In truth, we had a great team that produced some great images, but it just wasn't our time to win. I'm sure at some point we'll get our revenge, and it will be sweet and tangy, but for now we are humbled losers walking in the hall of loserdom. It was a fun experience, though, and there were a ton of great images that came out of this tournament from all the sites and players. You can view them all here. Once again, congrats to the winners! I also want to thank the SA Goons who gave it their all - you guys were and still are great in my book!
Hearts of Spandex: An Internet Writer's Apocalypse (Part 2 of 2)
Note: this is, surprise, part 2 of a 2 part series exploring what it's like to drive to a science fiction and fantasy convention and then spend the weekend at said science fiction and fantasy convention. You can read the first part here. My partner in crime for Dragoncon, Marie "elf pr0n" Peccia, is again accounted for and present-like in the weekend's events.
Sunday, Day 3
HELLO!Sunday began like any other day in a city overrun with people dressed as fictional characters, which is to say Sunday began like no other day save for maybe Halloween or Canada's famous "Dress Like a Retard for Work Day." One thing still lingering from the day before was the intense shame and frustration that came from knowing that we let world renowned celebrities Luke Perry and Marc Singer slip through our fingers. All throughout the night I was tormented with images of Marc Singer, the Beastmaster himself, the leader of the human resistance in "V," screaming my name. I'm pretty sure that was the creepiest dream I've ever lied about having.
Overall, Sunday was a lot of fun, even though we mostly roamed back and fourth and sat around a lot since we had pretty much seen everything we were going to see already. Not surprisingly, we ended up back in the Marriott, the blackened heart of Dragoncon and epicenter of all things nerdy and stupid. One of the first things we did was waste yet more money. I bought some heinous videos, including "Legends of the Superheroes." I recently took the time to watch it, and it was the most painful experience I've ever endured. I think passing an entire clown with Bell's Palsy through my urethra would be less painful than watching this dreadful video again. Even if you took all the pain that Ben "Greasnin" Platt has had to endure from reviewing all those stupid movies of his and multiplied it by ten thousand, it still wouldn't equal the pain I felt watching this video. Alternatively, if you really want to know what the pain was like firsthand, you could just read one of Ben's updates. Zing! For those of you wondering, "Legends of the Superheroes" was a 1979 two-part TV special that featured Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin. Fellow DC heroes Hawkman, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, Flash, Black Canary, and Huntress joined them. One hour of the video was dedicated to a superhero roast in which famous DC villains I've never heard of gathered to poke fun at the heroes. Ed McMahon, then apparently even more desperate than someone who gives blowjobs for hits of cocaine, hosted this fine hour of mental rape. The other part was so bad I won't even mention it – suffice to say it ended with Batman and Robin chasing an evil wizard across a lake on jetskies. Next time I will make a point of setting all my money on fire as to prevent myself from buying anything this stupid again.
Marie, who is probably entirely too nice and generous to be a reader of this site, decided she wanted to buy a gift for our fearless leader, Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka. After a lot of thought, we ended up back in the art gallery. Lowtax has a house now, and he undoubtedly has walls in need of art! We took another fresh look at all the lovely paintings and compositions, which featured more busty barbarian women than a Neanderthal strip club. I know I mentioned how miserable most of the art in this gallery was last week, but that simply wasn't enough to accurately convey the pure crap flowing from this place like an overburdened sewer. As to how so many people can convince themselves the world needs more erotic pictures of dragons raping women or scantly clad fairies bathing in waterfalls, I simply don't know and don't want to know. Getting back to the initial point, Marie purchased a couple prints of fine art from the famous Poser artist David Howard, including "Demon Suntan," which will soon be adorning Rich's mantle place:
You will note that "professional" has a checkmark next to it; indeed no amateur could tackle such a topic with this much grace!
