Simon FitzKit...In The Field!

Whoa-whoa-whoa, Barack Up A Second!

January 29, 2008
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I don’t think people understand equality any more.

From the video (for when the video is taken down at some point in the future):
“They have found themselves a good Negro, and so they’re going to vote for him. Now that’s the kind of Negro… ‘Now Jesse Jackson…Look over there at…’ –Here’s what all those middle-America white folk are saying…Here’s what they’re saying, all those liberal bleeding-heart white folk…here’s what they’re saying: ‘Jesse Jackson, look over there. Now if you’ll be a good boy like Barack and don’t talk bad to us, don’t smart-mouth us, don’t talk about us, don’t say nothing about us, we’ll vote for you too. See, Barack’s a good Negro.'”

So now not bringing up race is being a race-traitor? A bright new future boils down to repeating the horrors of the past? I’m sorry, Mr. Honorable James David Manning, but you’re not helping The Dream out any. You’re saying you want to be separate, that being a black politician demands that you denounce white politicians at every turn. That’s separation from white folks, and I’m pretty sure I heard your father and his friends looked down on that sort of thing a few years back.

Of course, I also heard that politics was about making friends with as many people as possible so they like you and your ideas enough to completely fill in the bubble next to your name on any given Tuesday… but maybe I’m getting American politics confused with a popularity contest or American Idol or something similarly exactly-like-American-politics. So, you’ll understand if I’ve been working under the assumption that making people not like you is a good way to get people to not vote for you.

But then, I shouldn’t really expect that kind of consideration from you, since you do have videos on your site titled “Reverend Manning Repents” and “Sing O Ye Barren” — and both of them do begin with a short speech by a young woman identified thusly:

Not the kind of thing you want to associate with “barren” or “repenting” is all I’m saying.

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Mo Cap, Mo Problems

January 24, 2008
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The Shadow and I are working for Epic Games, doing Motion Capture for an as-of-yet unnameable project (i.e. The NDA I signed prevents me from saying what game we’re working on until they actually announce the title).

So I can’t tell you any specifics. However, I can go ahead and say: Mo Cap suits are hilarious, and I spent the entire day feeling like Jamie Madrox.

I get paid to do the most awesome things these days.


Console-ation Prizes

January 23, 2008
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Video Games I’m Looking Forward To And Don’t Want To Forget:

1) Castle Crashers

Originally a game on Newgrounds.com, this Ninja-Turtles-like side-scroller may very well make me weep with joy every time I beat a boss battle and then have to fight my fellow knights for the right to save the one damsel-in-distress.

2) Patapon

Quirky, two-button music-centric game starring little monochromatic blobs? Didn’t I already love this game once before? Oh wait, no, that was…

3) God of War: Chains of Olympus

Yes, I did, in fact, “not” buy a PS2 specifically so I could own the first two games in the series. Yes, I did, in fact, buy a PSP so that I (and my friend Ted) could play this game. Yes, I do, in fact, consider the God of War series some of the, if not The, best video games of all time. Greek mythology, badass boss battles, enormous landscapes, brilliant plot twists, death scenes to die for…stop. You had me at “mythology.”

4) Jason and the Argonauts

Have I mentioned I like Greek mythology? What about how much I enjoy video games with mechanics like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (switch characters midlevel, up stats in character-specific skill trees)? Yeah, this game is supposedly the lovechild of God of War and M:UA, and that kind of offspring is the sort wars are started over. But, you know, fun wars where you probably get to sleep with a sorceress who’ll some day kill your kids and gift your wife with a poisonous wedding gown before being deus-ex-machina’ed out of your attack radius. Oh yeah, before I forget to mention it: I really like Greek mythology.

5) Brutal Legend

I am playing Psychonauts right now and am loving it to death. Yes, the difficulty curve fluctuates wildly. Yes, the collectibles are insanely difficult to finish collecting. Yes, the character models seem to be based on caricatures of childhood deformities.

