Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008: GRRRRR

Well, you waited long enough. So here you go, the 10 things that were not so good in 2008. PREPARE FOR ANGRY.

Resident Evil 5 Controversy

All it took was one column making the observation of "Hey, this game has a snow-white asshole going around gunning down poor black people. Think about it" send the nerds of the Internet into a uncontrollable explosion of rage and casual racism. Albeit, the same column's claim that "obviously no black people worked on this game" is a bit duh, because it's Japanese (which is really the explanation for the whole thing, as they Japanese still don't really 'get it'), but it doesn't excuse the pure, unbridled stupidity on display from many people in reaction. It only went to prove two of my own observations: that gamers can't take any criticism of their hobby, and that most nerds are kind of racist.
Later on, we get extra fun from this subject, with the game's developers unintentionally including a horrible AIDs metaphor, and the inclusion of an African sidekick, who as Yahtzee points out actually looks less black and more 'dipped in tea'.
The game? Oh yeah, it'll probably be good.


I've been avoiding this site for a while now, but I was unfortunately exposed to quite a few bits of it in 2008, and ohhh boy they were doozies. We began with that horrific man-mountain Harry Knowles getting an exclusive review of Cloverfield, giving us the expected hyperbolic statements of quality we expect from him. The movie itself, as we found out, was exceedingly mediocre to passable. In the summer, Harry followed up by blowing a gasket about the rumors of Will Smith playing Captain America (which would be kind of cool), and was relieved when it was confirmed that it was not the case, as if nuclear holocaust had been averted (more proof of my stated belief above).
Of course, those are the main two I say, and I made sure never to look back ever again after that. I'm sure if you took a few more peaks, you'd find lesser or equal stupidity on the part of Knowles and his nerdy men.

Videogame Websites

No, not all of them. I just needed something general to describe my two main targets: Kotaku and IGN.
Kotaku should be a good tool for getting all your game news in one place, but to find it you have to wade through a ton of personal crap, including that aggravating loser whose only purpose is to be 'the guy who lives in Japan', which I'm sure is the wet dream of the site's readership. Speaking of the readership, shit like this, this, this, and this are even worse when you read some of the comments. I mean, it's just really horrible.
IGN is quickly becoming the AICN of the videogame world (even more than Kotaku), and I'm getting that vibe strictly from the Nintendo half, where every week is Matt C. has a fanboy spasm and still thinks we believe he has 'insider info' about a new Kid Icarus which has apparently been scheduled to be revealed at every trade show for the past 500 years or so. The site's review for Super Smash Bros. Brawl annoyed me with just a few lines whining about third party character inclusions (the dumb character selection complaining may be as bad as any hysterical tantrums thrown by hardcore tourney players not getting the exact game they wanted). They also whined about the original enemies in the Adventure mode, too, but to be fair, so did the cast of the 1Up Show. The 9.9 handjob for MGS4 a few months later was only the icing on the stupid cake that is IGN.

Prop 8

And even with the election hyping a new direction in the course of American politics, a largely pro-democrat state also happens to take away the rights of many of its citizens for no reason other than bigotry. When CALIFORNIA decides it doesn't like gay people more than Massachusetts, a state that is well-known almost exclusively for witch burnings, you know there's a problem.

Franchise Revivals

Both Indiana Jones and the X-Files tried to make a comeback in 2008, both decrepit, dancing for quarters from the audience; it was sad. At least the former has a reasonable enough explanation for its failure: George Lucas can ruin anything within in his general vicinity. But the new X-Files movie? It seems that the creative staff decided that the best possible way to bring it back was to eschew the conspiracy storyline (which was a good idea) and instead make about some gay lovers making a transsexual Frankenstein monster and the Priest who helps track them down with his molestation-based telepathy (not a good idea). Maybe they were infected with George Lucas?
On a lesser scale, but still in the same vein: it really is disheartening to hear about the diminishing returns of the Futurama movies. It was a brilliant series, and Bender's Big Score was decent what the hell happened? There have been a few logical ideas of why the movies dipped, it's still so very very sad. I can only hope for a miracle to save Wild Green Yonder from the same fate.


I first encountered the Twilight books back in August, and was so disgusted by the premise of Breaking Dawn that I instantly grew to loathe everything related to it and ridicule it whenever possible. Then I found out about the movie. Then my mom started reading the books. It's been a nonstop torrent of this fan fiction-level vampire melodrama since then.

Canadian Politics

First, the Conservatives spend the first half of the year introducing many many bad laws. Then in the fall, suddenly there's an election! Everything was destined to stay the same, because the Liberals spent their time as opposition picking their noses and being scared by their own shadows (but at the same time, most of the country won't give majority power to a friend of Bush). Some amusing things happened, but overall it was standard.
Then came the Coalition incident, and now it was time for massive spin-doctoring as I've never seen up here. The fact that the people BOUGHT a lot of the bullshit fed to them reveals that the Canadian populace doesn't know their own political system as well as I thought. Hey, we can be idiots, too!

Awesome People Dying

George Carlin? Dead. Bo Diddley? Dead. Isaac Hayes? Dead. Stan Winston? Dead. Steve Gerber? Deceased. David Foster Wallace? Pushing daisies. Sho'Nuff? Oh, you better believe he's dead.

Seriously, that is awful. So many good people, artists and entertainers, no longer able to give us stuff. It is inevitable, but it still stings.


This may have only been in the latter months of 2008, but the closest 7-11 to me (the one I can walk to) has been going through a terrible period where there Pepsi slurpees tasted dreadful, and then they took the only viable option, Dr. Pepper, away. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that the Pepsi slurpees became decent again, but Dr. Pepper is still on hiatus. How am I going to continue killing myself with sugar when shit like this happens?


Holy, did the voter crowds become downright INSANE in the latter days before the election. Apparently, the protected-from-witches Republican VP did indeed energize the base...unfortunately, the base was an angry, paranoid mob. And I don't know whether to feel sorry or despise John McCain, who would try to rise above his eventual pool of support and then pander to it. This whole thing was very sad and infuriating, but I'll leave the real details for the big boy blogs, if you decide to seek them out.

I mean, I spent most of this list making fun of game nerds.

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