18th Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/18/14

by Will

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Man, has this been a week! Let’s not waste any time and just jump right into it.

 

The female version of Thor – looks like a woman, acts like a man.

Marvel turned this into a “Don’t Read The Comments” week with two announcements. First off, they went on The View (wow, this is my second blurb about The View in 2 weeks. They ought to be paying me!) to announce a new female Thor. Then, they went on The Colbert Report and announced that Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon, would be taking up the mantle of Captain America. Ugh. While some folks are applauding Marvel for embracing diversity, none of these things matter. Not at all. It’s shortsighted storytelling, because the same white dudes will be in the suits again by the time Avengers 2 comes out. The Thor thing doesn’t even make sense because they’re now treating “Thor” as a title, akin to “captain” instead of the dude’s name. Other characters have lifted Mjolnir in the past and that did NOT make them THOR. Why? Because it’s the dude’s name! If I take your car, I don’t automatically become you. I just become Will in Stolen Car. It’s going to be written by Jason Aaron, a writer I usually trust, but I just can’t get excited for this. He maintains that this isn’t “She-Thor”, as I guess that moniker would lessen the character somehow. No, this is THOR…who happens to be a She. I don’t even read Thor, so I’m not gonna let this get my blood pressure all high!

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As for Blaptain America (I really hope that catches on), it’s not a new concept to anyone who’s ever heard of The Truth – a miniseries from the early 2000s about the first Captain America, who happened to be black. THAT was controversial. This just seems like a retread. It could be seen as a well-deserved promotion for Falcon, but it doesn’t quite work. Instead of putting him in the white hero’s shoes, why not make his character more important in other ways? You don’t have to make him Cap in order for him to be front and center; you just have to give him more exposure on his own. Make him the leader of a team. Give him his own title. There are other ways. I’ve actually known about the Falcon thing for a few months, so I’ve had time to process it. Still, it doesn’t make any more sense to me now than when I first heard about it.

My biggest problem with all of this is that it’s being treated like Event Storytelling. In the 80s, something like this could’ve happened and it never would’ve gotten media attention. It would have been a storyline and then everything would return to the status quo. Since Event Storytelling got into full swing, every big change has to be reported to mainstream media, and then you end up with comments from the peanut gallery of people who don’t even read comics. The problem with this kind of thing is that it’s reported like “This is how things will be from now on”, while anyone familiar with comics knows that these attention-/moneygrabs are only temporary. Man-Thor and White Cap will be back. Count on it. I’ve been in comics long enough that I don’t fall for this stuff anymore, but it’s so tiring watching this cycle happen over and over in mass media. Superman’s Dead! Captain America’s Dead! Thor’s A Woman! Captain America’s Black! Give it a rest! At the end of the day, this isn’t some kind of “bold step” for Marvel, as everything will return to the way it was. The best we could hope for is that these gimmicks give the characters enough exposure to stand on their own when all is said and done. Like when Bucky took over the role of Captain America, it made him popular enough for his own Winter Soldier series. Maybe that’s what’ll happen with Falcon and She-Thor, and I guess that could be considered a “win”. Only time will tell, but I’m really just tired of the theatrics. If it’s a good story, tell it and it will stand on its own. Stop grandstanding for major media outlets. You’re trying to get a new audience into comics, but even if it works, they’ll be gone by the time you figure out what to do with these characters. Give it a rest, Marvel.

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While we’re talking about comics and color-shifting characters, it’s been announced that The Following‘s Susan Heyward has been cast as Deena Pilgrim in the Powers series for the Sony Playstation Network. Powers is a police procedural, set in a world of superheroes, based on the comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. As much of a Bendis fan as I might be, Powers just never really grabbed me. Still, it has its fans, and this television series has been in the works for years. There was a pilot shot for FX, with more established actors in the roles, like Lucy Punch as Pilgrim, but FX passed on the show. Eventually, it resurfaced at Sony as part of the Playstation Network, and the roles are being recast. In the comic, Deena Pilgrim is a white character, but you can see that Sony’s going a different direction. The news hasn’t been promoted in enough mainstream outlets to measure much of a response, but you can be sure that you probably won’t want to read the comments when you find it.

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Oh, I forgot another comic this thing week. Archie died. Yeah, he took a bullet for his friend, Kevin Keller,  a newly-elected senator who won on a platform of stricter gun control. I swear, not all comics have to be grim and gritty. I know that this occurred in Life With Archie, which is an alternative look at a grown-up Archieverse, but that seemed like the one area of comics that never needed to succumb to gimmick storytelling. Archie is Archie. There’s a band, Jughead likes hamburgers, Reggie’s an asshole, and Archie two-times Betty and Veronica. That’s all you need to know. If any comic title didn’t need to mirror real-world politics, it’s Archie. Comics are supposed to be fun escapism, and it didn’t get more escapist than the “Pleasantville” town of Riverdale.

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Some of you TV fans will be happy, as it’s looking like The Big Bang Theory is in trouble at the moment. I like the show, but I know it has its detractors. Apparently, the 3 leads make $350,000 per episode, but now they want to triple that. Yes, TRIPLE. In a way, I kinda think they deserve it, based on the ratings (it’s the highest rated comedy on television), but I know that Ashton was making about $800,000 per episode for Two and a Half Men, making him the highest paid actor on television. Back in the 90s, you had situations where the Friends were making about $1M per episode for the final season, but the television landscape has changed, and folks aren’t being paid that much anymore. In any case, the cast isn’t showing up for work, and CBS is scrambling to figure out what to do if negotiations don’t end soon.

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The axe is coming down over at Studio 8H, as it was announced that 3 featured players and a regular cast member are leaving Saturday Night Live. Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser, and Noel Wells won’t be enjoying a second season live from New York. It’s kinda sad, as the cast was too bloated to give anyone exposure (other than Sasheer Zamata), so I almost feel like they never had a chance. In a departure that makes me really sad, Nasim Pedrad also isn’t coming back, but this is mainly due to her role on Fox’s Mulaney next season.

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Harold & Kumar: The Animated Series is coming to Adult Swim. I dunno, but I feel like this is a day late and a dollar short. I mean, remember when Napoleon Dynamite came to Fox, and nobody gave a shit ’cause the movie was 9 years old? This feels like that. At least they got the original cast back, but I just don’t see this being a big hit.

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There’s good news and bad news coming from the Storage Wars camp. The good news is that, following the success of their special, Jarrod and Brandi are getting their own show, Married to the Job. The bad news, however, is that Mr. Yuuup himself, Dave Hester, returns on August 12th. I guess he settled his lawsuit against A&E, but the show must be in some kinda trouble if they crawled back to him. It’ll be interesting to see how the newer buyers like Renee and Ivy interact with him.

