Saturday, December 17, 2011

'Tis the Season

I mentioned previously my daydream about winning the lottery and then donating it all to charity, after which the deed, having made national news, would have inspired millions of people to follow suit in giving a little, their combined donations adding up to a lot.  Well, that dream has now partially come true.

No, I didn't win the lottery; I don't even play.  But I read this rather inspiring news story recently, about three money managers who won a $250+ million lottery and are now moving forward with plans on how to distribute the money toward philanthropy.  Speculation is that these three men are actually representing an anonymous client, the true lottery winner, who had the heart to give and needed their brains to figure out how to do so most effectively.  But no matter.  Whatever the case, it's an inspiring story.

It's already old news, however, and it didn't change the world.  Even so, I've decided to follow through in doing my part, letting the story inspire me to make a modest donation this season to Invisible Children.

The San Diego-based organization "uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity."  They were also a participant in the San Diego Foundation's giveBIG matchday event this past week (sorry, it's over now, folks).  You can go to their website for more info or to make a contribution.

Long Live Play

It occurred to me the other day that my post on the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance reveal was the first truly gaming-related blogging I'd done in almost a year.  But I'm guessing the majority of the legitimate pageviews I get are still for my old posts on gaming.

Anyway, I saw this PlayStation ad on TV the other day (it's not new, but I also don't watch as much live TV as I used to, so it was new to me):

It's pretty cool, very meticulously detailed.  But it kind of saddens me that I can't ID probably half the franchises represented in the ad.  And of those that I do recognize, I think Metal Gear is the only one I've played.  Oh well.  So it goes . . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Sounds to me like somebody has just dethroned Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for "worst video game title ever."  Tetsuya Nomura's esoteric titles at least usually make you pause for a split-second before determining that they are complete rubbish.  This, on the other hand, is immediately and aggressively stupid.  It's Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, folks!

I have little doubt that this title came directly from the top, Hideo Kojima himself, the man who brought us "Transfarring."  I sincerely believe that Kojima, with his limited grasp of English, doesn't realize how stupid a title this is.  But this is one of those (many) times when one of the many native English speakers working for him should have the stones to speak up and tell him it's no good.  It's a sad testimony to just how bad it is that I'm actually hoping that "Revengeance" is an intentional reference to the 1969 Supreme Court case involving the Ku Klux Klan.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A poet once said . . . .

Why is the mainstream media only now picking up on the fact that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had been quoting the inspirational lyrics of a Pokemon movie theme song throughout the course of his campaign?

Personally, I respect Cain more now than I did a week ago.  That's what I call "owning it."  Of course, that still leaves all that other filthy stuff that he won't own to . . . .

Friday, December 2, 2011

By Grabthar's hammer

Was listening to an interview with Alan Rickman on Tuesday's Talk of the Nation.  It reminded me of my high school government class.  The teacher, Mr. Baldwin, was a personal friend of Alan Rickman.  I don't remember the context, but I don't think Mr. Baldwin meant to brag; somehow it was relevant to the study of government, though that's hardly meaningful now.

Anyway, he was mentioning one day in class how he had had lunch with an actor, whom most of us would probably have recognized.  It was someone who was known especially for playing villains.  Mr. Baldwin seemed to have to think hard to come up with a specific movie.  Finally he remembered that his actor friend had been the bad guy in Die Hard.

I have never seen the first Die Hard, but I knew for a fact that some of my classmates had, yet the title elicited a complete non-reaction, which seemed to somewhat take the wind out of Mr. Baldwin's sails.  He then dropped the name "Alan Rickman," which I did recognize.

Ah, you mean the bad guy from Quigley Down Under, I thought to myself.  The Sheriff of Nottingham!  Rasputin from that HBO Rasputin movie!  Galaxy Quest!  'By Grabthar's hammer'--you know the rest!

I didn't say any of this aloud, of course.  In fact, nobody said anything.  I gathered that we were instead playing the game of "Let's all pretend never to have heard of Alan Rickman, nor anything else Mr. Baldwin references, so as to make him feel very old and out of touch."  And so, Mr. Baldwin, sounding a tad deflated, moved on with his anecdote, whatever the hell it had to do with government class.

The interview itself was not great.  The questions were not the best, but neither was Alan Rickman an especially cooperative guest, and so a lot of time (my time) was wasted on defensive clarifying of trivialities.  Somehow I would have expected the man now best known for playing Severus Snape to be a more fun interviewee.  And yet do I sense some resentment at being typecast as a villain?

Honestly, the most exciting part for me was when they opened it up for callers to contribute their acting experiences, specifically with villain roles.  The first caller was a voice actor identifying herself as "Mary Mac," AKA Mary McDonald-Lewis, voice of Lady Jaye from the 80s G.I. Joe cartoon (and more recently the voice of the OnStar system).  I didn't recognize her name or voice, but somehow I guessed immediately who she was, just because there are only so many female voice actors of that generation (do cartoons these days still have chewy villain roles?) who regularly speak publicly about their careers.  Not that she had anything very insightful to contribute to this interview either.  I just thought it was cool to hear Lady Jaye on the radio.