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Socialism, Hannity, and Rush.

They expect us to reform! But not what you think.
They expect us to reform! But not what you think.
It's hilarious to me how the Republicans have distanced themselves from GW so much over the last few years, even to the extent where they will not discuss his administration yet flip right over to Obama. I came out to Mississippi recently to take care of my grandmother (after my grandfather passed). She suffers from Dementia, but has always been a hard follower of the Republican Party. I am subjected, daily, to Rush, Hannity and Fox news. After being here three months, I can without a doubt see how Fox news works. They will preemptively spin anything about Obama before they even break the story. "Obama has Signed a bill designating so and so - BUT DOES THIS MEAN WE'RE COMIES?" How their network can even legally claim to be "fair and balanced" is totally beyond me. They always go after Democrats, yet never mention the ongoings of those within their own party. Have we all forgoten Mr. Limbaughs little romp with prescription pain killers and his maid? I think we have. If we hadn't, I don't think that anyone, even those within the GOP could take this overweight, racist, sexist pig seriously. Yet, I suppose in this day and age, with "Socialism" and "Communism" threating our precious way of life, the GOP will take anyone.

Is this America? Hannity breaks it down for you at 10:00!
Is this America? Hannity breaks it down for you at 10:00!

It's one of the most incredibly facetious news networks ever created. Rush and Hannity on their own, though are even worse. They will hardly ever take callers who have a difference of opinion than theirs (screening) because they run out of the same pre made talking points that they write before their show airs. It's completely obvious that they have no skills in debating, or discussing anything outside of the fear mongering tactics which they employ. Out of the 15-20 some callers that Rush and Hannity take per day, I'd say one out of two actually disagree with them, and you can be certain that during the commercial breaks the screener will alert Rush or Hannity about the callers purpose and problem, which gives them a heads up on their talking points. I find it absolutely horrendous that these people, the GOP, are allowed to continue to spread fear and hate, just as they did during the GW Administration on terrorism. Now, they're stuck on the Socialism rant, which in all respects completely alienates the educated members of society. Yet, in their denial of GW, they are hoping that people actually forget these past 8 years, and listen to what they say about Obama, as if they have ANY credibility as a party, or as a movement in our modern culture. We are no longer the America of Marxism or isolationism; we have come too far to revert back to our "roots." The GOP is so adamant on hanging on to the past, as if our young country of only 250+ some odd years has nothing else to offer but Patriotism and Capitalism. We have made so many advances in the last fifty years in foreign policy, domestic policy and reform of old laws which did leave our country out dated (racism, marxism, segregation, lack of Unions, workers comp, etc, etc).  And guess which party opposed nearly all of them? You guessed it right. But no! No. I stand corrected. The GOP stands for conservatism. And no (insert sarcasm) that doesn't mean racism, or unfair business practices or does it even remotely hint at isolationsim. Wait, no actually the GOP can't stand for isolationism anymore, there is that little threat of those people you know, the ones who look different than the white man. Oh yeah, that's generally labled as terrorism now. I forgot, I haven't been around for the last eight years to have all of those lies and fear tactics shuved down my closed minded throat.

Holy shit! People actually listen to them?
Holy shit! People actually listen to them?

The greatest aspect of America is its ability to change and adapt to those countries who in all respects have every right to move forward as they wish. It is not our place to employ policies and threats to those who are different than us. Yet, this is and always has and will be the policy of the GOP - because their agenda is wealth. It's quite simple. You cannot change greed, because greed is tangible. Without any morals, ethics or reason, how can you prove a point? The GOP are evil, and I say this with the sincerest form of open mindedness that I have. I do not hate any one. I am not racist, nor do I hold an ill intent in my heart for anyone. Yet the facts speak for themselves. And if Americans still fall for talking points and what the media crams down their throat (on either side of the isle) then we can't ever expect to move forward. It's not that hard to see why people choose the parties they do. Although it is hard to prove what is right, and what is wrong.

Social Networking and the Real World.

With the introduction of Myspace, Facebook and other parallel models of social networking websites throughout the past seven years, the world has undoubtedly become a much closer place than ever before. Technological brainchildren like Twitter, Youtube, Digg and similar social networking portals have evolved past the typical mainstay of profile based "friendship websites". It would be uncultured as well as naive for anyone to deny that social networking hasn't brought people closer to one another than ever before with tools like messaging, instant updates, comments, and multimedia based communication. Yet, with the great increase in connection, declaration of personal freedom, social approval and validation that these websites bring, there is also an underlying issue which I believe faces our youth and community: vanity.

Yup, me.
Yup, me.

The internet has for a long time been an environment for anonymity and freedom of speech in which individuals are free to express their opinions and viewpoints on topics ranging from politics and technology, to love and culture, and so on. Yet, with the arrival of websites such as Myspace and Facebook, the aspect of the anonominity of communication is no longer the exception. Average people from everyday walks of life are now able to connect with their friends, family, co-workers and strangers with the click of a mouse and some basic background information. Not only are websites like Myspace and Facebook used for staying in contact with friends and family, they are also used as form of personal advertisement and self assessment. In a realm of society where a user is free from the restraints and confines of social approval, they may often find it easy to be whoever and whatever they choose to be without the fear of condemnation from their peers and interpersonal relationships. These social networking websites are an easy dimension to find yourself lost in, while still maintaining a feeling of perceived self. In a world where fantasy, liberty and pleasure are the intent, the bi-product however is indulgence, instant gratification and confirmation of one's ideal self.

If, let's say, an average person who doesn't fancy themselves as being tech-savvy, were to look at a Myspace profile for instance, they would probably compare it to what one would think of as a classifieds ad. As a user of these online social networking websites you can communicate a version of yourself to people that you most likely wouldn't admit to in real life. Users poses the ability to add their own aesthetic touch to the design and layout of their profile; add their favorite images and music, as well as stay updated to what their friends are doing. However, when you take a closer look at a user’s profile, you will typically, but not always see a disturbing trend in how an individual will broadcast themselves to their peers. The typical girl, for example, will portray themselves in a promiscuous way while still maintaining an image of independence and self worth. If you look at the average Myspace-esque photo, fashion plays a huge role. However, the trend in the style is not the issue; it's the trend in the openness and fabrication of their real lives which they lead other people to believe.

The yearning for approval is nothing new. Society has always played a large role in how a person views their own self image. As children we are raised by our parents and society to fit into certain orthodoxies, and play our gender roles. Men are told as boys that they are rough, rugged and independent; while women on the other hand are handled with a different prudence. For example, a girl shouldn't be hit by a boy, because it's wrong. So in this instance the parents are assigning a weaker more submissive role to a woman. Yet, on the reverse spectrum, this enables women to play a more gentle and important role as they grow up. A father of a girl is their protector, hence the phrase "daddies girl". A girl is given much more care as they are growing up. So when a woman reaches puberty and begins to look at guys, they typically don't want a weak submissive guy, because they've been handled with care all of their lives. So, we see that our gender roles are set at a very young age to establish who we are supposed to become in our society.

No Caption Provided

Anyone who has a Myspace account, or a Facebook account has probably felt a feeling of jealousy or admiration when they see a profile of someone who appears to have everything in order. You know, when you login and you see that bulletin that says something along the lines of: “That was so fun last night! I got so drunk =)!” Or when they write a blog exclaiming how much better their life is now than it was before. This is the same thing humans do in our day to day lives. We are at a constant war with one another to see who is worthier of acceptance – and it all stems from the idea and need to reproduce. Men are hard coded to find women who are fertile, and they see this in their physical beauty. It’s a natural programming encoded in our DNA which asserts us of the statistical probability in how well a woman is able to reproduce. That’s why men really only think about sex appeal as opposed to women who look at a group of men, and will decide the best candidate based on how successful, healthy and optimistic of the future they appear. Women are looking for a man who can be a good provider, as well as bear a child with a low likelihood of genetic defects (which is why women look at a guy and gauge how attractive his features are).

Now, I may have side-tracked a bit there up above, but it all fits into this self perceived concept which we have that asserts that because we are individuals, we think that we are specifically unique, and our lives are not co-dependent upon one another. Yet, the fact of the matter is, is that everyone is seeking everyone elses approval, no matter what they say or how they show it. This is where social networking comes in. It’s an easy avenue for making yourself appear to be completely different than who you really are. The level of transparency and honesty on the internet is vague, and hard to be found even while looking at a friends profile. There is a trend, in my opinion, happening with our youth which needs to be addressed. It’s not healthy for young girls and young boys to constantly have to compete with one another and trick others into thinking that they are what they feel people think they should be. I see dozens of my friends profiles and they appear so different on the internet than they are in real life, and it always seems to be that they want to show off, or seem like they are perfect and infallible. I suppose this why Myspace and other social networking websites are often used to meet people and date them. Users are simply mimicking how they would compensate in the real world, ie: nice car, cool clothes and the appearance of a lot of money and wealth. Yet, I think that the ability to be so open and connected is teaching young kids who have unlimited access to this form of socializing that tricking others into thinking you are someone you’re not is a good way of getting people to like you.

It is my hope that as our generation ages, we will be able to avoid some of the mistakes that many of our predecessors have made. Our society rewards instant gratification and applauds success. We falsely believe that at the end of the road, how much money we have and how popular we are will make a difference. A very intelligent professor who teaches at UCI once told me, “It’s not where you end up at the end of your journey through life, it’s the experiences you went through which will make you the person you are.” Happiness is the bi-product of finding yourself, not the goal and means to the end. If we can put aside popularity for self admission, and stop comparing our lives to other peoples, maybe our generation can overcome the many disorders such as depression, drug addiction, alcoholism and murders which seems to grip man-kind. And maybe the way we can accomplish this is through communication on the internet. Using tools that are at our disposal to better our race, instead of to gain personal gratification may be the only way in which we can reverse the past, and look forward to the future.

Internet - The Downfall Days

A mere ten years ago in 1998, when I started to delve into gaming and the internet, barely anyone really knew what computer games had to offer; or why people bothered to bury their noses in them for hours and hours a night. I started to game during a time when one found their video game news on a forum, deeply buried within lack-luster search engines like Yahoo and Excite. If you were really a hardcore nerd then you'd know to find all of the latest news and game talk within forums - where social status meant little, and most things were community driven by old school thinkers and video game enthusiasts from the 90's. You need to keep in mind that when I was online, many websites were still recovering from the "dot-com bubble", and a four letter domain name was still possible to find. Yet, it boggles my mind how so much has changed within my time on the internet, and how hundreds of huge, multi-billion dollar companies have their fingers in everything we do. Does this revolution of social networking and video game marketing mimic any signs which were prevalent before the"dot-com" crash?

In the
In the "in".

When I started video gaming back in the day, it wasn't cool or hip to be a geek/nerd. There were no Gamestops, Blogs, Attack of the Show's, Myspace's, Facebook's, Widgets, Youtubes or anything like that. Most people got a kick out of web-comics or tongue-in-cheek web humor which was mostly derived from nerds on forums. The internet at this time was only beginning to touch on communication between users. Yes we had IRC, AOL chatrooms, Gamespy Arcade, AIM and various other chat devices and forums - but that was the extent of things. Roger Wilco (voice chat software by Gamespy) was about the only "live" feature that the majority of us had. Yet, my attempt in this blog isn't to point out how aesthetics and features on the internet have changed - but more so how marketing and the trends in gaming and web surfing has changed.  There was a story I once heard about an IT technician from 1999, who's main job was to network computers, and fix printers. One day he goes up to his boss and says "I think we should build a website for our company. Now mind you it will run around $2,000-$3,000 dollars; but I think it will help our profits in the long run." The boss puts down a stack of papers he was holding, takes off his glasses and says, "You're demoted. We don't need "BIG" thinkers, we need go-geters." No less than a year later, on March 10 2001, the "dot-com bubble" burst, and the worth and value of internet domain names and stocks plummeted.
Typical cool stereotype = Priceless
Typical cool stereotype = Priceless

This is important to note, because many CEO's were fired for pushing for too much e-commerce and Y2K related expenses; leading many CEO's to switch markets and re-group to come back to fight another day (Social Networking years later). At this time around 2001-2002 when I was just getting into the midst of gaming, no one of any stature or push, ever really discussed this medium of entertainment. Gaming at this time was not an aspect of mainstream media - it was simply viewed as a hobby for nerds. Computer enthusiasts did have a few sources of input from mainstream media, such as "Tech-TV" and conventions like Quakecon and E3. Yet, in retrospect, I don't remember ever seeing commercials or advertisements about computer gaming. I would come home from school and jump on a forum, or meet a friend in-game in Quake 3 or on AIM . I didn't have the luxury of seeing every thought a friend of mine had like you do with Twitter. I couldn't read my friends thoughts, other than what they were writing in their diary's. I was still considered a nerd during this time: someone who was an introvert and didn't like people.

Apple was still fooling around with their horrible "slip-cover" one button mouse, and game developers could only get the word out through unknown gaming websites and small computer enthusiast retail stores. This was a time when Starbucks was simply a coffee shop for wanna-be Seattle-esque college kids. I remember when I wasn't force fed which games I should like, or which websites were cool, and which weren't. I didn't see everyone and their mother walking around with an iBook and glasses. This was a pure time. Where I stood, on an iceberg of a unique community known as the internet, I was in my own niche. Although little did I know that within a few years, this iceberg would sink and would lead to multi-million dollar investments and sponsorships for gaming clans and a world-wide web where everything I did was dumbed down so I could easily communicate with my friends. I feel like back in the olden days of web surfing, gaming, and being a nerd in general, we had our own niche. Gamers and tech nerds owned these proverbial "plains" as you might call them - and we were the cowboys and Indians of the day.

Not until 2004 did computer gaming and technology really start to impact the mainstream. Without a doubt the launch of Myspace and the MTV marketing campaign of Microsoft with the Xbox 360 really launched gaming and computer technology to the fore-front of people's homes. I understand that at this time technology was booming, and most of you who are reading this were probably gamers, and you probably used forums and watched Tech-TV. But I feel as if around 2004, major companies and big business really decided to take a step and bring their money and power into the game. When Fox bought Myspace, this was the start of, what I think, is the downfall and saturation of the world-wide web. I'm not a skeptic, or a pessimist, I'm simply expressing the opinions which I feel. Now I'm all for Web 2.0 style designs, and interacting with your friends. I'm happy that gaming and technology has become a big part of this world which we live in - yet I'm scared for the future. I'm scared to think that my every move, and every thing I do is being monitored by "Big Brother". I'm afraid that I may, someday, be surfing a world wide web controlled by mass conglomerate shareholders, who are only interested in the Alexa chart, and ad clicks.
Your sister is on the internet now.
Your sister is on the internet now.

The internet that I began on, is much different than I ever anticipated it to be. And most of us aren't even looking at the potential ramifications of what is going on right now. The internet, in all of it's glory and all knowing power is being saturated by mass media and social networking websites, which are being bought out and controlled for millions of dollars. These events are a fore-shadow of something major to come. Yes, we all love the internet, and it's become a huge part of our day to day lives - though I'm not discounting this at all. Yet, I want to express my worries, and my doubts as to if what we are promoting today may eventually lead down a path of implosion. We all think that the internet is limitless, but in all actuality most of us don't even know 1% of the amount of websites out there. Yet we are being steered and led to use certain websites in order to surf the internet. And we are led to view ads which promote certain products and certain video games to a certain market which I guarantee has been put through a "think-tank" in some corporate study,  and we are all the mouse in the maze looking for the cheese.

Google is no longer a search engine. Google is a multi-billon dollar company who owns Youtube, and is trying to get their fingers in the telecommunications business and social networking business. And this isn't the only company which seems to have the internet by it's balls. There are thousands upon thousands of companies out there ruining the independent. Luring traffic to their websites from ads and squatters (parked domain). With every dollar and cent being dumped into these social networking websites to bring together millions of people to produce streaming revenue and page views, it's only a matter of time before we begin to reap what we've sown. We will, at some point, begin to see these major websites lose a lot of the pull and strength that they have on the market. It's the natural order of things when something becomes old - something else is the new and hip thing to do.

This, I believe, is the beginning of the end for the boom of the internet. With so much saturation and product placement, so much big business and big brother - all of the signs are there for the internet to stop being what we all know, or once knew; and the beginning of it becoming something aimed at .... well I'm not sure. I can't predict the future, but I can read the warning signs when I see them. To be cool now is simply a bi-product of the commercials and the ad placements that we've been subjected to. Why am I to think that I was a stupid pathetic nerd only but a mere 5 years ago before Microsoft began putting "cool" into video games - but now, no now that we are all accustomed to technology and the biggest and best rigs and top of the line hardware, am I starting to become cool. Yeah, thanks big business for telling me that video games and sitting on my arse for 10 hours a day on your social networking website makes me cool! Because I know that before they stepped in, I was simply a nerd without the tools to navigate the internet. Pfft, I think I'll go buy an iPod, jump on Twitter, watch Attack of the show, buy a Starbucks Latte and push up Facebooks Alexa page rank.


Giant Bomb vs. Gamespot

Among the wide array of  topics flooding Giantbomb's forums over the last week, one of the first topics, rightfully so, was about Gamespot. One topic in general which encompassed many smaller topics was whether or not their website might impact Giantbomb. Furthermore, speculation and increasing hostility has amped up speculation of whether either website is taking traffic from one another. Well this needs to stop, NAO. For anyone reading this, I know you've either been a member of Gamespot or you've probably lurked around their forums from time to time. You're probably aware of some hate that Gamespot moderators get for being controlling of their forums and banning members - revoking points. But one thing I do know, however, is that you either heard about Giantbomb from a reputable forum/source, or you heard it from Gamespot. So we can rule out that at least 80% of the people reading this have been to Gamespot. This can lead down one of two roads: the road less traveled by would probably be the one where you saw a link to Giantbomb on the Gamespot forums and lurked over here to see what all of the fuss was about. But the road most traveled by probably was the one that either got you banned, or generally left a horrible taste in your mouth so you didn't really want to go back to that place.

David vs. Goliath
David vs. Goliath
Dear lord...
Dear lord...

Now this can be said for any forum, or website on the internet - because after all, there are billions of web pages out there on random servers throughout the world - yet we all know that most of us are direct descendants of Gamespot. "So what?" you're probably asking yourself right now. Well, either you probably go back there from time to time, you're a regular poster still, or you said f***k you, I'm done with this shit. That's fine. You're an adult, and we're not going to hold your hand and tell you what to do. But it's pointless to even utter each websites name together in the same sentence.

We all know about the fiasco with Jeff Gerstmann, and we all know the conspiracy theories behind why he was laid off. Jeff's gone on the record to say that all of that's over, and he's moved on - which is why he's created Giantbomb. A rivalry is normal, but it's uncalled for because each side is just fueling their own boredom and fanboyism towards their preferences. If I was to go over to Gamespots forum and read any thread on Giantbomb, it would probably be the exact same thing as it would if I read a forum post about Gamespot over here. So why do it? Maybe it's intriguing to see what the other side has to say. But at the end of the day you're not making yourself a better person. You're just feeding the humongous CRAP monster that is: hate/trolling/boredom/cynicism and bitterness all rolled into one. No one is going to benefit from some pathetic (this forum is better than this forum) war. It's actually, quite literally... pointless. Albeit, some of us do enjoy the occasional drama - neither side has anything to gain from such a pointless, bitter dispute.

We say, "Gamespot is full of uptight old bastards.", and they say "those forums are a mess, and the layout is too dark." I say "Get the heck over it." Supposedly we're all supposed to be showing the population that gaming isn't for little kids who have nothing better to do than hang out side liquor stores and bug old ladies. But if half of the population actually knew what we wasted our time about arguing over message boards - they wouldn't take a damn one of us seriously. If you want respect, spread it around like a virus. The stuff's contagious.


The Internet - Serious Business

It's been a hectic 3 days so far. The launch of the website Sunday has been causing thousands of children, teenagers and adults to become sleep deprived and catch carpel tunnel syndrome. Although we've had our normal influx of trolls and spammers, it hasn't been all that bad, actually. There is one notable troll which I believe has already been taken care of. So far this week we've had a podcast with the guys from GB - laughing it up and talking about how they never anticipated to get 8,400 members on the first day. We've also seen over 20,000 submissions pile up - some good, some fairly horrible. "Final Fantasy 7 was the first game of the FF series" ..... Moving on....

We're halfway through the middle of the week and a lot of suggestions have been submitted for new features to the website. Well this websites API is quite easy to edit and configure, so for all of you who are wanting this and that - hold tight. The crew is working on bugs and submissions right now. I'm sure they'd love to make your every wish come true, but there are certain steps that need to be taken. So hold tight my kiddies!

As for the forum, there have been many people suggesting that a lack of moderation means the apocalypse is upon us, or that the staff isn't doing something right. It should dawn on some of you, if you've been around long enough, that moderation is an important, vital and necessary aspect of a website. This being known, and said, why should the staff rush to pick a handful of people whom they barely even know yet? I would feel much better if we let some time go by and see who has the guts and who has the glory. For all of you self admiring people out there who feel like you'd make a great moderator, fine! Prove it first though - and not by post count. Post count means little except for the fact that you're on 24/7. Prove your worth by your actions, and your maturity in handling any number of situations. That's the best advice I can give anyone who wants to be a part of something big like Giantbomb.

Yet, aside from the fact that moderation is a necessity, it's not a right. If you become a moderator I urge you to have the common courtesy to not wave your tag around as if you've been given the key to the city. Remain humble and invisible. Do the work that needs to be done and play an active part in the community. The internet these days is serious business, and people feel as if what they say and who they are makes them important. Don't lose your head though - and don't get a big head either. So far, GB has a great staff and has made some decent picks for moderation. Remember guys, this is our community; we mold it into what we want it to be. It's a group effort.

I would also like to remind everyone that we have an irc channel setup. Come in anytime of the day/night for technical support to to just hang out and argue about why the wii isn't a hardcore system.

Giant Bomb IRC

Port: 6667
Channel: #giantbomb

This blog was short, but it is quite late. I will cover one topic daily - be it from real life events, or Giantbomb. Stay tuned girls and boys.


First day at giant bomb

I see this place going far. This is the first day of launch, and I've run into a lot of cool and intellectual people. It feels very different from GS. GS went to hell and everyone around these parts knows this. We were all ready for a change, but no one stepped up until Jeff and the other editors made GB.

It feels like a new day.



I love the web 2.0 features, and the social networking feeling this place has. It's a tad slow right now, which is to be expected. I think overall, however, you  guys have created a safe haven for those who are tired of BS.