Thursday, November 15, 2018
The days are getting shorter and colder here in NYC, and I couldn't be happier about it. I don't enjoy warm weather very much, although I do enjoy laying around on the beach from time to time. Part of the joy of the colder season is watching everything slowly die and transition to the next stage of whatever their existence might be. There's beauty in that. The leafs change color and become vibrant because they're dying.
But I've been preparing for the winter too, of course. As far as the weather is concerned, I have a new weapon to defend the harsh winds with; my knitted Cthulhu cultist mask! And let me tell you; this thing is warm and comfortable. I was pretty surprised with how much I would love it. So, bring on the heavy snow! I look forward to wearing this thing all winter long! (with my hat on top of course)
And of course, I'll be using this mask as part of the rituals I perform, but I feel that goes without saying....
I don't have too much downtime these days because of school, work, and my other disgusting responsibilities, but I have found the time to watch a few things that were on my list. I don't own a television, because the internet provides me with basically everything I need, so I usually watch classic shows, YouTube or Vimeo, and of course anime.
Recently, I've started looking more into the Al Capp character Fearless Fosdick. There's something so likable about his sense of duty, and justice, but also how immensely stupid he is. Somehow, he's even dumber than The Tick and Inspector Gadget. Maybe "dumb" is too harsh of a word, but Fosdick is severely absentminded and clumsy.
The reason for this recent obsession is because I was studying the Principia Discordia again, and I was mulling over who could constitute a Discordian in fiction. The characters that came to mind were Bob Burden's The Flaming Carrot, Marvel's Slapstick, DC's Ambush Bug, and a few others; but when I considered Fearless Fosdick I felt like he was the epitome of what I was looking for. Both Eristic and Aneristic, chaotic but also orderly, balanced but also unhinged, etc., etc., etc.
So in honor of Fearless Fosdick, I dedicated this card to him in the name of Eris of Discordia. Please print it out and carry it with you at all times. As a Junior Agent of The Fearless Fosdick Junior Justice Society, please feel free to win the day and uphold justice in a manner that would make Fosdick himself proud.
Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, check out the Fearless Fosdick puppet show from the 1950's. It's the best. There weren't many episodes made, and they're getting increasingly harder to find, but they are without question treasures. I especially love the villain Evil Eye Fleagle, who was apparently based off a crooked boxing or wrestling manager who gave his opponents the "evil eye" from ringside so they'd lose the match.
Evil Eye Fleagle also appeared in this film about radiation. He was so beautifully animated it makes me wish there was a Fearless Fosdick cartoon in existence!
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of comic book legend Stan Lee.
He was a complicated guy in the comics industry. It'd be difficult for anyone to give any sort of one-sided story about Stan, but he was almost unanimously loved by fans, and you could tell he loved the fans too. I met him very, very briefly once at NYCC years ago and he just seemed so blown away by everyone's enthusiasm. He walked the entire line of guests who were waiting to get into the convention and he did his best to greet every last fan. Pretty cool stuff.
The worst part of Stan Lee's passing though, I feel, is that is puts a spotlight on the artists, writers, and creators from his time. There aren't too many left from that era of comics, and that sucks.
So anyway, rest easy Stan.
Sunday, October 28, 2018
In recent years, I haven't really been in the Halloween spirit. I don't care very much for the parade that takes place here in NYC, and I don't like to attend parties anymore. Could be my age I guess. This year Halloween falls square in the middle of the work week, during my longest day, so I feel the spirit even less.
But it's not without a lack of trying. I've been updating my YouTube page with some simple videos featuring some of the spookier toys in my collection. I was hoping to get more done but it looks like I may not have the time. Even today I may have to fly out to Nevada for family reasons so I may not even experience Halloween in the right season. I can't imagine Nevada has autumn like we have it here in NYC.
In any case, here my of my favorite toys. I purchased it from a dollar store last year, and it's of a Japanese Shinto spirit I believe. He makes that classic Halloween sound. I live in a basement apartment, which makes it feel even more like a haunted video (I guess).
You can see the above figure in the background of the below picture. The "Slop Gloppers" are a great little toy. There's a whole collection of them, but I only found the skull and the eyeball.
I didn't have a chance to film the "Dangling Spider" yet, maybe after my trip (if I go). But I love weird spider toys as well. You may notice the rubber spider in the background - it squeaks!
The other day, my girlfriend and her father went to an escape room called "Beat the Bomb" located in Brooklyn. What a fun place, let me tell you, I'd gladly go again. The whole thing was about 40 minutes long and was one part obstacle course and one part puzzle solving. Really inventive and fun. The video below is our team video (we were The Unicorns) and I took most of the hit from the paint blast. It didn't hurt, but it did push me back a bit. It was like getting hit by a pillow.
After "Beat the Bomb" we went to the famous gimmicky restaurant NINJA that's located somewhere downtown. It was pretty good. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was fun. It's a real tourist trap though. Not sure if I'd go again, but I'm glad I went at least once.
There's more I'd like to talk about but sadly I do not have the time. Oh I should mention that if you have Amazon Prime, the documentary "AMERICAN SCARY" is now available. It's all about American horror hosts, their legacy, and origins. It's pretty cool. There's some rare footage to be seen, and even rarer interviews, so give it a watch. Perfect for Halloween.
A wonderful friend of mine purchased for me what might be the gaudiest collectible in our day; a DC branded "Eekeez" tiki figure of Henry Cavil's Superman from the movie "Justice League".
