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Junk!

Ohhhhhh. Ohhhhhh, yeah. That’s the schadenfreude. The New York Times is bleeding so hard, Standard & Poor cut them down to junk bond status yesterday. (You can play with the graphs yourself here. Slu was on this one, too).

I’ve been savoring this situation since I read this NewsBusters post from P.J. Gladnick a few weeks ago. It’s sweeter than it looks. It’s sweeter than Scott Tenorman‘s tears. Much as we’d all like to think the Times is dying due to egregious liberal bias, that’s only a part of the dynamic. Behold — Clusterfuck, the Bullet List:

■The Ochs/Sulzberger family is in its fifth generation. Twenty-seven people hold the controlling interest and live off the proceeds of the Times.

■’Pinch’ Sulzberger, editor and heir, has made many grievously bad business decisions. Good old-fashioned bad business decisions, like real estate and investments. This is a horrible time for print media anyway, so his incompetence is just a big fat cherry on top of the shit sundae.

■To keep the family happy, Sulzberger has been raising the dividend paid to family members even as profits have slid.

BAM. Junk bonds. Now he’s sinking in debt and he can’t raise money. But he can’t lower the dividend or all hell will break loose.

Why is this so very, very tasty? Because the Ochs/Sulzberger family has a collective terminal case of WeAreSoVeryFuckingImportant-itis and it’s totally funded by the Times.

dave golden, NYT trustafarian

“Sulzberger has said that his clan starts going to family meetings when they’re 10 years old and by 15 they understand their roles as caretakers of the New York Times. There’s also a one-day orientation session for kids turning 18 or 21—or people marrying into the family—to learn about the legacy of the Ochs-Sulzbergers.”

[…]

“Younger members of the family are also inculcated in the beliefs of the Sulzbergers on private annual retreats to places like Hawaii. One Timesman compares the indoctrination to Skull and Bones, but it seems more the stuff of summer camp. They sing songs together like “We Are Family” and keep abreast of each other’s lives through a newsletter called The Lookout.”

What have these golden people done with their subsidized lives? Zoo keeping. Novel writing. Protecting lighthouses and the rights of native Americans. Folk music. Folk music.

Dave Golden couldn’t stay at the paper mill forever. It was too tied to the family business, too laden with expectations. So he set off to find himself “in the tango halls of Argentina, on the snow-covered Berkshire border of Vermont and Massachusetts, in the halls of Oxford, in the jungles of Guatemala and even in Asia on a Fulbright,” according to his Website. In the Berkshires, he studied mountain music, and in 2004, the 26-year-old released a well-received folk record, with songs drawing from life experiences, as in “All I Never Wanted”: “I coulda been a CEO, they told me / If I could just stop holdin’ on to this ol’ dream.”

Oh. OH. My violence gland is throbbing like a buffalo-skin tom-tom from a native drum circle of the Great Plains. I suppose it’s too much to hope that individual branches of the family have been so incompetent that they will be left with nothing when the Times goes under. I doubt any of them will have to get a real job or anything. They’ll probably even walk away with a tidy sum after the fire sale.

But it’s going to hurt. And on that happy day, I want you to stop, think of this grinning douchenozzle with his frayed straw hat and his ol’ dream and share a warm schadenfreudean virtual hug with me. Sometimes, it is good to be a weasel.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:17 am

On a kind of related note, I recommend this post. It’s about posers and third-generation wastrels and allllll the real estate available in the tony neighborhoods along Lake Minnetonka.

Not trying to start a class warfare fire here. People who earned a fortune can do what they like with it, including leaving it to their snot-slurping grandkids to waste. But I’m allowed to enjoy watching them piss it all away 🙂

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:28 am

I’ll head up that class warfare thing if you don’t want to.

They sing songs together like “We Are Family”

Mmm, pasty WASPs in cravats and dickeys doing the white-people dance around a campfire while tuxedoed minority butlers hold silver trays of Godiva marshmallows and skewers made from hand-carved giraffe femurs.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:41 am

Not to pick nits, but we are talking about pasty Joos here. Founding Sulzberger famously mystified American Jewry by minimizing Nazi atrocities during WWII.

