I do hope I haven't already ranted about this.
I think once Square Enix is done making endless games about a FFXIII character who isn't Zazz and whom therefore nobody likes, they should get onto making a suped-up minigame collection, for digital release over XBL and PSN (at the very least).
Think about it. From the 3D games alone, we have at least the snowboarding, the whole Golden Saucer thing, Tetra Master, the FFVIII card game, the Jecht Shot challenge, Chocobo Hot & Cold, Chocobo racing (the Golden Saucer one, and the FFX minigame) and BLITZBALL.
Honestly, I'm down for centering the game around Blitzball, here. An online Blitzball with competitive multiplayer, a career campaign, and the original exhibition mode from FFX. Now, here's the thing: you need characters. In FFX, you could recruit different characters to your team and then train them to be even more awesome then they already were. But as there's no main FFX RPG campaign to play through, that could be a problem. Well, that's where all of the gameplay comes in. You can unlock new and better characters by playing through the career mode, winning online, and unlocking achievements. You could even have it where you unlock characters through the other minigames I mentioned before. You play a card game, you unlock a Blitzball character. You play Blitzball, you unlock a card. That sort of deal.
You should be able to name your own teams. You have a location and the actual team name. Team names are different things from the previous games, items and enemies and such. Team locations are inhabited (and maybe a few uninhabited - you could actually probably unlock the more dangerous or rare places and creatures and whatnot to use in your naming, just like the team members) locations from previous games. You're not married to the name, either, so if you want to change to a better name down the line, you can feel free.
You could earn points at the Golden Saucer to exchange for prizes, as well. Special shots, new cards, higher levels in certain minigames, names and locations, characters, snowboards, etc. There would also need to be a way to find, breed, and raise Chocobos, of course. So however that has to be implemented, make it happen.
You could have new levels to old games. Like the Jecht Shot challenge from FFX which allowed you to earn the move early. Rather than just the one level, there could be several. It's a simple game to add more levels to, really. After so many, you unlock the Jecht Shot for use in Blitzball, and after all stages complete, you unlock Jecht himself.
In FFX, as I said, you recruited characters from around the world. But instead of a ton of barely-recognizable NPCs, we could keep some of the more known ones, the ones you start with or are likely to recruit early on, etc. All of the ones fans are most likely to remember. Then we drop the stats on some of the more powerful ones who still aren't really overly well-known, in order to make way for all the characters we'll be throwing in and giving great stats to. Lots of characters from each game in the series, like Dissidia should have done. Who doesn't want to see Auron versus Kefka, or an all-Cid match. Lots of ways to unlock them, too.
This, to me, would be an excellent way to celebrate the series. Far better than loads of sequels and remakes and rereleases. Let me reexperience some nostalgic memories, with more purpose behind them, plenty of unlockables, probably an online component, leaderboards, etc. Not that online and leaderboards necessarily make an old game better, but in the case of minigames and competitive sports and card games, they would at least make sense.
Let's make this happen, Squenix.
5 years agoamedeus
I do hope I haven't already ranted about this.
5 years agoamedeus
Back to leaving things to the imagination, though. At the end of the film, I don't think we should have Luke and Leia born. Amidala should still be alive, though pregnant. We don't need to show every single little detail. We know she has those kids, and then something presumably happens to her, the kids are separated, and Obi-Wan winds up looking after Luke. We know and accept this, we don't have to directly witness it. At the end of the Reboot Trilogy, Obi-Wan leaves to probably struggle against the Empire for awhile before hiding on Tatooine to safeguard what he views as the galaxy's true "only hope".
So it's never seen in the Reboot Trilogy that Amidala has twins. In fact, I don't even want to use the name "Skywalker" through the entire thing. The purpose being that this safeguards new generations from spoiling the twist in Episode V. They can watch everything starting at Episode I and have Vader being his father truly come as a surprise. Although, I forget exactly what Kenobi tells him in Episode IV, so that might not actually be doable anyways. It would also mean that we can't end III on the helmet coming down onto Anakin's head. And then him not getting up and shouting "NOOOOOOO!" because that would be stupid. Also, no Death Star being built, because that's also stupid.
