‘Time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister’

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She will surprise you, he said.”

“It is, without a doubt, the very worst video game I have ever played.”

“I don’t want to discuss my weekend every Monday morning. I did the same thing I did last weekend — tried to forget the job exists.”

“He was, Esquire’s editors write in the deck, ‘a neurosurgeon with a troubled history and a man in need of reinvention.'”

Fundamentalism is not basically concerned with the Bible and what it says, but with the achievement of dominance for the evangelical tradition of religion and way of life.”

“Works of African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern theologians are designated as ‘contextual’ whereas works of British or American theologians are marked as ‘theology’, as if they were not also products of their context, as if they do theology outside of parameters of a language, culture and preferred methodologies of interpretation and application. This grants Western theology a supra-contextual status and relegates non-Western theology to an inferior, semi-theology status.” (via)

“Apparently American Baptists are insufficiently in the public eye to get stereotyped.”

“There’s a lot of nonsense and emperor’s new clothes in the wine world.”

“I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies.”

“Someday the most common career track will be to start with an unpaid internship, move to two or three part time jobs, and then transition to freelance piecework, before finally landing the staff position that lasts until they liquidate the company.”

Thanks for (correcting) (criticizing) (dismissing) my subjective interpretation of something by offering up your own as definitive.”

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  • aunursa

    And I thought that the very worst video game of all time would be based on the very worst book of all time.

  • LoneWolf343

    X-play, way back when X-play was worth something, said that when it came to gameplay, the Left Behind game wasn’t that bad.

  • Jim Roberts

    I’ve played it. It’s horribly misogynist, but really no worse at that than WoW.

  • aunursa

    From the penultimate link: 18. I accept your (declaration of victory) (accusation of cowardice) over my refusal to (engage) (debate) (argue) with you.

    I’m often puzzled when someone, on whatever side of an argument, unilaterally declares victory over an opponent. I’ve had any number of people — conservatives, liberals, Christians, atheists — at some point declare that they have defeated me in an online debate. I hope that I would never make such a unilateral declaration; I would leave such a decision to disinterested observers.

    I suspect that it’s an expression of frustration … when a person has presented what he considers to be the strongest points in his favor — and is upset that his opponent still fails to see the error of her ways.

  • dpolicar

    If saying “I win!” under certain circumstances can cause observers to conclude that I won, and my goal is to be seen as having won, then it’s a maneuver that achieves my goals.

    Of course, if I have other goals (such as, for example, communication), it doesn’t work so well.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, a lot of those numbered items basically boil down to treating a
    ‘net argument as a series of rhetorical judo moves and whoever can do more of them wins (noted below but relevant to your statement as well)

  • dpolicar

    Not sure what numbered items you’re referring to, but yeah, this sort of scorekeeping is pretty common.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • dpolicar

    Ah. Thanks.
    I like #14.

  • Seraph4377

    Frustration is about right. When you’re dealing with an indefatigable blowhard whose strategy amounts to browbeating people into submission by sheer endurance, there comes a point where you point out to them: “You know you’re not actually winning anything, right? You have made no converts here. You have convinced no one. If you get the last word, it’s because everyone else has left.”

    ETA: “Disinterested observers”. And since we’re dealing with issues that affect people’s lives, you get to dismiss everyone who gets upset with your constant game-playing. Which is everybody. How convenient.

    Have you ever considered why such a broad spectrum of the internet, people who usually agree on nothing, have gotten frustrated with you?

  • aunursa

    It happens to me occasionally, not as often as I perhaps implied. And I’ve seen it happen to several other commenters on various political and religious forums, regardless of their particular viewpoint.

    When you’re dealing with an indefatigable blowhard whose strategy amounts to browbeating people into submission by sheer endurance

    More often than not, I’m the one to bow out before my opponent. And I’ve seen a unilateral declaration after only a few back-and-forths — the person believes that his point is so decisive, that there is no possible refutation.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, a lot of those numbered items basically boil down to treating a ‘net argument as a series of rhetorical judo moves and whoever can do more of them wins.

