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I’m going to preface this post by writing that a lot of people, some I know, some I might not know, will probably disagree with this post, perhaps even vociferously.  Just remember to keep it civil.

I recently received a letter from Senator Rand Paul that infuriated me.  Maybe you have, too.  And maybe it pissed you off as much as it did me.  This letter, this mass communique, this junk mail, this solicitation, whichever category you feel it fits into,  is about repealing Roe v Wade.  Clearly I disagree with this idea, mostly because I’m a liberal baby-killing monster, but also because I enjoy giving people, like, you know, women, options.  At least I do when it comes to my peers, not specifically on this topic, but any topic.

But the part I don’t understand about this is why abortion is so demonized.  Because we’re killing things that may or may not be alive yet depending on the study you choose to site based on which point you’re trying to make?  Or is it because you read in a book somewhere that every life is sacred (after God told people to crusade like crazy, fucked with Job and spake to Abraham that he should kill his son Isaac, even though he was joking on that last one ’cause Big G is a cut up) and you can’t make your own decisions?  Though I understand it, the thought of killing another person is a weighty beast no matter what their age, but I’d rather someone just terminate someone than have the little creature suffer for a lifetime.

There are many people I know that have worked in homes for troubled children and have had to hear their stories, like the child that had a mother who allowed grown men to rape him so she could score drugs, and sometimes I wonder if that’s the reality that some of these people are trying to create for these chilluns.  I don’t see abortion so much as a solution to a problem as I see it as a preventative measure to avoid having children be brought up in hellish conditions or neglected or abused and then causing more problems in society because people raised in broken homes ofttimes don’t turn out to be the most well-adjusted adults.  It happens, but it’s not a great shot.

I think back to the wonderful Greg Proops who often says that people denying abortions are pro-life but also anti-woman.  There’s a contingency of these pro-lifers who don’t care if a woman was raped or if a pregnancy is caused by incest because it’s an unborn fetus and it should have a right to life.  I get the last part, but why should we care so much for the unborn and not the person who will have to live with the fact that their child was created from rape and the memories of that situation, but let’s say that someone took out part of your liver and then mounted it on your wall, it might open up some mental wounds of when some jerk barged into your life and tore an organ out of your body every time you see it.  But you’re not allowed to take your removed, desiccated organ off the wall because that’s against what someone interpreted in, like, The Tripod Series by John Christopher.  Wouldn’t that get a little overwhelming and nerve wracking?

That’s what you have to think about.  That child is going to be a memory of that moment, no matter what they turn out to be.  And there might be that unconditional love for some people, but more often than not there’s going to be resentment, and do you really want someone to be put through that?  Thanks, people that aren’t the child bearer of that tiny human!

It doesn’t surprise me that it’s mostly men that harp on this stuff, but it honestly surprises me when women don’t want the choice to even be available.  That they want to be locked into a decision that’s being made for them by some dude they don’t know.  But then shit like this happens, where a woman says that rape babies are blessings and I just totally lose my mind.  I don’t understand the kind of mental state someone has to be in, except for total ignorance, to even state something that heinously wrong and horrible.  Like their mind has been twisted by what someone told them when they were growing up so much that they lose all grasp of reality.  I don’t think religion is an awful thing, it can be useful and there are people who practice it that are genuinely good people and they should be respected.  But it’s the nutballs like Sharon Barnes that give spiritual people a bad name who should be ashamed of themselves for doing such a thing.

And then this mess that I came across while doing research for this entry.  Yes, the children in that picture look identical.  Who gives a shit?  It’s not the end, it’s the means of the situation that matters.  What caused the result matters more to some women than the parasitic entity that is growing inside them.  That’s all there is to it and that’s my opinion, but don’t worry, I’m not going to gin up numbers or try to conjure facts to stand by my beliefs to get others to agree with me, either you do or you don’t.  That’s your business.  From what I can see, this whole thing is just an agenda against women that has been going on forever, and trying to shock me or put me into a guilt trip isn’t going to work, pro-lifers, because I’m from the internet and there isn’t a damn thing you can show me that I can’t best with a quick Google search.

