Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Eyjafjallajokulled Your Mom Last Night

I love the name of the Icelandic volcano. I really do. I still can't say it properly but I did Eyjafjallajokull your mom last night...with Captain America's shield. Here's a fun video on how to pronounce it. I'm American I don't need to learn things but in case you're foreign, here it is. Anyway, onto our irregularly scheduled blog post.

I do like to talk about politics and there will be a little bit today but I'm in a pop cultural mood. So here are 10 things going on that you should know.

1. If you've read previous posts here, you know I'm a huge Doctor Who fan. If you haven't and don't know anything about Doctor Who, well, it is a show that you should be watching. Doctor Who concerns a character named "The Doctor." The Doctor is a time traveling hero who just likes to have a good time and go anywhere in the universe. He's the last of a race called the Time Lords. He had to wipe out his own race during a war that engulfed and killed trillions of people. The Time Lords became more and more cruel during the war and the Doctor destroyed his own people as well as the enemy they were fighting. Keep in mind this is a recent development on how he had to kill a lot of people.

For 47 years, Doctor Who has been a staple of British culture. If you're famous in Britain, there's a good chance you've been on Doctor Who. Simon Pegg (Scotty in the new Star Trek and brilliant comedic actor) went as far as to be part of Doctor Who audio plays. Kylie Minogue (she's Australian but y'know, still really big in Britain) was in one of my favorite stories, Voyage of the Damned. Doctor Who is a really big deal in Britain. Its one of the highest rated shows they have and its on a Saturday. Last weekend, Doctor Who premiered in the United States.

Now, I've seen the first 3 episodes of this season. Its fantastic. I was hesitant on the new Doctor. The Doctor doesn't really die. He regenerates into a new person with the same memories. Its a really clever way to keep a show going when the actors grow bored or get fired or just can't handle it anymore. David Tennant, the previous Doctor, is still my favorite Doctor. But the new one? He's really good and the writing is really good. You need to watch because its fun, over the top, and its the best sci fi out there right now. I'll digress as if I can't convince you, look it up on wikipedia, your Doctor Who wikiodyssey will work out, you'll start watching.

2. RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!!!!......!!!!!!!!!! Scott and I saw Clash of the Titans. Let me say this, Gemma Arterton is smoking. Like, I do want to do fairly unconstitutional things to her. So I have to say that before I explain my Clash of the Titans experience. I didn't hate the movie. In fact, I strangely enjoyed it. Scott and I both cheered at RELEASE THE KRAKEN! There are points in the plot that I got a little confused. There really isn't much of a plot. But, the special effects and the movie's own awareness of not being serious made it enjoyable. I think there were 30 lines of dialogue and it was fun. Do I recommend seeing it? Probably as a netflix rental. That's best for you but I still had fun seeing it.

3. Last night, the show Damages had its season finale. It is easily the best show on tv that apparently no one watches. Go buy the DVDs. The show is utterly brutal and wonderfully acted. Glenn Close terrifies me in the show. Damages is a show about white collar crime. The first season had an Enron type scandal, the second was an environmental one, and this season was Bernie Madoff. I highly recommend the show and hope it gets a 4th season.

4. Here's a Corgi as Star Fox

5. Its baseball season and the NFL draft is this week. So I'm completely obsessed with the Cubs as usual and the draft picks the Bears don't have in football.

6. Did you know we're getting a Wizard of Oz sequel? Yes, we are completely out of ideas.

7. What's going on in the picture? I get the whole sex kitten look but did you have to torture that cat?

8. I'm thinking of having a new girl of the blog. Here are some quick ideas Alyson Hannigan, Karen Gillan, and Mila Kunis. They're the ones I thought of right off the bat but I'm willing to take suggestions and I'll keep thinking.

9. I still am pushing for a show Scott & Hate plus Hate. I say this because I heard Kate Gosselin, a person who is talented at pushing out babies and being a bitch, ruined Simple Minds' Don't You Forget About Me. I take pride in having never watched an episode of Dancing with the Stars outside of when Tom Delay was on...yup, I had to watch it...ugh. I generally lack shame but even I felt dirty.

