Logan: finally, after 17 years

LoganThe number 17 has been a significant number in my life. I was born on the 17th, as was my husband. He asked me to be his girlfriend on his birthday, which made our dating anniversary the 17th. My line number upon becoming a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is 17. Our now wedding anniversary is August 17th, but that was done intentionally. My son was due March 25th, we thought “wouldn’t it be great if he was born on the 17th?”, but he wasn’t. He was born on the 14th…March 14th…..3/14…..3 + 14=17!!!!!! So I guess it was fate that I had to go through 17 years of waiting, until I was finally able to see a worthy Wolverine film. Don’t get me wrong he has been in some awesome X-Men films, but the solo Wolverine movies have been less than stellar. Thursday, we finally saw what all the hype was all about, and it was well deserved hype because Logan was spectacular.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen a movie within a week of its release since become parents. We were debating between seeing “Logan” or “Get Out”, both movies have been all the rage on social media, so I was faced with a choice…. “Do I please my inner nerd or my inner militant pro-black self?” I chose my inner nerd, as I always do when it comes to seeing movies in theaters. I prefer to see superhero, action, sci-fi movies in theaters. I’ll catch anything else on Netflix, Redbox, or maybe still the movies if another opportunity presents itself. It might be wrong but, sorry…not sorry.

The movie opened up and showed you what it was going to be all about. Wolverine’s limo was being stolen, while he was in it. He began to brutal beat the foolish cholos down in true Wolverine fashion. There was no sparing of blood and guts. It was completely raw and animalistic. You also saw that he obviously not his normal self, he had trouble retracting his claws and he was taking the beating worse than usual, but even still he was able to easily beat them until the survivors fled for their lives. The raw, goriness was what many Wolverine depictions in the past were lacking. I thought they were going to do it with “The Wolverine”, I never even saw that movie after I read so many abysmal reviews. I know we have the success of  “Deadpool”to thank for the “R” rating. For what ever reason, I’m glad we finally got what we were asking for.

For all the energy and ferocity Logan was lacking in his old age, we got it from Laura. I mean she was a relentless BEAST. Even X-24 couldn’t handle her. I believe it came from a combination of her upbringing as a weapon and the genetics she inherited from Wolverine. The other children were not like her. They fought when attacked and in order to save their lives, as did she, but it wasn’t the same. We barely got to see their powers. Although I did catch that Rictor, the supposed leader, had Magneto’s power.  I think her energy will replace Wolverine’s in future films if that is the intention; I will however still miss Wolverine and Hugh Jackman. For one, Wolverine is the most popular X-men, and one of the most popular superheroes period. Also, 17 years of my 28 of life have been with Jackman as Wolverine. But I think that would be another reason not to recast him for a while.

This was an extremely emotional movie. You had so many circumstances involved here. Its the last film with Jackman as Wolverine, most of the beloved X-man characters are dead, the patriarchal Professor X is but a fraction of his normal self, children are being bred, experimented on, and now exterminated, and then of course the whole “daddy issues” theme between  Laura and Logan. One aspect of the movie that I did expect to hit close to home was Charles Xavier and his seizures. I heard that he had a seizure that killed all the X-men, but I didn’t know his condition would be such a big part of the film. You see, my husband has a seizure disorder and has since he was a child. There is no cure or treatment that has seemed to help with it. So seeing Wolverine caring for the ailing Professor, forcing him to take medication, stabbing him with the anticonvulsant, and having that medicine make him a lesser version of himself struck a nerve. My husband and I will forever have the joke now of Charles sticking his tongue out when Logan demands to see that he’s taken his medicine. Although it was extremely emotional to watch, that tear jerking effect is how you know its a good movie.

“Logan” was not your average superhero movie. There was not a Earth threatening villain, and multiple X-men showing off their powers. It was personal. I only wish we had gotten this from every Wolverine film in the past. But I guess that had to experiment to get it just right so it could end with a “bang”, or in this case a “slash”. Hopefully moving forward they can make sure to bring this into every X-men film in the future.

 

Luke Cage series Review, finally.

