Archive for September, 2013

Why The Simpsons are still relevant…

September 21, 2013

I have to admit that once a show has hit more than 20 seasons, it’s probably time to call it quits.  But as much as I feel that way, whenever I see a newer episode of the show, the one thing I can’t  help but notice is it’s relevance.  Shows like Family Guy have become a bit hit or miss even though no end seems to be in sight for that, simply because Family Guy at first seemed to fit into a cultural niche, that allowed us to initially see it as The Simpsons for the new century, but it devolved all too quickly into completely random cutaways that have very little to do with the show on the whole. I mean that chicken fighting bit?  That never made me laugh, but I don’t find fault with you if you did laugh at it, we are all different.  But let’s just say I grew up with America’s favorite yellow family, and watched as they evolved, in so many ways, the humor that changed with the times, the dropping of or adoption of new catch phrases, the onset of the internet age, and the changes that came with that.  The show will exist forever in my consciousness as something that partially shaped or influenced my world view, my sense of humor, and help educated me about the deeper world.  While going completely off the deep end at times, and the very non-realisitic events, Homer and co. always find themselves in, at it’s very center, it focuses so strongly on the importance of family, and the fact that new material is still coming out, it is a mark of mastery from the show creators that they can write over two decades worth of material with characters that never age.  What is up with that?  Entire classes could be taken on the social evolution shown through the long run of this show that means so much to me and many others. 

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I wouldn’t say it’s the best game I’ve ever played…

September 21, 2013

But Diablo III is a whole lot of fun.  The story is good although pretty bare bones for the majority of the game.  The cinematics are gorgeous, but too seldom in my opinion, and the ending while being what I expected it to be, was a bit lacking.  So let’s just say character development is not a big part of this game, even though character customization options are bountiful, and for that I am grateful.  Blizzard knows how to keep games engrossing beyond their main plotlines, and that is something many other game developers seem to be lacking.  Sure I could replay plenty of games, but how many games give me the option to try something different the next time around? Or give me a good reason to keep going on a different difficulty mode?  Not many.  Especially in the age where most types of games give you the option to constantly change your difficulty throughout.  I would say the general challenge of the game seems a bit erratic.  In some places you can manage with such ease, while in other places, the number of times you get massacred is maddening.  It sometimes adjusts according to your failures or successes, yet not in enough parts of the game if you ask me.  I just restarted on Nightmare mode, and I think it’s much more to my speed, even though I know where everything is still.  Check it out on console, the co-op mode is the biggest reason to own it on console.   

The Daily grind

September 21, 2013

We spend our days telling ourselves we really should stop giving a crap about the haters, and the people that bring us down.  But the truth is we should kill them with kindness or what have you.  Too much animosity and hate flying around our heads all day long, why make it worse?   And then when we are wronged by these people(and yes certain situations warrant different reactons, but i refer to mostly minor injustices towards our person), we tell ourselves how much we won’t let it bother us, and let it slide past us, and whatever, but instead we turn around and go “hey this doesn’t bug me, but so and so is such a bitch, and I can’t stand that one thing that they do, and.. blah blah blah.”  Is this called not giving a crap?  No.  And I’m not trying to be all self-righteous about this and say everything can be ignored, or that I’m not guilty of talking shit from time to time, or that some indignities should be suffered instead of calling someone out on them. I’m just saying that if we spent less time trash talking or trying to get even, maybe something better could come out of this bad situation. 

It’s so amazing…

September 21, 2013

When you go to a show and you realize that the artist’s message about changing the world and spreading their worldwide message of love and peace is the real deal, and not just a way to make a quick buck or whatever.  In the live setting, it is amazing to find out that the heart and soul you heard in their music was more than just a studio trick.  If you ever find yourself disappointed at the show of an artist you like, it takes so much magic away from your listening experience.  Music without passion is meaningless.  And I have never understood the point of making music for a living if you don’t live in your music.  I mean what’s the point?  It’s also amazing when you find yourself dancing away, and everyone else is moving and grooving just as much as you, and you’re all feeling this amazing moment together.  It’s so seldom when so many other humans are in sync with one another, but when it happens, it’s life changing.  Those are the kinds of moments that stick with us.  And the longer we can have those moments close to us in our memories, the more good we can do for this world.  And that’s amazing isn’t it?

The Social Politics of Cigarrettes

September 20, 2013

I am not a regular smoker by any means, and it was against my better judgment when three weeks ago today I bought a pack of cigarettes at Cumby’s.  But I have been a social smoker for much of my adult life, even if my usual stance is against such substances, which is good because they are horrible for you.  And the fact that all the truth about what cigarrettes can do to you if you smoke for a prolonged period of time do not keep people from smoking seems to lead us to an interesing thought.  Is smoking directly correlated to our fear of our own mortality or some such thing, or have I missed that mark?  That is a good thought to wonder on, but all the same, it is neither here nor there and is not on the topic that I am leading into here. 

