Archive for May, 2012

Thoughts on the Sunday May 20, 2012 Chicago Anti-NATO rally, march, and protest

May 21, 2012

I arrived shortly after 9 AM on the Southshore train from South Bend, IN and stepped out from the Van Buren St. train exit onto Michigan Ave. amid many young, carefully arranged, packaged, and produced, affluent Chicagoans. This should have given me an idea what I was in for. I traveled northeast where meticulous parks shook hands with meticulous skyscrapers, where fashionable people walked with fashionable dogs. A giant opulent fountain looked out upon a shining blue expanse of water, dotted with boats which were undoubtedly fashionable if I had only paid more attention.

I was looked upon when anyone bothered as so much meat – perhaps adequate as a fillet but a poor one, and clearly not up to their ravenous but oh-so-delicate tastes in any case.

A line of media vehicles, big bulky and shining white, dominated one side of the street. Police hulked about in studious calm.

At the rally and subsequently there were four main contingents of participants – angry, young, middle class people fearing for their (material) future, progressives, anarchists, and people who show up at sexy large social gatherings to mingle. Although not ever spoken about on any news service I frequent, the latter group may well be the most populous. Note that “poor people” is not one of the groups, which is the big problem. This was a largely white, middle class (by middle class I mean people who are globally speaking very, very wealthy) gathering. This was therefore not at all a populist gathering, therefore not a revolutionary gathering, despite much rhetoric given during the gathering to the contrary.

Not much more need be said about it. The police occasionally tried to look intimidating but mostly were just bored, and hotter than the rest of us in their padded armor and helmets in the mid to high 80s degree heat and sun. The march stopped before we got to the poor side of town.

Walking the streets of Chicago after the event I saw far more poor people than I did during the event that opposes (or ostensibly opposes) an institution that dominates and oppresses poor people around the world and at home. Chicago is an utterly racially segregated city, with black and white separations between the white (wealthy) part of town, the black part of town, the Chinese part of town.

And another segregation – between poor people and “revolutionary” activists.

Anyone looking to seriously create revolution in the world rather than just having something sexy to put on their life’s resume needs to be part of a movement comprised largely of poor people. That’s the only logical possibility for where a revolution can come from.

2011 Killing Rate in Video Games

May 11, 2012

I went to this page on Wikipedia which details the A to AAA video game (console, handheld and computer, but not phone app games) titles released in 2011, and took a random sample of 50 games from the list of 266. The question I ask is “Does this game feature killing (of any apparent living creature) as a key aspect of gameplay?

The results are similar to past results: 39 of 50 feature killing, a 78% rate. Previously the rate was about 80% as well.

Here are links to some of my previous research:

Amateur Games

2006 PC Games

2005 PC Games

2004 PC Games

2006 Hollywood

On Gaming

May 11, 2012

The Vietnam “War”, better described as a stage of psychological and economic domination (enslavement) of East Asia by the West by means of industrial massacre, entered popular American consciousness in the mid 1960s. In 1955 Allen Ginsberg’s angry “Howl” threw unhappiness on an ostensibly happy country. In 1966 began the Society for Creative Anachronism, which rejected the power plays of the 20th century that caused so much devastation in favor of Middle Ages (read, prior to the Nuclear Age and the Industrial Revolution) role playing.

Drugs are to the biological human what Games are to the social human. Ginsberg and Timothy Leary with his “turn on, tune in, drop out” set the stage for video games, where humans drop out from the real world in favor of countless alternate realities.

As the dangers of drugs became more well known, video games stepped in to offer a “safer” alternative. By “safer” we mean of course that games are an utter waste of time and the body wastes away while doing them, but that unlike drugs no direct poison enters the body. However, very much unlike drugs games offer a potentially eternal escape from reality and are therefore far more dangerous.

“Social” gaming like MMOs attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too, by means of obscuring the nature and historical reality of video gaming through offering “alternative socialization” to face-to-face traditional human contact.

The Occupy Movement is more of a threat to gaming than it is to the elite. The elite can always just harass, arrest, injure, and kill enough people to instill enough fear in them to get them to stop being a threat (the movement can still defeat them, however). What the movement really threatens is the “turn on, tune in, drop out” mentality of gamers, by offering a positive space for people to engage with the traditional world.

Of course, gamers are a largely “middle class” bunch by which I mean they are ridiculously wealthy by global standards and often support the elite, so support the elite’s goal of having them waste their lives away in front of a computer screen.

There’s far more to say on this of course, such as how weightlifters escape their own impotence into a fantasy world of the maximization of muscles, how superheroes escape impotence into a fantasy world of the maximization of their moral goodness, righteousness, and power, etc. But just one more thing to sum it up:

As Roland Orzabal, Michael Andrews, and Gary Jules might say, “It’s a Mad World”. In a world out of control where no one (who’s in a position to do anything good about it) has any power we encourage children to murder 3,000 people in a video game in order to bring order to a fake world. We fool ourselves into believing this is empowering.

In the world of video games, noone has the freedom to be a monster. Not even if they have the decency to move away from humans and live in the depths of the earth. There’s a word for this lack of freedom: totalitarianism.

When we look into the undead, haunted, manic, messianic eyes of the Gamer we might find that being a monster is preferable. Anders Breivik thinks so.