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Brigs' Blog

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About this blog

I have no idea what I am doing.

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Brigs

A Juncture

With the Nexus Farce: Ingress of Imagination entering its final, if belated, chapters, and the Elimbies poised to collapse next month (I'd like to believe there is some causality between the two), I find myself at a juncture: what should I waste my time on next? I have a few ideas, including those listed in the poll above (that question is multiple choice, so mark any of those that sound interesting and/or say in the comments). I enjoy crafting narratives and building models, and the two mesh together pretty well. I have a vague story arc plotted out should I continue the Nexus Farce, but I'd also like to try my hand at something a bit more freeform.

 

The Nexus Farce was written to be obscenely verbose as a joke, though in hindsight I'm a bit more critical of this choice. In spite of its numerous flaws, I'm still rather proud of IoI on the whole. Maybe one of you knows better and would be kind enough to explain why I'm wrong; I'm serious about that. While I do this for my own entertainment, it can be satisfying to get feedback on something that's been so long coming. Really, even if you just got a wry chuckle, or none at all, from the Nexus Farce and related material, I'll take any criticism you guys have. 

Brigs

only the best

...is good enough. 

Since I'm moving off to my college residence on Friday, I will need some decoration to liven up the place, which mostly consists of some of my more notable MOCs, such as the Pants Party, the Overweight Golem, and the impending Medieval Head Separator (don't ask). Inevitably in my studies, I will face tremendous mental and psychological stress due to academic pressure and social exposure. 

 

I have previously discussed Galidor in my graduation speech, which for some reason went entirely unchallenged by the staff and was surprisingly well received. You can read a transcript here.

 

"only the best" is an anti-demotivational vignette, specially designed to combat sentiments of self-defeat and improve morale. Hence, whenever I find myself down, I can be assured that no matter how royally I screw up, it can't conceivably amount to anything worse than that abomination whose legacy still subtly taints the LEGO Brand: Galidor.

 

only the best

 

Remember, kids, the only thing on this earth potentially worse than Galidor is bootleg Galidor.

Brigs

Johnny Thunder. We all love him. The mustached, fedora-adorned hero of the Adventurers theme is perhaps the single most iconic character in the LEGO franchise. He has cameo'ed in countless media, including critically acclaimed titles such as LEGO Island 2: The Brickster’s Revenge and LEGO Universe. I’ve been looking through the internet and been disappointed to find that there isn’t a single good LEGO Universe story about Johnny Thunder. It’s just topic after topic of shameless self-inserts. This blatant injustice cannot be ignored any longer. The story seeks to answer some deep-rooted questions that have been lingering in our minds for years now. I’m sure we’re all wondering how Johnny Thunder became the leader of the Venture League. Or how did he discover Crux? And why did he substitute a black fedora for his iconic brown one? Here is a preview of my forthcoming story, entitled, "Johnny Thunder and the Quest for the MacGuffin, A LEGO Universe Fanfic STARRING JOHNNY THUNDER.

Chapter One: Chamber of Relics

Johnny Thunder glanced up from his map, smirking his iconic mustached smirk, as if to arouse the ovation of some unseen audience. It was the outset of another glorious adventure. The Australian adventure hero wondered to himself: what fantastic perils would he face this time? Would he be engaged in a showdown with his greedy arch-nemesis? Perhaps caught in an escalating race against said arch-nemesis to claim a mystical artifact that could be used to bring about the end of all life as he knew it? Would he have opportunities to commit gross violations of the archeological method? Or maybe enjoy a pleasant intermission with his myriad female admirers?

The Thunder adjusted his wide-brim fedora before turning from his invisible audience and toward the corridor of near-certain death. The insatiable bad-butt casually strutted down the pathway until he inevitably stepped on that one conspicuously protruding brick which incidentally triggers one of the many sufficiently lethal traps along the requisite death course to the Obligatory Chamber of Relics, comprising buzz-saws, swinging blades, no less than a two dozen trap doors, a couple lava pits, rubber spikes, and those useless little flick-operated projectiles.

