I WANT TO EAT A NUT OF LAERMA!
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Terry Mosher (Aislin)'s editorial cartoon from the Montreal Gazette is really funny today, with animated toddler Caillou, smoking and wearing a "five o' clock shadow" (meaning he needs to shave, for those of you in Rio Linda), being led away in chains, with the caption "AND WHICH MAJOR QUÉBEC VEDETTE WILL SHOCK US NEXT...?" ("Vedette" means "celebrity", though, in France, they usually just say "star" these days.)
If you're outside of the province of Quebec, you probably aren't aware of the subtext of this cartoon. Quebec City radio host Robert Gillet was just found guilty of paying for sex with a 17-year old prostitute (though he was let off on the more serious charges of assault and paying for sex with a 15-year old) in a juvenile prostitution ring, while famous Quebec producer Guy Cloutier faces charges of "indecent assault, rape, sexual aggression, assault and obstruction of justice involving one young woman who alleges she was victimized between 1978 and 2004." The woman cannot be identified, though the article notes that some sources hint that she's a celebrity.
In regards to Aislin's cartoon, which I'm not going to risk getting in trouble with copyright lawyers by posting, I'd say the odds are about 50/50 that a member of the anti-smoking gestapo, whom missed the fucking point of the cartoon entirely, will write an angry letter to the Gazette claiming that Aislin is encouraging kids to smoke because he drew Caillou with a cigarette in his mouth, even if the point of the cigarette and the stubble was to make Caillou into a "Baby Herman" sort of figure for the purposes of the joke.
They should parody anime and do Japanese songs every week, damn it!
This won't stop me from posting South Park song lyrics in the future just to inflate my Google hits, even if it's only a temporary high. :P
Yesterday, I watched the new Dawn of the Dead, my first time seeing a film in the theatres since I saw The Triplets of Belleville in January, and, while the 1978 George Romero original shall always be the REAL Dawn of the Dead to me, I'm glad that I didn't listen to all of the anti-remake people on movie boards like RottenTomatoes.com, since the 2004 Dawn of the Dead is a fine enough horror movie on its own merits. It's pretty much an entirely different film from the original, just with the same basic premise of survivors of the zombie plague holing themselves up in a shopping mall. Some people might even complain about them calling it Dawn of the Dead, but, if they had called it something else, then they'd complain about it ripping off Dawn of the Dead.
The satirical elements from the original are mostly gone, and I couldn't be happier, because the satirical element in the original was nice and subtle, since Sarah Polley, whom is a nice girl and a good actress and someone Canadians watched grow up from her days on Road to Avonlea, but, to Canadian conservatives/libertarians, Sarah is also notorious for being a big New Democratic Party (NDP) supporter, like Kiefer Sutherland (whose grandfather, Tommy Douglas, started the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation which eventually evolved into the NDP), and, the NDP is roughly the Canadian equivalent of the Green Party, and, if she was going to bring her political bias to the film like she was threatening to do in interviews, I thought the satire was going to be as subtle as a sledgehammer, but, thankfully, the politics are subdued.
I certainly don't deny that there is a "consumerist zombie" subtext in the original, and I don't agree with the general view that consumers are mindless manipulations, but I can just choose to ignore that reading of the film, and, and here's something most liberal readings of the original Dawn of the Dead just ignore, there's satire for conservatives too, with the liberal talk show host in the TV studio refusing to listen to the simple advice of the scientist to shoot the brains of the zombie out or to decapitate their heads, with the host bringing up all sorts of silly objections about treating the dead with "dignity". Even in that most extreme of circumstances, he still feels the need to question authority, and it's the lack of respect of the simple advice the authorities give that is killing everyone in the cities, while the gunowning residents of the small towns are cooperating in a friendly way with the military and having a great time blasting away the zombies.
The big differences between the old and the new Dawn of the Dead films is the overall structure. There's no segments of squabbles in the TV studio, nor is there the police raid on the MOVE-esque religious compound, just Ana going to bed in her comfortable suburban world, and waking up in a completely different world, where the dead are walking... well, this time they're running. I don't know if it's intentionally so, but the opening minutes of the film did capture pretty much the same feeling of waking up to a world gone mad I, and I'm sure most of you, experienced one September morning two and a half years ago. Yeah, the scenes of mayhem on the streets of suburbia are extremley well-realized, and, from a technical standpoint, I did like the videogame shot of the Toyota Corolla as it swerved to avoid all the wrecks, as well as the throwaway helicopter shot looking down at a road, and, just after Ana passes an intersection, a truck comes down the adjoining road, and smashes into a gas station, blowing it up.
After crashing her car into a tree, Ana meets up with Kenneth (Ving Rhames... Cobra Bubbles in Lilo & Stitch, heh heh), a police officer (though not a SWAT cop like Peter and Roger were in the original), and they soon meet up with other survivors, including one very pregnant woman, and then, together, they all hop over a fence to a nearby shopping mall... getting to the mall much quicker than in the original, without the helicopter adventure over the small town and in the (mostly)-abandoned airfield. Unlike the mall of the original, which was completely abandoned, zombies notwithstanding, this one has three security guards, led by CJ (Michael Kelly), whom thinks of himself as the king of his domain and whom was planning on holing himself up with his two lackeys, living off what's inside the mall for years, and he's none to pleased to have to share his stuff with five new people, though, eventually, they have to learn to live with each other, and then another truckload of survivors shows up, some bitten, and they find themselves reluctant to shoot zombies they had known hours before as ordinary human beings, so they wait until the absolute last minute.
Also, Kenneth strikes up a long-distance (sort of) friendship with a guy, Andy (Bruce Bohne), whom owns a gun shop just across the street from the shopping centre holed up on the roof just like Michael Gross in Tremors (I would not be surprised if that was the inspiration for the character), though they can't cross over to each other and the phones don't work anymore (actually, I don't remember them ever explicitally making that point) so they have to communicate with signboards, and they play games long distance like chess and "spot the celebrity-lookalike zombie in the crowd and shoot him".
Eventually, when supplies run low and the fuel for the generator is almost gone, they have to devise a plan to get somewhere else, as well as get ammo from Andy somehow, and they fix up two parking lot shuttlebuses to be cool instruments of zombie destruction, to take them to the marina and then get on a boat to take them to an island, any island, that hopefully doesn't have zombies on it.
Instead of still-human raiders come to pillage the mall, the climax of the film is them in the vehicles, trying to make their way through a sea of zombies. My minor problem with these scenes is that there seem to be far more zombies than there ever were people in the Milwaukee suburb where this takes place, but... eh, it's a zombie movie, don't think so much. And the teeming masses around the vehicle look great; I'm honestly not sure whether they really got thousands of extras, or a couple of dozen and shot them in different places around the vehicle and composited it later, or whether only a handful of the zombies are real actors and the rest are digital effects. Also, once they're out of the mall, the rest of the film is shaky, Blair Witch-esque handicam shots which last right through the end of the closing credits, so it's a little hard to keep track of who's still alive, if anyone.
Some reviews which I've read say that Sarah Polley as "Ana" looks like Gaylen Ross as "Francine Parker", but I don't see it, though I think that Jake Weber, whom plays "Michael" resembled Scott Reiniger as "Roger DeMarco" a bit, at least with their eyes, the way I've always thought Roger's eyes look a tiny bit too small for his face.
Problems... unlike the original, which was shot mostly on Sundays at the real-life Monroeville Mall* near Pittsburgh, this "mall" is... well, it is a mall, but it was an bankrupt mall, Thornhill Square Mall**, which was slated to be demolished and the interiors were completely redone for the film, and, as a result, the mall feels a bit more like a set than the totally real mall in the original. Plus, I think a couple of scenes were shot in the Eaton Centre in Toronto, and those scenes don't quite match up. Look behind the security guards when Ana and company get off the elevator and first encounter them: I think that is the Eaton Centre because that part of the mall looks a bit taller than the two storey mall in the rest of the film.
Also, in one scene, you see the after-results after a dinner which included some KFC (did they order it? I don't remember seeing a KFC counter in the mall.). There was a slip-up where you could easily tell that this was shot in Canada? How? Because the side of the coleslaw container facing the camera says "PFK" as in "Poulet Frit Kentucky", the French name for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
All in all, this is nowhere near the best horror movie ever made, but it's still the best one I've seen in a long time and can easily be appreciated as a companion to the original film. (Maddox thinks it should win Best Picture at the 2005 Oscars, but I'm hoping that Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic gets it.) It stayed scarier than 28 Days Later, which was good while they were in London and driving around the British countryside on their way to Manchester, but fell apart once they reached the mansion with the crazy military guys. Also, they were handing out Dawn of the Dead mini-posters as I came out of the cinema room at the Famous Players Paramount in Montreal. :D
I did miss hearing the music, or, rather, muzak from the original by the Goblins, though, rejoice, as you can hear that at the end of the trailer for the British zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead (if the direct link doesn't work, try this page).
*There are several Monroeville Mall guides and photo sites for fans of the original Dawn of the Dead film, here, here, and here.
**There is also a site with a whole crapload of photos taken at Thornhill Square Mall early during the shooting. I saw these photos last spring or summer and was pleased to find that the site was still there.
Friday, March 26, 2004
The so-called "moderate" New Evolution slate has won the CSU elections, getting a preliminary 2336 votes compared to
The fee levy for the Frigo Vert "natural" food store, which I voted against, passed, however, I was very, very pleased that the fee levy for QPIRG flopped, with 2180 votes against and just 2117 votes for... okay, it's a pretty narrow defeat, but I'm gloating just the same. As I wrote the other week:
"QPIRG? Like I always tell you, "Public Interest Research Groups" are front organizations for leftist fringe activists with all sorts of wacky statist agendas. Look at groups they link to on their link page. La convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes (CLAC), ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism - anti-war collective) (read Ion Mihai Pacepa's inside information on the group behind ANSWER, the Workers World party, a straight Soviet propaganda tool, as well as this LA Weekly article by David Corn), Anarchist People of Color, and, of course, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. Plus, there's something on the ballot this year about increasing the contribution to QPIRG in our student fees (vote NO! NO! NO!) and they have posters talking about other things QPIRG supports, like Blood Sisters, the crazy women whom worship their own menstrual blood and make stinky artwork from it which they display at Dawson College (no, I'm not making that up)."
Also, in the unsigned Link editorial, "CSU elections: the good, the bad and the undemocratic", there is the following assertion:
"Racism: Just like every year, despite all the campaigning, the majority of the electorate will have only the spelling of people's names to judge whether they represent their interests. Once again, Arabic students, no matter what their political persuasion, face an uphill battle."
I'll admit that, when I was voting for the 15 representatives for Arts and Sciences, not really knowing all that much about any of the candidates besides for Comrade Yves Engler, whom, obviously, I'd never vote for, I was picking mostly at random based on names, and, no, I didn't vote for anyone with an Arab name. Sorry, but you have to look at it in the context of Concordia; while there's always a chance that I'd be voting against a Concordia version of Walid Shoebat, the former PLO terrorist whom embraced Israel, if an Arab student doesn't expliclitly and publically denounce the policies and tactics of SPHR, and I'm sure I'd notice an anti-SPHR Arab candidate, I'm not going to hedge my bets, because there is always the possiblity that I'd be voting for a militant Arabist -to use the standard description from the National Post, because the National Post kicks so much ass- like, say, Samer Elatrash. (I'd vote for Sumar Elbitrash, though, since he gets all the chicks and he represents the "huge sexual potency and sexual power of Arab men"... God, that was a hilarious spoof, with total South Park-esque political incorrectness, and one I thought the Link would have been too pussy to run if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.)
For the record though, I didn't vote for people with WASP-ish sounding names first: I voted for East Asians, like the lovely and gracious Vi Hoang, first, then the Jews (though I regretted voting for Chris Schwartz immediately after when I saw his posters cowtowing to the left), then I voted for the WASPs and other neutral ethnicities, though I accidentally voted for Trish McIntosh, forgetting her record (see the final photo). What can I say, voting for the 15 councillors is a total crap shoot, since most of us simply don't have enough time or interest to learn the policies of all the candidates because there are just too many.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Be aware that, if anyone sends anything nasty to Jeb Bush spoofing my e-mail address (Kiyone@tokyo.com), they trace the IP number, so the Secret Service will be visiting you, not me...
My American friend saw the second episode of the eighth season of South Park last night, with Cartman faking being retarded so he can win $1000 in the Special Olympics, and Jimmy, in a spoof of bad TV movies or afterschool specials, taking steroids so he can win.
Lots of good lines.
Cartman: "Dude! I mean, I can't believe they exploit handicapped people like this. I mean, making them compete against each other for our amusement."
Cartman: "It's flawless! I'll act like I have a disability, and, when the time comes to compete, I'll kick ass against all the handicaps!"
Stan: "That's really, really terrible dude!"
Cartman: "Terrible? Whatever! You guys'es brains just can't compute complex plans like mine can. It'll work, you'll see."
Cartman: (making face in mirror) "Duur, dur, I want to be in the Special Olympics!... Bullseye!"
Also, when Cartman's doing his researach into how to look and act retarded, they do a "sports training" montage, like they spoofed in "Asspen" two seasons ago, to the tune of "Push it to the Limit" by Paul Englemann from the movie Scarface.
Push it to the limit
Walk along the razor's edge
but don't look down, just keep your head
and you'll be finished
Open up the limit
past the point of no return
You've reached the top but still you gotta learn
how to keep it
Hit the wheel and double the stakes
throttle wide open like a bat out of hell
and you crash the gates
(crash the gates)
Going for the back of beyond
Nothing gonna stop you
there's nothing that strong
So close now you're nearly at the brink
so, push it
Welcome to the limit
Take it maybe one step more
The power game's still playing so
you better win it
Push it to the limit
With no one left to stand in your way
you might get careless, but you'll never be safe
while you still feel it
Welcome to the limit
Standing on the razor's edge
don't look down just keep your head
and you'll be finished
Welcome to the limit
Push it to the limit
Push it to the limit
My American friend got some chuckles from the utterly politically incorrect way the handicapped were portrayed (and if you laughed at the exact same sort of humour in There's Something About Mary don't call my American friend "insensitive", hypocrites), but, all in all, the episode seemed a little thin.
I won't see it for two months, of course, so I can't say whether he's wrong or right.
Okay, I'll throw legal caution to the wind this time. I think it's "fair use" if I'm actually discussing it.
I'll admit that today's Foxtrot is a little puzzling as to what exactly Bill Amend is getting at. I think I can explain the punchline.
I think the punchline is that the anime-Mickey Mouse and anime-Minnie Mouse are standing around explaining the obvious because Amend is making a joke about the dialogue in anime dubs, of the sort you see on kiddy TV, being extremely long-winded, and they have to match the "lip flap" by filling it with inanities. Often yes, but sometimes we... erm, I mean "kiddy TV syndicators whom aren't run by me, Al Kahn*... erm, I mean, Steve Brandon" have to add dialogue where there wasn't any in the Japanese version because sometimes the "lip flap" is insufficient to explain everything. Honestly, it works both ways.
Nice getting a punchline we have to think about. Like how some people get into angry arguments about the punchlines to Foxtrot strips featuring math. (Thank you, Fandom Wank.)
*If Bill Amend reads this, it's an ongoing in-joke... don't worry about it.
Also, for the Google searches: "I always thought Jason preferred Japanese animation." "Maybe he figures as Disney CEO, he can change things." "That music you are playing sounds like 'Turkey in the Straw'! I must say it is catchy!" "It is 'Turkey in the Straw'! Who knew that goats made such good Victrolas?! I certainly didn't!"
Ooh, lookit what my mother got me (her 29 year old child) from Essaim pharmacy!
Cadbury's assorted Mini Creme Eggs, not to be confused with Cadbury's Mini-Eggs, which are a different product entirely (they have a hard shell and no creme).
I thought that Canada was the only place in North America in which you could purchase Cadbury's Creme Eggs, but Matt Caracappa set me straight. However, we still have a greater variety of Cadbury's Easter-related products, and the rest of the year, we have Crunchie and Caramilk, so there! :P
Also, this bag is a little fucked up because only the mini Creme Eggs, the mini Caramilk eggs, and the mini Dairy Milk eggs are advertised on the packaging (and on the corporate website), but there are also mini caramel eggs in there too (the gold ones). Why no mini Wunderbar eggs, though?
And, no, I'm not eating them all at once.
For the Google searches: Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs, Cadbury Cream Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Yes, there is such a film coming out, though one that has neither been sanctioned by New Line Pictures nor Columbia/Tri-Star. Freddy vs. Ghostbusters is a fan-made production from Hank Braxtan's Braxtan Films which will be available for download in April, and, taking into account that it's a fanmade production, it actually looks decent... a lot better than some of the homemade Star Trek productions I've seen, that's for sure. For example, Braxtan Films appears to be based in Denver, therefore, they made the wise artistic move of... setting the film in Denver, rather than pretending it's New York. The Ghostbusters uniforms look right on the money, and Freddy Krueger doesn't look bad either, though I would imagine that the lights will never be too bright when he's onscreen, so you can at least pretend it's Robert Englund. And, the drawback with a lot of the fanmade productions I've seen* is that they often take the source material far too seriously, so they're grim and gritty and full of gravitas, but this one looks like it's going to be funny, and, often, intentionally so. Some people in the RottenTomatoes.com forum didn't care for the voice of the trailer announcer, but I think he sounds okay... obviously, Don LaFontaine was probably out of their price range. The sound's a bit wonky... well, very wonky... but all films would sound that wonky if you didn't have access to professional ADR facilities.
Nothing more to say, but it does look like a lot of fun, and even if the trailer represented the only halfway decent bits in the film, hey, it's free, so you can't complain about not getting your money's worth, and that's still one more film than most of you reading this have ever produced (my brother, John, excluded)...
*Which isn't all that many, but I don't want to pick on specific people, so I'm not naming them... maybe I've seen a dozen such things total.
Guess what I bought yesterday at Renaud-Bray?
The French translation of volume 4 of the GALS! manga by Mihona Fujii. I'm also working on a review of volume 4 of the anime version, Super GALS!, and one of the stories in this volume of the manga was adapted into episode 15 of the anime. Yes, the snowboarding story, which takes place in *summer* in the cartoon, does make a bit more sense when it takes place in January. Though it's not as weird as you think setting it in summer, since both variations of the story take place at SSAWS, the now-defunct indoor ski-slope which is about to be demolished to build houses and an IKEA. (Can't say I disapprove of the IKEA...)
Why does that cover make me hungry for bubblegum? It's just too pink!
