One With Everything

I became enraged this morning when this woman in front of me in line at Tim Hortons spent like whole minutes picking out the type of bagel she wanted, including asking the cashier what was on an everything bagel. Bitch, everything! A bunch of seeds and shit, no one fucking knows, just buy a goddamn bagel and move on. FUCK, just let me get my stupid coffee and go on with my day. It’s insane that your nonsense is so immeasurably large that it’s become like a celestial body of self-entitlement with its own gravitational pull, and the flow of my day has been sucked right into its pointless orbit and I have to wait until you slowly sort out your asinine bagel preferences before I can reach escape velocity and continue living my life. I only have a finite amount of time on this Earth, I can’t be wasting it starring at the back of your head and hoping I can cause an aneurysm through sheer force of will. I mean, yes, you’re entitled to enjoying the exact type of bagel you want and I’m sure the Tim Hortons cashier is normally a great resource to assist you in your bagel selection process, but have some consideration of context. It’s the morning rush, there’s a dozen people behind you, it’s not the right time to hem and haw about poppy seeds over sesame seeds. Just pick one and commit to its consequences. The series of decisions you will be presented with throughout the rest of your day will be considerably more difficult, you gotta fucking step your game up woman!

I have no idea what you did end up picking because all the blood had rushed out of my head and into my clenched fists causing me to black out in rage momentarily, but whatever you picked, I hope you did not enjoy it. I hope you picked one with seeds and some of those seeds got stuck in your teeth and no one told you the whole day and you only found out until you got home and looked in a mirror and realized how dumb you looked with seeds in your teeth.

– Here is an 18 second long video called “What are frogs?” Did Celebrity Jeopardy really exist? Is it still going? Why male models? All good questions!

– So this is the type of baseball season we’re having and what it means to play meaningful games in mid-August with a division lead… Yesterday as JA Happ collected his major league leading 17th win of the year (and puts him well on pace to be the first 20-win Blue Jays pitcher since Roy Halladay in 2008, which I’m sure is something I’m sure we all saw coming back in April), Josh Donaldson and John Gibbons got into a sort of brouhaha in the dugout following Donaldson’s strikeout in the third inning, which was eventually separated by Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Thole. Instead of becoming the defining moment of another sucky Blue Jays season and being the subject of countless radio call-ins from stupid mouth-breathing Toronto fans and ridiculous articles about “chemistry” and “playing the game the right way” it instead has become something we’re all laughing off. That’s what having a successful team and winning does to a team and the whole prism through which it is perceived. Instead of calling the reigning MVP a spoiled player or calling for the manager to be fired, it’s a hilarious afterthought in the glow of a 7-4 win that keeps Toronto on pace in first in the AL East. What’s the difference between now and when shitty sportswriters and idiot fans were calling Jose Bautista a bad leader or saying Vernon Wells didn’t care because he was smiling too much? There’s actual talent around the stars now and the team is good and the team is winning. Chemistry is the nebulous type of intangible element that winning teams attribute to their success and bad teams blame for their failures, but you know what probably contributes more to a baseball team’s on-field success? Being good at baseball. Though the whole entertainment aspect of this thing with Donaldson was probably helped greatly by (or entirely attributed to) his explanation of the confrontation.


Is it because we’re winning or does this city maybe just like him more than Bautista and Wells because of the colour of his skin? I DON’T KNOW! Just asking the question!

– This is a video where Ron Howard narrates Breaking Bad, and I cannot understand why it has less than two thousand views. …unless this is a stolen version of an original video that sits somewhere else on the internet. That would be a pretty easy explanation I guess.

– I am really enjoying this No Man’s Sky thing from a distance. I don’t know too much about the game, but it has become another entry into the long line of excessively ambitious games that was over-hyped and has under-delivered. I don’t really even understand the core of its appeal – it’s just an exploration game? Yeah but how do you get points? Are there space aliens to kill? Are you lost and trying to get home? Do you just want your kids back? Nobody just makes a game for no reason, that doesn’t make sense. Who are we doing it versus? It is a fascinating story to follow though, and someone at Reddit had compiled a whole list of promises explicitly made to consumers (even from just a month before launch) that were not delivered. If nothing else, pretty neat to consider the scale and type of the game that was imagined (or actually fully realized and built if not released) and what sort of tomfoolery happens behind the scenes when cuts start to happen to make timelines.

I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford
International bring back the Concorde
Numbers don’t lie, check the scoreboard

Today I’m One Year Older Than He Ever Was

Good gracious me, I didn’t even notice it, but we have entered into the fourteenth year of existence of The WAMBAG. I’m pretty sure I say this literally every single time, starting from Year One (never mind Year Fourteen) but man…that is a long time! That’s like eons in internet years. For some context, 2002 was THREE YEARS before YouTube existed.

No clever jokes or insight. I say every year that I wish this page would die, and I think we’re closer than we ever have been before. Normally I like to think I wouldn’t be so happy about the prospect of a fourteen year-old dying slowly (perhaps of a debilitating bone disease or something horrible like that) but I am absolutely thrilled here. Though just to be clear, we’re talking about a stupid website that as long lived past its usefulness for me and not like…a human being. I know we do blur the line here sometimes, I cannot say with absolute certainly that I have never called for the slow agonizing death of a teenager somewhere within the archives of this site. Please don’t go back and check.

Is it a responsible adult thing to do, to keep paying real life money to host a domain and web space every year for no purpose? It really isn’t. And it’s not even like I’m running a revenue generating porn site on the other half of this web space either, so I get nothing out of this at all. But it’s also not really a responsible adult thing to do in ordering a Triple Bacon Sampler breakfast dish at Denny’s for lunch during the week, and yet that didn’t stop me. So really I think we are both to blame for this situation.

AL and I watched Star Trek Beyond the other day, and he remarked on how much of an auteur Justin Lin had become now – every movie he touches, not only can you depend on the job to get done and the standard for the franchise to be respected, but you can also depend on the same familiar themes and motifs to appear. Two male leads drinking together over a quiet conversation about their fathers. Explosions of unclear nature and cause. FAMILIA. Two characters unnecessarily jumping out of motorized vehicles and grasping hands while parallel to the ground. Even if it’s a space movie. Just really great stuff.

I also thought it was interesting to consider Justin Lin’s solo directorial debut, Better Luck Tomorrow, that also co-starred John Cho. It also came out in 2002. And now, only fourteen short years later, both of them are part of the Star Trek movie franchise, in a movie that had a production budget of $185 million, topped the box office in its opening weekend, and has grossed over $211 million worldwide in four weeks.

What a wild and wonderful journey it’s been.

I mean for them.

Obviously not for us here, I wish daily for all this to end.

It isn’t uncommon, you know? It’s easy to get lost. In the vastness of space, there’s only yourself, your ship, your crew.

Strike Or Not I Will Continue To Mail In Posts

Today, a professional baseball game was played between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals. The Jays bashed four bangers out towards an 8-3 win at home. In a game that featured the grizzled veteran Dickey outperforming the trio of Young, Wang, Pounders.

How can you not be romantic about baseball?

Finn Becomes Latest BBC To Receive Rim Job

Yesterday, I didn’t even realize they had actually green-lit a Pacific Rim sequel. So today I not only realized we would be in for more giant-robot/monster-violence-orgies, but that John Boyega will star as the son of Stringer Bell’s Stacker Pentecost to presumably cancel another apocalypse. The strengths of the franchise are fairly straight forward – excessive IMAX robot on monster action and black British characters. As the actual (non-Stacker) human beings involved were the clear weaknesses, this certainly seems like a massive Jaeger-sized step in the right direction.

And considering the Chinese acquisition of the franchise’s production company and distributor in a $3.5 billion deal I feel like you can trust they’re going make note that this was a Hollywood movie that made $111 million in China versus just $101 million domestically. So…I guess just like a lot of Crimson Typhoons, all over the place.

Man, Pacific Rim was goddamn fantastic and I’m so excited to see more. If nothing else it was a fascinating study as to where the line blurs between being a great bad movie or a terrible good movie. I still don’t know!

You like the name? I took it from, uh, my favorite historical character and my second-favorite Szechuan restaurant in Brooklyn.

Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

In an era that entertainment properties are struggling to come up with truly original content over repackaging some existing poop for you as second harvest, a third option has emerged that’s almost like a hybrid of both – just cramming a ton of stuff together without any thought to coherence. And if you can pack it tightly together enough to the point where you can’t tell where one piece ends and the other begins, then you might have done it! Just like creating new colours of Play-Doh! And sometimes it just might work…

– Paul Rudd, Stephen Hawking, narrated by Ted of Bill & Ted, directed by (and cameo from) Bill of Bill & Ted, funded and produced by California Institute of Technology’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter…Quantum Chess? What an odd tasting but surprisingly healthy smoothie mix.

21 Jump Street started as second harvest, but turned out to actually be quite delicious and nutritious ($201 million and $331 million box office grosses which is bonkers for a comedy). For a self-aware series that has already constantly acknowledged how ridiculous its own existence is, and has already called out the next dozen sequels or so, really the only possible next step will have to be pretty out there. And mashing it together with Men in Black seems like it’d do the trick. Just jam it together, mush it all together real tight!

Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s own clever delivery system of their greatest hits, based on a game that someone else made based on a map made by a random guy within a Blizzard game…is releasing a rather fantastic skin for Diablo 3‘s Azmodan called Azmodunk, the beast of the Burning Court. And apparently it’s all based on this random fan video. I mean you don’t think it goes together until suddenly someone actually does it and you can’t even imagine a world without it. There’s a lot of great stuff in here, truly.

– Spike Jonze! Stephen Colbert! Grover! Mash it up!

“Do not put peanut butter on that! A Grilled Charlie has peanut butter last.”
“Okay inside or outside – ”
“Peanut butter outside, chocolate inside, butter inside, cheese outside.”

Too Many Words About An Unremarkable Show

There’s enough going on in the television show landscape lately that I don’t think anyone should exactly be begging for more shows. I mean shouldn’t you go back and watch The Sopranos or Band of Brothers for the first time before opening that new Fox sitcom about how a small town lawyer can’t get along with his big town actor brother that is actually surprisingly good? Wouldn’t that be a the right thing to do!?! And yet, if you told me Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk were joining a new show, that would be a solid single eyebrow raise. And the fact that it’s presumably a The Office type comedy set “in the universe of DC Comics” – yep, that’s the other eyebrow also rising, can’t help it.

The showrunner is Ben Queen, who is really only known for creating another NBC sitcom (along with executive producer Rashida Jones?) called A to Z featuring Michael Ginsberg and Leo’s first wife from The Wolf of Wall Street as the two romantic leads, Andrew and Zelda (DO YOU GET IT). Also it was cancelled after one season. So…eyebrows up, but I’m squinting now.

It’s an NBC comedy called “Powerless” that will star Vanessa Hudgens (why not?) as an insurance claims adjuster in a world of superheroes…I mean sure, that’s probably got some legs. You’d certainly understand if there were a lot of insurance claims in the DC universe.

But the DC cinematic universe hasn’t exactly had a comedic leaning, historically. In recent years, they’ve been more about Batman brooding in the dark and Superman being a deadbeat sociopath dad…compared to the other side of the fence that now has two wisecracking, $100+ million opening weekend, full body spandex clad dudes in their roster, alongside Paul Rudd/Michael Pena and talking tree/raccoon pairings.

Though it’s like the other way around in the domain of television.

It’s also very different logistically on the Marvel side, which inexplicably has every single superhero crammed into New York City. Batman’s in Gotham, Superman’s Metropolis, Flash is in Central/Keystone City, Green Lantern has Coast City, Green Arrow is in Star City (and I think Martian Manhunter was in Denver?)…so chances are you’re not going to see a lot of big name cameos. I think we’re talking like Booster Gold level stuff here.

…Ambush Bug?

But yeah, Danny Pudi typecast again as a weird, ethnic, sexually unthreatening best friend and Alan Tudyk playing Michael Scott…that buys you a pilot viewing at the minimum, regardless of the comic stuff…which at this point I don’t even know if it’s good or bad. Why do you need to set it in the DC universe, why not just any generic superhero universe? Is adding licensed superhero characters really going to add a lot more value than no name brand alternatives?

I wonder if naming a show Powerless is going to cause any confusion with “Powers” which is about homicide detectives set in a superhero universe, that apparently came out last year already…on the PlayStation Network? Okay, maybe not.

I’m living in that 21st century, doing something mean to it
Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it
Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it
I guess every superhero need his theme music

Mos Def Retires, Is Probably Insane

This morning I saw a headline noting Mos Def’s retirement from music and acting, and my first reaction was very much like when Francisco Cordero retired last year…dude hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 (he was bad) and it was more like a formality in order to collect his pension and stuff. Except…actors and rappers don’t really need to submit paperwork to their union for retirement. Most guys just…you know, stop doing stuff, and that’s that.

So this, from Mos Def, seems like just a cry for attention.

But then I read the article and oh man…it’s so much more.

I mean…there’s a lot to process. Can I kick it grade school style and break it down in point form notes?

  • Mos Def and his family have apparently been living in Cape Town, South Africa since 2013
  • Though this article says 2009, after a court ordered him to pay $10,000 for child support
  • He originally entered the country with a visitor’s permit he obtained with his US Passport
  • Last week he attempted to leave the country with something called a “world passport
  • It was unsuccessful and he was arrested
  • While he was in prison, he called Kanye West
  • During the phone call he dropped a five minute long freestyle announcing that he was retiring

It’s still on KanyeWest.com if you want to hear it…but you probably don’t.

I will say this – in terms of announcing your retirement, there are certainly less interesting ways to do that than within a freestyle rap during a phone call to Kanye West while you’re stuck in a South African prison.

I mean…is this just a really outside the box marketing strategy for an upcoming album?

Is he even still doing stuff? I mean…Mos Def, you were great in Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy and I liked you in that wacky heist movie with the Mini Coopers. And you had some top notch bits on Chappelle’s Show. But what the heck is this, dude? First impression is that he has gone a bit wacky in the head…but I think it’s just because he just doesn’t want to pay any tax. I can’t imagine it would be very difficult for a famous American millionaire to easily obtain the legal right to reside in Africa.

Most interestingly to me is that a world passport, to my absolute surprise, is not total bullshit as apparently three countries (though the issuing office of the World Service Authority claims there are six) do actually accept them as travel documents. Although these seem like countries with immigration officers that would also readily accept an American twenty dollar bill tucked in folded paper towel as a valid passport as well. I mean if you’re claiming legitimacy by citing Mauritania, Tanzania, and Togo as countries that accept what you’re doing…there’s definitely worst first steps, but you’re definitely not quite where you want to be yet.

“Didn’t you think it was strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?”
“I assumed you were drunk.”
“I thought cars were the dominant life form. I was trying to introduce myself.”

2016 Looks Horrifying So Remember 2015 Forever

What a wonderful and wacky 2015 it was.

The Toronto Blue Jays are finally a playoff team and the defending AL East champions. There is a new Star Wars movie that is actually about stuff that happened like after the first movies. I mean, certainly it can still all go wrong and head straight downhill from here. Even though the Jays didn’t blow $30 million a year on David Price, it would still be tough to resign both or even one of Bautista or Encarnacion. And more Star Wars movies don’t necessarily mean more good Star Wars movies, the capacity of man to fuck this franchise up have already been well demonstrated.

Still…what a world we live in. It’ll be an interesting 2016 if nothing else. I mean look around.

Movies inspired by comic book properties are going out of control, to the point where there’s actually going to be a goddamn Dr. Strange movie made that will star human beings with actual names like Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejofor, and Tilda Swinton. This magical gathering will not only feature the weirdest looking Europeans in the world, but also the weirdest named ones. I would almost be disappointed if they don’t give the agents of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Saoirse Ronan a call throughout this franchise. Get it done Marvel, Zach Galifianakis as the voice of Shuma-Gorath in Dr. Strange 2: Hangover in the Chaos Dimension.

Which will be the bigger Civil War? Captain America versus Iron Man? Or whatever’s going on in Syria right now? The uh…Syrian Arab Republic? And ISIL…? ISIS? See, I can’t follow, I need the entire storyline to be summarized and crucial plot points to be spoiled for me in a two minute feature trailer. Each faction needs to have like their own lead-in movie franchise before throwing them all together. There hasn’t been any time for the audience to associate or empathize with any of the parties individually before you forced them all to share screen time with each other, it’s just not going to capture interest and it’s going to be an unmitigated human disaster. I mean I don’t think the Syria Civil War will be as bad as Dawn of Justice, but it’s too early to say really.

Continued tensions in the Middle East could cause continued complications with oil production – falling oil price headlines dominated 2015, with crude oil hitting it’s lowest mark in over a decade and will remain an important topic in 2016. But even though the severing of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran may cause complications with production between the two largest suppliers of crude oil to the US, now that the trade sanctions against Iran have been lifted there will still likely be millions more barrels to add to the US’ 80-year high inventory. Which will continue to cause Canada’s own oil-linked loonie to struggle. That’s why you need to diversify…and uh, invest into Bitcoins…?

Already suffering the second worst fall on record last year, the continued weakness of the Canadian dollar will affect Canadian consumer purchasing power – especially if they’re looking at this sweetass Combiner Wars lineup for 2016. How can I afford these awesome Bruticus and Shockwave toys if US shale production doesn’t pump its fucking brakes? Goddamn, guys, Shockwave transforms into a gun for Bruticus!

Oh yeah and Bran Stark is coming back…? Sure.

I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

For The Love Of The Game

Here’s a bunch of links about a bunch of random things!

