Month: April 2013


According to the Internet, today is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman.

There's rather a lot I can say about Superman -- from how the people who think he's boring are wrong, to my disappointment at the recent decisions in the Siegel and Shuster heirs' attempts to reclaim the rights.

But I'm not feeling so hot right now, so instead I'm just going to leave you with the very first Fleischer Superman cartoon. In which he punches fucking lasers.


It's kinda funny how Parish's Anatomy of Zelda 2 series got me interested in replaying the game, and now it's halfway to convincing me not to finish it.

And talking of Zelda, Nintendo's gone and announced A Link to the Past 2. Don't go writing checks you can't cash, now, Nintendo; you wanna use that title you'd better be damn sure.

I've spent the past twenty years trying to find another game like LttP. I've only really found one: Link's Awakening.

My gripes about the 3D Zeldas are well-worn and don't need repeating. But even the top-down ones haven't managed to capture my interest. I played a bit of the Oracles games and Minish Cap but they just didn't quite do it for me. Four Swords was great, but it was a bitch getting four Game Boys together to actually play the thing. I expect we'll hear about a Wii U sequel any time now given that the console seems to be made for exactly that sort of thing.

I've tried other games in the genre, from the new -- I'm enjoying Bastion quite a bit but it's about as far from open-world exploration as it gets -- to games closer to LttP's own vintage -- I dig Soul Blazer all right but the sudden difficulty spikes at the bosses are pretty discouraging.

So, what the hell, Nintendo, show me what you've got. Show me a big open world with a bunch of off-the-path secrets for me to stumble on, and don't waste my time with a bunch of goddamn mandatory fishing minigames, and I just might save up and get myself a 3DS.

There's more to LttP than the enemies and mechanics. I hope the crew on this game understands that and doesn't deliver us yet another rote Zelda sequel.

Still, even if it is a rote sequel, it's nice to be looking down at it from overhead for a change.

Don't Buy from med_express_sales

Hi, I'm the Frivolous Suit.  And I think Med Express is AWESOME.

I've never done business with Med Express. I can't speak to the quality of their products or services.

But, per Ken White at Popehat, I know enough to know I wouldn't do business with them even if the opportunity ever did arise.

See, Med Express is suing a customer for giving it negative feedback on eBay.

It doesn't dispute the substance of the feedback. And yet, it's suing all the same.

When notified of the problem, Med Express immediately offered to reimburse Nicholls for the postage due amount. Despite this offer, and before giving Med Express a chance to reimburse her, Nicholls on February 26, 2013, apparently as a result of the $1.44 postage due, posted negative feedback and comments for the transaction on Ebay's website and gave Med Express low ratings in the Detailed Seller Ratings section of Ebay's Feedback Forum, resulting in an unfavorable feedback profile for Med Express. In so doing, Nicholls falsely and deliberately slandered the good name and reputation of Med Express.

Well, okay, two things:

  1. Anyone who refers to written words as "slander" is clearly not familiar with even the basics of defamation law. Here, I'll let J Jonah Jameson explain:
  2. It's not defamatory if it's true.

Now, free speech attorney Paul Alan Levy tried to explain that to Med Express's lawyer. Here's how that went:

I contacted James Amodio, Med Express's lawyer, to explain to him the many ways in which his lawsuit is untenable. He readily admitted that, as the complaint admits, everything that the customer had posted in her feedback was true; he did not deny that a statement has to be false to be actionable as defamation; but he just plain didn’t care. To the contrary, he told me that I could come up to Medina, Ohio, and argue whatever I might like, but that the case was going to continue unless the feedback was taken down or changed to positive. And he explained why his client was insisting on this change — he said that it sells exclusively over eBay, where a sufficient level of negative feedback can increase the cost of such sales as well as possibly driving away customers.

So okay, that brings up another point:

You don't actually have a legal right not to lose business because of bad reviews.

Let's look at, say, the Rotten Tomatoes page for Olympus has Fallen.

David Edelstein calls it "a disgusting piece of work". Richard Roeper says it's "just too much of a pale 'Die Hard' ripoff."

You know what? People listen to those guys. Olympus has Fallen was seventh at the BO last weekend, a million and a half behind a movie that came out in 1993.

Hell, here's a bad review of this very website:

I was going to check your site out, but then you gave it that thoroughly unfunny plug. I'd actually read My damn site before I ever went to Corporate Sellout.

But did I sue Geothermal? No. Even though I never sold a T-shirt to anyone but my grandmother.

Because -- and this is kind of important -- it's totally legal to criticize things you don't like. Even if it hurts their business. Even if your intention is to hurt their business. Just so long as what you're saying is either (1) actually true or (2) a personal opinion rather than a statement of fact.

Here are some examples:

Statement of fact: Med Express sues its customers for giving it negative feedback on eBay.

Personal opinion: Med Express is run by immoral scumbags who want to wipe their asses with the First Amendment and use the Ohio courts as their own personal enforcement racket.

And then of course there's our good friend the Streisand Effect.

Yesterday morning I'd never heard of Med Express, and you probably hadn't either.

Now, you have and I have. And our opinion of them is not positive. In fact it's almost certainly a lot more negative than if we'd just seen a single bad review of them on eBay. Especially given that, for fuck's sake, their feedback is 99.3% positive. Seriously, would anyone have even looked at that one bad review? One of only two bad reviews compared to 300 good ones?

I imagine their search results would be taking a beating, too, if their name weren't so damn generic as to get subsumed in a deluge of other companies with the same name.

A note to Mr. Amodio and any other bullies or thugs who may be reading this: Everything I have said in this post is either (1) a factual statement which is true to the best of my knowledge or (2) a statement of personal opinion.

If I have said anything that is factually incorrect, let me know and, if I can verify your claim, I will correct it.

And if you drop the case, apologize to Ms. Nicholls, and offer her fair compensation for the trouble you have caused her, I will be willing to amend this post to make note of that. I will retitle it and add a disclaimer at the beginning stating that Med Express has done the right thing and all is forgiven.

Provided you ask nicely rather than threaten me. Seriously, you really should stop threatening people; it is not a very good way to make people stop saying bad things about you.

Palladium '81 - MTV Intro

Imagine -- MTV didn't just used to play music, they actually did live shows by esoteric acts.

And let him talk about The Illinois Enema Bandit.

This show's out on DVD, and you can find recordings all over YouTube. (I've embedded one or two on my own over the past year or so, though I generally try not to post stuff that's available commercially.) But this is the first time I've seen this bit and I'm guessing it's not on the DVD. (Not sure; haven't seen it in its entirety -- maybe I'll buy it and find out. Nice having a disposable income again.)

Fuck Terrorism

Welp, today was a bad day.

There were explosions at the Boston Marathon; last I heard there were two confirmed fatalities and over a hundred injuries.

We don't know for sure if it's terrorism or if it's just another random act of violence. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

But hey, to whatever dumb bastards are out there contemplating acts of terrorism -- think about bin Laden, McVeigh, Kaczynski. How'd those assholes turn out? And they killed a lot more people than whatever little shit did this.

Justice will come. Of that I've no doubt.

But I reserve some disdain for the government officials who've spent billions claiming to make us safer. Hey, maybe this was a lone wolf with a couple of pipe bombs -- maybe no one could have caught him before he struck. Maybe that's true; I guess we'll find out.

But in the meantime it throws the last dozen years of security theater into pretty sharp relief.

Janet Napolitano, whose signature achievement as Director of Homeland Security was allowing Jan Brewer to become governor and sign SB1070. I am shocked that this tragedy was not averted by TSA agents groping my grandmother in the airport!

Thomas Menino, who sure acted like a tough guy when faced with the terrorist threat of a couple Adult Swim advertisements. I think I see the problem here: real terrorists don't actually cover their bombs in bright, colorful lights to make them more noticeable!

The FBI, which will now have to entrap a bunch more suggestible twenty-somethings, declare that it has stopped a series of terrorist attacks, and hope nobody considers that maybe giving out toy guns and detonators to people on the Internet is not the best use of its resources.

Two wars and the erosion of our civil liberties haven't made us any safer. And again, hey, maybe nothing any government official could have done would have caught this guy before he struck -- but the stupid shit they are doing sure as hell isn't working.