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?

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America Loves Stupid People

Well the election is over.  And my personal Facebook is just flooded with rage, angst, and the occasional antiauthoritarian rant from this one guy.  Technically, that’s my personal Facebook REGARDLESS of what time of year it is, but today, there’s a theme.  And that theme is Donald Trump winning the election.

The trend continued onward in real life, too.  Everybody at my job was pretty much a zombie.  The most talkative guy I know, a guy I like to talk superheroes with on occasion, was probably the least talkative I’ve seen him.

I spoke to my mom tonight, starting off with “So…  How about that election, huh?”  According to her, one of her coworkers, no joke, came to work in widow weeds.  Another one just erupted into tears and angry shouting.

People are pissed!  People are shocked!  People are horrified!  And all I can say in response is…  Really?  You’re really shocked the stupid one won the election?  REALLY?!

Trust me, readers, I’ve followed politics since at least 2001.  Admittedly, back then, I was loud and proud blue through and through, where as nowadays I’m more teal (Justice Party colors), but regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, there is a lesson that needs to be learned.

I learned this lesson in 2004 when George W. Bush got reelected.  I learned this lesson when people like Parris Hilton and Linsey Lohan dominated the news, and I had to go to places like fucking Ogrish.com to find news on the war in Iraq.  I learned this lesson in 2010 when The Tea Party Revolution sweeped in and stole the house of representatives.  And now, I have learned this lesson in 2016.  And what’s that lesson, you ask?  America loves stupid people.

While I’ve made it very clear I was never Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan, that doesn’t mean I liked Donald Trump.  Frankly, I’ve always hated the republicans, where as it took a couple elections to become disenfranchised with the democrats.  Also, it’s Donald fucking Trump!  The man can’t even keep a casino afloat, and I’m supposed to trust him with the white house?  This election ALONE has proven that Donald Trump is, hands down, very tiny pussygripping hands down, a fucking mongoloid.  And yet, he won the election anyway.  And he won the election for that exact reason.

Back in 2004, John Kerry was our man.  To paraphrase a conversation that took place in Max Barry’s novel, Lexicon (great novel, by the way): “John Kerry is intelligent, he’s well-spoken, and that’s exactly why he ended up losing.”  Americans hate smart people.  Hell, have you heard us bitch about Obama?  He’s intelligent, he’s well spoken, and everybody here fucking hated him.  Some people insist it had to do with him being a socialist (which I don’t see at all), or being a tax-and-spend liberal, or even for being black.  But I’ll tell you right now, it’s not any of that.  It’s because Barack Obama is smart.  Okay, maybe the guy isn’t going to build a rocket any time soon, but he clearly graduated from college, and he doesn’t have the vocabulary of a fourth grader like Trump, and he isn’t famous for making up words on the spot like George W. Bush was in his prime.  And all I fucking heard from 2009 onward was how he was an overprivilleged dick who had everything handed to him.

Although, to be fair, I DO live in Kansas, and there aren’t many states redder than red fucking Kansas.Trump is an idiot.  America loves idiots.  Therefore, America loves Trump.  This isn’t algebra, folks.

Also, if you ask me personally, I think that WikiLeaks incident with all those emails really didn’t help Clinton any.  Even if I DID like Clinton (which I fucking don’t), I had a hard time believing she was going to win this election.  In fact, the only thing that really surprised me in the longrun was how unanimous it all ended up being.

So yeah, four to eight years of Trump.  America is going to go through some VERY interesting times.  Should be a riot.  I almost can’t wait.

Christianity: My Seventeen Year Ordeal

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I am a loud and proud Baha’i.  Sure, I’m not perfect, but I do the best I can.  And I absolutely love the community.  I’m terrible with names, and it doesn’t always help that a good number of them are Persian names I can barely pronounce as is, but I’ve made a lot of good friends within the community.  I really feel like I belong here.  I tell my story of how I came to the faith, and everybody loves it.  I read from the Braille book, and I get complemented on my reading of the prayer as opposed to being patronized for being able to read Braille.  I’ve only been a registered Baha’i for a year, and I’ve been reading and learning about it for two years, but  I feel like I belong here.  Which is more than I could ever say about Christianity.