  • aunursa

    From the Church Sign link:
    TAKE I-40 EAST
    FOR 8,000 MILES

    It took me three minutes to locate the church and calculate, via Google Maps, that the nearest mosque is 7,940 miles closer than indicated.

    EDIT: And there’s an Islamic Center just 35 miles from the church.

  • Cythraul

    One almost suspects that their intent wasn’t to send you to the *nearest* mosque…

  • dpolicar

    …or perhaps not to a mosque at all, simply send them 8,000 miles away. Or to the bottom of the ocean.

  • Lori

    The point was pretty clearly to make sure Muslims understood that they don’t belong in America. Jesus must be so proud.

  • Paul Bibeau

    You always pick the one line that made me giggle uncontrollably as I wrote it. I really can’t thank you enough for that.

  • Lori

    If you take out the stuff that’s AA specific, Trudy speaks for me about corporate jobs. That’s why I left the corporate world and tried to get a different sort of career.

    Obviously that didn’t work out as planned, but it’s still true that the only parts of the corporate world I miss are the steady paychecks that were enough to live on and the insurance.

  • dpolicar

    I have to admit, “The only parts of the corporate world I miss are the steady paychecks that were enough to live on and the insurance” strikes me as a sentence akin to “The only thing I like about dentist visits is that my teeth stay healthy.”

    I mean, yes, agreed, but there seems to be some underlying implicit statement being made I don’t quite wrap my brain around.

    What else would I expect from the corporate world?

  • Lori

    What else would I expect from the corporate world?

    To not be made miserable by 90% of what you have to do to earn the paycheck and the insurance? To have some sense of pride and/or satisfaction about what you do? To not have the answer to “What did you do this weekend?” be “Tried to pretend this place & everyone in it doesn’t exist and that Monday morning will never come?”

    IME plenty of people are quite comfortable in the corporate world. I was not.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Keynesian Compact circa 1955:

    We’ll give you 25 years of a steady job with pay increases if you give us 100% every day.

  • dpolicar

    I guess I’m confused about what “steady paychecks that were enough to live on” means. I understood it to mean something along those lines.

  • Lori

    By steady I meant the same every week and your job isn’t likely to end on a moment’s notice. That’s a very different, much lower, standard than “Do your job well and you can count on having employment for your entire career”.

  • dpolicar

    Fair enough. I can certainly understand wanting reliable employment, in addition to a steady paycheck, if the former is a separate thing. Thanks for the clarification.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Still, I think the latter implies the former.

  • Lori

    The latter does imply the former. My point was that the former does not imply the latter.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, yeah, back then companies didn’t (so much) treat their employees as fungible “team players/associates” who should just be grateful to have a job.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    One of the ironies of corporate life is that when they decided to start calling personell “Human Resources”, from their point of view, it was a way of showing that they valued their employees more: they mean that they think of us as something that makes money rather than something that costs money.

    (Imagining some kind of OTT comedy bad-management sketch where they rename “Human Resources” to “Human Liabilities”)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Well, um… I… um…

    I have, actually, erm…

    I have actually seen a company refer to its employees as human liabilities, and you won’t like the context: they were projecting the expense report with a margin note on how few employees had died that year, indicating this resulted in unexpected expenses. See, they were counting on the employees dying so they could cash in on the life insurance policies they had purchased on those employees.

    That same company also referred to the dead employees as “dead peasants,” which is one of the sources for where we get that phrase.

    So yeah.

    All hail money, our lord and savior, the majestic and almighty.

  • Lori

    This is true, but not what I was talking about. My issue is with what is meant by giving 100%.

    The schmoozing and office politics and pointless meetings and mandatory “fun” and team building and face time with the micro-managing boss are all near-torture for me. I never learned to mask my misery well enough to have any chance for advancement. That would have been fine with me (I have zero interest in becoming management) if I could have gotten half-decent raises without moving into a supervisory position, but I couldn’t. IME corporate America is sort of like the US Navy—up or out.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh god yes, all that “let’s be social and happy-clappy and if you’re not you’re not a team player” crap KILL ME NOW PLEASE.

