OOC – We’re back baby!

A while ago it was announced that Futurama was coming back on Hulu.  I resisted the urge to blog about this because people don’t come here for my personal life rambling, they come to watch me create crummy worlds of plot holes and run-on sentences.  Plus I figured that a lot of other wordpressarians would be freaking out about it.  I found little to no freaking out despite the fact that 43% of the web is built on WordPress!  Maybe people were bummed out by the Bendergate Controversy before they could get excited about it. 

Anyway, Futurama is coming back and I’m excited and hope that it is good.  Now, my girlfriend has mounted yet another expedition to try and watch the Eternals.  On this attempt she’s gotten as far as the part where it’s implied that the Deviants were the true force behind Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.  At first blush this seems to contradict what we all know from Futurama, that the Big Brain of the Brainspawn was behind said extinction.  However, what are the Deviants?  And I quote “unstable creatures that were born in new and more horrifying forms each generation”.  Ergo I submit to you that the Brainspawn are Deviants.  Which makes the Nibblonians Eternals I guess.  And Frye is Kit Harrington?  That sounds right.

Futurama is a silly comedy of course, but the Brainspawn are actually a villain I like for real and true.  They’re jerks, but they’re not actually evil, sentient thought of other creatures is unbearably painful to them.  My head canon is they tried to isolate themselves as far away from everyone as they could but races kept expanding into their telepathy-pain range and some faction of them finally decided there was no way to stop that other than to wreck everyone else.   Eternal quiet. 

What does this have to do with Shang-Chi?  Nothing, but I watched the first part of it again the other day and I noticed that in one of the fight zone pods (sponsored by Mountain Dew Spark) there was a Window fighting against an Extremis guy.  Since everything in the MCU is an Easter egg I looked up what minor characters these were that had appeared in dozens of comics since the late 90s.  Imagine my surprise when I found out they were no one, just background extras for the movie.  Blasphemy.  There’s approximately 9871 trillion D-level Marvel characters.  You telling me they couldn’t have thrown in a 15 second fight scene between Harpoon and Speedball? 

If I wasn’t so lazy I’d write some backstory for those two.  But I am. 

It’s not clear when Shang-Chi takes place other than after Iron Man 3, but I’m going to assume that it’s after Black Window also.  Plenty of reasons that a Widow could be pit fighting, but the Extremis dude is more of a puzzler.  As in why he is he alive?  I’ve been forced to admit that Iron Man 3 is kind of a mess, but the implication was that without a cure all the Extremis people would blow up sooner rather than later.  But having said that a couple of Killian’s minions seemed to be just fine Extremising it up all across the land.  Pepper seemed like she was going to blow up within minutes.  I don’t know man, point is somehow that guy was alive and full of Extremis and fighting in a pod.  Seems interesting.  Probably there’s some kind of Lost-style twist in the story where the Widow was there specifically after that guy because or something in the past. 

Speaking of being lazy, one idea I’ve had for a long time is from the Next Gen episode Cause and Effect.  It would be a timeline where the Enterprise really did blow up and two of the very few people that managed to abandon ship in an escape pod land on a nearby Tatooine and have to try an survive and signal Starfleet to come get them. 

They say nobody survives a deadly kiss

Like many of the Frankenvehicles here in the future present, it’s hard to describe it exactly.  You know that old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee?  I feel like that applies to the cars (or whatever you want to call them) now.  It’s as if the decision was made to build a car and everyone involved showed up with one part without discussing anything about what it was supposed to be beforehand and then they went ahead and whatever they had was bolted together and everyone shrugged and said “this is fine”.   And they drove the monstrosity off into the desert.

This thing was part dune buggy and part steamroller.  I know what you’re thinking, “Ela that makes no sense, steamrollers are huge and rugged, dune buggies are small enough to fit in my pocket and they fall apart if you breathe on them too hard, how could they be joined together?  It’s unholy it is, that ain’t in the Bible”.  I’m just telling you what it looked like.  It also had some kind of crane-arm on it with a sawblade taller than me, so what do you think of that, smartypants?  It was parked beside what was left of a wall of a building.   

