Video Games are Fueling the Rise of the Far Right! Right? (A response to The Guardian)

I swore that I would never go after this publication again.  They officially became too low-hanging fruit after the article about how emojis are evil.  That was the point when I decided that they are so stupid that responding to them is a waste of what little intelligence I have.  But dammit, they make this so easy!  And now they are going after a hobby that is near and dear to my heart, saying that since the inception of video games, they are helping fuel right-wing ideologies.  This is so ridiculous.  When I saw this article being talked about, I had to make a response.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

Gaming cultures are connected to violence – but should be considered in terms of the rise of far right political discourse and the prominence of “alt-right” misogyny and racism.

Oh boy, I am sure that you are going to find a very concise, totally not bullshit way of demonstrating this point of view.  I’m sure you are.  I’m sure that there won’t be any buzzword usage and emotional appeal slathered all over this crap.  Not even a little.  If there’s one thing the far-left and the far-right have in common, it’s bad argumentation.  I love them for it.

The white male supremacy in gaming has been discussed in the context of the harassment campaign Gamergate and via the link between Trump and gamer message board threads on the 4chan website.

So, where do we get started on why this is bullshit?  For starters, I am not going to go through all the madness that was #GamerGate and why you’re wrong.  I’m going to let the archived videos of Internet Aristocrat do it for me.

As for boards on 4chan being for Trump, so what?  People online talking about politics.  I’m sure that gaming has a connection there.  Like I said, bad argumentation is the cornerstone of The Guardian and their “news” coverage.

Games are ideological constructions which push a set of values on the user. Like television and film, they often support the ideologies of their context: in the Bush years, American games endorsed aggressive foreign policy; since Brexit, British games advocate isolationism or nostalgia for empire – and the prominence of anti-Islam games in the 2000s tells it all.

Wow.  Notice that they don’t list a single video game to back up their claims.  None.  It’s almost like the person who wrote this doesn’t actually play them.  Maybe they just studied up on Anita Sarkeesian’s old catalog of videos and didn’t actually do any real research.  Another cornerstone of The Guardian writing – bad research.

I wonder if I can think up some games that didn’t pander to the Bush doctrine.  Maybe games like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.  There, you have an American operative who is used by his government to kill his mentor/lover in order to get secrets that the Americans didn’t want to get out to them.  He was used and then, when he finds out how deep that well went, chose to disavow his loyalty to America and become a mercenary.  That was one example off the top of my head.  Idiot!

However, video games have at least two unique features compared to other media.

I can’t wait to hear this.

First, rightwing ideologies have been overrepresented and dominant throughout the history of video games. Although affected by context, video games have long focused on the expulsion of “aliens” (Space Invaders to XCOM), fear of impure infection (Half-Life to The Last of Us), border control (Missile Commander to Plants vs Zombies), territory acquisition (Command & Conquer to Splatoon), empire building (Civilization to Tropico), princess recovery (Mario to Zelda), and restoration of natural harmony (Sonic to FarmVille).

I’m dying!  This is so stupid!  Oh my Groj!  Why is this so dumb?!  Alright, let’s break this down.

First, it’s a right-wing ideology that when a hostile alien species invades your planet and is blowing everything up to fight back?  Really?  So would the left just lie down and let themselves be destroyed?  Is that what I’m to infer?  Notice I said a hostile race.  These creatures are openly killing people.  This isn’t aliens coming to Earth and then saying “hi, let’s make peace” and we just kill them.  It’s them coming and immediately attacking humanity and killing people.  Is the lesson here that this is a right-wing sentiment?  If so, I am REALLY confused as to what the left-wing approach is.

Next up, we have an “impure infection.”  The head-crabs in Half-Life are an alien life-form that takes over the bodies of people.  They are an actual infection.  Same with the Cordyceps in The Last of Us.  That infection is actually based on a real-life infection that happens in insects.  There are dozens of species of this fungus, all of which are tailored to one specific bug.  The concept of that game was that the infection jumped species and infected humanity.  Is it really a ring-wing ideology to fight back against this?  I ask again – what is the left-wing response to this sort of thing?  An infection is spreading out of control killing millions upon millions of people.  What is the left-wing response to such a thing?  Get in a circle and hold hands?

Then we come to border control.  Attacking this point is more about one of your examples than the merits, since at least this is something more associated with the right than the left.  How on Earth is Plants vs Zombies a referendum about border control?  It’s about stopping zombies from getting into the house and eating the brains of the denizens inside, dumbass!  I can already hear the snooty British retards who take this crap seriously responding – it’s about the unconscious implications associated with this that will tailor the minds of people to see it as people considered ugly not being allowed in your area.  Or, because we’re not in far-left fantasy land, it’s about plants stopping zombies from getting in the fucking house.  Ugh.

And we have “territory acquisition.”  This is another one where I’m more going to attack your examples than your point, even though the idea of expanding American territories is bafflingly stupid to call right-wing.  The right in this country (maybe you British idiots have this idea in the right since you used to be an empire) is very isolationist.  The libertarian dinguses want to get rid of all American military bases and only focus on America.  This is such a stupid point to make.  But back to the examples, what is Splatoon doing on there?  It’s a game about shooting ink because you’re a squid-person.  Where is the so-subtle-it-doesn’t-exist message in that?  This author is nine kinds of stupid.

