Thursday, 6 November 2008

Yankie, Yankie, Yankie, Oy! Oy! OY!

Citizens of Australia react to an Obama victory: (click to enlarge)

And the daily Leunig cartoon that so often captures the feelings of despair and hopelessness, expresses uncomplicated joy:

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

President Obama

Wow. It's been called for Obama even before the even before California has been counted.


I'm so thrilled for Americans, that they will have such a smart, competent leader. A leader who will try diplomacy before aggression, and will place the needs of the poor above the wants of the rich. I love that American children will grow up with a black president, and possibly never understand how long coming this was.

My live TV coverage is saying that "it's a bad day for terrorism because Obama will be respected and beloved around the world. It was easy to hate Bush, but it will be much harder to paint Obama as some kind of infidel"

(Yay, Obama is about to make his victory speech. My news coverage is padding it by showing celebrations in Kenya.)

On a selfish note, I am just so thrilled that I can fall in love with America again. My parents moved me to Australia when I was three. Growing up, I never really felt Australian and thought much of Australian culture was cringe-worthy. I hated the sunburn and the flies and the sweat. My parents tried to convince me of how lucky I was to grow up in Australia by telling me how horrible England was, all grey skies and gloom. This didn't make Australia appealing, but it made England unappealing. Instead I looked to America. America was endless roadtrip country, endless Summer. America was Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan. America was a white Christmas and a pot luck dinner, and big breasted African American women calling people "honey child".

(Aww McCain is conceding. He's showing a little class by not allowing his crowd to boo Obama. Too little, too late. Go visit the Daily Show a few times and let me respect you again.)

(Okay, it's not a bad speech. Palin looks like she is crying. *snerk*)

As I got older I became to see America as something completely different. A country where the amount of flags waved and guns owned seemed inversely proportional to the compassion shown for the sick, the poor, and the needy. A country that was constantly declaring itself the best country in the world nevermind the fact that many of its citizens knew nothing of the world therefore had no real true point of comparison. A country where healthcare and education were for the rich, and the poor were told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. A country where the personhood of a woman was diminished by equating her value to a cluster of cells inside her womb.

America was a scary, fanatical country that made damn good movies. For eight years I looked at America and thought, damn, we don't have it so bad. Yes, we have a conservative Prime Minister, but it could be so much worse.

Today I look to America and think, damn I wish I had a leader as awe-inspiring.

Welcome back to the global community, America.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sims 2: The Bloodening

Sims is getting a little boring. Giving my sims twelve children used to be a challenge, but not anymore. Giving them less opportunity for promotion so that they were stuck supporting those twelve kids on $420 a day is no longer a challenge. Random deaths by lightning, ghost, or carnivorous cow plant are amusing, but not frequent enough to really spice up the game.

It kind of makes me long for the days of Sim City, where disaster mode left your city in ruins whenever you thought you were on top of things.

So I've decided to play my sims on the edge, with my nifty jar of disaster lucky dips. So far these include:
Union strikes: Everyone quits their jobs and have to start from the bottom of the career ladder.
Recession: All savings are halved ( I use Monique's computer so my sims can have savings accounts)
Nuclear Winter: Winter all year-round for one sim year.
SimWorldWar: 1 in 2 sim male teens and adults die (selected randomly)
Handmaid's Tale Dystopia: Birth control banned. Using Autonomous Casual Romance I set all females' fertility to static and try for baby to always. Pretty similar to how I play now, but this would prevent me from taking morning after pills when household funds are low.
Hurricane: Demolish house and sell all fixtures. Rebuild house/buy back fixtures at a loss.
Global Warming: Change ground to sand and/or dirt. Remove all ponds, swimming pools, trees and plants.
Military Dictatorship: All sims transfer all savings and all but 1K of cash to the sim at the highest position of the military career track (these transfers can be done via Monique's computer).
Military Defeat: All sims in military career track die.
President Palin: All sims in medicine career track (abortionists), entertainment and dance career tracks (sodomites) and science and natural science career tracks (dinosaur liars) are killed.
Hippie Rule: No try for baby, no jobs, no marriage. Gotta make your own clothes and grow your own food.
Fundie Rule: Homeschooling only (Use Simlogical's flexi school hack), all girls married as soon as they get their first period, no jobs for women. Prairie muffin dresses for women and side-parted hair for men.
Plague: Two thirds of sim families (selected randomly) have a sim infected with the flu (selected randomly). Play it out, see if you can save them. Easy usually, unless you have the real sickness mod (which I can't find by googling, but have uploaded the file here)

Whee, this should be fun! I'm off to my first disaster!