“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Monday morning Spidey-senses

by | Dec 28, 2020 | Mondays | 5 comments

It’s the very last Monday of 2020, lads, and somewhat contrary to expectations, it’s actually a sort of decent day. (Or at least, I hope it is for YOU, anyway. For me… not so much. Stomach troubles… enough said, really.)

Since it IS indeed the last Monday of 2020, let’s make it a good ‘un, especially given the horrid nature of the year that just went past. We have all had a very rough time of things thanks to the neverending Kung Flu Scamdemic, and I think we could probably all do with a bit of escapism and fun right about now.

So that’s why our good friend The Male Brain suggested a theme centred on the late Stan Lee. His birthday was today, and regardless of how badly Marvel Studios and the Devil Mouse have trashed his greatest works, he remains an iconic figure in the comic books industry. Hell, he MADE the Golden Age of comics happen. So here are a few tributes to the great man:

Sadly, Stan Lee’s last days were filled with pain and abuse heaped upon him by those who should have taken good care of him:

Reports of his abuse had been slowly gathering since the death of his beloved wife, Joanie, in 2017. Strong-willed and outspoken, the British-born former model had run the Stan Lee family business with a firm hand. She had monitored her husband’s bank accounts and tracked his appearances more carefully than Lee himself ever cared to.

She had also been more adept at managing their mercurial daughter, Joan Celia Lee, called J.C., which is likewise important to note, because J.C., 70, will become a player in this sad tale of (alleged) elder abuse.  

But in the spring of 2018, Joanie was gone, the shocking Comic Con video was being seen hundreds of thousands of times, and a welter of accusations suddenly spilled into the public arena: There was talk of millions looted from Lee’s bank accounts, his property scavenged, his physical condition deteriorating — in full view of his legion of fans.

And that’s on top of the allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding the man himself:

Comic book legend Stan Lee has been hit with several allegations of sexual assault and harassment by nurses caring for him at his Hollywood Hills home, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The Marvel creator, 95, is alleged to have repeatedly groped and harassed a string of young female nurses employed to care for him.

He is said to have asked for oral sex in the shower, walked around naked and wanted to be ‘pleasured’ in the bedroom.

The nursing company which employs the women and caters for celebrities and high end clients is now in a legal dispute with icon Lee, DailyMail.com has learned.

But as yet no police complaint has been made and no lawsuits filed.

A lawyer representing Lee told DailyMail.com that Lee ‘categorically denies’ the ‘false and despicable’ allegations and fully intends to clear his ‘stellar good name’ and suggested the allegations could be part of a shakedown.

I must admit that I was never a big Marvel Comics fan. I have always preferred DC’s stable of heroes – though for much of the past decade I have maintained something of a “pox on both your houses!” sort of attitude to the Big Two. But Stan Lee’s genius and inventiveness really were pretty much without equal in the industry.

As for the allegations surrounding him, all I can say is that his example shows what happens to us as we get older and more feeble and less capable of protecting ourselves and our legacies.

Now let’s be clear: if Mr. Lee engaged in sexual misconduct and impropriety, he WILL pay the price for that before the Creator. One way or another, he will answer for such things, if he did them. And as far as I know, those allegations remain precisely that – allegations, and nothing more.

What saddens me is the way he was treated by those charged with caring for him. It reminds me a lot of my own grandfather, who lived to the age of 92 and for the last few years of his life was really used and abused by those that he depended upon.

Cases like those are a sobering reminder that our youth, vitality, and strength will leave us all eventually. What we leave behind depends on how we use the gifts that are given to us, while we have them.

None of this changes the fact that Stan Lee’s creations were hugely influential in shaping and guiding pop culture. Here’s a terrific example of a Marvel property being used for good:


His Most Illustrious, Noble, August, Benevolent, and Legendary Celestial Majesty, the God-Emperor of Mankind, Donaldus Triumphus Magnus Astra, the First of His Name, the Lion of Midnight, may the Lord bless him and preserve him, definitely hit the right notes about Christmas:

As for the Empress of Light… good heavens, what a woman!!!

I don’t particularly care if their relationship is merely a pretence. The very fact that the God-Emperor bagged, and kept, a woman like THAT, is a tremendous achievement. Truly, he is the Chaddest of Chads.