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The show’s over for Sam & Cat, as Nick has cancelled the series. At this point, it’s still not clear if it was due to the pay gap between the two stars or if it was due to Jennette McCurdy’s racy pics. Either way, Ariana Grande can focus on her singing, while Jenette will have to look for her next gig.

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The Marvel news keeps on coming, as it was announced yesterday that True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll will be playing Karen Page in the Netflix Daredevil series. I know these things are supposed to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but outside of Rosario Dawson, none of the casting decisions have really gotten me excited. I hope the execution of this show is stellar enough to put me at ease.

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In movie news, we bring it right back to Marvel, as they scored the cover of the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. There we got our first glimpse at the movie version of Ultron, as well as some hints as to his cinematic origin. In Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, it appears that Tony Stark creates Ultron as a robotic defense system in order to give the Avengers a break. And, of course, this goes horribly wrong. I’m really looking forward to this movie, and I don’t have any qualms with the new Ultron origin, as it fits with what they’ve been doing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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It looks like Saban may actually be throwing some money at the Power Rangers movie reboot, as it was announced this week that Roberto Orci has been brought on as executive producer. He’s got actual industry credits (Star Trek, Amazing Spider-Man), so this is certainly a good sign.

Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the American Ninja Warrior course this week. I don’t really watch this show, but I was in a sleep center doing a sleep study and it happened to be on. Anyway, it’s pretty incredible and I just marvel at how many places in the course I would’ve just given up and gone home. I really need to get in shape…


I don’t talk about it much here, but I’m a casual wrestling fan. I used to be more into it than I am now, but I still enjoy bouts in the squared circle. So, it was to my disappointment that my favorite wrestler at the moment, Brodus Clay, was released by WWE a few weeks ago. He was never gonna win the Heavyweight Championship, but he was still fun to watch, as he was just so lighthearted. It was especially great when he danced with his Funkadactyls. Anyway, I’m gonna miss seeing him, so let’s pour one out for the Funkasaurus.

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I may not like the announcements they made, but there’s no denying that Marvel dominated the week. Folks are still talking about She-Thor and Blaptain America, while that EW cover took over social media when it was released on Wednesday. Sure, these changes won’t last, and everything will eventually go back to the way things were, but the goal was to get the spotlight on Marvel and it succeeded. For that reason, Marvel had the West Week Ever.

 

20th Jun2013

So That Was Injustice…

by Will

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This morning, around 12:15, I beat Injustice: Gods Among Us on XBox 360. This may not be a big deal to most, but this is the first video game I’ve beaten in about 16 years. You see, I’m not much of a gamer, and the last game I powered through to the end was Super Mario Bros 2 (I beat them out of order: 3, 1, 2). If you’re a long time reader of the site, you might be saying “What about Power Rangers Super Legends?” Well, technically, I never beat it. It just glitched and took me to the ending. Anyway, now that I’ve got this win behind me, I’ve got a few thoughts on the game and the experience.

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-When did games become so easy? As I said before, I’m the furthest thing from a “gamer”. Remember, Super Mario Bros 2 came out in 1988 and I didn’t beat it for 9 years. That’s not because I was a slow kid, but mainly because I had no real interest in it after a while. I think Nintendo contributed to my anger management issues, so I’d take year long breaks at a time. Still, NES games took at least a week to beat, and that’s if you were A) GOOD and B) did nothing other than play the game and scour Nintendo Power or the Game Player’s Guide for hints. I, an XBox novice, managed to beat this game within 5 hrs of gameplay. That must mean it took about an hr for the typical gamer. $60 for an hour of fun? I know whores who’ll give you a better return on investment than that!

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- I love the Batmobile’s ability to travel anywhere, simply to run over your opponent. In space? No problem. The Batmobile can get there!

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- This game made me like Cyborg. He was more…”urban” to me than he ever came across in the comics. Not that that did it for me, but he seemed to actually have more personality than I’d experienced in Titans comics.

- I get most of the alternate universe: good guys are bad, bad guys are good – except Batman. That said, how did Superman get both Black Adam AND Captain Marvel on his side? Hell, how did he get Black Adam on his own? Do I need to read the comic to understand that?

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- If you’ve never respected Aquaman, play this game and your opinion will change forever. He is AMAZING.

- I’m really bad at memorizing and executing combos, so I was sure that would keep me from getting far in the game. I couldn’t have been more wrong, which seems almost like a failing of the game. I feel like Doomsday should be harder to beat than simple punches and kicks. I should’ve needed to pull out all the stops, but he was no more difficult to defeat than Sinestro or Grundy. In fact, the only two real challenges are the Batman vs Batman fight, and the Superman vs Superman fight.

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- As shitty as the Mattel figures look, the new character designs actually work for me within the confines of the game – even Joker! All of their looks (with the exception of maybe Flash) are functional and make sense within the plot. Like Star Trek‘s Mirror Universe, everything here is dark and “war-ier”, so they should have spikes, armor plates, etc. Mattel just did a terrible job translating them into plastic representations.

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- During Wonder Woman’s speech to the Amazons, I got a glimpse of what her fans see in her. It’s probably the best writing she’s had in years, but it still wasn’t enough for me to think she deserves her own movie or TV show. It just goes to show she’d be an integral part of a team project, like a Justice League movie.

-Did NOT see that Nightwing twist coming. If they expand on that in the Injustice comic, I may just have to grab it once it’s collected.

Well, that’s my take on things. I’m new to the whole “next-gen” gaming experience, but I know I need to play more to unlock stuff and earn achievements. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. Keep in mind I got the 360 as a wedding gift. The wedding was in October, and I’m just now getting around to testing it out. So, check back in a year or so, once everyone has moved on to the X Box One. Ha! I barely got that sentence out. Anyway, what were your thoughts on Injustice? Have you read the comics?

24th May2013

West Week Ever – 5/24/13

by Will
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Who had the West Week Ever? Read on and find out!

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Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting New Jersey. Could you hear my sarcasm? Anyway, it was a good trip ’cause I got to see my sword brother, Keith, but it had its highs and its lows. On Saturday night, we went to what was billed as “live band karaoke”, which sounded awesome! In reality, however, it was not what one might expect. There was a house band called Deep Fried Thorn, who didn’t suck, but they were mainly there to play themselves. If you wanted to sing a song on their setlist, you were welcome to do so, but their levels were off, and the music was too loud for the venue. I just didn’t feel comfortable there. While I’m used to all-white crowds, this one didn’t seem too welcoming. I guess I was standing too close to the pickup station, as a waitress pushed me out of her way and into a chair. This triggered my assholosity, and I looked for a way to take my anger out on the whole place. When it was my turn (I sang Ain’t Too Proud To Beg), I got to the mic, and said, “Hi, I’m Will, and I’ll be your black guy for the evening.” Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. Not knowing when to quit, I looked at the nearest patron (who was looking at me quizzically), and said, “Yeah, don’t think that I didn’t notice.” Anyway, the rest of the weekend was good. We ate lots of good food, we made plans for our joint venture, Kill Industries, and I got to see my bud.

