Racism and the “New” Identity Politics

“Only white people can be racist.” This is the conclusion drawn by many activists of the modern day, who exert their various energies toward the goal of attaining justice for society. The reasoning goes that racism is prejudice plus institutionalized power, so only white persons can be racist. Let’s look at whether this is true and what it really means.

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Super Mario Bros. [1985/09/13] |Famicom|

I’m pretty sure you already heard that music in your head before playing the audio file. It is burned into all our brains! The impact that Super Mario Bros has had on modern culture is astounding. And why shouldn’t it be? SMB defined the platformer genre and inspired generations of games. Although not the first platformer, it stands in history as the iconic grandfather of platformers and is the earliest memory I have from my childhood. Before I could even speak full sentences I was already defeating Bowser. Click “read more” to go down the pipe and take a look.

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Contest! Win up to $100! (It’s a lot easier than you think.)

UPDATE: I have selected the essay winner! From a staggeringly large pool of 1 (one) entrant, I have chosen John Everett as the winner! John submitted an essay that was only two words long (“The End”), but since there were no other contestants, this essay was by far the best. John will be spending his $100 prize money on a self-congratulatory party with cake and ice cream.

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Do you want to win some prize money? Of course you do! With $100 you could buy almost 400 chicken McNuggets. All you have to do is write a brief essay. No, don’t run away! It’s MUCH easier than it sounds. All you have to do is write a 500-word essay (that’s less than one page!) on a short book I wrote. The book is available from Amazon for cheap, it’s only 100 pages long, and the essay topic requires imagination more than it does research (and you have three months to write the essay). Think about this: most people who see this post won’t even think about entering the contest because they’ll be afraid of writing less than a page about a short book. The odds are already in your favor if you’re still reading this.

Here’s how to participate in the contest.

  1. Read Everett’s Ultimate Commentary of the Bible: Volume 1: Genesis Chapter 1, 3rd Edition, available from Amazon. It’s only 100 pages long. Don’t sweat it.
  2. Write on one or more of the questions in the essay prompt below. Be sure to read the contest rules below the prompt.
  3. Submit the essay to me and complete the bonus tasks for additional winnings (see the “Winnings total” section below).
  4. Sit back and wait for the winner to be announced. If you win, you will be contacted via email.

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Hello, 2017!

Hi, everypeoples! I am happy to be back after a month off and I have a lot of writing plans in store for this year. Let’s see how they turn out.

My first goal is to finish my Bible commentary for the book of Genesis and publish the book version by the end of the year. This will mean that I have to write a chapter’s worth every week for 49 weeks, with a couple weeks to spare for editing, etc. I’m not sure if this goal is ambitious or foolhardy. We shall see. I am still working on my Japanese flash cards a little at a time. The most challenging part is trying to find Japanese subtitles and then trying to find a copy of the Japanese media I need to make video clips. Since I don’t have a deadline for this project, however, there’s no worry. I will still endeavor to write my Games Appreciation articles and try to get up to 1987 by the end of this year. Playing “every” game ever made is a tall order, and to be honest, once this semester of school started I almost entirely stopped playing video games except on Sundays; even the ones on Steam. I’m afraid. Please send help.

I am also still updating my tumblr, although I will be taking off this January because tagging posts is exhausting. I really wish tumblr had an auto-tagging feature. Even if I needed to delete some of the generated tags and add new ones, that would be better than nothing. Anyway, I’m still studying Japanese, I’m starting to study Hebrew, and I’m losing more and more of my hair every week.

Me in November 2009 vs. me in November 2016.

It’s amazing what seven years will do to a guy. I look like an old man now. Anyway, in between all this I’m going to school (still!) and now I pretty much only have my upper-level major courses to take. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately it’s a very long tunnel and it costs thousands of dollars in tuition money every year. Oh, I’m also enjoying some light reading. I’m currently reading Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God.

It certainly doesn’t seem right that a 700 page book can be considered “light reading.” But believe me, after slogging through Thomas Aquinas, anything will seem light. Since last year I have added two new pages to my blog: Recommended Reading and the Store. In the first you will see all the media that I recommend, including books, movies, and more. (I will only recommend something if I have actually read or seen it, in case you were wondering why there’s something great missing.) And in the store you’ll see a list of all my books that are for sale on Amazon. You can also see a list of the books on my Amazon author page, but it’s less organized. If you’d like to get me a late Christmas present or an early birthday present, buying and reading one of my books would be the perfect gift. So far I have earned over $3 in royalties from book sales. At this rate, I’ll be a millionaire in just 55,555 years! Oh, and this blog is ad-supported, but I have only made $0 from ad revenue so far, so I won’t count that. Anyway, money is nice. It buys food, which is one of the finest things in life. Something to consider.

I don’t know what new page or feature I might add in 2017, but I’m excited about the possibilities. As always, any feedback you may have is much appreciated.

Peace,

John

If You Vote, You Have No Right to Complain

Imagine that you made a bet with someone. It doesn’t matter what the bet is over–it may be the outcome of a football game or the toss of the dice. But whichever game, and for whatever reason aside, you and a rival enter into a wager. The stakes are as follows: The loser’s house will be burned to the ground. Now, assuming that you take the bet, you are aware that you are entering a wager where someone’s house will be burned down. To such a bettor, the desired outcome is a house burning down. Of course, you will surely wish that it shan’t be your house, but you will wish that a house burn down. You’ll just wish it’s the house of your rival. Notice I have said nothing of intentions or motives. Morally speaking, it does not matter why you are taking the bet. Maybe you need the winnings for emergency surgery or to make your car payment. But the reason does not matter. No matter what the outcome, someone’s property will be destroyed for the benefit of a short-term gain by the winning party.

It is despicable to take a bet where you know that no matter what, someone’s house will be destroyed. What would be more despicable still would be to delude yourself into thinking that your rival will be better off, and/or that the destruction of his house is either secretly benefiting him or the charred rubble is just an illusion. Of course, if you were the loser you would not fall for this assurance; you would recognize the lie for what it is and you would want your house back. If this situation seems absurd, it is only because I have substituted the words “house” and “wager” for “liberty” and “vote.”

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Excitebike [1984] |Nintendo Famicom| HONORABLE MENTION

So there haven’t been many appreciation articles for 1984, and the reason for this is simple: it was the middle of the video game crash. Americans made a few notable games for arcade and home computer, but the console was basically dead. Across the pacific, however, things were just beginning to heat up. In 1983 Nintendo released their first console, named the Famicom (ファミコム) (short for Family Computer) and immediately started putting out a decent variety of games. Let’s take a look at one of the games from their Sports series.

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Marble Madness [1984] |Arcade|

Did you ever play with marbles as a child? I did, but one day I lost all my marbles, and now I write about video games on the internet. Anyway, I’m going to show you Marble Madness today, as you no doubt surmised by the title of this article. Atari had a really good year in 1984, pumping out tons of instant classics such as Paper Boy; I, Robot; and many others. If only such innovation had come in 1982 or ’83….

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The Vernal Spring

Palm trees swaying in the breeze.

The clouds drifting through the tropical sky.

The spring winds are pushing them along,

As they push time into the summer.

Reef, sand, surf;

all of these clichéd staples of this climate.

I see them; I hear them.

For me the most exciting goal is not the excitement of the beach.

It is the quiet contentment of this spring day.

Or rather, not the quiet, but the symphonic sounds of nature.

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