wOf Gods and Gaming
Lord, may my words be sweet and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.





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wTuesday, February 25, 2003

Neon Genesis Evangelion on Cartoon Network at 4:30 PM?

Okay, now I've seen everything.

posted by Danin at 2/25/2003 04:37:00 PM

wThursday, February 20, 2003

It's go time.

First off, I think .hack//SIGN is actually the anime that goes with .hack//INFECTION. Solves that.

I grabbed 3DMark2001 SE on a whim the other day. I figure since a brand-new Falcon can push 16000, I could probably squeeze 5000 out of my two-year-old system. I got a lowly 3000. Okay, I'll tweak my card. Download the newest Detonator drivers, tweak the settings, overclock it just a hair, rerun 3DMark. Now it's down to 2000. Right. The solution to this is obvious.

Get a new video card.

The problem with this is that I'm pretty much screwed when it comes to having extra change lying around (see previous post), so I have to go really, really cheap. Comparison shopping on the net doesn't give me a decent card for under $100 (GeForce 4 MX my ass, that doesn't do DirectX 8), which leaves eBay. Let me tell you something about eBay: eBay is a damn timesink. I spent two whole days doing pretty close to nothing except scouring eBay and watching my auctions like a trained hawk sniper (that would be a hawk that snipes, not one who snipes hawks). I eventually found an ATI Radeon 9000 for $72 including shipping, which is actually really funny because I could have gone onto this guy's online store in the first place, gotten it for the same price (he just does "Buy It Now" stuff on eBay) and never worried about eBay at all. Oh well, I'm getting a new video card, hoo-hah. I don't really care that it's not top of the line, since I'll be getting a whole new computer (my computer, finally) in about six months anyways.

For those of you who never watch the news or read the paper or look out your damn window or do anything, there's like twenty to thirty inches of snow all over the east coast everywhere from here (that would be DC) to Boston. The result of this, besides not being able to get out of the damn house for like three days, is that school is closed for the entire week. This wouldn't normally be a bad thing, but I have a fairly important scholarship application that has to be postmarked by tomorrow (the Presidential Scholar Award, which is like one of the highest academic honors in the country), and I somewhat doubt that my guidance office is going to have their half filled in after having their offices closed for three days. I also have an essay that I still have to write before I turn it in, but that'll be a fairly moot point if I'm missing half the application. Damnit.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is going to be the finest game ever made. I can now say this from first-hand experience because there is now a demo of it at Wal-Mart that I play for like a half-hour every time I'm down there looking for a copy of .hack because I can't afford the gas to leave town and go to Electronics Boutique anymore ($1.65 per gallon my ass). I also got the Ocarina of Time preorder disc, and it's even better than I remember it because it's not on the N64 this time and therefore it doesn't make my eyes bleed because it's so damn blurry. It says on the box that it supports progressive scan (which is what makes high-definition TVs high-definition), but that doesn't seem to make much sense to me because if the game were higher resolution you'd get a better look at how old and crappy the textures are.

There's another game coming out in the interval discussed below that I want, but I can't remember what it is. That's probably a really good thing, since I probably can't afford it.

Oh, wait, no, I remember what it is. It's friggin' Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. God damnit.

The Europeans get the Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 included with their MGS2:S, which really sucks because here you have to pay like $20 for it and even if it's worth it I can't afford it (much like I can't afford anything anymore).

Gameforms has a new trailer for Final Fantasy X-2 (that's ten-two, not X-two, this isn't a freaking Mega Man game) with Yuna and company sincing J-Pop, which really scared the living hell out of me until I got distracted by the pretty transformation sequences. You know this game comes out in like two weeks in Japan? Bastards.

