Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Anti-Reagan.



They hit the nail on the head. Good job.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fall of Manga and Anime article by Jessica Chobot from IGN.

It's an older article from June 12 of this year, I agree with all of this article.

The Fall of Manga and Anime.

Quote. "Chobot looks at the fractures in the industry, and how they're affecting her enthusiasm for its products.

by Jessica Chobot

June 12, 2008 - It's time to say the thing that Japanophiles and otaku aren't supposed to say: I am bored to tears with manga and anime here in the US of A.

After one of our contributors posted about the apparent decline of TokyoPop earlier this month, it got me thinking more and more about my increasingly dismissive attitude towards what was previously one of my more passionate hobbies.

For any anime/manga aficionado whose paying even a small amount of attention, it is obvious that TokyoPop isn't the only one struggling. Geneon has been essentially dissolved. ADV has been oddly silent of late which could be good or bad, but judging how some of their fellow competitors are faring, chances are it's the latter. In fact, the only two publishers seem to have found some stability and success: Viz, with their massively popular shojo/shonen titles, and Funimation, with the never-ending Dragon Ball Z and One Piece franchises alongside some quality live-action movies.

While it is all fair and good to try and piece together what's happening within the manga and anime trade by reading between the lines of press releases and rumor mongering, it still seems somewhat disconnected from what made manga and anime flourish here in the states in the first place: The fans.

As Ramsey stated in his article, the current state of the economy, the cost of books and DVDs, file-sharing, the "gray" legal area that fan-subs fall into, etc… all of these things have had an impact on sales. Yet the problem is a little bit more complex than unfortunate fans with empty pockets and questionable legality issues.

From a collector's standpoint (that collector being "moi"), there's a slight stink of "get rich quick" scheming that has sullied the US manga/anime market. The over-saturation of mediocre product for the sake of having full bookstore shelves is one of the more obvious problems. For every Death Note that is imported and translated for English audiences, there are ten other titles that, for lack of a better phrase, are complete and utter crap.

Various distribution companies, having caught on to the fact that girls were spending their hard-earned dollars on shojo titles, instantly bombarded stores with pile after pile of any and all romantically-inclined manga in the hopes of cashing in on the craze. Companies that should have never attempted to delve into the unfamiliar waters of shojo comics (Harlequin Romance's release, in conjunction with Dark Horse Comics, of the Harlequin Pink line) tried to get their greedy hands on a piece of the action.

This demonstration of blatant disregard for the taste and intelligence of their targeted readership is, at its best, foolish, and at its worse, insulting.

The problem doesn't just begin and end with "girl" manga/anime either. Many of the themes found in various manga, whether shojo, shonen, comedy or others, come off as stale and unimaginative. Fans have been inundated with the same plot lines, same dialogue, same character backgrounds and same art style. While the argument of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," can be made, the counter notion of, "too much, too soon," also holds a certain amount of relevance.

Another slightly questionable and very controversial practice from the hard-core fan POV has been TokyoPop's aggressive push of OEL (Original English Language) manga. While the argument over whether or not OEL manga is or is not "legitimate" manga can be argued back and forth forever as a personal taste issue, things get a little more sticky when one references the 2005 article by Publisher Weekly. In the article, Viz publicity director, Evelyn Dubocq is quoted as suggesting that companies are only pushing original authors because, "they are struggling to find licensed content. Manga are Japanese in origin." Her statement is backed up when, in the same article, James Killen (a graphic novels buyer for Barnes & Noble) states that the Japanese licensed titles outsell the OEL titles. While TokyoPop rallied back with some very strong points in favor of OELs, given TokyoPop's current press release and supposed state of affairs it looks as if Viz may have sunk 'Pop's battleship in this debate.

With the constant and ever increasing influx of manga and anime, a certain mystique has long been missing from "the hobby." No more are the days when anime and manga had to be special ordered from some independent Asian imports shop. No more trolling through the basements of various neighborhoods comic stores for that old VHS of Ranma ½. Similar to the current videogame market, the argument that in exchange for ease of acquirement and inclusion of both "hardcore" and "casual" fans, companies are shooting for the lowest common denominator: A "jack of all trades but master of none" attitude where everyone gets a little bit of something, but none of it is very good.

Before the Wachowski brothers pillaged Speed Racer. Before Adult Swim broadcast decently English-dubbed animes featuring short blonde boys who know alchemy. Even before Ghost in the Shell was released on the big screen to select art-house audiences. Hell, before I was even in college, you knew the manga you were reading or the anime you were buying was assured to be of high quality. The shows or books would be in-depth and pushing the boundaries of anything you had ever seen before because if the companies in Japan felt that the title was worthy enough to sub-title and release it in the States then there must be something there.

