Blade Runner: Black Out 2022: Shinichiro Watanabe Crafts an Incredible Short Film

Nightmares in Celluloid

Shinichiro Watanabe got to direct a Blade Runner short for the upcoming movie, Blade Runner 2049. It rules.

Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 is a short that fits in between the original movie, which took place in 2019, and the new film. This short is part of a project to fill in key historical events that took place between the two movies. The last one showed the rise of the Wallace corporation, while this short’s aim is to explain the fall of the Tyrell Corporation. The event that would lead to the Tyrell Corporation’s destruction is referred to in the title of the short; Black Out.

On to the plot:

The short takes place three years after the end of the original film. We are quickly briefed on some events that happened since then. One, the Nexus 6 has been retired. In case you don’t remember, these were the model…

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Secret Empire: Omega 1: Discussion

Retcon Punch

By Ryan Mogge and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ryan: Every event in your memory left some sort of mark. When it comes to trauma, those marks are more like deep grooves. No matter how much you heal, or how much better off you are, you are changed by what has happened to you. In the wake of a rebellion against a group of fascists bent on world domination with the face of the most trusted man alive, you certainly can’t expect to move forward without being changed. In Secret Empire: Omega 1, Nick Spencer and Andrea Sorrentino offer a mixture of back-to-normal plot points and artful rumination that operate quite differently but still offer the same themes of trauma and the scars left behind.

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Secret Empire 10: Discussion

Retcon Punch

by Drew Baumgartner and Patrick Ehlers 

Secret Empire 10

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.

Mark Twain

Drew: This may seem like an odd quote to kick off a discussion about a comic featuring superpowered heroes battling over bits of a cube that can rewrite reality, but I think it’s safe to say Secret Empire has really never been about superpowers or cosmic cubes. Those are the trappings of a big summer event series, sure, but the story was actually about how seemingly good people can be corrupted by toxic ideologies. That’s immediately recognizable as Steve Roger’s arc through Steve Rogers: Captain America and Secret Empire, but it’s also an arc that has been running in the background of Hydra’s America throughout this…

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My Dormant Blog Still Gets ~1000 views per Month

I haven’t been active on this blog for years, other than the sporadic post regarding current events or writing about whatever topics are of interest at the time.  Despite being inactive, the frequently searched posts are ones related to the old “Prison Break” TV show, a review of a now-aborted comic storyline where Batman died, and various essays on Asian history and culture.  Even though most of those posts were written several years ago, they are still being searched by people to this day.

Why Does This Dormant Blog Hold Up?

I reckon this is a good question and I sometimes wonder why this blog is still relevant despite being dormant when compared to the period where I had the most content during 2006-2010.  If the “Prison Break” posts mean anything, is it suggests a good number of readers are interested in the show’s long and convoluted storylines given the success of the revival series.  Much of what I wrote about “Prison Break” spans from Seasons 2 to part of Season 3, where I stopped watching after they supposedly killed off Sara Tancredi.

After the show wrapped, there were enough people that still liked the cast and crew from the Prison Break TV show.  Not surprisingly, many of the show’s leads were eventually cast in shows like the CW’s “Arrow” and “The Flash”, with Dominic Purcell playing HeatWave while Wentworth Miller plays Captain Cold. With growing interest among the cast and solid home video sales of Prison Break, it was no surprise FOX commissioned a Season 5 revival of the show.

Even though the main character was killed off in the final season of “Prison Break”, they retconned it so that Michael Scofield somehow survived and is stuck in a Yemeni prison.  Because of this, Lincoln Burrows and C-Note have to work together with much of the supporting cast to get him out while dealing with another conspiracy.  I didn’t really have much interest in the revival series and joked with friends that liked the Arrowverse shows that Captain Cold and Heatwave were taking a break to do “Prison Break”.

How Does the Other Content Help?

Other than people’s revived or new interest in the “Prison Break” TV show, there seems to be ongoing interest in Batman being killed off, Asian social issues, and Asian-American issues.  The original post about Batman being killed off was actually about the character’s apparent death in a comic book crossover called “Final Crisis”.  The other posts mostly revolved around social issues or essays about Asian culture.

I am not going to discuss too much about how Batman gets killed off, as the recent DC Comics Nu52 reboot basically made it so all stories before the reboot did not happen (much like how some Japanese claim the Rape of Nanking didn’t happen or enough Turks claim the Armenian Genocide is a lie).  However, the ongoing DC Rebirth retcon of the DC New 52 reboot now claims that some stories happened but not in the way they were originally written and that Alan Moore’s Watchmen had something to do with it.  In any event, the post is still unrelated to ongoing concerns regarding Ben Affleck’s status as Batman in the DCEU movie franchise.

In regards to the posts about social issues, I reckon many people are more conscious of social issues whether they are real like Climate Change or based on whatever Twitter is talking about.  In this special place of social issues topics, many people are increasingly interested in posts about Asian-Americans given the lack of real conversations about issues that affect that community.  On the other end, people are also having a growing interest in history as much of it has an impact on our daily lives.

Final Thoughts

After reviewing the popular blog posts since the blog’s inception, it appears television reviews and opinions of social issues are what keep people visiting.  Even though the traffic gradually declined over the years due partly to inactivity and changes in search engine logic, the blog still gets on average a thousand views per month.  I am sure it really isn’t much in the grand scheme of things but it’s really interesting seeing as people are still interested in content that is years if not decades old.  Thanks for your time and support.

Michael Page International – Review

In the past and recently, I have been contacted by recruiters from Michael Page International. In the past I was brought in for an interview and the recruiters did not seem to have bothered looking at my application or my resume before evaluating a list of companies for me. Also, the recruiters gave me an attitude by saying the company I worked for at the time was “nothing” and they were the only gateway to a nice job in New York City. After the interview was over, one of the recruiters mentioned something about me being an “idiot” while leaving the interview room with the other recruiter.

From this experience, I can safely say that the recruitment consultants from Michael Page for mid-career or experienced candidates are unprofessional, ignorant and most of all arrogant. It would not surprise me if these junior recruiters were recent graduates who have cultivated a false sense of sophistication from their first job at Michael Page in New York City or possibly from their employee orientation programme.

This is one of the reasons I tend to dissuade my peers from taking Michael Page International seriously. Their recruiters are arrogant and they will mistreat you if you are not in a middle or executive management role.

Recently, two recruiters from Michael Page had contacting me. One was based in Philadelphia while the other was in Iselin, New Jersey. The person in Philadelphia for some reason assumed I was looking for work in sales in that area despite submitting my resume on MichaelPage.com, Monster.com, and Careerbuilder.com indicating that I am of a marketing and telecom background in several places. Another person called today when I was in the middle of a fire drill also asking if I was in sales.

I asked him nicely to email me the information so I can follow-up, yet he kept trying to collect information. After I reminded him I was busy in a fire drill and asked for the details in an email, he abruptly hung up on me. Again, I would like to point out the piss poor professionalism from the renowned Michael Page International recruitment consultants.

I have been told that these recruitment consultants do not get commissions from successful hires but these kids are acting as if they are under pressure to make quotas and they seem to have little or no training in properly contacting candidates.

I am not sure how the Michael Page International recruitment consultants are in the rest of the world, but I can safely say that the American office was rude, arrogant, and difficult to work with. If you don’t believe me, you can read all the wonderful reviews on glassdoor.com

Are you a real American? It depends on who you ask

Are you a real American? It depends on who you ask
by Stephen M. Moh

“Why would anyone leave the USA?” wrote a friend on Facebook recently, beside a picture of a beautiful sunset beaming on the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Why does everyone leave the US?” might have been a more pertinent question.

Since my parents moved to this land of opportunity and freedom 30 years ago, my friendship circle has changed countless times, as fellow Asian-Americans move back home after college or leave for the expat life.

The years of pop culture; efficient transport; diverse foods; beaches; socials; and family just weren’t enough to make the USA the One.

Although, obviously, many Asian-Americans do end up staying, why do so many Asian-Americans leave after their parents’ sacrifices? Is there a fundamental reason for this trail of break-ups?

When watching a youtube clip for “Mistresses”, many commenters kept praising Yunjin Kim for her excellent English as a Korean.

Only Yunjin Kim wasn’t a foreigner; she grew up in Staten Island, New York with US citizenship.

“But she’s not an American,” some responded when others pointed out she is American. “She grew up here and her husband is Asian-American,” I argued. Her status, they said, would depend on how deeply she actually connected with American”culture”.

What is an American then, if not someone raised in the US and naturalized?

In the multicultural British capital, a Londoner can be of any skin color, eat any type of food and have a mother tongue other than English. To describe a British-born man with Indian parents, say, as a “foreigner” might well spark a riot.

If a lifetime spent in the US can’t make you an American, if the children you might have here can’t access that identity (at least, not in the eyes of some), perhaps this country – despite the idea of opportunity and freedom that welcomed our parents – isn’t a natural place to call home, after all.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.