And... I'm honestly not sure what the hell exactly is going on here, but it apparently has something to do with GamerGate and/or Anita Sarkeesian. Either someone compared Jack Thompson/Anita Sarkeesian to Anita Sarkeesian/Jack Thompson, or Jack Thompson himself came out for/against Sarkeesian, or Jack Thompson said he supports/hates GamerGate, or some GamerGate supporter/anti-GamerGate supporter claimed that Jack Thompson was right all along, and now one or both sides are trying to embrace/distance themselves from Jack Thompson or some such thing. I have no fucking clue, because it's Twitter and Twitter is often confusing. So I'm just going to link to a couple of "jack thompson gamergate" and "jack thompson sarkeesian" searches on Twitter and see if anyone else can make some sense of all the conflicting bullshit. Google isn't helping much either, at least at the moment. If this stabilizes somewhat over the next few days, though, maybe it'll make more sense, overall? Hell if I know. Anything involving GamerGate is just a huge clusterfuck, in general.
(EDIT) Ah, so apparently all of this current shit stems from this asinine thing, I guess? So, Jack Thompson called Anita Sarkeesian a hypocrite. How astonishingly hilarious that is, coming from Jack Thompson of all people. Jack Thompson claims he's not for censorship and that he supports the First Amendment. You know, the same Jack Thompson who tried to get Halo 3 declared a public nuisance. You know, the same Jack Thompson who sent a Cease and Desist to Midway because some kid made a "Jack Thompson" custom character in a Mortal Kombat game. Among many, many other equally idiotic things. Yeah, that Jack Thompson. So, yeah, GamerGate, though this moronic "Sarkeesian Effect" thing, has reached out to Jack Thompson to support their cause. #GamerGate? More like #GameOver.
(EDIT 2) Oh, and about this "Sarkeesian Effect" shit. They're currently making a little over $9,000 "per each monthly update video on the making of our film." To repeat, they're making $9,000 per month. Yet, they apparently won't even start working on the film until they're getting $15,000 per month. That's their first and lowest milestone goal.
$15,000 per Each monthly update video on the making of our film
Filming begins when we reach $15,000 per monthly video. This will allow us to finance the project comfortably. This covers crew/production pay, travel, and expenses."
So, they're releasing update videos for a supposed film that, oh wait, they're not actually actively working on yet, and won't actually actively work on until they can convince people to give them more money, despite the fact that they're already getting $9,000 per fucking update they release each month. These motherfuckers are making a six-figure income currently, just for releasing a single goddamn video a month. And GamerGate has the gall to call Anita Sarkeesian herself a scam artist and a fraud. Wow. Just wow. (/EDIT 2)
For the record, I think that the death threats that Jack Thompson received and might very well still be receiving to this day are just as reprehensible as the ones that Anita Sarkeesian and other women are receiving from GamerGate assholes. I doubt seriously that very many people are threatening to rape Jack Thompson, though. (/EDIT)
This originally aired on July 9, 2009. (NSFW warning for language. The show is called Bullshit! after all.)
(EDIT) Youtube embeds removed because, predictably, they got flagged for copyright. I don't have the interest in trying to find replacements. Best I can do right now is a half-assed link. Or if you want to pay $2, you can see it here, I guess. (/EDIT)
A tweet from Wil Wheaton, as this was the first I'd heard of this:
"Not @TheOnion: @CNN interrupts Biden and NRA meeting coverage to report on YET ANOTHER FUCKING SCHOOL SHOOTING. http://is.gd/RVR3Ty"
Here is a Google
Link to Forbes article.
Link to Gamasutra article.
I'm just going to say this again. Millions of people play video games and don't then run out and shoot up a school. Similarly, millions of people also own guns and don't then run out and shoot up a school. The guns aren't the cause of the problem any more than the video games are. The difference, however, for what it's worth (because I don't really want to get into that aspect of it all over again right now), is that when these crazy people do go out and shoot up a school, they're using a gun to do it. That should be pretty obvious. You can't shoot up a school with a video game (or a movie or a book or a music CD or whatever).
