ZOMG! TEH GAY SUBTEXT!
In this week's Strong Bad e-mail, "do over"
, over at Homestar Runner
, there's actual gay subtext! It's undeniable!
Homestar Runner ("Surprise! Strong Bad, it's me! Homestar Runner! From school!"), for no discernable reason, dresses up as The Cheat to help Strong Bad redo a couple of his e-mail "Stnanks" (what he calls mistakes), and, for the "do over" for "sisters"
(sbemail 35), Strong Bad sings a ballad to "Ali and Ali's Sister", a song whose lyrics are so romantic ("Don't you know I have a BIG OL' RED HEAD! And a fat little body! And I never change my cloooothes!") that even Homestar can't hide his attraction to Strong Bad any longer. And, just to add a little more ambiguity to the mix, I should point out that this scene may actually be taking place within Strong Bad's imagination, so Strong Bad's imagining Homestar dressed as the Cheat falling in love with him. How Freudian!
I'm expecting to see Homestar Runner/Strong Bad slash fanfics and yaoi artwork to be hitting the web any day.
And don't get me started on Marzipan kissing the Cheat in the Easter Egg. But I wouldn't be too quick to play the "bestiality subtext" card, as I'm not sure that Marzipan and company are even supposed to be human.
Another terrific detail was the Coach Zed
Easter Egg, wherein Coach Z
is drawn like Snoopy's brother Spike from Peanuts
, with the fedora and the scraggly mustache and the parallel line shading on the feet. "Coach Zed" is supposed to be the Canadian version of Coach Z, and I've inadvertently called the character, whose name is meant to be pronounced "Coach Zee", the American way, "Coach Zed" a few times myself, so Strong Bad just made the alternate pronounciation "official".
Oh, and Stinkoman 20X6
, the Megaman
parody videogame with the anime-ized version of Strong Bad from "japanese cartoon"
, has added a sixth level, called "Token Cloud Level", making fun of the near obligatory level with the walkable clouds that all 8-bit and 16-bit platformers seemed to have (Wonder Boy
had a particularly infuriating one, if I remember correctly).
WANT TO READ MY EPISODE 3 REVIEW?
I've finally posted my long review, summary, and analysis of "Episode 3" here
I hope you enjoy reading it!
Episode 3 of Super Gals!
, that is. I didn't say that it was Star Wars
I'm such a terrible procrastinator. I can't believe that I started writing that almost 3 months ago.
As for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
, while I went to the midnight screenings of both Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
(both of which, unlike a lot of people, I enjoyed almost as much as the original trilogy), I'm afraid I'm not going to do so this time around. While I have a lot of things within easy walking distance of me, there doesn't seem to be a cinema within 4 miles of me, so I'd have to take the bus all of the way downtown, which wouldn't be a problem, but, coming back, I have no idea what the night buses are like. And a taxi would cost far more than I am willing to spend. I'll see it Thursday afternoon.
In other news, I don't seem to qualify for the Ontario Works job training programme because I live with my parents. I'm not ready to move out, but I still need some job training. I'll go to the employment centre downtown before going to the movie tomorrow and see if there are any other options available to me, or whether they can pull some strings and get me in to Ontario Works.
I also went over to Merivale Blockbuster last night and couldn't think of anything I was in the mood to rent, so, instead, I bought about my third favourite comedy from last year, Sideways
, "previously-viewed". The newest "previously-viewed" films seem to cose $3 to $5 Canadian less than they did at Pincourt Blockbuster, not bad, though I really only paid $5 Canadian less than what I would have paid for it new at HMV.
ANIME CLUB REPORT
Over the weekend, my parents had two of their friends come over from Pincourt to see the Canadian Tulip Festival
here in Ottawa (here's some guy's gallery of it
), though I didn't go with them as I was planning on going to the University of Ottawa anime club
I wanted to leave early, so I could see the whole thing, but I got caught up doing Internet things, like writing this blog entry
, so I didn't get out until after 5 p.m., and missed the first two episodes each of Kino no Tabi ("Kino's Travles")
and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Here's what I thought of what I saw.
Kannazuki no Miko
("Priestesses of the Godless Month", sometimes spelt "Kannaduki no Miko") is the story of Himeko Kurusegawa and Chikane Himemiya, two girls at a weird exclusive high school who are in fact reincarnations of the shrine maidens of the sun and moon who must remanifest their powers if they are to combat the ancient evil of the Orochi ressurects itslef, turning some of their classmates into monsters and mecha (giant robots), and the girls also get help from a good mecha. Or something.
Yeah, this is another one of those magical fantasy shows, like Shamanic Princess
, that really leaves you wondering just what the fuck is going on, though the good girls and bad guys are easier to identify here. There's something about a shrine on the moon, and then the moon goes all black and purple in a manner somewhat reminiscent of that crazy and notorious episode of the original, Canadian-produced, Spider-Man
cartoon, "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension", when the moon went all weird and psychadelic and Spider-Man found himself trapped in footage lifted directly from an episode of Rocket Robin Hood
, also produced by Toronto's Krantz Films. Anyway, spoiler whore that I am, I read some of the episode summaries
and still don't get what's going on. (Here's an anime blog with some more summaries.
) Maybe I'll understand it better when I see it in motion.
I know I'm one of the leading proponents of the unpopular, in some circles, opinion
that Tomoyo Daidouji
's (Madison in the dub) affections for Sakura Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura
have more to do with idol worship than they do with lesbianism, but, in Kannazuki no Miko
the lesbian overtones
are a lot less ambiguous. Though it's all yuri fanservice
for guys; don't expect an honest portrayal of lesbian romance here. I haven't yet come across any, but I'm sure this series was tailor-made to be "slashed" in H doujinshi
(hentai fan comics).
DOT HACK: LEGEND OF THE TWILIGHT
(Or .hack//Legend of the Twilight
for those of you who insist on writing it out the pretentious way.)
I haven't yet bothered checking out Dot Hack: Sign
... oh, pardon me, .hack//sign
on YTV, but Legend of the Twilight
is apparently a side story with new characters set in the same cyber-universe as the original series (or, if it's not, I wouldn't particularly care for anyone e-mailing me about the discrepancies between the Dot Hack
Shugo and his fraternal twin sister Rena, who are separated by distance due to a parental divorce, stay close to each other through "The World", which is some sort of massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) similar to Phantasy Star Online
, though presumably it's less boring than PSO
is (compared to the REAL Phantasy Star
games, which have an ongoing plot and not just a bunch or repetitive quests). But, unlike PSO
, "The World" is played with virtual reality visors on, and these are the magic kind of VR visors featured in many a cheesy mid-90s movie like Virtuosity
that aren't just two small television screens close to the eyes, they somehow can give you full-body tactile sensations (which makes me wonder, if these magic VR visors exist, why is everyone wasting their time in a stupid MMORPG when they could be having all sorts of simulated deviant sexual encounters free from risk of disease, pregnancy, and arrest?). Also, like that stupid Star Trek: Voyager
episode, "The Thaw" (the one with Michael McKean as "Fear" and a bunch of performers from Cirque du Soleil), people can somehow get trapped in virtual reality, even if it's just a stupid visor over their eyes.
The twins were apparently the best newcomers in the trial version of the game, so they get assigned very coveted online character avatars, Kite and Black Rose. After some kind of glitch puts Shugo in a hopeless confrontation against a high-level "boss" who shouldn't appear in the first level and Shugo gets "killed", he is revived by Ouka, a girl who disguises herself as a wolf (and, in human form, resembles Rei Ayanami from Evangelion
with dog ears) member of a group of extrememly powerful characters who gives him a magical bracelet that can defeat monsters and delete viruses alike with the power of Data Drain. Shugo's "Twilight Bracelet" attracts another ally, Mireille, some sort of mage who is also a collector of rare items. There's also Balmung, who is some sort of administrator who is investigating what is wrong with the world and trying to debug it, and Reki, his assistant who seems to be the ambiguously gay Yukito/Yue
of the series.
It's a pretty standard videogame-based cartoon with a sprinkling of comic relief, except, uh... Shugo and Rena seem to be rather affectionate to one another for siblings, almost to the point where one can claim that there are certain rather
disturbing undertones of incest. How
gross! If the pseudo-incest gets stronger, as some of the spoiler summaries I read seem to indicate, I think I'll always
stay in the room during the sort of cartoon I wouldn't otherwise bother to watch
leave the room and vomit! I'd say that aspect makes it kind of like Pokémon
as directed by Todd Solondz
, except I'd already describe Narutaru
as being like Pokémon as directed by Todd Solondz
. So, Legend of the Twilight
is kind of like the Star Ocean EX
anime as directed by Todd Solondz.
I saw the first couple of episodes at Fantasia in 2001, but forgot what they were like. It's a supernatural psychological thriller horror anthology series with largely self-contained stories about the citizens of a city who all have some sort of encounter with a creature named "Boogiepop" that a lot of people, at the beginning of the series, think is a ghost. Like one episode's about a guy who becomes able to see people's sadness and bad memories as a literal parasite which he hungers to consume, freeing people from their sadness but eliminating some of their memories. Or something.
Another very hard to follow "mindfuck" kind of anime and I'm really not that big on "mindfucks" as I find those sorts of shows have a tendency to get real pretentious real quick. This guy
gives a fairly concise explanation of what he thinks is going on.
They showed the first episode of the 1993 OVA series, "Moonlight and Cherry Blossoms", not the first episode of the TV series. I already own the Oh My Goddess!
