Sunday, February 28, 2010

A follow up

Spotted this gem from the wonderful minds at Penny Arcade today. It's entitled Contrition. Click on it to enlarge the picture. (Obviously all credit goes to Penny Arcade)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why Mo is the biggest nerd on the planet*

See previous post

*Size of nerdness dramatized for comic effect

Why Warhammer 40,000 Space Marines are so much cooler than StarCraft Space Marines

First off let me say that none of the statements made about StarCraft Space Marines are intended to in any way, shape, or form, take away from my love for the best RTS game.. neigh.. THE BEST PC GAME EVER MADE. As a testament to how awesome StarCraft is, in a world of 1080p and Blu-Ray, I would still rather play StarCraft in 640x480 than any version of Halo, Gears of War, Modern Warfare, or other generic clone shooter with a number at the end. Also, let me assert that the StarCraft Space Marine is precisely 12938.53x better than a regular marine to begin with. Quick analysis: regular marine wears a suit named a synonym of the word "tired," carries a mediocre at best rifle, and typically fights Arabs, Russians, and Africans (in the past they have fought more epic battles but in recent times war has become a big no-no so we fight on a small scale). The Space Marine wears a giant suit which is twice his size and is welded down around him because the likelihood of him dying is so high that he'll never really need to take it off, carries a giant gauss rifle the entire length of his body, and fights 3meter tall (yes, meters) psychic ninjas with lightsabers attached to each arm and who can become invisible, and 5 meter tall aliens who shoot acid spikes. Done.

So really to discuss which type of marine is cooler (earth, or space) is like trying to decide who the best half-pipe snowboarder is. The answer is really clear and usually about 6 feet higher than the competition. To discuss whether Warhammer marines are better than StarCraft marines is like trying to decide whether USA or Canada will win gold at Olympic hockey... these are obviously the top two kinds of Space Marine and none of the other contestants remotely matter. So... that said, and with incredible amounts of respect for both sides, let's begin.


StarCraft takes place in the future, somewhere between the not-so-distant future and the distant future. The Terran marines are descendants of convicts who were shipped away from earth to create a better society. So naturally, they're Australian. Constant fighting in the Korpulu sector has killed off many of them and the ones that remain have been naturally selected in a way. So I'm going to say the Starcraft space marines are pretty much the buffest average humans around.

Warhammer 40,000 takes place 40,000 years from now 38,000 years from now you idiot. The Space Marines have been established to guard The Emperium of Man and defend the Emperor of Mankind. For tens of thousands of years they have been fighting the enemies of man. The Space Marines are selected for their superhuman strength, size, and ferocity. Natural selection as well as human selection result in the finest warriors that The Emperium has to offer. Also, they are 10 feet tall.

Warhammer marines 1, StarCraft marines 0


The StarCraft marine carries a giant standard issue gauss rifle the size of his entire body. Some also have flamethrowers. Badass.

The Warhammer marine, on the other hand, carries a giant PLASMA Pistol the size of half his body... in ONE hand, and a fucking chainsaw sword in the other hand. Also used by the Warhammer space marines commanders are giant two-handed electric hammers that would make Thor's Mjollnir look like a gavel.

Warhammer marines 2, StarCraft marines 0


Terran space marines are pretty badass. That particular one smoking the cigar while he shoots up some Zerg is like the Clint Eastwood of space.

However I'm going to point out that some of the Warhammer space marines carry jetpacks. We all know jetpacks are awesome, and I would be willing to draw the line there. However... these jetpacks are used for transportation only as a secondary feature - their main purpose is to fly into the air and CRUSH THE ENEMIES OF MANKIND BY FALLING ON THEM FROM THE SKY. Also, as an additional example of their badassness, the Warhammer space marines say things like this:

"A good soldier obeys without question. A good officer commands without doubt."

"For those who seek perfection there can be no rest on this side of the grave."

"Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life."

Warhammer Marines 3, StarCraft marines 0


The Warhammer Space Marines are clearly superior here, and it shows. Think of combat effectiveness. At 50 minerals, it's fair to say that the Terran space marine is a total ripoff. 50 minerals buys you 2 zerglins, which own a marine. Also 50 minerals buys you a used Zealot on eBay who will also own a marine. Even when you scale up - 3 marines at 150 minerals will struggle to take out 6 zerglings, and will not stand a chance against a single photon cannon. A single Warhammer Space Marine commander easily takes on dozens of orcs, Eldar, Tyranids - and you get him for free at the beginning of every round.

