Moving to New Blog

Well hello again peeps.

As I said yesterday, I wanted to rename “jispylicious.wordpress.com” to something else. It turns out though, the only way to do that is to create a new blog. Fortunately, WordPress has facilities that make this easy.

So from now on, all my activity will be over at edmsworld.wordpress.com.

All the old posts have been imported from here to there. I will leave “Jispylicious” running long enough for the three or so regulars and the one watcher to get this message and move their bookmarks over to EDM’s World.

Just to differentiate the two, I’m changing Jispylicious’ theme back to Vostok.

See you on EDM’s World!

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Roadwork Ahead!

I’m going to be tweaking this blog until I get it right. This may include changing the theme–I want one where the categories are listed on a sidebar, not in the footer like they are right now. I liked the current theme for awhile because it was so simple and reminded me of Maddox, but with the blog’s new purpose it might need to go.

Okay, so I better explain stuff. See, I decided my New Year’s Resolution was going to be, in a nutshell, “curb back on collecting media until I’ve used up what I’ve got.” Now sometimes its hard for me to remember what I’ve “used up” and what I haven’t. “Have I beaten this game? Have I watched this movie?” That kind of stuff.

So I’m gonna use this blog as a checklist of sorts–every time I “use up” something (with games, this means beating them–I don’t know how I’m gonna work stuff like Tetris which can’t technically be beaten though) I write a short piece about it. Nothing formal, just some general thoughts and feelings.

Now, what I’m trying to do is find a theme or an arrangement where the categories are listed on the sidebar, not in the footer like they are now. So yeah, if you come here and shit looks different, that’s why. Also, the “pages” I’ve got right now are gonna go, as are most of the categories, and all the old posts before this one are prolly gonna be labeled “Junk.” Unless there’s no auto-labelling feature in which case hell with it.

Lots of experimenting ahead. See you all later.

EDIT: Found a theme that has the options I like. The colors are kind of garish and it could be more aesthetically pleasing but maybe I can fix that. Also every post before this one is in a category called “old junk.” Which is what they are. All going well so far.

EDIT: The first theme I tried was called “Hero.” It worked except for the garish colors. Now I’m trying one called “Sunspot.” I’m disposed to like it because it upfront looks similar to Vostok (the theme I’d been using since this blog began), just with the options I like, an orange bar at the top, and a dark lefthand sidebar which displays my title (and currently, the word “Home.”)

I’m now checking to see if I can change the name of this blog somehow. I’m betting I can’t… I kinda wanted to rename it from “Jispylicious” to something else entirely.

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It’s official — I hate winter

So guess what I got for Christmas.

A cool new game system? A rare import? My very own real-life Rainbow Dash?

Try a fucking snowstorm so huge it knocked out the electricity of the ENTIRE STATE for a week straight. So I had to sit in the dark for like, six days and nights. The power only came back on a couple hours ago.

I hate power outages. They always make me think “this must be out people in the middle ages lived” and then I wonder why they didn’t all just commit suicide and save themselves the misery. Without electricity you literally can’t do anything, not even take a bath unless you’re into the samurai-style cold ones (if this were summer, that wouldn’t be a problem).

Anyway, I think next year I’m gonna look into getting solar panels for my house, and converting cooking and water heating into ones that don’t need electricity… or just get a third solar panel for those particular things.

Here’s hoping this is the last power outage this winter.

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Ten Reasons He-Man is the Best Cartoon Ever

So yesterday (December 17th) was my birthday. Coincidentally, a package I had been waiting on arrived just on that very day.

I had pre-ordered the 30th Anniversary Box Set of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which includes every episode of the original Filmation cartoon, every episode of the 2002 series that played on Cartoon Network, and the “top 20 best episodes” of The New Adventures of He-Man from 1990. It also includes a Soundtrack CD, and a bonus disc containing documentaries (one of which is brand new).

Now, I’ve said in the past that the original Filmation version of He-Man is the best cartoon ever made, and I still stand by that. I feel, however, like I never really adequately explain why its so good. To be completely honest, it’s hard to say anything definite. This is one of those cartoons where every time I watch it, I come away with completely different thoughts–I like things I hated before, and hate things I liked before–so its literally a new experience each time.

