Thanks For an Amazing Year!

birthday.jpg

For a lot of you reading, this will probably be the first real blog update you’ve read from the Labs. We’ve been working hard over the last year to bring quality content to our podcast listeners, and constantly improving our product. One of the most difficult aspects of podcasting is growing and maintaining your audience. In all reality, making the product is probably the easiest aspect of podcasting. However, if you have no listeners, what’s the point?

Today, I wanted to thank everyone who’s listened to us and supported us over the last amazing year of growth. In September of 2016, we launched “25 Years of Vampire: the Masquerade – a Retrospective.” The podcast is a passion project for Bob and me, and that’s how we wanted to approach creating the content. We’d been doing Nerd Words for about a year prior, and we’d never really found an audience. We’d been plugging along, grinding out podcasts, but we never really connected with a large group of people. A friend of ours suggested that we do a podcast specifically about Vampire: the Masquerade, and the rest is history.

In the previous year, we’ve recorded 42 episodes of our Vampire podcast. We’ve seen our listener base grow by literal thousands for both of our podcasts. We’ve attracted dozens of loyal Patreon backers, started our own online V:tM game online using Discord and met hundreds of awesome people. This podcast has changed our lives in the most positive way possible. The love and support we’ve received from all our listeners is staggering. We are fans, just like our listeners, and our aim has always been to provide entertainment and knowledge to a community we’ve been a part of since childhood. You’ve all made that possible for us. We’ve met amazing, smart, dedicated and passionate people from all over the world thanks to this podcast. We’ve connected with people from China, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Australia and right here in the United States. If we never did another thing in our lives, we’d be proud to say we’ve been able to touch so many different people from so many different cultures, all connected by their love of gaming, White Wolf products and Vampire: the Masquerade.

For as much as we’ve grown over the past year, we don’t intend to rest on our laurels. We want to see this podcast to continue to grow further beyond our expectations. We plan on growing beyond the constraints of podcasting with more multimedia projects, storytelling projects and even live events. With your help, we intend to make Utility Muffin Labs our full-time jobs so we can bring you more content with ever-increasing quality.

Thank you all for making this year and amazing one! We truly love you all and can’t begin to thank you enough for the love and support you’ve given us! Cheers to many more years of podcasting, Vampire: the Masquerade and gaming from us at Utility Muffin Labs. We’re Consistently Rated Adequate.


If you want to reach out to us, chat or support what we do, click one of the links below: 
Follow us on Twitter
Come join the conversation on Discord
Like us on Facebook
Support us at our Patreon
Donate to our Go Fund Me
Get our shirts

We don't hate D&D

In the last couple of days, it was brought to our attention that some comments we made in a previous podcast may have been degrading and kind of marginalizing to our fans that play and enjoy Dungeons & Dragons. After careful consideration, I’d like to apologize to anyone who took offense to our statements. We both got our start roleplaying with D&D, and as time has gone by, we’ve drifted away from the game. While we may have said some disparaging remarks or seemed back-handed about the game, we truly come from a place of love. I assure you, we don’t think any less of you or anyone who chooses to play any game we might not enjoy. Our remarks were not intended to denigrate fantasy role-players or any of our listeners.

I thought it would be important to share the correspondence I received from a listener who took exception to our remarks. Included is our conversation:


Name: Lucas Greene

Subject: Backhanded Apologies

Message: I'll start this off by saying I really enjoy your analysis of the WoD books. It's obvious you have a lot of passion and knowledge about the subject and it has been great getting a history lesson about the system I've been playing for the last decade.

That being said, I really want to address your commentary at the end of your Gangrel episode about Dungeons and Dragons. Your earlier commentary on Dungeons and Dragons exactly what you proclaimed it to be, disparaging of the system but not the people playing it (outside of the Professor Frink voice). Your apology/explanation, on the other hand, was condescending and significantly more offensive.

I understand your commentary about Dungeons and Dragons being a system with too many charts and not enough moral grey area or encouragement of nuanced roleplay. Those comments are absolutely true. However, your soapbox basically concluded with "I pity people who play Dungeons and Dragons" and "Dungeons and Dragons is for people who aren't mature enough to play REAL roleplaying games." You of course followed this with what came off as "and if you don't like it, fuck you, I say I'm right."

I think the thing that pisses me off the most, however, was your ending comment of "we're all the same here." Your soapbox made it very clear that you don't agree with that, that you consider yourself better than those other nerds.

