Archive | December, 2020

End of the Year Wrap up Blog!

17 Dec

It has been a trying year for everyone, but after much deliberation, I started my blog back up and I’m so glad that I found a community that reads my content and gives me the time of day. Unlike journalists who go to school and they pretend to “know the facts” I go by the idea that “I’m just expressing myself, and anything that happens, I’m not a Oracle, and if it happens, huzzah, but otherwise, expression is the key.” Right now everyone is experiencing a tyrannical disposition in America facing freedom of expression being taken away. It’s independent content creators that make the world more interesting and viable to creativity and freedom of speech. I follow many creators who are bombastic, intelligent, and otherwise bat shit insane, and we need all of this in order to have freedom of expression. Most of the time, I do not chase many Internet stories, but I do cover things that are relevant to me and the value of expression that I can give. Reviewing games this year has been interesting and using my talents to help spread the word about games, books, and movies that are relevant or need to be noted for my blog. I covered Joker (2019) and it was the most amazing film to come across cinemas for the last five years, and that’s where it started.

I am not going to write anymore essays for the rest of the month, being that most of the essays I covered are going to be published sometime next year, as a book of essay and criticisms. Anthony Burgess was an novelist but he was also a critic, and I think about how he would have handled so many cultural events that took place in America and beyond. People like Christopher Hitchens covered politics, but I cover that from time to time, not that much.

I was so excited to cover so many games this year, and it proved fruitful as this blog remains an independent review, not based on a committee. Some would think I’m criticizing Naughty Dogg too much, but if I do, it’s only out of humor, and sometimes, humor hurts more than the truth, and are intertwined.

I can say that there are going to be a few things I am going to cover: politics, reviewing Berserk from beginning to end chapters, a Nintendo Switch review of Doom Eternal (possibly, not for certain), and a thorough in depth review of Cyberpunk 2077 with the campaign of all three life choices, not just one. Also, I am aware of the bugs and the glitches, as I am aware of. I will criticize in detail what should be criticize and praise it where it can be. Also, it will give me time to wait for an XBOX series X, so that I can see it in all it’s glory. I only have an XBOX One S, and it does pass the grade, for now, but I am more a story focused person, so story will always be first and foremost in a game review.

Also the essays have helped provide more avenues to my books. So please keep buying my books, because that’s how I make my living. Along the book front, there are going to be two, or three, works coming out next year that I’m excited to publish. One is a fantasy work that I just finished editing this year. It’s about a young prince who has to destroy his father, a dark lord, who might not turn out to be so dark. It was my way of adding moral complexity into a fantasy story that isn’t like Game of Thrones, or all pure and pristine like Lord of the Rings.

It’s a fantasy story that means a lot to me. Another will be a story about two brothers, one who follows a healthy career path, of being a writer, while the other joins Anti-Fa. It details how one is successful and the other is learning that groups, like Anti-Fa, come with a price to pay as well. That will be included with the final publication of the collection of essays detailing over two years of essays about writing, movies, games, or anything of that nature. So, be on the look out for three books from me next year in 2021.

If you can’t buy the books or subscribe for a monthly access, please share it around with anyone you know, get the word out. Working on a donation function so that it you don’t want to buy any of the books or writing, you can donate either bitcoin or PayPal. If you want to send me anything, it’s appreciated, but remember to share the video if you can’t do that.

Thank you all so much, and stay safe.

Louis Bruno

“LtB”

Just Cause 4: “Not too late or too early” Review

13 Dec

2020 has produced a slew of fantastic games, like Doom Eternal, Last of Us Part II, and Cyberpunk 2077 (with reservations for console owners on the original PS4 and XBOX One owners–just wait and upgrade to an XBOX Series S/X system) in 2020, the aforementioned come across my periphery, as timeless as they can be, but Just Cause 4, was another game that seemed to travel under the radar in 2018 with little fanfare. Just Cause 4, is not a game I would call a classic, but it seems to be the Latin version of Nathan Drake, as both Drake and Rico, are both psychopaths who face incredible situations and they deal with it like every video game character. Blowing it up or solving elaborate puzzles to calm the righteous testosterone in there bloodstream. 

EA Studios and Avalanche studios produced Just Cause 4 (2018), which is interesting given that mixed reviews is all that are found for Just Cause 4 and 3 (2015). What is interesting is that Just Cause carries itself with lore and a story that seems to be surrounded by male macho calm swarthy attitude and a practical nature that only a swarthier man than myself could handle. He even gets a wing suit, which can allow him to fly around Solis like he’s Iron Man. (Psst…Nobody liked Anthem!).

The thing is that this shares a lot in common with Naughty Dogg’s Uncharted Series, as both protagonists seem off rather cool, and unaffected by murdering bad guys and destroying there bases in the process. Although Rico Rodriguez must find the murderer responsible for the death of his father, and achieve it in the best way possible. Blowing shit up in the process, and parachuting whenever he can, to deliver his bullets into the baddies faces. 

What is one positive about this game, and Naughty Dogg, pay attention to this, Just Cause 4 never seems to take itself too seriously. Unlike Neil Druckman. What Just Cause 4 does is let you blow shit up in the most over the top way you can imagine. Using rocket launchers, automatic shotguns, grenade launchers, and being ironically Latino at every single statement another character makes. With dialogue on one repetitive mission of hacking a base follows: “So you’re just going to run out when I honk the horn, and it could be the Black Hand.” “Eh, you live and you learn.” This is at least poking holes in the monotonous gameplay allowing the gamer to chuckle as both player and developer laugh at the mission playthrough.

