Monday, April 23, 2007

Party at Central Park on May 20th!

First, off, allow me to apologize for not posting in a while. I had my head foresquare up my hindparts, and while I always say I'll do things differently next time, I always end up waiting 'til the last minute to do my taxes. And then a lot of shit hit the fan with Don Imus acting like a jackass, and the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. I've been pretty bummed out about that, and I'll tell you more soon enough.

I'm also looking for work more than freelance (read: mercenary) as a content manager/ editor, and that's frustrating as Hell. It's taking a lot of strength not to get terribly frustrated or depressed, but there are far many who have delt with far worse than I will ever know.

Hey, if you're seriously looking to hire, drop me a line.

Now about the party next month. I'm preparing for it in a big way, but then again, AIDS Walk NYC is a pretty big event. I've skated through NYC for the past 13 years or so, and in that time, I've skated AIDS Walk 4 times. 10K of New York City streets without cars? Woo Hoo! On top of that, I have NEVER seen so much good karma in one location as I have with AIDS Walk. Something about being part of it inspires you to do more. With the festive atmosphere and goodwill, it's important to never lose sight of the fact that while it is fun, people are dying.

One of my heroes is Lance Armstrong. That man has gone through more Hell than most people will ever know, and he has shown an amazing amount of grace and skill. He's not from Krypton. He's not a mutant with rapid healing & metal claws. He's a regular joe, not a superhero. Over the past few years, I was fortunate enough to find replicas of three of his Tour de France Winner's Jerseys. If anything, he has shown that people are capable of doing great things. Every life has the potential for similar greatness, and to see that hope taken away by AIDS is heartbreaking. The next poor soul to die of AIDS could have written something as deeply eloquent as "Bohemian Rhapsody."

For me it is a race, and I want to do more. It doesn't take all that much time to skate the AIDS Walk, and if you really push yourself, you'll find that you have loads of time to spare. I help out at the Finish Line, because there's always gonna be people who need help. One year it was scooping ice cream throughout the afternoon. Another year it was unloading trucks.

I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd think about sponsoring me for this year's AIDS Walk NY on May 20th. To make things easy, you can click here for my donations page. Your help means a lot, and hey - if you're already registered as a participant, look for me at the Finish Line checkpoint unloading trucks & helping to serve stuff. I'll be the guy in the Tour de France 2006 Winner's Jersey.

Monday, April 9, 2007

May Uwe Boll Suffer a Criminally Pornographic Death

If this posting seems long winded, I apologize. I have a lot to get off my chest, so bear with me.

I love video games, and I am deeply troubled not with the violence that is part and parcel of some of the most notorious ones (e.g. "Doom," "Grand Theft Auto," "Quake"). It may be callous to say that there is always going to be a group of people whose developmental problems prohibit them from discerning reality from fantasy.

In other words, morons are fucking it up for rational people.

As prevalent as video games are becoming with advances in hardware like the XBox 360 Elite, and the PS3 along with innovations with the Nintendo Wii, video games are still considered a niche market, albeit a lucrative demographic. No matter what you think of movies like "Silent Hill," the "Resident Evil" series, and "Doom," they are seen as success stories for studios eager for similar hits. Some movie projects rumored and/or confirmed to be in development are "Castlevania," "Tekken," and "Metal Gear Solid." Maybe that last one is a pipe dream, but these are all titles that have made immense amounts of money and reaped critical acclaim from gaming communties.

One of my favorite games is Sega's "House of the Dead." It's hard not to love a game in which you shoot zombies. This isn't lush storytelling or unique gameplay like the classic "Myst." This is cathartic, mindless fun. While the game iteslf had a threadbare plot, the movie adaptation was grossly removed from anything resembling the source game much less alone a storyline that wasn't insulting. "House of the Dead" was disturbingly bad, and I'd rather watch a test pattern than watch it on cable. It was at that point that I started to take notice of the director, Uwe Boll.

