Imperial Requiem

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Video Game stuff

I'm currently playing a PS2 RPG, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, and it's a great game, except it falls for the same trap that every RPG does. You send your team against a level boss, and what does the boss do? Kills your most essential character before you even get a chance to attack. I hate that. Damn AI's who cheat. Now I probably have to spend another 5 hours leveling my characters up. Sigh.

Otherwise, I just picked up a new Strategy/RPG game for PS2, Makai Kingdom, and Atelier Iris pissed me off enough to hold off on it for a while, to check out Makai Kingdom.

As for the fall, I can't wait for Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I've been a Zelda fan for quite some time, and the newest entry into the Zelda catalog looks to be a knockout winner. You probably won't see me online much, the week after the game comes out. Heh.

Family will get Kingdom Hearts 2, so I won't have to run out to buy that game, but I will play it. And there's a few other RPGs that are upcoming that I'm interested in (Dragon Quest VIII, Magna Carta, Battalion Wars, etc). And Star Wars: Empires at War for the PC.

Other than that, I'll probably steer clear of the Xbox 360 until spring of next year, at the earliest. I might get a Nintendo DS, since there's alot of really good games coming out for that system. Word of advice (since I used to work in the video game retail biz): don't buy a PSP until midway through next year. There's few good games for it, and won't be many more for a while.

Monday, July 25, 2005

In regards to...

This past weekend, Catherine Baker Knoll, the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, crashed a funeral for a Marine, Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, who died in action in Iraq. What she did next, was disgusting, to say the least. She handed out business cards, as if she was on a campaign trail, and said that "our government" (meaning the State of Pennsylvania) is against the war. (links to articles on it, are-,,

Let me see how I want to handle this one.




Go to hell, Catherine Baker Knoll. As fast as you can.

Friday, July 22, 2005


I'll admit it, I'm a wrestling fan. I've been one since the late 1980's, fondly remembering Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior way back in Wrestlemania 6. I know how the industry works, both inside and outside the ring. Alot of folks yammer about wrestling being "fake" and "entertainment" but very few athletes can do what wrestlers do, and these guys go out there 300 days a year, to entertain everybody. Most wrestlers have a 10 year lifespan as effective wrestlers, before age and injuries catch up to them. I'm more a fan of straight up athletic competition than some of the storylines in wrestling, though. Don't get me wrong, there are alot of storylines that I love, and some promos (mike work) that are really good. But there are times when they get silly, or just go over the line.

And the WWE went waaaaaaaaaay over the line a few weeks ago. And apparently, they've finally paid the price for their antics.

The WWE had a muslim-American wrestler, Mohammed Hassan (who I think is Italian-American with Iranian heritage, and yes, I know that he's not Arab while they portrayed him as such), and they made him a "heel", or a villain, who would complain that he's being unfairly treated because of his muslim heritage thanks to 9/11. While he was doing his whiny and bitchy character, it was bearable, even if I didn't see much out of him as an in-ring worker (limited move-set). But the WWE kept pushing him and pushing him, when it was clear that he wasn't ready for such a push, nor was he deserving of that push. And then came the July 7th edition of Smackdown!- the same day as the London Bombings. They ran a terrorist angle with him, where he sent out his compatriot, Khosrow Daivari, to fight the Undertaker, and it ended up with a bunch of guys wearing ski-masks and military garb running out, beating the Undertaker up, and carrying Daivari out like a martyr, to the glee of Hassan.

To be fair to the WWE, they tape Smackdown! every Tuesday, and neither the WWE nor UPN (the network channel their show airs on) was able to edit out the footage in the aftermath of the London Bombings. But the inevitable backlash came, and as of last night, the WWE is done with the Mohammed Hassan character- UPN effectively told the WWE that they never wanted Hassan on their tv station, again (and I suspect Spike TV, the current home of RAW, and the future home of Raw, USA, told the WWE similiar statements). The WWE has since put up a statement on their website ( talking about the Hassan situation, and admitting that they won't have Hassan on their shows anymore (however, Hassan is still a part of the WWE; they're likely to repackage his character and do something new, but the Hassan we had seen, is done for).

I'm glad that Hassan's done for. It was a bad move by the WWE, when they could have had a monster face (good guy) on their hands if they played him as a pro-american muslim-american. Most of the WWE fans are pro-america, or at least really don't want politics shoved at their face in the manner the WWE was doing. Hassan never deserved the attention they were giving him- at the expense of other top of the line wrestlers, who were effectively forced to "carry him", or to make him look good in their matches. It also showed a tremendous lack of common sense by the WWE, in letting their writers get as carried away as they did, with his storyline. I'm all for being controversial (and the WWE is usually very good at it- they've treated Gay and Lesbian storylines, and mentally retarded characters with a suprising amount of respect and civility), but there are lines that you really don't want to touch upon. Y'see, the WWE is largely run by Vince McMahon, and the writers he hires to work on his wrestling product. The writers aren't wrestling fans, for the most part- they're hollywood writers who are hired to bring the more "soap opera" and "shock value" aspects to the shows.

The Hassan situation clearly underlines how little they know about wrestling, and how insulated they are from the outside world. That's been the problem with the WWE in the past few years; the fans will want certain wrestlers pushed, or they'll see a rising star- and the WWE will ignore them, and push their chosen golden boy down the fans' throats (only to admit they were wrong, down the line). That's why wrestling has gone through a down period, since the fall of WCW and ECW, back in 2000-2001.

I just hope the WWE learns their lesson from all this. Pay attention to the fans, their environment, and the wrestling product more. Give the fans what they want, rather than try to tell the fans what they want. And above all, don't be stupid and insult the fans like they did with Hassan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stupid Questions I expect for John Roberts

John Roberts, President Bush's SCOTUS nominee, will eventually go before the Senate Judiciary comittee and have to face what will amount to an inquiry. Here are a sample of questions I expect the Democrats to ask him:

- "What do you prefer, Mr. Roberts, Pepsi or Coca-Cola?"

- "Can you say Sandy Sells Seashells by the Seashore, five times fast?"

- "What is spam made of? And can we outlaw it?"

- "Who is a bigger idiot: Ben Affleck, or Tom Cruise?"

- "If the terrorists attack us again, can we blame Santa Claus? And if we do, would you question our patriotism?"

- "Did you see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Is it any good? I might want to take my grandkids to see it."

- "Is Tiger Woods human? Or does he come from the same planet that Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, and George Lucas come from?"

- "Have you ever met Jack Bauer? And if so, do you think he'd give me an autograph?"

- "I'm sorry, can you skip me for now? I'm busy playing World of Warcraft."

The Terrorist will know they've lost when.......

The terrorists will know they're defeated and that continued resistance is all but hopeless when Iraqis:

- start wearing Oakland Raiders jerseys

- play baseball better than the Japanese

- start asking for the next Halo game

- walk around town, saying "the following takes place between 11:00am and 12:00pm in real time"

- start rioting when someone tells them the ending of the most recent Harry Potter book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Check and Mate

The fact that Bush is announcing his Supreme Court nominee tonight pretty much tells you what he thinks of the whole Plamegate stuff: absolutely nothing.

He just dragged the media by the scruff of their necks into a real discussion, about real things. And all he had to do was give them the political eqiuvalent of "boo!".

I would hate to have to play poker against Bush.

Plamegate stuff......yawn.

Sorry I haven't been covering the whole Plamegate stuff, since I find 99.9% of it to be redundant, and the usual character assassination stuff that the liberal media tries to hit us with. Yawn.

I think by now, the media would know that all the Prez has to do is wait them out for a few weeks, and he'll have to do absolutely nothing. It'll blow over, as it usually does, and the press will get a nice tounge lashing from the special prosecutor (that they wanted!), who'll tell them what really went down, which probably amounts to nothing more than the CIA being institutionally corrupt and playing the worst kind of partisan politcal games......the sloppy kind that messes national security up.

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame will end up as pariahs in the US. I'd strongly recommend that they move out of the US, if only to spare us all the embarassment of having to throw eggs at them.

And Karl Rove? He'll still be the Sith Lord the left always wants him to be. Heh.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

London: Reprecussions

What will the immediate and long term effects be of the London Bombings? And not just in Great Britain, but throughout the world?

Some, are obvious, and I'll deal with them first:
- Increased anti-terror legislation in Great Britain, and a serious examination of the muslim society in Britain as a whole. Anyone who's not a British citizen may well find themselves deported. Oh, and polls in Britain have already been signaling that the terrorists screwed up, big time. Blair got a boost in the polls, obviously- and it also signaled that the anti-war opposition just got huge egg on their face. The BBC is increasingly becoming irrelevant, as well.

- In the US, President Bush gets a boost in his Global War on Terror policy issues. He also gets an easier chance to bring Europeans aboard on the GWOT.

- Berlusconi used the occasion to crack down heavily on suspected terrorists in Italy. 142 suspects were arrested in a single day, last week.

- Spain's still the surrendering sock-monkey of the 21st century.

- The G8 summit ended with a renewed push for Europe to get serious about the GWOT. And all the other touchy feely stuff was shuffled asides, largely.

As for the stuff that it will effect, in the future:

- France and Germany will rapidly come to a breaking point. They're going to have to deal with their own local populations sooner rather than later, and they know very well that the London bombings could easily have been in Paris, or Berlin. But Schroeder and Chirac are too wrapped up in their egocentric governments to be able to change course at this late stage in the game. Since Germany's got elections upcoming later this year, this is especially problematic for Germany, since they're the most logical choice for a terror attack now (well, outside of Italy). What ramifications that will have on central Europe, one only knows. Schroeder is going to need to develop a backbone, very fast.

- The mainstream media just took a sustained hit by the London bombings. They can't peddle their "I told you so" messages without folks throwing tomatoes at them, which is precisely what's happening in Britain. The BBC is under alot of fire, and the best news is really coming out of Sky News. Even the anti-war newspapers are operating under, at best, restrained political commentary. They also know that there's absolutely NO chance that they can use the bombings to pull Britain out of Iraq. Especially since, as far as we know, the terrorists are using both Iraq AND Afghanistan as a crutch for their bombings (this could, of course, change as the terror investigation continues). And by tying them together that makes their anti-war position even harder to maintain.

-The muslim community in the UK and greater Europe is now going to increasingly come under fire. They operate under very different laws throughout Europe than they do in the US. Whatever Bill of Rights they have is vastly different from the one in the US. So, they're going to have to work with the British and European governments on the latter's terms, to solve the problems that a minority of their constituencies are giving them. It'll be a chance for them to stand up for their adoptive countries, or to find themselves shut out of that society, or removed from it.

-With the killing of the Egyptian ambassador to Iraq and the Israeli bombing coming within the same week as the London Bombings, even the Middle East will make the connections between all three. Obviously, it'll be at varying degrees, but attacks like these will only serve to make the Middle East, in it's Post-Iraqi election role that much more introspective.

- Lastly, George Galloway will finally shut the fuck up.