How their dancing compares to WASPs, I have no idea.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:45 am

It’s really the mental image I was going for, more than genealogical accuracy.

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:46 am

Clogs to clogs in three generations. That’s the saying here.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 10:50 am

Hahaha…I actually posted that in a comment on that blog post I referenced in that first comment, Uncle B. Wait, did that sentence just disappear up its own ass?

Yes. Anyhow. I am indebted to you for the expression. According to one hit I got when I Googled it (Google everydamnthing is my motto) the Chinese version is “rice paddy to rice paddy.”

Meaning: poor dude works like a bastard and makes a fortune. Dude junior isn’t the same man his dad was, but he manages to keep the family fortune intact. Dude III is a self-important wastrel loser and pisses it all away. Clogs to clogs.

All the lovely money goes back in the system, so that’s okay.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:03 am

And where does any Jew get off “minimizing Nazi atrocities during WWII” anyway? Was he there? Did he survive the camps?

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:17 am

Apo: effing libtards like the Sulzbergers and effing idiots like Neturei Karta (ultra-Orthodox; visited Iran; kissed Imadinnerjacket).

 


Comment from XBradTC
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:19 am

Working in the trust and estate field, I see a lot of smart people put a lot of effort into making sure that the money they made isn’t pissed away by the kids. A lot of them follow Warren Buffet’s philosophy of “Give them enough money to do any thing they want, but not enough to do nothing.”

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:20 am

Sometimes you wish people like that would get a mysterious 9mm love letter from Mossad. It’s bad enough when some Islamic “scholar” or white supremacist downplays the holocaust, but at least their motives are ideologically true, though not pure.

But a Jew? Who’s this guy kidding? Does he think reaching across the aisle to people whose first inclination is to blame Hitler for not finishing the job is going to convince them to cuddle up to him?

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:26 am

The theory as I understand it is that the Sulzbergers minimized what might be seen as Jewish issues for the sake of the integrity of the Times — so it wouldn’t be seen as a “Jewish newspaper.” The original guy did print stories about Nazi atrocities as they were uncovered, but buried them at the back of the paper.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 11:31 am

I dunno, still feels creepy.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:00 pm

Oh, it is creepy. I gather there are still hard feelings about it.

Brad, are you ever tempted to ask one of your clients to adopt you? Take me home! I’ll be a really, really good son, I promise!

 


Comment from Randy Rager
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:04 pm

Mmmm, that is tasty.

Balls, dipped.

 


Comment from Cuffy Meigs
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:18 pm

Hey, Weasel, didja know the Ochs started the NYT from your ol’ stomping grounds Chattanooga?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Ochs

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:32 pm

I knew Ruth Holmberg was there, but I didn’t realize that’s where it got started.

“The family moved south to Knoxville, Tennessee due to his mother’s sympathies during the Civil War.”

Heh. Weird. I wonder how much of that sort of thing happened?

 


Comment from Cuffy Meigs
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:55 pm

I like this bit from Wiki:

In 1896, at the age of 36, he again borrowed money to purchase The New York Times, a money-losing newspaper that had a wide range of competitors in New York City. In 1904, he hired Carr Van Anda as his managing editor. Their focus on objective news reporting, in a time when newspapers were openly and highly partisan…

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 12:56 pm

Big money gives you power. That’s it. It doesn’t make you smarter, better-looking, or morally superior–hell, it doesn’t even keep your underwear lemony fresh.

Having had both money and power (sometimes simultaneously, but not always), I can say unequivocally that money, like booze, does not change, but rather, exaggerates, the imbiber’s character. If you’re an asshole when you’re drunk (or rich), then you’re an asshole when you’re sober (or poor).

I’ve observed business partners assume the infallibility of a Pope in their judgments, only to see them lose that second house in Tahoe–and that first house in Coto de Caza–owing to the very real fallibility of that judgment. I’ve seen them desparate enough to steal from their partners (and even their relatives) in order to “provide for their children” (or simply to maintain the payments on that Tahoe beachfront estate one more month).

