Viva Fidel Castro? I suppose not…

For those of you who pay no attention to the media, Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro died a day or so ago.  There is a political divide in this country (and several other countries in the world) over whether Fidel Castro was a good man or not and whether or not he was a good president or not.  The divide is so prominent in the U.S. that we’ve essentially been at one-step-away-from-war with Cuba for almost twice as long as I’ve been alive.

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” -Fidel Castro (not really)

But what we must remember is that much of the cruelty Castro is accused of…is because of the United States meddling in his country.  Much of the death toll associated with his regime are CIA-funded counter revolutionaries and assassins sent by the U.S. to destabilize Cuba and oust Castro.

Castro and his cronies ‘Che’ Gueverra and the current president of Cuba, Raul Castro, led a popular revolt to oust the American-backed president, Fulgencio Batista.  In the first 50 years of Castro’s regime he is popularly regarded as killing or imprisoning 50,000 people.  Batista was in power for 10 years and killed or imprisoned 20,000 people.  If we assume that would have continued he would have a death toll of closer to 100,000 people in the same amount of time Castro was in power.

So let’s talk a bit about Batista.  Donald Trump, our future president came out cheering on social media over Castro’s death.  This id kind of interesting considering Batista was first elected president of Cuba in 1940 as a Democratic Socialist.  He was pro-union, pro-labor law, and anti-Fascist and an accomplished military veteran (everything Trump isn’t and everything he hates).  He won around 56% of the vote, in the 1940 election.

Y’know, the look of this guy reminds me of someone Maybe I’ll think of it as we continue?

Batista’s regime lasted only 4 years and the man he groomed to replace him lost in the 1944 election.  It is believed that Batista embezzled almost the entirety of Cuba’s treasury and fled to the U.S. before the next President could be sworn in.  Batista spent the next few years living a life of luxury in the U.S. where he ran for re-election as a Cuban Senator in absentia (this means he won the position, despite not even being in Cuba).  With this new position as Senator secured he returned to Cuba and ran for President in 1952.

It was a triple-threat race with the popular vote heading starkly toward Cuba’s Partido Orthodoxo party with a respectable second being the Cuban Partido Autentico party.  Running a distant third was Batista’s party.  So a few months before the election with almost no hope of actually winning, he secured his old military contacts and staged a military revolution.  He declared himself President, cancel the elections, and exiled then-president Carlos Prio Socarras from the country.  Well okay to be fair, Socarras was a bit of a dupe and apparently didn’t believe that Batista would actually stage a coup, so he did nothing to respond to the attacks when they occurred.  Once Batista took control and named himself President, Socarras quietly ceded defeat and fled the country.

Ah! There it is; that's who he reminds me of!

Ah! There it is; that’s who he reminds me of!

This is where the fun part occurs!  The U.S. government recognized Batista’s as the legitimate government and remained allies with Cuba, under Batista.  Now to be fair, sections of Cuba did continue to prosper under Batista – he wasn’t a complete idiot when it came to administration.  He was actually a pretty good government administrator.  But at this point he began a new direction where he desired more personal wealth, more power, and more respect – particularly from those of the upper echelons of Cuban society.

Batista got in deep with organized crime and American business.  In one instance Batista allowed an American phone company to raise their service rates to Cuban by an astronomical rate (he, naturally, received kickbacks from them).

And the number one form of aid from the U.S. to Cuba during Batista’s reign?  Weapons.  The U.S. supplied Batista’s police forces and his military with the munitions they needed to ensure someone didn’t pull a Batista and raise their own military revolution.  U.S. government officials even referred to him as a ‘despot’, but he was anti-communist by this point (remember that he got elected on a pro-Communist ticket in the 1940 election) and so that made him pro-America in the 1950s.

JFK was anti-Batista and actually, at least secretly, approved of Castro’s revolution when it began.

Yup, I can definitely see it. *Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

Yup, I can definitely see it.
*Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

You see Fidel Castro was a young lawyer, a rising star in the political spectrum of Cuba.  Right up until Batista canceled the elections that were supposed to bring Castro to the forefront.

Batista held fraudulent elections in 1954 and the man who had once defeated his protégé was the major runner-up against him.  Batista used brutal intimidation tactics to keep people from voting for anyone but him, or for voting for anyone at all.  Batista convinced the opposing parties in the election to abstain from voting if they opposed him.  This would be the equivalent of saying, “Well I support Hillary Clinton, so I just won’t vote that way I can’t vote for Donald Trump.”  In the election that Batista legitimately won over 75% of the country voted…in this one only 45% of the country voted.  Batista’s opposition dropped out of the election out of fear for their supporters.  The funny thing is…the guy still won almost 7% of the vote after dropping out of the race.

Batista began a campaign of brutality against his own people including killing University Students because his regime deemed all unemployed youth to be potential revolutionaries.  He shut down the universities and recalled a military officer who was popular to help support him.

