Rocket Bomber - twitter

Last Week on Twitter, the more politics than usual version.

filed under , 18 August 2013, 23:54 by

I was extremely busy at the store this past week, and working some very odd shifts — so I didn’t have as much time to spend online, and (generally speaking) I’ve been bone tired besides. So not only is this list [thankfully?] light, you get this past week’s link round-up both late, and with minimal introduction.

That said — send it:


Multiple Tweets combined for clarity:
“Memo for Santorum: the only governments that claimed Classless societies were all communist …plus Marx made his observations on class while living in 19th Century Germany, France, England… capitalist, gilded age You know what looks A LOT like the Gilded Age these days, Senator? Modern America – Classless society my ass. Bah. Every time one of these congress-critters opens their mouth, it’s like a klaxon argument for better education in America.”

“Let them eat cronuts.” : Revisiting “Amusing Ourselves to Death” in the Internet Age. :

I think it would be more accurate to say that the Internet is still changing music.

“Of all vile beings, we might be the worst.”

Cat Donuts. The best thing since sliced cats? from Japan, with video :

Missed this on Sunday. It’s a good, long read.

Yamato :

The Internet is Made of Cats :

Answer: Yes. Question:

Losing bookstores is a much bigger problem for publishers than it is for readers

So, total train wreck (can’t look away) or self-aware art piece?

Why The Grammar-Nazis Are Literally Wrong

THERE ARE NEIGHBORHOODS OUTSIDE OF BROOKLYN you damn hipsters, and some of *us* could use an indy bookstore, too.

[*smirk*] maybe I should let y’all know I’m Going To Be Launching A New Blog in 2014 *and then do nothing different*

Damn sneaky. Does Marketing contribute to the placebo effect, too?

Terrorist bosses are micro-managing dicks: terror, both international and cubicle in scale.

“The death of live music caused by the migration to records” “The death of movies caused by the migration to TV”

Can we repeal Obamacare and replace it with the Affordable Care Act? [srs question]

Teachers in low-income schools are basically punished for being teachers in low-income schools :

OK, so here’s the script fix for Star Wars Ep7: with Luke as the only living Jedi master the ENTIRE Council is force ghosts :

“If future generations want to know how we got to Big Brother, an endless war on terror, and widespread institutionalized disenfranchisement…”

The Random House Penguin merger is the biggest publishing news of the summer :
via the Passive Voice


[I’m still working on the best presentation/formatting for these posts – I’m afraid I may not be happy with anything until I do a major overhaul of this blog’s CSS and other odd gears under the hood. developing…]

Last week on twitter, multiple fails

filed under , 11 August 2013, 13:29 by

If anything, I spend too much time on twitter (to the detriment of other projects I should be spending the time on) and I probably over-share:

Is every last article I read both insightful and/or funny, and worthy to share? Just because I find a topic fascinating (you know, like the business of retail, or sci-fi anime, or the history of technology) does that mean I get to spam 500 more-or-less random strangers with every link that suits my whim and fancy?

It is also true that when I’m tweeting my own mind (and not just links) I tend to “run at the mouth” and tweet 10 or 20 times in a row, violating the spirit of Twitter’s 140 limit and imposing even further on an uncaring audience.

And of course, Not Every Recipe I Make Needs to Be Liveblogged Via Twitter, and of my many bad habits this is probably the worst (that or, you know, the drinking.)

In college I used to joke that if we did something three times, it becomes a tradition, and if we do it four times that means it’s something we’ve done *forever*. Since many of us (who did go to university) only go there for 4 or 5 years, I suppose that these ‘traditions’ are part of what makes the self-forming communities there, indeed, it may be what part of what defines the community. Otherwise, each annual class of freshmen would be a self-contained phenomenon, and the various clubs would flicker in and out of existence like generations of flies.

So: as this is the fourth link round-up I’ve posted, I guess that means I’ve been doing this *forever*. (You won’t believe me, but yes, the following list was edited and abridged.)


↑… that was my best joke all week. fell flat. my faith in humanity (or at least the fan base) was betrayed.

Small, savvy player in perfect position to disrupt large, complacent establishment co. — “Walmart’s worst nightmare”

Wal-Mart’s New Goal: Sell All the Beer

I didn’t intend to get on a wal-mart-kick today, but that’s what I keep finding in my feeds :

“The article claims that Aldi is so good at selling cheap goods that WalMart couldn’t compete with it in Germany.” :

Follow-up: more on Trader Joe’s – “Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 per square foot, more than double Whole Foods”

OK: so *I* know DC’s response to the Marvel Multiverse was and is Timm/Dini/DC Animation starting in 1992 — kinda/sorta waiting for WB/DC to come to the same realization

[yes, at this point in the exercise I realize that last link is both topical and self-referential]

This Week on Twitter, the just the links edition.

filed under , 4 August 2013, 11:01 by

Slight change this week.

