Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On Guys Being "In Trouble" and Being Servants: Observations at Birthday Party

*This was written a few weeks ago*

So this weekend I attended a birthday party. There were several couples there and I noticed a disturbing trend. You know the classic relationship dynamic (especially these days) where they are out in public and somehow, the guy always ends up "in trouble?" He usually says something she doesn't like (often a joke) and he gets "the look?" Then they have that awkward whispered conversation, or that even worse nonverbal one, either way it's in public so they're trying to do it discreetly but holding back so they aren't really saying anything?

Well, there was a lot of that going on at this party. The guy would get "in trouble" (usually the "look") and then awkwardly try to explain himself to her but without fully having the actual conversation because there were people around. Then, if they think there's no one looking, the guys will often kiss her and talk to her with that annoying babying voice, trying to soothe her and get back in her good graces.

Every single time there was an issue, it was the girl getting annoyed at the guy, and almost always over a joke or just something he said. Well, the thing I really noticed more so now than ever before was the fact that these guys will often look at the woman after making a joke to make sure that he's not getting "the look."

It's almost like they are kids dealing with a humourless mommy.

The other thing I noticed was that whenever something needed to be grabbed from the car, another room, or even 5 feet away, it seems to always be the guy that has to do it. The most painful one was my cousin forgetting her camera in the car and instead of going to get it she said to her fiance (oh, the camera is still in the car." His response? "Well you know where the car is." Right on brother......oh wait, except for the fact that he said it in a voice that betrayed the fact that not only was he joking, but he was doing it overtly so, in an effort to let her know that he didn't really mean it. What was her reaction? A dirty look, followed by him saying "of course I'll go get it".....which he did, right away.

Bunch of pandering, snivelling, grovelling little manslaves. Do they have no self respect?

Friday, April 25, 2014

On "Manning Up"

NOTE: This post has now been published (in a more fleshed out format of course) on the website A Voice For Men. The link is HERE is you wish to read it in its updated format.

-Social anxiety?
-Self confidence issues?
-Struggling with something?

"Just get out there and do it."
"Get over it"
"Just be you and start feeling confident."
"Suck it up."
"Deal with it."
"You're x age and still doing this/feeling this way? Come on/it's time to grow up."

Basically, "man up." 

I was just reading a forum post about anxiety written by someone with really bad social anxiety and of course the replies were full of those quotes above and others like them. Any time anyone ever says something to that effect (which includes me at some points in my life, either to others or to myself) I think to myself "okay, can you do the opposite?" When you say "man up" to someone, what you are basically saying is "be not like you."

Well, I have a question for you. Can you "man down?" If you are confident can you be anxious and insecure instead?


So what makes you think someone else can "man up?" If you are who you are why aren't they afforded the same sort of leeway?

Now, I'm not at all saying that people can't get past things, but sometimes I think people (myself included at times) downplay how strongly other people are who they are in the exact same way they are who they are, but just in the opposite direction. Next time someone acts like "manning up" is the easiest thing in the world to do, ask them if they could just as easily "man down." When they invariably say no, ask what the difference is. I've done this before and people usually get totally stumped because they've never thought of it like that before.

The thing is, the part that everyone always misses with this stuff is that most of the time, the anxiety, lack of confidence, whatever, comes from past experience and past experience is instrumental in making us who we are. If you have good experiences with people, you'll be fine looking them in the eye/feeling adequate socially. If, however, you have had bad experiences with people that made you doubt your self worth, you won't. It's not as easy as "being confident" or "finding your balls." You being uncomfortable around them is as much a result of your genetics, psychology and experience as them being comfortable in those situations is a manifestation of their genetics, psychology and experience.

That being said, this isn't necessarily it forever. A series of positive experiences and some practise can change this for the person affected negatively by their past. I know about this from experience and man; it isn't easy to change but it can be done.

Just not by being told to "man up."

P.S. In some instances, people really DO need to 'man up.' I'm just arguing against it being used in situations in which it's really not at all applicable, helpful and most importantly, fair.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meet BoxMan, a new villain from the upcoming The Evil Within

Monday, April 14, 2014

Syko Shadow's List of People to KILL

Just like magx's list before mine, this is a collection of names of people who I think are ruining this world by their mere presence. These people are the worst of the worst in their respective fields, and the world would be better if Marty McFly went back in time and accidentally prevented their birth, or some shit. Unlike magx, however, I will give a short quip with each name, making it perfectly clear WHY I hate these people, because I'm not lazy like him... well, not AS lazy... well, fuck you anyway. Let's begin!

-Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the directors of Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Vampires Suck. These people are actually worse than Michael Bay, Uwe Boll, Ed Wood, and whatever fucking tool directed the Twlight movies COMBINED. Their movies are like the flaky sticky scum buildup under the scrotum of a Mississippi redneck who hasn't bathed in two years. You can't even say they make bad movies. They don't make movies, they make cinematic dogshit. Two retched, painful hours of brainless slapstick which usually degrades to mindlessly beating someone up in the most absurdly retarded way possible, pop culture references (which mostly consist of a poor impersonation/caricature of a celebrity that's on the top Yahoo! searches list at the time), and occasionally an actual attempt at a joke with a punchline that always ends up to be so unfunny it actually makes me physically cringe when I hear it. From the bottom of my heart, go fuck yourselves.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Deconstructing the FPS AKA Boring Horizontal Whack a Mole

It is my contention that fps games are, at their core, both boring and mind numbingly simplistic. While there are a variety of skills at play during, for example, an online game of Call of Duty (was I going to use any other game/series for my example?) the one that comprises more than 50% of the player's actions is the act of aiming. Trying to line up either your reticule or your iron sights with the current (or future, in the case of those longer distance shots that require you to lead the target) location of your intended target is, as anyone who has experience with the genre will tell you, a large portion of the player's actions during any given game. Would it be unreasonable for me to state that this large portion is somewhere over 50% of the players actions during gameplay?

No, I say? Okay then, I answered my own question and I have to say I agree with myself (aren't one way conversations great for being right?). It's not an exaggeration to say that more than half of the actions you take while playing your typical online fps consist of aiming your weapon at various targets. Well, what does aiming at a target entail and why am I harping on this? Let's deconstruct: If you strip away the visual and auditory feedback mechanisms in place what do you get at its core? Fundamentally, you have periods of navigating through an enclosed environment punctuated with bursts of moving a cursor around the screen and trying to time the pull of a trigger with the placement of the cursor over the avatar of the intended target.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"I'm Already Bored With My Marriage" Marriage Advice From Logan at Cosmopolitan Magazine (And Then The Truth, From Me)

Ask Logan, taken from COSMO

I’ve been married for a year, but with my husband for almost five years all together. Within the past seven months, I have felt like we are drifting apart. When we’re together, we have nothing to talk about or everything he says annoys me. We are often in the same room together playing on our phones because there’s nothing to talk about. I was recently contacted by an old fling, someone I had a huge crush on for about five years and was good friends with. We only slept together twice but never actually dated. While talking to this guy, I felt giddy and all my previous feelings resurfaced. It felt as though I had never met my husband. I am conflicted and don’t know what I should do. I love my husband dearly, but I honestly feel bored with our relationship.
Their response:

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. There’s often a lull, right after the excitement of the engagement and the thrill of the wedding, when the honeymoon period peters out and two new spouses suddenly realize that they’re not newlyweds anymore: They’re just another married couple, sitting in another living room, playing Candy Crush on separate phones. And since you were together for four years before the wedding, I’m sure you have those days when you think that the wedding didn’t change much: that you are, in some sense, right back where you started.
You sound so disconnected — and you mention twice that you’re unable to even talk to each other. So, of course, this old flame rekindled some old passion. There’s nothing wrong with a little flirting: Everyone flirts a little. It feels good to be desired. But you have to know your limits (and your partner’s limits), and right now, you seem dangerously confused. It’s one thing to flirt harmlessly when you know it’s not going anywhere, but you’re playing with fire when you’re unhappy in your marriage and don’t know what you want. It’s probably not worth the risk. So think this through.
You say you love him dearly, so if you do, do not strike up some ill-conceived affair. It’s only been a year since you took your vows, so it’s too early to get complacent, and it’s too early to become fatalistically convinced that nothing is ever going to change. You’ve got to focus on your marriage and not distract yourself. So, before you do anything else, tell your husband how you’re feeling: Don’t let quiet resentment gnaw away at your relationship from the inside. Start a discussion about how the reality of your marriage is different from your expectations. And try to get a handle on what’s going on in his head too. He doesn’t sound that happy, either.
Then maybe do something pro-active. This might sound cheesy, but maybe you should break up the monotony with a vacation. Get out of that house where you’re always on your phones. Take a break, even if it’s just for a weekend. Try to talk and have fun and reconnect.
And try to stop thinking about this former crush. Since you are distraught, I’d recommend that you cut him out of your life until you know what you want. Think about it: There are probably reasons you only slept with this old flame and never dated him. And there are certainly many more reasons you loved your husband so much that you put a ring on his finger.
Now reality, courtesy of me:

Dear everyone who writes a litter like this:
The truth is, monogamy is not our biological norm and as such marriage is contrary to our nature. This sort of stuff will ALWAYS happen because the situation you're in is stupid to begin with and if we had been taught reality from the start no one would be in this mess.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ninja Gaiden (Xbox, 2004) Was Ahead Of Its Time

Note: I use 'hack n slash' to describe the genre of games to which titles such as Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry and Bayonetta belong. I recognize that to many, the term hack n slash calls to mind games like Diablo and Champions of Norrath while games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden would be considered third person action games. Just remember that when I say hack n slash I mean Ninja Gaiden, not Diablo.

'Ahead of its time' is a phrase with which I am intimately familiar, having said it myself many times in my life (usually in reference to a video game or a technical death metal album I am raving about at any given time). It is also a phrase with which I take issue, as the concept of something being ahead of its time implies that it is possible for something to exist before it should exist, which seems patently absurd, especially when stated so clearly. If something comes to exist at a moment in time, what other time could there be, aside from the one in question, at which the thing in question should exist and who determines that? Clearly the idea of something being ahead of its time is a romanticized and hyperbolic one. That being said, I am prone to hyperbole and romanticism and so I am going to make the claim that Ninja Gaiden (Xbox, 2004) was ahead of its time. If it is at all possible for something to be so, Ninja Gaiden is it.

At the time of the game's release, the hack n slash genre was well established, but certainly not to the degree to which it is today. Nor was it nearly as popular as it is now. God of War had not yet released. Devil May Cry 3, arguably the best in the series and the title that really elevated both the Devil May Cry series and the hack n slash genre as a whole in terms of mainstream popularity (as well as acting as redemption after the dud that was Devil May Cry 2) had also not yet been released. The first title in the series was, at the time, widely considered to be the best of the genre, and probably rightfully so. At the time, Capcom really innovated and elevated the genre with the release of the original Devil May Cry.

And then in 2004, a reboot of the classic 8 bit Ninja Gaiden series developed by Team Ninja, the development studio behind the Dead or Alive fighting game franchise, was released and the genre was elevated to dizzying new heights (see, there's that aforementioned tendency to hyperbole).

The first thing that really stood out upon first playing the game was how smooth, fluid and fast everything was. The game ran at a blistering 60 fps, which, if I am not mistaken, was a first for the genre, at least on consoles. It felt incredibly smooth, fast and responsive, and this was felt immediately after beginning to play. The controls were tight and the main character, Ryu Hayabusa, was incredibly agile. The options in terms of mobility were staggering. You could run up and along walls, hop back and forth between them to get to high places in seconds (known within the series as "bird flipping") jump on enemy heads and then launch yourself off of them, either once or multiple times in succession, allowing for the possibility of getting past a group of enemies by simply traversing over them as though they were a part of the flooring. Ryu could also roll dodge and perform a move known as the "Flying Swallow" which is a mid air flying sword thrust which covers great distances instantaneously and can decapitate multiple enemies in a single motion.

Hmmmm....three guys all shooting at me, what do I- oh, that takes care of that then!
Totally unrelated to the feel of the game, but equally noticeable upon first playing it was the fact that the game was absolutely stunning. Upon release it was one of the best looking Xbox games. Arguably even the best, period. This makes the fact that it ran at 60 fps all the more impressive since developers typically have to sacrifice either visual fidelity or the framerate when developing console games. The best looking games, especially during the sixth video game generation, were typically 30 fps. The few games that did run at a higher framerate were not typically the most technically impressive games from a visual standpoint. Ninja Gaiden was a top tier game in terms of visuals and it also somehow ran at 60 fps. The game was an absolute technical marvel and it was a dream to play while being a beauty to behold.