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Philip Allen
26 April 2011 @ 08:53 pm

Taco Bell wants an apology. Their “beefy” tacos contain a higher percentage of dead cow than previously implied, so they demand an apology from their accusers. It’s still legally debatable if it is in fact, “real beef.” The fact that a grey area can arise over whether something is a dead cow, or not, is cause for alarm in and of itself. There’s a lot of food products saying, “Real Beef,” like hot dogs, and I’m quite certain it’s 100% rat anus. Still, no one has a fit over it like they do with Taco Bell food.

The fact that it took this long for Taco Bell to quell rumours about it’s product is another matter. I’ve looked at their recipe online, and I’ve tasted their tacos (just like I tasted your mom’s taco last night, punk), and there’s still doubt in my mind that this is beef, let alone meat. I’ve eaten beef in various forms, such as steak, burgers, etc. and it hasn’t caused me violent and explosive diareaha for three days, unlike Taco Bell tacos. The taco filling is 88% “beef” and 12% “stuff.” I’m led to believe the remaining 12% includes the Ebloa Virus, as the ingredients list such splendours as “anti-dusting agent.” Their website does not reassure me about these so called “common ingredients” found in coffee, cheeses, etc.. Remember: Taco Bell is a knock-off of Mexican food. Let me explain that to you again: it’s a knock-off of Mexican food. Have you ever seen dollar store toys that are cheap Mexican rip-offs of American toys, and somehow they’re of lesser quality than Chinese lead-paint based toys?

Taco Bell is an imitation of that type of imitation. When they’re casually talking about the same ingredients as theirs ends up in deli meats and cheese at other locations, I would demand to know those locations. Because if they’re in Honduras: fuck you. I’m not eating your anti-dusting agent.

Their bullshit response to a bullshit lawsuit made things worse. First, they thanked their nay-sayers for suing them. That doesn’t make any goddamned sense. That’s like a serial killer breaking down in tears and thanking the cops for catching him. Then someone finds their wife’s head in a box. Then they started running this goddamn ad:

These are the fakest actors money can buy. Bear in mind: they spent millions and lost millions more all because of this campaign. These people have never set foot in a Taco Bell, let alone worked in one. Do you think Taco Bell employees look and act this way? Working at Taco Bell is the most soul crushing job imaginable. These are the people who have to wash the poop off the walls and ceiling of the bathrooms after you finish your meal. Plus they bring up a lot of questionable turns of phrases, like, “We start with USDA approved Grade A beef…” Then? Do you feed that beef to the Thresher Beast whose younglings you grind up into your tacos? Where does it go, besides all over the bathroom wall?

I don’t know what’s worse: that it might not be all beef in the tacos, or that it’s all beef. Cows have to die for this shit, just so you can have a two second meal that immediately ejects itself from your puckered anus. When you eat a Kobe steak, you’re eating a cow that lived better than you did. When you eat a Taco Bell taco, you’re eating a war crime.

The worse thing is: there’s Taco Bells inside KFCs, and vice-versa, like they’re interchangeable. KFC is all about the 11 herbs and spices. Their fucking Col. Sanders isn’t even a real Col.. There’s not one thing about KFC that is built on lies, secrecy, and chicken genocide, and they’re right there, hand-in-hand.

This whole ad campaign is just about one menu item. No one says shit about the rest of their food item. What the hell is going on with that, then? Is there some even worse secret? Is Soylent Green made out of people, or the Taco Bell dog? That dog’s dead, you know. They don’t live that long, and I’m pretty sure someone ate him. Still, that dog was better than their current ad campaign of, “Our food-like substance isn’t 100% recycled asbestos.”

 
 
Philip Allen
24 April 2011 @ 07:43 pm

I was watching a repeat of the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Di as the networks ramp up for April 26th, and I was thinking to myself, “What a crock of shit.” This “spectacle” has no relevance at all in today’s society, especially after how their marriage played out, but it’s treated with as much historical import as the fall of the Berlin Wall. The marriage between Chuck and Di meant as much in the long run as the TV show Cheers, in which it’s constantly referred. So it makes me wonder about the upcoming marriage as well, where the new heir-in-waiting marries the new princess-to-be. The two events are pretty much carbon copies of each other, with the mother of all media storms surrounding it as thousands gather in the street waving flags and wearing tacky souvenirs they just bought. Inside, the creme-de-le-oh-so-white-creme of British high society will stare down their noses as two of their automatic betters stand before the altar in a meaningless ceremony.

