One last update before I lock this thing up for good.
Thanks for all your kind (and in some cases damn moving) e-mails about my retirement. 99% of you were very supportive about my decision, and I deeply appreciate it.
My new homepage is located at http://cpsaros.tripod.com. Check it out if you are so inclined.
Adios, DBZ Uncensored.
Well, if you didn't click the picture, here's the link again.
See ya later.
I am an obscenely naughty young man. But the update... yes... the update you have all been waiting for... it became longer and bigger than I ever thought it would. And it will FINALLY be up this evening.
GOD, I'M SORRY. My family did not let me escape them all weekend so I didn't finish my update last night, like I said I would. Anyway, I'm free to work on it now (I THINK) so it will be up soon.
Also, the Terrashare site still seems to be up, despite the fact that their little press release said they were deleting everything on the 7th. So, that's rather odd.
Hi guys. THE UPDATE WILL BE HERE BY TOMORROW EVENING. I'm leaving my house in a little while to... uh... go graduate from college. It's been keeping me busy all week...
DBZ Uncensored is temporarily offline, but will soon be back up at a new location. Please check back within a couple of days for an important editorial, which will be posted here.
From what I understand, this site, along with every other on Terrashare, is going to disappear in a matter of hours. You see, it's like this. Anyway, I had plans to update today with something... important, but this whole Terrashare thing kind of screwed it all up and I wasted a bunch of time trying to figure out what to do.
For now, I have relocated to the site's original location at http://www.concentric.net/~Psaros/DbzUncensored. But I haven't moved anything there because that's not where I'm going to ultimately end up. Unfortunately, the message you are reading (including the above link), will only be available until Terrashare shuts everything down, and I'm not sure exactly how long that's going to be. Could be two days, could be five hours. Anybody who comes along after that, and I'm sure that includes a lot of people, is out of luck I guess and will have no way of knowing where I went. It would have helped if Terrashare hadn't been so abrupt about this. WHAT WONDERFUL TIMING. IT'S THE GREATEST ANNIVERSARY PRESENT EVER.
Anyway, click that link and bookmark it for the time being. I'll be there within a couple of days with my important thing.
See you then.
My friends, I have escaped. Or to put it more accurately, I have been rescued.
If you have been visiting the message boards that I frequent since last weekend, or if you came to this site anytime between Monday evening and the time of this update, you will know that both I and my site have most recently been in the clutches of the diabolical Mr. Popo. Visitors to Mike Payne's Mr. Popo's Palace will know that the ebony devil (click and scroll down) periodically attacks the dear man and does terrible things to him and his site. I never thought it could happen to me, but Popo's most recent rampage was on a much wider scale than usual.
I spent days locked in a room, in a cage of Popo's design, being whipped, beaten and verbally abused. But then... just as Popo was preparing himself for another round that surely would have finished me off... I perceived a soft, golden light which slowly intensified until it filled the room with a majestic brilliance. I looked toward the doorway and beheld a being of light and love: Michael Payne had come to rescue me.
I have no memory of what happened next. I only recall awakening in my bed with a feeling of bliss. In my mind I heard Payne's voice gently reassuring me that Popo had been vanquished, and that I would be safe. Thank God that it's over.
Anyway, I found Popo's first (and only) update rather interesting. Apparently, many of you did too. After escaping from the Evil One, I wandered around and lurked at various message boards and newsgroups to see what people were saying about "the incident." Some believed that my site had been hacked. Others felt that it was a joke concocted by Payne and I. Still others were convinced that this was old Chris' way of saying goodbye once and for all (I would NEVER leave like that). But the real topic of discussion was the article itself. This is actually something that the lovely Michelle sent to me about a year ago, which Popo was resourceful enough to find in the horrifying pit of vastness that is my "to do" archive and (finally) post on the site. It is a very interesting little piece of journalism.
I want to talk about it.
I remember one Sunday evening I was watching DBZ on the International Channel with a friend of mine who doesn't follow the series. At one point, Mr. Popo appeared in his Mr. Popo clothes, with his wide googly unblinking Mr. Popo eyes, his fat red Mr. Popo lips and speaking in his buffoonish Mr. Popo voice. My friend almost immediately began to chuckle. He then shook his head and said "oh my god..." in a resigned tone. I just smiled and said "I know dude... it's... pretty blatant." Nothing more needed to be said, and we both knew exactly what the other was talking about. After all, I had pretty much the exact same reaction the first time I saw Mr. Popo.
This may come as a surprise, but I didn't find the article nearly as outrageous as many of you did. Perhaps it's because I live in an ultra politically correct town, and am attending the very university that is the source of that political correctness, in which I have been reading similarly-themed articles for years. I'm used to this sort of thinking, and it has been presented to me so many times, in so many different ways, that I have grown to better understand and appreciate it.
