I read this morning on Nerd Reactor that RE6 is rumored to take place in China. I think this is hilarious. You see, Capcom has received a lot of well deserved abuse for the apparent racism associated with RE5, with a white protagonist mowing down hundreds of diseased Africans in an attempt to prevent a worldwide plague. In fact, RE4 got a certain amount of protest for being racist, with the abused race being South American. Capcom responded by coming out with an even more racist game.
So why does that make China really funny? Well, racially the Japanese and Chinese don’t exactly get along like peas in a pod, and in truth the majority of the blame for that can rest on the Japanese shoulders. They did horrific things to the Chinese during WWII, and the Chinese have not forgotten. The Chinese are pretty sensitive about fictional things happening in their country, and have really strict rules for gore and blood (they can’t, for example, show human bones ever). While we may not see this from our Western perspective, this is a huge racist insult. I guess Capcom isn’t going to let any petty morality prevent them from making a buck. Sounds a little like Umbrella Corp. to me. This very cool zombie picture I got from the Resident Evil T Shirts category, by the way.
Talk to you soon.
So I haven’t seen anything new recently and am really too busy to compose one of my lists (as hard as it may be for you to believe, I actually do some research on my stuff), but last night while working on an inventory I came across this Resident Evil t shirt for the Umbrella Corporation and it reminded me of a question that has plagued me ever since I finished RE2: what exactly is the business plan and profit model for the Umbrella Corp?
Think about it for a minute. Umbrella is a huge biotech firm. That means they have investors and a board of directors, as well as auditors and so on. Basically, people who make sure the company makes a profit. However, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of plan to make any kind of money here. As far as I can see, here is Umbrella’s plan:
Step 1: Create super virus that will kill most of the population of the planet and turn them into zombies.
Step 2: Kill all your own employees (this might actually be a cost savings maneuver, as you would save a fortune in unemployment and retirement payments. Still, seems a little extreme)
Step 3: Release T Virus into the world and kill most of the population. Then turn them into zombies so they can eat the survivors.
Step 4: (secret)
Step 5: Profit.
So, I run my own company and while I am kind of a small amateur I have learned one very important lesson: zombies rarely buy things and give you money for your goods. In fact, zombies are probably the worst customer demographic available. They don’t have jobs and their only disposable income is whatever change is rattling around in the pockets of the rags they are wearing. On the other hand, they have other use for money so theoretically could spend 100% of it on t shirts, but really even newborn babies are better customers as their parents will spend money on food and so on. So how does killing off most of the planet turn into money? What is the mysterious step 4?
So at some point there has to be a stockholder meeting or something. Do the directors actually report what’s going on? “We managed to turn 87% of the human population into zombies, so profits for this quarter are trending down. However, our uncontrollable super soldier program is progressing nicely so if we can find a country with enough survivors to form an army we should see a nice profit from that.”
On the same note, what is up with creating super soldiers with the intellect and attitude of a raging bull on meth? Is there some kind of plan to train Nemesis to not go berserk and kill everything in sight first time he is released, or is this some other aspect of the mysterious “death and destruction make profit” program? Maybe some kind of apocalyptic death cult is paying them to destroy the world. But then, even if they are paying you a ton of money, where are you going to go to spend it? Do you really want to spend a week on vacation at Zombie Disney World? Going to buy a palatial estate surrounded by the undead?
Anyway, these are the questions that keep me up at night. By the way, I would like to mention that I started off playing RE2 first and was kind of freaked out by it. Then I went back and played RE1. In spite of worse graphics that game scared the bejesus out of me. Story or sound effects, I guess. Ever notice that modern games, in spite of more amazing graphics and details, then to be just plain shorter in content? You could spend a week wandering around Raccoon City in RE2, but these days you only get a few hours at best. I guess all those incredibly detailed graphics take up a lot of memory. Either that or video game companies are trending towards the lazy.
By the way, those of you who are purist and want to yell at me for talking about a video game when for the last few months I have been purely on movies, let me remind you that Resident Evil is also a series of movies staring Milla Jovovich. Also, while I personally focused on movies and love them, this blog started off with nerd dating advice and is really about whatever catches my nerd interest. One of these days I am going to start a detailed discussion of army building and table tactics for Warhammer Fantasy Battle (something I know a lot about). No way will that cost me readers.
Anyway, thanks for reading. If you have any insight as to what Umbrella does for money be sure to post a comment here. Follow and message me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Thanks again. I should see something tonight and write up a good review tomorrow. Talk to you soon.
Yes, I’m back on the dating thing again. I think I have let it lie fallow long enough to let all the dating manure re-fertilize my dating advice farm. For now I am going to talk about the perfect date-movie night in.
Why is this the perfect date? Because in 90% of dating situations this usually means that the girl is finally comfortable enough to hang out with you in a place with a couch, a bed, and no witnesses (in the other 10% it is either her chance to really screw with your head or drug you and leave you in a bathtub full of ice with your kidneys missing). I won’t be so crude as to say this is guaranteed a night of sex, but I will say that as long as you don’t choke majorly your odds of making this happen have increased dramatically.
The operative phrase in that last paragraph is “as long as you don’t choke.” The chance of blowing it completely still really exists, and most of the onus is on you to make it happen (or at least not lose any major organs). It’s like playing pool and having the 8 ball lined up against the corner pocket. Easy win, but if you are off by even a little it could still bounce out.
So, how to we make the evening work perfectly? Like all my other advice, I am going to give you explicit, excruciating details on what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. But first, we need to interpret the exact circumstances of the date.
The major question is if she is willing to go to your place, or have you over to hers. If she wants you go come over to her place that is both good and bad. Good in the sense that because she is in a place she feels comfortable she will be more relaxed and at ease. However, there have been many times I have been invited over to her place only to find her roommate hanging out on the couch joining us for whatever flick we are going to watch. This set of circumstances is usually set up ahead of time by the girl in order to have her roommate scope you out from head to toe, as well as provide a safety net in case she decides you aren’t the man she wants to hook up with. If you do well the roommate will receive whatever subtle signal was prearranged and slink back into her cave, leaving you alone with your date on the couch, or you and your date will retire to her boudoir to make out on her bed. If you don’t measure up expect the roommate to hang out all night or even be the one to say something like “You should probably get going now” while your date is in the restroom or looking really uncomfortably at the wall. In my experience, women roommates take on a weird family/control role that is usually lacking in male roommates, perhaps because men don’t really care enough to step in and do something.
Anyway, if she has you over to her place and her place is otherwise empty, than things look good. She is probably plagued by self doubt and self esteem issues, and wants to show you her perfect home, complete with doilies and a duvet. If she has real issues she will probably cook a meal for you. Compliment her apartment (“Nice place. Lots of…space.” Bruce Wayne and the Joker-Batman), compliment the food (“Brains? You shouldn’t have!” Zombie image courtesy of the Resident Evil t shirt category), and compliment her (“The candlelight really catches the gleam off your fangs.”). Eat every spec of food on your plate (or surreptitiously slip a few bites to the cat) and ask for seconds.
Honestly, that’s it. Dress nice, act nice, watch the movie, and make the move with third base as your minimum goal. At her place it is easy.
If, on the other hand, she wants to do this at your place, that is the dating equivalent of activating a malfunctioning warp drive and hoping you don’t get slammed into a black hole. I will discuss the implications and kind of prep work you need to do on this starting with tomorrows post. That’s it for today.
Last night at movie night my friend showed us a copy of Rubber, a new movie coming out next week. I’m not sure how he got it (and am happy that way) but reviewing a movie a week before it hits theaters makes me feel like a fully grown up movie reviewer instead of some guy who goes to the movies and then blogs about it. I am so proud.
That being said, Rubber is not Paul. I am pretty sure it will have a limited theater release and then go to video so fast it could possible turn time backwards. That being said, this movie is 100% guaranteed to become a cult classic, so if you want to gain any kind of hipster nerd cred you had better see it in the theater so five years from now when your friends are talking about it you can smugly say something like “Rubber? I saw it in the theater. Surreal.” and watch as all their egos all deflate and burn like the Hindenburg. I am sure at some point you will be able to leverage this into some kind of massive nerd-fu boost.
The film looks like it was created to try to impress the people at Cannes, where it was more or less universally panned. I honestly can’t decide if it was good or bad. The best word for it is really surreal. It’s a melding of Repo Man, the Red Balloon, City of Lost Children, Friday the 13th, Six String Samurai, and Eraserhead. That being said, it is shockingly well produced. They obviously had a budget, which really makes me wish I could have sat in the pitch meeting when the producer convinced someone to fund it.
Believe it or not, this movie was written and directed by Quentin. Not Tarantino. Quentin Dupieux. I wouldn’t have imagined there were two dudes named Quentin in the world, much less in the movie industry. This makes me really wonder if Mr. Dupieux was named Quentin originally. I don’t usually do this for movies that I review, but this movie is so weird I think I need to link the movie site to help you understand. Here you go: Rubber the Movie.
Surreal really doesn’t cover the story. It depicts the adventures of Robert, a tire that comes to life and has the telekinetic ability to blow people’s heads up. He rolls around (literally) some American backwater killing people, and being enchanted by a super hot brunette French girl named Roxane Mesquida, who shows some skin in a completely unnecessary shower scene that I appreciated immensely. There is some weird sub plot involving a group of spectators who are issued binoculars and watch Robert’s tribes and tribulations from a nearby hill and somehow are critical to the story. There is an insane sheriff, a kid who puts bird guts on his dads(?) pizza, some guy who directs the spectators, and another guy in a wheelchair who somehow completely confounds the evil plot that is being facilitated by the insane sheriff. The film is a French production but except for Roxane the cast and set is 100% American.
Sorry if that description seemed a little vague, but I am still not sure what the hell was going on. I am reasonably intelligent and an active movie viewer but still had a lot of trouble following it. That being said, I still enjoyed it. It was like eating celery: tasteless, but still fun to eat for the texture and will help clear out your intestines with all that fiber but at the end you discover you have burned more calories chewing than you gained in nutrition.
First the stars. Surrealism. Two stars. The film work was in its own way brilliant. Most of the camera work was done at the level of the tire. We had a debate at the end whether they were using stop motion, CGI, or some kind of really good wire work and really couldn’t decide. One star. For a script that looked like it was written by a Sophomore in a really artsy film school the production values, including camera, editing, and sound, were all very good. One star. The acting was also shockingly good. One star. They somehow managed to make the tire feel like it was more alive and had more emotion than Nicholas Cage in his last two movies. You honestly could tell when it was pissed and it could deliver a really ominous feel most of the time. One star. The special effects, mostly in the form of heads exploding, was really good. One star. Total: seven stars.
Now the black holes. Surrealism. One black hole. I know it’s a surrealist film, but there were a lot of moments when I was extraordinarily confused, especially by a lot of the motivations. One black hole. Given that this is a surrealist French film about Americans I am pretty sure there is some kind of inside French joke about America that would piss me off if I knew about it. One black hole on speculation. At the end of the movie I really wasn’t sure if I enjoyed it or not. One black hole. Total: four black holes.
Net total: three stars. Not bad, not great. However, don’t forget the pop culture credibility you will gain from having seen it in the theater. Also, if you are dating a girl and you somehow feel she doesn’t think you are weird enough, take her to see this. It could be a good girl nerd coolness test.
Yesterday’s question, LexCorp versus Umbrella Corporation, is really interesting. I think that with Lex Luthor at the head I think LexCorp could probably beat a bunch of zombies. However, the faceless heads of Umbrella match him act for act when it comes to cold blooded. I think in the end it would be LexCorp, but it would be close. (Umbrella Corporation image courtesy of the Resident Evil t shirts category)
Continuing on that same thread, who would win: Umbrella Corporation verses Omni Consumer Products (Robocop)?
So there’s this whole new trend towards meeting people online (welcome to 1999 Dave) and you would think that nerds would take to it like a zombie to a fresh brains buffet. However, it seems like the whole social awkwardness nerds experience in real life transmits pretty clearly online, so I think it a subject worthy of my attention.
The fact is, I am not really a fan of online dating and am not especially good at it. Fortunately my best friend is the Grand Master of Online Dating and I will be delving deep into his experience for this. I don’t know how he does it, but he can post something on any site on the planet and get inundated with responses from cool, hot girls. He has the talent. I get all the nutballs.
So I will start off with a list of pros and cons for online dating. This might take a couple posts to go through so rather than listing all the pros then all the cons I think it will be more amusing if I alternate them (since this blog is mostly for my own amusement I think this fair).
Pro: You get exposed to thousands of women across the country. Yes, this is like going to the worlds largest single party and no one has a drink to fling in your face for having the temerity for daring to speak to them.
Con: You get exposed to thousands of women across the country. If you are not particularly adept at talking to women via email and IM this could potentially be the opportunity for the ego beat down of a life time. Nothing like being rejected by hundred women a day via email to make you want to suck on your car exhaust pipe for an hour. If you are especially sensitive maybe you should limit yourself to a few a day and/or treat the whole thing like a training experience. On the other hand, if you need to build up your tolerance to rejection this could be the vehicle to make it happen.
Pro: you can mask your obvious defects. If you are grossly obese, or have a weird growth on one side of your face, or are prone to frequent and fragrant flatulence, have bad halitosis, or some other genetic or lifestyle issue you can hide it with clever photography and descriptive prose. While I don’t recommend you lie about stuff, there is a phenomenon I experience when dealing with sales people (or am doing my day job as a sales rep) known as “Finding the positive.” In other words, mention your creative streak and love of indy film in glowing terms while mentioning your Richter Scale worthy facial tic only casually, if at all.
Con: the women you are talking about can mask their obvious defects. Yes, if there is one thing I have learned with online dating, it is that all women have some photo wherein the lighting, clothing, angle, and planetary alignment is in perfect synchronicity to deliver an amazing photo. Later on I will do a post translating Internet Dating Speak into English, but you have to assume no one really looks like their photo. In my defense, I usually put up a less appealing photo in hopes that the girl will be pleasantly surprised, but it seems no one else feels compelled to do the same.
That’s it for tonight, as it is 8:30 on a Friday night and I want to pretend I have some kind of social life. I will do more pros and cons next time, although I am planning to see the Green Hornet this weekend and will probably do a review for it next.
As for our who would win question from last post, super evil biotech company Umbrella Corporation verses super evil consumer products company Omni Consumer Products, I think it would be close but in the end I would bet on OCP. The fact is a single ED209 should be able to kill about 10,000 zombies, even the upgraded ones. Headshots are not really critical when you more or less can dismember someone from a great distance. The only chance Umbrella would have would be if they could infect Robocop with the t-virus and turn him into Robozombiecop. Even then he would forget how to use his gun and would probably go down. OCP is pretty much it for me (Umbrella Corp image courtesy of the Resident Evil t shirt category).
So I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve. I did, and am anticipating a great 2011. I am by nature an optimist, but my experience has trained me to be more of a pessimist. I am trying to get past that. I like to tell everyone my attitude is like my blood type: B+ (it really is).
Anyway, I am going to celebrate New Years Day as only a nerd should; I am going to spend the day painting miniatures for my new Warhammer army and playing video games. Later on I am going to an unwind party at a friends house in San Francisco. Should be fun.
Sorry for the short, subjectless post, but if I did any more it would smack of work and I am trying to avoid that. I hope you all have a great holiday, and that 2011 is a vast improvement over the dregs that was 2010.
I will answer the who-would-win question, as those are more fun than work. In the fight between Mad Max and Alice from RE, I think it’s pretty circumstantial. If Max met Alice on the road in cars, Max would kick her ass. If they met on foot, Alice would probably win, especially with Max’s gimp leg. She has better combat and acrobatic skills. Notice Max did not even try to go toe to toe with the acrobatic Wes in the movie on foot, but had no problem beating him while driving a vehicle. It’s all about fighting in your best element. (Umbrella Corporation image courtesy of the Resident Evil t shirt category)
For today, I will ask one that I really thing could be hard to figure out. Who would win in a fight between Deadpool and Solomon Grundy? By the way, I am going to let this one go for a while and make a contest of it. Send me your answer on this one and why and the person who comes up with the best response will get two free buttons of your choice, including the very cool Marvel or Star Wars buttons. Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.