Sunday, December 30, 2007
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Even if you aren't Christian I hope you had a good Christmas. There's no reason why Jewish people can't have a good time eating Chinese food and watching movies.
1. Robin Wright Penn and Sean Penn are getting divorced. Jackpot! Now is the time for me to make my move on Princess Buttercup. To take a line from Tom Hanks, "I might not be a smart man Jenny (Robin Wright Penn), but I know what love (a quick rebound relationship) is." All I need now is for Veronica Vaughn from Billy Madison to get a divorce from Pete Sampras.
2. How important does a female actress have to be for us to care about them getting arrested? If your answer is "Not very" then I have good news for you. Over the holidays, Mischa Barton, filled with the Christmas spirit (which apparently in this case is a mix of controlled drugs, marijuana, and alchohol) was arrested. Mischa, how is that decision to leave the O.C. working out for you?
P.S. Mischa, I almost forgot that I was supposed to relay a message to you. Robert Downey Jr. called and said he wanted his decision making ability back.
3. Oliver Stone is in Columbia helping to rescue hostages. How long is it going to be until the right-wing media comes out saying there are no hostages in Columbia and it's all a liberal conspiracy.
That's all for now. I just wanted to make a quick post to let everyone know that I wasn't dead. I will be back in the near future with reviews of movies I have seen recently.
Friday, December 21, 2007
1. My parents observe this. There are a few times which I have a soft spot. One is for dogs (I really do adore dogs especially my basset hound and corgi). There's a reason I have pics up for Dailypuppy every so often. Another is for elderly people and also people with disabilities. I tend to be fierce in my defense and try to help causes sometimes to my own financial detriment. I just don't like things being unfair for them. Don't expect me to play fair on anything else though especially if it concerns my family. I will cheat and respond completely disproportionately to whatever concerning my family. It will not be fair. One of the things I love so much and I become overly sentimental is the holidays. I have an almost unnatural love for Christmas. I celebrate two by the way. Catholic and Eastern Orthodox! No, seriously, I love Christmas. At one point, I tried to combine both Christmases into one extended holiday...Apparently its a lot more difficult than I thought. That whole thousand year schism is something. And Jesuits do not find it funny at trying to make Christmas into a new holiday. Super Christmas Week doesn't have a great ring. But Christmas is the greatest. For good or bad, you spend the time with the family. Its cold out. You don't really want to go anywhere and they're there. Also there's the presents, yes I do love presents, who doesn't? I tend to give out pretty cool gifts too. I'm always the one in my family that makes sure people get things. There's the Christmas trees, the decorations, and the whole moment in time when there is nothing on television and you just want to relax. When Christmas is done, you will be broke, you will be fat, but it is worth it.
2. On a side note, I saw Atonement on Thursday with ASF and Nicole. Towards the end of the movie, I heard this slap from a row in front of me. Apparently, some guy had passed out and was unresponsive. I lost out on five minutes of the movie as ambulance teams came in to help him. It was odd to say the least. I did get a free ticket to a future movie. But back onto point, Atonement. Its a good movie but I'm baffled by Keira Knightley's character but also in awe that she fell so hard for James McAvoy's character. Maybe its the hardnosed sardonic approach I take to a lot of things but their love affair of 9 minutes that became a central part of the movie just amazed me. May we all be so lucky to encounter that. I guess not quite being the affectionate love type may be the root of me not getting it or perhaps its actually just impossible.
3. I watch a lot of TV. Okay, that's not a confession. I watch a lot of good TV...and a lot of bad TV. I'll confess to watching not only the ever so terrible October Road but also, I've watched the particularly bad Gossip Girl. First, October Road is terribly written. I can write this show legitimately. The lead guy, who disappeared from his home town, wrote a best selling pseudo fiction about the people he grew up with, and now has come back to the town because of writers' block and he's hated by everyone for the book, is a terrible actor. And yet, I still watch it. I think its me not understanding how this actually came back this season. Its also because its an ultimate fantasy I guess. The girl he's with on the show (NOT THAT 70S SHOW GIRL) is ungodly hot and smart. She's not even realistically smart as in no one talks like that but I accept it because I'm easily distracted. The 12 year old is much smarter than I am as well on the show. He's the kid of THAT 70S SHOW GIRL! And I'm okay with him being much smarter than me though 12 because I keep waiting for Ashton Kutchner to tell me I've been punked into watching this. One of the worst parts about my viewing is that I relate really well with the shutin...obscure pop culture references, snobby reading, and a love for tv...yeah its bad. But it could be worse. So Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl reminds me of a lot of the people I grew up with in Chicago so that may explain me watching it. Trust me, it never resolves itself in a nice way. It also has a grand fantasy of a indie guy (not Seth Cohen) who goes to school with all these rich kids and has a crush on the hot girl (she was the hot girl in Accepted which me and 5 other people have seen). Anyway, he's had a huge thing for her for years. Hot girl falls for him eventually. Way too good to be true but hey its TV. The people aren't nearly as well written as the OC was with its quirkiness but...its bad TV you can't resist. I find it somewhat interesting that a lot of bad TV has the theme of people finding their true love and people who wouldn't really meet somehow finding each other. Its quaint.
4. For the 1.5 people who I don't know who read this blog, I can't drive, I camped once and it wasn't even real camping and I'll never do it again, I hate spiders (I truly do, in video games, I'll waste all my ammo on spiders because they freak me out), won't readily eat mushrooms (we'll see on that one could change), I love pies, Ahi Tuna, filet mignon, and I'm not a hugger most times. Seriously, I don't know why people hug so much and often. There's a host of more things which I have phobias and loves.
5. Places I want to go/live by my 34th midlife crisis. You see I go through crisis every so often for any number of reasons and I generally disappear to some part of the globe. I want to live in Istanbul, visit the Holy Land, Cairo, and Romania. I'll probably live in Great Britain, France, Italy by that time. Who knows? I can't sit still.
6. Brief celebrity news: Samaire Armstrong (girl who I have an immense thing for because I can't differentiate fiction and reality) was in rehab and just got out. Tragic...
7. I've tried to stay away from the Jaimie Lynn Spears debacle. I find it hilarious that her mom actually was writing a parenting guide when she already had Britney aka Unfitney. I love the fixation on the father of Jaimie Lynn's kid. As if it matters, because he's 18 and not exactly material to raise a child. Its a PR disaster for Jaimie Lynn's career though. She was on an apparently popular nickelodeon show...yeah....this should open to the door for Rocko's Modern Life....damnit, I'm dellusional.
8. Colbert Report and Daily Show are back in January minus writers... the primary race has gotten too far without them.
9. Stuart Scott of ESPN (a favorite anchor of mine) has cancer. Everyone pray for him and think good thoughts "cooler than the other side of the pillow" is not a suggestion.
10. Stephen Colbert has won the AP Celebrity of the Year. "In receiving this award, I am pleased that I was chosen over two great spinners of fantasy _ J.K. Rowling and Al Gore. It is truly an honor to be named the Associated Press' Celebrity of the Year. Best of all, this makes me the official front-runner for next year's Drug-Fueled Downward Spiral of the year. P.S. Look for my baby bump this spring!"
11. Thanks. Thank you all 10 people who do read this blog. I appreciate it. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. I don't think I'll be posting until I get back. I'm doing Vegas soon. I may have to call some of you to get me out of jail though. Good night and good luck.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
In terms of healthier, that may be true. But at what cost? I would argue to you that even if it is healthier you are giving up too much. And vegetarians know it too. Why else do they make tofu products that are supposed to taste like meat products? I know some of you vegetarians out there are already fomenting counter-arguments. Don't even try. I know whats up. I know the score. I know that within each of you, there lies a subtle yet inescapable yearning for the flesh of the fallen. And I know how to bring that yearning out and to fan its flames and bring you back into the light of canniba... carniverous-ness (good save Scott).
