Archive | June 2016

The King in the North!

Spoilers below (Game of Thrones) – reader discretion is advised.

Episode 10 was a lovely conclusion to the 6th season of Game of Thrones. Indeed all the so-called loose ends of the season were neatly tied up and the season went out with a bang. Beginning in Winterfell, there were a lot of scenes echoing back to Eddard Stark (Ned Stark) with lines such as: “we cannot fight amongst ourselves” bringing back memories of when Eddard was speaking to his youngest daughter in King’s Landing. This bit was a very nice touch as it reminds us of characters long dead inspiring those who still live on and have yet to face greater challenges that lay ahead.

 

The scene where Jon was proclaimed King in the North was truly something special (also an echo to a past character Robb Stark). That moment when Lady Mormont rallied the northern lords to proclaim Jon as King in the North sent a swell of pride across the audience on my end as we witnessed the coming of a new age for the north – though this could be short-lived as we all know by now with Game of Thrones: “hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.”

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Now I will skip over the massive green explosion and focus on the forces in the east finally setting sail for Westeros. Indeed I am looking forward to seeing full-scale war in season 7 where the Unsullied absolutely annihilate the forces that oppose them; after all the Unsullied have taken on Dothraki riders back in the past and have successfully defeated them (though suffering a good number of casualties). Imagine ranks upon ranks of Unsullied fighting as one cohesive unit against – say – the Lannister army where every soldier – though uniformed and what not – fight as individuals rather than as a unit. The thought is indeed most appetizing – we shall see how season 7 unfolds next year.

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Yet season 7 is still a ways off from now – let us enjoy this moment of hope as we witness Daenerys sail west to re-conquer her family’s holdings, and Jon Snow proclaimed King in the North by the lords who gathered at Winterfell in that moment. With how things go in Game of Thrones, moments like these ought to be cherished as they will soon be swept aside by disappointment and the victories of characters we all hate the most (well, some of us anyways). Thanks for readings folks, and I shall see you next time.

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Calling them stupid won’t help your cause.

Britain has voted to exit the EU, and what I see on Facebook disgusts me. Sure some people are upset at the UK leaving the EU, but to go to the extent of calling them: “stupid,” is certainly a new low for these supposed educated people who – if they were on the opposite side of the spectrum – demand the same respect that I demand for the voters of Britain now.

 

Sure the economy may suffer, but should a child be forced to live with their parent (abusive or not) for the sake of economic stability? What about an abused wife who relies on the husband to pay the bills? Plenty of posts and supposed articles called the British: “stupid” for making the decision to leave the EU, despite the fact that many of these sites would fight for free speech, democracy, and the will of the people.

 

Based on this display, it would seem that the only “democracy” they want is the one they – and only they – can drum up. People cannot be controlled like subjects, they must be respected like citizens, given equal say in their future, and given a chance to forge their own destinies when they choose to do so. Calling them stupid, arrogant, ignorant, xenophobic and what have you will only hurt your argument as the voters have already decided what to do with their country and their government.

There is not a soul on this earth that claims independence is easy (well, none that I know of anyways). Yet I think Britain will do just fine – I need to have hope for something in this world given the bad news of lost jobs, unheeded job applications, declining economic prosperity for younger generations, and so forth. YOU may dislike Britain leaving, but do not deny that back in school it was taught that all opinions are valid, whether YOU believe it or not – keep your insults to yourself, for there is no consensus on whether or not this particular action is utterly brain-dead. Feel free to draw correlations however you like, but correlation does not equal causation – I’m sure your brains aren’t utterly incapable of remembering that bit from your classes, despite how much alcohol you threw back in your university days.

The new Knights – the new aristocracy.

Earlier today while taking a typing test I had a discussion with a fellow test-taker while waiting for the results, and an interesting topic came up in our conversation. The majority of us taking the typing test were there for law enforcement-related reasons, and after this brief talk I realized something about the state of the field of policing.

 

Municipal forces here in the lower mainland always talk about being competitive: “you need to stand out from the crowd to be competitive,” or “you need to be able to do this and that, have this and have that in order to even qualify or get someone’s attention.” What I started to realize was that once you wipe away all the soot and gunk from the conversation, you are left with an uncomfortable truth that shows policing has moved away from its’ original roots. When Sir Robert Peel wrote his principles, one of them (if I recall my notes correctly) was that the policemen should be recruited from among the common populace. Traditionally these principles were adhered to, but times have seen them eroded, or even replaced with new practices in an effort to get something more out of the uniformed boys and girls in blue.

 

Nowadays to even be considered, the minimum requirements are no longer even used, rather there is an unspoken requirement of having X-amount of degrees, X-amount of hours here and X-amount of hours there in volunteer/unpaid work placements, and let us not forget getting friendly with the personnel working there. Now with all these requirements, how can the common, working young lad or lass afford to become a policemen when they need to put bread on the table, pay bills, and other worldly expenses? People also need time to relax, yet what they are implying is that you MUST NEVER relax, and that you must work 56 hours a week, 16 of those hours MUST be unpaid volunteer garbage because eat horse droppings candidate, you must have this because we say so.

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What you then have is only those kids rich enough to be able to work for no pay for those 16 hours, plus afford a masters degree, plus have the connections to get into prestigious positions before joining up being the only ones ever considered for policing positions. The City Watch has turned into the new role for the aristocracy akin to the days when knights roamed the land keeping order for the monarch (which in today’s world translates to the present governing authorities – different body, but same function). Today we see the evolution of policing into a knighthood of sorts – a class role where rich kids are afforded the chance to be able to control the world around them and enforce the will of the wealthy against the working populace. Sure they uphold the law, but what if these laws begin to criminalize low-income earners? Already we see laws criminalizing panhandling, and while aggressive panhandling ought to be outlawed, people simply standing on the median of the street safely out of the way of traffic asking for spare change are of no threat to public safety (unless they are intoxicated of course).

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The new “knights” ladies and gentlemen, only rich kids get to be cops now – poor kids look elsewhere for work, because they are not going to look at you if you can only afford a high school diploma, a college certificate, or even a college diploma – no you need a bachelors, with 5 years’ experience in a prestigious position in the municipal government, AND references from within the force itself (familial connections) in order to even get a phone call these days. Now as for the young woman or man looking to join the police force but do not want the debt associated with a particular education program that has no guarantee of work afterwards (or cannot afford one, period), and whom cannot afford to work for free, you’re gonna have to look elsewhere as these municipal forces – Vancouver Police Department, Delta Police Department, New Westminster Police, And West Vancouver Police – will only recruit from among: “the cream of the crop, the best of society,” which translates to rich, well-connected kids who meet their expensive, utterly out of reach for people from poor backgrounds’ requirements.

E3 2016 so far.

PS4, Xbox One (or in this case Xbox One S), Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, and the other video game goodness that is present at E3 this year. Wow there has been a lot of stuff to look forward to, though I am somewhat overwhelmed by the flood of shooters that have been announced as of late. Sure I want a Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4, and so on, but it seems that this year in particular the market is set to drink in more-than-usual when it comes to shooters. Titles announced apart from the ones mentioned above include (but not limited to): Battlefield 1, Quake Champions, Prey, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, and a few others that I have not had the chance to view in the press conferences.

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This year around I have not had the chance to watch the press conferences through 100%, and I did skip a few bits like the areas where they talk about sports games – I have no interest in sports both in gaming and in reality apart from Blood Bowl (which is more fantasy football from Games Workshop than actual sports, but anyways). The time I have available to watch the presentations is somewhat limited, thus I want to concentrate on the games that were of interest to me – I did however keep track of items not on my list like the new Legend of Zelda. The vast open world presented in the demo on Tuesday (during the livestream) was incredible – the art style was gorgeous to say the least and it looks like it could be a very fulfilling experience if one were to invest in Nintendo’s machine in order to play it. Heck I would put down some money for that game; what other title out there lets me (without mods) use a chicken leg and a jar lid as a weapon and shield combo? Yes readers you heard what I said, I want to use a chicken leg as a weapon and a jar lid as a shield – I know exactly what I want in this world, and none of you can stop me (next game, indie or triple A, should let me play as a city watchman in a fantasy setting where I get to solve serious and not so serious crimes – that would be amazing).

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For Honor was another title I am excited for, though I am going about this with a bit of skepticism as games in the past that spat out hype like it was poison inside of a soda drink have disappointed the audience with their failure to live up to expectations, or even present a finished product. While I am enjoying E3 and all of its glory, I will be cautious going forward as to not fall into the hype sinkhole and see my money flow out of my pocket only to watch it catch fire and a pile of volcanic ash comes forth to be presented as the gift I had paid my hard-earned money for – let us not get burned, ever.

 

Anyways folks that’s all I wanted to say for today – have yourselves a good rest of the day, and I shall see you all next time.

Titanfall 2!!!!!!!!!

So I missed the EA press conference – thank the Emperor for video recording! Today after watching the Xbox press conference, I went back to watch the recorded EA press conference specifically for a few games, and oh boy was I happy to see Titanfall 2. Long story short (and also because I’m pressed for time) there is a singleplayer campaign; the titans look refined, and it seems much has changed since the outbreak of the war.

 

First off the titans (by the sounds of things) have gone semi-sentient – this could add a new layer of AI-pilot interaction previously not present in Titanfall as the AI was primarily more of a VI (Virtual intelligence rather than artificial; cannot think independently), and thus had pre-determined programming that made it behave a certain way. Now that the war has been raging for quite some time, it seems both titan chassis and AI have improved to give the pilots greater lethality on the battlefield.

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All I can say is I am happy to see these changes to the game, but I will miss the rudimentary look the titans had in the first game – I like seeing the belt of ammunition get sucked into the chaingun rather than a drum magazine with no action as it is hidden beneath the magazine shell. Regardless, E3 is here, and let us drink in the propaganda as the week goes on – don’t forget the reality pill though, otherwise if a game fails to live up to the hype, it will be a nasty aftershock.

“I noticed you called several times…”

Yes lady, I did call several times – twenty-two to be precise. I called that many times because your office closes at 4:30pm, and it was 2pm – do your bloody job! Now of course the lady sounded surprised; the typical PR voice and face was presented as I answered the phone after calling again today (once this time). Now if the lady did her job, I wouldn’t have to call twenty-two times, if the lady did her job I wouldn’t have to stop my business in the bathroom and answer the phone (what can I say, effort is required when looking for work – it was mostly finished anyways (humor intended)).

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How stupid do you think I am lady? You think I do this crap for fun – that I enjoy being strung up after months of searching for work? Take your Starbucks Latte and choke on it, it’s all you’re good for these days.

 

I wonder if I’m just swimming through a river of poor luck – after all some people tend to be able to respond quickly whereas others not so much. Why is it that these worthless workers get in while people who take their duties seriously and so on are left out in the cold without a head? The answer is probably because these idiots can sweet talk their way in, OR they went to some “convention” on how to – uh – “perform various favours for the boss… (humor intended).” This is a serious problem; I understand that there are not a lot of jobs for everyone, and indeed it is a sad reality that unemployment can never truly be eliminated, but how is it that efficient, hard-working folks are being squashed by incompetent monkeys who can flash their hair and enter through the door as the employers stand there with rose-tinted glasses – their appetites satiated for the moment. A true sickness that needs to be cured, otherwise our organizations are doomed.

Human Resources departments = useless.

Sure some of you out there may be thinking (based on the title): “I work HR, I’m hard working!” Well claps for you, but these lazy crappers aren’t you, are they? No they are the individuals who call you to talk about a job posting you applied for, and then NEVER answer the phone again. “But writer, shouldn’t you answer the phone then the first time?” One, what if I’m driving – that’s a 5000.00 fine and 3 demerit points. Two, if I’m showering or finishing up after using the toilet, what am I supposed to do, assume a half-squat position and pick up the phone with my dirty hands? Yeah, like that will ever happen.

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Twenty times did I phone the lady during office hours, twenty, and not a single call was answered – heck I even left two messages for good measure so that I may have a better chance at a return call tomorrow (Friday June 9 2016). After a week of frustration and annoyance, couldn’t I get a success here instead of yet another brick wall?! Half this universe deserves to be put to the torch – the inhabitants with it. Luckily for them, our world doesn’t value efficiency anymore, and people take their sweet sweet time in getting things done. This is why Canada lags behind other nations, this is why people tend to watch results of their efforts turn up months later – they put efficiency last and are all lip service.