Friday, September 27, 2013

The many faces of Dragon Ball Z

As an anecdotal segue, think of Star Wars for a moment. Can you think of a more influential and iconic movie series? I certainly can’t. Yet how many variants of the original trilogy did we get? Well, there are four of them if anyone’s counting. The theatrical, 1997, 2004, and 2011 versions. Lucas also refuses to release the theatrical cuts in remastered, high definition… so there is no ideal version of Star Wars for fans who grew up with the originals.

Incidentally, there are also four adaptations of Dragon Ball Z, and like Star Wars, there is no perfect version. The original rendition of DBZ is obviously the Japanese original. The Japanese voicework of the 291 episode series concluded in 1995, yet the fledgling American dub didn’t begin until 1996, with the very first season. So, there it was that DBZ began to fracture into many different faces.

4. Japanese original
Personally, I can’t stand watching DBZ in Japanese. It’s probably because I’ve been used to Goku speaking in English since I was seven. In any case, this was the original, and all 291 episodes are here, albeit in a lackluster mono sound format. Of course, many Otaku will probably have me burned at the stake for disliking the original, but it just seems that DBZ wasn’t meant to be shown this way. The music (barring the excellent Chala Head Chala opening) sounds like a soundtrack from a Godzilla movie. Lots of trumpets and cymbals; it sounds like a parody of music. Really, I hate it. The composer evidently did Kamen Rider, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it sounds like it came from a 1970’s nightmare. Also, I’m sorry, but Goku’s voice sounds like a little girl in this… and that’s not okay.

3. Ocean dub
Ah, the very first English DBZ dub. Ocean Group dubbed the first 53 episodes, before Funimation started doing the voiceover work in-house. While this is the version that got me hooked (How awesome is the Rock the Dragon intro?), it’s quite clear that television censorship took away a lot of the show’s original meaning. Ocean didn’t even allow characters to make mention of death in any way, instead making a vague reference to being “sent to the next dimension.” Also, in one scene, when Vegeta is about to transform into a great ape, he says that Goku’s father, Bardock, was “an average fighter, but a brilliant scientist.” Uh, what? If Ocean had watched the OVA, Bardock: The Father of Goku, they would know that Bardock was not only not a scientist at all, but he was actually incredibly powerful and cunning in combat. Still Ocean paved the way for Funimation’s dub, and I should make note that Vegeta’s actor in this version is chillingly amazing, “You won’t escape my wrath!”

2. Toonami Funimation dub

This is the adaptation I remember the most. With Bruce Faulconer’s electronic rock score making a crater-sized impression on my young mind. Seriously, the music in this is perfection. Every major character has their own theme, and I thought that heaven and earth coalesced together to form the scene of Goku turning into a Super Saiyan. That scene is made impeccably badass due to Faulconer’s sense of ambience. Seriously, look that scene up now… The censorship is also gone, with the high octane fisticuffs of DBZ coming through loud and clear. Tien’s arm is shown getting broken off, as well as Raditz getting a bloody hole blown through him, and Frieza getting chopped into tiny little bits and then blown up. There’s only one problem with this version… the filler. Oh, God, the filler. Out of the 291 episodes in DBZ, I’d say well over 50 of them are complete bullshit, waste of time, filler. You get to see such important scenes like Gohan befriending a robot, or Chi-Chi whining and complaining, or, my favorite, Bulma getting into an episode long misadventure with a giant crab. I love DBZ, and I think it’s one of the best good vs. evil stories ever told, but you really have to put your finger on the fast-forward button.

1. Funimation Kai dub
Here it is, the perfect version of Dragon Ball Z. In Kai, the filler has been taken out and the show brought to a very manageable 98 episodes. The dubbing is also more accurate to the manga, and the footage has been meticulously cleaned and remastered. There’s just one problem: The music sucks Sasquatch feet. Yes, my friends, Funimation stupidly decided to use Kikuchi's original Japanese scoring. Godzilla’s back in Tokyo, folks. Why, oh why couldn’t they just use Faulconer’s music? As if this wasn’t bad enough, the only thing that I liked about the Japanese soundtrack, Chala Head Chala, has been taken out and in its place is an unspeakably awful English cover of something called “Dragon Soul.” It sounds like a boy band in a Sonic Adventure game.