It was impressive (or weird maybe) enough that we didn’t notice the dude next to it taking a leak until a second later.  He looked pretty normal by the standards of the day. Other than the fact that he had no nose and his earlobes went down to his shoulders, he could have passed for a modern (past) day human.  The most interesting thing about him to me was that he was wearing what seemed to be a modern (past) day black t-shirt.  It looked like there should have been a logo on it for a shitty punk band.  He wheeled our way when Martialla dropped the “presso” sign she was holding with a loud clang (is there such a thing as a soft clang? Maybe.) and his little beady hominid eyes went wide at the sight of us.  And who can blame him?  We’re quite the pair to behold.

“Hel . . .” 

As far as I got before Martialla shot him in the face.  I have to give her this much, a headshot with a handgun is pretty hard to pull off at any kind of range.  You’re supposed to aim for the “center of mass” which is a nice way of saying the chest because that means you’re more likely to hit something vital. Headshots are for snipers I think.  She did it though.   

I spun on her, incredulous “Why did you do that?” 

She gestured with her pistol “He made a move.” 

“A move?  What move?  Like he was getting fresh with us at junior prom in the backseat of his mom’s El Torino?” 

She motioned again “He had a weapon.  He was going to try and kill us.” 

I looked and there was something by the body.  I guess it’s a weapon.  It was a flexible little stick-thing with a nest of spikes on the end.  Maybe it’s a blackjack, only for killing people instead of knocking them out?  It looked more like a torture tool from a museum exhibit about the Inquisition than a weapon weapon.  It looked like what they’d beat a woman with about the belly, groin, and buttocks who had committed the sin of their husband having impure thoughts about another woman.   

“Jesus Christ Martialla, maybe let me get a couple words out before you kill someone, will you?” 

She looked at me for a moment, a look that I couldn’t decipher.  That scared me more than anything else she’d done since we woke up because until that moment, I could always read her like a book.   

“He who hesitates is lost.  Or she in this case.” 

After waiting a bit to see if Earlobes had any friends in the area that were going to jump out at us, Martialla started looting the body.  Just like that.  I was more than a little disturbed by what had just happened, but what was I going to do about it? 

I can’t explain exactly why, but what came to my mind in that moment was a book they made us read in school about Vietnam.  We were only assigned to read some chapters but I read the whole thing.  Which wasn’t like me ordinarily, to do more work in school, but I did it that time for some reason.  One chapter is about the army guys finding a water buffalo or an ox or whatever they have in Vietnam and they befriend it and feed it and nurse it back to health and then they torture it almost to death and throw it down a well.  The narrator talks about how doing this filled them with an almost religious ecstasy and refilled them with purpose about what they were doing and gave them the strength to soldier on.  He wasn’t saying it was a good thing, he was saying it was objectively awful, but because the situation they were in was so insane, doing something like that somehow gave them hope.  It made no sense to me then.  I can understand why that part of the book wasn’t required reading.   

I don’t think Martialla killed that guy because of anything like that, but that’s where my mind went.  Maybe because it was about therapeutic violence.   I’ve never been afraid of Martialla before, why would I be, and I’m not afraid of her now.  That being said, it was like back home on the farm when I was a kid and saw our dog Lucky rip a possum in half and then drag the bloody half-possum up to the house wagging his tail.  It’s like “oh, right, I forgot this loyal and shaggy creature is also a killing machine”.   You have to remember that.

Whatever kind of moral quandary or existential crisis or whatever the heck may have been going on melted away in an instant when Martialla waved me over to the Frankencar and showed me what was wrapped in a coarse cloth in a little cubbyhole by the driver’s seat.  Blackberries.  Tons of them.  Like a quartsworth of blackberries.   And right next to that in a big ceramic pot was a mound of mulberries, figs, pecans, and walnuts.  It all looked like it had been picked (or whatever) just minutes before.   

Maybe that’s the lesson.  Get hungry enough and you don’t give a flying fuck what happens to anyone.