Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shaq-Fu: The Movie

As I mentioned yesterday, Shaq-Fu is  possibly the most polarizing video game in the last 20 years. Although there are numerous online videos of people destroying Shaq-Fu games, there is one video that stands out above the rest. It is without a doubt the most creative movie about Shaq-Fu ever made. It is so good, not only do I wish I was in its creation, but I am thinking there is some Hollywood head honcho pondering whether a remake could be the next summer blockbuster.

This is no random destruction video. This is a legit short film, with a plot, characters, and special effects. Check it out, but be warned, you may be swayed into thinking Shaq-Fu is a good thing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Return to the Holy Temple of Shaq-Fu



Thirty-six months ago*, I discovered a group of proud warriors intent on ridding the world of what they called " the worst video game of all-time".

They are the Shaq-Fu Liberation Front and their mission is two-fold: to either destroy every copy of  the Shaq-Fu video game or drive the price of the remaining copies so high the average person could never afford to experience the sheer un-awesomeness of Shaq-Fu: The Video Game.

To see how the Liberation Movement was going 36 months* later, I sent an email to one of the websites webmasters. After establishing contact and conducting a brief interview, I found out that although their website is more popular today than at any time in their eight year history, all is not well with the Shaq-Fu Liberation Front. Besides the fact that the members have been forced to scatter across America, they have recently been met with furious opposition. A group describing themselves as the saviors of Shaq-Fu has emerged to challenge the front.

These believers in Shaq-Fu have dedicated themselves to creating new homes for Shaq-Fu cartridges and saving them from what they claim is the wicked unabashed evilness of the Shaq-Fu Liberation Front. They have sent out a request for people to send them copies of Shaq-Fu so they may find them a safe and loving home.

Shaq-Fu Liberation Front however is not scared of this new opposition. According to the Liberation Front member I spoke to, by amassing all the Shaq-Fus in one happy, joyous home, the pro-Shaq-Fu fans are indirectly limiting the Liberation Front's mission of reducing the availability of the game.

As I mentioned 36 months ago* I was not a big fan of Shaq-Fu. I played it once or twice and found it a lame rip-off of games like Double Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. During our conversation, I found myself agreeing with the Liberation Front member's theory that the Shaq-Fu video game was originally a scraped idea that was dusted off when Electronic Arts paired with Shaquille O'Neal with the intent of capitalizing on Shaq's growing popularity.

(By the way,  36 months like the 36 Chambers of Shaolin. I'll admit, that is a cool coincidence.)

So who will win this epic battle for the heart and soul of a video game few cared about when it was first released? Currently, Shaq-Fu games are priced between 1.00 and 43.94 on Ebay. Will the Liberation Front get their hands on these copies and destroy them, erasing Shaq-Fu from our collective consciousness? Or will the Save Shaq-Fu Society gathers them in their loving embrace and be able to spread the gospel of their favorite martial arts video game?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hanging with Brian Posehn on Record Store Day



On Saturday I swung by my local record store, Vinyl Fever Tampa , for Record Store Day. Not only was the store packed, but they also had comedian Brian Posehn in the house signing his latest release, Fart and Weiner Jokes. Of course, when Posehn learned he was coming to Tampa, he requested I make an appearance so we could meet and he could take a few pictures with me. What can I say? I'm famous like that.

(Last three sentences may not be true.)

Yes, that is my Obituary shirt.

Oh, by the way, when I wasn't hanging with Brian Posehn, I was music shopping. When I left I was the proud owner of four new CDs:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Words of Ultimate Warrior Compel You

After finishing The Legend of Jordi Scrubbings movie a few months ago, I thought it would be a great idea to use the same animatronic-sounding, animated-looking actors of XtraNormal to recreate some of my favorite famous speeches, sayings, and scenes. Of course, I couldn't start with the Gettysburg Address or Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech or even Bill Pullman's speech in Independence Day.

I had to begin with a more moving orator. One whose words have caused legions of followers to stand up and be counted. A man who took on one of the most powerful social movements of the 1980s and 1990s and won. A man who has faced death, Sean Hannity, Regis and Kathy Lee, and Arsenio Hall.

I speak, of course, of The Ultimate Warrior.

Here is my tribute to the man they call Warrior.



And in case you want to mix and match and make your own Ultimate Warrior speech, check out the Ultimate Warrior soundboard. It is good for at least a dozen minutes of high octane entertainment.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Urban Spawl as Terrorist Deterrent



Besides sports, music, culture, and cartoons, another interest of mine is geopolitics. I've been an avid reader of sites like Stratfor.com for close to 10 years and as many of you know, I have my masters in International Affairs.

Unfortunately, I have zero interest in living in DC, the hub of American international happenings. Absolutely none. It is way too crowded and there is no beach. And everything there is so political. No thanks.

So with that in mind, and being that no one here in Tampa is paying me for my opinions, I hope you don't mind me dropping a few international analyses here. I'll try and keep them readable and somewhat linked to something happening here in the states, in Florida, or local to Tampa.

For example, I'm sure you heard of the recent subway bombings in Moscow. Once again, like in London in 2004, terrorists struck at public transportation systems, this time killing over 30 and injuring dozens more.

Meanwhile, here in Florida, plans are well on their way for a statewide rail system that would reduce traffic and help connect Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. There are also efforts and information campaigns to reduce the urban sprawl that is destroying the natural habitats of the state.

According to a 2006 article in the Orlando Sentinel,
There are some people, however, who think growth can be smarter and more compact with a stronger separation among urban, suburban and rural terrain. Smart growth means better planning and more land preserved. It looks like condos and town houses mixed with single-family homes. Those homes are closer together, linked by walking paths that lead to stores, movie theaters and offices. There may be mass transit. Smart growth in Central Florida is Baldwin Park in Orlando and Celebration by Disney. Across the nation, it's Boston and New York City.
The end state of both efforts is to have more people living amongst each other and traveling en masse.  Nearly everyone agrees this is a good thing - biologists, environmentalists, planners, and even politicians.

I bet you can include terrorists on that list.

Although we haven't had many, if any serious attacks on public transportation systems here in the U.S. (yet), the odds of mass casualties will go up dramatically when we all migrate to urban areas and do a majority of our travel on monorails and people movers. We will drastically increase our chances of being a target and make it easier for terrorists to make a large impact with minimal effort.

Don't get me wrong. I am not discouraging efforts to reduce urban sprawl. To be honest, I hate seeing Best Buys, malls, and housing developments built for no reason in the middle of natural Florida environments. It's sickening.

I'm just saying I hope we prepare for the increased chances of possible terrorist attacks, either from international organizations or nutjob domestic groups. Keep in mind, this may require increased physical security and surveillance.

Is reducing urban sprawl and highway traffic worth the trade-off?