Rousy in WWE is Kind of a Downgrade

It’s WrestleMania season, which means I’m paying closer attention to WWE and their shinanigans in order to decide if this year’s pay per view is worth buying.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to order the Royal Rumble this year, but in this day and age where WWE THEMSELVES upload super abridged versions of every show, it’s no biggy.

Apparently, this year was the year they had their first ever women’s Royal Rumble.  And can I just say, the women’s division in WWE has come a ridiculously long way since  2014.  Last time I watched WWE religiously, Daniel Bryan was still an active wrestler, John Cena was at the height of his obnoxiousness, and the “divas” were an absolute shit show.  God bless Natalya and Beth Phoenix for doing the best they could with the talentless idiots they had to carry.  It was an era when women’s wrestling wasn’t taken seriously, but we couldn’t make them do swimsuit competitions and wrestle in pudding like when The Kat was around.  Well, technically, you COULD do swimsuit competitions, but they were pretty bulky one-piece swimsuits that left a lot to be desired if you were anything but a leg man.  But I digress.  Gone are the days of Kelly Kelly, Candis Michelle, and The Bellas.  Long live the era of Sasha Banx, Asuka, and Bayley.

Okay, getting back on track.

Asuka winning the rumble was the exact opposite of a shock.  The big shock came when Ronda fucking Rousy, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, came out, and did her big thing where she pointed at the WrestleMania sign.

Ronda Rousy debuting in WWE is one of those moments that causes the roof to come unglued.  People have been talking about Rousy being a wrestler since 2016 or so.  Maybe even longer, for all I know.  This seems like a pretty great moment…

But then a thought occurred to me.  Ronda Rousy actually LOST her last two matches in UFC.  She lost the title to Holly Holme (one of my favorites in the division at the time), and…  I forget who she lost to the second time, but she never got her mojo back from that first loss.

Rousy seemed unbeatable in her championship days.  She was fortunate to be in a real sport, where winning a twenty-five minute match in fifteen seconds is something to brag about.  You pull something like that in UFC, you’ve accomplished something great.  True, it’s probably not a world record (I think Andre Arlovski holds the record for shortest title fight victory ever with a match lasting six seconds), but it’s still something that’d have a lot of shit talkers second guessing themselves.

You try a fifteen second match in WWE, meanwhile, it doesn’t go over nearly as well.  A fifteen second match in WWE is either a comedy spot, or it’s the biggest ripoff ever.  Just take a look at the reaction to Daniel Bryan Vs Sheamus at Wrestlemania28.  Eighteen seconds is not something to brag about in a scripted show.

Ronda Rousy, the woman who beat about ninety percent of her opponents in the first round, suddenly loses her winning ways in a REAL fight, and ends up in a scripted show like WWE?  That seems like a demotion to me.  The same thing happened with Brock Lesnar after he lost to Cain Velasquez.  He just couldn’t win anymore, and had to resort to play-fighting in order to be taken seriously again.  Although Lesnar got his start play-fighting, where as Rousy is just now entering the arena, but still…

I know that sounds kind of demeaning to wrestling fans when I say that.  Believe me, I know what that’s like, having people who not only can’t take your favorite thing on TV to watch seriously, but thoroughly ride your ass from first period to the end of the school day calling you a gay-ass faggot and making fun of you nonstop for liking a fake-ass show.  And yes, I reluctantly own up to being one of those idiots who tried, and absolutely failed at trying to explain the difference between fake and scripted.  PS: don’t ever do that.  It doesn’t improve your case at all.

As someone who likes wrestling and MMA equally, I try to be as diplomatic as possible.

But let’s be honest, guys, wrestling is scripted, and MMA is real.  To go from real fighting to scripted fighting…  Doesn’t that seem like kind of a downgrade?  Sure, Brock Lesnar is built up as this inhuman tank, but in the world of REAL fights, he had to beef up on HGH or whatever just to even stand a chance against some rando heavyweight from the UFC.  I can’t imagine Bobby Lashley’s recent MMA career has treated him any better, considering he’s down in IMPACT right now.  And now Ronda Rousy is taking up the wrestling trade.

I’m not sure what they have planned for Rousy at WrestleMania this year.  Honestly, I’m one of those guys who doesn’t look up the spoiler pages.  I’m subscribed to a wrestling podcast or two that dishes out some back stage news, so I know about stuff like Enzo Amore getting fired recently.  But as for what’s going to happen at WrestleMania…  I’d kind of like to be surprised.

Still, I can’t help but think this is actually a bit of a step down for Rousy.  Especially since MMA guys fucking HATE pro-wrestlers.

There’s definitely some resentment between the two fanbases, and it’s not hard to see why.  A lot of people, including my own mother, can’t tell the difference between the two.  Wrestling sites have, in the past, covered UFC events, which I always found baffling.  MMA fans, meanwhile, tend to get lobbed into the same crowd as wrestling fans, and I can definitely see why that’d piss people off.  It reminds me personally of all those bureaucrats in the Kansas state government who think the school for the blind and the school for the deaf should be the same building.  Because apparently, blind and deaf are the same fucking thing, and if they had it their way, those freaks would all be going to the circus to learn sign language with all the other cripples anyway.  So yeah, I get it.

I really don’t know how to end this ramblefest.  So all I’ll say is that this WrestleMania season is looking kind of interesting so far.  Between this, and the fact they actually DIDN’T let one of The Fortunate Sons win the rumble on the men’s side this year, it might actually be worth dropping some cash on.



Doki Doki Literature Club!: My Thoughts

First and foremost, I feel I have to mention that I’m not much of a visual novel guy.  It’s less of a preference issue, and more of an “I can’t read the fucking text 90% of the time” sort of issue.  If there’s a trendy visual novel making its rounds, I usually check YouTube for a Let’s Play.  Or I guess Let’s Read would be more accurate, since visual novels barely qualify as video games.If I had 20-20 vision, I’d probably be checking these things out myself, but as it stands, I lack that ability.

Another thing I feel I need to get out of the way is I fucking hate dating sims.  I’m no neoliberal social justice retard, proclaiming that the concept of the dating sim somehow demeans women by reducing them to mindless fuck toys or whatever, but I just don’t get any enjoyment out of it.  Dating sims just remind me of how lonely and/or miserable real life is.  They remind me that women are a lot harder to please in real life, and how horribly inaccurate these cartoon women are to the real thing.  They remind me of how I got ghosted yet again by someone I really liked recently, and how I fucking HATE IT when people ghost me.  It doesn’t make you a strong, empowered woman to just disappear off the planet and leave me hanging, it makes you a bitch.  Men don’t like bitches.  Well, MOST of us don’t.  The ones who DO like bitches are the male equivalent of women who like bad boys.  In any case, it thoroughly annoys me, and it annoys me even MORE when I know I’m paying $15 a month for a service to set us up, only for you to be an absolute bitch, and just disappear, and never return any of my texts, and…

I’m pretty sure I was talking about something else a minute ago.

Oh yeah, Doki Doki Literature Club!  I’m not shouting that, by the way: it actually does have an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

DDLC is a visual novel, and it’s a dating sim.  Two strikes right out the gate.  And yet, I soldiered through the videos.  Admittedly, my first viewing came from The Game Grumps, and every other line had something to do with potatoes, or one of the characters being a robot, etc.  It made that first couple of in-game days more bearable.  Then, out of nowhere, the first shocking moment happens in the game, and the entire mood of the VN takes a complete one-eighty.

I won’t give the twist away here.  Instead, I STRONGLY urge you to go to STEAM, and pick the VN up for yourself.  Seriously, don’t worry about the price tag.  It’s free to play, I’m told.

I will say this much, though.  When that shocking moment happens, DDLC takes a SERIOUS left turn in Albuquerque, and becomes the single most fucked up thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Believe me, when it comes to horror, I’m pretty jaded.  I plunged myself into the world of horror films when I became old enough to go to R-rated movies without an adult.  I already owned, and practically masterbated to the Resident Evil games (RE2 in particular).  I was even WRITING horror when I was a second-year-senior in high school.  To put it bluntly, I’ve seen just about everything, and it takes a lot to scare me.

I was fond of Five Nights at Freddy’s at one point, and even then, though I didn’t find it scary.  I found it intriguing, I found the story fascinating, and I found myself wanting more and more until somewhere around Sister Location.  But I never really found it scary.  Sure, the jump scare in every game takes you off guard and panics you, but The Spoony Experiment said it best: “That’s not scary, that’s startling.”

I feel horror has been a very misunderstood genre over the years.  People like Eli Roth took the horror genre, and transformed it into the torture porn fad popular throughout the 2000s.  Movies like the work of Eli Roth fail as horror because in all the movies of his I’ve seen, every character is an unlikeable douche that you actually WANT to see die.  This is not how horror works.  That moment when the character dies is supposed to be n absolute gutpunch, not a moment to sigh in relief and thank god that he’s dead.  You DON’T want to see that character die, and when that character does die, it’s a shock to the system.  When the obnoxious prick who won’t shut the fuck up dies, it’s a relief.  Or at least it doesn’t have as much impact as it should.

The horror scene in the 2010s thankfully departed from this concept…  Unfortunately, horror in the 2010s is either defined by Tom Six’s Human Centipede movies, or by Paranormal Activity and the countless amount of spooky ooky ghosty ghoully Ouija board horror.  The Human Centipede isn’t scary for the same reason Eli Roth movies aren’t scary: you don’t give a fuck about the humans stitched together into the human centipede.  Paranormal Activity isn’t scary…  Though that just might be more of an opinion based on my belief that Ouija boards are fucking stupid.

Doki Doki Literature Club! is effective horror.  I’m a jaded, cynical prick when it comes from horror, and that visual novel ruined my fucking weekend.  This is because DDLC introduces you to characters, and gets you invested in them.  They aren’t perfect people, you find out the further you get in, but you end up liking them, and you want good things to happen.  Which is why when the first real twist of the game ends up happening, it’s such a thorough dick kicking.  The fact everything goes completely off the rails from that point onward only adds to the unsettling feeling.

After the first twist, the VN starts glitching out, and nothing can be trusted.  The world of DDLC set up rules and established them very early on.  But after the first twist, everything is broken now.  All bets are off, and you have no guarantee that anybody is safe.  It leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next.

This, my friends, is how horror should be!  I’m glad I watched those playthroughs, but that first time I sat through it…  I tell you what, man, DDLC was the kind of experience that left a dent in my soul.  It thoroughly ruined my weekend…  And I thank Dan Salvato for doing it.

Of the four girls in DDLC, I found that Yuri was my favorite.  And to my surprise, it seems like I’m in the majority for a change, but I digress.  Yuri is quiet, introverted, prone to losing herself in the fantasy world of whatever book she’s reading, not really much of a people person…  Basically, she’s ME.  Except I’m not a high school girl.  I’m also not a cutter.

Yeah, I’ve already given too much away with that one.

I strongly, STRONGLY urge you to pick up this visual novel, and read through it yourself.  You can get it off STEAM.  And like I said earlier, it’s absolutely free.  Download it for yourself, or hell, do what I did and watch someone else play through it.  If you’d rather go the latter route, I personally recommend Pro Jared’s playlist.

SJW Concerns

The Majin Among Us is my latest writing project I plan to get published.  It’s pretty much guaranteed to be getting a paperback release at this time, so good news for all you people who prefer paper to ebook.

The further I get in to this project, though, the more one particular worry hits me.  That concern is that my book immediately gets dismissed as social justice tripe.  I’ll be posting a sample chapter within the week, but for now, take my word on it when I say that this thing may be a little preachy.

Make no mistake, I’m a lefty at heart.  True, I abandoned the democrats completely in 2016 after the stunt they pulled, and I’ve spoken highly of various aspects of libertarian ideaology, but in my heart of hearts, I’m still a lefty in many aspects.  I believe gays should be allowed to get married.  I believe abortion should be legal.  I believe net neutrality should’ve never been repealed.  I believe marijuana should be legal for recreational use, although I’d settle for medicinal if that’s how we have to start out.  I believe if someone wants to mutilate the shit out of their body in order to resemble a woman, why not?  Really, the only things I DON’T agree with my fellow lefties on is gun control (I’m pro-constitutional carry), and the death penalty (hang ’em all!), but that’s pretty much it.