  • Lori

    I swear that if I was going to have a headstone after I die it would say “Not a team player—and proud of it”. The whole corporate team player concept makes me stabby.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Some people do enjoy their work. If I got paid for the things I do for my company, I’d have a good job too. :p

  • Lori

    Is healthy teeth really the only thing you look for from a dentist? Granted I’m pretty dental-phobic, but there are quite a few things I want from my dentist beyond healthy teeth. I want my dentist to be gentle and understanding about my phobia (these days that means “willing to give me the gas for everything, including routine cleanings”), reasonably pleasant to deal with, and not given to asking questions and attempting to make small talk while his/her hands are in my mouth. Same goes for the hygienists since they’re the ones I have to deal with for most routine things.

  • dpolicar

    Well, in some sense of course it’s not the only thing I look for.

    But the other stuff I look for — not unnecessarily unpleasant to deal with, not unnecessarily expensive, won’t cause me unnecessary pain, etc. — isn’t a differential criterion for dentists; I expect those things from basically everyone, including casual friends.

    When from within that pool I’m picking out a dentist, particularly… yeah, basically, what I want is healthy teeth.

  • Lori

    For me healthy teeth are necessary, but not really sufficient and as long as I have options I’m going to look for more than just healthy teeth when I pick a dentist.

    Same goes for a job. A paycheck and insurance ought to also be necessary, but not sufficient. These days there are so few options that they’re not, but they should be.

    Maybe this is some weird American POV, left over from better days, but for me thinking strictly in terms of wanting healthy teeth and a paycheck is the low expectations of existing instead of having a life and that’s really not good enough. I exist now. I used to have a life. I miss that and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want that back.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What I have to just marvel at is the idea that this “brave new world” we live in is somehow a shiny new vista of opportunity when the reality is semi-permanent job insecurity and bald-faced lying rationalizations for why this state of affairs is a good thing.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    But it is a shiny vista of opportunities! The Robber Barons of old couldn’t even imagine the ways in which modern plutocrats can screw the working man, much less that they could persuade half of them to fight for the death to help keep the other half subservient

  • GDwarf

    The LoadingReadyRun guys are hilarious and impressive. They got into internet video long before YouTube was a thing, and kept at it for a long time before they got much recognition. It was essentially just a few people with a camera who decided to write some skits and host them on a website, and now they’ve become a pretty major presence in gaming culture.

    That said, while I’ve no doubt that Desert Bus is the worst game they’ve ever played, I guarantee it’s nowhere near the worst game ever made. If we exclude the countless games that crash as soon as you start them, or that can’t be completed due to “bugs” then that, uh, “honour” probably goes to Custer’s Revenge, which was Atari-era rape porn (Yes, seriously), which, by all accounts, also had pointless/terrible “gameplay”, horrid graphics (which, really, is probably a plus, all things considered), and a basic concept that’s wrong on so, so, so many levels.

  • Lori

    Personally I’d prefer a game that crashes as soon as I start it to one that requires me to drive to Vegas in a camper in real time. The LA to Vegas trip is bad enough when you’re in a car seeing such scintillating sights as the former biggest McDonald’s in the world and the giant thermometer and end up in Vegas or LA. Making the drive and ending up still on your sofa with 1 point is just wrong.

    I’ll give you the other ones.

  • MaryKaye

    I used to be a judge for the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, and I played a number of extraordinarily good games. But there were some other ones, too….

    My candidate for Worst Ever was a game called, if I recall correctly, “Coming Home”. To start with it was the old standard “I can’t think what to do so I’ll recreate my house as a text adventure.” But that’s nothing special. What made it special was that you had to eat or you’d starve to death within a few minutes, but the game abused you if you picked up any food; and then the end of my session, when the game informed me that I had to pee but I could NOT find any command that would allow me to do so. The following is not a transcript but it gives the idea:

    You need to pee.
    I don’t know the word “pee”
    I don’t know the word “piss”
    >use toilet
    You can’t use that
    You need to pee
    I don’t know the word “urinate”
    >go toilet
    You can’t go there
    You needed to pee! Too late! You blow up!

    ***Game Over***

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    This unfortunately reminds me of a particular Flash game, “Don’t Shit Your Pants!”

    It is exactly what it sounds like.

    And it’s a text adventure.

  • dpolicar

    Let’s hope nobody re-releases it as a 3D first-person crapper.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It’s already billed as a survival horror game. XD

  • We Must Dissent

    First-person wouldn’t be so bad. If the camera were always behind the character, that’d be trouble.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You’re really going to go to the world of IF for the Worst Game Ever and not pick something by Howard Sherman or the late great Paul Allen Panks?

  • John (not McCain)

    I can’t imagine that the worst game I’ve ever played is not also the worst game ever made. Can’t remember the name, but it was for the NES. There were two screens of two rooms in a house. The house was crawling with insects and you walked around smashing them. No score, and the bugs never stopped coming. No other levels, just the original two rooms. I’m not sure what the target audience was for this game. Fortunately, I didn’t spend any money on it.

  • John (not McCain)

    Now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder if was meant for mentally challenged people. I hope there are videogames designed for them so they can enjoy them too. If so, I take it back about it being the worst videogame ever.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I know what game you’re talking about… Pesterminator: The Western Exterminator, I think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERJHVHF8WT0

  • John (not McCain)

    That actually seems a little more complicated than I remember. I would have sworn there were just two screens. If that’s not it, it’s very close.
    But still, not everybody can play Zelda. And it’s definitely better than a game that has rape in it, which I mean I just don’t think I can understand at all how that’s entertaining. And I don’t think I want to understand.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That’s the one where everyone ran around with pixelated boners, isn’t it?

  • The_L1985

    And raped Native American women who were bound to poles. Yep.

  • Lectorel

    My skin is trying to crawl off my skeleton, reading that. Jesus wept, what the fuck is wrong with those people?

  • Ross Thompson

    I don’t think the graphics were good enough to really tell…


  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The two candidates for worst game on a major console in my experience are Cosmic Race and Superman 64. Cosmic Race was programmed using art straight from the basic Playstation developer kit tools and is as close to unplayable as a racing game can possibly be, and was rated 0% by GamePlayers magazine.

    Superman 64 was programmed by mice. We cannot begin to guess at their machinations, but we can only surmise that they are sinister.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Desert Bus is actually exactly as it is is intended to be, and came packaged with a number of other games on a disc called Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors, most of which were pranks to be played on people — like a two player game where one player is able to cheat so that they always win. If the other player wants to switch sides? You can input a code to secretly switch the cheating privileges to the other side.

    There’s a charity team who donates a sum of money based upon how many trips two and from Vegas they’re able to make in a marathon session of Desert Bus.

  • themunck

    The article is actually about that charity, or at least spends a lot of time talking about it. It just does that in the 2nd half of the article with no indication of it prior, so I don’t blame you for mentioning it here. Who in their right mind would want to keep reading the article after it’s clear is about a game that’s bad, but only in the incredibly boring way? (Me, apparently, but I’ve long ago abandoned sanity).

  • The_L1985

    I was just impressed to learn that there were games for Sega CD other than the ones that were marketed in the brochure that came with my old Genesis games. It was years before I even saw one “in the flesh” at a Play N Trade.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That and I’m already long familiar with the game. I was reading reviews on it when it was still upcoming and in development, back in 1994. XD

  • Ross Thompson

    Wikipedia has a pretty decent article on the collection.


  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hmm. Worst games? If I had to say what was for the Atari 2600, it would be their attempt at Pac-Man, as well as the E.T. game.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    On wine tasting, scoring, and judging in general: the more detail that’s allowed in the scoring, the wider the range of possible results, the less variation you’ll see both between judges and from a single judge over time. Not because of the vagaries of judging, but because of statistical theory and analysis.