I know its been ages since the rest of the world saw and talked about Luke Cage. But its hard to see all the shows and movies I’d like to see. Between watching our current anime and Nick Jr for my son, there’s so much I miss. I actually started it a while ago, but stopped right at the last episode of the season, finally I finished it. I will do it in the form of a layered compliment sandwich; starting and ending with positive aspects, with some negatives in between. So here are my 2 cents, even if it is ridiculously late.

1. African American Representation

As an African American, thirsting for fantasy and sci-fi characters to identify with, it was a breath of fresh air. I know there was outrage over the “lack of diversity”, meaning lack of white people, but this is the same way people of color feel watching TV and other media outlets most of the time. This was not something that was created out of the blue “just for black people”. The comic was created like this. It was created to reflect the blaxploitation films that were popular during the 70s, like Foxy Brown and Shaft. This version is a modern day interpretation of that. There some variations from the original comic, like characters and settings, but that is pretty much to be expected. It especially liked the idea of the bulletproof black man wearing a black hoodie. It was a direct homage to Travon Martina and the other countless, murders at the hands of police. There were major white people in the show, most of them just happened to be the bad guys. This show and the comic is set in Harlem, where there are mostly Blacks and Latinos, so once again it all makes sense.

2. Bad Acting

Some of the acting is just bad. Particularly from the leading man, Mike Colter. Its just too corny and unauthentic sometimes. Maybe the corniness stemmed from his use of the phrase “Sweet Christmas”. I know his character had a lot of integrity and didn’t like cursing or use of “the n-word”, but I think it could have been accomplished without being as corny as it was.  The scenes that were particularly painful to watch were to romantic moments between Cage and Claire.

3. The Love Triangle

It was however spicy, to see the somewhat of a love triangle between Misty Knight, and Claire as the former and Cage’s relationship started to bloom. The scenes with Misty and Clair together in the restaurant basement gave some comedic relief to the drama that was going on around them. Their continuous use of the analogy of coffee was a bit overdone throughout the series though.

4. Mariah

She starts as kind of a victim; a politician who can’t let go and stop helping her crooked cousin. We later see that it is much more than that. She is the real manipulator, blinded by her lust for power. It saddened me so, to learn that Mariah was referenced to being in my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The “oo-whoop” (spelled this way on Netflix’s subtitles) which is actually typically spelled “oo-oop” (maybe they changed it on purpose), is a greeting for fellow sorors. Misty kept referring to a “skee-wee” which is the call of our rival sorority, I was hoping she was “one of them”, but she was corrected by her superior Priscilla. You’re probably confused if you are unfamiliar with Pan Hellenic council Fraternities and Sororities, but that’s neither here, nor there.  I can’t decide who’s running who in the Mariah-Shades relationship. What made me really cringe was seeing Mariah kiss Shades at the end of the last episode. Dear God, I hope that doesn’t become a thing.

5. Character Backstories

I’m a sucker for back story, so seeing the story of his relationship with Diamondback was good, but it still seems unrealistic that everybody knew he was he brother but him. I almost can’t stand it when villains just get obsessed with something like this. Ok, you were an illegitimate child, it happens. But it wasn’t Cages fault. At least be mad at the right person. But I guess if that happened there would be no villains. I also enjoyed the story of Luke Cages time at Seagate, it gave some real insight to his character and the thing he has gone through to make him who he is. This dang Super-Soldier serum keeps messing peoples lives up in Marvel. The flashbacks to Mariah and Cottonmouth’s youth were also good. Seeing how Mother Mabel influenced and molded them into who they turned out to be was interesting.  Cottonmouth was the classic villian, that could’ve been a hero, or at least a law abiding citizen, had he been given a chance. The real villain in this is Mariah, who ended up getting away, for now.

6. Lackluster Action Scenes

I understand that he doesn’t have Incredible Hulk strength, and that this wasn’t one of the blockbuster Avengers movies, but I think the audience deserved a little bit more than what we got. In one of the first action scenes, we see Cage punch and completely crush one of Cottonmouth’s men’s fist. They set it up so good, but almost nothing else lived up to this action. The story of each episode also, dragged a bit. I’m used to dealing with things being dragged on and on with anime, but not with a regular action television series.

