Let’s talk about Love Death + Robots S2

I was excited when I saw that Love Death + Robots season 2 had a formal drop date.  I enjoyed the first season tremendously, even if there was a lot of controversy around the perceived subject matter of two specific episodes, and regardless of what a bunch of SJWs on the internet felt, I still loved the first season, as it was an enjoyable, fast-paced anthology of short and sweet stories that paraded a myriad of animation styles, which touched all spectrums of the heart and mind, and was over in the blink of an eye because every episode ranged between 7-15 minutes.  So when I saw that more LD+R was on the way, I was quite pleased, and made sure to earmark some of my limited daily time to indulge.

At just eight episodes, S2 was over in the blink of an eye as well, if not shorter, and I watched all eight episodes in two short sittings, although I could easily have done so in just one if I timed it correctly.

I will say, I think that the polarizing reception of the first season probably had some influence on the second, or maybe it’s because it was a shorter season, but I felt like S2 didn’t have quite the bite that the first season did.  I’m not saying I require gratuitous violence or violence towards women specifically, but I felt that there was a little bit of edge lacking in this second season of the show.  The subjects of the episodes were more abstract and broad, and in most cases, did not seem to contain all three of the requisite love, death or robots, not that such was ever an established rule to begin with, but seemed to be better adhered to in the first anthology.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t like S2 at all, but after I had finished all eight episodes, there wasn’t one in particular that I was enamored with and could gush to anyone who wanted to talk about LD+R that it was my favorite.  But for all intents and purposes, this is how I’d rank the episodes (in parenthesis, according to Netflix’s order)

  1. Pop Squad (#3)
  2. The Tall Grass (#5)
  3. All Through the House (#6)
  4. The Drowned Giant (#8)
  5. Automated Customer Service (#1)
  6. Ice (#2)
  7. Snow in the Desert (#4)
  8. Life Hutch (#7)

Really though, it would be my top three, and then the rest were just kind of there, interchangeable in rank depending on the mood I were in, which is to say that they were all kind of okay, and not particularly close to standing out above the others.

I would however, like to talk about Pop Squad; the reason I would say it was the best episode of the season was not necessarily because I liked it the most.  In fact, the theme of the episode is completely horrific and I kind of hate it, but it was one of the episodes of the season that invoked all three love, death and robots, and frankly evoked the most emotional response out of me, which whether I liked it or not, makes it successful all the same. 

**Spoilers ahead, that being said**

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An AEW direction I actually like

I didn’t even know Rusev Miro was even in the title picture.  The last few weeks have been all about Darby Allin’s re-kindled rivalry with Ethan Page back from their Evolve or whatever indy fed they had a ton of brutal matches in, and for some reason, Scorpio Sky has been attached to him and sandbagging his own ascent, but the point is I didn’t even know Miro was even in line to wrestle for the Popeyes TNT Championship.

Regardless, I was quite pleased to see that Miro was given the ball, and had a relatively clean victory over Darby Allin and is now the new TNT Champion.  I was always very high on Rusev when he was still Rusev, and it was always saddening to see just how mishandled and misused he was in his later years with the WWE, and I always hoped he would go to New Japan afterward and become the IWGP World Champion.

Obviously, with the existence of a stateside alternative in TNAEWCW it was obvious where he would ultimately end up going especially considering his wife was still very much active in the WWE, but we could all have hopes.  I mean, Jon Moxley is doing it, and I love it so much I’m actually referring to him as Moxley instead of purposefully calling him by his old WWE name.

But anyway, I’m delighted to see that Miro has been given some actual direction in AEW instead of being the sidekick to Kip Sabian of all people.  When they paired them together, all I could think of how much of a colossal waste Rusev was going to be in AEW, and winced like OJ Simpson in court when he was stuck week after week in meaningless work against the Best Friends.

It’s yet to be determined just what AEW actually does with Rusev as a champion, and hopefully he’s not the first one in the promotion’s short history to be a transitional guy, or worse off, considering his first feud appears to be likely to be Lance Archer, hopefully he doesn’t lose it to him.  Considering what Rusev did with the WWE US Championship, I’m hoping Miro will get to do similar things with the AEW Popeyes TNT Championship, so that when he eventually drops it, it will be worth more than their poor world title, which is becoming lost in the shuffle in Kenny Omega’s collection of blets.

Revisiting An Old Post: Stephen Strasburg’s 2016 Extension

One of the best things I ever felt I implemented into my brog was the On This Day plug-in, which lets me look back to the date in all prior years in which there was a post, and read, cringe and laugh at myself for all the bullshit I’ve spewed throughout the years.  Occasionally, I’ll come across a post that I’ve written in the past, and think to myself, man, how much things have changed, or man, how fucking wrong was I about that?

Regardless, it serves to be potential inspiration for things to write about that aren’t the depressing-ass news of every single day in the world and it’s not that I’m so narcissistic that I source the inspiration for my writing to myself as much as sometimes I just don’t want to look at local or national news, because it’s all just so demoralizing, for humanity.

So, back in 2016, I wrote this diatribe about how the Washington Nationals were probably embarking on the path to becoming the New York Mets, because they were repeatedly exercising the contract strategy of deferring salary to way later in the future in order to maintain financial flexibility in the present, which is exactly one of the reasons on how the New York Mets became the laughing stock of baseball, because they deferred payment of $5.9 million dollars for one year of Bobby Bonilla, and somehow turned it into 25 annual installments of $1.3 million dollars, which it doesn’t take a math whiz to realize is vastly more than $5.9M cumulatively.

Back then, the Nationals had signed star pitcher Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million dollar contract to stay with the team, where in the fine text of the deal was that the Nationals would pay him a large portion of his salary many years after the deal was done, to which baseball nerds love to ridicule deferred money, because they years in which they are paying are often times years in which the actual player themselves are somewhere else, or not even actually in baseball anymore, so effectively paying for nothing.

The thing is, the Nationals also had other players on similar deals, namely pitchers Max Scherzer and Rafael Soriano; and the thing that I had decided to zero in on was this window of time between 2024 and 2028, in which the Nationals would be on the hook for deferred payments to guys that will most likely no longer be on the Nationals, or even playing in Major League Baseball.  It would be a five-year window in which the Nationals would be paying a total of $127 million dollars to literally, no actual players.

Obviously, this is a giant epic fail, and we should all laugh at the Washington Nationals right??

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It’s bad when Brazil is leading the pack in anything other than futbol

WSJ (might be behind paywall): town in Brazil does “experiment” where close to 100% of adults get vaccinated, to “surprising” results

I obviously use quotations ironically, because it’s pathetic that American media is in this place where common sense is considered experimental, and the results are anything other than flagrantly obvious.  The fact that this is happening in Brazil of all places in the world, and not anywhere in the United States is pathetic, sad, disappointing and all other pejoratives applicable to describe just how third fourth world America acts sometimes.

Needless to say, since nobody actually needs to read the article behind the paywall to take a wild guess at what happens, but when 98% of all adults in a population of 45,000 get vaccinated, coronavirus numbers plummet, and the town of Serrana, Brazil has officially become somewhat of a safe haven oasis from COVID-19, and life has basically turned back into a state of being prior to the pandemic.

The “experiment” at this point can be considered a rousing success, and I can only wish that the legions of fucking idiot Americans would use this as a basis to follow suit, but we all know that that’s never going to happen because we are basically the dumbest country on the planet, cumulatively.

But yeah, a small town in Brazil; a mostly impoverished country, where they’re mostly known for futbol, Victoria’s Secret models, trolling League of Legends and annually converging onto Disney World much to the dismay of those who work there, has basically shown the rest of the world that they’re twelve steps ahead of the curve when it comes to handling the pandemic.  They’ve already declared check mate, while the rest of the world is still Googling what a Sicilian or the queen’s gambit is.

I don’t like to give Brazil credit if I don’t have to, but good on them for having the common sense to strive for 100% vaccination rates among adults.  The rewards are obvious and palpable, and the rest of the world looks like fucking idiots for failing to exercise common sense in the most common sense of scenarios.

S9: My 600 Lb. No-hitter

Finally caught up with all of season 9 of My 600 Lb. Life.  As much as I love the show, as well as other TLC stalwarts like 90 Day Fiancé, the fact that all their episodes are like 90+ minutes apiece, makes it really hard to commit to the time investment that every single episode takes to watch.  As truly great as the shows are, there are often times more important things I could be doing in 90 minutes than watching garbage, albeit it’s garbage that I love.

As I touched on in a prior post, we the TLC viewers were treading into uncharted territory as far as My 600 Lb. Life was concerned, as season 9 was batting a cool .000 as far as people getting onto the surgery table and getting bariatric surgery in order to lose weight.  Sure, coronavirus had a tremendous amount to do with that, seeing as how there were 3-4 subjects that qualified for weight-loss surgery, but were unable to actually get it within the episode due to coronavirus.  All the same, I count those as failures too, because after 13 episodes, the season ended with not a single person getting weight loss surgery, with the vast majority of them outright failing, because they’re just trainwrecks to begin with.

Going into episode 13, I thought TLC would be saving the best for last, and much like an actual baseball no-hitter, it had to get busted up in the final inning.  Certainly, Chrystal would be the person to get her shit together, lose the requisite weight in order to qualify for weight-loss surgery, get on the table, and I could laugh about how the show plans their Dr. Now voiceovers to poorly link to another prerecorded segment where he talks about the benefits of bariatric surgery.

Welp, surgery didn’t happen, in spite of Chrystal’s eventual success at losing the prerequisite weight in order to qualify.  But I can’t say that TLC didn’t save the best for last, because in this final episode of the season, not only did we witness a moment where a subject stepped onto an elevator, and made it lurch downward from the weight, causing her to lose her shit in the hallway of whatever econo-motel she and her posse were staying at.

We also had a short but no-less scathing moment of where Dr. Now clinically told the person that she smelled.  I’ve watched just about every episode of this show and it’s no secret that these large individuals have hygiene issues a lot of the times, but at no point has Dr. Now ever straight up told a person that they smelled before.  Obviously, he didn’t use those exact words, but he also didn’t mince the ones he did when he insinuated that their girth clearly had something to do with the fact that he was smelling something rather unpleasant.

Either way, season 9 is in the books.  Blame coronavirus, or blame the format of the show in that they clearly have the spin-off My 600 Lb. Life: Where Are They Now? to hold back pertinent points like successful surgery, but as far as My 600 Lb. Prime goes, we just had an entire season where every single trainwreck in the season, failed. 

A real-life, televised no-hitter thrown by TLC, congratulations.

Clearly school is not hard enough

I came across this story of some 12-year old kid in North Carolina who was set to graduate from both high school and college simultaneously, and the first emotion that emerged from my brain as if it were a slot machine, was annoyance.  I don’t know why, but stories of overachieving little kids don’t really impress me so much as I question the difficulty of contemporary education in America, and wonder if we’re collectively lowering the bar of intelligence on a societal level if kids whose balls haven’t even dropped are becoming capable of tackling collegiate level coursework.

Sure, it’s just an associate’s degree, and pretty much anyone can get an associate’s degree, but it doesn’t change the fact that the narrative doesn’t change that a 12-year old went to, and got a college degree.  There is a possibility that this kid might be somewhat of a genius, but at the same time there’s also a possibility that the level of education in Salisbury, North Carolina might be questionably low.

I recognize the names of Salisbury and Rowan-Cabarrus, because their names are on signs that I blow past going 80 mph on I-85 while traversing through North Carolina, between the greater Charlotte and Greensboro regions.  Needless to say, it’s in the middle of fucking nowhere, which leads me to believe what mastery of counting pine cones and the velocity of a NASCAR on a windy day can translate into a 5.45 GPA.  Seriously, what the fuck kind of grading rubrics exist now to where kids don’t just get 4.0s but seem to routinely exceed the royal fucking A into these ridiculous 4+ GPAs?

Either way, I don’t know why, but tryhard kids just kind of bother me.  It has nothing to do with the fact that as a father myself, these are ridiculous bars to hope my own children can strive for, as much as I feel at the root of all these stories is some very passive-aggressive humblebragging by either the kids or their likely insufferable parents, who eat up the notion that their children are making the news.  This kid is right up there with one of those overachieving tryhard high school seniors who applies to every Ivy League and blue blood school and gets in.  It’s just annoying to me.

Clearly, school is not hard enough these days, because when I was 12, all I cared about was Power Rangers and Final Fantasy IV, much less having any aspirations of any sort of education past the sixth grade.  Sure there’s an easy joke about how nothing seems to have really changed nearly three decades later, but we also didn’t have a pandemic that gave all children basically unlimited time to see just how high they could tryhard.

Kenny Omega: The Blet Collector(?)

As much as I clown on AEW, I have to say that one of the things they’re doing that actually has me pretty fascinated is the way they’re booking Kenny Omega.  Which shouldn’t really be surprise that he’s got a compelling storyline, seeing as how he’s one of the VPs of AEW as well as one of the foundation blocks in which the promotion was built on.  But with his cross-promotional victory over Rich Swann of TNA/Impact, Omega adds two more blets to his expanding collection of championships, adding the TNA and Impact unified world titles to the AEW championship as well as the AAA (Mexico) championship, which basically says he is the top guy for three different promotions.

I’ve always been fascinated by belt collector storylines, because historically it’s so rarely done, primarily because more often than not, it requires a degree of cross-promotion, which is a lot like asking a Klansman to partner up with a Black Panther to save the planet.  It’s been attempted within a single promotion a handful of times, with Lance Storm coming to mind with his torrid 2000 run collecting the WCW United States, Cruiserweight and Hardcore titles in quick succession.  And as much as I liked the Miz’s run in 2010 where he was toting around three blets, the tags were unified and kind of count as one.

TNA tried to kind of run a blet collector in like 2015 when they had Kurt Angle win every single blet within the company as well as the IWGP World Championship, but so often times is the case with TNA, nobody noticed, nobody cared, and it fell flat pretty quickly when he started rapidly shedding blets, and New Japan doesn’t officially recognize the reign with the IWGP championship because of one of the many spats they had with Antonio Inoki over it.

One of the most famous blet collectors of all time was Ultimo Dragon, who once held a mind-blowing ten blets at one time, thanks to the infamous J-Crown tournament in 1996, where it was a tournament held in Japan where all participants were respective champions from varying promotions, where every blet was on the line and as participants advanced through the tournament, they would collect the championships of everyone they defeated.  In the end, the Great Sasuke would win the tournament, collecting eight blets in the process, but in a return match against Ultimo, who went in as the WCW Cruiserweight and NWA Middleweight champion, would lose, giving him ten blets in total.

In more recent years, Austin Aries became a blet collector, in a more traditional way, in the sense that throughout 2018, he actually did bounce around the indies and beat champions and eventually made his way to Impact, where he collected two blets from them, meaning as big league as TNA/Impact thinks they might be, their titles have on multiple occasions, been gathered by guys outside of their promotion.  But at the peak, Aries collected a total of six blets, and as is often the case with Aries’ career, he took himself too seriously, and kind of sabotaged his own career.

Needless to say, the blet collector doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it typically tends to sour pretty quickly and to disastrous result.  However in spite of the history of the gimmick, AEW is taking a stab at it with Kenny Omega, but in spite of my oft-criticisms of the promotion, I actually wonder if they might be able to do better with it than all preceding attempts?

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