Leaving St Louis (comic)

Happy Friday!

murca

I leave tomorrow Saturday 1st of October at 4.20pm (central time) and I couldn’t be more anxious, excited, primed, ready, happy, and so many more complex emotions I can’t entirely wrap my brain around yet.  I don’t have much to say today but I have a comic I want to share with you my friends.  Next time I post, I’ll be in the United Kingdom.

leaving-st-louis

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brood [video]

“Brooding is the yeast in the bread of discontent.”

Sesquiotica

I enjoy watching YouTube videos where people review cameras and similar consumer products. I decided I should do occasional videos where I review words. I asked people on Twitter for some suggestions. The first one came from Ann Marie Gamble, who suggested “‘brooding’ as a mood, not a thing a chicken does.” I decided to trim that down to brood. Here it is:

I’ll probably try a few different approaches to these videos over time. We’ll see which comes off best.

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English Weather (comic)

Image

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The count down has begun.  My plane leaves 1st October at 4.20pm (central time).  😀 Five days…

Life, the Universe, and Everything Review

Happy Monday!

life-the-universe-and-everything

Welcome back to the review series of Adams’s most well known science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy.  Today I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the third book in the series.  Which is…tough and I’m prepared to loose some followers over my views but if you decide to unfollow because I cannot praise easily the weakest book in the series…well so long and thanks for all the fish (haha get it? that’s the next book in the series).  Alienating (hahaha) jokes and bad puns aside, lets get in to it.

Three Sentence Summary

  1. Arthur is still on prehistoric Earth, generally loosing his mind when Ford comes out of nowhere and explains how he’s spent the time being a lemon jumping into a glass of gin then proceed go skipping after an anachronistic couch floating by which happens to be a time anomaly that transports Arthur, Ford, and it self on to the field of Lord’s Cricket Ground two days before the Earth was destroyed by Volgons however a spaceship full of murderous robots from the planet Krikkit come destroying things until they steal the ashes(1) and leave a scene of chaos while Slartibartfast comes in and recruits Arthur and Ford to help him save existence from the Krikkit bots.
  2. Zaphod is hungover and depressed somewhere and Trillian leaves or something meanwhile Slartibartfast explains to Arthur and Ford the strange history of the Krikkit wars and what caused this once peaceful race of robots to go on a galaxy wide quest to destroy everything and what stopped the Krikkit wars in the first place but why they’re still floating around and what their plan is while en route to a multi-generational party however because Arthur is a bloke who is just made to be hated (for some reason, I find him to be the best character in the series by a long shot) he somehow is transported to a cathedral of hate created by a reincarnating being, Agrajag, who claims that Arthur has killed him/her/it in every single one of his incarnations and is now looking for revenge however through it’s bad guy monologue it’s revealed that Agrajag has pulled Arthur too early from his respective timeline because he hasn’t yet been to Stavromula Beta yet and killing Arthur would create a paradox but Agrajag has no fucks left to give and tries to kill Arthur anyway causing the Cathedral to collapse and Arthur to fly away until the multi-generational party strikes him in the small of the back and he’s reunited with his friends.
  3. There’s an anit-climatic and fairly confusing resolution to the Krikkit wars involving another warmongering race and another super computer named Hactor who created an ultimate destroy everything in existence bomb but after talking to Hactor for a while the Krikkit bots return home and Arthur and the gang go back in time again to just moments after the Krikkit bots arrive on Earth originally to return the Ashes and Arthur almost ends existence by bowling a bomb at…I don’t get cricket so I’m just gonna call the robot with a bat ready to be pitched to a “batsman” because I can’t figure out if that guy is the wicket or the defender of the gate (is the gate the wicket?) or what the stumps are or what role they play with out much more research than I’m willing to do for this book review, but instead does something pretty bad ass and then they head towards a quiet and idyllic planet when they find a crazed journalist who tells them about a guy who got way too much truth serum and was exiled to a court room somewhere to protect everyone from going mad from all the truth he’s spitting and the gang figure that if anyone knows the question to life, the universe, and everything it would be this guy however he is done and has forgotten and with his dying words he tries to tell Arthur where God’s last message to His creation is but dies in frustration and Arthur is left on the Krikkit planet to master flying and where he decides to learn bird language.

“Where to begin?” is what I’m asking my self in writing this review and I’m guessing Adams was asking himself when beginning this book since it was the first in the series to be a book first rather than an adaptation from the radio series and it shows but that’s not entirely a good or bad thing.

I want to like this book as much as the first two.  He, Adams, made some really excellent decisions such as almost completely cutting out Marvin, Trillian, and Zaphod which have at this point become a loathsome, cliche, and whiny (respectively) trio who couldn’t even seem to stand each other and how they made it into the final cut must have been at someone’s instance because they really offer nothing to the story other than being in ownership of the heart of gold which, frankly, at this point Adam’s could insert some other deus ex machina ship (like say a second one from a parallel dimension or from an alternate timeline) and it would be an improvement as long as we didn’t have to see the miserable three anymore.

Adam’s had some really solid jokes in the first couple of books and a generally kind of quirky fun approach to the absurdity of significance, the state of the universe, saviour figures, ethical meat consumption, the ecological price of technological progress, and generally just kind of had a way of saying “hey look at this, its pretty funny right? Now keep thinking…” which was great.  However I feel like he was running out of material by this point in the series or he really needed a break because aside from the immortal character born with out the capacity to handle the existential weight of immorality and therefore created his own purpose of insulting everyone and everything through space and time, I just didn’t see much of that sarcastic philosopher voice that was holding together this series.

Not to say that this book is all bad or not worth reading because there are some of my absolute favourite scenes and lines in this book.

“I’ve seen that one before,” he said. His eyes wandered slowly up to the date, which Ford was idly tapping at. His face froze for a second or two and then began to do that terribly slow crashing trick that Arctic ice floes do spectacularly in the spring.

P. 330

This is just after Arthur and Ford are transported back to modern Earth and Arthur is finally home.  For some reason I’ve always imagined the world ending on a Thursday in spring, probably April I could never get the hang of April, which ties the season bit to current time, his word choice for “froze” reinforces the horrible cold terror you can almost feel vicariously as his eyes shift up and his face falls just like the ice floes.

And suddenly he tripped again and was hurled forward by his considerable momentum. But just at the last moment he was about to hit the ground astoundingly hard he saw lying directly in front of him a small navy blue tote bag that he knew for a fact he had lost in the baggage retrieval system at the Athens airport some ten years previously in his personal time scale, and in his astonishment he missed the ground completely and bobbed off into the air with his brain singing.

What he was doing was this: he was flying.

This is the first time Arthur flies and it’s as the Cathedral of Hate is collapsing around him.  I love every single flying scene in the series from this point out but this first one is so chilling to me.  I guess maybe it’s more a personal bend, I would day dream as a kid staring at birds flying so free and floating on currents.  The way he describes flying in this book I guess it kind of reminds me of what I’ve read is called a “living prayer” in Buddhist literature where after mastering the art of meditation a disciplined individual can exist wholly in the moment, like in between heart beats, where the mind is completely quiet. No interior monologue, no thoughts, just being.  Though it’s not entirely accurate, since Arthur frequently thinks about anything other than his proximity to the ground, but something about it makes me feel something similar to the “living prayer”.  Like I said at the outset of this review series, I have a long and complicated bookmance with these books and I guess like any other relationship there will be things that only make sense to those in the relationship.

At the end of the day, if I re-read the series or recommend it to someone, I will say Life, the Universe, and Everything deserves a read. Life, the Universe, and Everything is like this friend you have that makes you cringe sometimes but you still love them because of that adorkable joke they just cracked.  I guess that can apply to both the book and…the titular abstractions.

 

Footnotes:

  1. I needed to look this up because I’m an American and not into sports at that (except football is pretty cool, like real football, the one you play with your feet not the popular American sport Handegg Ball or more commonly known as “football”.  The Ashes are basically a more humourus version of the Stanley Cup but only once every 4 years instead of every year and only between the English and the Australians. Honestly it’s a lot more involved and pretty funny to read about and I recommend following the link.    This does not count towards the three sentences.

Happy Birthday, Fin! (**UPDATED**)

Happy Friday folks.

BEGIN UPDATE

My birthday is pretty damn important but I saw something this morning on my facebook feed from MC Chris.  I couldn’t link the post but I’ll quote it here:

misc-comic

my friend Andy Rocco made this and I know a lot of you will understand. a lot of people who don’t have “real jobs” work harder than people w “real jobs.” if you’re tired after doing your job it’s a real job. and if you’re an asshole to people you think are beneath you then you are as low as it gets.

As a wage slave, a free lance anything I can get my hands on, and as a cartoonist I get this so fucking hard because this is really close to why I began cartooning in the first place. My jobs still pretty much suck but now I’m making cartoons that are more fucking clever than any stupid shit my bosses tried to tell me was “real life truths”. Comics have helped me take back the power to create who I want to be rather than assholes telling me “how the world is”. I’m like “Fuck you man, I make my own worlds so I will decide for MYSELF how ‘the world is’ for me.”

I apologize for the profanity but this is a subject that strikes way too close to home for me to not get worked up about.  The world revolves around creators, innovators, rebels, jacks-of-all-trades, and people who are just passionate about their creations.  This also makes me so fucking mad because my family came from piss-nothing and worked “not real jobs” for decades raising me and my sister and now my mum has her own successful ebay business and my dad is a published writer and damnit I couldn’t be more proud.  If you’re following your passion, if you’re doing what you need to make ends meet, if you’re contributing to society positively then fuck anyone who tells you “you’re not working a real job”.

END UPDATE

…and now back to your regularly scheduled entertainment:

28 years and a few hours (I was born right around 1pm, I’m trying to schedule this so it auto-posts at 1pm my time) today on a sunny September Friday I, Fin, was born from a very confused human Mother (she said it felt easy passing me, but she didn’t realize the reason it was so easy was because she was giving birth to a stickfigure).  Seeing as I was raised to give rather than get gifts for my birthday, here’s my gift to you my dear readers:

 

fin-birthday-comic-final

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Book Review

restaurant-at-the-end-of-the-universe

Cover Image – Following through with my intention to post all the old school cover art I remember reading the series for the first time in, this is the second in the series.

Happy Monday everyone!

Today we’re continuing with my review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series with the second book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe(1).  Without further ado.

Three Sentence Summary:

  1. The Vogons come and attack the ship with Zaphod and company leading while at the same time Arthur accidentally jams up the computer with a request for a cup of tea placing the crew in a situation where the inert ship is unable to defend it self nor take evasive action thereby the most logical solution is to have a seance to summon Zaphod Beeblebrox’s great-grandfather, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth, who decides the best line of action is to create a circular plot hole that will lead Zaphod Beeblebrox to discover that he is the most important being in this universe however discovers he inhabits an artificial universe that was created by Zarniwoop, a man whom Zaphod worked in collaboration with but does not remember because that is a part of the piece of his brain Zaphod had removed/blocked.
  2. Zaphod, Arthur, Trillian, Ford and Zarniwoop head to the closest place to eat which because of the improbability drive picking at it’s mathematical will how to fill that request ends up being Milliway’s the closest place in space (to where they were parked) but they had to travel “five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years” into the future to a restaurant created independent of time that continually exists for several hours before the climatic end of existence providing an existentially fun and terrifying experience but Zaphod and company decide to leave early to beat traffic which leads them to stealing a famous rock-star’s friction-less pure black ship which they later discover is only a spare prop made for destruction and never intended for manual piloting which gives the characters the necessary gumption to discover a teleporter that A) requires someone to sacrifice themselves to press the “teleport” button and B) has no directional systems installed so it spits the characters off into two convenient groups: Zaphod, Trillian, Zarniwoop; and Arthur/ Ford.
  3. Zaphod, Trillian, Zarniwoop are transported back to the Heart of Gold where Zarniwoop commandeers the ship to complete his mission to find the ruler of the universe which bores the hell our of Zaphod and Trillian so they leave Zarniwoop trapped behind in the space time anomaly that the ruler of everything occupies meanwhile Arthur and Ford are transported to a ship of fools who are rejects from the humanoid species, the Golgafrinchans, who end up crash landing on prehistoric Earth and discover that the Golgafrinchans will eliminate the native hominoid species who were the final piece in the “computer known as Earth” algorithm and because of this view of events in time there chance for ever finding the ultimate question.

Thoughts:

The second book in the series keeps with the existential absurdist themes from the first book and if I remember right, “Adams himself considered Restaurant to be his best novel of the five”.  In the second installment Adams continues getting more experimental with switching POVs(2) and unusual perspectives as seen in chapter 17, p. 222, behind the curtain at Milliway’s with the host Max checking on oblivion, switching between first person perspectives of both things one a cosmic dinner host and the other is a gaunt hallow personification of oblivion and with expanding on articles from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (as in the device in the book, not in reference to the first book of the series) like chapter 19 p. 243 which serve a solid foundation for strong jokes

The Universe — some information to help you live in it. 

1 AREA: Infinite

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy offers this definition of the word “Infinite”. 

Infinite: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, real “wow, that’s bit,” time. Infinity is just so big that, by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge is sort of the concept we’re trying to get across here.

However there’s an exchange between Arthur and Zahpod that sort of sums up my general feeling about the second book

“Look Earthman,” he said angrily, “you’ve got a job to do, right? The Question to the Ultimate Answer, right?”

“What, that thing?” said Arthur. “I thought we’d forgotten about that.”

I felt like the series intended not to have a purpose but introduced the idea of an ultimate question and ultimate answer but then it decided that it’s bored with that and tries to forward story lines with the disappointing, and the disappointment grows with time, female character(3), Trillian, the annoyingly depressed, the annoying grows with time too, robot, Marvin, and the flat, he doesn’t get any dimension so he can’t get any more flat with time, Zaphod.  Thankfully though Arthur and Ford, and mostly just Arthur, still have fun and funny story lines.

