The Observotron

I am the omnipotent machine of observation and opinion spewing. All I do and say is right.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Intimate Dating Sites: An Investigative Report Irresponsible Rant

With today’s internet, porn is something that, for the most part, will leave you alone if you aren’t looking for it. Browsers are now all equipped with standard pop-up blockers and most search engines now have “safe search” options for images. (To see how well these safe searches are working, do a Google image search for the word “fist” with safe search on and then with it off.) Sure, there are still a few pornographic pitfalls out there, like if you were looking up an address in Virginia and made that common typographical error; misspelling the state as rim job. Even then you would still have to click on one of the search results to be exposed to anything that would make your grandma cry. As the tides of porno begin to recede though, another menacing nuisance rises to take its place: intimate dating ads.

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It seems now that whenever I am looking for news on the latest video game or trying to find a decent recipe for Turducken, I am bombarded by ad banners with scantily clad women asking for me to pleasure them. If I had one wish it would be that my internet experience be a wholesome one during the 7% of the time I am not using it for porn. Normally I would never consider clicking on one of these ads, but with these things swarming like a swarm of swarming bees, it was only a matter of time before I grew tired from swatting, and horribly painful bee welts, and agreed to follow the bees back to their hive. (I am no bee-ologist, but I imagine that this is normal bee behavior). It was only when I started exploring these websites, that I realized how deep the rabbit hole goes…err bee hive.

What are Intimate Dating Sites?

Unlike traditional dating sites like or, intimate dating sites are online communities to find f*** buddies. They are basically like online meat markets, whether you are looking for steak, chicken, pork, lesbian, or midget. These sites also have a varying degree of people looking for long-term relationships as well. This leads me to my first concern…

Conflict of Interest

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBy far, the most common and most sexually gratuitous ads are for a site called Mate1. Oddly, out of all the intimate dating sites I looked at, Mate1 seemed to have the most women looking for serious relationships. Mate1 ads are like signs that read “free pizza” but lead to a sale for used ovens, which a guy could potentially use to make pizza, if he bought the oven, installed it, learn how to make pizza, and still had enough money leftover to buy the ingredients. Now I am not saying ovens are bad. I love my oven. I bake in it everyday. I’m just saying, these women might be disappointed when all their prospects are just looking for a Hot&Ready. Why go looking for “the one” on a site that attracts its men with pictures of women falling out of their bra?

A Picture Says a Thousand Words; Most of Them Dirty.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOn these dating sites, I’ve seen profiles of women that say “looking for love” and then their pics are just extreme close-ups of their cleavage. Looking for love? Really? So I see the eyes aren’t the only windows into the soul. If love is really what they are after, they may be surprised when all their responses are invitations for sex or, even worse, invitations from guys who will say they are looking for a relationship just to pork the merchandise.Image Hosted by

Admittedly, the majority of these boobycam shots is from women just looking for a good time, but even so, is this really the best way to go about it? To use the pizza analogy again:

I’ll bet a picture like this:

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sells a lot more pies than a picture like this:

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Contrary to common belief, men actually like boobs to come with a head, if only to serve as a counterweight during sex. And ladies, if it’s facial blemishes or a hairy upper lip that’s keeping your camera on mamm-mode, Photoshop offers a lot more options than just the crop tool. Besides, even models need a little airbrushing.

Bad Influence

As you know, internet pornography has caused a lot of mass debating (*giggle* You see what I did there? If you read that fast and it sounds like “pornography has caused a lot of masturbating”). One of the biggest issues in the mass debate (*giggle*) is the access that minors have to porn and the effects that it has on them. Well I say porn is as harmless as this puppy compared to the effect dating sites can have on a young mind. While the images on dating sites may be free of nudity, the content of these sites can deliver a message that will stick with a child a lot longer than a mural of ladies’ pink parts. The big difference is that the dating sites imply that they are reflecting reality. Even a 13 year-old can figure out that porn is set in fantasy, but dating sites are communities of real people right? So these sluts are how real women act right? Your teenage daughter is much too smart to think, after viewing Plumper Peggy’s Pictorium of Poon, that becoming a porn star would be a good career choice, but I’ll bet she does want to learn how to date. And what can she learn from an internet dating site like Well for one thing, women try to get more attention with pictures focusing on their bare chest, and they tend to choose user names like Suckologist, Cum2Me, and HornyAsHell82 (I am not making those up). Then she could discover how common a request like “seeking discrete sex with men, women, or couples” is on these sites; so common that some sites actually organize by those categories. I could go on. So which do you think will have a more lasting effect on kids- seeing a nipple or a taking an online “whore 101” course?

