Trump vs. Hillary: America reaches its own video game ‘kill screen’

Pac Man Kill Screen

A funny thing happens in old video games when players reach a point that exceeds the cartridge’s available memory: the “kill screen.” The character may die, although sometimes users can continue playing a jumbled mess that ostensibly makes no sense. The reality that Donald Trump will square off against Hillary Clinton to be the next U.S. commander in chief is a clear indicator America has reached its own kill screen.

Hillary Clinton

Kill screens may be fun to watch — there is no doubt that cable news networks are thrilled with the 2016 election season — but on another level (no pun intended), they are sad affairs. If you do not believe the U.S. is at its own kill screen, then ask  yourself the following two questions:

  • What led to the rise in popularity of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (a self-described socialist), and Donald Trump?
  • Will the election of Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump mitigate or exacerbate the nation’s underlying problems?

Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton has vowed to continue doing exactly what President Obama has done for eight years, which was a catalyst for Sanders’ groundswell of Democrat support.

Donald Trump’s popularity is based on the illusion that he is a political outsider who will “make America great again” via giant walls along U.S. border with Mexico and “great” deals with Congress. Ironically, the same people who have deified Mr. Trump regularly go apoplectic when “deals” are made in Congress. Unless Trump plans on becoming a dictator, his own supporters are in for a rude awakening if he wins in November.

Here is what the 45th president of the United States will encounter on Day One:

  • The U.S. is $19 trillion in debt, but there is no political will to get spending under control. This is due to economic illiteracy (thanks public education and academia), greed (it’s easy to rob from future generations when you know you’ll be old or dead when the bill comes due), lying politicians, and a whole host of other issues. There will be a day of reckoning.
  • The U.S. is culturally lost. Multiple generations have simmered in a stew of cultural relativism. Tens of millions of people have no idea why they believe what they believe — they just do. They have been taught to loathe the principles that made America the freest nation in the history. They have been conditioned to yearn for tyranny and not to care about it as long mindless viral videos, Facebook “likes,” and free pornography flows on their computers.
  • American media outlets are corrupt. The news long ago ceased to be about informing people and turned into a never-ending quest for “clicks” and “shares” and “tweets” and ratings. Journalists are usually more interested in showing they’re as witty and cool as John Stewart in his heyday than objectively reporting facts. Cable news shows are inspired by WWE wrestling matches and reality television shows, which is why the more appealing option is to just watch Food Network or turn off the TV all together.

In short, unless someone rewrites the U.S. “code” in the near future, we will soon disappear in the “integer overflow.”

Welcome to the kill screen. I look forward to seeing you after the “reset” button is pushed.

Go right

The creator of ‘Go right’ makes us look back and smile with nostalgia while urging us to charge forward and battle through life’s obstacles. It’s an amazing little piece of work. If you grew up playing video games, you’ll love it.

Anyone who grew up playing video games as a kid needs to watch the video ‘Go Right.’ It’s amazing. Even a lot of people who don’t like video games, don’t care for them, and wish they didn’t exist will get it.

Long story short, in most side-scrolling video games you spend a lot of your time charging forward, blasting and beating your enemies, jumping over and through obstacles and hurling yourself into the great unknown. You must time your decisions just right, but often times the environment you find yourself in is tricky and unpredictable. The game is “unfair.” Your character is unevenly matched. There are inequalities between you and your competitor. The cards are stacked against you, and you must build up your arsenal of weapons and knowledge by making prudent and wise decisions over the course of the game.

Sometimes, you get knocked down. Sometimes, you fail. Miserably. Sometimes you feel like your world is caving in on you, you can’t do anything right, and that you might as well give up. And, just like in ‘Go right’ we often try to go backwards. We try and head in the opposite direction, away from the uncertainty and the battles we know are waiting for us. It usually takes awhile, but the true hero realizes what he must do. There’s a moment where it all sinks in, and we find our inner mettle and dive back into the fray.

The battles we fight are fierce, but in the end you will either be victorious or die trying. Both outcomes are honorable. What isn’t honorable is giving up and pulling the plug when the bombs are going off around us and failure becomes a viable option.

The creator of ‘Go right’ found a way to tap into a sense of nostalgia with a message about how important it is to always drive forward. For that, I tip my hat to him.

Olivia Munn: Wonder Woman or Shameless Fame Hound?

Watch me take part in degrading hotdog eating exercises for teenage boys and lonely video game nerds, and then try to take me seriously when I enter the political fray. Oh, doesn't work.
Watch me take part in degrading hotdog eating exercises for teenage boys and lonely video game nerds, and then try to take me seriously when I enter the political fray. Oh, wait…it doesn’t work.

If you read my blog post on Wonder Woman’s new costume, and you’re a fan of Olivia Munn, you probably know that she would never be a fan of mine. Here’s what she has to say about the Wonder Woman hubbub:

“Isn’t the patriotism in your heart? Why do you have to wear it on your sleeve?” Munn asked rhetorically. “Like, can’t she just be that person? She still is. She’s Wonder Woman! She’s f**king saving the world! She’s not just saving America, she’s saving the f**king world! And she’s wearing a great outfit and she’s kicking ass. She doesn’t need to wear a f**king star to be a f**king patriot.”

Likewise, Oliva, you don’t have to take part in degrading hotdog eating spectacles  to show the world you have no shame and you’ll do anything to get yourself noticed. You can just “be that that person,” right? And you don’t need to engage in said hotdog eating embarrassments to make the blood race in teenage boys and overweight, lonely video game nerds — you can just be that person through your good looks and sassy attitude.

So yes, Olivia, I agree with you.

However, the point of my original post, which you also highlight quite nicely, is that some of us don’t want this particular hero to be Wonder World Community Consensus Woman. There’s a big difference between saving the world and conducting yourself as if you need the world’s approval before you did so.  Or that organizations that have Iran on their rotating human rights councils operate with the same moral authority as The United States.  The liberal writers at DC and Marvel actually have an agenda, even if most of them don’t realize it.  While I highly doubt most of the liberal scribes who annoy me within the comics industry are actually reading the research put out by The Heritage Foundation, Brookings, or Cato…they are trying to fundamentally change the characters I grew up with and love.  And other fans realize it as well.

Just as Lynda Carter is a liberal, so too is Olivia. Let’s take her stance on gay marriage, for instance:

“It’s ridiculous and I’m really upset that Obama, as a black man, and all the things that African Americans have gone through after being oppressed, has said ‘you’re less than’ and cannot stand up and say marriage is a union between two individuals who love each other,” Munn told Pop Tarts last week. “I just think everyone should be allowed the same rights – if they want to exercise them, they can and if they don’t, they don’t.”

I never knew that prep-school taught Barack Obama, growing up on the mean streets of Hawaii, was oppressed…but I’ll give you that one just for the heck of it, Ms. Munn. However, the reason why President Obama can’t say “marriage is a union between two individuals who love each other” is because that’s not the definition of marriage. Sorry. Words have meanings, and just because you don’t like a specific definition it doesn’t mean you get to change it. But what else would we expect from a moral relativist?

My point isn’t to divulge whether I care or not what Elton John does in his spare time (e.g., making out with other men or pointing out liberal hypocrisy over Arizona’s immigration law). In truth: I don’t.  I just wish there were more conservatives out there diving head first into the fight over popular culture.  Then they’d be able to intellectually tear talking heads like Olivia apart.  She opts to be G4 TV eye candy for years on end and then suddenly wants people to consider her political prowess?  Nice try.  Now go film the next installment of Attack of the Show, my friend, because you’re boring me.

Maniac Mansion: Barack Obama Edition

Growing up in the 80’s, Maniac Mansion was one of my favorite games.

Whether you hole yourself up with liberal academics, or hunchbacked hobbling lab assistants...the result is usually bad.

Unlike most other titles out at the time, it didn’t have a predetermined outcome. You hand picked your team from a number of different characters, each with their own unique skill set.  Players had to be strategic about who they chose on their team, because the outcome of the game altered depending on who came along for the mission.

The storyline went as follows:

  • A meteor falls to the earth behind the mansion of “Dr. Fred.”
  • Weird things happen in town.
  • A group of friends decide to investigate when their friend goes missing.

What does all of this have to do with Barack Obama?  Lately, he reminds me of Dr. Fred. Many Americans (particularly independent voters) don’t know what the heck is going on inside the White House, but they know that peculiar things are happening to the country.  Like Dr. Fred, some people think the President is evil, some people think he’s a genius, some wonder if his behavior is connected to weird meteors that fall from the sky (okay, well, maybe not that one), and others think there’s nothing wrong at all.  The rest have no clue what’s going on…but they’re determined to get to the bottom of it.

While you’ll never hear me call the President evil (read Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy if you want to know why), I do think his policies are downright scary and destructive. Liberals treat the United States as their own special science experiment by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars into social engineering schemes thought up by the “equal outcome trumps equal opportunity” crowd.

Politicians who try to play God usually just do a great job of making life Hell for the rest of us.

Like the run-of-the-mill mad scientist that isn’t much interested in anyone’s opinion but his own, Barack Obama spent years holed up with like-minded liberal academics. The occasional input by hunchbacked, hobbling assistants generally only echos long held beliefs; they rarely offer dissent.  And, while it would be nice to believe that Barack Obama was the kind of guy who could create No.9, I’m more inclined to believe his policies will create the kind of post apocalyptic world the characters of the movie 9 inhabit.

“We had such potential,such promise…but we squandered our gifts,” (Allan Oppenheimer as “The Scientist”).

The next time you get the urge to vote for someone who’s narcissistic enough to think they can plan a 12 trillion dollar economy, dust off your favorite old NES games when the polls open and hope you don’t solve them until after they close.

I don't think Barack Obama is being controlled by evil tentacle space aliens, but he's making a strong case for game developers to pursue Maniac Mansion: Hopeandchange Edition