The Man in the Rainbow-Colored Monkey Suit: a New Expression of an Old Insanity

This is not what I’m talking about.

Yeah, I’m aware that a guy in a rainbow monkey suit with obvious male genitals appeared in front of children as part of a reading event. Yeah, I think that was insane.

What’s impressive about the incident (aside from how garishly hideous the outfit was) would be that, out of the people that planned the event, any one of them could have objected at any point along the way. Or, at least, determine the idea to have been as insanely idiotic as it was, and promptly dropped association with the organizers, and made considerable physical distance, in an act of self-preservation.

The incident has challenged some people’s belief in a humanity that ever strives for the truth and for something better, as the man in the rainbow monkey suit provided ample evidence to the contrary.

While I do still have the optimistic belief that humanity continues on a path of self-betterment, that perspective isn’t without the understanding that humans have the same basic tendencies that we’ve had for thousands of years.

Insanity can occur in all levels of society, including the very top. One of the biggest civilizations in western history, the Roman Empire, was headed by Caesars who were, for the most part, obviously insane. It’s apparent that there were also insane leaders in east Asia. Those who learn what Mohammad was really like are often disturbed by what they learn. Ordinary people can be insane, as well. Of course, when commoners go mad, it tends to impact fewer people.

It’s because of this outlook that when I see people doing insane things I see it as yet another expression of an old insanity that has been with us. Of course, I’m not making excuses for the man in the monkey suit. What he did might have been illegal. Obviously, what’s a tendency of human nature may be criminal or in some other way bad for society.

Still, it’s something old, expressed in a new way. And if humanity were to continue in its devices, there’s no reason to expect it to stop any time soon. But if you have a blog where you make fun of the stupid things that people do, it’s not hard to find new material.

Biden Administration Now Wants Your Text Messages Policed For Wrongthink

Is anyone else getting tired of Edward Snowden being proven right? Because I sure am.

The Biden administration is now looking into working “with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages”, according to Politico.

Give that a moment to sink in, because it’s a whopper.

The vaccine is now publicly available, and has been in great supply for months. It’s to the point that people can just get the jab at Walmart, or at convenience stores. Everyone who wants immunity to COVID through a vaccine has already sprung for it, while those who decided against it for whatever reason has made that decision for themselves. But to the left-wing establishment, they haven’t vaccinated enough people, and they don’t respect your right to decide for yourself what you do with your health.

What’s more, even though the left has establishment control of social media, the tech industry, and news media, that’s still not enough control of information for them. They want control over the text messages you send.

Are you tired of self-censoring in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, the message you send might be seen by human eyes, and properly decoded so that your intentions are properly understood? Maybe it’s about time you came to realize that what you could get out of Facebook you can now get out of Minds. And you can find me there, too.

Or that there are email clients, search engines, and video hosting sites that don’t build Google’s psychological profile about you, which they then sell to advertisers. Better still, because these are on the blockchain, the tech oligarchs can’t do jack about them.

It seemed suspicious that the vaccine manufacturers were indemnified against claims of harmful side-effects. It seemed suspicious when a Freedom of Information Act request determined that the COVID vaccines caused harmful spike proteins to gather to ovaries, and YouTube censored an evolutionary biologist who discussed this. And it continues to be suspicious that the left-wing establishment, including the Biden administration, has their hearts set on putting a vaccine into as many people as they can manage, even though the survival rate of the virus it was supposedly made to protect against is well over 99%.

If big-pharma, or the left-wing establishment, or the Biden administration is trying to hide something, their best hope is to stop acting so suspicious. Because their long, storied pattern of behavior has already made it clear to everyone who is paying attention that something is not right.

There is a popular idea that the vaccines cause fertility issues, and there is substantial evidence behind it. Considering this, there is a certain irony that it’s mainly leftists and the gullible who are getting the vaccine.

But the real question is whether, when the general public finds out what’s going on, the Biden administration is willing to fall on it’s own sword. I’m not placing any bets on it.

The Blockchain is the Solution to Big-Tech Censorship

It seems like it’s nearly every day that I hear someone complain about tech censorship on the major platforms. Today, it was about a video that was removed that was from a highly influential individual. It will probably be something again tomorrow, too.

