Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Music Class, Pep Rallys, Church and The Locker Room Saloon

One of the things that I loathe the most, the absolute most without question are events where useless forced participatory involvement is needed. I always feel stupid when doing whatever is requested, extremely stupid, so stupid that I can't escape the stupidity even though I look around and most people (or everyone) are doing the same thing. Here are some examples of the ones that have followed my life and why I hate them.

MUSIC CLASS - Grade School
Whenever I had classes I enjoyed the ones where I could sit and read, sit and do math or later sit and type up a paper. Any class that involved other things I hated, with the exception of maybe gym at points. Music wasn't the worst but I sure hated singing the lame songs. Even at 7 years old I knew the songs we were singing were fucking terrible juvenile shit, I laughed at the fact we had to sing this bullshit when I came home and listened to Danzig, Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nails. The only cool song I remember singing was People Are People by Depeche Mode, which stood out so much because even at that age I hated being patronized for being young. Even though I was between 7 and 10 I knew that this class patronized my intelligence.

PEP RALLYS - High School
Thankfully I went to a small Catholic high school that had a strong sports culture but a very low excitement level in general for it by anyone who didn't play (about half the school). We only occasionally had pep rallys, and whenever we did they were mandatory.It was usually our goal to be as annoying as possible, and not in a loud way but in a "loud and obnoxious" way. Our only goal in doing this was because there was nothing else to do, we hated high school and had no school spirit whatsoever. I felt that it was ridiculous that we should feel obligated to care whether or not our sports teams win or not, much less expect us to act overly happy about it. Fuck these.

CHURCH - 1st Grade - High School
Since I went to a Catholic school and had to go weekly for 12 damn years, I have almost all boring mass stories, I wouldn't have minded it so much if it were only sit and chill for 50 minutes every Tuesday while we talk nonsense at you. It was never that though, it was more like this:


I know I didn't actually go into the whole mass, that would have taken five pages. It also is important to say that this is all done in the most boring and dull manner possible, ESPECIALLY the singing! There may be a couple old women singing really happily, but everyone else sounds like they are falling asleep. Also it is important to note that I am omitting the "repeat after me" stuff that happens constantly too. It's a terrible boring mess that you have to attend, and learn nothing from it other than how much you don't want to go back.

The worst part of having to do this every week is that you know it's a waste of time. Inefficiency is something that really bothered me in my childhood, it truly made me dislike a lot of things permanently.

The best part of being an adult is you get to cut down on a lot of the shit you hate, which is all the stuff that is force fed to you. The liberation is huge, and in college everything is optional which is the way it should be in a lot of cases for kids.

The first time I walked into this place, it felt like walking into a headache. Upon entering you receive two drumsticks which you are expected (sometimes YELLED at) to use. The moment I realized I needed to put this place on the permanent ban list occurred when the DJ played this classical deep gem by Poison named "Talk Dirty To Me". As the crowd was encouraged to sing along to one of the all time worst songs by one of the all time worst bands, a 5'6" ex jock who looked and acted a lot like the waiter from Office Space started yelling at me for not participating. This persisted throughout the song and I lost it and explained to him that I will not being doing that ever and he needs to leave me alone NOW. He thankfully stopped, as did I. I haven't been to Locker Room Balloon since.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nintendo 3DS: One Year Later

It's been a year since I bought my Nintendo 3DS for a whopping $250 on the day it launched. At the time I felt as it wasn't the best purchase, since then some of my feelings have changed and I wanted to expand on them while I'm stuck at home sick.

How I Felt Then:
The system arrived with 1 good launch game and lacking an internet browser, eshop, a method to access more than 1 3D video and a terrible battery life. My first month or two of owning the 3DS were spent playing A LOT of Super Street Fighter IV Turbo 3D.

The retail games I own are Super Street Fighter IV Turbo 3D, BlazBlue 3D and Super Mario 3D Land. SSFIV is great, BlazBlue is underwhelming and Super Mario 3D Land is one of the greatest games I have played on any console ever, and quite possibly my favorite Mario game ever made. That last sentence says A LOT to why my impression changed.

The eStore games I own are Let's Gold 3D and Pushimo, both fantastic games that were well worth the $6.99 cost. Pushimo is actually an instant classic. There have also been a bunch of free games released such as Excitebike 3D Classics, Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition, a 3D Pokedex and some other stuff I will probably never use. They were free so no complaints here. I have also purchased Punch Out and Game Boy Tetris from the Virtual Console, which features a lackluster selection of ONLY Game Boy, Game Gear and original NES games.

Due to the price drop from $249.99 to $179.99 all of the buyers who overpaid were given 20 virtual console games, 10 from NES and 10 from GBA. The NES games feature classics like SMB, Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Adventures of Link along with average first party fare such as Ice Climber, Yoshi, Donkey Kong Jr. Baloon Fight and Wrecking Crew. The GBA games released I thought were overall much better as it included Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (a 10/10 game), WarioWare Inc, Metroid Fusion, Mario Kart Super Circuit, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, Wario Land 4, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Mario vs. Donkey Kong and the only one of the bunch that definitely isn't for me: Fire Emblem.

Other applications that have found their way on my system and my opinions of them:
Netflix - Used once, I have much better options to watch Netflix content (8 minutes total use)
StreetPass Mii Plaza - Used once, seems stupid (8 minutes total use)
Mii Maker - Maybe a Mii for a certain game in the future, other than this useless (14 minutes total use)
Activity Log - Mostly using it for this, I don't travel with my 3DS so not for that (13 minutes total use)
Nintendo Video - Watched about 3 videos on it (total use unknown)
Nintendo Zone - What does this do? (3 minutes total use)
Swapnote - I haven't even finished setting up. (3 minutes total use)

I determined that there is one reason my opinion of the console has drastically improved:

Monday, April 16, 2012

What Other Dead People Need Holograms?