I also got a haircut at Coiffure Le Canadien in old Windsor Station, which isn't used as a station anymore since they built the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre) hockey arena directly to the west, and the commuter train terminus is located on the other side, but it's still a glorious old building and it seems like the sort of place that Hank Hill would get his haircut if he lived in Montreal, so I get my haircut there. No nonsense, nice and short. I did wash my hair before going out, though, but maybe it's better to cut it while it's still slightly wet. The one thing about me I like is that I'm almost 30 and I'm not losing my hair like... umm... some people with identical parentage. Well, I got my hair from my grandfather from my mother's side, whom never went bald. My hair was getting so long that I had quite the He-Man mullet going, and I could flip my hair like Cameron Diaz did at Tim Curry's party in the first Charlie's Angels movie when she was trying to get Luke Wilson's attention, and I was doing just that in class when I was bored the other week. :P
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
For giving us one full year without any of the nonsense we got from the previous few Concordia Student Union administrations. I'm just very, very disappointed that you have decided to abandon your non-activist legacy and support groups, policies, and actions I'm completely against to try and get a few more votes from people whom are likely to vote for Concordians in Action anyways, losing, at the very least, what would have been my sure vote for you guys had you just stayed the course. And, while some of the people that voted EnR last year will hold their noses and vote New Evolution this year, I'm sure you've alienated at least a handful more of the more right-voting students with your new-found activism.
Was it worth it?
Ooh, Sari linked to a funny graphic from "Burnside".
He links to this hilarious banner from the Dissident Frogman, which is much too wide for me to include here.
Also, he links to David Frum, whom calls the bluff of the "Peace Process".
"There is no peace process: only an ongoing Palestinian terror war against Israel. There never was a peace process: only a political campaign by Yasser Arafat to accumulate as many strategic assets as possible against Israel before recommencing his terror war."
Also, there's an amusing letter in this week's Link from a, to use his terminology, "misinformed parrot" in regards to "Flat Rachel". I'll correct it...
Perhaps John D*rlick is simply misinformed when he wrote in this week's letter that Rachel Corrie was killed protecting a house belonging to a Palestinian family she had lived with and that there were absolutely no tunnels found ("Misinformed parrots lie" The Link, March 23, 2004). The fact is that the "house" Rachel Corrie died protecting contained underground tunnels used to smuggle weapons. It is only predictable that International Solidarity Movement dupes would try and justify their interference with military actions in a war zone, but it is shameful that some Concordia alumnus would choose to parrot their lies.
Ooh, apparently, the final three Hayao Miyazaki back-catalogue films to be released on DVD by Disney in North America, Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, and Porco Rosso (which I saw fan-subbed once at my old anime club, but that was nearly 10 years ago), will be hitting store shelves on August 31st. Two of the films have been released in North America before, though, Nausicaa as the infamously-edited Warriors of the Wind from Roger Corman's New World Pictures (a lot of people blame Disney, but they had nothing to do with that dub, not getting into the Ghibli picture at all until 1996, nearly a decade after Warriors of the Wind), and My Neighbor Totoro got an accurate dub by Troma's 50th Street Films for Fox Family Video in 1994. (I have the LaserDisc version of the Fox dub... it cost me about $80 Canadian, and it's dub-only and pan-and-scan.) Both of those will be available legitimately subtitled on Region 1 DVDs for the first time, and Porco Rosso and the dub for Nausicaa includes Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, and Uma Thurman, while the Porco Rosso dub includes Michael Keaton and Cary Elwes. I'm not sure if My Neighbor Totoro will have a new dub, or if they'll just use the old celebrity-free dub, which is excellent as far as dubs from the early 90s go.
I was hoping that my second favourite Ghibli film, after the criminally-underrated Kiki's Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart, the first and only Ghibli film directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo, would be among the next batch, but, since it wasn't directed by Miyazaki, I guess it wasn't a priority.
Disney hasn't said anything solid about Howl's Moving Castle, but, if they're releasing these three films on DVD in August, could this mean we'll see Howl's Moving Castle released in North America in September, just as Spirited Away was? (Presumably in limited release, though perhaps a bit wider than Spirited Away because it's based on a fairly popular children's book series.)
Yes, it's time once again for my occasional feature, ANNOYING COMMERCIALS, which appears in this blog whenever I notice three recent commercials that annoy me or bother me somehow, and then only when I'm thinking of them at the same time.
- EDC (Export Development Canada): I'm talking about the commercial which uses cheap rotoscoped-and-Photoshop-filtered commercial wherein the two Canadian investors go through the magic door to Foreign-land and the generic European accent guy says "I heard about your brother, and I know he'll do amazing here." Excluding 3D animation, for some reason I just never cared much for the rotoscoping technique, because, paradoxically, the more realistic a 2D character looks and moves, the more unreal and weird it feels. I find that rotoscoped accent guy creepy now... just over 20 years ago, if I saw the same commercial, I'd be so scared by him I'd be shitting my pants. And this commercial... well, I don't want to slander myself, so I'll just say it appears to me to have been done the cheapest way, using Photoshop filters with little in the way of actual animation work, just like the godawful pretentious film Waking Life, which was like a philosophy lecture, but animated... cheaply...
- McDonald's: The one where the four white guys are in the car, eating Big Macs, and they don't like the song that's on the radio so they switch it to a station playing a generic whatever-that-shit-is-that-passes-for-metal-these-days song commissioned for the commercial played by session musicians emulating bands like... I dunno... Linkin Park or Skinny Puppy/Ohgr, maybe? (I wouldn't know, I don't listen to music made since 1994.) What does it say about me that I prefer the song playing in the car before they change the channel, an overbearing, sentimental, syrupy love song that is so intentionally bad, I like it a lot, since I like cheesy stuff. I think it's a song commissioned for the commercial, since a Google search revealed nothing... the lyrics are, as far as I can tell, "(something)... Let it grow, See it through, and we'll know... why? Why?", with "why" being drawn out like "Whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy? Whhhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" I actually don't hate this commercial; at least it shows that McDonald's is beginning to move away from that hip-hop shit in some of their commercials in the "I'm Lovin' It" campaign, and I fully endorse the eating of Big Macs, or, for my Hindu friends, Crispy Chicken Deluxes. I've been eating more Big Macs myself lately, just to spite Morgan Spurlock.
- Michelina's: The one with the animated bunny in a live-action kitchen singing an infuriatingly bad song about Michelina's frozen dinners to the tune of "Macarena". First of all, the only cartoon bunnies whom are not lame (not counting human anime girls with bunny-like hairdoes, like Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon and Sasami Jurai/Sasami Kawaii/Pretty Sammy) are Bugs Bunny, Babs Bunny, Buster Bunny, the Quik Bunny, the Trix Rabbit, Captain Carrot, Usagi Yojimbo, and, my personal favourite, Untalkative Bunny. I don't see your name on the list of non-lame bunnies. Asshole. Also, commercials using the "Macarena" song and/or dance in any way ceased being amusing after, oh, I don't know... Super Bowl XXXI, in 1997.
Since so many people are seeing this page for the first time, I think the best commercial in the history of creation is the Colgate Pump commercial from the mid-80s, with the Mini-Pops kids skulking around in spy trenchcoats (and the American girl dressed like Uncle Sam) singing a tune about the Colgate Pump dispenser to the tune of Madness's "Baggy Trousers". (If the direct link doesn't work, it's the third commercial down on this page.)
It would be an amazing feat for Steventheeunuch on the AnimeNewsNetwork.com board to, in fact, be Gen Fukunaga of FUNimation, since, in many of those other posts you don't appear to have read, the ones where he wasn't defending FUNi (oh, how evil of him to be a pragmatic anime fan) and, instead, was talking about anime from companies besides FUNi, he mentions that he's in Canberra, Australia, and mentions things relevant to being an anime fan in Australia. I know Gen Fukunaga is from Japan originally, and now lives in the United States, both countries which are rather far from Australia.
God forbid that maybe some of the anime fans out there whom defend FUNi on message boards are, in fact, normal anime fans and not FUNi executives leading elaborate fictional double-lives in order to manipulate public opinion in regards to their editing practices and music tastes?
But what do I know? I'm actually Al Kahn Jr. of 4Kids Entertainment Inc., and the thousands upon thousands of posts I wrote on the AnimeNewsNetwork.com board as Tenchi and the Animenation.net and Rottentomatoes.com boards as Kiyone and this entire blog and the personality of Steve Brandon are, in fact, elaborate ruses I also came up with to manipulate public opinion, even if less than 1% of my posts and blog entries are about 4Kids. What can I say? Running a kiddy TV animation production and syndication business really isn't as much work as you think it is, and I do maybe 15 minutes of actual honest work a week, and the rest of the time, I'm writing all this shit just so I can "look busy".
I don't know what's worse... the fact that, in this case, I'd rather have a slate I completely disagree with win control of the Concordia Student Union over a slate I moderately disagree with, or the fact that I just used a Deep Space Nine analogy to illustrate my position. I'm not a Super Geek Number One! I have a whole bookshelf full of anime, plus hundreds upon hundreds of manga voumes... okay, I guess I am. :P
I never thought I would write the above headline, but, assuming Ben and Justin Levine's "Reinstating Concordia's Main Purpose" joke slate, which I'm voting for myself, doesn't pull off a surprise upset victory in the Concordia Student Union elections (which are being held Tuesday through Thursday), I hope you guys win. Okay, my "support" for you guys is for all the wrong reasons, but I've confirmed with my own eyes that New Evolution, which was canvassing the Hall building in front of the escalator up to the fourth floor yelling "We'll fight for the tuition freeze!", which I support elminating, a 180-degree reversal of their activism-free platform last year as "Revolution, not Evolution", so, assuming we'll get an activist student union no matter whether it's New Evolution, Renaissance Concordia, or you guys in charge, best it be you guys since, at the very least, no one outside of your insular Canadian Federation of Students/Q-PIRG/SPHR/Tao.ca/Indymedia.org world will take you guys remotely seriously, and I'll get another year's worth of mileage calling the CSU the "Communist Students' Union" again, and I'll read all sorts of cool articles about Concordia being a hotbed of silliness in the National Post. So, essentially, I hope to see you guys win for the same reason the Republicans were hoping that Howard "Angry Man" Dean would win the Democratic nomination (ideally with Al Sharpton as his running mate)... the best sort of opponents are the ones you can laugh at. ;) By not being as radical as you guys, New Evolution might actually accomplish more things I oppose.
Plus these anti-Charest protests are organized primarily by the Quebec Labour Unions (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) and are essentially glorified Parti Quebecois rallies, another reason I can't vote for any slate in favour of attending these protests, not counting counter-protests in favour of Charest.
I'm just too pissed at New Evolution right now for turning their backs on those of us whom don't want a radical activist student union of any sort in an attempt to win votes from the sort of leftist students whom aren't even going to vote for them anyways.
Monday, March 22, 2004
Woo-hoo! After a bad couple of weeks wherein murderous Islamofascist terrorist swine scored a double victory in Spain, the cool kick-ass-and-take-names Israeli Defense Force took out Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his bodyguards by firing several long, phallic missiles up his pussy terrorist ass. About fucking time they did that!
May you burn in Hell, Sheikh Yassin! I hope you are eternally clawed by the souls of everyone your 'splodeydopes murdered, the way Freddy Krueger gets clawed at the end of each of his movies. An acceptable alternative punishment would be to have you get reincarnated as the filthiest pig in the pigpen. And then, when you die again as a pig, you get reincarnated as another pig. And so on, and so on, and so on.
I don't hesitate to mention that this guy sent dozens if not hundreds of 'splodeydopes to their murderous deaths, but he was much too pussy to die himself, so, now that he's been atomized, Nelson Muntz says "Ha ha!"
Of course, Hamas is raging, as they are wont to do. Is the farce of the "peace process" finally over, and now the IDF can do what they need to do to ensure real peace by killing the bad guys and breaking their things? Well, IDF, lock and load and make a fun party out of it, like the rednecks in the town they pass over in the helicopter in the real Dawn of the Dead, when the zombies fall like ducks in a line in a shooting gallery. You have my full support and my prayers.
EDIT: LGF linked to this Getty news photo of the well-toasted Sheikh. He's still smiling in the photo, but I don't think the guy is smiling wherever he is now. And I think the funniest thing is how he's surrounded by garbage bags, which is a fitting tribute for human trash. Also, I love how Getty puts the "GRAPHIC CONTENT" warning under the photo, just like the time Maddox revealed that Trinity died in Matrix Revolutions in a cartoon at the top of the page, just for the sake of spoiling Matrix Revolutions, and then, when the hyper-sensitive spoiler warning people complained, he added a spoiler warning right at the end of the article.
It's true! In my fireplace, there were at least four literal explosions this evening that pushed out a lot of smoke even through the sealed opening in the fireplace door.
See, we used to have a normal brick fireplace with just folding glass doors in front. However, after the infamous January 1998 Ice Storm which knocked out power to most of the Montreal area for a week, we decided to get a stove-type fireplace which we could cook food with in an emergency, and, also, which would burn wood far more efficiently than a regular fireplace.