The flexibility of jumping in and out a parachute and then hang glide back into place reminds me why video games must not always follow Naughty Dogg. Rico is never too serious, as his swarthy Latin charm commands the screen, and we all know what he does to Mira’s face when she looks at him. Just like your mom when she looks at me when I leave her room, and she makes me pancakes at 3 AM. Even if she had gotten into a fight with him. 

Picture borrowed from: https://tr.pinterest.com/MrKira97/just-cause-4/

What the level design speaks of is that while the side quests consist of disposing vehicles with bombs under a time limit, powering down sites with access to tanks, choppers, and plot related devices, as I played it, the missions have a fun factor that isn’t required in Oscar nominated films, but the type seen in big budget action films that aren’t too pretentious or they are underwhelming when the subtlety is ignored on a first playthrough. 

The story is simple, and allowing the word “fun” to be a part of video games in 2020 is presented as a disservice to an otherwise fun game that proves that games should be fun even though the side quest missions are repetitive. While this might be disappointing to hardcore gamers, some games, like Just Cause 4 never truly hit the mark of creating new and organic mission levels that outlive the first play through. 

If you don’t, you might be surprised at the subtle humor between the actors, and the writers, is a fun ride. I mean, having a wing suit and flying across the fictional South American landscapes, Solis, is half the fun. If you want to save time, just fast travel, but to do that in this game is almost denying yourself the thrill of what a game can do. Be fun and exciting. 

While Uncharted goes for scenic fight scenes that are just as memorable, Just Cause is almost the Latin American cousin of Nathan Drake’s Uncharted. But what can be said are positive, there are negatives. 

The negatives are simple. Sometimes when I grapple, the camera pulls into the wall and I’m stuck before my enemies kill me. When playing part of the submarine machines in the DLC, I can fall into the antenna bay, and I can see myself inside it as if the development team didn’t look it over one last time. Another negative is that if you want variety, the repetitive side missions, while fun momentarily, can be a hindrance if you remember the missions in GTA 5, where each mission is new and exciting and the team at Rockstar put so much time in crafting a new mission that can be replayed over and over again for years to come. 

Sometimes missions in an open world game should be inventive and prove to satisfy on a technical but also story driven level, I didn’t feel the need to complete the side quests to upgrade the wing suit as I didn’t really feel the need as I could get by without it. If you don’t have the jet pack from the complete edition, then there would be a need to upgrade the wing suit. 

What can be said about Just Cause 4 is that it continues with the deserved male chauvinism that Naughty Dogg discontinued in Uncharted, but what Just Cause 4 delivers with bravado and bullets, it can be satisfying for the first play through, and the DLC, while entertaining, doesn’t pull me in to play further. Just Cause 4 isn’t a classic, but it does provide sedentary thrills while waiting for other games to come out in the meantime. And again, a wing suit and the ability to fly over mountains and greenery almost proves that the series may provide further experience in a series that hasn’t reached its peak yet.

6/10

Header photo. borrowed from: /https://www.instant-gaming.com/en/2666-buy-game-steam-just-cause-4/

Berserk: an endless narrative

9 Dec

The nature of Berserk is a rather duplicitous nature, as the publication history itself is a topic for another time, the nature of Berserks quality has never aged in time. Considering that Lone Wolf and Cub is only known to the boomer and Gen-xers, thanks to the devoted fans of the Japanese films, makes sense that Berserk took hold of a millennial generation, that grew up with Lord of the Rings films and Skyrim, for consoles and PC. That doesn’t exclude any boomers or Gen-Xer’s who saw the vision of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk and the quality and the story that Miura had shows that while a epic like Berserk takes time to write, let alone draw by one man, is not lacking in quality or style. When presented, Berserk, in the long form, has overshadowed many manga’s that have come and gone. And I respect a lot of manga and anime, and great art, be it novels or manga, will never disappear because of self generated interest and public curiosity.
Anime and manga only seem to double in the past five to ten years, with Attack on Titan, being long run and popular throughout Japan and the rest of the world. What makes Berserk last is that a core group has never let Berserk die.
It probably takes a lot to get cancelled if you’re an anime/manga writer, because every manga and anime is offensive and has somehow caused a controversy. Like how Studio Ghibli seems to crank out a family film with big name actors but don’t seem to generate excitement for it, unless it’s nominated at the fake news awards.
What can’t be found in other entertainment is that Anime/manga doesn’t care about regular forms of storytelling. Berserk spent nearly two decades building a story about protecting Casca, devastated by Griffith’s rape as he became Femto in volumes 12-13, only to then be the object of the main quest to fix her broken mind, finally concluded in volume 40.
What is honestly desparaging is that Miura can’t seem to find the inspiration to finish the series in a routine time, or let someone help him finish the Berserk saga. Berserk may go unfinished, but in some cases, if we see the end only destroy Guts in the end, maybe it’s how Skull Knight would want to play out.
With all his cryptic messages about how “what he [guts] wants is not what she would want.”

https://aminoapps.com/c/berserk/page/blog/mnbzy4jonncorim4p3mskdzyti/eYdN_24qs3uXd0LDM7m2eKVNeKXBblZkvMX


