Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Post 1.6

I've been listening to podcasts all day today, and it got me thinking about some things going on in my life that I want to jot down for web-posterity here. I realized I don't have a whole lot of autobiorgraphical information on this blog, so let's start there, shall we?

I work at a movie theater as an Assistant Manager. I've been doing this for a couple of years now, and I'd love to move up with the company. The problem is, the company I'm with is quickly expanding, and a requirement for advancement is the ability and willingness to relocate.

Now don't get me wrong--I'd love to relocate. The problem is, I can't afford it. Yes, the company pays for the process itself, but I'm living in my parents' basement at the moment, and the raise I'd recieve for advancement still wouldn't be enough for me to support myself.

To put it bluntly, the money in movie theater management is shit.

I've been looking around at some other short-term career choices, but there's nothing in my area that I'm particularly interested in. My long-term goal of being a full-time writer is still a long way away.

So, what do to?

I've thought frequently of running a website, podcast, or some incarnation of an online communication forum. I think it would be a blast, and if I could figure out a way to make at least some sort of supplementary income in the process, I'd be able to cut down on work hours elsewhere and devote some serious time to the online project--which, in turn, gives me more time spent writing, although not in my preferred field.

I have a friend--at the moment, I'll introduce him by his gamertag, z0mbyd00m--who is an even bigger geek than I am, and we've discussed the possibility of starting up a geek website. I know there seems to be an abundance of these lately, but I think we might be able to pull it off, and bring something valuable to the proverbial table.

Since the last time I did anything with web design was about ten years ago--I was thirteen--it's going to take me a bit to get up to speed on how this all works. I'm currently working through HTML, XHTML, and CSS for Dummies, and hopefully by the end of it I'll have the basics down and be ready to move on to more complex things.

In the mean time, I'm still plugging away at the day job, and I'm not hating it yet, which is a good sign. In fact, my shift is coming up, so I'd better go get dressed. That's the other down side of maovie theater management--the suit and tie. Ugh.

Signing off!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Need for Epic Heroes in the Hollywood Psyche

So, they're talking about another Rocky movie, eh? I can't say it comes as much of a surprise. A disappointment, yes, but not a surprise. Today's filmmakers seem to have difficulty leaving characters like Rocky or Indy to their rest. C'mon, folks. In some cases, I don't mind (I'd be up for another Indiana Jones flick, as long as it's better-made than #4), but in the case of many, like Rocky, it seems to me they've already told their story.

What is it about these characters, these franchises, that beckon filmmakers back years, even decades, after the stories and characters have been laid to rest? I think I've finally placed my finger on at least one of the reasons behind such obviously bad decisions.

Let me begin by saying that, like most, I was a skeptic of Rocky Balboa, and I was completely blown away by how awesome that movie really was. Same with Rambo, albeit with less skepticism at the beginning and less "blown-away-ness" at the end. However, I unequivocally believe that if Rocky VII is made, it will fail, and what's more, it will ruin the way the younger generation views the Rocky movies that were actually worth watching (which, from my perspective, includes only Rocky, Rocky II, and Rocky Balboa).

So why do filmmakers continue to do this? I think the answer can be found in the human need for mythic heroes. Look at the Indiana Jones franchise, or the Star Wars franchise, or the Terminator franchise, or hell, even the Die Hard franchise; look at the growing popularity for movies about erstwhile comic book heroes. At the same time, look at the singular lack of any new heroes--at least, any with the credibility to keep audience attention & respect for the long haul.

The bitter taste in the mouths of post-Vietnam Americans encouraged a high demand for truly heroic figures, heroes who wouldn't put up with the bullshit politics & ass-covering of the day, and Hollywood was more than happy to deliver. We had Rocky & Star Wars in the 70s, and by the 80s, the Hollywood lore of iconic heroes was in full swing: Rambo, the Connors, John McClane, Indiana Jones, Conan, Connor MacLeod, not to mention the massive number of space-hero (imitation Star Wars) flicks like Krull, Masters of the Universe, Flash Gordon...the list goes on.

The problem is, audiences began demanding a better quality product. Most of the films mentioned above were of the desired quality--they were equipped to stand the test of time--and so it was a natural move for the Hollywood consciousness (perhaps for my purposes I should call it a Hive Mind?) to spawn sequels. I'm not even going to bother to name any of them, because we've all seen them. So now there was a new trend in Hollywood: come up with a fantastic movie, then capitalize on that fantastic movie by making a whole slew of not-quite-as-fantastic-but-still-pretty-damn-good sequels.

"So the Hive Mind said, 'Let there be sequels, and trilogies, and all manner of sequels after that.' And the Hive Mind saw that it was good."

Or maybe not so good. Because I believe this is the thinking at the heart of the sequel-saturated market today. Yes, I love sequels, and yes, I think they should be made as long as they're made well. But this type of thinking, the thinking that leads us to unmitigatedly expect a sequel if the first feature was good, is restricting our other options. Studios are spending huge amounts of money on a proven franchise, and ignoring the new ideas out there. And a lot of the time, the new ideas are crap anyway.

But who cares? That's the best thing about the sequel problem--most of us keep on seeing them! And I'm not saying we shouldn't. After all, the human psyche seems to have an innate need for mythic, iconic heroes, and I'm at the forefront of that crowd--I'm an aspiring Fantasy author, for crying out loud!

