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Hey, Prompt Thoughts!

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 3:30 AM



Hey there. I haven't done one of these in a while, so to kind of "wrap up" the year with a junk-drawer blog of randomness, here's some things and stuff:


Archaic MPAA

A recent study (link in the title) has shown that PG-13 films, as a whole, are more violent than R-rated films. Violence mostly regarding guns, gunfights, shooting people and so on.


Wow, where do I begin? There's a lot to disect here. This isn't just a study about gun violence in movies but, I'd argue, it shows how desensitized we’ve become to seeing people shooting and shot in movies. But that’s not my concern here. I’m not getting political on guns here. We're talking about bad words being worse than someone getting shot.



It has entirely to do with how out of touch the MPAA is and is just a reminder how archaic their rating system is. I originally brought this up last year in regards to the film “Bully.” A documentary about kids being bullied and probably one of the more important docs you could show people. The MPAA, though, gave it an “R” rating. Why?


Because they say “fuck” more than once. Say “fuck” once, you can get away with a PG-13 rating. Same with nudity. The problem is you have a set of “rules” on one side which really mean nothing, like saying “fuck” once, then you have a subjective judge on the other about what is considered “crude” or “explicit.” Either way, none of it makes any sense.


Then we have this gun-violence thing where you can show all the people in the world getting shot and blown up, but boy…don’t say “fuck” more than once or you’re fucked with getting an “R” rating and not having that sweet, sweet, lucrative teenager money.



It's just a word, MPAA. Even Morgan Freeman says it and he's God.



Shots of Awe

I didn’t want to really post this, but I am because it got me thinking: are we trying to quantify inspiration now?


Thanks to Youtube and the decreasing of attention spans, I feel stuff like this is just getting old. I’ve just seen a lot of it now. “Got three minutes, you gotta watch this, it’s amaze balls!” and so on. I think it all started with that Kony stuff from a year or so ago.


Anyways, I predict it’ll all go down to shortening attention spans even more and people will start playing and promoting their videos like an episode of Name that Tune. “I can make you feel inspired in three minutes.” “Oh yeah? Well I can inspire you in 2 minutes 50 seconds” “Oh yeah? Well I can do it in two minutes 30 seconds.”


I mean, that’s how people approach comedy these days. If your skit or online short is over 5 minutes, forget about it. People want instant gratification, and apparently they want instant inspiration as well. Pretty soon, we’ll all be popping pills because we can’t spend more than five seconds watching a video…the internet will become a wasteland of gifs.



A wasteland!



Videogame Tropes vs. Women #4

Anita Sarkeesian has released another installment of her Videogame Tropes vs. Women series and it’s fantastic. Really, really good. For those that are unaware, she is a feminist/activist/blogger/youtuber that has taken on the case of video games and how they approach/depict/represent women. She’s done other videos outside of the video game realm, but the backlash to her when she started the video game series has been overwhelmingly negative. I think she started out her series very rough, but it has become more and more polished, defined and clear as she’s gone on.

 

This is far and away Anita’s best video in this series. It feels far more educational and fleshed out than her previous three where I felt she wasn’t addressing obvious issues such as cultural representation and views of women (notably Japan), societal trends and views of women and the history of media in relation to the subject matter and trope itself not just limited to video games and (especially) not drawing clear conclusions for her arguments. She fixes all those issues here. Plus it’s easily the clearest and best defined as she draws great through-lines from the 1980s to now and how not a whole lot has changed.

 

I also think her argument on identifiers is fantastic. If all you’re doing for your female character is to set them to be identified as female, then they really have no identity or personality, do they? They’re just a re-made version of the male character (the Scribblenauts bit being a great example of this).

 

Plus, at this point, I’m so behind her 100% because so many reactions are incredibly negative and dismissive yet offer no intelligent response or alternative to bring up. Read all these comments and you’ll see why. 



By the way...commentors...please...

 

You know, I would love just to Skype with her and pick her brain and I’d love to give her notes on improving. But the sad thing is, any constructive criticism becomes awash in absolute batshit-crazy posts like the ones there from commentors who have no clue what they’re complaining about, only that they need to be defensive. None of them bring up the actual points she’s making, just “oh, so blue and pink is sexist now.?”  I’d bet that barely any of them watched the entire video. She’s not “judging” anything here, she’s tracing a history of the trope and how, in 2013, we should be beyond it yet are seemingly not.


I hope one day gamers can just grow up and actually have a discussion.  Want games as “art?” Conversations like this are the ones to start with. There’s nothing vindictive or mean by Anita here, she’s not even saying how wrong gamers or the people who make them are. She’s pointing out flaws, but because gamers are stuck in a perpetual state of arrested development where even someone in their 20s or 30s regresses to being 14, they can’t sit there and just say “you know, she right, and I’m alright with that. Let’s look to have a discussion on how to better gaming and, hopefully, gamers.”


Nope. Insecurities really bring out the worst in people, and those comments prove that. If you think she’s being confrontational and not being “equal” and trying to “make women superior” then that says a hell of a lot more about you than it does her. And please don't bring up "thunderf00t" like some do. I've seen though, they are completely missing the point. "Mario is a plumber! Peach is a princess! How is that bad?" It's called one being a "hero" and the other being a "prize," pal.


But tell you what. You guys…go ahead and keep making those snarky, dismissive, rude, sexist, bullshit comments. You’re just proving her point more.

 

 

But I think we all can agree that cats in boots are amazing.



Your Operating System Sucks

And lastly, I am currently one of those people that uses both Macs and PCs. I use a Mac at work and a PC at home (as well as Linux home server but that doesn't count).


My point is: I've used both and have been happy with both operating systems for a while.


On Macs: Tiger was fine, Leopard was great, Lion seemed fine too.


On PCs: I've used the longer, but the only Windows OS I wasn't all that in to was Vista. Everything else, especially Windows 7, I loved.


Windows 7 was absolutely fantastic. As was Lion on my Mac. Life...life seemed good.


But guess what's happened in the past few years? Both Mac and PC "upgraded" their OSs - Windows with Windows 8 (8.1 if you wan't to count the recent update) and Macs just this past couple weeks with Mavericks, getting away from the "cat" theme and moving into westerns I guess. I suspect "Rio Bravo" will be the next one.


But here's the thing guys: I hate them, I really, really, really, really hate them.



Here's my constant issues with Windows 8:

-I actually love the interface. None of my problems are as superficial as "I want my Start button back" stuff. Right-clicking on the main folder I prefer. But hey, people got their little button back because they never heard of a Windows key. Congrats.


- The OS seems dumb in recognizing wireless routers. Any sense of just "pluggin it in" or "finding automatically" is a chore. Or even direct ethernet connections because it still considers that "unidentified." When it considers it "unidentifid," and it does alot even on routers it's been connected to before," it will absolutely not allow you online. Sure, it says you have internet access...but sorry, it's "limited" until it figures out what the name of the network is.


-I will say it hasn't done it as much in a few months at least, but still Windows will "forget" my network for no particular reason. I originally chalked this up to a service update, but it did it when there wasn't one a few times. Basically: the sidebar (the charms bar) says I'm all connected and everything is rainbows. However the status bar on the bottom, the area I call "actually knows what's happening" will say I'm connected but won't allow internet access because the network is "unidentified." Charms: connected to my identified network. Bottom Area: Not Identified. As mentioned, if it's not identified, you can't do shit.




Only solution is to turn off and back on. Sure, you might think that's minor, but I think "even Vista didn't do that. I would take my laptop to a coffee shop or bring in a new router for my desktop at home and even Vista made connecting seamless and easy."

 

-Then, let's say, I want to hook it up directly via ethernet. Good lord is that a chore. I stopped trying because it considers that cord "unidentifiable" and won't connect to the internet even when directly to the source.

 

BTW, every other system and OS that I need to just snap to the wireless router, including Windows 7, I had no problems. The Ethernet part is what I find most inexplicable. That's a direct connection straight in to the modem itself, bypassing the security of the router directly, yet it still considers it an unrecognizable network and will not connect.

 

-Why does Windows 8 automatically set up a Homegroup when I specifically ask it not to? Every once in a  while, a new "home group" icon will appear on the desktop. Just for no reason. I'm not interested in setting up a homegroup because the only other computers I use aren't Windows-based. Good in theory, bad in execution.



Here's my recent issues with Mavericks:

Simply put, there's really not a list. It's just slower. Noticeably and frustratingly slower. Slow enough for me to open an app, go to the bathroom, and it's still waiting to open.




The entire thing and every program is slow as hell. The mail app. Messages app. Calendar app. Address book. Even firefox and chrome. Everything is slow as all hell by comparison to the smooth, quick and stremlined Lion that was before it. Everything takes longer to load, it takes at least an extra ten or so seconds just to do anything. And I'm talking anything. Want to send a new email. Ok. Click "new message."


Wait ten seconds. You might as well start typing now.


Then that "new message" window will pop up. Wait a few extra seconds, then what you just typed will magically appear and ready to go.


Or let's say you're adding something to your calendar. Ok. Double click on the day to make a new event. Wait five seconds. Then type. Wait another five seconds. Then click enter. There you go. The lag is as frustrating as sitting on a toilet thinking you need to take a shit and the next thing you know five minutes have passed and that shit just ain't comin'


That's really what it boils down to: laggy and slow. I'm patient. I can wait for stuff to load on a webpage, but forever for an already-open-and-running program to do anything? Five to ten seconds can feel like an eternity, especially when you send and receive hundreds of emails a day.


Oh, that's right. That's already-open programs. Don't even get me started on how long it takes to open a program or app from the start. I'm only running a few at a time, this shouldn't be this bad and from what I can tell I'm not the only one with this problem. It seems if you have a Mac made before 2012 (mine mid-2011), this is pretty standard decrease of performance...this is a thing Apple does a lot: keep updating software to phase out the older hardware.


Problem is, mid-2011 isn't even that old. Not for a Mac. Hell, I was running Tiger on a low-end Power PC imac for five years and it was fine.


___________

Seriously, guys. Get your OS's working. I don't know what's worse, when I google a problem and find it's a common problem and nobody is doing anything about it or I google a problem and I'm the only one with the problem and can't get any help...either way I'm not getting any help.



In other words. Fix this shit. Amazing idea, isn't it?


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