Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Romantic Pt. 1

The Romantic
The Prom Date

Had the best night of my life.
I did my research and found the spot.
I got the tuxedo and borrowed my father’s car,
Now I just need to pick up my date.

My hands are sweaty, they’re slipping on the wheel.
I haven’t had anything to drink but I really need to pee.
I’ve been planning this night for weeks
but now everything has gone completely out the window.

I finally get to her house and see steps outside the door.
In a beautiful gown that makes me thank God that I could see.
I wipe the sweat from my face and step outside,
The cold air fills my lungs and I almost faint.

She gets closer so I regain my senses
and rush over to get the door for her.
She laughs a little as I almost trip over the curb
but luckily I don’t fall completely, she just thinks it’s cute.

We drive off and she thinks we’re off to the prom,
amazed that I was able to buy the tickets.
We are the products of less fortunate parents
so after school events are not available to us.

After a few minutes, she begins to get nervous
because she knows now that we’re not heading for the school.
I confess to her that I lied about the tickets
but I do plan on giving her a prom night.

We get where we need to be and her nervousness
turns into a heart-warming sensation.
I take her to the baseball field,
where we met for the first time as kids.

We were on the team together and that’s where it started.
Surgery couldn’t remove us from each other since then
and I take her to the left outfield which is where we collided
while we were trying to catch a fly ball.

The runner got a home run
but I’m the one who scored that day.
I met the girl I knew that I wanted to be with
and after the icepacks came off I asked her out.

Years later, we’re here now.
Sitting on the table cloth and her favorite foods.
Tacos, nachos and ranch dip with a 2 liter soda
and we eat underneath the stars.

She thanks me for making the best of this
because she badly wanted to have a prom night.
I tell her that everyone deserves a prom
even if it’s not at a school with everyone else.

At least this way, we don’t have to worry
about whose going to be prom king and queen
because it looks like we’re winners by default.
She laughs and we stand up to kiss like lovers.

I stop and pull out my cell phone
and the first thing that comes out of her mouth is
“Are you kidding me right now?”
I laugh and tell her to listen very carefully.

Music starts to play over the speakers on the field,
It’s her favorite country song.
The song that she always said that she would want to get married to.
We begin to dance and I wave to the janitor as he leaves the booth.

She tells me how she thinks I’m real smooth
and I tell her that I think there’s no way
this night could get better.
She disagrees.

We begin to kiss and she runs her hands down my chest
but I stop her.
I tell her now is not the night
and I don’t want our first time to be here.

I was afraid I had just killed the mode
but in actuality, I think she appreciates it more.
So we continue to dance on with the music
enjoying the best part about prom night.

When the music ends, we kiss one more time.
I tell her that I love her and I want to be with her.
Tears come out of her eyes and almost cries,
she grips my back with her fingernails.

She tells me that she loves me
and pities every girl in the school.
They will never have what we did,
a prom night meant for lovers.

"Sample from my book of poetry Faces of the Masses available now in print and on Amazon Kindle."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Best Christmas Gift

I got the newest game console.
Now, I can spend hours of my life
playing with people all over the world
and dominating them with my “mad” skills.

I got this diamond necklace.
Now, I can brag to all the girls
about how my husband can afford anything I want
and make the others mad with envy.

I got the newest phone, and it comes with camera, wifi, radio,
pillbox, TV, army knife, corkscrew, and screwdriver.
Oh yeah, it can also make calls all over the world.
I can even make calls to astronauts in space.

I got my daddy back after he had been gone for so long
in a place where people didn’t like him but he had to go for work.
He’s not as I remember, though. He has trouble breathing sometimes.
He lost his left fingers in an accident and he got hit by a car
that sent him to the hospital for a while.

But instead of coming home, he had to finish his job.
He told me his friends helped him get through the days, but
the one thing that kept him going was the thought of
being here for Christmas with me and getting the chance
to be my daddy.

Now, he’ll be here to take me to school, watch me grow up, scare away
any boys brave enough to ask me out, and, most of all,
to always be there for me when I cry, when I laugh, and
when I go through phases in my life.
That’s the best gift I will ever receive.

"This is a sample from my book Faces of the Masses. Available now in Print and Kindle. Until the next is written."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Poetry from Faces of the Masses

The Honest Question

There should only be one question
everyone should ask themselves
when getting into a relationship.
Do you want to be with him or her?

It's an honest question.

Can you dedicate yourself to that person?
Can you see yourself with someone else?
Is this person the only one you want to see?
Exposing your family to theirs?
Growing old only with her?
Putting up with there problems?
Only being faithful to them?
Never going to purposely cause them harm?
Will you always going to be there?
Will you always support them?
Will you cry with them when their in pain?
Will you smile with them in their joy?
Is the best part of your day waking up next to each other?
Do your problems fade when their around?
Do they make you want to improve as a person?
Do they enhance the quality of your life?

It doesn't matter what your parents think
or theirs.
We're all responsible for our own happiness
so don't forget to answer this question.

I'll give you a hint.
If you say no to any of these,
if you even hesitate to say yes.
The answer is no.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What a Son Really Wants

What A Son Really Wants
by Anthony Labson

When they're young
it's always about
the toys or catching the ball.
You're the real life superhero.

When they grow up
it's about the life.
They want to get out
and explore all life has to offer.

They have dreams to achieve
and obstacles to overcome.
They grow up to become father's of their own
and it all accumulates to one specific moment.

When the day finally comes
and the son gets everything they have
and his father comes up to him
to give him what he's always wanted.

“I'm so proud of you son.”
That's all he really wanted.
That's all I ever wanted
and I'm grateful to have heard it.

"Excerpt from my book Faces of the Masses, to be released next week."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sons of Anarchy: Closure

Well it’s been a few days since the series finale of popular FX show, Sons of Anarchy so after running out of tissues, it’s time for my two cents. For those of you that have never seen an episode, the show is about an outlaw motorcycle club known as the Sons of Anarchy, the Redwood Original chapter. Being stationed in a quiet town called Charming, the show exposes the audience to the dark world of motorcycle gangs. A world comprised of narcotics, gun traffic, prostitution, murder and mayhem. The show also exposes the audience to the codes and conducts of motorcycle gangs and the culture in which they conduct themselves.

While the club is led by Ron Perlman, known in the show as Clay whom is president of the club at the time, the show focuses around the character Jax Teller played by Charlie Hunnam. Jax is the Vice President of the club and Clay is romantically involved with Jax’s mother Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal) after his father was killed in an “accident.” As the seasons go on, Jax begins to see that his father who was one of the founding members of the club had plans to make the club legit. He soon begins to see the dark reality that would lead to his father’s demise and finally decided to rise to become the new president of the club. In the wake of his journey, he enjoyed many victories but suffered great losses that would eventually drive him to the final season.

After suffering the greatest loss anyone could endure, Jax goes on a killing spree in the name of vengeance, unaware that his ambitions are led by false accusations. The mass murder would not only lead Jax into certain turmoil but so would the club as well. Through a series of events, Jax would eventually learn the truth behind the lies he was told and why he was sent off in the wrong direction but not after passing the point of no return. The final season ends the only way it could with Jax doing everything he can to set things right so nothing comes back to hurt the club and fulfill his long term goal. To make sure that his sons don’t repeat the same mistakes that he made and what his father failed to do for him.

The final season left nothing unturned and it keeps the audience at the edge with anticipation, leaving nothing to be obvious. Every week, there was a surprise coming that would end the episode and leave the audience wondering what would happen next. Like every season, there was a fair share of death, destruction, sex, and surprise cameos by known celebrities such as Courtney Love, Peter Weller, Michael Chiklis, and Marilyn Manson. Final seasons always leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the fans but this one ended so perfectly, two words come to mind at the end and those are complete closure. For those of you who have Netflix, seasons 1-6 are available now and they are worth the watch.

The show offered insight to how motorcycle clubs lived when it came to certain issues like the love each member had for each other, the democracy that governed their charter, and the blood that had to be spilled to wear the patch. Each show was well written that offered very little insight to what would happen next and kept the attention of the audience. The one celebrity that made a tremendous impact was Katey Sagal who is well known for her comedy role as famous housewife Peggy Bundy from the legendary show Married With Children. As soon as you see her, all the images and memories I had about her went right into the fire. The legacy of Sons of Anarchy is one of groundbreaking material, well written dialogue, and exciting action that will never be duplicated again.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Fan's Walking Dead Prayer

Dear Jesus,
                I’m praying to you right now because of the show The Walking Dead. I’m sure you’re a fan because if you really think about it, you are the original walker. The only difference is people didn’t freak out when you walked in and presented yourself to everyone. At least I think you walked when you came back, I would hope not considering you had a nail through your feet and it would really hurt to put weight on. Anyway, sorry for deviating from the point but again this show is getting really good and tense so I like to just say a quick prayer. I pray the writers spare me from the heartbreak of watching the characters I love die. Truth be told, I’m still hurting from watching Hershel’s head being hacked off in front of his daughters. Speaking of his daughters, I really hope that nothing happens to Maggie. She’s the hottest woman on that show next to Michonne. The only way she could possibly get any hotter is if she was allowed to use her natural English accent but since she plays a farmer’s daughter, I understand. On that note, I hope the writers don’t kill of Michonne any time soon because she’s like a female Daryl only I don’t want to see Daryl naked. Daryl is the heart and soul of the show so it’s important nothing happens to him. I see enough people with shirts that say, “If Daryl dies we riot” so again I hope nothing happens to him because we’ve had enough riots going on as of late. Plus every time I see him do his thing, I get an urge to watch Boondock Saints. Speaking of control, hopefully the time will come for Rick to finally lead his people to a safe haven. It’s starting to become repetitive with finding a new place to call home only to have it destroyed by walkers or some outside threat. Also hope he survives the zombie apocalypse so he can raise Judith and Carl in a better world than what he woke up to from that coma. Anyway, I look forward to seeing the next episode and I hope you send your divine influence to the writers of the show so all my hopes come true. Thank you and in case the zombie apocalypse actually does happen, I like to apologize in advance because I have no doubt that I’m going to end up like Morgan.

Your faithful

Saturday, December 6, 2014

When The Justice System Fails You, The Wall Doesn't.

