Scott Pilgrim (Comic book)

I know everyone has read this comic. This is less of a review. And more of a long laborious ode in which I proclaim my love for Scott… and therefore by association, Bryan Lee O’Malley. (I am not worthy)

If you have no idea who Scott Pilgrim is…  What the hell is wrong with you? (well, you were probably a jock at school, never played coin operated arcade games and never obsessed about a 486 and 16bit sound) I mean I don’t judge you. (okay… maybe I do… just a little bit)

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I’m listening to techno on my ridiculously oversize headphones.

Specifically James Brown is dead by LA Style (1991-92). I have to do this at work in secret because it would likely cause my wife to smother me in my sleep with a pillow. No written warnings. She’s a Seattle purist and would likely conclude I’d gone over to the darkside, from which there can be no absolution. She would leave me for Eddie Vedder. Chris Cornell is dead. So really, Eddie is the only real danger-man left to me. (although I feel relatively confident I could beat him in fisticuffs, if it came to that)

I like Rammstein. Probably my favorite band. Even their broad success and commercialism can’t sway me. But I also like Metric. Our wedding dance was Death Cab for Cutie…. after a minute or so the DJ stopped the music and I started doing the dance to  The Black Keys – Lonely boy. (I was subsequently joined by my wife and bridesmaids and all best men) We walked into the reception to Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) by Limp Bizkit. (This should give you an idea what sort of wedding this was*)

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*I wanted her to walk down the aisle to the Imperial March… but that idea was veto’d**

**my idea to be married by a Yoda impersonator ‘Married you are’…. was also… unfortunately veto’d. (She has more veto’s than you might imagine any normal person would be allowed to have)

Anyways. I love the late eighties, nineties and early two thousands. I think this was the best time to be alive. (I am a little bias obviously). For me, the quintessential comic that wraps this all up is Scott Pilgrim.

Ready Player One (they play James Brown is dead in the night club scene in the book) and Masters of Doom has recently made me super nostalgic. I’m not usually nostalgic… but Ready Player One has had this weird effect on me. (Fuck me, this is a good audio book, I hope the movie does it justice)

Anyways, Me and Scott are BASICALLY simpatico. Ha ha. I empathize more with Scott Pilgrim more than any other literary character ever created. (well, more than any other character I can think of right now*)

*off the top of my head William Gibson’s Cayce Pollard might come second.

Last night I stayed up late (way past my bedtime) re-reading Scott Pilgrim one through three. I own physical copies of this graphic novel. Digital copies. I even own the soundtrack… on vinyl. This is how I roll.

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I was also in love with Ramona Flowers. Ramona Flowers and Jessica Rabbit. (Although to be fair I rarely thought of Ramona Flowers naked)

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The answer to this question is probably yes. And yes.

I can’t tell you how much I love this comic. Really, I just wanted to put this out there, so it is out there, in the internet. And can never be retracted.

Masters of Doom by David Kushner (Audiobook)

My audible library is, for the most part, bent towards dry and heavy. There is a teeny, tiny bit of whimsy in there in the form of some science fiction (The Bobiverse series) and some fantasy (Kings Dark tidings) for when I’m feeling burnt out and brain dead. But for the most part my audiobooks lean towards the autodidactic. Is that even a real word? It’s not underlined in red so I’m assuming it might be. Even if it doesn’t necessarily mean what I think it should. I think it’s more or less correct, books that help you learn new stuff and expand your points of reference? Maybe not.

In any event…

I tend forget that there’s other stuff out there. Books that won’t necessarily teach you anything… but are REALLY good all the same…

Enter

I freely admit, initially, I was super hesitant and this book sat in the cloud for quite sometime after I’d bought it.

Foremost, I am not really a fan of Wil ‘Ban the Nazis’ Wheaton. For me, at least, he embodies everything that is wrong with the left. Sure I think Nazis are motherfuckers. But banning an organization based on ideology? Where do we draw the line. Maybe we should ban Islam and Christianity while we’re at it? They believe some pretty kooky stuff too. And while you may argue degrees of hateful ideology… abrahamic religions are plenty dark (and have a lot to answer for).

Still, I like Wil’s gaming (D&D and board game) advocacy and he a massive fan of ice hockey* (pretty much the only sport I will watch on tv)

*although he supports the Kings (that must be tough)

Despite all my misgivings, Wil reading Masters of Doom is brilliant. I mean right up there with the best.