So, there we are… Dragon Ball Z suffers from the profound problem of me being unable to recommend a definitive version. It boils down to this: If you have a lot of time on your hands, and just absolutely cannot stand to hear cheesy music, then stick with Toonami’s Funimation dub. If, however, you don’t want to see 291 episodes worth of power-up sequences, and just want to get to the meat of the story, then watch Funimation’s Kai dub. Maybe one day, DBZ will be done right. One day… 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The magic of Ray Harryhausen

In an era where the only computers you had were glorified giant calculators, Ray Harryhausen was a special effects wizard of the highest order. He didn’t have cgi, so he used his hands instead. Back in those days, you could have the dinosaur, skeleton, or what-have-you actually on set with the actors. There’s something to be said about that kind of tactile input. You know, where the action in a scene isn’t just a video game created by some guy tapping away on a keyboard. Ray Harryhausen made things… and he made magic. To honor Ray’s recent passing, here are reviews of my three favorite films utilizing his signature “Dynamation.”

3. First Men in the Moon (1964)

Honestly, the first half hour of the First Men in the Moon is very slow-going… in fact, you might say glacially so. It’s just a crazy scientist and his assistant bumbling around in the laboratory for a prolonged period of time. Yet once they finally go to the moon, that’s where the fun begins. You’ll see giant space slugs and intelligent, insectoid aliens, all rendered with the loving care of stop-motion. I like how the aliens walk; they remind me of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts… only cooler. The film is pretty lighthearted, and the ending has a comical twist.

2. One Million Years B.C. (1966)

One Million Years B.C. is on here instead of the Valley of Gwangi for one very important and beautiful reason: Raquel Welch. The Amazonian darling of the 60’s; people had the movie poster just because she was on it. Raquel Welch in a fur bikini aside, did I mention that fur bikini? Um, like I was saying, the other main attractions here are the wonderful dinosaurs. I’ve always felt that dinosaurs above all else deserve to be stop-motion. Maybe that’s because I saw too many animatronic triceratops as a kid. Anyway, the scene that stands out most to me would have to be the allosaurus attack on the blonde-haired tribe. Here, you get to see a pretty awesome fight scene, as cave-men spear the dinosaur (yeah, it’s not a science documentary). My only complaint with the movie is that I wish somebody would say something and not just grunt.

1. Clash of the Titans (1981)

“Release the Kraken!” Ah, Clash of the Titans. Ray Harryhausen’s masterwork. This film is a swan song to the great monster films started all the way back to King Kong. By the 80’s though, people were getting tired of the traditional effects that Ray used. Star Wars was in, creature features were out. Yet after one watches Clash of the Titans, it’s hard to have any real criticism of it. There are giant scorpions, a two-headed dog, a winged Pegasus, Medusa, and, of course, the Kraken. All of them are gloriously hand crafted in loving frame by frame camerawork. The Medusa fight in particular is astonishing. You really feel that the monster is real, right on stage. How she slithers on the ground, her snakes writhing, as she arches her bow at the hero. Oh, and there’s a mechanical owl named Bubo… he’s pretty annoying though. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Star Wars games: A sampler

Star Wars video games have been produced going as far back as 1983, with Star Wars Arcade being first in line. There are many, many Star Wars games. So many that I’m not even going to try to give a comprehensive overview… I’m just going to share a few that I’ve enjoyed. 

3. Super Star Wars (SNES)

Super Star Wars was the first Star Wars game to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. While that may not be literally true, it was the first game based on Star Wars to really capture the excitement of the original trilogy. In Super Star Wars you fight a sarlacc pit monster, cause a brawl in Mos Eisley’s Cantina Bar, slice through stormtroopers with your lightsaber, and blow up the Imperial Death Star with your X-Wing. Super Star Wars also lets you beat up on Jawas which is cathartic… I never did trust those little guys.

2. Star Wars: Jedi Knight (Computer)

While I’ve never played the first in this series, Dark Forces, I’m aware that it’s more or less a Doom clone and not really a Star Wars game per se. Jedi Knight, on the other hand, offered a true adventure. You not only got a lightsaber finally, but you were able to use the force. The plot would even allow you to branch off and be on the light side or the dark side. The thing I remember most about Jedi Knight is the fantastic level design. My favorite level was the one where the spaceship is falling into a canyon, and the whole craft is slowly turning upside down. It really played with gravity and my perception of spatial awareness in a fun, mind-bending manner. Also, the live action cutscenes in the game are hilariously bad… in a good way. 

1. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (N64)

When I was seven years old on Christmas of 96, my brother and I got an N64 and two games: Mario 64 and Shadows of the Empire. Honestly, Mario received most of my attention… that being said, Shadows occupied a good chunk of my elementary school life as well. There may have been more recognizable Star Wars games later on in the N64’s lifecycle such as Rogue Squadron and Episode 1 Racer, but for my money, Shadows trumps all of them. For the first time on a console, you were fighting the Empire in glorious 3d. Gone were the days of pixels, replaced with textured polygons. It was an exciting time to be a Nintendo fan, and from the very first level, you knew the game was going to rock.

It opens with the battle of Hoth, with you piloting a snowspeeder. You feel like you’re in direct control of the Empire Strikes Back movie, as you get to take down an AT-AT by wrapping your tow cable around it (and maybe saying “one more pass” to yourself to make it even more epic). From there, the game transitions to a 3rd person shooter. Admittedly, the camera for this game is awful, it’s like you’re trying to reel in a ten foot marlin raging on steroids, crystal meth, and a gallon of Red Bull. Still, I give the game credit for being bold enough to be fully 3d in the first place.

Regardless of the camera issues, Shadows adeptly immerses you into the shoes of Dash Rendar, the playable smuggler. Through his eyes, you’ll even engage in firefights with the famed bounty hunters IG-88 and Boba Fett. I also really like how the game constantly changes pace; you’ll go from shooting tie fighters in an asteroid field in one level, to going swoop racing in another. Shadows may not do everything perfectly, but it’s one heck of a ride.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Obscure anime reviews

5. Hellsing (original series)

While the Hellsing franchise has gotten significantly more mainstream since Hellsing Ultimate (an ova reboot), the original anime is still pretty unknown to most people. The plot of the show is dramatically different from the manga at around episode eight. This isn’t because the writers were lazy, it’s merely due to the fact that the manga wasn’t finished (and wouldn’t be until 2009). Still, Hellsing is hella fun, with most scenes centering around monsters killing monsters. The main protagonist (note I didn’t say hero), Alucard, is the most powerful vampire in existence, and his bloodletting of the various undead is directly proportional to how entertaining the show is.

4. Blue Gender

Blue Gender is basically The Walking Dead: The Anime Version. The story focuses on a young man named Yuji Kaido, who suffers from a rare and puzzling illness. He is an enigma to the medical community in his own time; therefore Yuji undergoes cryogenic hibernation in hopes of a brighter future. When he awakes decades later, the proverbial gates to Hell appear cast wide open. Giant, mutated bugs called “The Blue” have swarmed over the Earth and have ravaged mankind. Some humans have escaped to the stars, where they live on orbital space stations and plan how to regain their place in the world. The show features characters living on the brink of extinction, with every episode a question of survival. Put simply, if you like a character, he’s probably going to die.

3. Monster

Monster might be the most realistic anime I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I sometimes forget that it’s animated. Personally, I like anime with a little levity and some colorful imagination. Still, Monster is a hair-raising thriller from the get-go. The anime opens up with a young boy in critical condition. Dr. Tenma, a good-natured doctor, decides to save the life of the child instead of operating on a wealthier adult patient. That decision costs him his career. Yet the higher-ups of the hospital are suddenly murdered, and in their absence Tenma soon moves up the hospital’s ladder to become director. Is the boy that Tenma saved truly as innocent as he appears? Is something sinister afoot? Watch to find out!       

2. Ronin Warriors

Ah, Ronin Warriors, the forgotten action anime. If you get a kick out of Dragon Ball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho like I do, then you’ll find yourself at home here. Ronin Warriors was actually one of the first anime shows aired in America on Toonami, dubbed by Ocean Group (the studio that originally did the voicework for DBZ). Yet after a brief run of popularity, it quickly faded into the vaults of Cartoon Network, never to be seen again on either tv or dvd. Ronin Warriors features sweet samurai combat, coupled with eye-tickling power-up sequences. It also has one of the coolest “shout-out” attacks, with Anubis’ “Quake with fear!” line stealing the show.

1. Mushishi

Mushishi was destined to become obscure as soon as it was produced. Mushishi features no crazy action or evil bad guy with his shadow looming over a city; it’s just an anime about nature. The main character, Ginko, is a travelling “Mushi Master”, which consists of him encountering various ghost-like entities and their interactions with the natural order. It’s never too intense, and the lush green hues of the show make me calm. There is an argument to be made that the series is spiritual as well, as it recognizes the sacredness of the cosmos. Basically, if you think all anime is like Pokemon, then try Mushishi… it’s pretty chill.

  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Games that pushed the limit

With today’s powerful gaming machines that have gigabytes of memory, it’s not really impressive to make a game look shiny. Back in the day though, you had to work with sometimes only a few kilobytes of ram to make a game look like something special. This is a tribute to games spread across various platforms that pushed their hardware to the limit.

5. Solaris (2600)

Solaris is the largest Atari 2600 cartridge, with a then impressive 14 kilobytes of data. Like I said, it was impressive back then (that could barely fill one word document now). Solaris is massive, with multiple areas to explore via your star map.  When you run across an enemy Zylon ship (no relation to Battlestar Galactica’s Cylons) you’ll engage in exciting, flicker-free dogfights. Solaris may not look like much today, but give it a chance.

4. Battletoads (NES)

Parallax scrolling galore! Games like this make me wonder why most games on the TurboGrafx 16 couldn’t scroll backgrounds… I mean, Battletoads on the NES did it. Battletoads also has detailed character sprites that do various animations in different contexts. The most inspiring graphical feat has to be the tower in level 12. There, you’ll see the pseudo-3d effect of rotation. It’s a shame that you probably won’t get that far though, as the game is notoriously difficult starting on level 3. Still, Battletoads gives you a glimpse into Rareware’s early talent.  

3. Contra: Hard Corps (Genesis)

Contra: Hard Corps is amazing not for any trick in particular, but just for how much crap is thrown on screen at once. Seriously, they call it Hard Corps for a reason: It’s hard. There are legions of bad guys waiting to waste your continues, and it’s your job to stay alive. No matter how hectic things get, however, there is never any slowdown… even with a second player joining in on the fun. By the time you’re riding on a missile in the sky trying to stop a giant alien brain, you’ll start believing that maybe Sega was right with all that Blast Processing business.

2. Doom (SNES)

Yeah, this version of Doom looks like someone smeared petroleum jelly on your television screen. Still, remember that this game is running on a Super Nintendo, a 2d machine. The fact that you can move around 360 degrees in a three dimensional environment is just stunning. The game is pretty playable, but due to its blurriness you really have to wait until you see the white of a demon’s eyes before you start shooting. You really are better off playing almost any other version of Doom though. Even the Sega 32X has a decent version (although the music sounds like an orchestra of armpit farts).

1. Perfect Dark (N64)

Is there anything Rare can’t do? This bad boy looks as impressive as some triple A computer games of its day. With reflective surfaces and dynamic lighting that can be altered by shooting out bulbs, Perfect Dark made good use of the N64’s expansion pack. There was even an option for an “hd” widescreen mode in an era where tube televisions were king. Heck, it even had Dolby Surround Sound. All this came at a cost, however, as the game’s framerate moved like the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack. Still, few noticed such limitations when you could rescue the president from alien terrorists on board Air Force One.   

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oldboy


I’ve been meaning to see Oldboy for the last six years or so. I first saw a copy of the dvd at Blockbuster probably back in 2006 or 2007. At the time, I think I had other movies that I wanted to rent first, so I postponed Oldboy for a later trip. The next time, the copy was out of stock. So was the week after that. Apparently, there was only one copy of it at the store, and it was a popular cult classic. It didn’t help that my depression hit around this time, and that I lost interest in most movies. So, I didn’t see Oldboy and I kind of just forgot about it.

Then I recently stopped off at Moviestop (a used dvd and bluray store) and lo and behold, there was Oldboy… and it was on sale! Well, I figured that the time was right, and I bought it. And now I’ve seen it.

So, did it live up to the long wait? I should mention first that when I wanted to watch it back in high school, I didn’t really know anything about it (other than the fact that it was a South Korean film).  Let me say that Oldboy is one of a small handful of films that made me feel quite disturbed after viewing them, with The Road, Seven, and A Clockwork Orange at the top of the list (the only film I’d recommend out of those three would be The Road). There are scenes of tongues getting chopped off, teeth being pulled, and squid being eaten alive. It’s not exactly A Wonderful Life.

