Monday, January 20, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Earth Defense Force

Earth Defense Force is a long-running series of games about a global military force's efforts to stop an alien menace from taking over Planet Earth. The series is heavily inspired by those campy Japanese monster films such as Godzilla. The majority of the time you are fighting giant insects such as ants, spiders, and those rolly-poly pill bugs, but later on, they introduce giant monsters and robots and even flying UFOs.

I actually own all of these games except for the very first one, called Monster Attack, which only came out in Japan. I freaking love this series. And there are plenty of reasons why someone might hate these games. The graphics are bare bones. The story is often completely ridiculous. The look and feel of it seems dated. Also most of the games are just rehashes of one another with a slight graphical upgrade. But time and time again, I keep buying them and playing them.

All those supposedly bad things are actually boons to the series. It's campy! It was entirely intended to be campy. It makes you feel like you are in one of those old, cheesy monster movies. They put you on a fighting force and fling you out into a crazy monster battle.

Now, there were two attempts to make this series more gritty. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon was the only one from the series to be made in the USA. They took the same plot but overhauled it to be gritty and realistic. And they really did accomplish this well. The problem was that it made the game boring. The campy stuff was what made the game so much fun. The second it became a serious matter, everything became a chore.

The second time they did this was in the most recent game Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. This worked out a little better. In this case, everything is written to be gritty but delivered in a campy way. I have been enjoying this version of the game. Also the reason it probably works is because Iron Rain was developed in Japan.

And I think Japan really gets the credit here. They gave us a wonderful budget series of games and made them so remarkably fun. I love being thrust into a monster battle with only an experimental assault rifle. I love ripping into them hard and fast. I love the mellow drama of the voice acting. And most of all, I love the moment when all the other men fighting along side me all start crying out, "EDF! EDF! EDF!" Sometimes they even start singing during the battle! It's just wonderful. The lyrics are even on the screen if you wanna sing with them.

If you enjoy the old campy monster movies from Japan, this series is a great way to further your love for the genre. There is at least one game released for every system since PS2, and I have no doubt there are more on the way. Buy and play these games. They are wonderful.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!





Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Problems with Christian Entertainment

I'm just going to come out with it. Christian entertainment in TV and film-making is terrible. They have always been terrible. They will likely never be not terrible. There is no point in watching any of them. With some very few exceptions, they are all crap. You are better off watching 70's movies about Satanism than giving time to the boiled garbage that is Christian entertainment.

I think I always knew it to be true, but after seeing the 2018 Samson movie, I really just cannot put up with it anymore. It's just all bad. If a movie comes out saying things like "Christian" or "Inspirational" just go to the nearest secular movie and enjoy yourself.

Christian movies have pretty much always been bad. You can go back in time as far as you want, and there is nothing worth looking at. If anything they got worse as time went on. The reason for all the stupid comes from the fact that organized Christians tend to be incredible prudes that don't even respect their own source material. They are willing to change or rip apart scenes from The Bible itself just so that people have a much friendlier outlook on what Christianity is.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Samson was having fun at a brothel! He was screwing women he didn't know. God had no problem with him until way later when he cut his hair! God is not a prude. And The Bible is a good book exactly as it is. The stories within it are amazing. And honestly, those stories really are intended for adults. These movies are softened up as if we were fragile little children who can't handle that God was laughing his ass off while Samson was being an awful person!

I get that Sunday School stuff tends to be softer for the children there, but it never stopped. Organized Christianity treats everyone like children. They have no respect for any of us. Their movies are shit. Either use the source material as it is given, or stop making these pointless films! I'm not impressed. God isn't impressed. None of these stories are the least bit interesting as presented. It's all trash, and if every one of them is burned up in a fire, the world will be cleaner for it.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Weird Things I Remember

I thought of three things about myself that you might find weird. Let's go over them one by one.

1. I grew up in a tree-house.

The house in question was a stilted house in the middle of a forested area. These sort of houses are better known for being found at beach-side properties. Our basement was above-ground, and our main floor was above it. There was a 3rd floor (or loft) above that. When I would wake up in the morning, I could look out of my window and see the tops of the trees. This was my childhood. I grew up in a tree-house and I dearly miss it.

2: The automatic toaster.

One half of my childhood was spent at my grandparent's water-side property. I spent so much time there, I feel like I was half raised there. My grandparents often bought experimental items. One of them was a top-loading toaster that was automatic. By automatic, I mean that the bread would slowly lower down into the toaster itself, and once the bread was toasted, it would slowly raise the bread back up. No button ever needed to be pressed. The bread was automatically detected by an internal pressure sensor.