Being the big StarCraft fanboy that I am though, I can't let my boys lose in a total wipeout. So I offer this final competition category:

Field Medics:

The Warhammer Space Marine Apothecary can not only heal entire squads of Space Marines with a click of a button, but he can also make himself somewhat useful on the battlefield by actually carrying a gun. He's a robot, and as such has an entire library of medical knowledge stored in his brain. Pretty cool.

StarCraft medics however, are hot chicks dressed in the space marine suit equivalent of nurse's outfits and who playfully say things like "where does it hurt?" If that weren't enough, they can not only heal any of your units, but also any of your ally's units, meaning they have expertise not only in Terran medicine, but in Protoss and Zerg medicine as well! And if that weren't enough, they are all Trekkies at heart, because click on one enough times and they will say "He's dead, Jim." I'll take a hot nerdy nurse over a robot anyday.

Warhammer Marines 3, StarCraft marines 1... and it's a good thing I end there because the next category would have been:

Susceptibility to Zergling Rushes:

 ...Mo out

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On metal drumming, why the Rev was so good, and mucho respect for Mike Portnoy

I never got around to writing about The Rev, Avenged Sevenfold's late drummer, so I'll do that now. First off, RIP Jimmy "The Rev," and  to his family/friends, you have my deepest sympathy. He was a great drummer/dude and he will be missed.

Learning of The Rev's death made me rethink why I was such a big fan of his work. This is my best attempt to phrase it and share it with you:

I listen to a lot of metal. Probably more than you or anyone you know. And metal drumming is boring. It just is! This fact was confirmed when my friend Alex (who plays the drums) and I were jamming and constantly found ourselves playing improvised funk music instead of the songs I had written. He told me - its not that he dislikes metal, it's just that metal drumming is not fun to play or interesting to listen to. My response to this was "then don't play metal drums... knock yourself out... go wild." And he did... and it was awesome. We played the same songs but instead of being in "metal" drumming mode he just did whatever he wanted.

I say this because most metal drummers nowadays seem to have this rule book stuck in their heads:

Ye Olde Metal Drumming Rules

1) Your hi-hat is required to be locked half way between open and closed. You are never allowed to use the hi-hat pedal.
2) You must have at least enough toms that you have to stand up to reach some of them.
3) For fills, hit every tom you have from the smallest to the largest in that order as quickly as you can. The more times you can do this during a fill, the more awesome it is.
4) Your bass drum(s) (let's be serious, bass drums) must make that plastic clicky sound when you hit them so that we can notice just how fast you're playing them.
5) The minimum double bass requirement is 75%, any less and you fall back down into the "rock" category.

Any really really good drummer can follow these rules and play "excellently." But double bass drums at 200bpm with snare on 3/4 for 7 minutes is punishment, not music. What made the Rev so good is that on top of all of his skill, he had a complete disregard for what he was supposed to do as metal drummer.

Listen to "Scream" by Avenged Sevenfold. The opening/verse guitar riff isn't incredibly original - you immediately begin to realize the impact that interesting drum work makes. Notice how he lays off the drums a bit during the "You know I make you wanna scream" pre-chorus. Good drumming is as much about what you play as it is about when you play it. Finding an appropriate drum beat for every section of the song is key. The chorus is great. It's pretty standard bass + snare until you realize that during the "Scream till there's silence.." part he's playing both the ride AND the hi-hat. How does he do this? Hi-hat foot pedal! Rule number 1 broken. Also on the transition from pre-chorus to chorus he plays a fill not on the toms but on the snare and RIDE cymbal. Woah.... rule 3 broken.

If you listen to "Almost Easy" (which The Rev actually wrote himself) he plays a pretty ridiculous drum fill during the main riff involving not 1, but 2 ride cymbals and NO toms (pay attention to the video and you can see it). Also, notice the bell on the verse - not very common but in this case it works very well.

My final example of how awesome The Rev was, and why more drummers should aspire to be like him is at approximately 1:34 of "Critical Acclaim." Listen to the way he uses every part of his drum kit in a very controlled and gradual manner, from the slow/steady drum roll to the double bass drums. Not that impressive, you might think. And while I'm sure a few people could play that, here's the catch: he's the one singing that part! See, what made The Rev so good is that he was a musician first and a drummer second. Most drummers out there just want to bang the shit out of their kit without any regard to song structure, organization, or appropriateness. He treated the drums like any other instrument, for which you carefully compose parts and make them fit with all the other instruments.

