Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Smells like death blondes and victory"

From a year's worth of buildup, to naked dictation, to a crucifixtion, to lying ending a fight in a stalemate where both participants end up unconsiouse on the floor, Norman Osbourn better known to everyone else as the green goblin has risen from one of the stupest villians of all time to someone who should be on par with the joker.

The moment I am taliking about IGN actually voted as the best comic moment of the year, I am not going to argue with them for once.

Thank you Warren Ellis for that.

Warren Ellis's ability to slowly develop a plot element is something everyone should fucking study. When I say they spent a year building up to Norman loosing his shit and becoming the green goblin again I wasn't joking. It has been something Ellis has been forshadowing since day one when he took over the Thunderbolts. Long story shot the thunderboilts are a group of villaims who have agreed to fight crime in order to shorten their jail time, however because of that silly civil war event marvel did they are now hunting down unregisterd heros. Womp.

Most everyone is familiar with the green goblin because of the first spiderman movie. Woop! This makes my life easyer. Instead of him flying around on his rocket sled, Ellis deicded to put Osbourn back into the office chair acting as public relations, manager, and coach for one of the most controversial super hero teams on the face of the planet. Still from day one you knew he was going to loose his shit.

Osbourn used a great deal of medication to keep himself under control. One of the people under him, kept messing with that medication, then when they had to keep three telepaths in thunderbolt mountain before they could be transported to super jail proper you knew it was coming. But so what? No really he was just a guy on a rocket sled, his greatest accomplishment was chucking one of spiderman's girlfriends off of a bridge. Only vaugly impressed.

However, over the course of the year Ellis developed Osbourn. He made him into a man to be feared not because of his martial prowess, but because of he sheer unrelenting ablility to manipulate everyone around him to get what he wants. Even with his grip on sanity gone he still had the ability to outwit anyone he came up against. Well maybe that's not true. Okay it isn't true at all.

He doens't out wit them, he teriffys them. Scares the living crap out of them until there is nothing left. When he fought the sword's man (don't ask) he didn't win because of anything he did, he scared the living crap out of him. The thing is, that it worked. I beleived he was that scary. I saw this man sit around and do some throughly evil things from the comfortable seat of his desk chair. Now he flipped his shit and is running around with granades in the shape of pumpkins claiming he is god. After that, all the sudden your super powers mean a whole lot less, and you end up crucified. No really.

He then preceeded in indulging on a murderouse rampage on the staff. Only to then get into an actual fight, which you believe in that too. The transition from machievellian buisnessman to pysochpathic killer is handled so well, that I was left litterally in awe of how it all came together. It has truely been a masterfully written joyride that is nothing short of brilliant.

Marvel was in the toilet for a long time, and it shows in its villians. Really the green goblin is a combonation of the joker and Lex Luthor, you would think that there would be more to him than that. However, short sighted writters have left him to languish for far to long leaving him as little more than a joke until now.

Shortly after he murdered serveral people, nearly beat to death one of the thunderbolts, and crucified another he became the man who is in charge of every hero in the country.


I'm not really that excited though because Ellis has moved onto other projects, and while I like the author's involved all that complex charecterization will be once again thrown out the window.

Oh well.

I got two of the most amazing graphic novels ever out of the deal so no complaints here. Lets hope he writes something else sharpish.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And then there was fun [braindump]

Hrm Blogger is very excited about using the enter button in the subject line. I can respect that though.

So social contract theory in gaming. This is a brain dump, which means I take no credit for how bad any of this is.

No seriously.

Okay time to come clean when Lock and that other guy with to many extraneous letters in his name came up with the social contract theory gaming hadn't yet evolved to the state that it is today. If it had then they would of had a much better way for them to talk about it. Still it gives me an interesting look into the deep psychological diffrence a social contract can make. Especially when there is an end in site.

While I typically do this about RPGs, rpgs tend to play if fast and loose with social contract so I thought I would start with something easyer on me, and that would be board games, specifically the board game Arkam Horror.

AH as it will now be known from now on isn't like traditional board games such as candy land or shoots and ladders. Players generally have free riegn over the board, and it is one of those games that straddles the divide between rpgs and board games. The idea behind the game is that pretty soon a majorly evil and ancient god will awake and eat the world unless this group of plucky, but endlessly stupid people cowboy up and stop it. In essence it is a game where up to 8 people have to work together to stop an anciet evil from showing up and fucking the wold to death. TO BE CLEAR, you absoluely have to work together or else you will loose and die hopelessly.

Essentially it is you vesus the game. There is no real human component for you to get mad at. Just a game...a game that hates to loose. To give you an idea, every turn you draw a card, usually htis card will tell you what will be going horribly awry this turn. Some of these cards are brutally difficult requiring massive sacrifices on the part of the players in order for them to suceed. On top of that these cards also open a gate, which summons two monsters, and they make a clue token show up. You need 5 clue tokens to seal a gate. If a gate shows up on a clue token the clue token goes away. If a clue token shows up where there is already a gate then no clue token for you. Mind you, you need these clue tokens to win. Along with a gate opening a monster comes out. Most monsters will drive you insane by looking at them, so you have to contend with that even before you are forced to beat them to death. Once you kill the monsters in front of the gates you have to go through the gates, spend two turns in another dimension before coming back and trust me the other dimension is no picnick...you can maybe use clue tokens to seal the gate...you need 5. Oh yeah if 12 gates open over the course of the game guess what, you loose! To many gates open at one time, you loose, to many monsters, yeah you loose, so no need to worry about the game it can fend for itself.

So here we are, picture it, 8 people crammed around a table, things have just gone south, gone south hard, and now we are frantically trying every tool at our disposal to survive. Yet depite the fact that every odd in the world is stacked against us no one mentions the idea of cheating. Not all the monsters in the game are equal, and so instead of just quietly slipping the extra nasty one blocking everyone's way, we instead we come up with spiralingly complex logisitcal plans to work around it, or to get the right combonation of skills and weaponry in the area to kill the damn thing.

On a side note the game itself requires a stupid amount of focus. We didn't pay atension to the game for 2 turns last night and we only pulled out of that situation with luck and paniced action.

That's the thing though. We are playing against a game. So we could just as easily make the game easyer by removing certain parts of it we don't like. We could take out certain cards that make it nearly impossible to win, or we could remove certain monsters, there are all sorts of things that can be done to make the game easyer, and yet...we don't.

okay by now you should get enough of the set up. There is a strage dynamic involved where there is no compulsion to follow the rules, no refferee, no one to tell us we are doing something wrong, or making something to easy, or to hard in some hilariouse cases. No instead we try to follow the rules as closely as possible because...

Well the social contract. The invisable jailer. We don't need someone to watch over us because we are overcoming a challenge together.

I could go into a Foucaltian look of power, the power the game has over us and how we don't need a ref to monitor us because we do it far more fiercly than a ref ever could. I could also go for some sort of utopian view where someday we won't need laws because we are working together to build a better unified whole.

However, I won't do either of those things or anything in between. Why? Because when we are playing a game we enter into a specific mode, which is diffrent than normal group activities. First of all we are playing a game so we are predispositioned to have fun. Secondly, if we fail/die we all fail together, at the same time more or less. So not only is your turn of great interest but so are most of the other players. Many times their actions will hinge upon your own, what you can do will be based on what they do, plans are made, along with actions coordinated.

So why not take it one step further. We are all working together, the feeling of brother hood that develops over the course of the game is pretty fantastic, why not take on the ultimate consiracy and take the game's knees out from under it. Its trying to kill you after all and what is good for one person is good for everyone right?

I've come up with the theory that it is the absence of competition. Were I smart this would go at the top of the page in a part marked thesis. I might actually do that latter who knows.

Competition adds things like desperation, desperation breeds things like mistrust, and the desire to take things into your own hands. Competition also alters the game dynamic in a certain way because it alters the pecking order. A game involving competion isn't just a game. It is a contest of persons, and at the end of it one person gets to say "I beat you". Being able to say that gives the person, in my case, an extroninarly mild amount of control over me. Through cheating, or various other underhanded methods in a competative setting, it artificially alters the playing field to make up for a precieved imblance on the part of the person being cheated.

Arkam isn't like that. It hates everyone. Everyone extra equally. Although for some reason that game seems to like to pick one player and ground them into the dirt.

It also doesn't gloat. If we win, we win together as a team, if we loose we loose together and thirst for vengence.

Similarly. I suspect that is the reason why we don't run into to many cases of direct sabotage, because we have enough problems on our hands. Someone running around and screwing things up on purpose is recipie for inviting the wrath of the entire group down upon you.

Anyway the competition thing, yeah.

I'm going to come back to this topic in a week or so focusing on that. I'm positive that is the key to how this works.

I think I am going compare it to the queerly adversarial relationship that develops between players and game masters in roleplaying games.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Come here Charlie Brown I am going to show you some good grief

Betty Page died. Yesterday technically but I was doing something. Something important! Comics actually.

Anyway so yeah Betty Page is dead. I don't really know how to describe how I feel about this. I can't really remeber my life without her actually. It took me a long time to learn her name, but the image of her always stuck with me. It was her smile mostly. I mean damn, that woman looked like she would bake you some cookies just as soon beat you.