What about

I’m so glad you asked. MySpace isn’t strictly a dating site. It’s more of an online metropolis for any kind of self-promotion your heart fancies, whether it’s getting your music heard, your films viewed, or your ass laid. The reason I’m glad you bring it up is because MySpace’s gross popularity and loose regulations make it the perfect example for another internet issue: anonymity. See, no matter how lengthy and thorough you make your MySpace profile, it isn’t you. It’s your online interpretation of you. For most people, that interpretation is their honest attempt at expressing who they really are, but when people aren’t being honest:

The guy who looks like this online:

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can turn out to be this guy:

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This is actually one area where intimate dating sites score ok, because those who would use anonymity to lure people into a trap (i.e. pedophiles) don’t really have a target at these sites. The only other way to take advantage of such anonymity would be to lie about one’s looks, age, or sex, which would only work for people who planned on keeping their relationships online (i.e. cyber-sex) and in that case it really wouldn’t matter if the hot 22-year-old model you have been jerking it to is Jabba the Hut in real life. What you don’t know won’t hurt you.

Which brings me back to MySpace, where what you don’t know can hurt you. With the average age of members being much much lower than dating sites, MySpace is like a vast savannah of underage, naïve gazelle for sexual predators. But it’s not only pedophiles taking advantage of these freedoms granted online. Just last week it was reported that a 25- year-old man and a 13-year-old girl arranged to meet in real life after talking on MySpace, but it was the 13-year-old that lied in her profile, saying she was 19. So, this guy was probably anticipating what could have turned out to be a perfectly legal and beautiful relationship and instead ends up spending a night in jail because he got lied to.

So are these websites evil?

No. What all these online communities have in common, from Live Journal to, is they all play host to encounters between people, and whenever people get together they run the risk of being abused by one another. As Charlton Heston would say: “Websites don’t molest people. People molest people.” A person can be much more dangerous than a naked picture of a person, or even an mpeg of a person getting pounded in the ass by a horse.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Wii? What about ME!

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That’s right, it has been revealed that the Nintendo Revolution shall be officially called the Wii (pronounced “We”). The name will hurt its success in the west, where it’s synonymous with what a toddler does in its pants, and will do it well in France where it will translate as the “Nintendo: YES!” What concerns me however, is the meaning behind the name. Nintendo states that Wii represents taking down the barriers between gamers and non-gamers; that the name emphasizes this console is for everyone…

Well I say fuck everyone! What about us hardcore gamers? We, who have stayed up through the night, our own eyelids so dry that they scratch against our corneas like sandpaper with every blink, just to make it to that next level. We have spent most of our lives perfecting our skills with traditional console controls, and I see no reason why we should sit idly by while Nintendo levels the playing field. We don’t want a gaming system that our girlfriends, real or imaginary, can just pick up and play. We want a system that is counterintuitive, complex, and requires the kind of multitasking skills that only gaming gurus like ourselves could ever dream of mastering. So it is with this in mind that I present the gaming system that is NOT for everyone, but for the select few (or one):

The mI! (pronounced ME!) is the first console designed specifically for the hardcore gamer. Whereas the “ii” in Wii symbolizes people playing together, the lone capital “I” in mI! represents that I alone am what is most important. It also stands for isolation.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI earned these calluses on my thumbs, and I am not prepared to let them become obsolete just because Nintendo decides to make a game controller that operates like a remote control. I will not allow gaming skills of the future to be inherent to the common couch potato. So the Mi! controller will be outfitted with a grand tapestry of buttons, to control even the most nuanced aspects of a game. It has three analog joysticks, 41 face buttons, two triggers, two handle-tip buttons, three slide controls, a number pad, and a touch screen. There are also 12 traditional shoulder buttons at the front of the controller and two similar buttons to the rear, which I have dubbed “ass cheek” buttons. Oh, and it has a doorknob.

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Eight of the 41 face buttons lie on the left and right handles of the controller and are designed to utilize the thenar muscles of each hand, which I think is Elvish for lower thumb. In the past controllers have only utilized the tip of the thumb, but I believe thumbs are the lifeblood of hardcore gamers, and just as the noble Indians used every part of the animals they hunted, we gamers shall use every part of the thumb.