Also, Mike Portnoy is an awesome dude. Best known for his work with Dream Theatre, Mike is one of the best drummers on the planet, and was The Rev's all time favorite drummer. When The Rev passed, the members of A7X reached out to Mike to record the drum parts that The Rev had written for their new album. Here's a quote directly from MP:

"Even under normal circumstances, I would've been happy to help the guys out in any way I could as I think Avenged Sevenfold are a great band...but under these incredibly sad and tragic circumstances, I must say I am truly honored to have been asked to play with them" "...I am treating my participation on this album with the utmost respect for Jimmy's memory and am remaining as true as possible to the drum parts that he wrote for the songs and the record he wanted to make. I want their fans to realize that I'm not trying to step into or fill The Rev's shoes...I'm just merely lacing em up for him! -MP"

Not only that, but he's gotten an A7X deathbat tattoo in solidarity with the other band members. That's effing hardcore. Chapeau, Mike Portnoy.

However, my one criticism of Mike: his drum kit is a BLATANT example of rule 2...

Monday, February 22, 2010

They might have things a little bit backwards...

Recently I've felt a little bit like a Marie Antoinette to Obama's French revolutionaries, or the Czar Nicholas to his Lenin. Being a former Wall Street-er and a current banker means that I've had to put up with a lot of crap from his administration about how greedy I am and how I've ruined the economy through my greed. Unfortunately for Mr. President (and consequently most of the American people) I don't think he understands quite how things work. In fact I'm going to say it plainly: I honestly don't think he has any clue what caused the economic mess we're in. He might have smart advisors, but for all their years of experience I'm not sure one of them has actually taken the time to explain to him how things work.

I'm going to discuss one thing for now- the president's claim that taxpayers are forced to bear the burden when banks take risks with FDIC insured deposits. In the government's made up world, all banks take deposits from consumers, and use them to invest directly in hedge funds and other risky things. When they do well, all the bankers receive huge bonuses. When the lose money the FDIC, is forced to bail them out and pay the public back for their deposits. The FDIC is funded by taxpayer money, so this is unfair to the people.

This is blatantly false.

If every driver with Allstate insurance crashed tomorrow, the company would go out of business. Why? because they wouldn't have enough money to pay for all the claims at once. This is essentially what is happening to the FDIC as more and more banks are failing. Why? Because they are an insurance company. That's it. The FDIC is 100%... I repeat... 100% bank funded. Just like any other insurance company, the FDIC collects premiums from its customers (banks) and uses it to pay for claims when they are made (such as when a bank fails). They are not funded by taxpayers at all.

How could the president go on national TV and claim that taxpayers insure bank deposits? I am not sure. Yes it's true that if the FDIC runs out of money, the government will likely step in and bail them out. But how is that the banks' responsibility? Just like any other insurance firm, the FDIC should charge higher premiums for riskier behavior. If you drive a red Ferrari, your insurance payments would be higher than if you drove a grey Volvo. The same should apply to banks... banks that invest in riskier securities should have to pay higher insurance premiums. Done. This is simply bad management on the FDIC's part. Currently, to be fair I guess, they charge all banks the same percentage of their deposits as a fee. While very egalitarian, this does not take any risk-taking into account and is, like I said, bad management. If you could drive a red Ferrari for the same insurance premium as a grey Volvo, wouldn't you? (assuming you can afford either car)

Now to move away from that particular comment - Obama often cites bankers' greed as the cause of our problems. And it's true that some bankers were greedy, although quite a small number relative to the rest of the financial professionals in the pool that is simply referred to as "bankers" (it's kind of like calling everyone who works at Ford a widget screw-er on-er). Here's what I have to say to that:

As long as you have druggies, you will have dealers. People often call bankers greedy for making subprime loans, but what are subprime loans exactly? They are loans made to people with no job, no employment history, and often no personal documentation to prove their identities. The people taking out these mortgages and home equity loans were just as greedy as the bankers underwriting them! Many Americans felt entitled to a big house, a nice car, and a PS3 even though they had no job, and were so greedy for more stuff that they took out more in loans than they knew they could afford simply because it was possible. During the early years of the subprime craze, Bush boasted that the national homeownership rate was the highest it's ever been. Did the banks get any credit for the loans, or did the government take it all for itself? Now that banks have foreclosed on people and basically taken back things they should have never given away in the first place, Obama is blaming the banks. I think the more appropriate thing to do here was to remind the American public that they shouldn't spend money they don't have (not that our government is an example to follow).

In an alternate world where things weren't backwards, I think it would be fair to argue the following: I, as a former Wall Street-er and current banker demand a new law to recoup money from anyone who defaulted on any of their loans so that I may be paid a larger bonus. This is quite fair actually, since I suffered a big hit to my bonus due to subprime losses, yet in neither of my "banking" jobs was I ever responsible for anything to do with subprime. Also, since my bonus (regardless of its dollar value) is taxed at a larger percentage than the regular income of said defaultees, the government will receive more in tax revenue with which to create jobs for the unemployed and fix the economy. How do you like them apples?

Unfortunately we can't do that, partially because my theory wouldn't entirely work (it's more of a joke) and partially because Obama's healthcare plan sucked so bad that nobody will vote for him or his party unless he rides all over the country on a big media horse yelling "the bankers are coming! the bankers are coming!"

Mo out.

Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger is $o $orry

Now that this blog has essentially become 1) a channel through which I can publicly hate on things and 2) a way to shamelessly promote my music, I'm going to stick to what I do best... publicly hating. This guy should be a pretty easy target. On Friday, Tiger came out with a 10-12 minute speech in which he basically said "please don't take away my sponsorship money." That's about the only message that a reasonable human being could have heard.

See, this is how things work. What Tiger Woods is good at is golf. In fact, he's one of the most amazing golfers that has ever lived. Because he's so good, companies will pay him lots of money in order to associate themselves with him. It builds their brand image, and that sense of excellence transfers over a little bit. With that money comes women, naturally. It's not like there's something inherently sexy about golf, or that he's the best looking guy out there. And apparently Tiger likes women. In fact, I think it's fair to say that few people like women as much as Tiger Woods does. I'm not going to do a full report on all these women, because frankly that would take too long, and because my friends at The Hollywood Gossip already have. (By the way they are not really my friends, no offense to The Hollywood Gossip).

Have you looked at that page yet? Good. I'm now going to comment and say that 1) these are just the girls that have come out with it, there may be more 2) these weren't exactly one-night stands... he slept with some of these girls many many times and 3) Is it just me or does Tiger have extremely trashy taste in women? Let's see here:

1) Club hostess
2) Cocktail waitress
3) Club manager/promoter
4) Lingerie model
5) Waitress
6) Failed model
7) Former porn star
8) Current porn star
9) Hooker
10) Cocktail waitress
11) Random girl

Excluding the random girl (because we don't know what she does), 30% of Tiger's mistresses fuck for a living. I think it's fair to say that 1) Tiger likes sex, and 2) Tiger likes sex with many, many women... and 3) I really like numbered lists today. I'm just going to put this out there... I HIGHLY doubt that he's actually sorry. I know this may be hard to believe since he's only been cheating on his wife since before they were even married right? He also strikes me as a little... I'm going to use dumb for lack of a better word. Does he not know that we know about all the women he slept with? If it were one or two he could be sorry. If it were three or four, he could be "so sorry." Hell if it were five women he could go to rehab. At eleven plus he's looking like Ron Jeremy at a sexaholics anonymous convention.

What Tiger isn't good at, is acting. His "I'm so sorry" could almost pass for sarcasm. If that speech had been followed by Episode II: Attack of the Clones, I would have given Hayden Christensen an Oscar for his very deep and emotional performance as Anakin Skywalker. The only logical conclusion from this is that Tiger is trying to salvage his corporate relationships. To poke fun at our former president, "the vast majority of [his] [money] comes from outisde [golf]." This speech was a huge money grab. What was he thinking? "Gee if I go out there and say I'm sorry, corporations will just start handing me checks right there!"

If I were his corporate sponsors, not only would I cut off all ties with him, but I would be out there beating him over the head with a club trying to get back the money he's already gotten. Accenture was the first company to do so (well, just cut off ties, not beat him over the head). And I can see why. Here's an actual ad they had:

Yeah, definitely 0% distractions between Tiger and the hole (both on and off the field, Shazam!). Some of their other ads featured the phrase "Go on, be a Tiger." That's got to be great for their image right now... I'd also like to point out that Tiger appeared in a whopping 83% Accenture's ads, turning what might have passed as a slight PR issue into "holy shit we're really fucked!"

