Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Doing the Right Thing Does Not Make You an Amazing Person

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

When did society’s standards for behaviour become so low that simply doing the right thing became worthy of accolades? Maybe this is all part of the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that has become so pervasive in recent years, but the last time I checked praised was something given for extraordinary acts. Maybe it is because everyone is so consumed with their desperate attention whoring that it leaves them no time to accomplish anything of note that would be worth the attention they crave. Maybe it’s because they feel that if they give someone else attention for the most meager of “achievements” that others will in turn do the same when they do something for which a bit of self congratulation just won’t suffice. Whatever the reason, I find it very difficult to view this as anything other than repulsive.

Earlier in the week a Magic personality who I guess used to be relevant for reasons that elude me declared on Twitter that he was going straight edge. That’s all well and good and I’m sure your friends will be interested in this and supportive of it, but asking people to retweet it? Harassing a professional wrestler to read your blog presumably in the hopes that he’ll retweet it too? The fuck is wrong with you? This is the sort of thing you do for yourself. You don’t go straight edge because you want everyone to see how strong and amazing you are, you do it because you want to be a better person. And if you succeed? Good for you, but shut the fuck up about it. While it may not be the way our society works anymore, the world should give zero fucks about you for doing this.

But why, Jeebus? Isn’t he brave and strong and noble for giving up drugs after 16 years of use? He was using drugs since he was 14, cut the guy some slack!

Wow, what a deep and meaningful point you raise. You know, if we ignore the fact he shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place. If I brutally murder a dozen people today and then tomorrow swear off killing forever, would you declare that I am an incredible person? Would you sing my praises from the mountaintops? Of course you wouldn’t, because giving up behaviour which one should never have partaken of in the first place, while the right thing to do, is not worthy of commendation.

As an aside, while making a public declaration of your decision to go straight edge is ridiculous, going straight edge should never actually be necessary. It is a label, a character archetype, that one forces oneself into because they are weak spirited. While I do not condone smoking crack or anything like that, giving up things that are legal and that you enjoy because you don’t have the fortitude and self control to moderate your own behaviour effectively is cowardly. That’s not disciprine.

Let’s fast forward to today, where another puzzling article went up. To the writer’s credit, this one was much less self congratulatory in tone, but the message was similar. It was a rather disjointed article telling two different stories at the same time. One story, taking place ten years ago, was about the writer deliberately cheating to win a match. The next story was about a recent tournament in which he won via clerical error, and then alerted the judges of the mistake when it was pointed out to him. The article lacked any sort of explicit thesis, but the community responded with immeasurable praise about how it was one of the most well written pieces in ages and how important it was for everyone to read and blah blah circle jerk. I can’t for the life of me figure out why, however. Some kid cheats in a tournament, and then a decade later does not. Are we to congratulate you on not scumbagging some 12 year old in the losers bracket of a tournament? What does it say about Magic players if this is considered a “must read” article? Is everyone such a fucking piece of shit that we expect everyone to cheat at all times, even by accident, and that anything less is somehow deserving of a ticker tape parade?

The Lost Art of Common Decency

Life is full of binary choices (If you’re an idiot, that means choices with two options). Almost invariably, there is a clear cut right thing to do and a clear cut wrong thing to do. I do not mean right and wrong strictly in the moral sense, but also in that one option is correct and the other is incorrect. Given the opportunity, shooting heroin is incorrect. Cheating in a game is incorrect. Punching a dog in the face is…well I don’t like dogs so we’ll skip that one for now. These things should all sound obvious to you. I shouldn’t have to tell you what the right thing to do is. Unless you’re a sociopath, this shit is ingrained in your blood. Doing the right thing should be expected of you. You should not receive special praise or attention for doing what is expected, but rather you should be punished for doing the wrong thing. You may think you deserve some recognition because it was just so damn hard to fix your behaviour and it shows a real strength of character, but you know what? If you weren’t such a fuck up in the first place then all this “extraordinary” effort wouldn’t be necessary. If you find it that difficult to change, then maybe rather than considering it a feat of strength to overcome whatever line of crap you’re trying to feed me, maybe you should acknowledge that it’s nature’s way of punishing you since society is so unwilling to.

Oh, and if you’re able to kick all your bad habits and do the right thing on a consistent basis then know what that makes you? Normal. You are not special, you are not unique, you are not a daring and brave individual facing unfair adversity, you are just a normal person doing what you should have been all along. Congratulations on being just like everyone else.

Triumph of Misogyny – Sexism and White Knighting in the Magic Community

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Christ, how do you even open an entry on a topic like this? Well let’s start with the obvious: sexism is bad, m’kay? I hope that doesn’t need to be stated, but I don’t want anyone to misconstrue a number of the other things I have to say as an endorsement of the virtues of sexism. More obvious things: sexism and gender inequality have existed for a long time. By a long time, I mean thousands of years. All of human history, in fact. Even in the small handful of matriarchal societies that have existed, there was still massive gender inequality.

