video games are hazardous to your health; ebola is not

We’re back!  After an unexplained 17 week absence.  We got a little turned around lately.  But we’re here again and ready to go.  Did you miss us?  No?  Oh.  We, ah, we thought folks missed us.  [cricket; cricket; cricket]

But you have to understand that even for the most jaded degenerate blog author, life has to take priority and can get out of hand.  We finally got divorced (there is a God) and I lost one of my dog buddies.  He will be missed, and is currently barking in Valhalla where he belongs.  Eh, it’s been a long few weeks.

So we’re here to write about what important topic to all humanity today?

– The World Cup (aka Uncle Vlad’s Guide to Effective Bribery of International Organizations 101)?

– The fact that immigration policies, procedures, and methods employed during the Obama administration are suddenly beyond the pale?

– The creation of Space Force (aka that thing that will never actually happen)?

– Chronic forthcoming global instability created by manic squirrels?

Wrong.

We’re here instead to briefly rant about the World Health Organization’s decision to state that playing video games is a classifiable addiction disorder.  Long term readers of this blog will be aware of two key facts:

1) I play a lot of video games.

2) I have a very low opinion of the WHO.

Granted, the WHO’s response to the recent ebola outbreak in Congo has been pretty good.  It seems they learned their lessons from the outbreak in West Africa a few years ago.  What could easily have turned into an even bigger nightmare if ebola had made its way down the river to Kinshasa (aka one of the biggest cities on Earth) seems to have been stopped in its tracks.  Good on them.

But then every once and a while the WHO reminds people how much money they burn on stupidity that could be spent vaccinating people against [insert anything here].  Hell, if video games are now an addictive disorder (as in the same category as nicotine) then we might as well classify drinking water as addictive.

Ever hear the term ‘everything in moderation’?  This is a pretty good term to live by.  Just about anything can be bad if you go at it too often.  You can even drink so much water that it kills you.  And your body is made up mostly of water.  But does that mean something is so powerful it can literally alter your body?

For example, I’m pretty sure if you play video games for a year your physical brain chemistry isn’t going to change.  If however, you decide to smoke crack for a year, I’m pretty sure you come out the back end of that year an entirely different person.

If you still don’t get where I’m going with this, just go ahead and put a crack addict and stand them next to even the most extreme South Korean player of StarCraft II.  I’m pretty sure you’ll see what I’m getting it.

Focus on ebola WHO, stop wasting my time.

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“Hey there kiddies.  Wanna get high?”

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Chasing the Chinese pink dragon

Great news everybody!  Chairman Xi’s new tome is out.  Entitled “The Governance of China II” it supposedly lays out all the answers you’ve been looking for in life, including:

1) How to interpret your place in a materialistic, existential world when your true calling is to become one with Xi Jinping Thought.

2) What happens to you when you assume your bleached skeleton status.

3) How Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics is the new Master Plan for Eternal Global One Man Rule.

4) Why The Walking Dead remains an active television show.

5) How thirteen year old Chinese girls who profess their love for K-Pop will be liquidated for crimes against the Party.

6) Why folks care about celebrities who they will never meet and who will never give them a single moment’s thought.

7) Obey.

8) Why royal weddings are a thing, even for people who are not British.  As a coworker said to us the other say, this is downright creepy.

And so on.

Please hold your applause at the awesomeness of all this.

xi clapping

[perfunctory clapping from crowd ensues, clapping continues incessantly until permission to stop clapping is given by a ringing bell]

But it’s all good, because estimates state that Xi has sold less than 100 copies of the hardcover version (the soul infused version is offered free) in Britain.  This means there are more people in Britain who are attempting to brew their own homemade Celtic barley wine in bathtubs than bought this book.

But don’t fret!  For a few weeks ago a big London shindig involved several hundred honored guests with the keynote address from Prince Andrew himself.  His Highness (not Highness) called Xi’s piece a “milestone”.  Oh my, what praise!

