Enter a Peaceful World

I apologize profusely for taking so incredibly long to post here again. Procrastination and school work haven’t helped the situation, despite having many good ideas for post subjects. On the one hand, I have built up quite a stockpile of great subjects for posts, but on the other you were deprived of my meanderings for a long damn time.

Today, ladies and gentlemen I want to talk to you about gun control. For those of you who know my politics, you know that I vehemently oppose gun control in all of its forms as I believe that the right to self defense is a basic human right, and we have the right to utilize and exercise that right with whatever tool we see fit. More importantly, whatever the government can own, citizens should be able to own. I believe this because I believe that freedom and liberty must come first before everything.

Yes, everything, and no I will not make an exception. Would my idea of perfect liberty and freedom provide us with world peace? No, but anybody who sincerely believes that ‘world peace’ is even possible would be called a naive idealist even by Jesus Christ or The Buddha. World peace, while a beautiful ideal, is just that. An ideal. It is not practical nor possible, at least not in this day and age. Perhaps thousands, or tens of thousands of years in the future when humanity no longer has homicidal maniacs or sociopaths or power hungry fuckheads, we will be able to work towards world peace. But not today.

And those homicidal maniacs, sociopaths and power hungry fuckheads are the exact reason why I oppose gun control with such fervor. Because those people have never and will never obey any type of gun laws. Why? Because they don’t give a fuck. If gun control was the answer, Washington DC, Detroit, and Oakland California would be havens of peace. If any of you have ever been to DC, Detroit or Oakland, you will know they are anything but peaceful. In fact, those three cities have some of the highest crime rates in the country. Detroit has the second highest violent crime rate in the country (St. Louis is the first). It also has the third highest murder rate in the country.  DC has the seventh highest murder rate in the country. Yet all three of those places have some of the strictest gun control in the country.

With that strict gun control, should the gun grabbers be right, shouldn’t places like St. Louis and Detroit be wonderful places to live?

On the converse side, we have Vermont, where I live. I will make no assertions as to Vermont being crime-free, because it’s anything but. It does, however, have a significantly lower crime rate than many other places in the country. Last year (2009), Vermont had a total of 817 violent crimes, which makes the violent crime rate roughly 0.13%. Compare this to New York which in the same year had 75,176 violent crimes, bringing their violent crime rate to a fucking impressive 0.38%. Now you might laugh at that number. After all, 0.38% is less than one percent. That’s very low, right?

Wrong. Think about it in context. 0.38 percent is over double the size of 0.13 percent. Now the argument of the other side will be, “Well New York is far larger than Vermont, of course it’s going to have a higher crime rate!” No, Mr. I-can’t-do-math. Yes, New York is bound to have more crime because it has a far larger population (nearly 31 times the size of vermont’s) but that doesn’t mean it should have a higher rate. If gun control was having a very mild effect on crime, let’s say simply keeping it level, then New York’s violent crime rate for 2009 should be 0.13 percent, just like Vermont. In fact, if the gun-grabbers are to be believed, it should be the other way around: Vermont should have the higher crime rate while New York has the lower, because New York has the “better” gun control.

Additionally, this is state wide. Buffalo, New York, has a whopping violent crime rate of 14.59 percent in a city of 268,655 people (that’s almost 1 violent crime for every 6 people!) It has a scary murder rate of 0.22 percent (that’s 591 people dead). So once we bring it down to city-wide crime, we suddenly start seeing much scarier numbers.

In reality, Vermont is one of the safest states in the nation and has been ever since the implementation of the Gun Control Act of 1968. If guns were really the problem, then Vermont should be the proverbial old west, with shootings happening all the time. We’re actually rated as one of the worst states to live by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence where as California is rated as one of the best to live (despite having Oakland, which has the sixth highest murder rate in the country).

The Brady Campaign is part of the problem, however. They are insisting that the solution to gun violence is a bunch of blanket laws that illegalize guns. This would be like illegalize alcohol to stop crimes induced by drinking. Oh wait… we tried that. IT DIDN’T WORK. Or does the Brady Bunch forget about prohibition and what a cluster-fuck it was?

A bunch of blanket laws wouldn’t stop gun violence. It’s simply just a feel-good measure, making people who know nothing about the situation feel better because they can now go to bed happy, knowing that the government has made some laws. It’s ridiculous. Murder, theft, and every other violent crime IN THE WORLD is illegal, but it doesn’t stop criminals from perpetrating them. The problem is not the means of the crime, but the person committing the crime. The solution to stopping crime is stopping the criminals, not making the tools they use illegal. Not to mention that criminals don’t get their guns from legitimate means most of the time anyway. It’s like illegalizing bananas in the goddamn jungle. The monkey isn’t going to care that he can’t buy a banana from the store, he’ll just go to the nearest tree and fucking pick one, JUST LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES.

Criminals get most of their guns from the black market in order to make sure if the weapon is discovered it will be harder to trace. The black market gets their guns from many sources, including stolen weapons and getting them from overseas dealers. Making guns illegal everywhere would make it impossible for them to steal guns, yes, but it would hardly diminish their supply of illegal guns. All gun control does is disarm the very people it’s supposed to protect. That’s like trying to curb drunk driving by making it illegal to drink. People who still want a drink will get a drink.

There’s a reason I’m calling back to Prohibition, and it’s because it’s the same thing only different. The only difference between prohibition and gun control is what is being controlled. Prohibition didn’t work and only made the situation worse. Gun control isn’t working, and just like prohibition, is simply making the situation worse.

The Washington DC gun ban was instituted in 1975. During that time, the number of violent crimes was 12,704 for a population of 716,000. In 2007 (a year before the ban was declared unconstitutional), the number of violent crimes was 8,320 for a population of 588,292.

Now, at first glance it seems the gun ban, worked, right? After all, 8,320 is lower than 12,704. But look closer. The population fell from 1975 to 2007 by roughly 127,000 people. The violent crime rate, on the other hand, only fell by 4384. That’s a 34% decrease in terms of violent crime rate, but only a 17 percent decrease in population. Wow! That’s great, right?

Wrong. Look. Again. In 1975, the violent crime rate was 1.7 percent. In 2007, it was 1.4 percent. So for the most part, with the exception of .3 percent, it stayed the exact same. If we look closer, and zoom in on the murder, it shows my point even more. In 1975, the murder rate was 0.0328 percent. In 2007 it was 0.0307 percent. Barely any change what-so-ever. Was disarming the innocent public really worth it for a an insignificant .3 percent change in violent crime and a .0021 percent change in murder? That’s like using a coupon to save .0021 of a cent on groceries. Not 21 cents. But .0021 of a cent. To give you an idea of how small of a number that it is, in order to save a penny, you would need 476 of them.

In 2007, there were still 181 murders, 192 forcible rapes, and 3,686 aggravated assaults. That measly percent change due to the gun ban of 1975 is hardly worth 181 lives and the honor of 192 women, don’t you think? It’s not even worth one life or the honor of one woman in my opinion.