I didn’t even get into the insanity where pro-life fundamentalists go out and kill doctors that offer late term abortions, picket family planning clinics and defame, debase or destroy anyone with any power that disagrees with them, because that’s ground tread far too often.  The duality of some people’s morals is just baffling to me.  You can’t kill a baby but killing someone who does a service for the people that are just looking for the option being drawn and quartered is A-OK!  That notion doesn’t make any sense, no matter how you slice it.

Look, I’m not saying that abortion is always the best option, hell, it shouldn’t even be at the top of the list when you don’t think you can provide for the child, at least seriously consider adoption first, and then consider it again and again.  But if the mother cannot bring this child to term or there are medical complications that will lead to the mother dying, then abortion should always be a choice.  It’s a last resort, and that’s all it is.  Don’t let these politicians, zealots, or anyone else take away your choices, because that’s what it is, another attempt to put a clamp on the collective genitals of the American people.


No, I Don’t

Something occurred to me, recently.  I lack a lot of passion for things because, growing up, everyone around me was so supportive and told me that I could do anything I wanted to, which ends up being somewhat problematic because then you’re given the Paradox of Choice.  I can do anything I want and no one can stop me, and that’s a great feeling.  The only thing that’s limiting me is my own insecurities and self-loathing, both of which I have in spades.  However, where this becomes an issue is that I still don’t know what I want to do for a living.  I enjoy my job at a TV station, I enjoy my hobbies of writing, or drawing, or of making music, or playing video games and the panoply of other activities I partake in.  And I can do all of these things because I’ve tried them, I was allowed to experiment.

I’ve had no one to argue against, nor to prove wrong, thus I don’t have these same passions that someone else might.  I never had to tell someone “I will become a great author” or “I will become a celebrated painter” or “I’ll make a great album”.  I was never externally limited in my ambitions, I just do stuff until I get bored with it and then stop abruptly and have one less thing to do.  The only thing that people have ever really told me is a necessity or have been forcing me to do is to go back to college and get a degree.

This is my rebellion, as ridiculous as it is.

“But you’ll never get a good job if you don’t graduate.”

No, I’m gonna prove you all wrong.  I’m going to gain experience in my field and get great jobs everywhere in the country, in the world, because I’ll be great at what I do, savvy in the business and gain connections and exposure to people who will see that I know my shit and I can lock it down with the best of them.  I’m going to show these people that matter, that I’m the important part of my education, that I don’t need a piece of expensive paper with ink all over it to prove to the world that I’m worth it.

And yes, I get that this is stupid, and childish, and altogether probably going to result in failure and sadness on my part due to the fact that corporate America, in all it’s glory and wisdom, doesn’t look for the results, it doesn’t look for who can do what and how well.  It looks for the kids with their sheets of paper that show they’ve paid enough to get hired.

Or will they get hired?

Another thing that I’m apprehensive about when it comes to this discussion is that employers also look for experience in the field that you are trying to get hired for.  And thus raises the issue of The Employer’s Absurdity.  To get a job you need to have a degree, which to obtain one you will, under most circumstances, be forced to forgo any job experience while pursuing education for your career by taking a full schedule at college while at the same time the person with the experience in the job might not get employed because they did not get their college education and receive their diploma which proves that they are qualified enough for the job.

Look, assholes, you can’t have both.  Choose one or the other.  Hell, you can train an inexperienced person to do the job simply through the act of repetition, which is all schooling really is, pounding information into the heads of young minds ad infinitum until they can execute actions in a rote manner.  And the guy with the degree can do just as well as someone who has been doing the work for years and will increase their adeptness in the job market quicker than someone who has not completed their secondary education.

I don’t really want to go back to college until these kinks in the system are worked out, and they will be sometime soon.  More people will become savvy of this profoundly absurd hiring system and will rebel against it.  We need to.  There needs to be more than one path to success in this country, if there isn’t, then this isn’t a country where you can be happy in whichever career you choose.  Where everyone is free to be amazing.  Where you can do anything you want to.

And that means everyone’s been lying to me.