#BasedTucker is based:


Mark Dice has a message of hope and faith for all of us who are disgusted and dismayed by Hollyweird’s hatred of ordinary people and especially of Christians:


Dave from Blue Collar Logic offers up his thoughts on the God-Emperor’s Presidency:

And Jason explains the deeply troubling relationship between China and the Western ruling elites:


Bill Whittle has no patience whatsoever for those who would make war on Christmas:


The Male Brain is back with loads of good stuff this week, starting with Mark Rober‘s wonderfully overengineered 3rd-generation glittberbomb:

That guy’s ideas are incredible. He truly illustrates perfectly the power of an engineer with unlimited imagination.

Let that be a lesson to you, kiddies – study engineering in school if at all possible. You might be bullied a bit – if you are, drop ol’ Uncle Didact a line and I’ll tell you where to go so that you can learn how to roundhouse-kick those dipshits in the head and then put them to sleep using a rear-naked choke. But you’ll come out of engineering school knowing how to do such cool shit that NO ONE will ever try to f**k with you again.

Also – did anybody notice how most of the 3% of douchebags who stole the fake boxes were… shall we say, diverse?

J.P. Sears offers up a “sincere apology” to Faceborg:

If you want some good advice on how to deal with the police when they decide to violate your rights, Charisma on Command has it for you:

Joker from Better Bachelor looks at the explanatory power of a 60-year-old experiment in psychology concerning obedience to authority applied to our modren society:


You’ll recall that I bigged up engineers a bit upstairs. Well, what happens when you combine engineering and Russians? You get the much-beloved Trust Me, I’m an Engineer routine:


Paul Ramsey is not impressed or amused by the massive pork-fest that was the NDAA and its $600-per-American “stimulus” cheques:

For the record, “stimulus” cheques are ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE a really stupid idea. Permanent tax cuts are far more useful than any amount of tinkering at the edges with tax rebates.


Lord Razor of the Fist Clan has a quite superb economics lesson embedded in this rant about how abominably STUPID the idea of a one-time stimulus cheque is:

Let’s not be partisan about this. I thought that the $1,200 stimulus cheque signed off by the God-Emperor earlier this year was a really dumb idea too. PERMANENT tax cuts are effective stimulus methods. Temporary ones are useless. Fortunately for the God-Emperor, he’s been one of the best tax-cutters in American history. Unfortunately, he’s also been by far the biggest spender in American history.

Not that fiscal rectitude makes any difference whatsoever anymore. The USA will NEVER EVER EVER pay off all of its debts. It’s simply not mathematically possible. So let’s not bother pretending that it will happen. The USA is bankrupt and has been for decades. Its breakup as a political entity is assured and the economic destruction that this will unleash will make everything that we’ve seen so far in 2020 look like a minor speedbump by comparison.


China Uncensored asks whether South Korea is becoming a Communist puppet state:

The answer to that question is, of course, “YES”. The Sorks keep going for this stupid shit with the Norks every few years – they never quite seem to learn from their mistakes. This is the problem with democracy: easily persuaded idiots get to vote for whatever nonsense they want.


America Uncovered explains the diabolical machinations behind the “Great Reset”:


Jared Taylor from American Renaissance asks a painful but necessary question:

Mr. Taylor is absolutely right to celebrate the achievements of White people, and to be black-pilled about a future where Whites are deracinated and eliminated from the societies that they created. I’ve written about this many times. White folks are by and large good people who create order, civilisation, rule of law, and functioning societies. Non-White societies are NOTABLY lacking in these things.

I myself am the product of a mixed-race family (though as far as I’m aware I have no White ancestry). I’m in a mixed-race relationship. And I don’t have any problems with Mr. Taylor’s arguments against mixed-race relationships, and I don’t have any issues with his belief that Whites should do everything possible to preserve their own race.

Every race should strive to preserve its own posterity and heredity. And people should be free to choose whether or not they want to participate in those efforts. If Whites want to get into mixed-race relationships, that’s up to them. And if they want to preserve their own bloodlines, that’s also up to them. The rest of us shouldn’t be angry with them or condemn them for doing exactly what other races do as a matter of course.

I will add one other point:

Of all of the races in the world, Whites are by far the LEAST racist that I have ever encountered. The MOST racist are the Chinese, followed closely by either Arabs or Indians. That’s just the truth, and if you don’t like it, that’s YOUR problem.


