Saturday, June 30, 2012

ZBots - A Childhood In Plastic or Trips Down Dim Memory Lane

I can recall the too-bright Florida afternoon when my father drove us, my sister and me, to Toys R Us, the church of our childhood fancy. We'd often wander its aisles taking in the wonder produced by manufacturers like Mattel and Galoob while my father followed close behind. My mother would wait in the car. Mounted upon the perforated display walls we'd see faces from our beloved Saturday morning cartoons beaming down at us with painted-on grins. It was heaven and I was cloud-seated with harp in hand.

My father would, despite his powerful disinterest in my interests, occasionally call my attention to some new magnificent toy he was waving about which he would then re-shelve and have us be on our way. I'd rush back, grab it, and then spend the remainder of our time in the store extolling the virtues of the toy and desperately attempt to sell him on the idea that I should be its new owner. This worked every once in a great while, but usually I'd end up severely disappointed. One time, specifically on that easily recalled sunny afternoon, I managed to convince him to buy me the toy upon which my child mind was fixated during that particular visit to the toy store. They were called ZBots, and little did I know, they were to give me hours and hours of imagination exercise, tremendous joy, and escape from some of the harshness of my early life.

Being very young and coming from a family that had perpetually unhappy parents and little in the way of money and material wealth, I tended to get quite creative when playing with my toys, and I'd play with them as often as I could alone in my room away from the family. There were some kids, few that I knew personally, would have the awesome, ginormous playset with all the add-ons and fancy gadgets that was produced specifically for their figures. My figures would wander the wilds of bunched up cowboy sheets or borrow the Ghostbuster's Station, my one and only and greatly worn playset. So it was a common thing to see the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hang out atop old Spook Central, a basic, plastic model of a typical New York Brownstone, instead of in their cool sewer lair with neat defense features and bright-colored decals. This often bummed me out. When it came to the ZBots, though, for some reason it didn't matter that I didn't have the proper playset. They were able to go, and did often go, anywhere and everywhere.

There was the white bot who dual-wielded sledgehammers, I called him Sledge, naturally. He was probably my favourite, but my child mind made me feel like I had to pay attention to the other figures first, who weren't as interesting, because they might feel left out. I can recall feeling terrible that the cool-looking cyber-dreadlocked Void with the robin's egg blue paint job and the flipper feet was a Void. He looked so cool, but he wasn't one of the good guys. For some reason I lacked the ability to allow for redemption plots in my action figure play, otherwise he would have played the part of Dinobot in my ZBots fantasies.

I'd whip up adventurous plots for my ZBots as they fought against the sinister Voids. Some of them would battle over cloth hills while others, the smarter-looking ones to my mind, would sit behind cover and discuss plot. It was a wild world of roleplay and science-fiction marvel happening upon my bed day in and day out. When my parents would row I'd duck back into my room and remind myself of how fascinating my ZBots were. I'd have them fight for me, or have them work out a peace which seemed far easier to constant struggle. They spoke for me silently in my solitude while my world fell apart and reassembled beyond my bedroom door.

It's been over fifteen years since I first received and played with my ZBots. In the time since my family has broken apart, but I still hold on to that fierce fire of imagination those little, colorful bits of plastic helped me grow and preserve. I recently found my ZBots in an old tote after my wife and I moved into our new apartment. Common sense dictated that I should display them proudly instead of throwing them out or donating them, as I unfortunately did with other bits of my younger years. Up until I glanced them in their plastic home of over a decade I felt that it was time to grow up and get rid of all the random bits of junk from my youth. Rediscovering them and viewing them now as they sit atop my television reminds me that childhood treasures should never be tossed aside or forgotten to the death of their significance. They should be kept, revisited, and maybe even shared. Here's to the toys that enriched my life and stoked the fires of my dreaming mind.

Monday, June 25, 2012

JAFAX 2012, or how I kind of learned to accept fellow geeks...kind of?