Also, no Boba or Jango Fett. No Chewbacca. No prophecy about Anakin or Luke or whoever bringing balance to the Force. No premonition about Anakin destroying them or whatever. No R2-D2, and no C-3PO. We don't need all of these. What we need are new and interesting characters and creatures, without so many
slylittle nods to the Original Trilogy unless they're meaningful. Throwing in C-3PO solely to make bad puns is a terrible reason to showhorn him in. It doesn't work, and it doesn't belong.
Darth Maul can stay, though, because he's awesome. He's got a little Boba mysteriousness about him. When I was a kid, I thought he was the "Phantom Menace". Which, y'know, awesome. He's a phantom? Sweet! But think about if that was sort of true. Like, not an actual phantom, but if he had this habit of just turning up and causing havoc and then seemingly disappearing. Phantom-esque. Make him an actual menace. Menacing. He never speaks, he just shows up and bad shit happens. Rather than him just popping up for like twenty seconds on Tatooine and then never again until the final confrontation, we now have a very dangerous villain who needs to be stopped.
I don't know how to do the Clone Wars. They need to be there, or at least mostly occur between movies like they did in the Prequels. But man, they definitely need to be handled differently. Because all that set-up and clone shit over the course of Episode II sucked. And all of the clones being clones of Jango Fett was the dumbest damn thing. I still don't even understand the plot surrounding them. But, I mean, Lucas is really kind of a terrible writer.
Let's be honest, the Original Trilogy was only great because of all of the other writers and filmmakers who worked on the movies and made them great despite George's efforts. The Prequel Trilogy came out like ass because George was surrounded yes-men and fanboys who didn't want to disturb Lucas's "vision". What the Reboot Trilogy needs is a series of writers and filmmakers working together and against each other. Bickering and compromising and using their experience to form a series worth watching, and not one man's CGI marketing cash-in.
These are my thoughts. I'm sure there's quite a bit missing from this. Plus, there's a lot that I didn't come up with in the first place. Obviously a great deal of plot, location, events, characters, etc. are all nonexistant. But as long as we have that hope that Disney will let it happen someday, maybe the Star Wars film canon can be redeemed and the Prequels overwritten.
5 years agoamedeus
Anakin and Obi-Wan's friendship resembles a brotherhood more than in the Prequels. Rather than Obi-Wan nannying the young and reckless Anakin, they are both kind of reckless. They form a bit of comic relief in the opposite form of C-3PO and R2-D2, where the droids were obvious opposites, Obi-Wan and Anakin are humorously similar. Think of it like a typical buddy cop flick (the droids) vs. the buddy cop dynamic present in Double K (Anakin and Obi-Wan). Where in Prequel Ep. II, Obi-Wan drove a flying vehicle and Anakin dove out, in Reboot Ep. II, they would both jump out simultaneously, without either realizing the other had done so. Then they probably each grab onto a droid some other flying thing and swing around and crash into each other, realizing their mirror tactics before also realizing nobody is now flying the vehicle.
Anakin begins his fall to the Dark Side in Ep. II and finishes it long before the end of Ep. III. Rather than the conclusion of Ep. III being Obi-Wan's "oh no you're evil let's fight", his realization comes far beforehand. Anakin takes off and Obi-Wan follows him and discovers his turn of coat. Enraged, he fights him then and there, and nearly dies in the process. Anakin doesn't want to fight Obi-Wan (thought he still does), because he doesn't yet see him as an enemy. Anakin doesn't really seem to understand his fall until it's too late, because such is the way of the Dark Side. But it all comes back to emotions.
Anakin's entire fall is due to his inability to keep his shit in check. Obi-Wan has a stronger grip on his own emotions, and so remains firmly on the Light Side. Obi-Wan's really more in the middle, emotionally. Qui-Gon had them almost fully in check, and Anakin, while slowly gaining control of them, still had a somewhat loose grip. Obi-Wan's about dead center of these two.
After losing to Anakin and getting away, Obi-Wan does some soul-searching. He takes a good, hard look at Anakin and sees what he needs to train himself to not become. He sees the danger of unchecked rage or fear or even confusion and seeks to control himself. Obi-Wan meets with the Jedi Council and is, well, counseled on his path. He leaves for a wooded planet (perhaps Dagobah) to meditate and control his fury at Anakin - until he senses a great disturbance in the Force.
