The Wire’s 5th Season gets Five More Trailers.

Who loves ya?







• Zero Punctuation, or how to get Friday over with already.

Don’t let Mario near the fine china.

So it’s Friday, and Friday sucks. So here’s my hint to help you pass –IE burn– the time away. Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw is the madman behind Zero Punctuation, the funniest video game reviews (going back to the early days of the unintentionally funny Nintendo Power) ever.

His style is minimalist and hyperpaced at the same time. Stick figures on yellow backgrounds with cut pasted images thrown in. He’s already drawn at least one imitator, who called their video Some Punctuation. What stands out the most about ZP is how much he can hate and how funny it can get. Sure, Clive Barker and Clive Barker’s Jericho are easy targets, but he nails them repeatedly without care. He even rips Super Paper Mario a new one for World 2, the slave labor monotony world, which really took the wind out of the fun after the nostalgic feel of world 1. Further, he rips Nintendo for it’s recent obsession with LightVSDark storylines in it’s big first party titles (Super Paper Mario, Zelda Twilight Princess, and Super Metroid Prime 3: Bob Knight Corruption).

Or he’ll just prove why Tomb Raider sucks with out a single tit joke, that is until the review is over and he goes crazy. Even when he reviews things that even I havn’t heard of like “F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate,” he’s still plenty entertaining.

WordPress doesn’t support his kind of videos, so I implore you video game loving readers to watch all of the Zero Punctuation videos you can.

News on yesterday’s Big Trouble at Little GameSpot later.

National Brain Fart Month, and Penile Obsessions

It’s amazing what you can gleam from 2 Google image searches and a minimum amount of Photoshopping.

I swear, I think this month my brain has been operating at far lower capacity than ever before.

This morning, I spent a half hour looking for my iPod, which I didn’t find. I know it’s in the apartment because I remember fiddling with it sometime around 8 or 9 last night to get it to stop playing when I was trying to focus on something else.

I get home, and it’s slipped into an almost impossibly hard to see couch crevice. Talk about a d’oh moment.

Anybody else having a month of absent minded behavior?

What else happened today?

Rappers are obsessed with dicks. Ghostface, for example, says

[Tony] Yayo can suck a fat d*ck. Tell him I said that,

in regards to Yayo claiming that Superb wrote most if not all of Supreme Clientele.

Nas, has a song on the Black History Month release that nobody can wait for that’s called “Fear,” but the full name of the song is, let me clear my throat:

‘The Fear of the Black Man’s Dick.’

Is Nas putting himself up in the running for best song title ever? I think so. I’ve also got money on Bill-O flipping his falafel over this.

In a piece of news that might lead me to never spend money on listening or listening to the rapper Cage ever again, it turns out that Shia LaBeouf is taking interest in a pet project film about the rapper’s life. LaBeouf is possibly the most succcessful member of this latest breed of talentless Disney grown doucheduffelbags like Zac Vans Defrens, and Miley Cyrus. Cage, this is your warning. Work with the LaBeouf and risk alienation of your fan base.

– So, surprise surprise, XBox Live is a cesspool of homophobic and bigoted assholes. I’m sorry for being so flippant about this, but Professor Mat Johnson, Halo afficionado, told me this a few years ago. Further, The Sun in the UK has been claiming that video game playing = illiteracy. I’d say that many stupid people are attracted to certain games that are nothing more than SHOOT ALIENS, but I know that smart people play Halo, and I know some smart people who play Guitar Hero (although one’s sole argument in defense of Guitar Hero’s stupidity is by trying to sing the instrumental to “Barracuda”), so what I’ll say is that I’m pretty sure the media is ignoring all the good things that probably happen on XBox live, like racists in different countries talking and developing cybersex based relationships.

– I almost went to this Billionaire Boy’s Club opening last night, thanks for the report Daily Intelligencer.

– Kidz In The Hall weren’t that impressive to me when they opened for the Clipse a while back. Maybe that was because they were signed to Rawkus. Now on Duck Down, they don’t suck, they actually entertain.

– In video gaming news, there will be a cross platform Ghostbusters game, which they’re making because Bill Murray, an idol of mine, is, amongst others in the cast, too lazy to film an actual movie. It will be written by the team of Ramis & Ackroyd, and I pray to god that the Wii version does not suck. By all rights, it should very well be the best, or at least the most fun, version of the game. Developer Red Fly claims that it will be great.

