Monday, February 28, 2011

Gaddafi Ordered Doc Brown's Assassination at Twin Pines Mall!

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

Remember how on Friday I mentioned that there were some crazy (or maybe not) accusations flying around about Gaddafi having ordered the Lockerbie bombing?

Well, I'd like to add one more accusation to the list of crimes Gaddafi may have to answer for: the attempted murder of Doctor Emmett Brown.

In 1985, Doc Brown was contacted by the Libyans to construct a nuclear weapon. Brown, clever man that he is, duped the Libyans with an empty bomb casing made up of old pinball machine parts, instead using the plutonium to power his latest invention, a time machine.

When the Libyans found out about this, Gaddafi ordered Brown killed, and he was attacked during a test sequence of the time machine with his young ward Martin "Marty" McFly.
Fortunately, McFly was able to get the time machine up to a speed of 88 mph and escape through time. Brown himself was fortunate enough to inexplicably be wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the attack.

Just another crime that Gaddafi has to answer for.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WTF World Vol 2: Gaddafi and What the Fuck is Going on in Libya, Charlie Sheen Rant (Chuck Lorre fights with Vanity Cards?) and the Fifth Third Bank

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

Alrighty, before we start things off, Muammar Gaddafi, Moammar Gadhafi and Muammar el-Qaddafi are the same guy, and he's Libyan, apparently there are so many Arabic dialects that the pronunciation of his name can vary, and once the pronunciation is different, the Anglicization of the name gets all fucked up, but yeah, same dude, don't be fooled by your news sources.

Fifth Third Bank Accused of Fraud, Robbed and Still Leader in Financial Gains

Ok, full disclosure, I have no idea why this bank is trending as a search, it doesn't really seem like much of a hot topic to me, but whatever, I'll see what I can find out.

This guy robbed a Fifth Third bank in Ohio on Wednesday, standard procedure of handing the teller a note, getting some money, and leaving (hasn't he even seen Dark Knight? There are WAY cooler ways to rob banks at your disposal these days). THIS can't be what people are interested, a friend of mine is a bank teller and this happened to her a few weeks ago, her bank didn't become a hot topic. Slow news day in Ohio I suspect.

Ah, here we go, horse racing and fraud, this makes a little more sense. Thoroughbred breeder Gulf Coast Farms is suing the shit out of the bank. Fifth Third claims the breeders defaulted on $15 million worth of loans, which Gulf Coast says is not true. Gulf Coast breeds winning horses, and is supposedly the fourth-leading breeder in North America. These undoubtedly highfalutin wealthy horse types (who no doubt row boats and eat ivy) call BS on Fifth Third and are seeking to recover $16 in compensatory and punitive damage. Why? Because they were treated in a manner that is not consistent with the way a bank should operate, stopping JUST short of accusing the bank of fraud.

But 16 million dollar lawsuits are just chump change apparently, because that didn't stop Fifth Third from being one of the top-gaining components in the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund, rising by like 3% today. So... America is saved? Financial crisis OVER.

Libya Saw What Egypt Was Up To and Was Like: "I'd Like Some of That Action" or What the Fuck is Going on Libya?

For arguments sake, I'm going to call the leader of Libya "Gaddafi" because it's the easiest to spell of the many iterations of his name (I'm in good company here though, this is the spelling used by the BBC and Al-Jazeera, these fine news sources probably had the same thought that I did).

So a little background about Gaddafi: in 1969 Gaddafi and his buddies overthrew the existing Libyan monarchy and basically he tried to make himself the Che Guevera of the 70s. He turned Libya into a haven for anti-Western radicals, and even openly and publicly said that he would arm them and offer them financial assistance. He introduced his philosophy to the country and called it "Islamic socialism", in short, allowing private control of small companies, and government control of large ones and had an emphasis on welfare, liberation and education. Ok, arming anti-Western radicals, not always awesome, but welfare and education don't seem so bad.

In 1977 he changed gears a little bit and introduced "jamhiriya", and this is actually pretty cool (on paper). The idea was "government by the masses", a sort of direct democracy where all decisions would be made through a network of local council and communes. Neato!

Oh yeah, he also sent out murder squads to assassinate Libyan dissidents living abroad... less neato. Anyhow, Gaddafi's been in charge since 1970 more or less, has called for the murder of dissidents, murdered dissidents, imprisoned opposition, threw 30,000 Palestinians out of his country and seems to like killing people who aren't into his ideas. 40 years later, Libyans are like "Man, let's get a new leader."

