Countdown to 18: 5 Days

I have been contemplating over and over again in my mind what outrageous thing I could do on my birthday that wouldn't violate my religious beliefs. It is a bit hard because just about anything I could do does violate my religious beliefs, if not my personal ones.

  • Smoking: I have no desire to smoke. It has nothing to do if I think its wrong or not, I just don't care to. If I wanted to smoke, I could have started years ago.
  • Be a Porn Star:HAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHAHHA AHHHHAHHAA!!!! *rolls on the ground laughing*
  • Buy Porn:Under Christianity this is considered a sin. All men have problems with porn, but the internet gives it to you free. Though you can't hide the internet under your bed and pull it out when your mom isn't looking. Porn is evil to me.
  • Register to vote:This is something I want to do, but I'm afraid of paperwork. I'm extremely opinionated (those who dwell in the catbox and the usergroup know this) and I have been taught since birth that good little Americans vote. I want my voice to be heard, no matter how small and squeaky it may sound.
  • Sign-up for the Draft:I don't wanna, but like a good little American I'm gonna.
  • Drive after midnight:In my state you can't do this unless you are over 18, but nobody obeys it anyway.
  • Get a real job:I'm a bagboy at my local grocery store. I like it, but they only pay me in stale cookies. Maybe turning 18 will help me get a good paying job and more options

The grandaddy of all the things I can do when I turn 18 is.....(insert drum roll here) (See March 6, 2003) My greatest fear is that I will either be the kind of guy who dates a different women each week or I'll be the kind of guy who hides every time a girl comes near him. I'm not that way now, so I don't expect to start. I just want to find somebody to love in a genuine way and according to my belief, I will find that person. I'm not a commitaphobic, but I don't want to be a clinger either. I guess I'll see how the dice falls.

Playwright in Tech

D +4 Day

Towards the end of tech week there was just no time and no computer access for me to continue journalizing it, so with your indulgence I thought I’d just jot out a capsulation of the last 5 days.

D -1 Day

Dress rehearsal kicked a good deal of ass. If we can have a show even close to this good on the acting side of things tomorrow night, we might-- might-- have a hit. (Knock on wood, spit and turn around three times and any other superstitious bullshit you can think of.) This is possibly the most consistently talented and able cast I’ve ever worked with. I’ve had some good ones in the past, but there was always someone who wasn’t quite on board, either openly or subconsciously deflating the effort. But these guys, they’re pros, taking difficult notes late in the game and making them reality. They’re attacking the challenge of opening a brand new show with an earnestness that’s almost heartbreaking. I’ve long ago given up caring as much about theatre as they do. Maybe they know something I don’t.

D Day

Busy, busy day. I stay one last night at the The director’s apartment, almost out of some masochistic superstition. But it’s good, ‘cuz we get a chance to have breakfast. I give him some small last minute notes based on last night’s dress rehearsal, and then we mostly chat about how it’s always this hard and chaotic doing theatre, but that up till now, he’s been shielded from it, having only acted in earlier productions, as opposed to directing and producing this one. Towards the end of the meal, he gets a panicked call from his co-producer telling him that she misread the theatre’s schedule, and it won’t be available to us until noon and then we lose it again from 4 to 6. This is insanity. The set designer is gonna go ballistic. It’s absolutely unheard of not having the theatre all day before opening to make the inevitable last minute touch ups. I have to shrug this set-back off. It’s not my business as a playwright, and besides, I have to drive across town, check into a motel, then drive down to the airport to pick up my wife, nine-month old boy and my sister-in-law. At this point, I’m officially done with tech, and heading into Opening Night mode. Playwright’s privilege: begging off the bothersome bullshit.

I manage to get a shower at the motel before having to head back out to the airport. My good travel karma for this trip holds, and I get to LAX in time to see my wife, boy and sister-in-law walking up to the baggage carousel just as I do. My boy giggles when he sees me, and then continues to giggle for a full five minutes. My heart is soupy Jell-O. Why did I ever leave him for so long? For theatre? Jesus Christ, am I insane? My wife got a new haircut and looks even sexier than usual. The worst is over, and I could honestly give a fuck if the play works or doesn’t tonight.

LA traffic is murder back to the hotel, but we’ve got a little bit of time to relax before heading back out to the theatre. I put on a suit and tie, something I always do for opening. Just my way of saying to the actors that what they’re doing is special, a once-in-a-lifetime thing: no one will every say these words for the first time again.

