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Category Archives: TV/Movies

Who You Gonna Call?

On July 15, 2016, the 3d Ghostbusters reboot will hit theaters. Directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold (writer of The Heat, writer/producer of Parks and Recreation), the film will star Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as our main characters in this all-female ghostbuster cast.  Chris Hemsworth will take on the role of their receptionist and we will see cameos by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver.

The film will follow Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) as authors of a book about the reality of ghosts in our world. After the book is published, Gilbert begins teaching at Columbia University, but is ridiculed when her book is discovered. Soon after, ghosts take over the city of Manhattan, pushing Gilbert to reach out to her writing partner. The pair team up with Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon), a nuclear engineer, and Patty Tolan (Jones), a subway employee to save the city and the world from evil.

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As you can imagine, the backlash for this movie has been brutal, and the general consensus is that it is because this is an all-female cast. I admit, I was surprised to hear that they were going in this direction, and I imagine that just about everyone else was surprised too. Of course there are going to be negative opinions when you change well-known main characters. Do you recall the outrage against casting Michael B. Jordan in the Fantastic Four reboot? How dare they cast a black person! Hell, even in 50 Shades of Grey, a terrible story about a terrible excuse for BDSM, people went apeshit over Charlie Hunnam being chosen for their twisted male sex symbol because he wasn’t the right Christian Grey. Don’t get me started on Batfleck.

The point is, people hate casting choices no matter how good the casting is. People also hate when their vision is changed, especially in a dramatic fashion. Making all four Ghostbusters into female characters and then making Thor become the receptionist is a pretty drastic departure from what we were used to. It’s bizarre, it’s out there, and it’s bold. I’m not hyped for this movie simply because the trailer didn’t appeal to me, though the newer trailer does feature some pretty creepy looking ghosts and some funnier moments. What bothers me the most about this new franchise is that I, as a female, am allowed to say that Ghostbusters looks terrible. My husband, as a male, can’t say a damn thing.

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Thanks to the collective stupidity of the masses, any man who utters a negative word about Ghostbusters is a sexist asshole who wants women to fail, who doesn’t think females are strong enough to be anything other than a supporting character, who thinks women are weak and incapable of being funny or doing anything that is “meant” for a man. Nevermind the fact that pretty much every guy I know is a fan of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, if they utter a negative thought about this movie, they are a sexist pig. And that isn’t fair.

We’re living in such a sensitive time right now when it comes to gender roles, which may have something to do with this. The transgender issues are always a hot topic, to the point where President Obama has addressed the situation as it applies to children in schools in order to protect their safety and well-being and was then criticized relentlessly for acting on something so “trivial.” The human race is forever evolving; what worked for men and women in the 1970s doesn’t work for us in 2016. Gender reassignment is a thing. A female is running for President of this country. Either sex can wear whatever the fuck they want. “Boy” and “Girl” toys at fast food restaurants are now called by the toy type rather than the gender so kids can pick whatever they want without feeling restricted. The equipment between one’s legs no longer defines them as a person. In theory anyway.

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With all the steps we’ve made towards equality, we’re still stuck in the stone ages in many different ways. Because of that, the men who are speaking negatively about Ghostbusters are catching crap for unjust reasons. Obviously if you have a guy saying “these chicks don’t deserve to star in this movie,” you can probably call him a sexist dick. But for the guys saying it doesn’t look funny? Or saying they have no interest in seeing it? Why are they not allowed to express this opinion without being accused of harboring resentment towards an entire gender? Why are we automatically assuming that all men think women are the lesser sex and will automatically fail at anything “meant for” a man?

Ladies, we are allowing ourselves to become part of the problem every time we attack a guy for an opinion that we personally view as sexist. Yes, guys can be horrible, but it’s completely unfair and sexist in itself to go on the offense when a man pops on Twitter to announce that he will not be buying a ticket to this movie in July. Just because we have a female taking a leap doesn’t mean that the leap will be successful, and people are allowed to have an opinion about that. I absolutely adore Melissa McCarthy and I think Kristen Wiig is a comedic genius, and I also think that this movie is going to be MEH at best. Is that sexist? Of course not. It’s a movie. Some are great, some are awful, and right now all we have to go off of is a few minutes of a trailer on YouTube that unfortunately fails to impress.

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Not everything is an attack. We don’t need to bring out the guns and protect our fellow women any time a creature with a penis doesn’t immediately fall in love with something a women does or says. Learn the difference between an attack on our gender and an opinion on a movie/project/political stance/etc. If we want equality between genders, we have to stop playing the victim about trivial nonsense like the negative comments about this movie and focus on things that actually matter. The next time you run across a Facebook post trashing this movie for being unfunny or a bad remake, take a deep breath, step away from the keyboard, and go read a damn book or something. It’s not as serious as you’re making it.

 

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WWE’s FastLane Match Card & Predictions

Fastlane is the last PPV on the road to WrestleMania, and is meant to play a huge part in setting up what we will see at WWE’s biggest event of the year.  Being a fairly new PPV, it has seen its share of hiccups in the past, but with Triple H our reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champ, I expect to see a big improvement from last year.  Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions.

Kickoff Show:  US Title 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match – Kalisto (c) vs Alberto Del Rio

A two out of three falls match for the US title is exactly what we need to see.  Del Rio has the obvious size advantage, plus the rest of the League Of Nations on his side.  Kalisto has speed and agility in his corner, but is still the clear underdog in this fight.  If Kalisto is to win this time, he is going to have to beat Del Rio twice, which will greatly work to prove that his victories weren’t flukes or strokes of luck.

WINNER:  Kalisto

 

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho

Styles was so well received into the WWE that the Royal Rumble match was rewritten at the last minute to keep him from being eliminated by another fan favorite.  Styles was immediately thrown into competition with veteran, Chris Jericho, and their short feud has featured constant reminders that Styles is a “rookie” as far as the WWE is concerned.  If the WWE is to have their way, us fans would forget that Styles ever had a career before January 2016.  This will likely be the last match between these two men for a long while, and will prove whether or not Styles is cut out for the “big leagues” as they keep saying.