I personally see Mr. Popo as a walking stereotype, one who directly recalls the outlandish negative caricatures of black people that were so prevalent before the civil rights movements of the 1960's. Not just in appearance, but in character, role, and voice (particularly in the Japanese version). So in that sense, I agree with Ms. Weatherford. However, I don't share her disdain for the character on the grounds that he is a stereotype, nor do I necessarily agree with the idea that such representations are "harmful."
I actually think they're funny.
At this point, I have to admit that I'm an extremely un-politically correct person. It doesn't come through on this site because I consider this a public space, and here I behave pretty much the way I do in any other public space. I rarely even swear on the site. But the sorts of things I say and joke about when I'm with my friends would greatly offend many people, and I don't like to do that. My sense of humor is very, very naughty. I've told and laughed at many an "ethnic joke" in my day, and casually tossed around a few racial slurs every now and then. The bottom line, though, is that I am only kidding, and I only do this sort of thing around people who understand and accept that without having to be told that I'm only kidding. In my heart of hearts, I'm not a hatemonger, a bigot, or a racist by any stretch of the imagination.
There are a great number of people who can't or won't joke about race, or handicaps, or homosexuality, or any number of other topics that are "culturally sensitive." These people often go to great lengths to speak out against the politically incorrect. The irony, of course, is that political incorrectness is funny exactly because people take such offense to it. It is taboo, and therefore irresistible to those of us who enjoy being rebellious.
Basically, my view is that any kind of political incorrectness is only meaningful based on the context and the spirit behind it. Yes, there is real hate out there, and humor can just as easily be used in a hateful context. And sometimes the line between innocent joking and actual bigotry can be quite blurred. But if I call somebody gay on a message board, does that automatically mean that I'm a homophobe? Of course not. I call my gay stebrother a limp-wristed fag on a regular basis, and I love the guy. He'll then make some comment about my poor vision, we'll both laugh, and everything is fine. In fact, I feel the most comfortable around people who I can joke around with like that.
So this brings us back to Akira Toriyama and Mr. Popo. Some of you reacted VERY defensively to the article, in many cases even arguing against the notion that Popo is a black caricature at all. For me, that's not even up for debate. Again, just about everyone I know (including myself) saw it right away. If you didn't, I suggest that you take a look at the cartoon images of blacks that were once popular in many parts of the world (do a little research, it should be easy to find at least a few examples). You will be hard pressed to convince yourself that Popo's design was not at least somewhat influenced by these representations.
So what WAS the spirit behind the creation of this character? I don't think anybody really knows the answer to that. If we could somehow know for sure that Popo was indeed meant to be a hateful mockery, based on real prejudice, then clearly we'd view it in a decidedly negative light. However, I sincerely doubt that this was Toriyama's intention, knowing what I do about him. Especially given how gentle and likeable the character is, and the ways in which he directly defies other key components of the black stereotype. Ultimately, we don't really know what Toriyama was thinking. This puts the burden of interpretation on each of us as individuals. So while I disagree with Ms. Weatherford's stance, I can still understand, and even sympathize, with it.
Anyway, onto other stuff. First, as you may have noticed, I seem to have "fixed" the Terrashare bandwidth problem. A couple weeks ago, I found a mysterious folder in my web directory, and when I opened it, I found an 'index.html' file that contained the very same site lockout message that had been greeting and annoying so many visitors. All I did was delete the folder and the file, and the lockout hasn't happened since. I'm not sure if that's REALLY what solved the problem, but I think for now I'll just live with the fantasy that I outwitted Terrashare.
Well, it seems as though Fagtown USA, the message board that was spawned from the ashes of the locked down DBZ Uncensored board has itself been locked down. I guess EZboard simply doesn't appreciate the particular brand of HORSEPLAY that the regulars like to engage in. Actually, EZboard doesn't really care what goes on at their boards until someone complains, so I'm confident that it was probably the work of some parent whose kid saw a booby (OH NO!) or something.
As you hopefully do not remember, the original Uncensored forum was shut down after a few of the regulars went on a flooding raid which prompted members of the forums who were attacked to retaliate by complaining to EZboard about the offending users, as well as the board itself. In retrospect, of course, I see this as the obvious counterattack, and my silly Uncensored regulars should have realized that going out on raids was an incredibly stupid thing to do when their own board was just asking to be shut down. I BLAME YOU, MY CHILDREN, YOU! Oh well, I still think the whole thing was in good fun and too many people got too upset about it, including myself. I've even got a MASSIVE quasi-apologetic follow up essay to the big, stupid thing I wrote and posted here after the first incident, but I have decided that it shall remain on my hard drive, never to be seen by anyone but me. Some of you were wondering whatever happened to that, and I just decided that the whole event is STUPID and should be put behind us.
Anyway, Big Fagot, lord of both Uncensored and Fagtown, has gone on to create Uncensored 2, which will probably be shut down within a few months as well. It's the porn, fellas. You need to take it a little easier on the porn.
And finally, someone else has stolen my layout and created YET ANOTHER Uncensored site. Just how many of these are there going to be??? Now I know how site owners must feel when their material is taken without credit, or when in a desperate attempt to amuse people, a semi-funny person steals a much funnier person's routine. I, of course, would never do something like that...