OVA series twice over, on DVD and Laserdisc (or thrice
over, if you count the fact that AnimEigo's "hybrid" LaserDiscs actually have each episode twice: dubbed on one side and in Japanese with English subtitles on the other). But it's been a full decade since I watched the OVA series on the "big screen" at the old Animate club at Université de Montréal
I've already given my opinion on the OVA series and movie elsewhere
, but I think the OVA series would have been an above average adaptation had all episodes been like the first one, which doesn't deviate as much from Kosuke Fujishima's original Aa! Megami-sama
manga as the other episodes do (not that there aren't a bunch of differences, like they removed a lot of Belldandy's explanations, the encounter with the Otaku isn't present, they added the bit with Keiichi Morisato's bike almost getting an accident, the temple is unoccupied by the time Keiichi and Belldandy arrive in the anime and they don't have the bit about the Buddhist monk being so taken aback by Belldandy's divinity that he goes on a pilgrimage to India, and they add another scene with Belldandy using her powers to restore the temple).
Speaking of sibling relationships with incestuous subtexts, Keiichi's sister Megumi Morisato
does show up towards the end of the episode, but her affections for her brother aren't nearly as obvious as they are in the manga. (Just kidding... she loves her brother in the manga, but not in that way, except for that one time when she was under the influence of Peorth's Crystal Teardrop of Love which she modified from Urd's Seeds of Love in order to make Keiichi fall in love with her, but, instead, they made every female who saw Keiichi fall in love with him.)
After that, I walked over the Laurier Avenue bridge across the Rideau Canal, passing by the 150 five-foot painted tulips
at the Tulip Art Festival
, and had dinner at the Elgin Street McDonald's and then walked a while, in the pouring rain, to the bus shelter on Albert Street, realized it wouldn't be there for another twenty minutes, walked to the World Exchange Plaza to make a phone call home just to say I was going to be late, walked back to the shelter, got on the 86 bus, and got home just before midnight, missing the first twenty minutes of Saturday Night Live
Because it's the politically expedient thing to do.
In an explosive development leading up to Thursday's dramatic budget vote, Conservative MP Belinda Stronach has crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party as the new Human Resources Development Minister.
The stunning move could be a blow to the Tories' hopes of defeating the government Thursday and triggering a federal election, because it will lower the hair-thin Conservative-Bloc lead in the seat count. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said the party was "devastated" and "betrayed."
I'd say this is a huge disappointment for me as one of the minority east of Manitoba who will vote Conservative in the next election, but I'm not going to call her the "Canadian version of Jumping Jim Jeffords" and I didn't make the headline "Why did the chicken cross the floor?" because I'm afraid that I understand and even agree with some of her reasoning.
"I found myself at a crossroads," she said, adding that she has become increasingly uncomfortable with the direction that Mr. Harper has been taking the party. "The upcoming vote forces me to make a decision. And I feel that as I evaluated my options, that you know should I leave, because I do have some different viewpoints as to how the party should grow and those are not a secret."
Ms. Stronach has been vocal about her opposition to an election. She has said she wants to wait until Mr. Justice John Gomery releases his report on the sponsorship inquiry late in the year. Mr. Martin has promised that he will call an election within 30 days of that report being tabled.
However, Mr. Harper had not wanted to wait for the Gomery report to be released. He was gearing up for an election call after Thursday's vote, confident that with the support of the Bloc Québécois, the Liberal government would fall.
I'm not going to change party allegiances, but I'm not convinced that an early election would be a good idea. I think outrage over the findings of the Gomery Inquiry over the sponsorship scandal has already peaked and I don't believe that this scandal has the legs outside of Quebec that Stephen Harper thinks it has. I also don't think there's widespread popular support for an early election outside of Conservative echo chambers like the National Post
(and CFRA radio here in Ottawa), and I fear the Conservative Party risks an electoral backlash at the polls should they proceed with an election before the Gomery Inquiry is finished. And, as a federalist and an anglophone Quebecer at heart, I certainly have grave reservations about the Conservatives working together with the Bloc Quebecois, which I consider to be the Treason Party, for any sort of political advantage. Last year's results, with the Bloc gaining seats in federalist ridings like Vaudreuil, was already a tragedy, and I certainly don't want to see the tragedy repeated and compounded for the sake of seeing the Liberals' total seat count go down a couple of notches.
Even if the Conservatives did win, it would just be a mirror image of the current minority Liberal government, and I don't doubt the Liberals would jump at the opportunity to pull the confidence vote trigger again at the first chance they get, possibly spurring yet another election.
And I don't want to think about how an allegiance with the Bloc would bite the Conservatives in the ass later on should there be another sovereignty referendum in Quebec and the "Yes" side pulls off a narrow victory, plunging Canada into a constitutional nightmare of unheralded proportions regarding the millions of federalist Quebecers, francophone and anglophone, who want to remain within Canada.
Don't get me wrong, I want the Conservatives to win, but not at any price,and I think there would be greater value in not jumping the gun and waiting a while. A Conservative win now would just be an anger vote without deep rooted support in the east. I'd rather the Conservatives wait at least half a year and, in the interim, try and sell themselves a little better to skeptical fence sitters in Ontario, the Maritimes, and especially Quebec, so I can honestly believe that a plurality of Canadians are voting for something positive and not just voting against the current scoundrels.