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Shameful Human of the Week: Barack Obama

This week’s Shameful Human is none other than President of the United States, Barack Obama. Recently speaking at the annual Export-Import Bank’s conference, the American president made it clear that when it comes to issues of copyright, he stands behind the plodding, dinosaur-esque titans of the entertainment industry.

Obama even went so far as to declare his administration’s support of ACTA, saying “the (U.S. Trade Representative) is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses… including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).”

ACTA is a controversial trade agreement that has been negotiated in secret among countries, and its critics (including me) believe it places corporate greed over individual rights. Because ACTA is a trade agreement, it can be signed onto and made enforceable in countries that would not have been able to pass such unpopular, restrictive laws through the usual channels. As an example of its dangerous power, ACTA will force ISPs to reveal the identities of suspected internet pirates by removing safeguards against their liability.

Taking this latest disappointment into consideration, in addition to his general weakness when it comes to combating his crazed opponents, as well as his obvious disinterest in passing strong, progressive health care legislation, I have no qualms with labeling Barack Obama a Shameful Human. His presidency is only an improvement over that of his predecessor’s in that it is not a total disaster.

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Shameful Human of the Week: Fredrik Liliegren

This week’s Shameful Human is Fredrik Liliegrin, the former DICE CEO and co-founder who now heads up Antic Entertainment. He had a recent chat with Gaming Union in which he claimed the Wii was a “virus.”

Liliegren took the form of a wild-eyed prophet who has seen the future and knows the doom awaiting mankind when he announced “people have got to realize the Wii is a toy, not an entertainment focused product.” That’s funny, I always thought games were entertainment. Or is entertainment a higher form of art, something only reserved for the more refined palate of your 18-29 year-old Gears of War loving males?

Fredrik went on to say “this is not a games game machine.” Huh, I wonder what that means. Does the Wii not play critically acclaimed games software like Super Mario Galaxy, or does it merely provide amusing distractions for so-called “non gamers” looking to have a pretend game of tennis.

Liliegren followed up his rant with an attempt at some vigorous backpedaling a few days later on his blog, in which he basically said the same things over again. He claimed:

Given this design direction the Wii in my mind is more of a toy then a games machine, and I say millions of Wii Fit players agree with me! It’s a Toy that plays some pretty good video games, but the majority of users that has bought a Wii, I believe, would never consider buying a Xbox 360 or a PS3. Simply because I believe they would not be interested in that experience.

Again, Liliegren differentiates toys and games, with the implication that toys are something lesser. I suppose what he’s saying is that while the Wii may very well be a games machine, it is by no means “legitimate” in the same way the 360 and PS3 are, because while the public at large may buy a Wii, they would never pick up a 360 or PS3, where the “real” games are.

Liliegren joins legendary Shameful Humans like Capcom’s Antoine Seux, EA’s Alain Tascan and SEGA’s Constantine Hantzopoulos as a games industry insider bent on hating the Wii for no reason other than his own ignorance.

QJ.net, MCV


Shameful Human of the Week: Jenny McCarthy

For years we’ve had to endure Jenny McCarthy’s ignorant rantings about how childhood vaccinations supposedly caused her son’s autism, despite a complete lack of scientific evidence, along with her insistence that chelation therapy actually did something to help him. Well, now Jenny’s theories have been thoroughly laid to rest, and that’s a great reason to make her Shameful Human of the Week.

It seems her son never actually had autism, but rather “a rare childhood neurological disorder” called Landau-Kleffner syndrome. LKS can cause speech impairment and neurological damage, but affected children have been known to regain their language abilities. That would explain why her son kept getting better, despite her fake science having long been proven bullshit.

Jenny’s backpedaling like crazy. She’s decided she just wants vaccines better researched, and not eliminated entirely, as she once pushed for. McCarthy claims that she will continue to be a voice for autism, although I would hope all of this finally ends the shred of credibility the mainstream press was giving her.

As a formal apology for making the world dumber, and for endangering the health of everyone by publicly promoting the boycott of vaccines, I’d like to see McCarthy free Jim Carrey and return him to reality.

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Shameful Human of the Week: Mike Hickey

February 22, 2010 Shameful Human 1 Comment

Finding an image of Mike for this week’s Shameful Human was a difficult task, so you’ll just have to live with the little thumbnail to the right. At least there is joy in staring at that mysterious robot claw that seems to be reaching up at him, and imagining it is some unfortunate victim being held down by Hickey’s repressive boot.

Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey is still in denial that Nintendo has fully won this generation’s console war, and insists the company needs to enter panic mode in order to have a chance against its competitor’s knock-offs. Hickey recently stated:

We believe Nintendo needs to cut the price of their console from $200 to $150 immediately, as they should establish as meaningful of an installed base as possible before the Natal and Arc are introduced.

That’s funny, I thought Nintendo had already established a meaningful installed base when they sold as many consoles as their two competitors combined.

Hickey’s lunacy didn’t end by assuming he knew how to run the world’s most successful video game company, he’s also tricked himself into believing the “fad” of Nintendo’s dominance might soon be ending. He predicts:

We remain optimistic for near term PS3 and 360 market growth opportunities… We expect continued market weakness through ’10 for Nintendo related products, as the Wii cycle fades meaningfully and the DS platform faces considerable competition from Apple related mobile gaming devices.

I suppose Wii and DS sales may fade in the upcoming year, although that does tend to happen when video game systems begin to reach a certain saturation point. Note Hickey’s language, “market weakness” is simply a nonsensical way of talking about a company which outsold its competition at a nearly 2:1 margin just two months ago.

Why is it that analysts and so-called experts still insist on predicting Nintendo’s doom, even as the company’s victory march continues? None of them foresaw this walloping coming, maybe they want to will their original guesses into existence.

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Shameful Human of the Week: Robert Pattinson

February 15, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

Robert Pattinson is another one of those people who I’ve always known would have to be crowned a Shameful Human at some point; I was just looking for a good excuse. Lucky for me, Pattinson has done well to act like an absolute idiot this week.

In a drunken interview with Details magazine, Pattinson revealed what most of us already knew, he “really hate vaginas.” Indeed, Pattinson claims to be “allergic to vagina.” Pattinson barely survived a lengthy photo shoot in which he “had to” position himself between the legs of a hot female model, and apparently only handled the ordeal because he was hungover.

Let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that Pattinson is shameful for being gay. Absolutely not. It’s just that he’s spent an awful lot of time leading on an awful lot of confused young girls.

You might be thinking, okay, Pattinson is gay, well maybe now he can become a prominent gay rights activist. Actually, that won’t work, he’s not gay either. Add all of his gay followers to the list of victims he’s led on. It turns out that Pattinson only has eyes for his dog. In the depths of his bizarre interview, Pattinson unleashed this monster: “There might be something wrong with my emotional sight… The only emotional connection of relevance is with my dog. My relationship with my dog, it’s ridiculous.” Yikes.

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