What in God's name is wrong with us?

(Guest Author: “The Magic Ninja” Joey Tesauro)

So last week was a day of rejoicing for Xbox gaming geeks such as myself. The most recent addition to the infamous series of video games Grand Theft Auto was finally ported to the big green machine after being a Playstation2 exclusive since it’s initial release last October. While all of us formerly were limited to playing it at our friend’s house on their PS2, all the while muttering, “it’s really not THAT great” in our fits of jealous self delusion, now we’re able to play it on our own.

I’m not going to launch into a review of this game, the thing pretty much speaks for itself at this point, assuming you haven’t of course been living in a cave for the last five years or so. The game does feature a whole new host of features, one of which allows the main character, voiced brilliantly by relatively unknown rapper Young Maylay, (Damned if I know who the hell this guy is, but he holds his own against James Woods and Samuel L Jackson, and that’s impressive), to go on dates.

Here’s the part that interests me, though I will state for the record I haven’t progressed far enough into the game to try the dating parts myself, I’ve only heard second hand tell of it. Supposedly, the programmers wrote additional sequences to the dating, that instead of CJ just going into the apartment for coffee, there were actual sex scenes, and mini games involved during the sex for actual gameplay.

Now I’m not one of the five people on the planet who bought Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball, the idea of video game characters naked does nothing for me, that’s not what interests me about these cut sequences. Of course they had to be cut, because they would have earned GTA the dreaded X rated label, and then no stores would have dared carry it. The game’s apparently racy enough already.

So let me get this straight here. You can have your main character pick up a hooker, beat her to death with a baseball bat, and then take her money, but you can’t show a man having CONSENSUAL sex with a woman?


Now if you will excuse me, it’s time for a drink.

ReView: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

By Isaac Crisp

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the newest installment in the beloved GTA series from video game developer, Rockstar. This time around, the game takes its use of blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs, and wraps them all around an early 90’s West Coast “gangsta life” theme.


Over the years, the visuals of the GTA series have undergone some dramatic changes. GTA 1 and 2 offered a “bird’s eye view” of the action. While those were still fun to play, they never really offered much to look at. When GTA 3 was being developed, Rockstar decided to do away with the bird’s eye view and go with a view, which engrossed the player into the environment a bit better. They decided to put the angle of action directly behind the player’s main character. The surroundings were also completely re-done. The city (while still fictitious) would be based off of realistic city environment. This meant realistic artificial intelligence for everything. Things like traffic movement, roadways, stoplights, pedestrians, weather and city events all had to be tweaked and altered. This made the whole GTA series much more ambitious in terms of “eye candy” for the player. San Andreas continues that use of realistic urban and city environment but expands it even further, offering three cities for the player to drool over based on San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. All this aside, there are still small problem areas within the graphics, which any keen eye will surely pick up, such as different characters “blockish” looking hands. This is only due to lack of power put out by the Playstation 2. San Andreas is by far the best looking of the series, even with its minor flaws.


San Andreas is where it’s at in terms of game play. There is so much to do in this game, it’s insane. At the game’s core, it is still based around a variety of stylized missions to undertake, but at the same time, Rockstar thought of just about every little game play element it could to put in San Andreas to make game play possibilities between those missions endless. In this installment, the main character’s name is Carl Johnson or CJ. Carl can recruit gang members, go shopping for jewelry or “ice,” steal cars and then take them to a modification garage, grab a bite to eat from the local pizza shack, go to the gym to buff up, play some pool for cash at the bar, place a bet at the horse track, go clubbing, or even take his sweetheart on a date and if things don’t go so good, he can even pick up a prostitute (assuming his car is nice enough). Add all of this and more to that ability to play storyline missions and you’ve got one hell of a good time on your hands, lasting as long as you want it to. The neatest aspect about San Andreas is that Carl will actually change depending on some of the things done in the game. Eat too much? He will get a gut, affecting his ability to run fast and get away from the cops. Work out a lot? Carl will be a “beast.” True, these are simple elements but nonetheless, very cool to be able to do and see.


Sound is very well done in San Andreas. Every character within the storyline has a distinct style and voice. Samuel L. Jackson is among the voice talent. Realistic city sounds are all there with car horns, people talking and sometimes cursing, cars zooming past, etc. When driving a car, the radio can be turned on to songs by artists like Tupac, Dr. Dre, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boys II Men, Wrecks-N-Effects, Stone Temple Pilots and Faith No More, just to name a few.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. It does, in fact, earn every bit of the “Mature” rating slapped on the box. It is definitely not a game you’d want to buy for anyone under the age of 17, although that won’t stop most people from checking it out if they really want to. All said and done, San Andreas is a solid Playstation 2 title that any gamer looking for a good time should pick up.

SOUND: 5/5

Rock-It 2004 Spring Edition Report

By Jonathan Brodala

Line Up:
Main Stage: Jet, The Living End, Hilltop Hoods, Spiderbait, Jebediah, 28 Days, Rocket Science, The Casanovas, Dallas Crane.

Small Stage: 67 Special, City Lights, The Cops, Ground Components, In The Grey, Betchadupa, Redsunband.

Another trip for yours truly to the big city to see the bi-annual event known as Rockit which this time around has an all Australian line up as opposed to recent times. But it seemed to matter little to the 25,000 or so people that rolled through the gates at Arena Joondalup to get treated to THE rock and roll event of the year. On a side note however it must be said that the train system in Perth is absolutely brilliant given the effortlessness of a complete stranger to public transport and given that the Rock-It ticket doubled as free public transport all day was also very handy. At $50AU (roughly $4 a band) this is without a doubt the most enjoyable music festival on the calendar.

Anyway onto the show….

There were bands that I wanted to see and there were bands I didn’t care for too greatly so I can’t give you my thoughts on the live performances of every band on the card. First cab off the rank however was Dallas Crane. I couldn’t think of a better opener personally to get the fast-growing crowd into the swing of things. ‘No Through Road’ and ‘Ladybird’ have the greatest airplay on Triple J (Australia’s greatest ever radio station which is dedicated to giving unsigned and independent acts airplay as well as non-commercial overseas artists) and thus got the crowd into their set but a sign of a good rock band is that they didn’t play all of their more popular tracks aiming to perhaps keep the set at a hard and heavy pace throughout. On a whole these guys exceeded my expectations of them and I personally can’t wait to see their set at the Big Day Out in February next year.

