It's been about a week since this Mirror article interviewing murderers soldiers Sargeant John Meadows and Corporal Michael Richardson talking about how they routinely shoot Iraqi civilians, and I've yet to see it picked up by any of our liberal media outlets here in the U.S., only internationally, or in blogs has it been reported. I'm really wondering if these two have been punished for admittedly shooting non-combatants (or more likely, punished for admitting to shooting non-combatants) or whatever.

I can understand how in the heat of battle, and amongst enemies who are not nessecarily dressed as soldiers, who often revert to guerilla or suicidal tactics, it can be hard to distinguish between people who are trying to kill you and innocent civilians, but since we're supposed to be the good guys and all, wouldn't it be good to show a little more judgement, or maybe remorse?

"There was no dilemma when it came to shooting people who were not in uniform, I just pulled the trigger.

"It was up close and personal the whole time, there wasn't a big distance. If they were there, they were enemy, whether in uniform or not. Some were, some weren't."
Maybe I haven't played Doom enough, but that seems like the callous ramblings of a trigger-happy psycho. I really hope that this isn't a typical example of our troops' mindsets.

For all the stuff this administration has done wrong, I got to say I'm very enthusiastic, as are many other Americans, about the National Do-Not-Call List. I signed up first thing in the morning. I don't know if it makes up for say... the war, but it's certainly a good thing.

Unless it's a secret plot to collect names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of all the Americans who don't care to be called by telemarketers, so that the poll-takers can call all the people who don't mind being called at home to answer questions, and thus manipulate poll data, but what are the chances of that?


Due to the abuses outlined in my last post, the DEA has issued some clarifications as to how exactlt he RAVE act should be used. As in, not the threaten legitimate venue-owners, but to shut down events like the ones described here: (DEA spokesmand Will) Glaspy said some unscrupulous promoters falsely advertise concerts as drug-free and alcohol-free; when the teens show up, they are offered drugs and are packed into hot, poorly ventilated areas. Bottled water may be sold for $10. A few concertgoers a night generally end up in the hospital with dehydration or drug overdoses, he said. Whooooaaa! I've never seen or heard about a party that fucked-up. I sure hope anyone trying to pull off such a scheme gets arrested. Too bad such a thing would never actually happen. I mean, if I showed up at a purportedly drug-free event and the promoters started trying to sell me drugs and charge me $10 for a bottle of water, I'd call the cops on them myself.

What is currently making me mad:

As much as I loath to resort to calling things Orwellian, the concept of a Free Speech Zone is pretty Goddamn Orwellian. Especially when it results in someone having federal charges made against them for holding up a "No Blood for Oil" sign.

That's almost as fucked-up as the DEA stopping a NORML benefit concert with the RAVE act. I've got a great idea. How about a few people go to the Republican National capitalization on the horrors of 9/11 Convention and spark up some jays? Maybe we could get the DEA to fine to GOP. Better yet, gate-crash Sen. Joe-Biden's birthday party and start doing lines off of his cake. Maybe he'll get fined, or maybe the RAVE act is just a way to allow cops to intimidate anyone who might be having an event they don't like. Could be...

And speaking of 9/11, have you yet seen the video footage of Bush sitting on his ass for five minutes after being informed that the second tower of the WTC has been struck? I mean, yeah okay, I didn't do anything either, but I'm not the president of the entire fucking United States!! Couldn't he mobilize a task force or launch fighters, or get the fuck out of the room and hightail it to an undisclosed location since terrorists were plane-bombing a bunch of high-profile buildings? I don't know whether I'm disappointed more by his complacency or apparent lack of self-preservation instincts.

Then again, doesn't he seem to have the look of someone who just heard, "Don't worry, everything is going according to plan."? That ought to give the conspiracy theorists something to chew on.

What is currently making me happy:

Executive branch notwithstanding, the U.S. judicial system seems to be not entirely devoid of reason yet. Texans are now free to suck dick, lick pussy, give handjobs, titty- and butt-fuck to their heart's content. I have a feeling the streets of Dallas will be deserted tonight.