For the longest time, my parents tried to raise me Presbyterian.  When you live out in Western Kansas in a day and age when the internet was either nonexistent, or accessed through slow-ass 56K motems that required phone lines, your only real choices for religion were either Catholicism, or Presbyterianism.  And in more recent years, a Church of Latter Day Saints appears to have shown up…  Or maybe it was always there, and my parents tried stearing me away from them thar creepy fucking Mormon folk.  I don’t know why my family picked Presbyterianism, aside from the fact my maternal grandparents were Presbyterians, and that’s just what you do.

I went to church, I attended Sunday school, and I even went to church banquits with my mom, dad, and grandparents on both sides.  And I absolutely hated virtually every minute of it.

I’m not going to denounce Jesus as some sort of false prophet, or go on a rant about how my religion is superior.  Baha’is actually hold a lot of the prophets (Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster, Buddha, etc) in very high regard.  Really, in a way, they were all talking about the same god, and preaching the same message in their own unique way.  Baha’i, to me, is a lot like uniterianism.  Except unlike uniterians, we actually have our shit together and know what the hell we want to do instead of creating some hippy-dippy neoliberal feel-good-religion.

I will say this much for my years as a Presbyterian, though: I didn’t feel like I belonged.  If anything, I felt like I was being held hostage.I woke up on Sunday, put on a nice shirt and slacks (thankfully, Presbyterianism doesn’t require a suit and tie), and went through the motions.  I attended Sunday school when I was a wee little boy, and got nothing out of it other than ideas for parody lyrics to some of the songs the Sunday school teacher had us sing.  I attended services with mom and dad, and smuggled in notebooks and markers so I could doodle something while the reverend droned on about how I was ultimately going to hell.  I attended a Christian summer camp in seventh grade, and the only positive memories I have of that entire time were talking pro-wrestling with a fellow mark, and going to the nurse’s office: the only building on the entire campground that had air conditioning.  I attended youth groups in high school, and the only good memory I had was when a relatively attractive girl ended up sitting in my lap for a moment.  Something to do with the game we were playing, and the penalty for losing was you had to sit on the lap of the person next to you, but that’s all I remember.  I went to a Christian weekend retreat with other high school kids, and I and a couple other kids spent most of the time hiding out in the boys bunk listening to each other’s death metal albums on a stereo one of the other kids smuggled in.  Keep in mind, iPhones and sharing shit over WiFi didn’t exist yet, and we still had to sneak actual CDs in, so this was a pretty impressive accomplishment.  But I digress.

Basically, the point I’m trying to make is that I fucking hated my time in Christianity.  I may’ve been a Presbyterian, but I quickly figured out your denomination was a classic “Six in one, half a dozen in the other” sort of situation.  It astounds me there’s so many dinominations.  In fact, there’s even dinominations within dinominations!  Not only are there Presbyterians, but there’s also “Reformist Presbyterians” (which basically meant vote George W. Bush or fuck off near as I could tell), “Bible Presbyterians” (No idea), and I’m pretty sure there’s a group called “Heartland Presbyterians” out there too.  Although that could just be the name of the church.  Either way, there’s so much division and in-fighting when it comes to Christianity that it amazes me that the religion as a whole hasn’t imploded in on itself yet!  And that’s just the Presbyterians!  I hate to see what the Baptists, the Lutherans, the Seven Day Adventists, and god only knows whatever other ones have to put up with.

I dreaded Sundays for the longest time.  All I wanted to do was sleep in, play whatever video game I’d rented that weekend, catch WWF Sunday Night Heat (back when that was around, and actually affected the main story)…  Shit, I’d have even preferred doing homework!  Anything but another fucking church service.

During my high school years, my parents also insisted on dragging me to the service that featured a “rockband”.  Okay, even as a dumbass fifteen-year-old, I knew better than to expect a band the church put together to bust out some Slayer, or some Dimmu Borgir.  Hell, maybe even Papa Roach would’ve been too much to ask for.  But oh my god I hate Christian music!  You have no idea how much I hate Christian music.

A lot of Christian acts that were popular in my day were, at best, knockoffs of bands that…  In some cases might not have aged all that well nowadays (cough Puddle of Mud cough cough), but even if they DID age poorly, they were still better than their Christian counterparts.  Largely because I found Christian music to be the single most patronizing dribble ever.

“What will people do when they find out I’m a Jesus freak.  What will people do when they find out it’s true?”

