AOL’s budget cuts effect Fansites

I’m a big fan of the Joystiq network, and the Xbox360fanboy site.  Sadly, it looks like AOL is doing some budgeting, resulting in the sites having some major setbacks.  Here is a statment from one blogger about the situation:

Obviously, I can’t give my name (and it’s not the name on this account, either), but as a writer for one of the blogs in AOL’s Weblogs, Inc. Network, I can tell you that the cuts are going pretty far beyond free fucking bagels. Pardon my language, but what we’re going through for these sites is beyond anything that could possibly be considered reasonable.

I don’t know what’s going on with Engadget and co., or the lifestyle blogs, but the gaming bloggers were told yesterday to STOP ALL POSTING. Now, after the network bosses went into the fray, our two biggest sites are cleared, but the rest of the sites are working on a 5 posts/day deal, so long as those aren’t written by international bloggers, but only US writers. Anything above and beyond that is unpaid and will be written under a staff account. Nearly everyone has agreed to post for free, including columnists, in the hopes that we will all still have jobs come August 1, when they’re telling us we’ll be back — just on a smaller budget.

Of course, we’re all speculating that this means there’s definitely a deal in the works, because there doesn’t seem to be any reason for AOL to kill the properties when the Joystiq Network was enjoying the biggest traffic month in its history. Either they’re selling us, or selling out completely, because they don’t care. If we didn’t have so many people who considered the job a labor of love, all the gaming network blogs would die.

Don’t know if any of this is usable, but I’d like to see the information out there if possible, because what AOL is putting us through is simply ludicrous.

Hopefully, this will be cleared up soon and they can get back to their wonderful work.

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Watchmen: Walking on Razorblades.

Its been a really great year for comic movies, which means that the end is near.  Every time good movies start coming out in tandem, you can expect the good times to stop rolling and for heads to steady roll off and drop into trashcans.  However, there is a chance that comic movies will continue to do right by us, as long as we are very, very careful.  The upcoming Watchmen movie will either destory the happy times, or solidfy them.  After the break, I’ll explain exactly why this is, and why comic movies should never, ever be truly based off the source material.  Spoilers are very much ahead.

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The Movies: The Dark Knight

Rarely are movies this good.  I could tell by how the trailer were laid out, how the actors talked about it, how the early critics referred to it.  The Dark Knight is the best movie I’ve seen this year, the best movie based off a comic book ever, and a great crime drama.  It is a work of art by all people involved.

Of course, Heath Ledger’s performance is legendary.  It is the stuff that most actors want to achieve, but fail.  Acting means destroying yourself and replacing yourself with something fictional, something that was created.  Heath Ledger is no where on the screen.  He doesn’t exist in this movie.  There is only the Joker, an evil bastard that I would never want to be close to.  He is a true villain, a real threat for a hero to prove himself against.

The movie is dense.  There is almost too much stuff in it, especially at the end.  For a movie like this, there aren’t many ways to end it at a proper height.  But the movie ends in a way that satisfies.  If you walk out the theater not liking this movie, then you expected popcorn, expected something less than serious and important.  The Dark Knight re-introduces the comic-book movie genre.  Not many movies can live up to this level of quality.  Go see it.

New Watchmen Trailer.

Its being taken down really, really quickly.  So you better hurry up.  The new Watchmen trailer is up and running on io9.  I’m really starting to love this site.  It is no where on Youtube, so don’t even check.  And there are no promises it wil be on i09 long.  Don’t worry, I’m almost positive you’ll be able to see it right before the Dark Knight.  You are going to the midnight showing right?  Right?  I’m going to give a more detail talk up of Watchmen soon.  Don’t you worry.

Riffing on Strings by New Scientist…

So, a short story of mine, Like Marriage, is in the book, Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory.  A review by New Scientist gives the book some love.  And hey! Guess what?  They mention me!

Jarvis Slacks, in “Like Marriage”, conjures a world in which people can opt out of life by walking into a “dome”, an object akin to a peaceful black hole. Despite the bizarre premise, it becomes clear that life in a world chock-full of domes isn’t any different from life as we know it: we can ultimately choose to live life or to head for the nearest black hole.

Sometimes its worth it to wake up in the morning.

Aren’t Jokes suppose to be funny?

The majority of people that read the New Yorker can, in fact, read.  Most people that read the New Yorker are progressive people, people who understand that this world can’t continue to be the same.  Hell, the New Yorker is named after New York City, the greatest city in the world, filled with people who, I hope, understand that our government needs an overhaul.  So why do we have this cover?  I’ve heard rumors that this is a satire, that the New Yorker is criticizing people who actually think Obama is a militant fiend bent on world destruction.  So, instead of having a cover that might help this new movement, the movement of putting into office a man that isn’t a complete moron, we have this cover.  A cover that reaffirms fears and mocks a man and a group of people that want to make our country at least a little better.  This magazine is suppose to be the end all for writers.  If you make it into the New Yorker, you’ve won basically.  I don’t read the New Yorker much.  I won’t be reading it at all anymore.

Talk to your people about Prostrate Cancer

Funny story.  So I was in Wal-mart doing that stupid vendor job that I hate, when a guy has a question.  I don’t really work there, but I’m smarter than the trolls that do, so I helped him out.

“I need to burn a disk for a presentation,” he said.  He was older, white, professional.

“What kind of presentation?” I asked.

“Prostate cancer,” he said.  Then he preached to me for about ten minutes about it. Prostate cancer.  There will be free screenings soon in my area.  Screenings that put a camera up your ass and check to make sure nothings growing.  Half way through, I noticed he kept saying “your” and “their” we referring to the people who don’t get tested.

“Talk to your people about it,” he said.  Oh, that’s right.  I’m black.  And all black people talk to each other.  At the next black people meeting, I’ll bring it up.  Hey, guys.  We need to go get our prostates tested.  Don’t worry, its free.  And maybe they’ll give us free chicken and play gangsta rap.  I heard P Diddy gets his prostate tested like a mo-fo.

Sigh.

Final Fantasy XIII going to Xbox 360. Let’s just let that soak in…

At E3 this year, Microsoft announced that Final Fantasy XIII (13) will be released on the Xbox 360 at the same time as the Playstation 3.  Yep.  I know.  I keep forgetting that some people don’t know anything about videogames, so I’ll explain.  Final Fantasy VII was a mega hit of a game on Playstation 2.  I was slightly addicted to FF VIII, to the point where I had to ask my friends to hide it for me.  No Final Fantasy game has ever been on anything but a Playstation system.  Except FF XI.  And no one liked it.  The Final Fatasy games have always been exclusive to Sony, and no one thought any different.  Now Sony will have to figure out a way to convince its fans to stay with its platform.  A platform that is still playing catch up.  Soon I will have you Final Fantasy XIII.  Very soon…