Also, the USPS's suit against Running With Scissors for having the audacity to name their ultra-violent game "Postal" was dismissed, presumably in part because the game had nothing to do with the U.S. Postal Service, or mail-delivery at all, and that "postal" is just a word in the dictionary like any other.

(links via,, metafilter, and gamefaqs)

Like many people across America, I recently say Ang Lee’s interpretation of The Incredible Hulk (it’s really quite good, BTW), and like many of those who have seen it, I am wondering, “How big is the Hulk’s penis?”

Shut up, you know you’ve thought about that too, but did you ever do anything about it? No. But how can we make a guess as to the dimensions of the big green man’s little green man? I tried a few courses of speculative investigation, and the results I came up with were rather surprising.

We could go with a simple ratio-based guess on Sources are in disagreement as to Banner's and The Hulk's actual height, however. Though in the movie he appears to be up to 12 feet tall, some sources say he is apparently only 5' 9", and grows to 7' in his green Hulk form. Others say 5' 9.5" and7' 6". However, the Hulk Library, which seems to be the primary source of Hulk info on the net, goes with the lower range.

The average adult Caucasian’s penis is 5.5 to 6 inches in length and 1.5 inches in diameter (Source (NSFW)), unless the adult Caucasian is a woman, in which case she doesn’t have one. Let us assume, for the purposes of this perverse post, that Banner falls between these two extremes at 5.75 inches in length with a 1.5 inch circumference.

Now then, when Banner Hulks out, he grows to 1.2 times his former height. Using this ratio, his penis would be just under 7 inches long. But his girth increases much more dramatically. Judging by illustrations, it would appear that that increases by at least 3 times. So let’s say 3 just for argument’s sake. That would put his penile circumference at about 4.5 inches, or about a 1.4 inches diameter. While this is nothing to scoff at, it’s certainly not the type of manhood I would assume a man of such size would have.

However, though numerical guesswork and sloppy mathematics may be good enough for speeches about tax cuts, it may not be the best course to apply in this case. The Hulk's... umm... hulking frame certainly suggests a relationship with something more simian, primitive perhaps than with something human, as though he is devolving. His strength goes up, his intelligence goes down, and he reverts to a more bestial nature. If he shares more… intimate physical traits with our stronger, less sapient cousins, or with our evolutionary forebears, I should forward him some of this spam e-mail. The average length of a gorilla penis is only 1 1/4 inches. Primitive man doesn’t do much better (NSFW?) in the schlong department either, if artist’s renderings are any indication.

Then again, you know what they say about men with big feet, don'tcha? The Hulk certainly has big hands. Well, research indicates that they were talking out of their ass.

Since Bruce always takes the precaution of wearing apparently infinitely elastic jeans (pants magic), we may never know for sure, but we can always take a deep breath and try to glean some idea of what he’s packing by risking a look at Hulk’s crotch. Hmmm… that doesn’t look comfortable. Maybe it’s the chafing that makes him so ornery. In any case, with pants that tight, we should be seeing some sort of outline, but as far as I can tell, it’s as smooth as a bowling ball.

Perhaps part of the Hulk’s rage does come from a sort of misplaced aggression at his own “shortcomings” shall we say. Of course, nothing can be proven until Stan Lee or Marvel comes forward and delivers an exact figure. Until that day, however, I will now refer to refer to myself as the man more hung than the Hulk.


Super Extra Fun Project!! Go to and type in "piltdown man" (with the quotation marks). Now go to the third page of pictures and look in the lower-left corner. One of these things is not like the other.


Death of the Arcade Part 3: Home Gaming (Duh) and Dying Genres

It is a no-brainer that the advancement of home gaming console technology, as well as the rise in PC gaming, particularly online gaming, is largely to blame for the decline of arcade culture.

