Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Things I've learned Turning 30 Years Old.

I recently turned 30 years old.  With the realization that I'm not in my twenties anymore, came sadness, then denial, regret, fear, sadness again, itchiness, acceptance, anti-acceptance, fear again, forgetfulness, then I found my keys.  It was an emotional 7 minutes. 

What I also realized was how life changed, or in some cases, didn't change.  These are the things I learned turning 30.

30.  Also known as the year of the Riddler Mardi Gras.

1.  Everything hurts more and heals slower.

Have you ever injured yourself while sleeping?  I have!  Don't ask me how because I don't know.  Somehow my neck popped and that was it.  So off to the emergency room I went, to explain how I injured my sleep.  And by explain myself, I mean tell a doctor how my neck went boom-boom while dreaming about my crotch getting boom-boomed by a video game character, no, I'm not going to tell you who.  Or, uh, what it was.

I expected my body to hurt more as I got older, I just didn't expect it to this degree.   I feel like my wisdom teeth are growing in despite not having any wisdom teeth.  My left knee feels wonky after that old football injury I totally never had.    My ass feels sore from all that shitting I've done in my life.

I...I guess you didn't really need to know about that last one.  Okay, I'll make it up to you.  Fine.  It was Tali from Mass Effect. Happy?  Oh?  You dream about her too huh?  Wow.  It seems like a lot of you have.  Must be the mask.  At least it wasn't Ms Pac-Man, although, you can't find a woman with better curves than a woman who is basically a circle. 

2.  Most of my references are outdated.

The other day, I made a reference to a 16 year old kid about the celebrity jeopardy skit on Saturday Night Live, which began airing 16 years ago.  Of course, he had no idea what I was talking about.  How could he unless he was one of those baby geniuses I keep hearing about?  Infants are not well known for staying up on Saturday night to watch Dean Hammond's Sean Connery talk about fornicating with Alex Trebek's wife.  Actually, there is a good chance a teenager wouldn't know who any of those people are since I'm pretty sure none of them post "Haul" videos on Youtube about what they bought at the mall.

54,500 teenage girls with too much self esteem.  They need to be taken down a peg.

There was a point in my life where 75% of my brain was used to store Simpsons quotes.  I still remember some, so when I pull these references out, people start looking for a straight jacket.  They think I'm talking about random nonsense I learned from reading Chernabog's diary.  Even people in my own generation may not get a Simpsons reference since their is more Simpsons episodes than stars in the galaxy.  It's sister series, Futurama, is getting difficult to use for quotes too, mainly from the series first run on Fox since Comedy Central has taken a machete to those old episodes when re-airing them, sometimes cutting entire scenes.  When I tell people my only regret is "Bone-I-Tis", they think I regret boning somebody named Itis.  That sounds like the name of a Hillbilly and 80's guy don't whip it like that.

3.  I still don't give a shit about "adult" things.

Whenever people in my generation start talking to me about finance, taxes, 401K's, and, uuuuugh, stock options, my eyes glaze over and I begin to envy the dead.   This is especially bad with people I knew when they were younger.  In my head, I cannot comprehend how some guy who used to do keg stands and break bottles over his head, now talks about how his stocks dropped 0.00001% today as if this information is interesting and not, for example, the most boring shit ever.  I think this is exactly how mid-life crises start.  These people wake up one day, realize the only thing they have talked about for the last 15 years is fucking spreadsheets, and they immediately max out a credit card buying a Camero so they can cheat on their wife with their 22 year old administrative assistant. 

"Maybe now my stock portfolio will blow me."

I expected my interests to change, and they have, but I thought I might care more about this stuff at 30 years old than I actually do, which is none.  Actually, I care a negative amount about this stuff, so much so, that I will actively deny their existence.  Hey, I'm pretty sure I saw Olympic boxing on CNBC a week ago so my thinking can't be that weird.

4.  I still enjoy escapist fiction a little too much.

I already mentioned Mass Effect above but it's one of the best among modern escapist fiction.  The thing is, I don't half ass it when it comes to these sorts of awesome since that requires restraint.  No, no, no, I've read the entire codex about the Mass Effect universe....several times.  And if the answers to my bizarre questions about a totally fake universe are not in there, it bothers me like Bill Clinton trying to understand what the word "is" is.  

