Thursday, January 23, 2014

America Is Getting Soft


  Today's Generation:  I'm not threatened by them.  I thought when I was younger that one day I would be overwhelmed by grand artisans who have been given the unfair advantage of historical improvement; that knowledge and experience would be exponentialized by the time I was older.  Nope.  Those who will replace me are dumb as stumps and have no skill whatsoever like empty corn husks rustling loudly in a field, dry with no substance, living only to consume, to fill that eternal void within like a desperate and ungrateful soul-sponge that returns nothing, not because of arrogance, but because they can't.

  I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi finally, partially because I was pressed by a colleague.  I was going to watch it a bit ago but I allowed peer-pressure to drag me.  It's about an 85-year-old Japanese sushi chef and his sons and is mostly a documentary.  Sushi in Japan is alike to burgers, a bit low-quality in concept like a fast-food deal.  His is in the basement of a small building and seats about 9.  There's a one month wait to get in for a 15-minute meal (there's only one group for dinner, one for lunch).  His restaurant, about the equivalent of a burger-stand like Short Stop Burgers on Platte and Circle in Colorado Springs, or GoodTimes Burgers in Denver in near-microscopic in size, with a 10x10 prep-room.  Both his sons are apprenticed, the younger opened one of his own a few miles away, the older will, of course, inherit the first.  What's very amazing is that this little sushi stand has received a 3-Michelin Star rating.  There are only 106 current restaurants that hold this rating on earth, though in 2005 there was only 50.  Jiro's is one of them.  Both sons have been apprenticed since they were 19 years old and now they're in their 50's.  Jiro, the father, admits that in a few more years they'll be pretty good if they keep it up.  That's 30 years of making sushi, which is essentially a piece of fish on top of a smooshed rectangle of rice.  Quite compelling a movie about quality, something America loathes these days with iPods and mp3 files (and even CDs for the extreme audiophiles out there).  Americans enmasse prefer convenience over quality, choosing a microwave over a 40-minute oven-cooking ordeal 9 times out of 10.  What gripped me was that when the Michelin raters (a harsh bunch, mind you) reviewed the sushi, Jiro didn't prepare it, his son did.  In the background, you can see Jiro smirk just ever so slightly.  He has taught his son patients and quality.  Americans spit on this.  I don't though.

  I see weakness in the under-30 crowd and I suspect WW-II Veterans saw it with the youth they too saw, and it frustrated them as well.  I don't know a soul that changes their own oil besides myself under the age of 33 or even has an inkling as to how.    I'm not sure what the problem is, maybe life is just too easy these days for Americans?  I see an endless see of extreme laziness and a demand for money, power, fame, without any talent or hard work, and an extreme embrace of convenience over quality or effort.  My barber (female, who's actually quite good at cutting one hairstyle.. mine) was cutting my hair as we listened to her "mixtrack" off her iPhone of empty club music asked me what a socket-wrench was when I mentioned one jumped from the back of a truck and dented my Corvette's bumper this afternoon.  She's 24.  She is America, as is Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and The Bieber.

  On YouTube, there was a heated argument I started (again) about some kid bragging about his "perfect gold trophy" on what I believe was Rogue Squadron II video game.  I watched it and it pretty much was an X-Wing battle during the Return of the Jedi battle at Endor, which, when I was 13 and saw in the movies seemed impossible.  I noticed that his rapid-fire approach of the "spray and pray" technique was lacking in skill, and that friendly ships were not affected.  It seemed pretty easy and I mocked him.  It went something like this:


Mike Cronis
How cute.  This is sort of a baby-easy version than the original "X-Wing" where there's no shield or energy management or communications for squadron orders.  And look!  No damage to your allies when you rapid-fire on the medical frigate.  Nice.. for babies.


mrblack58003's a fun game. Trust me, this level isn't as easy as it looks to get a gold medal. And some missions are virtually impossible to get gold medals on. It's a challenge, but it's FUN. Besides, who are you to be criticizing such a well-made game? The graphics are awesome, the game play is good,. the voicing is good, the story follows the Star Wars movies. And the game is 12 years old. Not that you would care since you say it's a baby-easy version.

+mrblack58003 Okay. Fun, sure.  Still, try X-Wing for a harder challenge. 

X-Wing is an old game. It's from 1994, I think? 1996? That's more for people who enjoy games like Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator on a harder level. I love combat flight simulator games, but X-Wing is just too low-tech and somewhat difficult for a lot of people. It's only fun if you actually have a chance of winning, not if you know you're going to lose.

Yeah, the spray and pray is ridiculous here. When I play Star Wars games like this then I always take snap shots like they describe in the books.

Ah, America has gotten soft. Shame. Gamers can't handle RPGs like the SirTech Wizardry series and escape by claiming it's too low tech and impossible to win. People won, son... and it meant something, and no trophies for perfect attendance.

Ah, well he got a bit silent after that, understandably.  Still, it bothers me that even in games, the youth have become more soft, and I suspect I am considered soft to those in their '60s, those Baby Boomers, and then they themselves soft to the WW-II Vets.  People don't get as dirty as they used to, or know hunger as much, or suffering as the previous generations.  Little pansy Nancy-boys that shave their chests and frolic like baby boo-boos in the temperature-controlled meadow.  I see these softies fall asleep on the job.  I see this little tykes cry in fear no better than an age 4 little girl, these "men".  (shaking head, ashamed).

  I suppose we all pass the torch to a softer hand, we Americans.  I just find the Generation Zero kids, and worse still, Gen Tens will not be able to handle Life whatsoever.  God forbid we get a Red Dawn invasion situation!  We'll all be speaking some other tongue I warrant.  Still, I got a little more "buck" in me and can still fight the good fight.  Though... maybe hardship is what Gen Tens need?  Gen Zero is lost.  Maybe Gen Ten wills save them?


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