16 July, 2007

Honestly, I forgot this blog exists. I wish I hadn’t, I rather like it here. My thoughts seem more thought out than they usually do. I reread what few posts I have here, and I find it hard to believe that I wrote them. They sound like a not retarded version of me. I’m a little bit jealous.


Editorial: Ad-damonium.

27 November, 2006

There’s some news coming out of Boston. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority will no longer allow advertising on their vehicles for video games that receive a rating of M (mature) or AO (adults only) from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. This is the result of complaints for the advertising of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the side of Boston subway cars.

Honestly, I could be okay with this. The Grand Theft Auto series is known for having violence/nudity/language that isn’t appropriate for children, and everyone sees these subway cars. I’m sure that as much as they would like to have it, Rockstar doesn’t really need these ads to sell the game. If a customer would like it, they’ll find a way to get it.

But the advertisements only say the title of the game, and a picture of a character on it. In order for an underaged citizen to play this game, when many stores don’t allow for games rated M to be sold to minors, or even be rented, they need their parent/caretaker to purchase it for them. That means the responsible adult needs to see the words “Grand Theft Auto”, plus a “Rated M” symbol on the cover, which isn’t much different from a “Parental Advisory Warning” on a CD, and actually bigger than a “Rated R” on a movie.

And that’s why we’re complaining about it, yes? Because of the kids? Well, kinda. But also because the game encourages unlawful behavior. And as the MBTA is a public entity, according to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, “[it] has a responsibility to protect the public from being bombarded by violent images.” Well, yes. I suppose. But then are we going to stop all violent images? There will be no movie ads for rated R films? No ads for the new 50 Cent album?

You can’t ban one medium on some merits, but not ban another that has the same properties. It’s not being blamed for being a violent game, it’s being blamed for condoning violence. So if Rockstar can’t advertise GTA, why can the Clerks II DVD show up on the side of the bus? And if they actually do allow the banning of “adult” themed ads on public transportation, what about the billboards I can see from the bus? And then the commercials on the air? Everyone sees those too.

Everyone knows that the GTA series is violent. Stopping the ad on the side of a train isn’t going to stop the sales of this game, nor future ones like it. I understand why they’re doing it, because I agree, the world could use less violence. But the manner they’re doing it is wrong, and just creates precedence in the United States that can lead to more harm than good. In the end, the problem doesn’t lie in the game developers, for they are a business, just like all others, nor the transit system, who didn’t discriminate before, and had no reason to, but the customers, for being ill-informed. Parents still aren’t paying attention to what games their kids are playing and are blaming it on everyone but themselves.


An editorial… kind of.

29 October, 2006

“‘Though I was raised Republican, I used to flip flop between the two parties, agreeing with my liberal teachers, then agreeing with my conservative parents, but what affirmed my political beliefs is when Democrats Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton tried to censor videogames. Now I am Republican,’ said freshman Barry Rothenburg.” -Daily Sundial, Thursday, October 26, 2006.

Can we not do this? Can we not decide political affiliation based on who is trying to censor videogames? I, too, disagree with videogame censorship. Congress can enforce game ratings, but that’s it. The MPAA is responsible for films, and the RIAA puts the Parental Advisory stickers that we’re so familiar with on CDs that deserve them. But what authority does Congress have with videogames? None. It can do television and radio with the FCC because technically the public owns the airwaves and that is under its jurisdiction. But they can’t do anything about videogames. That is up to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

But note: this doesn’t change my political affiliation. The above quote was from my school paper, in an editorial trying to convince college students to become more politically engaged. But what does it prove? That people do or do not know government? Yes, Mr. Rothenburg is aware of pending legislation. But he also chose his whole affiliation on a subject that seems awfully shallow to me. After his parents and his teachers, he decided to vote based on videogames?

I agree with most of the article; college students should be involved in the making of the country they will later have to raise a family in. We should be able to make intelligent, informed choices with what is presented. It shouldn’t be swayed about videogames. We should be deciding based on a party’s stance on taxes, Social Security, national defense, foreign relations, gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, fiscal policy, the list goes on and on. I just think videogames should be way towards down the bottom of the list, and not on top.