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Oh, we also saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I really enjoyed it. It’s not “Star Trek”, but it was still enjoyable. Not even joining the Star Trek Alice Eve hoopla. I love Alice Eve in underwear – I think it’s in her contract. If you wanna be upset about something, be upset at how they depicted being attacked while in warp. That shit will fuck you up. They should’ve, at the very least, lost a nacelle from that. I mean, it should have been torn completely off its housing, and lost to space. They just don’t spin out of it like a car hitting a patch of black ice. That should’ve have been CATASTROPHIC. But whatever.

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I had a weird epiphany over the weekend. You see, I have this routine I do at restaurants: when I order Diet Coke, if they say “I’m sorry, but all we have is Pepsi”, I reply, “I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!” Only, last weekend, I realized that I prefer Pepsi – at least the diet variety. Maybe it’s because we’ve had SO much Diet Coke at home that its lost all appeal. It reminds me of college: I ended up kicking soda for a year and a half because it had lost all effect. I was drinking 2 liters of Wild Cherry Pepsi a day, and I eventually couldn’t even taste it anymore. I was just chugging it for the burn. So, I went cold turkey. Diet Coke has a similar effect for me now. So, for the time being, make mine Pepsi!

I also took on the Herculean task of getting one of my email accounts in order. In case you didn’t know, I own williambrucewest at everything except AOL. Well, I still have my college account redirected to my Hotmail/Outlook account, and it was at 78 pages. Yeah, I had stuff going back to 2006, which was the last time I’d even attempted to keep it under control. Now I’m at 4 pages, but I’m still striving for Inbox Zero. Over the weekend, I’m going to tackle Gmail.

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Anyone remember when I wrote about Xuxa a few months back? Well, I got the best comment on it the other day about America’s “cold and dirty minds”. Go check it out.

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Why has no one come up with the Jail Body Workout (#fitness)? I never, never, never, never, never wanna end up in jail, but if I ever do, three things will happen:

1) I’ll become well-read

2) I’ll get closer to God

3) I’ll get an amazing, jacked body

There should be a DVD for the Jail Body Workout, and it’d come with a pocket copy of the Qur’an (I used that spelling ’cause I’m really into apostrophes right now. So hot.). It can’t be hosted by Shaun T, though – his ass would never make it out alive.

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Haha, Morgan Freeman fell asleep during an interview! He also used to fuck his step-granddaughter, but we casually forgot that. Just like we forgot Jerry Seinfeld both dated a minor and stole his current wife away from her husband while she was on her honeymoon. Oh, but Michael Vick and Chris Brown are still assholes. God bless America’s selective memory!

So nice of the Boys Scouts to let in gay members, ’cause of course those kids’ll grow out of it by the time they’re scout leaders, right? Right? Ugh…

I ever tell you about the time I slept over at my ex’s parents’ house, and they put me in a room with several Rolexes sitting casually on a dresser. I’ve always thought that was a test. I passed. And now I ain’t got no Rolex. Random, I know.

Links I Loved
Taxi vs. Hill Street Blues: Battle of the TV Show Intros – The Robot’s Pajamas

A Raging Nerdgasm/Real Toy Hunting moment – my greatest wants acquired – Raging Nerdgasm

The Weekly Scoop: Underwear Uproar, Mini He-Man, and this Human Torch will not be denied a bank loan – UnderScoopFire!

What’s the most dangerous job in comics? – Cold Slither Podcast

A new podcast hit the streets recently, filled with folks I enjoy – head over to the Cold Slither Podcast, to hear Nicju and R2thaEdgy’s new show, “What’s The Tea?”

This Week’s Posts

Best of the West #3: Knight Rider Knight 2000 Voice Car

Collegiate Conundrum OR Reunited and Feels So Bad?

Thrift Justice – Hell Naw! Are You For Real?

One’s out of our league, while the others are too cool for school. One’s taking a nap, while the other’s taking a plea. Only one, however, could have the West Week Ever!

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Anyone who knows of my love for TNBC should’ve seen this coming. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the original Bayside gang’s graduation from high school. Yes, you’re that old! Like it or not, Saved by the Bell was a definitive pop culture milestone of the early 90s. For many of us, it gave us false expectations of what high school would be like. For others, it was our introduction to our first “feminist”. Either way, it’s been 20 years since they walked across that stage and got their diplomas from Mr. Belding. They’ve gone on to be strippers, game show hosts, cops, soap opera actresses, and more, but they’ll always be the Saved by the Bell kids.

I often wonder where they might be today. Lisa’s, no doubt, a fashion designer. If that didn’t work out, then she’s an on-air personality for E! Jessie’s an attorney, annoying the shit out of clients and judges alike. Slater blew out his knee and is probably an on-air personality for ESPN. Screech probably invented FaceSter, but Zack ends up with all the credit and the money. Speaking of Zack, he and Kelly have been divorced for about 12 years now. I know it was a kids show, but I never bought their whole “true love” angle. Zack was used to getting whatever he wanted, and Kelly was the one thing he had to work to get. He simply wanted what he couldn’t have, and once he got her, I’m sure he lost interest. Kelly, meanwhile, is a happy mom to 6 kids (remember, the Kapowskis were fertile) and is married to her second husband, Jeff. Yes, THAT Jeff. Oh, and The Max is now a national chain and can usually be found in the same shopping centers as Ernie’s Gym & Juice Bar franchises. Anyway, for touching our childhood (no MJ!), and for enduring all these years, the kids from Bayside High Class of ’93 had the West Week Ever.

17th May2013

West Week Ever – 5/17/13

by Will
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Who has the West Week Ever? Read on to find out!

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I was so proud of myself when this came on the radio this morning, and I remembered the rap from 18 years ago!

It has been a week, hasn’t it? At least it feels like it to me. I guess it’s because I started it with a bit of a subtweeted post in the Monday Musings. Most people have guessed who that was about, but I’ve got more than one “e-nemy”. I mean, think of whose podcasts I haven’t been on yet, and you’re getting warmer…I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that, though. I’ve made some good friends online, and I really cherish that. From daily emails, to daily tweets, that’s the good part of all this, so I can’t let a few ne’er do wells ruin a good thing! Anyway, this is a pop culture site, so, let’s get it started!