It may not have been meant to come off that way, but it did. I have two short replies. One, you stated in earlier episodes "each to his own," even mentioning more explicit games like Warhammer with more respect, and I would respect your right to your opinion a lot more if you held it consistent. Two, it really seems like your issue is more with modules and the stereotype of D&D than the game itself. I'm sorry your dungeon masters weren't up to the task of telling a nuanced story. I've seen plenty of ham-fisted WoD storytellers who drove everything to mass combat, and plenty of D&D dungeon masters who knew how to promote character development and nuance.

I'm not expecting for you to change your opinion of D&D, but I hope that you take a moment to think before you make these types of statements in the future. If you want to continue saying "fuck off," then I'll be happy to find something else to listen to (and potentially donate to) that isn't going to shit on me.

UML:
You're absolutely right.
I could say something to the effect of, "if you knew us, you'd know we come from a place of love," but that really doesn't cut it. Our statements being what they are, our intent - my intent - is not to alienate. Having said that, I offer you a sincere apology for offending you. We will address this. I don't want my brand or product to be known for shitting on what others enjoy. That's not the point or goal. Sometimes, we forget that we aren't just shooting the shit with our buds in the living room. I will personally make it my goal that this doesn't happen again. I appreciate your patronage and loyalty, and hope to keep you as a fan.

Know this, at least half of us spent our Saturday night playing D&D.

Thank you for being forthright about this.
Sincerely,
Nathan

 LG:
Nathan,
I appreciate the quick and candid response. I totally understand where you're coming from, and I hope to get to get to know you better continuing to listen to your podcasts. This kind of response definitely helps show your character.
Thanks,
-Lucas


UML:
No problem. We are opinionated, to be sure, but that doesn't mean we have to make people feel inferior for what they enjoy.  Thank you for bringing it to our attention. 


For our fans, I want to reiterate, we do not intend to alienate or offend any of you. If we’ve done so, it has been unintentional and we are deeply sorry for it. In the grand scheme of podcasting and just spewing words for hours on end, offending someone is virtually unavoidable. Having said that, it’s not our goal to overtly (or covertly, for that matter) offend our fans. Our promise to you, the listener, is that we will make the greatest effort to refrain from making you feel like you’re unwanted. Our request to you, our listener, is that you please let us know if you feel this way.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a fan.

Nathan
Utility Muffin Labs  

Updates!

This image has nothing to do with this update! Movieposter.com

This image has nothing to do with this update! Movieposter.com

So, I know what you're thinking, "What's the point of a blog if you never update it?" Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. Well, it's been almost ten months without an update to this blog, and that just will not do! 
So let's just get into the damn updates already. On the podcast front, things are going well. We are consistently posting one new Nerd Words a week, and have been now for quite awhile. We are about to record episode 54 this coming Friday, October 21st. We appreciate all of you that listen and share it regularly, and your comments are always welcome. When doing this sort of home-grown production, fan support is super important. We currently spend about $1000 dollars a year of our own money, give or take, and thus far we have not made a penny from doing this. That's okay. As much as we'd love to do what we do professionally, it has not turned into that yet. Podcasting remains a labor of love. 
As of this moment, our biggest task is to generate interest and fans. We continue to push out our product, however goofy or crude it might be, in hopes that new people discover it and enjoy what we do. You, the close personal friends or family, are integral to that process. Online entertainment is very much a communal endeavor; if you enjoy it, spread it around! 
We've recently started a new podcast as well. We got a bug up our butts (thanks to a brilliant, if not daunting idea from a friend) to review the entire catalog of Vampire: The Masquerade game books. We decided to start all the way back in 1991 with the very first edition of the Table-Top game book and do a podcast review for each release. This podcast is released every other week, is a bit shorter than our standard podcast and is a little bit more structured that what you might be used to if you are a current fan of Nerd Words. This is done intentionally. We wanted to create a product that showcases our ability to produce a more professional product and not just record two hours of potty humor. Give it a listen if you're into gaming, vampires, or just enjoy listening to 2 grown men in their 30's wax nostalgic. 
If you're into what we do, come and check us out at some of our other online locations. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Twitch, and Soundcloud. Eventually, we might be able to turn this happy little website into career, whatever that means. We love you all. Expect to see more consistent updates in the future. If you comment, I'll post. Deal? 

