been here before, and I liked them well enough.  So far, I’m thinking of showing up late enough to maybe skip One Less Reason, and catch these guys.

Up next, we have Candlebox.  AKA, those dudes who wrote “Far Behind”.  And literally nothing else.  I don’t know if they’re legitimately a two-hit-wonder, or if that’s just 98.9 humoring all three of Candlebox’s fans by occasionally playing this one song, and going right back into spanking my eardrums with “Back in Black” for the infinity-billionth time.  Kind of an odd choice.  Even if they’re a one or two-hit-wonder everywhere else in the world, it’s a good enough hit to hold my interest.  Doing good so far, 98.9

Next up is Crobat.  I…  Have no idea who these guys are.  I think they were at a Rockfest or two before this one, but I couldn’t tell you anything about them.  And I probably even watched them on stage the year they were there and everything.  Oh well, I could use the refresher.  Worst case scenario, the main stage is usually starting up by now, and if I end up hating them, I don’t have to stick around for them.

After them, we have Blackberry Smoke: that super obscure underground band that’s all over the place.  I’ve heard them, and I honestly can’t tell if this is rock or country.  If they’re country, we have ourselves some hardcore Trashville “city faggot in a cowboy hat” caliber country right here.  If it’s rock…  It kind of reminds me of American Bang: a one-hit-wonder (maybe) who’s ultimate claim to fame was that their one hit was the first theme song ever for WWE NXT.  I guarantee you the ONLY reason these guys are coming is because they’re buds with Johnny Dare.  Not that this is a bad thing, but honestly, they’re not my cup of tea.

Up next, we have Tom Keifer: the former frontman for Cinderella.  Oh boy.  I can hardly wait to skip this act entirely.  If you know me, or if you followed my old blog, you know how I feel about hair metal.  For the newbies…  Basically imagine Steel Panther without a punchline, and you literally have the entirety of hair metal.  It’s a joke, and it’s not a funny one either.  And yes, this is coming from someone who cut his teeth on grunge growing up.  I’d rather have a bunch of semi-intelligible homeless dudes from Seattle than a bunch of glittery transvestites who are TOTALLY super straight any day.

And really, what can I say about Cinderella.  Near as I can tell, they’re pretty much the status quo for that generation.  I have a pretty good feeling Tom Keifer’s set is going to be nothing but Cinderella covers.  So if you like Cinderella, then you have motivation.  If you’re like me, though, you’re already seeing what’s on the main stage, or hanging out at the concession stand/merchandise stand.

Rounding out the main stage is a band by the name of Zakk Sabbath.  I have no idea who these people are, but based on the fact they’re the ONLY second stage act that gets a soundbyte in the promos, and said soundbyte is a clip of “Iron Man” from BLACK Sabbath…  Yeah, I smell cover band.  Black Sabbath is more my speed, but again, keep that timewarp perpetuated, 98.9.  *sigh*

Then we get to the main stage.

Opening things up is…  P.O.D.?  Holy shit, those guys are still around?  Here I thought those guys broke up.  Or they disappeared into the ether, and retreated to the sanctimonious realm of Christian rock.  Don’t even get me started: this article by itself is taking for fucking ever to write.

Honestly, the fact P.O.D. was a Christian band always put a bit of a raincloud over my head.  I loved rap-metal, but I was a thirteen or fourteen year old boy who was in open rebellion against all things Jesus.  The one saving grace of P.O.D. in the longrun, though, was that they were never really in your face about it.  Yeah, they looked on the brighter side, which was a nu-metal no no, but at least they weren’t forcefeeding me heavy-handed Christian symbolism.  More than I can say for those jerks in Skillet.

I might actually check that show out.  Yeah, it’s a total nostalgia circuit show, but it’s MY nostalgia.  And yes, that does make me a hypocrite for railing against the nostalgia circuit, then immediately turning around and enjoying a nostalgia circuit esque show.  Big whoop, want to fight about it?  Well it’ll have to wait till I’m done with this.

