Archive for February, 2018

Adventure Time

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Adventure Time is an animated series about an orphan boy named Finn and a talking shapeshifting dog named Jake who live near the Candy Kingdom, which is a monarchy ruled by a queen made of bubble gum named Princess Bubblegum.

The artwork is childishly beautiful. The colors are all intense and make any other series (that came before - many have copied it since) seem faded by comparison somehow. The world in which the series takes place is called Ooo - it is a dystopian future Earth with a large chunk missing, due to a mythical, long ago man-caused catastrophe that unleashed chaos - destroying civilization while at the same time creating all sorts of new, mutated forms of life. At the beginning of the series, we meet Finn, living in a tree house with Jake and Beemo, an apparently living Nintendo Gameboy with a Korean female voice.

I love and hate this series. On the one hand, I like the violence. It is one of the few children's cartoons of the current generation that glorifies anger and violence towards and destruction of evil beings. Many episodes center around Finn’s battles against evil demons and monsters either on quests or in protecting the Candy Kingdom from threats.

On the other hand, I hate its fully pantsuited view of adult males. Most adult males in the series - the Ice King, Finn’s father, the Lich, Lemongrab, Jake, King of Ooo, etc. are scheming idiots and always betas. The women though are holy, flawless mary sues. Where as Finn is violent and stupid, Princess Bubblegum is violent and smart and saves the day after Finn bungles things in an adolescent way on numerous occasions.

There are several absentee dads - Finn’s father Martin, Hunson Abadeer, Princess Bubblegum (no father - only a mother), everyone in the Candy Kingdom created by PB is also fatherless.

Not having bothered before to research it and just assuming Pendleton Ward was another case of “your mother married a drunk”, this is what I find when I look now, from Rolling Stone even:

“As a child, Ward never met his father. He was raised by his mother, Bettie, the daughter of a Texas rancher and oilman. She had been a groupie for the Steve Miller Band, sung with Joe Ely and performed in off-Broadway rock musicals before making a living as a visual artist. She encouraged Ward’s creativity, and by the time he was in first grade, he was making flip books from his mom’s Post-it-notes.”

Thus the white knighting. So his mother couldn’t be bothered to find a decent father, or prevent him from becoming obese even as a child, but you know she encouraged his creativity, and really she’s a princesses that deserves saving and not starvation and so forth.

In conclusion, I hate Adventure Time for stealing from the apocalypse genre and pantsuiting it.

Review of Rockband 4 for the PS 4

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Rockband 4 is a multiplayer Rock Band simulator that lets players play guitar, base, and drums, and also allows players to sing into a microphone. Right now I only have two guitar controllers (and no other instruments).
I was initially skeptical of this game since I’m a trained classical violinist and … well it seems like cheating. It turns out that playing the game is a lot of fun somehow. The way it works is each player hovers over an infinite flowing fretted guitar neck. “Notes” that correspond to buttons on the controller fret stream towards the player from the horizon and the player must hit the correct fret button and flip the strum control just as the “note” passes under a line near the base of the screen. The “notes” are color coded, usually, although sometimes they are all a single color for certain sequences though at this point I’m not clear on why that is.

The songs that come with the game are all rock songs from various eras. It is very easy to get into the flow and thoroughly enjoyable to hit the notes at the right time to keep the melody/base going. I find myself kind of dancing or “rocking out” where I sit while playing the game.

One downside I’ve found so far is that in 2 player, with two guitar controllers, one person has to play the base, and it’s very difficult (for me at least) to hear the baseline - if I miss notes for example I can’t seem to usually notice any effect on what I hear.

My daughter hates the competitive mode - it’s way too hard for her and for some reason ever since she started playing video games she takes losing them very seriously[1], but she loves the endless solo mode, which is pretty much all she plays.

  1. I do not recall ever taking losing video games either by myself or against someone else as seriously as she does - to the point of tears.

Lack of Influence

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

The past year has been a year of failures for me. I failed to persuade any of my old friends about any of my strongly held beliefs concerning morality, politics, and economics.
Not only did I fail to persuade them, I failed to maintain them as friends. I can count 3 friends from high school and college and early startup days who actually cut me off (i.e. won’t reply to emails, left a chatroom, skipped birthday text).

On top of that there are some who I may still exchange pleasantries with, but will no longer discuss Bitcoin with, since, seeing how it went with the others and where they’re starting from, there’s no point.

I am bemused to say the least at how little influence I have over others concerning areas I’ve taken the time to learn a lot about and in which I have significant SITG and, although I do not often make new friends I will have to consider very carefully who I will associate with going forward, as it is clear I have been hanging out with people that have zero respect for me. And although it may actually be that I don’t deserve any respect from anyone, I would rather be alone and aware of that than delude myself that I have actual friends.