He returns to find that almost everyone is dead. Killed; ovepowered by a force led by Anakin. We understand the true danger of the Empire. They use powerful weapons and large numbers to overcome their foes. Obi-Wan seeks Anakin out.
Their rematch goes much differently. Obi-Wan arrives, not furious, but actually wearing a warm smile. He understands. He forgives Anakin, as it's not Anakin's fault. The Dark Side has a powerful pull, and Anakin had not the training needed to resist it. Obi-Wan admits his hastiness in taking on an apprentice following his own inadequate training. But as he cannot change the past, all he can do is try to put things right. He reaches out to Anakin, who only becomes more confused, and enraged as a result. But his unchecked emotions are his downfall (well, y'know, almost). Obi-Wan calmly overpowers him. Anakin's unbridled rage is nothing against Obi-Wan's cool, calculating demeanor. He's able to block Anakin's wild attacks and land some of his own, more precise ones. We see in this film the evolution of Obi-Wan, more than Anakin. Anakin's still got a ways to go before becoming the Vader we fear in the Original Trilogy. But Obi-Wan is beginning to resemble the wise, old Obi-Wan of Episode IV. His transformation is certainly not complete by the end of the movie, but we can fill in the blanks - something I think we can do more of at the end of the trilogy.
Anakin loses. His burns are not lava, but some sort of plasma burn. When Obi-Wan cuts off his leg and arm, Anakin falls with his head in whatever energy beam is flowing through whatever inner section of whatever location they're in. Obi-Wan does not kill him, because he senses that there is still hope for Anakin. Some part of him that yearns to be salvaged from the Dark Side, buried deep away. Obi-Wan believes this is enough to bring back the real Anakin, his friend. And really, he's right - Anakin is redeemed at the end of Episode VI. He just underestimated his own ability to bring him back, and how long it would be before anyone did.
5 years agoamedeus
I've been watching the Rifftrax Star Wars commentaries. By which I mean, I watched the one for Episode I so far. I've been thinking a lot about how they could be rebooted (just the prequels, not the whole series), and how much could be salvaged.
To make this less confusing and wordy, I'll refer to the original Eps. 1-3 as the Prequel Trilogy, and my Eps. 1-3 as the Reboot Trilogy.
Some things can stay, some need to go. The whole trade dispute is garbage, but does not need to be removed entirely. I think it can stay as a peripheral event. Where it's never really explained or bothered with upfront. We just know it's going on out there. Reason being, nobody cares. It can be the thing which sets the events of the movie into motion but, like a Family Guy plot, turn out to be unimportant early on as the real dilemma appears.
We need better aliens and better acting. There can still be a podrace, but with a longer track with more variety, and only one lap. The track itself should be the obstacle here, and not Sebulba. I don't want to see the Gungan city. I don't even really want to see much of the Gungans. I definitely don't want them to be CGI. CGI needs to be cut back majorly in general. Battle Droids can stay, except not in their current form. Battle Droids need to be far more dangerous, so there's tension. They basically need to be like Terminators. They should look more dangerous, rather than doofy. Everything in Episode I is either silly, bland, or confusing, with the Battle Droids falling under the first one. It makes it really difficult to engage the viewer. There needs to be threat from them. We can still show a few getting torn through with lightsabers, but it should be a difficult task to get to and defeat them. And we certainly can't have Qui-Gon just knock a few over with the Force.
In the first movie, the king is still alive. Amidala is still a princess, and she's younger - closer to Anakin's age. Hang onto that thought.
Over the course of the Reboot Trilogy, we need to better show the evolution of Anakin and Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon Jin can remain similar to his current iteration, and still speak as flatly as everyone else did in the Prequel Trilogy. The theme here is emotion. Qui-Gon has his mostly under control. He still shows great sadness when something horrible occurs, but does not allow it to cloud his judgement. He is strong, wise, and observant, and he follows the Code of the Jedi or whatever it is to the letter. He is calculated, and resembles a sort of law-abiding white knight.
