Sunday, September 9, 2018
So, being from the Lower East Side (LES), I've been in a sad position where I've witnessed almost first hand the destruction of many beautiful works of art, murals, and even buildings, for the sake of so-called progress. It's really just gentrification. The landowners/building owners just want us locals out of the way so they can bring in out-of-towners and charge them triple or more what we pay for rent. It's a sad state to be in really. A great deal of my hometown was built by artists, musicians, and blue collar workers. In a sense, I can see where they paved the way for the current crop of high-end fashion shops, owned by avant garde designers, but at the same time I doubt this is the world any of us really wanted.
I grew up in the 1990's, which means a lot depending on your perspective, but a big part of my personal culture was this idea of selling-out being was one of the worst possible things you could do. These days though, with YouTube culture being what it is, everyone really wants to sell-out. The world has gone through a sad change I suppose, but I don't want to be too hard on anyone. We all need to make money, and ad revenue is easy money I guess. Even I've been putting up ads on my blogs for a few cents.
So, the world has changed, but there should still be some sort of effort to preserve the good stuff that surrounds us. Art especially I feel. So, for example, there's this building I've walked by my entire life that has had a reproduction of "The Creation of Adam"/"Birth of Man", but in recent years it's been fading away.
There's construction going on all around the LES and I'm dreading this is going to be one of those works of art that will be lost. Not to mention the "ghost ad" that is still visible on the side of the building. Although I would love both to be preserved as a way to really take in the history of NYC, I know that they'll both be torn down and lost.
Then again it could just be me. In increments, nostalgia can be a beautiful and wistful emotion. Usually though, it's an addictive poison, like tobacco or something. Should I really concern myself with these things going away, or should I just be happy I was fortunate enough to experience them in my lifetime? Probably the latter.
I really don't need anything I've experienced to be recreated again. That initial sensation of my witnessing them for the first time has already ignited my love for them. Works of art don't really belong to their creators once they're out in the world. They become toys for the fans to play with. Sometimes I worry that it's too, too common for the initial intent of the art to get lost because of poor interpretations of that art.
I like old things. I like a lot of new things too. But in a way, I feel like there's enough media and art in my mind to keep me going for the rest of my life. I don't really seek out anything new, not like I used to anyway, so I end up living in the past due to my own nature. I will always prefer the older Godzilla films (for example), and even if there are even greater Godzilla films in the future, my heart will always belong to the ones I've already watched. The same goes for anime.
I will say though that modern cartoons and new film franchises keep me interested. I grew up in an era where cartoons weren't very deep with their stories, so there wasn't a need for a final episode usually (although we all wished for one). And the movie landscape right now is just in a weird place and has been in a weird place ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off.
In any case, my main point is that we have to let go of old things so new things can be born. Even if those new things are terrible. We have to archive the culture we cherish, so that they will stay pristine. We can't just needlessly wish that artists keep making the same thing over, and over again, hoping to get high off of nostalgia all the time. What kind of life is that? That's a step away from insanity. Do you really want to see new takes on old ideas all the time? Or, would you rather see new ideas? I mean, how many Spider-Man and Batman movies do we need??? I'm tired of them. I don't care about them anymore. I'll watch the older films, but I don't feel any sort of excitement for any future films. And that's fine.
There has to be a self-imposed balance with nostalgia. Let artists create what they like, and don't get suckered into newer versions of old things. Some of it will be great, but it will usually be terrible, but hopefully have some redeeming qualities.
Whatever replaces these old buildings in LES, I'm sure, will be ugly as shit. All the newer buildings that have come up in the past decade have been terrible, and they mean the end of old New York. Maybe in a larger cosmic sense, that's okay. Cities are meant to be paved over, and people are meant to be migratory. I don't want to leave NYC, but one day I'm sure this place will no longer feel like home to me.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
"Manlife" is such a beautiful film. Like really, truly beautiful. For someone like me, who bounces from spiritual school to spiritual school, I found a great deal of beauty in this particular story. This documentary is about the last Lawsonian follower, named Merle. To his credit he never slowed down, even though the Lawsonian group dwindled from thousands of members to just him. At the time the documentary was filmed, he was already well into his 80's, and in great physical shape and a powerful spirit.