– Sony’s Playstation 3, sadly, might not have what we obsessed with the industry call Platform Exclusive titles. This would give buyers more reason to buy an XBox 360, and make the PS3 a poorly supported system, like the Gamecube nightmare. This all probably started out with the idea that Sony made a system that’s supposedly a pain in the urethra to develop for.

That’s all for today. Happy almost weekend, everybody.

MotherFuckingAngry is my Middle Name

Apparently, my postal worker doesn’t give a shit about quality of service.

1. Something you might not know is that I take my magazines very seriously. Too seriously, I’m sure. But when the Brooklyn Postal Service continues to shit in my face and smile while they poo, I’m not really going to take it lying down anymore. Today, I got my copy of Fader’s 50th Issue “Solid Gold”* spectacular, and the upper left hand corners were shredded to shit (see above). I’m so tired of shitty mail delivery that I think I might buy one of those year-round mail boxes at a UPS or some such location. This will not eliminate all of the distance from the printer to my feverish eyes, but at least I’ve cut out the kindergarten dropouts called post office employees. For once, taking things to the private sector might be a good idea.

2. More to be angry about: Oh Word’s own Rafi Kam has thrown his 2 cents into the debate over Facebook’s new Beacon technology. Facebook is taking another step in becoming the big brother asshole that we all pretty much think that prick Zuckerberg would become. He must feel so superior, to be a drop out pulling the wool over the eyes of so many students and grads who didn’t want to throw away their parents’ money.

3. Even more: Amazon’s Kindle. It looks like ass, is anti-sharing, and renders the text of the book the way Ann Coulter renders her worthless opinion: in a fugly manner that makes me want to smash the both of them against a big brick wall. Chip Kidd (a god in the graphic design world, and rightfully so) has given a brief FuckOff to it, right here. Except that he’s more tactful than I am (unlike the balloon quote he wrote in my copy of Uncovered).

4. Mick Huckabee, along with his current state at the top of the Iowa caucus, is snowballinglly** retarded. What’s even more depressing is the endorsement he just got from Jerry Falwell Jr.; a dumbass of the greatest degree who’s fallen about as close to the tree as Hank “My Favorite Actress is Jennifer Love Hewitt”*** Steinbrenner.

5. It sucks to be a Knicks fan, and it must suck even more to be a Knicks beat writer.

Things to be happy about had to exist, so I hid them down here:

6. It it weren’t for his turns as a member of Thugnificent’s crew on The Boondocks, I’d have completely written Busta Rhymes off. Thankfully, he’s helped MC and helm a mix tape in tribute to J. Dilla that is honestly really great. Busta made a good album. I know, I don’t know what will happen next either. It’s free, here, at

7. Tina Fey is optimistic that the writer’s strike will end in a week or so. I don’t know if she’ll be right, but I really fucking hope that things work out for the guild.

8. And something that really got some glee out of yours truly: two minutes from the Hot Chip song “Ready For The Floor” which will be off their next LP, Made in the Dark. Ho these guys look so stereotypically hipstery and can actually be talented surprises even yours truly, currently living in Williamsburg and hating almost everyone there.

*No, I’m not kidding, “Solid Gold” is the “name” of the issue. Also, chalk up the second copy to a clerical error on The Fader’s part.

**See Clerks and look up the word Momentum.

***Quoting a New York Post interview, which I would never link to:

“Q: We see you in the newspaper with a cigarette in your mouth.
A: It’s not a good example for kids. It’s something I need to quit soon. My children are starting to get concerned and are trying to get me to quit.
Q: How much do you smoke?
A: About a pack a day.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Napoleon; Einstein; Mozart.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: “The Magnificent Seven.”
Q: Favorite actor?
A: Steve McQueen.
Q: Favorite actress?
A: Jennifer Love Hewitt.”

This American Life is amazing, and other things of note.

Worth every one of the 1,500 pennies.

After talking blogging with one Benjamin Feingold, I’ve decided that I should try to post a daily entry. The daily entry will be some mix of link listing (culled from my RSS reader upon my arrival home) and notes from my day, if anything warranted noting.

1st off is This American Life. Ben and I went to see Ira Glass & Co. at the IFC Center for their Live Show. What their live show would be, I didn’t know. I’d been a casual listener and appreciator of the show, but somewhere around the time when the Red Sox were leading the Yankees by 14 games and I lost my mind and started listening to Bill Simmons’ podcast, I stopped following TAL and the amazing people they track down. There were three segments shown tonight: a teen who thinks he’ll never fall in love because he doesn’t want to fall in love, thanks to his comfort with his own state of life, and the drama that accompanies love, a Salt Lake City artist who tracks down the bearded for recreating biblical scenes which he will photograph and then paint, and finally, in the kind of segment that makes me so glad that Ira Glass decided to do what he does, an Iraqi who came to America, and wanted to learn what Americans thought about the war.