Then you have Obi-Wan. He hasn't finished his training. While he's intelligent and clever and knows the ways of the Force, he has yet to fully control his emotions and is often reckless and somewhat brash. As an example, Qui-Gon would see a burning building, stop, try to sense anyone inside, then sense a way through, and try and plan things before heading in - if he does indeed need to head in at all. Obi-Wan would see the burning building and charge in, attempting to sense survivors as he goes, and using the Force to guide him or move things out of the way, sort of Indiana Jonesing it rather than coming up with a solid plan.
On the next level down, we have Anakin. Now, Obi-Wan doesn't really get his behavior and emotions completely under control by the time he's sort of pushed into becoming a full-fledged Jedi due to Qui-Gon's death, and he was already older than Anakin is by the time he turns, and his Master was almost an embodiment of the Jedi ways. Anakin's Master, Obi-Wan, is not that embodiment, and of course Anakin does not receive even as much training as Obi-Wan got. So Anakin does an even worse job controlling his emotions, while picking up Obi-Wan's reckless ways.
In the first film of the Reboots, Anakin is still a boy. He shows many emotions (in contrast to Anakin and, well, basically everyone who isn't CGI in the Prequels), and often acts as the comic relief (replacing Jar Jar) in the film, being young and naive and not knowing anything about the Jedi or galaxy at large. In the second film, he does have it under more control. Again, they're less in check than Obi-Wan's, but you can see there's been a transformation.
In Reboot Ep. I, Anakin and Amidala become friends, but are split apart by their respective duties. Qui-Gon dies and Anakin is taken off to be trained as a Jedi, while Amidala's father dies, and Amidala is whisked away for a crash course on how to be a queen. They both enter serious roles which effectively end their childhood, and prevent them from seeing each other for many years (as opposed to Anakin and Obi-Wan just hanging around her for the next decade, for some reason). When they are reunited in Ep. II, it's due to major plot reasons, and they are then seeing each other for the first time in years. Now they see each other in a new light, having grown some. While both have become somewhat more serious over time as a result of their trades, neither is quite as under control as those around them might think.
6 years agoamedeus
As part of my journal archive run, I have been doing "Red Edits" where I add some commentary to the bottom of a journal in red text, with a date attached so the nobody who will ever read them know there's a gap in thought processes, there.
Sometime between my starting this and now, my friend Kevin let me borrow The Heroin Diaries, by Nikki Sixx. It's a hell of a read. I just made it through June this morning. And it amuses me that they're presented in the same way as these journals now are - black original text, with red commentary underneath. The difference is that in The Heroin Diaries, multiple people are doing the commentary. My journals aren't interesting enough to recruit others along, and then they get really long later on, and span around seven or eight years - whereas his are short, fascinating, and only cover a year of his life, from Christmas '86 to Christmas '87. Also they contain a lot less semi-racism and uses of the word "gay".
Please accept my apology for everything in these archives :I
One thing that's really uncomfortable, however, is Deana Richards - Nikki's mother. It sickens me every time I read her words, because I understand what I'm reading so well. Better than I think many people might. Because this woman is every bit my own mother, from the way she writes, to the way she carries herself, to her vies for sympathy, to her lies, to the way she sees events differently than anyone else, to the way she blames everyone else for turning Nikki against her, when she managed that all on her own.
The only difference is that my dad never bailed on me, and it was him and my stepmom that I spent my Summers with and eventually moved in with for good.
If I told you even half the shit my mother has pulled so far, just this year, you'd want to slap her, yourself. The woman is a mess, and no attempt to aid her will ever work out. She tries to play the victim card in all circumstances, but she's her own worst enemy. If she is a victim, it is only because she has made herself one.
Earlier in the year, she, among other things, wrote me out of her life. After asking me to get a life insurance policy on her because she was convinced her mother was trying to do the same, I refused. She said okay, we'll talk about this more later. The next day I received a text from her, telling me that she's hiring a lawyer to have her name legally removed from anything which lists her as my mother, and that she was going to make it so that I can't get a life insurance policy on her, as her "last big fuck you" to me (and my grandmother, who she also intended to block from her policy).