Now comes the part where I stop bitching and offer a solution. Today, there’s too much bitching about whether or not gun control works and too little work being done. It’s proven that gun control isn’t working, so what can we do that will work?

Firstly, make it mandatory for everyone to get gun training. I am not advocating that everyone must own a gun, but everyone must know how to use one. Why? Because then guns will be handled with more respect. If you look into any single hand gun accident that wasn’t a freak accident, I bet you will see that every single one was caused by someone not observing gun safety.

If everyone knows gun safety, this not only enables them to pick up and use a gun if they have to, but also to have more respect for guns. This will thus make children less afraid of guns and also make them think of them more as tools that much be handled with care rather than toys. Guns can be fun to shoot at the range, or during hunting, but that fun must be had in safety. One stray bullet or one fuckhead who doesn’t know how to use his gun is all it takes to make your day turn shitty.

Secondly, focus on repeat offenders. I won’t start an argument about death penalty or not death penalty here, but something must be done about repeat offenders. At the very least, offer a rule where the offender will never be released on parole again if they commit another crime of magnitude. I’m not talking about throwing them back in jail for forgetting a parole meeting or stealing a candy bar, of course, but they need to punished if they are given a chance like parole and squander it.

Additionally, there are some crimes that people shouldn’t be offered parole for. Murder is one of them. If you commit first degree murder, you should be given the maximum penalty allowed – no exceptions. Repeat offenders are not only an insult to the victims, but are a sign of a justice system that is horribly flawed.

Thirdly, educate people and work to alleviate poverty. 90% of the people who get into crime don’t do it because they want to. They commit a crime because they have no other choice. There are of course people in the 10%, maniacs, sociopaths, etc. But most people do not choose a life of crime because they think it’s fun. They choose a life of crime because they have no other way to survive.

I will write a more in-depth post about alleviating crime, but I hope this post has given you guys something to think about. I certainly thought about some things while writing it.

Until next time, stay frosty.

Hawaiian Piggy

I’m working on a new post, I promise. In the mean time, I give you my most ridiculously rich recipe to date. I have yet to serve this to someone who hasn’t told me it was one of the best meals of their life.  Enjoy.

Hardigan Hawaiian Piggy:

Sweet, succulent slow boil-roasted pork and vegetables, topped with coconut-banana gravy. Served with Sweet Mushroom Soup and Whiskey Sweet Flat Bread with Sweet Potato-Mango dip.

WARNING: THIS DISH IS A FUCKING BEAST. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Additional Warning: This is a dish you only make if you want a MEAL. As in an “I am so satisfied , I couldn’t fit anything else in my stomach if I used a compressor.” Not a “that was nice, but I’ll be hungry again in two hours.” This recipe is VERY complicated, and takes a VERY LONG TIME, so it is not for the faint-of-heart. You will also need a good size kitchen or a lot of patience. This is not the type of meal you make for lunch on a whim. This is the kind of meal you take ALL DAY to make. In the best of circumstances this dish will take you at least six hours to make. Ideally it will take you a total of 14 hours.

I guarantee you that this will be one of the richest meals you will ever eat in your life. I have served this meal to five friends and every single one had the same initial reaction: “Holy Crap, This is amazing!”

This meal is very sweet, without being too sweet, with just enough salty after taste to make you enjoy every bite. The pork is extremely sweet and succulent, and with the banana gravy and potato dip, it is dinner and dessert in one.

To go along with this meal, I highly recommend a nice light drink, such as mate tea, kombucha or some nice, hot, green tea. Hot Sake would also go fantastically with this meal.

MATERIALS:

Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cups

Soup Ladle

Wooden Mixing Spoon

Mixing Whisk

Food Processor

Beater

Large Mixing Bowl (2)

Small Mixing Bowl (2)

Large Soup Pot

Medium Sauce Pan

Medium “Tub Style” Oven Roasting Pan

Meat Knife

Vegetable Knife

Large Frying pan

Medium Frying pan

Large griddle (large frying pan will work if you don’t have this)

INGREDIENTS:

Pork Loin Roast, About 4-6 Pounds

For this recipe, pork loin will work best, but you can use shoulder or bottom round if you prefer that. It will not have the same effect, but will be equally delicious. Just as with all meat, prices fluctuate, so if you are the price-sensitive cook, you can just go with whichever of the three is the cheapest at the time. Since it has a much more robust flavor, it is HIGHLY recommended that you go with wild hog/boar if you can get it. This dish is ALL about flavors, so something like wild hog or boar that has a beautiful, robust flavor will only make it better.

Two Full Mangos, not overly ripe, diced

If you don’t know how to choose mangos: A ripe mango should yield to gentle pressure, but not have any spots or blemishes. It shouldn’t be too green.

Two, large sweet onions, chopped

Only use sweet onions. Vidalia, Texas 1015, Walla Walla, Oso Sweets, or Maui Sweets. These are the only types. Do not use ANY other type of onions other than one of these five types. Additionally, use two of the same onions. Do not, for example, use one Vidalia and one Walla Walla. If possible, Maui Sweets are the best for this dish, followed by Oso Sweets. Vidalias follow that and are in the same category as Walla Walla, but Walla Walla will cost more. Only use the Texas 1015 if you have no access to the others. Imperial Sweets CAN work, but only if you have nothing else as they aren’t sweet enough. Bermuda sweets can work as well, but as with the Imperial Sweets, only use if you have nothing else.

Two, Large Carrots, sliced

If you cannot get large carrots, use four medium carrots. Don’t use baby carrots.

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

BROWN SUGAR. Not Turbinado sugar, not cane sugar, not confectionery sugar. BROWN. FUCKING. SUGAR.

Two Fresh Large Lemons, juiced

If you’re lazy, you can buy a bottle of lemon juice and measure out 1/2 cup.

Two Fresh Large Limes, juiced

If you’re still lazy, you can buy a bottle lime juice and measure out 1/2 cup

1 1/2 Stick of Butter, melted

Don’t use margarine or any butter substitute, unless you’re lactose intolerant, in which case use the CLOSEST thing you can get to butter. Soy butter, goat butter, sheep butter, whatever. Just don’t use margarine.

3 Cups chopped pineapple

1/4 Teaspoon Dill

Yes, Dill. No, I’m not kidding.

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

No, I’m not kidding on this one, either.

1/4 teaspoon Rosemary

Guess what? Yup, still not kidding.

16 ounces Coconut milk

DO NOT USE LOW FAT COCONUT MILK. Make sure the coconut milk you get is full, pure, coconut milk. Do not get reduced fat or low fat coconut milk. If possible, get fresh coconut milk rather than canned. Only get canned if: A. It is natural and B. You have no other options. If you can, get your own coconuts and make your own coconut milk. If you think that coconut milk is the liquid you find inside the coconut, just buy the damn milk because you’ll fuck this up. I warn you again to not use low fat coconut milk. If you do, it will be like using cardboard as flour for a cake. This isn’t a low fat dish, don’t try to make it one. IMPORTANT: Cream of Coconut IS NOT Coconut milk. Get regular, unsweetened, coconut milk.

