Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear atheists

Hate to break it to you, but you belong to a religion that relies on faith of the unprovable.


Friday, April 25, 2008

I ♥ Answerman

From today's Answerman column at Anime News Network:
Why do some fans get so mad about their favorite shows. It seems like some people get really mad if you say you dont like their favorite anime and they fight with you about it. It makes no sense and it makes everyone mad at eachother.

It's pretty simple, really; most people internalize their favorite movies and TV shows and music and books to the point where they perceive any "attack" on those things as a personal assault, as though saying "this cartoon isn't very good" is akin to saying "you're an awful, stupid person who enjoys eating babies if you like this series". It gets completely out of hand sometimes, to the point where any criticism leveled at a series is taken so personally by its crusaders that they're incapable of seeing any flaws in the show itself, even ones that are obvious to casual observers or people who don't have some dogmatic mission to hate on the show. It's a fog that many people succumb to, one that obscures critical thinking, discourages honesty and in many cases makes the crusader come across as someone who takes themselves far, far too seriously.

There's really no getting around this and it isn't only anime fans guilty of behaving this way; fans of everything are like this too. I can understand taking (extremely) mild offense when someone slams a movie or a band you really love, but it's important to remember, they're not insulting you (unless they are, in which case they're being douchebags), they're commenting on a media artifact. If you didn't actually make the show or sing the song they didn't like, it doesn't make any sense to get
all up in arms and act like they just called your mother a whore.

Ultimately though I think the worst side-effect of this attitude is the complete inability of some people to be honest with themselves about the things they love. It's as though the ancient cliche "nothing's perfect" doesn't apply to the cartoons they like; it's immaculate, and anyone who says otherwise is attempting to hurt them personally. It really does shut down intelligent conversation about media. I can't talk about what I don't like about [SHOW X] because the guy who does like it isn't interested in actually talking to me about the series, he just wants to grandstand and whine about how he's being oppressed because I don't like his preferred cartoon. At the same time, it makes it difficult for someone to talk about why they did like [SHOW X] because there'll be a bunch of people who hate it so much they'll accuse you of just being a "fanboy" who can't be reasonable about its flaws. Annoying stuff.
It's refreshing to know that at least two other people have issues with certain elements of fan mentality.

Thank you, Zac Bertschy.

Thank you very much, especially after witnessing the Tusken Raider genocide thread.

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Just shoot me

From a thread on RPGnet that started off comparing Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, and degenerated into a 'think of the poor orcs' cesspool of pseudo-intellectual geek wankery:

From Gary G.:
Of course the whole Tusken Raiders genocide thing comes right before the Clone Wars kicks off, literally days before. The Jedi may have some doubts about Anakin but at this point they've been decimated and every Jedi available is needed on the frontline which pushes the issue aside. The Jedi Trap might work on more than one level.
From Tom B.:
Wow. Um...yeah. So, that makes it alright to slaughter the entire village? By that logic, it must also be alright to wipe out the entire race. This is the first time I've ever heard anyone attempt to justify Anakin's slaughter of the village.

For me, this removed any possible sympathy I had for Anakin. The rest of the original trilogy seemed to be about seeing how long he could escape justice.
From Wolfwood2:
Oh come on, they tortured his mother to death. If some dudes tortured my mother to death, and I was a superhuman killing machine with magic powers, I might well kill their whole village too. How can I get all cold-hearted and condemn Anakin over it?
From Tom B.:
Sure. And I could see him killing the ones who did it. Not a good choice for a Jedi, but understandable. Killing all of them, though, including women and children, is a whole different magnitude and well into "evil".

'Well, they just would have grown up to be killers anyway' is an argument that his been used too often in our own past to see it as anything close to an acceptable justification. Especially since he gave no indication that that was what he was thinking. He wanted revenge and slaughtered a whole village. sympathy whatsoever.
From Wolfwood2:
Well, you and I differ. I can understand the urge to exact payback by killing a guy's family, kids included, in front of him to make him know what it's like to lose his entire family like he killed yours. Just before you follow up by killing him too. Because if you're going to go for and treat people like things for a night, might as well go the whole way.
From (excerpted) Balthazor:
We see Ripley take down an entire colony of hostile aliens in Aliens, but nobody's calling that genocide. She killed alien children, but nobody called her evil. Is the difference that the Tuskens just simply look more human than the aliens Ripley slaughters by the dozen?
From Tom B.:
I don't see it that way. It sounds too much like the stereotypical view of Native Americans during the 1800s. Do you know anything about their culture or about why they act the way they do? Or are you just assuming that they're "unquestionably hostile" because of what you see the few times they're presented onscreen.
From The Pill:
Well, if we go according to standard Star Wars fanwank, almost all humanoid aliens are representative of whatever race they are. For example, Mandalorians(Jango Fett) come from a nomadic bounty hunter culture. So, using the transitive property, Tuskens are all mindless brutes.
From Vaya:
In other words, George Lucas' world building lacks any actual depth.
From Wakboth:
Although this may be true in general, the blame in this specific case ("All aliens seen in the movies define their races!") lies squarely on the EU authors, and fans, who have exhibited all the imagination of a lobotomized garden slug on this subject.
And, if I'd bothered to actually post my thoughts, from me:
It's all fanwank, no matter which argument you subscribe to, and neither side is more worthy than the other.

The blame lies squarely on the people who take this shit too seriously/personally, get all riled up over their pet obsession with the mistreatment of fictional alien races (and robots), and then go around shitting on otherwise fun topics for everyone else.

Thank you for rekindling my burning sense of loathing towards all things fandom.
Now, does this make things clear as to why I hate internet fandom?