Johnny wonders three things: why he didn’t look where he was going, how these booby traps could possibly be working flawlessly despite being undisturbed for millennia, and how he ended up in his present predicament in the first place. The first question could be attributed to his enormous, hyper-inflated ego; the second could likely be attributed to an unseen wizard warding off the effects of natural decay and entropy, but the third required some gratuitous expository flashbacks…

Some years ago, or more precisely, thirteen zillion, it happened that Johnny was looking into taking a luxury cruise with his friend Pippin Reed. His uncle Kilroy recommended his brother’s consulting firm, Cyber’s Temporal Trip Advisors, a time-travel consulting firm of dubious integrity which spanned several grossly wealthy star systems across a number of the more affluent time periods.

Time cruises and temporal manipulation at large are, of course, illegal in virtually all advanced galactic confederacies because such ventures have a tendency to result in the general mucklification of the globular spatio-temporal medium, not to mention their being a gross perversion of conventional physics and the mind-bending tenses involved being the chagrin of grammarians everywhere. One popular argument for the abolition of time cruises observes that time cruisers have a seemingly irresistible urge to attempt to assassinate a multitude of the most ruthless dictators and megalomaniacal despots throughout history. Godwin’s Constant of Temporal Manipulation states that any attempt, directly or otherwise, to travel back in time to assassinate any of the aforementioned despots will invariably fail. Further, those who are the subject of the assassination attempt will almost invariably manage to obtain the temporal manipulation device that enabled the assassination attempt, thereby instigating a series of events which invariably result in the megalomaniacal despot in question achieving global domination.

There is no law, however, barring travel to the distant future by means of time dilation, and the temporal travel agents took considerable liberties in marketing that fact. When Johnny and Pippin had set an appointment, the trans-temporal travel agents were more than eager to expound their selection of luxury cruises, offering a variety of “economically priced” packages that would accommodate their budget. The travel agents were having difficulties convincing clients to book time cruises to the Fifty-Fourth zillennium and, in order to make the cruises seem more appealing, offered special discounts on all cruises to that chronological destination.

The consultants also conveniently neglected to mention that the economy time cruise to the Fifty-Fourth zillennium held a one-way contingency and consequently did not cover the return trip back to the so-called Twentieth century in the Forty-First zillennium. Incidentally, the Fifty-Fourth zillenium was also the point in time at which the premature obliteration of the entire spatio-temporal medium was to occur. Suffice to say, Cyber’s Trans-temporal Trip Advisors didn’t offer Johnny or Pippin a refund.

As this retrospective narration played in the back of our hero’s plastic, yellow, fedora-adorned head, he carefully navigated through the sufficiently lethal death course. One of the friendly swinging blades found itself wishing to make intimate physical contact with him but Johnny Thunder knew he didn’t have time for its companionship and rejected its advances, continuing toward the Obligatory Chamber of Relics.

The focal point of the chamber was a brilliant, transparent-green, triangular crystal fixed on a cylindrical pedestal. Light reflected off the crystal from the sunlight channeled through a small opening directly above.

“Crickey!” said Johnny, before promptly examining his wristwatch.

As he expertly extracted the crystal, he was pleasantly surprised that a massive boulder wasn’t chasing him and that the chamber didn’t seem to be collapsing. Exhaling with a surprised humph, he placed the crystal in his satchel and wandered back through the sufficiently lethal death course.

He was also pleasantly surprised and slightly disappointed that no one seemed to want to repossess his most recent acquisition, as was very often the case. At approximately this point in most of his previous adventures, some contemptible rival would swoop in and demand the adventurer’s recently-obtained treasure, frequently in exchange for a hostage damsel-in-distress who was somehow totally incapacitated whenever the villain was gripping her arm. Following this transaction, the rival would gloat evilly before collapsing the entrance and leaving the adventurers to spend the remaining portion of eternity in the ancient labyrinth, although they inevitably escape and thwart the villain’s schemes, proving things would have been much easier and more likely to result in success had he forgone the whole melodramatic routine and simply had them shot in the first place.

Addendum: I’m holding subsequent chapters hostage until the ransom of 10 LIKES has been appeased, because I’m insecure about myself and demand the validation of my fellow users.

Brigs

 

 

A TFOL's Response to Greenpeace's LEGO Petition

 

 

By Brigs 

 

Generally, I don’t waste my valuable time on petitions senseless as this one. Nevertheless, this fallacious pile of KRE-O has gained considerable circulation in the LEGO Community, and thus merits a well-articulated response.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhbliUq0_r4

 

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/

 

Let’s break this down piece by piece, starting with the video itself. When the video begins, you will notice the title and background music references the LEGO Movie and its incessant song, “Everything is Awesome.” This is an ironic choice for Greenpeace’s assertions, since the benevolent Octan Corporation, LEGO Town’s fictitious “Big Oil” company is portrayed in an antagonistic light in the film, and has certainly received more publicity than any Shell promotional polybag.

 

                As the video proceeds, you see the inviting Arctic animals, a fisherman, hockey players, and… Halo’s Master Chief. Following a panoramic view of the new wave of LEGO City Arctic sets, the video changes tone as the viewer first notices a Shell chemist, tanker, and finally, a menacing oil platform, recycled from a Cars 2 set, which notably had a rather preachy message about “Big Oil.”

 

                But the most infuriating and stereotypical elements of the film are yet to come. The “executive” Minifigure can be seen smoking a cigar (with a “no smoking” sticker visible behind him, no less.) At the bottom of the oil rig oozes a depressing black liquid. This “oil spill” slowly consumes the LEGO world and its inhabitants, including the distinguished Emmett and Wyldstyle, until only the Shell flag unscathed. Any objective AFOL will notice Greenpeace’s clear appeals to emotion, specifically fear for the vibrant LEGO world and anger directed at Shell and the LEGO Group’s “association.”

 

We’re just getting started. The description contends to surpass the ludicrosity of the video itself. 

 

                “We love LEGO. You love LEGO. Everyone loves LEGO. 

 

                But when LEGO's halo effect is being used to sell propaganda to children, especially by an unethical corporation who are busy destroying the natural world our children will inherit, we have to do something.”

 

                Greenpeace apparently needs to check their definitions. Of course colorful plastic bricks and smiling Minifigures have a welcoming aesthetic. But these allegations of the LEGO Group propagandizing on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell plc are not only extreme, but absurd. Children playing with an oil tanker or gas station are not being brainwashed that “Big Oil” or environmental pollution is good. They are merely delivering the LEGO citizens with gas to power their trucks, spaceships, and racecars.  These loaded accusations of propaganda are so laughably ironic one could easily mistake this as a work of satire; especially for a claim that can easily be thrust upon Greenpeace itself.

 

                “Children's imaginations are an unspoilt wilderness. Help us stop Shell polluting them by telling LEGO to stop selling Shell-branded bricks and kits today.”

                

                So what is the objective here? By the LEGO Group from discontinuing Shell gas stations and race cars, converting LEGO City into eco-utopia, will the Minifigures suddenly become enlightened and band together against a tyrannical CEO plotting to destroy their way of life? To quote Lord Business, “that’s just a bunch of hippy dippy baloney.”

                

                I am not here blatantly supporting Shell, or “Big Oil.” There are risks involved in any drilling operation, which can potentially be catastrophic on the ecosystem. LEGO Bricks themselves, composed of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, are partially derived from oil. The LEGO Group is renowned for its environmental awareness and responsibility, and by next decade will be completely sustained by renewable energy. The issue is not the LEGO Group, nor necessarily Shell, but Greenpeace’s exploitation of a responsible corporation and its politicization of a legitimate concern.

 

                Humans must be thoughtful stewards of the world, and potential threats to the environment merit the discussion. Of course businesses will try to make money, and in doing so may jeopardize the environment. Royal Dutch Shell has been endeavoring to create a drilling operation off of Alaska for a few years now, but has postponed until the safety of the operation is elucidated. This issue of drilling in the Arctic should be resolved between Shell and those concerned about environmental safety, but they should leave the LEGO Group out of this. If Greenpeace wants to preserve the “unspoilt” imaginations of children and leave a positive impact on our world, it can start by repudiating this political gobbledygook and withdrawing this petition on the front page of the Greenpeace website.

Brigs

The Essence of Imagination

At this past LEGO club meeting, I noticed a profound theme of creativity and the fundamentals of imagination. At the meeting, all the members brought a polybag, and put them into a container. Everyone drew a random polybag, and were tasked with building something original with the parts. Discarding the instructions, I was unsure what to build with my unconstructed Bat-Tumbler. It could instead become a mech (or a Bat-Mech), a whale, a plane, a house-- yet I decided on a space shuttle. Players were allowed to exchange parts, but required to use all they had obtained. My model was relatively simple; the cliped, sloped flags and 2x3 wedges became my wings. Everything was mounted on the two 2x4 plates of my 2x8 frame, and the wheels were retooled as my thrusters. Some participants did not complete their model in time; the finished models included an alien expresso machine (mug not included) and your run of the mill doomsday machine from two separate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kraang turret; how Legends of Chima Season 2 should have ended from the Eagle Glider, and a creature greatly resembling a chicken Mixels' Zaptor. The winning model was built from a Friends Penguin Playground, becoming the Penguin Police Boat, complete with penguin pilot and fish canon! As the meeting concluded, I was fascinated by the uniqueness and individuality exhibited in each creation. Before we went home home, some members stopped by the junior LEGO club (conveniently on the other side of the city.) The junior clubbers brought their "MOCs," the designs of which were primarily pirated from their original LEGO sets. One model in particular, however, stood out. The construction of the model was simple, a flying vehicle with two 3x3 quarter circle plates as wings and trans-red 1x1 round conesmounted by two modified plates with studs protruding horizontally. Mounted on the aircraft was a plain blue minifigure with a plain blue torso and legs, yellow hands, and, of course, ninja cowl, named Denny. What truly set this model apart was it's story. Denny was Benny the 1980-something space guy's brother, who did not like spaceships. Instead, he loved hovercraft! One day, Denny went into spess on his hovercraft until he was orbiting earth. He quickly realized the planet was "square," like a 2x2 brick; this shape apparently screwed with the planet's gravity, so every time Denny neared a corner, he fell of the edge! This delightful anecdote embodies what LEGO stands for. Each individual, in the adult and junior club alike, had their own ideas interests, abilities, and resources, yet they all found their own way to Play Well.

Brigs

Discovering a Relic

On a Saturday morning errand to Target, I found myself doing a strange activity: SINGING "Mama Papa Brickolini!" I am an extremely private and non-expressive individual, and such a display of singing is unheard of from me, even in the privacy of the vehicle. Soon after this bizarre performance, somewhat embarrassed, I began to question my own sanity. As I pulled into a parking lot, I noticed a seasonal kid's consignment sale at the adjacent commercial space. I am one of those ultra-frugal types who scours everywhere from the yard sale, to the thrift mart, to the clearance aisle in search of a cheap brick. At this time I ignored it, as the sale was in the final three days of it's one month sale and fifty percent off everything, which was a pretty good indication that everything of value was snatched weeks ago by a thrifty and feisty mother; thus I continued on my mission to accumulate consumables.

Upon purchasing the goods and securing them to the car, I quite impulsively abandoned them to check out the consignment sale. There was nothing appealing in the toys section, so I turned to leave. Spotting the electronics section, I pondered whether a classic LEGO game might be hidden in the collection of ancient videogames. I carefully searched the various titles, beginning to lose hope, yet my flipping through the various titles would soon reveal its merit. In the final box of PC games, I uncovered a copy of LEGO Island! This relic of LEGO gaming is nearly as old as I am, with about five months' difference. Attached to the cover was the price: fifty cents. I quickly ran to the check-out counter, and purchased the game, with a fifty percent discount, plus tax, for a grand total of $0.27 cents! I was ready to leave LEGO Island? the consignment store at this point, anxious to hear the Infomaniac's "WELCOME TO LEGO ISLAND!"

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