The Japanese Animation, Film, and Art Expo (JAFAX) is a yearly event in Grand Rapids, MI which occurs on the grounds of Grand Valley State University. This Japanese Culture-celebrating event has been running since a man named Rob Grimes decided he wanted to share his love of everything in the event's name way back in ye olde 1995. You can find out more about JAFAX, it's history, and what to expect when you're expecting to attend at

2012's JAFAX event booklet (thanks Aaron!)

I've been attending infrequently since JAFAX 6 back in the Summer of 2001. When I first went to check it out I found it to be a wonderland of things Japanese and geeky. There were incredible DVDs of exciting anime I'd never seen, Japanese action figures and model kits which triggered immediate salivation in all but the most staid of Otaku, wall scrolls I deeply coveted, anime screenings, and even events for gamers like myself. It was absolutely a wondrous place to experience a culture not often allowed out to breath in regular day life along the Grand River in the not-so-grand Midwestern town of Grand Rapids. JAFAX was known to provide a wonderful escape into a realm where one could wear a tail or their favourite animated character's costume. Freedom and freshness could be found in good old Henry Hall and its surrounding buildings out in the hilly land on which GVSU lies.

Where the show used to go on

Times change, though, and something happened to the Japanese culture the event so fantastically celebrated. It blew up and splashed over everything in American culture in a very short period. Suddenly an interest which would at one time cause a person to receive insults and derision was being proudly aired by major cable networks, sold on pricey shirts at fashionable mall stores, and adopted by those pathetic, hollow fools who everyone at some point in their lives must abide, the bandwagon riders. JAFAX, alone for the longest time in what it represented, naturally attracted the fadsters who were responsible for the post-coital-like boom-splatter of J-Culture all over the hungry, unnaturally maintained, excessively stylized face of American culture. It was when those bastards reared their ugly, rosacea-marred faces that JAFAX lost its appeal and became as shallow as those aggravating Pop Culture disciples.

On Sunday, June 24, 2012, the last of the two-day event that is JAFAX I allowed myself to forget all of this for a moment and chose to venture out into the valley near Allendale, MI to see what there was to see. As I expected there was an incredibly large crowd grazing the grounds around the main buildings of the university. Had this been a zombie scenario I would have written off the area as a place to avoid at all costs and assumed something incredibly and unusually wrong had occurred after seeing all of the walking corpses so brightly and cartoonishly dressed. Anyway, it was effing jam-packed.

I sped through, blaring Anamanaguchi's "Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues" to see if I could draw any stragglers away from the main herd...okay, enough with the zombie comparisons. I wandered into the event grounds near the door to the building which had historically been the core area for geeking out Otaku style. There were cliques of people dressed as this or that character (a majority of attendees were costumed), some going so far as to need help moving because they were dressed in giant god damned Pokemon costumes. I snapped a few pictures, one (below) of an adorable Pikachu statue, and then entered at my own risk. I found nothing. The surprise was an annoyance as I wandered into the building believing that I had arrived long after most vendors packed up shop. Apparently my lack of research before attempting this year's JAFAX neglected to inform me that the event and its ever-growing space requirements caused yet more changes.

They call him Welcome-Chu

It was 2:30pm and I, a rotund and easily winded chap, hustled over, gasping, to a building which was said to hold the vendor crowds. It did indeed. Just to get into the building and still after I gained entry I was forced to wade through several layers of costumed fan kids and the occasional adult who was way past their prime and yet still finding the courage to be this year's oddly arousing Japanese schoolgirl (these was mostly older males...brrr!).