Sexism in Magic

I'd tap that! hur hur hurMeet Jackie Lee. Jackie is a really cool girl who I’ve known for almost ten years now from playing at the now defunct Your Move Games. She was always very friendly and funny, and even used to let a few of us hang around after YMG closed to do team drafts with her. She also eliminated me from contention in the 2004 GP Boston the round before what would’ve been my win and in. She went on to win her win and in round, and then overslept and didn’t show up for day two. So thanks a fucking lot for eliminating me.

Jackie was a really good player then, and is an even better player now. So good, in fact, that she’s putting up consistently good results at the top levels of competition. However, the world is (theoretically) a lot more connected now than it was back in 2004. Social media and event coverage have exploded to the point where anyone in the world can watch matches at an event, and if anyone says anything untoward the entire fucking world will hear about it on Twitter within five minutes. And so now sexism has been brought into the forefront of everyone’s minds because we’ve seen some pretty brutal examples of it.

On the live stream of some of Jackie’s matches, there were comments being made about her appearance. There were people rooting for her to lose. There were people telling her to get back in the kitchen. Basically, a lot of classless fuckwads saying stupid shit. You know, THE INTERNET. Of course, people had the option of speaking anonymously in the live stream chat, so they chose to do so and to say awful and disgusting things. Also, some of them made some really, really stupid suggestions about what they felt the correct play was in a number of different situations. That has nothing to do with sexism, just further proof that maybe allowing commentary on the live streams is a bad idea, because people are all stupid and have nothing worthwhile to say.

However, here’s something you may not know: none of this is new. I mean literally none of it. Years ago, I think it was 2005, there was an article on Star City Games Premium involving Jackie. The article was allegedly a tournament report by one John Rizzo, but it was really just a pretty creepy monologue about her and how he could stare at her for days. Yeah, fucking creepy. It also almost resulted in an incident involving local player John Rizzo who was a completely different person. The confusion was cleared up very quickly, and many laughs were had by all. Why do I bring this up, you ask? This happened before Twitter. There was a lot less connectivity and dialogue between players. As such, this quickly faded away. There were no articles written about it, no Twitter drama, nothing. Jackie was weirded out a bit and John Rizzo became known as “that creepy pervert,” but that’s pretty much it. I’m not saying that you should ignore all your problems and hope they’ll go away, but the less attention something like this gets the better.

The problem is, now talks of sexism are unavoidable. There are countless articles about it and how detrimental it is to the game we all love. As I said before, however, this isn’t new. Sexism has existed forever. I don’t condone it, but it is indeed a thing. And no poorly written blog post or tweet is going to change that (Yes, I understand the irony in using a blog post to decry them, so don’t bother pointing that out). Sexism also isn’t limited to the gaming community. This is the part that pisses me off the most, because people don’t seem to understand this. Even if you somehow solve the project of gender inequality in gaming…so what? Are you going to crawl into a cave with your EDH decks and half the print run of Deranged Hermits and just pretend that there isn’t still gender inequality and sexism in every other fucking part of society?

Yes, sexism is a problem and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. No, I do not condone it or take part in it in any nonsatirical way.  But seriously, guys (and gals), it’s okay to go 24 hours without bringing it up. Fucking relax.

Oh, and one other thing: don’t exploit the fact that women are succeeding in Magic. For serious. In an interview Jackie mentioned how some guy’s girlfriend hated when he asked her to watch top 8 coverage until she saw Jackie playing, and now she’s okay with it. That’s not a heartfelt story of female Magic players breaking down barriers. That’s an example of a terrible, terrible boyfriend. Why are you making your girlfriend watch top 8 coverage with you? The notion that she is required to partake in your hobbies as well, against her will, is extraordinarily sexist. When I lived with my ex-girlfriend I never tried to force her to play Magic or watch event coverage, and she never tried to force me to watch America’s Next Top Model. You’re allowed to (and should) have separate hobbies.

White Knighting in Magic

If this looks sexual to you, see a psychiatrist.While sexism is a problem, an even bigger (or at the very least more annoying) problem is the one of white knighting. The white knights out there, and there’s an increasing number of them, will pounce on anything that seems evenly remotely offensive to women. They are severely overcompensating for something and somehow think this will garner them favour with women who, since this is the internet, aren’t going to sleep with them anyway. Their arguments are ridiculous, unwarranted, and downright pathetic. The two classic examples of white knights in the MTG community are Geordie Tait and Chris Lansdell, but a new challenger has thrown his hat in the ring.

You see, the catalyst for this entry was the ridiculous fucking drama started by an extraordinarily ignorant article published on by one Jesse Mason (@killgoldfish) saying that the artwork for Triumph of Ferocity is all sexist and rapey. This article was also heavily defend by the constantly annoying Chris Mascioli (@dieplstks). I will now go through the article and tear it a new asshole, because it is the stupidest pile of shit I have ever read, and Gathering Magic should be ashamed of themselves for publishing it. Here is how he described the art:

“So, what’s happening here, objectively, is . . . the much larger man has his thick veiny arm around the woman whose back is pinned against a rock (looking up at him), and the aforementioned large man has his fist raised to punch the pinned-down-and-choked woman. Also, her hands are on fire . . . or something.”