Sadly for him, said officer led a military revolution.  It was found out though and Batista won the fight.  Eventually Castro would gain enough support from the people to overthrow Batista and force him to flee to Europe.

So as we remember Castro upon his recent death at the age of 90.  Remember that the U.S. of the 1950s created the Castro regime.  We created it by keeping such a vile piece of brutality in power as Batista.  Castro may not have been the perfect president, but I believe he was better than the alternative.

At least the good news is the U.S, doesn’t stand beside brutal dictators that turn the military on their own people any longer.  Right?

syrian-deathtolls

Oh…yeah…I forgot we don’t learn from our mistakes.  Damn it.

~RCS

The Hamilton-Pence Affair

I put this up on my Facebook account about a week ago.  Figured there are some people who check the site, but don’t follow us on Social Media.  So here’s the Pence/Hamilton post I’d done:
On the subject of the Hamilton cast singling out VP-elect Pence, particularly regarding Van Zandts’ recent comments about how the people on stage shouldn’t single out people in the audience I have only one thing to say and in 4 points:
1. Think back to a few years ago when Hugh Jackman was on stage for a play and a guy’s cell phone rang in the audience.  We all laughed and cheered when Jackman singled him out and chided him.
2. I assume that Trump and his Trumpsters (my personal colloquialism for his most fervent supporters) would also agree that no other stage should be turned into a forum for political speech; not just a broadway play that is literally about political, right?  Something like…a Ted Nugent concert, or the Ramones getting inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame, or a Megadeath frontman claiming that Barack Obama staged the Aurora Theater massacre and the nutjob who shot up that Sihk temple.
3. I can only assume that all the people claiming that the Hamilton cast was out of line to address Pence that way would be just as upset if the cast had endorsed Pence, right?  I mean after all the argument isn’t that they denounced Pence – especially since they technically didn’t, they asked him to be true to his and his leader’s word and run the country for the betterment of everyone in the country, not just a select few – but that the issue is that they used the stage to single out a politician and address him, openly, period.  So if Pence went to see a showing of Other People’s Money and they singled him out, thanked him for watching the show, and then applauded his efforts as Governor and future VP that you would all be just as upset by them politicizing a theater stage.  Yes?
4. And finally…the fact the media and Trump made a bigger deal out of it than Pence.  Pence, dirt-bag that he is, actually said in an interview that he wasn’t that upset about it and then said that the Hamilton show was great and the cast, talented.
 
And that’s my thoughts on the Hamilton matter.
~RCS

SAG-AFTRA Strike: Performance Matters

Starting today, in about 2 hours, many of our favorite Voice Actors – Crispin Freeman, Jennifer Hale, Steve Blum – are going on strike against Game Development companies. You might be wondering what this means and why. I can’t do the cause justice like the ones actually involved in the strike are doing, but I’ll try to summarize some of the points they are striking for.

I think that I’m in a unique position to comment on this because of my involvement with the indie game company Nic3Ntertainment; as well as the other Indie studios I have worked as a freelancer for. One of the major aspects of Nic3’s games are voice acting. We might not be making Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, or Dynasty Warriors – that’s for sure, but we make the extra effort to include voice work in many of our games. Why? Because in this modern day and age even indie games seem lacking if they don’t at least have narration. Having good, high quality voice work can make a good game great, or even a not-so-great game seem kinda okay.

At the same time having no voice work or arguably worse – poor voice work in an otherwise beautiful game diminishes the whole property. That’s why as someone who has worked on both sides of the mic – as a voice actor and as a producer – I’m with the striking actors, because #PerformanceMatters.

Now before I go any further, let me just give the caveat that I am not a member of the SAG-AFTRA union, I am not striking, and I do not work on union contracted jobs. That being said, it doesn’t preclude me from being an ally of these union workers fighting to get the same recognition that workers in incredibly similar fields receive such as a safe working environment and fair compensation.

Essentially the voice actors want 3 major things, near as I understand it:

