Bless your heart, Pepsi

I get the whole “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” adage, and to a degree it’s not wrong.  But one of the more modern trends of today that I think is often times stupid and ultimately pointless, is the ideas of brands using social media to communicate amongst each other as if they were sentient individuals.  Sure, it can be amusing for two seconds to see McDonald’s take swipes at Burger King, Burger King take swipes at Taco Bell and Wendy’s taking swipes at everyone, but when the day is over, it’s still a person behind a keyboard roleplaying as an entire company, trying to get personal with another person roleplaying as another company behind another keyboard somewhere out there.

I accept that this is the world we live in now, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to agree or care about the shenanigans that are necessary in order to justify everything as “advertising.”

In all fairness, there are plenty of examples out there of brands doing good on social media, that are admirable and creative means of utilizing the medium.  However, there are plenty of others, like Pepsi shoe-horning themselves into a lame attempt at a narrative with Coke, while they’re in Atlanta, as the official soft drink sponsor of Super Bowl Leee.

In no world would Coke ever bother trying to do this shit if they ever found themselves in whatever place happens to be the alleged home of Pepsi; they’re so irrelevant that people like me have no idea where that even might be.  They know they’re the top dog globally when it comes to the soda industry, regardless of what the numbers in America might be, Pepsi can’t touch Coke when it comes to the rest of the world as a whole.  And because Coke is the king of the mountain, they know they don’t have to resort to cheese and social media faux-viral fluff in order to get their name out there, because they’re simply in a position to where their name is practically engrained on the lips of everyone on the planet already, as the default software brand everywhere.

When it comes to tactics, Pepsi has evidently resorted to stealth and drive-bys in order to deploy their lame statue for a painfully forced narrative that a truce could possibly exist between the rivals; and I use that phrase loosely since Pepsi is so far beneath Coke, they could hardly be called rivals, but for simply lack of a better term.  There’s no way Coke would even bother doing something like this if the situation were reversed.

The bottom line is that I don’t know why this has triggered me to write at all, because I’m having a hard time formulating words other than “there’s no way Coke would bother with Pepsi if the roles were reversed,” and when the day is over, I don’t really drink much soda anyways.  I’m apt to drink Diet Pepsi in places where I can’t get a Diet Coke and ultimately I don’t care that much.  I guess my beef is with social media in general, and the fact that it Twitter was used as the virtual battlefield for sissies to slap fight, and it just kind of makes me roll my eyes that this is the world we’re living in these days that this isn’t just the norm, but is considered acceptable entertainment.

Sad, but understandable

TL;DR: Canon CEO admits that they can’t really compete with the burgeoning mobile photography demographic

There’s a defiant change-resisting part of me that wants to erupt in a knee-jerk reaction and proclaim that cell phone cameras may saturate the world of photography now, but they’ll never compete with the quality of a traditional camera!  Honestly though, I don’t really feel like I can however.

Not only have cell phone cameras really closed the gap in capabilities of even the most bulky and expensive DSLR cameras out there, I also fall into the demographic that’s kind of tired of lugging around a brick with a heavy lens that’s cost me nearly $2 grand and is fragile as shit.  At the time I’m writing this, I have an embarrassingly large backlog of photos that I haven’t processed because they’re RAWs, and I typically do them one at a time, but the thing is I don’t have as much free time anymore as I used to, and I’ve got over half of my last European vacation photos to go through, as well as starting the photographs I took at Dragon*Con many months ago.

I don’t regret investing in a decent camera and investing even more in a bunch of expensive lenses; among the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the last decade, I’m sure I’ve got at least a handful of good ones that made it all worth it.  But the fact of the matter is that looking towards the future, I know that I’ve gotten more and more tired of lugging around “gear,” all for the sake of accomplishing what the modern cell phone is getting closer and closer to accomplishing.  Even during my last day in Germany a few months ago, one of the most liberating things was the fact that I had decided to not bring my camera with me, and to just go out and enjoy Munich without it.

Although I’m often behind the times when it comes to cell phones, mostly because I still don’t really consider my mobile device as my primary camera, and I don’t feel like keeping up with the Joneses and constantly updating and upgrading to the newest and latest and greatest phones because I want a better camera, I really do understand the general appeal of mobile device photography.  It’s literally going from your pocket to your hand, and you’re getting amazingly decent results from a few taps onto the screen.  There’s no wheels to turn, F-stops to adjust, no white to balance.  In the matter of seconds, a competent photo could be taken, as opposed to the vastly longer time it takes to configure a camera for the same result.

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Not sure how to feel about RE:Netflix

Back in 2002, I really, really enjoyed the first Resident Evil film, starring Milla Jovovich.  What I really liked about it was that it was almost an entirely independent story that took place inside the RE world, with unique characters, and only featured tertiary concepts and adversaries from the game itself.

And then with each successive sequel, the franchise began shoe-horning more and more actual RE characters into a storyline that wasn’t really intended to have them be a part of in the first place, and the series as a whole began to get really ridiculous, disjointed and have Swiss cheese sized plot holes, not to mention the casting of all the actual characters seemed so very inappropriately bad in most cases. 

Needless to say, my enthusiasm for the series dwindled with every sequel, and by the time The Final Chapter came about, I didn’t even see it in a theater, and watched a pirated copy of it on the internet for free, and still wanted my money back afterwards.  It was the movie-watching epitome of a mercy kill, and the only real good thing about it was the fact that I could have closure to the movie franchise, and wouldn’t have to watch this any later in the future.

That being said, when I found out about how Netflix wants to release a live-action Resident Evil series, my blood kind of goes cold, and I’m left with this crippling feeling of not knowing how to feel.

In one hand, I’m still scarred from just how poorly the movie franchise (de-)escalated into this abominable avalanche of bullshit, and I never want anyone in existence to ever try to act out the story of one of my favorite video game franchises in history.

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The implications of this are not good

Get ready for Cryme Tyme: the City of South Fulton passes the “Ban the Box” ordinance which no longer makes job applicants have to disclose if they have a criminal background

Shortly after New Years, I hit a freshly formed pothole, and blew a flat.  I was not pleased about it, since ultimately it’s an incident that nobody is really held accountable for, and I was out $500 in order to replace all my tires, since they were pretty much due for a change.  Regardless, I went on the internet and tracked down the protocol for reporting the pothole to the county, and within two days, I got a message stating that the pothole was resolved.  I drive on this stretch of road regularly, and I can confirm that it was patched pretty immediately.

I’ve stated that I’m still on my old neighborhood’s Nextdoor, since I can’t bring myself to walk away from the source of unintentional trainwreck entertainment, especially since it’s a subscription that not just anyone can get access to unless they live (or lived) there.  One issue that has been fairly persistent in my old hood (aside from theft, vandalism, celebratory gunfire, ordinary gunfire, bodies being found in the trunks of abandoned cars outside of Publix), is potholes.

They’ve been so problematic, it’s gotten to the point where it’s even been on the local news, with hopes that public exposure will shame GDOT into fixing it immediately, to which I’m not actually sure if it’s worked this time, because this tactic has been employed so many times.  Otherwise, this is an issue for the City of South Fulton, because its within their jurisdiction and they’re responsible for the infrastructure of themselves.

Needless to say, the response has not been swift, probably not been addressed, and I’ve seen numerous threads about all the cars that have fallen victim to the same potholes.  Sure, maybe they all shouldn’t be on 22” low-profile wheels more susceptible to blowing out on potholes, but that’s another story, but frankly people shouldn’t expect their tax-paid roads to be completely pocked with deep and detrimental potholes in the first place.

The point of all this introduction is that if people thought living in the City of South Fulton was bad before, imagine what it’s going to be like when anyone who ever wants to work for the city, will no longer have to disclose any criminal offenses they’ve had on their records?

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Thoughts on 90 Day Fiancé season 6

I knew 2019 was off to a great start when we discovered that the TLC Go app had opened their doors to our cable provider, thus allowing us to access to watch TLC programming, completely on demand.  That being said, I don’t often have to worry about not having something to watch at any given point with the vast majority of TLC’s library now available to me with the push of a few buttons.

Obviously, shows like My 600 Lb. Life are among the marquee shows that I favor the most, and classics like Extreme Cheapskates and Extreme Couponing inexplicably didn’t get renewed for anything beyond two seasons.  But if I had to pick one show that stood out above all others as my go-to for TLC programming, it is and has always been, 90 Day Fiancé.

I’m not ashamed to say it, but I’ve literally watched every season of 9DF.  The irony is that I’ve really liked a lot of shows in my time, but eventually everything falls to the wayside for whatever reason(s).  Archer, The Walking Dead, and American Horror Story come to mind as shows that I’ve at times gotten lukewarm with and allowed them to slide over to the back burner.  But not 9DF.  Nah dog, I’ve literally seen every single episode (of at least the core series), and I’m fairly certain I can name every single person who’s been on the show if shown a picture.

So I just recently finished season 6, and I was thinking that I was playing some major catchup; little did I realize that I basically caught up to season’s actual air dates, and probably wrapped up the main episodes right as the season was winding down with its typical tell-all episodes at the end.

Needless to say, there have been some real trainwrecks throughout the series, but I think season 6 really outdid themselves at finding some truly tv-worthy couples this time around.  I mean, every previous season always had one kind of anchor couple, or layup couple, as in the one couple that anyone could tell was the stable one, vanilla one, bland one, or rather the couple that everyone knew was going to be fine, even after the cameras stopped rolling.  Usually, they were the one where one or both of the couple were religious, and it was pulling teeth trying to get any sort of drama or entertainment value out of them.

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Baseball’s Hall of Fame finally gets it right

In short: Mariano Rivera headlines the 2019 Hall of Fame class, being the first player ever inducted unanimously

Let me first start off by saying that I am ecstatic for Mariano Rivera, in being the first player ever inducted unanimously with 100% of submitted ballots all voting for him.  There is zero debate in history that he is the most clutch pitcher of all time, having something of like a ridiculous 0.70 ERA throughout over nearly 100 postseason games, becoming more and more unhittable as the Yankees advanced in the playoffs every time.

I still remember in 2009, which was the last time that the Yankees won the World Series; against the ridiculously explosive offense of the Phillies, the Yankees time and time again throughout the six-game series went to the bullpen and brought Rivera out for the save.  And in each of the Yankee wins en route to the championship, it was Rivera who slammed the door, allowing no runs and just three hits over 5.1 innings of clutch relief. 

It should be worth noting that this was when Rivera was 39-years old, and people had long already been proclaiming that age was catching up to him, and that he was going to be limping to the finish line.  Instead, he ate the Phillies’ lunch and carried the Yankees back to the top of the mountain, which was again, the last time that the Yankees have been World Series champions.

And it wasn’t even the saves and the innings that Rivera really brought, whenever he took the mound, it was more the fact that he inspired calm and confidence, among fans and his teammates.  And among the opposition, the legend of Rivera’s cut fastball literally rendered generations of hitters with a feeling of defeat and dread of getting to be one of the guys giving up critical outs at the end of a baseball game.  The saying of “he can tell you it’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it” rings entirely true with Rivera, because he basically threw nothing but the cutter his whole career, but the numbers speak for themselves; nobody could do anything about it.

I’m not even a Yankees fan, but even I had this feeling of calm and no real fear that the Phillies were going to make a comeback.  And even when the Yankees asked of him to pitch more than an inning at a time, he just continuously delivered, methodically putting Phillies hitters away again and again, until there were no more outs to get.

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Would you rather . . . [basketball edition]

I saw this clip of Steph Curry slipping and falling on his ass during a fast break where he otherwise had a completely uncontested dunk, and the first thought that popped in my mind was can Steph Curry even dunk at all?

A cursory Google search quickly reveals that Steph can indeed dunk, but if you look at this “top-5 dunks” of Steph Curry, it’s evident that as good of a shooter he is, he’s still physically limited in his dunking capabilities, and it’s more like the same four dunks, and one slightly more impressive but still fairly ordinary dunk.

But the question that emerged from all this was, would you rather be the greatest shooter of an entire generation, or be able to occasionally be able to posterize someone with an emasculating and iconic dunk?

Make no mistake, Steph Curry is arguably the greatest shooter of an entire generation.  Frankly, I would absolutely put his name up on the Rushmore of shooters, along with Larry Bird, Ray Allen and Reggie Miller.  It’s debatable on whether or not he’s even better than all of them too, because none of them really revolutionized the three-pointer like Curry did, to where he’s kind of changed the entire game of basketball to where teams revolve their offenses around threes.  Not just in the NBA, but it’s trickling down to the college ranks, and all throughout high schools and gyms across America, the three is at an all-time high now, and now just the one solitary skill set that the token white player on the team spots up with in the corners.

But the reality is that Steph Curry can’t really dunk.  I mean, he can dunk a basketball sure, but he’s not posterizing anyone any time soon.  Even if Patrick Ewing were still in the NBA, at no point would Steph Curry be able to dunk on him, which says something, because pretty much everyone in the 90s managed to dunk on Patrick Ewing.  And dunking is the one skill that defines basketball more than anything else; it’s the thing that markets the game, it’s the thing that sells jerseys, posters and other merchandise, and it’s the thing that all kids want to emulate the most in their driveways.

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