Weird Defense of Rey: Shitting on Anakin

One of the rules of the Internet is that every time you think you’ve seen the stupidest thing ever, you’ll be proven wrong.  It never fails.  I cannot count the number of times when I have seen something so dumb that my brain is like, “this can’t get any dumber.  Humanity has finally reached the bottom of the stupidity hole.”  Then some mother-fucker says, “hold my beer!” and I am giving a shovel all over again.  It’s a rule that goes all the way back to 2006 when YouTube came onto the scene.  Once humanity possessed the ability to upload videos of what it does, we realized that the well of human stupidity really reaches no bottom.  It’s an endless void where it almost appears that people are trying to one-up each other on the stupidity scale.

With that in mind, I just saw a meme with Steven (the moron) Crowder at the table and it has the sign “Rey isn’t a Mary Sue, Anakin from the Phantom Menace is.”  I read that, and my brain had this thought – do people just not remember anymore that the prequel trilogy was hated?  Has the corporate nerd media campaign to make the prequels out to be good actually convinced people that they aren’t still remembered by a vast majority of the community as trash?  Especially The Phantom Menace?  I guess it has, because people are spewing this nonsense about Anakin now, as some weird defense of Rey.  I am so confused.

I mean, I guess the reason they are doing this is because you can’t do with Luke Skywalker.  When we first meet him, he’s getting his ass kicked by Sand People and having this little laser droid blasting him.  His ability to use the Force is incredibly limited, and over the course of the series, we see him train and his abilities grow.  Plus, they take the time in the original film to show that he knows how to pilot, and that his abilities run in the family.  So there is just no opening to make the Mary Sue argument for him the way that it is WIDE OPEN for Rey.

It’s just baffling to me that they decide to go after Anakin.  Yeah, he was a Mary Sue.  A poorly written, poorly acted little altruistic angel.  At least in The Phantom Menace, which is what the meme I saw was alluding to.  He was amazing at stuff that he had never done, and everyone just thought that he was the messiah.  Here’s the thing – people called that out.  People called out how awful that character was 1,000 ways from Sunday all over the Internet, way back in the day.  Still got warm feelings in my heart for Red Letter Media’s takedown of the entire prequel trilogy.  It was savage, to say the least.  Ironically enough, they address the fact that so much nerd media is trying to be nice to the prequels in their takedown of The Force Awakens, where they savage the articles praising them.

Neat fact – people say that no one from the prequels got as much hate as Daisy Ridley did for Rey.  That is just wrong.  That’s ignorant of what happened.  Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin in The Phantom Menace, got so much hate for that film that he now hates the Star Wars franchise and refuses to see anything associated with it ever again.  If Twitter had been a thing back in 1999, I can’t even imagine how ugly his page would have been.  The hate found him all the same.  He won’t talk about Star Wars or anything associated with it.  So yeah, Daisy Ridley has received some ugly stuff online, but she’s not alone in this.  Not by a long-shot.

Something else that’s kinda neat – pretty much everyone who has associated themselves with this franchise now hates it.  Harrison Ford hated doing it so much that part of the reason they had his character frozen at the end of Empire Strikes Back is because they didn’t know if they would be able to get him back for the sequel.  Carrie Fisher has said she wishes she had never done any of those movies.  Alec Guinness, who played the original Obi-Wan Kenobi said that this film was the low point of his career and he could not begin to understand why people liked these movies.  John Boyega has said that Disney will never be able to get him into anything associated with this franchise again.  Daisy Ridley has said that she never wants to do this again.  Hayden Christiansen’s career nose-dived after the prequel trilogy.  This franchise seems to cause a lot of hate.  Funny how that works.

It’s interesting to me how this franchise has become a noose around Disney’s neck.  You almost have to give Kathleen Kennedy a nod to how she could take a franchise that has been printing George Lucas money for the last 30 years and make it a financial black hole.  Disney has outright-lied about how much money they lost on Solo: A Star War Story.  They say roughly $77 million loss, but I don’t buy that for a minute.  Red Letter Media also did a great breakdown of how much Disney had to have lost with that, and I don’t buy that they didn’t lose anything less than $100 million.  The Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge was drastically underperforming pretty hard last year.  This year nothing is performing, due to COVID.  The toy sales for the new films are in the tank.  It seems even the cuteness of Baby Yoda couldn’t save the sales where the numbers are losing money and they have stopped trying to make toys of the newer films.

You have to be impressed that the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy was able to take something that printed money and have it losing money.  It’s gotten so bad that there are elements within Lucasfilm who, if the rumors are to be believed, are trying to find ways to underhandedly remove the sequel trilogy from canon.  With Kennedy’s contract up in 2021, and it almost being certain that she will be gone once it is, part of me wonders how Disney is looking to make up lost revenue.  They spent $4.4 billion to buy this franchise, thinking they would get their money back with tons of friends.  Part of me wonders if they actually have even gotten back what they spent.

What was all this about again?  Oh right, the meme I saw.  Trying to cover for Rey by bringing up a universally-despised character from the previous films is just such a fail.  Someone should have told them that.  Everyone hates both those characters.

Until next time, a quote,

“We interrupt this film to apologize for this unwarranted attack by the supporting features.  Luckily, we have been prepared for this eventuality, and are now taking steps to remedy it.” – Narrator, Monty Python and the Meaning of Life

Peace out,

Maverick

The Tragedy of Capt. Brett Crozier, a True American Hero

Eventually the story of COVID-19 will end.  One way, or another, this story will conclude.  The moron in charge of this country wants to believe that it’s done now.  If we stop testing, it will just go away.  It’s been made abundantly clear that Donald Trump was not the right leader for this crisis.  A man who gets bored when something goes on too long and gets frustrated when it’s something complicated that he can’t just yell at or call it fake news and it goes away.  Insiders in the Trump White House have said that he spends each day wanting to believe he’s beaten an enemy.  For a man who thinks this way, you would think that a viral enemy to take on would be perfect.  Alas, it seems that something too small to see with the naked eye has utterly defeated a man who says that the reason people don’t like him is because of how manly he is.  The irony in that is palpable.

Once all is said and done, and historians start to look at the beginnings and the fight against COVID-19, there will be those who are remembered as heroes, and those who are not.  The doctor in China who leaked the story to the world about how awful things were, telling people the truth that couldn’t be stifled by his government.  Such a tragedy that this man who had so much bravery in the face of a powerful authoritarian government, doing the right thing no matter the cost, was a victim of the very virus he worked to make the world aware of.  I’m sure China doesn’t see him as that, but history will remember him differently.

