The Best I Could Do on Twitter (So Far)

Clueless Detective Pikachu!

The internet in microcosm: strangers in varying garb, a few of whom actually like being around each other.

I’ve been online for nearly twenty years. I’ve been on Twitter for 9½ years. MCC is nearly eight years old, though I blogged intermittently for six years before that in an even tinier space. I’ve scampered around the tunnels of Usenet, dallied in several message boards, volunteered as an unpaid moderator/admin on one site for nine years, tried the untamed DMZ that is comics discussion sites before running away screaming, and learned quickly that comments sections on major news sites were even larger sinkholes. My internet experience has been a rewarding, exhausting, surprising, discouraging, uplifting, heartbreaking search for the right environments and vehicles for my expressive impulses and my feeble attempts at what those who fit in with others call “networking”.

Luckily for me and my shifting moods, the internet offers a variety of writing formats that suit my ideas, topics, styles, visions, objectives, and wordiness vibe on any given evening. In recent years I’ve carved out comfort zones for myself in two primary outlets: Twitter and this very blog. Each option has its pros and cons. Each yields different rewards.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: Oscars 2020

Oscars!

Them statuettes.

At a not-too draggy 215 minutes (give or take three), the 92nd Academy Awards once again sped down the same host-free track as last year, but allowed slightly more room for filler. After an intricate, audacious opening number by Janelle Monae and that Billy Porter guy who tends to wear the loudest outfits at any given awards ceremony, the audience was allowed one (1) segment for stand-up comedy, tag-teamed by former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock in a joint achievement in short-term blame-shifting, before the rest of the night barreled onward through the 24 aired categories and an offhand shout-out to the four winners whose lesser Oscars were deemed not fit for telecast. Considering those names included Geena Davis and David Lynch, that was one heck of an inconsiderate yadda-yadda.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: That Final Trailer for “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker”

Threepio!

Threepio jacked in Matrix-style, trying to be among the first 300 to see the new trailer and get misty-eyed.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last spring my wife and I had the sincere pleasure of watching the first full-length trailer Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker in its premiere airing at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, surrounded by thousands of fellow fans:

The crowd watched as one. We cheered as one. We whooped and hollered as one. Together we held our breath in the seconds before the subtitle was revealed to the entire world at that very moment after years of speculation. Together we got it. Tens of thousands of voices cried out in Chicago with the interjections and expletives of their choosing. To say nothing of the reactions of the Viewers at Home.

Whether the setting is a state-of-the-art theater or an extra-large flea market, there’s something about a geek harmonic convergence that convention showrunner fiat and any number of internet trolls can’t blast away.

There was no convention to attend for the new trailer’s premiere tonight during Monday Night Football halftime, unless you count the game itself. I doubt they showed the trailer live at the stadium, but who knows. No, for this event I was at home at the same time as millions of other viewers, online and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. It wasn’t nearly the same kind of experience as the previous trailer, especially since I was trying to watch Black Lightning when it finally premiered around 9:50 pm EDT, give or take a few minutes, right in the middle of a key development with the Pierce family.

Continue reading

Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Photos #12 of 12: What We Did in the Star Wars

Buckle Up Baby!

Did YOU spot all the appearances of Donald Glover’s Young Lando in this very special maxiseries? I mean, you don’t win a prize or anything and I’m not even keeping track of them myself. I was just curious, is all.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

April 11-15, 2019, was the ninth American edition of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Celebration, recurring major convention celebrating their works, creations, actors, fans, and merchandise, not always in that order. After jaunts around the U.S. coast and overseas, this year’s was in Chicago, gracing the Midwest with its products for the first time since 2005. My wife Anne and I attended Thursday through Saturday and fled Sunday morning…

…and it all ends here, by which I mean we finally stop trying to prolong the magic of that eventful weekend. We’ve covered the cosplayers we saw; the actors we met; the big, big trailer we watched with thousands of other fans in an awkward communal setting; the one panel we were permitted to attend; the geek stuff we bought; and the other geek stuff we walked past.

Here on MCC, many such lists end with me promising all that “and more, more, MORE!” At long last, it’s time for the mores.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweet: Our First Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Line

Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019!

Yep, this thing again.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: this weekend Anne and I are attending this year’s Star Wars Celebration in scenic, freezing Chicago. Once again we returned to McCormick Place, a mere three weeks after C2E2, so the layout and the stress levels of Chicago traffic were still fresh in our minds.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: Oscars 2019

Gaga Cooper!

Each year I usually grab a pic of the host, but since the producers never filled the position, please enjoy this Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper moment that had already been turned into meme fodder before the ceremony ended.

