It’s hard to care about a team whose management doesn’t care about it either

At the time I started writing this, the Braves had just finished getting swept by the Phillies to open the 2019 season.  Prior to the start of the season, Braves fans were treated to an offseason where the Braves performed their standard song and dance of crying poor and pretending like they don’t have the necessary money in order to pursue logical free agents and improve their chances at winning baseball games, but then business reports emerged that showed that the Atlanta Braves organization as a whole, had raked in record profits throughout the 2018 calendar year. 

In typical Braves fashion, instead of just coming clean and admitting that the ownership has little interest in investing money into the team, they sent their stooges out blab a whole bunch of corporate-ese about the importance of financial responsibility, and extol their profits as if Bubba in Habersham, Cletus in La Grange and Ricky Bobby in Valdosta are going to give a flying fuck about the organization’s financial standing, when the team is losing games that they’d have a better chance at winning if they had some competent players.

And basically, personally, I’m at my wit’s end with it.  As much as I feel like I’m always on the cusp of swearing off the Braves and declaring a disdain for them, I never really fully pull the trigger, because I like having a local team to root for, and when the day is over, I do want to see the Braves win and find success, even in spite of the fact that the organization itself is flagrantly ambivalent and doesn’t appear to care whether they win or not, just so long as they’re making investors money.

But as for this year, all it took was three games for me to confirm that this team is dead in the water, and to not really hold too much hope that there’s going to be anything remotely better than a first-round playoff appearance, at the very, tippy top best possible scenario.  The Braves Way, an agonizingly cliché phrase the team uses to applaud the team’s tendency to favor and acquire over-the-hill veterans or post-injury reclamation projects at reasonable costs is the modus operandi of the team, and has pretty much been the case in almost the entire time that I’ve followed them, and they rarely drop any big money on anyone.

I understand that the last few times they’ve done so, they’ve ended up with stiffs like BJ Upton and Mike Hampton, but the unfortunate truth of professional sports is that every single team on the planet has dealt with free agent busts, and that it’s more of a surprise when a free agent deal doesn’t go sour, and that at least from a WAR standpoint, they don’t lose too much money in the life of a deal.

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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised

But apparently, Love Death & Robots probably requires a trigger warning; despite the fact that it’s an 18 episode anthology of entirely self-contained individual stories, snowflakes on the internet declare that the entire series has a problem and that it is not okay.  I almost don’t want to link to it out of disgusted spite, but I don’t really hide the things that make me tick.

Long story short, the triggered link basically ignores every one of the 18 episodes except for Sonnie’s Edge and The Witness, and considering the fact that prior to Netflix’s alleged decision to adjust the order of the episodes, implies that this “author” watched the first three episodes and then went off on a tangent about how the show solely glamorizes violence against women; otherwise, it goes without saying that Good Hunting would have made this post as well.

Obviously, I agree with their point that glamorized violence against women is definitely a bad thing, but I’m not the least bit convinced that the so-called author actually watched the rest of the series, and decided to anoint the series as a whole as an enemy to women, and that people should watch it with such preconceived notions.  Sure, Netflix could’ve presented the order of the episodes to not start with such jarring violence, but the fact of the matter is that in today’s bingeing viewing society, viewers would still end up watching the suspect episodes eventually.

I did a really stupid thing today, which was I commented about this link on social media, when an online acquaintance of mine posted this link in the first place.  I will admit that my defenses were up seeing criticism of something that I’d so recently declared my love and enjoyment for, and even after a few hours of thinking about all of this, I still feel similarly about my opinions.  I think the article was cherry picked, and ignores the 14-15 out of 18 other episodes of the show that have literally nothing to do about sexual violence towards women.

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Love Death & Robots was incredible

I sat down with no real objective other than to see what I could find to watch.  I selected Netflix, and although I usually think the auto-playing of whatever featured thing was being recommended to me at that very moment is pretty annoying and I wish could be turned off, Netflix squared up and hit my sweet spot for once.  After letting it auto-start the first episode of Love Death & Robots, I didn’t switch to anything else until I had finished the entire series.