However, there are a couple of near-definites I can latch on to. These are those near-definites.

So, without further ado:

Ten Reasons He-Man is the Best Cartoon Ever

Reason 10 – The company behind it. While I am by no means a Filmation fanboy (honestly, I find most of their non-He-Man shows kind of lame), the company simply deserves respect. Filmation used in-house, union animators at a time when their competitors outsourced to Japanese or Korean studios. They focused on a small, core cast of characters who they developed over 130 episodes when most other toy-based cartoons of the decade (such as the original version of My Little Pony or Transformers) constantly rotated their casts out just to name-drop as many toys as possible. Predating Lauren Faust by a couple of decades, the people at Filmation (including executive producer Lou Scheimer) acknowledged that just because its a cartoon does not mean it has to be vapid or moronic, and it shows.

Reason 9 – The soundtrack. When you say “He-Man,” almost assuredly the first thing that comes to your mind is the theme song, and that’s if you don’t think of the other background songs, the incidental music, the character themes. Every song is emotive, and many of them are almost as memorable and iconic as the theme song itself. Simply put, He-Man wouldn’t be the show it is without its soundtrack (in fact, that’s one of the 2002 revival’s biggest weaknesses–its music is bland and forgettable).

Reason 8 – There’s only one two-part episode in the whole run. One reason I don’t watch a lot of TV is because I just can’t be bothered to keep up with all the intracate storylines these modern shows have going, where if you miss even one episode you’re completely lost. While He-Man by no means lacked continuity, it was and still is wisely written so that every episode (save for “House of Shokoti, Part 2″) can be watched in whatever order you want. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with details, you can just have fun.

Reason 7 – Body language. Despite budgetary constraints, He-Man really showed off the advantages of animation over, say, comic books. If you watch closely, a lot of characters in the background are usually reacting with subtle looks and gestures to what others are doing or saying. One thing I really like, is that when He-Man is doing a feat of strength, it looks realistic–he heaves and grunts. There’s a great example of this in the very first episode, when he’s trying to widen a chasm so he can grab the Diamond Ray–it actually very well conveys how much he’s exerting himself to do that. Stuff like this helps make the show more “real,” and gives it depth.

Reason 6 – Eternia. There are a lot of episodes (particularly in the first season) that involve villains other than Skeletor. I used to consider this a bad thing, but after watching She-Ra, I realized something. See, in she-Ra, every episode save one involves the Horde, and it almost feels like Etheria didn’t exist until the Horde conquered it. He-Man’s Eternia, on the other hand, really does feel like a rich world full of undiscovered mysteries and secrets, and the presence of characters such as Game Master and Zodak give you a feeling that the clash between He-Man and Skeletor are just one of the many things going on in this world.

Reason 5 – Intelligent morals. I gotta admit, when I see the stuff that passes for “educational content” in cartoons nowadays, I shake my head and fear for our culture. Today we dumb down political issues into soundbites, while at the same time never teaching kids stuff that will actually help them. Funnily enough, He-Man is as relevant today as it was in 1983, and the lessons the characters teach at the end of each episode are far more practical than the fluffy, pat and vacuous stuff you hear today. Sometimes they even say stuff that television studios today would be too pussy to handle, such as the episode “Double Edged Sword” (a kid who thinks lasers are cool tries to be a hotshot, ends up crippling his dad for life) or “Trouble in Arcadia” (while on a drive, Teela rants to Adam about male chauvinists… and then they’re both captured by a city of women who treat men like pack animals. The ideal embodied in this episode is closer to Susan B. Anthony’s philosophy than the garbage that passes for feminism nowadays). Granted, there are episodes that are preachy or heavy-handed, but at least we don’t have the heroes’ personalities flip-flopping just to showcase an anti-bullying story (right, MLP season three?) I gotta admit, when I pick an episode at random, the message I get seems to always be something I needed to hear at that exact moment. Truth is truth and wisdom is wisdom, regardless of decade.

