The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet


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OUTRAGE

Check this shit out. Is there any bad thing in the world — anything at all, now — that baseball columnists will not blame Bud Selig for? Look how derelict he was in his responsibilities! He didn’t try to stick a punishment the union would overturn anyhow on a player who was guilty of horrible misdeeds that were actually completely unrelated to baseball? The coward!

Let’s ignore the ridiculous conceit that violence against women is worse than violence against, you know, men. The issue, as far as I’m cocnerned, is that Brian Giles went into a bar and hit somebody. Now, let’s note that Brian Giles did not do this during a baseball game, nor did he do this at a baseball park. Why should baseball get involved? Yes, players do get suspended for doping, for insubordination, for corking their bats, and for doctoring balls. You know what all those things have in common? They’re baseball-related. Now let’s talk about things players do not get suspended for: jaywalking, shoplifting, speeding, driving under the influence (lawl Joba), income tax evasion (lawl Prince). You see how those don’t have anything to do with baseball? Just like domestic violence doesn’t have anything to do with baseball? Aha!

It’s not baseball’s — nor Bud Selig’s — job to send a "message" about your politics. So relax a minute there, Buster Brown. You can probably think of a cheap pickup line that casts fewer aspersions than this lunacy.


December 30th, 2008 Posted by | Baseball, Bullshit | no comments

Merry Christmas!

I got everyone extremely dumb gifts this year. I received mostly books, which is fine with me — I’m fond enough of books. Did anybody else get any particularly phat lewts you’d like to tell the world about on a famous blog?


December 26th, 2008 Posted by | Bullshit | one comment

Alex Rodriguez is dumb

In fact, holy fucking shit he’s dumb. Madonna too, I think.

Perhaps I’m just not sufficiently cultured to understand the broad artistic statement made by that web site. I think that’s what it’s saying, though.


December 24th, 2008 Posted by | Baseball, Bullshit | no comments

Baseball headlines are the bestest

Via Yahoo sports, as usual.

I wish I got $5 million to yank my wang.


December 23rd, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Vacation pictures

I finally got around to sorting through all my vacation pictures, so here’s a pile of them. It’s not a giant pile, but a pile nonetheless. Per usual with my photo posts, click on the little picture for the full-sized version.

Bookstore

This is a rare bookshop in one or other shopping plaza. This place was awesome; they had a Gutenberg Bible and a first edition of Atlas Shrugged that I was going to buy as a gift for Andrew Ryan. Then we came up with the brilliant idea of swiping something and holding it for ransom — we’d threaten to destroy it if rich people didn’t send us lots of money. Unfortunately, our first choice turned out not to be as valuable as we expected. So we tried something else instead; I’m pretty sure this one will work better. I’ll let you know once we’re rich.

Sky

Hey, here are some stairs. The neat thing about this picture is that it’s actually indoors; that sky is painted on a dome celing. I’m keen on gimmicky shit like that.

Gondola

Here we’re still indoors, and we’re looking at the gondolas that ferry people around the Venetian. That’s pretty groovy, especially when the gondoliers start to sing. We didn’t actually get on the gondolas, but Stephen fell in the river once. Here’s a picture of that.

Teller!

Here are teh wief and I with Teller after the show. Teller’s a cool guy, and very soft-spoken (and, yes, smart-asses, he does talk when he’s not in character). You’ll notice that even when he’s kind of leaning back and off to one side, Teller’s still noticably taller than me. So clearly you know what’s coming next:

Penn!

A picture of us with Penn, of course. I’m not even taller than the picture of Penn on the sign behind me. He’s really large — even Dave and Stephen were meaningfully shorter than Penn, and they’re both big guys. Penn was pretty excited to hear that we’re also from his old hometown, so that makes me awesome. Awesomer.

Vecna

And finally, for Dave’s benefit, this picture I took on the subway. Because it’s pretty funny.


December 21st, 2008 Posted by | Bullshit | 2 comments

A very palpable touch

So that Metal Gear teaser turns out to be for a new Metal Gear Solid game on the damn iPhone after all (sorry, though, not the 360 and the Wii). That’s pretty boring, I agree, but what I love about that article is that it spends three paragraphs talking about the history of the Metal Gear series and then gets to the line "In addition to the celebrated stealth action series, Konami also confirmed Frogger for the iPhone."

Honestly? I’m reasonably likely to pick up Frogger when it comes out. Metal Gear, well, we’ll see.


December 20th, 2008 Posted by | Games | no comments

I’m Andrew Ryan and I’m here to ask you a question

I finally went back to Bioshock and finished it.

I was playing it some time ago, but it pissed me off when I got to Arcadia — my goal was unclear, and I couldn’t figure out the damn map, and that just frustrated me, so I took a break. Yesterday I stopped taking a break and played through the rest of the game in one sitting. That’s how I roll, yo. So now I’d like to talk about some general Bioshock-related mishmash that doesn’t really belong in my proper review. It’s best to assume that this entire post is one big Bioshock spoiler, so don’t read it if you care about that.

As I believe I mentioned in the review, I don’t understand the submarine scene. I’ve even gone so far as to read a long-winded plot analysis written by some mincing leftist who was more keen to explain over and over again why objectivism is such a horrible idea than to discuss the fucking game, and I still don’t come away with any further insight. As presented, the submarine contains Atlas’ wife and son, and then Ryan has them killed, and this sets Atlas off and establishes the conditions for the confrontation with Ryan. Seems straightforward enough, but the snag, of course, is that Atlas doesn’t exist. He’s a character created by Frank Fontaine to push his own agenda, and he explains to you explicitly that his wife and son never existed. So, wait, who got killed in the submarine scene? And why did Ryan kill them? And what was Fontaine’s plan in the event that Ryan didn’t randomly kill them? The whole scene almost seems like an accidental hold-over from an earlier script where Atlas wasn’t the bad guy in disguise.