Anyway, that's it for now. It's good to be back, and to once again have Mr. Popo under Mike Payne's watchful eye... where he belongs!
(By the way, I was just kidding. I love all the Uncensored sites, stealing or not. And that includes yours, li'l Caliban. You, also, would appear to be funnier than me).
So there you have it. Another useless, pointless, non-entertaining update where I talk about stupid things. But my next update... well... this one's rather important, trust me. You all need to be here for it.
And you may want to bring a handkerchief.
No, the new stuff isn't ready yet, but this update was kind of forced upon me.
As you may have read on planetnamek.com (thank you once again, MrE), it seems that Terrashare has decided rather suddenly to place a bandwidth limit on its members' sites. Hence, my site locks out visitors daily once a certain limit has been reached. People have been e-mailing me about this, so I thought I should let you know what's going on. Unfortunately, I don't KNOW what's going on. I never received any e-mail from Terrashare about it, nor have I seen any announcements. I DO know, however, that not only have they stopped paying me for their banner ads, but there are now those WONDERFUL popup ads to go along with their unpaid banner ads. Basically, it seems that Terrashare has gone straight to the crapper. But I can't exactly blame them for any of this, considering the fact that the entire Internet economy is being flushed down that very same crapper as we speak. Oh well, it was great getting paid, if only for a short time. I knew from the very beginning that something about this deal was too good to be true. I'm just glad I'm not in Planet Namek's position, a site that generates so much bandwidth that they have to pay quite a bit out of their own pockets just to keep going. I must tip my hat to them for having a level of dedication that I never could. Anyway, my plan is to spread DBZ Uncensored around to several different servers, and hopefully that will set it all straight. I'm also hoping that perhaps the whole thing was just a glitch and I won't have to do anything. I'll wait a bit to make sure.
I suppose my problems are a trifle compared to Planet Namek's, and certainly lesser than those of Daizenshuu EX, Temple o' Trunks, and Ginga Giri Giri, who have all been either relocated or displaced. It's not a good time to have a DBZ site.
The upside for me is that the befugglement of DEX, ToT, and GGG bumped me up several notches on the DBZ Top 50. I know it's childish and stupid, and I probably shouldn't care, but I'll admit it. Ever since I've joined, I've been privately obsessed with where I stand in the rankings. And let me tell ya, it feels GREAT to finally bust out of the 20's. I was stuck at 21 for way too long, it was torturing me. But with all the troubles that started with the other sites last week, I went all the way up to 15!
My dream is to crack the top 10. But there are obstacles in my way. Just above me are a few sites I've never heard of, but they must be superior to mine in some way. And then there's what I like to call "Little Italy" of the Top 50. It would appear that Dragon Ball fans have an affinity for badly designed Italian-language sites with a scarcity of quality content, because there are a number of them near the top of the heap. The next obstacle would be this stupid Terrashare bandwidth thing, which has already blocked out a lot of potential hits and knocked me back down into the 20's. And finally, of course, there's the fact that I put up new content about as often as Halley's comet comes around. Also, according to EX, his site will be back on a new server within a few days, so I guess I can say goodbye to at least one more notch since word will quickly spread and EX's site is better than mine. IT WAS FUN BEING AHEAD OF HIM WHILE IT LASTED.
Oh well. Sailor Moon Uncensored was at number 5 on the Sailor Moon Top 50 last time I checked, and I think I can take at least SOME of the credit for that, right?
I should probably mention that the word "befugglement" doesn't really exist. But I rather like it, so if you all would start spreading it around, I'd appreciate it.
I'm tossing school aside to be at Pacbell Park for Giants versus Dodgers on Tuesday, and I predict that the Giants will go down in flames. If it's televised and you're watching it, I suppose you can look for me in the crowd. Maybe I'll try throwing some rocks and beer at the players in hopes of drawing enough attention to get on camera briefly. Is it worth it?
And finally, a wonderful man known as Ace Kendo would like you to donate some olives. Please do!
I said I'd be back in "about a week" and today, being Tuesday, makes a week and a day. So it's only fair that I at least say hello. Anyway, this is what's happening: The thing that I was going to put up isn't finished yet. I'm actually working on several different projects for the site, and rather than just getting one of them finished and moving onto the next like an EFFICIENT person would do, I am hopping back and forth between them and finishing nothing. Soon I'll update though, and I GUARANTEE that it'll all be worth the wait. Or maybe it'll be a huge disappointment, I don't know.
So yes, this is yet another non-update. If you've had it up to here with the no-good scoundrel that is Chris Psaros, I suggest that you sign this petition.