But, god, I just killed a pyrokinetic cougar, then jumped into a madman’s brain where the landscape was a 1950s neighborhood where Dali had gotten to design the sidewalks. With all that in mind, it was made by Tim Schafer, the guy behind Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and now: Brutal Legend, in which Jack Black is a roadie with an ax for attacks (chopper) and an ax for magicks (guitar) who must quest across a world of heavy metal homages to rescue his girlfriend from My Chemical Romance fans.

…Now if only there were a hydra in it.


The Ice Cream of the Present…of the Future!

January 19, 2008
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I know I’m a bit late hopping on this bandwagon, but I was at Target the other evening and ran into a wall of Ben & Jerry’s flavors dedicated to cultural icons.

I knew about Cherry Garcia and Phish Food; those are classics. I knew about Steven Colbert’s Americone Dream and Willy Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler. I’d even heard about Neapolitan Dynamite. But I was not truly prepared for the sheer glut of eponymous flavors available.

Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies (Black Raspberry Ice Cream Swirled with Sweet Cream Ice Cream & Fudgy Brownies)?

Duff & D’oh-Nuts (Chocolate & Cream Stout Ice Creams with Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts)?

Bohemian Raspberry (Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Brownies & Raspberry Swirls)?

VerMonty Python (Coffee Liqueur Ice Cream with a Chocolate Cookie Crumb Swirl & Fudge Cows)?

I’ve decided that Ben & Jerry’s just needs to stop pretending that it doesn’t want to make cultural references 24/7; they should go ahead and change their company name to what they obviously have dreamed of calling it for years:

Yes, Zeitgeice Cream: Making frozen treats that reflect the public’s interests since regular people bought stuff that reminded them of how much they like famous people.

And now, from the makers of Zeitgeice Cream, try Italian-dessert flavors like “Pope Jelly-Bean-edict” and “Cinnamonica Bellucci” when you have a taste of

(PS: Parody of Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape” over at Trouble in Parodies. Check it out.)


Trouble In Parodies

January 10, 2008
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I have created a sideblog. It’s called “Trouble In Parodies.”

http://troubleinparodies.blogspot.com/

It will be the new home of all parodies I write, since, man, I write a lot of them. I’ll still link to them from here, just in case you don’t have an RSS feed and don’t want to bookmark two bloglinks for one person.

So, it’s been another year since I reworked the dialog bubbles in these Japanese Marvel comics, so it’s time for the third annual installment of The All-New, All-Different X-Chibi!

…And, in order to avoid doubleposting on the RSS feeds that do exist, I’ll only include the links in posts on ‘In The Field…’ that stand on their own.

With that in mind:

I had a dream last night about combination locks. As I’ve been watching a lot of Alias lately, I was apparently contemplating ways to make uncheatable combo locks. My dream idea: Dance-Step Security Systems.

You’ve seen the dance-step diagrams (probably in classic Disney cartoons), but just in case:

Now, imagine that on the floor in front of a vault –EXCEPT– without the arrows and labels.

Each footstep would be a separate button that has to be hit in the correct order and with the correct rhythm. The Foxtrot, the Tango, the Bravo, the Charlie… any sort of interesting step. Maybe set it to your favorite song, the one you have memorized, so you know the beat you’re moving to. This system could even replace those two-keys-turning-simultaneously locks; just have the mechanism be a layout for a couple to waltz through together.

Some might say, why not just have the key be a section of customized DDR-style hopping on a standardized quartet of buttons? But I say 1) with only four buttons, it’s easier for a thief to hack the system and 2) four square arrowed buttons don’t look nearly as awesome as this:

And the obvious music choice for my someday vault:
The Safety Dance.


It’s Better To Receive Than To Get

January 9, 2008
3 Comments

My birthday is fast approaching (February 7), and I’ll be turning 26. To celebrate, I’d like a PS2. That’s right, I’d like to have a PlayStation 2.