If you wanted to follow my every drunken musing and read all the tweets: you’d be following me on twitter. So moving forward, I’ll skip embedding the tweets, skip most of my commentary, and give you a round up of “just” the links.

I’m sure both you and your rss feed will thank me for it.


This Week on Twitter, the Mall Grant College Act of 2014

filed under , 28 July 2013, 19:13 by

Shall the name of this ongoing be “This Week on Twitter” or perhaps the more personal “My Week on Twitter”?


Food for thought. Also, it seems it would be worthwhile for me to edit a bit — perhaps by capping the number of embedded tweets to something less-rss-feed clogging? Not sure what a perfect number would be; more than a top 10 certainly, but 25 seems like too much. [I already edit out the one-on-one twitter conversations, almost all of my retweets, and some-but-not-all-political topics.]

Enough introductory digression. On with the tweets:

This Week On Twitter, An Origin Story

filed under , 21 July 2013, 11:41 by

For those who weren’t already aware, I spend entirely too much time on twitter.

(You, too can follow me, if you dare, at (Why ‘professor’, you ask? My name was taken, my first-initial-last-name was taken, ‘rocketbomber’ — obvious, right? — was taken, ‘beerdisposalunit’ was taken, so like so many of us in the modern age: I had to get creative.) (Of course I’m a professor — that’s what they call people who go to university for more than seven years, right?)

While I often posts rants about work on twitter (or other drunken commentary) for the most part I use the twitter platform to share links. Sharing in real time, more or less; I read something, I tweet the link.

This behavior is fine. (nothing out of the ordinary) But I’ve found that the time on twitter takes away from time spent reading books, watching DVDs, and time spent writing. Still, the investment of time can hardly be considered wasted so long as I’m enjoying myself, and if I can repurpose the tweets into, say, a weekly roundup of links to be posted to the blog…

And so, a new weekly feature. I think this will post noonish on Sundays.

[and no: not every tweet. But most if not all of the links]


That’s it for this week. Is this a worthwhile exercise? tell me in the comments …↓

US Patent Number One

filed under , 15 March 2013, 16:04 by

[so, apropos of nothing: I have a new personal rule. Well, more of a guideline. call it an intention. anyway… If some thought or topic occupies my mind and takes more than 4 tweets to properly express: I really need to blog that. I’m not saying I won’t also tweet it — as twitter seems to be my default habitat these days — *that and Google Reader damn you Google damn you straight to hell* — but if I have that much to say, and that much to link to, then I should be making use of the platform here. So. New Rule]

are you done reading the long intro/aside? good.

There has been some buzz and discussion regarding the recent changes to US patent law, the first real changes since 1952, apparently. Gone is the recourse enjoyed by some inventors, that they actually invented it first (which is kinda bad, I guess, as that makes sense) and instead the new law rewards the inventor who is first to file for a patent. If you’re first to file, and the patent is awarded to you, you’re actually in the clear and don’t have to worry about some garage monkey coming in behind you (after you’ve done the work and paperwork and filing fees and headaches and all that) and ganking your patent out from underneath you. (which is kinda good, I guess)

The new law is the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) [wikipedia link] and yeah, um, whatever – what I actually wanted to do was use this as a segue to introduce to you a totally awesome boardgame.

When I read about the new “first to file” proviso in the 2013 AIA – I was immediately reminded of a super cool board game from CheapAss Games called “U.S. Patent Number One”. The premise of the game is that YOU, the player, have just invented a time machine! Mazel Tov! Having invented the time machine, and having all the time in the world [so to speak] there’s not much else to do… except, of course, to lord it over all the other inventors, ever, by making sure your time machine in fact holds US Patent Number One (hence the title of the game).

However, you’re not the only one to invent a time machine (in fact, you might not even have been first) so now there is a race on to finish your machine and be the first in line at the US Patent Office on July 31, 1790, in order to file for Patent no. 1. And that’s the goal of the game.

The premise and the mechanics of the game are fun (as it mostly involves screwing the other players a.k.a. your friends, over and over again) but that isn’t even why I’m recommending it to you today:

In looking for a link to where one might purchase this fine board game product, I discovered The Game Itself Is Now Free! Go here to see a list of amazing CheapAss board games now available for Free! and here [zip file] to go ahead and download all the PDFs you need to play the game.

