I’ve previously kept quiet on here about politics, mainly because not much has kinked my knickers quite as much as our recent election here in the US. Now before I get started, I’d like to preface this by saying that I didn’t support ANY candidate during the election. My vote was purely a preventative measure towards a slightly lesser evil, though it didn’t make a difference. Below I’ll be reposting two posts I put on social media. One was done last week following the election, and the other was posted today.
I’m gonna sum things up the best I can.
He got elected.
If you’re just about anything but a white dude, it pretty much sucks balls.
No, there isn’t gonna be a miracle on December 19th where they elect her instead. We’re stuck with it.
Violence and riots solve nothing.
Protect yourselves, and stand up for those marginalized by this hateful rhetoric and biased actions.
Don’t stand idly by while others are oppressed by this new administration. Fight against it. We should be free and equal. If you see someone is getting treated worse than you are because of their color, religion, gender, identity, etc, don’t turn your head silently away and be thankful it’s not you. FIGHT for them. SUPPORT them. Help them be seen and treated as equal. Be a real person, not just some animal that gives in to their ID more often than not, thinking their personal world is all that matters. Be a part of this world, as an empathetic human being and a member of a community. If you go around preaching about communities not being what they were, then do something about it.
Oh, one last thing, this is America. Our country was never about “assimilate or get the fuck out”. Our constitution isn’t about that either. When people don’t like something, they protest it, whether it’s by marching, sit ins, or yes even flag burning. Believe it or not, this is what our country is about. Fighting for change, to always move forward, to make things better, and to right the wrongs of our predecessors is the American way. Keep that in mind when delving into the “get off my lawn and outta my country” attitude.
Now before you start jumping into the comments screaming that he’s not a racist or whatever, consider this. It’s true that you don’t choose who endorses you, however if your rhetoric inspires negativity in others, and enables them to express that negativity in relief that their actions and words are justified, then that speaks volumes. My words were not simply of fear, my words were about standing up for others should you see them being treated badly or persecuted. It’s not just the president elect that I referred to, it’s his administration. Pence has said and done some pretty bad things relating to those with “alternative lifestyles”, and the transition team and cabinet are filling rapidly with those of similar thoughts on the subject. For the record, I’m not a HRC supporter whatsoever. However, if you see her rallies and supporters, you don’t see people throwing around racial slurs and vulgar hate speech the way they did at Trump rallies. Playing devil’s advocate, let’s say he’s not racist or a bigot or sexist. That doesn’t make his rhetoric OK. Also, if he’s not any of those things, and is against it, then it says quite a bit about his character that he encouraged these people further instead of telling them it’s not OK. By doing that, he proved that he cares more about votes than about what’s right. He had TONS of opportunity to build bridges during his campaign, to reach out with understanding and love, to bring a divided nation together. Did he? No. He drove the wedge of division further in with his baseless accusations and hateful words, and now there are people out there being targeted not only by potential legislation against them, but by others in their communities who have targets for their hate and anger, and have been enabled to feel justified in expressing it by the president elect and those he surrounds himself with.
And now, the second:
So last night, something dawned on me, and I think it may have relevance right now. I was talking with Cat about how people are upset that those they love voted for DT in the election, and by doing so they said with their vote that his rhetoric and behavior are acceptable. They are excusing these things because they feel that he might do good things, and that the good outweighs his bad. I was following this line of thought, playing devil’s advocate, and I think this comparison will explain quite a bit.
Anyone ever heard of House M.D.? House was a complete asshole, total narcissist and completely volatile and destructive person. However, he was the best at what he did, and his actions saved lives even though he was a total dick about it. Perhaps people see DT like that, someone who is overall a pretty terrible human being, but will do the good that needs to be done in order to help our country prosper. When seen in that very specific light, I can understand it.
The problem is, that’s a spotlight, and we need all the lights on. House rarely dealt with patients, because he was such an asshole, and regardless of how good he was, he’d never have been allowed to speak to patients the way he did in the show and get away with it. It’s fantasy. Also, he didn’t inspire the worst traits in those who supported him. DT can’t say the same.