8. Misty Knight

My favorite character of the series, was of course the smart, beautiful, and natural haired, Misty Knight. She had more of an emotional roller coaster in this series than anybody else.  She went from being the super confident cop, with all the right answers, to a confused woman trying to figure out who or what to trust. The ending of the series brought it all together for me seeing her in the quintessential big afto, hoops, and strapped red garb. I hope she’s found herself, and becomes the Misty Knight of the comics.

Even with the downfalls, Luke Cage was a win for me overall. I have to catch up on January Jones and Daredevil now, so I can prepare for the upcoming Defenders in the future. I hope any future seasons are able to rectify some of the issues, so it can be as great a show as it has the potential to be. What did you all thinkabout Luke Cage? Was it a hit for you? Or did it fall flat?

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Now I’m off to get some coffee….(I had throw it in there somehow)

(Marvel)ous Mother’s Day

Captain America: Civil War

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The first event listed in 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom was seeing “Captain America: Civil War”, and now I can scratch that off my list. For Mother’s Day some ask for flowers, others jewelry or clothes, but I’ve known for quite some time that all I wanted for Mother’s Day was to see “Captain America: Civil War”. Our grandparents watched our son and we got to enjoy one of our favorite dates; going out to see a superhero movie. I was very excited about this movie. To me it is the Marvel version of Batman vs Superman, so naturally in my opinion it was bound to be ten times better. As far as I’m concerned it was. I probably shouldn’t call this a review. Reviews are supposed to be unbiased, this is very biased. I’ll call it my opinion and views on the movie rather, than a review. SPOILER WARNING: after this point significant details about the movie may be revealed.

Synopsis

The movie takes place a year after the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and people want the Avengers to take responsibility for the destruction they caused and make better decisions. There are those that feel guilty enough about the innocent lives lost that they are willing to sign a document called the “Sokovia Accords”, created by the United Nations, to govern over the Avengers. In the wake of the signing of the Sokovia Accords it seems the Winter Soldier attacked the United Nations summit, killing the King of Wakanda. His attack caused people to believe even stronger that people with super abilities need to be put “in check”, but Captain America doesn’t buy it. He remains true to his decision, that the Avengers should make their own decisions and tries to help clear his friends name. It turns out the whole attack and scheme was of Zemo, a soldier from Sokovia, who wanted to get revenge on the Avengers for killing is family, by tearing them apart from the inside.

My Initial thoughts

On one side you have Iron Man and those that believe the Sokovia Accords are the best option for The Avengers. On the other side Captain America and the others that believe the Avengers should use their own judgement in deciding their actions. This is a major argument in any superhero series. It is pretty much what Batman vs Superman stemmed from except on a smaller, less awesome level. See Movie Review: Batman vs Superman. At first I didn’t know which team I would side with, but very shortly into the movie I began rooting for team Captain America. It is as the Cap said “What if they send us somewhere we shouldn’t be or don’t sent us somewhere we need to go.” Governments can’t be trusted with these types of things. The Sokovia Accords would turn the Avengers into some kind of team of henchmen. I had also been wondering about the absence of the Hulk and Thor. A little into the movie I understood why they couldn’t be in the movie. If the Hulk and Thor were to participate they would probably have been on team Captain America and with both of them on that team there would’ve been no fight. The God Thor would not have submitted to being ruled by mere mortals. And the Hulk would not allow the government to make him turn his beast “on and off” at their will. He didn’t even want to use it in the first place in the past “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. At first I wondered how it is a Captain America movie and not another Avengers movie. But it was not the Avengers being the Avengers. There was not world ending catastrophic event for the Avengers to assemble. This was Captain America trying to save his friend and the conflicts that arose from it.

Character Spotlights

There were several brilliant aspects of the movie in my opinion. The first thing that caught my eye was the budding romantic relationship between the Scarlet Witch and Vision. He is keeping her on “lock down” by Iron Man’s orders, but he is also trying to plant some seeds. He starts be attempting to cook for her then it does turn into a deeper conversation about their thoughts on the Sokovia Accords. And its like most of the Avenger’s members, they have different view points but still respect one another and want to avoid this major conflict that is about the occur.