Someone is offering 90.5 BitCoins (worth approximately $50,000) for a qualified Magic Pro Tour player to build a deck based around Seance. It’s a weird request. Bystanders familiar with “mtgfinance circles” think that it’s in an effort to inflate the worth of the card, likely from an individual who owns thousands of copies of it, who years ago speculated on its future appreciation. It could be the same person that, eight months ago, spent $1,200 on hiring random internet strangers to burn the same card, reducing its supply. But I just can’t imagine meaningful changes to happen on the scale necessary for real money to be made. I mean even if you have like…5,000 cards, you’d have to wager that a successful and popular Seance deck makes the card jump over $10 in value before you can even break even. Which seems…difficult? But I don’t have a handle on the numbers at work here at all so who knows. What a hilarious and bizarre subculture. Though as someone that once sold a Diablo 3 set legendary for $250 and spent more time speculating in the auction house than in the game itself, I feel like I should have a better handle on that.

– Some bad news for a Oscar-hyped upcoming film in The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy that I know you all wanted to see. Apparently, contrary to some early internet reports, there is actually no actual bear rape in the movie. Only possibly implied bear rape, depending on your perspective, presumably. If I, as part of the consuming public choosing to make bear rape a central component of my interpretation of this film, who are you to stand in the way of how art is subjectively viewed? But still, what’s the point now, really.

– I stumbled onto this recently…a playlist of videos where someone plays Dark Souls with voice recognition input instead of a normal controller. It’s already one of the more difficult series of games I’ve ever had the masochistic pleasure of playing – doing something like that just seems excessive, really no reason for that at all. Like it wasn’t hard enough to backflip on a unicycle – I’m also going to do it while balanced on a high-wire across the Grand Canyon, blindfolded, while archers shoot flaming arrows at me, singing that opera song from The Fifth Element. All while trying to keep a relationship with a member of the opposite sex completely platonic even though both of you are single. I mean…come on.

– And now there’s even a Dark Souls III so I am posting stuff about a game that is one entire Dark Souls behind.

– Some unfortunate news from a Spanish news channel discussing the recent (man I wrote this a long time ago) terror attacks in Paris, as the logo of the Rebel Alliance was mistaken for the logo for Al Qaida. Presumably the intern that was responsible for the graphics of this segment was misled by an errant Google image search result. Who came up with that? Was it Randy? Did Randy come up with that? Or perhaps it was a subtle commentary on who the good guys or bad guys really are in Star Wars. Terrorist attacks against the global authority perpetrated by believers in a faith system that more easily lends itself to radical violent behaviour than other established religions…that sounds a lot like Force believers. Never heard about any light side/dark side turf wars from any nature loving Ithorians or Sacred Way practitioners, am I right?

– Speaking of Star Wars…the trailer that will play before one of the most anticipated and in most likelihood most watched movies of all time? Star Trek Beyond. Yes, the trailer for the new Star Trek movie will play before the new Star Wars movie. Which is a sentence that if I had spoken out loud two years ago, would have made everyone think I was having a stroke. What a weird age we live in.

– And speaking of trailers…no one does it better than It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. They are up to Season 11! I don’t know how it gets more perfect than this.

You can fly if you try leaving the past behind
Heaven only knows what you might find

A Random December Post

Oh shit it’s December already! What happened!?!

– Slim Jim is throwing out a ton of commercial campaigns, in what I imagine to be like a marketing shotgun approach. One particular line includes TJ Miller in blue-face as a Slim Jim genie that grants wishes…? I don’t know, I think you should watch them. But watch them while keeping in mind that commercial perfection has already been reached by the Macho Man Randy Savage.

– Apparently they are looking to replace Brendan Fraser in The Mummy reboots. Except instead of going younger and sexier with recasts, they’re going older…and sexier, with Tom Cruise. It’s a very ambitious project as well…

Characters from the monster universe films are expected to crop up in each other’s installments before culminating in an “Avengers”-style tie-in film.

Because now everyone wants that sweet, sweet Marvel money. It’s what they tried to do with Van Helsing, but it was before the world was ready for it. But now…t’s time for Tom Cruise to be the new Van Helsing.

– With Kobe’s recent announcement of his retirement at the end of this season, as a small tribute I will post a 15-minute video containing all the game winning shots he’s hit in his career up to this point. Surprisingly there’s only three Raptors games in there. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Look at my life, Jack. My father was a congressman, I was valedictorian at St Andrews, an Olympic archer, fourth guitarist in Loverboy…as a teenager! Its almost unbelievable! If it weren’t all true, I’d say it doesn’t even make sense.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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