Saturday, December 30, 2006

December to Dismember

Lexus has been airing their usual annoying "Buy a car for Christmas" commercials the past few weeks, although there's been a bit of a controversy recently. If you visit 2006 TV Ads and go down to "December To Remember Sales Event #2," you can click to download or watch one of the commercials in question.

Each commercial has a gender pair (two men or two women) wandering outside and finding a parked, brand new Lexus between their houses. Both speculate that it could be their's, as part of that upper crust humor that isn't really funny. The male version is a bit difficult to find, as Lexus no longer seems to air the episodes, and does not have it on their website. This may be due to the fact that the commercials make the two men look like a bickering married couple. Now, don't get me wrong, it's obvious they're not (otherwise the premise of the advertisement is sort of stupid...er, more stupid), but when I first saw it I couldn't help but comment that they appeared to be a gay couple.

While searching for that ad, I saw that I was not the only one. Forums across the net were abuzz with the same theory, with some even having to do a double take. However, not everyone is bright, or even moderately sane, and they provide the rest of us with amusement:
Renaldo of Eightmile AL (12/20/06)
I am not complaining about a particular dealership. I am appauled about your advertising. I have small children who watch television and it absolutely disgusts me to have to rush to the remote control and change the channel because a major auto maker is insinuating that it is alright to be in a same sex relationship. Two women and two men in a relationship breaks down the sanctity of the family. I know that the popular political thing to do now is stand behind gay relationships. I know that you know gay relationships are grossly inappropriate, spiritually and morally wrong. The family, with or without children, begins and ends with a man and a woman. It sickens me that you have succombed to the lie that the nontraditional family perpertrates. I, a concerned consumer, demand that you correct this disgusting wrong that you so boldly advertise to us all. I don't feel that you will respond to this complaint. I hope you will favorably do so. These advertisements need to STOP!

Now, I've flipped my shit before regarding something I misunderstood, which led to the proverbial foot in mouth. Whenever I've done that, though, I wasn't a fucking bigot. Good job, Renaldo. Now get back to work mowing my lawn, you Mexican piece of shit.

(Note: I'm trying to make a funny by writing something racist after saying I wasn't a bigot. For the slow, please be aware that I don't hate Mexicans or any other latinos, except for Peruvians and their dumb, stupid Marinera dance.)

(Second note: Only kidding about the Peruvians.)

Buying cars as presents might seem a luxury available only to the wealthy, and you would be correct. As The Washington Post reports "such lavish gift giving tends to go on most among those with the salaries that allow spending $50,000 or more on one gift." Duh. It makes me wonder how smart rich people are if they would be influenced by such shitty commercials, but maybe they're not and the commercials are a waste of time, or maybe if you have money up the ass you can afford to be a fiscal moron.

I still don't understand buying a car as a gift unless the person is there to pick it out. Apparently, it happens frequently. Via the Post article:
Perhaps no one pushes holiday car-gifting more than Lexus. For the eighth year, it is running TV ads that play on the theme. In one, two neighbors gawk over a bow-topped Lexus sport-utility vehicle parked outside and wonder which of their husbands bought the Christmas surprise. Another version has two men checking out the mystery gift. In another ad, neighbors in lawn chairs watch as a man across the street leads his wife, his hands over her eyes, to a new Lexus.

Such scenes don't just happen on television. Lexus sends two red bows to each of its 222 dealers nationwide during the annual "December to Remember" promotion, a spokesman says. Last year, Lexus sent 550 extra bows in response to orders for more. A survey of metro Lexus dealers across the U.S. last December showed that about 10% of sales were for a gift, though it didn't specify how many were surprises.

Well, if there were 772 cars with bows, there better have been 772 surprises, or else the rest were purchased by people who are just giant douchebags. And if they are surprises...well, I hope it has all the features she wanted...
"Oh, honey, I love it. Oh, it's stick. Well, I'll learn."
GADJUNKCHANKCHUNK
"I think it likes me."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Dear Jew Lover"

Subject Heading - Now available: "Jews and American Popular Culture [Three Volumes]" by Paul Buhle on Amazon.com

I was wondering if Amazon sent me this email because they knew I had a penchant for rhyming words with "Jew" in casual conversation...
Dear Amazon.com Customer,

We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in books by Neal Gabler have also ordered Jews and American Popular Culture [Three Volumes] by Paul Buhle. For this reason, you might like to know that this book will be released on December 30, 2006. You can pre-order your copy by following the link below.

