Bitching


So, it’s not even been a week since the tragic shootings/suicide at Northern Illinois University and Jack Thompson, video-game-hater-extreme and pompous-prick-extraordinaire, has managed to get his ugly mug back on the Fox Network, railing against the evils of video games.

Normally, I’d roll my eyes, mutter “Give me a friggin’ break” under my breath and then move on to the next story. But this time the would-be-morality-champion used those moments to soapbox and then PLUG HIS BOOK! Clearly this warrents an actual out loud muttering of “GIVE ME A FRIGGIN’ BREAK!”

THEN, I find on GamingToday where the yutz sent the president of NIU the following letter – wherein he again plugs himself:

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 S. Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

February 16, 2008

John G. Peters, President
Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
DeKalb, IL 60115-2825 Via Fax to 815-753-8686

Re: Part of the Explanation for this Awful Disaster

Dear President Peters:

First of all, my condolences for this terrible loss. I have had the disturbing privilege of representing a number of families devastated by these types of incidents. I represented all six parents of the three girls killed by a 14-year-old video gamer in the Paducah, Kentucky, school massacre. I currently represent the families of three policemen in Alabama who were slain by a teen who trained to kill them on the cop-killing simulation video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This case was featured on 60 Minutes. See
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml.

The day after the NIU tragedy this week, I was on the Fox News Channel predicting that the killer on your campus would be someone who was immersed in violent video games, as this is a common thread in almost all of these incidents. I mentioned in the interview the mass murder simulation game, Counter-Strike. It was the game of choice by the killers in the two worst school shootings in history—Virginia Tech and Erfurt, Germany.

Sure enough, the New York Post reports today the accuracy of that prediction. I attach herewith the Post article.

Governor Blagojevich was on Fox hours later echoing my specific concern about the linkage between violent video games and school killings.

I have addressed roughly 200 college campuses about this problem. I am more than willing to come to your campus, free of charge of course, to explain to the students and faculty and surrounding community why these games, played by students, pose a public safety hazard. Brain scan science recently coming out of Harvard explains it well. There are multiple reasons why these evil events happen. Immersion of young males in murder simulation as a form of entertainment is one of the more powerful reasons.

Blessings,

Jack Thompson

This is bad enough, but then on GamePolitics.com, I found where the same sympathetic self-promoter is now threatening the same guy/instutition he was condoling with a civil law suit. WHAT?!?

Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request production of copies of all documents that reveal Steven Kazmierczak’s play of violent video games, including but not limited to the use of his computer to play Counter-Strike, which he apparently, according to the New York Post, used to rehearse for his Valentine’s Day Massacre at NIU.

The killers in the two worst school massacres in history—in Erfurt, Germanay, and at Virginia Tech University—similarly trained on Counter-Strike to rehearse for their killing sprees.

If I am not provided with this information, I shall bring a civil action  to secure these documents.

So – it’s bad enough that the officials of the school have to deal with this tragedy itself, then they have to dedicate people to work with the investigators to get all the facts of the case straight. NOW they have to add another head or two to get this moron’s information together so he can rabidly rant yet one more time on how video games are training everyone, young males specifically, to be mass murderers.

Hello Kitty

Jack – isn’t it time to get a new preoccupation? I hear Al Gore is needing some help with that whole global warming stuff.

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Mattel has announced that they are voluntarily recalling 9 million toys. MILLION! All of them are of Chinese manufacture and are being recalled for either containing small (indigestible) magnets or, get this, LEAD PAINT!

I'm Sarge, from the movie CARS, and I'm chocked full of LEAD PAINT!

How, in this is asbestos-free age of unleaded gasoline, is it possible that there is still leaded paint out and about, let alone being used in the production of children’s toys?!? Is the Chinese manufacturing conglomerate that afraid that we actually have Superman over here?

Nancy Nord, CPSC Chairman, is quoted in USA Today saying, “There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country,” Nord said. “It’s totally unacceptable and it needs to stop.” While I, as a parent of a child aged 2-12 years, whole-heartedly agree with Nancy, doesn’t this kinda fall into the DUH! category? Kinda like saying, “There is no excuse for children bonking themselves on the head with rubber mallets. It’s totally unacceptable and it needs to stop.”