___________________________________________________________________________________

SWEET MUSHROOM SOUP

Two Large Portabello Mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced

If you can’t find Crimini, you can substitute regular white mushrooms

1 Cup Shitake Mushrooms, sliced thinly

Two leeks, chopped

1/2 Brown Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Dill

1/4 Nutmeg

1/4 Rosemary

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

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COCONUT-BANANA GRAVY

Four ripe bananas, sliced medium-thick

As ripe as you can get without getting black spots. A good rule of thumb is to buy them when they are green, put them in a brown paper bag and let them sit in room temperature for two days. You want them soft and sweet, but not mushy. Yellow: Good. Yellow with spots: Not good. One or two spots is okay, but stay away from ones that anything more than a couple small spots.

16 ounces Coconut Milk

1 Stick of Butter, melted

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

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SWEET FLAT BREADS:

2 Cups All purpose flour, Sifted

If you use whole-wheat flour I will find where you live, and personally come and kill you for your atrocious crime committed against cooking. In fact if you use whole-wheat flour when cooking anything but bread I will come and kill you for your crime against cooking. The next person to try and cook a cake or pie or fucking pancakes/waffles with whole-wheat flour will die. And don’t get me fucking started on muffins. Seriously, people. Whole-wheat flour is sandwich bread flour. You do not use it in baking.

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

2/3 cup Cream

You can use milk if you want the bread to be lighter, or if you don’t like cream. Milk substitutes or even water will work fine if you are lactose intolerant.

7 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey (roughly about 2.5 shots)

The way this bread is made, not all the alcohol is cooked out, so if you don’t drink, don’t want to serve this to kids (you prude), then you can take this out of the recipe, the breads will function fine without it. If having this bread for a breakfast treat, feel free to use Irish Cream instead of whiskey.

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

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SWEET POTATO-PINEAPPLE-MANGO DIP

One Full Mango, Very Ripe, peeled, diced and pureed

You can use a blender to puree the mango and sweet potato, but a food processor works best.

One Large Sweet Potato, cooked, chopped and pureed

1/2 cup chopped pineapple

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar Water, Cooled

I go over how to make this below.

2 Tablespoons Butter, melted

PREPARATION

PORK:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, dill, rosemary and nutmeg.
  2. Take the pork loin, take a fork and stab the meat all over until it is covered in fork wounds.
  3. Take a small handful of the brown sugar mixture and rub the pork with it.
  4. Put the pork in a large zip-lock bag after rubbing the rest of the brown sugar on it. Put the brown sugar mixture in with it
  5. Leave the pork in the bag in the refrigerator overnight (8 hours).
  6. Remove the pork from the bag and pour the brown sugar mixture into a small mixing bowl. Set the pork aside.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine 16 ounces of coconut milk with the brown sugar mixture, Whisk until smooth.
  8. Add 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice to the coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Put in the refrigerator.
  9. In the medium frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and fry until glazed.
  10. In the soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the pork and brown it. Add 6 cups of hot water, the carrots, leeks and then the glazed onions. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  11. Remove the pork, the onions and carrots from the water. Place the pork in the greased oven roasting pan along with those onions and carrots.
  12. Add the pineapple and mango.
  13. Remove the coconut milk mixture from the refrigerator and add the rest of the melted butter to it. Whisk until smooth and add to the roasting pan along with 1 cup of the water from the soup pot.
  14. Pre-heat the oven for 475 degrees.
  15. Place the roasting pan with the pork in the over and cover.
  16. Cook pork for 20 minutes and reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  17. Cook pork for 1 hour and reduce heat to 250.
  18. Cook pork for 1 hour. Remove 1 cup of the liquid from the pan and set aside.
  19. Reduce heat to 200 and cook for 2 more hours.

NOTE: Make sure to continually baste the pork in the cooking liquid as it roasts.

SWEET MUSHROOM SOUP:

  1. After placing the pork in the oven, bring the water in the soup pot back to a boil. Add the rest of the dill, nutmeg and rosemary. Boil for one minute.
  2. Add brown sugar, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add all mushrooms.
  4. Cook on medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while.
  5. Sit in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes.

COCONUT-BANANA GRAVY:

  1. Combine the coconut milk and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 of lime juice. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into sauce pan. Add liquid you took from the roast pan.
  5. Heat on medium heat until hot, stirring constantly.
  6. Turn down to low.
  7. In the large frying pan, fry the banana slices, making sure to give them all enough room in order to not under-cook or over-cook any of them.
  8. Add the cooked bananas to the coconut milk mixture in the sauce pan.
  9. Gently mix with the wooden spoon until smooth, taking care not to mush the banana.
  10. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  11. Turn off stove and allow mixture to cool, stirring every once in a while to keep it smooth.

SWEET BREAD:

  1. In a large bowl, combine: flour, cream, salt and whiskey. Combine into a soft dough.
  2. Turn dough out onto lightly-floured surface and knead briefly.
  3. Divide dough into golf-ball size pieces and cover with a damp cloth.
  4. Take a ball of dough and roll out until very thin, but not tearing. Sprinly lightly and evenly with sugar.
  5. Fold dough into a small square and roll out until thin once more.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with all the rest of the dough balls.
  7. Heat the lightly-oiled griddle over medium heat.
  8. Place the rolled dough onto the pan and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes each side until golden.
  9. Repeat step 8 with the rest of the dough balls. Serve immediately.

SWEET POTATO-MANGO-PINEAPPLE DIP

  1. Combine the mango puree, potato puree and melted butter. Mix until smooth.
  2. Add the brown sugar water. Mix until smooth.
  3. Add the pineapple. Mix until smooth, taking care not to mush the pineapple.

BROWN SUGAR WATER

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and add 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  2. Turn down the heat and mix quickly. Do not stop mixing until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Down off burner and whisk until smooth. Take off stove and let cool.

HOW TO SERVE THIS MEAL:

ORDER: Serve the bread with the dip first, the soup second and the pork with the gravy last.

HOW TO SERVE THE FLATBREAD:

—Slice one of the flat-breads into quarters and place upon a small plate. Put a large dollop of the sweet potato dip in the center.

HOW TO SERVE THE SOUP:

—Take a small soup bowl and fill with a generous helping of sweet mushroom soup, taking care to get an even balance of broth and vegetables.

HOW TO SERVE THE PORK:

–Remove the pork from the oven and remove from the pan, placing on a cutting place. Slice the pork thinly and gently. Be patient as it will fall apart.

–Place a generous helping of pork into large bowl. Add vegetables and fruits. from roasting pan, taking care to add just a little juice from the pan as well.