What about “empire building?”  Once-again, this doesn’t at all tie into the American right-wing.  Not even a little.  You are so stupid it hurts.  Plus, games that allow you to create a fictional society and run it how you want to run it are about building empires?  This ties in to me thinking that you don’t actually play video games.  See, in Civilization, you can choose how you expand your empire.  You can be an empire that seeks peaceful cooperation, or violence.  It allows you to choose.  And Tropico doesn’t have you building an empire.  It has you as the leader of a Third World country that you have to make a better place.  Man, that is so right wing I can’t even believe it!  Your examples reek of the most blatant stupidity one can possibly imagine.  I’m sending this to you so you can hopefully learn something.

The one that really made me laugh is “princess recovery.”  This is a right-wing idea.  The idea that if a woman who you value (as in both examples provided it is clear that the main character does value the women they are respectively trying to save) is taken prisoner by an evil monster, you should save them is a right-wing idea.  What is the left-wing approach to this?  Be like “well, you kidnapped my significant other, guess that’s just how it goes.  Oh well”?  Some little bitch you must be.

Most baffingly of all – natural restoration.  Are you fucking kidding me?!  Restoring nature of a right-wing ideology?!  How?!  When was this?!  My whole life, I grew up hearing about how it’s the fucking hippy left that wants to restore nature.  Now we have this idiot talking about how restoring nature if a right-wing point of view.  I want an example of this.  I want to see some right-wing site trying to restore nature.  All the conservative idiots who say that climate change isn’t real and that we should be able to pollute as much as we want because Jeebus is coming back and Alfie dumbass Brown is telling me that the restoration of nature is a right-wing point of view.  Fucking idiot!

Second, video games put the user to work on an instinctual level, making the gamer feel impulsive agreement with these ideologies. Playing Resident Evil is not equivalent to watching the movie, because the controller-wielding gamer experiences the desires of the game as their own desires – not as the desires of another.

This is basically the Anita Sarkeesian argument – that because you play games, these secret, implicit things that they are nefariously conditioning you towards are going to hit you harder because it’s a video game.  A point of view without a SINGLE piece of scientific evidence for!  None!  There have been so many studies debunking this.  There was another study done just recently that was a long-term study having people play Grand Theft Auto V for months, then doing tests hours after the game sessions were done to test if they were more violent, and came back negative.  The only tests that have shown anything even remotely indicative of your perspective have come from tests that were done immediately after someone had gamed, when they are still running on endorphins from playing.  It’s ridiculous.  This is unproven bullshit that I am sure you are going to have some brilliant “evidence” for.

The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan distinguished between “drives” and “instincts”. While instincts come from within us, drives occur when political forces propel us in certain directions. In these terms, video games are drives masquerading as instincts, naturalising rightwing ideologies in a way other media cannot by offering its users the chance to experience them on a personal level.

That’s nothing.  That was a nonsense, bullshit statement that basically exists to say “I’m smart!  Can’t you see what a smarty I am!”  It is basically just saying that video games are secretly nefarious for reasons that will never properly be defined.  When all evidence on the subject of video games influencing your personality goes against you, this guy has to say that it is so subliminal that you can’t even tell.  Almost like it doesn’t exist.

In this way, the rationale of gaming is to unite pleasurable impulse with political ideology, a process which renders gamers susceptible to discourses that urge people to follow their instincts while also prescribing what those instincts ought to be.

An opinion not proven, for a point of conjecture that is pure bullshit.  Yeah, this really is The Guardian’s MO.

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Hollywood cinema transformed the desires, empathies and emotions of a global population (even for those who never went to the movies), but it’s harder to recognise the pattern in your own context – and we may need to consider whether we are in the midst of a comparable revolution with video games today. Currently, the new desires incubated by games lean far to the right, and without more progressive games on the market (though some are emerging), the future may be even bleaker than the political present.

You have got to be kidding me.  This person is so stupid.  I love that I, an American, get to look down on a dumb-shit British person.  They are usually so pompous that they tend to be the other way around.  Hey Alfie, art imitates life, not the other way around.  I guess nobody told you that.  Or maybe you just watched Anita Sarkeesian’s videos and take all of her bullshit at face value.  Whatever the case may be, you’re wrong.  Demonstrably wrong.  The reason that the films in the 60’s-80’s reflected a change in the culture is because the culture was changing and Hollywood changed with it.  The hippy movement of the 60’s, which came to a crescendo in the 70’s left a lasting impact on cinema.  This was reflected when Hunter S Thompson wrote his masterpiece “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream,” which talked about how that hope and belief in the fight for change crashed down around those who fought when the decadence and decay of the 80’s swept in.  Read that book sometime.  It’s a great piece, from an author who saw the hope and decay very clearly.

Video games are the whipping boy of every cultural movement in the world.  The left and right use them to vilify people almost in equal measure.  It’s amazing.  These two ideologies should really join forces on their mutual hatred of a medium that has NEVER been proven to cause violence, sexism, or anything else.

Until next time, a quote,

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,



Lucien Maverick’s Ikigai

I was just opened up to an idea that comes from Japan.  It’s called Ikigai, and the concept can most broadly be defined as “a reason for being.”  It has a very charming ven diagram that takes a look at the four categories.  See, the idea is that instead of just seeking happiness (which is something that due to my head injury I don’t feel anyway), we should be seeking a life that has purpose.  I like the concept.  This diagram allows you to really take a look at this issue and decide for yourself where you want to focus, letting you know what the perks, but also drawbacks are.  I want to tackle each thing one by one and see if we can find my ikigai.  This shouldn’t be too hard.  But first, a visual aid.  Let’s take a look at this.