WINNER:  AJ StylesStylesJericho

Divas Title Match – Charlotte (c) vs Brie Bella

I hate to say it, but I suspect that the only reason Brie is getting a title shot right now Is because Daniel Bryan retired and Creative is trying to use that to put her over and make Charlotte into the ultimate villain.  She hasn’t been a part of the title scene and has shown no interest in the title until a few days ago.  I’m disappointed in this decision, and even moreso in the decision to have Ric Flair present at Charlotte’s side for every step.

WINNER:  Charlotte

 

Intercontinental Title Match – Kevin Owens (c) vs Dolph Ziggler

I was thrilled to see Owens win back the IC title.  I love Dean Ambrose, but he obviously has other things on his plate, so losing the title actually works to help him right now.  Owens and Ziggler are two of the best the WWE currently has, and Owens is the greatest, most well-rounded heel we’ve seen in a long time.  This match will say a lot about what we will see at WrestleMania, so I’m curious to see whether or not we have other IC title hopefuls come out to the ring during the fight.

WINNER:  Kevin Owens

 

Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs Naomi and Tamina

If we’re being honest, we all have to admit that Sasha Banks deserved the title shot tonight.  She’s dominant, fearless, confident, and the crowd loves her.  She can carry any match single handedly and has busted her ass to get where she is.  I am glad to see her and Lynch teaming up, and I hope putting them against Naomi and Tamina puts this childish feud to rest.  Having the divas fight like middle school girls isn’t doing them any favors.

WINNERS:   Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch

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The Wyatt Family vs Kane, Big Show & Ryback

This marks Big Show’s 85,674,275th heel/face turn, if my math is correct.  This is basically giants versus giants for no other reason than it looks fantastic to see men pushing seven feet tall flying around the ring.  Ryback has recently gotten a bit of a makeover, which unfortunately resulted in the Goldberg chants making a comeback.  To be honest, I’m not sure what this match has to do with what is coming at WrestleMania, but I’m eager to find out.

WINNERS:  The Wyatt Family

 

WWE World Heavyweight Title #1 Contender’s Match – Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose

Three fan favorites in one match.  I know WWE wants us all to back Roman Reigns 110% and to back him over all others, but that isn’t reality.  Ambrose and Lesnar are equally, if not more, popular than Cena 2.0 and have even more to gain with a victory tonight.  Ambrose has been teasing a turn lately, so I definitely expect to see Reigns and Ambrose turn on each other and break up the brotherhood.  Reigns would have more to gain as a heel, especially if he has a mouthpiece to help him out with his promos.  Lesnar is obviously going to dominate this match, so the main focus will be about what happens with Reigns and Ambrose.  The two definitely need to square off, and it would be a perfect WrestleMania match.  Having them broken will make Rollins’ return even more interesting.

WINNER:  Brock Lesnar

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Roasting Bieber

On March 30th, Comedy Central will air the roast of Justin Bieber, which occurred last weekend.  Kevin Hart served as roast master with a dais including Ludacris, Jeff Ross, Martha Stewart, Hannibal Buress, Chris D’Elia, Natasha Leggero, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, and more.  The bright spot of the whole night will likely be Jeff Ross, who is already taking heat over a joke about the late Paul Walker.  Bieber said he didn’t like the joke, so I plan on finding it the funniest thing in the world.  Or at least I would, if I was watching.

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This will be the first roast I’ve skipped since finding out they existed.  It was always my understanding that a roast should be an honor to the individual on the receiving end of the sharp jokes and insult comedy.  The jokes usually end with honest praise and thanks for their work, friendship, and so on.  Comedy Central has roasted some fantastic people in the past, people who have contributed much to their fields and who are beloved by their fans.  How Bieber fits into this is a mystery to me.

Bieber has smashed into everything under the sun with his car, egged homes, pissed in public, and acted like a total asshole.  He’s been charges with reckless driving, vandalism, DUI and assault.  He had drugs found on his tour bus.  A timeline can be found here.  He’s behaved like a punk child, literally pissing away his former cute singing kid next door image.  I don’t care what excuses he or anyone can come up with, there’s no reason for anyone to have as much legal issues at his age.  There’s no reason to behave like an animal.  The guy is an idiot.

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I fail to see how Justin Bieber is someone worth roasting.  Yes, I know people complained about Larry The Cable Guy, but he and the rest of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour were on fire at the time, and still are for a lot of people.  James Franco was called “just a stoner,” but he’s not only acted in, but had a hand in creating some amazing movies.  Bieber invites all sorts of criticism with his piss poor behavior.  But does that make him worthy of a roast?  It feels like a waste of time and effort.  Out of all the people who were in attendance at the event, how many of them do you think actually give a damn about this kid?  Chris D’Elia said it best:  “Why are you here?  This is a terrible idea.”

This entire thing feels like a carefully crafted way to get people to like Justin again.  At the end of the roast, he apologized for his godawful behavior.  Sitting through the roast was the perfect way to show people that he is capable of laughing at himself and is a well-rounded, humorous individual.  Allowing us to make fun of him right to his face was a way to show character and personal growth.  I don’t know if anyone will fall for it or not, but he was almost immediately invited to be a guest on Ellen afterwards to discuss the roast and make people uncomfortable by flirting with Madonna.

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While on Ellen, he said “I’m sorry for the stuff that I’ve done.  I’m not searching for people’s approval but I just want people to know that that’s not me and I was doing stuff that wasn’t me. A lot of times we pretend so that we can fit in and then we end up looking like a … and that was kind of me.  I really just didn’t know how to handle it. It went to my head and I had to let people pull me down for me to see the truth and to see how much of a jerk I was being. Now I just want people to know that this is me. I’m just a genuine person who has fun. I just wasn’t trying to be a jerk.”