The main focus needs to be on mental health care, plain and simple. Find these people and help them before they get to the point where they're going out and shooting up schools. I know that's going to be difficult and that some people are still going to slip through the cracks even so, but steps need to be taken to make those cracks as narrow as possible. And before someone says that people can be evil without being crazy, no, I don't accept that, in this case at least. If you are "evil" enough to go out and shoot up a school then, in my eyes, there is something seriously wrong with you. You are bona fide crazy.
With all of that said, however, while I certainly do agree with the article writers that video games are not to blame for these events, I also don't really have as big of a problem as they seem to have with Joe Biden just "talking" with people from the video game industry (though I'd like a bit more disclosure about who exactly these people are). There's no harm in that, in and of itself. I don't see it as an "admission" by the video game industry that they are "at fault" in some way in these events just by talking with Biden about it. If anything, there should be more talking about it, rather than the typical knee-jerk "circle the wagons" approach that most game blogs/news sites and others in the game industry tend to take whenever the issue comes up at all. The discussion needs to be more proactive, rather than mostly just reactionary as it usually is.
Look, if nothing else, I figure that Joe Biden is just another clueless old fart who knows almost nothing about video games, as a whole lot of people in the US Government seem to be, so this could be a good opportunity to educate him about this issue. By angrily saying that these guys should have just given Biden the cold shoulder because how dare he imply that video games have any sort of fault in this matter, that makes game advocates just as bad as gun advocates and their whole "you'll take my guns from my cold dead hands" asininity. Also, we certainly don't want assholes from the NRA up there filling Biden's ear with poison about how video games are the culprit without also having people from the game industry there to set the record straight, do we?
With that said, if what comes out of this is increased government oversight of the video game industry and censorship of any sort, above and beyond the steps already being taken by the video game industry, such as the ESRB and the like, then, yeah, it would be a pretty bad thing. But as long as all they're doing is talking, I'm pretty much okay with it.
Oh my... Jack frickin' Thompson himself commented on that Forbes article I linked to above. Amazing. I thought (or at least hoped) that we'd long seen the last of that jackhole, but I guess not.
Here is Mr. Thompson's full comment on the Forbes article, in case it gets deleted at some point:
( Behind cut because it's pretty long )
In other words, he's pretty much just saying the same old tiresome shit that he's been saying for years now. You'd think after all this time that he'd come up with some new material or something.
He's even repeating once again the lie that the Virginia Tech shooter "trained" on violent video games, even though that was blatantly not true at all.
I think it's appropriate to post this (again, as I've posted it elsewhere, if not here to LJ):
Not, of course, to say that the news media are the direct cause of these shootings, mind you. They're no more the cause than are video games or guns. Some people are just fucking batshit insane, that's all. That is the root cause of these things and is the problem that ultimately needs to be addressed.
The Doctor Who Said Video Games Cause Rape Explains What She Meant
( Read more... )
Oh, and here is EA's response to the Faux Noise article.
Still doesn't sound like a game I'd care to play myself, but good on EA for standing up to Faux Noise and calling them out on their nonsense.
Now, granted, I haven't watched wrestling myself since around 2004-2005 or so, though I was a pretty big fan before that, stretching back to my childhood. Mostly, it was due to the fact that I dropped my cable and no longer had access to RAW anymore. Nothing against Smackdown, because that's all that I had available to watch when I still lived in NC, but after watching both RAW and Smackdown together, when I was faced with the prospect of only getting to see Smackdown alone, I just kind of lost interest. (Also, I pretty much just stopped watching TV altogether at that point, and haven't really watched it since, except when I'm in NC for Christmas.) But something caught my attention a few weeks ago and got me to wanting to read these books, so I ordered them from Amazon. I don't remember now what exactly it was that sparked my interest, except that it was something on TvTropes. Reading the books also got me interested in playing the video games again as well, which is why I've recently been playing a lot of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008, 2009, and 2010 on the 360, the latter two of which I bought shortly after finishing the first book. I don't think I'll go back to watching the shows again though, particularly since Foley himself isn't even with WWE any more. He went to TNA in 2008, I think, according to Wikipedia anyway (and I don't have Spike, so couldn't watch that if I wanted to.)
Anyway, for the most part, the books are looks into Mick's life as a wrestler and give some insight into behind the scenes stuff, but in a way that is open to those who may not know a double arm DDT from a mandible claw. Whenever he uses a potentially obscure wrestling term for the first time, he tends to follow that up with the layman's equivalent in parentheses. For example "did the job (lost the match)." He mostly keeps it light, though at times he gets serious about things. In both books, the second one in particular, he often goes off of the topic of wrestling to mention other things that are of interest to him, such as spending time with his family and his love of amusement parks, among other things. He is a very good writer, I think (and the books didn't reach #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for nothing). I know that he has also written at least one more book and is either working on or has already written a fourth (and this doesn't even count the Christmas book, or the novel he mentions in the bonus chapter of the second book), so I'll probably be getting those at some point as well.
As something of an aside, however, I want to say a bit about the final chapter of the second book, which is a rather different thing from the 500 or so pages that came before. Or, as Mick himself warns before getting into it, "Please feel free to stop reading this book if you have no desire to read what is essentially a whole other book. A book that hopefully debunks myths and educates with facts." It is freshest in my mind because it's what I just finished reading. In this chapter, Mick talks about the attempts by the Parents Television Council to get WWE Smackdown! pulled off the air. Based on what I read in Mick's book (as well as my own follow up research that I did prior to starting this post) it seems that L. Brent Bozell III was to professional wrestling in the late 90s early 00s as Jack Thompson was to video games in the mid to late 00s. Perhaps worse, actually. As much as I have had to say about Jack Thompson over the years, I'll just say one more thing about him: if he had had the slightest semblance of power and influence during his crusade against video games, he pretty much would have been L. Brent Bozell III. Oh, and another similarity between these two esteemed gentlemen, both of them have (or at least at one point had, and perhaps still do have) their claws hooked into Senator Joe Lieberman. Heck, for all I know, all three of those guys are good buddies. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if they were.
Jack Thompson has apparently been permanently disbarred and fined over $40,000 on top of that.
You know... after all this, I almost... almost ...sorta kinda feel the tiniest bit sorry for the guy. If it weren't for the fact that he brought every bit of this down on his own head by being an utter asshat most of the time, I would.
At least now, he has more free time to make more vaguely humorous videos and photos of himself.
(EDIT) Here's a link to Desucktoid with the same picture, loathe as I am to give that site any traffic at all, because the gamepolitics link above seems to no longer actually have the picture for some reason. (/EDIT)
Looks like he's trying to be funny again, but it comes off as more creepy and weird than anything.
Yes. THAT Jack Thompson.
Oooh, where to begin.
I'll start with a semi-amusing anecdote. A couple of years or so ago, I banned a guy from commenting on my journal (the one and only banning I've felt the need to do, so far), because he kept making annoying comments about the contents of my journal and why was I wasting my time posting about such things and so on and so forth (as though I were forcing him to read it or something). Well, one of the things he said before I banned him and deleted all of his comments was in response to one of my Jack Thompson posts, and was something like "Jack Thompson does not read your livejournal." To which I replied along the lines of "No shit, sherlock. Do you think I'm that deluded that I would think that he actually does?" Well guess what, guy I banned! It looks like both of us were wrong because he apparently does! Suck it! Or, at least, he did read it once. I hope it was and will remain only once and never again, anyway, though who am I to stop Jack Thompson if he really wants to read my LJ for some reason. o_O
Anyway, fast forward to today. Around 11:30am or so, I was on break at work and just surfing Google News, when I came across that story I linked to in my previous post. I wrote that post about it, figuring it would be a little throw away post that people would either read and agree with or read and roll their eyes at, and then just go on about their day in either case.
Well, fast forward to 2:00pm. My cell phone buzzed. I didn't recognize the number so, as per my usual policy, I didn't answer the phone. Out of idle curiosity, I plugged the number into Reverse Look Up, as I usually do.
Imagine, for a moment, my surprise when it returned with the name "John B Thompson" in Coral Gables, FL. (I'm not going to post the number here because I think that would be kind of a dick thing to do, but I do think it has already been leaked elsewhere, regardless. For reference, it has 666 in it. Just do a Google search for "Jack Thompson 666" and I'm pretty sure you'll find it, if you really want it. ¬_¬)
No way, I thought. There's no way that is right. But, just then, my phone buzzed again, indicating that there was a voice mail message. After a bit of hesitation, I called my voice mail. Sure enough, it was indeed Mr. Thompson who had left me a message, the full transcript of which is here:
"Uh, Mr. Plummer, this is Jack Thompson. I've read, with interest, your post at, uh... gamepolitics. Um, I am... despite what you say, I am not retarded. My view is that adult rated games shouldn't be sold to minors and I'm uh, roughly 90% of the American people agree with me on that.
So, if anyone is retarded I would say your sector of the, uh... not you personally, but your sector of the, uh, public opinion... on this issue is, uh, somewhat, uh, behind the times.
So, uh, Joe Lieberman is a friend of mine and he's, but he's not going to be the nominee, by the way, so don't worry.
By the way, next time get your facts straight will you? Thanks."
Okay... first of all, I have never, to my knowledge, ever posted to gamepolitics, so I don't know where he got that from. I even checked there to see if someone else may have linked to my LJ for whatever crazy reason, but I didn't find anything. My only guess is that he was perhaps confused by the "politics" tag I used on the last post, which is the first time I've ever used it, in fact. I'm normally uninterested in discussing the subject in any serious manner. (Heaven forbid he ever find my "jack thompson" tagged posts. ¬_¬) It wasn't until he mentioned Joe Lieberman that I even had a clue as to what the hell he was going on about or why he was even calling me. How, in god's name, he managed to find my LJ in the first place I'll never know. Yes, it's public, but he'd have to have been sitting around plugging his name into Google or LJseek or whatever to stumble across it. But given that I figured out it was because of my LJ post and not some mysterious gamepolitics post that I didn't actually write, that answered my second question of how in the hell did he get my cellphone number, since that
Second of all, yeah, I know I have a bad habit of using the words "retard" and "retarded" in a derogatory manner, in much the same way that others use "gay" and "fag" and such. When I use these words in a derisive manner, I am only tangentially relating them back to the original meanings of the words. To me, when I use them, they are the equivalent to words like "asshat" and "douchebag" and the like. It's not very nice, I agree. I know a few people who are somewhat mentally handicapped (I don't keep up with PC trends, so I don't know what the current PC term is), and they're good people. For me to compare them to Jack Thompson is a grievous insult, even if it's just indirectly and unintentionally through my poorly-advised use of the word "retard", and I would like to apologize for doing so. To them. Not to him. I don't give a shit about Jack Thompson, aside from the fact that he continues to be an enormous source of morbid amusement. If I wanted to use more appropriate words to describe Jack, they would be words such as "asinine" and "inane" and "ludicrous" and such.
And now, about his view. Look. Nobody that I know disputes the idea that M-rated games should not be sold to minors. To me, it's pretty much common sense that this should be the case. Granted there's a large group of really vocal (on Internet forums and gaming sites, at least) teenagers who are probably really pissed off that he's trying to keep them from playing Grand Theft Auto or whatever, but they're not the majority (you know, given what the average gamer age is now, and all). Nowhere have I ever said that adult games should be sold to minors, and certainly not in that last post, so it looks like he's the one who needs to get his facts straight. Knee-jerk reactions like this, among other things to be listed below, are one of the reasons people hate him so much.
No, the reason why I, and many others, dislike this man so much has little to do with that view of his, and is actually because of things like this, to which I already linked above. The fact that he often blatantly and unashamedly outright lies and otherwise makes utterly outlandish claims about the video games he so likes to demonize is one of the biggest reasons people have such a dim view of him. Also, the fact that he is only rarely able to have a civil conversation with someone who is an "enemy" (i.e. a gamer) is another good reason he pisses so many people off. A modicum of common decency when speaking with someone would be good, even if you don't agree with them, but it's apparently too much effort for him to bother with. If he's on TV or something, that's one thing. That's his public mask. But when one gets him into an email exchange or a phone conversation, apparently he likes to take the gloves off.
As such, no, I will not be calling him back. I am not even slightly tempted to do so. I may well be all too eager to talk about him, some may even say that I'm a bit obsessed with talking about him, but I have no interest whatsoever in talking to him. I've heard of too many headaches coming from such attempts at communication with him to want to wish that upon myself.
Also, he tells me to "get your facts straight." What facts?! I wrote a post saying little more than that I don't like Joe Lieberman and mentioned Jack only in passing (mostly as a point of comparison and to say that I don't like him even more than I don't like Lieberman). There were no "facts" to "get straight." It was purely my opinion, and I, unlike Jack apparently, don't mistake my opinion for fact.
Oh, and since I'm sure that some of you reading this are calling bullshit on it, here is a mp3 of the voice mail. Get it while you can, because if he calls me back threatening to sue me over it or some shit, I'm taking it down. It's fairly well known how giddy this guy seems to be at the thought of hitting people with frivolous lawsuits at the drop of a hat over trivial stuff.
But, seriously, let me just say this one more time: Jack Thompson called my fucking cell phone. What in the hell, really? Does this man really have so much free time that he seeks out and calls people who talk crap about him on the Internet? If so, that's incredibly, horridly pathetic. If you had asked me before today, I would have told you that the likelihood of Jack Thompson calling me because I said he was retarded in my personal LJ was about as high as the likelihood of George W. Bush calling me because I said he was the worst president ever or Will Wright calling me because I said he was a genius. Should I start expecting calls from George W. Bush and Will Wright now? >_>
Because that would give me yet another reason to vote for Obama in November.
I don't think I've ever told this story yet on LJ, so here goes: Lieberman is the singular reason that I voted for George W. Bush instead of Al Gore back in 2000. Lieberman was my Jack Thompson, back in the day. Admittedly Lieberman is nothing as bad as Jack Thompson is now, but back then it seemed like he was one of the leading guys as far as displaying the most retarded Jack Thompson-like opposition to video games was concerned. I was pretty clueless as far as politics goes back then, and "This guy's VP hates video games? Well, I'm not voting for him then!" seemed like a good enough reason to vote for the other guy. This is a decision that, in hindsight, I regret to this day, given that "the other guy" turned out to be one of the worst, if not the worst, presidents this country has ever had (my opinion, obviously, YMMV).
But in the end, it really doesn't matter if McCain picks Lieberman or not since I'm not going to be voting for him anyway, but it would be delicious irony if he did pick him, given the above.
The only reason this post survived my purge of political posts and still exists is because it is a lead in for and partial explanation of this post, which I will not be deleting.
Others have rightfully questioned the reasoning behind the giving of this award to a man such as Jackhole.
Also: gamepolitics.com's response to Jackhole's response.
And Jack's response to GP's response to Jack's response to GP's editorial. Okay, this is getting out of hand. You get the picture already. One would think that an American Hero such as Jack Thompson would have better things to do with his time, but I guess not.
Okay... just one more and that's it.
(EDIT) Sadly, as far as I can tell, it looks like all of Jack's comments to that article were deleted, whether by him or by gamepolitics I don't know. Or at least those links above no longer work, anyway, aside from the last one. (/EDIT)
At any rate, the thing that I find somewhat sad in all of this is that this supposed honor has now been rendered meaningless for the other three recipients as well as for anyone else who may have been presented with it in the past, at least as far as I'm concerned. I don't know... perhaps they actually deserved to receive such an award, but since it was also presented to Jack, and given that Jack certainly does not deserve such a thing, who can say for sure now whether or not these other people truly deserve it either? *shrug*
Well, not so much amusement, as such. At this point, it's more like the glassy-eyed fascination one might have when observing a particularly gruesome train wreck or something of the sort.
And he keeps referring to himself as a "whistle blower", based on his 60 Minutes thing he did several years ago (and apparently hasn't been able to go five minutes without mentioning ever since then) where he "alerted the nation" about Grand Theft Auto or some such bullshit. Whatever. Jack Thompson, Jeffrey Wigand you most certainly are not.