The issue is that there’s really no proof that he’d be able to make good on any of his promises, especially to the working class. Trickle down economics have been proven to not work time and time again for a reason that people don’t seem to understand. It’s the same reason that I believe he’d take payoffs regardless of his supposed personal wealth. Rich people have a very high tendency of being greedy, and all they really care about is making more money. Sure, some to a lesser extent, but he’s always shown himself to be the greedy sort, and he’s known among those in his circles as being a con man and scam artist. He’ll do what serves him best, not those on our level, and certainly not those under us. He’s screwed tons of small businesses and individuals, and doesn’t give a shit about it whatsoever. This man will not help us, he will only help himself, and his failures as a businessman prove that his supposed “skills” are not worth the rhetorical wrapper surrounding them, especially since merely touching the wrapper in order to get to what’s inside causes us to become poisoned and sick.
Consider this: He’s a builder. If you’re building a structure, what’s more important, a stronger penthouse or a stronger foundation? His vision, and those of many other rich elites, is to build our economy on mud, and try to drive the columns through to bolster the narrow platform on top. He’s advocating a wine glass, where the bottom base is wide but thin, then a stem of narrow glass holding up the very top, where all the wine resides. That’s not gonna work for us. We need to build ourselves to where our base is firm and strong, and our middle is more of the same, something more reminiscent of an obelisk. We need to be strong, and this man and his policies will not do that. They will bolster the top while taking more away from the bottom. We need someone who will build us strong and repair our lower levels, not someone who will perpetuate our current economic game of Jenga, cuz that’s just one step closer to making us topple over.
Basically, my point here is that this mediocre businessman, who built his wealth by conning and/or screwing people, who started not with peanuts, but rather with millions, is NOT worth the package he comes in. People are focusing on the potential he has to help our economy, and not on the social poison he’s injecting into our populace which is further bolstered by those in his administration. By doing this, his supporters are sending one simple message which further proves the incredible lack of empathy in our society: Our money is worth more than our society on the whole.
Don’t get me wrong, our economy certainly isn’t great, and wealth inequality is huge, but his policies will make that worse, not better. Just look at history. Trickle down doesn’t work, it’s a delusional fantasy, similar to that of pure free market capitalism and pure socialism. They all look good on paper, but that leaves out the most important factor of all…the human factor. People don’t always act in the best interest of the whole, and many tend to act the opposite of that, scraping together what they can while ignoring the world rotting around them.
Over the summer, I ran in a Tough Mudder event. The place was filled with all sorts of people, from average couch potato schmucks like me, to fitness junky dude-bros, and all those in between. I expected it to be survival of the fittest, but it wasn’t at all. Everyone was driven by the goal of making sure others could succeed while they succeeded. Every obstacle was loaded with people of all types helping others overcome the obstacles. Those who knew how to do it taught others, and those who couldn’t do it were helped out and supported so they could get through. Then, the ones who struggled would pass it on and help more people. That day, it wasn’t about who you were in the real world, or what kind of person you were normally. That day it was all about succeeding as a whole, and the sentiment was inspiring and infectious.
Just ask yourselves this, who has a better chance of success: A group of people working as individuals to attain stability and wealth in a specific geographic area, with no regard to one another, OR, a group of people working together in a specific geographic area to raise themselves up and attain stability and wealth as a community, one that cares for its own and includes us all, one that may see people not pulling their weight or struggling and helps them learn and bear the weight? My point is, working independently here isn’t a mindset that drives a prosperous community. We need leadership. We need role models. We need people like the runners on those obstacles, working as a team, showing people the way, climbing to the top only to reach down and help others lift themselves up, because in an environment like that we will all succeed in more ways than just one.