Reason 4 – Everyone has a story. Most cartoons, then and now, were satisfied to just introduce a bunch of faces and get on with it. In any other cartoon, Mer-Man would’ve been just an aquatic-themed servant. But instead, he has a personal grudge against Man-at-Arms and makes several solo attempts to conquer the underwater kingdoms. In any other cartoon (including the 2002 remake of He-Man), Queen Marlena would be just a name and a face, no personality. But this is He-Man, so instead she’s an astronaut from Earth who is also a trained fighter pilot and wishes her people took her seriously, and may also be the only person sharp enough to see that Prince Adam is He-Man. Or there’s the wizard Malik… I could go on.

Reason 3 – Nobody is a “type.” And it just gets better. I mean, any other show, if you had an episode where the lead female and the villain’s woman were stranded in the desert together, they’d fight and trust each other uneasily. In this show though, they wind up getting to know each other better and developing respect for each other. And Orko, the comedy relief, actually does useful things in each episode and is instrumental in resolving conflicts. He, too, has feelings and insecurities that he sometimes acts on. And what about Adam? Is he just pretending to be useless or is he actually useless? The portrayal is nuanced enough that its open to either interpretation. I was honestly surprised that there’s an episode where Cringer gets on Adam’s case about having an argument with Teela–things like that just don’t happen in cartoons (except maybe MLP: Friendship is Magic).

Reason 2 – A consistent universe. Despite the stand-alone nature of the stories, the writers all clearly had the same or similar visions of what Eternia was like, which gives this shared universe a cohesive feel. And, too, they all had a strong grasp of the characters. So you never have instances where “one episode they’re all scrolls and quills, the next episode there’s tractors and movie theaters” (unlike MLP:FIM) nor do you have instances where villains have completely different motivations from episode to episode (unlike Batman: the Animated Series). This helps Eternia feel more like a real, living universe that you’re peeking into and less like a cartoon you’re wasting your time watching.

Reason 1 – It’s just plain fun. I gotta admit though… for all the serious bits, for all the well-done characterization, for all the consistency and escapism and music and animation, what really keeps me coming back to He-Man is just that its a damn good time. And when the episode is over, there’s always the silly or over-the-top parts to joke about–like my favorite game, “what drug was the Comet Keeper smoking, and where can I get some?” Many cartoons try too hard to be dark, brooding or serious, despite having completely implausible premises or laughable plots. He-Man knows its silly, and just runs with it, which gives the show a charm that other, darker shows are just missing.

And that’s that!

Now, as I said the 30th Anniversary set also included the complete 2002 series and twenty episodes from The New Adventures of He-Man. Unfortunately it didn’t include any She-Ra because a different distributor owns the right to that. However, the bulk of the bonus features focus on the 1983 cartoon… and rightly so, if you ask me. Both 2002 and New Adventures have that unfortunate curse of having interesting ideas, but lousy executioon.

I do, however, consider She-Ra a worthy follow-up to He-Man. While it does have a less interesting setting and some more annoying side-characters, I love the Evil Horde, always kinda felt Hordak was more compelling than Skeletor, and honestly kinda feel She-Ra herself is more compelling than He-Man. There’s just something about ass-kicking women that I like (and She-Ra does it without being a hateful bitch, which makes her better than every “strong woman” in every cartoon or movie made nowadays).

One last note, I’m not likely to update my blog again until after December, though I will respond to comments. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Thoughts on Western Animation (follow up to Brony post)

Okay, I kinda rushed my earlier “not a brony anymore” post, and didn’t get a chance to say more in the meantime because a freak lightning storm took out my modem–it only got replaced yesterday–so…

Okay, first off, Pony is off the hook. To be honest, so far the only Season Three episode I hated was “One Bad Apple.” So far, Season Three is actually a marked improvement over Season Two. Let’s hope it keeps going up.

I still feel like my earlier comment is true of Western Animation as a whole though. In recent years, it does feel like basically Geekdom took over cartoons, and now everything is unsubtle in-jokes (or just jokes, period). Like I remember one Scooby Doo cartoon where Velma literally says “I never thought I’d see Scooby Doo jump the shark.” And Avatar the Last Airbender honestly felt more to me like a commentary on fantasy fiction than an actual attempt to tell a good story.