I honestly wonder how history will remember Donald Trump’s presidency.  History hasn’t been kind to Obama, for good reason.  He ran on this platform of change and transparency.  However, once he got in office, he was more guarded than even his predecessor, even less transparent.  The change he wrought was passing a healthcare bill written by a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, which was called Romneycare when Mitt Romney passed it in Massachusetts.  However, this great revolution to the broken healthcare system proved to be little more than a birthday present to the private insurance system.  The utter scam that is American healthcare.  Meanwhile, with only one major accomplishment under his belt, he expanded the Bush Doctrine of surveillance, expanded the wars in the Middle East, which continues to this day.

There is another character who history will remember very differently than the powers that be would like.  His name is Capt. Brett Crozier, the former captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.  As the infection was spreading and America’s piss-poor attempt at “containment” failed, Capt. Crozier began to have crew getting ill.  It didn’t take long for them to test the sick crew and it was positive for coronavirus.  Anyone who has been on a Navy ship knows that social distancing is literally impossible.  Not at the tight quarters that they have to function in.  Not with a full crew of over 5,000 sailors.  Being a good captain who feared for the safety of those under his command, and with the outbreak on the ship worsening, Capt. Crozier did what any good commanding officer would do – he reached out for help.  He begged Naval Command to send aid, or at least let them dock to get the infected quarantined.

However, in what I have come to understand is pretty standard Navy fashion, given how they have treated someone near and dear to my heart who is equally dedicated to her military service, Command saw fit to deny Capt. Crozier’s request.  It’s around this time that the document he sent to Command got leaked to the press.  Immediately the man was hailed as a dutiful and dedicated commanding officer, and military command looked like some of the biggest pricks there have ever been.  As you might imagine, they didn’t take kindly to this.

An investigation was begun almost immediately, as it was deemed a breech of national security to have a document that had NO operational information and was just a man trying to get help for the men and women under his command to make its way to the press.  Of course, that’s assuming that they actually have proof that he leaked it to them.  We have no proof that they were.  The Pentagon is being extraordinarily tight-lipped about what their investigation found.  Odd.  If the evidence was so clear that he was the source, why aren’t they heralding that over him?  From where I’m sitting, it’s because they don’t have proof.  He’s just the scapegoat.

Capt. Crozier was relieved of command of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, and the ceremony as he was disembarking from the ship was one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen.  You know who is a commanding officer who has earned the respect of those under their command pretty quick, and the cheer they let out for him I’m sure made the man emotional.  Can’t see how it wouldn’t.  But this was not the end of the tarring and feathering that Crozier would endure from military command.  See, at first it looked like the Navy was walking back some of what they were doing to this man.  But then, a couple weeks back, the investigation was finished, and they defamed this great man to such a degree that it would be insulting, if it wasn’t expected.  And not just him, but the Rear Admiral he served under.

The Navy has effectively tried to hang everything that happened on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt around his neck, make him out to be an incompetent commanding officer, and say that he was an utter failure in this situation.  My favorite thing in what they said was that he didn’t adhere to social distancing policies among the crew, needlessly risking more infection.  What else was he supposed to do?!  You do realize that Navy vessels have the tightest quarters imaginable, right?  They pack the crew in there.  There is no way, with as many people who were on that ship, that they could have reasonably been able contain the infection.  Crozier spoke of that in the document he sent.  I guess they never read it.

I cannot imagine how awful this must make Capt. Crozier feel.  I really can’t.  This man served with honor and distinction, in the face of a crisis that is unprecedented in this generation.  He pleaded for help, not for himself, but for the men and women who look to him for leadership.  And they basically make him out to be incompetent and worthless.  That everything that happened on that ship is his fault, and his CO’s as well for hiring such a moron and doing nothing to stop him.  This man had a career as an officer where he did everything he could, and the Navy gives him the finger in the worst way possible.  His career effectively ends with him being defamed.  That must leave such a burning pit in one’s stomach.

The Navy threw an unfathomable amount of shade at a man whose actions speak for themselves.  A true American hero.  While the guy in charge of this monkey farm was trying to pretend that it was no problem at all, Crozier did everything he could to address it and protect as many lives as possible.  Even more tragic is that one of the members of his crew died from COVID-19.  A pointless waste of life and service.  But history will remember Capt. Crozier differently.  After all the crap the military has tried to throw at him, history will remember him as one of the most dedicated officers in the modern age.  Officially, his career will end in disgrace, but I know that once all of this is over and Ken Burns is making some big documentary about the whole thing, Capt. Brett Crozier will have a special place in it.

Until next time, a quote,

“We shall carry on the watch.” – Navy Solemn Tradition

Peace out,

Maverick

Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us: Part II, and the Modern Love of Nihilism

Just recently, The Last of Us: Part II came out.  I said before that I was not giving that game my money.  After I saw the leaks laying out the plot, I said “fuck this!” and refused to buy the game.  I don’t want to play a game where it puts me in the pilot seat of some character I don’t know on a mission to murder the characters I do know from the first game and care about deeply.  However, after it came out, I got curious about if the leaks gave the full context or if there really was something more to it.  Turns out, there was something more, and what was more was just so frustrating.

The game is essentially nihilism fetish porn.  If you have a fetish for nothing in life meaning anything and all things being shit, then this is the game for you.  Neil Druckmann clearly does.  Hence why he has created a game with a narrative that is not fulfilling in any way, not that the professional reviews would reflect that. There isn’t a single one of those that says a bad word one.  Comment on the fact that Abby is a boring character and that she has ZERO character growth through the events of the story, while Ellie (who the game goes so far out of its way to make out to be a bad person) is left psychologically destroyed by the events of the game?  Nope.  Then you can’t pat yourself on the back for endorsing a game that wore it’s “woke” nature on its sleeve.  Then you might be accused of being sexist or homophobic or transphobic or whatever by the outlets like IGN, who rally in being super tolerant, but we have just recently found out is super sexist.  That doesn’t surprise me one bit, by the way.

Seeing the YouTube personalities who aren’t bound by the need to praise things that are “woke” and were willing to comment on the piss-poor nature of the writing and how utterly insulting it is to take a character we love from the original game and essentially make her into a monster that we are supposed to hate, it got me thinking.  Nihilism is something that a LOT of media these days is trading on, and some of it with so much more grace and skill than others.

One of my favorite shows right now is Rick and Morty.  It is a show where nihilism is one of the central themes at play.  Rick is a horrifically jaded and nihilistic character.  He has seen the nature of reality and all the alternate realities, and has realized that nothing truly matters.  But it’s more than just the nature of reality.  You find out at the last episode of season 2 that Rick fought in a war against the Gromflomites.  It was a war that they lost, and it changed him as a person.  Part of me is curious to see if Beth proves that she is Rick’s daughter in future seasons, following that path and then seeing how she is changing just like her father did as his nihilistic worldview of nothing mattering because you lose in the end anyway comes into focus.  Rick’s contention in Season 3 was that Beth is just like him, and I think he’s right.  To see his mentality come full circle would be kind of poignant.

