Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Tale of Political Bigotry

I must say now, that i am a bit of a closet political moderate. I find myself in the middle of the fence about a lot of the issues but i tend to lean a little more to the right in my opinions. I choose to be on the fence because it allows me to be less narrow-minded (note that i said less). If you find yourself in the middle of the fence, having different opinions about various political issues, things are no longer black and white which is where a lot of the issues with modern politics spring issues. All debates happen because the extremes on both sides refuse to see the 10-million shades of grey that would satisfy everyone would they be willing to give an inch (both sides mind you).

So with that being said, i would like to carry on with my little story today. The other day i was checking my facebook page when one of my friends, famous to me for asking very controversial questions in a very unbiased way in order to not incite a riot on his status's posted a question about gun laws. He just wanted to know what everyone's opinions were on firearm laws.

There were a few participants before i joined in, you had people from all over the place, people who believed there should be no gun control because of the stereotypical totalitarian overlord argument. We had people who said there should be more but it was just impossible because of NRA's lobby strength, and you had others even yet who said there should be more and it's possible to do more.

I am not a firm believer in GUN control myself. I don't want our firearms being controlled because i use them for home defense and if some wild and crazy gun control law goes through before i turn 21, i really don't want to do 100 extra hoops just to get my handgun. I do, however, believe in civil control. Let me explain before you get exasperated and angry.

What i mean by Civil Control is this: instead of trying to regulate the firearms, let's try to apply a relatively unobtrusive method of seeing whether the person in question is mentally stable enough to own a firearm responsibly. This unobtrusive method would be the implementation of a Psyche Evaluation to all prospective gun owners. This evaluation would stay on your record for 3-6 years, and if you wanted to purchase more firearms after that set period of time, you would have to go spend the 2 hours to get it renewed. It wouldn't be very cumbersome and it would restrict the number of clinically psycho, and mentally unstable people who can walk into wal-mart, buy a 12-gauge and then kill everyone in the hospital across the street with it.

So i went ahead and posted this as such to the status, and the first responder, the one who said there should be no firearm controls started lashing back at me with some anecdotes about how I can't judge who is mentally stable and who isn't and how I can't say who can buy guns and who can't. The argument went on for a good hour and it finally got down to the point where she was running out of arguments for me to shoot down, so she started putting words in my mouth. Now folks, if there's one thing i hate more than hypocrisy it's people putting words in my mouth.

So i went ahead and whipped her into shape by shooting down all the false arguments she conjured and then told her she needed to stop putting words in my mouth. She vanished from the status, haven't seen her since, c'est la vie.

Later that night i was talking to my dad, an Extreme Righter and proud of it, and was telling him about this little incident. I was very vague about what went down and who was on which side. I simply said that i had gotten into an argument about gun control with someone one online, i said this, this and this and they started putting words in my mouth so i shot them down and said "but really, tell me more about how you like to put words in my mouth." that's all i told my father.

The first words out of his mouth were "typical liberal..." referring to the lady i shot down. Which is ironic because she was of the same political orientation as him. This raised an interesting thought. Both political extremist parties strongly believe that they are right, and everyone else is wrong and that no one from their party could ever do anything wrong. Just physically can't happen with their party; it would tear a hole in the fabric of space. Which just goes to show the narrow-mindedness and the bigotry that goes along with this whole thing. without giving away party affiliations or actual arguments he instantly made the connection to the party opposite of his. Now i'm not saying what he says is false, but it's equally true about the extreme right as it is about the extreme left.

So why are we like that? why is it that we insist on those points of view as a society? it's because everyone is so god damned narrow minded these days. There is no such thing as gray to these political extremists. both of them say "it's my way or the highway" and none of them ever budge which causes this huge turmoil and strife when it comes down to anything political. You know what would do our country a world of good? is if both parties grew some balls and some tolerance and gave each other some wiggle room instead of just headlocking each other trying to kill them off. I mean seriously, think about this. Would abortion be that big of a deal if people were to find some middle ground peacefully? The right doesn't want it legal at all, the left wants to abort a child in the third trimester, let them abort by the 4th or 5th month and have them pay for half of it if they chose to do it. Is it really that unreasonable to say "If you're still pregnant half way through the gestation period, you're probably planning on keeping the child?"

