Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex

I’m really inspired to write about this show because it is one of my all time favorites and this weekend I am going to share it with a friend. She said she would like to get into anime but she can’t find any she is into.  But she loves procedural crime dramas so that gave me a hint. Ghost in The Shell is perfect for her, it is one part Law & Order and one part West Wing that’s been doused in a shitload of cyber punk. It’s one wild ride and a look at the future which would give anybody mixed feelings and trepidation.

 It is a time when, even if nets were to guide all consciousness that had been converted to photons and electrons toward coalescing, standalone individuals have not yet been converted into data to the extent that they can form unique components of a larger complex. – Explination of the Stand Alone Complex from Ghost in The Shell SAC EP1

In the near future cyberization, the practice of replacing components of the human body with electronic components has changed the way society functions. Now with the ability to surf the web with one’s own brain, everything from business to shopping to paying bills is done differently, including crime. Cyber crimes such as body hacking and the influencing of cyber brains are on the rise, prompting the Japanese government to establish an armed anti-terror unit to combat these crimes. Enter Public Security Section 9, an elite commando team on record as an international rescue squad, in reality, they investigate and respond to incidents of cyber crime and cyber terrorism. Organized and commanded by Daisuke Aramaki, the team is lead into battle by Major Motoko Kusanagi as they quickly dispatch dangerous cyber criminals with their various sets of skills.

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Motoko Kusanagi in the middle of a Section 9 Operation

Their next case, however, isn’t going to be as simple as hacked robot geisha’s or out of control AI Tanks. When the case of the Laughing Man Terrorist incident comes across the desk of Cheif Aramaki everything changes for Section 9. What begins as a reopened investigation into the kidnapping of the CEO of a Micro machines company quickly turns into a tangled web of government conspiracy and corruption that goes all the way to the top and threatens to tear apart the squad. Will they solve the laughing man incident, or is someone trying to stop them from getting to the bottom of everything. And if they do get to the bottom of it all, will they themselves survive?

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Laughing Man’s Logo

One of the most appealing things about this anime phenomena according to fans is the astonishing quality of the animation and the amazing musical score. I can certainly agree with the latter statement, any score composed by Yoko Kanno is amazing. I, however, am the biggest fan of the writing which introduces smaller cases with no relation to the ongoing Laughing Man case to the main story line. This allows for the show to keep its integrity as a procedural crime drama while unraveling the components of a much larger mystery which the show is geared toward. And the levels of the writing go still deeper.

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The “Tachikoma” AI Mini Tanks

The show has a few references to J.D. Salinger‘s “The Catcher in The Rye” which should greatly entertain literary buffs, but the philosophy in the show goes deeper than just exploring some of the themes from that novel. While the main story line brings up themes about the malicious farcical nature of the political world and derides the phonies therein, I find more meaning in the development of things like the AI units. Indeed the best philosophical dive, in my opinion, is the exploration of what it means to be human in a world where the borderline between man and machine has been blurred so much. The development of the Tachikoma AI’s various individual personalities brings up excellent points on the ethics of AI’s and the episode about the Gerry Androids explored not only the idea of human sexuality when an android can fill our ideal expectations of a mate, but as to whether those lifeless automatons can possess a will or a soul of their own. Most important though is the idea of the Stand Alone Complex, the idea that even in a networked society where opinions easily become more uniform, that some individuals will cling to their individuality and in doing so become the most valuable component of a larger social machine.

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Major Kusanagi Equipped for an “Internet Dive”

Now I would be remiss if I did this piece without talking about the technology that exists in the world of Ghost in The Shell. 13 years ago many people commented that the time frame for this was not the best as many of the technologies showcased were not implausible but indeed highly improbable. With 13 more years to go until 2030 (the date the show takes place), we are seeing many of these technologies become a reality. While we are nowhere mind diving into the internet with cyber brains, VR Headsets are allowing gamers to experience their games in a more immersive environment. And although they are not quite as useful yet, cybernetic implants and prosthetics are now becoming a reality and are changing the way some people live.

So if you are a fan of police dramas or are looking forward to a future of cybernetic enhancement this is the show for you. It’s fast paced action and dives into the headiest philosophy make it a show any fan can enjoy. It’s an anime legend of the mid-2000’s that can hardly be topped by anything else in its genre. You can purchase it for yourself here. Enjoy!!

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My Current Editorial Dillema

Hey there everybody. Today is my 48th post since I started this blog. 2 more weeks and I will have hit number 50. And I have to tell you, every day I wake up and see more people have viewed my blog I think to myself, “Holy shit, they are still reading that shitty thing?” Just kidding, but seriously it has been a wonderful 48 so far and there will be more to come this year. I am hoping by the end of the year to have a few reviews of some Final Fantasy games up, and of course, expect a special post on December 18th to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. That’s right, it has been 30 years since that shabby little game company that split from an electric power company was saved by a game that would become a legend of the video gaming industry.

But obviously as evidenced above, I am having a huge dilemma I need to solve. Going into this blog, I wanted it to be a unique showcase that shares who I am and what I am passionate about. A Blog about gaming and politics seemed awesome since those are my life. Then I had some life issues and had to take a Hiatus, and since I have come back my posts have been mostly about politics. I want more content about gaming though, as well as anime and technology.

