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Sep. 28th, 2013

Why, TV Show, Why?!

All summer I was really looking forward to the new Avengers spin-off television show, Agents of SHIELD. Last Tuesday, the first episode aired. My dad and I got a bucket of popcorn and watched it on the television in the living room, and halfway through, my dad got up to get his computer because he didn't want to watch anymore. I continued through to the end, becoming a bit more annoyed with every second that passed. At this point I don't know if I'm going to watch it next week, even though I was so excited for it.


Because I was led to believe that this show was going to focus on Agent Phil Coulson and the other SHIELD agents, not on some annoying side character that decides she wants to join SHIELD. The character of Skye, the computer hacker that ends up becoming part of SHIELD's effort to save the guy who'd been injected with the serum? She was teeth-grittingly annoying.

Normally, she's the kind of character I'd like- good with computers! Kind of snarky! But all of that is offset by how goddamn annoying she is. It's like, Joss Whedon was aiming for a sort of female Julian Assange, but overshot it by about ten thousand miles. Instead, she comes off more like that really obnoxious girl in your high school who always was up in everyone's business and liked to spread rumors. I don't particularly like people like that.

And really, the plot dragged. I don't think the storyline they ended up going with was complex enough to carry an entire hour-long pilot episode. Really, the whole thing seemed like an expensive YouTube video. I've not really ever watched any of Joss Whedon's other television programs before- I once tried to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I found it kind of boring. Several people I know have been trying to get me to watch some other Whedon productions by saying he's really good, creative, and he writes a lot of female characters. I have to say, if this first episode is typical of Whedon's television productions, I'm really not impressed.

I might give it another go, but if it doesn't shape up I'm probably going to be in a bad mood until Thor 2 comes out. I want my Avengers-universe stuff to actually be good, dammit!

Sep. 17th, 2013

Entertainment vs. Paranoia

Time for an actual Serious Business post. Well, not exactly all Serious Business, but it is a serious subject for me.

People who know me tend to get pretty irritated with me around Halloween, since I have to be extremely careful about any scary movies I watch, since that sort of thing can set off a paranoia attack for me. In general, I do pretty well with avoiding stuff I know will make me into a frightened, wary, hyperventilating mess, but other times I get cocky and think I can handle things I can't. Some friends of mine talked me into watching Paranormal Activity with them a few years ago, and it was a huge mistake. I spent the next week sort of half-in, half-out of rationality, and jumping at shadows and constantly looking out the window. I felt horrible about it, since I really upset my friends and because, well, having delusions sucks. But that's not really my point here- the point is, there are things I know can set off an attack, and horror films are one of those things. Interestingly enough, even though my paranoid delusions tend to be along the lines of “everyone and everything is out to get me, the black helicopters are coming! HOLY SHIT!” I can watch political thrillers and movies where the premise is some crazy guy murdering the shit out of everything with no problem. Zombies tend to be okay too, and I've never had a problem with Lovecraftian horror. What really sets my issues off is paranormal- ghost stories especially. I don't really know why that is- stuff that you'd think would actually tie into the delusions doesn't bother me most of the time, but you put a ghost up in that shit? One-way ticket to Looneyland for me.

Anyway, the point is that I'm not particularly fond of Halloween now that I'm grown. It's less about candy and more about scaring the shit out of everyone now that you're adults, and I kind of hate it. It's not a huge issue, but I do tend to feel a bit more... I dunno, jumpy? around the month of October. It's partially why I could never get into Supernatural, the television program- the pretty men didn't do enough to counteract the scary that messed up my health issues. I can't even really read online creepypasta either, since it does the same sort of thing.

So with that in mind, it's been a bit weird for me lately. I've been listening to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast which I was initially heavily warned against. However, that's a humorous horror podcast done in the style of HP Lovecraft, which has never been a problem for me. So, with that in mind, that I can handle that, I watched the Sleepy Hollow premiere last night on FOX.

I liked it. I liked it a lot and I intend to watch the next episode next week (and then the day after that, Agents of SHIELD).

Normally this is the sort of thing I can't handle. I will admit to feeling mildly uncomfortable during the Headless Horseman scenes and the bit with the freaky trees, but more in a “huh, that's weird and a bit scary” way rather than a “HOLY SHIT GET THE GUNS AND LOCK THE HOUSE DOWN!” kind of way. A few years ago, I don't think I would have ever even gotten to the “HOLY SHIT!” stage, I would have probably started fighting imaginary attackers.

It's a stupid thing, but it feels like a huge step forward for me. I'm probably not going to rush out to by a ticket to the latest Paranormal Activity, but I also feel like being able to watch this show is a step forward. For a long time, I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life tiptoeing around certain things, and possibly missing out on a lot because I didn't want to go bugfuck insane. I'm probably never going to be the go-to person for ghost stories, but I'd like to think I'm getting a bit better. Maybe I'll get to the point where I don't have to carefully consider whether or not watching a new television drama will send me into a panic attack.

This has been your once-in-a-while PSA on Life with Paranoia.

Sep. 25th, 2012

You can't even give me this?

Sometimes, not often, but occasionally, I really regret choosing to transfer from my first university and move back in with my parents. Today is one of those days.

