Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page

Malik (1/14/13)

Well, with 24 hours passing by, I can look back and say my favorite time of year is now over. Yes, I like the NFL, but I live for the weekends (Thursday games are stupid) when the Seahawks are on the field. The game in Atlanta left a whole slew of "what if" scenarios. What if the Seahawks took a field goal on either failed 4th and shorts in the first half? What if Chancellor was covering Gonzalez in the final Atlanta pass? What if Lynch didn't fumble? What if the bad calls didn't happen? What if the kicker was not iced? What if Seattle won one more game and then would have been the 2 seed with home field? There are a ton of these.

I think the only "what if" I am caring about right now is a bit simpler; What if next season grows from this season? If Seattle has Lynch healthy (his foot looked like it was bothering him and taking a step from his game yesterday), Russell Wilson continues to mature, Seattle has its secondary as strong (maybe one new safety), and if Golden Tate and Sidney Rice continue to develop, then next season will be a hell of a great ride. Seattle does need some help with the O-line. Maybe they can draft someone like Mac Strong or Hutchinson who can open some routes for Lynch. Imagine how tough Lynch would be with a little extra blocking help. Yeah, Seattle just needs to continue how they ended the season, and add one or two pieces, and this will be a team to fear on all fronts.

In fact, I would not be surprised to see the Rams also develop what they were finding at the end of the season and the playoffs next season having three NFC West teams. In the span of a couple years, the nickname NFC Worst has become nothing but a faint memory. Yeah, the Cards will continue to flounder for a couple seasons (they need a completely new team, with the exception of one highly underutilized Fitzgerald), bare minimum. However, the Ram are looking like a 6 seed, and the 49ers and Seahawks look like some powerful number 1 and number 5 seed teams. Which is which? Depends on the unknowns, like injuries. Either way, one is getting a playoff bye week and the other is going to be a monster of a number 5 seed.

For once, I don't feel angry about the season ending without a ring. No, I feel excited for September to come back around. For being a young team with a third round rookie "short" QB leading the charge, they did more than anyone, even most optimistic fans, could see coming. I mean Seattle even came back from a 20-0 1st half blowout yesterday to a final score of 28-30. Tell me this is not a team to feel excited for.

I suppose it also takes the sting off of the end of the season when some ass ran over my mailbox yesterday and left me trying to make a fix in frozen temperatures.


Malik (1/16/13)

How to stop violence is an interesting dilemma in modern America, and the world at large. I mean there is a lot of thought and a lot of realizations that have to be reached before one could even begin to tackle the subject at hand. For example, one would have to look at what societal issues are in hand that may contribute. Also, the minds of people who commit acts of violence have to be investigated to find what may have caused such a problem to arise.

The truth is, violence is not a simple thing. There is no real easy answer to what might cause a person to act out, and beyond all, there is never a one-size-fits-all answer to the cause. One person may have had a violent upbringing that brought out problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When you have such stresses on you, it may be harder to find a way to release, in a constructive way, the angst, rage, and confusion welling up within your head.

On the other hand, someone may have been brought up in an environment that encouraged or glorified violence. If you are raised in an environment that says might-makes-right, then it becomes harder to see that maybe other solutions to your problems exist than to exert your own will on others through pure force.

There's also the issues of mental illnesses. If one has a deep psychological issue, reality can become a blur and it's then harder to see not only right from wrong, but also real versus fictitious. If what is inside your own idea of reality is not in line with the real world, it can be more than acting in violence; it can be you don't even understand when you go from the world inside your perception to the world that we all share.

There are countless other causes and potential causes for inflicting of violence and damage upon the world around us. It also can be easy to point our fingers at what we see causes the problem. However, trying to finger a single cause is not only futile, it's another form of inflicting your will on others without their consent. It's a level of psychological might-makes-right.

This is one of my large problems when I hear fundamentalists and lawmakers trying to pull the violent TV or games card on this issue. Just because these people have a level of power (be it through position in government or through having a large enough media outlet to get the attention of others), it doesn't mean you can abuse this power to control those you consider below you. In the first half of the 20th century, jazz music was seen as a cause of societal woes. It, supposedly, made kids more likely to take drugs and have sex, which, in this poorly conceived idea of reality, in turn caused crimes and violence. If we look back, we now see jazz as nothing more than one style of music...not as the root of all social issues. The same could be said of TV when it first entered into American homes. The same was even said by some about radio when these magical boxes brought voices into the American living room.

Of course, the current target, for the last couple of decades, has been video games. In particular, violent games. Once again, this seems like trying to find a one-size-fits-all cause of the worlds ills. It's silly to think on simple form of media can cause the world to be in a state of panic and fear. However, that is where the shoe has landed, for now. If a new form of media came along that was "all the rage with the kids", it would probably be the object of scorn by authoritative, be it real or self declared authority, individuals. Why? Because kids commit the worst violence and kids are the first to give in to the latest and greatest new fads...or so the illogical logic goes.

So, without thinking through the issues of what may cause or incite violence, we have many people telling us that it is violent games. Now, to avoid thinking things through any further, it's time to magically define what a violent game is. I mean there are different levels of violence, right? In Sleeping Dogs, Wei (the protagonist) gets tortured with a power drill in one scene. Of course, in Doom you shoot zombie soldiers. In Super Mario Bros you jump on animals, like turtles, and can throw fireballs at them. So, are all of these violent games? Where does the line lie, since many people would argue Mario is not true violence. Maybe cartoon violence, but not graphic violence. Hence, Mario games tend to get E (for everybody) ratings from the ESRB.

Maybe the answer is ratings. That is what Representative Diane Franklin (Missouri) thinks. Hence, she wants to put a tax on all games rater T, MA, or A. Yeah, that makes sense. As the link mentions, this makes such a violent title like Guitar Hero finally get classified as violent like it was always meant to be. Of course, that would be sarcasm on my behalf. However, it would make Rock Band violent. It would make Leisure Suit Larry violent in classification. It would make countless RPGs violent, including a lot of turn based ones that lack any visuals of violence. It would make any game that has slight swearing violent in name.

While I cannot offer a solution to the root of violence in the world, I can offer some advice. Before you try to act in a psychological violent method, like forcing your will and ideals on those who have entrusted you to power, think the problem through. More people play violent games who don't commit acts of violence than the opposite. The problem is real, and it's a problem that goes beyond my role in life to solve. However, if you really want to face this problem with a true intent of solving or mediating the issue, take the time to be rational and logical in your approach. Trading physical violence for emotional or psychological force is not going to solve anything. Possibly, depending on where all the true causes of violence lie in this world, it may even cause some. I'm not saying it will definitely cause violence...but I'm willing to not draw any conclusions before giving some time to thinking the problems through.


For Those Who Don't Have Flash Plug-Ins...

Rested XP    News    Reviews    Videos    Features    Forums    Archives    Search This Site    Links    Contact Us    Disclaimer

Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page