20 April 2007

More Status updates:

And since this is a different topic, this warrants a new entry.

Megane 6.7's and my latest MSTing is in the final edit stages, and will be posted soon to the FFML and to A MSTing For All Seasons. By all means, any comments regarding possible revisions or edits are gratefully accepted, and we will hold off for about two weeks or so to hopefully receive and integrate worthy ideas. After this, we will post to SVAM and most likely to Usenet, and reupload any new version(s) to AMFAS.

Thanks again for the patience, and we hope you like the finished product!

Most recent Rifftrax reviews:

Hey folks,

Megane 6.7 added to the list of Rifftrax reviews, but Blogger won't bring the Rifftrax thread back to the top. So therefore, I will copy/paste Megane 6.7's latest Rifftrax reviews here and direct you to the link at the right, which says "Megane 6.7's Riffrax Reviews", to see the entire list.

As well, I perma-linked all Rifftrax-related Blog entries... which currently consists of the Review thread, and this. Well, hopefully, we'll also have more Rifftrax-related articles in the future as well.

Megane 6.7's most recent reviews:
"Lost: Season Premiere" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- Haven’t seen it yet. Haven't even seen any of 'Lost' at all yet.

"Star Wars: Episode Two" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- Chad Vader had about ten lines maybe during the whole rifftrax so he wasn’t really a factor. Overall, it was good, some good riffs on the oh-so-lame dialogue and painfully obvious CGI. There was a bit of recycling jokes from the last Star Wars trax and the whole poking fun at goofy names bit is getting tired IMHO though it didn’t ruin the track for me. I do wonder if Mike will ever
try tackling a film from the original Star Wars trilogy someday...

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" w/ Mike Nelson & Neil Patrick Harris -- While the teamup of Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy will always be my favorite, Neil Patrick Harris did a pretty good job here and worked very well with Mike. The movie was creepy and bizarre as always but the rifftrax really helped make a pleasureable experience out of a film that was pretty much unwatchable to me before. I'd easily rank this among the upper tier of Rifftrax released so far.

16 April 2007

Drying the MSTing Well:

We have just passed 150,000 hits on our website maybe about a week ago. I don't know if I could ever create another website that would have even half of this response. A MSTing For All Seasons has been up for seven years, which makes it almost a senior citizen as far as the 'Net goes.

When we first started A MSTing For All Seasons, Mystery Science Theater 3000 had already announced that there would be no new shows. The Sci-Fi Network would show all of the remaining shows they ordered, and then would put MST3k on semi-permanent rerun status afterward. Our website opened about three or so weeks after the Sci-Fi Channel had broadcast the last new MST3k episode, the delayed "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders", which came about five months after the 'official' end, "Diabolik", was broadcast.

In that time, I've seen a staggering amount of attrition. Of course, without the show around to remind people what MSTing was about, it was not a surprise. First, the MST fandom seemed to grow a bit older. As all other fandoms, while some people lose time or grow out, others find the fandom and obtain a desire to write. And without MST3k around, it seemed as if the new author flow of MSTings was slowed to a trickle.

Of course, one of the other watershed moments was when Web Site #9, Dr. Michael K. Neylon's online published MSTing archive, was taken from the Internet. Keith Palmer is currently running the MSTing Mine at http://www.keithpalmer.ca/msting-mine/ , and I wish him the best of luck in reconstructing what remained of Web Site #9 by scouring Usenet. Shinji's Vault of Anime MSTings has also morphed more than a few times, even adding a message board for a while. The same forces of inertia, few new authors and natural lossage due to the ravages of time, took place at Shinji's too. Tim attempted to morph it into Shuuichi's Vault, and then remorphed it into Everything What Is Crap.

The latest MSTings update to Everything What Is Crap was in late May, 2006. By all means, this is not a criticism; other than this blog, AMFAS has not been updated with a published MSTing in almost a year itself. (However, stay tuned, we almost have one finished and ready to publish). This is just more evidence that the fandom is still coming to a slow close.

This was not meant to be a rant, and I'm not making a call to all authors to do MSTings. Of course, people will write what they would like to write. So far, Megane 6.7 and I still choose to spend our time writing MSTings, and we do still hope that we have an audience out there. If nothing else, we have also found that we still enjoy it, even if the process gets a bit tedious at times.