After P.O.D., we have…  Oh dear god.  We have Buckcherry.

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a trillion times: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU PEOPLE SEE IN BUCKCHERRY!?  Buckcherry is, hands down, the worst band I have ever heard in my entire life.  Seriously, even at their absolute worst, Slipknot was still a trip to the fucking circus.  Even The Dillenger Escape Plan has some sort of pattern to its cacophony.  Hell, even AC/DC, burnt out on them as I am, at least sounds like music.  Buckcherry is fucking terrible.  “Crazy Bitch” is the equivalent of ear rape, and it’s embarrassing you people enjoy this shit song that any god damn thirteen-year-old could write in their sleep.  Josh Todd couldn’t carry a tune if you gave him a god damn forklift.  This band should’ve died in 2002 when everybody refused to buy “Time Bomb”.  But for some reason, they came back.  And we LET them come back.  And they’re never going to go away, no matter how much they suck , because you idiots decided after FIVE YEARS of absence, they needed to come back.

Ugh, fuck those guys.  Buckcherry suckvery.

Okay, I’m done.  What else do we have?

Well, after that exercise in misanthropy, we have…  Collective Soul?  Where are they getting these guys?  Here we have another band that 98.9 has perpetuated into one-hit-wonderdom.  Except I’m positive Collective Soul have written a lot more than just “Shine”.  Not that “Shine is a bad song or anything (far from it), but I’d certainly like to hear more.  Of course, such a request would cut into all that Pink Floyd time, so I’m not surprised I won’t be getting it, but still…

Up next is RATT.  Ugh.  Again, I’d point out the one-hit-wonder thing, but to be honest, that one hit isn’t even all that great.  Considering what era it came from, it could be a lot worse though.  “Round and Round” isn’t my favorite song, but it could be worse.  It could be something like “Talk Dirty”, or “Love Injection”, or literally anything by W.A.S.P.  Ugh, my god those guys suck!

I was kind of surprised to hear RATT is even still around.  I’m pretty sure that, at absolute best, RATT is a classic case of a band with none of its original members involved in it in any way, shape, or form anymore.  Like Cannibal Corpse, or GWAR, or Anthrax for a while.  The list goes on.

I’m also kind of surprised RATT are relegated to one-hit-wonder status.  Considering where I live, and the mindset being perpetuated, you’d think they’d play every single they ever came out with, regardless of whether it was a success or a flop.

After that, we got Halestorm.

Well at least they came from this decade.  Not to mention they’re LOADS better than Buckcherry.  Although saying that out loud is kind of like saying bologna tastes better than drywall.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: my one ultimate criticism of Halestorm is that they have no distinct sound.  They’re not quite as bad as Nickelback, or Papa Roach anymore, or any other play-what’s-popular band, but there’s no consistency from song to song.  One minute, Lzzy Hale is a badass who takes shit from no one (“Dirty Work”, “It’s Not You”, “You Call me Bitch Like it’s a Bad Thing”), and the next thing you know, she’s a fucking doormat (“I Miss the Misery”, “Mz. Hyde”, I almost want to say “The Familiar Taste of Poison”…).  Otep is consistent.  The Agonist was consistent until they replaced their vocalist.  Tristania was consistent.  Halestorm just isn’t consistent.

Also, as I’ve said before, “I Miss the Misery” hits too close to home for me.  Not getting into that story again.  At least, not here.

After them, we have Volbeat.  And Finally, we have a band I actually want to see.  A lot of the bands I’ve said I was interested in seeing up to this point, it was more of a “eh, why not?  Could be fun.” sort of deal.  Volbeat, on the other hand, kick ass, and I’ve wanted to see them for fucking ever.  Also, they and Halestorm are literally the ONLY bands from this decade, which I find fucking depressing.

Especially since right after Volbeat, we get Sammy Hagar side project 352.  Seriously, has ANY band Hagar’s put together lasted more than one album?  And don’t say Van Halen, because that wasn’t HIS band.  Aside from his Van Halen years, the only thing I know Hagar for is a solo career, and in more recent years, the band Chickenfoot.  Chickenfoot: they are so totally decent!

