Grand Stand Auto: Sans Cogitus

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Once again, being the distant descendant of an obscure fifteenth-century prophet proves to be both a blessing and a curse. For I have seen the moment of my own death. Election Day. November 2008. Aneurysm.

I'll be standing there, ready to fill out whatever mechanism the voting machine of the future requires, and WHAM GUH THUD, that'll be it. The only question remaining is whether it'll happen immediately before, or immediately after, I'm forced to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Because while I don't buy into fate, destiny, or karma per se, there are still patterns in society that can be observed and extrapolated upon. And after being turned away by Joystick Joe Lieberman in '00 and forced to vote Nader... after suppressing my gag reflex in '04 long enough to vote for Kerry... after agonising over two decisions that ultimately meant neither jack nor shit, the universe will, in its infinite wisdom, see fit to present me with LIEBERMAN IN DRAG as my only presidential option come three years time. And if that don't burst a blood vessel, I don't know what will.

Now, Hillary is not the immensely hatable power-hungry shrew-beast that the right has made her out to be. But. By the very nature of her name and her connections, Hillary, like her husband before her, is a triangulator who will say whatever the electorate thinks they want to hear, as long as she comes out of it looking "moderate". Billy Jeffy already dragged the Dems irrevocably to the right with this strategy. The right responded by deciding that if the center was HERE, then the upper limit on right-wing nuttery must be WAY THE FUCK OVER THERE.

Which means if Hillary wants to tack to the right, she's got to hobnob with the Liebermans. the Bennetts, the guys who put "Family" in their name, and the for-fuck's-sake SANTORUMS. What would cause Hillary to join forces with the fucker who wrote an entire book to blame her for everything that's wrong with everything? The possibility that a kiddie might see a tittie.

Specifically, Hot Coffee. A phrase you usually hear out of tort-reform retards instead of culture-war retards. Hot Coffee is a mod for GTA: San Andreas, a game that people seem to hate despite the fact that it has a jetpack*. In San Andreas, you take girls on dates. In San Andreas, sometimes these dates culminate in what the sick, liberal Boston culture might refer to as "getting some". In San Andreas, this is represented by a closed door and some suggestive noises, earning the game it's entirely appropriate Mature rating.

The Hot Coffee mod opens that closed door, allowing you to see a brief scene of a naked chick bouncing atop a guy wearing pants, while you press some buttons. So to speak. There is some discrepancy over whether this content was on the disc (what the hackers say and the Lieberistas fear), or created by the modders (what the developer says and the Lieberistas fear). Either way, it's a non-issue, and anyone who gives a shit about it should be automatically disqualified from holding office, because they're idiots, grandstanders, or both. Hence the eventual aneurysm when I'm forced to check off Hillary's name in '08.

And it's a non-issue for so many reasons. First, extra shit ends up on game discs all the time. Cut dialogue, entire levels, all kinds of stuff the developers thought might have been a good idea, then changed their minds about, ends up lurking on game discs. DVDs have tons of room on them. It's a lot easier to remove the code that calls the data than it is to remove the data too. This is no secret. But it's not part of the game, so it's not part of the rating. Let's say you check out Harry Potter from the library, and the person before you accidentally left the picture of a vagina he'd been using as a bookmark after page 70**. Does this make JK Rowling a pornographer? No, it does not.

If the data was added entirely by the programmers, then there's even less of an issue, because you can't stop people on the Internet from drawing titties, no matter how much you'd like to. Case closed.

To actually access this data requires a certain level of know-how, savvy, and Internet familiarity. This level of know-how is greater than the level of know-how required to actually watch actual people actually fucking on one's computer. Any child capable of finding, installing, and running the Hot Coffee mod is also capable of downloading and watching stuff that would make Larry Flynt blush. NON-ISSUE.

And one last thing. The mod only runs on the PC version of Grand Theft Auto. And I guaran-damn-tee you that there are no impressionable children whatsoever playing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto. Anyone who can afford a PC capable of running it can afford to throw a PS2 in the living room so that Johnny can shoot hookers all day long without getting in the way of Dad's taxes and Mom's scrapbooking. It doesn't fucking happen.

So Hillary Clinton is wasting time and energy stopping kids who don't play PC games from installing a mod to a PC game that lets them see a lame-ass bit of polygonal dry-humping that won't even titillate a twelve-year-old with a copy of Kazaa. And she's the frontrunner. WHAM GUH THUD.

*Jetpacks are automatically cool.

**Notice how I avoid the cheap joke by one whole digit?