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Apr. 25th, 2008

girl alone

(no subject)

reading a lot of classic type novels lately has made me come to a conclusion about all things livejournal:

when i die i'd rather not have posts about shitty television be my lasting legacy.

so i leave you with this:

peace out livejournal.

Apr. 21st, 2008


in which i insult joss whedon AND properly use the term chimera

so i saw an episode of this new-ish british sci-fi spin off show tonight called torchwood.

i think i've crafted a new answer to the "if you could go back in time and kill one person..." question:

joss whedon

the man has single-handedly ruined science fiction and fantasy by popularizing the genre of 'edgy people in long coats who brood over simple yet overly-complicated plot points and dark pasts'

buffy was a shambling abomination that ate itself alive. angel was its twisted grendel-like offspring. firefly was an attempt to save the style by using actual *gasp* talent that still failed because we had seen it a thousand times before already.

yes joss whedon, you managed to transfer the banter from every friday night dungeons and dragons game into television shows. you've given a whole sub-group of dragon shirt wearing nerds something they can relate to, complete with witty repartee that's akin to their own!

science fiction and fantasy are genres that need to be taken more seriously, not injected with stale jokes and brooding main characters. by cashing in (over and over again i may add) joss whedon has slowly cannibalized the rotting corpses of BOTH genres. we're trying so hard to legitimize this shit for some bastard to come along with cybernetic demon vampires and ruin it.

please joss, muster whatever respect you have for your fans and stop this now. put your ghoulish followers to the torch and let the horrific chimera you've created die.

same goes for you people that make lost and heroes. fuck you too.

Apr. 16th, 2008

girl alone

resident evil 5 criticism

so i haven't really posted anything here of any real substance in a good year or so, so here we go:

resident evil 5 interview discusses setting - kotaku

for those of you not in the know, resident evil 5 is going to take place in africa. there will be black zombies, shitloads of them in hand-me-down flannels and ripped pants. you will play chris redfield, all around euro-hunk with a chisled jaw and close-cut hair style...and you will kill lots of black zombies. from the video it seems like hordes of them, moreso than any previous resident evil game. you've got guns, they've got shovels and hatchets.

it's about time they brought imperialism and colonialism into the modern area, amirite?

the release of the original trailer caused quite a hoot for obvious reasons. people were outraged to see a white dude laying waste to entire villages of indigenous black folk. quite rightfully so, it's a pretty horrifying image if you go past the video-game-isms that surround it. consider the vietnam war, the massacre at my lai, these are things people take pretty seriously. beyond that, it was black people. if you've been paying attention, popular culture generally frowns upon targeting one specific group for slaughter, even if it makes sense given the setting.

does this make it okay though? hardly. let's examine the facts here:

- black people, moreso than probably any other race, have experienced the most abject dehumanization for the longest period of time.
- the image of 'darkness' that surrounds africa, the so-called 'dark continent', has been a classically used tool to create fear of dark-skinned people.
- cannibalism was a popular misconception used to spread fear of african tribes during colonialism.

the list could go on. now let's cover a few things about zombies and the comments made in the above video:

- zombies are not human, but carry vestiges of humanity with them. watch any zombie movie and you will see the inevitable scene in which a character is forced to either kill or be killed by a zombified loved one. zombies are about dehumanization and mob mentality.
- the lead designer featured in the video talks a lot about darkness, the conflict between light and dark and how they play into the games. the emphasis of course being on light prevailing over dark, white defeating black, etc etc.
- classical zombies eat human flesh for sustenance. while it hasn't been confirmed that these zombies do (and if you remember from RE4, the villagers there weren't strictly referred to as "zombies") it can only be assumed that in the resident evil franchise, something shambling will consume human flesh should you fail at your task. sidenote: the traditional african-style zombie (more from haiti, but we'll let that slide because they're all dark-skinned and i doubt these game designers are taking the time to note the difference themselves) isn't known for consuming human flesh. that's more of a george romero thing.

these three basic points are just a few of many ways in which the zombie genre connects up with the whole range of strategies that were used to dehumanize black people to the point of allowing such gross discrimination against them world-wide.