Go ahead and post your responses in the comments section below.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Politics: Here We Go Again!

I must admit that i really haven't been keeping up to date intentionally on the goings on of this years electoral campaigning. It's usually several weeks before i hear about anything that happens, however it seems as though the closer we get to the elections, the more bile everyone has a tendency to vomit all over my social networking pages and quite frankly i'm fucking tired of it.

I find it unpalatable how the human race has such a knack for uniting as one whenever something truly tragic happens, but when something pointless and insignificant happens we'll quarrel with each other until we all die from lack of oxygen.

It seems like the electoral season has become nothing more than an Reality TV Show. Some paid professional is told to incite a riot so he goes out and creates a picture of some politician and slaps on a misquoted quote from said politician and shoves it off into the internet and all just like that, we're trying to rip each other's jugular veins out with our fucking teeth. Is this really the level of intelligence that we've stooped to as a society? We can't debate like normal human beings? We have to backhandedly go about debasing everyone who doesn't believe in the same toothpaste brand as me by pulling their ugliest baggage into the lime light and then putting neon signs around that baggage that all say "look at this asshole, (s)he did this once and we should ridicule them till (s)he kills themselves from the guilt!! Because we're perfect human beings and none of us have any baggage or guilt ourselves!" with a giant, vegas-style, flashing arrow.

Seriously people, what the FUCK is wrong with all of you? To think there was a time when electoral seasons were all about who had the better solutions to popular current events. Now it's all about how immoral somebody was once when no one was looking or what the worst mistake they ever made was.

I'm not going to state who i am for or against, because quite frankly i think you can't trust any of them about as far as you could throw their rich asses, but to give a perfect example, let's observe the 2008 elections. I've spoken briefly on this subject before in a previous blog but i haven't really been over the media aspect too much. In example, the way the press climbed up Sarah Palin's ass and pitched tents for the entire year leading up to the inauguration of Obama about how her daughter was under-aged and was with child. They were debasing Sarah Palin for something her daughter did. I don't care how you feel about her; i agree she has a tendency to dodge questions by going off on rants in her silly canadian accent. But if you've EVER had a child, you know it's next to impossible to have a leash so tight on your child that they can't sneak behind your back and do things without your knowledge.

I know this to be a fact because i used to date a girl like that! Her parents used to keep a leash so tight on her it would suffocate me, and somehow we managed to sneak together every day for 2 years and do nothing but play with each other while watching the Disney Channel. Her mother still, to this day, has no clue. It's not something i'm proud of, but it still stands on display as an example of how impossible it is for parents to be able to know what their children are doing 100% of the time. And if you are a parent and you think you do know what your children are doing 100% of the time? I hate to say it, but you probably don't know your children... at all... Especially if they're teenagers. The worst part is? It only takes once for a child to be conceived.

So to chastise Palin for something she had no control over is really kind of a low blow. It's shallow and has no bearing on anything political. Same goes for Obama and half the shit he says. Again, not casting my opinion into the fray, merely analyzing that half of the shit that extreme right organizations piss and moan about when it comes to Obama, is generally taken out of context and pitched in some way to harm Obama's campaign. Keep in mind, these are the same people who hiss and bitch about how reading the bible in fragments and trying to pull some alternate meaning is heresy, because "text out of context is pretext." which is all slanderous and misguiding. Yet, when it comes to election season, everyone has to throw on their best reality television show faces and go against all their believes to try to level the playing field. Well, i got news for all of you: In the words of the late, great Mahatma Gandhi, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" or the old chinese proverb, "he who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves."

So, America, can we all stop pretending to be 4 year old's and stop throwing sand in each others eyes to "get even" and grow a fucking pair? I mean seriously, grow up America. If you can't play nice in the sand box then nobody's getting ice cream.