  1. Safety Protections – They want to be able limit high intensity studio sessions to 2 hours, instead of the usual 4 hour sessions, but still get paid a normal daily wage. You see the way being a professional union voice actor works, generally, is you do a 4 hour recording session and you are paid for the session. The standard rate of pay is about $825. Not bad for 4 hours of work, I’ll admit – but remember that most of these studios are also in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Houston, etc. so $825 doesn’t go nearly as far as it might where I’m at. So they want to be able to limit strenuous voice work – such as screaming like a Dragon Ball Z power up, doing fighting kiais, and the likes. I’ve worked with an actor who had to turn down a part in one of our games because they did a big screamy project and lost their voice for two weeks. I’ve also worked with an actress who had to have throat polyps surgically removed – thankfully she was able to continue working after that. Another safety aspect they’re demanding is having stunt coordinators in place on performance capture jobs. Performance capture is where they actually have the voice actor doing the motion capture for either the character’s actual movement or at least their facial expressions. A lot of times they are actually doing the stunts in the scenes of your favorite games while in a mo-cap suit…and apparently without a stunt coordinator. This a good way to get yourself hurt or even permanently maimed.
  2. Secondary Compensation – The second part they’re fighting for is secondary compensation, this is basically getting a bonus if the project you worked on performed well. And they have a cap on it that basically means if they do voice work on a game and it sells 8 million copies they get paid a $30,000 bonus. Let me just tell you that EA’s CEO got a million and a half dollar bonus…and he’s probably making a lot more than $825 a day.
  3. Transparency – Imagine walking into your job and being given a list of parts to assemble, but not being told what you’re assembling them for. You’ve got a half dozen parts you’re supposed to weld together and it might be a car, it might be a boat, or it might be a nuclear bomb. That’s what a lot of these folks are dealing with, one of the actors interviewed said he was a main character for Fallout 4…and didn’t know it until the game was released. Knowing your part and how your character is involved in the complex chemistry of the game’s world makes it much easier to play your role more efficiently and make the character more believable and relatable. Imagine you were a voice actor and you were being brought in to play a character for what you thought was just a regular AAA gaming title called Project Repo. But once the project is released you find out the game is hardcore political propaganda for a position or political party you were vehemently opposed to. The actors just want transparency – they’ve been forced to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements anyway, so they’re not allowed to reveal any information about the project anyway. Imagine if Sir Patrick Stewart showed up the set of the X-Men and everything was just green-screened and there were no other actors on set and he was given just Professor X’s lines and told to act out the movie for 4 straight hours. Also he’d need to be there for the next ten days to complete his role. Because this is another aspect of transparency: Many of these actors are forced to either accept or turn down a role without knowing how many sessions would be necessary to complete the role. They don’t know if they’re a side character who will be done in a single 4-hour session, or if they’re playing the main character and will need to do thirty sessions to complete role.

With those points in mind, I bring up something that one of the industry defenders brought up in one of the articles I link to. He stated that it doesn’t make sense to put all this effort and money into the voice actors on these games, because they make up less than one tenth of one percent of the overall work on the game.

Having done voice work myself I know that its a little more than one tenth of a single percent. But regardless of whether it’s one tenth of a percent, one percent, or one hundred percent…they have a right to a safe and prosperous work environment to further their career in.

Now imagine, since the industry seems to believe that voice acting is only one tenth of a single percent of a game’s worth. So let’s imagine what some modern games would be like without voice actors.

I don’t know about you…but I’d rather see talented voice actors performing those roles. Because I strongly believe that #PerformanceMatters.

For more information, check out these sites and stories:

http://www.gameactorsforall.com/

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/10/22/498954253/voice-actors-strike-against-video-game-companies

SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize Strike Against Video Game Industry

https://www.sagaftra.org/interactive

Paris Attacks. Je’Sui Paris?

Sooo…as I’m sure of you may have heard, a few days ago there were coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. Half of my Facebook feed the other day was everyone on my friend’s list changing their profile picture to have a French flag over their picture.

Including a bunch of guys who will relentlessly make ‘Frenchies are cowards’ jokes and even a few of the same people who still call them ‘Freedom Fries’ because they’re upset that France didn’t invade Iraq and Afghanistan hard enough with ‘us’.

And then there are my relatives, whom I’ve spoke of before, who post up stupid shit like this:

parisgunzone

France has 3.01 gun deaths per 100,000 people. So, with a population of a little over 66 million that would be 1,996 gun deaths per year; 1,545 of which are suicides and only 146 of which are homicides. France also has about 33 accidental discharge deaths every year.

Now, let’s take a look at America.

Now this should be fun.

Now this should be fun.

American has a population of over 322 million people. We also have 10.5 gun deaths per hundred thousand of those people. That equates to 33,812 gun deaths per year; 11,431 of which are homicides by gun, and over 21,500 are suicides. But here’s the fun one…515 are unintentional gun deaths.

So with 515 accidental discharges in the U.S. And 146 murders in France, even if you add in the final death toll of about 130 people killed in the terrorist attack in Paris…

Legal gun ownership in the U.S. accounts for almost double the deaths as gun murders in France. So living in the U.S., where gun ownership is legal, is actually more dangerous than living in France without a gun and being at the mercy of terrorist who own illegal guns.

But let’s play Devil’s advocate. America has a lot higher population, if we cut the population of the U.S. down to France’s level we would still wind up these numbers..

America with a population of 66 million has: 6,963 gun deaths, comprised of 2,354 homicides, 4,443 suicides, and 106 accidental discharges.

Even without terrorists gunning us down, at the same population level, we kill more than 350 of each other more than French people get killed by guns; homicides, suicides, and accidental discharges combined.

When you don’t take into account the population difference than we kill each 9,435 more of each other than French people die to guns, period…all things considered.

