Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The best controversy is the fabricated controversy; the controversy which comes into being through the rantings of a jackass with a soapbox. Without these controversies we as a nation might have to tackle actual problems and actual controversies that truly affect people's lives. Luckily for us there are people in the world like Roger Friedman, a jackass with a Fox News provided soapbox.
You see, while everyone else was dismissing Cloverfield as a stupid Blair Witch knockoff Roger Friedman had the clarity and sense of purpose required to see Cloverfield for what it really is: An insult to the memory of 9/11:
"But Cloverfield also inadvertently disses New York for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, by re-enacting scenes of buildings exploding and massive clouds of debris for fun and profit."
You see, by setting a disaster movie in New York City (a first, for sure) and then destroying buildings in New York City (again, an unprecidented feat in cinema) Cloverfield is commenting on 9/11 and insensitively mocking its memory. Because any building exploding in New York is somehow related to 9/11, so says Roger Friedman.
Then there is the notion of turning a profit off of the memory of 9/11. Yes, because Cloverfield is trying to profit off 9/11 whereas a movie such as, oh I don't know, World Trade Center was not. I'd love to hear an explanation of the arbitrary line that makes World Trade Center a beautiful piece of Americana and Cloverfield an opportunistic, insensitive monstrosity.
But the most endearing part of the article has to be this:
"Does no one recall what was said following the World Trade Center disasters? There was such sensitivity about the huge human losses that images of the Twin Towers were erased from movie posters and excised from films.
Yet six years later, the "Cloverfield" gang is cool enough with it to show New York being pulverized. Very quickly and without warning, downtown New York is destroyed. The first bit of damage is depicted by a World Trade Center-like structure exploding and collapsing downward, sending off a cloud not unlike those my friends ran from that day."
These two paragraphs have everything. They are a literary Smörgåsbord of vapid rhetorical shit. The hurt emo pleading of, "does no one recall?", the vastly inflated "huge human losses" because, yeah, New York couldn't stand to lose 5,000 people (I totally just went there), the imagery of the phrase "images of the Twin Towers", and the cherry on the top, the personal note of "my friends ran from that day". It would send shivers down my spine if it didn't send bile to my throat.
The problem, though, is the beginning of the second paragraph: "six years later"
Look, you obsessed shitrag with your psychologically enfeebled peon followers: Get THE FUCK over it. And if you can't get over it; if you're going to spend the rest of your life emoing yourself out over something that happened in 2001? Then do us all a favor and just slit your damn wrists now while you listen to The Cure.
Because healthy human beings, reasonable people, get over things. We deal with it. We move on. If you spend your entire life drawing labored comparisons to that time some planes hit a building in 2001 you're never going to develop as a human being; you'll be stuck in a state of arrested development forever incapable of actualizing your full potential. You'll be a perpetual child.
Grow the fuck up.
I'm not saying that Cloverfield is a good movie or that it is beyond critique. But it's not a fucking commentary on 9/11. It's a monster movie set in New York because, dipshit, New York is a great setting for movies.
Was The Day After Tomorrow out of line when it froze New York?
Was the King Kong remake incredibly insensitive when it placed a Monkey in New York?
Was Spider Man insulting the memory of those brave souls who lost their lives on 9/11 by covering New York in webbing?
Then shut the god damned fuck up you whiny little bitch.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Reading through Kotaku I saw that Myst is coming to the DS in March. This news reminded me of a long dormant truth to which I subconsciously cling: Myst Fucking Sucked.
This is my play experience with Myst: Some number of years ago I sat at a computer which had Myst installed. Curious, I loaded the game. The game loaded and there I was looking at a screen which displayed poorly rendered graphics of...I think it was a room. Either a room or some sort of platform on which there were things.
And that was it. There were no NPCs telling me to do something, no text bubbles or voiceover giving me a goal, no obvious enemies, inventory screens, paths, or anything. I was simply there. I sat there for four minutes waiting for something to happen. Nothing happened. So I got up from my chair and walked away.
If I am placed in a situation in which I have no motivation, objective, goal, explanation, or reason for being in that situation? I leave. Hell, even if I am given motivation, objective, goal, explanation, and reason I often leave those situations too.
Sure, maybe the vapid existential void of Myst was the point of the game. Maybe, as the wikipedia page for Myst says, "In a sense, the primary objective of the game is to discover the objective of the game." Great. Except I already have that situation. That situation is called "life". I'm already in a platform with things the purpose of which is unknown to me or, most likely, doesn't actually exist. Except in life I have motivational forces that spur me to action. In Myst? Not so much. I don't need to distract myself from the vapid existential void of life by engaging a fabricated vapid existential void with poor graphics, no obvious point, and seemingly no inventory system.
I don't care how many times you've read Being and Nothingness. I don't care how many hours you spent collecting keys and books in the hope of eventually discovering WHY you were collecting keys and books. I don't care if you can make some convoluted argument which makes Myst the game from which all other sandbox games are formed.
Because Myst fucking sucked. And anything you say to try and justify its existence is going to make you sound like a strung out art student fresh off a hit from your opium bong.
I sort of enjoy the politics of fear and constant reminders that at any moment some brown person could detonate themselves and so cause me physical harm. I think it is cute. If W wants to tell me that everyone I know and love will die if Democrats are elected I am ok with that; it affords me a good laugh every now and then. If Giuliani wants to say "9/11" in place of every proper noun and adjective then that's his prerogative.
But what I do not enjoy is when Hillary Clinton steals the material of W and Giuliani. We have a group of idiots who are forever frightened by the specter of terror an ocean away, forever obsessed with that one time some planes flew into some buildings. They're called neo-cons; they're douchebags. We don't need more people to jump onto that proverbial bandwagon. We have enough.
So in the Nevada Democratic Debate when Hillary made reference to "a relentless enemy" and said that she was aware of national security "acutely because I do represent New York" it bothered me. Because she's stealing material from others.
"A relentless enemy"? That is W's language, lady. That's the rhetoric Cheney uses. It's not yours to use.
"I do represent New York"? That's Giuliani's schtick! You had better be paying him royalties, little missy.
I don't know why Hillary feels compelled to adopt the positions of George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani. I don't know why she wants to be that person. But she needs to give credit where credit is due. She needs to forget this notion of being an "agent of change" and be honest with the electorate:
She wants to be the Democratic version of Rudy Giuliani, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush.
I don't know why she won't just come out and say that.
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."
That is Mike Huckabee.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
When I saw that Apple expects me to pay $20 for the newest iPod Touch Update I was surprised. I didn't think that Apple was that sort of company. But apparently they are that sort of company and I was mistaken in giving them the benefit of the doubt.
I am not going to pay $20 for the software update. Here are a few reasons:
The price is not justified
The software provided in the patch is software already used on the iPhone or now currently used on the iPhone. There are no liscenses Apple had to purchase to obtain this software, no hidden fees. Apple owns the software and is already using it on other products. The $20 fee is there because they can charge users $20 not because they need to.
The fee will go away
The wonderful thing about the hive mind of Apple users is that what infuriates one infuriates them all. There is no way that the collective of iPod Touch users will willingly pay $20 for this patch. There will be bitching, Apple will apologize, and I will get the update for free.
Even if Apple does not soon remove the fee there is no way that Apple will support two lines of software for the same product. They won't make distinctions between those who bought the $20 software package and those who did not; they will eventually lump everyone together into the same pool. Even if this does not happen until February when they release the developer's kit I still think that eventually the software in this update will be available for free.
Speaking of February...
Remember when Apple announced the iPhone SDK for February? When this happens many replacements for the software in this latest patch will be released. I'm willing to bet $20 that there will be free versions of notepad for the iPod Touch shortly after the SDK is released.
I have not used jailbreak yet to unlock my iPod Touch. For those who do not know, jailbreak is a program that unlocks the Touch and allows users to install various programs such as games, stock checkers, e-mail clients, notepad, etc. I have not yet used jailbreak because my understanding was that Apple as a company was cool, that they did not needlessly prevent users from getting the most out of their products, that they were not assholes. But if Apple is going to start charging users for software updates which do less than what jailbreak does for free? I foresee a jailbreak in my Touch's future.
Please remove the asinine $20 fee, Apple. You don't need to charge customers $20 for updates to a product they purchased for $400. You don't want to be that guy.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Mypost from July.
To Summerize, Joel Hodgson and the comedy central cast of MST3K's new project CinematicTitanic just released their first episode - "The Oozing Brain."
The server is down (I am guessing it is because BoingBoing posted a review of it this morning. Since I havent seen it yet, here is the trailer
Sunday, January 13, 2008
As is the case with others I have once again entered the World of Warcraft in a valiant effort to kill the devilish mistress known as time. Through playing again I have exposed myself to a favorite staple of the World of Warcraft experience: Exorbitant costs for minimal benefits.
Some items in the game have sockets into which gems may be placed. A gem of +4 damage can be placed into a hat and so give the character wearing the hat +4 damage. In the attempt to maximize one's stats certain gems will be purchased the stats and price of which will vary. That being said, compare these two gems:
Glowing Shadow Draenite
Matches Blue or Red Socket
Stats: +4 Spell Damage and +4 Stamina
Cost: 3 Gold 50 Silver
Matches Blue or Red Socket
Stats: +5 Spell Damage and +6 Stamina
Cost: 54 Gold
The cost/stat ratio is in no way equal for these two items. To go from no gem to Glowing Shadow Draenite is far less costly and more statistically beneficial than the jump from Glowing Shadow Draenite to Glowing Nightseye, as can be seen in this awesome chart:
If we ignore the issue of whether or not any of this really matters we are left with a question of utility: Is the Glowing Nightseye really worth it? Will that +1 Spell Damage and +2 Stamina truly make significant enough a difference to justify the 50 Gold 50 Silver price increase between the two gems?
A purist will answer that it is absolutely significant, that one must always attempt to maximize one's stats in all situations. But can we question the purist? What is the functional difference between a total of +973 spell damage and +974 spell damage? The numerical difference is 1, but what of the difference in terms of gameplay? Is that one point of damage and two points of stamina worth the cost? Are there better uses for one's funds?
And what of this situation with regard to the game itself? What does this say about World of Warcraft as a game? Does this situation indicate sensible game design?