Jews and American Popular Culture [Three Volumes]
Paul Buhle
Price: $300.00

Release Date: December 30, 2006

Yes, I like Jews (they make a great corned beef sandwich), but I don't like them $300 worth. However, I was wondering who the hell Neal Gabler was, so I looked him up. It turns out he wrote a book, "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood"...which I ordered on January 11, 2000. That's nearly seven years ago.

Amazon knows more about me than most of my friends, and that's a little disturbing...for more than one reason.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sinterklaas is coming!

Sinterklaas brings toys and jellied fruit
To all the middle class boys and girls
On Christmas day those children astute
Will find candies with peppermint swirls

Sinterklaas travels by sleigh at night
He sets forth at the midnight hour
If you dare try to oppose his might
He will destroy you with his mind power

Sinterklaas is infused with cybernetic parts
He can see on infrared frequencies
After Christmas Sinterklass departs
To his arctic lair run by gypsies

Sinterklaas is coming on this very eve
So pray to your God that you behaved
For if so, presents you shall receive
If not, then your life cannot be saved

Sinterklaas feasts on the souls of wicked
Children which sustain his immortality
Hope you were good as you go to bed
Or your only gift will be fatality

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Every Kay's begins with K

Slot houses are popping up all over Pennsylvania thanks to the state's (er, commonwealth's) push to make gambling fun for everyone. It's supposed to alleviate property taxes, presumably by taking the money from gullible old people. While towns near Philadelphia have suckered the saps already, Philadelphia proper is still in the works to get some casino royals, although the plans continue on full speed ahead.

I don't understand why gambling is allowed but prostitution still remains illegal. It can't be an issue of morality, because gambling is just as "sinful" as prostitution, it just involves less fluids. The opposition to prostitution also can't be about money, because even though gambling brings in tons of money, prostitutes would still pay taxes and probably even go through a costly licensing process ("Pennsylvania Certified Whore"). In other words, there's money to be made. I don't even get the crime argument, because what's the difference between a high-class brothel and a high-class casino, besides the difference in odors?

I think the problem is related to the actual sex. Some of it can simply be puritan interests in denying people their pursuit of coital, but I believe more of it rests on the idea that society simply does not want women to be able to control themselves. Is it so wrong for women to make a living based on something most give away for free (which isn't really true; usually there's a lengthy courting process or even the purchase of a few drinks which costs more than a fair share of dollars). It's free market capitalism at work, providing a service people want for a fee people are willing to pay. I know some claim that it's dangerous or detrimental for women, but giving women the power to earn money with their bodies is probably the only danger with which some people are concerned. Of course, I can't really prove my case one way or another, can I? It sounds ominous, though.

In the meantime, however, there is a legal form of prostitution, and it's called dating (or worse, marriage). In this "dating," gifts, services and other tangibles are given by men to women in exchange for sexual intercourse and nagging (note: heterosexual relationships only). That's not how it really happens, but I'm being facetious. Making generalizations about specific groups of people to trick them into buying their products is the raison d'être of advertisers. At Christmas, there are a massive influx of diamond advertisements, presumably because men will feel the need to drop a large portion of their paycheck to give their wife or significant other something they will be too afraid to wear in public merely as a token of their appreciation.

Anyway, whether you can afford diamonds or not, Merry Christmas, except for those non-Christian religious types too stupid to celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas. Enjoy your Chinese food and loneliness, losers.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"Flied lice? It's fried rice, you plick."

I was watching the Daisuke Matsuzaka press conference in Boston, and as many other people have noted by now, the Red Sox/Matsuzaka need to hire a translator that actually speaks English. It will be bad enough listening to announcers and reporters botch the pronunciations of the names of the new influx of Japanese players, but I'd at least like to know what the players themselves are trying to say. I need to understand their canned answers and evasive replies.

So anyway, I just wanted to briefly comment on the posting system, which I think is garbage, but not for any of the usual reasons given (such as the idea that it should be more like free agency). For the uninitiated, when a team in Japan is willing to allow one of their contracted players to come play for Major League Baseball, the various teams submit secret bids for the right to negotiate with that player. The highest bid wins, naturally, and that money goes to the team losing the player, which is sort of the equivalent of selling your daughter to a white man for marriage purposes. That player then has to either sign with the winning bidder or return to his Japanese club, which would cause that club to forfeit the posting bid and presumably bring disgrace to a nation.