My mom tells me I'm prejudiced against stupid people. I'm not going to argue with that, because I am, but she acts like that's a bad thing. Apparently being intolerant of anything is a bad thing, which is actually really dumb, not just because you tolerate a lot of bad stuff that way but because you're actually intolerant of intolerance (I'm not sure if that's irony or hypocrisy or both). Anyways, let me give you an example here: you're a personel manager for some place, and you have three applicants for a job. One is black, the second is Jewish, and the third obviously lacks the sense to properly perform the job for which he is applying. Outside of these qualities, all three applicants are totally equal. You can hire two of them. If you refuse the black guy, you're a racist. If you refuse the Jewish guy, you're an anti-Semite. If you refuse the guy who can't do the job, you're prejudiced against stupidity. Obviously, you would refuse the guy who can't do his job, because he would be a detriment to your company. Oh, no, you're prejudiced against stupidity. Now, did you just do something wrong? No, you did what made sense.

Stupidity is a special trait because it actually makes sense to discriminate against it. It doesn't make sense to say, "black people screw stuff up because they're black." However, it makes perfect sense to say, "stupid people screw stuff up because they're stupid." That's the very nature of stupidity: you screw stuff up because you don't have to basic sense to understand what you're doing. It's wrong to discriminate against black people because being black has nothing to do with screwing stuff up. Stupid has everything to do with screwing stuff up. Is it still wrong to discriminate against stupidity? Why, no, it's not.

I'm all out of steam.

posted by Danin at 2/20/2003 03:14:00 AM

wTuesday, February 11, 2003

I'll put some stuff in as I remember to do so.

First on our agenda: the National Budget of Daninia. In the next month-and-a-half, we have, in rough order of release:

  • .hack//INFECTION (Feb. 14, $50), which I could have sworn was .hack//SIGN at some point but who cares, this is the first volume and I'm going to wind up getting it anyways.
  • Xenosaga (Feb. 25, $50), the always-pretty prequel to Xenogears with the world's best promotional poster and a release date set so long ago it seems to have been written as a footnote to the Ten Commandments.

  • Fallen by Evanescence (Mar. 4, $15), a band which I heard about only two weeks ago and already threatens to become my new favorite rock band.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Mar. 24, $50), which could also go second on this list, since I'm getting the free preorder bonus disc (with Ocarina of Time and OoC: Master Quest) on February 16 come hell or high water.

  • Meteora by Linkin Park (Mar. 24, $15), which I just found out about today. I knew they were working on a new studio album, but damnit I can never be on top of these things.

Doing some quick math, $50 + $50 + $15 + $50 + $15 = broke. I hate broke. Especially when I'm trying to save up for a Creative Nomad Zen, which is exactly like a 20 GB iPod in every way, except for being slightly less pretty and $200 cheaper. God, I hate being compulsive in advance.

Evanescence, who I mentioned above, is coming to DC on the 23rd. This really sucks since I probably won't be able to make the show, as I'll be gone skiing that weekend and probably won't be back until late Sunday night (which would be the 23rd).

It snowed like hell on Friday. On any other Friday, this would have been a perfect heaven-sent three-day weekend, but this particular Friday happened to be the first day of the two-day All-District Choral Festival. Since it's a school-sponsored activity, and schools were closed because of the unholy amounts of slippery white stuff on the ground, the day was cancelled. It seemed that, since it would be nearly impossible to go from scratch to a proper concert in one day, Districts would be cancelled. I was especially disappointed in this, since this year's conductor was none other than John Leavitt, one of the most prolific choral composers in the history of the universe (if you've ever sang in, or for that matter heard, a chorus that performed at least five songs, you have probably heard something composed or arranged by John Leavitt) and the Patron Saint of Gospel Piano.

Much to my amazement, whoever is in charge of this event had the gall and the mental instability to push the concert back two hours and arrange for the entire rehearsal to held all in one day. Arriving early in the morning Saturday (seriously like 8:30 AM), we quickly discovered that, under pressure, John Leavitt is a commanding presence and a drill sergeant of deadly skill and efficiency. We went from knowing little to nothing of our music to near-flawless execution in barely six hours, and performed a suprizingly high-quality concert (with the exception of the instrumental parts in one song, which had the rough quality of a hyena dry-heaving into an oboe) at 3:30 PM. I said above that Leavitt is the patron saint of Gospel Piano, which he certainly proved to us by providing accompaniment to River in Judea that left myself, my chorus teacher, and the entirety of the choir slack-jawed and bug-eyed. I have never heard anything like it before, and I doubt I'll hear it again any time soon.