10. SUBLIST!!!!!! Music on the brain.
  1. Collective Soul's Welcome Home Again
  2. The Heavy's How Do You Like Me Now
  3. Greg Laswell's cover of Your Ghost
  4. Drive Shaft....I mean Oasis' Rock n Roll Star
  5. Michael Franti and Spearhead's Say Hey (I Love You)
  6. London Bus Stop's remix/cover of Get It On (Bang a Gong)
  7. Scissors for Lefty's Got Your Moments
  8. Shiny Toy Guns' cover of Major Tom
  9. Ben Kweller's Penny on the Train Track
  10. Jacob Miller's Charlie Brown's Lament
  11. Decembrists' The Infanta
  12. Otis Taylor's Ten Million Slaves
  13. The Who's My Generation (in Mono) trust me it sounds more cool
  14. U2's Unknown Caller
  15. The La's There She Goes
  16. The Perms' Running Away
That's it for now. See, I avoided politics for the most part...okay fine. I still think Sarah Palin is the biggest scam artist in American media...god damnit, is she bigger than Glenn Beck and Rushbo? Oh man, that's for another day.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Validity of Thought

The United States is a fun place in that if you think something up, there are likely to be those that agree with you. Because others have agreed with you, your idea, no matter how random or outside the mainstream, will become a valid idea that others must treat with respect. You could make the claim this validity of ideas is enshrined in the US Constitution's 1st Amendment. I'm here to tell you that its utter bullshit.

People in this country have a right to believe whatever they want. The government can't and shouldn't do anything about what you believe. But that doesn't mean that because you believe it, your beliefs are valid. Over the past few years there are issues that come up that develop a point-counterpoint narrative that are so ridiculously stupid that it defies comprehension. With many of them, I've reached a point where if you have taken a certain position, all your other thoughts are immediately invalid to me. I don't care any more what you have to say because you have demonstrated an extreme level of stupidity.

I'll give you a for-instance. Climate Change and Evolution. People say they don't "believe" in them. Guess what? Its science. It doesn't give a shit what you believe. Thats the great thing about science; it either is, or it isn't. The other nice thing, is it builds on itself. People who take the opposing viewpoint like to retort "well its just a theory." These are people who don't know what they are talking about. Yes, in our colloquial understanding of the term, "Theory" doesn't mean much. In a scientific context though "Theory" is a whole lot more meaningful. In a scientific context, "Theory" means "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena."

These are general propositions that are tested thousands of times over. Then, when they are tested, they are retested. Intelligent Design has tried to be some sort of counter-theory to Evolution, but frankly its a bunch of shit. With regards to climate change, opponents like to point out the e-mail scandal and also some of the problems with the UN's research council. But the thing they like to ignore is there are still thousands upon thousands of data sets, research papers, and models that all say the same thing. The Earth is warming and its most likely due to human intervention.

If you don't "believe" these two things as scientific theory, then frankly I don't care what you have to say on anything. You are wrong and no amount of evidence will ever dissuade you. I'm done.

But this brings us to our issue du jour. Of course, at this point we're all aware of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's SNAFU regarding "Confederate Pride Month" or whatever the fuck he wants to call it. Most of you are probably also aware of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's defense of Governor McDonnell's omission of slavery. These men like to talk about honoring the soldiers of the Confederacy.

Pardon me for a moment but what exactly are they honoring?

The Confederacy was comprised of a group of states that attacked American soldiers at Fort Sumter. They were fighting for the right to own other human beings as property. Thats what we're talking about when we talk about the Civil War. It was a rebellion fought for slavery. And because "the North" or as I prefer it now be known "The United States of America" was ready to end slavery they fought for the right to break up the United States of America.
They did this by launching an attack on an American military base. They did this by assassinating the President of the United States. They did this by forming an army and killing more American soldiers.

