hot takes: vol. 1

i binged netflix for like two weeks, get READY for some HOT TAKES

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN was: REMARKABLE. delightfully bizarre. driven by a relentlessly creative series of events that play out within elaborate set-pieces. unique in a way that most films could never dream of.

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was: DISAPPOINTING. Anthony Hopkins is a genius surrounded by peasants.

JESSICA JONES was: DECENT. desperately needed comic relief. creative use of an excellent villain. cool way to tackle gender issues, but left me feeling emotionless at the end.

LUKE CAGE was: ACCEPTABLE. felt really similar to Jessica Jones in pacing and tone. refreshing to see an all-black cast without tired racial stereotypes. relationships between characters mostly felt forced. better than most Marvel fare.

SPEED RACER (2008) was: SURPRISING. visually intense, hyper-exaggerated, massively eccentric both to its benefit and fault. charming enough to smooth over some of its failures. it knew what it was about and stuck to its guns. terrible casting for the main character, excellent supporting cast. not for everyone.

GOMORRAH (2008) was: MEDIOCRE. like City of God without compelling characters or relationships. has the trappings of a gangster/mob flick, but lacks the requisite insight into power structures or delightful confusion of empathizing with bad people.

WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT was: UNCOMPELLING. it reminded me of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, where the novelty of the technique being employed merits credit, but is still mostly a distraction. couldn’t get myself to care about the main character or his arc.

PARKS AND RECREATION was: DELIGHTFUL. i originally had it boxed in as a different flavor of the Office, but it is far superior. every character is worth loving for different reasons, and each has a unique kind of relationship to other characters in the show. they significantly evolve without losing their core identity. the writing is consistently good. it ends on an incredibly high note – one of the finest conclusions to a series I’ve seen.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 was: EHHH. lacked most of the oomph of the first.

LOGAN was: ADEQUATE. the first half of the movie was genuinely great. the banter between Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart is gold. the second half is worthless.

hot takes for your SATURDAY AFTERNOON

AMERICAN VANDAL was: GOOD. much better than you would imagine a mockumentary about drawing dicks to be. it’s fun to watch them squeeze eight full episodes out of it without going flat. the way it incorporates instagram / facebook / snapchat everywhere in its storytelling makes it a genuine product of its time. it’ll be fun to revisit this in a decade or two.

THE SOPRANOS was: STILL GOOD. my first end-to-end rewatch since it ended ten years ago. first few seasons are definitely stronger; as it gets into the 5th season, you can tell it’s wearing thin on a lot of interactions. but it’s still just fucking great television. deep, evolving characters and relationships, that delicious dissonance of empathizing with terrible people, even rooting for them. a slice of the 90’s with its high-waisted pants and a glance at the before-and-after of 9/11. i won’t defend the ending, but i still think it’s fine.

BABY DRIVER was: ECSTASY. my god i loved this. not a perfect movie at all – shoulda been much shorter and it’s more of an action flick than it needs to be. but it’s goddamn clever, stuffed to the gills with pop culture savvy and a love for music.

also wow the latest season of GOT was utter balls. it’s sad to watch the series sink like that, but ultimately i’m not that upset. they got 4 or 5 good seasons out there. it had its time, and it was a good while it lasted.

oh hey what’s that oh oh it’s more HOT TAKES

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS was: CREATIVE. i won’t tell you this movie is good, but it’s a visual feast and i will always enjoy a movie that shows me something weird and flavorful. it’s kind of in the neighborhood of Speed Racer or Pacific Rim.

CREED (2015) was: COMPETENT. it’s just a well-made movie. the characters have depth, the relationships evolve, and it feels like a fresh, modern update to an old story.

STRANGER THINGS S2 was: TIRED. the main villain is just a horde of feral dogs. the 80’s references felt more ham-fisted. that said, i really enjoyed the interactions between Dustin and Steve.