The Casanovas didn’t let up in their set either. It featured tracks from their self-titled debut album and in among those was some guitar solos from Tommy Boyce that really needs to be heard to be believed. The guy could have been standing on his head and he wouldn’t have skipped a beat while Dave Campbell on the bass provided some excellent vocals to keep a very energetic mosh area occupied with their no nonsense approach to rock and roll music. ’10 Outta 10′ and ‘Shake It’ remain as highlights for me but try telling that to the circle moshers who were just happy to crash into one another to the hard riffs being doled out by the trio. The only drawback to the Casanova’s set was the fact that it ran into Betchadupa’s set. My first venture into the newly introduced small stage saw the New Zealand exports pumping out their two recent hits ‘Move Over’ and ‘Who’s Coming Through The Window’ to conclude what must have been a crowd pleasing set given the hearty reaction given by the female fans in attendance.

Young emo-punk rockers In the Grey hit the stage after Betchadupa and thundered into their set. The stage clearly wasn’t big enough to contain their exuberance. As if they carefully choreographed their jumps to barely miss one another when they launched into their opening song, they delivered every song with such energy that this writer wished it had rubbed off on the headliners of the event, Jet. For relative unknowns to the WA crowd they received a respectful applause after every track, which no doubt was in tribute to the effort they were giving. ‘Skyward’ closed their set which would have just about been their only recognizable song to most in attendance given it’s regular appearance in the ‘Net 50’ months and months ago.

Next up was the biggest surprise of the afternoon for me. 28 Days played all of their hits as well as some samples from their new album ‘Extremist Makeover’. A deafening chant of ‘Rip It Up’ (their first hit) seemed to have the lead singer totally flabbergasted as the band dropped tools to soak up some of the adulation halfway through their set. They did this twice. Once to stop the crowd from surging and causing massive holes to form into the quickly building mosh area. People couldn’t help but fall over as the heavyweights from the licensed area attempted to push their way into the teenage throng occupying the front of the stage. It was by far the most physically draining mosh in my experience which includes Rammstein, Metallica and Pacifier. When they got the crowd to tell them to ‘fuck off’, they then began to ‘Rip It Up’, as well as inviting members of local favorites Gyroscope on stage for backing vocals in their closing song ‘Hate Now’. They must have also got their lifetime supply of shoes given the amount of crowd surfers losing their Globes and DC’s.

Intermission time was supposed to me next up for me as neither Jebediah nor The Cops were too appealing to me. I watched The Cops’ entire set and marveled at how much effort the band put in once the crowd started arriving. They had a chick bass player and calls for a bass solo were ignored and not surprisingly as they gave a half assed effort for the first part of their set. They picked up and showed all what they were capable of as ‘The Shake’ had the crowd moving and the band began to jam like they had been playing together since birth. Afterward I was out looking for food; meanwhile, Spiderbait seemed to have the crowd totally into their set which sounded pretty ordinary from the food queue I was in. Once out of the queue I saw one of the biggest crowds ever assembled at Rock-It playing into drummer/singer Kram’s hands. A veteran who used his brilliant charisma to involve most of the 25000 people in attendance clapping along to an adequately subdued version of ‘Buy Me A Pony’ and then powering into the most popular rock cover song in Australian history ‘Black Betty’. That was never going to be hard considering the song went to #1 in Western Australia before anywhere else in the country and it showed as around 10000 fans in front of the stage and thousands more behind the gates in the licensed area were into the song from start to finish. As the sun set on the afternoon Spiderbait had set the tone for the evening and it was going to be hard to top. It was easily eclipsed by the next act on the small stage in my opinion.

As much of a spectacle Spiderbait were for crowd involvement, 67 Special delivered the goods and more. They blew up three speakers to start their set yet still had enough power to have me paying attention to the bands every move. They played their most popular track ‘Hey There Bomb’ with so much oomph that the CD version I purchased the next day couldn’t do it justice. They played a ‘pop’ tune in ‘Princess Pie’ that turned into one of the band’s great jams at the conclusion of the song ‘Last Drag’. They seemed to do this with so much accuracy that this writer can’t wait to see it again. Even when the drummer fucked up (made even worse by his reaction) they recovered so well that it could only be laughed off at the end of the show. 67 Special is a MUST SEE BAND for all of those people that appreciate rock and roll music the way it used to be and if you thought Jet were good keep in mind they were only first when 67 Special come to town. My personal pick for MVP of the day but the night wasn’t over and considering The Living End’s reputation the standard wasn’t about to drop.

For a band that I’ve followed since their humble beginnings in ‘Hellbound’ to their latest and greatest collections released on both Double CD and DVD I wasn’t about to be disappointed no matter how drunk or stoned Chris Cheney said he was. That only affected Nic Cester from Jet it seemed. From ‘I Can’t Give You What I Haven’t Got’ to ‘Second Solution’ the crowd were treated to a punkabilly feast that only the Living End can deliver. The fact that I could sing along to most of the set helped me enjoy it more but I could sing along to most of Jet’s too and I couldn’t possibly hold Jet’s effort next to The Living End’s in terms of enjoyment. There was no better way to end a concert than for Living End to belt out their trademark ‘E Boogie’ when Cheney would play slide guitar with a beer bottle of choice and Scotty Owen would show us his balancing act on his upright double bass before powering into their double single that propelled them into Australian music history being ‘Prisoner of Society/Second Solution’. Unfortunately it wasn’t the end…

Jet has become Australia’s biggest success worldwide since Savage Garden selling more than 2.5 million units of their debut album ‘Get Born’. While these men deserve nothing but praise for putting Australian rock music back on the map they surely could have belted out a better performance than the sleepwalking the crowd were treated to. Sure they may have played the same set over and over on tour 200 times this year but I’m also certain that 25000 West Aussies deserved better and not that I condone throwing things onto the stage during a performance I was almost pleased to see lead singer Nic Cester get hit in the head with a shoe…twice. A defiant ‘fuck you’ almost tied in with the start of the chorus to ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ and it seemed to motivate him slightly but it didn’t last and it was clear to me that he was dogging it. The bass player almost seemed ready to knock his block off after a brief altercation almost knowing they weren’t performing to their capabilities. I’ve seen these guys rip up the stage at Big Day Out in a late afternoon set that had people climbing to the top of 20 foot tall trees to get a better look at their rock and roll heroes and this performance didn’t live up to their lofty expectations. However they did have a few tricks up their sleeve to redeem themselves somewhat and it came in the form of a cover of Aussie rock legend Stevie Wright’s ‘Evie’. For this show stealing finale they invited Kram from Spiderbait to provide percussion, Chris Cheney on guitar and Dallas Crane’s bassist leaving Jet to provide vocals and additional percussion. It worked on many levels and it re-energized as the band were seemingly relieved to be doing something different. In any case the crowd left happy as this one song alone nearly erased their dodgy efforts just minutes previous. Nearly, but not quite. Hey don’t get me wrong! I’ll still buy all of their records and any new material on their singles but I have to draw a line somewhere! For a headline band to turn in that kind of performance on a stage as big as Rock-It, it’s nearly unforgivable, and I’d really hate to see Jet let fame go to their heads and repay the fans that shell out their hard earned cash to hear their music with a performance that belongs to a cover band playing smalltime pubs in the outback. Anyhow ‘Evie’ kicked arse and maybe that’s something Jet needs to do to freshen up its seemingly stale set list. But then they’d just be a glorified cover band….which is what they were in the first place and look where they are now.

