It’s Got Kiefer.

Hey folks, been playing some X-box this week and thought I’d share what I’ve been into.

I usually wind down with some multiplayer on Halo 5: Guardians. They have added a triple threat mode and it’s cool seeing a yellow team along with the usual red and blue. There’s a bigger battle version of Super Fiesta as well but I’m not really a fan. The maps are too big. Having a chance to mess with some vehicles is cool, but too much room to wonder around.

This week I finally got into Fallout 4 since it’s available on the X-box Game Pass. It’s a fun game and I enjoy that you can get a power suit early in the game. This game also features a dog companion that helps all that time walking around the Wasteland. The biggest downfall with this game is the screens on the Pip-boy. Lots of stuff to scroll through.

Lastly, I got Metal Gear Solid V free from X-box Live and month or so ago. Now my only real experience with this franchise was playing Metal Gear back on the original PlayStation in the late 90s. It was a challenging game and I was able to beat it, but I didn’t get the good ending.

Metal Gear V is a beautiful, amazing, and hard as fuck game. It’s soooooo hard. It took me forever just to play the opening prologue. It plays more like a movie with some super hard video game moments thrown in between scenes. I mostly grew bored after alerting the Soviets and being shot to death a million times before even completing the first mission. But hey!, Kiefer Sutherland voices like 85 people in the game. I felt like they paid for him, they we’re gonna get their money’s worth. Have a great week everyone and keep checking back for new and weird stories on Middle American Culture.

Yes Venom

Hey readers, I saw Venom with my wife last night and we both loved it. That first trailer was kinda iffy. Tom Hardy seemed to be extra weird and they called symbiotes “Simbioats” in their pronunciation. Plus we didn’t really even see Venom in that trailer. Early fear was that we actually wouldn’t see Venom as an actual character. Boy we were wrong.

He looks fantastic. Even the moments when the symbiote is hurt by sound and fire. The effects are great.

Tom Hardy is such a weird genius. He has some great moments playing a down on his luck reporter who wants to do the right thing but can get lost in the weeds getting there. This is evident in his relationship with Michelle William’s character. Venom actually refers to Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock as a loser. Which is hilarious.

The voice and character of Venom himself is the best part of the movie. Actually this portrayal is the best in the character’s 30 year history. Venom in the comics has always been uneven. He was a monster haunting Spider-Man. He was a lethal protector, he was different people like Scorpion and Flash Thompson. The symbiote was often insane or not in control, never really a full fledged character. This movie fixes that brilliantly. The character, the look, the effects, the voice! All perfect.

I’m still in the warm after glow of this movie but I can’t recommend it enough. I was burned out on Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Monstrosity. Easter eggs and Robert Downey Jr cameos. I was bored. Venom was fun to just sit down and watch and learn about the world of Venom as the film expanded.

Happy rest of your weekend and thanks for reading Mid-American-Culture!

Top 5 WTF Moments in Gears of War 2.

10 years late to the game I just beat Gears of War 2. Pretty spectacular. Thanks to the X-BOX Game Pass I’m getting to revisit some great games that I’ve missed out on. Ten bucks a month for over a hundred games, including many Grass releases like Halo and Gears it’s a really good deal.

Gears 2 had plenty of big, over the top moments. Here’s my top 5. Oh and spoilers for a 10 year old game.

1. Locust experiment.

It’s pretty messed up when Delta gets underground. The Locust have been capturing humans for experimentations. Tai, who was with Delta as the game started had been left behind and shows up in a cage on a “torture barge.” Once Marcus and the guys rescue him, he’s obviously been traumatized and he reaches for Marcus’s shot gun and blows his own head off. Damn Tai.

2. Riftworm.

As you progress down the Locust tunnels you see some pretty large caterpillar like creatures moving aorund the can serve as mobile cover for Delta Squad.

Well after fighting for quite some time, cities above ground are being sunk to the caverns believe Sera. You discover a giant version of the rockworms is causing the the destruction. Now that’s a pretty bad ass thing. I mean I know Tremors is a long scfi franchise, but I was surprised by this in this game. Well another Carmine brother gets eaten by the giant worm and as the rest of Delta is escaping, the monster rises up and swallows your Raven chopper whole.

You of course survive the chomping and then have to fight your way out of the monster, and hey

An Autumn Sonnet for Your Saturday.

Good morning everyone, happy first day of Fall. This time of year is my favorite and not just because I’m basic and Starbucks changes their menu. I love the cooling temperatures and the harvest moon. I love the colors and getting to wear a favorite hoodie.

Today is also a good day to get some Shakespeare in. As are most days. We can guess Shakespeare’s Birthday to April 1564. We know he was baptized on April 26th according to church records. There is lots we don’t know before we get to his acting and playwright days. However in some lost years of his youth, we know young William Shakespeare was a poet and produced a quantity of poems or Sonnets. Today I share one for the start of my favorite season.

Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Have a great weekend and keep up to date with Mid-American-Culture!

I Wouldn’t Say Fair-weather Johnson

I’ve grown up watching the NFL like lots of folks. My own Dad was not a big fan, but my Grandpa and Uncle were. I’m from Ohio so early on I dealt with The Bengals and Browns a lot. In fact my Aunt and Uncle kept me in Cleveland Browns memorabilia, especially since my Uncle was from Cleveland.

When I started being old enough to decide my own likes, I attached myself to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I caught on to them from my local barber shop. The shop my parents took me to had a huge photo of Terry Bradshaw and it wasn’t a Steelers photo, it was an ad for some kinda hair product. Which was kinda odd because Bradshaw didn’t have much hair. I just remember asking who that was and most of the guys were all about the Mighty Mighty Steelers of Pittsburgh.

When I liked the Steelers they totally sucked. They were way past the 70s Super Bowls, way past. I had a Louis Lipps jersey I got for Christmas. I loved Merrill Hoge and Bubby Brister. My Uncle wasn’t too threatened by my Steelers love because his Browns were dominating the AFC half of the NFL at that time. However, no matter how great Cleveland was, they could not get past The Denver Broncos. After what became known as “The Drive” and the amazing fourth quarter comeback led by John Elway, I was a Broncos fan. I had John Elway’s Quarterback for the he 8 bit Nintendo. I had all the Broncos Starting Lineup figures. It was ok they got embarrassed in the Elementary School era Super Bowls.

I would stay with the Broncos for the longest. I even made it to a game against my more local Cincinnati Bengals. I’d ordered a Terrell Davis Jersey online to wear to the game. It was a size too big and felt like a moomoo but I wore it anyway. The Bengals were the worst team in the league but they beat the Broncos. In fact running back Corey Dillon broke the single game rushing record.

Our end zone seats became pretty rowdy and a drunk Bengals fan spat on me. He was quickly removed but it was still kinda crappy. Plus I paid a hundred bucks in 2000 to get spit on. Went back to that staidum with kick ass free tickets later on though and kinda rooted for the Bengals to beat the Texans. Tickets were 50 yard line. It was a much better experience.

I grew to hate the Steelers, super Fair Weather Johnson team. I’m not a fan of bandwagons. My NFL love cooled over the last ten years or so. Last Super Bowl I watched was Payton Manning and the Broncos get brutally beaten by the Seahawks. It was at a Buffalo Wild Wings so at least the food was good.

Suddenly after a few years away, I started to miss the NFL. Maybe it was President Trump’s constant attacks that made me want to revisit what I’d once loved so much in my youth. Most of the names I’d last watched were gone. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and a few others were still around. Still hated the Steelers and the Broncos did nothing for me. The Buffalo Bills had changed uniforms and those looked cool, kinda had that old school AFL vibe. I caught Bills living legend Jim Kelly on the ESPY’s back in the spring and his story and courage battling cancer really hit me.

A few days of checking up on Kelly led to stories of the Bills first round draft pick Josh Allen and his journey from California, to Wyoming, to the NFL. At a family birthday party my wife and oldest daughter we’re making tie dye shirts and when asked what colors I wanted I went with Bills colors.

Then I caught the Bills and Bengals on a preseason game. Then just like that the Buffalo Bills became my team. They we’re blew out in week one by the Ravens, but I’ve always liked an underdog.

Follow Mid-American-Culture on Twitter and keep up with us for fresh perspectives on all sorts of stuff. Happy weekend!

Nostalgia Trip with Baked Good Friends

Hey everyone, randomly things from my childhood pop in my mind and today it’s the Hostess Bakery Characters. Designed by Don Duga, famous for Mr. Magoo and Frosty the Snowman. I loved all these guys when I was a kid and they were everywhere from cartoon commercials to almost all the comics that were on the spinner rack. They even featured into stories with Hostess Cakes helping Batman and Robin or whomever solving a tasty case.

Everyone most likely knows of the most well known of the Hostess gang, Twinkie the Kid.

He’s been on just about everything from t-shirts and skateboards to recently a Funko Pop figure exclusive to Target Stores. Usually seem with his hat and trusty lasso, he’s the golden sponge cake the rest of the gang looked to when the chips were down.

There was also King Ding Dong, a royal pastry set to help draw attention away from rival Drake’s Ring Dings. It was a true cake eat cake world. Also according to a 1971 commercial, only kids can see him.

Then there was Happy Ho Ho, a Robin Hood type character. I didn’t really see much of Happy. I think my family must have preferred Swiss Rolls.

While Twinkies are the most universally known Hostess Cake, I think the chocolate cupcakes are the most universally loved. Their mascot was Captain Cupcake.

Fruit Pie the Magician was a favorite of mine, my Grandpa and I had a thing for the fruit pies and my Grandma always made sure we had some.

While there were a few more characters, my list wraps up with Chief Big Wheel. I did not remember him as a kid and when I did some research Chief Big Wheel was only used in areas where Ding Dongs competed with the before mentioned Ring Dings by Drake’s. So a Big Wheel is a Ding Dong but sometimes had orange frosting.

Youtube is full of the old commercials in case you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me. Please keep checking back daily for fresh content from Mid-American-Culture and have a great weekend.

Take a Break With Frost

Hi everyone, how about a Saturday afternoon break with maybe a cup of coffee and a piece of that cake. Robert Frost is my favorite poet of all time and a break from the grind with a great poem is often a nice respite from long day. Maybe even a your own mental cliff dwelling. Have a nice weekend everyone and keep looking out for fresh content daily from Mid-American-Culture.

A Cliff Dwelling

There sandy seems the golden sky
And golden seems the sandy plain.
No habitation meets the eye
Unless in the horizon rim,
Some halfway up the limestone wall,
That spot of black is not a stain
Or shadow, but a cavern hole,
Where someone used to climb and crawl
To rest from his besetting fears.
I see the callus on his soul
The disappearing last of him
And of his race starvation slim,
Oh years ago – ten thousand years.

by Robert Frost