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Steve Harrison
I just can't. My brain in always running 'in the background' to use a computer phrase. Most times it pops up and says "Oh, come ON" and I can shush it and get on with watching the movie or TV show or whatever. I compensate by thinking of it as being an 'informed' viewer, a comfortable lie.

But it's a problem when something key, something central to the very core or concept of a show, shouts REAL LOUD to my brain saying "shut up, roll with it, it won't matter" and it spoils the entire viewing experience for me.

Case in point: ABC's new political conspiracy thriller 'Designated Survivor'. Kiefer Sutherland (looking less and less like his father every day) stars: Series synopsis from the ABC site: "A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession."

OK, good. I can roll with that. I'm watching, Sutherland is trying to not be Jack Bauer, he's meant to be a nerd, a wonk, a nothing that is supposed to grow into the job of President of the United States (so I assume). I'm watcing the opening and already I'm getting these odd 'in your face' hints that Things Are Not As They Seem and the moment hits, there is an explosion at the Captiol building and as above, everyone is wiped out.

Now an aside, and about my mind always being 'on'. I'm very big on the Cold War. Kinda almost obsessed about it, given I was alive during the really tense times. I've been collecting books about various aspects of the times, building a library, I love that stuff. If I could I'd make a trip out to Greenbrier in West Virginia and visit the congressional bunker. I want my own radiation counter. blah blah. :)

So all that reading, I've gotten pretty familiar with the concept of 'Continuity of Government'. It's more than the Post Office has postcards for you to fill out in case your city is nuked and need to have your mail forwarded (that's a real thing. Dunno if they have them still but that was considered very important back in the '60s), it's all about keeping the President (and/or other designated individuals) safe in times of extreme danger. I reccomend 'The Day After World War III' by Edward Zuckerman very highly as a decent primer on CoG and all that.

Now back to the show. The Capitol bulding has had an explosion. It's unknown if it was internal or external in cause but it was big enough to knock a big hole in the Capitol Dome. It SEEMS implied that it was an internal explosion, something akin to the ' Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot' in England 1606. But we don't know for sure in the course of the first episode.  Big boom.

The Secret Service moves in, grabs Sutherland and his wife from their secure location (which was within a couple of miles of the Captiol building. maybe closer. This is another problem but onward, alarms aren't ringing yet), and...

Drives him to the White House.


See, here's the deal. The Captiol has exploded. It's unknown if there are other bombs planted, or if there is a drone launching missiles or if a nuclear strike is next, we don't know. If the Captiol was compromised, it's possible the White House is in danger.

You DO NOT take the presumptive President of the U.S. to the heart of danger. You spirit him away to Mount Weather or Camp David or Andrews AFB (this is covered in detail in Chapter 3 of the book mentioned above), and swear him in.

Nope. Off to the White House, sworn in, shown the special super duper command center situation room (the real one looks as low end as any cheap hotel banquet room) and right away, the other shoe drops as everyone IGNORES him and goes about the business of getting ready to attack...I guess 'dem danged mooslims' from all that's said, implied and inferrred.

Just no. It doesn't WORK that way. It really doesn't. but it has to show the 'crazy general' who may or may not be part of a coup attempt to take over the government.

And so it goes. I predict another stock standard Hollywood TV series, complete with "how does nobody notice the shifty crap that person is pulling" and the "OH NOEZ THAT FRIEND TURNED OUT TO BE IN ON IT!!" moment.

I was hoping for something intelligent and smart, something in the 'Seven Days in May' mode. Guess not. Ho Hum.

ETA: Noted on Twitter (which I will read sometimes but I will not join), a friend commented that sometimes various agencies will demand changes in things in order to not give away secrets and stuff. So we're NEVER going to see, for example, the real 'football' and how it works* and stuff like that. I assume my friend is telling me that the Secret Service put the kibosh on ferrying Sutherland off to Mount Weather and had his original 'secure location' be within eyesight of the Capitol building instead of outside of the so-called 'safe zone', a theoretical ring around Washington D.C. outside of the anticipated blast zone from a nuclear attack. But our hero may not have gone to Mount Weather or Camp David, he may have been driven to Andrews AFB and put on 'Kneecap', the National Emergency Command Post, a highly modified 747 (not the same as Air Force One, but of course once the President is on board that plane is called Air Force One). Then he would be flown to an undisclosed location, one of at least 80 across the USA, until it was known that D.C. was safe. Now, if Sutherland had insisted he be TAKEN to the White House to show confidence and reassure the public, THAT would have made sense but that's not the 'take charge' character he's playing in this.