On to the show. It’s sold out tonight, which is a good thing obviously, though not too terribly impressive, given that the house is only just shy of seventy seats. We have seven press members confirmed though, which is more than I get for the entire run of most of my world premieres. My producer claims that someone from NPR is here, but if it’s true, it doesn’t mean much to me. I have trouble believing they’d wind up doing a story on something so small as this.

We start late. Openings always start late. This time it’s partly because the set designer is still working on the set, ten minutes before the house opens. When I say hello to him and ask if there’s anything I can do, he simply snaps: “No time.” I’ve seen him like this before, though maybe not quite so bad. It’s best just to walk away.

The show goes well, though it lacks some of last night’s shimmer. I’m not surpised. It’s kind of par for the course, a full house for the first time almost always tends to throw actors slightly out of their game. They’re constantly being surprised by reactions and laughs in strange places. The audience themselves, however, has no idea of the lacking shimmer, and they seem to be genuinely enjoying it. You really can’t ask for more.

My wife and I stay after and party with the cast, crew and other assorted guests till two in the morning. We’re all more relieved than ecstatic that it came off so well.

D +1 Day

Call it what you want: the sophomore blues, the second night curse: tonight’s show is technical disaster after technical disaster. First, one of the actors gets the bright idea to turn on the air-conditioner in the theatre prior to the show (breaking the hard fast theatre rule that actors should touch nothing in a theatre, except for their own props, and even then, only when they need them). This seemingly innocuous act turns ugly for the simple fact that he neglects to tell anyone on the crew or house staff, and thus the beastly machine runs through the entire first act muffling most of the dialogue to just barely audible. The very top light cue was utterly blown: first an ungainly pause in utter darkness, then a general wash comes up instead of the specific progression of tight spots that’s supposed to follow each actor through a series of monologues. Then the board op painfully cycles through cue after cue to catch up with the actors, who, as good professionals, can’t just stand and wait for the booth to get their shit together. Granted, these are the kind of things that someone who doesn’t know the show barely understands or even notices, but it’s often enough to utterly throw a cast out of the game. They hold it together competently, but not only is there no shimmer, there’s often no connection to the heart of the play at all.

I’m hoping intermission and the subsequent second act brings some respite from the carnage, but this hope turns out to be baseless. A sound cue meant to run only during intermission (a recording of talk radio call-in’s just after 9/11) is allowed to run during the first ten minutes of the act. Everyone in the audience can hear it, but not the booth. Finally, in a quiet dramatic scene, they figure it out and cut it off abruptly. Tragedy turns to comedy when one of the actors moves a desk off stage in a blackout. There’s a loud bang as he crashes it into the back wall of the theatre, then we distinctly hear him mutter: “Shit!” The entire audience, including myself, laughs, with the exception of my friend, the director, who goes stiff with horror. He’s not used to watching the war from the commander’s perch. He’ll get over it somehow.

Afterwards, I find out that both The Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly were in the house tonight: the two most important papers when it comes to attracting an audience for a show. One hopes they’ll forgive us the glitches. Critics often do; but you’d also have to be a fool to bank on their good graces. They are as capricious and idiotic as Olympian deities. The only good thing about them you can say is, in L.A., they have very little power to hurt or help a show. Only The New York Times can coronate a new playwright worthy of the big regional theatres’ attention, and they haven’t seen fit to do so for me yet, nor do I have hopes they ever will.

D +3 Day

Back to being a full time stay-at-home dad. Frankly, I’d rather wipe my son’s butt than kiss anyone else’s.

I got a voice mail from the director that the cast and crew had their absolutely best show on Sunday. He sounds relieved and surprised, but I’m neither. It’s pretty much how it always works once a play settles into the run. He’s disappointed that I wasn’t there to see it, but I’m not. Though I’m not really sure who I write these things for, I know for damned sure it ain’t me. I’m just happy a few folks maybe didn’t utterly waste a sunny Sunday afternoon by coming to see my play.

A so that’s it. This playwright in tech, is done for now, and for the forseeable future.

My country, France, will oppose its veto to the United States in a few days, or so it says. It bothers me a little.

Unanimity bothers me. While the French President is a right-wing conservative, the socialists and communists support him completely on this issue. The far-right, too, opposes the war. A very large majority of the people have the same opinion. As far as I know, only two politicians (including Bernard Kouchner, a former NGO leader) and a few intellectuals (not the ones you would expect) support the war in France. One cannot say, as in Great Britain or Spain, that the President does not express the will of the nation.