As punishment for my refusal to take out a life insurance policy on her, she set out to make it so I couldn't take out a life insurance policy on her. This is the level of instability and paranoia that is being forced into my life.
After that, she told me not to message her back and to never speak to her again, because she was done with me. It was probably about a month later before she tried to re-add me on Facebook, and then a little while longer before the messages started pouring in. Not apologies. Not, "I'm going to get help for my psychoses." But updates on her life that I'm no longer interested in, and messages beginning in ways such as, "Accept my friend request, retard."
She still doesn't seem to think that the reason I'm done with her could be anything more than her using my towel as a bathmat at her parents' house months ago. Which in itself only kind of annoyed me, and it wasn't until I asked her if she had and she replied by yelling at me like I had personally attacked her, that I actually became pissed off. And even that is just the tip of the mental clusterfuck iceberg that is my mom.
In the end, she wanted to know why I hated her so much and wouldn't speak with her, and I finally caved and replied. I told her it was because of her instability, her paranoia, her lies, her acts, the way she only thinks about herself, and she replied by telling me that I shouldn't assume things, that I've never taken a psychology class, and that I was being abusive, all shuffled in with thinly-veiled insults and patronization. Which shows how much she projects everything bad about herself onto me. I want to note that I took psychology classes in both high school AND community college. Hell, she even told me in the towel argument that Grandpa and Grammy, who love me dearly and who haven't seen or spoken to her in years, hate me. They hate her. She insults me with things that fit her infinitely better.
And in the end, her true colors show. She wants to clear her conscience, not speak to me. She wants to feel better about having been a terrible mother all those years. I wonder if she knows HOW she was a bad mother. Does she remember often smacking me in the back repeatedly as I laid face-down crying on my bed, all because I walked into the next aisle over at the supermarket? Does she remember sleeping so much that she never even noticed that I had run away? Does she remember telling me to be quiet until the cops went away because she never made sure I went to school, or dragging me to stay over at strange men's apartments, or always fighting with her boyfriends in front of me? Doubtful. And she hasn't changed. She wants to apologize and then everything's better, but she's the same terrible person she's always been, and she's never going to admit it or realize it or change it.
She told me in her last message that she forgives herself and is moving on, which is all she really wanted. She doesn't care what happens to anyone else, as long as she says she cares and can live with herself afterwards. The woman is garbage, and I can't be expected to deal with her shit my whole life because of society's false notion that mothers are infallible. The fact that I was awarded to my mother in the divorce only shows how broken the system is.
And if I ever meet Nikki Sixx, I am going to give him such a big hug you have no idea.
6 years agoamedeus
Jon Jafari left Game Grumps. Allegedly. Nobody's quite sure yet if maybe it's some huge prank they're playing on us for the show's upcoming one-year anniversary. This has left myself and many others with some seriously mixed feelings.
Jon says his entire reason for leaving is because he wants to focus more on the JonTron show instead of playing video games with his best friend and making fat stacks of cash. Which I could respect if JonTron was a super-unique incredible show that was brimming with artistic merit. In the end, when you boil it down, it's a video game review show. It's funny. It's good. It's worth watching, and I enjoy it. But it's still just a video game review show. It's not like it's got a shit-ton more artistic integrity than his LP show. Barring all of that, it just seems odd that with their one-day-a-week recording schedule and with Barry editing, Jon somehow just couldn't find the time to slap together a JonTron episode here and there.
The biggest issue, however, is that Jon just took off. There was no big finale, no big goodbye, no discussing with the fans and helping us understand, no prepping us in any manner, or trying to calm us down afterwards. Jon was just gone, and then an hour or two later, an episode went up with some other guy doing Game Grumps with Arin in place of Jon as though nothing had ever happened.
You can understand how some people would be kind of pissed. Or confused, or depressed, or just flat-out done with the show. Some people took it out on Danny, the new Not-So-Grump co-host. In Danny's defense, he is actually pretty funny, and he's not a bad choice. He doesn't carry the same energy as Jon, but I could see myself watching the show. However, when I watch now, it's really surreal. Because it just sounds like your average LP duo, rather than Game Grumps. And that's how I view it now - standard above-average LP fare. But then I hear Arin's voice, and my brain can't really process that. It gets all tied up and shuts down non-critical systems for the remainder of the episode.
The new intro, however, is awful. When we heard the original, most of us viewers fell in love with it. After nearly a year, it has yet to get old. The new one with Danny's weird growl is just a fucking mistake and desperately needs to be changed. On the other hand, the Steam Train theme is wonderful! It's a little longer, and I can see that getting annoying in playlist viewings, but right now, the "choot-choot!" makes me smile. Of course, the actual Steam Train show is kind of... not as interesting.
One question that arises is when Jon actually took off. He was someplace else in the farewell video, making it seem like he didn't have time to stay and do one, needing rather to leave ASAP. In that context, it seems highly unlikely that he left to pursue his dream of releasing a new JonTron episode every month. But this also had to have been long enough before that Arin and Danny had time to record their own episodes. Which of course begs the question as to why nothing was said until the day after what would become Jon's final episode.
This would lead to the idea that it's all a setup for some big punchline. That setting up this setup was what caused them to spend so long at one video released per day. On the other hand, not giving us any information before or after, and then just playing it off like nothing happened seems actually perfectly in line with the Grumps' habits. Historically, I'd say they're very bad at communicating with their fans. It was over half a year of people sending them free shit before they finally released a list of games that they already had - probably because every video of a sent-in game had like six names they had to read off and thank at the beginning, anymore. They also finally released alongside that some guidelines, such as the fact that they don't send games back. This kind of pissed me off, personally, because I had sent them The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy beforehand and asked for it back signed when they were done, because that was totally a thing that a bunch of people were doing at the time. But now they've retroactively given me a preemptive no.
This habitual lack of communication really sends a bad message to the fans. Namely that the Grumps don't really care about them. And now Jon's sudden and bizarre departure has caused such an uproar that /r/gamegrumps had to go into lockdown and relegate everything to mod-made threads.
One of the guys at Split Reason, the people who make and sell the Grumps' shirts, claims that Jon really left because he wanted to move in with his girlfriend in New York. Now, I have no idea if there's even an ounce of truth to that statement. But if there is, then that woman had better have a very good reason for him moving clear to the opposite coast for her. I mean like hospital good reason. If she just wanted to be with him but didn't feel like moving, herself, then fuck her. Hell, if she couldn't move because she had a pretty good mediocre job, then also fuck her. Because her moving only affects her, but Jon moving affects Jon, Arin, and 1,000,000+ subscribers who watch the show. I've read the comments, and tons of these people rely on that show just to keep them going. I've read people's stories about how Game Grumps prevented suicides and helped them through depressions and kept couples feeling close despite prolonged distance from each other. And all I'm saying is there BEST be a DAMN good excuse for throwing a wrench into 100% of that mess.
I'm holding out hope that it's all a joke, but at this point, I think a large portion of the fanbase is still going to be livid, even if it is. I'm going to keep on watching Game Grumps even if this is really and truly how things shall be from now on, but I shall do so with my enthusiasm effectively halved. I can watch it with the same intensity as any other LP, but not with the fanboyish glee that Jon and Arin's comedic chemistry brought me on a daily basis.
6 years agoamedeus
I don't want to kill these journals, but it has occurred to me that I've said some really stupid shit in them from time to time. Most of it is just self-indulgent ranting about the boring junk I did that day, but every so often there's that one post or sentence that nobody should ever read, ever.
So I'm going to go back through and do some minor edits. For the most part, I'll be leaving everything be, but some things just can't be there in case I gain even a remote level of fame, someday, and somebody looks me up. There are 199 pages of these things, at eight journals per page. And I write like a semi truck of words in most of them.
Making it worse, I've only suffered through the first two so far, and I already want to burn the entire pile and never look back. The jury's still out on whether I can even make it through this.
7/30/13 EDIT: AND I'M BACK. WHAT A LONG, LONG, WINDING ROAD IT'S BEEN. -mgmt
6 years agoamedeus
I don't understand how so many can be so in favor of the death penalty. I can't think of any excuse that logically justifies it.
The death penalty is a punishment. Punishments are lessons to teach people that certain things are wrong. That certain things have consequences. That certain things are not acceptable in society. Death is not a lesson, it is finality. What lesson could a person learn after they are too dead to think, rationalize, and comprehend? Death is revenge. Petty revenge. It is not there to teach, it is not there to erase the crime, it is not even there as a warning to others who may commit the same crime. Crime dates far back to and beyond ages when the punishments were much more severe. Times when people were hanged, drawn and quartered.
For those who don't know, here's Wikipedia's intro to the act of hanging, drawing, and quartering: "Convicts were fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where they were hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disemboweled, beheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces). Their remains were often displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge." When this wasn't enough to ward off high-level crimes, what justification could one have that an injection behind closed doors would have a better effect?
I hear those who say that it is to keep them off the street, but a life sentence would suffice. I hear those who say that it is to save money, but it is fairly well shown that in the long run, it's actually more expensive to sentence a prisoner to death than to keep them for life. I find it terrifying, then, when a person suggested in reply to such a revelation that we should then do away with the lengthy and costly appeals process. In so many words telling me that if it's more of a burden to kill someone than to keep them alive, then maybe we should make it easier to kill them. This is now shifting the legal system to make killing the most viable strategy, which shows that the driving force is not, in fact, money, but rather the desire to kill. Doubly awful in that the way they propose to do so would be to give less chance for someone to prove their innocence if the first case's verdict is mistaken (and there are plenty of times when it is), making it even easier to kill people because now we don't have to take the time to second-guess whether it's appropriate in this case.
It's revenge, often out of anger. A man is angry at another man, and so he kills him. In turn, someone else, angry at that first man, has the man sentenced to death. What is the difference? The only difference is that the third man is not personally pulling the trigger (which does make it easier for them, I am sure), and that they are backed by the legal system. The same legal system which people claim to be wrong for using their money on criminals and for their long appeals process for those on death row.
The legal system is not absolute, I'm afraid, and legality and morals are two completely separate ideas - both man-made. Law is not black and white, which is why there is no set sentence for most crimes. Context is always important. Reason is always important. This is the reason an officer can give a warning for something which may warrant a ticket or an overnight in a cell. This is why laws can change. This is why laws are argued over in Congress, why new ones are added and old ones stripped away. You want to know why the legal system is not an absolute in all things? Take stock of yourself. How many of you out there have never committed a crime? In several states, it is illegal to have sex in a position other than missionary. How many of you have never had sex that wasn't missionary, or never downloaded something without paying for it, or never gone even 1/2 of a mile per hour over a posted speed limit? How many of you have lived 100% within every last bound of the law for your entire life? It is not absolute. The world cannot be classified as black and white. It is grey. It is blue. It is green, it is orange, and it is pink. Such a fluid thing can be morally wrong, and that includes backing a man who, in his fury, calls for the life of another man to be removed.
It's not a lesson, it's not for money (which makes us sound like contract killers, when you think about it), and it's not for morals. It doesn't fix the crime committed, and it doesn't stop the crime being committed - any less than a life sentence, for the person sentenced, and at all for those still out there who may perform similar acts. In our age, with our knowledge, and our technologies, we have the power to fix the human mind. To right that which is tilted and skewed. We can help these criminals. We can fix the things in their brain that caused them to believe that murder or rape was the only route available. I'm told that we should not waste our money on such things, because they are criminals and do not deserve to be well. But that's a blanket statement that blocks out all context. These people may have a disorder. They may have been well once, but an event led them astray. They all deserve the chance at wellness. Can you truly blame a cornered man for lashing out? We can solve this, we can fix this. And nobody needs to die.
I am firmly of the belief that nobody ever deserves to die. Nobody. That it happens naturally is the worst tragedy I can imagine, but that it happens unnaturally is a stark second.
6 years agoamedeus
HEY so I made a boo-boo. I didn't bring up the most importantest thing of all.
In January we were heading towards the newer of Columbia's Susquehanna bridges from York and I suddenly saw a big green orb of light in the sky above and in front of us. It was far up enough that nobody else in the car saw it, of course, because this is the type of thing that's obviously not important to have any corroborating stories of. It moved to the right over the road and away across the sky, then disappeared as suddenly as it appeared.