MEN IN BLACK (1997) was: CLASSIC. i hadn’t watched this in at least 15 years, and it has aged delightfully well. it’s gross and silly but, again, creative and fun. it’s also got a lot of cute New York humor that totally flew over my head as a kid.

MORTAL KOMBAT (1995) was: STILL FUN TO MOCK. it’s the right kind of bad movie for the non-stop peanut gallery.

CLOUD ATLAS was: INSTANTLY FORGETTABLE. a mess of cheesy dialogue and heavy-handed motifs strung together with a plot that offers no real engagement or thrill. i watched it like a month ago and honestly can’t remember the main arc.

WONDER WOMAN was: LIFELESS. i’m definitely burning out on superhero movies, that’s for sure. but i heard boatloads of praise for this as a feminist masterpiece and i don’t see it at all. she gets dragged around london getting dolled up as the beautiful-but-naive foreigner while all the men around tell her what she needs to do. as far as female empowerment in action movies go, this doesn’t come close to Mad Max.

cooking reality

A brief interruption from your regularly scheduled political programming to discuss The Great British Baking Show.

I want to make the argument that this show is genuinely great. Not just a feel-good cooking show oozing with quaint British charm, not just a rousing volley in the post-ironic/new-sincerity wholesome media wave, but something that is worth watching for its own merits.

Before I go further, let me drop these opinions to provide some context:

1. reality tv is a cancer developed from our collective apathy and narcissism, a toxic genre that preys upon humanity’s basest instincts for voyeurism.

2. the skyrocketing popularity of cooking shows is something that future historians will write about as evidence that we, as a society, have lost touch with ourselves and each other as human beings. it is an absurd reality where we have somehow come to prefer watching people prepare and consume gourmet food rather than enriching our own lives, particularly as a billion people go hungry and obesity is the greatest threat to our longevity.

The Great British Baking Show is both a cooking show and reality tv. I believe it dodges all the failures of its peers and predecessors with a combination of sharp but minimalist editing, great casting for participants, and by letting humans be humans wherever possible. What results is a heartwarming and enriching composition that is genuinely educational at times.

Paul and Mary are model judges. Their criticisms are always fair, succinct but dense with expertise about the craft, rarely personal or overly familiar, but still sensitive and human. They never shame or twist the knife. They genuinely want everyone to do their very best. This is exactly what constructive criticism ought to look like.

There is never any mention of rewards or prizes. If there’s money on the line, it’s never spoken of. There’s no gimmicks or mechanics to the competition. The only thing that matters is making the judges happy, and this works because the participants have such obvious respect and admiration for Paul and Mary.

The participants love the craft for its own sake, and this means there is zero need to generate drama or force conflict. You get to watch creative, talented people work hard. Sometimes they fail, sometimes they succeed. You get to know them through their work, not as some trope pulled from a hat by the producers.

I recommend this show without qualification. It restored my faith in humanity a little bit, and that is something I find myself needing quite a bit recently.

golden age

Westworld might be one of my favorite shows ever. It is a fully-fleshed out idea executed by an ultra-competent team with a clear vision. There are so many nuances to its universe. It raises all sorts of juicy questions about consciousness, power, and storytelling – without being glib or self-absorbed. Its premise is damn near perfect – plausible to the point of being vaguely familiar to concepts we already know in the real world, foreign enough to merit curiosity, but not so much that it competes with its characters and arcs. I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

There’ve been so many creations in the last few years that have raised the bar for what we can hope to find in our media. I feel like we might be in the middle of a renaissance of film and television.

Mad Max is probably my favorite action movie ever. It Follows is easily the best horror movie in several years, and Stranger Things clearly builds on the elements that made classics like The Thing and Alien so good. Black Mirror is so damn prescient and thought-provoking, and never more timely and relevant. Rick & Morty is as funny as it is creative. Game of Thrones is possibly the first genuinely respectable fantasy series.