The red “X” button, the largest of the buttons on the controller, is a true test for the hardcore gamer. If you press it, the game resets and you automatically lose all of your progress. Don’t press it.

The controller also has a perpetual game of Tetris built directly into it, which you must continually play or you will automatically lose at whatever other game you are playing. Ok, it actually won’t effect the game at all, but just try not to be distracted by Tetris. That shit is addicting!

Rage against the Machine

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRage is our ally. It comes to us when we are backed into a corner and need strength through eye-bulging psycho fury. Whether we are wrestling a bear to save a baby, or wrestling a baby to save a rainbow-swirled confection, this emotional response triggers an adrenaline release, allowing feats beyond our normal means. Any gamer knows that rage is ever-present in gaming as well, but that rage has always gone to waste as it never mattered how hard you mashed buttons or screamed at the console or kicked it across the room or pulled a knife on your TV. The game simply had no way of detecting your rabid state… until now. Every button on the mI! controller is pressure sensitive. The harder you smash your fuming anger down through your thumbs, the better you will perform. For example, let’s say you’re playing an FPS (first person shooter) and you run out of ammo. If you continue to slam down the “fire” button hard enough, your character will desperately chuck his gun at the opponent, followed by picking rocks up off the ground and chucking those at him too, and once he’s out of rocks, he’ll tear off his own arm and lob that at the enemy, and then chase him down, pull him to the ground and let the blood gushing from your character’s stub pour down into his eyes.

Furthermore, the mI! uses motion tracking, not only to track the controller’s movements but the movements of other objects as well. So now when your mind goes blank and you chuck that chair at the TV, it will not go unrewarded in-game. Also, because of the mI!’s voice tracking capabilities, your screaming of obscenities can give you the edge.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Wii controller is designed for an attachment called the “Nanchaku” which adds an analog joystick and two trigger buttons to the configuration. Since the Mi!’s controller is so uberly outfitted on its own, it requires no special attachments. We did however come up with one add-on to give some games that extra immersion.

The Axe Handle add-on transforms the controller into the Battle Axe configuration. By simply placing the rod firmly between the “ass cheeks”, you are ready to play slashing-based games with skull-splintering realism. Such games include Golden Axe Returns, The Shining: 3D, and Grand Theft Auto: Apache Chief


Every new console has to have a lineup of big-name game titles for its release, and the mI! certainly comes packin’.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usmI! brings you the revolution of the first-person shooter with Earshot. All modern FPS games have adopted the “headshot” as a game play staple (For you newbs, a headshot is where you successfully fire your weapon at the enemy’s head, giving you an instant kill). For some of us though, the headshot has become such second nature that we never miss a shot. It has become trivial, mundane, boring. That is why, in Earshot, you are challenged to shoot your opponents, not in the head, but in their ear. Upon a successful earshot, your opponent will clutch their bloody ear-hole and scream “Jesus-fuck, man! You shot me in my fucking ear!” The game then shifts them to your team, with your new ally whimpering “I’ll do what ever you say, just don’t shoot off my other ear!” Those who try to play by traditional means and simply rack up headshot kills will find themselves sorely outmatched when they cross the path of you and your loyal army of half-deaf soldiers.

StarFox: 2007 Tax Edition

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StarFox 2007 Tax Edition marks the return of Fox McCloud. This time he must fight his way back from deep within enemy space. But wait, it’s April 15th! Fox only has till the end of the day to fill out and mail in his tax forms or face grievous government fees. Can you pilot Fox’s Arwing fighter past meteors, mine-fields, and enemy squadrons while filling out the necessary forms on the dashboard? Prepare to put your multi-tasking skills to the test. Ooh look, Tetris!

Mario Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAh, beach volleyball: the sights, the sounds…the sights. This game definitely has it where it counts. Game play? Ok look, everyone knows these beach volleyball games aren’t made for their playability. I could bring back Frogger as the #1 selling game if I replaced the frog with a big-titted tourist in full 3-D, trying to cross Hollywood Blvd. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Anyway, the point is Mario Xtreme Beach Volleyball will sell no matter how shitty the gameplay is, because of the huge market of people who will buy anything with the name Mario on it and the huge market of people who will buy anything with T&A in it. And it marks the first Mario game you can masturbate to (right?).