Now I’ve briefly met folks who have directly worked with Andrew and did not have a very high opinion of him to say the least.  So it could be that Andrew simply sold out.  Xi gave him straight cash to make a guest appearance at this event.  Kind of like how celebrities endorse deodorant.

But, let’s go ahead and give Andrew some credit and say that didn’t happen (cue laugh track).  What I think is happening is Andrew is either a complete idiot and actually likes Xi’s book (possible).  Or, he is sucking up to Xi in order to further Britain’s goal to get a post Brexit free trade deal with China.

Which brings us to the real point (cue laugh track) of this post.  Everybody is chasing the Chinese pink dragon.

For the uninitiated, the pink dragon is a reference to the use of narcotics in the 60’s.  As I was not alive then, I was first introduced to this concept by South Park where Stan literally chases a pink dragon in the video game Heroin Hero.

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Everybody wants in on that sweet, sweet Chinese heroin.  Oh, I mean gold, yeah, gold.  Not heroin.  Or fentanyl.  [cricket; cricket; cricket]  So what you’re seeing more and more in the modern world is people losing their minds over a market of 1B people essentially commanded by one man.  Folks drool over it.  So much freaking money.

This is why Britain rolled out the gilded carpet last year when Xi visited and the world’s second true liberal democracy was left to shame itself by placing the flags of a dictatorship outside it’s royal palace.  Thus Andrew is just continuing the theme.

One of the video games I play is Gwent, which is an online card game published by CD Projekt Red.  It’s based on The Witcher 3 which many folks (myself included) consider the greatest video game of all time.  Gwent (to abbreviate) is your standard warriors and spells kind of card game.

Anyways, Marcin Iwiński is the co-founder and CEO of CD Projekt.  When interviewed in a documentary for Noclip, what did Iwiński say his number one priority was for Gwent?   What was his goal?  Wait for it: He wants Gwent to be a success in China.

I literally had to rewind the interview to make sure I’d heard him right.  Man, to be blunt:

– There are no Asians, let alone Chinese, in Gwent or The Witcher

Andrzej Sapkowsk wrote The Witcher series with a background of Polish culture, this culture is relatable even to dumb Americans like me because it’s still a part of our shared Western culture

– China has it’s own unique and special culture which does not easily translate to the Western mindset, and when you really try it hurts your head, trust me

And yet, Iwiński seems to think Gwent can win in China?  Iwiński even went to live in China for six months so he could learn the language and generally live there and get the culture.  He’s now back in Poland, I think because his family rebelled.

Iwiński is just like Andrew though, he’s chasing that dragon.  Even if it doesn’t make sense.  Other folks have tried chasing the dragon too.  How has that worked out for Uber, academic apologists, Google, Hollywood, Facebook, and so on.  Not so good.

I’m not saying folks in the West can’t influence or pull gold from China, I’m just saying it’s really, really hard.  My take is that certain people in the West might be interested in Xi and China, but that Xi and China aren’t interested in them.  China’s on it’s own very carefully crated plan and agenda, like it or hate it.  And Xi and China don’t give a shit what anybody thinks about it.

Good luck to Andrew and Britain, but they’re not getting a post Brexit deal out of China.  Good luck to Iwiński, but I don’t see Gwent working in China.

You never catch the dragon.  Even Stan eventually figured this out, even after Randy Marsh is caught playing Heroin Hero too.  Stan: “You don’t ever catch the dragon, Dad!”

we let smarter people take over for a moment

We recently wrote against the concept of cultural appropriation.  I think I wrote that post in 18 seconds and it shows.  I stand by every word, but sometimes it’s better to let smarter (or at least better written) people take over for a moment.  And so over to the goons at The Economist who make the point far better than I:

PS: They also talk about the Met Gala which I foolishly just wrote about as well.  I didn’t know it at the time but the ticket costs $30,000?!  That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.  Humanity is doomed.

