Historic Watch: Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan @Netflix #Japan #Samurai

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A new docuseries just dropped on Netflix this past week, and I watched all six, 45-minute (or so) episodes on Saturday. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan discusses the quest for power in 1500s Japan. It’s presented through recreations narrated by historians. As you should expect, those from the 16th century seeking to rule a nation were often cruel and selfish. Some were arguably insane. All of them, however, were master tacticians, and some of their techniques have earned the respect of modern militaries.

I read a thread on Reddit in which several people stated that they didn’t like how the show was presented. For example, when the show cuts away to the historians, “who where paid to speak like stupid 9th graders,” the video goes to black and white for dramatic effect. Another stated he “had to turn it off with all this pandering.” I find all of this criticism to be at best inaccurate and at worst dishonest. Yes, the historians made sure to present the material as dramatically as possible, but they didn’t sound like they were in high school. The black and white shots provided a clear contrast between reenactment and dialogue. It’s a nice effect. Finally, I don’t see how there was any “pandering.” Japanese honor is often romanticized, and this show doesn’t do that at all. It clearly shows how cruel, deceitful, and selfish these leaders were.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the audience approval sits at 57%. Technically, I’m in the majority, but that’s considered a bad score. But none of the commenters disputed the truth of what was presented, and that’s what matters to me. Unless you’re a true student of history (I’m not), there are a lot of interesting, significant events in history of which you’ll never scratch the surface. This series helps in that regard.

As always, YMMV.

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A Useful Meme: Apathy #meme

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I provide a helpful statement you may want to use as a response to the drivel often posted nowadays.

May be an image of text
Please ignore the unnecessary ink.

To make this easier, I’ve copied the text below so that you can simply copy and paste it. I changed the text a bit to express the idea using the least similar text possible. Can’t help it.

The Amazon River is 3,977 miles long, running through barely explored areas of the rain forest, and leaking its water through the porous limestone. The water flows into the depths of the earth, forming underground pools almost a mile below the surface. Evolution has resulted in the development of small, blind fish that have never seen the sky, sun, or surface of the earth, and thus isolated from human interaction.

These fish care more about this than I do.

Or don’t use it. I don’t care.

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A Critical PSA: Does Your Cat Worship Satan? #Caturday #Satan

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Per the hard-hitting news source, Babylon Bee, there are ways to determine whether your cat is worshiping Satan.

  • Weird slit snake eyes — Alone this isn’t a huge deal, but coupled with the other signs, it could be bad. Keep reading.
  • Sharp hidden weapons in paws — This is a telltale sign. 
  • Always lands on feet as if by witchcraft — You should be worried.
  • . . .

Keep reading here.

Cats >> dogs.

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Current Watch: Future Man @jhutch1992 @ImKeithDavid @futuremanonhulu #FutureMan

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I mentioned this past weekend that I’ve found my next streaming obsession, Resident Alien. However, that show is currently being aired, which means I can’t binge watch it. That leaves me with a hole in my viewing schedule. Well, I suspect many of you have repeatedly seen that same clip in a Hulu commercial where Abe Lincoln says he’s having the worst theater experience in his life, and Jesus thinks he’s an idiot for saying so. Some quick internet sleuthing informed me that the clip is from Future Man, so I decided I’d watch it.

I finished season one over the weekend and am about halfway through season two, which was easy to do because each episode is about 25 minutes (as opposed to 50 minutes). It was okay, but I’m still intrigued by the clip. It’s not getting better, but I’m confident it will because I learned Seth Rogan will eventually show up. (Believe it or not, I like Seth Rogan a lot.) Like Resident Alien, it’s a dramedy with a bit of science fiction. If you’re into video games (I’m not), that’s mildly relevant to the show and may make it a bit more interesting for you. If you’re into the Hunger Games, the lead is someone from that cast, Josh Hutcherson, but the supporting cast is pretty good. In fact, I love Keith David, and he plays an important role in season one. He’s worth the price of admission by himself.

Here’s a review from Looper that coincidentally hit my stream today. Google is watching me!

As always, YMMV.

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I’m a Food Critic! Again! Digiorno’s Croissant Crust Pizza @Digiorno #food #pizza

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Here I go again. I once reviewed Pringles honey mustard chips. Now, something else caught my eye. I learned that Digiorno has a croissant crust pizza, so I took to social media to express my disgust and curiosity, which were at odds. As a cat person, I knew I was going to try it, so the next day, I bought a pizza and left it in my freezer. I was thinking, “When am I ever going to eat this? On the weekends, I’m on the carnivore diet, and during the week, I workout every day and want to eat within 20 minutes of working out, so I don’t wait until I get home to eat. I’m never going to eat this!” But then, one day later, boom! Snow day! Within 24 hours, I had my opportunity, and I took it.

That was a long set up. If you’re still with me, here’s the review.

First, I’m an exceptionally picky eater, which means to survive, I can’t be a snobby eater. That is, I can’t snub a hamburger because I prefer filet mignon. I have to forgive the quality of the food . (I also have to be able to eat the same thing repeatedly without getting sick of it, but that’s not relevant here.) With that in mind, I’m perfectly happy with a Digiorno pizza. Besides, so many of you claim that oily, floppy, soggy, flappy New York pizza is the best in the world, and that stuff sucks even to me. It’s not like any of you have any place criticizing me for being more than happy with Digiorno.

Now I’ve insulted half the crowd, most of whom are spammers anyway, but if you’re still with me, here’s the verdict.

Meh.

It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just that it’s no different than their standard pizza, except that it’s got an even higher calorie count. Going forward, I think I’ll pass on that, but if you like Digiorno pizza, it’s as good as anything they make.

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The Real Reason Padme Died #StarWars

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I address a topic of much debate in the Star Wars universe. It never made sense that Padme just died, and the medical droid’s explanation was far less than satisfactory. But now we finally know that what killed her would have killed any of us.

It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

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My Next Watch: Resident Alien @AlanTudyk @ResidentAlien @SYFY #ResidentAlien #SyFy

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I’ve found my next streaming obsession. I think. The SyFy channel has a new show called Resident Alien. It stars Alan Tudyk as an alien, Harry, living in a small town in Colorado. If, like me, you’re into science fiction and so-called dramedies, this could be for you as well.

But as I’ve said before, you shouldn’t care about someone else’s opinion about a show unless you understand why they hold that opinion. I’m a Star Trek fan (duh!), and one of my favorite aspects of the show is how they examine humans from an outsider’s perspective. Humans are stupid; even the smart ones. Our emotions make us do silly things. Spock and Data are both characters that make interesting observations about how this occurs, but they also show how such a thing can be a strength. Our emotional connection to others is the essence of what makes us “social creatures,” which leads to tribal cooperation and eventually to civilization. Harry, does this very well. If this is up your alley, then this may appeal to your interests.

I wish I had a psychology degree.

One thing that’s different: Harry is definitely a bad guy. Like Vic Mackie from The Shield, he’s an anti-hero, but being largely comedic and clearly involved in a moral growth process, my guess is that the resident alien will come around to the good side. We’ll have to see, because this is a new show, and as of this moment, only four episodes have aired.

As always, YMMV.

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Fashion in Avengers: Endgame @MarvelStudios #Avengers #Endgame #MCU

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Yesterday, I mentioned that I rewatched Avengers: Endgame for the umpteenth time and addressed a ridiculous topic. Today, I want to point out something else I didn’t notice until this last viewing. Hawkeye wasn’t the only one with a strange hairdo.

Sure, I should have done something Valentine’s Day related, but when do I ever?

Okay, fine.

May be an image of 1 person

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What Was Nebula’s Crime in Avengers: Endgame? @karengillan @Russo_Brothers @MarvelStudios #MCU #Nebula #Avengers #Endgame

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Ah, Endgame. The movie that keeps on giving. To lawyers. I watched it again earlier this week, and had yet another thought. As I and many others have discussed before elsewhere, the Thanos Snap and Hulk Snap opened up a lot of legal questions. Here’s one suitable for a pedant like me.

When 2019 Nebula killed 2014 Nebula, what crime did she commit? Note: Self defense (really, defense of others) is an affirmative defense that comes into play only if a crime is committed, so it’s a valid question. She certainly killed a sentient being, so there must have been a crime to add to her litany of malfeasance (which is okay!). But what should we call it? The MCU has once again required legal analysis!

Remember. This is goofy pedantry at work. Just roll with it.

Homicide is killing a homo sapiens. Patricide is killing your father. Matricide is killing your mother. Suicide is killing yourself. Nebula didn’t really kill herself in Endgame. That was another Nebula from another reality. Also, I’m not a comics reader, but I don’t think she was ever a homo sapiens, and even if she were, she barely is one now. What kind of -cide did she commit then?

Sororicide doesn’t quite work either. She isn’t her own sister. In fact, despite what a DNA test would likely show, they aren’t even related, so even parricide (close relative) doesn’t work. Besides, even if you claim that similar DNA means they are related, parricide isn’t as precise as it could be. I demand precision!

No, we need a new term. Here are my suggestions.

  • Mirrocide
  • Clonocide
  • Robocide
  • Dimensiocide
  • Temporacide (“killing time”?)
  • Alterocide
  • Attornicide (tempting, eh?)

Okay, parricide it is, unless you’ve got a better idea. Though perhaps it’s best not to think too hard about this.

Yes, I’m a goofball.

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The Etiquette of Leaving Social Media, in Whole or in Part #Facebook #SocialMedia

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I’ve seen this and similar Facebook groups cited a lot recently: “This group is not an airport, no need to announce your departure.” I know it’s nothing new, but they’re cited even when people are very polite in their announcement.

Do you know what else you don’t need to announce?

  • What you had for dinner last night.
  • What you think of voter ID.
  • Why you bought the car you just bought (this one’s mine!).
  • Why you quit your job.
  • Whether you prefer hot or cold climates.
  • Where you’re going for vacation next month.
  • Storms: Scary or fun?
  • Whether you think you have too many keys on your keychain.
  • How great your new bed is (also mine!).
  • Why you don’t care that the person is leaving the group.

You don’t have to announce any of those things, but you do. Why? Because that’s probably the most important use of social media. Sure, except for Elvis, it would be awkward to announce your departure, whereas the rest of the list is common party fodder. That said, Facebook isn’t a party. It’s a social media platform. We’re communicating our thoughts, often to strangers and sometimes mundane, in a medium designed for that very purpose. Most of what you say means nothing to most of the people to whom you say it (even at a party of strangers), but the means to say it is a primary reason why these platforms are so popular.

I’ve only once had people do that to me, and surprisingly it wasn’t when I told everyone I was forming an exit strategy for Facebook (so far unsuccessfully). I left an XFL group and said I was giving up on the league because of a tremendous lack of integrity they showed. Officials at headquarters allowed a game to end when it shouldn’t have. The members laid into me. I laughed it off, but some take it more personally, and I thought we were all supposed to be nice to one another.

Instead of telling everyone, “Bye, Felicia,” or posting snarky animated GIFs (pronounced gif, not jif, obviously), how about you just be honest and say, “I don’t care about anyone else’s opinions but my own and those that agree with me.” Someone saying they’re leaving, and especially when they say why, can have value, but only to the open-minded. The rest may continue citing those groups. Which group are you in?

By all means, add a comment that you’re never going to read my blog again, but if you do, please tell me why.

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