What do you suppose Terrence Popp thinks about 50 Shades of Grey? Well, you don’t need to wonder any more:


The big pop culture news this week is all about the season finale of the Devil Mouse Wars show The Mandalorian. The second season’s ending was basically a love letter to old-school fans. Midnight’s Edge breaks it all down for us:

I watched some of the footage from that episode, which did a really great job of pairing old LucasArts and Lucasfilm lore (namely, the Dark Troopers from STAR WARS: Dark Forces, which was a GREAT game) with the things that fans have wanted for years – like the reappearance of a young and genuinely badass Luke Skywalker.

Even so, I don’t care much about The Mandalorian – my fanboi instincts for STAR WARS are long dead, and it was the SWEU, not the Devil Mouse, that killed it off. Just you try reading through the awful slog that is the Legacy of the Force series without wanting to send the entire EU canon feet-first into a woodchipper.

But, it’s good to see that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni actually respect the fans and give them what they want.


Overlord Dicktor Van Doomcock offers up his own take on the same thing:


Gary from Nerdrotic thinks that Luke Skywalker’s appearance in The Mandalorian may well have saved Devil Mouse Wars – but NOT the overall franchise itself:

I think he’s got a good point. The Luke Skywalker that we saw in that season finale was exactly the Luke that longtime fans had been waiting to see on-screen for NEARLY 40 YEARS – a badass warrior capable of wiping out entire legions of enemies with his lightsaber and awesome Force powers. And it probably restored a LOT of the goodwill that the Devil Mouse has lost with the godawful sequel trilogy.

With that reappearance of Jedi Master Skywalker, they may well have won back a lot of those fans – and, knowing the dumbasses who run the place, the Devil Mouse will almost certainly make a huge mess of things.

The only way to truly redeem themselves is to disown the entire sequel trilogy and sink all of the Devil Mouse Wars films straight to the bottom of the sea. They won’t do that. They’ll stop at giving fanbois some serious fanservice in the form of reappearances by longtime favourites like Luke, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, and others.


The Drinker takes a broader look at the show:


Your “Science is F***ING WEIRD” moment of the week is from The Male Brain, and is all about a new class of “2D particles”:

After decades of exploration in nature’s smallest domains, physicists have finally found evidence that anyons exist. First predicted by theorists in the early 1980s, these particle-like objects only arise in realms confined to two dimensions, and then only under certain circumstances — like at temperatures near absolute zero and in the presence of a strong magnetic field.

Physicists are excited about anyons not only because their discovery confirms decades of theoretical work, but also for practical reasons. For example: Anyons are at the heart of an effort by Microsoft to build a working quantum computer.

This year brought two solid confirmations of the quasiparticles. The first arrived in April, in a paper featured on the cover of Science, from a group of researchers at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Using an approach proposed four years ago, physicists sent an electron gas through a teeny-tiny particle collider to tease out weird behaviors — especially fractional electric charges — that only arise if anyons are around. The second confirmation came in July, when a group at Purdue University in Indiana used an experimental setup on an etched chip that screened out interactions that might obscure the anyon behavior.

MIT physicist Frank Wilczek, who predicted and named anyons in the early 1980s, credits the first paper as the discovery but says the second lets the quasiparticles shine. “It’s gorgeous work that makes the field blossom,” he says. Anyons aren’t like ordinary elementary particles; scientists will never be able to isolate one from the system where it forms. They’re quasiparticles, which means they have measurable properties like a particle — such as a location, maybe even a mass — but they’re only observable as a result of the collective behavior of other, conventional particles. (Think of the intricate geometric shapes made by group behavior in nature, such as flocks of birds flying in formation or schools of fish swimming as one.)

That is both very weird and very cool.


Your long read of the week is also from Dawn Pine, and consists of Ilana Mercer celebrating all that is good and traditional about Christmas – including kids running around shooting each other with Nerf guns:

The parenting practiced so successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Parker fails every progressive commandment. By today’s standards, the delightful, un-precocious protagonist of “A Christmas Story” would be doomed to a lifetime on the therapist’s chaise lounge—and certainly to daily doses of Ritalin, as punishment for unbridled boyishness and daydreaming in class. Yet despite his therapeutically challenged upbringing, Ralphie is a happy little boy. For progressives—for whom it has long been axiomatic that the traditional family is the source of oppression for women and children—this is inexplicable.

Perhaps the first to have conflated the values of the bourgeois family with pathological authoritarianism was philosopher Theodor Adorno. Adorno’s formulations on authoritarianism have informed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In general, the consensus among these rights’ advocates has been that the traditional family’s hierarchical structure disempowers children. The solution: Let the State destabilize the parent-child relationship via policies that would define and limit the power of the parent, while increasing the power of children and political proxies.

While America’s Founders intended for the family to be left untouched as “the major source of an orderly and free society”—Hillsdale College historian Allan Carlson’s words—politicians and jurists have decided to the contrary. What was once the economic and social backbone of American society has been inestimably weakened by both the welfare state and the Supreme Court—what with the latter’s redefinition of family and marriage, and the former’s incremental steps to trounce parents as the child’s primary socialization agent.

Culturally, the family has been demoted to what Charles Sykes once termed a “Therapeutic Family.” Having “adjusted itself to the new demands of the social contract with the Self,” wrote Sykes in A Nation of Victims, “the modern family has ceased to inculcate values.” Instead, it exists exclusively for the ostensible unleashing of “self-expression and creativity” in its members.

You know where kids still run around shooting each other with Nerf guns?

RUSSIA.

Not joking. I spent about 3 weeks during the summer staying with a young Russian family outside of Voronezh with two young boys. I have very happy memories of running around after those two scamps with Nerf guns and shooting at them. I went with them to shoot air rifles at a local fairground. The two monkeys even had a quad bike in their home – which they were perfectly happy to ride without helmets or protective gear along the dirt roads near their place. And they happily took me and my lady along as passengers when the mood took them.

That’s a country where people still actually know how to have fun and raise kids to be free. There is a lot wrong with Russia on many levels. But there is also a great deal RIGHT about it too.


Linkage is good for you:

And some more from Dawn Pine:


The Neo-Tsar plays hockey with a young boy in Moscow, which shows you that he actually does have a soft and cuddly side:

I mean, admittedly, his “soft and cuddly” side is probably a lot like hugging a pit viper, but he’s not nearly the comic book villain that most Westerners think of when they hear his name.


History lessons of the week:


Al Fadi and Alex Blagojevich from CIRA International explain the true meanings behind the “symbols and icons” of Christmas for the overly legalistic Christians among us:


Your Great Man of the Week was suggested by Dawn Pine, and is none other than the legendary Israeli General Moshe Dayan himself:


And just to keep things fair and balanced and whatnot, here’s your ABSOLUTE F***ING MORON OF THE WEEK, courtesy of James LInker from Shredded Sports Science. His name is Logan Paul – or is it Jake? – and this dumbass is writing cheques that his mouth can’t cash by calling out and insulting Conor Macgregor and Dillon Danis:

I really hope that Michael Bisping does indeed step into the ring with Jake Paul and thrash him in front of the entire world. Numbnuts like this need to be taught a really brutal lesson in the true nature of combat sports and the real skill, hard work, and tremendous warrior spirit required to become an actual fighter.


Fellow HALOniac MrUNIVAC offered up this retrospective on the HALO from The Act Man, which ranks every (main) game in the franchise from worst to best:

I do disagree with the rankings, but that’s because I play the games in Campaign mode on Heroic. I tried HALO: Reach on Legendary ONCE. And that was enough. If I were to rank the games, from best to worst, they would be as follows:

