Tuesday, August 30, 2016

If You Cut Too Many Corners, You Can’t Roll The Dice: How penny pinching can hurt Japan’s entertainment media industry.

It’s impossible to have been born in the 80’s or later and not worked somewhere that ended up engaging in the most ridiculous and pointless corner-cutting, that it ended up costing the organization more than it would ever save. Like the small business who refuses the odd extra plastic bag to a customer because a boss is thinking “hey those cost me money” not realizing that said customer has now gone from ‘weekly visitor’ to ‘never coming back again and in fact is now going to shop at your competitor’ because of the experience. Yeah, you lost out on 52 regular sales a year, but good for you for saving that hundredth of a penny on that plastic bag ...that you already bought so it’s not like you’re actually saving anything. When companies make workers share work stations so 2 people get paid for half the amount of work that 1 person can do in a day, it seems top brass always think it’s a good idea.

This joke stopped being funny in 1991.

That is why this news story is disturbing. Make no mistake, this kind of thing is rare and extreme, so it’s the sort of thing that makes the news for being exactly that. News from Japan is often misunderstood as some sort of look into regular daily life when in fact the opposite is true. Things make the news precisely becausethey are weird and don’t happen very often. Much like that old “Japanese postman reports to a school girl’s principal regarding the so called delinquent behavior of putting a stamp on a letter upside down” this story is an extreme example of something. However much like that old “Japanese postman reports to a school girl’s principal regarding the so called delinquent behavior of putting a stamp on a letter upside down” story, it highlights an underlying truth (in the stamp case, Japan’s high sensitivity to non-conformity).

So in a game of follow the leader, studios, publishers, and other content providers, are sure to start looking into ridiculous methods of cutting corners. While one can understand limiting power consumption is a priority in Japan, it becomes an annoying point when you realize that despite sitting on a bunch of active volcanoes, Japanese ventures into geo-thermal energy production are nowhere near what they could and/or should be. Also, with Japan highly over-centralized in the Kanto area, the grid itself is a lopsided monster akin to trying to support a collapsing building from the outside rather than fix the problem from within.

But who cares though right? That’s just Toyota, and other companies that follow suit won’t be that intense about it right? Yes, but they don’t have to be that intense for it to still be a problem. The type of vulnerabilities even toned-down measures can create, along with putting stress on workers on almost every level, means that not only is there a potential for s higher errors, but for the impact of those errors to be magnified. Re-rendering something or fixing a layout problem isn’t a fatal hiccup if you have the resources to do it, but when you’ve set yourself up for a zero error-margin, while at the same time putting your people under unnecessary stress, then something like that can actually cause a missed deadline or worse. Missing an issue, or even worse an air date, can actually get a series canceled. It’s dangerous and in a business environment which is already austere, really the last kind of risks you want to be taking.

Walking that tightrope without a net will save you a tidy sum in safety net related costs, and will look great on paper… until the paper has an obituary written on it. This is not the way to do things. Japanese politics and modern culture are to blame for this kind of problem. Internal brain-drain has brought everyone to Tokyo, and the idea of the city’s prestige is so great that even going over to Yokohama is thought of as a step down on an inescapable order of scale (unless you’re in the international shipping business, then you’re fine). Cities and towns that could be great centers for publishing, where living expense could be low, office space basically free at this point, and digital everything means that you could make the stuff in Zanzibar and still have it on shelves at Family Mart on the street date. In order to save itself across the board, and this includes all entertainment media, Japan has to fall out of love with Tokyo. Then stop this corner-cutting nonsense. It will make a lot of sense in two years, at least to the people who are in those 80-something degree, one elevator buildings.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wizard World is Terrible: Convention buckles under the slobbering rage of SJWs


I never thought I'd really be writing stuff here again. I have been out of the industry too long, I've lost my will to live, and aside from the occasional episode of Sword Art Online or Girls und Panzer, I'm not watching much of anything any more.  My own take on things really doesn't mean much and no one is reading this anyway.  But if I don't actually say something about recent events regarding Wizard World Chicago I am just gonna end up murdering the next person who has their car alarm go off in the middle of the night down the block. (Link is to The Chicago Tribune).

That's right Social Justice Sally, shit's about to get real.

The basics:
SJW Throws hissy-fit until a vendor selling replica and fantasy guns is kicked out of Wizard World Chicago. 

See... Social Justice Warrior.

