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Messages - Denial

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1
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: August 03, 2009, 01:46:10 PM »
In the end, your argumentation is completely empty (this is not a surprise). This post of yours can be summarized with "Bad Alan Moore" and your attempts to be an authority on what is acceptable or not in a story. Which you aren't. So you think Moore is a poor writer? Alright, it's your opinion. Goes along with the rest. Don't wonder why we all find it amusing though.

What's ironic here (as throughout the rest of the thread, pretty much everything you accuse me of is something you're doing) is you're the one who made the authoritative claim.

Saying I think something is ridiculous and bad storytelling (not "writing") is an argument from my perspective of what constitutes something reasonable and not the author handwaving the craftsmanship of telling a story to emphasize certain themes. Merely objecting to that and stating a contrary position you get "butthurt" per Lithrael and toss out hundreds/thousands of words of fallacies, non sequiturs and idiotic personal jabs so you can feel like you "won," even though you later concede my point. You had to thoroughly blanket it under a warm coat of strawmen you'd built yourself and then knocked down for good measure, but at least you finally got around to admitting it. Congratulations on realizing you were being that guy who can't accept anyone have any opinions differing from his own.

I actually do appreciate your pointing out certain aspects of the story as they've made me reconsider my reactions on some level. It's a shame you chose to make useful contributions to my understanding the exceptions instead of the rule.


I don't think the entire world really banded together on 9/11. There were plenty of people who thought the US got what was coming to them and rejoiced over a great blow to the American devils and even then how many people just helped to save face or gain position only. I think it might be better to look at how Russia reacted to something like Kennedy's assassination. I honestly have no idea what their reaction was to that, probably one of the largest tragedies to befall America during the cold war. It might be worth looking into though.

Agreed. The "banding together" reaction of 9/11 was pretty much just an attempt to sway policy or curry favor. Just an hour or two after the second tower fell, I was in a lecture where these [American] professors began a "dialogue" to tell us how these attacks were a response to American foreign policy. At that point, the sympathy ended and the posturing to try and use these deaths in a way that furthered their policy objectives began.

Significantly absent from this dialogue was Sylvia Brown's input on the psychic visions she had at the time of the attacks. Oddly enough, I do not think her opinions played a factor in shaping future American foreign policy. Even more vexing, the "Jews planned 9/11" crowd, the "Neocons planned 9/11" crowd, and the "Aliens caused 9/11" crowd were, are, and will remain fringe positions despite the forceful assurances otherwise.


This is all just further discourse though. I'm not trying to change anyone's opinion on Watchmen or claim my views are superior in any way. I think a real credit to Watchmen in general is that it's given the opportunity to even have discussions like these due to the fact that there's so many different layers that need to be peeled back to get an idea of what was really going on. Whether it 'worked' or not, the real problem with the movie ending is that, as was stated earlier, the writers of the movie felt their end product superior to the original source and that's why they went with it. Obviously, that's a poor reflection of the people who made this movie considering the fan base and the man who wrote the story to begin with.

Why does it "reflect poorly" on someone to take a work and then create another work that's different (a given considering one's a movie and one's a comic)? A movie has an entirely different set of considerations from a comic book. Does Grendel, the novel, reflect poorly on Beowulf, the epic poem, or is it just something that explores different ideas in a different style/setting/mood using a similar story as its base?

Hell, even what is ostensibly the same text almost always has multiple versions of itself floating around. Maybe I prefer the first edition printing of NovelX to the author's definitive edition (which is to say, a version where the author was able to use his clout to include stuff that an editor may have considered weaker material) or a studio cut to the director's cut. Authorial opinion is helpful but also objectively meaningless (merely subjectively meaningful). Even direct authorial action (for lack of a better term) is not some magic bullet that can compel a "reader" of a "text" to accept additions to a text or even elements of a text itself -- Everyone I know who enjoys The Matrix rejects the second and third Matrix movies even though they were in a certain sense equally "canonical." People holding this view have formulated our own narrative for The Matrix which explicitly rejects narrative that the Wachowski Bros set forth in Reloaded/Revolutions.

This is probably a bit much of a point to be making here, but oh well.

