Monday, April 11, 2011

The brainwashing game

Marley was always a critic.
Please don't call us fascists, but in the mornings... well... we like to listen to NPR for some good ol' lefty propaganda.  You know, those are the guys who heap praise on the be-nice-to-each-other, respect-everyone, save-the-planet, use-your-brain, ride-a-train socialist agenda.  Normally, we prefer to have our self-centered WASPy world view unchallenged by the refreshingly unbiased, everything-is-ok-except-for-the-smart-ass-commies-who-say-it-isn't, your-mother-was-a-socialist-for-making-you-share-with-your-little-sister reporting from the insightful commentators at FOX News.  But on some mornings, we like to see how the other side lives. Also, we think that Renee Montagne is hot.

World Loving Hottie Montagne
One story pulled our attention away from imagining Ms. Montagne cleaning our condo in a see-through burka: It turns out that radicals at World Without Oil have created a brainwashing system that tries to lure us into an online game only to scare the hell out of us with its simulated world oil crisis.  The premise is simple, unlike really fun games like Custer's Revenge, WWO plunges you into a world where there is not enough oil to go around, and all the rich and powerful countries horde it for themselves.  As usual, the poorer countries just have to suck it.  When hard-working people can no longer afford their air-conditioning, SUVs are selling for scap metal, and bicycles are all the rage, all sorts of terrible things happen and what should be fun and relaxing quickly becomes just horrible.  WWO claims that people who managed to played this game without putting a bullet in their head actually came up with creative ideas to address the problem of dwindling oil supplies.  They called it crowdsourcing, which sounds suspiciously social to us.
Custer is eager to settle the score.
WWO's website even has a summary of what happened each week in their miserable land as oil becomes increasingly scarce and a carrot costs ten dollars.  While some will find it fascinating, it is too depressing for us to even think about.  This is supposed to be fun?!?

Like this would ever happen again.
In the end, the WWO landscape is just a miserable place to be and we never ever want to experience it, and don't know anyone who would.  The NPR story featured a lot of granola-laden sincerity about how the game teaches people about our possible energy future, but it seemed to us that it was like Marley's Ghost telling us some fictions about a world to be that we can easily avoid by simply drilling more holes and squeezing the Arab peninsula a little harder.  They've got a lot more oil than they're telling us about.

Well, at bleakday, when we want education, we'll go to school (and thank Bush we don't have to do THAT anymore).  When we want to play a game, we'll jack-in on a first-person shooter that will set us to rights.

A few years later, they all had cars.
Praise Enron that the game is no longer available to play.  Evidently, it only lasted a few months before people gave up and renewed their World of Warcraft subscriptions.  There was some huha about it being an experiment and that its end game was planned from the start.  Really WWO?  What we think we hear you saying is that your game sucked, people wouldn't pay to play it, and you needed to spend more time with your family.  You want us to play your little game so that we will be brainwashed to believe that world oil supplies are limited and when we run out, we'll have to turn all of our beautiful highways into sidewalks. Ching chong, ling long, ting tong!  Well, we guess that we got the last laugh.  Your doomsday game is gone, and we're still here, thinking about buying a Hummer as soon as gas prices go down again and dreaming about all that sweet crude that will be coming our way from the grateful people of Libya soon.  You should change your name to WWWWO (World Without World Without Oil).  Your done, WWO.

The Gipper always knew how we liked it.
Good thing, too: as the keepers of the American Dream, we are sick and tired of people telling us to stop polluting this, don't use too much of that, and stop killing them.  Our father smoked, ate whatever he wanted, never worried about how much gas he put into his 1957 Buick land yacht, and ran his big Sears window-unit air conditioner full blast even when it wasn't hot just because he liked the sound of it.  He worked hard and paid good American money for that good American land yacht and it was his God-given right to fill 'er up and storm down the highway until he had the privilege of feeding the hungry beast again.  He may have died young, but at least he didn't have to witness the destruction of the American way of life, and we think he would agree that since the U.S. of A. brought peace and Elvis to the world, it can sell us a little gas.  And if they don't want to, Ronald Reagan is still around to convince them.

We hope WWO has learned their lesson, and shame on NPR for spreading panic without checking their facts.  There is plenty of oil to go around.  Look at all the cars on the road, the planes in the air, and all those wealthy Arabs.  Do they look worried?  Try worrying about something important like how immigrants are stealing our jobs and having anchor babies in  Planned Parenthood offices.  Jeez, next you'll be telling us that the icecaps are melting because of Global Warming!  Did you see how much snow they got in Connecticut this year?

So sorry the game thing didn't work out.  Maybe you could sell it to the Swedes.  They love trying to save the planet.  If you don't feel like learning Swedish, enjoy your time off... try not to think too hard.  We hope that you spend a lot of time with your family.  Buy a big camper and drive it all over this great land of ours.  Just stop trying to teach us anything.

Killjoys like you take all the fun out of being an American.

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