Black Lives Matter

On May 25th, a 46 year-old black man named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. The cop, Derek Chauvin, choked Floyd against the pavement with his knee for over eight minutes until he died. In full view of cell phone cameras. While other officers looked on and did nothing.

Without that cell phone camera, George Floyd’s story would have ended there. Not only was Chauvin not fired immediately, it was only after nationwide protests in nearly every major city — protests that police have uniformly and predictably escalated into brazen violence — that he and other officers were finally charged with Floyd’s murder.

And through all of this, the police have done everything in their power to deflect blame, avoid accountability, and provoke an already tense situation into a violent one. So far, we have seen police:

We wish it ended there.This is just over the past nine days.

Policing is utterly broken and is entrenched in an oppressive and racist system that has rarely gotten more than a finger-wagging and empty moralizing from politicians in either political party. George Floyd’s murder is part of a pattern of racially targeted abuse and murder that goes back over a century. The cops act with brutal impunity because they know they will not be held accountable. They do it again, and again, and again. And it needs to stop NOW.

Radio vs. the Martians! stands unequivocally with the protestors who are putting their bodies and freedom at risk in the heart of a global pandemic to counter the racist murder of George Floyd, and all of the murders and assaults that preceded it. We reject the police violence that transcends this one killing, and call for the entire institution to be rebuilt. The police unions to be busted down, their leadership fired and prosecuted for their part in the escalating violence and assault on protestors. They need to be made fully accountable to the communities they operate in.

We also have no time for the hand-waving and pearl clutching of those who have more anger for a burned police station or a looted store than they do for the dehumanizing and unrepentant racist violence against human beings. Stuff can be replaced. Human lives cannot. If you want to scold someone about violence, tell it to the cops.

As director James Cameron once said when he explained why he made the villainous T-1000 an L.A. police officer in Terminator 2:

Cops think of all non-cops as less than they are — stupid, weak, and evil. They dehumanize the people they are sworn to protect and desensitize themselves in order to do that job.

“A riot is the language of the unheard,” another man once said. And people have been unheard for a long, long time.

To that end, our show is making a $500.00 donation to the Freedom Fund of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. This will be used to bail out those arrested during the protests in Seattle. The cash bail system is an inhumane way for the police to keep people who have not been convicted of a crime locked up if they don’t have the economic privilege to afford their own freedom.

We ask that you make a donation of your own, to this or another organization fighting for racial justice. Take a screenshot of your donation confirmation, post it to social media, and then link to it in the comment below.

Stay safe. Take care of each other. And fuck the police.

Fun Size Episode 49 – Tales of the Quarantine Titans

We continue our remotely-recorded conversation with David Gutiérrez, and grapple with the seedy underside of professional wrestling, and the strange corporate strange-hold that Vince McMahon has on the industry, in the wake of his XFL’s second collapse.

We also talk about the relative quality of children’s media franchises from the point of view of parents. Is refreshes itself much more frequently than stuff aimed at “grown-ups,” but is any of it any good? And what will the art these kids make look like in 20 years?

Hide your clouds, because we’re gonna yell at them!

Fun Size Episode 48 – The New Quarantine Titans

As time bends and brains melts in the heart of the “Quar,” we’re joined by longtime friend of the show and writer for Emmys.com, David Gutiérrez… and things get weird.

We get into everything from circumcising our children to wanna-be movie theater comedians. We try to understand the confusing relationship of rockstar film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and try to figure out when Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford stopped trying to be good at their jobs.

Finally, we try to retroactively fix the Rambo franchise (and action/revenge films in general) into something a bit less racist and burdened with conservative “white guy baggage.”

Fun Size Episode 47 – Quarantine Titans Go!

On this “very special episode,” we continue our remotely-recorded chat with Joe Preti, as we try — try, mind you — to talk about stuff that’s making us happy during the Time of “the Quar.”

From the wholesome joys of the new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch, to the Aardman claymation goodness of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, we’re looking for something positive in a world gone weird and scary.

We talk about a Charles Bronson movie where he’s an aggrieved watermelon farmer looking for revenge, and look in on Joe watching Beverly Hills 90210 for the first time. And we battle it over that immortal question: what’s better? 90210 or Saved by the Bell?

Fun Size Episode 46 – Quarantine Titans

We’re back! Sort of…

In a special remotely-recorded quarantine edition of the show, we sit down with Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast to pine for long lost sources of food, like the cafeteria at Joe’s work and a couple of local sandwich shops.

We ask: has the quality of McDonald’s food gotten worse since we were kids, or were we blinded by a child’s epicureal standards? Has junk food in general gotten worse?