Speaking of online friends, I’ve been meaning to talk about the host/producer of the UnderScoopFire! and MadCast podcasts, Corey Chapman. This guy is a runner, and he’s constantly posting stats like “Ran 14 miles today”. While some folks might be haters, I consider him an inspiration. Believe it or not, I used to run. Not competitively, but just for fun. Back in college, my friend Eric and I would run to Wegmans at 2 in the morning, just for shits and giggles (I needed him there or else I’d just look like a black dude who stole something). Anyway, I enjoyed that running, and years later, I found myself dating someone who decided to run a marathon…out of nowhere. I mean, if you saw her, “marathon” was not the word that would come to mind. But I’d run with her, and help her train for those marathons. They say that a good chunk of the marathon is in your head, and I’ve just never felt like I was “there”, psychologically. Still, I was talking to my boss yesterday, and doing the math, realized I’ve probably gained 80 lbs over the past 10 years. I’m 31 and on high blood pressure medicine. So, something has to change. It’ll be a slow process, but I want to try running again. Nobody “in real life” wants to run with me. I won’t be posting 14 miles anytime soon, but I kinda hope I can look to Corey as a virtual “run buddy” as I slowly get back to where I was before. That, my friends, is the power of social media.

Buy something from my store! I’m not begging here, but the hustle is gettin’ kinda hectic! I’ve never been blown off as much from Craigslisters as I have in the past week. Buy this shit so I don’t have to meet a stranger in a dark parking lot!

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I’ve written about it before, but I made a realization this week: if I only read one comic a month, it would be Ultimate Spider-Man. Wait, I guess I mean Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I know a lot of people don’t focus on the Ultimate Universe because it’s not the “real” Marvel, but it’s so damn good. If you haven’t read it, just go back to the introduction of Miles Morales. Don’t even bother with all the Peter Parker stuff. So damn good. BTW, I’m still trying to teach myself to love the digital medium for comics. I’m getting there, thanks to a wonderful gift from @Ponderiss, but if you’ve got any unused digital codes, send them my way!

Some weird stuff’s been going on that I feel funny for telling you, but I need content filler. Lately, I’ve been going to places that I’ve been to only in dreams. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. For example, I had a dream a few weeks back where I was in some weird banquet hall. Fast forward to last Sunday’s Mother’s Day brunch – IT WAS AT THE SAME HALL!!! I’ve never been to that place in my life, but the layout was the same and everything. Plus, randomly enough, a few nights ago I had a dream that I got a really shitty tattoo on my shin probably after playing hacky sack at a Dave Matthews Band concert). Then, a few days later, I found myself in a tattoo parlour. Sure, I wasn’t getting a tattoo (it was a Craigslist deal), but the timing was really weird. Anyway, I sold them some Star Wars figures that they’re gonna display in the shop. They let me take pics of what they already had.

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Just a random pic of Paige Davis. Nothing to see here...

Just a random pic of Paige Davis. Nothing to see here…

I briefly toyed with the idea of a West Weekette, but then I remembered that I like sleeping in my bed…

Links I Loved

Head over the DoubleDumbassOnYou and read ALL of their Star Trek Week posts. Trust me! Here are links, so you have no excuse!

Welcome To Star Trek Week

Star Trek Week — Review: Star Trek #1 (DC Comics, 1989)

Star Trek Week — In Defense of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek Week — Collection Spotlight > “Star Trek III Taco Bell Glass”

Star Trek Week — My (Model Kit) Ships of the Line

Star Trek Week — From The Archives

Star Trek Week — Forging A Klingon Bat’leth with the Man At Arms

The Robot’s Pajamas Turns a Million - Congrats on 1M page views!

This Week’s Posts

Monday Musings: Twouble With Twibbles

Thrift Justice: YSE – Trials & Tribble-ations

Farewell to Friends & Foes: The TV Cancellations of 2013

Star Trek Week – Why Starfleet?

10 Television Shows that Outgrew Their Premise – cowritten with my boy, @HowardTheDeck

Also, this was the first week that I participated in Thriftasaurus over at Sir Thrift A Lot’s site. It’s a weekly link party for thrifters, and hopefully I can get some more eyes on the Thrift Justice posts. Head over there and check it out!

One lost their shit on Facebook after a poor showing on Kitchen Nightmares, while the other’s gonna need a new job, dawg. One is a Kardashian minor who has triggered several “countdown” sites, while the others had their televised swan song last night. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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 Ah, The Office. In recent years, the show has been “Simpsonized”, with everyone claiming “It’s not as good as it used to be!” I disagree. While most felt it should’ve ended with Steve Carell’s departure, I disagree. If anything, Michael stayed too long. It was great to see how the workplace evolved in his absence. We got to see the “Nard Dogg” in the manager role, we saw an alliance and friendship bloom between Jim and Dwight, and characters like Darrell got more of the spotlight. The Office did NOT end with Michael Scott, and it’s too bad most people didn’t realize that. Sure, this past season was a chore at points, but these were still people we had come to know and love. Look at your own life – your real friends aren’t always doing something interesting, and they probably tell stories you don’t care to hear, either. That’s how it was with this show. Still, through all that, it ended strong. Last night’s finale was true to what the show was about, and everyone got a fitting sendoff. If I had one problem with it, it’s that I don’t feel NBC really showed its appreciation. The show carried Thursday night for YEARS, yet it didn’t even get a real credits roll (as pointed out by @zacshipley). Instead of going out with its autonomy, the credits were highjacked by a promo for Hannibal. Plus, I mentioned this on Twitter, but it needs to be repeated: in years past, when a long-running show ended, the network would post a card after the credits that said something like “Thank You For All The Years of Making Us Laugh”. I always thought that was a classy gesture, and it tended to bring a tear to my eye for certain shows. To my knowledge, Married…with Children was the last show to get that distinction. I feel like The Office certainly deserved something like that, and it was a shame that it didn’t come to pass. I know they got the retrospective special, but this is a different animal to me. So, thanks for all the laughs, guys. This is why The Office had the West Week Ever.

14th May2013

Thrift Justice: YSE – Trials & Tribble-ations

by Will

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Can I just take a minute to saw how much I love that real life is gradually evolving into my vision for Thrift Justice: The Series? I mean, I’m not a bounty hunter (yet), but Special Forces has become a full fledged sidekick, just as I envisioned. Anyway, last weekend’s haul wasn’t huge, but it’s about quality and not quantity!

