Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hail to the Losers: 7-5
The officiating was, to use Mike Tirico's word, "incompetent," but that does not excuse Rivas's missed field goal, Avant's fumble, Manningham's drop, Henne's overthrows, or the defense's fourth quarter collapse. My fear is that Lloyd will use the poor performance of the officials as cover for not making the changes that are so very, very necessary for the future of Michigan football.

Dear Bog, 7-5. Take away the two gimme wins against Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan and we finished the season 5-5. This is an unimaginable disaster, a nightmare. We're better than this. We have to be, right? Right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Star Wars: Episodes I-VI
December 27, 2005
Wilson household
Grand Blanc, Michigan

Attendees: The Mountain of Love, his girlflesh Susan, K. Steeze, The Professor, Ki-El, and The Last Angry Man.

And remember, only two motherfuckers ever destroyed a Death Star, and one of them was Lando Calrissian.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Magic of Shazam!
Unless you can fly like Superman and Captain Marvel or run really fast like The Flash (though both Superman and Captain Marvel can run really fast, too), as a modern superhero on the go you'll probably need some sort of vehicle. The Batman has the many incarnations of the Batmobile; the late, lamented Blue Beetle flew around in his unmistakable Bug; and even a third-tier also-ran like the Spy Smasher (Alan Armstrong) got around in a rocket/submarine called the Gyrosub. Yes, of course, because there's nothing more inevitable than a hybrid rocketplane/mini-submarine... or something. Also, Gyrosub? Sounds like a fine name for an aspiring retauranteer looking to take a chunk out of Subway's business, but a superhero's "wheels"? Oy.

Now, my new Spy Smasher (Avi Ducret), being a contrarian but decidedly non-superpowered Israeli, will also need a stylish and suitably heroic way of getting around, especially if he is going to travel all the way to Fawcett City (firmly rooted in the American Midwest). My conundrum is this: should he traverse the world in a new Gyrosub (rocket/U-boat) or a slightly less ridiculous but still fanciful VTOL-capable plane, visually based on the P-61 Black Widow? (Either way, it has to be able to hover midair, because all flying superheroic conveyances hover. It's a rule.) The argument in favor of the plane is it is slightly more realistic and will help cement Spy Smasher's role as a normal human, in contrast with the godlike power of the Marvel Family. On the other hand, it is a fanciful vehicle either way; so, I might as well go all out and embrace the awesomely ludicrous Gyrosub (name and all, it's a package deal). So, new Gyrosub or 21st Century P-61?

Word Association
Once more, I'm working ass-backwards. Here are some interesting names for villains. Now I just need to work on powers and, more importantly, characterizations:


Spitfire & Hotspur are quite possibly a package deal, too.

I think if I ever get the chance to write for Superman I'm going to pull out all the stops. That means all the stories will have to have "super" titles. I've already got partial ideas for "Superego," "Superconductor," and "Superlative," and I see definite potential in "Superstition," "Superficial," and "Superfluous." It's classic BTW reasoning: it's so bad that it's gone all the way around the horn to good.


Phantom Tom - actually, he's pretty far along and so far I really, really like him
Positron Boy
The Alienist

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Foyle's War
For those of you who may not know, Foyle's War is a contemporary British television series chronicling the adventures of Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) in his role as the highest ranking police officer along the south coast of Great Britain during the Second World War. Look for an "Idiot Box" review in the upcoming Volume XI of The Newsletter. The show is extraordinary.

Series 1 - Late Spring/Summer 1940
"The German Woman"
"The White Feather"
"A Lesson in Murder"
"Eagle Day"

Series 2 - Fall 1940
"Fifty Ships"
"Among the Few"
"War Games"
"The Funk Hole"