At a lean 199 minutes, the 91st Academy Awards was perhaps among the speediest ceremonies in decades, but the memorable moments may have been fewer than usual because there were simply fewer opportunities for much to happen. A few presenters did their parts to liven things up — e.g., Samuel L. Jackson, Danai Gurira, James McAvoy, Barbra Streisand (a huge fan of Spike Lee, fellow Brooklynite), and a few others. The triple-threat comedy team of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph had a few minutes to fill the night’s joke quota up front, and did so with a flair enviable to those of us who didn’t watch Fey/Poehler host the Golden Globes a few years ago and who wish they could’ve been bribed into taking charge here all night long.

That being said, it was a very entertaining evening for any moviegoers who liked some of the biggest winners a lot more than I did.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: Oscars 2018

Jimmy Kimmel!

Tonight one random winner took home a statuette personally contaminated by the host himself!

The 90th Academy Awards kicked off Sunday night on ABC with a mildly amusing spoof of olde-tyme theatrical newsreels before returning host Jimmy Kimmel threw down an unprecedented gauntlet: winners were encouraged to speak on any topic they wanted to, no matter how political or incendiary, for as long as they wanted. This promise was eventually broken, much to the consternation of The Shape of Water producer J. Miles Dale, who got orchestra’d out of his spotlight moment because everyone had assumed director Guillermo Del Toro should have the last word.

Also intermittently livening up the night was Kimmel’s chief running gag, a promise of a free jet ski to whoever had the shortest speech. Thus began a night of push and pull, of comparison and contrast, of #MeToo and #TimesUp and diversity abounding and white guys still winning lots of things but not all the things.

Kimmel’s contributions and interruptions were kept to a barer minimum than last year, setting aside one segment that once again indulged his addiction to practical jokes on ordinary people. Assorted parties dropped a few wisecracks at the expense of high-ranking politicians as well as accused sex offenders, but a surprising amount of the commentary was kept on the positive side — a celebration of artists and advancement instead of roasting the haters and attackers. In that sense, some speeches were more refreshing than others.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: Oscars 2017

Jimmy Kimmel!

“You want one of these so bad? Go make a movie that doesn’t suck, you lazy bum.”

The 89th Academy Awards began in style with Justin Timberlake singing or possibly lip-syncing his big Trolls single “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, but ended with all the feelings at cross-purposes when final presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty — reunited fifty years after Bonnie & Clyde lost to In the Heat of the Night — made Oscar telecast history by inadvertently announcing La La Land as the winner when in fact the name printed on their card was Moonlight. La La producer Justin Horowitz broke the news when, after their speech time had already begun, he approached the mic and tried to re-announce the award. At first the audience thought he was just being humble and demurring. Then everyone realized he was serious and extremely classy as he held the card up for the cameras to see. Much confusion and Twitter quips about “fake news” ensued till things were confirmed and the Moonlight team tentatively took the stage and took their turn at thank-yous.

Between those memorable moments, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted in an effort to drum up business for his own show by bringing in his own bits such as “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”, practical jokes, his Matt Damon feud, and I couldn’t tell you what else because I’ve never watched his show unless tonight’s Oscars telecast counted as an episode of it.

Right this way for the list of winners and a running commentary!

MCC Live-Tweeting: July 4th Sportsball

Fireworks!

Longtime MCC readers know I’m not the world’s biggest sports fan. I probably wouldn’t rank among the top 2 billion sports fans alive. I know more about baseball than any other sport by a slim margin because in third grade I read a book about baseball that contained a thorough glossary. I learned; I tried to stick with it; I fell away quickly. The passion never developed, but the vocabulary remained.

From time to time I’ll find opportunities to attend ballgames anyway. Our hometown minor league team, the Indianapolis Indians, provide occasional diversions, free tickets, and/or reasons to get out of the house. For tonight’s feature presentation, the primary objective was to get my mom some fresh air and holiday spirit. She hasn’t been out of the house much since her retirement at the end of May, but she does love some good old-fashioned fireworks displays. Anne and I could take or leave ’em. Nevertheless, we figured the outing would do her some good.

Occasionally, though, I got bored. Or in a mood. Some light phone usage may have occurred.

Continue reading

MCC Live-Tweeting: The “Sleepy Hollow” Season 3 Finale

Sleepy Hollow!

In which Ichabbie bids us a clumsy, ill-conceived Ichabbye.

Okay, after a self-mandated 24-hour cooling-off period, I think I’m ready to tackle that Friday night fiasco.