And finally, we get to the main event of the evening.  The band that everything, for better and for worse, has ultimately been leading up to.  And…  It’s Godsmack.  Again.

Okay, I’ll be honest with you guys.  I love Godsmack.  Yeah, they write the same two or three songs over and over again, which suddenly makes me sound like a hypocrite for loving Godsmack despite it, and giving AC/DC shit for it, but fuck you, Godsmack isn’t getting played into the fucking pavement.  I’m also aware Sully Erna is kind of a dick, but I’m at a point in my life where either all my childhood heroes turn out to be dicks, or I know better than to deify someone because they wrote a catchy tune I like to listen to while I punch things after a bad day.  All that being said…  Yeah, that solo album of his sucked.

There’s only one real reason I’m not all that excited for another Godsmack show, and that’s because I’m at a point where I’ve seen them to death.  They definitely have some new songs since…  What was it, 2010 when they last headlined?  And they’re probably coming out with a new album pretty soon.  I’ll never know for sure if the radio is all I have to go by, because FUCKING TIMEWARP!  But even if there is new stuff coming out, I’m really not motivated to see Godsmack AGAIN.

In fact, pretty much the ONLY reason I would waste money on a ticket or two is for Volbeat.  And literally nothing else.

And yes, I’m aware I hated “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie””  I still hold to my opinion that that album is a sign of coasting.  Still, literally everything BEFORE that album was awesome, and even if it means sitting through songs from that album, it’d be worth it to see a band I’ve been dying to see live.

Sadly, one out of fifteen isn’t enough to motivate me to go.  If I had to judge by the lineup, I have a feeling this year’s rockfest is going to be kind of a downer.  I’m probably better off saving that fifty bucks for rent anyway, the rate I’m going.

YES!, My Thoughts

I like professional wrestling.  Pretty sure I established that a few months ago.  I may’ve implied I gave up on it some time ago…  And as much as I would like to, they just keep finding ways of pulling me back in.  Case in point, “The New Era”.  They really need to work on that name (I’d go with “The Second Brand Extention” myself), but despite the fact it feels like every episode of Raw is recycling the same god damn matches every week, it’s actually not half bad.

And no, I’m not saying that because John Cena’s on the B-show now.  Seriously!  Okay fine, it’s PARTLY that.  Still have to put up with Roman Reigns, but even Reigns has his moments.  Also, Reigns doesn’t dress like a fucking six-year-old.  Admittedly, he looks like a taller, muscular, more Samoan version of what I’d look like if my parents let me goth it up beyond the black hoody, but that’s a rant for another day.

Recently, in my quest to find some audio to cram into my earhole to distract me from my perpetual loneliness, ennui, and the fact February 11 can’t just get here already, I picked up Daniel Bryan’s autobiography off of Audible.com: a delightful little memoir known simply as “YES!”.  Keep it simple, stupid.

The book is a joint effort by Daniel Bryan himself, and Craig Tello.  I’ll bet you money Bryan just dictated, and Tello compiled it all into an easy to digest brick of paper.  Or in my case, dozens of hours of audio read by Daniel Bryan himself, and Peter Berkrot.

Peter Berkrot’s portions of the book talk all about the leadup to WrestleMania30: what is so far looking like the last great WrestleMania.  And I’m only partially saying that because D-Bry was involved in the main event.  Seriously, now that Shawn Michaels is retired, The Undertaker’s streak is over, and the fact WWE still isn’t convinced we’re fucking sick of Roman fucking Reigns in the main event, I don’t think we’re going to see another epic.  We’ll probably have some passable Wrestlemanias, but the words PASSABLE, and WRESTLEMANIA aren’t designed to be in the same sentence!

But I’m getting off topic.

Berkrot’s readings are very dramatic.  I can’t tell if he’s going out of his way to do it like that, or if that’s just his default reading style, but it suits the tone just fine.

