Category Archives: Entertainment

Vegeta is Stronger Than Goku

My straightforward top five list of favorite Japanese manga, in order: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Initial D, Fist of the North Star, then Dragon Ball Z. All of these stories revolve around power struggles, and feature breathtaking battles that expand your imagination. Far Eastern producers are skilled in creating epics of this type, the closest American animated production was the Batman cartoon of the nineties. Dragon Ball Z really drew me into the culture; as a boy, watching expressive men run around screaming about power levels and punching each other in the face was a blessing to this shut in. I ignorantly anticipated episodes after school as if the show weren’t already a decade old. By the time high school was over, I had seen every episode through the GT continuation due to my Asian connections.

Dragon Ball Z itself is a continuation of Dragon Ball, which I have chosen to remain oblivious to. To grossly over-generalize, the show stars Goku, an alien fighter of the Saiyen race, from the planet Vegeta [named after its ruling hierarchy] sent to destroy earth. Goku instead loses his memory and becomes earth’s savior through a series of fortunate events. Like a genie, Dragon Balls are artifacts used to raise a dragon who grants wishes. Vegeta, the Prince of all Saiyans, arrives on earth to fight Earth’s greatest combatants and use the Dragon Balls for himself. All fans of the show usually end up favoring Goku or Vegeta, there are some stubborn viewers who think Gohan is the greatest thing ever; they’re obviously deluded and won’t be considered in this discussion. For the record, my favorite character is Vegeta. Citing Goku’s desire to defend his family, and not have a heart of malice, Vegeta actually concedes that Goku is the stronger fighter. Goku fans point to this moment to definitively answer whose better; with all of the background out of the way, let’s consider the two prime reasons why they’re all wrong.

First, the sheer amount of assistance Goku receives does not rear its head in Vegeta’s favor, until his genius wife Bulma artificially raises his power level to Super Saiyen 4 levels. Goku is trained throughout his upbringing and entered into various tournaments, while Vegeta is presumably off overseeing Napa’s destruction of various alien worlds. Goku is trained in *heaven* by fighting *gods*, note the asterisks. Goku was further assisted to defeat Vegeta in the first place. Goku is also given the opportunity to train under extreme gravity conditions during his travels, while Vegeta merely feasts on inferior competition, until they meet again, at which time Goku has ascended to the first Super Saiyen level. This trend goes on, senzu beans; and on, instant transmission; and on, Trunks’ heart medication; and on, fountain of youth Goku… Add in a Saiyen’s natural ability to come back stronger from what doesn’t kill you, and you have to ask yourself, how much stronger do you return from DEATH.

Which brings us to the final point that makes everything else moot: Goku is dead. Piccolo killed Goku before Vegeta ever arrived on Earth. Either you concede that death is the end of a combatant’s participation in this argument, or that dying means nothing, which ultimately means no one is stronger than anyone else. The show would have you believe that the former is true according to certain circumstances, specifically if a villain is killed, then they are not permitted to return, despite the fact that heroes are obviously not bound to remain dead. Even in the after-life, there aren’t fighters capable of rivaling Goku at any level until far into the GT series, which means Frieza and Cell should have been locks to constantly return.

I’m not a fan of Lord of the Rings, or any other Fantasy based fiction. My initial attraction to Dragon Ball Z was partly based on the logical concept of power levels and the intricate explanations surrounding their employment. As the series progresses, rationale takes a back seat in favor of a deus ex machina filled theme of heroics. According to the rules of the rules of the Dragon Ball Z Universe, Goku is the strongest being to ever exist, except there aren’t any communicable rules; and if there were, then Vegeta would assume the title and circumvent all future threats by virtue of immortality. At least, that’s how I would write it.

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Succeed Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana, born Zoe Yadira Saldana Nazario, is currently the go-to minority action heroine of Hollywood. When Will Smith cracked the movie blockbuster code, it must have occurred to another demographic that similarly promising rules applied to them. Once a movie producer accounts for conventional wisdom and historical demographics, we’re left to conclude that profitable movie investments should reflect the desires of hormonally charged young white men, and old Jim Crow era white men. It’s then no surprise that as a black actress, you should sleep with enough white actors to be cast for your appeal to satisfy these factors. Let’s explore this theory on a movie by movie basis with the leading ingredient of mixed race relations; please note that I watched movie trailers for the most part, rather than subject myself to watching dreadful movies.

Let’s begin with the outliers, known to people who order movies on demand as, After Sex and The Heart Specialist; highlighted by explicit sex with Brian White, almost lodging a wrench in my theory, despite Brian’s ironic surname. Let’s follow up with her movies devoid of a love interest, including The Skeptic, Vantage Point, Center Stage, and Get Over it; followed by movies featuring soft ethnic relationships, including Takers and Drumline. Finally, let’s conclude with her sexually themed onscreen mixed race relations, including Avatar (yes, Avatar), The Losers, Crossroads, Death at a Funeral, Colombiana, The Words, Star Trek, and Burning Palms/Maneater; in the last of which she begs Nick Stahl to rape her, thereby removing The Heart Specialist wrench. From Halle Berry to Thandie Newton, professionally and personally, to the opposite end of the spectrum, from Uma Thurman to Angelina Jolie, leading ladies rarely share intimate screen space with black male love interests. Observe the roles of your favorite leading black male actors, from Idris Elba to Morgan Freeman and Will Smith himself, question how frequently they’re left without love interests. Zoe Saldana is the beneficiary of an industry that rewards her for enforcing a social bias; for which, if the prolific Voltaire legally scammed his fortunes through the lottery, then Zoe Saldana’s profitable exploitation is no less admirable.