The Confederacy's leadership was composed of traitors to the United States. They were held up by a cadre of wealthy land owners who, today, would be charitably described as war criminals. One of the sadder things about the Civil War is it didn't really need to happen. The US was already showing that one didn't need to own slaves in order to be successful at much of anything. Mechanizing tasks had made simple human labor outmoded. But this was irrelavent to the South. They wanted slaves because they also knew they didn't have the population (without slaves) to be a potent political force. Their options were either to end slavery and let former slaves vote or resort to treason.

If you want to honor the Traitors of the South, by all means, go ahead. But I'm done with anything else you have to say.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 13, 1204

Hey kids, I usually do a post that's random pop culture with politics as explained in the previous post. We interrupt my trend to discuss a little controversial topic. I don't avoid hard issues. I do run away from things. I'll admit that. I run and never stop at times but this is something that I've been wanting to talk about. Don't mind if its incoherent. I can't read.

A note before I begin, today is an important day for the Orthodox. So history means a lot to me. I adore history actually. I like to think I'm part of several decades that I wasn't close to being born into. There are points in history which IOn April 13th, 1204, Catholic crusaders sacked Constantinople, an Eastern Orthodox Christian city. It was the center of so much of the Orthodox ideology. Think New York combined with Washington, DC, London, Paris, and Rome. 806 years later, the Orthodox still do not trust Catholics all that much. I say this before I begin to explain that I probably have a bias

Anyway, I was thinking about the Catholic Church scandals. There have been a lot of attempts to explain what caused things to go so wrong. Some have argued that the Catholic Church is just plain evil. I don't think that's true. Yes, I'm Eastern Orthodox but I've been educated by Jesuits for a good portion of my life. I think there's great possibility in the Catholic Church but there are a lot of problems.

Members of the Church hierarchy have blamed the victims. Yeah, that's it...oh wait, that's awful. Nothing kills me more than the idea of children suffering. So those who think its the victims doing this, go fuck yourself and don't ever comment on what God intends because you're wrong.

Some have blamed the media. Sorry kids, blaming the New York Times only works if you're a pathetic half term governor of a state you most likely couldn't locate easily. It's annoying that it works for the half term governor anyway. Nope, its not the media on this one.

Here's my favorite, blame the Jews. For more information, go here . Yes, its the Jews who are responsible for members of your church leadership covering up sexual depravity. Because you know what? Its tradition. Man, that's crafty...no wait crafty isn't the word, cliched and pathetic...that's a few words. When in doubt, blame the Jews...thanks...because that hasn't led to terrible things before. Oh wait....nope kids, try again.

I heard the Catholic Church's number two man, Tarcisio Bertone, (Really intimidating name) blames homosexuality... see here . Okay, so far they've blamed the victims, media, Jews, and now the gays. I'm kinda disappointed that gypsies aren't in this list. But the whole blame the gays deal is of course a fall back position. Its what right wing people love to blame for pedophilia. Chile would like to have a word with people of this thought process. They've got a priest who has abused young girls. Also, there is not a study that I know of that links pedophilia to homosexuality. Its one of those things that the really really conservative people like to argue on very simplistic terms. For instance, some deny global warming because it was cold that day or they got lots of snow. Here they blame pedophilia with boys on homosexuality. Nope, its not homosexuality. Its about an archaic sense of sexuality combined with an ancient idea of power management.

I really enjoy that the Catholic Church lectures on sexuality because its almost comical. I love the Old and New Testament. I legitimately do. They're beautiful in many parts of it and I accept many parts of it too. However, its not a good document for talking sex. Nor are the writers drawing from the bible like Thomas Aquinas. Trust me, I have a habit of reading a lot of very boring old documents for fun because I'm crazy. But back on point, part of the problem with the Catholic Church's scandal is partly sexuality but it isn't homosexuality that's the problem but understanding of sexuality and also gender in general. I mean for Aquinas, sheep are above women in the Church Hierarchy. Nuns are treated terrible in the Church. There's not a real sense of where people are in the modern world in current Church teachings.