Yesterday, a hologram of Tupac Shakur performed with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at the Coachella Festival. I'm sure you have seen it, but you should see it again because it's amazing:

I am someone who is not easily impressed, but this blew me out of the fucking water more than anything I have ever seen in a concert. While I always enjoyed liked Snoop and LOVE Dr. Dre, I always felt Tupac was a wee bit overrated by almost everyone. That last statement by no means I don't think he's good, I just don't think he's the undisputed greatest of all time that most say. Even feeling this way, Tupac was the perfect first hologram performance. The audience at this crowd were the perfect age to see someone as iconic as Tupac actually performing in front of them. Well after this I thought of the possibilities! Here are some people that I would bring back from the dead if I had Dr. Dre's super expensive holographic technology:

This is obvious, while the issues being an aged Ringo and Paul performing with a younger looking George and John, the problem of the fact that they actually played instruments and then the problem of what era to use.

All these can be figured out after we get Paul and Ringo to agree on this! It would be even better if it was the "almost happened" SNL Reunion when Lorne Michaels jokingly went on the air and offered the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show, then upping the price to $3,200! Apparently John and Paul were watching this together and considered going down there for fun. If you know me, you know how much I love The Beatles (like most people) so none of this should come as a surprise.

The Doors have tried to do the reunion thing with Ian Astbury of The Cult, the shitty guy from the even shittier band Fuel, Travis Meeks from Days Of The New, Skrillex and about 50 other bands. Other than Travis Meeks who did decent covers they were all terrible. This could be a way for the final Doors reunion to go out without being a terrible failure. I like when good bands go out on terms that aren't embarassing.

The hologram thing works great for comedians so for this I could have easily picked Pryor, Hicks, Hedberg, Bruce, etc. When the technology becomes more affordable there is actually a possibility this would take off.

Another artist perfect for a holographic career rejuvenation, in fact a holographic show may be the best possible way historically to see MJ live. There is no guilt for supporting an accused pedophile, no uber expensive tickets and you could most likely see him in a small venue. The other advantage is that he doesn't play instruments so that will not be a problem.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why I don't believe

Those who know me well know that irrational thought is something I hate, this post is hopefully an explanation why I feel this way. This will give a bit of a background on myself and how I feel about this.

 I was raised by Christian parents who didn't take the church thing too seriously, but did have a firm belief in Christianity. My dad was an extremely lapsed Catholic and my mom was a Church of Christ member but did not attend a service in years. Due to my parents beliefs they felt it would not be fair to baptize me as a baby and if I chose to become baptized, I could when I would be old enough to make the decision on my own. I do remember being 6 and being certain there wasn’t a god, only to be chastised by friends so much that it seemed easier just to say there was.

Due to the less than desirable neighborhood I lived in as a child, I attended Catholic school for my entire life. This led to being baptized 2nd grade, under what was tremendous pressure from the school and my classmates. I went along with the Catholic thing, fully thinking that it was all bullshit, until about 9th grade. Around 9th grade the world changed drastically for me, not only did I start high school (yes another Catholic one) but I also became a die-hard music fan and received my first computer!

Throughout high school my stance as a non-believer grew, while most of my friends would make similar claims, it now appears that these claims were nothing more than high school rebellion. I was extremely lucky that my teachers at this school were understanding with my lack of belief.

The real test of my atheism was the passing of my father, after this happened and my lack of belief remained the same, I knew that it would never change. I was confident there is no afterlife and that every day should be lived fully because there is no more after you die.

Until this part, everything I stated was just my religious history and not solid reasoning. I guess when it comes down to it, the reason I don’t believe is that I just can’t. My brain works in a logical way, where proof and scientific reasoning yield what I believe, and not superstition or non-first-hand knowledge.

Hearing the condescending phrases such as “it’s just a phase” or “I’m praying for you” does nothing but make me feel that you will never get it, regardless of how hard I try to explain. 

Funny how older generations hate us millennials

After reading this piece about griping how millennials make for terrible employees, I felt it would be a good idea to respond to these by providing some points from someone who is a millennial and it tired of the "system" that is screwing my generation over. I am only using my point of view on these matters (for the record I am a 27 year old male).

Kids Nowadays!
1. We don't respect you because you have a title over us, nor we do we respect someone because of their age, we respect someone based on the quality and quantity of work they complete.

2. Many of us are narcissistic and upset because there are people in our organizations who do less work at worse quality and make more money. We know we are better than them regardless of "experience level" so why should we work harder when it's not financially in our best interest?

3. We have seen the perils of being loyal to a company, so why should you expect us to have any loyalty at all?

4. Many of us feel that many corporate policies were created by previous generations to ensure job security. Instead of worrying about dollars and cents they are more concerned with insignificant petty bullshit.

5. How many people out there would rather be at work than doing something they love? I bet it's not many, so don't get upset when you ask this question and get an HONEST answer. Job Interviewers who ask this question are either A: Asking a potential employee to lie (in this case they answer right) or B: Answer the question honestly (in this case they don't get the job). It's a catch 22 that we see right through and wonder how someone who makes hiring decisions is stupid enough to ask this question.

6. We realize 90% of corporate America is bullshit

7. It bothers us that we help all of your fellow employees with technology questions yet we make significantly less money.

8. We know we are getting screwed by the boss, by the company, by the government, by schools and by society.

9. Just because we use our smartphones a lot doesn't mean we don't do work on them.

10. I know that I am a productivity machine when not bogged down by stupid policies and rules that serve no good at all, so why do they exist? It makes my job much more difficult without any clear benefit.