The Legacy of Justin Bieber and the Pussification of Humanity

I have recently been made aware of a group of people.  This is a growing trend among young people, and seeing it disturbs the shit out of me.  Because what we are witnessing with this group of people is something that we can attribute to two things – 1. Justin Bieber and 2. The growing trend among people to be complete pushovers who won’t take any criticism.  The group of people that I am referring to calls themselves, “Video-Makers.”

This is a unique group.  See, what this group does is they take pop music that already sucks, speeds up the audio so they sound really high-pitched and girly, use god-awful lighting effects so they look like they are doing an actual music video and do jump-cuts every syllable of the songs that they are “singing.”  Though if you ask me, their singing is on par with the girls who did the song “Hot Problems.”  These people represent the ultimate legacy of Justin Bieber.

Now, I will admit that I have never been all that big on following pop culture.  It is something that I have tried my damndest to avoid.  But wouldn’t you know it, it finds me.  But from what I have heard around the internet water coolers is that Justin Bieber is the culmination of this movement of pseudo-males who get popular by basically becoming ball-less and acting as castrated as possible.  Now, this may not even have its origins in America.  From what I hear, the idealized vision of feminized men being the symbol of attractiveness has some deep roots in Japan, where it has been that way for some time.  And now America is getting on the bandwagon.  I mean, the popularity of Justin Bieber is much the same.

Look at how "manly" he is.  Don't you just see how legal he is?  Ugh...

Look at how “manly” he is. Don’t you just see how legal he is? Ugh…

Justin Bieber has been, for almost all of his “music” career – a feminized version of a male.  I have a feeling that the Tumblr feminists must love this guy.  Or at least they should.  With how quick they are to jump on the – no-balls and men are evil bandwagon, they should view this movement of popularizing feminized men as just the best thing ever.  And thanks to the Disney Channel, they have seem to be winning that battle with the latest generation of men.

And all of these “Video-Makers,” or at least the ones who are guys, seem to have a lot in common with Justin Bieber.  They share the same god-awful haircut that he used to sport, until he recently became a more “adult” persona, which entailed that he actually look a little more grown up.  Not much, mind you, but a little.  He still shares the look of a guy who is 14.  But before, he looked like he was 10.  Also, the guys in these videos where really cheap hoodies (and all the girls wear them too), skinny jeans and sneakers.  They are trying with all their might to emulate Justin Bieber.  And given the fact that they get millions of views, they seem to be succeeding.

But all of them make covers of modern crappy songs, while trying their damndest to look as childish and silly as possible, and not in the “that’s actually kind of funny” way.  No, they’re shooting for the, “awww, that’s so adorable.  I love you!” kind of way.  The videos they make that aren’t music videos are all the most insipid pieces of I-have-no-balls pandering to make people like them, because that’s what’s popular.  And if I believed that they had more than 10 brain cells to rub together, I might actually believe that they were just following a trend.  But now, these guys and girls are doing what they think is genuinely good.  They think that they are just the bosses.  And anyone who says otherwise, they sic their minion followers on to and start false-flagging campaigns.  Because these people can’t take the slightest amount of criticism.

But the reason that these people annoy me so much is that this is the next generation.  This is what teen girls look up to.  This puss-ified image of what a guy is supposed to be is what teen girls think is attractive.  That is totally disgusting.  This is not something that we should be looking up to.  Because the reality is that these girls who make out with cardboard cut-outs of Justin Bieber are someday going to enter into real relationships.  They will have real responsibilities.  They will someday have to look after their own life.  And if we continue to indulge them this vanilla world-view, then continue to indulge that delusion by making the rest of the world conform to it (so they don’t have to tax their tiny brains too much), then we are making this species dumber!  For real, we are making ourselves stupider in the process!

These people bitch and complain, not about some of the totally mean-spirited comments they get (of which there are a lot), but because people don’t like their videos.  What, you mean that people don’t like your pathetic attempts to become Justin Bieber by osmosis?  I mean, you are trying to emulate him hard enough.  These people don’t want to face the real world.  And you know, part of me wants to like that.  Embracing adulthood sucks.  Adulthood sucks.  Life sucks.  But the problem is that people like this are making our culture conform to them.  We make the world easier for them.  It’s one of the many reasons that America’s education system is in the shitter.  We don’t want to make our kids think to hard, and guess what – they aren’t thinking too hard.  They are thinking less and less.