Speaking of Arthur and Ford, there’s this one scene just after they get transported from Hotblack Desiato’s ship onto the Golgafrinchan’s Ark (p. 259)

“That noise. That stomping throb. Pounding feet. Listen!”

Arthur listened.  The noise echoed round the corridor at them from an indeterminate distance. It was the muffled sound of pounding footsteps, and it was noticeably louder.

“Let’s move,” said Ford sharply. They both moved — in opposite directions.

The scene goes on but this reminds me of this story where something similar happened to me and a friend in high school.  We were both there after classes for something and it was a rainy day so the wrestlers would run up and down the halls and stairs instead of on the track.  My friend and I didn’t know any of this.

Her and I were in a hallway and we here a throbbing pounding in the ground, like vibrating through the ground into our shoes and we kind of look at each other and from both directions come this herd of meaty athletes.  She grabbed my hand and pulled us into a class room a the last moment (or at least that’s how my memory of it is, the moment was already so cinematic that I’m sure that’s how it had to have happened).

The scene I want to close out on is the one when Zaphod and company are at Milliways and the talking cow comes out to show it self off to the table before it kills it self for butchery (p. 224).  Sometimes I wonder about these things, like what the future of meat and food is going to look like. We’ve developed the first lab grown burger (haha I almost called it a “hamburger”) which seems like a step in the right direction however I wonder how things like that will change our evolutionary psychology. On the one hand, we have the Adam’s extreme where we are intimately familiar with where the meat comes from and have the consent and even the desire from the animal but the price is you have to recognize that you’re ending the life of one thing for your culinary entertainment but is somewhat closer to the nature of eating and the life-death cycle than ground meat cultures grown in an artificial environment however the grown meat not only never was a sentient being, thereby no killing is involved, which changes the nature of sustained survival: nothing has to die to become food.  It’s something to consider, as the nature of food and life and death changes with the advent of bleeding edge science non-fiction technologies, which I believe was Adam’s primary objective as a story teller, to give the reader something to consider.

Don’t forget to check in Friday for Fin’s Special Birthday Comic!

Footnotes:

  1. Milliways, is the name of the restaurant at the end of the universe, to be specific.
  2. Point of View
  3. I wanted to say protagonist but Trillian does so little and what little she does do is non-important or is somewhat questionable.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Happy Monday,

As I’ve mentioned many times over the span of my time blogging here, I’m an American student trying to study abroad in England and it’s been about a year since I began moving the pieces in order to make this happen and along the way there has been so many ups and downs, mostly ups since I’ve gotten acceptance/approval at every step of the way the downs were mostly the anxiety building up to said acceptances/approvals, and generally it’s been an emotional roller-coaster and applying for my student visa has been one of the most nerve wrecking parts of the process.

From the confusingly bureaucratic wording of simple questions, to the gravity of miss-answering (rejection at best, banned from entry to the UK entirely for life at worst), to the somewhat invasive process of sending details about your legal history and finances over the last few months, down to the timing of the whole thing (I almost lost my housing offer because the visa application was taking so long, I had to request an extension for the offer), it’s easily been the most scary part of the entire journey.

If it was rejected, I’m sure I could have reapplied, but I can’t afford that (it cost nearly 500$ just to place an application) and I didn’t have time to re apply, I would have to make a lot of things happen in a very short period of time (late register for classes, hope I can get enough classes for full time, find a new housing arrangement, maybe find a new job; all that in the space of a week or two) and that’s not to mention the social embarrassment of having to explain to everyone why I’m here and not there.

However here we are: I just got my visa application back today and it’s good news.  I’ve been granted passage to study and live in England.

british-pride-flag

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (book) Review

Happy Monday everyone.

dont panic

The best advice ever given.

I’ve decide to set up a system for the reviews for The Hitchhiker’s books which looks something like this:

A) 3 sentence summary

  • self explanatory, I figure I can get away with it because of how canonized these books are

B)  cast

-character bios

C)  Free ball thinking, maybe there’ll be a point

-Not really sure what this is all for yet, the series is pretty light hearted but there are somethings that Adams seems concerned with and things I’m concerned with Adams portrayal of some human characters.  Mostly Trillian…but we’ll get there.

D)  Footnotes

-read everything before forming an opinion

Continue reading

Proudly Sponsoring Cthulhu for President 2016

Good Morning,

cthulhu-for-president

Bored of the (current) Presidential candidates? So am I. That’s why I’m proudly sponsoring the best cosmic horror for the job: Cthulhu. Come November 7th remember to not settle for the lesser evils, choose the best evil. https://cthulhuforamerica.com/

 it-cant-get-any-worse