Archive for March, 2009

Disclaimers Are for Pansies

March 20, 2009

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed below do not necessarily represent those of idiots.

Disclaimer II: The names have been removed to protect the very, very guilty.

A college newspaper has recently printed an article accusing one of their frequent contributing writers of plagiarism. The writer was informed of this article beforehand, and asked that it not be printed, due to both the unfounded libelous nature of the article, and to the devastating impact such an article would have on his reputation as a professional.

As I mentioned before, the paper printed the article. The paper printed the article with a disclaimer at the top of the page. “The opinions reflected in these articles do not necessarily represent those of the editorial staff.”

Also, as I mentioned before, the target of this article was one of the frequent contributing writers. The paper has not printed any of the many articles he has submitted since the accusation. I could easily see this as a coincidence, but it’s a little too close.

I can’t help but wonder if people could just suck it up once in a while and accept responsibility for what information they make available to the public. I mean, the offending writer can make accusations of his colleagues until he’s blue in the face, or hands, if that’s more appropriate, but the damage that’s actually done is by the paper that prints him.

This same paper, a few months ago, ran an anti-abortion flier inside, with the same disclaimer on the front page. That’s not the point of a college newspaper. The paper shouldn’t make any half-hearted attempts at conveying a message. If you’re going to print something that isn’t objective and factual, at least have the guts to stand behind the words you committed to newsprint. The only way to objectively abstain from taking sides in any issue is not to post a disclaimer. You can’t print an unfounded accusation any more objectively than a person can write one.

It only takes a spark to start a forest fire… You don’t see park rangers running around with signs that say “the damage caused by these flames is not necessarily the direct fault of the ranger staff.” Man up, newspapers. If you receive a submission that goes against the general message of your paper, you do have the option not to print it. Stop giving idiots matches and saying it’s not your fault when innocent people get burned.

Sir Odd


This Time, It’s Personal: The Tragedy of the Sequel (Spoiler Alert Like Crazy)

March 19, 2009

X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, Shrek, Sister Act, Rocky, The Terminator, The Fast and the Furious, The Grudge, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Ocean’s Eleven, Cinderella, Aladdin, Bambi, Spiderman, Batman Begins, Transformers, Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon… The list goes on.

You’re probably aware already of what list this would be of, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Movies that had sequels. To the best of my knowledge, none of these movies had sequels in the works when they premiered. But Hollywood, being so starved for the initiative to formulate an original idea into a full-blown motion picture experience, has gone many, many times down memory lane, taking movies that did well in the box office and making a sequel.

Now, I’ve found that this tends to be the case with most Hollywood sequels: The original movie is worth seeing in theaters, possibly more than once. The sequel isn’t usually quite as good, so you might see it in theaters once, but it would be safer to wait for it to come out on DVD. And if they make a “threequel,” then my only recommendation, in most cases, is that you rent it once after it comes out on DVD.

And why, if I would only recommend renting the third movie in one of these impromptu series, should you see it even the once? Because, my dear reader, to a degree beyond that of the second movie, the third movie offers the viewer resolution of the story. The most unfortunate part of these movie series, no matter how well it started, is the end of the second movie. More often than not, anymore, it seems that filmmakers expect the popularity of the first movie to carry them as far as they care to go, so they have a tendency to end the second movie with a bit of a cliffhanger. A little bait to keep the viewers hooked for a tertiary film. That isn’t to say that no first movie is guilty of this. I mean, I fully expected Spiderman 2 when Peter Parker walked away from Mary Jane.

I should clarify that I am not against the idea of a film trilogy, so before all the George Lucas fans out there start in on me, I’m not against trilogies. I’m against the practice of using a trilogy as a marketing ploy. (Well, to be fair, I’m not a huge fan of the Episode I, II, and III trilogy, but that has more to do with Hayden Christensen having approximately the acting talent of a drowned hamster than with the trilogy thing.)

That actually brings me to my next problem with movie series of today. There seems to be an increasing trend toward making prequels. For the record, these are movies that include new characters for the sole purpose of explaining things we were already meant to know from the original movie.

It scares me that Hollywood thinks they can milk one good box office receipt all the way to three good box office receipts. Though, admittedly, it scares me far more that on many, many occasions, they appear to be correct in that assumption.

I feel sorry for the actors in these film series, too. I mean, playing the same character in three or more movies really pigeon-holds an actor into that role. Take Harry Potter, for instance. To clarify, the Harry Potter series only fits in this part of this post. It was originally meant to be a series, regardless of box office gross. But, it remains that no one who has seen the Harry Potter Series will ever be able to see Alan Rickman or Daniel Radcliffe in anything else without thinking of Professor Snape or Harry Potter, respectively. Go ahead, watch the Harry Potter series, then watch Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and see if you don’t see Ol’ Sweeney putting Severus Snape in the chair.

The one genre that successfully pulls off endless strings of unlikely sequels is horror. Let’s be honest, now. watching Jason or Michael carve up the hottest girl in the movie just doesn’t get old.

That’s all for now

Sir Odd

Your humble (random) servant.

March 19, 2009

Good day to you, Lords and Ladies of the Realm, Internet. It is I, Sir Odd, reporting for duty. It is my sincerest hope and fondest wish that in the coming period of time, I will be able to convey my opinions to you on a wide range of subjects, from world events to pop culture, events of epic historical significance to happenings of the mildest contemporary impact. I hope you will, but do not expect you to agree with or even appreciate my points of view, but the internet grants all in its domain the privilege of freedom of expression and release from the obligation of caring what anyone else thinks about anything.

First, to get off to a good start, I suppose I should tell you a little about myself. I’m a hopeless romantic and am artistic, by nature. I believe in true love, but not love at first sight. Anymore, there are too many things to learn about a person to love them all at once. I write poetry, draw, sing, act, and a pursue many other artistic endeavors to varying degrees. I’m a gamer. I play video games, primarily by Nintendo, but I have had exposure to most platforms with the exception of the XBox360. I read over 30 webcomics on a more frequent basis than they update, and would very much like to create my own. I’m registered to vote as a republican, but my political compass bears just right of moderate, and I still manage to have strong opinions.

Also, I highly recommend that you read my friend Paradise Tossed‘s blog here on WordPress,

You can fully expect the appearance of my page to change almost entirely in the next few days, as I haven’t taken much time to examine what needs to be done.

Well, that should suffice for now, so I shall bid you all au revior for now.

Sir Odd

74 and counting

March 19, 2009

As I mentioned in my initial post, I’m a poet. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a good poet, as I have very little faith in people who have too inflated a view of their own work. But I do write poems when the mood strikes me.

If you’re at all interested in reading any of the poems I’ve written, I’ve posted 74 on the internet. It doesn’t feel at all like that many, but it’s true. I’ve posted 4 here and the other 70 I posted here.

You will probably notice a theme among my poems. Most of them are kind of sappy, but like I said, I write poetry when the mood strikes me, so most of my poetry is fairly emotionally charged. If you don’t want to read emotional poetry, I can direct you to a number of good ones by Shel Silverstein or Ogden Nash that may be more to your liking.

If you do read my poetry and would care to comment on it, feel free to do so in response to this post. All I ask is that you start the comment with the title of the poem in question, and that you avoid critique of my grammar or spelling.

Sir Odd