Series 3 - Late Winter/Spring 1941
"The French Drop"
"Enemy Fire"
"They Fought in the Fields"
"A War of Nerves"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hyperlink! I never liked Kofi Annan, but before this I never thought he was a loon. A sleazebag, sure, but not a loon. If there's anyone he should be angry at over the Oil-for-Food fiasco, it is his son Kojo, not The Times. What a jerk. Also, James Bone is a really cool name.
The Mandate of Heaven
Hyperlink! This just isn't going to end well. In other news from China, a second river has become disastrously polluted due to an industrial accident, the second, it should be noted, in as many months. And for the first time in quite a long time (though not nearly long enough), lethal force was used to end a protest. None of these three items is really much of a surprise. Anyone in Hong Kong who actually expected Beijing to give the territory a truly democratic government is either a fool or an idiot, probably both. Every Communist country in the history of the world has been an environmental disaster area, and while China's economic policies have become more and more capitalistic over the last thirty years, there should be no doubt that the Chinese Communist Party still reigns supreme. The same remark applies to the murder of protestors. It's despicably monstrous, but entirely predictable.

The Newsletter Must Die
I would like to thank Neutral Man, the Mountain of Love, The Guy, his girlflesh Sarah, The Professor, K. Steeze, the Boy Wonder, and The Plate for their invaluable help in making the 2005 Annual a rousing success. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out unless I was being monetarily compensated. Man, I'd give your right arm to be monetarily compensated for editing-in-chief The Newsletter. In any event, the 2005 Annual kicks arse! Thanks, gang!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A little Christmas gift to myself, I now own Keith Giffen's entire run of Justice League Europe and all but three of his issues of Justice League-cum-Justice League International-cum-Justice League America. I must continue the search for the three missing issues of JLI, but in the meantime I must begin collecting the JLI Annuals, Justice League Quarterly, and other JLI-era sundries.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Honolulu Blue Forever
Obviously, there was no way in hell we were going to beat the Bengals, but just for the record I would like to point out that the Lions are 3-6 in games Joey Harrington started as quarterback and 1-4 in games started by Jeff Garcia. As the head of the ACLU said, "Kill Zoidberg!" Or rather, Millen.
Perchance to Dream
In television shows and motion pictures, real life stimuli often carry over into dreams in real time, for instance, a leaky bathtub will cause the dreamer to dream of having been cast adrift amid great Neptune's ocean. I experienced this previously fictional scenario this morning for, I believe, the first time.

Feel free to laugh, but I was in The Ultimates, the reimagination of the superteam the Avengers in Marvel's continuity-free Ultimate Universe, and found myself in a scene of havoc and chaos. I cannot name who it was the Ultimates were fighting. Suddenly, I was racked with pain! My left arm was asleep, but the sensation was far more intense than I had ever before endured. Confused as all get out, I woke up to find that my left arm was in fact asleep; I must have been laying on it in exactly the right way, because, brother, my sinister apendage was alive with needles of pain but dead in the water. I got out of bed and walked around for a couple minutes until circulation and normal feeling were restored. It was wild.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Blame Dan DiDio and Paul Levitz
This is getting fucking ridiculous. Our story thus far: I ordered the second DVD boxset of Superman: The Animated Series from Hooray, for DVDs, right? Wrong. I was progressing through the epidoes, happy as a clam to be watching the Man of Steel pummel the likes of Metallo and Luminus, when in the middle of "Brave New Metropolis" the disc malfunctioned. The image became pixelated and then froze, the audio track became distorted and then started repeating a single syllable before suting out entirely. Grrr. But, hey, into every life a little rain must fall and I have always viewed Amazon's return policy as being quite fair and reasonable. I reported the problem, they shipped me a replacement, I returned the defective item on their dime, and we all lived happy ever after.

Except the same damn thing happened with the new boxset. On the same disc (Disc 2 being one side of the same physical disc as Disc 3), though in a different episode. This time, "Brave New Metropolis" played without interruption, only to encounter an identity defect in "World's Finest, Part 1." FUCKING HELL! One defective product is an irritating inconvenience, two are a full-blown farce. Clearly, the problem lies with the manufacturer, may they bleed from their eyes every day for the rest of their rotten lives. Once is a cock up; twice is, as stated above, fucking ridiculous.