The Catholic Church has an archaic sense of sexuality, gender, and power. You have an organization that's ancient and powerful willing to do defend the Church at any cost because of a higher calling. It never really developed that humans are sexual. It also understands secular society's attempt to punish members who commit horrible things as an attack on the Church itself. I don't advocate arresting the Pope. These guys do . I don't think the Pope should resign. I mean really, that would compromise the entire Church and there are good things in the Catholic Church. I do find that the current Pope did pretty terrible things before he was Pope. Its unreasonable to demand the collapse of Catholicism. These abuse scandals are about an abuse of power at the highest level as well as abusing power on a local level. They ruined a lot of trust and reestablishing trust needs something on an organizational level. I advocate a Third Vatican Council. In time of crisis, the Catholic Church has gathered for council to reexamine how the Church should function. Pope John XXIII brought people together decades ago to discuss Papal direction. He invited Jews, atheists, Orthodox, and many other religions. It should happen again and here are my own ideas that no one will consider but I can't keep my mouth shut.

Here we go,

1. The Church can't protect priests who commit evil. Sounds easy right? It's hard when you feel your church is under siege. But this is how it has to be. The moment you hear about things like this, you investigate and you do it thoroughly and then you turn them over to authorities with all the information.

2. I think women should be priests. Its surprisingly controversial and its not even allowed in my church which is Eastern Orthodox. Women were essential in early Church history. I don't understand why women aren't higher up on Church hierarchy. The Apostolic argument that the Church should consist of men based on the Apostles denies the idea that women were integral to the formation of the early church. I'm not talking Mary Magdalene Da Vinci Code things. I'm talking about early Roman converts in the aristocracy were women initially because the Roman religion wasn't too kind to women. Man, how things change...

3. Marrying priests? Its something worth thinking about. Its not like we're going to have a married Pope. People who rise high in churches which have marrying priests generally aren't married when they become heads of church. I don't think sexed up priests are going to pop up.

4. Stress social justice, progress, and the Catholic Church's role in modern society. I learned a lot from Jesuit Catholics about the modern world.

There are probably more but that's on my mind right now. I'm still outraged about the scandals. Its something that really bothers me a lot. People hurting children and arrogant people in power protecting those who hurt children just kills me. Anyway, new post tomorrow that should be very different. Yes, I ramble. I write here like I talk. Keep in mind I talk much faster and bounce all over the place on topics. Just keep up.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hello, let me reintroduce myself.

It's been awhile. For awhile, I couldn't have a blog. Time and other things. It's one of the few times I've followed rules. But that's life. It's brilliant but has the habit to be a tad unforgiving. So I'm going to reintroduce myself. I think I can do a blog now. I go by Edmund Dantes when I write. It's sometimes Edmond Dantes too. I'm like that. Confusing, contradictory, and manic and etc. Oh I do love the etc. Those who know me personally, and I'm pretty sure those who read this blog do know me personally, know that I'm all over the place. I adore culture, high and pop. I love to talk about culture. Actually, I like to talk about anything but culture, oh culture, you're just brilliant. So this blog at least when I'm posting will talk about TV (I love and watch a lot of TV), movies (old and new), books (I read history, science fiction, biography, political, regular fiction, and comic books), music (Lots of Indie Rock, classic rock, and random ones), and video games (I refuse to grow up), and probably whatever pops in my brain.

I'm also a political animal. I'm an unabashed liberal Democrat. I believe in an active government, an evolving constitution, I'm pro choice, and there are a host of issues that define me as a liberal. Its a safe assumption that there's a good chance I'm more liberal than a lot of people you know. I'm a huge fan of Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and yes, I'm a fan of Barack Obama. I'm a November Does Matt Democrat though. I get governing and not getting exactly what I want.

There aren't many living Republicans that I'm a fan of right now. Sure, there are actually many in the past I like. There are some living right now whom I'm a big fan of on a personal basis. You know who you are. But I hate the Tea Party (yes its a Republican offshoot mixed in with Faux News). I hate Faux News with a passion. Rush Limbaugh disgusts me. Glenn Beck too. Sarah Palin terrifies me because not that she might become President but that she appeals to the worst aspects of politics. I just watched Tina Fey do another Sarah Palin sketch....she's absolutely dead on about her. But that's for a later time.

