Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dismantling the Nature of Racism



The imperialist-colonial history of the world has made certain groups of people believe that they are entitled dominion over lands and other groups of people. This collective belief of supremacy now extends to racism, fascism, and Nazism. It's a socio-economic disease of the mind and of perception that they are born better.

And if not blessed by society with any degree of wealth or power when born to this world, right wing extremists blame the "unfairness" (despite today's world being built mostly on slavery and imperialism, anyway) and congregate as a group based on "genetic homogeneity" (regardless of what race or nationality is grouping-up, insert supremacy) to launch attacks on those who fight for equality if not practical equity and sprinkles of charity. It's racial/tribal competitiveness at the heart of this social issue, fueled mostly by competitive people who were born believing they deserve to have dominion over lands and resources based on lineage and history (if not alarmingly based on Divine Right) and plot to do so by rallying people through hate and rationalizing everything else when conducive.

 DIVINE RIGHT

 

So what IS the bottom line of this post? How does one shield one's self from the lures of racist sentiments and tainted supremacy inspiration? I don't claim to have the cure to this psycho-social virus, nor do I think I'm enlightened enough to say these are absolute truths, but my belief is it's a matter of conditioning one's mind, body, and perception.

Yes, it does seem odd that the possible solution to this sounds like some dietary program. You can watch the videos below, but you can Google these ideas as well. In my mind, these important philosophies and activities to be reinforced in one's life experiences are:

The Middle Way of Buddhism





OR You can read a blog post I made in the past:



The Golden Rule




Understand Paired Humility and Confidence

I've actually written a blog post on this topic many many years back, entitled:


Here's a video I found on Youtube, but it's most likely a concept based on how the guy below understands it. There may be nuances, but the general tenets are the same:



Train One's Perception by Embracing The Inevitable Truth of Imbalance in Life:

Once more, I refer to a blog post I made many years back. Imbalance and struggle in life cannot be shut out. It is the nature of the beast:



Go To Gym, Lift Weights... AND KNOW THAT YOUR ONLY TRUE COMPETITION IS YOURSELF

I cannot emphasize this enough. The true experience of knowing that most people, as we do, try their best based on the merits of what gift and limitations they were born with. Some get an advantage with luck or social connections and affiliations (which really dilutes any realistic lesson on how to appreciate hard work, perseverance, and mindset in my opinion).

When you go to the gym and push yourself, perhaps bench pressing 250 LBS, you become aware of your physical exertion and your will power. You may think you trying to engage in a pissing contest with the next random guy at the gym, but truthfully, you aren't even calling out any competition. You are constrained by what your body and mind's physical limits are (no steroids please). It is no one else' problem or fault at the gym that you can't do 300 LBS. All these feats of carrying weights and performing athletic moments are solely on yourself and what you have built on through commitment and hard work at the gym.

Again, the realization cannot start by me telling people to go to the gym. They must be fully willing to understand the mindset of embracing the truth...that one's self is one's only true competition. You may try to compare how heavy the other guy can handle, sure that can be some competitive motivation for one's mindset, but at the heart of it, it's still a battle of your willpower to overreach what you think your body has done and can do.




READ THIS JAPANESE MANGA: VAGABOND 

It's been almost a decade since I stumbled upon this manga by Slam Dunk manga/anime creator Takehiko Inoue. It's the rise, fall, and enlightenment of the Japanese samurai legend Miyamoto Musashi. His obsession to becoming the greatest swordsman eventually leads him to realize that his pursuit was empty and fleeting.

It's an absolute recommendation and a good read. Nothing fancy or magical in this genre, just a good story of a man and his inner peace.



 


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Net Neutrality Day

As I've already given a piece of my mind many many years ago on efforts to "regulate" or exercise some degree of dominion-based control over the Internet with the SOPA and PIPA agenda:

http://commander-eon.blogspot.com/2012/01/sopa-and-pipa-agenda-few-elaborations.html

It's long been predicted that it would eventually come down to ISP-based discretion and control with regard to packet traffic. It's like putting toll gates on "private" roads. July 12, 2017 marks the day for anyone who has some grain of understanding of the fundamentals and principles at stake to take a stand and air his or her support for net neutrality.

Here's a primer on what Net Neutrality is:



So what can be done? The decision is really out of most people's hands as those in power technically have so many ways to make excuses for their all-encompassing edict on this matter.

The best way is to put it out there. To air the sentiment and maybe influence or inspire people to take a stand. These gestures might as well be trivial, but let it be said that we didn't take this sitting down doing nothing.

Say something, put it on:


It's given me the world and has expanded my consciousness to concepts and ideas that would otherwise be inexistent. The Internet is the greatest democratizing tool that propagates education and awareness to humanity, more so as it pushes American liberal democracy that is meant to stomp out ignorance and opaque multi-partisan philosophies and beliefs that merely divide humanity instead of establishing a realistic spectrum of idealist polarities that people can work their differences with.
 
Our socio-political perspective from left-wing to right-wing requires structure and it is through a medium like the Internet that people are enabled to work and "argue" within a framework and not outside of it, which typically involves anarchist tendencies to tear everything down and prefer chaos over logical form.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nintendo SNES Classic Is Ready for PREORDER

Finally! Everyone was anticipating its arrival. It was inevitable. And it's almost here!

*Update: PREORDER FOR THE SNES CLASSIC IS ALREADY IN THE AMAZON LISTINGS! http://amzn.to/2ubtFKi



September 29, 2017

*Image from http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic


http://amzn.to/2ubtFKi

*Image from http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic


*Image from http://www.ign.com


The preorders will be up for grabs soon and Nintendo just announced they'll be pumping out more, but will cease production by the end of the year.

Honestly, the only real threat here is the army of scalpers who don't really want the unit but will have no problem quadrupling the price of this classic console that has bought joy to the pre-"millennial" generation, i.e. Gen X and Gen Y, and has inspired a movement in video game development through the decades.

There are absolutely so many great titles and it's a shame they will only put in 20 games + a 21st unreleased title in Starfox 2. Rumor has it that there will be less storage capacity for this retro unit to discourage modders and hackers from mashing in tons of SNES titles.

THE REAL SHOCKER HERE IS THE ABSENCE OF CHRONO TRIGGER.

For now, retro gaming fans are anxiously waiting to grab their units before profiteers do.


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back to Hunting: Sega's Valkyria Revolution Vanargand Edition

So after miles of driving and collecting names and numbers of store supervisors and electronics section staff, my hunt for an NES Classic and a Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Edition ended in futility. I was so close to nabbing one when I visited one Target store (late by a few days after someone drove about 80 miles to get an LoZ BoTW Master Edition).

I didn't stand a chance when they were up for pre-order months back and I wasn't about to fork out money on eBay to the benefit of scalpers, so on I went scouring stores hoping to get them at retail price. In hindsight, the extra effort cost me more in time, gas, and car mileage than what I might have paid for on eBay; or maybe not since the mark-ups aren't exactly wallet friendly for limited edition Nintendo stuff.

Even on Amazon's Marketplace, the prices are ridiculous.


So after the Holiday bank account drain, I'm back to searching titles worth adding to my library. I lost out when I bet against Nier: Automata and cancelled my Collector's Edition Preorder. The reviews have been up there and people are saying the visuals and gameplay have been surprisingly superb.




The latest installment to Sega's Valkyria Chronicles franchise is on top of my list: Valkyria Revolution. I almost missed out on this deal, too. Apparently, retailers are listing this as standard, but there's a kink to the pre-order deal, because they're actually going to be Valkyria Revolution Vanargand Editions for the first batch.

  

A Soundtrack CD and a variant of the box art won't hype up the excitement to be honest, but I think this could be a start for the next round of collectibles this year for me. It also doesn't hurt that the gameplay of Valkyria titles are as entertaining as the top titles out there.



 

 

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Last Guardian, Finally!

 E3 2016 hasn't disappointed this year. After years of waiting, The Last Guardian has finally been officially scheduled, with its own Collector's Edition to boot! Hopefully, the game will have that Studio Ghibli tone in its storytelling.


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman BvS: No Cinematic Gloom But A Solid Foundation on an Authentic DCCU


 *Image from http://img02.deviantart.net/5c0d/i/2014/184/9/6/batman_vs_superman_dawn_of_justice_wallpaper_by_davidsobo-d7p3lke.jpg


Ultimately, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice BvS is a breath of fresh air, un-bubbly like the well loved Marvel titles but moralistically gray and philosophically deep. Dark but real, the idealism of the Kansas boy who was nurtured by parents and the pragmatist views of Batman shaped by his life tragedies and his exhausted spirit through the rinse and repeat years of fighting criminals like the weeds they are. Clearly for mature old school comic book fans. Don't listen to critics. It's easy to love the MCU (except Ghost Rider and Elektra) because of the time-tested box-office script writing formula they have (seriously, I think they already patented it), but this film requires you to be exposed to DC material (print, animation, live action) for at least 5 to 25 years before appreciating the intricacies and subtleties of its rich gradients in the choices people make. Far more relatable to real society and life. Civil War will be an interesting project for Marvel, they'll start tackling more gray ideologies via film format soon enough.


 *Image from http://screencrush.com/files/2015/12/L2GI2c8.jpg

It's unfortunate BvS Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was raked in the face by film critics cruelly; they who have seemingly been brainwashed by the formulaic "down to earth" cinematic heroes that Disney-Marvel has been able to pump out through the years. To be fair, Disney has indeed found the magic formula to keeping its streak of box office hits as long as it has. The thing is, these reviews on BvS, are exaggeratedly critical on source material that offer a different take on superhero storytelling.

 *Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice/

*Source: www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=avengers.htm

 *Source: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=dccomics.htm

Let's be clear about one thing, Marvel heroes often come from a more familiar place, grounded and home-like even, that instantaneously allows them to connect to viewers on perspectives in micro-life struggles that continuously expand as the plot unfolds (think back on the solo hero films turning into The Avengers and then Infinity War). DC, meanwhile, builds on larger-than-life characters with usually unrelateable life backgrounds and possess inner struggles, decisions, and philosophical outlooks representing the microcosm of humanity's socio-political nature among other deeper topics that a layman would not casually give attention to, this then is intricately zoomed in to the ground level drama that develops as the confluential randomness of events in the Universe for everyone else unfolds.

 *Image from http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_limit,h_360,w_640/t_mp_quality/uwyhmqcmdztom5t8ensv/what-if-sony-made-a-spider-man-tv-show-776832.jpg

 *Image from https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/injustice-gods-among-us-ultimate-edition-listing-thumb-ps4-ps3-psvita-us-16jan15?$Icon$

To prime one's self up prior to watching, Marvel viewers should already expect that they're going to watch an Action-Comedy genre flick with sprinkles of humanistic and grounded drama, DC viewers, on the other hand, should already put in their minds that they're going to watch an Action-Drama with sprinkles of comedic moments (albeit unnecessary). Recalibrating the expectations spares most viewers from the shock and disappointment that they didn't see the storytelling formula they expected from the other company and vice-versa.

 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk9_340xqeU

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXdYlKu3qZ0

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvHTFbYw8mQ

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_93l5q7AWDM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSLXz8ReSe0

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL7PSlUuWPs


 *Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPG3UXZSIkY


On account of the actors, much apprehension has been put out online by cynical "fans" even prior to the production especially for Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot not fitting their parts. Surprise, surprise, it seems like they were the saving grace to Jesse Eisenberg's poor and underwhelming portrayal of Lex Luthor, one of DC's most reviled yet fascinating egos of villainy. Ben Affleck's Batman, a seasoned vigilante, worn down by years of physical exertion, mental anguish, and creeping disillusionment of humanity's capability to build a nobler society, has developed into a more realistic crime fighter. There's a certain point or age in any man's life that he realizes that time isn't on his side and the world moves on no matter how much you've poured into the bucket. And indeed you look for meaning in the opportunities you come across, that may make a difference. As for Gal Gadot, first of all, thank God it wasn't Ronda Rousey. Gadot at the very least looks the part and she gives a decent if not very good Wonder Woman on screen. She's built up lean muscle too for this role, very realistic considering she's running a crew with Superman and Batman, who are pretty athletic themselves.

 *Image from http://cdn.bleedingcool.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-ben-affleck.jpg

*Image from http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_fill,h_1200,w_1920/t_mp_quality/slvzf6acxtsenjc4n0cs/chris-pine-to-star-alongside-gal-gadot-in-dc-s-wonder-woman-686234.jpg

*Image from http://screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/batman-superman-lex-luthor-jesse-eisenberg1-570x285.jpg

As for the supporting cast, they were their usual selves (from the Superman franchise's side). Jeremy Irons comes in as the new Alfred and he's playing the critical mentor as what most Alfreds have been for Batman through recent years (compared to the snarky complying version). There were scenes that it felt like Bruce was asking for permission and justifying his thought process to Alfred. It's hard to keep to yourself after years of battling murderous crazies and there's no doubt Alfred remains the constant confidant that Bruce counts on the most, even when handling his equipment (no Fox here).

 *Image from http://33.media.tumblr.com/f2ad367bd75b66df54aca4a875178c46/tumblr_nrcf5q5ta91uytereo2_500.gif

Without even spoiling it for those sitting on the fence, the film was great. It's drama and action, and drama. It's hard to deny the general atmosphere and tone of the film was dark and brooding, but it's precisely the tone of despair you expect given the things heroes have to sacrifice to face the cruel world (and Universe). Just try turning on your TV and tuning in to CNN and other major global  news networks. There is darkness in the world and the common man may simply choose to cover these up with sugary isolationist choices and conscious ignorance to live their personal lives in a bubble of peace, but struggles in the world and in local societies are unending and are real. Life is hard. Making consequential choices is hard, it's not like just choosing what burger to buy.


http://thebulletin.org/timeline


As for the "messy" editing for the first part on how the build up to their showdown was done, the pacing, in my view, was inevitable. The personal lives of these two major heroes were being shown in parallel to each other, mostly to reveal their thoughts and emotions on why they would even decide to do so if subjected to the correct stimuli. It's hard to tell one story first and then the other without risking the possibility that the audience may overlook certain plot points as the storytelling unfolded. Just ride the pony and remember that the pacing swings between Supes' and Batsy's and you'll be fine. I heard this is called mental multitasking. Spoonfeeding is so 3-years old.

PS. Okay, except Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor, we're all used to the masculine villain man-boss he has always been portrayed in the animated titles. He was a sniveling, overly-dramatic twerp here. My girlfriend says it's probably an homage to the comicky way Gene Hackman did his Luthor. To be fair, Kevin Spacey's didn't impress a lot then either, but it makes you wonder if his Frank Underwood on House of Cards would've been the evolved form of Luthor if they continued with him years ago. Maybe Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor will bulk up in prison and be more serious and darker. I'm looking forward to the DCCU.

 *Image from http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/53f7436becad04705edb5833-960/frank-underwood-president-house-of-cards.png

*Image from http://thehollywoodmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Gene-Hackman-Luthor.png

*Image from http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5216559/spacey-superman-returns.jpg
 *Image from http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/dcanimated/images/b/b2/JL_Luthor.png/revision/latest?cb=20150111225800
  
 *Image from http://comicsalliance.com/files/2011/06/dccomics-cast.jpg

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.