Weekend Edition…

a boy & his dog (1974 film) & free rpg day all after the break…

a boy & his dog (1974 film)…

hollywood intellectuals must absolutely loathe george lucas; even though steven spielburg put some cracks in the dam with his movie “jaws,” it was george lucas who obliterated the thing with “star wars.” ever since then, hollywood has been an unrepentent money machine.

a lot of movie intellectuals say that the 1970’s was the last true decade of the movies, that all other decades beyond has simply led to the erosion of cinema and blah blah biddity blah blah. i can’t even begin to confirm or refute what they say but that’s what they say & i simply repeated it.

even before a young mel gibson wandered an australian wasteland in a car with a sawed off shotgun, a virtually unrecognizably young don johnson wandered an american wasteland with a telepathic dog. yeah, i know what you’re thinking – “unrecognizably young don johnson”? it’s true.

a boy and his dog stars don johnson as a teenager / young adult wandering the wasteland with a telepathic dog who helps him survive the chaos of the post-apocalyptic world. like most teenagers, don is interested primarily in two things – food & sex, not necessarily in that order. when don finds an absolute babe who’s more then willing to let his airplane park in her hanger, he thinks his prayers are answered. however, the lass is not what she seems & neither is the “civilized” underground society from which she originated & which he eventually travels to. turns out that the undergground society likes to paint their faces like clown & needs his sperm to impregnate their available females or else they’ll sic some farmer-enforcer robot thingy on him. yeah, you read that right.

you’d think that this would be the kind of movie i like because on most days this is the kind of movie i like. this is an “old-school” hollywood movie, the kind where they develop that thing called a “plot” & have stuff like “character development” & “story arcs.”

yet, maybe i was in a rare mood because i really only cared about the one scene where don spies the little lass naked who then slowly puts on her panties & bra. i got bored after that, skimmed over the rest & that was that.

i guess i should feel ashamed or stupid for not liking this movie more because it was written by harlon ellison who arguably wrote the most famous star trek episode ever but didn’t because gene roddenberry supposedly heavily edited it to the point where ellison walked away from it & he also pissed off roy disney so much that ellison was given the boot from the walt disney company after only one day so he’s got all of these geek writer creds.

the big twist in the movie is, at the end, don johnson has to decide between his dog & the ho & he goes with the dog – but his dog is injured & needs to eat so it’s all but a given that what happens is that don kills the ho & cooks her so that both he & the dog can eat. apparently, some wisecrack at the very end of the movie that all but nails this point home really pissed ellison off for some strange reason & so ellison wrote a follow-up to the story where the dog dies & there’s this huge radioactive spider & i didn’t read much farther about that because ellison got pissed that he kept getting asked about making a sequel & i guess he’s not a sequel kind of guy. i guess they really tried to get a real sequel off the ground but they couldn’t & that’s why there’s no sequel – if you could understand any of that because i couldn’t either.

all in all, i could understand why it might’ve shocked 1974 people but the shock has worn off in this day & age of cgi effects & all that. i guess it’s a nice film but i just wasn’t interested in watching a slow film & i’ll probably need to watch the film when my adhd isn’t acting all rascally like it did to fully appreciate it.

free rpg day…

i feel bad for pen & paper rpgs because, at one time, they were the place to go & as long as your rpg didn’t suck, some pretty heavy advertising was all it took for you to make some buko bucks in the industry.

not anymore.

the industry has dried up so much that apparently they have an annual “free rpg day” in the same vein as those “free comic book days.”

of course, the rpgs aren’t ‘free’ because they aren’t really the full versions – they’re just these little quickstart rules or modules that need the full rules or whatever. it’s not like they’re giving out hardcover editions of real rpgs that people actually want.

pen & paper rpgs simply need to learn what everyone else already knows – the internet is here & it’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. back in 197-whenever, computers didn’t exist (yeah, i know they did but they weren’t the computers of today, mkay?), kids wanted to get together so they could get laid & a board game pretending you were a paladin was just enough of a social lubricant to bring people together for a ‘legitimate’ reason. “no, ma, all we’re doing is playing dungeons & dragons. honest.” yeah, right.

nowadays, computers don’t just exist but can finally do the things we thought back in 1980 they could only do by the year 2050 & the social norms have broken down to the point where high school chicks in massachusetts are getting pregnant simply because they made a pact with each other to get laid all at once.

ok – side note – just how pathetically sad is it when a high school has a day care center for newborns & toddlers so that the idiot moms who spread their legs at, what? 17, 16, earlier, can still go to school? has the world changed that much since i got my diploma?

back to the broadcast – so, now that computers exist & kids don’t need a reason anymore to get together to get laid… well, that just takes all the wind out of rpgs. i know, i know, i’m being bitter & cynical again but those are the breaks in life.

look, if you want your little “free rpg day” to work in the way you want it to, pen & paper rpgs have got to change. much in the same way as computers. when computers started out, it was the hardware that cost you the fortune & everyone was giving away the software because there hardly wasn’t any & what software there was pretty much sucked ass. then, someone got the bright idea to switch that around, the hardware became incredibly cheap but you had to pay big bucks for the software. bingo. instant success.

now, it’s too much of a simplification to say, “give away the core rules & make ’em pay for the modules & the rule expansions” but it’s a big push in the right direction. use computers to your advantage – give ’em the hardcover (softcover, whatever), bundle it with a cd-rom that has the pdf on it so that they can take it with them whenever they need to… be creative. i’m not going to do all the heavy-lifting for you guys.

look, at the end of the day, pen & paper rpgs are ripe to go the way of antique cars – a novelty. you guys just have to realize that maybe your time in the limelight is over. that’s the way life goes. it’s nothing personal – nobody hates you (except for those church groups who thought you’d go all satanic if you played too much dungeons & dragons). life has just moved on.

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