 

When respect for diversity is taken to crazy extremes

The idea of “cultural appropriation” is a silly, harmful concept. Bin it

Open Future

May 15th 2018

by I.K. | WASHINGTON, DC

EVERY year the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a gala. A single ticket costs $30,000. New York’s A-listers and wannabes deck themselves in overwrought garments designed for the party’s theme. Three years ago “China: Through the Looking Glass” inspired dresses with dragons, hair held in place with chopsticks and, from a few sartorially confused celebrities, kimonos.

The attire prompted an outcry over “cultural appropriation”—an elastic, ill-defined gripe. No such furore arose over the outfits at this year’s gala, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, even though they included a stilettoed and sequinned pope, Jesus Christ in a gold tiara, and a spectacularly winged angel. Why not?

It is not as though the concept of cultural appropriation has fallen out of use. Gonzaga University issued a firmly worded statement warning “non-Mexican individuals” against celebrating Cinco de Mayo; the campus multicultural centre published a minatory infographic ordering, “Don’t you dare try on that ‘sombrero’.” About a week earlier an 18-year-old white student in Utah received hundreds of hostile comments after she wore a Chinese-inspired dress to her school prom.

The accusation is great at stirring up Twitter outrage. But what is cultural appropriation?

There is no agreed definition. Generally speaking, it’s the idea that a “dominant culture” wearing or using things from a “minority culture”—say, white American college kids in Brazilian bombachas or baggy trousers—is inherently disrespectful because the objects are taken out of their native context.

It’s not a completely new idea. More than two centuries ago it was popular for upper-class British and French to have their portraits painted dressed as Turkish sultans, which the historian Edward Said called “orientalism”. More recently some black Americans griped when Elvis Presley filched classic rhythm-and-blues riffs and sold them back to white, mainstream society.

Yet today the idea has expanded to new extremes—and obstructs free expression. In American colleges and universities, a vocal minority of students are pushing for official policies banning the practice—by, for example, disciplining students who wear Halloween costumes deemed inappropriate.

The threat here is quite overt. Offence is inherently subjective; university bureaucrats should not punish one student simply because her clothes hurt the feelings of another. Beyond the threat of punishment lies the threat of social stigma—that students, fearful of being accused, will censor themselves or feel themselves censored.

Had the Met gala opted for an Islamic theme (say, “Arabian Nights: Magic and Islam”), accusations of appropriation would have surely followed. This year Jared Leto, an actor, dressed as Jesus; had he dressed as Muhammad, even if in a plain and historically accurate thobe and turban, he would provoke all manner of disgust and denunciation. One can conjure any number of nightmare scenarios for galas themed around Judaism, blackness or, say, Aztecs—none of whom remain alive to be offended—no matter how sartorially sensitive the dresses.

That is because cultural appropriation is less about cultural disrespect or intolerance—for which much clearer terminology already exists—than about reinforcing the oppressor-oppressed binary through which social-justice advocates see the world. Because Christians and whites are groups deemed to have power, all manner of borrowing or parody is intolerable. And the inverse gets a free pass: nobody is upset when Asians wear European clothes, for instance.

The remedy for the selective application of the cultural appropriation label is not its expansion—as this would sweep in all manner of innocuous social interactions—but its retirement. The phrase stigmatises the beneficial cultural exchanges that happen in art, music, dance, cooking and language. The very idea is self-defeating. To declare black culture off-limits to non-blacks, for example, is to segregate it.

The term also fundamentally misunderstands the process by which all cultures form and progress: through creolisation and intermixing. To appropriate the words of John Donne, no culture is an island entirely of itself.

science knows nothing; we know everything

Well as it turns out science says there is in fact no new tomb rooms where they buried that Tut guy.  But what does science know?  Ground penetrating radar?  Bah.

Over two years ago we predicted (among other things) that Tut’s new tomb rooms:

“Tut’s new tomb rooms don’t exist”

They could have saved all that radar money and given it to me.  Beer isn’t cheap.

We here at TAP have all the answers.  We know everything.  Science knows nothing.

Why do I repeatedly post about Ancient Egypt stuff throughout the years of this degenerate blog?  Eh, it’s kind of a childhood fad thing.  In another life I’d be an archeologist digging up history.