The Red Sox posted a monstrous $51.1 million bid (6 billion yen, specifically), while the Bronx Bombers bid $26 million to talk with Kei Igawa (the Yankees bid was exactly $26,000,194, with the last three numbers reportedly Igawa's strikeout total last season, tied for first in the Central League along with Kenshin Kawakami of the Chunichi Dragons...source). Since both players have signed with the MLB clubs, that money has been paid to Japan, although it does not go towards luxury tax, much to the relief of the Sox and Bombers. That actually makes sense, as it is included as just another expense towards getting the player, in the same way the Mets recently spent money to fly to California to try to woo Barry Zito (hint: it takes mountains of cash). That shouldn't count towards the luxury tax.

Igawa (known as Iron Nerves, or as the top of his website says, "IRON NERVERS / トップページ") signed a five-year, $20 million dollar contract, while Matsuzaka (stupidly dubbed "D-Mat" and "Dice-K" in Boston) signed a six year, $52 million contract, potentially worth $60 million with "please don't suck" incentives. For all intents and purposes, we'll just leave it at $52.

The Sox paid a lot of money, and because of that, Matsuzaka got a below market value contract to help ease the weight of the dinero the Sox were dropping. Thanks to the bidding system, including the posting fee, Boston is paying about $17 million a year for Matsuzaka's services, while New York is paying a little over $9 million for Igawa. The players themselves are earning pauper's dollars; Matsuzaka gets roughly $8.5 million per season, while Igawa gets $4 million. Barely enough to feed themselves, let alone their families (fortunately rice cookers are cheaper in the U.S. than in Japan, go figure).

While millions of dollars is nothing to bark about, both sides in each deal are still getting shafted. The Red Sox could have negotiated a $13 million deal for Matsuzaka, saving themselves $4 million a season and giving Matsuzaka some extra dough, while the Bombers could have given Igawa $6.5 million a year, saving themselves some change in the process and giving Igawa some extra spending money.

I don't see why MLB teams can't buy the release of the player with a more reasonable sum of, say, $5 million. The highest team salary in Japan in the year 2002 was $32.6 million US (Yomiuri Giants); the Seibu Lions and Hanshin Tigers (Matsuzaka's and Igawa's clubs, respectively) had significantly lower payrolls (source). So $5 million US is nothing to sneeze at for a Japanese club. In fact, it would have been 1/3 Hanshin's 2002 payroll. So the Yankees probably paid more to the Tigers than the Tigers pay their entire team. Heck, the Red Sox probably doubled the Seibu payroll. In some sense, there may be no reason for teams to not start selling off their older stars. At least at $5 million, there is a little more cause for restraint. It's nice, but not jump up and down nice.

So, I guess that wasn't very brief.

As an aside, and going back to what I first mentioned, thanks to a brief yet intense interest in anime during college, as well as writing about Japanese video game people the past few years, I've become fairly competent at pronouncing Japanese names. Listening to the bastardized versions of these pitchers (I've already heard "Dice-kay" instead of "Dai-soo-kay" and "Key" instead of "Kay") is going to bug me all season. Fortunately, the foreign culture of Japan will offset that irritation by amusing and delighting me, as it has always done:



(P.S. - Welcome to New York, 井川 慶. Please do well. Thanks.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Strapless dresses are in, strapless Wiis are out

Some thought Nintendo's biggest challenge would be overcoming Sony in the holiday market. It seems, however, Nintendo's biggest enemy is the general incompetence of the American consumer. Due to "a rash of reports that the devices flew out of the hands of overzealous players," Nintendo is offering to replace 3.2 million straps for its Wii remote control, according to an AP report.

"People tended to get a bit excited, especially while playing Wii sports and in some cases the control would come loose from their hands" due to a broken strap, Nintendo spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa said. To fix this, Nintendo will be replacing the original strap (0.024 inch diameter) with a thicker strap (0.04000000000 inch diameter). The new straps can be ordered at Nintendo's website.

