pandora_parrot: (anger)
It really gets frustrating to me to see people railing against the weirdos of the world. Whether it be about a man wanting to walk barefoot in the state capitol building, or complaining about someone's purple hair, or crying about queer people or poly people, or rants about Burners and ravers...

Here's the thing... All of these people are complaining about these oddballs... but the oddballs are the ones creating the future! Who do you think is making the video games, board games, card games, internet services, search engines, operating systems, iPods, etc.? Completely ordinary people with no creative impulses? Or more weirdos and lunatic artists and engineers, creating the world from their imagination?!

If you want there to be innovation and creativity, you need to recognize the value and need for people that *have* it! And more often than not, many of these people are going to be eccentric and weird. They're going to shirk the laws and rules of society to create their own realities. Because *THAT IS WHAT ARTISTS DO!*
pandora_parrot: (annoyed)
So... there's this thanksgiving thing going on tomorrow. I really like the harvest festival and everything that goes with it. Food. Family. Fun. LOTS OF FOOD. Did I mention food?

It's a tradition that has existed since the dawn of the agricultural age 10,000 years ago. The last of the year's food is all ready to go, so we all dig in for one last feast as a hurrah against the cold winter that's about to come and kill half the village. And then we'll hurrah again throughout the winter to grit our teeth against the cold and declare ourselves to be alive and victorious even in the midst of our struggle.

Okay. So that all makes sense to me. But the way we celebrate it in the US is just weird. We celebrate the near genocide of an entire race of people that were indigenous to this land with a brutal massacre of millions upon millions of birds.

I mean, when it comes to brutal and horrible treatment of animals, you can't do much worse than the horrific treatment that turkeys and chickens get. It's disgusting and horrible.

And we're doing this to celebrate an event which, from the perspective of the remaining native people, was the beginning of the end of their people and the coming onslaught of the whites come to claim this land and murder its inhabitants.

I suppose its fitting really. Celebrate genocide with a massacre. Hooray.

So lets give thanks for living in a modern society with a massive meat oligopoly that makes eating animal flesh incredibly cheap at the cost of incredible suffering on the part of the animal and reduced quality of the meat, reaping in the cash for the few bigwigs that run their massive mechanized animal "farms" while driving out independent and local farmers. Joy of joys.

Give thanks that our ancestors murdered millions of indigenous people in this country so that we could bring our religion, philosophy, values, and industrial technology here to consume the vast untapped resources of this country and give us all the beautiful and wonderful consumerist culture that we now live in. Hey! Don't forget to head out on Black Friday to celebrate how rich you are for living in this amazing country by spending your wealth on unnecessary crap to give to your loved ones. Happy Happy Holidays!!!!

I give thanks that I'm aware that my behaviors and activities contribute to the suffering and death of conscious, emotional, intelligent, complex living beings around the world, both human and otherwise. I give thanks that I'm doing things, here and there, to try to improve the situation. And I give thanks that others are listening and trying to do their own part to make this world a better place for us, especially in the whole making/eating of food department. It doesn't take much to try to make a difference, and you don't have to do it the way I do it. Hell, you can do a whole lot better than I if you put your mind to it. But do *something* okay? Don't accept this crappy world and everything it tries to sell you.
pandora_parrot: (annoyed)
I'm noticing something interesting in being a wow player.

People are prejudiced against Wow players.

It's amazing. If I tell people that I was up until 4AM last night playing Orbiter and landing a virtual spaceship on the moon after docking with Mir, they just roll their eyes at me for being so eccentric.

If I tell people that I spent 4 hours playing a game of Go with my girlfriend, people might be impressed at our focus on such a well respected game.

But if I tell people that I played Wow with my girlfriend last night, starting the game at midnight and playing until 4, people start to make worrying sounds and concern themselves about my personal state of mental health.

It's fascinating. I was actually having an IM conversation with someone and they were being a bit unresponsive in places. When they apologized for their lack of responsiveness, I said that I was playing Wow and didn't mind. They immediately got flummoxed and logged off IM.

I think this stems from the fact that so many people have lost their lives to the game. You've got this person that socializes and does stuff with their life. And then, all of the sudden, they're never around. They don't seem interested in their career or their lives. They don't seem to hang out with real people anymore. They're just hanging out with the virtual people in their little virtual world.

If you run in geek circles, I'm sure you've seen this kind of person. They can't make it to dinner with you because they've got to go "raiding." Or perhaps they come to visit, but have to leave early because their guild has a raid that night. Or whatever.

It's actually a serious condition and a serious issue. One that is right up there with addictions to gambling and stuff like that. There are groups for people trying to stay "sober" from things like Wow. Self-help meetings and all that jazz. It's no laughing matter.

So I get it. I get why people get a little freaked out every time the WOW thing comes up. I get why people overreact about things. But really people, it can get annoying. Sure, if my life was full of nothing but playing Wow for exorbitant amounts of time with people I've never met, I'd say your worry was founded in reality.

But for Pete's sake, in the last 7 days alone, I've written a talk on transgender people, gotten it reviewed, and edited it for content. I've added javadocs and proper documentation to my entire gjset software project, designed the multiplayer interaction for it, mocked up the basic UI, and researched Remote Method Invocation as a possible alternative to a text based protocol. I prepared for my upcoming D&D campaign by creating a wiki, researching material, and writing plots. I spent an entire night doing nothing but dying hair. I went hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains. I went to the city to get laser hair removal treatments. I socialized with friends by biking and skating around with them. I wrote an article on how to teach beginners to play Go. And I helped throw a 15 person party dedicated to Go. All while holding down a full-time job, maintaining a relationship with two girlfriends, and still having time to eat and sleep... Okay I skimped on eating and sleeping a bit. But the point is that the percentage of things in my life that are World of Warcraft is tiny.

So seriously people, back the fuck off and deal with whatever issues you seem to have with the game, okay? I appreciate the concern, but seriously get a reality check. I've done more shit in this week than most people do in a month.

If I've got issues with maintaining appointments or taking care of myself, it's because I've filled my life up with too much damned stuff, not because of a stupid game.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I appreciate that not everyone is a vegetarian and that there are many ways to accomplish the goal of reducing animal suffering. Although I disagree with them, I don't really get all that upset by people that simply philosophically disagree with the idea that animals deserve any form of ethical treatment. But the people I really can't stand are the people that claim to care about animals but don't raise a finger to change anything, ESPECIALLY those that excuse it by saying that they "really love the taste of meat too much to give it up."

You know what? I absolutely LOVE meat. I used to eat meat all the time. I couldn't have a good meal unless it was 70% meat. I ate massive steaks as raw as they could safely be made. I loved the taste of those bloody juices running down my face. I would help my dad make big giant burgers that we would stuff full of all sorts of seasonings and throw on the grill. Fresh salmon would make my eyes roll into the back of my head with how incredible it would taste. And there's really nothing so yummy as chicken and all the different ways you can cook it.

But I did it. I'm a vegetarian and have been since 2002! I've "cheated" a few times, but for the most part have been successful in avoiding the consumption of meat. The fact that I continue, to this day, to absolutely adore the taste of meat, is no obstacle for me. I refuse to eat it.

Using your "love of meat" as an excuse to do nothing is just sheer laziness, especially when you consider all the other ways that you can contribute to a healthier planet and reduced animal suffering! If you actually cared about this stuff, you could just eat less meat. Keep it as a once-a-week treat or something. Or perhaps you don't eat less, but make sure that all of your meat is purchased from local farmers that treat their animals more appropriately. Or you could try to avoid eating the most horribly abused animals and stick to animals that tend to be raised under more appropriate conditions. There's a whole lot you can do.

But don't tell me that you care about this stuff and then make excuses for not doing anything. That's a disgrace to yourself and a disgrace to people that philosophically disagree with the notion of "animal rights." Either deny that you care or start doing something. Stop trying to have it both ways.
pandora_parrot: (activism)
Rant time!

LJ-cut to spare the weak. :P )That's the end of the rant on that one. I may send this person an email summary of some of this.
pandora_parrot: (games)
I've always been a Nintendo fan-girl. Since the days of the NES, I've been hooked. Hell, I even loved the Virtual Boy, and I almost bought one at release. But when Nintendo made the foolish decision with the N64 to go with cartridge based games, I was dissapointed. Oh yes, the N64 had some fun games, but they lost content-filled games like the FF series, Mega Man X series, etc. Basically, games that I really enjoyed on the NES and SNES. So I went over to Playstation, and I kept with it until the PS2. I really loved both Sony's and Nintendo's consoles though. The Gamecube was overly-normal to fit back in with the rest of the crowd, but it was still a great console with loads of awesome games on it. I'm playing Resident Evil 4 on it right now. (Thanks [livejournal.com profile] eyesloveyou! It's SOOOOO fun!) And of course, I wouldn't touch an Xbox with a 10 foot long magnetically shielded pole. Oooh! I'm missing out on Halo! *twirls fingers in air*

So anyways, I've been noticing some of the information about the next generation of console wars. Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 seem to be just PCs with really nice interfaces and simple controllers. What's the point of that? Maybe it's just me, but enhancing graphics just doesn't cut it for me anymore. There was a substantial leap from the N64/PS1 era to the GC/PS2/Xbox era of graphics, but I don't really see a big difference between those graphics and the graphics on, say, the Xbox 360. And now with Sony announcing that they'll be using the PS2 controller design, I'm just that much more dissapointed. It seems as though the gaming industry, for Sony and Microsoft, has become static. Their job: Produce the same titles they made last year, enhance graphics, and upgrade the customer's hardware every few years. Goodbye innovation.

Nostalgic rant )

Sorry, got off on a rant there. The point that I was trying to get to is that Nintendo is, in my opinion, poised to be the ONLY innovative developer for the next generation of console systems. The Wii is going to be unique. It's controller alone guarantees that, forcing developers to consider new concepts for games. Like the DS, it's not intended to be a gimmick. It's intended to change the way people play games and recapture that feeling of newness and originality that people like me used to feel when we discovered Warcraft for the first time. When Microsoft and Sony have elected to produce upgraded versions of this generation's compute- I mean console systems, Nintendo is choosing to keep the same capabilities in terms of content production, but are pushing it in a new direction. I feel like a kid again, looking at the system and thinking about what it is capable of, dreaming of the new possibilities... Of course, the developers COULD just wind up doing another gimmick thing with it and reproduce old games with the new controller... but I hope not. *crosses fingers and toes* Gods, I hope not.





In unrelated news, I haven't been able to find an actual news site with info on this, but this is simply a travesty. How the hell do you fuck Scooby-Doo up so much? Why.... WHY must these company execs continue to rape my childhood? *sigh* *Shakes angry finger at George Lucas* You started this, you evil bastard you.

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Pandora Parrot

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