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It was supposed to rain Saturday, so I made a point to look for sales that labeled themselves as “rain or shine”. Luckily, the clouds held it together long enough for us to hit a few choice sales first thing that morning. I’ve always tried not to be an “early bird”, as a lot of sellers hate that. So, when I arrive early to a sale, I just hang out in my car, looking like a sketchy black guy in a white neighborhood. It’s all very hilarious to the people living on that street. Anyway, we did this on Saturday, and missed out big time, as another guy pulled up who didn’t care about being an early bird. At first, I thought he lived there, seeing as how he bounded the steps with ease and familiarity. Then, I saw him walk to his car with a stack of books in his hands about a foot and a half high. I’m not exaggerating. SF and I were trying to figure out if they were graphic novels. I decided it was time to hit the sale, and we jumped out of my car and up the steps. It turns out those were all LEGO manuals, to accompany the $100 of LEGO he had just purchased. And there had to have been a good 70 lbs! Do you know what that would get on the secondary market?!! Feeling deflated, I managed to get the figures you see above. She had a bunch of Marvel Universe figures, but wanted $1 each, and I just felt that was too much. I’m sorry, but I like $0.50 for my used 4″ figures. Thing and Iron Monger were $1 each, which was fair. IM is broken, as his slam action no longer works, but he’s still a good looking figure. Plus, I got a bag of Transformers Robot Heroes for $5.

 

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Here’s a closer look at the Robot Heroes. I haven’t counted them yet, but there are well over 25 of them. A lot of them also have the kid’s initials written on their foot – ya know, to distinguish them at play dates. This was an OK haul, but I wanted those friggin’ tubs of LEGO!!! :-(

 

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While I was looking at the Marvel figures, a woman from down the street ran up, and saleblocked her neighbor by telling us that she was also having a sale, and that we needed to come by and look. Well, who am I to pass up a forward older woman? Once we got to the sale, I noticed it was mainly National Geographic memorabilia. Then, I noticed a few Star Trek trinkets. Once the other seller at the house (don’t know if they were sisters, partners, what) asked, “Am I gonna have to get out my Star Trek stuff?” I said, “Yeah, I think you are!” She went into the house, and brought out several boxes of carded Star Trek figures from the Playmates era. As nice as the figures were, she mentioned something that caught my interest: she had gone to Toy Fair in ’97, and had received the Playmates catalog, as well as 3 shooter glasses. THAT was what I wanted. After all, my love of toy industry catalogs has already been documented. I’d promise to showcase what’s inside, but I’ve made that promise in the past, and I never make good on it. One day? One day. Anyway, the TNG hardcover is really just a notebook, but I kinda liked it, so grabbed it, too. Finally, I got the “Trials & Tribble-ations” Captain Sisko figure. I already have all the T&T figures, but I didn’t have any carded. I’m trying to bolster my carded figure collection, and I figure I should probably “keep it in the community” by buying the black guy. So, I got all of this for $20, which I don’t think was too bad. I’ll probably sell off the shooters and make some of it back.

 

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At one of the last houses, I got this sealed Mad Men Season 3 for $2!!! Sealed. Needless to say, it’s listed on Amazon as we speak. Finally, at the last house we hit, they were selling a lot of World War II DVDs and whatnot. Again, I have an affinity for sealed DVDs, as well as things from the BBC. In case you weren’t aware, BBC DVDs cost an arm & a leg, just like TV season sets of HBO shows. Regardless, I don’t know any war buffs, so I walked away from the $3 price tag. As SF & I were walking to the car, something told me to check the going prices on Amazon. $65?! Needless to say, I turned right around, and gladly handed over $3. At this point, the clouds let loose their fury, and we decided to spend the rest of the morning in thrift stores.

Luckily, Special Forces and I don’t like the same things. I’m the toy guy, while he’s the video game guy. Since we don’t “cross the streams”, we make a good pair. Anyway, here’s what he got:

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At the sale where I got the Mad Men set, SF got all of this for $8. He thought the tag said $18, but I swore that it was $8. After asking the woman of the house, it was confirmed at $8. While the system was nice, I think SF was more intrigued by the “mystery” game you see above Warioland 4. Remind me to ask him what that turned out to be (or just tell us in the comments, SF!).

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Since video game pickings are sometimes slim at yard sales, SF typically does better at the after-sale thrift store rounds that we make. He got this at thrift store #3 (yup, we roll that hard) because it’s apparently a rare color. It seems the clear/clear purple are common, but this fuschia is a bit more rare. I guess those games were packaged with it.

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Finally, he grabbed this 3-disc Final Fantasy (can’t tell if it’s 6 or 7) for about $2. He tells me this is the first edition, and not the Greatest Hits version, making it more sought after. He’s the game guy, so I bow to his expertise.

So, there ya have it – another one for the books…and the net. Later this week, I think I’ll treat y’all to a traditional edition of Thrift Justice. Stay tuned!

02nd May2013

Thrift Justice – That Figures

by Will

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I’m an action figure guy. That really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but just in case you’re new here, I thought I’d let you in on that little tidbit. So, when thrifting, the main thing I’m looking for is some sort of cool action figure – usually to fill holes in my many odd collections. Here are a few I’ve found recently.

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Everyone remembers the various Playmates Star Trek lines, but the earlier Galoob TNG series gets no love.  Released in 1988, these 4-ish inch figures depicted all of the bridge crew (except Counselor Troi). There was even a role play Phaser and a shuttlecraft playset. When the line first came out, my mom bought my Riker and the Phaser from People’s Drug (it was the precursor to CVS in the DC area). I loved that Phaser, but it went through HELL. I still have it, but it doesn’t have a prayer of working, and I lost ever part that could be lost on it. Anyway, due to a time rift, Riker traveled back in time to fight alongside the G.I. Joes. Later on, I got Picard from a friend, and he joined Riker in his 20th century adventures. So, when I saw Worf (in his rare Lt. JG colors), I had to snatch him up. The odd thing about these figures was that their Phasers were molded into their hands. This is fine for Away Team missions, as they’re always at the ready. In bridge scenarios, however, it’s like everyone’s expecting a Shakespearean ending to things.

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This is probably the only Wonder Woman villain who matters. Get away from me, The Mary Sue! You know it’s true. Anyway, I bought the “classic” Cheetah, as she’s the one who resonated with me from the old Secret Society of Supervillains comic. I really had no desire to buy this one, but I found her for a dollar, so why not?

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I’ve mentioned it a ton of time, but The Undertaker is my favorite WWE character. A lot of people are over him, but that’s exactly why I love him: his gimmick has no idea still “working” in the current WWE climate. It’s like when kids are way too old to still believe in Santa, yet their parents still go along with it (I was that kid, btw). The current WWE Universe is comprised of stars who USE THEIR REAL NAMES! If I were a wrestler, I’d probably be Bruce Williams or some shit like that. Yet, in the midst of all of these steroid case prettyboys, there’s a dude who we’re still supposed to believe comes from Hell, has a mangled brother, gets his power from an urn, and continues to return from the dead more times that Jesus, Jean Grey, and Wolverine combined! Anyway, the larger figure hails from the late Jakks era, after Taker married Sara, hence the neck tattoo. I’ve said it a thousand times, but my favorite Undertaker quote comes from the WWE Unscripted coffee table book. They ask him, “Given the success rate of wrestling marriages, what happens if you break up?” Even though it’s in print, you can still hear his voice saying it: “I guess I’ll have to find another girl named Sara.” Well, they did break up, but his next girl was named Michelle, and he had the tattoo removed. Next to him is a mini Taker who came from one of those little playsets. I just like him ’cause his tiny tongue is hanging out like a puppy.

