Please watch the following video, it’s from the busiest major road in my country, taken at 10 AM. Note that it is not staged in any way or form:
This is footage from the, well, for lack of a better way to put it, one of Israel’s (Jewish majority’s) two secular high holy days, the Holocaust Remembrance day. On 10 AM during the Holocaust Remembrance Day, once at 6 PM the evening of the Soldiers’ and War casaulties’ memorial day, and once at 10 AM the day of. The two occasions are one week apart.
Well, it’s time for this blog to return to life. I’ve wanted to make the return post on a Monday, and the first day of a month. So while this is April 1st, it’s not an April’s Fools Day post. This post is the official resurrection post for this blog, and unlike the last time I have a plan this time, to allow me to get things rolling and keep them rolling.
But first, Music Monday dictates, so a song:
I think this is a good song to get you pumped up and ready in the mood to keep on striving, it sure does that for me (even if I couldn’t find the version I wanted for you guys). I’ve been a huge fan of Jeff Wayne‘s The War of the Worlds ever since I’ve first heard it, back in the 4th grade. Originally a musical style disc from 1978, which is hard to guess from the sound of the music, based on H.G. Wells‘ novel from 1897.
The most well known piece and the blog-resurrection parts after the jump.
There are benefits, real benefits, to not maintaining one’s blog. I’m not talking about the time it takes to maintain one’s blog; oh no. I’m talking about money. Maintaining a blog, even a “free” blog hosted by WordPress, is an endeavour that ends up costing you money. Real money.
I’ve gone in a past post on my figure purchases up until that time (back in September 2009). It came out to $374 back then, and well, it’s gone considerably higher since (especially with the purchase of a limited figure such as Saber Alter Maid version by Alter, reviewed here). Anime also takes time, even if it’s something I find enjoyable. So the blog also costs you time (and this is aside from time spent on it!).
Wow, it’s been 4 months since my last entry. I’ve really been remiss in my updates of this blog. I guess you could say it’s taken an end of summer and autumn hibernation. It’s not that I didn’t have what to say… I had a lot to say. But once you stop updating, it’s sort of what I experience with certain fora (plural of forum) or topics; they remember where is the first unread post, so if you see they have 15 unread posts, you wait till you have time to read them all. And then it’s 150 unread posts and you know you’ll never get to it.
Grrrrr. WordPress just ate a couple of paragraphs I wrote…
Anyway, there are two ways to get back to posting: Go with “I’ll post whenever I feel like it”, so you’d make a post without feeling an obligation to keep on posting, which I dislike (and also, once I resume posting, it’s not an obligation as much as a snowball; can’t stop!). The other method is to bite the bullet. Stop procrastinating, and just resume blogging. Delve head-first.
There’ll be a blog post coming once a week, gauranteed. Even if the skies fall or Cthulhu and the lost city of R’lyeh resurface. I will try, and I think in most weeks will succeed, to get two posts up. I’ll be aiming for Sunday-Tuesday for one and Thursday-Saturday for the other. Some weeks may have three posts, but I’m not promising. I’m too wise for that.
As I begin writing this post, we are 2 hours and 35 minutes away from midnight in Israel, when Starcraft 2 will be released. For the first time, I will be going to a midnight release of a video game. Not because I’m such a huge Starcraft fan, but, why not?
The hype and excitement over Starcraft 2 is quite crazy, and it’s not like Blizzard even had to do a lot to fan it. Well, that’s not entirely true, they fanned it by not speaking too much about it, and letting gamers who were honestly excited do all the promotion on their own. This is a winning technique, when you already have people going crazy for your next release, no matter what you say or do.
I really started playing serious video games in my own home when I was in fourth grade. One of the first few games I’ve received was Warcraft 2, and then its expansion (which I didn’t enjoy much with the crazy magic difficulty). I still remember after my father installed it he tried to play and couldn’t get things done, and I got things working from the first few minutes of playing the campaign – I found it intuitive; same as some years later my cousin had Age of Empires and didn’t know how to get things done, and I sat down and within a couple of minutes got the hang of the game.
In the year 1999, a movie is released; it’s called, “The Matrix“. In this film viewers are introduced to a technique called “Bullet-time“. A year or two later, and dozens of movies which do not benefit or have a plausible explanation for the usage of bullet-time are produced. Most of us grow weary, as bullet-time no longer elicits amazement, but is delegated to being a gimmick.
It is now the year 2010, and in 2009 a movie called “Avatar“, directed by James Cameron, is released. This movie comes out in 3D, and although it’s not the first movie to come out this way, it is buoyed by waves of PR and marketing and mass hysteria. This signals the beginning of the high-budget 3D movies’ assault, which had been planned in advance; which is evident in how many of the 3D movies coming out this year had already been in production when Avatar hit the silver screens world-wide.