Perhaps the reason that this modern movement of the youth trying to be as innocent and naive as possible pisses me off the most is because of the fact that the flip-side of that is that we have a movement of kids who think that thinking and intelligence is a bad thing.  All over Disney Channel, you have kids who view school as the enemy, partying and having fun as the friend, and any form of intellectual pursuit as wrong.  Because of this, we are getting kids who are otherwise talented squandering that talent on the pop-y drivel.

Humanity is becoming pussified, one generation at a time.  This needs to stop.  But how can it be stopped?  Do any of you have any answers?  If you do, please, let me know.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”  -Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, Futurama

Peace out,

Maverick

How to be a Christian Rocker/Rapper

So, you wake up one morning and you think to yourself – I think that God wants me to be a rock star!  Or maybe a rap artist.  Either way, you want to do this.  And naturally, you figure that there must be an easy way for you to get rock or rap to be all for God, right?  Well, if that is what you feel like your calling is, here are a few pointers to help you get on your way to spreading the message of God through your music.

1. Totally try and pander to what you think is popular
After all, if Michael Bay can get away with it, why can’t you?  Watch some old music videos and don’t for a second think about what is or isn’t popular.  Just go with your gut-instinct.  I mean, if it worked on MTV, it must work now, right?

2. Don’t think for a moment about how Christian rock is looked down upon
There will be lots of people who will come up to you and say that your music sucks, and you aren’t making things better for Christians.  Or they will say that you are making rock look worse by what you are doing.  Well, they are just heathens who God hates and will burn in Hell.  So don’t put any credence to what they say.  Sure, you may not be making hardly any money.  But your reward is in Heaven.  Well, maybe.  I mean, it doesn’t actually say anywhere in the Bible that God loves Christian rock, does it?  But hey, it’s for God.  That comes with the territory, right?  So yeah, don’t listen to any of the doubters or haters.  They are just hating on you because of how much you love God, and how in God’s good graces you are.  Even though he has never and will never talk to you.  You know by default.

3. If your lyrics suck, that’s alright.  It’s for God, so it’s all good
Remember that rap “Christian Side Hug?”  Remember how totally ridiculous and stupid the lyrics are?  Well, that doesn’t matter.  I mean, look at some of the other garbage that kids are listening to these days.  Am I right?  They listen to Justin Bieber, for crying out loud!  And she is still one of the most popular women currently in music today.  And I think it’s just awesome of Selena Gomez to be totally out of the closet with her.  What a brave girl.  Even if, since we all know that God hates homosexuality, they will both be burning in Hell.  Still, brave of them.  But yeah, your lyrics are about promoting the Holy Spirit.  So even if they don’t sound all that good, it’s alright.  You have God on your side.

4. Don’t think too hard about if your songs make God out to be a petty douchebag
There are people who have made videos about this.  One guy made a video called “God’s Music,” where he showed that some of the lyrics in these songs really don’t make much sense, and if you really think about them, they kind of make God out to be an incompetent jerk who really doesn’t care much for his own creations and only cares about his own selfish impulses.  And hey, he even pointed out that the music was funny, right?!  So naturally, if you are doubting the lyrics you make, just assume that God loves it, and you are totally fine.

5. Don’t question why God needs you to carry the torch for him
I mean, sure, if God would only come down in a form that could be perceived, nobody would question his existence.  It would be the quickest way that the world could understand his greatness and believe in him.  But don’t let yourself get sucked into that internal conflict either.  After all, he created this world and left no trace of his existence, so that must be even more proof that he he’s real, right?  I mean, an all-knowing God who is supposedly in all places wouldn’t just create this world and totally leave the people inside of it, with all the natural disasters, disease war and famine with no proof unless he was real, right?  Sure, that sounds totally heartless, but God has a plan for it, after all.  Even if it sounds like a gutless and mean-spirited plan, it will all make sense eventually.