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I never really collected a ton of Batman: The Animated Series toys while they were out. There were too many overlapping toylines, so I was still busy with the Batman Returns line when B:TAS debuted, and then I moved on to Power Rangers. Still, today’s kids have got no love for the show, as there have been 2 other animated Batman incarnations since then. So, these are kinda plentiful in thrift stores today. Usually, it’s just a bunch of beat up Jokers, but every now and then you can find a Scarecrow, or a Man Bat, or even a Catwoman. So, I’m currently fortifying my villains. I already had Riddler, Joker, and Two-Face from the old days, but I’ve since picked up Man Bat, Catwoman, Penguin, and this guy right here.

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I like Iron Man armors. I wasn’t always that way. Like most comic fans, I didn’t give a shit about Tony Stark until those movies started coming out. Then, I went back and read the “iconic” Iron Man stories (which reminds me – I really need to start doing Adventures West Coast again!), and realized I had been wrong. So, I’ve found myself buying up all the various armor figures I find. I think I have all of the 4″ Iron Man 2 Comic Series figures, and I’ve snatched up an cheap Marvel Legends I can find. I kinda hate that Rhodey’s missing his mask, but it’s still a cool figure.

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MEGO! I got this thing for $2. I was so shocked when I saw him, and snatched him off the peg. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten an authentic Mego, in pretty good shape for such a low price. I couldn’t wait to get on Twitter and boast to all of my followers about him. Until I got him home. You see, his left knee is busted, but you could really tell outside of the suit. So, he casually sits around, hoping that trouble comes to him. Still, he’s a good looking figure!

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I recently said that I secretly collect Marvel Legends movie figures, but that wasn’t the whole story – I also collect ML X-Men. As long as they’re not retail, I’ll pretty much buy anyone who’s even tangentially related to the X-Men franchise. This Storm has some stray marker streaks on her, but she knew what to expect when she left home wearing white after Labor Day!

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Yay! Power Rangers! ‘Cause we don’t talk about them nearly enough on this site. Anyway, I hate the price point of the 4″ figures, so I only buy them used or in gift sets. That explains Super Samurai Green, Dekker, and Samurai Yellow. As for RPM Red, there’s another weird collection I have. Ya see, I used to buy each season’s team, but I got to an age where I didn’t care as much and fell behind. Still, the key ranger in ANY team is the red one. So, if I come across the Red Ranger for a series I don’t already have, I buy him. One day, I may continue to fill out that team, but Red’s really the only one who matters. And the big Lost Galaxy Red is a Super Legends figure, with the same articulation as the MMPR Red figure that’s currently hard to find in stores. He’s got some play wear, but if you’ve ever watched that season, the “battle damage” is on par with what Leo put that suit through.

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Finally, we’ve got the 6″ Flame On Human Torch from the FF movie line. Again, this is Marvel Legends compatible, and he was $1. So I had to get him, and now my FF team is complete!

So, there ya have it. What figures do y’all collect? Be sure to share that in the comments!

10th Apr2013

Thrift Justice Road Trip – Hershey, PA

by Will

TJRTRevised

Who cares if this happened 2 months ago? I know what you folks like, and I love spinoffs, so Thrift Justice Road Trip is BACK! I mentioned this back in West Week Ever, but the wife and I had a belated Valentine’s Day weekend in Hershey, PA. It was supposed to be a winery/antique mall tour, but the wineries seemed to dominate. Anyway, at the end of Day 1 we were able to meet up with my Twitter pal, @LamarRevenger at the Crossroads Antique Mall, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I don’t have a ton of pictures from this day, but here’s what I’ve got:

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There was a tempting case of MEGO figures. They didn’t know what they had, as there were figures from Space: 1999 labeled as “Star Trek: TNG”. I almost got the Penguin you see, but I knew that would open a can of worms. He wasn’t in the best shape, and to buy him would mean I’d have to get a Joker, and a Batman, and a Robin. MEGO is not easy to find in good condition, so I nipped it in the bud. Lamar debated on whether or not to get the Star Trek McCoy figure. He passed, but I think he went back to get it later on.

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I’m not a huge Muppets person, but I loved this phone. Kermit is straight chillin’, with the handset propped on his leg. Pimp!

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This made me think of Brian over at Cool and Collected. Look out, Bond! She ’bout to shoot you!

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Sometimes I forget how much I was into Dick Tracy back in 1991. This hand puppet was kind of cool, and I like how his two-way wrist radio is represented on it.

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This is FAR from an “antique”, but I know how some of y’all love your bootlegs and knock-offs.

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Here’s a nice little display of “rack toys”. I always refer to these as “Toys For Poor Kids” because, after the dawn of the “program-length commercial”, only a poor kid would be happy with something that’s not a tie-in to a cartoon or movie. Yeah, I’m a toy snob.

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I just thought this police car was sleek. I’m not a huge car guy, but every now and then I can appreciate a nice one. I loved this model.

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Finally, I love this phone because it looks like it’s a face, saying, “Oooo, he did WHAT?!”

Anyway, promotions and lodging were provided by The La Quinta Inn. Only at La Quinta can you get a good night’s sleep, and then come downstairs to a swanky Nickelodeon show. Just look at this place!

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There are more antique mall pics from that weekend, but I can’t give you everything at once! Stay tuned for a future installment of Thrift Justice Road Trip in Pennsylvania!!!

19th Feb2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All The Books

by Will

thriftj

I love books. The real kind, with words and few (if any) pictures. Before I even discovered comics, I used to beg my mom to take me to Crown Books to get the latest Hardy Boys paperback. Once I got into comics, pictures took over for words, but I still get in a book every now and then. In the world of thrifting, I tend to stay away from books. Why? Because of motherlovin’ book scanners. I’ve probably gone over this before, but there’s a group in the reselling community known as book scanners, who just camp out in the book aisle like it’s the manga section of Barnes & Noble. At that point, they either use a phone app or a dedicated scanner to scan the barcode of each and every book to find out if it has any value on the secondary market. Long story short, you won’t find many great books due to these vultures. I know some of you are thinking, “Why do you hate them so much, Will? You’re a reseller, too!” You see, my “gift” is that I have an eye. I don’t scan. I don’t use Google. I see things and notice there’s something unique about them. If they could do that with books, I’d have more respect for them. Instead, they use technology as a crutch. Without the scanner, they wouldn’t know what they have. It’s like a guy with a metal detector – even if he finds something, he probably won’t know what it is unless he truly knows coins and whatnot. Every now and then, however, I happen to find something before they do (usually it’s a book that doesn’t have a barcode; that’s too much work for them). I thought I’d share a few of those finds with ya today.

