Enamored by the Olympics

The past week and a bit have seen me pretty much tune the world out so I can watch the Olympics. This is a very regular thing for me, going back as far as Atlanta ’96, when I spent a considerable amount of time watching it while on vacation in Washington D.C. (I managed to get a lot of sightseeing in, as well, which impresses me to this day.) For the summer games since then, I loved watching Sydney ’00 and was quite interested in most of Athens ’04, but I do believe that Beijing is going to top them all.

(I like the winter games, too, but not quite as much. Diving and gymnastics top figure skating and curling.)

Because of this, I haven’t gotten around to doing my movie preview for September, which I should get around to, now that we’re really heading into the dog days of the box office summer. However, I don’t want to leave the blog alone for too long, so it’s time for another comment post. Apparently my dislike of Coheed & Cambria makes me popular. Or something.

I’ll thank ‘Lou’ ahead of time for not descending into profanity.

I’m not gonna’ sit here and attack you for your “attack” on Coheed.

Thank you.

No point in that.

Rarely have truer words been spoken.

However, in almost all forms of creative expression, there is some self-injection.

Okay, what is it about C&C fans that make them think that ‘self-injection’ is an appropriate term for anything? It just SOUNDS WRONG. What’s really, really sad is that in the post, I explained what self-insertion is, and used the term multiple times. If you’re going to comment on something, at least do the courtesy of self-editing so that you don’t self-idiot.

Whether you’re aware of it or not is different.

It’s different? Yes, actually it is. My possible awareness is different from my possible non-awareness. Thank you for providing a tautology.

I honestly have no idea what point you’re trying to make with this sentence. It doesn’t have any contextual connection to the previous.

But people write from what they grew up with, what they experienced.

You start a sentence with ‘But’ as if you’re trying to make a counter-point. But there is no counterpoint. Observe, with paraphrasing:

1. Creativity involves investing something personal in the created product.

2. You may or may not be aware of this, which is different.

3. But creators invest their experiences.

The last sentence is merely a rework of the first phrased as a counter-argument to the second, which has no meaning in and of itself. This is not an argument. If you want to phrase an argument in this fashion, you would need 1. Statement of fact or opinion. 2. Posit about the opponent’s stance. 3. Counterpoint to opponent’s stance with proof that undermines it. You’ve failed in points two and three, because you first haven’t given any stance to argue against AND you haven’t even given yourself a counterpoint.

What bothered them, what pleasured them.

Going on with the above, if this is proof, it’s really flimsy. More specific about the experience point, yes, but not really additional evidence.

This is just a fact of creative life.

You are failing to convince me. This is really, really sad because I already agree with you. I know that writers write from experience and invest themselves in their creations. Write what you know is an age-old adage to apply to writing, and it is often painfully apparent when someone is bullshitting on the fly.

There’s a line (and not an especially fine one) between writing what you know (or at least understand) and writing a self-insert. The first is what makes stories interesting, because you can impart the knowledge of the experiences you have upon the reader. The latter is what makes stories unbearable, because if the separation between author and character is muddled enough to be essentially academic, it’s really difficult to get the reader to invest in the character. This is true for a multitude of reasons, one being that it is almost painfully obvious that the self-insert, Mary Sue character is unlikely to have any real trauma.

That being said,

Usually when I see ‘That being said’ I expect something to follow that provides a bit of balance in a viewpoint. See also ‘on the other hand’.

it’s probably not cool to bash something you’ve only heard a few minutes of.

I fully expected this and it’s still a non-sequiter. Bravo.

Claudio’s got a surprising range, it’s just odd that the songs like “Welcome Home” and “A Favor House Atlantic”, which happened to be two popular singles off of “Good Apollo” and “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”, respectively, happen to have abnormally high vocal parts.

I don’t disagree that he’s got ‘a surprising range’. It’s surprisingly bad, surprisingly grating, and surprisingly consistent with my desire to turn the music off, thank-you-very-much. The fact that it is abnormally high in two of his (apparently more popular songs) does not disagree with that. In fact, I’d go so far to say as it’s not odd at all.

I don’t get it either.

You don’t get why C&C is popular? Join the club! I’m absolutely mystified by this. I am completely flabbergasted that Harmonix decided that not only should they include a C&C song in Rock Band, but they should also cover another song AND use the first C&C song to advertise the Wii release of the game. (Unless the last was a clever, clever ploy to get Wii owners to not buy RB upon release, because they knew that the vastly superior Rock Band 2 would be coming out by the end of the year… even on the Wii.)

But then again, I do like Rush and Our Lady Peace, so who knows.

Hardly a secret, but I love Rush. They’re easily one of my favorite bands. I believe you’re under a mistaken impression. I do not dislike Claudio Sanchez’ vocals because they are HIGH. I dislike them because they are ATROCIOUS. There is a very, very big difference between these two points. The man cannot sing well. Geddy Lee can.

Rush also has a number of other advantages, namely their lyrics aren’t misogynistic crap, their songs are well constructed, and they’re three of the best at their respective instruments on the entire planet. Comparing C&C to them is an absolute travesty, considering the talent that the Canadian trio have.

Maybe I’m biased.

I don’t think that you need to preface that with ‘Maybe’.

Give “In Keeping Secrets” a good listen-through, I think it’s a severely solid album that covers a wide range of creative area.

No, no, no, no, no! God, why would you ask me to do that? I do not like their music. The lead singer makes me want to puncture out my ear drums and the way they put songs together makes my head hurt. I could get the same experience by playing classical, techno, polka, and a samisen all at the same time while Wing belts out AC/DC and it would probably be considerably more enjoyable.

At least taste the food before you say it’s horrible, just don’t smell it.

Seriously, where the hell does this viewpoint come from? When presented with an opinion that is disagreeable, people constantly say “Oh, you haven’t experienced enough of [x] to truly appreciate it.” and then try to force the product upon the disagreer. If the person relents, invariably they’re left still hating the thing, same as before, and they’re pissed off at the lost time.

I’ve got a roommate who doesn’t like cheese very much. She’ll go for milder sorts of mozerella, but anything sharp really sets wrong with her. I happen to love cheese, especially the sharp kinds. But I’m not a complete moron, so I’m not going to say to her “Oh, cheese is wonderful, you just haven’t experienced it the right way” and then shove some really ripe parmasan into her mouth. I know how this is going to end: she’ll likely vomit and then be rightfully pissed off at me. I don’t like mushrooms but said roommate does. She hasn’t said to me “Shiitakes are the best thing EVAR” and tried to force me to eat them, though.

She understands that I don’t care for them and will prefer not to eat them in most situations and I won’t do the same with cheese. We have our acknowledged tastes in foods and that’s perfectly fine.

Usually people will understand this. Food preferences are easy to understand. So why isn’t it the case with music? Seriously, why do people get uppity if someone says something negative about their favorite band?

The fact that I find C&C to be terrible has no effect upon my opinion of any people who like them. Whether or not you like them or any other band does not reflect upon my opinion of you. I might question your taste, and point out that the band promotes a sexist and misogynist message that personally bothers me, but I’m not going to criticize too much.

Hell, it’s even okay to like C&C in a completely ironic way because they’re so bad. I happen to love a bunch of bad bands, and find particular delight in disposable teen-pop. If you find happiness in that, so much the better.

But don’t ask someone to waste their time or money to experience more of something they’re predisposed to disliking. It doesn’t make sense. In the case of C&C, I think I’ve spent more than enough time experiencing their music, and considerably more looking into the band so that I had a strong enough understanding to write the initial post. The stories that Sanchez writes are bad enough I have no desire to experience it any further.

The Beauty of Comments

I don’t get many comments here on goddOS.net. That makes sense, since this blog is new, not very active, and probably only read by close friends and such. Still, a few people seem to have come across various posts for whatever reason.

Yesterday one gentleman found my review of Rock Band in which I take a very unfavorable eye towards Coheed & Cambria. Initially, I wasn’t going to release them, but upon consideration I should. I should also respond to them. So, he’s going to get the FJM treatment.

Ok… so, what I just read… was that a review?

Yes. Yes, it was.

It seemed more like an attack.

Admittedly, it’s a biased review. It’s an emotional review. It’s a review from my perspective and response to the music. It’s a personal opinion. But it’s not an attack. It is not an attempt to damage the members of Coheed and Cambria, at least no more than any other critical review. If I wanted to attack them I’d use, I dunno, a laser sword or something.

It also seems to me that you must spend a little too much time sitting at your computer or playing that beloved RB (it is awesome, I’ll admit it).

You forgot that I’m in my mom’s basement.

Coheed and Cambria are a hugely succesfull band, not just in album sales (over 1.5 million stateside alone)

He’s correct in this. They had an album go gold, and then the first Good Apollo album went platinum. That does mean that they’ve sold at least 1.5 million copies. HOWEVER it’s worth noting that the second Good Apollo album, even after over six months in release, has just managed about 150,000 sales, a significant step down from the previous album. Worldwide it’s sitting a bit over 300k. These are fine numbers, and indicative of success, but let’s be clear, it’s not setting the world on fire.

but as a live act as well, selling out venues of sizes ranging from mid-size clubs to arenas and amphitheaters.

I can’t confirm or deny this. It’s probably true. Is it a valid point, though? I don’t think so, but more on that below.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the band (I enjoy the music and story, even Claudio’s vocals… just not a big punk/metal guy) I have to give credit and respect where it’s due.

Fine credit where it’s due: Coheed & Cambria are able to sell music.

Guess what. N’Sync could sell music. No Strings Attached sold over a million copies in a DAY and over two in a week. It sold over 15 million copies total world-wide. As a band, they’ve sold 56 million albums worldwide since 1995 (accepting that they haven’t been together for about half that time.)

And they aren’t even the biggest act in their genre. The Backstreet Boys sold 37 million albums in the US and over 100 million worldwide.

Or from the standpoint of concerts, Coheed & Cambria don’t hold a candle to Miley Cyrus, who’s sold out every show in huge stadiums to the point that she’s increased a recent tour from 55 to 69 dates AND they made a movie out of it just to try and meet demand. That movie, BTW, garnered $31 million in three days, the biggest opening for a film under 1000 theaters. She’s also sold 8 million albums worldwide, and 3 million in the US.

If we’re looking just at the business side of things, Claudio Kilgannon is absolute shit compared to Hannah Montana.

Now my question to you is exactly where the fuck do you get off bashing a band you’ve never listened to outside of one song on a video game and their comics, which you’ve never read.

My criticism of C&C was largely centered on the fact that Welcome Home is an atrocious song. Everything else is extrapolated from that. In order to understand the depth of how bad it was, I needed to research a bit. While that research didn’t extend to finding and buying the comics, online material seems to be fairly comprehensive in establishing that The Amory Wars is a fairly tepid science fiction entry that isn’t establishing anything new.

I can find bad sci-fi very easily, and I don’t need to pay for it.

I imagine you to be a fat, slobby, loser of a guy.

IN MY MOM’S BASEMENT!

I would have been put off by reading this sort of review of anything.

Put off what? Put off giving C&C any money to peddle their at-best-mediocre wares? Then my work here is done.

To keep it short, shut your fucking mouth if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Y’know, I think I’m going to keep talking. How about I go off half-cocked on a rant without taking full consideration for both my own opinion but also the status of that which I am criticizing.

Oh, wait.

Or just shut your fucking mouth… you’ll catch flies.

True story: I once spent a good portion of a family reunion catching flies with my bare hands. Then I taught some younger distant cousins to do the same.

I did wash my hands afterwards.

Arrogant piece of shit.

I have many vices. Arrogance isn’t generally one of them. In fact, I probably have a nearly crippling lack of self-confidence.

Amusingly enough, Mr. Brent C. came back nine minutes later and added more:

Oh and p.s….

Pedantically, it should probably just be P.S. and then “Oh, …”

Also, an ellipse only has three periods. I’m quite curious why both his posts started with a double-ellipse sentence. It’s like he’s gearing up to think about his point.

I just looked up the numbers…

Yay, numbers! I love numbers!

the first five issues of The Amory Wars (which I haven’t read either, I’ll be honest) have sold over 700,000 copies since their beginnings last year

Really? A five issue series moving 700k copies? SURELY I’d have heard about such a stellar-selling series somewhere in all of the comic news I come across. That’s an average of 140,000 copies an issue. Or roughly the same as what Final Crisis #1 sold.

Let me question. Are you seriously suggesting that an independent, non-superhero comic book tie-in to a musical act is selling on par with DC’s top-tier summer event series?

SERIOUSLY?

Well, okay, then.

and have been released as a trade paperback graphic novel.

Correct. I actually saw it in my local comic shop. I cringed.

The first issue of Volume II is due to come out this week

Fair enough. We’ve established that it’s either successful enough to warrant a second series OR that it’s a really big vanity project.

and Hot Topic (that shitty little store in everyone’s mall)

I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Is Hot Topic a shitty store? Or is it successful because it’s everywhere?

has taken 138,000 pre-orders since June.

That’s a lot of pre-orders for a comic book. I’m really doubting them, as well. A search on Amory Wars sales numbers didn’t bring up anything to cooberate this information.

In fact, a check into ICV2’s sales charts for comics and graphic novels shows that in April, the TPB of Amory Wars volume 1 moved about 2500 copies. This is a perfectly respectable number, and shouldn’t be marked as bad. It’s also just for the direct market. Some titles sell considerably better outside comic book stores, but those are usually Naruto and such. Even if I grant that the sales are going to better in bookshops and Hot Topic, I’m not seeing them hit much more than three or four times what the DM moves.

As far as the comic, the fifth issue sold about 6000 copies in the DM in January. This is down from the 10,000 that #1 sold last June. In fact, except for issue 1, all the issues sold around 6k copies. A five issue title that moves 35,000 copies isn’t bad, and for an indie project it’s fine, but it’s not breaking out. Hell, DC Vertigo tends to cancel titles that move so little, because they can’t make their money back.

Again, even if we allow¬† 2-3 times more than that outside the DM (and issues sell considerably worse than TPBs do, comparitively, outside of comic book stores), we’re still not getting into 700,000. We’re not even at 140,000. For the whole series.

For the mathematically deficient: 35,000/700,000 = 5%.

By the available information, we can confirm that The Amory Wars is at least 5% of Brent C.’s claimed success point.

My point is… these guys are highly successful and talented, obviously.

They are successful. I do not debate that. They are not as successful as a number of other musical talents or a number of other comic book talents. If we’re equating their success to an absolute value of their talent, they’re probably firmly middle of the road.

In comparison, Rob Liefeld is an astronomically more talented comic book writer, and N’Sync are significantly better musically.

Hey, it’s not my argument.

In my previous post, I even allowed that there is some musical skill to C&C. That skill doesn’t extend to lyrics or vocals. (And in the intervening time, I’ve come to realize that even as a musical construction, Welcome Home is absolute shit. However, the guys playing the instruments aren’t bad.)

You blog about comics and movies.

I do. And video games. From my mom’s basement.

You talk about the self-injection

Self-insertion. Self-injection sounds like something heroin junkies do.

story line or whatever you called it with such disdain as if you yourself were not suffering from some pretty serious delusions of grandure.

Grandeur. Which, no, I don’t have. Lovely logical fallacy, by the way.

Arrogant piece of shit.

Repetition for the win!