Daniel Bryan’s portions of the book…  Well…  It’s not the WORST reading I’ve ever heard, but aside from a couple reenactments of conversations with various other people…  Well…  I’d say “don’t quit your day job”, except he had to retire from that last year.

Honestly, Bryan just sounds like he’s rushing through it.  I don’t want to say it feels like he could literally be anywhere else right now, but I do get this feeling like he was on a time table, and wanted to get this all down as quick as possible.  It’s not quite as bad as the now legendary one-take approach in that Elderscrolls game, but it does kind of feel like he’s just rambling it all out.

But I can honestly look past that.  Let’s be honest, guys like Luke Daniels, Steven Fry, and Wayne June among others,  have set the bar pretty high.  It’s the story I’m interested in.  If I can endure Steven Brand trying to put me to fucking sleep despite reading an epic fantasy novel like The Waking Fire, I can endure this.

When it comes to the actual story…  Well, I already knew about most of the WWE stuff he covered, but everything from his childhood, to training, to Ring of Honor, to Japan, and even some of the behind the scenes stuff while he was in WWE was actually pretty fascinating.

He even recommends other books to read within his own.  Largely because he seems to feel he can’t do guys like William Regal justice when he talks about them, but all the same, that’s pretty cool of him.  I just wish Audible.com HAD THEM!  So far, out of the books he’s recommended, the only one I’ve found was that guide to Dao.  And honestly, I’m not even sure it’s the one he was recommending.

While I did watch a lot of the stuff he was talking about in WWE, it was still interesting to hear his take on several of the rivalries, skits, and matches he’s had.  Particularly, the nine months he spent tag teaming with Kane.  A veagan and a libertarian in a demon mask walk into a bar…  And only in the WWE would that NOT sound like the set-up for a bad joke.  Or even a GOOD joke.

As much as I’d love to recommend this book, I realize not everybody’s all that in to pro-wrasslin’.  Shit, I’m genuinely amazed I stuck with it this long.  Still, I recommend it, minor narration problems aside.  Also, you probably have more eye sight than I do, so that’s easily remedied by simply getting the hardcover version.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes: My Thoughts

Five Nights at Freddy’s, for the two or three people who are probably living under a rock, is the indie sensation sweeping the nation.  What started as a STEAM game where in you attempt to survive a week at the most horrifying Chuck E. Cheese’s knockoff ever, has ballooned outward into a tangled mess of a story who’s continuity is all over the god damn place.

For those out of the loop, I’ll tell you right here and right now: nonlinear story telling is one of my greatest pet pieves.  It’s second place on my top five most hated tropes, clichés, and overall storytelling techniques, just inches behind the FRIangle (FRI = forced romantic interest).  Seriously, bro, get over yourself.  You’re not deep, you’re not artistic, and you’re not creative.  At absolute best, you’re fucking annoying.

“Dude,” you’re probably saying, “you totally did the nonlinear thing in Gael, you faggot-ass hypocrite.”

I disagree.  I believe Gael was plenty linear.  True, there were a couple flashbacks, but the story was very straight forward despite it.  I didn’t start at the end, flash back to three weeks earlier, flash forward to a week AFTER the beginning that’s actually the end, flash back to the second point to tell a little more of that part of the story, only to flash back EVEN FUCKING FURTHER…  By which point I’m already lost.  It’s why I fucking hate Pulp Fiction, it’s the most annoying aspect of Highlander 1 (and keep in mind that Highlander 1 is the GOOD Highlander), and it’s why I couldn’t see my way past season 1 of Orange is the New Black.  That, and the fact the whole “I miss the misery, and am legitimately fucking stupid enough to go back to the very person who causes me misery on a consistent basis despite everybody and my fiancé who I’m MARRYING telling me it’s a bad idea” angle they were working with for Chapman fucking pisses me off more than you can possibly imagine.  Nikki was fun, though.  Red was pretty cool too.  Come to think of it, literally every character EXCEPT Chapman was fascinating.

