I been reading the novel Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, because it's a mix of several of my favorite things: a doorstop of a book; a novel of modern India; a crime thriller; and a cinematic, fast-moving, plot-driven epic.
Bunty, it turns out, was a real-life criminal of some stature in India. In the novel, a character named Bunty is second-in-command to the head crime boss, Ganesh Gaitonde. In the author's notes at the end of the book, Chandra coyly thanks those people who made the book more realistic but whom he'd prefer not to name. Hmmm.
I'm sure there's tons of subtext here that I'm not picking up on: perhaps every reader with a connection to India knows who Bunty is (was) and using his name in the novel is an in-joke that elicits knowing chuckles from the better-informed.
But seeing news of the death of a novel's character in the actual news was jarring to me. It was like hearing that scientists have captured the creature from the black lagoon or something. I hope Chandra will write about it on his site.
I never post to Eve blogs. I barely read Eve blogs. I even more rarely undock my freakin' ship and do anything in Eve anymore besides pay for it every month because, hey, $15 is peanuts and some day I might actually play the game beyond logging in and setting skills (oh yeah, once I undock, I should be SO uber).
But I had some down time and had to log in to set a skill anyway so I figured what the hey, I'll run a mission. Jumped in the ol' Caracal and puttered out to do a LEVEL TWO mission that I've done APPROXIMATELY 18 BILLION TIMES BEFORE.
It was touch and go. I had to warp out and rep twice, and the last time the rats were chewing structure before my frantic key-hammering had any effect. I was in a 0.5 system with 30-something people docked. (Yeah, I'm a carebear. Screw you.)
I did the same thing you did -- holy crap, why's my connection so slow? I'm running Eve on a Mac with intermittently wonky cable internet service, so I figured it was on my end. Nope, it wasn't me.
I didn't bother filing a petition. I figure I ended up completing the mission and didn't lose the ship (God forbid -- another Caracal might break the bank /jk). But it reinforced my antipathy toward actually participating in the meat of the game. I can't imagine what the lag is like in fleet combat.
They'll still get my money, because they're the only MMO that's even vaguely interesting. Unfortunately, they're becoming more frustrating than interesting.
I mean, come on. I WASN'T EVEN ENGAGED IN 1-ON-1 PVP, and the lag was vicious. That's unacceptable.
All three of my loyal readers (OK, the two loyal ones and YOU, the shifty character in the corner) are hereby encouraged to check out a few new (to me) sites that will help you get your rage on:
Electicker is a site with an astounding amount of aggregated information crammed onto it about the upcoming US Presidential elections and PoliticalFilter is a MetaFilter knock-off (with better design -- sorry, Matt) for posting political links that the membership can then yell about.
Both of them were highlighted on today's Big Big Question, yet another site with MetaFilter connections -- it's run by MeFi moderator cortex.
*extends grasping hand* OK, guys, I pimped your sites -- pay me now!
In the Birmingham News today, the lead story concerned a terrible mass killing that happened in north Shelby County. Five men were found with their throats slashed. There were few details reported in the dead-tree edition, so I went to al.com to find out more.
Sure enough, like any good news website, they had more information. The men were all Hispanic, and they had no identification on their corpses. The bodies were taken to the state crime lab in Montgomery. FBI, US Marshalls, ABI were all getting involved to help solve the crime. So far, so good. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments following the updated story.
I've got to leave this state.
Reading those comments is like being smacked in the face with a wet Klan robe. The level of racism, bigotry, and sheer stupid hatred expressed therein was dismaying, to say the least. I won't repeat what was said. You can read them for yourself if you choose.
But if that's the level of intellect (among the people who actually bother to read the paper, don't forget), then this state is doomed and we deserve whatever we get.
I'm dismayed, disgusted, and saddened.
I guess I should have expected it. But DAMN, y'all. We can do better.