This is actually another endemic problem I have with western animation. It seems like every cartoon is trying to have a “message,” (usually because they’re trying to be educational) and they wind up putting the message ahead of the universe, story and characters. “One Bad Apple” was an example of this–the Cutie Mark Crusaders were completely OOC, bent over backwards so that the story would work. Getting back to Avatar, there was that one episode about the fortune teller, where Kutara and Sokka discuss science versus superstition. Hey, I don’t remember seeing libraries or colleges in their Eskimo village, so how are they even that well educated? They shouldn’t be, but the writer had a message, so he just said “fuck you” and did what he wanted.

Americans are just obsessed with messages. In English class, you’re even taught that the whole point of reading a book is to find its message, and when an author is interviewed, one question they’re always asked is “what is the message?” And of course, it always has to be some forgettable phrase that sounds good on camera. At this point I’m basically parroting Ursula K LeGuin, but correct thoughts are worth repeating, for mankind learns better by repetition rather than by one single precision strike.

I don’t mind messages, but there’s two things:
A) They have to make sense in context
B) They have to be secondary to, and work with, the characters, plots and world you build.

B is hard for most writers, because it sometimes means you have to say something you don’t really believe. When I’ve written, I often have the heroes saying things I personally find stupid or childish, and the villains holding philosophies I myself believe in. Naturally, I’m inclined to change it so that the heroes are more like me. But this is a temptation I have to resist, because it hurts more than it helps.

This goes back to the whole “lulz” thing. Like a message, a joke has to work with the context. One of the worst things American cartoons like to do is call attention to the fact that they’re works of fiction (again, see ATLA) and this is just a terrible idea. The purpose of fiction is to give us an escape from, and perhaps a deeper understanding of, the world we live in. When I see a cartoon making stupid jokes, it takes me out of the universe and reminds me that it is, in fact, a cartoon. The illusion is destroyed. I can’t take it seriously anymore.

I know there are works that tackle the fourth wall and actually do amazing things with our suspension of disbelief, but those are in sufficiently skilled (or sufficiently crazy) hands. Your average joe payed to write for Nickelodeon is not gonna be Hideo Kojima, they’ll barely have an understanding of anything more than “this is what puts food on the table tonight,” so they shouldn’t really try too hard.

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I don’t think I’m a Brony anymore

I’ve been saying it since season one ended, that this show is somehow not as good as it used to be. And, well, it isn’t.

There are fun episodes here and there, but part of my problem is… it used to be a show I could take seriously as well as laugh at. But lately it feels like the show is either trying to be educational and coming up short, or its just making a lot of brony in-jokes (ironically, the latest two episodes are each a case in point). It’s symptomatic of a show made in the internet age, where memes overrule good writing most of the time.

Really, at this point I think I enjoy the fandom more than the show itself.

Oh well, at least I no longer have to wake up early on Saturday.

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Tolerate me, dammit!

“You need to learn tolerance.”

Don’t you love this one? Some stupid little kid has been harassing you for pages on end, telling you how wrong and stupid your beliefs are. But then you redouble your efforts, find a hole in his logic, and make him look like an idiot. So instead of showing some maturity, he instead starts crying that you’re an intolerant meaniehead who is trying to force your opinions on him. Nevermind that he was just flaming you for disagreeing with him a page or so ago.

That’s one reason I don’t buy the tolerance argument: It’s always a one-way street. They want you to tolerate them, but it never ever works the other way around.

The other problem, of course, is that every time I’ve seen someone cry “tolerate me, dammit!” It’s always been someone who has been shown to be basing his reasoning on faulty logic, badly-researched facts, subjective beliefs, or cultural upbringing. They simply don’t want to critically examine themselves, so they instead just want people to stop questioning them. Here’s an idea: Stop sucking your mommy’s tits and grow the fuck up. In the real world, ideas get questioned, and people think. Asking people not to think and never to question anything is anti-intellectualism, and it’s that kind of thinking that leads to fascism too.

