Saturday, June 29, 2013

Keeping House

Hey, there! As you've probably noticed, I've changed this blog's formatting, to celebrate the official blog colors, "grey" and "dark grey" (Massive points to anyone who can catch the reference I think I'm making). Unless you're new here. Or you're seeing this while browsing the archive, in which case, Hello, future Havoc! You're probably the only one who does that, you narcissistic little shit! So, have you finally become a productive member of society? No? Thank goodness. I'm glad I have such a convenient method of sending messages back in time.

Who needs readers when I have inside jokes?

As you can plainly see, (assuming I haven't changed my formatting again since the time you're reading this) my new formatting is as boring as possible. It's basically just all my text to one side, with some widgets on the other side. I also added a few neat little things, like a description, a search bar, and a public display of how many total views I have, as well as a neat little graph showing recent fluctuations in pageviews. I think I may have also fixed the problem of some of my posts sporadically changing fonts, and it was a travesty that I let such foolishness continue for so long. However, none of this formatting has chanced the actual content, so there's no need to fear that my posts will all of a sudden start making sense.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Of F-holes and G-strings

On the internet, and indeed, perhaps even in real life, (I don't have enough experience there to know for sure) the most important thing in the world is to feel like you're better than everyone else. Now, in the olden days, when your crusty old parents were still nice and doughy, you had to actually do things to be better than everyone else. Something great, like winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or discovering a new element, or writing a blog (ladies). But then, a great man invented the internet, and decided that He would be the last person to ever have to put effort into feeling better than everyone else. You see, nowadays, you can feel superior not for the things you create, but for the things you consume. Why write a book of your own when you can feel better than anyone who has ever read Twilight just by reading literally anything that isn't Twilight? (Hating on Twilight is sure to keep me hip and trendy with the kids, right?) Why start a band of your own when you can feel better than everyone else just by listening to music they've never heard of? Indeed, it is that second example that I'm running with, because it's become a common phenomenon in recent years for people to judge others based on their taste in music, with the quality of one's taste being inversely proportional to how many people have heard of the bands they like. However, there is a way to beat this system, a way to prove that you're better than everyone by going in the exact opposite direction: Composers that everyone's heard of, but tragically few people actually listen to. That's right, this is a post about Classical Music!

Before I go any further, I feel I should explain the title. As I'm sure you know, all violins have a two little holes in them that are shaped kind of like an "f", or an integral sign, a fact which has not been lost on anyone who has ever made a Calculus textbook.

A good violinist always remembers to add C
This hole is, hilariously, called an f-hole by real people who probably have graduate degrees and loving families. The G-String, on the other hand, is the lowest string on the Violin, probably. Its inclusion is a reference to Johann Sebastian Bach's "Air on The G String", which is only played on the G-String. My title is certainly a reference to that, apropros of something. But it's totally not a reference to something else that is referencing that. I definitely did not start listening to classical music because of something that I played or read.

I swear, officer, I've never seen that penguin before in my life.

And here I find myself in the strange position of name-dropping a song that's kind of by Bach, but not quite, for the second time on this blog. Previously it was Ave Maria, based on Bach's "Prelude in C Major" from The Well Tempered Clavier. But "Air on The G String" is actually just an arrangement by some show-offy violinist proving that he could play Bach's "Air" on just one string. I think that's an interesting coincidence, and there are plenty of people willing to confuse coincidence with humor, and I'm willing to take advantage of that.

So, what can you do to to become a savvy listener of Real Art? Basically just check out Spotify, man. That's all there really is to it. There's actually an app called "Classify", in a pathetic attempt at humor worthy of this blog, that is an app for just classical music. Though technically, the "Classical" period only includes 1750-1830, it has music from the entire Common Practice Era, from 1600-1900, as well as newer stuff, probably. But if you're the kind of person who knows the difference between "Baroque", "Classical", and "Romantic" eras, then you should be the one spreading the good word, so I'm not making a fool of myself just because I apparently have a thing for girls who can't play the violin. Just another weird thing about me, if you're still keeping score.