Here’s a Letter I Wrote To BioWare

I enjoy so much of Star Wars: The Old Republic that it almost physically hurt me to quit playing it, there are just so many cool things and ideas in this game.  But I just couldn’t take the dragging game play and the clearly, at this point, draconian shell of MMORPGs that it kind of shut itself into.  I wanted to make sure that BioWare, the developers of SWTOR, knew that I was concerned about their first foray into the MMORPG market.

When confronted with the questions asking me why I was quitting The Old Republic, I had to enter Other/Other because the problems I had with this title were so far reaching that they really didn’t have a valid category in the drop downs.  What happened afterward was basically a brain dump of the biggest, glaring issues I had with SWTOR, a game that could have easily been so much better.  And here it is in full:

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I feel that there are many flaws to this game that stem from the predisposed requirements of traditional MMORPGs that this game could easily transcend and still allow to be marketable, profitable and allow players to keep coming back for more.  I have not leveled a character to maximum because, as fun as the story is to play and as fun as it is to keep building my character as an actual character and not just controlling it as a puppeteer does to a marionette it is an absolute slog to get to the parts that make my character matter.  If you were to reduce the experience requirements to get to maximum level by at least 10% across the board past 20 I believe this would make the game a bit more streamlined and allow the player to change environments more frequently and reduce the diminishing returns one feels by being on Tatooine for five hours, or even Hoth for longer.
The second issue I feel that really drags this title down from its full potential is the combat.  BioWare has made so many strides in this industry, be it the interlocking stories between games you’re famous for, or even switching up combat and trying new things with each new title, some things less successful than others, it seems odd to me that you’d keep in the trappings of EverQuest, a nearly 13 year old game.  Combat is boring button mashing that isn’t made any better by the simultaneous competing with the ideologies and paradigms of the much more subscribed to World of Warcraft.  And I mean this by no offense, but you’re innovators in the world of gaming.  Able to craft fine stories and gameplay to boot.  Wouldn’t it have been better to figure out a way to maybe make your skills more reactive?  Or more action oriented in the vein of Mass Effect 2?  Or just somehow different from every other MMO out there?  I’m not saying it’s possible, or even probable, to fix this glaring issue, but my character grows, both in personality and in skill, but the gameplay does not reflect this.  All you are doing is sending us more monsters with more HP that do the same things.  If any company could do it, BioWare is the company that can make combat in an MMO interesting, if at least a bit more like a combination between Aion and TERA.
There are so many things in this game that I absolutely adore.  I love the companion system.  I love the settings and the freedom I have with my character.  I love that socializing matters.  I am really impressed with what you have done.  But the pacing for the grind has to be improved, as the leveling is not at all the point of an MMO.  A player should be able to do their class quests alone and get through a planet easily, that should be the pace to set, the other stuff should be lumped with the [BONUS] strings of quests that come at the end of planets, after your character has made a name for themselves.  I, and I feel that many others, aren’t playing the game to run around for random people, but for the chance to play their characters, and there is very little character building to be had in these non-class quests from my experience.  Sure there might be some Dark or Light Side points or what-have-you, but that really isn’t something that ultimately matters, since you can get those later in the game doing the end game Operations and Flashpoints, or you should if that isn’t already an option.
Perhaps if things get ironed out, I will return to this game, because it fascinates me, and my character was my own creation that had a life of its own.  But it feels that the developers did not do any forward thinking enough in the gameplay aspects.  I look forward to future news and additions you will be coming up with for this title.


Another Thing I Wrote To Some Simp On Copyrights

Materials cost money, no matter what, and most people will opt to recoup the cost of their investments. Besides, tell that to the creators, showrunners and producers of television or movies or music. They may love doing what they do, but want to advertise it, or have a mixer that knows what they’re doing, or actors that aren’t awful at their jobs. That costs money. People often lend up their expertise at a craft in exchange for being paid.

It’s like… the people in favor of piracy assume that the only people that are getting paid is the person whose brain it came out of and these avaricious demons in giant buildings. How about the engineer in the recording studio, or even the person who built that hundred thousand dollar studio, or the guy holding the boom mic that gets paid minimum wage, you’d be taking away his job, or the grip, or the gaffer, or the writers, or the photog, all the cogs that work on that shit just as hard as the motherfuckers that get put up on the marquee.

Trust me on this. I’ve fucking been there.