I’d be solving the mystery of why Pharaoh X murdered Pharaoh Y to get the amulet and retain immortality without the use of the pyramids alongside some insanely beautiful French colleague and our lovable but oafish Dutch translator.

Then a truck bearing a black flag rolls up and I pull my Webley revolver, ready to duel with ISIS.  But it ain’t ISIS, out from the tinted doors rolls Zahi Hawass wearing a pristine three piece suit, his trademark hat, and duel wielding a pair of Yugoslavian machine pistols.

He’s not out for blood.  He’s just there for his plug.  He screams at us, wide eyed:

Ahhh, now that’d be the life.

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Where be this lady’s corpse?

we take the time to learn about a topic on which we knew nothing

I like to consider myself a fairly well read dude.  But every once and a while I come across something insane, and yet I know nothing about it.

In this case it had to do with a big celebrity event.  This explains my ignorance.  Because I care not about celebrities or their lives.

But still, for whatever reason (I’m in idiot) I had to break this down in my mind.  Please bear with us as we discuss this most inconsequential of topics.

Every year a bunch of very, very rich people go to an annual fundraising event called the Met Gala.  It’s a charity (cue laugh track) event at the Met.  It supposedly benefits the Met’s Costume Institute, a subsection of the Met that does clothing exhibits.

According to the BBC, this event “is considered the highlight of New York’s social calendar”.  And they have themes, I guess.

This year’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which showcases how Catholicism has influenced fashion throughout history.”  Uh, okay.

So as best as I can figure, celebrities are probably 98% atheist.  But for whatever reason all these people are going to dress up in a religious style.  Sort of.

As an example, here is a picture of Rihanna dressed up like a pope.

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Here is a picture of Katy Perry with angel wings.

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Do you get it?  You see, the pope and angel inspiration are like religious things.  So that’s why they did that.

Here is Olivia Munn (who to me will only ever been known as Aaron Rogers destructive girlfriend) with supposed chain mail on her scalp.  As in, The Crusades.  DO YOU GET IT?

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Here’s Tommy “The Ventilator” Brady doing his best impression of being a Redanian mage from The Witcher 3.

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Here is a picture of Ordinary Average Gentleman Stan Winslow, he repairs cars for his neighbors and coaches his kid’s soccer team.

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So all these folks show up.  They get their picture taken.  Then they go in and eat, gossip, do the rich person socialite thing, and they move on.  Some amount of money goes to the Met to continue operations.  Rinse and repeat annually.

So based on my meticulous research, I have some conclusions and some recommendations to improve the event for next year.

CONCLUSIONS

a) It’s almost like the theme is irrelevant and a bunch of fashion folks just use it as an excuse to come up with wacky costume designs.  If the theme was say, whales, Katy Perry would have had a big whale fin on her back.  DO YOU GET IT?

b) The rich and powerful and celebrity are happy to absorb any excuse to dress up, get their picture taken, feel important, talk to people like them, and so on.  The most comical idea is this is somehow a charity event.  I doubt the Met is hard up for cash.

c) I mean, it’s not like all these people are going to say go with the Catholic theme and raise money for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York, a Catholic charity that helps New York City’s criminally destitute to eat, have a roof over their heads, etc, etc.

d) The fact that this event was international front page news is yet another mark that our culture is bound for the crypt and/or justification for an alien race to conquer us to save us from ourselves.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1) Return next year to the Catholic theme.

2) Demand accurate costumes to reflect the true history of Catholicism.

3) 100% of the proceeds go directly to Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York.

4) Cameras are not allowed.

5) The rich will be made to sit on wooden benches and eat sludge ala a Catholic monastery Circa 1284.

6) Monks will chant Bible verses focusing on the parts where that weird Dude helps the poor and describes how the meek will inherit everything.

7) Rihanna will dress in authentic full 8th Century papal garb, and be subjected to the full breadth of assassination attempts, Roman intrigue, obscure Holy Roman Empire politics, and baffling disagreements over minor esoteric spiritual interpretations.

