Happy Easter! Here’s a Scene After Our 2013 Road Trip End Credits

The “faith” aspect of the Midlife Crisis Crossover tagline may seem downplayed here more often than not, especially while diving into the deeper ends of geekery and pop culture, but rest assured it’s never far from my mind. What matters most, what keeps us going, what makes everything possible, what sees us through all that we do together — the hints appear around us everywhere we go.

Even on our 2013 road trip, examples weren’t hard to find. Whether it was a giant cross that would be the last thing we photographed in Ohio on our way home at the end of Day 9…

giant Ohio cross

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2013 Road Trip Photos #36: Outtakes, Part 3/3: the Season Finale

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our annual road trip in thirty-three episodes, from Indianapolis to Boston to Cleveland to home again. Next came a three-part collection of outtakes for hardcore MCC fans or just people who like photos of places they’ve never been. Part One gave you more photos from the Boston area; Part Two, more photos around the rest of Massachusetts in general.

Here, then, in our grand finale: outtakes from everywhere and everything else we saw. Pretend these are the bonus photos you’re watching during the “Our 2013 Road Trip” end credits, while the names of myself and my wife scroll past repeatedly for every possible position we served for this production.

Speaking of which: on Day 8 in Cleveland at the A Christmas Story house, my wife Anne tried on a replica of Flick’s aviator cap, one of the perks of the house tour.

Flick hat model, Cleveland

This way for the photo-packed conclusion!

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Internet Rape Threats?

Kenneth Rocafort, Teen Titans #1

The cover heard ’round the world. Art by Kenneth Rocafort.

Other working titles for this entry included “Why I Avoid Comic Book Discussions”, “Comics Industry Spends Easter Week Debating Baseline Human Interaction 101″, “Uppity Chick Dares to Critique Corporate-Approved Pandering”, and “Comic Book Fans Argue in Favor of Exploitative Art and Rape Threats”.

Earlier this week Comic Book Resources published an astute piece by a writer/editor named Janelle Asselin offering thorough, point-by-point analysis of the proposed first-issue cover to DC Comics’ upcoming relaunch of Teen Titans. Of all the aspects she skewered — perspective, anatomy, body language, energy level, demographic narrowcasting, complete lack of salesmanship toward new readers in general — one in particular struck a nerve with the audience at large: incredulity at the portrayal of a teenage character as an improbably shaped fantasy porn object.

Not that this is new to comics, mind you.

The issue in this instance: the complaint wasn’t from a stodgy old guy like me. This time, it was from a lousy dame, clearly speaking out of turn against her male superiors who need their super-heroes to look like this. It’s not enough to have genuine porn at their disposal for their eye-candy needs; they apparently want visual representations of the female figure in all media kept inflated and distorted at all times for the sake of their personal viewing euphoria.

And then it got worse…

Top 13 Ways “Revolution” Hopes to Improve Its Ratings

Aaron and Priscilla Pittman

15 years after the blackout, Aaron and Priscilla Pittman attend a reunion for the few remaining Revolution fans. Or maybe this is a month from now.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Quick programming note for those MCC readers who follow along with NBC’s Revolution: as previously suspected, the show will be taking three consecutive Wednesdays off so NBC can regale us with an unsightly lineup of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit reruns they think Nielsen commoners would rather watch instead.

We’re now in the second week of its three-week unpaid suspension from the TV force. It’s no secret the ratings have been floating downward pretty much from the pilot onward. Every news outlet remains skeptical about its renewal chances, though I take small comfort in the fact that NBC already renewed the lower-rated Parks & Rec and therefore nothing is foregone. Granted, Parks & Rec is surely cheaper to produce, especially after losing two cast members this season. I’m not convinced the way forward for Revolution is to trim the roster down and shoot twenty-two straight bottle episodes of just Miles, Bass, and Tom arguing in rooms. That tactic isn’t helping Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it won’t help here.

This way for the surefire keys to winning at Nielsens!

What Buzzfeed Gets Wrong About Your “Geek Number”

Geek Quiz Results

My quiz results don’t tell me how many other geeks I outrank and are therefore useless to include on my resumé.

My Facebook friends love sharing internet quizzes out of the boredom of their heart, but I generally skip them on standoffish principle. Of those few I click on, I rarely finish because sooner or later I encounter a question with no right answer, no close answer, not even an answer I would pretend is right just to finish out the page. Alas, I’ll never know which Frozen character I am, which Hogwarts house would have me, how hipster I am, or which member of One Direction is my secret twin. I don’t want to know these answers, because knowing is half the defeat.

Then someone somewhere in the underground internet clickbait factories switched gears and decided to tempt us with checklists instead of quizzes, because they sound less like schoolwork. As a lifelong list junkie, I have a harder time walking past a checklist without ticking a few boxes, especially if I can pretend it’s for statistical science. And when Buzzfeed posted a checklist called “What’s Your Geek Number?” I’ll admit I was an easy mark. I gave it a whirl and wasn’t surprised at the results, or at the questionable test construction and the myth it perpetuates.

More on that myth this way…

“The Raid 2″: Another Rendezvous with Rama

Iko Uwais, "The Raid 2"

An imprisoned Rama (Iko Uwais) prepares for the most creative use of a broomstick since the Harry Potter series.

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls The Raid 2 the Bloodiest Film of the Year!

A safe bet, considering I stopped going out of my way for horror movies years ago and I’m not part of the macho-demographic target for Schwarzenegger’s post-political film career. But one of my guilty pleasures is an infrequent indulgence in films that I can best describe as tough-guy ballet. For me the Indonesian martial-arts flick The Raid: Redemption — which I watched a few months ago, a former Redbox disc I bought for a buck at a Family Dollar store — had been on my radar after reading online recommendations that piqued my curiosity. Between its straightforward obstacle-course premise and slickly shot martial-arts choreography, it was ideal Saturday afternoon programming for any discerning fight-scene fan who’s cool with subtitles and appreciates how the (comparatively) small screen trapped and shrank all that violence to minimize the ick factor.

After Redemption pulled in a modest $4 million in its 2012 art-house run, I was surprised that the sequel opened in quite a few screens ’round town this weekend, albeit without its original overseas title, The Raid 2: Berendal, which I suppose for us simple Americans might read too confusingly as a subtitle that needs its own subtitle.

This way for more fight-’n’-fight-’n’-fight!


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