There’s fabulous shows for kids, too. My generation occasionally likes to get nostalgic about the cartoons we grew up with, but nothing I grew up on holds a candle to Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors, or The Last Airbender. These are actually great shows that don’t treat their younger audiences like unthinking krill.

This, for me, is a bright light in the recent darkness. I’ll take whatever I can get.


As a teenager, 24 was one of the first television shows to really draw me in. I’ve been revisiting it, and it’s spurred a lot of thoughts about how television has evolved and why the show held such wide appeal during its run.  It was an intense and tightly edited series. It told multiple stories in parallel, the drama was generally compelling, and the main character was an uncompromising badass. Kiefer Sutherland really knows how to look good running around with a drawn pistol. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser, the show seems almost crass in the simplicity of its dialogue, character construction, plotline, and the absurd quantity of cultural and gender stereotyping that fuels the conflicts and interactions across the show.  But it’s an interesting case study in how network television channels managed to escape the mire of episodic sitcoms that dominated the 90’s.

This is what Jack Bauer looks like at most points during the show.
Jack Bauer is not exactly a complex character.

In 24, characters frequently behave in ways that are clearly motivated by the writers’ need to create drama and increase tension, lest the show drift into that most dangerous territory of the mundane. The writers are frequently shameless in how they generate character interactions, making heavy use of techno-babble simply to provide an excuse for characters to walk from one desk to another. What these characters actually do at their jobs is hilariously difficult to define. With all their talk of protocols, encryptions, and sockets, you might imagine that they’re in IT, but at no other point do these characters profess any expertise in the realm of technology or computers.

Continue reading edify



3. (in cosmology) a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature (heat death).
4. a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration.

There’s a few ironies I keep pondering, as I watch my once-beloved series 24.

Watching the series degrade is a sad business. While it has a moment or two from minute to minute, it’s hard to sort through the piles of ignorance its creators insist on shoveling out. Determined to cater to a less informed audience (which is, of course, the largest portion of the market), Jack Bauer has gone from a subtle badass backed by a more or less solid actor, to a new Chuck Norris, backed by similarly Norris-esque acting.

24 has gone (or is going, depending on how much they’re determined to milk from it) through a state of entropy, one that fits both of the supplied definitions (there are more). It attains homogeneity – it appeals to the masses, it now blends into pop-culture, and in doing so, falls from its once glorious and mighty state.


Fine Science

As I sat reviewing for the upcoming Computer Science exam (so far 10 questions have contained iterative loops in which you just have to add things up, it’s silly), I realized that I should go find out random facts about the Power Rangers to quip during the day tomorrow. Jumping to Wikipedia, I expected a half-written article with some helpful references. NO.


Look at it. That’s the parent article. I challenge you to look at the articles for each season. All of them are complete articles, detailed and organized. Even worse, there’s information about the upcoming PowerMorphiCon (for those that don’t know, Cons are conventions for specific things). Never have I been so fatally put off by what people do in their spare time. Society has reached a new low. Rape of Nanjing? Tianenmen Square? (the choosing of two Chinese incidents is pretty much the result of a loss for good catastrophes) They haven’t got a THING on this, my friends.

Even still, I found it interesting that half of the show was adapted from the Japanese show Super Sentai(literally, super group or super task force, specifically used for air squadrons in WWII). It explained why it seemed so weird. Most hilariously, though, was the formula that Wikipedia gives for each episode. Never have I seen such a thing given for a TV show, making it that much funnier. For those too lazy to go check, I shall leave it here for you to awe upon.