Got the gist of it?  Let’s break this down, bit by bit.

What do you love?

This is pretty easy.  I love to write.  It’s something I’m damn good at.  This website is living testament to my writing prowess.  I’ve had it up for nine years.  That’s right, nine years of this.  Ever since I started this site with the news story I did interviewing people at the anti-Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin rally when the two were up here in my home state.  It was so raw, but it was the beginning of my work here.  Writing is what I have loved for so long, but it isn’t the only thing.

I love to cook too.  Just like writing, damn good at it.  I have years of experience doing it.  It’s weird that every task I have ever set my mind to and enjoyed doing, I’m good at.  Like really, really good.  I love to cook so much, and more than that, I love an audience for it.  When I can get people in my life who like to eat what I have to make it fills me with a great sense of accomplishment.  Because I can eat my creations and marvel at the flavors all day, but it’s something else when someone who is dear to me can too.  Alas, the way things are now is just a reminder to me of how my people are long ago and far away now.  It sucks.

So that part was pretty easy.  On to the next one.

What are you good at?

This part is also pretty easy.  Aside from the points I mentioned, I also have a lot of other tasks.  In addition to being good at everything I set my mind to, I learn things fast.  Really, really fast.  It’s kind of freakish how I can pick things up by getting into the nit and grit of them and do it.  There has yet to be something that does not fall into that category.

I also have a gift at making connections with people.  Everywhere I go, without a single exception, I become the talk of the area.  I my most recent job, I built up a reputation in two respects.  First, I was the best.  It goes without contest that in the customer service section of my employer, I was the best at what I did.  At least when I left there to go into the document processing section.  Best day ever.  But I did that task with such skill and became known as the guy that everyone could come to do things.  My head supervisor at the time saw me as something of an attitude problem, but to those I worked with directly, I was seen as sharp, witty, and a consummate professional on the phone.  I have a habit of getting under the skin of those who like to follow rules for the sake of them being rules, while making a ton of friends with those I work with for my desire to help them when they have problems, being the best at what I do, and having NO qualms about cutting corners wherever possible.  I’m an American, after all.  It’s what we do best.

These skills are a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, for bosses who see me as a person who also like to bend rules wherever they see them as detrimental, I am something of a hero.  For those who don’t like that, I am something of an attitude problem.  But make no mistake, the moment I enter into a new environment I find the fastest way to learn everything I need, and then become perfect at it.  Could give the samurai a run for their money.  Anyone who knows about the mentality of perfecting your art in their culture, you’ll know what I mean.

What does the world need from you?

Now that is a very, very good question.  I honestly don’t think anything.  My talents are asked for by no one and nobody really would care if I disappeared tomorrow.  It would be an inconvenience for those I work with, but not too much of one.  I am expendable because I’m still low on the totem pole.  I genuinely can’t think of anything that the world needs from me.

I’ve always hoped that my loyalty to my people and to my sense of personal ethics would carry some weight.  But that never stopped the countless people who have up and ditched me over the course of my life.  So then what about me as a human being does this world feel that I would provide a benefit for.  I genuinely couldn’t say.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

What can you get paid for?

Now there is the rub.  I can get paid for all sorts of things.  My traits mean that I am something of a jack of all trades.  It may be that the thing holding me back the most is my lack of stability.  I haven’t set down roots anywhere.  I want to.  The big idea is to get out of this icebox and down south to finally have a community I can live in without having to worry about leaving for the next five to ten years.

My writing skills are almost certainly never going to make me any real money.  I’m working on a novel right now, but I know that the chances of me hitting it big are astronomically small.  So that’s out.  Cooking?  I don’t want something that is a passion to become something I do to get paid.  Then it stops being fun and becomes work.  With what I listed above, the things I can get paid for are plentiful.  The things I can get paid a lot of money for or at least enough to live comfortably on, that’s another story.

So where does all this leave me?  The Ven diagram I shared above has it that I am somewhere between Vocation, Mission, and Profession.  It’s not a place I want to be, but the simple reality is that my Mission is clear – get south.  I want to get to the ocean.  To live on it.  That’s the last stop on my life’s journey.  I don’t actually think I’ll ever get there, but assuming I do, I have some decisions to make about where my life goes after that, if anywhere at all.  I wouldn’t mind adding some passion into my life, but that’s not going to happen.  At least not now.  Now in a job market as shitty as the one in my state now that the recession has FINALLY caught up with us.  A full ten years later.

I don’t know what the future holds, but this exercise has been interesting.  Let me know where you fall into things.  I actually do enjoy the discourse with my audience.

Until next time, a quote,

“Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day.  And now, that dream is here beside me.  Long the skies were overcast, but now the clouds have passed.  You’re here, at last.” – Lyric, Long Ago and Far Away

Peace out,


Really Good Bad Advice: Number Five

I decided that I’m bored, and I haven’t been able to feed my misanthropy enough lately.  See, I just moved to this other department in my job so I get to be away from the people on the phone.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Fun crew, so much less stress, and I get to come home feeling like I am alive.  Life’s not too bad, but I suppose I should be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And since I am looking to feed my misanthropy, I decided to look into some advice columns featuring the worst that sapient life has to offer.  I found one that got me thinking that there are women out there who need to slip and fall into a volcano.  Or, you know, be pushed.  Whichever.  Let’s respond to this woman’s question!