2
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 31, 2009, 02:10:01 AM »
Don't worry, disappointing the likes of you has never bothered me. Your pseudo-intellectual-with-a-superiority-complex act falls flat. At the end of the day it's clear to every person reading this thread that you're just bullshitting your way out of admitting you didn't even understand the gist of the story when you first posted. I know it must be hard on your ego but that's how it is.

You mean it's clear at the end of the day that I said, "I think the squid aspect of the story is crapulence," and you came back with the very convincing "You're stupid and didn't understand the story"? I think it's pretty obvious by this point that if you had an actual argument to make other than just slinging around insults and fallacies you would have made it. It's a shame too, because I'm certainly willing to revise my opinion on Watchmen, but you just don't care to actually engage with someone in a straightforward way.

Yeah because catching bullets with your bare hands is perfectly normal. People do it all the time. Listen, the whole premise of Watchmen is unrealistic. And the reader is supposed to assemble all the little things that are thrown at him over the course of the story, piecing them together to understand what Ozymandias has been plotting. I'm sorry if you can't get that. Sorry for you that is. Anyway, I believe we've reached a point where the discussion isn't going to go anywhere, so I suggest we just end this here. You don't like Watchmen, you think it's bad storytelling, fine. In a way that says it all.

I'll admit, the catching bullets with your hands thing is beyond normal. I had forgotten that scene, but it's really a non-sequitur when you're talking about a throwaway scene versus the climax / critical plot point of the entire story. There are absolutely elements throughout the story that are only semi-realistic, Teleportation obviously being one, and I give Moore plenty of leeway in suspending my disbelief. The question is how do those interact with the aspects which are understood [or, IMO intended to be understood if you want to get technical] as being realistic?

-People playing dress up cops and robbers? - Sure.
-Catching bullets with your hands? - Sure.
-Advanced Genetic Engineering capable of creating new species or custom-building brains? - The latter is a huge stretch, but lets go with it.
-Island and Arctic villain lairs? - Sure.
-Private Flying/submersible vehicles? - Sure.
-Killing off the hundreds/thousands of people who inevitably must have been involved in or stumbled upon your squid project? - A stretch, but lets go along.
-Psychic powers appearing in the climax but otherwise unestablished within the storyline? Bad Alan Moore. Lets continue.
-Countries on the brink of a nuclear war being talked down by Deonne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Network? - Um, no.

Personally I'd put Ozymandias' plan about 50/50 odds in ideal conditions, and this plan seems just as likely to instigate nuclear war as prevent it. You're just not going to get the US and USSR squaring off for total annihilation, and New York gets hit by a "biological weapon" and everyone suddenly accepts the theory of a bunch of crackpots come up with about aliens. Even if they wanted to this is just too much of a stretch on believable human behavior to accept without question.*
Which is of course why it's a terrible resolution from a story perspective. Watchmen's ending and the moral dilemma it poses are basically just a contrivance, because Ozymandias' plot probably should have failed in an honest assessment. Obviously it can't fail for thematic reasons, but there's the rub.

* Naturally we must accept that Ozymandias is just purely psychotic to ever believe this is a workable long term solution, much less a short term one.

Haha, wow. :ganishka:

I look forward to pointing this thread out in 2014 and showing how very Simpson's Comic Book Guy Aazealh's behavior here has been.

3
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:50:57 PM »
"Is it stated anywhere that there are psychics in Watchmen?!"

Aazealh... You're really disappointing me here.

No one in Watchmen demonstrates supernatural-style powers except for Dr. Manhattan. The entire graphic novel up until the last couple of pages pretty much establishes that position. So why would you assume that psychics in Watchmen are anything other than the charlatans they are in real life?

This isn't about accepting or not accepting some kind of unstated premise, it's about throwing out pretty much anything that's inconvenient from the whole preceding part of the story.

4
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:35:44 PM »
You come in the thread, not having even seen the movie but still making a pretty funny statement about what's considered worldwide to be one of the best comic books to ever come out of the USA. Then when we point out you don't know what you're talking about, you clumsily attempt to cover it up disagree and insult you for having a different opinion, you back it up by discussing the actual events of the comic book and how the psychic squid scenario involves multiple layers of compromising everything we've learned about the Watchmen universe throughout the entire graphic novel.