The Wall

Charles Plantine
Steven Muller
Blake Tillman
Elizabeth Newman
Brick 1
Brick 2
Party Girls
Extras to wear Wood, Brick, and Silver Masks

Text Copyright in 2013 © by Anthony Labson
ISBN-10: 0-9881807-2-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-9881807-2-7

Act One: Scene One
(Scene begins outside a warehouse with a van parked outside with Channel 2 news van outside. A car pulls up and reporter Charles Plantine gets out of his car and walks over to the camera man waiting in the van)

Hey! Where’s Zack? I asked him to be here.

He’s sick so the boss sent me instead. So why are we here in the middle of nowhere?

Don’t worry about that and just record when I tell you to and keep your mouth shut, if we pull this off then I can finally get something going with my career.

Yeah, I like to see my career go somewhere too. Now do you mind at least letting me know what we’re here to cover?

(Frowns, wipes his face and pauses for a moment)
Ok, if you have to. We’re here to interview somebody who claims to be a member of The Wall.

Oh I’ve heard of those guys, they’re some kind of secret society right? Bunch of nut jobs playing vigilantes.

(Rolls his eyes and looks up in the sky)
They’re a terrorist organization taking matters into their hands and now they’re willing to give me the opportunity to bring this subject to the public view.

If they are so big, why did they choose you?

(Tyler laughs as Charles is getting frustrated and grabs a handful of microphones)
I’m the reporter so stop asking questions and get going because I've got a career to build up!

Jeez, Mr. Sensitive.
(Charles and Tyler head towards the warehouse and open the door. It’s dark inside and then a light shines on a table. Then Charles Plantine and Tyler walk in towards the table with a camera in Tyler’s hands and four microphones in Charles’s)

(Lost in the darkness)
I’m here to meet someone by the name of Steel. Is that you?
(A man with a silver mask appears sitting at the table and on his right a man with a red mask and a man with a brown mask to the left come into the light)

(With a deep voice)
You’re late.

(Takes a moment to analyze the situation and Charles looks around the empty room and finally snaps back to introduce him)
How do you do? I’m Charles Plantine. You called me on the phone and wanted to meet with me about a story. A story that would open America’s eyes to a secret that’s been going on since 9/11 as you said. Are you the man I’m here to meet?

(Brick and Wood laugh while Steel just smiles)
You walk into a room occupied by 3 masked men and you’re asking if you’re in the right place? No, you’re not in the right place, I spend my days waiting for morons to walk through that door so I can take their money because I’m tired of waiting by the ATMs late at night.

(Tyler giggles a bit but stops when Charles stares at him)
Yes Mr. Plantine you’re in the right place, now set up your equipment and have a seat.

(Tyler sets up the camera and Charles is getting the microphones set on his neck and hands one to Steel then takes it gives one to each of his men then puts one on himself)

(Whispers in Steel’s ear)
Are you sure this is the right thing to do? How do we know the cops won’t panic when this is aired?

(Whispering back)
Don’t worry about it. You never plan anything without preparing for every outcome and even the most ridiculous one. You’ll understand in time but for now you need to keep your mouth shut until spoken too. Understand?
(Wood nods his head and goes back to his side of the table. A few minutes go by and Tyler has his camera ready and Charles is sitting down).

Are you ready?
(Steel nods his head and Tyler turns the camera on to begin recording the interview)
This is Charles Plantine with Channel 2 news and I’m here with people that some might consider terrorists but they see things different. These men are representatives of a myth called The Wall. The man sitting across from me is Mr. Steel. Thank you for coming forward with this. Now Mr. Steel let us please begin with the basics questions. What is The Wall? Can you explain why you all are wearing different color masks? And the most important how big is this… Wall?

(Steel grabs a bottle of water at his feet and drinks from it. He sets it down in front of him and speaks)
The Wall is organization that was formed after 9/11. I would have to say about 5 months exactly after. The Wall is literally the last barrier protecting society from chaos. We help keep control by protecting the people when the law doesn’t. We wear different color masks to show our ranks like badges. The man in the brown mask is Wood, he’s classified as floor which is code name for rookie. The man in the red is Brick which means he’s more… seasoned and I am Steel. I am the captain and represent the strongest barrier of the three. There are others above me but we won’t get into that. You advance through how much you go through emotionally, mentally and physically in the name of justice.

(Pauses for a moment)
So what is it you really do? Because it sounds like you’re all a bunch of vigilantes.

(Shakes his head)
A vigilante kills for selfish reasons and we seek justice for a reason beyond our own. We only kill when we have to, if the person deserves death. Basically, we are secret police only… we’re free of the restraints of rules and procedures.

So you are vigilantes. Who are you to take the law into your own hands?

People who have been wronged by the system that’s been designed to protect us, we are everyone and we are nowhere like ghosts. We are everywhere and you would never know it. We’re either the cop on the corner, the mother taking her child to soccer practice, the concessionists serving you popcorn at the movie theater, and even the whore at the corner you cheat on your wife with. Gina has spoken of you quiet often and about how cheap you are.

(Stunned and swallows a bit of saliva)
We’ll just edit that part out. Do you mean to tell me that they’re criminals in this organization? Who decides who is allowed to join this group?