It is not my intent to write a eulogy. I do not believe that this fandom is quite dead; after all, we are still seeing visitors to places like EWIC and A MSTing For All Seasons. It is more of an enconium, I suppose, as I would like to at least say that there have been more than a few MSTings in the past that I have enjoyed, and I hope that those authors have been able to move on to bigger and better things. To all of the readers and MSTers still active, by all means thank you for your support. We hope that you do enjoy your visit(s) to AMFAS, and that you are able to derive some sort of enjoyment from our works. While Mystery Science Theater 3000 is rapidly coming to the point where it has been rerun/off the air for longer than it has been on, I hope that all of the readers and MSTers out there are still trying to keep the spirit of the show alive in keeping an open mind about the world around them, and not afraid to make fun of the stuff that doesn't make much sense.

Again, thank you all for 150,000 hits, and seven years of activity. Thanks also to our website hosts, Nabiki and Lorien. While our content has slowed (significantly?) through the past three years, we're still here and we hope you are too.

12 April 2007

Don Imus, Duke University, and the Art of Media Persecution:

Since this is a blog, this provides a forum pretty much world-wide in its scope. These opinions are purely mine, though I would be more than happy to enter debate on this matter as well.

Today's subject though may seem recycled to many. I hope that is the case, because I have also reached my saturation point on two issues as well. These two issues, Don Imus and the Duke University lacrosse team, are inextricably linked in my mind. This is because the court of "Public Opinion" has tried and convicted both, and doesn't seem to see any sorts of lesson to learn from one matter to apply to the other.

Firstly, the parable of the Duke University lacrosse team. If many may remember, the Duke University lacrosse team threw a party, and also had some women at this party. One of the women who attended this party leveled allegations against members of this team which resulted in criminal charges to these members. And then the media got involved. Because of shield laws, all the information could not be published, which is and should be absolutely fine. BUT, the same mass media published incomplete accounts. Due to the media's description, everyone became outraged and reacted rather than to take a step back to say, "Wait. These men are innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around."

Now, the last of the charges have been dropped against these men. Now, here's a key distinction: because my information is still incomplete, for all I know they could still be guilty, and the prosecutor may just not have the evidence. I honestly don't know. What I *do* know is that a much more exhaustive investigation than the initial publishing of the charges has happened, and as a result of that investigation charges have been dropped. And in the court's eyes, this does mean that these men are innocent. Following this announcement, the last point of the matter is that the media was completely irresponsible in broadcasting "news" to inform people, they merely attempted to inflame people in order to hopefully justify more coverage and therefore more viewers, so that their profit margins could be satisfied.

Congratulations, mass media. You did it again.

The latest controversy is Don Imus and the comments he made in regards to the Rutger's women's basketball team. I took the time to at least obtain the transcript for his comments. His exact words were "nappy-haired ho's". While this is not exactly respectful and the word choice is poor, the resulting media blitz of blame for Don Imus is morally bankrupt. I'm sure that we as humans have all been in unfortunate situations, and that we do make mistakes. Don Imus has taken many pains to apologize, and whether or not you may believe it is your choice.

People were offended. So be it. However, this is not a crisis. This should not even be a tempest in a teapot. The mass media has constructed yet another crisis out of something that is terrifically and horribly minor. Additionally, how is anyone helping the situation by dwelling on what has happened instead of moving on? He was wrong, and I will repeat that as many times as needed. But this does not justify all of what is STILL going on. I have seen this same topic on NBC's flagship morning program, "The Today Show", at least three days in a row. ESPN was more than happy to discuss it too. This topic has been kept in the public view for days now, and in a number of different ways. And like it or not, this situation is being exploited.

To begin, the mainstream media gives time to people who would normally not warrant national media exposure but who are happy to receive such attention in situations like these Examples include Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, both "Reverends", who seem not to have heard of the creed of forgiving others as God would forgive. Can anyone name the last time that Al Sharpton appeared for two days in a row on the Today show on NBC? These people are more than happy to continue this idiocy, due to the recognition and national scope they are provided. In other words, they have a *VESTED* interest in keeping this mess rolling, and they are doing an admirable job. Of course, this dovetails nicely into the media's wishes to keep this issue at the forefront of national news, as analyzed below.

Secondly, the media members themselves (namely the anchors) as well as the network (MSNBC, where Imus's show used to be simulcast on television) get to show the viewers how very indignant they are, and therefore superior, fair, and steady mouthpieces who are far more inclusive and sensitive than Imus is. Special mention goes to MSNBC, who first decided to suspend Imus for two weeks, and now has completely pulled his show less than 48 hours after deciding its initial punishment. I would like to mention that it is a good thing that the corporate supervisors at MSNBC are not in charge of our court systems, as I would hate to be the convict who received sentencing, and further sentencing, and further sentencing.

Third, further special note goes to the fact that MSNBC removed Imus from simulcast. Your message to your viewers is so mixed, I can't even decipher it. You knew that Imus was not the most politically correct person to host a radio show, or at least I can only presume that MSNBC has some sort of screening process for the people who appear on MSNBC's airwaves. But when the man says something the slightest bit controversial, not even something that is up to libel standards, you fire him. So, what is your choice? You want controversy, but now you don't? You purport to give your viewers facts and information, but you were broadcasting the OPINIONS of a radio host, and then let him go when his opinions become unpopular. Are you afraid that people can't think for themselves if they hear unpopular opinions? You don't think your viewers are capable of saying, "You know what, he may be wrong about this issue"?

While I believe the above is true to some extent, I believe that the truth lies elsewhere. MSNBC, you have reinforced a valuable lesson to every last one of your viewers. Imus's sponsors pulled their ads due to what he said. What if he had said something extremely unpopular but true? If sponsors pulled their ads due to what he may have said, would he still have been let go? If Snoop Dogg was a guest of Imus and had said the exact same words about the exact same people, would the statement still have been completely false?

Now as a result of all this attention, we have an issue that is at everyone's lips. This is for all the wrong reasons and it is because the media conflated it into a major issue. Congratulations, NBC, and other major networks. I do not know if you feel that this is *gaining* you viewers, but you have just guaranteed to your sponsors that I will NOT be watching the commercials which you have based your business decisions on. Enjoy your pursuit of "news" without me.

The epilogue of this matter is that gross profiteering, especially in organizations that are supposed to be "fair" and "unbiased", is just as shameful as any of the comments that Don Imus uttered.

I am sure that I will be labeled as a conservative purely due to the side that I am taking on this matter, which presupposes that this is not an important matter. I am sure that some people feel that this is an important matter. So be it, I will not argue that point at present. But I do not feel that this matter should have been blown up to these proportions. I am currently arguing for a rational point of view. These comments were uttered on 5 April 2007, and it is now 12 April 2007 and this is still a major news story.

To all who disagree with my stance above, please explain why this is still a major news story. The man has been punished, twice, so when does the story end? Is there nothing else going on that needs the media's attention, such as Iraq or any current legislation that is being passed in Congress? In this situation, I really have to question the motives behind how this issue has been reported by the media, and who really stands to gain the most from what has happened.

Many apologies to the people who live outside the United States who were subjected to the above rant. I hope that your medias aren't as exploitative as ours.

I do not have a lot of time to surf the Internet, so therefore I do not know if this rant is written elsewhere. However I can assure you that these are my words, and any debate they engender would be welcome.

05 April 2007

Status Report:

Hey all,

After some feverish work, I am finally rounding Meg's and my latest MSTing into form. It is currently into second draft/third edit stage, and I have high hopes that it will be polished enough to publish in a short amount of time.

Stay tuned!

04 April 2007

Looking for the life of Reilly... receiving the life of Schitt.

Oh, the blog... I haven't forgotten about it, but when it rains it pours.

On Wednesday last, which was the 28th, I ended up in a car accident on a rather busy road. The car accident was a result of a bunch of different converging factors, which included a county truck changing streetlights at 2:30PM on a busy road and stopping up a lane, people not caring to allow other people to move over, and other people who don't pay attention to the fact that there are STOPPED VEHICLES on the road. I ended up getting hit in the rear tailgate of my minivan by a truck, which happened to have a snowplow setup (sans snowplow) on the front of his vehicle. Needless to say, he received no damage to his own vehicle except for the glass that my window threw at it as it shattered into tens of thousands of pieces.