  1. Rangers are seen in everyday life with a dispute to resolve.
  2. Rangers are attacked by an evil foe’s minions/footsoldiers.
  3. Rangers fight minions/footsoldiers.
  4. Rangers morph.
  5. Rangers defeat minions/footsoldiers.
  6. Optional: Evil enemy revives minion and makes minion grow to gigantic proportions, followed by Rangers summoning giant machines known as Zords and/or their combined form, the Megazord.
  7. Optional: Rangers find that their current powers are insufficient to defeat monster and discover a new power, such as a Battlizer armor for the Red Ranger, a sixth Ranger, or a new Megazord.
  8. Optional: Rangers fight and defeat said giant minion.
  9. Rangers are shown back in everyday life, having learned a life lesson which solves the earlier dispute.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SANE AND HOLY, who would watch enough episodes to know this? No self-respecting human being should know this beyond the age of ten. Not a single one.

To Cough, or to Sneeze.

That is the question.

I have spent the last three days in utter misery, with some kind of viral agent coursing through my veins. I cough so much that I can now no longer play Ninja Gaiden Black, because it excites me too much; I start coughing too much and subsequently can’t concentrate. The only time I’m not coughing is when I’m eating, and that’s right now. To think I’m missing Ski Club and Robotics for this.

I fear my return to school, with the piles of work I’ll surely have to do. More importantly is the ferocious and possibly hurtful words I will receive from teachers, concerning being absent for three days. You can take this to mean I will not be there tomorrow.

A few various things you should all know, via a bulleted list:

  • Robotics seasons started Monday, meaning I have to be there from 5-9 every weekday, and 9-5 on Saturdays. I will probably not go home in between the time school ends and Robotics begins. Wohoo for 13 hours in that blasted school.
  • I traded in Spartan for Mario Kart: Double Dash and Ninja Gaiden Black. The former is not as good as either of its predecessors, with the multiplayer being especially disappointing. The latter is absolutely amazing, and much more than I had hoped for. That’s all I’ll say about these for now.
  • I discovered these “Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Candies” that are basically Reese’s in M&M form. Highly delicious, although I haven’t really been able to enjoy them due to my non-stop sneezing and coughing.
  • I finished Season 4 of the Sopranos. I have also realized that absolutely none of you have even watched this show, ever, so I’ve decided to stop mentioning this fact.
  • Apparantly sleep inertia induces a state that is worse than being drunk. Sleep inertia, for those who don’t know, is the feeling you have in the morning, that most people rid themselves of with coffee or hot showers.

If this thing doesn’t get any better tomorrow, I’m seeing the doctor on Saturday. Ugh.

All YOUR FACE are Belong to Us (O.o)

Close runner-ups for the title of this post: “Armed with Honor” “Gravity is a Harsh Mistress” “Divorce Court” “All YOUR MOM are Belong to Us”

I’ve begun the process of upgrading all the components in my computer. Starting with this case. The specs will be along these lines, minimum:

  • ~425W PSU – $50 or $60
  • 6600 GT (subject to change) – $180 or $120
  • AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (newcastle, subject to change) – $180 or $240
  • 64-bit, dual channel, hyper-transport, raid 0/1/0+1, etc. mobo (subject to change) – $150 – $225
  • ~768MB PC3700 (subject to change)- $200 or $300
  • black DVD/CD-ROM, and CD/RW, and floppy – $75
  • RAPTOR! – $160

adds to approximately 1095 dollars – about 750 of that is subject to change, because of new technology that may be coming out – it’s why I’m buying the case, then PSU, then ROMs first. After that, comes the mobo/proc, then the RAM, the GPU, and finally the new hardrives. We ordered the case tonight, so it should arrive Friday. I’ll order the PSU as soon as I have the money (basically whenever I mow again). The mobo/proc have to come together, so it will take basically all summer to get that collected (unless I get hired by Mr. Shapiro, or find another available job). I’m excited, anyways.