In more than a couple of ways I adopted her as a mother figure. Yeah whatever, look I was raised by mass media alright? I don't want to hear it from any of you. I learned long ago that she wasn't actually into all the kinky stuff but that never bothered me, because I was. She worked as a defining force in my aesthtic and now she is actually dead which is kinda sad.

Man I wasn't this bothered when Vonnegut died, but I also liked him less than most other people so whatever.

Oh well.

Fare well Mrs. Page may heaven keep you, and if not well you will be remebered hear warmly on earth, well at least as long as I am alive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Zee goggles they do nuzzing!

Yes I play WOW, no I won't be blogging about it regularly. However this does merit some special attension.

See the first expansion to wow made your charecter look fabulouse, the second expansion just sorta makes you look goth. LAME. Since I am about to move onto the second expansion I think I would like to point out that my charecter blazed new paths as far as fasion is concerned and should be loved and remebered by all.

For those of you who don't know I am playing a blood elf. Essentially we are elves that got addicted to magic and now we smoke it like crack. No seriously that is our back story. I look like such a fucking tosser, it's great.

Its going to be to bad once I goth myself out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Just to make this easyer to finish


Alright kids so lets be honest, I hated the last two things I wrote, and one of them was a funeral for my ds. So this no longer just affects me. This affects everyone.

So we are going to try this again.

Helium is a freelance writing site where you can make money. It would be like organized versions of me doing this. At the moment I've lost my swing which PISSES Me OFF. So here we are.

On the site though it had an interesting question, under the heading "race issues" it had the age old debate, "Should we ban the southern flag?"

The real question isn't a matter of should the flag be banned or not, (not btw due to 1st amendment reasons) but as to why it is a racial problem.

Why is race part of this question at all? Okay well you all know the obviouse answer, aka the abhorrent slavery thing our country did for quite some time, and it is important to not minimise this fact. The thing is though that the plight of the black people really aren't centeral to the issue. If they were then the nature of the racist problem would of shifted dramatically as a result of the wars outcome, but it didn't. Hell it still is a major problem today for both whites and blacks.

This problem is tricky and I am not thinking clearly so lets lay all the cards out on the table:

The rebel flag is a hyperburdended symbol which holds multiple meanings to multiple groups of people, many of these people feel very passionatly about these meanings and I kinda want to unpack some of them.

First and foremost it is important to take a step back and recognize how minute of a n issue this is geographicaly. Most of the stuff in the lousiana purchase wasn't a state yet, because a great deal of it wasn't settled. Then you have all of california which holds a massive amount of our population today. All the time I've spent in new england, no one really thinks twice about the rebel flag and the fact that it is still flown, to the point, the vast majority of the people in this country don't give a god damn about that stupid flag. I mean lets face it unless you are black or true southern than what does it matter.

It really is important to establish the geographical, and historical context of this problem. It is relativly minute in of itself. It is only because it is tied to racism that this problem gets any press at all. Racism is one of those topics that one can easily write about until the end of time and not really worry about running out of things to say.

So people give knee jerk reactions, racism bad, symbol of rebellion, symbol of freedom, heritage, and any number of other catch phrases. It is a cluster of ideas that doesn't even deserve the term ideology because ideology infers that there is some sort of idea involved. In this conversation there isn't one. Rebel Flag is! See it is that "is" that hangs everyone up.

I find it odd that the rebel flag isn't a part of more art pieces. I mean we get an american flag that's been used as an ass wipe for 15 diffrent homeless vietnam vertrens and it is art. We burn an american flag and it is protest.

We burn a rebel flag and? What are we protesting? Who are we offending? All the right people as far as I am concerned. Burning an american flag is a big deal because it is very much an internalized part of who we are. Even if we don't like it, want to move to canada, whatever. Hating America is an idea that sprang up as soon as there was an america to hate. The confederate flag, it isn't us. It isn't who america is. It doesn't represent its people, hell it doesn't even represent all the people within its intended geographic region.

People say it represents racism, but there are a lot stronger, clearer represntationsd of racism. We have shown in our regretable past that we as a people have little to no trouble demonstrating our racist beliefs. If someone is racist they are going to demonstrate it far clearer than that flag ever could. The flag sparks controversy and I like that, or more that I can respect that. It is important to realize though that this is a self perpetuating discussion that is really very small in scope.