Concert MVP: 67 Special
Biggest Disappointment: Jet
Biggest Surprise: In The Grey/28 Days
Best Crowd: Spiderbait
Worst Crowd: 28 Days

Council of Elders

(By Guest Author Connor Cleary)
Once there was a town, this town was run by a council of elders. The elders could only achieve a position on the council by gaining the respect of the people. The town lived happily and the people were free, other than the basic rules that any society must live by without destroying itself. Sometimes there would be war with surrounding towns, but this particular town was more powerful than those around it. The people were encouraged to stay inside the town as much as possible for their own protection from surrounding towns.

But there was an incident. A small group from a neighboring town snuck inside the walls and slaughtered a family and then took their own lives in the name of their God. The Town Council immediately set up a line a few hundred feet outside the town with markers and informed the people that they were not allowed to go outside said barrier. They explained to the people that outside this line they could not protect them sufficiently, the town that attacked them worshipped a heathen God, and could not be trusted. It was for the people’s own safety, so they gladly agreed, and thanked the elders for protecting them.

In the name of safety for the people, the Council decreed that anyone who passed beyond the barrier was considered a deserter and would not be allowed back into the town. A group of people were enjoying the surroundings of the town when they saw a batch of wildflowers just beyond the barrier. They passed the markers and picked flowers for some time, until the guardsmen of the town, on their patrol, found them. The people tried to explain that they only went outside the barrier to pick flowers, but were arrested and imprisoned.

The people of the town began to worry that their Council was becoming too unforgiving and not listening to the people. When the issue was brought before the Council, they explained to the people that the imprisoned were heretics and were consorting with those who worshipped the heathen God, and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.

The next day the Council decreed that no one was allowed to go outside the town walls without proper supervision by the Guardsmen. They explained that if there were already heretics inside the town, then they could not risk anyone conspiring with those who worshipped the heathen God. The people were upset, but understood that the Elders were only being cautious, and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.

In the town square the next day, the people who were imprisoned for consorting with those who worship the heathen God were executed. A small group of people protested, and when their cries went unheard they attacked the Guardsmen and were killed as well. After searching their homes, the Guardsmen found evidence that they were also conspiring against the people of the town. The Council told the people that they would be giving the Guardsmen the right to search people’s homes if they were suspected of conspiring against the people, and worshipping the heathen God. The people were appalled; they were upset and brought to the Council the issue. The people stated that their lives were their own, and they wouldn’t allow them to invade their homes. So the Elders explained to the people that when they searched the homes of the heretics, they found plans to destroy the town, and they couldn’t allow the possibility of another group conspiring to destroy the town. The people understood, and thanked the Council for protecting them.

Within the next week, in the name of the people’s safety, they were no longer allowed to lock their doors, or block their windows. Anyone caught speaking badly about the council was immediately taken in for questioning, and his or her home would be searched. The Guardsmen had complete control over the people, and the Council had complete control over the Guardsmen. The people were without rights, without freedom…

..and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.


(By Guest Author ‘Karnage’)
What up? This is Propagation. I would like to all to sit back, grab a beer.. uh.. beverage, a snack or two and just relax as you read through the following finger-to-keyboard action that made this column possible. What is Propagation? Well, according to the Webster dictionary– dictionaries are boring. Propagation is a column written by me for you all to read about the music world but more leaning toward the punk/ska/emo genre of it. So relax and enjoy…


Shoot the kids at school. That album title was the first title ever censored by Tim Armstrong’s record label, Hell Cat Records. The band? With a name like Leftover Crack you’d think they’d write controversial lyrics and statements. Well they do and they milk it while doing so. Their first album (later re-named Mediocre Generica) debuted on none other than September 11th, 2001 and was released with much controversy. The first track on the album, Homeo-Apathy, had many statements suggesting that large buildings block the sun and that the dark black cloud is coming down. Coincidence? Who knows? But the band is back and releasing a so-called second full length sometime in May. I’ve had a chance to listen to some of the tracks on the album and will give you my thoughts on it in just a bit.

Streetlight Manifesto. A band. A good band. A band that formed from the remains of another band. They are named Streetlight Manifesto and what a band they are. It’s been almost a year since their debut release of “Everything Goes Numb” and I’m still raving about their music. It’s catchy, uplifting, motivating and sad all at once. With songs of suicide and normal teenage problems, they not only get a lot of attention from the teenage audience but even some adults as well. Catch 22 fans should know of this band as this band includes the old lead singer as well as a few other members that left Catch after the release of “Keasby Nights”. Speaking of Keasby… I am a proud owner of that amazing album. They explode from the gate with horns blazing and a quick sound with a song about a robbery that is set to go down (or at least that’s what the impression I get from the song). This album has nice soft guitar riffs, excellent ska sounds, hard guitar, blazing horns, thumping drums and sketchy vocals. In the end, I believe this album is the perfect sequel to Catch 22’s “Keasby Nights”. If you’re a fan of ska and/or punk, I’d recommend checking out this band… it’s a good catch!

The glory is fading…. or is it? Brand New. This band’s second release has gotten mixed reactions from fans. “Deja Entendu” in my opinion is a much slower album than their first release but I also think that it is a great album. Sure IT IS slower, but the music is still great. The first track on the album is a bit sketchy but they blast with their single “Sic Transit Glory” as the second track on the album. It is a great song with a greatly made video. It is a very emotional album with very personal lyrics that I enjoyed as a listener. If you haven’t heard the album yet and you’re a fan of emo, hear it, it is a really enjoyable album. ‘Nuff said.