Some people were meant to keep their integrals on paper

But before you dive right in, you might as well listen to the greatest song of all time, a composition with the catchy title "Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor". Actually, that joke about the catchy name was hardly even sarcastic. It would seem that most great composers cared enough to create some of the most stunningly beautiful art in human history, but not quite enough to give them proper names. As such, you'll find that a lot of songs have titles that consist of some broad category of composition like "Symphony" or "Concerto", a number, maybe an opus, a couple other nonsense letters and numbers, and a key. If any actual title is included, it's shoved at the back, where you can't even see it, and was probably made up by someone other than the composer, after his death. After the composer's death, that is. The person who made up the title was (hopefully) very much alive when he did so.

But back to Hungarian Dance... actually, you know what? Screw it. Just find everything by the London Symphony Orchestra, and listen to it. I just found that they have a cover of "The Final Countdown", and I'm freaking out a little bit right now. This is in addition to the two albums of greatest hits video game music they've produced, and the 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music playlist that's provided me with much of the classical music I've been listening to. In even more addition, they've got a whole host of Star Wars and classic rock music. "Eye of the Tiger"? You bet. "Hey, Jude"? Sure. "Bohemian Rhapsody"? I've already got an orchestral version of that, but sure, why the hell not? Ironically, Spotify is currently down for me, so I'm having trouble finding an exhaustive list of all their music.

Actually, now that we're on the subject of orchestral covers of great songs, you might as well check out Walt Ribeiro, (Youtube name: ForOrchestra) who makes some pretty boss orchestral covers of songs like "Gotta Catch'em All", "Gangnam Style", "My Little Pony", and "The Thong Song". Apparently he comes out with a new arrangement every week, but I'm not sure what day. I certainly hope that it isn't Thursday... Too Soon.

Good Night, Sweet Prince
That was supposed to be an image of Thomas O'brien, but since I couldn't find one, I decided to pay my respects elsewhere.

Now that my internet is back online and I'm too distracted by it to make jokes about how dependent I am on the internet, I can check Spotify, and I now know that you should absolutely not try to listen to everything by the London Symphony Orchestra. Unless you live in a country with a mean healthcare system, (Thanks, Obama!*) the total runtime of all their music may outlast your life expectancy. I went to their page, and the songs just keep going down and down forever, until your scroll wheel grinds into the chassis of your mouse. I'm pretty sure that somewhere along the way, it just loops back up to the top, and you keep scrolling down forever, like Bowser's Infinite Staircase.
Pictured: The London Symphony Orchestra

I would just like to make clear at this point that I am entirely aware that making a post about Classical Music was a bad idea. When I first had it, I thought it might be bad, when I told my secondary Content Manager about it, she seemed all for it, but I suspected that it might be bad, and now that I'm cheekbone-deep into it, I am certain that it is bad. But I can't give up now, because the word of orchestral "Final Countdown" must be spread. Everyone must know of it, and if I deprive even a single person of that joy by not finishing this, then I scarcely believe that I could ever forgive myself.

Since I'm talking about Classical music, I would be remiss to not talk about some composers, if only to provide some evidence that I have some semblance of an idea of what I'm talking about. (But don't tell the judge. Forged evidence is serious business.) Since I already mentioned Bach, I guess I'll go back to talking about him. Or I guess I could say "Bach" to talking about him, if you need a reason to hate me. Johann Sebastian Bach, or "The Big Bach", as he's called by hopefully only fictional persons, was a great composer. He's apparently considered the greatest composer of all time by a lot of people, and I'm certainly not going to argue. Technically, he isn't a Classical composer, but a Baroque composer, but as I've said before, no one asked all that. His greatness stems from the fact that his name was "Johann", and with a name like that, you can't help but be classy and great. It's a proven fact.

According to Google Image Search, this man was probably great.