Here's the timeline of how shit went down in Libya in the past two weeks:

  • Feb 15: A group of about 5-600 protestors demonstrate in front of a police station in Benghazi, things get violent, 40 people are injured, and protestors in Al Bayda and Az Zintan set fires to police stations.
  • Feb 16: Protests continue in Al Bayda and Benghazi, 6 people die, fires break out, water cannons are used on fires and protestors alike (efficiency!). The government releases 110 members of the Libyan Islamic Fight Group from prison.
  • Feb 17: This IS AWESOME (in a shitty way) Hollywood movie insanity type shit. Get this, the Libyan government releases 30 non-dissident related prisoners from jail, arms them, and then pays them to fight protestors. What the fuck Libya?! Snipers and helicopters also open fire on demonstrators, another 30 people are killed.
  • Feb 18: Libya just doesn't give a fuck, not satisfied with releasing and arming hardened criminals to do their dirty work, the government begins hiring African mercenaries to help bolster their forces. There are reports that some local police and riot control types join forces with protestors, but clearly not all of them, since protestors get a hold of two officers who were accused of shooting at protestors and hung them. Libyan protestors are also fucking hardcore, they captured 50 mercs, locked them in a prison, and then burned the mother down. Just how much are these mercs getting paid you might ask? Reports say: 5000 Dinars + 1 Sports Car (5000 Libyan Dinars = 4061 American dollars).
  • Feb 19: This is way crazier than Egypt. Protestors basically take control of Al Bayda, the army withdraws. In Benghazi, artillery, helicopter gunships and anti-aircraft missile launchers are all pointed at then later fired at protestors. Classy security forces opened fire at a funeral (honoring protesters who were killed in previous protests), killing 15.
  • Feb 20: Protests spread to Tripoli, hospitals in Benghazi literally run out of supplies, estimate death toll to be 200-300 in that city alone. Protestors in Benghazi number in the tens of thousands, storming around the city, brutally murdering anyone who is pro-Gaddafi, basically take control of the entire city. Gaddafi's son seriously blames Isreal for all this (WTF?), adding that the BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al Arabiya and the BBC is trying to trick everyone.
  • Feb 21: Libyan Air Force launches air strikes on protestors and, you may have guessed it, funeral processions. Two mutineering air force pilots (who I'm going to call Ripcord and Ace) are like "fuck this bombing civilians business" and fly their planes to Malta and request asylum. Libyan naval warships start bombarding residential areas (WTF x 10). Gaddafi issues execution orders for any soldier who refuses to shoot, bomb or murder the hell out of protestors. There are reports that Gaddafi himself has left the country and headed to Venezuela.
  • Feb 22: Gaddafi appears on state television and is like "I'm not in Venezuela suckers, I'm in Tripoli!" but nobody can really tell if his telling the truth. Fighter jets start targeting the army's munitions depots to prevent soldiers from joining and further arming the protestors (more WTF), African mercs keep massacring everyone (including reports that they busted into a hospital and just murdered everyone they found). British Foreign Minister David Owen calls for military intervention and an immediate no fly zone (but that hasn’t happened yet). Analysts says that it seems like Gaddafi's plan is to basically ruin his country instead of stepping down, damaging oil infrastructures (the Libyan economy's driving asset) and engaging in a prolonged war to scare off investors. It seems like he hopes that people will just let him be in charge again to save the country's economy and livelihood.
  • Feb 23: (Side note: that I forgot to mention: As part of the Islamic socialism structure, Libya is divided up into various democratic tribes that work in conjunction with each other) One of Libya's largest tribes, the Warfella, calls for Gaddafi to step down, various politicians start stepping down from their posts in protest to the excessive violence that's going on. More and more cities fall under rebel control. Accusations start flying at Gaddafi, including that he personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
  • Feb 24: More army units side with protestors, more cites "fall" to rebels. Gaddafi deploys tanks in the suburbs of Tripoli. North African al-Qaeda announced that they would support the Libyan uprising. Gaddafi responded that yes, it totally IS Bin Laden's fault this shit is going down in his country, that the al-Qaeda is slipping hallucinogenic pills to the youth in their coffee. Oooookay.
  • Feb 25 (today): Gaddafi's son Saif al-Arab supposedly defects to the side of the protestors, protestors take to the streets in Tripoli and Gaddafi loses his mind. Gaddafi appeared on Green Square in Tripoli and started yelling: "Dance, dance, sing and be happy ! Those who don't like me do not deserve life". WOW.

So... what does this all mean? Well, even though the US and Libya haven't always seen eye-to-eye, in the 2000s, Libya's gotten a lot cozier with the United States. From 2003 onwards things have gotten pretty good between the two countries politically, which is a good thing, since Libya is the 4th richest country in North Africa, in large part thanks to it's (of course) oil reserves. Those same oil reserves that the economy is more or less based on. Those same oil reserves that Gaddafi seems pretty intent on destroying.

So let's say this whole thing falls apart and the Gaddafi steps down, but not after doing untold damage to the economy, what then? Who has money? I don't wanna sound like a crazy fear mongering person, but al-Qaeda has money. I've read reports that al-Qaeda is one of the main sources of disaster relief in Pakistan following flooding and making great strides in winning over popular opinion, what's stopping them from doing the same thing in Libya? If they move in with the correct tactics, they could seriously take over the 4th richest North African country. All this while there is still no assurance that America's former North African ally, Egypt, is going to be of any help depending on what new government gets implemented there.

Yup, the potentially for widespread holy-fuckery is pretty extreme.

That was a little heavy, I need something to cheer me up... who should I turn to? Oh yes, Charlie Sheen.