With Nintendo replacing their strap after people hurled their controllers through their television sets, it may be only a matter of time before the bruised eyes, sprained ankles, bloody noses, bladder infections, cracked toe nails, vaginal tearing and other reported injuries force the video game giant to stop producing Wii consoles altogether. Good job, America. First Iraq, now this.

Justin: I was going to post this earlier, but I didn't because it sounded bitter and fanboy-ish. But if I ran a popular Nintendo fan site, I'd just start posting dozens of articles per day about neighborhood kids breaking neighbors' windows with baseballs, and frisbees getting stuck on neighbors' roofs. Then after a week, I'd start to demand that baseballs and frisbees be recalled.

Chris V: Hey didn't you used to run a popular Nintendo fan site?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Children offer more than cheap labor

1up posted another EGM article where the EGM staff made children around the age of 11 play video games from the 16-bit era and earlier so that everyone can enjoy the cultural disconnect and infantile snobbery children have towards things that gamers my age and older enjoyed when we were around their age. It's amazing how you can gage the personalities of these little miscreants just from their flippant comments (one of them is and will continue to be a gigantic douche), but sometimes they offered little pearls of wisdom. This is my favorite:
Rachel: I really like this game, because I can do all these things that are so against what I'd ever do in reality...

Garret: That's the whole point of videogames.

How is it children are able to figure out something that has baffled politicians and confounded society's moral leaders? To answer my own question, probably because children are smarter.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I jot down notes while watching today's big music videos



Gwen Stefani - Wind it Up
Marching band beat again
Yodeling
Poisons "The Sound of Music" like she did with "Fiddler on the Roof"
I think she is an experiment to see what awful shit people will buy



U2 and Green Day - The Saints are Coming
Stupid, idealistic, liberal nonsense
Painful to watch
I wish "Where the Streets Have No Name" was on instead
Maybe NASA should deploy some space shuttles, too



OK-Go - Here It Goes Again
Another amazing video from a so-so band
Simply impressive choreography
Style of dress invokes in me pity, not anger
Looks like they have no self-esteem



Flyleaf - Breathe Today
Like Evanescence, but halfway decent
Female singer in a goth-ish band is getting kind of old
Still, it works better than most I've seen
I wonder why The Gathering never became big

Monday, December 11, 2006

No amount of pictures in the world can give someone common sense

Japan's Wii manual is reportedly very entertaining due to the warning pictures inside it.







More (requires registration).

Noticeably missing is a "Don't throw your controller through your television" drawing. Someone or some group called The Iconfactory [sic] created a little Photoshop amusement entitled "Wii Safety: The Missing Pages." I think my favorite is -

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tis the season of alienation and vengeance



I saw "Raging Rudolph" when it first aired on MadTV in 1997, and it tricked me into thinking MadTV was worth watching for at least two seasons.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Video games do not help obsesity problem, report shows

The National Institute on Media and the Family released its 11th Video Game Report Card in late November, warning parents that certain games are making their children fat, stupid, and lazy yet aggressive. One claim in the report states that half of all obese gamers are aged six through 17, while "the amount of time kids spend playing video games is correlated with poorer grades in school and attention problems." There was also something...that...uh...oh yeah, the Institute also insinuates that "research shows that violent video game play increases aggression in young players in the short term," which may stay with the child as they grow older.

"It's really time to focus on the parents and urge parents to pay attention," said Senator Joseph Lieberman (D I D, Conn), who actually made a little sense as he joined the Institute during their news conference. Douglas "I Goenstein" Lowenstein, president of Entertainment Software Association, shot back, but then agreed anyway, arguing, "Finger-pointing and demonizing a form of entertainment that is embraced by the millennial generation is fruitless. Partnering with parents to help them help their kids pays off." Sadly, neither side discussed sterilizing parents.

The Institute recommended parents stick to these guidelines:

1. Follow the ratings.
2. Use Parental Controls.
3. Put your kids on a media diet.
4. Set limits and be willing to say "no."
5. Watch what your kids watch, play what your kids play.
6. Don't pee on your kids.

The last one wasn't on the list, but should have been. The Institute also released a list of bad games and good games. Nintendo wasn't cool enough to make the naughty list, but there were a few titles on the angelic list, including "Mario Hoops 3 on 3," "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz," "Brain Age" and "Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: The Secret of the Ooze The March of the Minis."

The full report, which is only mildly inaccurate and misleading and does contain some useful information, can be read in its entirety here.