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The mI!’s graphics will be processed by 3 Xbox 360s working in tandem and it will powered by one of those pod babies from The Matrix.

Additional Features

  • All games will have speed metal soundtracks.

  • Delux addition will come with urine bag to promote uninterrupted gameplay (Despite it’s name, the Wii oddly lacks this feature).

  • The mI! will share the same sleek case design of the Wii, only with a badass flame decal.
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Nobody can stop mI!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Downfall of Star Trek

For the first time in nearly 20 years, we are living in a time without Star Trek. No movies are planned and no series are currently in production. Some Trek fans are still fighting to bring Enterprise back, but honestly Star Trek has been slowly dying ever since The Next Generation went off the air and Enterprise was like seeing TNG after it had suffered a stroke. We should be glad it’s out of its misery and hope that one day it will be resurrected. Until that day comes though, we should honor the good days we had with Star Trek. Do that on your own time though, because right now I am here to piss on its grave. Join me as I explain, series-by-series, the inevitable downfall of Star Trek.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Let me start at the highest point in Trek’s life. The Next Generation was the Golden Age of Star Trek. Some will argue that the original series is better. Those people however cannot debate me because their loyalty to their first generation IBM computers prevents them from logging on to the internet. TNG took everything good about the original series, improved upon it, and delivered it in a sleeker package. Those who would argue that the clunky charm of the original is what makes it better, I have to advise you to call your doctor. Chances are that your cell phone from 1985, that’s the size of a small dog, has probably given you a brain tumor. Here you can borrow my RAZR phone. Ok, I’m just kidding…I can’t afford a RAZR. Seriously though, call your doctor.

I love the original series. I just can’t stand it when people argue something is better simply because they are loyal to what came first.

Now what made TNG so good? If I had to give a one-sentence answer I would say that it struck the perfect balance between the exploration-of-the-unknown plots and galactic politics to create an engaging universe that was both exciting and wholly immersive. If I had to give a thirty-seven sentence answer I’d say the show’s success was due in large part to…

The Crew

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCap’n Picard – It has nothing to do with my man-crush for him. Picard was a shiny dome of wisdom and charisma. He commanded his crew with strength and understanding and a strong English brogue. He shows that while his resolve is strong, he is also very vulnerable and you want to be the one that cradles his head in your lap and show him that you won’t take advantage of that vulnerability. Hang on; I need to take my medication.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRiker – Riker was there for one purpose and one purpose only, to serve the role of the campy panty-chaser that Kirk served in the original. Picard was so highly evolved he wasn’t even sexually compatible with other humans anymore so Riker would be the one to engage with the horny females of all the cultures they encountered this time around. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. That’s why he’s number one.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usData – If you are reading this article it is for one of two reasons. You are either or a Star Trek fan or you are being forced to read this sometime long after I am dead as some form of bizarre corporal punishment of the future. If the reason is the former, do you remember the first time you saw a Next Gen. episode where Brent Spiner got to act with emotion, either because Data was temporarily given feelings, or it was an episode with his evil twin brother Lore? Remember how much your mind was completely blown to see the guy who plays Data act so differently from the pragmatic android friend we’d all come to adore? That just proves how great he was at that role, and we reaped all the benefits.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usGeordie LaForge – The stereotypical blind black guy, except he wasn’t 70 years old, missing all his teeth, and singing blues in a rocking chair out in the street. I liked Geordie, even though he was mostly there to give Data someone to ask his comical child-like questions about humanity to. He was also there to save the warp core from breaching every other episode, which I guess was equally as important.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWorf - In the first season, Worf acted like a stupid ape and would sometimes make a flying leap at the view screen to attack an enemy ship. After many Klingons wrote in saying how racist this was, the writers modified the role. Worf ended up being a very well developed character who gave the writers a window for us to peer into the Klingon culture. He also taught us about honor. Man, the babies I would have kicked if I didn’t have Worf as a role model.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDeanna Troi – Was it standard to have a therapist on the bridge who sat right next to the captain or is that only if she is a telepath? You would have toked up too if you constantly had your shrink with you psychoanalyzing your every move.

Fun Fact: the Enterprise’s computer logs showthat Funyuns were ordered on a number of occasions from the Captain’s personal replicator.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDr. Crusher – Honestly the female roles in Star Trek were never very strong ones. I swear I am not sexist! It’s the writers who are sexist. They are the ones that made Crusher and Troi flat, uninteresting characters. I also blame Crusher for birthing…

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Wesley – Man, he was an annoying snot sometimes, always saving the ship like he’s some kind of genius. The best part about Wesley was we got to see Picard scold him from time to time.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTasha Yar – She sucked. (I’m not sexist!) The only reason I bring her up is because they killed her off early on, showing that the writers were smart enough to use the tried and true formula of killing-off-the-chick-that-can’t-act. (Actually I have heard it was HER decision to leave. Why, you ask? To pursue her acting career! And we all thought Worf had the biggest head on the bridge.)

The best part about the crew is that while they were all good, well developed characters (with a few exceptions) they were actually greater than the sum of their parts. The writers always gave each character their time on the screen, and really conveyed a sense of a team depending on one another. This was a quite a juggling act that was not recreated in future series.

The Trek

The dilemmas they faced on TNG were a good balance of inter-racial disputes, spacial anomalies, and socially significant crisis. Because the Enterprise was on a mission of exploration, while still being part of the fleet that could be called back in times of war, the stories had plenty of different directions they could go so that it never got tedious. The solutions to those conflicts were always derived from a good balance of intellectual debate and techno babble and while it involved a good deal of BS, it was feasible BS.

So in the end, TNG success was all based on balance, the exact opposite of what you think when you look at that top-heavy starship.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

DS9 shared the same setting with TNG. It even gained two characters we knew from the latter: Worf and Chief O’Brien, which helped with the withdrawal from TNG going off the air. Overall, DS9 was a really good show. It was well written and had memorable characters. Odo and Quark were probably the best of the series. As far as immersion goes, this series sucked you into the Trek universe even more so than TNG did.

So what’s missing from DS9? I’ll tell you: “To boldly go where no one has gone before”

In this series they boldly stayed where no one had stayed before, and sometimes interesting shit would happen to them on the station, but nothing can make up for losing the key component of exploration that had always been present in Star Trek before.

The series was good in its own right but just didn’t satisfy the same needs that TNG did.

I’m not going to go into as much detail with this series as I do with the rest as I was not attached to it enough to be dripping with praise, nor was there anything terrible enough about it that would let me have fun bashing it. That’s what Voyager is for.

Star Trek: Voyager

Boldly trying to get the hell back from where no one has been before

In the case of Voyager, we were given back the exploration factor, at the expense of everything else. What we lose are good characters, the familiar setting, and an all around feeling of non-suck.

Because this series takes place in the far-off and uncharted delta quadrant, we lose the immersion that came with an established setting: all the familiar races and politics are left way back in the alpha quadrant and we have to settle for whatever new races they come up with to inhabit this area of space. When this happens there is always potential to win us over again with equally compelling material, but in this case, that didn’t happen. That’s why they ended up having to play the Borg card for the last four seasons. But what made this the weakest series is the same thing that made TNG the strongest…

The Crew

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usJaneway - The largest concentration of suck was Captain Kathryn Janeway. None of the characters on Voyager were terribly interesting, but Janeway must have had a serious rash in her nether crevice to pull some of the shit she did. In what must have been an effort to make Janeway “ballsy”, Voyager’s writers made her downright reckless. The most annoying aspect is how she blatantly ignored the prime directive, along with what have to be some second and third directives, for no real reason, and then she takes the rules so seriously when it serves the plot (usually to keep them from using some quick method to get home). In a way, it would have been fun to have a captain who just went completely rogue and threw away the Starfleet handbook. Give her an eye patch! Have her trade her Starfleet insignia for a skull-adorned scepter! Or if they don’t want to go that route then make her a straight-up rule junky. Just be consistent about it. This is just one of the many symptoms of weak writing that are rampant in the series.