It should be noted that this documentary does also give some highlights of Lawsonomy. As it turns out, Lawsonomy was an all encompassing philosophy, but also a religion of sorts later in it's development. Alfred Lawson, the founder of this group, was an interesting man; polymath, baseball player, engineer, etc., and he could have been a billionaire, but instead he wanted to make the world a better place. Merle found the group at a young age and was fully dedicated from the start, becoming one of Lawson's best men. And apparently, Merle wasn't into the religious aspect of the group (although his now deceased wife was).
There's also a focus on Merle's high school sweetheart, whom he left behind so he could join Lawsonomy full time. It's a miracle that they found each other again so late in life, but they picked up right where they left off. She's still afraid he'll run off again, so he has to keep comforting her that he won't be doing that, but he still has work to do as a Lawsonian.
What an amazing story. A young man finds a cause he's full dedicated to for life, marries a woman who shares the same beliefs, and when she passes on he somehow manages rekindles a decades old romance with his high school sweetheart. I'm actually quite jealous. Through Lawsonomy, this guy managed to live a full and wonderful life. He even fought in WWII! Again, what a full life Merle had.
No spoilers, but the end of the film deals with Merle coming to terms with a lot of stuff concerning himself, and his faith in Lawsonomy. It's a nice bit of closure for both him, and for anyone watching.
As a side-effect of my viewing was me trying to find any copies of the books written by Alfred Lawson. The main texts are available for free via the very rudimentary but official Lawsonomy website, but otherwise finding actual physical copies is rather difficult. Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder who's running the website these days. I sent an email sometime back but never got a response. I'll have to keep an eye on that.
Anyway, I did manage to find a book about the Lawsonian religion, entitled "Lawsonian Religion".
The Lawsonian religion seems to encompass everything within Lawsonomy with the addition of reverence for a "Supreme Creator" and Lawsonomy Natural Law. There's some wild stuff too, but I will be writing more about that in my other more spiritually focused blog, Interdimensional Anchorite.
So yeah, a huge, huge endorsement for the film "Manlife". In many ways I feel like this is the perfect documentary for this kind of topic. It's respectful, explains the topic well, and more than anything, it's sincere.
Check out their official website, or watch this film on Amazon Prime.
Monday, August 27, 2018
So I spent the entire weekend without any internet, which was terrible because I had some work to do. Today the new school year begins and I have to prepare for my class later, but instead I'm rushing to update my social media and blogs. I'm not too concerned since it's the first day of class though, so I should be fine no matter what happens.
So first things first, I have restarted an old blog of mine; Downtown Otaku. This was my first serious blogging project, which was just anime reviews and recommendations, but it was fun to work on. Sadly, it was taken down by Google sometime back for one too many copyright strikes, and I decided to try other blogging styles. I guess I started to feel nostalgic for the old days of mindlessly watching anime for hours, and the simple joy of geeking out because of box sets and anime girl figures. So, with the help of my good friend Sono, I have relaunched this blog. There's not much there as of yet, but we hope to get it going soon. Sasami be praised!
Also, things are really getting serious with The First Church of Dana Scully Scientist, so I've been setting things up online for the eventual surge of new devotees. First, I've created a new blog for the NY Chapter of the group where I will be listing any new details, products, events, and whatever else comes to mind. Currently, there is nothing on this site, but it will be my main hub for announcements.
Secondly, there's the new Facebook Group. I'm still working on the settings and description, but this will be up and running before the week is over.
And I'm not sure what else to mention. There's been talk about podcasting here and there between me and a few others, but nothing really concrete at the moment. With the new semester starting I'm sure things will become excruciatingly busy. I'm currently at work on my final thesis paper, so maybe if I survive that I can start posting more often. I'd like to go back to a post a day, but that seems impossible right now.
In any case, please check out these other pages and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
For the past few days I've been making it a habit of doodling a bit more, but because my days are so busy, I mainly find time after midnight. Some of this I drew between the hours of 3AM and 4AM. Anyway, there isn't much to say, just sharing this amazingly bad pieces of art I've done. Enjoy!