Charlie Sheen Loses His Mind on the Alex Jones Show - His Boss Makes Fun of Him on TV, Two and Half Men “Temporarily Cancelled”

So yesterday, on the Alex Jones Show, Charlie Sheen decided he had some bones to pick (audio here, this is the best one I can find, there's like a weird commercial that plays over part of it, not sure if this was to mute out some of his insanity since the recording was live or was added later) with uhh... I'm not exactly sure. Here's the recap of the hilarity, but seriously, you should listen to it:
  • Charlie makes a hilarious joke about working out, but "not in the gym" HEY-OH! He means sex with porn stars.
  • He refers to his porn star harem as "The Goddesses" and is worried that the term is too “terrestrial” to describe his marriage of the "hearts". He also refers to his lifestyle as "winning in every second", hard to argue.
  • He trash talks the rest of the world telling them to have sex with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and be jealous of him.
  • He refers to what he does to Chuck Lorre's (2 and Half Man creator and writer) writing as "turning tin cans into gold."
  • He says he has magic, he is an F-18 who will destroy you in the air, he then talks about his amazing tattoo, which I can't even describe.
  • He talks about Major League 3... saying he's going to do it, he hasn't read it, and he doesn't care. He promptly also says that he doesn’t know if he’s doing it yet or not.
  • He's the new sheriff in town, and he has an army of assassins.
  • He says he's a High Priest Vatican Assassin Warlock (oh man... I love you Charlie Sheen). This of course is in response to someone who said he works for the Pope.
  • He also says you either love or you hate, and you must do both violently, you must hate everyone who is not in your family, and there's is nothing in between. If you love with violence and you hate with violence you have focus, clarity and peace.
  • He also talks about his deadly and dangerous secret and silent soldiers, because they're all around you and of course, that means that he's "winning".
  • Then comes the moneyshot... the AA rant. He calls them a bootleg cult, that their manifesto is built around surrender, and that the only people who got clean in AA are trolls. He says that AA is about not being special, and that doesn't work for him because he IS special. He calls Thomas Jefferson a pussy and that he beat his addiction in a nanosecond with his brain.
  • If you're a part of his family, he will love you violently, if you're against him, he will murder you violently. Alex Jones adds "In the infowar" and Charlie's like "Yeah, in the infowar". Because you know, murdering people in the infowar isn't murder, you have to keep that shit straight (next week Charlie Sheen might murder someone, mark my words).

Now I'll admit, it's hard to really tell if Charlie's just fucking around and joking in all this, but that's part of the problem, right? I think Charlie's not even sure if he's fucking around anymore, at what point do you become so detached from the real world that you can watch Jaws on a private yacht and then not be sure if you're in the movie or watching it (a feat he claims to have accomplished while being completely sober). I mean, we can make fun of him "winning" all we want, but he's in a position to build a mansion full of pornstars, buy them all Bentleys, do mountains of cocaine and basically just run around the world doing whatever he wants, I mean... it sure sounds like winning. Too bad winning might make you crazy.

Final note on Charlie Sheen that I thought I would share because it's sort of funny, the writer/creator of Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre has this cute little habit of flashing brief "Vanity Cards" at the end of his shows (Dharma and Greg, Big Bang Theory, etc). As you may have heard, following Charlie Sheen's recent behaviour (no doubt coupled with you know, his behaviour in the past 5-6 years) led to the showing being "temporarily cancelled". He responded with the awesome vanity cards and more on the story here. My favorite?

"Please keep in mind that we employ a highly-paid Hollywood professional who has years of experience with putting his life at risk. And sadly no, I'm not talking about our stunt man."

Chuck Lorre sir, even though I'm sure you don't get paid $2 million an episode for your work writing the show (which is Charlie's salary for acting in it), that's still just a little bit of "winning".


(Gaddafi image from Reuters, toothless Charlie Sheen from TMZ, as if you couldn't tell by their logo all over it)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WTF World? Vol 1: HBGary gets "pwned" by Anonymous, Lance Armstrong Retires and Nir Rosen Resigns After Being a Jerk to Lara Logan on Twitter

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

All this and more! Except, not really.

In preparation for my eventual weekly editorial over at I am going to take a couple of practice swings at my idea for a recurring article. I call it "What the Fuck World?" because I think swearing is funny.

Basically, the idea is that I'll keep tabs on some of the top trending searches in the world for a week and then write about my favorites on Mondays. Today is Wednesday, and instead of a whole week, I'm just doing the searches from right now. I know I'm cheating, but it's my article and I make the rules so fuck yourselves. See? Cussing. Classic.

So what's going on in the world today? (Heh, I almost wrote "toady").

Lance Armstrong

Why is Lance Armstrong in the news again? Oh, he's retiring. Again. Don't worry though, he's going to keep fight cancer... or something. Why do people care about Lance Armstrong? Well.. he has those classy yellow rubber wristbands and beat testicular cancer for one, and for two, he may have won so often by cheating. Even though he was never caught, his teammate Floyd Landis alleged that good ole' Lance doped himself and also showed other cyclists how to beat testing (and he's not alone, this Armstrong fellow that every body's into has had like a dozen similar allegations brought against him). Anyways, he retired in 2005, then had a comeback in 2008 with a goal of racing in 2009 Tour de France, he finished 3rd. So yeah, he's retiring again, better quit while you're ahead, to fight cancer.

