Sunday, August 15, 2004

An open letter to Jack Thompson
(inspired by, and in response to my brother's long argument, and in a slightly satirical, misunderstood way. becuase I am insane and uneducated on the matters I argue.)

Dear Mr. Thompson

I have been following your case against Rockstar and Sony companies over the distribution of the game Manhunt, and have read extensively over your case on 2 Live Crew. I understand that you are a very successful, famous lawyer and have toured and spoken extensively on your theory on the entertainment industry, and how they should be held accountable for actions taken by those who partake in/ witness their videogames, and your work to find more cases of children who have witnessed/played specific games (Manhunt, being a game about a convict who is forced by a unknown aristocrat who has implanted a speaker in his ear to kill people by whatever means this man chooses the convict to use, and Grand Theft Auto: III, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, about men who grow in wealth by petty crimes and eventually take over their respective, corrupted cities). I am not a Student of Law, and have a very limited understanding of it being only 16 years old and a sophomore in a Midwest parochial school. But I have two distinct questions concerning a hypothesis I have.

1. Could Video Games be held more responsible for certain crimes that are mimicked in everyday life, i.e.: Prostitution, hit and run, grand theft auto, money laundering, embezzling, unlawful entry and various bribing by public/government officials, and could it be possible to bring up evidence from other cases involving these crimes to say that they are perpetuated through the distribution of the games, i.e.: if a CEO is accused of laundering money or taking bribes and he has been found to have purchased one of these videogames.

2. Could major book companies be prosecuted for crimes that may have possibly been committed through a criminals reading of it and the subliminal effect it has had on them, such as.: if a convict kidnaps a child and threatens to cut his liver and heart out, and than eat it if he does not help free him and/or alerts the authorities on his whereabouts, because he had read the book, "great expectations" in high school, in which the opening pages of this book, this violent image is portrayed. Is it also possible that theft could be persecuted for stealing because of his poverty, as in "Oliver Twist".

the reason I am asking this is because I’d like to know if the legal system in most democratic nations have allowed the posibilty of outside sources (like certain entertainment industries) being sued in the wake crimes rather than those crimes being cited by the lack of proper parenting. Parenting in my opinion, traditionally incorporates decision making and instruction children under the age of 18 moral etiquette, and making sure said children are mentally stable, and would not be triggered to commit crimes by the unreal, or fictional events and scenarios without proper medication (including the instilment by parents of what is real, and what is not, and the responsibility that follows choice). If, by chance, this loophole does exist, I fear that eventually too many children will still be raised by TVs and videogames and not properly learn the simple boundaries of what is real/unreal and right/unjust, and that a vicious cycle would begin in that more and more entertainment industries will be blamed for crimes they didn’t commit, and condemned because the definition of "entertainment" would no longer be understood. This loophole could also bring about an end to in-depth physiological research and developments, as more and more people would turn to the power of video-games, books, and movies as opposed to any other environmental or historical influence that would render the inability of a person to distinguish between the real and the unreal. I am simply worried that we are losing contact with the simplicity of instilling morality in children and taking the challenge to recognize irrational behavior early on and containing it, and in turn taking out of context the unfortunate human disability that leaves isolated people to be unable to grasp or intake the trait of morality, coupled with other mental handicaps and triggered by something that may influence, but not ultimately be at fault for a crime. I am an avid reader of classic books and a more avid player of videogames that often are considered by you to be 'violent and dangerous', yet i stand here innocent of any crime, because I am (as all humans), tempted and influenced, but i am also (as most humans), able to think and reason rationally.
Album "Review"

Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway is slowly making its way to being one of my favorite albums ever. Mark Kozelek's previous band, Red House Painters, came out with plenty of satisfying albums over the years, but Ghosts of the Great Highway is easily the best and brightest of all. Some misunderstand the texture, as Stylus magazine gave it the most shitty/ignorant review I've ever read, but it got nice press from rolling stone, and other music mags. Mark Kozelek has one of the most unique/ intricate voices I've ever heard, and his lyrics and storytelling are flawless. When you make more 'folk' -like tones, you can tend to get boring, some RHP albums had this tendency, but they were saved buy hard guitar riffs. Those riffs are here too, but even the more acoustic songs are just as powerful as stand out tracks like 'Salvador Sanchez'. I think I've been around the album for a month and I've most likely listened to it 11 or 12 times and enjoyed it even more each time, mostly because the diversity in the chords and rhythms in each song. Many albums fail because a band gets stuck on a few chords and can't get over them, they also can do it on purpose (modest mouse has slightly annoyed me by doing it on their latest), there is a hint of this is the clever blending of the last chord of "last tide" cutting in and leading into a completely different melody on "floating". It is this along with other subtle movements that make this album a quiet, undeniably beautiful classic.

Monday, August 09, 2004

(i'm) Back [bitches]

I recently came back from a 10 day tour of my old state with a weekend in my old hometown of Ann Arbor, sadly I don't remember the city much, but it was cool to see my old house and school. So that was what I was doing while the maybe 4 people that still come here maybe thought I was dead. Anyways, I've mostly been getting more excited than Ted Kennedy in a yacht with a naked lady and a bottle of jack over the new trailer for the batman begins movie, and I can already sense excellent acting/directing by christian bale/chris nolan,so I'm pretty fucking stoked. I also have been intrigued by a new website,, which features a doc the repubs might use in the convention. It's interesting. let preface my thoughts on the doc with a walt whitman quote, and preface the walt whitman quote with a big no homo for bol (whose broken computer will now bring the unique visitor toll down to three). "Do I contradict myself? Yes. I'm human, I'm made of multitudes" is the quote, and I agree. Yet the manner of quickness in which kerry changes his opinions leads me to believe that he was into falling in with political fads like "post 9/11 patriotism", and ditching them when it was safe. Ok, ok... maybe I'm harsh, but the guy said "the president has the right to act unilaterally", so those flip-flops aren't all that bullshit'd(I wish I could vote McCain..). I'll let you watch for yourself to agree with me/hate me. Review of The Walkmen's [new] album to come.