Anybody tired of seeing the drug dealers and mob bosses thrive and watching the good suffer. Some are criminals and are given the chance to redeem themselves. After 9/11 a few Americans got together and realized while America does have the best system, the problem with it is the rich and powerful get away with things. When the law fails to protect its people civil action isn’t just inevitable, it’s required. That’s The Wall, people who are tired of relying on others to protect them, instead the people protect each other and form a kinship that no gang, mafia, or dictatorship can ever break.

So how do you decide who to go after? Do you just pick one out like a random drawing or you have a list and just go down it?

There really is no crime to small because like I said, we’re everywhere and like a New York cockroach, we’re hard to get rid of. If gangs do something to each other then it’s not our problem but the second innocent blood is spilt, that’s when we’re activated.

Let me repeat the question. Who are you to take the law into your own hands? Why are the cops not enough for you? If you want to serve the people then take off the masks and put on a uniform and badge.

Because the police, sometimes are the problem in the first place! How many cops are busted for being corrupt a year? How many are just cops because they can’t do anything else in life? You want me to put my safety in the hands of somebody who was disappointed with their life? Fuck that! I believe that’s one reason why society has de-evolved lately, we were so used to cops taking care of the people, we forgotten to take care of each other. How was the United States formed? It was formed when a group of men got together and said we’re not taking shit from a King anymore. We are that same group of people who want to get justice by any means necessary.

So have you killed before?

Yes but not everyone I’ve had to encounter. It depends whether the individual deserves to die. We only have three rules but we’ll get to that later.

This sounds insane. No matter how hard it may be to enforce the system it’s still better than what you’re innovating. You’re no different than any other vigilante.

Perhaps but I believe that what we do keeps the innocent safe and until I am killed I will keep doing it because I will burn in hell to protect those that can’t or won’t do it themselves and dedication that simple, makes me more powerful than a nuclear bomb. That’s why I’m Steel, when it comes to protecting close to me I’ll destroy cultures and it won’t affect me because my heart is cold and solid for those who would do them harm.

You’re a murderer trying to justify murder. All you want is a reason to kill people.

Stopping those that do wrong to innocent people is reason enough.

(Gives a smirk and Charles gives a nervous look but maintains his composure)

You obviously aren’t getting the concept. Wood, tell him why you got involved. Maybe then, he’ll see things our way.

(The lights flickers and the first flashback happens).

Sample from The Wall, available now in print and on Amazon Kindle.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tribute to Single Parents

When I young, there was a saying
“If you were born into a wealthy family,
then you had it made.”
But now it seems to be if you’re born having both parents,
then you’re lucky enough as is.

Marriage was seen as a sacred institution
between man and woman when they realized
that they were the ones for each other.

Now, to me, it seems like a game
to be quit and restarted
at the first sign of difficulty.
That first sign is usually
the sign of new life.

Instead of being responsible and living up
to what is owed to a true innocent,
they run like a true coward does,
and I condemn them for it.

A child runs out of fear
and whines when things don’t go his way.
An adult accepts what happens
and tries to make the best out of a situation.

How can I condemn them for it?
Who am I to condemn?

I am a child of two parents who stayed together
and worked together to make sure I grew up right.
Meanwhile, over the years, I watched how
other parents called it quits.

Because of that, their children,
whom I once called friends,
became cold and isolated themselves
by going into darker places that even I
have not gone to. Some became the living dead
while others just stopped living.

That’s who I am. Now, answer my question:
Who are you?
To rob a child of having a father to defend
or a mother to nurture all because
you got scared and didn’t want
to own up to your responsibilities.

I don’t care that you live up to your responsibilities
as a spouse or a lover.
Live up to your responsibilities as a parent.
Don’t send them a check, don’t send them a card,
and don’t bother with a phone call.

I am a witness to a damaged generation,
and to the parents who try to fly it solo:
Thank you for showing how strong a human being
can be when pushed to such boundaries.

Sample from my book Madness in a Recession, available now in print and on Amazon Kindle. Until the next is written.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Christmas Gift Money Can't Buy

The Best Christmas Gift
Anthony Labson

I got the newest game console.
Now, I can spend hours of my life
playing with people all over the world
and dominating them with my “mad” skills.

I got this diamond necklace.
Now, I can brag to all the girls
about how my husband can afford anything I want
and make the others mad with envy.

I got the newest phone, and it comes with camera, wifi, radio,
pillbox, TV, army knife, corkscrew, and screwdriver.
Oh yeah, it can also make calls all over the world.
I can even make calls to astronauts in space.

I got my daddy back after he had been gone for so long
in a place where people didn’t like him but he had to go for work.
He’s not as I remember, though. He has trouble breathing sometimes.
He lost his left fingers in an accident and he got hit by a car
that sent him to the hospital for a while.

But instead of coming home, he had to finish his job.
He told me his friends helped him get through the days, but
the one thing that kept him going was the thought of
being here for Christmas with me and getting the chance
to be my daddy.

Now, he’ll be here to take me to school, watch me grow up, scare away
any boys brave enough to ask me out, and, most of all,
to always be there for me when I cry, when I laugh, and
when I go through phases in my life.
That’s the best gift I will ever receive.

"This is a sample from my book Madness in a Recession. Available now at this link and Kindle tomorrow. Until the next is written."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday

Happy Holidays

4:00 a.m. open with special sales.
4:00 a.m. wake crazy consumers.
They wait in line giving no room for cuts,
yet they’re ready to cut throats to get in front of the others.

