Archive for November, 2006

30
Nov
06

The “Kramer” Debate: Separating Art from Fame

    Are These Two Images of the Same Person?

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I am a huge Seinfeld fan. I’ve seen every episode and it’s a common point of reference between my sister and I. (“Remember the one when Kramer turns his living room into a talk show with the old Merv Griffin set pieces?” or “Hey, remember when Kramer decides to wash dishes and talk on the phone while he takes a shower to save time?”) Needless to say I was pretty taken aback to hear about and then actually see live footage of actor Michael Richards losing it on stage and calling paid customers ‘Niggers’. As a man of color, it hurt me. I felt a certain sense of betrayal — to an extent.

As I perused various message boards, reactions to the performance yielded very polarizing responses. On the video game and tech-related message boards (where folks generally all have an appreciation for technology, but that’s where the similarities often end) I saw some reactions that were as racist as Richard’s act. “What’s wrong with what he said? Black people say it all the time. And they probably would have had forks in their asses.” “Those niggers shouldn’t have interrupted his act!”). On the other end of the spectrum when I perused Black celebrity news sites, I read equally racist remarks. (“Don’t you know that’s how all white people think? He was just brave enough to say it.” “We should kick his ass. ” And, my personal favorite: “Fuck Seinfeld, Elaine, George, the Soup Nazi, Larry David, Newman and anyone else connected to the show!”) OK, I made that last one up, but I’m sharing the general feeling of the comments. Between the techies and the starstruck celebrity watchers, I’m not sure who’s worse.

In my personal conversations with friends and family, thankfully they were a lot more progressive with their thoughts. None of the “kill whitey” stuff, but still echoing sentiments of disappointment. “When I watch Seinfeld again it’s not going to be the same.” “I’m not going to watch the show anymore.” While I was bothered by the performance as much as anyone else, for some strange reason, it doesn’t make me laugh any less at Kramer’s goofy entrances or his raiding of Jerry’s refrigerator. Am I more forgiving than the average person? Perhaps — but that has a lot less to do with why I’m able to laugh at Seinfeld re-runs. Initially I wondered if I had lost some link to my brothers and sisters of African decent who appeared to be much more adamant about the situation than I was. It bothered me a bit. But then it dawned on me. It’s the same reason why I’m able to watch films and television shows with other accused racists and not have my experience completely tarnished. And the sooner than more people do it, the better off we’ll all be. You see, I’ve made a mental decision that is very difficult to achieve in this age of sensational headlines, viral marketing, instant celebrities and reality TV stars. Although it was difficult, I somehow managed to separate celebrity from performance; notoriety from drama. I’ve separated art from fame. Continue reading ‘The “Kramer” Debate: Separating Art from Fame’

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30
Nov
06

Pujols – Seriously….you’re joking, right??

10201767.jpgI happened to stop by ESPN.com today to see if there were any off-season moves (namely the Mets signing Zito…<fingers crossing>), but then I happened to come across this news story. Apparently Albert is sore about not winning the MVP award this year. He believes that the MVP should come from a playoff team. After reading the article, I had to chuckle a bit. I wish I could talk to Albert. As talented a player as he is, I’d like to stop him on the street and ask him, “Uh Albert….are you serious?!!!”

Since as far back as I’ve been a sports fan, the MVP of the year has always been debated. Does it refer to the player who had the most incredible performance outright for the season? Or are we awarding the player who meant the most to his team’s success. In short, are we awarding the MVP of the team or of the league? The funny thing about Pujols’ comments is that he was neither this year.

I’m still a bit sore about actually having to watch my Mets go down (in person) in seven games to an inspired Cardinals team. However, I must take my hat off to the Cards. They took the Mets to a seventh game without the home field advantage and found a way to pull it out. But one thing that isn’t debatable is the fact that had the Cards left it up to Pujols’ bat, they probably wouldn’t have even made it to the Series. His bat was exceptionally silent during both the NLCS and World Series.

Pujols’ comments today show that he’s the typical “me, me, me” player. The guy who cares about the post-season accolades more than he does winning the championship. Many of the greats have said that they’d give back all of the MVP awards, all of the Golden Gloves, all of the individual accolades….if they could just have one taste of winning it all. The list of players who’ve been great, but never managed to be a part of a championship team is pretty long. And while I can understand the desire attached to wanting to “win it all”, the percentages are against most players. You play for ten seasons (if you’re lucky) and you’re one guy on one team in a league of 30 teams — only one of which can win it all. Basketball is probably the only sport where a guy can single-handedly change the impact of a game. But in baseball and football, one guy can’t do it all.

Pujols is one of the few players who has been blessed enough to win the big one. And like so many guys who have rings, his should probably have a few less diamonds in it to symbolize the at bats where his poor performance didn’t increase his team’s chances. His comments are tacky and disrespectful to his fellow players — namely Ryan Howard. Howard had an inspiring performance this year. While the Phillies didn’t make it to the post season in 2006, they were contenders right up until the last two weeks of the season.

Albert — take my advice: Go home and reflect on the historic season that you had. Be content with the fact that you participated in winning a championship. And make sure that you enjoy it while it lasts. If the Phillies can pick up a few guys to fill in a few holes, perhaps you will switch honors with Ryan Howard next season.

28
Nov
06

Musings from the Community on the PS3

Greetings! I know it’s been awhile, but I can’t stop playing Zelda! (In all seriousness, I’ve been in the process of changing jobs and I haven’t had much time to post. I have a Wii review coming in a day or so.

A good friend of mine posted this thoughts on the PS3. Keep in mind that he doesn’t own a PS3, but he’s giving an interesting perspective. Let him know if you agree or not. (My thoughts on Mike’s thoughts are at the bottom of the post.)

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Thoughts on the PS3
by Michael Williams

After months of anticipating the release of the Sony Playstation 3, I can finally release the tension and breathe easier. The Playstation 3 has finally arrived. But, after waiting almost a year, I recently I asked myself, “Is the Playstation 3 really better than the Xbox 360.” Now, that question probably won’t be answered anytime soon. Because of the PS3 highly anticipated release, a large community of gamers camped out at stores days before its release, making it difficult for me to even purchase one. I’m not a camp-out person. So, it’s more convenient for me to say “If Sony waited an extra year to release its next generation console, and then they should have made 1,000,000 consoles available.” I know many of us got to be wondering and thinking the same thing.

What really was the hold up? Well, I have been doing a lot of console evaluating on of the PS3 and I’m glad I didn’t purchase it on release day. Articles I have read on the post-PS3 era, does not give it the awaited, highly, revolutionary, next generation game console appeal it deserves.

So, Sony delays the release of the PS3 a year after Xbox 360, its competitor. Then, only makes 400,000 consoles available in North America and 100,000 in Japan. Then, we find out that the price tag on the console does not benefit them and they are taking a loss. We all know why they are taking loss-(somebody say Blue-ray). Well, it now appears to me, that they are definitely having financial problems. Continue reading ‘Musings from the Community on the PS3’

17
Nov
06

So, Did You Get A PS3??? Any great Camp-Out Line stories?

ps3.jpgOKAY!  Launch day (at least for the PS3) has come and gone.  Sadly, I called the retailer that I used last year and it appears as if only Best Buy, Circuit City, GameStop/EB Games, Wal-Mart and Target were allocated units.  My contact says that the shipment will be in, “before the holiday season is over”.  I can’t say that I’m really upset.  I really wasn’t thrilled with the launch lineup and $600 is a lot to part with for a man with no official job.  Anyhow, I’ll be in there soon.  But until then, I have to live vicariously through the folks who were fortunate enough to pick one up.  (I’ll feel a lot better on Sunday when I go pick up my reserved Wii.)  But until then, share!

My guess is that lots of folks are doing one of three things right now.

a) Sleeping in the comfort of a real bed…..but this time with the PS3 box securely held under their right arm…..and with a smile, might I add.

b) Through tired, red eyes, they’re navigating through the menu screens to setup their profile before all the cool names are gone.

c) Taking a few more pictures with the Canon to add to the eBay post asking for approx. $3100.  (Don’t believe – go check.)

But I really wanna know what my folks are doing.  Talk to me.  How did things go?  Did you get a system?  Any great stories while standing in the launch line?  And what about the actual system?  Was it worth it all?  What are the games like?  I want details!

15
Nov
06

….And the (Outrageous) PS3 Lines Begin…..

You know, when I wrote the part of the post where I talked about “lining up early — perhaps consider starting on Wednesday…” I never thought that people would have to worry about that happening. The lines have absolutely nothing to do with my story, but even I never thought it would get like this. Take a look at this video in NYC. This is a bit ridiculous for a Wednesday afternoon. Kotaku is taking bets on how quickly the fights start.

If I really wanted to be mean, I’d say, count all of those people times at least $600 each. And I’m sure by 3am, folks will be sleeping. (Ugh.)

I can probably say for absolutely certain that all of these people will not be going home happy. I’m not wishing hateful stuff on anybody…..but considering the early reports on the amount of systems that have been allocated to stores, how can all of those people be getting systems?

I just came inside and it’s getting cold out there too. I hope they bundled up. It’s going to be a LONG two nights. (And even LONGER if they don’t get a system. Wow.)

http://kotaku.com/gaming/tag/over-150-campers-in-line-at-rockville-md-best-buy-215093.php

http://kotaku.com/gaming/clips/clips-bigass-union-square-ps3-line-215085.php

15
Nov
06

My Sincerest Appreciation…

To all the folks that have visited RDM over the past few months….

With the PS3, Zune and Wii launches all happening this week, I suspect that the traffic to the site is going to go down a bit.  Most of the visits were generated from my story, “PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii Launch Day Camp-Out Guide”.  It was a pleasant surprise to wake up one day to find that Digg had sent my page visits through the roof and then I saw Slashdotted!

I never put the site together to try and make money or to generate ad revenue.  I’m just a guy who’s intensely passionate about games and I want to share that passion with folks who feel the same.

So, before the mass exodus of folks due to the PS3 launching and folks not really needing to read the story (at least not for four years!  Can you say Xbox 720, PS4 and Nintendo CHII?!?!!?!!)…. I want to send my sincerest thanks and appreciation to all those who spent time e-mailing and posting and just making the site a fun thing for me to do.  By no means is this a “good bye.”  I’m just being realistic about why folks are coming in the numbers that they are.  So, if you’ll visit regularly, I’ll be more than happy to see everyone.  But if you’ll be busy playing PS3 and getting your news from Kotaku, Joystiq and the other great places (like I do!), I completely understand and I appreciate all of you for bringing I ray of sunshine into my life during a difficult period for me.  THANK YOU!!!!

-Devron

P.S. – If you don’t do anything else, please post and let me know that you had a safe camp-out experience and what it was like.  Sharing stories is part of what this thing is all about.

13
Nov
06

Well, PS3 and Wii Fans….we’re almost there!

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It’s amazing to think that this week the much fantasized about PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii will finally be available for purchase.  Back in 2005, it seemed like this day would never come.  Finally after Friday we’ll have to start calling PS3, 360 and Wii “current gen” instead of “next gen.”  (Well, technically, anyway.)

Right now I’m a bit strapped for cash.  I’ll probably have to live vicariously through the folks on the Interweb, but hopefully I’ll be able to get in on the fun soon.