Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Where are the heroes?

This was something brought up after reading a series of posts on a forumboard item found here. It was a rather obvious sign as to how heroes in comic books are depicted and moreso idolized and patterned from. It seems to show that some of the more popular comicbook heroes would be of the amoral kind, the ultraviolent kind, the antihero kind.

Its like the current generation now say that the era of four-color heroics are long gone and the ideals it perpetuate is now outdated. The most obviously noted example that brought it to the forefront would be The Authority comic series. Earlier comics, especially independent titles would present anti-heroes in all manners of genders and formats. That is excluding comics produced by so-called "men's magazines" and Heavy Metal since it doesn't involve much stories pertaining to superheroics. Besides the comics that present them, another contributing factor to it would be the writers making the scripts and plots for them, especially the kind into over-the-top, in-your-face manner of presenting shock value scenes of depicting explicit situations or violence.

At least as far as the current status of so-called old school heroes go, they still have life in them and prove that they still have what it takes in spite their so-called ideals or rules or engagement are considered old-fashioned, outdated or touted to be stupid. Kingdom Come was one such example, a highly recommended read for its story and art. One other comic story came to mind, it was a Superman title, Action Comics I think, it had Superman pitted against a group of superhumans, patterned unmistakeably from Authority, called The Elite. They showed Superman that they have the upperhand and their methods are rather brutal and direct which gets the job done thoroughly compared to Superman's usual method and manner of handling things. Superman surprisingly proved them wrong by defeating them with the same ferocity and intensity like them but still not resorting to stooping down to their level. It was a surprise that Superman, no matter how powerful he can prove himself to be, he is always grounded down by his ideals and upbringing which makes him not above the law or humanity for that measure.

It goes further for me to think that this generation now see heroes as outmoded models of inspiration as compared to their preference to anti-heroes and moreso with villains that may or may not follow their own code of behaviors depicted by it. It might be a lot sadder to think that the mindset of evil is cool is what draws kids towards the darker paths to vice and later self-inflicted destruction to themselves and everyone if left unchecked. Case in point is that why most players in arcade fighting games always prefer picking a dark, evil-looking fighter just because of how cool it looks and how much more vicious the attacks they have in their moves arsenal that picking a good or weak character makes them feel less.

Looks my post on this one is pretty long. I may rant more about this on a future date. Next time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Simpler Times of Yore

Just celebrated the belated birthday of a friend last Saturday. Rico was a guy who said that he's now at the same age as the Messiah about a day before Saturday. He requested the company of the high school friends circle of me, Vic and Rem. Though Steve was very scarce these days with no new news on him. It was an afternoon to late evening of food, softdrink and talking of stuff.

Vic and Rem were talking a lot of the high-school hijinks that range from the use water-filled paper balloons, paper bullets propelled by rubber bands, the so-called "Flying T", toy parachutes and stories of petty shop-lifting and other foolishness. High school and grade school stuff really harkens the most obvious truth as to the difference between us and the later generations, entertainment and reasons for fun were simpler and harmless. Lessons were learned as well as the memories.

High and grade school stuff with some occasional post college happening talk seems to point out an obvious thing, our generation to say back then is more into clean fun than the obvious vices and attitudes we now hear and know on media. Technology was also an issue that affected how young people go about their lives and having fun. Email and Texting has become so abused in the manner of how it affects communication between people and tosses out courtesy and manners. That last bit I discovered all too well from reading someone else's blog.

It was also of note in our discussion for that day was about the common thread that got the group together, it was the lure and promise of a session of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Back then, the range of games available was limited and not catering to exploring mature themes. Nowadays there's a slew of Role Playing Games and related material which cover a lot more stuff. Magic The Gathering was pretty much considered to be an addiction of sorts on introduction here in the late 1990's along with the speculation market spurred in the area of collecting, whether it be basketball cards, toys or comics.

Some values we were accustomed to growing up having been superseded by hype and commercialization as if orchestrated by some grand plan of social engineering dictated for the coming generations to be impressed on. All presentation in media seems to validate what ever this social engineering plan calls for.

It would seem to fall more on parents more than ever to nurture and guide their children into the right kind of people, in spite what can be said otherwise by the currently dictated cultural and generational programming dictated by this ever-changing society.