Surprisingly, this guy looks professional and conservative compared to a lot of other people at DragonCon.This weekend was not without its dangers, friends. In one moment that will forever be scratched in the vinyl siding of my psyche, I was nearly murdered. This terrible incident occurred when Marie and myself sat down to relax and recharge for further adventures. We chose an area that was lightly populated and out of the way of most of the main areas of congestion, though they were still quite visible. While we sat, a frantic woman ran by screaming, "clear the way!" She gestured as though a stampede was coming, and given the eccentric nature of the weekend, such an occurrence seemed highly plausible. It was no stampede, though, not even a stampede of overweight Klingons. It was the menacing approach of a fiery speed queen, a reckless woman with Hell in her heart and no respect for moral and prudent speeds. She rode upon a scooter, a veritable last of the V-8 Interceptors for disabled people, and charged down the path like a tornado of vengeance. The problem: I was in the path. Time slowed to a snail's slither, and my entire life flashed before my eyes like a PowerPoint presentation on "Lord of the Rings." Unfortunately, because my life lacks any substance, I still had plenty of time to wait as death inched ever closer. The demon woman kept her hands coiled tightly around the vehicle's accelerator, and cleared me by a mere several feet as she sped past, presumably to terrify more innocent civilians, if not murder them all together. It was only after this fiery virago had left us in the dust that Marie pointed out the mystery woman's identity. It was Anne McCaffrey, the Sonny Barger of dragon fantasy authors. Anne McCaffrey was singing my death song, but luckily for me she missed a note.Americans enjoy too much freedom.Another particularly hairy moment was when we happened to loiter a little too long near a booth where a hip new card game was being demoed. Even though we stood there peacefully minding our own business, a merciless exhibitor still accosted us with his sales pitch of doom. Right away he started talking about a post apocalypse and the 1970's and magic being reintroduced into modern society. He rambled continuously, and all I could do was think about our method of escape. After awhile, I think at the point when he mentioned that up to six people could play with a single deck, I started feeling sorry for him. I wanted to gesture to him to be silent, and then tell him that somewhere in the world there was a lonely mother who missed her son. Somewhere was a mother who didn't know anything about expanding the player limits by adding more decks, or what any of this foolishness about magic attacks meant. I wanted to tell him that he still had a home, that he didn't have to carry on this façade, that no one would judge him if he left it all behind and returned to a normal life. Then I thought that after all this, we might hug and exchange addresses and maybe every year he would send me a Christmas card thanking me from the bottom of his heart for saving him. Actually I didn't think about any of that, I was too busy giving Marie the international facial expression for, "run like hell the second he's distracted!" Unfortunately she's entirely too nice a person, and thanked the poor man for his time when we abruptly started walking away.
What scares me even more than being lectured on magic card games by a grown man who isn't retarded is seeing a giant room jam-packed with people doing nothing but playing card games. The mere concept of coming to a convention and then squeezing into a massive orgy of sweaty nerds clutching decks of fantasy themed cards terrifies me beyond belief. We attempted to enter the huge hall where this madness was happening twice, but both times I got frightened and immediately ran to the door claiming I had agoraphobia or that I felt the tremors of an earthquake and needed to be near a more structurally sound area. It was too much to bare, too strange a concept, and an all too frightening reality. I instinctively shut down my olfactory senses when we neared the hall, knowing that many of those people hadn't moved for the duration of the convention, and would undoubtedly be sporting more obscene odors than a zombie flea market.You can blow a hole in my Dethstar any day!One of my most endearing memories was when we chatted with an inspirational police officer stuck directing pedestrian and motor traffic between the two hotels hosting Dragoncon. His job consisted of halting vehicle traffic, then waiting patiently as fat Klingons and anorexic girls in stupid anime costumes waddled by. After that he would kind of wander off, smoke a cigarette, and undoubtedly question what kind of cruel god would curse him with such a horrid job. We sat down near where he was working his beat, and he stopped by every few minutes to express his disgust with humanity. He would take a puff of his cigarette, look at the road as a man in a bright Skeletor costume crossed the street, and then quietly mutter, "God I wish some of these people would get hit." Being concerned about national security, I asked him if it was a problem that so many people were carrying fake guns around. He just sighed and said, "I don't know about that, but I think it'd be pretty cool if some of those guys with swords got drunk and started fighting." While we were talking, he suddenly realized his shift was over and he was no longer required to prevent the nerds from getting smeared all over the road. He simply got in his car and drove off, leaving no one to take his place. His mixture of disgust and apathy resonated in my heart, and I now want to be a police officer.It's like this guy is just made out of muscle!!!!!The absolute worst part of the entire weekend would have to be when we decided to go to a paneled discussion event called "My So Called LiveJournal." We somehow convinced ourselves that this would be an interesting train wreck to witness, and something good for me to write about. To our combined chagrin, the room hosting this sanctimonious event was quite crowded with people who turned out to be members of the LiveJournal community. We were deep in the heart of enemy territory now! Shortly after we took our seats, the doors were closed, trapping us like a corpse in a coffin. Sure, the doors were unlocked, but the room was so crowded people gathered in front of the doors, effectively caging us in unless we politely asked them to move. It was pretty scary. The panel consisted of four people, some sort of yokel who made sporadic allusions to his mysterious "alternate lifestyle," and three whores. Well, more like two whores. One of the girls actually seemed vaguely normal and possibly intelligent, but the other two were genuine trash. The worst of the whores even gets top honors as today's Awful Link of the Day! What happens in an event like this? Suffering. Even the horrifying biological torture conducted by Japan's Unit-731 cannot compare to listening to these idiots whine about the consequences of posting their diaries online or the sensitive issues they face as a community. We sat through an entire hour of this misery, and it showed no signs of stopping when we left. I can honestly say we both felt dead after this. We staggered out of the room and out of the hotel as though we both just received the terrible news that Bill Cosby was dead, that Malcolm-Jamal Warner had killed him. It was a lousy way to cap off the bulk of the convention, and we learned a valuable lesson that will haunt us until death.
