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Shameful Human of the Week: Gene Simmons

October 7, 2010 Shameful Human 1 Comment

This week’s Shameful Human is the famous bassist and vocalist for KISS, Gene Simmons. Gene recently appeared at the MIPCOM convention, where he took the opportunity to attack music pirates, proclaiming “Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars.”

Simmons argued that “hundreds of thousands” of people are out of jobs due to a music industry that has collapsed under the weight of “fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid[s].” If it weren’t for those meddling kids, I suppose the ubiquitous KISS brand would be on upcoming hi-definition television sets by now. Oh sorry, that is happening.

Gene Simmons, whose bland and repetitive music continues to support an apparently lavish lifestyle (if the bland and repetitive “reality” series Gene Simmons Family Jewels is to be believed), claims the music industry lacked “balls” when internet music piracy began. Simmons explained that allowing one cute fox to steal one egg will quickly lead to swarms of foxes overrunning your farm, killing your chickens, causing your wife and kids to leave you, and destroying every business connected to your farm.

What Simmons seems to have missed in his parable are the parts where the farmer “egg”-regiously overcharged for his product, refused to change when his customers demanded new ways of buying their eggs, lacked respect or appreciation for his hens, and repeatedly insulted the most passionate omelet munchers.

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Shameful Human of the Week: Cammie Dunaway

September 23, 2010 Shameful Human 1 Comment

This week’s Shameful Human is Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Cammie Dunaway. Cammie began her career with Nintendo in 2007 when she replaced Reggie Fils-Aime following his promotion to president, and she will thankfully conclude it October 1st. She also kind of replaced the legendary Perrin Kaplan who held a similar role in the company, and who also left in 2007.

Cammie was introduced to the vicious world of online fanboys when she made her debut at E3 2008. The conference is remembered as one of the worst in E3 history, with Cammie clumsily attempting to play Shaun White Snowboarding using the Wii balance board. Nintendo’s showing was infamously bad that year, as that was also when the company tried to push Wii Music as anything worth existing. Her E3 embarrassments piled on in 2009 when she died facing off against the first Goomba in New Super Mario Bros. Wii during a live demonstration.

Cammie did not appear at Nintendo’s 2010 E3 conference, which coincided with a showing more aligned to “hardcore” gamer tastes. A move which, I suspect, was not coincidental. Cammie’s employment with Nintendo always seemed like a cynical choice. Her public persona was as a friendly “mommy” who was used to try to preach to her own demographic. Seemingly, Nintendo could not be bothered to find someone who was both female and a competent gamer.

In his comment regarding Dunaway’s departure, Reggie stated, in part, “we appreciate Cammie’s contributions to Nintendo,” but not many fans of the company have. I’m relieved to be done away with Dunaway.

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Shameful Human of the Week: M. Night Shyamalan

September 16, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

Back when The Last Airbender was released, it became cool to hate on M. Night Shyamalan. Since Shufflingdead is not above easy targets, and with Devil coming out this week, now seems like an appropriate time to hop aboard the Shyamalan hate train.

I admit it: I haven’t seen a film by Mr. Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan since Signs, but that’s because I listen to reviews. And man, have they been unkind to M. Night. IMdB’s ratings show a precipitous decline for the man’s films, with Sixth Sense kicking things off with an 8.2, and then sliding down to a 6.6 with The Village, and concluding at a 4.3 for The Last Airbender (these are all out of ten). The real critics have been even harsher: The Last Airbender is sitting at just 7% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Unfortunately, despite flop after flop, film-goers will be seeing more from the twist-meister in the years to come. The upcoming Devil is based on a story written by M. It’s supposed to be the first of three movies produced, but not directed, by him. And despite the horrible reviews, The Last Airbender seems to have made money, which puts Shyamalan’s hopes for two more installments into play.

I admit to liking The Sixth Sense, and I’m honestly a big fan of Unbreakable, but Shyamalan lost me with Signs. It’s a movie about water-allergic aliens invading a planet covered in water, Earth. I still don’t understand how anyone missed this.

I would like to say that the twist at the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s career was the revelation that he was a hack, but it seems his career refuses to die.


Shameful Human of the Week (again): Uwe Boll

September 9, 2010 Shameful Human 1 Comment

My initial goal was to not repeat Shameful Humans at all, and at the very least, never within the same calendar year. If anyone was ever going to manage to earn that title twice within eight months, however, it would surely be Uwe Boll. And here we are.

I originally declared the infamous German film director Uwe “Raging” Boll Shameful Human of the Week January 25, 2010. Back then, Boll was engaged in a bizarre email argument with Wired writer Chris Kohler for hating on his new film, Postal. Of course, the man’s record of disgracing video game franchises like House of the Dead and Dungeon Siege by turning them into unwatchable trash films didn’t help. Boll’s furious beat down of misled internet nerds during a boxing match in 2006 also contributed to my hatred of the man.

What has Uwe done to cause my anger to resurface? Well, it turns out the man has been hard at work on a new film called Auschwitz, which he claims “shows Auschwitz as this what it was: a meatplant for humans… a death factory.” In other words, Uwe is applying his clumsy and offensive touch to a movie about the holocaust. The NSFW trailer for the film makes it look like torture porn.

I don’t think I can say this any more clearly: the man who thought it was a good idea to splice game footage from House of the Dead into its corresponding movie is now directing a film about genocide.

Image: Adapted from Dungeon Seige (009) by Arbron under a CC-BY license.


Shameful Human(s) of the Week: Now it’s just the entire Digg community

September 2, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

Last week, I declared Kevin Rose, the founder of social media/link sharing site Digg.com and the entire community of that site to be Shameful Humans. I blamed Kevin and his staff for prematurely pushing out v4 while it was still packed with glitches and absent in obvious features, and I blamed the community of Digg for completely overreacting to the changes brought about.

In the intervening week, Digg’s tech has stabilized, things are getting fixed, and Rose appears to be moving forward. The community of his site, however, is not. Each day, I fire up Digg with the hopes of finding amusement and maybe even a story or two to cover on the site, the things I used to find. Instead, what my browser displays each morning is a user-generated catastrophe of nerd rage.

Every anti-Digg and anti-Rose post that can be found is popularized and pushed to the front-page. Significantly worse, the frothing geeks who continue to visit Digg, even though they claim to hate it, see to it that no conversation within any comment section can take place unless it is specifically about how bad the new Digg is.

As anti-v4 push-back continues, it has become increasingly shrill and conspiratorial, with users now claiming sites like Mashable and TIME pay Rose to promote their content. This of course ignores the fact that these users have managed to entirely bend Digg’s system to their will, in direct violation of corporate interest. Someone, somewhere has to be Digging up those stories in order popularize them. Where users used to follow other users, they now more often follow websites, and some sites have managed to work the system better than others. That’s it.

Never have I more greatly appreciated the diligent work of moderators on the forums I visit. If this were any forum on the internet, such users would be banned for trolling, trashing, and abusing the site they are participating in. At a certain point, Digg is going to have to boot these unruly abusers in order to be able to provide any kind of service at all, save as venting ground for unwarranted rage.

Digg has been rendered unusable, not by its leadership, not by the corporate masters the company has supposedly bowed to, but by its own community of spammers who have seemingly nothing else to do than ruin a perfectly good service for everyone else.

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