Well if you lived in Kansas, they’d probably pat you on the back and welcome you into the fold with open arms.  It’s when you decide to be an atheist, or an agnostic, or a wiccan, or a Linkin Park fan when you need to worry about people persecuting you, teasing you, bullying you, calling you a faggot, etc.  True, you’re probably not going to get nearly as much of that out in KC (the beautiful blue sapphire in one of the reddest red states to ever red), but I felt more unwelcome and unwanted pretending to be a Christian than I ever did openly declaring I was an agnostic.

I went through Confirmation like a good little Presbyterian boy.  Which basically meant on top of Algebra homework I had no hope of understanding, and reading a book for English class I had no interest in reading because of its distinct lack of light sabers and jedi superpowers, now I had to read the fucking Gospel of Luke from start to finish as well.  And I went through the whole thing less than half-hearted.  I’m pretty sure my counselor during the entire time was aware of it, too.  It was mathematically impossible for me to calculate how much of a fuck I didn’t give about any of this.

I always referred to my confirmation as my “shotgun confirmation”.  The reverend would do his usual routine where he would ask all the sixteen and seventeen-year-olds if they would continue to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers and honor and live by the teachings of Jesus Christ.  When it came time for me to answer, I could practically hear the shotgun being cocked behind me as the voice murmured in my ear “Well?  Do you, boy?”  Everybody’s parents are in the audience, and my grandparents were there with my parents.  Did they really expect me to say no?

I went through those years trying to relate to that crowd.  For a while, I actually wished the stockholme syndrome would finally kick in so this wouldn’t be so torturous.  But it never did.  At absolute best, I’d come to the conclusion that not EVERYTHING in Christianity was nonsense, but a lot of the “turning water to wine” and “turning a fish and a loaf of bread into a banquit” was either incredibly clever metaphors that didn’t translate from Lattin to English so good, or a little thing the legal world calls “heresay”.

Strangely, by the time I was seventeen, my parents seemed to finally give up.  I think a lot of it was because seventeen to nineteen were my wiccan years.  Believe me, that deserves an article all on its own right there, but I digress.  It could also have been because I’d gone through confirmation, and now that I was confirmed, there was no longer that sense of urgency.  “Yeah he’s not going to church nearly as often, but he’s confirmed Presbyterian now.  So fuck it, he’ll outgrow this Wiccan shit and want to go with us to heaven.”

As disjointed and all over the place as this all sounds, this was literally my time as a Christian in review.  If you’re a Christian, and it’s working out great for you, then fine.  I’m not out to convert anyone to my way of thinking, I’m not here to sell you Baha’i (I’m pretty sure we have a commandment against that sort of recruitment tactic in fact).  Really, as long as you aren’t some gay hating abortion clinic bomber who lets the bible do one-hundred percent of the thinking for you, we’ll probably be able to have halfway decent conversations about literally everything else.  Really, all I’m saying is that I’m pretty much done with Christianity, and no amount of Pope Francis or legalized marijuana is going to change that.

Maybe My First Sin Was With My Right Hand

In 2013, my family and I took a tour of Branson, Missouri.  Oh my god, do NOT take a tour of Branson, Missouri.  There is a very good reason one of my old cab drivers referred to it as “Mormon Las Vegas”.

The trip could be summed up with three categories: country bumpkin production, comedian telling old people jokes I’ve already heard infinity billion times before, and long rides on a tour bus where the driver really tried to engage the passengers.  I, being a super entitled millennial apparently (pretty sure I just barely qualified as Generation X, but I probably read that generational chart wrong), spent most of those rides ignoring the shit out of everybody and listening to Speaker for the Dead on audio book.  Say whatever you want about Orscen Scott Card’s politics, but that guy writes some entertaining stories.  I wouldn’t say I was bored necessarily, but by the time we were on day two of this five day adventure, I was starting to want to go home.

Strangely, though, one of my fonder memories of the Branson vacation came during one of the breakfasts the tour company was putting on.

The person who ended up sitting next to me was a minister.  If I had to guess, based on how he talked about Jesus and the Christian faith, he was probably Southern Baptist.  This was going to be fun, hashtag-sarcasm.  I smiled and waved my way through the conversation, trying my best not to whip out my calculator and trying to calculate the specific amount of fuck I didn’t give about his ministry…  Then, he noticed I was left handed.