It is a tad inconvenient, as you have to print out everything, including the board, but hey! Free!

And maybe with the recent changes in law (and blog posts like this one) James Ernest or CheapAss Games will go to kickstarter (or similar) and try to get a physical copy of the game in print again, for all of us to enjoy

A statement on Digital Bookstores, in 5 tweets.

filed under , 20 October 2011, 12:46 by

In response to a conversation on twitter, where some customers lament that they can’t buy their books from a single digital vendor:

[1of5] I think folks are blinded by the existence of [physical] Book Superstores out by the mall: Yes, BigBoxBooks stocks everything.

[2of5] but they can only do so with the help of dozens of middlemen – book distributors and occasionally the publishers themselves

[3of5] – along with a business model that is neutral to all suppliers and retailers: A physical book once sold can change hands many times

[4of5] Digital not only cuts out the distributors/middlemen, some insist that a ‘book’ is a license: sold once, direct to the consumer

[5of5] So you will never have a *single* digital ‘bookstore’ – the very things you like about the format make such a store impossible.

Good Night, Little Evil

filed under , 22 June 2011, 11:15 by

My, it has been a long, *long* time since I posted poetry to a blog. ;P

And absolutely no one is going to believe me, but I wrote this in real time while posting last night to twitter – which means I can knock out a kids-book-parody in about 18 minutes.

[I kid, I kid: I know it’s hard work]

Anyway, the original tweets: 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8 : 9 : 10 : 11

Time for all the lil’ evil geniuses to sleep

Good night giant robot, with laser eyes and arms that crush
Good night evil minions, whose kung-fu training leaves them bushed

Good night laser moon base, who keeps an eye on every soul
Good night hidden silos, whose missiles wait for special codes

Good night sleeper agents, sleep well, we don’t need you *yet*
Good night all my hackers, rule the night – and the ‘nets

Good night secret lair, in cold volcano’s once warm heart
Good night booby traps, and pits, and blades, and poison darts

Good night secret agent. you’ve been caught, you careless fool.
Good night, little Evil. Sleep and dream, of worlds to rule.


And just a friendly reminder that this, like all my posts to RocketBomber, is released to the vast internets under a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons Licence
Good Night, Little Evil by Matt Blind is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Either You Are With Us Or Against Us

filed under , 25 July 2010, 19:41 by

So, if you happened to join the discussion on RocketBomber just a couple of weeks ago and were under the impression that the blog is just about business analysis with the occasional odd word on retail: thank you. Skip this post, and I won’t have to excuse or explain anything further.

If you’re still with me: I’m about to eat some red meat and swill some beer and get my umbrage out of the storage case – and really rant a bit.


[links below represent, and largely repeat verbatim, posts I made to my twitter account]

I wish there were 3 separate, concise terms for fans-who-like-stuff, fans-who-BUY-stuff, and “fans”-who-STEAL-stuff .

See, a fan or “fanatic” really, really likes something. That is not only their defining characteristic, it’s the only requirement for membership in the fan base.

Some fans watch the show on ‘free’ [ad-supported] network TV or ‘free’ [subscription-and-ad-supported] cable TV, and wonder why, since they saw it for free once, why the DVDs cost so much, or why CN cancelled it, or why Nick only shows it on the Nickelodeon-in-the-high-hundreds distaff sub-network, or why they have to stay up until 1AM (or the ultimate hardship of having to set one’s TiVo) to watch this ‘free’ program.

See, there? “Free” things have costs. All things have costs. Some are dollar costs, some are opportunity costs, some are travel and transportation costs, some are insubstantial: the costs/time required to find it online, the costs/time to educate yourself about the industry, and creators, and the history of manga, anime, cartooning, animated film, animated film brought to television, comics as both an art form and a mass produced consumer product, or the costs/time spent learning the names and relative merits of all 493 Pokémon.

And while “time equals money”, your time spent acquiring knowledge means nothing, it’s only your money that communicates things outside of the internet and across oceans to the creators who are starving in Japan (and, well, subcontractors in S. Korea and China and who knows where next) (and I’ve yet to hear the impassioned call from any fan that they stop exploiting cheap labour from third countries, pay animators a living wage in Japan and elsewhere, and support both artistic integrity and basic production standards because our love of anime will support the higher costs.) (…just sayin’)

If you like it, buy it. It’s that simple.

If you can’t buy it: then you can’t have it.

You know where people get things only because they really, really want them? That’s communism, son. We don’t do communism.

And a whole internet is waiting in the wings with their very own, “Yes, I know, but…

Save it.

Say, you know where people provide goods to those willing to pay money – enough money to cover costs (& with a profit to the seller?) That’s America!

Or more broadly, capitalism. Or even more broadly — for hybrid systems that provide education, health care, and basic needs under a European-style-socialist-safety-net with free trade and capitalist markets for luxuries and other goods, or even nominal-communist countries that still have active smuggling, pirating, and foreign-currency transactions — that’s The Market.

Even in places without “free” markets, there are black and grey markets — where the demand for goods overcomes ideology, philosophy, best intentions — and Marx, Lenin, Mao, Keynes, Friedman, Hayek and all the rest; Economics as a discipline, and as an academic study — are all subject to the universal truth that if I have something you want & I’m willing to part with it, you’re going to have to ‘pay’ for it one way or another.

Ad-supported models spring immediately to mind for the so-called-‘free’ internet: your attention is being sold; even if you don’t value it, there is money to made there.

Mutual exchange models used to proliferate, back in the earliest days: I have video tape X, you have video tape Y & we trade — and when fandoms were still courteous, polite affairs, I might extend something ‘free’ in the name of friendship (a history of past fair dealings) knowing that when you get something new, I’ll be the first person you think of.

A lot of “fans” complain that not enough is being done to specifically cater to their “fandom”, without defining terms or putting a price tag on it.

Oh sure, the only manga that you’d ever consider spending money on is so far out of the mainstream that there’s no way it’d ever be available for sale in a bookstore. Um. Well.

Inubaka? Freakin’ Dog Manga? Viz.

Cooking manga? Viz, Viz Signature, Del Rey — Iron Wok Jan was ComicsOne and when they went out of business it was rescued by DrMaster.

Maids? CMX, Seven Seas, Tokyopop.

Robots? Maid Robots? Butlers? Supernatural possibly-demonic Butlers?

Idols, Pop Stars, Rock Stars, Actors, washed-up idols mentoring ingenues, highschoolers working as managers for other highschoolers who have to cross-dress while not performing to hide the fact that they are entertainment superstars?

Ninja, Wizards & Witches, Guns, School Girls, School Girls with Guns — Eastern-myth influenced, Western-myth influenced, at least five takes on Journey to the West (with both monkey-boy shonen action heroes and bishonen angsty drama included) — Ukes and Semes — Fanboys, Otaku, Fujoshi — budding artists and cute art school students — female shogun and male debutantes — sci-fi of all stripes and a whole load of epic fantasy, reverse vampires, paper masters, time travel, time-travel-romance where our heroine is dislocated to a fantasy/medieval realm where only she can tame the wild warrior(s) and bring peace to either the past, the present, or both?

Blue Space Vampires from Beyond the Moon, replaying 18th century French drama with the barest gloss of futuristic overlay? Sci-fi adaptations of Shakespeare with flying horses, the heroine as an underground freedom fighter and the ruling duke re-imagined as a sentient tree with Ophelia borrowed from Hamlet to serve as high priestess? Space Garbagemen? A Photographer who blows things up when he takes their picture?

I’m not even digging all that deep here. Just some stuff I happen to have on the shelf (plus RomeoxJuliet, which I don’t own but soon will). And I haven’t even mentioned [yet] Afterschool Nightmare, Aqua/Aria, Crest/Banner of the Stars, Kashimashi, Shugo Chara, Someday’s Dreamers, Sundome, VB Rose, Yotsuba&!, Yubisaki Milk Tea or other personal favourites yet.

Dude. Dude. Dude. To claim that, well, “the titles I like just aren’t getting licensed” is to ignore A Freakin’ Bookstore full of licensed, translated manga, and a lot of it is really good, and really-weird-but-really-good, and creepy, and disturbing, and fun (and some of it is bland, and routine, and predictable but still worth reading in some ways) and it’s a lot like any other genre and/or format of books: there’s stuff you really should buy, and stuff publishers would like you to buy, and stuff you almost bought but didn’t [the marketing was off, or it just wasn’t popular, but then when more volumes come out you really wish you’d started buying it earlier]

And then there’s the MMF, where a round dozen reviewers [plus new participants] are telling you each month about a great title (with multiple volumes) that you previously missed, or ignored,

and then there’s the crap:

95% of everything is crap. Of Everything. 95% of the crap you download is crap, except you ignore it because it was free crap, and yet you insist that the market is failing because first, it served up crap for you to pirate (for free, even though others are paying for that crap and you insist that it’s still crap even as you download it) and second, because your highly-trained crap filter is about to overload from all the crap, even though the crap is free and you can’t be bothered to think about your free manga & anime past the reflex response to call it all crap (even though you download it all anyway) and what you call “crap” may in fact be my much beloved Full Moon O Sagashite and who the eff are you to call it crap?