In any case, this is all a big lead-in to the fact that I passed my audition at Districts and made in into All-State Choir with the top score in my section. I'm having a hell of a good year.

I can't think of anything else to comment on, even though I'm sure I had something. I've already gone too long in any case.

posted by Danin at 2/11/2003 08:23:00 PM

wTuesday, February 04, 2003

If I had a PDA, I would post little snippets all the time instead of writing these gargantuan articles on an irregular basis. And I wouldn't forget everything I was going to write, either.

So, I just watched the last hour or so of The Majestic, right? Before I get into a rant, Jim Carrey really is a fantastic actor, if you get past The Mask and Ace Ventura and all those ADHD-ish movies he did.

But that's not what I came to speak about today. I came to deliver an impassioned rant on McCarthyism, and damnit, that's what I'm going to do.

McCarthyism is retarded.

There, I'm done. Wait, I have to back that up with logical argument? Crap.

First off, I don't think the House Committee on Un-American Activities (or whatever it was, I'm too lazy and vitriolic to look it up, it abbreviates to HUAC) had any idea what communism is in the first place. Communism is a socio-economic theory invented by Karl Marx in the mid-to-late nineteenth century that promotes the direction of the efforts of the individual towards the best interests of the community (this stands in stark contrast to the Capitalist theory proposed by Adam Smith, which essentially promotes the efforts of the individual towards their own self-interests). Such a society, he reasoned, would be free of greed and poverty, and would ultimately lose any need for established government, since the community already operated in the bests interests of all its citizens.

This theory was enacted, to some extent, by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (that would be Lenin, if you want to be boring and traditional) in the years following World War I, but the necessary conformism required by true communism made the system inherently unstable. The new communist regime degenerated almost immediately into a (at the time necessary) dictatorship as Lenin eliminated opposition to the Communist party. Communism may have come to eventually florish in the USSR had the leadership of the party passed to Leon Trotsky (a true Marxist) as it should have, but the position of general secretary passed on to the more politically shrewd Joseph Stalin (in opposition to the wishes of Lenin, which were suppressed after his death). Under Stalin, the USSR degenerated from a fledgling Communist state to a full-fledged military dictatorship. The doctrine of Stalinism, which Stalin called Communism (in much the same misuse of the term as is used today in Cuba and China), is what HUAC eventually accepted as communism and charged many Americans with.

Second. Regardless of the definition of communism, HUAC's actions were blatently unconstitutional, and I'm surprised they were never called on it. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants every American citizen the right of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. By persecuting members of the Communist party (or at least people they claimed were members of the Communist party, many of whom were not), HUAC flagrantly violated the rights of American citizens to free speech and free assembly.

Thirdly (and I think lastly), HUAC was a witch hunt the likes of which America hadn't seen since Salem. There was no evidence against the accused--all that had to happen was someone naming a name, and the named was automatically branded and convicted a communist (which, as above, isn't even a crime), regardless of any evidence to the contrary, or any lack of evidence to the affirmative. Above all else, let me tell you, I absolutely despise witch hunts. Like nothing else on Earth, they embody the principle of idiots dragging the sensible down to their level and beating them witless with experience. And believe me, I can't stand it when idiots win, especially when they're wrong, which is most of the time (they are idiots, after all).

Well, I'd like to say I feel much better now, but I actually think I just worked myself into a ferver. Crud.

Stephen Hawking is Master of the Universe. I don't have any rational basis for saying that, I just felt like it.

posted by Danin at 2/04/2003 11:56:00 PM