8) Katy Perry will dress as a true avenging angel of the Lord God.  From her chain belt will hang on a meat hook the severed head of Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, former Overlord and Servant of Satan.

9) Olivia Munn will dress as a Knight of Jerusalem and be forced to engage in actual live battle axe fights with the current girlfriend of one Aaron Rogers for the honor of her knight’s house.

10) Tommy will dress as an alter boy.  His wife has to wear the most basic of black shirt and slacks priest garb.

11) The Clooneys have to sit barefoot outside the door and beg for money to buy an Indulgence as a forgiveness for their sin of being born.

12) Please, help me.  No really, please help me.  They made me do this post.  I didn’t want to.  Why on earth did I have to write this?  I don’t know why I did this.  I don’t know where they put the key.  I can’t get out of here.  I threw out all the phone books so they couldn’t keep using them.  And more just appeared the next day.  Where the HELL do you even get a phone book nowadays!

 

oh, no, it’s happening again :(

Why do we do this other stuff?  Why not.  If nothing else, football gives us a chance to relax from the deeper issues we post here at TAP.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to a third blog to post (one way or the other) about my opinions on the Internets outrage related to [insert anything here].

Either that, or jump over to our brother site.  Bask in the high quality website design.  Pay no attention whatsoever to the actual written content.  Either way.

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Unrelated photo of big huggable dummy bear.

it’s time to celebrate, unless you’re a broken egg

Great news everybody, celebration is in order.  For yesterday was the 200th birthday of one of history’s greatest thinkers.  But did Marx understand what his ideas would bring about?  That his philosophy would spawn history’s greatest monsters?

All throughout his writings Marx makes it pretty clear what he had in mind.  He certainly got the bloodbath, it just didn’t come with his expected results.  Because basically Marx (lauded as he is) didn’t understand the essentials of human nature.  One of which is: When you give one man, any one man unlimited power, regardless of motivation, the end stage is evil.

For all the people who are ready to shout ‘Nazi’ at Trump, it’s always astounded me that the same argument isn’t made on the Communist side.  As we’ve previously written, the death of Castro was a particular note.

I stand by every word of this:

Castro goes into my column as the consummate example of a guy who pours honey potion into your ear while he rams a stiletto dagger into your kidney.  The dude’s appeal to the bulk of humanity was all talk.  Castro talked a good game of social justice and equality.  Then he turned around and enriched his own personal elite and destroyed his country.  Depending on how you count, thousands or tens-of-thousands of Cubans were executed during his reign.  Tens-of-thousands more died at sea fleeing his utopia.  Also depending on how you count, perhaps 10-20% of Cubans left during the last five decades.  The equivalent number is if around 30 million Americans felt the country was so bad they moved to Canada, with the understanding that say two million would die during the journey.

The end result of Marx to me is not the idea of social justice or class struggle.  It’s the idea that humans can do just about anything to their fellow humans provided they use social justice as the justification of their cause.  That’s the great evil of Marx.  You can liquidate a few million fellow humans, but as long as your end goals were supposedly noble, folks will let you get away with it and apologize for your actions.  That’s an interesting construct, unless you’re one of the broken eggs.

Marx was a pretty smart guy with a lot of interesting ideas.  But, ultimately he didn’t understand the end game of his ideas.  You can have whatever motivation you want, but when all you do is place all power into the hands of the few, and then provide them with the false moral cover of utopian progress, there is no limit on how cruel and ultimately evil a person can get.  It’s why history’s two greatest serial killers are Stalin and Mao, and Hitler doesn’t even come close to their number of murders.

Marx wasn’t alive when all this happened.  So you can possibly give him a pass for what subsequently occurred.  He wasn’t around to potentially call bullshit to evil men who perverted his ideas and basically used them to do the same evil deeds as one would have seen from an 11th Century Khan.  But still, ideas are ideas and they have power.  Marx, and history, have to own up to what his ideas meant to the course of human history.  Not to blindly celebrate them without deep thought as to the terror they wrought.

This guy.

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