It has already begun.  I feel as if this roast was simply a marketing ploy, a PR event held in an unconventional way.  It took the roast, one of my favorite comedic mediums, and cheapened it into something I want no part of.  It wasted the time of some great comedians and it will waste even more time once it airs on television.  Hell, I’ve wasted more time on it than I should have writing this over the last ten minutes.  Hopefully this was a one off occurrence and we quickly return to roasting those who are actually worth a damn.

Be A Part Of FaceToHeel

I am a senior writer for FaceToHeel.com, a newly launched site that covers all things wrestling.  Over the past couple months, we’ve covered some amazing topics, met some great people via Twitter at @facetoheel, and learned a hell of a lot along the way.  We’ve live tweeted PPVs, posted instant feedback after matches, and have found new ways of looking at the business of wrestling entertainment.  Little by little, we are growing and expanding in our efforts to cover and discuss more about what is going on currently, what’s happened in the past, and what the future might bring.

In an effort to get to know our readers better, I have a challenge for all of you.  When a wrestler debuts, there are a couple of things that can immediately determine their success; what they are wearing and what music they walk out to.  I’m not all that interested in fashion at the moment, but I have always been fascinated at how a song can influence the way the audience views a wrestler.  Just like we tend to judge people based on the music they listen to, we judge a wrestler by the music they enter the arena to.  WWE’s Dean Ambrose becomes even more unstable and manic, Jack Swagger turns into the ultimate patriot, Adam Rose is a wacky joke, and The Miz is a conceited prick.  TNA’s Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the ultimate drama queens, Mr. Anderson is a man on a mission, and Chris Melendez is an American hero.

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Eventually, certain songs become iconic.  The car crash before Mick Foley’s song hits, the breaking glass signaling the entrance of Stone Cold, the ringing of the bells welcoming Undertaker; we all instantly and almost uncontrollably react.  When Real American starts to play, thousands of fans promise to take their vitamins as they cheer for Hulk Hogan.  If CM Punk’s opening riff ever rings out again, half of the world will entirely lose their minds.  We may not always realize it, but entrance music is vital to a wrestler’s success and their lasting power.

On that note, have you ever thought about what your entrance music would be?  Imagine you’re about to debut on Impact Wrestling or on Monday Night Raw.  You’re in your full gear and ready to go.  You stretch a bit, staring ahead at the curtain, just waiting to break through into that massive arena filled with screaming fans.  Finally, you hear your music hit.  What song would it be?

If you have a great answer and you would like to be featured in a FaceToHeel.com article, please contact me immediately at cutelypoisoned@gmail.com or on Twitter at @_CutePoison.  Your answer will be used in an upcoming article and you will be credited by your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, or another social media outlet of your choosing.  Depending on the response, there is an opportunity for the best answer to get their own feature article.  Please reach out as soon as possible for details and questions.  We at F2H have been doing a lot of talking lately; now it’s your turn to speak!

Bleeding Out

If you have yet to finish the True Blood series, close this window now and step away from your computer.  If you watched the finale last night along with me, read on.  The seventh season of True Blood came to a close last night, ending the series and bidding farewell to a cast of characters I had mostly come to love.  One thing I enjoyed during seasons 1 through 6 was the constant cliffhanger endings.  My husband and I would find ourselves binge watching because the episode endings were so good and left so many unanswered questions that we just had to watch one more.  And one more.  Season 7 seemed to forget that this was a good idea.  They seemed to forget a lot of things.

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In the very first episode, Tara dies during the battle with the Hep V vampires.  Arlene, Holly and Nicole are kidnapped.  Eric is still missing.  Sam’s secret is revealed.  It was one hell of a start to what I thought was going to be a great season.  When Pam finally finds Eric, we see that he is infected with Hep V and near death.  As one of my favorite characters, I was devastated to see this.  I was even more devastated when Alcide is suddenly shot and killed.  And even more again when Bill finds himself infected with Hep V that, due to Sookie’s fairy blood, is accelerated and killing him quickly.  The small but vocal doctor Eric uses for emergencies comes to aid Bill but panics when she realizes that Sookie’s fairy blood is royal and flees without assisting.  We never learn why she was alarmed, which is frustrating.

Seeing as how two very important characters are dying of Hep V, I felt confident that a cure would be found.  And it was; Sarah Newlin drank an entire vile of the cure back at the compound where Hep V was created, making her blood the one thing that could cure Bill and Eric.  The Yakanomo Corporation decides to synthesize her blood and make “New Blood,” a drink similar to Tru Blood that would work to hold the Hep V symptoms at bay without curing the vampire completely.  Supply and demand and all that.  They force Eric and Pam to work with them, which seems silly seeing as how Eric is a thousand year old cured vampire who could kill these humans in a millisecond if he wants to.

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Sookie being Sookie is able to discover that Sarah is the cure and is being held in the Fangtasia dungeon.  She gets a group together and breaks in so Bill can be cured.  But Bill, worried that his darkness will keep Sookie from being happy, refuses the cure and says he wishes to die.  Naturally everyone is pissed, but we still have this final episode for him to change his mind.  We’ve already seen Lettie Mae resolve her battle in bidding farewell to Tara through vamp blood hallucinations, so she is absent from the finale.  As is Lafayette, one of the best characters this show has to offer.  We get a heavy dose of Jessica and Hoyt, who are holding a marriage ceremony so Bill is able to give her away at the altar.  I get that it was meant to be seen as one of Bill’s dying wishes, but I don’t see why we had to dedicate so much time to this couple.  Bill also makes Andy, his last living relative, promise that he will allow the newlyweds to live in his house basically rent free.  It was a sweet gesture and overall a sweet wedding, but it wasted too much of the episode.

The story that deserved a lot of attention was given nearly none at all.  Pam tags Sarah with her blood and lets her flee, able to track her easily due to her constant fear.  Eric and Pam then reveal to Gus Jr and the yakuza thugs that they let Sarah go.  Gus Jr takes off after Sarah, and Eric and Pam kill them all in about five seconds.  It was painfully simple and wrapped up a main story as if it was nothing.  It left me wondering why the hell they didn’t do this as soon as Gus Jr revealed that they were able to synthesize a version of Sarah’s blood.  They were no longer needed by then, yet Eric allowed them to get in his way for what seemed like forever.  It made no sense.

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One surprise was Sookie being able to read Bill’s thoughts during the wedding.  Fairies are unable to read vampire thoughts, so this was a new one.  My thinking was that fairy blood mixed with Hep V was somehow making Bill human again.  Instead of dying from the virus, he would become mortal once again, able to give Sookie what she deserved in a human lover rather than one that is dead and filled with darkness.  But no, I was wrong.  Or was I?  We’ll never find out because Bill insisted he die in his burial plot at the hands of Sookie.  Not willing to part with her light, she staked Bill as he lay in his coffin, reducing him to a steaming pile of goo.  Seven years, fans have watched these two go back and forth, and this is the ending they are given?  None of it felt right.  It was quite possibly the worst way to say farewell to Bill.

Afterwards, Sookie walks home in tears and covered in pieces of Bill.  We then get that “one year later,” “four years later” nonsense so we can see where everyone has gone from here.  We thankfully get more Eric and Pam, who are filming informercials for New Blood and raking in dough.  They still have Sarah chained in the Fangtasia dungeon and are charging a hundred grand a pop for her blood.  It was a perfect ending for those two, but the entire finale was too light on them.  We needed more Eric and Pam.  We always do.  Their story was the only good part of the entire farewell.  We see Sookie and Jason hosting a Thanksgiving dinner.  Jason is married to Hoyt’s ex, Brigette, and has three kids in tow.  We get the smallest glimpse of Lafayette and James.  Sookie is very pregnant and her faceless husband sits at the head of the table.  Sam makes a return with his wife and now two children.  Everyone is happy happy.

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I don’t feel satisfied with the series end.  I found it silly that Jessica married Hoyt at all, seeing as how eager she was to get away from him before.  It also seemed odd because she had only recently reconnected with Jason, then forgot all about him and went to Hoyt.  Jason and Hoyt basically swapped lovers and both found true happiness.  Everyone seems to have found true happiness in another person; the entire table at the end was a parade of happy couples.  Even Pam and Eric, although not a traditional couple, have found happiness together.  I like a happy ending as much as the next person, but I can’t help but feel cheated by it all.  I also can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Bill was left alone and found that the mutated virus restored his humanity.  Overall, I could have done without this entire season.  If you watched, please leave your opinion and feedback in the comments.  I need to know that I’m not the only one left feeling empty after last night.

Spidey

My husband and I caught The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in theaters on the Saturday after it opened and we were both incredibly happy with just about every part of the film, including the shock at the end.  A week later, I read an article on Cracked.com that tore down everything I loved about the movie, took a dump on it, and then set it on fire.  Financially, it’s not as successful as other superhero films, but it’s still raking in millions upon millions.  Critically, it’s catching hell from fans and critics alike, with an average rating of about 5 out of 10.  The few people I personally know who have seen it don’t have many positive things to say about it.  It seems as though I’m among the very small minority who disagrees with the points made by Cracked.com.

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Point #1:  “It’s a bizarre homage to the worst Batman movie.”

Apparently the Green Goblin and Poison Ivy are the same person, if the writers at Cracked are to be believed.  Jamie Foxx’s Electro was also too similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze for the Cracked staff, who were unimpressed with two characters who “gained elemental powers in accidents involving their own scientific research.”  And, like many people, they did not understand why Paul Giamatti appeared as villain Rhino.

I thought Harry Osborn’s transformation into the Green Goblin was perfect.  He was wrecked, but not overdone, making him look more menacing than I thought possible.  To compare him to Batman’s bright redheaded Poison Ivy is simply stupid.  As is the Electro/Mr. Freeze comparison.  Spider-Man 2 wasn’t written on a whim, it is based on the comics.  It’s silly to fault the movie for being similar to another when the characters in question are pulled from comics that have existed for years.  As far as Rhino goes, I do understand how some could be confused.  Not familiar with the comics myself, I had to have my husband explain the Sinister Six to me.  But even not knowing that, I found it painfully obvious that the introduction of Rhino was done with the sole intent to set up future films.  It made perfect sense to give the fans a few hints of what is coming in the next movie or two.  You know, like virtually every other superhero movie is doing nowadays.

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Point #2:  “The costume design stepped backward.”

Again, Cracked took a stab at Green Goblin, saying he resembled “a bionic Evil Ed from the 1980s vampire flick Fright Night.”  They were also unimpressed with the changes to Spider-Man’s suit.  The eyes on the mask have enlarged and are bright white, which stays true to the Ultimate Spider-Man comics but differs from the first film in this reboot.  The logo on the chest was tweaked and made to look similar to Sam Raimi’s design; it was meant as an homage to Raimi.  The color is a bit darker and richer.  He has a belt.  Belts are the worst.

To be quite honest, I didn’t even notice the changes to Spidey’s costume until reading that article.  I saw nothing wrong with the design whatsoever and was not put off by the fact that the costume changed without explanation.  The story wasn’t affected one way or the other by what shade of blue was used in the suit and I wasn’t put off by not knowing why Peter decided to change.  The belt makes sense, as it’s in the comics and gives Spider-Man a place to store extra webbing.  As far as Green Goblin goes, I’m not familiar with the character in Fright Night that Cracked compared him to, but I found his transformation to be fantastic.  Dane Dehaan proved in Chronical that he can go from sweet to scary at the drop of a hat, and his shift from Harry into the Goblin was on point.

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Point #3:  “The return of the “hip 1990s soundtrack” trend.”

According to Cracked, the days of top 40 songs meshing with superhero movies are over.  Batman Forever’s soundtrack, which was always a favorite of mine, gave us Kiss From A Rose by Seal.  Batman and Robin featured R. Kelly’s song about Gotham City.  The Cracked writers point out that this trend ended with 2002’s Spider-Man, after Nickelback and Macy Gray failed to find success with their soundtrack contributions.  For Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hans Zimmer put together “The Magnificent Six,” which consists of Pharell Williams, Michael Einziger, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynzki, Johnny Marr, and Steve Mazzaro.  One of their most notable contributions was the hard dubstep that played while Electro was on-screen, featuring narrations of the actions to the beat of the music.  Cracked did not approve.