Some truly wonderful news has broken as of late, something that just kind of popped out of the blue rather suddenly and unexpectedly. It seems that a certain FUNimation is going to be dubbing the original Dragon Ball series. Not only are they doing Dragon Ball, but they are doing it with the ORIGINAL MUSIC. Not only are they doing Dragon Ball with the ORIGINAL MUSIC, but they're going to go back and REDUB the first 13 episodes. Not only are they doing Dragon Ball with the ORIGINAL MUSIC, and going back to redub the first 13 episodes, but it is premiering on Cartoon Network in less than two months!
Fantastic, wonderful, happy news this is.
So a REDUB with ORIGINAL MUSIC, eh? It just goes to show that anything is possible. Perhaps SSJ Leia's much-maligned DBZ Season 3 redub petition wasn't so far-fetched after all. Not that I think that FUNi will actually go back and redub any DBZ, but stranger things have happened. And by the way, I DO regret not having at least linked to this petition when it was still collecting signatures. The aforemention SSJ Leia even made a petition for me to support the petition. Yes, I was VERY skeptical of its goals. But if nothing else, I ought to have linked it out of respect for the way in which Miss Leia has taken so much flak for her cause, while still managing to maintain her composure and conduct herself like a lady. Your patience with me in particular was admirable, madame. Please accept my apologies for not being more responsive.
PETITIONS!!! So what other petitions can I discuss... It seems that my name has been falsely signed to the DBZ DVD Petition, which is somewhat amusing. No big deal I suppose, I rather like this one. I'm not sure if I would have gone as far as to actually SIGN it, but who am I to argue with myself?
Let it never be said that DBZ fans are not highly petition-oriented individuals.
Don't ask me. It is a strange world we live in, populated by strange people.
And finally, here is me enjoying a SPECIAL beverage. I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to market shotglasses based on a children's TV show, but hey, I bought TWO. And yes, that's a DBZ poster on my wall in the background. You may laugh at me and call me gay if you are so inclined.
BEST APRIL FOOLS JOKE EVER!
Well, it was the most fun for ME anyway. For those of you who didn't come to the site yesterday, I posted a "LAST UPDATE APRIL 1ST" on the front page. Everyone then clicked on "Updates" to see what I added, only to be bounced back to the main page again. It was meant to seem like a glitch, and I gave no clues whatsoever that the whole thing was premeditated.
And that is how this year's joke is different from the ones I've done before. I had to come up with something that wouldn't be so obvious or predictable, like a false news report or a "I got in a car accident" type thing. There would be no point to something like that, because by now everyone KNOWS that I always pull a prank of some sort on April Fools Day, and they would know what was up within the first sentence of whatever BS I might have concocted. I also had to do something very simple which required little to no work on my part, because I didn't have time to put anything elaborate together. I feel that I was successful in both respects.
It was fun for me because I didn't let everyone in on the joke right away this time, which made for some interesting e-mail throughout the day. Statistically, it broke down like this: 77% knew exactly what was up and told me what they thought of the joke. 15% thought it was a glitch on my part and asked me to fix the problem. And 8% thought that it MIGHT be a joke, but weren't entirely sure. Oh well, whatever. I have no idea what I'm going to do next year. And for those of you who didn't think I'd come back today, shame on you. I wouldn't just put that up and leave you hanging without an explanation for days (or weeks, or months) on end. April 1st is a day of bastardry, but on April 2nd we must make amends.
Anyway, did anybody reading this go to Fanime Con at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara this weekend? I'm really curious, because I was there with some friends on Saturday and I'm wondering if there were any DBZ Uncensored folks in attendance. I was wearing a name badge that said "Chris Psaros" but it wasn't all that conspicuous. Even if you DID see me, I could understand if you wouldn't be all that willing to come up and start chatting with some guy you don't know. Going in, I was kind of hoping nobody would recognize me. But by the end of the day, I wished I had run into at least SOMEONE to connect with, in person, about my site. Of all the flesh-and-blood people I know, no one cares about it in the slightest. Among my friends it's generally nothing more than an object of amusement and slight ridicule, to my sister it's "cute", and my mom just wants to know when I'm going to start making money off of it. All I'm saying is that it would have been nice to meet a REAL PERSON for once (rather than just words in an e-mail or on a message board) who actually values what I have done here over the years. Don't get me wrong, I deeply appreciate all the Internet-based love you guys give me, but a face-to-face "Good job, Chris!" would have been such a wonderful change of pace.
In any case, those of you who went to Fanime, let me know what your opinions of it were, I'd be interested in reading them. This was my first anime convention, and I personally had a GREAT time even though I was only there for one day. And something truly wonderful happened to me.
Those of you who remember my "about me" page (which I may put up again eventually, MORE SIGNATURES!!!) will know that the classic 1982 TV series Superdimensional Fortress Macross, and "Do You Remember Love?" the 1984 movie based on it, are my all-time favorite anime. They are incredibly nostalgic and a very, very beloved part of my childhood/adolescent memories. I was first introduced to anime through Macross in 1988 (albeit in its bastardized American form as "Robotech"), and when I discovered the original Japanese series in 1994, I fell in love all over again with everything about the series and movie, from the characters, to the art (I LOVE YOU HARUHIKO MIKIMOTO!), to the music. So one of the main reasons I went to Fanime is because Mari Iijima, the actress/singer who played the pop star Lynn Minmay in the original Japanese series and movie, was scheduled as a guest. I have been listening to my Macross CD's for 6 years now, and Mari/Minmay has sung me to sleep many a time. The idea of meeting her and getting her autograph was one of the most exciting things ever.
