What is this handbasket we’re in, and where is it going?

Rock, Paper, Hydralisk.

Hawk-eyed followers of my blog will surely notice that it hasn’t received an update in well over a year, which is the bad news.  The good news is that I have taken it upon myself to resume dazzling the Internet with my indomitable writing prowess.  However, there are a few…cobwebs to shake out.  You see, while I actually love my job (I’m seriously not being a kiss ass here), it doesn’t present the opportunity to pull out the old pen and write a bunch of nonsensical b.s.  So this blog is all the more vital to me – mostly because it’s more “green” (If I use enough buzzwords, I can generate traffic, leading to repeat readers, leading to ad space and immense amounts of profit!!!) than an archaic paper diary (tea party, Beiber, viral, overclock).

Fortunately, while I’m attempting to get my writing going again, I can spend the intermittent time getting my ass handed to me by professional Starcraft players in Starcraft II!  I spent entirely too much time playing Starcraft online back when I was a high-school freshman with braces, bleached hair, and a crappy haircut.  The thrill of the zergling rush.  The agony of your carrier fleet being destroyed.  The hilarious lurker army shredding apart your squad of marines in a nano-second.  All great, great stuff.  Unfortunately, my growing fondness for Diablo II and the encroachment of the professionals led to less and less Starcraft, but it still holds a place in my heart to this day (benchmarking, wiki, synergy).

Now, 12 years after the fact, it’s back!  I thought I had escaped but it’s pulling me back in!  Only it’s got a roman numeral after it (turbines).

Starcraft II, a game I’ve waited years and years for, is finally out.  And it’s glorious.  Plus it sort of justifies this ridiculous computer I bought last year.  Though I question the ridiculousness of the computer now – bloody planned obsolescence.  Everything old is new again, and while the game has changed in subtle ways, you never quite lose the feel for pumping out probes and pylons to kick start your economy, or building a strategic bunker wedged between supply depots and your command center to counter an early rush.  If you never played Starcraft, then you likely have a glazed look in your eyes and don’t care.  If you did, you still likely don’t care because I haven’t written in a while and this stream-of-consciousness style crap is bad when Kerouac writes it, quadruple so when it comes from me (blast fax kudos all around).

Anyway. if you have a computer that can handle it, get Starcraft II.  All the cool kids are doing it (Scientology, RSS feed, Echinacea).


August 4, 2010 Posted by | Diatribe, Video Games | Leave a comment

Are you the one?

As the November elections looms ever closer on the horizon, we’re beginning to see more and more political adverts from both McCain and Obama. In what is becoming an apparent display of desperation, McCains ads have become increasingly volatile, including the ad elevating Obama to hotel heiress stature, and a more recent one discussed below. I mean, I know he’s had problems with his image as it pertains to his being ancient (I believe he owes Dostoevsky five kopecks), but being childish probably isn’t the younger image he wants to cultivate.

His most recent ad is a slick satire lampooning Obama’s recent world tour, referring to Barak as “the one” and likening him to a Moses figure.

You know, if you’re going to blast someone through metaphor, you could probably pick a better starting point than Moses. There’s a lot of names out there – Mussolini, Pol Pot, Bush, the alien from Alien. But Moses? C’mon, what’s McCain paying his ad department for?

Transitivity in mathematics tells us that if A = B and B = C, then A = C. So, if one ad likens Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, and another ad relates him to Moses, isn’t that, in essence, stating that Paris Hilton is equal to Moses? And I thought McCain wasn’t isolated enough from the fundamentalist movement that makes up a large part of the Republican voting base.

Personally, I think McCain would be better served by playing up his Scottish heritage in conjunction with his ties to a gigantic beer distributor – now that’s a recipe for fun.

August 4, 2008 Posted by | Diatribe, Political Rants | Leave a comment

Dry Conversation in Little China

In China’s most recent bid to pull off a good first impression as thousands of tourists are expected to pour into the country for the upcoming Olympic games, Chinese citizens are being encouraged to take to heart a “don’t ask” list when conversing with the throngs of foreigners. Lists of the eight don’t asks are being thrown up all over Beijing, stamped with the Olympic logo and all.

Conversational topics that are common in China, but are somewhat of a taboo in western cultures, are openly discouraged. According to the list –

“Don’t ask about income or expenses, don’t ask about age, don’t ask about love life or marriage, don’t ask about health, don’t ask about someone’s home or address, don’t ask about personal experience, don’t ask about religious beliefs or political views, don’t ask what someone does,” –Reuters

I guess the only conversation that will be taking place between the two cultures will involve the weather and where the hell a man could get some dog, in which case the foreigner should be dissuaded and turned to a different delicacy for dinner.

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July 24, 2008 Posted by | All the news that's fit to hear, Chinese Olympics, Diatribe | Leave a comment

The dog-less days of summer

In a move to bolster public perception among the soon-to-be tourist swarm that will engulf their country, the Chinese government has put a ban on dog meat for the duration of the Olympic games. What’s more, they are “encouraging” outlets to persuade consumers who do order dog to try a different dish. I knew China was going to be highly intrusive during the games, but this is crazy.

Culturally, there’s nothing wrong with eating dog in China. So why should tourists be sheltered from the practice? Especially if patrons wish to partake in this curious culinary practice. There’s only one explanation – China is insane.

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July 11, 2008 Posted by | Chinese Olympics, Diatribe, Sports | Leave a comment

This is intellectual property, and don’t you forget it

Google, owners of the popular video sharing site YouTube, have been ordered by the New York courts to turn over sensitive data to Viacom, who is suing the Internet giant for “copyright-infringement .” Intellectual property has been a sticky subject for a long time, and the explosion of the Internet as the main arena for communication and culture sharing has only further muddied the waters. The fact that courts are ordering Internet companies with huge caches of private user information to turn over said private information is startling in and of itself, but the more important question, at least for the long term, concerns the role intellectual property plays in the new Internet-driven forum.

Personally, I think companies complaining about copyright infringement should be glad to be getting the free publicity. But then again, I personally don’t make any kind of profit from any of my creative works, published or not – that’s the purpose of any professional works I may have in the pipeline. But, the term “starving artist” doesn’t carry much relevance in this day and age.

I can recognize the need for short term copyrights and patents, if only to encourage invention and artistic expression and to support those who wish to make these pursuits their life. However, a lot of the laws geared to protect intellectual property are entirely too obtrusive and stick for way too long. Currently, any works which are both published and registered are under copyright protection for a full 70 years following the original authors death. It’s a good thing Methuselah wasn’t an author.

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July 6, 2008 Posted by | All the news that's fit to hear, Diatribe | Leave a comment