Anyhow, we get firewood delivered to us each winter, but we're getting low and my mother didn't want to chisel anymore firewood out of the ice today, so we decided to use one of the artificial logs we we've had for years but never used (come to think of it, we bought them during the Ice Storm when real logs were sold out). And it burned very efficiently. A bit *too* efficiently as something inside it exploded. Several times.
My best guess is that these artifical logs were intended for the sort of fireplaces that don't burn wood nearly as efficiently as stove-type fireplaces, where the heat is circulated and reinforced. Or, possibly, some chemical reaction inside the logs which happened due to the heating and cooling they experienced in the garage over at least half-a-decade might have something to do with it.
All I can say is that, for a while this evening, I was trying to decide which books, DVDs, games, and CDs I would grab in an emergency, but, now that the fire has died down, I feel kind of like a Teletubby wanting to see it "Again, Again!" by putting another one of those logs in.
I was talking to someone at Rainmakers Post Processing in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is doing the film processing and effects work for the new syndicated TV spin-off Stargate Atlantis. I won't say whom it is, though, for no particular reason, I'll say that, in my opinion, the city of brotherly love isn't Philadelphia, it's Vancouver. Anyway, this guy is logging the time on some of the snippets of film they received, and he told me everything he's seen.
I don't usually like putting in spoiler warnings, since, as I've said several times before, I feel that 90% of the time, spoiler warnings are the Internet equivalent of "Do Not Drink!" warning labels on the side of paint cans, for people with no sense of discretion... you know, for the sort of people that go into a message board thread about The Empire Strikes Back and then complain because they didn't want to know that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father. (If you don't want to know anything about The Empire Strikes Back, don't go into threads about The Empire Strikes Back and don't read reviews or articles about it either. You don't need the magic words "spoiler warning" to warn you not to enter.)
This one time I will make an exception.
According to this guy, you can look forward to some shots of people standing around, and a heck of a lot of shots of people reacting to things. What are they reacting to? My contact doesn't know, this is the raw footage, so it's all shot in front of Chromakey backgrounds, in this case "greenscreen" instead of "bluescreen". And he's new, so he doesn't get any of the important shots, just the boring reaction shots.
Thus concludes my hot exclusive on Stargate Atlantis.
Well, it is comforting to know that Stargate Atlantis is being shot on film, which I still think looks better than digital somehow. I know it makes me feel like such a fanboy by admitting that, but film is real, not just a bunch of ones and zeros floating around on a harddrive somewhere, and it just feels more "organic" and tactile.
One weird thing about Stargate Atlantis: comparisons between the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire and the anime series Nadia and the Sea of Mystery/Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, which hadn't yet received a proper video release in North America at the time work started on Atlantis and, as such, probably wasn't an influence, were vastly overblown, as über-Nadia fan Dr. Marc Hairston proves. However, there is an undeniable influence from the original Roland Emmerich Stargate film, with the misfit scientist whose wild theories that the scientific establishment laughs at turn out to be completely true, and the military expedition, and even the Alphas in the logos of both films. So, if the next installment in the Stargate saga is set in Atlantis, are they going to be "ripping-off" the Disney film which "ripped-off" the original Stargate? (Yes, I do mean "rip-off" in jest; just being influenced by something is fine, as long as you come up with an original spin on what came before it.)
Ooh, while we probably won't get to see it in North America until 2005 (unless it's at the Fantasia festival), I'm getting more and more excited about Steamboy, Katsuhiro Otomo's first feature-length film as director since Akira in 1988 (though he directed the "Cannon Fodder" segment of 1995's Memories).
This film has been much-delayed, and has been in the works for a full-decade (and in production for 8 years), and it will finally be released in Japan in July. It's the story of Ray Steam, a young inventor in Victorian-era London (very much like Jean in Nadia), whom receives a powerful MacGuffin called the "Steam Ball" from his grandfather in America, and... umm... stuff happens, involving an evil mustachioed guy, possibly named Robert Stephenson, with some sort of weird eyepiece that makes him vaguely resemble Captain Picard as the Borg Locutus. I dunno, I have to guess based on the trailer (if the direct link doesn't work, try here) since I couldn't find a detailed synopsis anywhere. You do get to see large chunks taken out of all sorts of London landmarks like the Tower Bridge and the Crystal Palace, and explosions that destroy whole blocks of houses at a time.
I don't know if it's one hundred percent hand-drawn like Akira was; there's a moving shot of the Crystal Palace with reflections that would be very difficult to do without using computer graphics, but the CGI appears to be minimal, and all of the vehicles look hand-drawn, as do the explosions.
Could Steamboy be the new anime "popcorn movie" I think anime fandom in North America needs to cleanse the palate a bit? Not that there's anything wrong with intellectual anime, and I enjoy plenty of those myself, but I think the new stereotype of anime fans, at least of those that see films in theatres when they get limited release, is of snobby intellectual geeks that only watch anime that is dead serious, and, in some cases, dead dull (like Jin-Roh) and can't enjoy anything that is pure fun with no subtext whatsoever, like the hyper-frenetic Project A-Ko. And I would love to see an anime film that would knock down Ghibli a peg or two with most critics, since, while I have absolutely nothing against Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki,
I can only hope that Steamboy is better than Akira, which is a great visual tour-de-force smoother and more detailed than any other anime I've ever seen (this saved it from going on my "Overrated Anime Films" list) but which I feel becomes an incomprehensible mess once Tetsuo starts transforming into that pink blob (as spoofed by Eric Cartman in the South Park episode "Trapper Keeper"). At the very least, I know it can only be much, much better that the last "steampunk" anime I saw, Sakura Wars: the Movie.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Unless I see some serious retractions by New Evolution of this Link article, where they say that they regret not being able to send Evolution representatives to the Canadian Federation of Students-organized protest in Quebec in February in support of the tuition freeze and state that they will send representatives to a Quebec Labor Union (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB)-organized protest against Jean Charest in April AND give positive lip-service to the ultra-leftist groups and initiatives QPIRG, überCulture, and Sustainable Concordia, I'm not voting for them. It's not enough for Brent Farrington and company to be not Comrade Yves Engler, they have to be the anti-Engler to get me to vote for them.
So, for now, I endorse and will vote for
Benjy Levine and Justin Levine's Reinstating Concordia's Main Purpose joke slate, being the only candidates whom denounced the protests in The Link's annual quiz.
