Open Thread

Open Thread #177

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30 thoughts on “Open Thread #177

  1. We’re reaching some weird-ass new levels of whatever-this-is… when trevor noah gets accused of being an antivaxxer for simply saying pharma might not just be complete absolute saints:

    Video is from Russell Brand. Titled: Err, Trevor Noah “Anti-Vax”?! Can’t We Question Big Pharma??!

    1. I’ve noticed that Brand and others on the “Left” are accused of selling out by more mainstream lefties. They even call these guys conservatives now. Simply by being skeptical of the vaxx. They’ve weaponized the damn vaxx politically.

      I think it’s good that Russell and Jimmy Dore have been in a dialogue with conservatives on this and other issues. It’s exactly what we need.

  2. I recently youtubed Metal Gear Solid V. The video was a condensed play-through, focusing on the story (spoilers ahead!). This game looks like a complete narrative mess, in my opinion. The premise does not make much sense. Apparently, you can build a big military base out in the ocean with little help, and to get people, you simply kidnap them and they keep working for you. The shoved-in diversity with the black kids was simply cringe-worthy as they added absolutely nothing to the plot. Those were the most tokenized blacks I have ever encountered in any medium.

    I also thought that the game made less of an effort to provide closure to various narrative threads. Some phenomena get no explanation at all. It is not clear to me where the flaming whale in the sky in the intro came from or why Paz could have been a collective hallucination on the military base. Oh, and Quiet is one of the most bizarre characters I ever to grace a big-budget video game: She is a superhuman sniper who can easily take out any man, and she needs to dress like a hooker because photosynthesis keeps her alive. There is a token explanation in the game for that. She is also able to make herself invincible and invulnerable.

    Lastly, I find myself getting more and more turned off by gratuitous violence, which may be due to me sensitizing myself by consuming less and less violent media. In Ground Zeroes there is a stomach turning scene where a bomb gets pulled out of the innards of a living person, and in MGS V there is some feminist mutilation porn, consisting of Quiet stabbing the groin of a male soldier repeatedly. The guy is dead or at least as good as dead at this point, so these excesses are probably nothing more than Kojima pandering to Hollywood.

    If I had picked up the game to play it, I would have dropped it quite quickly. That being said, the actual gameplay seems very-well made. It is a shame that it is being marred by a nonsensical story. I would argue that this game could have done quite well without the MGS label, as a sandbox tactical military simulator.

  3. I can certainly provide a bit of context here aside from the woke aspects, a lot of what seemed confusing or far fetched can be “explained”. The flaming whale and hallucinations of Paz are due to the shrapnel lodged in Venom Snake’s cerebral cortex. When you fulton soldiers back to your base, they sit in the brig for a while where they’re presumably tortured (like in the Huey scenes) until they cooperate. I guess the fulton mechanic is ridiculous but it makes for gathering resources a lot more feasible. The super human abilities of Quiet and the Skull’s are due to a specific strain of the parasite that infects Mother Base. There is a mission called “Voices” where you fight flaming Vulgan at the end near a warehouse, that you learn that Skull Face is experimenting on people to create a certain strain of parasite that infects the host and reproduces when certain languages are spoken.

    Did you catch the part where Code Talker creates a vaccine for the parasites that sterilizes all of the men on Mother Base? There’s a montage where it shows all the men being vaccinated. Then later on some men are re-infected with the English speaking strain and it has Snake eliminating his infected men while wearing a respirator. I just thought all that was kind of creepy. Also, did you by chance get the bit where you learn that Venom Snake isn’t even Big Boss? It turns out that he’s the medic that extracted the bomb out of Paz’s guts on the chopper, and he jumped out in front of the real Boss to shield him from the blast and caught all of the shrapnel. It’s explained that the real Big Boss is busy building a nation state while the imposter is shouldering all the burden, and creating this ‘army without a nation’. This retcons the series, so that in the original NES Metal Gear game it’s this Phantom Boss that Solid Snake kills at the end, while in the second NES MG game the real Boss was set on fire and kept alive for decades.

    1. (Sorry, I mean to post this as reply to your MGSV analysis)

      I also wanted to expand on who is helping you create this private military at sea. There are numerous cassette tapes you acquire as you progress in the game that serve as an attempt to fill in the gaps of the lore. For example, you’re eventually informed that Zero (from MGS3), who is extremely well-connected, resourceful and wealthy, is the one working behind the scenes who helps provide the means for the development of Mother Base. Then you as the player take control of it once you’ve escaped from the hospital in Syracuse with help of Ocelot, who along with Miller, work with you to help manage and expand it. You might have also picked up on the fact that Quiet is the woman that tries to murder you in the hospital and is caught on fire before falling several stories to her “death” from the window. She was revived with the same sort of parasites that sustain and keep Code Talker alive, and she is quiet because she was essentially sent to infiltrate Mother Base and then spread the English speaking strain amongst the crew. She was supposed to spread it, but instead chose to remain silent because she loved Venom Snake, or something.

    2. Thanks for providing some context and filling in some blanks. I noticed Snake’s shrapnel, in the shape of a horn, in his head. There is also a strange mechanic where the horn grows and blood on your face becomes non-sticky if you walk around shooting people instead of the stealth approach the game supposedly favors. Using this as a narrative crutch is a double-edged sword, however. After all, once you establish that Snake cannot distinguish illusions from reality everything could be an illusion and it would be consistent. This is lazy story writing, similar to the “it has all been a dream” trope I recall from a few 16bit games.

      The vaxx angle was indeed interesting and a lot more prescient than may appear at first sight. For instance, Snake uses special goggles to identify the infected. If they are, their larynx glows. This is eerily close to using “luciferase” (what a name!) to show that you have gotten vaxxed as it is allegedly contained in it. In real life, of course, the vaxx is killing people. There was also the aspect that people changed their biological sex as a consequence of the virus and turned infertile as a consequence. Society is doing this to kids at an industrial scale in the current year.

      On partly unrelated note, after finishing MGS 4, the game awards one of many ranks to you, and you see that there are a few dozen possible ranks. This is a ludicrous proposition as the game is hardly a paragon of replayability. Nobody is going to do many dozens of playthrough of this game to fill out his scorecard. I think this is a good sign of how incredibly out of tough Kojima is, apparently believing that people will play his games obsessively for years instead of finishing them perhaps not even once.

    3. (Edit to previous post. I typed Syracuse but meant to say Cyprus)

      I was admittedly a Kojimbo fanboy for a long time but it is obvious that he has hit the wall, in regards to your comments about him being out of touch. MGSV was a super fun game to play, but not because he had anything to do with it necessarily. It just so happened that there was a huge team with tons of experience and millions of dollars backing the project. Interestingly enough, I remember an interview with David Hayter speaking on how Kojima had hired Sutherland over him. I don’t think Hayter’s comments were him being a hater when he said that Kojima was jealous that Hayter got so much fan attention, in effect deterring some of the love that Kojima otherwise would have gotten.

      I think Silent Hills could have been a good horror story, but it also has to be said that Del Toro would have been directly responsible for the quality of that game’s hypothetical narrative and not solely because Kojima is some mastermind. We can’t assume this for sure, though, because from what I’ve gathered Death Stranding is a real turd from both a narrative and a gameplay perspective (even though Del Toro had a hand in it). I also think it’s egotistical and a waste of resources to employ all these Hollywood actors in his games too, and it has the effect of turning me off rather than drawing me in.

      Btw, I was at a pawn shop about a week ago and picked up Uncharted 2 & 3 and GoW 3 for $5 a piece. This will be my first play through of Uncharted. However, I haven’t had much motivation to game lately. I’ve been feeling really depressed whenever I pick up a controller, and it’s like my body is telling me I’m wasting too much time. I’ve even had thoughts lately to get rid of all my games and consoles. It doesn’t help motivate me knowing that the industry as a whole is becoming obnoxiously woke with each passing year.

    4. I think MGS 1 and 2 were genuinely ground-breaking, and from then onward he seems to have lost the plot. Also, there is another aspect to his star power. I agree that MGS V turned out as well as it did due to genuinely talented staff. The gameplay designers of this game were clearly extremely talented, and the people who wrote the graphics engine top-notch. In particular the PS3 version is a technical marvel. It may very well be the case that Kojima would be nothing today without the fame and industry recognition he earned in the late 1990s. Yet, he has proven that he can deliver commercially successful products in sequence, and for decades. In that regard, he compares quite favorably to guys like David Jaffe.

      The aspect of leadership is also interesting here. Sure, he has a small army working on his games, but he is able to hold them together. Those people can then use their stint working on MGS V or Death Stranding and go somewhere else. Those people do the work, and he gets the praise. Yet, it is not at all a given that money and power will lead to success. At a much smaller scale, I have experienced this at the company I work at. They recently hired a woman as a director, and she is an unmitigated disaster. Several key people have resigned in recent months, and she is not able to hire anybody either. Being at the top of part of the hierarchy would mean that she could lean back and reap the recognition and (financial) bonuses. However, it you are a bad leader, this just will not happen. Probably, Kojima is genuinely gifted as a leader, seeing that he is both the director and producer of his game. Clearly, he commands the respect of his staff, and they are able to turn his vision, however garbled it may be, into a product that sells.

      Uncharted 2 is worth a play-through for the set-pieces alone. A few parts are genuinely boring, but just stick to it. You can probably finish it in two evenings. GoW III is incredibly violent and, quite frankly, off-putting. Still, it is a technical marvel. I likewise am burning out of gaming, with the exception of a few classic arcade games I fire up regularly on an emulator. I have a stack of about ten PS3 games left to check out, and once I am done with them, I will probably get rid of my small collection. Also, I am currently seriously considering leaving the country, and for that purpose, I would need to get rid of a lot of stuff anyway.

    5. MGS 1 and 2 had better stories, but due to the wonky camera angles, they didn’t play through as smoothly as shooters. 4 and 5 had the least engaging stories, but they played through seamlessly as both shooters and stealth games.

  4. Could the jab narrative be failing? Apparently some hospitals are weary of not having enough employees and have rescinded their vaxx mandates. Suddenly, the issue has become a matter of logistics, and all that “keeping the community safe” bullshit is no longer valid when the consequences of alienating a large percentage of your work force finally hit:

    1. The narrative is currently being pulled into two directions. On the one hand, we have companies scrapping vaxx mandates, but on the other governments are pushing extreme measures like concentration camps in Australia, lockdowns for the unvaxxed all over Europe, and even insidious measures like barring you from international travel. Today I read that only the vaxxed are allowed to take driving lessons in Germany. I could not yet verify if this is generally the case, though. I hope that a big bang is going to happen soon. There are now demonstrations every week, even though you do not read about it in the news. Quite recently, a major step in the escalation was taken in France where freedom fighters were engaging police. Wait what will happen when the radical Muslims realize that they need to take the clot-shot and risk infertility or a stroke! I have a hunch that we are sitting on a powder keg, and it may very well lead to a few politicians literally losing their head.

    2. Quite recently, a major step in the escalation was taken in France where freedom fighters were engaging police.

      I saw random clips from this, but I wasn’t able to find it on youtube or anywhere else. Generally blurry vids on FB without context, where this was happening, what protest etc.

    3. I saw a pretty high-quality clip on Telegram. This information is carefully hidden from the general public.

    4. Wait what will happen when the radical Muslims realize that they need to take the clot-shot and risk infertility or a stroke!

      I’m surprised they haven’t started rioting already. Perhaps nobody is policing mandates in ghettos.They could also have access to false certs. It is very easy for a healthcare worker to administer saline solution instead, provided nobody will rat him out. In my country there were cases of people seeking such services and then going straight to the police and newspapers, but if you live in a tight-knit community of religious people then such risk is much lower.

    5. I’m surprised they haven’t started rioting already. Perhaps nobody is policing mandates in ghettos.

      They’re probably not enforcing them in muslim areas. I don’t know about every country, but the ones I’m familiar with, the muslim areas of town have no enforcement at all. No shops, cafes, restaurants asking for certificates, nobody wearing masks etc.

  5. Germany has a new foreign affairs minister, Annalena Baerbock. This chick is a total disaster. She is the daughter of some rich industrialist, has effectively never worked in her life, and has delusions of grandeur. She calls herself an international laws expert, even though she has never worked as a lawyer. The plan of the Green party was for her to become Germany’s next chancellor but this did not quite pan out, so she got the consolation prize of becoming the minister of foreign affairs. This woman acts and talks as if she just finished sixth grade. She mispronounces a lot of German words, oftentimes in a rather comical way, and her English is at best a caricature. For some reason, clips where people make fun of her keep disappearing from YouTube, but here is she in debate last year that gives you a good impression of this ditz (check at the 14:30 mark):

    1. Wtf… you’re not even kidding. I scrolled to a random part of the video… the sentence she said “in English” was the weirdest mishmash of english words randomly strung together I have ever seen. It’s almost like the elites are using this chick to troll “the peasants”. Like look what we can get away with…

    2. Much of the so called “elite” have become extremely effete and degraded themselves. When I look at the Rothschild family, Nathaniel made terrible investments in South East Asia and ended up losing large sums of money and was even kicked out of companies there.

      When you consider the daughters, one of them ended up cheating on her husband “a Goldsmith” with a literal black rapper…..LOL….so who knows what that is about but many of these old elite families are very much degraded and are not omnipotent compared to what the nutty conspiracy wonks go on about.

      Many of the issues in society can be traced to the complete failure of the so called elites running their respective societies into the ground for their own benefit.

    1. Just randomly found this.

      I mean, it’s 2007, but c’mon… really? Swiss people have bad English, but this bad?
      Just one guy signing? No account number reference?
      “your husband”? They are not allowed to make reference to another client at the same bank (unless of course there is a PoA in place, which might very well be the case). Still… weird.

      Looks fishy to me.

    2. This file had been leaked before. I think there was even a statement by Wikileaks or someone close to it, saying that this is an example of “mudding the waters” where someone feeds them obviously forged materials in order to discredit them later on.

    1. This is surely a coincidence, as you rightly state. There is no way this has anything to do with the genocidal agenda of the elites. Also, this does not prove that this pill is not “safe and effective”. Instead, we need to give it to everyone and if we find just one woman who is able to give birth to a seemingly healthy child, we can point out that the claim that the Covid pill makes you infertile is “false” or “mostly false”.

    2. Instead, we need to give it to everyone and if we find just one woman who is able to give birth to a seemingly healthy child, we can point out that the claim that the Covid pill makes you infertile is “false” or “mostly false”.

      My favorite fact-check this year was when they fact-checked a story about the austrian police supporting the protesters.

      Basically the police syndicate came out against the mandates, and in the protests a whole bunch of off-duty cops marched together with the protesters carrying a banner that they support the people.

      Many people shared this video as “austrian police join protests”.

      Fact-checkers blocked every instance of it, and the “fact check” said that this was promoting false news as NOT EVERY cop was in the protest supporting it without a uniform, and SOME cops were on duty and actually securing the protests ?‍♂️?‍♂️?‍♂️.

      Well doh, obviously austrian cops comes out in support doesn’t mean every single cop. And I bet a lot of those in uniform on that day were also supportive of the protesters and don’t like the mandates. They were on shift/duty however.

      Well, a video came out today of a whole bunch of health workers in austria laying down their hospital garments on the street, in protest of the vaccine mandates and people are sharing this. I’m sure a fact check is coming any moment now saying “false, not every single health worker in all of austria is against the mandates”.

    1. This is a pretty good clip. In this day and age, though, he would not have to string a long a “304” until she’s in her 30s. They age so rapidly that you are effectively wasting their best years if you date them until the age of 24 or 25. Sweden is full of women who religiously go to a solarium. In their mid-20s, their skin is pretty much ruined. They cannot hide the skin on their arms easily but regarding their face, only thick layers of makeup hide the damage they have done.

    2. I’ve noticed the same. Was wondering if I’m just imagining it or more critical of chicks than I was 20 years ago. Chicks do seem to age faster today.

  6. About that letter; why would it be in English? A letter purporting to be from a banker in German-speaking Zurich to the Prime Minister of Germany is likely to be in, wild guess here, German?

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