Netflix's 'The Punisher'

The new Punisher series picks up a little while after the end of Daredevil season 2.

Frank Castle hunts down the last of the Hell’s Kitchen gang members who thought they escaped his violent cleansing. Satisfied with his work as a well-armed reward for bad behavior being done, Frank redubs himself, Pete Castiglione.
Pete is a very quiet, very focused construction worker. He has to be because every time he lets his mind wander even slightly he’s confronted with the memory of his family being murdered. These flashbacks aren’t annoying in the way that flashbacks typically are. Instead of filling in holes in storytelling or character development, these really build up the character’s development and add dimension to the story. The flashbacks are, in a way, an additional character. They are the Frank the audience never got to meet and the Frank The Punisher never got to be. Continue reading “Netflix's 'The Punisher'”

Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

How'd you even get here? Our Google Questions Answered.

Today I answer the important questions brought to us by our Google search results…

…everything from surviving an apocalypse to styling yourself to look like you survived an apocalypse. Continue reading “How'd you even get here? Our Google Questions Answered.”

The CW's The 100 is…

...Lord of the Flies. The 100 is about a far future where humanity lives on a space station and they send all the delinquent youths back to Earth to determine is the planet is habitable. … Um, they’ve proven they can’t be trusted so you send them on an important mission to see if earth was survivable? Good plan.

Murphy’s Law
Kill the pig!

All the 100 have these wristbands that monitor their vitals and let the folks up on the space station know they’re alive and thriving or dying slowly. Of course the take-charge psycho realizes you can just take the wristbands off and  let the people who “sent then down to die” think they’re dead and dying.
There’s like one black guy and he’s the noble voice of reason. While their leader is all “they’ll make us prisoners and poor again.”
But reason, neither heartfelt nor rage-filled, won’t do much when they have to face Grounders! Whats? People who stayed on Earth and survived by adapting and becoming something no longer human…
Murphy’s Law
We have fundamental, moral differences. Being good is right! Being bad is fun!

So there are a bunch of youths running around on the surface being total assholes while monsters lurk. Some want to be good, some want to be bad. That’s essentially the plot. Also, that’s essentially the plot of Lord of the Flies.
They’re nerds, bullies, brats, and followers. There’s cool kids picking on losers, noble and strong kids trying to do the right things, and a bunch of expendable others to either punch or defend.
There isn’t a conch … actually, the one guy who decided to be in charge has a gun and everyone else has shanks.
We're up here, and they're down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live. I disagree...
We’re up here, and they’re down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live.
I disagree…

The unique (and only interesting) aspect is the people on The Arc (Get it? like Noah’s.) trying to survive and figure out what’s going on. The council keeps talking able a culling and the engineers are noticing that that drop ship that was ejected because of a serious malfunction didn’t leave any damage and no one’s heard from any of the prisoners who are under some mysterious quarantine.
Humanity is screwed from above and below. I’m currently rooting for the Grounders to kill the 100 and the engineers to use the fact that they’re THE ENGINEERS on a SPACE STATION to their advantage.

 Here’s the super-long official summary of The 100:

 

Because The CW...
Because The CW…

Ninety-seven years ago, nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth, destroying civilization. The only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit at the time. Three generations have been born in space, the survivors now number 4,000, and resources are running out on their dying “Ark” – the 12 stations now linked together and repurposed to keep the survivors alive. Draconian measures including capital punishment and population control are the order of the day, as the leaders of the Ark take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly exiling a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. For the first time in nearly a century, humans have returned to planet Earth. Among the 100 exiles are Clarke, the bright teenage daughter of the Ark’s chief medical officer; Wells, son of the Ark’s Chancellor; the daredevil Finn; and the brother/sister duo Bellamy and Octavia, whose illegal sibling status has always led them to flaunt the rules. Technologically blind to what’s happening on the planet below them, the Ark’s leaders – Clarke’s widowed mother, Abby; the Chancellor, Jaha; and his shadowy second in command, Kane – are faced with difficult decisions about life, death and the continued existence of the human race. For the 100 young people on Earth, however, the alien planet they’ve never known is a mysterious realm that can be magical one moment and lethal the next. With the survival of the human race entirely in their hands, THE 100 must find a way to transcend their differences, unite and forge a new path on a wildly changed Earth that’s primitive, intense and teeming with the unknown.

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Etiquette for an Apocalypse by Anne Mendel

It’s the 2020 Apocalypse and Sophie Cohen, former social worker turned neighborly drug dealer, must keep her family alive amid grueling and sometimes strangely amusing end of the world issues: starvation, earthquakes, plagues, gang violence and alas more starvation. She will be forced to investigate a serial killing and then, as if that isn’t enough, needs to take down the sinister emerging power structure, all-the-while learning to use a pizza box solar oven, bond with her chickens and learn to shoot a Ruger 9MM.
Etiquette for an Apocalypse [1. copy provided free by Bracket Press] is a pretty fun book with an engaging writing style and believable, enoyable characters.
By now, you’ll know I’m a bit sick of the same old apocalypse stories, and am actively looking for something different. I thouhgt I had it in Etiquette for an Apocalypse – the blurb I tracked down suggested it was primarily a murder mystery set in a post-apocalyptic world, which I was really into. However, half way through the book, that ceased to be the focus, and the plot went elsewhere. I was sort of disappointed by this – not that the actual plot wasn’t fun and entertaining, because it really, really was, but because I had been hoping for something else. (By the way, someone write a good, well-written and well-characterised post-apocalyptic murder mystery, and I will read the SHIT out of it).
Ok, so that noted, let’s talk about everything else. I loved Etiquette for an Apocalypse. I loved it a lot. I loved it with almost the same intensity I love shoes. Everything about it – the humour, the occasional lapses into script-style narrative, the first-person narrator being a middle-aged ex-social worker, her obsession with foods she can never eat again – was wonderful, a fresh attitude to post-apocalyptic writing.  Etiquette for an Apocalypse manages to portray the grim realities of life post-apocalypse whilst still being fun to read – and quite funny, too. It’s not going to be for everyone, but in my experience books that try to be for everyone often end up being for no-one. Etiquette for an Apocalypse does some things with narrative structure and voice that a lot of people won’t have seen in this sort of novel before – I think they make the book stronger, but more literarily conservative types could find them off-putting.
There are some minor problems – the first chapters are pretty seriously info-dumpy, and it’s purely because the information is actually interesting that Etiquette for an Apocalypse manages to get away with it. However, overall it’s an innovative, interesting book that deserves to be very successful.
For that reason, it gets the rare….
[rating:5 out of 5]