What was even the point of the Chuck and Di wedding? He was the hideously misshapen King-to-be, and she was the most attractive woman they could find in all of England, which wasn’t saying much. The idea was that they would be the next King and Queen, in title only, of a country that’s about a hundred and twenty years past it’s prime. It’s a place that’s in a constant state of Recession because nobody wants coal anymore, and that’s all they have. What else does England have? Tea? They don’t even make their own tea. They import it all. I live in a country completely surrounded by all the whitest imaginable people, people who couldn’t stand living in England: that’s how bad England is. Bear in mind: they have no political power in their own country. They’re just two people whom circumstances have deemed they live in obscene luxury and occasionally wave out of a window with a gloved hand as they drive past the poorer people. That’s the extent of their duties. It’s like if every time someone won the lottery there was a parade for them in the street. Old women and young girls weep at the very sight of you as you barely acknowledge their meaningless existent. Then: you’re whisked away to one of your twelve palaces.

These two fuckers had everything made for themselves. All they had to do was eat caviar and smile at the cameras, and they fucked that up. How? Was the pressure of becoming the next King and Queen too much? There’s virtually no difference in the lives of a King and Queen and a Prince and Princess. Would there be more cameras and paparatzi following them? No. In fact, there might be less. No one sticks a camera in the Queen’s toilet, because no one cares. For some reason, the media gets bored with you when you’re the real something-of-something. Take every American Idol winner for instance. For the entire contest, there’s a camera in their faces 24/7. Then they win, and they might as well have gone into witness protection. I have no idea why it works that way, but it does. For all we know, the Queen could be killing hobos in the streets at night. We’ll never know, because even the notoriously debauched British tabloids don’t think she’s newsworthy.

So they could have kept up the charade, and lived the good life forever. Not that they lived any less of a good life. Really, they could have dropped their traus and mooned the cameras during the ceremony, and still bathed in champagne that night. Everyone in England could rise up as one and demand their deaths and the Queen could disown the both of them, but they’re too rich and influential to live anything but the pimp life.

But the fact that an entire country showed up to basically watch two people enter into a lie is kind of a sham in and of itself. Everyone looked at them like they were the two most perfect human being in the universe, and the both of them were gritting their teeth waiting to go home and bang the stable boy.

Seriously, what the fuck? What was wrong with them? Why was Charles obsessed with one of the ugliest women in a country renouned for dumpy, dour women? And a married one, no less? And why couldn’t Di not fuck things? That’s pretty all she had to do, was not fuck things, and she could have stayed a princess. I know Charles is no prize, despite being a fucking prince. They both obviously had their choice of people to fuck, and they chose wrong. The only thing that compares is Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. You look at him, and then her, and you ask, “Why would you let your genitals touch that?” With Clinton, the answer was of course, “Because I can.” With the royals, there’s no telling what went on in their minds. Clinton just fucked whoever showed up in his office then told her to get a breath mint and wash her stanky self. The two of them went to insane lengths to hide and cheat with just ugly, ugly, common, but still incredibly wealthy people.

The only lesson learned from the whole ordeal is that no lessons are ever learned. Di was put up on a higher pedestal than before, because apparently cheating on your spouse with a more reasonable looking person than your spouse is currently cheating on you with makes you next in line for sainthood. Now, somehow, this new marriage is as big, if not bigger than the last. Why? I have no fucking idea. Brits are more jaded now than they were during the last marriage, and that was at the height of the punk movement. Now: they’re rioting in the streets over tuitions, or some shit. They’re basically Libyans, only they’re not being executed on sight. I think it’s 100% media-driven. There’s nothing else of interest going on (except for the Japanese Tsunami/Earthquake/Nuclear crisis and the entire Middle East revolting).

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Philip Allen
23 March 2011 @ 11:08 pm

Sometimes it’s too late to pull a title from shelves. I’ll just show you this clip and the date:

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Yes: A reference to a Japanese Tsunami in a comic dated for the month of April, 2011. Comics take a lot of effort to produce. Maybe a month of work goes into each month’s issue. So once it’s sent to print, there’s really no going back. This will end up in a cracked.com top ten list some day.