I’m pretty sure I was talking about something else a minute ago.  Stream of conscious is a bitch.

Oh yeah, Five Nights at Freddy’s.

I’m afraid I have to confess that I’ve never played any of the games.  At best, I watched Markiplier play them on YouTube.  Partly due to the fact this looks like the kind of game I’d struggle with due to my crap eye sight, but mostly because I’m a console gamer at heart, and every PC I’ve ever owned has never been able to handle anything more complicated than the You Don’t Know Jack games.  I blame my screen reader software.

After months of hearing about the book, it finally became available on Audible.com.  And considering FNAF: Sister Location just recently came out as of this writing, I can’t help but think that was on purpose.

The book is a joint effort by Scott Cawthon: creater of the games, and Kira Breed-Wrisley.  I have no idea who Breed-Wrisley is, but I’m guessing she did anywhere between fifty and ninety-nine percent of the writing.  I’m not saying for sure Scott Cawthon just gave her permission to publish her fan fiction, then slapped his name on it because he owns the copyright, but really liked the story and wanted to see it get published…  Although I seem to be thinking it pretty loudly.  Whatever the situation may be, it’s a joint effort.

The audio book is read by Suzanne Elise Freeman.  Honestly, I’ve heard worse performances than hers.  She’s a woman of about two or three voices at best, and the worst thing I can say about her performance is that all her voices for the male characters sound exactly the same as each other.  But hey, not everybody can be Luke Daniels, after all.

And as for the story…  Whew boy, this story.

I’ll tell you right now, it’s not the WORST story I’ve ever read.  At the same time, though, it’s a really bad idea to go into this and expect writing on par with Clyve Barker or Stephen King.  Shit, maybe even R.L. Stine might be a bit much.  From a writing perspective, this is definitely one of those books that makes me feel better about my own writing.  Although it’s still better written than Twilight.

Oh yes: four or five years after that series stopped being relevant, I’m still throwing jabs.  Because I’m still super pissed about the fact a talentless hack like Stepheny Meyer can get published, but a talentless hack like ME has to slum around the fucking indies.

But suppose you don’t care.  You already knew going in this wasn’t going to be William Faulkner.  How does the story pan out?  And how does it tie in with the other FNAF material?

Well, first of all, I’m FAR from the person to talk to about theories, and how stuff from a video game series all ties together.  Man, I got too much on my plate as it is with Gael consuming most of my free time.  So yeah, I’ll leave that much up to you.

In terms of just being a story…  It’s okay.  It wasn’t as bad as the internet hyped it up to be, but it really didn’t light my world on fire.  Nor was I expecting it to.  It killed some time, it gave me an FNAF fix (though at this point, I wouldn’t say I’m much of a FNAF addict anymore), and I was content with what I had.  I don’t feel bad about spending money on this book.  At the same time, though, I don’t see myself picking it up and reading through it again anytime soon.

It does go out of its way to accommodate the people who haven’t played the games, or seen let’s players play them on YouTube (more likely the latter), and I’m sure a lot of people appreciate that.  However, I have a hard time recommending it to nonfans.  Hell, even if you LIKE FNAF, I can’t say I’m in a huge hurry to recommend it.  If Matpat is anything to go by, I’m probably one of, like, three people who actually saw the story all the way to the end.

In the longrun, all I can really say is if you’re curious, give it a look.  If not, you can afford to skip it over.  This is pretty much the ultimate definition of a 2.5/5 review I can think of, but that’s pretty much where I stand.

Dorothy Must Die: My Thoughts

As someone who finds it harder and harder to admit to others I’m a Kansan (fucking Brownback), let me be the first to say that I fucking hate The Wizard of Oz with the passion of a million burning suns.  You go to a Kansas themed store, you’re going to find three things: Royals gear, barbecue sauce, and fucking Wizard of Oz murch.

I never really saw what the big deal was with Wizard of Oz in the first place.  Yeah, it was an innovation in film, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s good.  If nothing else, it doesn’t mean I have to forfeit my right to an opinion and automatically say it’s great.  Maybe it’s because I’ve watched it to death as a kid, or maybe it’s just because I’m not much of a film buff.  Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I belong to a very large crowd of Kansans who are sick and tired of hearing all the tornado jokes, Toto jokes, and the popular “you ain’t in Kansas no more!” from every god damn smart-ass guido New York has to offer.  It’s all just speculation, but at the same time, I just don’t see what the big deal is.

Oh sure, I guess you can bring up the Technicolor argument, and the fact it had one of the biggest actresses at the time in the lead.  You might even point out that the books were better.  I haven’t read the books, but honestly, I just don’t have any motivation to.  Bottom line: I’m just not a fan.

In fact, when I saw the first Dorothy Must Die book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I had to see what that was about.  Of course, I had to get it off Audible.com if I wanted to read it, but the important thing is that I read it.  a year and a half later, I just finished book 3 in the series, and now I’m impatiently waiting to see what happens next.

Honestly, I neither love nor hate the “young adult” genre.  I’m tempted to punch people who refer to it as “YA”(either sounding out the letters, or pronouncing it phoenetically), but the…  Genre?  Demographic?  Whatever you want to call it, there are good stories here.  There’s also really, really, REALLY bad ones (I’m looking at you, United States of Asgard), but that’s really just the way of the world.  I guess at absolute worst, I’m still stuck in the olden days when we used to call them teenagers, and didn’t give a rat’s ass what they had to say about anything because it was mostly unimportant bullshit that centered around the aquarium that is high school.  You don’t believe me?  Go to Livejournal, and click random over and over again.  Wait, livejournal’s still a thing, right?

Yeah, the Dorothy Must Die books are young adult.  And yeah, there’s romance between the main character and a male.  Painfully awkward, unappealing romance that borders on a possible FRIangle (FRIangle = forced romantic interest angle).  However, compared to a lot of books in the genre demographic thing Audible.com recommended to me and I ended up hating, it’s somewhere between barely unnoticeable and understandable.

If nothing else, the setting, the story, and really, the concept of Dorothy becoming a tyrannical dictator is what holds my attention the most.  Danielle Paige has taken The Wizard of Oz, and turned it into a delightful Game of Thrones esque bloodbath.  Except thankfully, nobody’s fucking their sister in this one.  She is kind of a pain with all these cliffhanger endings, though, which is definitely something she and GRRM have in common.

Out of the three books, Rise of the Wicked (book 2) is my favorite so far.  Book 1 had its tedious bits here and there, but it managed to hold my attention from start to finish.  Book 3 was almost better than book 2, but then you got to the last three or four chapters, and I couldn’t help but feel like this could’ve been a chapter or two shorter.  Book 2, however, is pretty much perfect.

It’s very clear the author is either a fan of the old Wizard of Oz books, or she’s at least familiar enough with the source material.  Hell, she probably looked it all up on Wikipedia for all I know and care.  Just when you think she’s only focusing on the old movie, and maybe OZ the Great and Powerful (don’t even get me started), references so obscure that I’m surprised I even know them pop up.  I’m talking things like The Gnoamb King, and the silver shoes being completely different from the ruby ones.

I can’t say I appreciate all the little jabs at Kansas thrown in to all the books, but like I said, Kansas is making it real hard for me to be proud of being from here anymore.  This must be what it’s like for Canadians whenever they watch South Park.  I don’t know.

All I know for sure is I really enjoy this book series, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what sort of mayhem comes next in book 4.

The Three Body Problem: My Thoughts

The Three Body Problem is a series of novels by Cixin Liu.  While I have a grasp of how Chinese works (not enough to speak it, but enough to pronounce most of the words I encounter), I honestly have no idea how to pronounce Cixin.  I’ve heard it pronounced SIX-IN, KEE-SHEEN, KEE-SHIN, and even CHEE-SHIN.  None of which appear to be correct.  But I digress.