Okay, fine and good, but how exactly are Dan DiDio (VP-Executive Editor of DC Comics) and Paul Levitz (President & Publisher of same) to blame? Simple. The boxset carries the new DC logo, the so-called "DC spin," DiDio and Levitz's idea for carrying the company forward into the 21st Century. (These two geniuses couldn't give two shits about the comics DC puts out, but they figure an ugly new logo will prove a panacea. Fucking boobs.) The first volume of Superman, an identical three-disc set that I watched from start to finish, including all the bonus features, bore the venerable old "DC bullet" logo, and I never had a single problem. the discs performed magnificently. Old logo, quality product. New logo, shit on a stick. Now DiDio and Levitz, those are two motherfuckers who desperately need to be hit in the face with a brick.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I can see now that most of the Secret Base's reader are Canuck-coddling commies. You bastards probably wake up to the tune of "O Canada" on your alarm clocks! Lousy Maple Leaf-loving so-and-sos....

Funny Book Follies
In other news, an odd thing happened at the comic book shop this week: I bought as many Marvel books as I did DC books. That has to be the first time that has happened since, oh, probably sometime in 2001. You see, I first started reading comics following the release of the movie X-Men, which I enjoyed greatly, during the Summer of 2000. The first five books I read were Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Batman. I caught Batman at the very beginning of Ed Brubaker's excellent run, but what really hooked me was penciller Scott McDaniel's brilliant art; McDaniel was my gateway into the DC Universe and for that I will always be indebted to him. Whatever my problems with the current regime at DC, and the abyssmal direction things are moving in, the company is still my home. I am still loyal to DC's characters, even though the top people at DC aren't. I will never understand why Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns hate Superman, Batman, and the rest so intensely... but that's a topic for another day.

Yesterday, I bought Aquaman, Firestorm, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Action Comics, and Fables from DC (Fables is part of the non-DCU Vertigo line) and Fantasic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan, Son of M, X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men, and New X-Men from Marvel. The Marvel Universe is a weird, confusing place full of people about whom and places about which I could not care less even with concerted effort. Still, I am enjoying the vast post-House of M "Decimation" storyline, and it seems like a much better idea than DC's planned post-Infinite Crisis "One Year Later" shake-up. To be fair, it won't happen until March, but "One Year Later" reeks of a cheap publicity stunt, whereas the still-unfolding "Decimation" strikes me as being first and foremost a good story.

Spitting Into the Wind
And now, even though we are expecting more snow tonight, my mother would like me to shovel the driveway. Hooray for futility.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This means war. Canada's insolence requires a swift and sure answer: invasion! I say we march on Ottawa, wrecking a swath of destruction from the Ambassador Bridge to their poor man's Parliament in the finest tradition of Sherman's March to the Sea. We'll bring those toadying Canucks to their knees within the week. We'll install Wayne Gretzky as Prime Minister-for-Life, raze Ottawa according to the Carthage model, declare Toronto the new capital, move the Phoenix Coyotes back to Winnipeg, and have our boys home by Christmas. Death to Canada!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Honolulu Blue Forever
As Dr. Hee-Haw pointed out, the Lions actually finished 9-7 in 2000, not 7-9 as I'd mistakenly recalled. A winning fucking record under coaches Bobby Ross and Gary Moeller. Let's compare the five years before Matt Millen arrived to his first five years (since, inexplicably, he's been given a contract extension and will be around a while longer). In the spirit of charity, I'm going to project the Lions as finishing 5-11 this season, even though I believe they will finish 4-12.

1996-2000: 5-11, 9-7, 5-11, 8-8, 9-7. Total: 36-44.
2001-2005: 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, 6-10, 5-11. Total: 21-59.

Sweet merciful crap, what I'd give to be 36-44 again over an 80 game period. Wayne Fontes, where are you? Let's look even farther back, to ten years before the M&M debacle, in both it's incarnations (Millen & Mornhinweg and Millen & Mariucci).

1991-1995: 12-4, 5-11, 10-6, 9-7, 10-6. Total: 46-34.
2001-2005: 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, 6-10, 5-11. Total: 21-59.

In the ten seasons 1991-2000, the Lions actually posted a 82-78 record, a winning record. Certainly, those numbers are nothing to be particularly proud of, but they were a rousing success compared to the past five years in the abyss. To achieve a similar result for the period 2001-2010, the Lions will have to go 61-19 over the next five seasons, requiring four seasons with a 12-4 record and one at 13-3. Thanks, Matt Millen, you've done a hell of a job!

My favorite part of all this is when the jackboots came out during the last home game and seized any and all signs even remotely critical of Millen. Awesome, he's incompetent and megalomaniacal. Quite a winning combination.

I'm Dreaming of a Red Xmas
Oh, I forgot to mention, the Goldbricker actually came out with a Christmas list last Friday, December 9, a measly sixteen days before the Yuletide. I think that's actually more insulting than if he'd simply failed to produce a list at all. In any event, fuck him, as I said I finished my Christmas shopping the day before. He'll get whatever I feel like giving and like it, and if he doesn't maybe that'll teach the old horror to assemble a list in a timely fashion.

Oh, and just like his various denunciations of Muslims and liberals, his Christmas list is cholk-full of spelling errors. Before he became a hate-monger, my father could spell. He was a literate and reasonably erudite. He has a master's degree. Now, he's a living demonstration of the dulling effect hatred has on human intelligence. May death come swiftly for him.
Honolulu Blue Forever
Boy howdy, I enjoyed the hell out of yesterday's game. Is there anything better than football in December at Lambeau Field? (Actually, yes there is: football in January at Lambeau Field.) I wasn't rooting for the Lions since Dick Jauron continued his brilliant plan to be unceremoniously fired at the end of the season by starting that washed up hack Jeff Garcia. Plus, it's always nice to see the old Cajun warhorse get a victory, especially in this year of seemingly insurmountable difficulty for the Packers. Brett Favre has always reminded me of Lee Marvin, so tough as nails that he probably eats them for breakfast. And while it was annoying to hear ESPN's trained monkeys babbling on and on about Samkon Gabo being "one of the best stories in the NFL this season," I can't really deny that his is one of the best stories in the NFL this season. Plus, that 64-yard touchdown run was pretty sweet. If Gabo can lose that gut and do some serious conditioning in the offseason, he just might have a bright future in football.

Interesting numbers: the Lions are 4-9 this season with three games remaining. In games featuring Joey Harrington as the starting quarterback, the Lions are 3-6. In games featuring Jeff Garcia as the starting quarterback, the Lions are 1-3. In other words, the Lions have won one out of every three games with Harrington and only one out of every four games with the disgraced Steve Mariucci's chosen savior Garcia. And yet Jauron insists Garcia gives the Lions "the best chance to win." The numbers would seem to disagree.

The three remaining games are against the Cincinnati Bengals, the New Orleans Saints of San Antonio, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is no way on Bog's lime-green Earth that the hapless Lions are going to defeat the mighty Bengals or the vaunted Steelers. We are capable of beating New Orleans/San Antonio, but I am of the opinion that our boys will find a way to lose. So, with a little luck the Lions will finish the year 5-11, though I rather think 4-12 is much more likely. There is a certain poetry in going 4-12. Since 2001 the Lions have finished 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, and 6-10. They finished 7-9 in 2000, back in the halcyon days before Matt Millen's reign of idiocy. So, 4-12 would almost complete the set. 2-14, 3-13, 4-12, 5-11, 6-10, 7-9 in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2003, 2004, 2000.

Maybe next year we could even finish 1-15! Or better yet, 0-16, because if you're going to be bad you might as well be record-settingly bad.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a Red Xmas
Today is the third Sunday in Advent. Do you know what that means? Two weeks to Christmas! Fuck yeah! The Christ's birthday, family, friends, presents out the yin-yang, and the Blue Tree Whacking all-day, all-saga Star Wars marathon: all six episodes in a row with only minumal breaks. This is going to be so incredibly wicked. Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!

Also, hey, I meant to mention this earlier, but I've been slacking with the bloggy blogging for the past week: last Tuesday, I got to see a free sneak preview of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's awesome, boys and girls. Go see it, you'll love it. The scene with Aslan and the White Witch at the Stone Table... wow, it's very powerful and quite moving. Go see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you'll have a joyous time.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Happy birthday to The L.A.W! Wow, my sister is 30. I don't quite know how I feel about that.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Remember, gang, there are important distinctions between a meteoroid, a meteor, and a meteorite. A meteoroid is a rock in space on it's way to destroying the Rose Bowl in the middle of the game between USC and Texas; a meteor is the same rock as it streaks through the Earth's atmosphere, leaving behind it a brilliant tail of flames; and a meteorite is whatever will remain of that rock after it annihilates the Rose Bowl, both thuggish teams, and their contempable fans in a hellish explosion. The proper terminology makes imaging the destruction of the Trojans and the Longhorns both more enjoyable and more educational! Science!

This January 4, I'll be rooting for a plucky little meteoroid to become first a meteor, then a meteorite, and finally a harbinger of the demise of bad sportsmanship in college football.

I'm Dreaming of a Red Xmas
I have now completed my Christmas shopping. I await the delivery of several items purchased through ye olde internet commerce, but I have high hopes of having all the presents wrapped by this time next week. And to what do we owe our thanks for such modern conveniences as internet commerce and endlessly quotable episodes of Futurama and Invader ZIM on DVD? You know it. Science!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Hail to the Losers
I wrote about this in my journal on Monday and meant to mention it here as well: two positives can be drawn from the end of our New Year's Day bowl streak. a) There is a good chance we would have lost to the superior competition to be found in a New Year's Day bowl game, and I just couldn't handle a five-loss season. b) This can only help shake Carr out of his complacency. What you are doing isn't working well enough, Lloyd! You need to do some things differently!

Also in the world of college football, Ohio State is going to beat the living daylights out of Notre Dame. During bowl season, I root for Ohio State out of Big Ten loyalty, and this year I can add to that my implacable hatred of the Irish. It should prove a potent combination.

In an odd turn of events, I was so disgusted by the poor sportsmanship demonstrated by USC in their recent victory over UCLA that from now on I shall hope for Notre Dame to prevail in the annual USC-ND game. I hate the Fighting Irish, but I've never known them to run up the score like that piece of fucking garbage Pete Carroll did on Saturday. When the Revolution comes, Pete Carroll will be killed by being force-fed human excrement until his body literally bursts a la Se7en. Fuck the Trojans.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Honolulu Blue Forever
I realized earlier in the season that I just can't root for the Lions with Jeff Garcia as the starting quarterback; I shovelled the driveway during the first half yesterday. The Fords have owned the Lions since before I was born; so, I'm not going to stop being a fan on their account. And I was a Lions fan long before Matt Millen came and fucked things up worse than they already were and I'll be a fan long after that hack's been run out of town. So, yes, I wore my Lions T-shirt today. They're my team, for worse or for even worse. Besides, there's always next year.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Hyperlink. One can always hope that the entrenched Western influence in Hong Kong and the island's international prominence will stay Beijing's hand and prevent a violent resolution to these protests, but we must also remember that the international press was in Beijing in unprecedented numbers in May and June 1989 to cover then-Soviet Premier Gorbachev's first visit to China and yet the Tiananmen Square Massacre happened anyway. I don't think the situation in Hong Kong will come to that, not in the immediate future at any rate, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the institutional brutality of the People's Liberation Army.

I'm Dreaming of a Red Xmas
Three weeks until Christmas and still no sign of a list from the Goldbricker. For Pete's sake, today is the second Sunday in Advent! Lists are supposed to be circulated before Halloween! So, fuck him, he's getting whatever I feel like giving.
In case anyone was wondering, House of M was wicked amazing. I'm going to do some more exploring in the Marvel Universe, though Son of M is the only book I'm sure I'm going to pick up.