Over a Year of Conceptual Continuity,
Utility Muffin Labs

Fallout 4 - The Commonwealth Needs You

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/16404467908

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/16404467908

When reviewing a game like Fallout 4, it’s incredibly difficult to find a place to begin.

Do I wax poetic about the new story? Do I ruminate about the improvements to the gameplay or the graphics? Should I rant about the sheer scope and size of The Commonwealth? It’s hard to say. I find the prospect nearly as overwhelming as playing the game itself.

The one thing that must be emphasized about Fallout 4, before you pick up a single controller or slide a disc into your preferred gaming receptacle: you’re going to lose a LOT of time. I know we’ve all played games with deeply involved story and exploration. Hell, if you’re a gamer like me, you’ve sought them out. But this… This is something else. This game will consume your free time. This game will swallow your daytime. This game will make you late for work. This game will ruin your relationships. Like a deeply satisfying addiction that leaves you feeling ashamed because you can’t kick it, even though you tell all of your friends you have, this game will not let you go.

Bethesda has become known for its overwhelmingly engaging core titles. The Fallout series, (much like its cousin series, The Elder Scrolls) has been the go-to open world game series for quite a few years now. Much like 2011’s Skyrim, Fallout 4 seems to be filled with unlimited potential. It’s brilliant and colorful. There are secrets buried around every corner. Having said that, Fallout 4 is deceptively large. A quick glance at your ever-present Pip Boy presents a map that looks almost… intimate. It’s not. It’s vast and it doesn’t care about you. It will try to kill you at every turn.

If I haven’t established how incredibly massive this game is, let me say it again: This game is huge. Not to be braggadocios, but I’ve beaten the main questline 3 times. I’m on my 4th play-through with a fourth play-style, and I’m STILL finding new things. For a completionist like me, this is a massive draw. This directly translates to replay value, which this game has in spades.

Fallout 4 is a vast improvement over Fallout 3, in nearly every way. While this should go without saying, I feel like this is an era of gaming that requires this to be said. In a time of yearly franchise titles being rushed to release and half-finished games being sold at full-price, it’s refreshing to play a game that feels complete. Now, allow me to qualify that statement: This is by no means a perfect game. Fallout 4 is fantastic, perhaps even the best game of 2015, but is by no means without flaw.

Let’s get real. If you’ve played a Bethesda title, you know about their renowned flaws. Sometimes, the collision can be a little janky. Occasionally, something might just fall through the floor or shoot into the sky like a rocket.  There are even the rare game-breaking save glitches. In most titles, this is a sin most unforgivable. For some reason, with Fallout 4, it’s just a part of the charm. With the amount of time I’ve spent on this game, I can honestly state that I’ve seen much less glitchy behavior than I have in previous Bethesda titles. The glitches exist. Oh yes, the glitches are here. Simply, they just seem to occur less often and with less drama than in past Bethesda iterations.

When you have a game as involved and expansive as Fallout 4, there seems to be a tendency for people to focus heavily on what isn’t in the game. In conversation, you’ll often hear banter start with something like, “You know what they should have put into the game?”  I can’t exclude myself from this; I do it all the time. I think there are some simple concepts this game could have benefitted from.

You’ll find a new building system in the game that allows you to grow a settlement. This settlement system is not explained well, and that concept remains throughout the game. Much in the way you have to fend for yourself in the Wasteland, you’ll have to fend for yourself as you play the game. You cannot build weapons in the game; you can only customize them. You cannot build ammo in the game; you can only find it. You can’t build armor; you can only improve it. Small gripes, to be sure, but annoying none the less.

I’ve read other reviews about Fallout 4. One of the main criticisms about the game, and a fairly easy complaint to make about a lot of Triple A titles as of late, is about the graphics. Personally, I think this is a steaming heap of nonsense. This game is gorgeous. The aggressive push for 60fps, 4k quality, etc. seems like a lot of nonsense to me. Perhaps there’s something I just don’t get. Perhaps I’m just more interested in playing games that are fun than I am playing games that bleeding-edge visually dazzling. Fallout 4 has a look that is fun, interesting and consistent with the world the developers created.

So much more could be said about Fallout 4. At this point though, I think I’ve done a fair job emphasizing the epic magnitude of the game. Would I call this my “Game of the Year”? Yeah, I suppose I would. I might even go so far as to say, this is the must-play title of the current gaming generation. This is the game you’ll spend days and weeks exploring. The only advice I can give you before you start playing the game: Take some vacation time. Trust me, other things in your life will suffer once you start playing Fallout 4.