 
 
Philip Allen
20 March 2011 @ 05:55 pm

image

Comic books have a longstanding tradition of super heroes hanging off of missiles, but this is the greatest two-page spread ever drawn. This comes from issue twelve of Doc Savage from DC comics. It depicts the titular character of Doc Savage kicking his way out of one missile and leaping on to a second missile, heading in the opposite direction. This is after he was declared dead at the beginning of the issue.

When Captain America tried something like this, it killed his sidekick and he ended up being frozen in the ocean for about four decades. Thus Doc Savage > Captain America.

Pussy.

Doc Savage is a little known, but he’s technically the first comic book super hero, predating Superman. He’s basically Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones punched more people in the face. He’s like four Harrison Fords in one. That means if you had Indiana Jones, Han Solo and President James Marshall, you’d still have to get the fugitive from Fugitive.

This is the most comic book-like thing I’ve read in a comic book, ever, and it deserves a monument.

 
 
Philip Allen
09 March 2011 @ 11:19 pm

Charlie Sheen has become an entity unto himself. If people aren’t talking about him, they’re talking about not talking about him. Certain talk shows, like Craig Kilbourne have set up “No Sheen Zones,” because they think it’s inappropriate to make fun of someone who’s obviously gone off the deep end.

Question: If it’s not okay to make fun of Charlie Sheen, then who can we make fun of? I was faced with this question once before in high school when I was forced into an assembly to listen to a drunken Indian tell me it’s not okay to watch Married With Children because poor people are poor. This is something that actually happened to me, and I wish to God I was making it up. A random dude wearing a bandanna was invited to speak at our school for some obscure reason. Likely it was part of his community service. He was probably high as a kite as he rambled on about how the show Married With Children was a bad influence. It was like a Scared Straight program where cons try to warn you off a life of gangs and drugs, only the person speaking was still on drugs and instead of speaking out against the ills of society, he picked a sitcom on Fox. He was talking about stereotypes being offensive, when he factually was a stereotype. It was like an irony sandwich. The entire basis of his argument was that it wasn’t okay to make fun of people for being living trainwrecks because he’d seen stuff, man. This presentation gave birth to the modern-day hipster movement.

To any and all people who think it’s wrong to hang on every moment of this explosion of insanity that is Charlie Sheen: this is as good as it gets. Life gives you lemons. Sometimes, those lemons turn out to be overpaid celebrity drug addicts. Use them. Take them in your hands and squeeze them. Feel the juice dripping down your palms. Breathe in the smell of crushed citrus, and feel alive. You are at the lemonade stand of life, my friend, but the sign reads, “Tigerblood 25 Cents.”

If you ever think you’re being depraved by revelling in someone else’s depravity, just step back a minute. Charlie Sheen is a no-talent actor on an overrated sitcom. It’s the highlight of his career, and it’s been a career based solely on roles where he plays himself. It’s like if you were to be paid a million dollar every time you read this blog with open disgust. You're just being yourself. Charlie Sheen is a drunken, drug addicted womanizer who’s had it too good for too long. He’s a generational dick-wad. The only reason he’s an actor at all is because his dad’s an actor. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and then he used that spoon to heat up heroin. Don’t pity him for a moment. Sure it’s tragic. I don’t mean 9/11 tragedy, I mean a literal tragedy, like Antigone. He’s being destroyed by his own hubris. It’s what God wants to happen, because God loves cartoon irony. His fat Irish head can’t handle the meth and whiskey anymore and his producers got tired of propping him up like he’s in Weekend at Bernie’s. He still makes out like a bandit. Charlie Sheen has pissed away more money than you, or I will ever see in our lives. Charlie Sheen has two million twitter followers. Imagine he had a dollar for every twitter follower. He has twenty-two times that amount of money, because every episode of Two and a Half Men got him a 1.8 million dollars. Have you ever watched that show? Have you ever said to yourself, “This guy isn’t being paid enough!” Jerry Seinfeld was making obscene amounts of money before he retired gracefully, but he still wasn’t banking that kind of dough, and he’s still living comfortably a decade or so later with his antique car collection. He still makes off like a bandit for being fired. If you’re fired for showing up to work high, your golden parachute isn’t going to inflate. He’s trying to sue them now for 1/3rd of a billion dollars. What could he possibly do with that amount of money? Take Scrooge McDuck swims?