Yeah, his arm and chest are all veiny and stuff from Liliana cursing him. You know, that thing he’s all pissed off about. And trying to kill her for. Her hands are “on fire….or something” because she’s decided to fight back. I know, right? Women fighting? How inappropriate! Also, you may want to consult a dictionary as to the meaning of the word “objective.” I do not think it means what you think it does.

“And a bit of her upper leg is peeking out from under her dress.”

You can blame either Steve Argyle or the art direction for that, but that’s how Liliana dressed. It just is. If a tiny bit of her thigh offends you, you should go to your local comic store and buy an issue of Tarot or Grimm. You’ll have a whole new crusade to go fight!

“And his leg is between her thighs.”

Oh no! But that’s where her vagina lives! Seriously, what exactly is the complaint here? They’re fighting and he’s got her in a choke hold about to cut her head off. Unless he’s a geist floating in midair, he has to have fucking legs SOMEWHERE. Sorry if the placement bothers you, but what are you suggesting, that Garruk is going to fuck Liliana with his knee? Last time I checked, that doesn’t happen. And no, this is NOT an opportunity for you to invoke Rule 34.

“There is no humorous way to say that the above image, to me, is reminiscent of sexual assault in a really creepy way, nor should anyone assume that anything related to this is hyperbolic for the purpose of writing or comedy.”

Jesse, were you raped by a huge fuckin’ guy? But seriously, what about the above image is sexual? Garruk looks like he’s about to impale Liliana (not in the sexy way), and Liliana looks like she’s going to burn Garruk’s face off if she breaks free. Are you such a dickless nerd that a millimeter of fictional thigh gets you so fucking hard that this artwork needs justification as something sexual? If ANYONE else sees something sexual here, please let me know where. Actually, don’t let me know. If you see this artwork as sexual, let a psychiatrist know, because you have serious fucking problems. Also, as pointed out by Carol Tavares (@robotouef), even if this was sexual it wouldn’t necessarily be derogatory towards women as many women like to be choked.

“That’s why it frustrates me when people give some story-based explanation for a piece of art looking the way it does. Liliana isn’t being portrayed in a sexist way . . . it’s just that her character is (as described by an R&D member) “a bitch.” It’s all right to show Liliana and Garruk in that pose because Liliana wins in the end! So?”

Um…what do you mean “so?” So the entire fucking point of the artwork is to represent the storyline? And this is the perfect example of why the white knights are so fucking impossible to deal with. No one wants a card like this with a picture of Liliana and Garruk having tea together. You wanna pretend that the problem with this card is that it will scare away new players, especially females? How about this art:

Oh, we’re okay with this? This isn’t going to scare away new players? Alright, just thought I’d check. Okay, I’m done ranting about that awful article. Let’s get onto the main point of this section.

Magic has powerful female characters. Some of these characters are good, and some of them, like Liliana (Whose name is an anagram for Villainess), are evil. When you have important female characters, bad things are going to happen to them. There has to be conflict. Liliana curses Garruk. Is that supposed to be a good idea? He’s a giant…man…beast…thing. So Liliana keeps poking at Manbearpig, and he’s not supposed to do anything about it? That’s insane. It’s not misogyny for a story to have conflict. In a game that takes place in a fantasy setting where you are a planeswalker (like Liliana and Garruk!) and the point of the game is to FUCKING MURDER EACH OTHER, I think it’s fair to assume that there is going to be violence amongst the planeswalkers in the stories. You can have all the glib comments and pithy comebacks you want, but even Bond and Trevelyan eventually fought.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Aye, there’s the rub. What do we do? I mean, I’ve kinda been all over the place here. The solution is pretty simple though: don’t be a dick to someone because of their gender, race, or any other factors beyond their control, and don’t create controversy where there is none. With any luck others will follow suit, but the world isn’t going to hold hands and start singing together overnight, so just chill the fuck out. Oh, and remember: white knighting, as best as I can tell, works on the assumption that women are incapable of defending themselves and so they need you to step up and protect them from every (often nonexistent) slight against them. Isn’t that behaviour a lot more misogynistic that this stupid piece of artwork?

Free Shit’s Good Except Babies and Diseases…and SCG Judge Rewards

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

For years I have been quoted as saying that “free shit’s good except babies and diseases.” Despite what some people may think based on my derision towards the Star City Games judge rewards program, I still believe this to be true. So why such vitriol towards the program? Well let’s look at the facts. Note that I will be looking at this strictly from the standpoint of the floor judge. Results as head judge will vary, but there’s only one of them and lots of floor judges.

These Rewards Aren’t Free

What’s this? The judge rewards aren’t free? But you’re getting something for nothing, aren’t you? You are receiving some sort of benefit that was not there before, yes. However, it’s not being handed to you; you still have to earn it. The rewards only go to judges who are working long days for them, at not until a judge has worked 15 events. That means you have to work at least eight weekends for them in order to get these rewards. That means you put in considerable time and effort to earn that $25 store credit, applicable only to the most overpriced MTG store this side of Crazy Bob’s Assrape Emporium.