For example, if two members of the all female Asari race mate, does one grow a dick?  This is important information for the hopelessly nerdy.  I really need to know this right - no.  No they do not.  Okay,  but I am left to wonder how the aforementioned Tali, the Quarian with a super weak immune system, eats anywhere that isn't sterile.  It's basically everywhere she is in the game.  Wouldn't she have to take the mask - no.  Again, there is an answer.   See, those of you laughing at me, especially my girlfriend, these are legitimate questions. 

 I love you.

My other recent obsession is Game of Thrones because 1. shut up, 2. I know it's basically The Lord of the Rings: The Soap Opera, and 3. shut up.  I have spent more time on HBO's interactive Game of Thrones map than I've spent on fighting my contempt of court charges the city keeps pestering me about.  And if there is a nerdy thing for an adult to get really into, it's this.  The levels of nudity and violence in this show rival even the ballsiest Dora The Explorer episodes.

5.  The world at 30 is not what I hoped.

Not in the "my life sucks" kind of way, (although I could make an argument for that, but couldn't everyone?) but in the "2012 is nothing like the Sci-fi awesomeness I thought it would be when I was a kid" way.  Smartphones are really the only Sci-fi like thing to exist compared to my 10 year old mind, and although I'm sure there is some crazy, top secret gadgets the military has like invisible missiles and teleporting tanks, my 30 year old self is left wanting.  And as much as I want my goddamn hoverboard, the thing that annoys me the most is the lack of space travel. 

Why am I not living on Mars right now eating pork chop flavored paste in a tube while terraforming the atmosphere with oxygen lasers?  Why do I not have a kick ass space jet that I can fly around and shoot lasers at space pirates with (also known as pirates, in space)?  Why am I not writing this very blog posts with laser fingers that just shoot the letters at the screen with lasers?   Why isn't everything lasers?  Just, just an obscene amount of lasers.  I have yet to find a problem that couldn't be solved with "more lasers". 

.....It's a start.  Via Geograph.

But no, in 2012, I am not the daring space cavalier I thought I would be.  Instead I'm doing everything that isn't pew pew pew pew, vvvvrrrrrrrrooossshhhh, pew pew, KRRRAAAAARRRUGHGH.  And that, is the biggest disappointment of being 30 years old.  Well that, and the lack of visiting space strip clubs to see alien boobs that I have no idea if I would like or not.  I would certainly have more confusing boners in my life, that's for sure. 

Disclaimer:  This blog post was not nearly as sad, "Bahhhhh, I'm not in my twenties anymore", as I thought it would be.

Follow me on Twitter for 25 Paragon points.  Like the blog on Facebook if you hate spreadsheets.  Contact me at because I DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME LEFT IN THIS MORTAL COIL.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why Are There No New Popular Superheroes?

Why aren't there any newer superheroes to reach the same level of popularity as Batman, Spider-Man, etc.?  The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are undoubtedly the two most popular movies of this summer despite having to compete against movies featuring Rihanna on a Battleship and magic rapist teddy bears.  There was also The Amazing Spider-Man, which everybody kind of forgot about because it rebooted a franchise that only finished it's trilogy yesterday (source needed).  All of these superhero movies feature superheroes created decades ago and whose ages can only be accurately described in Geologic time.

An era when wearing your underwear on the outside seemed like a good idea.

If they aged in real time, these superheroes would be spending most of their time fighting the kids on their lawns.  The Avengers (1963) and Spider-man (1962) could have stopped Jonestown from happening while freaking Batman (1939) may have been drafted to fight in the Korean War.  Sure, the people at Jonestown may have still been killed by The Hulk getting really angry over a bee sting rather than poisoned Kool-Aid, and sure, North Korea may have tried to create a superhero named Ratman due to a poor translation to counter Batman and the conflict could have still ended in a stalemate, but you know what I mean.  It just seems odd that older superheroes are still popular and newer, hipper superheroes have failed to take the spotlight.  That only happens in every other form of media ever created.

There would be a lot more statues of Batman hugging Koreans I can tell you that.  Via Flickr.

It's not that people don't like newer superheroes, it's just that they are not nearly as popular.  Spawn (1992) had a movie in 1997 but that was worse than sitting on a railroad spike and featured Spawn doing a lot of things that didn't include killing demons.  (And it featured some of the worst CGI outside of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus).  Spawn also had a dull as drywall cartoon on HBO that also didn't feature Spawn killing demons.  Huh, It's like these producers didn't know anything about Spawn.  That's weird.

Hey.  Remember The Phantom movie in 1996 starring Billy Zane?  Of course you don't.  Nobody does. The only thing anybody remembers about that movie is the skin tight purple leotard Zane wore that somehow created a crotch bulge with it's own zip code.  Oh and he had like a Green Lantern ring that I don't think did anything. The Phantom is mostly just a Batman rip-off anyway since he's like a ghost and stuff and fear and okay....I don't really know much about him.  But I do know that purple is probably not the best choice for a superhero to look dark and scary.  It's a much better color to make him look like a clown or a Teletubby.

"Slam Evil"?  Was this movie written by a WWE producer?

Not every newer superhero has shitty movies though.  Hellboy (1993) has two good movies, and supposedly a third in development, but it admittedly feels like a fluke or Ron Pearlman owing somebody a lot of money.  Guillermo Del Toro can make anything look good though and anybody who has seen Pan's Labryinth knows that.  (Seriously go see that movie if you haven't.  It's awesome.  Cheek knifing!).   I guess Watchmen sort of counts, the comic being created in the 80's, and that movie is arguably good despite being confusing as Maj Jong.  That movie seems to be hurt more by it not reaching it's impossible expectations more than anything else.  "What do you mean it's not the greatest movie of all time?  The best comic of all time requires it!  Alan Moore is a god!  A...crazy god who just does porn comics now but a god nonetheless!"*

*Though he is not nearly as crazy or outright idiotic as Frank Miller is now.  I swear Miller spent the last 10 years drinking paint thinner and eating lead based Chinese knockoff Legos.  But who am I to complain about Miller?  I mean, am I dense?  Am I retarded or something?  Who the hell do I think he is?  He's the goddamn, Frank Miller.  He's the goddamn Frank Miller.

Is...Is that a mummy with a bowie knife?

The most likely explanation for the lack of new superheroes getting popular is the decline of comic books as a major media form.  Actually reading comics is a lot more niche now and can really only brag about being more popular than ham radio enthusiasts.  Think Comic-Con is too crowded?  Just go to the comic book section, the least important part of Comic-Con.  You might actually see the ghost of Frank Miller's sanity hiding in one of those booths.

1930's Batman had to compete mostly with books, newspapers, radio, and costumed lunatics on the street claiming to be actual bat men.  There were movies then too of course, talkies were less than a decade old, but they required a trip to the theater.  Today, comics have to compete with seemingly 15,000 forms of entertainment, all of which are on the Internet and a lot of it is free.  Why pay for a real Batman comic when you can read some weirdo's web comic featuring a guy who looks suspiciously like Batman sodomizing a clearly underage Japanese Supergirl?   No wonder comics have to resort to publicity stunts like making the Green Lantern gay.  Well, not THE Green Lantern, which would be newsworthy and noble, but one of the dozen alternate reality Green Lanterns because DC is ran by cowards.

Not sure which Green Lantern this is.  I assume it's the turtleneck existentialist version.  Via Smugmug.

I doubt a new comic book superhero will ever get as popular as Batman, Spider-Man, and The Avengers, but what about a new superhero from TV or an original film?  Maybe they tried that with Hancock, but he was just a drunk, asshole Superman.  So, basically the angsty Earth One Superman.  The TV show Heroes also tried that until they had so many alternate time lines from their moronic time travel plot device that even a 1.21 gigawatt defibrillator couldn't keep it alive.  Also, the show created a hero whose power is ALL THE POWERS.  He's essentially God, but he doesn't know if he wants to help anybody because he has emotions and stuff.  So, basically the angsty Earth One Superman again.

[An aside - I guess you could make the argument that the Jedi's from Star Wars are basically superheroes and supervillains since they have super powers, but it's too removed from the real world.  You know, with it literally taking place on fake worlds.  And what kind of superhero name is Luke Skywalker?  I never once saw him walking on the sky!  I did see Darth Vader vade some darths though.]

As older movies, music, and TV are slowly forgotten to make room for new properties, old superheroes just keep plugging along with new adaptations.  They are practically the benchmark for the reboot and remake trend in pop culture.  And I like these old superheroes, but I wouldn't mind seeing a new one get a big budget movie.  Where the superhero is going to come from, I have no clue.  Maybe my idea for Dr. Laser JumpKick-Man will take off......

Disclaimer:  I don't know how to end blog posts.

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