This is what disgusts me about modern society. People are such simpering wimps these days. People need to LEARN TO FIGHT. If you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in, then you probably don’t believe in it that strongly. I mean its okay to have weak beliefs, or to believe something just out of convenience, but if that’s the case just own up to it. Don’t drag it out, make an issue out of it, and then cry in a corner when people question it. That’s just being a pussy.

….

One more thing.

Something that goes hand-in-hand with pleas for tolerance, is the notion that “opinions can’t be wrong.” This is simply not true. If an opinion is formed due to ignorance, misinformation or faulted reasoning, then it can in fact be wrong. This is called “credibility.”

Case in point, back in the days of Usenet I saw posts by this guy who hated anime, and used to always bitch about how much anime was inferior to American animation (keep in mind, this was like, 1996–he didn’t have good cartoons like MLP:FIM to work with). When he was questioned, it came to light that he actually didn’t watch the anime he was bitching about–he would just read the descriptions on the back of the box and make assumptions from there. Most people dismissed him as either a troll or a crackpot, and rightfully so. Dude was basically a prototype Troper.

There’s another way opinions can be wrong, too. It’s hard to explain, but imagine if you heard someone say any of the following:

“I think molesting children should be legalized!”
“I stuck my dick in that pie, but its still a good pie!”
“Human toe shavings taste great!”
“This car doesn’t have air conditioning, working seatbelts and I need to replace the engine, but I got it for less than that brand-new car so it’s a good deal!”

Those might all be statements of personal belief, but making them public is a good way to get yourself either excommunicated or watched with suspicion. Just saying.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for diverse beliefs, and in fact one thing I hate about America is how our culture quashes unpopular beliefs in favor of popular ones. Like how Michael Crichton used to be respected as both an author and a scientist until he came out as anti-environmentalism. This is basically a large-scale version of what I was saying earlier: “Tolerance” as these people define it is a one-way street. True tolerance has to work both ways. If its one-way, it isn’t tolerance. QED.

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First Impressions – The Wii U

A couple days back I was in GameStop, and they had a demo unit of the Wii U set up.

The game was Rayman Legends, although I didn’t realize that at first because some little girl had been playing the console and had left it paused in the middle of one of the games. And which game was it? One about a barbarian chick with an axe, running past armies of… things. I played it and realized it was some sort of rythym game disguised as a platformer, and… was surprisingly fun.

I really liked that barbarian chick. She had these cute, cartoony animations–like when she beats a level, she plays her axe like an air guitar. And she always looks just vaguely psychotic. So I was like, “who is this girl?” and then, “what is this game?”

Well finally I exited this level and it took me back to the main menu where I learned the game was called “Castle Rock,” but it was actually a minigame–the actual GAME game was called Rayman Legends.

Now, I’m not exactly up on the Rayman franchise–I played the original and couldn’t really get into it, so I never really felt like keeping up with the series–so my first question was “Okay, so how come this girl is in the same setting as spaghetti-haired, big-nosed limbless dude?”

So anyway, I played another scenario called “Teensies in Trouble,” still opting to play as barbarian chick because she was more fun, but unfortunately the level forces you to switch to Rayman at a part where you have to summon some insect named Murphy.

This is where my opinion went from “I’m actually enjoying this!” to “No, no I don’t like this at all.” See, what happens here is you have to use the touch screen to make Murphy do things. Rayman will move and act on his own, and Murphy has to arrange things so Rayman can proceed. This was okay at first, although I would rather have had direct control of Rayman. But it got really obnoxious at a part where you had to actually turn the Wii U to rotate a platform, which forced me to divide my attention between two screens (the television, and the controller’s touchscreen) and made for a somewhat disorienting experience. I think I remember Yahtzee prophecizing this very thing not long back.

So what happened, Rayman fell to his death a number of times because I didn’t quite grasp the controls or understand what I had to do to proceed. But lives were unlimited so I kept on going until the demo arbitrarily decided to just end (a timer appeared on the screen saying “demo will end in…” right in the middle of the level).

So, in essence:

The pluses:

-that barbarian chick

The minuses:

-The controller.

