I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hoisted, I say

So, Bill Maher, who I am none too fond of on principle, has managed to redeem himself very slightly in my eyes after a perfect gotcha moment to his panel.

Go read and enjoy the video.

I think this pretty much speaks for itself. In a just world, this would be a crushing blow to anyone who lays false claim of racism against an opponent. Cries of "Racism!" would be met with cries of "Projection!" and we could forget that this ridiculous obsession with melanin content was ever a part of our national dialogue.

Unfortunately, we don't live in a just world so for now I'll jut laugh at Mr. Bell.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Monster Hunting

I came into the Monster Hunter craze late. By which I mean I started them the 16th of January. I've been hearing for a few years now how wonderful the Monster Hunter books are, but I hadn't gotten around to actually reading them. I suppose the fact that I finished the first book less than 36 hours after I got it is a fair indicator. The fact that I haven't paid full new price for a book in... I honestly can't remember now, but did for the next three is another indication.

I know most if not all my readers have at least heard of MHI before, and probably a hefty percentage of those have read them all, but for those of you who haven't, I cannot recommend them highly enough. Are they going to go down in history as great literature, to be shelved next to Shakespeare, Dumas, Austen and the like? No, but that's half the charm. Larry Correia doesn't seem to be worrying about keeping it 'capital L Literature', but is instead focusing on making a thrilling, fun, wild ride.

30 second version of what to expect. B movie monsters, mythological creatures, and occult legends are real, but secret. Private companies exist to fight them and protect the world, paid in bounties from governments around the world. Owen Zastava Pitt is shown the real world when his boss turns to a werewolf and tries to eat him. His survival nets him a job offer from the eponymous Monster Hunter International, the premier agency out there. He proceeds to kick monster behind for the next several books with a panoply of fantastic weaponry, all written as only a gun nut can write.

I was going to say something to the effect of the books being a touch formulaic, but I'm not really sure that they are. Beyond following a basic trend of "bad thing with hint of mystery leading to thrilling climactic final battle" the books are fairly varied in their structure, timing and tropes. There are themes that they share, from the straightforward literary to the more b-movie oriented, but each book feels like its own exploration of a really neat world, rather than a retread of a tired formula.

If you are not a fan of guns, I'd first ask what you're doing here, but then I'd say you might not really enjoy these as much. Not because the books are all about guns, but rather because they form a nice allegory for the gunny community and the mindsets common to it. There are major, neon flashing light type major, anti-authoritarian, anti-statist themes and tropes throughout, though I would certainly not say anarchic. They reflect the triumph of both individual and collective effort outside the mandates of government action.

Relatedly, I find that they don't seem to suffer from sequel syndrome much at all. All too often, an author will slave away for a decade perfecting their story before suddenly, the book goes bestseller and the publisher says "give us another one in 12 months" leading to rushed, 2d, lackluster, unpolished dross. The Hunger Games is rather an excellent example of this, with a smash hit first book that I view pretty favorably and sequels that I consider to be among the worst books I have ever read. MHI doesn't suffer this. The later books are a bit shorter, but they don't feel rushed or unpolished. In fact, it's moreso that the 700+ pages of the first book are long rather than the follow ups are short.

One last point that particularly pleases me about these books. The characters are all very much human. The hardened killing machines have real sides, without it being all macho quips. Julie Shackleford is simultaneously very female and one of the most effective hunters in the company. The government men are not just 2d statist thugs. (well, not all of them, but that reflects reality too). Even the main monsters are more interesting than "There is zombie. It is evil. Shoot it in the head." Those make good cannon fodder but are kinda crappy primary antagonists.

I highly recommend you hie off to your nearest purveyor of books and pick up Monster Hunter International. Find a day where staying up till 3AM won't ruin your tomorrow, grab a beverage of your choice, put on some rock music and get lost in some truly masterful storytelling.

Monday, December 23, 2013

AMAC

Many of the various mailing lists I have found my way onto are entirely appropriate. Various sundry gunny and conservative mailings make their way to me. This one though, is a bit odd.

I have no beef with the Association of Mature American Citizens, but telling me to "Tear up my AARP membership card" is perhaps a failure of targeted advertising.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought one had to enter the workforce before one could retire from it...

I dearly hope everyone's holiday of choice has been going well for them, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Case of the Dumbs

I've been having all sorts and flavors of insightful constitutional discussions and debates over the morality of bioluminescent humans and video games, but it never seems to come out right when I try to write it up here.

I seem to have a selective case of the Dumbs.

While I'm working on that though, Jennifer has managed quite a nice one two punch with her last two posts. Dang I wish I'd written those. Go read her free ice cream, and I might have some free frozen dairy dessert later.

Done with finals now, so hopefully that's gonna be sooner rather than later. I might even write up my Constitutional Law study guide, because dang that is interesting stuff.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Self absorption

The CNN talking heads are discussing whether 'our' generation is the most self absorbed one. I don't care enough to read the closed captions on it, but all I can say is that if you are asking that question, odds are at least you are that self obsessed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trolls

*sigh*

I've had to delete my very first comment here for grand mal douchery. It seems my Lesson Time post has garnered some minor internet attention. (Hey everyone by the way, the free ice cream is sporadic and often weirdly flavored, but hey, it's free.)

An anonymous commenter decided that I was a corporate whore shilling for CTD.* Said critter said so in a comment that made me sad, not in the name calling, but in the lack of misspellings to make fun of. If you're gonna make an ass of yourself here, at least go all out and allow me to make fun of you.**

You will not see this comment on the post anymore, nor will I copy said critters words verbatim. That's more credit than I care to give them.

If you cannot contribute to the conversation, I kindly invite you to sit over here and hold this cloth under your chin. Drool is surprisingly irksome to clean out of the carpets.

If you insist on 'contributing' anyways, but refuse to claim your words as your own, hiding behind the mask of anonymity, I'm afraid you'll have to be patient for a while. The spike pit is done, as is the wasp tunnel, but the release mechanism on the trapdoor is finicky. I'm planning on scrapping it and starting over soon, but you know how these things go...



I have no problem with being called out for my opinions and positions. In point of fact, I really want that to happen when I'm out of line. It helps me to refine my thinking and stay consistent. I do have a problem with drive by cowards who can neither put in the effort to discuss like a proper human being nor have the decency to own their words.

And finally, if you're going to be rude or offensive, at least make it interesting. Rude, offensive AND boring is just getting scrapped. Rude, offensive and entertaining? That's blog fodder, and I really need practice at mockery.


And just to be clear, I am not really distributor loyal at all. I go where the best value is (not just best price, best value, but that's a discussion for another time.)  CTD does not offend my delicate constitution with their actions. If they have the best value on something, sure. I'll buy from them. I won't go out of my way either to buy from them or not to buy from them. This is the sort of ringing endorsement that makes someone a whore? Maybe I should start making endorsement deals. I do indifference well.



*I'm not, but hey, if CTD wants to chuck a hundred grand at me in exchange for some advertising? Heck yeah, sign me up.
**To those who get upset by this, I'm JOKING. Mostly.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scout rifle

Idle thought exercise. How would you go about making a 91/30 into a scout rifle? M44 would also be acceptable but less desirable.