If a TV show doesn’t do well in advertising money as figured out through the draconian Nielsen rating system here in the states, it gets cancelled, those people can be out of work for a long, long time, which sucks because the internet can be just as good and is honestly the future that TV is afraid of, they should embrace such a delivery system, because they can sell ad space through the streaming websites and get revenue and whatever, but people don’t even want to look at advertisements anymore.

Like, what do you assholes want to do in exchange for entertainment? Nothing? Tell me how that’s even fair? And that’s not considering that this current system is broken and archaic and stupid, it’s the current delivery system we’re under until someone makes a better one. We can’t make a better system by dismantling this one by not spending money for thirty fucking days, hell, even pirating it for a few years is a drop in the goddamn bucket and is negligible. What we need to do, as denizens of the internet, is get together and create a different deliver system that everyone in the business barring the RIAA, MPAA or any of those entities can get behind, and support, and still maintain with some integrity.

It’s not the spending of money that’s the issue, it’s spending it in the wrong fucking places. You’re on the internet, everyone is on here, everyone would like more fairness, find them, find the people that can do something and fix the issue rather than exacerbating it by doing some kind of ridiculous piracyfest that might serve to levy more bills against internet distribution. There are people that can change this with enough discussion.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is, yeah, music is easy enough to self-distribute, but if you can’t advertise, even on the internet, it won’t reach a lot of people as word of mouth can only go so far. Writing is also easy enough to self-distribute, but the same problem arises, and don’t even get me started on publication costs if you want to release a physical book. For TV or Movies? It’s nearly impossible to make something yourself and get paid for it. But it all points back to the same solution, if you don’t like how things currently work, move to fix the problems, don’t make them worse by doing stupid shit that makes it look like a bunch of the people that use the internet are thankless clods. That’s not going to get us anywhere. Piracy is enough of a problem since it’s a hot button issue, and that shows a lot of people are paying attention to it, but you’re not understanding that it’s viewed as problem. And, really, do you want to turn a problem into a bigger problem that pushes a awful, disgusting bill into ratification?


A Thing I Wrote To Some Simp About Copyrights

I sincerely apologize for castigating The Black March movement as a means that is idiotic, the people that think pirating intellectual property is the penguin’s balls and for taking a stance on something. I honestly rarely have passion for anything, and that terrifies me, and it makes me envious of people that do. But if you can honestly say that pirating software, movies, games, et al. is the best thing around and paying money for entertainment is bullshit then you’re an entitled child that really doesn’t deserve anything. Every time I’ve attempted to pirate something that wouldn’t be impossible to get otherwise, my scruples make me feel like a complete pile of shit and I hate myself for it. I, for some reason, still don’t have a legal copy of Band of Horses’ Everything All The Time and I feel like a moron because of it. I’ve had it for at least two years.

But, to me, that exemplifies the reason no one really supports the arts anymore, there’s no appreciation for them. And there’s no appreciation for the work that goes into the creative process. I can assure you that the people that steal this shit don’t send a message of thanks when they steal it and they clearly don’t spend money on it.  You don’t support the artist just by having their crap, so there’s no visible appreciation for it.  That shows how greedy, spoiled and shitty that section of the audience is, and as someone who has been generating content that is free for about a decade now, that people can, and have been able to, download at their leisure and that I make for the love of the process and the arts, all I can get is appreciation,  but if I didn’t know if I was entertaining anyone, which is the ultimate goal, then what’s the point of continuing?

So, it’s kind of a sore topic with me, and people trivializing that with their bullshit makes them a shitty person. Stealing the hard work of someone else and giving nothing back makes them a shitty person. And bragging about trivializing the work of someone else, then stealing it and saying there’s nothing wrong with it makes them a genuinely shitty person. And it’s good that they can live with themselves, I guess.  They can keep chasing that rainbow of antipathy towards everyone and resume their petty theft.

That’s the thing that pisses me off the most. People think all these artists or directors or writers or musicians see these numbers and go “Awesome, money!” But it can’t just be that. Every sale, every viewing, every unit moved means that many people enjoyed their product, that many people appreciated the work that they did. It’s not just the money.  It’s people showing the creators that they fucking give a shit about the output of the creative community. You sell 10,000 albums, move most tickets from 300 capacity venues on a tour, or, hell, get a few thousand hits on a streaming website of a new song or demo or whatever, do you know how awesome that has to feel?