Why does hardcore nihilism work in Rick and Morty but is total shit in The Last of Us: Part II?  Because in Rick and Morty, the nihilism isn’t thrust on you.  It’s a central part of Rick’s character, but there are other characters around him that bounce off his way of being.  You have Morty, who is quickly becoming very jaded himself about the nature of reality thanks to Rick’s adventures.  There’s Summer, who is a lost teenager that is pretty vapid and doesn’t really appreciate the seriousness of what Rick’s world entails.  Then you have Jerry who is just the perfect foil for Rick because of his utter contempt for Jerry’s existence.  Lastly there’s Beth, who seems to be following Rick’s path to a fault, and I hope they keep to that, because it makes for an interesting story about how we all end up becoming our parents.

These characters take the nihilism of one character and contrast it.  They bring new perspective, even if in the end it is often proven that the way Rick thinks of the world is correct.  It gives us as an audience a chance to come to our own conclusions as well.  Plus, the adventures are usually fun and engaging.  There’s pitch black humor that people like myself can appreciate.  It isn’t just constantly bombarding me with how ugly the world is and how ugly everyone in it is.  It doesn’t just frame the entire experience as one long treatise on how humanity is awful and needs to die.  And it doesn’t take the nihilism that it leans on and shit on the characters I like.  Because even when Rick is a terrible person, and if the end of Season 4 was any indication, he can have some TERRIBLE moments, you do know that he isn’t so horrible that there’s nothing good in him.  He does try, often, to be a good grandfather to his family.

I’m noticing though that more and more big productions are leaning on the same kind of nihilism that Neil Druckmann does.  The kind where everything is shit and the things you like are bad.  Let’s talk about Star Trek: Picard.  I fucking despise this show.  Let’s not talk about the fact that the plot rips off Mass Effect and the worst aspects of it.  Let’s not talk about how it is making a big statement about how the white person is evil and the minorities are good.  My biggest issue is it takes the universe of Star Trek and turned it into something ugly and hateful.  It took a galaxy that one could aspire to and want to emulate and turned it into something contemporary and loathing.  Almost like Alex Kurtzman (the biggest fucking hack writer in history) has some kind of ax to grind.  It made a beloved character a broken old man who is defeated.  It took an interesting woman who escaped the Borg collective and was rediscovering her humanity and turned her into a ruthless bounty hunter who wants to kill everyone in her way.  The Federation in this series isn’t something I look up to.  It’s something I see in the world today and that takes away everything that was beautiful about it.

The tragic irony is that this series has shown that they can do dark and macabre storylines with perfect grace and skill.  Probably the best example is from the DS9 episode “In the Pale Moonlight.”  There, we see Sisko having cooked up a plan with Garak to try and get the Romulans into the war with the Dominion.  They create a forged piece of evidence that shows the Dominion plotting to attack the romulans, but because they are so untrusting and skeptical, the Romulan Senator quickly figures out it is a fake.  As he is going to take this back to his people to prove that it is a forgery, his shuttle is destroyed.  Sisko figures out quickly that this was orchestrated by Garak, who hired a criminal to plant a bomb, while he made sure that the proof the Senator was going to expose as a fraud would survive the explosion.

Sisko confronts Garak about this in one of the greatest scenes in Star Trek history.  It goes to show the old adage that the best actors in this series are people who come from a stage background, because watching as Garak takes the moralizing of Sisko and utterly destroys it is fantastic.  If you haven’t seen it, you absolutely must.  The scene itself is on YouTube.  The episode ends with the Romulans joining the war, and Sisko talking to his daily log recorder, but looking right at the camera.  Where he says, over and over that he will be alright with this, and that he will get past it.

Nihilism doesn’t make a good story, nor does it make a bad one.  Let’s talk about video games that have used it well.  One of Geralt of Rivia’s defining characteristics is that he sees the world as broken and believes that nothing will change that.  He sees human nature of fundamentally flawed and that hate is a part of the human condition.  But surrounding him are a whole cadre of characters that have a ton of personality who can play off that.  The stick in the mud nature of Geralt is a common foil to some of my favorite characters.  And he isn’t totally macabre.  In my playthrough, I had him bonding with Ciri in some of the most touching scenes, like when they have a snowball fight and when they trash Avallac’h’s place together.

Hell, let’s talk about how it worked in the original The Last of Us.  That game had a severe sense of nihilism with Joel and how he saw the world, contrasted by the youthful innocence and wonder of Ellie.  Part of what made that story so great was how Ellie was being broken down by that world, but at the very end there was a fantastic moment where she confronts Joel, and chooses to accept his reality.  It was a brilliant ending to a fantastic game.

Dark nihilism can easily be used for great effect.  But for whatever reason, we live in an age where hack writers are using it to try and make a setting dark and gritty.  They think that if they pump enough ugliness and existential dread into something, that makes it high art.  The nihilism needs to have purpose.  The existential dread has to be building to something.  There is a TON of it in one of my favorite films – Blade Runner.  That movie is about power relationships and what it means to be a slave.  Yet it builds to Roy Batty realizing that he can be better than what he was made to be, and he tells Deckard a story.  You can’t just have a game where everything is shit for everyone, except super butch chick who suffers no emotional ill effects from the journey.

Not regretting not getting this game.  Neil Druckmann clearly has become too in love with himself to see his work objectively and there are too many yes-men/women at Naughty Dog that don’t rein him in.  A shame, because there actually is a talented writer in there.  I loved and still love Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Until next time, a quote,

“You realize we’re not a pack of wolves who you can just swing your sword at whenever the need arises.” – Phillipa
“Yes you are, and yes I can.” – Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Peace out,

Maverick

How Can You Be This Blind About Biden? (A response to Newsweek)

This year is shaping up to be one that changes the face of America.  A plague is still ongoing that is ravaging the entire world.  A virus that has no political allegiance, it is just doing what it does – finding hosts to infect.  Meanwhile, George Floyd’s death has caused a rally of people now the world-over.  The rampant abuse of police authority in this country has taken center-stage, and it’s definitely something that needs to be talked about, in a way that’s serious.  Not like after a mass shooting where the country talks about how bad automatic weapons are, only to turn around and do fuck-all about it.  Another day in the endless turmoil that is America, eh?

As one might expect, since this is all happening in an election year, the big focus people have is wondering what the political landscape is going to look like with all this happening.  Trump’s biggest thing he was hoping to run on was his economy.  Now the economy is in shambles.  It has gone into a recession that is far worse than the 2008 one.  We narrowly avoided another Great Depression, and we may still hit it if COVID really rallies in the fall and brings things to a screeching halt once-again.  And with the recent riots, instead of the President being out trying to unify people or at least calm things down, Trump is hiding in his bunker.  The unlit White House seems to be a metaphor for everything that’s happening.  Hell, the dude used tear gas to clear people out to do a photo opportunity with a Bible.  He held that thing like it was poison to him.

