Cowboy Bebop

I really should kick myself for not doing a piece on this sooner. I really do ask the forgiveness of my non-political readers for the long string of political posts, this has really been a politically charged year so far and it has been hard to do a lot of other posts. I have been playing video games less so some posts on games that I was planning to complete are sort of on hold. I have been watching a lot of anime though and rewatching some of my old favorites, and at some point in the near future hopefully, you can look forward to between 12 to 15 back to back weeks of UC Timeline Gundam which I will soon review. But for now, I hope you enjoy my meager offering of this classic from the golden age of anime.

Before I get to the plot I want to cover some of the most remarkable things that made this series great. As a 90’s kid, I am proud that I grew up during the golden age of anime even though my only contribution was my viewership. Cowboy Bebop was one of the crowning achievements towards the end of that age, a mix of classic western and sci-fi space opera. Most remarkable was the use of music as part of the framing of the story. Each episode explored fringe music styles such as Metal (Heavy Metal Queen), Blues (Sympathy for The Devil), Funk (Mushroom Samba), and most frequently Jazz and Bebop. In the Golden Age Tradition of shattering every boundary, this show redefined many. That’s why it will always remain in my top 10 favorites, it is a hard show to top and only a few have ever topped it since its debut in 1998.

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The Bebop during Hyperspace Flight. Image from 1.bp.blogspot.com

In 2071 Humankind has inhabited the rocky planets, moons, and asteroids of the solar system with the help of a Hyperspace gate system. However, an accident with the gate exactly 50 years prior has left the Earth virtually uninhabitable. With mankind spread from Venus to Saturn crime has become a greater issue, leading to the Inter Solar System Police to push for the legalization of Bounty Hunters. With the task of bringing in criminals alive in exchange for money, Bounty Hunters are universally despised throughout the system by criminals, police, and everyday citizens. For them, space is a cold place to exist.

Nobody in their right minds would willingly live this kind of life, but nobody on the cruiser Bebop is really in their right minds. Not Spike Spiegel, a man who faked his own death and is on the run from the Red Dragon Syndicate. Not Jet Black, a former ISSP officer who quit in disgust over the general corruption in the organization. Not Ein, but he is just a genetically enhanced dog with super intelligence. Not Faye Valentine, she is just a con artist deep in debt who had been cryogenically frozen for over 50 years. And certainly not Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, she is just a totally eccentric hacker from Earth who invented her own name. Together though these crazy beings are the best (well actually worst) Bounty Hunters in the Solar System.

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Image of a ship coming through the Warp Gate. Image from inetres.com

Shinichiro Watanabe initially coined the tagline “A new Genre Unto Itself” to promote Cowboy Bebop, however he later said this was an exaggeration. I have to disagree though, he was about right as Cowboy Bebop was a one of a kind mix of multiple genres that nobody, not even Watanabe-san himself, has ever been able to repeat much less exceed. The beauty of the show for me lies within this hopeful yet a dystopian vision of the future. On the one hand, humanity seems lost after being forced to part with their home planet, searching for meaning and a place to belong. On the other hand, there is hope to be found in humanities expansion to the stars and their will to survive and return to some semblance of normalcy.

Of course, the music cannot be discounted either. The series was almost experimental with its choice of background, barely recycling any themes and always coming into each episode with a fresh set of tracks. Yoko Kanno composed the music for the series and even formed the “Seatbelts” exclusively to perform the soundtrack for Cowboy Bebop. Later on, Watanabe described how Kanno’s composing heavily influenced the actual creative direction of the scenes. Rather than taking Watanabe’s direction, Kanno would often follow her inspiration and come back to Watanabe with a musical piece he was not expecting, and even though he didn’t ask for the piece just listening to it would inspire him to write entirely new scenes. He described it as a back and forth between them, so both the writing and the music drove the direction of the series. This symbiotic back and forth process really does make the anime a new type of genre that is not driven by just the story or the music.

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The Crew of The Bebop. Image from cotygeek.com

I can’t really express how much I personally have enjoyed this series. It has actually gotten me through breakups and life failure with its deep and whimsical stories. Now approaching 20 years it has aged well and even today gets a late night run on Adult Swim. I highly suggest you buy a copy of this show. You’ll never regret it and never forget it.