Anyone want some Leftover Crack? Well, you will soon be getting more of it as apparently a supposed second album is soon to be coming. Like I stated before, the release date is set for sometime in May but don’t hold your breath. The band’s debut album was pushed back a good 9 months or so before finally being released. At the moment, Leftover Crack has entitled their second album as “F*ck World Trade”… anyone else think they’re going to get censored again? Anyway, this album again has a lot of lyrics responding to world issues of the past and present. Ranging from their undying hate for World Trade, religion, cops to songs about depression and pain throughout the world. They released a few songs as MP3’s over the net and I’ve got a chance to listen to a few and I’d like to say, nice. This is a very intense album (from what I’ve heard so far) and sounds like a keeper. I’ll start of with the song “One Dead Cop” which is basically a cop hate song. The song tells listeners to go out and kill cops. Well, that’s really not surprising coming from this band though as they’ve sang about killing before. Anyway, it has an interesting sound that is different from older sounds but also sounds like true LOC. “Super Tuesday” is a song about the Tuesday that we will all remember. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this song means but so far my take on it is that LOC is saying that the US shouldn’t be so cocky. “…we’re flying friendly skies… until the world dies” is one of the lines from the song. It has a very good sound and fits with the whole, “F*ck World Trade” aspect as it has many indications that they hated the idea of it. The final line of the song is, “I know your daddy died in the twins but he was just a pawn for the World Bank imperialists”… I think you get the hint. “Zero Population Growth” is a very catchy, up-beat sounding ska song but when listening to what the lyrics are saying… it really isn’t. I’ve only heard a live recording of this track and it sounds great but it is a song about depression and life’s pains. Very catchy though. “Operation: MOVE” is a very very dark song and is about the Philadelphia police’s execution of 5 children and six adults in 1985. It is a harder track with nothing but screaming vocals to I guess set the mood of the lyrics and about the event behind the song. It’s a good song though, but not my favourite. That’s all I’ve had a chance to listen to but I do know that they have some re-recorded older tracks that they’ve added to the album. I’ve heard the original recordings of “Rock The 40 Oz.”, “Infested”, and “Gang Control” and those songs are set to be on the album as well. Unofficial track listing as goes:

1. Burn Them Prisons
2. Zero Population Growth
3. One Dead Cop
4. Clear Channel, F*ck Off
5. Tomb Squatting
6. Operation: MOVE
7. Books of Lies
8. Ya’ Can’t Go Home
9. Soon We’ll Be Dead
10. Rock The 40 Oz.
11. Infested
12. Untitled As Yet Anti-Patriotism Song
13. Gang Control
14. Super Tuesday


That’s all I have for you all this week but I will have more as the weeks go on so keep checking back and reading! I hope you enjoyed this and learned a few things and maybe it has changed or life in a way… or not. Anyway, I hope you all keep reading as I always have things to say about the music world. You ain’t seen nothing yet…

Thank you.

Untitled on Life

(By Guest Author Lara)
Imagine, if you will, that you’re in my place for a minute. You’re sitting behind the store that your family owns and operates, which you hate. Your dad just got done yelling at you for something you didn’t even do. You have teachers breathing down your neck; you’re trying your damnedest to stay away from pot. And all of a sudden you realize that there are kids skateboarding in the alley right in front of you. You notice now that they’ve been there all day. You can hear them talk about Tony Hawk and how they are going to be just like him someday. Saying, “No, you do a manual like this!”

I walk down the small ramp, to get a better look at these kids. All of their friends are sharing three boards. This little girl looks at me, and asks if were in trouble. I say oh hell no, I was just watching you guys.

Damn, don’t you feel old right now?

I remember watching David the Gnome and Eureka’s Castle on Nick Jr. While drinking hot chocolate and trying to color inside of the lines.

Then I was really a big kid when I could ride around the block by myself.

Then the guys tried to teach me how to play basketball.

Eventually, I got really old, a freshman in high school. Sitting with my friends watching them play guitar while we down a case of Mountain Dew. Nothing was about sex, drugs, or politics. There were no ass-kickings to hand out for someone trying to nail your girlfriend. None of us ever dreamed of being arrested, or even doing something that would get us there. We were young. No worries.

Snap back to reality. Full of HDTV and a government who recently discovered how to read your subconscious speech. HBO used to be the only channel where you could see more skin than clothes. Now you turn on SOME broadcast channel that happens to rhyme with box, and you can see the same thing. Think for a minute, about then, then now. Even if you never touched any drugs or handcuffs. Things are still a whole lot more complicated than they once were. Did we make it that way? Are we doing this to ourselves? Or is the world really like this? It makes you wonder a bit.

On one hand, you can say that every teen or twenties something is overreacting. Wanting to blame everyone else for everything rather than themselves, or you could say that no, this is how it really is. Or, you could say, take a chill pill. Step back, breathe for a minute, those days aren’t so far-gone. Yeah sure, we can’t skate all day and have mom make us Ovaltine. We have jobs, families, school, and responsibilities. But I wonder, if there isn’t a part of us, that still is seven or ten years old.

Democrats and Republicans at each other’s throats. And debates that can get violent over other issues. People killing over religion and sexuality, race, national origin, and creed. People losing their lives to drugs, or a bullet, or both. When did we get like this?

Find a picture of yourself, when you were about seven. Look at it. Remember yourself then, did you ever think you were going to be who you were now. Did you get good grades, or were you popular. Now before you going “gee thanks Lara for the HUGE downer.” Hear me out; are you so sure that that person in the picture is dead? Are you so sure that your glory days are over? I don’t really think that that part of us ever dies. Who knows really? All I’m saying is that that person is still there. So take a breath, when you can. Remember that you used to be that person. And instead of getting all down and out because your not anymore, just be that person. The kid who shared his football, even though his neighbor was a geek. Maybe that’s what everyone needs or maybe, I’m full of shit.

The Decay of Society: Videogames in America

(By Guest Author ‘Chaos’)
Videogames have vastly changed over the period of time that they have existed, since the days of the Atari 2600 and the arcades. Technology has vastly improved the performance of the games as well as the graphical realism and quality. Technology isn’t the only thing that has changed videogames, however. Some say the changing of content in videogames is analogous to the maturing of those who played the Atari and arcade games in the past, having grown up with time, and video games having grown up with them. And thus, video games have become more mature in terms of its presentation, appearance, and content.

Some critics would argue, however, that this is a very negative change, and that today’s videogames are targeted to today’s youth, who in turn are negatively affected by the violence and mature content of videogames. It is the purpose of this paper to analyze the arguments these critics have made and respond in a fashion that will defend the side of the mature videogames. Throughout the paper the term “mature” will be used to refer to content in videogames that include violence, sexual content, vulgarity, and overall mature themes as defined by the ESRB ratings that are now required on every videogame title that is released. I will cover these areas of discussion: I. That those who are influenced by videogames are not stable mentally or in their personal lives. II. That the media has portrayed videogames in a negative light and misrepresented many aspects of videogames, specifically the Grand Theft Auto series. First, we will observe the affect of videogames on their players; or, more specifically, their addictive nature.

Shawn Wooley, a 21 year old addicted player of the PC game Everquest, commited suicide on Thanksgiving Day 2001, supposedly as a result of the game. Elizabeth Wooley, his mother, is attempting to sue the makers of the game and put labels on the game stating it is addictive. She stated, “It’s like any other addiction, either you die, go insane or you quit. My son died.” She also noted, “Shawn was playing 12 hours a day, and he wasn’t supposed to because he was epileptic, and the game would cause seizures,”. (jsonline.com) This cites that Shawn Wooley had some medical problems. In another article, courtesy of rivertowns.com, the following is stated:

Woolley contacted a St. Croix County mental health care program and tried to get Shawn to reside in a group home….Woolley feared Shawn was becoming suicidal, but officials told Woolley that without an actual threat by Shawn, who was now an adult, they couldn’t take protective action.

It also states that Shawn was given pills and diagnosed with his mental disabilities including, according to an article at jsonline.com, “depression and schizoid personality disorder, symptoms of which include a lack of desire for social relationships, little or no sex drive and a limited range of emotions in social settings” as part of the process to get Shawn in the home; but Shawn wouldn’t take them. The jsonline.com article also cites that Jay Parker, a chemical dependency counselor, “said Woolley’s mental health problems put him in a category of people more likely to be at risk of getting addicted to online games”.

Shouldn’t Shawn’s mental conditions and refusals to take his prescribed medication for obvious mental problems be justification enough for the officials to take that “protective action”? Certainly someone with so many confirmed mental disorders should be put in an institution, as they can be a danger to themselves or others. I think the case here is not with the video game, but the actions that were taken to try to prevent Shawn’s mental problems and addiction. There should have been some law that would allow for Shawn to be forced into a mental institution based on his instability, not simply because he is old enough to be considered an adult. As we all know adults can be just as irresponsible and unstable as anyone else. It was Shawn’s personal life and personal problems that caused him to be influenced by these videogames, and thus his real life was the issue, not his virtual one.

Now we can’t possibly consider all of this without looking at the opposing views, and first we’ll delve into the counter considerations of my comments on how video games affect people. One opposing view against my claim that only those mentally unstable are seriously affected is that this may be true, but also that normal people are affected by this as well. There are several groups based around the same Everquest game in the Shawn Wooley case where people there claim to have friends or close loved ones addicted to the game and spending more time on it than with their real lives. This proves there is an addiction factor for a great majority, with the cost being social relationships.

Further studies that have been made according to various sources have found that boys who play games with aggressive content do in fact tend to feel more aggressive after playing the games. This would eventually lead to violence due to the increase in aggressive mood and behavior exhibited by boys, and if given a proper reason to, could cause them to become violent to others as a result of this increase in aggression. This has been a primary point in the discussion of video games’ affect on the boys responsible for the Columbine shootings, who were said to have played Doom (a gory first person shooter). An article on TechTV.com cites a study conducted at Iowa State University and Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina which found that:

In a study of 227 college students that those who more frequently played violent video games during junior high and high school were more likely to have engaged in “aggressive delinquent behavior”…..The researchers speculate that video-game violence influences behavior not by inciting aggressive feelings, but by teaching players to find “aggressive solutions” to problems.

The article also cites another study that concluded “of 210 college students who played either a violent or benign video game revealed that the violence-packed games increased subjects’ aggression immediately afterward”. This supports the claim that video games do in fact affect people, even if they are mentally stable.

However, what the studies do not take into account is the factor of the real world. From what I have collected from the Columbine case, the two killers involved were cast as outsiders and ridiculed by their fellow students. As we all know teenagers can be incredibly heartless and unfair, and we’ve all seen what bullying is like. No scientific facts are needed to prove that constant bullying and being outcast by a social environment you must be around every day (school for example) can test one’s mental capacities, especially if you can do little about it. The two Columbine shooters from what I have seen on the news and read were very depressed individuals who became so frustrated with the way they were treated that their minds finally gave way and they retaliated the only way they knew how, by killing. I have known plenty of people who have been mentally scarred by such harsh bullying and likely have considered suicide or murder of those who hurt them. It’s easy to understand the hatred these two felt and how it grew out of control until it exploded in a school shooting. Was their influence to kill the people in that school a result of the unfair treatment and the harsh attacks they faced by their fellow students they experienced, or because of a simple video game? It is true that perhaps the video game fed into their desire and allowed them to day dream about the shooting, but would they have done it if their fellow students were not so harsh and disrespectful to them? I sincerely doubt it. We have all faced hardships in our lives, and those who experience worse hardships and feel hatred and anger often are the ones who turn to violence, not because a video game encouraged them to, but because they must respond to the conflicts that they face in the only solution they feel they have. In this case for the Columbine shooters it was to retaliate by killing in a blind rage, not because Doom was on their computer. Since these critics are so concerned about what’s on people’s computer or television screens, lets see just what they have to say about it.

This brings me to the news media, a prime source of these critics (as well as a source of information for critics) and its take on videogames. In an article on ABC News’s site, abcnews.go.com, it observes several 13 year old boys playing GTA3, a violent video game, describing them as “masters” of the game as they “yell at the screen and make macabre jokes as they carry out a killing, carjacking, murder spree on screen that would place them on the nation’s most-wanted list in real life.” The article goes on to quote James Oppenheim, a video game reviewer, as stating “When you see that you get extra points for shooting somebody in the head, as opposed to shooting them in the body  you have to wonder exactly what the values are that we are teaching our children.”

Seeing as the article is so focused on the details of the game, I thought about some of the details it observed. I cannot deny that “killing” and “carjacking” are not elements of the GTA series, because it is. However, the presentation of the game exhibited by this article and numerous others like it simply do not go beyond that. They give no mention as to what the true “purpose” of the game is, or if there is even a purpose. Anybody who has actually played the game can tell you that it is a free roaming game that allows you to do what you want, when you want. This means you can do everything the article suggests, or not. You can simply walk or drive around the world that the game provides and explore, looking for the secrets the game makers have put into the game. In no way does the game ever force the player to participate in violent gameplay. There are instances where violence does occur, but just as in real life you do not have to behave violently in the game if you don’t want to. My niece, who enjoys the latest addition to the series (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) is content with simply driving around in a vehicle listening to the music. I seriously doubt that she is learning about carjacking or murdering, or anything for that matter while doing this. She’s simply enjoying another side of the game that is never appreciated by the media, the audio and visual beauty of the large environments. I seriously doubt she is learning the value of how many points she gets for “shooting someone in the head” as Oppenheim suggests. I personally have never looked at how many points you get for anything while playing the game, because I’m not concerned about that aspect. As a mother who bought the game for her son stated in this article, “I see Lawrence playing with it and he’s not caught up in the quandary of moral issues over it. It’s just a game.”