Dear Person who actually cares about me and my problem,

I’m 22 and have been dating a famous local businessman for a year and a half. He’s 42 and my first serious boyfriend, so I’m very attached. But we’ve had our ups and downs. First: He was afraid to publicly announce he was seeing a girl as young as I am so soon after his divorce. (This insulted me, but I got over it.) Second: He dumped me during a business “crisis” with a two-line e-mail! Then when he tried to win me back, I stopped him cold in his tracks and left for Scotland.

The lifestyles of the rich and famous.  Is this what famous people have to worry about in their relationships?  I mean yeah, a Dear John email seems kind of low.  You didn’t write what it was that you broke up over.  Maybe it’s because you’re insane.  Or petty.  Or the fact that there’s this HUGE age difference between you and you may not work together.  I gave up on love years ago, but I’m at a point in my life where the young women I am meeting are in their early 20’s and there are life references that hold weight for me that don’t for them.  With an age difference of 20 years, I can’t imagine what it’s like for the two of you.

Also, he didn’t publicly announce that he’s dating a woman half his age and you are insulted by that?  This is something about the world of social media that drives me nuts.  Everybody has to be so damn public about everything.  Why?  Why is it better to have your entire relationship out for the entire fucking world to see?  This baffles me.  Maybe that’s what the breaking point was in their relationship.  Makes sense to me.

He flew to Scotland and proposed in the most romantic way with a huge five-carat diamond! I said yes, though I thought the ring looked slightly wrong somehow. He makes over $750,000 a year, so I was worried he’d been ripped off by some shady jewelry store. When I returned to L.A., I found out from my jeweler that the ring was a FAKE! It was humiliating. I’d already shown it to family, friends—everyone!

What a materialistic bitch.  I feel so sorry for this guy.  He has the money to drop everything and go to Scotland on a whim to try and win you back.  He proposes and gives you a ring with a huge engagement stone.  This all appeared to be very romantic.  Now here you are bitching about the fact that the gem isn’t a real diamond.  For a 22 year old woman, you certainly are unfathomably picky.  Again, this feels like the complaining of the rich and famous.  I mean, is all that matters to you how much this guy makes?  I feel worse for this guy than I ever will for you.

First he tried to lie about it, then he said he couldn’t afford the $100,000 ring he really wanted to get me, so he’d had a copy made. The next day he took me to the store and bought me a nice ring for $4,700—two months’ salary for a 23-year-old guy. Whatever. He says he loves me. I still think it’s a crappy thing to do. So do I stay engaged or not?

– Seriously Bummed Basic Bitch

Hey dude, if you’re ever reading this – break it of with this woman!  She is not worth it.  She clearly is into your because of your money.  You go through a heart-felt proposal and all she cares about is the ring.  I can dream of having enough money to be able to afford a ring that costs $4,700.  She wants a ring that costs $100,000.

A girly-mate and I were talking about a woman she follows on YouTube who has a really wealthy husband and sells the crap he buys for her.  She makes a ton of money selling stuff she doesn’t like anymore from a guy she married for her money.  My friend asked me if I believe that such people can be happy.  I suppose on some level I have to admit that they probably are happy, but on another level I have to wonder about that.  Why?  Because here we have this woman on an advice column bitching about the nature of an engagement ring more made that the stone is fake.  She said the ring is fake.  Not true, bimbo!  The stone is fake.  The ring is real.  The emotions may be real.  But the stone is fake, and that’s all that matters to you.

You are heartless.  You are worthless.  All that matters to you is what you own and how it makes you look to the people in your life.  I cannot hate you more if I tried.  I may think that some of the people at my job who I’ve had to talk to on the phone are petty and pathetic, but you take the cake.  Because at least they have kids to take care of and I can see how hard that would be.  You, on the other hand, have no real problems and all you care about is the shit you own.  I hope he buys you a massive gemstone.  So big that it can be attached to a chain.  One that he puts on your ankle, and then kicks you off a cliff into the ocean, where that gorgeous, massive gemstone pulls you down into the depths, never to be heard from again.  Die with a stone that truly is worth $100,000.

Until next time, a quote,

“The things you own, end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Peace out,


Mr. Smith Signs a Birth Certificate, by Lucien Maverick

*As read by Charles R Poindexter*

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was a man who liked to get the most out of life.
He did this by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
Him and all his friends would drink and drink until all their jokes were funny and their bellies fat.

One day, he got so drunk that he made love to a very pretty woman.
At least he thought she was pretty.
The more he drank, the prettier she got!
It was a very good night.

A long time later, he got a piece of mail in his mailbox.
Heinous villains at Child Support told him that the woman he had made love to now had a baby.
What’s more, he was named the father.
Mr. Smith immediately went into action.

He called the Child Support villains, to right this wrong.
Told them that he was not the father of that baby.
Said there was no way it was him.
Lastly, that he wanted a paternity test.

But the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him no.
Said that his name was on the child’s birth certificate.
And this meant that he would have to contest this in court.
Mr. Smith gasped!

Seeing the injustice, he informed the EVIL Child Support customer service representative that this was all wrong.
Told him that he was very drunk the night that he signed that birth certificate.
So drunk that he didn’t even remember doing so.
This meant that he couldn’t legally be responsible for what happened that fateful night.

After hearing his genuine honesty, the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him that wasn’t true.
Said that it is a legally binding document, and only a court order could contest it now.
Mr. Smith was appalled!
He knew just what to do!

Once he had several swigs of his joyous drink, he filed a motion in court and got the judge to hear his case.
He told him of the injustice against him and how he wanted to put it right!
Why should he have to pay for a child that is not his!
The judge heard it all, and said back to him, “are you fucking kidding me?”

But Mr. Smith got his order to contest paternity!
He strolled into the EVIL Child Support office and got genetic testing
This cruel insult would not stand!  He would show these devils!
Maybe when he proves the baby is not his, he would sue these monsters for all the trouble!

Then the results came back positive, and Mr. Smith had an arrears balance of $2,000 and a monthly support amount of $200.
Mr. Smith decided that he needed consoling, so he went to the joyous bar for more joyous drink.
There was a pretty lady there.
In fact, the more he drank, the prettier she looked…

Until next time, a quote,

“Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb!” – South Park

Peace out,


Top 10 Things I Hate in Movies

My gay girly-mate and I got to talking and there are a ton of things in movies that bug us.  See, I’m the kind of guy who analyzes things.  To death.  Like way past the point where it’s healthy.  It’s why I know that the only reason Mufasa hates the hyenas in The Lion King is because they’re black.  They’re a minority living in the savannah’s projects.  If that isn’t a more obvious metaphor, I don’t know what it.  So my friend and I thought about the things we hate most, and I came up with this handy Top 10 list of them.  Let’s get into it.  Here are the things in movies that grind my gears the most.

10. Everyone in the post-apocalypse easily finding gas for cars
Am I the only person that this bugs?  I need a straight answer about that.  How are people not aware of how absolutely insane this is?  From The Walking Dead to Mad Max, it seems like everyone in the post-apocalyptic world is very easily finding gas for their cars.  Do people just not know that gas has a shelf life?  Depending on how it’s stored, it can be from one to three months for ethanol fuels.  It blows my mind that you have all these movies where it has been years, sometimes tens of years from when gas was pumped, and it’s still good.  What?!

9. Whispering is never whispering
Do the people who make movies just not realize that they are professionals with sound equipment and can easily make whispering show up in a movie without characters talking very loudly and them just bringing down the audio levels to make it sound like whispering?  We can tell the difference!  Or maybe I can, but that’s just me.

8. Ordinary people surviving things that would obviously kill them
When I watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier and see the titular character survive falling over ten stories, crashing through a window and then surviving all by landing on his shield, I am able to look past that.  Why?  Because that shield is made of vibranium, a fictional metal that takes impact forces and blasts it outward.  It’s nearly indestructible.  That and he’s a superhero.  It’s a superhero film about superhuman characters.  I am okay with that.  What bugs me is when I see character who are shown to be average people surviving things that would OBVIOUSLY kill them.  Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are a great example of what I’m talking about.  There you have tons of people falling huge distances or smashing through things and having little to no damage on them whatsoever.

7. Guns shooting, but no casings hitting the ground
I finally got around to seeing the first season of Stranger Things because Netflix released it on DVD.  Good stuff.  The kid characters are my favorites, but every arc is interesting.  The last episode where the government troops are with the head of the facility and the demagorgon appears is pretty intense, but as everyone is shooting, I’m noticing something – why are there no casings hitting the ground?  These people have fired a ton of rounds, yet you don’t hear a single casing hitting the floor.  The visual for the guns looks fake too.  This tells me that the entire effect was done in post.  It bugs me when there are supposed to be guns going off, but you don’t see or hear a single casing flying out of it.  Totally takes me out of the scene.

6. Bland superhero villains
I’m looking at you, Marvel.  The MCU films run the gamut in quality, but one thing that FAR too many of them have in common is the lackluster villains.  Some of them are just written badly, but it grinds my gears when you have characters who have the potential to be interesting villains, but aren’t.  There are a few examples of those who aren’t that bad.  I liked every villain in The Winter Soldier, and Baron Zemo in Civil War wasn’t half-bad.  They have been building up Thanos for some time now.  PLEASE don’t let him be some boring, forgettable villain.  This film is supposed to be him fucking up the MCU’s shit to get the Infinity Gems, so let’s have him do some damage!

5. Good guys being dumb
There’s that great line in Spaceballs – Evil will always win, because good is dumb.  Um, yeah.  Good is kinda dumb.  The good guys have this really bad habit of being some of the dumbest people ever.  For whatever reason, we like to have good guys being the stupidest fuckers.  I guess because the idea is to have protagonists of big blockbusters relate to the dumb-shit American public?  Meanwhile, you have these villains who are the intellectuals and are so egotistical.  Why is it that intelligence is not a virtue that we can appreciate?  Oh right, because America will vote for a political candidate because they feel like they can have a beer with them.  This country is so fucking dumb.

4. “Comedy” films that only have people in a room talking
You know what I miss?  Visual comedy.  I miss when directors would try and get laughs from visual elements in films being used to help amuse the audience.  Like when things appear in frame in funny ways.  When things leave the frame in funny ways.  When you can do like Wes Anderson does and use lateral tracking shots to sell ridiculous scenes.  Why is it that every comedy film in this country feels like it’s just people in a room doing improv?  I hate that shit.  I’m looking at you, Paul Feig!  Your movies suck!  You’re the antithesis to comedy!