The arcade used to be a place where gamers could meet new opponents and hone their gaming prowess against other skilled challengers. Arcades attracted the gamers because they offered competition, and a chance to earn respect. Those days, a high-score board actually meant something. Games such as Super Off-Road kept track of player's stats and earnings in memory, so that even across sessions, you could tell who was in the top ten, or top 100.

This is still true, but to a lesser extent. Only those types of games which are not well-suited to the home environment persist. Rush 2049 is a more modern racing game which keeps track of a large number of player stats. DDR machines have given arcades a huge boost in attendance to those more physically fit and less rhythmically challenged gamers. The fighting game genre still endures, partly due, I believe, due to the fact that online console gamign is still in its infancy, (only the Xbox Live's Capcom vs. SNK EO exists as far as online fighters go, to the best of my knowledge) and even the smallest lag can break such a fast-paced game genre.

It used to be the case that one went to the arcade to preview what the hottest thing was. What was going to be ported to the home systems, albeit with a noticeable dip in quality, this year? Consider the difference between the arcade Pac-Man and the Atari 2600 Pac-Man. This is an extreme case, but the principle is the same. Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find an arcade game that displays graphic capabilities beyond that of the current generation of home consoles, and none that can compete with high-end PCs.

In order to compete with the more involved and longer-lasting gameplay of home gaming, arcade developers compensate by making their games more intense, short-term experiences with higher replayability. In many ways, it is analogous the difference between watching television and goign out to the movies, for many of the same reasons. At home, the experience is longer, less intense video- and audio-wise, and less expensive (considre $25 a month for cable or $50 for 50 hours gameplay). In the arcades, it's bigger, louder, more intense and expensive ($9 for a 2-hour movie or $1 for 3 minutes gameplay).

On the surface, nothing is wrong with this arrangement. After all, people are willing to enjoy both television and cinematic entertainment currently and consider them realted, but distinct experiences. This is also true of home gaming and arcades, but in the end, there are certain forms of entertainment which lose. In the cinematic world, the newsreel and movie serial are now long-dead and forgotten phenomenons. In the arcade, it is genres like scrolling shooters and platform games which are falling by the wayside in the push for more cinematic gameplay experiences.

Scrolling shoot 'em ups (shmups) (Defender, R-Type, Aerofighters), Puzzle games (Tetris, and 2D Platformers (Metal Slug, Shinobi, Bad Dudes) are now a dying art form. Maze games (Pac-man, Burger Time, Crystal Castles), Beat 'em Ups (Double Dragon, Final Fight, TMNT), and are pretty much extinct. It used to be that a whole section of an arcade could be dedicated to each genre, and unfortunatley, due to their tendency to be short "twitch" style games, they do not really have a place at home either, where casual gamers expect longer, less difficult experiences from their purchases, rather than a short, intensely difficult game that requires many playings to perfect, as arcade games generally do.

It was not too long ago that classic titles like the Raiden or 194x series were eating up my quarters like mad. The alternate mind-state one must enter in order to see the screen as interlocking geometric patterns of enemy bullets was a groovy kind of geometric high (that sounds pretty wack, but anyone who's played Strikers 1945 or Gunbird should know exactly of what I speak). A good number of these titles have been released for PSone and PS2, but they typically get poor to no marketing attached to them (and sometimes really great games just get flat out fucked-up as they are ported), the recent release of Ikaruga for the GameCube being a notable exception.

2D platformers have been abandoned in favor of 3d platformers for the home gaming market. If there is a 2d platfomer, you can be sure that the format has changed from arcade action to adventure, and that it's probably on the GameBoy Advance. Don't get me wrong, Adventure Platformers have yielded some of my favorite games, but one gets that itch for the running and gunning of days gone by. Contra: Shattered Soldier is the only home arcade 2D platformer that comes to mind, and while it is a fine game, it stands alone.

Puzzle games have found a home in our homes comfortably enough, though mor ethan likely they are in our pockets. I haven't seen a new Beat 'Em Up on a console for years, but if Viewtiful Joe is the modern incarnation of River City Ransom it promises to be, I will be the first in line to mess myself with excre excitement. Maze games are now the domain of emulators and Flash training manuals. Side scolling shooters? Well, we're getting a new R-type soon, hopefully... aside from that... err....