you may be saying, but what about the villagers from resident evil 4? weren't they similarly torn apart by a white protagonist? where was the uproar there?

it's simple: spanish people, in most cases, can be considered "white". they're the colonizers, the people doing the oppressing, not the oppressed. (note of clarification: these are people from the country of spain, not those of spanish decent in mexico or south america.)

but black zombies? that's just kicking a people while they're down.

i think n'gai croal, a much better writer than i, said it best in a recent interview with african american people in the games industry:

"I looked at the “Resident Evil 5″ trailer and I was like, 'Wow, clearly no one black worked on this game.'... The point isn’t that you can’t have black zombies. There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery.

The perspective of the trailer is not even someone who’s coming to help the people. It’s like they’re all dangerous; they all need to be killed. It’s not even like one cute African — or Haitian or Caribbean — child could be saved. They’re all dangerous men, women and children. They all have to be killed.

The portrayal of Africa, or the Caribbean, since we don’t know where it’s being set, as sort of this dark, dangerous continent filled with people who only want to do you harm goes back a long, long way. And based on the images put up on the trailer, what else are you supposed to take from it? Especially if you’re not familiar with the franchise...

This imagery has a history. It has a history and you can’t pretend otherwise. That imagery still has a history that has to be engaged, that has to be understood."

well said sir, well said. i think he identifies something here, something that the game might have the balls to do (but it's doubtful): engage the imagery of discrimination and colonialization and combat it. i know, a video game about defeating racist imagery doesn't sound very fun, but this is one of those golden opportunities to do something great, even if it is difficult and risky. the modern zombie genre sprung out of social criticism, so why does it have to stop now?

Mar. 15th, 2008

girl alone

(no subject)

tonight's one of those nights where it feels like the weight of the world's problems rest upon my shoulders. someone tell me why the world has to be such a draining and parasitic place.

Mar. 12th, 2008


(no subject)

for the two of you who get this joke, enjoy.

the rest of you: go play silent hill 2.

somethings need to be shared. <- very NSFW thread on 7chan on the subject of "pyramid head rape". includes both the terrifying and the absurd among gems of internet styled hilarity.

Feb. 19th, 2008


(no subject)

went to bourbon and branch again this weekend, this time with preston and his new girl.

ordered tastier drinks this time, the elderflower no. 10 was pretty wussy and thus tasty. also, didn't spend nearly as much time in the library as before, which made the overall experience nicer.

after leaving we determined that the night was far from over and more drinking needed to be done, so we wandered around until we found left y o'douls, a haufbrau / piano bar.

there was a certain magic to drinking shitty drinks 5 feet away from dudes carving meat while listening to frank (who can only be described as a not-ironic richard cheese) queue up midi beats on his casio keyboard and freestyle the names of patrons into classic tunes. we were perhaps the youngest people in there, the median age being about 50, but that just added to it, especially when preston was holding his girlfriend's purse and was promptly BURNED by a group of older ladies who topped it off by taking a picture of him with their cellphones.

the moral of the story? if you're ever drinking in sf and don't know where to take your evening, lefty o'douls will not disappoint. just make sure to throw frank a few bucks and request bohemian rhapsody.

also: sandra lee on food network is right now showing me how to take corn, cover it in garlic butter, then wrap it in bacon before grilling the whole thing.


Feb. 5th, 2008

girl alone

(no subject)

you know the political system is a failure when you feel bad voting your heart at the polls because you know the second people find out you voted for kucinich they're going to give you some long speech about wasting your vote.

Jan. 31st, 2008


(no subject)

those who know me know that my internal censor is practically non-existant, but i did have to stop myself today before i posed the question:

"i wonder what schindler's list is like stoned?"

Jan. 17th, 2008


(no subject)

it's like a koala bear crapped a rainbow in my brain

Jan. 16th, 2008


(no subject)

this very well may mean nothing to anybody, but reckoning bomb + dragonforce = win.

if you have any clue what i'm talking about here just leave a comment to make me feel better about how much of a nerd i am.

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