Osamu Tezuka’s “Metropolis”

I really don’t know where to start with this one honestly. This movie is truly a masterpiece of the anime art form, from its breathtaking scenery to its rich storytelling. That is, of course, a given since it is based off an anime which drew inspiration from the 1927 silent film Metropolis. The character design evokes a feeling of nostalgia from the manga art style of the 1950’s through 60’s. If you are familiar with that style then you will immediately notice how the character design is reminiscent of the work of Shotaro Ishinomori.

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Characters from Shotaro Ishimori’s “Cyborg 009”.

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The subterranean level of Metropolis.

Much like the 1927 Silent Movie, Metropolis takes place in the not too distant future. In the grand city of Metropolis, humans and Androids live side by side. However, there is great hatred for the machines, especially from the lower class humans who became unemployed because of the Androids and have to live in the subterranean level of the city. This hatred has given rise to an anti-machine vigilante party known as Marduk. Things seem to be on the breaking point.

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The upper city and the skyscraper Ziggurat.

During all of this turmoil however, the upper city holds a huge celebration. The festivities are inspired by the completion of Ziggurat, the portentous skyscraper constructed under the oversight of the enigmatic Duke Red who promises that it will expand the power of Metropolis over the entire world. It is amid these celebrations and under the Orwellian gaze of looped recordings from Duke Red’s momentous speech that Private Detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi arrive in Metropolis to pursue Doctor Laughton, a criminal accused of trafficking in Human Organs. They are unaware however that Duke Red has commissioned Dr. Laughton to build a special android named “Tima” in the image of his own deceased daughter. With the help of a Metropolis Police Android Shunsaku and Kenichi pursue Dr. Laughton, totally unaware of the larger series of events they have unwittingly stumbled into.

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Tima Stares up at the Sun pouring down into the depths of the subterranean city.

Artistically speaking, every aspect of this film is amazing and conveys a message. The Soundtrack is an exceptional selection of New Orleans-style Jazz Music. Some notable tracks from the movie include Atsuki Kimura’s cover of “Saint James Infirmary Blues” and the Ray Charles cover of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” from 1962. The Soundtrack really sets the atmosphere of a Steampunk world where things seem so fantastic yet also so familiar. It really evokes a feeling similar to nostalgia. The combination of the music and the visuals is really powerful.

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The above ground city where the wealthy work and live.

The visuals themselves help convey a strong message about the society of Metropolis. In Metropolis there is a drastic difference in the quality of life between the rich and poor. Those who live on the surface enjoy a paradise of beautiful buildings, fresh air, and sunlight. Those underground though live in squalor, inhabiting buildings in various states of disrepair. The disparity between the wealthy and the poor is highlighted from the start and the scene at the end where the roof of the subterranean city collapses is a sort of symbolism for the collapse of the divide between the rich and poor, a pretty heady symbolic message for any film.

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Shunsuke Ban, Kenichi Ban, and the Android Detective from Metropolis PD.

The interpersonal relationships between the characters however are pretty basic. This disappointed me really. On one side you have the healthy familial relationship between Shunsaku and Kenichi. Shunsaku’s concern for his Nephew is highlighted by his time-consuming pursuit of Kenichi after he disappears. He even stays in a Hotel in the subterranean city which is nothing more than a bunch of abandoned train cars.

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Duke Red and his Adoptive Son Rock

On the other side, there is the exploitative relationship between Duke Red and Rock. Rock serves in Marduk, the anti-machine party secretly funded by his adoptive father Duke Red in his pursuit of power. Rock is blindly loyal to Duke Red and craves his approval. Duke Red however is only obsessed with the pursuit of power and his deceased daughter, and he only views Rock as another means to achieve his goal. This only becomes apparent to Rock when Duke Red disowns him and casts him out into the streets upon learning of Rock’s efforts to destroy Tima.

