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All posts for the month November, 2005

I counter today's ridiculous protest by the Japanese community against Memoirs of a Geisha with this survey of 1.3 million voters, that proved that even asians have no idea how similar we look. The results of the survey? The average score was 38%, only 5% better than blind guessing.

Burkard explained that you would not cast people of African American or Hispanic heritage as Caucasians. "The perception is that we (Chinese and Japanese) look alike, and are the same, well we do not and are not the same and filmmakers should not make sweeping generalizations that are insensitive to our culture and heritage."

Quick! Name the best Japanese actress seen stateside! Only one I could think of was Tamlyn Tomita, who incidentally plays a Chinese-American in Joy-Luck Club. And her acting isn't quite a headliner act yet. Liam Neeson wasn't a jew, and I don't think Philip Seymour Hoffman is gay. Buckard might want to point out the "sweeping generalizations" being made in the movie, not by the casting director. Or how about the fact the original author isn't even Japanese. Miyagi is spinning in his American grave, mind you.

Anyways, this diatribe is now too long in the tooth. I'll apologize with the truest Penny Arcade comic I've seen yet: WoW Patch Notes 1.9

P.S. This picture is from Tokyo and unrelated to anything in this entry :rolleyes:

Well I finally saw Crash this Thanksgiving weekend, and despite the doctored story I really liked it. It has joined Heat and Collateral as one of those movies that just gets L.A. right, the people, the weather, the electric dawn when the unfinished business of the previous day, still adrenal from a wide-eyed night, crashes into the beginning of the next day, proving that in the city of angels, 24 hours is not enough.

More to point, the depiction of racial tension in the movie was spot on. Sandra Bullock gives a great line:

"I just had a gun pointed in my face… and it was my fault because I knew it was gonna happen. But if a white person sees two black men walking towards her and she turns and walks away, she's a racist, right? Well I got scared and I didn't do anything and ten seconds later I had a gun in my face. Now I am telling you, your amigo in there is going to sell our key to one of his homes and this time it would be really fucking great if you acted like you gave a shit!"

In all the other states ('cept Nevada but that's special) I've been in, racism exists, but quietly so, waiting for the day to die. I've been stared at, I've been passed up for service, but only in Cali do you really hear pure vitriol like "he doesn't speak English." The war against racism in one of the most racially diverse layer cakes of the world has pushed our need to hate into such a corner that we can't even keep track of what we're hating about which race anymore, captured perfectly in Crash.

I'm not a racist, but I'm unashamedly prejudiced. The difference? I don't think all Thai food inherently tastes like shit, I've live among bad Thai restaurants. But you'd be a fool to, for the sake of being open-minded, turn a blind eye to a black man in Oakland. I've had more altercations with blacks in Oakland than I can count, and we'll ignore the fact that they all give you attitude as they jaywalk slowly across busy intersections or talk 20dB louder than anyone nearby.

I want to champion UCB linguistics Prof. John McWhorter as a voice of sanity in the self-perpetuating poverty and social suicide by black culture, who's tendency to blame outside factors, right or wrong, is a leash to his people's very status. I want to champion comic Dave Chappelle, who's brand of humor takes the fears of whites and blacks both and makes us face them together. I want to champion his character the blind, negro KKK activist who sums up how silly it is for fear of "hill-billy" racism as the boogyman keeping our real feelings suppressed instead of letting conversation turn honest.

But I can't. Because the mere mention of any opinions from outside the oh-so liberal-minded state of California always engenders comments about how the rest of the country is a pit of corrupt rednecks. Is that so? Is that why the gerrymandering in California is so bad? Particularly in the Bay Area? Look at the current situation of the state and you'll know why I don't vote. It just really, really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters in these days of closer yet closer elections is who is more corrupt. Which is tough when both sides lie unabashedly.

Pat Morita aka Mr. Miyagi passed away. He probably did for karate what Bruce Lee did for kung fu. And that is to say, lead dumb fat Americans to be better at it than the asians. But hey, that's the asian's perogative to be prideful to the point of self-damaging. Every time I hear the phrase "sleeping Dragon" to describe China I just laugh at what is actually a drugged up Chimera flopping mid-air on borrowed time, borrowed money.

I was reading some criticism about Richard Duncan's excellent book The Dollar Crisis, and some guy comments that Duncan is wrong, Chinese banks do NOT use the national surplus as criteria for credit expansion. So I did a little research. That's right, they do not. BUT! Criteria for credit expansion is set by the STATE, and the commies can tell their banks to do whatever they want, and I'm sure the state uses the surplus as a sign of more credit. To say chinese banks are more cognizant of the problems that led to Japan's downfall is probably right. To say chinese banks are therefore less corrupt and in a better position is WRONGWRONGWRONGWRONGWRONG.

But I'm ok. I just recieved my Everbank papers and have dumped significant funds into the Marketsafe S&P and Gold Bullion certificates. Everbank, btw, has been excellent so far, with customer service easy to reach and a personal letter from the CEO who's vision and distrust of the Federal Reserve matches mine. They are an excellent hedging solution, the only bad thing I can see is the bewilderingly pisspoor webpage design.

Phoenix Wright awaits. BTW, if you bought an XBox 360, be aware that it can scratch up your games. I also just met a guy last nite who's friend was the one that posted the shots of 360 crashes. Rumors abound on how high failure rate is (he claimed 15% but that's hard to believe), but no one should be surprised since this happens with nearly every hardware launch. I would have gotten one myself probably if Joanna Dark didn't look like a rap-rocker now.

It's Thanksfuckingivings, the most gridironed week of the year. I remember one year going down to LA wa so bad we had to pull off the 5 and crash at Steve's brother's place for a few hours before we could make it thru the rest of LA. Every single local street was carnival that night. I'm ecstatic that I'm not going down this week.

Not that I have a choice, as Xstine is working overtime this whole week, turkeys be banged. I'm reading about the Xbox launch, with seemed to go smoothly with only a few crashes here and there. I really should have got one, they've been selling like crazy on eBay. Come PS3, I'm going to buy out a whole pallet full of them. Then I'm going to set up a booth around Rodeo Dr. and scalp rich people. Just like the way the Barnes&Noble internet cafe is scalping me for writing this.

ANYWAYS, enjoy the holiday everyone. For some great holiday reading, hit up Epic Legends Of The Hierarchs: The Elemenstor Saga. Tycho at Penny Arcade had one comic where he was gravely crafting a story for a hideously cliche fantasy series, and fans decided to breath life into this mockery of all that is pen-n-paperery tomfoolery by writing a massive Wiki for this fake saga. Some of the funnier items remind me of Kingdom of Loathing, of which I still haven't attempted ascension. My Pastamancer is awaiting the ulimate pet from Mr. Store, or to save enough for a pet raincloud to replace my hovering sombrero.

Every so often, when sharks eat sharks, something good comes out of it. I found this delightful and hilarious treatise by one real-estate guru attacking another, namely the evil incarnate Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.

If you haven't heard of this book, it's essentially a quasi-fictional book of accounting advice packaged up as dad's money wisdom, but catering to the lazy and unsuccessful who seethe at the successes of the rich and advantaged. People have quit college to pursue this bunk, no joke. It is the leading celebrity among that 95% of the investing shelf at Border's so carelessly shitting out bad investment advice. Dangerously bad, have you.

Anyways, back to topic, this John T. Reed guy (who's a quite a huckster himself) gives a line-by-line deconstruction of Kiyosaki's dementia-in-print. It's like when Penn & Teller take apart scams and misrepresentations in their Bullsh!t show, which they excel at because misdirection is their trade. Except in this case, it's kinda sad. Nevertheless, it's a great read, especially if you've ever picked up Rich Dad, Poor Dad and thought "troublingly clever…" This is honesty only the dishonest could conjure. I hope you love it too, my little Blainetologists! :spock:

Xbox 360 is apparently out today. I heard armed robbers attempted to steal one from Gamestop. They were probably foiled by the paralyzing enormity of the dark matter AC brick, although they should have realized they would have been impervious had they used it as a riot shield in a shoot-out with the cops.

On the complete other end of the gaming spectrum is the Phantom, which was recently abandoned by original Xbox main man Kevin Bacchus. See, instead of answering internet critiques with lawsuits, they should have answered with a product. Jack Thompson should join their team, he's proven there is something more virtual than the intrarweb's cosmic jelly where [H]ard|OCP and Penny Arcade float thru. FETALLY float thru.

But whatever, we knew the Phanthompson force was going nowhere. We just didn't know at what physics-defying speed it was hurtling towards that nowhere barrier. Imagine if it collided with an incredibly dense matter of pure gaming power, like the 360's AC brick, at the point where nowhere becomes somewhere. The universe would explode. The resulting anti-matter signatures would linger into our old age as we recount the Wild Wild West of turn-of-the-century console gaming.

My fingers hurt like hell, fucking hammer-ons.

As much as I ended up hating WoW, I can't help but feel outraged at Blizzard getting sued for some dumbshit 13-yr old jumping to his death to re-enact a scene from the game. I think they mean the scene in the game where you jump off a cliff and die horribly regardless of what level or armor you have. You know, they keep forgetting the levels of constant and pervasive Kubrickian violence in movies, TV, and comics, probably because games are "interactive" and therefore more influential.

Let me tell ya something. You know what's interactive? When I was a kid we had life-like gun replicas before they had to be colored like toys. We had ninja swords and fake blood, pop-cap pistols, fireworks, and midgetized O.K. corral shoot-out sets at the park. Then we'd go there and take it out on each other until some kid got hurt, cried, bloodied, wiped up, and back to keep pchoo pchooing with the rest. We would mix household chemicals and pesticides into secret concoctions of death to back up the rubber-band guns and paperclip maces we made that could easily have left us blind. I got flung off a merry-go-round once and ate dirt 5ft away.

Maybe the problem with games is that they aren't interactive enough. Maybe we learned our lesson because kids did get maimed. Maybe that's how our fragile little psyches avoided corruption. So how about making laser tag legal again? I can't believe we got arrested at 4am running around having the time of our lives in an abandoned park. Don't you get it? Laser tag meant we were sick of shooting it out in virtual De_Dust in virtual Iraq with virtual glocks.

I know why this stupid chinese kid jumped to his death. In China you only get one kid. You aren't going to let him shoot a paintball gun or go bungie jumping or wipe his own ass. So, being sick of an entire life at a study desk, he wanted to see some sunlight. Too bad he was a noob at it, if he had some practice I'm sure he would have survived to enjoy his BASE jump.

Live a little people, or you're gonna die the first time you try.

gods gift to gamers, I just discovered it. Guitar Hero for the PS2.

Xstine and I are majorly addicted, and she's not even much of a metal fan. But they did such a fuckin' awesome job of translating the feel of rockin' out to the toy guitar that comes with the game that you feel, to paraphrase Kevin Spacey, like you rule. If you've ever air-guitarred, thrown up horns/lighters, touched a real guitar, or thought it would own to be KISS for a day, you need this game.

I realized I never had anything against rhythm games. The legions of closet J-Pop divas stomping in ungainly fervor on DDR turned me way off, no doubt, especially when they get that vacant look only an ex-wallflower who has a high score to erase all the embarrassment of school dance premaculation can have. Or worse, like when I went to Dave & Busters and saw dance nerds breakdancing and sporting gang signs, yo, the same fools that back in my day did vogue and hammer. Now they were strutting and puffing up behind DDR handrails.

No, this game hits me at a primal level, striking a chord with my deepest fantasy… cross-dressed white-trash mullet-flared lead guitarist spitting crunchy power cords at a pit mob. Shiver! If this guitar controller was cheaper (and xstine not fighting me for the next turn), I'd have smashed my furniture by now, that's how hard I was rockin'.

Anyways, now I see multi-colored chords and a ROCK meter racking up mad points whenever I listen to guitars. Wish to god they had some Black album Metallica, Dismember, Dissection, and Kataclysm on this game too, but I guess that'd be a bit too hardcore for the kiddies. I have this urge to get a wig and a spiked wristband.

It's like shattering the sound barrier, this blogging ritual. Once you've broken it, you're already going too fast to stop, you've wrested attention forcibly from those around you with pompous boom, then later you're deaf to all but the sounds in your own head. Peace ensues. Then you promise to maintain altitude in the drowsy thickness of it all, insulated from your surroundings by a fuckin' pounding headache called e-conceit. I like this headache, sure beats the only other e-conceit known to man… forums.

Ok fine, Maddox too, ya picky prick.

It's like shattering the sound barrier, this blogging ritual. Once you've broken it, you're already going too fast to stop, you've wrested attention forcibly from those around you with pompous boom, then later you're deaf to all but the sounds in your own head. Peace ensues. Then you promise to maintain altitude in the drowsy thickness of it all, insulated from your surroundings by a fuckin' pounding headache called e-conceit. I like this headache, sure beats the only other e-conceit known to man… forums.

Ok fine, Maddox too, ya picky prick.