Thursday, April 29, 2010

Human Stupidity vs Human Nature. No contest.

It's 2010, people. Ignorance is no longer an excuse for being a moron. And being a moron today and getting killed because of it, should be justified as natural selection. After all, that's all it is.

People are getting killed and injured by animals for stupid reasons lately. While either displaying or killing animals for fun and sport, or just being completely, stupendously moronic.

Earlier this week a matador got gored in the groin by a bull, and subsequently shipped off to the hospital in a coma. Then along comes the story of how a woman dies after a killer whale pulls her under and drowns her. Which only reminds me of that guy in the Beijing Zoo who wanted to hug the panda, which again reminds me of the guy with the lions in the Kiev Zoo...

Now, don't get me wrong, I have sympathy for people who suffer tragedy.

I just have none for people who suffer tragedy through acts of idiocy. And to explain what I mean, well... bullfighting is just pure stupid to begin with. You have no defense that will justify the torture and killing of animals for entertainment.

Second, the killer whale is first and foremost a KILLER WHALE! They're not friendly, cuddly things to train and keep penned up, they're one of natures predators! Secondly, this killer whale in particular has killed before! This is the 3rd death attributed to this whale. If you swim with a two-ton serial killer whale with big teeth and a penchant for drowning people, be aware of the possible consequences.

Third, a guy in Beijing thought drinking beers and jumping in the panda pen was a good idea. A panda bear might look cute, but it's still a BEAR! It's a big, hairy claw-wielding tooth-laden killing machine. It's a dangerous animal. Still, this guy thought giving a panda a hug was the natural thing to do. He got mauled up pretty bad. He even tried to bite back. I might excuse him for being drunk at the time, but his response when asked what inspired him to risk his life was "Nobody told me they bite people." It's... a... bear!

Fourth and last example of human stupidity vs animals, a guy in Kiev who brought a rope to the zoo and proceeded to rappell down into the lions den. Bystanders witnessed later on that he did so to TEST GOD. He apparently believed that God would prevent the lions from harming him, and wished to prove that God existed. I suppose the lions broke his spirit at roughly the same time they broke his neck - lions work fast. God has not commented on the matter, so we can't know if God supports the lions getting a free meal or if God doesn't want to protect morons. Or even if God exists, but that's an entirely different discussion that will probably never be fully answered to anyone's satisfaction.

How can I call this devout man a moron? Because, even for all his devotion to his Lord, it's stated in the bible that you shall not test God. That's Luke, 4:12 if you're curious.

We live in 2010. Ignorance is still no longer an excuse for being a moron. We humans, as a species, should be able to avoid deaths and dismemberment and severe beatings and all manner of injuries based on encounters with animals.

I mean, seriously! When people visiting a national park have to be told NOT to smear honey over their kid's face so they can take pictures of the bears licking it off, maybe it's time to let natural selection take it's course after all.

We're in this together as a species, people. Mother nature doesn't work like Disney tells you. So wake up from the American Dream. Smell that luke-warm coffee. It's not to late to salvage the human race.

All I need you to do... is wake up! And at least have a whiff of java.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

There's Even A Saying For These Situations

I remember a few years ago when the spanish complained about norwegians hunting whales, because it was animal cruelty! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I just read the papers are calling matador Jose Tomas' incident with the bull an "Accident". Well, I guess they can't just go ahead and call it "Payback", either. I mean, seriously. What did they expect to get, when you mess with the bull? You call it "Horn", I'll call it "Poetic Justice".

While I do have sympathy for the people who care about the matador, I have absolutely none for the man himself. What he did was perpetrate a stupid, useless act of cruelty to an animal for sport, and he paid the price. That is all there is to it.

I do not condone any form of cruelty, towards animals or mankind.

I am not a vegetarian. I eat meat.

But I sure as hell don't play with my food.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Job application / Vegetable status

I am hereby making myself available for the position of Lottery Winnings Millionaire. If only so I can avoid being laughably tired due to working silly shifts.

Need sleep now. Brain is hurty and some joker has hung anvils from my eyelids. I am pumping those eyelid muscles. I can wink the shit out of all of you.

Gone to collapse in bed. Entirely for your safety. For I am kind.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Games and audio

Yeah, I picked up a copy of Just Cause 2 as well. Everybody and their mums and their dogs seems to be heaping praise upon this game. I can see the why's of that; It's got some pretty damned decent gameplay mechanics. It's fun. By going all-out gamecriticky I'd compare it to both GTA and Batman: Arkham Asylum, actually.

However. (And this is one of those howevers that should be in italics, I tell you!)

Every time a cutscene appears I seem to be dropping the controller in favour of covering my ears. The voice acting is all around poor, but whoever did the work for the character Bolo Santosi should be banned from ever working the profession again. Every single line of dialogue delivered had the exact same tone. Words were mangled and mispronounced. I could feel my brain wanting to escape. Literally. It was banging on my palms as I was covering my sensitive and pampered ears, suitcase in hand.

It probably couldn't take the logical flaw of how you can make such a fun game and ruin it with horrible voice actors all around. I mean, somewhere in the system of voice work, the director, the sound checker, the guy who sets up the electronic equipment, whatever! Someone had to hear how bad that was. But apparently, even the people who own the company must've said "Alright, good stuff, good stuff! We're ready for international sales now!"

More likely they didn't even listen to it. I hope that's the case, anyway.

It wasn't always like this. The audio used to be a selling points for games, way back in the day. Let's take a trip back to the late 1980's. Back to the days when the Nintendo Entertainment System and it's 8 bits ruled the land.

If I mention games like Super Mario. Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Megaman, what springs to mind first? The gameplay? The graphics? Or the music?

The answer's probably pretty individual for everybody. For me, though? The music. The NES had some magic going on. I can list games from the 80's and 90's which, if you played them, you will instantly remember the music to.

"Hang on!" I can hear you saying. "What does music have to do with voice casting?"

Shut up! I'm getting to it. Allow me to make the point I want to make the way I want to make it.

So yeah, the 90's rolled in. We have Sonic the Hedgehog finally achieving fame on the Megadrive and giving Mario a run for his money for a few years, and adventure games have their heyday.

Speaking of adventure games, this is the genre which first incorporates voice acting in games. And when I say voice acting, I mean voice acting. This actually happened as far back as 1989, with the release of Access Software's first game in a brilliant series called Mean Streets. It was one of the first games ever to make use of RealSound, and you could hear actual voices through your PC speaker! Magic!

Anyway, onwards with the 90's. Adventure games had a dip into Full Motion Video and actual acting, which saw games like Ripper, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within, the Phantasmagoria series and of course the already mentioned Tex Murphy games. Most notably Under a Killing Moon, which featured James Earl Jones' voice as the Great P.I. In The Sky.

"Using famous actors for parts will of course make the game sound better!" I hear some of you monkeys screaming in the back. There's a fallacy in that statement. They didn't include Jones because he was famous; They included him because HE'S TALENTED.

Which should be a clue for the rest of the industry.

The practice of using well-known actors in games culminated in 2002 with the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This game might be called the True Romance of games for all it's big name celebrities, except that when True Romance was filmed, many of the actors were yet to be famous.

The point I'm making here is that for years, it was a selling point to have either big names and/or talented voices fill up your games.

It's 2010, dammit! So why do I have to listen to the voice of some singlish (singaporean-english to you lot in the back) person who makes my ears want to bleed and my cranial cavity collapse on my brain in an act of mercy? We should be beyond this now!


PS. As a side-note, my favorite voice actor is Charlie Adler. Most known for his roles as Harold the ghoul in Fallout 1 and 2, Coach Oleander in Psychonauts and Ignus in Planescape: Torment.
He has a massive amount of tv-series work to his credit, including The Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog (as Snively, the assistant of Dr. Robotnik), and Tiny Toon Adventures, to mention a few. And he also provided the voice work for Starscream in Michael Bay's Transformers movies.

Picking up the pace.

I guess I'd better make good on my threat then. Yawn. I hate nightshift week. Makes me feel like a wet sock that's been flung at a wall and fell behind the sofa and got found by the dog. Or something.

Not good at any rate.