12.26.2010

Organizing Music OR Arranging Ariel Pink plus some other crap no one listens too anymore

So when I saw him at Fitzgeralds, Diva Dompe (you know, from blackblack? It's ok, I didn't either, but she's just as good as any of those L.A. bands, which no longer surprises me) came out wearing this floral jumpsuit thing that was pretty damn cool looking. But then when R-real came out he was wearing the thing and it was far cooler than anything Diva did.

I have this new computer (which is either a Decemberween or birthday present, can't remember which) and it got to me blank with a few games. Now, I've had to start fresh about... four or fives times by now, with my original E and C drives still holed up (although this new, stable computer is where it will go) at my dad's house and very little connectivity between the (now) three desktops, my laptop, and my mom's laptop on the count of that I don't trust removable hard drives anymore.

It is in these times when I have truly begun to appreciate a well seeded torrent. See, not only do I not have the balls to risk everything to back up one folder, but I also don't really have the time or resources o dig through my absurd cd collection (and thank you Vinyl, by the way, because I was actually beginning to get tired of all these increasingly fragile parts, and with USB turntables I don't even need the damned things anymore. Plus, bands that don't produce vinyl records make a bold statement about how they don't want my money!) to rip stuff, because I can't do just one thing, I have to get everything.

Torrents allow me to get the WHOLE damn body of work without spending half an hour in a cold sweat hoping that my drive doesn't crap out and I loose everything (this is, by the way, all the fault of a mac. If they were just normal fucking computers then my drive wouldn't bother me anymore, and I'd just get a terabyte thing and be done with it) or digging through boxes to re-find a cd I already ripped so that I could safely ignore the shattered jewel cases and mismatched sleeves.

Plus, it's a great feeling when, after spending so much time tracking down all the music, neatly ripping and organizing the music in a fashion that makes sense for that individual artist (as they all have different ways), and meticulously going through the files and making sure the name and file info all sync up, that I never have to do that again. Plus, there's always going to be stuff I missed, and I'm never spending another fucking dime on NIN after that bullshit trainwreck he went through called "sobriety." Of course, Trent really doesn't care nowadays and even leaks his own stuff, so there's that. Perhaps thats why the post-fragile (yeah, because I never really HEARD the Fragile before, so I didn't really get it back then, but now I realize it was him slowly wasting away in a cocaine-ish way, meaning a great theme plus Trent's already insatiable addiction to workahol equals an awesome double album that I had overlooked because I thought "starfuckers" sounded a little TOO marilyn manson-y, even though now I sort of like it) stuff sucks so bad, because it's free anyways!

The irony of this, of course, was that I actually bought both With Teeth (Sunspots and You Know What You Are? are good, Home rules, and some of the remixes are grade A, of course all I got with the album were those first two tracks and alot of guitar-driven non-industrial bulshit) AND Year Zerlao (which is easily forgiven, since the concept involved a giant monster and was really cool, although realizing what With Teeth was actually supposed to be about [because it didn't "click" for me then, but now it's almost too obvious] is cooler in concept than ANOTHER dystopian future ruled by neo-cons, even without the presence, and Year Zero only has "the Warning," which is only good because it's the presence... okay the song really is pretty good but I wouldn't have given it a chance otherwise) but never really knew about or bought Ghosts I-IV, which is easily the best thing he's ever done, before going right back into the suck-zone with The Slip, whose title seems to be a pun.

bauhaus might be a bit of a problem, as before the ONLY TRACK I didn't have throughout the entirety of everything they ever recorded was "Shows" from the 1978 tape that came with "Behind the Mask" which was only released in a couple thousand copies from Metropolis, and I don't think they're going to re-issue it soon, if ever. I even had spirit in the sky, and all the other crap from the 1978 tape. And you better believe I got Crackle, Gotham, and Go Away White. The torrents for them I'm seeing are nowhere near as asinine about completeness as I was as a crazy goth teenager that, really, didn't listen to other things. Much as I now grow tired of all of that music which has been rendered obsolete by Ariel Pink, being everything else.

So there's a very good Ariel Pink torrent out there that really helped me get a grip on his whole catalogue, despite being a little bare bones for my current needs. See, it doesn't have "Gettin' High in the Morning" (which turns out is about crystal meth). Also other stuff.

The problem is that only a few of it's mistakes can be corrected with the widely available stuff (HG 1, 2, faux 3, 4, 5, 6 (which I don't have on CD, so I'm missing a track here that, for some damn reason I can't find anywhere), 8, 9, and 10, added pizzaz and other things that you can physically get without TOO much trouble aren't counted here, but you can trust that I'm not starting out empty handed, that's for damn sure.) Most of the things that are screwy is like,YAS DuDette, where "Stevie Storm" is that plus like eight other songs, so that if I wanted to hear "Shower Me With Lipstick" I have to FF>> like it's a damn CaSette! And it's just awkward to me how FF>> gets a vinyl release while Scared Famous languishes in it's "well, at least I have Politely Declined" CD form. Which, of course, I bought specifically for that song, and didn't realize at the time what a bunk deal it was.

Most of that has been remedied nowadays, and with my USB turntable even Added Pizzaz can join in on the fun. Plus, Papermache, a version of Scared Famous (incorrectly labeled FF+) that's more complete, but not entirely, Underground with Function and I Love Her Still (like the 8-track I bought), the complete YAS DuDette, and something called "Welcome 2 Our World" are floating around on the net, so that's good news, although I won't be happy until I have absolutely everything.

For those of you wondering what was up with that whole "Haunted Graffiti" thing, it turns out it isn't as cryptic as you would believe. It was a numbering system invented around 1998 for Underground for Ariel to keep track of stuff, and not necessarily anyone else. Because this is also roughly the times when the band formed (Gary War, John Maus, and Tim Koh), it was also used as a name for this group of backers, all of whom were doing other things as well, which seemed like a good idea to seperate Ariel Pink from the "band" asthetic which didn't technically apply to the recordings.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and I still haven't gotten over not being able to see the "real" haunted graffiti. Not that I don't like Aaron and Kenny or anything, it's just... like seeing bauhaus play with a couple of guys you've never heard of playing in place of Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins.

And this thing about it being a planned group of 10 releases? Not so much. According to Ariel, Before Today can be considered 10 if you want to, but really, because it is so different from everything before it, it should be counted as 1 in... I guess just how many 4AD albums they have. This prompts the question "Well then what the hell was HG#9?" To me this seemed obvious, as the only thing it could really be is Odds + Sods (Vol. 1), and this was later confirmed. So we have the base 8 where somehow the idea that there was 10 got out, a bunch of loosely catalogued singles and EPs from the time between getting signed and touring with Paw Tracks and losing Gary and John during which many stuff is culled from the past as well as perhaps things that are new (and really, it's hard to tell, he could have gotten by without writing a single new song for 6 years, but I seriously doubt he did that, given how prolific he is) culminating in a new release of back-logged stuff that seems new to everyone who doesn't live in L.A. Then some wierd, in-studio non-lo-fi (what do you even call that?) singles, and finally another album, which doubles as the end of the HG series and beginning of... something else.

To reiterate, if you want Haunted Graffiti to go to 10, then they are:
1. Underground (1998)
2. The Doldrums (2000)
3. Scared Famous (2002)
4. FF>> (2002)
5. House Arrest (2002)
6. Lover Boy (2002)
7. Holy Shit! EP (2003) - Does this mean Stranded at Two Harbors is an HG? Probably not.
8. Worn Copy (2003)
9. Oddities Sodomies Vol. 1 (2008)
10. Before Today (2008)

Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash & Burn: Pre can count as 0, as it's the only real "album" that predates the HG thing and has a (formerly) attainable release. As I said, Papermache/Attention!/Hum It In The Streets is out there, and in a configuration that contains "Track 16," the most mysterious Ariel Pink recording of all time by my count, and the reason he never gets to say "lo-fi wan't a choice" to me. But, for a more inclusive list, let's take a look at the early stuff as dictated by R. Stevie Moore himself:

1996 The Nile Ran pt. 1-11
1996-1998 "Various Gorilla" rehearsals + performances (with a bunch of guys I don't recognize. Not sure what this is supposed to mean)
1996 Kids on Drugs (cassette, RSM makes an important note that this "includes just like peter schilling," which I suppose is a song of note in his early career. Could this be the mysterious "Track 16?" Don't bet on it.
1996 Kraftwerk/Expirements (I'm guessing it's more of his early WS-esque sampling-to-it's-natural-conclusion nonsense plus some wacky cool shit like Rain or Equus, but not those songs, mind you)
1996 Dove
1997 Death Dorm 1-4 (compilation, so don't worry about this one)
1997 tape 1 (first new for '97, if we are to assume the list is complete, which it isn't)
1997 metamorfosi/INUMI
1997 Equus 1 & 3 (here we go, I know what this is. could be versions, much longer, or just the name and is missing the track called "Equus")
1997 Master 1 & 2 (related to Equus?)
1997 BIANCA LIVE/DEMOES (ariel in a glam-punk band, apparently they left for NY and ariel didn't follow.
1998 Hum It In The Streets/Paper Mache (thouroughly not a mystery anymore)
1998 Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash n' Burn + Pre (note here the "&" is an "n'" and the colon becomes a plus sign. This is called a compilation on RSM's site, so I'm guessing the tracks are identical to the HEM release, meaning I don't know where each song actually comes from, so I could potentially have all of "tape 1" and just not know it)
1998 Gorilla Live 1 + Solo CD (Gorilla must have been a loose collection of people playing, roughly, as a group, sort of like Psycho Mental Terrorists, or PMT, or whatever name they decided to use that week. Here begins a series of releases from them... I guess?)
1998 Unreleased Gorilla tape (then why is it here?)
1998 GORILLA 2 CD
1998 Appleasians Vaults (another group of releases this time refering to "Appleasians." Could it be another band Ariel was in? I don't know, but it was clearly a unified concept sometime in early-to-mid 1998)
1998 Appleasians Greatest Hits CD (all they have is the vaults and a best of? Where is this coming from?)
1998 Appleasians LIVE / The Birth of Haunted Graffiti DEMOES CD (this is intriguing. Is Applesasians the fore-runner of what would become the Haunted Graffiti? Was HG originally a project under the Appleasians name? Was Appleasians an unrelated concept that failed to take off because Ariel left to pursue said haunted graffiti? If so, is there a parallel universe where APPLEASIANS, and not APHG, have rendered all past and future attempts at music obsolete? Many questions remain unanswered)
1998 Haunted Graffiti - Cemetaries/Railrods first album CD (C/R is called "crash crash on the drummer" on subsequent releases. This is interesting because it is the first in a group of releases named after well known APHG songs. As an album, this is likely a stripped down version of Underground)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Underground Double CD (17 tracks can fit onto one CD, so I'm wondering what the other junk is. Judging from the rest f the list, Phantasm and Young Pilot Astray may show up, and in fact the addendum to the Doldrums CD, called Vital Pink, may be around this group and showed up there in case Underground never saw print from paw tracks, hence "Vital Pink.")
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Spires in the Snow EP CD (can't be anything surprising here)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Phantasm EP (or here)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Young Pilot Astray + Phantasm EP CD (again, nothing new)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums Sessions CD (the idea of Ariel Pink sitting around in a studio saying stuff like "that take was good, let's hear that back" while sitting around a sound booth and listening intently is hilarious to me, although one must assume he did this for Before Today)
2000 Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums CD (and now we have entered fully modern APHG territory)
2000 STEVIEPINK - Ariel Pink + R. Stevie Moore (this one is listed as an upcoming CD, but the only real evidence we have of this genuine collab happening is, well, Stevie Pink. That showed up later, alongside RSM's Brain, on Scared Famous, and then after that on either Papergutz or YAS DuDette. So this thing may not even be a thing)
2000 Ariel Pink w/ Rebecca Lynn Excuse Live VIDEO (not even sure how to interpret this)
2000 Ariel Pink - Safeguards from Home (Thanx Mama, I'm Dead) VIDEO (so, uh, SfH shows up later on Odds + Sods, I don't why in the hell... just forget it)
2000 Mother of God + Orange S*NS - LIVE (I have no clue, but since APHG was in full swing by this time, I'm not sure it will ever become a concern, and it seems to me as if this was a one-off gig of some conglomerate L.A. bands that then dissapeared to time)