You want to get an idea about me real quick? I'm a big Doctor Who fan (David Tennant's 10th Doctor is someone I relate well with), I love the West Wing, Psych, Mad Men, Rome, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Smallville, and there are many many others. I watch a lot of TV because my DVR is my god.

I have a huge DVD collection just in case I'm ever bored. There'll be more to talk about. I'm tired. So today begins a new.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ever Looming

As 2009 waxes (its already dawned) we must revisit an earlier blogpost. While the Mainstream Media (MSM), that ever neglectful and yet convenient target of the left, right, and everyone in between, continues to refuse to report on various reports of zombie ism throughout the world, your intrepid blogger continues his observations.

I don't think we need to cover all the points made in 2007, but I do think it is important to revisit the idea of location. And I think I have solved the problem. The ideal location is one that is sparsely populated, has access to fresh water and arable land. Food and water are critical and if my courageous group of survivors can cobble together some semblance of agriculture, even better. Basic agriculture will be important in the post-zombie-apocalyptic world, because it will allow survivors to avoid going into previously densely populated urban and suburban areas, where zombies are likely to abound. The best defense against zombies is avoidance. If they can't attack you, then they can't zombify you.

Additionally, defense against incoming zombies is important because eventually they will discover pockets of survivors and having the ability to hole up somewhere, or have an escape route will increase our odds of survival. Underground bunkers would be good for this because there are generally very few exit points and they should be easy enough for the living to discover and cover up or disguise. This is why I suggest we head for one of the many Titan missile bases that dot the Midwest.

As you can see by the map, this is a fairly extensive underground facility and presents several advantages. With a proper power source (basic steam power using local coal) the actual missile silos could be converted to hydroponic gardens capable of growing quite a variety of edible plants. Additionally, it would only be necessary to use electricity in the event there is a zombie scare. During safe periods, the actual doors to the silos could be opened to let natural sunlight and rain water in. Of course, it would be necessary to closely monitor the status of the closing mechanisms on the silo doors to ensure they could be shut in the event of an attack.

Another advantage to the missile base is that it is a hardened nuclear facility. This means that it is capable of withstanding a nuclear blast. As such, even if zombies attack, claws and fists will not be able to break in the doors. Thus, a group could hold out in the facility as long as food and water supplies lasted. Additionally, there is bound to be an escape hatch, though this will require a little bit of exploration. A missile base would also be an ideal location for a radio transmitter capable of calling out to any other survivors. Just as there is strength in numbers for zombies, there is strength in numbers for survivors. Another point to consider is we know these facilities are abandoned, thus there will be no zombies that have been locked underground just waiting to chew us up when we go down there.

Finally, an advantage to the Midwest is we know the land there is capable of supporting agriculture. We also know that it is relatively flat. Flat land makes it easy to spot zombies at a distance. We also know that coal is in abundance, especially on derailed trains traveling cross-country, which means we would have a near limitless supply of fuel for electricity, though I must stress that electricity will not be used at all times.

Now comes the depressing part for I am not a man who cannot see the worst case scenario. Say we are driven underground by roving bands of zombies too numerous for us to shoot and kill. There may be no way out. We would have the choice of a slow death or a brutal one at the hands of zombies. This is not an ideal situation, but the Titan missile base's other attributes far outweigh this grim possibility. Consider that the size of the facility allows us many options for storage and sleeping arrangements during periods of heightened alert. It would also provide us with a safe place to wait out long winter months.

While zombies are devious and cunning creatures, they are no match for human ingenuity and technology. Keep in mind that the zombie apocalypse will render much of what we have accomplished useless. But, certain technology may remain viable. An example of this is the GPS satellite system. This is something to ponder in the future, but I think it may be worth exploring the idea of sub-dermal GPS trackers on all survivors. This way we could keep track of everyone and if they are late reporting, we would be able to know where they are. If a person has fallen to zombieism, we would then be able to track roving bands of zombies, and the sacrifice of our fellow survivors may help to keep the rest of us alive.

