I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend. This post will contain the mildest of mild spoilers for that film. Like, there are less spoilers for the movie in this post than there are in any given trailer for any movie. If you’re the kind of person who would be freaked out to learn that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a movie about the Marvel superhero Spider-Man, and pitch a fit about not being warned about it, this is the point where you turn away, as I am about to spoil the fact that both Peter Parker and Spider-Man are in the new Spider-Man movie. As I have now fulfilled my societal duty to tell people that a post about Spider-Man will reference a movie about Spider-Man wherein I mention that Spider-Man is in the film in question and a detail or two that have already been present since Captain America: Civil War, I can now move on to the part where I briefly discuss the movie, which isn’t even what this post is about.
Ooops, I forgot to warn people that Captain America: Civil War has Spider-Man in it before I just dropped it into regular conversation. It’s only been out a year, and I believe the current level of spoiler-warning necessity on social media is 75 years after the movie/TV show/book’s death. I apologize for my brazen lack of awareness and total lack of empathy.
A few years ago, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:
…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!
I followed it up with the Second Annual Aravan Awards for 2011, then didn’t do one for 2012 or 2013 because my life fell completely to shit and it took me a while to climb back out of it. But now I have, so it’s time to dust off the formulaic and simplistic content generating machine…
THE THIRD SOMETIMES-ANNUAL ARAVAN AWARDS!!!!
What are the Aravan Awards, you probably didn’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway! The Aravan Awards are completely arbitrary awards in arbitrary categories that I give out for arbitrary reasons. For example, the 2010 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2010 went to Pulp Fiction, which did not come out in 2010 and I’d seen years previously but happened to rewatch it in 2010 and it was better than anything I saw that year. So you know what you’re in for. Plus, the awards are arbitrary because I don’t always remember what year something happened, so it’s kind’ve a grab bag of Shit That Happened At Some Point. Bear with me. The Aravan part of the awards name comes from the pseudonym I originally used here until I published my first book and changed the blog over to my real name (OR IS IT?!?!) and I’ve stuck with it because Tradition. And now you can’t un-know any of that useless information.
Anyway, on to the cheap shitty statuettes!
This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I am a nerd. A big one. I don’t confine myself to just one or two branches of the Geek Tree either. I am a multidimensional dork. Tabletop gaming? Yep. Live action role playing? Uh-huh. I’ve even added boffer fighting to my repertoire. Comic book fan? Oh yes. I even find myself in the nerdiest of all possible corporate professions. That’s right. I’m an accountant. I am an all-around geek.
But of all of my nerdy pursuits, my favorite is video games. I was a PC and console gamer back when Combat! and Adventure were awe-inspiring. I was jaded before Super Mario Bros. came out (I owned E.T. for the Atari 2600, after all). Video games have been a life-long love of mine, and that hasn’t changed. Luckily, my wife shares this passion with me, and our side-by-side TVs and separate XBox 360s mean that we can both stay up until 5 am playing Skyrim or ME3 and not feel guilty about it. In fact, we’ve been known to apologize for going to bed and leaving the other to game by themselves. It’s our main hobby.
We don’t watch a lot of TV, because that gets in the way of all the multiplayer Mass Effect playing we can do, but there are a few we always catch. Top Shot. Archer. The most obscure one, however, would be one found on the G4 network. You probably have never watched it, because it mostly shows Cops and its teenaged counterpart Campus P.D. No one should ever watch those shows. My wife and I used to watch two of their shows religiously – Attack of the Show, which was about pop culture with a heavy emphasis on technology and other nerdy things and went to shit when Olivia Munn left, and our favorite of them all, X-Play.
Lady Aravan and I used to watch Attack of the Show on G4 faithfully. Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn had fantastically goofy chemistry, the show was fun, and we both loved it.
Then Olivia Munn got all famous, wrote a book, got a gig on the Daily Show, then her own sit-com, and that was that. For most of 2010, Kevin had to labor alongside a guest host every night. Some of them, like Alison Haislip and Morgan Webb of X-Play, were great – not Olivia, but themselves, and that was perfect. Others, well, didn’t do so well, and they were so memorable I can’t remember a single one of their names. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve read two articles recently that struck me, both illustrating the power of the media to distort truth and damage lives. Growing up, I seem to remember thinking the news was pretty impartial, stating facts and pretty much leaving it at that. The editorials section of the paper had some opiniated pieces, sure, but on the whole, the facts were presented with the reader left to conclude what it meant. Now, it seems all we have are editorialists, and we tune into Fox or MSNBC to get the slant we most generally agree with. Maybe I’m wrong, and the “golden age” of impartial journalism never existed.
A lot of us know about Ben Roethlisberger’s idiotic drunken escapade. We’ve heard the story about that night. But what most of us didn’t know the first story, the one that came out the night of the incident:
“13. THE ACCUSER HERSELF WAS UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE MATTER. When the officer on the spot said “I need to talk to the alleged victim, not [the sorority sisters],” he asked the accuser if Roethlisberger had raped her. She said:
(A). “No.” (DA news conference; PART 2, starts 2:42, key point: about 4:10: http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaRGdYizw7g])
(B) When asked if the two had sex, she said “well, I’m not sure.” (DA interview, PART 2, starts 2:42, key point: about 4:20: http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaRGdYizw7g]).
- (Blash also said she seemed inebriated, incoherent, “nonchalant,” and at times seemed to to want to tell someone that “y’all did whatever.”)”