It bothers me because I don't think the situation is clear enough to justify such a unanimity. I think I am against the war, but I am not completely sure. The Iraqi people have two problems today: Saddam and the US embargo. A US war would put an end to both. On the other hand, there is no 'good war': it's an oxymoron. So I'm not sure. I'm probably against the war because most of the people in my country are against it. I had a much harder military service than most well-educated young men. The U.S. know how to win a war, it has not shown in the last 50 years if it still knew how to win a peace. I don't completely know what to think.

In another writeup this morning I tried to explain that the U.S. may or may not be right, but they cannot be so right as to justify bombings and embargos without taking into account the opinion of the world. I must also ask myself whether my country can be so right as to justify a veto against the majority of the Security Council.

I don't think France should veto a decision of the Security Council if the majority of the Council votes against it. Not because the United States will overcome the opposition of France and act alone: you don't preserve a power by not using it, a useless veto will only reveal the weakness of the United Nations, not create it. What bothers me here is that, if the majority of the Security Council dissents from the French opinion, France does not represent enough in the world today to have the legitimacy to oppose it. That's why I think France should abstain from voting if the majority of the Council disagrees with it. That's why I don't think my country should have veto power in the Security Council.

Neither should Great Britain, which only merit over France is that it always agree with the US while France only agrees 80% of the time. Maybe the European Union should have that veto power. It would probably be unable to use it since it cannot define a common foreign policy, but this is not a problem: it would simply abstain when its members disagree, and at least there would be no harm. Or maybe no country should have the veto power: the U.S. are ready to go to war in spite of another member's veto, so why should they have a right they don't respect?

Of course, France has a moral superiority about the U.S.: even if it's evil, it is much less powerful, and therefore cannot make as much harm as the U.S. can. It cannot do as much good, either.

Today, something very sad happened to me. There I was, at a solid level 2 here on E2. Then, I logged in to check up on some things and found that two of my most precious nodes had been deleted. This, of course, is not the first time that this has happened. I'm allowed to question God, right?

I want to crawl into a hole, among other things...

Today's Headlines

US News

Two Cops Killed in Staten Island
Two New York City police detectives were shot and killed in Staten Island last night in an undercover gun-buy-and-bust operation gone awry. The officers, whose names were not immediately released, worked for the Firearms Investigation Unit and were trying to buy guns from an illegal gun dealer. The two detectives were shot in the head and left in the street.

Senate Set To Ban Partial Birth Abortion
A bill to make so-called "partial birth" abortions illegal in the United States was taken up by the Senate yesterday and advocates of the bill claimed to have enough votes to ensure the bill's passage. The bill has been passed around the Senate in various forms since 1995, hindered by a strongly pro choice President and a Supreme Court which struck down a very similar Nebraska law. President Bush says that he will sign the bill if presented to him.

Lawmaker In Trouble For Anti-Semitic Remarks
Representative Jim Moran of Virginia is in hot water with Jewish groups for comments he made at a recent anti-war forum. At the forum in Reston, Virginia last Monday, Moran said, "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this ... the leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should."

International News

US, Britain Forced To Retreat On UN Iraq Vote
The United States and Britain have been forced to delay their push for a United Nations resolution authorizing war against Iraq after France and Russia vowed to use their veto power on any measure calling for war in Iraq. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned Washington that conflict would be illegitimate without a new resolution authorizing it, and that doing so would violate the UN charter. Together, these two measures put a major hurdle in the way of the United States and Britain successfully acquiring United Nations approval for military conflict in Iraq.

OPEC Says Crude Oil Supply Adequate
Brushing aside arguments that increasing the world's oil supply as a way of soothing nervous markets on the eve of a potential war in the Middle East, OPEC announced that for now oil supplies would remain at the same level as they have been for the past several months. Despite sharply higher oil prices, OPEC members argued that the world has enough crude to meet demand and blamed the threat of a US-led war against Iraq for fears of a supply disruption. "Don't worry about the war... we'll deal with it when it happens," said Saudi Arabia's oil minister.

US, Russia Meet To Tighten Control on Dirty Bombs
Russia and the United States are meeting to discuss methods for tightening control on so-called "dirty bombs" so that these weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists. A dirty bomb uses radioactive material attached to a conventional bomb, and is intended to spread as much radiation and fear as possible. The talks are currently transpiring in Vienna with the hope that an agreement can be reached that will keep such weapons out of the hands of potential terror groups. Issues include control over nuclear waste, limitations on arms sales, and possible methods of reaction to the use of such bombs.