It was evening now, and we were both drained emotionally and physically. There was no point in continuing the day, not after what it had just done to us.
Monday, Day 4
GET YE BACK TO YOUR GRANDMA'S BASEMENT!
My god, the furries are getting bigger and bigger!Monday began with another brief visit to the Marriott, and then it was all over. I said goodbye to Marie, who had been a real trooper and excellent sport the entire weekend, and then joyfully spent 10 hours in my car driving to the wretched hellhole that is Indiana. I survived my first science fiction and fantasy convention with few scars, a lot of fun memories, and the kind of emotional trauma that comes from seeing too many fat people wearing very small costumes. I found the experience so interesting that I will most certainly be going back next year. I guess I'm coming to grips with the fact I'm just as much as a nerd as the next guy, although I don't celebrate my dorkiness by wrapping myself in spandex and bodypaint and jumping around like a doofus. But that's all part of the charm of these things, I guess. People are willing to do just that, and by god, I'm willing to watch them do it.
I managed to get home in less time than it took to get there, thanks in part to a secret driving trick I invented. It's a method whereby applying extra pressure to your vehicle's gas pedal, you can go faster than even posted speed limits! I sure hope I don't get arrested for posting how to break the law on a public website. It was pretty depressing returning to Indiana, and to anyone thinking of either visiting or traveling through this state I highly suggest suicide as a more suitable alternative.
Doom House 2: Electric Reviewgaloo
Hopefully by now you've all had a chance to see "Doom House," the short horror film by Something Awful's own Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka and Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen. If not, download it right now and watch the hell out of it. Once you've seen it, I guarantee that like any other great film, you won't be able to stop thinking about it. That's when it's time to read my, by which I mean Ben "Greasnin" Platt's review!
From the very first moments, "Doom House" plays with its viewers' minds and perceptions. The opening graphic initially reads "Doom Hose," which puts the audience at ease. Their minds immediately go to images of a murderous hose strangling people and spraying them with water, causing them to fall off of places. Those are basically the only tricks in a hose's arsenal. Right away, the audience is lulled into a false sense of security as they ready themselves for watching strangling after strangling. But just when the thought of a psychotic hose becomes comfortable, the title changes to reveal something far more sinister - "Doom House." Now all of the expectations that the audience has already forged are shattered and replaced by a far more terrifying thought. After all, more accidents happen in the home than anyplace else, so a Doom Home must be a pit of unyielding horror. The co-directors give the audience a few seconds of peace to contemplate what lies ahead as the opening credits roll, but the first image to appear afterwards is the looming form of the house itself. It's a good thing the shot is in daylight. If it was night, the fear would be so intense that the camera would most likely explode. Already the viewers are on the edge of their seats, and the movie has barely begun.
You know the movie! You love the movie! You have questions about the movie! Well I have answers, so read up before I throw a doll at you.
This is your typical consumer model throne. If you just want a cheap prop, it's fine. If you want to actually sit like a king, pony up the cash and get yourself a prosumer model. This entry level stuff is more for a duke or baron at best.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.