All this stuff is known. It's old news. It's in books and stuff. I suspect instead the reason for not making a trip to Virginia was for budget, they didn't want to have to shoot exteriors and interiors that would have only one use, but the White House and it's sooper dooper Space Age (and unrealistic as all get out) command center would get lots of screen time.

*The 'football' is really nothing cool at all. Unless there's been major changes it's nothing but a briefcase containing a procedure manual for the Emergency Broadcast System, a card with identification codes (for nuclear strike options, among others), a list of secret 'Presidential Emergency Facilities' and the Black Book, a loose leaf notebook of Soviet (and now others) nuclear weapons, likely attack patterns and a menu, printed in red, of American retaliatory options. No flashy lights or fancy computer stuff.
Steve Harrison
In reference to:



OK, I get it. Warner Bros is FINALLY able to leverage the '60s Batman TV series I.P. thanks to working out a deal with Fox and the show's producer (i.e. money) that brought the show to DVD and BD. yay. Death to bootlegs.

But...but... for years, for DECADES the comic world, the comic nerds, have lambasted and vilified and hated on the '60s show for almost making Batman irrelevant. Making Batman camp and funny and insane. Making a show about an adult who dresses as a bat to punch criminals because of course that's sensible.

And DC and Warner Bros have worked VERY VERY HARD to make The Dark Knight grimdark and horrible and gritty and crap. DECADES of that.

And now, woops, boys, let's put on the tights and fight us some crime! DA DA DA DA BATMANS.

It's of course meant to be viewed with proper 21st Century hipster snark "haw haw haw camp snicker soooo stoopid, yo!" and man, geeze.

I watched Batman avidly back in the '60s. It was fun to be 8 years old and see it. The comics of the time were also fun. But I also liked the Batman of the '70s, the whole Neal Adams (et al) revolution. When Batman was actually a detective and figuring out things, not just beating people up.

So what can we expect next? A live action Batman '66 movie? Will Arnet and Andy Samberg as Batman and Robin? *sigh*

Can't we have something NEW?
Steve Harrison
10 August 2016 @ 06:04 pm

OK, about 6 PM on a Wed. and there's a doofus climbing up the side of Trump Tower. I'm 100% positive he's intending to make some kind of scathing inditement in reference to this year's political elections.

I'm sure as can be he's a f'sking hero to a very specific demographic.

God DAMMIT will people stop losing their minds over crap? I don't care what your political views are I DON'T CARE. Hanging some stupid sign saying "Trump Sucks" (or whatever. You know that's what it's going to be, ain't no way he's gonna drape a sign saying "Trump is Great!") doesn't further the dialog or engage any kind of sensable, calm, reasoned debate.

It's nonsense. It's all nonsense. Just stop it.

This is why I don't discuss politics. Too many people are just so...nevermind. Just stop it. Go vote and that's all that matters.

ETA: And at 6:40 PM it's over. Dude tried to climb past an opened window, dunno why he didn't think the NYPD wouldn't grab him and pull him inside, but he tried to climb past and zoop was grabbed and pulled in. There will be some discussion over the next few hours, it'll get weird, then it'll go away. Supposedly he was 'trying to get information that Trump HAD to see' in front of a man who...wasn't there, he's out doing the meet and greet because he's running for President.

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA oh god all I can think about now is that this idiot is the first human spam, or maybe clickbait. "The information Trump HAS to see click me now!!  (boner pills)"

Steve Harrison
20 June 2016 @ 06:40 pm
Yeah, completely under my radar but Discotek, beloved, quirky, really needs to work on P.R. Discotek is releasing the original Toei robot show Gaiking.


It's not really my jam, but it's on my list when I get some money.

As part of Jim Terry' s Force Five block of Toei cartoons it's a fairly iconic program, and of course it was pretty dang well known due to Mattel's Shogun Warriors toys (He's a Skull! He's a Samurai! or some nonsense like that) but overall, it's another one of those 'impossible to release in the U.S. because OOLLLLDDDD' shows.

Nice. Now can you guys please license rescue 'My Youth in Arcadia' and maybe pick up the 'Queen of a 1000 Years' TV series? Thank you.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Steve Harrison
I don't do Twitter, or Facebook, but I do at times glance at some of what my friends do, because, well, I just do. Maybe that's a bad thing in our new world. I see it being no different than reading various posts on Rec.Arts.Anime that I had no real interest in other than gleaning nuggets of data.

