Netflix IRON FIST review

OK, let's do this. There's been a lot said about this series even before it came out. The character was created in 1972. He's a kid who got stranded in the montains after a plane crash left him the sole survivor and was taken in by monks who taught him Kung-fu.

There's a ton of people upset that the ethnicity of the character was not changed from white to asian for the show. These people are at best in need of a real problem to be concerned about and at worst racist. There are plenty of people who have gone to Asia, learned martial arts, and become quite good at them. I'm living proof. To insist that a character be asian because they become a kung-fu champion pushes a nasty stereotype. Quite often those are making these complaints rave of the virtues of multiculturalism; but upon seeing someone they don't approve of based solely on their skin color benefitting from being immersed in and benefitting from a foreign culture, scream 'cultural appropriation'. 

 Now that the stupid part is pushed aside, let's look at the show. Yes, there will be SPOILERS. You've been warned. Also, this is going to be more of a book report in that if you want full explanations of who all these characters all WATCH THE SERES! 

 Its a thirteen episode slow burn. It doesn't rush, because with this story, you can't. Our hero, Danny, has returned to New York all grown up trying to figure out what it is to be Danny Rand again. Everyone believes he's dead and it takes quite a bit of effort to convince people he is who he says he is. His childhood friends run the corporation that their fathers started. They, Ward and Joy, are understandibly sceptical because Danny is worth a ridiculous amount of money. Danny, to his credit, is more concerned with helping people and getting his life back than he is about the money. 

 What follows is an incredible web which is just a beauty to watch play out. This brings us the theme of the entire show: manipulation. 

 From Merriam-Webster: manipulate: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner 

 Quite appropriate that the foes Danny faces throughout the series is The Hand. The Hand first popped up in Netflix's Daredevil series and was featured prominently in season two. In Iron Fist we see a lot of their inner workings, especially as Danny tries to fulfill the mission he was given: to destroy the Hand. That's only part of his problems in that everyone he encounters, with the exception of Claire, is either a manipulator or a pawn. 

 The bottom keeps dropping out from under Danny and the viewer during the series. Every time you think you have a good handle on how this is going to play out and where everyone stands you get a new bit of information that changes everything. 

 Hands are a powerful motif that repeats over and over throughout the series. The hand being the name of the organiztion Danny is facing. You see a hand print on Harold's window when he leaves his confinement and they let him know they are watching. Harold later slices off a finger showing subservience and his lack of influence within the hand. His finger returns showing that he still has quite a bit of power and influence upon his return. At his lowest when Ward is in need of drugs he injures his own hand thus showing his lack of ability to control himself and others. That lack of control is quickly evident when he fails to get the drugs he wants. A handprint is necessary to enter Harold's penthouse. Danny's hand getting shot in the final battle as he's desparate to clear his name stop Harold, only to be fully healed once he comes to terms with himself and the path he's on. Showing of handprints let's you know you're being watched. An injured hand shows a character losing their power. Healing of a hand shows a return of their power and their control (either over themselves or others). 

 There's all these little pieces that make this so delicious. The sale's women manipulating people into buying their drugs. All the insults Danny is subjected to in hopes of making him angry and controlable. The entire challenge match Gao sets up is completely about control. She even manipulates the outcome. Gao is fascinating here in that she's just as manipulative as eveyone else but she's honest about it. Truth can manipulate as much as any lie when truth is controled. And the name of Colleen's dojo, "Chikara". Translated from Japanese it mean "power", "capability" or (pay attention) "influence".  Also, for a nice subtle one, the kata that is being practiced by the group inside the compound when Danny is being shown around is named Seienchin which means "to push or pull in battle" or "control".

 The show is worth the ride for the brilliantly executed themes and motifs alone. Add in really great performances from the entire cast and so excellent fight sequences and its a definite winner. Its not a front to back kung-fu action piece. The action is earned and not gratuitious. The fight scene themselves get more and more interesting and intense as the series progresses. 

 And I'm going to make a quick note here about the "hallway fight". The original hallway fight was in season one, episode two of Daredevil. Its an amazing piece in that it firmly tells a story and is down without cuts, meaning you maintain one camera shot and its done in one continuous take. Its insanely difficult. They did it again in season two. Since then, people were trying to see "hallway fights" in later series Luke Cage and Iron Fist. They aren't there. Just because a fight scene takes place in a hallway does not mean the writers and directors were going for something as grand as they did in Daredevil. 

 Bottom line: while I hold Daredevil as the high water mark of Marvel's Netflix shows, Iron Fist is right behind it. Its smart television with great performances. Definitely worth your time to watch.

Pokémon GO Survival Guide!

Pokémon GO got released to the public last week.  If you saw what seemed like more people than usual walking around with their cell phones out looking down at the screen, there's a go chance they were trying to catch 'em all.  The game uses the phone's GPS and real world locations to play.  You go to landmarks to get items or battle in Pokémon gyms and the creatures pop up all over the place.  My wife snagged three Pokémon in a McDonald's drive thru.  The game is a lot of fun, but it makes you get out in the real world, so you have to be careful.

Here's a few tips for you.  Yes, many of these should be obvious, but a reminder never hurts.

People's property is their property.  The game tells you there's Squirtle nearby: YAY!  But its in someone's back yard: uh oh.  As tempting as it may be, it not a good idea to go roming through other people's yards and such in your hunts.  That person might be completely cool with what you're doing, but the neighbors might get nervous.  Best case is you get to explain the game to new person, possibly a police officer.  Worst case: crazy neighbor person comes out with shotgun.  Fortunately, the radius in the game for catching Pokémon is pretty wide so if a critter is in someone's back yard, you'll probably be about to snag it from the sidewalk.

When going out at night to play the game, remember that you are going out at night.  Wear some bright colors.  And like the song says: nothing good happens after 2 AM.  That guy on the corner might not be out hunting for a Zubat.

Look where you're going!  Seriously.  A little situational awareness goes a long way.  There's already been people bumping into each other and running into walls.

Go out in groups!  While this is a good safety tip, it also makes the game a lot more fun.  Go out as a family.  Find a buddy.  We hit a Pokéstop (place to get items in the game) at a park over the weekend.  There were about a dozen of us there playing the game.  Most everyone had a buddy with them.  Everyone was friendly and having a great time.  It was a blast.  On the flip side there's been a case of criminals staking out Pokéstops waiting for players who are out by themselves to rob them.  This gets back to being aware of your surroundings.  Also traveling in groups does cut down on the chances of being confronted by a potential mugger or worse.

Remember your common sense.  Its a neat idea, the thought of going on an adventure to play this game.  But if you're out somewhere and thinking about checking a spot that may not be safe.  Remember, its just a game and you'll have other chances to snag that particular Pokémon.

All that said, I think the game is really great.  There are a few risks involved, but there's always a risk when heading out your front door.  The fun and exercise you'll get out of playing the game do outweight those risks.  So head out, have fun, and be safe!

Captain America: Civil War REVIEW

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know I think the CIVIL WAR comic book was horribly written and one of the worst things Marvel ever put out.  Why that comic has gotten any praise at all from comic book fans baffles me.  It utterly screwed up the dynamic of the Marvel trinity.  It had main characters acting horribly out of character.  And the fall out from it was ridiculous.

Need a quick overview of the book, watch this.

Ok, got all that?  Cool.  Now on to the review.


Everything the comic book did wrong, the movie did right.  The book had Cap and Tony at each others' throats over a difference of opinion about government oversight on superheroes.  That element is indeed at play in the movie, but there is so much more at play here.

This is a revenge story, and a really good one.  All these little twists keep going to bring about the ultimate result of the movie.  The fanboys who love the comic have been wanting to see Captain America and Ironman kick the ever-lovin' crap out of each other, and guess what, that's exactly what the main villain wants too.  

Let that sink in for a moment, you people who wanted to see tension between these characters and wanted them to beat each other up.  

Tons of manipulation, all these little moments that seem to be a bit pointless in the film, come together to form this nasty web that catches our heroes.  And the great thing here is that it allows each of the characters to stay true to themselves and we don't have idiotic things like Cap acting like a zealot and Tony recruiting super villains after all the heroes realize he's being a douche.

In fact, Tony is the main target of the manipulation.  I have to wonder if there's scenes that had to get cut revealing the mother of the slain college student was a plant working for Zemo and that the explosion early in the film was somehow rigged.  That isn't crucial to the film, as it could just be our villain waiting for the perfect opportunity to spring his trap.  He's a patient one.

So, we have an excellent plot that greatly improved the dreck that was the comic.  On to the movie itself.

The performances were great top to bottom.  There's been a lot of buzz about Spidey and Black Panther, and how great they were, and its warranted.  Everyone had these wonderfully juicy moments, and it all meshed together so nicely.  It's a very well balanced script, and while we have a dozen superheroes running around its clear that this is a Captain America film.  That's hard because Robert Downey Jr. is always amazing as Tony Stark, but Chris Evans holds his own so well as the stanch moral rock of the movie.  

Here's the hing about Captain America: he's right.  He's the character that is when given all the possible choices is always going to make the one that's going to help as many people as possible.  So, when asked if you're TeamCap or Teamfillintheblank, if your answer isn't TeamCap then you need to probably reconsider your position.  And Evans absolutely nails it without coming off holier-than-thou.

My only problem with the movie is how some of the fight scenes were shot.  I hate shakey camera work and I hate quick action cuts.  That's how sloppy fight choreography gets covered up and it doesn't look like these scenes were sloppy fight choreography.  Let me see the moves and not risk motion sickness, please!

There was plenty of funny bits to keep folks entertained, which is good.  There's a lot of really heavy and dark stuff going on in this story.  Marvel knows when to lighten the mood without coming off cheesy or cheapening the story.  They're also a bit self aware, especially in regards to Marissa Tomei who many people have said is way too young and too hot to play Aunt May.

The trailers for this movie were really misleading on the lot of points.  Lines were cherry picked to make it seem like Tony and Cap were really not liking each other at all.  They left me wondering how two people who are indeed friends could have that much animosity over a difference of opinion on an issue that's pretty much just political.  Once everything gets put in context with the movie it makes so much more sense.  And for those who say, well there was that animosty there back in the first Avengers movie, you're refering to scenes in which all the characters were at each others throats due to the Mind Gem being in the room, so stop, you're embarrassing yourselves.

Bottom line: I went into this movie with a lot of apprehension, and am now releaved that that Marvel managed to make this story happen without it being the utter trainwreck that the comic was and having all of these heroes coming out of it with us as viewers still being able to see them as heroes.  Did the villain win here?  Some may think so, but the final scenes in the film let us know that when the time comes, the Avengers will assemble once more. 


That's right, issue 3 is finally here and I'll be shipping copies out this week.  For ordering information e-mail me at 

Bad nerd!

Hello, my name is Marty, and I am a bad nerd.

This not a good time to be a bad nerd.  There's all these nerdy things all about us in various media.  I have many nerd friends (people I only know on the internet still count as friends!), and they're all very excited.  I can't go on much of any social media without seeing something about recent nerd movies/TV shows/ whatever or one of the same coming out this year.

And I just don't care.

And this is troubling to me!  I'm not trying to be Hipster Nozz over here!  I wish I was excited about all these things that're coming out!  Aside from the Marvel Netflix stuff and some of the comics I read nothing is really getting me stoked.  Its really depressing.  Not totally terrible of course.  I still have The Walking Dead comic, and a lot of the Marvel stuff since the re-launch has been a lot of fun.

However, much of what a lot of people seem to be excited about doesn't appeal to me.  And its weird in that much of it has gotten so mainstream that the people I know who aren't really part of the "nerdcore" see it, like it, and think of me.  "Marty must be really excited by all of this!"

And I'm not.  Let's review my bad nerd credentials.

* I hate the new STAR WARS  movie.  I really do.  Its not a bad movie.  Its very well done.  I wasn't terribly excited about going to see it.  The Missus wanted to check it out, so we went.  If you haven't seen it yet I'm going to dance around a spoiler as best I can.

If a fictional character that I have loved since childhood, one that was the epitome of cool for me as a kid, and my favorite thing in that entire fictional universe, gets horribly murdered in a film, I'M NOT GOING TO LIKE THAT FILM!!!  That's the only thing I think of in regards to that movie.  All the other stuff has just become a grey haze to me because of that one part.  I'm seriously to the point where I want nothing to do with STAR WARS because of that one thing.

There's no logic behind it.  Its purely, 100% emotionalism.  The last thing that really had me vested in the franchise got bumped off, and with that I've out grown STAR WARS.

* I hate THE DARK KNIGHT.  This is not news to those who have followed me for a while.  The movie that a lot of people hail as the most amazing Batman movie ever, I rank it right down with BATMAN AND ROBIN.  It was a great Joker movie, but made Batman out to be a two-fisted moron with Morgan freeman there to do all the heavy thinking for him.  I found it just hard to watch.

And unfortunately it started a trend with Warner brothers to which ever Superman got very grim and gritty.  MAN OF STEEL  looked like something I needed to keep my children away from, and like the brilliant writer Greg Rucka put it "Any Superman movie that you can't take your kids to isn't a good Superman movie."

So, no I'm not excited at all for the SUPERMAN VS BATMAN movie.  Ben Affleck does look like he'll make a great Batman, but I have no interest in a movie which Martha Kent tells Clark he doesn't owe the world a thing.  In these movies, Ma and Pa Kent are the worst parents ever.  And honestly, I don't feel like going to a movie to watch two superheroes I like beat each other up.  Go fight a villain.  You've both got plenty of them.

Which brings us to...

* CIVIL WAR.  Damn it all anyways.  Why?  Why on earth do people praise that comic?  Its terribly written.  The artwork is really nice, but the book portrays Captain America as being a freaking nut and not much better than the Punisher.  And ever since then Ironman has been a almost a villain with no one really trusting him.  Now, we've had a reboot and Ironman is really awesome again!  But now there's going to be another CIVIL WAR comic which pits Ironman against Captain Marvel.  Yes, the Captain Marvel that's going to be getting her own movie in a couple years.  We couldn't go six months since SECRET WAR in which everyone got along and fought bad guys?

Oh and the movie?

OK, let's take two characters that we've been made to like and put them against each other.  And that last scene with Cap and Bucky being the crap out of Ironman was disturbing.  They looked like a couple of bullies.  This may well be the first movie that Marvel studios puts out that I full on avoid.

* Speaking of Marvel movies: screw DEADPOOL.  I hate that character.  I'm annoyed by his rabid fandom.  I'm absolutely stunned that a movie actually got off the ground and fully expect this thing to flop, because I think more people will just illegally download from somewhere instead of shelling out the bucks to go see it.

* SUICIDE SQUAD.  Yeah, concerning that: I've taken all of my f--ks and put them in a time capsule which is not to be unearthed until well after I'm dead because i won't be giving any of them.

Fortunately there's still so good nerdy TV for me to enjoy.  I really wish LEGENDS OF TOMORROW was going to be on on a night that I won't get home until after its over, but those are the breaks.

There's all these things out there that people are going to be buzzing about.  It'll likely come up at shows when I'm trying to sell my comic, and I'll smile uncomfortably and make some excuse about not finding time to go see it, but I'll catch it of DVD, and hey, let's talk about my book.

Its very frustrating.  I want to enjoy these things, but its just all so wrong to me.  I'm having people who didn't start out nearly as nerdy as me knowing a lot more about some of this stuff than I do.  I've gotten pretty good at smiling and shrugging my shoulders over it.

I will say this, its kinda tough when the stuff everyone's so excited about bums you out.

Not my Captain America?

The new Captain America comic came out last week and its caused a bit of a stink.  For those who haven't been keeping up, Steve Rogers, the original Cap, no longer has the Super Soldier Serum in him and has aged.  He chose a successor, his friend and long-time partner, Sam Wilson, the Falcon.  There was a bit of a flap about Captain America being black and diversity running amuck, but for those who have followed the comics and characters for a long time, its actually pretty cool.  Sam Wilson is a great character, and if someone had to step in for Steve Rogers I think he's the best choice.

Now the new comic is out, and its written by Nick Spencer.  I like Nick Spencer.  I think he's a really amazing writer.  I was excited to see what he;d do with the character, and then I read the issue.  Things started out great.  Sam is kicking butt and taking on Hydra goons and Crossbones.  It a lot of fun.  Then we find out that everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. is ticked at him and so is a good chunk of the public.

And its the reason why where I think Spencer has made a big mistake.

Spencer acknowledges that Steve Rogers kept his politics to himself as much as possible.  He stayed out of partisan squabbling.  I really like the quote that Hickman gave Cap when he was being told his values and ideals were archaic.  His answer was "I don't judge people's lives, I save them." And that's just awesome.  Captain America makes the right choices even in the toughest of situations.  He's an ideal, and I think that's a lot of the ideal of America.  Doing what's right, even when its hard.

But Sam Wilson doesn't seem to be reflecting the ideal of America, but more of the reality of America.  He's come out on certain sides of issues, and its ticked off people who don't agree.  This is so very disappointing.  I saw Sam being Cap and being a minority as a step forward and we can judge characters and people by the content of their character and their actions.  I had hope.  I had hope that Sam, like Steve, would stay above politics and just be a force for good.

Instead I see the like of "You're not my Captain America" which reminds me of those who say Obama "is not my president".  There's other parallels between Sam and Obama in the book.  Its funny because there was hope for him too.  Instead our president has focused on the divides in this country and pushing his side of things.  I really don't want to see Sam go down that same road, but that's kind of how its looking it'll go.

The latter part of the book has Sam coming in to stop people from harming illegal immigrants.  That's good.  Captain America should be stopping those who would harm people unable to defend themselves.  But at the same time, these are people who are willfully breaking the law, and I'm doubting Sam is going to tell them that what they are doing is wrong.

I follow politics, and its a tiring, soul crushing affair.  I read comics to life my spirits and often inspire me as they did when I was a kid.  I used to want to be a good, upright, moral man like Captain America.  Now Captain America saddens me.  It looks like just one more thing that's been sucked up in the political game of demonized and mocking anything or anyone that doesn't agree with you.  Its even to the point that we're being presented characters in this book like Phil Coulson and Nick Fury Jr. who are heroes in other marvel books but are here shady individuals that we shouldn't trust.

But its only the first issue of this run.  Perhaps Sam will learn that he's not Captain Democrat, Captain Republican, Captain Conservative, nor Captain Liberal.

He's Captain America.  And I hope he's one I can admire and respect as much as his predeccesor.

Don't go lion to me! I want the TRUTH!

News has broken in Africa that Jericho, the brother of the now deceased Cecil the lion, has been killed by hunters.  Authorities are looking into this, but so far the "hunter" in question has not been found.  This whole thing reeks of a cunning plot.

