So, You Want McDonald’s to Sponsor Your Religion? (A response to McMass)

With all the stupid shit in this country, like Puritan Feminists and Fox News, it might be hard to look on what America does and be like, “man, I just love this country!”  But then, you hear a news story that reminds you why you enjoy living in this backwards, slowly-crumbling empire so much.  For me, it’s because I am just so entertained!  This country is so full of idiots that it makes me always so pleased.  You’d think that I wouldn’t be.  You’d think that the stupidity would bug the fuck out of me.  For a time, it did.  However, as I got a little older and a little wiser, I wasn’t quite the shit-kicker that I used to be when I started this blog.  Now, I just shake my head and enjoy the show.

McMass ProjectSo, what is today’s show about?  Well, a preacher man named Paul Di Lucca has started an Indiegogo project that has one stated goal – buying a McDonald’s for the express purpose of getting it inside a church.  You can’t make this shit up.  He’s crowd-funding to get a fast food restaurant inside of a church.  This is weird and wrong and right on so many levels, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Why is he doing this?

Well, Di Lucca has noticed how there has been something of an exodus from religion in this country, so he wants to help turn it around.  His plan of action is rather unique, I must say – appeal to fat people!  And not only appeal to fat people, but also get them to help you crowd-fund your project to buy a McDonald’s and get it in a church.  That is amazing.  It just boggles the mind.  While McDonald’s has not officially commented, Di Lucca made a comment that, just read it –

Will McDonald’s save Christianity in America?  Maybe not – and in fact, probably not.  But the McMass Project has the power to get the conversation started.

Only in America.  For real, only here.  Dumb shit happens everywhere, but only in America do you have the dumb shit take center stage in such a way as this.  McDonald’s is going to save Christianity in America?!  Are you fucking kidding me?!  I can’t stop laughing about this.  It’s just so funny!  What planet is this guy on?!  He thinks that this whole initiative is going to get the ball rolling on a conversation about this issue.  I keep expecting to hear that this is satire, like an article in The Onion making fun of religion and how corporate it has all gotten in this country.  But no!  It’s real!

Now, a number of church activists are against this.  Why?  Well, according to them, it’s breaking traditions and whatnot.  To that, I say – have you ever seen a mega-church?  I have.  Been in one, actually.  Those places are cities unto themselves.  I’m with The Young Turks in being kind of surprised that this idea hasn’t come up before.  It’s so perfect.  After all, religion really is nothing but a bunch of money-changers.  Only now, instead of them being in the temple, they own the damn thing.  There’s a step in the right direction, am I right?  But when you look at the metropolis mega-churches, or the Vatican palaces (both of which would offend Jesus to no end), how can you say that having a McDonald’s in a church is offensive?  That just seems like you want to preserve this image you have of the little church in the countryside, where all the women wear dresses and all men are in their finest suits and country hats.  Religion in the 21st century can’t sell out fast enough.  Since there is a large exit from the church, they are doing whatever they can to get people to sign on.  It’s getting kind of sad, really.

A friend of mine, who thinks that this is the stupidest thing ever and is annoyed by it, pointed out something interesting to me.  There is an ethical conflict in a church buying a fast food joint and putting it in the church.  See, churches are tax exempt, because they are ‘places of worship.’  I’ve always thought that that is stupid and should be rescinded, but whatever.  That’s neither here nor there.  However, if a corporate entity like McDonald’s is going to throw in with a church, how can they possibly claim that they are still a religious institute?  They have corporate backing!  If people are coming to their church to order food instead of worship, isn’t there a conflict there?  That is something worth considering, and I would LOVE to see how Di Lucca is going to get around this question.

However, at the end of the day, I am still amused.  See, if they are going to go the route of corporate sponsorship, I want them to go all the way!  For real, have the church give out coupons on stuff to people who attend services.  You can’t just come there for the food.  You have to attend McMass before you can get cheaper garbage food.  Have the preacher do a plug-in at the beginning.

Today’s service is brought to you by McDonald’s!  Because even God needs a Big Mac every once and a while!

In fact, given that I am educated in PR work, I would do the ad campaign for this!  For real, I would have so much fun promoting McMass.  Me, a douchebag liberal atheist, would love to promote this.  It’s like a tacit admission that they don’t give a fuck about God.  They just want to get people’s fat asses into their pews.  I love it!  There’s my slogan for the campaign!

God’s Lovin’ It

*any and all usage of that line is owned by Lucien Maverick and must pay royalties to him*

Until next time, a quote,

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”  -H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Internet Aristocrat Walks Away From #GamerGate

I noticed something the other day – a couple of videos that I favorited by a YouTube vlogger called Internet Aristocrat disappeared.  I gotta say, I’m kind of bummed about that.  I’ve been watching this guy’s stuff ever since he was making the Tumblrisms videos.  The first time I actually knew who he was was the response to #CancelColbert.  His videos are funny, well-researched and his voice is nice to listen to.  Plus, the picture he uses to represent himself is just awesome.  It has a staying power, much like Mykeru’s guy with the cow head and the knife behind its back.  He has left YouTube, Twitter, the whole nine yards.  He made a voice message as his farewell (linked here), and I suggest you watch it, because I think it is worth talking about.