Moving on in both alphabetical order and greatness, we get to Beethoven. Now, if you ask the average person to name a Classical composer, they'll probably throw out Mozart. But if you ask them to hum a classical song, they'll probably come up with something by Beethoven. Ludwig Van Beethoven is classical music. Named after the oldest Koopaling, [citation not needed] he has composed some of the most recognizable songs of all time, like "Fur Elise", "Ode to Joy", and "This song that I will forever associate with a girl whaling on her younger brother". (That's a link, in case you're curious) Beethoven famously went deaf, but he still wrote music. That's how great he was. He wasn't about to let an organ as dumb as his ears tell him what made music good. He was so good that only italicized font can convey how good he was. Mozart was definitely a great composer, but the beginning of one of his most popular songs was ripped off of Mario Brothers, anyway, so I'm not sure that I can say he was as great as Beethoven.

The last composer that I really care to mention would have to be Tchaikovsky, perhaps my personal favorite composer. He has a lot of famous compositions, like "Swan Lake", "The 1812 Overture", and "That song that plays when Spongebob gets the suds" (That's not a link, because I'm confident you all know what I'm talking about.) He also wrote "Romeo and Juliet: Fantasy Overture", a name that you probably don't recognize, for a song that you almost certainly do. Any time two characters are in love, this is the song that plays. You remember that part of "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie is imagining the teacher grading papers, and then she falls in love with his essay? That was this song. Tchaikovsky has a great skill for writing long compositions that don't sound boring or drawn-out, and for that, he gets mad respect.

And that's really all I have to say about about classical music. Just follow these tips, and you too can have more class than a community college! But even though all of these composers are very great, they still can't hold a candle to the one true genre of music: "Neoclassical Darkwave". (Pay close attention, and you can catch bits of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor)

Bonus Joke: Pachelbel only ever wrote one canon, so he had to make sure that it was something that would be really memorable. An important part of any composition is its key signature, so when it came time decide, he remembered the immortal words of Renee Descartes... and he gave it the D.

Or, if you prefer your jokes in the form of couplets in iambic pentameter...

When Pachelbel decided "Canon"s Key
He made just like Descartes, and gave The D.

*Sarcasm applied at the reader's discretion

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Oncoming Storm

NOTE: Michael Parks has since abandoned this project, so some of the links might be broken. This is because everything I link to dies. I resolve to use these powers for good. But he still has a Youtube channel, if you're interested.

Are you a fan of funny things on the internet? Of course you are. That's what you mistook this blog for, right? Do you often find yourself desperately scouring the You Tubes for funny new things to watch? But of course. Thanks to Obama care, such measures are practically a necessity in this day and age. Have you ever owed someone a favor that your debtor insisted "could only be repaid with your body or your mind", and you're saving yourself for marriage, so you were forced to settle on the latter? No? Oh. Me neither. There was no reason for bringing that up.

On a note that is completely related to those first two things, but not at all related to that last one, I have a friend who is quite a funny thing on the internet. I've actually linked to some of his work before, (I believe it was in the post about Gay Licks. Well, one of them, anyway.) but he's on the move again, and he's started a new sort of webseries called "Storm Pocket", which seems to consist of him and my other internet friend, Payton Knobeloch, talking about comic stuff, and maybe fondling Jesus. But just like, portraits of Jesus. Nothing like, creepy or anything. They also have an original composition as their opening theme, and it's really, really good. So there's that.

Basically, this first episode is about two grown(?), adult(???) men(No questions here), talking about a cartoon about superheroes that is unabashedly made for children. This contrasts starkly with the cartoons that I watch, which heavily feature esoteric literary references, morally complex situations, and magical girls.

Truly, the wallpaper of a cultured gentleman
Basically, the video takes the form of Michael Parks and Payton Knobeloch shooting the shit about a show that they watched, and occasionally saying funny things, all without the warm comfort of a pseudonym to hide behind. If it helps, think of it as being kind of like "Game Grumps", except they're not talking about games, they're not really grumping, and no one is likely to make musical remixes of their words.

"I'm Spell-Check" "And I'm Not-so-Spell-Check!"

Afterwards, they talk about Injustice: Gods Among Us, which is a video game that is about comic books. So, if this first video is any indication, Storm Pocket will largely consist of two guys talking about things that are based on comics, but tactfully avoiding going in for the money shot and ever actually talking about comics themselves. I'll admit, the video does get a little slow towards the middle, when they're talking about Injustice and things that I can't really say I care too much about, but it picks back up towards the end, and I definitely think it's worth checking out. If nothing else, more views will give Parks some much needed self-esteem, so it's practically like charity work. Hit the refresh button a few times, and I might see if I can pull some strings and get you a few gentlepoints for your troubles.

The second video by Michael Parks that I've come to plug is a short comedy sketch about granola bars (OR IS IT?!?) It also features some music that is almost certainly from Earthbound, stellar acting, graphic depictions of granola mangling, and some pretty dope sound effects. There isn't really much else to say about it, except that Parks isn't really racist, I swear. The joke is a rather short, "blink and you'll miss it" kind of thing, so if you need to apply eyedrops, it may be a good idea to do so before watching this video.

In addition, he has a short Horror film, about 20 minutes long, called "Whispering Pines", which, among other things, includes the most dangerous secret in the universe. It's only mentioned casually, though, so unless you already know what it is, you're unlikely to catch it. The film, much like Parks himself, is just a joke, with no intention of being taken seriously, so don't go in expecting an actual horror film.

I know Parks has some other things he's done, like the Parksnotes that he turned in as actual school projects, but I can't seem to find them, which is something of a shame. I seem to recall him mentioning that he'd purged much of his work, due to some silly thing called "standards of quality", but you'll never have to worry about anything like that over here. I promise to never delete anything from my blog, no matter how shamefully terrible I know it to be. Such is the depth of my dedication to my readers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

E3 Concluding Ramblings, No More Parts to Follow

See, I was expecting that once E3 had actually gotten underway, there would be a whole host of things for me to care about and discussed, but then I remembered that I'm not a gamer. In light of a new Super Smash Brothers, there is nothing else that I care about, or could possibly ever care about. So I guess I'll just start off with a neat little observation I made.

First of all, though, you should check out, the new most important part of my morning ritual. Well, second to the blood sacrifice, of course. Not even Smash Bros can keep the voices at bay. Sorry for making such an obvious joke, but you know what they say: The truth is stranger than fiction. Anyway, if you click the button that says "Wii U & Nintendo 3DS Developer Direct", it'll take you to a video where the game's creator talks about some of the new characters, and how he plays the game, and you can't, and how much happier he is for it. I highly recommend that you watch it. But in the video, he says something interesting. He says that the Wii U version and the 3DS version will have "the same number of characters". Well, actually, he says something in Japanese, and then the translator says that. But you will note that he does not say that they will have the same characters. In addition, he explicitly says that some stages and other things will be different between between the two consoles. So, while it may just be a translation thing, it certainly seems possible that the two games will have different characters.

So what characters will be exclusive to which consoles? Well, I can't say for sure, but if you go to the pages for The Villager and the Wii Fit Trainer, (Hilariously called "Miss Fit" by some) you'll notice that they have no images from the 3DS game, only the Wii U. All other characters have screens from both, so it seems fairly likely to me that Miss Fit and The Villager will be Wii U exclusive.

And really, that's about all I have to say. Except that Gamefreak seems really insistent on normalizing all their Pokemon. I'm sure that, theoretically, a math joke could be made about that, but I'll just blame sickness for my inability to do that. Two Pokemon so far have been announced to have Normal and another type, which is stupid, because normal is supposed to be the type that Pokemon have when they're too lame to have any other type. I guess GameFreak just decided that what they had created was too derpy to not have a Normal type.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you... The New Bidoof!
But seriously, what the hell is it doing with its legs like that? Is it lying on the ground? Is that how it stands? I just cannot imagine how such a creature could come to be, outside of the imagination of a particularly mean-spirited Spore player.

Other than that, there's not much else to say. Everyone else has bitched plenty about Microsoft, so I don't really have anything to add. Kingdom Hearts III is something that my content manager certainly cares about, if not me. And everything seems quiet on the Hoenn front, which makes me a little nervous about how confidently I assured everyone that they were very definitely going to do a Ruby/Sapphire Remake. Perhaps they figured that after seeing the above monstrosity, no one would ever want to play Pokemon ever again.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3 Initial Ramblings, More Parts to Follow

Did you watch both of those? No? That's too damn bad. Watch them now.

Thank you. Now that your tear ducts are empty and your diaphragm is enfeebled by your unrelenting sobs of joy, I hope that you still have the mental acuity to read this, though I really have nothing to say. Just... did you see all those brothers? Did you see what they were doing? They were smashing. And there was fire, and music, and Megaman. And it was good.

You could say that I've always been more of a Nintendo Fanboy than an actual gamer, so I will likely say little about the Xbox One and PS4, except that I don't care. Also, most of the rumors about used games and always online that surround the Xbox One are either exaggerations or outright fabrications. Does that make it a good console? Absolutely not.  But I think it takes a certain amount of egotism to think that Microsoft is really going to spy on your conversations through your Kinect. They really don't care about what you're saying. At worst, they'll have some computer analyze your conversation for certain keywords, then use it to target their advertising, which sounds pretty bad, but I never really saw the problem. Would you rather see advertisements for products you have no interest in? Why not just ignore them entirely, like you almost certainly do already?

Now that everyone who takes these things way too seriously has closed their browser window while muttering something about "sheeple", it's just us, the cool kids. Honestly, I'm not sure any of the things I'm talking about are even technically E3 news, but E3 started today, and Nintendo made a bunch of reveals, so I'm just going to consider it E3. Game Freak hasn't started their E3 conference yet, but they have let slip one major reveal: Fairy type.

Indeed, it is as the rumors foretold. There is indeed a new type, and it is "Fairy". Now, those Pokemaniacs out there with souls might notice that this is stupid. What is "Fairy Type" even supposed to mean? The currently announced fairy Pokemon are Marill, Jigglypuff, Sylveon, and Gardevoir. As you may have noticed, these Pokemon share nothing in common, flavor-wise. However, the damned among us, might just find this new type to our liking. You see, Fairy type is super effective against Dragon, and if it resists it as well, then there might just be something to stop Dragons from shitting all over everything. This could help stabilize the competitive battling metagame, and since competitive battling is all I care about anymore, I'm actually taking this surprisingly well.

Now that you've had a few minutes to recuperate, let's go back to Super Smash Brothers... I'm sorry. There's really nothing more to say. Next order of business...

Super Mario 3D World. As you probably guessed, it's for the Wii U, because "Land" clearly denotes portable games, and "World" clearly denotes console games. And if there's one thing that you can count on from Mario, it's consistency. In recent times, at least, they haven't really done much to change the formula, and it seems that they're sticking to the policy of "Just add a new powerup, screw it". And this new powerup is... some kind of cat suit? I can't say I like it. I might even hate it. But that's not important, because the idea of adding multiplayer to the formula of Super Mario 3D Land is intriguing to me. But, more importantly, the music. Give this a listen.

Mario Kart 8 was also announced, so let us all have a moment of silence for the laid off workers of Nintendo's Subtitle Division. The trailer didn't really reveal anything terribly notable, other than hovercars(?) and strange gravity antics, reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy. I really liked Mario Kart Wii, (I guess we can trace the downfall of the Subtitle Division) so I'm sure I'll pick this up, but it's not enough to make me get a Wii U. However, I might make an exception if there's a Möbius Strip track.

As it turns out, I'm not quite finished talking about the New Smash Bros, because it seems that a trailer managed to escape my attention.

Honestly, I'm not terribly confident about this, but after seeing Kirby do yoga, it doesn't matter anymore. I was upset at first, but I just can't stay mad at Smash Bros, and I can't stay mad at Kirby faced with the painful reality that he doesn't even have legs, just feet that are attached to his torso.

