Black Ops Episode 3 – Sorry, Richard Roeper [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: August 17, 2016

We finally check in with our young friend, Sean Duncan — who had managed to go through life without ever having the ending of the 1973 dystopian science fiction movie, Soylent Green spoiled for him. Truly a remarkable feat.

He’s now seen it and lets us know what he thinks of it. Plus, we talk about the social politics of spoilers.

Black Ops Episode 15 – What Do You Think Alan Moore Did? [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 9, 2019

We chat a bit with Greg Hatcher about Trek, the character of Captain Kirk and why it can be a gift when fictional characters age along with their actors.

We try to navigate the labyrinth of public domain laws to fruitlessly try to figure out what you can and cannot do with with new adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, the Lone Ranger and the Land of Oz, and whether being public domain has produced better material.

And finally, we wax nostalgic for a bygone time when “grim and gritty” was new, and when Alan Moore blew the comic industry’s collective mind by doing a post-modern adult interpretation of a British superhero aimed at children.

Mike Returns to Ryan Daly’s Cheers Cast!

Mike returns again to Ryan Daly‘s Cheers Cast, to dig into the eleventh episode of Cheers‘ third season, “Peterson Crusoe.”

Lovable barfly, Norm gets some terrifying medical news and falls into a deep existential slump. When that news quickly turns out to be merely a flaw in the X-ray machine, Norm’s new zest for life causes him to announce that he’s leaving Cheers forever, to live on a beach in the South Pacific. Chickening out on his dream at the last minute, Norm now has no idea how to let his friends at the bar know that he never left town and is currently subsisting on pretzels and beer nuts, living out of Sam’s office.

Check it out!

Black Ops Episode 1 – Real Sociopaths Work for Goldman Sachs [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 1, 2016

Here is the very first of our special, off-the-books “Black Ops” episodes, recorded back in January of this year with guest Greg Hatcher!

We dig into how morally abhorrent a fictional protagonist can be and not lose your sympathy. And catapulting past our ethical thresholds, we look at the horrific morality of Jack Bauer’s Bush-era enthusiastic torture-palooza!

Plus, we throw a little love at the anti-fascist satire of Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers.

Black Ops Episode 9 – You Are Not a Mistake [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 26, 2018

In what is an ultra-MEGA-sized two-and-a-half hour episode, we really run the gamut.

First, we talk about popular culture we loved as kids, but are afraid to revisit, because we fear it won’t survive adult scrutiny. In Mike’s case that means a series of epic fantasy novels that he suspects both really hold up in some way, and really really really don’t in other.

We then talk about the evolving nature of stand-up comedy and the divergent attitudes of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, and Hannah Gadsby — and how many older comedians seem to desire to be “above” politics or social commentary. Is that even possible or desirable?

Do genre stories like science fiction and superheroes have a responsibility to touch on questions of social and cultural importance? Why do the calls for political neutrality usually seem to mask a right-wing agenda?

We get into bad movie theater experiences that stretches Mike’s aversion to confrontation to the breaking point, and dive into the thorny issues of intellectual property and online piracy.

And finally, things get a bit emotional when we talk about how profoundly powerful and deeply intimate the new documentary about Mister Rogers is.

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

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: December 28, 2019

In a discussion recorded back in November 2019, 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.

Mike Makes a Guest Appearance on Midnight…the Podcasting Hour!

Mike makes his first appearance on Ryan Daly‘s Midnight…the Podcasting Hour to wreak bloody vengeance upon a tale of DC’s favorite murdery ghost! We dissect Adventure Comics #435‘s 1974 horror tale, The Man Who Stalked the Spectre” by Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo.

Hunting a gang of rabid killers, undead detective James Corrigan finds that both he and his ghostly alter-ego are being investigated by a relentless and naive magazine reporter. Add one-part Death Wish to one-part Freddy Krueger and mix liberally until the bad guys have to hosed off the walls!

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 50 – It’s Just the End of the World as We Know It

In our double-sized fiftieth Fun Size episode, in the middle of a global pandemic and nationwide uprisings against systemic and racist police violence, we sit down with Sam Mulvey of KTQA radio in Tacoma, to….talk about something something…

Did we mention that Zack Snyder broke the third seal by announcing the release his own — inevitably underwhelming — cut of a superhero movie you don’t remember? What are the limits of escapism in a real world on fire? Is it even possible to watch a cop show with ungritted teeth anymore? We try to keep it together, and dig through the wreckage for some kind of meaning.

PLUS: a major announcement about the show at the end of the episode!

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.

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.