The doors open, and people stampede
over cigarette butts and peoples’ necks.
Because shoes at Footlocker are 75% off,
a woman now lies dead by a pair of New Balance.

A bottle of perfume by Chanel is only $50.
A woman takes a spray on the wrist to give it a try
then takes a shot in the eyes by another woman.
Now, that bottle is gone and she’s left dry.

Kids are grabbing used games at GameStop.
But what are they doing up at 4 in the morning?
Why are their parents letting them play games like Manhunt?
God forbid they fought over a book by Lord Byron.

Then there are the little 13 year old girls
walking around the lingerie section at Victoria Secret.
Only, I don’t think they’re shopping for their mothers.
Are they looking for something to wear at the beach?

Old people even come and spread their dust.
It must be the one time of year I see new
life in them as they haul ass. Makes me wonder
what happened to “What would Jesus do?”

Finally, there are all the juvenile wannabes
walking around like they are so bad
with their pants below their waste.
I hope they like it later when their butts
are touched by Bubba’s special candy cane.

I feel sorry for the employees who have no choice,
as the customers yell and curse at them like slave masters.
For making them be there, they should be the ones
yelling at the customers saying, “Go to hell you stingy bastards!”

Brand new sales happen here
and there as the day goes by.
More and more bones are broken
while people on stretchers pray not to die.

People are running either to sales or to get out of the way.
What a great time and day to go to the mall
when people of all ages are spreading the holiday spirit
with fights, lacerations, and handcuffs for all.

Next time just go to the Wal-Mart where
they have the same prices all year round.
It’s better than your kids coming to see you on Christmas
when you’re buried 6 feet under the ground.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

PS4 vs Xbox One: One Year Later

It's been a full year since the release of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 and since then it's been clear among gamers that the PS4 is the better console. In it's debut year, the PS4 has outsold more than double the amount of the Xbox One. For the new generation of gaming consoles, this is a major blow to Microsoft's considering the amount of power and features the Xbox One carries. So where did exactly Microsoft go wrong in this so called “Console War?” Let's first analyze both consoles and see the difference.

I carry both consoles so let's first go over the basics. Comparing the Xbox One to the Playstation 4 is like comparing Coke to Pepsi, similar tastes but significant differences. Both consoles offer same starting 500 gigabytes, blu-ray compatibility, wireless controllers, and etc. Where they are different is at first, the Xbox One came with the motion sensor, the Kinect which made the Xbox One cost more, making the starting price $500. The Playstation 4 has a motion sensor too, the Playstation Camera but it's sold separately which makes this console cheaper and more appealing.

Half a grand is not an easy bill to pay off and at this point in time, cheaper is better. The second difference is the features involved. The Xbox One has the Playstation 4 beat because it has so many applications and benefits to it. For example, The Xbox One has voice control and has the ability to Skype, watch television and all kinds of video streaming services. The Xbox One is catered more to using media services and as impressive as this is, this is also a handicap to the Xbox One because it's simply too much for gamers.

The whole point of the console is to play games. That's it, everything else is just a nice plus but the fact is the Playstation 4 kept on point by focusing more on the games and gaming services instead of adding a whole bunch of media. People don't buy consoles to use Youtube, Netflix, or whatever your vice is. They use their consoles to play football with friends online, go to war or play role playing games as a clan because it gives them a break from reality. Speaking of games, the next excuse for the shattered dreams of Microsoft's profits is the lack of game quality.

While the graphics of the games are impressive, such first strike games like Ryse: Son of Rome, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts that new generation appeal. The Xbox One didn't get any good revenue in until the release of games like Forza and Titanfall. Things have gotten so bad for the Xbox One that they have dropped the price of the console down to $350 without the Kinect and the Playstation 4 is still selling more. It's clear at this point that the Xbox One is a bomb at this point and Microsoft needs to start finding a way to bounce back and recover whatever losses they may have because of this disaster.

Do I think this is the last we'll see of the Xbox? Absolutely not, the day that would happen is the day that Nintendo stops making game consoles and that will never happen. The Xbox has become a superpower in the gaming industry and it won't go away because like Coke and Pepsi, some people like Coke and others like Pepsi. Maybe when the next gaming consoles comes out, Microsoft will learn from it's mistakes and make up for it. As far as this new generation of gaming consoles is concerned, the Playstation 4 wins. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WWE 2K15 Review

World Wrestling Entertainment is arguably one of the most successful corporations in entertainment. It's grown from being a wrestling promotion to being a mega power in mainstream media ranging from wrestling, movies, and recently their own streaming service. One of their most profitable sources of income comes from video games, that's what this is about. WWE 2K15 was recently released today for all next generation consoles, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. It came out earlier for the older generation but I can't judge that so this critique is for the new generation. This is the first game for the new generation of wrestling games by prestige game developer 2K and I have to say that it could've been better.

I've been playing WWE Games back when it was called World Wrestling Federation, my favorite was No Mercy on the Nintendo 64. For decades WWE had their games made by game developer THQ but unfortunately went bankrupt two years ago and the license to the WWE franchise was bought by 2K industries. This was the first one for the new generation and like all firsts, mistakes were made and it ruins the replay value of this popular franchise. While it's not a complete disaster, there are some good features. The roster is updated so-what and has plenty of selections and there is a new mode I suggest all gamers try.

The main draw in for this game and what 2K is well known for is it's visual graphic designs and this did not disappoint. From the entrance of the wrestlers to the ring and even the sight of the audience cheering as you walk, never have the wrestlers look so real. Unfortunately all the eye candy doesn't cover up the sour taste of the gameplay when you're participating in a match. One of the new additions to this game that will give players a lot of difficulty and confusion in the grappling system. There are different types of grapples (chain, mild, and strong) and it's hard to understand how to use each one.

The flow of the match is also lacking, I played several matches and at times I wanted to initiate a move, the wrestlers would freeze for a minute, allowing my opponent to get back up. The movements also seem slow in certain moments and targeting the opponent is also off when trying to hit him with a weapon. Another problem which isn't anything new with WWE games is the outdated roster. Yes there is a variety of awesome, talented wrestlers but often, the gimmick are old and have already changed in the present. For example, Cody Rhodes in the game is no longer Cody Rhodes in present time, he's known as Star Dust and has a completely new entrance and certain teams don't exist anymore like The Shield.

Hopefully they'll find a way to update their roster like the NFL franchise Madden does or put in the DLC packs. The types of matches aren't anything to mention, they're all the same. One difference is the addition of the MyCareer mode which allows you to create a superstar and build him to the ground up, this introduces gamers to the new gameplay style and I highly recommend it. You're also introduce to the developmental level of the WWE being NXT. Through NXT you train with known wrestlers such as Bo Dallas, Sami Zayn and Adriane Neville.

Another new addition is a 2K showcase which shines the light on famous rivalries that help build the WWE into the giant industry it is today. This is a replacement from the famous WrestleMania moments that was popular during the THQ games. Good times are remembered but difficulty playing the matches sucked in and almost ruins the moment. On a rate of 1 to 10 and 10 being the best, this game is a 7 because of the slow gameplay and complex controls. The roster is something fans can deal with because they can just create the wrestlers they want but the controls is something different.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Let Me Help You Understand Depression

Anthony Labson

Depression is like being at the beach
And you’re standing in front of the waves.

It will hit you repeatedly
and you can try to resist
but once the waves get too high
you’ll fall under the pressure.

Once that happens
you’re under.

Your eyes begin to burn
because they can’t stand
to look at what they don’t
want to see and even if you try,
everything is out of focus anyway.

People can try to help
but they don’t understand that
it’s not just problems with sight.
Their words can’t penetrate the water
that fills your ears.

This leaves you deaf to their cries
and the loneliness sinks in.

You believe there’s no hope
that there is nothing to live for
so what’s the point of having air
in your lungs?

It’s better just to invite the water
and let it pull you down further
by then it’s too late.
Hands try to reach you
but your too heavy to pull up.

The numb sensations start
and you move by involuntary reflex.
Your end comes and the wave
takes you out into the ocean.

People think it’s a sign of selfishness
and they don’t deserve the attention.

You are in the right state of mind.
so how can you possibly understand
what you may have never experienced.
In the mind of someone depressed
you are the selfish one.

You say you want them around
because seeing you makes them happy.
But their life is miserable 
so to them you’re saying,
You want them to stay alive
so they can remain miserable?”

It’s a powerful and destructive
If you disagree with me then fine
but I speak from experience.

I’ve been depressed,
I’ve been angry at the world,
and I still fight with it
even to this day.

Yes others have it worse.
Some people drink
while others smoke
and some do even worse.

Depression is a powerful wave
that has taken many lives.
To those still fighting
You’re in my prayers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Call of Duty: Advance Warfare

Just got finished playing the newest installment of the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and all I can say is this is why gamers should get next generation consoles. My review may only apply to PS4 version because that's what I own but this is what I have to say about the game. Armed with incredible graphics that make the cinematics look almost alive and with terrific gameplay, this game is what Call of Duty: Ghosts should have been. With the addition of Kevin Spacey playing the antagonist, the campaign mode is an in depth thrill ride that sucks the gamer into what could be a realistic look at the future of warfare.

Playing as a solider named Mitchel, your journey begins after a mission which you succeeded but at great cost. After being discharged after losing a limb in combat, you're approached by Kevin Spacey or Johnathon Irons, owner of Atlas Corporations. Taking up an offer to join the company to replace your lost limb and get back into combat, things begin to unfold as chaos begins to reign on the world. One mission after another, Mitchel begins to unravel a dark secret that reveals Irons for who he is and his ambitions to conquer the globe. The only hope is for a handful of ex-Atlas mercenaries, including Mitchel to gang together with the global task force, Sentenals and brings Irons down.

How it turns out, you'll have to buy the game to figure out or rent it on Redbox. The next thing that put Call of Duty on the map is the multiplayer option. There isn't really much difference when it comes to game modes or custom options but the one difference that was spotted immediately is there is no currency. In previous games, you could just usually buy what you wanted but that's not the case in this game. If you wanted a particular upgrade or weapon, you have to earn it, so the game developer Sledgehammer took a more traditional approach to it. The gameplay is much more fluid and fast paced which doesn't allow much for people who camp or snipe from a distance.

The only problem that was hard to overlook was when I was playing with friends, their names kept showing across the screen so when 4 or more people are talking, it's hard to concentrate on the game. For those who have encountered the problem and don't know what to do, just create a party when you start you're PS4 and then go into the game. When the game starts, just mute everyone and that way you can hear your friends and don't have to worry about names popping up. Everything else is pretty much the same concept with score streaks and perks, nothing really different there. This was sledgehammer's first chance and overall they passed with flying colors.

Anything Call of Duty is guaranteed to make money but every now and then there will be a bad game here and there. Like I stated earlier, Ghost was supposed to be the first Call of Duty for the PS4 but deep down I feel that this was more. The graphics were incredible and life like, the gameplay was more traditional and the replay value is extremely high. Not to mention the DLC packs that will be coming, including the much anticipated Zombies mode. Whatever Infinity Ward is cooking up for their version of Call of Duty, I have this much to say. Please take notes and learn from this because you have catching up to do. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

WWE Network Free for November

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World Wrestling Entertainment made the announcement that the WWE Network would be free for the month of November. Being a fan of WWE since I was eight and being on a serious budget, I decided to take advantage and here's what I have to say. The WWE network is an awesome streaming service and is well worth the price of $9.99 a month. If you have the money to burn, I highly recommend it to any fan of wrestling but if you're on a serious budget like me, enjoy it while it lasts. It's a great opportunity to remember the glory days of wrestling.

The WWE network has enough hours of wrestling material to last two lifetimes with it's endless content. The content ranges from old episodes of it's longest running series, Monday Night Raw to it's newest show NXT. It also has episodes of other wrestling promotions such as World Championship Wrestling and my personal favorite, Extreme Championship Wrestling. It also comes with original series created by the wrestling promotion like Legends House and Countdown. The biggest draw in for me which is a steal is you can watch Pay Per View events new and old from WWE and the previous promotions just mentioned.

I've grown up watching wrestling, truth be told. I wanted to be a wrestler at some point because I admired The Undertaker a.k.a. Mark Calaway because he made the audience believe he was truly a being from beyond the grave. The way he wrestled, his promos, and finisher (The Tombstone Pile driver) were something to truly behold to me. My favorite scene was when he was facing Mick Foley or Mankind at the time during a Buried Alive Match, I was too young to know the tricks. At the end of the match, the Undertaker was buried alive but then a bolt of lighting struck his tombstone and his hand came out of the grave.

That was it for me but then as time went on, I did my research and saw how difficult it was to have the life of a wrestler and I couldn't make the commitment demanded by the industry. Always being on the road, starting out making no money, and constantly putting your body on the line. It's a very hard business to get into and harder to be successful at, so I stayed on the sidelines always watching. Sometimes I like to think I could write for the company but at this point, who knows what's going on behind the scenes. That's what makes the WWE Network so special, it brings back those old feelings of amazement when you watch old Pay Per Views starring The Undertaker, The Rock, Hulk Hogan or the leader of the Attitude Era, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Choosing the life of a writer, I have a very limited budget due to several obligations and I have to make sacrifices. I'm afraid that I'm one of those people that will take advantage of a free month of something and never intend to use it. However, when I eventually hit it big with one of my books via contracts or sales, I will definitely be continuing my subscription to the WWE Network. I've had it for two days and I can honestly say that it's been a real treat to renew some old memories and witness new ones. So if anyone is a fan of wrestling, take advantage of this opportunity because once November ends, you either have to cut it out of our budget like me or you lose out on a great deal. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Modern Man of La Mancha

“Poetry demands imagination and with that imagination, we may discover a dream.” I heard Peter O'Toole say those immortal words when I watched Man of La Mancha and they've always stuck with me. For those that have never heard of the musical, read the novel or seen the movie, it's about the author Miguel De Cervantes when he was imprisoned during the Spanish Inquisition and he tells the story of Don Quixote in order to keep the prisoners from burning his work. Don Quixote is a sick, elderly man that dresses in antique armor and goes on a quest to defeat evil. I've always loved the story because of how it shows the power that comes from dreams.

Pursuing my dream of being an author/writer, it's an extremely difficult task and it requires a lot of my free time. This is my way of saying that I don't get out much and when I do go out, I see people always over doing it. They're making stupid decisions, getting in trouble and taking risks that can end their life before it really begins. When asked why they would do something like that, they all have the same answer for the same question. “I have to live life because it's the only life that we're going to have.” While I respect this point of view, I have to humbly disagree.

One of the greatest gifts humans beings can have is an imagination. These people live life because it's all they have, I live my life because of what it can be. In my parents lifetime, they have come from seeing segregation to an African-American president, Wars, Peace, and advancements in various fields such as medicines, technologies and explorations. We've broken barriers, pushed human restrictions to new limits and expanded our understanding of the universe. Everything accomplished because people had an imagination and dedicated themselves to turning it into reality.

I can only imagine what the future holds for me and I hope one day that my work will contribute to mankind's progression. In the tale of Don Quixote, his delusions helped two people by the names of Sancho and Aldonza see past their realities. It helped them cope with the fact that Sancho had never really done anything in his life until he decided to join Don Quixote on his adventure. Aldonza also benefited because she saw herself as a person in the end, not just some prostitute meant to be someone's toy every night. That's the power of the dream.

