Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John Dies at the End

This blog post with be a review of a movie called John Dies at the End.

            John Dies at the End is a movie that revolves around this new hyperactive drug called Soy Sauce.  The main character, ironically not John, is a man named David Wong who is in his mid to late twenties.  The story is very convoluted with many hook and chains within it and its timeline jumps back and forth throughout the film.  David Wong has been on Soy Sauce for a while now and wants to share the secrets that the side effects of Soy Sauce reveal; he meets journalist named Arnie Blondestone at a Chinese restaurant to help spread the truths hidden within this new drug. 
David tells Arnie about his life on Soy Sauce, all the things he’s done and seen, and his journey started when he met a Jamaican man named Robert Marley (not the famous raegae musician), at a late night party, who claims he is psychic.  He begins to prove himself to David by describing David’s dream from last night in vivid detail but to no avail; all Robert does is confuse and estrange David.  Later that night, however, David gets a call on his cellphone from his friend John Cheese who asks him to come over to his house.  Not wasting any time, feeling done with the party and weirded out by Robert, David drives over to John’s house and finds him half naked screaming at what appears to be nothing; telling David to not scream or else the monster will kill him.  Of course, David sees nothing that John appears to be seeing tells him he needs to go to the ER.  And, of course, John resists.  It’s then when David finds a peculiar needle in John’s house, presumably used for illegal drugs.  Accidentally puncturing himself in the thigh with the needle, after putting it in his pocket to drive John to the hospital, he starts seeing all the same things as John; and henceforth, David Wong can see into what he presumes as another dimension coexisting within the world we all know.
And from then on, John and David go on an adventure of epic poportions; David talks to John through dogs, helps kill a giant oprressive monster formed from generations of scientific practice regarding beastiality in an alternate reality named Korrok, befriends a world famous magician named Dr. Albert Marconi, and kills two demonicly possessed people named Freddy and Justin White (who changed his name to Shitload after becoming possessed) whose bodies become controlled by a swarm of white flies who had originally possessed Robert Marley; he also happened to be the person who gave John his first dose of Soy Sauce.
It’s a question whether or not Soy Sauce actually reveals another dimension which holds creatures with supernatual abilities or if the whole movie is just a drug trip shared by two friends.  It is hard to explain in detail the plot of this movie and it loses its novelty if it is explained to somone whose never seen it so I leave up to you, the readers, to follow up on watching the movie yourself.
John Dies at the End was originally a book written by none other than a man named David Wong (though author does not claim his novel is an autobiography.)
Here's the trailer for the movie: John Dies at the End Teaser Trailer.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Playboy vs. Doctor Who

The question: "Which has been more influential on American society: Playboy or Doctor Who?" was brought to light by a friend of mine.  We chose opposing sides, as  we usually do when prompts such as these arise, to the argument and took a poll in our small high school community of who thought which one was more influential in today's American culture which is at the bottom of this post.  In this post I will describe each argument and its validity to let you, the readers, form your own opinions.

To start off, Playboy magazine should be recognized for its astonishing number of 1,956,268 US
subscribers every month, of whom my friend is one; you can probably guess which group he was advocating for in this debate.  Playboy is one of the most recognizable brands of men's magazines, with its unforgettable bunny icon, and is the best-selling magazine in said genre.  Following the magazine that released its first issue in 1953, then came the Playboy Penthouse show which was filmed int the Playboy Mansion, purchased by Founder, Editor in Chief, and Chief Creative Officer, Hugh Hefner, and following that came the Playboy Club.  In addition, the value of Playboy magazines is quite high, especially the early issues that can sell up to several thousand dollars.

Next is Doctor Who.  Doctor Who first aired in 1963 on British TV and the original series continued until 1996 but was brought back by popular
demand in 2005 and still continues.  There are so many Doctor Who fans that are stereotyped as die hard fanatics for the show that they've been given their own special name: Whovians; doctorwho.tumblr.com has 100,000 followers; and Doctor Who merchandise has flooded game stores, comic book stores, and even standard retail stores.  The show has also inspired many other stories of its genre; many sci-fi writers, producers, and directors have credited Doctor Who as an inspiration for their work.

 There is still one question remaining: how does all of the above prove that Playboy and Doctor Who have had any influence on American culture at all?  Playboy and Doctor Who are both forms of media, and the American people are constantly enveloped with media through their iPhones, televisions, computers, radio broadcasts, books, comics, novelty merchandise, and magazines.  Both Playboy and Doctor Who reach viewers through almost all forms of media and both are extraordinarily popular in each of their own genres of entertainment.  And media has an immense impact on the way the American people, and all others, behave because humans are what they consume.  But how is influenced measured?  By amount of merchandise and advertisement distributed by the subject?  By number of followers or subscribers the subject has?  By total amount of income the subject receives?  By how much the subject is referenced in other places? By how long the subject has been around?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is not a simple one so I leave it up to you, the readers, to determine that for yourselves.  Please leave a comment sharing your opinion on which of the two, Playboy or Doctor Who, has had more of an influence in today's American culture.

The poll we took had the following results:


People who believe Playboy has had a greater influence.
People who believe Doctor Who has had a greater influence.
People who don’t know which has had a greater influence.

~63%


~43%

~9%


My friend did his own blog post on the same matter and so I have posted a link to his blog for you to read his view: spncrmrtn47.wordpress.com.

Information cited:

Fullmetal Alchemist

This anime ranks high on the top ten best anime series lists.  It is about, in case you couldn't already tell by the title, about alchemy.  Specifically the setting of the story takes place in a world where alchemy rose as a dominant science, and the most important thing to know about alchemy is that in order to transmute material it has to be an "equivalent exchange".  No matter can be created or destroyed in alchemy, that can only be achieved with the philosopher's stone, an alchemical catalyst.

That is the very thing the two main characters, the Elric brothers: Edward and Alphonse, who are trying to regain their old bodies.  Long ago they tried, through the process of alchemy, resurrect their dead mother but the transmute took Edward's right arm and left leg while at the same time took Alphonse's whole body and despite all that their mother did not completely resurrect.  Edward ended up having to place Alphonse's soul in a suit of armor while at the same time he had to seek help in replacing his two limbs with what is called "automail".  Automail is a kind of art that entails manufacturing metal into operable body parts: bionic arms and legs, etc.

During the Elric brother's quest for regaining their old bodies, they encounter other persons who also require the philosopher stone for their own deeds, though theirs are more corrupt, and an assassin named Scar who is targeting state alchemists, alchemists who work under the military, and Edward Elric is included in the category as he has earned the title: the Fullmetal Alchemist.

This is a nice solid series with plenty of action and the books are even better (as always.)

Next post I will hopefully have something a little more interesting to write about.  Here's the clip: Nina's Death.  To understand this clip you must know that within the scientific practice of alchemy, one very common experimentation involves transmuting animals.  Transmuted animals are called chimeras.  One particular scientist named Tucker has been trying to create a chimera that can understand and communicate in human speech, and little Nina Tucker is his daughter who called Edward "big brother".