In spite of all this, people are continuing to use the major tech social media platforms, even though there is no sign that the censorship is going to stop anytime soon. And because these platforms can enjoy the smug high that comes with feeding into activism while at the same time profiting heavily off these platforms, is there any reason to expect them to change?

What’s more, big tech can simply remove from web servers the competitors that threaten their establishment position, under the pretext that these alternative platforms promote extremism. It was actually just this year that the free-speech social media outlet Parler was blocked from Amazon’s web servers based on the reasoning that it was there was there that the activists behind the January 6th capitol incursion had organized (putting aside that these activists had actually organized on traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter).

It’s considering this that many people are blackpilled into thinking that the tech oligarchs are positioned firmly, and that there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them. But there is, and it’s been with us here for a while. And when you understand it for what it is, you’ll understand that big-tech’s biggest weapon for staying relevant is ignorance.

The weapon of the masses for fighting back against big-tech censorship is the blockchain. It’s a term you might have heard before; it’s a form of decentralized record-keeping that validates itself over a network of volunteers, to put it in just a few words. You’re probably aware of the blockchain’s application in keeping ledgers in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

However, cryptocurrency is only the beginning of the blockchain’s applications. To help stir up your imagination, consider the example of peer-to-peer file sharing. This has been around for nearly as long as the internet itself. It worked with file-sharing programs, which downloaded files chunk-by-chunk until they were complete. Once the files were completed, users could then seed these files, voluntarily making them available to other users who wanted to download copies.

One problem with this old system is that there were relatively few volunteers to seed files. It was largely a labor of love, as seeding could consume system resources, and plenty of bandwidth. But what’s great about blockchains is that they incentivize participation with cryptocurrency, an act that’s called mining.

Those who mine crypto are using their computers to host data on ledgers, being one of many that contain copied data that is used to verify other data on the blockchain. The nature of crypto makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit, or to inflate anywhere outside of what’s allowed by a particular cryptocurrency’s intrinsic design.

But what if the data stored on blockchains isn’t just a ledger for digital currency, but instead entire websites? Sounds like food for thought, right? But it’s not actually a what-if scenario anymore, because it’s actually happening.

One prominent example is the open-source social media platform Minds.com. It’s there that you can do social media posts, upload photos, watch videos, write blog posts, and share memes. You know, the typical social media stuff. It’s like Facebook, except free speech. You can find me there.

Want secure email on the blockchain? You have choices. One of which is Cryptamail. Ledgermail is another option which is coming soon. Do your research to find out which one is right for you.

How about blockchain search engines? Presearch is one choice. People complain about Google’s ubiquity when it comes to online searches, but they’re not acting like alternatives actually exist which aren’t tech giants.

I found Raichu on Presearch, and so can you.

There are even video streaming sites that use the technology. Video hosting site Bitchute may not have become as huge as YouTube, but is a fine example of how the blockchain can create free speech video hosting. The pro-establishment elements try to ignore it, or resort to name-calling. There’s not much else they can do.

What’s that? You thought that YouTube was special because you could embed their videos? How special is YouTube, now?

You see what I mean? The main thing that the tech oligarchs count on to keep themselves afloat is ignorance. If people were aware that they could escape their censorship through websites that they can’t do anything about, such as those that I’ve linked to above, they’d experience afresh the joy of the internet reminiscent of two decades ago: completely candid and honest, belonging to the people, and not to tech giants.

And really, why should you trust tech giants with your web usage? The blockchain is intrinsically more reliable than what’s stored on their servers. But what’s more compelling is that, by using their web services, they are storing information about you.

Based on what you click on, what you search for, how long you have their websites open on tabs, even your web activities as long as their cookies are on your browser, the tech oligarchs can build an extensive psychological profile about you, which can then be sold to networks of advertisers.

And as long as you continue to use the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., they are going to continue collecting information about you.

Just weeks ago, China started cracking down on cryptocurrency. As much as it’s understandable what their stakes would be in controlling the currency, I suspect that it’s about more than that. When you’re an immense dictatorship, the prospect of a decentralized internet that cannot be censored is terrifying. With VPNs, China cannot keep their own people from seeing the internet the way the rest of the world sees it. And with websites on the blockchain, the websites that they want censored cannot be shut down, whatever the incentives that they have to offer the tech giants.