This is why I choose to live my life, I want to contribute something that will help people see things in other ways except reality because let's face it. Reality really sucks sometimes for a lot of people, if it didn't then we wouldn't need escapes like bars, books, clubs, movies, and video games. At the end of the film, Peter O'Toole says to the prisoners, “God help us all. We are all men of La Mancha.” I have to say that I consider myself a modern man of La Mancha. I say that because I'm only self published right now and I may not have an agent or a publisher, but I'll never give up on the impossible dream.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fury Review

There are several films about World War II that will stand the test of time. Movies such as Patton, Tora Tora Tora, Saving Private Ryan, and The Longest Day. Today, I add the movie Fury to that list because what makes this film unique is how it shows the younger generation like myself a very important aspect. We know about the troops that sacrificed everything to stop the Nazi regime, the General who was all blood and guts, and the battles that were raged on. This film however was about the tanks used and how American tanks were inferior compared to the Germans.

Fury stars Brad Pitt as Tank commander Don Collier who leads a strong cast in the form of Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal. Together these men for the crew for the tank known as “Fury” and made a name for themselves during the invasion of Normandy. Near the end of Hitler's reign, a tragedy befalls the group which leaves an opening in the crew, filled by Norman (Logan Lerman). Norman is an inexperienced solider that's never been on the battlefield so on top of staying alive, Collier must now train the fresh fish in the art of tank warfare. This provides a unique look at people who enter the war and slowly lose their sense of humanity.

Young Norman finds out real quick that the only way to survive the war is to throw away everything that made him what he was. There is an intense moment when Collier forces Norman to do something that forever changes him and what the crew considers to be “for the greater good.” While hoping to gain Don Collier's acceptance, Norman is also struggling to earn the respect of the other crew and through that, the audience connects with the crew and the brotherhood that unites them. Shia LeBeouf was especially impressive with his character “Bible,” a religious character that provides the spiritual support for the group. It was a fresh breath of air to see him in a role where he wasn't screaming most of the film and overall I felt he gave the best performance next to Brad Pitt.

The main tank battle is where the crew of Fury and two other tanks square off against an enemy German tank. It sounds unfair for the German tank right? Not really because the American tanks virtually get pounded and Fury would've joined them if it wasn't for the quick thinking of Collier. Even though they survive the battle, another horror comes towards the crew. A storm consisting of 300 plus Nazis are marching towards Fury's direction in order to stop American soldiers from getting closer to Berlin. 

Instead of getting out of the way, the crew decide to make a terrifying choice and fight in order to give the Americans more time and a better advantage over the Nazis. You'll have to see the movie to find out for yourselves and it was well worth the price of admission even if it wasn't matinee. I will warn the people who read this that this film does have scenes of gore and extreme violence so if your done seeing blood and guts then don't bother. Otherwise this film is a solid ten, another great film about WWII that makes the audience appreciate just how much was lost during a very dark period in human history. Not just American, European or Russian, human history. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Flash Blazes!

The Flash made his return to television in the CW’s adaptation of the famous comic book adaption and as expected, it left a blazing trail. The Flash is arguably one of DC Comics most famous superheroes only to be matched by the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. The last time there was a live action Flash was back in the 1990s and unfortunately only lasted a season but considering the advantages of modern technology, it’s clear this Flash will be around for a while. For those that may not know, The Flash is the alias of Barry Allen whom is struck by lightning in a laboratory. The results of that accident gave him super speed hence his reputation, “The Fastest Man Alive.”

Played by Grant Gustin, Barry Allen made his first public appearance in last season’s CW smash hit Arrow and once fans saw the lighting hit, they knew a show was coming. The CW seemed to stay very traditional with the look but there are some differences with the suit being made of a dark red form of clothing, no tights. I understand these are different times but if there’s one thing I think every comic fan can agree on is we love how flashy the costumes are and these days, every superheroes suit is dark. While I wasn’t so crazy about how dark the clothing looked, I forgot about it once the action started.

Just like any superhero film or series, Barry gets his powers in time as “Meta-humans” are coming out of the wood work with one that robs banks with the ability to control the weather. This character is recognized by Flash followers as the Weather Wizard. Barry takes it upon himself to use his powers to stop the Weather Wizard in an epic showdown and in the process, sees an opportunity. 
An opportunity to use his powers to find someone that wronged Barry a very long time ago when he was a child. You’ll have to watch the show and find out what it was.   

While Barry is going through his struggles to understand exactly who he has become, there is plenty of distractions going on in the form of Candice Patton who plays the famous love interest, Iris West. Growing up as a childhood friend of Barry then suddenly coming back in his life, it’s clear that these two are going to have complications as time goes on. When we’ll see these two finally hook up? I’m more than willing to bet it will be somewhere in the third season and I do expect this show to make it that far and beyond.  

Overall this is the start of another CW smash hit with awesome graphics as Barry Allen speeds through his home of Central City. The show has plenty of drama, comedy and action to keep comic fans and anyone who is just looking for something to watch glued to the screen. DC in my opinion is finally catching up to Marvel as far as rolling out the line of superheroes that fans have been wanting to see for some time now. For many fans, Marvel has been in the lead for years but now it seems that DC may be starting to "speed up." Considering the quality of this show, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Flash ran right into the big screen soon with the upcoming Justice League movie.