December 6th, 2007


Guitar Hero

The other day I linked a bunch of stuff, one part of which was 10 Reasons We're Doomed: SkyMall Edition and one item of which was The E-Z Chord Kit.
Here is what the guy who wrote the article said about it... As a guitarist I'm offended by this one: instead of sitting down and learning G, C and D, you attach a $42 apparatus to your guitar that plays the chords for you. Even if it is ridiculously easy, how many chicks do you think you'll score with a handicapable guitar that tells the world you're not smart enough to do what Toby Keith somehow figured out?

I was explaining to hollygrahm about how bad this was if you're trying to learn to play the guitar because learning to do the cords is the hard part that you need to practice. True fact: I actually do sort of semi-kinda-not really know how to play the guitar. I spent a couple of months trying it out when I was about 15 before giving up on it. If you put a guitar in my hands today and then put a gun to my head and told me to do a G cord I would have to pop one of the strings off and garrote you with it because that's the only way I'm going to get out of that situation alive. I understand how hard it is to play the guitar though, but this doesn't stop me from being annoyed with guys who only seem to know 3 cords. I also failed as a drummer, but I put that down to dyslexia. You can't really play drums if you confuse numbers and sides and beats and things. Well, you can… but you get stuck being a very simplistic drummer and that's boring as hell. I also failed at the keyboard at age 11, but we're not going to run down my musical failures. I do still have a really good range as a singer though, so I've got that going for me.

It is sort of hard to learn when you start out, particularly the cords. You're dealing with thin bits of wire, some of which seem to be serrated and some are just razors. When you hear Brian Adams singing that he played until his fingers bled in The Summer of '69 those would be the fingers on his left hand. If you want to learn the guitar those sore fingers are the part you have to deal with until you build up the calluses. I didn't want to deal with it, which is why I never got very far on the guitar.

This segued into the subject of my post in a manner that I can't quite remember, although I seem to recall complaining at one point that many musicians use the guitar as merely another percussion instrument all be it one with variable notes. See my above statement about being annoyed by 3 cords. I listen to a lot of jazz, new age and folk music, so I'm used to listening to guitar players who use it as a full instrument.

Anyway, we got to talking about Guitar Hero and the odd complaint I've heard about it. It seems there are some people who think that horrible, horrible things should happen to people who play this game. The complaint I hear most often is that people become convinced that they can play the guitar because they've beat the game or something. It's even made it into a VG Cats comic. I've heard this put forward several times, but I remain dubious. I mean I've played Medal of Honor but I don't think that means I'm ready to qualify as a sniper, even though I can attest that loading and firing a gun is easier than learning a G cord. My point is that I find it hard to imagine that there are people running around claim that they can jam on the guitar because they've played a video game.

There is also the fact that the people who say "Ah, they think they can really play the guitar." Are also likely to add "They're just wasting their time on a stupid video game!" and sometimes "War on Christmas, Jesus was born before Moses, and America was founded by Masons to annoy the Illuminati" so to put it another way, they talk like nitwits. I mean c'mon, the Masons founded America to annoy the Zargon Empire, the Illuminati had nothing to do with it.

The problem is though, I know some of the people they're talking about and some of those people are deluded enough to believe that they have madskillz with a Z. I mean we are talking about people who take their Harry Potter Fanfic so seriously they swear off JK Rowling's works because book 5 fails to confirm their ship. They also wear cat ears all the time… even to funerals… and can't understand why people are upset. I mean, after all, they did wear the black ones. I could have explained, but why bother at that point? I know enough people who aren't just separated from reality, the divorce has actually gone through and they've been denied support payments. It does seem slightly plausible.

Still though, I have trouble believing it. I can see someone thinking they can dance because they're really good at Dance-Dance Counter-Revolution. That's a game of rhythm and foot movement (if you have the floor pad) , you could arguably say you've learned to dance by playing that or at least that you've worked up some practice and aren't going to completely humiliate yourself. Pressing one of four buttons on a plastic controller is nothing like holding a steel string down to produce a cord, and I have real trouble believing anyone makes this mistake.

However, I don't know anyone in real life who plays this game so it could be more common than I know. A couple of people on my flist play it, but I'm pretty sure that those people know that it's just a game. As I say, I don't really believe anyone equates videogame playing with actual stringed instrument skillz or even skill without a z. Has anyone really run into this phenomena? Has anyone else noticed that phenomena sounds a lot like Mah na mah na? "Phenomena. Dot do da dee do. Phenomena! Dot dee do doo. Phenomena! Dot dee do dee da do dee da do dee da do det det det dee dee!"

Also, did anyone else notice that I used phenomena when I should have used phenomenon? The joke didn't work if I used the right word, sometimes grammar has to suffer so grandpa can get his joke off.
  • Current Music
    Mercedes Lackey - Windrider Unchained

Future Raptors

Has anyone seen Futureworld? That's the sequel to Westworld, which was remade 20 years later but the used dinosaurs instead of robots and called it Jurassic Park.

NOW! The plot of Futureworld (OMG! SPOILERS! Trust me, you'll thank me for sparing you from watch this movie) is that the people in charge of Delos decide to take over the world by replacing world leaders with robot clones. This gets me thinking though, what if Jurassic Park had such a sequel?

Just think of it. Raptors replacing world leaders.

"Mister President, what do you think of the current situation?"
"RAR!" and then the Raptor President rips open Wolf Blitzer's belly and eats his guts!

That would rock! That would rock so hard.

EDIT: Syd says that if the president in question is Bush then it should be a compy, because that's a little dinosaur that can only attack when it gangs up on something. Then it gives it a bunch of little bites that slowly poison their victim until they eat it alive. Neo-compys you might say.
  • Current Music
    Styx - Mr. Roboto

Need vs. Want

I hate giving people something they need for a gift giving oppertunity. I don't mind other people doing if and I don't mind getting things I need, but I just hate having to do it myself. I would rather give a person something they want/would really enjoy. I'd like to think that if you actually need something and if I'm able, I would just provide it to you.

Also, appropo of nothing (yeah right!) I hate side clips on pocket knives. Again, fine for some, but I just don't like them. I find if you don't use the clip, either on your belt or the edge of your pocket, it catches on to many things in your pocket.
  • Current Music
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra - O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night

Knife poll!

Fancy's Note: The boy seems to have spelled "Straight" wrong again, please ignore this. Also, the knives he linked are just examples, sometimes very cheap examples that you shouldn't buy.

Poll #1101808 Pocket poll

Do you carry a pocket knife?


What sort of pocket knife do you carry regularly? (please click all that apply)

A good old jackknife with just a finger notch.
A folder with a thumb stub or other easy opening piece.
Balisong (or butterfly knife)
A half serrated blade.
A modern folder with a sideclip for pocket or belt.
A multi-tool like a Leatherman
An assisted-opening knife, which is not the same as a switchblade.
A strait razor or a folder with a flat tipped razor like blade.
A small bowie knife which actually does fit in my pocket.
An automatic opening knife, like a switchblade. (you'd better have a special reason as the cops really don't like them)
A utility razor folder.
A boot knife (which can also go in your pocket if small enough)
You sure know a lot of knife types don't you?

How much did your current everyday knife cost?

$1 up to $25 (why pay a lot? It's only going to get stolen or confiscated)
$26 up to $75 (I like good stuff, but I don't have a lot to spend)
$76 up to $150 (I like good, and I have some money to spend)
$150 up to $300 (I want something that I can depend on)
$300 up to $1000 (I've got money and I want the best knife)
$1000 up to $10,000 (I'm loaded and I want to express that through an edged weapon)

Now you can ask a question.