“But Jeebus, it’s still free! People were doing that work before and didn’t get it, that means it’s a free bonus!” Um, no it’s not, dumbass. It’s called a raise that you earned by being a loyal employee (or in this case more of a contract worker than an employee, but regardless). When you get a raise for working hard at your job do you throw your hands up in the air and yell “Free money!” for all your friends and coworkers to hear? No, because your time and hard work aren’t free and you have earned that compensation. If you got a considerable raise it’s not unrealistic that you might take your wife, girlfriend, or, far more likely for the MTG community, your neckbeard cohorts out for dinner or drinks to celebrate your extra 20% income. It is unrealistic, however, to think that you would drop to your knees and start gobbling the cock of the CEO then posting it on the internet so the world can see your love of the company’s generosity. Unless that’s how you got the raise in the first place.

Judge Rewards Aren’t a New Idea

Rewarding judges for their hard work beyond their regular compensation is a great idea. In fact, it’s such a good idea that WotC already started doing it years ago. However, when SCG starts doing it, “Oh my God! This is the greatest idea ever! Amazing!” Ironically, of all the comments I’ve seen about how brilliant this novel idea is, only one of those comments came from an actual judge. I think this speaks to the fact that players have no fucking idea what being a judge is like if they think this a big deal, but either way it’s already old hat. Oh yeah, and Wizards does it better too: and I’ll take a foil Xiahou Dun every major Wotc event over a $25 store credit every 15 major Star City events any day. Fun fact: that foil Xiahou Dun comes packaged with 13-19 other judge foils as well.

It’s Not Free, it’s a Raise. It’s Not a Raise, it’s an Insult

So we already covered that this isn’t free because you’re working for it and have to earn it. Well, it’s not even so much a raise as it is an insult. Here are the facts about judge compensation as provided to me by level 2 DCI judge Jeph Foster* (@rhythmik) who is also a really cool guy all around and has hooked me up with judge foils on multiple occasions.
*Note: The opinions and analysis in this article are not necessarily shared by Jeph. He merely provided empirical data.

  • The average Star City Games Open event lasts 12-14 hours. We’ll split the difference and call it 13.
  • Compensation per event is $150 cash or $180 store credit.
  • Judges are offered a $20 stipend for lunch.
  • When SCG stopped giving out foil promos to judges at events, compensation was raised, but they discontinued room compensation.
  • SCG does not offer travel compensation (And didn’t back when they had room compensation either)

Math time! If we figure 13 hours for the average event, judges are making $11.54 per hour. The lunch stipend is not included in this because you can’t pocket the cash, it’s just a “free” meal. I say “free” because I’m pretty sure it’s a legal obligation based on the structure of the work day and not an act of generosity, but I don’t have time to double check. In order to earn a $25 store credit, you must do this 15 times. That’s 195 hours. Which is a raise of 12.8 cents per hour. Which is a 0.01% raise. Which is a fucking insult. Oh yeah, and it’s not even a cash raise. If you want to convert it to cash, you have to buy singles from SCG’s ridiculously overpriced inventory and then sell it. So for $25 I can get, say, an Elspeth Tirel. I can then either sell it below retail cause I’m not a store or sell it at retail on ebay and lose money to fees. Currently I could expect to actually get maybe $15-16 for that in my pocket. So now we’re look at a 0.0067% raise.

I Thought Everyone Cared About EV?

What’s the EV on being a judge at these events? If you work both events, you get $300 per weekend, for two 13 hour days. Minus travel expenses. Minus room expenses. So what does that make the EV on an event if you have to fly to it, $0 or less to work your ass off? I’d rather give a dude a hand job in an alley and get the $25 cash then have to dedicate 8 weekends to that. Good thing those expenses aren’t legally relevant too, because these are slave wages that people who travel to judge are making. “So just don’t travel, Jeebus! Quit being a bitch!” Fine, I won’t travel. I’ll just judge the events in Boston (Sure I could drive to New York easily, but that’s a lot of gas and I’d have to pay for a hotel overnight) and bust my ass for two extremely long days to make $300. I mean, there’s no EV on these events if I actually have to travel, so I’ll just earn my rewards here in the greatest city in America.

Wait, how many open weekends are in each city per year, two? I’m just eight years away from getting that Elspeth for only 140% of what it’s worth!

Thank You, Star City

Thank you for showing your judges how much you care by creating this program. Thank you for making the points retroactive and publishing the lisst so we can see that almost none of the judges have actually earned anything after a full year of opens. Thank you giving me absolutely no reason to travel around the country working for you to earn this pittance. But most importantly, thank you for showing us all that, like most “financial experts”, Jon Medina can be bought. His orgasmic response to this program which he’s clearly smart enough to know is insulting and meaningless is proof that he has sold his soul and (theoretically) good name to laud the greatness of whatever worthless tripe comes out of SCG. What happened to you, man? You used to be cool.

At this point I can only assume that Star City Games is run by an evil sorceress, and the only way to disrupt her hypnotic spell on the rest of the Magic community is to bake the hall in the candle of her brain…whatever that means.

