Many many moons ago, there was no internet. Well there was, but it was this weird text-only thing where you had to sit a phone (which was not yet mobile) on a little cradle, and it was all balding dudes with ponytails bitching about Star Trek. At least that’s how it looks in my mind; hell, I only was around computers, internet-ready or otherwise, starting in the late ’90s like most of y’all. But either way, there were no websites, there was no YouTube, and getting information about anything that wasn’t covered in newspapers or just happened to be on TV at the same time you were in front of a TV was not a thing you could just casually stumble ass-backwards into. So we had magazines; these big papery things with words and pictures in them, and they came out once a month usually, and they were real big with musically minded people, especially if their musical minds were on things that FM radio wasn’t going to touch or MTV was going to stick after midnight. So in the 80s and 90s, the world became absolutely flooded with various and sundry heavy metal magazines, and at some point, people started saying, “hey, why not just do something like this in video form?” and video magazines happened, which were basically like a music-based TV show, but with no commercials and some cussing. And people loves them some cussing. One of these was called Hard N Heavy, and as looking back at regular paper metal magazines has kinda become a thing I’m all about lately, I was pretty pumped that 20 of these Hard N Heavy tapes popped up on Hulu Plus at some point. (I dunno if they’re on regular non-paid Hulu, but you might check, I guess. And if they’re not, someone’s probably got them on YouTube or BitTorrent by now. Information finds a way, and that way is usually piracy.) This isn’t the full run of these tapes, as what’s on Hulu starts with stuff from 1993, and I’m pretty sure this thing started in 1989. But anyway, what’s called Episode One is from ’93, and it’s entitled Raw. Let me tell you about it.
Last time around, it was decided that Melisandre is going make your shitty death metal band all melodic and atmospheric with her fell magicks, King Stannis is still bitter about getting put on that cross-country bus by James and Lars back in ’83, and Ser Davos would rather just relax in the tub with a nice book. Today, we check out The Mother of Dragons, Daenarys Targaryen, and The Mountain That Rides, Ser Gregor Clegane. SPOILER LEVEL: Slight allusions to stuff from the second half of A Storm of Swords and maybe part of A Feast for Crows, but nothing major for people who only watched the TV show. So yeah, technically, there are references to minor details that haven’t happened yet on HBO, but you should be able to read on without having things ruined. Just don’t blame me when I spoil the surprise of the part where a cyborg Ned Stark shows up in a spaceship from the future and just starts laser-blasting Lannisters and Freys in the name of Freedom. Oops. But still, if you haven’t read the books or seen the shows, go do that soon, because it’s kinda worth it, you know? (And really, read the books, because they’re about five theoretical seasons ahead of where the show is at by my count, and I don’t want to wait for you fuckers.)
Last time around, we learned that Ramsay Bolton will be the first to watch your funeral and the last one to leave, and that The Greatjon is the medieval fantasy version of the crazy uncle who did like three years in Parchman for running over a dude in a dune buggy after an argument over a football referee’s controversial decision from a week ago. This time around, we’ve got a special three-parter that looks at Lord Stannis and his Dragonstone Posse, kickin’ it old school for the Lord of Light. As always, if you haven’t any of the books or watched the shows, don’t go any further, because we got spoilers and spoilers and spoilers.
LAST TIME: We discovered that Ned Stark was probably a pretty good dad, but just too uptight to truly thrash, and that King Robert was so bad, baby, that he didn’t care, at least up until the point when he was killed by death. This time, we examine Greatjon Umber and Ramsay Bolton, and I tell you, those guys – SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, DON’T CLICK ANYTHING IN THIS IF YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW OR READ THE BOOKS, DEAR LORD SAVE ME FROM ALL THESE SPOILERS. (more…)
Here’s another one of those weird internet projects I’ll start and never finish, but which sounds like a pretty good idea, so I’m still starting it, even though I know damn well I’ll never finish it. Uhh, anyway. The third season of Game of Thrones ended not that long ago, and I actually managed to watch it in a timely manner for a change, through means that were totally legal, honestly for real, and I’m sure the NSA dude that’s assigned to my IP address will vouch for me, especially after I sent him that fancy cookie bouquet. (Of course, if I did manage to watch the show illegally, fuck you, I’m gonna end up buying the DVDs later, so you can go screw, Jack Valenti or whoever it is that sends the lawyers after people.) Anyway, in addition to watching the show, at least 75% of my toilet time has been spent reading the books that the show came from, so at this point it’s reacted with that weird, secret strain of autism I caught off a toilet seat at Kroger that one time, and I’m pretty well immersed in that world lately. So I think on this stuff a lot, at times when I really should be thinking about things like work or oncoming traffic, and something occurred to me. Lost somewhere in all the talk about this show that world has been ablaze with lately, no one’s been mentioning a very important thing: This show is FUKKIN METAL. Seriously, it’s like nothing But swords and knights and blood and death and corrupt politicians and fell magicks and dragons and metal. It’s like George R.R. Martin sat there, typing all these books out, imagining that someday, somehow, the words he was setting to paper would eventually get turned into a television show that would someday magically cause a single tear to trickle down the cheek of a statue of Paul Baloff, at least in a more perfect world where there actually were statues of Paul Baloff.