When I got to the convention, I found out that her autograph session had already passed. I was rather disappointed, but the next bit of news more than made up for it. She would be putting on a CONCERT that evening, right there at the convention. Dear God, I would not miss this for the world. A one hour Mari Iijima concert was, by itself, well worth the price of admission. So I showed up 40 minutes early and waited outside the ampitheater and ended up getting a pretty damned good seat. She was introduced, and hopped up onto the stage directly from the audience (rather than from backstage, which was kind of a surprise). For the next hour she sang, to prerecorded instrumental tracks on some songs, and just her and her piano on others (I didn't even know she could play, and she's fantastic, so I was beside myself).
Most of the music was her own, non-anime related stuff that she's been doing since her Macross thing ended in 1984. But at the end of her set... ah... she finally announced that now she would sing "it." The song. The song that saved the human race in the Macross movie, the song that the movie was NAMED after, arguably the most popular anime song of all time: "Do You Remember Love?"
Half of the audience knew what she was talking about when she mentioned the title, and half of them didn't. I myself started clapping and cheering like a jackass. And then the room got quiet. She turned to the piano, began to play, and I had THE single greatest moment in all of my many years as a fanboy/otaku.
There I sat, while MINMAY HERSELF played the piano and sang the song that I had listened to so many hundreds of times before. I was transported THERE. I was ON THAT SPACESHIP IN THE YEAR 2011, SURROUNDED BY GIANT ALIEN WARRIORS WHO WERE BEING BROUGHT TO THEIR KNEES BY THE POWER OF THIS SONG.
Yes, I started to cry.
And yes, I am a geek.
I just never dreamed that I would get a chance to see HER, live, performing this song, all by herself. A real life Minmay concert. It was amazing.
So, Mari's set ended, and she came back down to her spot in the audience. A bunch of people went to get pictures with her, and I pulled out one of my Macross CD covers for her to autograph. Unfortunately, I wasn't aggressive enough to get as close as I needed, and I was a little nervous anyway about asking her to sign something, since this seemed more like a "pictures only" type of moment. Then she and her family (her boyfriend and two sons were with her that night) began to leave. At that point, there was of course only one thing for me to do: FOLLOW HER LIKE THE STALKER THAT I AM.
I trailed her as she walked up to the exit and out the door, and with my eyes fixed securely on her, I almost ran into some security guy who stepped in front of me to block my path. Undaunted by the buffoon's attempt, I hurried over to the other exit, came out, and reached Mari's side just as she was coming around the corner. We were almost face-to-face. I stopped right in my tracks and let her get some distance in front of me (a good stalker knows how to keep JUST ENOUGH distance) and I followed her all the way through the lobby of the hotel.
She reached the elevators, and I caught up with her just as the doors were opening. In truth, I wasn't really using the elevator, but I hopped in there with Mari, her family, and a bunch of other people. Now, I was literally INCHES away from her. At one point, we were shoulder-to-shoulder. This was beyond belief. I felt like I was standing next to Elvis or something.
I wished that the elevator would malfunction and stop between floors, and that everyone besides me and her would just disappear or die or something. I wished we could be stuck in there for hours, and I would have to comfort her and find some incredible escape route that would save both of our lives. JUST LIKE WHEN HIKARU AND MINMAY GOT TRAPPED IN THE BOTTOM OF THE SHIP IN EPISODE 4!!! DURRRR!!!!
But no such thing took place. Instead, I pulled out my CD cover, waited for a quiet moment, and tried to say something cool. Instead, I pointed to the lyrics to "Do You Remember Love?" and dorkily blurted out 'I CRIED WHEN YOU SANG IT!" She looked at me (LOOKED AT ME) and said "Thank you! Sometimes people tell me that..." Now, it was do-or-die. I could ask for the autograph, or be a worthless little coward. Guess which option I chose. Yes... yes... I'm sorry. It just DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT then and there. The elevator was crowded, I don't think she wanted to sign autographs, she was tired... you know. The last thing I wanted was to be rejected, or even worse, to be snapped at, if even lightly.
The stalker in me then had to make a choice. Should I stay in the elevator until she got off, and trail her to see what room she was staying in, or just get off at the next floor and keep her from getting any more suspicious than she already was? Again, I couldn't deal with her becoming creeped out or angry, because I would probably have to commit suicide in that case. So I got off at some random floor and just kind of wandered around in a tingly daze for a good ten minutes. I HAD TALKED TO MINMAY.