Then we get into the kind of nonsense that passes for modern day liberalism: a horrifying checklist ideaology known as neoliberalism, or social justice warrioring.  I may think of myself as a liberal, but jesus tap dancing Christ, the SJW crowd makes me feel legitimately embarrassed to admit out loud that I vote democrat in public.

I could go on, but many other classical liberals have probably made all the points I’d probably be making.  Furthermore, they probably did it more intelligently, and with fewer swear words, because I’m a rude-ass boogan with no shame in using me some colorful language.

This is a crowd I generally want to distance myself from…  Except looking over the rough draft for The Majin Among Us, and making all the edits and additions I feel needed adding, I fear this book may come off as social justice tripe: the very thing I’m NOT going for.

The Majin Among Us is a tail of xenophobia.  A majin and her family find that their cover has been blown by the worst representation of their race: a cannibalistic serial killer with no concepts of restraint, social skills, or diplomacy.  The people take one look at this horrible majin and his wicked ways, and like people are prone to doing, they immediately assume EVERY majin is wicked, unspeakable evil.  From there, it’s a combination of trying to mend the bridge while keeping the guy who ruined it for everyone as far away as possible.

Pretty SJW-ish, right?  Honestly, I’ve based the story on all the stories I’ve heard of retards beating hindus and Sikhs to let us all know Muslams ain’t welcome in Amrrrica.  Or like the local dumbass who lost the mayoral election after running under the most blatant anticimetic platform…  Probably in the history of Kansas for all I know and care, then went on a shooting spree with all the intention of killing as many jews as possible…  Only to end up missing all the jews, and killing a couple Methodist Christians instead.  There are several examples of this caliber of retardation, and I could probably fill an entire blog with nothing but those stories alone.  However, I instead decided to draw influence from those stories when describing the level of ignorance displayed.

Unfortunately, one can’t write a story about racism in this day and age without immediately being labeled some sort of antifa level socialist ideaolog (as if being a right-winged libertarian anarchist somehow isn’t being an ideaolog).  You’re labeled an SJW, and you’re accused of virtue signaling to your fellow SJWs while pandering to the left’s lowest common denominators.

Need proof?  I refer you to the bullshit going on with Marvel comics right now.  A lot of what I can tell you is pretty much second-hand information at best.  Plus I’m strongly in favor of people actually looking it up and formulating their own fucking opinion instead of expecting my dumb ass to spoonfeed it to you.  But in any case, the current state of Marvel…  Well, the movies are doing all right, but the comics are a bit of a disaster right now.  I could probably forgive Ms. Marvel, on the grounds that Ms. Marvel (according to my own research) is less of a character, and more of a mantle handed down from heroine to heroine.  Then you get into things like Captain America just fucking off and shouting “Hile Hydra” so they can get the black guy the roll.  I’ve also heard of things like “Girl Thor”, “Asian Hulk”…  I think Storm might be transgendered now?  Or maybe I misunderstood my friend’s latest rant.  In any case, nobody asked for this.  I sure as shit didn’t want to throw Bruce Banner under the bus so some rando Asian guy could help Marvel show off how PC they are, bruh.  Wearing their sweet-ass Oakleys, and reminding us PC is the way to be for me.  And you.  WOO WOO!

Comparing my work, a work of fiction still in development with virtually no preestablished fanbase (unless fanbases from my previous novels counts, anyway), to Marvel, a studio that’s been around since the 1960s with an impressive legacy some SJW editor decided to wipe his ass with so we can recolor the heroes and find fascinating new ways to scream “FUCK WHITEY!” in approximately twenty-two pages, is probably not fair to me.  Or to Marvel, for all I know and care.  Dude, I WISH I was making Marvel cash at this point in my life, but I digress.

It’s an unfair comparison, sure, but it gives me an idea of the sort of fiction I want to desperately avoid.  Financially speaking, because according to the previously mentioned friend who’s given me all this information, it’s a direction that has thoroughly buttfucked Marvel’s sales.  Culturally speaking, because I’m not a social justice warrior.  We have some common ground, sure, but then you guys go and take it to a very psychotic level of nonsense that even I can’t agree with.

People will, and probably have accused me of having biases.  They’ll probably point out the liberal is the one in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors is the soul survivor amongst a conservative, a libertarian, and a communist.  They’ll mention HikikoMorey takes potshots at The Tea Party.  They’ll mention how The Gael Saga demonizes capitalists by making Dan Adelson the A-list villain.  Right after the SJWs accuse me of using Gael as some sexist way of living out some foot fetish fantasy that demeans women, because fuck you for being a male.  Or whatever.

In all those cases…  Fair enough.  Even I’M not one-hundred percent unbiased.  But boy, the last thing I want to do is associate myself with a crowd that makes people like me look bad by association.

Once I’ve picked out a chapter or two I’d like to use as sample chapters, you’ll probably have a better idea of where these concerns are coming from.  Until then, I just want to get this off my chest, and out of my mind.

Tommy Wiseau: An Exercise in Rewarding Failure?

Tommy Wiseau isn’t funny.  Tommy Wiseau isn’t brilliant.  Tommy Wiseau doesn’t deserve the cult status you people give him.  Even if it’s crappy “hur hur memes r the lulz” cult status, because even when you’re laughing at the fail on such a widespread level, you’re still acknowledging that Tommy Wiseau exists, and you really shouldn’t encourage this level of failure.

For the three people who probably don’t know who this guy is, Tommy Wiseau wrote, directed, starred in, produced, and probably catered for a movie simply known as The Room.  While saying this out loud isn’t exactly new, thought-provoking discussion, it still needs to be said: The Room is garbage.  I’ve literally seen TROMA movies that had more effort put into them, and you’d be amazed how often Uncle Loyd recycles some of those shots of people driving cars.

Tommy Wiseau HIMSELF…  A lot of people are convinced he’s trolling us, and that his persona, coupled with his shit movie, is the single greatest act of trolling ever.  Somehow, I’m not buying it.  I genuinely believe this guy thinks he’s a lot better at what he does than he actually is.