I'd be more convinced if you guys weren't just slinging around ad populum / ad verecundiam and ad hominem.

5
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:19:04 PM »
Talk about disingenuous. I say it's bad storytelling for the author to do what amounts to a 12:01 Bond villain unmasking himself after having been disguised as M the entire movie, and you tell me that it's perfectly fine since a halloween costume store got robbed at some point in the story.

But, what do I care? If you enjoy that kind of thing good on you.

6
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 06:51:14 PM »
Why would I assume a world-famous psychic had, you know, actual psychic powers? Someone could cut out Sylvia Brown's brain and I wouldn't bat an eye.

I am not aware of any evidence where these are actually presented as "Real" in the story, but I could simply not remember. If you can show me where they are established I'd be willing to change my opinion on things... But since the whole chain of implausible events derives from the ability of Ozymandias to blow people's minds using psychic powers and implanting the suggestion that this creature is some alien invader, it's kind of important.

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Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 06:25:00 PM »
I never said I objected to the squid's existence per se. Genetic manipulation to create a giant squid is entirely plausible. And teleportation is established throughout the story using Dr. Manhattan. Psychic powers aren't indicated as real until after we see the giant plot device used. And even if we accept the plausibility of a giant psychic squid, the reality of widespread psychic powers in humans across the world? Completely out of Alan Moore's kooky worldview.

And then we can take a look at how the humans/governments react to the giant squid, which is pretty much equally implausible. Of course we can just stuff it all under the rug by saying Ozymandias is an idiot, but for the supposed smartest man in the world to be that dumb...?

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Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 05:59:16 PM »
Aazealh I think you're a bit out of line. The psychic squid is probably about one of the worst plot devices I've ever read/seen in my life. You might as well have Zeus come down from Olympos for all the sense it makes in the Watchmen universe. I don't think objecting to the author breaking the implicit/implied rules of his universe in the last couple of pages of his story is all that objectionable.

I never watched the movie either, by the way. I didn't enjoy Watchmen as a comic, I'm not sure why I should care if it was turned into a movie.

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Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Watchmen
« on: July 30, 2009, 05:46:47 PM »
Agreed. The squid was shoddy storytelling. That's what it really comes down to.

10
Video Games / Re: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition
« on: June 30, 2009, 08:57:03 PM »
My general impression is 4th Edition is a much better tabletop wargame. But it also doesn't have as many mechanics that might be used for RP (this can be good or bad depending on your group's gaming style). If your group is inclined to lots of freestyle RP and you feel constrained by 3rd Ed. d20 rules, you may be happy. If your group needs to be goaded into RP by realizing that these other skills and such can't be totally ignored, then you may need to make more of an effort to keep RP going in 4th Ed.

I would be strongly interested in running a 4th Edition campaign if I had any reasonable amount of free time to commit to it. At the same time though, 4th Edition is even more in-your-face with the supernatural elements and I am very strongly against allowing lots of supernatural elements in my games (I enjoy A Song of Fire and Ice style stories much more than Elminster Saves the World and Bangs Mystra Part XXXIV).

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Video Games / Re: Left 4 Dead
« on: June 11, 2009, 12:22:50 PM »
I think it is amusing to see the rabid Valve fanboys come out to defend this move. "I got way more support than I expected when Valve re-released existing maps in a gamemode that consists of little more than accelerating endless spawns of bad guys." Sorry, I'm not buying it.
On a slightly different note, I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but doesn't it seem like we're scraping the bottom of the barrel with how frequent the hour-to-cost ratio is deployed in defense of games these days?

Anyway, the so-called support for L4D was just a total let down, because as someone who does game development as a semi-professional hobby, I know for a fact that in the six month period it took them to actually patch L4D to the state it should've been in at retail, I could have easily done that much and more. By myself. In my spare time after work. Of course, putting it that way, it's quite likely that the skeleton crew who was actually responsible for getting the L4D patch+one map out was already working another full time job - L4D2.

