Rock, Flag, And Eagle

So far in 2016…

In January, the World Health Organization announced an outbreak of the Zika virus in the Americas. Between its discovery in 1947 and 2007, there were 14 confirmed human cases. This is the first time it’s touched the Americas, now estimated to be infecting as high as 1.5 million people in Brazil alone. And David Bowie died.

In February, Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar.

In April, Prince died.

In June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, which they joined 43 years ago when it was still just the European Economic Community. And Muhammad Ali died.

In August, the Summer Olympics are held in Brazil where people from all over the world gathered together in one place to get bit by Zika mosquitoes and have Zika sex with each other.

In October, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908.

In November, the United States of America elected Donald Trump as their 45th President, stunning the world not unlike how Trump himself was Stone Cold stunned at Wrestlemania XXIII.

It has been a really weird and wild ride so far in 2016.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will receive its first-ever gameplay trailer at The Game Awards 2016 which is scheduled to take place on December 1.

They’re Still Shitty

Some quick words to write.

– What a fucking ride that was. Hard to fault a well constructed team that was playing wells – sometimes you just get beat. Basically the American League’s #2 and #3 offenses just came together in the lowest scoring ALCS in history while Toronto’s bullpen – who lead the league in losses – allowed zero runs. That’s baseball for you.

– A curious look which teams accrued the most frequent flyer miles this season. No surprise the Mariners are up there (they probably lead this every year) but interesting to see the least traveled team was also the league’s best team and the current favourites to win the World Series…even though they haven’t even made it there yet. Baseball is rigged! “Circumstances!”

– Check out the “phantom championship” merchandise for the Toronto Blue Jays. Also known as parallel universe merchandise or this year’s fashion trend for impoverished African children. Although these are likely just digital mock-ups and probably only a few, if any, were actually created. Sorry kids. I thought I would get a funny kick out of this, but I was wrong. It’s too soon, the wound is too fresh still, and the stitches ripped apart like the drone-cut laceration on the pinky finger of Trevor Bauer’s throwing hand. Disgusting.

– Have you watched Luke Cage? It was kinda meh for me, but since it led to this Family Matters intro, that’s all I need. Best one yet!

Freddie Wong’s still making stuff! Big time stuff now – he’s sold out in the greatest way possible. How fun is this, to make such a silly wacky video with such big company characters and all these neato cosplay toys? He made a YouTube video sponsored by Blizzard! God bless you, Freddie.

– Ha, Pikachu dressed up as Mario. That’s hilarious. Also there’s like this new “Switch” thing or whatever, but who cares.

Sweet Christmas!

Wildcard, Bitches

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 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.”


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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