Gimme some new shit…

Don’t waste my time with tributes, reboots, rehashes, reissues, or the redundant. If it isn’t new or innovative or doesn’t feel like its made for you, don’t pay for it. Stop watching it. Don’t promote it for free or talk about it. And don’t waste your talent making new versions of other peoples old ip.

I want that new. That scintillating. That special. That interesting. That different, or crazy. That excellent. Promote those who speak to you. Share those that need it. Love those who deserve it.

Most importantly, don’t vote with your dollars, DEMAND with your dollars. Make us make that shit you want, and if we don’t make it you make that shit yourselves.

That’s what I’m gonna do.

High Stakes Filmmaking: What the Guardians of the Galaxy trailers are trying to do

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The second trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy recently dropped  with more of that space opera action we all crave so desperately. After watching, my pal Brison “Grand Hater” Jackson called to tell me how “meh” he feels about the whole GotG affair. How Starlord was too jokey, the comedic elements too trite, and how at that moment he felt he could take or leave this film despite being a Marvel comics fan for decades. He even said that Guardians of the Galaxy could be the first true misstep of Marvel Studios’ meteoric surge into film.

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Scandal x Microsoft: Spending Daddy’s Money Since 1975

It happens in the third episode of “Scandal…”

For the uninitiated, “Scandal” is a hit show on ABC in which Kerry Washington plays a Washington DC crisis management wonder woman named Olivia Pope who fixes things for around for a litany of high profile clients and (occasional broke asses if they are important enough.) Olivia is a fixer of the highest caliber; a “Gladiator in a Suit”. Her cases involve, saving careers, protecting reputations, and even preventing wars.  Things get so thick that sometimes things result in both the saving and taking of people’s lives. Naturally, she also finds time to have some sort of “intoxicating even without the touching” relationship with the President of the United States in between all of this. How she finds time to do all that and be sexually consumed with the philandering president remains a mystery to me (as does how he retains his presidential six pack), but I’m still early in season 2.

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Presidential six pack… Preparing to philander.

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Yay or Nay Rewind: Why Captain America: The First Avenger is Better Than the Batman: The Dark Knight

A conversation I had with Austin capoeira hotsteppa, Perdido last night after watching his sister’s 1st MMA victory (which doubles for a victory over fear in ways I’ll cover later) made me start thinking about this article from 2011.  However, this Bad Ass Digest article I read about the lack of stand up, morally strong heroes in cinema pretty much forced me to pull it out of moth balls when the writer wrote the following:

There is room for relatable heroes. Marvel Comics made its bones by giving kids characters they could understand, avoiding the monolithic heroes of DC – which makes it all the odder that one of the few true heroes on screen lately has been a Marvel character. Captain America: The First Avenger presents a hero who has all of the moral strengths and discipline when he was scrawny Steve Rogers that he would have as brawny Captain America. Steve was a good guy from frame one, and the movie wasn’t about him finding himself or discovering his heroism or growing into the mantle – it was the story of a guy who had what it took and stood up and did the right thing.

I felt it summed up my feelings about the 1st Captain America film and the 2nd modern Batman film and how the shield won out over the cape.

Captain America fighting-with-batman-l

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Father’s Day and why you should play video games with your kids

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Make no mistake, I am a fortunate person. I was born to two loving parents in the early 80’s, who by the grace of hard work, perseverance, and understanding are still an item 33 years later (a sexy item at that!). In a world where a lot of kids are lucky to have even one attentive parent, I had 2 plus a television in my room. I like to think I learned as much from “Sesame Street”, “GI Joe” and Nick at Nite as I did from Michael Sr. and Charlene, but they’ll probably argue that till the sun explodes.

Digression aside, I was not just fortunate to have parents; I was fortunate to have young parents. “Doll” and “Big Mike” as they’re more affectionately known in familial circles, were 20 and 21 when I came onto the scene. I am 31 now and can barely imagine having a child to consider without hyperventilating. My parents were a different breed… or not… I guess they bred me, so we’re the same breed? That’s confusing. In any case, they were on the “start a family kick” before they even left college. Oh the humanity…

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Games That Should Be Made: Aquaman

It just swept over me like a wave… pun intended. I just thought about how the Aquaman concept would make a fantastic game. And I mean a real life, triple A game. I mean, I’d be MUCH happier with a big budget Aqualad (of Young Justice) game, but the universe hates me and everyone like me so that’s not gonna happen.Truthfully, you could swap in any aquatic superhero like Namor, Namora, or even Stingray (snort!), but since Aquaman is the guy everybody seems to hate, expectations would be low and surprise would be epic.  What would really be mad radical is if they made Aquaman look like Vinnie Chase. I know its a tough pill to swallow, but let me walk you through the reasons why this would be an amazing game.

