Evolve or Die.

“Why don’t people watch Toonami?”

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In the 90s and early 00’s, Toonami was a block on Cartoon Network. It was responsible for bringing anime into the mainstream in the United States. Popular show like Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragonball Z, and Gundam Wing ran on it until its demise in 2008. That happened on my birthday. It was revitalized and retooled into a late Saturday night block for Adult Swim in May 2012.

My brother watches the new Toonami every week. He came up to me a bit miffed last week. Toonami‘s time had been cut in half. Now it was only three and a half hours. He wanted to know why people rallied on Twitter to bring it back but didn’t seem to be watching. It was going to die again! He even pointed a finger at me. He said that I was an avid fan of all things Dragonball (except GT). I had numerous action figures and video games. I had watched the series multiple times. Yet I do not watch Dragonball Kai on Toonami.

Here’s the answer I couldn’t give you before; Nostalgia only goes so far.

Like you said, I’ve seen Dragonball Z in its entirety (291 episodes!!!) many times. Why would I go out of my way once a week to watch it again? I’m certain other people have that exact same feelings. They are not starved for the content like they were when they were children. When the internet was younger, Toonami thrived on bringing foreign animation to the masses. Tape trading was around, but not everyone knew someone who could get them anime.

So Toonami used to be the place to get your anime fix. But times are different. The internet is faster. If you’re a huge Dragonball fan, you’ve bought all the DVDs or used illicit methods to get the content. It’s nice to tune in every once in a while to remember those old times when Goku and Freeza fought for five minutes in three episode, but beyond that I don’t have much interest.

What Toonami needs to not die isn’t to dig up the past or appeal to nostalgia. They have new shows, but they need more. They to evolve. You evolve or die.

Kill La Kill‘s English dub just came on . It ended in Japan slightly under a year ago. Anime fans are not patient nor reasonable people. Not many people will wait a year . I know the process of dubbing is long and takes money. But If Toonami is to thrive, the dub has to be out quicker. The best way to drive interest is to have exclusive content that people can only get from you.

In an ideal situation, the dub is out the next Saturday after the Japanese airing. A killer original show would do worlds for them. If Toonami could fund and air an animation on par with Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead, they’d be beating off viewers with a stick.

So there you go, bro. My answer.

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The Guys Who Finish Last

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This post was inspired by Scott Alexander’s Radicalizing the Romanceless. Scott Alexander writes these articulate very well-researched and rational essays. If you have a spare half hour, I urge you to check out this article and his entire site.

Now for the galactically feared, globally reviled, universally despised – Nice Guys

WORKING DEFINITION

Let’s define Nice Guy.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition (Number One on Google).

“A nice guy is an informal term for a teenage or adult male who is gentle, compassionate, sensitive and vulnerable.”

Here’s geekfeminism.wikia.com’s definition. (Number Two on Google Search)

“Nice Guy™ is a term in Internet discourse describing a man or teenage boy with a fixation on a friendship building over time into a romance, most stereotypically by providing a woman with emotional support when she is having difficulties with another male partner. “

The first one is the one I’ll be using for discussion. This was close to my own personal definition. The fixation on friendship aspect is foreign to me.

THE ORIGIN

Where do Nice Guys come from? What causes a young man to go down the dark trail of being nice for romance?

Shyness, introversion, and lack of self-esteem. If you’re not good at communicating with people, you might drift towards relying on being nice to entice potential partners. Nice guys might also be practicing The Golden Rule. They would like a girl who is pleasurable to be around and shows interest in them and so they do the same to girls they like. A personal example of this, I once left love poetry in this girl’s locker that I liked in high school. If she had done the same for me, I’d have been over the moon. But that was not what she wanted.

Parents should always bare the blame for everything that happens ever. A teen boy could go home and get love advice from his mother. She might instill her son with what she values in a partner rather than what girls his age value.