It’s one thing to be proud of your work.  Hell, I’ve written a dud or two in my time (cough Family Reunion), but even I feel good about having a story out there in public.

It’s one thing to feel proud about your project, though, and it’s another thing to delude yourself into thinking you’re good at what you do.  I’m not really sure what Wiseau thinks he’s doing.  I’ve theorized that the man is either an anticomedian, a space alien, or one of THOSE artists.  Neither of which are positives that justify his movie, but all the same, it gives me something to anchor to.

If it was just a bad movie made by a guy whose first language CLEARLY isn’t English, that’d be fine.  Worst case scenario, it drifts around the ether of or wherever, we never hear from it again outside “art” circles, and the world is a beautiful place.  Except I remembered that I live in the version of Earth where Donald fucking Trump is president, Tim Heidecker gets as many TV shows as he wants, and “I Miss the Misery” by Halestorm is considered a party song.  So of course a movie that sucks this much gets elevated to cult status.

I personally subscribe to the Kevin Murphy philosophy that was briefly mentioned in his book, A Year at the Movies.  I believe that failure shouldn’t be rewarded.  Bad movies don’t deserve to be talked about.  The Razzies, while fun, and possibly even cathartic to some, is ultimately the spirit award of cinema.

“Hey, buddy, how’s it going?  How about that movie you made that bombed at the box office and nobody liked.  Sure was a piece of shit, wasn’t it?  Here, have a trophy.”

Failure shouldn’t be rewarded.  At absolute most, failure is something you should keep in the ole disappointments room, and kept around only as a reminder of how yall done fucked up.  Take that failure, and learn from it.  Remember that this right here is how NOT to make a movie.

I grew up between the generation that buried hundreds of thousands of unsold E.T. cartridges, and the generation that says “Wow, Bee Movie sure did suck.  Let’s spend an entire spring break polluting the internet with Bee Movie memes and convince the internet it’s worth remembering despite the fact it clearly isn’t.”  Which basically means I received a spirit award or two (they were called fourth place ribbons when I ran track in high school), but I was encouraged to not put them on the same level as a medal or an actual trophy.  They were a way of saying “Hey, you suck too much to get a medal, but at least you didn’t come in last.”

The fact people make The Room memes, or do parodies of popular movies on YouTube in the style of The Room is more recognition than this movie deserves, and more recognition than Wiseau HIMSELF deserves.  With all due respect to the author, I don’t plan on reading The Disaster Artist out of fear it’ll only fuel the machine.

Now I’ll own up to liking a few bad movies in my time.  I’m literally the only human being on Earth who seems to have actually LIKED Apollo 18, for example.  I am a loud and proud fan of The Purge movies (though I really need to see the third one).  Hell, I even liked Tusk.  These movies are also bad…  But unlike The Room, or anything else Wiseau has put out, these movies looked like someone actually put FUCKING EFFORT into them.  There was a good idea here.  There was a sequence of events that, at least in context of the universe, made perfect sense.  Go ahead and disagree with the possibility The Purge could happen one day, or believe all you want that The Lost Cosmonaut Theory is bunk, but surely you can at least agree that there was some thought put into all this.

The Room…  Ugh, The Room.  I’ve seen honest to god Skinemax flicks that had better acting than this.  Better set design, too.  Hell, even the plot was more coherent and not repetitive.  And have you actually WATCHED sex?  Take your dick out of your hand, take all the anticipation and excitement out of it, and just watched it from an analytical level?  It’s probably the most repetitive, monotonous activity out there!

Just because a movie is funny for all the wrong reasons doesn’t instantly make it good.  Or even redeemable.  It’s admirable that you managed to find a way to enjoy cinematic torture, but if I’m supposed to be taking this dead serious, yet all I do is laugh the entire time, yall done fucked up, son.

And I know memes don’t usually pick on good movies, but at the same time, the fact we’re even acknowledging this movie and this man even exist in the first place seems like we’re only encouraging him to keep existing.  Hell, I’ve written, like, three pages or so of text at this point, and I’m already trying to justify posting this incoherent ramblefest outside the fact I’m fucking sick of seeing Wiseau memes on my Facebook feed.

I probably make it sound like I’m furious, but really, I’m not.  Hell, at this point, I’m barely annoyed at absolute best.  After years of being taught that failure isn’t something I should be proud of (not necessarily ASHAMED of, but not proud of either), I’m suddenly finding that we’re reveling in it.

“This movie sucks!  Let’s give it ridiculous amounts of attention!  Let’s have special viewings, and make dumb parody videos and put them up for everyone else to see!”

I just don’t get that mentality.  Then again, I also don’t get why it’s suddenly okay for thirty-year-old men to admit out loud they watch cartoons for seven-year-old girls, or why after years and years of developing technology to where video games are practically fully rendered movies, the most popular things to play are the same fucking 8-byt “metroidvania” games we played in the days of the NES.  Believe me, I could, and on occasion, HAVE ranted on those topics individually.

I just feel like all this time we’re spending giggling at Tommy Wiseau is doing two things:

First off, it’s not helping the guy.  If anything, it’s only encouraging him to be as horrible at his job as humanly possible.  By portraying The Room as “a spectacle”, and celebrating its horridness, you’re only telling Wiseau, and future generations (maybe) that this is okay.

Secondly, I feel like all this energy we’re putting into this clearly could be spent on better things.  There are great things on Netflix right now that we could be watching.  Sure maybe everything on Netflix’s original category isn’t for everyone, but surely there’s something there that’s more worth investing time in than the same fucking garbage cinema you’ve been meming, parodying, and overall inflicting on all of us for the last decade now.