So, what’s good about Oldboy? Well, the storytelling and pacing are top-notch. The plot is basically that an ordinary Korean man has been imprisoned for 15 years for what appears to be literally no reason. After his eventual release, the only thing on his mind is vengeance. The movie reminds me a bit of Memento, with mysteries lurking in every shadow of the film. Oldboy also hides a cruelly ingenious twist at the end, which blew my mind.

The main problem I have with Oldboy is that is seems to be part of a larger affliction of Hollywood and current moviemaking in general. I call it The Dark Knight Syndrome. Where everything is just dark, brooding, and leaves you feeling like crap (of course, I actually love The Dark Knight). Still, Oldboy’s grip will command your attention until the very last frame.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm still a Christian


I’m a Christian. I also suffer from severe, debilitating depression. I decided to become a Christian because I thought that Jesus loves me. I still think that.

To better understand me, I need to explain my story. While I grew up with some learning problems like ADD and had certain idiosyncrasies like Aspergers, I would say I had a happy childhood. I enjoyed reading, playing video games, watching my favorite shows, and exploring outside. I was a normal kid, more or less. Sometime around my senior year, however, I began to notice a change. I didn’t enjoy anything anymore. The things I loved became lifeless and empty.

Once the structure of high school ended, it got worse. Much worse. I hopped around from one entry level job to the next, with no prospects in sight. I failed out of college. I gained over a hundred pounds. My social circle deteriorated. I felt alone.

I decided that I had enough with life. I saved up my money and went to Greentop Sporting Goods. There, I purchased a Beretta 9mm with hollow point rounds. I kept the gun under my bed for days. Then, on September 13, 2010, I went up to Belle Isle to commit suicide.

I was about to do it when my best friend, Ross, called me. He pleaded with me not to do it, and told me that he loved me. I listened and put the gun down.

Two years later, my depression was still there. It’s important to mention that at this time I was a staunch atheist. I not only believed God didn’t exist, I believed Christians were homophobic, women-hating, scientifically illiterate, Jerry Falwell worshipping idiots. My life may have been terrible, I thought, but at least I wasn’t a Christian.

Yet as someone who had heard a bit about Jesus, I knew that there was something different about Him. When I thought if someone loved me or not, Jesus kept popping in my head. Not the Dalai Lama, not Muhammad, but Jesus. When I lay awake one night contemplating suicide again, I knew I had to act.

I went to the library and started reading the Gospel of Matthew. It didn’t take long. As soon as I got to the Sermon on the Mount, I knew there was something real there. The concept of a God who actually died for me, not because He wanted me to measure up to society’s standards, but because He loved me unconditionally, finally hit me. I got up, went to my car, and prayed a heartfelt prayer. I was now a Christian.

While it may have made for a better tale if I stopped here, that’s not the end of the story. Just two weeks ago, I attempted suicide again. I went to Greentop and tried to buy another handgun. Thankfully, I was denied. Still, I can’t lie; I was very close to death once more.

So, how do I end this on a positive note? Well, all I can do is tell you that if I didn’t have Ross Lawrence or Robby Christmas in my life, I already would have been dead. I believe that a simple act of kindness is the face of God, and that He works though ordinary people to show His love. I can end this message by telling you that above all, Jesus helps me. When I think I’m worthless, He says I have worth. When I think I’m hopeless, He says I have hope. Finally, when I think I’m unlovable, He says He loves me. God loves you, too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mother Earth

She’s a deep blue orb of life in the black gulf of dirt
Her motherly hands tend to her children
Her earth stained clothes welcome the deadness of the soil
From nothing but love arises her colorful, budding offspring
They peek from the ground, delighted
She pours delicious milk into their waiting mouths
They drink
Their green roots extend upwards for an embrace
She reaches down
Her children rejoice silently

Monday, September 2, 2013

Devilman: A Theodicy


If you think comic books or cartoons are just for children, then please, for God’s sake, don’t let your kid ever watch or read Devilman. Devilman is a work strictly for adults, and for thinking adults. If you are narrow minded, you’re probably going to walk away thinking it’s satanic or some nonsense. So, what exactly is Devilman? Devilman is a manga (basically a Japanese comic book) written by Go Nagai all the way back in 1972. There are also two movies that were produced in the 80’s that animate chunks of the original manga.

Devilman centers on the young Akira Fudo, who becomes aware of the existence of demons. Due to his pure heart, he not only survives a possession, but takes control of the most powerful demon in existence, Amon, and thus becomes Devilman. Devilman fights to protect mankind and the girl he loves, Miki. Sadly, after waging war on the demonic hordes, Miki is actually murdered by fearful humans in retaliation for her relationship with Akira. Seeing his beloved’s head on a pike, Devilman becomes enraged and kills the mob. With no one left to protect, he begins his final battle with Satan, who while dormant, was his childhood friend, Ryo.

After the Earth is destroyed in their battle, Satan stands victorious over a dying Akira. He tells Akira that he loves him. He details the origins of demons, explaining that God created them, but hated what he had made. Satan, then an angel, believed this to be unjust of God and sided with the demons. However, Satan realizes that he was just as wrong as God for trying to destroy humans.

Of course, I just outlined the whole plot, but it serves my next point. There are very few Japanese works that rival Devilman’s drama. Devilman is about the tragedy of life. Not only is this great storytelling, but it’s very interesting from a theodicy point of view. Of course, Christians believe God to be good, and that Satan is evil, but why do we believe that? Have we forgotten Epicurus’ problem of evil, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" Basically, is God a villain or a fool?

Devilman answers in the former, that God is evil. What is forgotten, I think, is that there is another option. That God loves us, and in His love, He has given us free will. Free will is the ability to choose good or evil. Or rather, to obey God or not to obey Him. You see, God knows our tears, but He isn’t deaf to our pleas. If everything was perfect, and we never had a choice, yes there would be no physical pain, but there wouldn’t be any true love in the universe. You have to have choice to have love; it can’t be forced. So, when humanity chose to defy God in Genesis, God made a choice, too (If God doesn’t have free will as well then He’s just a force of nature, not a personal being). God chose to love us, and love us unconditionally. He could and should have left us to wallow in our own filth and misery, but for no other reason than He loves us, He decided to offer redemption through His son, Jesus.

The cross is the perfect answer to the problem of evil. It’s poetry in motion. It’s divine love. So, while I really like Devilman as art, I do believe the philosophical content it brings up is flawed. Still, it’s one hell of a story.  


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Syria


Well, I’ve tried to avoid talking about politics for a while now… but since the powder keg of the Middle East is about to be ignited by a certain buffoonish president, I thought I should put my thoughts down before it all blows up. I’m honestly surprised at Obama. I really am. I mean, Obama has been a fairly mediocre president, but he’s never screwed up this badly before. I’m going to sum this Syrian mess up in a single sentence: You can’t be against the Iraq War and be for involvement in the Syrian Civil War. That’s the crux of it.

Seriously folks, are we forgetting about the Iraq War? Are we lemmings gleefully running over a cliff? The Iraq War cost over a trillion dollars, 4,459 American soldiers, and at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians. War is not a video game, people. The similarities between Iraq in 2003 and Syria now are astonishing. Both involve dictators, both involve the alleged use of chemical weapons by said dictator, both have had responses portrayed by America as operations that would free an oppressed people, and both have literally no U.N. support on the American side of things. Sound familiar yet?

Listen, of course Assad is an evil piece of death worshipping garbage. You won’t hear an argument from me. That being said, do we really know what we’re getting involved with here? There are dozens of tin-pot dictators in the world, why are we focusing on Assad? Why not liberate North Korea or Zimbabwe? Since Iran is an ally to Assad, do we know how they’ll react when we bomb Syria back to the stone age? Will Israel get pulled in? Will the initial U.S. strikes morph into a prolonged invasion and occupation? Finally, even if the rebels overthrow Assad, will they be any better than he was (since much of the insurgency consists of Al-Qaeda)? One more thing: Can Obama answer any of those questions honestly?
      
I mean for God’s sake, man, there’s a video of a rebel eating a Syrian soldier’s heart; these guys aren’t exactly George Washington. I’m not even convinced that the rebels didn’t use the gas themselves just to draw us onto their side. I know Obama is trying to do good, but I think he needs to listen to ol’ Buffalo Springfield, “It’s time we stop, hey what’s that sound, everybody look what’s goin down.”