Fuck Charlie Sheen. He’ll enjoy it. The guy is walking syphilis.

Back to my earlier question: If we can’t make fun of Charlie Sheen, who can we make fun of? The dude’s obviously unfazed by anything anyone has to say about him, and there’s a lot being said. He’s Hulking out on it all. He’s on top of a building waving a machete around and drinking Tigerblood, which could be actual tiger blood. Like I said, he’s got that kind of money. It could me Mike Tyson’s tiger from The Hangover in that bottle. There’s a difference between making fun of Charlie Sheen and a teenage girl, and that’s the fact Charlie Sheen won’t end up vomiting in the bathroom, crying hysterically and cutting himself because you called him fat. When he does that, it’s because he’s having a bad trip, and not because of what you said. He’s got thick skin, which would explain his fat Irish head.

Plus, let’s face it: you’re a terrible person. You need to make someone worse about themselves to make yourself feel better. The farther Sheen falls, the better it is for you, until you have a Sheengazm.

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Philip Allen
08 March 2011 @ 09:34 pm

Have you ever seriously worried that your own rage-filled emotions will physically manifest themselves and tear someone asunder?

I’m a pretty suppressed guy. Not Libyan suppressed, mind you, but emotionally suppressed. I get as stressed as the person next to me, but the person next to me is likely the one stressing me out. So I try to keep my composure like an anti-Charlie Sheen. It doesn’t work, necessarily, but it gets the lousy stinking job done. There’s situations, though, where people attack you on multiple fronts, and all that composure goes in the garbage. 

So today I was trying to make it to an appointment at the hospital for me and my wife to get a tour of the maternity ward, as our baby is due in a few months. I dropped her off at the front entrance then proceeded on my way to find a parking spot. I had been there last week so we could register with the hospital, while at the same time a nurse’s union tour bus complete with news camera crews pulled up to the front to start a protest. The parking situation was a kerfuckle (TM). For a new hospital boasting it’s size, there was no parking. Anywhere. And parking costs $2.75 an hour. People and cramming themselves in to pay $2.75 an hour. For parking. I had to leave the entire grounds to find a spot, but every side street had strict no parking signs posted, for no good reason. These were little used residential cul-de-sacs about three lanes wide with no lines on the road even. Still, they don’t want you parking there. They want you parking at the hospital, and to pay for this privilege. Only, there’s no parking there. I eventually had to park next to a “Resident Parking Only” sign and hope I didn’t get towed over the next half-hour.

That was last week. Today, as I try to pull away from the entrance, a van stops in front of me, and stays stopped. There’s no room to go around him. There’s a car behind me, so I can’t back up. I can’t honk my horn because it’s a hospital quiet zone. He stays there for about three minutes. Eventually, a half-dead man hobbles up to the side door and gets in. I exhale, and I move on my way as they leave. I circle a few stalls in the parking lot, and finally find a space. Before I can, a car opposite the space starts to back up, so I have to stop, because they’re no going to. The car pulls out between me, and the empty space, and stops, and stays stopped across two lanes. There’s no way around the car, and no explanation for what the hell it’s doing. I wait two minutes. A lady comes out of the car, and walks over to me, and taps on my window, telling me in a Scottish accent, “Excuse me. I overpaid for my time in the parking metre and told the driver in the spot next to mine that she can have my spot instead…” There’s more, but I cut her off there.

“I’m kind of in a hurry here,” I said as a single word through gritted teeth as foam rose in the back of my throat. Have you ever been so mad that you can taste foam? It’s a peculiar substance produced in the back of the throat that’s like a mixture of bile and saliva. It’s like your body is tying to spit poisonous venom, but doesn’t have the necessary organs. It’s frothy, and leaves you feeling thirsty, thirsty FOR BLOOD.

I had to wait for the woman to get back in her car. I didn’t know what to do at this point, so I put my car in reverse and backed up two inches. It’s about forty feet to leave the lane for the intersection, and I wasn’t about to do that, just because I was where I wanted to be. I stopped, waited for her to move her car, then pulled into the spot I wanted, which incidentally isn’t her spot, and is factually closer to the hospital. I looked at no one as I exited the vehicle. I wondered about how casually telling someone as you get in your car that they can have your spot and not have to pay for parking becomes a sacred pact between two fated individuals and may require you to fight and die for their honour. WHO THE FUCK DOES THIS? I know it’s a hospital and people are sick and dying everyday, and drama’s high, but I shouldn’t have to entertain the thought of jacking some old lady’s car just to move it ten feet out of my way, then flipping her the bird and tossing her the keys. What was the worse thing that could have happened? The other driver would have lost her spot and vowed a bloody vengeance on the old lady and myself? There’s a difference between being a good Samaritan and being an ass. Plus, since I probably betrayed a hint of my true vehemence, she’s was probably swearing about me under her breath as she went back to her car. She probably called one of her friends and complained about how rude I was. Then her friend, having no life of her own, would have called two of her friends and so on and so forth, until I’m on a No-Fly List somewhere. Entire websites are then devoted to my downfall and I become a meme. People spit in my burgers intentionally, instead of just randomly.

I have so little faith in humanity lately that my paranoid delusions echo as the truth. It’s hard to trust anyone. When I take my kid to the park, I have to hover around him, or else I worry someone will try to report me as a pedophile. I delisted my employer as my employer on facebook because I worry someone will rat me out over a comment I make and I’ll end up being shit-canned. The other day, I put my hand on a rail inside an elevator and it came away covered in somebody’s snot and I imagined that someone had just horked a loogie on me from above. I almost looked up, even though I know it’s a completely enclosed space and no one would possibly be up there hiding like a fucking ninja. That’s how fucked up I think the world is. I have an instant dislike of anyone I haven’t met, and hence I don’t want to meet people. It’s a problem, but it’s a problem being reinforced by everyone around me. Any situation I don’t walk away from the richer for having been in it makes me worry. So a two-minute parking lot traffic snarl in which everyone is outwardly smiling and polite can leave me infuriated and reclusive for the rest of the day. Hence: the pent-up rage, which I then use to forge blogs and explode teenagers with carelessly tossed semtex in COD

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Philip Allen
04 March 2011 @ 09:29 am

When people think of Super Mario Bros., they may think of this:

 

The Goomba. It’s the first enemy you’ll encounter in Super Mario Bros.. What is it? Is it a mushroom with feet, or a phallic symbol? Has Super Mario been fighting penises this entire time? If so, then the franchise has become a strange kind of sexual metaphor. Think of how to “score,” Super Mario has to ram his head against a box repeatedly, hoping that something will come out. To access new levels, he has to slide down a pipe. There’s pipes all over the place, and sometimes this discoloured, split-head thing pops up from the top and spits out a wad, then goes back isnide. To win, he has to drop a spitting turtle into hot lava. I’m sure the koopa paratroopas are metaphors for the clitoris somehow, but I can’t quite make it fit (Hi-yo!). The whole premise of the game is to rescue the princess from her would-be rapist, and then presumably fuck the shit out of her on a cold castle floor. If this interpretation of events is true, then the game is telling us, “Don’t be gay,” because if you so much as touch this penis-monster, you’ll die.

All I know is, if you’re like me, you’ve stepped on a million of these guys. They’re synonymous with the game itself as one of the most common enemies.

Only, it’s not the most common enemy. The most common enemy is the buzzy beetles.

They appear later in the game, and move faster than the goombas, making them deadlier somehow. Should you beat the game, you get the chance to play again, only this time the goombas will be buzzy beetles.

Which is kind of fucked up. Everything in Super Mario Bros. has an equal chance of killing you. Which is to say if you touch it, you die. Why does no one remember buzzy beetles, then? I even had to look up the name. Why is it “buzzy? Are goombas more fondly remembered because they’re your “first,” or is it because you never made it past level three? Do people just look at this thing and shrug, but freak out when they see a goomba?

Questions abound.

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Philip Allen
03 March 2011 @ 08:18 pm
How would you react if you found out someone plagiarized your work and published it?

A: How would you react if you found out someone plagiarized your work and published it?
 
 
Philip Allen
03 March 2011 @ 08:17 pm

Charlie Sheen claims to be, “Winning!” and that may very well be the case. Through sheer crazy, he may be close to winning the internet itself. It’s a precarious throne, one which Chocolate Rain and LOL Cat has held, only to be cruelly overthrown by the next contender. Charlie, however, has the tenacity to hold his position as King of all Webs.The dude holds press conferences every day to spew forth insane ramblings. Who else would get high on crank and shit on his own bosses for making sensible business decision, then demand a raise? Chuck Norris doesn’t even have those kind of balls, and he’s 80% balls, (the other 20% is his jean-clad legs for roundhouse kicking). The man is a new kind of crazy. That’s true. Professional psychiatrists can’t even diagnose him. Some people say he’s bi-polar, but even an institutionalized bi-polar patient can talk sense, in the form of shouting and crying. It’s like he’s taken so many drugs that his mind has crossed over into conceptual realities only Timothy Leary could imagine, but never reach. It’s almost unfathomable. If you take a microphone to a Bible-verse quoting crazy homeless person, the recordings would make better sense than this. If you look at the history of famous drug addicts, there’s Ozzy Osbourne, who doesn’t make sense when he talks, but that’s only because he’s mumbling British gobble-gook. A drunken Mel Gibson may slur his accent too, but you can still make out the phrase, “Dirty Jew,” and know it’s full intent. Charlie, on the other hand, even tweets crazy.

Here’s the most insane quote ever from twitter:

Charlie Sheen

charliesheen Charlie Sheen

@

He had the Tigerblood... No doubt!! RT @Chupa72 The Babe's finest year. The Bambino was a level 100 Warlock sir. #Tigerblood

1 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply

Okay: let’s try to analyze this. “He had the Tigerblood…” Which is good, I suppose? Is his blood tiger-like, or did he drink Tigerblood as part of some pagan ritual? Was it striped? “No doubt!!” This phrase has only two exclamation points, as Charlie surmised it was worth more than one, but did not deserve the full three points, as tradition dictates. “The Babe’s finest year. The Bamino…” Ah! This is a reference to Babe Ruth. Fun fact: Charlie is an avid baseball fan. Now this is starting to make sense. “…Was a level 100 Warlock sir.” Now you lost me again, Sheen. A level 100 Warlock? Is this a reference to WoW, or D&D? Levels do not go up to 100 in those respective games. It’s as if he’s aware of these games and their basic structure, but has never played them personally. Or perhaps celebrities/crack addicts have their own expansion of WoW the average citizen doesn’t know about? Perhaps, more disturbingly, Sheen and Babe Ruth are in a secret society like the Masonites, and the Bambino had achieved the rank of level 100 Warlock. That’s not even a high rank in their clan destine organization. Sheen is a level 5.607/16th Paediatrician. That entitles him to free McLobsters.

Facts are facts: Charlie was able to write this after only a few hours on twitter. Some people spend years trying to shape a tweet like this. He didn’t even need the full 140 chars, and spawned about 15 memes. The man is breaking records left, right and centre. He’s at 1,300,000+ followers in less than a week. That’s about the same rate at which people lose interest in twitter altogether. It’s balancing out. If he went on myspace, people might even remember there is a myspace.

No matter how you put it, Sheen is winning. He can threaten to kill porn stars in his hotel room like a modern day Fatty Arbuckle, and still cash in million dollar cheques for not working. Deeply flawed contracts have him set for life. He can afford all the drugs he needs to fuel his tirades, and still fly around the world in his private jet with some cover girl from a chronic-themed magazine. Bear in mind: he’s a terrible actor on an overrated half-assed show about misogyny. I have a show about misogyny. It’s called, “My Life.” It hasn’t been picked up by CBS yet. Do people even watch that show for Sheen, or whatever hot chick his character is currently boning? People watch that show for the same reason old people watch Wheel of Fortune, because of Vana White. Ever watch that show with your dirty old uncle, who leans over and somewhat whispers something about, “Check out the gams on that broad!” Old people don’t know how computer porn works, and only get basic cable, so they have to make due with whatever glimpse of cleavage they can get, no matter how very sad that is. CBS is only viewed by old people. Old people still get horny. Two and-a-Half Men features four and-a-half boobs each episode. Ipso-factso: old people watch Two and-a-Half Men. It’s got nothing to do with Charlie Sheen being a movie actor. Name three movies with Sheen in them. No, that’s Martin Sheen. Try again. WRONG!

The worst part about all this is that five years down the line, Charlie will be the brunt of jokes on award shows the way Robert Downey Jr. is. The guy’s fucking Iron Man/Sherlock Holmes, and he still has to hear about his old cocaine habit and jail stint from some dude that fucked his kid’s nanny. Like half the audience isn’t on ‘cane. If you unscrew the bottom of an Oscar statuette, it’s filled with the white stuff. That’s the only way movies get made in Hollywood. So Downey did too many drugs and ended up taking it in the shitter from a guy named Bubba? Big fucking deal. He’s still Iron Man. You think Sheen could do what Downey does and not make it sad and a little scary? There’s no comparison, aside from the fact their lives are parallel.

See? What I just wrote there was rambling, and crazy, but it’s still not Charlie Sheen crazy. He’s like a Tigerblood fuelled Warlock.

 
 
Philip Allen
01 March 2011 @ 08:57 pm

I just finished playing Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, the video game based on the Lego toy based on the movie based on the series of books with my five year old stepson. This is one of the rare co-operative games on the Xbox 360 that doesn’t involve an internet connection. We can actually play side-by-side towards the same goal. It makes for some frustrating moments, however, when you discover that the character currently controlled by a five-year-old has to solve a puzzle, and he doesn’t have a clue how, or when the scrolling screen won’t allow you to advance any further because he’s off dicking around. But I digress. My point is, I played through the whole game, and in the end, got jack squat. He’s logged in under his avatar and I’ve got mine. The save file is in his name, hence, after completing all four years, I’m left with 0 Achievements. I actually did get one for a time turner spell, but that’s like 10 points our of 1000, leaving my score at 20,000 GP even, but I digress. Even though I’m carrying his ass through the whole game, I don’t get anything out of it. It’s called co-op, but it’s more like FU-op.

So, in order to bulk up my Achievement score, I have to go through and play the game again and get all the collector items every game on the 360 forces you to get. The collector is the most tedious of all known Achievements. In Crackdown 2, you have to collect 500 Agility orbs, 300 Hidden orbs, 50 audio logs, as well as numerous stunts. All of this involves bouncing back and forth across a city while being shot at. It’s 80% of the game play. It’s another game I’ve finished this year, and it’s also robbed me of my richly deserved Achievement points. I’ve finished various challenges, but received no credit for doing so, possibly due to a mix-up between systems. For I am no ordinary man. I am Philip Allen, owner of two Xboxes. That’s 720 total. One sits in my living room, connected to the internet by wi-fi. The other is in my bedroom, connected to the TV. If I want to play games on both and still earn proper Achievements, I have to move my saves from one system to the other via a docking station. The entire hard drive on my old 360 has to be disconnected and connected to the new 360 through an overpriced wire. If the two systems aren’t perfectly aligned, it confuses the fuck out of your profile. The date on my old 360, no longer connected to the internet, read as 2004, while the new one lives in the far-off year of 2011. Long story short, by playing on my old system, I missed out on about 400 GP. Again, I’m expected to start over to regain those Achievements.

Some games have different Achievements for playing through at different difficulty levels, while some straight-up make you play again through 30+ hours. That was one of the Achievements in Mass Effect 2. I almost went for it, except I realized I couldn’t play over as a woman without losing all the roll-over points I’d gained. Fuck that. Mass Effect 2 was worth like 75% of it’s sticker price as a trade in. I’m not sitting on that just to get one Achievement out of 50.

What also pisses me off is the whole, “Completed Games” section in Achievements. If you have 100% of Achievements unlocked in a game, the game goes up on it’s own special board so everyone knows what a stud* you are. (*”Studs” may not be considered studly by women, or get laid). I have 100% of the Achievements for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I don’t have it on the board. Why? Because I didn’t finish the expansion pack. The expansion pack cost an ungodly 2400 MS points. That’s $30 U.S.. The game itself cost $20 bundled with Bioshock. That’s $10 for the game itself. The expansion pack costs three times the game. Plus you’re buying it on an inferior system. Betheseda games are considered better on the computer, where expansions are occasionally offered for free, but there’s no Achievements. My completed game score is being held hostage by a pack that’s not part of the game.

What are Achievements for anyway? Some games have impossibly hard Achievements while others are all too easy. You can literally push a button in some games and get an Achievement. In others, you have to perform death-defying aerial acrobatics while scoring long-distance headshots during a nuclear explosion. People don’t even bother to look at them, even when they have the option of comparing their Gamerscore to another’s. To me, Achievements are just another thing to shoot for after the game’s done to get some extra life out of it. They’re like their own special Easter Egg.

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