I stayed home to do lots of things today – find this case and PSU and ROMs, prepare the lesson I taught at Bible Study (which went okay, I thought – definitely could have been better, but nobody responds to anything I say, making it harder to adjust), do English work, Math, and study for my Chemistry and Math finals. I also watched Best in Show last night, which was quite hilarious. I still have Time Bandits, the Star Wars commentaries (I’m curious to see what George has to say..), and Bandits on the current pile of things to watch. The pile’s a lot smaller than it used to be, that’s for sure. I don’t think I mentioned this before – I watched the Tick (a single season comedy that was canceled by FOX a while back), which was also very, very funny. It was only 9 episodes, since it got cut, and it was really low budget, but it was really funny. In the stupid kind of way, that some may not be able to appreciate. And now…a shower.

At the End of All Things (-.-)

The title refers to the final chapter of Lord of the Rings. Today’s been a rather active, mentally and emotionally. After the Math A (piece of cake) I went home, and watched the last 3 episodes of Fullmetal. I watched 23 episodes last night (that is, Monday, as this is 1:16 AM on Wednesday morning) in a row. Having finished it, I am wholly reminded of endings, particularly, the end of good things. Books, movies, shows, I hate getting to the end. If the media did the job correctly, I am left with a gaping hole where it once stood, and I grasp for something as a replacement. This is especially painful with this series, as the character of Edward Elric was…incredible. No, I won’t spoil anything for those who valiantly choose to watch it on TV, and by valiant, I refer to the utter frustration you will want to wreak on your television set when each episode ends, and another does not begin. And yet still, I feel the desire to wreak havoc upon my surroundings in the futile hope of recieving another episode.

Besides finishing Fullmetal, I jumped into the job of helping create the Troop 2 Scouts website. Benjamin’s doing the PHP, Daniel’s doing the CSS, I’m doing the content, and the three of us together decide what’s happening graphically. It’s a fun project – I’ve learned a lot about the Unix file system, SSH, and vi.

The true point of this was to express my utter…helplessness to the feeling I have after finishing Fullmetal. I just, argh, when something that good ends, I just wanna scream, and there’s nothing to replace that empty feeling I have. It’s no surpise, really, as I filled my last week’s nights with watching the episodes (heck, it only took me 5 days to watch 51 episodes, so less than that). I should stop ranting at this point, I suppose.

Monday was the first time I’ve been back to Boy Scouts for a good many months, they were rather happy to see me, and my timing seems rather good, considering the rather…inparticipative older scouts (coughBRANDONcoughPETERcough). I’m sort of obligated to go on the next two camp outs, I guess. I wish I hadn’t said yes for the most recent one, as the timing is inconvenient, but backing out would be rather, shall we say, detrimental to the amount of trust placed in my motivation to show up.

I think I may go re-watch a few episodes now, I’m not sure, but we’ll see.

So THIS is What Sewage is Made of! (O.o)

And no, sewage does not contain money or candy, it’s just as bad as the movies say. Our house has a bi-annual thing is does where some mythical object gets stuck in a pipe, and so the sewage backs up into this gigantic metal sink we have in the basement. Half the time we can plunge it out ourselves (boy is that fun!), the other half we are forced to call Roto-Rooter. This is the disadvantage of living in the basement by yourself. My room doesn’t smell, but whenever I walk out the door, it’s like getting trout slapped, several times over. If you don’t know what being trout slapped is, Google it, or have someone take a trout, and proceed to slap you.

I “overslept” for church today, again, but I believe it isn’t me that’s oversleeping. I have no problems waking up for school with no sleep, I should not face troubles with church. My mom also seems to stay home whenever I “oversleep”. To spell it out for you, I think my mom is just covering for herself.

Apparantly my dad’s coming home with KFC, and Jesse and Benjamin. I am determined to show them, and make them love Fullmetal. By the end of today they will have seen good anime. And they will be better for it. On that topic, my next 29 episodes are 54% done. I left it on overnight, so it should be done tomorrow if I do it again tonight.

The Chaotic Theorum (O.o)

I’ve experienced a rather excellent week, and next week promises to be equally excellent, as it is Regents, meaning two days lacking anything related to school, and two short and relatively painless tests.

