Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

Announcements for my standup comedy gigs are here at gregtito.com.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Robin Williams

So apparently Rain Delay has become a blog crazyfool. He posts 2-3 times per day and suddenly my once or twice a week posting seems horribly inadequate, not unlike my penis. I shall attempt to post more but as I am on vacation next in hurricane-ridden Florida, I doubt I will have the wherewithal or the electricity needed to post on the Interweb. We shall see. This could all just be a passing thing.


Taking a slight inspiration from RD, I wanted to expound on the subject on sports. I like them. It seems in our culture that liking sports places one in the jock category, the meathead, 350 pound hick who loves to watch men tackle/bump/slide into other men. The artistic community (and by this i mean the fru fru wine and cheese snobs who love Kubrick but hate Bruckheimer) look down upon sport as mean, crude or just plain uninspiring. Whether this comes from a lack of athletic ability in themselves (imagining their frail buliemic bodies playing a pickup game of basketball makes me smile) or a supreme distaste for all things outside the intellectual realm, I think these poor bastards have got it all wrong.

To paraphrase Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, "Sport is a chance for other human beings to push us to excel." In every sport, you are locked in a struggle to be the best. The only thing that prevents you from that goal is that other humans are trying to do the same thing. Some say that it's not whether you win or lose, that the struggle is just as important. In that case, style and expression in a game mean just as much as the final result. Hmm, sounds a lot like art.

Take baseball for example. Baseball is a deceptively simple sport that has been likened to strategic games like chess or poker. There are moves that a manager can make which can be called brilliantly effective or devastatingly stupid, depending on the swing of a bat. One of the most common is the having left-handed pitchers throw to left-handed batters. But one must also consider that some left-handed batter do better against left-handed pitching, but only during night games. It gets complicated, there are some players and managers who pore over stat sheets and study trends and patterns in the opposing players. But then there are others who don't even know the basics of pitching and do incredibly well by just swinging the bat intuitively. In both extremes, the player is putting their personality on how they play the game.

Baseball has become a passion of mine in recent years as I've watched the Sox overcome 86 years of failure. This is a franchise which has so much history and character associated with its years in Boston. From their eternal struggle with the Yankees, to their self-destructive nature on the field, to their notorious fans, through it all, the Boston Red Sox have a certain style. These past few years, their character has been described as idiotic. They are baseball's crazy bunch of overacheivers. The long hair and the handshakes only point to how much they love the game, how much they love pitting themselves in the struggle of sports every night. The roster reads like a playbill, with characters like the Sad Clown (Manny Ramirez), Big Papi, Johnny D., the Texas Yokel (Millar), the quiet, skillful Mueller, Rock Star Arroyo, Big Mouth (Shillling), and Explosive Renteria.

How can you not be inspired by a team like that?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Picture of the Day


I've been relying on the National Geographic Photo of the Day for my desktop backgrounds for years now. They are always great shots, usually simple enough to put behind the plethora of icons i like to keep on the desktop. (I know Savage hates my desktop, both the virtual and actual but he that's whole 'nother blog.) I mix the shots I get from NGPOTD (i love acronyms) with my own pics taken with my Cybershot. They stay up for a few months until I get bored of looking at the same open road, or the same shot of Mephistopholes rolling her eyes at me.

The pic above will stay on my work desktop for a while, I love the sense of travel and adventure it gives me while sitting in my lonely cubicle. I will prolly replace it with something like this:

Or maybe this:


Ok, maybe not that last one but you have to admit that Google's image search can be very misleading. That pic came up after I searched for "grotesque." Racist bastards.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Natural State

As I climb my way out of what I like to call My Six-Month Depression, I find that two of my closest friends are going through some serious issues and life changes. They are two very different people (understatement) but they seem to be expereiencing similar feelings of self-analysis and doubt. You know, general feeling like shit. It stems (and here I'm speaking about myself but i think it applies) from just getting old. From being 27 and wondering what there is to look forward to. There may be other issues on the surface (both of them are single while I am completely happy at all times with my marraige to Mephistopholes) but I think it boils down to the fact that we are not in high school anymore. Our failures and missteps are no longer learning experiences, to be used when we grow up, they're just failures.

I want to help. To tell both of them that it gets better. To keep on keeping on. But I realize my greeting card sentiments might not be what is needed. No one wants to hear that crap when they feel like crap. I didn't anyway. But the stupid thing is that it's true. It does get better.

Think about this way: what is the natural state for a human being to be in? Before we had all these complex emotions and careers and shit like that, we were animals looking for food. Humans didn't have time to be depressed or to feel bad about themselves because they would starve. Caveman Johnny didn't pine over lost chances or regrets, he just went out and got more food if a deer got away. The natural state is to be happy.

There has been a shift in our culture, where we exalt those who are depressed. Much of our music, art, tv, and film focuses on how "cool" it is to be depressed. I hate the movies that are just full of unhappy people who never make any struggle to change. It's not cool to self-medicate with legal or illegal drugs. There are definitely people who need medication, I'm not saying that people who take drugs are bad, but we don't need to ALL be on drugs. That is not the natural state.