Volkswagen Warns On Future Profits
Shares in Volkswagen fell more than 10 per cent on Tuesday after Europe's largest carmaker warned it would not be able to match its 2002 operating profit of 4.76 billion this year unless the US and European car markets rebounded. Speaking at Volkswagen's annual corporate press conference in Dresden, Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder said unfavorable exchange rates would also hurt Volkswagen sales in the coming year.

Deutsche Telekom Posts Massive Loss
Deutsche Telekom posted a loss of €24.6 billion for 2002, the biggest one year loss in European corporate history. The company said that it saw hopeful signs near the end of the year from T-Mobile, the company's wireless division, but even the strength of T-Mobile was not enough to hold up the many other divisions in DT, which showed significant losses across the board. The main culprit in the losses was the decreased value of investments made during the technology stock bubble of the late 1990s.

Japan Stocks Fall To New 20 Year Low
Japan has begun to enact desperate measures to curb the freefalling markets there as stocks plunged to a new 20 year low yesterday. Shaken by fears over war with North Korea and Iraq, the Nikkei dropped below the 8000 mark for the first time since January 25, 1983, closing at 7862.43. In the first of a series of moves, the Japanese central bank yesterday pumped ¥1 trillion into financial institutions to shield banks from financial instability.

Science & Technology

Oracle Still On Top of Database Market
Research firm International Data Corp. on Monday reported that Oracle maintained its top position among database vendors in 2002, but that Microsoft and IBM were closing the gap. Oracle's market share slipped to 39.4% from 41.7%, while IBM's share grew to 33.6% from 31% and Microsoft moved up from 9.7% to 11.1%. Together, these three companies are tops in the database market.

New Worm Targets Weak Windows Passwords
A new worm, W32/Deloder-A, is making its way across the internet, targeting computers using easy-to-guess passwords in an attempt to access administrator accounts. The virus generates random IP addresses and tries to connect on port 445, a port used by Windows to share files. If a vulnerable machine is found, the virus tries to log on as administrator by running through a list of fifty common weak passwords. The risk for this virus is low as long as one uses strong passwords.

IT Spending Increase Expected
Aberdeen Group, an IT review group based in Boston, said Monday that it sees IT budgets growing by 2.7 percent over the next six to twelve months. This number comes from its quarterly survey of CIOs who gave indications of future corporate IT spending trends. This number is seen as a good sign in an IT market that has been extremely sluggish over the past two years, but nowhere near as strong as the IT spending booms that occurred in the late 1990s.


Peanut Allergy Treatment Developed
The first drug designed to protect the 1.5 million Americans who are severely allergic to peanuts also may aid millions more with other food allergies, researchers said. The new drug, called TNX-901 for now, brought about a significant increase in the threshold of sensitivity to peanuts during clinical trials, according to data presented Monday to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. While the new drug is not a cure, it should allow people to avoid severe complications if they accidentally eat one or two peanuts, which is the common situation in cases of accidental exposure.

Drug Use Damage Lingers
Problems with attention and motor skills persist for more than a year after someone stops using cocaine or amphetamines according to a study in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The Massachusetts General Hospital-led study included 50 pairs of male twins in which one was a former heavy user of cocaine or methanphetamines who had not used drugs for at least a year. The result was that the clean twin scored significantly better on average than the other one.


Yankees Give Wells $100K Fine
In the firestorm resulting from his autobiography in which he claims to have pitched a perfect game the day after a late-night bender, David Wells has received a $100K fine from the New York Yankees for the revelations. The Yankees cited that Wells dishonored their organization through such revelations.

Beckham Addresses Concerns
David Beckham addressed concerns that he might be leaving Manchester United yesterday, stating that he is more concerned about planning a larger family than moving to another league. This announcement comes as concern about Beckham leaving Man United in the wake of being hit in the face by a boot kicked by manager Alex Ferguson after last month's loss to Arsenal.


The Clash, AC/DC, The Police, Elvis Costello Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Clash, AC/DC, The Police, and Elvis Costello were among the inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night during a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The show featured a performace by The Police who played together for the first time in 17 years, as well as performances by Elvis Costello and AC/DC. The Clash, however, did not play together despite having been strongly encouraged to do so.