The friendship between Iron Man and Captain America is obviously on the rocks, its the entire basis of the movie, but another interesting relationship dynamic comes from the Caps loyalty to Buckey, and that’s the relationship with Falcon. Its like Buckey is the friend from back home who never quite got it together, but they grew up and are like brothers and Falcon is the frat brother he met and college they are close now because they’ve experienced and helped each other so much to get where they are now. Falcon is completely loyal to Captain America, even though he knows he will go down with him. I’m not entirely sure if Falcon would’ve opposed the new laws if Captain America wasn’t. Now with Buckey all Captain America thinks about, its getting in the way of he and Falcon’s “bromance”. He even tells Buckey that he hates him, but they both come together in congratulatory looks when he kisses, Sharon Carter, Peggy Carter’s niece.

The best characters in the movie seemed to be the newer additions, including Black Panther, Spiderman, and Ant Man. It seemed like each team needed a bug. Spiderman and Ant Man provided some much needed comic relief and fun. Although, some would say that Spider-man’s role was unnecessary, his action scenes were some of the best and his youthful humor was much welcomed and has been the best Spider-Man I’ve seen on screen yet. Black Panther was EVERYTHING! In the movie he was seeking revenge for the death of his father, the king of Wakanda. He was strong and feline at the same time. I got chills every time he stuck a landing. As my husband said “he’s a cat, but not feminine like Catwoman.” They nailed the Black Panther. I am so glad to see another superhero of color represented. This may be a way to get more X-men integrated in the Avengers as they are in the comics. They have Scarlet Witch and had quicksilver, this could be a way to bring in Storm and then Wolverine. Fox and Disney need to get over themselves and let these movies intertwine as they did in the comics a lot. The whole Sovokia Accords tie right in the sides involved in mutant registration. But back to my man point Black Panther is OP. He has it all; wisdom, money, strength, power, I mean he’s a freaking King with super powers. He was the “REAL” hero of the movie and ended the cycle of revenge, by not killing Zemo once he found out he was responsible for his father’s death, not Buckey.

Possible Criticisms

There were probably all kinds of inaccuracies within the movie that some fanboys/girls hate. After watching Batman vs Superman I researched different things ( because I have not read a lot of comics) and began critiquing and comparing the inaccuracies. This movie itself was so good in my opinion that I don’t even want to know what they got wrong. I don’t want to ruin this good feeling I have about it. There are also those that are probably on the completely opposite side of me, thinking that Iron Man is right and the Avengers need a governing body. At the end of the movie, though, you see that Iron Man is questioning this and War Machine tries the reassure him that it was the wrong decision. If there was one flaw in the movie, I’d say that I expected more from Vision. His powers seemed like they should have completely overwhelmed anybody on the other side. The only person they had with that kind of power was Scarlet Witch and at this point she’s still a little untrained, but you could tell he already had a soft spot for her. Nobody was fight to their full potential, because this was a fight among friends, not trying to kill each other, but trying to get to a point when they can come together again. Some might say the movie was too long, but I wasn’t at any point waiting for it to be over. Another thing that really bothered me, was that I wanted Blank Panther to step into the Iron Man/Captain America fight and shed the same wisdom he had gained with them and ended the war. But it is a Civil War, so no way it could be ended this soon. They will probably continue it into other MCU movies, resolving it to protect the world from what ever catastrophic, world ending adversary they will meet up with in the 3rd Avengers installment.

I am completely biased. I love everything Marvel. It was a great movie, better than “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in my opinion and better than the rival “Batman vs Superman. Thank you, hubby, for my Marvelous Mother’s Day gift. Now the countdown to “X-Men: Apocalypse”

Recap: Naruto Shippuden Episode 455

25560312204_c541bdea2c_oItachi’s Story- Light and Darkness: Moonlit Night

My husband and I love Naruto. It is the show that brought me to love anime. This love has led us to make Thursday nights (when new episodes post on crunchyroll) Asian night. I prepare some Asian dish, sometimes inspired by Naruto itself. Tonight I made Onigiri with a spicy tuna filling and vegetables. Naruto makes you fall in love with the characters and the story lines, even some of the fillers like this current arch. Filler episodes in anime are something I’ve had to adjust to. Just when you get hooked on the action and can’t wait for the next episode its something completely unrelated and sometimes not even in the same time sequence. I do however enjoy fillers that give background information on specific characters. The current story arch is telling Itachi’s story. We’ve heard his story several times throughout the anime and each time there something rich to add. Its to the point that my husband and I realize that Naruto is the main character in the spotlight, but this anime and the Ninja world within are all driven by Itachi’s master plan inspired by his best friend Shisui.