As for L4D2, I'm not rabidly against it, but I don't see what people are getting hyped up about. Melee weapons don't look thrilling to me in any way, and incendiary ammunition is the kind of thing I expect from "Valve please listen to my great ideas" threads. Both these things would be trivial to include in L4D. In fact, I haven't seen anything so far that tells me this is a new game and not just a series of new maps and different skins. Maybe the new Infected will really change it up. Map-wise, the southern / daytime setting we've seen so far is a mark against it as well in my book - The only thing I find remotely scary or oppressive when I watch the videos is the thought of how hot it must be walking around in a full suit.

12
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: April 24, 2009, 04:06:43 AM »
Just the other day finished reading Dearly Devoted Dexter, second in the Dexter series. Read the first one awhile back. Actually a little irritated with myself since I ended up reading the third book (Dexter in the Dark) before Dearly Devoted Dexter.

Overall, loved the books. Absolutely hilarious. I enjoy the show quite a bit too, so it's interesting to see how much more likeable, yet-inhuman Dexter is in the books versus in the show. On the other hand, the show is a lot better at building up secondary characters and some dramatic elements, so they both stand up well enough in my eyes.

13
Video Games / Re: Left 4 Dead
« on: April 22, 2009, 03:35:31 AM »
Played through Vs. in Death Toll tonight... To be honest, I'm kind of depressed about it. A number of locations that either Survivors or Infected used to be able to get to are now blocked off. On the other hand, there's also a lot of locations that they obviously went overboard on making accessible (ex. the tower in the train yard of Death Toll). In a number of circumstances, there's a substantial loss of character to areas that were modified.

Feels really bitter to say this after waiting 6 months for these levels to become playable without special commands, but I am now wishing they had just left them alone.

14
Speculation Nation / Re: Guts and the Beherit Sword
« on: April 05, 2009, 03:31:13 AM »
To break up this cycle ...

Did anyone else get the impression that the "Beherit Sword" technique was something that Skull Knight could only do once or twice? Because that was certainly the impression that I got. I am assuming that whatever beherits are used in the process are simply exhausted of whatever "magic" they have after being used in this way. In other words, by rescuing Guts, SK was making a serious sacrifice that entailed hunting down hundreds of apostles -- Something he may or may not have time to do again before confronting the God Hand.


15
Site & Forum News / Re: Writing Miura
« on: April 05, 2009, 12:22:59 AM »
Awesome stuff. Both glad and unhappy that we've got another 10 years to go. But hey, guess that will give me something to come back to in another 9!

16
Video Games / Re: Left 4 Dead!!
« on: March 27, 2009, 12:43:54 AM »
I'm not sure I'm digging this new patch.

I understand why they did what they did to melee (and I completely understand and advocated for some way to stop Survivors from becoming unstoppable melee machines), but I'm not sure I like it. Will need to play some more games to get a good impression.

A lot of the rest of the game "feels" buggier to me, but then that could just be that the 4 games I played the other day were all with pings of 200+ (not sure why I can't just get a freaking server browser...).

17
Video Games / Re: Left 4 Dead!!
« on: March 24, 2009, 04:28:06 AM »
IMO, core gameplay has major problems, which is why we will see the same degenerate melee spam tactics being used on every map released ever. Although custom maps will probably feature fewer indoor areas where survivors can closet camp than the stock campaigns, that's just working around an existing problem.

And is this DLC ever going to get released? Seriously, sick of NM & BH. I get pissed every time I think about Valve playing up how they are so amazing for giving us stuff that should have been in the game at release.

18
Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Hello PC
« on: March 12, 2009, 02:11:34 AM »
I used Macs for 10 years, almost exclusively.

Switched to PCs in order to do 3D and programming work for games. After a few years of working primarily on a PC, going back to Macs feels ... really clunky. Neither one is ideal, but the Mac interface is a lot more windows-oriented, so I find myself moving windows around, resizing, and generally doing "screen management" busywork than I do on Windows.

The only things that I really recommend for everyone are an anti-spyware program (Spybot is good, though I use both Spybot and AdAware) and a good firewall (I really like Agnitium Outpost Firewall). Anti-virus is not entirely necessary if you limit your online behavior (ie, have a routine) and use caution. Also get: Firefox, Opera, or some other non-IE browser. For music, use foobar2000 -- After years of cursing at iTunes for eating up hundreds of MB of memory ("All I want you to do is play music...!"), it's nice to have a music player that only takes up 12MB of memory when I'm using it (not that memory is a concern, but it's nice when software isn't bloated to hell). If you need some kind of office programs and you don't have the Microsoft Suite, get OpenOffice.


19
Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: January 13, 2009, 08:53:49 AM »


Not so much what I'm reading as what I just read. Probably the best book I've read in the past five years, if not ten years. The immediate sequel is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the writing in the third and fourth books drops off in quality, but still worth reading if you like the ideas and want to see more of the universe.




Finished this one off in one night. Definitely a page-turner. Enjoyed it more than Consider Phlebas, but still have a hard time empathizing with the Culture. Even a benevolent dictator is still a dictator. But it's hard to come up with objections to an actual utopia...

20
Creation Station / Re: The Girls of Skullknight.net 2009 Calendar
« on: January 03, 2009, 10:03:49 PM »
It's the day the 3 kings visited Jesus.

Ahh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

(Already at 200% my normal post participation in 2009!)

21
Creation Station / Re: The Girls of Skullknight.net 2009 Calendar
« on: January 03, 2009, 09:32:34 PM »
Very cool, thanks for the guys and gals who put this together. I find it hilarious to have all these Berserk events juxtaposed to real life events (e.g. Feb 14th. As if Valentine's Day even warrants being listed!). Also, what the heck is Epiphany (Jan. 6th)?

And when is SK.net Online Dating starting up? I've got twelve messages to send out...

22
Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Any other programmers here?
« on: June 17, 2007, 04:00:09 PM »
Not that anyone asked for my opinion, but my basic thought is that a small, quick, simple and fun Flash game would be better than a more complicated 3D "game." Maybe a side scroller with Chibi characters, or a Dragon Quest style RPG, etc. I think those ideas might fairly feasible for a single person / small team volunteer project.

3D might seem easier, and to a certain point it is, but it also has its problems... Specifically, I find it rather more difficult to create comic/comically styled 3D art. If you plan on going for a realistic art style, that's more than likely also dictating the tenor of your game. I don't know about anyone else, but I have very different expectations for a lighthearted Flash game than a more serious looking 3D endeavor. Meeting those expectations is damn hard these days just because there's so much good stuff already available.

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Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Adventures in YouTube
« on: September 11, 2006, 05:24:46 PM »
it looks like its having a seizure or something...
and there are a shitload of cat vids on youtube now.  I'm not sure why.

If you look early on in the video you can see the cameraman is using his hand to scratch the spine of the cat. A significant number of cats will respond similarly if you scratch their spine in a certain way by "licking air." Many will attempt to disguise this behavior by pretending as if they spontaneously decided to wash themselves.

I asked a vet about this behavior years ago and I was told the condition is a specific form of a nervous disorder called hyperaesthesia. This cat is just a rather extreme example.

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Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Help this poor chap out !!!!...?
« on: September 11, 2006, 05:13:13 PM »
Almost certainly is just some stupid advertising scheme. If this site were real the guy would just be soliciting responses from women, not looking for hits. Although this might be a good idea if you're desperate enough, the prospect of all the MySpace queens and STD-riddled skanks ruin the idea for anyone who gives it serious thought.

25
Video Games / Re: Cell Factor!!
« on: August 27, 2006, 06:58:21 PM »
I don't see anything in Cellfactor that couldn't be done without another card. The only difference is that there'd only be 10 boxes flying around instead of 1000. Who cares?

It's obvious from Cellfactor that they haven't figured out just why you'll need this card -- The main appeal, presumably, is you can destroy environments realistically, but if you can destroy environments arbitrarily then it becomes extremely difficult to design levels without people being able to bypass obstacles. So then it becomes, "Well, you can destroy certain designated parts of levels... Plus lots of boxes and other non-gameplay critical junk." Aside from lots of extra junk, this is no different from any other game that has cinematic scripted sequences. The only difference with an Ageia card is now the work of creating that scripted sequence is offloaded from the game development team onto your wallet.

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