All in all, I’d recommend getting a PC Engine instead. Then study Japanese and import you a copy of Ys IV.

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Last Post about TV Tropes, I Promise!

So I ranted about TV Tropes
Then I ranted again

And I got to wondering if anyone else had the same or similar problems that I had, if anyone else had noticed the things I’m complaining about. An a little bit of Google searching turned up that, yes, some people did!

So for this post, I will put up select quotes, with attributions.

The trope wiki does encourage a form of intellectual laziness when it comes to analysis of literature. It gives the impression that all fiction is made up of interacting tropes, which is basically the only way you can interpret a whole bunch of people making huge lists of of tropes which they ‘picked up’ while reading/watching any particular story. Rather than discuss the themes behind a story or the motivations of characters or whatever, a ‘troper’ looks for devices that have been used in other stories before, no matter how tenuous the connection is. Usually the definition for any trope is quite broad so it can refer to characters who are wildly different but have a few familiar traits, which is how you can end up with Char Aznable and Adrian Veidt on the same list of ‘Well Intentioned Extremists’.

Ford Prefect, Stardestroyer.net

As I’ve said before, TV Tropes is not valid literary criticism. It focuses too much on connection, not actually looking at the story and finding themes, as said in the post above.

Any real literary critic would laugh at the tenuous connections made by the pseudo-intellectuals there. So of course the community is terrible. I can’t call it a “timesuck” as the connections they find and their way of presenting it confuse and irritate me.

Tupin, Digitpress (Note: requires registration)

One of the main issues with the site is this: there is no coherent definition of what a ‘trope’ is. As far as TVTropes is concerned, a trope is a thing that you can make a page around or slot into one of their inane lists. Tropes range from plot elements to game mechanics to popular or clich├ęd lines to random bits of numerology. It’s impossible to talk about what tropes are or aren’t – or what they’re for or not for – because they aren’t anything consistent.

Speaking even more broadly than that, the issue with TVTropes is that it’s really just an example of obsessive list-making and categorisation. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some good pages there, or some things worth reading. There are. Rather, it’s to say that the enterprise of TVTropes is pretty worthless. As a project, TVTropes is an exercise in purposeless and obsessive list-making, predicated on this notion of ‘tropes’ (a nebulous and undefined concept) as the ‘building blocks’ of writing (as if writing even has building blocks!).

The real point of TVTropes is as a community. The TVTropes forums, the YMMV and speculation pages, and so on. People meet, interact, and talk on the site. Just like SB, the community takes on a life of its own. That the enterprise the community is ostensibly based on is worthless dreck is irrelevant to the community. Nonetheless, the community has to defend it, or else lose its reason for existence.

It really is a mess.

Unhappy Anchovy, SpaceBattles.net

I could’ve really filled this post up, but I decided to go with a “one quote per source” rule, and all the other comments I found were of the generic “TV Tropes is a timesink” or “TV Tropes is full of japanophiles” nonsense.

I actually haven’t found “TV Tropes is full of Japanophiles” to be true, to be honest. They seem to be dickhurt about that association, because when I was there they made it their mission to convince anyone who honestly expressed an orientophile bent that they were just blind and didn’t see the true glory of western culture. They came off as nationalists, in other words.

But yeah, let’s end it here. TV Tropes is a website that needs to die, and I’m through giving them the time of day on my site. So next time I post, it’ll be about something I like.


(Edit) I realized upon re-reading this entry that I forgot to mention: why all this focus on analysis? Well, because TV Tropes claims to be a site about analysis… sometimes. Other times it claims to be a resource for writers looking for ideas. Or whatever. The truth is though, that TV Tropes really never had a purpose. Someone just started doing it for shits and giggles, and decided on a “purpose” after-the-fact.

I honestly would not take writing advice from TV Tropes, because they have demonstrated to me that they are willfully ignorant on several subjects. I’ve seen Tropers argue, for example, that the comic book “one writer controls an entire run on a magazine” is exactly the same as how television scripts are written (it isn’t–television has teams of writers who each work on individual scripts, with a head writer who basically establishes arcs and ensures continuity). This is all basic stuff you can find out with Google, or by checking the special features on any DVD season sets you happen to own, and Tropers don’t even know this. And yet they’re a resource for writers.

