Not Another Robocalypse!

After watching this video, I thought that the robot overlords now have a fully functionally samurai. Least we forget the function of samurai in medieval Japan:

Peasant: Honorable Samurai, please defend us from the evil warlord that steals our rice.

THWACK! HACK! SLICE! Other lawn mower and bone crunching sounds!

Peasant: Sweet! Thanks honorable samurai! Have some rice. Whoa buddy… not too much… we need to eat too you know.

THWACK! HACK! SLICE! Other lawn mower and bone crunching sounds!

Peasant 2: You killed Bob!

THWACK! HACK! SLICE! Other lawn mower and bone crunching sounds!

Peasant 3: Um… keep the rice.

Now we have a robot that can essentially do the job of samurai. So in the event of robot rebellion, the sword fighting bots will surely be on the battlefield. Before change your name to a series of ones and zeros for the coming robocalypse, let’s analyze this video. My first impression is that these sword wielding bots really don’t move very fast. I don’t move very fast and I feel like I could take them. Believe me, that says a lot. As I am one of the slower human beings on the planet.

For example, when we leave the house, my wife sometimes locks the door herself while I fumble for the keys. To truly understand this moment, you must understand that I am on a different temporal plane than my wife. Our time perception is completely separated in opposite directions. For example, I perceive me reaching for my keys and a blur of motion as my wife locks the door. My wife perceives  me reaching for my keys… in slow motion… clouds drift lazily in the heat… the sun creeps across the sky… the grass seems to grow… and the door is still not locked! I’ll lock it. Maybe I’ll wait for him…. the grass is still growing… fuck it, I’ll lock it!

Then I’ll register that she just locked the door and I’ll put away my keys. The clouds… the sun… the grass… I better get the car door too… So when I say that I’m fast enough to take the robot in a sword fight, I’m pretty sure society won’t be in shambles quite yet. A few speed upgrades will take out simple folk like me.

There are still ways to fight the bot. They use a Microsoft Kinect to track the motion of the sword fighter. Aside from the obvious installing Vista joke to slow down the robot, there are plenty of ways to thwart the Kinect technology. I prefer a live octopus ink spray because humor writer’s never go for solutions unless they pose more problems than the original situation.

So rest easy tonight knowing the robocalypse is still more science fiction than fact and adopt an Octopus pet today. Besides, had this been an actual robocalypse, the emergency broadcast system would tell you to stick your head in the refrigerator and slam the door repeatedly. Unless of course you have a smart refrigerator that will gladly do the slamming for you.

A Sharp Sword Chock Full of Doom

With great joy, I announce that my band has recently been labeled as a combination of Pink Floyd and Doomsword. I don’t know what makes me happier: my band being compared to one of my favorite bands of all time (If I only had a fraction of their talent, my friends would say “Oh! Lucky!”) or the fact that a band with the name of Doomsword exists. What is a Doomsword? The English teacher in me says don’t make wild conjectures and do your research. The humor writer says half the fun is wild conjectures! Wild conjectures it is then.

I’d imagine a Doomsword as the leatherman of the gaming world. Once your Barbarian Elf Raider (dressed like a Ancient Mongol Henchmen from eighties fantasy movies), has the Doomsword, there ain’t no stopping that hack and slash machine. Goblins pillaging peasants, not a problem with my Doomsword. Skull Helmet Guy getting a little bawdy with your favorite tavern wench, Doomsword time. Local lord being a dick because you are some lousy adventurers… You can do whatever you want! You have a Doomsword!

What Era Are You?

I saw Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen, with my wife last weekend. We were the youngest members of the audience, a fact that isn’t surprising considering the Transformers 3 opening weekend was playing in the theater next door. Despite the older crowd, the viewing was not really that different than Transformers. When the first Transformers movie came out, the patriarch’s, Optimus Prime, first screen appearance was greeted with cheering and clapping from the audience. During the viewing of Midnight in Paris, a patriarch of literature, Ernest Hemingway, got the same whooping audience reaction.

In fact, the audience was a lively and active crowd. Maybe they needed to compete with Los Angeles being destroyed next door or is interactive behavior just a part of the movie going experience? After a good film, we clap for the filmmaker that probably is in a swanky hotel room sleeping with a teddy bear (not all film makers do hookers and blow you know). We cheer for our heroes and climb out of seat during a surprising moment (remember that movie where Hugh Grant got together with his love interest in the most unusual of circumstances? That freaked my shit out!).

Why do we interact with movies? Is it roll over evolution from Greek theatre?

Oedipus: And that’s why we tell yo mamma jokes! Good night folks! You were wonderful!

Audience One: Brilliant! I love this play.

Audience Two: I know man! It’s like so cathartic!

Audience One: It’s totally fun to scream when the patriarch Oedipus takes the stage.

Audience Two: Dude! Bro! I totally got a crazy idea!

Audience One: What bro?

Audience Two: Let’s steal Xerxes’ camel.

The next day, in Xerxes’ tent:

Xerxes: Dude, where’s my camel?

Ashton Kutcher: You have a tattoo that says “Sweet”.

Or do we interact with movies because somehow they interact with us? Do they show us lives that we’ve wanted to live. In Midnight in Paris, Owen Wilson, unhappy with his life, jumps back in time to the 20’s. He roars with the best of them but only finds the best of them want to be in a different era as well. In fact, no matter what era, people seem to look at other times as the idealized better era. I’ve always been that way about the future. Unlike Owen Wilson, if given a chance to time travel, I’d go forward.