When I got home from the con, I pulled out my books with my Mari Iijima pictures and looked at them while playing one of my Macross CD's. Then I watched my tape of her special guest appearance on Pacific Blue last year. On that and in person, I was amazed at how well her face and voice have aged in the almost twenty years since she did the Macross stuff. Her 38th birthday is next month (MAY 18th TO BE EXACT!!!) and she is as beautiful and talented as ever.
My only obstacle now is her boyfriend. But I sized him up, and I think I can get him out of the picture. And yes, she MAY be almost old enough to be my mother, and she has kids of her own, but WE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER, DAMMIT!
In all seriousness, this was something I'll never forget. As for the con overall, I considered it a "test" to see if I'd enjoy The Big One (being Anime Expo in LA this summer), and based on the strength of the experience, I'm now planning on going. Hopefully I'll be able to scrape the cash together in time.
So, there's no other real content this time, I'm sorry. I'm planning on putting something up soon though, and hopefully I can do that within a week. I haven't been able to update much lately because my workload last quarter was absolutely horrendous, and I had to research and write a good 70 pages worth of academic papers. When you work for weeks on end to put together stuff like this monstrosity, the last thing you want to do is sit at the computer and do MORE WRITING. This quarter won't be nearly as bad, though. Although I AM a little saddened by the fact that it is my LAST quarter. Yep, I'm graduating from college in just over two months. I had my very last "first day of school" ever on Tuesday, and I kinda got a lump in my throat. I've been a student for most of my life, and it's all about to end. Sad. Sad and frightening.
So, like I said, about a week, and you will get some REAL CONTENT!
First things first, THANK YOU for the happy birthday wishes everybody. I am impressed that so many of you sent them at all considering that the last update was nothing more than a cruel "just checking in" note following weeks of nothing. Well, ALMOST everybody. Some of you weren't so happy, like this fellow:
"I am NOT going to wish you happy birthday, because you have treated fans of your site like CRAP and we deserve better."
IT'S TRUE, OH IT IS SO TRUE! Anyway, one lovely person, who is lovely and lovely, went to the trouble of making me a personalized e-card involving a blind guy and a naked woman. It couldn't have been more appropriate. I love you, Brandylion. You're lovely.
And now, for the goods. I realized some time ago that I've never really written anything about my thoughts on the "DBZ Web Community," and I felt the urge to do so. I'll just let my new editorial speak for itself. I'm really kind of scared about this one, because I have this feeling that people are going to take it the wrong way. Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Those of you who visited Planet Namek's news page on Thursday might have noticed something a little suspicious. MrE noted that he had received reports that one of the solutions to a Wheel of Fortune puzzle that night was allegedly "Dragonball Z." Well, the whole thing was a hoax. It was the work of none other than, you guessed it, those delightful little pranksters who used to post on my cesspool of a message board before it got shut down (due to another act of delightful pranksterism), and who now reside at the cesspool of a message board that is Fagtown USA. I decided from the outset that I would have nothing to do with it, and that's because I love MrE. While I am certainly one who enjoys a good prank, some people, sadly, do not, and I wasn't sure if E would be amused. Anyway, the most amazing part is that the whole thing was masterminded by Da Bouncer, who, as I've said in the past, is a truly awful human being that really shouldn't be alive. He and a few cohorts decided to do April Fools a month early and trick the granddaddy of all DBZ sites. Well, looks like it worked. What WILL those adorable little scamps think of next?
Anyway, here's the now-standard COMPLETELY USELESS part of the update. I was discussing this at Fagtown a couple nights ago, so I thought I'd submit it to the rest of you. Ever since I cut my hair really short about a month ago, my brother's been laughing at me and calling me Slim Shady. "HA HA! YOU LOOK LIKE EMINEM!" I thought he was full of it, so I decided to do a little experiment. I put on my best Eminem face, snapped a few shots with my Crap Cam, and then found some pictures of Mr. Mathers for comparison. You can see the results of the Chris Psaros/Marshall Mathers test here. Forgive me for subjecting you to the pic on the upper left. I was trying to look angry and tough, but I just ended up looking stoned and retarded.
Well... after observing the evidence, I must admit that I DO resemble the guy perhaps somewhat. Just uglier and far, far nerdier. I guess there really is a little Slim Shady in all of us.
Well guys, I'm sorry.
I was going to update today, MY TWENTY FOURTH BIRTHDAY, but I wasn't able to finish the little "feature" I was working on. I ended up hanging out with my friends all day instead. But I guess that's probably for the best, right? Maybe not for all of you, but it was certainly good for me. Anyway, my week starts tomorrow, but hopefully I'll be able to find some time in there to finish this thing.
As you may have noticed, last week I joined the Dragon Ball Top 50. Everybody was doing it, and THERE'S NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN FITTING IN! Seriously though, I was just curious to see how I'd stack up with the rest of the sites. Don't pay any attention to the number at the moment... I think you need to be around a full week before it all gets ironed out. I'm not sure exactly how it works. Anyway, it's looking as though my average will place me between 20 and 30, which is pretty cool. But it doesn't make that much difference to me, ultimately. It's nice because it keeps better track of my hits than my counter does, which is probably the main reason I joined.
