atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6317: Today is the day

New expansion pack for WoW goes live at 5 PM our time. Woohoo!

Here's hoping it's as much fun as Legion was.

* * *

The usual suspects want "bioengineered food" to be labeled such. If you're going to do that, you'd better label just about everything on the shelf, because there ain't nothing out there that's 100% natural. Everything we eat for food has had its genes tampered with through selective breeding, and in fact if you were to encounter--say--corn in its natural state you'd disregard it as a weed.

Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts--all these plants were bred from the same base plant which--you got it--you'd call a "weed" if you found it in your garden.

This kind of nonsense is stupid.

* * *

This is why I oppose wind and solar power, right here:
Texas has a huge wind generation system with a capacity of 17,000 megawatts. On August 31, 2016 at noon, output from the wind system fell below 1% of capacity. The Texas wind system frequently has swings of thousands of megawatts within a few hours. It often produces at less than 5% of capacity.
Yet the people depending on that electricity aren't going to accept "Well, the wind ain't blowin' today...." as their refrigerators and air conditioners crap out. (You try being in Texas in August, and tell me how you don't need air conditioning or refrigeration. Go ahead.)

It's a waste of money. And as the article points out it only makes electricity cost more.

* * *

Wait, I thought that Puerto Rico was still a horrifying disaster. This article says that the PR local government stopped distributing aid "after the crisis subsided".

Anyway, a couple shipping containers full of supplies were just left to rot in the tropical sun, because after all it doesn't make Trump look horrible if PR residents get the aid which was sent to them by charitable organizations.

* * *

No, that's not correct at all. Democrats have not "become" anything; they are just letting the mask slip so we can see how they always were.

When I was in college I wanted to put a bumper sticker on my car saying "MEAT IS TASTY". My sister cautioned me not to, because some leftist shithead would vandalize my car. I realized she was right and never did it.

What is happening today is not a sea change in how Democrats act. They were always like this. It's just that the Trump victory has so unhinged them that they're no longer able to control themselves. They're simply incontinent with rage.

* * *

It's the anime and manga influence.

Look, I'm not going to argue Vox's point about the prevalence of pedophilia in Hollywood; that's a known issue and it's too skeevy for me to want to discuss in detail. But I do know a little something about anime and manga, and that's a point I don't mind speaking to.

The entire point with "anime-style" art is relatively simple to understand: about 80% of human facial expression is in the eyes, and the larger you draw the eyes the easier it is to make them expressive. Particularly when you're drawing on an 8.5x11" page which will be further reduced to 5x7".

Contrast American comic art with Japanese. With the American comics I've seen, you can get a few basic expressions: surprise, fear, anger, pleasure or joy, "neutral", and sadness. I have never read an American comic and seen anything other than those emotions on a character's face, and they were always monotonic--I've never seen SuperCoolGuy's expression contain a mixture of emotions.

One of my favorite comic panels ever comes from Maison Ikkoku, a scene where the female lead is toying with the male lead after he is tricked into kissing another woman. She's set him up, so he's standing there with his eyes closed and his face in the right position; and as she looks at his face, there's a mixture of emotions on hers: tenderness, love, forgiveness, and a hint of sadness. It's probably one of the most evocative panels I've ever seen--and that's possible because of how big the eyes are drawn.

(Next panel she's grabbed his cheeks and stretched them, and says with a sly look, "Did you think I was going to kiss you?")

I'm not going to say such a scene is impossible in American-style comics. But it would take some serious artistic chops to make it work, and I've never seen anyone even try.

The other facet is the Japanese obsession with "cute". Big eyes are cute. There's an entire subgenre devoted to characters drawn with "the body ratios of a 4 year old"; it's called "super-deformed" (SD). Lucky Star was not-quite SD but it's close.

"Fine then," you say, "but why is Disney doing it?"

The simple answer is "money". The slightly more complicated answer is "lots of money".

We can argue the particulars, but the simple fact is that Japanese animation has been in the American market since the 1960s, but really took off in the mid-1990s. Sailor Moon was brought over from Japan, and Dragon Ball; and others came, too, like Pokemon (the big one) and others. By the time we hit the 21st century there were not many people who hadn't seen at least some anime.

Animation studios--Disney included--could not help but notice that kids really liked watching anime; the success of Pokemon alone is probably the equivalent of the GDP of some small country somewhere. And as the "hot new thing" in animation there's no question that the people graduating from various art colleges all over the place would pick up influences from Japanese art.

And so? To circle around to the "pedo Hollywood" angle now, I'm not sure how much of the style change comes from that. Recently a lot of evidence has come to light that there is quite a bit of pedophilia among the movers and shakers of this country--Vox makes that point here, something like 2,300 pedophiles arrested in a three-month period--and it's not going to get a lot better, I think.

Hollywood has always been a cesspool--there is a reason reputable hotels used to bar actors, among other undesirables--but I don't think Disney's style change is an indicator of this.

* * *

As for me, the one thing I must do before the new expac goes live is to cut the grass. So I'm going to put on some clothes (I've been writing this in my underwear; help yourself to the brain bleach, it's over there by the Soma and water from the river Lethe) and get it cut.

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