Monthly Archives: April 2011

Serious Analysis: Portal 2

Hello the five people who read this blog, I am going to be doing a weekly blog post called ‘Serious Analysis’ on series or parts of series that I enjoyed.  These could be video games, anime, books, comics, animation, live action, TV or movies that I think are significant in some way and will attempt to inspire readers to look at these works in a new light or look at them in general.

This week, I am analyzing a game that neither needs added compliment nor attention, but I will give it that anyway. Portal 2 was released last week to much fanfare by the game press and fans, and is by Valve’s founder’s view, the best game they’ve ever published. And I agree. Now I could discuss this game to an endless degree, in terms of game design, dialogue and atmosphere, but I want to eschew that for one particular thing. I want to talk about how it rewards you. Specifically I want to talk about the ending, because I think it is an important hallmark of video game creation. And if that hasn’t scared you off already, you should know that this post will be intensively spoiler ridden. You will ruin the ending of Portal 2 if you read any further. This is not a drill. Read the rest of this entry

Steven Harper “Only Five Questions”

Stephen Harper has infuriated me before, but, I think he’s taken the cake now. Stephen Harper has announced that he will only answer five questions each day as he travels across the country for his campaign. That’s four from national reporters and one from local reporters. Not each, in total. Five questions for a man who wants to be Prime Minister per day. This is like if you went to a job interview and told the interviewer that you were only willing to answer their first five questions. You know what would happen if you did? They wouldn’t hire you, because you’re starting to show signs that you’re controlling, and maybe a little full of yourself. And if the job you’re applying for is the Prime Minister of a democratic nation, those are traits not really suited to the role.

Way Smarter Than You'd Think

However, it’s also brilliant. Five questions is only enough to gain information on a superficial level. You’ll get the whos, whats, wheres and maybe, if Harper is in a good mood, whys, but fat chance you’ll get a how.  And that’s only if the journalists understand English and French, because the questions are supposed to be split evenly between languages. Not to mention that there’s only one question from local reporters. That’s not enough for any kind of depth. This is great for Harper because journalists, if they’re not careful, can waste questions on something frivolous or be unable to ask a question that popped to mind a little later. And so he can’t be grilled as well and his ideas can’t be dissected as well because we’re lacking information. So the news we get will be limited and superficial, and say things that Harper did and wants to do, and then it’ll be done. People will read it and go ‘hey, this guy has got ideas and there doesn’t seem to be any problem.’

That’s if Harper actually anwsers your question in the first place. He’s been known to reject any question on ethics and social impact on the count that it isn’t relevant. It is, but that’s a discussion for a different place. The problem is that you can waste a question with one he doesn’t want to answer and then all of a sudden you have nothing beyond his (probably riveting) speech. This is a continuation of a problem we’ve had in Parliament. Harper was found to be in contempt of Parliament because he had issues divulging information to the public.

Seriously, is this the guy we want back in Parliament? The guy who hides information and refuses to address his own problems with ethics? It’s fine if a politician hates the media, they can loathe it, and hunt it in the night with a finely worded letter and scowls. However, it’s audacious to treat it like a threat and then cut off its legs like Harper has. It’s not like Paul Martin liked the media, and I bet Ignatiaf wants to stab them right now. (Layton on the other hand seems pretty chummy for a guy who needs a crutch to walk. If he got in he’d be like Canada’s FDR.)

When it comes down to basics, here’s the issue I’m having: it’s working. Tories are gaining in the polls and the Grits are starting to shrink. It’s not surprising, the Conservatives have the momentum and the attack ads has been ripping the liberals apart. Harper is the most competent leader around right now, which is frightening, considering what he’s doing and wants to do. But, don’t despair quite yet. The local newspapers despise Harper for this, and are more passive-agressively fighting this. Honestly, I want to give an award for the best use of the term Harper Government. In today’s news it was used solely in an article that starts “The Harper Government has eroded Canada’s reputation as a human rights champion.” It goes on to explain that the Conservatives weren’t particularly implicated but hell, you have to use the government’s ‘official’ title, right? To do otherwise would be wrong.

So here’s my homework for like the six people who read this. Look at Harper and ask questions. He can do whatever he wants with the media, that will come back to haunt him later, but if he ignores the people he’s supposed to be representing, then he’s not representing you. Also, vote. Do what the politicians don’t expect. Honestly, if you don’t vote you deserve whatever leader we get, even if it is Harper.

(The other benefit is that if more students do vote or ask questions, we’ll get to see the Harper ‘oh shit’ face again, and I’ve been dying to see it again since Stephane Dion announced the coalition back in 08)


He looked like a kicked puppy!