We also have "Welcome 2 Our World," most of which I've never heard of before, but happens to have alot of tracks listed as a tracklist for a version of YAS DuDette (like hold your breath and wait and nighttime is great). There is an extended list on the wikipedia page (ironic as they usual omit information) but this is merely things that are track-down-able at there original release dates, like the other HG#'s and the other junk.

I've also got something called papergutz (which is... I don't know) and an "untitled CD-R" which has Omen and a shit load of stuff with no name that I haven't heard on ANYTHING else, and some of it is purposefully hi-fi (like New Trumets sort of is, and some even in the style of the enigmatic "track 16")

Now, after Paw Tracks, the genuinely obtainable Ariel Pink begins to show up, this was:

2004 The Doldrums (Paw Tracks, CD)
2005 Worn Copy (Paw Tracks, CD)
2006 House Arrest (Paw Tracks, CD)
2006 Lover Boy (CD on... Ballbearings something? My LP is by Cooler Cat, and that's all I know, but the CD has an extra live track called "You Are My Angel" that I've never seen or heard anywhere else, so it's kinda important)
2006 Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash & Burn: Pre (Human Ear Music's direct reissue of an old compilation of even older stuff. You NEED this, so HEM's... dissolving has become a pretty big pain in the ass for me)
2006 Stranded at Two Harbors (the Holy Shit! album)
2007 Underground (this version omits Function and I Love Her Still... unlike the 8-track)
2007 Scared Famous/FF>> (by HEM, CD, called the "West Coast Tour Edition," it is a hodge-podge mix of material from both albums, omitting much of the best songs. And while FF>> has since been saved by a Vinyl release (from what I can only assume is Cooler Cats), SF still languishes, although Privacy, Deathcrush 99, Birds in My Tree, and Shedon'tknow-Whattodowithherself are out there if you look)
2008 Oddities Sodomies Vol. 1
2010 Before Today (4AD LP & CD)

After this started up, a number of various releases showed up at shows, and it's pretty much common custom to snatch anything you don't recognize, because you won't find it later.

2005:
Pedestrian Pop Hits - A joke? See, because it's one really long track that is anything but a pedestrian pop hit. Very cool, find it if you can. If you give up it's in the torrent, and due to it's length it would need to appear on it's own, so don't expect to see it pop up again soon.

2006:
Ariel Friedman EP - All of the songs here seem to be new, and only Facts of Destiny and Ariel (Friedman) show up on anything else. Which is a shame, because Choose to Loose rules the schools.

Gates of Zion/Ghosts - an Australian tour goody. Gates of Zion is obviously new for this record, and the Ghosts track seems to be cleaned up, it may be a new recording or simply tweaked, it's hard to tell. If you don't live in australia and don't have a time machine, no worries, both tracks are on youtube. "Gates," by the by, is fantastic and simply needs to be put on something a little more accesible than an Australian-only tour exclusive.

Witchunt Suite for WWIII - the closest Ariel is ever going to get to social commentary, and some of the coolest shit he's ever done. This masterpiece, in two parts totalling about 20 minutes, have a habit of popping up in different places, including some of the iterations of YAS DuDette, under a couple of different names. There's a good chance you can get these, if not actually being put on an album (they are not, unfortunately, on Odds + Sods).

My Molly EP - Really important. My Molly is out now on the vinyl FF>>, The Bottom is on Odds + Sods, both and gox2 are on YAS DuDette, but Rock Play appears no where else. This is a crime, because My Molly is pretty much the perfect song. You will end up with these if you're doing it right, but it's something to keep you're finger on.

2007:
YAS DuDette - this is extremely important, and a more or less "full" version is out there, so get it. YAS was a our only deal, and I'm not sure what the full tracklist is, but there is one I've found from a blog or something that pretty much includes... everything. This thing is just begging for a rerelease as "Oddities Sodomies Vol. 2." Are you listening, Ariel? You need to do this one right.

2008:
Live at Pacific Palace Aids - a real thing, but I know next to nothing about it.

Can't Hear My Eyes/Evolution's a Lie - The first clue that something was up for me, because, as I have stated, I don't live in Australia. That's cool though, because Gates is more properly "HG9" era than Before Today era. This was a genuine new song with a genuine re-recording b-side. I don't understand why "Revolution" became "Evolution," especially considering it makes him look like a crazy person from uneducated eyes, but the title reverted to it's original form for the album (and what might be a re-re-recording)

2009:
Round and Round/Mistaken Wedding - It was a mistake not to put the b-side, which has it's own video, on the album. Whatever, I'm not buying a single for one song, so your loss.

Cooler Cat 7" - This one is a little less ignorable, though. It has Flashback (which does not appear on Before Today), Reminisces (which does), Rama Ya (which is the first recording released of a song the band is heard rehearsing in a video from 2007 or so, but is not on BT), and Phantasma (a longer name for a re-recording that does not show up on BT, but was already on Odds + Sods, so big deal). This one is pretty important, and there are apparently still some out there? I can't order shit online so I wouldn't know, but there is still alot of interest in it at least.

Grandes Exitos - isn't it just like Ariel to make a best of... and then turn it into a "you had to be there" tour only fiasco? Well, this is one I can safely not give a shit about. I'm more worried about...

Kind of Kind/RSM's Brain - Not only is this the second best (My Molly was a kick ass idea) idea for a APHG single, but it's only the B-SIDE of a song that I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD!!! This one is driving me insane, because I had the chance to see him in 2009, but it fell apart when I couldn't get a fucking ride to Hailey's. Total Bullshit, man. And now it's like it never even existed! Look, if Gates of fucking Zion can find it's way to youtube, why the hell can't Kind of Kind, which is COMPLETELY NEW!!!

It just pisses me off, is all.

There is undoubtedly more crap too, but thinking about it gives me a headache.

10.21.2010

Yog-Sothothery: Family Tree of the "Gods"

Shuma-Gorath. A name-drop by REH fleshed out not by another mythos author, but by Marvel comics. Sure, it LOOKS like a rip-off of Cyaegha, but it his first comic appearance predates "Darkness, My Name Is." Of course, fingers are pointed by clueless fans of "that racist asshole," HPL, but to say a tentacled eye is an inspired idea is the statement of a fucking idiot. Hence, there are three of these fucking things: Cyaegha, Othuyeg, and Shuma-Gorath. There is actually a fourth, black with a red eye, created by Duane W. Rimel that is summoned by free jazz, but thats a whole other issue.

 First, some definitions:

THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, Ver. 1: This term NEVER EXISTED until Derleth came up with it. These "Cthulhu Mythos" are the strict, "I get to tell you what counts" kind that created the elemental system and had the elder gods actually mean something. During the ascension of Ramsey Campbell (who just wrote stories and ignored the over-arching implications of his additions to the "mythos" and therefore avoided the issue all-together), Brian Lumley, and Lin Carter, Derleth's great wisdom was assumed to be right, and Lin and Brian (BL, of course, is just awful anyways, his blind faith in this obsurd vision of the "mythos" isn't what made his stories awful, but it didn't help) added to the existing framework, and this then became the evolved Cthulhu Mythos. But then, trouble was a-brewin'.

THE DERLETH MYTHOS: Sos some guise figure that maybe Derleth was a bit off his rocker with the Pokemon-style attribute types thing, among others, and rebuttled basically all of the framework he had set up in order to organize his "Cthulhu Mythos." When the artificial infrastructure of what, up until then, had been seriously considered the geniune canon (shudder) collapsed, that pre-existing set of traditions has been called the "Derleth Mythos." Tierney was one of the guys who pressed this notion. Because of this, Lin and Brian sort of stuck to their guns, and RLT definitely USED the Derleth Mythos as it's own developed mythology, but after this generation the Derleth Mythos becomes a stagnant group of stories decribing the parts invented by Derleth that have fallen out of use because they're just too silly.

TIERNEY GNOSTIC MYTHOS: Tierney set up this name, half as a way to make fun of the "Mythos Wars," in which he used aspects from any cosmology he could think of, and just lumping them all together. For simplification's sake, this is just how RLT refered to Yog-Sothothery, which I haven't gotten to yet, so don't worry about it.

THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, Ver. 2: This is what is widely considered to be the "real" mythos, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Really, it does a good job of connecting all the stories with minimal inventions, but the problems with this iteration of the "mythos" are: 1.) It invents systems that were not there before, just like the last version/Derleth Mythos. These are not as bad as the elemental thing, and in many cases to actually seem to be the rule, but, as we know, no two people see Yog-Sothothery the same way, and there WILL BE inconsistincies. Hence, inventing anything as a rule for all the stories is foolish. 2.) Canon. First of all, no human being should have the balls to say "it doesn't count" ever, let alone with something with only the absence of an infrastructure to unite it. Whenever you say "this IS mythos" or "this ISN'T mythos," thats when you know somebody fucked up big time. It shouldn't need to be said, ever, whether or not a story has anything to do with GOOs and OGs, as whenever there is doubt, it's usually about a very obviously mythos story that doesn't bother to make direct references because not all authors can be bothered to stop the narrative to write down a list of stupid sounding names. The founders of the new mythos are still making a judgment statement about what the mythos is instead of letting it speak for itself, which is, again, the exact same problem the Derleth Mythos had. 3.) This is a big one now, because actual mythos literature has completely moved away from the Cthulhu Mythos and back into a normal setting (thanks to people like Robert M. Price, and... all the other new guys), but all the last holdouts on the outdated "mythos" crap don't write stories anymore. Scott David Aniolowski and his cronies write for, get this, the tabletop rpg "Call of Cthulhu." Yeah, thats right. They no longer contribute, and yet their stupid non-game is more influential to the general mythos audience tham RMP, DC, JA, RAL, SCS, TL, or whoever else is out there fighting the good fight. Video games count because they are, like literature, artistic CREATIONS, where not only a narrative, but a branching, interactive narrative must be constructed along with the visuals and the soundtrack, but a tabletop rpg is a bunch of numbers, doesn't do anything for you, and it doesn't matter if you even read the rules, because it's just a bunch of nerds sitting at a table pretending to be clerics. So, you know what? Fuck 'em.

THE HASTUR MYTHOS: This is a YS like subset of mythos that concern only and EVERY iteration of the big H there has ever been. Again, the contradictions and implications of connecting everything from El Viento to the Darkover series makes just this little subsection more Yog-Sothothery-y than the relatively boring and uninventive Cthulhu. Hastur, it seems, is FAR more interesting than most thing. Consequently, he is one of my favorites (and one of the reasons yellow is my favorite color.)

YOG-SOTHOTHERY: Now, this is what you probably think that the "Cthulhu Mythos" means. What Lovecraft wanted to do was to create an "artificial mythology" that worked like one of our older pre-modern pantheons, but invented so that there would be no source, just a bunch of recurring alien names that you swear you've seen somewhere before, but haunt you only in the misty veil of dreams. In the beginning, this pretty much meant everything HPL, REH, FBL, and CAS ever wrote, plus occasional little tales from E. Hoffman Price, Richard F. Searight, and Donald Wandrei. It wasn't until Derleth did his Zhar and Lloigor tale in 1932 that the notion of any sort of organization was seriously entertained. The family tree, which I am going to get to, I swear, is just an example of conventionalizing Yog-Sothothery (the name HPL used to refer to his artificial mythology, and NOT a pre-existing infrastructure with rules and regulations) to make it MORE LIKE an older, more established mythology. Of course, these guys love them some monsters, so they were taken to heart by all means, but the intent is what is important. How many other modern mythologies have freakin' family trees? Godzilla-Minya/Biollante (clone)-Space Godzilla, and that's it. Don't get me wrong, had HPL lived longer, there would have been much more deliberate meddling, but the point here is that we have four wildly different styles being used to describe the same thing in roughly equal terms without relying on consistencies, because the whole point was to make it like a pre-human fragmentary myth-cycle, which would be by it's very nature quite confusing. This mythology is all-inclusive, and is supposed to be used as a setting or compliment to the setting. There are no rules, only suggestions.

Bugg-Shash. Monster from a story by David Sutton about a fictional industrial/expiremental/dadaist/psychedelic/apocalyptic-folk record from the late 1970's that, when played, summons said monster. It was awesome, but then Brian Lumley wrote a sequel and fucking ruined it. He DID give it a name, and made it the cousin of Yibb-Tstll, so at least we got something out of it.

So about the family tree:
1. For the most part, the relationships are infered by titles created by cultists, and therefore speculation. That said, until we get a back story from a more reliable POV, this is all we have to go on.
2. Great Old Ones are contained within a single universe (in multiple dimensions, for sure, but ultimately one universe). They are subject to that universes physical laws and are therefore flawed versions of Outer Gods, and due to their instability, most can be killed with a blue flashlight (long story). Outer Gods, then, are like "multiversal cancers," which grow outside universes themselves. Fun fact: There are dimensions of "time-time" in objective reality evident in the fact that, somehow, there was a "before the big bang." This is big time super physics, though, and it would hurt most people's heads, and yet we have the math to prove it. Imagine then, how insane it is that Yog-Sothoth, who is coterminous with all (our) time and space, was born AFTER Azathoth, who is as old as our universe. True story. Outer Gods do not make sense as a rule.
3. The relationships and "begottings" are not literally "Cthulhu humps Idh-yaa," although sometimes they are. I feel I need to stress that the terms used in the tree are relative to these completely non-sensical creatures we are talking about because I constantly here the sentiment that making a tree is somehow "wrong" because a family tree is "anthropocentric." Now truly, what more insane statement can there be than that? Humans invented sexual reproduction? I don't fucking think so, dumbass. Welcome to Earth, bitch. Regardless, I said it, so there, happy?
4. The tree here is not devoid of thoeries. I have kept them to a minimum, and only where I really needed/could seamlessly and believably integrate it. I will point these out, though, so no worries.
5. Yog-Sothothery contradicts itself, sometimes on purpose. Cxaxukluth IS NOT Yeb, you moron, Lovecraft was being obtuse on purpose. Or, did you expect a racist to NOT be an asshole? Guess again, Lovecraft is a racist AND an asshole.

But enough, time for the tree!

Ghatanothoa, DONT LOOK AT HIM! This is when he fought Ultraman Tiga, turned the guy into stone, and then the children believed really hard and Tiga was revived some how in, I'm not joking, "Glitter Mode." Though the rpg lists him as 50 meters tall, Ultraman has him at a more respectable and imposing 200 meters. Ghatanothoa, if you'll remember, is a bad ass monster who can kill you if you look at him. I like the upside-down face, but otherwise this seems to be his "i'm bigger, but you can look at me for longer" form.

The tree starts with Mlandoth and Mril-Thorion. These two beings combine and split every eons of cycles and form new spawn, matter, and other things. In a creationist view, this is god, but anyone with a sufficient mythos % will tell you that infinity is infinite, and something had to create Mlandoth AND Mril-Thorion, plus they aren't responsible for everything.

I had an elaborate system here that explained the Half-Brother with the splitting and reforming. It happens like so:

SPLIT
Mlandoth forms Azathoth
Mril-Thorion forms Ubbo-Sathla
JOIN
They form the Half-Brother
SPLIT
Mlandoth forms Nyarlathotep
Mril-Thorion forms Yidhra
JOIN
They form Ngyr-Khorath, Ngyr-Khorath buds off (or whatever) 'Ymnar

The problem is that Nyarlathotep is said by HPL to be the son of Azathoth, and Yidhra the daughter of Ubbo-Sathla. This directly contradicts the Necronomicon, and I would hate to think that Donald Tyson didn't do ENOUGH research when he made Nya and Aza best bros, but that seems to be the case.

But then what about the Half-Brother? Nyarlat has one parent, and I can't for the life of me think of any other thing Azathoth would "screw" to make Nyarlat's 1/2 bro. Maybe a human or otherwise mortal cultist is the only possible thing, which would match up with the Half-Brother being some insane malformed worthless piece of shit who does nothing but kill whatever Nyarlathotep sends it to. In this revision, we have one split (Azathoth and Ubbo-Sathla) and one join (Ngyr-Khorath).

A perfect image of Hastur, feaster from afar for sure, and possibly the form that lurks beneath the lake of Hali in, uh, that one timeline. In the Darkover timeline, it is for sure the dragon, but I don't think they know that yet. This is his default "monster" form, while the dragon is kind of a special thing.

AZATHOTH
Via Binary Fission:*
Nameless Mist/Nyog'Sothep/Magnum Inominandum
Nyarlathotep
Night/Drog-N'Lyth/Magnum Tenebrosum
By a fissionary/budding process:
Tulzscha
Tru'nembra
Suc'Naath
Singer from Dhol
Mantorok?
Cxaxukluth
Cthalpa?
Yibb-Tstll
Ghroth
Ogdru Jahad
Anything else in the court
By "Seed of Azathoth":
Dho-Spawn
Xathagorra
Everything else, like Ghadamon, is from the rpg, and doesn't count (boo-yaa!)
From boning some cultist:
Nyarlathotep's Half-Brother

*These three are different, and we know Ubbo spawn GOOs when he splits, while Aza uses "seeds," so just reverse it to set Nyarlat, Night, and Mist apart from the court. This might even make Half-Brother just a bud and not a binary fission thing, but, eh.

UBBO-SATHLA
Normal fissionary process:
Abhoth
Hydra?
Many-Thing?
Binary Fission (opposite of Azathoth, when he splits he forms GOOs):*
Zathog
Inpesca
Shudde M'ell
Nyogtha
Bugg-Shash
Zuchequon
Han
Through Spawn-Based Descent:**
Yidhra
Yig
Chaugnar-Faugn

*Shudde M'ell is said to be the child of Ubbo-Sathla via binary fission, which is more specific than Lumley really needed to be. But since he was, it sets up why Ubbo has more GOO kids than OG ones, because he split first, than bud off the spawn, then...
** Ubbo-Sathla is said to be indirectly responsible for all life on Earth, which is obviously untrue unless you're already insane. The story goes that the Elder Things (Old Ones) created Shoggoths and Earthlings by playing with the tissue of Ubbo's spawn, hence why he's on Earth in the first place. By extension, this make Chaugnar-Faugn and Yidhra the children of Ubbo. Yig is also there, but I don't have a direct source, so I don't know why. Yidhra is Ubbo's Nyarla, so the theme makes sense, it's just not the case. Either way, Ubbo is STILL responsible for these three, if not Earthlings. Whoops, I mean "NOT Earthlings."

Shubbie in her "tree" form. Fun fact: it's supposed to have three heads and WAY more legs than that. Isn't she pretty?

MIST - Yog-Sothoth, Yad-Thaddag, Noth-Yidik?, Daoloth??, Crimson Queen
Yad-Thaddag's family beyond being the Kthanid clone of Yog isn't spelled out. I would guess other "elder gods," like Nodens, Isis, Vorvadoss, N'tse-Kaambl, and Bast(?) somehow spawn from him.
Noth-Yidik mated with Chthon (K'thun) to produce the Hounds of Tindalos, which is wierd, and may mean they made a being that spawned them, or Noth spawned them, and had another kid with Chthon, and the two got confused.
The crimson queen mothered Los, the crimson king, with a human, who is also the father of the guy from the Dark Tower books. She came from the mists that are beyond reality or whatever the fuck. He's silmutaneously referencing his older story with the nameless mist, connecting the two, which is cool. Cooler than anything that guy's ever written.
NYARLATHOTEP mates with Yhoundeh - Sebek, Mary/Masked Mute, Lurker in the Star Pools
Someone even says in the comic about Mary (which isn't her real name) that they don't think it works like that. Nyarla is way too human for his own good, though, and they basically smash you over the head with it (both Mary and Nyarlathotep tell the audience this themselves several times), so it stays. Mary is better than Sebek anyways.
NIGHT - Shub-Niggurath, Ycnagnnisssz, Tsalal
The first of the Xoth pairings, the Xoth system was the true eden for Outer Gods/GOOs. Ycnag and Shub have a presence at the same time, implying Night is somehow involved (the timeline is really involved, but I waded through it so you wouldn't have to, Ycnag is VERY important to the timing of events on the Xothic system, so we know more about her "family" than we do about her!).
Tsalal is the darkness behind reality, or whatever, but it isn't Night, so, naturally, it's one of the children of the Night (heheh).
Ycnagnnisssz - Zstylzhemghi, Idh-yaa, Baoht Z'uqqa-Mogg
Idh-yaa is like, duh, and Baoht, while not technically counting, needs to be there for the whole Shaggai thing to go down in the larger picture, since the Shan ARE it's progeny, and the Shan absolutely count.
Zstylzhemghi w/ Ghisguth - Vulthoom, Tsathoggua
Vulthoom - E'ilor/Green God?
Tsathoggua w/ Shathak - Golgoroth, Zvilpoggua
Golgoroth - Thog
Zvilpoggua - Sfatlicllp
Sfatlicllp w/ Voormis - Knygathin-Zhaum
Idh-yaa w/ Cthulhu - Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha, Zoth-Ommog, Cthylla
Ythogtha - Othuum?
Zoth-Ommog - Ubb
Cthylla (artificial insemination with a balloon robot) - Cthynhi
Tsalal - Cyaegha, Othuyeg, Shuma-Gorath, Free-Jazz Cyaegha*
*Until someone acknowledges that Duane Rimel created Cyaegha first, I'm counting it as a different monster.

YOG-SOTHOTH - Hastur, (w/ Lavinna Whateley) Son of Yog, Wilbur Whateley
Yog-Sothoth + Shub-Niggurath - Nug, Yeb
Yog-Sothoth + Nug - Cthulhu, Kthanid, Kassogtha
Cthulhu (via mutating influence on Deep One child) - Dagon
Cthulhu (blood on the floor) - Rhogog
Cthulhu w/ Kassogtha - Nctosa, Nctolhu
Yeb - Mnomquah, Groth-golka
See, originally I thought Golgoroth and Groth-golka were bros, and to facilitate HPL's idea of Cthulhu and Tsathoggua being cousins, I put a Tsathoggua LIKE thing under Yeb. Turns out Gol is Tsath's son. Then I found out Mnomquah was Groth-golka's brother, not Golgoroth, but there was no reference to their parent(s), hence, I just left them there.
Mnomquah w/ Oorn - Bokrug
GOOs aren't like humans, they don't see "sex" as an activity, because it isn't, as far as we know. There's no telling HOW they get it on, and I don't care to know. So, it wouldn't make sense to have a mate unless you spawned something. Mnomquah lives on the moon, Ibians came from the moon, and so did the Ibian-like beings of the Nameless City, plus Bokrug looks like Mnomquah, so done deal.

SHUB-NIGGURATH - Beast of Babylon, Chthon?
Shub-Niggurath + Yig - Byatis
Shub-Niggurath + Hastur - Zhar, Lloigor, and Ithaqua, and an unnamed tripl... oh, whoops, you can't have a tiplet if it's THE FOURTH CHILD you fucking morons. ITHAQUA is the triplet. Get over it, damn.
Shub-Niggurath w/ Human - Mother of Pus (I know, it shouldn't count but it's just so cool sounding)

Tulzscha - Cthugha
This has been just assumed forever, there's no reason not to just come out and say it.
Cthugha - Fthaggua, Aphoom-Zhah
Aphoom-Zhah - Rhan-Tegoth, Gnoph-Kehs
OR
Aphoom-Zhah - Rhan-Tegoth
Rhan-Tegoth - Gnoph-Kehs, Voorm (not even a real thing)
I've seen it both ways with no confirmation either way in anything I've read. So, there.
Cxaxukluth - Hziulqouigmnzhah, Ghisguth/Ghizguth
Ghisguth w/ Zstylzhemghi - we've been over this
Cthalpa - Denderrah, Chthon?, Shterot (Denderrah isn't stated as, but just to simplify)
About Chthon: isn't given a source by LC, used as one of Shubbie's generals in Quake, is an actual lava-man, so associations with Shub and Cthalpa are obvious. Not known if either is the parent, or which one takes precedence, since one didn't get Shub right and the other is a french rpg supplement.
Mantorok - Ulyaoth, Xel'lotath, Chattur'gha (again, simplify)
Ogdru Jahad - Sadu-Hem/Behemoth, Urgo-Hem, Katha-Hem, Conqueror Worm, Sammael
Sammael is the spawn of Nergal specifically, none of the others are given a "component parent."

ABHOTH - Atlach-Nacha, Zyhume
Zyhume - Yhoundeh
Yhoundeh w/ Nyaralthotep - we know already
Many-Thing - Red Flux (lives in Many's dimension, duh)
Yig - Coatlicue, Set
Yig w/ Shub - covered
YIDHRA w/ Yig - Ayi'ig (how did they ever think of that name?)

A perfect image of Tsathoggua. Except... well, he's missing some toad legs, and I don't think he has that many eyes, but everything else is 100% perfect. You forgot he was also a line with legs, didn't you?

Ngyr-Khorath - 'Ymnar

Oorn, Shathak, and Sysyphyx don't have a parent. Sysy is from atlantis, Shathak must have met Tsath on Cykranosh, might be FROM Kythanil, and then took Zvil back there. Oorn... who cares?

Let's look at the list of non-grouped entities:
Ammutseba
Beast in the Pit (dream monster, might be glorified nightmare and not GOO, or literal nightmare, kin of Night)
Black Flying Thing from the Vale that REH Never Named
Cynothoglys (Mordiggian's son or vice versa would work, perhaps put them both under Yibb-Tstll)
Dweller in the Gulf (Some relation to Vulthoom? Could be associated with Lam, who is also from Mars)
Eihort (fuck if I know)
Glaaki
Y'golonac
Gith (so, you cut off the face of a jackal and then glowing eyes? what the hell?)
Gog-Hoor
Hoppwood Tenant (it NEEDS to be in the tree)
Iod
Juk-Shabb
Lam (might fit in around Hastur or Yog, associated with other martian monsters?)
M'Nagalah (and it's two bros, maybe tie into Mordiggian/Cyno, or straight from Azathoth)
Mordiggian (son of Cyno or vice versa, also Yibb, again)
Pharol
Quachil-Uttaus (sounds like a Yog-baby to me)
Q'yth-az (Daoloth? He got two question marks being Mist's kid, so even that wouldn't be much of a link)
Quumyagga (had to come from Nyarlathotep or another dream monster, HAD TO)
Rlim Shaikorth (arctic guy, son of Ithaqua maybe?)
Sedmelluq (ANTarctic guy, I really wanna say Ubbo-Sathla, maybe Rlim, or something from Yuggoth)
Sho-Gath
Sthood (another dream only one)
Summanus
Yegg-Ha
Tharapithia
The Beach (so weird, but I can't help but think it's more of an Ubbo thing than a spawn of Azathoth)
Yomagn'tho (some relation to Cthugha?)

More later? Don't bet on it.

10.10.2010

Why Sub-Zero Should Be a Cyborg


So, I just realized I haven't written anything about Mortal Kombat yet. Plus, now is a great time for that mess, because of on the count of how something really, REALLY cool is totally going to happen.

Now, for those who don't yet know, let me fill you in. The new Mortal Kombat game, which is just called Mortal Kombat for now, but it's unofficial title is Mortal Kombat 9 (and, unlike Silent Hill, this actually IS the 9th MK). I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "yeah, Sub-Zero vs. Superman was pretty cool, but without a gimmick, there's nothing to distract me from the fact that I'm playing a really horrible 3D fighting game that focuses on circle-strafing and stupid gay-assed punches in instead being an actual fighting game like, gee, I don't know, Mortal Kombat."

And you would be right to think that. Ever since 2000 there hasn't been a really "good" MK game. Sure, Armageddon was cool, and once again, Green Lantern smacking Scorpion with a giant hammer is awesome, but they all have two really big kinks in the gears (?): faggot-assed circle strafing and "fighting styles" which is a gay as hell way to add in characters with no actual powers. Or originality, but that's a whole other problem.

Basically, if they could just get back to where they left off, everything would be cool. That's what MK9 is all about.

And quite literally. When we last left our heroes (and villains), Armageddon's 60-something equally canon endings each affect the entire universe of that timeline, forever changing the history of classic rock. Raiden, who can now for some reason time travel, has gone back in time, or sent a message back in time, or something like that, in order to create a new timeline where... something else happens.

We don't really know the story yet, but the important part is that this is an ENTIRELY NEW TIMELINE restarting from the events of the first Mortal Kombat (the first game, not the first tournament).

So with this setting in mind, we need to establish two things: where we were story wise at this time in the original timeline, and what is going to or, dare I say it, already has changed in this new one.

The first one is easy: Both Sub-Zeros are still alive. Scorpion has yet to get his revenge. Liu Kang hasn't won the tournament for Earthrealm yet. Kano is still on the lam. Ermac is still a rumour. Other things. We've been here, but the interesting thing is that now we are going back to that time with all the retconned knowledge of the story in place, so, while Ermac was just a rumour in 1992, we now know that in-universe we secretly observing the first tournament. Cool shit like that.

And with this monkey wrench of the note from the future, shit is simply not going to go down the same way.

But here's the wierd thing: other than Sub-Zero the elder being alive still (which isn't a change at this point in the timeline anyways) nothing has actually changed yet. But Ed Boon assures us that things are going to get shook up. How? Well, one thing he said (or was said to have said, I never saw the interview, I read it, so there's room for doubt) was that characters were a cyborg in the original timeline may not be in this one, and vice versa.

But, we've already seen both Cyrax and Sektor (and I'm pretty sad about human Sektor, honestly, because human Cyrax would just use bombs and a net, but what made Sektor such a high ranking Lin Kuei? Did he literally carry a rocket launcher with him?), so that just leaves Smoke to be human, which is a given, because Smoke has to be a human for the game to not suck, which it clearly does not.

So who's the cyborg? Sub-Zero, of course! Remember, we aren't losing human Sub-Zero, because the older brother is still alive, so we get both human and cyborg Sub-Zeroes AND we get to include both brothers in the storyline in new ways that will alter how the drama will play out.

In some other words, it's really fucking cool.

And you can't really debate this without looking like a retard either. Noob's gone, and a vote for non-robot Sub Jr. is a vote for two human Sub-Zeroes, which is, as I just said, fucking retarded. Plus the other benefit is human Smoke which is also the only possible way that could go.

Really now, there is no other possibility. Killing baby Sub and making him Noob would be ridiculous and uninspired. Robot Sub? Awesome.

In other MK9 ninja news, we are also going to see Ruby/Scarlet for the first time. Ed sent out a photo of one of the character's legs, and it was a femal ninja-looking deal but wearing red. He also mentioned bringing back more rumours from the past games and substantiating them, like how he used to do back when Mortal Kombat was good.

So, Ruby is all but confirmed.

Also, another qoute mentions that if you had a favorite from MK-MK3, they're probably in. So no-brainers Jade and Ermac are all but in as well.

That brings the current ninja population to:
Sub-Zero
Scorpion
Reptile
Sektor
Mileena
Kitana
Cyrax
Cyber-Sub
Smoke
Ruby
Ermac
Jade

That's 12 ninjas. Unless there are more ninjas than non-ninjas in this game, which I don't think is likely, that's gonna be a metric shit ton of characters. Like, probably too many. Chameleon and Reiko were directly stated to not be present long ago, by the way. Not MUCH of a loss, but it won't be a complete ninja roster without them. Shao Khan is in though, and that's better than Reiko, really.

But, anywhichways, that's what I know about that. This, Splatterhouse, Silent Hill, and of course Bayonetta are going to break the camel's back on this and I'm going to need one of those stupid damned PS3s. More like PS$350, am I right?

Okay, so, uh, bye.

10.09.2010

Ruining Godzilla 29 a Full 2 Years Before Release

When I saw this poster, I squealed like a hysterical schoolgirl. For obvious reasons. It took a whole 5 minutes for me to go from "jonas brothers screaming" to "star wars nerd rage."

Remember Godzilla 29 and how cool it was going to be, and how it was totally going to be the movie Banno has been waiting to make for, like, 40 years? Yeah, well, guess what. Hollywood fucked it up already, and the film isn't due for another 2 years.

Yeah, I know, the poster looks so cool, and it was confirmed (like you NEED a confirmation) that Godzilla will be X-ing at least one other kaiju, but then they had to go and use the c-word.

So that's it then. Nevermind that Godzilla single handedly INVENTED special effects, or that CGI is a discredited trope that hasn't been used in a monster movie since... uh... Peter Jackson's King Kong (and we all know how THAT turned out...), or that the ability to use CGI as an enhancement to existing practical effects creating a whole new field of integrated technology that would have been Eiji Tsuburaya's dream come true and is responsible for some of the most gorgeous monster movies of all time (Silent Hill, GMM, AvP, any recent Werewolf movie, the new Gamera, etc.), and I guess it doesn't really matter that not only does the movie going audience despise the very idea of CGI characters in modern films, but the niche market a Godzilla film occupies hinges, uh... 100% of it's audience based on whether Godzilla is done practically or not, something that YOU'RE NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO ASK ABOUT!

This is non-negotiable. Fucking fix it or I walk on the franchise. I've been obsessed with Godzilla since I was 2, it was my one insane fanboy thing that I could really call my own, the one thing I got irrationally pissy about when the status quo was nudged a little (remember when they made King Ghidorah a good guy? Those were dangerous times to try and talk to me), and now I can't even have that.

Fuck you, Godzilla. Maybe it isn't too late to change my major. Looks like it's time to quit film school and drop the "armchair" from "armchair paleontologist."

Although, if Satsuma walks, then Godzilla himself is still cool, and we just have another GINO on our hands. That would be a very sad turn of events, but at least it means there is a better future to look forward too.

R.I.P. Godzilla (1954-2007)

P.S. It would be really nice of you to somehow rise from your grave just one more time, and get this "cgi" thing dealt with. Just sayin'.

10.05.2010

Deo Gratis Pro Ariel Pink

The only thing left is the inevitable cover bands. By the by, you CAN NOT have Submarine Yellow's Spooky Doodles. That's mine. I call dibs.

But really though, why are there other things? Do we really need them anymore? We've got Ariel Pink already, soooo...

And it's wierd, because I've never felt this way before. I mean, really, I'm done. I know that, logically, we are only at middle Ariel Pink, and the late is still to come, but I can't stretch my brain around in order to figure out what the hell possibly comes next. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe all those wild times in the 70's with acid and Boyd Rice burned me out, maybe I'm still bitter after the divorce, or perhaps this has something to do with one of those other believable things that I totally did, but I'm just done.

Recently, I've tracked down some Ariel Pink stuff from 1996-1998 and such much that, before today (heheh) I never even bothered to look for because, get this, I was too scared of what I might hear. Like, if the stuff he was choosing to allow us, the unwashed public, to hear was, uh, like THAT, then what were his obscure and gritty underground recordings like? The very concept gives me shivers, and the fact that there is SO MUCH, that not many have dared attempting to collect it, and that Helen, Suicide Notice, and Artifact are totally enough and now I can die, just makes the whole proposition of "the super old school" Ariel Pink so mind-numbingly overpowering that...

I can't quite say what I'm trying to say here.

But, so what happened is I did find some of this stuff, specifically Hum It In the Streets, first run Underground (crash is still cemeteries/railroads, 2 or 3 cut songs, no Until the Night Dies) from like 1998, the original Scared Famous or FF>>, I forget, but it's got the "lost tracks," a version of YAS DuDette with the 15 minute steviestorm broken down (kinkaid? I was calling it "love emporium" this whole time!) and some other goodies, and something called "Welcome to Our World" which I can't find on any discographies.

And, of course, my worst fears were realized. Crazy 90's Ariel Pink (from the inception of Hauntology, and while his industrial influences are MUCH more prevalent) is painfully perfect. Did you know he was doing hi-fi in 1998? True story. The downloads are still around, so check this out to get them. Some of the tracks on this these things ARE on the accessible releases, but then, it would be wierd for me to assume you don't already have Underground or Oddities Sodomies Vol. 1 (where is vol. 2 already?). That, plus, being a pirate is cool.

And I'm still very hesitant about listening to all this, I mean, if the oppurtunity arose again I would grab it in a heartbeat because I can't miss a single thing, but still, knowing now that my hunch was right and 96-99 (or so) was just as, and in many cases more cool that, say, something on paw tracks you can just up and buy.

And certainty is always more scary than a vague idea. You want haunted, you say? The muddy netherverse of Ariel Pink in the late 90's is officially the most haunting thing on the planet. Color me (yellow/pink/whatever) artistically sated, I just don't need anything else anymore.

As a wise man once said, "Originality is dead, long live variations on a theme."

That is the will of the Grand Council of Hauntology.

But this too was all but a part of Architeuthis's plan...

10.01.2010

There Are No Crazy People Anymore

I wrote about two half articles, one with Ariel Pink chords (turns out I'd gotten Artifact wrong, though, so no harm no foul, I guess, whatever that means) and one as a reaction to something Tricia (some girl who likes dinosaurs, art, and dinosaur art whose blog I read when I can) saying that, even though dinosaurs have feathers, they don't have TOO MANY feathers, which is a damn lie and you know it. Peacock. End of story.

But as I was driving back from not finding the location of the shoot for Preacher's Daughter, I was starting to feel really uncomfortable. We're shooting out in Alvin, which is a little podunk hick suburb where they still fly confedrate flags. Now, I'm omnigendered (as in, all of them), and to the Nth degree at that, and while that may not seem like a very big deal in a time when most people are well-adjusted, multi-faceted, complicated individuals with copmlex feelings and personalities that can not be represented by a shallow, superficial system such as gender roles that haven't been updated since the 1950's, it does make me a tomgirl. Hillbillies, you may have heard, are among the last remaining people who give a shit about these things, and they don't like it. So, driving 10 miles under the speed limit because of a spare an hour away from home in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere is disturbing to me. Of course, with all those extra genders, I can hide the feminine crap without pretending to be something I'm not... but having friends who can't hide things from the crazies (such as the black people, yeah, you forgot there were still racists didn't you? Yep, they're still around, just not in public anymore) doesn't make me sleep any easier.

And then I started thinking about the word "tomgirl." No one uses it. Why? It's like, one of my favorite words. You know tomboy, right? You probably had a best friend in elementary school who was a tomboy, right? Weren't they kick ass? Everybody loves tomboys. Tomgirl is like that to me, as it makes more sense than "trap," but still has a really positive connotation. I just... like it. But why isn't it ever used?

Then I was poking around on google and found this neat little blog called accepting dad, and a year old post with comments as recent as two months ago. It's called Tomgirls vs. Thing Without a Name, and it explains why tomgirl never really caught on... something I'm glad I didn't notice as a kid. But it also got me thinking about this same sentiment I keep HEARING (note: I'm hearing the sentiment only, keep this on file for later) but never seeing in... anywhere.

There is this idea among all us normal, non-crazy people that the crazies have infiltrated every aspect of society, that they control everything, and we all must bend to their unflinching hateful will. Turns out, this is dead wrong. Let me explain what I think happened to make everybody believe this with an analogy:

Let's say we have a group of 10 normal, sane people with different personalities, viewpoints, and whatever, but who all respect each other's right to be who they are. They are all holed up in this bar, and outside are like, 50 guys who hate all of our 10 bar guys for various reasons. 10 of the people outside manage to get into the bar. They start spouting all this hate, and things get tense. One of our 10 guys politely explains that, even though the 10 people in the bar are different, they get along with each other just fine, and they have no ill will towards the people on the outside either, but rather the conflict between them was entirely conceived by the people outside the bar. Moved to tears, 8 of the intruders decide to stay inside the bar, while the other 2, unable to tolerate any human being different from them in any way, storm outside to gather more of their hate-mongering army.

The score:
Drinking and having a good time and sharing ideas in an accepting atmosphere
18
Stubborn assholes who want to lynch anyone different from them
42

Now this goes on for a while. Gradually, it gets to the point where most of the people inside the bar can actually go outside and talk to the assholes, because they have been accepted for so long, or perhaps, were once part of the crowd of crazies, that the line between who is and isn't acceptable begins to blur. Now we have 42 people in the bar, and 18 people outside. Of the 42, 30 of them are free to wander without prejudice between the two groups. The jerks outside can no longer tell the difference, and for many of them, if they could, they wouldn't care. This leaves 12 people in the bar who are still paranoid about going outside, because a slightly larger group of people outside will be immediately able to tell that our 12 are part of the "unacceptable" group.

The score:
People inside the bar who will be immediately persecuted by the jerks outside
12
People who have an easy truce with the crazies, and/or can slip by them unnoticed
30
People still clinging to guns and religion
18

The parallels should be obvious, but this isn't the end. It turns out that about a third of the crazy people outside the bar are secretly just like the 12 who refuse to leave. Under the ruse of going into to get the infidels, these 6 go into the bar with no resistance whatsoever, admit everything, have a good cry, are immediately accepted for who they are by 42 other people, and of that group, 3 still decide to go back outside and continue to live a lie.

The score:
People who are staying in the bar to avoid prejudice, including the ones you just came in
15
People who are completely removed from the conflict at this point
30
People outside who really are fucking psychos
12
People who are pretending to be psychos because they are afraid of how their psycho buddies would react if they knew the truth
3

Now things get interesting. Our 15 people who would not leave the bar suddenly grow a pair, and with the protection of 30 (secretly 33) other guys, leave the bar, catch some flak from crazies, but go on and do other things with their lives. The 12 true psychos enter the bar, and the 3 pretenders say they'll catch up later. Now what happens? Well, those intolerant assholes are still out there. So, the 48 sane people (3 in cognito) get together in a park with a live band and have a big festival celebrating acceptance. It's kind of a gay party, but the band is good, so people enjoy it. One of the prominent leaders of the "sane-ies" gives a speech. He says he's proud of all these people who embrace who they are and refuse to comprimise, and that even though they all get alot of crap from the people around them, and it's hard to even go outside anymore, remember to stand tall and never back down from who you are, and all this other shit. Everyone agrees. People are jerks, but stick with it, and together we'll give our children a better future, or some nonsense.

Do you see what I'm getting at? These people all had to deal with being around the crazies for a good portion of their life, and, to them, jerks were always the majority. But the problem is we have have 48 of this sample group of 60 all in the same room talking about how they are not excepted by... 12 drunks in a bar who nobody likes.

And I'm not trivializing this, if you are one of those 12-15 people the other 12 simply can not tolerate, they will not be nice to you. But, remember, all you have to do is avoid one bar that, and I can not stress this enough, NOBODY goes to. Nobody.

I'm fully aware that in the bustling metropolis of Pieceofshitville, South Carolina, population 4, all kissin' cousins, there will be hell to pay if you are one of those 100 things that crazy people don't like. Thing is, I live in Houston, a pretty big city that's in south Texas. Yeah, Texas. So where the fuck is the discrimination? The looking askance? The unfair judgement of character based on any number of superficial criteria? It simply isn't here.

Because what's happened now is that we are all a huge population of completely sane people who don't bash each other for unimportant nonsense, but rather we are ALL so concerned about the rednecks under the bed that it actually unifies us. We hate those boogeymen, all of us, in the entire city. You know, wherever they are.

And I've given the jerks plenty of chances to make themselves known. Plus, I don't have the ability to associate with people of any type of crazy. Religious people, 9/11 conspiract theorists, racists, sexists, whatever-ists, Tea Partiers, drama professors, whatever, I can't deal with those people, so I walk away. I've met them, I know they are out there, but even then these people keep these feelings to themselves, so that you really need to befriend someone for a period of time before it comes out that they are actually unbalanced, because THEY are the ones who are discriminated against.

But what happens to me when I'm wearing a tomgirl outfit? Do I get called a fag by everybody and their dog? No, of course not. Most boys at school have a crush on me, true story. But I'm not saying this to brag, I'm getting to another point here, and it's about why the word "tomgirl" isn't used in the first place.

Now let's say you come across a tomgirl, and you assume that their life is an endless nightmare of persecution and you want to make sure you treat them with the respect any human being deserves (except, of course, drama professors). How do you address them? Who knows? Don't ask me, I certainly have no clue. Actually, no one does. What is considered polite? Further, with so many uneeded distinctions about why any given individual fills any given gender role or identity, how do you know the polite way to refer to that person?

We know that if it's a transexual, you use the pronouns that apply to the sex that person feels that they are. But then we already have subtle sexism at work, because why does a feminine gender role become the only diagnostic factor in identifying someone as a MtF transexual? That's fucking sexist right there, just because they feel as though they are a certain sex, doesn't mean they have to fill an outdated gender role based off of it.

But what if they do? Are they trying to hide their sex? Are they wearing a choker to conceal an adam's apple, or just because they thought it was pretty? Is it just an ugly woman? Or a hot woman with an unfortunate shoulder width and a sharper looking face? How can you tell? Can you ask them? Is that impolite? Should you assume they want to be female, or is that sexist too? Can you complement them on their outfit, or is that sexual harasment? Wow, if they're hot, were you gay for dudes this whole time?

And it's neat because you can actually see the wheels turning in people's heads as they struggle with how they are supposed to treat you, what's considered "right" and "wrong." The truth is there is no right or wrong yet, and the revelation that genders are fucking stupid in the first place has only started working into the mainstream public for the past 20 years or so. People aren't being rude on purpose, they just truly don't know what to say.

Because of this, "tomgirl" never gets used, or even thought of. It's funny, though, because there are no terms for primarily neutral or androgynous people. What would that even be? Tomperson for neutral and... tombowie? I don't even know. Plus, except for maybe connecting andros with hermaphrodites, N & A were not based on a sex, so EVERYONE who has a N/A gender identity or role is a tom-whatever.

And what about me? Sure, I've got an outfit for each one, but that just ignores the fact that I'm all of them depending on what mood I'm in. What do you call that? Tom-everything? The answer: you would ONLY come up with different nomenclature when I'm wearing a skirt + heels, because for some reason, being neutral, masculine, and androgynous doesn't really seem to warrant a special name, and THAT'S sexist.

But that's where we are right now. We are just now feeling our way around in a pretty murky area, and no one really knows the right way to handle it. Fine with me, because I don't really care about pronouns or whatever, but it creates an illusion of a cold an unfeeling world that refuses to accept who you are when the reality couldn't be further from that.

And really, that's the best kind of sexism. The I'm-so-nervous-I-don't-know-which-pronoun-to-use kind.

And one last thing: I don't want to make it seem like I'm ignoring the fact that some transgendered people (which, again, is EVERYONE, you neutral bastards) do live in the vicinity of genuinely crazy jackasses. They are out there, and they are Complete Monsters, but those people are in an unlucky situation, rather than me being in a lucky one. That's got to be a terrible situation, and believe me when I say that everyone (again, I do mean everyone) is on your side, and you need to get the hell out of there before you get hurt. But those people are the ones we need to be careful with our rhetoric with and do everything in our power to protect. Not me, I'm fine. It's the other guys who get put in a bad situation that you need to be helping.

And this is the last fucking time I'm doing this. I mean, really, it's over. The well meaning people are the only ones you can run into in your daily life who make shit look harder than it needs to be. Thanks for making a huge deal about nothing, but please, leave me the fuck alone. You're smothering me with your "well-meaningness." I ain't gay for dudes either, so no means no, you pig.

...I'm exaggerating in that last paragraph, but you can see what I'm getting at, right? You're making a mountain out of a molehill, and I'm not the one who wants to hear how "brave" you think I am.

Next time: Who the fuck am I kidding? Like I can keep track of junk.

9.19.2010

Exciting announcements

Parabuteo: makes Deinonychus look bad. It can fucking fly.

This is my favorite song (the list)
1. Balaur
2. Sagittarius
3. PARABUTEO*
4. Corvus
5. Kelenken or Argentavis, depending on which day of the week it is

* pushes Corvus down and confuses K&A.

When this dinosaur became my favorite dinosaur, I wrote the list, it sat on top.
For weeks it pushed the others down, down.
But I never reached the bottom of that list.
And I would cry and cry, cause it had lied and lied...

I could literally transcribe Ariel Pink all day (it isn't ACTUALLY hard), but I want to cover this properly, so let me get a good intro going here:

The endless bloodlust earthlings seem to have never ceases to scare the shit out of me. I'm already scared to death of Owls (they need to fucking calm down, that is too much power for such a small animal), but now I'm just finding out that hawks have actually taken it much further.

Let's review: raptors today can fly. Cut and print, they've already won the contest. But wait, they are the BEST at flying. Also, talons. Okay, so basically you've got an animal that doesn't "hunt" anymore, but just sort of goes grocery shopping, and spends the rest of it's life soaring through skies.

And this sort of "I've already won, so I'm just complacent now" attitude is shared with, you know, us. Raptors (not a real thing, I know, but I still use it even though it does not include Cariamae) have done with evolution what we've done with technology, and there are no worries anymore. Understandably, the pack hunting styles that were so popular in the Mesozoic are now dropped in favor of a quiet, reflective lifestyle befitting hermits and poets.

And really, pack hunting is an effort to make up for vulnerability in a long term battle. Deinonychosaurs (except Balaur) are way to frail to put up an extended physical battle with a ceratopsian, so they run in huge groups and take a hit and run approach, dividing the attention of the prey and exponentially increasing the safety of any given individual. Golden Eagles need no such strategy, they simply drop goats off cliffs.

That's why when I heard Parabuteo is a pack hunting, I realized "overkill" doesn't quite get across how ridiculously overpowered these things are.

But at the same time this sort of irritates me (Irritator... heheh) because it makes me realize how little I know about living dinosaurs. I'm ALWAYS finding out shit like this, because they don't tell you this in the schools, you've got to learn it on the streets, man. Like the secretary bird, I'm well aware that birds (see that other post, I'm not doing that again) have the first toe turned into a "perching" sort of deal, but I had no idea that a dinosaur actually used that claw as a weapon. It's like a Bayonettasaurus or something, it's awesome. PLUS it can fly.

But anyways, back to Ariel (R-real). So, to conclude the cliffhanger of a previous post, I asked Ariel what the hell was up with the HG numbering thing.

So, he says that it was just a way to keep track of the albums, which proves my half-jesting claim that even Ariel can't keep track of all his stuff, and also that there was nothing "planned" about it. As far as he's concerned, he says, Before Today (shades... away!) is HG#1, not 9 (although he did say something about there being 9 hg's... so I guess he's counting Thrash & Burn + Pre? Or he lost count, most likely).

So that's that. I want to mention that being in the presence of the one true god is not nerve racking at all. I mean I was so nervous (let's get nervous... groan) that I wouldn't be able to handle it and I'd get embarassingly star struck or something, but after startling the crap out of me by magically showing at the merch stand with any fanfare, everything went fine. It's like he exudes good vibes (10 points for guessing that reference) or something.

And this is the sentiment across the board. It makes me wonder what it would have been like to meet David Bowie in the mid-70's or Ian Curtis in the late 70's, or Peter Murphy in the early 80's... or Boyd Rice ever. I've heard from alot of people that've met Boyd that he's great in person, but I can't imagine meeting Ian in person would be a... fun... experience. With his career essentially being four years of foreshadowing, it sounds kind of depressing. But, I wasn't there, so I don't know. I also have this idea that Dave is probably a prick in real life, but this is probably just a result of the glamorous image he had (has), and as we all know, divas are bitches.

Thinking about being in the same room as Peter Murphy makes my head explode, and in the early 80's... Well, it is probably more significant now than it would've been then. I mean, even knowing that something very important was happening, it would have been hard to guess exactly how far reaching he and what he started would become. It's 2010 now, and he's still the king.

Thats really the best way to describe APHG right now: it isn't clear exactly how much the world is going to change because of this, but being right here in the thick of it while it's happening (okay, so it's middle APHG, and I missed Doldrums when it was new, but still) is... just a completely unbelievable feeling. I just keep comparing it in my head to being a punk/goth in the late 70's.

But, so my birthday is Nov. 10, and here is the schedule for that month:

Nov. 5 - Friday - Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti in Dallas
Nov. 6 - Saturday - Austin Fun Fun Fun Fest, WaVVes at 3:30, and Ariel Pink right after them
Nov. 7 - Sunday - Come back to Houston, Ariel Pink (and Tim Koh too!) plays at Fitzgerald's
Nov. 8 - day off, depending on how things go I may be leaving for Dallas (again) on this day because...
Nov. 9 - Tuesday - Legendary Pink Dots in Dallas 2/3 or the pink triad isn't bad
Nov. 10 - Wednesday - my actually birthday. Maybe a party or something if I'm back in Houston then
Nov. 11 - Thursday - have to be back in Houston by now, probably get some sleep
Nov. 12 - Friday - Tim & Eric at warehouse live (where I saw Times New Viking)

Bad ass week, eh? How do I pull this off? I haven't worked everything out in my head yet, but I have some ideas and contingency plans. If nothing else, I HAVE to see Ariel at all three texas dates.

I mean, you don't understand. I HAVE to see Ariel Pink. It's the law. The law of the pinkhead.

What else can I ramble on about?

- on Monday, the coming one (two days from now), I'll meet up at the commons with three other guys after cutting out of acting early and we'll try to figure out why we are there.
- My keyboard might have kicked it, and I'm trying not to think about it. If that asshole acting teacher screws with me again, I'm going all method with this little bit.
- I might be doing more Mr. Shmolen on Tuesday. I'm still having technical problems editing the existing footage.
- DOOM 4 didn't show at QuakeCon this year, so jokes on you, assholes.
- You know how they're playing that old Cake song on that one commercial? I've been inspired to make that outfit happen, but the "long jacket" jacket part of the equation sort of requires it to be cold. So, I might need to come up with another way to do it. Pictures will happen if I'm around a camera.
- Increased activity on social networking sites DOES NOT mean I am officially social networking. I just don't have the ability to concentrate on these little things for extended periods of time, and I'm not going to pretend I can. I could disappear for months in the blink of an eye, because real life (the objective reality kind) is much more interesting.
- Kevin made a book, and now it's selling in the actual bookstore. Did I mention I'm the best writer in the state at the very least? Yeah, he should expect some competition coming soon.
- I'm soooooooooo bored... (la, la la-la la)
- Of all the things I started I would actually like to write out my ideas for an Eddie based Silent Hill and a treatment of my own original idea. If I get around to it.
- On Ramona Gonzalez: I think I have a chance with this girl (oh, wait, she lives in Stupid-ifornia, so fuck it).
- We need pictures.

Francis Bacon painting from 1946... I hope. Does this look familiar? It should. God lives in this painting. True story. You know how even though the face changes, God's body always looks the same? This is where Masahiro got it from.


I can not tell you how many times I've tried to come up with a way to make this work. There are a few unimpressive efforts on the (very specialized) market, but none of them have what I'm really wanting to happen: not heel to flats, but 4" to 5"... to 6". Actually adjucting the height, not removing it. These look really cool though.


Silent Hill again? This is the album cover for the SH4 OST. Fun facts, that monster is quite obviously Conjurer, but do you notice the Sniffer Dogs? And how about those dead bodies? There are 21. Killing Machine is in there, and you can tell that's supposed to be Eileen. Super stylish.


A Space Jockey Alien. It is completely possible for the Jockey Alien to still be alive in the film timeline, as it wouldn't have died in the crash, and there were no other occupants around to kill it. I love that it's so fucking huge, but it doesn't make sense that there isn't a trunk. Of course, Alien 0rigins is bound to fix this. Oh yeah, and I'm already unhappy with the decision to let a director do two alien movies, as it breaks tradition, but as long as I get to see a Jockey Alien, it'll all be cool.


Minilla grows up. Proof that Minilla is not a natural Godzillsaurus, but rather born to already mutated Godzilla parents. That means that in the Heisei timeline, there are at least FOUR Godzillas: GI, GII, Junior, and the female Godzilla which has to exist in order for Minilla to exist in 2032. Yes, this is real concept art.


Bit of a spoiler. This is Mira as seen by Eddie, in his very own, special, non-canon "Dog" ending. The cannon ending, of course, is the UFO one.


Mabus, the third antichrist. Nostradamus is hilarious on his own, but combine him with crazy people and you get a never ending (sodaaaa... woah-o-woah...) source of entertainment. Everyone knows about Hister, but did you know how they got the first antichrist? They took Nay, Pau, and Loron, the names of three french towns, and decided that it was an anagram for NAPAULON ROY. Which, by the way, isn't "Napoleon," but close enough is spot on for these people.

*sigh* Fun fact: Mana not only collects creepy dolls for photo-shoots, but also was a pioneering Hauntologist back in the late 90's. Yep, back then Mana and Julian House used to get together on the weekends and play Atari and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. One thing lead to another... and that's how the Gamecube was concieved. I'm joking, of course, Julian doesn't drink.

Also, Mana's music isn't very good. Hence, no hauntology. Oh, one last thing:

From what I understand, these are honest to goodness glass slippers. This is a fucking terrible idea. Don't these idiots know that glass breaks? The very idea of these makes me feel like that one scene in May where she talks to a group of blind kids and the glass... thing with her doll shatters on the floor and THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE!!!

...this too was all a part of Architeuthis's plan.

All right, I'm sick of this now. Ima go figure out the chords for Ariel Pink songs now.

HEY! That's a good idea, I'll come back later and upload some chords! Huzzah!

9.18.2010

Words That Are Not Used Correctly

4. Amphicoelias (Ken C. resized him in '06, bigger than Godzilla MOST of the time)
3. Kelenken (Fuck the Mesozoic, take that Argentavis, Carnosaurs are overrated)
2. Balaur (duh)
1. TIANYULONG!!!!!!!!

Let it never be said that Tianyulong didn't change everything...

because, my god, Tianyulong changed everything... the world is so different now. Everytime I open my eyes now, the world just seems so... uninportant, you know? It's like, I already know the meaning of life, so what else is there? Only in this situation, the consequences are far more dire.

It's like... I don't know. I've never felt this way about an Ornithischian before. The emotions are just beyond my ability to deal with. I'm in a very vulnerable place right now, ever since Tianyulong changed everything forever.

I'm actually not being melodramatic. Tinayulong yanked my heart around like sheltered manchildren are confused by people like Mana and cartoon characters that are male but painfully attractive (because in a cartoon you can just fudge it). Which brings me to why I am suddenly motivated to write right now. (hehehe)

Mana is a hot mess. My one complaint: what the fuck is up with those shoes? He always wears like, 5 inch mary janes with a stupid looking three inch platform. It's like, it looks okay, but really, why bother? I like this her picture because he can rock that flat chest like nobody's business. His music, however, is somewhat okay at best.

Pop Quiz: What does the word gender mean?
a. I don't know
b. more polite way of saying sex
c. social and cultural constructs
d. the basis for all sexism

It's actually (d) as far as I'm concerned, but, of course, the real answer is (c). Now, next question:

What does sex mean?
a. Present tense sexual reproduction
b. Which end of that whole process you are on (male or female)
c. both of those
d. all of the above

The answer, of course, is (d). If you picked (c) you got it wrong. Sex applies only to sexual reproduction. As in, "gettin' it on." In this "whole process," you get two types of sex: ZW for female and WW for male (XY system in mammals, but who gives a shit about non-dinosaurs?), and the two have "interlocking" parts that bring all those nifty little gametes together and babies happen. There's more to the story, but I'm working towards a point here.

Sexual reproduction is great because, unlike the other kind, the chances for mutation are through the roof. Literally anything can go wrong at any time, and I'm not just talking about how the offspring have a combination of the genes of both parents, I mean the whole fucking system is just flimsy. I mean, really magnificently easy to produce mutant babies from beyond the grave. Like, having ZWZ and WWZ kids and shit, just a paper-thin disguise for a non-functioning system.

And just like the male and female ends of a RCA wire, there is always going to be some inherent sexual dimorphism. This is a simple unavoidable fact of life as a screwing organism. Dinosaurs, of course, don't stop there. Male dinosaurs are typically (haha, I mean always, I was just joking) dainty, gorgeous, and singularily attractive. The females are huge, drab, ugly, protect the kids, and are attracted TO the males, because they are all so fucking bueatiful. I humans, it is generally considered to be the opposite, although as I understand it, males can be attractive in their own way. I don't believe this, but I've heard sentiments that echo this sort of thing.

Okay, so what is gender then? Is your gender male or female? No, that's your sex. Just think back to buying cables at a Best Buy, male and female refer to different "parts," and the dinosaur fashion slaves are just born that way, but that isn't the rule for all sexual dimorphism. Sagittarius. 'Nuff said.

Is your head bleeding from the exposition hammer yet? Because if someone who doesn't know this is reading, I need to make sure people of all comprehension levels can understand what I'm saying.

Now, in humans, sexual dimorphism is very faint. Female's breasts get much larger at puberty because they are mammals, and thats where the milk goes. In mammals, the females have the milk, but, pay attention, before they reach puberty, they have the same chest as a male. The hips are also wider, because they have to squeeze a whole working womb in there. Beyond the stuff that absolutely has to differ in order for each sex to play out their role, the difference is so subtle that it isn't even worth mentioning here.

So everything you have been conditioned to believe in your culture, what the social norms are, fashion, personality, stereotypes, everything is created entirely BY that culture. Females aren't born wearing heels, that is something that is created by these cultural expectations, and this is what we call a "Gender Role" or "Gender Identity." Gender meaning which "role" or "identity" and individual posesses or identifies with.

It is commonly agreed that there are four accepted, basal, "component," or whatever the fuck you want to call them, genders. Masculine, Feminine, Androgynous, and Neutral/Asexual. Mas. and Fem. are the basis of sexism, they are stereotypes created by a specific culture that each sex is expected to conform to in order to be properly a "man" or "woman." Androgynous is sort of a mix of both, but with it's own set of rules, and neutral is, well, removed from the whole affair in the same way that atheists are removed from religion: instead of just saying "I don't have one," they say they are "neutral" because they fell that they have to check a box regardless of whether or not they support that system in the first place.

Now, this is all backstory. This is the year 2010, which was considered the future in early Megaman games. Genders are outdated, ridiculed, ignored, taken for granted, and played with. They no longer mean anything to the average person, because the average person is not a sexist, and has no reason to expect others to conform to a gender role because of their sex. There are, of course, crazy people, as well as the aforemention confused nerds who simply can't deal with a male being presented in a feminine way, not because they are sexist, but because it makes them question their own sexual orientation, which I think is hilarious, but I know plenty of people who don't share my affection for Mana.