 

But enough about silly gun nuts, let’s get back to France and silly ‘Je’sui Paris’ people. About 130 people died in Paris from that terrorist attack. Already France is in talks, or by now probably committing to, increasing its military operations against ISIS in the Middle East. Islamic Fundamentalists attacked Paris and killed 130 people, so we have to go kill some Muslims back. Presidential Contender Ted Cruz has even said that what we need to do to stop ISIS is start carpet bombing Syrian civilians.

Meanwhile Beirut, Lebanon was hit by suicide bombers who killed 43 and wounded another 200+. Where are your Lebanese flags over your profile?

Oh, right…you don’t actually care about Terrorism unless it’s white people, hmm? Beirut gets hit by suicide bombers and you say, “Meh, Brown people killin’ Brown people, amiright?”

Oh, no you’re not racist, it’s simply the numbers involved. 130 Parisians died, Beirut only suffered 43 casualties.

What about Syria? Around 200 civilians have been killed by Russia in the past month. But nobody cared enough about that to change their profile picture. That’s White people bombing Brown people from a plane, that’s cool.

“But it’s ISIS, we’re fighting, Rich…not Russia.”

Well how about the 10,883 total civilians killed in Syria, many of whom are killed by ISIS, many are also killed by Bashar al-Assad, who until very recently was an ally of the U.S. And a portion of that is civilians killed by America, too.

So while I do sympathize with the dead and wounded, as well of their families, within France. Please excuse me for not dropping everything and draping my house in the colors of France’s flag when there are war torn places suffering much harder and are always forgotten by everyone else.

Je’Sui Paris? Non. Je’Sui Humanité.

~RCS

Have I Beat This Horse Enough?

Hey!  Have I mentioned that I wrote a book, coming out in a few days?

Once or twice, yes...

Once or twice, yes…

 

Okay then, uhh, how about we talk about something else?  Something like…

 

TekkoLogo

That’s right folks!  I’ll be hosting panels again this year at Tekkoshocon.  Unless anything changes I will be in Panel Room #3 at 1:30pm on Friday April 17th for How To Avoid Bad Writing.  That’s right, I’ll be teaching you how to not write complete drivel!  Trust me, if anyone knows a bag of crap masquerading as writing, it’s me.

I will then be shifting gears over to History of Sengoku Japan in Panel Room #1 at 4:00pm that same day.  Come by if you have an interest in anything Samurai.

Both panels will have my charismatic Alto spewing forth all kinds of knowledge, not to mention my usual humor (I use the term loosely, in case you’re new to the site), and even some door prizes!

~RCS

From the Archives: Patton Oswalt and Mike “Gabe” Krahulik

Archive Notes: This is going to be an irregular series of posts from me, because the DickJutsu.com censors are fairly forgiving and not a lot of things get push to the side for many reasons.  If it’s written too poorly to post, it either gets edited heavily or else it gets pitched.

But occasionally there are posts I write that we decide I’ve waited to long to put up, or we fear are crossing a line for any reason (and you know that we have a good distance we’re willing to travel before we can even see the line, much less cross it).  Sometimes we write posts and re-read them only to say, “No, that’s not the message I wanted to send.”

I do not see this 'line' you speak of...

I do not see this ‘line’ you speak of…

This particular post was originally written July 14, 2013, but we decided that we had covered the topic it spoke of too much at the time and we hesitated before putting it up.  By the time we decided we could post it up, we realized the window of opportunity had passed and it was no longer topical.

Now with the recent controversies over Anita Sarkeesian’s criticisms of Video Games (particularly, for some reason, Hitman Absolution), the continued assaults on Zoe Quinn, and the recent ‘Celebgate’ hacked release of dozens of female celebrity’s private nude pictures…we’ve decided that this is somewhat topical again.  We’ve gone through and re-written small parts of it to add a topical nature to the commentary, and adjusted the links in case something we referenced is no longer active.

Aside from a few small alterations, this was going to be posted in July of 2013; that’s over a year ago.  So now see it all it’s glory (or lack thereof), having been rescued…

From the Archives!

I recently [in July of 2013] read a scathing review of Patton Oswalt’s career which was pretty entertaining.  Why?  Because it was written by Patton Oswalt, and I enjoy his self-deprecating style of humor.  This line sums up his self-deprecating genius:

“In 1992 I was in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. Out of a field of 40 competitors, I think I came in 38. Maybe.”

It’s a good read, I definitely suggest it.  He talks about three major subjects, a long diatribe on joke thievery, a shorter tirade on heckling, and finally his third topic is Rape.  Although he really talks about a bit more than just rape jokes, but that’s the mainstay of the topic.

If you don’t feel the need or desire to read the whole thing (it is rather long, but enjoyable and enlightening nonetheless), then I’ll try to summarize his main point about rape jokes.  He says that he defended Daniel Tosh’s rape jokes, initially, because he didn’t believe there was a ‘rape community’ in this country because he didn’t want to commit rape.  Here’s the takeaway to what he says:

“The comedians I’ve known who joke about rape – and genocide, racism, serial killers, drug addiction and everything else in the Dark Subjects Suitcase – tend to be, internally and in action, anti-violence, anti-bigotry, and decidedly anti-rape. It’s their way – at least, it’s definitely my way – of dealing with the fact that all of this shittiness exists in the world. It’s one of the ways I try to reduce the power and horror those subjects hold for me.”

For those who have followed along to my humor, you’ll know that I feel very similar to him.  Now of course Patton Oswalt goes on to say that he was wrong about there being no rape culture and decides that rape jokes should not use the victim as the target of the joke.  He admits he was wrong about his beliefs and moves on, stating that he has learned from his mistakes.

As a side note the site I found the link to Oswalt’s took the wrong message from his letter and took it to mean that Oswalt had changed his opinion and believed rape jokes were wrong and nobody should ever make them.  Except that Oswalt says the exact opposite; which tells me the news site that linked to him didn’t actually read it.

As a matter of fact the whole thing was about Mike Krahulik (the ‘Gabe’ from Penny Arcade) and his recent [as of July, 2013] hooplah with the transgendered community.

To summarize it, he said that women have vaginas and men have penises.  He said that in response to a game devoted to helping women masturbate more efficiency, which was getting a bunch of vitriol because it didn’t have penises in it.

no penis

I fully support the Transgendered movement (or whatever you want to call it) and believe that transgendered people should be allowed to call themselves whatever they feel.  If you identify as a woman?  Dress and act like a woman.  If you identify as a man?  You can still dress and act like a woman, I really don’t care.

Besides, I don’t really consider your style of dress to denote your gender.  My fiancé [now, wife] wears men’s jeans, because she says that women’s jeans don’t have big enough pockets for her phone and wallet.  I know of several guys who wear a skirt, because they may be of Scottish descent and feels that ‘kilts’ are way more comfortable/acceptable than shorts when it’s hot out.

If you have a penis and identify as a woman, then that’s fine, psychologically you are a women and I will refer to you as ‘she/her’ if you want.  I don’t really even mind if you use the lady’s room at a restaurant or school, or if you play football.

I don’t believe in men’s clothes, men’s jobs, men’s duties, men’s music, men’s games, men’s books, or men’s sports.  But I do believe in men’s genitalia.  If you have a penis and identify as a woman, I’ll let you stand in the lady’s room and piss in the stall; but you are physically a man.  Biologically you are male, and 99% of the people who are like you biologically are identified as male.  I believe in the majorities for terminology.

Do I think those 99% of penis-bearers should harass or exclude you?  No.  Do I think that they should refer to you by whichever gender you feel more closely associated with?  Yes, if only to be polite.  Honestly if you wear a cloak and a crown and refer to yourself as Duke/Duchess of your house I will probably humor you with a curt bow when first introduced to you.  Do I think that we should call men’s pants as Men or Transgendered Women’s clothes?  No.  The majority of men’s pants are designed for the biological identification of men, which have penises.  If we want to be politically correct and change men’s pants to Penis-Bearer pants, I actually find that acceptable.  If you’re a man who was named Christopher at birth, who identifies as a woman, but has to wear men’s pants because you still have a penis; I will buy you men’s pants for your birthday* and tell your partner, “These are for Christine, I hope she likes them.”

But if you complain because the waistband says men’s pants on the label, I will laugh at you.  Just like I laugh at my [wife] when she scoffs at women’s pants and buys men’s pants.  Just like how I laughed at myself when I got an ingrown hair on my inner thigh and had to wear lady’s thong panties for a couple days because the fabric of my boxer briefs agitated the spot.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I find humor in horrible things because I am astounded that those things occur.  I find rape horrible…murder, theft, bad driving, picking on handicapped people, miscarriages, suicide, etc…all horrible, terrible things.  But I like rape jokes, murder jokes, jokes about stealing things, etc.

That is where Patton Oswalt and I have a small difference of opinion, though.  He says that we need to stop making rape jokes where the “victim is the target” of the joke, or particularly the victim is the punch line.  But I feel that doing so is a faulty idea.

Yes, the victim of a rape shouldn’t be part the target of a rape joke.  And I would never make a rape joke while I was giving a victim a rape kit, if I was his/her nurse.  I would not joke about him/her after my shift was over or anything like that.  But I might still buy a Dickwolves shirt from Penny Arcade.

One of the best holocaust jokes I know came from a friend who is half-Black, half-Jewish.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  She introduces herself as half-Black and half-Jewish and then says, “It’s horrible, I have to stand in the back of the oven.”

The holocaust is one of the worst things to occur in semi-modern history, and it’s actually very poorly named because it wasn’t anything remote to a holocaust; it was a quiet, somewhat secretive campaign to slowly and steadily expunge an entire race.  Hiroshima and Nagasami were holocausts.  But that’s an entirely different topic.  Although…it does bring up a good point.

I hate that we used nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; especially Nagasaki.  I will admit that in President Truman’s position, I can’t promise I wouldn’t have made the same decision to utilize the bombs; I am thankful it was not my decision.  But I feel that we violated the rules of warfare, especially in Nagasaki, by dropping such a powerful weapon on civilians.  I feel that, as an American Citizen and a former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, that the Fat Man and Little Boy bombings are one of the darkest moments in our country’s history in the past century.

But that didn’t stop me from making an “Enola Gay” joke the other day when I watched a game commentary video and the guy in the video had a bomb dropped on him.  I don’t even remember the joke now, but it was a Hiroshima bombing joke of sorts.

No joke is off limits and nobody has the right to determine what jokes someone is or is not allowed to say; especially in the U.S.  You do, however, have every right to not enjoy the joke and to say so.  You have every right to not follow me and my site because I support rape jokes, although if you laugh at them then you’re an extra super-duper asshole for being a total hypocrite.  And I know a lot of hypocrites out there; people who got on Daniel Tosh’s shit, then laughed at more thinly veiled rape jokes and sexist jokes and stuff.

This guy is a comedic genius.

This guy is a comedic genius.

Seriously, though, read Patton Oswalt’s letter, it’s really interesting.  And Mr. Oswalt…I’ll let you know right now, that two of my favorite stories were written by you.  I use those anecdotes of yours a lot and I’m sure I don’t do them justice, but I always credit you as the original writer of the joke, because that’s how ‘stealing’ a joke should be done.

But once again, that’s a totally different topic.

~RCS

*Note: That analogy is faulty in that…I don’t buy gifts for people’s birthdays.  And I don’t want you to buy me anything for my birthday, either.  Unless I am marrying you or in some kind of close, preferably blood, relation to you…your birthday and mine do not equate to a gift exchange.

Stupid Reviews

For those who have been following along for a while you know that I write reviews for games, movies, books, whatever I can weasel material from.  Well, that’s one thing I do, at least.  But you also probably know that I don’t use a regular critic’s format; and that is because I’m not a professional critical journalist.

However even so, I want my opinion to be respected as well thought out, at least.  As such I give at least a rudimentary spell-check and typo hunt of each review I write.  I also try to sound like I have some idea of what I’m talking about and I try to be properly critical of the source material I am critiquing.

So why the hell are there people who write reviews about things they have no idea about, or in languages they clearly cannot speak?  Take this person writing a review for PS3 game Valkyria Chronicles (2008)*:

Shoots1

Okay, they’re being critical of the game and accidentally used ‘shoots’ instead of ‘shots’.  That’s a typo, you should still value their opini-oh damn.

Shoots2

Yeah, nevermind; they’re just illiterate fools.  Then we seal the coffin with this remark on a 1/5 rating for Valkyria Chronicles, a turn-based strategy RPG (Role-Playing Game):

Shoots3

Another comment on the same game, also a 1/5 (keep in mind there are 5 one-star ratings compared to 254 five-star ratings and they all start out with, “How can anyone like this horrible game?”)

Overhyped

Yeah, not only do they have poor grammar, but they’re reviewing a 2-year-old game at that point.  I read their review title and skipped the review.  For sport I went back and actually read it…they cite a few great things about the game saying that the graphics were good and the voice acting is superb.  But they gave it a 1/5 because the story is linear…even after admitting that is pretty standard in this genre of games.  Yup, your opinion is as faulty as your grammar.

Then we just have idiots who shouldn’t review anything, at all.  This is another 1 out of 5 star rater for Valkyria Chronicles:

Benign

So if we ignore the fact that she’s reviewing a five-year-old game, since she doesn’t criticize the graphics or anything like that.  No, she says that the game was touted as a benign RPG, but had ‘children’ shooting guns and throwing grenades.

This is the box the game came in:

Yup, looks pretty benign to me; certainly no guns in this game.

Yup, looks pretty benign to me; certainly no guns in this game.

Keep in mind that the game is a fantasy retelling of World War II; y’know, if Switzerland had huge oil reserves and was invaded by the Axis powers.  Also keep in mind that these ‘children’, at least the main two characters, are 24 and 21 at the start of the game.  So if we assume the game lasts the same timeline as the real war, they’d be the pubescent age of…32 and 29 by the end of the game.  Whoo!  Kids these days, getting’ drafted into World War II and shit, y’know?

*Note: I have not played Valkyria Chronicles, so I am not defending the quality of the game or writing my own review out of any bias for or against the game.  I recognize and readily admit I have no place reviewing it, given the fact I’ve only played the demo.  And even that was 5 years ago when it was first released.

Need more examples of stupid people writing reviews?  Try this reviewer for the somewhat similar X-Box Game, Operation Darkness (2008):

Inventory

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s part of the game’s strategy, not a game-breaking flaw.  Game-breaking flaws would be if you had unlimited healing items, but weren’t able to use them in combat.  Strategy is, “Harumph!  I’ve only got six inventory slots, but I have ten possible items to take, which six should I choose?”  Schmuck!

Or we can move to a game I’ve actually played, and look at some of the 1/5 star ratings for Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009):

Batman1

I’m…not even sure what the hell he’s saying.  No support for the continuation of the game?  This is a review written 4 years after the game came out.  What did he expect from a four-year-old game?  A sequel?

And this one is hilarious:

Batman2

Without going into too much detail if you haven’t played the game…at one point the villain Scarecrow kind of breaks the 4th wall and makes you think your system has crashed.  If you stick with it, it will recover (kind of like the tricks in Metal Gear Solid or Eternal Darkness).  His game works fine, but he’s been shutting it off during that fight, I can almost guarantee it.  Developers 1; Player 0.

Speaking of Batman, here’s a reference to the Arkham games in this 1/5 star review for the new highly acclaimed PS3 game The Last of Us (2013):

What did you expect from a guy named Rapister?

What did you expect from a guy named Rapister?

Aside from the ego, this guy is clearly an idiot.  Arkham Asylum is the first in the Arkham series, Arkham City is the sequel; if you wanted more of Arkham Asylum you would play Arkham City, not the other way around.

Not to mention the horrible grammar and syntax on another “five-star review”.  Douche.

And finally, here’s a rambling review about how some weirdo can’t relate to the characters in The Last of Us:

Dafuq?

Dafuq?

Yeah, his grandfather saw terrible things in Vietnam, I have no doubt of that.  But he saw worse things than the zombie apocalypse?  Debatable.  His grandfather fought communist Asian people, the folks in The Last of Us are fighting deformed monsters and zombies on top of the regular post-apocalyptic psychotic people.

Not to mention, just plain TMI!  You can’t relate to these characters because they’re sensible and normal and you are descended from some real idiots.  Your grandfather got his head stuck in AC unit?  Your father was a great chef, who chopped his finger off and couldn’t cook anymore?  Why do I care what kind of pie your father made your grandfather when he came home from Vietnam?

The whole rambling, shambling thing is just a ridiculous, ‘Look at how terrible my life is!’ diatribe.  Except that the guy’s life really wasn’t all that bad.  His grandfather survived Vietnam, his father was able to afford Chef’s training, they could afford AC in the Vietnam war era; sounds pretty decent to me.  Whines a lot about being Native American, too.  Yes the Native Americans got screwed over pretty bad, but that’s no excuse to whine like an Emo sod about how your whole life is worse than the zombie apocalypse.

~RCS

As a note I looked through the 1/5 star ratings each time, because they have the best examples idiots.

Goodbye Gandolfini

As I’m sure you’ve probably all heard by now, James Gandolfini has died.  The presumption right now is heart attack after becoming ill on vacation in Italy.  Gandolfini is most famous for playing Tony Soprano on the HBO drama, The Sopranos.  I know him more, however, as Colonel Winters, the villain from one of my favorite movies: The Last Castle.

He called himself a 260 lb Woody Allen.

He called himself a 260 lb Woody Allen.

He was a good actor and judging from the anecdotes and stories from Larry King about him last night on CNN, he seemed like a pretty cool guy.

So in honor of a great actor, here is some interesting trivia, thanks to the awesome website IMDB:

-Gandolfini could play both the Trumpet and the Saxophone.

-Gandolfini helped a woman who was being mugged on the streets of New York City in 2001.

-Used to work as a bartender in Manhattan before making it as an actor; also worked as a bouncer.

 

Condolences to his family, especially since he’s got a teenager and a 1-year-old.  He was a good actor in the prime of his career.

~RCS

Boston Strong-armed

I know I’ve been rather silent lately; you can blame two things on it.  Firstly this bit of news, wherein I talk about my new promotion and the elephant in the room: The Boston Bombing.

I had a pretty funny story scheduled to show up on the morning after the Boston Bombing; it didn’t seem like the time, so it will appear eventually (it wasn’t a topical discussion, so it is not time-sensitive).

Well, yesterday I realized how long it had been since my last update and decided, “I run a site called Dick Jutsu…I’m bound to piss someone off!”

So here’s a full score of my rambunctious ramblings; all about the Boston Bombing.  Some of it is funny, some of it is angry; mostly all of it is tragic.

Czech Your Facts!

When the Tsarnaev brothers were first discovered to be the culprits and it was announced that they were from Chechnya, a lot of people got confused with Chechnya (a Muslim-filled area of Southern Russia near Georgia) and Czechoslovakia (a country that doesn’t exist anymore, no known as the Czech Republic).

Close enough.  They're only the entire width of the U.S. apart from each other.

Close enough. They’re only the entire width of the U.S. apart from each other.

This blog called Public Shaming has a tragically hilarious amount of tweets, Facebook posts, and other shit from these kinds of idiots.  Not to mention the ruler of the Czech Republic even had to get it on the re-education of idiots.

White Sand Niggers!

