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Everything posted by Anneal

  1. Not to mention there are many other genres such as heavy metal and emo that haven't been mainstream for quite a while, yet continue to have a massive following. Just because you stop hearing it on the radio doesn't mean it's dead. In fact, emo music is experiencing a revival in the indie scene in recent years, and metal is more experimental than ever since its peak in the 80s. Also, Australia is experiencing a revival in psychedelic rock and bands like King Gizzard and Tame Impala has clearly shown that there is far more to the genre. There are also other bands like Arctic Monkeys, Screaming Females, Drive-By Truckers, Arcade Fire, and Muse, and many post-punk revival bands are still active (even if they aren't as well-known as they were in the early 2000s peak) like Interpol, The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Strokes. Honestly, the only reason I feel The Strokes and other post-punk revival bands started losing commercial success is because of media pressure; back in the early 2000s, the media wouldn't stop talking about how they were going to be the "saviors of rock and roll". I'm hoping we don't do the same thing to bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys again – I fear that it would ruin them.
  2. Punk didn't actually last very long into the 80s. Punk rock was fairly short-lived in the mainstream and pretty much gone after the Sex Pistols had disbanded. Most major punk bands like The Clash, The Ramones, and Dead Kennedys either switched to hardcore, post-punk, or new wave. Punk won't really make a mainstream comeback until the mid-90s with pop punk bands like Green Day or blink-182. It might be more accurate to include hip-hop instead of punk, as hip-hop quickly flourished and grew in that decade with groups like Run-DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys. At the end of the decade, gangsta rap began to pop up with groups like the N.W.A. and rappers like Ice T. Yeah, one of my favorite bands is Weezer and they can partially be considered a power pop/alternative rock band, depending on the album. Power pop is still active in the modern music industry, though most of it is indie nowadays like Ozma or Teenage Fanclub, save for older power pop bands like Cheap Trick.
  3. I can agree with that at least. Mainstream music tends to be overwhelmingly dominated by the Anglosphere countries and it is not very common to find non-English music in the mainstream. It's also worth pointing out how in some countries, musicians don't even follow the customs of music that we are used to in the Western world (12 tone temperance, common time signatures, pentatonic/heptatonic scale), so even the same genre of music in different countries can be wildly different in terms of structure, rhythm, and even melody.
  4. The difference is that in Spec Ops: The Line it was a plot point to specifically show how cruel and inhumane chemical weapons were and deconstruct common themes of first person shooters. I am not personally against a game having chemical weapons treated as a serious topic in video games. What I mean is that in Modern Warfare, at least from recent news, they are using it as a killstreak option, turning something that should normally treated with seriousness as some cheap way to get extra kills in a deathmatch game.
  5. That's kind of just power metal. It's an interesting and fun genre in of itself, but you shouldn't really dismiss most of rock like that. Maybe you've been listening to too much top 40s and mainstream radio stations and you have to just dig deeper. Like I said before, there are plenty of great contemporary rock bands and musicians: Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend...and alternative rock bands from the 90s like the Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and Queens of the Stone Age are still active. Rock may no longer be the top genre of the music industry but it is far from stale. And some of these bands are capable of making deep and insightful albums and songs. There are some recent bands that do stand out though. The Struts, Rival Sons, and Fleet Foxes are good examples. Nowadays it's a bit harder for indie bands to get mainstream attention simply because of strong competition and the fact that rock no longer dominates mainstream music anymore, not without adopting pop, electronic, or hip-hop (ex: Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, twenty øne piløts) into their songs. The Black Keys was basically underground for the first seven years until they got mainstream attention with Attack and Release. Eh, their albums aren't something to write home about. I tend to focus and listen entire albums rather than specifically pick out the singles to listen to. Not to mention they sound too much like Led Zeppelin – which actually makes their flaws stick out more when they are inevitably compared to each other. They need to find their own sound and be more original. I feel they are just a byproduct of people being too caught up in nostalgia and looking back at the past that they are unable to look towards the future and make something unique.
  6. Still going to point out the white phosphorous controversy that showed up a few months before the game was going to release. I'm not sure if it's been removed yet or if it's going to show up in a later update, but while playing a first person shooter game might be cathartic to most, I'm a bit more reluctant to support the game if it casually puts chemical weapons in their game.
  7. All this talking about modern rock and I'm surprised no one has even mentioned the post-punk revival era in the early to mid 2000s. Multiple bands from the post-punk revival era are still here to this day, and the genre mixes the rawness and aesthetics of garage rock with the DIY ethic of post-punk. The Strokes, Interpol, and The White Stripes (most people probably know them for "Seven Nation Army") really pioneered the genre at the turn of the 21st century, and while The White Stripes has disbanded, Jack White is still actively producing and releasing music. And then there were other post-punk revival bands that popped up in the mid-2000s: Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers. There are also other bands like The Black Keys, Muse, and Arcade Fire, both of which are influential bands in their own right. And Modest Mouse and Weezer – both 90s bands – are still active. Nine Inch Nails is still keeping industrial rock alive as well. And I won't say that rock has fallen to the wayside – several of those bands I've mentioned have no trouble in getting massive crowds at concerts or venues, and some of their albums regularly get golds and platinums. And certain bands have enjoyed mainstream success, sometimes by mixing electronic or hip-hop, such as twenty øne pilots, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Imagine Dragons. And I don't see it as any kind of "dumbing down" of musical taste – genres need to evolve and we can't always be stuck with old, restrictive standards. People need to stop being so purist and refuse to adapt with the times. If hip-hop or pop isn't your cup of tea, that's fine, though you shouldn't poorly judge people for listening to it – especially hip-hop, which is a fairly diverse genre that spans from political hip-hop to horrorcore to trap. Maybe you should consider tolerating it as a legitimate musical genre.
  8. 1. Alternative Rock 2. Post-punk Revival + Blues Rock 3. Pop Punk 4. Electronic + Ambient 5. Power Pop Though I also listen to some bands or musicians that will fit into neither of the above. Occasionally I listen metal (which I got hooked after watching Patton and Lombardo perform together), emo (Weezer helped introduce me into Sunny Day Real Estate), or hip-hop (from a few of RHCP's albums back when they did more rap rock), though most of the bands I like fit into those genres – Arcade Fire, Boards of Canada, The Black Keys, Faith No More, Green Day, Radiohead, R.E.M., RHCP, The Strokes, Weezer, and the White Stripes are some I can name off the top of my head. I think it's good that most people don't overly restrict themselves to certain genres, since many of the bands I listen to have been willing to experiment and take parts from different genres.
  9. People should be allowed to voice their political opinion on any occasion though. We can easily compare this to Colin Kaepernick's kneeling during the national anthem in protest of Trump. People argued back then how Colin shouldn't have brought politics into the NFL, or how him kneeling wouldn't do anything to reduce police brutality. But these kind of actions force organizations and companies to take action, or at the very least allow viewers to be more politically aware. Also, I know some people may dislike Bethesda due to their multiple mishaps with Fallout 76, but you don't need the Chinese market to make tons of money, if Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas sales are anything to go by. And other games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 have still topped video game sales records despite them being banned in China.
  10. I honestly don't mind if it ends up taking place in an entirely fresh and new universe. Needless to say, I feel like the current generation has had a good run and if we were to basically make a sequel or extension to it, it might affect the quality of the show itself. This show has already ended up a great note, lasting nine years with nine seasons. Plus, there would be many more opportunities to tell stories with a new blank slate.
  11. If you want some less conventional places to go: – Puebla, Mexico. It's one of the oldest colonial cities in North America and has a noticeable European influence to it. Its downtown is a UNESCO Heritage Site and is one of the most beautiful yet underrated cities in the world. – Quebec City, Canada. Another old colonial city. It's one of the few cities that has its city walls intact, and Old Quebec has a particularly French charm compared to the modern and bustling Montreal. It's like a slice of France that's been transported right here to the New World. – Chiang Mai, Thailand. A picturesque Thai city filled with Buddhist temples and close to nature. They also have the Elephant Nature Park, which rescues endangered elephant species from poaching. – Taipei, Taiwan. A modern Taiwanese city at the northern tip of the island, known for their bustling night markets, hot springs, and towering skyscrapers. They also have many buildings that trace back to the Japanese colonial era, the Qing Dynasty, and the Dutch and the Portuguese colonial era. – George Town, Malaysia. Malaysia's 2nd largest city, tracing back from the British colonial era. Its downtown is also registered as a UNESCO Heritage Site, with British colonial buildings mixed in with modern skyscrapers and buildings. It's like the Malaysian version of Hong Kong.
  12. Mythbusters also did an episode on this myth and they have proven that even while sleeping at least 20% of your brain is "active" to keep your bodily functions working. That doesn't mean that the other 80% is doing nothing, but that it's just dormant until you wake up. The myth also stems from newspapers and other forms of media misinterpreting neural studies in the 20s and 30s. Around that time, neurological researchers had discovered that most of our brains are made up of glial cells and not just neurons. Journalists misinterpreted this as believing that only a small amount of your brain is actually "used", though neurologists have eventually discovered that those glial cells in fact play an important role of suppling nutrients to neurons and keeping them alive.
  13. A lot of Captain Planet's episodes lack a lot of nuance and depth, and even the tongue-in-cheek environmentalist messages is sends out is quite surface-level. Recycling is often promoted as a solution but the waste hierarchy (reuse first, reduce second, recycle third) is never mentioned in the series. Nuclear power and GMOs are also poorly understood not just in Captain Planet but also in mainstream media. And other issues like how eating and transportation habits factor into carbon emissions are simply ignored. Other animated movies like Wall-E and How to Train Your Dragon cover topics of environmentalism better – Wall-E talks about how human wastefulness can lead to environmental destruction, and How to Train Your Dragon uses a fantasy setting to indirectly discuss animal and environmental conservationism. And for anime, Princess Mononoke covers environmentalism fairly effectively. And then there's obviously Avatar. All in all, Captain Planet's just your stereotypical edutainment cartoon series from the 90s, so beyond the environmental message it wasn't a particularly great show. I enjoyed Arthur more, which educated kids in a more interesting and deeper manner. Even today the series hasn't lost its appeal – they even did a well-written and mature episode on autism.
  14. It could be Union Pacific or Canadian Pacific owned freight tracks. Both freight companies operate in Wisconsin, mostly connecting Duluth or Minneapolis to Milwaukee or Chicago. Most of the Midwest is scattered with freight tracks – Chicago is a massive railroad hub.
  15. Both San Jose (where I permanently live) and Santa Barbara (where I go to college) are served by Amtrak's Coast Starlight, which comes once a day in both directions. San Jose is additionally served by three commuter rail lines though: CalTrain (San Francisco-Gilroy), Amtrak's Capitol Corridor (San Jose-Sacramento), and the less frequent ACE (San Jose-Stockton). Santa Barbara is also served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner (San Luis Obispo-San Diego). The track in Santa Barbara is owned by Union Pacific, so occasionally you'll see a UP freight train pass by. If light rail counts, San Jose also has a light rail system called the VTA. Sounds like Denver. The California Zephyr passes through there. Recently, the city invested a ton on revitalizing LoDo and Denver Union Station and rapidly expanding the RTD. And that sounds like Tulsa. Tulsa used to have a train station, but due to the decline of passenger rail transport and the construction of the I-44 the Tulsa-Kansas City passenger line was dead in the 60s. The city was lucky enough to preserve its station; some other cities weren't so lucky and their train stations were either left in disrepair or torn down entirely. Most passenger railroad companies were killed to make way for the highways. Tulsa went highway-crazy like many other American cities and now their downtown is trapped in a mile-sized highway loop and filled with empty parking lots.
  16. This kind of sentiment is dangerous as well. We've all seen how certain politicians can easily twist this into general Islamophobia. People should also realize that while mass shootings are high-profile tragic events, gun violence happens on a daily basis and most of it goes unreported. Any kind of conversation on this shouldn't overly laser focus on mass shootings but gun violence as a whole.
  17. It's around $13.50/hr in USD. Either way, minimum wage usually only tells half of the story of living standards in that region – purchasing power is another important factor. In some places, goods and services can be far more expensive than average, decreasing purchasing power even when minimum wage there is higher. It's $11/hr in California, but that doesn't really help much when in most coastal cities, housing is extremely expensive and you still have to make far more than minimum wage to afford rent.
  18. $12/hr in California, but in the Bay Area it's $15/hr. The cost of living in the Bay Area is so expensive though that you'll need to make several times the min wage or work more than one job to actually afford to rent a house. Housing in the Central Valley is much cheaper and within the grasp of min wage workers there.
  19. I believe Rarity would be more of pony who appreciates the older architectural styles. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is Romanesque, and the Statue of Liberty is Neoclassical. Both architectural styles focus on decoration, varied geometry, and overall grandness. She might be a bit more tolerable to the newer Art Deco that the Empire State Building represents. The WTC is Modernist and Burj Khalifa is futurists and both would be a big "no" for her. Ideally, Rarity would be better represented by the Victorian style, which focuses on ornateness. The Palace of Westminister might suit her more.
  20. Maybe further up north into the Pacific Northwest, or even go into Canada and live in British Columbia. Or maybe back to Taipei, Taiwan. The climate's mostly tolerable, and I won't feel too out of place living in these places. Plus, the Northwest is known for being bike and fairly transit-friendly.
  21. Don't really need to bring any sort of technology, but germ theory and pasteurization would vastly improve the quality of life of ancient civilizations and significantly extend their citizens' life expectancy.
  22. Ideally Sanders or Warren. I have no love for Biden or Booty Judge Buttigieg who continue to cling onto 90s Third Way centrism, and Harris is too sketchy for my tastes. Bill Weld or John Kasich (who hasn't completely declared candidacy yet)? Bill Weld is actually not a nutjob and supports LGBT rights and abortion, and he has done decently well when he was formerly MA's governor. He's also much friendlier on undocumented immigrants than Trump is. John Kasich is also somewhat alright with a good track record as Ohio's governor and is a bit closer to what Republicans originally were when they were sane conservatives and not Tea Party/alt-right crazies.
  23. It is noticeable in other genres as well. Rap rock was a thing in the 90s, with bands like Rage Against the Machine (with an anarchist touch), Kid Rock, and Limp Bizkit. Red Hot Chili Peppers also dabbled in it in the 90s, though it still shows in By the Way. It ended up dying along with nu metal by the turn of the 21st century. And now in recent years, trap has become more prevalent and the increased popularity of music platforms online has led to "SoundCloud rap" entering the mainstream. Even music today has changed quite a lot compared to music in the 2000s. Emo has faded out of popularity – My Chemical Romance has disbanded, Fall Out Boy has moved to pop-punk, and Panic! At the Disco has moved towards baroque pop. And while grunge had died in the 90s, post-grunge died in the 2000s – it had ended up over-saturating the radio stations and people didn't like it for watering down grunge too much. Notoriously bad bands like Creed and Nickelback certainly didn't help.
  24. And it depends on a lot on the context. While I do like heavy metal and hard rock, there are times that playing it can feel out of place, even in an action movie. Sometimes a bit of classical or smooth jazz would fit the scene if the protagonist is a skilled but well-refined assassin. Or some EDM if a person is shooting some mafia goons at a nightclub.
  25. If you know a little bit about Roanoke, it's a lot more interesting than just a free-standing star as it was also instrumental the Confederacy during the American Civil War, along with the merger of the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad under William Mahone, an ex-Confederate general turned railroad executive, after the war. Due the the 1873 Panic, however, it was closed and merged into Norfolk and Western (which was based in Roanoke until 1982, when they merged with the Southern Railway), which today is Norfolk Southern, one of the largest freight train corporations in East Coast. Unfortunately, the newly merged Norfolk Southern relocated to Norfolk, which left Roanoke in the dust. Along with the decline of the coal industry, the city started bleeding its population until the 21st century. It can be said that Roanoke was founded and built by the railroad. Recently, Amtrak service has returned to the city, and the city has been making a comeback, with people returning back to the city and the downtown experiencing revitalization. Also, Roanoke had a vibrant black community, Gainesboro, in the early 20th century. Sadly, the I-581 was built in the 50s right through the neighborhood as part of an "urban renewal" project, which effectively gutted the neighborhood. Only a small portion of it on Henry Street still survives to this day.