P.S. You're welcome to comment if you like, but if you post something to the extent of "No! My party doesn't do that, you're wrong! It's only the party opposing mine!" then i'm gonna be forced to delete your comment. Quite frankly, i've seen enough people vomit their own fecal matter all over my facebook, Google+ and twitter pages; and i have a strict no shit policy. I'm not asking for your opinions and why you think you're better than everyone else, i'm pointing out shared flaws.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Issues of Closed Mindedness

It's no shocking surprise when i'm called upon by a friend to play damage control for a failed relationship that ended abruptly. I find that i'm a friendly guy; the kind of friend that get's called on as a shoulder to cry on but never anything further and that doesn't really bother me all too much.

But today i was presented with a big surprise; my father had broken the ties with his relationship. The fact that it had ended wasn't really a surprise to me and i'll go into why later. It was the fact that it came so soon.

My father has always been a bit of an extremist when it comes to his views. Very closed minded and very unwavering. His views are his moral code and he would rather die before he compromised on any of them. Which is all great in theory because he fights for what he believes in regardless of the consequences. I would favor him over someone who changes who they are on a moral level everytime someone new enters the picture.

But the fundamental values of all relationships is that of a give and take relationship. You have to accept who you're with for who they are, the good and the bad, and trust that they'll do the same for you. Now, does that ever happen perfectly and smoothly? Never ever, and even if they accept the baggage, fundamental flows and other negative aspects of their companion, they'll still fight and bicker about them from time to time because well they're flaws, and we as a people love to point them out to people to help us feel better.

If you don't agree with me on that point, just think real hard about the last argument you had with anyone. You argue because you have two fundamentally different views between you. One of you states your views, the other points out the flaws, you counter with flaws in theirs and the cycle eventually fizzles out when one or both of you realizes how stupid and petty it is, or you both run out of mean things to say and you calm down.

I digress, the fundamental issue with my dads beliefs is that he did not have any tolerance for opposing beliefs. That and he refused to accept other peoples baggage. He never really realized how shallow and self centered this is and i doubt he ever will. Because he's got some pretty heavy baggage himself yet he just wontonly expects people to accept it and get rid of theirs.

Again, it's a give and take relationship. If you expect your significant other to get rid of their baggage, you better damn well be ready to get rid of your own.

The moral of the story here is: keeping your mind too open will make your brain fall out, but keeping your mind closed will suffocate it. Be open to peoples opinions, be accepting to peoples baggage and don't forget that regardless of how heavy it is, everyone, and i do mean everyone, has baggage.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Tale of "The Joker"

I figured now would be a good time for me to address some very sensitive subjects that have come to pass since 12:39AM Mountain time. There are a lot of questions that need to be raised when viewing the slaughter that occured during last night's premier of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, CO.

First off, i would like to mention that as inappropriate as it is, it just goes to show how little faith I have in modern media when i hear about something like this and i think to myself "What? No media proclaimed VIP's?" It's a very dark prospect but i'd be lying if i told you i didn't think that immediately. Fact is, our media only publicizes things that will skyrocket their ratings, so normally a few of us lower- to upper-middle class people getting killed is nothing that will usually ever make headline news.


Being a resident of Arizona, whom has been the target of all the gun control brunt since last January, I find the incident very interesting for a few reasons. It's not just horrifying because 71-some people were shot, 12 killed a reported 59 still in urgent care it's horrifying becuase the gunman, James Holmes, was the least likely suspect and when detained he showed some serious symptoms of Dementia. It was clear that the logic centers of his brain were still active, that much could be pulled from the fact that he was still cognitive enough to prop the fire escape open as to gain easy access back into the theater. But when he was apprehended he stated that he was "The Joker" referring to the Antagonist of the second installment of the Dark Knight series in which Heath Ledger played a character by the same name.