I am going to buy this soundtrack.  I might buy two copies.  Electro is a powerful character, of that there is no doubt.  Having hard electronica playing while he attacks Spider-Man and the city was brilliant.  Having the narration, which to me was what was going on in his mind as he made the shift from reluctant victim of circumstance to a super villain, was a genius move.  I left the theater commenting on how whoever was in charge of the soundtrack and sound editing should win all the awards.  I stand by that.  The soundtrack made the movie so much more than it was by itself.

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Point #4:  “The plot was basically Spider-Man 3.”

Spider-Man 3 had three super villains with coincidental connections to Peter prior to their origins, a breakup between Peter and Mary-Jane, new revelations concerning Uncle Ben’s death, the introduction of Gwen Stacy, and an alien parasite that changes Peter’s behavior.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had three super villains with connections to Peter prior to their origins, a breakup between Peter and Gwen, new revelations concerning Peter’s parents’ deaths, and the introduction of Felicia Hardy.  Same movie, according to Cracked.

I feel as if no one understood that this is A MOVIE BASED ON A COMIC.  A movie based on existing material in a universe where taking all sorts of creative liberties is frowned upon.  A movie that is rebooting a movie series we just saw ten years ago.  Of course there are going to be similarities.  Of course the story is going to be repetitive when compared to another movie that was trying to tell the same damn story.  I don’t know what the hell they expected.  A Gwen and Peter wedding?  A rewrite of villain back stories so there is no connection to Peter?  Mary Jane?!?

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This was a fun and exciting movie that allowed me to escape the real world for 2 1/2 hours and leave the theater with a smile on my face.  It successfully told the story of how Harry fell out with old friend, Peter, becoming his enemy and desiring revenge.  It successfully told the story of Gwen and Peter, which ultimately had to end because of what has already been written about Peter’s love life.  It successfully gave us the rise and fall of Electro, who Foxx turned into quite the dynamic character.  It successfully set up future films.  If you want to sit and nitpick at a movie based on a dude who got superpowers from a spider, have at it.  Personally, I find it much more satisfying to simply shut my mouth and enjoy the ride.

Do You Mind?

Over the weekend, my mother-in-law took our boy on a little getaway with her to visit family, take a trip to the zoo, and have some fun outdoors before the crazy mid-west weather decides to try to give us snow again.  Since my husband and I don’t exactly get these breaks often, we took full advantage and hit the movie theaters, followed by some free Redbox movies, thanks to their mailing list that I highly recommend signing up for unless you don’t enjoy getting things at no cost.  Friday night was a local theater night, where we watched the latest film from WWE Studios, Oculus.  Saturday gave us Captain America:  The Winter Soldier, followed by dinner at a restaurant we used to practically live at.  Redbox gifted us with The Wolf of Wall St and American Hustle, two we sadly missed in the theaters.  Amazing movies; I was happy with all four but I am seriously burnt out on watching anything over an hour for quite some time.

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This brings me to a topic I’ve talked about many times before:  rude people in movie theaters.  For a movie like Oculus, where the viewer knows to expect many tense moments and frequent scenes where silence is used to build tension, it’s an unspoken rule to keep quiet and save the rustling of popcorn and opening of candy for scenes where the music hits loud or people are screaming.  Suspense is easily killed when you have people adding giggles, shaking of ice, or other noises to the movie soundtrack during moments you are meant to be on the edge of your seat.  The girl behind us who thought it was OMG HILARIOUS to burp like a frat boy certainly didn’t help, but she thankfully quit after I gave her the I-Wish-I-Could-Kill-You-With-This-Look stare.

The worst offender in Oculus did none of those things though.  It was an incredibly sick person.  The kind of sick where their sniffles sound like they’re drowning, where their coughs sound like a death rattle, and where they cannot control their bodily functions and obviously cannot stay quiet.  If you’re sick to the point where your brain is leaking out of the holes in your face, stay home.  The argument for going to work while sick can be made if you are one with no sick leave and bills piling up, but there is no excuse whatsoever for going to a movie theater when you are sick as a dog and sound like the Before part of a Nyquil commercial.  You not only kill parts of the movie for people who paid to be there, you run the risk of getting everyone around you sick.  I’m hoping that my husband and I did manage to escape without contracting tuberculosis, but it’s too soon to tell.  Please, if you’re sick, keep your movie night at home.

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During Captain America, things weren’t as bad as far as the typical complaints; I heard no loud popcorn eating and saw no cell phone usage.  Having arrived exactly on time, seating was fairly packed so we were close to the front and almost at the end of a row.  We were hoping to get lucky and not be too close to anyone, but sadly for us, a couple sat directly behind us halfway through the previews, followed by a mother with her two children.  The mother took what felt like ages to get settled in, rustling her bags and giving instructions to the young boy and older female she brought with her.  This was one of the few times I was grateful for the 25 minutes of previews that AMC shows, as it gave the lady plenty of time to settle in and shut up.

Did I say settle in?  Scratch that, I meant the total opposite.  First, her son decided to get very vocal about his displeasure; he began loudly whining while she did the bare minimum to calm him.  I don’t fault the kid at all for this; some children don’t want to quietly sit through a movie and are better suited for home viewings only.  Some children have zero interest in movies if they aren’t cartoons.  Any good parent should know what kind of child they have and adjust accordingly.  My son would get antsy sitting through Captain America, so bringing him along was never an option.  We’ll save it for DVD, where he can watch as he bounces around his room and takes as many bathroom breaks as he pleases.  Thankfully for the little boy, the other female was able to step in and assist; I believe she removed him from the theater, as I didn’t hear another peep once she took action.