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I actually got this on my honeymoon, but didn’t fit it into the Thrift Justice Road Trip post at the time. I’ve never read Bone, and always kinda thought it was overrated. I mean, it looks like the “Adventures of Albino Smurf”. Still, you can’t really have an opinion on something you haven’t experienced, so I picked this up. “One Volume Bone” has been available for years, but I never really wanted to spend the money. There’s even a full color version now, but it was never high on my list of reading priorities. This B&W copy, however, only cost me $3 at a roadside thrift store in the Outer Banks. It’s not pristine, but it’s a good “reading copy” at about 10% of its original price.

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Like everyone else, I’d been a fan of the Boondocks series on Adult Swim, but I never really read the newspaper strips. I remember them being controversial and getting kicked out of a lot of papers, but I never gave them the time of day. So, when I came across this collection, I decided to take a chance. It also helped that the store considered this a children’s book, which meant it was $0.69. I honestly don’t even think they charged me that, which I’ll explain later…

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I’m no fan of Doctor Who. It’s not that I have anything against it, but it’s just too vast of a franchise for me to get into. I mean, it’s a 50 year old franchise! Sure, people tell me “You don’t need the old stuff. Just start with Eccleston”, but I don’t believe you! If I get into something, I go ALL IN, and that’s not easy to do when half of the series is only on tapes allegedly owned by some African warlord. So, that has kept me from giving The Doctor a chance. Still, these books are from that earlier era, and I love a good sourcebook, so I grabbed all of these. I’m still not sure if I’ll ever read them or just try to sell them.

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This is a nice coffeetable book that I got the week after Disney bought LucasFilm. Nice pictures. Still gonna sell it, though. I’m no Warsie. #Trekkie4Life

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So, this was a nice find and I’m sure I only got it because there was no barcode (I love that scanners are too lazy to type in a simple ISBN). This was a 3-volume hardcover reprint set of the Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson Star Wars newspaper strips. Remember how I thought I got Boondocks for free? It was because of this set. I don’t think the cashier saw that book because it was between these. That wasn’t strategic or anything – just coincidental. So, as she flipped through them, she decided that they were children’s books. Signed & numbered children’s books. In GREAT condition. So, after a quick trip to my friend eBay, a $2.07 investment eventually netted me $160. Man, there are times when I LOOOOVE thrifting! This was  one of them.

So, there ya have it. Book scanners make things a bit more difficult, but there are still treasures to be found. For all of their tech, they’re still missing some gems right in front of their faces. And that’s just fine by me!

04th Feb2013

Black History Month is Back-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack!

by Will

BMHCollageMark

Yeah, I’m being lazy. I should’ve spent the last year coming up with 28 more of these to further bolster my “legacy” or what have you. Then again, we got the same black president again, so why not the same Black History Month post? As they say in publishing, this is a good opportunity for me to “mobilize my backlist”. Hey, at least I slaved (oops!) over that beautiful collage up there!

If this is your first February following me, this is all new to you. If not, sit back and enjoy one of my favorite posts to write. You know the drill: there’s one per day, and I try to tweet them out each day. Still, some days I get lazy, so it might help to print out the PDF at the end of this post.

IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH, Y’ALL!!!

1) Today In Black History: Arnold & Willis Jackson became the first poor black kids adopted by a rich white person

2) Today in Black History: Jimmie Walker left his lucrative career in demolitions to become a comedian.

3) Today in Black History, The Eastland School for Girls admitted Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey as its first black student

4) Today in Black History, the Fresh King of Bel Air was assassinated. The throne remained empty until a long lost son was found in 1990.

5) Today in Black History, Kunta Kinte is accepted into the space program, and it only costs him his eyesight.

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“Wasn’t my foot ENOUGH?!”

6) Today in Black History, the black girl became the Yellow Ranger, which was only slightly less offensive.

7) Today in Black History, boxer Cassius Clay was bitten by a radioactive Muslim, transforming him into Muhammad Ali

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“I ain’t no damn bean pie!”

8) Today in Black History, the remains of the fabled “Caribbean Queen” were found in the trunk of Billy Ocean’s car.

9) Today in Black History, Devonté Henson became the first black person to scale the Aggro Crag.

10) Today in Black History, a young Tyler Perry put on his first dress. Years later, he would learn that he could be paid for it.

11) Today in Black History, scientists combined the DNA of Morris Day and a pony. The result was Prince.

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“Purple Rain” was actually his My Little Pony name.

12) Today in Black History, Mr. T pitied his first fool, which is still illegal in most states.

13) Today in Black History, Lt Uhura inspired a generation of black women to work for the phone company.

14) Today in Black History, DeBarge discovered a place where they could dance the whole night away. It was an abandoned T.J. Maxx

15) Today in Black History, the US Government cracked down on music piracy after Rerun snuck that tape recorder into the Doobie Bros concert

16) Today in Black History, the Negro Hockey League was founded. After everyone had a good laugh, the site was converted to a Popeyes.

17) Today in Black History, Magic Johnson opened the first movie theater chain where blacks were encouraged to yell at the screen

18) Today in Black History, George Washington Carver’s lazier brother, Jamal, invented crunchy peanut butter.

19) Today in Black History, Janet Jackson joined the cast of TV’s “Fame”. Critics declared this would be the lowest point for the Jackson family

20) Today in Black History, Dwayne Wayne discovered a parallel universe – a different world, where Marisa Tomei was the only white person.

21) Today in Black History, Frederick, MD was named for Frederick Douglass – known for his love of Walmart and the white women

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22) Today in Black History, Aunt Jemima discovered Uncle Ben’s affair with Mrs Butterworth, thus splitting Black America’s first power couple

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They were the royalty of the black breakfast table!

23) Today in Black History, Acorn Avenue -an all-black version of Sesame Street, debuted featuring NeGrover & Big Turkey. It would only air once

24) Today in Black History, 16 Soul Train dancers were killed in what has come to be known as “The Cabbage Patch Massacre of ‘91”

25) Today in Black History, Autobot Rosa Sparks gained attention when she refused to transform into the back of a bus. (Courtesy of @OAFE)

26) Today in Black History, Jesse Jackson formed the R&B group The Civil Rights. They were dropped from Motown before releasing a single.