The political pundits have all come out with their own opinions, but because I don’t watch cable news, I am spared the MSNBC and CNN stupidity.  But because I live on the Internet, online news has a way of finding me.  And there was one article in-particular that just blew my mind in how utterly bereft of understanding it was.  An article on Newsweek opining that there isn’t enough college activism for Biden.  Here’s a link to the article, let’s talk about it.

It begins by saying that the dude was a big activist during the Vietnam days, and that everything thinks Trump is bad (at this point, part of me thinks that only the dude’s cult of personality are thinking he is handling this well), but there isn’t enough college activism.  The dude then asks the obvious question – why is this?  I will say, this is the FIRST left-leaning news outlet that has actually let it slip in that people are wondering about Biden’s mental acuity.  His campaign is keeping him out of the limelight, still, as much as possible because his gaffes are not going anywhere.  Seeing them splice his comments together to come up with stuff that is usable in newsbytes is just the best.  Reminds me of that line in Red Letter Media’s Best of the Worst video where Rich Evans has his grammatical gaffes and one of the dudes says if he was editing the video, it would sound perfect. They make the joke that for that to happen, they would need a ton of jump-cuts.

We’ve gotten to the point that I don’t see how the Biden campaign can keep not addressing the fact that their candidate’s brain is falling out most times he is being tasked with doing a speaking engagement or an interview.  How will he handle speeches?  But I digress.

The article continues opining the lack of college student engagement, then offering the most cursory reasoning that it may be because of the Democrats utter failure to initiate on ANYTHING that Gen-Z would want.  Keep in mind, they are the ones in college right now.  It isn’t millennials anymore.  We’re out of college, building careers and starting families.  Here’s the thing – Gen-Z is growing up in a world that millennials like myself have become utterly disenfranchised by.  A world where there are two parties controlling the entire discourse, and NEITHER party represents the values that we stand for.  The Democrats are NOT a liberal party.  Not the establishment ones.  They are moderate Republicans, as far as I’m concerned, with how far to the right the party has gone.  Article doesn’t talk about that.

Where are the political voices who are willing to talk about the reality that the reason people don’t get involved is because of how dejected they are?  The article says that Bernie Sanders needs to rally his supporters on college campuses.  So tell me – with what?  The ONLY thing that Biden’s campaign has is that he isn’t Trump.  That’s it.  He has made VERY clear his opposition to universal healthcare.  Don’t tell me about the Affordable Care Act and how he wants to make it stronger.  I’ve seen his idea.  It’s an even bigger birthday present to the private insurance industry scam that keeps Americans in bondage.  Every other First World nation has universal healthcare in one form or another.  This plague has highlighted more than anything what this country needs.

It also doesn’t help that Biden has a bad habit of pimping out his opposition whenever he is greeted with any push-back.  He yelled at blue collar auto workers.  He told people if they don’t like him to vote for someone else.  It seems like he is quick to anger.  That ties in with the dementia thing, by the by.  He said if people believe that allegations that Tara Reade made, vote for someone else.  He inspires absolutely no confidence as a potential leader.  Is that deliberate?  Is that his way of sneakily trying to get out of his situation, by pimping out the other side?  If so, it’s clever.

Perhaps it is telling that this article is demanding that Bernie get his supporters to fight for Biden.  The man is unable to fight for himself.  His campaign keeps him in a corner somewhere until they absolutely can’t avoid having him out talking in interviews that I guarantee are so scripted.  Where they can give him the most softball questions possible in order to make it so that he doesn’t have to get into complicated issues.  So instead of trying to get the candidate himself to build populist support, get the guy he beat by having his campaign make deals with everyone else (can’t wait to see VP Klobuchar, in all her milquetoast majesty) so they would drop out.

This is a man who has to get Obama to talk to people on his behalf.  You’re the Democratic party nominee!  It should be you out there.  This is an election where, in a year of strife and madness, we have no active voices from either party when things are at their absolute worst.  Sure, I figure it’s because Obama is black and the current issue is about what’s facing the black community, but if the party wasn’t scared to death of him saying something weird or stupid or losing the plot like that time he just stood there staring at the camera for 30 seconds until his wife came on, or that time when he was giving an online town hall and was talking but seemed to forget where he was and just wandered away and they had to cut to a still image to avoid dead air, then they would have him talking to people.  And the writer of this article is saying Bernie isn’t doing enough.  Is there ANY political commentator who is going to ask the hard questions?!

In the past I’ve said that it doesn’t matter how bad things get in this country, I’m not doing a lesser of two evils voting, and now that viewpoint gets put to the test.  Biden is a weak candidate.  Trump is showing how weak a candidate he is now more than ever.  It’s a battle of two weak men, one with narcissism like you wouldn’t believe, and the other with dementia.  I refuse to participate in this dog and pony show.  I’m a millennial, and the Democrats aren’t trying to help my generation.  What exactly are they doing for Gen-Z?

Until next time, a quote,

“The lines of what is considering right and wrong in society today have been blurred.  With common sense no longer our guide, we make decisions based on selfish wants and desires.  This has resulted in a deluge of self-centered people who delight in taking advantage of the weak.  However, even in this modern day and age, it is imperative that we act in the best interests of all.” – Toranosuke Yoshida, Persona 5: Royal

Peace out,

Maverick

You Missed Everything About Bloodborne (A response to NPR)

In this time of quarantine life, where all of us who aren’t government employees who have to go to our jobs and hope for the best, people are looking to all forms of entertainment to escape their drudgery.  I can empathize.  Lucky for me, Persona 5: Royal came out just in time, and has engrossed my time like you wouldn’t believe.  With my girlfriend states away with her family, it’s just me in this place.  As I was living on the Internet before all of this transpired because I’m a sad dude like that, I see a lot of what the news posts online.  So imagine my curiosity when I saw an article from NPR talking about the correlation between the plague that is making its way through Yharnum in Bloodborne and the situation with us today.  However, as I read it, I knew that I would have to write a response to this stupidity.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

The article begins with them establishing their credibility with the game.  Not gonna go into that.  Here’s where it started to get my attention.

Here my grotesque escapism fully begins to resonate with reality. I notice that Yarnham’s sane survivors have taken refuge behind closed doors — and while Bloodborne has nearly no exposition, I piece together a grim backstory from brief cinematics, obtuse notes, and snatches of dialogue. I knock on windows and the residents pity me, curse me, or laugh derisively at my plight to be out on the night of a hunt — a night that never seems to end. These people are in quarantine, and I’m the closest thing Yarnham has to a first responder.