 They're pasty and spendy

The air conditioning of the building offered some relief as I continued into the bowels of packed-beyond-capacity Mackinac Hall. To my surprise again I discovered that the hallway vendor presence was light to almost non-existent, but that's because the expo staff finally found a use for all the classroom space. In each of the rooms of higher learning, many of which over the course of the school year played host to one of several History courses I attended, I found instead hoards of pasty, mostly white kids in too-tight costumes forking out shamefully expendable, sickeningly large sums of money for plushies, t-shirts, Doctor Who memorabilia and collectibles (I'll come back to this), and other bits of random Japanese culture-themed products. It was an orgy of consumerism which swelled and flagellated disgustingly before my eyes like Burroughs' overly-sexual typewriter. I casually snapped a few pictures like any perverse curious-type would do and then shamefully ducked out into the less-crowded hallway. After visiting several rooms filled with the same types of kids and pretty much the same type of over-priced merchandise I decided it was time to escape back to the sanity of my home and the loving, splendiferous arms of my wonderful wife.

 Ah, air conditioning...and a few geeks!

I sit here now in the cool, comfort of my geek-fortress reflecting on what I saw. I feel very much like an anthropologist who recently took a canoe ride into the deep jungles surrounding the Amazon and decided to sit in on the rituals of the various cannibal tribes found along the way. The feelings and impressions are still incredibly fresh. There's a bit of disgust, a bit of despair, and a bit of fondness for the comfort of the familiarity strangely found in the most base of humanness. 

I deplore those who would proudly boast about being a part of a culture that they know little about and only first dabbled in because it was fashionable. This goes for all of those who support forms of excessive popularization, especially of cultures both unique and isolated for great periods of time. As a dork, nerd, geek...hell, a new word is necessary, a DERK (Dork, nERd, and geeK combined), I find that I'm often confronted, especially these days when Geek Culture has become a focus of the larger, vapid, and more sinister Popular Culture, by many people who perfectly fit the definition of a "Fad-Geek." There was no shortage of these types at JAFAX. I know this because of the conversations I overheard while wandering through and fleeing from the mass of attendees. There were people talking about what they saw on television or stating that they, "found out about all of this stuff online." There were kids with arms weighed down by bags full of newly purchased merchandise, wearing frightening plastic grins, talking about how their purchases have made them the biggest geeks present at the expo. It was horrible and depressing.

Consuming the junk of the vendors.
A sad, thriving economy of garbage.

Though there was much to pick apart about the event such as the poor hygiene of its attendees, the poor choice of dress for certain body types present, the slights and rudeness perpetrated by the many chronic antisocials in attendance, and other obvious and repulsive things, I must say that I did surprisingly find some of my hope for Geek Culture restored. Clearly I understand the concept of a Fad-Geek and have become quite proficient at spotting them, but amongst the gluttonous levels of consumerism and the fakers buying new labels to paste on their chests there were adorable glimmers of genuine geekyness. There were kids who appeared to be truly, deeply awestruck, much like I was way back in 2001, by things they could relate to or were actually obsessed over. These were their things, their items of interest. These were their appleseeds and they were all of them Johnnies. They were members of the faithful audience who gave more than just money to their beloved series and fascinations. It was those true fans, whose honest appreciation for what they were there to celebrate shone from within them, who offered their faith, time, and support. They spent countless weekends watching and rewatching anime, reading and rereading manga. Their sweat, money, and lives went into actually supporting the various series and creators who supplied their beloved Japanese culture. This support was importantly both monetary and spiritual. It's fans like that, honest lovers of cultural items, that put a smile on my face and make me damn proud to call myself a geek...a derk. (it'll catch on, just trust me on this!)

JAFAX was once a home for a neglected and abused subculture. It has in recent days become a center and supplier for those wishing just to look the look or walk the walk. At its core it is something special and worthy of affection, but it is something that will one day have to recognize the importance of the dyed-in-the-wool fans and give up on those fat, contrary wallets desperately wanting, for the moment, to be "in." Here's to the future of this event. I look forward to a day when it's once again just a gathering of the faithful, if ever that time returns.

Regarding the Doctor Who presence at a Japanese Culture Expo, well, let's just say that the good Doctor and the BBC might have struck a chord. Maybe it was just that they were providing quality viewing material that wasn't domestic and Americans who now obsess over it were already the types to look to foreign shores for cultural guidance, being incapable of discovering their own interests and pursuits. I find the culture boom around Doctor Who to be a huge part of the current Fad-Geek Culture and a source of great annoyance for me. This is a show that has been in existence since the 1960s and people are just now noticing its merit and its wonder. I call bullshit on those "new to Who" folks out there voraciously spending their available funds to own as much Who memorabilia as they possibly can. As someone who's been watching the show off and on since 1989 or so I can say that I have a genuine love for the series and feel a duty to safeguard it from the corruption inherent in pop culture's firm, vampiric embrace. I did take advantage of the merchants who were all too willing to feed the hunger the pseudo-Whovians display by purchasing a sonic screwdriver to satisfy a personal craving present in me since my early childhood. Thanks for being enablers, pop culturites!

Since childhood I've wanted one!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Randomness for Hump Day

Sometimes I rant and spew words all over the place. Here are some tidbits from today. 

-When someone first becomes a hipster I imagine a person standing around in practical clothing being given a can of something like Acme Bohemian Hipster Paint (a gag prop like those in the old Merry Melodies cartoons), which naturally comes in different shades for each season. They then cartoonishly paint themselves up and down with this until they then look like a hipster. Ta-dah!  

Oddly enough this is how I explain god, babies, and the 1952 UFO flap over Washington DC. If you or anyone you know would like me to explain anything significant to your child I can be reached at 555-PAINT.

-If you're going to write a book on the real stories of the Men In Black then don't include commentary which asks your reader if something sounds spooky or not. You sound like a stupid narrator trying to rile up children listening to a fire-side tale. 

Seriously, the book I'm currently reading has caused so many eye rolls it's not even funny. Yes, it's about the phenomenon of the Men In Black, but that doesn't make it less significant or interesting. The author does a fine job of taking care of that.

-My wife makes iced coffee like a wizard casts spells. With skill and a quickness. 

According to D&D Next, though, she can now cast Magic Missile (a force missile doing 1d4+1 with an automatic hit within a range of 100ft) for free as many times in a day as she wishes...which equates to her ability to make bad coffee grounds taste good? I don't know. Either way it's a broken ability from some perspective.

Geek Culture...Now Belongs To EVERYONE?!

It's now becoming quite popular and unfortunately common for fad geeks/nerds/dorks/etc to start brutally insulting and discrediting geeks/nerds/dorks/etc who've had specific geeky interests long before geek became the new cool. Those of us who've been into something for years are now looked upon as entrenched, social misfits and roadblocks who apparently seek to do nothing but discourage people who now CONVENIENTLY find what we've enjoyed for ages to be cool. We're getting in the way of the people who build their lives around fitting in with majority and those who need society to direct their interests. Shame on us?

Really, this is nothing more than an unjust social eviction. What better way to justify a fad than to discredit those who've appreciated the subjects of the fad long before popular culture and its minions were able to fondle them? God dammit!

If you weren't watching Battlestar before it was remade, if you weren't watching Doctor Who before it was spiffed up, if you didn't play tabletop games and video games before WoW and other popular, modern video games made it cool to call yourself a "gamer," if you didn't read comics before the San Diego Comic Con became THE PLACE TO BE and the Big Bang Theory hit television, or if you didn't do a number of things considered geeky and shameful before they became worthy of t-shirt printings and MTV's attention then you might be a fad geek.

You might be a person who found something they didn't know existed and are now sold on it because you actually found it to be enjoyable. Good for you. I hope you continue to enjoy it and broaden your horizons. Continue to keep an open mind and you'll go far in life. If you obsess over it and follow its every development then...well, I think you're one of know...geeks. If you're someone who's into the above or other geeky things because it's the media equivalent of this year's popular pair of designer pants then you can go fuck yourself.

I'm off now to sulk over my ineffective telescope. It may not be great but at least I know I didn't rush out to buy it because it was the "in-thing." I don't have to live with the knowledge that a great part of me is a culture-hungry hollow and that I'll do any shameful things to be considered "in." Those that suffer with that...well, you poor bastards.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Technology Rant

While thinking about how much technology has affected the actual quality of life I realized that those of us who spend a great deal of our time online interacting with social networks and gaming or just interacting primarily with a variety of software applications throughout our day are far less interesting and far less substantial as people than those who existed decades before. It's not that the technology itself is evil and is solely responsible for corrupting its users. I'm not a Neo-Luddite. I'm quite confident that like in all things the problem begins with the users themselves, people in general.

Just like "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" one might say "Technology doesn't diminish people, people diminish themselves."

Sure, we can push a button and see shit happen fast. We can play a plethora of games on one of several platforms both mobile and home based. We can sit down and with a few hours whip up some artwork in something like GIMP or Photoshop. Big fucking deal. How many of those skills effectively translate to life beyond a device? Where is the real world application of skills acquired through excessive software use? Have button pushers found a way to make everything depend upon and exist around their superior skill set? Seems that way.

Photoshop paintings (and those of like programs) are the felt paintings of the modern age. One's Angry Bird skills will not gain them success in a practical field. One's Facebook meme-sharing will not define them as clever or witty or profound. Who actually uses the internet for something useful like research or to find ways to better one's community? Where is our cancer cure, or our faster than light space travel, or our colonies on other worlds, or the shrinking of poverty and the bettering of all societies?

I am just as guilty as many others. I'm also aware and willing to regain my substance and real world worth, if I don't still have any left. How about you? (these are my, yeah...flame wars won't achieve anything)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prometheus - A Review

It was a midnight showing where there were no lines and I could just walk right in, which I found to be refreshing. The beauty of buying in advance for a 3D IMAX event is that you are guaranteed a seat of your choice (mostly) and are spared the displeasure of having to compete with funk-smelling mouth-breathers for a spot that doesn't make the whole experience abysmal. Unfortunately, in 3D IMAX-land those people are still present, kicking up waves of salty body odor and obnoxiously chortling over the whatever it is they obnoxiously chortle about. I was lucky, though, this time around because I was able to avoid those folks and, to my surprise, find that my neighbor was of all things a beautiful girl. One who seemed to hate having her skirt touch her legs while she was sitting so she spent the entirety of the film pulling it back, further and further, towards her body. So, realizing this, I discovered from the very beginning that the night was going to not only be a test of my loyalty to science-fiction but also to my wife. I'm glad (?) to report that I failed neither. (take that skirt-hiking girl!)

Anyway, we were there at 12:01am sporting our spiffy and quite large 3D glasses as the Scott Free animation played. What followed was the film I have been anticipating for over a year and then some. In those first few minutes I realized that my wait was well worth it. I beheld glorious scenery, alien scenery, and then something mysterious and fascinating happened. Nope, I won't spoil it here. All I'll say is that it was pleasing to see what I saw instead of a dark, gritty return to the staple xenomorphs of the Alien franchise right out of the gate.

I'll state this now to make it clear, Prometheus takes place before Alien and in the same universe, but if you go in expecting the same creeptastic gorefest produced by the savagery of the creatures in Alien or any of its sequels then you're going to be a bit disappointed. This is a film about origins and the mystery of life. Mystery is a great word, I feel, to describe what you'll encounter throughout the film. There are many questions answered, if you pay attention, but I think it's fair to say that just as many are raised and left unanswered by the film's end. That's actually okay.

**some spoilers might follow**

The story follows humans who are typically hopeful and endlessly inquisitive, scientists. Doctors Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway have criss-crossed our planet in the years towards the end of the 21st Century, seeking out ancient ruins and tombs to verify a commonality. Each of the different sites from each of the various ancient human cultures contains a depiction of human beings worshipping giants which are gesturing towards a design showing six spheres (corrected from five after my second viewing of the film on 6-9-12). They find, through years of research, that these designs are a representation of a system too far away from Earth for ancient humans to see. Their conclusion, and a welcome one to corporate titan and architect of future Earth's splendour, Peter Weyland, is that the giants are our alien creators and their gesture towards the far distant system is actually an invitation. So begins a quest to find answers and to solve the problems some of the characters find inherent to their human condition.

The characters of the film, mostly the two main scientists, display much hope for the surely positive intentions of our non-human creators. We see what becomes of such hope and how belief can be affected by the sometimes harsh revelation of truth, spectacular truth in the case of this film. Prometheus, like most exceptional science-fiction, is a study of humanity, and our subject for this study is Dr. Shaw. She is the one who believes whole-heartedly that she's seeking out the caring "Engineers" who made us what we are for some special purpose. It is her reaction to the revelations throughout the film that you will focus on. She is our hope in something more.

Apart from the humans of Prometheus is David, an android. Over the years we've come to expect horrible things when it comes to the androids of the Alien franchise. I won't go so far as to tell you what to think or what to expect of David, but I will say that he is the avatar of the Company's true and cold intentions. Michael Fassbender performs wonderfully in this role, altering his speech patterns and the way he carries his body. He splendidly portrays both Weyland's tool and a cold critic of humans which he sees as inferior. David does seemed fascinated by the randomness and unpredictability of humans, though, especially in regard to Dr. Shaw. Their relationship is one of the most interesting in the film.

It's a film with beautiful design, excellent story, and interesting characters. It takes you from the early dreams of ancient humanity across the gulf of space and stars to a world where our creators might still exist. There is mystery and there are unanswered questions. There is horrific darkness and there is brilliant hope. If you see Prometheus you won't be sorry.

I give this, another Ridely Scott masterpiece, a five out of five.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prometheus Report - Pre-Viewing

I grew up amongst film geeks who loved adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy on the big screen. Go figure, I was exposed to the Scott/O'Bannon Alien film pretty early on. Ever since then I've had a general curiosity about the universe behind the films and a feeling of responsibility to follow the franchise.

Tonight my wife and I are going to see Prometheus in 3D on an IMAX screen. We're going to honor my responsibility, to be entertained, and to acquire an awesome limited edition poster. I'm so excited for the entire experience that I created a silly meme. I've become one of those guys. Oh, noes!

I'll report back after the 12:01am showing to offer up my review of the long-awaited "prequel" to Alien. Check back then!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm a Fantasy-Phile and Forever Geek Boy

Here comes another confession from the geek who has shown no shame in knowing volumes of useless but exceptionally colorful knowledge. I'm writing on a high to tell my readers, any and all, that I love the Fantasy genre and feel that it is vital to the human spirit. Read on, won't you please?

I don't want to get all New Age-y or even touch on religious-like rants but I hope to here just quickly proclaim my love for the fair fiction which powerfully represents every facet of the magic of the dreaming human mind. Only in our dreams, I feel, are we truly beautiful. The conscious human mind is so whipped by the systems in which we are forced to wallow in order to survive that it can hardly be said to be anything but practical and perhaps as appealing as a series of interworking gears. It's the kinetics behind those gears, though, the hum and go of the whole thing that begins to hint at something greater. Fantasy comes from this and the layers deeper, and, I believe, it is what sustains the humanity of our human selves.

Whether it's an unrealistic story of a protagonist dealing with something that could never possibly happen or an epic quest meant for the most powerful of archetypes, I love all Fantasy. It can be said to be escapist, sure, I can understand that. It might be criticised as base and shallow. There's no justifying that, though. To fantasize in anyway taps into some level of a greater thing from which we daily function, though in a haze of some ignorance. To write, read, or create fantasy is to tool at the universe, at one's own existence, with the ancient, centuries-developed soul of our humanity. It's both beautiful, mystical, and, perhaps, even a little frightening. It's somewhat overwhelming to think of it in these terms.

Regardless, I love to dive into the worlds forged by others and absorb the beauty of their personal creator. I also love to stand at my own forge and craft a magic from my inner self, utilizing my energies as best I can. Dreaming, fantasizing, and hoping are all related and all so very precious, or should be, to each and every human being. Whether it be the emaciated victim of horrid economics and unfortunate circumstance dreaming dreams of accessible bread, comfort, and security, or the dreams of the best-positioned individual sitting in their tower fancying away, it's all amazing. The true tragedy is that there are those who don't treasure this ability. For them I am forever sorrowful.

However you feel, I hope you dream well. I will be delighting in my fancies, hoping the best for you and yours. Pick up a book and escape. Sit down and tune into your highest, most wild dreams. Come back and read some more of my rants. I've tapped into my human heart and I hope to share it with you for many years to come. Hopefully this was somewhat coherent and spoke to you, dear reader, on some level. Take care.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rants - The Posts That Finally Killed My Personal Facebook Usage

I left Facebook. Seriously. I actually did it. Once and for all. I was tired of being hateful of the whole thing (though I still have a major beef with the internet at large) and finding my hypocrisy through continued use. Here are some rants that led to this closing of the Book of Face. Enjoy...

Rant 1 (about Facebook and it's features): 

If I were to describe the majority of the internet with a single adjective that adjective would be "mediocre." (and that's being kind)
Facebook seems to be the perfect stage for distilled internet mediocrity, and it forces it on its users in the most obnoxious and overwhelming of ways. The "Like" feature and the "Share" feature are bullshit, and the only purposes they serve are to highlight and proliferate mediocrity. The blue, the white, and the sad...Facebook.

Then there are the folks, like myself, who have used or are using this site to promote projects. If you are actually out to gain support for something and someone tells you, "Hell, shucks, howdy, puts it on the Facebook-er!" you punch that cock knocker in the face and you hit the street preaching your project's gospel. Prove your belief and confidence in your own work by doing more than playing clickety-clack with the data-churning glow box. If you really believe in something you're doing then you can't just set up a digital presence (bear in mind that Facebook presence isn't actual online presence...not really) and sit back as the "Likes" trickle in. If you're sitting in a dark room, hovering over your Facebook Page, thinking that more Likes means greater success then you're kidding yourself.

These are observations I've made and opinions I've developed over the many unfortunate and wasted days, weeks, months, and years online and on Facebook. It helped that I was a Facebook Page-creator who felt a dependence for Facebook and felt verified by my "presence" on it while trying to raise support for my projects. What a supreme waste of time. No one who just clicks "Like" or "Share" is really doing a god damned thing for you. If you want to know who's actually willing to support you then call up your friends, post physical fliers in places where your projects would attract the most attention and THEN see who comes to show support and offer aid.

Fuck you, Facebook. I pity the fools who jack in to this bloated whore of a socnet seeking validation and support. What a waste of time and creative energy.

*Rant concluded*
Rant 2 (about internet celebrity and it's shallow, hollow reality):
I liken celebrities who've made their home on the internet playing "Look at me, I've got witty things to share" to the awkward kids at the school dance who aren't in the main part of the floor doing that "Freakin' dancing" but who are in a dark corner away from it all and executing a unique series of body movements that make them noticeable to the beat-followers of the student body (internet users) who are reduced to lusting after any and all catchy physical rhythm. Then, when the school dance is over (not that web-zombies would abandon the brain that is the internet), they are back to being the awkward folks who sit in the background, commenting on what's going on in the rest of the school (world) and are barely noticed while doing so, except by their followers (the few and the...proud?).

Basically the internet is that obnoxious school dance and the celebrities who thrive off of it and find their celebrity through it are as inconsequential as band geek #12 who one night found that grandma's two-step looks interesting when executed during "The Thong Song."
RANT TRULY CONCLUDED...later, dear readers!