After a full 2 weeks (approximately 150 hours of downloading) I got the first 31 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist downloaded (I uploaded over 50 gb worth of data), and I’ve watched them all (it only took me 3 days), and the next 29 episodes only have 43 hours more left to go (keep in mind, each episode is 175 megs, it makes for 9 gigs total for the series). I introduced it to Daniel last night when he was over (he strolled in as I was watching it) and he ended up watching 12 episodes (remember that these things are 25 minutes each). I have deduced this to be the best anime, and even show ever created. The unique and creative genius of the plot, characters, and the world is astounding. The animation style and quality is akin to Trigun (which I should also download). Sick of the parenthesis yet?

I’ve also gotten around to playing Rome: Total War, and it is, to my delight, the best strategy game ever created. Ben and I keep talking about playing online, but we never get around to it, but it isn’t as if I don’t have things to keep me occupied. I still have yet to beat Neverwinter Nights, and all those SNES games.

In the mean time, I’ve also been tracking Splinter Cell 3 and Elder Scrolls IV (three new screens came out today, in fact). I had been on the look out for Jade Empire and KotOR II, but after having played KotOR and NwN, I’m not sure if the same formula of game would still be all that fun, as I tend to get over-manipulative of the system. I’ll stop talking about games now.

I was thinking to myself earlier about Macs in general – and why they’ve become comparable to PCs in the recent year. I did myself a Google, and discovered a number of things, from reading the most intelligently disguised Mac-PC flamewar, on a Linux forum.


I have long argued over the inferiority of Macs compared to PCs, but recently much of my argument has blown up in my face, due to the de-retardation of Macs. It still hasn’t answered as to why I find them so awful (I use G4’s at school on a daily basis, just so my experience is not in doubt EDIT: apparantly my experience is in doubt. i’ve also used powerbooks on multiple occasions, and OS9’s fairly regularly, but i admit that i have not used a G5). A number of posters on the previously stated site brought up extremely valid points as to why the experience varies.

  • Macs are preferred for the software capabilities. PCs are preferred for the hardware capabilities.

An owner of a server put it quite well. His needs do not revolve around multimedia. His three PCs don’t even have sound cards, and use very low end video cards. In place of those, he needs massive storage. PCs allow you to do that infinitely, they don’t have a cap on how much of what you need. Macs cannot be built from scratch (technically it IS possible, but the amount of work and experience involved surpasses that required for a PC by far), you have to buy a pre-made from Apple. You CAN upgrade it, but that does not allow you to specialize in certain areas, but not sacrifice economics. Macs simply have superior software. Some of their formats have better, faster, higher quality compressions and decompressions (for video or pictures). That’s always been true.

  • Macs are inevitably more expensive for those who have special wants or needs.

Because you cannot just sacrifice in one area to add to another, you have to go for the more expensive package. PCs end up being cheaper for those with special needs. PCs may or may not be expensive when it comes to a rounded-out machine. Generally, if you build a PC from scratch, it’ll be cheaper than an equivelant Mac or pre-built PC. Macs have been known to be more expensive since the beginning – this has been studied dozens of times, results are neutral according to bias, but for the standard machine, Macs will cost more.

  • Benchmarks and power comparisons are inconclusive.

I’ve had several people tell me that the newest Macs would rip apart a Pentium 4 – this is meaningless, as the power of a P4 can range immensely, from < 1.0 to 5.0, and the clock cycles per operation between mac and PC procs vary as well. This also doesn't consider that AMD chipsets are far faster the P4's, (I have the evidence to back me up), and most benchmarks are run on Dells, which certainly do not run high quality hardware. Anyways. Skiing was cold. It was about 5, possible 0 degrees out, with a wind chill of like -5 or -10. Fun, but cold. The bus rides to and fro (the irony has just now struck me) are actually one of my favorite parts, I have to say. I was wearing so many layers – I had 6 on my body, three on legs, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, two goods, a turtleneck, and earwarmers. I still froze. I had no goggles, so every snowblower was like “OH SWEET HEAVEN THE PAIN! AHHHHHHHHH!”, but was otherwise, just cold.