Thumbs Vs. Stars

Netflix had been talking about switching from the five stars system to the thumbs up or down system for a few months, but up until earlier tonight, I had dismissed it as a rumor. However, I logged on to Netflix after a day of work, proofreading, and what not, and found that they finally made good on that promise.
I wonder out loud why they bothered switching from one system to another like this. A friend of mine is convinced that the thums system was set up after Amy Schumer threw a fucking temper tantrum over the fact her special was getting record-setting amounts of one-star ratings. Some people (Schumer herself included, apparently) claim it’s people being assholes because a woman is doing stand up. Others believe it’s because Amy Schumer is legitimately not funny, and spends more time talking about her vagina stink than actually telling jokes. Normally, I belong to group B, but as far as whether it’s the reason Netflix switched from stars to thumbs… I don’t know, man, I think it was a lot more complicated than that.
Well, whatever their reason is, they switched to thumbs. So instead of five possible options, now you have two: thumbs up, or thumbs down.
Am I in favor of stars, or thumbs? Honestly, I don’t know. They both really have their ups and their downs.
Bill Burr: stand up comedian and recent hero of mine, was on his podcast talking about the negatives of the thumbs system. He made claims that one simple, petty complaint that ultimately contributes fuck all in the longrun might be enough for Mr. Petty-fucking-asshole to thumbs down your standup special. “Oh, I didn’t like the color of the background. Thumbs down. Oh, that one joke wasn’t funny. Thumbs down.” etc.
In a way, he’s definitely on to something. I’d like to think that the average Netflix bingewatcher isn’t a savage retard like about ninety percent of the people who leave comments on YouTube videos. Of course, we are talking about people. This may be my misanthropic attitude from my early twenties talking, but people are assholes, there’s too god damn many of us, and the world would be better off if seventy-five percent of us died right now.
The star system had more variety. If you liked a show, but didn’t LOVE the show, you could just rate it four. If you thought it was just okay, you could rate it three. Five and one were the extremes. A lot of the time, you could follow the same philosophy a lot of users follow, and trust only the four, three, or two star reviews. The ones who rate it five or one probably love or hate the show that much, but someone who rates it four, three, or two is probably more guaranteed to be genuine, and not a kiss-ass.
The thumbs system, meanwhile, demands a lot more of you. It takesaway the ambiguity four, three, or two stars may leave behind, but with the thumbs system in place, you either love it, or you hate it. No middle ground is possible.
If Amy Schumer hissyfits were really the reason for this change in ratings, I have a hard time seeing it accomplishing anything. The people who rated it two stars, or even three stars will probably just thumbs-down the standup special now. Which between my friend’s comments, and my own research, means people still fucking hate her special. Congratulations, dipshit, you accomplished nothing.
In the longrun, I prefer the stars. There’s more flexibility in the star system. There’s a lot of stuff I watch on Netflix I don’t feel deserves a positive rating, but it doesn’t deserve a negative rating either. I give shows like Bordertown a nice neutral three, because while they keep me amused in the moment, I don’t see myself watching it again. I only ever give the truly horrendous a one-star.
In the thumbs system, though, there is no nice neutral rating. You either love it, or you hate it. Or you decide not to rate it, but that’s not really contributing anything. Dead silence is the worst thing you can give an artist. Or an actor. Or a comedian. Or a lonely blind guy on OKcupid trying to find some sort of companionship in a fucked up world where Donald fucking Trump can be president, but I can’t even get a book published for real because…
Uh, got a little sidetracked.
I personally favor the star system. But maybe I’m a fringe minority. Maybe people prefer the thumbs system. Hell, maybe the next step is to put a Facebook esque system in place where there’s no thums down. Either like my show, or get the fuck out.
What do you say, audience? Stars or thumbs? Or do you even care?

Addicted to Dating?

I’ve had an OKcupid account for the better part of three years now. I’ve deactivated and reactivated it on several occasions throughout those years. In 2016, it was because I found someone who could put up with my dumb neurotic ass for more than one date. Usually, though, it’s closed because I get ghosted repeatedly and thus get mad at the fact that I’m apparently not worth so much as a generic “this isn’t going to work” message that a fucking autogenerator can produce in seconds, I close the account saying “This time, I fucking mean it!”, I spend a couple days to a couple weeks in the pit of perpetual depression and ennui, and then reactivate the account despite my previous intention to close it and keep it closed, and convince myself that somehow it’s going to be different this time.
The fact I’ve been doing this for three years should convince the most spectacular of all flunkouts from any given science program that it’s never different. It drives my roommate insane when I go into the pit. My friends have urged me to give up on OKcupid. One friend in particular has suggested I just give up on dating altogether and embrace the single life. Even my mom thinks I “need a new hobby”. By all accounts, all of these people are probably right… And yet, I just keep going through with it.
The thing about OKcupidis that, unlike any other dating site I’ve used over the years, I actually get results. I had a account for about the same amount of time as my OKcupid account, but I didn’t take it NEARLY as seriously because in that entire time, a grand total of ONE PERSON ever responded to me. I had a account for a grand total of nine months. I met people on there, but I had to pay to use their service. It’s hard to commit to something that has a monthly fee looming over head. Probably why I never got into MMOs back in the day, although just as much of that was because I didn’t have that kind of money. For, or for MMO games.
OKupid, in short, has been the best of both worlds: it’s free (mostly), and I actually get results. Disappointing, self-esteem crushing results it seems, but results all the same. And I think that’s why I keep going: because I get just enough results to give me hope, but not much in the way of legit success.
After nearly three years of disappointing dates, getting ghosted, and spam-likes from some asshole in Kernie, Missouri who doesn’t seem to get the hint that I’m not going to fall for their obvious fake profile (and even if it’s real, I’m not going to god damn Kernie , Missouri if I can avoid it), you’d think I’d quit by now. Shit, I quit playing Gems of War a month after I bought it, and that ended up being MORE of a headache than this. But For some reason, I just keep coming back to this dating site!
After thinking it over for a while, I can’t help but come to one conclusion: I have a gambling problem.
Dating is a lot like gambling: it’s a complete and total crapshoot, the house always seems to win, and there was a point where I was convinced the dice may be loaded. And yet, like that slot machine that occasionally gives me back all the quarters I put into it and dares me to keep going, I keep putting money and effort into it thinking this time I’m going to hit the jackpot. Hell, almost a year ago, I thought I DID hit the jackpot. But I’ve been over that in my 2016 retrospective.
The thing is I’ve been to casinos, and never really got hooked into any of the games. Half of the games the local casino offers are games I’ve never even heard of. I played slot machines, but didn’t really see what the big deal was. I played a round of craps, and ended up finding it more tedious than anything else, what with the fact you have to roll over and over and over again until you either make point, or seven out.
I get obsessed with a video game from time to time, but have you seen video games lately? It’s just as much of a game as it is a cinematic experience. I’m more obsessed with seeng how the story ends than I am with actual rewards. Especially since a lot of games think fucking concept art is a reward. Maybe if I were an artist, but I’m not. So no, no it fucking isn’t.
Dating, or really on-line dating, is a different story. I don’t know why I keep coming back to this when it clearly isn’t working, but I do. My roommate is on record saying I seem to have developed an unhealthy laser focus on the idea of having a girlfriend. Except really, I’m not even sure that’s what it is anymore. Sure, that might’ve been the endgame back when I started… But now, I think I just want to roll the dice for the sake of rolling the dice.
I don’t know. It’s 2:00 AM, I just got through telling someone that they really should’ve indicated on their profile they had kids from a previous marriage, and I really have a bad feeling I’m a week away from explaining all this to a therapist or something. And I don’t exactly have money for a therapist, but it seems like this may be on the horizon no matter what I have to say. I can smell the intervention all the way from here.

