Sage's Stray Thoughts Episode 3

 Third week.  Let's see what sort of hijinx we can cover this time.

Unforgivable blackness, beg your pardon:  I've been a Gambino fan for over four years now and one thing I've noticed is that he never seems to give me what I was expecting, but it ends up being good anyway.  Royalty.  because the internet.  Now stn mtn.   On the flip side, KAUAI totally felt like something Gambino would make, but the thing is...I keep going back to stn mtn.

Don't get me wrong--KAUAI is great.  Most Gambino fans are going to fuck with KAUAI.  But there's something about stn mtn that keeps dragging me back to it.  To be sure, the lyrics are sub-par and the subject matter is far more pedestrian (mostly) than what Gambino is known for.   It sounds more like what you'd hear on the radio....but that's the point.

Gambino's made no bones about the fact that he wants to be popular, or about the fact that he feels he doesn't get the respect or the love he should give as a rapper or as an Atlanta native.  Most importantly, one of his messages dating back to Camp is that in comparison to whites, black people are thought to only get to play one position ("white kids get to wear whatever hat they want, when it comes to black kids one size fits all").  

stn mtn is Gambino defying everyone's desire to place him into a certain "box".    It's him ignoring the idea that he's a "safe" black guy, because fuck safe.  If you come from...not even the hood, but a certain economic environment, on some level you can't help thinking about some of the same thing as other black people.  You want the same things, which is "everything you never got to have".  Nobody ever says it, but that's why so much black music is about clothes, cars, and money.  It's not just simple bragging or a desire to point out one's financial superiority--it's the child who finally got the toy or clothes they wanted at Christmas and now they have to show everybody at school.

At the same time, he wanted to show everyone he could be more than just the guy who sings sad love songs and dresses funny, so stn mtn is a 13 track love letter to Atlanta music, from Usher to Ludacris.

Of course, no matter how sound the idea of your music is, if it's not listenable then it's still trash. Fortunately the production is excellent thanks to DJ Drama, and Gambino's flow is super polished.  So yeah...I'm gonna listen to KAUAI all the way through...just as soon as I'm done giving stn mtn another spin.   "I came here to do my own shit..."

Give stn mtn a listen yourself here.  

Run, Barry...Run! :I actually hate this bit of dialogue.  I'm not sure why, there's just something about the delivery that feels...weak.    Anyway, Flash debuted this Tuesday to great ratings and people seem to love it.  For that I couldn't be happier.   My current thoughts?   Meh, lol.

I saw "Flash #1" back in the summer both on my own and with friends so I'm kinda "been there, done that" on it, but I'm glad it's done well.   While the first episode had some rough edges to it and is very in your face about everything, it's got a lot of potential going forward and I honestly am more excited for this than I was for Arrow.   It's being billed as "the most comic book series ever", and the first season is already jam-packed with characters from the comics, from Firestorm to Captain Cold to Professor Zoom, so we're in for a fun ride.   More than anything else I'm just hoping they don't go so crazy with the cross-overs and features that things become impossible for casual fans to keep up with. 

Tire Exchange!:  I guess you could say this show...hit the ground running.  Let's just hope it doesn't take a bad turn.  Then I might have to put the breaks on--okay, okay, I'm sorry for all these terrible puns.

Anyway, Drive came out last Sunday and I expected a lot of things that just didn't happen.  Our new Rider Shinnosuke isn't a complete wuss.  Tridoron isn't the comic relief type character that Kivat was, and most fortunate of all, his sidekick Kiriko isn't merely a wannabe Akiko.  The show did a great job of setting up its universe rather quickly, along with giving our hero both some physical and emotional challenges to overcome.   It doesn't take much for me to root for a new Rider/Sentai team, but still I find myself disappointed more often than I'd like, so I'm glad that hasn't happened here.  We're a far cry from the new Shotaro and Philip, but it's early days yet.  Right now I just want them to make Tridoron into a legitimate partner and not just a talking toy accessory.

Them Do-Overs: Revealed last night at NYCC, so it counts to talk about.  Now, you have every reason to use the existence of this event to make all those corny "House of No Ideas" Marvel jokes.  After all, this is essentially a re-do of an event from 30 freaking years ago.  But here's a reason why you shouldn't: Original Sin, an "original" event?  Trash.  And from what I've seen: Axis, the latest "original" event?  Is also trash.

Both back-to-back events for 2014 are so busy trying to make sure there are "consequences" and that things "will never be the same" that they barely even make sense.   Infinite Crisis had numerous detractors, but people still enjoyed it.  Why?  Because it never lost the story.   Same with Secret Invasion, and even Avengers vs. X-Men.

Secret Wars is an Avengers event that's coming out of nearly one hundred issues of build-up with legitimately interesting, compelling stories.   The (frankly huge) cast of characters have had tons of proper development--there's been plenty of time for them to lay the proper groundwork for everything to make sense, they've shown what the stakes are and why they matter, so it features a threat worthy of the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes".   (Hell, I honestly think it's beyond them.)   In short: Jonathan Hickman earned this fucking event.*

Right now all we know about Secret Wars is "that it exists", but if you've been paying attention to Hickman's current Avengers run you'll have a better grasp on the story.  Essentially, Tony Stark and the Illuminati discovered something called "incursions", events where two Earths from different universes collide with one another and in doing so destroys not only those Earths but both universes.  The steps the Illuminati take to prevent that have resulted in a huge rift not only between Iron Man and Captain America, but in the Avengers themselves...something they have to deal with while trying to keep their universe from being the next one to vanish in an incursion.  

Most recently the book skipped ahead eight months to show the Avengers discovering a way to the cause of all their problems.  My guess?  Since the Secret Wars image shows heroes from multiple worlds battling one another, these will be the "champions" who managed to help their world survive long enough to get to the center of the multiverse and try and stop the cause of the incursions.  It's the war to end all wars...and since technically there isn't a way back to their homes, no one else will ever know about it, hence it being so "secret".

And, that's well over 1000, so I'm out.  See you guys next week. 

*Plus, points to Marvel if they use this as a way to stop doing two events a year.   One is more than enough


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