Now, with most Western publishing companies pushing every license they can get their hands on, companies that shouldn't be in the game are attempting to stick their foot in the door for no good reason whatsoever. Other companies are trying to fill a void or establish new "genres" of manga/anime in order to keep milking their cash-cow. Simply put, US buyers and fans have become overwhelmed with a watered-down product.

As terrible as this may sound, I'm a little glad to see some of these companies shrinking their numbers and cutting back on production. I'd like to see the manga/anime/otaku lifestyle come full circle and resemble its former golden glory days once more.

It's all about quality over quantity, people. Remember that." End quote

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I just wish the rest of the media was like this.



If they did it wouldn't even be close. John McCain would win it in a landslide. I want the America people to really think about Barack Obama and what he would do if he were president. If enought of them do and get over hateing Bush (I don't know why hate him so much, I really like Bush), John McCain might just pull this one out.

Barbara West is my new hero.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joe Biden is the gift that keeps on giving.



I don't have any love for MSNBC or Dan Rather at all, but this is such a good clip I have to post it on my blog.

What if Sarah Palin has this about John McCain how the media what did with it. They would have when wild with the story and wouldn't have stop talking about it in till Nov 4.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dallas gets Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions.

After what happen to Dallas Cowboys this week they need some good news for a change.

This guy is a top WR and good really help out TO and help him get more one and one match ups in the secondary. With Tony Romo out for a month. Pac Man Jones suspended indefinitely. This is what the Cowboys needed to happen.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

This guy is my new hero.



I just wish John McCain would get this passionate during the debates. I'm been really down lately about this up coming election. If the polls don't change soon John McCain won't even make this a race VS Obama.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This is a great article by Lisa Schiffren.

You should read this article on what John McCain need's to do between now and November 4.

This is from Lisa Schiffren of National review online Quote " At this point, the McCain campaign’s goal should be to raise doubts about Obama’s trustworthiness, and thus ability to lead. This will require a strategy and a tactic.

The campaign’s strategy should be to attack from all directions: character, past associations, political practice in Chicago, “present” votes, lack of a record of accomplishment. It should question what it means for a law professor to leave no academic paper trail, yet produce two well-written autobiographies.

Tactically, it should have Sarah Palin and surrogates — Giuliani, Gingrich, Romney, Pawlenty, Crist, and Sanford — blast away from a few different angles a day. Have the articulate ones make complete, coherent cases on each issue.

Make Barack Obama defend himself, fill in the mysterious gaps, and list concrete outcomes from his work. We shall see how much grace he brings to that situation. Attack hard enough to make the American people pay attention. Any wavering voter should know the reasons that a vote for Obama is a risk, and they should know what it guarantees.

McCain must rise to this moment and be crystal clear about his future economic policy. And it has to be good. Let people know he understand the pain we are all facing together. Because making voters wary of Obama, which they have resisted pretty strenuously heretofore, doesn’t get them to the polls for the Republican candidate.

Here are ten suggestions for the campaign:

1: The economy. Democrats are blaming the current crisis — the one requiring the now-$800 billion bailout — on McCain’s aversion to regulation. Explain the difference between more regulations and useful regulations. Explain that all the regulations in the world, applied to financial institutions, won’t help if government policy mandates that banks issue mortgages to people who can’t repay them. Explain who wanted so badly to expand homeownership, and why, and who benefitted from the work of Freddie and Fannie. List the top three recipients of Freddie and Fannie’s campaign donations.


That’s the history. Here is the abstract point to move to: Obama and his allies truly, deeply believe that markets are bad, and a small group of smart, good-hearted people — them — should be running things. The smart people had the good intentions of having the poor own homes. So they overrode traditional banking norms, which they called racist. Now we are all paying for their leftist ideology. For a real fight, mention the Community Reinvestment Act. Ask what happens in the near future when the “A team” — Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charles Rangel, Barney Frank, and Barack Obama — are in charge of the economy, during the coming recession.

Don’t sugar-coat the economic situation. If McCain wins, he presides over tough times.

2: Taxes. Contrast McCain’s tax policies with Obama’s by explaining the difference between letting people (and businesses) keep their own money, and giving them benefits at taxpayer expense. The former is what it means to have economic freedom. The latter is a real cost to taxpayers. McCain would not “spend” $300 million dollars, as Obama alleges, by failing to confiscate $300 million from businesses or individuals.

