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The Auracle's blog

10:33 PM on 08.24.2010

Some people love to play the victim (throwback from way back)

I'll start by saying: I had to. I just had to.

I recently was pointed in the general direction of a radical feminist blogging community called Shakesville and because I possess one of those icky, yucky, fleshy, sausage looking things called a dildo... sorry, penis. I meant to say penis... I was well apprehensive to read anything these ladies had to say. That is to say I WAS apprehensive to read anything these ladies had to say, because up until I read a letter decked out in supposed satire detailing how the PSN-exclusive game called Fat Princess was apparently 'sexist' and 'heteronormative,' the apprehensive feeling that I had harboured somewhere in between my solar plexus and my bowels subsided rather quickly... mainly because i had just eaten some delicious homemade chicken fried rice and I had to expel some excess gas and such from my body.

Now, you know what I'm like. I can't sit idle and just watch people just senselessly bash the crap out of something they haven't actually played, watched, listened to, or read. Such is the case of the ladies (and gents, according to the comments area of all the different posts I've read) of Shakesville. So I took a stab at trying to show the wonderful people of Shakesville a different way of looking at things, all while not trying to find controversy where there isn't any.

All of the relevant linky-poos are here. i suggest reading them in order to get the full gist of what's goings on... my comment on the Shakesville blog is by a chap called The_Auracle, but you already knew that ;-) :   read

10:23 PM on 08.24.2010

Today's modern mind is a farcry from being a modern marvel...

I've had enough of today's human being. Needless to say, I'm thoroughly disappointed and disgusted with the potential we've squandered and how counter-intuitive our minds have become.

As I write this from my office within the confines of my home, "assisting" people with things they could've figured out themselves had they actually taken the time to do the simple things to figure certain "problems" out, I'm left wondering one thing: how much lower can the state of human intellect sink? In order to get you, the reader, to see where I'm coming from, let me give you an example:

In my current line of work (retail/e-commerce), I provide customer service and sales for a host of different partners. Each of the websites that consumers shop from has been tailor made with the partner's wishes and the customer's needs in mind. Now, mind you, no website is without its flaws (I used to be a Web Support Engineer). What I can say, unequivocally, is that the majority of information that customers call and ask questions about is right in front of them or simply a couple of clicks away. Realistically, all they have to do is simply read ALL of the information made available to them or, if the information isn't readily available, the websites clearly weren't designed to be linear and have a bit of intuitive nature about them. For example, if I want to know how long (roughly) it would take for X company to ship something to me, I could place a mock order of that item and, eventually, the estimated delivery date time frame would show itself.

But, alas! All of this seemingly simple stuff seems far too complex for today's human being. Some say it's of today's technology that's "dumbing down" human beings, as a whole. I wholeheartedly disagree and here's why: Today's technology was conceptualized and, subsequently, created to assist us with tasks that would, otherwise, seem tedious or take longer to do without [insert favoured piece of technology here.] It was not meant to substitute the most vital and crucial elements of the human psyche, like deduction, logic, intuition, exploration, etc.. That, right there, is the problem with human beings today. We've become so bloody lethargic, so impatient, and so spoiled we can't even be bothered to do the things that we initially came equipped with. So, consequently, we look for other devices or even other people to do it for us instead of being self-sufficient.

In short, instant gratification has completely killed off a lot of things that we once valued in our lives and our minds. Maybe one day, we will once again re-discover our true potential to be greater than what we are. However, to paraphrase Lock from The Matrix Revolutions, that hope that some hold out for is not an indulgence I have time for. Where most see human beings, I see mindless sheep. Where most see us as a human race progressing, I see regressing and the more I think about it, the more our eventual demise haunts me.

In layman's terms: use the brain you were blessed with. For everyone's sake.   read

12:49 PM on 08.23.2010

Separating the Sheep from the Shepherds

So… my dad and I pulled into a BP last week Friday so he could stop and get some petrol. I smiled and sarcastically asked him: “Are we rewarding BP for finally getting that leak stopped?” Dad scoffed and replied flatly: “Ah, I don’t care about that crap.”

I laughed… and not at his comment, per se - of which, to be honest, a lot of BP-bashers (aka: SHEEP) would’ve gotten hung up on - but because it was refreshing to actually talk to someone that actually sees everything surrounding the oil disaster and can accurately see all of the compounding variables that have made this disaster what it is. I’d say it’s a ‘mess,’ but dammit, that’s just a gross understatement.

Anyway… we fill up and we’re on our way, discussing the Gulf oil spill as Beres Hammond plays in the background. I then ask the inevitable question, knowing full well the answer: ”Why are people so adamant on calling for BP’s head alone when they hadn’t gotten into this crap alone?” My dad’s answer was on-point, as per usual (bear in mind, I’m paraphrasing here): “Because, son: people will focus that anger onto a certain organization every time someone points and yells out ‘BLAME THEM!’” How true it is. Another classic case of too many sheep and not enough shepherds, it seems.

Now, don’t get me wrong, BP can shoulder a fair share of the blame for this crap but the amount of attention BP alone is getting is incredibly overblown. I can sense a lot of bewildered, perplexed looks on people’s faces as if it my last sentiment is akin to condoning a mass-murderer for his/her actions so without further adieu, let’s break it down:

1. Once again, the US Government screws up BIG TIME. It just so happens that the party that was in control at the time BP leased the line was… wait for it… the Republicans. Did they regulate offshore drilling as well as they could’ve done? No. Did they ensure BP had a contingency plan in place? No. Were they hasty in allowing such an operation to occur without said contingency plan? Yes. Doesn’t the government have official departments in place to oversee the preservation of our natural habitats and eco-systems that we live IN THE MIDST OF? Yes. Was any of the warnings given to the government heeded before BP was given the go-ahead to implement that well? Obviously not. Did the government get their cut of the profits? As people south of the Mason-Dixon line would say: “You ain’t just whistling dixie!” Did the government - namely the Republicans - go out of their way to make everyone else look like the rightful ones to blame? Yep, but to be fair, so too did everyone else involved. Typical. There’s a mess to be cleaned up and these so-called adults are busy throwing each other under the bus while being grilled for answers in the principal’s office. Could the government have, in essence, prevented this from happening? Yes. Absolutely. Did Sarah Palin make herself and - subsequently - the political party she represents look more retarded than the child she birthed? …doesn’t she always?

2. The concrete used to construct the production casing itself didn’t come from BP. After all, BP leasing the well is no different to you or me leasing a vehicle. We didn’t build the car ourselves, we’re just using it. So who manufactured the materials to build this line, you might ask? Halliburton, my dear Watson. Good ol’ Halliburton. You know… that company that some guy named Dick Cheney was CEO of from 1995 - 2000? Yeah, them. The very same entity that somehow managed to dodge the proverbial bullet in their chequebook to assist in cleaning up the mess they helped cause. The ONE name that isn’t dropped every time the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is mentioned. The very same organization that put their civilian worker’s lives at risk in the Iraq War then tried throwing the US Military under the bus when some of those same civilian workers THEY HIRED got killed. Yes. That company. To me, it should come as no surprise whatsoever that the US Government finds BP exclusively at fault when their former 46th Vice President used to run that company AND they continue to be the U.S. Military’s preferred contractor. And how is it that BP’s stock plummets, yet Halliburton’s soars? Really? Coincidence? Come off that bullshit.

3. This point won’t take long, I assure you. TransOcean should NOT be absolved of anything. Like Halliburton, the US Government and BP, they are just as liable for this disaster/tragedy/fuck-up. Hell, it’s almost as if someone woke up that morning and thought: “You know what? Fuck it. I’m feeling daring this morning!” Turns out that several of the workers on Deepwater Horizon (bearing in mind, TransOcean owned that rig, NOT BP) expressed high concerns about going through with the drilling that fateful morning. Before the explosion, the methane gas levels were off the charts, however, TransOcean’s top brass insisted on proceeding. We all [should] know what happened next; even though most of the staff on that rig were evacuated, 11 workers were not found or recovered, even after a three-day search. Just a simple question needs to be asked here: why the hell would you proceed with this operation knowing that all the findings, numbers and blatant warnings are literally screaming “NO, BABY, NO!” despite the rest of these overzealous cunts on-shore chanting ”DRILL, BABY, DRILL!” There comes a time where whomever is paying you to do what you’re doing needs to be told: “FUCK OFF. I’M NOT DYING, NOR AM I RISKING COUNTLESS LIVES TO FURTHER YOUR AGENDA.” You had your opportunity to do and say just that, TransOcean; boy, did you piss that opportunity straight into the wind.

People, as I’ve said from the very beginning: if you’re going to play the inane, cumbersome, juvenile activity better known as “The Blame Game,” make sure you place it where it rightfully belongs - on everyone involved. The aforementioned parties all made a major contribution to the fuck-up that has left countless people jobless, an entire coral bed on the continental shelf destroyed, a plethora of different fauna habitat-less and/or dead, a whole sector of your local supermarket covered in warning signs (that’ll be seafood, boys and girls)… and everyone blames just ONE of these muppets? Nah. Not smart and not cool on your part, if you’re one of those idiots that bought a “Fuck BP” shirt.

So, go ahead and continue your BP boycotts. While you’re at it, boycott Shell for what they’ve done in Brazil and Washington state… and that’s just scratching the surface. Boycott Chevron their financial reports almost never detailing what they spend those billions of dollars on and the pollution they are responsible for in Richmond, California… again, just scratching the surface. Boycott Citgo for almost crippling the US’s infrastructure after Hugo Chavez’s comments and Citgo almost not deciding to renew their deal with 7-Eleven and Texaco. Hey, whether you’re from the US of A or whether you simply just reside in the US of A, had Citgo not renewed, you’d all be in a world of hurt.

Do me a massive favour: watch the film “There Will Be Blood.” Daniel Day-Lewis does a fantastic job of portraying how cutthroat the oil industry is. If that doesn’t do anything for you, try actually doing some research before you start getting angry and protesting. Trust me, it feels better when you actually know what you’re angry about and you’ll feel smarter for actually knowing [or, at least, having an idea of] what’s really going on.

Rant over. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to find a way away from the incessant bleating of sheep. Fucking does my head in…

Friggin’ hell… they’ve got transport now?! Now I’m really fucked. Where’s my shotgun?   read

12:31 PM on 08.23.2010

Playing SEGA's advocate

A lot of SEGA fans ride said company’s ass for revivals of their favourite game franchises, not least Shenmue. They also believe that SEGA should return to making consoles, despite the fact that their last (and arguably, greatest) console almost put them out of business. Well… that last one might be a gross exaggeration, but they certainly haemorrhaged a shit tonne of money that the gals and guys over at Sony ended up pocketing with their release of the PlayStation 2.

If you want my honest opinion, the Dreamcast ran rings around that overrated piece of garbage. I hated the PlayStation 2 in almost every way but thank GOD for Rockstar and THQ [for the GTA exclusives and the Smackdown games, respectfully]. Otherwise, the console itself was a flimsy, oversized piece of rubbish that literally broke once a year, EVERY year. Not to say that all the PlayStation 2’s did this… that would just be fool-hardy and naive to suggest something like that, but this was my experience with it and the experience of a couple of my friends that owned one.

But back to the point… SEGA keeps catching flack for what they are NOT doing and for their supposed ignorance towards the SEGA community (e.g. SEGA fans from all over the world) and not enough praise for the success they’ve garnered from the new, creative endeavours that SEGA, honestly, deserve a pat on the back for. No… every Facebook post is followed up by some childish, self-serving ass-hat that still wants his/her Shenmue 3 or another SEGA peripheral.

I feel like Shenmue fanboys and fangirls will continue to clamour for something that they know - subconsciously, at the very least - isn’t coming any time soon. Think of the countless Elvis fans that believe he’s going to part the skies like Jesus Christ and return to the stage just to shake his country ass in front of everyone. Yeah, that’s what we’re working with here in the gaming kingdom. To be honest, it’s incredibly sad to see this incessant, and somewhat juvenile badgering for a game the company WANTS to make, has expressed it’s desire to do this for it’s beloved fans, but is still on the fence about the ROI (return on investment). After all, kiddies, games cost moolah to make and garnering unprecedented amounts of universal acclaim for a game you develop and/or publish do NOT pay the bills on it’s own. Couple that with the state of today’s economy and you’ve got a serious conundrum on your hands.

On top of THAT, the original Shenmue devs don’t want to make a Shenmue 3 right now. They’ve already said that they have their focuses set elsewhere and want to do other things. This is all documented FACT, boys and girls. The only way Shenmue 3 will come about, in my mind, is one of the console manufacturers offers to fund the project in exchange for exclusivity rights for their console. Besides, ask yourself honestly: do you really want SEGA and Suzuki-san to make a game that their hearts are not into?! If you’re answer is yes, you might just be a very VERY selfish and/or self-serving person… and that is truly pathetic, not SEGA’s “unwillingness” to make something YOU act like you’re entitled to.

As far as SEGA making another console, it’s another very similar problem in the same vein of the “No Shenmue Right Now” saga. I loved my Dreamcast. Loved it, loved it, loved it and so, too, did the countless millions of people that bought one. But there were people who reckoned the PlayStation 2 was better simply because it had a bigger (and -lets be honest - heavily shovel-ware saturated) game library and could play DVDs. By the time the Dreamcast smashed the records in the record books for the short-lived success of the machine, it set new ones for futility because a hell of a lot more people bought the PS2. As I’ve always said: the Dreamcast didn’t fail. We failed the Dreamcast.

People, there are reasons why some of our favourite series haven’t been invited to the gaming revival party. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword for our beloved SEGA… making new, original IPs leads to a bunch of nostalgic gaming dinosaurs complaining about why their favourite series hasn’t been remade yet. On the other side of the sword, if you’re constantly creating new games to further older, more established franchises, this leads to people complaining that SEGA isn’t making new, original stuff. Give me an effing break, peeps. It’s all way too predictable.

Statistics already show that most of us who play computer games are adults… so here’s a thought: how about we grow up, nut up, and appreciate the good games SEGA’s got on offer right now? If you don’t think SEGA’s put out anything good recently, you’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s what it remains: you’re opinion, not fact, so you can run tell dat… home boy. After all, what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. I guarantee the same amount of critical acclaim that your precious Shenmue got, Bayonetta got also. MadWorld got it, too. The Conduit got it, too. Vanquish is getting considerable amounts of hype, and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s very deserving of the hype it’s getting. Everyone still loves the Yakuza series. The list goes on and on, really.

So… with all that said… keep all that Shenmue/”new console!!!11!!1!” noise to a dull roar, please. To put it flatly: shut up, already.   read

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