Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thanks be to Randy [chat]age.

Thank you, Macho Man Randy Savage, for preventing The Rapture.

Suffer, as I have suffered!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Giada De Laurentiis: Conspicuous Cooking Cleavage

This is fucked up, right?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pirates 4, On Stranger Tides Review: Mermaid Bondage

Very few films cater to the mermaid bondage enthusiast. In fact, when you start looking for it, there really isn’t that much mermaid porn, let alone mermaid bondage porn, in existence. Given Rule 34 one can, of course, find some mermaid porn, but when I dug around trying to find mermaid bondage all I could find was this [NSFW], and it’s pretty damn tame.

Apparently, the writers of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides felt the lack of mermaid bondage is a great slight on humanity. So they created what is, at best, the world’s first softcore mermaid bondage flick and, at worst, a really shitty Pirates movie.

As we all know, any pornographic film needs to have some semblance of a story. In PoTCoST we definitely get the semblance of a story. Johnny Depp, dressed as a pirate, is lured by Penélope Cruz, also dressed as a pirate, onto a ship captained by Ian McShane who is dressed, as one might expect, as a pirate. They have to go find the Fountain of Youth because [who cares]. In order to utilize the fountain, they need a mermaid’s tear because [reason not given]. This sets us on the course for what the film is truly about: capturing and binding mermaids in a variety of ways.

#1: Capture a Mermaid in a net.

This is the most intuitive brand of mermaid bondage. As mermaids live in the ocean, and nets are use to capture entities that dwell within the ocean, the idea of trapping a half-woman-half-fish in a filthy fishing net, only to watch her struggle against its increasingly tightening bounds, both makes sense and raises a chubby in all of us. But PoTCoST goes just a bit further, with even sexier results.

As a poorly choreographed fight / battle / awkward between our pirates and the vampire mermaids (they’re fucking vampire mermaids, by the way) draws to a close we hear a frantic, pathetic flopping offscreen. The camera slowly pans to the left, showing the ripples set off by the feeble twitches of a delicate, supple tail pinned by a rock. We pan further up the dainty, befished trunk of the helpless creature to the bare midrift, the exposed nippleless breasts, and finally the pallor face which frames eyes widened in abject terror and shame. She struggles in vain, cowering against a cold, unfeeling rock as a net falls and men descend upon her.

Fucking hot, am I right?

#2: Imprison a Mermaid in a glass coffin.

Once the mermaid is caught she is imprisoned in a glass water-filled coffin. We are told that our fishy coed must be transported to the Fountain because mermaid tears, apparently, spoil. This is the point at which I realize what the hell is actually going on.

I can grant mermaids in a pirate movie; their inclusion makes sense. Hell, I can even go along with catching a mermaid in a net, because how the fuck else are you supposed to get the damn mermaid’s tear? But when we have to force the naked half-fish chick into a portable aquarium and carry her around with us? That’s just fucking gratuitous.

It gets even more retarded, though. Alright, so we’ve trapped the naked chick in the portable nudie booth and we’re carrying her through the forest, right? Well, someone trips, the nudie booth falls, and it breaks. So the mermaid starts flopping around on the ground. You know what the fuck happens then? She grows legs in place of her tail. Two things.

First, now we have a naked, terrified, naked, wet, naked 20-something girl lying prone, naked, on the ground. Second? WHY THE FUCK DID THEY HAVE TO PUT HER IN THE GOD DAMNED PORTABLE NUDIE BOOTH IF SHE COULD GROW LEGS THE WHOLE FUCKING TIME? I’m sitting there thinking, “Well, alright, if the tears go bad then they’d have to transport her, and she’s a mermaid, so the portable peep room makes sense.” Then the damn thing breaks and she grows legs? So what the fuck was the point of the glass sex pen in the first fucking place?

The only reason to put a mermaid in a see-through fuckin’ crate is because she has to be in water. The fact that she doesn’t have to be in water since she can grow legs suggests to me that there was no fucking reason to have the jizzquarium in the first place, other than to arouse someone’s damned fetish.

#3: Tie a Mermaid to a rock.

Then we get to the money shot. Near the fountain we find a marsh, or tidal estuary, or whatever the word is for a big fucking rock with holes full of water: Plot device. Ok, so we reach a big plot device. The actors dressed as pirates notice many merskeletons tied to rocks, half submerged in water. Guess what, kiddies. Time to fucking tie the naked chick to a rock and make her cry!

They plop Astrid Berges-Frisbey into a hole, so her tail grows back, and tie her to a rock, so she can be tormented, and proceed to obtain a tear. First we torment her by pointing to the skeletons of her long dried out sisters. Because it’s good to start by mocking the dead. Then we threaten her with physical violence, cause that’s a message kids need to hear. Finally we move onto other strategies that I do not remember because I became acutely aware of the fact that I was sitting in a public theatre surrounded by children watching a mermaid bondage torture snuff film. Also, I may have reached climax at that point. I don’t quite remember. But, hey, mission accomplished, Disney!

You want mermaids in your pirate movie? Fine. You have to catch them in a net? Ok. You need a tear? Sure. You have to put them in a portable sex tank and carry them around? Ok, that’s weird. The tank breaks and she lays sprawled naked, terrified, shivering, naked in the ground? That’s uh… Then we have to tie her to a rock and torture her? Come on, man, seriously?

Oh, best part? After they get the tear? They leave her for dead. They all walk away as the bound topless mermaid lies sobbing, half-submerged, waiting for death.

PG-13, indeed.

I really hope someone got off on all the BDSM Mermaid shit. Because as far as I can tell that’s the only justification for its being in the movie. Though, to be fair, the Mermaid bondage is the only reason I can think of for why the movie exists at all. Well, that and the fact that Johnny Depp probably wants to put another wing onto his house, of course.

I give PoTCoST one dying, sobbing mermaid tied to a rock scene out of a possible ball-gagged, screaming mermaid scaling scene.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blizzard Removes Keyring from WoW

The game developers at Blizzard have decided to remove the keyring in patch 4.2. This, apparently, pisses me off.

I should begin by stating that I am not pissed off as a result of some undue affection towards my keys. I do not sit up, late at night, stroking my Jump-a-Tron 4000 key, as that would be quite odd. I understand that these are just items in a game. That being said, I do have some attachment to these items as they indicate various feats I accomplished over the years. My Heroic Key to the Focusing Iris, for example, is a rare item that few characters have. The key is something of a symbol of my past activities and represents an accomplishment made with my character.

However, as a rational entity, I can distinguish between my memories and items in a game. If the key is removed, I still have my memories, and so the actual existence of the key is not all that important. What is important, and what pisses me off, is what I think this change to the game indicates.

Back in 1.11 Blizzard added the keyring in order to free up some inventory space. Characters has to obtain keys to access various locked areas, because what better to unlock something than a key? Over the years, however, Blizzard moved away from using key items to unlock areas, and relied upon other game features to afford or deny access to zones. After Burning Crusade, very few keys were added to the game, and over time they became obsolete. In fact, the decreased use of keys resulted in The Keymaster Achievement being removed from the game. This action sparked some irritation with the player community.

The question I have, looking back on this whole narrative, concerns what this means, what this story indicates. What do we learn from these changes? In the original game keys were a...ok, I'll just say it...key component to the game. Now, seven years later, keys have been removed, key achievements have been removed, and the keyring bag slot is being removed. Numerous people will put forth various theories to explain this course of events, but I think I have it pretty well narrowed down to one sensible interpretation:

The fucking asshats who design World of Warcraft have no god damned fucking clue as to what in the name of unholy piss-soaking hell they are doing.

I mean, what the fucking shit? First we have to have keys, because oh my fucks how would we control access to zones without them. Then we had to have a bag for these keys. Then we had to add more keys. Then we had to stop using keys. Then we had to remove keys. And now we have to remove the fucking bag?! What the fuck? What in the shit is directing the design philosophy of WoW?

That's my problem; that is my grievance: Over the course of seven years numerous stances were taken with regard to keys. The fact that there are numerous stances at play, numerous interpretations at work, indicates that there is not one clear, defined, controlling, structuring mentality of game design at work. And that, to me, is a problem.

I'm not saying that change is always bad. I am suggesting that change indicates a problem with respect to foresight and planning. Now, of course, human beings are not omnipotent; we cannot predict the future. But if we fucking sit down and think for a while, we can generally surmise various consequences of action. If items are used to control access to zones, then players must have the item that corresponds to a zone. As we increase the number of zones, we shall also increase the number of items.

But wait, says Buckey the one-eyed game designer: If we keep adding zones, and keep adding items, won't this place an undue burden on players as they amass these items? As the game progresses, and older content becomes obsolete, then won't players be forced to carry around numerous items they do not actively use, but keep for the sake of allowing the possibility to return to older content? We seem to be setting ourselves up for a problem with inventory space.

Hmm, that's a great point, Buckey. But you know what? SHUT THE FUCK UP WE'RE ADDING 5 MORE KEYS THIS EXPANSION!!!!

What, I ask, the fuck?

At one point keys were required. At another point keys were not required. Alright, fine; change happens. But for what end is this change occurring? In the post, Bashiok indicated that they are removing the keyring to free up UI space for the Dungeon Journal button, which is a feature that is as dumb as it is stupid. The Dungeon Journal is a feature that explains boss fights for dungeon and raid bosses. The problem is that we do not fucking need this. Players who use tankspot shall continue to use tankspot, because tankspot is better than whatever the Dungeon Journal could be. Players who did not use tankspot shan't use the Dungeon Journal because they are illiterate, as is indicated by their not reading tankspot. So, in effect, we have to remove a bad idea to make room for a new bad idea.

But that just raises my core complaint: What the fuck design philosophy directs and controls these changes? The game did not have a Dungeon Journal for seven years, and now it needs one? We had keys for seven years, and now we don't need them? If Blizzard has an ideal game in mind, then they need to just sit the fuck down and make that game. If they have no ideal, no "best", then how can they tell their amelioration story given that "better" only makes sense with respect to a "best"?

As far as I can tell, this summarizes the story of WoW and keys over the past seven years:

Herp-a-Derp we need keys.
Herp-a-Derp we need a keyring.
Herp-a-Derp we need more keys.
Herp-a-Derp we have too many keys.
Herp-a-Derp keys are stupid.
Herp-a-Derp the keyring is stupid.

I don't mind that things change. I don't mind that modifications are made over time. What I mind is the feeling that there is no one driving, the feeling that these are all reactions rather than planned, intentional developments. I very much doubt that in the planning stages for WoW, seven years ago, they said: "Alright, so we have keys now, but in seven years we're going to take them out. And we're going to add a Dungeon Journal, because, obviously, 40-man raids don't need in-game explanations whereas 10-person content totes needs an instruction manual."

This isn't design. This isn't development. This isn't forethought. These are kneejerk, unthinking, unplanned reactions to the bitching and whining of 13 year old forum trolls.

And my polite suggestion is that maybe, maybe, “appeasement” that is not the best strategy by which to design a game.

Sunday, May 22, 2011