“This may surprise you,” he tells me, “but I’m also left handed.”

Well, maybe SURPRISE isn’t the word I’d use, but I suppose it was INTERESTING.  Kind of.

“a paster once told me an interesting thing,” he continued.  “He told me that the majority of people in the world are right-handed because when we commit our very first sin as human beings, we use our left hand.  Which means that the few of us that are left-handed are pure of heart.”

Uh…  Huh.  That’s actually kind of an interesting outlook on things, I thought for about ten minutes.

Naturally, in the name of politeness, and because this thought hadn’t occurred to me till after we were back on the bus, I kept my theory to myself.  However, I eventually came up with a different theory.

I suppose it’s possible that us left-handed folks have yet to commit a sin so bad, it changes us from lefties to righties.  However, who’s to say that I didn’t commit that sin already, and used my right hand to do it?  You ask me, that’s just as plausible.

By the Southern Baptist definition of “pure of heart”, I’m going to hell.  Undeniably, and undisputedly.  I cuss like a sailor, I’ve had sex out of wedlock, my favorite band in high school was Cradle of Filth, my favorite band RIGHT NOW is Ghost, I’ve stolen Pepsi bottles off of dorm staff’s desks and put them in other students’ rooms during my second year senior just to see what would happen…  I quite drinking alcohol (aside from that incident in July), but I think I’ve drank enough to where it counts.  Basically, I look at myself, and don’t think of myself as pure hearted.  In fact, that last one with the Pepsi makes me think I might have sociopathy.  Or maybe I was just a dick.

It’s possible I’m putting way too much thought into this.  I do that sometimes.  Really, it’s just something I thought of today at work, and figured I’d share it here.

What do you think?

Does Nu Metal Really Deserve the Bum Rep it Has?

For those out of the loop, “Nu Metal” was a subgenre of rock and metal that was popular from around 1995-2003 or so.  It’s also earned names like “rap-rock”, “rapcore”, and “funk metal” from fans, and names like “angry white kid metal” and “divorce rock” from haters and dudes trying to be funny.

I know that not everything ages like fine wine.  Some things we look back on, and wonder what on Earth did we ever see in them.  In the case of the 1990s, it could be a lot of things: Beany Babies, Giggapets (also known as tamagachi), The Spice Girls, Jerry Springer, etc.  There was a lot of stuff back then I look back on, and can’t help but laugh at.  And while I’m not about to champion nu metal’s superiority to whatever crappy 8-byt dubstep autotuned robot voice nonsense or ukulele playing pansies are popular now, but I really feel like nu metal gets a bum rep nowadays.

A lot of it unfortunately comes from the spokesmen.  Thrash metal had acts like Metallica and Megadeth: people who not only pioneered the genre, but continue to withstand the test of time today (even if you hated St. Anger).  Progressive rock had iconic bands like Rush, and Queensryche: bands that, while not necessarily popular with EVERYBODY, are popular within their genre.  Power metal has legends like Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, and Stratovarius: individuals that showed the world the benefits of being a virtuoso at your instrument, and well educated in the realms of fantasy.  Nu metal…  Had Limp Bizkit.

I’ll be the first to admit that thirteen years has done wonders for my opinion of Limp Bizkit’s music, but at the same time, I don’t pretend to forget the past, or abandon common sense.  Even at their best, Limp Bizkit was never shakespear.  No nu metal band was Shakespear, and you should probably go back to power metal if you want that sort of thing.  A lot of the Bizkit could easily be forgiven, though, if Fred Durst himself weren’t such a pain in the ass.  I refer you to the legendary feud he had with the vocalist of Creed, and Woodstock99 for starters.

To this very day, I feel like if nu metal had a different spokesgroup, the genre would have a bit of a better reputation.  Also, if bands like Linkin Park and Papa Roach, the bridge between nu metal and emo, hadn’t come into existence towards the end.

As a brief aside, though, Papa Roach isn’t the worst band I’ve ever heard.  Even when they were straight up rap-rock, they weren’t bad.  The one problem Papa Roach will probably never live down is “Last Resort”: a song that, while having the best of intentions, really didn’t age all that well in hindsight.  I still feel like they ought to have led with a different song.  I’d have gone with “Between Angels and Insects”, which probably laid out the groundwork for my political views in the long run, but I’d have also gone with “Dead Cell”, or the title track to “Infest”.  If it weren’t a B-side, I’d even go with “Legacy”.  They had so many good songs, and they went with “Last Resort”?  Ugh.

