Sad News for Predator Fans

If the rumors are to be believed, Tom Holland is attempting to get out of the much-anticipated next movie in the great Predator film series.

Suddenly, the foreign born superhero doesn’t want to play opposite his new co-star. He is trying to get out of his gig.

I don’t see why. She’s downright perfect for the part!

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May the Fourth

Owen Benjamin comments on the nerdiest fake holiday since Kwanzaa was invented.

To celebrate May the 4th we should all appreciate what a Boomer institution Star Wars is:

  • Luke forsook his rural upbringing to take part in a political campaign he had no place in.
  • Leah was a strong independent feminist.
  • Obi-Wan was a childless hippie who devoted his life to eastern mysticism.
  • Han is a wandering deadbeat who lives with his dog and is obsessed with his car.
  • Darth Vader abandoned his family to pursue his career.
  • The robots are in an openly gay relationship.
  • Everyone treats the empire like the great evil while fully enjoying the comforts and protections it provides.

In retrospect, Star Wars may have been a much darker commentary on the realities of Clown World’s politics than most of us realized at the time.

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Old Games are Best Games

You are not alone in your lack of interest in all the new games, as the WOWmaster himself observes:

60% of gameplay time was spend on games 6 years or older in 2023. Older TV shows dominate streaming networks as well.

This is not a coincidence, as streaming has prioritized wokeness over quality, and AAA have also prioritized profit and the narrative over fun.

This is why we fight.

Nobody wants to play the new stuff if it means being preached at and scolded while they destroy our most memorable IPs and characters.

There has always been a problem with the suits devoting all the resources to graphics while the designers fight, mostly in vain, to place the emphasis on gameplay. One need only compare the difference between the original Fantasy General, which I stil play from time to time, and its 3D successor, to understand why most of the time and money that went into “improving” the original game was not only wasted, but dowright detrimental.

Most, if not all, of the games that feature a substantive focus on gameplay are now in the independent space.

And that doesn’t even begin to get into the way in which convergence not only distracts from character, plot, and story, but downright destroys them, as the Dark Herald has chronicled repeatedly, and in great detail, on the Arkhaven blog. Mary Sue cannot be permitted to be less than strong, independent, and perfect in every way. The Magic Negro cannot be permitted to be less than saintly and beneficient. Saint Gay can never be less than charming, tolerant, and perfectly committed to the love of his gay life, whom he met approximately 5 seconds after coming out.

Convergence requires ideal caricatures, not strong characters. And the plot is always predictable, even more predictable than the pre-social justice Hellmouth plots were, because every episode has a moral that is more explicitly obvious than He-Man lecturing the kids at the end.

And so, we build our own entertainment, one meme, one short story, one RPG module, and one comics episode, at a time.

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Next Up for Retro-Demolition

The X-Files is being revived… in the usual converged manner:

  1. The X-Files is ‘set for reboot with original stars’:
  2. Mulder and Scully are both in.
  3. I just spoke to a young man, Ryan Coogler, who is going to remount The X-Files with a diverse cast,’ Carter said.

It’s not so much that there is going to be diversity in the show. That would merely reflect the reality in the USA circa 2024. But making a point of “a diverse cast” means that the show will prioritize the current-day Narrative over every element of good storytelling, which means the X-Files 2.0: Black Panther edition is likely to go over about as well as Amazon’s Ring’s of Power did.

Of which, I am proud to say, I have still not seen a single second, despite being an absolute and inveterate Tolkien fan.

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Just a Little Harmless Satanism

After an NFL tweet appeared to show rapper Ice Spice making “devil horn” hand gestures while wearing an inverted cross at Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, fact-checking site Snopes and entertainment news site TMZ both ran stories pushing back on responses to the viral video.

While Snopes initially dismissed the social media response to the rapper’s necklace as “conspiracy theories,” the site later published an update that read, “This article was updated with reports that the cross worn by Ice Spice was indeed an inverted cross custom designed by Alex Moss.”