Not that there ever was really any doubt, but Stephen Harper won the Conservative Party leadership in the first round. Congratulations to a fellow "PH" Stephen, and I hope, whenever you visit Quebec, not too many Quebecers call you "Stefan", which I get all the time. (Hello? It's S-T-E-P-H-E-N! Do you see an A in there?)
I wish him good luck in the comings elections, but my enthusiasm about the at least modest gains the Conservatives will make in the House of Commons is somewhat tempered by my concerns about the Liberal sponsorship scandal, which was one of the key "talking points" of the leadership race. I'm very torn about this scandal, which is why I haven't talked about it here at all. As someone whom is obviously voting Conservative, shouldn't I be enthusiastic that there is a scandal which implicates the federal Liberals which appears to have "legs" and which appears to be sticking? Shouldn't I be happy that "The spell of Grit inevitability has been broken", as Andrew Coyne put it? Well, obviously, it is outrageous that $250 million of taxpayer money went to Groupaction and consultants close to the Liberal Party, without that many strings attached, getting very little of value in return.
However, as a federalist conservative in the province of Quebec, I recognize that the sponsorship scandal is a double-edged sword. As much as I'd love to see the Conservatives sweep all the ridings in this province, I know that's not in the cards and I admit that what's bad for the federal Liberals is great for the Bloc Quebecois, which is surging in the polls, and I'd much rather the Liberals not lose any ground in Quebec than see the ethnic nationalist seditionist bastards make any gains. Fuck, if it came down to it, I'd sooner see the NDP sweep this province than see the Bloc gain a single more seat. And, yes, I remember 1995, and I remember how close we came to losing our country, and I understand the good intentions behind the sponsorship money, to promote the advantages of Canada, because I do like this province and I don't want to see Quebec become a banana republic on the narrowest of victories on the vaguest of questions and I especially don't want to see the federalist portions of this province dragged out of Confederation against their will without some serious, sober discussion on the question of borders and partition (not just dismissing partition out of hand as a way to appease the Separatists). And, of course, since Groupaction is the primary recepient of funds implicated, the Bloc Quebecois are spinning this as the Federalists trying to buy off Quebecers, and that would be, in a way, true, if we had actually seen all that much in actual pro-Canada material produced and it hadn't just gone into people's back pockets, but I don't see anyone accusing the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti Quebecois of trying to "buy off" Quebecers for the best part of three decades with all sorts of taxpayer-funded separatist propaganda trying to convince everyone in the province that everything would be hunky dory and happy in the event of a Yes win, and we could keep our Canadian passports and Montreal would go along with a separate Quebec without any struggle, and the natives up north (where the hydro dams are) would be happy fine and if you say Quebecers are better off within Canada and mention all the things that will need to be discussed in the event of separation, like whom controls the Saint Lawrence Seaway, la la la la la, we can't hear you. "Maîtres chez nous" and all that. It's outrageous that we got so little in return for our taxpayer money, but there is a need for countermeasures against separatist propaganda, and, provided there was all sorts of controls and transparency, I would indeed approve of spending at least a few million a year promoting Canada in this province. Not $250 million, though, and not to Liberal party cronies.
Switching gears entirely...
Auto-parts heiress Belinda Stronach was one of the other contenders, and, while I side with Harper on abortion, I think it would have been interesting had Stronach been elected Conservative leader and had Stronach actually won. So, now's the time on Wayne's World... erm... Steve's World for STEVE'S TOP FIVE REASONS WHY I'M PISSED BELINDA LOST!:
- Reason Number Five:
She's friends with Bill Clinton.
It's true. That would have been interesting, had Bill finally divorced Hillary Clinton and married Belinda, then, just as the Americans had "Billary", we'd have "Billinda". While, obviously, I'd vote Republican if I were American, sadly, Bill Clinton is pretty much as "right wing" as the right-est of the Canadian politicans.
- Reason Number Four:
She's still young enough to cosplay as Sailor Moon.
(Or as Minako Aino as Sailor V/Sailor Venus.) She's only 37, she can still pull it off, I think. And I don't just mean at Hallowe'en... imagine Prime Minister Sailor Moon dealing with the Americans on softwood lumber or runaway productions. "President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger, let free trade rule or I will punish you in the name of the moon." By the next Conservative Party Leadership conference, which hopefully won't be for another eight years, at least, she'll be a bit too old to pull it off. :'(
- Reason Number Three:
She supported eliminating the payroll tax and the capital tax.
Screw the leftist politics of envy, what's good for big business is good for Canada. The capital tax especially is a disincentive to invest in Canada, since it has to be paid regardless of whether or not a company is profitable, which is just unfair. And cutting taxes for big business is not the same thing as corporate welfare since it's the corporation's money in the first place, you're not redistributing anything from the taxpayers into the pockets of business. Also, I think the ideal situation is to have someone with experience in big business to be making the big economic decisions.
- Reason Number Two:
She needs to improve her French.
While I'm hardly the most proficient Quebec Anglophone at speaking French, at least my French is still much better than hers, so I shall be able to understand absolutely everything she says in both official languages 100% of the time.
- And the Number One Reason why I'm pissed Belinda Stronach lost:
She looks like Laura Bridger.
(Yes, a little in-joke for fellow members of the Macdonald High School class of 1992.)
Sorry, Laura, for mentioning you in a joke, but it's true, at least in that newspaper photo of Ms. Stronach I scanned from the cover of Saturday's National Post. The same eyes, the same eyebrows, the same cheeks, the same well-defined jawline, the same lips, and especially the same hairdo you had circa 1991, with that little bob of hair in front of your left eye. I find the resemblance just too eerie. Okay, she has a few lines on her chin which indicate she is two decades older than the way I remember you looking, but you're almost in your thirties now too. And it's déja vu for me, since you lost the student council leadership election in 1991. ;)
Sorry, I just felt it was about time to say hi directly to you in the only medium I have available where I know you will see it sooner or later. And, without going into too much detail, I was very sad to hear about your horrible loss just under two years ago. I hope time has healed you somewhat. Good luck in the future.
Oh, geez, I didn't realize that there was an "Otaku Alliance" for Saint Seiya, another one of those cartoon series from Japan with endless, tournament-style battles, this time, with guys in armour.