Metropolis, in my opinion, stands alongside Akira and Ghost in the Shell as groundbreaking classics of the anime film genre. It blends the elements of a classic film story, stunning visuals, and a stimulating soundtrack into an unforgettable experience. Indeed time and time again I have found myself compelled to watch this film again and again because it never really gets tiresome to me. I am not sure how it compares to the 1927 classic from Fritz Lang but it has left a powerful impression on me. I highly recommend you grab a copy of this masterpiece on DVD or Blueray and experience it for yourself.

Tuning Out: How to Combat The Fake News MSM with Your Remote and Your Wallet

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Most “Mainstream Media” Outlets colluded with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Election

Recently many people have become absolutely fed up with the “Traditional” Mainstream Media. During the 2016 Election Cycle and ever since Trumps election win, they have caught many times lying, selectively reporting news, colluding with a specific candidate, and basically sending the message that they think the American people are a bunch of dumb cattle. It wasn’t any better overseas with the BBC showing a clear bias against the “Leave” side of the Brexit Vote. Beyond that Liberal misinformation and trashy indoctrination has gone beyond the news broadcast to Entertainment such as Television Dramas/Sitcoms, Comic Books, Print Media, even Video Games, all of these have become playgrounds for Liberal Censorship and Thought Control*. In the face of all this, many people might feel helpless, but there is hope and it is a page out of their own playbook.

* Using the Term “Thought Control” sickens me and makes my ass clench like I am in prison and the biggest guy in the cell block is stalking up behind me. I hate this term. It, however, best describes what the media has seemingly been attempting this past year and longer.

Many are worried and rightly so that this left wing media indoctrination will affect our youth. Amazingly however it seems the left are losing ground with millennials and that Generation Z will be more conservative than the Baby Boomers. But let’s not let our guard down since Liberals are actively attacking their access to information. The only way to stop it is to stop their cash flow through a boycott. Some think that is as easy as tuning out of a show you don’t like or even a network, but it takes a lot more than that.

Network Media

A major problem is that Liberals have worked the industry to their advantage. A major joke that they throw around about Fox is that their shows get canceled so often, but that is because Fox runs as a meritocracy and contracts programs so they don’t get stuck with a sucky program. Other networks like ABC and NBC have been known to keep running unpopular programs which one would assume they fund from the revenue brought in by the good ones. Factor in Ad money and the fact some small group of people eats that shit up and it seems like a lost cause to get them to cut the SJW crap much less shut them down. After all, how can you penalize them when they seem impossible to hurt?

10 or even 20 years ago this would have been hard if not impossible. Luckily for Gen Z at least the technology age brings us so many possibilities. Since 2007 the perfected streaming service has provided consumers with the option to virtually cut the networks out of the loop. Funded by advertising fees as well as subscription fees, their survival depends on picking the high-cost production shows that bring in the most viewers. Some networks have tried to start their own services too but the bottom line is that shows that cost more require viewers to justify it, so by abandoning the traditional TV distributors and networks (and their streaming services), the model of tuning out of shitty shows works and brings us one step closer to purging a left wing dominated media.

Vote With Your Wallet

Obviously, they will still get money from advertising. That’s how they have run a free TV service for years. We can fight that though by avoiding name brands. Not entirely of course cause that is just a bullcrap move that can have an adverse effect on the economy. The goal is to reduce sales just enough that they have to reconsider where they focus their marketing, and that will be away from networks and towards streaming services.

Another source of their funding is the money they get from Cable and Sattelite providers. Some of these providers also offer internet service as well and have been known to gauge speeds on certain streaming services. Now obviously my first suggestion is to ask only for the internet and no TV service from these providers, but of course, the theme here is that it is never just that simple. Be sure to look into the providers since some will gauge speeds in favor of their own services or may be connected to one of the major networks. A fine example is Comcast, which as of 2013 has full ownership of NBC Universal which as we all know hosts an embarrassment known as The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Did you know they even have their fingers in comic books now? The once beloved DC Comics which provided role models for young boys for over 80 years is now a subsidiary of Time Warner, the same Media Corporation that owns CNN and has close dealings with Comcast. This can account for some of the more left-wing tones in DC work, like how The Penguin from the Gotham TV program is now Gay. And not to drive the point too far home, but when criticized by fans for breaking cannon one of the shows actors gave the typical SJW response to criticism. It is a pretty sad fall from grace.

