Blog News

Because the real Opiate of the Asses goes by the name "Ego" now. Fuck you.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My New Blog

My new blog is the Man Who Rules The Universe
You'll notice a few differences. It's a lot brighter, I suppose that represents my shift from hating everything to more or less loving everything. Yes the titles and logos are hand-drawn (besides a little touching up in photoshop), yes, thank you I AM an amazing artist. Yes my real name is Maciej Jachtorowicz, and yes, I am no longer anonymous, something I felt was necessary if I'm going to be blogging partially about events in my own life.

So yea, read and enjoy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

End of the Line

On June 4th, 2012, I turned this failed programming blog into a scathing political opinions blog, and, as of today, this blog has been running for one year, four months and 12 days. I started this as a scathing political and social opinions blog, to vent my teen anger and frustration with the world (which I still do from time to time). However, I'm not the person I was when I started this blog. I have change drastically over the past four hundred and ninety nine days. As I look back, many of my opinions I had when I started no longer reflect who I am, what I believe and what I think.

Even the title of Opiate of the Asses doesn't reflect me anymore. As a fairly extreme leftist at the start, I chose Marx because he reflected leftist ideals that were so often demonized and bastardized by the right. The image of Marx flipping the bird was essentially a "fuck you" to those people, a "fuck you" to all who ignorantly dismissed liberals as being "commies" as, unwittingly, did the same to the right side. I've opened my mind so much wider than I ever knew I could. I used to detest any music that wasn't made by actual instruments but here I am jamming out to Bonfire by Knife Party.

The point is, the Opiate of the Asses, Marx, this whole site represents something I've grown out of. I've found myself wanting to write posts that don't fit the genre defined here.

So I've decided that I cannot continue with this blog.

However, that doesn't mean I'm done writing.
I'm going to start a new blog, one that reflects me, my views, who I am and what I think much more accurately than this site. It's been a good run here, but it's time to start fresh. I'm not quite sure what I'll name it or even what site I'm going to use yet, but you can be sure of one thing; I will continue writing.

The new blog will have, not only what you've found here, but more. In addition to my political, philosophical and social rants, I will have more posts about my life, what I've been up to, projects I've been working on, people I've been collaborating with, and anything else that pops into my head.

So Goodbye for now. In a couple days I'll update this post with a link to my new blog. I'll see you there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Thoughts on Music in the Modern Day

Music as an art form has changed drastically over the last few thousand years. Its place and function in society has shifted from a privilege to a right. Everyone and anyone has access to some sort of music. The sheer volume and variety of emotions, passions and messages held within the endless genres of music is honestly humbling. No matter who you are, there is a genre of music that you will like, that you can relate to, that speaks to you in some way. Recently, I've been expanding my musical knowledge, exploring new genres and finding new bands with new sounds.

My Freshmen and Sophomore years of high school, I listened almost exclusively to Tool. I considered them the most talented band in the world, I literally listened to nothing else. The feeling I remember the most from listening to them is a sort of reverence for the amount of skill and passion that went into a single song. The rhythms were transcendental, the lyrics enlightening and the beats impossibly complex. Their albums were nothing less than incredible journeys through subtle, savage, beautiful and brutal terrain. An hour listening to a Tool album was a psychological thriller that I reveled in.

I loved Tool so much I sort of killed them for me. One day, I realized that I had listened to every song countless times. Even the somewhat more obscure albums Opiate and Salival, and even the rare demo tape, 72826 (I didn't actually own a physical copy), they were all overplayed in my mind. Even today, I'm still jaded on the band. The only thing that could bring me back would be new material. So Tool became my gateway to the wide world of music as I sought to fill the void that Tool could no longer fill. I started with the familiar. I went to Rage Against the Machine, and enjoyed their rebellious raps and righteous riffs, but found that they didn't fill me with the artistic reverence, or give me the sense of a narrative that Tool did. I entered the Ska world and found Streetlight Manifesto, just in time for their new album release. There I found puncturing lyrics, a sense of a narrative combined with a powerful ideology supporting the mesmerizing melodies. Again, it was different, it was really good, but different. My musical knowledge expanded just like this, finding bands that filled some parts of the hole left by Tool, but none of them were quite the same. Recently, I've come to Arcade Fire. Their variety, style and the enigma of their lyrics and subtle melodies fill me with the same reverence I had for Tool, but in a different way.

Tool, metal, rock and roll, even Ska, those are relics of a generation before mine. It is important to remember, appreciate and enjoy the old, but it is also important to embrace and encourage the new. Arcade Fire is music more suited to my age. It is the modern, the trendy, the surreal, the new sound that I can't step away from. At least for now. My sister had been listening to them for a while, and I was first hooked on them during their album debut after the 2013 season premier of SNL. Arcade Fire is something new, something fresh. Spinning off retro themes, then jumping into brand new ground, Arcade fire combines new and old philosophies of music with lyrics of modern issues. Seeing them made me think "This is modern art, this is what I want representing my generation in the history of music." From energetic, to melancholy to contemplative to outright chaotic, Arcade Fire's music has so much variety and new ideas that I simply can't get enough of.

I'll finish this post off by posting a playlist of music that encompasses everything that I've been listening to recently. So shuffle, listen, and enjoy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Middle Ground: Abortion

As I mature, evolve, change in my journey through life, I've found myself drifting away from the left side of the political spectrum a bit, and while I still have many left-sided opinions, I think I've gravitated enough to call myself a moderate. I do my best to see both sides of the political spectrum, and found that each side has their share of idiots and valid opinions. So I've decided that this site should reflect that. No longer will I write to make this place a bastion of left-wing opinions, I will do my best to open the gates and encourage a healthy debate.

So here comes a new kind of post: "The Middle Ground". In these posts I will look at a topic, present both sides, and analyze the strengths and faults of each argument. Hopefully, I will attract more of a crowd from the right side as well as the left side. Should debate erupt in the comments section, I will play the devil's advocate. When either side makes a great point, I will deconstruct it and provide a rebuttal. 

So let's start with something easy: Abortion.

The Left Side
Most leftists and liberals believe in women's rights to choose. They say choices about a woman's body belong to her and her alone, often saying that choices about a woman's body shouldn't be made by old men in congress. Criminalizing abortion simply makes it more dangerous for women who need it badly, as they resort to drastic, potentially fatal methods. Also often brought up is the issue of rape pregnancy, should victims of rape be forced to carry the babies of their attackers?

A woman's choice is one thing, but the child is half the father's as well. Shouldn't he get a say in the fate of his own child? At what point does aborting a fetus become murdering a child? During the very beginning of pregnancy, a fetus is merely a small ring of stem cells, not even close to anything anyone sane would call a thinking, feeling human being, but there is ample evidence that later in pregnancy, the fetus acts and reacts like a normal baby, something that would most definitely feel the pain of death. Criminalizing abortion, though it would not stop all expectant mothers, would prevent most people who realize the danger to themselves in more dangerous, uninsured, off the grid clinics. After all, drunk driving laws don't stop all people from driving under the influence, does that mean we shouldn't have laws against it? As for rape pregnancy, most sane people know that the claim of "A woman's body shuts down during rape" is absolute horseshit, but does a rape truly justify the death of an innocent child? Adoption is always an option. If you don't have the financial resources to raise a child, or don't want to raise a child that was the result of a rape, adoption is an option beyond killing the child.

The Right Side
Many right-wingers and conservatives bring up the prevalent issue of morality in abortion. Are you really going to kill an innocent child because you don't want it, or because of one bad decision? A common ideology is "don't do the act if you can't accept the consequences", and brings in the role of responsibility in sex. If you don't take proper precautions before sex, you have to accept the consequences and responsibilities that follow the act. 

Morality is of course a huge issue in this debate, and the question is, during an abortion, are you really killing a baby, or removing an unfeeling mass of cells? Up until about the third trimester, it's really just an unfeeling, unconscious mass of cells. If you're going to argue that removing a fetus then is murder, then you can make the same argument for the initial zygote, that tiny ring of cells that no person in the right mind wall call a thinking, feeling being. Another issue for morality is that morality is relative. When talking about abortion, the "morality" mentioned by conservatives is a very christian, religious sort of morality. History has shown us that morality depends on the culture around us. The Romans saw nothing wrong with making prisoners fight each other to the death for the entertainment of crowds. Today, that sort of thing would be considered heinous. Another example is giving blacks the vote. Many people had the sense that it was moral for blacks to stay as servants, that it was the "natural order of things". Obviously today, that's an insane opinion to have. 

So what do you, the reader think? Leave a comment and let this debate begin.
I'll sit here, observe and interfere,
from The Middle Ground.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Philosophical Ramblings: Human

It's 11:30 at night and I'm tired as all dick from doing 4 chapters of AP Physics work. I just watched a couple videos that inspired me to try and break out of my writer's block with the most heavy handed way I can think of.

Moar writing

So I suppose I'll start by talking about creativity.
My creative writing teacher would try and get us inspired by making us write nonstop for 20 minutes about anything we wanted. I used this technique often in the past until I didn't really need to anymore as topics began popping in my head like fucking popcorn. Those were the days where I would write more than a post a week. I suppose I'll try this technique again, but it doesn't really seem to be working because, as I mentioned, it's 11:30 at night and I'm tired as all dick which is slowing my mind down to the point where I'm typing a hell of a lot faster than I can think right now. I'm also beginning to suspect I'm a little stressed because I swear I just heard the first three beats of Queen's "We Will Rock You" in this utterly motionless and sleeping house.

Usually when I get inspired to write, it's because of a phrase I heard somewhere that reminds me why I love writing. This phrase can be anything, but usually it involves good vocabulary and a context of good writing. Today this phrase is "vociferous lack of shit-giving".

I like to consider myself an artist that paints with words but I'm not sure exactly how accurate that is, because I'm not sure any of my writing is actually good. My AP Language teacher reads some of my posts here and there and when I ask her, she tells me I'm a good writer. I tell myself I should believe her but my insecurities always get to me and I have little confidence in the quality of any of these posts. My "Fuck you Peter Singer" post was based off an assignment I got in that class, and I handed in an edited version of my post. I'm not sure what I'm so fucking worried about because that essay got the highest score it's possible to get.

I don't know if this is me bragging or being insecure, but I constantly feel my writing is very hit and miss, mostly the latter. Maybe this paranoia I have is the reason I apparently write well, so if I stop worrying maybe I'll stop writing well.

I've watched a lot of videos warning against the trap of fame, that you should generate content on your own accord instead of doing what you think the fans want. I don't know why I'm bringing this up because I'm in no danger of falling victim to my own fame because my fame doesn't exist. I suppose the danger was more apparent when I first started this blog, or at least the opinions portion of it, because I expected it to be something else. I originally wanted something along the lines of Maddox's page, angry, cynical, and actually pretty juvenile in an effort to derive some humor from the mix. I'm glad I grew out of that and this blog went in the direction that it did, but now I'm left with a bunch of angry, juvenile posts that no longer reflect my views. I still read Maddox's page and still find it funny, but I also realize that Maddox isn't necessarily the person he portrays himself to be, whereas this blog I try to do the opposite, as these (more recent) posts do reflect my views. I do fluff up my opinions to an extent, but I've noticed I've been doing so less and less.

Perhaps the insecurity of my writing is also in the insecurity of many my opinions. I like to think I'm educated and I know what I'm talking about, but I often remember that I am just a 17 year old kid, how much can I possibly know? I can't always be right, but when am I wrong? I try to put these insecurities to rest with quotes like this, but the doubt remains.

Perhaps its only because it's so late and I'm so tired, when I wake up in the morning I always feel confident with who I am, how I look and my abilities, but at times like this I always question myself. It's at times like this I look at my actions and decide, am I being a hypocrite? Am I being an asshole? And more often than not, the answers I give myself are "yes", and I resolve to continue trying to better myself.

I don't know why I'm writing this down. I don't know if it's wise to post this. I don't know if this sounds depressing or self-centered.

Right now I'm sitting in a dark room, at 12:10 at night. The only sound I hear is the sound of my own typing. Tonight, I am merely human.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spotlight on Games: Thomas was Gay

I just played the most moving and sentimental game I have and will ever experience. Never again will I look at life the same way. Every minor aspect was thought through and considered, creating a beautifully weaved masterpiece of a game. The industry will never be the same. Thomas was Gay is a story-driven adventure game, loaded with subtleties and messages, leading up to an emotional climax guaranteed to leave the player in tears, and cause them to rethink the way they live life. Developed by an anonymous indie developer, and distributed for free, Thomas was Gay is, simply put, beautiful.

 And yes, incredibly, this masterpiece is FREE TO PLAY

 This game will go down in history as a classic milestone in the gaming community, representing gaming's transition into an art form. Every aspect, from the colors, the dialogue, the story, the pacing, the lack of sound, everything is carefully selected and given meaning. This anonymous developer has truly outdone himself with this intricately crafted emotional tapestry.


 Alright, look you fuckers, there has been a problem arising in the gaming industry as of late, developers passing off interactive movies as "adventure games". I'm certainly a fan of deep, cognitive story based games, but the key word in that statement is "games". Games have gameplay elements, like puzzles. There are plenty of great cognitive story-based games, like Depict One or Looming, and especially Myst, which basically gave birth to the whole genre. However thing that sets those games apart from interactive movies like Dear Esther and (possibly, I'll decide for sure after I play it but for now I'll put it here) Gone Home, is that there are puzzles and actual things to do. Let's get one thing perfectly clear.

Walking around a creepy environment and learning the story with no possibility of failure does not make a game.

The point of a game is to present a challenge, not simply engage the player's interest. There needs to be a possibility of failure, some sort of "bad end" to challenge the player to actually play. Simply exploring an environment is interesting and all, but without a challenge, without a possibility of failure, without actual gameplay elements, it is not a game.

So it really rustles my jimmies when games like Dear Esther and Gone Home get good ratings based exclusively on their story instead of the things that should actually make it a game. Having a good story is important, and I'm sure Dear Esther and Gone Home have excellent, moving and emotional stories, but they are by no means games.

If I wanted something cognitive and interesting to do that doesn't require me to actually play a game I'd just watch The Prestige again. Christ.