Nintendo doubles the pleasure, doubles the fun, doubles the controversy

Nintendo is enjoying its recent launch. The company of Mario and Zelda sold 476,000 Wii consoles in November, more than twice as many as Sony sold of its PS3, according to Reuters. To be fair, Sony only shipped a thousand PS3s to retailers. Microsoft can claim that it was the console leader in November, moving a whopping 511,000 consoles off shelves, but both the Wii and the PS3 launched in the middle of the month. If sales continue as they have, Nintendo will outsell both Sony and Microsoft in December, a crucial sales month due to, well, the holidays and all. Santa Claus is going to bring good little boys and girls a nice new video game console, unless their parents are poor; then Santa doesn't much care for you or your hovel.

While Nintendo continues to expect bountiful sales as its newest console launches in Europe, there have been some problems arising. As you may recall, Wii-motes have been flying out of people's hands due to vast amounts of exuberance mixed in with incompetence, leading to a recent CBS news report where Nintendo President Satoru Iwata noted that a few people were "getting a lot more excited than we'd expected," causing Nintendo to figure out a way to "to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment." There were similar problems with wooden bats when baseball first became a sport; one story suggests 39 windows were broken in 1948 during a game between the the Bridgeport Yellow Stockings and the Allentown Black Mucous Cough Team.

However, the flying controllers may not be an issue if Interlink Electronics gets its way, according to a CBC News Report. The company is suing Nintendo for violating patents it was granted on February of last year, which includes "associated technical drawings for a 'Trigger Operated electronic Device,' which depict a device similar to a television remote control with a trigger under the front end." Interlink is seeking lost royalties and profits as well as other damages plus interest, and is requesting that the court "issue an immediate and permanent restraining order against Nintendo to halt the alleged infringement." Should the company succeed, it would obviously destroy Nintendo and the happiness of millions. However, if history is any indicator (lawsuits are usually decided based on facts, the law, and historical anecdotes), Nintendo should prevail, much the same way it did when Dakota Fanning claimed that the company illegally used her likeness for their character Cackletta (see below).

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Gil Meche to the Kansas City Royals for five years at $55 million

Yes, everything you read in the title is correct. Gil Meche. To the Royals. $55 million. This raises a few questions:

1) Where did the Royals get the money?
2) If they had the money, why didn't they spend it in previous years when the free agent market was cheaper and better?
3) Why would anyone want to spend five years with the Royals?

With the Red Sox, who had cried poverty last season and claimed they couldn't compete with the Yankees, spending money like Paris Hilton in a shoe shop, various mid-level players getting long-term, high-priced deals, and now the Royals ($37 million dollar payroll last year) bumping up their payroll an extra $11 million per year on one guy (career ERA/ERA+/WHIP 4.65/96/1.44), you have to wonder what the hell is going on in baseball. Has the amount of talent available on the free market made even the spendthrift teams lose their cool trying to get available scraps? Have teams simply lied about their financial issues in the past in order to placate fans angry about losing? Did the Phillies really give Adam Eaton 3 years at $24.5 million (4.40/92/ 1.36)?

Of course, when the Royals or Phillies are stuck paying Meche and Eaton for sub-par work, they could always claim that the Yankees' (Mets, etc.) massive payroll made them overspend to try and compete, and then they will cry that they are stuck because they can't swallow mistakes while the Yankees can. Whatever. No one made them make stupid decisions. Cashman is playing it cool, and he's not the only one. Clubs like the Braves are ignoring the overpriced free agent market like they usually do, choosing to promote from the minors and make key trades. That seems to be the smart thing to do this off-season.

If the rest of the postseason plays out like it has already, with Zito making over $100 million and other free agents scoring big while the Yankees remain quiet, this will be a hot stove year to remember. I suspect, however, that some years down the road a few teams will be loathe to remember this off-season. Yes, it is true that the Yankees can make a terrible deal like they did with Carl Pavano and still survive. The question is, can the Royals do the same with Gil Meche?

Addendum: My friend might chastise me for making so few jokes in this post, so here's a gem from Jackie Mason -

My grandfather always said, "Don't watch your money; watch your health." So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather.