The magnets part of the recall is actually worse than the lead paint, at least in a more immediate fashion. “What’s the big deal?” you say, “So Jimmy swalled a magnet, it’ll pass, right?” Well, yes. And probably without too much problem, too… as long as he only swallows ONE. But let’s say Jimmy decides he likes that first one and swallows a second – or only tells you he swallowed one. The second magnet can attach itself to the first, causing a larger foreign object in your child’s innards. This larger magnet can then cause perforations to Jimmy’s intestines as it passes through his system before he gets a chance to plop it out into your potty.

Okay – so here we are, with toys that have the potential to turn our offspring’s guts to swiss cheese while slowly poisoning their blood stream. Concerned? You should be.

  • For information regarding the magnet toy recall, call 888-597-6597
  • For info about the lead painted cars and such, call 800-916-4997
  • For a list of the recalled Mattel toys, visit their site here: http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp

And today the China Toy Association is saying they new about the magnet problem back in March. March? This is frickin’ August, people! Why the hell didn’t they say anything almost 6 months ago?!? Bastards.

Needless to say, Mattel’s stock has dropped. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and call BOTH numbers.

It’s been a long week already and it’s only “hump” day. My project goes live next week so I am camping at the office most nights and will probably be working this weekend too. Needless to say, the only time I get to exhale is when I leave the office for lunch. If I don’t leave I’ll have spent like 11 hours in the same building (which is fine if that building is an indoor water-park or a strip club; but not if it’s your office). So, I go out for lunch.

We’re on the fifth floor so I take the elevator down. No one is on the elevator with me which means I get that moment to breathe without having someone else around. By the time I reach the ground floor I’m looking forward to leaving. Getting some fresh air. Seeing what the sun looks like. The “ding” of the approach floor lets me know the doors will open. Naturally, I step to the front of the ‘vator. Right in front of the doors. No one else is in the box with me so I’m not being rude. The doors part and as I make my initial move to vacate the car…some pot-bellied santa wannabe is standing right in front of the doors. In the center. As the doors open, he starts to enter. Never mind I’m inside the small room trying to get out. Now, normally when I come face to face with someone…say in a hallway or at a urinal, I’m more than happy to step to one side. Mutter the obligatory “Pardon Me” and go about my merry way. Instinct started to kick in. And then it dawned on me, Tommy Two Tummies has the whole frickin’ hallway to wait/move to. I have 12.5 cubic feet with no alternative exit. So screw him. I’ve been caged in my office. I’m hungry. And technically I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY DAMMIT! If for no other reason than that’s the only way I can go. So screw him. I look him in the eye and step forward forcing his girth to the left. I’m not going to be bullied back into an elevator just because some lard-ass doesn’t have any manners. I just looked at him. He didn’t say anything; not a “pardon me” or an “excusez-moi” not even an acceptable “oops” followed by nervous laughter. He just waddled onto the elevator.

Needless to say, that pissed me off. I mean, how rude do you have to be to not let someone OFF the elevator. It’s one thing not to let them on. It could be full. You could be late. They could smell of cheese. Lots of reasons. But there are NONE for stopping them from leaving it!

It was very off putting and nearly ruined my lunch.

So I saw on Ars Technica that Blockbuster has decided to back Blu-Ray by opting to only stock Blu-Ray discs in stores now. They are, apparently, still allowing their online customers to choose between DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, though. Which confuses me somewhat… my Boss, for example, uses their Total Access to rent. He gets HD-DVD titles, currently, from their website and at the store when he returns his online rentals and swaps out for a new title. He also does NOT own a Blu-Ray player.

Kinda sounds like their not really wanting to keep all of his business with this new announcement. Sure, you can rent HD-DVD from the web, but if you want Hi Def content at the store, go get a PS3. BUZZZZ!

I just don’t see why enterprises such as Blockbuster – or even the movie studios for that matter (excepting Sony, of course) – want to say, “We choose THIS one!” You immediately alienate a portion of your clientele, forcing them to seek other venues where they can spend their money. Why not keep both formats, if you’re a store? Sure it might cost a little more to stock both (and I’m sure this is BB’s primary motivator), but just purchase a few less copies of each. No one needs to stock 50+ copies of Norbit – in ANY format!

The same goes for those studios who’ve decided to only put out their titles on either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD exclusively. How many households out there in suburbia have both HD players available to them? Scant few, I’m sure. Opting to only release Ghost Rider on Blu-Ray discs eliminates those houses with HD-DVD only. Likewise, putting the Matrix Trilogy out on HD-DVD only robs several hundred (thousand?) movie enthusiasts of the option to own these films in high definition.

Personally, I’m favoring HD-DVD, mostly because I own an HD-DVD player and don’t have a Blu-Ray machine. I’ve talked with a few friends who do and they complain about the quality of the video on their Blu-Ray titles – that even new films like Apocalypto look “grainy.” Regardless of my personal bias and considering the fact that the median price for HD discs is $25 versus the $15 standard DVD bring in, wouldn’t you, as the rental business and/or movie studio want as many opportunities as possible to rake in the lucrative cash that our “Entertain me!” society is so ready to spend?

Is there anything more nasty than a used bandaid?

Bandaid

GrinchOk, so anyone who’s known me for at least a 12 month period knows that I am not a fan of this time of year. I view the time of year after Halloween and before New Years a lot like a I view Jagermiester, nothing good ever happens once it’s begun.

Now, before you get on your box of Tide and start pointing out all the holiday cheer and Charlie Brown specials, let me rebut by saying bullshit. Well, that may not be emphatic enough. What I meant to say was BULLSHIT! All of the Christmas specials talk about how man’s goodness will overcome any type of travesty so long as we all embrace the holiday spirit and love our fellow man. (And before you feminist start throwing Oil of Olay, I’m using Man in the generic sense describing all of the human race. Not just those of us with a penis.) Love for one another does not exist on the grand scale. If capitalism has taught me nothing it’s that it’s best to screw the other guy if it helps you (oh, and if you aren’t competitively priced, you’re out of the game). Go to any mall or Wal-mart and you’ll see man’s love in action. People push you, they’re rude and if someone in some way inconveniences them, they get angry.

Did you see the story about the guy who was shot while trying to acquire a new Playstation 3. SHOT!?! Who would shoot another person over a video game? Or on a less lethal scale, just look at all the women driving gigantic SUVs to the mall. If you feel compelled to own a Hummer even though you never drive on anything other than pavement (and apparently hate Gaia) then you should have to park in the North 40. The Target by where I live is in an “L” shaped strip mall. Along the length of the “L” is a row of parking spots labeled “Compact” for those of us who drive small cars (and actually care that the fossil fuels are depleting). A small but nice reward for our civic consciousness. So, I pull in last week and guess who’s parked in the “Compact” section? Some rich bitch in her velvet sweatsuit taking up two spaces with her hummer. TWO! And not one of the new “smaller” H3 Hummers mind you; the real deal. I didn’t have the luxury of watching her park her behemoth but I did get to see her try to leave. She actually had to lean out either window and fold in the mirror of the cars next to her so she wouldn’t scrape them as she exited. It’s not like there weren’t several spaces open if she was willing to walk the extra 40 feet to put her Tonka out of the way. But Noooo!

I could go on and on with examples of people treating others like shit merely because they were in the way or didn’t have time to deal with it. So before you start getting excited about the “best time of the year”, take a look around. See how your fellow man is treating each other. And for gods’ sake, don’t get in line in front of me!

So last week there were reports that Apple has dumped the ‘Mac guy’, Justin Long, for their commercials. That they are keeping the ‘PC guy’ and will be recasting the Mac guy role. Leo LaPorte, on his latest TWIT podcast, even devoted a good segment of the show to discussing whether or not the public wants to see more of Justin. Will, the British Twit, pointed out that “people would like to shove the Mac guy under a bus.” There have even been quotes from Justin’s agent (purportedly) that he’s “a movie actor, not a commercial actor.”

Wasn’t the last dumbass that said something like that David Caruso, when he bailed on NYPD Blue to devote himself to movies. Yeah… that panned out well, didn’t it David? David? Oh, that’s right, he’s busy filming his new TV series, ’cause his movies sucked.

Now, Justin has blogged that he’s still contracted by Apple for more commercials, set to start shooting any day now. Apparently, we can expect to see more of Justin as the Mac guy for some Apple holiday spots. AppleInsider has picked up this story and run with it. (AppleInsider | Apple hasn’t ditched ‘Mac guy’, actor says)

Here’s the part I don’t get and I guess no one has bothered to point this out, but… Hey, it’s a flippin’ commercial!!! Who really gives a shit!?!?!?