Also explain that Barack Obama’s tax ”cuts” for the poor consist of straightforward, massive redistribution of taxpayer dollars to people who already are not required to pay taxes. Hammer the point that only about 60 percent of American earners even pay taxes. Taxes for the working poor are called the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is the opposite of a tax. Cite statistics indicating that decided “tax recipients” are pro-Obama, support higher taxes for those who pay, and want bigger checks.

Ask why Barack Obama wants to make us all wards of the state, with state health care. Is this a good moment to embrace 20th Century Socialism Lite, even if we are facing a year or two of belt tightening? Shouldn’t the future be freer, with less state interference in our lives? And on the matter of the recession we are facing — explain in language a 10-year-old can understand that we will get through it faster if we don’t gum up the job-creating process with new taxes.

3: Spending. McCain should say he will cut spending because he believes that government should be smaller for both practical and philosophical reasons. Enough about earmarks. They are bad. But Obama won when he said they were only $18 billion — a small percentage of federal expenditures. Point out that the “bridge to nowhere” was egregious — but even with more legitimate projects, choices have to be made. Note that when Jim Lehrer asked what new programs each candidate would be willing to cut, Obama offered none but said we should be investing more money in early-childhood education. Here’s a phrase: magic thinking. We’re broke. Ask voters if they personally are focused on cutting spending or buying better services right now, going into this recession.

On Tuesday night, have McCain look at Obama and say, “You think early-childhood education is important? That $972 million you spent on local nonsense, money that went to Tony Rezko, programs administered by your Reverend Wright, and, by the way, the hospital where your wife works, could have paid for a fair bit of it.”

4: A little populism. McCain will have to defend much of the bailout by explaining that Wall Street and Main Street are two sides of the same coin. Of course McCain is not a fan of massive CEO salaries, though he doesn’t think it is the president’s job to level them. Admonish that this is the time for executives to tone down the greed and boards to makes sure they do.

5: Run McCain as his own man, not as a senator. McCain should stop saying “maverick,” and stop being sentimental about the Senate and his place in it. Most voters despise Congress. Stop with the “my dear friend” and “I love him, but . . .” What does he think an insider sounds like?

6: Bill Ayers and other close friends. Discuss the details of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’ long-term relationship with Obama. Ayers served with the candidate on the Woods Fund board, and Obama was handsomely paid for that work. Who introduced them, and when? Make Obama explain why the Woods Fund gave grants to racial programs (“Juneteenth education”) rather than basic education for deprived minority kids.

Speaking of terrorist buds, Barack and Michelle were close with Rashid and Mona Khalidi, convicted terrorism supporters. What was that about? Make the analogy to the Reverend Wright. Hit the larger point that there are so many of these long-term social relationships with people who hate this country and find it mean-spirited and racist. What does Barack enjoy about hanging with these types?

7: Arrogance bordering on treason. On his listening tour last summer, Senator Obama attempted to undermine Bush administration policy in Iraq. In personal conversations he asked that the Iraqi leadership wait for the next administration (his) to begin serious troop withdrawals — as Amir Taheri has documented. Apparently, he wanted to make it look as if the troops were coming home due to him.

8: Women. Why are women on Obama’s Senate staff in lower positions, and making less money, relative to the McCain campaign’s women? McCain is a feminist now, what with his VP choice.

9: Smart but wrong. McCain has a relatively inexperienced running mate. She’ll be a swell veep, but she isn’t really ready to be president right now. When it comes up, note that judgment matters. Your ticket can boast of no Harvard degrees. But experience teaches that people who are smart and wrong are far more dangerous than people who have solid instincts and less grad school. But by far the worst combination is an inexperienced intellectual who has absolute conviction that his radical ideas are superior.

10: What he’s for. While leveling attacks, McCain should simultaneously convey real empathy for Americans who are in tough economic situations. He can share tales of suffering, show that his heart goes out to his fellow citizens, and promise to do his utmost to help. But it is not possible for the federal government to fix everyone’s problems. Discuss health care, business formation, jobs. Announce that McCain will assemble a new team, and name a few reassuring leaders. Offer a comprehensive economic plan to firm up the economy, shrink government, foster job creation, and make sure that safety nets are in place. In other words, a plan to tweak, not reinvent, the economy. End quote"

She right.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Keep at it McCain.



Now bring it home this Tuesday for the debate.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rein.



Thank you John McCain. Now he needs to say this in next week debate. It time the America people know who got us in the mess in the first place.