27) Today in Black History, with Knight Rider & The A-Team, NBC became the first network to devote a night to shows starring black vehicles

28) Today in Black History, Republican scientists proclaimed “Shucky ducky!” as they successfully completed secret cloning experiment, Operation: Chocolate Cheney.

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“Remember me? Black pizza guy? 999? No? Huh.”

There ya have it – your crash course to TRUE black history! Share it with your friends, leave it on the windshield of your favorite racist, or simply put it up on your refrigerator. And if you hate Black History Month, don’t worry – we only get 28 days, and 4 of those are gone. Have fun with St. Drinky-Drinks Day next month!

29th Jan2013

Thrift Justice – Bipartisan$#!+

by Will

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Lord knows I’ve been sitting on some stuff for months, but I really wanted to commit this to the page before I forget all of it. This was just such a crazy scenario to me that it HAD to be a TJ post. So, where to begin? OK, last week, the country celebrated not only the second inauguration of Barack Obama, but also the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. As those events also brought with them a day off work, I decided to use that time to check into some things on Craigslist. One item kinda caught my attention, even though I didn’t really want it. The ad was for a Playmates Star Trek Starfleet Officers Box Set, unopened, for a great price. As a reformed Trekker, that line has always held a special place in my heart, and it hadn’t been opened. Game on! I’d actually started emailing with the guy the day before, but we’d never set up a time. Late Sunday night, I emailed him saying that I was off the next day, and could come by then. Well, I woke to an email saying that he was at work, but his wife was home and I could set up a meeting time with her. Ugh.

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Let me backtrack here. While unassuming, I’m still a random black guy from the internet. No matter how awesome something may sound, I was always raised to think that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. I don’t wanna meet some random dude’s wife, and end up in a Dateline special, as either the victim or the offender. The last thing I need is meeting random white women in their homes, Star Trek be damned! Still, it was a great price…I called the number the husband gave me, and she seemed a bit taken aback. I explained I’d been speaking with “Rick”, and she said that she would have to call him to find out where he had even stashed the thing. OK, fine. She calls back, and she’s found it. Great. She tells me “They usually tell you not to give out your home address to people on Craigslist”. See, she’s just as wary as I am! I tell her that I could meet her somewhere public or even wait until her husband gets home. No, she says it’s OK and proceeds to give me her address. Then, she tells me that she’s in the middle of a homeschool lesson (red alert! red alert!), so to come by around 5. Yeah, it might make me judgmental, but I’m still not in a place where I’m fully comfortable with the homeschooling movement. What makes me think I could do a better job teaching my kid than someone who’s been trained to do it? Hell, my kid would only get As in “Batman”, but he’d fail Math. But I digress…I’ve often said that I judge folks for the stuff they sell at yard sales, and I was beginning to judge this situation.

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At 5, I end up in a small neighborhood, and pull up outside their house. As I walk up to the door, I notice about 3 Romney stickers on the back of their van. THREE?! Then, I notice a big ass Romney sticker in their living room window. You don’t put stickers in a place like that! Stickers aren’t for the home, unless it’s a Fathead, and those people are still douchebags. I kinda thought about turning back, but duty called. I am the Toy Whisperer, after all (don’t worry – I felt like an asshole just typing that). She meets me at the door, and closes the door so the dogs won’t get out. That’s fine, I don’t want this transaction to last any longer than it needs to. I pull out the money, grab the box, and get ready to leave. Before I got away, she began to tell me that the set had been purchased by her father because he thought that stuff would be worth something someday, but he had since died and none of it was really that valuable. Remembering a tip from Brian over at Cool and Collected, I asked, “You mean there’s MORE?” She said that there was, and she invited me in.

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As soon as I got inside, it was like a Romney Wonderland. More posters and whatnot. She told me that the rest of the stuff was in the attic, and she trusted me to hang out with the dogs in the living room as she climbed up to get it. That’s when I heard it: Sean Hannity was playing on the kitchen radio. Aw, shit. “Calm down, Will”, I say to myself. “You’re freaking out for nothing. It’s not like she’s gonna come down and ask you who you voted for.” She comes back down with the stuff, and she proceeds to the kitchen to turn the volume a little lower on the radio. She comes back to me and asks, “Did you vote for Obama?” WHAT IN THE FUCK?! So many thoughts rush through my head: Who asks that? What do I say? Is she asking me that ’cause I’m black? Is she about to make an example of me that will end up on the 11:00 news?! Why did she have to pull this on MLKmas? Didn’t she at least like the Kelly Clarkson performance today? SO MANY THOUGHTS!

2013-01-28 20.06.09

It’s a TRAP!

I wish I could tell you that I became a hero that day. I wish I could tell you I looked her in the eye, and said “You’re damn right I did!” But I can’t. When you’re in an environment like that, “Yes We Can!” because “No We Ain’t!” While still looking over the items, I simply mumbled, “Yeah, the first time”. Careful choice of words. Make her think, “Sure, he did it the first time, ’cause well, the coloreds have to stick together, but he realized that Barry wasn’t the best choice for America. He came to his senses!” At least, that’s what I was going for. Don’t worry black people/bleeding heart liberals: I voted for him both times, but I feared for my life, and what I said wasn’t exactly a lie. I did vote for him the first time. She didn’t need to know about the second time. So, there was a beat, and time stood still. That’s when she said “Well, I turned off the radio. I didn’t want you to be offended.” What an odd sentiment. First off, it was kinda nice that she didn’t want me to be offended, but then it begged the question WHY are you listening to something that you know is offensive? Still, she didn’t have to turn it off. She could’ve turned it UP, so that was considerate of her.

2013-01-28 20.06.33

Diplomacy!

As I look over everything, I ask her what she’d want for the lot. ANOTHER amazing price. But there was a catch: I had to renounce my political affiliation. No, I’m kidding. I hadn’t brought enough money, but I didn’t want this to pass by. I remembered seeing a 7/11 on the way, so I told her that I’d run to the ATM and be right back. She was just fine with that. Fast forward to 10 minutes later, and our transaction was complete. She even helped me to my car. But I also noticed her kinda eye-searching my car. Had she never seen the inside of a black person’s car before? Was she shocked that I didn’t have THREE Obama stickers on my car? Did she notice the Inauguration Edition of The Washington Post on my passenger seat? These things matter not. I got what I came for, and I could escape back to safety!

2013-01-28 20.04.45

So, here’s the my entire haul. As always, if ya see anything you like, shoot me an offer. It saves me from having to list it somewhere. But you can’t have Lando. After my experience on Inauguration/MLK Day, I’m keeping Lando to complete the triumvirate. I Have A Dream That Yes We Can Have A Colt 45!

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