Yes, we want our Epic Heroes. But rather than dragging the same characters through adventure after adventure, until we're nearly as tired as they are, why don't you, Hive Mind--dear Hive Mind--explore some new territory? You've done well with the comic book conversion trend; now let's get some completely original hero-flicks made, just one or two to start with, until the talented screenwriters of the world find the courage to bring your attention to those ideas they've harbored in secret for years, but thought you would laugh off as silly.

The old Age of Heroes is past. It is time for a new Age of Heroes.

Even so, I don't think the epidemic of sequel-itis will abate anytime soon, so I'm planning on enjoying the ride. Let us ride onward, into the summer!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Remember that time back in the '80s when King Diamond developed a British accent and formed a boy-band? No?

Well, if he had, he would have sounded a lot like the new album from The Darkness, One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back. I know that sounds goofy...and let's face it, The Darkness can get kinda goofy...but I absolutely love it!

I'm not sure what it is, but although I liked Permission to Land as a whole much better, certain tracks from One Way Ticket just click with me. It's like the way I identify with some of Queen's stuff: the blatant theatricality mixed with over-the-top rock star attitude.

Anyway, my point is, if you've never given The Darkness a good listen, you should do so. Specifically tracks #6 & 7 from their most recent, sophomore album, and the very first track on their debut. This is party rock, people, and I think I like where it's heading.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Space-Jumping: The Things We Do When We're Bored...


I totally haven't posted anything for a while.

So I was doing a bit of what I call space-jumping earlier today. For those of you who don't live inside my brain--so, um, all of you--space-jumping involves going to the MySpace page of someone I know, and then jumping to a profile I've never seen before on that person's Friend List. It's a good way to see some cool pages.

Anyway, I was doing that, and I found a few cool pages.


Sorry, I got lost in Coheed & Cambria for a second. His vocals give me shivers. The good kind.

Yeah, so, I space-jumped to this girl's page, and I swear I've seen her before somewhere. Not only that, but she has a pretty freakin' awesome page. Decent word use, lots of artwork for eye-candy, and none of those annoying girly falling stars/hearts in the background that make a page take FOREVER to load. And she's only 17 years old!

All in all, her page impressed me, and I figured a fairly impressive person must be behind it. So I sent her a message letting her know I thought her page was awesome...and I am currently waiting to see if she messages me back. Cue the ominous drumming sounds.

The whole "messaging me back" thing is kinda my ultimate test to see if people who seem like they're cool on MySpace are actually lying.

See, I've done this type of thing quite a bit; I like talking to new people, and MySpace is purported to provide a good medium for that type of thing. But for some reason, it doesn't seem to work for me.

I honestly can only think of one person I've ever messaged who I later conversed with over a longer period of time, via MySpace.

Most other people seem to want to ignore me, even though they plainly state that they enjoy meeting new people and that said new people should definitely send them a message.

It kinda sucks.

Ah, well. Time will tell, now, so I should probably think about getting to bed. Tomorrow--or today, if you want to be literal about it--is Saturday, and running a theatre on a Saturday is closely akin to running the only buffet at a convention of Sumos.

Wow, that was random.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

What Pisses Me Off

You know what pisses me off?

When you go to work and a friend at work asks if you've watched the most recent Stargate Atlantis so he can talk to you about it, and you tell him no you haven't, so he tells you to watch it as soon as you get home because something important happens that he wants to talk with you about, so then as soon as you get home you make a beeline to the TiVo in order to watch this awesome episode of an awesome TV show, only to discover that not only was your TiVo apparently fucked up that night--meaning it recorded Stargate Atlantis with audio but no video--but it was really fucking fucked up that night--meaning every show recorded that evening had only audio, no video.

That's what pisses me the fuck off!


Sorry. I felt it necessary to unload on all you unsuspecting blog addicts. I feel better now.

I'm going back to work to ask my friend what happened.

Introduction to Me - The FullMetal Patch


I'm FullMetal Patch.

No, I'm not referring to the show Full Metal Alchemist in my name. That would be completely inane, and I'm not completely inane. At least, that's what I like to tell myself.

Don't think I'm dissing the show. The show itself is one of the best animé I've ever seen--and I've watched quite a few--and I have the utmost respect for it. But actually naming myself after the show is the last thing I would ever do.

I digress.

I call myself FullMetal Patch because I like Metal. As in the music, not the substance. Although metal [the substance] is cool, too. Swords are made of it.

So. Me.

I'm 23 years old, nearing my 24th birthday in mid-August. I'm friendly, energetic, articulate, and apparently I sometimes come off as condescending or arrogant or something like that. I'm not sure, because I don't sound that way to myself. If you ever meet me, you can tell me how to describe it.

As I said, I love metal [the musical genre]; if you want the list of bands, though, you'll have to visit me at MySpace, because I don't want to bore those of you who aren't interested.

Half of you just took a break from reading this to click the link above, didn't you? I love human nature.

At any rate, I'm currently a manager at a local movie theatre, which is a great job if you've never done it. Movie theatres rock. It's not my permanent goal, though.

Longterm, I have aspirations of writing fantasy novels, singing in a Black Metal or Symphonic Power Metal band, and voice acting. Maybe not all at once, but I figure one right after another would work out. And by the way, I'm being totally serious. This is my serious face. If only you could see it.

I enjoy singing and writing (obviously), witty t-shirts, movies, and music [read: metal].

C'est moi. And with that, I give you...FullMetal Blog!