UPDATE: Boom

I don’t feel so bad that I’ve let these past few weeks pass without a new post. I’m proud of this year’s Rule of Three, and I’ve seen great discussion come from it both here and on social media. These articles deserve the room to breathe, and I thank you, sincerely, for reading my crap!

However, I didn’t intend to let the site languish. I have some other article ideas in mind, including one you might actually enjoy! The problem is that a few weeks ago, I was rear-ended at a traffic light. I was at a complete stop. Another vehicle hit me from behind, and the driver admitted his was using his cellphone and not paying attention to what he was doing.

Pretty cut and dry, but my brand new car is smashed up pretty good, and I sustained a neck injury that I hope is minor but which my doctor is reluctant to be so optimistic about.

I do intend to post more stuff. Great stuff! And soon! But I wanted to apologize for the unexpected downtime. I spend 8-10 hours each day sitting and writing at work, and while I never mind coming home to write for another few hours, my neck feels far better when I lie down, so I’ve spent most of my free time doing that.

My goal, however, is to have a new post ready for Monday. It’s one I’ve been passively working on for over a month now, so it’s certainly a reasonable goal. I just apologize that for the past few weeks, my car, my neck, and all of the related insurance kerfuffle has taken precedence.

I’m not dead. Ghostbusters ’16 didn’t kill me. I will be back. And when I am back, I solemnly swear to keep writing about things nobody on the face of the planet could possibly care about.

Thank you for your patience.

Rule of Three returns April 1 with Ghostbusters

Well hello! I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks on the big, annual April feature, Rule of Three. That’s my series in which I take a look at three related comedy films, beginning on April Fool’s Day. The second and third entries will post on April 8 and April 15, giving each of them a solid week to breathe and be discussed.

This time around, I’ll be focusing on the three Ghostbusters films. I’ve even added the schedule to the Trilogy of Terror page. (I guess I really should give Rule of Three its own page soon, huh?) While there, you can check out the previous features on Muppet films and Pee-wee films. They’re great articles. I should know, because I wrote them.

We’ll get into Ghostbusters pretty extensively over the next few weeks, so I won’t say much now except that the first two films are quite important to me, and revisiting them through a critical lens was damned interesting. I’m glad I took the opportunity to do so.

The third film, obviously, is a minefield. I don’t know quite what to expect in terms of reaction to my article, but we’ll find out together, I guess. (When a friend of mine learned I was covering the Ghostbusters films, he just said, “Good luck.”) I do get the sense the controversy around that movie has died down to the point that adults are now allowed to discuss it, and I hope that’s the case, because it’s worth discussing. Just not for any of the reasons the film makers — or the film’s detractors — seem to think.

I do have a question regarding this type of feature, though: Do you like knowing ahead of time what I will cover?

In the past, I’ve kept those cards close to my chest. I work on these features in secret, and then blast them out without any prior indication of what they’ll be.

I’ve done this for a few reasons. For instance, I might think I want to cover something, and then realize I don’t have much to say and need to switch topics. Or posting about a topic in advance might stir up some conversation that will then affect the things I do or don’t write about, feeling the need to address what folks have already brought up as opposed to what I’d personally like to say.

Then again, letting readers know ahead of time what to expect means they can seek out the movies to watch for themselves, turning this into more of a communal event. And it gives them a chance to get their thoughts together ahead of time, so that they can leave comments and participate in the discussion without relying on hazy memory.

So, hey, you’ve got a week. Dig out your copy of Ghostbusters. It’s worth it.

This time around, I revealed the Rule of Three topic (or rather posted a very obvious hint) to the Noiseless Chatter Facebook page. Now I’m announcing it here, just shy of a week in advance. The world kept spinning, so I’m considering doing that for future features.

What do you think? Do you prefer the surprise of showing up on April 1 to find a new post on an unknown topic? Would you rather know in advance? Or do you literally have no opinion one way or the other? (UNTHINKABLE)

Let me know. I’m curious. This is one of those situations in which I don’t think I can come to the “best” answer on my own. I need to hear what you guys and gals prefer, and I can easily make my own arrangements from there.