His career has miraculously come back after flop after flop after flop. He continues to get work as a director and not what he deserves as a bestiality porn fluffer. OK, that was mean to animals and they don't deserve Uwe Boll's lust. I can't figure out how or why this little troll continues to get work. At least it's not like he's getting choice titles to adapt (read: "rape"). He is making a concerted effort in not only adapting video game properties into crap movies, but he has some how managed to use his reputation as one of the worst filmmakers of all time paradoxically as a selling point. It's like a badge of honor for him. While I would normally ignore him in the hopes that interest in him would die out so he would be forced into retirement, I came across this little nugget from BollBashers. To say the clip spoofing the WTC attacks on 9/11/01 is offensive is an understatement, and you are forewarned.

Like the mediocre game series from which it was spawned, this year's "Postal" thrives on controversy, a threadbare plot, and the inevitable outcry from critics like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton. While this clip appears to be the real deal, "official" clips are almost as disturbing. This is less of an example of artistic freedom, but of a glaring lack of sensitivity. To use a tragedy of this scale as a selling point for a movie is sickening.

I am deeply saddened and angered by the fact that Uwe Boll is ruining both video games and action movies with his latest malignant tumor, "Postal." Some are bouund to see this unfairly as a broad example of what video game based movies can be. Hopefully he will die as a reviled and hated man, and "Postal" will fade into obscurity. Am I being prejudicial of Uwe Boll? Hell Yes. Then again, based on his body of work, how else could someone think of him besides a misguided, talentless hack?

Friday, April 6, 2007

My iPod Feels Funny

It used to be that Apple hardware was thought of being impervious to viral attacks, and while Apple's various OS systems are a lot more secure than Microsoft Windows, there are still lots of possible ways to screw with your Mac, and now your iPod.

Yes, I said your iPod.

As reported on ITWire, Kaspersky Lab has discovered the first iPod virus, Podloso. More accurately, it's a "proof of concept virus" that has has the characteristics of a Trojan Horse and affects iPods running Linux. Even though the chances of this are pretty slim due to the sheer scarcity of iPods running anything but iTunes, it still exists.

What's worse is that while Podloso isn't loaded with malware, it proves that it is possible to create code that would not only screw with your iPod, but whatever it's docked to, thus, as the ITWire article states,renewing calls for iPods & other MP3 devices to be banned from workplaces. The overwhelming majority of iPod users don't have much to worry about...unless hypothetically they're illegally downloading music (Heaven forfend!). As most Apple tech geeks would dismiss this, be wary about how you use your iPod.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pop Quiz: Is Newt Gingrich a Moron or a Racist?

This past weekend, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to the National Federation of Republican Women, and he made statements that made me wonder if Newt can peel fruit with his feet. "The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. ... We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto."

According to the CNN story, the "crowd of more than 100" was cheering. First off, a group of 100 isn't a crowd - that's a couple of lines at the DMV. Second, any group that is going to cheer for Newt Gingrich is probably so stupid, they wouldn't know that "Talladega Nights" isn't a documentary.

I'm not troubled so much by this little group of cackling bitches as much as what he said. Think about it. This is a great country filled with opportunity, however a jackass like Newt Gingrich is going to say if you aren't fluent in English, tough shit for you. Should anybody living and working in the United States be required to learn English? Absolutely. But how the Hell is someone supposed to learn English? Instead of bilingual educational programs. perhaps Mr. Gingrich would prefer that we beat immigrants upside their heads with dictionaries. Maybe Mr. Gingrich could offer his services and teach English through some Redneck Asshole Mind Meld.

And then there's the real problem of what he said, equating bilngual education with "the language of living in a ghetto." Does he really have that little regard for minorities that he would trivialize their existence in urban America much less alone their contribution to the vast diversity of the American fabric? Is he singling out one or two minorities he especially despises, and is he so much of a chickenshit coward that he won't say that he doesn't like dark and swarthy people? His remarks are incendiary, hateful, and ignorant.

Here's the best part - apparently Grima Wormtongue -err Newt Gingrich- is considering running for President in 2008.

I shit thee not.

Mr. Gingrich has apaprently overlooked the fact that the American people includes citizens as well as people simply working and living here. Our strength as a union comes from our diversity and how we relate to other cultures. Unless we make not just bilingual education but multicultural education mandatory, we will never be as strong as we can be.