Of course my brain lit the hell up, trying to figure out what it was. Pushed aliens to the side until all other possibilities were cleared. It couldn't be a plane, as it was too low. It couldn't be a helicopter, as it was too fast. To be honest, when I first saw it I initially thought... maybe a missile? I mean, I dunno, maybe they burn green in the back.
Anyways, long story short, the only reasonable explanation is that it was a meteor. A really sweet low meteor, burning green. FUCKIN'. RIGHTEOUS.
So then a couple days later we're actually crossing the aforementioned bridge, still in the aforementioned direction, and I see another meteor. This one's the more typical distance and color - a proper "shooting star". Only it flies waaay further across the sky than I typically see. This thing shot far off to the right before blinking out.
Nobody else saw that one, either.
Then we went hunting for meteors and of course saw no others. But we did see a fantastic sky. Taking backroads on a gorgeous and clear night, hell yeah we did. After we all finally bring our heads back in the car and wind our windows up, we moments later pass "Stellar Dr.", then immediately after that a house with the number "666", and then immediately following that, "Quasar Dr."
So that's the Universe for you.
6 years agoamedeus
Went to Shank's Tavern tonight with Papaw. Walked in the door and an older guy standing near the bar announced, "Woah, we got ZZ Top comin' in here!" Turns out, this is Bob Shank, the owner and an old friend of Papaw's from he first moved here. Bob told me the story of the place, when his I think grandfather bought it 80ish years ago. Then his parents split up, leaving his mom ("Miss" Kitty, after the Gunsmoke character) with the bar. So when he got out of the Navy, he helped her run it, and he's been there ever since. Papaw showed up to convert some old government place into the Armstrong plant many decades ago, and the rest is history. According to Papaw, though, the first woman he ever met in PA was Miss Kitty.
I told him my story as well, that I come up every so often to help around the house and whatnot, that I'm the grandson and all.
Bob Shank offered to buy Papaw a Coke and me a beer. I asked for a recommendation on something dark, and he said Stone Smoked Porter, which was absolutely delicious. I didn't realize until I got home and looked it up, but it's the same stuff I got at Ray's last time I visited. I told Ray, and he loved the part about Bob Shank, and then 100% respected him when he heard he carries Stone Smoked Porter, and then damn near fell in love with the man when I told him he had it on tap.
Grabbed a ham and turkey club, and the guy next to me was all, "Oh yeah! Club sandwich, man!" The dude was all enthusiastic about club sandwiches, and what can I say? They're pretty awesome. And this was a pretty good one, too. Went well with the beer.
Better yet though, it came with Martin's Kettle-Cooked chips, my dad's favorite. He comes up to the Pennsylvania specifically to get them. At least, he used to. We have a Wegman's (and a goddamn IMAX, even) practically right across the street now, so maybe they carry them. I mean, it's Wegman's. They almost have to.
The band played an almost perfect rendition of "Stuck In The Middle With You" down to the voice. It blew my mind. Then they played a nigh-unrecognizable version of "Lonely Boy" right after. Blew my mind, too. Wasn't bad, just completely different. Then they played "Tainted Love" better - I think - than the original.
Actually, the whole reason we were there was to see if a certain guy was playing. I bought this David Bowie poster at the Big M flea market in October, and he said his friend (who I referred to as "Alice Cooper" which the guy loved because he calls him that too, as it turns out) plays at Shank's every other Thursday. Either we were early, or it wasn't this one.
Meanwhile, Bob Shank is going around talking to everyone. He's about the friendliest tavern owner I've yet to meet. He loves his people.
I had Papaw get me a Shank's Tavern pint glass on the promise that I'd pay him back the moment we got home - and I did, and he refused it. I tried to refuse it back, since I know he'll wind up spending it on me eventually anyways. But that's a refusal match you're just not going to win. Trust me on this one.
So we headed out, and I've only just opened the door and a black cat walks past me. Now as far as I'm concerned, that's good luck - after all there's now a cat near me! See? It's paying off already! I gave the cat some rubs before putting my jacket on, as cats are more important than staying warm. If your lucky, you can get a pile of cats and those can keep you warm! I bid farewell to the kitty and we were off into the night.
Excellent place, I recommend it.
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