–Top Pork with a generous helping of coconut-banana gravy. Put enough gravy to cover the pork, but not enough to bathe it.

–The perfect way to eat this, is to mix everything together with your fork, and enjoy.

Alpha Torment: Or Why Chris Avellone is Gaming’s Flawed Christ

If you have been involved in video games between 1997 and now, especially in the vein of Computer role playing games, then the name, “Chris Avellone,” should evoke tears of joy and fond memories especially of the beautiful, golden years between 1998 and 2002. In the nineties and early 2000’s, there was a little company called Interplay®. At Interplay® there was a little division dedicated to CRPGs called Black Isle®. For any of you who have ever played a role playing game, you should feeling some great nostalgia right about now.

Black Isle, the division of Interplay that specialized in CRPGs, were arguably the one of the best, if not THE best CRPG developer in history. They gave us some amazing pieces of art, such as Fallout, Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and Icewind Dale 2. Additionally, they were the publishers of the Bioware® magnum opus Bladur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn. Now at this little division there was a developer by the name of Chris Avellone, who had a neat little idea of starting an RPG after the death screen. But he was working on Fallout 2 at the time.

After Fallout 2 was finished, he began work on his own magnum opus. This game was, and still is, considered to be one of the best role playing games of all time. It was, of course, the utter work of genius known as Planescape: Torment. This game was so revolutionary, so incredibly well made, and so fucking amazing that it elevated Mr. Avellone from just one developer at Black Isle to a status of game design god. With one game, he joined the ranks of other genius developers, such as John Carmack(Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom), John Romero(Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom), Sid Meier (Civilization), Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) and Shigeru Myamoto (Mario Brothers).

Planescape: Torment has yet to be topped in terms of uniqueness and revolutionary ideas. And it is still a game that many CRPG developers aspire to. Avellone would follower Torment with work on two more works of greatness: Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale 2. While neither compared to Torment in their uniqueness or depth, both were amazingly well written, and are widely considered two of the best CRPGs ever developed.

He then began work as Lead Designer on what was supposed to become Fallout 3. Unfortunately, however, Interplay’s financial woes were slowly eating into Black Isle, and the division was cut and everyone laid off before the planned Fallout 3, then called Van Buren would come to fruition.

Along with original Black Isle head, Feargus Urquhart, Avellone would leave to start Obsidian Entertainment®. And things went south, or so I believe. While at Obsidian, Avellone has proven time and again that he has lost none of the wit and genius that made Torment such an enormous success. He has, however, not proven that he can deliver everything he promises. Every single game that has been released by Obsidian has been marred by shoddy gameplay, sever technical problems, unfinished content, or all of the above.

Obsidian’s first release, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: the Sith Lords was largely unfinished, had a multitude of technical problems and left a very sour taste in the mouths of the millions of fans who had eagerly awaited the sequel to the 2003 game of the year, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The first game had been developed by Bioware®, but when they weren’t able to develop the sequel due to creating their own IP, Lucasarts contracted Obsidian to do it.

Now with KotOR2, Obsidian is mostly left off the hook because the unfinished nature of the game and multitude of technical difficulties were the result of the greedy morons at LucasArts rushing the game out the door far too soon. At least that was the excuse. But similar stories were to follow.

The next release was Neverwinter Nights 2, the long awaited sequel to Bioware’s 2002 opus. On release day, I remember awaiting eagerly at the gamestop, waiting for my copy. After receiving it, I barely got through my classes at school before rushing home, installing it on my computer and having the biggest disappointment of my life. If Biwoare’s Neverwinter Nights was a slice of pie, Neverwinter Nights 2 was a storebought crust with week-old whipped cream. Its technical problems were horrendous, its gameplay was annoying, it had quests that you couldn’t finish and it would just randomly crash for no reason. While the story was decent, it didn’t make up for the rest of the problems.

But still, since I revere Avellone to such an extent, I wasn’t willing to brush Obsidian off, and when they announced their next project: Alpha Protocol, I awaited it eagerly. The role playing options that were being offered were quite impressive, and if they returned on their promises, I knew that this would be the game to prove to people that Avellone was still the genius that designed Torment over a decade ago.

Sadly, while Alpha Protocol completely delivers on most of the conversation options and choice-effect mechanics in the game, the rest of the game is a mess. But it says something about a designer, when I will trudge not once, not twice, not three times, but four times through everything that’s bad, just because what’s done right is that good.

So is Chris Avellone still the genius that brought us Planescape: Torment? Damn right he is. Is he able to deliver on everything he promises in his latest releases? No. But nobody’s perfect. And that’s why he’s the industry’s flawed messiah. While I dislike a lot about Neverwinter Nights 2, KotOR 2, and Alpha Protocol, I love just as much. And I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t give anything just to work with him.

Apologies and Happy Fun Rant Time

Firstly, let me apologize for my absence. Post after post went discarded after I didn’t like any of them, and it has forced me to come to a conclusion: I am funniest, sharpest, most sarcastic, and wittiest when I am ranting about something, so from now on that is what this blog is going to entail. Me, ranting about things. Given the response from my last post, I think that’s a good idea overall. So without further ado, let’s skip the long, boring apologies and just get to the ranting.

These past couple of months have been a dream for a writer like me. People in all places of power around the world have been fucking up royally, providing people like me with enough pungent material to keep people sated for eons to come. But while I could talk about how the government is further trying to fuck up the environment, or how BP is essentially being allowed to skull-fuck the ocean, or how Obama is failing more spectacularly than a Biggest Loser contestant in a pool full of deep-fried chocolate pudding, or how Hollywood needs to pull its collective head out of its collective ass and give us something more than the celluloid puke that they’ve been shoving down our throat for the past six years, I’m not. No, I’m not going to talk about any of those things (except when I just talked about them there). No, my topic for the day is Backwards Racism.

What is Backwards Racism? Well I won’t get up on my high horse and claim that it’s an actual term (although Urban Dictionary probably has some asinine definition). I use the term ‘backwards racism’ to describe when either:

A. A race is racist towards its own members.

or

B. A race is racist towards another BECAUSE the race in question was racist towards it now, or in the past.

Both of these ideas are equally asinine, but I guarantee you it happens a lot more than you may be willing to believe. And before we go any further, let’s get one thing out-of-the-way: I think affirmative action and the idea or reparations is utter bullshit. And no, I will not qualify that with a “But I’m not a racist” statement, because I don’t need to. If you take that statement as racist, you’re an easily offended moron. If you don’t take that statement as racist, then you’re smart enough to understand basic concepts of writing. Hooray for you, here’s an invisible medal that means nothing. (cue sounds of cheering to boost your ego).

Firstly, I wish to pose this question to you: “Which race that exists in the world has never been enslaved?” Take your time, no need to rush. Think about it for a second.

Ready? Okay. So what are your answers? If you answered, “none,” then hooray for you! You clearly know basic level history. Here’s a cookie. If, however, you are one of the ignorant ones who answered any race, then please hold your palm flatly in front of your face, and slam it into your forehead for every race that you answered.

