Monday, July 04, 2005

Quit Hating on Video Games

Sorry about how late this weekend post is, but I was out all Saturday night at my Uncle's place, at my brother's friend's BBQ most of the day Sunday, and then back at my Uncle's in the night. I liked the BBQ the most because it was very relaxing and they have the two cutest infants ever (fraternal twins). What I wanted to start out with today is this blog entry about violence in video games. The great thing about it is that it's written by Brooks Brown, a friend to killers and victims at the Columbine shooting. He makes the bold claim that the shooters were crazy before they played any violent games, and I think that makes sense. It really is the gamer who decides how violent a video games is, and its our upbringing that tells us it's all only fictional. I find it disturbing that my 7 year-old cousin has played Vice City, but I haven't seen him try to steal any cars yet. Of course these games are made for older audience who should know better otherwise the parents really screwed up. Being a parent is tough, but someone can't handle that they shouldn't. I can't see a normal kid being turned evil by a game. A screwed up kid has problems regardless of what he plays, so what difference does it really make?

In the tech world, there was another blog entry I was thinking of making the main piece of this post. It's Chris Pirillo's views on how Windows software sucks. I think his ideas are a little overblown, but you really don't see a lot of people rallying around Windows for anything innovative like Mac or Linux users do and most people who use it seem to do so only for convenience. This brings me to the unpopular view that we're approaching another dark age in technology as innovation rates are apparently declining. Times are different because there are so many more people and funds available, and I really can't see things getting that slow even in the next 20 years. I for one am hoping to see some advances in the world of wristcams. And I think the podcast revolution is pretty impressive, too. In Silicon Valley, it turns out that jobs for computer geeks like me isn't as strong as profits due to branches around the world, and I think that developing a global economy is definitely important. Why isolate your company to one corner of the United States?

Not too much movie news this weekend, as usual. The weekend isn't quite over yet so we don't have all the figures yet for the box office, but up to (and including) Sunday, War of the Worlds seems to have made a cool $101.7 million. That lays waste to Batman Begins's $70 million rake-in despite the Tomkat nonsense, and having worse reviews than the caped crusader. Moviegoers are dumb sometimes. And the movie that looks the best for this weekend is unfortunately the least well-known: The Beautiful Country. It is an indie film, but it has a couple of big names attached to it (Tim Roth and Nick Nolte). While I'm on a film with a largely foreign cast though I might as well mention that Thai boxing movie star Tony Jaa is set to be a sword-wielding hero in forthcoming Cannes offering Sword. I'm amazed at how fast his career is moving. Filming is finally underway for Da Vinci Code at the Louvre and Ritz in France (starting from the beginning of the book I guess) and Ian McKellan is, indeed, on board to be Leigh Teabing. Lastly, this isn't really much to go on, but Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne) seems keen on seeing the Joker as the villain in a sequel to Batman Begins, and I think to finally see a dark Joker portrayal would be totally sweet. I'm glad the movie is still clinging on in the box office.

Now for some Sunday Brunching (remember, supposed to be yesterday's post):

1) What do you like the best about living in the United States?
I'm supposed to say freedom, but the truth is opportunity. My parents sounded pretty free in India, but it's so hard to make a living there. Though you do have to work hard here, you have to work doubly harder there. My dad was doing alright for himself and I think enjoyed his life, but he came here for us and I'm glad he did because my cousin in the IT industry over there is having his life sucked away by his job.

2) What do you like the least about living in the United States?
The idiots that take the privileges we have out of hand. With freedom comes responsibility, and we're starting to lose that. I also don't like the way the majority is exercising so much control over the minority (e.g. the Christian Right).

3) What are your plans for July 4th?
That would be today. Well not much. Going to help an old teacher do some stuff, then work out, play some guitar, do some reading, and maybe play some Half-Life 2. As you can tell, I've already celebrated the occasion quite a bit.

4) Describe your most memorable July 4th memory.
We blew up a lot of fireworks at my Aunt's place because it was late and much of them were on clearance, and then we were supposed to go to Schlitterbahn the next morning. So we got home from that party pretty late, and it was so late that my brother and I stayed up playing Madden since we only had a couple of hours before we had to leave and then we slept the way there. It flooded in New Braunfels though so we ended up just chilling with our cousins.

5) If you could go back in time and visit any period of time in our country's history, when would it be and why?
I don't know. I kind of like where we are right now. No minority conflicts and plus I don't know what I'd do for a living in the past. Invent a computer?

I'm going to conclude with a comic strip I personally find rather funny:

That's a smart dog

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