The Return of Joystick Joe

« January 2004 »

Memo to Joe Lieberman. YOU ARE STILL DUMB.

Man, it really must suck to be you right now. Dean and Kerry stealing all the headlines, you're polling around the same as Kucinich, your former running mate dissed you on national TV... it's a long way to fall. So I understand why you'd want to recapture some of your past glory.

Doesn't make you any less of a dumbass, of course.

Ol' Joe went back to his Bennett-loving, filth-hating, socially conservative roots on the campaign trail. But with the Mortal Kombat card played out, how the heck would Joystick Joe employ his classic technique of finding a years-old game everyone already knew about to "discover" and decry for its vileness?

"Video games have gotten better over time. But there's a couple out there that are horrendous.You ought to see one called 'Grand Theft Auto'. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again."

Joe, you unrepentant, ignorant monkeyhumper. Anyone with half a brain could deconstruct that paragraph faster than the reanimated corpse of Pauline Kael hopped up on crystal meth. However, as a candidate, you're dealing with potential voters here, rather than people with half a brain, so lemme break it down.

First, "there's a couple out there that are horrendous". Note the accidental slip of the singular "there's" instead of "there are". Very Freudian, that, because the man only has one example. If there are a couple out there that are horrendous, list 'em both. Or list 'em all, if there's more than a couple. I'll help. Roadkill! Postal 2! DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball! Come on, Joe! Hundreds of games were released last year alone. You had to be offended by more than GTA.

"You ought to see one called 'Grand Theft Auto'". Oh, where to begin. The only game called "Grand Theft Auto" came out for the PC in February of 1998. So, on what approaches the six year anniversary of the series, Joe Lieberman is telling New Hampshire residents they "ought to see" it. I mean, yeah, it's New Hampshire, but it's not like they're Amish or something. They've got Targets there.

And then, of course, the meat of it, in which Joystick Joe uses his classic stylee to completely misrepresent the content of a game. I mean, I'm not saying that Grand Theft Auto III and GTA Vice City (the two games, one released in October 2001, the other a year later, that he's obviously lumping together) are paragons of kid-friendly virtue that stress the value of sharing and non-violent problem-solving techniques, but what he says about them is blatantly false.

First, the game is not gender-biased at all. You would be "rewarded" in exactly the same way by the game if you did those things to a man, and in fact, over the course of the game, you end up doing that type of thing to a lot more men than women.

Second, the "reward" is a paltry few bucks, because it's a simulated mugging. All you get is a little cash, and sometimes you don't even get that. There is no other reward, in game terms, for killing random pedestrians. Oh, wait, you get a single point toward a meaningless ranking, and you need a million points to have the meaningless "Godfather" ranking.

And you don't push people to the ground. They fall on the ground after you punch them enough. And once they fall to the ground, that's when you get the meager reward. Kicking or shooting them while they're down gets you no reward whatsoever, and, in fact, makes it more likely that you'll get caught and get the police after you.

I mean, for fuck's sake, most people who go off on GTA at least have the common decency to correctly reference the stupid prostitute thing. Sure, they blow it all out of proportion, so to speak, but at least they get it factually correct. Joe didn't even go that far. He just made some shit up because he's never played the game, probably never seen it actually being played, just got told about it by some aide who realizes that when it's GOOD news when a poll has you at 12%, you're deeply and utterly screwed.

For being consistent, unrepentant, and wrong yet again on what's supposed to be one of his "big issues", Joe Lieberman is not only DUMB, but has actually managed to beat George W. Bush as the first politician to be recognized by this site. Which surprises the hell out of me, let me tell you.

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