Even in the zombie apocalypse, knowledge is power. Setbacks must be turned to our advantage. Stay alert, stay alive, and good luck to us all.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Teh Hardcorez

Now, as many of you may know, I am an avid video game player. I look forward to new games, I read about how to be better in my video games, and I also appreciate the new technologies that go into new games. I suggest games to other people and for the parents at my office, I am their source for knowing what to get their kids. So, while avoiding doing anything resembling work while at work, I came across an interesting article over at IGN. Now, IGN is not exactly a purveyor of stunning literature, but it can be interesting, if for no other reason than sparking debate. But, go ahead and read it yourselves.


Now, I'm thinking we should just take them in order, hm?

10. Japanese voice acting: This one may actually be a little bit true, but not for the reasons IGN asserts. The thing is, a lot of Japanese games feature children or young teenagers who can charitably be described as having ADHD. So, when games get localized to a western market they tend to get people who have higher voices and can talk super fast. This is annoying. Also, Japanese games are notorious for poor localization. So, combine the two, and you've got bad English voice acting. The Japanese voice acting may be better, but the bar is rather low and, to be honest, they all sound alike.

9. World of Warcraft Pity: I can't speak too much to this one because I don't play games like WoW. I'm afraid I'd never see my credit card again. A fairly legitimate concern. What I will say though is a more experienced player helping a less experienced one is a common occurrence in video games. Most of the time, we are not playing against each other. Many of us also realize that for us to have more fun in our games, we should help others to be better to better challenge ourselves and our own experiences. But, it can turn obnoxious and patronizing, which is where the pity comes in. People who do that only serve to hurt video gaming as a hobby because they serve as a barrier to new players. New players get talked to like they are 5 years old, they get frustrated, they give up, and they then proceed to denigrate the hobby to others. This is bad and if you are going to show pity just so you can prove your hardcore credentials, you are actually hurting your own hobby. Nice job, ass.

8. The Secret Genius of Super Mario Bros. 2: If you seriously find yourself arguing this, then you're a bigger jackass than I thought possible. Everybody knows Sega was better anyway.

7. Final Fantasy VII is Overrated: Absolutely true. Final Fantasy VII is about as overrated as a game can be, but the reason why everybody loved it is because for many people it became their first experience with more mature games that featured complex storylines and more complex gameplay. Squaresoft did make the game more accessible to a broader audience, and by doing so created a legion of people who will rabidly defend the game for all time. This happens quite a bit in games and causes people who think of themselves as hardcore gamers to feel abandoned or betrayed because the game they loved changed so much that it removed the challenge or the feel of the games we originally liked. This fosters backlash from the gaming community and actually causes developers to lose their own legitimacy. For the record, FF7 was the first Final Fantasy game I played.

6. Saturn vs. Playstation: Honestly, I couldn't care less about this one. I didn't own a Saturn. I will say though that all platforms are inferior to the PC.

5. The Grand Theft Auto III Aftermath: They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. If you liked GTA3 (and a lot of you did) then its aftermath isn't that bad. If you thought it was an interesting game but not the be all - end all of gaming, then yes, GTA3 destroyed gaming. Certain games come to define their genres and break them in such a way that everybody tries to be like them. This is actually more common than one might think. We recently looked at FF7, and for many gamers, the aftermath of FF7 was just as destructive as the aftermath of GTA3. For many other people, Halo became the game that broke first person shooters and even today Halo clones are everywhere on every console. World of Warcraft broke the massively multiplayer online RPG and almost singlehandedly murdered the entire genre. GTA3 was a genre-defining game. Some would even argue it invented a new genre entirely and nowadays every game has to have an "open world" format as developers of entirely different genres try to shoehorn the one innovative piece of GTA3 into every game out there.