When the business I’m in went south about four years ago (thanks to a variety of factors, including thievery and shenanigans among my partners), I slowly bought each of them out; today I am the only one still in business and still (very slightly but steadily more) profitable. I may have big money again one day; I may not. The joy is often in the striving.

Okay, so I’m rambling. What I’m saying is money, particularly big money, takes work to acquire honestly. It takes work to keep. And it intoxicates those so unwary or unintelligent as to imagine that money in an idiot’s hands is anything but stupid money. And stupid money, being stupid, is restless; it wants to be elsewhere. Presently, it is.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:02 pm

“Please God, let me prove to you that winning the lottery won’t spoil me…”

So sorry I missed your posts yesterday. Just to let everyone know, I did not create the Ferrets for Obama button, merely passed it on.

Second order of business (if you’re going to hijack a thread really do it, I always say)… apo, I’m sorry about even bringing Far Cry 2 up. The game is pretty bad… I have used up many many hours playing my ass off and having a fan-freaking-tastic good time. Grim, but a kick. And I’ve gone through five pairs of Depends just to skip bathroom breaks. Ok, done hijacking. Sorry Weas.

Schadenfreude is the absolutely perfect word to describe my feelings at watching the earnings for NYT and LAT go down down down. I’m a bad person, aren’t I? Wait… it also describes my feeling at watching OPEC get slapped silly after trying to drive prices back up. Bwah-hah-hah-hah. I guess that makes me a good person, then.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:15 pm

(if you’re going to hijack a thread really do it, I always say)

OK…my daughter’s amusing herself by making our dachshund dance on the living room and sing “I kissed a squirrel, and I liked it…” Apparently that’s as far as she’s got with the lyrics but I’ve no doubt it’ll be a Weird Al-quality rewrite when it’s done.

The poor dog looks so confused. If she had any idea what was actually being said, she’d kill every one of us in our sleep. And she might do that anyway.

(And now I have to save enough money for that new vid card, and save enough money to buy FarCry2, and save enough money to retire and play it nonstop.)

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:18 pm

Oh, hijack away. The freewheelin’ conversational nature of this comment section pleases Weasel. Mama was a hippie, after all.

If I’d been named Pearl, I’d have a trust fund today. I come from one of those flamboyant old Southern families that sometimes has money and sometimes doesn’t and everybody plays Keystone Kops trying to smooch up to them that has. Particularly childless old Aunties. Like Aunt Pearl.

It’s a cinch inheritance would be my only path to wealth. I’m butt lazy. I am an underperforming Republican. I figure I work hard enough to support myself and pay my own way, and that’s all the claim society has on me. We’re even steven. None of this “giving back” shit for me — I didn’t take anything I didn’t pay for.

I wouldn’t have said no to some inherited money, though. No indeedy.

 


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:23 pm

Whoop! Thread jacking season is open! I’ve got pictures of platters up. Come and say nice things about them.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:23 pm

When I get set up with a new — or at least an upgraded — machine Over There, I’ll ask you guys about games. The last good one my card was up to was Half Life II.

I don’t care HOW big a pasting I took on the house, I’m treating myself to a nice big flatscreen monitor.

 


Comment from memomachine
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:24 pm

Hmmmmm.

““I coulda been a CEO, they told me / If I could just stop holdin’ on to this ol’ dream.””

.
..
;;;
????
?????
!!!!!!
!!!!!!!

“If I had a hammer …”

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:27 pm

“I wouldn’t have said no to some inherited money, though. No indeedy.”

Me neither, Weez. Unfortunately, no member of my family has had a pot to piss in (or a window to throw it out of) since my great-great-grandfather died.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:27 pm

All folk singers are lefties. Why is that?

I prefer bluegrass, which is folk for actual country people. Who like likker and wimmens.

I mean, not that I like wimmens…

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:30 pm

Ugh. I just realized the clocks change in Britain this weekend. They don’t Fall back in the US until next weekend. So Uncle B and I get to be out of synch for a week.

Of course, they don’t call it Fall in the UK. They call it Autumn. Which is just stupid; “Autumn back” doesn’t make any sense at all.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:31 pm

Kewl platters, Enas.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:32 pm

All folk singers are lefties. Why is that?

Conservatives are expected to bathe.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 1:33 pm

Dammit. Still get the big red hand on the comment section, Enas. So: nice platters!

 


Comment from Jill
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:01 pm

Nice platters, Enas! You do three coats of underglaze on those suckers?

Well, that Autumn make a feller think.

>sorry<

 


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:05 pm

Thanks! Although you did actually get in, Weasel.

Jill, that was at least two coats. I might have put on another just for good measure.

Games – we were discussing them over at Lemur King’s yesterday. I wound up getting an Xbox because I could never keep up with the bleeding edge system requirements new games always seemed to need. Still, I’m dying for Diablo III to come out and it will only be on the PC so I’ll probably upgrade then.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:14 pm

Which reminds me, I just saw the commercial for Fallout 3 last night for the first time and just about died of pure happy.

I wasn’t even watching when it started, just heard the music…looked over when it first started the slow pullback into the city I was like “this looks familiar…” then…”War. War never changes…”

And I was all AW YEAH.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:21 pm

Yeah, using your direct link, I got into the comments, Enas. But when I tried to say something, BRH! I find I can often follow direct links to forbidden places, but trip the switch when I try to do anything there.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:26 pm

Wha’s the matter with likkin’ … errr… I mean, what’s the matter with liking women? I like them! Oh, I see… you mean… I’m a LESBIAN? Oh geez. Cruel Wife will never forgive me.

apo, you need to get yourself a really spanking video card if you want to turn up the frame rate and have HDR lighting, trees, and flames so real you can light your cigars with.

Secondly, even though the dog doesn’t understand the words, it’s amazing that she can speak the words “I kissed a squirrel and I liked it”. With doggy lips, even. Amazing trainer, your daughter. (my day is coming)

Fallout 3… I have an emotional erection still and that was from scoping it out three weeks ago. I just started Fallout 2 this week because I was suffering from nervous anxiety due to the wait for FC2 – really dark but it’s a great game. Darker than Torment.

Enas, I did not mean my post yesterday to be a slam. Besides, you have a GINORMOUS tv and XBox system setup, right? And DAMN those platters are wicked cool!

 


Comment from surly ermine
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:26 pm

on games, I’m pissin’ myself with anticipation for Fallout 3. Though (never thought I’d say this one) I hope I can dial down the violence level a bit.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:36 pm

surly you must be joking.

(I am not, and don’t call me surly…)

Ok, bad joke.

You mean the part where really violent hits tend to make the bad guy dissolve into a mist of red and shower of chunks? Yeah, that looked a bit OTT to me.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:40 pm

You mean the part where really violent hits tend to make the bad guy dissolve into a mist of red and shower of chunks? Yeah, that looked a bit OTT to me.

I know it’s written English, but the words in that order just don’t make sense. Gibs are the very soul of modern gaming.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:43 pm

Heh. I just had a flashback to Doom I. Hitting them barrels of goo and gibbing the hell out of zombie marines. That…that sound.

Boy, that game came out of nowhere to kick all kinds of ass, remember?

 


Comment from surly ermine
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:47 pm

hey, call me an old softy, but with kids at home I’ve become more cautious about my killing, digital or otherwise.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:47 pm

I think the sounds made Doom even more than the graphics, which were amazing at the time.

That sound the Arch-Viles made…creepy stuff.

 


Comment from Farmer Joe
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:48 pm

I prefer bluegrass, which is folk for actual country people. Who like likker and wimmens.

Heh. I always figured bluegrass was jazz for country people. I remember reading in a biography of Jerry Garcia that the Bay Area folkies in the 60’s were suspicious of him because he played bluegrass. It was “musicianly” music, and not “of the people” and therefore suspect.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:49 pm

Anyone remember the original Quake, and the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack, and how the soundtrack had this one faint industrial noise that sounded just like the clank those damn launcher grenades made when they bounced off the floor?

Yeah, I pee’d.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:58 pm

Oh hey Muslihoon, if you’re reading…since you brought up the Kos vs. Proposition 8 thing yesterday, PW has an interesting article about some other, perhaps unexpected, opponents of the bill.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:59 pm

Note the spaces in the links… I loved shredding cacodemons and pinkies in Doom/II but for some reason the level of realism is starting to approach my limits when it is persistent and exceedingly lifelike gobbets. Everybody is different though. Would it stop me from playing? Oh get real.

http ://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2008/153/918428_20080602_screen001.jpg

http ://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2007/197/918428_20070717_screen001.jpg

apo, it was a damn good thing I had on my trusty Gamer’s Depends™ on last night when I got jumped in FC2. Love the adrenaline.

 


Comment from Dawn
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:00 pm

I went to comment on some fine platters and followed a link – enas sent me here:

http://www.glumbert.com/media/dwarfparty

What do you think they are burning on the end of that stick?

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:04 pm

That was… disturbing.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:06 pm

What do you think they are burning on the end of that stick?

I dunno, but that laughter is going to haunt my f’n dreams for weeks.

*shudder*

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:07 pm

Oh wow, I’m pretty sure the head gib in that second link had an eyeball.

!!!!!!!!

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:17 pm

Why do I now have a certain Randy Newman song on the brain?

 


Comment from Nicole
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:19 pm

I had to quit playing Diablo after awhile. Too many impaled corpses making me queasy. Generally that stuff doesn’t bother me, though.

 


Comment from Dawn
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:20 pm

because they’ve got no reason to live!

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:31 pm

I recall playing Doom with a buddy over a 28.8 modem direct dial-up. I almost pissed myself watching him run while I shotgunned his ass into oblivion. It wasn’t until after 20 or so kills he asked how I was able to find him so easily, and I had to admit I had a sound card.

Good times.

BTW: I was resolutely not going to buy an Xbox 360 until I saw Ninja Gaiden II in the Walmart display case. Man, I luv me sum Ninja Gaiden.

 


Comment from Oldsmoblogger
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:38 pm

“Dave Golden couldn’t stay at the paper mill forever. It was too tied to the family business, too laden with expectations. So he set off to find himself “in the tango halls of Argentina, on the snow-covered Berkshire border of Vermont and Massachusetts, in the halls of Oxford, in the jungles of Guatemala and even in Asia on a Fulbright….”

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrotting. Foxtrot.

He crib that from a J. Peterman catalog, or what?

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:45 pm

Great Uncle B. – now I’ve got “Cars” running through my head.

Top game for me, the one that kind of spoiled me for other games even though it didn’t shock an awe anyone: Deus Ex. It had a story, cool inventory system, lots of upgrades and cool tricks, headshots, aliens, MIBS, black helicopters, the Illuminati… everything. Money and beer, too.

 


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:47 pm

Ah, I was playing Doom when everyone else was playing Quake. I tried to play Quake when everyone else had moved on to play whatever replaced Quake as the hot FPS. Always behind that freaking curve. It was with Quake I got my first glimpse into the yawning depth of suckitude that is my skill with FPS games.

Dawn, I don’t know where you got that link but it wasn’t from me. Sure was creepy though.

 


Comment from Jill
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:49 pm

I can’t play video games. They give me motion sickness.
Square biz.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:56 pm

Dwarf party…gib…gib…dwarf party…why do I get home an hour and a half before Drinking Time?

What was the ancient game where you shot flare guns at priests and caught them on fire? I’m pretty sure the protagonist (you) were a vampire in that one. Oh, and there was another where you had a special power-up that turned you into the Hand of God and you could smite people into piles of dust. I think that one was Return of the Triad.

Man, I wonder if I could get HLII to kick up on this machine any more. I wouldn’t mind a visit to Ravenholm tonight…

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 3:58 pm

I played Deus Ex through, LK. That was cool. And I think it was the first one where you could customize what you, the central character, looked like. I was a skinny bald dude with a goatee, IIRC.

It took me a while in that game to realize it was okay to be a complete sociopath. Not sure? G’wan and shoot it.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:00 pm

Quake, Half-Life, Halo, Doom, Castle Wolfenstein (which gave me major vertigo, though it didn’t stop me from playing it for hours), Duke Nukem–if it’s an FPS, I’m there. I also did all the MechWarrior stuff, although the game menus sucked shit through a straw, IMO. Plus, Destroy All Humans (I & II).

And for RPG, The Bard’s Tale (who could resist a snarky Cary Elwes doing the main character’s V.O.?).

 


Comment from iamfelix
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:02 pm

RE: Folksinger lefties — Is Phil Ochs related to those Ochs? No mention at Wiki.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:03 pm

Has it occurred to anyone that they’re NEVER going to make proper anti-military pacifists out of the kids that grew up playing this stuff?

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:03 pm

I’ve never played Deus Ex, though I’ve heard a lot about it. I did play Morrowind for a long, frustrating time (since it is buggier than Lucas McCain’s bedroll). It frustrated me so much I bought the GotY edition and spent a few more months being exasperated by the continuing buggitude.

 


Comment from iamfelix
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:04 pm

It ate my last one, so I’ll try something else …

Totally OT: Anyone see this in the sidebar at AoSHQ? I find it oddly amusing.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:06 pm

Oh, and for just plain weird fun, try Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. I believe the small furry animals used as ammunition (live ammo. get it? I crack myself up.) would look familiar to some around these parts.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:07 pm

RPG: Planescape:Torment
FPS: DeusEx, Far Cry (FC2 not fully evaluated yet_
Family Fun: Lemmings
Simulator: Silent Hunter
RTS: Warcraft II
Online: Battlefield II (chopper pilot – ohhhh yeah)
Biggest Letdown for Most Promise: Arcanum

You talk like sociopaths are not nice people, too. That’s just not so, Weas. jwp, you might enjoy Deus Ex. It lets you experiement with setting up elaborate ambushes and creative ways to wipe out the bad guys.

Oddworld? Sounds interesting.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:08 pm

Felix! Oh, man, I wish I’d thought of that! I caught one of those stupid pictures at the top of Drudge the other day, and I thought, “why is that ALWAYS the picture they run when the market is volatile?”

I mean, shit…I don’t do that every time MY job is sucking, do I? No. I do not.

News cliches. Hate ’em.

 


Comment from iamfelix
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:22 pm

Yeah, Stoaty, there’s a lotta faces like that @ The General lately — and I’m sure Ford & Chrysler as well — but no one’s documenting them (that I know of).

And by “it” eating me (above), I meant Akismet, not this.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:35 pm

You know, I’ve got to change the CSS for my blockquotes. It isn’t clear up there when I’m quoting and when I’m speaking.

Crossing my fingers for you, Felix. Things’re getting pretty ugly over your way.

But hey, we’re number one! Rhode Island now officially has the highest unemployment in the nation! I heard ’em on the radio this morning talking about what a reliable bellwether we are — we’re always the first to go tits up in a recession.

We’re also the most reliably blue state in the country. True story.

You don’t suppose those two things are connected in any way, do you?

 


Comment from iamfelix
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:38 pm

Aha! I found this from your boyfriend at Malkin’s.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:44 pm

LK: Oddworld is a bit too structured for my taste, but the inventiveness of the programmers and the, well, oddness of the storyline makes it worth it.

Since I’m now committed to buying an XBox 360 (for Ninja Gaiden II and Halo 3), I’m concerned that I’m not seeing Deus Ex for the 360. Is it not ported for that platform, or am I looking in the wrong places?

Update: Ah, looks like a PC only game. I’m on a laptop, and the keyboards they put in these things ain’t built for gameplay. I wore the W key on my PC’s keyboard clear through when Half-Life came out. Even now, this laptop is missing the left CTRL key (from cutting & pasting; I hate the mouse)), so I don’t believe it would survive an actual FPS.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:47 pm

Heh heh. Good ol’ Arlo. For a red diaper baby, he’s got good instincts.

Top left corner of the same page is Barney “Edentulous” Frank — I thought that’s who you meant at first!

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 24, 2008, 4:57 pm

True dat, Weez. Who could forget Arlo’s eerily prescient “Motorcycle Song”:

“And I
Don’t wanna die!
Just wanna ride
On my motorcy
hmm-mmmm
cle.”

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:07 pm

I sing a verse of that every time I get a pickle out of the fridge, JW.

And I eat a LOT of pickles.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:08 pm

Whoah…when did Jeff Goldstein start blogging again? And it looks like he’s the only one blogging. When did this happen?

Apo: lots of Latter-day Saints are not too happy about the Teacher’s Union. Interestingly, various groups planned to protest this by keeping their kids home for a day. Elder L. Whitney Clayton, of the Presidency of the Seventy of the LDS Church (one of the higher councils of the Church) and who is the Area Authority for California (among other regions), issued a statement saying, emphatically, that parents should not pull their kids out on the day of protest. So, really, we LDS aren’t as feisty as the others. Why are we being picked on?

 


Comment from Dawn
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:10 pm

I saw Barney Frank and thought the same thing, too. And then I wondered if felix remembered you weren’t a guy.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:12 pm

He started up weeks ago, Musli. And the guys that kept his blog warm for him all those months are now in a subdirectory called the Pub. You can reach it from a sidebar link, or MY sidebar link (which points to the Pub rather than the top page).

I gather there was a bit of a shit-storm involved, but I missed what it was exactly.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:13 pm

jwp – I could have sworn they had Deus Ex for the platformers. I’ll look tonight. Might be a slightly different name.

oh crap, felix… I heard about the layoffs and I did not even make the connection. All my cross-able extremities are now crossed.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:48 pm

Can’t believe no one mentioned Descent and Descent II.

Descent III sucked on toast.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 24, 2008, 5:51 pm

That’s because Descent was beautiful, but it KICKED MY ASS. Seriously, I wasn’t smart enough to remember 3D controls. I never got as far as III.

You know what really sucked? That last Doom. I finally gave up on it. It was just a bunch of darkness with repetitively scary shit jumping out of it. Bo-ring.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 6:06 pm

I loved playing Descent II multiplayer because it made my friends puke.

I didn’t have any particular killer instinct, I guess I just didn’t get disoriented as easily as some of them.

Having a good joystick I could map all the sliding controls to probably didn’t hurt, either. Thrustmaster used to make such awesome hardware, absolutely bulletproof…last time I saw their products, they were making the same cheap plastic joysticks everyone else (except Saitek) seems to make now.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 24, 2008, 6:07 pm

Oh, and completely agree about the last DOOM game. Flashlight OR weapon, but not both? WTF.

ALSO: super props for Deus Ex. Good story, good weapon balance, awesome replay value. Love the upgrade paths, it’s like the most interesting parts of an RPG grafted onto a FPS.

Same reason I loved the much-reviled TRON 2.0. Everyone hates on the Lithtech engine but I thought it served that game pretty well…since I was such a complete dork for the movie, I bought into it completely.

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 25, 2008, 3:41 am

I would like to apologize for geeking this thread to death.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 25, 2008, 5:33 am

That’s OK, apo. As a total non-gamer (never have – never will) (well, OK, I did once), and not having a clue what y’all are referring to, I’ve been having fun making up stories to myself about what you folks are talking about. Be assured, they were all in extremely poor taste. It’s a gift I have.

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 25, 2008, 6:21 am

I’m with McGoo on this one. Haven’t a bloody clue what you’re all on about.

Or on – it could be that, of course.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: October 25, 2008, 6:44 am

I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I actually really enjoyed Doom 3 (and yes, I did play a lot of Doom and Doom 2: Hell on Earth in the nineties). I played it on a Radeon 9600 at 1024*768 with no anti-aliasing and low detail and it still sucked me in and scared the shit out of me.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 25, 2008, 6:52 am

Thanks, Badger.

My story:
Waaaay back in the 90’s (’94?) when I lived in Phoenix, someone gave me a hacked copy of Wolfenstein 3D – I believe. It was that “stunning new tech” game with the special graphics where you could turn around and look anywhere and walk through a 3D terrain (a castle actually, if I recall correctly) and shoot the snot out of bad guys.

I loaded it, and started playing it – totally impressed with the 3D- and pivoting-view capabilities of this (then) cutting-edge programming.

….time passed. Suddenly, I became aware that A) my back was absolutely killing me from sitting with an awkward posture, and B) my hands were cramped and in agony from being poised over the control keys (I had no joystick), and C) three friggin’ hours! had passed! Three!!! No shit.

Three god-damned hours! Wasted! And not a friggin’ thing to show for it. And I hurt (for over a day, actually).

I unloaded the game and have never played one since. Biggest waste of time I ever experienced.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2008, 7:57 am

Three! Pff! I have a dream — maybe my birthday — of playing HL2 through in one setting. It’s supposed to happen in a single day for Gordon Freeman, isn’t it? It’s not like dude sleeps.

I don’t know, McGoo. It’s the only chance you’ll ever get to do all sorts of things you’ve always wanted to do: fly. Visit another planet. Walking around like a complete homicidal nutcase shooting everybody you meet.

Wolfenstein 3D was a beautiful game. The first one that was able to tell where you shot somebody. Pride demanded a headshot.

Most First Person Shooters, a joystick isn’t the way to go, btw (Descent was an exception, because you were driving a little lunar module dealie that moved in three dimensions). The most efficient and natural setup is: left hand on the left side of the keyboard (for movement, reload, activate commands), right hand on the mouse (lookaround, shoot and jump).

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 25, 2008, 8:20 am

Yeah, I know, Stoaty, I really do. I realize I’m missing out on a great stress-reliever and “escape the humdrum” tool. Obviously that first experience was kinda traumatic for me.

But it’s like coffee: if you’re not hooked on it and love it, and you’re aware that some folks waste an inappropriate amount of their time on it, why take it up?

…And, if I’ve “spoken louder than I intended” on the subject, I apologize.

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 25, 2008, 12:57 pm

I’m still right there with McGoo. Someone gave me something called Stealth Fighter but I had a crap computer in them days so the graphics sucked and I kept crashing the plane.

I think it’s the lack of interaction with other people that does it for me.

Still, it keeps weasels quiet and lets me dig in the garden for worms, I’m all in favour.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2008, 1:06 pm

Oh, gosh no, McGoo. No harm. I get LOTS more contempt wafting off of Col. Snooty McBritonface there. Been taking his guff for years.

But soon, my years of online practice as a disciplined and remorseless assassin shall…

…wait, was I actually typing that?

 


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 25, 2008, 1:35 pm

*harrumph*

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 25, 2008, 1:35 pm

I thought I was a bad-ass, too, Weez (I mean, how, else would you describe someone who’s completed Ninja Gaiden on Very Hard?), until it occurred to me that it’s very difficult to kill someone by repeatedly tapping them with your thumb. Not impossible, mind you; they could always choke while laughing. And really, nobody wants to go that way, so fear my m4d sk11z, suckahs!

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2008, 2:24 pm

It requires an unnatural degree of cooperation, that’s for sure. Like the three women who patiently allowed their son/brother to beat them to death with a coathanger because they thought he was the Prophet of God.

I hope you appreciate that. Google took me to some dark, horrible places before I found the story I was looking for. Horrible places.

 


Pingback from Twisted Spinster » Blog Archive » “Did we leave the gas on? No! We’re the fucking Ochs-Sulzburgers!”
Time: October 25, 2008, 11:59 pm

[…] must, you simply must, read this about the self-important tribe of gasbags that runs the New York Times company. Which financial […]

 


Comment from RR Ryan
Time: October 27, 2008, 8:04 pm

XBradTC- Do you have a cite for the Warren Buffett quotation? I’m just curious because I first heard it on an episode of CSI and I’ve used it since. Personally, it’s not entirely true, but it’s close and clever enough. Re: Pinch- if he really couldn’t get into Harvard with all the legacy he trailed, I don’t want to see his SAT scores. And hence it’s no surprise what’s happened to the family business.

 

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