Midnight Special, a science fiction film about a boy with special powers, could have and should have been a better film. But, it’s decent in its own right. The positives to this movie are the cast, the acting, and the shots (even though there was a noticeable smudge on the camera lens in one scene where they were driving). The negatives are that it gets relatively boring after an interesting setup in the first act to first half of the movie.
Grade: B-

Spoilers below

Many people online seemed dissatisfied with the ending. I thought it tied things up fairly nicely, so I’m not sure what the issue is. What I find odd, though, is the filmmaker’s commentary on it.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/midnight-special-ending?utm_term=.rmokL5XQG#.ocAYWO8nG
It seemed fairly straightforward to me with the bright light emanating from the boy and the beings of light revealed to be living in a world on top of ours watching us that the boy and these beings are angels. But Jeff Nichols, the writer and director, calls that a “red herring”.
Regardless, it’s clear the filmmaker was shooting for a “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” level of film, but falls short of that. Still worth watching for science fiction buffs, though.

(WordPress if fucking up the line breaks and I don’t feel like trying to figure out why)

Suicide Squad came on HBONow last Saturday and I figured I needed to watch it, especially since I had just seen Batman V. Superman. I guess I should review it too. Unfortunately, I found Suicide Squad to be inferior to Batman V. Superman, even though everyone was in love with the Suicide Squad trailer, as compared to their hatred for the Batman V. Superman trailer.

The positives of the film are Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn. Interestingly, this is the first time I’ve seen Cara Delevinge on the screen, who plays an archaeologist who gets possessed by a witch named the Enchantress. Delevigne is in an upcoming film of interest, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and I have seen the trailer for that. She was hardly in the movie as the archaeologist and that performance was fine. The Enchantress performance seemed mediocre at best, but I think the primary problem was the dubbing of audio over top of her lip syncing, or something. Something wasn’t right about it at all and it took away from her performance and the scenes with the Enchantress.

The visual effects weren’t bad, but in spots weren’t necessarily good either. As for the true negatives – the story, the direction, the Joker hardly being in it. Perhaps the biggest problem with this movie is the attempt at making unlikable people likable, some of whom do unlikable things throughout the entire movie. While it generally works for Deadshot and Quinn, it fails miserably on everyone else. The other characters are completely useless too; Jai Courtney sucks as usual as an Australian named Boomerang, a guy who uses a…you guessed it…boomerang to kill people. There’s also a crocodile guy or something, a Japanese woman who uses a…you guessed it…sword to kill people and then there’s the guy that can turn his body into a flamethrower, Diablo, but then sits around most of the movie brooding while refusing to use his powers. Lame. But even lamer, there’s one guy who can climb buildings real fast and then gets killed immediately. Not even in battle. LAME.

Grade: D

I brought back my subscription to HBONow a day into the flu to get some new things to watch when I wasn’t dead in bed. Here’s some brief reviews, none of them of brand new movies or shows:

Westworld: The best series I’ve seen. Better than Game of Thrones, which jumped the shark at the very, very end of season 5. The blonde woman with the snake tattoo, played brilliantly by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, is absolutely lovable in her badassery, even though it’s a pretty small part. Everyone else does well too. I also liked seeing Tessa Thompson again, who I first really saw in Creed. I ended up binge watching the entire season over two days thanks to it being so good. Grade: A+

Batman V Superman: I finally saw it thanks to the subscription and while it wasn’t a great film it wasn’t terrible either. My issues with it were the length and the odd tonal shifts where they tried to shoehorn in items for the next Justice League movie. While a lot of people were harping on Affleck being Batman when it was first announced, my issue at the time was with Eisenberg being Lex Luthor. I’m happy to say his performance as Luthor wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Grade: B-

Independence Day: Resurgence: Not good. There was mediocre CGI, bad green screen, lame plot. And that was in the first 30 minutes because I fell asleep after that. So, I can’t really say I saw the movie. Another noteworthy item – “Madam President” is introduced within the first few minutes of the film, instantly dating itself to the dark times of the mid-teens where Hollywood was simply assuming the next President would be Hillary Clinton and was helping pave the way. Grade: D (from what I saw of it)

X-Men Apocalypse: While it was nothing that hasn’t been seen before, it was a decent movie and it being set in the 80s was fun. Sansa Stark, I mean Sophie Turner, played a young Jean well and I liked seeing how Charles Xavier lost his hair. Truthfully, there’s been so many X-Men movies, I have no idea if this is supposed to be in an alternate timeline or not compared to others from the 2000s as well as others from this decade. Regardless, it was a fun movie. Grade: B

Given the news of United Airlines grabbing a paying customer already seated, knocking him bloody and unconscious, and dragging him off the plane because the plane was “overbooked” calls for me to revisit the reason United Airlines is on my “permanent blacklist without the possibility of parole.”

