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applewood  ·  13 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap

I want to be a part of this conversation so much, but I don't really feel like I can put together any compelling, coherent thoughts. So I guess I'll just say, Pixel Art is definitely a skill that takes time and practice to develop and the end results often speak for themselves. Additionally, there are some pretty cool tutorials and progress videos floating out on the web. For anyone who's even slightly curious about what's involved, they're totally worth watching.

applewood  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 21, 2019

Television and Movies

Later this year, Mill Creek Entertainment is gonna be releasing Blu-Ray boxsets of both Ultra Q and the original Ultraman Series. Maybe about a decade ago, the first Ultraman Series was released on DVD and I passed up the chance to get it and like a lot of things in life that are niche, it became a bit difficult to find. On the one hand, I don't want to pass up the chance to see these two shows, but on the other hand, I don't feel super psyched about seeing them. Anyone ever see either of these two series? Would you recommend them? As far as Tokusatsu heros are concerned, I've always been a bit more curious about the classic Kamen Rider and Robot Detective shows myself, but they're not available and at this rate, for $40 a box set, I'm willing to take a risk on a mystery series and a classic superhero.

I'm also kind of tempted to get both Them! and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms on Blu-Ray while they're still easily available. Rewatching the Heisei era of Godzilla is, for some reason, making me want to dive more into pre-'80s special effects films. I think there's something about older special effects techniques that are really resonating with me right now.

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Looks like I gotta cut this Pubski post short. The dog is adamant that we play right now. Stay beautiful everyone!

I used to have two very good friends who I always looked forward to hanging out with (separately, they didn't know each other). We'd go out to movies together, dinner together, or just hang out in the backyard. In the past five years, both of them became pretty extreme. One of them became super hardcore right wing while the other became super hardcore left wing. It got to the point where I dreaded hanging out with either one of them, because they'd always find some way, sooner or later, to get to ranting and raving about "the way the world is." They genuinely scared me. They scared me for repeating talking points seemingly unthinkingly. They scared me for always wanting to be angry. They scared me because talking to them, it became obvious that they weren't trying to read the news to be informed about the world, but because they wanted to be indignant. Most of all, the scared me because I know sometimes I read the news because I want to feel indignant. I always did my best to try and be a level voice and they always did their best to drown me out. Towards the end, it became exhausting. I don't really talk to either anymore. One is too tied up with family to spend time with me, the other too tied up with work, and a big part of me is thankful about that. It saves me from having to actively try and avoid them.

So where am I getting at with this?

Well, I avoid a lot of things these days now and I see reflections of those two relationships in things I used to love. The main reason I gave up comics was because I wanted to spend my money and time on other things. Don't get me wrong, I love comics, but there are other things out there to enjoy and I want to experience them. But another part of the reason I gave up comics is because I grew tired of seeing some of the conversations around them. Somewhere, conversations around comics and critiquing them devolved from "I'm not a fan of this storyarch because I don't think it serves the characters well." or "Such a writer and such an artist did a great job on this collaboration they did. Their styles really compliment each other." It turned into "SJW!" "FEMINISTS!" "VIRTUE SIGNALING!" etc. etc. While not everything that's put out is gold, one of the reasons I really liked independent comics was because there were more voices from more walks of life. Stan Sakai is my all time favorite comic maker for example and Usagi Yojimbo will probably always be one of my favorite comics. When those minority voices started entering more and more into the mainstream, I thought it was a good thing. The backlash against those voices scared me though and I just couldn't handle it, so I stopped engaging in conversations about comics. The funny thing is though, if there's no one to talk to about comics, somehow, comics become less enjoyable.

Comics weren't the only thing I've seen this in though. Video games aren't my thing, so I can't speak to them directly. A good example of something similar though is, sometimes companies like Disney or Warner Brothers or whoever make some business mistakes. Maybe a movie bombs or this that or the other. If you look up Youtube videos though, none of which I'll share but they're scary easy to find and have scary high view counts, they say things like "SJWs and Feminists are ruining this company! They're ruining this IP! Everything is horrible because they want to be progressive and inclusive and we're suffering because of it." The amount of unreasonableness I see. The amount of anger in those voices. It scares me and pushes me away. I don't want to be around those conversations just like I don't want to be around my old friends.

One of the things with geek culture that I've always struggled to deal with is that a lot of people are socially awkward, and that's okay, we all are sometimes. Sometimes people say and do embarrassing things because they don't know they're embarrassing. I can live with that. Now though, it so many people seem angry. I can't tell if they're intentionally angry and realize it and they're okay with it, or if they're unintentionally angry, don't mean to be, don't see how hateful they're being, and don't know how to stop it. I don't know which is scarier.

I found out last night that Millcreek is releasing Steelbook Boxsets of both Ultra Q and the first Ultraman. I'm interested in getting them and checking them out. I want to talk to people about them before I do, talk to people about them as I'm working through them, and talk to people about them long after I've finished them. I can't though, because the places where I can have those kinds of conversations with people who enjoy them are no longer places where I want to participate in.

I'm just a faceless guy who likes art and storytelling and passively enjoys these things. If I'm affected in such a crumby way, I can't imagine what so many of these artists, writers, and journalists are going through. It's heartbreaking to think about.

applewood  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 344th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

One more trip down memory lane this week.

goobster  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you. I has been far too long since I've sung "little pig little pig let me in!" in my bizarro gravelly voice...

applewood  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New details on Palantir, the commerical spying tool for law enforcement

If I can piggy back off this comment, both the books Locking Up Our Own and Punishment Without Crime are also very insightful, if also very sombering, reads.

applewood  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 343rd Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Listened to a bit of Deltron 3030 while playing X-Box tonight. It was a good nostalgia trip.

applewood  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 14, 2019

I look forward to hearing it. In the mean time, enjoy the journey of recording. :)

applewood  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 14, 2019

Love that answer. Both parts. :)

You got anything online you're comfortable sharing?

darlinareyousleepy  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not yet. All will be released next year.

applewood  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I look forward to hearing it. In the mean time, enjoy the journey of recording. :)

applewood  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 14, 2019

What kind of music do you make?

darlinareyousleepy  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Depends on what I feel like.