If the admiration for the series is to finish, Berserk has played the long game when pursuing such lofty ambitious story telling arcs. I for one would like Rickert to just convince the Bakiraka clan to come along, and while according to asdf that time on Fantasia, would only increase the longer they were on it, Guts might be an mid 30’s man, healed from his wounds, and able to take on Griffith in an epic final showdown.
Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien, did things that most other story tellers wouldn’t do. It would bring characters that didn’t materialize in most of the narrative structure in Return of the King. Tolkien, as the Battle of the Pellenor Fields is shortened to twenty pages or less, as he felt age had caught up with him.
Maybe Miura is realizing age is catching up with him? But are we going to have a story that isn’t finished before Miura’s death? Is he going to shorten it to give the ending that the fans have waited twenty years for? Is Berserk going to be like Guin Saga, where the author, Kaoru Kurimoto, died before it was time to finish her masterpiece.


Kentaro Miura, like Tolkien, and Kurimoto, must be feeling his age, because Berserk has to come to an end. I hope it’s a happy ending, but if it’s a happy ending, it might be bittersweet too. What started in bitterness for Guts, might just lead him down the same path for Casca to live in peace.
What’s amazing about Berserk is that the narrative structure, as this should cripple most authors, doesn’t seem to age. Miura still knows his characters, and wants to see it all come to a blessed conclusion. Which is why Berserk still remains relevant today.
But the point is, Guts and Griffith will fight. It’s hard not to imagine that Guts arriving with the elves and the mythological creatures to fight Griffith and his demon generals.
But if Miura is sick, or suffering under physical problems, as drawing, like any art, affects the hands and creates problems with holding a pen. But the reality is, Miura, even if he died, would not want to disappoint all the years he spent to get to fix Casca, to deny the end that audiences have waited for.
If we get to see the Angels from the Holy See again, that would tie together most of the series together, as Gods, Demons, and Myth would collide in Miura’s epic conclusion to Berserk.
But when and how it will end is what we can only speculate on.

A List of Lists: Academia Targets Youtubers

6 Dec

What is increasingly disturbing from 2016 to 2020, when the media, and there acolytes spent countless times mocking and ridiculing Trump Supporters, forcing family members to never speak to each other again, and Biden calling for Unity, is not even as close to making my veins travel through my head and kill me instantly. What I find is that most of the left spend time thinking that everyone else is bad but they want us to be like them. They have no other life but Trump these last few years and they expect me to forget. When assholes on twitter degrade me, fine, I don’t care about them and they don’t deserve attention here. What is worrisome is when an academic paper, “Evaluating the scale, growth, and origins of right-wing echo chambers on Youtube” (https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.12843) in the name of science is declaring YouTube political channels, such as Stephen Crowder, Rageholic, MILO, and even popular satirist, ItsaGundam, as mislabeled being alt right, is when I almost shit myself laughing at the idiocy the left have become. So, put on your Herbert West Reanimator goggles, and let’s look at this eye cancer together.

Honestly, the list of Youtubers being listed here, for as simply disagreeing with the politics and policies, is what is on trial here. This is a blacklist with contributions from Homa Hosseinmardi, Amir Ghasemian, Aaron Clauset David M. Rothschild, Markus Mobius, and Duncan J. Watts, and as I read it. What I find morally reprehensible is that academia even published this paper. While academic papers are often hidden from the public, it’s this that requires my full attention. In the first paragraph, the paper dictates, that Youtubes “search and recommendation engines make even marginal actors easily discoverable, allowing them to build large, highly engaged audiences at a low cost.”

Yes, it’s easy to set up a webcam and find someone you want to talk to and have some fun. The paper is not wrong in its assumption. I am not a YouTuber, and I have made a few YouTube videos on my own, and while I was marginalized in my viewership (as my channel is nonexistent and less prolific), I was also shown many videos of Styxhexxenhammer666, after I watched Razorfist’s videos, and every time I open it up, it always shows his previous videos. If Youtube hates, for example, Razorfist, they are doing a disservice by showing me his entire back catalogue every time I open up Youtube on my television or computer. Apparently, Styx has claimed that he has been “shadow banned” and most of his material is being attacked by Youtube’s algorithm. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tg0RcKVh50)

What this paper says is true. It’s easy to do, and you can talk about anything you want, and most channels are monetized that reach a certain subscriber and view count. Until 2016. 

The paper also asserts that “For example, it has been reported that starting from factual videos about the flu vaccine, the recommender system can drive users toward anti-vaccination conspiracy videos.” Which is ironic because Styxhexxenhammer666 is not an anti-vaxxer, at all. By the second paragraph, we see where the lies start to unfold. But at the end of the first page, it does walk around the issue of who is really watching and between shows being produced. “Absent such data for a large, representative sample of real YouTube users, it is difficult to evaluate how much radical content is in fact being consumed (vs. produced),” because if context is concerned, this would be a different study all together, “how it is changing over time, and how it is being encountered (from recommendations vs. other entry points).” 

This notion that there are large swaths of “corrupted individuals” being persuaded from individual you tubers is inconclusive too. The nature of the paper is outlined here: “Total consumption of any news -related con- tent on YouTube accounts for only 11% of overall consumption, similar to previous estimates of news consumption across both web and TV [25],” as this is not taking into account that most Youtube viewership are under the ages of 38, and not beyond, very few boomers and Gen-X viewers care about Youtube “and is dominated by mainstream or moderate sources. (ii) Nonetheless, the fraction of YouTube users strongly engaged with far-right channels has increased over the last four years, where consumers of far-right channels tend to show a more-extreme engagement pattern on YouTube, compared to individuals whose majority of consumption is from channels with other political orientations. (iii)” Maybe this idea of traffic on alt right channels is the idea of entertainment value, and not associated with any politics involved, but the way one presents the case, is still the reason why this idea is not presented, because the data would have to represent what is being said and not by blind viewership. As context is not what at stake in the study. “The pathways by which users reach far-right videos are diverse and only a fraction can plausibly be attributed to platform recommendations. (iv) Within sessions of consecutive video viewership, we see no trend toward more extreme content, indicating that consumption of this content is determined more by user preferences than by recommendation. We conclude that while the increasing prevalence and evident appeal of radical content” or entertainment “on YouTube may be a real source of concern, the recent focus on the recommendation engine is overly narrow. Rather, YouTube should be viewed as part of a larger information ecosystem in which extreme and misleading content is widely available, easily discovered, and both increasingly and actively sought out [22].” If we want a clear road to how clusters and traffic of information can be accrued, pick up the book about IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black (https://www.booksamillion.com/product/A16366211066?id=7849683950988), and we can see where this type of language is presented clearly, as Jews were filed away as numbers tattooed on there bodies. Which seems no different today than what data means to this paper. Next this will happen, and no telling what may account for leftists and academia’s logic.

What is relevant is that listing “unavailable videos” for Infowars, also doesn’t conclude that the Alex Jones show is relevant or pretend it even plays a factor in all of Youtube activity. “Previous studies have analysed web browsing dynamics by breaking a sequence of pageviews into sub-sequences called sessions [29]. In this work, we define a YouTube session as a set of near- consecutive YouTube pageviews by a user. Within a session, a gap less than δ minutes is allowed between a YouTube non-video URL and the next YouTube URL, or a gap less than γ minutes is allowed between a YouTube video URL and the next YouTube URL, otherwise the session breaks and a new session will start with the next YouTube URL.”

There data configurations are rather insincere, and the opportunity to mislabel people is why academic papers are only routinely fixed to make a professor smile than to please readers of fiction and fan fiction. As this should be treated as eye cancer, I have my Herbert West Reanimator glasses on, and even Lovecraft would assume the paper is outright masturbatory, pleasing no one, not even me, or you, but careless academics with ivory towers. What I do find repulsive is that while watching time is a factor, the unilateral facade of using proxies to understand viewership is void of all compassion when it comes to the list they have at the end. 

What is problematic is that the actions they take are almost what the machines in the Matrix would have wanted. “An individual is considered a news consumer if, over the course of one month,” as the mere notion of putting people into a calculator is devoid of sympathy “they spend a minimum of one minute watch-time on any of the political channels in our labeled set.” The mere notion of thinking of  Each month we characterized every individual who consumed news on YouTube in terms of their normalized monthly viewership vector νm whose j-th entry, νm corresponds to the i ij fraction of viewership of user i from channel category j (j ∈ {fL, L, C, R, fR}). We then used K-means clustering to assign each individual to one of K communities of similar YouTube news diets, with K in the range from 2 to 12. Using the silhouette method [30], we found the optimal number of communities to be K = 5 (Appendix, Fig. 12).” What this highly configured language presents is no idea for what the entertainment value the person is looking for in the “alt right” content, and how key words can be associated with how much a youtuber comes back to a user, who either says the words people want to hear, or will help them gain more subsribers. “For each of these five clusters we then identified its centroid obtained by averaging the normalized monthly viewership vectors of all cluster members (see Appendix, section F for details). Finally, we labeled each community as ψ(t) (ψ(t) ∈ {fL,L,C,R,fR}) according to the predominant content category of its centroid. As a robustness check, we performed similar analysis with nonzero news consumption and at least five minutes news consumption per month as more relaxed and more strict definitions of “news consumers” (see Appendix, Fig. 18).”

What is seen through all the jargon is that while “clusters” are good for data, the mere notion of reducing viewers to numbers is the mere epitome of how to turn an audience against you. It’s why academics are always seen, and never heard. If they spoke online, or on a YouTube channel, they are going to get criticized, which is what most academics hate. “Trust me bro” as the saying goes. And who says there findings are legitimate as it doesn’t highlight the entertainment value of the videos and always to do with viewership, because entertainment can’t be quantified to academics because the meaning of the word doesn’t matter to them. And a better question is, how many people care what CNN says over Jordan Peterson, who is considered radical, but if believing in common sense is radical, this paper proves that reality, as Dave Rubin said, “is on trial.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0VNVMCf8sA)

What the data fails to capture is that while they do count some of the “logged out viewership” they are merely dressing up the notion that the alt right channels are illegitimate both in there relevant data. The “clusters” they bring up do not take into account people who have to hide there name so that they might not face ridicule from people who would ostracize them for watching Razorfist, or Shoeonhoead, and the limitless youtubers who create videos for a living. But maybe, it is easier to put people as numbers and never think about the experiences a single person has faced, and trying to limit that to mere quantities in a paper, is why the academic world is out of touch with the everyday public.

So out of touch that they use -2 to 0 as an identifier of who is far left, and 1 to 2, which is who represents Republican and alt right channels. Numbers are only good if people think they are numbers, and do not consider themselves individuals with minds that have their own opinions, and thoughts, outside of mainstream media and Youtube channels. The list doesn’t care about who actually watches them, but what they want out of data, and not out of what makes a person think differently. That’s too much work for leftists to consider if the opposition is right in there thinking, and rarely believe otherwise.

Again, they don’t talk about technique of a youtuber’s voice and presence, or the idea of a personality and what youtubers actually do to make there videos worthwhile. If the data would accurately represent “artistic merit” as far as how the videos are edited, production value, linguistic offerings, attitude of the creator, and context, humor levels and what people found “funny” then this would be a different list all together and more work would be involved, creating new data based on context as well as views. The ideas presented here lack sober intuition on what makes youtubers infinitely more accessible than mainstream media and academia will ever be. 

Now here’s the personal anecdotal side saved for the end of the study concerning the paper: I consider myself an asshole, novelist, blogger, gamer, imaginative, loser, extraordinary to some, hated by a few backstabbers, and someone who thinks dangerous ideas are where the culture stands. What is far more insulting to me is that the last five years this has corrupted family members who think that “Orange Man Bad” because of “reasons” is now simmering down to “we want unity.” And then they attack me for my beliefs. Oh, and you expect all to forget the way you acted and everyone with a different opinion these last few years? This of all things makes me wish I was included on the list because of the insidious nature of the liberal media now think is “fine.” And “we’re cool.” 

All of this heightening why no matter what trusted data tests that the contributors give, putting people into quantifying lists is akin to Nazi totalitarian think.

The Nazi’s had there lists too. When Hitler made his list based upon which race was the best, he just listed it with no real consideration of who might be actually worthy by skill, but by race. If the Jews were hated, Arabs were one step above the Jewish race. It takes no effort to make up lists and “cluster” people together who think differently. It takes real effort to understand how people are different and why people are different. No one cares about individual experience anymore. Thinking the same and being the same were important to Hitler and the Progressive Socialist Left. There is no stable confidence of equality with the left, and there terms are limited and change daily.

If Hitler had presented this paper, it would have thrilled the academic world today, because the left, in all there righteousness, echo the very words Hitler created when he began his doomed path in history. Leftists are following the same path too. When using scientific language to erase away the outright hatred Anti-Fa feel toward everyday people, is why the world we see now is two complete opposites faced to head into battle.

Even on page 6 they use the word “label” and that’s when any normal educated person reading this, starts to mistrust the language being written.

If Nietzche proclaimed that “we should step down from our ivory tower and see if we still believe the same things” (paraphrasing as I am but it still exists) I took this idea seriously the last few years. I do think that family and low centralized government are necessity, the party of tolerance doesn’t think so anymore. I, like Nietzche, see the decadence of the left eating themselves alive, as any other would know now, proclaiming dietary regulations. Hate Trump and you will be accepted. Like that paycheck, you better write and think the way we want, cause we will ruin you. Milo Yiannopolous, a gay eccentric thinker, married to a black man, and well rounded person of impeccable taste and perception. Also, if academics are attacked, for there knowledge of the crusades, then why isn’t she on the list? The point is we will all be there soon enough. 

In the pursuit of an enemy, they become one too. All the language in this paper can’t hide the evil they proclaim to hide from. If ItsaGundam, who is African American, who was “raised by homosexuals and queers, and even voted for Joe Exotic twice,” (https://twitter.com/GundamIsHere/status/1334006026291523584) can be on a list for criticizing and satirizing culture, then I should be on the list too.

As I left the tower of totalitarian liberalism, I found that the tower I existed in was almost like being stuck in the tower in Bioshock Infinite, where I was being held hostage by a large mechanical bird, ready to destroy me if I ever left my cage. But that faded quickly, unafraid of all consequences. 

What is worse is the psychological issues this has created in society from the damage the left has done to personal and professional contemporaries, which is also not accounted for in the paper. Maybe Conservatives need a voice too, and not just from FOX cable news network, and Youtube is the only choice left. But there are other alternatives. 

What is more important, and least discussed is the language being used against loved ones. “I’m sad that you like him” and “you’re” or “that’s crazy” meaning Donald J. Trump, is what was my father screamed nonsensically at me. Unity is only good when the left must apologize and do massive course correction to avoid any further calamity. But this plea for “unity” is what Biden is calling for Anti-Fa to stop burning down buildings. And I hope they don’t. Because they also hate Biden too.

I do believe that Trump is one of the greatest presidents of my lifetime. His urgency to bring peace to the Middle East, with bringing the UAE flights into Israel, is not just one accomplishment to talk about. His tax code on small independent contractors has helped everyone who is a part time remote worker, but also, proving that the debt decreased dramatically, while it stagnated and increased under the Obama Administration. What is more reprehensible is the outright lies my family believed that created more of a divide. While this shouldn’t be about me, I just had to say the obvious, as this has affected every Trump supporter who was fired mocked ridiculed at there jobs, and suddenly they want “unity.” 

If the left will come for Razorfist, Milo Yiannopolous, shoe0nhead (who is an avowed Bernie Sanders supporter), unity is not feasible to all sides. And this paper only proves the left will use data and statistics to ridicule and mock Trump Supporters and pretending that what they say are “wrong” and how we should “suck it up” as Whoopie Goldberg admitted on her day time show, the View.

Finally, here’s my spicy offering for unity: As long as you suck up your pee through a straw on your piss beds, and then admit Anti-Fa is real, Joe-Biden and Kamala Cop Harris cheated, take the off the masks, and then I can be unified and hold hands (if you don’t wash your hands at least). Until then leftists, enjoy your short lived victory, because in the long run, you have no family or friends. You have no opinions that are your own. If Milo and the “alt right” (which do not exist) are dangerous, then so am I. 

Battlefield Hardline: A Hidden Crime Jewel of First Person Shooters

4 Dec

While everyone knows I have written a few crime books, it seems to be the most capitalistic and profitable marketplace in the entertainment industry. From the Godfather’s sullen tone of gritty realism to Miami Vice’s bleached out 80’s feel, to Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly” study the nature of cop and criminal in the future, and even the snowy backdrop of Norway’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo exploring the depths of abuse, to Michael Mann’s bank robber saga Heat, crime has always found a way into the worldwide entertainment field with varying and multifaceted success. Battlefield Hardline (2015) produced by DICE Visceral, and published by EA, is a long running video game franchise that everyone else caught onto before me, but most of my reviews are made to reflect my own personal outlook, rather than a critical and mass appeal bias of the time. While many would praise Battlefield 1 for the emotional core the game delivers, while falsifying some facts about Lawrence of Arabia, to hide his rape from the world wide audience of game players, Battlefield Hardline was a game that went under my radar. 

            Graphically, and story wise, this is the most tightly written video game of the Battlefield franchise, that proves cop and criminal are related. What is presented is fairly simple story line. Nick, a Cuban refugee, who is pulled into a dark web of corruption with his teammates in the Miami police department, is on the road to redemption, through twists and turns that would make Michael Mann rewrite his scripts if he saw this game. The writing is superb for a first person shooter, as there is Stoddard, who we are introduced tells Nick, “let me pick the place and you won’t eat beans for the rest of your life.”

            The humor in the game is understated and it hits the mark when Tyler Hatchford, a villain who becomes your friend, follows Nick to a cocaine dealers operation with a quip, “It seems our days has been quiet enough.”

            For a first person shooter, I am amazed people don’t talk about this game. Maybe I am just slow to the curve, Battlefield 1 delivers overall for the emotional punch about men in war, and how much character relies on story to balance out the plot, is a masterpiece in itself. But Hardline sacrifices separate narrative structure Battlefield 1 produced in return for a gritty, fun, and often deep game that ponders what it means to be a cop and a criminal. Sometimes criminals can be good and cops can be bad, while still feeling like they are real people at the same time. The cast of characters are ranged from misfit tech nerds, to bunker type dwellers, who “might” have nukes. The back and forth dialogue is stellar and the voice acting is stellar as well.

            The ability to arrest people before you shoot in the first five chapters delivers such a swift satisfaction once you arrest a high valued felon, awarding you with points to get certain gear and ammo. If you use a gun long enough in the game, you get more perks, like scopes, silencers, and many other guns that would be available after you play through it once. 

            Being able to play detective, searching for evidence, also helps weave the tightly written plot closer as you discover that your cop friends are in on the take, and then punish Nick after for not taking the money. What was obtuse is the cameo tank fight in Chapter 8, where the controls are really off. Pressing R2 while you have to guide the tank away in a hostile fight, and the controls are more off than it does. Stoppard is kind of killed off when he tries to invade Nick’s base and it’s weird because he seemed like a really interesting character to kill off, but considering that Stoppard was a hothead, it made sense, as it was his trajectory. 

            The gameplay and the guns are like walking through Miami coke dealer’s gun locker over the last twenty years, as even a double barrel shotgun appears, and that’s always a good thing. You know if the Doomslayer appears, you have it ready for him. 

            Overall, the game is very short, stellar graphics, story, the exploding buildings and wall splatter (are fucking awesome) but there are a few caveats. The way you duck behind cover and then the NPC pushes you away from your cover spot, nearly getting you killed, happened more than once. Another thing to address is that in Chapter 8, if you target someone with a military aircraft gun, and shoot a guy, there is no exploding chunks. So, that took me out of it, but it was a nitpick. Other than that, this is the realistic version of what GTA 5 could be, and if you want less Tarantino style dialogue, this is the game for you. I hope Dice and EA continue the Hardline series, but then again, maybe some tales are better left untold.

            Final Rating: 8/10  

My Essentials for Everyday Existence

2 Dec

My Top Essentials:

1 notebook (moleskin or ring). For me, a notebook is how I started to express my thoughts and also it’s good to have an analog notebook to help you free up your thoughts, because sometimes it feels really good to have a back up copy of you lose the digits copy. It’s also good that if you do write some thoughts on the moleskin make sure it’s not for publications. Moleskine are the famous journals where Hemingway and Herman Melville created there masterpieces. I guess the moleskin is the privileged man’s notebook or you can get a a ringed notebook, but with a ringed notebook, make sure you know how big you write. Sometimes people write over the smaller lines, so make sure you plan as how big the notebook is, so you have enough paper and how big your letters are. Now if you want brand of paper, for large legal pads, A4 is the way to go, and they offer more for those who write there letters larger than a moleskin could offer. I wouldn’t recommend you write on a traditional double space with an A4 Moleskin, but to each there own. You can fit more in the lines, but it is harder to read, so there are disadvantages. Levenger makes legal pads that can help you form ideas on the left block, but then write it on the right side. What you do want is the ability to have any choice of these premiere journals or legal pads for your choice as a tech operator. A regular notebook provides an extra source if all your gadgets run out of batteries. 

1 tablet of your choice with 1 digital pen with a scrambler folio, detraktor, so people can’t spy on you. (Also you can put the phone in there too). Essentially a digital tablet is a good thing if you are a drawer, but it is good if you like reading digital books on it too. A digital tablet, whether it’s an iPad or PC tablet, is a good idea when you need to write on it too. But writers are better off with a remarkable, but be forewarned that a remarkable can only read good handwriting, and if you finish a page, please translate and export it your remarkable cloud. It only holds 250 words a page, but i still recommend if you have an iPad or PC tablet, use an extra keyboard attached to the regular tablet market place. The Microsoft folding tablet is best when you can use it on a phone and can connect via Bluetooth to a Mac system. For drawers who love the feel and look of paper, the Remarkabable is a worthy addition and if you have a Mac, you can transfer your books on it too. So depending on your format, choose correctly.  Now the detracktor folio is for people who want to protect and secure your data as you travel. This is essential today in the modern era. Being alone is a myth now, but it doesn’t have to be. The detraktor folio gives you ultimate privacy as it is easy to invade a phone and tablet and area your information. My choice depends on your scenario: The scenario is different for what your needs are. A government tablet is for government use, while an iPad, PC tablet, and Remarkable are for the general public. A remarkable is for an artist who likes the pencil and pad look while an iPad is for more use with color schematics. So, it just depends but the Detraktor pad is what everyone should have too. 

1 miniature military bible to carry around to peer into. The Bible, in it’s entirety, has had more phrases than we like to imagine. Whether you are a believer your not, you have to have one copy of a bible as a bible quote can help legitimize your work or make you sound smart at times. The military bible is small and compact and the paper is razor thin. It has maps of the exodus journey and maps to help you visualize the story as you read it. Some bibles are larger and have more to offer, but this is if you are on the move. 

2 pens (Levenger) (regular). Levenger is a pen that you use when you are signing papers and they are a decorative pen, not to be confused with pens to write with everyday. Levenger is expensive so it’s best to have one. To show some decadence, if you can afford it. Otherwise, the ballpoint pens are my favorite to use. You can buy the Ballpoint Pen in bulk as well. 

1 hard drive for your data and game memory. 1-5 TB recommended. (I didn’t copy that, I do carry one around with me). Now we get to the fun part. A hard drive is essential to most computers today. On a Mac or PC, you want any available hard drive space, to save your music, documents, photos. WD is the go to for me as they make SSD memory and miniature SD cards, if you have a Nintendo switch. What is important is that you get 1 hard drive for documents, family photos, or videos if you need to transfer your videos away or make another copy of. It’s good to have in any case if your computer is damaged. If you are away from the cloud or internet, this is best to have. Now if you are not a Nintendo Switch player, and you want an external hard dive for your main system, 5 TB and beyond is essential. When I heard PlayStation 5 wants to record you and potentially kick you off for saying “inappropriate language” this is when I forgo PlayStation as a product and a company. I abhor people listening to me when I’m playing a game so I never use a voice in multiplayer form. Also learn to lean away from multiplayer and lean towards single player open world games if you have a penchant for multiplayer. Privacy is a key issue today. But also, having the ability to hold all your games on a 5 TB or beyond memory, for the XBOX is essential. WD sells a XBOX memory SSD versions that comes with two months of XBOX Game pass and if you pay 14.99 a month you have access to a fairly large catalogue of games from the XBOX library. That may change upon the time and when you read this. XBOX, to me, has always cared about the XBOX shelf life, and PlayStation’s anti-customer ethic is astounding. So if you had a fire, all you need to do is grab or unplug the Hard drive and leave. Ultimately you need to keep your system clean so that if you have a fire, you can just buy another system. Depending on the system availability. Make sure you create passwords for both your hard-drives. 

1 analog tape recorder (pocket size). Yes, this is old school but it was essential for me, as sometimes you might run out of juice on your phone and you have to pull out something in case you need to record also. It’s old school and you c an use your phone, but this is for an extra back up, in case the phone turns off. Buy a few mini tapes as well, to keep on hand if your phone is dead or to back up any records you feel are too important. 

 1- handgun with two clips of self defense ammo on your person. Also, we get to another essential in life. No matter what you think about guns, you must be able to use a handgun in case you are attacked in the street, depending on your castle ground laws in America. If you are a Glock or Beretta owner, take a chance on upgrading your pistol with a Micro Roni. Made by CAA, it allows you to put your Glock or Beretta APX Strker into the slide, and it turns it into a short barreled rifle (SBR). It is recommended for 20-25 feet, or to eradicate enemies at close range. An Operator would need this in the field if his main side arm is what he would need, and doesn’t need to lug around a a rifle. The Micro Roni can git into any day backpack. Be sure to carry any ammo you can. Best bet is to use self defense rounds. If you do intend to get a gun, be sure to apply for a conceal carry license and train. I can’t stress the point of training enough. Also, use your weapon responsibly. Also, be sure to get a tax stamp on your gun. Your gun is what you are getting a tax stamp for in order to carry the Micro Roni around with you. The Micro Roni can also be equipped with a silencer, flashlight, a rail for laser sight, and a top rail for a scope. The scope is better than the iron sights that come with it. Always stock up on ammo as much as you can. 

1 small pocket size Listerine for business, health, and sexual purpose. This goes without saying. If you are on a date, or in a business meeting where you have to get close to people, carry a small bottle of Listerine, the same size for traveling conditions. Toothbrush, all of that, are essentials. 

1 laptop and charger. Now Laptop and charger are very important. This goes under the electronics category. I like Apple products, and I know, I know, they are made in China, and you are allowed to make fun of me for that. I feel like a God when I’m using an Apple computer and there are a few things to consider with my computer. Be sure to protect your computer with Malware bytes and if you are trying to search for “explicit” things for “research” TOR is going to be your best bet. I use Microsoft word, and a way to get around buying the 365 version is to buy a single unit, and you can put it on each new computer. Or use pages if you want on a Mac. Always change your passwords too. 

1 back up USB cord and charger for phone and laptop. The cords on your phone always break, so get a durable cord that is made to fit in your car USB cord, and make sure it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Your cord should be either for an apple or android device. You should also have any plugs if you travel to Europe or Asia.

1 phone. Finally, a phone. Depending on the brand, an iPhone for me, has always served my purpose of writing but also taking photos and selfies. Use TOR if you want complete privacy, and you can download it for free but then pay for it. If you do want protection, always enter your password, and don’t use the fingerprint mechanism. 

Picture was borrowed from: https://www.growityourself.co.uk/brands/essentials

Censorship in America 2020

1 Dec

What makes the United States of America different from other countries is the Constitution that the founding fathers saw that other countries do not have. After 1776, with Britain’s defeat from the America’s, the Constitution is to safeguard American citizens from corrupt politicians who have no business in our lives. What is worse is that most of the time, freedom of speech is only presented as figurative language, and not actually met with counter protests from Republicans, unless it was the Million Man MAGA march in November 2020, but the United States government is only concerned with promulgating the China flu that will become as everyday as the common cold, and vaccines will be taken. But the right to freedom of speech means to question the very government Americans have been told to trust, and while there is a debate on freedom of speech in the real world, it is not exhibited on the Internet, nor from private companies. 

            There is the debate of companies being a “publisher or privately owned company.” What is concerning is that freedom of speech doesn’t protect YouTube creators, and YouTube in there full generosity, know how to destroy creators dreams of reaching a massive audience. What is unfathomable is that creative people are not afforded the chance to apply for jobs in the comic book, film, game, and other media that independent content creators are allowed to do. I myself publish more on my own than a publisher would allow. Old school book publishers are merely for the dollar, not for the functionality of entertainment being “entertaining.” For every Stephen King, there is a Jonathan Franzen, but even so, is the reality of freedom of speech in the print world only legitimate based through societal lens of what is acceptable? 

            In terms of independent writers, there are far more creative people than the publishers are allowed to accept. In the internet age, Amazon can censor books, and while freedom of speech should matter under Amazon’s printing press, it doesn’t. When I googled Amazon censors writers, it doesn’t even mention the idea under google.com. What is horrible is that google cares so much about this issue that it will keep the subject hidden. All I get are books are about censorship and they are about other countries censorship laws. While I’m less impressed by this search, it’s my suspicion that creates the wandering mind to think that google will help amazon censor any searches as well.

            After three pages of books about censorship, I change the search words. “Amazon censors writers books.” On the first page, I do get an article about Amazon censoring book reviewers. It’s weird that the article by electric Lit comes up on the first page, but it doesn’t seem to come as no shock. As stated, “Amazon, however, is being accused of determining through some sort of mysterious algorithm who is actually well-acquainted in real life. If we’ve interacted with authors online, the Guardian warns us that “Amazon might decide that you’re “friends” and ban you from leaving a review of their latest book.” (https://electricliterature.com/amazon-accused-of-censoring-book-reviews/)

            That’s nothing new, and dividing reader’s and writers is what insidious actions are taken to make sure freedom of speech is limited. Algorithms do face a powerful threat to freedom of speech, and it is used in China to make sure the royal regime is never questioned. It’s come as no shock to this writer, who has been told to “write a certain way” is a form of limited speech. 

            Imagine if the Algorithm is aware of being a grammar Nazi but changed to look for speech that it doesn’t agree with. It’s not people doing this, but a machine. If a machine can limit freedom of speech, it’s following the bidding of a master program. Big Tech. Which is dangerous to the Internet. If Amazon can hide the very idea of books being censored, or even reviews being censored, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg. 

            Censorship, without debate, is tyranny. If people are censored, there will be unrest. While the idea of Amazon censoring writers, and how they will hide to make sure nobody ever questions the logic of a company like Amazon. But that’s not all. Amazon even censored its Prime television show, Man in the High Castle, to erase “the swastikas and eagle-and-crosses were digitally erased from Sewell’s uniform, from Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, even from scenes set in Berlin.” (https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2020/feb/11/amazon-s-book-bans-draws-concern-202002/). Censorship is on display here, but while the company refuted the claim, the question of censorship arises once again in the digital streaming world too.

            What makes Amazon a target is that it targets itself. What happens is that if it can happen to YouTube, and Amazon, the government can attack citizens for barely any crimes at all. United States citizens value freedom of speech and the right to carry out our life in America as we have right to do. Offering more freedom than most. But if America, and her citizens, allow companies to censor book reviews and self-censor their own products, and Youtube can censor independent content creators, then that is a blow to the credibility of American values regarding freedom of speech and the ability to communicate and publish on the Internet.