Me? I don't want to have to pick, but I'm neutral. I say neutral and not "I don't have one" because I'm actually all of them to aproximately equal degress. I'm a future person (P.C.), and those things are beneath me. But genders are a big deal to me because I find them extremely interesting. Not as neat as dinosaurs, or course, but worthy of further study nonetheless.

And so while it is probably a good thing for the progression of civil rights, equality, and cultural respect that the word gender actually lose it's meaning altogether, but, like I said, this is kind of important to me. What is sad is that it's the year 2010, and I still see forms with "gender" being a field, and the answer choices being male or female, not actual genders. I rant about this all the fucking time, and so here I am, doing it again.

I have another thing I want to cover, but let me close this by saying that for the past hour or so I've been reading these blogs by weeaboos talking about some girls-only club that happened in 2008 or so. The consistently used the word gender and not sex, but the context was so flimsy that it could've gone either way. There were a couple of guys who would not disclose their "gender," confusing fans and foes alike, and sparking guessing games that are so full of obscure references to things I hate that I had a hard time understanding what the hell they were talking about.

What I did get from it is that, even though this clique is pretty shallow on the surface, not a one of them really gives a shit about what sex the others are. What they seem to be mildly interested in, you might have guessed, is what they call "traps," which are feminine males who squick out heterosexuals that can't tell the difference between a male and female. I actually read this one post where I guy actually went full on girly for a day (or so, whatever) in the interest of becoming a "trap," which some of the readers actually encouraged. This is fantastic, and if these are the males that culture breeds, then I want it to survive forever.

I'm going to post the link to what I'm talking about, but be warned that if you are easily squicked by tomgirls, you should not look at this. I'm extremely serious. It's a cool little thing, but please, one guy that I noticed is "following" me (fucking stalker) and whoever else stumbles on to this, click at your own risk. It might actually be NSFW, but it's probably just "gross." It's here.

And for the record, that's not how it works. Skirts are supposed to "puff out" on the side, not the front. You're fucking doing it wrong, poser. Plus, I hate your shoes, you don't to call yourself a "trap" if you're wearing flats, you moron. Flats suck = science fact. The socks are cool though. Plus, other than the obvious, it does come off as really pretty. So, good job.

This is accurate. It makes me feel all wierd inside, because, like, in my time (Cenozoic::Quarternary:Anthropocene), ALL dinosaurs are covered in feathers. We get skin impressions from dinosaurs much larger than the ones alive now, and science says that the "Elephant Effect" must be true. But, because of my frame of reference, this, an accurate rendering of a sub-adult Triceratops, just feels so wrong. I can't remember the artist's name, but it's on deviantart, so... there.

Now, enough crap. What you really came to here me bitch about is cladistics, isn't it? Here are some of my least favorite words: bird, reptile, fish, and bug. What do these words mean? Nothing, and thats the problem.

Let's get one thing straight: words that have only one meaning, that is, words that are defined by one academic discipline can not be given some arbitrary new meaning by someone who doesn't understand that discipline. What a word means, of course, is different from both connotation and popular phraseology, and this is where these words piss me off EVEN MORE that confusing gender and sex. I saved the best for last.

I'll close on dinosaurs, so I'll start outside Deuterostomates.

BUG
This word is my least favorite, even more than bird, because unlike the others, this word NEVER MEANT ANYTHING EVER. What is a bug?
Oh, you know, like insects and stuff.
Insects... and stuff? So, we're talking about out to Hexapods? Bug is a common name for hexapods?
Um... what? No, like creepy crawlies, you know, spiders and...
SPIDERS?! I though you said insects?
Yeah, those too.
So, spiders are... arachnids, then... shit, grouped up with myriapods, right? My arthropod tree is a little rusty, but I'm pretty sure you're telling me that "bug" is synonymous with "Arthopod."
No, creepy crawlies.
You're an idiot, now prepare to die.

Bottom line, polyphly doesn't even begin to describe this word. It means nothing. Next.

FISH
Fish and reptile are in the same boat, but fish has it worse, because "Pisces" hasn't been used in LINAEAN taxonomy since... like, the fucking 1700's or some shit. Now we have Chordates. "Fish," working backwards, would need to cover every animal that has "fish" in it's name that is actually a chordate, then. Because of hagfish, then, this goes to... Agnathans? Cephalochordata? Pretty far. I'm not a fish guy, so I don't know, but it covers far more than what you would think. But that's okay, because those guys are, essentially, fish, so it works out. The paraphly here is unbelievable, though. It's so thick you can taste it. I'm reasonably certain calling a tetrapod a "fish with legs" is pretty common, but the further you take it the more people you lose. I snuck up behind this lepidosaur and took it's legs, and then he's all "I'm a fish with legs," and I say "snake, you don't even HAVE legs!"

Like that. But fish has no agreed clade name, so, really, it's perfectly natural to question naming dinosaurs as fish, because, really, fish doesn't mean anything. It COULD be a real clade, but it isn't really used in any such way, and if it were, the connection would be tenuous, because, again, nothing even close to fish is used as a name early enough to catch the whole clade.

REPTILE
Reptile is a little different, because in the first Mortal Kombat, he had both Scorpion and Sub-Zero's moves, an attribute that was later adopted by Chameleon, who is not officially even labelled as a Zaterran.

Up until (very) recently, reptile was a real thing, and for what it's worth, it is still used (debateable, no one uses Linaean taxonomy) in that thing I just said. Of course, this is classically defined as turtles, lepidosaurs, crocodilians, and a number of extinct forms (including some, but not all, dinosaurs). The only way to make this work is to set reptile to the last common ancestor of all of these groups, which makes all tetrapods more derived than "amphibians" reptiles. Basically, Diapsids, Synapsids, and Anapsids.

And this means dinosaurs and mammals are reptiles. When humans looked at this transcribed cladogram, they had somehow decided that by some miracle, they don't count. So, for no fucking reason, reptiles are now "Amniotes," and mammal-like reptiles are not actually reptiles anymore, although I've always thought that name is redundant.

So they took reptile away, leaving it with a linaean (as in "not real") meaning. Obviously, it's paraphyletic. Hence, it means nothing, and isn't a real group. This pisses me off because the only reason the name changed is because a bunch of humans got their panties in a bunch because they don't like the CONNOTATION of being a reptile. The reptile clade is totally solid, it's just not called reptiles anymore. Doesn't make any damn sense.

BIRD
As a dinosaur (and I do mean theropod) guy, this one pisses me off the most. I'll preface this by saying that, despite all the bullshit, this word DOES have a stable and genuine meaning. Crown group dinosaurs are birds, but nothing else is.

Quick! What are the defining traits of a bird? Flight and feathers? Okay, since protofeathers, O-quills (a name I just invented) and pycnofibres are all essentially the same thing, does that mean all Ornithodirans are birds?

Nah, let's be fair. None of us where prepared for Tianyulong, so lets take it down a notch. You mean flying dinosaurs. Okay, thats paraves. Paraves covers it all. Problem is, "bird" was in use long before we had this shit sorted out, and paraves was very long in the making. Good news is, it has, most of the time, always included another maniraptoran group, and has included all of them at least once. So, should we back it up to maniraptoran because Oviraptors have a pygostyle? No need. Modern paraves fits our description pretty well. The most popular "non-bird birds" were always Deinonychosaurs anyways, and it's because they are, well, related.

But calling Troodon a bird is very sketchy. I mean, don't get me wrong, Deinonychosaurs get called birds all the fucking time, but it is not taken so literally, and a more conservative definition is preferd by the people doing the actual work, and like I said, they get to decide what the definition of a biology term is. So what is it a common name for?

Aves. Aves = Birds. Great starting place. Now, where do we put aves? The original definition is crown group + Archaeopteryx, but, as you should be aware, Archaeopteryx is just a basal parave that was never really held up to modern standards because suggesting it is anything other than a bird is heretical... even though it has a long tail, and no keel. This puts us back where we started, so we have to ignore Archaeopteryx.

Now we get to Avialians. This is already the name of the clade, and it means "bird-like," so not all Avialians can be birds. That's cool, because Scansoriopterygids have long bony tails, unlike true birds. This is the most acceptable crown group plus usage of bird, and many times Aves will be used as the clade that combines Confuciusornithes with all more derived Avialians.

And what is that group? Ornithoraces, Ornithuromorphs, Ornithurines? Doesn't have a name, it changes depending on who you ask. It contains Enantiornithes and all more derived pygostylians, which is the actual name for "aves." Thats right, aves doesn't go where we put it, because that clade already has a name.

So what if we just use crown groups? That puts us at "neornithes," an outdated term that only exists because we at one time needed to include Archaeopteryx in linaean aves. However, because aves has become an orphaned child crying to the winds for it's parents, Neornithes has, genuinely, taken it's place.

Really, then, there IS no place for a clade named "aves" because all appropriate clades are already named, and a handful actually have several overlapping names, like the aforementioned ornithoraces, ornithurines, and ornithuromorpha. But birds DOES have a meaning. At the very least, we know it means cg dinos, and it has a clade name equivalent for which it is the common name counterpart.

So... what? In order for aves to become a clade, we need to replace a preexisting word, which seems extremely likely, because aves will predate any extinct clade name, and take priority of wherever we decide to put it. Agreement is a joke. My advice? Just dump Neornithes, since thats what birds actually means anywhicways.

But for the love of Godzilla, please reach some sort of consensus. I can't read papers about Avialians because I never have any idea what the fuck they're talking about. They use the same words in different contexts without bothering to tell you. It's fucking retarded.

And if birds = pygostylians? You've wasted a pretty kickass clade name for nothing. Nothing really makes as much sense as "pygostylians." Birds or no, there is no clade quite as solid as "Avialians with a pygostyle." It's like, BAM, you know? No one ever asks what a pygostylian is. It's in the damn name.

Also, Confuciusornis is fucking gorgeous. You know that picture of Mana up at the top? That guy is ultimate pug fugly like Beth's face compared to Confuciusornis.

But then, that's not really fair, because male dinosaurs are born bueatiful. They don't have to use giant sunglasses to create optical illusions with their face. Not that I do, I'm just saying.

...sure does pay off, though. In cinematography the other day, Jordan (the girl who played Mr. Cameo in... you're not gonna know, forget it) told me I have "nice lips," which was a first. I'm WW, in case you couldn't tell. I guess that makes me a "trap." Because, of course, why would a male be feminine other than as a part of some cruel joke? Surely one wouldn't be un-ironically THAT girly.

I'm being sarcastic, like the jackass masculine Maddox fanboy that I am. Has your head exploded yet? How about PRO-gress and CON-gress!?.

Progress being what John Maus is afraid of. Also, being in the presence of a living legend.

I'm just kidding, Maus is pretty cool. In fact, you could say he's a fucked up maniac. I wouldn't, but you can. Gary War is better any day of the week, and I'm Tim Koh's biggest fan.

Maybe I should just cut here and do a Ariel Pink post later.