Food, what?

13 October, 2006

Two months in the dining hall for meals. I am ashamed to report that I have been eating the rice for the past week. I’m only human.

Strangely enough, the school serves the only not crappy buffalo wings I’ve ever had. That is not to say that they’re good.

Thinking refinery.

13 September, 2006

I like my thoughts raw. I don’t like them having been processed over and over again before someone finally hears them. Sure, they sound nicer, but they’re not really me. I know that this strategy doesn’t always work, but it makes me feel better. Honest. It’s too bad it has too many drawbacks, the main one right now being that it’s too susceptible to my emotions. There they are, my thoughts, for this very second. I’m going to regret it later. I know it.


7 September, 2006

My glasses have special lenses. Sometimes they allow me to see people’s emotions as if they have giant neon lights floating above their head. Other times they show me things that not everyone else can see, like Stormtroopers that I have to fight off using my Jedi powers, plus my kickass lightsaber. And there are even times when I watch the world around me digitize and I have to save it using my D3.

Or at least, that’s the way I saw the world my sophomore year of high school. Everyone needs their own way to escape the real world.

Nowadays, my lenses only improve my vision. And get dirty. But I still see the world through them. I see people walking/biking/running/skating/scootering to class. I see a girl burning off the last of her cigarette before dropping it and grounding out the embers. The guy talking on his cellphone in the last minutes before class begins. The couple holding hands while they sit in the shade, enjoying the moments they have together. I look at them and wonder if they know I’m watching. If they’re trying to figure me out as quickly as I’m imagining their lives, if I’m accurate, if they are.

Sorry. I’m rambling.

And in addition, it now tells you! How… creepy.

Stuff later. Shower now.


How to be a good customer.

16 August, 2006

– Closing time means closing time. Don’t enter the store 10 minutes before the store’s closing time unless you can get out in under 10. Seriously, do you need to buy galvanized nails at 9:57 PM anyway? Are you building your deck in the darkness of the night? Is it a secret deck? A ninja deck?

– The computer is rarely, if ever, wrong. If your card has been been run through the system twice, denied each time, that means it isn’t going to work on the third try. Don’t get mad at the cashier. It’s not his fault that you’ve shopped at five stores today. There’s a thing called a card limit imposed on your account by the bank and credit card companies. You have one too. Learn it.

– And the above goes for ATM cards as well. You see that pen by the touch pad whenever you run your card? You should use it since my console was made for the tip of a pen, not the inaccurate touch of your finger. So if the computer says that you entered your PIN incorrectly, you probably did. In addition, don’t try to use that pen to sign real paper. Nor use a real pen to sign the touch pad.

– You’re not going to get anything free just because it doesn’t have a barcode. Stop asking. Speaking about barcodes, make sure your stuff has them. Otherwise, you can’t blame anyone but yourself when you’re stuck at the register for 10 minutes while the cashier has to do research in order to find your items in the computer.

– Returns are done at the return desk. You know, the one that has the big sign that says “Returns” over it. Yes, it is all the way across the store. Sorry about that. No, I still can’t do it at my register.

– And yes, not everything in the store is ten steps away from my till. If you’re not willing to walk for 30 seconds in order to go to the bathroom, you obviously don’t have to go that badly. “In the back of the store”, “In the front”. These locations are not far away.

– Don’t try to steal from/scam me. I know what a fake check looks like. I will check inside/under items. I know when a coupon isn’t real. I’m not an idiot. I know what a thief looks like. “How does a thief look?” you may ask. Well, that’s easy. Like you, ya stealer. Honestly, it’s insulting.

– I don’t care what your total is. The fact that it ended up being a whole dollar amount does not mean that you have recieved a sign from God. It happens all the time. No one cares, shut up.

– The customer isn’t always right. The old addage is wrong. You’re right as long as the store is willing to let you be right. You cross the line, you’ll find out quickly that you’re wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate all customers. And it’s not even bad when one person does it. Just… try to avoid pissing off retail associates. They’re human too.

“This job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers. ”
– Randall Graves, Clerks