There are no races on this planet that haven’t been subjected to slavery on a mass scale at one point in time or another. And anybody who tells you different either know nothing about history, or is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. You want to guess which race, on the whole, were slaves for the longest time in history? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the Africans. It wasn’t the Japanese either. And it wasn’t the Saxons (the ancestors of most ‘white’ people). Do you have your answer yet?

Well I’ll be honest, I tricked you. There is no right answer, because every single society on this planet has practiced slavery at one point in time or another throughout history, even enslaving their own race. The Saxons did it, the Francs did it, the Gauls did it, the Africans did it, the Chinese did it, and I could go on but that would just become tedious. The point of the matter, is that if we go back far enough, anybody on this entire planet can claim that their ancestors were slaves at one point in time. The Greeks don’t apologize to the Egyptians for the decades in which they were enslaved underneath Alexander and his successors, Perdiccas, Craterus and Meleager. France doesn’t apologize to the rest of Europe for when Charlemagne conquered and essentially enslaved, murdered, raped and killed everybody who wouldn’t convert to Catholicism. England doesn’t apologize for its enslavement and conquering of Scotland, India, China and all the other territories that encompassed the once grand British Empire. China doesn’t apologize to the Mongols, or its own people, or to Japan for its enslavement of them during the ancient Chinese dynasties, particularly under the Tang Dynasty. This list could go on and on, because every single race that exists or has existed upon this planet, has either practiced slavery, or been enslaved at one point throughout history.

So what is the reason that these governments don’t atone for the horrible atrocities that they committed throughout history? Well the answer is very simple, and two-fold:

1. The people who committed the crimes and those that endured them are long dead. Demanding that someone, whose only connection to the crime in question is his ancestor, pay or receive reparations for that crime is just asinine. It’s akin to arresting Marilyn Manson, because his stage name is similar to Charles Manson’s real name. It’s like demanding that the muslim nation as a whole pay for the rebuilding of the Twin Towers because some mis-guided fuckheads, who just happened to share their ethnicity, decided to destroy them. It’s also completely moronic as demanding that Lance Armstrong fly you to the moon on his bicycle, because he shares his last name with Neil Armstrong, the famous man who was the first human to set foot upon our planet’s luminary satellite.

2. The crime was committed by and happened to people who are only related to the two parties. Demanding that you receive reparations for something an ancestor went through is like demanding that the state of Idaho pay you a million dollars because your grandfather choked to death on a potato.

And yet, this is a debate raging in our country right now. Black people and various other ethnic groups, who had some crime committed against their ancestors by people who are long dead, are demanding that the American people pay them reparations. Some Black people feel that all white people owe them because the systems that were set up during the times of their oppression, both during slavery and the Jim Crow law era, benefited white people, and thus they should pay for that. This very idea is the epitome of idiocy. But since this is apparently acceptable, I wish to submit my own proposal for reparations that I think I am owed. My great ancestors, the Gauls, were enslaved, raped and murdered by both Charlemagne and the Roman empire. Thus, I feel that French and Italian people everywhere, owe me money because they clearly benefited from the situation, since Gaulish slaves were used to power the Roman Empire and the early French Empire led by Charlemagne. I’d also like a pony, a yacht, a harem of naked Swedish and Icelandic supermodels, a free trip to the moon and the Nobel fucking peace prize while I’m at it.

“But Mark, you magnificent bastard,” you cry, “That happened nearly two thousand years ago!” Yes, and slavery in America ended 150 years ago. You can’t, as the overused saying goes, have your cake and eat it too. Either time factors in, or it doesn’t. If time doesn’t factor in, then there’s no point in complaining about something that happened to someone, by someone, that aren’t even alive anymore. And if time does factor in, then there can’t be a cut-off point. Are you starting to see the absolute idiocy in the idea of paying back people for something that didn’t even happen to them?

Now there are extenuating circumstances. Can Jews who are still alive and experienced the atrocities of the prison camps and death camps in World War II demand reparations from the German government? Yes. The crime happened to them. And just to be clear, the Jewish community Did ask for that, and they were awarded reparations.

How about Japanese Americans that are still alive and were interred in the “relocation camps” after pearl harbor during World War II (Way to go, FDR, you paraplegic fuckhead)? Can they demand reparations from the American government for that? Yes, because it happened to them. And just as the example before, they did demand reparations, and they were awarded it. And they deserved those reparations too.

But when it comes to people who are asking for reparations on behalf of ancestors (ancestors that have been dead for over a hundred years in most cases), then it just becomes silly. Plus, the American Government can’t even be the ones you blame, if you can blame anybody still alive. Before the civil war, the states had much more singular power than they do now. Federal law was very simple and very broad, and it was left up to the states to decide matters of local law, such as commerce, law enforcement, militia organizing, and yes, slavery. This is the very reason why some states allowed slavery and some didn’t. If you want to blame any government for slavery in the US, you can only blame the individual governments of the states that allowed slavery. In terms of which states allowed slavery, it was based very much upon their economy. States that had a much more large-agriculture based economy (such as sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, coffee, etc) were more likely to legalize slavery, while those with small-agriculture based economies (such as grain, dairy, meat, etc), or factory based economies were less likely to do so.

Furthermore, most people in states that allowed slavery didn’t own slaves. It was only the richest people who owned the large plantations that used slaves. I won’t go into the economy reasons for why these people would own slaves, as that’s an entirely different essay altogether, but suffice it to say that very few people needed (or could afford) slaves. So now we’re onto the matter that it wasn’t the government to blame, but rather the people who sold and bought slaves (none of which, again, are still alive). So now we’re onto the ridiculous idea of hunting down the descendants of slave owners and demanding that they pay the descendants of the slaves that their ancestors owned. And the rabbit hole deepens…

The idea of someone, whose only connection to a crime is their ancestor (or someone who held their post over a hundred years ago), repay someone for a crime that only happened to a distant or long dead relative of theirs is just plain ridiculous, yet many people still demand it and try to make it as reputable an argument as they possibly can, which is very little.

But this essay isn’t just about reparations, it’s about backwards racism as a whole. So let’s move on for now, we’ll come back to this boondoggle later.

Here we have another pitfall of the idiocy of backwards racism: racist epitaphs, slang and slurs. There is a widely known ‘truth’ in that a race can use its own racist epitaphs (such as Black people using ‘nigger’, Chinese people using ‘chink’, etc), but the minute another race uses it, it because racist and offensive. The very idea that a word by itself is offensive, is utterly moronic. I’ve had black people accuse me of racism simply because I use the word ‘nigger’ in a contextual setting. I, being the kind of person that I am, promptly told him that it was his right to be offended at anything he damn well wished, but he had no right to tell me what I can or cannot say. His rebuttal was something I’ve heard a lot, especially when I attended college in Boston: “Only we can use that word.”

Dear world and easily offended people everywhere: Nobody has a monopoly on any word. Get that through your thick skulls. Thank you, and please pull your heads out of your collective ass. The next time any one person tells you that only “they” have a monopoly on any word, tell them that you have monopoly on the word ‘persnickety.’ When they say that it doesn’t make any sense, simply smile knowingly and walk away to let them wallow in their ignorance.

A word by itself is not offensive, and anybody who thinks it is needs to be introduced to reality. Look at the difference between the next two sentences.

“Nigger is a noun in English and should only be construed as intentionally offensive when used in a pejorative context.”

“Nigger originates from the late 16th century, where it evolved from the word Neger, which comes from the latin niger, meaning black.”

Neither one if offensive, yet some people would have you believe that I should contextualize those sentences in order to not risk offending or alienating anybody. This is ridiculous, since nigger is just a variation of neger, which comes from the French negre, which in turn comes from the latin niger. Niger, in latin, simply means black. So lets just replace nigger with black for a second here.

“Black is a noun.”

Suddenly there is no offensive context, which means there shouldn’t be any offensive context when nigger isn’t used a pejorative context, because it is just a variation of the word that MEANS THE COLOR BLACK. Now I’m not saying that we should rename black crayons to nigger crayons (cause that just sounds silly), but I am saying that calling any word by itself offensive, despite the context in which it is used, is just plain stupid.

Which brings me to the point of a race being able to use its own racial epitaphs but getting their collective knickers into a twist when someone else uses it. If I walked into Brooklyn and said “Hey! What’s up my nigger?” I would get beaten worse than a piece of meat in a deli. But if I was black, they would treat it as a greeting. Now if we put out the idea of race from our minds, this suddenly seems like total idiocy.

Let’s pretend everybody is the same race for a second (which we technically are. Race is just a difference in melanin levels and changes in what genes are rare and common). Now lets look at the previous statement in terms of context: “What’s up?” There’s a greeting. What is up? What is going on? How are things? “My nigger.” A subject of the greeting. In this case, nigger is being used as a pronoun. It is being used to replace the person’s name, and is not being used in a pejorative context at all. It is simply being used as a replacement pronoun for ‘my friend,’ or ‘my brother,’ or someone’s name.

Without race factoring in, the idea that such a greeting could be okay by one set of people, but highly offensive when said by others, is just plain ridiculous. The very idea that one set of people can say something that another cannot, just perpetuates racism. When you say that black people can say “What’s up, my nigger?” As a greeting, but I can’t, you are saying, “They are different.” You are perpetuating the very racism that we should be trying to avoid. The very seed of racism is the idea that a race is different and/or inferior/superior to your own. Delegating phrases and words that only certain races can say just perpetuates this idea of differences and superiority or inferiority.

Am I saying that I should be allowed to call black people niggers? No, (although I am able to do so, as I have free speech). What I am saying is that designating a word to be something okay to be said by one set of people, but not okay by another is just ridiculous. Saying that only black people can say ‘nigger,’ is like saying only Irish people can say ‘potato-eater.’ When used a regular word or phrase, both of these are harmless. And using them in a pejorative context is just bad manners, so trying to say that only the set of people who it would apply to in the pejorative sense is essentially saying that it is always a pejorative sense, which is plain moronic.

Pejorative, for you people who are confused, is to use something in a negative manner, such as an insult or racial slur. I.e. “My ass itches” (not pejorative), compared to “You’re an ass” (pejorative).

So now that we’ve established that both reparations and the banning of a word just because it can be used in a pejorative sense is stupid, let’s move onto the last topic: Full backwards racism.

Why do we have a black history month? Why? Are black people so boring and succinct that we can encapsulate their entire history into 28 days? And February? Not only do we only give one month dedicated to the history of an entire race but we give them the shortest month of the year? The very FACT that black history is separated from regular history and only given 28 days out of 365 is solid proof of racism still being alive and well. Black history is just plain history. It shouldn’t be taught just 28 days out of the year, it should be taught all year-long with the rest of history.

Black people, at least in terms of Africans, are the oldest race on the planet. Their history encapsulates fifty thousand years, if you count the oldest recorded remnants of civilization found in Africa. All the other races on the planet can barely boast a history of ten thousand years, let alone fifty thousand. If any race should get just a measly 28 days, it should be everybody but the blacks. Because if we can encapsulate fifty thousand years into 28 days, clearly we can encapsulate 10,000 year into that time period with no problem.

What do the rest of the world have? A few tombs, some cave drawings, and neat looking castles? The black people have the origin of the human race. I think they win. But then we’re still in the same problem. The main problem I have with “black history month” is it immediately says, “Black people are so meaningless, that we will study real famous people like Marco Polo, Columbus, and Julius Caesar, the entire black race only gets 28 days.” It causes the same problem that the aforementioned banned word idea causes. It precipitates racism, it doesn’t help to hinder it.

And what about Affirmative action? “Hi black people. We don’t think you’re good enough to work for your own rewards, so we’re going to give you stuff easier than other people. Aren’t we nice?” Again. precipitates racism. People, black, white, green, blue, purple polka-dotted monster, should be awarded their rewards by the quality of the work they do, regardless of race, skin color, gender, etc. Affirmative action just perpetuates the idea that certain races do not have to, or cannot work as hard as others. If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

And this is just perpetuated by the government itself. If you’re starting a business and have a person of ethnic background as one of your founders, you are now eligible for various grants based upon that very factor. “We don’t believe you can raise money by yourself, you poor little minority person, so we’re going to give you this money for free. Aren’t we nice?!” No, you’re patronizing. Giving someone something just because they are a certain gender, sexual orientation, or race is just saying that you don’t believe that they are capable of working for it themselves.

Am I saying that affirmative action was started to just perpetuate racism? No, of course not. I may be many things, but conspiracy theorist isn’t one of them. Affirmative action was started with good intentions in mind. Its purpose was to stop and prevent racism, but the way it tried to go about this goal was counter-intuitive. It demanded that work places and places of learning have a certain percentage of minorities. This doesn’t stop racism, it causes it. But I can sympathize. The government couldn’t come out and just tell people to be just people equally. That clearly would have been too much for our feeble plebeian brains to comprehend.

So my point? These very things serve to only perpetuate and propagate racism, not halt it. And thus: Backwards Racism, albeit indirectly and mostly by accident. The problem lies in the fact not that these practices and ideas exist, but that instead of trying to abolish them and just have equality, many people want to continue and expand them. Many black Americans believe their entire race deserves compensation for slavery. Some Chinese Americans believe that they deserve reparations for the pseudo-slavery their ancestors endured during the construction of the railroads in the American west.