  1. HALO 3 – GREATEST. FPS. EVER. The best campaign levels (except for “Cortana”, which I HATE), the best design, the best sound style, the best balance, the best enemy AI design, the best soundtrack, the best weapons, just… the best EVERYTHING. The tank-based combat is AWESOMESAUCE. The Scarab set-pieces are simply unbelievable. You get to kill FOUR of those behemoths, and in the very first one, it’s an up-close-and-personal sort of kill. I just love this game. Everything about it is fun, wonderful, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, and amazing. The combat is genuinely white-knuckled stuff at times, and the beauty of this game is that ten players can come up with ten different ways to beat any given level.
  2. HALO 4 – This one will get me a lot of flak, but I actually love replaying this game. I especially love the vehicle combat elements and the punchy roar of the UNSC weapons. The Prometheans are annoying as F**K if you don’t know how to fight them, but once you do, they just become a minor irritant that can actually pose some serious challenges at times. You have to learn how to play this game, but once you do, you can adopt an aggressive, forward-moving, fast-paced style. The art style is a great evolution from Bungie’s style for the original games, and the graphics are actually better than H5:G‘s, which is a pretty severe indictment of how badly 343i and Microsoft botched that game.
  3. HALO: Combat Evolved (Anniversary) – This is the game that started it all. A lot of its elements are dated and repetitive and annoying by modern standards, especially the endless levels like “Truth and Reconciliation” and “The Library” and “Two Betrayals”. But there is A LOT to love about this game. It completely changed the world of FPS shooters when it came out, and I truly loved it for this. Sabre Interactive’s re-skinned graphics made the Human NPCs look really strange and they deserve a lot of stick for that – but the complete graphical overhaul of the epic level designs was extraordinarily well done and it made a great game even better to play because of the sheer grandiose scale of the redesigned ring.
  4. HALO 3: ODST – The Act Man is right about the level design and soundtrack (though I consider H3‘s soundtrack to be the best), and the way that flashbacks are used to create campaign levels is simply brilliant. There is so much to love about this game. I don’t like the fact that it’s rather short and that it doesn’t involve the MASTER (BADASS-IN-)CHIEF. But it’s still simply awesome.
  5. HALO: Reach – Bungie’s swan-song was not quite THEIR song alone, and it showed. A lot of hardcore HALOniacs hated the inclusion of armour abilities – but to me this represented a natural evolution in the game. The epic storyline with its emotionally charged yet highly satisfying conclusion was done very well. The enemy AI is tough, ruthless, and challenging to fight against. All of the levels are solidly built and feel well-mapped and executed. And the soundtrack is just the right mix of exhilarating and poignant. I don’t like some of the more irritating Covenant enemies and the balance feels way off at times, but that’s pretty deliberate – the goal was to give the player a feeling of fighting against a hard and losing battle against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy.
  6. HALO 2 (Anniversary) – No surprises here, I don’t much like this game. While the storyline, dialogue, and level-design are all top-notch, the gameplay is annoying as F**K. Even on Heroic, this is a game that feels more like a punishment than a diversion. There are so many extreme irritants – Drones with plasma pistols, Jackals with beam rifles, berserking Brutes who can kill you in a single hit, etc etc ad bloody nauseam. It’s a great game and I do like and respect it, but I absolutely HATE some of these more regressive elements. I also strongly dislike the fact that you only play as the Master Chief about half the time – and you end the game with a mission playing as The Arbiter. This IS a HALO game, but it’s not a very good one. This is the game that I least want to play in the Master Chief Collection.
  7. HALO 5: Guardians – When this game was released, I originally gave it an extremely strong review, but I put a lot of caveats into it and acknowledged that I was almost certainly being far too generous. Turns out, I definitely was. This game is AWFUL, from start to finish. The HALO elements in it are relatively few and far between. They took all of the mistakes made in HALO 2 and tripled down on them. The squad dynamics are hopeless. There is a GOOD way to create a squad-based shooter, and it’s called STAR WARS: Republic Commando. Shockingly, the lead designer for that game was hired to spearhead H5:G‘s design, but very little of SWRC’s superb gameplay mechanics showed up in H5:G. The ammo counts are stupidly low, the gameplay is annoying and extremely tedious, the enemy AI design is shit, the Promethean Knights are about 1,000x more frustrating than in H4, and my GOD but the Warden Eternal boss fights are STUPID. It’s still fun to play, at some level, because of the new Spartan Abilities and some of the new weapons systems, but NOTHING about it is “fun” to play.

Since it’s that time of year for singing and making merry, let’s have a song from Batman:


Wazzocks gonna wazzock:


Kitchen Nightmares with the Angry Scot:


Comedy hour:


Pics, guns, girls, starting with a bunch of New Year’s stuff from Dawn Pine, along with his captions:

Can confirm
That bear should write for The Agoge
I want to hear them too
The New Year will be LEGEN – wait for it! – DARY!!!
Lord I hope we’re not part of those stats…

Another friend and reader sent this one to me earlier:

Onward:

That WOULD be considerably more effective at destroying their culture, for sure.