I tend to hang out with the smokers on the few and far between occasions when i can just go out on the town for a night of debauchery and awesome.  When I’ve had a bit too much dancing, or just need to cool down before continuing in the night’s events, I find myself stepping outside and into a world where people that may have been really reserved inside might tell you too much information about any old thing.  I don’t know, it’s like a lot of smokers seem to have this bond that makes them think they can trust others with stuff they wouldn’t otherwise tell strangers.  Or maybe it’s because I find them at a considerably drunker time in their night out.  Either way, this is where most of my bar related conversations seem to happen, and I learn so many interesting things in doing so.  It almost seems socially viable to carry around cigarrettes on your person whether or not you are in fact smoking yourself.  If you have a cig they can bum, you have opened the first page of an interesting story about this that or the other thing. And that is something awesome if you ask me. Even though you will often get the TMI moments, you will more often than not get a much deeper glimpse of who this person is if you just acknowledge while inside getting your drink on.  And as much as I would like to say I don’t endorse smoking as a good choice, I would reccomend following this track if you are dying for a conversation. 

Things I love about Fall

September 20, 2013

Now that the weather is changing I am excited to usher in the return of my favorite season:  Autumn.  Though in New England, I never know what the seasons are gonna be like, our weather is just so erratic at the best of times.  I am not opposed to t shirts and shorts, on the contrary, most of my shirts are t shirts, but the changing temperatures facing us in Autumn make me feel more fancy dresswise. After it was too hot to wear most of my nicer clothes, this is a welcome change, time to break out all the flannels and button down shirts, and sweaters.  Time to brew up the cocoa, and get bombarded around every turn with all the yummy pumpkin flavored goodness, such as Pumpkinhead, Coffee and Pumpkin Spice eggo waffles, oh and let’s not forget the pumpkin ice cream, my god, life is good in the fall.  The leaves haven’t changed yet, as evidenced by my random destination ride today in my little red car, but i had nothing better to do, and fall is the best time for random drives to nowhere in particular.  Apple picking anyone?  Yes, I love being out in the orchard getting lost in the trees, pretending I’m in nature, when I can see nothing but trees on all sides.  Then there’s that classic moment when you pull an apple down from the tree and rub it on your shirt, and take that first fresh bite, the experience you can’t get from store bought apples. Oh and let’s not forget to mention apple cider.  And Autumn reaches it’s high point around the harvest, samhain or halloween or what have you.  I never do enough to celebrate it, maybe this year I’ll actually find a costume party to go to who knows?  But know that you’ll also probably find me out on a hill somewhere, nursing a cocoa and staring up at the heavens some night. And that is why fall is perfect. 

Miley Cyrus’ Twerk Attack

September 3, 2013

So everyone was in an uproar over the Miley Cyrus performance at the VMAs for the past week now.  And it was apparently seen by the general masses as a bigger outrage than any of the news related to Syria was.  Come on America, where are your priorities?  But  all the same, in regards to the performance itself, it was just a major slapdash mixture of performers and songs, with awful transitions, so all in all a bit sloppily put together.  But other than that, i want to address the point of everybody’s offense.  A young 20 something expressing her sexuality is seen as shameful. Is it because it’s Miley Cyrus, is it because she just has ridiculous hair, or her singing isn’t as good as it used it be?  Is it because you still see her as a little girl playing Hannah Montana?  what is it?  Yes it’s a bit lewd and lascivious, but Lady Gaga is always doing things like this, and nobody bats an eye.  Miley is an adult and can make her own choices, detrimental or not.  But offensive?  I don’t think so.  Awkward to watch because she’s not that great a dancer?  Maybe.  But all I really wanna say is that, this is what bugs us, this is what presses so heavily on our souls, at a time when such horrible things are happening in the world?  Shouldn’t we be more accepting of us as Americans letting our freak flags fly as it were.  A young woman doing something like Miley’s performance is gutsy if you ask me,  and further subverting the male dominated society, by acting out as a liberated woman, her rights as a human being.  Suggestive or not, it’s really not a big deal. Stop the slut shaming and whatever. Besides it was just dancing. 

Waging Peace

September 3, 2013

I’ve thought about this a lot, and it seems like a great time to mention it.  I asked someone if I could help them find anything at work today, and there answer was, “Peace in Syria.”  And of course, as everyone knows, or hopefully everyone knows, lots of really bad stuff is happening, crimes against humanity and all that.  The debate is heating up over what our government should or shouldn’t do about it.  We should help in some way, but how?  Every other time something like this happens, we step in with our own acts of war.  And we justify it in the name of Peace.  War can’t be fought in the name of Peace, because it is anything but. War being fought with peace as the ultimate goal, is a crock of shit.  It’s war, that’s all it is.  Peacemakers?  No, you can’t make peace, you can either keep it, or throw it all away by starting a war.  I see peace as the default state, the way the world is normally, and war is the element that gets introduced that messes it all up.  If we want peace, the last thing we should do is escalate wars.  Also, just because we are the U.S.A, does not mean we can solve every other country’s problem.  Some things need to be thought through a little better, if we really want any sort of “peace” in our time.  I mean look at our own country, we are always at war with ourselves, but we never acknowledge it. Let’s start right now.