Mirror’s Edge

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Steam Page

Hay Caramba. This game. Look, there are several cardinal sins in gaming. Two of the bigger ones are quick time events (or QTEs) and first-person platforming. Mirror’s Edge has both of these so there goes my ability to give it a fair review.

Mirror’s Edge is about a woman named Faith who works for a secret underground organization carrying packages whose entire training program is on rooftops. Irony ever present. Your group seems to have some beef with the government though I don’t think that’s ever explained. It’s never really explained who you work for either; or what you’re delivering and I don’t think we ever delivered a single package. So I’m not sure we’re in the right organization. Maybe we just have to take it on Faith that we’re doing our job (Har har, name jokes). In fact, I don’t see much point in the underground organization thing, Faith spends the entire game trying to get her sister off for a crime her sister didn’t commit. Seems like just about any occupation would do because it’s irrelevant.

The story is downright terrible. Maybe it’s because the game is so short and wasn’t meant to have a story. But they still managed to Jackknife  (oops I did it again!) so many little pieces together. Maybe it’s just because I’m me, but I don’t understand why people with guns insist on putting guns right up against the person they’re about to shoot. Seriously, are you the type of person that plays archer class and stands right next to the enemy you’re trying to kill? You have a RANGED WEAPON. Why are you using it in melee range? Why so close to people you absolutely KNOW have hand-to-hand training! I guess you know you have that same training, but do you really need to take that chance? Just sit back 100 meters and shoot the guy. Hell, 10 meters will do. Ugh. Betrayals happen for little to no reason, or at least no adequately explained reason. Maybe there will be a sequel that handles all of that. After all, the game was rather short. I just feel like you could’ve focused on one story rather than trying to loop together some two and a half stories.

Let’s talk mechanics. You know, I absolutely hate quick time events, but Mirror’s Edge executes them in an adequate way. Quick time events are horrible when there’s no way to know that they’re coming. It’s annoying to fail a quick time event and get sent back to base when you had no means of knowing that it was coming. But in Mirror’s Edge, the entire game is pretty much built on quick time events so it’s not as bad. It’s a parkour game. You run, you jump, you balance, it’s all fun. When things can be jumped on or something they colorize from white to red, making it easy to identify where you could go if you were so inclined. Only not all red things should be acted upon. So it’s eh.

The combat is really $#@!ing retarded. You can take two hits from any police dude. Two. They also have guns. You know what you have? Tattoos and a bad haircut. So if two hits seems unfair to you, you’re going to have a bad time. You can steal guns from cops but to do so requires running at the cop (who, unlike the baddies mentioned before are actually smart enough to use their guns from range) and then wait for them to attack you. As they attack you, you can do your counter attack which insta-KOs and steals their gun. Which, if you’re going to play this game would be a very important skill to learn because if you hope to win sometime today you’ll be using it a lot. And this is where the game went from quicky parkour to pain in the behind.

See, whatever you’re doing has to be extremely illegal because the cops in the city have nothing better to do than send whole squads of cops your way with helicopter support. HELICOPTER SUPPORT. And remember, you’re not even delivering anything! It’s insane the amount of public resources that get spent on you. Anyway, the game sends full squads of cops your way. Now normally, you’d think “Okay, parkour game. We’ll just parkour around them or through them or something”. Absolutely incorrect. The game spawns cops in such a way that it’s very difficult to do so. My first attempts were usually to try and skirt the cops. But eventually I found it easier to run at the cops, do the QTE, and use their gun to take out the other cops. And this is where Mirror’s Edge fails. It’s just not fun to have to parkour to a cop, pass a QTE, and then turn the game into a first-person shooter for a few just to pass the levels. It breaks the pacing and it involves a lot of restarts should you fail that QTE.

Also, who was in charge of skybox? Is there enough bloom in the game? I guess it might be to help emphasize the red on white thing, but seriously. Put down the lights.

You know what the worst part is? I could see this game working. If you remove the combat and focus on the parkour, I think it could be excellent. I feel like to do that would require sandbox gameplay though. Also, can we deliver packages for once? I mean, that’s kinda what I wanted to do. I imagined myself free-running away and around the cops delivering packages. Instead I had to fight the cops to take their package and then kill the other cops with it. What a shame.

In summary, good idea, poor execution. I have a feeling the story was put on the backburner and that’s fine, but trying to shovel in a second story of betrayal without fleshing out the first story means bad design. Too. Many. Guns. Guns kill the fun parkour style of the game. At the time of writing, the game is $20 on Steam. I would not buy it for this price. Wait for it to go on super sale for like $5.

Artemis Hunt

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Mirror’s Edge

Dungeon of Zolthan

Steam Page

Before I dive into what I dislike about the game, I’ll mention what I like about the game. Or at least what makes it not the worst? Aesthetic commitment. With the exception of the final boss, the entire game has the feel of you being some kind of anti-virus program cleaning up the computer (Megaman did it better though). Of course the game never mentions any kind of story so your guess is as good as mine. Maybe that’s intentional, maybe we’re supposed to make the story for ourselves to give it meaning. Maybe in twenty years programmers will no longe release games. They’ll just give you a blank screen and say, “Now imagine that some stuff is going on”… Sorry, I promised to make this the “pro” section of the review. It has a nice 1980’s arcade style going on for it. Definitely a low-budget indie game, so I admire how they worked with what they had. Now with that out of the way…

Where do we begin. Okay, so picture a song you hate. For me, that song can be… Oh, I dunno… let’s say… ehh… what’s that Taylor Swift song? Hold on – let me Google her discography…

[One Google search later] SHAKE IT OFF! THAT WAS THE SONG! Christ, I had an ex that would play that song non-stop in their car. Ouch. Anyway, picture like ten to fifteen seconds of this hated song, probably near the chorus, and loop it. This is what Dungeon of Zolthan is like. The same track, over and over again. It took me about 105 minutes to finish this game. I had to deal with that pain for over an hour and a half. And you’d think that the music would change for the boss fights right? NOPE. Okay, so the tempo increases and the pitches change… BUT IT’S THE SAME DAMN SONG. What an annoyance.

Dungeon of Zolthan is a platformer. I hate platformers. I don’t hate this game because it’s a platformer though! I hate this game because of how it implemented platforming. Super Mario is what I would call well-executed platformer. This is not a well-executed platformer. So you get enough health to take maybe two hits before dying. This is why I compared it to Super Mario. Which normally wouldn’t bother me. I mean, sure, that’s a slim margin of error, but that’s what the early arcade games were all about, right? Well it gets worse. See there are spikes. You slightly touch these spikes, you die. Instantly. Why? WHY? And it wouldn’t be bad if they weren’t EVERYWHERE. I don’t think there are a handful of ‘screens’ where there aren’t any spikes. Hell, the final boss fights you from behind spike walls through which you must dash and be careful to to dash into the wall from which they hang or else you’ll stop and hit the spikes. It’s total bogus.

Let’s talk about boss design. There are a few games with what I’d consider good boss design. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (my previous review), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (wow, I see a pattern here), and Dark Souls. These are all games in which, if you fail enough times you can just memorize the boss’s attack patterns. After knowing these attack patterns, you can react to them appropriately. There is none of that in Dungeon of Zolthan. Dungeon of Zolthan just chucks the bosses at you. It seems to have adopted Three-Phase Boss fights. The first phase where you essentially look at the boss. The second phase where they speed up attacks or themselves. And the third phase in which they do it again. The only distinguishable difference between these phases is… well… attack speed and movement speed. I don’t even know if this is really what’s going on. The attack pattern only really changed for the third boss in which jumps occurred more frequently. This is how bad the boss design. I could be making sense out of nonsense, it’s really hard to tell. It’s not good boss design.

So at the end of the day, annoying music, poor level design, and poor boss design. Thank goodness the game is only $1 or I’d say it’s overpriced. Might still be. I would definitely pass on this game. There are better platformers out there that far surpass this game. Support this game only if you want to chuck a dollar the way of an indie developer (which I support – indie developers are the life of the gaming industry). Still, don’t expect much from Dungeon of Zolthan. Sorry mate.

Artemis Hunt

Dungeon of Zolthan

Updates on Me: 6/13/2016

No, there is no 13th month. I’m an American. Seriously guys, when the only arguments I find for putting the day first or last come down to “biggest to smallest” or “smallest to biggest”, I stick to what’s comfortable. Speaking of sticking to what’s comfortable, I reconnected with an old friend this past week. We had met over the internet some 7 or 8 years ago but had drifted apart as we split off to our separate lives. What brought us together to begin with was a mutual interest in the Naruto anime and the lure of programming our own games. They’re a friend a mine on Steam, so we’ve exchanged a few words along the years. But as I have more free time thanks to being a temporary day laborer, I find myself wanting to program again. I find myself wanting to develop games again. So I messaged my friend, remembering that they too enjoy game development, and now we have a tentative agreement to make something together. Right now we plan to use Unity and I won’t say much else about it until I have some physical results to show you.

The Orlando gun shooting happened yesterday. And with me being the usual Facebook complainer that I am, I have to complain about the follow-up images my friends have posted. My friends post some images, and this is one.

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So right away, without even bothering to read the statements these groups are being made out to say, we see ‘white cishet conservative christians’. Why. Why are you intentionally attempting to make conservative christians out to be the bad guys. Why are you trying to slander their name before anything is even said? Anyway, the question is whether or not the shooting was religiously motivated. Well, the shooter called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS on the day of the shooting. Is ISIS a homophobic organization. Certainly. But on what grounds? Religion. Remove the religion from ISIS and you get… well you don’t have ISIS anymore. ISIS is the ISLAMIC state. They propose a merging of religion and government and they recently put out a call to action during Ramadan. It seems a little too coincidental to dismiss it as pure homophobia.

While we’re on the topic, let’s push the intent a little further. The image above attempts to paint the conservative christian right as attempting to politicize this shooting to push their own agenda of ‘a white America’ or something. The idea being that the American Left? They’re not like the American Right. They mourn for the loss and would in no way attempt to politicize this shooting… except they have. This shooting is now being used as yet another excuse for the Left to push their anti-gun agenda. And let me be clear, I don’t see a problem with that. I don’t mind people using local events to push their agenda. What I do have a problem with is claiming to be better than your opponents while employing the very tactic you attempt to demean them with. Shame on you. Shame on your family. Shame on your cow.

Okay, what else. I’ve been watching a lot of “How I Met Your Mother”. I saw it once while on vacation and it seemed legit enough to continue watching. I find it odd though, on Netflix the picture on the title card is Barney, while the narrator is Ted. Seems a bit… wrong. But Neil Patrick Harris is hot so I don’t mind. What I do notice though, is at first all of the characters seemed fairly believable and real. As the show progresses, the characters change to fit some mould. Robin starts off as hot new girl with her life well put-together. She slowly devolves into some woman-child. Lily and Marshall take on an interesting dynamic as time continues. They started as college sweethearts and they kinda end that way too, but something just feels off. The only characters that I feel stay relatively constant throughout the show are (definitely) Barney and (loosely) Ted. Maybe the sitcom evolves with time? It’s still amusing in that ‘I need some white noise while I program’ way, but it’s not really a five star experience (whatever that means).

I also downed half a bottle of vodka for the first time ever. That was… weird. No comments there.

Ooh and I picked up a total of 10 likes on my blog posts and got another follower! That made my day! A 100% increase in followers, at this rate I’ll have over a million followers in a year! All joking aside, I do appreciate the likes. Thank you.

What was the point of this blog post? I just want to make sure that I don’t let this blog fall by the wayside. It’s better to write effectively nothing and be writing, be active, than it is to only update when something of note happens. Usually I can find at least one thing a week to complain about or I can complete a game to review, but this time… not really. (Soon though, I should have another game review soon) I got the idea from National Novel Writing Month literature. I read it like four years ago though, so pardon me if I don’t provide the quote directly. The idea is that just getting writing done is useful, even if it’s “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? I dunno. Anyway, that’ll do it this time.

Artemis Hunt

 

Updates on Me: 6/13/2016

Abortion

I promised that I would do this topic soon, I may as well do it now. Especially since I’m in the mood after my raging debate on Facebook about it. Allow me to set the stage. My friend posted this image:
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After which her friends chat about their side of the issue. And I’m reading this Tumblrism and I notice something… the Tumblr post, the “Fun fact” never addresses the original question. It never addresses whether or not it’s one body or two. In fact, it skips that step altogether, and calls it one body on an assumption that the fetus, embryo, child, whatever you want to call it (I shall henceforth call it ‘the entity’) isn’t a human life. So because I’m an instigator, I have to get my hooks in and make some people mad. Over the course of some 20 or so messages, I could not get a straight answer out of the other individual as to why the being inside was not human and was not alive. So here’s my take on the issue. And before I start I’m just going to point out that I’m not a doctor, I have no medical background, I’m just a random blogger here.

Human:

First – is it human? Don’t be ridiculous, of course it’s human. On what grounds? It’s the offspring of two humans, it can only BE a human. If you mate a horse and a donkey you get a mule. A mule isn’t a horse, and it isn’t a donkey, and it can’t mate with either one. Or other mules for that matter, it’s completely sterile. If two horses generate offspring, that offspring will reliably grow up to a horse that could (in theory) mate with one of its parents. Chickens mate with their species, generate another chicken. So what you’re telling me when you say that this fetus isn’t a human is either that one of its parents isn’t human (unlikely) or what I think you’re really saying is that it’s not a human yet.

If you want to say that the entity isn’t a human yet, then that means you have the define a point in the development cycle in which the entity does become a human. How do you set that point? Obviously when the big bulge is on the mother, the entity is about to make its exit, it’s probably ‘human’ by that point. In fact, I think ‘abortion’ at that point may take the name ‘birth’ (sarcasm). But what about… say 2nd trimester? Hmmm… Maybe not then. The child’s hair has developed and we come from apes so… probably a bit too far in the cycle. The sex of the child can be determined. Probably safe to call it a human at that point. So how about we go further back. How about middle of the first trimester? The second month, the neural tube is distinguishable from the rest of the body. The fingers and toes are forming, the bones are forming. Is that human yet? Why?

I’ve asked this question several times and the discussion suddenly shifts from what makes the entity a human and turns into the rights of the mother. But we’re not worried about the rights of the mother just yet. We’re worried about whether or not the entity is a human and whether or not it should be afforded human rights. So how far back can we go?

I would argue that the entity becomes human at fertilization, or perhaps shortly after. The reason being eggs and sperm separately aren’t necessarily human. Why? Well, if they are, it presents a great problem because if eggs by themselves are humans, killing a woman is like a forty-thousand homocide or something. Women would be, by natural design, killing one human a month or so. Sounds like a dangerous path to go down for philosophy and law. On the flip-side if sperm were humans, we’d have to take a lot of guys downtown for killing humans regularly. Really, the main reason I argue that egg and sperm aren’t human by themselves because what happens if the host abstains? (Let’s just ignore Mary) In the female host, she will continue to have her period until menopause and no life will spring forth from her. In the male host, sperm will get reabsorbed by the body and the male will continue to produce sperm until he dies. No new life will spring forth from the male host either. Nothing you could count in the United States Census would be brought into this world. Let’s take the case of the newly pregnant female. If she maintains her healthy lifestyle, the entity will be born in 9 months-ish. The entity will be human assuming human parents.

I’m sure someone has noticed the problem with my definition of human. Evolution. If a human is the offspring of human parents, and I’m a human then my parents have to be human, and so on, until we get to our great ape ancestors which were not human by any definition of the word. So how do we resolve this issue? We run into the same issue of when is the entity a human versus when it is not a human. Hmm… How about this. Humans and chimps have a common ancestor. We stop there. So we can pick me, and go up through my parents and their parents and so on. When we meet a parent that can mate with me and chimps, we’ve gone too far.

Life:

So there’s my human definition and since the entity has two human parents, it’s a human. Now how about whether or not it’s alive? Well now we need to define life. There’s no good way to answer the question “what is life?” According to wikipedia, this is life:

“the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” – Wikipedia

I tend to use an input-output definition of life. If an autonomous being requires sustenance from outside its being to survive, grow, and reproduce, it’s alive. If it can die, it was alive. This might get me into trouble when it comes to the robot revolution, and the question as to whether or not true AI self-replicating robots are alive, but that’s a problem for another day. And I’m not entirely sure I could argue that these robots wouldn’t be alive. I mean, think about it. If your issue with robots is that they can just chop-shop fix themselves, WE ARE GETTING TO THAT POINT TOO. How long before you can just go into the store and pick up a new arm? Holy smokes.

By my definition, the entity has to be alive, because it’s a parasite on its host. It eats the host’s resources to grow.You can’t use an autonomous self-providing definition because let’s be real here – babies are really useless for like two years. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t walk, they can’t do jack. So if you require mobility and the ability to provide for oneself for something to be alive, newborn babes are just as alive as the entity within. Which, if abortion is legal, would make the… neutralization of newborns also legal. It’s a natural extension.

Doctors have several types of life and death. When your heart stops being, you’re not really dead. We could bring you back through CPR, or the use of defibrillation. I guess most people go by brain death, where you can still have blood pumping through you, but you cannot be brought back… yet. If you go by the beating of the heart, you have 3 weeks to discover that you’re pregnant and then get your abortion. If you wait for the brain to partially develop, same deal, the beginning of the nervous system forms in the timespan it takes to form a heart. End of the first trimester the entity will have a functioning circulatory system. If you’re waiting for the brain to form, that would be in the second trimester. So if you require a fully developed brain, to call something alive, the entity is alive in the second trimester. But I don’t like the requirement of a brain for life. Single-celled organisms don’t have a brain, but they’re ‘alive’.

When are most abortions performed? CDC stats say about two-thirds in the first 8 weeks (first two months) and let’s just round about the last third done between 8 and 13 weeks (the third month). Because I was given a range of time, I’ll assume a Gaussian distribution of when the abortion was performed (though strictly speaking, I should probably assume a Laplacian distribution). That means most of the abortions were performed in the 3 week to 5 week range. But wait, that’s when the baby’s heart was formed. That’s when the neural tube, what would become the nervous system was formed. That’s when bones are forming. If we accept my definition of life and human, the entity will be a human and it will be alive. the removal of it would then be murder.

How about this, how do you determine what is the host’s body compared to the entity’s body? You can’t, if you accept the entire system as the host’s body. So how do you know how much host to remove? You have to accept that there is knowledge of the entity and its scope, so you remove the entity alone and not the host. But that assumption itself implies that the entity has a body, in which case, it is no longer just the host’s body.

Now understand, my issue with abortion is pretty much entirely the murder part. And not because I have some preconceived notion of the value of human life. My problem is with the consistency of law. A legal abortion would be legal murder by the logic presented. What you’re proposing is a condition under which murder would be legal. Which makes it a target for setting precedent. Precedence is a very dangerous thing when applied to topics which you might find rather invasive. I’m not entirely sure that I would argue that slippery slope doesn’t apply. I can just imagine the future in which doctors shrink themselves to operate inside a patient. A patient could, while the doctor is inside have the doctor removed and killed on the premise that it was the patient’s body. How much of the entity must the host contain for the removal of the entity to be fair. I hate to get gross here, but what if a couple is having sex and the female suddenly decides to chop of the male’s penis. It was inside her, was it ‘her body’? Bear in mind this example is arguing from the ‘is is not alive and it is inside my body’ point of view.

Conclusion:

 So you see, I’m at a bit of a pinch. Because I don’t think the government should pass two contradicting laws. And I don’t very much like the idea of setting a precedence like this on something which in its best case is mutilation and in its worst case is murder. The safest option is to outlaw it altogether and file it under murder. And it’s not like non-human things don’t get rights. You can’t up and kill your dog, that’s animal cruelty. The murder of threatened species like Bald Eagles will net you fines and jail-time. And I wonder if this does anything to the rights of people in vegetative states. I don’t know. Legal abortion could open up it’s own can of worms. Until we agree on what’s human and what’s alive, we should avoid permitting abortions. That’s just my take on it.

Artemis Hunt

Abortion

When is it Over?

Heads up – my views are perhaps a little more extreme than most and they don’t scale too well with some morality definitions.

For a change of pace, let’s not talk about United States politics. Mostly because Sanders is likely toast. Though it’d be hilarious if Clinton got indicted and Sanders would’ve won all along. Anyway, let’s talk about the ways competitions end.

Team sports like basketball have a time limit. When the time expires, the team with more points wins. Easy peasy. What if the teams are tied? Well there are some special rules for that but ultimately it’s a timed game. You have one hour to get as many BUCKETS as possible.

Board games usually end when particular criterion are met. Snakes and Ladders ends when a person gets to the other side of the board. That person wins. In card games, say… Magic, you win if you reduce your opponent’s life to zero. If your opponent has no remaining cards to draw (a result of milling decks) then they also lose. There are also some variations for sports. I think there are some mercy rules in sports in which if a team wins too hard too fast the game ends before the other team can embarrass themselves in trying to overcome such a disadvantage.

There’s also the option of surrender and winning by default which is where this post is going to focus. You can lose games (like card games – fucking Hearthstone) by surrendering. And you can lose by simply not being there to compete. You can’t win if you’re not there to play the game, so you lose by default. Now let’s make the (gruesome) extension to war. Wars are not subject to absolute timescales, like basketball. There aren’t any rules (strictly speaking) in war. I mean, sure, we have Geneva Convention. We, as nations, have agreed to follow these rules. But there’s no requirement that the rules be followed. And to be honest, this is why I believe the GOP is in favor of torturing ISIS. ISIS isn’t playing by our rules. They never agreed to the rules. Why should you play by the rules if your opponent won’t? Personal integrity, I suppose. Is that personal integrity worth it? Is it worth the lives of citizens, is it worth the lives of enemies? I’ll leave that question to the reader.

So how do wars end? Surrender, I suppose. Default would be an when there is no one to oppose you but that can get dangerous really fast. But there’s an important thing to note about surrender. That is, the would be victor must accept the surrender. There’s a GREAT scene in Game of Thrones which emphasizes this point (I’d say spoiler alert, but let’s be real here, you’ve seen it). For those of you unwilling to watch the clip, it’s of Ramsay Bolton. He comes across an injured knight from ‘the other side’ on the ground. Ramsay steps forward to deal a killing blow. The knight cries out, ‘Surrender! I surrender!’ What is Ramsay’s response? He says, “I accept your surrender,” and deals a killing blow. The thing about surrender is that the victor sets the terms. This effectively caused World War II, or at least it acted as a contributing factor.

So in that sense, since the victor must accept the terms of surrender, the entity surrendering doesn’t really have much of a say in the matter. The victor decides when the war is over, not the loser. The victor decides that the fighting ends and then the victor decides what is to be done with the loser. Sun Tzu said it best in The Art of War when they said be gracious to the defeated. Because if you don’t, and you let them live, as the allies did in World War I, you get Nazi Germany.

Before I go further, I would highly recommend reading The Art of War; I’ve linked it above. It has a lot of conventional wisdom which can be applied to more aspects of life than war. I want to note that Sun Tzu advises war as a last resort, when no peaceful resolution can be met.

Okay, so it’s amazing what economic depression can do to people. It’s amazing how the people will rally around… “hope”? It’s amazing how treatment after defeat in a war can be used as a rallying cry. People want to blame someone, they want a scapegoat. It’s great, and the Dark Knight explores this theme in the boat experiment. Maybe not primarily, but I’d say it’s there! It would seem many people do not want another World War II. Some people (like Germany) would like to forget it ever happened. Don’t mention it, no swastikas allowed, history must be buried so the world can remember we brought them dirndles instead  and Oktoberfest. I don’t blame them and I feel some of the fault does lie with the allies. But see, here’s the problem: the allies forgot the only real rule in war. Win by total annihilation.

Sun Tzu makes a great point to treat the defeated fairly. Why? You do not want an embittered, defeated opponent to fester in times of peace. To gather allies, to gather power, and eventually strike again. Does such treatment truly prevent another war? Of this, I’m skeptical. People don’t easily forget the family members that they had to bury or could not bury. People don’t forget the burned buildings, the destroyed cities, the hunger, and they don’t forget the flag of the person that did it. But sure, it’s more humanitarian, probably.

I’m going to be the one to propose the alternative solution to war: total destruction of the enemy. The soldiers, the family, the children, everybody dies. No one can rise against you if there’s no one to rise. It conveniently gets rid of the future uprising issue. The alternative is a militia state but that can also cause an uprising. Just can’t win eh? In an ideal world, there are no wars, and I’m not suggesting that nations go out of their way to destroy other nations. My philosophy is that if you are attacked by an unprovoked nation, leave nothing behind. Leave no one to grieve for the fallen. Person A attacks Person B on the street? Person A should kill Person B with their first strike, or Person B will respond with lethal force. Because leaving a survivor will make you a target for future attacks. Person A? They have friends. They could come back with friends. At least in the case of dead Person A, that’s one less person to worry about if the friends decide to enact vengeance. Leaving people to grieve only fosters resentment, and future attacks.

The question one needs to ask themselves when they employ such tactics is whether or not they can live with themselves having done so. I don’t think this is an easy question. I also think that my position is radical in today’s world. If the United States decided to nuke the Middle East, retaliatory action from the United Nations (which would likely just be ‘pressure’, not force) would follow. Is this the opening Russia wants? Mutually assured destruction might suggest not. So now I wonder, is it all a farce? Is our ‘peace’ just a better alternative to the deaths of many more, possibly all people? What size of an attack on a superpower is necessary to ‘wake the beast’? Will such an attack ever happen? Have we seen the last World War? These are all thoughtful questions.

Artemis Hunt

When is it Over?

Reactions: “Make Rape Legal”

This blog post has been about a month in the making.

The trigger for this post is (ironically) a blog post made by RooshV, probably fitting the bill for what people call a ‘pickup artist’. I believe the blog post was made on February 4th despite saying February 16th. I think it was later edited to add in the paragraph at the top of the post which may change the date associated with it but I don’t really care about the specifics since, like last post, the small details aren’t that important. More specifically the trigger is a conversation I had with a couple of people on the topic. And it starts like this. RooshV claimed to be arranging a worldwide meeting on February 6th for everyone who believed in the policy of making rape legal on private property to discuss how to make things become a reality. For those interested, this meeting was later cancelled to ‘protect the identities of the individuals that would attend’. But the conversation I had with these individuals pretty much came down to ‘they should not be allowed to have a meeting’.

Now this is the part where I have to explicitly state that I do not agree with the views stated by the author RooshV. I do not believe that rape should be legal under any circumstance. And the reason I have to explicitly state this is because what I’m about to do is defend the rights of Return of the Kings to meet in the United States. And naturally everyone and their dog is going to conflate defending rights to agreeing with ideas. So allow me to reiterate that I do not agree with the proposition that rape should be legal on private property.

The reaction of the individuals that I was arguing with was that these guys (attending a meeting, on private property) should be arrested. I’d love to bring up quotes but I was blocked by the individual that I was arguing with and it was on their Facebook status so… I got nothing. So I’ll be paraphrasing as honestly as I can to accurately represent the views of the ones that I argued with.

First, a quick summary. The gist of the article is ‘to hell with teaching men not to rape, teach women to not get raped’. The premise is that women are reliant on every person being decent to not get raped. So RooshV proposes that we allow ‘the forceful taking of a woman’ on private property. With this in effect, women will think twice about whom they follow home, or allow into their home. He claims that this will reduce rape over the country. RooshV directly references ‘the forceful taking of a woman’, I don’t like this. Since rape is a state issue in the United States, I’ll accept the Uniform Code of Military Justice definition which is (thankfully) unisex. Why is this important? Because rape should not be impossible for anyone to commit. Which means, rape should apply male to female, female to male, male to male, and female to female. I have no idea how to treat the genderless or doubly gendered, but then I’d have a lot more cases to list and let’s just assume that rape is violently taking another person in sexual act. Everything covered? Good.

In general, I agree with the statement RooshV makes early on in “I don’t know of a single man entering adulthood who thought that rape was good and had to be manually taught it was bad in order to stop him from raping”. It’s rather similar to that response to Christians claiming that without God, what’s to stop men from raping as much as they want or killing as much as they want. “I already rape as much as I want. I already kill as much as I want. And the amount that I want to rape and kill is none”. What RooshV is saying here is that men already know not to rape. It’s implied in the law that rape is not something our society (the United States) agrees with. RooshV also references the acts of women accusing men of rape for sex that they feel guilty about or don’t remember perfectly. Let’s disregard sex that women don’t remember fully. Depending on the time period, it’s either rape or the fading memory. But women accusing men of rape for sex that they feel guilty about? That’s an issue. Right now, since women can decide if the sex was consensual after the fact (something that was literally pointed out to me on my first day of college orientation) women have a HUGE bargaining chip. [Side note: I actually don’t recall any reference to men being able to claim rape first, leading to what my friend at this orientation jokingly referred to a ‘race’ to see who can claim rape first and be ‘safe’. I’ll assume that they can]. A woman can retroactively accuse a man of rape and they have to go through the court processes to clear their name. And this isn’t always enough. Just the accusation of rape is enough to get men fired. Just the accusation of rape is enough to get men labeled rapist for their lifetime. It doesn’t even have to be true. 

This issue also annoys me in general because only now am I able to find examples of same sex anti-rape ads on the bus and on campus, but I have still yet to find an example of a female to male rape ad. And the problem is that it’s a sexed up issue. People will gladly tote around false ‘One in five female college students will get raped over her four years’ but not the more accurate ‘One in five male prison inmates will get raped over their time in prison’ because (I suspect) it’s inconvenient to the narrative. Same issue with breast cancer. Breast cancer gets all of the attention (and funding). And I won’t deny that it’s a fairly common cancer that can kill its victims. However most breast cancer is treatable. So why are we dumping so much money into breast cancer awareness when Leukemia and Lung Cancer are both much more deadly and take more lives? Maybe because the issue has been sexed up? Who knows.

Let’s get back on topic. Since I do not wish to publicly shame individuals, let’s refer to my opponent in this argument as ‘Carol’. Carol says that these men should not be allowed to have their meeting. When I ask her why not, she says “Because they plan to attack women”. Now I’m looking at this blog post (I can’t find it but it’s the one where the meeting was proposed) and I don’t see anything about attacking women. In fact, the whole plan seemed to be to discuss how to get this make rape legal thing a reality. I did note that women and homosexuals were not invited, but that does not mean that these individuals having this meeting are going out of their way to rape women. And then I point out that RooshV’s goal is to help women be safer by having them take more accountability for their own safety. If you oppose rape, it would seem that your goals are aligned with his. So I ask Carol where it says specifically that they plan to attack women. She then references the blog post ‘How to Stop Rape’, the one I posted at the very beginning of this blog. I did not see anything in that post which specifically says that they plan to attack women. In fact, it’s just a proposal, there are no threats made to women in it at all. So at this point, I have deduced that while she and RooshV want there to be safer women, they disagree on the methodology. So I ask Carol why she believes that they shouldn’t be allowed to talk about making this a reality. Remember, these are a collection of men in 42 countries that are just meeting up privately. I can’t speak for other countries, but in the United States, you are completely free to ask your friends to come over to your house to chat while you eat cake and tea. Oh, but they’re talking about influencing laws, so that doesn’t make it okay? Consider the Democratic and Republican parties. These parties are privately owned (the United States cannot endorse a party nor can there be a ‘United States’ party) so every four years they have a whole convention in which they decide who gets to represent their party in the run for president. Which if you ask me, is probably a way to influence laws. This group, Return of the Kings, do you honestly think they’re as powerful as groups that effectively decide who gets to run the United States? Either the United States is weaker than I previously thought or you have access to some information that I don’t. Then Carol’s friend… uhh… Coral hops in and claims that it’s okay to let them have their meeting because then whenever they do commit rape, it’ll be premeditated. Coral clearly forgot that under the proposed law, it wouldn’t be illegal. Carol said that she had a right to feel safe and that’s why this meeting could not go on. Because it wouldn’t make her feel safe? But I do not recall there being any law in place requiring that you ‘feel safe’. I thought the point of law was to make you feel safe in the first place. To rest assured that if you are ever wronged, those that wronged you would be brought to justice. And where are you safe anyway? I could just as easily be attacked by a madman as I type this blog wearing nothing but a towel. I’m in my apartment, but he could get an axe. Where am I going to go? I’m on the second floor in the middle of Alaska with only a window to escape (unless I’d like to take my chances with the door – where the madman with the axe is.

I’d like to point out one more qualitative thing that is actually on topic because that will be the last thing I can remember that was actually on topic. The rest of the argument was me being accused of being a rapist, agreeing with these guys, asking me if I’ve ever been raped, and asking if I was in a particular photo. Lord knows why they wanted to know if it was me in the photo but they seemed REALLY insistent that they know if it’s me or not. I wonder if they have a blog and they’d like to do some naming and shaming. I don’t know. But here’s the final point at which I was convinced that there was no point in continuing the ‘debate’. I asked her why they shouldn’t have this discussion and she said ‘because rape is wrong, plain and simple’. I don’t find that sufficient reason to not have this discussion. Imagine if when women were asking to vote (a right that men are still required to sign up for the selective service to enjoy but women get for free) and they wanted to discuss how they were going to get this right, they were prevented from doing so because ‘women voting is wrong, plain and simple’. Imagine if it happened for the black vote. My hangup here? Why are we saying that certain ideas are automatically disqualified from being discussed? I don’t see the basis for doing so. Rape is illegal today, why can’t it be legal tomorrow? There’s a movie called ‘The Purge’ which has a subtle message of what’s illegal today can be legal tomorrow (and what you do with that freedom is apparently show that humanity is scum).

I suppose that before I wrap things up, I should address my issues with the article (remember, I didn’t agree with the conclusion?). First of all, private property is a very poor definition to go by. There’s A LOT of private property in this nation. I went to a private college. Would rape be legal on their grounds? You betcha. The church you visit on Sunday? Privately owned. The bar you met that fly lady at? Also privately owned. There’s too much ‘private property’ for the claims of ‘back alley rapes’ to be all that remains. What RooshV may have meant is residential property, but again, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the private property. You could rape a woman in her own house and it would be ‘legal’ despite you committing this act on someone else’s property. Of course, all of this in regards to the blog post is moot because the author has come out and called it satire. Poe’s Law strikes again!

So I’d like to end with my beliefs. It is my belief that no idea is too bad to discuss. No idea is worth automatic dismissal. What then, would filter these ideas, separating ‘good ideas’ from ‘bad ideas’? Evidence, reason, and the guiding morality of those that discuss them. At the time of writing, Sweden will have been having a rape issue for quite some time. The justification for these rapes? Difference of culture between perpetrator and victim. So what is a ‘bad idea’ in one place can easily be a ‘good idea’ somewhere else. In Anaheim, a KKK rally gets bloody because people are not tolerant of listening to ideas. Are you truly so scared that people will follow someone else’s ideas that you would shut them down through force? Do I agree with the KKK? Nope. But do I agree with their right to assemble? Damn straight. Do you think that the Earth is 6000 years old? Bill Nye debated Ken Ham on this topic. Both sides presented their evidence, with whom do you agree? Still not convinced? Ask Nye and Ham to provide more evidence (if possible). Do some research on your own. Do you think the Earth is flat? I disagree, let’s talk about it. May the individual with more evidence make it into the public education system. If your ideas are too weak to stand up to reason, then they will be weeded out with the rest. Today’s truth can be tomorrow’s lie; it all depends on what we learn as time goes on.

Artemis Hunt

Reactions: “Make Rape Legal”

The Individual Doesn’t Matter

If you know me (you probably don’t), you’d know that I am a huge believer in the individual. That doesn’t make me right, but it is the lens through which I observe the outside world. And it’s when I see stuff like this that I really get bothered.

No idea if this will work

In case the link doesn’t work for those that click on it, it’s a link to a Facebook post by a group. The picture is split into 2 pictures, one of a GoFundMe of a wounded veteran, the other of a GoFundMe to get Kanye West out of debt. Mr. West’s GoFundMe has almost double that of the wounded veteran. And the caption is as follows:

“THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHAT IS FRICKEN WRONG WITH PEOPLE! A Wounded Veteran can’t even get help building a handicapped accessible house, but people will donate to help this guy out of Debt!!!! Www.gofundme.com/williamhamlett Come on people one GUY went to WAR 4 times/fought for everyone and the other does not do squat! Horrible! Who ever donated to this should be ashamed of yourself. *mic down*”

(For the sake of argument, I will assume all assertions are true because their truth value does not change my argument)

The author clearly has some righteous indignation because they value the service of our veterans more than that of Kanye West’s contributions to society… whatever they might be. But the author forgets a few things. First of all, the people of the United States never asked for this person to serve the United States. These strangers applied no pressure, made no request, and don’t expect anything from this individual. They got wounded in their 4 wars Now it is the VETERAN who is asking for handouts from people that owe them nothing on an individual level. Now you can argue that we owe our veterans for their service, but I have to ask you… do we really? The United States spends so much money on defense, presumably some of it goes to paying for the upkeep of these soldiers. Similar to prison, only the soldiers get to vote. So for this soldier’s 4 wars, the United States people paid for their training, their upkeep, and presumably they continue to pay this vet as well as many others through a GI bill or something. The United States people have paid this soldier for their service. Now that we’ve established that the United States people owe this soldier nothing (in fact, they probably continue to support this veteran through taxes) we can say that the people of the United States have no obligation to support this veteran in their time of need. There is no obligation to spend YOUR money the way SOMEONE ELSE wants you to. And the author probably recognizes this, and that’s why they appeal to emotion, not logic.

And this isn’t the first instance of this. With the identity politics being played by ‘loud feminists’ the same principle is being applied. To these individuals if you are a woman and you do not identify with their movement, you are a traitor and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Madeline Albright herself recently made a similar appeal, (paraphrased) “There is a special place in Hell for women who do not support one another”. I’ve underlined ‘for women’ because it emphasizes the point that this is a shame campaign. It doesn’t matter who you are as an individual. All that matters is that you have two X chromosomes (or you identify as such?) You can see it on the internet among the United States current general election arguments. For those unaware, the argument goes like this.

Person A identifies Democrat or Independent. Person A really likes Bernie Sanders’s ideals and claims they will not vote democrat if Sanders does not get the nomination.
Person B points out that some Supreme Court appointments are probably going to be made this next Presidential term, and as such, it is the OBLIGATION of A to vote democrat, regardless of candidate in order to protect the United States from getting a conservative Justice to ‘undo decades of progress’.

Note how B does not recognize A as an individual. They recognize A as part of a collective that (ideally) aligns themselves with Democrat ideals. Therefore, if A votes Independent or Republican (or not at all), they will effectively be allowing a conservative to enter office who would then appoint a conservative Justice that will ‘undo decades of progress’. It doesn’t matter what A believes, all that matters is that they stay in line and do what’s best for the Democratic Party instead of what A believes is best for A.

It boggles my mind how all sense of agency is being removed from individuals. Recent topic: White cop violence. If a cop shoots an individual, and the cop happens to be white and the individual happens to be black, the media doesn’t care about the circumstances of the shooting. All that matters is that a white person shot a black person (again, I use labels for ease of reading, not because I approve of them) then the races of the people involved are all that matter. It’s a ploy that uses an identity instead of reason to convince people of a message’s truth value. After 9-11, (and even today with ISIS’s perceived threat) the United States is afraid of Muslims. My basis for this conclusion is a number of statistics on the perception of Muslims and some polls, one of which concerned the bombing of ‘Agrabah’ (notably the fictional city in Disney’s Alladin). What they forget is that 9-11 was a terrorist attack. It didn’t have to be Muslims. It could just as easily have been Christians, Jews, Nazis, KKK, Socialists, Communists, the list goes on. It could have been anyone with a particular grievance against the United States; it just happened to be individuals that identify as Muslims.

People are so busy trying to toss around labels and fit the narrative such that the side that they’re on is the ‘good side’ that they forget what really matters. A question of ‘what’ requires little to no thought. Jeopardy, a popular game show, is all about trivia. Knowing many pieces of unconnected data and the ability to recall them speedily is all you need to excel in it. It doesn’t matter how or why the printing press allowed a faster exchange of knowledge when it was invented, it just matters that you recognize that this device is the noun, the ‘what’. Truly useful knowledge will involve the ‘how’ or the ‘why’. ‘Why’ is your side the ‘good side’. What makes it ‘good’?

The next time you talk to someone, try to recognize them as an individual, and not part of a race, a gender, or a political party. Try to recognize them as someone with ideals, some of which may coincide with experiences that happen to align with those of a specific race, gender, or political party. By assigning them to a collective, you consciously (or unconsciously) assign an identity to them that will probably not fulfill. You will have preconceptions of their ideals before you even know what they are. Those that wear fedoras are not inherently misogynist. Those that play American football are not inherently stupid. Give people some goddamn credit as individuals.

Artemis Hunt

The Individual Doesn’t Matter