To cut to the chase, Love Death & Robots was pretty much the best thing I’ve watched in a really long time.  That’s not to say I abhorred everything I’ve seen between like, Black Mirror and Love Death & Robots, but it’s the shows that really spark all my senses and most importantly get me thinking and analyzing that tend to stand out for me.  And it’s a little by design that I mentioned Black Mirror, because the easiest way for me to describe Love Death & Robots is that it’s kind of like an animated version of Black Mirror, in the way that it’s an anthology of self-contained stories that are well written, entertaining and provoke a lot of thought.

I know after the first film, the Matrix receives a lot of flack and is a constant source of ridicule, but I will admit that I was a big fan of the Animatrix anthology released in the midst of the film series.  In the same vein as Love Death & Robots, it was various animation styles on display, but they were all thematically tied together in some way shape or form, all relevant to the whole concept of the Matrix.  And although Love Death & Robots has no central theme, and every single episode is a self-contained storyline, the various forms of animation were all mind-blowing, ranging from obvious Unreal engine movie making, traditional cel animation, to some of the most realistic looking CG cinematography I’ve ever seen.

Seriously, I look back to things like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and the Polar Express, and remember all the skeptics of CGI declaring that the fallacy of computer graphics would never ever be able to capture the humanity of live action in CG.  Claiming that no matter how realistic the people looked, their eyes would always look dead and soulless, and be incapable of conveying the subtle nuances of human emotion that real life people do.  Such is not the case in Love Death & Robots, where there are some episodes where I had to really narrow my vision and really look hard to be able to tell that certain things were actually CG.  Seriously, episodes like Shape Shifters and Lucky 13, are so realistic looking, that if I weren’t wearing my glasses, I’d probably imagine that they were live action.

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Does Batista get his job back too?

About as surprising as celebrities that pay to get their children into college: Disney reinstates fired and disgraced director James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

I think the only real question marks that come remotely close to being something of surprises, was when this was going to occur.  Considering the firing, which if you need a refresher, revolved around the fact that James Gunn was smart enough to tweet jokes about pedophilia, rape and other inappropriate subject matter on Twitter like a decade ago, which naturally stays on the internet for eternity, was unearthed, and therefore Disney shitcanned him; even though he received a tremendous amount of support from the entire Guardians cast, namely Dave Bautista who threatened to walk away from the series as if he thought anyone thought he was completely indispensable.

Naturally, the firing was as stupid as American politics, because really, who hasn’t said stupid shit, much less stupid shit on the internet at some point in time?  It’s just the fact that James Gunn was in an elevated position societally that made him a target for the trolls that actually spend time looking for inflammatory things once said to bring to surface because that’s the kind of world we live in now which totally sucks.  But Disney being the gozillion dollar company it is, seemed to think they can’t afford to have someone who made a careless innocuously insensitive series of tweets when he was young and stupid, felt that they had to do it anyway.  Did everyone also conveniently forget that Walt hated Jews?

Anyway, I understand why Didney did it, but it doesn’t change the fact that I thought it was stupid.  Naturally though, stupider is the obvious news that Didney brought Gunn back, which kind of also sends mixed, but also negative messages out to the inquiring public: namely the fact that by bringing Gunn back kind of says that Didney condones insensitive jokes about pedophilia, rape, the Holocaust and 9/11.

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This is what will get me back to real gaming

Call a spade a spade: creators of Left 4 Dead, now going under Turtle Rock Studios, announce zombie co-op shooter entitled Back 4 Blood; insist that it is not a sequel to Left 4 Dead

Turtle Rock can insist all they want, there’s little reason for anyone to believe that Back 4 Blood isn’t basically, Left 4 Dead 3.  The internet has already gotten their hold of the unofficial designation, and it’s going to be declared as such until it’s unofficially official.

That being said, it’s about fucking time there’s been a sequel to Left 4 Dead 2.  L2D was getting to the point where it was basically just like another one of Valve’s iconic games that fans have been begging for a sequel of in Team Fortress 2, and no amount of fan-made maps or campaigns would be able to fill the void that was official, canonic content that everyone demanded more of.

In spite of their claims and insistences, which I’m guessing is kind of their way of trying to temper expectations and hedge their bets, the bar that’s set for Left 4 Dead 3 Back 4 Blood is going to be monumental.  There are few games in the history of video games that I played more than both L4Ds, and despite the fact that I haven’t really played a console game for the better part of the last two years, I could very easily see myself coming back to it, for a sequel to the beloved “zbs” that was indicative of playing L4D, probably 340 out of 365 days of the year, for at least 3-4 years.

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No-context writing

Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t done any writing in a while, and then say that I haven’t really found anything that’s sparked any inspiration to write.  But then I chastise myself that the whole point of me wanting to write doesn’t always have to have specific context behind it, and that sometimes, it’s just the urge to write, even if there’s no specific subject at hand.

Despite the fact that I’m still offline, a notion that isn’t ever not there whenever I sit down to write, it’s been an entire week since I last ranted about how much the Morbius movie is probably going to suck.  Since then, no matter how much I scour the news for an interesting topic, various websites and feeds to hope to see something that piques my interest to turn into a word explosion, it’s been pretty barren out there for my interests and inspirations.

Regardless, such shouldn’t be an excuse to go stagnant for too long, and despite the fact that I don’t really feel like I have anything to write about, the inherent urge to write is still there, which brings us to now, where I’m sitting in front of my laptop with a word doc open, no specific topic in mind, and my fingers still moving.

For the most part, a lot of this general writing stagnation probably has to do with the fact that these days, I don’t really have a tremendous amount of free time anymore.  Such is the nature of being an adult, and trying to maintain my place in the working world, as well as undertaking the responsibilities of a job that is no longer really on the ground level anymore.  At work, I’m often times operating with varying levels of stress in place, with there seldom being none at all, and simultaneously I have to remind myself that my decisions hold more weight than they used to, and that I am actually responsible for other people.  I can’t phone it in as much as I’d like to at times, and sometimes it feels like I’m doing less work, which feels strange, especially since I still see that the workload amongst the team hasn’t exactly dwindled.

Outside of work, has been a tremendous amount of other work, specifically all related to the planning of my own wedding.  I’m not going to pretend like it hasn’t felt overwhelming at times, the sheer amount of tasks and things to consider before June, because it sometimes does, and I hit points where I don’t want to do anymore work at home, and just want to marathon something on Netflix or watch the WWE Network for four hours instead of doing actual work.

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A Morbius film sounds pretty bottom of the barrel

Just a few days ago, I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.  It was fantastic.  I felt it captured a lot of what the series has been trying to convey over the last decade, that Spider-Man was more of an idea, and not so much exclusively Peter Parker, and that it’s entirely possible for absolutely anyone, regardless of race, gender or any other difference, to be, a Spider-Man (or woman).

Even more amazing was the fact that Into the Spiderverse was a creation under the Sony Pictures banner, with no affiliation whatsoever to the Marvel Cinematic Universe under the Disney overlords; because it was actually good; unlike the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man sequels, and although I have little interest in watching it, I heard Venom was a turd too.  Needless to say, it’s impressive that Sony actually created something of significant quality with the Spider-Man property, because they’ve demonstrated a surprising ineptitude with it previously.

Without question, into the Spiderverse is the crown jewel of Sony’s collection of Marvel films released, and if they’re smart, they really stick with the formula of creating quality animated films.

So with that said, I just found out that Sony is releasing a spinoff film, based on another Spider-Man villain: Morbius the Living Vampire.  Much like the Venom film, it doesn’t seem like there’s any real tie-in to any Spider-Man properties, and honestly, I have no idea what Sony thinks they’re doing by releasing stand-alone films about Spider-Man villains without actually tying them into any Spider-Man storylines.

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