3. The films being made out of books is almost always a death sentence
Maybe I should have it that films are being made out of books.  Because it seems like every time I see a book that I love being turned into a movie, I instinctively cringe.  I recently was forced to watch the entire catalog of Harry Potter movies, and without a single exception, I hate them.  They fuck up the ending of every single book!  What made the books so good was how you’d have the mystery at the beginning of the story that is gradually solved by the end.  At least the first four.  After that they got kind of dumb.  Well, aside from the sixth.  That one was pretty good.  There is all this build-up, leading to so much tension.  And when it all blows up then it explodes in this huge climax that feels so good and has you glued to the pages.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Meanwhile, the films always fuck that up.  Always.  Without a single exception.  And don’t even get me started on how much books made from Michael Crichton’s books almost always suck.  My favorite author, and his books have been turned into Hollywood shit.

2. How dumbed-down PG and PG-13 ratings have become
Am I the only person who thinks that we might as well get rid of PG at this point?  That rating means Pretty much G now.  None of the films I have seen with that rating for the last 20 years have merited it.  It’s so stupid.  Maybe it’s just me, but I happen to believe that kids these days can handle the harder stuff.  Can you imagine if Don Bluth’s masterpiece The Secret of NIMH had come out today?  That probably would have gotten a PG-13 rating.  And speaking of, here’s a video by a YouTuber I like that lays out the problem with PG-13 much more completely than I can.

And the thing I hate most in movies is…

1. Ordinary people outrunning things that would EASILY catch them
You know what I love?  The velociraptors in Jurassic Park.  Those things are badass with a capital B.  Intense, dangerous, and not evil.  Just animals doing what they do.  And they are so cool.  The kitchen scene where Tim and Lex are hiding from them as they hunt them down has so much tension.  It’s great stuff.  The two get split up and you have Lex being really clever and using a reflection to trick a raptor.  That’s pretty smart.  I like that.  But then Tim decides that he is going to run, on foot, to the freezer and trap a raptor in there.  He is on foot.  Not only that, but he has a limp from when he had 10,000 volts of electricity cook him.  That raptor would have been on him in two seconds ripping him to teeny tiny Timmy pieces!  That scene is so laughably stupid that it blows my mind how ANYONE can take it seriously.  It takes all the tension in that scene and blows it out the airlock.  I hate it.  While I do love that movie, that one particular scene pisses me off so much.  Same with anything where you have normal people outrunning things that would OBVIOUSLY catch up to them in a matter of seconds, if not in a second.

What about you?  What things in movies piss you off?

Until next time, a quote,

“Clever girl.” – Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park

Peace out,


Trump Defender Says Video Games are Bad (A response to Matthew Walther)

I’ve been looking for a good representation of the Trump defenders coming out in support of their God-King saying something so asinine and not even remotely backed up by science as violent video games have a connection to mass shootings.  I really have.  But thankfully I have Twitter, and between the pornstars I follow on there and the YouTubers that I like, there are also the people in video game culture who find all of this shit as amusing as I do.  Plenty of them are conservative, and watching them be quiet about their God-King saying something so stupid is interesting on its own.

However, I have now found someone who fits the bill of the /r/TheDonald sychophants who want to come out in defense of their God-King and say that all of us detractors are wrong.  I love this shit.  I really do.  Here’s a link to this article, now let’s talk about it.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just robbed a drug dealer and was peeling out in my getaway car — also stolen — and thinking about my next score when I saw her: a woman in high heels and a very small bathing suit. She motioned towards me and I let her get in the car. We performed a blurry parody of marital intercourse. After she got out of the vehicle, I ran her over. Then Judas Priest came on the radio. I cranked the volume and roasted the tires of my sports car beneath the orange moon.

The moral being that because this happened in vidya, it is no less evil than if it happened in real life.

Because I was 13 years old and the above scene was unfolding on my friend’s PlayStation, I am not writing this column from a maximum security prison.

Called it!  Yeah, Matt.  And the other day I took a teenage girl from an operating room after killing a doctor with a bullet to the face.  Then, when a woman who was her caretaker at one point tried to stop me from taking her away, I put a bullet in her stomach and then, as she begged for her life, one in her face.  But there is a context to that.  The character I was playing as had this one person who was his connection to the human condition, and he was selling humanity up the river to keep that connection.  Wanna know something about both your example and mine?  I know that they are both fiction, because I’m a fucking adult.  I don’t believe in fairy-tales, or unicorns, or Jeebus, or that video games are real.

When President Trump dared to suggest last week that “the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he was denounced with the uniform hectoring intensity that meets his every utterance. Hundreds of pages of digital ink was spilled pointing out that, actually, there is no proven connection between digital mayhem and the massacres that have become a commonplace part of American life.

Gee, I wonder why that is?  Could it be that there is not a SINGLE piece of substantive evidence linking video games to school shootings?  Or violence of any kind?  I don’t know, I think there might be something to it when the pantheon of people can come out of the woodwork and easily defend our position, while I’m sure you are going to have STELLAR examples that bolster you belief.  I’m sure it is all going to be very well-researched stuff.

What does it mean to say that there is no connection? Virtually every single one of the pasty psychos who have shot their classmates and teachers in the last two decades has played such games. What would count as evidence?

