The Cleansening

« November 2010 »

Memo to Microsoft, Samuel Gonzalez, and Bill Maher: YOU ARE DUMB.

Today, I completed my bi-annual ritual - the purging of the election news from the research pile. All that remains from Tuesday's clusterfuck is one story about Carl Paladino's concession speech, which is too much fun to ignore. But the rest is all gone. Think of it as an amnesty program for our new teabagger moron overlords. The slate is wiped clean. Any stupid shit you said during the campaign that you got away with, unmocked, you can put behind you. A fresh start. I'm sure you'll provide plenty of future material.

SO what's left? Oh, a scattering of current events and minor "no time for this" items perfect for a palate-and-RSS-cleansing SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

Yesterday, Microsoft released its entry into the great Motion Control Wars, the Kinect. For those of you that don't follow gaming as avidly as I do, what this boils down to is that you can now decide whether you want to play your games by waving around a stick, waving around a stick with a ball on the end, or waving around a pretend stick. And all of it in the service of playing bowling, archery, and ping pong some more.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for innovation and possibility in video games. But just as an example, one of the Kinect launch titles is a cartoony racing game you steer by pretending to hold a steering wheel in your hand. What the fuck is wrong with holding a steering wheel in your hand? What am I being freed from? Tactile feedback? A plastic spacer ensuring my hands stay at 10 and 2, rather than 7 and glove compartment? Call me when Child of Eden* is out and you've had at least one price drop.

On behalf of You Are Dumb Dot Net, I'd like to congratulate the San Francisco Giants on their 2010 World Series victory. Now, I know I've said some mean things about baseball in the past, but only because it's a boring exercise in jingoistic nostalgia-humping that can apparently only be played in billion dollar catered open-air boxes that I have to pay for. And I didn't give a shit about this year's world series either, until I was directed to a post on a blog called The Last Tradition, by one Samuel Gonzalez. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It’s a competition between those who like to take up the saddle and ride a horse on the open range against those who like to take it up the ass and yell, 'We here, we’re queer and so are some of you!'... It’s Nancy Pelosi’s homo-freaks and every other kind of degenerate wacko under the sun on two legs who likes to smoke weed at their local state-sanction pot-centers against Rick Perry’s baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, God fearing, America lovin’ patriots who only want America to be America again."

So, yeah. On behalf of You Are Dumb Dot Net, long friendly to homo-freaks, degenerate wackos, and weed-smokers, thanks for making Sam Gonzalez look like not just a redneck shitkicker, but a redneck shitkicker who misses the shit, hits a brick wall, and breaks his foot. Baseball CAN be useful!

And finally, since he asked so nicely, I'm going to answer Bill Maher's question.

"I have another question, the most popular name in the United Kingdom, Great Britain, this was in the news this week, was Mohammed. Am I a racist to feel that I’m alarmed by that? Because I am. And it’s not because of the race, it’s ’cause of the religion. I don’t have to apologize, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?" - Maher, Real Time, one week ago.

First question "yes", second question "no". Allow me to elaborate.

It's not racist to not want Islam to take over the Western world right now. Nobody sane wants that. It's bigoted to assume that 300 years from now Islam's not going to be as different from its present form than, say, modern Christianity differs from the version circa 1700. Probably more different. Thinking they have a chance of taking over now is, of course, xenophobic and stupid.

Saying that believing in one religion (especially a global one with a billion adherents and hundreds of variants) is implicitly indicative of a desire to take over the Western world is xenophobic, bigoted, stupid, and wrong, but again, not technically racist, because as you point out, you're focusing on the religion. But when you admit that the trigger for your panic attack is how a bunch of British women named their kids? Yeah, that's a little bit racist. It assumes that Those People will grow up a certain way - a certain THREATENING way - based solely upon the circumstances of their birth.

And that, in my book, is at least a little bit racist. Sorry.

* Honestly, don't even bother looking it up. It's a nerd thing. Just infer the meaning from the sentence.