Anonymous Hacks HBGary

Now THIS is what I'm talking about. What's HBGary? They're a technology security firm. These guys are big deals in the electronic security biz, one of their biggest clients is the US Federal Government. What happened? They were hacked by Anonymous.
Ah... 4chan. Why CEO of HBGary Aaron Barr would possibly want to piss off Anonymous, I could not explain. I mean, sure they occasionally hack the hell out of various websites and banks and what not, but to specifically call them out seems like jumping in the deep end, wearing lead boots, in a shark infested pool on your period. I'm sorry, I meant while menstruating.

So a couple of days ago, Aaron Barr claimed that he had infiltrated Anonymous and was willing to sell their identities. He claimed that he had the names of key members and leaders and that he tracked the information through IRC, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Anonymous claims that they know who's on the list, and that it's not them, and it's certainly not their leaders. On February 4th, the Financial Times ran the story about Barr's claims and then Barr made an appointment with the FBI (since the FBI doesn't like Anonymous either) to presumably sell them the list, even though some of his own people questioned his methodology. Where's the mistake here? One, he was half cocked, two, he announced his intentions publicly.

One day later, on February 5th, Anonymous more or less shut down his network. The also took down the HBGary Federal site and left a very public notice of their intentions, calling him out and saying he knows nothing about security (that looks really good for a security firm I'd imagine). They were just getting started, the broke into HBGary Federal's e-mail server, extracted 40,000 e-mails and posted them on Pirate Bay, the else claim to have deleted about a TB of HBGary backup data, you know, just cuz.

Barr starts panicking and tries to get help from his colleagues. In an amazing act, the President of HBGary (which owns HBGary Federal, the company Barr works for) Penny Leavy logs into Anonymous' IRC chat rooms and asks them to leave her company alone. Hilarity ensues (Penny joins at line 522, if you've got the time, it's a worthwhile read). But how did Barr compile this list? I will oversimplify, but basically, he created multiple aliases and started logging into Anonymous chats to try to "infiltrate" them. He linked their IRC handles to Twitter and Facebook accounts, then cross referenced their friend groups and tried to make sense of it. He even started to play his real life personage against his made up IRC self. Basically, if someone posted something on an IRC webchat, and then someone posted something similar on Twitter, and someone made a similar wall post of Facebook, they MUST be the same person, right? As I mentioned before, even those in his own organization found his methodology faulty.

Last week he revealed himself to a person who he believes is CommanderX (one of Anonymous' particularly effective hackers), telling him that he doesn't want them to end up in jail, and he's just pointing out the vulnerabilities of social media. Whoever this person was, Barr's pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears. They kept hacking his personal accounts shutting down his devices, basically trying to push him off the Internet. In the IRC chat above, they told Penny Leavy that it would all stop if they just fired Barr.

Then, shit got real. When they got inside of HBGary's computer, Anonymous found links between the Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of America, including plans to falsely incriminate their opposition, planting fake documents, cyber attacks, you know... totally legal stuff that a security company working for the government should do... yeah. They also uncovered HBGary's plans to launch a smear campaign to help undermine Wikileaks.

As of today, HBGary has cancelled all of its public appearances at public events, saying some of its staff has been threatened, and that's where we're at.

Wow, that was longer than I expected, I think I'll do one more.

CBS' Lara Logan

I'm not gonna lie, I sort of hoped that Lara Logan was involved in a sex tape, not that she's particularly hot or anything, I just thought it would be a good way to cap off this post.

But no, this ties in with Egypt and how the media is being treated. But looks like I was wrong, there was some sex, just not the good kind. While covering Mubarak stepping down, a part of the mob cut off Logan from her crew the proceeded to beat, assault and sexually abuse her until she was eventually rescued by another, presumably friendlier group (made up of Egyptian women and soldiers). She was flown back to the US and hospitalized. Somebody named Nir Rosen from NYU's Center on Law and Security made fun of her on Twitter, saying she was trying to outdo Anderson Cooper (who was also attacked in Cairo).

Yep, he made fun of her for being mobbed and sexually abused, what a guy. In the end, he apologized and the resigned from his job. Dumbass.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Goddamned Coachella 2011

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

Who will be playing this year?
Kings of Leon
Chemical Brothers
Crystal Castles
Cee Lo
Boyz Noize
Arcade Fire
Mumford & Sons
Bright Eyes
Broken Social Scene
One Day As A Lion (Zack de La Rocha - Rage + Jon Theodore - Mars Volta)
Kanye West
The Strokes
Duran Duran
Death from Fucking Above 1979

And like... one million other bands:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cooler Heads in Egypt Than on the Internet? Why Were/Are People SO Up in Arms over Dickwolfgate?

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

Dickwolf content in the second paragraphy, God, you people are lazy.

So I've been following the "Day of Departure" pretty closely on Al Jazeera blogs today (I really cannot stress following this enough), and (so far) as of 10:30 pm local time things remained relatively peaceful all day, which I have tremendous respect for. When your country is falling apart and your leaders have been stealing billions of dollars from you for 30 years, throwing a brick through a window or burning down a government building must feel pretty good.

I was talking with some colleagues about the whole Dickwolf thing, and why it exploded the way it did, we drew some interesting conclusions. I need to stress conclusions here, because seriously, it's over. Both sides crossed the line, and now people are scrapping the barrel of controversy. I mean, barking at Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day for opinions to keep the debate going? Give it up for serious.
The main thing that I couldn't stop thinking about though is this, why did it happen in the first place? My conclusion? Because we're geeks. Forgive me for stereotyping but bear with me.

Most people turned to geek culture as a source of refuge from the torment that they felt from the 'real world'. Why has science fiction and fantasy always been associated with geekdom? Why were geeks and nerds early adopters of the internet (to say nothing of being early adopters of almost all tech in general)? Because they need escape.

Let's face it, part of being a geek is being made fun of for being a geek. With the advent of the internet, geeks have been connecting like never before; social networking, online gaming, the blogosphere and countless other mediums have given a sense of community to our brave little subgroup.

Remember being one of only 2 or 3 kids who were into anime or gaming in high school, and then being bewildered as that number jumped to 20-30 in college or university (due to a larger student base more connections could be made with the like minded)? Thanks to the internet we were suddenly making even more friends, even if we had never met face to face, and that feeling of being teased or abused for being a geek stopped being such a big deal because you knew there were so many going through the same thing.

And 11 years ago, Penny Arcade was in the right place at the right time, and these two guys who lived together in an apartment loved all the same stuff we did and made fun of the stuff we made fun of. Many of us started reading it on a regular basis, and if you met another gamer, chances are PA would be something you would talk about. Somehow, through an impressive chain of events, Penny Arcade became part of a sort of a figurehead of geek culture.

I think there is no such thing as a person who identifies themselves as a geek who has never been teased, made fun, tormented or abused in varying degrees just for being a geek. When 'geek culture' started forming itself into an active community, it would only make sense that we would be deeply protective of said community. We should protect our own, right? We should make sure that no matter what, we wouldn't engage in the same sort of behavior that made many of us uncomfortable in so called "standard" social circles.

Within this community, we could each be ourselves, free of judgement, and not be subject to the kind of treatment that we had (and still) put up with for so long.

The community grew, and as a community grows, the chances of everyone seeing eye-to-eye on everything diminishes. I can't find stats on their hits (I admittedly didn't look very hard), but it must easily number in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, a day. What are the odds of all those people having the same sense of humour? Pretty fucking slim.

So when the Dickwolf, and the second strip, pushed the envelope of what some people wanted to see, something horrible happened. People felt like their own community betrayed them, they felt tormented by the figureheads of a community where they felt safe. They felt like they were back in high school, having their books knocked out of their hands and tormented once more. The fact that the "trigger" was something as volatile as rape was even worse, and surely, when a group is largely targeted and preyed upon by society in general, I would be willing to bet that the number of geeks who are sexually abused in some way is higher than many other subgroups.

So they lashed out, their haven no longer safe. The other side was just as threatened, these people were causing conflict, and conflict pulls apart a community, a community they wanted to protect. Geekdom tends to be very opinionated, and freedom of speech and the right to speak your mind is greatly valued. For all the stupidity both sides engaged in throughout this spectacle, I think they both had the same goal.

Both sides wanted things to stay the way the were. On the one hand, one group wanted things to stay safe and comfortable. On the other hand, the other group didn't want to deal with anyone making waves. Insanity followed and basically if you were anti-rape you were pro-censorship, and if you supported freedom of speech you were a rape apologist. It's not that black and white and shame on both sides for oversimplifying that badly.

Here's the thing: As a community, we'll have our differences, as the community grows, there will be even more differences. As a community that values and encourages free speech, these differences will likely be debated and discussed to great lengths (we're talking about the same community who can end up in shouting matches over Kirk vs Picard, PS3 vs 360 or the accepted timeline of Dr. Who, how did you think we would react when the argument centered around sexual abuse and censorship?).

How do we learn from this? I think it's simple (although I'm sure it isn't): We all have the right to say whatever we want, and make fun of anything we think might be, and we all equally have the right to say whether or not that makes us feel uncomfortable. Now here's the tricky part, so pay attention. When someone tells that something makes them uncomfortable, both parties now have a responsibility. The first person (let's say the person who made the joke) shouldn't antagonize or aggravate the situation, but the second person (the person who was offended) should not only not antagonize or aggravate the situation, but also, you need to read the intent behind the joke. Did the person intend on offending you? That's important.

If we don't pay attention to the intention someone's actions, we end up in a politically correct hellhole that can be just as damaging to free speech and our right to an opinion as flat out censorship.

So if you're offended, let the person know, but also cut them some slack, they probably weren't trying to offend you (believe me, if they were, it would likely be very obvious) and if you have to start a debate about it, be civil, don't threaten to rape them, or to murder their children. This seems like common sense but somehow, isn't.

In conclusion I will finish by saying that I'm anti-censorship, but also somehow anti-rape. I know it's hard to believe, but that's where I stand.

Image from:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What the Fuck Is Going On in Egypt and Should You Care? Days of Rage and the Lotus Revolution A Crash Course On What's Going on in Egypt

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

If you're here for Dickwolves, see below. I've said all that I care to on the subject and you know, what I've been reading about for the past few days sort of makes this Dickwolf thing seem really trivial. The guy running the Dickwolf Debacle should maybe spend his time following a debacle of significantly greater importance. So then, what have I been reading about?

Egypt. I apologize in advance if this is overly general, I could seriously write pages about this stuff, but nobody would read it. If you want to crash course yourself in what’s going on, just scroll to the bulleted text.

Everyone loves Egypt right? The Bangles, Mario, there was even that scene in Alladin where they startle the guy making the Sphinx and he accidentally chips the nose off. I cannot imagine a single reason why you wouldn't want to go to Egypt right now.

Oh, yeah, right. There's that.

So, what the fuck is going on?

While most of us (along with several major American 'news' channels) have been focused on other things like Dickwolves and the Academy Award nominations, the biggest social protests since the Berlin wall is going on in Egypt, but, what the hell for?

In 1981 Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak became the 4th ever President of Egypt, that's right, he's been President for coming up on 30 years. When he was elected, there were only two Star Wars films in existence, the NES was still 2 years away from being released, I'm pretty sure America was still in Prohibition.

So, as you can imagine, being the President of a relatively wealthy country for 3 decades might (and indeed almost will certainly) lead to a little bit of corruption. Mubarak is certainly not clean as a whistle, and reports (though I haven't found anything really accurate on this, if you have a better link I'd love to see it) are that Mubarak has amassed a personal fortune of about 40 billion dollars in the past 30 years. Yeah... I mean, a little kickback here, a little kickback there, we'll forgive our politicians for that sort of thing, but this averages to over a billion dollars a year of ill gotten gain. You thought baseball players are overpaid? To put this into perspective, the Canadian Sponsorship Scandal that basically cost the Liberals power only cost the country "a few millions". Add to this some government approved police brutality, ignoring fair trials and just top to bottom political corruption and you have the Perfect Storm for violent upheaval.

Still, they needed a spark. They got it on New Year's Day 2011, a bomb exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church and killed 23 people. Christians protested, Muslims protested (what?), they all blamed Mubarak for sucking so bad at national security.

So on January 25, 20 000 Egyptians were like "fuck this". Only took them 30 years but apparently they were fed up with their President stealing from them. They protested, and within a few days Mubarak's men showed up with American tanks. This is going to turn out bad. 300 protestor deaths, 3000 people injured bad, and it's been a week.


Here's why and what's been going on in the past few days:

  • January 25 - Protests start, more people show up than expected. Police use the usual tear gas, riot shields and water cannons... and kill two protestors. Oops.
  • January 26 - Riots continue, policeman killed, another protestor killed, government buildings in Suez set on fire.
  • January 27 - The Muslim Brotherhood declares support of the protests and official opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei promises to return in time for "Friday of Anger" (this was a Thursday), another protestor is shot dead, more fires in Suez, some 700 arrests are made (including at least 8 journalists).
  • January 28 (Friday of Anger) - Mubarak blocks text messaging and other phone services (not only is this legal, but Mubarak is also a Vodafone investor), protest numbers in the hundreds of thousands, a police station is overrun in Suez and protestors are busted free, fires in Port Said, government issues a curfew which is totally ignored. Many religious protestors paused for evening prayer, police kept firing teargas, classy. Military is deployed. Protestors and military alike try to protect the Egyptian Museum but two mummy's had their heads ripped off anyways (I'm serious). The government also shuts down the internet.
  • January 29 - Police brutality continues, more deaths, people chant "the people and the army are one" in Tahir Square, so nobody really knows what side the military is on or who they're loyal to. Most of the deaths I've read about were at the hands of the police, not the army. Tanks show up in Suez, a lynch mob Rafah kills three police officers.
  • January 30 - Vigilante groups form in Suez and Cairo to try and keep their homes and families safe, the chief of military makes a statement that civilians are not to be fired upon. ElBaradei encourages the protestors. Mubarak asks former chief of Air Staff Ahmed Shafiq, to form a new government. Shafiq is a Mubarak loyalist, I'm sure Egyptians will love that. Google gets awesome by teaming up with Twitter and SayNow to provide a service that allows Egyptians to call specially set up phone numbers and speak their tweets (what with the text message and internet blackout).
  • January 31 - 250,000 protestors in Cairo alone, security announces that curfew will now be at 3:00 pm and violators will be shot (this was thankfully not enforced). ElBaradei stresses to protestors "What we have begun cannot go back", the Muslim Brotherhood supports Elbaradei to negotiate with Mubarak. Pro-Mubarak protestors appear, but in much smaller numbers. Police presence disappears from Cairo.
  • February 1 March of Millions - 2 million protestors gather in Cairo, Mubarak announces that he will step down... in September... no rush there buddy, a few months of this won't be so bad, right?
  • February 2 - Clashes between anti and pro-Mubarak supporters continue, the "Pro" side is really well organized, reports that many of them are just off duty cops, news reporters are attacked by pro-Mubarak supporters.
  • February 3 (hey, that's today) - Protests continue, international journalists are detained, shot at or threatened by pro-Mubarak supportors. Banks have not opened all week so Egyptians are poor and hungry, Mubarak controlled Vodafone sends a mass pro-Mubarak text message to all subscribers calling anti-Mubarak supporters disloyal. Mubarak tells ABC "I would never run away. I will die on this soil."

So why will tomorrow suck? It is the "Day of Departure". Protestors have called for Mubarak to step down and have named February 4th as their deadline; a massive protest in fron of the presidential Heliopolis Palace is planned. Remember that part about death on this soil? Yeah...

So what's the deal and does it matter?

We live in North America, so what difference does it make? Well, first of all America is a pretty staunch ally of Egypt (having a friend so close to the Middle East ain't a bad idea) and has been for a while, whoever takes over Mubarak might not be so buddy buddy, so there's that.

Also, there's the little matter of the Egyptian stock market, which ground to a halt last Thursday and hasn't traded since, resulting in an estimated $12 billion dollar loss. Why does that matter, oh right... oil.

So yeah, it's a big deal. I would highly recommend following the live Al Jazeera blogs tomorrow, since it'll be a big news day, and if you live in Canada you should probably watch Al Jazeera (many American networks, in their awesomeness have blacked out the coverage, while Canadian cable provider Rogers is actually providing the channel free.

Now, this is a debacle.

Images from: Mohammed Abou Zaid/Associated Press and Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gabe and Tycho and the Boy Who Cried Dickwolf

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

Who is that a picture of? It's Hollywood producer Dick Wolf! Get it? Yeah... good times.

I feel that I sort of need to do a "take two" on my previous article.

You see, I keep this blog as a sort of writing exercise, since eventually there will be a proper site here: (right now there's hypnotoad, but we're working on it). Until that site goes live I just try to keep the habit of occasionally writing. I don't really review what I write here, and there's next to no editing (as some of you have pointed out).

With that in mind, my thoughts yesterday may not have been as clear or concise as they could have been, I was also not fully informed about the insanity that was transpiring regarding the Dickwolf Debacle (I was personally leaning towards "Dickwolfgate" but Dickwolf Debacle does have a better ring to it). So in an effort to maintain brevity, I present the following in point form as a footnote to yesterday's article:
  • A joke about rape does not mean you're a) a chauvinist or b) a rape apologist/advocate, see Sarah Silverman's take on the Aristocrats.
  • The anonymous masses of the internet turning the term "Dickwolf" (either side of the debate is culpable here) into a synonym for rape doesn't make the creators of the term guilty of anything. How many times have idiots gone out and killed people listening to terrible heavy metal? See Drowning Pools 'Let The Bodies Hit the Floor' stupidly associated with shooting spree. The artist is not responsible for what people do with his art.
  • The only reason this is an issue at all is that Penny Arcade's audience has expanded to the point that their strip is so widely read that it is now read by people who can't take a joke. As I mentioned yesterday, this is not the first time they've used something offensive for a laugh. Gabe points out they've used: violence, rape, aids, pedophilia, bestiality, drugs, cancer, homosexuality, and religion for laughs in the past, and the outrage was a fraction of this situation. A big audience means walking on eggshells, which is sort of sad.
  • Gabe showed enormous hypocrisy when he said he would remove the shirt from the store to make people more comfortable at PAX here, but then tweeted that he would be wearing the shirt himself here. Wouldn't one of the organizers and main attractions of PAX wearing the shirt make people just as, if not more, uncomfortable? It seems like he wants to take a
    stand, showing us all that he supports his own comedy, but just, you know, not a really big stand.
  • I went to PAX last year, and believe me, there were t-shirts, conversations, panels and tabletalk that was far FAR more offensive than all this. Geeks tend to speak their minds, even if it's offensive. If that sort of thing bothers you, a giant convention aimed at this subgroup might not be your thing in the first place. On this I agree with Gabe.
  • Finally, I have a tremendous amount of respect for PA and their accomplishments, even if they have been slipping in terms of content in the past year or two. I may be wrong, but I really thought that they were better than caving under pressure regarding something that, at its core, is really so trivial. I'm scared of growing up.

To close off, I would like to leave you with today's Cyanide and Happiness, which of course, is a comic where rape is the joke about half the time. Good thing they don't have PA's readership.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

See? Dickwolves ARE Funny. Proof.

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

See? This comic is not very funny:

Being without your family is just not as funny as being raped by dickwolves.

Thanks to Scott.

Penny Arcade is Losing its Cool or How Dickwolves Ruined The Party: A Cautionary Tale About Having Children and Losing Your Edge

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

My final thoughts on the matter here.
Edit: Since some of you are coming in from links and are so lazy as to not check other posts, I thought you might get a kick out of the infamous Penny Arcade comic in question minus the dickwolf rape. It's right here. On this blog. Seriously people.

Despite my best intentions, I feel as though this post will be unable to surpass my previous post in terms of sheer awesomeness, so much so, that I will likely embed the Insanity Wolf image into this post as well.

I'm not 100% sure where to begin with this thing, so I figure I will start it off with a personal experience. A few months ago, I began to vocally complain that Penny Arcade was starting to suck, like, a lot. At one point I clicked through the most recent (at the time) 6 months worth of comics and found that there was really nothing there that was laugh out loud "Claw Shrimp" funny, or "Oooh, low blow to the gaming industry" thought provoking. Nope, instead I found comics that were rarely about gaming, rarely socially challenging, and worse, rarely funny.

On a side note, holy shit, Claw Shrimp is fucking 9 years old. Now I feel old.

A few months ago, a friend of mine sent us a link to some sappy PA news item about Tycho connecting with his mom or something about video games, and how it was beautiful and heart warming and whatever. He also referred to Penny Arcade as "Pennies". We argued a little bit, because I don't go to PA to have my heart warmed. A few weeks later, there was another strip where Gabe yelled at his child for not going outside to play instead of playing video games. We got to the core of the problem, to us, Penny Arcade was ABOUT different things. This friend of mine is a father, and as such, as Penny Arcade lost it's edge and moved into safer, more accessible territory, stopped being about gaming, started being about parenting, and so on, this friend felt like the comic grew with him.

Now, I'm not a father, so maybe I don't get it. To me, Penny Arcade was about being funny, about being offensive, about calling people on their bullshit. One needs just to look at their public feud with Jack Thompson to see how far these guys are willing to push it, I'm sure they got their inboxes flooded with people who supported Thompson, they brushed it off and made more jokes, they didn't compromise, and came out on top. Through those bold moves and continuously entertaining content, they developed one of the most loyal fanbases on the internet.

As the fanbase grew, maybe they started making attempts to appeal to a broader audience, but somehow, it felt very much like they were diluting their content. Maybe it's because they're no longer two single slacker gamers and are now two married, millionaire fathers, or maybe they just ran out of juice, but the PA from today is a far cry from the PA of 5-6 years ago. Sure, they probably have more readers, but one of the big draws for the comic is that they seemed to be writing it FOR me and my friends. We loved their humour, we loved video games, we're opinionated and we're smart and we're offensive, just like them! 3 times a week we'd inevitably be talking about the new strip (we still do now, but more like "Man, this most recent strip sort of sucked...").

So that brings us up to last August, months of crummy Penny Arcades, and then they publish "The Sixth Slave", the now infamous comic where a lowly slave asks the hero to release him from his terrible fate of being raped by Dickwolves. Funniest Penny Arcade in months and it had? Yep, a rape joke, time to flip out.

Now, it might interest you to know that this is not the first time Gabe and Tycho have gone to the old comedy well of rape, they've done it here, here and here as well, and I'll admit, I laughed every time. They're not endorsing rape, they were making a joke, a funny. They made a funny.
From the news items, there was an immediate backlash, Tycho even said:

"Reaction to Wednesday's comic fell, conveniently for my purpose, into two camps: those who found a phrase like "raped by dickwolves" a stunning return to form, and those who felt that we were somehow advocating the actual rape of human beings. It sounds as though we've already satisfied the first camp, but an effort should certainly be made to assuage the latter."

There are two things here that I'd like to talk about. First, the admission that they had fallen from form (and dickwolf rape was returning to said form). It's like they recognized that they were losing some of their spark, and mixing it up a little to get our attention again. Second, I strongly felt as though that second group of people should just stop reading the comic, or maybe they should just start reading the archives until their offended enough to stop reading the comic. Either or. Chances are, if you didn't like joke, you won't like a lot of what you'll find in the archives. So maybe the strip isn't for you.

Move forward to December, and they released some Dickwolves merchandise, in the hilarious form of sports memorabilia (including a pennant!), as though somewhere, somehow, there was a highschool who's basketball, football and baseball teams were separately and collectively "The Dickwolves". I think to think they could be from Fort Dick, California. The Fort Dick Dickwolves. It's a place! Inmates at the Pelican Bay State Prison could be all like "I used to be somebody, I used to be a Dickwolf."

Then, the people who opposed the comic apparently got even more upset, and not two months later, on a Saturday, they pulled the merch from the store. Basically the excuse was that it made people feel uncomfortable and, using PAX as the scapegoat, they didn't want to do that. Not only is this a weak as hell excuse, they've never had a problem making people feel uncomfortable before.

Now, Gabe says he'd never take a strip down, but merch is different. Really? Let's just take a quick look at the merch you're still selling, surely there will be nothing offensive. Certainly not anything sexist, or racist. They definitely wouldn't make fun of religion, again and again.
I'm not saying they should get rid of these shirts, or even that they should bring back the Dickwolves shirts, they can do whatever they want, it's their show. What I'm saying is that by caving to a vocal minority, they've proven that they are indeed losing their edge, they've compromised their creativity and they've backed down in the face of a fight. All of this is completely opposed to what I was under the impression they believed in.

It may be time for me to come to terms with the fact that in 2011, Penny Arcade might not be for me anymore. INSANITY WOLF!

I made a thing

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found: