I’ve been listening to video game music for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I spent a lot of my allowance on the Final Fantasy soundtracks. When I was in college, I did a radio show that comprised largely of video game music.
While there have been video game music concerts in Japan since the early nineties, it’s only been in the last six or seven years that they’ve made their way to western shores. Arnold Roth brought the Distant Worlds (Final Fantasy) series to America, and also led Play! for many years. John Michael Paul, who produced Play!, also put together the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess series. And then there’s Tommy Tallarico, who has been putting on Video Games Live. Video Games Live has been performed to sold out audiences around the world. It’s attracted thousands of gamers and is sort of its own empire.
It’s also ruining video game music, and Tommy Tallarico solely deserves the blame. He has singlehandedly ruined video game music.
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Walk anywhere in Manhattan and you’re bound to cross paths with someone who’s trying to convert you. The guys in the Times Square station who hand out the Chick tracts are probably the most well known, but on any random day you can get a pamphlet about how Santa is the devil or about how the country is run by a new world order. The station where I transfer for work has been targeted by Jews for Jesus.
My question is, do these people really see any return for their efforts? Do they have followers who have converted after receiving some poorly made flyer? I sure as hell hope not, but if they do, I’d be curious to meet these people. Personally I can’t imagine being that easily swayed by what some crazy person hands me as I’m walking to the platform, but maybe other people are that gullible? Maybe. I don’t know.
July 24th, 2011 - Posted in essays
Most people who use the Internet in some capacity are aware of what a weeaboo is, but for those who don’t, it’s basically someone who’s obsessed with Japanese culture. Anime, manga, some sort of incorrect image of old glorious Japan – these are the sort of things they go crazy for. If you’ve ever seen a picture of some white kids with an anime messenger bag, a Dragonball Z T-shirt and are trying to use words like kawaii or neko in their sentences, those are weeaboos. You can go look them up on Dramatica or something if you really want to, but you may go insane.
Anyway, as it turns out there’s a group that’s actually worse than the weeaboos. I don’t have a term for it, but it’s basically people who are obsessed with Irish culture. My girlfriend and I have been taking a basic class on the Irish language, and the people in the class are horrendous – far worse than those in our Japanese class. It’s funny how you can change the subject of a class but the people pretty much stay the same. There’s the one or two overly zealous people that chime in all the time because they know Irish from that guy at that bar; the guy who doesn’t say much but then out of nowhere goes on a ten minute tangent and tries to prove the teacher wrong; and of course, the deer caught in headlights.
It probably has to do with them having a cultural connection that others don’t have with Japanese. Someone’s mother or family was from County Mayo or County Cork or something like that – so that means that they have to reconnect with that culture somehow. It’s funny how these people instantly start using the term ‘we’ (i.e. inclusively) to describe ‘the Irish’. Learning how to properly pronounce “céad míle fáilte” or how to say “I’m drunk” in Irish doesn’t grant you that right. Similarly, that doesn’t mean that you get to blather on about the one part of Irish culture you read about on Wikipedia.
May 9th, 2011 - Posted in essays
There’s an ad I pass when running errands that just bums me out every time I see it. It’s on the side of a bus stop, and it’s a three-panel comic depicting a person taking a new job in another country and being forced to give up their cat for adoption. The last panel is the cat behind bars (presumably in an adoption facility).
I can’t find a version of it online, but I wouldn’t really want to link to it, as it’s the saddest thing of all time.
Maybe it’s me, but I can’t imagine being in a position where I would give up my pets for a job – or for anything else, really. Just tossing your pets aside seems incredibly callous and cruel. All they want is to eat and be loved, and putting them up for adoption because they don’t exactly fit into your lifestyle is pretty mean. I would much rather turn down a job if it meant I had to give up my cats.
And just as a tangent, I really hate ads like that. Yes, they’re meant to pull at your heartstrings and get you to adopt, but it’s almost too much. If either my girlfriend or I are watching TV and one of those commercials with that Sarah McLachlan song comes on, the channel gets changed immediately.
Anyway.. yeah. Maybe I’ll make an actual post soon.
January 31st, 2011 - Posted in essays
So the other day I was on a flight, and ended up sitting next to a Yale student. Honestly I’m not sure how she got into Yale, because she was thwarted by the credit card swipe on her screen. For reference, this is the type of device I’m talking about.
She was trying to buy a film, but just could not figure out how to pay for it. First she tried to swipe the card outside of the screen itself (in the holder, basically) but that did nothing. Then she turned on the light and saw the little graphic that indicates you need to swipe. Imagine that! What a revelation!
So her next action was to put the credit card in vertically, so it would have been impossible to read the strip. Excellent. Finally she figured out how to put the card in properly, but couldn’t swipe across. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to her to angle the screen out, either. I suppose I could have aided her, but my girlfriend and I instead just decided to watch her struggle. Eventually she just gave up. So if you’re that girl, well.. sorry, I guess. (And how did you find this post?)
December 20th, 2010 - Posted in essays