Now with a Smooth Marshmallow Core! (O.o)

This week can’t end soon enough. At this time, aI’m frustrated at the utter lack of time I have. I’ve been taking the bus home just so I can get more time at home (it gives me about an hour more), but that has a side effect of disconnecting me, but of course all my time at home is spent working or vegging as I play Halo 2 or my other newer games, so it’s a ruthless cycle of disconnectivity.

Speaking of Halo 2, I’ve gotten back into it recently, but I’ve found I have a 1/2 chance of either doing insanely well or sucking. I can’t figure it out – there are those games where the battle rifle is my baby – all my kills are headshots and no deaths, and then I have those Banshee moments, where I’m evading the rockets. And then I have those Banshee moments, where I hop in three times in one game only to be rocked by the rockets. And then I have those games where I can’t get the Battle Rifle, and I’m stuck with an SMG. I think I need to work on my strategy. I THINK the problem is my skill is too reliant on my team. If my team mates keep the rocket out of play, the Banshee is my home. I’m not sure though, as that doesn’t quite make sense when it comes to some weaponry (the battle rifle in particular). It’s taken me this long to realize it’s a team game, though. For all practical purposes, it’s a tactical shooter – you either work with the team or against the team. It’s actually that simple, too. If you aren’t sticking together and talking with your team, you end up dying, giving the enemy valuable weaponry, vehicles, and easier shot at the objective, more points, the whole basket and kaboodle. For so long I’ve been frustrated at how I can be better than the guy I’m fighting by a long shot, but still die, and now I understand. Anyways, no more video game talk.

Speaking of which, I wrote a report on video game violence for English. It’s technically the 1st draft, but it’s close enough.

Report – Video Game Violence

[2012 edit: lost forever]

I believe I sufficiently pwned that argument.

Speaking of pwnage, I had this crazy killing spree with the sniper rifle on Ascension. It was 4v4 Team Slayer – I had a fully loaded Sniper Rifle at my disposal, and they just kept on coming up the ramp, and out of the base, they didn’t stop coming. I was kind of toast when one of they shot me with the sniper after all my team had died at point-blank. I had two of those experiences actually, one on Burial Mounds at the base tunnel. I wish they had the headshot sound from UT. It would make it so much more satisfying.

Speaking of satisfying, I discovered my mouse has a battery life of like 5 days, with just one overnight charge. I am quite pleased, to say the least.

Also speaking of satisfying, we finished season 3 of 24. It was, to say the least, not satisfying. The biggest problem was that instead of twisting the plot, they kept extending it. The last 5 or 6 hours were completely unnecessary plot-wise, they just stretched things out for the last few hours, which is why they were far less interesting than the rest of the season. The season started off weakly. The first two discs were poor. The next two were excellent, but then the next two were poor. I have high hopes for season 4 though, especially with such a gigantically new cast (that should be a hint to how many people die). On a positive note, Kiefer Sutherland (the one that plays Jack) is an incredible actor. His skills really shine when you have a lot of bad extras and minor characters running around. I mean…bad. I could act better than some of these people. Oh well.

And the Cow Says, “Moo” (O.o)

My recent days have been filled with a lot of KotOR, Halo 2, and 24. I’m almost done with KotOR, I’m on the last planet, so, anyways. We’re on the 19th episode of 24 now, and as usual, the writers of 24 have outdone themselves. The first two discs just plain sucked – the script was boring, the plot generally lack-luster,and the characters inconsistent. However, toward the end of the third disc, things start picking up (as in, important characters started dying). If you haven’t watched 24, you really really should. It’s probably the most suspenseful show ever created, and the quality of the acting, the plot, etc., surpasses that of your standard movie.

