Geek Etiquette: The Walking Fed Up


Our society is obsessed with zombies. There are multiple zombie based tv shows, films, video games, board games, there are even zombie themed restaurants (Because apparently eating a regular hamburger at a regular hamburger shop wasn’t good enough for you). I’m not saying of there are a couple of examples I am saying there is a hoard of examples, a hoard that is slowly surrounded us in a barn while we were all too busy interneting and swiping right. There were over 50 zombie movie last year! There were over 20 zombie board games that came out last year. Most people don’t even know that 20 board games come out in a year, much less with the same theme. Hell, we like zombies so much we add it to intellectual properties that normally don’t have zombies. I’m looking at you Pride and Prejudice.

Zombies are popular, right? So why do people keep telling me how much they hate them? People keep complaining about how there are too many things with zombies, which I agree with, but obviously people must me loving these brain eater or there wouldn’t be so many products on the market. But people insist they hate them. Or at the very least, people will tell me, “Oh I don’t normally like zombies, but this one is different,” or, “This is good because it’s about the people and not the zombies.”

And I think that statement might annoy me more than anything else. “It’s all about the people.” I thought that was the whole reason we started using zombies. Zombies don’t have care or emotion unlike vampires or witches, zombies exist as a mindless threat so you can focus more on the survivors. Just look at a film like Night of the Living Dead, wether it was intentional or not, Ben being a black man was a very important part of the film, even more important, in my opinion, when he is shot in the end of the film. 28 Days Later has the King Kong ending where we are the monsters (To be fair the zombie are also monsters too).

So I guess my geek advice is: Don’t worry if you like something with zombies. You don’t have to qualify it with, “I normally don’t like zombie thing but…” With any medium and genre there is a good chance that some of it will be good and some will be bad, some pointless (I’m looking at you Organ Trail) The thing you should avoid is being so open about your hate for zombies. This year the card game I Hate Zombies is coming out. Why? If you hate zombies why did you make a zombie game? I know it’s because you like zombies but still want to appear to be like the cool kids that hate zombies, or you think your consumers are mindless creature that only want one thing… brains, I mean zombie things.

Deflategate: Cheaters Never Prosper, Except in the NFL


If you haven’t heard about deflategate or “Ballgazhi” let me quickly break it down.  There appears to be an investigation going on after Sunday night’s AFC Championship game.  There is a possibility that the football the Patriots used in the game may have purposely deflated, making it the ball easier to throw and catch, especially in the rain.

Tom Brady has called the claims of the deflated balls ridiculous, but I don’t think so.  After spygate in 2007,the season in which the Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals (aka cheating), I don’t think the Patriots have any right to get defensive about anyone questioning their honor.  Once you’ve cheated on a large scale, your punishment is that people will continue to think you’re a cheater.  I believe after spygate Bill Belichick, who was fined the maximum amount allowed, should not have been allowed to keep his job.  He should’ve been fired or at least the team should’ve been forced to change their name to the New England Pumpkin Eaters.

Let’s say the balls were deflated, but the Patriots didn’t intentionally do it.  Maybe there was a mix up, they had a weighing issue, or maybe Lane Kiffen did it to frame Bill.  In a way you’re still cheating.  If Tom Brady, or any other player, noticed at any point during the game that the ball felt weird in a way you’re cheating.  If in a board game, someone deals me an extra $20 it becomes my responsibility to mention it, not the person who dealt the cards.

In 2014 there was a championship for the board game Ticket to Ride.  The winner, Erwin Pauelsen, was stripped from his titled when he was caught cheating by online spectators of the game taking extra turns.  At first Pauelsen seemed to be confused by the situation saying he was tired and accidentally made a mistake in the game.  And so on one hand are we supposed to jump down the throat of someone who made a mistake in a game? Even I have made a mistake in a game.  But the fact of the matter is this was a tournament, and he turn several extra turns, at a certain point people will stop believing you.  Maybe the Patriots didn’t cheat, but once you’ve been caught and excused several other times it becomes hard to ignore.  Some people will continue to deny that the Patriots ever cheated in the first place.  Some people just love their heroes too much to hear about how they are not as squeaky clean as they once thought. #Bill Cosby

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black & White


Here’s a weird gripe of mine.  It’s a little weird when people tell me they don’t want to watch a specific movie because it’s too old.  I understand if not everyone wants to watch a black and white silent picture like Nosferatu or Metropolis, but now I encounter people who wont even see movies from the 70’s.  In fact, when I worked at Blockbuster (a scene in which I assumed movie lovers would work) my co-workers made fun of me for watching a movie from 1998 in the store, they claimed that that was too old for a movie.  Typically in these scenarios I point out Disney movies that they liked as a kid.  Most people forget that their precious movies like Bambi came out in 1942.

But there’s a flip side.  People complain about new movies.  I worked on five different movies as a stereo-compositor.  I would tell people that my job was converting movies into 3D.  Gross, 3D sucks, it’s just a gimmick, were among the comments I’d hear.  This isn’t a new concept, luddites have always been around, even in film.  There were people thought color and sound were horrible when they first came out, even film was viewed as nothing more than a carnival gag.

What’s my point? Maybe we should be less critical of technology and just enjoy film and the stories it tells, or maybe I’m just trying to distract you from the fact that I didn’t post anything in November or December. Who knows?

Rent, Blu-Ray, Bin


There’s an old conversation game known as Fuck, Marry, Kill.  It’s got tons of names: Boff, Marry, Kill,  Wed, Bed, Kill Fuck, chuck, Marry etc.  The rules are always the same.  Someone chooses 3 people and the other players have to choose which of those they would kill, fuck, and marry.  Typically the 3 people are celebrities or in saucier examples co-workers. For example: If someone gave me Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Mila Kunis.  I respond something like: Shag Mila, Marry Jen Law, and Kill Emma (Sorry someone has to go).  I actually think that this game can be kind of lame, unless you play with me.  I throw in weirder angles and make it more exciting.  I don’t really care that my friend wants to bed Natalie Portman, I want to give them tough situations that they have to piece out.  FMK: Tony the Tiger, Lucky The Lucky Charms guy, or Snap, Crackle, and Pop together.  No my friends choices sound more interesting.  Well I think Tony would be GREAT! but Snap, Crackle, and Pop seem like good providers, hmmm Lucky is too manic for me.

I have invented a new game.  Sure it may not be as thrilling as deciding which breakfast cereal characters you’d romp around with, but at least this one you can play with your parents.  Rent, Blu-Ray, Dollar Bin.  One person chooses 3 movies and the contestants must decide which one they’d rent (watch once), Blu-ray (Spend money on and display in their home), or “Dollar” Bin (Thinks it belongs in a dollar bin,  and would never want to watch).

So there you go: Rent, Blu-Ray, Bin.  You can make your friends choose between their favorite movies or their least favorite.

What do you think?

The Animal, Baby Geniuses, From Justin to Kelly

Geek Etiquette: Voting With Your Dollars


It seems that the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be getting a sequel so I thought it would be worthwhile to take about a little geek etiquette.

If you are feeling blue about your classic cartoon being turned into a “awful film” then just remember.  Maybe one day there will be a good Turtles movie.  After all,  Joel Schumacher made Batman and Robin, but we later got The Dark Knight.  If the characters are good we’ll eventually get a good movie.  But there is something you can do right now: vote with your dollars.

I cannot stress the importance of voting with your dollars.  If you see something that you are skeptical about don’t see it in theaters.  Don’t give me that whole, “Well you never know if you are going to like something until you see it”  No, stop it, your wrong.  But if you are REALLY curious just wait.  Just wait until you get the chance to see for free, because if you give money to it, it will continue.  I worked on the movie and feel I have every right to see it without judgement, but I just don’t see myself going through with it and seeing it.  I know I will never convince everyone to refrain from the movie so I have another solution.  Buy a ticket to another movie you liked.  If I decide that I am too curious, and that I must see turtles I will simply vote with my dollars.  I will buy a ticket for a movie I already saw and liked and then sneak into the movie I don’t want to reward.  I will buy a ticket for Guardians of the Galaxy or Boyhood (movies I already paid money to see, but want to support more) and then I can sneak into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Thus seeing the movie, but not giving the people responsible any money for a sequel.  Currently I’m trying to coin this act, I don’t know like “Double Dollar Ditching” or “Side Screening” I don’t know I’ll think of something later.  If you think of something let me know.

So I don’t know, go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, just buy a ticket to something else.

Meeting The White Wizard


First off, go see the new X-men movie, not just because I worked on it, but because it’s also a good movie.

Secondly, I thought this would be an appropriate time to tell you about the time I met Magneto himself, Sir Ian McKellen.

I met Sir Ian McKellen while he was attending a film festival put on by the school I was teaching at.  I was at one of the coveted after parties often held at the festival, perhaps it was extra desirable since the celebrity was expected to be there.  I don’t remember all the details of the party, but I remember this part rather distinctly.  When I entered the room I saw him swarmed by massive amounts of students, taking pictures and trying to speak with him (in fact, I seem to remember hearing how some of the students planned on trying to make out with him).  I, a professor, thought that it would be in my best interest to approach him and ask him if he needed anything, perhaps a drink.  I wriggled my way through the masses towards the idol and approached him.

“Hello sir,” I said, “Let me know if I can get you anything perhaps a drink.”

“I just sent someone to get me one,” he replied, “but thank you so much”.

I was a bit worried thought I was just some silly student trying to buy him a drink.  I tried to cover.  “Well let me know if there is anything you need me to do, maybe get rid of some these students,” I joked, “after all I am a professor here.”

He looked at me at and smiled, ” You’re a professor? You are very young.”

“I am.”

He put his arm on me and looked me in the eyes and said in a very soft voice, “You won’t always be.”

I felt like I had just received more than I ever thought possible.  I just received advice from The White Wizard himself.  Legendary actor, Ian McKellen, personally gave me wisdom.

…or he just said something obvious like “the sky is blue”.  I mean, “you’re going to get old” isn’t that profound.  But for some reason, when he said it, it felt that way.