And the reason TV Tropes isn’t analysis is because “describing something in invented jargon” is not analysis, its just description. Analysis means looking into something, trying to see into its themes and subject matter and really penetrate it. For example, “Naked Snake’s CQC seems reminiscent of Judo. It’s a form of physical technique that revolves around gaining leverage and upsetting your opponent’s balance to give yourself power over him.” That’s analysis. What Tropers do is “Naked Snake’s CQC is a MartialArt where you FacePound peeps and NeckGrab them a lot ForTheKoolz.” You’ll notice that the analysis example is explaining what it is and how it works, while the Troper-analogy is just using a bunch of dumbass terms that don’t tell you anything useful at all.

So I say again: TV Tropes needs to die, and people need to stop taking that site so seriously.

Posted in old junk | 19 Comments

More TV Tropes Simple-Mindedness

I just wanted to tell you about the straw that broke the camel’s back here.

So what happened is, again on Skype, someone had just mentioned getting The Dracula X Chronicles, a PSP disc that collects Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night onto one UMD. He expressed displeasure at the fact that you have to actually unlock Symphony.

I chimed in agreeing with him, and wondering why Konami would even do that considering that Rondo and Symphony were both originally released separately and most people played Symphony before Rondo anyway. I opined that it’s advertised as a compilation and thus the two listed games are basic content, they shouldn’t be treated as bonuses.

Apparently, this is WRONG. The five or six other Tropers in that chat jumped down my throat and told me basically that it was bad that I had these beliefs and that I should just accept that Konami’s way is good and right. Their specific arguments (and I’m going to provide the chatlog on the comments so you can see for yourself) consisted of:

“Konami just wants people to appreciate Rondo!” (My rebuttal: people who buy it have the option of playing Rondo if they want to. They shouldn’t be forced to play it if they don’t want to)

“Rondo was never released in English before!” (see above)

“Symphony can be gotten millions of other ways, so what does it matter if they made you have to unlock it here?” (how is this a point for locking it? If anything, this is a point against)

“You can always just cheat” (the point is, you shouldn’t have to do anything)

“I like unlocking things.” (I do too, but that doesn’t mean always okay)

“Unlocking a second game is no different than being forced to play levels in order.” (Actually, its completely different because the two games were originally independent releases, on different consoles even. Seriously I can’t see why anyone would think this is a valid argument)

“Games have had unlockables for a long time, why does this bother you now?” (Rondo and SOTN were originally released separately, it makes no sense to make one an unlockable feature now. This is not the same thing as an unlockable character or stage or something, which is just a bonus feature in a game you already have access to)

“You’re being unreasonable.” (Konami wants me to pay cash for their product. I worked for that cash. Its you who is being unreasonable)

“You’re attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with you.” (Defending my beliefs is not attacking you)

“Just because you dislike something doesn’t mean its wrong.” (By the same token, being fine with something doesn’t mean its right)

I tried to explain my stance again and again, and how it makes no sense that a compilation forces you to play one game to unlock another. But… Tropers. They just wouldn’t get it. It was like explaining Taoism to a drunken monkey.

Let me explain, the problem isn’t that I had one disagreement… the problem is that this represents how MOST Troper arguments go. They try to blur distinctions so they can claim two unlike things are completely alike. They keep pointing out irrelevent trivia and saying its a major point. They invent “misunderstandings” so they can “correct” you. They keep trying to put words in your mouth or change the debate. Often they don’t understand what you’re trying to say (or pretend they don’t). They act like subjective preferences or their own apathy makes something okay. When all else fails, they fall back on claiming you’re attacking them or forcing your opinions or whatever when you’re actually not, and pull the “everything is subjective” card so they don’t have to think.

This is the final straw. I’ve blocked most of these people, and removed myself from this particular chatroom. I’ve had enough of TV Tropes childish, borderline retarded thought-processes and anti-intellectualism. It’s not good for my health.

Chatlog is in the comments section.

Posted in old junk | 3 Comments