Monthly Maunder: July 2019

It is with the utmost and sincerest thanks that, with this month’s maunder, I accept another Sunshine Blogger Award from Red Metal of Extra Life Reviews, a most friendly and eloquent blogger, if ever there was. As with these sorts of things, I have a set of questions from Red Metal to answer, and what an interesting set it is. Let’s not waste any time in getting to the answers, shall we?

1. What do you feel is the ideal length for a studio album (or LP)?

Forty-five to sixty minutes. And I’m willing to grant thirty minutes to most punk bands. Anything over an hour makes me wonder if I’m not losing a part of my life to a musician who couldn’t think of a good point to say “when.”

2. Have you ever accidentally rendered a physical copy of a game/film/album unplayable?

Not really; I’m pretty picky about taking care of my media. The only thing I can think of that might apply is that during one of our cross-country moves, the cargo area of the van that we were driving got so hot that it melted a number of my cassette tapes. While I had separated a select few tapes to use in the van’s own player, the rest had gotten jammed in the back with everything else, and I had no idea of the damage until unpacking occurred. I remember being most upset at the loss of my Runaways greatest hits album.

3. What series do you feel has a confusing naming convention?

The Planet of the Apes. After the original one with Charlton Heston, I can’t keep any of ’em straight. The WHAT of the Planet of the Apes, now?

4. What critical darling do you feel completely failed to live up to the hype?

Red Dead Redemption II. I feel terrible for saying so, especially since I’ve not even completed the game. But therein lies the problem. I can’t even bring myself to do that. It was such a let down after I was so psyched for it, but I’m hopeful that time will heal all wounds. I’ve not totally given up on Arthur Morgan yet, but I just need…more time.

5. Which work do you feel should have deserved more attention?

Hannibal. The TV show with Mads Mikkelsen. I wish it had been given some more love, maybe gotten the Netflix treatment, or something, because it was such a deliciously intriguing show. Hell, I would have stuck to it if later seasons had been nothing but scenes between Mikkelsen as the title character and Hugh Dancy (playing Will Graham, Hannibal’s hunter), or Lecter versus his psychotherapist, played by Gillian Anderson. I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, but that show was criminally good and deserved much better than being unceremoniously canceled.

6. Do you prefer a foreign work to be subtitled or dubbed in your language?

Subtitled. While I’ve seen some well-dubbed shows. I’d much rather listen to the inflections and sounds of native languages while reading and further imagining the same in English. (Side note: I’m watching Neon Genesis Evangelion for the first time now, and it started off playing both the English-language track and English subtitles. I’ve not changed it because listening/watching the difference between the two is very entertaining.)

7. Can you remember an instance in which you managed to succeed in a game by the skin of your teeth (e.g. beat a difficult boss with barely any health remaining)?

Goddamn that final boss in Bayonetta, Jubileus, almost did me in. Well, it did do me in several times before I finally managed to beat it, thinking that I had died, again, instead. I quite literally thought that I had no health left, and I quite literally remember crying a little at my success.

8. Can you remember an instance in which you got completely robbed playing a game?

Not wholesale. I don’t know if it counts, but I do recall being extremely upset when I first bought Dragon Age II and it repeatedly rejected my save file from Dragon Age: Origins. I ended up having to play with a default backstory, and it, among other things with DAII, just soured the whole experience. Yeah, I felt robbed.

9. What is your favorite arcade game?

Ms. Pac-Man. Preferably played in the vicinity of a movie theatre with the stale smell of popcorn wafting about.

10. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I feel like my answer changes every time I talk to someone who’s just returned from some special location. But right now, I’d say Vancouver. Big, bustling city; pretty ocean views.

11. What critics (in any medium) do you find to actually be reputable?

If I am more likely to trust a single set of critics more than any other, it’s food critics. While individual tastes literally vary, generally speaking, bad food is bad and good food is good. I am much more likely to avoid a poorly-reviewed restaurant than I am a poorly-reviewed anything-else-in-life. When I make the effort to go out to eat, I want the experience to be a good one, so I do my homework. And three stars on Yelp ain’t cuttin’ it, let me tell you.

No nominations from me this time around. All I’d ask is that you show Red Metal some extra love with a like, a follow, and a comment or three. Thank you once again to Red Metal and all the wonderful folks other there in the blogging ether. Y’all are da bomb, as the kids once said.


  1. Yeah, I’d say that’s a good length for an LP as well. Punk bands can go on longer if they have the muscle to make it that far (i.e. Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime and The Clash’s London Calling), but otherwise, I give a lot of credit to bands who don’t waste a single note.

    Woah, you’re the first person who has answered “no”, though I have to say what inspired me to ask this question was when I attended a gaming convention only to hear the sad story of a man who warped his Purple Rain LP due to, just like you, having stored it in a hot vehicle.

    When a series doesn’t bother numbering sequels, you run the risk of confusing potential fans who want to see everything it has to offer. The Godzilla franchise is pretty bad about that as well.

    I have to admit I wasn’t wowed by Red Dead Redemption II either, though it doesn’t help that the tutorial phase is ridiculously drawn out. Maybe I’ll give it another shot at some point.

    I’ve heard good and bad things about Hannibal, though it is definitely a great idea for a Netflix show.

    When it comes to live-action works, I only ever accept subtitled versions, but in terms of animation, I’m a little more flexible. Basically, it boils down to whichever one is better. Sometimes, the dub improves the source material while other times, subs are the only sane option.

    That reminds me of the time I defeated the final boss of Metroid Prime 3. I was probably less than a second away from losing when I dealt the coup de grâce.

    Oh yeah, the standard “I’m not going to work for no reason” computer error.

    I’d go with Ms. Pac-Man myself (or Galaga). One weird thing I’ve noticed about the former is that I tend to play better when it’s sped up. I think it’s because it causes me to look around the board and therefore avoid the ghosts better more whereas at normal speed, I’m not forced to think more than one step ahead.

    I have been to Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island. It’s a really nice city; I think you’d like it.

    Yeah, generally speaking, it seems like the more objectivity there is, the more reliable the critics are. This is why, for all of their faults, I find video game critics more credible than film critics or music critics. Film critics are so self-absorbed in their own opinions that they can’t tolerate their audience disagreeing with them to any degree. Music critics fare a little better, but they tend to always be several steps behind, though I have to say really isn’t their fault. You tend to prefer music that sounds like what you’re familiar with, so when someone experiments, you often need to listen to their work more than once. That’s what happened with me and Trout Mask Replica. At first, I thought it was disorganized mess. Now, it’s one of my all-time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Can’t say I recall ever playing the game sped up. (I was never that good with it, haha.) But I could see how that actually might make it easier. Well, “easier” isn’t really the right word, but overthinking in Pac-Man, or Ms., is death. It’s almost as if you need to play it instinctually to win. Playing the game at a speedier pace might lead to this, with lots of practice. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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