NHL 2016 - Giving it a Sporting Try

By ArtBrom [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By ArtBrom [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A tiny bit of background about me: I love video games but I don’t enjoy sports. I don’t follow them at all and I couldn’t name you five athletes that play organized sports. I know that baseball has home runs, football has touchdowns, and hockey has goals. That’s about the width and breadth of my knowledge. Consistent with my lack of interest in sports, a lack of interest in sports games has always been a natural side-effect. My distaste for sports has been mostly passive, but at times, it’s been actively aggressive – especially during football season.

This review, however, isn’t about that. This review is more about how my anti-sports walls were recently crumbled, if ever so slightly. I have a decently sized community of friends I game with, and the majority of them are sports fans. The one game most of them agree upon playing, typically without fail, is hockey. After years of hearing them play and talk and grouse about it in the Xbox Live party, my intolerance finally crumbled this week.

I started playing EA’s NHL 2016, and I had no expectations when I fired it up. I have no previous experience with EA sports games, and the last sports game I played was Ice Hockey for the NES back in 1989. Needless to say, I came into the game like a babe in the woods. I can say, as a matter of fact, there’s a lot to this game. There’s a decent learning curve to understand the nuances of the title, but I found I could pick it up and tap a few buttons to play with varying degrees of effectiveness.

NHL 2016 has a number of game-play modes for fans to choose from. As I am woefully unfamiliar with previous iterations of the game, I couldn’t tell you what’s new and what’s a holdover from last year. While the game can be incredibly complex (and you’ll have to learn those complexities to be GOOD at the game), even someone with no experience can jump online and skate with their friends with very little practice. I learned very quickly that hockey doesn’t allow players to skate full-speed into opponents and level them to the ice like a Mack Truck. Food for thought!

After playing NHL 2016 for about 12 hours, there hasn’t been a revelation for me to become a sports fan. I’m not going to run out and buy a Black Hawks jersey and watch the games on TV. It’d take a lot more than a video game to drive me to that. However, I will keep playing NHL 2016. The game-play is exciting and addictive. There’s a great deal to learn about the game and a ton of modes to try out. It’s a social game that I can play and learn strategies with my friends. If asked, at this point, I’d suggest to others who don’t follow sports to give a try. You might be surprised like I was.

Final score for NHL 2016: 3.5 out of 5.  

Our Muffins are considerably uniform

Hello, people who care. Blogs can be so neglected sometimes, and this one is not exception. Things just get moving, and sometimes, this little space drops off my radar. 

Here's the info, for those who need to know. 

First, I won the coveted second place spot with my video. If you're unfamiliar with my previous blog post, I had submitted a video to the Illinois Student Silver Dome awards, Presented by the IBA, which honors excellence in broadcasting among students in Illinois.  My video, which is a 30 second TV spot PSA, can be found here. It had a whopping 44 views on youtube, so give it some love and share it if you watch it. 

Next thing, I'm about to graduate from IMS. Nine months down, and I'm about to exit the scholastic portion of my broadcasting career. It has been a great time, and I've met a lot of really great people. 

On that subject, I'm about to start a production internship with Digity Media. I'm incredibly excited about this, and it should open up a lot of opportunities for me to learn and meet new people. I'm working on demo material, and I should have a new demo uploaded within the next couple of weeks. 

Coming in the next few days, you'll see a brand new podcast. This podcast will be a free-form conversation about things going on in our country, city and state. We'll chat about politics, work, news and more. I'll still be doing the Nerd Words podcast, but we'll be doing it twice a month. Check back here for more info. 

Much love and thanks for the support. 

Things are moving along...

In Utility Muffin news, I've been working on the home studio setup, and things are chugging along quite nicely. I plan on going live from home with The Metal Mortuary Radio sometime here in early October. I'll be attempting to connect the station to TuneIn, although I have yet to investigate that concept as of yet. It's very cool to be able to produce, record and edit content from home, without having to rely on other resources. 

The live stream will be available 24/7, and I'm planning on doing three live on-air shows a week, for fans of metal and extreme music. We may even do some live podcasts on the show as well, so keep that in mind. 

I'm working on setting up live calls as well, and I'll post the information about that in the near future. I'm very close to being able to do Skype interviews too, so that's very cool. 

I'm a finalist for the IBA 2015 Student Silver Dome Award which is awesome! Click the link and check it out. 