Now, of course, you ask, “why this is so hard to achieve?” Well, I have explained some of this before. Of course, as I mentioned before part of the video game and anime reviewing is having to complete a video game or anime to review it. You also have to remember to take screen shots. I have plenty of games in the works right now and will hopefully be able to complete something at some point, but I have not been able to play as much as I would like due to life distractions. Some examples include health issues, issues with my sleep, and stress. These are obstacles to completing the games I want to review.

Another issue is this year itself. It is a politically charged year, and quite frankly there is not a month that goes by where I do not find 2 or more issues that I decide I need to write about. We have seen a lot this year that just needs to be written about because of its significance. There have been historical events, mass media lies, landmark court decisions, unfortunate scandals, roving gangs of politically driven bigots, and of course the left going totally unhinged. With all of this going on, it is hard for me to focus on finishing games and reviewing them. I mean there, of course, is stress from these events that plays a factor, but also the need to write about it. And I have been told by some friends who read the blog that they are glad I took the time to write what I have as it is informative.

Now I have been pondering for a while how to deal with this. The only conclusion I can come to is that there is only so much I can do as one person. I do not want to adjust my schedule again. So what I want to do is bring in another writer. And so I am adding a new page to the Blog.

On July 31st at noon a new page will show up on my blog entitled “Contribute”. Here I will outline my requirements for the job. If you fit these criteria just fill out the contact form with a small writing sample and some information about yourself, then submit it. I will review your writing sample and any other information that is relevant. A hint for you guys, if you have a WordPress blog/account already that will play in your favor.

Good luck guys, I hope I get a stream of interested individuals with bright ideas and sharp writing skills. Good luck to you all.

 

And here is last weeks really hot picture of Cloud again, cause damn. DX

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Setting the Bar of Common Decency

Remember how Liberals whined and cried about Republicans criticizing the First Family under Obama? Even when Malia got caught smoking pot we weren’t supposed to say anything because the first family was supposed to be off limits. Funny how that only applied to Obama and his wife and kids though. Even before they moved into the Whitehouse Melania was facing threats of Rape and Rosie O’Donnell lead a tirade of lunatics in TV and Media as they bashed Barron. The President himself has faced what seemingly amounts to a death threat from Kathy Griffin, to which Rosie responded by attacking Barron some more. Now the sick behavior that makes morons think it is acceptable to attack a 10-Year-Old Boy cannot simply be explained by T.A.R.D. or Trump Derangement Syndrome. Simply put, Liberals have lost sight of common decency for a very long time now.

 

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A Trump Supporter receiving medical treatment after he was attacked last year at a Pro Trump rally.

Conservatives have their trashy moments as well, but most of them are just embarrassing and not hateful. And we routinely condemn them when they go too far. But when individuals on the left go too far instead of condemnation, they are defended and their actions are downplayed. And they have gone a lot farther than anybody on the right. When one party in society brings their discourse to the level of unprovoked physical violence, personal attacks on individuals friends and family, and justifying all this with selective reasoning (I.E. “If they do it it’s the most terrible thing ever but if we do it then it is no big deal because we are the anointed ones”), then society has a duty to call that group out for their behavior. But what do we do if nearly half of society is this way? What do we do if that half of society has gained significant control of the media?

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Rosie O’Donnell has probably put more effort into her Twitter feud with Trump than she has into raising her children.

Let’s return to little Miss O’Donnell here, the poster child for an undeserved sense of superiority. It is well known that Rosie has a long-standing Feud with Trump, one she started in 2006 while she was still a host on The View. Despite this, she alternated between taking shots at Trump and his family and then playing the victim. Of course, during all this time which she spent criticizing Trump and his children, she neglected and even abused her own adopted children culminating with her kicking her daughter Chelsea out of her home in August of 2014, then claiming that Chelsea was mentally ill and had run away a week after she had kicked her out. In her mind, Trump is a bad father even though his children adore him and he has a relatively normal relationship (for celebrities anyway) with his children. She calls him mentally ill despite her behavior at home and what she did to her eldest adopted child. This is an example not just of the double standard far leftists like her have, it is an example of how low the bar dropped.

What is this bar I speak of? As the title says, it is the bar of common decency and it is a hard target. For example, in the 90’s many people accused Fox Network of lowering the bar with shows like Married with Children and The Simpsons, claiming that they were raunchy and taught no valuable lessons. I can’t really argue with that, they were purely for entertainment and went for the easiest inappropriate jokes. Those however were something one viewed voluntarily and nobody could exactly say they were dragged into watching these. When liberals decided to drop the bar themselves, however they did it by being vicious and dragging other into their drama.

In recent history, Liberals have made it a habit of lashing out at others and dragging them into a larger conflict in their minds. From Hillary personally attacking her husband’s rape accusers to Chuck Schumer using James Comey to take down a Bush Era Official with a fabricated narrative that he tried to take advantage of John Ashcroft while he was in the hospital to authorize an NSA Program, The American Left has dragged down other people with lies and threats. And in the last 8 years, they have added personal attacks to the menu, more ad hominem. And as they drop this bar lower and lower, they keep themselves and their followers unaware with the narrative that they are “The Anointed” of this country.

Now, what does their Anointed narrative consist of? Well the first thing, they believe they are morally superior because they claim to advocate for the downtrodden, even though the policies they advocate hurt minorities and the working class. They also take pride in reflecting the “Enlightened” European lifestyle, despite the fact Europe has fewer freedoms than our own country and that Europe is run by a Quasi-Fascist governmental body. And the Anointed never turn down a chance to force secular values down the throats of Christians and those hicks in the Midwest. By pretending they have this superiority and they know better, they enable themselves to be totally shitty towards anybody who disagrees with them and write it off as them “Putting an ignorant Unwashed in his/her place”.

This is what has divided our nation. Liberals use this mindset to justify their ignorance and intolerance and even their violence. And somehow they were shocked when they lost the 2016 elections? This was bound to happen when they hold a double standard for everything including decency towards other then it will always backfire. And yet the still keep doubling down on this mentality.

What will happen if they keep this up? A civil war? That is one possibility, but what is more likely and indeed is already happening is that youth of our nation are rejecting their party and their values. They have also alienated anybody in their party who is a decent human being and self-aware. So keep it up with that sleazy behavior that spits in the face of common decency Liberals. Those of on the Right aren’t quite sick yet of all the winning we have been doing. Maybe you can claim Russian Hackers made you act like douchey human garbage?

Hiatus Coming

Hey guys. I am starting to feel exhausted, 2016 took a bigger toll on me than I thought. It was an awesome year though, don’t get me wrong, but it has been full of stressful up’s (Hillary lost the Election) and down’s (Carrie Fisher died) which is fine. I am feeling run down, though. I am far behind on work for the blog and running out of steam. I am also dealing with other life stresses which do not help. For this reason, I am taking a 2 or 3-month Hiatus. I might post a few things between now and then but most likely there will be no blog updates till March or April. Thanks for understanding guys. Happy New Year.

Special Shitpost: My Thanksgiving Travel Adventures

Yes guys, it is the holidays, and since I spent the last week dicking around and wasting my time you guys get to read this post where I gripe about traveling on a budget. I love my family and I love seeing them all together for the holidays but the first leg of my journey to see them is usually pretty arduous. This Tuesday morning I had to wake up at 10 but I woke up and 8 instead. Then I ended up wasting 3 hours on television so by the time I started getting ready it was 11 and I had 2 and a half hours left before I had to leave. Luckily I packed my bags the night before.

After an unhealthy breakfast of leftover Alfredo, I departed. Unlike most sane Americans, I do not drive. So to get to my parent’s place in PA. I have to walk, take a bus, then take 2 trains. So after stopping for a drink at my corner store, I walked towards the bus stop to wait for a bus to Penn Station.

Walking 5 blocks with 3 heavy bags is no cake walk and I was winded by the time I got there. Wow, not even a half hour out and I already feel like throwing myself in front of the train I am going to catch. (Just Kidding) My luck wasn’t total shit tho cause I caught the free Circulator bus and saved $1.70.

After a short ride down Charles Street, I arrived at Penn Station and bought my ticket. Commuter rail is cheap here in MD. One way to DC is $8 and my ticket to Harper’s Ferry will be $12. Of course, I got to the station a half hour early for the train I had to take and so I had to sit and wait a half hour.

Finally, the train arrived. The view from the window while you are in Penn station isn’t very impressive though. Whats equally annoying is that I had to end a phone call with a friend since I knew there would be a long tunnel just after we leave the station in which I would lose all signal. It actually made this post harder since I had to wait till we left the tunnel to add an image. Fun fact though, even though the tunnel dates from the 1800’s somehow it accommodates the dual level cars the commuter rail uses.

There is not much to note on the Penn Line, well not a lot you can see from the train really. It passes a few small towns and the airport before reaching Union Station. After an hour I did reach DC’s Union Station. After exiting Gate A I was greeted by a wall of people going at least 30 feet.

Union Station is a Gargantuan affair indeed. The above photo was just a picture of the ceiling of the entry way and I couldn’t even get all of that into one shot. For it to be this crowded is a big deal. But I was still able to get my tickets and find out what gate my train was leaving from though with a bit more effort than usual. At least the wait wasn’t too bad, there was a cute guy with a Virginia Tech tee-shirt on who I kept peeking at and would have loved to have flirted with if he hadn’t been reading. 🙂

Pretty soon they called for my westbound train and I had to board at the far end of the platform which was under some sort of repair. Then began the 1 1/2 hour ride out to Harpers Ferry. There are a lot of Notable things along that line but I was too lazy to take pictures, it is nonetheless beautiful. Sadly the train I took only went up to Brunswick and I had to catch a bus the rest of the way into Harper’s Ferry.

Finally, I was there in Harper’s Ferry after that long journey. The sunset was beautiful on the cliffs and within an hour my father and baby sister picked me up from the station. After a long pain in the butt journey, I finally get to see my smiling sister. And that was the bulk of my holiday travels. Happy Thanksgiving!!