Letters from Geordie Tait – An Experiment in Group Think

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Warning: I’m probably going to offend you with this article. If you’ve read my stuff before then this is no surprise, but hopefully this will gain momentum beyond my normal readership. If you’ve never read my writing before, consider yourself warned.

Let’s Start at the Beginning

So yesterday a preview link was given to Geordie Tait’s latest article on Star City Games. It wasn’t even on the front page yet, and it was being lauded as the greatest piece of literature since The Bible. Normally I’d link you to the article so you can read it in its entirety before reading this, but you’ve probably already read it, and if you haven’t I’ll spare you the 90 minute read by giving you a brief synopsis. Here’s what his 100,000 word article looked like:

*Note: This article was written as a letter to his non-existent daughter. This is a cute premise, but it’s fucking annoying to read and gets really old, really fast. Luckily, the article is nice and itemized, so I can break it down pretty easily.

1. Introduction – Women are mistreated by all of society, gamers are bad people, and you should probably burn bridges with all your gamer friends; doing so will make you a better person.

2. Part of the Tribe – This is where Tait decides it’s obligatory to wave around his nerd credentials. “I am just like you! You can trust what I say, because I am an actual, card carrying nerd.”

3. #Finkeldate – This is the basis of the entire article. It wasn’t the point that the article was trying to make really, but it was the basis for writing it and was constantly referenced. He describes Alyssa Bereznak’s blog post (in both its iterations) very accurately, but I’m sure you’ve read at least the revised version of her blog post so there’s little point in going into this in detail.

4. The Response – Here Tait describes the response people had. Surprise! Everyone’s response to her blog post was negative. If you read it, you had negative feelings about it too, so don’t fucking lie. He focuses on how many of the comments were about her being a bitch or shallow, and the irony of calling someone shallow then saying that Finkel makes a lot of money. This irony is the first worthwhile point int he article.

5. A Sordid Past – As it turns out, our beloved hero, Geordie, wrote two very angry responses to similar things in 2002 and 2003. At this point he is saying “I WAS just like you, but not any more! Now I’m better! I’m soooo ashamed for what I did, and you should be too!” You see Geordie finally got laid in the interim, and now sexism was WRONG. Those are practically his exact words. He describes how he finally started a serious relationship, and he suddenly felt awful for everything derogatory towards women for any reason. He even says “I was so sick of the avalanche of sexism that I wouldn’t have criticized Alyssa if she’d set Jon on fire during the date,” and I believe him. More on this later.

6. Pride – Here he talks about how gamers have a big sense of pride as a community, but that this blind devotion can be a bad thing. He also reveals a very poignant quote from earlier in the article to have been stated by a juggalo. Of course, because this guy is actually still a giant douchebag despite claiming to be a changed man, he then makes a number of ignorant and bigoted remarks about juggalos without any real understanding of them (Note: I am not a juggalo). More on this later as well.

7. Fear – Basically, all that’s said here is that Alyssa laughed at you so you’re flailing around wildly like a giant pussy crying and trying to deflect your rage and hurt back at her.

8. Bonus Material – Worst name for one of his sections possible. “Bonus material” is the term that was deemed appropriate to describe the only particularly relevant part of this article. This part explains precisely WHY Bereznak would have thought as she did about Magic players, citing a number of quotes and sources, most notably an article written a decade ago by Aaron Forsythe’s wife. This could and should have been the entire article. If it was the core of the article instead of a footnote buried under a metric ton of self-indulgent bullshit, then this response would not be necessary.

9. Conclusion – This is about feminism, and you can make the entire world more tolerant by not flaming women. No matter what they do, women are off limits. He also decides to forgive you all for what you said, and knows that maybe someday you can be better. Like him. When you finally get laid.

“What’s the Big Fuckin’ Deal, Bitch?”

So why do I hate this article? Well aside from being filled with more self-indulgent ramblings than a Tarantino flick, there is a huge problem with the entire article. Before I even get to that, let’s get to the worse part: the response. It’s 1:30 in the morning at this point in time, so I’m not gonna bother making fancy screenshots, but you are welcome to fact check this because it’s all true. Here’s what a couple people said about Geordie Tait’s article yesterday:

Jon Medina (@mtgmedina) – “I’m not one to gush over things but this article truly is insane. I want to take the day off work just to absorb it.” “I haven’t got through the whole thing, but you should feel honored for being part of this awesome article.”

Evan Irwin (@misterorange) – “Geordie Tait knocks it out of the park.”

The vast majority of the MTG community all had similar things to say. It’s the best thing anyone’s even written. However, I’m gonna pop in a time machine for a second and go back to August 29th…

Jon Medina – “I love how the article starts out, ‘I got drunk and made a profile on OK Cupid.’ Were you drunk when you were checking it every 5 mins too?”

Evan Irwin – “Nothing like a tech writer being shocked & appalled at how geeky her date is. Hahaha. So..@Jonnymagic00 1, idiots 0.”

