Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned yesterday. Evidently Spicer was not at all pleased with New York financier Anthony Scaramucci appointment as White House communications director. If I remember the things I learned from watching the West Wing, communications director is the press secretary’s boss. Spicer quit because he didn’t want to work for his new boss.

I respect that.

I’m not familiar with Anthony Scaramucci, but I’m certain he’s an asshole. I find anyone willing to work for Donald Trump to be morally suspicious.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t respect anyone in the Trump White House. I don’t understand how anyone could work for Donald Trump. I especially don’t understand how anyone could defend the actions and comments of Donald Trump, one of the main responsibilities of the current White House press secretary.

Taking over as White House press secretary is Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. She was one of Spicer’s deputies. Being that she’s from House Huckabee, I’m sure her ability to distort the truth is already naturally quite high. She’s been filling in for Spicer for a while now, so I doubt there will be much of a transition.

Now that Sean Spicer has more free time, he’ll be able to attend more anime conventions. Evidently he’s an anime nerd. Good for him.

Funimation Roku app will not allow streaming of TV-MA programming

The Funimation Roku app, FunimationNow (version 1.0 build 110) will not allow me to stream TV-MA rated content. I can watch such content on my computer or on my Xbox One, but not on any of my Roku devices.

When I try to watch a show that’s rated TV-MA, I see a blue screen with the words, “Sorry! This video contains mature content.”

I contacted Funimation support because that is what it said to do in their online FAQ when presented with this error. The person from Funimation emailed me back asking what device I was using to stream programming to my TV. When I told them I was using the Roku, this was the response:

Hello Rick,

Thank you for contacting Funimation Support.

We apologize that your premium subscription isn’t allowing you to view TV-MA content through our new app.

We are aware of some issues with our newest apps and we’re working with our Development Team to get this fixed as quickly as possible.  We have escalated your account to our Development team for review, and we’ll contact you as soon as we hear any updates.

In the meantime, you can still enjoy your full Funimation subscription on our website or through one of our current/legacy apps.  We appreciate your patience as we work to get this resolved and we apologize again for the inconvenience.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you!
Funimation Support

So there seems to be a problem with the Roku app. That would have been nice to know sooner. Before this email, it didn’t even occur to me to try watching streaming content on my computer or my Xbox One.

This is beyond annoying considering that I’m paying for a Funimation premium account, and because their app for the Roku isn’t working correctly, I can’t use their service the way I want to. I want to watch anime on the TV, not the computer. One of our TVs has an Xbox One, but I despise the interface on the Xbox One. It’s overly complicated and using the controller as a remote control leaves a lot to be desired. It times out after so many minutes.

Funimation Roku app will not allow streaming of TV-MA programing - Bent Corner
The Funimation app on Roku will not allow me to watch Attack on Titan because it’s rated TV-MA.

FunimationNow is the only app on Roku, so Michael’s advice on using a current/legacy app is not very helpful. I don’t even know what that means, current/legacy. Aren’t they the opposite of each other?

I just want to watch anime in English on my TV like a civilized person. I’m more than willing to pay for the privilege. Is that asking too much? I think not. Granted, my life-long appreciation of Japanese culture should have prompted me to learn the Japanese language, making Funimation and it’s extensive English dubbed library an unnecessary thing to have access to. In my defense, I’m incredibly lazy, and I’m not even as fluent in the English language as I really ought to be. I still don’t quite understand when to properly use the words who or whom. Not really.

Otakon to move to Washington DC in 2017

Otakon, the annual anime and manga fandom convention is taking place this weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center. It will be Otakon’s final year in Baltimore. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC will begin hosting Otakon starting in 2017.

Why the move? Because the Baltimore Convention Center hasn’t aged gracefully. From the official Otakon website:

The primary driver for this move is the state of the facilities in Baltimore and their uncertain future. The Baltimore Convention Center has not aged gracefully and there are proposals to replace both the BCC and the Arena over the next five years. Any upgrades would require at least a temporary move and would result in disruptive changes in our facilities regardless of the final outcome.

The Arena is the Royal Farms Arena located a block away from the Baltimore Convention Center. I haven’t been there is years, so I don’t know if it too has not aged gracefully.

Another problem with hosting Otakon in Baltimore is the city itself. Parts of Baltimore are dangerous, not the kind of places you’d want to go dressed up as Sailor Moon.

twitter.blmYou also never know when the Baltimore police will kill someone. It happens all the time. When it does, there’s good chance there will be riots and the city will burn. Black Lives Matter.

There’s a reason the HBO series The Wire took place in the city of Baltimore.

A man walks past a burning police vehicle, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A man walks past a burning police vehicle, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

I’ve been to Otakon only once, and I didn’t care too much for it. Although my interest in Anime and Japanese pop culture is not the greatest, I do have some interest in it. What stood out the most was how rude and obnoxious everyone seemed to be. I had more people bump into me at my one day there than I had the prior twenty years combined. I’ve been to Star Trek cons. I’ve been to comic book cons. The fans at Otakon are just different.

Another thing I don’t like about Otakon is the price. They don’t sell single day tickets. The event takes place Thursday through Sunday. If you want only to go to Friday’s convention, you have to purchase a four-day $100 membership. They get away with this because they cater to hardcore fans, the type of fans who wouldn’t dream of going to Otakon for only one day.

I’m a much more casual fan of anime and Japanese pop culture. My casual fandom isn’t conducive to forking over $100 for the privilege of attending a convention for one day.

Scarlet Johansson in ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Paramount and Dreamworks Pictures released the first image from the upcoming movie Ghost in the Shell. It’s a live-action version of the popular anime of the same name. The image shows Scarlet Johansson in the starring role of cyborg Major Kusanagi.

In the anime, Major Kusanagi is Japanese. Scarlet Johansson is not Japanese. Some people are bothered by this fact.

The director on the film is Rupert Sanders. He’s the hack who directed Snow White and the Huntsman, a truly awful movie. It featured Kristen Stewart in the title role and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. The movie didn’t work for all sorts of reasons, but one of the most glaring issues in the film was the casting. Snow White is the most beautiful woman in all the land. This gets her in all sorts of trouble with the Evil Queen, who used to be the most beautiful woman in all the land.

In what universe is Kristen Stewart more beautiful than Charlize Theron?

Kristen Stewart always has a look on her face like she just smelled Adam Carolla’s socks after some vigorous unicycling. Charlize Theron looks like Charlize Theron. At no time in the film was Kristen Stewart made to look more attractive or Charlize Theron made to look less attractive. We know Charlize Theron can be made less attractive.

It turned out Rupert Sanders was fornicating with Kristen Stewart during production of the film, so his judgment was probably… clouded.

Getting back to Scarlet Johansson playing Major Kusanagi. I don’t care that she’s not Asian. To me, it’s not a big deal. When the live-action movie based on Attack on Titan was released with an all Asian cast, I don’t remember anyone complaining. In the anime version, the characters, all except one, are western.

Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan

I don’t think this movie should even be made. The original anime is a classic. Not everything needs a movie version. In fact, most things don’t.