6. Always let your passion cloud if you have a good singing voice or not
If there is one piece of advice we could give above all others, this would be it.  I mean, sure, no record label will even look twice at you.  Your music is loved by the church, and that’s all that matters.  I mean, it’s not like your family, friends, church and all the people who have very strong ties to you and wouldn’t want you to feel bad would lie to you and tell you that you’re good, right?  Naturally, they are the most objective source of guidance that you could get on how good you are at making music.  And of course, your priest wouldn’t like to you.  They have you at the church every Sunday, don’t they?  Yeah, that totally makes sense.

There, got all that?  Good.  Now go out and make your terrible music, so the rest of the rock or rap community can point and snicker at you.  I mean, if you can’t give us a good laugh, then what use are you?

Until next time, a quote,

“Can’t you see?  You’re not making Christianity better.  You’re just making rock and roll worse.”  -Hank Hill, King of the Hill

Peace out,

Maverick

The Future of AAA Gaming

Last year was an interesting year for video games.  There were absolute masterpieces like The Unfinished Swan, The Walking Dead and my personal favorite – Journey.  Journey broke the rules of what everyone expected for an Indie game.  It was reasonably low-budget, but thanks to the innovative nature of what they did with that game, they created an experience that was both visceral and emotional.  We were stunned.  And the Indie market is growing exponentially.  There is a reason for this – AAA games are doing worse and worse.

Last year saw a plummet in sales of AAA games.  And with the immensely high cost of production, there is a reason that consumers and makers are not clamoring for new consoles.  I saw the PS4 unveiling, and me and my friends honestly just aren’t that interested.  With a console this big, production costs are just going to go up.  That means that the refreshing innovations that the Indie publishers are bringing will be virtually non-existent on the new platforms.  It will be big-budget blockbusters, and for most of us, we don’t want that.

The success of games like Borderlands 2 and Dishonored shows that publishes who go for style over realism is something that rewards, financially.  The fans are wanting games with more substance, letting us think and feel.  And last year was absolutely full of that.  The 5-part Walking Dead games left people feeling all sorts of complex emotions.  It was an emotionally dense game.  Spec Ops: The Line was a darkly self-aware game that shined a horribly unflattering light on the shooter medium as a whole, which is probably why people were so quick to lambast it.  Great visuals are meaning less and less, as gamers are finding that independent studios are giving them what they know and love, while also challenging them, mentally and emotionally.

So where do AAA games fit into this?  I mean, the PS4 demo had some damn slick looking games.  There is Watch Dogs, that was one of the few surprises at E3 last year.  There is a sequel to inFAMOUS, that doesn’t look all that interesting.  Another KILLZONE game, which also didn’t look all that interesting.  Most of the people I know who saw this console being marketed were rather unimpressed by anything except the visuals.  We just want good games.  Visuals are cool, but that’s just that – they’re cool.  We want something more.

The AAA market has been unsustainable for a long time.  The new trend of nickel and diming gamers to supplement this is becoming more of an annoyance.  Probably the worst recent offender of this has been Capcom and their habit of charging money for every little thing.  Layoffs and closures are becoming more and more common.  It took everybody by surprise when THQ closed shop.  Zynga’s CEO burst into tears as their company, which has marketed itself primarily in shitty Facebook games, is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Another thing that should be brought up is that next-gen consoles are already not selling well.  The Wii U has been more or less ignored.  Nobody is interested in it because Nintendo’s new direction of motion controls with the Wii wasn’t been all that well embraced by the casual gamer.  The Playstation Vita sales might as well have the sound of crickets chirping.  The Xbox 360 hasn’t had an innovative idea in a long time, and some of what they have said they want to curb the sales of used games are so draconian that if Sony tries to do anything like that with the PS4, they might as well hand the new console cycle to Nintendo.

The console cycle is dying, and there is a good reason for this – because people want something different from their games.  There is a reason that games like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are still so loved and treasured by gamers.  Halo 4 was a game that most people were skeptical of, yet it flew off shelves because the new personal look and tone of the game struck a chord with gamers.  It gave some humanity to a faceless killer, and we wanted to know more.  Most gamers were kind of annoyed that more love wasn’t given to the campaign, that was a little on the short side.

I just saw that Assassin’s Creed IV has been announced.  And lo’ and behold, it’s on current-gen consoles.  Thank you!  They took the elements of ACIII that everyone liked most, like the sea-faring battles, and put it in the newest game.  Hopefully they realized that the last games biggest short-coming couldn’t be saved by breath-taking visuals – the lack of compelling characters.  Connor was kind of dull, and we didn’t bond with many characters, save Achilles and ironically enough, the Templar Haytham.  This announcement gives me hope that maybe game developers are taking this stuff to heart.  We want games with substance.  Great graphics only add so much.

But they are also failing in some regards.  Like the new Splinter Cell game.  Not only is it WAY more of an action game, which is a big problem, but they also got rid of Michael Ironside for the voice.  Why?  Because they wanted to use motion capture to get somebody else’s face.  What?  No!  Did you not learn from Conviction?  Sure, that game had its flaws, but one of the reasons that we loved it was because it gave so much humanity to Sam Fisher (the main character).  We don’t need great technical innovation.  Just give us good games!

With the production costs of games getting higher and higher, the fact is that most gamers like me aren’t going to be interested at first.  I am not drowning in money.  This year looks to be a hallmark year for games, but I am not getting them on next-gen consoles.  Better graphics be damned.  I want better games.  And so far this year, I have high hopes.  Games like BEYOND: Two Souls and The Last of Us look to suck out every single drop of what the current generation is capable of.  I will be getting Watch Dogs on the PS3.

Meanwhile, it seems that companies who market in AAA games aren’t learning anything.  For example: it has become abundantly clear that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is going to be a next-gen game.  Why?  This was a game that should have been out years ago, and everybody I know would have been playing it.  Similarly, Kingdom Hearts III should have been out a long time ago too.  The idea that we all need mind-blowing visuals is poison for companies trying to make money.  Because it isn’t just production costs.  It’s also marketing costs.

Indie companies and Kickstarter projects are becoming bigger and bigger.  People want the game developers they trust to make the games they want.  People also want game developers to make different things.  Spec Ops: The Line wasn’t a terribly successful game.  Most people I know hate it.  And there is a reason – it is mean-spirited towards shooters and those who play them.  But that is more of what the industry needs.  Give us games with a message.  Give us games with deeper themes and subtle nuance.  As more and more developers are trying this idea out and finding success, the AAA market is going to be losing.  On the next generation of consoles, even more so.

So, what is the point of this tangential ramble that seems to have no point?  Well, the point is that AAA games are going to have less and less of a future in the years to come.  Gamers want games that pander to what they want, along with try new things.  Surprise us.  Ironically, in their video about what Gametrailers wants from next-gen platforms, they said that innovation is the least-likely of the things that they are going to get.  That doesn’t bode well for AAA game developers.  I have no plans to buy a PS4 anytime soon, and I have a sinking feeling that Indie developers are going to stay on current consoles for some time.  Because I think that they know as well as I do that gamers aren’t made of money, and they will sacrifice awesome visuals for compelling narrative.

Until next time, a quote,

“History is filled with brilliant people who wanted to fix things and just made them worse.”  – Chuck Palahniuk

Peace out,

Maverick

Musical Insanity: F*cking An Animal

This is the strangest thing that I have ever seen in my entire life. For real, you have seen nothing until you have indulged the insanity that is this video. It will change your world view. This is so strange that I honestly am always disturbed when I watch it. The people who wrote this song and made this video need to have their brains removed to be examined by scientists. I have a feeling that these people are the first aliens to make contact with humans. Here is the video. Brace yourself.

I know, it’s okay. You’re still sane. I understand if you’re confused, scared, disturbed or any combination of them. It’s alright. You’ll be okay.

Peace out,

Maverick

Musical Insanity: Christian Side Hug

There are no words. This is one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. I haven’t done this series as much as I should, and with that in mind, I present to you, the funniest thing you have ever seen. People like this are more proof that Christians don’t rock. They suck.

Feeling better? I hope so.

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Crysis 3

Crysis 3For people who say that the visuals make a game, you’re idiots.  For real, you are too stupid to live.  Some of the funnest games that I have played are ones with graphics that are either alright, or past-generation.  To that end, the new Crysis has been praised by every single person who can possibly praise it for the amazing visuals.  But when you’re a console gamer, like me, who isn’t exactly drowning in cash, and can’t afford a high-end PC rig, then you take what you can get.

But for a Crysis game, it is nothing even approaching the visuals which matter.  It’s the gameplay.  And man does this game own!  It gives you SO many ways to play.  For me, I am really into stealth right now, and this game has given us new ways to do this that are so much fun.  When people saw that the game now included a bow, I heard a lot of people laughing that off, like a bow is a lesser weapon or something.  Yeah, that’s dumb.  The Hunter Bow is the most fun weapon to use in this game.  Especially when you get really good at it.  You feel like a genuine hunter when you learn your enemy’s pattern and then strike at them.  And since you can reclaim your arrows, usage is hardly an issue.

The story in this game starts 20 years after the previous incarnation.  You are inside the Liberty Dome, that has been placed over what’s left of New York City.  From here, CELL has been taking Ceph weapons and technology, and are using it to take more and more control over the world.  What’s more, Prophet is now no longer human.  His consciousness was merged into the Nanosuit, and since Alcatraz’s body is now dead, this thing literally is no longer human.  It’s a walking husk.  This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by your compatriots, who are genuinely afraid of what it and you are capable of.  What’s left of Prophet is also aware of the fact that the amount of humanity inside of him is very small.  It has left a mark on him, and in all the wrong ways.

The world of the Liberty Dome opens up, and you have all the space in the world to do what you want, and play how you want.  This is the game that we wanted Crysis 2 to be.  Alas, the REALLY limited corridor nature of that game was its biggest enemy.  The goal is to stop CELL, and find out what secrets the Ceph have left behind.  And you better be ready, because they have left some damn tough secrets.

Now, the single-player is a little on the short side.  But this game gives you so many reasons to keep coming back to it that you’ll hardly mind.  The replay-ability of this game is absolutely staggering, because it gives you so many toys in your toy-box to choose from.  Oh, and not to mention the fact that you have dozens of upgrades that you can do to your nanosuit.  Customizing yourself has never been more accessible, and this game is all the better for it.

Now, for those who dig the multiplayer, as most people these days do, quite a bit of it is what you know.  There are the basics like Capture the Flag and King of the Hill.  But the most fun that I have had is in the Hunter mode, where you and your friends are mostly CELL flunkies, with a couple of nanosuit hunters stalking you.  Sticking together is key to victory, and some damn-quick reaction time.  It gives you a greater appreciation for just how terrifying an invisible killer would be.  You are always on your toes, and constantly nervous.

What more can I say?  The visuals are on-par with second game in the series, if you are playing the console version.  On a high-end rig, they are breath-taking.  The characters are pretty interesting, and the plot has all the twists and turns you expect from a game like this.  The Ceph are also pretty damn cool, with a unique look and feel.  They are a neat alien.  The open world of this game is its biggest saving grace, letting you be a hunter exactly how you please.  Or you can be a walking tank.  Whatever suits your fancy.  Yeah, that’s the thing that is best about this game – it is whatever suits you.  Your fancy is what makes this game the fun experience that it is.  This game is whatever you want it to be.  This is what a first-person shooter should be.  This is how these kinds of games should be played.  How you want, and feeling like it will give you what you want.

I don’t have a lot more to add to that.  If you like games that give you all the toys you can handle, and lets you play with them however you like, this is the game for you.  Instead of the Call of Duty model, where you kill things and move on, this is what I wish more first-person shooters would do.  I love this game, and will be revisiting it many times.

Final Verdict:
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

How to be a Pretentious Film Critic

You are a person who watches a lot of movies.  With all your years of vast knowledge, along with all the college education you got on film, it is only natural that you consider yourself and expert.  Hours upon hours upon hours of time that could have been spent out in the world.  You could have been on dates and gotten laid in college.  But you decided instead to pursue the grand task of immersing yourself in movies, and now you are certain that you could judge them and change the world of cinema forever.  Well, that or just get mocked because you aren’t seeing the movies that the rest of the people are seeing and love.  If you are a little unsure of how to best break into the world of judging movies, here are a few pointers.

1. You are smart, everyone else is dumb.
You see all these people watching movies.  They might like the movies that you do, even.  Most of them like ridiculously dumb things like anything by Michael Bay or movies with teary-eyed women.  But you are so much smarter than that.  You see all the nuance and complexity in films.  It’s like you are in the director’s mind!  Take pride in that.  Take pride in how smart you are, as opposed to these dumb-shits who will criticize you for how much you read into films.  You’ll hear lines like “it’s just a movie,” or “don’t take it so seriously.”  Don’t listen!  They are just inferior minds who are trying to make you feel bad for being smart!  But you’re better than that.

2. See symbolism absolutely everywhere
You remember all those English teachers back in school, and the professors in college who try and see symbolism all over books.  What a bunch of idiots!  I mean, it’s words, right?  How can words possibly have some kind of deeper meaning.  But film, on the other hand, that is something that has symbolism everywhere!  I mean, why would they do a long shot of a red door in the rain if it didn’t mean something?  Why can nobody else see it?!  Thankfully, you know better.  You have wasted countless hours picking apart all the symbolism of film, and want to show everyone who would listen.  And on that note, why don’t people listen?  Clearly they are jealous of how smart you are, and how not-smart they are.

3. Find a way to make a film compare to politics.  Any good film
You watch a movie like Django Unchained, and you think to yourself – this is a great metaphor to President Obama’s first term!  And of course, how awesome the character of Django is, you can clearly show that it will be a metaphor to his second term as well.  I mean, the main character is black.  So obviously that means that it’s an Obama metaphor.  And your seeing that isn’t you trying to ingratiate yourself at all to what is popular.  It’s how smart you are!  Every single movie that you will ever see that isn’t some low-budget piece of junk, you can bet that it is somehow talking about politics.  Like how Inception was secretly about the Presidential election, and how Daybreakers was a metaphor for America’s over-dependence on oil.  You can be that any and all movies have some sort of political message.

4. Never watch movies just for fun
Whenever you go to movies, you almost wish you could bring a notebook in with you, don’t you?  Maybe you are one of those people who does do that!  Sure, it’s a little dark, but that’s alright.  You have to get every single note down about what is going on, and you will make sure to find the correlation between what you saw in this movie and something else.  After all, who just goes to movies to be entertained?  It’s about critical cultural issues, dammit!  Because of course, it will be the movies that we make that will say the most about our culture.  Who gives a shit about actual history?  After all, if they didn’t make movies, who would know?

5. When people don’t like the movies that you like, they’re idiots
Because you are so informed, and know so much about the medium, you are obviously the best person to know what is a good movie.  I mean, who else?  That idiot guy who talks about how Battleship is the greatest movie he’s ever seen?  Yeah, what the fuck does he know?  No, it falls to you to tell the world about what movies are movies that are worthy.  And if anyone disagrees, they’re fucking morons.  You can get so much smug satisfaction from how good you are, as opposed to them.

6. Film is the greatest form of art that will ever be, and don’t you let anyone say otherwise
Well, you can just hear now from all those dumbass gamers who want to tell you about how video games are now art.  What a bunch of idiots.  After all, how could a game possibly compare to a film?  Sure, there are films like anything that Michael Bay has made that are so stupid that a fifth-grader could write them.  And they are becoming more and more common.  But this medium is still the best.  I mean, paintings are just one moment.  Animated films have hundreds or thousands of those!  And don’t even get us started on people who think that music is the greatest medium.  I mean, films have that too!  Yeah, this is the best medium.  Anybody who doesn’t agree is just ignorant.  That’s what it is – ignorance.  They are all ignorant.  Only you are truly enlightened.

There, I have armed you with all the knowledge that you will need to go out into the world and to take on everybody.  After all, there are things that the dim-witted public needs to know!  Thankfully, they will always have you by their side, showing them that how they are a million times more fun than being you.

Until next time, a quote,

“The life of a critic is easy.  We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and themselves to our judgment.  We thrive on negative criticism which is fun to write and to read.  But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”  -Anton Ego, Ratatouille

Peace out,

Maverick