Most of you know that pretty much every day, I do three things: go to work, go to class, and get on the Internet. Woo. Exciting life. Occasionally I'll do something different- go out with some of my friends, see a movie, go shopping at an actual store... but most of the time, I'm either working or studying. It seems like my mom is on my case about that all the time, too- “Kaboom, if you don't live while you're young you're going to regret it when you get older!” Yeah, thanks a lot mom, like I didn't know that, especially not with you rubbing my face in it every goddamn day. And when she's not doing that, she's always going on about how I need to get off the Internet and do something else for a change.

It's not like my dad is much better. Sometimes, he'll be all like, “Kaboom, I really regret buying you that TV. You never come out of your room! Come and interact with the rest of us on occasion, it's alright!” Yeah, I'd feel a lot more confident about that if I wasn't getting lectured about how to be a “responsible adult” or “how to enjoy my life” or “don't work so much, you need to focus on your studies and have fun.” But, anyway, lately I've been doing just that- going downstairs to use the big-ass television in the living room that connects to Amazon and watch some instant videos from Amazon Prime. We all have it- I have it, my parents have it, my brother has it- and one of the television series that is available for free on Prime is The West Wing. It's a political drama that started airing in 1999, although you can't tell that unless you see the really old computers/cell phones/pagers the characters use. It's relevant enough that it could have been written yesterday. Anyway, I've been watching this show, one or two episodes a day, for the past week and a half. I didn't think anything of it, until my mom came in today after I shut the television off, and started talking to me. Apparently, I shouldn't be watching this heavy, depressing show on such a beautiful autumn day. I shouldn't dwell on the depressing topics that the show discusses. Well, thanks a lot mom, I wasn't actually “dwelling” on anything until you brought it up. After that, it turned into a half-hour argument about what I'm doing with my life.

For someone who's so obsessed with me going to university, it's a bit odd that she's so focused on me doing things other than studying and working. Before I got my job, every single day it was “go get a job, you lazy moocher!” Now that I have a job? “You need to work less, your schoolwork should be your first priority!” When I'm actually studying? “Go out and make some friends!” MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND. I can't do multiple things at once, And when I finally DO take a break from working my ass off nonstop to watch a television show I find interesting, I can't even do that? I don't know what the fuck she wants me to do! If everything I do is somehow bad, then what the hell am I supposed to do? Sit in my room and stare at the wall all day? No, that's not productive either. I have to work my ass off, yet have fun, but when I actually try to have fun, I'm doing it wrong? Nobody gave me an instruction manual on how I'm supposed to spend my free time! My watching television isn't hurting anyone, why does she care?

And wonderful. I just wrote a fucking novel on my mom complaining about me watching The West Wing, of all things. When did I move into Bizarro World, and why didn't anyone tell me?

Feb. 21st, 2012

Breaking News: In a Zombie Apocalypse, People Don’t Always Act Their Most Civilized

And stay tuned for a special report at 11:00- Scientists have just discovered that the Pope is Catholic!

But no, seriously, That One Blogger Who I Can’t Stop Reading Because She’s A Stupid Trainwreck is at it again, being a complete moron when it comes to television programs, movies, and books. Her target, this time? The Walking Dead, a show about a fucking zombie apocalypse. What is she blasting it for this time? The fact that the main characters are the ones making all of the decisions for all of the other characters. Welcome to Every Form Of Entertainment Ever. That’s why they’re the main characters. The whole point of having main characters is to have them drive the action. If they weren’t, they would be the main characters! I mean, come on, this is like 101 level stuff here.

But it’s not enough to complain about the main characters driving the show, oh no. Captain Dingbat here has to go on a rant about how the characters are so horrible to one another, backstabbing and fighting and forming into their own little survival “tribes,” with one character at the top of it. She complains that no one asks anyone else what to do, and that this is so disturbing because of… real-world politics about abortion and shit? Lady, you need to calm your tits, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s a television drama about a zombie apocalypse. I’m willing to bet that if there was a whole horde of the undead out there who would think your brains would taste quite nice on toast, you wouldn’t be all “Oh, why don’t we take a democratic vote on what to do next? Should we, or should we not, shoot the zombie?” No, you would want to shoot the zombie, unless you wanted to become dinner.

While I’ve never been in the middle of a zombie apocalypse (obviously), I’ve been in some situations where, while it wasn’t quite life-or-death, making a fast decision was incredibly crucial. I did not have the time to sit down and consider all possible outcomes of that decision. Sometimes it was more along the lines of “if I don’t do this right now the shit is really going to hit the fan OH GOD WHAT DO I DO? LEEEEROOOOOOY JEEEEENKINS!” Sometimes you just have to charge in headfirst and the devil take the hindmost. And that probably goes double if there’s zombies out there who want to snack on you.

Another thing that I think would probably apply to a zombie apocalypse is that you have to do the best you can to protect the greatest number of people. What good is it if you save one person, but five more get eaten? And that’s what I think makes the whole premise so fascinating. In a post-apocalyptic scenario, there is no black and white anymore, just varying shades of gray. What would have been moral will now get you killed, and what would once have been immoral may be the only way to survive. You would not be able to act like you’re having tea with the Queen. After all, it’s not like the zombies would be all, “pardon me, old chap, but would you mind terribly much if I ate your brains for my supper?” No, they would be all, “GLAAARAGH! BRAAAAAAINS!”

Or maybe it’s just a damn television drama and everyone should just shut the fuck up and watch it like normal people, huh?