Turns out that the God-Emperor has been tirelessly defending children from creepy old weirdos since at least 1990.

The Gretard is NOT amused by this next one:

“Here comes the Diversity…:”

“Prepare yourself to be Culturally Enriched!”

Clown World Economics:

Ah, yes, the old “No True Libertarian” canard…:

CAN. CONFIRM.

This next one offers a keen insight into Leftist, uh, “logic”:

Headlines of the week indicate that Floriduh Woman has DEFINITELY understood both the Bible and the Christmas spirit:

Your “Octopussy” moment of the week:

Your “Crime and No Punishment” moment of the week:

Your “Tax Dollars at Work” moment of the week:

Your “This is Why Vegans are Stupid and Crazy” moment of the week:

Your “Copperhead Road” moment of the week:

You know how I’ve been saying for a while now that 2021 will probably be a lot worse than 2020? Here’s why:

This is not actually a joke for Russians. I know firsthand that they DO, in fact, use vodka to rinse out their throats when they have throat infections.

Yoko “Oh-No”, indeed.

DAMN RIGHT THERE WON’T BE!!!

This next one took me a while to figure out:

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!!!

I’ll say it as many times as I have to in order to drive the point home:

There are two kinds of people – those who think that Die Hard is a Christmas movie… AND THOSE WHO ARE WRONG.

Juxtapose this next one with the AWESOMESAUCE version of the song below it:

The lyrics alone make very clear that Our Lord really liked the drumming. Indeed, I’d like to think that His Hugeness was something of an early metalhead. I mean, think about it – He walked around with long hair, whipped sinners with cords, and spoke in parables about the End Times. HE WAS A METALHEAD!

What, exactly, is “Happy Traffic”? Seems to me like a contradiction in terms.

GOD BLESS TEXAS!!!

See, ladies? We men are actually VERY simple.

Here’s another picture to help explain the concept:

Happy 'Steak & BJ Day' to all....may your luck be on the ...

That’s really all we need, girls. It’s NOT complicated.

That’s probably why you don’t want to stand in front of Falkor the Luck Dragon when he’s got the sniffles…


Your Dog of the Week is the rather odd-looking curly-coated retriever:

Curly-Coated Retriever Breed Information

Your aminules are adorkable moment of the week:

And also your some endangered species ARE NOWHERE NEAR ENDANGERED ENOUGH moment of the week, to balance things out:


Gym beasts this week are all Olympic lifters, and badass ones too:


Buakaw Beatdown of the Week:


Jesus loves knockouts:


Synthwave keeps things Christmas-y:


Before we get to the heavy stuff – our friend PG Mantel over at Men of the West discovered this gem:

Grab your bows and axes, boys, it’s time to go dragon-hunting.


Now here’s a real treat – Steve Morse, the greatest guitarist EVER, in my personal opinion, talks about the virtuosity and remarkable imagination of the man that he replaced in DEEP PURPLE:

I’ve never really understood this whole “Ritche vs Steve” argy-bargy that goes on among really old DEEP PURPLE fans. As a technician, composer, and player, there is simply no comparison between Steve’s legendary skills and Ritchie’s.

Ritchie Blackmore is very, very hard to imitate because of his incredible versatility and dexterity on the guitar, and he did (and does) have a very unusual tone and style. But he can be imitated. Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Stump, among others, can imitate him fairly well.

But I have NEVER heard anyone imitate Steve Morse even halfway decently.

Steve can do things on his guitar which pretty much nobody else can – his playing style and tone are completely unique to him.


#RazorbladeSigh

I bloody TOLD you Jesus was a metalhead!


And finally here’s your Monday Instathot – the very last one for 2020. Her name is Maria Gabriela Lobaton, age 27, originally from Venezuela and now living in Miami, Floriduh. She’s known for being an Instathot and for possibly bonking some sort of “musician” who goes by the name of “50 Cent”. (I don’t like rap music and can’t stand “gangsta” rap at all, so don’t ask me whether that’s real music – I will ALWAYS say that it is not.) She loves dogs, swimming, snorkelling, and making a big deal about her Christian faith (*eyerolls*).

That’s all for this very last Monday of the year, lads. Honestly, I wish I could tell you that 2021 will be better, but… in all likelihood, it won’t be. So put your head down, get to work, and lay the foundations for the year ahead, because it’s probably going to be a tough one.

Nonetheless, take heart and do not be afraid. We will get through whatever tests and trials await us, with God’s help and guidance. We lean on Him, because in a world built on ever-changing lies, He is the one unchanging Truth.

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5 Comments

  1. Kapios

    I thought Steve Vai and Dimebag Darrel were considered the best. I know Steve Vai writes music and was playing since the age of 7. At least that’s what he said. Plus he got mentored early on in his career. Kind of hard to beat that.

    The thots with guns are almost as good as Steve’s music and the instathot was good as well. Wasted genes, but I guess she know communism is bad.

    Reply
    • Didact

      I thought Steve Vai and Dimebag Darrel were considered the best. I know Steve Vai writes music and was playing since the age of 7. At least that’s what he said. Plus he got mentored early on in his career. Kind of hard to beat that.

      That kind of depends on your method of measuring “the best”. Dimebag was a legend, no question, and Steve Vai is amazing and can play all sorts of stuff. But there’s a real difference between looking at guitar heroes as a fan, and looking at them as a player.

      Steve Morse was voted Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Overall Guitarist” for five years in a row – by other guitarists. He won so often that after his fifth win the magazine “retired” him into their “Hall of Greats” simply because he kept winning all the time.

      Most guitarists can only play one or two “styles” of music. A very rare few, like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and a couple of others, can play multiple styles. Steve Morse is nearly unique in that he can, and does, play jazz, classical, bluegrass, country, rock, neoclassical shred, and funk – he can do anything.

      Writing as someone who used to play guitar myself – VERY VERY BADLY – I can say this: I’ve NEVER heard anyone play with Steve’s level of versatility. What he does is simply impossible to replicate. Nobody else comes close to his tone and style. I could listen to Steve Morse’s solo records on loop for hours – especially Structural Damage and Major Impacts. That latter record gives you some idea of just how good SM really is. He basically goes about copying other guitarists’ styles and sounds EXACTLY like them, while still maintaining his own unique style of playing and composition. It’s a remarkable feat of instrumental work.

      He can play almost as fast as Malmsteen without sounding boring – which is hard to do. I have huge respect for Yngwie but I can’t really listen to his work beyond a few songs.

      As for Steve Vai – I have huge respect for the man, actually. But I’ve never really warmed to his music – it just doesn’t get through to me. I bought Passion and Warfare when I was a teenager and I’ve listened to it a bare handful of times.

      Interesting fact about Vai – he was hired by Frank Zappa as a lead guitarist, but Vai himself will tell you that he was just there to add texture. Everything else was all Frank himself. Frank Zappa is possibly one of the most underrated musicians in history. What Steve Morse does with the guitar, Zappa did with entire bands and even orchestras.

      Reply
    • Dire Badger

      I first heard of Vai when I was a kid and watched ‘crossroads’ and realized that he did every bit of the playing in that movie.

      But, I am not a guitarist, I play the piano and sax, so guitarists may have a different yardstick for measuring skill… but people who can do what Vai can do impress the hell out of me.

      Reply
  2. Robert W

    Stan Lee cameo video:
    A. A full 1/3 of them I didn’t know about (Trial of the Hulk in 89? What is this??)
    B. A full 1/3 of them I didn’t remember but total recall of that moment in the movie where the scene is pulled from…on the beach in X-Men,
    C. A full 1/3 of them I could tell you blind where in the movie it is… eg Hulk and the Soda, Can I have my Shoe back, “That is Hilarious” from Doctor Strange
    D. That Defenders Trailer with Stan narrating the greatest stories…give that artistic team a medal. Outstanding.

    China Uncensored: South Korea client state of China:
    This is good to understand, thank you for including it.
    I am wary of any telegenic lady explaining politics in English using USA political terms…but I probably wouldn’t understand it using native terms.

    Star Wars:
    The Legacy of the Force was a real problem. I think I’m a bit younger than you, these came out in 2006 and I was in high school at the time. I’d just finished cobbling together a library of star wars paperbacks and reading through the end of the New Jedi Order (The Unifying Force) which is an incredible 19 book series that expertly capped the SWEU of the prequels and post-ROTJ. My now-wife was also into reading the SWEU at the time and one of our conversations was ‘how could you end the star wars story any better than this?’
    Then the SWEU Legacy of the Force is released. Aaron Allston! Karen Travis! Troy Denning! Each of these accomplished SWEU authors, a story distantly removed from the Unifying Force, so a clean canvas to work with and no messing around with the quality that came before… and then the books were terrible. She is one of those people who can read a paperback without crinkling the spine and bought the books. She was disappointed with them, and then loaned them to me to read. I read them and was sick over the trainwreck. Then she was angry with me because she couldn’t take them back to the bookstore anymore for being terrible. Turns out I am much harder on paper books than she is.

    The apex x-wing pilot/Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was deeply compelling. They gotta make that deepfake face problem go away, it was a terrible rendering of him.
    The final episode has two problems;
    Wife caught this: All the femail characters become the protectors and the only nurturing character is Mando, the man. Strange inversion.
    Mine: All the female characters are irrelevant. You can edit them out of the episode without missing anything. The screen runners are just adding tokens to slow the story down, unlike season one where every character had a purpose to that episode.

    The drinker identifying the NPC’s all over Mando2…hahahahahahaha this is so right.

    First Person Shooters:
    Do you have experience with the Batman Arkham series? The high ratio of ‘I feel like batman’ moments per minute of gameplay is exceptional.

    Reply
    • Didact

      The Legacy of the Force was a real problem. I think I’m a bit younger than you, these came out in 2006 and I was in high school at the time. I’d just finished cobbling together a library of star wars paperbacks and reading through the end of the New Jedi Order (The Unifying Force) which is an incredible 19 book series that expertly capped the SWEU of the prequels and post-ROTJ. My now-wife was also into reading the SWEU at the time and one of our conversations was ‘how could you end the star wars story any better than this?’

      Yeah, you’re a bit younger. By the time the first books in that series were released, I was finishing college and starting on my Master’s degree.

      LotF was the series that destroyed my fandom in STAR WARS, completely and irretrievably. The whole Hero’s Journey went straight out the window. You couldn’t figure out who was good and who was bad in that series. I liked Aaron Allston’s work, because I loved his writing style – he’s dead now, sadly, passed away from a heart attack at a convention – but everything else about that series was just awful.

      And Karen Traviss’s handling of Mara Jade was… I’m struggling to find a polite term. “Abominable” is perhaps the closest I can manage.

      Oddly enough, Karen Traviss did a great job with the HALO novels that she wrote. I’m given to understand that the STAR WARS: Republic Commando novels were good, so my guess is that she is very good with “Space Marine” stuff. But she’s HOPELESS with a big-picture sci-fi universe.

      Sadly, LotF wasn’t the end of that part of the saga. The Abeloth saga in the Fate of the Jedi series was, apparently, even crazier and dumber. I couldn’t bring myself to read through it, after the torture of reading through LotF. But I’m told that those books were INCREDIBLY stupid.

      The final episode has two problems;
      Wife caught this: All the femail characters become the protectors and the only nurturing character is Mando, the man. Strange inversion.
      Mine: All the female characters are irrelevant. You can edit them out of the episode without missing anything. The screen runners are just adding tokens to slow the story down, unlike season one where every character had a purpose to that episode.

      I think it’s important to remember that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are not on “our side”, not really. These guys are caught up in Current Year politics just like the rest of Lucasfilm. But, unlike Queen Karen Kennedy and others, they understand what the fans want and will happily give it to them in order to keep selling us the rest of their product.

      I couldn’t care less about The Mandalorian or anything else that Lucasfilm produces. But I am pleased to see that Luke Skywalker finally got the treatment that he always deserved as the hero and legend of the saga. I can understand very well why so many grown men were moved to tears and wept openly when Luke appeared on screen.

      Do you have experience with the Batman Arkham series? The high ratio of ‘I feel like batman’ moments per minute of gameplay is exceptional.

      Duuuuuuude… Arkham Asylum was incredible and Arkham City is possibly the best RPG game ever made. I didn’t like Arkham Origins quite so much, and I haven’t yet played Arkham Knight, but the first two games in that series were simply incredible. They got EVERYTHING right – the gameplay, the cinematics, the voice acting (Kevin Conroy! Mark Hamill!!!), the plot, the combat style, the level of difficulty… ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

      Reply

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