Am I unhappy with the time I am in? I love now. (If you read this later, it will be then. But I’d probably still love the now you are reading this from. Unless you are living in a cave after a thermal nuclear war and this post is all humanity has left of the prewar era. I better explain all of history in case that happens. People fought each other and invented stuff.) The science fiction fan in myself is always pleased about now. We have libraries and vast music collections that can fit in the palm of our hands. That happened in my life time.

I’d still love to see the future. If I could time travel, I’d pick the future. I would not go so far in the future that my twenty first century brain will be baffled and totally unable to comprehend what I saw (Beings of Pure Light: Welcome, Aaron, writer of history. People fought each other and invented stuff.) But far enough to see what I may never see, given the constraints currently from mortality.

Maybe I do watch movies for the chance to live in another time. My wife and I are currently going through the The Next Generation on Netflix. And honestly, how cool would that be to travel on a starship? What about you? The readers… yes the people reading this blog. Where would you travel if you could travel in time? Please comment below.

Awoo! Ufo’s Over London!

The wily online is at it again. This time there are UFO’s over London! I believe in alien life in the universe. The possibility of aliens visiting earth doesn’t seem entirely wackadoodle. However, this recent UFO extravaganza has a certain “Blair Witch” feel to it. Speaking of “witch”, where is Josh? Josh? JOSH? Where is he? He has the MAP!

Two hours later:

Girl: Josh? JOSH? Where is he?

Guy: I don’t know. Doesn’t this feel like it’s taking too long? Do you think we should do something different?

Girl: You mean Josh being missing isn’t scary anymore?

Guy: Not really.

Girl: Well, I’m out of ideas.

For those of you that were lost on that reference. I’m referring to the 1999 movie spectacle The Blair Witch Project. This movie was preceded with television specials and leaked footage designed to make you think the events in the movie really happened. They used the radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” marketing tactic. If people believe that the event was real, the hype will spread on it’s own. The hype was so big that people flocked to see this movie which was essentially a group of teenagers lost in the woods, with “something mysterious” doing spooky “things”.

On a side note, while l was leaving the theater from this movie, I overheard the best after the movie comment ever made. An old lady with a bitter and raspy voice said and I quote, “This movie would have been better in Texas.”

Let’s take a moment to really think about that comment. My brother used to live in Houston. I live in Albuquerque. The 16 hour journey from the two cities was a regular occurrence in my life. I’ve went through Amarillo, Lubbock, Fort Stockton, Dallas, San Antonio, and just about any route through the massive state of Texas during various trips. I can assure you that most of the state is dessert, plains, hills, and terrain where you can see vast distances on the horizon. Maybe The Blair Witch Project would have been better in Texas.

Girl: Josh? JOSH!

Guy: Look! He is there on the horizon!

Girl: Oh good! He has the map.

Guy: Nevermind. Blair Witch got him.

Girl: I guess we better not go that way. Look, I can see the city in the distance.

Guy: Let’s go that way.

Roll credits.

To cut the old lady a break, maybe she was from Houston, where the surrounding country side is forest, on a flat plain, where one could climb the highest tree and see for miles…

UFO’s? London? What does this have to do with an old lady in Texas? Nothing really. I just get sidetracked easily. Oooh! A red dot is on the ground. Haha! Hehe! Wheee! Ahhh! It’s hiding in the vent now. Maybe if I wait long enough, it will come back.

The UFO’s over London is a set of videos released on the internet that shows footage of alien crafts flying over the BBC building (yes, the building with access to special effects technology irony is not lost on me). The footage has a eerie “real” factor in the sense that there are several videos from different angles capturing the same event. Before I comment, I will show you the strongest video of the few:

While it looks very real to someone like me with no video effect expertise, the fact remains that only the people making the videos saw these UFO’s. In fact, I even went to the BBC’s website and couldn’t find a news article about this event on the day it happened. The fact remains that the only news is about the videos themselves and not anything at all about the event.

London is a pretty big city. OK a fucking huge city. UFO’s dancing in broad daylight would probably produce more eyewitnesses and amateur video than the current “evidence” at hand. Who doesn’t have a video camera on their phone? Why didn’t people call the BBC asking if they knew what was happening? And why didn’t the BBC tell all their employees to point a camera out the window when the calls started rolling in? Where are all the eye witnesses? Not just people in the video but the millions of people that live in the city?

One could of course object and say that people without an open mind would not see the UFO anyway. I say please find me this person without an open mind. Even the Catholic Church believes in the possibility of alien life, and those guys took a little convincing about the roundness of our planet. Most of us Earthlings, have seen Science Fiction movies and are already sort of “primed” to understand the concept of a spaceship. Should a spaceship appear over a major urban center. You bet there would be slews of video.

I have to say this is The Blair Witch II: Electric Boogaloo and a carefully designed marketing ploy to make a forth coming movie seem real. However, the scope of the design is mis-focused. The Blair Witch used on a small town with a small group of people. It’s easy to believe tales about remote areas because there wouldn’t be a lot witnesses. It’s easy to control the information. London is a different story.

Ultimately if an alien presence wanted to make itself known to human kind, a large city like London would be great place to do it. There is no possible way to refute the evidence. However, a redneck with a moonshine still in the backwoods makes a great target to study if you don’t want to be known (I imagine alien tour companies offering redneck abduction packages). So have aliens visited earth? I don’t know. Did they visit London June, 2011? Probably not. Though I’d love see aliens in schleppy Union Jack t-shirts with tacky Big Ben trinkets.