The first two segments, probably unintentionally, relate to each other for the fact that they deal with problems that will result from finding someone you will date/love/marry. The guy in segment 1 avoids love for the trouble it will almost definitely bring, and the narrator of the second video (not Glass, someone whose name I can’t remember, as I don’t carry pen and paper like I should) comments about how it’s thought that the person you are in a romantic relationship with is subliminally picked or found because they will provoke your worst personal issues. The narrator of segment 2 reaches this idea in her focus on the bearded man who portrays Jesus, and his atheist girlfriend whose father is a devout Mormon. I frequently was geeking out and siding with the teenager’s philosophy, until they unveiled his favorite past time, the wedge issue that is Dungeons and Dragons. That’s too much for me, friend-o.

Segment 3 was a taste of what’s to come in season 2. Again, I’m drawing blanks on names, but here’s the gist: an Iraqi man who comes to New York and wants to know what Americans (who probably support the war or at least supported it’s start) have to say about the war in Iraq. Quickly he learns something that Dennis Leary explained a while ago: New York [City, I assume] is, for the purposes of debate and pride, not really a part of what people think “America” is. New Yorkers direct him to the midwest and the south to learn about what supporters of the war have to say. What follows is a series of interviews conducted at an almost too-cute booth that was built in probable homage to Lucy’s advice booth from the Peanuts comic strips. The interviews are each amazing, and I won’t really go into detail about them, other than to say that they stretch the gamut of batshit insane soldiers to pre-teens who feel horrible about what our country has done in Iraq.

Also given to the Ira Glass hungry masses:

– rejected footage of one way they might have taken the visual narrative of the tv show, where in Ira Glass nods and listens along during the interview and looks very very weird. Not like he doesn’t look weird just by being himself.

– analysis of the differences between the show on tv and the show on radio, and how it obviously is a bajillion times faster to make the program for radio than it is to make it for television. Those damn moving images.

I reccomend that you watch, download, and keep tabs on everything that is This American Life. Heck, from what I saw tonight, the show alone is just as much reason to subscribe to Showtime as Weeds or Californication is.

2. HBO will air the first 4 episodes of the fifth season The Wire on On Demand a week prior to their regular season premiere. This show alone is the only reason why we’re still subscribing to HBO. They do this, I think, because the copies of those four episodes always leak thanks to the screeners given to journalists.

3. As previously stated here at Chill Don’t Pay The Bills, Super Mario Galaxy is astoundingly good. Here are links to two interviews, one with the game’s director, Yoshiaki Koizumi, and the other with our favorite plumber’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto. Read and learn.

4. My good friends over at Brunchtastic have double the thanksgiving cooking coverage. Here are today’s posts from Blake, on what he learned cooking thanksgiving dinner for his mother and sisters, and Jen, on why you can never have too much mashed potatoes.

5. If by some chance I have readership in, or that travels to, Germany; they are lucky bastards. Radiohead’s giving them the first two stops on their next tour. I saw them at Bonnaroo in 2006, in a performance that I’ll never stop talking about, and loved it. Go see them any way you can.

Bonus! You made it this far, you get a music video.

Murs – Yesterday & Today.

Vegas odds are on me not doing this tomorrow. We’ll see.

Assassin’s Creed is a fucking beta.

The best way to interact with “Creed” is to just look at it.

Last night I wrote this furious post, which you will see below. But then, today, I thought I might want to give it a third chance. I was moving onto the second assassination mission, when the damn thing froze on me for what has been the 7th time in 3 days. This was the last straw. The entry is being posted as-is. UbiSoft has acknowledged that they’re working on a patch for the freezing difficulties, which effectively announces the copy you bought in stores, and I rented (a pristine copy, by the way, rented during the free trial), is a beta. And I say, if a company like UbiSoft is going to pimp their product as hard as they’ve done for Assassin’s Creed, it better be final and glistening like Thugnificent’s watch.

And now, for the review:

You watch the game play of Assassin’s Creed, your character effortlessly jumping from rooftop to rooftop, climbing any wall possible, and being able to see almost every detail of a grandiose city at the same time when perched on your favorite ledges, and you think holy shit I’ve found the game that I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve heard all the buzz surrounding Assassin’s Creed and other big name blockbuster titles, but rather than buy them all and have them disintegrate my bank account, I got an account with GameFly, the NetFlix of video games. It’s a trial account, and currently I’ve got two games that were hyped as much as a Lord of the Rings movie, and sadly, Assassin’s Creed, once you’ve gotten past the first big kill is about as exciting as the many many endings of the third Rings movie.