Now that's what I call journalism

Daniel McQuade of Philadelphia Weekly reported on his blog about a truck spilling its contents on Interstate 95. The contents? Bananas. His post included this gem:



Full details can be found here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Wii proves too complicated for average moron

According to Pat Beall via the Cox News Service, a website called Wii Have a Problem has started to share stories of people who don't know how to use a Wii controller without flinging it across the room and breaking something. The article is more serious in tone than the website, going so far as to quote a Wall Street Journal article which cited people "complaining of sore elbows and wrists after especially vigorous gaming sessions."

Not everyone is a flailing loon, however. KB employee Alex Parus explained that he "put the wrist strap on and then I threw my arm as hard as I could," wherein nothing happened. No wii-motes flying into television screens or soft baby skulls. "Unless people are damaging it somehow, I don't see how [the wrist strap] could break," he said.

The lesson from all of this is to temper your enthusiasm for the Wii before you or something else gets damaged. If you're about to dislocate your shoulder, you are not playing correctly.

Albums of the Month for Octember

As is my ritual, I post about an album that dominated my ears during a stretch of time, maybe provide a little video, have a little talk, we nosh, we laugh, everyone has fun. With the site down, I missed a chance to discuss October, so I'm just going to mash October and November into one.

October

After wandering into the Blues Brothers' "Briefcase Full of Blues," I got an urge to listen to, what else, the blues. The album I listened to the most was John Mayall and the Blues Breakers' "Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton," traditionally known as the Beano album because of the comic Clapton is reading on the cover of the record (or because Clapton had serious farting problems in the mid-60's). The blues was popular in England in the 60's, and by 1966 Eric Clapton was known as a virtuoso. While he wasn't quite "king of the slide guitar" (as Elmore James was), Clapton was considered a god by at least one grafiti artist, which is higher up on the royalty scale anyway. Clapton and fellow blues players helped usher in heavy metal, with Clapton forming Cream and other blues performers developing bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. So if you want to blame heavy metal on anyone, you can blame American blacks, who brought us the blues to begin with.

Anyway, between the Yardbirds and Cream, Clapton played with the Blues Breakers, the record displayed his ability to sear solos across various types of blues, from rockin' tracks to more traditional pieces. For some reason, there are some who don't approve much of blues by white musicians the same way we dismiss white rappers, but Mayall, Clapton and company combined reverence for the source material with exquisite musicianship and creativity to create a collection of originals and covers that could stand with any other album in the genre. Mayall himself was a master of the art, and his band was a training ground for many famous musicians, including Mick Taylor of the Stones.

If you watch this little documentary on Clapton, it's amazing to think what a fantastic decade he had during the 60's. He played with four great bands before tanking and making numerous mediocre records for the next thirty years.



November

Savatage's 1987 release "Hall of the Mountain King" would be one of my guilty pleasures if I could feel guilt over enjoying entertainment products. Since I listen to things for enjoyment rather than status, I don't care what people think. Besides, if people can listen to the entire indie genre and not feel shame, why should I?

"Hall" is chock full of delicious solos, catchy riffs, and energetic vocals. "Price You Pay" and "Strange Wings" are some of the most enjoyable songs Savatage has ever recorded, and in fact this might be their best album. The songs are addictive, not overly syrupy like technical power metal or too cheesy like pop metal, but just right. Goldilocks would have approved, had she not been viciously mauled by three angry bears.

This was Paul O'Neill's (not the baseball player or White House guy) first collaboration with the band, and you could see the hints of future concept albums in "Prelude to Madness" and the title track. Also of note, and perhaps appropriately due to the season, O'Neill and Savatage went on to form the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Here's the music video for the title track.



I guess sometimes all you need is a midget and a topless old man to make a video work.

If that floated your boated, then you may also enjoy the video for 24 Hours Ago off the same record.

Monday, December 4, 2006

After the fact, predictions of Wii success

Back in September, I linked you to an article by Sean Malstrom about Wii Fallacies, wherein Malstrom discussed different ideas about the Wii and its potential for success, including market disruption. As the Wii is currently selling well, major journalists are now thrusting the idea out there as if it were remarkable.

Jack Uldrich of the Motley Fool, who at least gets credit for discussing the idea, talks about market disruption and then quotes a Wall Street Journal article saying the same thing. The gist is that Nintendo is reaching a heretofore unreached market for games, and Sony better get its ass in gear if they don't want to miss the banana boat.

(via Joystiq, which was sent to me via reader CNE)

Demo-listen, man!