More importantly, the media focuses way too much attention on the details and often fails to see the truly important details that they miss. They focus on the violence in the game, then state that the actions displayed by the 13 year olds would land them in the prison. This implies that in the game there is no punishment for your actions. Several other opponents of violence in videogames focus on this, believing that violence is rewarded in GTA, as Oppenheimer observes through points awarded in the game. What no news report that I have seen about the game take notice of, though, is the actual response the game presents to the violence. In the game, when you commit a crime, if a police officer is around or if the crime is bad enough (such as murder of several people) the police force comes after you in an attempt to stop you. Several stars are lit up on the screen to show the level of “authority” figures, six stars being the highest level of law enforcement that will try to take you down. As your crimes worsen and increase in number you get more stars and the authorities become more aggressive, moving from the police department, to the FBI, and eventually to the Army. Even at just a few stars it becomes very difficult to escape these opposing forces and nearly impossible once you reach the last two levels. To say that the game does not punish you for your actions is completely ignorant and shows that those who observed the game did not even “play” the game. Anyone who has played the game can tell you how difficult and ruthless the law enforcement figures become in the game once you commit so many crimes, and to ignore this or look past it (as the media tends to do) only shows how the media unfairly portrays games like GTA by not showing this “punishment” system that is implemented in the game and thus balancing out the immorality of the violence.

The same can be said of other games, which will often punish the gamer that kills an innocent civilian by ending their game or detracting points from their score. An example is the video game Splinter Cell, in which civilian casualties are fiercly punished by either a game over or a verbal thrashing from a character in the game. To say that these games, while containing violence, don’t teach some form of ethics is not only incorrect but ignorant, as often those who claim it don’t ever seem to actually play the games themselves.

One example is a statement made by Congressman Joe Boca in the May 2003 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly concerning the recently released Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. He said on his website in a description of the game that it “Allows players to create female characters, with full control over breast size and the option to have the character appear topless”. I wish I was able to play the same game he was playing, because from my experience with the game it allows you to do absolutely none of these things. The supposed topless mode Boca suggests was a hoax, an April Fool’s Day joke played by EGM in the April issue, which would explain Boca’s misinformation, but the other two observations including a character creation mode and ability to manipulate the “breast size” of the characters are nowhere to be seen in the actual game. Anyone who has played the game knows this, so why doesn’t Boca? Could he have been misinformed by the media, or a victim of the same ignorance? If critics of video games would just play them (or as it’s said, “do their homework”) before making such accusations perhaps their criticisms would be more respectable. Of course, that’s not to suggest there are no respectable and sensible arguments against mature video games, and we’ll look into that now.

To look at my position on the media in another light, one may claim that despite the media’s portrayal of video games that in the end what should matter is whether the video games end up in the hands of children who are not old enough for them. Therefore the parents of the children should be more responsible and evaluate what their children play, whether by reading articles or watching television programs that cover the content of the games. It can be attested that it doesn’t matter if the media portrays games unfairly, but the fact that they point out the negative and more violent or mature content of the game that parents don’t want their children exposed to that is important. Because they emphasize on this content and children generally don’t consider the ethics or what they’re learning about the game, it doesn’t matter if the media’s methods of journalism are flawed but simply the fact they expose the sort of content in the game. Overall then this argument revolves on the basis that these reports do right in showing parents the content of the game.

I can say in response to this stance that I agree entirely. Though the media does often portray video games unfairly, they still show parents (although in a biased fashion) the sort of content in the game. And it is my firm belief that parents should be the ones who decide whether or not their child plays the game.

But do parents know enough about the video games to make a judgement? They certainly don’t have much time to research. To solve this the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has placed ratings on the front of video games that designate what age level the game is suitable for, and summarizes the sort of content in the game. In addition to this, there are measures instilled in video game distributors that makes it policy not to sell video games to minors, and even possible laws that are running through the lawmaking process to make it a crime to sell these mature games to those who don’t qualify age wise to own the title, keeping minors from purchasing them themselves. I do believe that those not old enough to own the game due to their content should respect the wishes of their parents and either try to convince them through intellectual and mature persuasion to prove they are mature enough; but in the end it should be the parents’ call on this.

However, there are several problems with this consideration. Many parents nowadays do not take the time to think too much about this issue and simply buy the games for the children, not considering whether their child is mature enough. Many children also can gain access to the games from friends or get an older friend to buy the games for them. Another issue is that several people have questioned the ESRB’s definitions of what really makes a “mature” title. The definition of mature content can differ among parents, and obviously don’t have the time to read video game reviews that go in depth on the content.

These are all reasonable objections and I do agree with most of them. The solutions, however, are easy to consider. Parents who are concerned with the way the ESRB rates video games should form interest groups and attempt to analyze what they consider to be mature content and give these suggestions to the board. As far as children eventually gaining access to the mature games, the best I believe parents can do in this situation is realize this can and will happen, and explain to their children that video games, no matter how realistic they appear, are simply not real, and that in real life there are no continues or health recovery items. Parents need to teach children to enjoy the video games for what they are, entertainment peripherals that allow them to escape the real world, even if the world they are immersed in is a lot like reality. Parents should always be teachers and supporters of their offspring throughout their lives, and if they do this right they won’t have to worry about their children whether they’re playing Super Mario Brothers or Grand Theft Auto.

Open Mic w/ Bear F'N Frazer: Contra-Celebrity

Controversy is something that surrounds us. Society places celebrities on a pedestal and talks all high and mighty about their new Hollywood attribute. However, when media exposes this new-found star and puts them under the bright lights, it allows our new accused TV sensation to get criticized by the society that made them. It’s like, “here’s our new pretty boy, everybody should flame him, and maybe in a few months, if Public Relations does a good job, everybody will forget about it. No harm done.” Sure, it could be a bogus situation, but these things could obviously help make or break a career. This is a tale that we have all seen before but right now, I got the mic.

The Super Bowl was simply incredible, regardless who won. Sadly, the game isn’t the big thing being talked about … all anybody cares about when they hear the Super Bowl is, “I saw Janet Jackon’s booby.” I don’t want to discredit this matter because it brings up a big issue, “Should Commercial TV be censored?” Personally, I don’t think it should be, but that is a whole other can of worms I would be opening up. As far as seeing Jackson’s breast, I really don’t think it is as bad as everyone claims it out to be. I mean, everybody probably has CBS and little kids are usually allowed to watch CBS unsupervised, so yea, some little kids probably saw something that maybe they shouldn’t have. That is the only problem I see. There are a few reasons why I think the incident really isn’t so bad though. Firstly, you got every single male in Corporate America who probably lived out their fantasy by seeing the breast of one of America’s sexiest females ever, Janet Jackson. Secondly, this was probably unplanned and the breast was out for less than three seconds. The Super Bowl wasn’t based around Jackson’s hooter: it was (and will forever be) based around the biggest football game of the year. thirdly, you probably have a bunch of drunken guys with their kids watching the Super Bowl and if their favorite team makes a bad play, these males are probably yelling obscenities and throwing beer bottles at the television set. think about it for a second. What is worse? Having your son or daughter see Jackson’s booby for a few seconds (probably under parental supervision), or exposing your child to anger, violence, and alcohol? You make the call.

Not to emphasize on this incident, but is UPN or FOX being looked down upon? How different would this be if a child turned to WWE Smackdown on UPN and saw two girls fighting each other, trying to strip the other down to their bra and panties? Better yet, look at shows like Blind Date, Elimidate, and the Fifth Wheel. Sure, it’s shown during the daytime, evenings, and afternoons, but when was the last time you have heard people complaining to FOX or UPN because of the show’s elusive behavior? You can see a guy drink with multiple females (eventually getting heavily intoxicated), hooking up with some girls in the hot tub, club, or bar, and literally caressing them. Are we trying to send out the message that brief nudity isn’t allowed, but alcoholism and hooking up with strangers is?

This also marks the second Sunday in a row where CBS is under fire. The first time was obviously the halftime show at the Super Bowl on February 1st (as mentioned in above paragraph) and the second time was during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards, aired on February 8th. Andre 3000 performed “Hey Ya!,” at the Grammys in-front of a tepee while being flanked by women in bright green outfits. As it turns out, the Native American Cultural Center in San Francisco is encouraging others to boycott both OutKast and CBS because of the performance. They found it offensive towards Native Americans. This is exactly just what CBS needs more of: controversy. Two weeks in a row, they have pissed off a lot of people. You have the feminists, Native Americans, and sheltered people very angry. I have a sneaking suspicion that the ratings for CBS may drop … just a little one though.

So, all the heat seems to be on CBS, OutKast, and Janet Jackson. I guess everybody forgot about Justin Timberlake. Wouldn’t you think he would be under more fire? I mean, he was the one who ripped Jackon’s outfit and exposed her breast. It can’t be Timberlake’s fault though; he’s “America’s Sweetheart.” For days, both parties have apologized, but Justin made a public apology at the Grammys. After all, no one can stay mad at “America’s Sweetheart.” How about R. Kelly? He was on hand at the Grammys and he was widely accepted at the Awards Ceremony. the only reason he attended was because he was out on bail. Does anyone remember the guy who was charged with 21 counts of videotaping, producing, and soliciting a minor to be in a porn video (that isn’t including the 12 counts of taking pictures with a digital camera of a minor and himself both in the nude)? To my knowledge, that is child pornography and one of the sickest acts in mankind, however, he is being cheered at the Grammys. Let’s not even forget about Christina Aguilera and her attire. Although her outfits are sexy, doesn’t she show more skin than about 98% of the people in America (that aren’t in nudist colonies)? Heck, even the suave musician, Prince was on hand. Prince has been a symbol of controversy for the past couple of decades. All of these stars are shown on the Grammys, broadcasted on CBS, the same place that broadcasted the Super Bowl. It’s just odd that a lot of celebrities who have enraged the public and/or committed several offences are forgiven immediately, but when one celebrity makes an honest mistake, they are shunned by the whole world. Maybe not everyone can get away with murder.

Whether you tuned into the Grammys or not, there was definetely something going on. From offensive behavior by OutKast or 50 Cent walking offstage, to Evanescence being awarded the Best New Artist Award or the Beatles Tribute, there was something for everyone at this year’s Grammy Award. Obviously, there were good vibes and bad vibes, from the winners, to the losers, and from the loved, to the unforgiven.

No matter what your taste in music or television is, controversial behavior will always be present. the Entertainment Industry is always loaded with scandals and crude behavior. Some of those will be washed away but for some, a stain could always remain. It’s up to us and society, on how we should deal with it. For BaloolaPalooza.com, this is Bear F’N Frazer, and it’s about time for me to drop the mic.

{Some stuff got edited out. Leave me some feedback … post a comment}

Open Mic with Bear F'N Frazer

Boo Ya! Did I scare ya? I doubt it, because I couldn’t scare anybody away from the greatest column that the world has ever seen, now can I? Damn right, I can’t! Anyways, I hope everybody has had an incredible winter break and is ready to kick off the new semester with a bang … a big bang … a bang bigger than the one Oday and Qusay got!

When we rang in the New Year, some people thought the media should have stressed that a satellite landed on Mars. Bottom line is that it wasn’t, so shut up! The first most talked about story of the year was the beautiful marriage of Britney Spears and her childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander. Supposedly, they were dating and suddenly, decided to get hitched in Las Vegas on January 2nd. She needed a marriage license, filed for it, and wam, got married, only to get divorced a few days later. Now, there are two theories I have developed. The first one is that she really was in love with this guy and did it “spur of the moment,” only to have her manager tell her, “if you don’t break it off, then your record sales will drop down,” and let’s face it, every male is in love with Britney, so knowing she is taken, she is less appealing, therefore concert attendance drops, as well as her albums. See, this totally messes up the “I have a chance of scoring with Britney” cycle. This is why I believe my second theory is more accurate. See, not too long ago, Britney did an interview with Diane Sawyer where Sawyer got Spears to admit that she has “experimented” with a few drugs, most noticeably the famous club drug, ecstasy. She has been a pretty big party animal lately and has been influenced by alcohol. I figure that she was really wasted one night from the ecstasy, coke, or alcohol, and she just saw a friend she hasn’t seen a while, enter Jason Alexander. She really missed him, she was upset about what has been going on in her life, and Alexander cheered her up. They decided to get married, get a lime green limo, and wear their normal clothes (Also, Britney Spears is close with her family, so why wouldn’t you want the family present, unless you are really wasted?). They sign their marriage license and Britney’s signature was a little distorted. I mean, you could tell it was her handwriting, but a sloppier version (Yep, she was probably wasted). Then, go to some cheesy chapel, pay fifty bucks, and become husband and wife. Then, you have your wild passionate monkey sex and wake up the next morning, only to say, “WHAT THE F— DID I DO?” Britney’s manager yells at her, gets it annulled within 48 hours, the media is all over it, and really isn’t a bad move, because it keeps Britney’s name in the media (however, Alexander had sex with one of the most popular icons in America). Obviously, Britney has some personal problems and musical issues too (her last two albums sucked). I only have one word for the pop princess: rehab. And, I have two words for Jason Alexander: good job.