I may be getting a little off track, but my point is that the games in a modern arcade have become very homogenized. Chances are that if you step into even the largest of modern arcades, you are given essentially 4 choices of game to play: Shooting, Racing, Music/Dance, or Fighting. What do the first three have in common? Big/loud audio/visuals, large cabinets, and unique interfaces (all of which I discussed in Death of the Arcade Part 1). Fighting games are still holding on strong in the world of hardcore arcade competition, and will probably continue to do so until online consoles really take hold. Notably, Fighting games seem to be the last genre around that still uses a joystick.

Most gamers now prefer to game at home almost exclusively. The connectivity of the internet has replaced the socialization and friendly (or otherwise) competition one once found at arcades. Many styles of game which once captured our attention in the arcades of ten years ago now hav ebeen phased out in favor of more expensive and more immersive game experiences. These same genres either cannot seem to find a place in the home market or have been transformed in the transition from the stand-up to the sit-down world. It is no wonder that so many people turn to emulators in order to try and revisit the games they played as youths.


Don't worry, it's not all bad, the next installment will talk about the hope for the future, unless i can think of something else that's worng with arcades today. In case you were wondering, yes I am a bitter geezer, but no, I don't think modern games are bad, they're just typically not for me, and I miss the way things used to be. If you are even older than I, and 80's arcade gamer and consider me to be a 90's punk who doesn't understand the real way it used to be, you may enjoy this. If you like goofy-ass arcade games, look here. There is also a series of articles at written by a guy in the arcade machine industry. If you can get past the akward writing (and if you read this site, you probably can), it has some informative views on what happened to arcade machines.


What with it recently being Garfield's 25th birthday and all, a lot of people are taking this time to disparage the gluttonous feline, saying the strip isn't funny and never was. Thoguh it is true that Garfield almost always is completely unfunny and has been recycling the same lame gags for two decades (Garfield eats a lot, is misanthropic, and is smarter than his owner), I used to read through Garfield books as a kid and laughed my ass off at them occasionally. Inside the piles of pointless, repetitive lasagna jokes there were some that, for one reason or another, were really fuckin' funny. Maybe it's just the odds that no one could put out such an extreme volume of comic strips without producing some gems, but there they were. Usually it was due to a complete non-sequiter, bizarre drawing, or somethign that seemd out of place in the Garfield mythos. Comix Eccentricity compiles a collection of out-of context Garfield panels that illustrate some really humorous moments. Look upon them, and then tlel me that Garfield is never funny. (I apologize for sending you to a Tripod page, but if you're not used to playing the whack-a-pop-up game, you need to surf more porn.)

Ways in which Def Jam Vendetta could have been improved.

The aforementioned maturity level could have been raised.

When in Tag Team or Handicap (one vs. three) mode, the only indication of the opponent one's character is that the character faces him. When the opponents are near one another, it can be difficult to tell which one the character's focused on. This can be frustrating if the user is trying to whittle down the health of a particular enemy, which is the best strategy for winning, since only one opponent need be defeated to win. Instead, there should be a visual indicator such as an arrow above the targeted opponent's head.

When grappling with an opponent, if the opponent begins to throw the user's character, the user can repidly press the L and R buttons to try and reverse the throw. However, at a certain point in the throw, the character can no longer reverse it, however, the user is probably still mashing the buttons desperately in an attempt to reverse the throw. This hurts one's fingers. It woudl be beter if there was a consistent visual indication as to when the throw was no longer reversible, or a "reversal meter", much like there is for the escape meter when pinned. Then, if the user's character is so weakend that a reversal is virtually impossible, the user will not waste their own precious energy on button-mashing when it's not necessary.

A brilliant piece of speculative journalism appears in Salon today,Julia Roberts: Hardcore Gamer. Requires watchign a short commercial to get a Salon day pass, but it is so worth it.