The Null Device
The latest social pastime for privileged kids in Britain are chav parties, where they dress up as stereotypes of unruly proles. Apparently even Prince William (he's the sensible one who doesn't go in for Nazi uniforms) has gone to a few.
There were various things on display," he says. "Pictures of rugby teams, of parties and discos. But the one that really jumped out was of a chav-themed school disco: all these rosy-cheeked, foppish-looking public schoolkids dressed in baseball caps and Adidas tracksuits. It looked a bit pathetic; at first I suppose I felt slight pity for them. But then I thought about it another way: here were the most privileged kids in Britain pretending to be poor people."(See also: trucker hats, "Kill Whitey" club nights, "bogan rock" nights in Prahran, Vice-twats ironically drinking cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon)
An article on how massive, retailer Wal-Mart's influence affects the video game industry (at least in North America), from puritanical social norms being enforced in game design to the range of marketable games being constrained to a few tried-and-tested mainstream genres, with little room for innovation:
Developers have produced "special Wal-Mart editions" of some games, such as Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, that delete the two principal bugaboos, nudity and excessive gore. Other developers just sanitize their games across the board. As a Ritual Entertainment developer remarked in an online chat promoting their Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 game (2000), "There's not much nudity other than statues. Wal-Mart is picky about that. When you have to decide between feeding your family or putting nudity in the game, you choose food."
More pertinent than the packaging of games is their content. Wal-Mart and other retailers display an ever- decreasing range of game types. More and more, it is difficult-to-impossible to market an adventure game, or a non-Microsoft flight simulator, or a non-Maxis city-builder, or a non-Civilization turn-based strategy game. Did the audiences for these forms simply wither away? No, they're still out there - but they're not sufficiently profitable for big-box retail chains. The commercial range of games shrinks because of the free market's uncompromising pursuit of the majority at the expense of all minority tastes. We see this most clearly in Wal-Mart's signal triumph in game design, Deer Hunter.
A psychology lecturer in Manchester has come up with the formula for the perfect bottom; it's (S+C) x (B+F)/T = V:
S is the overall shape or droopiness of the bottom, C represents how spherical the buttocks are, B measures muscular wobble or bounce, while F records the firmness. V is the hip to waist ratio, or symmetry of the bottom, and T measures the skin texture and presence of cellulite.
(via Boing Boing)
A town in Oregon has banned animal mascots from its baseball games after a 7-year-old was severely traumatised by witnessing the horror that is the Furries on the Internet:
"He's deathly afraid of Tig now ... We even had to throw out all his Disney tapes. Just seeing the animal characters on the box would make him start crying."
"The librarian called me and said that Jefferey wouldn't stop crying, and that there was some disgusting website on the computer he had been using. When I arrived at the library and saw the computer, I was ... sickenet. I can say without a doubt that it was the most disturbing, depraved thing I have ever had the misfortune to witness."Richmond, Oregon's local ISP has now blocked all websites relating to the Furry subculture, and the city council has unanimously passed a resolution changing the name of the local baseball team, retiring the popular tiger-suited mascot and requesting all visiting teams to leave any animal mascots behind.