Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 16:59 on 22-11-2011, TryCatcher
@valse

One argument could be made that the Harry Potter books made kids and teenagers actually read books instead of playing with their Game Boys all day. Of course, what I believe is that the level of mainstream literature these days is so bad that JK Rowling's descent into mediocrity was largely unnoticed.

Besides, found Hulk's site and this review:

http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/hulk-watch-eat-pray-love-for-you-assholes/

Make me aticulate in words something that I couldn't express clearly:

My problem with Modern Feminism is that my exposure on it comes largely from the Internet, and most Feminist Bloggers are, in my opinion, a bunch of self-desilusional, whiny and selfish women.
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at 13:26 on 22-11-2011, Wardog
Mainplot!dragon is giving me angst. I am but a level 5 mook with a short sword and IT IS FLYING THE FUCK OUT OF THE AIR AND SETTING MY FACE ON FIRE ALL THE TIME.
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at 12:47 on 22-11-2011, Arthur B
Mammoths in Skyrim are my friends. First time I encountered a dragon (outside of the main plot) some mammoths happened to be nearby and they helped me kill it. :D
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at 10:46 on 22-11-2011, Wardog
Is this ... some kind of ... joke?

(Sorry, I know it's old, but I'm behind on the internet).

Also I've read The Last Werewolf, I meant to review it. I might not bother now.
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at 10:42 on 22-11-2011, Wardog
My Skyrim adventures have thus far largely involved being killed by mammoths.

GOOD TIMES
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at 07:05 on 22-11-2011, valse de la lune
Jesus almighty, Hulk's one of the raging fanmass too. "FOR INSTANCE, HULK THINKS THE HARRY POTTERS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CULTURAL MILESTONES OF THIS MOST RECENT DECADE (YOU'RE FREE TO THINK SOMETHING ELSE IS OF COURSE)" indeed. And that Stephen King quote. I've never been able to take seriously anyone who insists that the Death Eaters are some of the most ~horrifying~ things ever.
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at 06:58 on 22-11-2011, valse de la lune
I believe they get a few details wrong (not least of which is "Harry Potter is the perfect antidote to Twilight..."), but the vast majority are dead on.


I don't get this especially because Harry Potter isn't exactly feminist. I know the salivating fanmass around it will hold up Rowling as the goddess of everything--anti-racist, LGBT-friendly, feminist--but HP's gender politics are nothing to be lauded. Ginny Weasley being cited as a wonderful ~strong female character~ is just lol.
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at 06:41 on 22-11-2011, TryCatcher
Star Wars of Warcraft being the suck was coming from a mile away. They wouldn't have been so hard-ass on the NDA if they weren't polishing a turd. Also, the few gameplay videos revealed very mediocre gameplay.

My prediction: People will buy it, burn trough the storyline, then dump it. All of the above in 2 months or so.

BTW, the above will mean the death of exclusively suscription-based games. I see WoW changing to a Freemium model on their next expansion, or at least on their .1 version.
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at 06:24 on 22-11-2011, Ibmiller
Thanks for the link, Alasdair! Thoughtful (probably deliberately so, given the ironic nature of the persona). I believe they get a few details wrong (not least of which is "Harry Potter is the perfect antidote to Twilight..."), but the vast majority are dead on.

And I say that as someone who still enjoys the series.

Also, the saga of the dead companion is both hilarious and touching. Almost makes me wish I were playing that game. Then I remember the enormous arthropods, and am just fine not playing.

Though I am incredibly sad (but also completely unsurprised) to hear that The Old Republic, having finally lifted the Non-Disclosure Agreement, is getting very few non-infatuated positive reviews.
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at 05:29 on 22-11-2011, TryCatcher
This:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ckBlasgNSzg/SxB2-MwOv5I/AAAAAAAAQGU/hvBc-jrxKcU/s400/Twilight+Moms.jpg

Absolutely killed my capacity to feel sympathy for Twilight fans. They deserve all the criticism that they get.

PS: They have a website that I won't link because is puke-worthy.
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at 03:27 on 22-11-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I know you guys have probably read/written enough critiques of Twilight to fill a zeppelin hangar, but this recent offering from The Incredible Hulk is still worth a read. He breaks down the structural problems with the books, explains why and how they are problems, and yet he maintains sympathy for Stephanie Meyer and the fans of the books/films. Impressive and informative.
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at 21:18 on 21-11-2011, Arthur B
Gods. Words cannot express how much I love John Walker. This might just be the funniest, saddest thing I've ever read. I honestly ... it's sublime.

I find it especially fun because I'm using Lydia as my companion in the game and am increasingly disinclined to use anyone else. I mean, I can befriend some random stranger to serve me... or I can call on the service of a warrior who owes fealty to me. In the literal "has specifically sworn loyalty to me as part of our respective places in the feudal system under our Jarl". How cool is that?

Of course, I do also have in my armoury a nasty dwarven axe that steals souls and puts them in soul gems when you kill things with it. So there's a non-zero chance of shit going all Elric with a single misaimed swing...
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at 19:32 on 21-11-2011, valse de la lune
I do so adore RPS. The best gaming site anywhere, bar none.
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at 18:46 on 21-11-2011, Wardog
Gods. Words cannot express how much I love John Walker. This might just be the funniest, saddest thing I've ever read. I honestly ... it's sublime.
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at 15:43 on 21-11-2011, Andy G
Well, the Eurozone isn't the same as the EU. Mind you, the EU also isn't the same as the Council of Europe which confers lots of the benefits (like Human Rights law) that get attributed to the EU. There's a very useful diagram on Wikipedia.
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at 15:32 on 21-11-2011, TryCatcher
The EU is a nice idea, but it kinda falls apart in practice. Not because racial tensions, but because of something more simple: The Economy. Specifically the Euro.

With currency being on countries, people can move to the places where they are jobs and the goverment can inflate the currency to ride the tough times (only works as a patchup measure, but is there). With the Euro, none of the above is possible, so the only option left is to put austerity measures. And despite what Hillary Clinton says, the protests are nicely flared up becuase people DO NOT like that.

So, the IMF and the bankers, whose policy is "give us the money or we break your thumbs", uses their bought political weight and they put in charge people ruthless enough to enforce their policy. The current case is Greece, that has Fascists (real Fascists, as in Nazi supporters) in charge now:

http://exiledonline.com/austerity-fascism-in-greece-the-real-1-doctrine/
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at 14:30 on 21-11-2011, Janne Kirjasniemi
I think that the EU is a great idea. At least in the sense that it tries to connect people, facilitates theirm movement around and in general tries to lessen conflict between different people and nations. But it is still pretty clear and I would suppose glaringly obvious for someone outside Europe, that the tensions and differences and old hatreds flare up too easily, when any sort of troubles arise or there are frictions between people and as usual, instinct and fear overrides reason and fairness. Ethnicity seems on many occasions to be such a political thing and the demarcations people draw between each other seem very arbitrary and tragic. And the contemporary anti-immigration movement hasn't certainly helped. Funnily enough, in Finland at least, Canada is seen as the nice country, where the excesses of the US are tempered and immigration has been a success. But I guess in reality, all places have their troubles.
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at 14:25 on 21-11-2011, Axiomatic
err...continued.

Because I come from Slovenia and we really don't have much in the way of any sort of racial minority.

It's the kind of situation where you can say "Lol, nobody here is racist!" because 99% of the country never has to interact with any non-Slovenians. Except Croats and Serbs, maybe, who look pretty much like Slovenians, and whose languages are often easier to understand than some dialects of Slovenian.

You know what I mean? A kind of homogeny that lets you pretend nobody is a bigot because all the strange people are keeping away on their own.
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at 14:21 on 21-11-2011, Axiomatic
Yay, team Threatening Slav, represent!

On a serious note, I think I'm kinda handicapped in any and all discussions of race relation, because I come from
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at 14:21 on 21-11-2011, Axiomatic
Yay, team Threatening Slav, represent!

On a serious note, I think I'm kinda handicapped in any and all discussions of race relation, because I come from
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at 01:07 on 21-11-2011, Michal
(In regards to my previous comment, I've realized that even in Canada, my overwhelmingly Slavic looks apparently make me seem vaguely threatening upon first contact. This has been remarked upon to the point of annoyance.)
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at 01:07 on 21-11-2011, Michal
(In regards to my previous comment, I've realized that even in Canada, my overwhelmingly Slavic looks apparently make me seem vaguely threatening upon first contact. This has been remarked upon to the point of annoyance.)
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at 00:43 on 21-11-2011, Sunnyskywalker
Wasn't part of the Katniss thing geographical? (Disclaimer: haven't read the books yet.) I seem to remember arguments that since her District is roughly in what's Appalachia today, and there's a history of white/black/Native American racial mixing in that region, then regardless how she identifies or what she knows about her distant ancestors, she could have mixed ancestry (and thus could be played by a mixed-race actress). And there was something about the "Hanging Tree" song being probably passed down from the original hanging tree days, when the couple on the tree probably was black, or an interracial couple. (And there were a few other things... Katniss being a plant name, which supposedly is common for Native peoples in the region? I don't know the reality, just going off what I heard.) All suggestive, but not conclusive.

And it doesn't sound like what Collins intended, but it also doesn't sound like the casting people and Collins ever had a sit-down where they decided that only white girls could play Katniss, so excluding Katniss-looking actresses who are not (or not entirely) white sounds like they're going by the industry "fact" that white leads are just so much better and casting anyone else would make it "about" race. Which is a related but separate issue from what Katniss was intended to be or can be read as.
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at 00:38 on 21-11-2011, Sister Magpie
Katniss wouldn't have to have ever seen an olive to use the term olive-skinned. I didn't realize the two words were even related for most of my life. I also thought....wait, she's green?
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