Okay, let’s get back on track.

The nu metal genre has many common criticisms.

The first of which, of course, is its simplicity.  A lot of nu metal songs take the old saying of “all you need to know in order to rock is three chords”, and pushes it to the limit.  Hell, some of the founders of the genre made due with only ONE chord!  Are you really going to be mad because someone took your old saying to heart?  It didn’t seem to be a problem when AC/DC was putting it to the test.  But I guess AC/DC came from the 70s, so that means they’re untouchable.  Or at least that’s the attitude around here.

And of course, there’s the popular criticism: all nu metal vocalists are whiners.  I’m not going to defend every single nu metal vocalist in the world, because let’s face it, it’s not one-hundred percent unfounded.  At best, though, I’d say that applies to the mainstream acts more than to the bands I liked.  Linkin Park were whiners.  Limp Bizkit could be pretty whiney when they wanted to be.  Hell, even Korn, the Metallica of nu metal, were pretty god damn whiney on those first couple albums.  But that doesn’t speak for the entire genre.

Whiney vocals aren’t exclusive to nu metal.  If anything, they’re exclusive to emo, except they’re not really exclusive.  I’ve seen my share of whiners in alternative as well.  Some would even say hair metal acts like Poison had their share of whiner moments.  “Every Rose Has its Thorn” is probably the whiniest song to come out of that era.  Bottom line: whiners will always be around.  You just got to sift through the bullshit in order to find good stuff.

People tend to let bands like Limp Bizkit do all the talking for the genre.  They need to dig deeper.  The sooner you quit giving up at the door, and assuming those guys do all the talking, the sooner you can discover something good.  Otep, 3rd Strike, Reveille, Genuflect, Skindred, Trust Company…  The list goes on.  Though I suppose it’s all a matter of opinion in the end.

I probably sympathize more with nu metal than most because I was living the life back then.  I didn’t exactly have a girlfriend who drove me insane with rage with all her bullshit (not until 2004, anyway), but things like dysfunctional families, and directionless rage with no other outlet than just screaming unintelligibly and breaking stuff just cuz is the kind of stuff I’ve gone through.  When you’re living the life, suddenly, that whiney bullshit doesn’t seem so whiney anymore.

Also, if you’re a beginner at guitar, nu metal is a fucking godsend.  Simplicity may not appeal to you as a listener, but when you’re just learning how to make chords, it feels like you’ve accomplished an amazing feat when you’re able to play anything.  As much as I don’t like Linkin Park anymore, I celebrated when I learned how to play “What I’ve Done” on guitar.  Too bad I can’t remember how it goes anymore, but that’s beside the point.  Once you master something simple like a Korn song, you can move on to something a little more advanced.  Like…  Oh, I don’t know, how about Jackyl?

Really, though, nu metal was a reflection of the time.  Us 90s kids were fucking sick of hair metal.  Unlike the hair metal generation itself, we had figured out that dudes with bleach-blonde perms who wore leather and makeup was really, really, super duper gay.  Also, six-minute tracks that consisted of two-minutes of song and four minutes of guitar solo…  Nuh-uh, not doing it for us.  We wanted it simple, we wanted it brutal, and we wanted it vicious.  It began as grunge, but eventually found itself incorporating elements of hiphop and rap as it went on.  And before we knew it, we had a genre we could be proud of.  Up until we hit twenty-five, looked back through our old CDs, and wondered aloud what the hell we ever saw in bands like Dope?

This is all stuff I’ve tackled in my old blog, back when I was writing music reviews and going through my old albums that I’d collected over the years.  I’ve said it there, and I’m saying it here: I really think nu metal gets a bum reputation.

It also doesn’t help that metalheads, as much as they probably don’t want to admit it, are some of the most elitist people you’ll probably ever meet.  Seriously, dude, metalheads fucking hate everything.  Including other metalheads.  I ought to know, too.  I used to hang out with metalheads back in high school.  I even considered myself a metalhead at one point, and to a much lesser extent than back then, I’d say I’m one right now.

But that’s a rant for a whole other day.