Her blueprint’s sales potential has only recently gone mainstream with Scandal and Deception; special shout out to Shonda Rhimes, banking like the new Oprah! The last leading pair of African Americans on broadcast television starred in Undercovers, which despite rave reviews, was quickly canned. The real loser here is Tyler Perry, as much as I feign his cross dressing caricatures, his stubbornness to present black men in a positive light will forever relegate his productions to basic cable and poor box office sales. Congratulations Zoe Saldana! No hard feelings; for someone to win, someone has to lose.

Television in Review ‘12

My television watching is usually limited to sporting events, satirical political commentary, feature length films, and cartoons. Very little irks me like terrible television, so I do my best to avoid J.J. Abrams, stay Lost on the Fringe in Alcatraz with your Revolution! There’s a special place in hell for television shows that prolong story arcs solely for the sake of demographics. The following is my list of supplementary entertainment, from the worst of television to the best of this passing year:

Homeland

This show is the worst of the worst. Take a moment to list the pros and cons of the protagonist’s reckless behavior, ask yourself why she hasn’t been maimed, let alone indefinitely detained, then continue to suspend common sense if that’s what you’re into. While critics only now seem to be questioning the show’s gaping holes, rest assured I was up in arms since season one. No Bueno!

Walking Dead

As an athletically fit man, I can’t respect walking zombies after 28 Days Later mastered the genre; infected or undead, a walking foe limited to arm’s length is not a threat to any mobile person with a sense of direction. Maybe I ask too many questions: how long before the epidemic starves itself? Why hasn’t anyone built a moat? And who is mowing these lawns?! No Bueno!

Spartacus

Each episode of seasons one and two were individually epic. After two seasons set in captivity, I shuddered at the notion of open world locations, and how such a leap would damage a perfect storm’s execution; coupled with the unfortunate demise of Andy Whittaker, Spartacus is officially unwatchable. No Bueno!

Scandal

There’s a limit to the number of times I can listen to someone solve international political issues through their intuition. Shonda Rhimes continues to fine craft dramas perfectly suited for women; don’t be deluded, this is wrestling for females, like a parody of maternity. Trust me, believe me, I know, I can tell, it’s a feeling. No Bueno!

Game of Thrones

Many people will try to belittle your intelligence for not fawning over HBO’s greatest achievement since The Sopranos. People will argue that action isn’t everything, that the dialogue is succinct and will not coalesce with the dimwitted – for real? This show makes me want to consider reading the book, and definitely not watch this show; I would rather watch Jeopardy while reading a Lobo comic. No Bueno!

Newsroom

Best opening seven minutes of a television show debut ever. I remain devastated by the gradual slide from a news drama with romantic comedy, to a romantic comedy with news drama; now it’s Sex in the City with old news! May tune in to the first seven minutes of next season. Bueno!

Boss

Even after this messy season’s smug ending, I am gravely disappointed to learn this show was cancelled. The first season of Boss was a GEM. The second season didn’t deliver, and derailed like Heroes; as if, season two were similarly written on the fly. Bueno!

Shameless

Ever hear guys talk about how they would marry an actress based on her portrayal of a movie character, and you think how dumb that sounds? I would marry Emmy Rossum; Emmy Rossum, I would marry you. This dysfunctional family is FUNNY, SMART, FUNNY, and builds characters you want to slap, congratulate, or marry. Muy Bueno!

Mad Men

Played catch up with Seasons Four and Five this year, remains the sexiest show on television; see thirty two minutes into season five – episode five for clarity. Slight nitpicking: the producers should be desperate for better fight choreographers, they missed an epic opportunity. Muy Bueno!

Breaking Bad

Not much to say here, from season one through the first half of its final hurrah, it’s been business as usual: Best show on television. Second half of the final season resumes in 2013! Muy Bueno!

Honorable Mentions

  • The series finale of House was weak by the high standards set by this great show, Hugh Laurie will be sorely missed, and his deductive powers will thankfully not supplanted by Jon Miller.
  • Boardwalk Empire has been on my radar forever, will make the time in 2013.
  • The BBC’s Sherlock turned out better than America’s Elementary garbage!
  • Need to catch up on Nurse Jackie, her drug addictions recall fond memories of my cigarette and alcohol abuse.

Little Prejudice

I recently read Little Women immediately followed by Pride & Prejudice, each chronicles the lives of growing young women in a bygone era, so I thought I would review them in tandem for my first daily post. I will try to express my opinion of each book without spoiling the story for the uninitiated. Each review will receive one of these final ratings: No Bueno, Bueno, or Muy Bueno – because I’m random like that.