We also talk about how good Adam Sandler movies could be if only he tried. And Batman v. Superman comes up, and… we just can’t not.

Mike Joins Ryan Daly on his Showcase Gene Colan Podcast!

Crom and Mithra! Mike returns to the Hyborian Age of Robert E. Howard on Ryan Daly’s Showcase Gene Colan podcast on the Fire and Water podcast network! This time, we’re looking at the legendary comic book artist’s work in Savage Sword of Conan #33‘s tale, “Curse of the Monolith”

It’s a tale of treasure, betrayal, bloody revenge, and a barbarian who just absolutely refuses to die. Seriously, do not fuck with Conan.

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 45 – Nerds Will Always Break Your Heart

We continue our talk with Greg Hatcher and talk about how we’ve been falling out of love with modern pop culture franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Walking Dead, and why it’s totally healthy to just walk away.

Plus, we talk very briefly about Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, and how a toxic fanbase can not only poison your enjoyment of a pop culture property, but it can affect the decisions that producers make in a doomed attempt to please everyone, including the trolls and bigots.

Editor’s Note from Mike: After thinking about it for less than three seconds, Fascism definitely beats out Objectivism in the Bad Ideology Olympics. But Objectivism would still win a medal. Just wanted to correct that dumb mistake said in haste.

Episode 43 – Condorman

He Spies! He Flies! He Death-Defies!

In this month’s Single Serving Selection, we take to the skies above Monte Carlo with Greg Hatcher of the Atomic Junk Shop blog to swoop into Disney’s superhero/spy film that sank at the box office, only to rise again as a cult favorite: 1981’s Condorman!

When bumbling comic book artist Woody Wilkins is chosen for a simple courier mission  for the CIA, he makes an impression on a beautiful KGB agent who wants to defect. Now the only man she trusts to escort her to the West is Woody, who she believes to be a highly skilled secret operative.  Woody agrees to the mission, but only if the CIA will use its resources to turn him into the high-flying superhero from his own comic book: Condorman!

Mike Feels the Power of the Dark Side on Ryan Daly’s Give Me Those Star Wars

Mike joins Ryan Daly’s Give Me Those Star Wars podcast and a murderer’s row of talented pop culture podcasters to dissect a topic that no one has ever, ever talked about, and absolutely no one has strong opinions about: Star Wars. In particular, the first five years of the franchise under the stewardship the Walt Disney Company.

Feelings are purged! Spleens are vented! Catharsis is Found!

And even though it’s been avoided on our own show, Mike gets all of the venom out of his system about The Rise of Skywalker.

Hoo Boy. Here goes nothing…

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 44 – Walking With Dom

We sit down with the notoriously Trek-skeptical Sam Mulvey to give our first reactions to the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Is it what we wanted, and have modern iterations of Trek changed so much — or have become so rigid — that they’re just not for us anymore?

We talk about fake click-bait pop culture new sites, the trend that the lead-ups to movie releases are now even longer than the Presidential election, and wonder why so many fans are seemingly unable or unwilling to see the humanity of robotic and android fictional characters.

Also, Mike makes a desperate attempt to convince Sam that the Fast and the Furious franchise is something he might enjoy.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 22 – True Lies

When he said I do, he never said what he did.

This month, we’re joined by Rebecca Friedman of Ask an Atheist to revisit the always thrilling and often problematic action-spy comedy that reunited Arnold with director James Cameron, True Lies!

To his wife Helen and their young daughter, Harry Tasker is a boring computer salesman, always away on one of his dull business trips. But Tasker has been living a double life as Harry Rinquest, globe-trotting secret agent and counter-terrorism operative for the secretive Omega Sector. But the lies separating Harry’s two lives crumble as Helen is suddenly thrust into a plot involving a Middle Eastern terrorist cell, stolen nuclear warheads, and a beautiful femme fatale. Now Harry must save the world, rescue his daughter and revive his troubled marriage.

Fun Size Episode 43 – Get in a Booth and Pretend to Be Poop

In an episode calling back to us from the near past, we get a little nervous, excited and curious about the then-upcoming Star Trek: Picard. We dig a bit into Trek‘s enduring franchise, both its evolutions and how after almost two decades, is finally moving its timeline forward.

We try to figure out how Wonder Woman and Star Trek Beyond could have gone from very good to great, with the same third act change. We wonder which members of the “Next Generation” crew have the best managerial skills. And finally, we look at how modern audiences — and studios — don’t want to admit that they love inspirational movie heroes.

Hex & Violence Episode 4 – The Latest in Pickling Technology

“That’s Jonah Hex, his own damn self. He’s killed more men than Hell has souls.”

