Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The "L O S T" Effect

Ever so often I'm confronted with something that I must address for no other reason but to make certain things clear to ignorant people. Now that we're in early 2012, the post "L O S T" era, "L O S T" fans like yours truly are looking for the next time consuming sci-fi, fantasy epic. HOWEVER, there are people who take the fun out of this search by comparing everything to "L O S T" even IF THERE IS NO ACTUAL COMPARISON! I have seen this done with "The Event"(granted "The Event" sucked major ass, but that's beside the point) even though "The Event" merely used flashbacks. Here's something people need to learn, "L O S T" merely made flashbacks popular again but FLASHBACKS HAVE EXISTED BEFORE "L O S T"!

This isn't a problem unique to "L O S T" but it IS something I've seen occur during and after "L O S T" ended enough for me to call this problem The "L O S T" Effect. So I'm writing this article to completely thwart this ideology. First of all a mysterious Island ISN'T anything brand new, why Jules Verne's "The Mysterious Island" comes to mind, BUT if you want a more recent epic saga about a mysterious island, look no further than "Sonic & Knuckles", which featured not ONLY a mysterious island, but a mysterious FLOATING ISLAND!

Not to mention this Island ALSO had a mysterious morally ambiguous guardian sworn to protect it's secret...

As far as Flashbacks, Flashforwards, The Afterlife and Time Travel goes, these aren't even unique to "L O S T" and I can think of ONE series that has done ALL 4!

We've been time traveling and having after life experiences LONG before you mofos !

I'm not denying that "L O S T" is unique, I'm a HUGE fan of "L O S T" but I just refuse to listen to people who think that EVERYTHING after "L O S T" is either ripping it off or should be compared to it. "Alcatraz" and "FRINGE" are 2 completely different TV shows with COMPLETELY different mythologies. And as far as "L O S T" being unique in terms of time travel and philosophical ideology, look no further than...

Ya can't beat TARDIS!
"Dr. Who" has encompassed a MULTITUDE of plot devices from other dimensions, time travel, aliens, world domination, you name it, "Dr. Who" has done it. So honestly, let "L O S T" be what it is and stop expecting every other to rip it off or make an homage to it if it involves Flashbacks or Flashforwards or Time Travel. Ugh! I hate stupid people.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"...and why it's Awesome!

This was me at first...
So I think it's about time we talk about ponies. I'm sure most of you have seen pony related materials springing up here and there and wondering "JUST WHAT IN THE HECK IS UP WITH ALL THESE PONIES?!" then allow me to explain. For starters I do indeed consider myself to be a Bronie (MLP lingo referring to male fans of the series) and I think I can explain why "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" has managed to become such a hit with the male audience. For the 90's kids (like myself) we all remember the simpler cartoons, shows like "Doug", "Rugrats", and more specifically, "The Powerpuff Girls". Cartoons nowadays suffer from a REAL lack of focus, meaning they don't know if they wanna be dark and edgy or goofy and thoughtless. There are a few gems in the era of course ("Kim Possible" comes to mind).

But "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" is a very RARE creature in the world of modern day cartoons. "MLP:Fim" is created by Lauren Faust, creator of "Foster Home For Imaginary Friends", she's the husband of Craig McCracken (the guy who bought us "The Powerpuff Girls" and directed "Dexter's Laboratory". If those are shows you enjoyed back in the day then "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" is RIGHT up your alley. I say this because much like "The Powerpuff Girls", "MLP:Fim" has becomes the quintessential cartoon about girls but not exactly FOR girls. There are some shows out there that are made to target a strict audience BUT The Ponies of "MLP:Fim" go above and beyond being girl characters and have becomes the strong female leads we guys have been waiting to see in cartoons.

It's all in the family !

This sounds alarming because the characters are female ponies BUT female nonetheless and despite them being female I completely relate to them all on many different levels. All too often cartoons that feature a main cast of ONLY female characters, the focus of the show becomes GIRL POWER & I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR...and other things of that nature. The problem with some producers is they think THAT'S what makes a strong female character! When really the ponies in "MLP:Fim" are some of the strongest female characters I've seen in awhile. I say this because the focus of the show, despite having a completely female main cast is NOT about GIRL POWER, rather it's about something we ALL can relate to...FRIENDSHIP!

The magic of Friendship is a lot like taking shrooms...

Not some kinda mushy idea about friendship but the very idea of having people who have your back and someone who's gonna help you out no matter what. I think that's what draws us to the series. It's very honest about the innocence of the concept and at the same time dealing with it's complexities in a fun and entertaining way. In this day in age where cartoons are over saturated with innuendo it's good to have to a cartoon that's a throw back to old days; where it was about telling an awesome story and learning something by the end of it. "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" is smart without being edgy, it's honest without being preachy, and it's heartfelt without being sappy.


I won't lie, when a buddy of mine told me about the series I was UBER skeptical, much like the image I posted above, BUT I'm glad I kept an open mind because I might have missed a little nugget of awesomeness over what, not wanting to be a dude watching a girl's show. Keep in mind I watched "Sailor Moon" when I was younger and I gone through a strange period of watching "The Winx Club" on Saturdays (No, I'm not gonna apologize for that last one, "The Winx Club" was AWESOME!) I like "MLP:Fim" mostly because it makes me feel good after I watch it, makes me feel really thankful for having such cool people that I call my friends and it makes me wanna be a better friend to them. 

Scootaloo..adorable, awesome and 100% correct!

But seriously, if you enjoyed "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Dexter Laboratory" you'll have NO problem enjoying "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic", so swallow that pride and give it a shot, you really have nothing to lose and in the end you'll have something to brighten your day.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So It's Come To This...: The People vs. Justin Bieber

This is another one of those articles where I wasn't sure if I was going to do a video or a blog about it, as you can tell I chose to do a blog because making a video would cause me to rant I feel like I should stay on topic for this particular subject. The upsetting thing is that this is an off shoot of a my previous "So It's Come To This..." article. Like all things that angry my blood I have to set up the scenario and explain just why this particular subject frustrates the living crap outta me.