An earlier report from Snopes said the pendant appeared to be an equal-armed Greek cross rather than an inverted one — a notion refuted by Moss’ own social media, which clearly shows several images of the true shape of the necklace, along with other similar designs.

Snopes also disputed the notion that an inverted or upside-down is a satanic symbol, contrasting the symbol with the Cross of St. Peter, a Catholic symbol. “The belief that an inverted (upside-down) cross represents satanism, or literal devil-worship, is more widespread than it is accurate,” wrote Snopes fact-checker David Emery, who made a distinction between satanic groups in a previous fact-check on allegations involving Chelsea Clinton.

In a 2018 article entitled, “Does Chelsea Clinton Wear an Upside-Down ‘Satanic’ Cross?” Emery points out that while the so-called “Church of Satan … [does] not regard the inverted cross as an official symbol,” the inverted cross has a “more prominent place” with The Satanic Temple (TST,) which uses the symbol in one of its rituals. The article then offers a qualifier that while neither group shares “a literal belief” in the devil, they both “completely reject theism” and hold to “philosophies in rational self-interest and individualism instead.”

TMZ, meanwhile, assured its readers that the inverted cross had “no devil ties behind it whatsoever,” and even cropped an image on its website to inaccurately portray the cross necklace as more like a Greek cross rather than an inverted one. Describing the response from what TMZ called “pearl-clutchers,” the “exclusive” article said there was “nothing un-godly about this pendant at all — at least that’s what we’re being told anyway. It’s just a sweet piece of ice with no devil ties behind it whatsoever,” the post added. “Our sources assure us … there was nothing satanic behind the meaning/design of the piece.”

The TMZ report was less clear about the hand gesture seen being flashed by Taylor Swift’s suite guest at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, making a single reference to the hand sign.

“A hand gesture she made at one point — quiet coyote — certainly didn’t help either with the unholy accusations,” TMZ wrote, in an apparent reference to the “quiet coyote” hand signal used by teachers and other adults to get children to “quiet down” and pay attention.

TMZ failed to elaborate further on this description.

Likewise, Snopes called the hand signal “harmless” and pushed back against suggestions that the Balenciaga wardrobe worn by Spice had any links to satanism despite the brand facing backlash in 2022 for an ad campaign that featured “disturbing images” of children.

When the satanic globalist pedophiles get literally caught in the act of sexually abusing children and sacrificing them to the Devil, I have no doubt whatsoever that Snopes and TMZ, along with the rest of the mainstream media, will be declaring that it is “harmless” and there is “nothing at all satanic, or even religious, about human sacrifice to a being that is nothing more than a

Frankly, far from soothing anyone’s supicions, these attempts to whitewash celebrity satanism raises some serious questions about whatever this “quiet coyote” hand signal that is being used by teachers – that’s not at all suspicious – and other adults happens to be. So, who are these “other adults”, exactly, and in what context are they making hand signals to children?

UPDATE: First, the “quiet coyote” hand sign was literally popularized by the Devil Mouse. So, it’s satanic in origin. Two, it’s not utilized in an upside-down manner anyhow.

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Awards are Gay and Literally Fake

ESPN was caught winning more than 30 Emmy Awards for individuals who are imaginary employees of the Disney network:

In March 2023, Shelley Smith, who worked 26 years as an on-air reporter for ESPN, received a call from Stephanie Druley, then the network’s head of studio and event production. Druley said she wanted to talk about something “serious” that needed to stay between the two of them, Smith recalled. She then told Smith that Smith needed to return two sports Emmy statuettes that she had been given more than a decade earlier.

That request was one of many ESPN made of some of its biggest stars last year after the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the organization that administers the Emmys, uncovered a scheme that the network used to acquire more than 30 of the coveted statuettes for on-air talent ineligible to receive them. Since at least 2010, ESPN inserted fake names in Emmy entries, then took the awards won by some of those imaginary individuals, had them re-engraved and gave them to on-air personalities… The fraud was discovered by NATAS, which prompted an investigation by that organization and later by ESPN.