Chris Kohler over at Wired’s “Game | Life” blog has written a great disection of why AC is a failure once you get past it’s jaw-fuckingly perfect visuals.

Destructoid also has a good take on the game, seen here. Note their list of the structure of the game is one of the best dissections of why this game gets boring. Steps 4-6 are a little bit more than they make it out to be though. But they do get boring.

Then, “Gabe” over at Penny Arcade has defended the game, and also made VERY VERY CLEAR he wasn’t doing so because of the fact that they advertised the game on their site. Well you know what “Gabe,” you’re wrong. The idea that people who aren’t almost suffocating from their own frothy spit over this game, simply because they’re up against deadline and trying to beat the levels, is as stupid as the quotation marks you use to remind people that you’re not the characters you’ve made in your comic. If you try and take a deep breath and take your time in the game, you get no more satisfaction, as there’s nothing to do in the towns, except fight the same three fools who are trying to rough up civilians with the tact of Nancy Grace talking about her new children.

So, that out of the way, I’ll focus on a few major complaints about the game that I’ve had in the two days I’ve had since it came in the mail.

1. The endless conversation scenes that are “interactive.” Throughout the game, your character, an assassin shamed by his actions, will have these long conversations wherein you either learn about the mission you’re about to putz around in, or have the three tenants of the Assassin’s Creed smashed into your head like a baby trying to force a square peg into a triangular slot. To liven this ratshit up, they’ve decided to give you the ability to move your character about as he’s talked down to, and sometimes you can change the angle. But you’ve only been given a kiddie pool’s space to walk in these scenes, so if you decide to take them up on their offer, you look like a frigtard of a mime pacing in some invisible box. My solution: cut the dialogue down to at the very most a third of what it is now, and UbiSoft, stop being so lazy that you’re making the game player be the cinematographer, let them watch and wait,. The alternative is that you made the only real mini game in AC: cut scenes where you try and figure out why the fuck you can’t walk over to that vacant space. I guess this might involve the paths of other characters, but even that doesn’t add up.

2. Saving your progress in a video game has to be something you can do with the drop of a hat. If I have to do it myself, I will fly to wherever the fuck UbiSoft’s (the game’s designers) HQ is so I can beat the game designers over the head with my PS3 controller until they let me save my game whenever I want, and let me know exactly when it’s being saved. There are these little moments where you’re idling in this world of visual technobabble white-noise, wherein you can only assume a game-save operation is happening without you being told. The same goes whenever you fast forward to a “more recent memory.” The game is based upon your character, in some probably futuristic time, kidnapped (wherein they violate 7th grade writing lectures I thought we all got, and told instead of showed) and forced to be in some contraption called an animus that allows us to somehow use our ancestor’s memories, conveniently stored in our ancestor’s DNA like some generational permanent record (which sounds about as real as the permanent records we all had used as leverage against us by douche-bag vice principals). My solution: let me save the game when I pause it, anything else is about as respectful as skullskeeting Helen Keller the second she learned how to speak.

3. Legible text on screen. Please. Okay game developers, listen closely. Not all of us own 62″ 1080p HDTVs which make it possible for us to read the chicken-scratch on-screen text that you seem to have found the font for in a Magic The Gathering instruction manual. I know about that because back in the shit bird days of middle school M:TG was about as popular as lame-o GuitarHero is now. Personally, to explore a side thought, I think this is Guitar Hero is about as close to Magic cards as we’re going to get in terms of terrible, overhyped, oversimplistic nonsense that gets adopted by everybody because some scrotsack of a PR copy writer claimed that these wastes of time are somehow social. Fuck right off you lazy snot gargling Idiocracy rejects. And yes back to the gripe at hand, since the text on screen in Assassin’s Creed is not only overly-necessary, but it is eensy weensy in size and almost equally illegible in nature. My Solution: test your game on a shitty SD tv, because that’s all we can afford now that consoles (that frequently die, mind you) are 400 bucks each while gouging gamers again, by making the average game price somewhere closer to 60 dollars.

To end on a simple positive note, I suggest that, if you enjoy video games, dear reader, get Super Mario Galaxy, available for the Wii; I can’t find one thing wrong with it.