To add even more evidence to the wackjob cake, he was smiling in his mugshot. This is a key point that i want to make. When the Gabriel Giffords shooting occured, which by the way, happened a little less than a mile from where i live, i spent a great deal of time studying Jared Loughner. Primarily his mugshot and all of the stuff he had uploaded onto youtube before he decided to go on his shooting spree. First off, the fact that Jared wasn't reported to the authorities before anything happened was a mystery. I know several people who went to school with the guy and the majority rules that there was something... off... about him to begin with. He was the kind of societal reject that you could look at and say "yeah, he's probably going to land in prison one day."

On top of that, his 3-part video series about his Utopian society was a dead give-away, there were more references in those videos to forcefully overthrowing the government and making waves in the government than you could hold in a basket.

But the mugshot. That's the final piece to the puzzle. Loughner went so far off the deep end by the time everything was all said and done that he really felt that by killing those poor 6 people, he had sparked the embers that would grow into a forest fire to initiate his Utopian Society. In his mugshot taken January 22, 2011, it was clearly visible that he was proud of what he had done. He's not frowning, he's not indifferent, he's not even smiling. He's smirking. Like a poker player with a good hand and a bad poker face, he's smirking. He was confident that what he had done was justified and had to be done in order to usher in a new era of government for the united states. Hell, he probably believes it's already been ushered in due to the happy pills they've got him on.

The very same can be said about James Holmes; he's not smirking, no, but his lips are pursed in a smile, his eyebrows are raised and his eyes are slightly dilated in a perfectly lit room. He's Experience a feeling of Euphoria if i had to guess. He is proud of what he did because in his mind the plan was executed perfectly and he feels he did nothing wrong. He was probably just responding to a calling he believed he had received from something higher than himself.

The execution of the crimes manslaughter that Holmes produced was very status quot for the Joker from the second installment of the Dark Knight series. He generally appeared as someone unsuspecting in a large crowd (his pitch was always media, he was trying to grab the attention of the media and of Batman himself), scout out the prey. If they seemed harmless enough to overpower easily, he'd then do some form of grandiose reveal of his arsenal that he hid under something like a trench coat or arm himself in the broom closet, and then come out and carelessly slaughter people. Are you beginning to see the similarities

 Either way, i am in no way standing up for Holmes. I think he is clinically ill in the head and this will probably be brought to public eyes within the next week after he gets processed, gets an initial hearing and gets a psyche eval. Sadly he'll probably avert the death penalty by submitting a plea of insanity just like Loughner. I hope for the sake of the US, that they put him in an asylum very far away from Loughner.

This incident however brings another issue to the table and that is the issue of firearms (and their availability to pretty much anyone with a legal license). I've always been pro firearms, and to be honest, i own quite a few myself. But being a respectable citizen of the United states and not feeling any desire to stick my neck out on the chopping block or make matters worse, the only time they come out is at the range or when i'm cleaning them. All other times they are locked away with multiple layers of security.

Instead of banning firearms like the left wants to say, but compromising from the right's "total freedom" and "everyone needs to have a pistol hidden up their ass... just in case" mindsets, how about we make it mandatory that in order to purchase a firearm, you have to take a psyche evaluation. The evaluation would stay on your record for 2-10 years (or anywhere in between) in which if it passes a sanity test and proves you're perfectly sane and responsible enough to carry a firearm, you can purchase one.

This solution would satisfy the left's side because it would rest assure that 99% of gun owners were in a stable mental state, and it would allow the firearms freedoms of the right with an extra failsafe that they'd just have to get used to.

What do you think? Leave all comments and feedback in the comments section, i welcome it all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Game Review: Nuclear Dawn

To be entirely honest, i was a little skeptical about getting this game in the first place. my mindset was when reading the description was that the game was just a blatant ripoff of Natural Selection created by Other World entertainment. Being that they were about to release the second installment of their Natural Selection series, a game that i have been anticipating since it was announced and already preordered with early access to the alpha, beta and official release game, i wasn't entirely sure that i wanted another that was just like it.

Nuclear Dawn, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Natural selection is an RTS/FPS type video game. There are two teams, one member of each team is designated to be the Commander of the team. that commander is placed in charge of the command center where they set up spawns, power outlets, equipment, etc. Whereas the rest of the team has to try and capture resource points for the commander by battling with the other team who is in charge of doing the same thing. The end objective is to see who can destroy the other team's commander first. pretty easy, lots of fun.