Sadly, it turns out that the legendary, award-winning broadcasters Kirk Henry, Lee Clark, and Dirk Howard don’t even exist.

Now, I’m fairly notorious for my indifference to awards. I’ve understood that most of them are nothing but popularity contests or marketing tools since my junior year of high school. And that’s not sour grapes or anything; I declined my high school’s attempt to invent a fake award when the soccer team coach wrongly felt I’d been robbed when the MVP award went to the spiritual leader of our undefeated team instead of to the leading scorer.

But a lot of people take them seriously even though they prove absolutely nothing about excellence or quality. And even if you weren’t convinced of that by the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaigns, or the fact that Mark Clifton and Frank Riley won the 1955 Hugo Award for their unforgettable novel They’d Rather Be Right over some little book written by an English professor called The Lord of the Rings, I should hope that ESPN winning 30 Emmies for people who don’t even exist would suffice.

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Not So Good at Math

Jewish actors complain that their people are underrepresented in Hollywood. Seriously:

Over 260 Jewish Hollywood artists have sent the Academy Awards a letter claiming that they are being excluded from its diversity standards. The letter, which states the exclusion is ‘discriminatory,’ was created by the Jew in the City’s Hollywood Bureau for Jewish Representation and was sent to the Academy yesterday. It has been signed by actors including David Schwimmer, Debra Messing, Ginnifer Goodwin, Mayim Bialik and Josh Gad; comedians, writers and producers.

In 2020, notably after George Floyd’s death, the Academy issued a set of ‘standards’ as part of its diversity initiative. These standards recognized commonly ‘underrepresented’ identities, including women, the LGBTQ, an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, or those with cognitive or physical disabilities.

Some of the racial groups include Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Religions are not included in the standards.

Jewish entertainers including David Schwimmer and Debra Messing excoriate the Oscars for excluding Jews from its new diversity standards, THE DAILY MAIL, 10 January 2024

This is akin to blacks sending a letter to the NBA whining about being underrepresented in professional basketball, or Irish people complaining that they are underrepresented in the IRA. And apparently the clown nose is off at the moment; as the signatories inform us that being Jewish is not a religion, but an ethnicity.

The statistical reality is that if proportional representation was actually enforced in Hollywood, there would be considerably fewer Jewish actors, writers, and producers employed there, and a considerably more Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians. You’d have thought that Mayim Bialik, at the very least, would have been capable of doing the relevant demographic math.

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Black Doctor Who

What a brave, stunning, and totally unpredicted move by the BBC! What a triumph of inclusivity, equality, and creative genius! And when the show’s ratings start next season in the loo and go further downhill from there, we’ll all know that it is the unmitigated racism of the British people that is solely responsible for its failure.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 15th Doctor Who!

The sad thing is that Black Doctor Who is actually a concept that could be more than a little entertaining, except it would require actual black people to write and produce what would essentially begin as a parody in the vein of the 1970s films. I mean, who wouldn’t think a gangster Time Lord traveling around time with a blinged-out Tardis full of smoke and skanked-out street entrepreneurs wasn’t at least moderately amusing? Especially if Flavor Flav was the Black Doctor.

Or better yet, Snoop.

But I doubt there is a single British screenwriter who would even dare to imagine writing such a script, and certainly none working for the BBC.

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The Pulse of Fandom

Now that Bounding Into Comics has collapsed into convergence, a new champion arises from the ashes: FANDOM PULSE! The editor-in-chief, Jon del Arroz, puts out a call for writers and other volunteers.

Fandom Pulse is looking for writers! We’re building a pop culture site that’s explicitly right wing to fight the culture war against the fake news of CBR, Bleeding Cool, IGN, and others. The key is going to be content, and we need writers to help us get to the point where we have enough to compete. If you can write clear, consistent work on pop culture at about 500 words an article, please let me know. We’d love to have you. Send an email to fandompulse@gmail.com

It’s certainly off to an interesting start.

Snyder told Entertainment Weekly that he got the idea for Rebel Moon as a student in the late ‘80s. Creating a one-line pitch, he settled on “a ragtag team of warriors from different backgrounds assembled to fight for a common cause — but piloting spaceships and wielding laser guns instead of World War II bombers.”

His wife Deborah Snyder further reinforces the notion that Rebel Moon is totally original when she told EW that “Mostly everything right now is based on a book or based on a game. It’s a remake, or it’s a sequel,” and added, “There are very few times you get the opportunity to do something that’s wholly original.”

Now, the overall story of Snyder’s film has little to do with the book Rebel Moon, which is essentially a 90’s military SF take on Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I haven’t given the movie a moment’s thought; I just assumed Snyder thought, correctly, that it was a cool SF title. However, based on the description, it’s pretty clear that both the title and the core conflict of the movie were, at the very least, somewhat influenced by the novel written by The Original Cyberpunk and me. Which is fine, of course. It would be bizarre and hypocritical to insist it is not fitting that a work so clearly derivative of an earlier work should subsequently serve as the source of another derivative itself.

The lady would appear to be protesting both unnecessarily and just a little too much. After all, if it’s a farming colony planet that is rebelling, why is the film named Rebel Moon?

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Up Your Game or Else

A new episode of the late Osamu Tezuka’s Give My Regards to Black Jack has been created by a Japanese team with significant AI assistance:

A new episode of Osamu Tezuka’s famous “Black Jack” manga made with the help of artificial intelligence was unveiled Monday, with the creators saying that while the work reflected the spirit of the late legendary manga artist, its ability to depict human feelings remains an issue.

“We are happy that a very Tezuka Osamu-like work has been created,” said Makoto Tezuka, son of the late artist and director at Tezuka Productions Co, one of the organizers of the project, which was launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the medical drama about an unlicensed genius surgeon.

The latest 32-page episode will be published Wednesday in the weekly comic magazine Shukan Shonen Champion and will feature a female patient who has had a transplant for what was supposed to have been a “perfect” AI-made artificial heart. The magazine ran the original Black Jack series from 1973 and 1983.

“The new episode contains the sanctity of life as a theme, and raises issues posed by advanced medical technology in modern society,” Makoto Tezuka told a joint press conference alongside project team members in Tokyo.

The team used generative AI models that learned from some 200 episodes of “Black Jack,” another 200 short-form manga works by Osamu Tezuka who died in 1989, and 20,000 pages of his manga characters’ facial image data.

Under the project, which was officially launched in May, the team input plot ideas into the AI and requested it to come up with a full story for a new Black Jack episode. Interacting with the AI model enhanced creativity, and generated text was adjusted to better reflect the team’s vision of the story in a way readers could easily understand, the team said. The AI models used in the project were ChatGPT’s advanced GPT-4, and Stable Diffusion, an image generator.

New Tezuka ‘Black Jack’ manga episode created using AI unveiled, JAPAN TODAY, 16 November 2023

Once it becomes possible to create stable and reliable characters, AI will revolutionize the industry. It’s going to supercharge the abilities of prolific authors like Chuck Dixon and John C. Wright, and give a significant boost to genuinely creative writers like Gene Wolfe and Roger Zelazny. And it’s going to seriously harm the industry gatekeepers, the unoriginal hacks, and the expensive artists.

Most of all, it’s going to reduce the influence of Hollywood, which has utilized its monopoly on distribution and expensive art production, by reducing the cost of what has always been the most expensive part of video production. So, I see it as a very good and literally pro-creative technological development.

Needless to say, Arkhaven is actively embracing the use of AI on Arktoons, although almost entirely on the visual side instead of the written side.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Arktoons

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