Likewise, Russia restricts what their citizens can do with Bitcoin. If crypto were like any foreign currency, their stringency would make little sense. But if it were about the implications of the blockchain for a pseudo-democratic dictatorship, their trepidation would be understandable.

For years, we’ve watched in slow motion as the major tech institutions became propaganda outlets for the establishment. The time has come to take back what rightfully belongs to us. We have all that we need to do so. In fact, we have well more than what’s necessary. And in time, we shall have far, far more.

This is our internet. Have no reservations about taking it back.

“We cannot afford the luxury of men whose minds are so limited they cannot adapt to unexpected situations.”

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Nintendo Switch OLED: Why the Cheap Seats Aren’t Impressed

Nintendo just revealed the Nintendo Switch OLED, and as you may have heard, the internet personalities are less than impressed. While the cheap seats are being won over with the typical edgy skepticism, I know the real reason for their disappointment, and it’s nothing for them to be proud of.

Yeah, I’m about to step on some toes. But before that, I’ll get into my first impressions based on the trailer, shown here:

The system is basically the same as the classic Nintendo Switch model, but with a big 7-inch OLED display for portable mode, and the dock has been given a slicker design with rounder edges. It looks hot, but it’s not that big a deal for me, as I do much of my gaming with Switch on my TV, and when I’m doing that, it’s the TV that gets the attention, not the dock.

Much of the trailer shows stock photo models doing things that they could already do with the classic Switch system, so my impression based on this is that I’m not going to be missing out on much if I were to give this one a pass.

The adjustable wide stand is just what many players have been asking for for a long time, but that’s another thing that’s not going to make much difference to a person who mainly plays on their TV.

There’s also a wired LAN port (cable sold separately). That’s great for those who care about it, but wasn’t wireless ad hoc already a thing on Nintendo Switch? While the data exchange rate would likely be better with wired LAN, it’s hard to imagine many players would actually use this at family get-togethers over the system’s simple wireless connection. Revealing a wired LAN port for the Nintendo Switch this late in the game is like if they revealed a new model of Nintendo DS (their first Wi-fi enabled system) with an ethernet port.

It seems the point of the Nintendo Switch OLED is to appeal to those who haven’t purchased a Switch yet. I already have a Switch, so for me, it’s an easy pass. Having said that, I’m not terribly disappointed. While it’s not much of a surprise that Nintendo has revealed a new model of their system, my expectations weren’t very high.

On the other hand, the web personalities are collectively disappointed. That’s to be expected when someone spends time listening to rumors and treating them as anything but just rumors.

So, you believed that the new Switch would be called the “Switch Pro”. Why was it collectively accepted that that would be the official name, when it originated as a fan term? So, you believed that the Switch would have an upgraded processor replacing the NVIDIA Tegra that they’ve been using. Did Nintendo reveal this information, and I missed it? Or how about my favorite one: that Nintendo would use happy-magical spacekitties technology to somehow enhance the graphics to old Switch games as they are being played in real time. That sounds suspiciously like some kid’s wish, which might be a hint to where that rumor originated from.

It’s difficult to avoid rumors. And they are tempting to scope out, considering that sometimes the alleged-leakers actually call it. But if people believe rumors just because they appeal to their fanciful thinking, or even if they sound believable enough, they’re usually just setting themselves up for disappointment.

When it comes to games and hardware, speculation can be fun, but it can turn into disappointment when people use what’s speculative to cultivate their expectations. You can board the hype train if you want, but you should want to get off before it takes you too far. If you consume what comes from the rumor mill, don’t be surprised when you’re left with a sour taste. Try not to blow your load before the big presentation.

I know why the major content creators spend as much time as they do on the rumor-mill: they want to seem more connected, especially with their pride on the line, and considering how hard they already have to work to maintain the audience that they have. Also, there’s the pressure to maintain scheduled content, which plays a huge part in holding people’s attention. When the news is slow, it’s hard to avoid commenting on rumors that are going around. It might even be productive, if to cast skepticism on what is plainly ridiculous.