Know who truly deserves reparations? The southern states who were destroyed in the American Civil War. The civil war was about anything but slavery. The south was promised reconstruction when the north won. They never got it (great going, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant and Rutherford Hayes, you idiots). Southern reconstruction was a complete and utter failure, and still to this day, the south is feeling the effects of the devastation it suffered in the civil war. Slave owners in the south barely numbers more than 4% of the entire southern population, and with the civil war over, the south deserved reconstruction by the north who had devastated it. I’m not saying the people in those states deserve money, however, since the atrocities didn’t happen to them. But the American Government does need to provide compensation to the states themselves for the massive blow they dealt to them in their culture, economy, and various other things. The true meaning and cause for the civil war is too large to cover in this essay, but you can rest assured that neither the meaning nor the cause of the civil war was slavery. Anybody who tells you different is either ignorant, or a liar.

So what can we learn from all this? Simple: treat everybody equally. Afford nobody any concessions simply based on one of their traits, and give nobody any inhibitions simply because of any of their traits either. The key to destroying racism isn’t to provide reparations or an easy street for minorities, but to forget about race.

Forget about black, white, red, blue, pink, Chinese, Japanese, English, Indian, African and American. Stop treating people as a race, and just treat everybody as a human being. If we stopped thinking of ourselves as black, white, American, English, Chinese, etc, and instead thought of ourselves just as human beings, racism would be far quicker to die off, than it is with stupid ‘concessions’ like Black History Month, Reparations, and Affirmative Action.

And remember kiddies: You have the right to free speech. You don’t have the right to not be offended.

Until next time, dear readers.

And yes, I know this post is massive. It’s to make up for not posting for a while.

P.S. If you were offended by this post, I make no effort to apologize and regain your favor. It is your prerogative to be or not be offended by something. It is my prerogative to write what I want, when I want, how I want. Keep in mind that everyone has the right to free speech, but nobody has the right to not be offended. :)

Tuesday’s Rant: Asshole America

Firstly, before we get into this episode of “Mark rants like a little child about something that annoys him,” I want to apologize for not posting over the weekend. I won’t lie, I had nothing pressing. I just couldn’t think of a good way to word the article, so I will be postponing it until this upcoming weekend. With that over, we now return you to our regularly scheduled program.

Know what pisses me off? People in America and the American Government at large acting as if we’re the greatest fucker in the world, and that we have a right to walk over anybody we please, but the minute someone does it to us, we scream like a little girl and go crying home to momma. Then when momma explains to us that if we didn’t want Billy to kick us in the testicles, we shouldn’t have done it to him first, we slap momma in the face and call her a dirty two-faced lying whore. Aren’t we a lovely child?

If America was a child, it would be the type that would drive its mother to become a raging alcoholic and scream at her child about how she should have gotten an abortion in between snorting enough cocaine to kill a hippopotamus, just to forget that her bastard spawn-of-the-devil child doesn’t exist.

To begin with: FUCKING NAFTA. FUCKING GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING NAFTA. The North American Free Trade Agreement is the biggest load of horse cock this side of horse cock mountain. To summarize, what the Horse Cock Agreement basically does is eliminate trade barriers between countries. Its big brother, Elephant Cock Organization (also known as the World Trade Organization) polices over world free trade, making sure that international trade is “liberalized.” Free trade liberalizes trade as much as raping a woman makes her your wife. And that is not a harsh analogue, because Free Trade literally does rape the world (now you’re probably getting the point of the cock jokes).  Free trade essentially says that no country can tell another country that they won’t accept a good of theirs. Sounds good in theory, right?

Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, FUCKING WRONG! Free Trade is as good for the world economy as going on a psychotic murderous rage and killing ten thousand people is good for getting your soul up to the pearly white gates to have a chat with Saint Peter. Free Trade doesn’t just mess up the world economy, it fucks it with a monkey-wrench and then pulls its intestines out through its urethra. Wanna know what fucked up the milk economy in the US? Free Trade. Wanna know what fucked up the coffee economy in Colombia? Free Trade. Wanna know what fucked up the milk, coffee and corn economy in Mexico? Free Trade. Wanna know the main reason why so many illegal immigrants can’t find work in their own countries and so come from Mexico and the other central and south American countries to come to our country, to further fuck up our economy? FREE MOTHERFUCKING TRADE!

American grain and coffee companies dump MILLIONS of pounds of grain and coffee (most of it that they don’t deem fit enough to serve to their customers) on the Mexican market. Now, if you know anything about the Mexican economy, you’ll know that two giant staples of its economy, are coffee and grain (such as corn, maize, rice, etc). Dumping this amount of outside coffee and grain into the market causes the market price to plummet. Suddenly, Mexican families who have worked ten generations on the same corn or coffee farm can’t sell their coffee and find themselves out of a job, then out of a house and then dead or illegally immigrating to North America.

FONTERRA® is a New Zealand based milk mogul. They are one of the largest milk companies on the planet. They dump billions of gallons of surplus milk on other countries every year, and one of their biggest ‘dump sites’ is the United States. This has caused milk prices to plummet, making it impossible for family owner dairy farms to make a living, causing many of them to close down. I live in Vermont, and I can’t even buy VERMONT BASED MILK at the major supermarkets. It’s hard to even find Vermont based milk at the INDEPENDENT MARKETS. The dumping of milk on our markets causes giant moguls like Hood to be the only ones that can compete.

“But Mark!” you cry, “I can get ORGANIC VALLEY® milk at my supermarket! That punches a hole in your argument!” Well, Stupid Person, Organic Valley® is THE LARGEST COOP OF ORGANIC MILK IN THE UNITED STATES! Firstly, to be considered organic you have to do very little. “Hey! I don’t kick my cows in the face and make them eat other cows! That makes me organic! Hooray!” Secondly, most of the ‘organic farmers’ working on Organic Valley® are large farms that employ hundreds of people. They are not the small, quaint (and beautiful) farms that dot the landscape of states like Vermont. They are not the farms that are operated by one family that gets up at the crack of dawn, milks the cows until the sun goes down, then goes to sleep and gets up the next day–regardless of the weather–and does it again. And while Organic Valley® is a good company, as far as the giant companies go, they are not a flaw in my argument, since they are part of the argument. So before you go screaming some moronic thing like “Organic Valley® is a small company,” or “Cumberland Farms® is a Small Company,” make sure you know what you’re talking about. Because if either of those statements are true, I am a flying monkey with a banana hat.

“Oh wait!” You might be thinking, as you think back to that wonderful organic milk you bought in the store, “What about HORIZON®! HA!” Well, even more stupid person than the last, Horizon® is THE largest supplier of organic milk in America. Furthermore, it is owned by Dean Foods® which is a multi-billion dollar company. Do we have all of your asinine arguments out of the way? Good. Moving on.