    The main study in the link says that wine tasting is on a scale of 50-100 points. That’s a 50-point scale, but it looks like a 100 point scale, which makes it deceptive, both for reading the scores but also for the judges, who will under-value the effect of a single point difference in scoring. (on a 50-point scale, each point has twice the value relative to a 100-point scale)

    Not surprisingly, if you collapse the options to binary (as some of the other studies in the article did, by reducing it to “do the reviewers use positive terms or negative terms”, for example) you see even more variation.

    The solution for the wine folks is to use a more sensitive scoring system, something that either runs from 1-100 or from 50-150. By giving the reviewers the ability to be more specific, by making the measuring tool more sensitive, you’ll get less variation.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, more testers. What some scoring systems do is also exclude one worst mark and one best mark so as to chop off extremes that come from enthusiastic overscoring or underscoring.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    This grants Western theology a supra-contextual status and relegates non-Western theology to an inferior, semi-theology status.

    So much this.

    In some circles saying you believe Jesus was just a myth gets people going absolutely ape fucking shit in your face.

    But you can say Shiva was a myth all you want and people happily nod and earnestly discuss the angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin question of whether Shiva had blue eyes or brown.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “This is not just a job – this is a passion,” my supervisor
    told me. “This is for people who live to be in the new world of media.
    They don’t mind working late to be the first to post on a major story.
    They don’t mind lying about their age to stay on their parents’ health
    insurance. Maybe even collecting some cans on weekends.”

    You know, each and every one of these things that person said are fundamentally wrong. They are factually wrong or ethically wrong, or they are wrong in the sense that people shouldn’t have to do the things the supervisor recommends doing.

    I recently had occasion to watch the older, 1970s-era The Taking of Pelham 123, after having seen the 2000s-era movie of the same name.

    And the thing that just jumped out at me when I watched the older one?

    Watch the scenes in the beginning of the movie involving the ordinary day to day workers of the subway system.

    Look at how confident they are with each other. Look at how they bluster and bellow and don’t mind talking back to anyone.

    They aren’t fundamentally, viscerally afraid.

    Contrast that with the way Denzel Washington’s character almost seems tentative, uncertain he should even be at his seat, and the other workers seem to be “all business, all the time” every single moment.

    The portrayal of the workers in the 1970s reflects prevailing social norms about the acceptable attitudes workers should take towards their jobs.

    Think about that for a second.

    It was considered acceptable for a worker to be so sure of keeping a job that talking back to the boss, while a social faux pas, not grounds for firing them.

    That is a far more egalitarian society than today’s, where the boss is practically a king whose subordinates must bow and scrape and scurry before him or her.

  • Asha

    I wish it wasn’t that way. I work at a place where you have to be a raging asshole to get fired, or do something incredibly rude to customers, but I’ve worked at places where you can be fired just for stating you don’t like the manager to a coworker. I remember that constant worry that saying or doing the wrong thing would get you fired. It’s a miserable existence.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ugh. Yeah, my company tried to crack down on grumbling about customers to coworkers in private, and I’ve seen the same thing upheld as proper on Restaurant Stakeout (which also routinely pushes that anyone not bending over to the point of breaking for a customer is an asshole and so is their boss for not making them).

  • Asha

    That’s wrong. It genuinely is. I know you’ve had a bad day, but my obligation is to treat you like a human being and not make it worse. It is NOT my job to offer a pedicure if the business does not offer pedicures. *twitch* Sorry. My own managers have been getting anal about it and I’m really frustrated. I want to be productive, I want to do my job, and I want my customers to have a good experience.

    I should not have to wipe your butt for you.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Much less to do it with no complaints at all, including in privacy. You’re not an automaton who lives and breathes work. I see this as just another attempt to crush out everyone who isn’t a very specific personality type from the workplace.

  • Asha

    I definitely agree on the invasion of privacy issue. Plus, well, most people are not paid enough. If your job is boring and repetitive, the kind of commitment they are asking for is kinda ludicrous!