Now, Tait actually has a screenshot of the quote from Evan in his article, but he ignores the condescending tone and the fact that he calls Bereznak an “idiot” at point blank range. There are countless more examples of this, but these are the biggest names that I distinctly remembered talking shit about her and then changing their tone with this article. I’m sure it will take you very little thought to recollect many of your own friends who had the same reaction. This is the most blatant example of group think I have ever seen. The entire community felt the same way: that this girl was a shallow bitch (Or possibly not shallow enough, since she didn’t care that Finkel has money). Suddenly, a respected writer (Or so I’m told. I had honestly never heard of this fucking guy until two days ago) writes something about how ashamed we should all be, and suddenly it’s the greatest thing in the world and we should all be preaching tolerance and love while holding hands and shitting rainbows. Sorry, but I’m not buying it for a second.

Aren’t You Forgetting Something?

As we covered, the entire catalyst for this article was the reaction to Bereznak’s blog post. This was also really the entire premise and focus of discussion. But everyone seems to have forgotten something: she completely deserved it. DO NOT STOP READING. You’re probably thinking some bullshit about how I’m blaming the victim or being an intolerant asshole. However, let’s think about what our friend Alyssa said, and more importantly how she said it. You see, I don’t care that she didn’t want to date a dude that plays Magic. That’s 100% understandable, but picture this scenario:

Instead of going on a date with a Magic player, she went on a date with someone who, after she mentioned that her brother was a gamer, said “Oh, I play World of Warcraft. Actually, I was the first person in the world to hit level 80.” Would anyone be appalled that she ran? Not a fucking chance. Why? Because World of Warcraft ruins lives. If you’re reading this, then you’re a gamer. As a gamer, you have almost certainly lost a friend into the depths of Azeroth for months or even years. Maybe they’re still stuck there. But Magic isn’t like that, right? Magic is a social medium! You know, except for the fact that everyone’s an asshole and at higher levels of competition people have seemingly no interest in any sort of friendly banter. It’s time to face facts though, guys:

Magic is expensive.
Magic is time consuming.
Competitive Magic is even more time consuming.
Magic players are some of the only people in the world who would fly to Paris, the most romantic city in the world, and leave their wives and girlfriends at home. They would rather go alone and never see anything but the inside of a convention center (Or possibly a bar if they 0-2 drop) then go with the love of their life and share a bottle of wine while gazing upon the Eiffel Tower.
Simply put, hardcore Magic players are unattractive and in many ways unavailable.

This was not the tone of the article, however. It was rude, condescending, and outright mean. There were a lot of things that Bereznak could’ve said. She could’ve just said that she didn’t like Magic players. She could’ve mentioned that some guy who, from every picture I’ve ever seen, has the cold, dead stare of a serial killer took her on a first date to see a one man play about a fucking serial killer. She could’ve said that she was desperately wishing she had gone on a date with one of the suitors who had just wanted to get into her pants instead of the one who potentially wanted to wear her skin. She could’ve said that he was boring, and that there was no real spark, attraction, or mutual interest. Instead, she not only talked about how she went on a date with the “champion of the dweebs”, she used his real name. She didn’t go on a date with some random nerd, she went on a date with “Jon Motherfucking Finkel.” Put all this together, and you’re asking for trouble.

I learned a long, long time ago that if you’re going to speak negatively about someone or something on the internet, you need to be prepared for retaliation. Because retaliation IS coming. If you put one of my boys on blast, I’m going to call you out. I’m not going to call you out by saying it wasn’t nice, I’m going to try to emotionally cripple you, because nobody fucks with the people I care about. Not only do most people feel the same way, but a very large percentage of the Magic community considers Finkel (and all pro players, writers, etc.) to be their boy. Alyssa Bereznak punched Jon Finkel in the dick in front of 1,000,000 of his boys, and expected nobody to do anything about it. And according to Geordie Tait, you shouldn’t have.

The Brutal Truth

Now it’s my turn to say something negative about your boy, and time for all of you to flame me. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna cry like a little bitch about it; I’m used to people not realizing I’m right.

There were a couple things I said I wanted to come back to, and now is the time. The first thing I’d like to mention is the total hypocrisy of Tait’s messages in his article. It is okay for Alyssa to talk shit about the entire Magic community from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint. It is apparently okay for Tait to talk shit about juggalos from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint. But God help you if you talk about women from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint! For of all the groups in the world, be they separated by gender, religion, or personal interest, women are the only group which is above reproach.

More importantly, however, is Tait’s entire attitude towards woman, and towards you, the reader. You see, Tait spend a LONG time, I’d venture twice as long as this entire article, explaining that he’s “just like you!” He’s a nerd, he’s said mean things, and he can totally identify with everything you feel. But, you see, he met the love of his life and everything changed. And by the love of his love, I mean the first girl that would let him fuck her. By Geordie’s own admission, he tried from ages 18-28 to have a steady girlfriend with no success. He then met a girl who he dated and married. Maybe he was able to pull off getting laid a few times before then, but the smart money’s on not very often. He even went so far as to say that he wouldn’t criticize Alyssa had she set Jon on fire during their date. While this was meant as hyperbole, I believe there is truth to that. Tait has become so enlightened, so much more so than you are, that he would tolerate any ridiculous, inappropriate behaviour from a woman. It’s actually pretty disgraceful.

What’s more disgraceful, however, is how much better than you he thinks he is. There is an actual statement of forgiveness in the conclusion of his article. “It’s okay that you’re still an unenlightened sexist. I forgive you, for I am God and God is forgiveness. Maybe one day you’ll get laid too, and then you can be as sensitive to the plights of the opposite sex as I am.” Yeah, you’re a real sweetheart. All that happened here was that lifetime loser who was desperate for approval from any woman finally got some for the first time in his entire life, and he’s not willing to risk giving that up even it means throwing all logic and decency out the window, so he wrote a needlessly long diatribe about how cruel gamers are and how you need to be ashamed of your very existence.

And you all bought it. You bought it and you lauded his greatness, because he wrote it for Star City Games. The Dojo was our Torah, Star City Games is our New Testament. Be it decklists or opinion, every published word is infallible. Mob Mentality FTW.

If People Don’t Die, Sheep Will Kill Us All

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The universe is a simple place. Sure, there are lots of moving part, it looks really complicated, and there’s a lot about it that we don’t understand, but at it’s very core, the universe is governed by simplicity. Take gravity, for example. The law of universal gravitation is not only a pretty simple formula, it is indeed universal. The gravity exerted on Earth by our Sun uses the same formula as the gravity exerted on Uranus by my dick. Even with all the other factors that seem like they could be important, like the fact that my dick is attached to me and I’m stuck on Earth orbiting the sun at a different speed than Uranus orbits our sun, it really is that simple. Likewise, the lifecycle of every living thing on this planet is the same: you’re born, you reproduce, you die. Yeah, all sorts of other shit happens too, but it’s not overly important for this.
The problem with this is that humans are arrogant cunts who like to play God. We’re doing our damnedest to remove the “you die” part from the equation. The thing is, that’s not actually playing God. When you pay doctor, you pretend you’re doing things a real doctor does. That or you’re going to third base with your hot cousin. Extended life indefinitely isn’t what He intended, and what people are actually trying to do with this behaviour is actually BE God. I think we can all agree, whether you believe in God or not, that mankind is not and never will be God. Playing God is one thing, but anytime man actually tries to be God and alter the natural order of the universe, it always in things being fucked up beyond recognition. Don’t worry, I’m getting to the part about sheep, I promise.
First, though, let’s talk about fire. Fire is a beautiful thing. I don’t mean that in some spiritual or philosophical way, I just mean fire is nice to look at. For liability purposes, I would like to point out that pyromania and arson are completely different and unrelated things. Anyway, fire is an important part of nature, and a necessary part. In fact, forest fires are so important that many trees can’t ever reproduce without it. Sure they die in the process, but whatever, they were gonna get diseased and die eventually anyway. If trees require fire to release their seeds, then clearly it was intended to be a fairly regular (regular being relative here) part of a forest’s life. Of course, man has gone and developed areas where trees used to be, so there’s a risk of these wildfires eating our houses and us. What did we do to solve this problem? There was only one logical solution: controlled burns. People would carefully plan so that they could intentionally burn large sections of forest to prevent shit from building up and resulting in worse fires, as well as helping the forest. Describing all the reasons fire is important would take longer than it’s worth here, but if you think I’m full of shit go to Wikipedia or anywhere else and look up controlled burns so you can see. Anyway, many places eventually outlawed controlled burns for a variety of reasons, most of them well intentioned, at least if you’re human. So now you have a forest that no longer has controlled burns. Leaves and branches and other shit builds up. Then there’s a few years of below average rainfall. Then lightning strikes as over 1.5 million acres of California’s landscape are burned to the ground as Martin Lawrence looks at the torched Hollywood sign, takes off his sunglasses, and declares that shit just got real.
Remember how I said that the universe is simple? Well humans are now the overgrown forest, and homeless people are the leaves and branches on the ground. If you find that offensive, then fuck you, now you’re a leaf too; should’ve kept your mouth shut. We’re the forest and those fires that we’re supposed to experience? Those are called plague. The natural order of things is for the occasional plague to sweep through, kill a bunch of people, and let me steal their flatscreen before some relative who never visited comes to take it. But thanks to advances in modern medicine, we don’t really get plagues, so instead we have become overgrown. Let’s face it, the world is overpopulated. It’s pretty impossible to debate that point, and the population keeps rising, especially since people refuse to let anyone die. I mean come on! Every fucking kid who’s seen The Lion King knows that death is part of the circle of the life. Every time there’s a disease which is supposed to be an epidemic, we snuff it out immediately. In my lifetime alone, there was swine flu, bird flu, AIDS, and I think a couple others that were supposed to be a day of reckoning for mankind, but we allayed them all. At this point, the world is so overgrown that as soon as a plague comes through that we actually can’t stop right away, we’re fucked. I’m not talking badass Mad Max fucked where life would be really fun, either. I’m talking Twelve Monkees fucked. The kinda fucked where the few remaining survivors live underground and are all either prisoners or scientists, and where Brad Pitt’s completely fucking insane.
I don’t really have a solution to this problem, of course. I mean, we could just kill a bunch of people, that’s a pretty good solution, but no one has the balls for that so it would never happen. It’s only a matter of before some super virus wipes us all out, and my money’s on Ovine Flu. Why? Because sheep flu victims would be impossible to round up. When authorities came to round up the infected, they would attempt to take a count of them and promptly fall asleep.