The 3D is neat, it’s pretty convincing, and in one scene I moved my hand forward to move aside some banners which were hiding Woody. But to be honest, our mind is a great computer, and one that always falls for optical illusions. We’ve been capable of tricking it into seeing 3D for quite some time. Heck, taking the special glasses off I didn’t see non-3D, just a bit blurry as there were double-edges going on.
Well, this should not come as any surprise to you guys, but summer is the season of sweat. It’s not all bad of course, look at all those people who think they look better with sweat, erm, yeah, you don’t really see them off of billboards and ads for shoes, perfumes, or sportscars, do you?
Summer is the season where traditionally students are let off from their chains at school, to go home for two months and go to sleep somewhere between 4 and 5 AM, and wake up around the time they’d usually return from school. Well, it’s been 2003 the last time I had a proper summer vacation, aside from the time I had after finishing my time as a medic and beginning university back in 2007. Yeah, that’s a time where I had time off…
Today is the 4th of July, and today I had to stay awake for 26 hours. This makes me think of fireworks. There’s fireworks to be had in the USA (happy Independence Day to all of my American friends!), and there are fireworks slowly going off in my mind, demanding that I rest my head.
Seeing as this is the situation, and that a long weekend is coming up for you guys, but a lot of tests for me, I’m going to postpone my post on “The Question at the Heart of a Story” to Wednesday (or Thursday if I keel over), and instead, shower you lot with a condensed version of an anime review, or an omnibus of pre-episodic blog reviewing content.
Ok, the above probably didn’t make a lot of sense, did it? I’ve discussed my meta-experience of watching Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) on this blog before. Last month I finally finished watching the series.
Now, as I’ve covered on that blog entry, I wrote down my thoughts on each episode, sometimes after it ended, but sometimes (and this really disrupted my “flow”), I stopped an episode to jot down my thoughts as I had them, and later I wrote down how things panned out – did they get answered, or did the water get even murkier?
What I’m going to share with you are those thoughts. You can look at them as 24 episodes’ worth of an episodic blog’s review of a series in one post, but that is obviously not what they are. These are the thoughts I had during the time I watched each episode. I sometimes had thoughts on an episode as a whole. A good episodic blog would have taken each of those thoughts, and wrote at least a paragraph on them. It’d have found thematic strings between the disparate elements and connected them.
An editorial blog (such as this one) would have taken all those endless strings and weaved the ones the writer (that’s me) finds more interesting into weaving a compelling whole.
In the case of this series, it somewhat feels as if it’s based on a light novel series, as you can point to distinct “chunks” of the series that are different in focus and even theme than others, and are discrete. The arch-angel “arc” for instance was quite horrible.
Needless to say, this post will spoil the ENTIRETY of the series! BEWARE!
Thoughts after the jump!
I meant to post this Friday evening, before I went and had a marvelous weekend with my girlfriend, Chen, but I think posting now after I’ve had a wonderful weekend and returned home will also serve well.
Well, I’ve been away for the last several months, we all know that. We also all know that we do not all share the same interests, but many of us can find truly cool things online. Cool videos, (like Yi and the ove for Gaga‘s Alejandro), cool images (Mefloraine and the Pixiv obsession ), cool gadget news (Hikky) or cool blogs.
So, dear readers. Why not post here about really really cool things you’ve all come across on the internet lately? Feel free to comment and exclaim with wonder about the lovely things your fellow commentors have found.
Also, I will update my “Links” page the coming week, so feel free to share cool sites, cool blogs, or other things worthy of my attention, and my Links page’s love in the comments as well
So, love you all, and the next entry will be “China Mieville and Mecha Anime”, the alternative title is “Not all Anime with Mecha are Mecha Anime”!
Edit: This is a post where you, the readers, get to tell me and my other readers what you are excited about. Just post it.
So, here’s the deal. Slash is a form of fan-fiction written that for the most part covers (male) homosexual relationships between two characters, from the same fantasy world, or even crossing boundaries (pun). Yaoi is anime/manga focused on homoeroticism.
So far, so good?
These are porn, and the characters written within them often fail to portray people of the gender they seemingly portray, not unlike lesbian pornorgraphy (pornography with two (or more!) women, mostly aimed at men, as distinct from pornography aimed at the lesbian community).
Now, I’m going to leave aside the discussion of whether Porn is or isn’t bad, but if we’re honest, fiction written in order to get people sexually aroused and which people use in order to get sexually aroused? I don’t really see any term to use to describe it aside from pornography.
My other claim which is a bit more controversial (that is less to say, it’s more of an opinion), is that there’s a “gender-swap” going on. The men in yaoi/slash, while they are males (biological distinction), are not men (social distinction). What they are, is women, or to put it in a crass but catchy manner – they are chicks with dicks.