Monday, June 30, 2008

Skeletor for a Better Eternia!

Really, I should have made this entry years ago, but frankly, it's time. Credit for the germ of this realization comes from a friend named Frank who asked, "Eternia is a shit hole, why is Skeletor so adamant about taking it over?"

He has a point, think back to the old He-Man cartoons-the land is barren, craggy, under-developed. Farms and population is largely sparse. And yet, what does 'Prince' Adam spend his time on? I mean, when not acting like a moron to reassure those around him? War. Look at those around him, Man at Arms (and the nepotistic appointment of his daughter), Ram-Man. War mongers all. And Man-e-Faces? I wouldn't be surprised if he is used as a kind of press secretary. And who is He-Man loyal to? Eternia or Grayskull and its secretive 'Sorceress'?

Does He-Man work to build infrastructure? Irrigation, aqueducts, bridges? No. He build Dragon Walkers.

Is that helping Eternia's farmers get their product to market? No, it's helping Eternia's playboy whip around the land in possibly the most destructive way possible.

But what of Skeletor? Surely all of these ridiculous excesses are forgivable in the light of such a threat? Right?

I submit that we've been lied to. Look at the people Skeletor surrounds himself with-Beast Man, Mer-Man, Moss-Man...this is an environmentalist cabinet if there ever was one. These are people connected to nature in a way that He-Man all but ignores. Hell, Skeletor even makes his home in the swamp to be close to the only growth that Eternia has.

It's clear-we've been lied to. The He-Man cartoons were nothing more than He-Man propaganda to support the corrupt and war mongering He-Man regime. Take a look at this last half of an episode from the 'new' series-

What's the moral at the end, "Well always need He-Man." Adam 'foolishly' decides that maybe Eternia should break its dependence on Grayskull, perhaps even try a little diplomacy. That leads only to him having to be rescued by his war buddies.

Even worse, the power of organization and co-operation that Skeletor proposes is personified in terms of war (using the slogan 'behold the Power of One' from the US Army) and characterized as a massive skeleton demon that has to be defeated by, you guessed it, He-Man. Eternia will always need He-Man because they need him to put down collectivity in Eternia when the masses get together and say, "Give us bridges, not Dragon Walkers!"

It's clear. Skeletor has a better plan for Eternia. He stands for the environment, for the collected masses. He stands against He-Man's military extravagances, and his loyalty to the mysterious 'Sorceress'. Don't believe the lies fed to us by the He-Man propaganda machine through those deceptive cartoons! Viva Skeletor! Viva la Revolution!

Brought to you be the Friends of Skeletor or a Better Eternia, "Build Bridges, Not Dragon Walkers."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Life Outside 'the' Demographic

It was a good run. It really was. Perhaps not as much as other generations have enjoyed because mine was over shadowed by the biggest, most self absorbed generation to date. But we made up for that by having all new, and some times self created ways of finding us and selling to us while pretending not to. But lets be honest, not pretending all that hard.

But technically I've been out of the prime 18-35 demographic for a year plus now. It's been easy to live in denial because what I watch has always had the demographic feel of under-employed people with a wide range of passive medical problems who need to think about insurance, so I didn't get to notice as much.

But what really underscores me not being in the prime demographic is this ad for a new LG phone-

These toolboxes irritate me so much I may be compelled to slap anyone who has their phone. (I just said this to someone else and felt I needed to expand on it here).

Now granted, I never really liked many of the 'spokespeople' for the things that were aimed at me, but I understood them if begrudgingly. Here, I'm just irritated. I feel like the tag line should be, "LG Shine, the phone for the shallow end of the pool."

It's not the worst case of the shallow sell on TV, not by a long shot. But my aggravated 'old man on the porch' reaction underlines one thing clearly. I'm getting old.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sandwich Idea

Zombie Adventure Town.

It'd be like those BS 'counter terrorist' training camps except that instead of 'dummy terrorists' the participants would be shooting dummy zombies. You'd even go through the "World War Z" inspired 'zombie survival training' before you're unleashed in the mock up town where zombie-fied mannequins pop out to be shot with shotguns, chopped with chainsaws, what have you. I mean, if you're going to be participating BS, why not make it awesome?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

R.I.P. Lego

It has been in my possession for the second shortest period of time of any vehicle I have ever owned.

In just over two short years it traveled almost 100,000 miles. In its life it came just shy of 5,000 miles short of 300,000 miles. It carried tech gear, wardrobe, grip gear, numerous lunches, contestant luggage, garbage, my room full of free stuff from Craigslist including the 50" TV, and all my worldly possessions.

It bares the scars from carports, gas pump retaining polls, a fence, and even a Ford Ranger. I have slept in it when I was too tired to drive. I camped in Sausalito in it when I was too poor to drive home. I have taken it deep into California's redwood forests. It has kept me company through the night. It has been the background to a national advertising campaign. It has been a slight bump in my rate, and the reason I've been hired more than once.

I have resisted it. I have cursed it. I have complained about it. I named it after another object. I have threatened it. I have not shown it a fraction of the patience that its more temperamental sister has enjoyed.

It's had the power steering pump, the water pump, the fuel injectors, the thermostat, and radiator hoses replaced (all parts that the older air-cooled bus doesn't have). Ultimately, the transmission has gone out, and that will cost as much as the van is worth to replace. It is time to once again be a one van man.

I never rigged it with deep cycle batteries to support productions. I never replaced the grill with a South African style double headlight. I never put the peace symbol in place of the VW symbol. I never replaced the drive train with a diesel engine to run it on waste vegetable oil. I never converted it into my quested for inappropriate low rider. And finally, I never really gave it the respect that it earned.

It won't have the stories of what it was, like the old Chevy Malibu Classic that would smash through the abandoned mobile home park or would fit 8 of my closest friends. It won't have the stories of struggle and 'could have been' of the Porsche 914. It never had a day where my friends piled in to go from thrift store to thrift store looking for 8mm cameras, or going to Walnut Creek to play in the Battletech simulators. It will just be what it was, the work horse that shouldered me up from my college graduation to my post college life.

It was unremarkable, undramatic, unstoried, unloved. And now, after having handed over its keys completing my unbeaten streak of being the last owner of every vehicle I've had, I finally, if belatedly, salute it. I can only hope that its individual bits allow other workhorses to soldier on and get the love you deserve.

Farewell, my mule. Rest in peace, you've earned it.