Wherein we discuss Geekbox.net and individual episodes of our various podcasts.

The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Rydog » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 12:50am

On this week's episode, we talk about why samurai are cool, and why Ryan Higgins is dumb for liking baby cartoons.

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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Roadie Brock » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:03am

Rydog wrote:Ryan Higgins is dumb for liking baby cartoons.


I'm just afraid his first tattoo is going to be "MLP 4 Life".
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby kenzo » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:10am

I don't give a shit about those stupid looking t-shir... OH MY GOODDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!

Spoiler: show
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby kenzo » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:16am

Roadie Brock wrote:
Rydog wrote:Ryan Higgins is dumb for liking baby cartoons.
I'm just afraid his first tattoo is going to be "MLP 4 Life".

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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby flufflogic » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

I'm not ashamed to admit to being Brony. I loved Powerpuff Girls and Fosters, and this is also very funny. Plus, I have a 5 year old daughter.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Jaebird » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

kenzo wrote:
Roadie Brock wrote:
Rydog wrote:Ryan Higgins is dumb for liking baby cartoons.
I'm just afraid his first tattoo is going to be "MLP 4 Life".

Image

Exactly.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby etherwing » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

I'll tell you the name of one MMO, which has been around for years and has not seen decline but rather, has grown year over year. Eve Online. Almost 9 years old, that one.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby jesseewiak » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

etherwing wrote:I'll tell you the name of one MMO, which has been around for years and has not seen decline but rather, has grown year over year. Eve Online. Almost 9 years old, that one.


It's also full of insane people. :)
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Rydog » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 6:35pm

jesseewiak wrote:
etherwing wrote:I'll tell you the name of one MMO, which has been around for years and has not seen decline but rather, has grown year over year. Eve Online. Almost 9 years old, that one.


It's also full of insane people. :)

It also requires an intense baseline level of time commitment compared to other MMOs, which I think is a contributing factor to people playing it and just sticking with it forever.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby puppybox » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

I don't know what it is but I could listen to Higgins say stuff is for babies all day.

On a side note I see the kindle version of Hunger Games is free for prime members. That's a good price for a baby book!

Also, my dog sucks too but it never scratched me under the eyes. Ryan, you should lure Anthony (Chuf) into the store with promises of star wars crap and then have him train your dog!
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby bitblockader » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

Thanks for the laughs

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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Master Higgins » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

puppybox wrote:I don't know what it is but I could listen to Higgins say stuff is for babies all day.


Probably because you picture me wearing a Wolverine t-shirt and playing Pokemon while saying it.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Rydog » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 10:30pm

Master Higgins wrote:
puppybox wrote:I don't know what it is but I could listen to Higgins say stuff is for babies all day.


Probably because you picture me wearing a Wolverine t-shirt and playing Pokemon while saying it.

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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 10:58pm

Holy fucking shit now Brock is saying that Hunger Games is really really good and on par with Game of Thrones. I need to just fucking end it all. There's nothing left for me in this world.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

Ok, I don't know why I'm even doing this because I'm getting very sick of talking about Fucking Hunger Games lately but you guys are doing it all wrong on the podcast.

The Hunger Games is not about a "group of kids" that have to kill each other, like Battle Royale was. It is about a single girl and her stupid pre-teen love triangle with two boys that are in love with her despite the fact that she has no discernible personality to speak of. In this respect it is far, FAR inferior to Battle Royale which actually goes out of its way to touch on the lives of its participants prior to being chosen to partake in their totally awesome murder game.

Having said that, I still 100%, completely, and without any reservation believe that Hunger Games RIPS BATTLE ROYALE THE FUCK OFF AND THE LADY THAT WROTE THIS IS ON FUCKING DRUGS IF SHE THINKS ANYONE BELIEVES THAT SHE NEVER HEARD OF IT. It copies so much of its form from BR it's not even funny. From the oppressive, political underpinnings of the proceedings, to trivial shit like the daily announcements of the participants that have died. The biggest red flag is that they end almost identically. Mutated werewolf people aside (Hunger Games spoiler, but if you fucking care about it I hate your guts and want you to eat shit) they both end with the main protagonists, a couple in love outsmarting the parties in charge and escaping alive.

Now I haven't read Catching Fire and Mockingjay yet, but if the caliber of writing stays where it's at in THG, then the series will be a total waste of good trees. Higgins' remarks, while cutely dismissive and derisive in true Higginsian fashion, are totally true. The book is almost focus tested to appeal to Twilight girls and no self-respecting male in his 30s should ever consider this "really, really good" (fucking BROCK you twat!). If the author here put as much effort and wordsmanship into describing the emotions of the principle characters and developing the traits of the supporting cast as she did describing the fashions, makeup and hairstyles she pampers her own projection in the story (via Katniss) with, it might come just a hair closer to being redeemed. Alas, we're inundated with paragraphs describing bath oils and lotions available via the swanky Capitol's bathroom toiletry dispensers. Fucking read up, assholes!
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:26pm

By the way Brock, the phrase you're looking for is "dystopian future" not "post-apocalyptic." Are you sure you read books?

God this discussion is painful to listen to.


Ahahaha, Higgins, your theory about the people not really dying but getting transported back to District 13 isn't too far off. Instead they get genetically mutated into wolf-people and get unleashed back out into the arena to try and kill the final 3 participants!
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby kenzo » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:32pm

LiQuid wrote:Ok, I don't know why I'm even doing this because...
tl;dr is tl;dr
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

Shut up kenzo. I've got a vacancy for an Asian-American on my ignore list you seem eager to fill.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby kenzo » Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:40pm

Whups. I wouldn't want that.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Guillermo_DudeL » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:06am

It's okay if you are a MLP fan. It's not okay if you are a Brony. The worst thing to happen to a fandom is the adoption of a name.

There. Internet over.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby Guillermo_DudeL » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:09am

On only needing to play Mass Effect 3 I disagree. There is hardly any character development in the game that would get you interested in the characters as a new player, instead it's lots of resolution. I think you would have to at least play Mass Effect 2 to give enough of a shit about the characters and play the first one for the whole picture (though Mass Effect 1 requires lots of patience becuase it is very rough around the edges). As for Mass Effect 3 being more shooter it is in that the shooting combat has been polished since the last game but it is also more RPG. Weapons and armor are highly customizable, there's a larger variety of power allocation when you level up (though still not as nit-picky as the first game which is fine), and it encourages you to talk to as many random people as possible with the Reputation system.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby TokingMonkey » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:47am

LiQuid wrote:Holy fucking shit now Brock is saying that Hunger Games is really really good and on par with Game of Thrones. I need to just fucking end it all. There's nothing left for me in this world.



Hunger Game's is far better then twilight (contrary to what Ryan thinks), it's not the greatest book ever written but no one can deny it's an entertaining distraction. It's fine if you don't like the books, I really enjoyed them. However, the Hunger Games isn't even close to as good as Game of Thrones; I don't see how anyone can even compare the two. I think Higgins is clearly not giving the Hunger Games series a chance being fixated on the main characters being teens, but what else is new :P
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:52am

TokingMonkey wrote:Hunger Game's is far better then twilight (contrary to what Ryan thinks), but yeah, it isn't even close to Game of Thrones. I think Higgins is clearly not giving the Hunger Games series a chance, but what else is new :P

Being better than Twilight should in no way be a proper endorsement. :lol:

Higgins is completely justified it not wanting to read that shit.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby TokingMonkey » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:04am

LiQuid wrote:
TokingMonkey wrote:Hunger Game's is far better then twilight (contrary to what Ryan thinks), but yeah, it isn't even close to Game of Thrones. I think Higgins is clearly not giving the Hunger Games series a chance, but what else is new :P

Being better than Twilight should in no way be a proper endorsement. :lol:

Higgins is completely justified it not wanting to read that shit.



I mentioned Twilight because Higgins himself was comparing the two as if they were similar. Twilight is garbage writing; Hunger Games isn't half bad, and considering it's light reading it's worth at least checking out. I'm not a big fan of the main protagonist, but there are other characters in the series I enjoyed a lot. And considering Higgins knows little to nothing about the book, like you claimed yourself when you wrote your long ass post on the book, I don't think he's justified in anything. You are, since you actually read it, but he isn't.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby flufflogic » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:14am

HG is better written than at least the first 4 Harry Potter books... To a lot of people, Battle Royale doesn't exist, but it's a very simple premise and of course it's going to be used many times.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:24am

TokingMonkey wrote:I mentioned Twilight because Higgins himself was comparing the two as if they were similar. Twilight is garbage writing; Hunger Games isn't half bad, and considering it's light reading it's worth at least checking out. I'm not a big fan of the main protagonist, but there are other characters in the series I enjoyed a lot. And considering Higgins knows little to nothing about the book, like you claimed yourself when you wrote your long ass post on the book, I don't think he's justified in anything. You are, since you actually read it, but he isn't.

I personally find the writing in Hunger Games reprehensible, especially for a book targeted at young adults. Who are the characters that you liked? Cause there were like a half a dozen in the book, none of which were developed farther than their basest traits (this guys a drunk, he drinks a lot, this guy likes fashion, he is my new best friend, etc). If I hadn't checked a cast list for the upcoming film while reading the books I would have had almost no mental image of any of the characters in this book at all. The writing is WRETCHED. In fact, in thinking about it, the most developed character in the entire book is the red-headed slave/servant girl that doesn't have a fucking tongue and has no speaking lines in the entire book! Amazing.

Also, what justifies Higgins in not reading this book is the fact that he doesn't even read many prose novels in the first place, combined with his correct assumption that this is a pandering piece of fluffy pap for teenaged girls. Reading isn't like sitting down to watch an episode of a TV show. It requires an investment at the very least on the premise and subject matter of a book. While the elevator pitch for this might seem appealing to anyone who enjoys a bit of child murder, its well established that it features a lot of the teen romance tropes that made Twilight popular.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:25am

flufflogic wrote:HG is better written than at least the first 4 Harry Potter books...

How does one even come to a conclusion like this? There are more sentence fragments and hilarious examples of shifty grammar in a single chapter of Hunger Games than the entire set of Harry Potter books.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby GiantAsianMan » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:19am

The Hunger Games is not as great as Brock says it is, nor is it was bad as LiQuid says it is (Higgins' opinion is discounted because, well, it's Higgins). First off, there are two things at play here: The Hunger Games, name of the books/series, and the Hunger Games, the event that takes place within the story. The Hunger Games (event) in the first book (and that specification is important) is definitely Battle Royale, no doubt (there's also a larger similarity to The Running Man that I think needs to be stressed more- the whole event is televised and seen as the highest form of entertainment). That's less of the case in the subsequent books, but for what Brock and LiQuid have read (and the movie that's about to come out), we'll just stick with the first one. As for The Hunger Games (series), the overall story/plot/mythology/etc. is more akin to Battlestar Galactica mixed with FIrefly/Serenity (I am not comparing it to those franchises, just that the structure, not execution, is similar; that makes more sense if you've read all three books). The fight-to-the-death aspect of the story is just an event of the overall story; it's just something that happens that triggers other parts of the story, it's not what the series is "about" in larger sense.

As to the Twilight comparison, there is none, and let me explain why. First, I have to admit that I only made it through about 30 pages of Twilight before I wanted to kill myself, so my knowledge of the series is vastly limited when compared to the Twi-Hards (like Higgins). But, my understanding of the series is that everything that happens in the story is set in motion because the main character wants to date the vampire instead of the werewolf. Without the "which one will she choose" aspect of the story, there is no story. That is not the case with The Hunger Games (despite what LiQuid thinks). Yes, there are two boys that pine after the main character, but it's YA fiction no where is it ever trying to be *not* YA fiction. I give it a pass because it's supposed to be marketed to teenagers. However, the story isn't predicated on her choosing one or the other (in fact, if you read on, she has no choice). Again, that's not what the series is "about" in the larger sense. These books are not a vehicle for chronicling two kids falling/being in love.

Where LiQuid is correct is in his criticism of the writing style- it pretty much sucks. It's written in first-person, so everything the audience learns is from the viewpoint of a 16-year old girl (and written like a 16-year old girl would think it), which gets old very quick for anyone that's ever read anything, ever. She has an uncanny ability know exactly what every other character's motivation is, except for the two boys who happen to like her. She can't read them worth shit. But again, it's supposed to written for a teenaged audience and it's not trying to be something it's not, so that should be expected. Now, one could argue that books aimed at teenagers should be written at a higher quality and not pandered to the lowest common denominator, but that's an argument against YA fiction genre as a whole, and not limited to The Hunger Games.

Anyway, the writing style is problem, but it's also a reason why I'm excited for the movie. The audience is no longer limited to the viewpoint of one character, we can see other things that are going on and happening in the world. Now, I assume that when it comes to the action in the arena, we'll stay mostly with Katniss because it's easier to build tension if you only know what's going on with one character (like the maze in Goblet of Fire for example). But now there can be cutaways to things happening concurrently outside of the arena that can (hopefully) flesh out some characters and actually add something to the overall story. We'll see. Everyone probably stopped reading this post somewhere in the 2nd paragraph.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby LiQuid » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:37am

Nah, I read your whole post. I don't agree with the parts that don't agree with me. Saying there's no Twilight connection to me is totally foolish. While romance itself isn't as integral to what's going on as in Twilight, it's still there and clearly intended to illicit the same emotional response as Twilight's love triangle. That alone is a very clear comparison, and the primary reason there is so much overlap in the fanbases of the two franchises. Much like Bella (disclaimer, I've only seen the first three Twilight movies but I read spoilers for the whole series), Katniss is an emotionless husk that the author surrounds with boys and an alluring fantasy power trip that appeals to young, female readers. On the basest of thematic levels these franchises are almost identical.
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Re: The Geekbox: Episode 160

Postby kenzo » Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:25am

Way to put a bow on it, GAM. Ship this one out, and let's go home - this conversation is over.

As for my personal thoughts on the podcast, I found myself shaking my head as much as LiQuid was, but mostly over the issues surrounding Japanese history. So here's some clarifications:

-The Japanese Diet (their bicameral legislature) was originally designed after heavy German influences - the men who crafted the Meiji Constitution wanted a strong central government with as little actual representation and power being held by the people as possible, so they drew from Europe's most conservative and authoritarian examples (i.e. the Reichstag). The upper house of the Diet was also originally stationed with hereditary nobility, not unlike the House of Lords in the British Parliament.

-Adam Fitch - you can thank the English and German schooling system for heavily influencing the early Japanese model of schooling, including the penitentiary-like school designs, heavy emphasis on personal discipline, and school uniforms. Though the post-war schooling system was designed after an American-model, uniforms are a holdover from that militaristic era.

-Contrary to the implications on the podcast, the Samurai Class actually voluntarily abolished itself after the Meiji Restoration - military leaders like those in Satsuma that "sided" with the Emperor chose this path themselves in order to legitimize the new government and make good on a promise to modernize and compete with the West (versus the loyalists to the Shogunate who wanted to maintain the status quo).

-The podcasters touched on this concept a little, but the entire concept of "Bushido" and the "Samurai" is actually completely fictional - something that was invented after the fact. After the Warring States (Sengoku) Period ended and society codified a rigid caste system, you had a permanent Warrior Class that was essentially out of a job - since there were no wars left to fight. So what you had was a lot of "Bushi" (or Warriors) who sat around all day, and waxed poetical about a time and era where their positions were needed and their skills were valued. They romanticized their roles, renamed themselves (the label of "Samurai" was almost never used before the Edo period to describe the Bushi class), and wrote all kinds of literature that exaggerated and glamorized the exploits of their ancestors - which tended to not match up with historical records at all. It's this literary legacy born of these bored and out-of-work Samurai that serves as the basis for what the popular image of the Samurai are, not history.

-The assertions that Japanese culture and society is "slow to evolve" is a common misconception that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. In fact, Japanese history is littered with periods of intense cultural and socio-economic upheaval/change. For example: the Meiji Restoration saw society flipped completely upside down - restrictions on travel lifted, the rigid caste system thrown away, the doors to international trade and travel thrown wide open, the rapid industrialization of a country that accomplished in a decade what it took America a century to accomplish.

Certain aspects of Japanese society today (like their government and corporate culture) might seem resistant to change to the untrained eye/casual onlooker. But that wasn't always the case, and that has less to do with Japanese culture as a whole, and more to do with the entrenched interests of power refusing budge in the face of their own failings - is that really any different than say, here in America?
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