Oh and I apologize for how dark these pictures are; I don't own a scanner and I was just too lazy to new pictures in better light.
This one was a request by *THE* Dr. Argus Faux, from the amazing Hybercube Laboratory. He wanted something that showcased "blizzard at noon", so I made this.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
What a strange adaptation this must be. The original book, written by Kurt Vonnegut, was apparently nothing like this movie, and, was more about isolation, loneliness, and deeper emotions than this weird mess of a film. In general though, even though I enjoyed it for being a mess, I still don't know what this movie was about. Like, at all.
So, the Chinese government has perfected shrinking technology so that they could remain a sustained nation, even though they're highly overpopulated. The US, falling behind on its own natural resources, succumbs to using literal chicken shit as a form of fuel. Meanwhile, aliens bestow twin babies with advanced intellects to a vain but extremely rich celebrity couple. These alien babies grow up to be very ugly, slightly incestuous, and super-intelligent. I believe they were supposed to help the people of our planet reach the "next stage" in our evolution, but that doesn't come to pass.
I guess the movie is about the ugly alien space babies, and them being separated because of all of the officials misunderstanding who they are, and what they are capable of. And I guess it's also about their parents just being the worst possible people, who are definitely not deserving of their children, but there's no take away from the overall experience of watching this film. The ending makes it seem like it was all a story about acceptance, but, that's underwhelming, and not earned. It's a real shame too because I loved the bonkers and depressing world constructed in this movie, and I wish the movie was either better, or a lot goofier.
Another thing about this movie is the amount of amazing talent involved in it. It's really astonishing because with so many talented and funny people involved, this should've been a classic. Pat Morita plays a Chinese government agent shrunk down to the size of an action figure, and he flies around in a tiny UFO! That alone should have been a highlight, but somehow it wasn't!
This movie was a missed opportunity, in so many ways, and I should restate what I said earlier; this isn't an adaptation, but it's based off a book. They took a lot of artistic license with this movie, and it didn't pay off at all. I guess watch it for the novelty, but you really don't have to.
Labels: b-movie, Midnight Movies, Misunderstood Movies, Reflection, Slapstick of Another Kind (1982)
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
So all summer I've been trying to catch up with a lot of movies that I've wanted to see, but didn't have the time for. Here's a short list of the movies I've watched.
"Cabin in the Woods" was spoiled for me soon after it premiered, so I never felt compelled to see it. After years of putting it off, I finally sat down to watch it, and it's an instant new favorite movie of mine. I just love the world they constructed here. I want to work for the agency portrayed in the movie, it's my new dream job.
"American Ultra" really surprised me. I thought it'd be a bit more serious than it was, since it's a take on the MK Ultra experiments that the government was (is?) involved in. Jesse Eisenberg plays a sensitive artist stoner who doesn't remember being a part of this Ultra experiment. Now he's like this super-soldier assassin. It's a great movie, loads of fun. I kinda wish there was a sequel.
"The Adjustment Bureau" is a romance story disguised as a sci-fi conspiracy thriller. I mean, maybe it is; I definitely wasn't expecting it to be that. I'm not really well read when it comes to Phillip K. Dick stories so I was unfamiliar with the premise of this film. Definitely worth the watch because of all the interesting philosophical ideas presented.
So I'm a nervous flyer, so my preferred movies to watch while traveling by air are cutesy kids movies. They keep me calm. I watched "Storks" on my way to the Philippines, and I have to say, I had loads of fun with it. A needlessly all-star cast, but, it works. Normally I'm against hiring big time celebrities for animated movies because usually an experienced cartoon actor would usually do a better job, but here, everyone is fantastic, even the side characters. I was really surprised.
"Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" is way better than it has any right to be. The show is funny enough, and I enjoyed the original series enough, but this movie is some new level of ridiculous. To date, it's the best new DC movie.
I watched "The Meg" just last night, and I enjoyed it. I love a giant monster film. I was really into the futuristic underwater hotel world they were located in too. I still think I prefer the "Mega Shark" movies from Asylum, but seeing a big budget version of that same sort of movie was a nice novelty. I wasn't entirely enthralled by the narrative, but everyone involved did a great job and I wouldn't mind seeing more in a sequel or something.
I watched "Rampage" right before my trip and it was fantastic! Everything I wanted in this movie to happen did happen. I can't say if it's the greatest video game movie of all time, but it is definitely a good video game movie. I loved seeing these interpretations of George, Lizzie, and Ralph. The forest scene with Ralph was especially good. For me though, Lizzie's spiked and tusked design wins the lot. This is an absolutely fun and exciting creature feature and I'm hoping they make more, although the ending of this film leaves it feeling complete.
There are a few others I've seen, but this is the list of maybe the more important ones. This week I hope to catch a few more while I work on other projects.
Labels: American Ultra, b-movie, Cabin in the Woods, Gorilla Movies, Misunderstood Movies, Movie, Rampage, Reflection, Storks, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, The Adjustment Bureau, The Meg
Thursday, August 9, 2018
So way back in the day, in an episode of "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy", there was episode that premiered the characters of The Secret Snake Club. The Snake Club was a bunch of nerds who worshipped a giant bully eating snake named Shnissugah (who turned out to be quite tiny and had a voice similar to Woody Allen).
There's a moment where Grim, the Grim Reaper, signs onto a website and that is shown on screen; that website was actually accessible via the Cartoon Network website. It was pretty funny.
First you'd get this loading screen.
This was the actual website you saw. I remember when you clicked on to see the Turtle Boy dance, he would exit his banner while a song played and then return to it. And, I can't remember how, but if you clicked on either Shnissugah himself or the title of the website, you could hear Billy screaming "DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL!"
So this website was supposed to be the official site for the actual Secret Snake Club, where they'd post their nerdy bullshit. The coolest thing on this site was the downloadable wallpaper of Shnissugah. I tried to search for it recently, and I guess I might have been one of the few to actually download it. I had it saved on a floppy disk, and I managed to salvage it recently. Originally I only had the 800x600 version of it, but I enlarged it for larger screens.
BEHOLD! THE PROBABLY LONG LOST SHNISSUGAH WALLPAPER! Download it and bless your screen with the power of a giant bully eating snake.
Labels: Cartoon Network, Shnissugah, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Wallpaper, Weird Cartoons
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
So recently, my humble blog reached it's first anniversary. I'm not one for these sorts of celebrations, but I am rather proud of myself for keeping this up as frequently as I have. My numbers are even up too. I'm doing this whole blog thing as a point of personal satisfaction, but it does bring me a bit of joy knowing that some folks seems to enjoy what I'm doing here too. A few of you have even reached out to me as well, which is great and I apologize for not getting back to each and every one of you.
So some minor announcements;
The First Church of Dana Scully, Scientist, is a group I'm involved in mostly on Facebook, but we're soon branching out in an attempt to gain more members. Not to say too much, but a few of us behind the scenes are working on creating items that will soon be available for purchase, so please look forward for that. Check out http://firstchurchdss.org/ for more information on our wonderful group, or check out our Facebook group by clicking here.
The Church of the SubGenius is of course still active in many platforms, but the best way to get involved and to find salvation with "Bob" is to buy an ordainment kit from www.subgenius.com. There are also many Facebook groups of course, but the secret ScrubGenius community is where you'll find most of the real and truer SubGenii, and you can only gain admittance as an ordained reverend.
More and more, I let Eris enter my pineal gland, and more and more I can find humor in the world, even as it burns to a crisp. Hail Eris, and All Hail Discordia! While there are plenty of Discordian groups online, it is still best for all POPE's to stick-apart. Just read the Principia Discordia, and do your own thing, Eris will guide you probably.
And there are of course many other groups that I'm involved in, but these are my main, and I'm happy to see they're all still going strong. Recently, I stumbled upon and purchased a copy of "The Holy Book of Moo, A Call to Cud" on Amazon, so I am more than happy to welcome CARL, the Farmer, and BHAGABOVINA, the Godgead if MOOism, into my inter pantheon of deities. The MOOists seems to have been, or are, a SubGenius Clench or offshoot, but it really feels more like it's own thing. I still maintain though, as part of my personal mythology, that CARL and "Bob" are both related somehow.
And that's really all for now. I start classes again soon so my posts might be a bit more delayed than I'd like. I'm already 7 or 8 posts behind as it is. I've seen some really fun and amazing movies, read some great comics, and I've collected quite a few cool things.
Anyway, if there are any comments or questions about the above groups, or anything else on this blog, please comment or send me an email at reverendguimo AT gmail dot com.
Oh! Before I forget, I also made a Ko-Fi account, so if you'd ever like to treat me to a cup of mud, I'd be eternally grateful.
Friday, August 3, 2018
So X-day came and went, and again, the world didn't end. Phooey. Well there's always next year. Sometime after X-day, I took a trip with my girlfriend to visit her family in the Philippines. It was my first time going there, and I have to say, I have never suffered this level of humidity in all of my life. Everyday was 1000% humidity. There were moments it was so humid, I couldn't tell if I was breathing or not. It was absolutely stifling.
Humidity aside though, the Philippines is a beautiful place with a beautiful culture that blossomed in spite of the horrific weather patterns they have there. I happened to be there during the rainy season, where nearly everyday there was monsoon-like conditions; but the locals just shrug it all off. Everyone just goes about their business and just flows with the weather.
And, although the animal life isn't as chaotic as it is in, let's say, Australia, the abundance of giant insects, lizards, and stray animals is pretty impressive. Spider the size of human hands, water-bugs and cockroaches the size of Tic Tac containers, and more mosquitoes per capita than any place else I've ever visited. In my ten days there I was bitten almost 50 times!
But I digress; I did also spend about 3 hours in Japan before my transfer flight to the Philippines. I flew JAL for all my flights, and I have to say, they were some of the best flights I've ever had. Really smooth. For once, I was relaxed while flying.
In Narita Airport I found a small diner where they allowed smoking. I had a delicious bowl of chicken teriyaki (with cheese!), a nice and dark Ebisu beer, and a cigarette. There wasn't much ventilation in the smoking box, but it was still nice to just sit back and have a cig with lunch.
Anime culture really was at the forefront in the shopping center located in the airport. Giant anime girls were everywhere in the fake "Akihabara" where they sold overpriced electronics, souvenirs, and Gundam kits.
Because I participate in a few Godzilla 98 groups on Facebook, I brought along my small Godzilla 98 "egg" figure for some photos, but sadly, the lighting wasn't too good for this sort of thin at the airport.
While waiting for my transfer flight, I bought some snacks at the Blue Sky shop near my gate. I really enjoyed the bacon flavored snacks and the onigiri. The bottled tea tasted a bit like sand, but it was still refreshing. I really enjoy bottled tea so long as it has no sugar.
There are no pictures from my arrival to the Philippines since I got there pretty late. I basically landed, went to my girlfriend's place and went straight to bed because the following day we had a party to attend. My breakfast consisted of yet MORE bacon flavored chips, RC Cola (which is my favorite cola), a Red Bull, and vitamin fortified spicy corn chips. I should mention that RC Cola seems to be the top cola in the Philippines; I saw it advertised pretty prominently all across the country. I'm not joking when I say it's my favorite cola either, but it's gotten so hard to find here in NYC.
A day after the part we took a trip someplace to stay as a small resort. I say "someplace" because I have no clue where the hell we were. I told my girlfriend she was in charge of our travel plans, and I planned on just following her wherever she wanted to take me. This place was really nice, if not a little more rugged than we anticipated. They definite had a bit of a bug problem here, but in their defense, this house was located in a really lush area.
The Philippines is not a coffee drinking country, and that sucks for a caffeine addict like myself. I did my best to survive by guzzling these Cobra energy drinks, a popular brand there. My favorite one is the Cobra PLUS SMART flavor (it contained ginkgo biloba.)
Here's one of those giant spiders I talked about earlier. They tell me these spiders are absolutely friendly, and they help deal with the mosquitoes. Here I placed my limited edition Batman V Superman wallet next to one for size comparison.
The shots below are from my trip to the world's smallest volcano, which can't be seen here because the fog and foliage are obscuring it.
I almost bought this coffee flavored "dessert wine" but I decided to pass on it.
Some restaurants serve this tiny bananas as a free appetizer much like how some places here in the US have either free bread or corn chips for free before a meal.
My girlfriend and her friends took me to a bulalo restaurant where they thankfully served coffee. The food was pretty good. bulalo is a sort of meat and born marrow soup, so I was all into it. You can make your own dipping sauce by combining the peppers and tiny limes together in a dish.
Dong Meat Stand! Hah!
So I was introduced to a chain called Angel's Burger which is maybe the cheapest and tastiest little fast food burger I've ever had. For less than a dollar you can two freshly cooked burgers with a sweet sauce topping (I'm not sure if it has a name, but it may have been banana ketchup). The common joke is that your first bite of an Angel burger is just bread, but I gotta say, I love these things. They're bigger than White Castle burgers, and they taste good.
Because I have a somewhat sensitive stomach, I can't really enjoy a giant hearty breakfast like most folks do. I mean, I do sometimes, but during this trip it was out of the question so instead I bought a few bottles of Vitamilk. It's a sweetened soy milk, and there was a chocolate variant as well. Good stuff.
I forget when exactly, but at some point we took a trip across the country (roughly a 10 hour drive) and I got to see the more of the countryside. Of course the first memorable thing I saw was a statue of a kaiju named Godji, who I think is the mascot for a local energy company.
More pics from the road.
We made a pit stop at a goat-infested place to see an old lighthouse, but sadly, it was out of commission. This entire area however was quite beautiful, so I made sure to take as many pictures as I could.
At this point we were nearing our destination. The local Coca-Cola distributor had some giant cans on display.
We finally arrived at our destination in a tourist town next to a beach. The water is so warm in the Philippines, especially when compared to the water we have here in NYC at our beaches.
My first snack was Taho, a sweet tofu based drink. Delicious.
Little cricket friend.
After a few days at the resort, we made our way back to whatever town it is we were at originally, and we made a stop at Shakey's for dinner. SHAKEY'S! I haven't seen a Shakey's in decades. I didn't even think they existed, but they're apparently the top selling pizza in the Philippines! HOW BIZARRE! As a side note, I also saw a few Kenny Rogers Roasters while driving around; they're another chain I thought died out.
And finally, after years of dreaming about it, I have finally had a ride on Tricycle/motorcycle side-car. What a fun way to get around. I had to pay double though, because I am so much bigger than everyone else in the Philippines. I take up two seats in this thing.
Just a few shots at the SM Mall cafeteria.
SPORT WALKING SUPER BALANCE CAR ROBOT.
Me with local celebrity, Jolliebee.
Transfiguration Whirlwind Deformation.
This is from a South Korean toy line for a show that's like if Pokemon or Bey Blade was about billiards. It's pretty cool actually.
I really wanted Shattering Dragon, but he was sold out.
There was a shop that sold bootleg and giant versions of Transformers and Gundam figures. I was in awe of this place. I really wanted the giant version of the Dark of the Moon Megatron. It was as big as my arm!!
This beautiful ancient toy spider made my life better.
Here we have Beef Spicy Flavor 2-D (check out his cow medallion); Twinkie the Kid as corn; and lastly, Goku if he had red hair.
And there we have it, that was my trip to the Philippines. It was ten days of traveling and snacking and it was pretty great. I have only a vague idea of the places where I traveled, and I kind of liked it that way. It was a new adventure everyday, and that's the best way to experience another culture. After I returned I had the absolute worst jet lag I ever experienced. Took me nearly a week to get my sleeping schedule back in order.
So I guess it's good that the world didn't end on X-day. I got to experience something fun and new. Around the time of my return, this inspirational image of "Bob" appeared on my Facebook feed and it really gave me inner strength. We all need to partake of "Bob's" frop and be ready because next year for sure, the Xist's will arrive!
This amazing piece was done by the wonderful Catfeather
Labels: Cat Feather and her disgusting yet colorful art, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, KO Toys. Bootlegs, Philippines, Popeye, Popeye the Sailor, Praise "Bob", Transformers, Vacation, Weird Toys