Lost Lost
The awful Michelle Rodriquez was arrested for drunk driving on Wednesday night. Ha! Now I can hate her as a person, not just as a terrible actor! Let me once again state my position on drunk drivers: anyone caught operating an automobile under the influence of either alcohol or illegal drugs should be charge with attempted murder and sentenced to twenty years hard labor without the possibility of parole. After their release, they will never be allowed to obtain a driver's license and, should they be caught driving, they will be incarcerated for an additional five years. So, fuck that bitch for her reckless disregard for the safety of everyone else on the road.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Fear and Loathing in the Straits of Taiwan
Monsters of ROC. I actually don't know which party I favor, the KMT or the DDP. I favor Taiwanese independence, but only sort of. I don't want to see Taiwan integrated with the Mainland as long as the PRC stands, but I think Taiwan should rightly be considered part and parcel of the eventual post-PRC China. So, do I support the more independence-minded DDP or the more status quo-preserving KMT? All I know for certain is that I strongly oppose the CCP.

Under the old Wade-Giles system of romanization, the Nationalist Party (descended from the party founded by Sun Yat-sen) was known as the Kuomintang. Thus, KMT. Under the somewhat more logical but still imperfect pinyin system of romanization, the word is spelled Guomindang, which is closer to how it is pronounced. But the acronym remains KMT. Why? Um, tradition? Feh, why not? Tradition!

BTW's Trading Faces
About the partial facial transplanted recently carried out in France, let me just say this: Science!

Invader ZIM sez, "No, these piggies are for science. Science!"

Pug Uglies
I stopped by the Guy's house on Thursday on Newsletter business. While there, I saw the Pug Uglies and had the opportunity to hold Tyson. Patrick has been marking his territory, and so he's been outfitted with a diaper. Sure, Sammy pissed outside his litter box toward the end, but only because he had kidney problems. As the Guy said, Patrick's just a jerk. Score one more for kitty cats. Still, I love those filthy, porcine little dog-monsters.
The Magic of Shazam!
That motherfucker Judd Winick KILLED Captain Nazi in Batman No. 647! Jumpin' Jack Pratt, who in the Sam Hill does that talentless prick think he is?! My faith in DC Comics has been so thoroughly shaken that today I went to Comic Relief and bought all eight issues of House of M. Things are looking so bad I'm actually thinking of jumping ship to Marvel Comics, or at least reading some Marvel books until a coup at DC overthrows the tyrannical Dan DiDio and restores DC's good name.

It's the principle that bothers me here, not Captain Nazi's actual death. Sure, he was a servicable character, but I think I can actually use this to improve The Magic of Shazam! Captain Nazi was going to be the mastermind behind the neo-Nazi gangs in "Kristallnacht," and later he'd join up with ODESSA's Nazi superteam, Kriegsmachine, among whom we'd meet Nazi's grandniece Katrina Krieger a.k.a. Madame Libertine (an Ordway creation, I was going to rename her Frau Libertine). Instead, I'll have ODESSA amp up her telepathic powers and use her as a testbed to recreate Captain Nazi's powers of super strength, a decent degree of invulnerability, and flight. Hmm, perhaps through telekinesis. Young Katrina will thus become a Captain Nazi for the twenty-first century. (I've been thinking that I need to create more female adversaries, and here's a quick and easy way to do it.)

Captain Nazi (an update of the classic concept)
Baron Blitzkrieg (another update, and a new man in the armor)
The Aryan Racer (my own)

Thursday, December 1, 2005

This is fucking awesome. Hyperlink. The Anonymous Friend carries the title of the Squirrel King; so, either he's been slacking off and letting his subjects run riot, or he's seriously pissed off and the rest of us are in a world of trouble.

Hyperlink. Fiddlesticks, I thought this meant the red squirrels were going to crown their own autocrat. Lousy misleading headlines....

I'm Dreaming of a Red Xmas
Every Christmas, I have six "presents" to buy. A single present can be more than one item. The six: The L.A.W.'s birthday (December 9, given at Christmas), the L.A.W. Christmas, the Mountain of Love Christmas, the Goldbricker Christmas, Mom Christmas, and Mom's birthday (New Year's Eve). After today's purchases, I am two-thirds done. Bwa ha ha ha ha! And I have enough Revenge of the Sith wrapping paper to last until Christmas 2007. Woot!