The Merits of Years of Cooking

I haven’t posted very much lately.  There isn’t much that I have wanted to talk about.  Politics has sucked the life out of everyone.  Social justice just isn’t that interesting anymore.  What more can be said?  Hell, now it is turning on itself.  I like to do reviews.  So close to the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Though, I get the feeling that that review will come out a long time later, because I am going to play as much of that game as I can before I put out my review.  I want you all to know if it’s good or not.  All the reviews i am seeing thus far are giving me lots of hope.  However, something recently came to my attention today.  Something that worked the cockles of my little black heart.

My cousin believes that men and women can’t be friends.  He’s stupid like that.  The proof came from nowhere else than having a girly-mate over to my old place for one last good meal there before I leave it to its folly.  In my new apartment, and it is fantastic.  This girly-mate of mine is married, quite happily.  We worked together at my job at the college library.  There is absolutely no sexual tension between us.  We make each other laugh, and have fun just talking and enjoying one-another’s company.  Since it was the send-off to my shitty old place and the shitty “kitchen” that I had, I wanted to go big.  Decided to make something really special.

On Facebook, I follow a TON of the pages that have the little cooking videos from an overhead angle.  I love that shit.  Since I love to cook, it appeals to me.  And now I FINALLY have a kitchen to do it!  You all have no idea how happy this makes me.  Already got a ton of ideas.  And since I am now interviewing for a job that is a step up from where I am now, my hope is to get ahead.  Needless to say, things are pretty alright.  My new place doesn’t have a microwave.  That is a problem.  One I will solve on Craigslist, eventually.  Along with a mixer and other things.  And a slow cooker.  Definitely that.

Back to my story, I had this friend over, and I made something really unique – Tuscan chicken in angel hair pasta.  Here is a pic I took of it.

tuscan-chickenIt was a giant pain the ass.  It took a lot of patience and being willing to test myself.  I didn’t measure things out specifically.  I winged a lot of it, and you know what – it was worth it.  The final product was one of the finest things I have ever made.  It was a fantastic night.  The two of us were stuffed to the point that we couldn’t even have the fantastic dessert I had planned.  No complaints.  Was awesome.  However, I am going somewhere with this.

The thing I have learned after years of making food is that nothing makes a social gathering come together more than homemade food with good conversation and laughter from people.  Just getting to talk about the process of making and sharing in the meal that I made with another person was some of the most fun I have had in years.  With a proper kitchen, I truly want to see if I can make something fantastic with as many people as I can.

Over the years, I have watched my cooking talents go from strength to strength.  Sure, there have been mistakes along the way.  Some truly amazing fuck-ups that blow my freaking mind.  But in the midst of all of those have come experiments in taste that blow my mind.  The first time I made bagels from scratch.  Laborious, time-consuming, but getting to bit into the final product made that all worth it.  Every holiday I make a new kind of cheesecake.  Last year it was pumpkin cheesecake.  Okay, but not great.  I am planning on doing stromboli, one of these months.  As I sit in my new place, and eat a fresh naval orange, I am inspired to see what I can come up with next.  Experimenting with fruit salad, the kind of salad I actually like.  Making pan-fried potatoes for a guest, something that I am so fucking good at.  Just ask my old man.  He likes my kind of pan-fried better than my mother’s, and that’s saying something.

Good food is a gift.  One that I want to share with as many people as I can before my death wish comes for me.  And for all you guys out there, if you’re single, there is no excuse.  Learn to fucking cook!  Women will swoon if you can make their taste buds ring.  Then you might be able to get their pussy to follow suit.  I got a cousin to prove wrong, and all the time in the world to do it.  What are you all’s thoughts?  Let me know down in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Much like traveling, meals eaten alone are dull and without flavor.” – The Count, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Peace out,

Maverick

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In Memory, In Ink

I have a friend named Quinn.  Ever since she was ten years old, she lost the ability to speak.  She got incredibly sick.  It was a disease that caused massive inflammation all over her body.  She nearly died.  A fever of 104, death nearly came for her but she came back from it.  Now she no longer has the ability to speak.  It’s been a very hard life for her.  You don’t really think about the value that the ability to speak has until you lose it.  So much of her life was hurt, and she has been trying to come back from it for as long as she could.

Through all of that, there was her incredibly supportive mother.  Even when she found out that her daughter was gay, and her father kicked her out of the house, her mother did everything she could to help her.  To the point that they ended up getting a nasty divorce because the mother hated the father for how he treated their daughter, which in turn translated into how well he treated her sister because she was the child he had always wanted.  Meanwhile, Quinn had her mother.  When she was really little, as I understand it, Quinn was a very talkative little kid.  Her mother called her “Chatty Monkey.”  It was with this in mind that when she died, Quinn had an idea for a tat.  But since she has no artistic talent, it just stayed as an idea, until now.  With the help of my dear friend Kathryn, it has finally come to fruition.  As it will when it is immortalized on Quinn’s skin forever.  One of three tats, all of which have great significance for her.

16901932_10155070158909111_1716337255_nThe monkey is to stand for the nickname that her mother had for her all her life.  The gun is because her mother was a crack-shot, most specifically with a revolver.  The smoke is because, the unfortunate truth is that her mother was a chimney.  You can extrapolate how she died based on that.  Woman went through a pack a day.  I try not to judge how people live, but as her coughing got worse, even Quinn felt terrible.  The woman left our state to go be in a warmer climate, and it did help.  But it only went so far.

A wonderful woman has passed away.  She left a legacy of a connection between mother and daughter that is unmatched, from a girl who life has been horribly unkind to.  How people keep their memories close.  Quinn is putting this memory on her hip.  So when you see this image, keep in mind the connection it symbolizes.  Let me know the connections that you have with people who have left your life and how you keep that alive in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

Peace out,

Maverick

PewDiePie and the Death of Old Media

Before you go off and say that I am doing what everyone else has been doing and mining what has happened for clicks, hear me out.  I got me degree in Journalism and Public Communication.  I have an understanding of this medium better than most.  And it is because of that that I feel a great sense of shame and pity for what has happened here.  Everything about what has happened was a sign of how the medium that I grew up loving, who was supposed to be the vanguards of democracy, is failing.  And there is no coming back from it.  But here’s the thing – we all should have seen this coming.  From a long ways off, this was apparent to me.  It’s happened before, and it now it is beginning to happen again.

Where did it start?  You could make the argument that it most recently started with the Wall Street Journal putting out a video which was an unfounded hit-piece on the YouTube personality PewDiePie.  There was no defending that video.  None.  It was such blatant bullshit that you felt ashamed of yourself watching it.  To think that a news outlet that was once believed to be a very respectable source could make an attack video against a YouTuber for a video where he was blatantly satirizing the people calling him racist and making a joke about finally giving in and becoming a Nazi.  It was all so obvious, and the Internet tore the Journal to pieces over it.  But that isn’t where it started.

Maybe it started back in 2014, with a little uprising known as GamerGate.  Indeed, the parallels between what happened to Felix and that instance are rather shocking.  We have a corrupt press colluding together to take on an Internet culture that is clearly a threat to their industry, and now we see the beginnings of a new culture war.  And just like with the “Gamers are Dead” articles, now we have every major media outlet releasing a barrage of articles lambasting Felix and his politics.  Also just like GamerGate, this is blowing up in the media’s face so badly that not one person involved is walking away clean.  I don’t think this is where it started either.

The first time I truly got a taste of the downfall was looking at a video on NPR.  I didn’t believe what I was seeing.  There was a link to a video that was, quite literally, an unboxing video.  That’s right, NPR, one of the most respected journalism outlets who does some truly biting work from time to time examining critical issues. was doing an unboxing video.  It was of a PS4.  A lot of people tried to make the argument that they were trying to talk about unboxing videos.  That’s wrong.  It wasn’t a video about unboxing.  It was a fucking unboxing video.  I was so embarrassed for them at that point.  However, that most certainly wasn’t where it started.

So where was it?  Where was the great downfall of the media’s beginning?  The beginning of the Internet?  Getting closer, but still no bueno.  It was actually around the time when Princess Di was killed.  The news at the time wasn’t talking about the facts of her death.  Instead, they were creating narratives.  It couldn’t be enough that a great woman died.  No, the narrative had to be that a wonderful, fantastic woman died.  And her passing needed a good catch phrase and sad music to be played over it.  It was when cable news decided to come into the picture and turn the news from a discussion about the events of the day that transpired, to a narrative telling their audiences how to think about the news.

Here’s the thing – this idea of unbiased reporting is bullshit.  There is no such thing.  You can strive to be as unbiased as possible, have a rigorous vetting process to remove the scruples of bias to whatever extent you can.  But the cold hard truth is that you still have to deal with the fact that bias exists, and it will always be there.  Edward R Murrow admitted his bias, but his way of counter-manning it was to let the other side have its day.  He let Joseph McCarthy come on his show and give a very passionate defense of his position, where he called Murrow and his ilk all sorts of unprofessional names.  In giving his stage to his opposition, Murrow did more to cement how right he is in the eyes of the public.  Still, Murrow was biased.  The best minds are.  Walter Cronkite told some harrowing stories about the war in Vietnam, but he did so with an agenda to get the troops out of there.  He had a bias, but he had enough dedication to his craft to make sure to get people to the truth as close as he could.  It wasn’t hard to sell people on the war in Vietnam being a bad idea.

PewDiePie is the victim of a medium that is lost.  Print media is dying.  I feel it all the time.  I am just one of a thousand blogs that are ignored by the masses.  My audience is still pretty awesome, but I realize that I am part of a bygone era.  I don’t have video-making chops.  This is the best I can do.  Like all animals that feel their end coming, the media is lashing out.  PewDiePie makes for an easy target.  His popularity cannot be overstated.  Traditional media has to work very hard for all of their stories.  Felix basically just gets in front of a camera and plays video games, then he makes millions.  He makes astronomical amounts of money just by exaggerating his expressions while playing video games, and now making more original content.  Of course the media who has to work hard to make any content would despise such a person.

And for those who will say “it’s not anything to do with that!  It was the fact that he used Nazi imagery in his videos!”  First, the video they went after was so cherry-picked and avoided context where Felix showed that he has no love for Nazis, but decided to give the media who attacked him to no end what they wanted.  They do everything they can to take his videos out of context.  And when the Internet took them to task for it, the media overall decided to try and make it in to a big deal about how context doesn’t matter.  Actually, dumb fucks, it does.  It really does.

Old media is dying, and its final death throes will not be pretty.  But I don’t miss them.  Sure, the person who spent $40,000 on a degree like me would be pissed that some guy on YouTube can make boatloads of money.  But I don’t see any of them trying to make a niche for themselves.  I mean, when a high school dropout can become the biggest atheist channel on YouTube and last for longer than anyone else on the site, that means that if you can keep a fresh idea and change up for your audience enough, then you can make a new brand for yourself.  Media has to change with the times.  Its refusal to do so leads to some unbelievably sad things.

Until next time, a quote,

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Dear White People (Netflix Trailer)

You know, I’m starting to think that anti-SJWs are becoming just as bad as the SJWs they mock.  Why?  Because it seems like every little thing now leads them to some stupid boycott that won’t work and doesn’t really matter, yet gets trending on Twitter to make them feel like they are doing something important.  Recently, the trailer that we are going to watch got them all to have their panties in a bunch and start a boycott of Netflix.  Really?  Over this?  I’m a fucking hipster douche canoe who doesn’t even have streaming on Netflix and still does DVDs and even I see this as stupid.  Yeah, you just learned something about me that really makes me look pathetic.  I understand if you look down upon me.  It’s the same reason that I will have such a hard time getting into downloading games instead of having a disc copy.

This stupid boycott was started over a trailer that has a like/dislike ration that eerily mimics another big SJW-approved piece of work.  I wonder what that could be…?  And just like that one, battle lines have been drawn.  The title of this work is “Dear White People,” and I thought that we would look at this trailer and break down our impressions.  Weigh in with a more sensible voice about the nature of how good or bad it is.

So, we first get to see an image of stereotypical white people.  We have Douchebag Von Asshole V, and Betty Steenvirgin waving, as a black woman is about to tell me what kinds of Halloween costumes are acceptable.  Here’s the answer – any fucking kind I want.  I have the right to dress whatever way I want for Halloween.  As do you.  As does anyone who is watching this bullshit.  If you don’t like it, you are free not to associate with me.  As you are clearly a person with far-left, SJW political opinions, I doubt we would get along anyway.

Then it has a headline – America Needs.  Boy, I can think of a thousand things that I could fill in that end space with.  How about – to get away from dogmatic thinking?  Or maybe – to kick these SJWs to the curb?  Or, perhaps – to stop being so fucking pussy that we can’t deal with opposing points of view?  Yeah, those are all great things to fill in there.

We then get her deciding to go into a tirade about blackface.  Here’s where I am going to say something unpopular – I don’t give a fuck about blackface.  Really, I don’t.  Is it stupid?  Yeah.  Does it portray an ethnic group in a way that may be unflattering?  Probably.  But here’s the thing – that kind of shit only offends you if you have some kind of allegiance to your race.  This is something that I do not have. For example, we see our white people stereotypes.  Are they unflattering?  Sure.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Hell, I think they are kind of funny.  Like the cliche of what liberal elitist snobs are supposed to be.  These are the same kinds of people who are listening to what this bitch has to say and taking it seriously.  It isn’t the frat boys who actually want to live their lives as they see fit without breaking the law.  It isn’t the middle class people who are just going through their day-to-day and don’t give a flying fuck about all this identity politics stuff.  It’s yuppie snobs who are in Ivy League universities who are the biggest proponents of this kind of rhetoric.  The very people this woman is using to deride white people are the exact ones who are the first to come to her defense.

I have no allegiance to white people.  Hell, I don’t have an allegiance to the human race.  I’m a misanthrope.  I hate my species off-hand.  So I take people as they come.  If someone wants to mock white people, I say go for it!  Hell, I’ll join you.  I have made fun of hipsters with such gusto that my disdain for them has reached epic proportions.  I’ve made fun of rednecks.  I’ve made fun of yuppie Ivy League college students.  You want to make fun of white people?  Go right the fuck ahead.  I don’t get offended because it doesn’t mean a thing to me.  My race matters just as little to me as your race does.  I don’t give a fuck about your race either.  Fuck ethnic groups and their pet issues.  It’s beneath my attention to talk about.

So when this woman gets all butthurt about blackface, my thought is – why do you care?  I’m sure I’ll get someone who will come on here about how black people have been marginalized and shit.  Well, that was then.  Back then, blackface was an insulting thing to black people.  Nowadays, people don’t do it because it isn’t funny.  It’s not culturally acceptable.  The people in her video as example of blackface all seem to have something in common – they are young adults.  They are people in their early to mid 20’s.  The years when they are rebelling against societal norms and living on the edge.  It’s frat people and college punks looking to be offensive on purpose.  Gee, when you look at it like that, it’s almost like she is giving these people attention that they were already looking for.  Much like how Bill Maher wore a costume of Steve Irwin with a stingray barb in his chest shortly after he died.  Yeah, that was offensive, but it was done intentionally.  Getting mad about him about it just feeds into what he was looking for in the first place.

These people aren’t dressing up as you for Halloween, sweetie.  They are dressing provocatively, with the intent of getting reactions.  The fact that you let it affect you so strongly says more about you than it does about them.

And that’s it.  So, is the entire premise just some radio chick who uses the latest SJW talking points with black comedy interspersed among it?  Huh, maybe Madea will make a cameo.  Is this some big statement against white people?  No.  That’s stupid.  Would I ever watch it?  Nope.  I don’t go to Everyday Feminism because there’s only so much stupid I can handle.  Why would I watch a series personifying that kind of thinking?  And here’s the thing – this series will likely go the exact same route as that other SJW hill they had to die on.  It will be forgotten not long after it debuts.  So, with that in mind, let me give my Final Verdict.  For those who know how I rate things, it will make sense.

Final Verdict
5 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Hitman: Season One

hitmanWhen I first heard about this game, I was annoyed.  Here we have a AAA title that is being sold in episodes.  What’s more, in order to play this game, you have to be online.  I was not going to stand for that.  I refused to participate.  Just like how I refuse to participate in releasing Final Fantasy VII remake in episodes.  However, when I decided on a whim to get the disc release of the game, and holy shit, I was impressed.  The wonders of what depression can do for a man.  Here we have one of the most fantastic stealth games ever made, with a few flaws.  All things considered, I am eager to see what comes next, even though I won’t be buying the episodes.

Have you ever wanted a game where you could actually feel like a secret agent?  If so, this is your game.  This game is at its best when you play it that way.  Agent 47 is back in action.  After the insane excess that was Hitman: Absolution, this is such a breath of fresh air.  However, much like that game, one of the biggest flaws of this one is the story.  To be honest, this game would have been so much better served if it nixed the story altogether.  Just have Agent 47 doing missions to kill people.  Play it like a Bond movie and have it be bad criminals doing bad things.  Hell, the game even frames one mission where it’s rich clients who are hiring the IDA to get justice that the legal system cannot give them.  They didn’t need another convoluted conspiracy involving some supranational entity who secretly controls the world.  This trope is so overused that I am genuinely sick of it.

The plot goes that Agent 47 is hired by the IDA as their newest operative.  They are a clandestine organization who works in assassinations.  Rich people, corporations, and even national governments hire them to do wet-work operations against very dangerous people, along with some people who slipped through the legal cracks but have some very violent retribution coming their way.  However, over time, 47 and his handler realize that they are being used by a dangerous individual to attack an organization who secretly controls the world.  To what end?  Wouldn’t you like to know?

As I said, this game is basically making you a secret agent.  Each mission has you infiltrating an open level so that you can take out a series of targets and occasionally take on an adjacent task.  The goal is to go through the level and be invisible.  The IDA values no collateral damage.  You are to be ghost, who kills with perfect silence, and never leaves a trace.  And the game gives you a plethora of ways to get the job done.  Each level has dozens of routes to get to the target.  You can take the direct approach, but shooting your way through a crowd looks bad.  The levels give you a good deal of freedom when it comes to dealing with individual targets.  Some of them have little side-missions associated with them.  Sometimes you can be a ghost and sneak around without ever having to change outfits.  There are tons of disguises and hidden goodies to help you get your mission done.  No one can say that this game is unfair.  The difficulty can be whatever you want it to be, but you are still being given as much opportunities to make the kill as you like.

The best thing I can say about this game is the levels.  Not only are the visuals fucking gorgeous, I mean holy shit, but the vast open spaces let you play around with how you want to get the mission done.  Since I love to make a kill in a way where I don’t even leave anyone aware that I was there, it feels so good when I am strolling out of a place and everyone still thinks that all is well in their world.  My personal favorite was in Morocco, where I got to walk out of the Swedish Consulate and have a massive protest outside, with me not having a care in the world.  I had just killed a guy from inside a TV booth, then dragged his body into a closet where he can rot in peace until some poor cleaning person gets to find him and the knocked-out security guard that I left him in there with.

Everything in the levels of these games plays a part.  If you get made, but are able to disappear, people will be talking about what happened.  If you kill one person in an area, other people will start to notice.  Take actions and you can see the results.  My favorite was in Paris, where I dropped a massive light display on a target and had the entire procession run screaming from the show.  That was cool.  A bit more flashy than I had intended, but sometimes flashy works.  How I dropped the guy’s lover was pretty epic.

The other flaw in this game, aside from the story, is how short it is.  With five missions and the training mission, there isn’t a lot of meat.  This is a game that is meant to be replayed.  To find all the ways that you can ice your target.  You can play each mission a dozen times and still be finding new ways to play.  Whether you go from disguise to disguise, slowly working your way to your intended target, or find a tall tower with a high-powered rifle to blow your target’s head off without anyone ever even seeing you, it cannot be said that this game doesn’t let you play your way.  Reminded me of that line in Leon The Professional, where he says that the best killer can get right up next to their target, while amateurs kill from a distance.

All in all, this was worth the wait.  It sucks that Square Enix has gone this route, but I can’t fault them for the final product.  This was one hell of a game, and I will impatiently wait to see what the next season brings us.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

UC Berkeley, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Insanity

When I think of liberals, I think of the fight against the Red Scare.  I think of how people on the left came together to fight against a government who was all about fear, deception, and manipulating to convince the public that if you weren’t with them, you were against them.  I think of thousands of people who came together to champion the rights of free speech and for unpopular opinions to be said.  That’s the left that I think of.  However, that is not the left that I see now.

For those who didn’t know, Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at UC Berkeley.  He didn’t ask to go there, but rather was invited.  A person there to speak his mind.  Now, because Milo is very openly conservative, and has a lot of far-right positions, it’s natural that there would be people who would disagree with him.  Indeed, many of them gathered at this event.  So, what did these people do?  Did they come with well-reasoned arguments and try and have an open discussion with Milo?  Did they allow him to speak and then have their rebuttal?  No.  That isn’t what happened.  What happened?  Well, take a look for yourself.

Listen to all those champions of free speech!  Listen to the chant “Shut it down!” over and over again!  Can’t you just tell how much they value the traits that the left is supposed to stand for?  Because, after all, in today’s society, Milo’s views are unpopular.  The popular consensus is much more left-leaning.  With that in mind, you’d think that, even if they didn’t agree with him, my fellow left-leaning people would at least want to hear the guy out.  That way we could form educated opinions on his views and then disagree with them in the most effective way – with good argumentation.

Fuck that noise!  We gotta riot!  Let’s destroy property! Let’s assault people!  There was footage of some asshole tear-gassing a girl with a MAGA hat who was just minding her own business.  One guy was beaten and stripped.  There was even a story of someone who was shot when someone acted in self-defense after the mob went after him.  Yup.  That’s the progressive-left, everyone.  That’s what it’s come to.  But hey, maybe you think that that is hyperbole.  After all, it’s not like celebrities are in on it or anything.  Oh wait, here’s a link to a Tweet by Sarah Silverman, who lays it out that the military will eventually be coming in to help the left with an armed revolution.  Hey Sarah, they call that treason, you know.  Good thing that the Internet never forgets, because now Sarah is going to have this little nugget following her around forever.

Never in my life have I been more ashamed of the left in this country.  We once made fun of the Tea Party and what a bunch of assholes they were.  But you know what, as bad as their demonstrations were, I gotta say, even I am starting to agree with the conservatives who say that the left is worse.  At least it didn’t come to guns and lighting garbage fires in the street.  I remember saying that I wished America was more like other countries, who indulge in a good riot every now and then.  Well, I got my wish.  And it makes us look so pathetic.

Do the people like Sarah the retard Silverman not understand how absolutely horrific it would be to have armed revolution?  Do they not realize what that would do to this country.  Trump won, people!  Fair and square!  It’s all your fault.  You made this monster.  All the endless yelling about sexism and racism and all this other bullshit.  Organizations who chant for dead cops, and then get their wish.  You bear the blame here.  Trump won on the backs of the people who are sick and tired of all the PC bullshit.  Now we have a protest that had no illusions about being anything other than a riot, all to shut down someone that they don’t like.

The irony is that this will have the exact opposite effect.  See, Milo really wasn’t a name in the mainstream.  He is huge on the Internet, but he isn’t a name that the public at large knows.  Now they do.  Now they know exactly who he is.  This riot has caught national attention.  CNN was being just as hard on these idiots protesting as Fox News.  That’s understandable.  Any media outlet has to see this for the bat-shit crazy mess that it is.  Milo’s name will just get bigger and bigger, while the people screaming in the streets, or taking to Twitter to call for violent uprising will be made to look like raving lunatics.  Congratulations.

We can’t do like this, people.  We just fucking can’t.  Political discourse in this country cannot devolve into crowds screaming and burning shit in the street.  If that’s where we’ve gone, then we might as well just go back to the Coliseum and have people settle their differences with swords.  Then the mob could gamble on it and our descent as a nation into madness will be complete.  Worse still, we have people defending this bullshit!  Are you fucking kidding me?!  This behavior is indefensible.  But hey, it’s easy to defend when it isn’t these PC assholes who will be out in the street fighting the cops.  It won’t be them in this “revolution.”  They’ll be at Starbucks.  Fuck these people.

Until next time, a quote,

“The blood is already on our hands, it’s only a matter of degree.” – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick