Monday, January 3, 2011

Twelve Years of Stupid

I don't understand the public education system at all. It feels to me like it was designed centuries ago for a society in which the presence of sources of knowledge was very limited (if this sounds too wordy for you, stick with it, it gets easier and I start swearing later.); in other words, designed for a world wherein you need to retain as much knowledge as you possibly could. That's now the absolute last way I would describe our society today. We have libraries everywhere, we have the ability to communicate with many, many people, and we have the internet. On the internet, you can find almost any bit of knowledge you could ever want.

(By the way, when I say knowledge, I mean things like facts, forumlae, historic dates, and so on).

Let me phrase this in the form of a role-playing scenario/question.

You come across something you don't know the answer to. What do you do?
1. Call a friend
2. Google it
3. Give up. After all, if you don't know the answer, you should have studied harder!

Now, which of these answers applies to real life, and which one applies to a test in school? And, a better question is, why is it that the one that applies to school has nothing to do with the ones that apply to real life?

We now have smartphones and laptops which can be taken with us and can give us any bit of knowledge we would ever need. If you have a smartphone and an internet connection, congratulations, you have access to everything anyone has ever studied, worked on, experimented with, published, wrote, or ranted. Knowledge used to be very valuable, because it was hard to find. Printing presses were rare, books were rare, libraries were rare. What you could learn was very valuable because, if you forgot something, you would never know if you could look it up again. Now, we can find knowledge anywhere. If you are ever curious about anything, you can go to your nearest library, computer, or wi-fi enabled smartphone, and look it up. Knowledge is everywhere.

Schools don't know that. Schools now have libraries in them, we have computer labs and the internet and we're still being taught as though these things don't exist. Let me explain to you what I mean: Exams. You sit in a room, filling out, essentially, a form that tests you on your ability to regurgitate answers someone else came up with. Talking to another person is considered cheating, looking up some information in your own notes is considered cheating, looking up information on the internet is considered cheating. How is this sort of testing preparing anybody for anything resembling real life? In what situation are you going to have to solve a given problem with a given solution without being able to call someone, ask someone, or look something up? Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Cash Cab? The only examples I can think of are TV quiz shows, and if that's what we're preparing our kids for then we are setting the bar very, very, very low.

I recently took a test in Earth and Space science; I am certain that, given the ability to google absolutely anything, I could have scored 100% on that test. Kids today can find anything they would ever be asked, but adults seem to think that finding information is somehow inherently worse than knowing information; instead of learning to find anything you may ever need to know whenever you need to know it, they expect you to just "study things and hope they come in handy later."

That's fucking wrong.

My Computer Science class is a brilliant class because of how open-ended it is. We are given tools (i.e. we are told what loops are, what methods are, strings, variables, conditional statements, and so on) and then we are given problems. Our job is to find how to solve a given problem using anything we have learned, and anything we want to look for on the internet. That sounds an awful lot like real life. Why aren't there any more classes like this? Classes should have less structure, and kids should have more time to figure things out on their own, using any resources they have available. Schools are not preparing kids today to find and solve practical problems; schools today are training their students to be good at terribly designed and outdated forms of standardized testing. Why? So that your academic achievement can be butchered, turned into a number (your grade point average) and then given to a soulless corporation or government branch which determines how much money the schools deserve.

Schools lie to us, constantly. They tell us all we're different, but they treat us like we're all the same. For eight years, everyone is taught exactly the same subjects using exactly the same (flawed) teaching methods and judged by the same standards. In some cases, kids can skip a grade or repeat a grade, but these cases are very few and very far between. Why are we grouped by age? Age is probably the most arbitrary way to separate kids into learning groups. Let kids form their own groups; groups based on common interests, on learning methods, on levels of intelligence. We're not new to the idea of finding friends; we certainly do a lot of that during whatever time you give us when you're not busy hammering us in the face with rote learning. Why do you think people like to sit with their friends in classes? Because when you're with your friends, you learn from each-other. If you understand each-other and you are comfortable with helping each-other, or asking for help from each-other, guess what?

You're fucking learning!

If kids are arbitrarily (a fancy word that means "for no logical goddamn reason") thrown into classes of twenty or thirty, and the class progresses at the rate of the slowest kid (remember, no child left behind!), you're failing to provide an education to the smarter kids in favour of making the slow kids feel better. We start separating kids by what groups they want to be in (Here, the different courses are called Academic or Applied - courses for bright, university-bound kids versus kids who just need credits, to apply for college, to get into trades, etc.) That's a few years overdue, to say the least. I think, if you're good at math, and you want to challenge yourself with more advanced math to get you in more jobs where math-based problem solving is required, chances are, you know long, long before the ninth grade that you can crunch numbers better than the doofus three rows down cramming crayons up his nose. And maybe, just maybe, if math class trucked along at the rate the kids who were good at math moved (you know, the ones that actually have some interest in that class), we wouldn't have high-school and university teachers complaining today about how "kids are unprepared for higher-level learning."

Schools also tend to spend a lot of time trying to get kids to stay in school. They do this by giving people shit for skipping school, especially if it was during something "important" (i.e. a test, a presentation, etc.) Generally, any time they're dehumanizing you by reducing your intellectual worth to a number, they sure as hell don't want you to be late.

Why does this sort of thing have to have artificial consequences? A detention, in and of itself, solves nothing; if skipping school was actually bad, people would stop skipping school to begin with. It's like saying "don't touch that poison ivy, or I'll punch you in the face." If the people who skip school were given any reason not to skip school (for instance, if the curriculum started offering engaging courses in which students were allowed to think for themselves), we wouldn't need artificial consequences. Hell, we don't even need them now. Here's how you save schools a whole bunch of time and headache:
1. Tell kids to go to school.
2. If they don't go to school, leave them the fuck alone. The fact that they missed out on learning the material should be enough of a consequence; if the material was important, they wouldn't skip school to begin with, and if it's not important to them, why are you punishing them for making what they believe is a rational decision?

Let me phrase this another way: if Timmy gets a more fulfilling experience by playing World of Warcraft than by going to school, why is that Timmy's fault? The two pastimes have the same goal - make Timmy give a shit - and World of Warcraft is clearly the winner here. If schools were teaching Timmy things he could easily see were important (for instance, let's pretend Timmy lives in a forest, and schools had a university-level class on how to kill a bear with your bare goddamn hands) you bet your ass Timmy's eyes would be glued to the blackboard like Bill Cosby's kids on a handful of Jello brand pudding pops (they taste just like Jell-o gelatin.). If Timmy decides the class isn't important, we can assume natural selection will kill him off before his genes have a chance to be passed on. You don't always have to defy nature, folks, sometimes it just knows what it's doing.

And here's another question: why is it that if I miss something like a test or an assignment, I am treated as guilty until proven innocent? If I miss a test, I need to provide a doctor's note or a court order. Here's why this is stupid:
1. You don't always see a doctor if you feel shitty. Some people have the mental capacity to figure out when they just need a little Robitussin and a few naps, I don't need a guy with a degree in a white coat to tell me I've got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.
2. People who pretend to be sick to skip school don't give a shit about their marks, so failing them on a test they missed isn't a punishment at all.

What this means is that the smart people - i.e., the ones who can self-diagnose common household maladies and treat them on their own, while also knowing that doing good in school is important (important to whom is a separate issue entirely) - are being punished. The only way around this is to:
1. Waste a doctor's time with something you could have handled yourself solely because the people at school seem to think you and your parents are filthy liars, and the doctor is a paragon of truth and justice and only gives out doctor's notes to people who are really sick.
2. Go to school despite being sick, probably infecting several people in the process.

As a result, people who want to do good in school are punished while the people who, quite frankly, don't give a shit, aren't going to start giving a shit. Great job.
Here's another thing I don't understand: homework. Homework is an absolutely terrible idea that accomplishes nothing beneficial to anybody except an impatient teacher working behind a flawed curriculum on a tight schedule. I am firmly in belief that if I go to a place and do work I'm not getting paid to do, then that work should at least give me the courtesy of not following me home. People often reply to this complaint with "oh, but the curriculum has packed too much material for the school day to handle!" or "oh, but with the elimination of the thirteenth grade we have to cover more subjects" and an old favourite, "Kids need to practice the skills they learn at school, at home."

When was the last time an auto-mechanic went home and took apart his car, then put it back together, simply because "I need to practice the skills I use in the workplace, at home!" I guarantee you it's probably never (unless the guy was secretly building a Batmobile and a Tron bike in his garage). You know why? Because he gets enough of that shit at work! If he doesn't know something, here's what he does:
1. Find the manual.
2. Read the part of the manual pertaining to the thing he wants to do
3. Do what the manual said he should do

What is it that students are doing that is so important they can't do it in six hours a day, and they have to take it home with them to do it some more? If there really is something wrong with the curriculum, why don't you call whoever the fuck is in charge and get them to get their shit in check and fix it? If a bridge has a big hole in it, you don't just put up a sign that says "Warning: big fucking hole in bridge ahead" and hope everyone gets used to the fact that there's a big fucking hole in the bridge ahead, you fix the goddamn hole! And yet, we're applying weird band-aid solutions to big, gaping cannon-ball-wound-sized problems. Like, instead of allowing us to use a computer, a nearby library, a close friend, or even our own notes* during a test, they tell us "oh, study with your friends/the internet/at a library, but don't you dare try to use your resources on a test!

And hell, maybe if you stopped giving these kids homework they might occasionally have enough energy at the end of the day to come up with one of their own thoughts.

*Some teachers actually allow you to take a limited amount of information with you to a test, say, a one-sided page of notes. There is some hope left in the world.

"Schools don't teach us how to learn. Schools teach us how to hate to learn." -Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes. Schools teach us how to be evaluated. Schools teach us how to appeal to the folks in charge of handing out jobs, scholarships, and college admissions. They're not teaching us, they're training us. Like dogs. The only reason I'm in school is because there are people out there with employment opportunities who think school is somehow important, necessary, helpful, or anything that isn't synonymous to "a huge waste of time."

The reason we, as kids, don't like school is because school doesn't offer us anything we find useful. If your child tells you he doesn't want to go to school, what are you going to do? Acknowledge the fact that schools are outdated and teaching based on obsolete principles? Or are you going to tell your kid to shut the fuck up and pump them full of whatever drug gets them in a mood you approve of? When are we going to acknowledge the fact that standardized testing is a terrible way to judge anyone's achievement and that the ability to find information is infinitely more important than the idea to memorize it?

If children are the future, stop preparing them for the past.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Daily Weather

Meteorology makes no sense to me, and I want to be a Meteorologist.

I watch the Weather channel every day, and I'm amazed on a weekly basis. Firstly, we have an entire channel dedicated to weather, and out of an hour we watch maybe half an hour of advertisements, and then half an hour of weather predictions that have been pulled out of someone's ass. I'd try to count the ways in which my Weather Channel scares the living frogshit out of me, but I don't have enough fingers. (Not because there are necessarily many, it's just that I operate heavy and explosive machinery with my bare hands as a hobby.)

1. "Here is the weather for the next two weeks."
I can't remember the last time any Meteorologist has predicted the weather two weeks from now and has gotten it right. You can watch the two-weekly predictions and they'd be about as consistent as the thoughts of a bi-polar schizophrenic with down's syndrome in the middle of a fireworks display. "Next Tuesday it'll be sunny, no, partly sunny, no, windy! There's gonna be lots of wind! No, it'll be a hurricane! Three hurricanes! A tornado! No, it's more of a cyclone! Wait, no, that's a fly on my monitor, it'll actually be a meteor strike! False alarm, it's partly cloudy. Back to you, Tom."
I don't see who really needs this kind of long-range prediction. I don't lay out my clothes for the next two weeks, and if I were planning a vacation, I wouldn't really look at the local weather anyway, because I don't vacation ten feet from my house.

2. "Here is the weather all across Canada!"

This is a waste of time and a kick in the balls. I really couldn't care less what the weather is like over in British Columbia, because I know it's always mildly whatever-it's-supposed-to-be-now. If there was such thing as having no weather at all, it'd be what British Columbia is like. I don't need to dedicate a weather channel to this. What they do, more often than not, is just say "Hey, someone's got nice weather, but it's not you."

3. "Here is all the weather on a screen. I am paid to read it."

This has always pissed me off. There's a person who gets paid very well to put on a suit and read out loud what they're already showing you on the screen. You don't need to say "Partly cloudy, 12 degrees" because I've got at least one functional eye, I can see the screen. I don't care about "here is a cold front playing Kickball with a warm front making a tornado on Newfoundland's face" because you've already got a picture of a tornado up, and I have enough of an imagination to envision the swirls and the floating bathtubs and the people with trees sticking out of their ears floating in midair on a cushion made of wind and severed water pipes.

4. "Here is the weather, right now."

Alright, I understand some people might live in a house with a TV, but no thermometers, windows, or doors. (I suppose if you spent your life in a broom closet, this might be relevant.) So, they'd turn on the T.V. and see "oh, today the sun is out, and it's fourteen degrees! I'll wear a light sweater and my baseball cap with the picture of a bear shitting on a leprechaun." And then they'd go outside and it'd be four degrees, and it'd be the cloudiest, grayest, most depressing day on record.
That's right, sometimes the weather channel doesn't even know what the weather is like right now.
I don't even know how to respond to that. It's like going to an audition to be a juggling trapeze artist for a traveling circus, and clearly demonstrating that you lack the motor skills to wipe your own ass.

5. "Here's what the temperature would have been if..."

Humidex and Windchill are two things that don't make a lot of sense to me. First off, if Humidity is reflected in the Humidex, then the wind should be reflected in the Windex. Last time I saw anything reflected in my Windex was when there was a fine layer of it on my bathroom mirror, which has nothing to do with the weather channel.
I really don't understand why they say things like "The temperature is 5 degrees, but with the windchill, it's -4." or "The temperature is 21 degrees, but with the humidex, it's 3482 multiplied by the surface temperature of the sun divided by the number of times you thought it'd be a great idea to put deodorant on your balls"
Well, I don't really care about what it is, I care about what it feels like. Because when I get dressed in the morning, I dress according to what it feels like, not what it would have felt like if the wind suddenly stopped for no reason or if the relative humidity suddenly dropped to something a little more reasonable."

I suppose if I were a meteorologist, I'd see things differently. Then again, if I were a meteorologist I'd be getting paid six figures a year to be less accurate than a coin flip. Achievement unlocked.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Clash of the Titans

Disclaimer: this is not about the upcoming movie related to Greek mythology and whatnot. If you wanted that, go play God of War and watch Kratos climb his way the fuck out of Hades or something.

Disclaimer Addendum: This was written by a very un-biased person whose opinions should not be taken with a pinch of salt and have not been exaggerated for entertainment purposes.

Disclaimer Addendum Addendum: The above was not sarcasm. At all.

They say that competition is good. If two sandwich shops are constantly competing to be the better shop, you'll get a bunch of fucking delicious sandwiches no matter where you eat. The same can be said of videogames: if companies are constantly competing to deliver quality games at (debatably) reasonable prices, the end result is that the consumer (i.e. me, and possibly you) get to "consume*" increasingly awesome video games.

*I am not responsible if you take the word "consume" literally and decide that eating a disc as though it's some kind of fucking new-age bagel is a good idea.

Well, every March, an online video game magazine known as The Escapist holds a popularity contest competition called "March Mayhem" in which, quite simply, you can vote for your favourite developer over several rounds and hope they win an imaginary trophy or something. This year, one newcomer company known as Zynga has been bending everyone over, winning every matchup it's been in so far. On the surface, it sounds like a great underdog story. "Zynga - the little dev that could." They could make a disney movie out of it and it would sell millions.

They are soon to face the behemoth of a company known as VALVe, the people that brought you Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, as well as the digital product-delivery, communication, and overall ass-kicking program known as Steam.

Here's what Zynga contributed:

That's right, these are the masterminds that brought you "Fucking annoying Facebook notification generator with a farm skin," "Fucking annoying Facebook notification generator with an aquarium skin," and "Fucking annoying Facebook notification generator with a mafia skin." Oh, and since that's not quite enough to generate the kind of raging face-melting energy people normally use to weld steel doors to the back of a shark's ass, they've also admitted to being fucking scammers and sold "digital items" for their shiny decorated progress bars games, which are valued at up to $42.00 Seriously. That's 42$ so that you don't have to worry about your fucking virtual plants so you can spend more time pissing me off on facebook at how fucking great you are for owning a virtual fucking farm. The only positive thing I can say about this is that you're paying $42 to never have to touch that piece of shit again and know that your "plants" are still safe.

If you haven't experienced a Zynga game before, here's what you do: Find a calculator. Then punch the buttons, in this order: "1" "+" "+" "=" "=". Then hit the "=" button over and over again and watch the number go up. Put a sticker of a chicken or a dead cow or something on it. Every time you see a number divisible by 20, please yell loudly about your accomplishment. That's Farmville.
If your calculator is too cool for that, just click this. Having fun yet? Me neither.

I understand you're probably not looking for a "hardcore" gaming experience, but for fuck's sake, you can spend $42 on games made by PopCap, and you get the added benefit of playing something that took effort and talent by a company that doesn't scam the shit out of you. Oh, and imagine that, you might actually have fun. It's not "oh I have to water my fish and feed my mafia and put a hit on my plants and piss off my Facebook friends", it's "Holy shit this is like pinball on crack why has nobody thought of this before" Peggle.

But anyway, back to March Mayhem. On one hand, you have Zynga, and on the other, you have VALVe. VALVe gives you free DLC packs and sales on its games regularly, uncompromising in its efforts taking all the time and money it takes to deliver a quality product. Zynga is a company that scams you, makes shitty games, and pisses off your online friends.

My vote goes to VALVe because I think that making a quality product with an honest approach and your costumer's best intentions in mind is important. If you think your fucking virtual plants are worth more than that, go ahead and vote Zynga. And then maybe sand down your fingers until you can't touch a keyboard anymore, because you are not a fucking gamer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

You think you're turning Japanese?

I really, really don't like wapanese people.

If you're kind of new to things like, you know, the internet, school, or any public place in which people can express their opinion (and/or make it painfully obvious how much of a freakish waste of carbon they are) then you probably need to have the term "wapanese" explained to you.

Okay, well, have you ever seen white guys that listen to some hip-hop music, decide it's the best thing since sliced bread (seriously, it's like regular bread, but they even slice it for you!) and think "gee whiz I guess I should act like a walking, talking stereotype of a race I don't even belong to! That sounds like a swell Idea!" (In reality, this sounds more like "Damn I best be hangin' wif da homie dawgz", but I like my way better. Fun fact: five out of nine of those words are not recognized by Firefox, so if you're "hangin' wif da homie dawgz" you'd be bilingual if you weren't retarded.)

Wapanese people are sort of the same, except instead of "Gee whiz this shitty hip-hop music is great" it's "Oh my god I really love animé/manga/japanese video games so now everything made in Japan is better than everything else ever made! I sure do love Pocky, green-tea flavoured Kit-Kat bars, and books that you read backwards! I sure do hate being !

Now, I'm not against freedom of thought. I think that you should be allowed to think whatever you want. They keyword is think. Being a blatant Japanophile is "thinking" in the same way shitting out your window is "fertilizing."

Now there are probably a lot of politically-correct people thinking "hey this guy hates Wapanese people which means he's a racist" (just kidding, nobody reads my blog. You see that? You're nobody!) so here's a bunch random facts meant to appease a bunch of people that don't exist:

1. Metal Gear Solid
Probably the first shooter I've played that involved several things I liked, namely thinking, planning, a storyline, a plot, likeable characters, you know, things that actually make a good videogame. The story was easy enough to follow right up until you started playing Metal Gear Solid 2. (To this day, that game makes about as much sense as Einstein's theory of general relativity as explained by a pack of rabid tapdancing badgers). Then you hit Metal Gear Solid 3, and you think "The Cold War probably felt kind of weird, what with all the Russians having American accents."

2. Japanese RPGs
Okay, well, these tend to vary, and they're all variations of "a bunch of teenagers with funny hairstyles go kill monsters in exotic places" The Final Fantasy series (and Tales of Vesperia) are all great examples of why you can get away with doing the same thing over and over again as long as you're good at it (unlike prostitution).

3 Pokémon.
This series of games, cards, and TV shows has probably touched the lives of more children than a stereotypical Catholic priest. Seriously though, there are over 14 billion Pokémon cards in circulation right now. (They're next in line to take over the world, after the ants, the cockroaches, and New Zealand. They're planning something over there, god dammit!)

4. This.

"Recession? What recession?"
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one is also good at conveying jaw-dropping silence. It's a life-sized Gundam, for fuck's sake. It's got a rotating head. It can stare you down. How long do you think we have until they'll start crushing your homes and beam-swording your children?

Well, I, for one, welcome our robotic overlords, but, just in case, grab a Wapanese person sometime to use as a meat-shield. (No apocalypse-surviving kit is complete without one.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It might be a shiny gun, but you're still shooting yourself in the foot.

So Modern Warfare 2 was released very, very early yesterday (12:01 AM yesterday if my local Best Buy is to be believed) and I am one of the few people north of Mexico (Hold the phone there, ace... I hear there's a NEW Mexico!) that still doesn't own a copy, or plan on owning one (A legitimate one, anyway.) Sure, there's a bunch of new guns, perks, new campaign, new game mode... but I'm still not buying it, because Infinity Ward took all that (virtual) shiny handheld artillery and shot themselves in the foot.

I'll explain.

I play FPSes on the PC. I love it. In Team Fortress 2 (TF2), for example, I open up a server list, find one with decent ping, a map I like, and one that's not so loaded with players that I get shot every time I spawn - and voila, I go and have a ball.

Modern Warfare - the first one - was much the same. Pick a server, have a blast, look at clock, holy shit it's 3 AM I guess I should go to sleep now.

Now - I'm not sure who is to blame here - IW or Activision - but Modern Warfare 2 somehow adheres to the principle that "If it ain't broke, break it." This basically means that they took the best part of playing Modern Warfare on a PC - i.e., control - and took it right outta your ass in favour of the "You are an idiot, so I will pick a match for you, you pathetic little maggot. This is why I retail for 10$ more than the average game." There is no support for dedicated servers in MW2. None of this "I want to play here, so I'll go play here," none of this "I'll go join my clan's server (note: I am not part of a clan, but that doesn't make this an illegitimate point) and kick some ass with some friends." You pick a game mode, and the system shoves you into a game, and you pray that the amount of fun you have is proportionate to how many lambs you sacrifice to the matchmaking god on a daily basis.

At first, I thought Infinity Ward/Activisioon was afraid of piracy. Well, fair enough; the fact that you had the best selling game of 2007 is obviously a reasonable sign that piracy is an issue for you, nevermind the fact that all the CoD4 non-punkbuster servers had at least one aimbotter in it at any given time - piracy is an issue.(Note: I did buy CoD4.) Okay, so now MW2 runs through Steam, and has VAC - which is awesome (in my opinion.) Now, that takes care of the piracy - so why take away dedicated servers again? I'm fairly certain that the PC gamers that want your map-packs already paid for them because of the fact that they paid 10$ over the MSRP for your game to begin with - why are you trying to wring as much money out of a product that is, in reality, about 50% quality and 50% hype? Do you live by the principle that it's okay to look like an asshole and treat the people that supported your franchise (when you needed it most) like shit as long as you get slightly more money?

Look at VALVe, (probably not too hard to do since you ARE using their VAC and Steam products/services) Do they routinely screw over their customers? No, they release their games cheaper and with more of the features that are commonplace in PC gaming, and all the DLC is free. Is VALVe going out of business? Hell no! They're kicking ass and taking names - hell, they had the balls to find the two people who started the recent L4D2 boycott, flew their ungrateful asses over to VALVe studios to try L4D2 before any version of the game was released, just to show them that VALVe doesn't fuck around!

It's not that I'm refusing to buy Modern Warfare 2 because I think it's a bad game - I'm refusing to buy Modern Warfare 2 because I don't want to support a company that doesn't listen to their fanbase. (seriously, it took them two game releases to realize the idiocy behind the Martyrdom perk?)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vote 2012 for President

If you've been living anywhere on Earth with an internet connection, a convenience store, or friends, then you've heard the theory that the world will end on December 21st, 2012.
Like this, only it'll be a lot less awesome when you realize you're somewhere in that explosion.

Not only do these people have the nerve to tell us of an approaching doomsday, but they've got the nerve to come up with several "possible" ways this might happen (that are about as likely as me getting lemons out of a bear's ass), few of which involve high-fives or explosions.

1. "Oh shit, the Mayan Calendar ends."
The Mayan Calendar ends on December 21st, 2012? Well, tough shit, Mayans, my calendar ends December 31st 2009, so my doomsday beat yours to the chase. I'll see your inaccurate asses in the afterlife, where hopefully you'll have fun being bad at predicting things with our local meteorologists.
You were predicting the end of the world, right? Like, there's no chance of this being misinterpreted by people who assume the apocalypse is behind every rock, tree, and Italian bakery, right? Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

2. "The Earth, sun, and that giant fucking black hole in the middle of the milky way will tear shit up."
Oh, okay, sounds fair, except that already happened in 1998. And we're still alive, aren't we? I'm assuming we didn't get made into galactic cream puffs and eaten by a giant black hole, because your internet is still working and you're still reading this, right?

3. "Solar flares and shit will burn us all alive"
Solar flares aren't scheduled, you dumbass. Stars shit out solar flares whenever the fuck they feel like it. It's entirely possible (though about as likely as me making friends with a bear after pulling lemons out of his ass) that you'll feel a solar flare burn you to death while you're reading this.
In other words, 4chan will control the cosmos and kill all humans "for the lulz."

4. "Oh yeah, well, the polar shift will send, um, radiation or something"
"Polar Shifts" a.k.a. "a reversal of the Earth's North and South magnetic poles" takes about 5000 years to happen, and will probably dick around with your satellite T.V. and cell phone service. If that's the end of the world for you, then I think we can all agree it's due time you stopped breathing everybody else's air.
Otherwise, if you survive 5000+ years (after said shift has started) you might have to throw out your old compasses and buy new ones.
You've had a few centuries to find Blackbeard's gold, but now your treasure maps are invalid! Unless of course you replace all the "N"s with "S"es. But fuck it, it's doomsday, right?

What I'm trying to say here is, the odds of the world ending on Dec 21st 2012 is just as big as it is on any other day in history, and no amount of ambiguous predictions or ancient calendars is going to change that. In fact, I will bet you a million dollars that the world will not end in 2012. In the event that it does, I'll pay you back tenfold.

People have been saying that the world will end pretty much since the world began. Remember how big of a deal Y2K was? Remember that time we all died? Good times. And remember 06/06/06 when Satan came and sent us all to hell?

Yep, you conspiracy theorists get it right every time.

But there's still one possibility...

5. Cthulhu will eat us all.
"Really? That little thing? Why hello the-"
"We're boned."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Swine Flu will kill you all.

Remember the time I gave a shit about Swine Flu?

Me neither.

We've all heard of swine flu. You know, it's like regular flu, except it... Okay it differs from regular flu in that... Well regular flu isn't as bad because...
Exactly. It's just like regular flu, with the side effect of making everyone scared shitless because it's from Mexico (despite the fact that the most dangerous thing ever to come out of Mexico is actually Speedy Gonzales.)

He's faster than a speeding bullet and he's probably after your job! Oh no!

Okay, talking seriously here, Swine Flu has killed roughly 4100 people so far, which is pretty measly compared to anywhere from a quarter to half a million deaths from the regular flu, this past winter.

Hell, I bet there have been more deaths caused by slipping on wet bathroom tiles than swine flu.

Seriously, look at that guilty face. He did it, and we know he did it.

So why have we been so worried about swine flu? Absolutely no reason whatsoever. Except maybe because our health care isn't up to scratch.

Let me explain something to you. Our hospitals have these things called "Emergency Rooms" in which you spend roughly 2-4 hours in a waiting room, and if you survive, the doctor will tell you to pee in a cup, spend about half an hour looking at, sniffing, shaking, smelling, and possibly tasting your pee to find out if you should be worried. Then, he'll send you home (or to the morgue.)

What hospitals don't have, unfortunately, is the "shut the fuck up and stop getting in the way of people that actually need treatment, you asshat" rooms, which would have been a great big help, because of all the people that barged into emergency rooms saying things like "OH MY GOD I HAVE A HEADACHE AND IT'S SWINE FLU AND I'M GONNA DIE OH HELP ME DOC - hey look vending machines, neato! Aww, come on, three bucks for a bag of Doritos!? I'm not made of money! Oh right, I was dying and stuff. OH GOD MY HEADACHE IS BURNING, FLAVIN'"
As you can see, these people tend to attract a lot of attention in the ER, attention that should be spent on people who are either going into cardiac arrest, having their appendix explode, or on fire. Just because you watched Fox News and have a headache doesn't mean you have the right to barge in and harm people with legitimate problems. Our health care is slow enough as it is.

"Hey, I'm going into cardiac arrest. What's up with you?" "Oh, my appendix exploded a few hours ago." "Well, that's neat-o, but I'm gonna go hang out with the burn victims." "Alright then, take care."

Remember when emergency rooms were actually good at emergencies? When they didn't take two hours to send a nurse to talk to you before waiting another two hours to send a doctor in to start giving a shit? Well, we could probably fix that by having a two-tiered system here: If you want free health care, you take free health care. If you have money, you can pay to get better-than-shitty treatment. We could then use this tasty, tasty money to hire more doctors and nurses so that health care would improve in quality overall. And then maybe we could also spend some money on TV commercials that say things like "Stop giving a shit about Swine Flu, you dumbass. Emergency rooms are for people who's sicknesses make swine flu look like bacon-flu for kids. Stop dickin' around."
- A message from the government/common sense board of Canada

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Idiocy is recession-proof

So I'm a little late to the party but of course no recession is complete without the ramblings of an angsty teenager posting his opinions on an internet blog (but lets pretend I'm the first, just for the sake of blogging)

The "recession" has exactly one cause: stupid people, en masse.

Let me explain basic economics to you: You can't own a million dollar house on a $30,000 annual salary. You can't live like a millionaire without being a millionaire. You have to earn money to spend money. You can't grab your credit card and buy every fucking thing you ever wanted because "hey credit cards are infinite money! Oh, look at that neat-o pair of shoes! Oh, that purse would go great with my rat-sized barking bastardization of a dog!"

If you buy something, you're going to have to fucking pay for it. You know why we have a recession? Because stupid people decided it would be a great idea to buy a house with money they didn't have, and then fill it with expensive crap they couldn't afford. When credit card companies discover it's against the law to beat stupid people with a stick (and oh how I empathize), they're going to reposess your stuff, and your house. The problem is, you don't actually own your house - you just say you do.

Now multiply this situation happening millions and millions of times over for every stupid person in America, and you can see that this recession didn't just drop out of the sky like a lightning bolt straight into your ass (or wallet).

But don't worry, because you're not actually at fault! No, it's the banks' fault for trusting you with a mortgage to pay off a house despite the fact that it's incredibly obvious you're too dumb to even remember your own phone number, it's their fault they're giving you money you don't deserve!

While, yes, banks are retarded for trusting stupid people with money (or oxygen), it's still your responsibility not to be a fucking idiot. If you take money from the bank, you have to give it the fuck back. It's not even economics anymore, it's just common fucking sense.

Oh, but what if you're not a stupid person, you're GM, Chrysler, and Ford? What if you're okay with taking money, but nobody wants to buy your shit? Do you grow some balls and bite the bullet because that's how capitalism works? Do you realize you absolutely suck at your job and it's probably a great idea to do something else, like make home appliances, or get hit by a bus? Fuck no! All you have to do is whine until someone gives you millions of dollars so you can continue making shitty vehicles that nobody wants, because learning a lesson the hard way is for losers and takes way too much time!

Actually, no. If I promise to bake bread, and my bread tastes like old cheese and people stop buying my bread, and I become financially unable to support my bakery, do I say "hey mister government, can you please give me money so that I can keep making shitty bread?" Fuck no! I start up a business for the questionably legal assassination of people with an inability to use common sense! (or maybe I burn the place down and live off the insurance money.) The point is, if nobody buys your shit, you stop making shit and find yourself a new job.

Mommy, can I have a bailout?

The government "stimulus package" is a load of shit. he only reason (actually two reasons) we have a stimulus package is A: People are near-sighted, and B: People don't have balls like they used to.
You know what the "stimulus package" is? It's a load of printed money. It's money with no gold representing it. Money that in all actuality, isn't worth shit. You wanna know what happens when you print money and expect it to solve all your problems? Google "Post-World War I German Economy." Or, better yet, I'll summarize it for you: Germany printed a shitload of money, to the point where you were taking your paycheck home in a wheelbarrow. Neato-right? I bet everyone there was living like a king! Actually, no, your paycheck may have been wheelbarrow-sized, but so was the cost of, say, a few loaves of bread and some cookies. If you pull money out of your ass, the rest of the economy will inflate so as to match the value of all the money in it. You can't get "free money" out of anywhere, and yes, while it may be nice to have some extra money now because of some government plan, keep in mind that it's not actually free, and you're gonna pay for it out of your ass.

Maybe instead of a "stimulus package" made of money, we make a "stimulus package" out of blood, sweat and tears (of innocent kittens.) Maybe that way instead of going back to buying shit you can't pay for with money your company doesn't deserve to fill a house you don't own, you'll grow some balls, some brains, and some common sense. And then maybe you'll stop wondering why they keep cutting off your phone line: because you don't deserve to communicate.

Monday, September 7, 2009

4 Stories From Your Childhood That are Just Bullshit

As kids, we all listened to some pretty insane stories. Sometimes I get the feeling whoever came up with the idea for "The Little Mermaid" was really, really high or otherwise got extremely turned on by obese people that were four thousand times his size and had fucking giant octopus legs. (That's not ink, by the way). Also, mermaids are pretty stupid and I really have no idea why women are attracted to men that have their lower body replaced with that of a giant fish (How do they even pee?) but today I'm gonna go over exactly what was wrong with 4 stories that were meant to teach your stupid kids some valuable life lessons (because children's books are obviously a great replacement for actual parenting)

1. The Three Little Pigs (and the big bad(ass) wolf.)

I have no idea who came up with this story or what it's supposed to teach you. The wolf is clearly a poor, hungry little guy if he's willing to blow down two houses for a taste of raw, meaty swine (and I can sort of identify with him, because the pig is a rather tasty animal). Not only does he not get to eat any of the oinking meatbags, but they actually cook him at the end.

Yes, the guy blows down two houses for a taste of bacon and the bacon ends up cooking him. What's the moral here, "God hates carnivores?" I eat pigs all the time, you don't see me burning my ass off in a cooking pot trying to pull a Santa Claus.

How the story should have ended:
The wolf eats the three pigs and lives in that brick house. He then writes several inspirational novels for hungry, bacon-craving wolves and has barbecues regularly.

What the moral should have been:
If anyone wants a mouthful of meaty pork, you stay the fuck out of their way. Especially if it's a wolf.

2. Little Red Riding Hood
Why is the Wolf always the fucking bad guy in these stories? Yes, it's an animal that eats other animals. Tough shit, it's called the fucking food chain, if cute wittle bunny wabbits were on top of it, then Elmer. J. Fudd would fuck them up anyway, the point is, everyone dies, so they might as well become food for something in the process.

This story is bullshit because the wolf doesn't chase down and eat the little girl (and her basket of delicious baked goods. And her mother). He eats the grandma (Human meat doesn't age like fine wine, believe me.) and puts on her smelly grandma clothes, and the little girl actually looks at that and says "Yeah, it's totally plausible for my grandma to suddenly be all big-nosed and hairy like that."
Look, I have a grandma too, trust me, they're not that ugly.

Also, why the fuck does the wolf have such big teeth if he can just swallow multiple human bodies whole and not chew on them? How do they cut the wolf open and have the grandma and the little girl come out totally unharmed? Why are lumberjacks so gay in this story? Oh, wait.

I don't understand what the moral here is. Is it that it's okay to mistaken your grandma for a wolf every once in a while? Or that wolves are just assholes and it's perfectly okay to cut one open without a fair trial? Oh, and it's also completely safe to send your daughter through the wolf-infested lumberjack-harboring woods to send a whole bunch of tasty baked goods to her grandma.
(I bet if Little Red Riding Hood was a teenager, the wolf would be saving her from the lumberjack, if you catch my drift.)

How the story should have ended:
The wolf would eat the girl, her grandma, her mother, the lumberjack, and burned down the entire forest in a drunken rage, roasting everything inside to a tasty crisp. (Maybe the Three Little Pigs could get a cameo as a midnight snack-a-roo.)

What the moral should have been:
Don't fucking wander into the woods if there are wolves around, you dumb shit.

3. The Tortoise and the Hare
I don't even know what to say here. First of all, animals don't fucking interact with different animals all that well. If they did, they wouldn't be in separate cages at the zoo. Secondly you can not do anything to a rabbit to make him seem like an asshole (unless it's cross-dressing bugs bunny).

Apparently Elmer. J Fudd was about as bright as Little Red Riding Hood.

Why does the turtle think it's a great idea to challenge a hare to a race? Odds are like fourteen gazillion to one that you'll win, and if you lose, the hare will shut the fuck up even less than usual. I'm not a professional gambler but even I can see that those odds would suck ass no matter how drunk you are. (I'm not a professional drunk, either.)

How the story should have ended:
I don't even care anymore.

What the moral should have been:
Don't fucking sleep near the finish line of a race you haven't won yet, you douchebag. You think taunting that turtle is funny now, it won't be as funny when you're the victim of the next zoo shooting.

4. Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The really sad thing is, this story almost got it right! I mean, a little girl breaks into a house, eats your porridge, sleeps in your bed, and thinks it's okay to walk out the front door? What the hell kinda moral does that teach, that breaking and entering is okay as long as you're a blonde? Also, if the bears have mastered the art of lumberjackery and plate-making (not to mention bed-using and porridge-cooking) why couldn't they put a fucking lock on their door?

How the story should have ended:
Three bears cook Goldilocks and eat her like a little human kebob.

What the moral should have been:
Don't break into fucking houses. If you do, make sure that A: the people living inside have shit worth stealing, and B: they're not fucking bears.
Also, don't send your daughter into the forest all alone, you idiot. The only person who can go into a bears' forest alone is Theodore D. Roosevelt. Yeah, he's the guy who named teddy bears after him because that's how badass he was.

Only Roosevelt could look at that and think "Yeah, I'd like a stuffed version of this for my kids."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Blame Game

One thing I've noticed a lot of over the years is the general degradation of common sense, and with that goes responsibility as well. There are very few people that are actually willing to take responsibility for their own actions; most people are content to do something without thinking (because who needs to think nowadays, seriously) and then blame someone else when the shit hits the fan with the force of a nuclear explosion (that must be one hell of a fan).

I'm not gonna pretend to be an old geezer, but I bet if you bought a lawnmower fifty years ago and decided to stick your arm into the moving mass of grass-shredding-evil, then it was your own fault for being retarded and you deserved to be laughed at for not realizing that LAWNMOWERS ARE SUPPOSED TO MOW LAWNS, NOT PEOPLE. If the lawnmower was invented today, however, and some guy decided to stuff his arm into the moving lawn-mowy bits underneath and then realize that IT FUCKING HURTS DOWN THERE, you know what he'd do? Sue them. "Well, your honour, there wasn't really a label saying I shouldn't have stuffed my arm in there..."

This way of thinking is the kind of thing that'll end up making humans go extinct; people just don't have balls like they used to. Lets say you're some kid that plays World of Warcraft constantly until you drop out of high school and end up living in the basement of some old guy named Frankie in exchange for, well, things you'd rather not talk about. I would say it's your own damn fault for playing a game all the time (everything is fine in moderation, but moderation requires thinking, and who does that anyway), but someone else might say "fuck Blizzard, it's their fault for making such an addicting game! Sue them!"
Now I'm not going to say that Blizzard (or rather, Activision Blizzard) is poor, but suing people because of your own lack of common sense is just about the saddest thing you can do. Lets say you're a parent, and a very shit-tastic one at that. Your child then goes to school with several loaded guns, kills several people (though never beating the high score of 32) and then takes their own life. One should say "well the child is responsible for their own actions." or "The parent should emotionally support the child" or even "the people at school should maybe stop flinging dead fish at a sociopath" but obviously finding someone logical to blame is hard to do (again, man, what's with all the thinking!?), and it's just so much easier to blame video games, right? There's no way this could have happened because that person had some kind of mental disorder, no, it was all those damn violent video games!
Or if you eat a Big Mac and a ten-pack of McNuggets daily, and then wash all that down with some chemical-riddled "Shakes" (notice how they're not milkshakes; there's probably nothing even close to milk in them anymore), day in and day out for years on end, and then act surprised when you find out you can't fit through the door into your own house because your giant mass of fat now has its own area code. The only thing left to do is sue McDonalds, because it's clearly their fault. They stuffed their delicious food down your throat, hell, I bet Ronald McGoddamnDonald had a gun pointed to your head, telling you to stuff your face with chicken, or he'd stuff it with bullets. That's what happened, right, fatty? No chance of you being a fucking dumbass, right? Well, go ahead and sue McDonalds. And then maybe beat yourself in the face with a sledgehammer, because god knows you can't get any more retarded.

In an ideal world, we'd have "natural selection." If you're retarded to the point of stuffing yourself to death, well then, you die, and you can't have any babies as dumb as you. If you stuff face into a lawnmower and die, well, then you'll die, and the bloodline of lawnmower-fetishists will die with you. And everyone who ever tried to file a frivolous lawsuit would mysteriously disappear, that'd be nice. And then we could stop suing each other and start doing shit, for once.

However, there is one man who thinks his life's purpose is to pull off just as many frivolous lawsuits as he's given to blowjobs to guys with the name "Terry McDuff," and that man is Jack Thompson. If you don't know who he is, I'll tell you: he's the one guy who blames all the worlds problems on rap music and video games. Now, I think rap music has its own fair share of problems (most of them consisting of rappers getting paid in money instead of armed grenades made out of broken glass) but not even I would do something like blame Rap music for an increase in violent crime. Jack Thompson spent a shitload of time blaming 9/11 on the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Well actually no, he didn't, as GTA:SA was released years after 9/11, but I wouldn't put it past Jack Thompson to unleash even more verbal diarrhea)
He also delved a bit on the video game Bully, which I didn't hear much about, but you can read up on it at Wikipedia: .
Jack also made "A modest video game proposal" (hint: anything that calls itself modest, is not.) which basically said "why don't you make a game about killing those evil evil mean people that make video games :( and I'll give ten thousand dollars to the company chosen by Paul Eibeler if you make it good, yay!"
Obviously he's too much of a lawyer to have actually kept his promise, but apparently he wasn't lawyer enough: in 2007, Jack Thompsons liscence to practice law was taken away. That's right, there is some good left in the world: Someone evidently told Jack Thompson that he was too stupid to practice law (actually I bet people have been telling him that shortly after he was allowed to leave the house after his parents super-glued a paper bag to his head at the ripe young age of four, but this was the first time someone with power told him he was too stupid).
I don't know what Jack Thompson is doing today but I hope it involves eating lots of coal and feeding himself to rabid dogs.

This is a slightly different subject but I think it still fits in here, and that is the whole issue with starving people dying of aids (and, you know, starvation) in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. What these people need is not a bailout, not "sponsor-a-child," not free food and money, what they need is an actual economy. You can only feed a baby so much, but eventually that baby is gonna have to grow up, stop being an angsty teenager, and get a job. (I am aware of the irony in this statement, thank you very much.) I think a majority of the issue in Sub-Saharan Africa stems from one thing. I'll see if you can figure it out.
Hint: it's what causes them to have like seven kids per household, and is also the reason that a frighteningly large number of them have AIDS.
Yes, it's le sexe. I'm not going to tell every single person in Sub-Saharan Africa to go completely abstinent, what I'm trying to say is maybe it's not worth having another baby if you can't afford to feed the first six. Or the first four. Or your only baby. Or yourselves. I'm not trying to say that a baby is just another mouth to feed, but the worst thing you can do for a kid is to have them when you're not emotionally or financially ready for one. (this applies to you teenage mothers as well). I know jobs don't just sprout from nowhere, but there has to be something salvageable from that chunk of land, whether it be something like farmland, fishing, oil, anything that people across the world would care about. If it's not that, make it Tourism, I'm sure many people would love to visit Sub-Saharan Africa in the wintertime to get away from all the snow and cold and whatnot if it were an attractive tourist destination, like my pants!

Actually, that last statement was a complete fabrication; I'm not wearing pants. See you next time.