After a long absence, we return with our fourth episode! This time, Mike and Casey claw our way through Jonah Hex’s 1993 Vertigo makeover as a weird western horror character in the five issue mini-series Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo by writer Joe R. Lansdale and artist Timothy Truman!

After being falsely accused of murdering a fellow bounty hunter, Jonah Hex runs afoul of short-tempered townsfolk, embittered Apache raiders, and Doc “Cross” Williams, a murderous snake oil salesman, grave robber, and conjurer who raises the bodies of the dead and bends them to his will — including the corpse of famed Western folk hero, “Wild” Bill Hickok!

JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 65 (+24 this episode)

PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Vote for the Second Panel Episode Topic of 2020!

On our current episode schedule, we produce two full panel episodes of Radio vs. the Martians! every year. Casey moderates one of these discussions, and Mike moderates the other.

Last spring, Mike moderated a talk about Spider-Man. Later in the year, Casey did same for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

For our second panel episode of 2020, Casey will be moderating again. And we’re letting our supporters on Patreon choose what we’re going to talk about!

Our patrons will be able to choose from:

HANNIBAL UNIVERSE Centering on Thomas Harris’ classic ur-bad guy, Hannibal Lecter, the series stems from a quartet of novels about the infamous cannibal serial killer, and the FBI agents who pursue him. The series has spawned five films, a brilliant television adaptation and a 100 million terrible Anthony Hopkins impersonations.

 


ZATOICHI THE BLIND SWORDSMAN – A wandering masseuse in Japan’s feudal period, Zatoichi is a blind man with a big heart and extraordinary swordsmanship helping right what once went wrong among the exiles and outcasts. Zatoichi was played exclusively by a single actor through 26 films, 100 episodes of a TV series, in a career spanning almost twenty years. The Blind Swordsman became a familiar samurai trope and legendarily revered Japanese character.

SEGA – The notorious underdog in the console wars of the 1990s, Sega went head-to-head against the House of Mario for over two decades. From the early arcade days, to resurrection of console gaming in the mid-80s and into the new millennium, Sega’s inventiveness and sheer moxie won over millions of adolescents before quitting the console market. But, the legacy of Sega’s IP (Hey, kids, you remember Sonic the Hedgehog, right?), their classic hardware design and their bad boy attitude survive.

NINE INCH NAILS – A new experiment: talking about music! The band that launched Industrial into the mainstream, Nine Inch Nails. Evolving their sound from synth-drenched new wave through the grunge rock era and coming into its own highly experimental heavy pop in the mid-90s, they presaged the death of rock n roll. Constantly experimenting, the band would move to become award winning composers for film and TV.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003) – The remake to end all remakes! Who could have guessed that adapting a middling Star Wars knockoff from the late 70s, weaving together a serialized story about a human diaspora fighting against a race of malevolent robots bent on human extinction and producing it for basic cable could have ever been so good? Borrowing from current events, it was the poster child for smart, engaging science fiction in long form. So say we all!


LOBO – DC Comics’ favorite bounty huntin’ bastich! A Villain-turned-comedic-anti-Hero, Lobo is the wise-crackin’, nigh invulnerable heavy with no time for bullshit. Traveling the galaxy on his flying motorbike, Lobo is a tracker who, once he has accepted a job, must see it through. And woe to the many, many worlds and would-be challengers that run afoul of this immovable object. Raunchy, yet heartwarming, foul yet funny, Lobo embodies a corner of the DC Universe that’s been largely untouched in the current wave of big screen  adaptations. (Thank Zod for that!)


DENIS VILLENEUVE – French-Canadian film director almost single-handedly holding up the big budget, art house sci-fi film genre. A storytelling “wizard,” his credits include Sicario, Prisoners, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049, his upcoming project is a two-film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. With a unique talent for making critically lauded, idea-driven, R-rated movies, his success so far is both anomalous and inspiring.

It’s not too late to become one of our Patreon patrons and get in on this action! Join us! Even just a buck a month makes you eligible to vote!

Black Ops Episode 19 – Whoa: Keanu Reeves in Theory and Practice [CLIP]

In a discussion recorded back in November, now exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we try to decide in real-time if Terminator: Dark Fate warrants being covered on Podcasta la Vista, Baby! or not.

We talk a bit about our coming post-Arnold future and drop a couple hints at a replacement series. And we mention at least one shelved podcast series idea that we decided to not do.

Is it time for Star Wars, among other franchises, to go away for a while? We talk a bit how major media companies keep trying to recreate the success of lightning-in-a-bottle books and movies to diminishing results.

To unlock this episode in its entirety — and many episodes more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

Join us!