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I should clarify.  I didn’t hear another peep from HIM.  The woman was a whole other story.  If I properly describe her, it’ll sound as if I’m describing a scene from a slightly racist comedy, featuring a “typical” black woman at a movie theater.  She was a walking stereotype and that is unfortunately the best way to describe her.  She kept busy saying “I know that’s right!” any time something positive happened for any of the main characters, and especially when Samuel L Jackson was on screen.  There is one scene where [not a spoiler] Captain American lands in a body of water that is definitely not an ocean.  She felt the need to say “Oh, Steve, didn’t you spend enough time in the ocean?” as he entered the water.  Poor Steve definitely got his fill of unsolicited advice, as she consistently told Steve to be careful, watch out, and so on during the ENTIRE MOVIE.  In a normal, conversational tone.  Because if she whispered, Steve couldn’t hear her.  I guess.

The couple behind us, who I initially thought would be basically invisible, are the kind of people who will eventually cause me to snap and become a headline on the evening news as the “Crazed Woman” who slaps a fellow moviegoer.  The male apparently had zero idea what was going on, so the female decided that the best time to explain it was during the movie.  “No, SHIELD is doing ______,” “Yes, he knew him from _____,” going on for entire scenes and explaining things that the most basic fan should know.  And if you don’t, maybe don’t come see the movie in the theater.  Watch it at home where you can pause and have all your questions answered.  Hell, you can even hop on Google and look things up until you know more than the average raging superfan.  The commentary is best saved for after the movie.  Sometimes the post-movie discussion with my husband is my favorite part of the whole outing.

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Movies are expensive.  $15 – $25 for a pair of tickets, depending on the theater and added costs for 3D showings.  $20 – $30 for concessions, depending on how hungry and thirsty you happen to be.  Movies are time consuming.  Over two hours in the theater, plus the drive there and back, which was an hour round trip for us on Saturday.  No one wants to spend all that time and money only to have their experience ruined by other people.  No one should spend all that time and money only to ignore the movie in favor of conversation, updating Facebook, or any other activity other than watching the movie you paid to see.  If you’re unhappy sitting in the theater, LEAVE.  I’ve never seen anyone turned down for a voucher for a different movie if they have a valid complaint; it’s easier for management to give you a free pass instead of argue and possibly alienate a customer.  We all deserve to have a decent experience.  So let’s make a tiny bit of effort and ensure that we all can.

New Year, New Stuff

2013 was a hell of a year.  As with every passing year, I am happy to close the book on this one and begin anew with 2014.  Even though it’s just a symbolic closing of one door and opening of another, I like to think that we can use it as a way to put the BS behind us and move forward into something positive.  There are things I am hoping to see more of in the new year, as well as quite a few things I am wishing into oblivion.  This is a very abbreviated list.

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Things I want more of in 2014…

Recently, I’ve not only been paid royalties for my Kindle ebooks (under a pen name), but I’ve also been making money with this blog.  With the ability to host ads, the new traffic, and the offers I’ve received, I was paid quite a nice amount just in December alone.  WordAds, hosted by WordPress, will hopefully pay me out next month.  Getting paid to write has always been a dream of mine, and it seems to finally be happening for me.  I want this to go to the next level in the new year.

More and more states are taking steps to make marriage an equal right for both gay and straight couples.  Two consenting adults in love should be allowed to marry, and thankfully more states are recognizing that and doing something about it.  There’s still a way to go, but I hope to see this continue on into the new year, and keep on going until the entire country makes the change.  I want my child to enter adulthood in a different world than the one I entered into.

My husband and I have been taking a lot of mini-vacations lately.  Whether it’s staying overnight in Indianapolis or leaving the state for a day or two, we seem to have entered a somewhat adventurous state, eager to explore new areas and experience new things.  It’s been incredibly fun and rewarding, and I want us to be able to continue on and explore many new places together.

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You know how any idiot can get YouTube famous?  Now with apps like Vine, shows like Tosh.O, and other outlets, people can get their 15 minutes of fame pretty damn easily.  But keeping it is a whole other story.  The desire to hold on to the little bit of fame has forced people to get creative.  Acting stupid on camera will get you noticed, but then what?  You either make something happen or you fade away.  I’ve seen some incredibly clever things on YouTube, Vine, Pheed, etc. lately and I love the efforts people are making.

Most restaurants have been on point as far as listing their calorie counts for their various dishes.  I absolutely love this.  It allows me to plan my outings and avoid dishes that contain a days worth of calories on a single plate.  I do hope that this trend continues and goes to the next level to list calories in mixed drinks (I know it’s not possible for everything, but I’ve seen it done and I think consumers deserve it).

Did you see the series finale of Breaking Bad?  I’m not going to ruin it for you if you haven’t, but if you have, you know how amazing it was and how the powers behind that show truly stepped up their game to give the audience something spectacular.  They put the work in and it paid off more than anyone could have expected.  We need more of that:  quality television shows put together painstakingly by brilliant minds and performed by brilliant actors.

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Things I want less of in 2014…

There seems to be a new diet pill, trend, or trick every couple of weeks.  Exciting new herbs and extracts, weird machines, body wraps, and god knows what else, all promising to burn fat like magic.  There is no magic, obviously.  I want less “easy fix” nonsense and more research.  I know that certain vitamins and herbs CAN help with weight loss.  I want information on what works and the truth on how effective it is.  No more “results not typical” in fine print.  Be honest about your products.

Miley Cyrus.  Just everything Miley.  I’m bored with her antics, tired of seeing her lick household items while gyrating in a barely there outfit, and simply over the desperate cries for attention.  What’s wrong with being noticed because you’re a talented musician?  Any idiot can flash their ass to a camera, and I’m done seeing Miley’s.

The final book in the Twilight series was made into two movies.  The Hobbit is somehow being stretched into three.  I believe the Hunger Games movies will also break the final book into two films.  Having read The Hobbit and all of the Twilight, I feel confident in saying that dragging them out into multiple films was not necessary.  Yes, they are out to make money, but I prefer quality over quantity.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d rather see one amazing movie instead of two or three drawn out films.