I’d also say society is unsure of what the contemporary man should be. We’re trying to help women take center stage after being shafted for far too long. Traditional gender roles break down. Where does that leave men? What is expected of you as customs and culture change? I have yet to get a definitive answer to this. This lack of knowing trickles down into dating. What role are you supposed to play? Some men can’t figure it out.

It also might be in the nature of the guy because he’s a genuinely nice emotionally sensitive person.

CONFLICT

“She’s just hit the nail on the head with what bothers me about the Nice Guy (TM) rhetoric, those whines from some men about how it’s so unfair that women won’t flock to be with them when he’s a “decent” bloke who doesn’t do nasty things to women, and what more do they want? Well, colour us as unreasonably demanding, but women do tend to want a little bit more than a guy who simply refrains from being nasty like it’s some great sacrifice.

These whines that this young woman refers to stem from shattered expectations of young guys. They were nice to girls and then were shockingly rejected. And then it happened again. Maybe even a third time after that. So now they have to answer a question. Who is to blame for these rejections? Women or themselves?

Women get the blame by a lot of dudes. They develop toxic opinions about women. Women-blamers are on a lot of dating websites. He’ll greet a girl with a nice message. He’ll do it twice. If there’s no response, fuck her, yet another stupid stuck up bitch. She’ll get a nasty last message. He’s entered the dangerous loop where women push him away because he’s bitter and he’s bitter because women push him way. I wonder what happens to these sort of guys….

Some guys blame themselves and use it as motivation to be better. They’ll start working out. Others give up because they think women aren’t worth any additional effort. I had a conversation with one of my younger cousins about that. He’s around fifteen. I asked him if he was talking to any girls. And he said no, they’re not worth his time. I laughed as he was so young to be that cynical about romance.

And others just complain.

“I’m a nice guy. I treat women right. Why can’t I catch a break? I’d be a good boyfriend. Give me a chance.”

These dudes think girls wanting more than a nice guy is an unreasonable demand. I get why. Everyone says so, even some women. Movies and television say the good guy gets the girl. Writers love this story. It’s so easy to write. That’s why you see it all the time. The virtuous man gets love and every man has an equal chance at it.

But love is inherently unfair. Nobody is an equal opportunity lover. People love with regard to race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and a lot hell of a lot more. Virtuosity is not taken into account until later if it is taken into account at all.

Why would society lead these men to believe one thing when another is true?

Because girls are supposed to want the virtuous man. But they’re people and they aren’t a certain way. I get their frustration with the situation. Having to bring guys down to reality and being hated just for not being attracted to someone. It gets worse when some of these nice guys aren’t as nice as they advertise as I mentioned above.

SOLUTIONS

The tension on both sides is palpable once anyone mentions a Nice Guy. How can things be smoothed over? What should be done with Nice Guys? Like most dating/relationship issues, there is no smooth solution. I have nothing.

Because if you give someone advice on what women want, you don’t have any authority to do so. Not even women can tell you what a particular girl wants or needs from her partner or what you may need to do. It’s hard to articulate exactly what you want. There’s a lot that words fail. It’s very much on the person to pick up signals. You can’t coach that.

So no solution. Life sucks for some people.

Maybe I’ll have a solution to this in 2020.
—-

My Cold Shower

My second-favorite scene (My Finale’s ending montage beats this out) from one of my favorite shows, Scrubs. This was so heart-wrenching at the time. I’m glad JD and Elliot ended up together in the end. But at the time, I’ll admit I teared up. It was one manly tear.

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The Zone

For Day Two of Valentine’s Week here on Cynic No More, I’m going into a familiar place for a lot of people. It’s caused a lot of pain, grief, and allowed trite quotes to be liked on Facebook.

The Friend Zone.

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Note here. When I say the word “men” or “women” always assume that I don’t mean all men and all women. Goes without saying but that I’d say it either way.

I. THE SITUATION

If somehow you don’t know about or been a part of this phenomenon, let me give to ya real quick.

Two Friends. One starts to develop romantic and/or sexual feelings for the other. The other does not return the feelings, liking things as they are. Leaving the friend with feelings in a situation

There are variations to the story. Some people wanted romance the entire time but felt more comfortable being friends before hand. Others develop feelings as time went on.

This is a rather sucky well-known situation that has led to many vitriolic blog posts from men and women alike. MTV made a television show out of this.

Much of the frustration comes from the passing of the burden of the feelings. Guys complain about friend-zoned all the time. Women feel attacked for not being interested in someone. Or they see the friendship was a ruse set up to trick her into sex.

The usual way it goes is it’s the guy getting friend zoned. I don’t doubt that happens to women, but it appears to be rarer. My female friends have never mentioned being in the friend zone to me. I never overheard the girls in the front of my homeroom back in high school talk about this as I eavesdrop. They more vented about men wanting only sex without commitment. Perhaps women are more likely to keep these happenings to themselves? Or just not share them with me?

II. OUTCOMES

Quite a few ways this can end.

The Guy Remains the Genuine Friend
The most agreeable ending. The guy recognizes they’re incompatible. He stays in touch and is happy to see her pursue love in other places. Their friendship remains strong. His feelings dissipate or kept in check for the sake of the friendship.

Image: FILE PHOTO: 70 Years Since The Casablanca World Premiere Casablanca

The Guy Cuts Off All Contact
See ya later! The friendship is over! The guy decides he’s not going to suffer and watch a person he loves, love someone else. I had a co-worker who went off about this during late-night shifts. She was a little socially awkward and was bullied by the girls at her school. So she opted to get guy friends. Without fail, all of them fell passionately in love with her. Upon her rejection of them, they all hit the road. They took away their late night texting sessions. They stopped their Skyping. They pretend like they didn’t know her.

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The Guy Plots
Some day he will escape this zone and her love will be his! The guy who remains the friend for today and plots his rise to romantic partnership silently in the shadows. Rarely works out.

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The Girl Ignores
He just couldn’t get the clue. Maybe she felt he betrayed her trust by pursuing her. Maybe she realized he wasn’t that great a friend after all. Ignored. Blocked. Removed from the Steam Friendlist.

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Mutual Split
It’s painful for both of them and so both decide to never see each other again. The downer.

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They Get Together
The girl decides why not give it a chance? The relationship works. This is the cutest outcome. Genuine love. Every time I see this happen for someone, I start giggling on the inside. Story tellers adore this ending.

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III. CONCLUSION

The drama here is that there is no real compromise between friendship and romantic relationships. A suitable in-between would shut everyone up. Friends with benefits is not it. I have not seen that go anywhere good. If you try to trickle down some romance into friendship, that begs a simple question. Why don’t you just date them?

I don’t think anyone should date someone due to pressure but neither should someone be a part of a friendship that isn’t fulfilling for them. There are limits to friendship. To desire more from a person is not wrong. Wanting to be the one who makes their beloved’s eyes light up and their heart melt is an admirable desire.

The Friend Zone breeds negativity. Close friendships end. People become bitter. Some develop toxic thoughts about the other gender.

All because a friend liked a friend more than they ought to.

Dating Pool

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/feb/01/looking-love-wrong-equations-mathematics-sexual-partners

This is an article about using math to find love. Mathematician Peter Backus estimated his number of potential parters by setting up the following criteria.

1. How many women are there who live near me? (In London; 4 million women)

2. How many are likely to be of the right age range? (20%; 800,000 women)

3. How many are likely to be single? (50%; 400,000 women)

4. How many are likely to have a university degree? (26%; 104,000 women)

5. How many are likely to be attractive? (5%; 5,200 women)

6. How many are likely to find me attractive? (5%; 260 women)

7. How many am I likely to get along well with? (10%; 26 women)

26 women in the world for Mr. Backus. Rough pickings.

The author of the article stated that Backus was limiting himself too much. She ran the numbers with less strict criteria and came out to a thousand potential partners. I loved every bit of this. I know that it’s bad to create a checklist when looking for a partner, but I’m intrigued by this estimation process. I like numbers. and I’m not currently looking so it doesn’t hurt to make criteria so long as I don’t take it to heart.