Here's the video I'm nominated for: 

I conceptualized, wrote, filmed (with Mitch Tyton) and edited the video, which stars Jamie Newell. It has a whopping 41 views on Youtube, so you should check it out! 

 

Updates, Pictures, FTA, etc.

Welcome back to the blog, friends and whatnot. It's been two weeks since last we spoke. Some things to check out: New videos in the video section, new podcasts in the Nerd Words Podcast section - including my sordid review of Full Terror Assault, new interview with Matt from Behold! The Monolith and assorted random other things. 

Here are some pictures I took during my camping trip: 

Here's the almost fully erect tent that housed two people. 

Gas powered stove boiling water in preparation for coffee. 

Inside crazy tent. 

Friday morning picture of the FTA MetalSucks stage. 

The elusive Elizabethville. 

Nuclear Age during their set on the Last.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Nuclear Age during their set on the Last.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Altered Existence During their set on the LAst.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault 

Altered Existence During their set on the LAst.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Updates For Ya!!!

Uh oh. It's been two weeks since I've updated my blog.

I'm not slacking, I swear.

I remember a long-ago time when if I went a day without writing in my blog, I'd get crazy. I was also writing in a very different style and from a very different perspective than I write now.  Most of the stuff I write on this blog are simple updates and such, but when I was young, I was a heated, angry mess!!! 

Anyways, some things going on right now:
1. I'm working on a music video for school. Tomorrow, I start the editing process. Expect to see it soon. 
2. On the tenth, I go to the legendary Cave-in-Rock, IL for the first ever Full Terror Assault festival. I plan on taking many pictures and talking to many people. Expect to see detailed information here. 
3. Podcasts. I put two up this evening. Listen to them. Share them. 

Please tune into my metal show - The Metal Mortuary - on Tuesday and Thursday at noon CST. I'm working out a way to start posting new podcasts on my site, so stay tuned for more of those at some point in the future. 

Much love. 

Link Journalism

Here's a recent class assignment I had to do. Essentially, I had to find three news articles, break them down into two or three paragraphs and rehash them as examples of "Link Journalism". Anyways, these are things in the news today. 

TIANJIN, China -
At least 50 are dead and 71 are injured after a series of massive blasts ripped apart a hazardous goods warehouse in Tianjin’s port area, Wednesday night. Among the dead are 17 firefighters who’d been dispatched to fight the blaze in its infancy.

The cause of blaze and subsequent explosions remains unknown. Media in China have reported that one of the warehouses destroyed by the blast may have contained a number of highly toxic chemicals. More than 1,000 firefighters were dispatched to fight the inferno, which continues to burn more than 36 hours later. 

In a stunning act of foolishness, a man looking to retrieve his lost belongings from a Cedar Point roller coaster was killed on Thursday. Much to the surprise of literally no one but the victim, James A Young II was struck and killed after hopping a fence to into an obviously restricted area.

According to CNN: Sandusky Assistant Police Chief Phil Frost commented, "(Young) jumped over a fence into a restricted area under the Raptor and was looking for his personal belongings. (He) was struck by the Raptor train that was in operation." To his credit, there are no reports of Frost shaking his head and muttering, "Duh.”

Joe Rogan expressed a desire to see more weight classes in the UFC on a recent podcast. The long-time UFC commentator has been a proponent for additional weight classes for some time. With recent drug testing changes hitting the UFC, Rogan has expressed concerns about looming Problems. 

Low Kick MMA  quotes Rogan from his recent Podcast: "I also think the UFC is probably gonna have to add more weight classes eventually, because there’s not enough weight classes. There’s some big gaps – like 185 and 205, that’s a 20 lbs. weight class – that’s a giant gap."

Nihilstinen Barbaarisuus – The Child Must Die

In an effort to make good on a personal pledge, here's the first of many album reviews of the bands I play on The Metal Mortuary. Check out the show on The Edge On Air every Tuesday and Thursday @ Noon CST.

Before I start this review, I want to say, I’m a sucker for physical media. I just received my copy of The Child Must Die today. First, I love the Digipak and the vivid artwork. The front and back cover are illustrated with evocative imagery that harkens to early classic Black Metal albums like Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse and Dark Funeral’s Secrets of the Black Arts. It’s filled with deep purple, green and blue hues, invoking that feeling of something dark and ancient. The cold color scheme has to be intentional, because it’s a subtle advisory of what’s to be found in the music within.