There’s an app coming out soon called Peeple. Best way to think of this is to call it Yelp for people. You rate individuals with this app, and can also leave reviews about them as well. While some may think this is great, and it’ll lead to people either feeling empowered and affirmed, or feeling good about the constructive criticisms for self betterment, I tend to be far less optimistic. Perhaps it’s because I’m an asshole. No, it’s cool, I can admit it, I really am an asshole. While this knowledge is no surprise to me, and even though I freely admit it, that doesn’t mean it would make me feel affirmed or empowered to read other people going off about how much of a jerk I am. Confused? I’ll explain.
I tend to come off a certain way to people. I say horrible things, create awkward situations, and am generally a jerk. Aside from that, however, I try to be helpful, supportive, and caring. I know, it sounds weird. My problem, at least the way I see it, is that I have impulse control issues. Truth be told, I feel that I’m actually a good person deep down, but I can’t help myself from saying and doing horrible things. All area the result of the childhood I had, and the mark some shit from back then left on me. Yes, I’ve been to therapy, and it did help. Believe it or not, I was WAY worse before. Some things, however, are too deeply rooted to be dealt with, aside from a lobotomy. So yes, I know I’m an asshole, and I’m aware that it prevents me from being who I could’ve been, but it’s not something I’ve been able to resolve. It gives me grief, and keeps old wounds fresh, and the LAST fucking thing I need is for people to have an open forum to publicly shame me. That won’t help me, or make me feel great, and it won’t help the kids in school whose peers will do the same for stupid petty reasons. This WILL be an avenue for bullying, I guarantee it.
See, more people deal with depression, anxiety, social anxiety, impostor syndrome, and other disorders on a daily basis. These aren’t simple things to cope with, and they make every day a fight. I am one of those people. I fight an unending war inside every day, and seldom does an hour go by where I don’t hate myself or feel worthless and shitty for one reason or another. Now I’ll basically have a wikipedia page with a comments section, where I’ll have a mix of nice comments (those written by the Lish) and awful comments (those written by most others). What makes this even worse, you ask? Employment. That’s right, see, you can’t opt out of being rated and reviewed, and it’s all public information, so potential employers can also look you up and see what kind of person other people think you are. Shit like this will become a staple of background checks. Also, how do you think gay or trans people will fare, especially when they’re in school? The bullying of them is bad enough on Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat. Do we really need a more permanent avenue?
While on the surface, the Polyanna folks running this shit may feel this is a great idea, I don’t share the sentiment. Sure, there will be people who will be uplifted by what their close friends and family may write about them, but this is the real world. For anyone considered “different” or “weird”, this is a nightmare of an idea. I was ridiculed enough throughout my entire life to make me honestly feel like a worthless and terrible person, regardless of any achievements or encouragement or affirmations of the opposite by those around me. I doubt I’ll ever feel differently, even though the logical part of my brain can see that sometimes it’s completely unwarranted. If this was a thing when I was a kid, things may have gone a very different path, and I can see that it would’ve been far worse. Who knows, perhaps this will be a wonderful thing, full of sunshine and rainbows and other cool goody goody shit. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, a paranoia brought on by my cynicism, a cynicism born from years of being put down and treated like shit. It’s certainly a possibility, but I honestly doubt it…
When this atrocity does launch, if you want, send me your name and I’ll post a phenomenal review of you, about how you saved babies and kittens and old people from a burning ship on the ocean, and swam them all to safety while formulating a cure for cancer and writing a hit pop song.
I’ve kept pretty tight lipped, publicly, about this atrocity of a story. I only post now because I really want to share someone’s review of the movie, and once the door is open, I can’t help crashing the party!!! (Just like tequila, right Jim?)