Well, I guess it's time for me to sign off by acknowledging that you had no real reason to read this. But thanks for doing it anyway. There are many places out there with far more in-depth coverage of E3, and I had like, three jokes, tops, so this may have just been a waste of time. But since that's all this blog is meant to do, I guess you could call this post a success.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Compromise to Win

Well, I'm not feeling very well. Oh, hey parents, by the way, I'm not feeling very well. Thanks to contagions, I am currently mentally compromised. And as we all know, all writers perform their best when they're mentally compromised. Take Edgar Allen Poe, for instance. He wrote some of the best poems around, even though he had a damned raven for a roommate that just wouldn't shut the hell up. You guys thought I would say something about him drinking, didn't you? Subversion.

And now that I'm fresh out of things to talk about, we're going to start crowd-sourcing humor. This is a pretty experimental procedure, so there's a good chance some of you might not make it. But don't worry. The knowledge gathered here today is sure to allow us to make great strides in the blogging sciences. Basically, I'm going to pester my friends into telling me things to talk about, and then once I decide that their ideas are stupid, but not stupid enough for my tastes, I'll just go where the ague takes me. Sound good?

Well, it seems my friends are too busy ignoring me to have any ideas other than talking about themselves, but they really freaked out when I approached them about sharing my rl fanfics with the boys down at And the level of teethplay that I mentioned wasn't even a exaggeration. If you guys are seeing this, just know that you could have prevented this. But please keep in mind my inability to experience real human emotions when reading that. It's crucial for the ambiance. I am joking. Right on

I told them that if they didn't give me something else to talk about, I would continue to slander them. So... let the slander continue, I guess. So... my brother, right? Don't tell anyone, but I'm pretty sure that he was the product of a trash compacter getting frisky with a meat packing plant. He showers so often that, according to a article I read, it's probably bad for his health or something. It had something to do with, I kid you not, a "horny layer". That is something that actual scientists came up with. And this is why I switched from engineering to physics. I just couldn't ignore my horny layer.

Let's not kid ourselves. I may never top that bit about trash compacters getting frisky with meat packing plants. I mean, really. Just think about that what even means. Then draw it, and send it in to the studio, because I have no idea, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd like to have an idea, if you know what I mean. Despite the fact that I am clearly over the hump (and also past my prime) I shall persevere, because really, isn't that what the human spirit is all about? And I've still got like, a keg of the stuff left over from last night, so I should probably put it some use. So, here we go:

Very well. And, the first request in the Havoc Mantis all request line-up comes from a girl I have arbitrarily decided to call "Afterlife Battlefront" (I may have called her "secondary content manager" in the past. I don't remember). And what she wants me to talk about is butterflies. Specifically, how scary they are.

We've all watched Spongebob. What else is there to say?

But seriously, though. We have all watched Spongebob, right? Because... if there are people reading this blog who haven't watched Spongebob, I am going to lose something, and let me tell you, it won't be my wallet in a gas station bathroom. Not again.

And now she's requesting things that are lewd. Needless to say, I am ignoring them. I mean, I know that panties can have blue stripes. In fact, Trucy Wright (yes relation) performs at the Wonder Bar every night, and people come from all around to see her panties. That's not my joke, folks, that's a Capcom original. Seriously, play that series.

I guess we're now talking about picnics? Except I typed that sentence so long ago that now they're talking about something completely different that I'm not at liberty to discuss. Not that I'm at liberty to discuss picnics, or at least the manly variety. They stem from that one thing. The thing that is forbidden. That one.

Pic always related

Now they're making hearts at each other. That's cute.

And now I'll conclude with my standard message, like a kid holding his breath for attention. That simile... probably sounded pretty weird, didn't it? Anyway, There's a good chance I won't be coming back to blogging any time soon, so don't wait up for me. Find a special someone for yourself. All I really want... is for you to be happy. And just like Adele says, "Never mind, I'll find someone like YoooooooooUUUUUUUU". And then she says "Summer" with the emphasis on the second syllable which, as a poet, really mashes my potatoes.