The Child Must Die is basically, from my understanding, a concept album. With the exception of the title track, the lyrics are adapted from The Kalevala, a compilation of epic poetry from Finnish oral folklore and mythology. This is serious North American Black Metal that is deeply rooted in the thematic concepts of Northern European paganism and heathen creation myth.

 Lyrical concepts aside, this is a velocious, frigid and ferocious album.

 Many black metal bands use or have used keyboards, synths and other atmospheric tools to varying degrees of success (including this band in previous releases). Quite a few bands only manage to detract and distract with atmospheric keyboards. As I listen to The Child Must Die, I only hear it improve the frigid textures of the music.

 These songs are hard, bleak and forceful. This album starts with the song, Wondrous Sampo, which without warning, thrusts the listener headlong into aural abuse. Väinämöinen, in particular, throttles forward with blistering blast beats, while the keys help to evoke a rich layer of atmosphere. These elements perfectly complement the stark, throaty wails of the vocalist, Joel Robert Thompson. The production of this album craftily combines a classic, raw style, with a crispness that belies the skill and musicianship of Mika Mage’s obvious perfectionism.  

I don’t know if this album is going to break new ground for any black metal fans, and I don’t know if it needs to. This album does exactly what it’s supposed to do: be really fucking brutal Atmospheric Black metal. In that sense, it is a work of perfection. The Child Must Die is unmistakably unique in that this album doesn’t sound like anyone else, but it still fits comfortably within the confines of the genre.

If you are a fan of raw, cold, atmospheric Black Metal, Nihilstinen Barbaarisuus’ the Child Must Die is required listening. It’s a savage, 33 minute journey that will beg additional listens. This is my favorite release so far this year, and one of the best USBM albums I’ve heard in a while. Do yourself a favor and get a copy. 

AP Style News Stories

This is a recent writing assignment I did for my online class. I thought they were humorous. I had to write four 200 word AP news pieces. This is what I wrote. 

TOKYO – Giant Lizard Trounces Coast
After what was initially thought to be a powerful earthquake, Tokyo’s Kōtō City ward was rocked by a giant aquatic reptile which emerged from Tokyo Bay at approximately 4:15 a.m. today. Early reports from The Japan Times estimates the size of the creature to be nearly 122 meters tall. The damage to Kōtō City is grave, and many building have been greatly damaged or toppled.

"Gojira 1954 poster 3" by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha) © 1954 - movie poster made by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha).. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg#/media/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg

"Gojira 1954 poster 3" by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha) © 1954 - movie poster made by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha).. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg#/media/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg

Anonymous sources on the ground have indicated that the angry Kaiju erupted forth from the bay, emitting an ear-splitting wail, and began rampaging east towards the Edogawa River. CNN spoke with ward mayor, Ishirō Honda, who said “The God of Destruction has come to reclaim his lands! Flee! Flee!” Honda then pointed eastward and began waving the survivors away from the destruction.

It is currently unknown where the immense reptile originated from, but the internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories. One prominent site called Ocean Watch posits that the reptile is part of a government experiment gone wrong.

U.S. President, Barack Obama, authorized emergency deployment of troops to Japan this morning, to assist with Tokyo’s defense efforts. White House officials had no comment this morning on the marauding Kaiju.

 

MEGACITY –
Dozens of police were killed and many more wounded during a daring mid-day attack on Megacity Federal Building by the hacker-terrorist group known as “The Children of Zion”. Two unknown assailants raided the 34 floor structure, opening fire upon the main foyer during shift change. Shortly after the initial attack, the terrorists then commandeered a military helicopter from the roof and utilized the vehicle’s firepower to cause structural damage to the 17th Floor.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tt2times/2568645910 Some Rights Reserved

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tt2times/2568645910 Some Rights Reserved

Shortly after the attack, the alleged terrorists fled in the helicopter, but seemingly lost control of the vehicle, crashing it into a nearby building located at 1204 West 16th St. Casualties have been reported there, but estimates remain foggy. The current status of the suspects is unknown.

The evening previous, federal agents and city police had captured the alleged leader of the terrorist group, known by the alias, Morpheus. An anonymous source within the city police claimed that the capture of Morpheus was the result of a months-long undercover operation to bring down the elusive terrorist organization. Our source speculated that the daring raid was to free the radical terrorist leader.

Megacity News attempted to contact Agent Smith from Federal headquarters, but he could not be reached.   

