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. Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 7/20/15

Today, 30 Seconds to Mars:

I know that most people jumped on with 30 Seconds to Mars with either A Beautiful Lie or This is War, but for me, their self-titled debut record was the best. Part of this is because it sounds like something different, while their later records kind of sounded more consistent with the standard expectations of popular rock of the time. A much bigger part of it, though, is because it had a very specific execution to it that gave it a very otherworldly feel, like Jared Leto and company were trying to create a sci-fi rock opera of sorts. It’s hard to really put it into words, but basically, when the band was taking their name and trying to make it mean something in context, I loved it, but when later records just kind of became… “normal” I think, the band lost me.

To put it another way, I was absolutely on-board with the band when they sounded like an intellectually challenging, musically complex band, but now that they sound like The Killers, I’ve lost interest. As such, while you might have a good or bad opinion of the band as they are now, I recommend the above track, because it’s so different from what you’re likely used to from them, and it’s rather good.

Looking Back on… I think I hear a toilet flushing. (WWE, 2003)

(I only have about three of these left, for reference.)

Okay, so the WWE had their 3rd quarter conference call for stockholders a couple of weeks ago, and, as you might expect, shovels were mandatory for the meeting. (I actually kind of like that; subtle, but easy enough to figure out. What? These aren’t all going to be me shitting on my past self.) I found the report funny, so, having nothing noteworthy to write about, wrestling-wise, I thought I’d share the report itself (courtesy of 411wrestling.com), along with my take on it, because I’m that bored. (This would have been before Widro split off into Inside Pulse, I believe, because all the writers I actually wanted to read went with him, so I followed when that happened as a reader.)

The hyphenated parts are the actual news, and the non-hyphenated parts are my commentary.

Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 7/17/15

Today, Mushroomhead:

Since I mentioned them yesterday, here we are today, with the song that eventually convinced me they were something worth paying attention to… for a couple years, anyway. It might not be the most technically amazing piece of work, but it’s interesting and different, for its time, and that was enough to convince me that maybe there was more to the band than just a carbon copy of Slipknot.

Looking Back on… Enter the Rant: Your Hot Cup of Rant Part 2 (Editorial)

Egads, more classic rant! (Depending on your definition of the word “classic.”) Well, this was the beginning of the end for the E-mail rants… (Yes, a whole SECOND EMAIL LATER I was already tired of doing them. I have no idea how I got through college and a decade of video game writing either.) I was so overly consumed with context over content that I dumped in a whole pissload of extra shit no one cared about, like reviews and such, into the E-mail. (I’m… pretty sure that explanation is backwards.) Ultimately, I stopped doing them altogether, because I became so bored with doing all of this that I just gave up. Sadly, having read over my work, you didn’t miss much… again, the flow is extremely random, and the only real entertainment is in how many creative profanities I could sling together in five sentences. (My record is twenty). (You may be surprised to learn this, but I did not, in point of fact, actually keep track of that.)

However, this is one of my favorites, because of both the Xerox Bands rant, and the Green Acres Rant. (I am going into this entirely blind and commenting as I go, but while I remember both rants topically, I’m totally blind as to their content. In other words, don’t expect that “favorite” descriptor to hold up, especially not in a world where I’ve since written about multiple topics three or more times each.)  Xerox bands was ultimately rather pointless, as my opinion of about half the bands mentioned changed six months later, but it was the concept that mattered at the time. (It’s also still relevant even now, even if the genre changed.) And Green Acres was one of my favorites because it was humorous, even without understanding the subject matter. (Well, I’ll let YOU be the judge of that, but… probably not.) I think both influenced the work I do today… at least, I hope so.

Also, my name has been changed to protect the guilty, namely, me. (I feel like it’s good to have an easily identifiable “brand” these days, if only because it’s memorable.)

And here we go!

Hello all, I’m Rantmaster Mark, and this is ‘Your Hot Cup of Rant’. (STOP FUCKING LAUGHING.)

Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 6/16/15

Today, Dio:

I know the popular choice is “Holy Diver,” but I like reminding people that Dio was always rocking, not just once in the 80’s.

Ronnie James Dio was one of those musicians you either loved or hated; he was an amazing vocalist, but his lyrics were often cheesy as hell, and I know plenty of people who thought he was just too corny. All the same, though, Dio was a force in heavy metal, and without him, we’d be missing a lot, not just from metal, but from music in general. If nothing else, Dio popularized the idea of “throwing horns” at metal concerts, was the first to keep Black Sabbath going for a while after they fired Ozzy (for the reasons you’d expect), and is basically one of those “rock gods” people keep talking about. I’m not really into metal of any sort these days, but Dio was always someone who made music I could enjoy, and five years after his passing, I can still say the world is poorer for the loss.

On the End of Tale of Tales, and What We Can Take Away From It

So, for those who have been out of the loop as it relates to indie gaming developments, artistic developer Tale of Tales has shuttered their production after about seven years, and there are many different discussions surrounding their demise, largely because of the vocal reaction to it. The developers themselves have been fairly vocal in the wake of their dissolution as a game development studio; aside from promising that they will continue to do something outside of gaming, most of their interactions have amounted to semi-farcical comments about being free from gaming, blocking trolls, ruminations on the state of internet fandom, and of course, retweeting messages praising them in their wake. The internet response has been about as fractured as you’d expect as well; many gamers feel like that the loss of Tale of Tales is a huge one on the industry, while others have been calling them every shitty name they can think of. I’ve honestly been ruminating on the announcement for a couple of weeks now, because I haven’t been entirely sure how to feel about it, and after a few weeks of consideration, I think I’d rather talk about the lessons that can be taken away from the closure more than anything else. There are a few reasons for this, but perhaps the single most important one is this: regardless of what Tale of Tales, its fans and its detractors might have to say, there are a couple of important contributors to the developer’s demise, and none of them are as cut and dry as any of them would like to think. Continue reading