Marvel has not been much luckier. Along with adding new poorly written characters who are a monument to Virtue Signalling, they have pulled the exact same move as the writers of Gotham. Far from getting the positive reaction they hoped for, they instead face criticism from readers and surprisingly by some who rightly point out that the author in this basically made a “Bisexual Erasure” type statement. For those of you who don’t know, Bisexual Erasure is the tendency to minimalize the importance of or deny the existence of Bisexuality and it is basically a gays equivalent of homophobia since this tendency is seen most in the Gay and Lesbian communities. I like the idea of a sexy young Twink Iceman, but at the same time considering the motivation and the completely forced way they did it I would have to classify this as another thing to Boycott with your wallet since it is propagandistic trash.

Worth Less than Toilet Paper

I am not a fan of Bernie Sanders, I just want to state that for the record. All the same, it is fun to point out that last year the Washington Post published 16 negative stories about him in 16 hours on the 6th and 7th of March. There is no coincidence that this happened to coincide with the Primary Debate in Flint Michigan. They also were forced to acknowledge a story about Russian Propoganda they published was based on sham research. It is a shame since they used to be a reliable news source.

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The Huffington Post which claims to be unbiased and has even criticized a group photo taken by a GOP Congressman for being “Too White” has an editorial board that is mostly white and entirely female.

Don’t forget the New York Times feud with the President. They have told so many lies about Trump, it is hard to keep track of the entire exchange most times but it is clear that they have a major boner for Trump. There are also outlets that are unashamedly left-leaning such as the Huffington Post. That said there is a website known as AllSides which gauges the bias and reliability of both print and broadcast media. Upon giving it a cursory look over I can say that it seems legit and it allows you to vote on the reliability of any source then balances it against blind surveys conducted with average Americans to see which articles from which source people find most trustworthy.

SJW’s Killed the Video Game Star

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Alison Rapp who was fired for violating Nintendo Corporate Policy also used the Nintendo Treehouse division to work her social justice politics into the localization of video games. She also posted lewd pictures like this to twitter with no regard to how they might damage Nintendo’s Corporate Image.

Yes, I parodied a music video from nearly 40 years ago for this sections header, you can thank my father who is old as sin and listens to the same music over and over for that. Don’t lose sight of the point though, SJWs are destroying the video game industry. It is not paranoia either, remember the controversy around “Fire Emblem: Fates”? Before the release news came out that features and dialogue from the game had been removed by Nintendo Treehouse, specifically an employee known as Alison Rapp who aside from being an advocate of pedophilia was also abusive towards Nintendo’s Customers/Fans on Twitter. She was later fired not for harassing customers imposing her political beliefs onto how certain video games would be localized, but because she was prostituting herself on the sidelines and selling lewd images to customers. Not the reason I would have liked to see her fired for but, ehhhhh. Of course to her and her followers, it was “Muh because sexism” and her termination had nothing to do with her being a crappy worker with a shitty personality (which sadly it didn’t) or being a stupid whore and endangering Nintendo’s family friendly image.

And now we have the issue surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda. Not surprising though. This was a long time coming since EA stopped hiring on merit and just started hiring any old SJW they could find apparently as many of the most valid claims from former EA fans is that game quality has dropped and SJW stuff has gone up. Mass Effect Andromeda is a prime example, besides complaints of its poor quality it had an almost forced and poorly written transgender character as well as an openly racist game designer who is suspected of making it impossible to make a fair skinned character in the game due to his political beliefs which may finally have gotten him fired for opening them up to a huge lawsuit. Whew, well with that run-on sentence aside my bottom line is that you should stop shopping EA and maybe research who is working on the development teams of your favorite video games.

The Battle Fought Far and Wide

After reading this I bet you feel overwhelmed and a little depressed. Yes, liberals like a plague of locusts are eating away at societies pathways of expression and recreation. Even sports are not safe anymore from being tainted by the left wing agenda. We have gone from a society of merit to one of mediocracy. We were pushed there by left wing tyrants with cash for years and have just come to notice it the past 8 years.