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Not everyone will get along with and accept everyone else in their community.  We butt heads, disagree, and dislike people for no good reason.  Unfortunately, with the internet being at our fingertips 24/7, people can disagree with a wider variety of others, plus they can spread their ignorance like wildfire.  I hate that stupid people can hide behind the anonymity of online postings and tear down others for no reason.  Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet, and I hope they can learn to do just that.

I hate stupid questions.  Hate them with a passion.  I hate being asked the same stupid question over and over again by a person expecting a different answer if they annoy me enough.  Don’t ask me if my boss is in the shitter (news flash:  he doesn’t tell me when he’s going there and I wouldn’t want to know anyway), don’t ask me to find a single person in a building of thousands (I don’t have a directory, no matter how many times you ask), and don’t ask me things that even a five year old would be ashamed to put into words.

I’m not sure when it started, but we are currently deep into a very bad habit of shortening names and words into silly abbreviations.  Whether it’s to sound hip or to report on news stories quicker, it seems like anything that can be abbreviated will be.  (Kanye West + Kim Kardashian = Kimye)  (National Geographic’s television channel = NatGeo)  (Robert Pattinson = RPatz)  It’s lazy and annoying.  Please stop.

Hell In A Cell. Kind Of.

Hell In A Cell aired last night, WWE’s second Pay Per View of the month of October.  After two previous lackluster events, I had high hopes for this PPV and expected to be blown away.  WWE owed the fans that much after giving us two of the worst PPV events that I’ve ever seen.  The scheduled preshow was going to be Big E Langston against Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship, but was changed due to an injury suffered by Axel; unsure if this is legit or storyline.  Instead, we got Damien Sandow versus Kofi Kingston.  The match was about ten minutes long and was pretty solid, giving fans high hopes for a great PPV.  Sandow won over Kofi and made me expect to see him cash in his Money In The Bank contract later on in the night.  (All photos are courtesy of Bleacher Report)

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The PPV began with a triple threat match for the Tag Team Championship.  Reigning champs Cody Rhodes and Goldust went up against The Usos and two members of the Shield, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.  As a triple threat match, I had expected to see three men in the ring at all times.  Instead, it was one on one with competitors able to tag in members of other teams if they so chose.  I was let down by that, but the six men put on a hell of a show.  I was jumping off the couch at some points when it looked like the Shield and the Usos were close to victory.  At the end, Cody hit Rollins with a beautiful Cross Rhodes and scored a victory.  This was without a doubt my favorite match of the evening.

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Next up, The Miz came out to run a promo regarding the attack on him by the Wyatt Family.  Miz dared Bray Wyatt to come at him and Wyatt responded by sending Luke Harper and Eric Rowan out into the ring.  I was a bit confused as to why this made the PPV until Kane’s music hit, fire flared, and the big red monster made his return.  Kane threw the two Wyatt family giants out of the ring to save Miz, but then surprised Miz with a chokeslam.  Kane is back with a vengeance and it seems that he is returning to his heel status.  Very happy to see him back.

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Following Kane’s return, we get a tag team match between The Great Khali and Natalya versus Fandango and Summer Rae.  On a PPV.  Fantastic.  This match belongs on Smackdown, or as a preshow match; it is ridiculous to put this on a PPV, although it is great for Summer to have her in-ring debut on Hell In A Cell.  Other than the silver lining for Summer, this match was garbage.  Natalya was the only redeeming part of this, as she is an incredible talent and put Summer through the ringer.  However, in spite of her efforts, the scrawny Summer pinned her for the win.  What.  A.  Waste.  I’m incredibly tired of seeing these kind of matches, where a tiny girl does the impossible for a win.  It takes credibility out of an already weak Diva’s division.

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After that nonsense match, Big E Langston got a match against United States Champion Dean Ambrose in a championship match.  This was a pretty solid match and I’m really starting to get behind Big E.  The competitors got very physical and Big E suffered a cut underneath his eye.  Ambrose definitely made him work during this match, but it was clear that there was no way he could cleanly defeat the big man.  Unfortunately, in what is becoming a typical Shield move, Ambrose allowed himself to be counted out and Big E picked up the victory, but not the title.  I would like to see this revisited and have Big E get a second swing at the title.  He’d make a great champ, especially with his recent face turn, and it’s high time that Ambrose drops the title to someone else.

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Finally, it is time for our first Hell In A Cell match; CM Punk versus Ryback and Paul Heyman.  Heyman was carried to the ring on a left, driven by someone who must have never driven a left in his life.  Heyman was placed on top of the cell, making the handicap match into a one on one between Ryback and Punk.  The match started out strong, but quickly became very tedious and almost boring, which is unusual for a match involving Punk.  We had tables, we had kendo sticks, and we had an abrupt ending with Punk picking up the victory.  Punk then got on top of the cage to seek revenge on Heyman.  My husband and I were waiting for Heyman to be slammed through the cage (wishful thinking), but it was a solid beat down even without that little extra.  Overall, it was weak and very disappointing.

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Next up we have Los Matadores versus The Real Americans; Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro with Zeb Colter.  The second match in the PPV that belonged on Raw, Smackdown, or in the preshow.  The Matadores and their little Torito are a cute gimmick, but I hardly see how they are PPV worthy.  I found it very difficult to get into this match at all because I was so annoyed that creative decided to put this in the PPV.  The Matadores picked up a win and no one really cared either way.  I’m glad that Primo and Epico have found success in their new bullfighting characters, but this was just a silly match to have.  No one cares about this rivalry and the most interesting thing is seeing how racist Colter can get.  At least the Matadores finally got rid of those horrible bright pink masks.

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Following the bullfighters, we have the return of John Cena in a match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.  To borrow words from my husband, these are the two most boring people in the WWE right now.  Del Rio’s character has become stale and Cena is… well, it’s Cena.  This match was exactly what you would expect; Del Rio attacked Cena’s recently healed arm and Cena did the five moves of doom while acting like a child.  And yes, Cena won and got the title, because the WWE loves to hand things over to their golden boy.  I expected Cena to win, but I had hoped that Sandow would swoop in on an exhausted Cena and steal the title from him.  Of course, that did not happen.