Would/could/shoulds of the situation are all irrelevent. We have to allow it, that is what the freedom of speech means. Protest it any way you see fit. Seriously, I openly encourage you. But if we are really going to get anywhere with this issue and as to what it means, it is essential to move past the fact that this is just a racist issue. Because it isn't just a racist issue. It is also a free speach issue, it is heritage issue, and there is the issue of historical remeberance. We are one country, that almost became two.

There is no real way to end this with any sort of closure. It just is. A problem on the table. What do with do with our hyper burdered schizophretic symbol? Me? I ignore it. Its how I treat most manners of speech I find stupid but no offensive enough to stand against. I mean really REALLY racism has much bigger things to take care of first.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Run Far Little Indian Run Far Far Away

A Eulogy.

Sometime in April 2006 I bought myself a Nintendo DS. Now two mighty years later I find myself laying my faithful companion to rest as its smaller flashyer replacement is now filling my pocket with its slightly reduced bulk. For most people a DS is just a game system. Something they bring with them sometimes to someplaces and sort of forget about it. Lots of people I know leave their ds's under beds, in drawers, tucked away in fogetten places never to be seen again.

Not me though. The DS is my very first hand held system and it is pretty much one of the most god damn amazing game systems to come out in a long long time.

Looking back though, developers had high hopes for the DS, hopes that were dashed by a variety of technical limitations, poor design choises, and idiocy. And yet despite all of that the DS has managed to produce some of the most increadble games I have played in a long time. Games that I have spent many hours curled up under a large pile of blankets quietly tapping away at my screen. It kept me company while I was alone, and it saw me through some of the worst times in my life. It really did. Coincidently it has also seen me through some of the best times in my life. Like the times I would spend furiously swiping away at "The World Ends With You" while Sasha would be off doing something or other. However, as the story goes, we hurt the ones we love.

And I hurt my DS big time.

My DS was more than a game system to me, it was a wallet, it was also an institution. You have to be tough if you want to run around with the crazy kids.

To be fair though this DS has lived an extrodinary life. It has been dropped onto concrete more times that I can imagine keeping track of. I'm clumsy, and I don't want to hear it from you, so yes I dropped the stupid thing a lot. It didn't compain though, in fact I think it liked it in a weird way.

One time someone thought it would be cute to hit me with a wooden cutting board while my DS was in my back pocket. My DS tanked for me. Yep it lept in front of that cutting bored and took the full force of the blow saving my tender backside. Of course my immeadiate reaction was to express my desire to kill the person who hit me, friends don't let friends get paddled unwillingly. That was a day we became closer.

Oh oh, and the time the hinge broke was pretty epic. Okay so the DS was on my trenchcoat, and my friend who was in a hurry to go grabbed my coat and flapped it sending my DS through the air. Now I don't know how high it went, but I am 6'7 and it was well over my head, then it fell down an incline with the only damage sustained being a cracked hinge which eventually came off.

Oh and another time I forgot to latch my briefcase closed so when I picked it up my DS fell out first, onto concreate of course, then several hardcover rpg books landed on top of it, and for extra awesome dropped my briefcase onto the whole pile. I am a fucking genius. The DS still worked though.

Most stupid shit has happened to that game system than just about anything else I've ever owned, and that's pretty impressive. Some of it my fault, some of it not.

But ultimatly when one day I flipped it open hoping to get in some quality time before my lunch rolled to a close I found, to my horror, that the top screen got caved in. I have no idea how it happened, but considering that both hinges were broken at this point leaving the top screen to just sort of flap around, so I knew the end was coming. I just kinda hoped it would be more epic than that. I wanted it to die via fire and violence just like it livedm and it did, I guess, but I wasn't really there for it.

Actually stupidly enough the thing still works, so I plan on making it my tetris machine. I can't sell it, and I love it way to much. So I will ignore the sad little "Please let me die" wimpers that I hear coming from it...like I ignore all wimpers and forge ahead. Besides I really hate the fact that my new DS is white, I really do.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The first words on the lips of children everywhere fill their parents with nothing but hope, delight and prayers. It is rarely if ever the often heard "NO" but the quiet suplication that equals either "ma-ma" or "Da-da" filling the hopes and dreams of one parent while dashing the other's.

Mine was pickle


There isn't much of an update this week, a little bit has to do with LAZYNESS! More of it has to do with the fact that running our sunday night gamining sessions has fallen into my lap. I like my lap and things that fit within it so I have taken this new found responcibility and decided to nurture it.

Someone made a refference to the Dada movement the other week and it got me thinking (by some one I mean specifically Sasha) of the peculiar relationship between roleplaying games and textuality.

In many ways a role playing game has the potential to be the penultimate expression of the Dadaist ideal.

What? Oh good you are just going to take my word on that, very wise of you. Now sign over all your possessions and get in the Kool-Aid line. Well it is always worth a shot.