Anyways, by now I’m sure you all know about this 50 shades of grey book, which has now transitioned into a movie. The story, in short, is basically about a wealthy guy who seduces some “innocent” girl and they proceed to have a kinky sexual relationship, and eventually fall in love. Sounds decent, right? Well here’s the kicker: It’s not about real S&M, it’s more abuse than anything else. The dude basically beats the piss outta this girl, even after she screams the safe word over and over, and is generally a complete asshole to her. In the end, though, she “understands him” better, he supposedly grows a minimal amount, and they end up in love. The moral of this story? If you get involved in a physically abusive relationship, and the guy is a complete asshole, just stick around and endure it cuz he might end up changing into an ok guy. Seriously?! Is that what we want young women to believe? Is this the lesson we should teach our daughters? Fuck that! This crap is the least empowering-to-women tale I’ve heard of in recent memory. Twilight is a close second, which is ironic since this book is just Twilight fanfic made into a novel. The worst part about this whole thing is that women were fucking obsessed with this crap, and tons of them read it and got titillated by it (see what I did there? huh?…..nm). What is so exciting about being physically abused? Is it just because he’s supposedly very attractive? So hot dudes can abuse women, and all is cool? Pretty fucked up shit, when you think about it.
Anyways, enough about ME. Check out this article, which is a brief review of the movie. I was laughing my ass off reading it, and couldn’t help but share it. Good times. Oh, and be sure to also watch the Honest Trailer for Twilight if you haven’t already, they sum it up pretty well there too.
I just read an article by Brianna Wu, detailing how she is still receiving death threats from people online claiming to be part of Gamergate. She also details how many other women in the industry are still facing the same shit, as well as potential women devs throwing in the towel before really going because of threats. To date, law enforcement hasn’t done anything visibly, and those who run sites like youtube, twitter, and reddit have also not taken action against these hate groups.
I seriously don’t get the insecurity and cowardice required for such behavior. Threatening someone because of their gender is stupid as hell. Different people will bring different ideas and thought processes to the table, and we need some innovation in gaming right now. We’re at the point Hollywood is, where everything is recycling and there are very few original ideas. What sense does it make to keep that limited?
This is all aside from the question, why the fuck do you think it’s ok to threaten people? What possible logical justification do you have for ending the life of one of these women? All because a game developer might be female? All because maybe, in the future, women characters in video games would be portrayed realistically as the relevant people they are and not just set design or plot devices? For all you know, this could greatly increase your enjoyment of games. Oh, and guess what, if you don’t like that shit, DON’T BUY THEIR GAMES!!! Decide with your dollar and get your satisfaction, instead of deciding with violence and threats and getting a prison sentence. I can assure you, you won’t do well in prison, and being good at Mortal Kombat or Call of Duty isn’t gonna help you there. Basically, just stop acting like angry spoiled children throwing tantrums because of something you have an extremely limited perspective about. Man up.
As you probably already know, Robin Williams has passed away. He committed suicide earlier this week, and to be honest it came as less of a shock to me than it did to many others. No, I didn’t have any insight into his personal life that made this less of a shock, I just understand a bit of how funny people are on the inside. I’ll explain.
I’ve always been the class clown type, always cracking jokes and trying to make others laugh. While many others benefited from this, they likely never realized that I did so because I was damaged inside. Cracked.com did an article on just this the other day, and it’s very true. Although I always sought to make people laugh, a big reason I did was so they wouldn’t hate me. When I was a kid, I was often disliked by my peers right out of the gates, just by being me. My way around that was to make them laugh, since it’s harder to hate someone who makes you laugh. That continued into my adult life, and is still prevalent to some extent. I’ve known quite a few hilarious people as well, and they are/were just as fucked up inside as I, some more so. It’s a difficult thing to deal with, and much of it stems from some form of depression and/or a lack of self worth. Rodney Dangerfield, one of my comedic idols, also suffered from this, and Robin Williams was no different. These are two of the funniest people ever to exist, in my opinion, and though they possessed a profound ability to make others laugh, they would often sink into deep depression. I can’t speak for what got them down, but for me it was a mix of many things, acceptance being a big part of it. This is nothing to sneeze at either. Sure, people can rebound from depression with tons of therapy and whatnot, but when it goes on for this long, it becomes a core part of them. The depression or lack of self worth can be so deeply rooted that, in my case, it cannot be fully overcome, just accepted. Some wounds never heal, no matter how many doors you open and how many demons you face. Now, the demons have taken one of the most phenomenal entertainers of the past hundred years.