Tiger Woods should stick to golf. I don't want to hear about his shit anymore unless it pertains to golf. That's the only reason he's famous, and the only reason that I care to know about him for. He's a lousy actor, has pretty lousy taste in women (except for the one he chose to marry, ironically) and as we saw is pretty lousy at PR for himself. That's a lousy trifecta. I'm just gonna say it one more time now. Lousy.

As for his wife, I think that a very gorgeous, classy Scandinavian lady like herself should move on to new things. Here are 11 potential careers I recommend:

1) Club hostess
2) Cocktail waitress
3) Club manager/promoter
4) Lingerie model
5) Waitress
6) Failed model
7) Former porn star
8) Current porn star
9) Hooker
10) Cocktail waitress
11) Random girl

Mo out

Friday, February 19, 2010

My first finished song!

Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I finished recording my first song and have posted it online on my Myspace artist page, which you can find here.

You may have heard this song as "Backing Out" by Warm Fuzzy House. The song was called The Non-Stop Rock Symphony of Ultimate Destruction as a joke, pre-my Warm Fuzzy House Days, so that's the name I've given it now. Please enjoy.

Ke$ha $hme$ha

As a musician I have to say I’m disappointed by the way things are going right now in the music world. Bad music is nothing new, but I think we’ve hit a new low, in the form of Ke$ha. Even more alarming than how bad this song is is the fact that a) hello her name is Kedollarsha… who names their kids that? and b) the lyrics are the dumbest thing I’ve heard since “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” or whatever it’s actually called.

Just to prove my point, here are the lyrics to "Tik Tok":

"Wake up in the morning"

PAUSE. Really? You're starting a song with "wake up in the morning?" That's so original. Carry on:

"feeling like P Diddy
[[ay what up girl]]
Grab my glasses
I'm out the door
I'm gonna hit this city
Before I leave
Brush my teeth with a
bottle of Jack
Cause when I leave for
the night I aint coming back”

So this girl wakes up in the morning feeling like P Diddy (does that mean kind of high and in jail?) and brushes her teeth with Jack (which makes your breath stink) and then goes out partying for the night. That means she either parties the whole day or wakes up so late that it’s already nighttime (in which case it wouldn’t be the morning). Either way she’s kind of a bum. Next.

“I'm talkin bout
Everybody getting crunk (crunk)
Boys try to touch my junk (junk)
Gonna smack em if they gettin too drunk (drunk)
Not not we go untill they kick us out (out)
The police shut us down (down)
Police shut us down (down)
Po po shut us (DOWN)”

How more generic can you get than “everybody getting crunk?” Crunk was cool the first time it was used because it’s like “wow, you combined crazy and drunk…. I like it” but now it’s a dumb term that rappers use when they can’t think of more original words (brings to mind “let’s get get, crunk!”). Also, I believe she rhymes drunk with crunk, which is kind of like rhyming “superman” with “superduperman.” It’s kind of lame.

I'm not even going to bother with the rest of the song. Don’t get me wrong… I like pop. I dig Kings of Leon, All-American Rejects, and even Natalie Imbruglia (I own a physical copy of her 1997 debut album). But this new stuff being put out is total garbage to be honest. It’s degrading to women, musicians, alcoholics, and other crappy “musical” acts across the country.

Mo out.

And by the way… do the lyrics imply that it’s okay to touch her junk if you’re sober? I think they do ;).

(Mo out for real.)

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but 9 Magners WILL kick your ass

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On men's figure skating

For a second yesterday I almost thought figure skating was a real sport. I watched skater after skater try to top Evgeni Plushenko's brutal 90.85 score in the men's short program, and with each skater, I gained more respect for the amount of athleticism required to do these things they did... after all.. I can hardly jump that high on solid ground with shoes and a running start, let alone while spinning around 3-4 times and.. oh yeah... going backwards. I remember at one point I ran back from the bathroom to catch Peter Chan's performance (the young Canadian guy everyone talked about) because he's good and because no Canadian has ever won etc.. something I'd never done for anything but True Blood and Entourage. It was sad to see him underperform his expectations, but he's still young. Evan Lysacek's performance towards the end was just as stunning as Plushenko's though, and even in a sport where winning margins are so thin, they might as well have tied. I don't think I've ever admired figure skating more.

Enter Johnny Weir. I know what you're all thinking, but my view surprisingly has nothing to do with sequins, rhinestones, pink tassles, or the flamboyant personality accompanying it. I don't care that he's gay, because to say that "figure skating is gay therefore it's not a real sport" would be plain ignorant. No, what got me was this:

"I tend to do my triple flip on the wrong edge, which is a shame, but I'm old and you can't really teach an old dog new tricks, especially a figure skating technique. But I tried. We tried to hide it on the ice where it's not quite as visible to the judges and technical callers, but it's still not something that's hard to see. That would be why. But as long as it's pretty, I don't really care. And as long as I'm not on my ass."

"I actually had fun tonight and that's something I haven't been able to say for a long time. I had fun skating. I really showed my heart. I smiled. I can't remember the last time I smiled like that. Tonight was really everything that I hoped it would be. The scores I can't control, so I can't say, 'Dammit, I'm not in the top three today.' I can't do anything about that. My goal for this whole competition was to show people my heart and take them on a journey with me and make them feel they're with me and they can feel me skating."

"I want people to feel me. I want people to think they're going through this with me. Regardless of where they're from, who they're rooting for, I want to feel like they're on the ice with me."

Come on! Who is this guy? Britney Spears? Is there no sense of competition at all? If you tend to do your triple flip on the wrong edge (whatever that means) shouldn't you practice more? Do it on the right edge?

And that's it. For every Plushenko and Lysascek out there there's a dude like him taking a piss on the "sport" and making it seem like it's just the experience, the show, the costume, and the music that count. Wrong. You're at the Olympics. You're there to win medals for your country (in a sportsmanly fashion of course). If there's no competition, it's not a sport, regardless of how physically challenging it is. So I'm sorry to say, Johnny, but if you're going to think like that, figure skating is as much of a sport as Cirque du Soleil.

...that and also man cleavage makes things 25% less a sport. It's documented fact.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Modern Warfare 2 and the casual gaming phenomenon: the death of real gaming, and fun...

As a gamer I feel the need to express my opinion on the whole situation because I know that if I don’t…. well nothing will happen really… but if nobody else does either then we might have a problem. So:

Over the last few years the casual gaming craze has swept the country like a medieval plague. But what exactly is casual gaming? I don’t know, you tell me. What is so casual about gaming? I remember back in high school when I used to get together with my friends and game. We would spend hours staring at screens of poorly animated and highly pixilated space marines and orcs running around a virtual battlefield shooting bullets, lightning, green goo, lasers, and “plasma” (whatever the hell that is) at each other. Fine. But in order to do this, we had to actually agree on a common location, and.. I’m going to put this on a separate line to make sure everyone reads it:

Bring our (desktop) computers there, plug them all into a router, and create a network

This was the only way to do it. Why am I telling you this? Surely it’s more convenient to be able to plug into the internet and play with your friends right? Sure.. it is. But I’m using this as an example of the spirit of the early gamers. If you were a gamer back then, you were hardcore, dedicated. Just to play the game you had to care enough….not so much these days.

As the title indicated this is a secret Modern Warfare 2 hate rant. Not because I dislike the game (actually I am starting to, very much), but because I feel like it is killing gaming. Here is why:

1) The user interface: Modern Warfare 2 has managed to take all remaining social activity out of gaming. Gaming is a social activity (despite popular belief) because you need friends to play with. Not anymore. MW2 tosses you into a random room with random people to play with. If you don’t like them, you can try to leave and join another room, but it will just put you back in the same room, now full of people who are pissed that you didn’t like them. If you have a friend that wants to tag along, he can come, but for the most part your in-game chats are limited to 1 round and then it’s “forget about everyone you just met and talk to these new 15 people.” The people in the game are basically sheep (that shoot at you) and which you try to shoot back.

2) The way it encourages play: MW2 being designed from the ground up for xbox 360 encourages people to play sitting on their couch in front of the TV, with a beer in one hand, and all their friends sitting around talking about sports. This instantly removes all competitiveness because nobody is taking the game seriously, partially because everyone around also wants to play (hence you take turns, hence you can’t really get your “groove" on) and partially because people are pouring beer down your throat while you’re trying to stab someone.

3) Gimmicky rewards that reward good/lucky players: if every time Hitler’s invading army killed 4,8, and 25 enemy soldiers they were rewarded with a drone fired and electronically guided missile, a heavily armored attack helicopter, and a nuke, respectively, they would have invaded Europe a lot more easily than they did. What happened to fighting for every kill down to the last second? MW2 rewards players for doing nothing. This is how it works - you kill me once with a single bullet to the leg or with a grenade that you blindly threw over a barn. I respawn, you use a laptop computer to guide a rocket directly up my ass and kill me. I respawn, and am killed by a Harrier hovering directly overhead. I respawn, and am killed by a Harrier again. I respawn, and the same fucking Harrier is still there, and kills me again. I respawn, and I pick my soldier with the camo and the rocket launcher to try and take out your harrier, but by that time you’ve called in an AC130, which is out of Stinger range and equipped with flares and 105mm Howitzer cannons powerful enough to kill me and all my friends in a 100 yard radius. AC130 kills me 4-5 more times. In the meantime, you racking up all those kills grants you access to better weaponry, because obviously you need the unfair advantage at that point. FML.

4) No more honor in winning/losing: when you make a game so casual that a single lucky kill can initiate a wave of killstreak rewards, you remove the thick, sticky stuff that brings gamers together between rounds. It used to be that when you gave someone a thorough beating, in Super Smash Brothers for example, you would get props and get a temporary moment of victory until the beginning of the next round when everyone would gang up on you and beat you into mush. Now when I win, instead of being proud of myself I just wait patiently for the next round to begin while strangers insult me with everything from "lucky" to black racial slurs. I'm not even black.

Ugh… don’t think I’m done yet, I will definitely be posting a part 2 to this. But for now I think this is enough. Mo out.

Why killing zombies is so fun

"In the first two months of Left 4 Dead 2's release, 28,981,249,043 zombies have been shot, bludgeoned, chainsawed and killed — or, for our younger readers, taken to a farm where they can frolic and shuffle around forever."

-L4D2 blog

That's hella zombies!

I think part of the reason killing zombies is so fun is that there's absolutely nothing going their way. Let me explain:

Most villains, whether it be in cartoons, movies, etc., have at least one or two redeeming qualities, or other thing which makes you feel bad for them just a little bit when they are finally defeated. Of course now that I'm typing this I can't think of any because that's how these things work - you make a bold assertion and then look like a fool when someone says "give me 1 example." Oh wait I got one... so in Batman, you have to feel bad for the Penguin. He's short and ugly... he's got a little inferiority complex. That's what makes him go bad. It doesn't at all cancel out his evilness, but it does make you a little sad to see him go.

Back to Zombies. They've got nothing going for them. They are feelingless bags of flesh with only one objective... TO EAT YOUR BRAINS! On top of that, they look funny, walk funny, and have the uncanny ability to explode into red mist when shot with even the most basic of firearms. Why wouldn't you want to kill zombies?? They're like the piƱata of the villain world. Except instead of delicious candy, they're full of blood and guts.

That said, grab your sombreros and join me for some L4D2. It's going to be a long and bloody night!

Friday, February 12, 2010

John Mayer is not a racist...

(flattering picture, isn't it?)

This may well mark the first time in my life that I've ever rushed to defend John Mayer. After all, a guy as talented as he is producing the type of music that he does, to a guitar player, should be punishable by... I don't know... being tied to a post and forced to listen to Hawthorne Hights until his ears bleed? This guy has some serious talent, and if you don't believe me, go to Youtube (you're welcome for the plug, Google) and watch him play the blues on stage with some of history's greatest players. But anyway..

The point I'm trying to make is that John Mayer is not a racist. He may have said something stupid which was later taken out of context, but still. That doesn't make him a racist. Come on folks, let's be serious here. Who has never said that word before in any context? I'm sure everyone has (I can for a FACT guarantee that anyone who's every watched Chapelle show has), they just aren't followed by the media all the time for anyone to hear it. On top of that, this is a guy whose heroes and musical insiprations are all legendary black musicians. It would be ridiculous for him to be racist.

The sad thing is that while E! and CNN, and other forms of news are all busy covering John Mayer's racism, we have real problems that need to be addressed, like actual racism. To say that someone hates all people of a certain race is a very strong thing to say, yet there are people who are actually racist out there - people who dress up in funny robes and hats and march through the streets advertising their racism openly. THOSE are racists. John Mayer is not... so, everyone... please stop calling him a racist.