See, in talking with several people who were one-time vegetarians I have discovered a single thread that finally provided the needed epiphany. Bacon. Feel your mouth watering a little bit out there? Thats right. Every time I talk to a vegetarian the one meat they miss the most is bacon. And why not? Its salty, delicious, and can be cooked to personal taste. Not only that but its fatty and just melts in your mouth. You know you want some. How many soy products have you gone through that try to simulate the taste of bacon?
The argument against marijuana for all these years has been that it is a "gateway" drug. That by doing weed, you'll be pushed down a path to try harder drugs. Its a total crap argument, but it does provide me with my cure to vegetarianism. Bacon is a "gateway" meat. People crave it, and once they try bacon then the argument against things like chicken, turkey, or a porterhouse because less salient. After all you've already had pretty much the least healthy meat out there. Whats the harm in trying a steak?
The group that is most to blame for the moral argument against meat is probably PETA. And how I hate them. They claim that the animals are treated cruely and all that malarkey. But lets think about it for a second. If you buy free-range meat (of which there's quite a bit) then they aren't treated cruely at all. Instead they are fed and cared for their whole lives. And just when they're at their prime, when things can't get any better, they are slaughtered so they never have to know a decline in happiness. Sure, they don't see it coming until that impact hammer is placed over their skulls, but really, we've bred all intelligence out of them so its not like they'll even know it. So whats wrong with that? Plus, these are the same idiots who do things like change their name to "KentuckyFriedCruelty.com." Seriously. Do you want to be associated with those loony sons of bitches?
I'm usually not a huge fan of fast food, but I would suggest (with all apologies to Chris) that you buy every vegetarian you know the Baconator from Wendy's. Its got 6 strips of bacon! Sure, thats a heart attack waiting to happen, but I say that you hit them with as much bacon as you can. Really break down that wall. Once that wall is broken, then you can start treating them to things like chicken wings, turkey gumbo, ribs, brisket and all sorts of other fantastic options.
So help me my loyal readers. Together we can end vegetarianism in our lifetime. It won't be easy and it will require perserverance.
But it will be delicious.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Here's Ted Kennedy helping out Chris Dodd.
Chris Dodd's speech when it was clear the FISA bill was being pulled off the table
This time 'round you will have the honor of picking the trashiest fans in the NFL. Now lets take a moment to meet our lovely list of contenders.
Dallas Cowboys: They named themselves "America's Team" and their quarterback is dating a hot blond who's dumb as a... well a blond i suppose. I guess I don't really need a punchline there. Now I'm thrown for a loop.
Pittsburgh Steelers: They do carry around a towel at all times. Is it perhaps because they've been wallowing in trash and feel the need to clean off every now and again? Is that trash or class? You decide!
Philadelphia Eagles: Usually teams that spell out their own team name are pretty trashy. Add to the fact that they actually threw snowballs at Santa in the 1960's and you've got a real contender right here. Of course, they are my personal favorite team, so take that for what its worth.
Atlanta Falcon: They used to be called the Dirty Birds. They still support Michael Vick. Plus, its Atlanta. Does the Deep South also mean Deep in Trash?
New York Giants/Jets: This one's a two-for. The Jets also only have the mental capacity to spell out their team name (though it is easier than spelling E-A-G-L-E-S... just saying) and also they pour into Radio City Music Hall every year for the NFL draft with the express purpose of booing their team's draft. The Giants on the otherhand have some of the whiniest, bitchiest players on the planet but does that extend to their fan base?
As always, please place your votes and if you would like to offer up a write in candidate, post one in the comments section.
I have been accused of many things in my ever-so-short time on this Earth. Many of them have to do with vile ideas, a general lack of ethics, temporary or permanent insanity, and what have you. Despite all of that though, I firmly believe in a very quaint idea that I don't think gets enough credit these days: honor. I just wrote a huge big rant on college sports that was basically an indictment on the lack of honor in that system, just as a for instance. Which, by the way, I feel perfectly vindicated now that news of WVU's coach abandoning his team for Michigan has made it to the airwaves. But college sports is not my target this time around. No, fantasy sports is.
We're coming to the point of the season where its the playoffs and only those that successfully managed their teams get to keep playing for anything meaningful. I play in two leagues this season: one for money, one for nothing. In the nothing league, a player dropped all of his most talented players because he is not in the playoffs. He expected to see a scrum for all of his players as the best teams attempted to pick up his players. Instead, he saw a torrent of angry messages decrying his move and calling on all the other playoff teams to boycott those players. So far, everyone has agreed and the commissioner reacted swiftly to more or less block those players from being picked up. When the player realized that he was suddenly the most hated man in our league, he was shocked. Statements such as "wtf?" and "of all people i never would have expected it from him" and (from the commish) "he's no longer welcome in my league" have been bandied about.
Why? What does it matter? There's nothing to be had by winning the league, after all. I'll tell you why there was such anger. His move lacked honor. He lost. He's no longer playing. So in a fit of spite he decided to try and bring it down for everyone else. I'll be honest with you all and say that in my money league, I considered doing the exact same thing. But I didn't. I don't want to ruin the fun for everyone else just because I have sour grapes.
See, among a group of friends, or even acquaintances, you have little to judge a man on other than his word and how he comports himself. A man's sense of honor and integrity is the only way that you can understand his character. Can you trust him? Can you rely on him? Or will he stab you in the back because he's feeling spiteful?
The player in question may not have committed some egregious act here. All he did was drop six players who, for the most part, have had modest fantasy seasons. But everyone else undersstood that to win with any of those players on your roster would be fraudulent. Any win with those players would have the stink of someone else's classless move and even though you may have won, your victory would always be attached to that. Your victory would never be a true "victory." Everyone in our league understood that except for one player. He attempted to ruin the season for everyone else. And when he was accused of just that, he was shocked. I suppose everyone else in our league was just a more honorable individual.
Sure, its only fantasy sports, but in many cases, you play the same people every year. Players develop reputations. Don't trade with this guy, that guy makes terrible moves, that player over there tends to quit after half the season. You remember these reputations and you remember who burned you in the past. But so far, nobody has ever acted dishonestly in my leagues before. His actions were low. And he will be remembered for that. His reputation is now one that says "I play without honor or integrity. Do not trust me."
And we won't.
1. Came across this interesting article by a David Frum...yup he's a Bushie, welcome to reality.
I happen to enjoy this part.
"And yet it also has to be admitted: Many of us on the conservative side have fed this monster. (Rightly) aghast at the abuse of expertise by liberal judges, liberal bureaucrats and liberal academics, we have sometimes over-reacted by denying the importance of expertise altogether.
'Heart' is crucial," one of George W. Bush's early evangelical supporters argued in a 2005 newspaper column. This same writer accused those conservatives who questioned Bush's "faith-based initiative" of having "holes in their souls."
So now instead of holes in our souls, we conservatives are getting candidates with holes in their heads."
2. Mitt Romney annoys me but amuses me in a sardonic way of course. You see, Mitt Romney is the most insincere person running for office right now. Its true. He'll say anything to get a vote even if they have video evidence indicating his beliefs otherwise. He's like people you know who will agree with anything you say just so they can avoid the possibility that they might have an opposing view point that would cause you not to like them. You could say I'm pro eating babies and posting the skeleton on an upsides down cross and seeing if it'll work as a pogostick. And they'd agree with you and support you in your baby eating, unholy, pogostick worshiping ass. Mitt Romney is a pandering moron who now has to correct himself all the time because when you run for president, you're on video a lot and you say things a lot. When you say, "freedom requires religion," those charming atheists and people with common sense (not excluding atheists from common sense but including people do believe in Got and have common sense) that believe in the freedom of religion or freedom to not have religion depending on your philosophy will take note. Mitt Romney, being a member of a very "interesting" and unorthodox religion known as Mormonism (a church known for its rather crazy members with messianic complexes (I mean who doesn't have one) and its qualities to restrain women in an extreme and somewhat amusing contradictory way), claims that you cannot be free without religion. There are problems. He's trying to claim he was invoking John Adams...that's funny...I'm pretty sure people who aren't free have religion. I'm curious to see how much he's read of the founders of the United States.
3. Hmmm...I'm not quite done hating Mitt Romney. I'm a bit emotionally frozen. Its a quirk. I don't cry and I definitely don't buy into politicians (that includes those televangelists) who cry. Mitt Romney began to cry on Meet the Press when talking about when Mormons allowed black people into their church's hierarchy...How quaint, the same week that he gets railed on the idea that his church is fairly racist he decides to get weepy on TV. I don't buy it. I find it amusing that many Romney supporters love to criticize Hillary Clinton on being a political opportunist. Hello pot, meet kettle. Why don't you cry over that? Are you for pots meeting kettles? I'm pretty sure you can find Romney probably was on both sides at different times. He'll cry about that too...
4. CREW has posted their top 10 ethics scandals of 2007
I agree with all of them regardless is party.
No new enforcement mechanisms for congressional ethics;
Ted Stevens still sitting on Senate Appropriations;
Senate Ethics Committee looking into Sen. Craig, but not Sen. Vitter;
Millions of missing White House emails still unaccounted for;
Rep. Murtha’s abuse of the earmarking process remains unchecked;
Lurita Doan remains chief of GSA despite illegal conduct;
White House covering up its role in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys;
No Child Left Behind funds directed to Bush fundraisers who provide inadequate reading materials for kids;
Court decision regarding search of Jefferson’s office limits ability of DOJ to investigate other corrupt lawmakers; and
FEMA knowingly let Katrina victims live in hazardous trailers
5. I cannot stand Michael Wiener Savage. I find him to be an awful creature that when he couldn't get a job, he turned into a racist, homophobic, vitriolic, douchebag with a microphone. I'm glad he's losing ad revenue.
6. Tony Romo has really hot Jessica Simpson to go home to + Tony Romo has really hot Jessica Simpson come to game and he has worst game of career against eternal rivals, Eagles - I'm still taking that plus but man, if she has cursed you, as you get crappier, I'm not sure her dad will let you date her.
7. How is it that Britney Spears even has a case anymore? I mean we've reached a new weirdness level where its not just that most of us side with K-Fed now, its that its decisive. How is it she never shows up to court and they keep it going?
8. Amy Winehouse is determined to sing at the Grammy's....yeah we'll see. She also was determined to do the next Bond theme....and that's a nope now.
9. Congrats, Miami, your Dolphins are still terrible but you're not the shutout season.
10. Review time! Normally, nicknames should be shorter than the actual name but in this case, this nick name has legendary status and has to keep going. I am Legend aka I am Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the name of choice for the movie. IAFPBA as the kids call it is an enjoyable movie even if Will Smith is alone with his dog for most of it with interwoven flashbacks. Boy, do you get attached to that dog too. Sam, the dog, is the best actress in it. The funniest in theatre moment of the movie is the announcement that the Cubs are a World Series team just as the world ends...So I was kinda happy we made it as Scott just mocked me. I didn't like the CGI in the movie actually. The infected people just didn't look right to me. They looked like the Mummy creatures in the Mummy movies that had Brendan Frasier and that movie was made quite awhile ago for the tech to look that way. Otherwise, I enjoyed the movie. Good disaster movies make fun times. The survival aspect is really interesting. It reinforced that I'm a dead man at the end of the world...which I'm okay with realizing. Go see it.
11. I also watched the Kingdom last night. It had Jamie Foxx and tells us that the Saudi Arabia nation has lots of problems and they don't like Americans. I've read reviews that said the movie was xenophobic and racist. Well, there are people in Saudi Arabia that do want to kill Americans and Westerners in general. Let's recall the 9/11 hijackers were mostly Saudi, Bin Laden is a Saudi prince, and that Wahhabism (a fanatical element of Islam) is awfully strong in Saudi Arabia so I won't fault the movie on that. I thought highly of the movie actually. Its not every day that you see a car chase in Riyadh. I also disagree with the xenophobia accusation. I actually think it presented characters well. My favorite character in the movie was the Saudi captain working with the team team. They show his family life really well and its an aspect that we don't see often in movies. Jeremy Piven has a small spot...who knew, he's a dick there too. Ari in Saudi Arabia is just Ari with big words. The last half hour is pretty good action. I'll buy the DVD when it comes out because I enjoyed it and I'm fascinated with the Middle East.
Friday, December 14, 2007
You may be wondering what this has to do with the Mitchell Report. Well, its about honor and heroworship. You see, outside of baseball, soccer is the other global sport that reaches the world on an unimaginable scale. Baseball has a firm entrenchment in American history too. The 7th innning stretch is a tradition based on William Taft not being able to fit in his seat. Take me out to the ball game song was a broadway hit. Singing the national anthem started in baseball before all other sports. Baseball is something wonderfully American yet it is everyone's. Its a sport that is democratic in its nature. Ask Arod about what its like to be on a team where you're the only good player. No you need everyone to work or you all fall apart. I could go on forever because baseball is a sport I love. I love being at the game with anyone and eating that hotdog that I don't know what its made of. I love sitting at home yelling at the TV...honestly, I do that for other sports too but baseball is something that I will watch any team though my Cubs are supreme. Its the sport I look forward to every year when my team is eliminated from a chance at the World Series chance. "There's always next year." My entire life I haven't seen the Cubs in the World Series. In my grandfather's lifetime, he hasn't seen them win one. In all this, with Bartman, with bad luck, with just pathetic teams, it was this week that baseball broke my heart too.
George J. Mitchell was a well liked senator. He could have been a Supreme Court Justice. George Mitchell loves baseball and in his post retirement from the Senate, he's done a lot of things. He will now have infamy as the guy who let loose the floodgates on steroids. Its not like we all don't know that so many athletes. Its not like we all don't think Barry Bonds or others didn't cheat. The Mitchell Report revealed a lot about the status of baseball. It revealed that Roger Clemens is the dick we all think he is. When we were in awe of how he was able to play this well as old as he is, he told everyone its because he worked hard. That was a lie. I sat and read most of the Mitchell Report which is 409 pages and felt sad. Not only is it tragic that players who were already talented felt they needed to take these drugs, but there were many players on the list who were just desperate to make teams. There were just as many average players on the list as there were superstars. I'm also angry at many of the superstars on the list because like Miguel Tejada, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi did this. I can't live it down. I can't live it down that these players needed to do it. Babe Ruth, maybe the greatest hitter ever to play, was not sober for many games and he did what he did.
Many of baseball's stars are cheating and Mitchell details how they went about it. Needles in the club house, meetings to exchange for these drugs, and these players distributing to other players all were efforts to bring this abomination into a sport I love. Its amazing on the list how many Yankees and Orioles are on the list too. I can understand something about the Yankees doing it. There is an absurd amount of pressure put on them. My thing is that the O's aren't regularly going to the playoffs even with a team of steroids. So have we reached a point in baseball where the norm is steroids. If that is the case, I don't know what to do with baseball.
In 1919, America's heart was broken by baseball. The Chicago White Sox threw a World Series. All the White Sox players involved in the scandal were banned from baseball and the hall of fame. It was devastating. It ruined lives and it took something extraordinary to recover from. Babe Ruth saved baseball and made it great again. Baseball used to be just cricket with a harder edge. Babe Ruth made the game a sport. He made the homerun huge and more than just a phenomena. Baseball wasn't broken by Pete Rose. In 1994, we had the strike. I used to collect baseball cards until then. The season was canceled and could have ended baseball. The recovery was extraordinary though. Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's record really did save baseball. There followed a homerun craze that is not marred by the steroids now but it was great then. With Palmero and McGuire steroid bit a few years ago, the Mitchell Report players, and the increasing costs of going to games, I don't know what saves it this time. Maybe its the influx of talent coming from Japan. I legitimately think the Cubs have to go to a World Series.
Do I still love baseball knowing its full of people who are cheating? Yeah. I can't help it. I want a Cubs World Series really bad. Do I hate the Yankees more because not only are bad people but also because they're bad people who cheat. George Mitchell doesn't think the players should be punished but the tests being more random and more money spent on the tech to keep up. I disagree. I say ban all of them. I say they're banned from the MLB and they can't get in the Hall of Fame. Even if Derrek Lee, my favorite player, was on a list or a future one, I say ban him. I'd make it standard policy after a board makes an overview of what the player did and the evidence and then I'd toss them. This is unacceptable. Will this happen? No. The Players Association would never allow it. But one can dream. Yeah I could write this better. I'm tired, mad, and I'm not going to take it anymore.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Thus, Bobby Petrino continues a long running glorious tradition of college coaches, who jump to the NFL, being huge assholes. Like we're talking some of the biggest assholes and lying-est liars out there. From what I've read, on Monday Petrino shook Falcons owner Arthur Blank's hand, said "You've got a head coach" and then quit on Tuesday. Now that is despicable. But, lets remember, that while Nick Saban did the exact same thing last year he at least had the good graces to wait out the season. If you read any of the news about "Petrino-Gate" then you will see what a total douche bag this man is.
But (and you should have seen this coming) this brings us to a larger point: the college system for football is totally messed up. You've got the annual coaching carousel where coaches out and out lie about everything, there's an insane amount of skullduggery (bet you didn't think you'd ever see that word), and a Bowl system that is the most ridiculous thing on earth. In the past couple of years I've gotten really into the NFL. But college football remains completely impenetrable to me.
First off, you've got the coaching problems. That teams are routinely trying to steal the head coach of other teams. This seems to lack dignity and honor to me. If I'm a fan, how am I supposed to trust the head coach my team just hired if he just abandoned his previous team. He's a traitor and he's full of betrayal. Just because a traitor stabbed someone in the back for you doesn't mean he won't then turn around and stab you in the back. Look at Benedict Arnold. He died in disgrace over in Britain (Chris, fact check that for me). Why? Because he was a traitor.
Second, the players. Everyone who likes college football more than professional football says that they don't like the NFL because all the players are just playing for money. Some of them are, thats true. But look at it this way. If you're an amazing NFL player, you've got enough money where you'll never have to work again. What's your incentive for still playing hard? Why do people like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and LaDanian Tomlinson and Mario Williams all play so hard when they've got more money than they'll ever need? And also, whats wrong with that? At least in professional football, the football players are just that: football players. We've all deluded ourselves into thinking that college football players are students first and football players second. And for many of them thats true. But lets face it, college football players are playing for one of two things (or two of two things): to keep their scholarship, and to make it to the NFL. Plus, once a player reaches elligibility, he can abandon your team to jump to the NFL. Sure, free agency means that players can sign elsewhere if they want, so I'm willing to say that argument might be a wash.
Also in terms of players, and it may be too early to tell, but there's little accountability these days in college football. The NFL has been embarrassingly short on accountability in years past, but so far Roger Goodell, the commisioner, appears to be a hangin' judge. And I like that. You're a professional football player. Key word is "professional." Time to act like it.
Third, the bowl system. Any time I feel like I need a degree in theoretical mathematics in order to follow the progress of my team, I feel like something's wrong. Now, keep in mind, this only applies to Division IA football. Division IAA actually seems like it would be much more appealing to me because it's system appears to be more about crowning the best team, rather than making a crap ton of money. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind capitalism. I think its a great thing. After all, it works. Communism is a bunch of crap. Socialism I've got nothing against. But lets remember that in sports you need to know where you stand, otherwise, whats the point? Oh sure, the NCAA tries to say that the best teams go to the National Championship and that the bowl system determines who is better than who. But thats a crock and we all know it. The bowl system only exists to make the NCAA an obscene amount of money. Again, I have no problem with that, but be honest about it.
And thus we come full circle to why I can't abide college sports, or apparently the coaches who come out of it: its a charade. An illusion. A self-imposed lie that we all choose to either buy into or not. From the motivation of the coaches, to the player/students (note the order there), to the institutions themselves. I don't mind the underlying motivations that drive everything at the NCAA level (money) but I wish they could be honest about it. Sure, part of any sport is subterfuge and lying so that the other team doesn't get some esoteric advantage over you. But at least the NFL is honest about why it exists: to make money. Everybody is more or less honest about their motivations. So seriously, stop lying. Nobody believes you anyway.
But it is fun to watch the Falcons fail.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
1. Tony Perkins, of crazy right wing Family Research Council (Rightwing people love to stress Family and research but I have my doubts on both), would like everyone to believe that secularists and their media are to blame for yesterday's shooting in a church....not that they rejected him and kicked him out of the missionary school that he shot up...nope....
2. It seems the CIA and the Bush Administration have acknowledged one big thing if you want to hold them accountable...they can't hold you accountable if you destroy the evidence. Oh obstruction....huh, well don't question your commander in chief!
3. I was reading the Washington Post and I noticed that there is an article on judging Hillary Clinton on her pants suits. Asking how many she has and etc. Well, should we go question the suits of every candidate? I'm glad we're talking about real issues.
4. Why is it that every time I hear Bill Kristol say something I keep hoping its Billy Crystal that'll show up? Bill Kristol needs to get a pie in the face.
5. Nuff Said.
6. Holy god that is creepy and awesome. I can't wait.
7. Led Zeppelin is back.
8. THE HILLS ISN'T REAL?????!!!!!....???? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! oh wait, this is news? Thanks Lauren Conrad. I hate the world.
9. American Gladiators is almost here! I used to watch it when it was on regularly...I absolutely loved when they added classic athletes like Walter Payton...I'd kill for a dvd of that.
10. Today, I'm going to review an episode of a show I haven't finished yet. I have 6 minutes left on my DVR of the show. So, CSI Miami is a show I adore for all the wrong reasons but to me they're right ones. Horatio Cane, played by David Caruso, may be a bigger bad ass than Jack Bauer and he has funny glasses that he takes off way too often when he wants to say something dramatic. I totally would love a fight between Jack Bauer and Horatio Cane. Anyway, the episode in question is about a missing super weapon called an evaporator or something like that. Its a big gun that fires something like 100,000 rounds a minute and completely destroys a target. I don't even know if that thing even exists. I leave that to Scott to figure out. But not only does Horatio Cane go hunting this thing but he takes on a Blackwateresque company that has been working on US soil for "national security" reasons doing things that Blackwater does...y'know kill people. Anyway, that's the gist of it really. Horatio Cane= therapy for the Jack Bauer withdrawal since well, you won't see 24 for some time with the strike and he's a bit preoccupied with jail since he's serving 48 days for his millionith DUI. That's all for now.
PS. I was thinking about the metro buses today and the ones that have the light that moves back and forth I really think should say "By your command." okay, you don't get the reference...if you do, well awesome.
Monday, December 10, 2007
1. Monday: I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats
2. Tuesday: (This is a bit harder and hasn't been finalized since I couldn't think of that many) Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones or maybe Tuesday's Gone by Lynard Skynard
3. Wednesday: (Ridiculously Hard as I could only think of one) Wednesday Morning: 3 AM by Simon and Garfunkle
4. Thursday: A lot of people would think I'd go Thursday's Child by David Bowie or Thursday Morning by the Hollies...nope. I'm going with a favorite song of mine Ordinary World by Duran Duran. First lyric is about a rainy Thursday...I could go back to Thursday's Child for consistency though...
5. Friday: Easy one, Friday, I'm in Love by the Cure.
6. Saturday is a big fight...man, that's a pun...I hate myself...Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting by Elton John or Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers...you heard me. Saturday Morning by the Eels could get in there too.
7. Lastly, Sunday: Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash could get in there at some point when I'm 50.
So that's my list of week day blues...Got one yourself? I'd love to hear suggestions since well this is a product of my head. Now onto the list.
1. Mormon, flipflopper, panderer, presidential candidate, you're no Jack Kennedy! Mitt Romney gave a speech last week where he was going to explain Mormonism and that whole religious aspect of his ambitious self. John Kennedy, the United States' first Catholic President, gave a speech over 40 years ago clarifying Catholicism in his life and what it would be like in his presidency. Its a remarkable speech. Mitt Romney tried to do the same....except he pandered to the religious right instead detailing how religious he is and etc...unfortunately, Catholicism is not the same as Mormonism. At the time of Kennedy, Catholicism could be examined with over a thousand years of documentation. Mormonism is a little more confusing to many Americans. In fact, I'm hearing Mormonism more and more put with Scientology. I've also heard heresy is a popular word when talking about Mormonism. So his speech just went to the right wing and made himself a pseudotheocrat. Apparently, his spokesperson isn't sure if Atheists and non believers have a role in the United States. So checklist, he doesn't think Muslims have a role in his government, check. He doesn't think Atheists should in American society, check. Christians! A okay! Mitt Romney seems to take issue with everyone elses' faith, why can't they do so on him.
2. I'm amazed Rudy Giuliani went on Meet the Press. I'm more amazed that Tim Russert actually decided to hit him with hard questions. What doesn't surprise me? Laughing is not a way to answer a question, Mr. Giuliani. He kinda just kept laughing like he was on Joker gas when asked why his firm worked for Hugo Chavez or about his tax payer funded booty calls.
3. Let me preface this by saying that I've got some weird crush on Dana Perino, the President's spokesperson. I think she's kinda hot for some reason. I never said she was very smart. She apparently had to ask her BRITISH husband the difference between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs because she thought they were the same thing! Sometimes America scares me...okay most times.
4. Mike Huckabee pulled out his Margaret Thatcher....man that sounds dirty...like it could be something so masochistic ....anyway, Huckabee apparently wanted to quarantine AIDS victims in the 90s...proving once more, that Mike Huckabee, though likeable, is backwards. Between this and his own Willie Horton problem, they're going hit him harder as they dig deeper.
5. Howie Long is a douche bag. This is him yesterday morning, "Mike Martz suffers from a rare form of the Al Gore syndrome, where Al still thinks he’s the president and Mike Martz still thinks he’s the head coach…” Really? I mean Really? Howie is this like that time you thought you were an action star? I remember Firestorm you dimwit. Al Gore syndrome? Don't you have an irrelevance syndrome? Shouldn't you be doing Radio Shack commercials? Oh that's right, those were awful. You suffered from thinking you were actor. Before Howie Long makes stupid statements like this, he probably should realize that Al Gore just got a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award. What's Howie Long's movie career been up to?
6. Oprah is really surprising me. I didn't think she could adapt to message as well as she should. Obama is getting record crowds...its a hell of a move to hit this close to Iowa.
7. Scott Baio got married...weird huh? I guess that's the finale to his reality show Scott Baio: Single...I'm not even joking.
8. Tiki Barber is a pillow muncher on Project Runway...Thanks Vicky
9. Amy Winehouse...honestly, just google image her coked out wonder.
10. So I was watching late night TV last night and a few things occurred. One was that I realized for the 47th time that Misha Barton was in the Sixth Sense and I tried to think about when was it that we all realized that Bruce Willis didn't have hair? I mean it was on a permanent thin during Die Hard. The Sixth Sense had that layer that lasted so long...Another question that kicked in was how long was he faking it? Another, thing that happened was a weird transformation occurred when I was watching the Amazing Race. I've slowly began watching it in utter fascination. Its stressful TV with some great editing. Anyway, the Amazing Race does a few things. It makes seemingly normal people look crazy and weird people look normal. I found myself rooting for the hippies for some reason I still can't figure out. The Goth people are fairly entertaining too. But man is there a lot of crying in that show. The relationships that seem like they were normal at some point but then crying comes and shouting and its amazing to watch. My ideal amazing race is utterly savage. You give a set amount of money, a video camera that the team must have at all times and tell them to get across the globe or something like that. The camera must be on all the time and to be replaced at certain points on the globe. None of these mini games. I'd have them have to get across real threats like the desert..okay maybe not that part...but you get it...hopefully.
11. Goodbye Michael Vick... no one likes you. You'll be in jail 23 months...yeah he'll get out early but I'll miss Olker being pissed about Michael Vick. Madden video games won't be the same.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I am sure that her employers felt that by silencing her they would somehow improve productivity. But what her employers, and many others either don't remember or fail to understand is that most jobs these days (and perhaps through all of history but who cares about them?) are incredibly repetitive and boring. Oh sure, some have jobs that don't make them want to stick a shotgun in their mouth and have someone put a "By Jackson Pollack" sign on the wall behind them. But most of us don't.
Back before the days of the internet, people would find diversions by talking around the water-cooler. Hell, they actually had water coolers. These days though we have the internet and with the internet comes things like instant messenger (I prefer gchat), websites that cater to seekers of useless trivia, and yes, blogs. Like this one. Who now has one less commenter.
It is almost unreasonable for employers to think that by paying their employees for 8 hours of work, they should be working all 8 of those hours. It is fair however that they expect the equivalent of 8 hours. And in order to achieve this equivalent, we need our diversions. Or else we'll fall asleep, sit there and stare blankly forward, go back to that shotgun, or (like me) torment co-workers who happen to be from other countries.
With the aid of the internet though, we can do our jobs, and when we get a little burned out find a little diversion so that our brains can readjust. Perhaps company's fear that the internet is a dangerous Siren's song that will lure us to the deadly shores of internet porn and malware while we are at work. But most of our current generation is able to resist this Siren's call because we've grown up with the internet. Some of us can't though (you know who you are out there... sickie) and they ruin the party for the rest of us.
So in response to those bastards that Lauren works for, I propose a firebombing of their offices (when Lauren isn't there). This may seem extreme but I have a personal maxim that really helps out here.
All problems can be solved with fire.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I love Skittles. They're tasty. They're sugary. And they provide a great alternative to chocolate. Plus they are bite size, and they aren't messy. We have all the other megaliths of vending snack food, but we don't have Skittles. This angers me more than a little bit. If I want to taste the rainbow, I have to go down to the fucking conveniance store, 12 stories down, to get them. We're talking like a 20 minute escapade for Skittles here, folks. I've done it too. Many times. I consider it a perfectly valid reason to abandon my cubicle.
Now, if the rest of the stock in my vending machine were awesome, I might not mind so much the absense of Skittles. But the stock is not awesome. You've got Snickers. That's a staple of any good vending machine. But you also have 3 Muskateers Mint. Why the Mint one? Plus, you've already got a quality candy bar. Instead of my Skittles, you've got a novelty candy bar that nobody eats.
There's also a spot devoted to Snackwell cookies. What the fuck? Everybody knows those things are just fake diet food and thus serve little purpose. Especially since you have several other cookie options (Milano cookies for one) and you also have several other healthy options (Granola bars). I suspect they are there so people who are dieting or "dieting" can feel good about themselves for eating the "healthy" cookies. This may become a future post, but I hate people who try to make new foods so they can still feel good about their vices while pretending to be good or noble. Anywho, instead of fake diet food, why not just admit the purpose of the vending machine and give me my Skittles?
Here's a good one: TGI Friday's Cheddar Potato Skins. What the fuck is that? Seriously? Why the fuck is something that nobody else in America has probably even heard of in my vending machine? How is this even still marketed or made? I want answers to those questions because I'm fairly certain thats bullshit. Additionally, we've already got Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips. Why do we need both? We've also got Cheez-its (perhaps the most addicting snack food in teh history of mankind). We have 3 cheese-like options but no Skittles. I love cheese, don't get me wrong, but thats fucking stupid. You're telling me that a brand off-shoot of a shitty restaurant is a better option than Skittles? I will stab you, then shoot you, then nurse you back to health so I can hit you with a Mack truck. Thats how much I hate you Mr. Vending-Machine-Item-Picker-Guy.
How about another example? They have Dark Raisenettes. Once again, my vending machine offers a brand off-shoot but not the original. We have room for raisens covered in dark chocolate but not for sugar covered in more sugar? Half my vending machine is filled with things that are the color of poo but nothing that is colored like a rainbow and has had a commercial that strongly implied the death of a naysayer. That a bunch of bullshit. I'm sure some of you out there have similar angry stories about your vending machines and I'd love to hear them. Post them up in the comments section.
Until then... Believe the Rainbow.
Friday, November 30, 2007
The Cowboys (as much as it pains me to say), have shown they can consistently put up performences on Slapsgiving that deserved to be televised. They are America's team (if you are trying to convince the rest of the world that America is full of drug users and white-trash fans). I think the Cowboys should get a game, another game between good teams should be shown, and the Lions should think about what they've done.
P.S. Maybe I would agree to a compromise where the Lions Thanksgiving game was on the NFL Network.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
"I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them."
These are the words of President George W. Bush. They're good and they're what they should be. Its rare I can say that. So when a Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, says that “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration," I take issue. I take issue at the underlying notion that Muslims shouldn't have even the option of serving higher positions in an administration. Its okay for them to be in lower positions. I find it amusing that a Mormon would use percentage statistics to indicate how high up in the government you should be. Islam is roughly 400 percent larger in the United States than Mormonism. With his mathematics, I don't think Mitt Romney could run as dog catcher....do they still have those? This is fear mongering, idiocy, and pandering. This is typical Mitt Romney and this exhibits a severe hostility that his supporters have for Islam.
It isn't just his supporters. The Washington Post had the audacity to throw up a story about a strange and peculiar internet spread rumor that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim who is a plant to destroy the United States from within. Really? I mean really? The Washington Post should know better than to treat internet rumors as a story. This is the Madrassa rumor again. No substance, just fear mongering. There are rumors about anything online from President Bush being an alien to one of my room mates being an heroin addict. It isn't worth it. There are two underlying notions though with this rumor. IF and I do mean IF Barack Obama is a Muslim, then somehow that shoots down his campaign? Not the most tolerant idea is it? Second, IF Obama is a Muslim, then that means he's going to destroy the nation? I don't think so. That implication is that all Muslims are trying to destroy the United States. I'm afraid only people who think they're defending the nation with other interests are the ones most likely to destroy the United States. We are the greatest threat to our own ideals and future. For the Washington Post to spend time on that story and ignore things that maybe matter more is remarkable.
Things like being oblivious that your company is dealing with someone who helped the 9/11 architect evade the FBI and continues to do so. Things like you used city government resources to hide the affair you were having to your now current wife. That's called corruption and hypocrisy. In case you're wondering, Rudy Giuliani is guilty of both. For the 9/11 architect evasion, read this. Remarkable isn't it?
So as I caught parts of the Republican debate last night, I felt sorry for Mike Huckabee in the coming months because Romney, McCain, and Giuliani are going to be dirty. They're willing to link all Muslims with horrible things. McCain thinks people like Ron Paul allowed Hitler...Yup, he went there. I haven't seen Huckabee do the offensive things the other big three have engaged into though he's come close. After all, he is a running for the Republican nomination. Fear does wonders.
On a completely separate note because I can't stay serious so long. Celebrity update.
1. Helio Castroneves, you may be asking who?! Well, he won Dancing with the Stars. I'll admit I saw one episode and called this one almost immediately. You see he told people that he was engaged to a Aliette Vazquez whom I'm guessing is a random hot foreign girl. However, when I saw him dancing with Julianne Hough on the show. I yelled out he's absolutely sleeping with her (yes I used other terms which got me slapped). Apparently, I'm right. His engagement is over and he's doing things that many guys could dream because Julianne Hough is as the kids say bangin.
2. Chevy Chase has been hired on SNL again! This could be an awesome disaster since outside of Caddy Shack, Gerald Ford jokes ( possibly a bad idea now or awesome idea?), and Vacation references, Chevy Chase kinda isn't funny. I saw him on Brothers and Sisters and barely recognized him. He has an old man voice now too. I heard he's a complete dick too.
3. Holy Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears had another melt down in a store. This time in a Hustler store where she stole a wig and just went crazy not wanting to pay for things.
4. Holy I Know What You Did Last Weekend, Jennifer Love Hewitt got engaged to some Scottish bloke.
5. Tony Romo is seeing Jessica Simpson. Not sure if I can still hate Romo because you can't help but root for him in that...oh wait, I still will hate him.
6. For all you Grey's Anatomy viewers out there, the remarkably attractive Chyler Leigh's first movie is more awkward than a Meredith Grey monologue. Chyler Leigh, who was in the fantastically bad show Reunion, got her start in the epic Kickboxing Academy. The awkward part? Her love interest is her own real life brother! Yes, there are kissing scenes...those crazy 15 year olds.
Good day and Good luck.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
1. HOOKED ON PHONICS! Seriously, I understand that the President's speech writers write things out phonetically. I agree with doing that. I've done that myself with people. However, to screw up someone's name at a peace conference of large importance brutally like that....I'm tired of stupidity among other things with the President.
2. Karl Rove wants people to believe that it was Congress that rushed to war! He wants to blame a Democratic Senate for rushing to go to a war that destroyed their numbers until recently. Right, Karl Rove is a douche bag. Go to that far left Liberal website called whitehouse.gov if you want to see that you cannot rewrite history that easy.
3. John Ashcroft has offered himself up for waterboarding. Interesting. He already tortured people with "Where the eagles soar." Time to return the favor.
4. In case you didn't know, Carson Daly is a dick....and then I found out he's crossing the picket line and starting production again. Would anyone really notice if they just showed reruns of his show?
5. Oprah is going to openly campaign for Obama in key states. Barbara Streisand for Hillary Clinton. Ric Flare for Huckabee...wait does he count as a celebrity? Anyway, the celebrity behind Giuliani? PAULEY WALNUTS from Sopranos....I'm not even kidding.
6. For your further indoctrination, Amy Winehouse has cancelled the rest of her tour. It could have been the coke she did publicly or the fact she couldn't stay sober or sane on stage.
7. I'm hearing Britney Spears is pregnant again and this time its with her producer. God help us.
8. Mike Huckabee is winning in Iowa for the GOP!? Check the archives of this blog for the sole pseudo support given to him early on.
9. HUGE REVIEW TIME. I saw a lot of movies recently so we'll go fast. Beowulf! Holy god that was fun. Go see it in 3D and be gitty like an 9 year old. Lions for Lambs...believe it or not, Tom Cruise makes a good neocon Republican. Probably because he's crazy. The story about the two guys in Afghanistan is heart wrenching but the movie lacks something. Robert Redford needed a better script no matter how much I agree with him. Before the Devil Knows You're dead! Utterly brilliant. Most vicious movie I've seen and it wasn't because of violence that did it. You also see more of Marisa Tomei than you thought you would (still have a crush on her). Hitman! I still don't get many plot points but somewhat enjoyable even if it rarely made sense. What am I saying? It isn't very good but watch it with a group and its kinda fun. Gone Baby Gone! Excellent movie...seriously, Ben Affleck did a great job and you should go see it. I loved it.
10. My brother's band the Ivorys had a show while I was home and they were outstanding. They've got a show on the 21st of December I think and if you're in the area you should come. More information to come.
Monday, November 26, 2007
1. Ludlow by James Horner
2. Rachmaniov or Rachmanioff depending whom you ask how to spell it 3rd Piano Concerto Finale Alla Breve
3. Lucky Man by the Verve
4. Ordinary World by Duran Duran
5. Bad Sun by the Bravery
6. Chicago, My Kind of Town by Frank Sinatra
7. Wisemen by James Blunt
8. Baba O'Riley by the Who
9. Money (That's what I want) by Barrett Strong
10. Clocks by Coldplay
11. Summon the Worms by Brian Tyler
12. Hollywood by Collective Soul
13. Train in Vain by the Clash
14. Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2
15. The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves
16. Ship of Fools by World Party
So there it is at this moment. Me being indecisive, I'll probably change it in ten minutes. What's your sound track?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Go ahead and take a few minutes to read it. I'll wait. Dum de dum de dum... hmm, what the hell is that under my nails? Ewww. How long has that been there? I wonder how it tast- oh you're back. Find that to be an interesting read? I did too. Perhaps because I disagree with almost every bit of reasoning the man had.
His central claim is that as games have evolved, they have gotten more complex because companies discovered that they could make more money with complex games in the arcades than they could with simple games. This falls in line with his idea that more complex = more satisfying. His other central idea appears to be that because anybody can play the Wii everyone should play. There also appears to be the test of "can a 6 year old play it?"
As to his first claim, he states that Street Fighter 2 was doomed to failure because it was so complex. This is a completely implausible statement evidenced by his own anecdote of the machine being used nonstop for years at a time. Video game companies didn't discover that complexity made for more money. They discovered that more complex and precise controls allowed players to have more control over what happened in the game. This level of control made games more fun because gamers could play the way they wanted to. Shocking concept, I know.
Most developers do not make games complex for the sake of being complex. There is always a reason for that complexity. When looking at a modern video game controller, it is important to consider that modern video game controllers grew more complex because they had to compete with the other console that has been a constant throughout all of videogames: the personal computer. Video game consoles have never been able to provide the same level of control as a simple keyboard and mouse. Instead, they've tried to put all the functions you would need into a small, increasingly ergonomic pad that you can use. You can look, you can move, and you can interact with objects. A more complex controller is just a way of giving someone more control over the game.
Later on, the author makes the claim that small children sometimes can't play children's games because the controls are too difficult. I find that hard to believe. Children are actually really good at picking up a 360 or Playstation 3 controller and learning how to play it. In fact, Chris has informed me of the fact that he got his ass kicked by an 11-year old in Halo. Thats pretty embarrassing but it does happen. The little bastards also generally like to tell you that you're getting your ass kicked by a little punk. The controllers are intuitive. You look, you move, you hit the green or blue button. And it usually is the green or the blue button. In fact, the only people I've ever met who have trouble with a video game controller are old people or people who are too lazy to experiment with the controller for 20 minutes. I've taught sororiety girls how to play Soul Caliber and Halo 3 in less than half an hour. Sororiety girls. Also, I've played a Wii with quite a few people who fit more into the "everybody" bracket than the "gamer" bracket, and the same people who typically have trouble with a regular controller have the same trouble with a Wii-mote. Especially in any department that requires precision.
Now, the author mentions that there are people who are outraged at the success of the Wii. And there are. People like me who are more interested in having fun and killing something and less interested in the console wars refer to these people as 'fan boys.' They are people who trumpet the successes of their system while deriding all others and can't believe that people would actually disagree. Whatever, they're idiots with too much time on their hands. Ignore them.
Moving on though, the author mentions that developers have tried to make their existing games fit on the Wii and thus far they are failed for the most part. I have heard from friends who own a Wii that this is true. The controls don't work, the graphics are ugly, and the game itself just doesn't feel right. If its not made specifically for the Wii, then it generally is going to be a poor import. Sometimes this is baffling. I have a co-worker who owns a Wii fishing game. Fishing could work on the Wii but for some reason the developer made the weird choice that instead of using the Wii-mote like a fishing rod, you would press complex sequence of buttons. Weird and stupid. The author says "good" to this. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Good? We should be pleased that games designed for gamers don't work on the Wii? I would like this explained to me. You're telling me that if I have an X Box 360, I can get all the mini-games and arcade games I want for like $5 a pop off of X Box Live Arcade and play some of the best games to come out this year but if I only have a Wii I need to pay $50 for a set of mini games, and I can't play Call of Duty 4? What the fuck is that? When the author says that the Wii's market is "everybody" I must respectfully disagree. The Wii's market is Nintendo apologists and everybody who doesn't know how to play video games already. Thats a big market, I'll admit. But its disingenous to say that the market is "everybody." This is going to be a question to all the Wii owners out there (and there are a lot of you): How many games are there for the Wii that are both good and made with mature gamers in mind. I can think of four off the top of my head; Zelda, Metroid, and two Mario games. Pretty much the same three games that Nintendo has been making for almost 30 years. Is Super Smash Brothers out? I'll count that as five if it is.
Next, the author derides game reviewers who give poor reviews to Wii games that are just "pure play." IE. the mini-game collections. He notes that one reviewer states that the game was more fun than he expected but still gave it a low score. He then wonders why it got such a low score if it was "more fun than expected" and what the hell did the guy expect anyways? You know what he expected? Value. The cost of video games continues to go up. Gamers are consistently being asked to pony up more and more cash to be able to indulge in their chosen hobby. And for the most part, we're fine with that. Will I spend $60 on Halo 3? You bet your Spartan ass I will. Why am I willing to spend that much money? Because it has a strong singleplayer experiance and then gives me loads of options in multiplayer. The game is worth that $60. The game is also innovative. Value! The problem with a lot of Wii games, at least to my mind, is that the game experiance is shallow and unless you're playing with a bunch of people who it may be new to, the luster of the game wears off pretty quickly. How many times can you play the same mini-game before you get a little tired of it?
The author claims that these games score poorly because they are outside the norm and thus, they are hard to rate. That may be true. But video game reviewers all look for the same things. Is the game easy to handle? Can I play it how I want to or am I railroaded by the developers? Does the game experiance scale to my play ability? Does the game make sense? And most importantly, is it worth my money? One of the specific games singled out is Mario Party 8 which scored poorly. Why did it score poorly? Because the game was a rehash of the previous 7 Mario Parties and random crap would happen that didn't make any sense. Its not that reviewers felt that the game couldn't be "completed" it was that reviewers felt that their actions had little impact on the game.
For a lot of people Wii games meet those criteria. And thats fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But for the people who already know how to play video games, the Wii just lacks value. The Wii isn't the best system, but it also isn't the worst system. It just took a different business model than Sony or Microsoft. If it appeals to that author because he can play it with his 6 year old son, great. People should get the system that they feel they are most compatible with, not the system that people say is the "best." But don't try and make the argument to me that because you can play it with your son its the next revolution in gaming. Because, I have news for you. Your son will eventually get bored with it. That first time he gets to play Halo 5 with his friends in a few years is going to show him what modern games are capable of acheiving in terms of story-telling and control.
Plus he's going to realize that guns and violence (which are in short supply on the Wii) are awesome.
Cheers and happy gaming.
Monday, November 5, 2007
- Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
- The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
- I know of no reason
- Why Gunpowder Treason
- Should ever be forgot.
- Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
- To blow up King and Parliament.
- Three-score barrels of powder below
- To prove old England's overthrow;
- By God's providence he was catch'd
- With a dark lantern and burning match.
- Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
- Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Today is Guy Fawkes Day. Tonight is Bonfire Night. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person I know who gets excited on this day. In the United Kingdom, its a bit like the Fourth of July. There are fireworks, bonfires, and etc. Its a weird day I know. I'm not entirely sure what they're celebrating. Are they celebrating that Guy Fawkes was stopped from blowing up Parliament and the King James I or are they celebrating that he wanted to blow up Parliament and the Monarchy? Also, they do burn an effigy of the Pope which is charming in an old Anti Catholicism binge and by charming I mean odd...Are they hating Catholics too? I once saw some Disney characters in effigy too so has this translated into Anti US as well? Its a great time nonetheless.
Oh I'm posting a list of shows now to have a list for today because its something different than the politics and celebrity news.
1. Battlestar Galactica...yes you should be watching no matter how corny the name sounds. Not only does the show have great characterization but it has a diverse cast. It has a female president that is way more interesting and authentic than that show Commander in Chief ever had. If you like Lost, Heroes, or etc, please do go buy the DVDs, watch its movie on November 24th, and hop on board next spring for its last season.
2. How I Met Your Mother...it is an absolutely funny show. It has NPH as well...aka Doogie Howser. The DVDs are cheap and utterly enjoyable. It airs on Mondays before Heroes does in case you're wondering. 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, or Freaks and Geeks fans will enjoy this. Its also something you can watch with anyone and everyone relates.
3. Pushing Daisies...This show is so god damned cute you can't help but watch it. Its quirky, fun, and has some great lines. Chi McBride is great, in fact, he has almost a hilarious line every scene. I'll admit it I have a crush on Anna Friel and thus biased but Kristin Chenowith is also really good. Big Fish fans can relish in the art direction of the show. its exceedingly pretty to look at with the style of an inner imagination.
4. Life. Now here is a struggling show now that should be watched. Its enjoyable much in the same vein as House is. Damien Lewis (also a British Actor like House's Hugh Laurie is (he was Winters on Band of Brothers)) is a cop that was sent to jail for over a decade and had his conviction overturned. He sued the city for it and won with a lot of money and got his job back. He didn't quite come back all that normal. He's existential now and slightly crazy. Really good and has a good supporting cast with smoking Sarah Shahi and Adam Arkin.
5. Boston Legal..yes its been on awhile. Yes, its preachy. Yes, the show is still fantastic. Boston Legal has a wonderful cast. Just IMDB it now because I'm not going to type out its cast. It also is a show that frames issues in a profound way. Think of this as the liberal's 24. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy 24. But it frames conservative issues in a dumb but effective way with torture and terrorism being everywhere. Boston Legal aggressively approaches issues that are really important in creative and fun ways. I'd like to note that it beat out Sopranos in its last season for best actor.
6. Freaks and Geeks...yup I missed this one when it was on so I caught all the dvds and it was well worth it. Its like Superbad as a TV show taking place in early 80s Michigan High School. Its clever and a generally nice show. Plus it has a guest spot of Samaire Armstrong...yeah I know....Go watch it, you'll enjoy it and hate Fox a little more for canceling it.
7. Wow, canceled before its time as well is Firefly. I love the amount of people who have been coerced into watching Firefly either before or after seeing the movie based on the series Serenity. Fox being bastards aired the show out of order and on terrible nights. The dialog is fantastic. Its not the science fiction you think you're getting into. Think more western.
8. If you aren't watching House, why? Still Hugh Laurie is a fantastic actor. Still Gregory House is an amazing character. Its still one of the best shows on tv.
9. Nip/Tuck...I've been called a lot of names for loving this show...most of them true...but besides the point, this show is unique and provocative. Its also well written. Recently, they moved from Miami to LA and its been better for it. Their mockery of Grey's Anatomy makes the show worth it. They've just become consultants on a Grey's Anatomyesque show and it really is spot on. Go watch and enjoy..yes there's sex, plastic surgery, and weird things but hey, you're better off knowing the world is fucked up.
10. Lastly, at least in my ten for tv right now, go buy the West Wing DVDs. Its fictional I know but really, in this political atmosphere, you need to keep a bit of idealism alive. In the West Wing, President Bartlett isn't petty and an idiot. He is engaging and remarkably smart but not flawless. The staff would never leak a secret agent's identity for political gain. Even the Republican at the end of the series, Alan Alda, showed what politicians should be. I miss the show for all its quirks, its high horsed idealism, and its attempt to make politics human. Go buy them so you can see what we want/need from politics. Can you imagine how the SCHIP debate would have gone?
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Movies are less predictable. I've heard of writers just rushing their scripts in this week. My biggest concern is studios taking crappy half done scripts and accepting them as whole. I have this fear we'll get even worse movies that will come out next fall or even a year from spring and be total crap. Studios shouldn't buy shit scripts out of desperation or laziness.
So me being me, I keep a reservoir of DVDs in case of World War III or I can't get good TV. Now onto the list.
1. The strangest thing in politics has occurred. Moveon.org and Right wing bloggers have teamed up to attack Faux News because Faux doesn't want Republican candidates using footage in political ads...hmm...wait isn't Faux just a gigantic political ad for the Republican Party? Well, it is but this alliance is a bit like when Jerry Seinfeld allied himself with Newman...
2. Bye Karen Hughes. I won't miss you. Have you ever noticed that she only enters mainstream news when she's quitting somewhere? She's a perennial quitter. Its sad that many of my friends' reaction to her quitting was "wow, I didn't think she was still around." This woman was supposed to be the the Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy...the only message she really sent to the world was that she's crazy to think that the world is going to think President Bush is the great hero of the world... She says that her job will continue well after she's gone...well its a tough job after you've helped destroy the goodwill that the United States has earned for the past century. I find it fitting that my propaganda class ended the day before she quit.
3. I watched the Democratic Debates a couple nights ago on my DVR. Yup, it was pummel Hillaryfest...in a decent way not like the Republicans do. Joe Biden got a great shot at Rudy Giuliani in saying that all he ever says is a noun+verb+9/11 for anything. Giuliani struck back the next day making plagiarism jokes on Biden...that was 20 years ago and it was a misspeak in a speech. Giuliani was accused of plagiarism last month. What an ass.
4. Rudy Giuliani thinks voters are stupid. He's partially right. Many are. But his healthcare ad is a bold faced lie. In his recent radio ad, he says, “I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the United States, 82%. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England, only 44% under socialized medicine.” Mortality rates in England and USA are virtually the same. Its bad math or a lie. Also, Giuliani contracted prostate cancer while he was mayor of New York and the government paid for his care. That would be government healthcare wouldn't it? So fuck you, Rudy.
5. Donnie Rumsfeld is the gift that keeps on giving. We now have access to his memos when he was SecDef. He thinks Iraqis are generally against physical labor...okay racist, check. He also thinks we need to continuously link Iraq to Iran...saber rattler, check. Base war on bumper sticker statements...salesman, check...together they're Donnie Rumsfeld...He's the evil bastard we thought he was.
6. Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen are seeing each other....sorry Rob. Kinda hilarious combo.
7. Anyone else curious on what Amy Winehouse gives out on Halloween? She does give out something I'm hearing to kids...oh did you know she can't tour in the US since her most recent drug bust? They won't give her a Visa.
8. Is anyone really surprised that Dog the Bounty Hunter is racist? He apparently had a huge racist rant to his son who has a black girlfriend...Michael Richards/Dog the Bounty Hunter show?
9. Scott of the Blog and I now play Halo 3 regularly and have declared war on the person known as breadsticks...I've decided to declare whoever I want as breadsticks...kinda like terrorist except tastier. So join the cause with Taco Crusader and Alkuth.
10. Read this. You'll be better for it. Its from a couple of days ago.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Now, the story has gotten even better. Apparently Marie is now saying that she fainted because of the California wildfires affected her allergies. As if the wildfires weren't bad enough when they were just beurning down David Jusitce's house, now it's more personal because these tragedies have a human (alien) face. Tragic.
2. Point: Capitalism
3. Good move by the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn a sentence of an outdated crime.
P.S. I feel there's a joke somewhere in me linking this article that I'm not even going to touch.
4. The Associated Press reports that 1/3 of all people believe in ghosts. What they don't report is that 4/5 of all ghosts believe in people.
P.S. Kudos to the man who said he shot a ghost. It takes a lot of balls to say something so blatently crazy in an article that is going nationwide.
5. I would like to announce that Chris's Michigan team beat my Clemson team in the national championship of our NCAA Football game lats night. After, going down early in the game Michigan was able to shut down Heisman winner C.J. Spiller to win it's third consecutive title.