To catch everybody up. At this point in Naruto Shippuden the entire Ninja world is under Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, except team 7: Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, and Kakashi. We call this the “matrix effect”. Everyone else is trapped in this alternate reality. Within this reality the ninja world exist as if war had never happened. Team 7 are protected by Sasuke’s Susanoo. So we come to that point, to enter fillers that show everybody within the alternate dream world. Once those fillers are over, we enter another saga that is once again retelling Itachi’s story, which I have no problems with whatsoever.

The previous episodes showed Itachi’s childhood and rise to power within the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf. He was always a prodigy even among the talented Uchiha clan. With his talent and quick ascension in the shinobi ranks he began to question life and the motives of his fellow clansmen. Much of it started seeing dead shinobi on the battlefield and a brief but powerful conversation with Orochimaru. I wondered if Orochimaru planted those seeds within Itachi’s mind on purpose solidifying his fate before any other influences. But mostly the death of his friend and teammate, awakening his sharingan had changed Itachi, to who he know him as today. Before this occurrence he was a normal, but gifted, young shinobi. Itachi was able to meet another friend, Shisui, a gifted Uchiha shinobi much like himself. The two became like brothers. Itachi continued to increase his skills and earned a position in the Anbu (pretty much the ninja worlds B-613).

This episode showed how he begins to question whether his alliance should be with the village or his clan. As a memeber of the Anbu, he protects the village by whatever means necessary, even if that means doing things the Hokage has not approved of. The other Uchiha are tired of their isolation and being treated like enemies in their own country because of the actions of Madara Uchiha many years ago. They are planning a coup d’etat, to overthrow the current leadership making Itachi’s father the Hokage and the Uchiha respected leaders of the village. In order to prevent their clan from their own treachery Shisui sacrafices himself and gives Itachi his Sharingan, awakening his Mangekyou Sharingan. Itachi has decided to turn his Uchiha brother-in in and tells the Hokage and village leaders of the plan. He is given the task of slaughtering his entire clan, except his brother Sasuke in order to protect the village. He sees this as saving his clan, since they will not go down in history having started civil war, thus ending the dark shadow the clan was carried its entire history. He calls upon Obito, pretending to be Madara, pretending to be Tobi, to help him with the task (although I don’t know if Itachi knew he wasn’t Madara). He leaves with “Tobi” to join the Akatsuki as a rouge ninja.

This episode like this entire story arch shows emotions and thoughts that we never knew of Itachi. We knew about what he did for the village already, because he told this to Sasuke within the Ninja War, but we did not see the agonizing process of him making this decision. I don’t understand how the Uchiha saw their plan as a solution. It would pretty much prove everyone’s fear of them to be valid. The other villagers would still fear their rule and see them as tyrants. They’d have to continue killing and wiping out all those loyal to the previous regime once again solidifying there sinister outlook. Why were only Shisui and Itachi able to see the truth? Maybe it was there connection to other rest of the shinobi world due to their skill. They were not confined as ninja police. They were able to be loved as shinobi by the other villagers. So the blame comes back around to the village for ostracizing them. Which was the same thing that lead Madara to his deep bath of darkness. It was all a cycle that Itachi alone had the responsibility of breaking.  Up until now Itachi just seemed like this all knowing omniscient person among all these other “bigger” people. If I didn’t know it before, I know now that Itachi is the true hero of the Hidden Leaf Village. He did everything for his clan, village, family, and brother. My heart hurts for him, because he did not get to be the big brother he wanted to be. He had to carry the burden caused by others, and everyone but him gets to reap the benefits of his and Shisui’s sacrifice. Shisui, got the easy part. He pain was over, while Itachi lived on many years with his hurt, pain, and sacrafice. He’s like the ninja world Batman, not the hero they needed, but the hero they deserved or maybe its backwards, but you get the idea. The episode ends with his joining of the Akatsuki. I’m interested to see him participate in their Akatsuki terrorism, knowing now that he’s really a hero. Itachi is one of the people I would like to see somehow able to come back to life, where’s Nagato when you need him?