Once upon a time, Midlife Crisis Crossover provided same-night recaps of every episode of Sleepy Hollow. I’m not a pro reviewer entitled to advance copies of any TV shows, so every recap was an intense, on-the-fly, two- to three-hour marathon writing session, thinking and typing as quickly as I could to combine plot summary with top-of-my-head commentary in 1500- to 2000-word bursts — partly to see if I could do it, partly because sometimes there’s an audience for such a thing. This formerly fun exercise became a thankless chore if I paid too much attention to the competition from actual pro websites given days to prepare their material so they can click “Publish” mere seconds after each episode ends. It’s a nice luxury if you can work your way into it and don’t have to worry about sleep deprivation disrupting your full-time day job.

When Fox moved Sleepy Hollow to Fridays for the back half of season 3, I figured it was the perfect time to pull the plug on that ongoing MCC feature, not only due to diminishing returns but also because we have a family commitment every other Friday that precluded same-night recaps. Past experiences have taught me that delayed recaps are a waste of time and bandwidth, so that wasn’t an option, and that’s why this entry is not a straight-up recap. My wife and I still followed the show as fans, and every other week I’ve been live-tweeting it, which turned out to be a much better format for me. All of the MST3K-style improv joke-writing, none of the boring golf-commentator filler.

The timing worked out so that I could live-tweet last night’s season finale, “Ragnarok”, an astoundingly disappointing episode that encapsulated all of this season’s flaws to date, then one-upped them with the most poorly orchestrated mistake in series history. And after it was all over, I was there to watch the internet burn. Not just once, but twice.

Continue reading

Hollywood Concedes Free Speech Battle on World Stage

James Franco!

appleseed : apple tree :: The Interview : cyberwar

I had no plans to see The Interview because I lost my tolerance for most R-rated comedies years ago, and the last time I tried a Seth Rogen film, The Green Hornet turned me against it within its first fifteen minutes, and it wasn’t even R-rated. That was before the brouhaha of the past few weeks.

Today Sony Pictures announced it’s canceling the Rogen/Franco flick’s planned theatrical release after all the major chains refused to carry it in the wake of strongly worded orders from our new internet overlords overseas. Even before our normally unflappable cinemas exercised their right to back down, Sony had been suffering through the controversial widespread release of every byte of information ever stored on every computer they’ve ever bought. Movie plans, budgets, salaries, sensitive personal data, candid undiplomatic emails, and zillions of other choice insider tidbits were extracted from behind whatever Sony cutely referred to as a “security system” by the forces of [GLORIOUSLY REDACTED] and dumped on the virtual front lawns of every muckraking internet quote-unquote “journalist” with Wi-Fi access and a dumbstruck conscience. After a long couple of weeks, some anxious Sony elder probably felt the theater-owner dogpile was the last straw, that the lives and livelihoods of thousands of employees were ultimately unfair stakes to put up against a possible gigantic bluff without thousands of notarized authorization forms from said employees, and that The Interview wasn’t worth any more headaches.

Sony is a for-profit corporation, not a ragtag team of do-gooder movie underdogs sworn to uphold their idealistic Lawful Good alignment at all costs. Just the same, it would’ve been awesome and patriotic of them to act like it and release the movie anyway. If we accept George R. R. Martin’s outraged argument that behemoths like Sony could buy and sell tiny Asian countries at will if it suited their interests, and if we accept the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, there’s a school of thought that believes the movie, if released now after all of this, could probably rake in five or ten times its original box office projections and afford to hire elite counter-hackers and armed mercenaries to protect their interests and civilians, albeit probably in that order.

All I know is, all of a sudden I really want to see this crappy comedy on principle.

Follow the link for more thoughts and a few tweets…

“The Night Before Awesome Con”: a Poetic Live-Tweet Distraction

Awesome Con Indy 2014! Woo!

Awesome Con Indy! October 3-5, 2014. Tickets still available!

Saturday my wife and I will be checking out the inaugural Awesome Con Indianapolis down at the Indiana Convention Center. Awesome Con will be our sixth convention this year, but we have high hopes that this experience will find its own positive form of uniqueness. The guest list isn’t too lengthy or overwhelming, and contains quite a few names we’re excited to meet. We presume there’ll be nifty new things to buy, too.

Now it’s Friday night and I’m still not ready. I’ve had a busy week (not all of it was my fault) and my attention span has been stretched to its limits in myriad directions. I’m really trying to concentrate and prepare for our big, fantabulous day of walking, shopping, walking, meeting, walking, cosplayers, walking, potentially talking to someone, and after that some more walking because my free parking is several blocks away. But I needed to unwind first before I could resume researching.

Right this way for tonight’s short, special presentation!