Speculation is part of the fun, but can we be more careful about accepting rumors as fact? Odds are, some guy on YouTube doesn’t have an insider connection to Nintendo, and might just be posting video commentary, just the same as anyone else can.

Review: Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: Strategy RPG
Rating: Teen
Platform:
PS4 (JP), Nintendo Switch (JP, NA, and EU)

Nippon Ichi’s most popular SRPG just keeps coming back, and this time, with a protagonist that reflects their persistence. But does the latest incarnation come with a significant power boost, or is NIS’s determined SRPG starting to decay?

Disgaea 6 stars a zombie named Zed, whose mission is to slay the God of Destruction that threatens the Disgaea universe. For most Disgaea games, the cringy story was my biggest complaint, and it was a significant QoL feature to be able skip it, and get to the sweet, tasty level-grinding.

However, in Disgaea 6, the story is actually clever. At the outset of the game, Zed and his dog Cerberus storm the Darkest Assembly, which is holding a meeting to determine what to do about the God of Destruction. Once in the chamber, Zed delivers a startling announcement: He has already defeated the God of Destruction. Then begins Zed’s story to a skeptical assembly, with the first ten chapters being a recount of the events that led to the outcome.

The characters in the story are largely media parodies with obvious shortcomings, which include a wealthy king, a Disney-eque princess, a super-sentai heroine, and an elderly woman turned mahou shoujo. If you don’t know what some of those words mean, that might be normal.

The first few chapters introduce the characters, one-at-a-time, while the next few focuses more on their development. After that, buckle up, because the last few chapters are heavy on the twists and gets quite unpredictable. I think the story was worth sitting through once, but for those who really insist, the option is there to skip. If they don’t know what they’re missing, it’s not much of a tragedy to them, is it?

Disgaea 6 introduces a new feature: the option to fast-forward through battles, with an auto-battle feature that allows the computer to select your character’s moves, and an auto-replay feature that allows you to repeatedly replay a level, which combines pretty well with the auto-battle feature. This, combined with skipping attack animations, streamlines the repetitive grinding that Disgaea is known for.

What’s more, the fast-forward feature can be upgraded as an in-game reward, and can unlock the ability to speed through battles at rates as high as 16x and 32x, and ultimately, the option to skip ally and enemy effects altogether. This allows for streamlined automated grinding when setups are ideal.

But suppose you don’t like the battle plan that the computer chooses for you. There is a D.I. feature that allows you to select a characters plan in battle when controlled by the computer, which can be customized by assembling flowcharts which can plan out how a character moves, influence what they attack, and even what specific attacks they use. As the player plays through the game, more options can be unlocked in batches.

How well developed the options for automated play are goes to show just how heavily they were to intended to factor into gameplay. Without them, leveling up for post-game content would take a dishearteningly long time (even by Disgaea standards). If you’re the kind of guy who balks at cell-phone games with options like stage-skip tickets, then you’re likely to interpret Disgaea’s auto-play features as symptomatic of a trend in video games. But then, if you’re prone to taking things like that at face value, you’re not likely to appreciate the Disgaea series for the deconstruction of the SRPG genre that it is.

There is one slight drawback to the auto-play features, and that’s that because I’m not spending as much time selecting characters, moving them, and selecting their moves, I wouldn’t be developing the same appreciation I would for those characters as I would be if I were doing more of it. Some players might answer the complaints with the auto-play features by pointing out that they’re optional. Even if that’s the case, if it’s the most practical option that offers the most returns for one’s time, it’s the most sensible choice when one is playing a game of strategy.

And as I see it, the auto-play options are a welcome addition. Even if they seem suspiciously like a scheme to artificially drive up playtime through players that leave their Switches on overnight.

There are a few changes that returning players are going to notice. One of which is that the option to magi-change is out. That might seem like a tragedy to players that liked magi-change, but to be honest, I haven’t been doing much of it in most Disgaea games that featured it. In Disgaea 5, I had Usalia magi-change onto another character to help them level, but that might have been the extent of it.

Magi-change was not really a big deal in spite of all the fluff surrounding it, so it was a natural choice for deciding what’s vestigial.

But did NIS really have to leave the Skull class out of Disgaea 6? That was one of my favorites, and what’s more, it’s absence is all the more conspicuous with the fact that the Skull has been a series staple since Disgaea 1. What’s more, the Nekomata is out, and so are the Sabrecats. And the Kunoichi. And there’s more, too. But if generic characters weren’t a big deal for you, you might not much notice or care.

Also, weapon-specific techniques have been dropped in favor of class-specific techniques. It’s not really a big deal, as players previously tended toward weapons with techniques that expedited grinding (the 3×3 techniques, usually), which would have been rendered superfluous with the auto-play features, and a new EXP and mana system that distributes what’s earned among participants in a battle, whether they fall or not. Speaking of weapons, there are no more monster-specific weapons, and they are able to equip humanoid weapons. That’s a positive change, as I see it.

The option to interrogate captured enemies is out. That’s just fine, because that was kinda awkward in Disgaea 5. What’s more, the curry mechanic in Disgaea 5 didn’t make a comeback. That’s fine too, considering that it seemed more thematically relevant in that game, anyway.

And that’s what’s great about how Disgaea 6 causes the series to evolve: what’s dropped didn’t quite expedite the experience, which makes them a little hard to miss. Still, what players liked before, they might miss, so would it be too much to ask to add some missing classes in a future update?

There is a new Juice Bar facility, which greatly expedites the process of stat growth and class mastery. Mastering classes and collecting extracts was a huge chore in Disgaea 5, so seeing the Juice Bar is a welcome change. If collecting shards made a comeback, they’d have been rendered superfluous. But the rage meter didn’t return from Disgaea 5, which was connected to how to collect shards in that game. In spite of the bigger numbers, Disgaea seems to be somewhat simplifying, and in ways I consider mostly welcome.

When it comes to the new graphical style, I’m almost indifferent. It’s easy to notice the change at first, especially when the sprite art was what gave the series much of its charm. However, the cel-shaded polygonal models do look pretty decent. Personally, I suspect I’d be getting a little greedy if I were to ask that the chibi-style grid models had outlines, considering that players might have to be picky when it comes to the graphical performance options as it is. The more proportional anime-style models used in the attack animations do have outlines, which makes their absence elsewhere more apparent.

Nippon Ichi Software America, the company that localized Disgaea 6, usually does an excellent job when it comes to voice talent, and Disgaea 6 is no exception. The voices go to the characters perfectly. There are some scenes that don’t have voice acting, which isn’t a big deal. However, there are scenes in a postgame story where the voice audio ends abruptly near the end of the lines, which makes it seem like those scenes were done in a hurry, or weren’t edited by a professional. I’m not upset about it, but that’s something to be more careful about in future installments.

It’s obvious from early on that the level and stat scaling works differently in this game. Characters gain more levels at a time in fewer battles, and the stats like HP, INT, and RES increase more at a time. This allows players to more quickly reach the mind-bogglingly high stats which have long been a staple in the Disgaea series. It would appear as though the challenge level scales consistently through the main story, which would mean that the challenge level would remain comparable even though the numbers are higher.

As much as I’d like to have more to say about that, I got the demo before the game was released, and I went ahead and set the auto-play to get some super-powerful characters. I already had level 9999 characters at the point that the game was released, so the story itself was mainly like a visual novel interspersed with auto-playable stages that don’t pose a challenge.

I know it’s optional, but it’s also practical. Going to bed and waking up to a bunch of level 9999 characters has just become a valid playstyle.

By the way, the level cap can be increased in the postgame, so level 9999 is no longer the final level cap. What’s more, there’s also an additional play mode to supplement the Carnage area that challenged determined players in previous Disgaea games. The new area might be considered a selling point for Disgaea veterans.

To wind down this review, I’d like to give my impression on the new characters. No spoilers.

  • Zed – I like the new main character, in spite of my old dislike for zombies (or “bullet-magnets”, if you prefer). I wonder whether the writer for Disgaea 6 also wrote the story for Zettai Hero Project, because I notice similarities.
  • Cerberus – I like the irony of a zombie boy with a zombie dog that is more knowledgeable than the boy himself.
  • Misedor – He doesn’t seem to develop as much as other characters, but he does have at least a couple only-sane-man moments.
  • Melodia – Here’s the character that annoyed me more than the rest. It’s almost as though the skip button was made just for her dialogue.
  • Piyori – A justice-obsessed power ranger that becomes corrupted by a flawed main character is quite a Disgaea thing.
  • Majolene – She takes issue with her transformation because she takes herself way too seriously. She has tragedy in her past, and when it comes up, it hits differently.
  • Ivar – It’s hard to talk about his deal without a spoiler. He turns out different from what one might expect.
  • Beiko – Ten pounds of adorable in a five-pound sack.
  • The Last Boss – A deceiver and schemer par excellence, and sympathetic, too. The outcome for this character was very appropriate.

DLC Corner

Disgaea 6 has a DLC package, and I sprang for the season pass. Much of the DLC content is free, such as a package of 4 characters for those who preordered the game, and the collection of 5 Hololive characters which can be downloaded from the eShop. I don’t know what the significance of the Hololive characters would be, but there doesn’t seem to be much reason to turn down what’s free.

There’s an assembly of goodies in the DLC package, such as additional palettes for certain characters, and special gear for them which is more gimmick than endgame gear.

There was also supposed to be a big pile of 100 Boost Tickets, but for some reason, I didn’t receive them. I wasn’t the only player that had this problem, so hopefully NISA will address the issue soon. The Boost Tickets also seemed to be missing from the Starter Support Set.

For me, the big draw from the DLC was the characters, which seems to focus on previous Disgaea games. As of this writing, Mao and Rasberyl are already available, with Valvatorez and Pleinair coming next week, Fuka and Desco come two weeks after that, and in another two weeks the season concludes with Killia and Usalia from Disgaea 5, along with a completion bonus package which includes more colors for certain DLC characters.

There’s also a relatively-inexpensive Innocents package, which contains exclusive gear that have innocents attached. The description tells you what the innocents do, but not their level. They’re all at 100, and there’s 3 of the ones that influence critical hits, each at 100.

Does a person need all the DLC to fully enjoy the game? Not strictly. The heavy focus on characters from other Disgaea games lends itself to appeal more to fans of the series. None of the paid characters seems to break the game so far, so if you have to miss out on paid DLC characters, it’s not the end of the universe.

If you like Disgaea, you probably also like numbers. So here: 8 out of 10. That’s the score Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny gets.

Disgaea 6 is unbalanced, grind-heavy, and doesn’t seem to take itself seriously. And some people like it that way.

The NFL Says That Football is Gay. They said it, not me.

I’ll probably have to walk on eggshells with this one, for caution of offending a certain subset of society that doesn’t take it as well as they dish it out.

Football fans. Who did you think I was talking about?

While the NFL is far from the first to say it, the NFL has turned heads with the fact that they said it themselves. This is an obvious side-effect of intersectional marketing, because it’s apparently the hot thing to appeal to about 2.5% of the population while alienating everyone else.

There’s a strong chance that you’re not taking my word for it. I actually applaud that. But the NFL themselves have shared video evidence:

And don’t worry if you didn’t watch the whole thing. I didn’t.

There’s a number of points to ponder related to this matter:

  • For one thing, that we’ve come from the point when who a person chooses to get intimate with was their business, to the point that it’s considered the principle feature of their identity, for them to tell everyone about, with accompanying erotica,
  • That last point was such a mind-blower that I almost forgot the other points I wanted to make,
  • If you laugh at Walmart shoppers wearing NFL apparel, that now makes you an intolerant bigot who is also a racist and a Nazi, and also a pedophile, because the braindead are getting to the point that they default to that last one, and
  • The NFL now presumes to speak on behalf of all professional athletes regarding their sexuality. If my employer pulled the same stunt, I can imagine that the company-wide reaction wouldn’t be pleasant. Is the NFL going to screen athletes based on sexuality?

I wasn’t a huge football fan to begin with. Spending three hours on a Sunday watching a bunch of millionaires throw a ball around doesn’t appeal to me. But I know that many football fans can rightly be described as macho, and would take offense to their sexuality being interpreted as anything besides straight. This being the case, is the NFL ready to take the hit that comes with alienating such a huge part of their base? Have they already decided that they don’t need these fans, as much as they contribute to the organization’s income?

I’m surprised that football came out before baseball did.

The Parable of the Monopoly Game

Three people decided to get together to play a game of Monopoly. One was a computer technician, one was an oil trucker, and the other was a police chief.

As the game was in progress, the computer technician and the oil trucker noticed something unusual: the game was only a few turns in, but the police chief had just purchased Boardwalk. The wealth that he had accumulated didn’t seem to make sense.

“How much money do you have?” asked the computer technician.

“Two thousand dollars.” answered the police chief.

“I saw you stealing from the bank.” said the oil trucker. “I think we should count your money to see how much you really have.”

“Accusing me of cheating is tantamount to challenging the integrity of the game.” answered the police chief, getting defensive.

Yet, the computer technician and the oil trucker were hesitant to challenge the police chief too far. He is the police chief, after all. He could retaliate by later writing them tickets for minor traffic violations. The computer technician and the oil trucker only made just enough to get by, and could hardly afford an additional expense.

“In that case,” said the computer technician, “we’ll just count the community chest cards. You’re the only one who has been drawing any, so we’ll see whether it adds up to the amount of money you claim you have.”

“That’s not going to make a difference.” said the police chief. “At this point, I’ve pretty much won. The outcome is already determined, so you should just accept it.”

If the police chief had nothing to hide, there would be no reason for him to obstruct any effort to verify the information he presented. Both the computer technician and the oil trucker knew it. If the police chief were really playing honest, he’d take the opportunity to say, “There you go, everything is accounted for, and it all adds up. You happy?”

Do the computer technician and the oil trucker have the courage to challenge the police chief any further? That’s up to you.

“I’m looking forward to playing against the police chief again in four days.” said the oil trucker. “Maybe he won’t cheat next time.”

Review: Made in Abyss Official Anthology, Layer 1: Irredeemable Cave Raiders

Author: Various
Status: Ongoing
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Localization: Seven Seas Entertainment
Rating: Older Teen
Available to read online on BookWalker, fees may apply.

Made in Abyss is just a few volumes in, and it has had such an impact that it resulted in a collaboration from the Mangaka community, the end product being this: a tome of comedy skits inspired by Akihito Tsukushi’s magnum opus.

While the original Made in Abyss manga was mainly a fantasy adventure with some horror elements, this anthology focuses more on humor, with references to the main series.

It’s tempting to say that a book like this would have limited appeal. After all, it was written mainly for those who enjoyed the original Made in Abyss to the point that they would justify purchasing a non-canon derivative work contributed to by various artists, and that’s just what it is. But Made in Abyss is such a big hit, that the anthology has a reasonably large potential audience to appeal to.

Different stylistic takes on the characters, such as this one by Yuki Hotate, is part of the anthology’s appeal.

Many of the jokes were in the original, but in this book, they were labored to the point of awkwardness. Nanachi is irresistibly fluffy, I get it. That’s not to say it’s not funny, but the jokes are obvious to anyone who has already read Made in Abyss, and just about meaningless to those who have not.

Still, the anthology does have it’s redeeming qualities. For one thing, there’s more of a look at fan-favorite characters such as Ozen, Marulk, Liza, and Prushka, who are significant to the canon story but were far from overstaying their welcome. Also, those who remember Bondrewd as a resourceful nemesis might enjoy the dissonance in antics such as his impersonation of Daft Punk. This is, of course, far easier for those who succeeded in repressing the memories of his atrocities. Poor ol’ Nanachi…

What’s more, those still relatively unfamiliar to manga may appreciate the introduction to a handful of new artists, and to a few different subsets of the manga art style.

A lighthearted take by bkub OKAWA, in a campy 4koma style. Personally, I really liked his take.

A second volume is already available. Would I spring for it? I don’t know. There’s a saying, too many cooks spoil the broth. There isn’t much expectation of consistency when there are multiple artists with multiple art styles and multiple humor styles. It helps to have focus, because sometimes, when there’s something for everyone, there might not be enough for anyone. That’s a weakness for a compilation produced by multiple artists, and why variety isn’t always a winning formula.

That’s not to say that I have anything against any of the individual artists. But if I want to read a manga by Kuro (for example), I’d prefer to get one that Kuro authored, and have an expectation of a consistent experience throughout.

From “Preparations for the Journey”, by Ike

Okay, not only am I beating a dead horse, Nanachi is hollowing out it’s skull for use in Riko’s armor. It’s time to move on.

As obvious as it may have seemed already, your likely suspicion is confirmed: the Made in Abyss Official Anthology was primarily made for those who like Made in Abyss so much that they’ll eagerly buy up the merchandise bearing its name, including a compilation drawn by some of its more prominent industry fans. If that doesn’t sound like you, then Layer 1: Irredeemable Cave Raiders is an easy pass. And you might be happy to know that it’s not necessary to enjoy the rest of the Made in Abyss manga.

To give it a score, Made in Abyss Official Anthology, Layer 1: Irredeemable Cave Raiders gets a 6 out of 10. It’s okay, but it owes much of its consistency to repeatedly telling a joke that you likely read before picking the book up. Nanachi is fluffy, but Nanachi doesn’t like being pet. It’s awkward for Nanachi.

By the way, a Nanachi plushie is a thing. But it’s in excess of $100 on eBay.

But does it smell like Nanachi?

 “From even the greatest of horrors, irony is seldom absent.”

H.P. Lovecraft

Columbia Pictures to Attempt a Live-Action Made in Abyss Movie

Have you recently discovered Made in Abyss? If so, you’re not the only one. It seems that one of the media companies that your dad still follows has taken notice, and now wants to make a live-action film based on Akihito Tsukushi’s manga. The film is set to be produced by Columbia Pictures.

That scream of horror you just heard was probably you.

I prefer to keep an open mind when it comes to this kind of thing, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that remembers the mistake that was Dragonball Evolution. In fact, it’s almost as though Hollywood hates the manga and anime industries, and are intentionally trying to sabotage them. If that’s the case, their plan has already backfired in a huge way by illustrating their failure to produce something appealing to an intended audience.

I know that Hollywood is capable of producing animated movies, so what explanation could there be for their insistence on an unwelcome interpretation, especially considering a history of repeated failure in the very same endeavor?

Another potential issue is that the manga and anime both feature children in situations that are not only dangerous, but traumatic and horrifying, and punished in ways that are likely legally not allowed. The prospect of putting child actors through what the plot of Made in Abyss puts the main characters through might raise some eyebrows. Manga and anime are only drawings, and don’t require the participation of actual children, which is one of many reasons why an animated film might be preferred.

Come to think of it, a live-action retelling of the adventure of the Ganja Squad might be interesting. If that were the case, the movie would act as a recount that gives more background on the star compass, and tells the origin story of Faputa, as told by Vueko, without breaking up the flow of the story in the anime.

Hey, open minds, right? Why don’t we save our disappointment for when they actually show something to be disappointed in? After all, people actually liked the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Biden Says Americans Need Nukes to Remove Their Own Government, and You Should Be Disturbed.

Joe Biden, the Democratic party’s exemplar of virtue.

“Those who say the blood of lib- — ‘the blood of patriots,’ you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots,” “What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

Joe Biden, the 47th President of the United States, emphasis added

It’s a pity that I can only react once to the statement above. You read it. Here’s the reference. He actually just challenged the people of the country he governs with the armed forces. He’s not even trying to hide that he’s a despot.

Consider the implication that he (or his teleprompter) was willing to make. He is willing to deploy nuclear weapons. To maintain his own seat of power. Against his own people.

Any people can know that they are run by a despot when he is willing to point out that he cannot be stopped by reason of his own monopoly on violence.

If Biden was speaking on the awareness that the American people had legitimately elected him, he would not have seen the need to threaten them with the strength of the armed forces. That he is willing to flex with the U.S. nuclear arsenal towards a people who have no such weapons suggests a high degree of insecurity.

If you believe that Joe Biden has the moral capital to govern the United States, you might just be a Democrat.