Welcome to 1998!

January 5th, 2019

Sebastian Gorka thinks I'm an Obnoxious Jerk.

You might recall that, a bit back, I ended my tryst with Twitter, and minimized my contact with Facebook. I did this primarily because both of those sites are doing their best to cater to literal Nazis, while curtailing everyone else's use of their services, ostensibly because they are scared of being called out for 'bias' by Nazis. Which seems a strange thing to be scared of.

I did this because, for decades now, I have maintained my very own web site to share whatever I feel like, leaving the antisocial media creatures for intaction with others. While I used those antisocial media services, I never got rid of my own site, even if it changed form (and the associated domain) more than a few times. Because I like having my own site.

It's kind of nice to be able to post whatever content you like, as long as it doesn't actually break the law, without being censored by the underpaid minions of these billion dollar corporate behemoths. And make no mistake, I have been slapped down numerous times by said behemoths, primarily because what I said got under the skin of some right-wing puke or another.

And not because it actually violated their sites' terms, but because they whined to the site in question about what I said, instead of just blocking me like this literal Nazi.

Apparently, the rest of the universe is catching up to me - or at least, catching back up to 1998. The clowns at Vice, for instance, have twigged onto the notion of deleting your social medias and simply... making your very own web site. Congrabulations, Vice, you've caught up with me. Took you a few decades, but it's nice to see that you've come around to my way of thinking.

Douchebags. (I'll fix the in-site links eventually)

Robots Slumming In Disguise

January 4th, 2019

Robots Disguised As Rusty Station Wagons?

One of the things that always bothered me about the Transformers was the fact that, despite the fact that they were supposed to be in disguise, they run around with their faction symbols on full display. I assume that this is so that kids would know which robot was good and which was evil, but that always served as a terminal disconnect in my mind.

What I'm saying is that, if trying to determine whether or not one of their enemies were spying on them nearby, all they had to do was to look for the bright, bold symbols saying that vehicle belongs to them. And then, you know, blow the living daylights out of it while they were sitting idle and helpless. Because if I were a Decepticon, that's what I would do.

This is why, when I'm driving down the road for whatever reason, it irks me to no end when I spy someone putting around with an Autobot or Decepticon symbol plastered on their car. I would be marginally less vexed if it were some sort of sleek, expensive looking sports car that has been so branded by its owner, because at least a self-respecting Cybertronian would consider that form.

But when it's, say, a rusted out station wagon, nope. Just nope. And don't even get me started with the whole 'well, maybe it's the perfect form because nobody would expect that rusty, broken down hunk of junk to be a powerful alien combatant in disguise' garbage. I didn't even buy that in the live-action movie when the yellow guy was posing as a broken down garbage heap. And I don't buy it now.

Again, I say nope.

Draw Doodles!

January 3rd, 2019

Draw Doodles!

Just yesterday, I mentioned the wonderful artwork my wife produces, and I found myself thinking that some of y'all just might be interested in what she's up to, creatively speaking. As such, I figured I would point the lot of you towards where she's starting to build out an online business dealing with precisely that. In case you were wondering, it's over on that Etsy site.

The name of her store is Draw Doodles, and she's selling a wide variety of products for your purchasing pleasure. Whether you're looking for bunny stickers, amazing wall decals, beautiful pet portraits, digital washi tapes, adult coloring book fodder, or anything else she's likely to add in the near future, this is the place to go. Be a trend setter, and get them before all your friends do!

Unlike a lot of the people selling things on Etsy, she isn't just importing bargain bin garbage from Chinese manufacturers, and then marking it up while claiming it's made in America. No, she's an American craftswoman, producing the art and manufacturing the goods right here, in this country. So put your money where your mouth is, and buy American. Support American businesses, already!

After all, just look at that cute bunny art! Look at it!

The Greatest Satan

January 2nd, 2019

Truly, the Greatest Satan.

In the past, I've mentioned the fact that the site was not always obnoxiousjerk.com, or even banality.com, but thegreatsatan.com. Well, probably the .org or .net, because my memory fails me the older I get, but whatever. As is my tendency, I hopped on Godaddy after gibbering about the old domain names on the first of the year, and was poking around with new ones there.