Ug.  Remember in the 1980's there was always that one kid's mom who didn't want her precious snowflake to play with any sort of "gun" or "gun looking object" because it was supposed to have some sort of mental effect, so the end result was that kid just getting left out of any games of GI Joe or where you pretended to be The A-team?  Remember how dumb that was in retrospect?  Well some sheltered hipster apparently thinks that "guns are bad" and is taking this thinking to the next level.  That level is not only "guns are bad" but you shouldn't be able to buy a replica one in order to complete your badass Blade Runner cosplay.  Yes I know you're a grown adult but this guy knows best so he shall be the ultimate arbiter of what you get to do.

One place that political shenanigans don't belong is the fandom.  Now before you start a slobbering comment along the lines of "OMG how can you even SAY that!  Don't you know that Starship Troopers is an allegorical satire of blarg blarg wharrgarble!"  Yeah, but that's an artistic work... a singular piece for consumption by those who wish to do so.  I'm talking about the fandom, and the fandom is always two things.  1) Fun to hang around in.  2) A mutherfucking business.  You know what's bad for business?  Yeah, exactly this.  Letting galvanized ideology that leaves no space for the realities of existing as a business, is a recipe for disaster and sends the message that manufactured out-of-touch safe-space SJW faux outrage garbage is something that is much more important than your ability to engage in any part of the fandom you choose to, which has always included replica weapons, from Han Solo's Greedo-blaster, to whatever the hell this is used for:

There is no waiting period in Texas!

To use strong-arm tactics to force a business to withhold access to their events from vendors which sell things you personally don't like is something you do when the vendor is NAMBLA or the people who invented the Rage Virus, not to a company that's been filling a demand that is an integral part of cosplay fandom, replica guns.  (Although any event that needs to be informed that NAMBLA or Rage Virus R Us shouldn't be there might not be one you'd really want to go to in the first place).  This is something that shouldn't need reiterating in as many forms as possible, but once you see what the source of this mess is, it will unfortunately become obvious why repeating this ad nauseam probably still will fail to get the point across.

Page 7 in the 2016 rent-a-hipster catalogue.

This is Matt Santori-Griffith, editor at Comicosity and self-described SJW in his very own words (see earlier graphic).  He is the one leading the charge to have vendor DS Arms removed from Wizard World Chicago.  This is also the photo that appears when you look up the definition of Gentrification and its causes.  He probably rails about how bad gentrification is with absolutely zero self-awareness.  It requires a lot of privilege to be able to look like that and not have to worry about finding employment.   Actually he probably rails about how bad privilege is also, with absolutely zero self-awareness as well now that I think about it.  So this bearded penis walks around thinking "guns are bad" for what is probably a mix of reasons that range from legitimate to ridiculous.  He's spent so much time in his little bubble however, that if anything reminds him that guns in fact exist at all (and therefore reminds him that guns are bad), it must be eliminated from the public sphere and probably stamped out of existence entirely.  Doesn't matter what you think, you gave him a feels-bruise and now that which was used as the catalytic instrument of his self-inflicted perturbation, must be eliminated forever and all time.

Much like any SJW, he's not interested in actual discourse, but rather simply shutting down any platform deemed unacceptable.  The concept of allowing people to be free to choose to patronize or not patronize the business they do not  like, is an absurd one to this type of person if it is in any way incongruous to their rigid social standards.  This unabashed inanity is not even the most grievous of offenses. What is genuinely appalling in this matter is a stated interest in a willingness to fundamentally damage the event and fandom itself, should it not engage in total compliance with their stated necessary behaviors they demand.  The SJW are interested in the total destruction of anything, be it an activity, the written word, or various shades of the color blue, which cause within them an intellectual counter-resonance to their own perceived reality which is in fact not but a matrix of mental holograms lacking any tangible substance. Any means they have at their disposal, or are able to hijack, will be employed in an effort to completely extinguish counter-revolutionary thought, with no regard to any collateral damage it may cause.  For if the ends do not justify the means what does?  Yet the notion that "the means" themselves could be unnecessary is treated as blasphemous.

The fact that DS Arms is also a licensed retailer of functional firearms isn't relevant here, because they were not going to be selling any real guns there.  Real functional guns aren't involved in any of this, so it's not a 2nd Amendment issue.  Actually, there's no Constitutional protection for replica guns at all, they're just not illegal most of the time.  If you are going to make some sort of foolish argument that since they make and sell actual guns it doesn't matter if there were no real guns for sale there, then I hope you never have had to get on a Boeing aircraft or use a Halliburton ATM because you just supported their weaponized products by proxy and blah blah blah.  See how dumb that sounds now?  But SJWs aren't interested in people having freedom to show their approval or disapproval of a business by voting with their dollars, they want absolute enforcement of their agenda.   Whether it is being an exclusive arbiter of who is allowed to wear their hair in dreadlocks, or acting as the absolute authority to decide where the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution begins and ends on a college campus, SJWs don't back off when there is blood in the water, they ramp it up as hard as they can.

It's the camera that's racist, not me!
Yes, she really did defend her actions by saying that.

We can unfortunately expect to see efforts to go even further now that these people know they can force event organizers to do what they specifically want if they jump up and down and scream loud enough like a toddler in the cereal isle.  Will convention floors will become covered in the open sores of SJW outrage as they demand that all cosplay be subject to a "cultural appropriation" test?  Well college campuses already have, so it's not that much of a stretch.  Forget singing any karaoke if it contains any words on the "trigger list" because those aren't allowed now.  It's already going on at Princeton I mean, non-gender-specific-royal-person's-ton University.  College students are a big part of convention attendance, and people willing to institute (or even put up with) such ridiculousness on a campus, they are going to want to take those various flavors of stupid to other areas as well.  Think this is too over the top to really happen?

This is NOT a joke, they are actually saying this for real.

The  SJW types are more than happy to destroy the very thing they are trying to "protect" if it means stamping out any contrary position to their agenda.  Fandom is not safe from this kind of thing.  Don't think so?  Then there's someone I want you to know about:

Yep... worse than Pol Pot apparently.
And if you have to look up who Pol Pot is, then you shouldn't be "social" justicing anything, just go back to Tumblr.

This is a high school girl, known on the internet for drawing fan-art  under the name of Zamii070.  If you already know about this, then you know what happened, but for those of you who may have missed it, here is some information relevant to the points we're talking about.  Zamii, as all fan artists are like to do, had a favorite group of characters she like to draw, that being characters from Stephen Universe.  She looks like crap in that photo because it was taken in the hospital, after a suicide attempt brought on by a relentless barrage of attacks by Tumblr's slobbering SJW hoard.  Why did they push a high school girl to the edge of suicide?  Because they think she engaged in "cultural appropriation" by drawing a character in a generic Native American type of outfit.  If you asked one of these SJWs if it were Anasazi or Lenape culture it was appropriating, do you think they would even know?  Of course not, all First-Nation culture is all totally the same right?  Ug.  Oh and she also drew a character being "too thin"  ...yeah, apparently that's worthy of spectacular amounts of online harassment.

Now here's what should scare you.  When the actual artists of Stephen Universe said "hey how about we try just being nice to people and let them draw what they want" the SJWs turned on them as well, bemoaning and lamenting how the actual creative staff of a show they professed to love so much, could "betray" them like that.  Attacking them for being against their set of absolute human values.  Incongruity of thought is not met as a learning experience by these people, it is met as a physical attack.  It is not the only time that the SJW infested toxic fandom of Stephen Universe decided to shit where it eats.  This is what happens when you put social politics in-front of a creative work about sentient rocks that can smash themselves together and make weird creatures with 4 arms (and maybe 2 butts... we can only hope).

But you may be saying "oh well that's just Tumblr and Stephen Universe fans have always been terrible."  Yes, they're terrible, and full of energy, and lacking direction.  They're lacking so much direction that whenever a lightning rod is exposed for them to target their SJW rage at, they don't care if the rod is destroyed in the process.  If human dingle-berry Matt Santori-Griffith is any indication, the SJW community has finished with the dead rotting corpse of Tumblr and is now willing to attack anything they can with a absolute fanatical devotion to an engineered social template so strong and destructive, that Robespierre himself would say "woah, that's too intense." 

...If you actually have to look up who Maximilien Robespierre is, then just go back to High School.

Make no mistake, this awfulness is coming to a convention near you.  People like Matt Santori-Griffith call on directionless SJW rage and aim it wherever they damn well please, threatening the specter of not only event boycotts, but the potential for real physical unrest at these these events.  The convention is for different segments of the community to socialize in and share ideas that they can use to make nicer and innovative creative works, it is not a place where a deranged few enforce a lockstep of intellectual intolerance regarding anything they don't like.  If you put a vegan in charge of a bacon festival, it's going to be terrible for everyone.  If you put an SJW in charge of an event which showcases and celebrates creative artistic works, you get thought police.

I haven't written much in a few years.  So go back and check out some of the older stuff I've covered.  Read the actual date that I wrote it and then ask yourself if I'm usually no good at seeing which way the wind is blowing onto the writing on the wall under the aligning stars.

Enjoy it while it lasts. 

EDIT:  You know the term "Social Justice Warrior" has been around since 2006 to mean the proverbial militant vegan at a BBQ right?   Just because Fox News found out about it 5 minutes ago and started using for literally everyone who isn't a Trump supporter doesn't change its original meaning.