My Adulthood Experiences with D&D

Dungeons and Dragons.  Admit it, you’ve heard of it.  Lord knows I’d heard of it.  For the longest time, though, my experience with D&D has been pretty…  Mixed.

I’d first heard of Dungeons and Dragons when I was a wee little lad, living out in Western Kansas.  Western Kansas, for the record, is the single reddest part of one of the reddest states to ever red.  Meaning that if you ever brought up D&D, regardless of context, you’d be getting a lecture about how it was the work of Satan, and all yall chilins should shut the fuck up and read your damn bible.  I didn’t see the connection as a kid, but I ended up following the advice on the grounds adults are smart, and always know what they’re talking about.

Then I got older.  Suddenly, I realized adults aren’t all that smart.  I mean shit, most of them voted for Bush.  Twice.

I also quickly learned that individuals who declare that “[X] is the work of the devil” are either VERY poorly informed, or sanctimonious pricks.  They said D&D promoted Satannism, but they also said Harry Potter promoted Satannism.  Because apparently, Jesus is the only person allowed to cast spells I guess.  They said Pokémon promoted Satannism.  I’m still trying to figure out how they came up with that one, honestly.  These same people said stuff like The Life of Bryan was blasphemous, and that The Da Vinchi Code needed to be boycotted, and that The Passion of the Christ was the single most important movie ever made.  Life of Bryan is hilarious, Passion of the Christ was nothing but a two hour snuff film starring Jesus, and…  Well, The Da Vinchi Code wasn’t great, but heaven forbid something come along and challenge your perspective on life.  Slowly but surely, I was starting to realize these people were either stupid, or sheep.  And let’s be honest, sheep aren’t very smart to begin with.

But I’ve already gone on that tangent about my time in Christianity, so let’s move on.

of all the things I did as a teenager that were in blatant defiance of the right-winged, uberchristian culture I was born into and forced to endure, picking up Dungeons and Dragons actually wasn’t it.  I didn’t think it was a product designed to promote Satannism…  But it was pretty damn nerdy.

Evidence may suggest otherwise (especially in hindsight), but I never really considered myself a nerd in high school.  I wasn’t good enough at sports to be a jock, and a lot of sports were out of reach for a one-eyed individual such as myself.  I wasn’t a goth kid, because my family had a dog that shed like crazy, and black clothes were a magnet for white fur.  I wasn’t a theater kid, though lord knows I tried.  I wasn’t a cool kid, because to this very day, the more popular something is, the more I tend to avoid it like the plague.  I wasn’t a hit with the ladies…  Partly because impaired kids are NEVER a hit with the ladies, but mostly because I wasn’t a people person back then.  In a lot of ways, I’m still not.

The only REAL clique I truly fit in with were the kids I dubbed “the metal clique”.  They were like goths, but the music was better, and it was less “the world sucks and I want to die”, and more “the world sucks and I want to burn shit.”  They were like jocks, except none of us were ever going to medal in anything.  Depending on your taste in metal, you could probably mesh with theater kids, though you’re a lot less interested in acting out The Crucible, and more interested in recreating something you saw GWAR do on stage.  Not entirely sure if anime is TRADITIONALLY part of the metal culture, but Yu Yu Hakusho was considered quintessential.  Largely because we were all Yusuke Urameshi.  But I digress.

You’d really think something like Dungeons and Dragons would appeal to a group like this.  It had metal imagery like dragons and epic battles resulting in massive carnage and bloodshed.  Blind Guardian, and other bands of that subgenre wrote songs based on D&D, and D&D esque franchises like Dragonlance, or Lord of the Rings.  And of course, the Christians hated it.  Sounds like the perfect match…  Except nobody was even remotely interested.  We may not’ve OFFICIALLY been the cool kids, but we weren’t about to get bumped to the same table as the nerds for fuck sakes.

I didn’t show any REAL interest in D&D until my adult years.  And even then, I didn’t start out with D&D.

Somewhere around 2013, my friends and I tried our hand at the ole tabletop RPG.  However, we went with Shadowrun.  It had cyberpunk elements, which one of my friends was, and still is into.  I myself was also interested in Shadowrun for more or less the same reason at one point.  So we ended up trying our luck with Shadowrun.  And…  Honestly…  It was a disaster.

One of our friends didn’t get the concept of rollplaying at all.  The GM didn’t really explain the rules, character customization, or really ANYTHING all that well, and in the end, we just made shit up and rolled D6 for everything.  The campaign we ended up picking at first was clearly not intended for beginners.  In fact, reading a little more into Shadowrun, I’m starting to think Shadowrun IN GENERAL isn’t for beginners.  I know for sure it’s the one D-20 game I’ve ever seen that doesn’t use a D-20.