Anyway, enjoy your week. I’m getting these three features edited and formatted, and I’ll see you here on Sunday, April 1, for the extensive writeup on 1984’s Ghostbusters.

It will be the only film in the series we’ll all agree on.

See you then.

Update: Prostrate

I was off to such a good start this year with regular posts! Oh well. Nothing lasts forever, least of all a consistent upload schedule at Noiseless Chatter.

I’m not dead, though that becomes a bit more appealing a prospect by the day! I’ve been struck with a particularly nasty flu, for the second time this season. (The first was right around Christmas.) It’s not pleasant. I have indeed been working on a couple of posts, one of which is the final installment of Fight, Megaman!, but I certainly don’t have anything in a publishable format quite yet.

That will change. I’m much better today than I was yesterday, and so on down the line. I’m just not totally recovered yet.

Do stick around. There’s lots of fun stuff to come, including this year’s Rule of Three, in which I’ll take extended looks at three related comedy films. So far I’ve covered two series of films that were very important to me growing up, and this time around will be no different in that regard. I look forward to writing them, sharing them, and reading your comments. Especially when it comes to the third film in the series, but…we’ll get there soon enough.

So, yes, I’ve been doing far more hallucinating than writing lately, but you ain’t rid of me yet.

Update: Xmas Vacation

I’m sure I should have posted this a while back, AND I MEANT TO OKAY, but I’ll be taking some time to myself around the holidays. I’ll be back with my traditional year-end post and all, just in time to get all mushy for my birthday, and you know how the cycle goes by now.

But I wanted to provide a few updates and items of note.

– This year’s Xmas Bash! was, I’m around 90% sure, our most popular yet. I was a bit sad during the stream because I saw a number that I assumed represented the amount of viewers…and it would have been by far the lowest ever. That’s okay, of course, and what matters is that the folks who do attend — however many or few they happen to be — enjoy themselves. After the fact, though, I logged into the dashboard and saw that we actually had the largest number of viewers since I’ve been paying attention to that. (I’m assuming the “low” number just represented the folks who registered for a chat account.) It’s possible that the first Xmas Bash! was still the most densely attended, simply by virtue of it being on Twitch…but I honestly don’t know. This may have surpassed that. And I appreciate everyone who took the time to tune it. I genuinely could not be happier with how it turned out or the fun we had. Thank you for spending the holiday with me.

– We also brought in around $1,000 for Emily Suess, which is incredible to me. Thank you so much to everybody who donated to help her pay her medical bills. And, of course, if you choose to donate later: thank you, as well. It feels great to be able to help such an important human being. Thank you.

– I know I promised reviews of Red Dwarf XII and I posted exactly one, so that I could disappoint you to the strongest extent possible. The series just happened to debut at a time that made it difficult to write about. I was busy at work, drained at home, and posting my annual Trilogy of Terror here, so it didn’t quite work out. Rest assured, though, I’ll review the other five episodes, and likely pretty soon. Also rest assured that I disliked most of them. Yay!

Fight, Megaman! is on a brief holiday break, which I more or less planned on purpose. After all, the actual series took a break after the eighth numbered entry, so leaving a little bit of breathing room before the comeback that is Mega Man 9 feels right. In fact, I have my review of Mega Man 9 written and ready to go. I only had the final review left to write…and, as you know by now, Capcom announced Mega Man 11 in the meantime. What’s more, this upcoming game seems to do a lot of new things and isn’t just another retro throwback. So I’m pretty glad I waited, otherwise I would have ended my reviews by saying HERE IS WHERE MEGA MAN ENDED FOREVER only for Capcom to prove me wrong instantly. (I prefer to be proven wrong no sooner than one week after I say something.) So, yeah. I’m not quite sure how Mega Man 11 will affect the review series, or the book I’m planning, but I’ll figure it out.

– And, finally, I mentioned earlier this year that I was hired as a freelancer for The AV Club. If you paid attention to that at all, you certainly know by now that it didn’t actually happen. I didn’t plan on talking about the experience, preferring to just let it quietly die, but since they recently burgled my site for uncredited screengrabs I figure, what the hell. Stay tuned and I’ll write up that particular slice of misery.