Movie Review: Batman vs Superman

26125750001_372e2a06fa_oFirst, I will go ahead and say that I know I am late with a post on Batman vs Superman being that its been out for going on 2 weeks. I just started my blog and had tons of ideas swirling around in my mind and it didn’t come to me until today to do this. I spoke about my views on the movie a little in one of my earlier post, but now I will go into detail.

The movie seems to take place after the events of “Man of Steel”. Some people worship and are thankful for Superman, while others believe he is a false god and should take responsibility for the destruction he causes. This is an age old issue within the world of a superheroes. I really see it as an allegory of how people think of the military, particularly the United States military in other countries and territories.  Here’s the big bad USA coming to save the day, and in their eyes we could be cause more destruction than aid we’ve given. But we don’t stop them because we need them to save our asses in the event that a terrorist attack occurs or some other catastrophic upset to our society. Same thing in the movie. Batman was among those that thought Superman was bad news. The main villain is Lex Luther who purposely put them against one another, with the intention for them to kill each other. Instead they end up coming together and saving the day.

Lets do a compliment sandwich; start with the positive, negatives in the middle ,and end with something mean again. Hands down the best things about the movie where the visuals and special effects. I always try to see sci-fi/fantasy movies in IMAX  3-D if its an option. So it was a fun, entertaining experience with that respect. I like the daydream scene, all the foreshadowing of a Darkseid villain in later movies, and the appearance of The Flash. This scene did bring me back to the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Iron Man see’s the Ultron controlled world, sorry I couldn’t help the comparison. There was also I sneak peak into the other heroes such as Cyborg and Aquaman. My favorite part of the movie was Wonder Woman she was OP (over powered). Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was exotic, sultry, intelligent, and powerful. Exactly what an Amazonian warrior should be, I can’t wait for her movie in 2017.

Now lets get to the inside of the sandwich. What didn’t I like about the movie? I did not like Lex Luther. When I first saw the trailers for the movie I thought he was the Riddler. This is not the Lex Luther I know. Upon further research I found that Lex Luthor did at one point have long red hair and a larger than life personality. So it was their choice to use this depiction of Luther in the movie. Maybe after his prison stint now that they’ve shown him bald he will be the familiar Lex Luther character. That was another thing that confused me a bit. The movie seemed to have a young Lex Luther and Superman, but yet an older Batman. Maybe its may ignorance of the DC world, so somebody please clear that up for me is this accurate to the DC Universe timeline.  Once again, I’m a Marvel, specifically X-men junky. I’m just trying to be open minded and embrace this DC universe. From the beginning I have not liked the way it seems they are jumping into a Justice League movie. It seems like they’re hanging on the coat tails of Marvel. You have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doomsday all wrapped up in the same movie. When I saw Doomsday jump out in the trailers, I was like “Are you serious?!”, “They’re taking it here already!”  From what I know the creation of Doomsday was incorrect as well. Doomsday is a baby that was continuously tortured, killed, and brought back to life. Maybe his appearance in the movie was one of the reincarnations, or they just concocted some reason to add him in the mix. The movie was also very slow. I understand building backstory, I really do, but there had to have had it that way. The main action occurred so late in the movie and it was lack-luster. Batman was pretty much hiding the whole time and pretty much said I cannot even play along with these people. He did not play his normal super detective solve the mystery self. He did snap back until Lois Lane told him Superman’s mother’s name is Martha too. OMG, we can be friends. The whole movie he was being played by Luther and in the end Superman saved the day. God I hate that! I really do not like Superman.  He has super strength, speed, lazer vision, x-ray vison, the list goes on and on. To me he’s boring and lame.

Although I mentioned disdain over DC seemingly are rushing to get to a Justice League movie. The end with Batman saying he will find them, left me with pleasant thoughts of all the stories not told yet. So yes, there were some issues in my opinion but overall it was still a good, not great, superhero movie. It did somewhat intrigue me enough to do more research and try to give DC heroes a fare shot, although I still doubt they can pull me from the Marvel side. Some may argue “Why choose?” and those that do know the ends and outs of DC can probably post a reasonable rebuttal to all of my critiques. But it is what it is. And I like what I like.