I considered this toaster to be superior to all other toasters. Everywhere else I went, people had to press down a bar to get the toast to lower down. I have always wondered why this trend never took off. I suppose people must just like the sound of the toast popping up, but the automatic toaster had its own sound. It was the soft crackling of toasted bread slowly rising up alongside of the grinding gears. There was something very satisfying about that. Just the thought of it makes me hungry.

3: The television phone.

My grandparents also had a TV that doubled as a telephone. It was a Zenith brand, and I never saw any other TV like it. One must merely press the telephone button on the remote (called the SPACE PHONE button), and the broadcast would mute to make way for a dial tone. You could then dial a phone number in using the remote. The phone call would then take place right there at the TV set while the silent TV broadcast would continue to show. Why this did not take off, I have no idea. It was innovative.

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These three things all felt like normal things to me while I was growing up. I only found out later that everyone was different. Maybe they were not so much different as they were just like one another. I suppose these are some of the reasons I often feel secluded from everyone.

Also don't knock the slow moving toast so easily. You'd be surprised how lovely that rising sound was. It's really too bad it never took off.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Loony Tunes Show

I just recently finished watching the complete series for The Loony Tunes Show, and I am extremely impressed by the genius writing and presentation put into it. There was not one episode I disliked, and the whole thing pretty much centered around the theme of "What horrible thing will Daffy Duck do today?"

And Daffy Duck really is the reason to watch this show. That is not to say that the other classic characters are not well represented. They are all there and very awesome. But the thing that really makes The Loony Tunes Show work is the well-written synergy between all the characters. It's all about flow and balance.

Bugs Bunny is a calm, collected, and relaxed individual that likes to read books. He does his best to lead a simple life without any stress. He is balance.

Bugs voluntarily lives with Daffy Duck who is a narcissistic sociopathic psychopath with an ego that shines brighter than the sun itself. He represents flow.

Daffy is friends with Porky Pig who constantly plays it safe. He is OCD about everything and constantly tries to give his careful living wisdom to others, sometimes to their annoyance. He lives a perfectly safe life and is pleased with the mediocrity more than upset by it. He is also bald. Porky is balance.

Daffy is constantly says and does horrible things to Porky because he doesn't respect him. Bugs defends the pig... to a point. But ultimately it is Porky to blame for his failures in life which is made clear as the show progresses.

Adult relationships shine in this show. Lola Bunny is a ridiculous bimbo of a female, yet she has a very adorable free spirit. Bugs, who could not stand her at first, ultimately falls in love with her... hard. I mean really hard. She represents flow. Balance and flow tend to attract each other.

Daffy's girlfriend Tina Russo is the very definition of balance, yet there is an aggression in her that comes out a lot. The difference is that she is always collected when the aggression comes out. She just doesn't give a shit, and that is why Daffy will always be attracted to her. She just doesn't care what he does or says to her.

One more that I would like to mention is Foghorn Leghorn, who ends up having a "bro-mance" with Daffy throughout the show. Foghorn is actually a character of flow. But he respects people like himself, which is what drew him towards Daffy. Because flow and flow often causes clashes, the two were not always getting along. In fact, they even had a big violent fight early on in the series. But the love and respect was always there. Beautiful really.

The Loony Tunes Show has so much more to give than what I was able to write here. It is brilliant from beginning to end. All characters meant something. It does not patronize adults. The continuity between episodes remained constantly strong which held it all together, making it feel like one long episode. A brilliant and relevant work of art. Bravo.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Looking at 2020

Numbers are a funny thing. Most of the time I try and ignore them. The problem with numbers is that, no matter how high you go, you can always go higher. To some worldly people, more equals better. To people who look towards higher things, the only number you should be associated with is infinity, and as one of my friends once added to this, "you then go a little farther."

But even so, numbers still catch my interest from time to time. Not usually out of calculation but more in line with puns or references to other numbers that I considered notable. I considered this new decade and the number that is produced is: 2020. It brought a couple of things to mind.

First of all, I realized that the number 2020 is often used as a euphemism for seeing clearly. Naturally I was once debunked on this by someone who told me that 2015 is considered clearer than 2020. But 2015 passed and was woefully unclear. And besides, 2020 is more supported by common usage anyways. We use 2020 to describe clarity, and so it is my hope that the year 2020 provides such clarity as the euphemism proclaims.

Secondly: this is the first year in a long time that had a good sounding decade to it. Nobody likes saying the Oh's or the Tens. It's rubbish. But here we are back in the Roaring 20's! Roaring like a lion. And I wonder if we'll find that lion somewhere in this world. Maybe he'll be the one to give us that 2020 clarity, eh?

But whatever the case, the number 2020 is simply a date. There will be more of them. I suppose somewhere along the line, the numbers will stop and we'll find that beautiful Infinity, and with that Infinity, there's no telling how much farther we'll try to go.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Problems with Disney

I grew up loving Disney. At an early age, I was privileged to have the Disney Channel. They showed the old cartoons often, saw many of their classic movies, and got a general idea about how Imagineering worked. Disney was all about the creation of new ideas. It also became one of our primary delivery outlets for fairy tales in both live action and animation.

Disney... sadly... is not worth anything anymore. They have become a sequel and remake machine. Even though they have plenty of other great fairy tales they could be working on, they are ignoring them. They are only fiddling around with their old stories. Everything at Disney has pretty much come to a halt.

The sad thing is that most people have gotten used to this culture of sequels and remakes. They aren't really looking for anything new but wondering what else can get a redo. They've embraced this because nobody has really bothered trying to do any better. Disney is making everybody cynical. And maybe that was the plan all along.

Disney gets such a massive flow of money from the zombie-like masses. People are actually loyal to them as a company. It isn't even about the stories anymore. It's just Disney. The brand is what people follow. They see "Disney" and flock to it because they think they have to. It's almost like watching a cult in motion.

Yes, the movies can still be judged on their own merits, but I'm not doing that right now. I'm just pointing out the overarching problem. Disney does not care anything about Imagineering (a wonderful word, by the way) anymore. They are only interested in siphoning as much money from its loyal followers as they can before they die. We've officially lost one of the great story-making companies we've ever had in this world, and what we got in place of it is, by the same ratio, absolutely terrifying.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Rainbow Connection (Lyric Analysis)

One of my favorite songs ever is "Rainbow Connection" written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher. It was written for 1979's The Muppet Movie. Since then it has been covered by a number of artists. My favorite group to sing this song was the Carpenters. But despite who you may find singing it, it is the amazing lyrics which really sell it for me. I want to take a moment to examine them. Let's have a look.

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbows are visions
They're only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they're wrong wait and see

Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

I am pretty sure there is an Oz reference happening here. Although rainbows have been used in fairy lore since... forever basically. And even though I do not know a whole lot of rainbow songs, I am sure there are plenty.

The song poignantly asks the question of why rainbows are even interesting at all. After all, they are just illusions. They are not actually there. Why would humans even care about something that isn't there. People have always noticed illusions and seen more than is really there. Fata Morgana is a good example of this.

Fata Morgana is an illusion that tricks the mind into thinking an island is forming off the coast. There is not really any land out there, but the mind says otherwise. In ancient times, people thought this to be a forbidden fairy land they were seeing. With rainbows, we have thought similar things. Where does it end? What exists at the end of it? Is it another land or some sort of treasure. The human imagination is a crazy thing sometimes.

This part of the song out rightly points out that the rainbow is an illusion, but then suggests that there may be more to is based on what the imagination of humans have concocted. There's nothing wrong with this. It's just how we work.

The short chorus of the first selection, which is repeated a couple more times, shows that the singer wants to prove that there is a truth to all this, and that the truth is profound in its effect on the world around us. Let's have a look at the next stanza:

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it's done so far
What's so amazing
That keeps us star gazing
What so we think we might see

Someday we'll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers the dreamers and me

Once again, the writing of this song is questioning everything the song is about. Who came up with all this? Who started this whole thing called "imagination"? Somebody thought of it and another believed it. And what has it done so far? It's called progress!

I often bring up the Star Trek phenomenon. The old "flip-style" communicators inspired our flip phones. And later on, our smart phones greatly resembled the LCARS touch screens from The Next Generation. Popular fiction breeds new ideas and ultimately advances the world around us in a forward motion.

Also, the very object of looking up at the stars causes us to wonder what is out there. That leads to actual space programs. But before we have a space program, we make movies about alien worlds and the aliens that live there. The aliens may not even be true, but we are so driven to find out that progress occurs anyways. Imagination breeds fiction, and fiction breeds reality. It all comes true eventually.

Last stanza:

Have you been fast asleep
And have you heard voices,
I've heard them calling my name,
Is this the sweet sound that calls
The young sailors,
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that i'm supposed to be,

Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection...
The lovers, the dreamers and me

This part always strikes me as a little spooky, but it isn't really as spooky as it feels. It seems like there is a voice out there that is calling us sometimes, but it isn't so much a spirit as it is a drive within all of us to be more than we started off as. Imagination is a driving force for us to explore, create, and add to this world. We can either accept it or ignore it. We are here to do stuff. That's all there is to it.

The Carpenters version of this song had two extra lines which take place right before the last stanza. Here they are:

All of us under its spell
We know that it's probably magic

Well, yes. It is magic. It is the magic of imagination. The idea that unworldly concepts can lead to new creations is magic in motion. We are not supposed to ignore this. It's who we are. If you throw that away, then you are a pointless person. Imagine, use your talents, and add to this world. Never take away from it. That is the meaning of life.

While you are here have a listen to the Carpenter's version of "Rainbow Connection."


Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!