No.  Video games are ubiquitous to modern culture.  Especially modern male culture.  The hardcore audience of gaming is men.  By that same token, maybe we could say that Marvel films are influencing school shootings.  After all, I bet these shooters have watched a ton of them, and comic book films have been a huge part of culture for the last 20 years.  Or maybe it was the iPhone.  How many of these shooters had one of those?  You can take any piece of typical culture and put it in there and make the EXACT SAME argument.

Meanwhile, the hard science (a phrase that conservatives fear more than any other) has shown that there is NO connection between playing video games and being violent.  None.  Find me a study that proves me wrong.  You can’t!  And before you go saying that the studies are biased, Congress has commissioned a lot of these studies trying to prove just what you are!  A Congress who is biased against the industry has commissioned study after study to desperately try and prove that video games cause violence.  It hasn’t worked.  There is a great quote by Max Caulfield that I am going to end this with that summarizes this perfectly.

I cannot understand why even positing the notion of a relationship between games and the behavior of those who play them is taboo. Does anyone think that misogyny in films and television and music does not shape men’s attitudes toward women, that it has no consequences in the real world? A thousand #MeToo takes suggest otherwise. Why, then, are video games the exception?

What?!  You have GOT to be kidding me.  Dumb-dumb, the reason that there is this taboo (it isn’t.  You can say whatever you like, but everyone is going to tear you to pieces for being stupid) is because there is not a single piece of scientific evidence that suggests that.  Just like there is not a single piece of scientific evidence linking film, television, and music to sexism.  This is patently absurd.  By the way, whose side are you on, anyway?  You’re defending Trump’s comments and bashing the left, then using their talking points?  The cognitive dissonance is interesting.

Either way, there has been no connection between video games and violence, or sexism.  None that has been proven.  Just lots of conjecture based on weak, cherry-picked evidence without a single study to back it up.  In fact, there was a long-term study finally done by Germany that disproved the notion of video games.  So yeah, your entire argument is fallacious bullshit.

Why is it the default position of every commentator that spending hundreds, even thousands of hours acting out scenes like the one I described above has no ramifications for the way young people — the majority of them male — feel and behave? How do people who accept the existence of concepts like microaggressions and rhetorical dog-whistling convince themselves that indulging an appetite for murderous rage could have no discernible effects on the imaginations of impressionable young people?

I don’t accept either of those things, because neither of them have been proven by science!  Science, mother-fucker!  Do you speak it?!  Oh right, you don’t.  Just like every conservative who wants a pulpit to stand on, you just spout off rhetoric and then say you’re right.  If this was a research paper it would get a D.

Let me put it another way. If someone created a video game in which it was possible to grope or even rape women, as opposed to just cutting off their heads with a chainsaw or shooting them in the face with machine guns, would we still consider it a harmless diversion unlikely to disfigure the imaginations of players? What about a game where the user was allowed to molest children? Why is pretending to be a killer okay?

The other cornerstone of conservative argumentation – emotional appeal.  Do I think the games you bring up would be tasteless and grotesque?  Absolutely.  Granted, I’m not a fan of playing a game where I can indiscriminately kill civilians with a chainsaw or machine gun.  Now a game where I kill demons with those things like the masterpiece that is 2016’s DOOM, that I can do all day.  But do I think that those games would turn people into rapists?  No.  Much like I don’t think that watching porn makes you think that women are sex toys.  A fact that has actual SCIENCE behind it.  This is so fucking stupid.  How many different ways can I say the same thing?

One does not have to be able to demonstrate a formal causal link — whatever that would look like — between the hideous violence of many video games and real-life acts of mass murder to recognize that the former are contributing to something sinister.

Yes you fucking do!  You do have to demonstrate it.  Because you want to legislate against what people can watch and play.  You want to tell people that they have to pay your morality fee in order to play something that has no proven link to violence.  Just like how Rhode Island wants people to pay their morality fee to watch porn.  I’m sorry that demands for evidence are hard for you.  Lemme guess, you’re a Christian too.

One of the ludicrous dogmas of the modern world is the notion that the media we consume cannot influence us for the worse.

It’s not a dogma.  Dogma is faith.  Faith is belief without evidence.  There is actual evidence of my contention, while zero evidence for yours.  I’m sorry, but I don’t take things on faith.  It’s why I stopped believing in this God that so many conservatives claim to be such a huge fan of, and it’s why I also don’t believe in the SJW convictions like the ones you apparently are also in favor of.  For real, where do you fall on the spectrum, dude?

Virtually everyone agrees that it is possible to be deeply moved by watching a film or hearing a song. We are all familiar with lachrymose paeans to the virtues of reading, which is supposed to be able to make us more open-minded and empathetic and every other vaguely positive-sounding adjective you care to suggest. Why do we pretend that the reverse is not true in a medium that is designed to be immersive and interactive, to give the vivid impression of really being there?

Because I’m not five, idiot.  I know that it’s make-believe.  Can I hear Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 and feel a lot of powerful emotions?  Absolutely.  It’s amazing music.  But I have those feelings based on the things that I feel in my own life.  Being touched by something doesn’t mean that I am going to suddenly start my own orchestra and make it myself.  Being touched by a fantastic book doesn’t mean I’m going to think that it’s real life.  You feel that way about the Bible?  Watching a heart-breaking film doesn’t make me think that way.  And when I play The Last of Us, I don’t feel the urge to suddenly go bust into an operating room and kill a doctor.

I’m sorry that nobody ever told you that there is a difference between real life and pretend.  I think my species is retarded as fuck, and even I give them more credit than you.  Go figure.

Until next time, a quote,

“A pattern is emerging.” – Max Caulfield, Life is Strange

Peace out,


Lucien’s Review: Annihilation (and the death of cinema)

I got to see Annihilation, and it was pretty great.  It wasn’t perfect.  It does have some flaws, but it is genuinely smart science fiction that does what the SJWs are saying film doesn’t ever do.  A movie starring five smart, capable women who are in STEM and who have a ton of personality without all being bland stereotypes.  The type of thing that every social justice moron should be singing from the hills about it being an accomplishment in film, but not only is nobody talking about it, but nobody has seen it either.  A fact that depresses me to no end.  Let’s talk about it.

The film follows Natalie Portman as a ex-Army, current researching at Johns Hopkins.  Her husband has gone missing in a very poorly paced opening, but then shows up again, very different.  After he has some hardcore organ failure, she is brought into a mysterious event where a meteorite had crashed into Earth and now there is a weird effect called The Shimmer.  Desperate to get answers to save her husband, she embarks on what is understood to be a suicide mission with four other women, all of whom are aware of just how precarious their situation is.  Each has their own motivation and as they get closer to the source of The Shimmer, it becomes clear that they are going to be tested as people, scientists, and the bonds they can make with each other.

It’s so nice to see smart science fiction.  It really is.  We have so much absolute garbage like Life, which is just a rip-off of Alien.  We have the endless amount of big-budget blockbuster dreck that is either very generic like Black Panther, or outright terrible like Justice League.  But just like Blade Runner 2049, we have a film that is genuinely great and nobody is going to see it.  This film’s numbers are in the tank.  It will add its name to the pantheon of films that are smart, well-crafted, and nobody fucking saw.  It pisses me off to no end.

The things this film got right – the slow-burn pace, the fantastic science elements that they explore, and the atmosphere.  Not to mention the really smart use of theme.  This film is able to do visual story-telling to such great extent, and only a few times does it feel like it is overplaying its hand, and one of those times is in the very end and it does damage this film to me a little just because it feels like the film thinks it is WAY smarter than it actually is in that moment.  But there was so much great stuff leading up to that which hooked me from beginning to end.

We also have the performances.  I loved almost every character in this movie.  This film is proof that Natalie Portman is a very good actress if she just has the right director.  Give her the right person and she can turn in a truly fantastic performance.  But the cast with her was pretty great too.  Everyone had their own reasons, and you learn more and more about those reasons as you go along.  The film doesn’t just tell the audience why they are the way they are.  You have to learn it as you go along.  Well-written, well-acted female characters, all of whom are leads, all of whom play characters who are capable.  The fact that the social justice community is radio silent about this while screaming the praises of yet-another cookie-cutter Marvel film is beyond me.

But the science was the highlight of the film.  The Shimmer has this effect on all of the life inside of it that is both fascinating, and terrifying.  Part of the effect of this place led to one of the most terrifying scenes in any film I have ever seen.  Bar none, it scared the shit out of me.  It has such perfect build-up, and when it happens you are left feeling trapped with the characters.  Listening to the characters talk about their observations of The Shimmer and the effect it is having on everything inside is genuinely interesting and it makes me sad that it only goes for so long.

Then there’s the fact that this may be the first film about alien life that I think feels like an alien life since I saw Arrival.  You have the story being told cut in with scenes in the present asking Natalie Portman’s character what the meaning of it all is, and she has the same response over and over again – I don’t know.  Throughout it all, the designs of this alien entity and what it was trying to do is a complete mystery.  Right up to the climax of the film you still don’t get what it was trying to do.  I love that.  So many films hold your hand and feel the need to explain everything to you because they think you’re stupid, but not this one.  It’s great.  Gee, maybe that’s why it’s failing at the box office.  Because America is stupid.

As I said, though, there are problems.  One of which is the fact that there are a couple scenes where you can tell that characters are aiming at things that aren’t really there.  A trailer scene about the crocodile attack is a really good scene, but when Natalie Portman’s character is shooting at it, you can see her weapon going off not pointing at where the target is supposed to be.  It’s almost Starship Troopers levels of off.  I will say that it’s nice to have a scene where people are shooting guns and you have casings hitting the floor.  It’s such a pet peeve for me in films when people are shooting and you don’t see or hear any bullet casings.  Next, the very, very end of the film is nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is.  I’ve heard so many people saying that it’s so mysterious, but it’s not.  And the discourse bugs me.

I’ve talk about how this film is basically dead at the box office, and it bugs me.  I hate that we have these films that are dumb blockbusters that are making huge money.  We’ve seen that blockbusters don’t always have to be stupid.  We’ve seen that not all Marvel films have to be stupid.  But they are.  It’s a bummer how much dumb cinema has taken over, and you have all this direct-to-Netflix stuff that runs the gamut from smart that nobody will see to shit that they knew wouldn’t get a release anywhere else.  The days of smart cinema are number, and it hurts me inside.

Overall, this is a really good movie that I cannot recommend enough.  If you are like me and are tired of the same rehashed shit, over and over again, you owe it to yourself to see this film.  You really do.  That’s all I got for you.  Now you make your choice.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,