What's funny is that thegreatsatan.com is selling for twenty thousand dollars, now. That's a whole lot of money for a domain that's just sitting there, collecting dust. Were I smart, I'd bid a hundred dollars for it, like I did with banality.com, since they wanted almost three thousand at the time, and apparently I was the only person who ever expressed interest. Which is inexplicable.

The .net and .org variations on the theme are going for a song, naturally, because nobody wants one of those. But what I found great is that while thegreatsatan.com requires one to hand over their first born child in exchange, one can purchase thegreatestsatan.com for only twenty bucks. Well, that is until someone reads this and picks it up, and then they'll probably mark it up.

Instead of doing something with it.

I imagine that, had I not already invested myself in obnoxiousjerk.com, I'd pick up the thegreatestsatan.com or greatestsatan.com for use as my personal site. I mean c'mon, there's a bunch of great Satans out there, but the greatest Satan? There's literally only one! And besides, my wonderful wife has already produced the perfect mascot image for such a site, based on one of my old characters.

Bonus nerdery: the Great Satan written up for the nerd game I support on my nerd site. Complete with much worse art created by me like what, twenty years ago?

Insert Pithy New Year's Day Title Here

January 1st, 2019

What do you know, it's January 1st again. January 1st, 2019!

You'd think I really like this image.

As is my wont, I've come to the Jerk to comment on the calendar rolling over once more. This is a thing I tend to do, even though the whole thing is silly. On the other hand, at least I'm not assaulting you with New Year's listicles or whatever the current clickbait trend is, but I'm not even monetizing this site (yet), so you need not fear any of that hokum rearing its ugly head here.

Mind you, the big difference between the last couple of times I've done this and today is that I'm doing so on a completely different domain! That's right, I am no longer thegreatsatan.com or banality.com, but www.obnoxiousjerk.com! And while I loved the second of those domains, the truth is that I wasn't using it to its fullest extent, so hopefully the new owner can.

While I have set a few 2019 goals for myself, a lot of them are inline with I'd already planned. I have a set amount of progress I'd like to make on my role-playing game site, Technohol 13. I am going to try really hard to get in better shape, because I made a bit of progress in that regard last year, and would like it to continue. Oh, and I'm going to write here more.

While I'm not about to declare that I'm going to update this site daily again, as I attempted in 2016, I am nonetheless going to keep making more Jerks. Hur hur. I'm not sure why I started calling my individual updates to this site Jerks, but it popped in my head and it stuck. Which is kind of why I write here. Some thoughts need to be put to pixel so they get out of my brain, finally.

So I guess stay tuned? I'm more than prepared to mortify you with the minutiae of my tortured, tortured thought process. You've been warned! (I'll fix those first links, uh, eventually)

Get out of the pool, Croc Master. GET OUT OF THE POOL.

December 13th, 2017

Your dog bit Timmy, Croc Master.

A lot of my nerdery, as I have pointed out in the past, involves writing things on my nerdiest of nerd sites, Technohol 13. I've been working on this thing for decades, ostensibly to finish up the various projects I'd started since 1985 over there before I die of old age. Or plague. Or, you know, whatever. And the content there is for use in role-playing games.

So when I'm crafting something over there, the idea is to transform the subject of my research from whatever media it exists in to usable in-game descriptions. And a lot of the time, this is relatively straight-forward, meaning enough of the work has already been done for me that vomiting out a block of statistics, powers, equipment, and back story is easy enough.

But then there's this guy. Croc Master is a villain from the GI Joe toy line, who you can probably guess has a thing for crocodiles. He wears their skin, he meditates in swamps with them, he uses them in a hare-brained business that provides security for eccentric (read: costumed villains) billionaires. He's silly, but he was amusing enough in his few comic book appearances.

But when researching a character like this, and attempting to write something that isn't completely ridiculous, I wind up tripping over art commissioned by the toy company of him playing with his pet croc in a swimming pool, all while everyone around him seems only mildly terrified at the prospect. And then I feel the need to throw my hands up and drink three bottles of rum.

Because come on.

Sticking it to Incels

November 19th, 2017

It's actually pretty fun.

As is my wont, for good or ill, I read the interent. In the process of doing so earlier this year, I discovered someone was producing a remake of the 1980s She-Ra cartoon. I had seen a few episodes of it back in the day, but as my interests were shifting from the He-Man sphere of content to things like GI Joe and Transformers, well, it didn't really stick.

One could try and claim that this was because it was primarily aimed at girls, but the truth was that the cartoon stunk on ice, to coin a phrase. Feel free to judge for yourself! YouTube has numerous clips of this show up for your viewing displeasure. Despite this series being the partial brainchild of the mind behind Babylon 5, Sense8, and the Twelve, it was horrible.

Not to bag on Mr. Straczynski, of course, because he only had what he had to work with, and what he had to work with was the insipid horror that was the Filmation animation studio, who was notoriously cheap in every aspect of its products. Again, go watch some She-Ra clips. Or some He-Man clips. Or anything by those hacks, for that matter. That'll set you straight.

So, not having any emotional attachment to this particular series, I wasn't really feeling the need to watch it. However. Further reading within the dumpster fire that is the internet revealed to me that there was some sort of resistance to this new series, from self-described 'fans' of the original one. And not because the show was being rebooted, but because the lead character wasn't 'sexy enough'.

To which I said 'Bwuh?'

So I looked into this further, and I can only come to the conclusion that this nontroversy is a bunch of poutrage from nerds who a) most likely had never watched an episode of the original show, b) are mad that they don't have yet another animated Barbie ™ doll fantasy to masturbate to, and c) have probably never actually touched a woman in their entire life.

Thus, in order to stick it to these incel turds, I've decided that I'm going to watch the whole series, now that it's live on Netflix. After all, that will make its metrics look better to the Netflix folks, and thus far what I've watched has been enjoyable. It's amusing and has a decent story, which, strangely enough, hews pretty close to the basic idea behind the original, crap series from thirty years ago.

Me and Brenda haven't watched the last two episodes yet, but that'll probably happen before too long. But we're defintely happy with it so far, and can't recommend it enough. So heave yourself over to the remote control and fire the new She-Ra up, already. As long as you like humorous action-adventure that borders on the ludicrous. But then, when you mix magic, technology, and goofballs, how couldn't it be?

Also. (I'll fix the in-house links eventually)

What Are You Tarkin About?

November 18th, 2018

Live, or Memorex ™?

Brenda was out of town for a week and a half very recently, which left me with not a whole lot to do. Having stopped trolling douchebags on Twitter, and my attempts to do so to douchebags on Facebook falling flat with the admins of a group or two caving in to their most racist members, I resorted to working on my nerd site and assorted television time to keep myself entertained.

One boob tube project I indulged in was a double header of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I did this for three reasons. The first was, well, because Star Wars. The second was that I wanted to see how well the two flowed together, since one was an immediate prequel to the other. And the third was, naturally, because of Tarkin.

The first time I watched Rogue One, I found the computer-generated Grand Moff Wilhulf Tarkin to be in the uncanny valley territory. His face seemed too detailed, too wrought with discernible features the rest of the cast lacked - unless, they too were generated by computer. Like the awesome Mon Calamari admiral featured here and there (no, not Ackbar, a different one).

But I thought, why not see how he looked in both, to make a proper judgment? So I paid close attention to the appearance of Tarkin in the film made decades before he died, and the one made decades after. And, what I found was that Tarkin looks just as distressing in both. His face is full of horrifying detail in each film, which everyone else around him simply does not possess.

Maybe my vision isn't 20/10 any longer, but I have to say the Rogue One people simply captured what was already there. The visage of an incredibly creepy, haunting villain. Sure, you can still tell that CGI Tarkin was artificial, but only just. I don't think the technology to seamlessly, digitally recreate actors for live-action films is quite there yet, but it's close. Very, very close.

The solution to this would be to either finish that job, thus making all video ultimately unreliable, or to simply animate entire films with that level of character accuracy. Both would work, I s'pose.

Villainous Distractions

November 16th, 2018

Last week, I provided a few capsule descriptions of some second stringer heroes I used to protect City while it was live. As a counterpart to that effort, and as my final word on the countless characters I played with in that series of games, I thought I'd do the same for my also-ran and third tier villains. Well, they weren't all that bad, but I'm running out of descriptive words.

The first of these is Mister Really Long Name, a guy whose name was, as you can guess, as long as you could give a character. He was a guy with the power to poison others, and had a small following of thugs he'd addicted to various drugs his body concocted. The leader of this band, Mister Really Long Name was another mastermind, like Three Dollar Bill, though his minions were a bit... fleshier.

A close second for my favorite mastermind, Mister Really Long Name was an odd character, because his poison power set was built to be a sort of single-target debuff. He couldn't quite produce the mayhem that my other masterminds did, but instead of bedlam, he could efficiently dismantle just about any one foe at at time. Unless he called for a Gang War, at which point all bets were off.

Uncle Samhain was my main, and possibly only, brute within the City of Villains. They were like scrappers, save for the fact that their damage output spiked the more they attacked - or were attacked. So, if you could find a way to keep your endurance up, you could just start a pain train with brutes that didn't end until the structure you were in was completely devoid of anything else living.

Save for your allies. Assuming you let them live. Uncle Samhain was a fire brute, using the fire melee and fire armor sets, which fit in with his demonic aspect quite nicely. And he was the best for irking butthurt pagans, who felt the need to educate him about the origins of 'Samhain', which was hilarious because a) I know them, and b) I know their entire religion is stapled together nonsense.

Last but not least on this trinity of villainous capsule descriptions is the Apostlypse. This kook was a hobo who got into... something toxic in the outskirts of the Rogue Islands, and wound up developing smite-worthy powers of mind control and fire generation. This unlikely combo twisted his already-skewered mind into a religious fervor, and he turned into one of those obnoxious street preacher types.

Who could, you know, back up his words with convincing brainwashing - and third degree burns to those who were resistant to his brain taint. Like the other two villains described here, Apostlypse managed to hit the game's maximum level mostly by happenstance, namely by beating up heroes and other villains while he wasn't being an insufferable pest in the chat channel provided for his current location.

As was the case with my minor heroes, I could really go on about my more obscure villains for a really, really long time. But I won't, because I've already done this for what, thirteen jerks already? So I'll spare you any more about these particular kooks, and quit nerding it up about the City of Heroes / City of Villains / City of Evil Goatees now. Thanks for reading, and catch you later!

Installments in this series:
01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

Book Much Less

November 10th, 2018

Minimal Facebook Zone.

Just over two months ago, I made my exit from Twitter. While I'm slow and it generally takes a while for things to finally sink in for me, I eventually noticed what was happening within that site. You know, bending over for fascists and racists, all while disproportionally penalizing those who took them to task. I retain my account, but I don't participate in Twitter conversations anymore.

On the other hand, I've seen Facebook's problems worsening for a long time. It has developed into what I can only describe as a rogue corporation. Whether through sheer ineptitude or sinister intent, it has aided and abetted the spread of fasicsm around the world. Not to mention actual, physical murders in some countries, on a scale that is actually hard to comprehend.

Thus, I am mostly withdrawing from Facebook, as well. I still have friends and family there, as well as a promotional page for my nerd site (LIKE IT), so I'm not leaving altogether. However, I have mostly sanitized and burned down what I had there, and anything I add henceforth will only remain temporarily, until I ultimately delete it as well.

This will allow me to keep in touch with those people on Facebook that I actually want to keep in touch with, and will prevent Facebook from indefinitely profiting from anything I happen to have shared on it. Sure, they may get transient benefit from me griping about something or other that I hadn't had time to expand upon in Jerk form, here, but that will dry up in time, along with everything else.

That's about as happy a medium as I can come up with for the time being, without becoming a complete digital recluse. Which you'd think is precisely my goal, since search engine placement for the 13 has utterly tanked, and people still tell me they've just discovered that thing. Even though it's literally been online for what, 20.5 years, now? Ugh! But, as is my wont, I have digressed.

So yeah, getting back to the point, minimizing Facebook usage, negating Twitter participation. I read a few things on each, from either folks I care for or strangers whose opinions I appreciate, but that's it. I think that's the smallest amount of antisocial media I have made use of since 2008. And, despite a likely period of withdrawal from it, I'm sure I'll thank myself for this in the long run.

That's what I keep telling myself, at any rate.