CRRRaSh! 381 Moist Orbs

By Roy Mathur, on 2021-05-13, at 23:00:00--23:52:27, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Welcome to Day One of Three

Sorry, I cocked up. I haven't been around because: the car broke down and my Tourette syndrome went nuts. Since stress affects my Tourette's---it didn't used to, but it does now---no car, meant stress, meant more Tourette's, and podcasting when your Tourette's has gone berserk isn't easy.

Also, after gardening recently, every damn joint in my body has decided to inflict pain, so there's that too.

Excuses aside, I have been keeping up with the show notes, but because I've been away for so long, there are a lot of them. So I've broken the pod into three episodes: TV, movies, and lit, to be recorded and over three days. As usual, they'll be other stuff too like tech and personal news, etc. thrown in too.

Welcome to day one: mostly TV today.

May the 4th Be with You

Damn, it was the 5th before I realised I missed Star Wars Day! Anyway, I hope your Star Wars Day was great and I've added it to my calendar now as a recurring event along with all the other major special geeky holidays.

I did watch The Rise of Skywalker and The Last Jedi, in that order, a day or so later.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

I watched the finale.

Mae Kellyman as the Flag Smasher boss was great (Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Eponine Thenardier BBC's Les Miserables, etc.). It was nice seeing more of Falcon, Winter Soldier, US Agent, Baron Zemo, and even z-list supervillain Batroc the Leaper, the action and social commentary was good, but it ended with a sputtering fizzle.

Stargirl

I finally got around to finishing season 1.

I enjoyed it more than DCís other quirky team show, Doom Patrol, but then it's a much less Grant Morrison-ish show. I think one season might be more than enough for me, but never say die (spoilers imminent) because the finale proclaimed Starman alive and teases the return of Eclipso.

Invincible

Season 1 finale. Can I just again say how good Invincible is?

For All Mankind

Another show I'd wish just ended. A deadly moon skirmish with Soviets ends in death, incineration, and asphyxiation, and then a nice little handshake suddenly ends the conflict. Why didnít they go for the handshake first?

At least I got to see Buran fly and season 3 promises Mars.

Most Dangerous Game

Most Dangerous Game (2020) was a Quibi short format TV action thriller based on the short story "The Most Dangerous Game (1924) by Richard Connell until Quibi went out of business last year.

In it, Liam Hemsworth (Thor's bro) is diagnosed with a terminal condition and is offered the opportunity of being hunted for sport by rich people in return for huge wodges for cash for every hour he remains alive.

It is a cheap, nasty, silly thriller with all the hunters based on crude cultural stereotypes---a snooty Englishmen, a dumb redneck, etc. Christoph Waltz's sinister orchestrator is simply Christoph Waltz being Christoph Waltz and the short format sucks.

This is the one Quibi show I had hopes would not be terrible, but it is a disappointing ride and I'm glad Quibi had a stake rammed through its heart.

If you're in the mood for ridiculous manhunting schlock, watch John Woo and Jean-Claude Van Damme's Hard Target (1993) instead.

The Handmaid's Tale

Season 4 starts off promising with our hero, June, initially leading her fellow Handmaids to freedom, after the escape from Gilead of a planeload of children, but then descends into the same torture/depression porn for episode 3.

Unbelievably, this is not the final season. Completionists, prepare yourself for more TWD-style hatewatching until this slog ends. Why can't Canada just nuke Gilead? Yeah, Gilead is powerful etc., so I understand to political underpinnings of the drama, but I just want to watch it all go boom.

Jupiter's Legacy

This is a Netflix TV series based on the 10 issue, 2 volume and counting comic book series by writer Mark Milar (Kickass, etc.) and artist Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, etc.).

In it, Superman-like the Utopian contends with passing on his mantel to the next generation of superheroes.

I liked the comic book, though I have only glanced through the first volume of the trade, but I'm finding the show a little slow moving. Oh, and It's a Milar property, so expect ultra-violence.

Star Wars Animation

I like the look of The Bad Batch trailers, but I also have a huge backlog of Star Wars animation to watch. I might get around to that... one day.

Snowfall

I watched season 4 of action film director John's Singleton's TV series about the CIA's (alleged) crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles paying for arms sent to fight an anti-communist proxy war in Nicaragua.

The latest season is more of the same tense ultra violence as previous seasons. Preppy evil CIA agent Teddy McDonald continues trying to keep the supply lines open to fund arms for the Contras, while and his young drug lord protege's power and wealth rise as does the body count as he undergoes a Heisenberg-like transformation. My favourite character, Gustavo the ex-masked wrestler, has somehow survived so far, but then I suppose killing off a character as interesting and entertaining as him would make no sense for ratings. Urgh! Ratings dictating the storyline. Still, I'm glad he's still in the show.

It's a thrilling and dramatic series, but, while it is heavily critical about white America's treatment of black people it is ultimately entertainment based mainly on African Americans shooting each other. Also, the series is grade A misery porn, right up there with The Handmaid's Tale. On the other hand it's nice seeing a Hollywood bigwig even posthumously hammering the CIA.

Amazon versus Unions

Amazon won their fight against unionisation after Amazon workers in Birmingham, Alabama decided not to unionise.

What a bizarre outcome, I'm surprised at the outcome, but working class people shooting themselves in the foot generally does not surprise me. Just look at public health in the US, or, as I'm from the UK, many voted Leave in the Brexit referendum, so... To be fair, Amazon did a publicity hatchet job on unionisation, and even went as far as hiring the historically notorious union-busting Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Amazon, you are rotters. Workers who voted against need a brain transplant. The reason this old news is suddenly more relevant is that currently, members of the UK union Unite are demonstrating across the country, including nearby, and have set up a worker hotline for Amazon Workers. This problem is not going away for Jeff Bezos.

Trump versus Facebook

Facebook's Oversight Board surprisingly decided to uphold Trump's ban from the platform.

Pointing Devices

RSI's rearing its ugly head again. My right carpel tunnel and elbow are suffering.

I tried switching to a 3M vertical mouse (they used to be IBM branded), then settled on a Cirque GlidePoint trackpad. Both are a bit old fashioned and neither is an ideal solution, but I didn't have to buy them as they are devices I have had in storage for years.

I also tried my mother's slightly busted, but classic Microsoft Trackball Explorer, which lacks precision, but is the most comfortable of the bunch. Unfortunately, it is her device. I also considered the ferociously expensive MTE clone; the Open Source Ploopy trackball from Toronto.

However, now that the NHS doesn't fix carpel tunnel injuries, a new and even an expensive device is still a cheaper option than private surgery. Surgery? Ugh!

Blue Light

Blue Light? It's the opposite! (Sort of).

Research tells us that the fear that more energetic blue light from devices can harm your eyes is probably crap because the intensity of the light is generally far too low to be of consequence. I found an article about this from a fairly reputable source dated two years ago (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/will-blue-light-from-electronic-devices-increase-my-risk-of-macular-degeneration-and-blindness-2019040816365), but the topic seems to be doing the rounds recently. From my own experiences, after I found this out and changed my sleeping---well, my not sleeping---habits, it also doesn't disturb your sleep as much as warm white light bulbs, which mimic daylight and fool your body clock into wakefulness.

It is, therefore, the opposite of what we were told.

For now.

Science is evidence-based and research progresses, or sample sizes increase, so findings can change. As someone who stares at a screen too much and has a mother with mild glaucoma, my advice is to give yourself a break from the screen when you can, and keep those orbs moist. Moist orbs.

Apple Podcast Subscriptions

This item straddles the Technology and Creative sections because it has implications for podcasters like me.

For USD 19.99 per year, plus 30% of your take in the first year and 15% in succeeding years, you have the privilege of selling exclusive content via Apple's new subscription only service.

Apple, are you actually insane? Why would I do this? There's Patreon, PayPal, and Ko-fi, so what the hell is the value of your service? You do nothing but reap the rewards of my hard work? No thanks, and the next person who tells me Tim's a nice guy can just bite me.

India's Covid Crisis

India is suffering dreadfully from the pandemic. Hospitals are overcrowded and oxygen is short, so much so that the governing nationalist BJP party have even made it illegal to complain about the shortages.

Sweeping the problems under the carpet like this will not work and India could do with help. Many governments are contributing to help India, but as a private citizen you can too. Just web search "India Covid crisis" in your own country and you will find many charities that you can contribute to, e.g. Oxfam in the UK.