I don't really see the point of this one at all, considering that ADV has been releasing the series uncut and subtitled and with an accurate dub since before this group started. Of course, the other point of this group is to stop Knights of the Zodiac, the version of the show re-edited to make it more suitable for and make it appeal more to North American children, because, as Zac Bertschy put it:
"Here’s why DiC made the changes: Saint Seiya is a hugely long series. In order to make money on something like this, which is to say, a children’s show that’s OK for kids in Japan but needs to be tinkered with to be OK for kids in America, they need to change it around a little. Not every company is simply interested in charity cases where they lose money on a product in order to make hardcore fans happy."
DiC really doesn't care what the purists think of Knights of the Zodiac, since the purists are a tiny niche compared to the wider kiddy TV audience they were aiming Knights of the Zodiac at. Neither does Toei, or at least the people in the suits responsible for licensing the show to foreign markets, care about the changes made, since they know full well what companies like DiC and 4Kids do and are more interested in getting a piece of the pie in the world's most lucrative kiddy television market than they are in preserving TEH ARTISTIC INTEGRITY of their properties. And make no mistake, Saint Seiya was a kid's series in Japan too.
Of course, as it turned out, Knights of the Zodiac flopped badly in the ratings (at least in the States; I can't get solid information about how it's doing on YTV), being relugated to the post-Adult Swim zone on Cartoon Network, and it will likely be taken off completely once Adult Swim expands to 1 a.m.. But, like Cardcaptors, it flopped because it never found much of an audience, not because of anything the purists said or did since most kids don't know and don't care about the changes made to these shows, nor are most people aware that there are subtitled versions of the original Knights of the Zodiac and Cardcaptor Sakura available, and, while those versions probably do sell better on DVD than the unpopular dub TV versions, they were intended as "gravy" to appease the hardcore fans. DiC and Nelvana probably were intending to make the bulk of their profits from selling these series in syndication and selling merchandise spin-offs, not from the dub DVD sales, and even the relatively successful (for CCS, I don't know how well the subtitled, intact Saint Seiya DVDs are selling) probably still doesn't cost reomtely the actual cost of licensing these shows in the first place, so DiC and Nelvana took a bath financially.
I didn't want to jinx the show last summer by giving an opinion back then, but I honestly didn't think Knights of the Zodiac would be the next Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh or even just a moderate success like Sailor Moon was here in Canada on YTV. Why? Primarily because of the dated animation. What does "dated" animation mean in an anime context when we're talking about North Americans whom missed these so-called "dated" shows the first time around? Simply that, before the 1990s, anime TV series, for the most part, had small animation teams and extremely limited budgets, and it really does show. Two anime series I absolutely adore are Urusei Yatsura and Kimagure Orange Road, and I love the character designs on those shows (both featured designs by Akemi Takada), and, while AnimEigo has done an admirable job making these shows look as good as they possibly can look on DVD, I'd never hold them up as examples of good animation quality, but I think the quality of the animation is about the least important factor as to whether or not you should like a cartoon (if it were, no one would like South Park or Beavis and Butt-Head). I would like to believe that Cartoon Network viewers would not be so superficial as to care that older anime series don't look remotely as slick as Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, or FLCL, but Lupin III flopped badly and the original Mobile Suit Gundam just didn't get the same audience as Gundam Wing.
Dragonball Z is an exception in that it's from the 1980s (well, 1989) yet still got a fairly high level of popularity in the United States (though still a bit niche compared to Pokémon), but the character designs on that show, even for the baddest of the bad guys, have kind of a goofy, slightly roly-poly, child-like appeal to them, and the three Dragonball cartoons in general have a very distinctive look to them completely unlike any other anime (besides Dr. Slump, duh, which was based on an earlier manga by Akira Toriyama), and so the show has just aged much better. And, while I'll never pretend to be the world's biggest Dragonball Z fan, at least that show is bright and colourful... everytime I tried to watch Saint Seiya, both in my club in Japanese and at home as Knights of the Zodiac, I find the dominant colour scheme to be just a puke-a-riffic mix of steel blue, silver, brown, and orange, and they're all washed-out too.
Also, the character designs on Saint Seiya are kind of "love them or hate them". They're not as masculine as the character designs on Fist of the North Star, which I consider to be the absolute most ugly anime characters I've ever seen, but, still, there's something about the cheesy character designs in Saint Seiya that I find to be just garish, and not in a good way.
Saint Seiya is a lot more popular in certain countries, especially Latino ones (I've called it the "National Cartoon of both Spain and Mexico", which isn't that much of an exaggeration), because I think the brutal, ugly, bloody, violent fights appeals to the machismo of the national character that you just don't get in America, which is also a tough country, make no mistake about it (and I wouldn't be nearly as much of a non-American admirer of the United States of America if America didn't have the biggest figurative pair of balls on this planet... aside from Israel's, at least), but, in America, the toughness of the national character is more "focused" in terms of military strength and international capitalism. In the Latino countries, it's more... personal, guys defending their own honour in one-to-one fights (and, yes, I have male Mexican friends whom are actually very sweet; I'm not saying all Mexicans and Spaniards are like that, I'm just talking about the national character in general). This is why a series like Saint Seiya plays well to people in those countries, for the exact same reason why bullfighting is more popular there; it plays well to the machissmo national spirit. Yes, there are differences which are difficult to codify and quantify between the overall national cultures which fully affects the reason why a certain series will become popular in one country but remain "niche" in another; some anime fans like to blame what they claim to be poor marketing and editing practices on the part of companies like Nelvana, DiC, Saban, and FUNimation as to why certain anime series just aren't as popular in the United States as they are in Mexico, Spain, and other countries, but, if marketing and editing is a factor at all, it's just one of many, and claims that Dragonball Z would be as popular with North American adults as Seinfeld is if only FUNi hadn't screwed up the marketing (umm... no they didn't) is a fanboy pipe dream, sorry. (Seinfeld flopped badly in Quebec, proving nothing will be universally-liked.)
Also, getting the more intact version of Saint Seiya on Adult Swim is another pipe-dream. If they didn't accept the funny Lupin III, they're most certainly won't accept a dated, poorly-animated series with no comic relief (and one I find unremittingly dull). And the truth about Adult Swim is that the most popular stuff on there is American, especially the reruns of Fox cartoons like Family Guy and Futurama. They're not going to put on a show that appeals only to a niche-within-the-anime-fandom-niche, that would be "ratings poison".
So, Saint Seiya purists, enjoy the ADV DVDs and just ignore Knights of the Zodiac, which won't be around for much longer anyhow, not that you had anything to do with its failure. The alternate ADV DVDs are as far as you'll ever get with your demands.