So let me break down what it is a roleplaying game is actually doing. The game master writes a book. He comes up with a setting, populates the setting wit interesting charecters that all have wants, needs, desires of thier own, he starts planning out villinas, which will pave the way for exciting fights, and harrowing moments, then it comes time for the main charecters.

Except during the creation of the main charecters, something happens, they some how become sentient. Not only that but they all have free will, and a hatred for their new god. They will often times, sometimes as often as possible, act in irrational ways, offend kings, run off with queens, burn down your lovingly crafted complex little villiages filled with, wants, needs, desires, and hopes. They will go to the east, east the direction where you planned nothing because everything of interest happens in the west. However, they don't care about the west because there are already things there. Its time to go east to see what new things there are to be seen.

Suddenly your lovingly crafted story is coming apart at the seams, being pulled in all directions by the sentient monsters you just created. Now as a game master, or god as it were, you have three options. bring down the ban hammer and become the despotic lord of all things you were meant to be. This usually leaves you sitting in the corrner of the game store, cackling, alone. You can let them tear the world asunder leaving nothing left but tears and ashes, but if you do they will just migrate like locusts to ELsewhere in the name of finding something new to kill and break, or three you can ride with it.

The thing about roleplaying games is that while one person may do the brunt of the grunt work it is just as much everyone elses story as it is yours. So, if you are good, you choose choice three and roll with it. When you do everrything becomes increadbly free form and more than slightly beautiful and you find yourself scrabbling the depths of creativity you never through you had in order to keep up with the other gods sitting around the table with you. Things will happen in ways you never would of originally concieved of, events spirial outwards like a blooming locust spiraling in all directions into an endless fractal pattern that is simply impossible alone.

There isn't much more random than a human beings need to rebel against someone elses established order.

So to make absolutely sure that there would be no normalcy what so ever, most pass fail situations are handled by a random number generator rather than things like dramatic nessesity.

There really isn't anything like running a roleplaying group, even the most well behaved one will take your plot for a ride and hang it out to dry before you get midway through the third game session, and when you get a really chaotic group best watch out, else half of them will end up dead because they will insist on taste testing everything, no matter how much of a bad idea it is.

Alrighty, that's it for this week, next week I'll update when I am able to, which may either be not very often or super often depending on who the writting process goes, and after that who know!

For now though, I am going to plot a future that will be ignored in favor for everything I haven't thought of, and god bless them for it.

Oh yes it occures to me that in order for it to be a truelly dadaist experience we would all take turns as being the game master. This is more than possible, I hope to show you how someday. So its only 85% dada which is still pretty intense.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Ripping off Nick Hornby, or for those of you who don't know who that is, an article from the believer. Structure and order. Man I love those two things. Especially the way the all fall apart when things start to tumble on down. Its a truely gratifying experience.


Joker- Sure sure I've belonged to the cult of destruction long before the joker has entered onto the ideological patchwork that is my inner self, but nothing quite brings it out like him, and driving through smoke. So a little man named Brain Azzarello wrote this book called Joker. Guess who it is about.

People are torn over this book. Some call it the greatest Joker story ever told, moreso than Alan Moore's "Last Laugh" I have to say that some of thous people have a point. For those who read 100 Bullets Azz's primere comic series you'd know that he can really make a psychopath into something spectacular. Lono who starts the series as little more than blood lust filled pit bull has emerged as one of the most complicated figgures in the book. Well done. More on him later. Like in a diffrent post. The Joker book is diffrent.

For one thing it isn't cannon. So those of you who don't know everything about batman, or you only know things from the cartoon's this book is for you. It takes place outside of the main universe and sort of does its own thing off in funkytown. For everyone who knows everything there is to know about the cannon? Well the DC univerise is in the process of ending and batman is self destructing so really go take a chill pill. Not everything needs to be cannon.

The book is increadble, no really. It is certainly one of Azz's finest works. Paticulalry the exchange between the Joker and Two-Face. By exchange I mean mostly the middle of the book, when Joker first tries to get Two Faces...no go read it. I don't care if you don't like graphic novels go do it. Now.


Yeah I know they still chisel those things into stone! Weird eh? So I took my lunch time on monday and I read a good portion of the September/October issue of Forgeign Policy which informed me that I would miss bush once he was gone.

Yeah so guess why I bought it.

Unfortunatly the article is right. We might just miss him once he wanders off. One of the things I noticed about bush critics is the fact that they often times sttod unopposed to their hatred of him. It is hard to argue for bush. Especially while he would stand in front of the country and do the speach impediment thing. The thing is though is that conservatives are smart. They know how to lie down and wait...well some of them do. Now all the suddent we have alist of bullet points that aren't so easy to shout down.

The news is partly to blame, and the people who watch the news are also partly to blame. The news believe the general populace is to lazy/stupid to handle anything other than beheadings and sex, and they are pretty close to being right.

My favorite point that the article made is the fact that while Bush may be criticised for not doing more about china he did a whole lot for the geographic region. He shored up our alliance with Japan, cozyed up to vietnam, and started to make friends with India. He did all that on top of starting a pragmatic relationship with china. In essence we have both china and north Korea boxed in which is pretty snazzy.

This is a really good magazine by the way, or at least this issue was. It had a suprising article on counterfit drugs. Yeah people are counterfitting drugs like viagra and vallium. That makes sense of course. However, a lot of these counterfitters have started going after the big money. See charity organizations will often times buy generic brand drugs to distribute in africa to help out the general state of pandemic that is going on over there. The thing is though is that sometimes those drugs are only 15% strength, just enough to pass normal tests for active ingreadiants. Other times the drugs are little more than chalk and tap water.

At one point over 70% of the drugs in Nigeria were counterfit or substandard. 70 fucking percent. Yeah I didn't bother with an exclamation point. I am saving that particular punctuation mark for Dora Akunyili who, nearly single handedly, brought that number down to 16%! Yeah she gets another one! Next time someone says that one person can't make a diffrence you can now call them a fucking idiot. Someday you will thank me.

The last thing I really payed atension to out of the magazine is an article called The Secret History of Kim Jong Il, the man currently dictating North Korea. The man who wrote the article was a teacher to North Korea's social elite and had an intimate working with Jong's family throughout Jong's life.

Lots of the magazines articles are availble online but as you may have guessed they are only availble to subscribers.

Lucky for you there is a free photo essay which is arguably more interesting.

Movies Watched:

Battles Without Honor or Humility: Police Tactics

Dark Knight

Random things on the net




To rare to kill

...to strange to die.

Once a long time ago Joanna Newsome asked me a question that I suddenly took very seriously. What is your inflamitory writ. I thought about it, then I came up with something, wrote it, and had it devoured by myspace. Thanks!. Recently Sasha, took the issue and pretty much smacked me upside the head with it. Where the hell is my inflamitory writ.

I have to say that I do try to get to know people. Not being very good at it hampers things but at the end of the day I try to learn something from everyone. Most times it is something they never intended on teaching us but I think that is part of the beauty of observation. You may end up speaking a different language but I find beauty in the strange. So when I look at the world, head cocked to the left, I'll miss out on some things but its worth it because there is so much people miss every day.

Little things. One of the most important things I've learned is that actions should speak louder than words. However, they often don't. Words are cheap and people won't normally listen to you unless you are yelling at them, hands on shoulders, face red. One time I actually did have a tape recorder. The way it went was I would ask them to stop doing something, they wouldn't, I'd yell, they would say I didn't have to be a dick about it, and then I would play the tape. Lession learned. People don't like having their own words thrown directly back into their faces. Important safety tip.

If actions were enough then this world would be a diffrent place. We'd laugh more because we would care more about enjoying ourselves and less about appearences or surroundings. The idea that someone would dare attepmt to stifle laughture is something that doesn't make sense to me what so ever. Maybe it is some sort of bizzare jellouse that comes from not being able to join in when they clearly can.

One person does it and they are considered mad, three people do it and they become normal. The more people that do it the stronger its hold gets. So know this, everything you think is right and proper started with madness. But instead of a maddness where we howl at the moon, run rampant, laughing, singing, and throwing caution to the wind, it is the slow cold madness that crushes you from the inside. It is the sort of madness where you need to destroy the beautiful things around, not because you can't posess them, but because no one else should. Because sometimes the stars remind us of the earth beneith our feet, and that those feet hurt, along with bills needing to be paid, and something else that doesn't matter.

So the night sky is filled with as many lights as possible. So we forget the stars, and maybe our feet.

It doesn't work like that though.

I take a diffrent rout than most people like me. I do not mind wiping the ass of this world, for I know that there is beauty underneath. All the discomfort I feel, the soreness, that aweful taste in my mouth when I wake up after eating milk and cookies the night before, is worth it because I ate milk and cookies just before bed future taste be damned.

So yeah instead of my head in the clouds I am off playing in the mud. The important point though is this.


You make the world around you for what it is. Every boring moment you spend wishing for something to do is complicity. I could be watching Northern Exposure right now, and I really love that show, but I wanted to do something more active with my hour before bed and here I am.