One thing Nintendo has lacked in the past is a widespread ability to sample games via demos. Well, with the Wii, Nintendo is changing this. According to the German language Cynamite website, "jetzt ist es offiziell: Neben Virtual-Console-Spielen werden Wii-Fans mit Internetzugang auch Demoversionen von Wii-Titeln herunterladen können." Ist wunderbar!

What's that, you don't speak German? Well, roughly translated, what the article says is that Wii owners can download demos onto either the internal or external memory, so long as you can actually download stuff (in other words, an Internet connection is required, preferably not Verizon DSL as that drifts in and out like an alcoholic on painkillers).

The first round of demo titles shall be announced soon, or at the very least, you'll know what they are when they become available to download.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

I will wait here for my Wii tonight, it's easy when you're big in Japan

In a move to mimic the style of Western gamers, video game fans in Japan have also been buying Nintendo's newest console, causing the Wii to be sold out in stores across the island nation. According to Masaki Kondo of Bloomberg News, Nintendo expects to sell four million Wiis across the globe by the end of the year, twice as many as Sony expects to sell.

"Unlike Sony, Nintendo has enough production capacity," said Etsuko Tamura, an analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities in Tokyo. "The company can achieve its sales target of six million in the year through March 2007," so long as it believes in the power of love and solid marketing.

In other news, Nintendo will release four Virtual Console games every Monday, according to Gaming (Naughty) Bits. The first foursome is due on the fourth of this month, with Donkey Kong Jr. of the NES ($5), Victory Run of the legendary TurboGrafx16 ($6), Columns of the Sega Genesis ($8), and Ristar of the Sega Genesis ($8). It's a good thing those games are available digitally, because they would surely be sold out otherwise!

Chris V: Victory Run? Also, I bought Sega's Smash Pack for the Dreamcast for less than $8, and it came with Columns along with 11 other games. Color me underwhelmed.

Hard Drivin'



I love commercials like that. It takes me back to the days of slapstick with luminaries such as Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, and the Stooges of Three. Well, maybe not, but it still makes me laugh. It's that type of random violence that keeps people watching "Family Guy," in part.

This isn't the first commercial like that, of course. There is this one, which someone claims Jetta ripped off (I doubt it; it's not an original idea), and this one, which is different and not quite as good. I also remember watching a commercial where a pregnant woman was complaining about wanting food in the middle of the night, so her husband reluctantly agrees to go out and buy ice cream or some other such food, because, well, he "loves her." As he's backing out of the driveway, a truck mashes his car. Believe it or not, I think it was a commercial for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, with the message being something like "be good to your family and your God because your ass is going to be annihilated soon." Something like that.

Atari published an arcade game called "Hard Drivin'" (hence the title of the post) which only did well due to the fact that players could crash and then get a slow motion replay of the spectacular accident (while the timer ticked down, of course). Trying to get the best looking wreck was the only goal for people, as the driving simulation itself was too unwieldy and lacking in fun.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Amazon knows how to cater to an audience

Check out Amazon's page for the DVD of the Troma film "Combat Shock." Specifically, go down to plot summary. I'll wait.

Apparently, Amazon has a keyword for "Shot Through the Mouth." In case the link doesn't work for you (I had difficulty going directly to the link, and instead had to go through the link on the other page), here are some of the films that match said keyword(s) - Fight Club, Godfather: Part II, Aliens, Full Metal Jacket, Boogie Nights...and that's just their top matches. To be fair, most of the other films on the three pages worth of results are rather, what's the word I'm looking for...shitty. Nevertheless, I support this subgenre.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Yet another cherry popped

One thing I've learned from many years of both reading and then writing for Nintendorks is that the site is as stable as a coked up schizophrenic with daddy issues. With the latest problem (database issues), as well as an uncertainty towards the future, I've decided to once again break out on my own and do what I have been doing for the past three and a half years at Nintendorks - write shit very few people read.

When Nintendorks starts up again in whatever incarnation it appears, I will be there. For the time being, however, I will be posting here, and anything that gets posted over there will now be cross-posted here. I will also go through my archives and post anything I found good, leaving out the mountains of sludge that otherwise marks my work.

In otherwords, no matter what I do in the future, this will be my database for all of my blog postings. Enjoy*.

*I'm talking to myself