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Who Cares Which Actor Should Play Luke Cage? Geeks Should Know Better!

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In one of the geeky Facebook groups that make up the only reason I even bother going to that cesspool anymore. Team leader, Ernest posed the question of who should play Luke Cage if anyone anywhere ever gets a movie about him off the ground. He made a poll with the following actors:

  • Terry Crews
  • Tyrese Gibson
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • Michael Jai White

Interestingly, I got into a twitter argument with @Brison_J over this Cage business thanks to a tweet the Rock launched at Marvel about “being ready” for the role.  Go to Twitter and take my side. Brison is kind of a Rock fanboy.

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Enjoy Life, Read Comics: Is Marvel Unlimited The Future?

Marvel Comics unveiled their new subscription model for reading their books about a month ago and it has systematically consumed my life. It was bad enough with all the money I’d spent on comics after acquiring a Nexus 7 thanks to the Comixology app, but now Marvel had to go and give me even MORE comics to read any time I want. Marvel Unlimited is essentially Netflix for comic books allowing one to catch up on all the moments of Marvel history they’ve missed because comic love can be both expensive and thankless.

Thankless... Like Hawkeye's love life.

Thankless… Like Hawkeye’s love life.

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I Own A Luchador Mask: The Birth of El Dynamo

This is something I wrote a while ago that I forgot about. I also don’t know why I write it and I don’t know if its any good… It probably isn’t… Enjoy!Image

I own a Luchador Mask. It’s a replica of the mask worn by the great Mexican wrestler Rey Mysterio who has dazzled crowds for over 20 years with his high flying style and dangerous style. In the Luchador tradition, the mask is a symbol of honor and prestige, and when a masked wrestler is beaten so badly that is mask is taken from him, he is never allowed to wear it again and is shamed for the rest of his career.

 My mask is one of many that Rey Mysterio wears. Black and gold with a sequined cross on the forehead that extends between the eyes. Rounded eye holes allow for ample peripheral vision as they are outlined with the same gold pattern that adorns the cross. The nose is covered, making it difficult to breathe, but the mouth is exposed similar to the mask worn by many masked superheroes such as The Batman. Two talons extend outward from the mouth, creating points that frame the chin and give the mask a more dangerous edge. The mask opens from the back, and laces up with black string to provide a secure hold on the face in order to prevent enemies from removing it. It also features a black and gold chin strip to better hold it in place.

The mask is mine, and a little piece of the real, inner me comes forth when I put it on.

In 2008, I won a discounted ticket to the Austin City Limits music festival, an outdoor landing pad for several of the top acts all over the world. Multiple stages are set up at Austin’s Zilker Park and people filter in from all over the country bound together by their love of music. In order to accommodate the festival goers and make sizable bit of coin, vendors from all across Austin set up tents and peddle their wares during the three day event. On the campground, you can get food, drinks, alcohol, and even medicine in the event of any health related issues for inflated prices of course. What I did not expect to see however was a tent for a little shop called Tesoros that sold Latin American artifacts. They sold, art, trinkets, jewelry, and antiques that carried a flair indicative to La Raza.

I stumbled in with my friend Julia. It was day 2 of the festival and festival days feel far longer the longer you’re out there. We’d seen band after band since the day before, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, N*E*R*D, Bavu Blakes, and even Brazilian rock outfit CSS. And Austin is so hot. Even in October. With those water and food prices, I spent most of my days hungry and angry about it, though there was still plenty of fun to be had. Still, by the evening of day 2, I was exhausted, and since this was my first ever festival I had no idea how to pace myself for the long haul. Still, with no bands I wanted to see, I had taken to wandering the festival and giving my ear drums a much needed break. That’s when I ventured into Tesoros’ tent.

It was filled with people. Sweaty people just as exhausted as I was, only they had pasty, sunburned skin to contend with too. Thank god for pigmentation. Julia looked a jewelry, while I wandered through the small tent perusing items I had no use or care for… until I saw the box. Sitting almost in the middle of the tent, underneath some earrings there was a box that people just wandered by uninterested.

It was filled with Luchador masks.