As of this writing, there’s two novels in the series.  Also at the time of this writing, I’m still slogging my way through book 2 of the series.

Earlier in the month was actually the second time I tried reading book 1, and honestly, it’s a miracle I made it through in one piece the first time.  About this time a year ago, I’d commented that The Three Body Problem was kind of an ordeal to read through at best.

I’m willing to forgive a lot, considering this was originally a Chinese series being translated into English.  Believe me, I know a thing or two about terrible English translation.  Maybe I don’t speak a lot of Japanese, or any Asian languages, but when you watched anime as religiously as I used to, you kind of get used to a lot of it.  Somewhere around the mid 2000s, English dubs got a lot better than the stuff I had to endure, but I digress.

The Three Body Problem as well as The Dark Forest have pretty good English translations…  But sometimes, I get the feeling the plot might be a little too ambitious for its own good.

The plot, simply put, is that a race of aliens is coming to Earth with all the intention of destroying humanity.  Humanity is more than willing to fight back…  Except we’ve figured out that it’ll take about four-hundred years for the alien fleat to get here, and it’s up to us as a species to unite and stay united in the time left to us.  As you expect, humans are dicks, and this doesn’t end up being an easy feat.  It’s a pretty original approach to the clichéd alien invasion angle, but that’s where the positives come to an end, and a lot of the awkward “I don’t know, bruh” moments begin.

Maybe it’s because the audio version of The Dark Forest doesn’t feature Luke Daniels as the reader this time.  It’s always a little jarring to go from one reader to another where audio books are concerned.  My favorite example comes from one of my all time favorite series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  The first Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book is read by Steven Fry, but then the other four books are read by Martin Friedman (I think that’s his name anyway).  Great, now I have to get used to some other guy’s interpretation of Zaphod Beeblebrox’s manner of speaking.  Hope you like New Yorker accents!

I want to cut the new guy (whose name escapes me at this very moment and I’m too lazy to look it up) some slack.  Luke Daniels is awesome.  He’s made the audio versions of The Iron Druid Chronicles truly some of the most memorable readings I’ve ever sat through.  It’s a pretty big act to follow…  And unfortunately, the new guy just isn’t doing it for me.   It also doesn’t help that he doesn’t tell you when it’s a new chapter.  Dude just keeps on reading as if everything’s one gigantic, continuous block.  For all I know, it might actually be, but not having the eye sight for print anymore, I can’t guarantee that one way or the other.

It could also be that Cixin Liu is getting a little too pretentious for his own good.  All I know is it’s usually a sign that the author is bouncing around in the background, bellowing “ASK ME WHAT IT MEANS!  ASK ME WHAT IT MEANS!” when the prologue is from the perspective of an ant.  Yeah, I get the reference.  Is it necessary?  I’d like to think no, but then again, I’m not the one writing the book.  Also, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not above being pretentious.  Hell, have you read HikikoMorey?

Compared to book 1 in the series, which focused primarily on two characters’ perspectives at absolute most, The Dark Forest seems to bounce all over the god damn place.  I don’t even remember anybody’s names half the time!  The only character that seems to be returning from book 1 is the chain-smoking detective, and I still can’t remember his name!

Also, I tend to have a real love-hate relationship with hard scifi.  I love that they’re going out of their way to try and keep it as real and down to Earth as possible, but at the same time, there are moments where the angry mob from Monty Python and the Holy Grail are screaming “GET ON WITH IT!” in my head, and I have to agree with them.  Sad to say, both books have this problem in spots, but especially book 2.

I really wanted to give this series a chance.  Really, the fact I could finish book 1 twice is nothing short of spectacular.  Unfortunately, by the time I get to book 2, I’m just not enjoying the ride.  I’m already finding myself checking the chapter count on my audible.com app, and groaning in annoyance when I see how much I have left.  I don’t even know why I bother continuing instead of doing the logical thing and abandon the book completely in favor of the next Hap and Leonard novel in my cue.  Oh well, at least I tried.