Masters of Doom follows the lives of the two Johns. John Ramero and John Carmack creators of Doom. Their friendship created one of the most groundbreaking games in history. It also, eventually tore their friendship apart.

This is where I have to stop myself and pause, lest the next ten paragraphs are just fanboy gush. I’m not even entirely sure I can objectively review something that for me at least was a deeply nostalgic journey.

Even if you can’t identify with the D&D, arcade, heavy metal, gaming culture of the 80s and 90s this book is fascinating, expertly researched and expertly read. It is never boring and I was thoroughly entertained throughout.

There are not a lot of books that afterwards I think ‘damn that was truly excellent’. This is definitely one of them.

An underpinning theme of shotguns

This seems like pretty good advice for life. Even if it is printed on the side of a box of Cadbury Astros.

I mean if you’re going to live your life by hard inflexible commandments this might not be a bad choice. Also they’re delicious. (Jo takes a moment to display his complete disregard for portion control) Nom nom nom. (mouth noises)

Before this I was lying on the sofa listening to Zero Hour narrated by RC Bray, book five of the Expeditionary Force series. I’m not very far into it, but already I see its following the same formulaic linear progression of the previous books. Which is really quite sad, because I loved the first two books. Especially Columbus Day, which pivoted so fantastically half way through with the introduction of Skippy (the magnificent). Unfortunately Craig Alanson has decided to make hay while the sun shines and churn out this series for as long as possible. I’d like to say who am I to judge. But I’m being totally judgemental about this.

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William Tucker, Amazon Customer, you sir are a liar and scallywag. And should we ever meet I should like to cuff you with my leather glove. Unless of course you happen to be a hulking behemoth with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu… in which case I’d like to defer our engagement until after I retrieve either a very pointy stick or some double-oh-buck. (yes, I realise I spelt it phonetically)

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The other audiobook I downloaded was this…

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Which follows the story of the creators of Doom. Arguably (along with Wolfenstein 3D) one of the defining games of my era and the primordial soup that spawned… well… people watching other people play Call of duty on Youtube.

Masters of Doom is read by Wil Wheaton, which… in all honesty, put me off initially and made me a little intractable about listening to it. It’s not that I dislike Wil Wheaton. But I don’t exactly like him either. I don’t think anyone should test the social dynamic by trapping us in an elevator together.

Fortunately some rave reviews tipped me in the right direction. I’m glad they did because I’m really enjoying it so far. To Wil Wheaton’s credit, he reads really well so I feel I should apologize for my previous calciferous-ness. (Is that a real word?) I think I mean recalcitrant. Joey opens google. So yeah, I definitely mean recalcitrance (ha ha) and not producing calcium carbonate. (Even after considerable thought I can’t make that work) Perhaps if I’d spent more time reading and less time playing video games and masturbating I would have known that. (only occasionally at the same time)

You know what I find weird about America? I realise this is not exactly a smooth segue into my my next paragraph. BUT… there are no electric kettles. Initially I thought this was only happened in hotel rooms… But then I found out there are hardly any electric kettles ANYWHERE. I find this genuinely disconcerting, almost like a mirror world Fringe experience.

Our electric kettle decided to commit suicide yesterday. So we’ve been reduced to using the stove top kettle to boil water.

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Seriously. I’m growing old here. Also Kurt Cobain would have turned 51 today. If he hadn’t blown his head off with a shotgun. This blogpost may be developing an underpinning theme.

I think it’s because Americans don’t drink tea. Which might be a American war of independence thing. I’ve spent the whole day thinking about it and it’s the only thing I could come up with. I also briefly spent some time picking my nose and  wondering why my navel lint is always blue.

ALSO my daughter sunk her teeth into another kid at playgroup again today. ‘Take my stacking blocks and will maim you chick!’ Another day, another incident report. I think that brings us up to five. (vaguely I wonder what the record is, not that I’m competitive, just curious)

Ok, I’m competitive. I mean if you’re 5-0 on the playground and you’re not even two yet? This is why my wife has the serious conversations about social norms and I just stand there looking stern. My speech would have been ‘Seriously, those other kids are dirty and you don’t know where they’ve been…’ ‘Do you really want to put that in your mouth?’.

 

Which as I understand* doesn’t really get to the crux of the matter.

*I don’t really understand, but agree that my notions and firmly held convictions are waived under certain circumstances.