Female trek fans may have rejoiced to finally see a woman in the captain’s chair. The problem is Janeway is hardly a good representation of women, being the chain-smoking man eater that she is. It’s actually insulting to women that they felt Janeway had to be tough-as-nails in order to lead. Can captains not be feminine? Kira from DS9 was a much better representation of a woman in command.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usChakotay – First officer and an American Indian…and that’s it. Seriously the writers never got around to giving him any more depth than that. Oh, he tried to help Janeway relax by helping her find her animal guide. Personally, I think Picard found a better way to relax.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Doctor – One of the more interesting characters is the holographic doctor. Of course once the producers found out that audiences liked him they oversaturated the show with stories focused around him and we quickly got tired of him.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNeelix - I can understand having Neelix be the official “guide through the Delta Quadrant” since he’s friggen from there, but then they made him the head chef. Why would you put the one person whose culture is guaranteed to be the farthest removed from your own in charge of making your meals? Something tells me they paid for that with lots and lots of Talaxian eyeball soup. Oh, and Neelix is annoying as shit. If this guy is supposed to be the comic relief I’d rather take my chances with a Wayans brother.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTuvok - A black Vulcan?? Sorry, but I just don’t buy that this alien race evolved into sub-races equivalent to humans. The Vulcans were always space elves! They lived longer than us, had pointy ears, and kept to themselves. Didn’t you see Lord of the Rings? I know I did, and I read all the books based on the movies and not once was there a black elf. Even if I could overlook this racial anomaly, Tuvok didn’t even act like a Vulcan. Vulcans are supposed to be stoic, not consistently annoyed. I swear his brow was furrowed so often, a family of possums could have taken up nest in the creases of his forehead.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usB'Elanna Torres – Former Marquise and Chief Engineer of Voyager. I know if I was the Captain I would immediately put a traitor to the federation in charge of my warp core. Seriously though, Torres was one of the more tolerable characters. She was also perpetually annoyed but she was half-Klingon…and a woman, so that made sense. (I’m not sexist!)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTom Paris – He was supposed to be the bad boy pilot of the ship but like everything else they started, the writers forgot about that aspect of his character. He was still the pilot…but he was a chump. All his character development was done through conversation with his buddy Harry, but they always talked about boring shit that I wouldn’t want to listen to if it was my friend talking directly to my face. And in that case I would let him know he was being boring by kicking him in the face, because that’s what friend are for. I also think Tom might have been gay for Harry.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHarry Kim – He was there solely for us to feel sorry for him. He couldn’t really do anything right and he always wanted to get with chicks he had no chance with. Also…is gay for Tom.

Kes - She was some sort of telepath that they killed off after the first few seasons. Sadly, even evoking the kill-off-the-chick-who-can't-act formula couldn't save the show.

Overall, most members of the crew were just not worth caring about, and the few characters that were interesting were overplayed, i.e. The Doctor, Seven of Nine. The writers certainly did not do a good job of giving all the characters their time on the screen, but I might be grateful for that because the little bit of character development I did get from them, I didn’t like.

Wasted Potential

Voyager is probably best described as a lot of good ideas wasted. The idea of a crew of Starfleet officers having to combine with a renegade Marquise crew to survive together in unfamiliar space is very intriguing. It’s too bad that after the first 5 episodes, the crew just acts like they are the fucking Brady Bunch.

The concept of a stranded Federation ship fighting to survive in unknown space had great potential; constantly running low on supplies, having to improvise at every turn and negotiate trades with hostile races. But things never really got very desperate and the crew hardly ever talked about how far away from home they were. They never seemed to be any real threat of running out of resources. It would have been a nice touch to have the bridge lit dimmer than what is standard to show they are at least trying to be conservative, and it would help to hide Janeway’s Burt Reynolds mustache. The way it was though, the audience could almost forget what their situation was.

The conflicts that arose were always viruses or malfunctions or anomalies, all creating problems that were completely episodic. These kinds of plots worked fine for TNG where the whole point was to bumble around exploring and had a cast that we actually cared about, but Voyager was presented to us as a different sort of show. Each episode became built around some completely random problem, and kept us from ever really getting familiar with life in the Delta Quadrant. Freak transporter accidents that cause Neelix and Tuvok to merge into one entity doesn’t have shit to do with the crew’s ongoing struggle. There were a few alien races and antagonists that had reoccurring roles throughout the series but nothing ever seemed connected to anything else, which left the setting lifeless and unconvincing.

When Voyager first ran, viewers knew they were watching shit dry on a wall. That’s why ratings started plummeting. The show was only saved from cancellation because of two reasons, and here they are:

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Exhibit A and B, which both happen to be Cs.