Free Trade doesn’t just affect milk and grain, however, it affects everything. Cars, clothes, technology, entertainment, and the list goes on and on. Know all those politicians that scream about how everything in American should be made in America? Remember Joe “I can’t talk right now, my one brain cell is taking a nap” Biden talking about how he dreams of a day when people can purchase a product and read “Made in America” on it? Well I bet you everything I have (It’s not much, but I still bet it) that if you walked up to politicians like him, and asked them what they thought of NAFTA, they’d say it was great. And at that point, you could point at them and have them escorted away by the Bullshit Police (they really do need to exist). Any politician who says that he dreams of a day when we can read “Made in America” on every product we buy, but also doesn’t think that the North American Free Trade Agreement or World Trade Organization are anything but giant steaming piles of rat feces, are two moos away from bullshit.

The main problem, is that they do want to be able to pick up products that say “Made in America” but they don’t want other countries to have the same privilege. They want to dump all their excess products onto other countries, but the minute the other country does it to us, we scream about how unfair life is, and how mean that country is and how they’re probably full of “socialist liberal communist nazis” (which makes no sense, but we’ll let Glenn Beck have his fun) and they eat babies for breakfast. We want to be able to let Monsanto® essentially ship their products all over the world, and inundate markets with them, thus causing their prices to plummet. But the minute Fonterra® does it to us, we scream and cry to mommy and then we plot to have everything say “made in America.” And then that never happens because of the WTO and NAFTA, and we’re back where we started, knee-deep in bullshit.

Lastly, if any one of you tells me, “But Mark, you’re wrong. Fair Trade is a good thing!” I’m going to find out where you live, drive to your house and have you escorted away by the stupid police because clearly your existence lowers the global IQ. Yes, Fair Trade is a good thing. It’s a fantastic thing, and a great thing and even better than fish and chips SMOTHERED in sweet butter. But it is not Free Trade. Free Trade is about as far away from Fair Trade as Adolf Hitler is from Mother Theresa. But that’s an explanation for another, less angry article.

NAFTA, and the WTO, ladies and gentlemen. That’s what FUCKING PISSES ME OFF!

liked or disliked this article? Want me to do more? Want me to do less? Let me know in the comments section!

Insanity reformed

There is a large amount of time (not too large) between this post and the last. I apologize for that, but I’ve been trying to figure out how to order this beast without being so chaotic. A little bit of chaos is always great, but I think I would do well to have a selected mission briefing for myself on what I’m going to write about with this blog, and since I enjoy so many topics I don’t think just writing about what I’m thinking about at the time will work very well, so without further ado, I present to you the schedule of Scribatious Insanity.

Monday: Nothing. If I do write anything, it will be about something pressing.

Tuesday: What pisses me off. Every Tuesday will be a rant about something I hate, dislike or something that just generally pisses me off. Fun times.

Wednesday: Same as monday.

Thursday: What I love. The opposite of Tuesday, Thursday will be something I truly love, like or something that just makes me happy. More fun times.

Friday: Video game Friday. I love video games, and Fridays will be the day that I review a game that is either near and dear to my heart, or a game that I think should never have been made. Or maybe something in between.

Saturday or Sunday: Writing critiques, education, etiquette. On either Saturday or Sunday (Or both if I’m feeling particularly creative) I will be talking writing in one form or another that has to do with my own form of writing. I will be talking about either story writing, video game writing, or screenwriting. How to do it, or what I’m doing it with, etc.

I hope you will enjoy this schedule, and you can expect the first post in this new schedule tomorrow when I talk about the differences between screenwriting for films, and screenwriting for television.

Orwell, and Today’s Government

I had a dream last night. It was quite a terrifying dream because it both represents a fear that any intelligent free person has, and also represents a clear and present danger due to the direction that the United States Government is headed. My dream was that the Obama administration had put forth a bill that would create a Council for Social Awareness. This council’s aims was to essentially be the Un-American Activities Committee of the twenty-first century, and its purpose was to report on people who were ‘against’ the American government. This, as you will obviously know if you’ve ever read 1985, is very Orwellian.

The reason this scared me so much, is because it’s not far from reality. In fact, there are many facets about our Government that are already Orwellian (The Patriot Act, anyone?) and it scares me. The reason it scares me is because it requires a blatant disregard of the powers given to the government in the Constitution. These powers have been abused and taken farther than they should be allowed for almost one hundred and a fifty years. Now any of you who are history buffs will known that 150 years puts us at 1860. If this doesn’t ring a bell, shame on you. For a refresher course, this was about the time of the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. Anyone who knows history will know that before the civil war, the country was referred to as “The United States are…” referring to a set of separate but equal sovereign states led by a single unifying government (which is how it’s supposed to be as outlined in the Constitution). After the civil war, this phrase became, “The United States is…” referring to a single union of states with a consolidation of power at the center. And unfortunately, it’s all Lincoln’s fault.

Not counting the other reasons that the civil war was a travesty, the result was a more powerful single central government, and much weaker sovereign states that despite the name were no longer sovereign. This is a horrible occurrence, and had no reason to happen. The excuse that “The southern states made slavery legal so the federal government needed to step in,” is bullshit. You have to remember that slavery was the backbone of the southern economy. The civil war and freeing of the slaves in the south created an economic downfall that the south still hasn’t recovered from. And it’s been 145 years! Am I advocating slavery? Hell No. But I am putting it into perspective. This was not a moral issue for the south. The north wanted to take away the backbone of their economy without any alternative. From a purely economic standpoint, this would be like taking away the north’s factories without offering any alternative. The next time that someone tells you the civil war was about slaves, look them in the eye and politely tell them that if that is their opinion, then they know nothing about the civil war. The civil war was as much about slavery as World War 2 was about Jews. Sure, they factored into it, but they were far from the reason.

So from the civil war we acquired this central government with far too much power. In the constitution, the executive branch (president) has very little power. He has the power to wage war, and to veto. That’s about it. There are many powers that recent presidents have used that are not allowed within the constitution. And nobody has said a word. If someone can find me in the constitution where the Patriot Act is allowed, then I will roll around in honey, cover myself in peanuts and allow myself to become an elephant lollipop for the rest of my life. And if you think the patriot act is a good thing, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I think you’d be interested in.

As time has gone on, our constitution has gotten chipped away at by these assholes, and we’ve done nothing about it. Technically, income tax is unconstitutional, but because of the elastic clause of “general welfare” outline in the article that allows taxing, the government says it’s okay. It’s not okay for a government to go against the constitution. If I went against the constitution, or the laws of this country, I would get thrown in jail. When the government goes against the laws of the constitution and the laws of our country, it’s called politics. And it makes me sick.

Now I cannot say that I lean towards one political side or another. I have many things in common in liberals, anarchists, conservatives, and libertarians. Most of my beliefs fall in the latter category, but I don’t consider myself to be part of any party. But one thing I truly agree with, and fight for is a small government. A government that controls everything, that ‘gives’ us everything we need is just a government with too much power. And mark my words, if we don’t do something about this situation, and soon, we’re going to find ourselves living in George Orwell’s nightmare. And it will lead to another civil war more bloody than any we’ve ever seen.

You have been warned.