Yeah, that’s the joke I’m leaving you with. Deal with it.

Willy Wonka and the Parental Responsibility

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Thanks to the magic of digital cable, I can flip through a guide and see what’s on like 300 channels in the span of about 15 seconds. It’s a vast improvement over TV Guide or that God damn, slow scrolling preview channel from when I was a kid. What I have learned from being able to always know what’s on every channel is that “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is on a lot. Like every day. And not that piece of shit “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Johnny Depp, the real movie with Gene Wilder. One of the many, many times I saw Willy Wonka on the guide I decided to flip it on. The real beauty behind this movie being on TV so much is that it would NEVER get made these days. You’re probably wondering why. Is it because of Gene Wilder’s Tourette’s-like rant about fizzy lifting drink? The implied child murder? Nah, that stuff is all fine. The problem is that 1971 was a brutal, savage time before adults realized they could blame anything and everything on society. Here is an excerpt from the song the Oompa Loompa’s sing after Veruca Salt falls down the garbage chute:

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
Blaming the kids is a lion of shame
You know exactly who’s to blame:
The mother and the father!

What the fuck? Those faggoty little midgets just blew my fucking mind. It’s the parents’ fault that their kid is an obnoxious little shit? How is it possible that this concept was so simple and accepted that it could show up in a kids movie in 1971, but now, almost 40 years later, it’s unheard of to even breath something to this effect. These days, a child’s bad behavior is the school systems fault, or society’s fault, or the kid’s friends’ fault. Everyone gets blamed except for the parents these days, and it’s fucking ludicrous. That song verse is so concise, simple, and most importantly, accurate. It’s not even like giving a child discipline is hard! They’re small and weak, so it won’t take much effort to kick your kid’s ass, and they can’t fight back! I’m trying to think of something funny to say so leave you all with, but this sort of spineless bullshit is becoming omnipresent in America, and this lack of personal responsibility is going to destroy the country; it’s too infuriating to be funny.

If I ever run for office, this will be my campaign song.

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!

© 2008 by Dr. Jeebus

That’s Your Policy, Not Mine!

Monday, July 28th, 2008

“I never once washed my hands! That’s your policy, not mine!” – Abraham “Grandpa” Simpson

The year was nineteen dickity-two. We had to say dickity because the Kaiser had stolen our word for twenty. I chased him to get it back, but gave up after dickity-six miles…

No wait, this is a real story, and it took place earlier this year. There’s a mall in this area with both a movie theater, and a really nice Italian restaurant. We’ll call this restaurant “Vinny T’s”, so it can retain its anonymity. I had just had a great dinner there, and wanted to take a leak before driving home. I know that SOMEWHERE in the mall is a bathroom that is unaffiliated with any of its many stores, but fucked if anyone knows where that is, so I just went to use the bathroom in the movie theater. Hopefully I don’t need to explain basic life functions to any of you, so we’ll skip to the part where I go wash my hands. Admittedly, I had a couple drinks at dinner which might explain why I did this, but while waiting for one of those goddamn hot air blowing hand dryer thingies to dry my hands, I counted how many sinks there were. There were very literally two dozen sinks in this bathroom, so there was no real danger of it being too crowded for simple hygiene. So I’m there drying my hands, and I make a few observations:

1. As I said, there are 24 sinks
2. There is a steady flow of people in and out of the bathroom
3. Only one other person besides myself is washing his hands
4. Half the guys in the restroom stopped, not to wash their hands, but to check their hair in the mirror
5. Half of THOSE guys were wearing hats

It’s the sort of shit I’m not creative enough to make up on my own. Now movies are a big date destination, so I can understand this behavior. If a guy spends too long in the bathroom and his date has to wait for him, clearly she’s going to start to worry that he’s sodomizing another guy. With time being of the essence, these men have to choose between fixing their hair and washing their hands. Now you’re probably thinking that messed up hair would be a lot less of a turn off than the possible stench of urine on one’s hands, but if she’s going to be worrying about the aforementioned sodomy, no guy can risk walking out of the restroom with his hair looking like he was just tossed around a bathroom stall like a rag doll. Besides, all the stereotypical movie foods like popcorn, nachos, and candy may be things you eat with your hands, but urine is sterile. Gross, but sterile.

So remember, next time you’re in a public restroom be sure to wash your hands, because someone’s probably watching you.
I mean an actual person, not like…God is watching you
Although he probably is too, but people were filthy back when Jesus was alive, so he’s probably cool with it
Then again they do say cleanliness is next to Godliness…

Ever seen a sandwich that could take a bite out of you?

© 2008 by Dr. Jeebus