So... it's about 10:00 West Coast time... you all have two hours to e-mail me and say happy birthday, send me presents, etc. I guess the only "presents" possible to send on such short notice (and through e-mail), are naked pictures of yourselves hastily shot with a nearby digital camera, but hey, I'M NOT PICKY.
See you soon.
Just to be fair, I should mention right up front that I haven't really added any useful content. What I HAVE done is made a tiny bit of progrees, intended to lull you all into a sense of false hope that the new episode comparisons are just around the corner.
Basically, I have redone the Series menu page with new images because the old ones were bulky and unwieldy, and added a summary of the Garlic Jr. Saga. That's about it for now, but it should be taken as a positive sign that at least SOMETHING is going on, and I'm inching closer to doing more episode comparisons.
Also, I fixed the link (below) to the most recent update archive. Thanks to the guy who alerted me to this, because all sorts of drama and beauty took place on the updates page during the last few months and I wouldn't want anyone to miss it. Do be sure to read through that 54KB of thrills if you weren't around for any or all of it. Even if you were, read it again, it's fun. The fact is, the updates page is pretty much the only thing on this site that hasn't been utterly dead for quite some time.
Also, a WHINING LITTLE BABY known (and loved) as Steven Ringl of Psaros Uncensored was upset that I didn't add his Psaros art along with the others in my last update. My dear Ringl, you shouldn't feel shunned. There are MANY pieces of Psaros art out there that I didn't add. This is because most of them are too graphic and offensive for a site that I try to keep PG-13. Vinny Mac's piece may have been pretty bad, but he has done far worse, believe me. And considering that your piece was little more than a defacement of the divine Michael Payne's work, I just didn't think that adding it was justified.
Ringl's lamentation went a little something like this:
"I've spent the last seven hours crying because you didn't find my retaliation against Mike Payne good enough for your updates page. I may have only spent 20 seconds altering his wonderful artwork, but I still look at it everyday and say to myself, 'That's one for JUSTICE!'"First of all Ringl, NO ONE SHOULD RETALIATE AGAINST ANYTHING MIKE PAYNE DOES OR SAYS, EVER. HE IS NOT TO BE QUESTIONED. But I believe that you did it with love, so that's slightly more acceptable. And considering the fact that your site is one of the few things in the world that makes me feel that my life is actually worthwhile, I will post your retouched version of Mike's comic, since it seems to mean so very much to you. Don't worry, Steven. You are always in my heart.
And now, it's time for a story.
I went out for my weekly smoke at twilight yesterday, and as I made my way towards the end of my street, I noticed a car parked by itself with its engine running. I wondered why the driver was waiting there for so long, but I ultimately thought nothing of it and kept walking. I don't remember noticing whether the car was still there or not on my way back. I was sort of lost in my own thoughts.
Five hours later, I decided that I wanted some ice cream, so I went out once again. As I approached the end of my street, I felt a sudden chill in the pit of my stomach when I noticed that not only was the same car still there, but the engine was still running. The scene was lit by a nearby streetlight, and as I stepped a bit closer and looked toward the drivers seat, I saw that sure enough, there was somebody in there. A man was lying back against the seat with his mouth hanging open, looking as dead as somebody who was... really, really dead. That's about when the adrenaline shot through me.
Now it was time for action. My task was to walk up to the car, knock on the window, and see if he responded. If not, I would open the door, check his pulse, perform mouth-to-mouth if necessary, and be on my heroic way.
Nothing had changed since the last time I walked by, and I can't imagine a normal, healthy person starting their car and suddenly passing out for five hours. The guy HAD to be dead, and I was in no hurry to see a corpse up close and personal. I was still far enough away that I couldn't quite make out exactly how things looked in there, so my mind naturally started filling in the details for me. Were those his eyes I was seeing, wide open in a chilling eternal death stare? Was that his neck, contorted into some hideous, unnatural shape? Holy JESUS, Was that BLOOD oozing from a bullet hole in his forehead? So many horrific possibilities awaited me if I were to take just one or two steps.
Whenever I imagine myself in situations like this, when a person's life may be at stake, I'm always completely Fonzie about it. I'm a magical superhero in a cape who calmly swoops down and smashes his way through walls of fire and angry dogs to save lives and right wrongs. But in the real world, it never quite works out that way for me. Rather than Superman, I end up being more of a Shaggy or Scooby (ZOINKS!) If I was with somebody, maybe it would have been different. If it wasn't nighttime with nobody around, with a car sitting there all by itself, its engine running eerily, with a dead-looking guy inside, maybe it would have been different. Whatever the case, it all came down to the bottom line:
There was no god damn way I was going to move an INCH closer to that car.
Not really knowing what to do, I turned and kept walking toward the market. All I knew is that I couldn't look in that direction anymore because I was afraid of what I might see. I snapped out of it a second later and realized that I had to do something, so I turned and ran back to my house. I called 911 and told the dispatcher what was up, and she said that somebody would be sent out right away. When I hung up, I decided that there was only one thing I could do. I had to go back out there and wait for the cops, just to make sure that everything was OK. Part of me didn't WANT to know the truth, but I wouldn't have been able to sleep unless I knew how this was all going to turn out.
The cop and I arrived at exactly the same time (damn, they are QUICK!), and he told me to stand back until he found out what was going on. The cop walked over to the car and shined his flashlight, first on the license plate, and then on the driver. I could see him clearly now, and he still wasn't moving. Not responding to the cop, not responding to the light, nothing. The cop knocked on the window, still nothing.
Then, he opened the door, and the man finally awoke with a jump. This was quite a relief, because in that instant I avoided a psychological scar that might have affected me for some time if the man HADN'T awakened. I walked over there just as he started to stammer out an explanation as to what he was doing there, and why he had been there for so long, but I think the cop and I both had it figured out. Drugs. Either that, or too much booze. One does not often start their car and then suddenly drift off to sleep for five hours, unless there is some other substance acting on them. Whatever the case, he's lucky that this happened outdoors. If he'd started his car and fallen asleep in a closed garage, he would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
It was when the paramedics showed up a few moments later that I started to feel kind of stupid for not just going up and checking on the guy myself in the first place. It was my fear of gore that kept me from being a man. But who knows? Maybe discovering some grisly dead body might have changed me forever, or at least given me nightmares for months. I'm just not sure whether or not running home and calling for someone else to take care of it was the pansy way out.
All I know is that the cop was asking the guy all sorts of questions as I was walking away. But as far as I'm concerned, that's what he gets for scaring me.
Well, it looks like I now have over ONE MEEELION HITS!!!! This update is not much more than a "thank you" for that, so sorry if I got your hopes up. Ultimately though, that counter really sucks (as did the other one I tried), so I figure that the number is way, way off. Just the same, it's still pretty exciting, and I was really happy to see the big day come at last.
The "big day" itself was this last Saturday (the 13th), and it seems that there is a bit of a controversy as to whom the hit itself actually came from. A man known only as "Username" posted the following on a message board (whose name I dare not mention or link to, since I must protect the gentle and beautiful beasts who go there to post, as we must protect all endangered wildlife):
I feel so special.To which I replied:
OH MY GOD... I HAVE A MILLION HITS?
Hours later, I received an email from a "Jerod" who claimed to be the millionth hit. Username had a screencapture as proof, however, so I've got a bit more faith in him.
As for the whole "prize" thing, sorry that never took form, but nothing good could have come of it. Had there been a prize, FIFTY people would have come forward to claim the millionth hit, and the rightful owner would have probably ended up getting gypped. Worse, the prize would have undoubtedly ended up in the hands of one of those evil little miscreants that posted at my now-defunct message board (and who have since moved on to the hideous, but somehow lovable, Fagtown USA). It might have been Triple Life (he is so very, very mean), The Vinny Mac (WHY, VINNY, WHY?), or God forbid, Da Bouncer, who is easily the most terrible human being to ever befoul the Earth.
(By the way, you were much closer than Triple Life on the hair Vinny. But both of you have a long way to go before you create a representation of me that approaches the beauty and striking likeness of Michael Payne's, who has my love forever and ever.)
What's funny is that for my ten thousandth hit (over two years ago), I actually DID give away a prize, to one Darryl Brown. I told the readers of this site that whoever hit the "milestone" would be the lucky winner of a half-eaten box of Jujubes. Darryl sent in his proof (or maybe he didn't have proof, it was oh so long ago I don't really remember) and, as promised, I sent him those horrible little candies. Well over a year later, he sent me an update on their status:
"I actually conned a friend into eating some of them. The mass of tape on the box keeping it closed sort of was a turnoff, but he was gullible all the same. Only about 30-40 more suckers left and the box will be empty."That letter is over six months old now, but I'm sure he's not quite finished with them yet. GOOD LUCK DARRYL! I KNOW IT'S HARD, BUT YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS!
Moving on once again to issues totally unrelated to this site or DBZ, I feel it is important to alert you, the public, of a truly dire menace that has finally begun to rear its ugly head. Most people interpret the movie "Planet of the Apes" as a work of fanciful science fiction storytelling and nothing more. I, however, have always regarded this superb film as an important cautionary tale. A reminder of what might happen if we don't keep our eyes on those DAMN DIRTY APES.
Well, it has begun.
I want you to read the following excerpt from Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle and be aware that those BASTARDS are taking their first steps toward world domination. Sure, today it's just New Dehli... but what do they have planned for tomorrow? Never forget the anguish on the mighty Charleton Heston's face at the end of that movie, upon seeing the beautiful Statue of Liberty buried in the sands. Let that image be forever seared into your brain as it motivates you to action.
Anyway, I'll be back purdy soon.
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