I will post something next time in the arena of superheroes and current comic book culture which has some sensibility ties to this post. Next time.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Long Delayed Updates, Delays and Sidetracks

Noting how other blogs of my neighbors are going. I am a bit ashamed for not putting any updates of recent note since I had basically little to post for the meantime. Another thing is that I have to compete with my niece on comp usage since she either a)Logs onto Neopets to play there, or 2) Play some game on the computer. My niece is getting uber-bored or have a short attention span.

The Holy Week has come and gone after 2 weeks and what do I have to show for it, not much to nothing!!! Darn procastination and occasional jockeying for comp use with my niece. My room is the only place comfortable enough for me to go about typing on the comp. Haven't tried a good place to type using my sis' handed-me-down laptop.

Recent acquisition of games for my PS2 are: Alias, Cy-Girls, Drakengard, Resident Evil Outbreak and Crimson Sea 2. Alias is a must-have game for fans of the TV series of the same name. The story in the games happens in the framework of Season around mid to late part. Another hunt for Rambaldi devices abound in this one. Sydney also gets to settle issues with K-Directorate Agent Anna Espinosa once and for all. Cy-Girls is kinda like two games since it has two seperate discs which each have a tough, macho chick. One is a firearms expert and the other is a lethal kunoichi (Female Ninja). Resident Evil Outbreak is a newest RE game where you have to coordinate the survival of two other people besides your chosen character. Crimson Sea 2 is a good action sci-fi game which is a sequel from the XBox game, Crimson Sea. Drakengard is like this gothic fantasy epic game where you hack and slash, ride a dragon and do major damage with dragon breath. Drakengard's hero is rendered mute due to a pact he made with the dragon.

I'll post more stuff since I already scouted out some ideas and topics to talk about in the coming posts. Next time.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Fascination with the Bizarre

Took me some time to think about posting something from what I recently read and later delved further for analysis. One such item was on reading 11 out of 12 issues of Global Frequency, written by Warren Ellis.

Its a very intriguing and fascinating read to say about the premise of a world-wide network of specialists and regular people who handle situations that can range from something mundane and domestic to something that can be qualified like a case from the X-Files.

One bizarre yet sickening bizarre episode so to say was in Issue #9. It involves Takashi Sato, a former operator of the covert action variety. He gets pulled into a mission involving a medical facility without his consent. He was very adamant of being no longer involved with the organization but still gets dragged in. Talked about a no way out policy when you get into the group. As the story progresses, it was definitely a creepy tale of sorts that involves extreme psychotropic gas usage with extreme neurological consequences and bizarre usage of medical techniques and technology. It was a rather grisly story which ends on a not-so-happy note.

The unusual matter that caught my attention was mentioned by this line by Takashi Sato as he goes deeper into the medical research facility: "Taking me to a class of schoolgirls who committed suicide on a train last year wasn't enough?" and "You sent me to an island who had gone there to kill each other and turned on me--"

Those two lines automatically piqued something in my memory after going through a brief research spell into Japanese horror movies. Those two lines automatically made me recall which movies they were alluding to. The first line refers to the movie Suicide Club after perusing reviews here and here. The second line mentioned earlier obviously points to the movie Battle Royale from reading reviews here and here.

How amazing some stories draws influences from other media. I guess some stories are retold or mentioned through outside characters, repackaged or retold in some other stories. My brain hits empty to further pull the train of thought to type more on this. But it should be enough for some interesting reading through the links I provided.

Speaking of links, I switched the locations of my Neighbors and Links section on my blog due to the gradual addition of links I have started to accumulate in provide interesting and relevant info. Hope it doesn't provide too much inconvenience. Next time.

Personal Deadline Set

Already obtained the latest issue of NewType USA from Vinnie's shop recently. Stuck around to listen a new round of discourse and comments from Dean and Vinnie about the state of the literary world at present and the decline and disbelief with the sci-fi genre as somewhat stagnant due to the rock-solid hold of old guard writers and similiar pitfalls produced in the fantasy genre as well. Part of the discussion stemmed from this article.

Being in such proximity with such an exchange of ideas provided the needed energy to use in going about my current writing backlog. A backlog that needs no further explanation, as outlined in my previous posts.

The approach of the latter half of Holy Week would provide me the time to write about up those remaining 50% of my backlog. After that, its up in the air as to what I intend to do or write next.

The time also alloted for the duration also gives me hopefully a chance for me to cleanup some piled up areas of my room every since I returned from Seattle back in Late November 2002. My mom has been on my case about it every few weeks or so and the ice is definitely starting to thin.

I got that intention now and have to make good on it as well. More stuff to hopefully follow soonest.