It isn't much of a manifesto. I don't recomend you come with on the path I am on. It isn't easy nor is it pretty. I look at life and I still laugh. Somtimes I am afaid that I will stop. To shocked to go on. Its why I keep my friends handy. To dig me out should I ever get to deep.

One of the most beautiful things I saw last week was a porno. It involved three girls, all wearing hoods and gas masks. One was in a bathtub full of styrofoam peanuts. Now all lesbian pornography is dominated by two images, eating out of teh vagina, and the infamouse lesbian kiss. However, the gas masks made all thouse things impossible. Hell you know what I am not even sure if one of them was a woman or not. They could only sort of rub each other awkwardly. I liked the restraint. The whole thing could of been so much easyer if they just took off the hood, or removed the mask, but no one did. I didn't even seem like they wanted to. There is a sort of pure simple beauty there that I can't really put into words, but for whatever reason it made my heart ache. All pretenses of eroticism vanished under latex and masks leaving behind just people who were connecting as people.

Flawed. Awkwardly. But still trying despite all obsticals in their way.

Connection. It is one of the most important things in the world, alienation being one of the most terrible.

I live in a constant paradox. Through the whorls of everylasting confusion I do see beauty in the bitterness.

That's fine with me.

This essay has the benifit of clarity! Just like Walter Benjamine.

Again it isn't much of a manifesto, but I can only connect in one way. And that is as hard as I can.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giant Robots? You Hardly Know Us!

This has been coming for quite some time now. It started with Godhand, then there is this new game by the devil may cry creator that involves a leatherclad librarian from hell, or my current fantasys whichever. Its come to a head with Red Alert 3 though.

Most of my knowlage involving video games comes from either gaming ooliticts.com or rpg.net which is an unusally well informed if slightly snooty forum. Anyway despite the world being in perpetual state of orgasam over the list of new releases that has come out some people have found time for good old fashioned red alert 3.

Red alert 3 is awesome. It uses cheese full motion video like its predicessors, it stars Tim Curry as the German Army Commander and the guy who played Chekov on star trek as the chinese prime minister. There are also a variety of other people I just don't really care about. The main criticism people are leveling at the game is that the units are campy and "fun". The chinese have laser sword samuris, giant robots, and all sorts of other anime inspired campy, rediculouse goodness. And everyone is bitching about it.

Maybe there is something wrong with me but damnit I still think Giant Robots are cool. I don't ever think I will look at a giant robot and go, "Oh no a giant robot boohoo I hate those now". Seriously what the fuck people? Last time I checked video games were supposed to be fun. You remember fun right? I don't know where video gamers got it in thier head that grey backgrounds, angst, and blood were the only paths to fun but it seems to of happened, much to my frusteration.

See I've already written extensivly on this topic only I used movies instead of video games, but movies are a slighly diffrent, oh Megan says hello. She has neat glasses. Movies have slightly diffrent target base, certainly a more main stream one. Anyone can watch both Deathrace 2000 and its associated remake, while not everyone can play Red Alert 3. And yet somehow people can't seem to grasp that giant robots aren't a thing to celebrate about. I love video games, I really do and i would prefere it if people didn't shit all over my fun with thier giant robot hate. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you GIANT ROBOTS.

Lets move on to the game by the guy who created Devil May Cry. While I love the devil may cry series I hate its main charecter and every time he dies under my control I can't help but to smile happily and hope that this time it will be forever. Unfortunatly the games are fucking fun and I keep playing them. So this new game has a female main charecter who is dressed head to toe in skin tight leather, so instead of all the cleavage in the world we were treated to croch shots.

Women in leather? Yes please! Especially when they are a dominatrix style bad ass. There are just certain things I am attracted too, like that for example.

On a certain level this is a good step fowards for feminism. Most of the people railing againt the croch shots are older men who have been made more sensative to the fact that there are personalities to the woman who they masturbate to and that sexual misrepresentation of women is harmful, and that blah blah blah. I don't mean to belittle feminism right here at this very moment, even if it sort of deserves it. People are turning down sex objects.

At the same time though, she is fucking hot, and is a digitally created charecter who is deisghned to be put on display. So take a break and enjoy her. There is nothing wrong with feeling desire, its a normal thing. Feeling desire over a video game charecter is slightly odd but whatever, being odd makes you better in bed. I think part of the problem is that there is a pretty in depth complexity of emotion involved with the whole thing.

I'm going to link it to sadomasochism because I am fucking awesome. Sadomasochistic relationships can still be increadbly kind and loving. The dom can still view the sub as a fully realized intelegent human being. The amount of trust that is shared between the two of them is on a level that most normals couldn't even concieve of. It takes a lot of trust in your partner to be able to backhand her and have it be okay. At the same time it takes a lot of trust to be back handed by someone and to know that they won't push you to far and that they will take care of you afterwards.

Most of the backlash against these sorts of relationships truely fail to take into account the increadbly special bond that develops. They instead reduce the relationship down to base components that they can understand and walk away.

Back to video games. The thought process goes along these same lines. I can still fully respect the woman around me while playing a video game where I am playing a leather clad dominatrix lady who keeps doing her back flips in such a way so that I get a face full of croch. I don't feel bad or guilty about this. Instead i want to get my girlfirend a latex cat suit and have her kick the crap out of me.

At the end of the day I think that something wonderful has been lost on video games. People are now taking them far to seriously. WHich is bizzare because they are all about light hearted fun for me. Which means that giant robots are still cool, and hot chick dressed in leather are still hot. That doesn't make me any less mature or uneductated. It does make me less boring. So nyah.

Columbine Retrospective

One day I went off on someone. Long story short a group of us were talking pleasently about things like video games, and this person butted in. She started talking about how there was this new game "Bully" out and that it was all about Bullying people, she could never understand how someone could play something like that. So I testily explained how you played a kid who beat up other bullies, you couldn't hurt girls, et cetera et cetera, and at the end of it she repeated the exact same thing she said before. Except this time, for flair, she added "all I know" at the start of the sentence. That's when I really laid into her.

I've also gone off on a mother at a game stop, along with a gamestop employee when the game stop employee wouldn't man the fuck up and just explain to her that all three games were equally violent.

Then there were my parents.

Columbine is one of thouse life changing events for me. It wasn't so much the idea of randomized violence, or the savagry of thouse children who perpetrated thous actions. No it was the fact that soon after if happened I watched a psychologist calmly explain, using reason, and intelegence, why I was insane.

At that moment all I felt was dread.

On a good day I am a marginal person. That means I'm not really connected to thous normal society things. I don't like sports, I don't hand around dudes who talk about chicks, I specifically dislike desighner clothing, you know what I mean. Instead I spent a lot of time reading, writing, and playing video games. Essentially, all those markers that my parents looked for in a normal child were missing. I didn't even read normal books.

While growing up I was never allowed to play dungeons and dragons with my friends. My parents were afraid that I would get addicted in some sort of dream reality, never to return. That they would find me out in the woods over the corpse of the meter reader, looting his body for the 5 gold peices that the average human carried on him or some such nonsense.

Yeah straight out of the Chick Track

But who cares? I was fast approching the age where I just stopped listening to them altogether. By that time I could handle my parents. All of society though? That's diffrent.

See it wasn't so much that the columbine kids played Doom. At that day in age anyone with a computer has played doom to one extent or another. What this psychologist did was to sit there and make a big deal about how these kids had modified their copy of doom to make it even more violent than before. They used a program called DeHackedEd which lets you switch around graphics and such. I had taken an interest in game design and I figgured I'd cut my teeth by making a few doom levels, and modding the exe a little bit so that I could take advantage of some of my desighns. Yeah I made the game more violent too. You replace the normal dead sprite with the gore sprite that you get after using a rocketlauncher.

I was called crazy because of it.

He cited their doom game as an example. He then cited that the fact that they made a violent game even more so, is a clear indication of the progression of their antisocial behaviours.

He then said that anyone who would do this to their game has some sort of derangment and should seek help.

And then there I was.

Am I crazy? Even if I am I am not going to let some teevee asshole tell me if I am or not. The things is though that people believe the shit they see on teevee without thinking about this. I knew this because I expereinced it first hand.

As a result I have devoted a decent portion of my life to defeating the idea that one medium can somehow magicaly cause violence in a person.

It is something that I tackle with the utmost passion and dedication. A lot of it is simply shouting down brute ignorance, as most people really can't speak on the subject with any sort of intelegence. Its something I feel is very important though.

As I progressed through life this is something that I have carried with me, paticularly through a theory intensive english program. So I spent lots of time gathering tools. I realize though that this is something that has been going on ever since socrates and Aristotle.

Specifically the Republic book X and the Poetics. You would think there is a statute of limitations on this sort of thing right? No no there isn't. Its strange though.

Of all the things around columbine, that stupid little man calling me crazy sticks with me the most. It was his very basic misunderstand of the entire ethos around video gaming that really got to me. I don't like communcacation gaps. I think it is the teaching instinct or something. I'm not certain. With every kid who shoots someone and then blames GTA I just want to find everyone who takes them seriously, sit them down, and talk to them. After all how are we supposed to get anywhere if we can't understand each other.