Bloomberg Urges Broadway Talks
Broadway producers and musicians got back to bargaining last Monday night at the urging of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg publicly stated that the darkened musicals last week were crippling the city's restaurants, hotels, and other businesses, and that the sides should quickly reach an agreement for the betterment of the city as a whole. The strike is in its fourth day as musicians demand a minimum number of musicians to be present during any given performance.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

I've spent some time the last couple of evenings working on my exact platform for the political move I am considering making, and as I write it, I am in great fear that the platform is too forward thinking.

My general approach to life is to let people do what they want to do as long as it doesn't interfere with my ability to do what I want to do. In that same vein, I feel that as an adult it is my responsibility to care for myself; if I am just unwilling to do this, then the government shouldn't help me at all. The group that needs help from the goverment are the truly disabled and, more importantly, the children and those not yet born or even conceived of.

My general philosophy is this:

Today, people should be free to make their own choices for their own lives.
Tomorrow, people should enjoy the benefits of decisions made today.

All of my political stances and beliefs grow from those two statements. It's been truly enlightening to sit down and really consider the issues that I would like to champion.

Lent Diary, Day 7

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

Last night, I spent better than an hour lost in meditation just before I broke my fast. It was a very strange and deep meditation, filled with very vivid memories and thoughts of those very important to me.

I was sitting crosslegged on the floor, as I usually am when in meditation, but this time I seemed to slip very deep into it. It was almost as if there were others in the room with me.

And as I find so often when trying to communicate with God, the answers I was seeking just suddenly appeared inside of me. I opened my eyes and realized that a lot of time had passed; it was dark out. So I went and prepared supper while still trying to figure it out.

Truly, I feel as though my understanding of the universe is growing.

So, I’m probably angrier than I was yesterday. In fact, I would think that you get on the wrong side of me I will most likely hit you or shout at you. So you better be careful! :-P

While I was walking home today something happened and someone who I thought I could count on for a little support let me down. That kinda makes me sad and little mad too. You see, we may not be very close but if he ever need backing up or wanted a bit of support I would help him out. I thought maybe I meant something to him, maybe I was wrong.

Something else that really hurt me was that he is just like all the others, he is exactly the same, I never thought he was like. Never at all. Someone shouted an insult at me and everyone laughed. I’m not sure, did he laugh too? I daren’t even look in his direction because I feared he was laughing too. I think he probably was as well.

Why am I letting this get to me? I mean, if that is the way he is going to treat me why bother? Right, that is it. I’m fed up of you all so, sod it, I’m not going to pussy foot around you, I’m going to tell you exactly what I think. Maybe that’ll do me good, eh? The truth always got me in trouble but you know something? Sod it, I don’t care, maybe I’ll get in trouble for the right reasons this time.

An original poem by me.

A freshly mowed lawn
with rows of clumpy greenness
the backyard rhombus criscrossed in lines
of crewcut vegetation

Green on my knees, I laugh
it smells like long ago
back when swings were flipping me into
another dimension

There's a bug on your shoulder
I flick it away--
it's not a good day for squishing life
even ants.

Scorpion sun sharp behind
skeins of cloud
it's almost dusk
I smell the neighbor's fireplace.

Wet grass was cut, and left to rot
in rows beneath the summer sky
the lawn bore brown stripes, after that:
it smelled like the night everything burned.

Elemental wraiths of smoke
that crumbled at my touch
were everywhere;
I tried not to breathe them in.

But it wasn't our house.
It wasn't everything.
we kissed and made dinner while
a neighbor's child found the plastic eye
of a doll, amidst the ashes.

I wrote the poem above at work today. For some reason, sitting in my cube, I suddenly remembered the smell of a freshly cut lawn. It was such a vivid memory I briefly wondered if I was actually smelling it -- but then I remembered that I don't work near any windows, and they never clean out the air vents in this place.

I would appreciate feedback on this poem. In daylogs, you can never be sure what a vote means: I know people sometimes downvote ALL daylogs, or upvote ALL daylogs, so the votes don't end up meaning very much. If someone has the time, it would be nice to know what you think.

Random thoughts follow.

The media process of building 'em up to knock 'em down never ceases to surprise me. Today the UK video games scene has witnessed the execution of what could be interpreted as an inspired windfall of free publicity or an unplanned blunder whipped into a media feeding frenzy.

The Mirror (yes, the tabloid newspaper famed for its meticulously cross-checked technology journalism, I don't think...) broke the story that The Dixons Group Plc. (the largest high street consumer electronics retailer in the UK) were planning on no longer stocking the Nintendo Gamecube hardware or software. The article quotes a Dixon's source: "GameCube hasn't sold well, so for now we're concentrating on just Xbox and PS2. It's purely about shelf space." (Remember that shelf space comment. This is important.) They also mentioned that Dixons were dropping the price of the hardware to £99 with a game thrown in.

Result: Chaos!

Within hours this report was picked up on by one million forum-dwelling fanboys, who immediately proclaimed the machine's doom. Next, news site (don't even get me started) ran the story, although to be fair at least bothered to talk to Dixons to clarify the situation. ("Once we've cleared stock we'll review our next steps.") This clarification was hidden away under a sensationalist headline, which is also how the story ran (unchecked, obviously) on The Register.

Then to exacerbate the PR damage for Nintendo, the BBC run the story with the ludicrous headline "GameCube could vanish from the High Street" and the more sensible "Gamecube drops in price".

Now to put some perspective on the situation. The Dixons Group, retailing monopolists and price fixing bully-boys as they are, only make up about 20% of Nintendo's GC sales. The real big fish in the video games retail pond is GAME, with a number of other chain stores (HMV, Comet, Argos, Gamestation/Blockbuster, Virgin Megastore, Toys 'R' Us, Woolworths) nipping at their heels.

Gamecube sales have been sluggish (at least, prior to the release of Resident Evil Zero), I'll admit, thanks to Nintendo's increasingly worrisome 'staggered release schedule' policy. But it seems fairly obvious to me that Dixons' move is intended solely to stimulate hardware sales (1. Drop price, 2. Give the impression that it's for a limited time only, 3. Rake in 'attach' sales of forthcoming high-profilers), not to broadcast a vote of no confidence in the machine.

Cast your mind back to the first half of 2002 the Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft Xbox launched. Dixon's buyers, pound signs in their eyes and market knowledge out of their grasp, chose to dedicate approximately 50% of their console shelf space to the new formats, reducing space for 'guaranteed seller' PS2 stock and resulting in the rather silly spectacle of games stacked one copy deep, two or three game titles to a shelf unit. Presumably the mountain of unsold software (they hugely over-bought on lots of mediocre third party titles for both machines, in the vain hope that they could bundle them in handfuls with hardware to the unwitting public) was eventually noticed and an internal war of blame started. Cue renegotiation with Microsoft and Nintendo:

Dixons: We need to free up more space for PS2 stuff. How do you plead?

Microsoft: We will slash our prices until stuff moves, and... how would you like a big pile of cash?

Nintendo: We have Metroid Prime, Zelda and the GBA SP coming out very soon, and are already competitively priced. If you knew what games were, you'd be more than happy to wait and let the cash come flooding in. As you're actually imbeciles, we can only hint that if you pull the GC, we'll pull the GBA.

Dixons: Cripes, I think we'll favour Microsoft. And to show Nintendo what a professional outfit we are, I'd better get Piers Morgan on the phone. And the BBC. Fore!

(Who else would have contacted the BBC about this story? I don't believe that they have spies everywhere.)

I guess we'll never know how Dixons intended to break the news to the public, unless this (a leak followed by a largely ignored clarification) was part of the plan. The real villains here are the 'journalists' who used the lack of hard information as an excuse for wild and borderline-slanderous speculation at Nintendo's expense. No doubt if the Gamecube did croak (bearing in mind that it's still globally the #2 machine, leading the Xbox by quite a margin*), these same journalists would be mourning its fate, as they did the Dreamcast after months of ignorance and apathy when the machine was still alive.

Shame on the journalists who do their level best to damage anything with promise. I can only hope that a few months from now Metroid Prime and Zelda WW's sales figures will be sufficient to make these hypocritical charlatans eat their words. I realise I am being a Nintendo apologist here (and acknowledge that they have made some bad mistakes in their treatment of Europe), but at the end of the day I respect a company that actually delivers high quality games (and doesn't resort to T&A Beach Volleyball) over and above a bunch of rumour-mongering hacks and greedy retailers.

*Of course, at the extreme of paranoia, you have to wonder where Microsoft fit into this: the story does after all put a negative spin on Nintendo's fortunes at a time when the Gamecube is reducing in price while drawing attention from the fact that the Microsoft Xbox is creeping up in price again, the Christmas special offers having finished.

he is consumed with
teaching the wild secret
she smells used
liquid love showers him
his pronounced stagger says
I am an immense man
her slender crack only bruises
do it like a bomb
this is all these people see
burn the book you said
what you wanted was darker
and we were not going there.

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