I honestly can’t think of anything Robin was bad in, or that I felt ‘meh’ about. From his stand up routines, to his work in Comic Relief, to his many movies (both comedic and serious), he’s made us laugh, cry, think, and dream. He inspired so many people, especially in comedy, and had a presence that could never be recreated. These are shoes that cannot be filled. We’ll always have his movies, his jokes, his inspiration, and his awesomeness, and we can introduce him to the generations to come. I haven’t been able to watch any of his videos or movies yet, since it’s still pretty fresh, but I will again. Everything from Good Morning Vietnam to Mrs. Doubtfire to Jumanji to Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come will always be with us as a testament to how phenomenal of an entertainer this man was. I truly hope he has found some peace, and is perhaps hanging out in some afterlife with Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Jonathan Winter, Red Fox, and Benny Hill. One thing is for sure, IF there is an afterlife, it’ll be fucking hilarious! Be at peace good sir, we will forever miss your genius…
If you know of someone who is struggling with depression and/or self destructive behavior, do not hesitate to act. You don’t need an intervention, just let them know that you see that they are in pain, and you’re there for them. Talk to them, show that you care, and be there if they need you. I assure you, it’s importance is paramount. The only thing worse than being in pain, is watching everyone around you ignore it. Yes, I speak from experience.
So a story has been circulating through the news lately, and it’s something I happen to know a bit of insider information about so I figured I’d share. This, of course, is about Chris Kooluris, the guy from NYC who turned his bedroom into a small arcade. You can read about what he did, and that he lost his fiance because of it, here.
Now, let’s start earlier. He joined the arcade collector forums for KLOV/VAPS, apparently looking for help in building his arcade. He posted for awhile, and before long things soured. He disregarded advice, was combative or obnoxious for no real reason other than ego, and ignored rules of the forums. He’s since been banned permanently for threatening people via private message. It seemed from the beginning that he was really pushing to be a sort of public spokesperson for the hobby. He works in public relations, so the Wired article that started all of this was likely arranged by him, though I don’t know for sure.
Now before you all get uppity and defend the guy, let me throw this out. Buying a few games and throwing them in a room is something anyone can do. He spent $32k on about $10k worth of games, and has one of the most poorly designed MAME pedistals I’ve ever seen. An example of what I’m talking about is that the player 3 and 4 controls have 6 buttons each, which no game in existence uses.
In the wired article, he tried painting the KLOV community as a bunch of haters. I can clear that up right off the bat. The community there didn’t really give a shit that he had a Fix it Felix and a MAME pedistal. Most collectors have at least one multicade. MAME is very commonplace, especially since most people have limited space. As is typical with articles like this, things were taken out of context. If he was an honest, humble dude just looking to learn and get into the hobby because of his love of games, he’d have no problems. I have a MAME cabinet in my collection, and I’ve NEVER gotten shit for it. It’s all about how you talk to people, and this guy apparently sucks at it because he really tarnished his own image online. To be clear, I’ve NEVER had an issue with anyone on those forums that blew up, and none of my fellow collectors have either. Sure, there are some bad eggs, but MOST of the bigger names on there were his detractors. The idea is simple: if you want to learn about the games, fix them, and enjoy them, then you’ll be fine. If you want to go there to brag about what you just spent a ton of money on and don’t have any interest in learning about, then obviously there will be friction. However, you can choose to take that friction and laugh it off, or get combative. He chose the latter.
Anyways, pedantic ranting aside, let’s just call this what it really is. This is a story of a guy who spent 32 grand for his 15 minutes of fame. He’s not representitive of the arcade collecting/restoring community. He’s just like every other guy with expendable income who buys games to put in his place. Hell, I know a private collector who dedicated an entire floor to his arcade, and he has ~95 arcade machines on the floor up and running. Where’s the story for him? Nowhere. Know why? Because he’s not in it for the fame.
