Rants

Why Are Marvel’s Blu-Ray Releases So Mediocre?

These days, Marvel Studios make THE tentpole action flicks. With a combination of fun characters, good direction, solid stories, huge spectacle, and a formula that just works, they’ve created an ongoing, interwoven geek movie franchise that has every other studio scrambling to catch up. Make no mistake, I’m an unabashed fan. I don’t pretend they are classic cinema — they’re just comic book movies — but they do something important: they consistently make me feel like I’m 12 again, only without all the self-loathing and zits. From the tense drama of The Winter Soldier to the charming adventure of Ant-Man to the hilarious space adventure of Guardians of the Galaxy, I love this stuff. So do a LOT of people. Marvel movies are YUGE. Four of them…
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Donald Trump, aka the easy way to lose respect for people you like

There is no sense in trying to be diplomatic about this: If you still support Donald Trump for president in August of 2016, I have zero respect for your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. I might like you. I may enjoy being around you. I may even consider you an important part of my life. But failing the Trump Test ensures that I have absolutely zero respect for your views, your (apparantly nonexistent) critical thinking skills, and pretty much anything you have to say about anything more important than your favorite fast food French fries. Yes, I realize that by opening this way anyone who supports or who is thinking about supporting Donald Trump will not only be insulted and offended, and that I may lose the goodwill…
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John Oliver, journalism, and why the Newspaper Association of America are morons

John Oliver, the Daily Show alum who has since moved to HBO and is winning fans across the ‘Net for his self-deprecating, funny, and sometimes insightful investigative pieces, recently did a segment on journalism in America today. Most of what he discusses is old hat to those who have been in the business for a while — I remember having these discussions with colleagues more than a decade ago and spending many years struggling (and failing) to convince a former employer to move into the 21th Century — but it remains a relevant and worthwhile discussion even today. Hell, even more today than ever. The stories I hear from friends still in the business are enough to make a grown man cry. Things are only made…
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Interactive Content Services, a jackass company for jackasses staffed by jackasses

Recently saw a help wanted ad seeking an online reporter, a part-time telecommute position involving doing stuff I’ve done for, oh, the last 15 years or so. Perfect. More work is always (okay, usually) good. I could slot that work into my freelance schedule, add a little income, and stay sane in the process. I applied, providing many writing samples when I did, as requested. This is the response I got, in full, from jobs@contentservices.co: Dear Eric, Thank you for your interest in the company and for sending me your samples. You have been identified as a possible reporter candidate for our group of legal journalism websites and newspapers. As stated in the job posting, the average pay for these types of stories is $24 each. However,…
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“Why don’t Muslims protest against ISIS?” and other idiotic questions

It’s exceedingly rare that I stray into politics here, or on any public forum, for that matter — you know what they say about sleeping with dogs — but a few comments I’ve seen online the last few days have caused my knee to jerk. Need to get this out of my system. In the wake of the horrific attack in Orlando, Florida, the conversation looks much the same as it does every time there is a mass shooting. The same debate about guns. The same debate about rights. The same endless talking in circles. The same reductive, mindless repetition of the same thoughtless, meme-driven arguments by people on all sides. It’s incredibly tiresome, especially when the ground is stained with the blood of innocent…
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