So yeah, our attempt at a Tabletop RPG group was pretty much the equivalent of giving birth to a stillborn baby: a lot of pain and agony for a result that left a lot of us depressed for weeks at a time, wondering where the hell we went wrong.  What, too dark?  The original line was going to involve compare it to performing a wire hanger abortion on yourself.  And it’s at this point I realize I’ve been watching WAY too much Zero Punctuation.

Though our group didn’t succeed, like, at all, I still found the concept of the tabletop RPG intriguing.  It also helped that around the same time, The Spoony Experiment, and a couple other TGWTG personalities I liked at the time were trying THEIR hands at…  I think it was Pathfinder?  Either way, as I watched, and learned the rules, I realized something: this game is actually pretty fun when everybody knows what the hell they’re doing.

My friends and I haven’t tried a D-20 game since, but I’ve still found myself interested in the world of D&D.  I’m far from the most knowledgable person on Earth, even after three or four years of on-again-off-again research.  It also doesn’t help they put out new editions every seven or eight years or so, and change FUCKING EVERYTHING in the process.  In any case, I find myself making D&D characters in my spare time on occasion.  I imagine up a campaign idea that, with a large degree of effort, could actually become something worthy of recording and posting on-line.  Hell, I even listen to a podcast that’s basically a dude and his friends playing the game!

highly recommend this podcast, by the way.  It’s pretty entertaining.  Even when they aren’t playing D&D and just talking about video games or whatever.  Bird is my favorite. 🙂

One day, I may find a group of like-minded folks who’ll welcome my novice ass into the fold, and I can actually try this out.  If nothing else, it gives me a reason to buy that Cthulhu dice set and dice bag.  Till then, my fascination is more of a spectator sort of thing.

A Week of Bumble

If you’ve never heard of Bumble, imagine Tendr if it were yellow and themed after bees.  If you’re not familiar with Tendr…  Well, I’d say something about you being super out of it, but frankly, I’m a bit of a dinosaur myself, what with my OKcupid account and all.

I heard about Tendr through Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance.  Before I go too far off topic, I recommend getting the book.  Even if he decides to bitch out all the people who got the audio book.  Because apparently you’re fucking lazy or illiterate if you get an audio book.  Yeah, everybody knows blind people don’t listen to audio books.  They’re too busy learning sign language down at the circus!  Asshole!

Tendr, in short, is a dating app that many have jokingly referred to as a cell phone game.  Except after playing with one of its clones, I can’t guarantee it’s a joke anymore.  You swipe left when you aren’t interested, and you swipe right if you ARE interested.  If a person you right swiped swipes right on your profile, then you can talk.

Bumble works exactly the same way.  The one key thing that seperates it from Tendr, though, is that women make the first move.  The guy can right swipe, and the woman swipes right if she likes your profile.  However, the woman starts the conversation regardless of whether she swiped right first, or you did.  And there in lies the fatal flaw of Bumble.

Go ahead and call me a sexist pig if you have to.  Considering I voted Sanders in the 2016 primary, and refused to see the new Ghostbusters movie due to its gender swop premise, I’m already batting zero.  Really, it’s been my personal experience women don’t want to make the first move.  The guy always has to be the one who goes out of his way to get noticed.  If this weren’t true, I’d probably have a lot more people on the dating sites sending me winks, or likes, or thumbs up, or whatever the site uses to show they’re interested but don’t have time for a message, or can’t think of anything good to say.  It could also be that I need to get rid of the beard, and that I need to get over this delusional idea mirrored sunglasses make me look cool, but this has been the case even BEFORE going through this phase of my life.

Women don’t want to make the first move.  In my entire life, there’s been a grand total of one exception to this lesson I’ve learned, and frankly, she ended up being a fucking trainwreck.  For everything else, I’ve had to be the one to make the first move.  And this is why the app is destined to fail.

The fact its rating went from a 4.1 to a 3.7 in the span of a week probably doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, either.  But hey, I figured I’d give it a try anyway.  It’s free, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting any money on this ultimately fruitless endeavor.

So I downloaded it.  And I right swiped, and I left swiped.  The app provides very basic information: age, college they graduated from, job, and maybe a little blurb about them.  That’s it.  The information is so minimal, it’s almost not even worth looking at, honestly.  In fact, it pretty quickly reached a point where I wasn’t even reading the profile information, and was swiping right or left based entirely on the photo.  Which I guess is the point, but still, it seems kind of dumb.

It reached a point where I found myself more interested in the act of swiping right or left than in actually getting results.  Of which I got none, as I expected, but I digress.  It became less of an opportunity to meet some new people, and it ended up becoming something to distract a side of my brain while the other listened intently to the latest in The Expanse novels.  I guess this is what they meant by a cell phone game disguised as a dating site.

I complain about the lack of interest the community had in me…  Though if I knew it was going to use Facebook photos, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to perfect the art of the selfy again, and picked some better photos than the ones the app picked.  I wasn’t wasted, or naked, or doing anything embarrassing in any of the photos they picked…  Though based on that commercial for Tendr, having a picture of you holding a cat apparently isn’t as appealing to women as I was led to believe.  So yeah, I had to delete that photo of me hanging out with my cat.  As well as two or three others that reminded me that I take a lot of photos while wearing sunglasses.  You’d think I was a cool kid from the 90s or something.

All the same, I really didn’t enjoy this app.  Gaming wise, it kept me distracted for a while.  In terms of meeting people…  Yeah, stick to meeting people in real life.  Or even the on-line personals.  Not this.  Never this.

American Labor Party?

The election is over.  About seventy-five percent of the people sending me petitions and requests for donations have either ceased operations, or I unsubscribed from them.  The remaining twenty-five percent, meanwhile, have reorganized their priorities now that the election is over in an effort that…  I hate to say, seems like an exercise in futility now that the republicans have everything.  Stranger things have happened, and as divided as the democrats are right now between Clintonite shills and Bernie backers, The Republican Party is actually just as divided.  That being said, I’m still bracing myself for anywhere between two to eight years of Christian tallaban rule despite these petitioners and their best efforts.

I bring this up, though, because one petitioner actually has a concept that left me scratching my head.  A petition is circling the net, and if it gets enough signatures, we might be seeing the beginning of The American Labor Party.