I knew the legacy, and I understood some of the lore. Though I wasn’t Mexican, I knew the power and majesty of these pieces of cloth, but I had never seen one up close before. I knelt down and began searching through the box. There were so many! One was white and gold like an angel with a closed mouth. There was one that was a mark up that was half of both Spider-man and Venom. There was even one that resembled the one that Ramses wore in the film Nacho Libre. As soon as I touched those masks I knew I had to have one.

I continued to search for the perfect mask. Deeper and deeper into the box I pressed. Time ticked on by. Julia was bored with jewelry and ready to go, but I didn’t care. Something was calling to me and I would be damned if I did not answer. Finally, all the way at the bottom sat the most amazing Mexican cultural artifact I had ever seen. It was a replica of Rey Mysterio’s mask. I was familiar enough with him to know that, but this mask felt different somehow. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was mine. I had never felt destiny before, but now I know what it means.

I pulled it from the wreckage, our eyes locked. This was my new face. I put it on and it felt so good. Like watching the universe be born. I suddenly saw the world through new eyes. The owner of the Tesoros looked at me and said, “That mask has chosen you.” And discounted the price. I wasn’t paying him for the mask. I was paying him for holding onto it for me.

I left Tesoros. I was rejuvenated! Filled with vigor from my new mantle. El Dynamo: The Black Lightening. Now, I didn’t not “wander” the campground of ACL. I stalked it! I sought challengers! Every person I passed I let them know of my grappling prowess. I had been a character without the mask, but with it on I was became so much more. I understood how Batman could do the things he did. I understood why Wolverine wore a mask even though everyone knows its him. Black Panther too. I was more than human. I was a demigod…

And everyone else knew it too.

A news team stopped me and asked me to recap the festival. Children cheered me and everyone smiled when they passed. The mask was a force for good and it was mine. Since then, I wore the mask on stage when I played shows with my bands. Sometimes in a suit. Sometimes with the cape Julia later made for me. To some, I am still synonymous with it. What I got on that fateful day was much more than a simple mask. It was a piece of a culture. But more importantly

It was destiny.

Daft Punk Streams Random Access Memories. Mike Dynamo Streams Tears

Today, Daft Punk has granted  us puny humans a boon, allowing us to bear witness to what our all too human emotions actually sound like. Their “soon to be released” album Random Access Memories is streaming on itunes for free today. Finely crafted music as naked an vulnerable as my psyche is as I’m listening to it while writing this. I don’t do album reviews. Never had the patience. However, I am adept at typing through tears, so I’ll do that while I experience robots drawing more humanity from me than I’ll knew I had left.

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Me and Daft Punk go way back… Almost as far back as me and Iron Man. Back before New Years Eve 2011 when their music was the only thing capable of making hardcore Dallas-ites finally let their hair down and have fun rather than look cool. Back before the days of the student film set presided over by my college crush I still carry embers for. Back before I bought a copy of Discovery at Tower Records in a misguided attempt to impress a girl. Back when my nights consisted of riding shotgun in a black Acura Integra driven by Joe Champine,  who I couldn’t even admit to liking electronic music because it wasn’t “black enough.” Back to a long night with all new friends, too much candy, not enough music videos, and one to many flat tires. Thank god for MTV Amp’d, Val Kilmer and the 2×4 in my garage.

Random Access Memories is a sonic representation of having one eye that sees the future while the other eye remains fixed on the past. Spike Spiegel would understand. Time isn’t a line, its a wheel, and through this sonic sub routine I can comprehend the myriad in a way I couldn’t before. A multitude of possibilities alongside the random access memories of a static occurrence. I’ve never felt bigger or more able to see the infinitesimal. I’ve never felt so much at one time. It’s overwhelming and I can’t stop crying.

Our increasingly technological world takes a lot of flack for making us more devolved, distracted, and divided; often being promoted with the belief that human salvation lies in a return to past values. Less technology. But as I listen to this, I begin to think that maybe the key to humanity isn’t going backward, but going forward with even more gusto than before. It means being open to the very real life idea that it will take robots to teach us how to love. We’ll put more and more of our lives and spirit inside of these machines. We’ll continue to make art with them and chronicle what we know of reality. We’ll keep sharing and going father and farther. Wearing them, connecting with them, and learning from them.   And maybe… just maybe, instead of our robotic creations rising up to destroy us in the dystopian fantasy we like to sell to each other, they will instead take our awareness and do something beautiful with it. Then come back an share it with us.

From now on… that’s the future I believe in. Thank you Daft Punk for helping me understand what a utopia truly is and giving me a new bar to reach for as an artist. I know you’re pulling for me. I won’t let us down.