Seriously, first a lion gets killed and now not long after, his brother is killed?  There's no way this is a coincidence.  Those lions knew something.  That dentist is obviously a patsy in this whole thing.  The ones behind this obviously have something on him and photoshopped those pictures with him and lion.  I mean come on.  There's only one dentist on the planet that I know of that could kill a lion, and he was well accounted for here in Chesapeake.  

I think perhaps these lion know what's really going on with those Holistic Doctors that have recently turned up dead.  A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and with learning the identity of the holistic serial killed those lions sealed their own fate.  And now they're being used as a distraction to keep our eyes off the ball.  

Its working well.  People are more concerned with a couple of lions that they never knew nor cared about a couple weeks ago than the ghoulish videos making the rounds about Planned Parenthood.  And had any of you heard about those doctors before I mentioned it?  


Because you've been hoodwinked!

By lions!

Which are supposedly dead, but have any of you even seen the bodies?  

Its obviously a Government cover-up.  Obama was recently in Africa, which was a convenient cover for him to bump off those lions to distract everyone from those doctors' deaths.  Those doctors obviously weren't down with the ACA, so they had to go, and the distraction from the Planned Parenthood grossness was an added bonus.

Give it week and Obama will come out and say that if he and Michelle had a cub it would look like Cecil the lion's cub.  Those lions are really alive and have been relocated to a protected site.  That dentist is going to burn because he wasn't down with the ACA either and rumor has it he's part of the eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil 1%!  So, he's getting shipped out of here. and he better keep his mouth shut or his family with get the same.  Or possibly worse, someone might say they saw a picture of someone in his family watching an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard and call for their immediate execution!

And now since I've obviously had enough of watching/listening/being-fucking-bombarded-with the "news" I'm going to go watch My Little Pony with my daughters and get ready to love and respect the shit out of some poor bastard.

Here we go!

I've been busy.  First off, the Zanshinkan demo team has scored a big win at the Battle of the Seven Cities.  Congrats to them for busting their butts and sealing the deal!

The second issue of A-DAY PLUS is chugging along.  If anyone is interesting getting some copies: shoot me an e-mail at and I'll give you all the ordering info.

And I'm promoting it!  If you want to hear me ramble on about the comic and other fun stuff, Ryan and Pooya had me over for the FadCast over at FilmFad!  Had a blast, and hopefully I don't come off as too nervous, because this was a first for me and I seem to have a real problem talking with a microphone in front of me.

Also, I'm going on my "SHUT UP, THIS IS FREAKING LIBRARY TOUR"!  I'll be over at the Portsmouth Public Library for their Mini-Con on June 27th, and following that up with appearing over at Chesapeake Public Library for FantaSci on July 25th!  I may also be doing a panel at FantaSci on a Literary Look at the Superhero Genre, but I'm waiting to here back on that. 

All this, Teenage Mutant Ninja Camp next month and work, work, work.

(Do note, that Teenage Mutant Ninja Camp, is the fourth in our series preceded by Ninja Camp, Revenge of the Ninja Camp, and Ninja Camp 3: The Domination.)

Curse you, Hickman!

For those of you who haven't been following Marvel Comics, there's a massive event going on.  SECRET WARS kicked off this month and writer Jonathon Hickman, is really taking things next level.  He's been building up to this story for years with his runs on AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS.  This is going to be the event that reboots the Marvel Universe.  

I picked up the first issue in which pretty much everything and everyone was destroyed.  Only a handful of people made it out.  It was brutal.  The proper Marvel Universe and the Marvel Ultimate Universe collided and destroyed each other.  We're left wondering where could be go from here.  Thankfully, we did not have long to wait because Marvel released the second issue the following week.

Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up that issue because I was picking up my own comic book, A-DAY PLUS, from the printers just in time for the recent Tidewater Comicon.  For those who aren't familiar with my current project, four apocalyptic events occur within a 24 hour period.  Chaos and stupidity ensue.  I got my books but had no time to get to Comic Kings to get my weekly fix I comics, including SECRET WARS #2.

Fine, I went the following day to get my books.  They had sold out of SECRET WARS #2, but marked me down to get a copy the next time some came in.  They did have a fancy pants variant cover one, but I figured I could wait.

Tidewater Comicon came and went.  I debuted issue 2 of A-DAY PLUS, and that went well.  I go in the following week to get my comics, and still no second shipment of SECRET WARS #2.  I finally got my hands on a copy yesterday.  I read it, and was really into it... until... we get to the Shield.  

The Shield is a massive wall which separates the relatively sane parts of Battleworld from the horrible parts.  What's in these horrible parts?

Zombies.  Robots.  Horrible creatures.  Replace the buggy Annihilation Wave for something more squidy, and add in some homicidal flying saucers and this gets really damned familiar!

Beyond the Shield is A-DAY PLUS.

Of course, its obvious what has happened here.  Its not uncommon the two different writers come up with really similar ideas completely independently of each other.  In fact it happened to me a few years ago on MERE MORTAL back when I was writing that to the point that someone thought another writer was attempting to rip me off, which it turned out not to be the case.

So the truth is obvious.

That Hickman fella got a hold of my first issue and was so blown away by it, he had to work it into SECRET WARS.  Now, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery aside from showers of cash, and I'm truly honored that he would think so much of my comic that he would so blatantly copy it for his current project.  However, he has not asked my permission to do so.  Not even a friendly hit up on Twitter like, "Hey, mind if I rip off your comic for Secret Wars? k thx"

As such, I'm going to boycott SECRET WARS until I get an apology for Hickman and Marvel comics, or until the next issue of SECRET WARS comes out!  Whichever comes first!

Indiana versus Bandwagonaggedon

Hey!  Guess what!  There's a state called Indiana!  Have you heard of it?

If the answer is "yes" then you've been paying attention to things, which is good, but you've probably been lied to, and that's bad.  There's been a big stink about the state passing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  Some folks think it opens the door to discrimination towards gays.  That's completely false, but the people making the claims are really loud, so despite facts and stuff they must be right.  Right?

Well, no.  If you have any questions about the RFRA, HERE is a great article breaking the whole thing down.

Now, if you're wondering why this law got passed to begin with and doesn't the First Amendment of the Constitution already cover that, good for you!  Here's the skinny, around 1990 the Supreme Court made a ruling that really took the guts out of the First Amendment.  It set things up so the if Compelling State Interests came into conflict with Religious freedom, the scales were tipped way to heavily towards the State.  There are times when a State's Interests should trump Religious freedom.  

Example: if your religion calls for human sacrifice the State can stop you because of that whole murder being against the law thing.

But the 1990 case created a problem and everyone got together to fix it.  Religious groups, the ACLU, and many secular groups got together to create the Federal RFRA which Bill Clinton signed in 1993 as one of his first acts as President.  Balance was restored and everything was great.

Then it was interpreted that the Federal RFRA only applied to Federal Laws and not State laws in 1997.  Since then 20 States have passed their own RFRAs including Illinois which Barack Obama supported when he was State Senator, and Virginia which current Governor McAuliffe must not be aware of since he's been taking a couple of jabs at Indiana.  Also note that the link provided about the State RFRAs does reference the current situation in Indiana but also states that these laws have NEVER been used successfully to discriminate against homosexuals.

So, why is there a problem with Indiana?  Its been a perfect storm if ridiculousness.  I wrote before about White Knights who run about the internet typing away for their causes.   It seems the Tinfoil Hat Brigade merged with the Magenta Lantern Corp and seeing the law only through the prism of one issue created a whole conspiracy theory around it.  I do wonder if the Governor that passed it had been a Democrat if there'd be the same fuss.  I doubt it.  The false narrative is set that Republicans are bigots.  Then along come the Latter Day Atheists banging their drum that religion equals bigotry.  So we had one target that all three groups of nutters could focus on.  Then a bunch of other people jump on board because it fits with their person narrative of how the world is despite facts to the contrary.

Of course the irony here is that all their screaming just shows who is really prejudiced.  (Hint: they're the ones doing the screaming.)

And now the Indiana Governor has to react because he has people running around upset because they've bought into a lie.  This could have been avoided if people would have read the bill and done a little research instead of just giving into knee-jerk emotionalism.

Moral of the story: do your homework.

Its all over for Marvel.

There's a big battle brewing for Marvel, and its not just a Super Bowl wager.  Marvel is counting down to a new Secret Wars event which will in turn lead to Marvel rebooting its continuity.  This, of course, has lead to much wailing and gnashing of teeth from fans who are quite reboot weary.  The weariness comes from DC Comics being on their, I think, fourth reboot at this point.  This has a lot of fan looking sideways at this and there's still a bit of a bitter air about DC's last reboot which has gotten mixed reviews.

Let's break this on down.

For those new to this concept, a "reboot" is a resetting of the continuity in a fictional world.  This sounds crazy on the surface as one would wonder why you want to ignore stories and risk alienating long time fans.  People spent time and money reading these stories.  They're invested.  But now that investment doesn't matter?

It does matter, but there's a case to be made for reboots and they are necessary on occasion.


* If there is confusion as to continuity.  I'm not just talking about a subject in the continuity that someone can read up on.  If the question is "What happened to Mister Awesome?" and the answer is "Well, this happened to him.  It was in (insert title of storyline here).  You can check it out in (name the trade or the issue numbers here)." then you don't have a problem.  However, if the question is "What happened to Mister Awesome?" and the reply is "Do you mean the main Mister Awesome, the Extreme World Mister Awesome, or the one from the other dimension that's currently being Mister Awesome while Mister Awesome is presumed dead but is really lost in the multiverse with a genetically altered chinchilla?" there may be cause for concern.

* You're planning on incorporating something you've acquired into your main continuity.  Companies merge.  Each have characters that would work great together.  Parallel Earth team-ups are starting to get played out, and it time to properly get everyone in the same sandbox.

*Time has marched on.  If characters have a specific tie to a specific ear they can get dated, and that gets awkward.  Superheroes tend to have fountain of youth going for them, but even that fountain can't explain away a disco inspired wardrobe for a character that couldn't have been born in the 70s.


DC rebooted everything in the mid-80s with their CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.  At the time DC had a lot going on.  Their main characters existed on "Earth 1".  Their Golden Age characters existed on "Earth 2".  Captain Marvel and his buddies had their own Earth as did Blue Beetle and the characters he shared a world with.  That's a lot for keep straight.

So, they had one big event to bring everything together.  George Perez drew just about every character DC every had at some point.  Its a classic story, and well worth reading.  

But the relaunch had a couple of flaws here and there at to the new continuity.  Its a huge undertaking with multiple creative teams that really need to be coordinated with each other.  So, years later DC released ZERO HOUR to try to smooth over some of these issues.  The whole point was to try to streamline things, and it worked for the most part.

Characters moved on and the Silver Age heroes passed torches to a newer generation.  Unfortunately, some people didn't like that and they somehow ended up being in charge.  There ended up being more changes which culminated in FLASHPOINT and THE NEW 52.  This went down because the powers that be at DC wanted their Silver Age heroes back in the saddle and Jim Lee could now bring in his Wildstorm properties over.  It hasn't gone very well. There was an initial sales bump, but  things are waning.  

The reboot just seemed too forced, and the execution on the follow up was kind of haphazard.  Also, some real fan favorite characters got written out.  Fans of Stephanie Brown or Wally West were left shrugging their shoulders.


There's been a lot brewing with Marvel as to build up to SECRET WARS.  Jonathan Hickman's runs on AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS have been leading up to this directly.  The storyline has been really great.  I haven't felt this gripped by a storyline since Morrison's Batman epic.  The real question is: why is Marvel rebooting everything now?

Marvel released an alternative "Ultimate" line of comics years ago, and they've been a success.  The continuity for the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimate universe are different, and both have their merits.  In fact the Marvel movies have drawn from both as source material.  There's also been other alternate realty stories that have gone on and there's some fondness for some of the characters that have appeared there, but not in the main continuities.

Remember what I said above about why you should consider a reboot?  Marvel is there.  If you ask about Captain America, you're needing to be more specific.  Also, let's look at the Punisher and Ironman.  Those are two characters who have their origins linked to America's adventures in southeast Asia.  Punisher is a Vietnam War veteran.  So, that would make him around 60 now.  Nick Fury is in his nineties easily.

Time has moved on, and some things are needing a polishing.  So, this reboot I'm all for.  


Yeah, everyone else has sounded off, and I'm following the herd.  Moo.

* Ironman being more hero and less villain.  Seriously, he's been shady as hell since that awful CIVIL WAR comic.  It would be nice to put all that behind us and have him back as a proper hero.

* Miles Morales and Nick Fury from the Ultimate universe being in proper Marvel.  These characters are well liked and interesting.  There's plenty of room for them.

* Cyclops not being creepy and Jean Grey not dying over and over and over again.

* New Universe stuff!  Hickman worked the White Event into his line and its was an interesting take on things.  That and I have all the old PSI-FORCE comics and I still think Wayne Tucker was cool.

*That One More Day business being gone forever and ever.  Seriously.  That was just dumb.  I'd even be cool with resetting Spidey back to his high school days.  

* Deadpool not existing.  Yeah, I know that's not going to happen.  I just don't like Deadpool.

That's pretty much it.  I think we've got some really great writers over at Marvel right now, and they'll do a great job with the relaunch.  Just as long as they don't make it a habit.

Mixed feeling on 2014

Its weird for me looking back on last year.

On one side there people going apeshit and screaming "racism" about everything police do to the point that officers are getting threatened and two were murdered.  Never mind the staggering amount of evidence showing no racial components about the two big incidents and so much cognitive dissidence that one has the wonder if the "hands up, don't shoot" people were shipped in from a parallel dimension.

We lost a lot of really talented people in entertainment, and while it doesn't seem terribly important in the grand scheme of things, these were people who made a lot of people laugh ad feel great good with their performances.  The world could really use Robin Williams right now.

We wrapped the year up with that horrible tragedy of people losing their loved ones with a plane crashing into the ocean.

It just seemed like bad news, following bad news, following people can be really stupid, followed by bad news.

On a personal note: everything is freaking great.

Seriously, I had a pretty awesome year.  I put out a comic funded by a successful Kickstarter.  I got promoted to 6th degree black belt and got made a renshi.  I managed to stay employed and the family is still eating and have a roof over their heads.  I got a lot of blessings this year.

It actually leaves me with a feeling of guilt.

A lot of people want 2014 to go away and never be heard from again.  I want to kick as much ass this year as I did last year.

Ultimately, it boils down to a personal level.  I can't change the fact that tragedies happen.  I can't make people stop listen to idiots like Al Sharpton and those who would incite people just for their own personal gain.

What I can do is keep putting out content and hope people enjoy it.  I can keep teaching karate and hope that my students benefit from what I teach.  I can try to be positive even when things suck.

So I'm just going to keep calm and make comics/do karate/keep working.

Because its what we can do that matters.


Going up, I was big fan of professional wrestling.  I don't really watch it anymore.  I stopped being interested in WWE long ago when the storylines were being pushed too far for my liking and I wasn't seeing enough action.  One guy that I've heard about a lot is Phil Brooks AKA CM Punk.  I saw a match or two of his.  He's a very talented performer.  

Recently he parted ways with the WWE.  To many people's surprise he's been signed to the UFC.  Keep in mind he's never been in a MMA match.  He's 36 years old which is a bit old to be entering this.  The UFC is the biggest promotion in MMA.  There's a lot of people balking at this.

I'm not one of them.

Dana White was asked why he signed Brooks, and he answered.  It boils down to this is a dream of Brooks who is a legit martial artist and he doesn't have enough time on the clock to work his way up through the amateurs.  Brooks gets to live his dream and get paid.  The UFC gets a ratings boost and Brooks' fanbase will be checking out his fights, so there's the potential to gain new fans.  Brooks brings more to the table than fighting ability, and these are things that are well established.  If he does well in the Octagon then that's even better.

This is a win all the way around for all involved.  Is it fair that Brooks gets in when there's other fighters who have been working their butts off to get noticed?  No, its not.  Still, White and the UFC doing something like this generate interest and revenue which keeps the organization going, and keeps them around so there's a platform for these fights to work towards.

I'm looking forward to watching Brooks fight, and wish him well.  Its going to be a tough road for him as his likely weight classes are packed with great fighters.  The last pro-wrestler to enter UFC was Brock Lesnar who did indeed win the championship, but the heavyweight division was a little light when he did it.  We'll see what happens.

I've become that guy?

I was gone for a while, but I'm back now.  Spent Thanksgiving up on the mountain.  Did some training.  Worked on issue 2 of A-DAY PLUS.  Ate some turkey.  Finally saw BIG HERO 6.  Dealt with one of the loinspawn getting sick.  I stayed pretty unplugged from things as I was sick of hearing about Ferguson and people just being completely stupid about it, especially the pricks in the media fanning the flames for ratings.

Upon returning, I discover that there a trailer for the impending STAR WARS movie that's been put forth.  There people that are really excited.  There's people who are saying things about a lightsaber.  Some folks seem concerned about a black Stormtrooper, and I think the main cause for concern is that they can't refer to him as an "African-American Stormtrooper" as Africa did not exist long ago in a galaxy far, far away, and their little PC brains are melting over it.

I haven't watched the trailer.  I thought about watching the trailer.  I like STAR WARS.  I've seen all the movies in the theaters.  I remember back when I had cable and sometimes USA would run the trilogy on a Sunday afternoon, and upon discovering this that's pretty much the whole afternoon right there.  Seriously, the only decision to be made after that is proper snack choices.  So, I should be excited about this new trailer, right?

I just can't do it.

I can't muster up any more excitement for anything STAR WARS anymore.  I had some excitement for the prequels being released.  For my excitement I was given Jar Jar Binks and some other miserable stuff.  Sure, there were a few high points.  Darth Maul was cool.  Yoda kicking ass was awesome.  And that third movie had... had... um... OK, the third one really sucked.

I really don't want to be that old codger who just sticks with the old movies that he loves and scoffs at the new ones, but I just can't muster up a single fuck to give about this new movie.

Have I become a bad nerd?

Three Bullets

For those of you new to the experience that is me, I spend most of my work time fixing beach houses.

There was a party at a beach house this past weekend and someone decided it would be a good idea to start shooting.  This was a 21st birthday party.  I know this because everyone was either thrown out of the house or arrested promptly after the shooting and the birthday items were left behind alone with the ton of empty booze bottles, some clothes (including a set of hot lavender, stripper pumps), and general trash.

No one was injured by the gunfire.  Since I was one of the guys doing repairs I got to see the damage.  Three bullets were fired from the street into the house.  This is easily deduced by the entry and exit damage in the various walls, and the angles in which these holes line up.  I have some theories as to the order in which the bullets struck the house (I think they were fired from a vehicle driving away, but that's my speculation.), but I'll just discuss the damage caused.

The first bullet struck the railing around the second floor deck.  All the bullets were grouped in this area, so the shooter seemed to be aiming at someone or something specific.  The bullet went through the wood railing and then went through a wood shutter, and then the wall behind it entering the house.  It came into a bedroom near the corner and with the angle of fire entered another wall.  There's a set of stairs on the opposite side of the wall and bullet was stopped there.  So, one hole in a railing, one pierced shutter, two holes in the interior walls.

Our next bullet entered the same bedroom through the window.  It crossed the room and grazed the door to the bathroom and then pierced a bathroom wall entering the closet to the bedroom.  The bullet then was stopped by the opposing wall of the closet.  One broken window, one damaged door, one hole in the bathroom, and two in the closet.

The final bullet was the real winner.  It pierced a different wooden shutter on its way in.  It crossed the bedroom and pierced a wall to enter that previously mentioned closet.  It crossed the closet to pierce the wall and enter another bedroom.  The bedroom had a sliding, glass door which had to be open because the bullet traveled outside, and with much of its velocity stripped by going through three walls landed the backyard of the property behind the house.  Now, as the bullet traveled through the bedroom wall into the closet, it hit a water line.  Remember, this is the second floor.  The reclaimed hardwood floor is damaged.  The there's probably going to be new carpet installed.  The ceiling on the first floor in destroyed.  The very nice pool table is damaged.  Six holes and a whole lot of damage.

This may be heading for five figures.  Its a very nice house.

The person who rented the house was not present.  Seems they rented it so the birthday person could have fun with their friends.

Let this be a lesson.  People are going to party on their 21st birthday (unless you're me because my 21st birthday was lame), but if you think its a good idea to yet someone have a huge party on your dime and you're not going to be there, you're just asking for trouble.  The person who rented that house is on the hook for the bill, unless they find the shooter, and even then this doesn't look good for the renter at all.

They certainly aren't getting their deposit back.

The Flash Premiers

I didn't like it.  Seriously.  I don't like that they dumbed down Barry Allen.  They already did the "my love interest is the daughter of a police officer" bit on Arrow.  Oh and Geoff Johns is involved so, of course, there has to be a dead parent.  And putting a Thawne on the police as a foreshadowing of a potential bad guy HAS BEEN DONE TO DEATH!!!

Come on!

They were doing that back on the first season of SMALLVILLE.  They going to try to make us like this guy and all us good little nerdlings are going to wonder when he's going to go bad.  All us hardcore nerdlings are going to speculate if he's Barry's twin brother or from the future.  Some of us will speculate if Iris is from the future.

And damn it all anyways, I love you Tom Cavanagh.  I do.  I loved you on ED.  I loved you on SCRUBS.  I thought to myself, "he's a scientist, I can get behind this".  Nope!  Just miserable.  The cheery guy was annoying as hell.  The mopey girl was a complete downer.  I'm sorry her fiancé got killed in an accident nine months ago, but YOU STILL DON'T SMILE AT ALL?!

Thank God AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. was on after that, so I could wrap my TV viewing up on a better note.

Um... that's on when?

OK, the local TV station has been advertising that its going to be showing episodes of THE WALKING DEAD.  I was a bit surprised because I though the rule of thumb for a show to go into syndication was that it needed to have about a hundred episodes under its belt.  I remember it was a big deal when BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER hit 100 episodes because they could go into syndication.  It does seem like the rules have changed a bit.  It has been a good ten years since I last took note of the subject.

So, THE WALKING DEAD is coming to WTVZ channel 33.  I read and love the comic.  I've watched the first season of the AMC TV show on Netflix.  I did not really like it.  I'm not saying it was a bad show or anything like that.  Its very well done.  I just have a very strong attachment to comic books as a medium and I just really prefer the comics.  I'm not planning on watching the show, but its nice that another comic book related program will be on.

I opened up the newspaper, because I try to keep up with Luann in the funny pages, and there's the TV listings.  Its debuting tonight at 8, and they're showing two episodes.  Apparently this is going to be the norm on Wednesdays.  This is taking over from showing double episodes of HOUSE.  

OK, I know HOUSE can be pretty graphic at times and I certainly wouldn't let the kids watch it, but isn't THE WALKING DEAD a bit rough to be showing at 8 on network TV? 

Did I get old or something?  I'm not saying they should just show re-runs of family friendly sit-coms in that time slot.  I did like watching AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and SUPERNATURAL when it was on at that time slot.  Still, the first season I saw of THE WALKING DEAD was really hard viewing at times.  I figure they'll edit some of the really graphic parts.

Maybe I'm just a bit surprised, and making more of this than it really is.  Just seems a bit early in the evening for hardcore horror.

A-Day Plus is coming... with your help!

Hey guys.  I've been working the last few months on a new comic: A-Day Plus.  Four extinction events hit the earth on the same day and hilarity ensues.  The first issue is all done, but I'm needing a bit of help with print costs  as such  I've got a Kickstarter running!

Check out the page.  If you're having trouble navigating through the video link, here's another one for you!  CLICK HERE!

Thanks again, and spread the word.

Lead Up to Avengers Shake Up.

If you've been paying attention to internet "news" about comics you may have seen everyone browning their trousers over a woman being Thor and a black guy being Captain America.  There's been calls of torches and pitchforks and all the typical internet stupidity that one would see from those outraged about comics that they don't read.

For those who saw these stories and are curious about what is going on and haven't been keeping up with the books, the whole thing is revolving around a storyline that Jonathan Hickman has been doing.  There's going to be a time jump, and what's the point of the time jump if everyone is exactly as they are now.  So, we get to see some fun change ups.

The problem is that this is getting some interest from people who haven't been reading the Avengers books and its honestly a lot to catch up on.  So, here's a really horrible recount of everything.

Illuminati: "We be the smart dudes that make big heavy choices, and don't tell no one."

Black Panther: "A parallel Earth almost crashed into us!  What's up with that?"

Illuminati: "We don't know.  Join our club?"

Black Panther: "OK."

Reed Richards:"The multiverse is dying.  We're all screwed."

Ironman: "We got this."

Reed Richards: "Another parallel Earth!"

Illuminati: "Get the Infinity Gauntlet!  Who's gonna use it?"

Ironman: "Get Steve to do it!"

Infinity Gauntlet goes blooey.

Namor: "You dumb-ass!  You wrecked our Gauntlet!"

Ironman: "We may have to blow up the parallel Earths to save ours."

Cap: "Not cool!"

Ironman: "Gotta do it."

Cap: "Don't be a dick."

Ironman: "You're out of the club.  Enjoy your mindwipe."


Ironman: "Hey Steve, help me build a really awesome Avengers team."

Cap: "OK."

Weird stuff happens on Mars.

Weird stuff happens of Earth.

Spider-man gets turned into a douche.

White Event.  Cause New Universe is cool.

Thanos: "Child support sucks!  Killin' all my bastards!"

Ironman: "Something is kicking everyone's ass in space and is heading this way."

Cap: "We'll go help!"

Thanos: "The Avengers have split!  Let's wreck their shit!  Is my Gauntlet here?"

"Its busted, but the Time Gem may be around."

Thanos: "Cool.  Go find it while we're here."

Gladiator: "The Builders are dicks.  We're gonna kick their asses."

Cap: "We'll help."

Gladiator: "Whatever."


Gladiator: "Oh shit!  The Builders are dicks and are kicking our asses!"

Cap: "OK, I've got this."

Namor: "Black Panther is a dick and has your Time Gem.  Go kick his ass."

Thanos: "Hey, BP, all your base belong to me.  Now, where's my kid?"

Black Bolt: "You're a dick!"

Thanos: "Screw you!  Gimme my kid!"

Black Bolt: "Terrigen bomb!  Suck it, you purple-faced douche!"

Thanos: "Dick."

Gladiator: "Thanks for kicking the Builder's asses.  Thanos done took your planet."

Cap: "Well, guess we gotta kick his ass too."

Gladiator: "Got your back, homie!"

Thanos: "Gonna kill my kid."

Thane (Thanos's kid): "Nope."

Ironman: "More parallel Earth keep wrecking each other and some of them have people on them."

Reed Richards: "We got a bomb."

Hulk: "I know what you've been up to."

Ironman: "Join our club."

Hulk: "OK."

Reed Richards: "Here comes another Earth."

Ironman: "We gotta destroy it."

Dudes from parallel Earth: "Not cool!  Y'all are dicks!"

Doctor Strange loses his shit.

Illuminati: "We really don't want to kill a bunch of people to save everyone."

Namor: "Y'all are pussies.  Imperius Rex, bitches!"

Parallel Earth go boom.

Illuminati: "Not cool, Namor!  You're a dick."

Namor: "Whatever."


Namor: "Got me me a new crew.  Gonna wreck some stuff."

Cap: "I remember now!  Tony is a dick!"

Ironman: "Chill!"

Cap: "You're a dick, and I'm gonna kick your ass!"

Time Gem.

Time travel things.  

Cap gets back.

Cap: "Ironman is a dick and so are the rest of the Illuminati.  We're gonna kick their asses."

Illuminati: "Oh shit!"

And that's pretty much where we're at going into the next issues.  Its going to jump ahead about eight months and the separate titles will be catching up over the next eight months.  If you want you can go ahead and hunt down the trades to get a better idea of everything that's going on.  Its good reading.

Have fun.

Death to the pizza man!

Here's a little something that's been making the rounds.

Seen this pop up a few times on the fringes of my social media streams.  This is supposedly a quote from the head guy of Papa John's pizza.  I say 'supposedly' because despite my requesting proof that he actually said this no one has been able to provide any.  No one's posted a video clip or a link to a reliable source.  So, we have a "quote" attributed to a businessman with no proof whatsoever, but its attached to one of those demotivational posters, so it must be legit, right?

I'm doubting anyone actually said this because "excessive profits" is a term only used by pinheads who don't like successful people.  These folks are out there, obviously.  They labor their lives under the assumption that if someone is successful then they must have done something horrible to be so.  Its pretty much jealousy.  Its the sort of simple-mindedness that leads to people making such images an posting them in the internet for the like-minded dimwits to "like", "plus", retweet, and share.

Of course the image fails under any sort of objectionable scrutiny.  Replace the term "excessive profits" with " success".  A business owner is under no obligation to share profits with workers.  They took the risk.  They paid the wages.  They rear the rewards.  They can use those profits to expand their business and create new jobs.  They can offer raises and/or bonuses to staff.  They can keep the money and do things like buy beach houses which need maintenance and keep certain hammer-swinging, karate-teaching, comic-drawing goons gainfully employed and letting them pay their mortgages.  So, no, trickle down economics is not debunked in any way shape of form by this.

But the jealous folks are still going to try to make their point.  Frankly, it just make me want to get a pizza.  But a recent post led to personal attacks against the Papa John's fella and it seems like the biggest beef the rabble can come up with is that the guy doesn't like the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).  Can't say as I blame him as most business owners don't think to kindly of the Government telling them what sort of benefits they better provide and they had better be ready to pay through the nose for it.  Then again, I doubt the people who are railing against pizza guy have ever had to make a payroll.

But here's where it got ridiculous and I had to copy this gem.

This bastard admitted he would rather fire people than give them health care by reducing his profit margin or requesting a few cents more per pizza.   
If this was the French Revolution people would be oiling guillotines over statements like that. 
So the answer to business practices that we don't like is decapitation?  And the pizza guy is the bastard here?

First up, the guy who made the comment seems to have no idea what the French Revolution was actually about.  Here's a summary.

Did you watch all three parts?

Done yet?


So, the guy who made the comment somehow thinks that a person not charging more for food would be at risk of getting his head chopped off during the french Revolution in which the biggest problems of the time were people starving and national debt?  Really?  Because it seemed like a lot of problems were caused the a government not being able to get its crap together, over-reaching horribly, and people being so desperate to eat that they lashed out.

Quick note: revolutions tend to happen when people can't eat.  Keep that in mind the next time you read a news story about how much the government spends on food stamps.

But let's circles this all back together.

We have people who think they are smart due to them talking in too many echo chambers.  They have their romantic ideal about how things should work and instead of espousing why their ideas are good they tear down everyone who doesn't agree with them.  They talk of intelligence while taking leave of their reason.  The speak of compassion while wishing for horrible things to happen to those they don't like.  Fortunately, while they think they are a majority, they really aren't.

So, the lesson for today is simple: work hard and smart.  Don't be afraid of being a success.  There will always be those who don't like you because you succeed where they do not.  You can't let them stop you from achieving your dreams.

Be good.

And eat more pizza.