Ok, I've gotten a little preachy. That's exactly what I wanted to avoid. Basically, all this can be summed up in something my Dad used to say to me when I was growing up. "Don't sweat the small stuff," he'd say when I skinned my knee or got in trouble at school. He amended it as I got older, "And it's all small stuff."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This is all over the place

I've seen about 4 other sites link to this one article over the past couple of days so I thought I'd give it a read. The guy is pretty funny, and what he's talking about is certainly plausible. The article is called World of Warcraft World: 10 ways MMORPGS Will Change Your Life. David Wong basically predicts what's been touted in sci-fi since Snow Crash and Otherland, but uses real life examples. Worth the read.

He claims that all of the illustrations in the article were created by using the Nedroid software.
"Each [pic] was rendered automatically by a remarkable piece of software called
Nedroid, which can scan any piece of text, "read" it for comprehension and,
incredibly, render artwork to match the context. Did you even know that was
possible before now? Truly, this morning's science fiction is this afternoon's
science not-fiction."
Intriguing. Is it real or an elborate ruse?

A quick jump to Nedroid.com brings me no further explanation. It is a page of text that is almost 75% links. The site has a tongue-firmly-in-cheek quality. For example, testing out the sample Nedroid algorithm at the top of the page a few times yields hilarious results.

Checking a few of the links proves what I had pretty much guessed all along. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Bacon, Scientifically



A Collection of Animals Barfing





Secret Shame



Monday, August 08, 2005

The Economist is on my side

Just to hammer the point home from a post I made a few weeks ago, I wanted to link this piece from the Economist that a coworker sent me on the viability of video games as a new art form.

My favorite point that the author makes: All we have to do is wait for the video game critics to die, then we gamers will finally be respected.

Edit: My boy from Next Generation has posted this little tidbit. It appears that the legal system is also on my side.

Edit again: That tidbit link should work now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Third post! In One Day! I must be hopped up on goofballs.

I just realized that my third article is up on Next Generation. It's a profile on the upcoming Fable: TLC. Here's the permalink. It made the front page again, that's 3 for 3 for me.

I don't think I told you guys about my modding article when it ran on July 12th. There's a lot in there that I didn't write. My article was about the whole concept of modding but the editor decided to run it after the whole GTA:SA thing broke. Basically, the first paragraph is mine while the next 3 about GTA were prolly written by the editor. It makes sense to run that shit higher on the page as news but it's a little weird to see your words changed. And I even got my first response from a fan... of Animal Crossing? I think that game is the definition of gay.

Anyway, I just turned in two more articles on Monday. I'll keep you bitches posted on when they get published.

I hate apple

Apple recently announced a new mouse design. It's being dubbed Mighty Mouse or as I like to call it, gay. While the thing looks great and all, I get bugged by apple's take on the whole mouse thing. They've been adamantly one button mouse for years, forcing people with applications that use a right mouse click to make do without. Now suddenly they come out with a pretty redesign of a mouse that has been available for over 5 years, and Apple makes it sounds like they are the innovative ones.

The scroll button and the touch-sensitivity sound neat but it's essentially old technology being passed off as high design. And is anyone else getting bored with the whole white motif?

Apple's deal is also charging way too much for way too little. The Mighty is retailing for $50. Want a mouse with a horizontal scroll wheel, 11 configurable buttons and is WIRELESS (something the mighty mouse ain't)? Try this. Oh, and it's only 43 bucks.

Are you feeling Randy?

The Ayn Rand bit I mentioned in the New York post wasn't just a throwaway joke. I'm rereading Atlas Shrugged for the 4th time right now. It's not a small feat toting the 1000 page tome around NYC. Luckily, I was able to scavenge a yellowed paperback copy from 1985 and didn't have to resort to carrying my hardcover copy.

I decided to reread the book because, in all honesty, Ayn Rand makes me feel like a man. I first read The Fountainhead when I was 15 years old. All of my teenaged self-esteem issues melted away as I learned about how Howard Roark lived his life free of other people's criticisms. I followed it with reading Atlas Shrugged, which showed a much wider view of Rand's Objectivist philosophy.

The characters in her books are surrounded by people who are incompetent. Not just incompetent, but they suck the energy and production out of the people who have talent and ambition. They suck the energy in order to feed the machine of their own ineffectual lives. Which is pretty extreme, Rand's books do a great job of using extremes to prove a point.

What they mean to me: reading Atlas Shurgged make me feel that producing something is the most moral thing a man can do. Making something from nothing is exactly what sets apart man from animal. And anyone who prevents you from doing that is merely sucking energy.

The last time I read the Fountainhead was in 2000, I hadn't picked up Atlas Shrugged since my junior year in college. I used to pick up one or the other when I was feeling down. When I was feeling like I was a piece of shit who never does anything. And in my recent depression, I suddenly realized what would pull me out. Reading about Dagny Taggart and Hank Reardon fighting the moochers has indeed given me a jolt of pride. I know that I can make something. I am making something right now. And that's all that fucking matters.