First of all, I’m pretty sure the labor party is a British political party.  Furthermore, I’m pretty sure the British Labor Party is basically the British equivalent of the democrats over here.  I could be wrong about that, though.  By all means, correct me on this.

As a third party man myself (Go Justice Party!  Rock the teal!), I can tell you right now that this is going to be an uphill battle.  The last time a third party had ANY success in America was Ross Perot.  Say what you want about Perot’s politics, personality, and the fact the dude could probably fly by simply flapping his ears, but looking back in 1992, you have to admit, he was a pretty influential figure.  It’s too bad The Reform Party fell to pieces like it did (thanks a lot, Buchanan), because if I were old enough in the 90s, I’d have probably registered as a Reformer.

All and all, you’re more than welcome to try, but I have a hard time seeing this new third party working out for anybody.  The Libertarian Party was at its most popular this election, but even THEY couldn’t win a single state.  And don’t even get me started on Garry Johnson again, or we’ll be here all day, and frankly, I have work in an hour.

But I suppose all of this has little to do with anything, because the most defining feature of any party is their agenda.  The democrats are…  Or WERE a home for lefties.  The republicans are home for the psychotic Christians and corporate tycoons who don’t want to pay taxes.  The libertarians are for those who want small government.  The Justice Party is home to people like me who are sick of corporate greed, government bureaucracy, and cronyism.  The Constitution Party (assuming they’re still a thing) want to preserve the United States constitution, and rule according to it and it alone.  The Freedom and Peace Party are communists.  And I suppose The Green Party is in there somewhere as well, but good luck figuring out what THEY want now that Nader isn’t there anymore.

So what will The Labor Party stand for?  At the time I’m writing this, your guess is as good as mine.  Although it was mentioned in the email that Bernie Sanders’ general philosophies are part of the foundation, so that probably speaks volumes all by itself.

Thing is, though, a lot of those philosophies are already part of The Justice Party.  Hell, The Justice Party themselves opted out of the 2016 election on the grounds Bernie Sanders basically wanted everything we wanted.  A decision that ultimately proved to be an exercise in futility, but I suppose in failing to get our guy past the primaries, this year was the opportunity we needed to build the foundation of our party a little more, and get the funding and support to get senate and house rep campaigns going.

So yeah, if you’re asking me personally, I can’t help but think this Labor Party might be a waste of time.  Maybe if The Justice Party collapses in on itself and kurplodes between now and 2020, I’ll think about it.  Assuming the effort for The Labor Party didn’t kurplode as well, at which point, I’m loudly and proudly independent again.

Still, it might be interesting to see what they come up with.

Is Scott Cauthon an Anarchist?

As I’ve said in a previous article, I’ve followed the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise for a while now.  And by follow the franchise, I mean I follow a couple YouTubers who more or less owe their fame and fortune to playing and over reacting (maybe) to the jump scares.  my shit eye sight is totally not up to the task of surviving ONE night at Freddy’s, let alone five.  It doesn’t help the cameras get fuzzier and glitchier with each installment, but I digress.  It’s been a fascinating ride that has only recently become a bit of a headache.

But the more I look back on FNAF, the more I find myself wondering out loud: is Scott Cauthon an anarchist?  It sounds a little far fetched, but hear me out.

Anarchism is the absence of any and all leadership.  Also known as “SHUT UP, MOM!  GOD!  STOP MAKING ME DO STUFF!  I can’t wait to move out of here.  I can do anything I want then.”

Oh yeah, I went there.  COME AND GET ME, RON PAUL!  But I digress.

Anarchy, simply put, means that there are no rules.  It perpetuates the belief that things are better when there’s no rules, no regulations, and no one telling you what to do.  It’s also been described as “The Purge year round”, but if you actually WATCH The Purge, it becomes very clear The Purge actually DOES have a rule or two in place.  REAL anarchy doesn’t even have limits on what caliber gun you can have, or who you can kill like The Purge does.

Scott Cauthon, among many other things, is famous for  his mini-games within the various FNAF games.

In FNAF2, you’re given short mini-games upon death that give you clear cut instructions: give the kids cake, give them gifts, “GO!  GO!  GO!”, etc.  You follow the rules, and what is your reward?  More jump scares.  Notice that jump scares in FNAF are your punishment.  They’re the games’ way of saying “Yall done fucked up, son.”  Except the only way to WIN the mini-games is to follow the instructions.  If you do what the game tells you, you get punished.  You can’t win.

In the case of FNAF3, and FNAF: Sister Location, you’re given mini-games that require you to go from the start to the goal.  Except if you actually follow the rules, and go from start to goal, you get nothing.  You get zilch, nada, goose egg, the big zero, an overdose of nothingness…  That last one might be a Tristania song, but all the same, you get squat.  Seems kind of pointless then, right?

But if you actually DON’T follow the rules, and DON’T go to the goal like an obedient little drone, you not only find alternate goals, but you actually get rewarded!  You get the good ending if instead of going from start to finish, you actually break the mini-game and go to the goal off screen.  If you ignore the goal altogether in the Sister Location mini-game, and instead bring the ice cream cone to the girl at the starting point, you get access to the restricted area.

Maybe I’m thinking a little too hard about this, but it seems to me that Scott Cauthon is encouraging, maybe even demanding that players stop playing by the rules, and intentionally go against everything they were taught to believe was right in order to get the good shit.  Don’t go to the OBVIOUS goal, because you end up with a whole bunch of nothing.  Instead, glitch the game, break the rules, give the authority that told you this is how you do it the finger, and find this goal over here, and you get everything your heart desires.  You get closure.  You get a good ending.  You get to see how your stupid soap opera with the vampire ends, and a new roommate!

The lesson I got from Scott Cauthon?  Well other than Chuck E. Cheese is fucking creepy at night, springlocks are a terrible idea, and purple people can’t be trusted, is fuck the rules.  The rules are a box, and you’ll eventually be buried in it.  Break the cycle, and overthrow the government!  Or at least don’t go for the obvious end with the big shiny sign reading “GOAL!”.  I’m pretty sure it’s one of those.

Agree?  Disagree?  Have no idea what I’m talking about?