As with their efforts to push us here, our efforts to dry up their cash flow will take years. It can be sped along with lawsuits which I do encourage where appropriate and necessary as is the case with EA for allowing an openly racist developer to use his job as a medium to discriminate. It will still take plenty of patience however and a lot of willpower. I want to make it clear though that this article is not a call to action but a series of suggestions, some of which I myself will not follow because of my own limitations. I will however make one call to action, and that is a call to support alternative media online and on air. To quote the slogan for Alex Jones website Info Wars, “There’s a war on for your mind.” And I can tell you, the most meaningful battle of this war can only be fought by you yourself.

Hiatus Coming

Hey guys. I am starting to feel exhausted, 2016 took a bigger toll on me than I thought. It was an awesome year though, don’t get me wrong, but it has been full of stressful up’s (Hillary lost the Election) and down’s (Carrie Fisher died) which is fine. I am feeling run down, though. I am far behind on work for the blog and running out of steam. I am also dealing with other life stresses which do not help. For this reason, I am taking a 2 or 3-month Hiatus. I might post a few things between now and then but most likely there will be no blog updates till March or April. Thanks for understanding guys. Happy New Year.

Special Shitpost: My Thanksgiving Travel Adventures

Yes guys, it is the holidays, and since I spent the last week dicking around and wasting my time you guys get to read this post where I gripe about traveling on a budget. I love my family and I love seeing them all together for the holidays but the first leg of my journey to see them is usually pretty arduous. This Tuesday morning I had to wake up at 10 but I woke up and 8 instead. Then I ended up wasting 3 hours on television so by the time I started getting ready it was 11 and I had 2 and a half hours left before I had to leave. Luckily I packed my bags the night before.

After an unhealthy breakfast of leftover Alfredo, I departed. Unlike most sane Americans, I do not drive. So to get to my parent’s place in PA. I have to walk, take a bus, then take 2 trains. So after stopping for a drink at my corner store, I walked towards the bus stop to wait for a bus to Penn Station.

Walking 5 blocks with 3 heavy bags is no cake walk and I was winded by the time I got there. Wow, not even a half hour out and I already feel like throwing myself in front of the train I am going to catch. (Just Kidding) My luck wasn’t total shit tho cause I caught the free Circulator bus and saved $1.70.

After a short ride down Charles Street, I arrived at Penn Station and bought my ticket. Commuter rail is cheap here in MD. One way to DC is $8 and my ticket to Harper’s Ferry will be $12. Of course, I got to the station a half hour early for the train I had to take and so I had to sit and wait a half hour.

Finally, the train arrived. The view from the window while you are in Penn station isn’t very impressive though. Whats equally annoying is that I had to end a phone call with a friend since I knew there would be a long tunnel just after we leave the station in which I would loose all signal. It actually made this post harder since I had to wait till we left the tunnel to add an image. Fun fact though, even though the tunnel dates from the 1800’s somehow it accomadates the dual level cars the commuter rail uses.

There is not much to note on the Penn Line, well not alot you can see from the train really. It passes a few small towns and the airport before reaching Union Station. After an hour I did reach DC’s Union Station. After exiting Gate A I was greeted by a wall of people going at least 30 feet.

Union Station is a Gargantuan affair indeed. The above photo was just a picture of the ceiling of entry way and I couldn’t even get all of that into one shot. For it to be this crowded is a big deal. But I was still able to get my tickets and find out what gate my train was leaving from though with a bit more effort than usual. At least the wait wasn’t too bad, there was a cute guy with a Virginia Tech tee-shirt on who I kept peeking at and would have loved to have flirted with if he hadn’t been reading. 🙂

Pretty soon they called for my westbound train and I had to board at the far end of the platform which was under some sort of repair. Then began the 1 1/2 hour ride out to Harpers Ferry. There are alot of Notable things along that line but I was too lazy to take pictures, it is nonethless beautiful. Sadly the train I took only went up to Brunswick and I had to catch a bus the rest of  way into Harper’s Ferry.

Finally I was there in Harper’s Ferry after that long journey. The sunset was beautiful on the cliffs and within an hour my father and baby sister picked me up from the station. After a long pain in  butt journey I finally get to see my smiling sister. And that was the bulk of my holiday travels. Happy Thanksgiving!!