So a few months ago I was browsing Youtube back when the 6 minute "The Dark Knight Rises" preview came out and I managed to track it down before Warner Brothers yanked it. I thought it was FREAKIN' awesome however I too was concerned about Bane's voice and I (stupidly) browsed the comments to see what they had to say about it. After sifting through a few comments I found one that struck a cord with me that caused me to write this article.

"This is way better than Justin Bieber"

Unfortunately I couldn't locate the comment to take a screenshot of it but that's what it said. So this is what caused me to write this article and to address a few things that bug me about the intense Justin Bieber hatred. For starters, here I am watching a video about Batman and suddenly a COMPLETELY UNRELATED TOPIC just randomly pops up.

But that's not the most troubling thing here, the troubling thing is that there are people who believe that this is a valid comparison. Let me preamble this by saying that I am NOT a Justin Bieber fan (given where I work I am constantly exposed to his music and despite the fact that I don't exactly care for it, I fail to see the difference between him and EVERY OTHER TEENAGE SINGER THAT CAME BEFORE HIM) so the hatred that he's been getting lately has got me curious about what's so unlikable about him...and thus far I haven't found anything.

Justin Bieber is NOT the main focus of this article but he is a part of a larger point I'm going to make. I have NO problem with criticizing various media as it is our right as a people to shun the things that suck and praise the things that don't. But there's a line when criticizing becomes hating...and hating has NEVER been cool!


Understand something here people, I am NOT saying Justin Bieber is above criticism (NO ONE is above criticism) what I am saying is that a good 99.99% of the criticism he's gotten is completely invalid. Why ?! Because the people who criticize him were already against him to begin with. If Justin Bieber's music doesn't appeal to you, no problem, but if you bitch and complain about it how his music doesn't appeal to you then there's a VERY valid reason why.


Seriously, it's like comparing "The Wire" to "Sesame Street"!! One is a television show aimed at adults, the other is a television aimed at infants and pre-schoolers! Justin Bieber is a pop-singer aimed at young to teenage girls from middle-school to early high-school. Basically what I'm saying is if you're not a teenage girl in middle school you should kindly shut the f*ck up about Justin Bieber.

This would actually be an AWESOME concept!

But this article isn't about Justin Bieber, it's about HATERS! And as Urban Dictionary defines haters each definition implies one simple factor, HATERS ARE SUBJECTIVE! For the slow crowd what I'm saying is that Haters have no VALID reason why they dislike a person. As I've said, a lot of the hate Justin Bieber gets revolves around his voice (and as a person who's constantly criticized for his voice and told he sounds like a girl, this only makes me more sympathetic to Bieber), they talk about his appearance and how he looks like a girl (I really don't see that.), none of them can provide a valid reason why they dislike HIM (as a person). As I said before I don't care for his music but I'm not saying jack crap about Justin Bieber as a person because I have no beef with the kid.

Justin Bieber's success isn't even dependent on you! He makes his money solely from the people who buy his albums and if you haven't bought his album then you have no right to complain. Furthermore Justin Bieber is a completely avoidable musician. I'll be a prime example. I have NO CLUE what the new Lady Gaga song is...WHY?! Because I don't listen to Lady Gaga. I couldn't tell you the name of Lil' Wayne's new single, WHY?! Because I don't listen to Lil' Wayne! Basically if theres something that you don't wanna listen to;


This brings me to the point of this article, something that STILL infuriates me TO THIS DAY! Why is it that there are people who COMPLETELY HATE a 17 year old boy making legitimate money and music that IS NOT BASED ON YOU, as opposed to an incredibly poor Italian stereo-type whose money is made from being a drunken moron and perpetuating the ideology that one doesn't have to have talent or intelligence to get ahead in life.

I'm talking about this waste of humanity.
I've raised this topic before but HONESTLY, you'd rather talk about how much Justin Bieber's music sucks as opposed to complain about the injustice that there are people out there who aren't making enough money to keep a roof over their heads while Snooki is getting paid more money than any of us will ever see in 10 years and FOR WHAT?! This isn't a matter about whether or not "The Jersey Shore" is in my demographic, this is a matter of legitimate money from working hard at making a product people in your demographic will love (Justin Bieber) and doing something that any slutty sorority girl can do (Snooki). 

Did you know Snooki was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers University where she was quoted as saying "Study hard, party harder"...thanks Snooki, that's just what our future generation needs to hear. Seriously, why in the HELL is NO ONE SAYING JACK CRAP ABOUT THIS!? In a perfectly logical world Snooki should be shunned and invoke absolute rage and pity within us.

HITTING WOMEN IS NOT COOL! (but this guy deserves a medal for doing what we all want to!)
The fury about this whole thing isn't how people treat Justin Bieber, rather it's how people ignore VALID complaints about society. If you don't like Justin Bieber's music, NO PROBLEM, but if you're watching "The Jersey Shore" and contributing to the wealth of this stupid waste of air then you SERIOUSLY need to re-think how you view the world. And so it's come to this where I have to defend Justin Bieber for the sake of calling people's attention to an even bigger injustice, PEOPLE WITH NO TALENT MAKING GOOD MONEY OFF THEIR STUPIDITY! And I don't wanna hear any sarcastic ass-hole say "Justin Bieber doesn't have any talent either!" The boy has enough talent to achieve what he needs to (making inoffensive pop music for teenage girl) so that's not a valid argument. 

Anyways, please leave your comments and thoughts below and once again I'm Ugo Strange and this is "So It's Come To This..." .