Monty and Morgion 080: The Week in Short

27Feb04 (Monthenor): Yeah, it's not quite a comic. Shut up. I understand Morgion is going to show up later and scare us all with predictions of disaster, but I'm going to talk about happy things for a minute.

007: Everything or Nothing: Morgion and I agree that they can just stop making Bond movies now. The video games do everything that the movies can, but bigger. I would even go so far as to say that the venerable GoldenEye has some competition. EoN has the three levels of difficulty (with changing objectives) on each level, the cheats and extras are unlocked through masterful play, and Bond gets snugglies from a multitude of women between levels. It even has special "Bond Moments" to be scored when you do something cool (like rappeling up to punch a sniper, or sliding your motorcycle under a crashed tanker truck while a badguy on another motorcycle jumps overhead trying to shoot you and accidentally blows up the truck(!)). Big-name actors and actresses play the main roles, and the characters actually look like them.

EoN's failing, if it has one, is perversely when you're trying to be sneaky with Bond. In GoldenEye, stealth was survival. You hid behind boxes and corners, carefully poking your head out to destroy cameras and headshot guards silently. Because of EoN's third-person camera, aiming for heads is much more difficult. Also, even if you use the silenced P99, other guards are far too likely to hear a kill and come running. I guess I'm just not prepared for 2004's artificial intelligence...I like to be able to kill terrorists with impunity, especially when I'm supposedly out of eye- and earshot.

The driving sections more than make up for it, despite some painful GTA leanings in New Orleans. The cars and motorcycle control well enough and there are some marvelous set pieces to interact with along the way. Big big recommendation from me.

Read or Die OVA: Holy crap. Two weeks ago, I watched an AMV using footage from this. Twenty minutes later, I bought the DVD from Fast Food Anime. Last Sunday, I watched this and oh my god Yomiko Readman is the greatest superhero ever. You know why? Are you ready for this? No you're not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Yomiko is a substitute teacher that can magically control paper. She just touches paper and boom, she has power over all the paper products in the vicinity. She molds them, makes them sharp, makes them's insane.

She's a secret agent -- codename: The Paper -- for the British Library Special Operations Force. I'm not kidding. Teamed up with the buxom Ms. Deep (who can become immaterial at will), they attempt to defeat super-powered clones of historical figures such as Jean-Henri Fabre and Otto Lilienthal. See, it's educational!

The most important point about the whole thing is that everybody who has powers knows how to use them. I can't count how many times I've been watching Justice League or X-Men or something and said, "Well, this wouldn't be a problem if so-and-so would do such-and-such with their power." There is none of that in Read or Die. You get as far as "Why doesn't she--" and then she does. It was refreshing and exciting to see somebody know more about their powers than the audience does.

The Warranties Do Nothing!
Morgion // 02.28.04 — 14.10

It probably doesn't burn severely like toxic waste, but the sensation of being consistently screwed by a company you once loved does sting a bit.

First, the continuing saga of Uneven Illumination. In Repair #1 on PowerBook #2, they replaced the screen and inverter board like we asked… but yanked my hard drive because they found an irreparable error, and I had to call Apple to find out that much. No call from them, asking if I needed data backup or if I even wanted them to replace it now… sometimes being proactive is a horrible idea. Thankfully, I always make a bootable backup before a "repair".

Take heed; you never know when hard drive replacement fairies will strike.

While New Hotness was in the shop, Old and Busted—my year-old Titanium PowerBook—became my work machine. Except the battery wouldn't charge; totally dead, after just a year. If it would have been longer, I could accept it. But with all the Apple-related crap I've dealt with, this was unacceptable; I paid for an AppleCare Racketeering Plan for a reason.

An Apple phone technician, whom I shall call Mr. Foreign Man, said the battery wasn't covered… because it's an accessory. "Fuck you," I thought, as I ended the call. I asked my FNACT about it; he took my serial number, pulled up a replacement part list, and ordered a new battery—free of charge, since the battery is covered under warranty.

I will never call an Apple Technician again; Customer Relations, yes, but only to demand (bloody) retribution. The Techs are either incompetent, accusatory, liars, or friendly yet ineffectual. The last is the worst; expectations built on false hope is what causes that burning sensation.

Also, every scientists must watch every Sci-Fi Channel Original; they offer convenient distillations of "classic" mad schemes and misguided research, which should be avoided. I know they're busy with critical projects, like genetically engineering super bird flu, planing space walks that leave the ISS unattended, removing the sleep from our soldiers… and other critically stupid projects that will obviously end in evil cyborgs and radioactive zombies.

Bad things happen on space walks, and sleepless soldiers…?! The Sci-Fi Original "Operation Sandman: Warriors in Hell" says it all. Mongoloid actor Ron Perlman wants steak.