Thank you all for reading, as always. I appreciate every one of you, especially the person who only ever comments to tell me what I’m wrong about. It means a lot. This year has been the most difficult one I can remember, and knowing I have a platform to reach such fantastic people — whether or not I actually make effective use of that platform — is beyond value to me.

I’ll be back soon. Until then, hug your loved ones.

October News! Updates! Features!

Happy October! I know, it’s weird, I didn’t expect to live this long, either.

October is one of the months I look forward to most on Noiseless Chatter, and I really hope you do, too. We’ve got a lot coming up, and so I wanted to take a moment to let you know how the coming weeks will unfold.

– Trilogy of Terror: Oh yes. Trilogy of Terror is one of my favorite features to write, and though we’re only into its third year of existence, the feedback and traffic I get from it tells me you enjoy it, too. Each year I write longform essays about three related horror films in the weeks leading up to Halloween. I’ve got some truly memorable ones for you this time around, along with a theme I very much hope you’ll find as fascinating as I do. I have the first two posts drafted already, and just need to take screenshots to finish them off. I’m thrilled to get to share these with you. What films will they be? You’ll have to tune in and find out. The first installment goes live on Oct. 17, the second on Oct. 24, and the third on Oct. 31. I hope you’ll join me.

Red Dwarf: Red Dwarf is coming back again! Since I’ve reviewed the previous two series on this blog, I figure I might as well do this one, too. I’m not exactly sure when it starts — evidently the online premiere dates still aren’t determined? — but I’ll be here, reviewin’ and stuff. Series X was pretty awful with moments of greatness and series XI was pretty great with moments of awfulness, so I have genuinely no idea what to expect from series XII. Maybe the vending machines will have sex.

– Fight, Megaman!: Another of my favorite features is Fight, Megaman!, but that has a rapidly expiring shelflife. I’ve already covered eight of the 10 games I’m going to look at, and I actually just have the final review left to write. We’re almost to the end of the journey…except that I’ve decided to do something a bit more than I’d originally planned. After Fight, Megaman! is complete, I’m going to flesh out my analyses even further, correct a few things, elaborate on a few other things…and publish it as a book. The book will even feature many games I am not covering here, such as Mega Man & Bass, the Game Boy titles, and various spinoffs. I’ll keep you posted as this progresses, but I hope this is something that satisfies everyone. If you don’t want to buy anything, you still get the entire feature, as promised, here for free. If you do want to buy a book, you get some nice bonuses for your money, and hopefully some cool artwork. Stay tuned.

– Fight, Megaman X!: And, hey, speaking of spinoffs…a number of you have asked if I’ll cover the Mega Man X series next. The answer has to be no; I’m not as familiar with or in love with that series as I am with the classic style games. But we will be covering them here after all! Friend of the website Samurai Karasu will pick up when Fight, Megaman! leaves off. I’m very much looking forward to reading those along with you.

– 5th Annual Xmas Bash!: We’re talking about all my favorite Noiseless Chatter things today. The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! is coming soon. I’ll post details as soon as I have them, but you can expect another five hours of forgotten Xmas specials, holiday commercials, bizarre Christmas music videos, the best live chat on the internet, and so much more. I’ve made a lot of progress putting the stream together already, and after I finish Trilogy of Terror, work will start on that in earnest. If you’ve joined us before, I hope you can make it out again. And if you haven’t…really, come on now. It’s a live stream of vintage Xmas dreck, commentated in real time by people much funnier than me. (Such as you!) Be there!

– Choose Your Own Advent: Last year I debuted a Choose Your Own Advent feature, in which I published an essay about a different novel every day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 24. I have an idea for bringing the feature back this year…but it will really come down to how much time I have. My fingers are crossed, but obviously my priority will be the Xmas Bash! Therefore, if this is a feature you really want to see again…speak now!

Anyway, that’s just a taste of what to expect, and an excuse for me to gush a bit early about Trilogy of Terror. It’s going to be great, and I’m excited to hear your thoughts on what I’ve chosen to exhume this year.

I’ll see you soon!

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