(And yes, technically it probably wasn’t UA that grabbed him, it was likely the police department, but I can’t say that for sure because the guy who knocked him unconscious and dragged him out was wearing regular jeans, regular shirt, regular jacket and a simple baseball hat. It was uniformed police behind him.)

Back towards 2005, I traveled a fair amount by plane for my job and I knew United Airlines to be a general shit show at that point. At one point, I had a cross-country flight from California (probably Orange County John Wayne Airport) back to BWI. I got stuck with a seat all the way in the back of the plane. After I walked the length of the plane past moron after moron, I got to the back and a guy was in the aisle seat whereas I was in the middle. He flat told me he couldn’t move. I flat interpreted this as him being an asshole (who isn’t on flights?), so I simply climbed over his legs into my seat without saying anything, all with a poker face because I wasn’t sure what was going on and I wanted to make sure I was seated so the flight could go.

Then when I sat down, I realized he actually couldn’t move and that there was something wrong with him. I also re-examined in my head his telling me that he couldn’t move and realized he was embarrassed for the situation. Very shortly after that, a woman (obviously, a business traveler like me) showed up to take the window seat. I politely explained to her he couldn’t move and that I would have to climb out over him and she would have to climb over him to get to her seat, then I would climb back over him into mine. And that’s what we did.

The guy then opened up to me and said he had some disease that I can’t remember the name of. It effectively made him quadriplegic. He had very limited use of his hands and feet and I guess arms and legs, but they were effectively immobile and he had to have someone wheel him around in a wheelchair all the time. United Airlines had brought him onto the flight via wheelchair and dumped him in the very back away from other passengers. At this point I was rather irritated – not at the guy, but at both United Airlines and society in general. Several questions were in my head:

  • Why is someone not traveling with this guy?
  • Why did UA dump him in the back?
  • Does it not represent a safety concern of both the woman and I to have to climb over this person to exit our seat?
  • Why didn’t UA give the woman and I warning that this would have to be done?
  • Does it not represent a safety concern for the guy that the guy can’t move at all?

And really, I wasn’t that concerned about the safety of the situation because if a plane has a problem and is going to crash, you’re up shit creek without a paddle anyway. So I let my Colin-tude die down. I didn’t ask too many questions of the guy because I didn’t want to be prying, so I never got any answers as to where his people were. I do remember that at one point he said he was from Nanjemoy in Charles County, MD.

At some point during the long flight, UA flight attendants announced they were selling boxed meals for $5, exact change only. And these weren’t “meals” per se, but a box of a few shit-snacks. Totally not worth $5 and something that the airline should have been giving out for free prior to an even larger meal that should have been free as well. I immediately decided I wasn’t going to get one and forgot about it.

As the flight attendants started at the front of the plane collecting money from people, the effectively quadriplegic guy started moving a bit and continued to move, and continued to move, and continued to move. I didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t want to inadvertently be a dick by asking. Over the course of about 10 minutes as the flight attendants moved from the front to the back of the plane, he continued to move and fidget. Then as the flight attendant neared the back, I realized what he was doing – he was getting his wallet out of his front pants pocket to pay for the shit-snack “meal” box.

I then pulled it the rest of the way out of his pocket for him and it took another couple minutes for him to unfasten the Velcro (seriously). Just in time too – the flight attendant arrived, a guy, and asked if any of us would be getting a box. The quadriplegic guy was delighted to be getting one, had a 20 in his hand, and the flight attendant rudely told him exact change only. In fact, the flight attendant seriously may as well have said “fuck off.” I immediately pulled a ten out of my wallet and told the flight attendant both him and I would be getting one. The flight attendant then brought back a couple of boxes and handed them to us.

At this point, United Airlines was on my “blacklist watch” list. While it may not seem like much had happened, a significant event, in my mind, had taken place. The flight attendant was basically treating the guy, a paying customer, as sub-human. And yes,

  • The flight attendants had said exact change only at the beginning.
  • I could have misinterpreted the flight attendant’s attitude.
  • Even if the flight attendant had a ‘tude, it could have been an isolated incident.

Except we all know airlines, and United Airlines had a history of having attitude problems on the flights I was on. It wasn’t an isolated incident and that’s the reason they went on my blacklist watch list. Plus, people along the entire length of the plane had just ordered boxes – could UA not have pulled back out three fives to give a crippled person change, or am I missing something?

The quadriplegic man was really grateful that I had bought him some food. He immediately went for the apple sauce in the box and was having a difficult time grabbing the foil lip to peel off the top of the container. Not wanting to watch him struggle again like with the velcro on the wallet (or the 10 minutes to get the wallet out for that matter), I went ahead and told him I would do it for him. Again, he was very grateful. We then chatted a bit more and that’s when I learned this was the second leg of his journey, as he had been on a connector flight from Arizona or something and hadn’t moved at all. He said he was treated that way on that flight too. (And no wonder he was hungry.)

That’s when I saw the same flight attendant as before get stopped by another passenger up towards the middle of the plane. Apparently the passenger had decided she wanted a box after all. That’s when the flight attendant turned around and asked everyone in the vicinity on the plane very nicely if they had change for a 20 while waving the 20 around that the woman had just given him.

While it may not seem like much, UA then got put on my permanent blacklist without the possibility of parole for inhuman treatment of a crippled person because that’s exactly what had happened. I’ve never flown them again and the incident being reported in the mainstream and social media hardly surprises me. What makes it even more egregious in today’s incident is the fact that it appears the flight wasn’t “overbooked”, but rather UA wanted to put four of its employees on the flight at the last minute.

United Airlines is a shit show operation and you travel at your own risk with them – I’ve known that for 12 years. Unfortunately, they will no doubt continue to be in business because whatever boycott occurs will be weak and I’m sure more subsidization from the federal government (taxpayers money) will be given to them if they start to stumble.

Baseball is a uniquely American Sport, although it has its roots in cricket. It’s only appropriate that a week after opening day we’re bombing the Middle East again. While bombing the middle east is not a uniquely American sport, pretending to want peace in the Middle East while each new presidential administration bombs it, is uniquely American. This administration is off to a relatively quick start with a surprise bombing that happened sometime last evening while I was dead from the flu.

Whether it was justified or not is anybody’s guess. Our mainstream media is so corrupt, it’s difficult to validate whether the Syrian chemical attack that precipitated this bombing actually happened. After all, the mainstream media had repeatedly assured us that the outgoing Obama administration had successfully gotten Syria to disarm themselves of chemical weapons, a part of Obama’s brilliant legacy, or something. Thus, it’s not even possible to have occurred even though it was being widely reported to have occurred. Meanwhile, people from both the left and right were claiming it was a “false flag” operation for some reason or another. Moving on from the chemical attacks, it would be nice if our mainstream media discussed how this bombing complicates the already complicated proxy war occurring in Syria. Instead, we have Brian Williams achieving orgasm viewing war porn:

But MSNBC viewers weren’t upset about that, they were upset their beloved Rachel Maddow was interrupted to cover the bombing. Anyway, this bombing appears to have significantly shifted peoples thoughts about Trump. All of the sudden, the mainstream media is in love with him (America sure loves war, huh?) while some Trump supporters have jumped off the “Trump Train” (fortunately, I was never on it to begin with). Meanwhile, die hard Democrats are twisting logic around into multiple pretzel knots trying to explain how someone who they believe is simply a puppet of Putin’s (remember, it’s a fact to these people that Putin hacked the election) has gone and bombed Syria and complicated relations with Russia.

I will be curious to see how all this plays out. In the mean time, it’s definitely time to play 2004’s Team America: World Police song. Satire or not, this timeless classic really should be America’s national anthem:

The evening before last, I came down with a sudden sore throat and nasty malaise. I was able to get some sleep and when I did, fever dreams were occurring. I knew what it was even before I went to bed, though; it was the flu. This despite getting the flu shot later last December.

How I felt day 1.

First thing yesterday morning, I went to MedStar PromptCare in the hopes of trying Tamiflu for the first time ever. The doctor ran both a strep and flu test and both came back negative. But, in one of the most surprising things to ever happen to me, the doctor immediately agreed that it was the flu despite me having had a shot and the test coming back negative. Apparently the fact that the flu shot partially missed the mark this year, the fact that the flu is still going around my area, and the fact that my symptoms all screamed flu, led her to agree with me. Doctors and I have had different opinions about things my entire life, so this was noteworthy. She was also genuinely concerned that if I had any indications of a heart or breathing issue with it to go the ER immediately. I guess those are the hazards of getting older now.

Day 2 even worse.

So I got a prescription for Tamiflu and took the first pill around 11am yesterday. The symptoms only got much worse after that and now 36 hours after taking Tamiflu, I can say with certainty that this is going to run its course on par with the other times I’ve had a nasty flu. Which is to say not being able to do anything except feeling like I’m going to die for four days followed by a week of still feeling like a shit sandwich while working.

Going into day 3. Yep, still the same.

Now, you’re probably thinking that it isn’t the flu given I had the vaccine just over three months ago and the virus I have is not responding to Tamiflu. I 100% support your logic. I can also say with 100% certainty that you’re wrong. Given that the flu vaccines have missed the mark in recent years, it does make me wonder what the point of getting a flu vaccine is. As for Tamiflu, I’m going to continue taking it since there’s no difference between it and a sugar pill, but I won’t bother with it again. In fact, I went back last evening to my tried and true method of flu symptom relief – gargling a quarter shot of El Dorado rum once an hour, as needed. I strongly recommend trying it if you never have. I’m sure your decent liquor of choice can be substituted.

fuck yea

Edit: Oh, lord. I just learned The Walking Dead season finale is tomorrow. So, that’s the reason. I should have known it was advertising related somehow. This has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever seen a major site do.

I had no idea because I haven’t watched The Walking Dead since season two because it was a joke then.

***

Imgur used to be a nice site several years ago with interesting or funny images and thoughtful comments. But, it devolved into a majority of shitposts, reposts, and politics (many of which seem to be upvoted by bots) over the years. At the same time, a comment showing even the slightest dissent from the Imgur community groupthink would get downvoted to disappear. I had been thinking for over a year now of dropping off of Imgur because wading through all the bullshit to see something good was getting rather cumbersome.

But for the past 24 hours or so, it’s been nothing but zombies. This happens sometimes, as the community will jump onto a meme. But this topic was put forth by imgur in a banner at the top of their web page and mobile app.

Apparently it’s a game imgur wants users to play by tagging things with #TeamHuman or #TeamZombie with #TeamZombie posts getting “infected” or something. It’s a remarkably stupid thing for an image site to do, but at the same time, remarkably stupid is the world we live in now and imgur has been steadily lowering in content quality, so it’s a Poe’s Law situation as to what Imgur is thinking.

There’s a very strong possibility that this was coordinated for maximum impact on April Fools’, since that is today and the day imgur died to me, but there is a major problem with that thinking – Imgur started it yesterday, March 31st. It’s also unclear what zombies have to do with April Fool’s. So again, Poe’s Law. Still, I’m assuming tomorrow there’s going to be some post from imgur saying “thanks for playing the zombie infection game, we hope you had fun on April Fools”. That will explain the general stupidity of it, but it’s not going to explain why:

A) imgur wrecked its own site for an extended period of time for a joke. Most April Fool’s jokes on the internet are a quick laugh then the site can be usable. This isn’t a laugh and the site is not usable as it once was.
B) Imgur spent some time programming some of the stuff related to the zombie game when they could have been programming other things.

In fact, the top comment on Imgur’s post on the subject is “cool..so the favorites folders are just around the corner then?”

Indeed, folders for favorites is something the imgur community has been asking imgur to implement for years. My favorites are the only thing keeping me from deleting my account at the moment. I’ve already deleted all my posts as well as deleted all my comments. Now I just need to go through my favorites and download them all and sort through them locally to save what I want.

Over the past year or so, they’ve also taken away functionality that people had enjoyed and have made user interface changes that nobody asked for. Also, their servers have been crashing nonstop for the past year and a half or so.

My departure from sites occurs because of a mix of the user community becoming excessively stupid and some sort of self-infliction from the site itself. Imgur is no different, but weighs heavier to the self-infliction side.

Shame.