Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Policeman Remind

Click on it to hugify.

There it is. The new comic, for all to see. I feel so vulnerable, but at least it's not even not much worse than the last one, I suppose. I think that maybe my comicking is mainly for personal venting, and may make me laugh, but that's all I'm after anyway. Catharsis.

This one is about the recent news of the WTO tightening its grip on piracy in China. While, in theory, I'm against stealing for the reason that maybe might possibly I'll sent to eternal damnation with the thieves, murderers and whoremongers (see Revelations 21:8... Thanks alot Mrs. Norris), I can't help but wonder what will happen to the entertainment avenues in China as a whole. I mean, where will people get there fun without it involving The Rock and/or special effects in some way? Mahjong? Friendly social outings with other human beings?! PLEASE! Also, the comic is a throwback to the hilariously mistranslated sign about not being a thief in Zhongguancun.

Anyway, recently we had a party in honor of Cory and Dave's Tax Day/Birthday Extravaganza and it was a boatload of fun. Lots and lots compadres from work showed up, representing both countries, and we had good times with the completely and totally legit Nintendo Wii and games that I bought totally LEGALLY! (Just wanted to make that clear). It's amazing to see someone who's never played it pick up the remote, examine it intently, and then proceed to flick it around with incredible uncertainty. It brought to mind that scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the monkey-men (fresh from their session with the brain-boosting monolith) start realizing they can use tools for the first time. Yeah, not exactly the nicest comparison to make of my friends... with movie-monkeys. But if it makes it better, I went through the same process, except I was in an EBGames surrounded by total strangers.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Positive Role Model For the Children

So the Wii is fun and all, but there are some lines I'm not sure I'm ready to cross. I mean, I've crossed it already, I guess, but I didn't feel comfortable about it once I became self-aware.

I made this as a pilot comic, so to speak. It really didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would have, and I like it personally. As I mentioned ephemerally before, I think some of the more ridiculous scenarios that happen in China or just in general aren't best explained in text form. The absurdity of some situations, I feel, can only be truly expressed (by me personally) in a ridiculous way. I guess this is ridiculous as any.

Back in college times, my friends and I used to draw pictures on each other's dry-erase boards. This was good fun, and it provided an outlet for expressing the aforementioned absurdities of each other's behavior, and/or the absurdities of life. Usually it was done in the passive/aggressive sense, and I could imagine a scenario in which future comics of mine take on this approach at dealing with issues that crop up in life. Funny or not, I think I'll keep doing it. Let me know what you think, though, whoever's out there.

This particular pilot comic (I'm too shy to put it up on the front page yet... I mean, it's pretty rough), as I said before, has nothing to do with China. It's actually something I've caught myself doing before. It's the marriage between a song I've had stuck in my head for the past few days, and playing Godfather: Blackhand Edition for the Wii. I caught myself joyfully crooning the happy (and educational!) song, while participating in gesture-controlled activities such as extorting barbershop owners, smashing up their stores with baseball bats, and subsequently having a shootout with the coppers. Once I realized how jubilant I was behaving while conducting these despicable acts (albiet virtually), I had to take a step back and reevaluate my sanity. After an intensive review, I can safely - and objectively - conclude that I'm still sane. Everyone can relax now.

And just so you know, Mom and Dad will likely know the other time this happened: During Christmas a few years back, they could here cries of anguish from my room while I was mowing down supervillains in No One Lives Forever while whistling jolly Christmas carols. Good times were had by most!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Elite Beat Agents

Here's the link for the stupid game that made me freaking cry. If you want to lose some respect in me, watch this video. Just note that other people have admitted in comments that they cried too! So I'm not alone.

Time to fully surrender my masculinity...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Is that the best you got?!

So the sandstorm hit and OH MY GOD!! Look at the pics!!!

BEFORE THIS LONG POST -- I need to let everyone know that I can post in China right now, but I can't freaking comment. If that's not back-asswards, I don't know what is. But thanks for the comments everyone!

Insanity! It was impossible to breate, much less survive. The mere exposure to the harsh climates peels the coloration from your retinas, inducing a piercing blue tint to your eyes much like the spice in "Dune". Mere surgical masks does little to... umm... delay the inevitable... err...

Ok, April Fools. And a day late, no less.

Of course, the images are photoshopped. Not only photoshopped, but done so in an amateurish way that would make my teachers at the Art Institute disown my one year of intensive artistic training. The sandstorm did nothing. As a matter of fact, the next day was beautiful. Clear skies, clouds, you name it. I think I even saw a blue-bird on someone's shoulder. So much for Beijing living up to the hype. Gah!

Speaking of science-fiction, I've been watching Dr. Who. This campy, yet highly entertaining, new romp in old fashioned sci-fi worlds doubles as a metaphor for traveling. Kind of like how Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy did and yes, I'm sure, the original Dr. Who T.V. series. But this one really has a lot of interesting aspects that equates to what I experience while traveling. With the uncertainty, the culture shock, the exploration, and how they handle contact of one of the main characters with her family back home, who neither know where she is, or when she is. The whole premise is based around traveling through time and space to distant... times and spaces.

The whole purpose of traveling in my personal experience has little to nothing to do with "finding yourself" as many people believe it does, and more with just seeing all you can see, and challenging yourself in ways that you simply can't be challenged academically or physically (not that I frequently challenge myself in the latter). Thrusting yourself into a situation of uncertainty and almost total exclusion from anything you're comfortable with or accustomed to. It's the ultimate in uprooting yourself.

In addition to academic challenges, I feel that this is one of the most worthy endeavors that anyone could do. I need to stress "anyone", because it's not just me that I feel this relates to. Sure, I've loved traveling to the point of scary addiction since the whole European Extravaganza back in aught-2, but I think this experience is oft overlooked as being something that "gets in the way of real life". I, of course, profoundly disagree. Seeing how you handle yourself in these situations, and seeing just how much your own behavior differs from those around you (when you're TOTALLY surrounded by it) allows you to be able to be more aware of your abilities and limitations. Which is why, I must say, I'm especially proud of Ma, Pa, and my dearest older brother, Nukie. They ventured to the lands of the Scots and the Brits, and enjoyed it. I have to be honest, it surprised me a little. Even more of a shock, Dad liked Hong Kong. Hong... Kong. Not just a city, a big ol' city. Full of people. And he only managed to embarrass me only about half the time. Shocking.

Oh, but I ramble. This was mainly a post to say that traveling should be done by all. I don't want to here any moaning about, "Oh, but I can't. It would be nice to travel and piss away my life rambling about the globe, but I've got my future to think about." I got news for you, buddy (er... buddies), especially you younger types. The average amount of time an American changes his or her job is 5 times in their lifetime. At some point during those 5 changes, find some time to travel somewhere and experience all the craziness first hand. Just a few months, maybe a year. If you despise it, at least you'll be better off. Unless you get malaria. Which is why you should go prepared. And who knows?! Maybe you'll FIND yourself!