Its time to get my cool on.
We get the ball rolling with SECRET SIX #26. There's now two Secret Six teams and each is working for a different Government agent. Spy-Smasher sent the newer team led by Bane to take over Skartaris, the mystic land from THE WARLORD. Amanda Waller reorganized previous members and promised them she'd clear out their records if they stop the other team. There's a bit of political gaming in here with Waller and Spy-Smasher, which I dig because it gives some pretty decent context for the action. Seems there's going to be a nuclear attack on the United States and that is why Spy-Smasher's Six is looking to take over Skartaris. So, we've got a lot more questions raised by the answers we're given which I also really dig. It took me a bit to really get into this storyline to be honest. Gail Simone makes it an enjoyable enough ride, but I wasn't fully engaged until I knew what the stakes were. Now I'm all in. There's a bunch of fun little bits sprinkled throughout this book. Simone really loves her bad guys and it shows.
From mystic lands to deep space we head over to R.E.B.E.L.S. #21. There's a lot of focus on a pair of rookie Green Lanterns in this issue. I'm currently not really too keen on Green lanterns nowadays, but I'm OK with it here. This book has brought together a lot of really fun space heroes into one book. When you have that much of a good time in space then a Green Lantern or two are bound to show up. What I love is that this kicks off a new storyline that segways flawlessly out of the previous one. There's plenty of action as the two rookie Lanterns try to take down Lobo. I'm not a huge Lobo fan, but he's a lot of fun in this book. His line about what "R.E.B.E.L.S." stands for was pretty damn funny. I don't hear a lot of buzz about this comic from folks which is a real shame because its consistently a lot of fun.
Over in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #37 I'm kinda stuck a bit. Joss Whedon is back on board with some of the writing chores which is awesome because this storyline seems to have spiraled right off a cliff. There's this thing called the "Seed of Wonder" which is the source of all magic on Earth, but also the think that stops all the other dimensions from pouring in. It also, of course, is located under what used to be the Hellmouth in what used to be Sunnydale. And somehow The Master from season one of the TV show is down there guarding the thing. All that and Buffy is completely preoccupied with the thought of naked fun times with Spike making me wonder when and why she became kinda a Slutty McSlutslut. I'm just kinda going through the motions at this point. It's an alright book, and I'm hanging in to see where this all is going but its gotten pretty inaccessible, and that turns me off.
In 2005 California passed a law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors. This law has never taken effect because its been challenged in court. Looks like its heading to the Supreme Court now. Here's the short of it. Lawmakers are trying to protect children from violent content in video games, and let's face it some of the games are really violent. This law is being challenged on Free Speech issues stating that if the games become less accessible to people legally, then stores might not carry certain games and game makers might stop making them.
This, of course, is ridiculous on a number of levels.
First off, most people who purchase violent video games are over the age of 18. These are the people with the money to actually purchase video games because the things typically aren't cheap. Also I would like to think that retailers would show a bit of tact in selling games that are rated "mature" to kids. This is the same way I don't see theaters selling tickets to rated R movies to kids. Despite what some people may think retailers can and do show some discretion while trying to make money. They don't want some pissed off parent coming into their store, or worse going to the news, because little Timmy got his grubby little mitts on LEFT FOR DEAD.
Second, this isn't really a Freedom of Speech issue. No one is banning or censoring anything. The people up in arms are claiming that this could lead to video game companies censoring themselves. Well, that's up to the company. They certainly don't have a problem making games that are rated "M" now. I don't see that changing when this law passes.
Third and most important as to why this is stupid, IT'S THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP THINGS THEY DON'T WANT THEY'RE CHILDREN TO SEE AWAY FROM THEIR CHILDREN!!! The Government is not there to be your freaking nanny. These games have ratings right on the cover, are usually you don't even need to see that because games where people get dismembered in them usually don't have bunnies and rainbows on the cover. Of course little kids shouldn't be playing games that are excessively violent. And there's people who will say "My kid played these games when he was 10 and there hasn't been a problem." If you are saying that then you are a bad parent in this regard. You're as bad as the idiot, redneck motherfuckers I saw hauling their little kids into the theater to watch FREDDY VERSUS JASON all those years ago with the little girl crying "I don't want to see this movie."
I play video games. I have some pretty violent ones too. I don't play them in front of my daughters. I'm not the greatest dad in the world by any means. But have some common sense. And that puts me ahead of some people.
In an amusing twist, video gamers are now launching a protest. They're writing "I believe in Free Speech" on their old controllers and mailing them to the Congressman who wrote the bill. This is pretty much a futile gesture as the time to do this would have been about five years ago when the law was actually written and being presented. I do however encourage people to join in the protest because I find the notion of Congressman's office piled high with video game controls to be hilarious.
Holster it, people. This isn't anywhere near as bad as when there were mass burnings of comic books after "Seduction of the Innocent" was published. Its a useless law aimed at protecting parents who can't seem to handle their jobs as parents very well and don't know how to tell their kid "no" when they ask for something they shouldn't have.
This ain't nothing new.
I'm on a roll this week. Hitting rough patches here and there, but still rolling.
And that's Friday, done and done. Have good weekend. I'm going to go play SILENT HILL and make my three year olds watch because there's no law to stop me.