Anyway, partially because it seriously sounded like an interesting idea, and partially because I’m tired of having all my interesting ideas just sort of swirl around in my head for weeks and months until my brain magically erases them, I’m going to do one of those internet things I do, where I start a potentially long, ongoing project that only gets visited once or twice and dies unfinished. But the show’s not done and I still have roughly 2.8 and counting of the books left to read, this idea should pop back into my head from time to time. So I like its chances. I’m going to take the characters from this thing and think about them real, real hard and I am going to figure out who are the most FUKKIN METAL characters from this particular universe, and maybe someday twist it into a top 20 power ranking list, going to super insanely metal at #1 to just pretty darn metal or whatever at #20. And of course, the series isn’t finished yet and the books are nowhere near finished, so characters might rise and fall, depending on their actions and/or gruesome deaths. But to clarify, I’m not going to dork analyze the metalness of everybody. Some characters even in something like A Song of Ice and Fire are still just going to be obviously non-metallic, and all five million of the little background characters simply aren’t going to be worth the time. Like G.R.R. Martin is a dude who cranks out 1,000-plus page books on the semi-regular, and I’m a dude who seriously updates a pissant blog about thrice yearly, so if that guy couldn’t come up with more than a solid paragraph or so for Jeyne Poole or Ser Jacelyn Bywater, I ain’t gonna be the one to fill in that gap. Of course, this is the internet, and the internet is a sick and terrible place, so I’m sure that sooner or later, someone will send me links to some sort of “fuckyeahjacelynbywater dot tumblr dot com” blog or a three-thousand chapter pornographic fan fiction site dedicated to Jeyne Poole’s erotic encounters with Goku or one of the Animaniacs or whatever, and then I’m going to have to turn off my internet and start making bombs in the lawnmower shed out back. Dark and full of terrors indeed. But yeah, sticking to only the debatably metal and at least semi-major characters, and in no particular order. Also, in the event that you haven’t read a book or watched a show yet, you should probably just turn around right now, lest things be ruined for you forever. As in spoilers and whatnot. And in case anyone’s just skimming the introductory paragraph, the way I do with Cracked articles, I’m just going to say SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS OH GOD TURN AROUND THERE’S SO MANY SPOILERS, in bold capital letters. Anyway, I’m going to do this two characters at a time, both in the name of making sure these things don’t get too long and in the contradictory name of making sure these things aren’t too short. Let us begin: (more…)
First of all, just let me say this: There is too much goddamn 1980s nostalgia out there. Oh yeah, it was a pretty big decade, ten years long in fact, and a lot of memorable stuff happened. But there were other decades too, you know? So I’m going to make a few posts now and in the future here about the decade that everyone seems to not remember: The 1990s. Aside from a couple things here and there, like Monica Lewinsky or the golden age of gangsta rap, the whole decade seems to have either been forgotten or mixed up with the two surrounding ten-year periods. People always seem to forget that the pastel-colored, pre-grunge period of Vanilla Ice and slap bracelets wasn’t part of the 1980s, that the Internet was a thing that people started to actually have somewhere around 1995, and that the pseudo-goth nu-metal phase everyone went through started a lot closer to 1997 than to 2003.
Believe it or not, also the 1990s.
And really, when people somewhere around my age throw around how they were “a child of the 80s,” they don’t realize what that means: You were a CHILD of the 80s, meaning you probably barely remember anything that actually happened as it actually happened, aside from what DVDs you bought and websites you read when you were 25 or older told you about the time. We were children of the 80s, but we grew up in the 90s. Big difference. You knew and loved G.I. Joe, but you weren’t quoting episodes or keeping track of the variants in Bazooka’s lower leg plastic or whatever until you became a 20-something dork. Your brain comes online somewhere around the age of five or so, yeah, but there’s another good four or five years before it really kicks in and your memories start to have any real substance beyond “oh man, what were those toys where the truck turned into this thing with missiles? Those were awesome.” I think what I’m saying here is that us 20-30 somethings are way too enamored with being part of the 1980s to admit that the 1990s were really what made us into the terrible people that we are. And I may be a terrible person, but I know where I came from, and these are a few of my memories. Let me show you them.
