Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
January 18, 2004
Hello, irony!
Category: Serious

Well, I didn't want to do this post. I promised myself that I'd finish my current story before returning to the blog. Well, hopefully I won't go on for too long, but you know how that often ends...

First, a quick response to a snippet of Dawn's latest blog entry, "Salvation on the Cheap". She writes:

It reminds me of the schoolteacher years ago who suggested I "try" to pick up a pen. Every time I did so, he'd chide me, "No, you picked up the pen. I want to see you try to pick up the pen"?the point being that I couldn't do it. This was the Seventies and people were paid to give you annoying self-righteous messages about spirituality. But he was right. When it comes down to it, one can't really try to anything. One either succeeds?or doesn't.

But there's no inconsistency between trying and succeeding, or trying and failing. Dawn should've said, "I did try to pick up the pen. It just so happens that I also succeeded." And then she should've said, "You should be fired, you know."

Next, a quick reference to the last post, the part about Krang. (KRANG!!!) I haven't drawn a new picture of him yet, but I did find an old drawing of him that I scanned way back when and had been hiding in a remote folder on my hard drive. Here it is. I must've drawn this in what, '94? Obviously, the new one will be way better.

I'll upload more of my old drawings at some point.

Already I've written too much, and I haven't even gotten to the main part of this entry, so I'll try to be brief. The cover of this week's Washington Post TV Week reads, "TV ONE: A NEW AFRICAN AMERICAN CHANNEL" -- interesting timing, don't you think? The feature article within, "TV One Debuts on Cable", begins:

TV networks and channels often mark the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday by airing special programming. This year, the occasion will be marked by the launch of a new cable channel.

Radio One, based in Lanham and the largest radio broadcaster aimed at African American listeners, along with Comcast Corp., the country's leading cable company, will launch TV One, the nation's second cable channel targeting African Americans.

On Monday, the day King's birthday is observed, the channel is scheduled to debut in several major markets with significant black populations, including the Washington area.

Am I the only one who recognizes the irony in this? These things never cease to amaze me. On the birthday of the man who stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and loudly proclaimed, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," a network debuts that targets viewers based on precisely that -- the color of their skin, I mean; nothing so trivial as their characters. Here, obviously, italics note sarcasm.

I could go on and on about this topic -- and I probably will at some point, but not today; it's not a topic I enjoy and I would much rather be writing my story -- but instead I'll leave you with an e-mail that I sent in the summer of 2003 (and subsequently published in the blog I was keeping at the time) to AAGamer, upon seeing its job listing in the online classifieds section of the Washington Post, as the e-mail raises points that I would probably reiterate in the course of a rant about TV One. Naturally, I never received a reply.

Dear AAGamer (or to whom it may concern):

I realize that the tone of this e-mail may come across as somewhat hostile or belligerent, so the first thing I want to do is make clear my intentions: while I don?t think it benefits anyone not to go about things in a critical manner (which, of course, requires giving criticism), my major reason for writing to you is to pose a question regarding a matter on which I am, at this point, decidedly unclear. That said, I hope that you will favor me with a response, and in any case I thank you for considering my words here.

I recently (that is, earlier today) came across your advertisement for an editor/writer in the online classifieds section of the Washington Post, and upon a cursory reading I was very interested in the position. In addition to having been a gamer for quite some time, I have quite a bit of experience writing on various topics. In high school I both wrote columns on video games and other entertainment related material for the student newspaper, and also, for several years, served as a section editor. In my spare time, I worked on a very reputable Dragon Ball Z web site (I realize that a great many people claim to have done that, but most claims lack the veracity of my own). During my college career, particularly in the last two years, I wrote a number of editorials for a student publication, and last month I graduated from Yale University with distinction in the Philosophy major. And while the following is hardly a unique skill these days, I have maintained a web log for the past year and have endeavored not simply to record the mundane details of my life but to write about interesting things, even if this often entails returning to Pee-wee?s Playhouse with my philosopher?s hat fitted snugly to my nose. But these are my background qualifications, and not my purpose in writing -- suffice to say that I was very interested in the position and was quite confident in my ability to meet its requirements, excepting my confusion regarding one point.

After being somewhat baffled by the job posting, I went to your website in search of a mission statement of sorts, but was unsuccessful in that respect. There is, properly speaking, a statement of purpose, as you note that you are "a startup website for African Americans who enjoy video and computer games" and "A Network for African American Gamers." But the underlying why of it eludes me. The AAGamer logo reads, "How We Play." Similarly, on the main page of the website, you write, "A game site celebrating the way we play." And therein is the source of my confusion -- in my years as a gamer I have had the pleasure of playing with a number of persons of "diverse" backgrounds, and I have never known them to play any differently based on the color of their skin. If you showed me an in-game clip of Tekken 2 (which has always been my favorite of the series) that depicted, say, Alex and Nina fighting, and asked me to guess at the skin colors of the unseen players, I would answer that the question was nonsensical. And while I might have understood your greater purpose if the focus of the site were to be, say, sports or wrestling games -- though I would still have been a bit upset with the "interest-stereotyping" that such a focus would entail -- you explicitly say that you are "going to have it all here at AAGamer," including, among other things, "Role-playing games and everything in between." So in response to the assertion on the main page that reads, "Yeah! You know how we do," I must reply that I haven?t the foggiest, and would very much like some clarification on the matter.

In any case, I thank you for your time.

All for now.

-posted by Wes | 3:48 pm | Comments (0)
No Comments »
Leave a Reply...