Now, I’ve made this a little more difficult for you kind souls out there: I bought myself a PS2 the day before New Years Eve. It’s this one:

It was a stupid purchase; I realized that then, and I continue to realize it now. That’s beside the point. Actually, that’s not true; my point revolves around the fact that I was stupid to buy myself a PS2. I mean, I haven’t even opened it yet. It’s sitting in my room, still in the bag…lurking. Anyway.

So, while talking with my friend Ted earlier today, I said that I was just not going to open it until February 7, since then it would be like a birthday present to myself. I then jokingly said I could even ask my friends for a PS2 for my birthday, since –if twelve people send me 12 dollars each– not only would they have gotten me a great gift, and not only would the gesture spark that whole my-friends-are-awesome chest-warmth-spread feeling, but it would also mean I would not have randomly spent $150 on a game system. Ted said, “I’d go in on that. Post it on your blog.” So here we are.

Some people will see this as a greedy pig’s way of trying to mooch off his friends using their sympathy as a conduit. I was certainly of that opinion for most of the day; after all, the inferiority complex in me is quite good at pointing out those sorts of positions.

Now, however, I look at it from an egotist’s point of view: it’s a good idea. Late last year, I had the great idea to go in with others to get a friend DDR for CMas. “That was an excellent idea,” my inner egotist says. “Why am I the only one who has these ideas?”

Well, not to fear, because I’ve now had the idea for you. If you want to get me a birthday gift, but you think that 10-12 bucks won’t get enough of a thoughtful gift, try this on for size:

If you buy me the PS2 I’ve already bought myself, you’ll be saving a man from his demons, freeing him from financial burden while simultaneously gifting him with an enjoyable pastime that he’ll let you come over and play.

And isn’t that what every gift is really about?

Getting something back in return?


Morgan Freeman Moves From Electric Company To Sesame Street

January 8, 2008
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This. Is. Genius.

Se7en as Sesame Street Pinball

No…not that Se7en.


PSP: I Love You

January 1, 2008
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I saw this article a while ago, but I haven’t thought about it while able to blog until now.

From the article:
“Users have been reporting that Remote Play has been secretly updated in the last firmware revision. With PS3 2.10, PS3 owners that have a Remote Play-ready system will be able to play any PS1 game on their handheld.”

Yes, that’s right: You can now plug in your PS3, turn on your PSP and play PS1 games on the tiny screen.

…What!? I understand the seductive draw of ports and backward compatibility, I do. It just seems that, at some point, you’re going to reach critical mass…like so:

1) Drop your PS1 game onto the mousetrap.
2) Mousetrap springs, flipping the disc into a balloon.
3) Balloon pops, dropping the book it was under.
4) Book (the hardcover guide that came with Lunar: Silver Star Saga Complete) flattens disc on conveyor belt.
5) Impact disturbs cheerleader pyramid of Lego Star Wars figures, all of whom fall into cup.
6) Extra weight in cup activates pressure plate below, turning on conveyor belt.
7) Disc and book travel down belt, under hanging (pivoting and spring-loaded) pencil. Lunar guide pushes bottom of pencil forward, then passes under.
8) Pencil springs back, rotating so far that its top smacks domino on shelf above conveyor belt.
9) Dominoes tumble, pacing the disc and book below until final domino hits racquetball.
10) Racquetball bounces down narrow wooden chimney and hits pressure plate below, stopping conveyor belt.
11) Lunar guide simultaneously runs into another hanging pencil.
12) The impact knocks over bottle of acid, which spills into torus-shaped tube and drips out onto conveyor belt, just past where disc is held fast by pencil.
13) Acid eats through conveyor belt in circle, and a disc-sized circle of the belt falls down into beaker below.
14) Weight of belt circle and extra acid is enough to activate pressure plate, turning on conveyor belt again.
15) Disc is held still by pencil, but belt moves underneath it. Soon, hole wraps around bottom of conveyor belt and comes up under disc.
16) Disc falls through hole into PS3 below.
17) You left on vacation, like, an hour ago, and you’ve turned on your PSP on the bus to the airport.
18) You may now play KISS Pinball.

Alternatively:
1) Turn on PSP.
2) Play Exit.