The neat catch about Natural Selection is that you have Aliens and Marines as the two warring factions. The aliens are significantly weaker individually than the marines but are stronger in well balanced packs. the Marines are strong as long as they're outfitted correctly and are very reliant on their commander to give them necessary equipment such as new and upgraded weapons.

In Nuclear dawn it's pretty much the same thing, the worlds are a little more open, all of them are outdoors whereas Natural Selection is the king of indoor maps, and there are 4 classes for both sides to pick, each side has unique weapons in their enhanced weapons kits and it makes for a very fun and interesting time.

My experience with the game started out with a few games that were pretty run of the mill, i saw the game as something that was mindlessly fun for a few hours but i would probably end up putting it down in the long run simply because of how procedural it was. This usually happens with me to video games, there is nothing more to do after a certain point and then everything slowly becomes repetitive and boring. but this ended up not being the case. I found that certain situations called for me to go with different classes all the time so i was constantly switching classes and equipment sets for that class.

Finally we got to a game where my team was losing horribly, the enemy team was IN our base about to destroy our command center and our team then banded together and all switched to suppression and quick kill equipment sets and we ended up repelling the enemy attack at the last second then making a valiant push all the way over to their base by choking them over resources and won. It was amazingly intense and super fun.

After that match i pretty much resolved that this game had huge potential and it all depended on the crowd you were playing with.

So, all that being said, final verdict is: if this game is on sale at a reasonable price? Buy it and play it. Find yourself a good group of players and play with them as often as you can because this game can be entertaining and exhilarating.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Game Review: Dear Esther

So I finally succumb to the whims of the Steam Summer Sales... they're a dangerous lot for wallets around the world. This year i went ahead and indulged myself with three new games, all abiding by my personal rule that i wait for something to go under $10.00 to buy it. I was able to get a game called Nuclear Dawn which is an RTS/FPS that takes a lot of it's inspiration from Natural Selection (this will be covered in a different review), ID Softwares newest IP, RAGE, and Dear Esther.

I have been looking forward to Dear Esther for a very long time, in fact, i had been looking forward to it since before they decided they were going to charge for it which was the source of my disappointment when it finally came out and it was going to cost me 20 big ones to play it. So i steered clear of it until last night it came on sale, 75% off, for a total of $2.50. Now that i was willing to pay, easily. so i went and purchased it and stayed up long past the time i needed to be in bed to experience it.

I use the term experience because it's not really a game you "play". There are no weapons, the world is somewhat open for exploration with some subtle hints that "draw" you to the locations you need to go to by your own free will. But the story itself is unexpected and extremely engaging.

If you're reading this while the game is still on sale, i would strongly recommend holding off from going to McDonalds today and instead getting yourself Dear Esther for $2.50. You won't be disappointed. As far as i understand, the story points are dynamic too. meaning that every play through you will encounter different events, different blocks of speech, essentially different pieces to the same puzzle which really wows me and tells me that the long wait for this Source Engine mod was well worth it.

On top of the engaging story line, there is a heavy and very moving ambiance that is set by the music and sound. Seriously, if you play this game, make sure you're alone where no one can talk over the audio, because this game relies heavily on the audio. Perfected audio transitions and masterfully played musical queues play their role in enhancing your experience 10-fold. It will make you anticipate things that aren't there. get you genuinely scared, or convince your eyes to mist over.

Which brings me to the final point. The visuals. I had seen the screen shots of Dear Esther while it was still in the making and the scenery looked breath taking. But to see it in the game in person as opposed to a screenshot and to watch it all in motion with your auditory senses being drugged over by those wonderful audio queues i was talking about earlier really just completes everything. The creator of Dear Esther really spent a great deal of time making each play through unique and enjoyable.

I would highly recommend anyone who wants to get emotionally attached to their player character very quickly and engage in breath taking world. For as short as a play through as this game offers, it promises so much in replay.