I should probably explain exactly what 24 is. 24 is a show (on Fox) that plays in real time – there are 24 episodes, each spanning one hour of time, and the season consists of one day. Because of the whole “real time” thing, people don’t just miraculously jump back into action and people don’t just appear at the destination. This will obviously require multiple threads and plots running simultaneously – generally about 3 different situations are running at once. 24 is notorious for killing off all the characters that are even slightly expendible. I thought a lot of people died last season (2), but even more have died thus far, and more are going to die in the future. But I’m getting of track – the real-time element is the first essential part of the formula that is 24. Then you have lots of death and gore. Then you add excessive suspense and multiple plot lines. And last, but not least, you have a major threat to America. The first season was about an assasination attempt on the primary presidential candidate (there were about 3 other plot lines, but that’s the main driving plot), the second was about a nuclear threat (again, there were more plots intertwined), this time it’s about a weaponized virus. Overall, it’s very realistic. There are some dramas that would no longer occur with our current technology (like tracing calls – they still use the standard required amount of time to track the source of a call, even though it can now be done instantly, and various indescrepencies with military policy, but otherwise it works quite well). Just go watch it, we have all 3 seasons on DVD if you want to borrow them.

In other news, school has been highly standard. Nothing special, beyond that my grades are fixed. I really enjoyed that snow day on Thursday (I slept until 3:00 that day). Today I overslept, and missed church, which really sucks. The problem is, Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell are on at 12:00 and 3:00. I always miss the first showing, so I have to wait until 3:00. Fortunately my download of FMA is 57% done, and reporting 30 hours left till it’s done, so that shouldn’t be a problem by the time Sunday rolls around again. I’ve grown tired of Ghost in the Shell – it’s a good anime, but the animations can be distracting (they are not of stellar quality), and the plot makes, well, no sense. The most recent episode was 20 minutes of listening to 6 people discuss the main antagonist, in a chat room. It was obvious they did this to try and help the viewer understand what exactly was going on, but none of it really made any sense. They spend too much time using big words and complex phrases and too little time on making the plot logical. I suspect the movies or the manga would be far better, but I currently have no money with which to investigate such ventures.

Oh well.


FINE! FINE! Stop screaming at me to post! Sheeesh! Alright, here’s a not so quick recap of my life during this wonderful break. Heeheehee

I really needed this time of rest. I’ve been getting plenty of sleep, finally, and I think I can hold out till the winter break. Hopefully. I fear the coming of school, but, such is life. I’ve finally been able to hang out with Daniel a bit. He spent the night over here, had fondue with my family [mmmm] and then I spent two more days at his house, while my parents are off to go get our new car from Kentucky. [we bought our new Subaru Outback of E-Bay]. In the midst of all this, my brother, Rachel, and I have finished the entire second series of 24. In case you don’t know what 24 is, it’s a real time show that is 24 episodes, each one hour long. I won’t tell you what happened in the show, but, I will say, that’s the most addicting and awesome show I’ve ever watched. We watched all of the episodes in about 6 days. Great stuff.

The Halo LAN party Daniel’s hosting again will rock. I got Jonathan to come, so he’s been training up and learning about Halo, with, of course, some help from me. I REALLY hope he holds his own, he’s not a gamer, and he’s going to a party with a dozen of us gamers, but, there are plenty of people for eazy prey out there, hopefully. He’s only got till Saturday to learn how to play, but, he seems willing enough. I was surprised he decided to join us, in any case.

A side note: January 12 will rock. I’m not at liberty to say anything, though. WOOT!

Okay, next topic: presents for Christmas! I got 100 bux in Best Buy gift cards, Elder Scrolls 3, the RotK soundtrack, a Jars of Clay CD, a new wallet [my old one went through the wash 3 times this month. heehee], a watch [snort], and some other small things, like candy, and stuff. It was a cool Christmas! The RotK soundtrack, especially, is amazing. I love the music for LotR!

Ah well, these two weeks have been great. Happy New Years, all.