You know, the first time that I heard about GamerGate was with the Internet Aristocrat’s video on the Zoe Quinn post.  He brought to light all of the corruption that got this ball rolling.  The Quinnspiracy videos were enlightening and really got me to looking at parts of the gaming media that I had always avoided.  It got me looking at lots of different stuff.  I got me wanting to get informed, so I could look at this and be a part of it.  Then, there was the GamerGate video that he did.  I kept waiting for a second, but it never came.  Now I know that it never will.  Internet Aristocrat was one of the key players who began the GamerGate movement.  Him and several others led the charge.  And when the battle was going strong, that was great.  A lot of stuff got done.  But now that the battle is no longer on one front, with a solid formation, he is leaving.  GamerGate isn’t doing what he wanted it to do anymore, and now he is walking.  That rubs me wrong.

Another YouTube personality I follow – Mundane Matt, raised a great point in a response he did to IA (linked here) – he didn’t want the fame.  He didn’t want to become this big icon in a consumer revolt.  Fame is a very big thing, that people take for granted.  With fame, there comes responsibilities.  I am not famous.  I know that.  I am coming up on 500 subscribers, here on WordPress, so I am just a drop in the bucket, compared to the amount that IA was about to achieve.  He was going close to 100,000.  That is big!  That’s among the peak personalities on YouTube.  I can’t imagine having that many.  But it is a responsibility.  I was watching old Nostalgia Critic videos, and he talked about this in a vlog he did as Doug Walker.  He talked about how people cared now what his opinion on stuff was, and he had to respect that, because he couldn’t just shit on his fans.  So IA didn’t want that responsibility.  I get that.  For real, I do.  I get that and I sympathize with it.

When I started this blog, I didn’t think that I would get more than a few dozen subscribers.  When I got over 100, I was amazed.  Back then, I was getting around 20-50 views per day.  Then, I did my first Character Analysis page, where I did an analysis of the Joker.  To this day, that post gets over 30 hits per day.  I never thought that I would be somebody who is known.  But you know what – this blog has gotten me two jobs as a contributor on two websites.  The first I walked away from.  Now I am writing regularly on a site called Gambitcon.  This blog has been looked up on websites that are professional analysis sites.  Professionals are looking at my page.  That fills me with a lot of awe and humility that I could get this kind of popularity.

So IA didn’t want the fame that came with becoming the tip of a spear that was leading the charge of GamerGate.  Well, dude, I’m sorry, but you have nobody but yourself to blame.  He says that he is annoyed at the appeal to moderates.  To me, that makes no sense.  Anybody who knows anything about politics knows that the only way you can really get things done is to appeal to the people in the middle.  The middle-ground crowd who doesn’t have feelings one way or the other.  You have to get those people on your side.  The Puritan Feminists knew it.  Why do you think that Anita Sarkeesian went on all the different news groups that weren’t Fox or CNN?  Because she knew that the best way for their side to win was for them to get the public at large to be on their side.  It nearly worked, too.  So GamerGate trying appeal to that crowd is smart.  You can’t just look to your base all the time.  ask the democrats how that went in the last election.

There is also the issue of people trying to capitalize on GamerGate.  Parts of that, I agree with, like the people who were trying to get Indiegogo and other projects going, using GamerGate to get financial backing.  Yeah, that’s a bit exploitative.  But then he brings up people who monetize their YouTube videos and stuff like that.  Dude, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a little money.  It isn’t a lot.  It isn’t massive wealth.

In the end, it all seems to come down to this – Internet Aristocrat is a soldier.  He was in this battle to fight the good fight and he wanted GamerGate to be an all-out war.  Unfortunately, it couldn’t be that way forever.  For a time, it was, and it was amazing.  We got so much done during that point.  But eventually, it had to tone down and the elements had to have their own fronts.  Every war has its Blitzkrieg, Shock and Awe phase.  But then it becomes a battle of different fronts and different factions.  That’s the nature of the beast.  I’m sorry that you didn’t want to stick around for that.

GamerGate continues.  I don’t know for how much longer, but the movement does continue.  We are past the Blitz, and now we are each fighting our own battles.  Where will it all end up?  Who knows.  It could go either way.  I, for one, am glad to be a part of this.  There are problems, sure.  But what war doesn’t have them?

But don’t take this as me shitting on Internet Aristocrat.  I loved his videos, and truth be told, I am going to miss his content.  He was fun to watch and it is a genuine shame that it all turned out this way.  If and when he does keep coming back, I am sure that someone will link to me his stuff, and I will enjoy watching it again.

Until next time, a quote,

“Old soldiers never die.  They just fade away.”  -Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Peace out,

Maverick

Black Friday vs. Zombies – I Can’t Tell the Difference

So, we’ve got another Black Friday.  I also saw that Black Thursday, also known as Thanksgiving, was a thing that happened this year as well.  As I see the videos that people shoot of some of the crazy fucking animals who come out on this day to get overpriced crap for what they believe are deals (but aren’t.  For real, have none of these people heard of the Internet?), there is another group that I thought that they looked just like.  It is a group of people who are single-minded, will mob the innocent and attack anyone who gets in their path.  They are a frightening mob that we are all scared of, but only in that – what would we do if we were there sort of way.  The group I’m talking about is, of course, zombies.

Indeed, it is hard to tell the difference between Black Friday shoppers and zombies.  For real, this comparison that someone made is amazing, and hat’s-off to them.  Look at the fervor for which these animals attack stores on Black Friday.  Look at the display cases that they destroy to get to their products.  Look at how the employees of the stores run in terror from the mob, lest they get trampled by them.  And that’s another thing – you better not get in the way, or else you are going to get mobbed and could even be killed in the stampede.  Oh, and look at those women fighting!  Over what product, you ask?  Does it really fucking matter?  They were attacking each other, over some overpriced crap.  That is fucking insane.

I have worked retail before.  I was on duty during a Black Friday.  I was paired up with this mousey 15 year old girl, working her first job.  This kid was scared.  I tower over everybody, so I knew that I could handle it.  Told her to stay close.  Poor kid.  Got worse, for her.  We were tasked with the toys section.  Anybody who has worked retail knows that toys is the absolute worst, in the holiday season.  On Black Friday, it gets fucking destroyed.  You’re having to repair shelving units, it’s that bad.  On this day, for my poor coworker, it got so much worse.

There was some new toy that was out.  This was years ago.  Some little furry thing.  Can’t remember the name.  Didn’t care.  The craze was incredible.  Naturally, they sold like crazy.  This guy, who looked to weigh 500 pounds, got enraged when my coworker told him that we were out and took a swing at her.  His ham fist missed, but his giant-ass ring caught her face and tore it open.  Poor girl screamed and bled everywhere.  Face cuts bleed a lot.  I threw the guy off her and he rolled around on the floor like a beached fucking whale.  Serves his fat ass right.  Took my poor coworker into the back and held towels to her face while she bled and cried.  Had to go to the hospital and get stitches.

This is what America has been reduced to.  This is what Christmas is actually about.  It’s about mindless consumer greed, where everyone has to have the newest piece of overpriced shit and will attack whoever gets in their way.  And we just expect the people who work Wal-Mart and the like to take it.  That’s what they’re paid slave wages for, right?  Thankfully, in my state, that is changing, as we have voted to raise the minimum wage.  But still, we are now consumer zombies.  If we let people come into the store with machetes, they would kill whoever got in the way of them and their product.  That is fucking insane.

Until next time, a quote,

“I tell them I was sorry.  But that wasn’t what I was really feeling.  In the back of my mind, I was always saying – better them than me.  But I don’t believe that now.  ‘Cause now I realize that there are some things worse than death, and one of them is sitting here, waiting to die.”  -Sgt. Kenneth Hall, Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Doing a first trailer just right is a delicate art.  There was this great video on Gametrailers where they talked about how to do a premiere trailer for a well-established franchise.  In it, they have a simple rule – give the fans what they want.  What do the fans of the Star Wars franchise want from a new Star Wars movie?  Well, they want to see their favorite people again, for starters.  They want to see the villain.  Granted, there will never be a villain as iconic as Darth Vader, but we want to know who we’re fighting.  And most of all, if it’s a Star Wars movie, we want it to be EPIC!  For real, show us some space battles!  Show us some cool fights!  Get us hyped.

When I heard that Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, I just knew that a new film series set in it was right around the corner.  And what do you know, I was right!  I’m always right.  But unlike most people, who were totally hyped, I was not.  Following how terrible the prequels were, I got Star Wars out of my system.  So this expectation train missed me.  Then, they announce the first trailer for the new film today.

Another trailer that I watch and roll my eyes at.  Not only did this trailer do absolutely NOTHING to fix my lack of enthusiasm for the film, but this is a bad trailer.  This trailer is absolutely awful.

For starters, what do they open on?  A guy we don’t know suddenly coming into a shot like one of those screamer videos.  Ugh.  And it only gets worse from there.  We get a shot of a droid.  Neat..?  We get a shot of some girl on a vehicle, who we know nothing about and don’t really care.  We get a shot of a red lightsaber, with the promise that shit is about to go down!  But who is this person?  Where did they come from?  We get absolutely nothing.  There are some shots of X-Wings.  That’s cool.  What are they doing?  Is something going down?  You never know.  They cut away after two seconds.

Then the music picks up with the iconic theme, and you see the Millennium Falcon!  That’s kinda cool.  Any chance we could see Han Solo?  Chewbacca?  Any of the old gang?  No.  Okay.  Seems like a wasted opportunity, to me, but whatever.

When you do an announcement trailer, you have one chance to really pitch your movie.  I guess the makers of this trailer were just counting on the nerds for the original to salivate when they saw the Millennium Falcon, because that is the only real fan service we got.  The rest was, for lack of a better term, boring.  I was bored watching this trailer.  Thankfully, it was brief.  I get that a teaser trailer has to pick and choose what it puts in it.  But that is no excuse for how boring and a mess this trailer is.  Other teaser trailers have gotten it right.  A perfect example is the teaser for Roland Emmerich’s god-awful Godzilla movie.  You never see the monster, with it constantly being built up.  That’s smart!

This trailer was bad.  Let’s all just be willing to accept that.  They seem to be gambling this movie’s potential on the already-established fanbase, and that is a dangerous thing to do.  Because, if you aren’t already, this trailer will do nothing to get you into it.  The god-awful title for this new film doesn’t help.

Initial Verdict
5 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

I Have a Solution To Puritan Feminist Video Game Complaints

That’s right, I have a solution.  It is a simple and easy solution, that I’m amazed hasn’t struck you all earlier.  I mean, really, how are you unable to see this?  It was so achingly obvious to me, so how was it not obvious to you?  Maybe you got too caught up in the vilification of men in gaming.  I know, it’s become all that you want to talk about these days.  That’s okay, because I have your solution, and am offering it to you for free, in the hopes that you will go out and help yourselves correct whatever ails you.

See, the Puritan Feminists are mad that there aren’t enough women in video games.  Yes, they go on and on and on about this.  Rebecca Watson has recently said that women are a far greater demographic and that they are not being represented.  Well, that’s just sad, isn’t it?  If they’re right, then this is a real issue, and we should work on it.  But how?  That’s a tricky one.  But as I said, I have a solution.  Here it is – make your own video games!

I know, right?  How did this not occur to any of them before?!  It’s so simple.  Do they have anybody who can code?  Do they have anybody who can make an engine?  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  It could be a two-dimensional game or a three-dimensional game.  But hey, they could be more ambitious.  I remember them complaining about how Final Fantasy XV has no women in the party.  Well, ladies, make a game that one-ups that one!  For real, show us men how it’s done!  Granted, that game is massive and has taken years to do with an entire large team working on it.  But I’m sure that you have plenty of women on Twitter and Tumblr who aren’t really doing anything better with their time.  Get them to help!

There are so many great Indie titles that are coming out.  You have this game about a little mouse who is fighting against a rat army.  That’s cool.  There is a game that is in the vein of the old Wing Commander franchise.  Could you do something like that?  It is now so easy to market games that this shouldn’t cost nearly as much as it used to to get out a game.  Now, I know that you might be worried that you would get bad reviews, because it’s a game made by women.  But hey, you can always have Zoe Quinn “persuade” them.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Was that a low blow?  You’re right.  My bad.  That was totally inappropriate.  Hey, who was that woman working for Polygon who was in relationships with female game developers?  Well, hit her up.  She seems eager to give good ratings to people she is…familiar with.

This seems so achingly simple, I really must ask – why did it never occur to you all before?  I can’t be the first person to pose this idea to you.  If you all love gaming so much, I would think that it would be a great idea.  Do you have nobody who can design levels?  Do you have nobody who can think of a good story?  Anita Sarkeesian thought up a game (and somehow got Jennifer Hale to do the narration.  How that went, I’ll never know) about a Princess who saves herself and kicks ass, overthrowing the government and abolishing the monarchy (yet is still a princess.  Continuity has never been a deterrent to the dogmatic Puritan Feminists).  So there’s an idea.  Why not make that game?  What is stopping you?  What is holding you back?  What is it that prevents you from actually getting up off your duffers and doing the work to make your ideals come to be.

Oh, what’s that?  You want the other developers to do it for you?  Why?  That doesn’t seem fair.  You claim that they just assume that their games are going to be played by guys.  Well, that’s not true.  These people have massive research departments who test demographics.  These are AAA companies, who have to guarantee that their products will sell.  If you’re wagering that much money on a game, you make sure that it will hit the audience mark, with playable demos and lots of beta testing.  So your assumption that these companies are just assuming that guys play their games is a little dumb.

I also hear that DICE has decided to run with Anita Sarkeesian’s idea of making the sequel to Mirror’s Edge easy.  Like, really easy.  After all, she argued that video games can be too hard, which is another reason that women don’t get into them.  That seems kind of condescending.  Of women.  Wow.  You all insult your own gender to help your agenda.  That seems in bad taste.  Why did DICE buy this?  Oh, right, so you all – who want to have other people do work instead of doing it yourself – don’t rag on them.  They want to appear more “progressive.”  Well isn’t that just special.

In conclusion – if you want more women in video games, the solution is obvious.  Just design your own games.  Or, if you really want to get ambitious – put your money where your mouth is and start your own studio!  Now that is thinking big!  It could make a whole bunch of games, just how you want them.  It’s been done before.  There was this studio that was started by three guys.  Became one of the greatest studios ever.  What was it again?  Oh, right – Bioware.  Maybe you all could get that big!  Although, this might be hard for you.  I mean, if you were busy doing actual work, that might take you away from Twitter and Tumblr.  That would just be tragic.

Until next time, a quote,

“We can do or we can teach.  What’s your pleasure?”  -Capt. Spurgeon Tanner, Deep Impact

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Jurassic World

I’m gonna level with you about something – Jurassic Park was the first movie I saw in theaters.  I fucking love dinosaurs.  I loved that movie.  The first sequel was…bad.  It was a bad movie.  It wasn’t totally actively terrible.  Julianne Moore was trying to do a good performance.  But she had nothing good to work with.  And Ian Malcolm being in the film bugged the shit out of me or a number of reasons.  I’m about to go all book worm on you.  In the first book, Malcolm died.  When asked where Malcolm was, Muldoon just shook his head.  He was clearly dead.  In the second book (which also existed for no reason), he is suddenly alive again!  How the fuck does that work?!  They don’t even address it!  It annoyed me then and it annoys me now.  That was part of the reason that I didn’t like the second film.  The third film comes out, and I felt so sorry for everyone involved.  Sam Neil especially.  He’s a talented actor who has gotten a lot of shit roles.  Not to mention – they took away the awesome factor of the T-Rex!  It’s now a little bitch in this movie.  What the hell?!

Yeah, this franchise has had its fair share of issues.  When I heard about another sequel in the works, I was done.  Especially since the author of the series has sadly passed away a few years back.  To me, this felt like it was dishonoring his creation.  I heard the title, Jurassic World, and that didn’t help.  But my friends kept telling me how cool it was going to be, so I said, “alright, I’ll give it a chance.  If the trailer for the film wows me, I’ll go see it with you.”  It all comes down to the first trailer.  It debuts, and here it is –

Ugh.  Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t like what I see in this movie.  For one – why do they have these brother characters?  They have no point, and clearly are in this just for the fear factor with the kids in danger.  That’s…bullshit.  Weapons-grade bullshit.  Next – this movie looks beyond cliche.  You have some company (they never have an Ingen logo on anything, so you don’t know if this is them or not.  It might be that company who was trying to steal the DNA they had) trying to make super-hybrid dinosaurs, and one of them gets out.  Now, you have some hunter guy, played by the dude who was Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy trying to kill the creature.  In other words, it’s a monster movie.

Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t things about the trailer that looked good.  A lot like Tron: Legacy, this movie looks to have elements that could be cool, that never really go anywhere.  For example, there is a scene where the hunter is on a bike.  You see raptors being released from a facility, and they don’t appear to be hunting him.  They actually are keeping pace.  That’s cool!  Like they have found a way to control the minds of raptors.  That is a neat thing!  Dinosaur mind control could open up so many interesting ideas about the idea of enslaving these creatures and what is right and wrong.  Even the idea of a hybrid dinosaur isn’t THAT terrible.  But it’s actively clear that this film is going to just devolve into a monster movie.  And that is such wasted potential!  This movie could be awesome!  Why does it have to go all cliche?!

Do I think it will be a terrible movie?  No.  I just don’t see anything here that is going to interest me enough to see it in theaters.  I have Netflix for it, once it comes out on video.  Take that for what you will.

Initial Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Cops Killing Innocent People Doesn’t Even Surprise Anymore

Well, the cop in Ferguson gets away with murder.  Whatever.  At least there was a trial.  That’s more than a lot of victims of police brutality get.  However, riding on the heels of that is another story from Cleveland.  The police are called about a kid in the park who has a gun.  However, the person who called it in is unsure if it’s a real gun or not.  She says this more than once.  The cops arrive on the scene, and according to the chief of police in a press statement, there was no verbal or physical altercation.  They just saw the kid reach down and opened fire.  Two bullets and the kid is dead.  What weapon did he have?  A BB gun.  And it clearly looked fake, with the large clip out of the top of it.  Did they yell at him to drop the weapon?  Did they tell him to freeze?  According to the statement that they made – no.  They merely opened fire when the kid reaches to pull out the BB gun.  Naturally, the family has a lawyer, and I hope they take these fucking cops to the cleaner.

You know, there is story after story about shit like this, and each time, it just makes me less surprised.  For real, this is becoming normal, in America.  Police killing innocent people who didn’t pose any risk, and as always, they are never held accountable.  No legal bodies will make an example of these cops.  And whenever people call out this kind of behavior, they are told, “well, it’s only a few bad apples!”  I take issue with this line of rhetoric.  Why?  Simple – where are the good cops?  Where are the good ones, standing against the bad ones?

Where were the cops in Detroit, when actual police officers were holding people up and robbing them?  Where were the good cops in New York City, when a 35 year old man who was mentally disabled was being beaten to death?  He was screaming for his dad the entire time.  Where were the good cops when a cop rapes a girl on the hood of his car, telling her that nobody will help her if she goes to the cops?  What good cops came out and spoke out about the rampant use of the SWAT team, like in that instance where they busted into a house on a raid and threw a flashbang into a baby’s crib, mutilating the baby?  Tell me – where the fuck are all the good cops, who should be standing against the rampant corruption and lack of accountability?

I can hear people already – they would lose there jobs if they talked!  Cops do a hard job!  You’ve never been there!  What would you have done?!  Same BS that they always say, because they want to believe that the policeman is your friend.  But we’re learning, with the militarization of the police forces in this country, that when you give cops grenade launchers, they become less about protecting and serving than they do about wanting to play with their new toys.  The worst part is that, with the almost non-existent oversight from the legal system, they get slaps on the wrist.  Time and time again this has been demonstrated.  It’s indefensible!  I have a friend who is going for a law degree, and doesn’t like people trash-talking lawyers and judges.  Well, I’m sorry, but when you have a system this broken, somebody needs to say something.  Here’s what I’m saying – the system is broken.

Here’s a reality that I argued with my old man about for hours on end – the police need to be held to a higher standard than normal people.  When you are given a badge and a gun, with the ability to kill another person, you are expected to be able to handle situations better than normal people.  We don’t expect you to kill a kid without saying a single word to him.  We don’t expect you to kill an unarmed black teenager.  We don’t expect you to rape women on the hood of your patrol car.  We don’t expect you to kick the fuck out of someone who is in custody and has cuffed hands.  We don’t expect you to strip someone naked and leave them like that, cuffed, for hours.  There are a lot of things that we don’t expect.  I can’t be the only one who thinks this way.

But I’m just bitching, right?  What solutions do I have?  Well, the reality is that it would be hard to fix entirely.  This would be a big thing.  However, I do have a solution that could be implemented rather quickly and we have already seen does a lot of good – requiring that ALL officers on duty wear cameras.  After all, if we can afford to give the cops tanks, some cameras shouldn’t be too hard, right?  Although, if you heard that story about a cop that kept having a “camera malfunction” whenever he brutalized people, then even this isn’t perfect.  But it’s a step in the right direction.

Law enforcement’s use of both regular and lethal force is out of control in this country.  It’s weird that we live in a surveillance state, yet they smash the cameras of whoever films them, or in the cases of some states, try to outlaw filming cops altogether.  The police is now so militarized, but without the discipline and restraint of soldiers.  They took their lessons on how to handle this stuff from Call of Duty.  And the fact that people seem content to brush this shit off is mind-boggling.

Something needs to be done.  Now.

Until next time, a quote,

“I consider contributions to society at large to be the most important part of pride in your country, and not mere thoughts.  If patriotism is all about what level of fervor you love your country, or how many fireworks you light off on the Fourth of July, then that’s not a very impressive trait, to me.  Because then you love your country like a four-year-old loves mommy.”  -Zaunstar, Nationalism: Foolish Pride

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men Days of Future PastFollowing the second X-Men film, without a single exception, the films in this franchise have sucked.  A lot of people say that First Class was pretty good, but the fact is that it is merely the best of the crap.  That’s not saying a lot.  When I saw the preview for this movie, I thought that this was it – the franchise was totally fucked.  This was the bottom of the barrel.  However, when I finally got around to seeing this movie, I am happy to say – I was dead wrong.  Thank god.  Not only did this film bring a franchise that was teetering on the edge of death back to life, but it red-conned the single worst part of it.  Well, okay, the second-worst part.  There is almost nothing worse than Origins: Wolverine.  That film will go down in history for what a piece of shit it is.

The plot of this movie kicks off out of nowhere.  Set many years after the events of the third film, a war has been fought between humanity and mutants.  What kicked it off?  They never really say.  New machines, called Sentinels, were deployed into battle.  They were able to identify mutants, and used to kill them.  But not just the ones already existing.  No, they also identified people who are potential mutants, and anyone who was helping them.  It was a massive global genocide, leaving only the worst of humanity to rule what little was left.  Most of the X-Men are dead, and what few are left have devised a radical and dangerous scheme that could end the war before it starts, or destroy what little is left.

Now, this movie is a bit of a mixed bag in a lot of ways.  On the one hand, there are some very great things, and on the other hand, there are a LOT of little plot holes that go nowhere and get REALLY annoying in a big way.  Let’s discuss the good stuff first.

The powers in this movie are very cool.  It helps that they have some excellent special effects.  It makes the use of powers and the battle sequences excellent.  That is the very best part of this movie.  The X-Men films have always had difficulty making the most of the fact that they have all these people who can do amazing things.  It should make set-piece moments more like Avengers than what they have been so far.  This movie seems to have taken that to heart.  It uses all the potential of what mutants are capable of.  There are two scenes in-particular that are so cool to watch.  I won’t spoil them, but let’s just say, one involves speed, the other involves metal.  Those two moments are just spectacular.  The most fun one gets from this movie is watching the awesome battle sequences and how well the powers flow with them.

The other thing is the characters.  This is a very dark movie, and it plays to that a lot.  But it combines the best of the characters from First Class with our old favorites from the old trilogy.  My favorite is Kitty Pryde, but that’s just because I have a thing for Ellen Page.  I’m man enough to admit that.  Still, Logan is funny and able to carry his role with class.  The young Charles Xavier is too much.  For real, this guy is awesome.  Young Magneto is delightfully evil.  Young Beast is infinitely better than the old one.  Since this movie is going out of its way to make it so that the third movie didn’t exist, I am down with that.  It’s like the third film’s Beast didn’t, either.

Which brings us to the last element that makes this film work – the darkness.  A lot like the Captain America film, this one goes to a very dark place.  It was very reminiscent of X2.  It makes for a more rounded experience.  However, the darkness does, unfortunately, lead to the films problems.

The first problem is that the plot comes right the fuck out of nowhere.  For real, there is a little lip-service paid to how it all started, but it is rushed as fuck.  Same with a lot of areas of the pace of the movie.  Characters are introduced with a rushed explanation, only for them to vanish without a trace.  We meet a ton of new people, but barely get to know any of them.  Some mutants get new abilities that are never even addressed where they came from.  Though maybe that is for the best.  Perhaps its better to treat something that makes no sense like, in the film’s universe, it does.  I will say that it didn’t annoy me for too long.  Add up all the smaller plot holes, it does get annoying sometimes in a big way.

But all that is really just nit-picking.  The reality is that this film is saved by one of the most fitting endings for a X-Men film.  It wraps up its plot rather nicely.  Plus, it red-conned the entirety of the third film.  Thank fucking god.  I think this entire movie was made for the express purpose of making that film not exist.  I’m not complaining.  It works.  It works very well.

This was a lot of fun to watch.  It’s ironic that the best films that came out last summer were the ones that people least-expected to be good.  There was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and now we have this movie.  It isn’t the greatest superhero film in the world, but I am glad to say that I watched it.  Take from that what you will.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Stuff About Me

A list of questions that is making the rounds.  Thought that you, my audience, might like to know a bit about your enigmatic blogger.

0:Height
6′ 10-1/2″

1:Virgin?
Nope

2:Shoe size
17

3:Do you smoke?
Pan

4:Do you drink?
Not really. Used to when I was living with my ex, but not since then

5:Do you take drugs?
Pan

6:Age you get mistaken for
18

7:Have tattoos?
Can’t decide what I want yet, so no

8:Want any tattoos?
God yes

9:Got any piercings?
No

10:Want any piercings?
No

11:Best friend?
Not currently. I’ve had three, and now all three of them are estranged.

12:Relationship status
Single and loathing it

13:Biggest turn ons
There’s no easy way to answer that. It can vary from person to person. Me and me are complicated.

14:Biggest turn offs
Stupidity.

15:Favorite movie
That’s a very broad category.
Part One
Part Two

16:I’ll love you if
You can talk with me about good stories for hours on end

17:Someone you miss
The first girl I loved.  She moved away and now we see almost nothing of one-another.  A pity that things couldn’t have been different.  I am convinced that we could have worked.  Never got a chance.

18:Most traumatic experience
Head injury when I was 14.  I was dead for almost a minute and in a coma for a month.  Everything that followed that sucked.

19:A fact about your personality
I am very depressing, but am good-humored enough to hide it among friends.

20:What I hate most about myself
That I seem to be completely unappealing to people, both romantically and sexually.  All my relationships have been blind luck.

21:What I love most about myself
I am the first person that my friends come to when they have problems.  They know that they can trust me.

22:What I want to be when I get older
I am older, and I still don’t have a fucking clue.

23:My relationship with my sibling(s)
Non-existent

24:My relationship with my parent(s)
Pretty decent.  It’s had its ups and downs, but we’re at a good place now.

25:My idea of a perfect date
Going to a burger joint, where the person I am with doesn’t feel the need to get all uptight.  I’d rather it just be us, as people, getting to know one-another, without the pressure.

26:My biggest pet peeves
Stupidity

27:A description of the girl/boy I like
Long brown hair, creamy skin, a gentle smile.

28:A description of the person I dislike the most
Short, spiky, bleach-blonde hair

29:A reason I’ve lied to a friend
I really didn’t want to see anyone that night.  I wasn’t proud of it, but I was in a very bad mood.

30:What I hate the most about work/school
I have no idea where I’m going, once it’s done.  Staring down the barrel of life, without a compass.

31:What your last text message says
That’s kind of personal, don’t you think? (for real, that’s what it said)

32:What words upset me the most
When people say, “I’m doing good.”  It’s “well,” dammit!

33:What words make me feel the best about myself
“Wanna hang out?”

34:What I find attractive in women
That’s kind of tricky.  As I said above, it varies from person to person.  I will say that I like a woman who isn’t dolled up all the time.  And I do not find heels attractive at all.  For real, ladies, if it hurts your foot to wear, don’t wear it!

35:What I find attractive in men
Another tricky question.  I will say that, with guys, I am VERY much not into effeminate dudes.  The men I have been into were very much their own people, making no apology for it.

36:Where I would like to live
On an ocean, somewhere temperate

37:One of my insecurities
This nagging suspicion that I’ll be alone forever.

38:My childhood career choice
That’s gone all over the place.  For a time, I wanted to be a paleontologist.  Then I wanted to be an astronaut.  Then I wanted to be a lawyer.

39:My favorite ice cream flavor
Dulce de Leche

40:Who wish I could be
Someone with a LOT of money.  Not fame.  Money

41:Where I want to be right now
That’s kind of private.  Yeah, it’s like you think.

42:The last thing I ate
Ice cream and cake, at a birthday party

43:Sexiest person that comes to my mind immediately
A girl that I’m into.  I won’t say more than that.

44:A random fact about anything
You can increase your speed by moving faster, and decrease it by going slower.  Word

45. Selfie
Not a fucking chance.

Until next time, a quote,

“The more you learn, the less you know.”  -Omar Little, The Wire

Peace out,

Maverick

IGDA, the Blockbot, at the Vilification of Dissent, #GamerGate

I haven’t seen any big news about GamerGate in a couple of weeks.  It’s been pretty quiet.  But, just when things were looking to have settle down, the anti-GamerGate crowd decided that they just couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie.  No, they had to decide to kick some shit at gamers, because that seems to be all that the gaming media industry is good for, these days.  At least, sites like Polygon and their ilk.  Although, they seem to have expanded and got a larger organization to back them.  These people just can’t give up, can they.

The International Game Developers Association has decided to go on a branding and blocking campaign.  For those of us in the atheist community, we know quite a bit about this kind of thing.  In fact, the group who is behind this seems to have taken a page out of their book.  I wonder if Oolon designed this for them?  We all remember the Blockbot.  The Atheism + special snowflake weapon of protecting themselves from differing opinions.  Now, the IDGA has employed this weapon for themselves, and have thus far blacklisted over 10,000 accounts.  Some of which are reporters.  There are also people who have had nothing to do with GamerGate, but are critics of the Puritan Feminists.

The fact that a company who is supposed to be a voice for the gaming industry at large is using a block bot, with poorly-worded criteria of what qualifies to get one added to it, and is targeting anybody who the anti-GamerGate people don’t like is sending a poor message.  This is a company who is supposed to be a trade group.  Now, they are siding with a group of people who are nothing but bullies and claim to speak for all women in the gaming industry.  The problem with that is – it blatantly ignores the fact that there are women, growing in number, who disagree with this assertion.

And take a look at some of the people that this list has added to their blockbot – Penguin publishers, several Guardian journalists, the actor Taye Diggs, and weirdest of all – Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Seriously, when did KFC get involved with GamerGate?  That’s an odd thing to associate them with.  According to the maker of the IGDA blockbot, Randi Harper, KFC is one of the worst harassers of women on Twitter.  You can’t make this stuff up.

It’s nice to see another group associated with gaming who has decided to throw in their lot with the Puritan Feminists.  That’s sarcasm, of course.  The reality is that this is REALLY fucking annoying.  It’s so frustrating that another part of the gaming community has thrown themselves behind a group of people who actually got on a man who landed a spacecraft on a comet because of the shirt he was wearing.  That’s the company that IGDA feels they want to ally themselves with.  This is a major-league company, and this is who they want to be friends with.

But the real issue here is – they have decided to just label people.  Man, it’s almost impossible to escape how much these people and their lists are EXACTLY like the McCarthy witch-hunts, back in the day.  For real, the comparison is almost spot-on.  You get accused of being a communist, so you are.  That’s how the media sees you, and will have people like Brianna Wu come on and caricature you, without being able to defend yourself, because these people go out of their way to avoid having to actually discuss things with their opponents.  They are much happier making them into boogeymen for the media to attack and vilify.

Something that I never brought up before is how, a lot of the college-grad Puritan Feminists have degrees in things like Marketing, along with Communications or stuff to that regard.  Everything these people do has been for one purpose – to keep the money coming in and get their agenda out in a way that is efficient.  It’s only natural that they prey on the far-left progressives, who are so eager to be part of anything that is culturally forward-thinking that they seem to forget to be critical of people whose ideals are going too far.  The women who are part of the social justice snowflake movement are using their marketing to market their agenda.  And their agenda is – men are bad, and men are the problem.  These people have commandeered feminism, atheism, and now they are trying to get gaming as well.  However, when they tried to get gaming, something happened that they didn’t expect – resistance.  Lots and lots of resistance.  In fact, the gaming community has successfully stuck back at them and has been dragging their dirty deeds into the light.  No longer is this battle on Twitter and Tumblr.  Now it’s out in the real world.  Which would explain why they are trying to get mainstream media on their side.  The worst part is, that it is working, because now they have the IGDA with them too.  That education is being well-used, I see.

I suppose that I am on the list, since I know that I follow people who are on the list.  And when I hear that I am on the list, here is what my mind harkens back to –

And now I am on the list.  Are you on the list?

Until next time, a quote,

“Any anyone and everyone who’s ever made me pissed!  I’ve got them on the list!”  -Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

Peace out,

Maverick