American Idol 3 started on January 19th with Simon, Paula, and Randy deciding on which contestants should make the show. I have to say that I was shocked on the third episode, as only 13 hopefuls from Houston were invited to Hollywood (about 30 to 40 each were picked to represent New York and Atlanta). There a few things on the show that caught my eye. I mean, obviously, it is going to become harder to pick the best singers because I’m sure the best singers were drafted for American Idol 1 and 2. The judges complain about this so much, well damn! This isn’t rocket science! You drained every good singer for your past shows, so expect some no talents who can’t sing! Secondly, you got some of the most worthless scum of humanity trying out, and when they get put in their place, they think they are still an incredible singer and the judges don’t know any better. I mean, what the F—? You have a bunch of these bad singers appear on the show and say that, “I want to be on American Idol because the show is so good!” Then, after their crappy ass audition, they come out and say, “I hate American Idol! The show sucks and because I’m not on it, it is going to suck even more! I could have made myself a lot of money if I were picked. I can dance, act, and sing.” Honestly, these people needed a bigger wake-up call. American Idol isn’t about acting or dancing, but singing. It’s all about the singing. And, you got these moronic assholes who go on the show saying how they could have made themselves a ton of dough. I say screw that. If money is the only thing you care about, then there will always be a job for you working the corners of 32nd Street.

Sorry for getting on that tangent. I’m just sick and tired of these greedy hooligans only caring about every dollar that comes in their pocket. Simply, they are pathetic sellouts. All I know is that true talent do what they love regardless of the money, and that’s the truth. Simon and Randy have been funny nonetheless, and Paula is beautiful as always (although she kinda looks stoned nowadays). I remember this girl singing on the show and she seemed like a nice girl with a dream, but a terrible voice. When they laughed at her, it looked like she was about to cry. Hesitantly, she said, “I tried my best. That’s the only thing I can ask for and have God by my side.” Simon replies with one wiseass comment, “Well, God must have taken the day off.” That is so wrong to say … but I’ll be the first to admit that I was rolling on the floor.

I suggest that everyone saves up some money and goes to the local Sam Goody or Best Buy soon because some slammin’ albums are about to come out. On February 3rd, Incubus’s “A Crow Left of Murder” will be appearing on the shelves, featuring their hit single, “Megalomaniac.” It’s probably no secret that I’m a fan of Incubus. As a matter of fact, I’m still ticked off that somebody took my “Make Yourself” CD last year … I used to vibe off of that everyday. I’ve seen these guys in concert too, and let me be the first to tell you, the music they put out is definitely quality. It doesn’t matter if it’s electric or acoustic; they make the experience and music worthwhile. Now, even if you’re not a fan of Incubus, never fear, because Godsmack, Taproot, Papa Roach, and Slipknot are currently in the studio working on their latest works. Also, keep an eye out for Cypress Hill’s newest album, “Till Death Do Us Part,” on March 23rd. The first single, “What’s Your Number?” should be playing on radios at anytime.

I decided that dedicating a whole paragraph to celebrities that I don’t praise isn’t just mean, but downright wrong. So that is why I have decided to dedicate one solid paragraph to the individuals whom I … let’s just say, those celebrities who I can’t quite figure out, but I will take an honest stab to these questions that I’ve been pondering for a while. Does Jerry Falwell really look like a fat farm animal? No, I don’t believe so, but he does look like a pig that has been taking steroids. Is Clay Aiken really a homosexual? I’m not sure, but he really does like styling his hair. Which American Idol winner has a better voice, Kelly or Ruben? Doesn’t matter, if you stuff a muzzle down both of their throats, then they will sound the same. What is Michael Jackson’s deal? I don’t think anybody knows Michael Jackson’s deal … or at least wants to know his deal. Do you think Saddam Hussein could have found a better hiding spot? Sure, in a dumpster in New York City … nobody cares about bums until they sleep on their lawns or benches. All right, and lastly, will R. Kelly ever get with the Mary Kate and Ashley? By my watch, he has four months to try because once they turn 18, they will be too old for Mr. Kelly.

That’s all I have this time. I know some of you may be thinking that I don’t like these celebrities. Truth is, I’m not that bad of a guy. I love all these icons the same, especially Mary Kate and Ashley. But until they turn 18, they can’t see me!


Playa Propaganda Volume I: "Speak Up, Ladies!"

Hey everyone! Welcome to my second BP hosted column, “Playa Propaganda!” Now, I know this hasn’t got anything to do with Entertainment, however, it is some ordeals and issues the need to address. By the way, this is solely my opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the great staff at BaloolaPalooza.com.


There have been so many females who have walked through my apartment door, complaining to me about a certain guy. She looks so sad, she looks like a puppy that just lost their favorite chew toy. All I hear is, “I’m just sick of this. He doesn’t care or know how I feel. What could be wrong?” Well duh, let me tell you what’s wrong. You females never tell a guy how you truthfully feel. You lead us on and never say what’s on your mind, always sugarcoating things.

I have met a lot of girls that hide their feelings, however, I will give credit where credit is due; some girls let men know what’s on their mind. See, for generation, upon generation, upon generation, females have always spoke in some code or tongue. They expect us males to read their minds like Ms. Cleo and know exactly what is floating around in that head of theirs. Another thing girls have in common with one another is that they want a listener. Basically, it’s like this: a girl wants a listener, but when a girl speaks, she speaks in some lingo that the listener can’t even comprehend! The madness continues! Here is a prime example that I am talking about. There is this girl … we’ll call her J’Lo. Now, J’Lo walks into this guy’s room and we’ll say his name is … Ben. Now J’Lo sits on Ben’s lap and says to him, “Hey chico, I have had a really rough day.” Ben says, “Why was it rough?” J’Lo then says in her whiny voice, “I was dancing up a storm today with Jay-Z tonight and then, I saw him dance with Beyonce. That pissed me off so much, like he doesn’t even appreciate my talent. All I want is a nice guy who will hold me in his arms. I mean, all males are assholes ” except for you of course, but I don’t know what his problem is. It’s just not fair.” Then Ben says, “Don’t worry, things will get better.” After this, they hug and this girl, J’Lo, walks over to someone like me, we’ll call him P Diddy. Now J’Lo tells him what she told Ben and says, “P Diddy, why don’t guys listen to me? Why doesn’t Ben want to hold me?” And then, that’s where the crafty P Diddy says, “Because bitch, you didn’t tell him you liked him, DAMN!”

I’ve seen or heard stuff like this a million times. Girls never tell a guy flat out what they want. If you haven’t figured it out yet, what I’m trying to say is this: Males know what they want and they will tell you females, but you girls need to open that big ass mouth of yours and instead of sugarcoating things and talking trash, say what is on your mind. And believe me, it saves people like me a lot of time, a lot of misery, and a lot of heartbreak.

***** If you have a problem with a certain gender, have questions about guys and gals, or just need some clarity on a sexual situation, then please email Bear F’N Frazer at bear@baloolapalooza.com. Bear will answer and help out with all your needs and, your letter will appear in an edition of Playa Propaganda! *****