Now that that point is clear, can we please return to calling him a pussy? That insult he deserves!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black Dynamite - probably the funniest thing you'll see today

I would really like to accuse Black Dynamite of blatant blaxploitation (because it is), but the movie already admits to that on its own website. Instead, I'm just going to link you to the trailer. It's one of the funniest things I've seen in weeks at least (although Jim Jefferies' stand up on HBO was pretty good despite being very extreme).

OMGWTFBBQ!! What's all the Buzz about?

If Facebook is for staying in touch with friends and sharing photos, and Myspace is for posting your emo/metal band's music and being stalked by 16 year-olds who also like Avenged Sevenfold, then Google's new Buzz "social networking" feature is somewhere between standing on your chair and yelling in a crowded middle school cafeteria full of all your college buddies and that incredibly long completely random speech given by the one guy in Waiting for Godot who only gives that one speech.

It seems that right as Facebook and Twitter are heading off to Wall Street to plan their respective IPO's (initial public offering), Google is doing everything it can possibly to do sabotage them. Somewhere in a video game arcade, or other appropriate office setting (you know how these Google folks are), a product development exec must have instructed his team: "okay... I want you to take Facebook, and Myspace, and Twitter, and I want you to combine them and put it in everyone's email,..." followed by "...and you have half an hour."

I'm all for new social networking, but I think I'm going to hold off on Google Buzz until the buzz dies down (pwn intended) and someone has actually figured out how to use it! The problem here is that it isn't apparent exactly what Google Buzz does, other than try to steal market share (and your precious time/advertising dollars) from the other guys. If want to stalk my friends, I go on Facebook. If I want to stalk strangers, Myspace. Google, I'll see you on revision 2.

/Rant. Mo out. To infinity, and beyond!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Second Post - sharing a few interesting things

The newness of this blogging thing stil hasn't worn off and I feel strangely addicted to it... I've never really felt the urge to just talk (especially not to an empty room) so this has taken me by surprise. I thought I would share a few bits of world news with you guys:

Check out what Honda tried to slip past us... what were they thinking? "Quickly, let's recall a million cars while Toyota is in the public eye! Nobody will notice!" I don't know what's better: getting into an accident because your accelerator is stuck/your brakes didn't work (Toyota) or surviving the accident only to have your head removed courtesy of the airbag (Honda). At least Toyota owners will go knowing that the CEO feels genuinely bad about their accident. Not the case with Honda. That said.. is there anyone not from Bavaria that can build a decent car anymore? Quality control folks...

If you thought cheap Chinese imitation products were limited to perfumes and Louis Vuitton bags, think again. Someone has brilliantly designed a ripoff search engine called Goojje, which looks like a mix of Google and Blue's Clues. Does that seem totally not farfetched to you? I thought so. Read about it here.

Also. Greeks... I'm tired of hearing about your crap. Want a solution to your huge budget deficit that doesn't involve asking the EU to print money for you? Its simple really.... Pay your damn taxes! (explanation)

First post!

Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog post.

I'm not quite sure how to say this but... I've never done this before. I've never really used any sort of utility to send an open message to the entire world. Sure I've used Facebook, but that only goes to 434 of my closest friends. Until recently the whole concept of blogs and Twitter has been completely beyond me. "Why would someone need to know where I am, all the time, at anytime?" I thought to myself. It just seemed a bit silly, you know. Like, who cares if you can finally play the guitar solo to "Creeping Death?" But then I realized that there really isn't any downside. I can just post things whenever I want, and people can read them if they want. It's not like you can ask Twitter what I'm doing and it will hack my computer and find out for you (if that's actually the case then someone needs to tell me ASAP because that's not cool). So I decided that I'm just going to blog whatever I feel like blogging (is that a verb? to blog? Judging by the lack of squiggly red lines under the word blogging, I take it that it is...) for whatever reason and maybe someone will find value in it.

Some people blog about sports, some about music, and some about their kids. I think I'm just going to blog about everything. Seeing as I already lack any sort of filter between my brain and mouth, this blog will just be an extension of myself... but online. As you can see I've already (very cleverly I might add) picked the title eMO for "electronic Mo." So here's an analogy: the New York Times Online is to relevant things what this blog is to irrelevant things that go on in my brain.

Umm... so before we conclude because I need to go to bed (because I have work in the morning), a little about me. My name is Mo, I'm 23 at the time of this post, I live in New York City, I love music, I work at a large foreign bank, and I think I'm funny sometimes, but the funniness seems to be lost somewhere between my brain and my mouth for the most part. Also I love parentheses.