Did this moron even read the back-story to this game?  He says he did, but MAN am I skeptical.  I mean, making the correlation to the hunters being the equivalent of the first responders?  For starters, that’s not even REMOTELY a close analogue.  If you were actually trying to make this argument, then the real people who were akin to first responders would be the white clerics of the Healing Church.  Their armor set talks about how they were focused on healing the people of Yharnum, utilizing the eldritch powers they learned from the Great Ones to try and ward off the beast scourge.  Another analogue would be the black clerics, who would be more akin to a CDC force.  Anytime that someone had the beast scourge, or may have been suspected of it, they would arrive and quietly kill them.

The hunters in the game are when the two groups I mentioned before had failed.  Once the beastly scourge had grown and taken over Yharnum to such a degree that the city was being overrun.  So the Healing Church had the hunters take out to the night, find the beasts and those who are succumbing to the beastly scourge and killing them.  What’s more, the common people who aren’t monsters that attack you, those are people who the church (who would be akin to the government, as the entire city of Yharnum was ruled by the Healing Church) had join the hunters on these nights because the threat was so out of control that now they were having to common people throw themselves into the maw to desperately try and contain it, not to mention unite them in a sense of community.  All the people who could hold a weapon would hunt.

The more I excavate Bloodborne‘s setting, the more I can see it as a dark reflection of life in 2020. The real populace on Earth and in the fictional populace in Yarnham bide their time indoors, nerves fraying under the strain. Public health preparations in both worlds seem woefully inadequate. Churches in both worlds that once offered succor can instead spread disease.

Um…no.  Just, no.  The church wasn’t complicit in the accidental spreading of a disease.  All of Yharnum society was.  They kept using the old blood to cure all ailments and heal all wounds.  The healing blood description said that the city made more of that than they did of alcohol, as the former was more intoxicating.  This wasn’t the church not being prepared for an illness, this was an entire population becoming hooked on the most amazing drug in history and abusing it to an absurd degree, then suffering the consequences.  Did you read ANY of the descriptions in the game?!  This was so obviously spelled out.  What’s more, the Healing Church knew that this was a risk.  In the description for one of the chalice dungeons, it talks about how those who explored the Pthumarian ruins had pieced together that the people there had turned into beasts due to overuse of the healing blood, then extrapolated the Yharnum was next.  But at this point it didn’t matter, because this substance was everywhere.

Bloodborne’s story may be about humanity transformed into the abominable, but my experience playing it is often about the kindness of these strangers. And if we can pull together to beat virtual nightmares — then maybe, just maybe — we can pull together to beat the one in the real world too.

The story of Bloodborne is a tragedy of the human race using substances that we could never understand to such an excess, without seeing the writing on the wall of what happened to those who came before.  It’s a story of the hubris of a man who was warned by his wise professor not to dabble in the blood of the Great Ones, but who did it anyway because he was sure that he could overcome it.  And the entire population of Yharnum pays the price for it.  By the end of the game, when you kill Rom on the lake and the blood moon appears, the entire population of the city is either dead or turned into monsters.  You are all that’s left.  And if you take the first ending, where you let yourself die to wake up from the dream, you see the city now deserted and gone . You killed Mergo and finished the mission that the Great Ones put you on.

There is an analogue to be made about the world we live in and the one of Yharnum.  We too are addicted.  Whether it be to technology, greed, or fear of change, we all have a vice that we use to excess.  And I do believe, just like the people of that city, it will destroy us.  Coronavirus isn’t going to wipe out humanity, but we’ve had a taste of what’s to come.  There will be another.  Probably long enough out from now so that people get complacent again.  Unlearn the lessons about preparation and working for the common good that we are learning now.  And who knows, maybe if it gets bad enough, there will be some analogy to Old Yharnum, that the Healing Church had put to the torch when the beast scourge had completely overrun it.

Until next time, a quote,

“Our eyes are yet to open.  Fear the old blood.” – Provost Willem, Bloodborne

Peace out,

Maverick

Gamestop’s Recent Behavior is Disgusting #BoycottGamestop

With the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more businesses are being forced to close their doors because of fear of infection and because of local government ordinance.  More and more people are very frightened of being in public.  Social distancing has become the new rule of thumb, and some cities are in actual lockdown because of that.  Seeing the empty freeways in Los Angeles and the vacant streets in NYC is kind of haunting.  A sign of the inevitable, eh?  When the planet has finally had enough of us and decides to shake us off like a bad case of fleas.  In some places, the only businesses open at all are grocery stories.  I for one believe that the people who work there should be seen as vital service providers, rather than disposable employees.  They are part of how we are surviving right now as a country.

However, some businesses have decided that rather than do what they can for the safety of those in their cities, they are going to capitalize on this current state of affairs to the maximum extent possible.  And wouldn’t you know it, but Gamestop makes an appearance.  I’m not at all surprised.  A company who has been notorious among gamers for their absolutely predatory practices and treating their employees like the lowest shit in all of existence.  What this disgusting game company has done is beyond unethical.  It’s fucking criminal, and those who run it should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Multiple stories have come out about how Gamestop has cooked up a brilliant little scheme to get around regulations telling businesses that are not essential to close in some places that are hard hit by this global pandemic.  How do they do this?  Why, by rebranding themselves!  Indeed, they have concocted an actual document that looks official enough (but 100% isn’t actually something approved by any government office) saying that their business provides a vital service to the community and cannot be closed down.  Oh, it gets better.  One absolute boss of a dude managed to sneak into a conference call some managers had with corporate.  When one manager who is actually a decent person asked what to tell their employees who are wondering about sick leave, they said it’s complicated and they’ll get back with them.  When asked if they should be limiting those who come into the store for fear of infection, they were told no.  When asked if this unethical, they were told absolutely not.  Amazing, just amazing.

But it gets better!  While the average rank and file kid who works at Gamestop has to be there if they want to keep their job, guess where the corporate types and management are?!  At home!  That’s right, these fuckers don’t even practice what they preach.  They’re at home, working from home.  So the people who work your stores should put themselves at risk, all for your precious profits, while you sit at home and stay safe?!  What the fuck is wrong with these people?!

We’ve been seeing in recent months what a LOT of companies think of the people who work there when the government has been moving to pass legislation that would guarantee sick leave for people during this time, and finding ways to make this unhappiness with this known.  I guarantee, once the Department of Labor actually rolls this out, they will be firing a TON of people.  One thing I read said that if a company had more than 20 people employed at an office, they had to give them sick leave.  Just watch as your local McDonald’s or other place like that has management just go down the line firing a ton of people so they can skirt this legislation.  Hell, if they have to fire everyone just to not do it, I can guarantee that they will.  Because why should their employees have any financial security?  Make the burgers, you worthless monkeys!

After seeing the lengths Gamestop will go to in order to keep the money flowing in, I have to say, I’m done.  Fuck them.  This is disgusting and a company who does this does NOT deserve my patronage.  And for those who think they don’t care, this company is already in the bleeding red.  Every person who doesn’t shop there is even more money they’re losing.  Let me be clear – I don’t blame the poor kid who has to keep their job for this, and anyone who takes anything out on them should be ashamed.  Their options are strangled.  After all, the company would CLEARLY fire them before actually trying to help.  So what are they supposed to do?  Gotta earn a living.  This is on the shoulders of the people who run this company and blatantly don’t care about spreading this infection or if their employees get sick.

I am never going to Gamestop again.  This company has done too many disgusting thing for me to continue supporting them.  Hope it was worth it, you amoral pieces of shit.

Until next time, a quote,

“That’s devious, even for a bunch of pirates.” – Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Peace out,

Maverick

The DNC Admits They Want Trump

In a shockingly brazen turn, 93 Superdelegates tell The New York Times that if the primary comes to a contested Convention, they will stab Bernie in the back, even if he wins a plurality.  If Bernie doesn’t go to convention with an absolute majority, then the party is going to screw him over.  It just blows my mind to hear this.  Because from where I’m sitting, it confirms one of two things.  Either the party thinks that the Bernie supporters like myself who REFUSE to vote for an establishment candidate are all lying, or they would genuinely prefer Trump to Bernie.

There’s no other options.  I’ve long held that the establishment would rather see Trump win a second term than Bernie get a first, but it’s nice to see them actually come out and say it, you know?  But part of me wonders – are these people delusional enough to think it’s the first option?  Do they really believe that the Trump Derangement Syndrome has pushed enough people to the point that they will vote for anyone, regardless of what party they are associated with?  They can’t be that stupid.  It’s impossible.  It has to be them not caring about Trump winning a second term.

If this gets to Convention and the party screws Bernie out of a victory he earns, then I can absolutely guarantee you that Trump will win a second term.  Because here’s the thing – my generation is getting really fucking tired of the system as it stands.  The Democratic Party has so many systems in place to fuck over the people from electing a candidate they support.  So why keep endorsing such a system?  Why vote for it?  Because the alternative is worse?  Yeah, no.  I don’t feel that.  From where I’m sitting, people have been just accepting what this corrupt party does for so long that it’s high time we make them actually work for our vote.

Part of me wonders if the old dinosaurs who rule this party just don’t understand.  For so long, it’s been that the DNC could pick and whoever they picked was just who it is.  People would support the party because that’s how it’s always been.  Now a new generation is coming in who isn’t playing this corrupt game.  With birth rates declining, the old guard is seeing their support from a new generation abandon them, demanding that a candidate actually work for our vote instead of just being given it because there is a D next to their name.  Here’s my question – what do they do when my generation keeps refusing to play ball?  See, I genuinely believe that there is no amount of bad that this country can get before I will support a candidate who is a corporate tool.  This country can be literally on fire and dying and I will still hold out for a candidate I can believe in.

Does the DNC get scared of the idea that people aren’t going to vote for them in the future?  Low voter turnout hurts one party and one party alone – the Democrats.  So do you think that they are afraid that eventually all the good will they build up with people will be gone and their events become graveyards as all the corporate suits are not attracting anybody?  I mean, the fact that she couldn’t fill a high school gymnasium didn’t seem to bother Shillary.  But then, she had literally bought and paid for the party back in 2016.  I know there will never be anyone associated with that corrupt organization who will ever respond to this.

How about the old guard politicians?  Are they afraid?  After all, Republicans are gonna figure out pretty quickly that the lack of support for Democrats among the youth can easily be used against them.  Just paint whoever their opposition is as a corporate drone and they can put all kinds of people into districts who were once assured for blue votes.  Does it scare any of the empty suit Democrats who are just there to please their corporate masters?  The idea that one day they could be booted out simply because nobody showed up to the polls?  Oh who am I kidding – it won’t bother them at all.  They’ll be out of a job, and then go to work for some oil company or whoever will pay them an obscene amount of money to do what they were already doing anyway – shilling for major corporations and moneyed interests.  I put good money down that a lot of old-dog Democrats will just change parties at that point and run as Republicans.  What do they have to lose?  The only real difference between the parties is the letter by their name.  Conservatives are a bunch of idiots after all.  Put an R next to your name and you get loyalty by default.

The moral of all this is – if the DNC screws Bernie out of a nomination that I am absolutely positive he will get, then what will happen will be an absolute upset of low voter turnout, unlike ever before.  The party isn’t delusional enough to think that people will come to the polls just because of Trump Derangement Syndrome.  Not if they screw Bernie.  So it’s just them doing a risk assessment for their corporate masters and coming to the conclusion – better Trump than Bernie.  After all, Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp” were completely empty.  Turns out, he’s all corporate tool.  If there really are Democratic politicians who will wring their hands about this wondering why they don’t get people’s support by default, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Until next time, a quote,

“Presidents and Generals and all the important people in position to make the most important positions are, by and large, the least equipped for making them.” – Michael Crichton

Peace out,

Maverick

Games Journalism Doesn’t Understand Humor (A response to PC Gamer)

Haven’t done one of these posts in a while.  There just hasn’t been anything that has caught my attention lately.  At least not enough to respond to.  The whole thing with all of the Democratic Party rallying to try and stop Bernie, because the idea of a populist candidate literally makes them shit their pants is worth my time, but there are a thousand voices talking about that, and at the end of the day, it will all amount to the same thing.  Short of people rising up and killing the rich, nothing will ever change for the better in this country.  Anyone who believes otherwise has themselves some nice delusions.  Wish I could get in on that action.  However, I saw a post from a publication that is pretty shit which wanted to decry satire about evil corporations in video games.  It was stupid enough to get my attention.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

The Outer Worlds should’ve been up there for me, too. I love the dark humour of Fallout, but something about Obsidian’s latest effort left me cold. I stopped playing way before finishing it, despite it being relatively short for an RPG. That was the case due to various factors, but it wasn’t just down to my backlog forcing me into my nightly 9 pm paralysis, which invariably leads to Skyrim.

Why do all these articles start like this?  They have to praise some nonsequitor aspect of a game they are about to shit on.  I just wish these people would come right out and say that they think a game sucks.

No, it was its attempts at humour that hindered my curiosity to explore the rich and colourful Halcyon system. I’m not referring to the hilariously ‘dumb’ character builds you can create, but the parody of evil corporations that characterises this troubled part of the galaxy.