Anyway. Discovered that Walter Simonson, one of my favorite artists because of Manhunter and his work on Dr. Fate way back 4 or 5 resets of the DC Comics Universe ago, seems to have been (still is?) A Space Battleship Yamato fan.

Should be a pic here near the top.


It's a picture of him (I assume due to the implied context of the tweet) Circa 1985, wearing a boss Space Cruiser Yamato tee shirt. It LOOKS like he's at what I recall of the Chicago Comic Con of that time but I didn't go to that specific con that year (I don't think) because that was around the time I was working on a Babelcon and prepping for my purgatory in Ft. Wayne at Kay Bee Toys (it was a crazy summer)

ETA: Ya know, funny thing, that room also kinda looks like the dealer's room at a Capricon. The badge also looks somewhat like a Capricon badge. I might have been at that con, Feb. '85, that might actually have been the con Jerry got his Silver Book set of Yamato Establishment Materials from a famous Godzilla fan.

So. Dude that did one of the comic story arcs that really made me COLLECT comics was a Yamato fan. Man that's just crazy and makes me smile all over. I hope he's had a chance to see Yamato 2199.

ETA: This might be easier to find, link to his Facebook post. https://www.facebook.com/waltsimonson/posts/10157053652025254:0

Also, should Mr. Simonson happen to stumble on this, thank you for your work on the Alien comic adaption lo those many years ago. It helped me find the courage to actually go see the movie. Still scared me silly. :)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Steve Harrison
18 June 2016 @ 05:13 pm
and worldwide shame.


Yes, Robotech.

Mind, it's not ALL our fault, but enough, enough is.


So many jokes I want to make which would be seen as unseemly due to current (as of 06/18/2016) situations.

What I would prefer, if some magical miracle were to happen and Harmony Gold  was finally forced to lose its seemingly eternal license to Macross, is Robotech to continue as its own intelllectual property in a series of novels. That way there's no need for images from Macross or anything else. Harmony Gold properly owns the names of the characters they 'created' for the 'repurposing' of Macross into Robotech, so Rick Hunter et al can go their merry way.

Careful and creative spelling can rescue other characters from their grip.


And go watch Macross Delta. You'll probably have to find some terrible evil pirate site to do so BECAUSE of Harmony Gold, and in this case I don't feel any pity on keeping money out of their hands even indirectly.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: Macross TV OST
Steve Harrison
Sez the internet today. Cosplay. Love it, hate it, don't give a s**t just stop clogging the hallways, has been a long, LONG term thing.

Cosplay, a Japanese term short for 'Costume Playing' (with playing being play acting, that is being in character, not just dressing up and being Joe Schmoe) has a long history, both in America and Japan. But it seems someone (I lost track who, one of the Cosplay Divas here in the USA and I'll just leave it at that) put forth statements (at a panel?) that Cosplay started in the '90s, I would guess implying the late '90s, that time when Gundam Wing was 'all that' and Weekday Toonami was THE place to go for your M-F 3-5 PM kidvid programming block. God, if I never seen another orange karate gi ever again I'll be able to die happy.

Anyway, there were some raised eyebrows from we old guard fans but no real 'pearl clutching' shock/outrage, just the mild wry amusement of elders watching clueless kids doing kid things.

I wonder if there's more outrage on the various cosplay message areas, or I guess that's a Twitter thing now, huh? Good thing I avold those things.

BUT! BUT! Some nameless soul (it would be terrible to think the writer himself wanted to jump in, wouldn't it?) thought SO MUCH about this 'crisis' of knowledge they wrote ANN's Anserman and HAD to get the straight poop! Because if ANN says it, it MUST be the complete and total truth, right? OK, so this tame article is the result http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2016-06-01/.102717

Nothing new, startling, altho I do question the bit about Forry Ackerman cosplaying from 'Things to Come' when everything I've read over decades said Forry was a full-up real deal Gray Lensman. But onward.

There's not going to be a smoking gun of 'First American japanese Cartoon Costume' because it was all an evolution. The folks who made Star Trek costumes went on to make Battlestar Galactia costumes went on to make Star Wars costumes (and, honestly, that's more a Venn diagram than a flat timeline) and suddenly it was Star Blazers, which really worked well, the basic uniform was fairly simple and worked pretty good for most any body type or gender and onward from there.

Really, a much better and more detailed look at anime cosplay in the U.S. is covered, as usual, on Let's Anime.


Go read that thing.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Steve Harrison
28 May 2016 @ 12:41 am
Friday night, getting ready for bed, flipping thru the channels.

TBS. About midnight.

There's a show about watching teams play co-op video games, I guess Counter-Strike? Daryl Surat would mock me for my lack of knowledge.

It's got a running color commentary like Poker or Golf. I can't make head nor tales about ANYTHING that's going on other than it seems to be a timed match, there's both a goal to try and complete and points to be gathered by killing, the JOY in the annoouncer/color comment person's voice when someone makes a head shot kill is chilling. It's like paintball but with vidgame bullets.

Over and over, changing screens in millisecond flips (I assume they're different players POV) I can't follow ANYTHING here. flipflipflipflip change weapon move change shoot change flipflipflip I'm gonna go blind watching this.

My god there's even an audience CHEERING and going ohhh and ahhh.

I would probably enjoy the watching more if I were stoned.

What is this s**t called. ELeague. Season 1 episode 1. MY GOD what have we become as a nation?

JEEEBUS FISH they've got UNIFORMS. F'skig TEAM COLORS. And the players just stare and stare, twitching their hands, cut off from the world with giant I mean GIANT headphones.

Not a single one of these guys (all guys from what I've seen) is overweight or got Cheetos dust all over their chins and shirt..OK, OK, one of the announcers is a stereotypical fatso beardo but he's got a few thousand Dollars worth of clothing and grooming to reduce the visual impact.

Man, where's the Axe commercials and the 'sexy burger' Carl's Jr. ads? No ads for Mountain 'scuse me, my error, Mtn Dew yet.

Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Steve Harrison
DVC, I tried to reply to your LJ message but somehow your settings block me. So, I'm doing this.

--- dvancleve wrote:
> Hello Steve,
> I'm not sure whether or not you actually ever met Bruce, or how close you two might have been.
> But since you are not on Facebook (where news seems to 'break' first), I thought I'd pass this along.
> From Mundee Henderson Lewis (05/13/2016):
> "Today with heavy heart, we took off Bruce off the ventilator. He is breathing on his own but it is just a matter of time before he stops breathing... "
> ---
> Bruce has been battling cancer for the past year.
> My mother passed (cancer) and my best friend's mother passed of cancer, and on and on it goes. :(
> If you feel that you have it in you, please pray for Bruce, Mundee, and their family.
> With melancholic regards,
> David Van Cleve
> Minneapolis, MN

Oh, I've met Bruce. I've admired him and had some issues with him, but never ever wished him ill. I know he had some brain tumor issues but I had thought that had been successfully taken care of.

So F**K. Pardon me. Another of our crew is dead. It's not right. It almost makes me think I'm like a curse on people.

I am of course sorry for your loss as well. I'm agnostic but I do pray in cases like this.

Thing that hurts so much about Bruce, he had TALENT. He really did. But something in him kept getting in the way. I really don't know what that was but he should have been more successful then he was.

Thank you for the heads up. Just because I consider Facebook to be SATAN (as is Twitter) doesn't mean I'm cut off.


And I'll add, Bruce was an OK guy. I enjoyed the times I was able to hang with him at a con. I still wish he could have remembered where that bar/steakhouse  was that we went to that one A-Kon. That was damn good food. I wanted to go back there subsequent A-Kons but it was not to be.

There are many things I could say but all of it is a jumble. Most of it doesn't matter one s**t now, and really didn't matter then either.

Farewell, Bruce. You deserved better.
Steve Harrison
21 April 2016 @ 05:39 pm
Prince is dead.

I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. I hope to GOD nothing skanky comes to light with this, because that wouldn't be fair.

I can't say I was a hard core Prince fan. I didn't follow his career, I didn't obsess over a new album, so I guess 'day tripper' would be the measure of my interest. Most excitement I could express would be way way back when, I was working in a record store (yes, an actual place that sold vinyl LPs and cassettes. CD was new back then) when his Black Album was announced, and man was excitement high for that! Then suddenly the release was cancelled and man, MAN the explosion! Then rumors got out that some copies had actually shipped to retailers by mistake and maaaaaaaaaan that was something. I think that was a subject of discussion for months.

The man was insanely creative. His music was wonderfully layered and full of intense texture. His music videos pretty much set the bar back in the day.

and now he'd dead and we won't have that anymore. The world is poorer for that loss.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated