Rob Abrazado (flatvurm) wrote,
Rob Abrazado
flatvurm

Entertain me

I started playing this PS2 game called Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. I'm not really able to adequately explain why, mind you...but I just state the fact as-is. See...a while back, I wandered into GameStop and just picked up an armload of PS2 games, pretty much just pulling them randomly from the discount shelf. And...that's just one of the games I ended up with. When I first encountered the game, I thought of the title as, like...hero and object. Like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, you know? But, no...it turns out it's more like a buddy pairing...like...Pinky and the Brain.

Anyway. So...as you might guess from the name, this game centers around ancient Egypt. Thus far, much of the game involves me running around retrieving stolen artifacts or something, and after I retrieve each one, I get to learn something about it. Like, "Oh, I see you've found the lost Golden Hanky of Tefnut, used to contain the Third Plague of Boogers..." or whatever. Anyway. As we know, unlike a lot of you quick-playing bastards, I loves me some video game flavor text. So I was watching information about my accomplishment flow by and I saw something like, "blah blah Crown of Memphis blah blah." So I had to go look stuff up.

So...I didn't know this, but apparently "Memphis" was originally a capital in like ancient Lower Egypt or something? This is...you know...way before being in Tennessee and housing Graceland. I never knew this before, but as soon as I saw "Memphis" mentioned in this video game, it reminded me of that time I drove to Vegas in my sister's truck, and I passed through Memphis (that's Tennessee, mind you), and I was confused at seeing this gigantic pyramid hanging out there. (Wow...found the blog entry, even. Man...that was four years ago! Shit!) So anyway...now that I know the origins of the name Memphis, I am much less confused about seeing a pyramid in Tennessee.

It's amazing what the brain hangs onto sometimes.

* * *

I was doing some completely unrelated research the other day, and the thought occurred to me: I can't believe there hasn't been a remake of Fantastic Voyage. (For those who have somehow missed this amazing piece of mid-60s cinematics, that's the old sci-fi flick where the scientists get shrunk down in a submarine and trek through this dude's body to undo a clot in his brain.) I mean...they've remade all sorts of crap, you know? But this really seems like a movie that could take advantage of the advances in special effects and all that shit since it was first made. Not that I'm looking for this to happen, you understand...I can only assume the remake will be crappy. But I just find its absence a little strange.

Well, okay, there was Innerspace, but come on.

[EDIT: You know? I should really just shut my mouth. Lookie what's in pre-production. Hope it's not crappy!]

* * *

To anyone who is a poker player, or poker fan, or has seen tournament poker on television, or anything like that...I hereby recommend the movie The Grand. It is totally funny.

* * *

I was listening to some NPR over the weekend, and I caught in a little news bit they're thinking about making attacks on the homeless into a hate crime. (NY Times article on the subject here, by the way. But I'm not here about that particular discussion. I can understand both sides of the issue, but I personally think we should just do away with the "hate crime" idea altogether, so I have nothing vested in this argument.) What caught my interest was the dude they were interviewing who was explaining that attacks on the homeless resemble the other, more traditional forms of hate crime, like those against, African-Americans, gay people, and the disabled.

Wow, really? The disabled? This was a new one on me. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it happens, but it was hard to picture the perpetrator. Like...in my mind's eye, I can envision the kind of person who wants to beat up "those fucking darkies," or who goes out to spread a little violence around on "those fucking faggots." But who wakes up in the morning and says, "Oh man, I really hate those fucking cripples. I'm gonna go beat one up." (Okay, so...in my quick searching I only picked up this article, which is like two years old, but they seem to be mostly dealing with the learning disabled. But still...just replace "cripples" with "retards" and it's still just as odd.)

And then I started thinking about it. Why did that seem so strange? I mean...people hate people, and that's, I guess, a popular reason for people to go around attacking people. But somehow attacks against disabled people didn't seem like the same kind of thing as racist attacks or whatever. After cogitating on it a bit, I got to thinking that maybe it's different because it's sort of weirder to make that person the Other.

Like...when I think of hate crimes, I think of racist attacks or attacks on people who behave in a non-hetero-normative fashion, or whatever the hell people say now. I feel like I understand that this kind of hatred springs from...well, a kind of xenophobia, I guess...that people just can't except other people who aren't them. But the difference between me hating a Black man or me hating someone in a wheelchair is that...well, I could one day be a guy in a wheelchair, you know? I could easily become disabled, like from an accident. It is far, far less likely that I could one day become Black. Especially by accident. So I felt that...there was something strange there -- something different going on.

And so that's what made me feel strange about homeless hate crimes, too. Given the right circumstances, anyone can become homeless. So what could possibly be the motivation there? I mean...who is it that commits these crimes? Millionaires? Somehow I doubt it. So what's the point of hating a group that you could just as soon be a part of, give or take a rent payment or three? People are weird, man.
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