Early on you encounter Spacer’s Choice: the faction that runs the towering Saltuna Cannery in the first major settlement, Edgewater. Here, graves are leased to the deceased and the company are paid compensation by those closest to them in the event of a suicide. Sick leave requests take weeks to process.

So, a mainstream games journalism publication (that was absolutely overladen with ads) is about to talk to me about how making fun of evil corporations is wrong.  Okay.  Let’s see where this goes before I tear their stupid arguments to pieces.

I quickly found the ‘aren’t big companies bad, haha’ brand of jokes tiresome. Meanwhile, Journey to the Savage Planet’s jests rubbed me up the wrong way, in precisely the same way. Like the factory workers of Edgewater, the explorers scouring the galaxy for humanity’s next habitable planet on behalf of Kindred Aerospace are also treated as expendable property. After a laundry list of potential risks its staff could contract, ranging from nausea, feelings of emptiness, and death, travellers are urged in the event of an emergency to “contact your Kindred representative as soon as possible” with the caveat: “current rescue times exceed six months.”

I’m fairly certain that, had I played both games a few years ago, I’d have laughed along as intended. Perhaps I’m just older now. But, at the same time, the world has changed. The richest 1 percent on Earth own more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people. Amazon factory workers, without time for breaks, resort to relieving themselves in plastic bottles. People need their Alexas the day after they order them, after all.

So, it’s wrong to make fun of a corporation that is evil because that exists in the real world?  Does the author of this article just not get how humor works?  The humor in something comes from the fact that it ties in to something in the real world.  Like when I say that airline food sucks (which it does), that could be funny to someone because of the fact that airline food is notoriously terrible.  Or if I make a joke about how feminists and current mainstream anti-SJWs arguing is like listening to snowflakes screaming at one-another, it’s funny because this is true to the world we live in.  Another one – how many Russians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  None, because they’re all too busy helping Bernie Sanders get elected.  That has especially large prevalence currently due to the mainstream media picking up a banner that should have never been rallied with in the first place and running with it.

The humor in The Outer Worlds is pitch black.  No cream or sugar.  It’s making light of horrible corporations and people laugh because laughing about the ugly parts of life is how we cope with those realities since, failing the outright murder of the rich by the poor, they aren’t going anywhere.

The late-capitalist hellscapes that The Outer Worlds and Journey to the Savage Planet try to ridicule are not hypothetical situations lurking in the future. They exist today. As a result this satire just bounces harmlessly off its targets; it no longer has bite, and therefore, it isn’t funny.

To you.  It isn’t funny to you.  It gets a chuckle out of me.  Just like how, in Borderlands 2 they were trying to sell being a test subject on Pandora as a good thing, only to get interrupted by Handsome Jack laughing about the whole thing being a stupid waste of time.  What is it that you think this kind of comedy is missing?

Corporate satire in videogames is missing something: hope. Satire needn’t be throwaway slapstick like 2019’s not-golf game, and the anti-social goose game. It can be constructive; created with the idea that a better future is possible.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel the world is pulling you, unwittingly and inexorably, in the wrong direction. Most jokes designed to undermine the powers that make that possible merely remind me of that situation. At best, I just roll my eyes whenever videogames cheerfully present their working characters as company property or make light of inequality and injustice. Mostly, I just feel sad.

So, your entire argument boils down to – this made me feel sad!  So it’s bad!  I want my humor to have hope!  I can’t think of ANY of the biggest satire films that are just hopeful.  That don’t have something of a dark edge.  I think of the criminally-underrated film Top Secret, making fun of spy movies, and there was some dark-ass humor, like when the cow anally violates the bad guy.  Or a man getting crushed in a car compactor and you see him running around on tiny legs inside of the crushed car.  Then there was Spaceballs, which was essentially making light of the fact that Star Wars was almost entirely about the merchandising and was a corporate tool to make obscene amounts of money.  That was funny.

The asshole doesn’t even provide a counter-argument to what kind of comedy he likes.  It’s just – this comedy sucks!  That’s the entire gist of this article.  The ability to critically analyze things in games has come down to – this made me sad!  Wow.  Really gripping stuff.

Until next time, a quote,

“I am not a Merry Man!” – Lt. Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Peace out,

Maverick

‘Keep America Great Again’?

At the State of the Union, Trump unveiled the new campaign slogan that he is running for 2020, and it makes me laugh.  After all the years that I’ve seen Make America Great Again hats and thought to myself – how do these people define America being great?  Our education system is the worst in the developed world.  As is our healthcare system.  As is our transit system.  So far as I know, our Internet isn’t the worst in the developed world, but we’re not doing great there either.  What metric is to define this greatness that these people hope for?  Not strive for, mind you.  They don’t do a damn thing to try and pursue this greatness, outside of wear a hat and endorse their candidate with the mindless obedience a henchman has for a supervillain.

Well now we know!  We know what the definition of America being great again is – Trump was elected!  That’s it.  That’s all it is.  It’s just him being elected, and now America is great again.  Nothing changed.  At all.  But now, because he was elected, America is great again.  Oh, I’m cracking up.  It’s so stupid.  The brazenness of it is a marvel to me.  The ego on this fat orange fuck is just the best.  You have to love what an absolute narcissist Trump is.  The power of his self-indulgent deification of himself is just amazing.  But can you blame him?  His followers don’t question anything he does.  They love him with the fervent passion that a five year old has for Mommy.  Who wouldn’t get the biggest fucking ego from that?

Some people say that I have a similar passion for Bernie Sanders.  Just not true.  I question plenty of what he has said.  I believe he has weakness in terms of not stepping up to those who attack him when we need to see that he is willing to do that.  We need to see a warrior who, if he gets elected, is going to have a mainstream media, a political establishment in his own party, and the entirety of his opposition fighting against him.  The fact that we haven’t is more than a little frustrating to me, but part of his appeal is that he stays on message and doesn’t get into the trenches.  At least he has called out the Iowa bullshit for what it is.  A rigged system by the DNC.  Oh, I’m sorry, CNN doesn’t like it when we say that it’s “rigged.”  Because apparently that erodes “faith in the system.”  Yeah, fuck the system.

This country’s believe in American Exceptionalism just baffles me.  How can they possibly believe how great this country is?  Everywhere in the 1st World that you look, we’re being left behind.  When people like Bernie talk about adoption a nordic model for healthcare and social programs, everyone screams socialism.  Yet in the same breath, they will talk about how Norway isn’t a socialist country.  Sometimes it makes you wonder where the people who argue this stuff’s actual beliefs begin and where their semantics end.

What trails is America blazing?  If you discount the absolutely abysmal progress on Trump’s mythical Wall, which expands at a pace that most glaciers would think is slow (while they melt from climate change that people like Trump deny is real), what exactly has changed from the Obama presidency to the Trump one?  Corporate power is just as solid.  We’re still throwing money at the banks to keep them financially solvent.  We’re still at war in the Middle East.  We still have the worst healthcare system in the developed world.  We’re not trying to pioneer our way into space.  Oh, I’m sorry, there’s Trump’s mythical Space Force, which thus far isn’t going anywhere outside of a concept and an ugly-ass utility uniform.

I marvel sometimes at the failure of my country and my species.  By now we should have wrangled an asteroid or two, started to mine it.  Started construction on the first space colony.  By now we should have been to Mars with a manned mission.  By now we should have been off our dependency on fossil fuels.  By now we should have made medical debt a thing of the past.  By now a lot of things should have happened.  But we haven’t.  Instead, we argue about nonsense to the point that you wonder why any of it matters anymore.  It doesn’t, really.  We put slogans on baseball caps and pretend that that means anything, when all it signifies is mindless obedience to a concept.

Though maybe the mindless obedience shouldn’t surprise me.  The people who have it are almost all religious, from a doctrine of very serious faith.  With the same mindless obedience, they worship a man in the sky who will give them a better life.  It’s something the wealthy and powerful like Trump use to keep those same people complacent and weak, so they can steal more and more away from the same people who give them such unquestioning loyalty.  The faithful have always been an easy source to bilk for all they’re worth.

So I guess it isn’t so funny, and just a sign of how vacant and empty the platitudes and beliefs of those who live in this country really are.  And those who actually want to make things better in a way outside of narcissistic measure are demonized by the entire power structure.  I’m something of a nihilist, in case you all haven’t noticed.  I don’t hope for the future.  But you’d think enough people would exist who care who do.  Maybe that’s just being too idealistic on my part.

Until next time, a quote,

“Someone once said, that religion is viewed by the poor as true, by the wise as false, and by those in power as useful.” – Priest, Franklyn

Peace out,

Maverick

I’m Tired of the Gaming Culture War

It’s exhausting seeing all the online discourse about gaming, sometimes.  It really is.  Like, I remember a time when it used to just be a hobby and people had fun with it.  There would be the games they liked and the games they didn’t like, and we could all have a rousing debate on the topic.  Sure, disagreements were there, but at the end of the day, we didn’t make a huge deal about it.  We had games to play, after all.  But that’s not the world we live in anymore.  Now everyone has huge opinions and has to make a massive stink over all the stupid BS that comes out.  We can’t just like or dislike a game anymore.  Now it has to be a political statement.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with Naughty Dog’s newest game, The Last of Us Part II.  Right from the git-go, this game had the culture warriors on both sides clamoring. The big trailer which had Ellie making out with some chick who looks like she’s of Indian descent.  Oh boy, that had everyone in a tizzy.  Never mind that after it there was some of the slickest gameplay I’ve seen in years.  It was a joy to watch the gameplay stuff.  But nope!  All that matters is two girls kissing.  Everything else is mute.

Then last year, we got another gameplay trailer, and it looks sick!  Violence, stealth, Ellie out for blood, Joel coming back into the mix to assist in her vendetta.  I was already hooked, but this was icing on the cake.  However, it seems that I am part of a very quiet group, because the thing online didn’t seem to change.  On one side, “yay lesbian representation!  Suck on that, alt-right!”  On the other, “Leftist agenda pushing!”  It didn’t help when Naughty Dog recently announced with the rating that there will be nudity in the game, along with sexual content.  As you might imagine, this put things into overdrive.

All over the Internet, I see the same thing – “Leftist agenda!  You won’t let in anime boobs but will let in the scissor sisters?!”  Now, to that point, I’ll at least give this – Sony’s weird censorship policy is mildly annoying.  And if they are going to have it, it should be applied equally.  But as far as I’m concerned, I have no problems with anime boobs or with ultra-realistic characters in a game having romantic relationships.  The gaming marketplace should be an open space where all kinds of games are made for all kinds of people, and people can like what they like and that’s okay.  Remember those days?  I do, and I lament their passing.

Back in 2012 – 2014, when the culture war was at its height, I was in the fray with the rest fighting against the social justice influence.  But that was a long time ago.  Now, I realize that gaming is naturally going to evolve with the times.  We will have characters of all kinds of personalities and sexual preferences because that’s the world we live in.  These characters exist, and if you have a problem with that, in the modern age of endless Indie and mainstream games, you have something for you.  I still do think that demanding that gaming cater to your sensibilities is annoying and stupid, but I also know that Neil Druckmann has his own sensibilities as a game director and will make the kind of game he wants to.  Thus far, I have yet to be disappointed.  I loved the original Last of Us.  I loved Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.  His propensity to make characters with depth and interesting narrative arcs keeps me hooked.

When the culture war was at its height, you had people from all different political ideologies coming together to battle against the forces who wanted to corrupt the thing we loved with blatant political agendas, detracting from the final product.  It was good times, with those who once fought against one-another uniting against a common foe.  But those days were gone LONG ago.  Now, the anti-SJW crowd is almost-exclusive right-wing, with it being nothing but conservatives yelling about the “libs.”  The best minds that I followed during this time have moved on to other things because they realize that this movement isn’t the one they were a part of in its heyday.  Now I’m just wishing that my online feed wasn’t so polluted with the same crap from the same tired voices who are ringing the trumpet when the war is over and everyone who matters has moved on.

We can’t do that, though.  Because the Internet is a cesspool of people just arguing to argue.  Being outraged just to make their voice heard.  From where I’m sitting, it’s tired and has me wishing that I could just escape it all.  If you like a game with a gay chick, fantastic.  I got no beef too.  If you think a game with a gay chick is awful, fine for you as well.  Don’t play it.  There is a vast catalog of great games that I’m sure cater to how you see the world.  Or if there aren’t, you are more than welcome to learn how to make games and make one yourself.  Just don’t make yourself a giant spectacle when it comes to other people liking games and wanting to enjoy what they like.

Is that too much to ask?  Really wondering that here.  I mean, it’s pretty obvious that the SJWs won the culture war.  To argue otherwise is intellectually dishonest.  They own the media, academia, and politicians blatantly pander to them.  But here’s the thing – their rule of this stuff won’t last forever.  Ask anyone who has been around long enough to see how social justice infected atheism.  This community eats itself, and corporate America can only pander so long before people get bored.  We’re seeing it already.  “Woke” films that are box office poison, even among women.  Corporate America will eventually move on, when there’s no money in it anymore.  No more token lesbian kisses in Star Wars films that even the audience saw as a split-second bit of pandering that could easily be edited out for China and the Middle Eastern market.  The public will move on, life will go on.  The Internet will still be a cesspool, but what else is new?

Until next time, a quote,

“Who’s the bigger fool?  The fool or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Hope

Peace out,

Maverick