So why not make my own equation for my potential partners?

1. How many women are there who live near me? (New Jersey; 4.5 million women)
Half the population is women. About the same number of women live in London as New Jersey, which is crazy.

2. How many are likely to be of the right age range? (19-26)(8%; 360,000 women)
This age range seems fair. While 18 is legal, that’s too close to high school for my liking. I picked 27 as the cutoff because that sounded old.

3. How many are likely to be single? (50%; 180,000 women)
Approximately half of women are single. Straight forward.


5. How many are likely to be attractive? (15%; 27,000 women)

This was a far more difficult. I wish I knew what the mathematician meant by attractive. Girls you find pretty? Girls you find hot? Girls that aren’t repulsive physically? Does he include average women? I stuck with his percentage.

6. How many are likely to find me attractive? (15%; 8100 women)
This one is harder to know. Unless I survey a sample size of women, I can’t figure that out. So again I stuck with his assessment.

7. How many am I likely to get along well with? (0.02%; 16.2 women)
I picked 1/1000. Don’t know if that’s too high or too low. It does feel very rare for me to get along extremely well with someone regardless of gender. 1/1000 is rare.

The final tally is 16 potential partners in the entire world. I think I might have made a mistake here or there.

Oh well. It’s only an estimation.

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Vertigo

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I’ve been trying to increase my cinema I.Q. by watching one hundred of the greatest movies ever. I’m about forty movies in. I took a break after Thanksgiving as I became very busy. I settled back in with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

I’ve seen this movie called the greatest movie of all time. It’s consistently in top 10 lists that I find online. This is the only movie of the forty or so I’ve seen thus far that I was disappointed by. That’s not to say that this was a poor movie, but I saw nothing meriting it to celebrated above films such as Tootsie, Godfather, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia or, Some Like It Hot. The movie kept my attention for the duration.

I expected a detective mystery from the opening scene so I paid more attention to the details of the plot. It wasn’t until around the halfway point that I realized it was a tragic love story. From what I gather, it’s a movie that is more appreciated with subsequent viewings after you know the ultimate outcome. I’m hoping to see what those top critics across the world see when they view this film.

I could also attribute my lack of amazement to the non-conventional nature of the plot. I stop movies every 30 minutes and take note of all the plot information that was delivered in that time. I try to keep a mental idea of scene length and frequency. This movie is too different for a standard breakdown.

I want to see something more modern so I’m deciding between watching Raging Bull and Annie Hall. I’m leaning towards Annie Hall as I have not seen anything of Woody Allen’s yet.

The World’s Oldest Profession

So the other day I’m vacuuming my house and moving around furniture, and this question surfaces to the top of my mind. It might have been because Law and Order:SVU was on.

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Why is prostitution illegal? Why does the government need to stop two consenting adults from having sex if money is exchanged?

A person can pay two people to have sex on tape for a porn video. The government has no issue there. They’ll gladly take their tax money. But if you take the camera and director away, the government now has their eye in that bedroom. If there is an exchange of money, someone is going to prison.

Strip clubs exist. Money can be exchanged for sexual arousal. You can pay to gaze at naked women swinging around on poles. And in the back, you can pay more for an erotic lap dance with sexual contact.

What is it about penetrative sex that the government has a problem with? What is there to fear about legalized prostitution?

With that industry regulated, sex workers are now safer. They are now protected by the government and away from their dangerous pimps. Their clients are no longer criminals sneaking around in the dead of night. Sexually transmitted diseases won’t be a problem for either party if the government is able to give regular tests. What is there to fear?

Beyond adherence to the morals of religion, I can’t think of a single legitimate reason. But I know brothels will not become commonplace around this country any time soon.

It’s political suicide for anyone to champion this. It might be easier for a female politician, but would any be willing to risk alienating potential supporters? Could they gain ground at the national level fight for legalized prostitution?

Nah.