First of all…this is a phenomenon I first really started seeing become prevalent after 9/11: Calling Middle Easterners the racist epithet Sand Niggers.  Totally ignoring the fact that Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan are three totally different ethnicities (Afghans are a Persian ethnicity mostly Pashto, Iraqi are an Arab ethnicity, and Pakistani people are actually of a mixture of Indian and Persian as far as I understand it).

So our idiotic racists call them Sand Niggers, because they live in the vast deserts of the Middle East (except that Pakistan, Osama bin-Laden’s isn’t technically in the Middle East).  ‘Cause after all, it’s not like United States has anyone living in deserts.  And for those who don’t understand my sarcasm, feel free to visit…

Arizona...

Arizona…

...New Mexico...

…New Mexico…

...Nevada...

…Nevada…

...Utah.

…Utah.

 

So…if we ignore the inherent, and incoherent, racism of the statement we can get to even more stupidity.  Because the Tsarnaev brothers are Chechnyan.  Chechnya is a region of Russia right along the Caucasus.  In case that word sounds familiar, it is the reason why white folks are known as Caucasian, because white folks crawled out of the primordial fuckin’ ooze in the Caucasus area.  In other words: It doesn’t get any whiter than Chechnyans.

Terrorist Is Not A Race!

One of my workers is a fundamentalist Christians.  The day they announced who the bombers were and got some info about them, we were working together.  Earlier in the day we had been talking to one of the janitorial staff about bombings in American and she had talked about Eric Rudolph’s bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

Keep in mind that the ’96 Olympics bombing was performed by a Christian fundamentalist who killed and injured numerous innocent people because they felt the America (a country with constitutional protections against creating religious laws) was not following proper Christian law and needed to be show the error of its ways.

So just hours earlier we were talking about a bombing carried out by a Christian fundamentalist.  Then when the Tsarnaev brothers were announced and talked about, she has the idiotic gall to say these words:

“Muslims?  I knew they were, they always are.”

Technically there have been thousands of cases of Christian terrorism in the United States, compared to a dozen or so Muslim cases of terrorism.  Timothy McVeigh could be considered a Christian terrorist, although his motivations were admittedly more political than overtly religious.  But the Ku Klux Klan is steeped in Protestant Christian ideology (albeit very bastardized) and even killed other Christians (mostly Catholics) because they felt their breed of Christianity was more pure and unadulterated compared to Catholics; not to mention all the Jews and also-Christian Blacks they killed.

Yeah, those terrible Muslims who commit all these atrocities. For sooth, what ever will we do about them? /end sarcasm.

So remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to hate the Tsarnaev brothers for what they did.  They killed, injured, and permanently maimed a lot of innocent people who had nothing to do with them.  Hate them, loathe them, despise them; perfectly fine.  But don’t hate an entire race of people, especially if they’re a different race than the Tsarnaevs, or an entire religion just because a few bad apples did something horrible.

~RCS

Pope Me So I Know I’m Not Dreaming!

As I’m sure you are aware by now, brutally aware if you are either a) Catholic or b) A News watcher, we have a new Pope.  Well let me rephrase that, since I’m not Catholic.  The Catholic church, as a group, have elected a new pope.  And I use the term elected loosely.  It is held by an election of sorts, but since it is not an open election it is more of an appointment; kind of like the U.S. President.

Nonetheless, he has taken the name Pope Francesco, or Francis as we call the name here in the U.S.  He is a Jesuit, he is 76 years old, his shoe size is…blah, blah, blah…if you have watched the news at all in the past month you already know all of this.

But here’s something you might not, explicitly, know: News stations are apparently run by very mentally challenged individuals.

Go home Map, you're drunk.

Go home Map, you’re drunk.

Does anybody want to list what is wrong with this picture?

No, no, not the fact that the Pope is getting world-wide news attention while many of the people watching that don’t know the Dalai Lama’s real name or even what an Ayatollah is.  Well, I mean that’s not right either, but that’s not the point I’m getting at!

The point is that…whoever made that map wouldn’t be able to find the homes of any of these folks.  The Dalai Lama is from Tibet, that’s on the west side of China, and the Ayatollahs are all over that cute little country called Iran.  The folks who set this map up probably think Tibet is in Australia and Iran is that little country between Germany and France (most people call it Belgium).

You see…this is a proper map of Argentina:

The ocean to the east is Atlantic and the one to the west is Pacific...not Indian.

The ocean to the east is Atlantic and the one to the west is Pacific…not Indian.

The Argentina part can be explained as thus: The country they actually have the dot in is Columbia, which has a city named Argentina.  Except that Argentina, Columbia is located in that mountain range north of the dot.  The Indian Ocean is a little bit closer to India, of course and no one can explain to me how the hell they even got that mixed up.

That picture is from a CBS affiliate in Texas, I am told.  So I just want to remind all you folks…Texas gets to decide what is in your children’s text books all around the country.  That’s the best argument for empowering the federal Education Department to review and print its own text books.

~RCS

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