Body work is bad, but then worse happened; the momentum from the rear-ending was enough to make me hit the guy in front of me. Who happened to have a trailer hitch on the back of his truck. My radiator was punctured by his trailer hitch, which rendered the vehicle undriveable to boot (other than to get it off the road, which I quickly did). I watched my radiator fluid dump all over the pavement as both drivers probably chuckled silently and then drove off without a care in the world.

Oh, and did I mention that the only reason I ended up in this accident was because this was my last meeting off-site for work before reassignment?

Since the van was my only vehicle, I'm currently borrowing my mother's car for the time being until I get up the motivation and singles required to take the bus (which I figure will be a better option anyway, it will give me far less stress at least). The only good news is that it seems the repairs from the accident itself won't be much more than $550, thankfully, because also according to my insurance despite the fact that every last bit of the damage done to my car was due to OTHER PEOPLE, since the fine state of Michigan is a no-fault state the best I can possibly get is $500 since I don't carry full insurance on a freaking 1994 minivan. Which also will probably mean that I will have to cover the repairs myself and wait for reimbursement as well.

And going on with the story, the next day I was off of work and I ended up at the doctor's office. Twice. The first time was to check my health out due to the accident. The only pain I really had was a bit to the center of my back. They took X-rays and determined that it was due to an underlying condition. Then, I thought to myself that I would try to rebuild the computer my children use. When trying to get a hard drive out of a disk bay, I managed to slice my thumb all the way to the tendon (and break the hard drive in the process). I went to the doctor's office again, and was told that because it was such a deep cut that they would not stitch it there. They insisted that I needed to see a hand specialist to make sure the tendon was not nicked. So therefore, I would have to travel to the hospital emergency room. That prospect did not make me feel good, as I had to drive in rush-hour traffic (at about 3:30PM) to this hospital. I signed in with difficulty, and settled in to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait more.

When I arrived, I was told that it would be between one and two hours to be seen. After two and a half hours, I was no closer to being seen period. A (slightly) helpful security guard called to a different hospital, which had far fewer people waiting in line. At about 6:30, I jumped back in the car to go to emergency room #2. After another hour and a half, I finally was seen. Mind you, I had an open gaping wound in my hand this whole time. I didn't even care about *getting* a bed, I just wanted someone to stitch the darned thing up. Which they finally did, at 9PM that evening.

Postscript: I never saw the "hand specialist", and to boot I had to pay five times the cost that I would have had to pay at the doctor's office (and I may even have to pay more due to the fact that I went to a different hospital; they took my insurance, but because it was not the hospital I was *assigned* to, I wouldn't be surprised if more charges lurk in the mist.)

So therefore, the only good thing that happened through this whole week was the fact that I ended up getting both Thursday and Friday off. Small consolation.

I'm back to work, and now doing the reassignment. Originally, I was told that this reassignment was for training purposes. So be it. But now I find out that I'm in a "lather, rinse, repeat" kind of position, which by the way took me possibly two weeks to learn. Which completely and utterly irks me to the core. I cannot count the number of times that I have had to bite my lip, bite my tongue, and stop my hand from miming my exact mindset at this point. Especially since I managed to keep some of my old duties at the same time that I am getting new ones placed on me. As before, I suppose that this is the best motivation for me to save some money and hit the college trail again, but in the meantime I will be right back to submitting resumes... six months after I just started. (At least I get to be super-picky about where I end up, I suppose.)

This year really started with a whole lot of promise, but these last two weeks have been extremely difficult to get through. I must admit, I'm still afraid for my hands, and possibly any nearby walls. I also hope that things will turn around soon, and realize that all I have is that same hope; especially since there's been such little proof for that recently.

So, as many people imagine, many writing projects have been stalled for the previous two weeks. Sincerest apologies to everyone; Megane has told me in the past that some of his best writing was as a direct result to negative stimuli, and that's great. All I know is that if I attempt to MST right now, your monitor would probably be dripping with blood from my dull axe taken to a few fanfics, which tends not to be fun for all involved.

I will at least leave you with a happy note, and thank everyone through the years who has supported us at A MSTing For All Seasons; our counter has just passed 150,000 hits, and that's pretty cool in my book. I hope we've entertained you, our readers, and that we will continue to entertain you for a long time to come. Even with our recent snail-like publishing pace. Thanks again!