I mean, seriously, this thread compared the treatment of Native Americans to the portrayal of a fictional alien culture in a series of SF movies inspired by Flash Gordon serials and samurai movies about people who zip around in spaceships with laser swords. I deal with this sort of mind-numbing, pseudo-intellectual pomposity every time I try to join in on talking about the things I like with people who aren't the handful of folks I know that enjoy the same things as I.

It may seem like I'm being overly harsh, but this sort of nonsense dominates web fora, and it's very disheartening. It never used to be like this, but it's gotten progressively worse. It's either the pseudo-intellectual toss-offs from above, or else it's the ironically self-righteous indignation that's also known as geek rage.

As for the thread above, can you get anymore insulting?


These are the same people who get their panties in a knot over the treatment of orcs in D&D.

Orcs. D&D.

It's a game people, and don't you dare try to pull out the argument of it symbolizing something else, because it doesn't.

Orcs are fictional. Tusken Raiders are fictional. Jedi are fictional. The history of Middle Earth is.... yep, FICTIONAL!

Native Americans are not fictional. The years of mistreatment are not fictional. The stereotyping of them in films is not fictional. (Well, the stereotypes are, but that's not my point.) The history of the Native American people is... yep, you're getting this NOT FICTIONAL!

Why do they not comprehend the difference?

Why do they insist on masturbating in public like this?

As that's what it is: intellectual masturbation. They aren't using their powers of reason for anything other than self-gratification. There are far more important causes in the world to champion than the treatment of fictional beings. The petition to end Uwe Boll's career is a more important cause... and it's not important at all!


I'm going to have some tea now, and maybe take a nap.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The follow-up to the question

The reason why I ask is because the price of food is going up, and there are food shortages around the world, and all for the simple fact that stupid Westerners seem to think it's their God given right to drive gas guzzling shit-boxes. While I would never condone it, but wouldn't shed a tear over it either, I wouldn't be surprised to see people taking things out on conspicuous fuel consumers, like Hummers and other menaces to the pocketbooks.

The auto manufactures must be held accountable for this, as they and their consumers are directly responsible for the price of oil and for the effects that the price of oil is having on the world. The jackass driving the Hummer is as guilty as the jackass who decided that it should be driven by civilians for all this, and that's not even remotely stretching anything. If you're driving a gas guzzler, or you build gas guzzlers, you are responsible for all this and you should be made painfully aware of this. (Note: that's metaphorical pain, not an actual beating.)

Again, I ask:
Does anybody really care about anything, anymore? I mean, really?
Serious? Does anybody?

Ignore the fact that this is Earth Week. These people are ruining the world for others, with a line drawn directly to them, and they should be held accountable for their actions. It's dangerously close to criminal negligence on a global scale, and it needs to be stopped before the inevitable death toll occurs.

Of course, nobody really cares and they'll just bitch about prices, without giving it a thought, while they fill their tanks.

Bunch of savages in this world.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

A brief query

Does anybody really care about anything, anymore? I mean, really?

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

There goes another one

I've dropped my link to Bloody Disgusting, as I'm just tired of horror fans. I'm leaving the link to Fangoria, as its editorial staff don't sink to the levels of fandumb that one at BD does.


Wookiee Translator

Translates any language to/from Shriiwook.

See, despite my rants, I am still a geek.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Media rundown

Yeah, no real content again, except for my anti-geek mini-rants. So....

Watching: Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, The Mist, I Am Legend, Soylent Green, The Omega Man, Doctor Who season 4.1, Battlestar Galactica season 4.1, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Plus, on the slate, in no particular order: Supernatural season2, 36 Chambers of Shaolin, Fearless, 3 Extremes, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Frailty, Saw, Interview with the Vampire, J.S.A. - Joint Security Area, Onmyoji, The Twilight Samurai, Royal Space Force - Wings of Honneasmise, War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave, Day Watch, and Southland Tales.

Listening (to): Portishead Third, Coast to Coast AM MP3s, Star Wars: Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell audioplay, ATSMix podcasts, and the most recent Order 66 podcast.

Reading: Lots of Star Wars stuff (books, comics & RPG supplements) in preparation for my upcoming Star Wars Saga Edition game.

Playing: Metal Gear Solid and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters.

Spending stupid amounts of money on: Star Wars Minis, a Chessex (96246) battlemat, a new HP Deskjet F4135 All-in-One to replace my dead HP Deskjet 3420, and wet erase markers. (I really need some Vis-a-Vis markers, but they are scarce in these parts.)

I'm both jazzed and terrified by the prospect of running this Star Wars game. I'm jazzed because it's the first time I've gamed in years, and I'm on a big Star Wars kick. I'm terrified because it's the first time I've ran a game in years, and I'm still weak on the Saga Edition rules. Well, I probably know them better than I believe, but I wish I could have a test drive before my test drive. The adventure has been easy enough to work on, as it's the Gencon game from 2005 for the Serenity RPG. Since I'm using the Dark Times era, the 'Verse fits in quite well, with a handful of tweaks.

I'm also jazzed and terrified that I'm borrowing an existing gaming group. Jazzed, because we don't have to worry about getting know each other. Terrified, because they are an existing gaming group with existing gaming group continuity. I sort of feel like an ass with my e-mailings, as I keep missing out on in-jokes and such. I'm sure they don't mind, but it does get to me a little.

Here's hoping that work doesn't ruin the day for me.

(As an aside to Mary, my Amazon Wishlist is up-to-date again.)

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools Day

The day when the humour impaired try to achieve the impossible.

What is it with humorless dorks and April 1st, anyways? You see them fall over themselves to pull pranks all over the tubular intarwebs, but to what end? It's never funny, and usually just ends up alienating others.


I dunno.

As an aside, is it too late to start calling my blog Meaningless Drivel?