 

HEIDELBERG, Germany –
After six weeks of searching, all five of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets have finally been located. The winners of the elusive candy proprietor’s contest prepare to be the first people to tour Wonka’s site since the magnate dropped from the public eye three years ago.  The winners have been announced as: Augustus Gloop from Germany, Veruca Salt from England, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee, both from America. The fifth ticketholder has not been named. The four winners are set to appear on a nationally televised event on Saturday as part of the contest prize.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wonka_(2908978240).jpg Some Rights Reserved 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wonka_(2908978240).jpg Some Rights Reserved 

Willy Wonka’s contest caused a flurry of media coverage as his famous candy bar became increasingly difficult to find. Thought by some to be a paranoid recluse, Mr. Wonka set out to recapture the buying public’s imagination after his long hiatus. Speculation still swirls as to where Mr. Wonka might have vanished to, and where Mr. Wonka has procured his current labor force. Mr. Slugworth, Willy Wonka’s main competition had this to say about the contest, “If Wonka wasn’t a raving lunatic, he wouldn’t have to perpetrate this brazen publicity stunt to sell his candy! Try Slugworth Chocolate!”

Mr. Wonka could not be reached.  

HOLLYWOOD –
Five people are wounded this morning after a daring jewel heist was interrupted by Los Angeles police. The culmination of a months-long sting operation by LAPD Special Affairs, the unnamed robbery suspects opened fire upon patrons of Tiffany Gems as authorities arrived. As the armed robbers fled, officers began pursuit, killing at least two suspects in the gunfight. Police officials have estimated that the robbers absconded with nearly half a million dollars in diamonds awaiting transport to Antwerp, Belgium.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MrPink.jpg Some Rights Reserved 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MrPink.jpg Some Rights Reserved 

According to Officer Holdaway of LAPD’s Vice Unit, “This operation required months of undercover work by one of our best officers. He is a hero who derailed his entire life to bring down a notorious crime boss named Joe Cabot. Now the entire case has been blundered by department mismanagement. Let’s just hope our man comes out of this alive.”

Attorneys for Mr. Cabot have denied any wrong-doing by their client, an affluent local business man. Five years ago, an associate of Joe Cabot’s son Eddie Cabot, was found in a warehouse owned by the Cabot family containing stolen merchandise. Eddie Cabot’s childhood friend, Vic Vega, was sentenced to five years in Pelican Bay Prison for possession of stolen property.      

Godzilla
The Matrix
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Reservoir Dogs

 



The News

Welcome back, friends. Tomorrow, Aug. 7th, I'll be doing a remote through ICB at the Warrenville Summer Daze in downtown Warrenville. Come down and check it out from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. 

Above is a project I did in class where I had to make a movie poster using Photoshop. Here's a link to the original poster I based this project on: Leon.  

I made some small modifications to the site. I got rid of the splash page and I also set up a Patreon site. Check it out

Weekend Update

It's been a busy weekend, for sure! I've recorded 3 podcasts since Thursday and uploaded them to the site. I've made my first real investment in equipment and picked up a Behringer Xenyx 1002B mixer with sexy, sexy pots and dials. It wasn't super expensive, but it gets the damn job done. I've spent most of the weekend recording, mixing and editing audio and uploading it to the site. Check out the results here: PODCASTS.

I'm working on a very tight budget here, so if you like what you hear and you'd like to donate (I hate begging for money), feel free to click on the "Donate" button on the ABOUT page. I'm not making any profit from anything on this site, so if you want to help improve the quality of the shows, feel free to drop a few bucks. Also, if you have a business and you'd like to set up some ad-related exchange, hit me up via email. 
That's my pitch. Moving on. 

Roddy Piper - Wikipedia 

Roddy Piper - Wikipedia 

Friday brought more bad news in the world of Professional Wrestling with the death of my all-time favorite wrestler, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Roddy Piper is probably the greatest wrestling villain of all-time, and acted in a number of movies and TV shows. Roddy starred in one of my favorite cult sci-fi films, "They Live", which if you haven't seen, you should get your life together.  

Roddy Piper was 61. 

In other news, Ronda Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in the first round at UFC 190, in 34 seconds, further proving that she's the most dominate fighter in the sport.  Rousey's MMA record is now 12-0, and she remains the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. 

The Podcast schedule, in a perfect world, will be twice a week. I'm going to make great efforts to have a new episode up every Monday and Friday. I made a very basic logo for the show, kind of as a placeholder for my iTunes submission. I don't know if it's been accepted yet, but I'll post in the blog here when I find out. 


Stuff Going On Now!

The world of pop-culture is abuzz with the recent activities - the utterly fucking stupid activities - of some well-known (and marginally known) individuals. It's been a busy week, for sure. I figured I'd weigh in on my opinions on these subjects, especially since I'm only just barely informed and this is the internet. 

-Wikipedia

-Wikipedia

First, we have the previously immortal Hulk Hogan. As you may know, he's been scrubbed from the hallowed halls of the WWE Hall of Fame. As it turns out, Hulk Hogan is a big, fat racist. From what I've read, about 8 years ago, 'ol Hulkster made some disparaging remarks about a guy his daughter was dating. Here is some of the transcript
 “I don’t know if Brooke was fuc*ing the black guy’s son. I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, fuc*ing ni**ers. But then when it comes to nice people and s*it, and whatever... I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we’re all a little racist. F*cking n*gger.” 
For the uninformed, Hulk has been involved in a lawsuit against Gawker  over the leak of his utterly tasteful sex tape. Now, suspiciously, the National Enquirer has somehow come into possession of a transcript of Terry's racist and homophobic rant. 

My Theory: Gawker leaked that shit. FOR SURE they want to discredit and ruin Hulk Hogan. 
Again, that's just a theory. 
I wish I could say I was shocked by what Hulk Hogan said. I really do. Please see the video on the left. 

I've never been the biggest Hulk Hogan fan. As a wrestling fan, he's never really been my flavor of performer. I don't think he's ever been an especially skilled wrestler, technically speaking. He's certainly legendary to the "sport", but I was just never interested in the whole Hulkamania shtick. I wasn't much impressed by "Hollywood Hogan" either. I'm not terribly sad that the WWE fired him; he should be fired. What bugs me is that there's a bit of a double standard here. A lot of other top-level performers have done some seriously fucked up things in their personal lives and kept their jobs. The biggest example I can think of is Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

Steve Austin beat his fucking wife. Look it up! Maybe I'm out of line, but why is this guy still employed by the WWE? Is it less bad to beat your wife than it is to be a racist? Say what you want about Steve Austin's personal life and the woman he was married to, but he was still arrested for and convicted of domestic abuse. What ever you think about Hulk Hogan being an old racist asshole, being a racist asshole isn't a crime. Punching your wife, on the other hand, is a crime. 

Second, some dentist shot and killed a lion in Africa and the internet went nuts! 

I want to join you all in your universal outrage for the death of poor, unfortunate Cecil. I'm sure he was an amazing lion who totally would have hung with you all and discussed the latest vegan cuisine. I have no doubt he had some really compelling ideas about a myriad of topics. Unfortunately, I don't share the outrage. YES, it's terrible that some douche bag from Minnesota can just go to Africa and kill a lion. Trophy hunting is abominable. I agree. I have to say though, I feel like the internet vigilantism has just gotten out of hand. Every other day, the buzzing masses assemble to ruin anyone who takes an action that is PERCEIVED to be "bad". We've collectively taken social justice to a whole new level of insanity. It's as if there are millions of people, just waiting in the wings, wringing their hands in anticipation of taking their aggression out on someone under the guise of progressiveness.

Mob mentality is not progressive.   
That's just my opinion. I find a lot of this "Social Justice" to be nauseating. I don't think people's livelihood should be threatened because they live differently or have unpopular opinions or make a mistake. If that's your rhythm,  bounce to it. I'll not be participating. 

-Wikipedia

-Wikipedia

Now, on to the third topic, which shouldn't make me a target for the White Knights! Fucking Laibach is playing the first rock concert in North Korea! What? If you don't know, Laibach is a Slovenian Industrial/Avant-Garde band that's been around since forever. Their style isn't the easiest to peg, but they have a vaguely nationalistic/fascistic image and sound. If you're into Industrial music or jackboots, you know Laibach. If you don't know Laibach, watch the John Oliver video that's been making the rounds. 

I'm stunned. I don't know what to think about this, but it's fucking funny. I might own 1 Laibach album, so I'm not what I'd consider a huge fan of their music. I've always kind of seen Laibach as this over-the-top kind of silly group. I always thought they were kind of tongue-in-cheek, and this special appearance in Pyongyang could be interpreted in any number of ways. Yeah, it's fucking silly. The fact that Laibach will be performing songs from "The Sound of Music"... that's just brilliant.