I draw a lot of influence from the blues.

applewood  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Love that answer. Both parts. :)

You got anything online you're comfortable sharing?

darlinareyousleepy  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not yet. All will be released next year.

applewood  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I look forward to hearing it. In the mean time, enjoy the journey of recording. :)

applewood  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 14, 2019

I think I would really enjoy seeing a live baseball game at 9 in the morning. I can't put my finger on it, but for some reason the idea strikes me as a pleasant way to start the day.

applewood  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: American Green

Our lawn is mowed, but we don't do anything to deter native plants that crop up. We have bees, beetles, moths and butterflies, ants, and all sorts of critters crawling around. It's really quite beautiful. Yesterday Dala and I used a bug identifying app on her phone to id some catipillars, a stunningly beautiful moth, and a small, yet bold looking spider. It was like using a real life Pokedex and so much easier than using a field guide. I can't wait to do it again with her this weekend.

applewood  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: American Green

A year or so ago I was reading a book about gardening without pesticides. There was a whole chapter devoted to how lawns are unnatural, counter productive, time sinks, and all around kind of silly. I can't help but think of them that way now and every now and again, I'll come across an article like you shared that reinforces the point as well as provide new information and/or perspectives.

Sadly, for a lot of places, a manicured lawn is required by law. Letting your yard go "untamed" runs the risks of incurring fines on a regular basis.

ButterflyEffect  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I haven’t mowed my lawn once this year. My housemate plants flowers and such in the back and waters them, but that’s it.

I’ve never seen this many bees in our yard. It’s great!

applewood  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Our lawn is mowed, but we don't do anything to deter native plants that crop up. We have bees, beetles, moths and butterflies, ants, and all sorts of critters crawling around. It's really quite beautiful. Yesterday Dala and I used a bug identifying app on her phone to id some catipillars, a stunningly beautiful moth, and a small, yet bold looking spider. It was like using a real life Pokedex and so much easier than using a field guide. I can't wait to do it again with her this weekend.

applewood  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Applewood’s Rambling Kaiju Reviews - The Rebirth of Mothra I (1996)

It's a pretty rough movie, both for a kaiju film and a children's movie. I don't want to poo poo all over it because I'm trying to go the CinemaWins route and talk about what makes these movies enjoyable for me, but even I have to admit that this movie has more going against it than for it. Which is part of the reason I wrote this review three times over, I had to dig deep and find my positive voice. It's definitely one of those movies that's best watch if you're either a completionist or are the type to enjoy the good even in bad films. :)

applewood  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what are some of your favorite words, in English or any language?

Imponderabilia sounds like the title of a podcast.

applewood  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 7, 2019

Well, this isn't my top list of personal favorites, but for someone who isn't all that familiar with the genre, this is where I'd recommend starting. The first two choices are tied and the other three are kind of any given order.

Godzilla '54 - For people who are more into modern films, this movie is a bit of a hard ask. It's pacing is on the slower end and with the standard of current effects that we have today, this movie feels a bit quaint. However, those factors aside, this film stands out as a must see for so many reasons. Not only is it the original film that started the whole franchise, it was also a pioneer film in the realm of Tokusatsu special effects. It's a dark and serious film brimming with social commentary and heartfelt drama and in my opinion it is, and probably always will be, the best example showing that Kaiju films can be deep, artistic, endeavors.

Pacific Rim - On the other end of the spectrum is Pacific Rim. It embraces the more colorful, adventurous side of Kaiju films. It has creative monsters, flashy colors, and just enough storyline to move the film from one action scene to another. This film is all about the spectacle and action and is fun for the sake of fun.

Giant Monsters All Out Attack - Somehow, this movie went from being a film I was "meh" about to being in my top five favorite Godzilla films of all time. Story wise, it strikes a good balance between social commentary (if you're willing to swallow mysticism in story telling) and just a good, adventurous romp. At the same time, it's also one of the best examples of Tokusatsu in general and Suitmation in particular can be used for effective storytelling and spectacle. I've probably watched this movie half a dozen times in the past couple years, I enjoy it so much.

Cloverfield - It's a western kaiju film. It's a disaster film. It's a shaky cam, found footage film. It's got a little something for everyone. What I think this film has going for it that a lot of kaiju films sometimes struggle to do, is show the sheer scale and terror a kaiju brings from a human perspective. If you haven't seen it, Gareth Edward's Godzilla pulls this off by showing the monsters pretty much only from camera angles that would be possible by everyday people. However, I feel that Cloverfield's found footage technique does it better.

Any King Kong Film - Each one is a product of their era, for better or worse. If you want to get to know the character though, the story has been told many times before. The original '33 film sits on so many top lists, it's one of those movies that stands the test of time. That said, it's been so long since I've seen the original, there's probably non-PC elements in it that wouldn't get a pass today. Same probably goes for '76 as well. I actually really like Skull Island myself, if only because it tells a different story.

Honorable Mention

Heisei Gamera Trilogy - I will readily admit that I have yet to see this trilogy, but every person I've ever talked to who has says it does not disappoint. It not only redeems Gamera from his schlocky reputation, I've been told that in story, special effects, and monster design, it surpasses a lot of the Heisei era Godzilla films. I look forward to adding it to my collection.