I make fun because I care.

There is an awful lot of passive/aggressive resentment directed at manga/anime [especially the corporate producers] about how it all sucks — and yet they [said fans] compulsively consume everything and also point to how their compulsive consumption somehow makes them *experts*.

If it sucks so bad, why are you arguing with me on news sites, blogs, forums, and occasionally even in the comments on this very [poorly-trafficked] blog?

Why the passion? Whence the passion?


I know the answer already: Manga and Anime are Just That Good.

but you can’t always pay for it. Not what it deserves anyway. and your frustration leads you to blame not your own poverty, or the disconnect between what you can afford and what you want

but to instead blame the whole ‘problem’ [which isn’t a problem, unless you can’t afford licensed content] on the greed of licensees, or the ignorance of the ‘buying’ public [who pay for things, but for the wrong things, in your book] or on “censorous” American publishers who “butcher” your books and censor things outside of the ‘artist’s original intent’

[and actually that’s a fine argument but doesn’t excuse, explain, or exempt piracy]

And really, even before you began reading this post or I began writing it, you already have a position and my attempts at logic or persuasion are for naught:

Either You Are With Us, and you believe buying licensed manga is the best way to not only support the industry but also communicate what we like [through dollars spent] to licensees, licensors, and major publishing companies…

Or you imagine the real world doesn’t run on dollars, but rather some odd construct where desire, good will, unspoken intent, and hit counts on online sites amount to “sales” [no, they don’t] or that enthusiasm and a sheer number of posts about a property contribute to that property’s success [no, it doesn’t] or that your love, a Love so great it compels you to actively campaign against the financial interests of the people who produce your anime & manga, and who do so on the very barest of profit margins, because they happen to crassly ask for money (or who made minor compromises in their pursuit of major market acceptance) (or even just to make a few bucks off of TV) (and which is then a ‘major betrayal’ of the fanbase)

Pray tell: exactly what odd fandom you personally are so ever-loving loyal to that you can’t find anything else to financially support in the wide, wild market?

Really? Yeah, I get that you like things, even things that aren’t translated, but that automatically precludes you liking everything else? Wholly Effin Shiznats, I mean, everything?

One can only defend piracy if the government is specifically censoring the manga you want to read [and not the market, which determines what will sell, but the government, which censors things you want to buy but can’t because otherwise you’ll go to jail]

The fact that some manga are economically unfeasible is a fact of life, and regrettable, but not actionable. The unavailability of some manga is a fact of life, and while you’re welcome to pirate them [if one must read them] that doesn’t translate into an inalienable right and certainly isn’t an excuse. If you chose to obtain these from the Black and Grey markets, recognise you’re breaking the law and do so quietly; don’t make a fuss and be happy you were able to skate underneath the law.

Dear Manga & Anime “Fans”: What, are you communists? Front some $$ or sit down and STFU. — and you’re not fans, you’re whiny, entitled children

I buy a lot. I work at a job where I sell books, and at least in theory, sell manga [though at least a third of all manga sold through my store is just me ‘selling’ books to myself]

Honestly, I don’t want to read a single argument about manga piracy unless the author reveals just how much money they spend annually on manga, and if they don’t, just how they expect the industry to continue while they not only don’t support it but are actively killing it.


Last year I spent $4895 on manga. [just manga]

You don’t have to beat me to have an opinion. but if you’re about to bring up a “I download scalations because the type of manga I like just doesn’t get published” I’m going to require a listing of all the unlicensed manga to which you refer, at least a cursory argument on why currently available licensed [LEGAL] manga doesn’t suit your particular kink, and [at best] a listing of untranslated manga you’ve bought via alternate channels [, for a start] because your love of the art is sufficient to prompt purchases of the manga even if you can’t read it. [yet. one also hopes you’re learning Japanese if you ‘love’ the manga this much]

What? I’m demanding too much?

Honestly, I’m only asking you to pay your way. I’m pointing out that there are legal alternatives. I’m stressing that in the lack of legal alternatives there is still no excuse for stealing. If you want to be an uncaring bastard and pirate content anyway, that’s certainly an option that is available but don’t excuse it, and most certain don’t try to pitch it as either noble or justified, ‘just because you’re a fan’

Don’t give me general arguments about why you pirate manga because it’s ‘not available’. Tokyopop just announced Hetalia Axis Powers — All I need is a Saint Young Men announcement, and I can claim there’s nothing to stop licensees, past money, and market demand.

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