INTRODUCTION: Over the last decade-plus of getting my Internet on, a disturbing thing has occurred to me. Just about every single thing that I like enough to say “hey, I am A FAN of that” has an internet fan base made up largely of the worst people there have ever been. Heavy metal fans run the gamut from meth lab hillbillies to neo-Nazis to uppity pricks who look down on anyone who owns a record with a print run of more than 300 copies to Manowar fans with whatever disorder it is that Manowar fans have. Chicago Bears fans tend to be slow-witted closet racists who think that the way they manage the team in Madden ’08 is a way to manage a football team that can actually happen. Pro wrestling fandom is a minefield of pillow-humping Japan fetishists and basement-dwelling would-be kid touchers who take stopwatches to wrestling shows, (because how long a match is tells them how good it was) and who are still trying to come up with ways to excuse or defend Chris Benoit murdering his family. But man, Transformers fans. Grown-ass adults who can’t scrape together the cash for the electric bill, but will still shell out $40 for a child’s toy of the 357th version of Optimus Prime to come out this year. People for whom this isn’t a nostalgic thing from their youth, but a very real and very important thing with important new developments happening all the time. People who actually sit in line on opening night every time one of those dogshit live action movies comes out, and mentally prepare their super-positive online review before the opening credits even start, because it’s the Transformers, and dammit, they’ve got nothing else in their lives. I hope everything I ever do pisses those people off.
That being said, I’m gonna go put on my Transformers sleep pants and go watch some cartoons, because I’m a giant man-baby. (more…)
What you see above is where all the magic happens. Locked up securely in a secret location somewhere that looks an awful lot like the inside of our garage is the secret TV/DVD/VCR combo on which I watch my secret Transformers DVDs. For real, though, the garage is as perfect a place for me to nerd out, as I’ve got that place set up with all my objects of such a nature, from old, cartridge-style video game systems, a random assortment of Chicago Bears merchandise and the toys of my youth, and a full old-style makeshift stereo setup, complete with early-80s vintage tape deck and at least one Dio record. It is truly a sight to behold, but don’t get it twisted, as I refuse to use the term “man-cave” for that place. Because I reject the normal sitcom-inspired view of things, where even if two people love each other and their weekly whacky misunderstandings that get solved in 30 minutes all go toward strengthening this fact, men and women are still inherently incompatible creatures, incapable of actually liking each other, so the man must construct a secret “no girls allowed” lair where he can fart, drink beer, and watch the big game without having to take the youngest daughter to ballet class. You know, “women all be listenin’ to the opera, yo” or whatever. It’s bullshit, and I reject that. All people of all genders are welcome here, for it is a chill place for chill people all get along in harmony. It’s not so much my man-cave as it is my Great Hall, kind of like the one Odin has. Actually, I think the entire point of this paragraph and every other paragraph I’ve ever written is to further prove that I am exactly like Odin. Also, I’m an adult now, and it would just look weird to decorate the living room with a bunch of Iron Maiden poster flags and a rusty ammo belt. So there. Let’s watch some Transformers. (more…)
INTRODUCTION: This is a thing I probably would have started a year ago on the old site if I had any sort of motivation at the time. You see, back in the day, when I was about two feet shorter and a couple hundred pounds lighter, the Transformers were my thing. I had Transformers toys, I had Transformers stickers, I had Transformers trading cards, I had Transformers comic books, and if such a thing had existed, I would have had the goddamn Transformers mouthwash. And needless to say, the highlight of every weekday of my early life was getting home from school by 3:30 in the P.M. to see the cartoon on Channel 15, or to watch the VHS version, in times when they had flip-flopped it with G.I. Joe, and it would be over by the time I got home. And even after the show’s run ended and I was much too old to do such a thing, every so often, I would bust out the couple tapes with the couple episodes we hadn’t taped over, watching them over and over, remembering other episodes I had seen, and wishing I had those too.
And after a couple years of wondering how I could scrape up the hundred bucks or so to buy someone’s collection of the tapes off Ebay, the DVDs finally hit. But at like 40 bucks a season, I couldn’t afford those any more than I could the bootleg VHS version, so I had to pass, until the damn things seemed to always go out of print five minutes after they were released. But finally in 2009, someone who knew what they were doing re-re-released them all at a time when I had way more disposable cash and a full season of something cost about half of what it used to, so in the words of Abraham Lincoln, that shit was ON. And now, at long last, the time has come to finally do a thing that I’m sure at least seventy people on the World Wide Web haven’t already done: I’m going to watch it all and tell you about it. (more…)