On the subject of Fontaine, here’s a brief list of industries he’s become a huge player in since his arrival in Rapture:

  • Genetic engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Weapons development
  • Oxygen production
  • Real estate
  • Orphanages
  • Mind control
  • Eugenics
  • Fishing
  • Smuggling

So when exactly does this dude find the time to be a con artist? And what’s the fucking point? He can’t get rich enough by dominating ten different industries? Not only that, but you’d think anybody who could be that successful in all those different fields, plus be able to create, adopt, and sell this Atlas identity at need, plus be able to rally the people and organise a successful rebellion against Ryan, plus successfully present himself as the great saviour of Rapture without letting anybody realise that he’s trying to give that impression — well, a guy like that must have a little bit on the ball, yeah? And yet, when you finally meet Fontaine, he talks like a two-bit thug who can’t even construct a proper sentence anymore, and he does irrational stupid thug things. It makes no sense.

I’m told the developers intended Rapture to present the dystopic society that Objectivism leads to, but I’m not sure I believe that, since, if that was their intent, they clearly were aware that they failed. I’m not going to make any statements about the viability of Objectivism here, but I will note that what brought down Rapture clearly wasn’t any failure in the Objectivist ideal. What brought down Rapture was Andrew Ryan’s lack of faith in his own vision. There is, in fact, a diary in Hephaestus ("Anya Andersdotter – Assassin") in which that’s explained quite clearly. To quote: "I believed in this place. I believed in Ryan. But when it got hard, Ryan didn’t believe in Rapture, didn’t believe in the Great Chain. He believed in power." What we hear from Andrew Ryan is explanations of his high-minded vision, and rationalisations for why he’s compromising all of his ideals for the "greater good." He rules Rapture with an iron fist; there are government takeovers of private industry, public executions, prison camps, mind control. Curfews, limitations on public gatherings, and restrictions on travel. This is not anarcho-capitalism, as any damn fool can tell you. This is big government.

I don’t understand where Ryan got the people to come to Rapture from. Did he explain to them the idea of Objectivism? A lot of them appear to have been expecting some kind of managed economy and centrally-enforced equality. Rapture is filled with the kind of people who complain that Ryan is rich and they’re not, even while they sit around in the bar drinking all day when Ryan’s building cities and industries. Perhaps he should have made sure that only people who knew what they were getting involved in moved to Rapture, yes? As it stands, it kind of looks like he kidnapped a bunch of Massachusetts Democrats while they were sleeping; they woke up and, wait, my government handout booze money is gone? WHAT!

I get the game mechanic of hacking the vending machines to get lower prices, but it goes off the rails a bit when they try to integrate that into the world. So, wait, why on earth would thugs hack the vending machine to pay lower prices when they could, like, bust it open with a wrench and just take stuff?

One final note. The last level is this big bullshit escort mission where you have to walk a Little Sister through a long corridor and try to keep her from getting shot too much. But before you can do that, you have to dress up like a Big Daddy. The reason for all this is that the path Fontaine ran down has all these doors that can’t be opened except by a Little Sister, so you need to be a Big Daddy so they’ll follow you. Now, let’s ignore the fact that it would probably be easier to use some of your grenades to blow the doors up, or maybe set them on fire with your mind, since they’re only wood. I’d like to ask a different question. If that’s the way Fontaine went (and we know it is, since we see him run off and slam the door behind him), and if those doors can only be opened by Little Sisters… how did Fontaine open the doors?


December 19th, 2008 Posted by | Games | 2 comments

A razor and lipstick

I’m catching up a bit on my backlog of reviews. I’ve done Mother 3 and Bioshock, which brings me up to 69, dudes!

I’ll work on some more later, but you’d probably be surprised how long these things take to write.


December 19th, 2008 Posted by | Games, Meta-meta | no comments

Ahoy!

TorrentFreak’s top ten most pirated games of 2008 list is out, and, unsurprisingly, the offensively-DRMed Spore is way out in front. The best thing about that, as far as I’m concerned, is that, as reported here, EA contends that the piracy of Spore didn’t really hurt sales.

If you missed the important part there, I’ll repeat it. According to EA, one-point-seven million illegal downloads did not hurt the sales of Spore.

One more time, for good measure:

1,700,000 pirated copies didn’t hurt EA’s sales.

So, anybody care to explain to me why the fuck everybody’s all still tripping over himself trying to DRM everything as tightly as possible?


December 17th, 2008 Posted by | Games | no comments

Dressing up like Hitler in school isn’t cool

Never mind how stupid this dude is. I mean, sure, some of the shit he’s quoted as saying in that article is intense — like his rant about the new president we don’t (by the way, dude) actually have yet — but never mind that. Just focus on the fact that he named his son Adolf Hitler and didn’t apparently expect that to remind people of anybody else in history who just "happened" to be called Adolf Hitler. Frankly, dumbfuck, if your kids are named Adolf Hitler and Joycelynn Aryan Nation, you don’t have a leg to stand on if maybe people start thinking you have Nazis on the brain. So sit down, shut up, and enjoy the ride. Trust me, you’re not going through anything like what your kids are going to have to deal with for being stuck with those "hilarious" novelty names you thought were such a bright idea.

Besides, I’m afraid I have to side with the ShopRite dudes on this one. This site has a strict anti-Hitler policy, as you can see over there on the right.


December 17th, 2008 Posted by | Bullshit | no comments