Talking About Stuff We Talked About Before, Volume One

While I mostly use this site to repost old work that’s been reevaluated some several years after the fact, because we are nothing if we cannot laugh at how much we sucked a decade ago, I’ve also spent some time posting topical pieces on current events, because sometimes current things make me laugh too. Lest you think that I’ve not paid attention to the stupidity of the world in the time since I last wrote a piece, rest assured, I’ve been following the things I’ve written about in the past, and I’ve had things to say about them… just not enough to fill an entire article. So, for fun, I wanted to take a second to, as the title suggests, talk about stuff we’ve talked about before, and turn a couple of minor updates into a full website article.

I hope you will enjoy it.

On CM Punk (December, 2014):

Well, Punk is still training for MMA as of this point, and his wife, AJ Lee-nee-Brooks, has left the WWE by way of a public retirement, and she presently… uh… runs her own website, I guess? Fuck me if I can find any business projects she’s involved in by Googling her name; all I turn up is a lot of shit on Punk, or on how everyone in WWE hates the hell out of her for… some reason. The latter is almost entirely speculation, of course, though it’s entirely fair to assume that the whole cast of Total Divas hates the hell out of her for one reason or another, since they basically did talk a lot of shit about her in character and out, and while wrestling IS a work… I don’t know, call me crazy, but when that many people shit-talk you, some of them probably mean it.

In the eight months past Punk’s public discussion of his departure from WWE, and the seven months past my posting of the above article, though… not a lot has happened. Punk went from writing his own Thor storyline to being a co-writer of a Drax comic, with most speculating it’s because Marvel likes having the name on the comic, but have no faith in his solo writing abilities (which isn’t unfair, considering). He’s also training for an MMA fight eventually, which seems to be taking up the majority of his time, and people rarely ask him about his time in the WWE anymore. What’s interesting, though, is that without that WWE connection, CM Punk is exactly what he was afraid of becoming: he’s just another guy, albeit one with a name brand who occasionally gets into arguments with Jason Frank over the internet. Meanwhile, the WWE is still making whatever money it can, the Divas division seems to be on the right track for the first time in nearly a decade, the two hottest heels in WWE right now are Kevin Steen and Tyler Black, and the hottest babyface is part-timer Brock Lesnar.

I don’t really have anything to add to that, but it is an interesting series of events, considering where we all thought this would go back in November, isn’t it?

Spider-Man: Renew Your Bullshit (December, 2014):

Now this one I have a lot to say on, so buckle up, buttercup.

As we noted last year, Marvel has indeed released a story, Renew Your Vows, which reviews the Spider-Man storyline from the perspective of Spider-Man being married to Mary Jane and having a daughter, May, and by all indications, it’s an uneven piece that people either really love or really hate. Part of the problem is that, as expected, the storyline is in no way part of current continuity, making this a one-shot that would, it seems, be designed in a way that’s intended to capitalize on the popularity of the “Spider-Man and Mary Jane forever” crowd, which… is fine, one supposes. However, the other part of the problem is that the story seems to be set up in a very specific way, such that it evaluates a very specific question (to what lengths will a superhero go to protect their family), which is neat, but it does so in such a ham-fisted way that it’s basically impossible to really appreciate the storyline. I mean, in the first issue alone, Spider-Man kills Venom, a super-villain basically takes over New York (if not the whole world), and Spider-Man gives up on being Spider-Man because he wants to take care of his daughter. It’s such a hacky, ham-fisted way of cramming everything possible into one story that the only thing that might be worse in terms of “bad revelations from What-If one-shots” is the “My radioactive semem killed Mary Jane!” revelation from Spider-Man: Reign. It just seems like a story that’s designed to cash in on people who love Spider-Man as a married man, and then punish them for loving that thing enough to pay money to see it again.

This, by the way, is just another reason why everyone on the internet is mad at Dan Slott.

In the real continuity, on the other hand, we… have no idea where we’re going yet. We do know that Peter Parker will be a part of the post Secret Wars storylines, because the covers for the launch comics have already been released, and both Miles Morales and Peter Parker have been slotted for launch day comics, which is good. Peter himself appears to be the post One More Day Peter, judging by the quasi-corporate appearance and “swinging ladies man” look he’s given on the cover, but we have no idea yet where they’re going. Of course, we do know that the end of the current run of Amazing Spider-Man was doing sub-100K numbers, and that Renew Your Vows did over 200K with its first issue, but since the Amazing Spider-Man #1 of 2014 did over 500K in sales, that’s probably not going to mean anything. Especially since we’re running a fucking Amazing Spider-Man #1 only a year after running a fucking Amazing Spider-Man #1.

Oh and Silk almost died, but instead got her own book, where she’s at least feigning a heel turn, so basically I was at least partially correct.

Fuck Gawker (February, 2015):

Do I really have to sum anything up here? Between Gawker going to court against Hulk Hogan because they, for some reason, felt that it was newsworthy to broadcast that he’d made a sex tape because “he’s Hulk Hogan,” more or less, accusing the FBI of aiding Hogan in this suit (which they may be doing, I have no idea), and then pulling a post because its target wasn’t in the public eye… and possibly because of public outrage, is there anything to say? Gawker is a farce and if there’s anything left of them this time next year I’ll be fucking surprised.

Though I do want to note that Gawker’s own J.K. Trotter posted a huge piece detailing the resignation of two editors, Tommy Craggs and Max Read (which, good, fuck you douchebag), over the pulled post, because (and this is great) there’s a dispute amongst the staff about whether the core of Gawker should be absolute truth in all things versus not outing a closeted homosexual who did not deserve to be outed.

I’m going to be very blunt: if Tommy Craggs and Max Read really think that “the truth” is so important that they will defend outing a person who isn’t part of the public eye, then they are the dirt worst, and just because Nick Denton has announced that “times have changed,” doesn’t mean he’s not also the dirt worst when he was parroting the same bullshit last year.

Man, this is probably the first time I’ve ever said this, but I hope Hulk Hogan wins.

On why you don’t really want Miles Morales, even if you think you do (February, 2015):

Well, the biggest revelation to come out since writing this is that we do indeed have a brand-new Spider-Man, in Tom Holland, who looks very much like a teenager… which is because Marvel intends to keep their version of Spider-Man in high school for as long as is conceivably possible, for some reason. So, we’re definitely getting an origin story, and at least one movie set in high school, which will be great for the smaller kids who will (presumably) want to see Spider-Man on the big screen, but death on toast for anyone who’s already seen that story twice now and has no idea why high school age Peter Parker is apparently the most appealing one. We also have a pretty good reason to believe that we’re never getting Miles Morales on the big screen, since having Miles and Peter be roughly the same age completely misses about half of the point of having Miles and Peter share screen time, so… if you want a reason to be pissed at a reboot, this is as good of one as any.

Oh, and we now know that the new Thor is Jane Foster, and that being Thor is apparently killing her for… some reason, which is… fine as a narrative concept if it’s actually going somewhere, though I still contend that having Angela as the female Thor would have been more interesting. Angela is getting a new comic, at least, so that’s something, but still, woe be unto missed opportunities.

Also, Ms Marvel will continue to be a big part of the post-Secret Wars comic universe, and that one I might start buying. I mean, look at this cover. It’s fucking perfect, and that is what Marvel needs to do more of: goofy shit that makes readers happy to be reading comic books. Scott Keith can go fuck himself, Superior Spider-Man was the dirt fucking worst, and the fact that each time writers take Spider-Man in a “SOOOOOPER SERIOUS” direction, the sales take a nosedive, seems to indicate that I’m right motherfuckers, so hopefully this comic will succeed, if nothing else.

I mean, probably not since the prior one was doing 30K a month, but we can hope.

On multiplayer in Bloodborne, and why no one cares about your whining (April, 2015):

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this, but I did want to post two things that kind of reinforce the core point I was making here, IE that From Software doesn’t give even the tiniest shit about what their fans think.

First, check out the patch notes for the last five patches that have been released for the game from launch until about a week ago. You will notice that the three main focal points for tuning the game come down to

– Tuning the multiplayer experience so that it’s more friendly in general (fixing password-based multiplayer which is something Sony almost certainly forced, fixing lag),

– Patching out glitches that were funny or useful (the Father Gascoigne stair visceral, the graveyard jump), and

– Rebalancing weapons and weapon acquisition,

or in other words, they’re doing absolutely nothing to address the complaints I brought up in the article, which were a fairly large discussion topic for the first month of the game’s life cycle. No one was asking for the Chalice Dungeon weapons to be available for sale via the Bath Messenger, because those were supposed to be rewards for going into Chalice Dungeons, and selling them more or less removes the point of having the Chalice Dungeons save for those who love PVP and combat grinding in general. PVP in general was improved, which is something the more middle-ground players suggested should be done, but invasions and avoiding invasions aren’t things that have really been paid any attention to in the current patch cycle. Hell, one of the very first things the team dedicated themselves to fixing was the clinic jump, which (if we’re being honest) was really only useful to speed runners and no one else, given that all of the other glitches were patched out along with it, but, y’know, that was more important than anything in the full page worth of patches that came in May.

So, there’s that.

The other interesting point that came up just recently is that, as Edge and Polygon have both noted, the combat in preview versions of Dark Souls 3 is faster, which is probably due to lessons learned during the development of Bloodborne, so that’s… something. Given that the end goal is to expand and diversify combat, it’s probably not a bad thing, but… well, let’s put it this way. With the lead of Bloodborne coming back to lead Dark Souls 3, there are two directions this could go in. It could either be a return to what made Dark Souls amazing, with the lessons of Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne applied to it, which would be awesome. Alternatively, it could be Dark Souls 2 with Chalice Dungeons and faster combat, which would be fucking terrible.

I’m cautiously pessimistic, is my point here, and while I’m hoping that’s all for nothing, my hopes aren’t high.

Wherein We Kill Our Idols (July, 2015):

This one’s fairly recent, but since it’s the reason I’m not revisiting the Vaping/Formaldehyde thing, I wanted to post one final comment on this one and then, probably, never address it again.

After four days of constant barrage from people pointing out that ATB’s video is wholly inaccurate, poorly researched and generally biased against a thing because he doesn’t like it rather than because he has any facts to back it up, Adam finally commented on the issue… by noting that vaping weed is totally fine.

So that’s where we are now: when we fuck up as writers on the internet and get our facts wrong, we just make a joke about it and continue on as if that didn’t happen. Cool. Cool deal Adam.

So I’m officially not a fan of ATB anymore, and I’ve deleted my Cracked bookmarks and app. Not that you care or anything, but man, say what you will, when I’m wrong and you can prove it, I’ll own that shit (as we’ll see later).

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