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 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 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 or 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.