Go ahead and look up the numbers. There was a direct correlation between the increased ratings and the introduction of Seven of Nine on the show. Now, I will concede that it wasn’t only her breasts that brought new viewers to the show. It was also the padded suit she wore that made her breasts look bigger.

Star Trek: Enterprise

The Prequel: Boldly…doing boring shit I don’t care about!

The whole point of having a Star Trek prequel is to treat trek fans with back-story to the things we are familiar with. Enterprise did some of that, but it got completely preoccupied with things that just bastardize the Star Trek history we had come to know, introducing new races like the Xindi and Suliban. If I wanted to watch a bunch of unfamiliar races blow up humans I’ll watch Babylon 5. The other problem is Enterprise was the first Star Trek that started operating in Story arcs that spanned multiple episodes. This is what we needed in Voyager! Here it just makes me lose interest faster because if I don’t care for the plot of a certain episode, I need to wait half a season before that damn plot gets resolved. And then we have a time cop come back from the thirtieth century to tell Archer that he needs his help fighting some Temporal Cold War? Fuck that! Show me the origin of Tribbles!

The series was most successful when it played off existing trek material, the best story arc being the one where Arik Soong (ancestor of the scientist who created Data, also played by Brent Spiner) led a band of augments (the bad dudes we know from The Wrath of Khan). The episodes featuring the Andorians (blue-skinned aliens with white and antennae) were good too, because we could relate to it. Trek fans eat that shit up. Stop trying to win us over with new races and galaxy-wide crisis that we strangely never hear about again in all the series set in the future. I ain’t buying it.

The Crew

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usArcher – The captain of the Enterprise. Is it just me or is Scott Bakula just not a very good actor. Whenever he was saying something important he just looked like he was trying really hard to put on his “serious face.” “I’m really angry now. Can’t you tell by the way I am squinting my eyes?” He probably would have come off better if he had just mellowed out, but he didn’t want to use his Starfleet-issued space Marijuana because of the risks of hair loss.

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This show revolved too much around Archer. Instead of holding an officer meeting and asking for solutions to a problem, it seemed like Archer would always cook up an elaborate plan and then ask his people if they could pull it off. That’s not a problem so much with this character specifically as it is just a symptom of poor scriptwriting.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usT’pol – Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise. I shall call her Seven of Nine 2.0. The booby strategy saved them the last time, but this time a curvy woman in a skintight jumpsuit just wasn’t enough, and audiences saw right through it…the strategy, not the jumpsuit.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usPhlox – The Doctor – Probably the most interesting character on the series. He was a bit reminiscent of Neelix from Voyager, but not so much so that I wanted to drive a nail through his head.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMalcom Reed – Security Officer. British. Boring.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCharles “Trip” Tucker – Engineer. Southern. Boring.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHoshi – The communications officer – The Uhura of her time, except less black..and more Asian. Oh, and she’s boring.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTravis Mayweather – Who? Oh right, he was the young black pilot guy. Out of a batch full of unmemorable characters he’s still hardly worth mentioning.

Did I just not give these characters a chance or was I not given that chance? With the show being more action based than previous Star Treks and with so much of it revolving around Archer, there was very little room for any character development. Unfortunately, the action wasn’t enough to win me over, and since it was the first Trek to be cancelled since the original series I would say that I was not alone.

Enterprise was the first Trek series that actually started its run without the “Star Trek” in its name. I think this was done in order to attract a wider audience who didn’t feel Star Trek was accessible to them. This was stupid. Nobody is going to look at this show and not know it’s a Star Trek series. The only thing that dropping the name did was make loyal Trek fans feel betrayed. A shark that writes “I’m just a friendly whale, come swim in my mouth” on his side is not going to fool anyone. He is just going to get beat up by the other sharks, who are easily insulted. “What? You don’t wanna be a shark no more? We ain’t good enough for you?” Sharks are a lot like the Mafia. No, I didn’t steal this from A Shark’s Tale. It’s just the truth. Plus that movie sucked…even more than Enterprise.

The Future…of the Future

Will we ever see another Star Trek series? Or even a movie? I’m sure we will. We just need to give the soil time to rest, and for some new creative blood to come along. Many Trek fans have blamed Rick Berman and Brannon Braga for the declining quality of the franchise. I reserve judgment since we as outsiders can’t know who made what decisions along the way, and what other factors effect the outcome of a show. I do know that Braga has decided to no longer contribute to any future Treks and that is probably for the best. Room has been made for new creative talent to come along, and once we are ready to all take Star Trek back into our homes, I’m sure we’ll find ourselves back on the bridge of a starship again. Until that time though…

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rachael Ray and the End of Days

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Rachael Ray has grown from cooking show host to full-blown media icon. She now has 4 shows on the Food Network (30 Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Inside Dish, Tasty Travels), over 10 cookbooks, a new magazine and plans for her own daytime talk show via the unlimited powers of Oprah. Now this is not the first time someone has grown to have such sway over the masses. After all, if the aforementioned Oprah mentions how soothing a certain bath tissue is when she has chafe-ass, that brand would be sold-out across America the next day. In the case of Ray however, there is evidence that something much more devious is unfolding. That’s right; I am talking about the Apocalypse. Beyond the perky persona and frantic body language, the signs are all there.

Exhibit A:

RR mentions extra-virgin olive oil gratuitously on her show, but always refers to it as E.V.O.O. Now you might say “So what, stupid!? What’s wrong with saving time with shortcuts?” Well first of all, there is no reason to be rude, and second, I have discovered that E.V.O.O. is actually a reference to EVOO, the five-headed beast of the apocalypse. With every utterance, she is actually invoking a ritual to summon the creature into our world. I present this ancient druidic cave drawing as proof.

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(Ah, those druids. Even in ancient times, man was capable of such stunning depiction.)

RR is also known to chant certain other phrases such as “Yum-O!” and “That’s Delish!” She also uses extreme hand gestures when she talks. Are these phrases more demonic spells? Are these hand movements somehow part of the ultimate ritual to dominate our minds? No, in this case she is just annoying. One theory is that she consumed the soul of Barney and absorbed his powers.

Exhibit B:

Even fans of hers admit that when they attempt to replicate her “30 minute meals” it ends up taking much longer to complete; up to 2 hours. This can be explained by the fact that Rachael Ray films all of her shows from her the 7th lair of hell. As we all know, time moves much slower in hell so as to properly torture the damned. This also provides Ray the ability to accomplish a lot more in what translates to only a half hour of our earthly time. It also saves money since one doesn't need to pay a gas bill when your cooktop is powered by anguish pumped directly from the River of Souls.

Exhibit C

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRR’s full name is Rachael Domenica Ray which I have discovered to be an anagram for her true being. First of all we can extract the word “Demon” which leaves us with RachaelicaRay. This can only be rearranged into one word that holds any meaning: Chyarlaaaaeic, a dark and powerful name than could be pronounced only by the wicked tongues of devils and their worshipers. So the Demon, Chyarlaaaaeic shall be the final form of our destructor. I remember the form she took the last time she attempted to unmake the world and honestly I don’t think she put a lot of work into disguising herself. (See Figure - Marshmallow Man)

Now you might say “How dare you imply that Rachel Ray is fat! Just because she looks like she is made out of hotdog meat is no reason to pick on her! Asshole!” In response I must say, people have been calling God old for millennia and yet you are going to get on my case for calling the devil fat? And also, that is the 2nd time you have been rude to me. If you do it again I am kicking you out of my head.

Exhibit Crotch

What concerns me the most is how she is becoming less and less concerned with hiding her true motives. For example, after the success of her book 365: No Repeats she has released a follow up titled 666 Ways to Flay the Human Soul. She has also started to suggest using goat’s blood as a substitute for chicken stock and has started vomiting up dog corpses and leaving them as tips on $40 a Day. And, if you want photographic evidence, here she is gleefully burning some clocks, a clear message that “our time is running out.”

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If none of my evidence has convinced you that we shall face the end at the chubby hands of Chyarlaaaaeic, then get it straight from the demon’s mouth as I interview Rachael Ray...

Exhibit Poop: The Interview

Me: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Rachael.

Rachael Ray: Thanks for having me. *giggle*

Me: Now let’s get right down to it. Are you the antichrist?


Me: So that’s a yes?


Me: A yes or no will do.


Me: I really just--


Me: Ok, that’s all the time we have.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNow, you may decide that I just made this entire thing up. You may ask “Why should I believe any of this?” Well let me answer your question with a question…and a statement….and then an exclamation. Look closely at this face and tell me: Where have you seen that smile before? I dare you to tell me that's not the face of evil. The time of Chyarlaaaaeic is upon us!

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