Little Women reads like a long winded fairy tale where you form a bond with the narrator who occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and the March family who we follow through adolescence and young adulthood. The main characters are the four young Marches, each seemingly embodying a distinct personality: Josephine the tough, Amy the lady, Beth the kind-hearted, and Meg the mature; their household is completed by their mother, affectionately called Marmee throughout, and a belligerent servant who speaks like a rapper writes. This book was meant for mothers to read to their daughters for lessons in patience, self-respect, self-esteem, and all the positive traits we wish upon them. Two problems, first, if we’re preaching life lessons including acceptance, then Josephine is clearly a lesbian, which shouldn’t bother anyone, and that opens the possibility that Beth is a special needs child. Second, the religious undertones and re-enforced gender roles: Josephine the lesbian is the only little woman interested in working, and none of these girls appear to be educated in any of the sciences, preferring inaudibly rousing speeches instead of intellectual debates. Alas, I am clearly not the target audience; and yet, I found the story endearing and the family likeable overall. Bueno.

Pride and Prejudice is a bit more grown up. My favorite quote opens the book:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

The scene continues with Mrs. Bennet begging her husband to marry her daughter off to the neighborhood’s newest rich young bachelor. Quick tangent, when did parents stop arranging their children’s future? The Bennets have four daughters, the son-less theme continues; we’re primarily concerned with the two eldest Bennet daughters: Elizabeth the protagonist and Jane the beautiful. Their hearts-for-swords fencing partners are Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, each of whom are wildly rich and terribly sought after. I took a particular liking to Mr. Darcy, because much like myself, we have a prideful air about us that regularly leaves people with snobbish impressions despite our disassociation. The Prejudice arises due to the Pride, we’re treated to plot twists and loads of pensive thoughts; quite frankly, too much pensive thought, and for adult affairs, this drawn out mystery thriller is lacking sexual tension. If lust isn’t required with your love, then this is the book for you: adult problems and mea culpa solutions without any passion. At least Jane Austen painted better villainy and deception in the world than the terror of science, and a little woman’’s malaise. Bueno.

#Sherlock #Elementary

Jonny Lee Miller acting like Robert Downey Junior acting as Sherlock Holmes, we’re watching the pilot episode of Elementary on CBS; having already read most every Sherlock story to date, let the complaints begin…

  • Tiny Lucy Liu uncomfortably jogging #ouch #knees #cringe the series begins with fraudulent athleticism; take note of the *being something you’re not* omen.
  • We’re supposed to believe this gentleman is a junkie from *junkie jail* due to alcohol abuse? For children much?
  • Lucy Liu’s phone rang, deep within a 42nd Street subway station, none of the cast or crew lives in New York? #unnecessary
  • Trying not to hate the main character, because he’s supposed to be this annoying, Watson on the other hand #ugh
  • For the love of monologues, if a woman’s name is Paula James, do you call her James or Paul? #stupid
  • If the mailman saw the body through the window, why did we walk through a room AND hallway to see it on camera?
  • While Dr. Gregory House would’ve appreciated that puzzle, please #cancel this show nonetheless, thank you.

There may be hope for this franchise elsewhere, all indications point towards a superior BBC product…

The Dark Knight Rises Notes

    Prelude…

  • Concession patron tried to sell me a medium sized popcorn, I asked if I looked like two people … *forever alone*
  • Despite my best efforts to elude a crowd for my viewing pleasure, there were more children in my theater than the average New York City classroom.
  • Previews were nothing special, Man of Steel teaser doesn’t lend itself to anticipation.
  • Main Attraction

  • In what amounts to be a serious drama, a flimsy woman physically overpowering trained brutes is as egregious as the Wilhelm scream.
  • See the gun fire, hear the gun fire, see a body lying on the ground; no blood besides facial paint, not sure if The Dark Knight Rises was PG or PG13.
  • The Dark Knight > The Dark Knight Rises
  • Inception > The Dark Knight Rises
  • The caped crusader illusion did not work for me this time around, the hype certainly didn’t help; Final score, one out of three somethings, very unfair of me.
  • Extracurricular

  • You know how I know Athiesm is trending? Whenever someone recites biblical verses on public transportation, everyone else groans.
  • If you’re a young lady about that money, then why are you vying so hard for the attention of guys skipping bus fare.

How I Use Instagram

If you follow me, comment, or heart any of my instagrams, then I will browse through your profile with similar intentions, and subsequently follow you if I like your content. I dislike constantly recurring themes, including your cats and children, borders, bad blur jobs, and images of text – in which case the quote is usually terrible, misspelled, or incorrectly attributed. Also, I do not follow people who do not follow others, please enjoy your *celebrity stardom* all the same. I have a soft spot for architecture, patterns, nature, geometry, skin, and unusual perspectives. When I open Instagram I’d like to be greeted by a variety of awesome. Best wishes all, follow me @jorenerene.