4. Shmups are Real Shooters: Who cares? But this actually leads into a bigger point that I'll deal with soon.

3. Japanese RPG's vs. Western RPG's: Ah yes, this one is my favorite. I love RPG's. Love them. And I used to love JRPG's. But then something happened. I played a western RPG and knew WHAT THE FUCK WAS GOING ON! If you play video games, you've probably played games like Onimusha, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, and other big name brands that carry a lot of weight. But you know what they all have in common? Their stories are completely fucking incomprehensible. Another problem with JRPG's is they all feature teenagers trying to save the world for some reason. Now, I've read that the Japanese developers feel that teenagers are a symbolic choice because the life of a teen and their maturation also represents the maturation of the hero in the story. Some of them are even frustrated with that mechanic but feel they are trapped in it because that's what Japanese gamers expect. My response? Fuck. That. Shit. Now, the IGN post claims that by removing choice, JRPGs are a more pure experience. But, my problem with this contention is that the stories are so bad or so poorly told that why would you want to make it more pure? Plus, this concept leaves out the notion that the ultimate ending point of a western RPG is just as scripted, but by choosing our own way there, the game resonates more and leaves a more lasting experience. I mentioned in #4 that I was going to come to a larger point. Here it is: many JRPG's feature some game mechanic that requires either rote memorization or a giant spreadsheet in order to effectively use it. Memorizing firing patterns in a shooter is an example. Another example is Rikku from FF10 who could turn items in other things in the middle of combat. Some magazine published the key to this and it was literally a poster sized spread sheet that cross referenced every item in the game with every other item. I'm sorry, but if I have to consult a spread sheet in order to get the most out of a character, that is not fun. That is work. While I used to be an ardent JRPG player, and, indeed a big proponent of Japanese games in general, Western developers have caught up to and surpassed their Japanese counterparts in gameplay, story, and characterization. This may be the reason why Japanese developers are seeing their market share fall as well as their national prestige.

2. Halo's Pistol: Absolute bullshit. Halo's pistol was like a semi-automatic sniper rifle with a zoom on it that you could run around with and not lose accuracy. Everybody was good with it. If everybody is good at something then the true test of who is better is not skill, its luck. Also, since everybody started with the pistol, there was no reason to use much of anything else in the game and much of the strategy that generally goes into choosing one's weapon was lost. Balancing a game so there are no super weapons means skill becomes a very important aspect of the game. The pistol was overpowered and anybody who says otherwise is probably the guy who keeps getting shotgunned in Halo 3.

1. ...and the Wii Defense: This one could actually be true. I'm willing to give this one time. However, my issue with the argument is it assumes there are games worth playing on the Wii. Are there? Yes. Are there enough to justify my picking up the system? No. Many of the games released on the Wii are simple party games. Thats not necessarily Nintendo's fault. Nobody really knows how to make a game for the Wii that utilizes the controls in a compelling fashion. Also, a severe limitation for the Wii is its lack of processing power. Why would I want to play a game on the Wii when the same game has come out on another system and looks about a hojillion times better, has better gameplay, and also has more online capability? The Wii defense could be accurate if there were anything to defend. Maybe with the Wii 2. Or is that the Wii II?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Its been awhile hasn't it. Well, I have excuses but those hardly matter. I mean, things change, things fall apart, and things come together.  Its a quarter to 3 AM and I can't sleep so I decided to  put something back together. Welcome back to the blog that rarely makes sense but has a lot of fun in the process. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. How cool is that? I got a bit part in that whole campaigning. I can say I took part in some ads for him.  I froze my ass off at Inauguration too.  Look back at the blog and you'll see we were big fans of Obama way back. I can't help it. I'm from Chicago. So onto the future.  More politics because I can't help it. More absurd pop culture because I love it. People are hilarious, beautiful, tragic, and absurd.

I spent a lot of time on this blog hating Republicans and Joementum Lieberman. I really didn't like President Bush. I really still don't like President Bush. Does that mean, I wouldn't be critical of the Obama Administration? Are you kidding? I'm not Rush Limbaugh (more on that later). I'll probably still be angry at the Bush Administration for quite awhile.  I'm still open to mocking Democrats and being annoyed with my own party. No one hates on Democrats like other Democrats. So with that in mind, onto the list!

1.  Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP? Ha, that's pathetic. This a guy who once said he didn't like liberals rooting against America's success and now, says he wants President Obama to fail. That's leadership! Limbaugh looks out only for Limbaugh.  Game on GOP. You got played on the bipartisan game. By not even trying to support President Obama's stimulus package with a single vote after he went out of his way to talk, the Republicans just look petty. I was wrong when I got angry about the lack of Republican support. I still don't think working with them is productive because if their new leader is Limbaugh, then good luck on substantive debate. However, President Obama is far better at this political game than anyone in the GOP.

2.  Yup, my former governor is a joke. Literally. His hair, the way he talks, and his circus is absolutely hilarious. Rod Blagojevich is a character that no one would believe if he were in a novel or movie. Oh wait, been there done that. All the King's Men.  Read the book, watch the original movie, and please for God's sake don't go near the Sean Penn movie.  Its like Milk except really, ungodly, bad. Blago was impeached and can never work in politics again. I smell Jerry Springer like show for him if he survives his criminal aspect. See his begging for his job on the IL Senate Floor for a good time....okay, I wouldn't wish that on anyone except political nerds.

3. I still hate Bill O'Reilly. Waterboard him and then let's talk what is torture and what isn't.

4.  Wait, can we really reach 60 votes in the Senate? Judd Gregg, Republican Senator from New Hampshire, is apparently a front runner for commerce secretary. New Hampshire has a Democratic governor that appoints replacements as of right now.  So if Al Franken (ha yeah, I know, kinda hilarious, kinda awesome) gets his seat as he should and the NH governor, we can get to 60. Crazy huh. Somehow I'm sure we'll screw this up.

5.  Okay to the fun stuff. Does this woman look 27?

No, this isn't me just being weird because that's always a possibility. But this woman actually fooled John Cleese into believing she as 27. Don't get me wrong, she looks good. But she's really 45. Cleese broke up with her upon finding out the truth. I'm pretty sure everyone should play a game with John Cleese to see what else they can convince him of believing.  Make him believe a toaster is actually his pet cat! Or that Amy Winehouse lives a healthy lifestyle! Maybe convince him that the show Lost is actually the director's cut of Life of Brian!

6.  I'm watching Smallville at 3:30 AM and its a real strange realization that I don't like Lana Lang and would like her character to die off. Its a sad realization because I find Kristen Kruek to be extremely hot. She's in my top ten and I generally like the eye candy bit. But man, I'm done with her especially with the new plotline. PS, yes I love the show Smallville. Judge at will.

7.  Speaking of women, can someone please explain why people like Renee Zellweger? She squints too much and really shouldn't be a lead love interest in movies.

8.  Lindsay Lohan has breached the "if you open up a window, she'll go flying out and be sucked into an airplane engine" thin. Its too bad. Sorry Olk, she's losing the attractive bit fast. On a lighter note, she's apparently into very unattractive people like Samantha Ronsen or how ever you spell it because I don't care enough to look it up. My brother saw them both in Chicago a few months ago and was convinced Samantha was a guy. She also is losing work fast too. Remember Mean Girls...that was so long ago.

9.  I'm still mourning that David Tennant is going to stop being the Doctor from Doctor Who. Doctor Who sky rocketed into one of my favorite series all time. Still have a series of long specials this year before he exits. Martha Jones is coming back soon. She's hot, smart, and really good at being the Doctor's companion so I can be happy with that.  

10. I love movies among the crazy amount of things I adore for barely a decent reason. I always go to movies. I've been running through the Oscar movie nominations and will talk about each of the best pictures in upcoming posts. Stay tuned. I'm back. PS, Slumdog Millionaire is my pick for best picture but we'll get back to that later. Well its almost 4 AM so I'm off to sleep. I'll post maybe tomorrow or the next day. Good night!