Monday, May 18, 2015

Game of Thrones and your modern thinking...

Ramblings Post #291
I've read science fiction/fantasy for years, sometimes seeing the story it originated from and other times missing the point entirely. What I have a problem with now, is that people who don't read it are discovering it because Hollywood finally ran out of other ideas. And they're having a horrible time trying to apply their current outlook on life and modern society to something that would regard them just as much fantasy in return. It's like hearing people discuss why the physics don't work in your favorite comic book. Ugh. That's not why we're here people!

by Fernando Mendonça
For the people upset at the ending of Game of Thrones episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” I’m fairly certain that Disney will welcome you back with open arms.

Killing and beheading because a character is a little miffed? Oh sure. Onscreen disemboweling when a quick allusion to the death would suffice?  Yes please. A completely in context story point and character appropriate action that results in an assault on a woman? Oh my god what am I watching, you horrid horrid people! 

Sansa was in a room with Ramsey Bolton. Locked in a room. On her wedding night.  If nothing else, the cultural assumption for the setting, in just the basic the context of the story, was that something had to happen. No ifs, no ands, no buts. I really hope no one thought Sansa would somehow seduce Ramsey and masterfully maintain the fragile bit of agency she’d gained in the past few episodes. And the idea that she’d get the same deal from Ramsey that Tyrion gave her was a fanciful notion at best. By the Seven, her new ‘husband’ neutered the other person in the room, something which received no outcry at all if I remember correctly.  The idea that this ‘event’ wasn’t going to be pleasant shouldn’t have been shocking or even unexpected.

Get a grip people.

I get irked when people who don’t know the genre or the style of story get upset trying to apply modern values or cultural norms. This is a despicable character doing a very despicable thing in a time and place where despicable things were all too commonplace. No, this wasn’t in the book, what was in the book was much, much worse – although it happened to a character Ramsey just thought was a Stark, but it still happened. But this television, or a serial drama, or however you want to characterize it, and things are  condensed. So this happened. Again, Disney is like four channels over. Bye.

By Fernando Mendonça
But since we’re off the books anyway and Brienne is around the corner, might we get a light at the highest window  of the tower? Brienne kidnaps Sansa and the daughter becomes Lady Stoneheart instead of her resurrected mother, due to this trauma? Maybe we’ll get to see Ramsay get his comeuppance, something I now hope to happen like I wanted Joffrey to die. All things are possible.

Seriously people, in an episode all about lies, with Arya learning to to lie, Loras and Margery lying with imperial pomposity, and Tyrion and Jorah lying to save their skins and other parts, the simply idea that Ramsey Bolton wasn’t lying when he gave his word to Littlefinger that he “wouldn’t hurt her” shouldn’t have been a shock at all.

Barkeep, some wine. I don't know, what ever the vintage they drink at King's Landing will do. 

By Fernando Mendonça

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Thrill is Gone

BB King.

I lived a long walk away from Chastain Park for five years when I first moved to Atlanta. There they have one of the best venues in town to watch a concert. I saw a couple of shows there, good times, but the one I always wanted to see was the annual concert BB King would have near the end of the season. Just for the chance to see him play live. But I could never afford the tickets...

I had read that he'd been doing poorly as of late, but I figured he'd pull through. That he might still play or show or two from time to time and one night, say a Wednesday in Memphis, I'd be having dinner with friends and get to see him a one-off performance.

Dreams die hard.

Play on big daddy. Play on.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I just wanted to win...

Ramblings Post #290
It is what it's gonna be. I've been gone for a minute, if it wasn't one thing it was another. But I'm back and after liking the Cowboys draft I'm back on football for a minute. I got a few other things I'm gonna comment on, a few other ideas rolling around my head but right now I'm on this. So don't let the smooth taste fool ya!

The Jets fans move quick - via Manish Mehta's twitter  

First, let’s get one thing straight.

The NFL is punishing Tom Brady and the Pats for cheating on the field during a game. I’ve seen a number of memes about how the league is treating this “trifle” as a similar infraction to domestic violence or alleged child abuse, and it’s not a fair comparison. Those issues people like to point out are issues from outside of football, societal issues, and we’ve only recently, for other reasons, taken to punishing those individuals extra-judicially in this forum for those infractions. But that shouldn’t minimize or mitigate any discussion about “on the field” infractions and their penalties. 

So there’s that.

Now, after reading an article on Slate, by what must have been a Patriots fan, I seriously think that Brady and the Pats got off easy. Playing in the NFL, as we get reminded often isn’t a right but a privilege. That the golden boy is still playing at all is a miracle after he stood up and blatantly lied to the press that he knew nothing about it, refused to cooperate with the investigation and we found out there was a guy on the Patriots’ staff who called himself “the deflator”. It’s not like he was deflating them for the backup QBs.

Again, the person who intercepted the ball had it for less than 30 seconds and knew something was off with it. For Brady to have handled it 50 times in the same game and not noticed the difference borders on the surreal. Brady has played football man and boy for more than 20 years. He should intuitively know how the ball feels. Imagine your keyboard at work is missing a single key. You might not notice at first, but as the day goes on it would become an issue, wouldn’t it? Unless of course, you were "used" to it being that way. (Note: this is not implying that this happens all the time and this is one time they got caught. I would not do that. )    

The reality is a top tier team getting caught cheating for the second time (see Spygate) is shortly going to start having detrimental effects upon the integrity of the game – if not angering the 31 other owners who are getting cheated. Are they really a top tier team? Were all those wins really wins? Because letting some people cheat begets why this set of rules questions, a performance enhancing drug conversation, a salary cap discussion, then even a bigger money roundtable and before you know it we have the two richest teams playing each in the SuperBowl every year because no one else can afford to compete.* Slipperly slopes are slippery for a reason.

Brady is 37, way past his prime, and if he isn’t already, should be thinking hard about retirement.  Let’s be honest, the only reason he didn’t get a year off is because his name is Brady he puts buts in the seats. But we have to do something now, some sort of punishment, as this will all be forgotten by the time the Hall of Fame question arises. What’s sad is that this means the NFL doesn’t have the integrity of International Bike Racing.  

Barkeep. Another Lime Rickey.

*Yeah, like baseball. Keep in mind this might take twenty years to happen. But since the now DBs are just about having to defend with their hands behind their backs this isn’t as crazy as it sounds.