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After Cena cleared out, AJ Lee arrived to defend her title against Brie Bella.  I adore AJ and I love that she is now paired with the powerhouse Tamina Snuka.  It was clear that Brie didn’t have a chance in this match, but it was still fun to watch.  With both Tamina and Nikki ringside, there was a lot going on and quite a few distractions for the competitors.  Brie dominated early on, but having to keep an eye on Tamina proved to be her downfall.  She attempted to attack her but ended up hitting her sister instead, allowing AJ to get her in the Black Widow submission and forcing a tap.  AJ has proven to be unstoppable as of late and I’m eager to see who she goes up against next, as the feud with Brie should end now.

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The final match is our second Hell In A Cell match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.  The title has belonged to no one because of very questionable creative choices.  Triple H wants Orton as champ, the fans want Bryan.  With Shawn Michaels as special guest referee, it’s hard to tell how this match will go.  The pair got very physical, using the cage to their advantage and pushing each other to their limits.  Triple H made an appearance to argue the Heartbreak Kid’s techniques, possibly because he feared that HBK would favor Bryan.  This resulted in Michaels accidentally getting knocked out by the competitors as he was distracted.  When HBK came to, he hit Bryan with Sweet Chin Music and basically handed the title back to Orton.  Yes it was a good match, but they failed with the ending.  When the fans know what is coming weeks before it happens, you have failed.

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I haven’t a clue what WWE creative is thinking right now, or if they’re thinking at all.  This PPV should have been about redemption and should have been phenomenal to make up for two very lackluster PPVs previously.  It wasn’t.  Cody Rhodes and Goldust were once again the only redeeming part of a very expensive three hour event.  I could not be more annoyed with Cena and Orton winning the titles; we saw this coming from miles away and we all know that there were better ways to do this.  Stale doesn’t being to describe what the WWE has become, and it boggles my mind that they aren’t even trying to fix things anymore.  I hope tonight’s Raw does something dramatic to put a positive spin on last night’s disastrous PPV, but given what has been going on lately, I am a fan without hope.

Cranky Comments

I recently received a comment on my blog, A True Masterchef, regarding Ben Starr who was a season two contestant on Masterchef.  The comment is:

Ben Starr is an opinionated and infantile nuisance! He has had his fifteen minutes and now that he is on the outs he has done nothing but ‘screw’ the integrity of the contract that he signed with masterchef. He thinks that he has the right to ‘correct’ everybody who thinks contrary to his thoughts about masterchef and about reality TV and if you disagree with him, he will do everything he can to defile your position: only Ben Starr can be right! Ben Starr is a very dangerous person. He dresses his persona up in this very passive….’gooey…ga..ga..type’ but when you challenge him on his ideologies that he espouses on his blogs, he goes absolutely nuts and he edits your responses and then threatens you!
Ben Starr is no sweetheart.
People need to read and I mean really read everything this guy writes about. He is extremely shallow…a fine example of a person that given a little bit of knowledge….can be extremely dangerous!

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You can read Ben Starr’s so-called dangerous thoughts on his blog by clicking here.  When he’s not writing about Masterchef, he writes about his travels, the animals he loves and raises for food, instructions on how to properly cook certain things, and other wonderful food-related topics.  He also addresses more serious issues such as the recent passing of season three Masterchef contestant Josh Marks, the struggles our homosexual community faces, and the dangers of reality television in general for the participants.  He has not only been a help to me directly via Twitter and his blog, but he has helped many people and continues to educate those who wish to listen.  A fame whore he is not.

This is not about Ben though.  This is about my commenter.  This is a person who chose to read a blog of mine that was about Christine Ha that only briefly mentioned Ben.  This person chose to ignore the real topic and instead attack a person who quite honestly has been nothing but genuine and straightforward.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I cannot understand why it was necessary to call him dangerous and accuse him of editing responses.  I cannot understand why certain people only make the effort to comment on something when they have something negative to say.

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It is not necessary to insult someone in this way, especially on a posting that has very little to do with that person.  If someone is truly evil or dangerous, why not address that person directly on their own site, via email, or in another fashion?  What good is being done by telling me that someone I enjoy will threaten me if I ever disagree with him?  It’s petty and silly and wholly unnecessary.  If the goal is to educate me or assist me, provide me with facts and/or proof of your claims.  There are a few people who visit here on a regular basis who do exactly this; they give me links that educate, information that is backed up by concrete evidence, and opinions that are based on fact.  Those comments are meaningful and those comments matter.  The drivel above does nothing but irritate my eyes.

The ability to comment anonymously can be great for those who are normally afraid to open up, but it also makes it easier for cowards to come out of the woodwork and spout off with nonsense with the peace of mind that no one can really confront them or out them.  It makes it easy for people to be intolerant, abusive, or obnoxious.  Someone afraid to say F*ck Obama to their peers can do so without fear in the comments section of a news site, shielded by a fake email address or a guest posting.  The freedom to be whoever you want to be online has made people in general act hostile, cruel, and too often like children.

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Surely we can find a way to express our opinions without littering them in places that aren’t appropriate, attacking people who don’t deserve it, or speaking as if we’ve never taking an English class in our lives.  I don’t care that my commenter doesn’t like Ben.  I care that they chose to post unsubstantiated claims on my posting about a totally different person and did so in a matter that makes them sound like a child.  That isn’t why I started this blog.  I welcome discussions; key word being discussion.  If someone wants to go off on a rant, do it, but do some thinking while your fingers fly across the keyboard.  Without effort, your words are meaningless.

The above comment did not change my opinion, did not educate me, did not humor me, and did not accomplish anything the poster likely set out to do.  Other than give me something to talk about while I try to wake up on this fine Thursday morning, it was for nothing.  Wasted effort on their part and probably too much wasted time on mine.  The internet is such a fantastic tool, yet we use it for the dumbest possible things.  All it takes is a few more minutes to come up with something that can either make someone laugh or make someone think.  If you’re going to take the time to say something, say something that matters.

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