A few weeks ago I was helping tear down the set for a concert at the town college’s auditorium. It was a show put on by Richard Marx. How many people know who that is without looking it up? It doesn’t matter. It was a 1700 seat theater and there were so many asses in those seats that it had to be close to selling out. The last song he played was his most famous song, and at the last chorus, he was basically like “sing along with me, dawgs”. Over a thousand people sang with him.  I was amazed. Because what he felt at that moment, regardless of if he was doing it in the middle of bumblefuck nowhere, or at Carnegie Hall, a thousand people gave a shit, by paying their money in appreciation, which he even noted before he finished the set, that our country has a messed up problem with its economy, and the people that were watching him at that moment came out and supported him and that it meant a whole lot to him. He appreciated his audience for showing up and being there for him to perform to.

So the next time you feel like pirating that shit, you’re taking that feeling away from somebody. So, go ahead and be selfish and continue not giving a shit about anyone but yourself, I’m sure that’s been working out just fine.


What 2011 Meant To Me

2011 was a load of shit.

Like, seriously, no question about it.

It started off pretty awesome, but around, like, May or June everything kind of pivoted on its heel and gave me a pretty awesome high kick to the jaw.  I mean, as amazingly productive as I was this year (some of it unfulfilled or entirely worthless) it was still a fairly lackluster experience, and may go down as probably one of the worst years come to pass since 1957.  That’s an arbitrary number, don’t think about it too hard.

I mean, yes, all the praise that I’ve gotten for the podcast, or my music, or my writing, or whatever, that’s great and everything, but it doesn’t really amount to something that I’ve lost that’s about a million times more important than any of that.

I’ve lost faith in a lot of people that were close to me.  Clearly, that’s what most of these blog entries were about.  It’s pretty much the most soul crushing realization of my life.  I’m pretty fastidious in my resolve to let bygones be bygones, allowing others to be themselves and all that other malarkey, but even then, there’s a goddamned limit.  As of midnight last night I’m done dealing with the sociopaths, the greedy, the needy, the liars, the sneaks, the backstabbers and the ne’er-do-wells.

“Well, there goes all of humanity,” you might say.  And fuck you.  You’re an idiot and one of the people I’m trying to distance myself from due to your unnecessarily malevolent jackassery.

I not only learned that I’ve lost faith in a bunch of conceited jerkoffs, but I’ve learned that I’m not 100% like my father or 100% like my mother.  I’m the worst combination of the two that could have possibly erupted into this world in a sticky mass of blood and afterbirth.  So here’s the scoop:

I am antisocial, yet quick to trust.

It takes a lot for me to dislike someone, even if I know they’re worthless and gross and terrible, but once I’ve harnessed that despondence of your character, you’re pretty much done and, if it can be achieved, I will not want anything to do with you ever again.

I am an angry, spiteful individual, but I can use it for humor.  Humor that I control to make others happy and make them smile because that’s my true passion.

People like me, but I don’t understand why.

I fear everything and everyone, yet I love everything and everyone.

I am simple, yet complex.

I am self-disparaging, as I am incapable of doing anything of substance, but a real cheerleader because for anyone else, anything is possible.

Should I change this behavior?  I don’t think so.  I like who I am, and I like what this has made me.  I am a supporter.  I am analytical.  I am a thinker.  I am a creator.  These quirks help me in those fields and regularly help enhance the things I do.

If there is any justice in Cosmic Law, I will be able to cull these abilities, these traits, and make them stronger and more fluid.

That is my goal for the year ahead.

A goal I plan to achieve.


The Hiatus

Due to having run out of things to complain about at this juncture, I am going to take a break on the writing until I’ve amassed a decent amount of material.  I don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, not that it particularly matters.  Updates will be sporadic, at best, and hopefully not just a bunch of droning on and on about depressing and awful things, though it’s really the only kind of writing I am proficient at.  Time will tell, though, if current trends improve.

But, as it stands, this place will be devoid of future content.  Until next time.