Now this figure might be modeled after Henry Cavil, but all I see is J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, High Epopt of the Church of the SubGenius!
Sunday, October 14, 2018
I managed to be broke again this year during NYCC. It wasn't my intent of course, but it's been rather difficult for me this past year. My "good" paycheck won't arrive until a week after the convention, so I had maybe $10 to spend there. But thankfully, my great and wonderful lodge brother was there to support me in my time of need.
For the uninitiated, the "Sons of the Desert" was a film about two fraternity brothers (Laurel & Hardy) ditching their wives so that they could attend a convention. To honor this, my friend and I wear our Sons of the Desert fezzes and forcefully excommunicate everyone else from our lives so we can go enjoy NYCC unabated.
I should also mention, we are currently not affiliated with the real Sons of the Desert, though that might change someday.
I walked into the con only for a few minutes to find my favorite vendor who has been there since I started attending NYCC. On the way there I saw what was BY FAR the best display in the entire convention. Funimation had recreated the Tenkaiichi Budkai tournament temple to promote their Dragon Ball franchise (specifically "Dragon Ball Super") and it looked AMAZING! They even had the Eternal Dragon, Shenron flying overhead.
My only purchase at NYCC was a fistful of M.U.S.C.L.E. guys. I even found some of the ones I keep track of on eBay. I finally have a King Muscle to call my own, and these being from the original line means that they're just that much more special.
Possibly the best thing to come out of NYCC this year for me is this amazing handmade Killer Tomato by Amok Time Toys, which is made to look like the killer tomatoes from "Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!". This was given to me by my fantastic lodge brother, and it will be cherished by me forever. I really love how when purchased, the seller put it in a produce bag.
This is me with my new best friend.
And here he is on my desk-altar, ready to join my cult of weird toys.
While not at NYCC, another fun thing I purchased was this "Spooky Village Halloween Ball Popper" from CVS. I kind of want the whole set now that I own this particular one. It reminds me of the "Blurp Balls" line of toys that came out after the popularity of "Mad Balls". I never owned a Blurp Ball, but this Popper really fills that void.
From this angle he looks like a weird bootleg Snoopy toy.
My first ever YouTube video! Yeah I won't be doing this very often, if at all, but I wanted to show this Popper in action. BEHOLD!
SHOUT OUTS! Check out these awesome people!
Below are some interesting things I found during the past month that have really caught my attention. For the most part you can click on the image to be taken to their official page (in most cases anyway).
I saw this on the Church of the SubGenius Facebook group, and I plan on sending a buck. Do YOU dare to do the same?! I think you should.
The amazing Dr. Yeti Show, a local radio show out somewhere I've never heard of, has a lot of amazing art to promote their show on their Facebook, and plan to do a podcast soon, BUT ALSO NOW HAS MERCH! Well the good Dr has a shirt at least, and it looks pretty rad.
Announced on a Godzilla Facebook group, "The Sons of Godzilla: From Destroyer to Defender; From Ridicule to Respect" by Peter H. Brothers will be out soon, so keep an eye on his official Amazon page for further detail. Looks like it'll be an interesting read.
Finally, the TRUTH can be told and revealed to the world! BIRDS AREN'T REAL! At last, the drones of THE CONSPIRACY will be called out for what they really are!
So my pal and I have a yearly tradition of wearing our Sons of the Desert fezzes to NYCC, which are of course based on the fezzes seen in the film of the same name. These fezze we purchased at NYCC several years ago from the amazing fez makers at Fez-o-Rama.
The pins I wore on my fez I purchased from different shops. The Turtle Club pin (RUAT) I purchased from Fratline, the DLH Salame pin I of course bought through his official website; the DOBBSHEAD pin is from Bulldada Time Control Laboratories. And lastly, the newest in my collection is my Gadget Hackwrench pin from SnotRocketCat.
I really can't express how much I love owning this pin. Gadget holds a very special place in my heart, and is one of the many deified beings in my internal menagerie of personal gods. The pin is larger than I expected it to be, but that's a good thing. These were limited to 50 pieces, so rush over to Etsy and buy yours today!
Labels: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Church of the SubGenius, David Liebe Hart, Gadget Hackwrench, New York Comic Con, NYCC, NYCC 2018, Praise "Bob", The Dr. Yeti Show, Turtles, Weird Toys
Friday, October 5, 2018
Fangoria, the legendary horror magazine, has returned. Thank goodness for it. My pal and I went to the launch party in NYC's legendary Foribidden Planet comic shop, where we mingled with celebrities and nerds alike. It was a fun time and it also felt like we were in a NYCC panel or something.
Getting to meet all the new staff members, editors, contributors, and guests there was a real treat. And of course, NYC film legend and everyone's favorite weird uncle, Lloyd Kaufman was there to take pictures, greet guests, shake hands, and sign anything you put in front of him. He did well to remind us that Troma's next film, Shakespeare's "SHITSTORM" will be coming out soon. It sounds like an absolute triumph. If you follow Lloyd or the Troma Team on Twitter, you'll already be used to some of the behind the scenes stuff they've been uploading.
I'm not really sure how to feel about it, but I guess it's sort of cool; my friend and I appear briefly both on the Fangoria Twitter video for the event, and also the Facebook live stream. We can now say we were both in a video with Lloyd Kaufman.
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.