This kid overspent on his games, did pretty much no work on any of them, and had zero interest in learning anything about them. He is also known to have PAID people to come over and play games with him. Sorry, kid, but having money doesn’t make you special, no matter what you spend it on. He wasn’t really in this for the games, he was in this for the “I have cool shit” aspect, and fame he was able to get from his contacts. Let’s face it, without any contacts, he’d be low on the list of people Wired would approach as far as home arcades go. Hell, MY home arcade is more substantial, and I spent about a fifth of what he did. Considering all of that, I’m amazed that TIME magazine dubbed his home arcade as the best ever!!! What an absolute joke!
The real kicker here is that I was one of his supporters. I spoke in his defense when he mentioned the stuff about the wired article, but never read it when it was released. I had no idea he chose to paint the community in a shitty light, otherwise I’d have written this sooner. I’ve gotten shit from time to time from local collectors about having a bunch of JAMMA games in my collection instead of older titles, but that’s just a “to each their own” thing. Some people like older games, some like newer games. Don’t throw a fit online because someone disagrees with your preference for Fix it Felix or whatever. I don’t let game opinions bother me because they’re just that, opinions.
To Mr. Kooluris I would say this: You are not our spokesperson, no matter how much you’ve tried. I don’t care how viral that story goes (it’s been picked up across dozens of media outlets.). When all the shit is sifted through, you’re just a poser (regardless of what you think) with money and contacts, and people should know that. This wasn’t done for the hobby, this was done for your ego. You give those of us who really give a damn about the hobby a bad name and shitty image. Not all publicity is good publicity, and telling a story about how you threw some cabs in a room, which lead to your fiance losing you, is a pretty shitty image. If you wanted to help the community, why not suggest the story and interview different collectors? Instead we get a sensation-style piece about a guy with too much money who threw some globs of paint on the wall and called it art. You’re nothing more than a poser, my friend, like i-r()k from Ready Player One.
All of this makes me wish someone did a REAL story on arcade preservation, interviewing people who do restorations and collectors who’ve been at it for decades. We don’t need just one spokesperson here, we have a community. But, if we DID need one, this guy would NOT be it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the change in lifestyle that I’ve gone through over the past 10 years, and had some ideas to look up. I was actually not surprised that this has been studied lately, and it’s not exactly good news.
I used to have a very active lifestyle. I was always outside doing shit, I had a job in warehousing that involved a lot of moving around, and typically the only times I sat were movies, some tv/video games, and driving. Now, I sit in the car, sit all day at work, sit almost the entire time I’m home, and don’t really do shit otherwise on a regular basis. This actually does get to me quite a bit, since I enjoy being active during the day. I’ve found that I’m much more tired over the past few years, and get depressed when I’m not able to actually DO something during the day.
Now you might say, “But Persona, I work out every day, so I’m immune to this shit!”. Well, according to some researchers, you’re actually not. The term for you would be a ‘Active Couch Potato’. You’ll still suffer from the same kinda shit, just slightly less severe. “Severe?”, yes, severe. Sitting on your ass all the time is linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, etc. Experts have labeled this epidemic the “sitting disease”. Don’t kid yourself, it’s real, and it DOES affect you if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Now you might be asking yourself “What can I do?”. Well, apart from seeking out a more active method of employment, I have no answer for you. Some say to take activity breaks every so often to walk around and do something, but how effective that would be is anyone’s guess. Could be completely negligible, who knows? What I can give is a bit of anecdotal proof. When I was in warehousing, I felt much healthier, had much more energy, and didn’t feel as much “vague depression” or depression that has no apparent trigger or reason. Don’t try googling that term, I just made it up, so there! Don’t get me wrong, I did suffer from bad depression years ago, but I KNEW what I was depressed about. Now it’s just an overall malaise with nothing standing out to prove causation. I assume that this lifestyle of being plopped on my ass all the time is a large factor, since times when I’m very active during the day, I tend to feel much better. I guess only time will tell.
So stay active, my friends, cuz studies are showing that even with advanced medical technology, if we sit on our asses all day, we’re gonna all die earlier. I dunno about you, but I’m REALLY not cool with that. Oh, and if you’re a smoker still, then you’re doubly fucked. Congrats!