MCC Live-Tweeting: “Sharknado 2: the Second One”

Sharknado! Two!

Shark and Tornado. Tornado and Shark. Who’s the master and who’s the servant?

Because too many viewers patronized the first one! Thanks to America’s unreasonable groundswell of bemused support of the original Sharknado, Syfy and The Asylum felt emboldened enough to scrape together a few more quarters, call in some former celebrities for cameos, clear the browser cache in their visual-effects software, and make Sharknado 2: the Second One on purpose.

I can’t imagine why anyone would write a straightforward review of this, not even if you were a paid TV critic, unless you’re keen to address the arguments for or against the concept of meta-grade-Z flicks. I see both sides of the debate over which is morally superior, mocking unintentionally bad films versus mocking intentionally bad films, but I opted out of the debate and launched into an evening of fun, carefree live-tweeting without contemplating my justifications or pondering the ramifications of encouraging Syfy’s agenda.

Collected below for posterity or whatever are the results of that experience. MAJOR SPOILERS ahead…

MCC No-Reason Live-Tweeting: “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”

Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance!

How much of this mid-transformation shot is CG and how much is the real Nicolas Cage? I’m not asking him. YOU ask him.

While my son is off living at college and my wife finds other things to amuse herself, my Wednesday nights have become one-man movie nights at home. I work an earlier shift that day, arrive home mid-afternoon, and watch stuff and things for a while. It’s a pleasure I’ve rarely afforded myself, as evidenced by the towering pile of unwatched DVDs and my slowly lengthening Netflix queue.

On Twitter I’ve not been one for constant live-tweeting, but a few months ago I spent one Wednesday live-tweeting my viewing displeasure of Batman and Robin at a friend’s suggestion. This past Wednesday I repeated the experience at absolutely no one’s suggestion with a fifty-cent Blu-ray rental of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, starring Idris Elba, Ciaran Hinds, exactly one female, and Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage as the notorious Marvel antihero. Collected below for posterity or whatever are the results of that experience.

Right this way for another fun MCC exercise!

MCC Request Line: Live-Tweeting “Batman & Robin”

Batman and Robin

That time when Batman, Robin, and Batgirl started wearing black…black like the studio executives’ hearts.

Fish in a barrel? Sure. But sometimes it’s nice to relax for one evening with some frivolous writing that breaks no new ground, fails to expand the creative boundaries of the internet, but relieves the typical tensions that dogpile on you in adulthood.

Wednesdays are one-man movie nights for me, a chance to spend time watching whatever while my wife busies herself with her own pursuits. This week I decided on an unusual direction. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@RandallGolden) was given a short window of opportunity to stage an intervention:

Batman and Robin has been on my shelf for months. It was part of a four-pack, and geek completism forbade me from giving it to Goodwill and leaving the set 25% incomplete. I haven’t relived it in its entirety since the original, degrading theatrical experience. My plan was merely to see if I could watch it a second time without suffering a breakdown. Then a longtime friend asked me to live-tweet it, and a different kind of survival game was afoot.

Special thanks goes to the instigator, Nanci over at Tosche Station, a highly commendable site for anyone who’s a fan of Star Wars in general and the SW Expanded Universe in particular, and they’re your new best friends if you think JJ Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII should star Mara Jade as the main character. (For the record, I would not oppose this.)

And then it began. Right this way…

Seven Handy Tips for Winning at Live-Tweeting

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch...

If Twitter ever needs TV ads, its theme should be “Birdhouse in Your Soul”.

Thanks to the invention of the internet, the convenience of the smartphone, and the rise of Twitter as the premier social-media beachhead for You Are There instant commentary, now billions of internet users worldwide have the tools at their disposal to pay homage to Mystery Science Theater 3000 anytime they want. The process is simple: watch something on TV; type every single thought you have while watching; stand by for accolades.

Sadly, the number of Twitter users who’ve parlayed their live-tweeting habits into fame and fortune without benefit of preexisting conditions is in the single digits. You might ask, how can this be? You’re using the internet, you’re saying what you think everyone is really thinking, and tens of people told you how special you were when you were in elementary school. Why aren’t your witticisms slaying all the other viewers? Why aren’t entire cities retweeting or Favoriting your bon mots? Why aren’t agents sending you offers? Why even bother paying for internet access if no one will pay attention to everything you do?

Calm down. Don’t throw a tantrum for the paparazzi. Someone out there still loves you. But you can’t tweet everything that pops into your head. Wait, no: actually, you can tweet it all. Really bad idea, though.

This way for Twitter tips that will change your life! I’m guessing!

%d bloggers like this: