Super Motherload

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Super Motherload is a… how would I describe it… well it’s a digging game. I guess I’ll just briefly describe the story, mechanics, and my experience.

In Super Motherload you play an Earthling that finds themselves working on behalf of a spooky corporation. You are an independent contractor. Your job – dig minerals out of the Martian underground. I guess Elon Musk saw this game and figured that it was time. As you dig, you receive unusual broadcasts and it’s up to you on how to ‘respond’ to them. And by ‘respond’  I mean  whether or not you’ll dig up the materials required for a quest. This game is literally just digging. When you reach the level where it’s hot and you can meet the devil, you enter a flying minigame + boss battle and then you’re faced with a “moral choice”. You get achievements based on these choices.

They have a few characters to choose from, from what I gathered some have more upgrades than others. You can play with friends, or so I’m told. I have no friends, so I could not test this feature. I can only imagine having four miners on the screen at once, trying to track yours would be a pain. The game is frightfully easy to play. I wound up just digging a straight line down. It takes a bit longer but it’s easier in terms of returning to base, lest you run out of fuel.

Honestly, what sells the game to me is the atmosphere. Unfortunately the atmosphere only seems to be effective on first playthrough, since after you know the triggers and the dialogue, there’s nothing else it has to offer you. The way tone is handled is c’est magnifique. This game could effectively do horror if it tried. The way the dialogue is delivered and the way the music changes is amazing. I was legitimately feeling my hairs stand on end for a good third of the game.

That said, I’m not terribly pleased with the story and its apparent limitations. I think there’s a good experience buried here underneath the surface, but I can’t help but feel there’s a lost potential here. It’s short – took me 2 hours to complete on my first (safe) playthrough. Is it worth its cost? That’s up to you. I personally do not believe that this game is worth too much. Overall – I do recommend the game, barely, but get it cheap if you can. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

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Super Motherload

Woke AF: Hagakure

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Disclaimer: Everything stated below is my opinion and is based on all of the information I have obtained and can remember at the time of writing. If you find any inaccuracies, or if you have any disagreements, please comment them. I want to learn. 

Alright, so in my last post, I noted how I had read Hagakure and what I made of it. I tried to stick within what I felt was the core message of the book. There are a lot of cultural things that I left out. For example, it was not uncommon for the older samurai to take a younger samurai under his wing for uh… completely wholesome purposes. There are some rather fascinating vignettes that I rather appreciated because they took me for a turn. And there were some lines that were just W O K E. But instead of polluting the prior post and getting derailed in what was already a fairly length post, I decided to split the post into one, fairly concise (I hope) that is focused on the core message and another post which has all of the silly stuff for which I make no reservations about length. If this post winds up having more than nine thousand words, so be it. You have been warned.

Women

The sheer disregard that is shown for women in this work is just priceless. Which is made all the more remarkable when you consider that traditionally, the state of the sexes in Japan has actually been a bit more, shall we say… progressive by modern terms.

It has been pointed out by more than one writer on Greece “that in the former and ruder period women had undoubtedly the higher place, and their type exhibited the highest perfection.” This is certainly the case in Japan. The women of the early centuries were, according to Japanese history, possessed of more intellectual and physical vigor, filling the offices of state, religion, and household honors, and approaching more nearly the ideal cherished in those countries in which the relation of the sexes is that of professed or real equality.

Griffis, William Elliot. History of Japan, 660 BC to 1872 AD (Kindle Locations 878-882). Lecturable. Kindle Edition.

I am currently reading the book cited above. I have no idea what ‘Locations’ is but I really have no good way to otherwise cite it so eh. Griffis writes this in regards to the second century. Honestly, for the feminists in the audience (does an egalitarian like me even have feminist readers?) you might even take some kind of a victory in one of the myths regarding Izanami and Izanagi.

The first manifestation of the male essence was Izanagi; of the female, Izanami. Standing together on the floating bridge of heaven, the male plunged his jeweled falchion, or spear, into the unstable waters beneath them, and withdrawing it, the trickling drops formed an island, upon which they descended. The creative pair, or divine man and woman, designing to make this island a pillar for a continent, separated  –  the male to the left, the female to the right  –  to make a journey round the island. At their meeting, the female spirit spoke first, “How joyful to meet a lovely man!” The male spirit, offended that the first use of the tongue had been by a woman, required the circuit to be repeated. On their second meeting, the man cried out, “How joyful to meet a lovely woman!” They were the first couple; and this was the beginning of the art of love, and of the human race.

Griffis, William Elliot. History of Japan, 660 BC to 1872 AD (Kindle Locations 414-421). Lecturable. Kindle Edition.

Make of that what you will. I personally think that it’s rather funny and cute story and I’ll leave it at that. Anyway, getting back on topic about women in Hagakure…

Moreover, the relationship between father and son can break down if the mother is foolish. If the mother pampers the boy, and sticks up for him when he is admonished by his father, the paternal relationship will deteriorate. Women have a shallow tendency to side with their children as they foresee that they will have only them to depend on in the future– Hagakure: Book 1 – 85

I actually can nicely cite stuff in Hagakure because it’s set up by book and… story number. Kind of like the Bible. So I’ll do that for Hagakure and quite frankly the rest of the post will be cited from Hagakure so whatever. So anyway, here we see Tsunetomo’s view of women. I don’t think of this as a condemnation, but rather just an observation. It may even be valid today. The mother needs to curry the favor of the children because when the father inevitably dies before her (women have longer lifespans than men throughout history I guess) someone will have to make sure that she’s fed.

Or maybe both she and her husband are both in their golden years and just need help. Then we see a difference in attitude. The father may feel entitled to care due to the fact that he cared for the children when they were young. Maybe he’d feel that it is their obligation to care for the father. Or maybe the father doesn’t care at all, and accepts his condition as a sign that it’s time to move on. Women, being the more attached sex, want to maintain their existence on this Earth just a few moments longer.

Once, a certain man said, “I know the shape of ‘reason’ (ri) and ‘women.’ ” When somebody asked what shape these things were, he replied: “Reason is a square, and will not budge at all. Women are round. Women do not discriminate between good or evil, wrong or right, and will roll into any position. – Hagakure: Book 10 – 2 

I lost my shit while I read this. Although it took a few moments for me to puzzle out what was being said. First, I think the joke is based on the kanji for reason (理) and women (女). Kanji in general contain many “sharp edges” so the closest thing to round that they have will probably be these angles like we see in ‘女’. At least, I haven’t come across many ’round’ kanji in my studies. Though it makes me wonder; hiragana is said to be based on some number of kanji and we see some very clearly rounded characters such as お、め、ね、and so on. The only reconciliation I might make is that hiragana was once called ‘woman’s hand’, so the curves may be deliberate changes to the kanji.

Anyway, the point here is that women will change their mind, lie, whatever it takes to position themselves into what they find most advantageous.

Disclaimer: It may be worth noting that kanji have changed throughout the years and I am merely using the ones that I know from today. If this is a joke based on the kanji used for reason and woman, it is entirely possible that the kanji I’ve used above are not the ones being referenced. 

Jin’uemon [Tsunetomo’s father] used to say “One should not bother bringing up daughters. They may stain the family name, and disgrace the parents [after they are married off]. The oldest daughter is special, but any others should be discarded.”Hagakure: Book 2-117

What a hot take, dang. This isn’t terribly surprising to me. Daughters were to be used as political pawns, and it seems that being a political pawn was part of the problem. “They main stain the family name and disgrace the parents after being married off”. Honestly, I’m not too sure why this is singled out so. Surely there were more opportunities for men to stain the family name and disgrace the parents, as they were the face of society. But there ya go, I put this in because woweee that take so hot I need a glass of milk.

Men

Whatever Tsunetomo said about women, it’s actually not that bad in my opinion. I’d never profess it as good character today,  but I can see his plan. He seems to see society as structured in a certain way and women are to behave this way while men are to behave this way. Which is why the insults he hurls at men are (in my view) worse than the things he said about women. Let’s revisit that first quote from above and actually borrow the full ‘story’.

There is a special way for rearing children in warrior families. From an early age, children must be taught to be brave, and not for a moment be threatened as a joke, or tricked in any way. Cowardly behavior learnt during boyhood will remain ingrained as a lifelong flaw. It is unwise for parents to make their children afraid of the sound of thunder, or of the dark, or to say things to frighten them. A boy is likely to become timid if scolded too severely when he is small. The parent must take care that the child does not develop any bad habits. A habit cannot be easily rectified once it has sunk in. Gradually make the boy aware of the proper way of communicating, etiquette and so on, and ensure he doesn’t develop greedy tendencies. A normal boy will mature into a decent man if you nurture him properly with these and other points in mind.

Furthermore, if parents are not on good terms with each other, it is natural for the child to grow up deficient in a sense of filial devotion. Even birds and wild animals are affected by what they see and hear in their formative years. Moreover, the relationship between father and son can break down if the mother is foolish. If the mother pampers the boy, and sticks up for him when he is admonished by his father, the paternal relationship will deteriorate. Women have a shallow tendency to side with their children as they foresee that they will have only them to depend on in the future. – Hagakure: Book 1-85

The first paragraph is about teaching your children to be strong men, and I’ll be later posting several quotes which emphasise this. I exceptionally like the advice to never teach your children to be afraid. If you spend your life telling your kid that the lightning is out to get them (even when it isn’t), don’t be surprised when they believe that the lightning is out to get them when they are an adult. Looking at you, United States universities. 

But let’s focus on the second paragraph because that’s the part we used above in the section regarding women. When observed as a lesson regarding women, it’s a lesson about the nature of women. When observed as a lesson regarding men, it’s a prescription for parenting. Mothers should not pamper their sons. I guess it was a foregone conclusion that fathers would ever pamper their sons. The son needs to become strong, like the father. If the mother pampers the son, he will grow up effeminate. The mother needs to (and I wonder the effectiveness of this advice today) stay out of the father-son moments so father can teach son how to be a man. If the mother undermines the father, you’ll create a fractured home and fractured relationships. The son will not respect his father, the mother may not respect the father and the father may not respect the mother. Everyone needs to operate as a unit, for the betterment of the family and of the son’s future.

I guess the short version is, mothers should trust that the father knows what he is doing when he is… applying a correction to the son’s behavior.

It is a crime to have no serious purpose, living idly and giving little consideration to what a warrior should be, even in your dreams. – Hagakure: Book 2-49

This is something that I’ve heard from Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. The sentiment is summed up above. You need to have a purpose at all times, even while sleeping. Your purpose needs to be so ingrained in you that when you do something that you think “How does this further my purpose”. However, in modern society, I do not believe such is always the norm. Or at least, it’s not always well-thought out.

There isn’t too much more regarding “Men” as a class. The book is geared towards samurai, so I figure my Reflections: Hagakure post probably covers the prescription for men.

 Feminization of Men

I do not entirely buy the fish that men are becoming feminine in today’s society. Rather, I see that western society may be becoming more agreeable and this is a trait that is broadly found in women more prevalently than in men. As such, an increase in agreeableness across society could be a symptom of men in society becoming more feminine.

[A doctor speaking] The pulse of a man is different to that of a woman. Still, in the past five decades or so, the variance between the pulses between the sexes has become indistinguishable. Since noticing this, I have modified my treatment of eye ailments in men to comply with how I treat women. Male patients show little response to traditional male treatments. I have come to the realization that manly essence is absent in many of them, and they have become very feminine as a sign of the worsening times. This is an observation gleaned from medical treatment that I keep secretly to myself.”

After hearing this, I [Tsunetomo] realized how true it was; so many men now seem to have the pulse of a woman. There are few who can be thought of as a real man. This means that one man can surpass others by making just a small effort.

That manly courage has faded is evident when few men show enough nerve to behead a criminal with his hands bound behind his back. In the case of performing kaishaku for a man who is to commit seppuku, it’s considered prudent or solicitous these days to decline the request. – Hagakure: Book 1-36

I told my adopted son, Gon’nojō, “Young men today are inclined to be effeminate. It is an age in which warriors who are approachable, sociable, non-confrontational, and gentle are glorified as being virtuous men. This proclivity means samurai are limited in their potential, and are unassertive. Above all, as men are absorbed with protecting their station and stipend, I think they are just wasting away. – Hagakure: Book 2-111

Regarding Edo period society, I know very little. I cannot really form an opinion on what Tsunetomo means as he says what I’ve posted above. My guess, based on what I’ve read here, is that he glorified the Sengoku Period. Which is ironic, considering what he said about glorifying the past:

[…] Thus, any longing for the “good old days” of a hundred years ago is futile. It is more judicious to adapt and improve the ways of the present. Men who hold a nostalgic view of the past are misguided in their outlook because they are blind to the reality of the present. Conversely, those who revel in the present, but loathe the customs and traditions of yesteryear, can’t differentiate between core principles and insignificant details. – Hagakure: Book 2-18

 

I think Tsunetomo, being unable to fill these warrior roles within the Sengoku period, idolizes them as being the epitome of manliness. And I believe the documentation he has made he kind of sets the bar as a way of trying to preserve the “manliness” of the Sengoku Period. He may have seen this move away from the Sengoku Period as the loss of manliness.

What Is This I Don’t Even

This section is for stuff that I really didn’t get. I literally can’t even so if anyone can even, please let me know. I’m just lost here

51. Master Genshin was asked, “I have heard that if you are attacked by someone in the [shogun’s] palace, it will work in your favor to keep calm and simply report the incident to the inspector (o-metsuke) without retaliating, even if you are at fault. I wonder if it’s worth enduring the shame, thinking that you may be better off for it later on.” The master responded: “This is where skill with words is indispensable. You can take the other fellow to the inspector, or you could go on your own and explain the situation. Say ‘Although the humiliation is difficult to bear, as the incident took place at my master’s palace, I prioritized his feelings, and chose to endure the shame [through not taking immediate action], and hope for your understanding as I explain the details of the affair.’ If nothing happens, you can kill the other man because you are already dead.” – Hagakure: Book 2-51

How are you already dead? What does that mean?

If you concur with everything brought up at a formal discussion or when chit-chatting, and just dally in the conversation, you will be unable to see higher reason. When somebody describes an object as black, think to yourself, “It can’t be black, but could be white. There must be a reason for it to be white.” Endeavoring to attach a reason to something will help you deduce a higher logic. You will be incapable of exceeding others without making efforts like this.

If it is something that can be said on the spot, do so in a way that won’t cause offense. If he cannot be told, keep conversing without causing ire, and craft a logical response in your mind. This is how to develop sounder logic than others. Points concerning a man who severed ties with another (relayed verbally). This approach is different to “conjecturing,” “forestalling,” or “holding reservations.” – Hagakure: Book 2-10

What is this “higher logic”? Why is it “higher” than regular logic?

Personal Favourites

This is the final section, which will just cover things that I particularly liked from Hagakure. Just gonna post them here rapid-fire.

If you focus only on the good points of a man, then everybody can be a good model to learn from.” – Hagakure: Book 1-64

You may seek to borrow items from others every now and again. But, it is akin to begging if you ask too often. If you can make do without asking people for favors, then it is better not to ask. Hagakure: Book 1-78

In the Kingdom of Tang (China), there was a man who adored pictures of dragons. He had dragon motifs on his clothes, utensils, and other things. His profound love of dragons was felt by the dragon god, who sent a real dragon to appear before the man’s window. The man was so surprised that he fainted. Some people like to talk big, but act in a way that doesn’t match their words. – Hagakure: Book 1-81

It is preposterous to feel crestfallen when dismissed from duty. It was customarily said at the time of Lord Katsushige: “You won’t make a true man of service unless you have experienced being a rōnin seven times. Fall down seven times, and get up eight (nanakorobi-yaoki).” – Hagakure: Book 1-126

If one is insensitive when sympathizing with a man who is plagued by misery by blurting lame comments like “How sorry I feel for you,” he will become even more despondent and unable to see reason. Instead, it is better to cheer him up by nonchalantly implying it is not serious at all. Say, “Actually, this is quite propitious old chap. It could have been much worse!” With such reassurance, the unfortunate man will see things differently. As we live in an ephemeral world, feelings of sorrow or joy need not be embraced for long. – Hagakure: Book 2-57

On that note, I thank you for sharing in this experience with me. I do hope to hear your thoughts and as always, thank you for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

Woke AF: Hagakure

Punch Club

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Punch Club is a time-management Boxing Simulator. It’s ridiculous, it’s funny, it and I guess that’s going to set the tone for this review.

You are Hero (that’s the default name anyway). One night, your father gets killed by a man in black with a red eye. You decide to get swole and take revenge. As you do this, you find yourself in a fighting tournament or two that seem to style themselves as “Boxing” but permit kicks, so maybe it’s muay thai. I dunno. I’m a robot that lives in a server room playing video games. Along the way, you become Batman with allusions to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (title image) and Silent Hill (I won’t spoil this one but it’s really dumb and I love it). You find love, you beat up a Russian. You get to participate in mecha fights! (Mecha fights make everything better… ) This game just has so many little jokes and references. It’s amusing.

The game has stylized aesthetics and the music is this Eye of the Tiger remix that is actually pretty good. I made a boxing character because I totally read too much Hajime no Ippo. The game is sufficiently challenging. It took me over 300 (in-game) days to finish the game but I did waste a bunch of days on stuff that I’ll mention later. The fights can get pretty tense as you sit there hoping RNGsus is in your favour but then complain when you repeatedly get knocked out because you have negative stamina. And then you win the fight anyway because your boxing character can do combos that deal over a third the opponent’s health when they actually hit.

The storytelling is… sub-par. It’s not anything to write home about. There’s a main story and a series of substories. These substories do not seem to have much in the way of time limits. I locked myself out a substory by becoming a professional boxer fighter so maybe I should’ve completed it but it’s too late now. The main story has all of the usual tropes that you probably expect in a fighting game. And it has a very poorly written ending. It also kind of fades to black at an improper time.

Unfortunately the game does not seem to be balanced around being an all-around good fighter but rather by specializing in one stat. It tells you so much very early in the game. I would’ve liked for it to reward well-rounded players a little more. I did a hybrid of Power and Stamina, leaving out Agility. Agility determines how accurately you hit. So I have a heavy hitter than always misses. And even with my stamina training, I still found myself running out of stamina all the time. But maybe I’m just bad. Towards the end, the game becomes a bit of a grind and the pacing slows down drastically. Which leads up to the aforementioned poorly timed ending.

The game also does not explain some of the character interaction mechanics so I wound up wasting what must’ve been like 3 weeks trying to fix my friend’s engine so he’d train with me. I actually had to look up what the deal was and apparently the engine never gets fixed, but that the lines that my friend says indicate whether or not I’ve ‘chilled’ with him long enough to get him to train with me. Also, let’s be real here. I was the only one fixing his engine. The lazy SOB never got off the chair.

I do like the game, but I’m sitting on the fence with this one. I give it a pass because I found it amusing, but take this positive review with the grains of salt. It’s probably a toss-up whether or not you find it to be a fun game. Let’s not forget that the most important part of a game is whether or not it’s fun. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Punch Club

Orwell

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Orwell, in a not-so-subtle nod to George Orwell’s criticism of totalitarianism (*CoughCommunismCough*) 1984. I’ve actually read 1984. It’s not bad. It’s not great, and quite frankly I think it’s more of an observation than a story which in my eyes weakens it. It’s also an incredibly quick read so I do recommend you check it out. On a scale of 1-10? Probably a 7. Amusing, but not the best. Slightly better than average.

Anyway, the gameplay of Orwell is unconventional and reminds me greatly of Papers, Please. Which is another game I should write a review on and I do recommend it. In it you scan documents for information and upload this information into a mega-database which contains details on everyone under investigation (at this time). Presumably, Orwell would be expanded to cover all citizens. In the name of peace, surely! Everyone can trust the government to know every detail about them to make sure that they’re entirely safe!

Light Spoiler Warning: Orwell is a narrative, a visual novel of sorts. I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers.

Throughout the course of Orwell you follow the individuals of an organization called ‘Thought’ named after some German poem. Thought is an alleged terrorist organization. Your job is to follow the members of this organization to prevent terrorist activity. The first person you investigate is a woman with blue hair and problem glasses because of course she is. Which now presents us with our question. What scale of authoritarianism would be acceptable in the name of protecting people? As the game progresses, it gets to the point where almost the slightest connection to someone (perhaps eating lunch or seeing a movie together) is grounds for investigation. Authoritarianism seems to have a very tough job reigning itself in from being conventionally oppressive.

You know, I could not help but giggle with glee as I listened to phone calls of people and other people got blamed for things that I did. It was glorious! And it kept happening! I felt no guilt at all for doing my job. Perhaps that’s the point of the game. Thinking.jpg

The art style is… quirky. Not bad. Just quirky. The music is pretty okay too. My (small) gripe (I guess) is how long I had to wait for responses when it came to monitoring calls and SMS. I get that it’s supposed to be realistic, that’s the point. Not really a point against the game, I just felt that it was sometimes a little long.

Overall, excellent game. Quite a nice length for the price ($10 at the time of posting). Of course, cheaper is always better. I think my first playthrough had a run of about 4 hours and there are multiple endings (all of which, I did not explore). It’s a thumbs up from me. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Orwell

Aho Girl

Aho Girl is about a girl who is totally fucking retarded. The show is totally fucking retarded. Yet I can’t stop watching it. What am I doing with my life.

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Aho Girl is a short anime (I think every episode is like 15 minutes). It’s a collection of short little stories (5-10 minutes apiece) and they’re all dumb. The characters are all degenerates (except Sayaka, you’re an angel).

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Akutsu is a violent domestic abuser in his early years thanks to his experiences with Yoshiko. Yoshiko (‘Aho girl’) is a retard with a magical ability to make everything around her get dumber. Sayaka is a pure angel that has no reason to be in this anime. Yoshiko’s mother is a degenerate who (on screen!?!?!!!) admitted to effectively raping Yoshiko’s father. Oppai Incho (yeah, who remembers her name anyway?) is a delusional stalker. There’s some delinquent that also suffers from stupidity. Oh, and I guess Akutsu’s sister also has that curse. And there’s a dog that is pretty much a bro? Dog’s cool I guess. His name actually is Dog. Guess whose pet he is.

There isn’t an overarching story. It’s just the lives of these people. This anime being short is actually a point in its favour because it’s so bad that you can’t get attached to characters (except Sayaka, and she only sticks out because she’s normal) but it’s also so bad that you have to watch it. Also, the opening theme is extremely catchy. It’s like this rap that at one point goes all opera and then becomes a rap again.

I guess this anime subscribes to the ‘Family Guy’ approach to comedy. Hit the audience with something mildly amusing, and then move the attention to something else mildly amusing. Since you never have too much time to stew on how stupid what you’re laughing at is, it’s good enough to keep you amused for the 15 minutes.

Overall, I’d say watch it. It’s so bad it’s good. Thanks for reading.

Aho Girl

Date A Live

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So I am a member of certain Facebook groups that share images. Some of these images get me a little interested in the source material. Date A Live seems to have some really cute characters so I decided to look it up. Tags… MECHA?!

SOLD!

I’m not sure that the ‘mecha’ tag is being applied properly. Mecha usually involves GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS THAT MANLY MEN PUNCH OTHER THINGS WITH. But in this show the only things vaguely mecha are the outfits that some of the girls wear. And quite frankly, that doesn’t cut it for me. And they’re not even used all that much to be honest. Most of the girls in this show are fodder.

In Date A Live, the world is being ravaged by ‘spirits’. They’re supposed to cause ‘spacequakes’ when they arrive but apparently that gets turned optional real fast. Probably because doing an evacuation in every episode would be a waste of time and totally boring. A boy promises to meet his younger sister (ugh, siscon) in front of a restaurant even if a spacequake evac occurs. Whoops, you can probably guess what happened. The boy, I guess we can call him Shido, it’s his name after all. Shido goes to the restaurant and whoops, there’s a fight going down. Then his sister bails him out and he’s told that he needs stop all of the spirits (conveniently female) from rampaging by dating them. I… what is this plot even…

Now you can probably see the problem right away.  Women don’t always take kindly to guys dating other women. And apparently his ability to stop them from rampaging is entirely dependent on making all of the spirits love him simultaneously so I dunno mayne. This is just a disaster. And of course there’s a human interested in him and that causes problems to. And it gets so terribad that at one point he is dating 3 girls at once and you can tell the writers have never been on a date before because you can’t leave your date unoccupied for 30+ minutes and ‘nothing happens’, mmkay? Ain’t no way that girl gonna be okay with you unless she’s not interested in you. But yeah, that happens.

Quite frankly, I think there’s too much filler. The highlights of the series can be chopped down into 2-4 episodes really. You really only needed maybe 4 of the ‘core’ characters. to tell the story (if we’re calling it that). Maybe that’s the problem. There are characters introduced as main characters that literally turn into side characters. Abomination. I feel like the show may have been entirely filler. I didn’t get a clear sense of direction. What am I being told? And where are my giant robots?

That being said, we do have some shining light. Kurumi is one of the cutest things I’ve seen and she’s crazy to boot. Why do I like ’em crazy? I don’t know. I just do. Sue me. Anywhere, here’s a picture of her.

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The other shining light is the music. Seriously, the music to this anime is way too epic compared to the quality of the anime itself. It just soars majestically into the horizon on the back of a flying MECHA dolphin.

Without a clear sense of direction, terrible dialogue, terrible characters, I cannot in good conscience recommend this anime. That’ll be it from me though. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Date A Live

Jordan Peterson and Curtailed Speech

Jordan Peterson is fucking based.

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The video I’ve linked above is really the launching point for this blog post. There’s a lot of good stuff in it. I find Dr. Peterson to be incredibly articulate in his points and he seems to use a lot of what you and I might call “common sense”. I recommend you watch the video; it’s not long, only about 13 minutes. I think he makes an important distinction at the end and for those of you unwilling to watch I’ll put the quote here

There’s a difference. I’m talking about compelled speech. There’s a difference between saying that there’s something you can’t say and saying that there are things that you have to say. – Jordan Peterson

He is responding to a question he was asked about the difference between being forced to use pronouns (which he views as an attack on freedom of speech) and not being allowed to use slurs. He was asked could a professor not defend being able to use racial slurs towards students on the same basis of freedom of speech. He doesn’t answer the question because he thinks you’re comparing apples and oranges, per the quote I’ve posted above.

First, a brief background on Jordan Peterson. He is a maplelicker Canadian professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He has risen in popularity recently, but he has actually been ‘active’ for quite some time. He has posted a series of (frankly, quite fascinating) lectures on YouTube and has been doing so for years. His popularity increase is due to a controversy regarding mandated pronoun use. He did a few videos on the topic but I think the video that made him known to most of us Fredomkin Americans is this video in which a series of students corner him after a rally. Or at the very least, that’s when I became aware of him because it blew up on Facebook or something. I’m actually surprised I managed to find the video again, took a while. Anyway his objection is to legislating that one must refer to another by their ‘preferred pronouns’ under penalty of law.

First, I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century. – Jordan Peterson

Kind of like what’s going on in New York (if this has been repealed, I am not aware of it).

For example, refusal to use a transgender employee’s preferred name, pronoun, or title may constitute unlawful gender-based harassment.  Comments, unwanted touching, gestures, jokes, or pictures that target an individual based on gender constitute gender-based harassment. – (Source)

Jordan Peterson has opposed this kind of legislation on the grounds of freedom of speech. (Insert Newspeak joke here). He also (as a clinical psychologist) doesn’t believe that it’s a tenable solution. Which invokes the ire of every left-wing activist and their grandmother, it would seem.

Again, he’s Canadian, and I know very little about Canadian politics. I will be discussing this topic in the realm of American politics which I am far more familiar with. Now, I do think that question he was posed was actually a very good one and I would defend the professor’s right use the word ‘nigger’ and I would also defend the university’s right to fire him. But you and I both know that censorship is more of a government thing, so what if a government official used the word ‘nigger’ to refer to colleagues… oh that… that actually happened… Should they be fired? I don’t think so. But they are more than resign of their own accord.

When it comes to this debate of free speech in the United States, two cases seem to be cited. The first is R.A.V. vs. The City of St. Paul which protected a person’s right to burn a cross (a symbol of the Ku Klux Klan) in front of a black family as a message. He was prosecuted on the grounds of law stating that it’s illegal to post hate symbols (like a burning cross or swastika) on public or private property. The Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, so you may display as many “symbols of hate” that you like. The second is Wisconsin vs. Mitchell which ruled that the extra-penalty Mitchell received due to a discriminatory basis could be upheld. They did this on the grounds that laws against “fighting words” (I think we often say “incitement to violence” instead) are not unconstitutional.

While there are no doubt a ton of cases like regarding free speech and the first amendment, I do not have the legal background to analyze all of them (or even these, I suppose) so take my interpretations with a grain of salt. Regarding the two cases I’ve cited above, I’ve only read the opinion tab. That is my basis for the following argument.

I believe the video of Jordan Peterson being cornered at a rally exposes the key problem with the left on this issue.

Inability to Converse

The tendency to not listen. In the video, Dr. Peterson points out that a speaker is just spouting rhetoric. This is an issue I find with people in general but particularly on the left in regards to abortion, health care (insurance, really), wage inequality between men and women, wealth inequality (good or bad?), and this pronoun issue. What they do is they state their conclusion and if you disagree with the conclusion, they very rarely try to convince you of why their conclusion is correct or why yours is wrong. On the abortion issue, they say “It a woman’s body, it’s their right” and if you dare to mention the unborn child they (may) just continue to repeat their prior point. “My body, my right”. So they don’t always seem terribly interested in a dialogue. They start with a conclusion and refuse to concede their conclusion or even compromise on it.

AND DO NOTE THAT I’M NOT SAYING THAT THE LEFT IS THE ONLY ONE DOING THIS. I’M JUST SAYING THAT IN MY EXPERIENCE, THE LEFT TENDS TO AVOID DIALOGUE ON THESE ISSUES. IT OCCURS ON ALL SIDES. FOR THIS PARTICULAR TOPIC, I FIND THE ISSUE ON THE LEFT.

Respectful Speech

At one point in the video, Dr. Peterson is asked if, out of respect for another individual, would he use their pronouns. He gives a few answers on the issue. First he says no, because he doesn’t want it legislated, then he says no because he doesn’t see it as a solution, and then he says “maybe, depends on how you ask”. So let’s unpack them statement by statement.

The first is answer is that he wouldn’t do it if it were legislated. This is because he views it as a violation of free speech and he also sees it as dangerous Marxism (again, Newspeak).

The second answer is that he wouldn’t do it because he doesn’t see it as a solution. I believe that he is considering the issue as a kind of mental illness similar to schizophrenia. Schizophrenics are known for seeing hallucinations. When you are treating a schizophrenic and they tell you that they see snakes on the floor, do you avoid stepping on the snakes? My guess, no. You don’t feed into the hallucinations because it’s not healthy. It doesn’t solve the problem. So (and I’m presupposing here) in Dr. Peterson’s mind, using the pronouns is like trying to avoid stepping on the snakes. It is an acceptance of delusion, which is ultimately unhealthy.

The third answer is the only answer where “respect” might be directly included in the answer. He answers “it depends on how they ask”. So if you ask nicely and Dr. Peterson is in the mood or he recognizes your cause as sufficient, then he might use your pronoun. I think respect might play a factor here, because only by respecting the individual and their reasons might Dr. Peterson use their pronouns. He maintains that you do not get to demand his respect. A point that I wholly agree with. This is why the “I identify as an apache attack helicopter” argument is actually valid under the system that these individuals support. It’s also impossible to enforce due to the sheer magnitude of people to disrespect and the way to disrespect them. Not to mention what qualifies as “disrespect” varies wildly depending on the person. Talking about women’s breasts in front of my friend makes him uncomfortable, should I be prevented under penalty of law from talking about breasts in front of my friend when I know it bothers him? I would say no. Sure, doing it might make me an asshole, but are we going to make being an asshole illegal? Good luck with that.

What gets me is the response. It is presupposed by the students surrounding him that by refusing to use their pronouns that he is contributing to a suicide epidemic among trans individuals. The logic behind is that the psychological impact of not being called your preferred pronoun could cause trans people the commit suicide. I don’t think this is incorrect, but I do think that it’s a very small part of a larger problem that cannot be solved by legislation.

To my knowledge, the suicide problem is caused by an inability to “pass” or be perceived as that which you are trying to be perceived as (among other things). Not using the pronoun reminds the trans person that they are unable to pass, which may reinforce thoughts of suicide. But let’s suppose we did require by law that we refer to all people by their preferred pronouns, what then? Well, then we need to recognize that people have other ways to signal failure to pass. This is done through body language and behavior. And this should be terribly obvious to Americans because this is literally identity-based humour which plays on stereotypes and behaviors. This type of humour would not be funny if we didn’t recognize such behavior in others. So what do we do? Do we legislate against behavior like “looking at a trans woman’s chest a little too long” which could be interpreted either positively as “Oh, I pass!” or negatively or “Oh no, they’re thinking a little too long, am I not passing?” Such an act would be a little overboard, no? What about sexual preferences? If a straight cisgendered man doesn’t want to have sex or even a relationship with a male-to-female transexual, are we going to legislate against that too? That would open the floodgates for legislating other preferences like my very own sexual preference for asians. Dr. Peterson describes this as “Tyranny, one tiny step at a time“. You give an inch and they will take a mile.

And that is only the male-female dichotomy issue. If you believe, as Bill Nye so astutely points out gender is a spectrum then if you refuse to recognize me as Unkindled-sexual then you would be in violation of such laws. Even if we ceded the male-female issue, how do we address a world in which you can feasibly make up any identity you wish and force others to recognize you as such? I believe the point that the left is missing on this issue is that even if gender were a social construct, trans-tigers have not built up the social capital to be recognized as trans-tiger immediately. Nor have they built up the social capital to demand that they be recognized as trans-tiger by law. At the end of the day, you can’t force people to accept you as something that they don’t see you as. You can’t legislate all of your problems away. You have to convince others through interaction.

LEGISLATING WHAT YOU MUST SAY OR CANNOT SAY UNDER THE PRETEXT OF “RESPECT” WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM YOU WANT IT TO SOLVE. IT ONLY CREATES AVENUES FOR TYRANNY AND ABUSE.

That said, it’s not particularly constructive to go around seeking to offend and disrespect every person you know. I don’t see Dr. Peterson as that kind of person, and he says he often receives letters of thanks from trans individuals saying that they agree with him. Can we trust Dr. Peterson or the individuals that write these letters? I don’t know, but I generally trust people until given a reason to not trust them.

False Dichotomy

A false dichotomy is a supposition that something is X xor Y. Unless by definition X and Y can have an xor operation between them you should avoid doing this. One example – 9.11 is either an integer xor a real number. This is a false dichotomy, even though 9.11 is a real number and not an integer. So what’s wrong with it? Well, what if we had said that 911 is either an integer xor a real number? 911 is both an integer and a real number, so a false dichotomy isn’t necessarily true, even if it may sometimes be true. The problem is that integers and real numbers do not have a valid xor operation between them. All integers are real numbers but not all real numbers are integers. We could say that a number is either rational xor irrational, which would be true! Because the comparison is more along the lines of a definition.

So why do I bring this up? Well, it ties into the two prior points: inability to converse and respectful speech. So while the students say that not using the pronouns contributes to trans suicide rates, which I am willing to entertain the idea of, the  main thrust of their proposal is the false dichotomy. It is “Either we legislate away these perceived discriminations xor trans people will continue to be discriminated against in medicine, in housing, in employment, etc.”.

I think what’s happening here is that Dr. Peterson and these individuals are talking past each other. Dr. Peterson is saying that he, as a private citizen should not be forced to use language that he doesn’t consent to using. His opponents are arguing that it is a necessary evil towards the acceptance of trans individuals. While they disagree on quite a few points, the important point that they seem to disagree on is whether or not it is acceptable to curtail free speech in order to achieve the same goal: reduction in suicide rates of trans people.

Big Government

The solution the left always seems to propose is bigger government. Minorities aren’t being hired, make it illegal to discriminate hiring based on race instead of letting social stigma and free market pressures destroy those businesses. Minorities aren’t being paid on par with their majority counterparts, make it illegal to discriminate pay based on race instead of… letting social stigma and free market pressures destroy those businesses. Minorities are getting lower SAT scores and universities aren’t accepting them. Better lower the standards to be fair to them. The climate is changing for the worse, better use the government to shut that down.

Sometimes the answer isn’t bigger government, and I don’t think the American left sees smaller government solutions or even that some things may not even be problems.

Ironic Conclusion

The ironic conclusion that I’ve come to based on this gender debate is that the left doesn’t believe that gender exists on a spectrum. It’s like comparing wave and particle theories of light. I truly believe that the left thinks of gender as being discretized, to the point where there’s no such thing as a boy that acts effeminately, rather a separate femboy gender that the boy conforms to. Taking such logic to its inevitable conclusion, we run up against a bunch of genders that eventually divide to the level of the individual. Which makes the concept of gender itself useless. The irony is that the very people saying that gender-expression is a spectrum do not believe so, but there’s also irony in that the people saying that gender-expression is not a spectrum believe that it is. The difference is, even if you are a highly effeminate man, the right will still call you he. The left will insist that you be called some pronoun or another.

At the end of the day, I’m with Dr. Peterson on this. I don’t think it’s helpful. I don’t think it’s practical. I don’t think that the justification is strong enough. And I think it would be a serious mistake to begin giving up our freedom of speech for this. Anyway, this was a long post and I probably have more to say on it, but I will have to save it for another post. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

Jordan Peterson and Curtailed Speech