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Strip 353, Volume 3, Page 40

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< Seraphim >

"Epiphany"

Sunday - December 29, 2002

[Seraphim] - 15:00:02 - [link here]

I was surprised to see on a major cable news network report that January 6, or the Epiphany, was the day Jesus was baptized. I had always thought it was the day the Magi arrived in Bethlehem and marks the start of Carnival. Being as cynical and skeptical as I am, I researched it and I did find an encyclopedia and a dictionary reference that cited the Epiphany as the celebration of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist and also Jesus' miracle at Cana (turning water into wine). Hey, it's always a good day when I learn something new. All seven citations did, however, first mention the common belief that it was the arrival of the Wisemen. How could anyone miss that fact in all the citations? Hmm, sounds like they aren't giving us a complete story. Anyone surprised?

I'm not so much concerned that the network got a religious fact wrong or incomplete but that they got it wrong or incomplete at all. What good are half truths? We heed what they tell us without thought. They determine what the story is in the first place and then beat us it to death with it. Why are there even multiple news stations? They all have the same story. Whether it is 24/7 coverage of the snipers full of speculation and fiction or the pending Iraqi war. I am appalled by the shows - Wargames: Iraq, The Lowdown Showdown, Countdown Iraq... This is not responsible reporting.

They are playing right into the hands of those who want war the most. This war mongering is the greatest diversionary tactic ever. Has anyone seen or heard decent coverage on the fact the economy is swirling the bowl as I write this? What is really going on in Afghanistan? What about the citizens of the other nations we are detaining in Guantanamo for a year? Do we forget if the media isn't blitzing us with it? Why aren't the overpaid network talking heads asking these questions? Is the media really so naive or are they actually just the mouthpiece for the government. The war would make for great ratings for them. Is peace really so boring and unprofitable?

When Piro and I want to know what's really going on we watch Canadian news, listen to the BBC on National Public Radio, or read foreign newspapers. An excellent source of links to online newspapers is the Internet Public Library. They have thousands of links to newspapers all over the world. NOT that they don't have their own biases but two sides of a story are always better than one. I don't want to tell you how or what to think - just to think. Whenever you start getting complacent - think about the Epiphany and think again.

I am continually amazed by the diversity of the Megatokyo audience. It spans all ages, races, and nationalities with a breadth and depth of interests and talents that amazes me. I wish my Mother knew you. She is a fantastic lady and a dynamo who has devoted her retirement to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and a local food pantry. But her real talent lies in hooking people up with resources or the people who can help them.

One time I off handedly mentioned to her that Piro had A LOT of clothes he had outgrown and I was trying to clean out the closet. I've frankly never seen so many T-shirts outside of a retail establishment. Mom called around and found a family who had a house fire and lost everything and the husband could use the clothes that he had outgrown. We gave everything to them, from jeans to heavy boots, which got him back to work. It felt good. So, I off handedly mention worthy organizations that someone reading this can participate in or just talk about and get the word out. You never know when a word in the right ear will do make a world of difference. So, talented people, take a look at Bugles Across America, which provides a network of buglers who volunteer to perform at local military funerals. Another organization is Angel Flight, (you know Seraphim has to like this one!) where private pilots provide non-emergency medical transportation to those in need. Piro and I also donate our used eyeglasses to the Lions Recycle for Sight. Lions Club International collects used prescription glasses through Lenscrafters stores and distributes them in developing nations. There are also donation centers in France, Spain, South Africa, and Australia.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Seraphim

< Dom >

Too bad they don't have any info up on that site...

"Be Just or Be Dead"

Sunday - December 22, 2002

[Dom] - 21:00:00 - [link here]

First: Yes, we were down. No, we didn't like it either. And yes, we should be back to normal shortly. Here endeth my tale.

On to Guilty Gear XX (X2, Igzex, whatever). I first played this sucker at this year's Anime Expo, where I pissed people off with May and my endless Guile-like cries of "summahsal!". I loved Guilty Gear X, so the opportunity to get the second round of an established Guilty Gear player-Mikey, the Korean master of GGX and XX, is also known as Crackpr0n... love him or hate him, he's gooood-was too tempting to pass up. Free play at an arcade? Sign me up!

I can't say much positive about the game's balance, but damn, I still love it. The character designs and the animation are both damn beautiful (notable exception, the drawing of I-no on the Japanese box art is butt ugly), and Faust is my favorite character in a fighting game, like, ever. Just based on style. And the fact that I want Mikey to cosplay as my Faustino so I can throw him out of a paper bag.

The gameplay is just under the radar for me; it's simple enough that I can just pick up a random character, learn one or two of their moves, and do pretty well. It's also got complexities that people keep explaining to me but I know I won't be able to do without sticking $20 worth of quarters in there. Knowing when to Roman Cancel or Yellow Burst instead of waiting to blow off that super at the end of a future combo? False Roman Cancel? Impossible Dust? I can't do that crap. I just wanna hit punch and watch the whale come out (Rock on, May!).

I realized something else when I was playing PS2 GGXX, though. Had nothing to do with the game itself, and had everything to me. I can't play fighting games without a good arcade stick anymore. I can't even imagine Soul Calibur 2 on the PS2 controller, because I will always hate the standard PlayStation D-Pad, while the analog stick just doesn't cut it. I used to be satisfied with the old Japanese Saturn controller for fighting games, and the Fighting Pad for the Dreamcast worked on those same principles.

But after playing Capcom vs SNK 2 on Xbox Live, I started realizing that I hate controllers for fighting games. It wasn't just the Xbox controller, either. It was just frustrating using a d-pad just so I could talk. I wanted to pull out the X-Arcade or anything that would offer a better experience than the D-Pad... but alas, it was not to be, I stuck with the headset and got my ass handed to me by someone whose moves I could read a mile away... the dragon punch motion was denied to me by a d-pad, and when I play wakeup games with Joe, I like those few frames of invincibility.

But yes. The next gaming purchase I'm going to make is going to be a decent arcade stick, followed by GGXX or Soul Calibur 2 (whichever comes first).

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